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Employee Turnover Eating into Your Profits? Learn To Hire Right
Employee Turnover Eating into Your Profits? Learn To Hire Featuring Dr. Sabrina Starling Employee turnover has far-reaching implications for your business. There is the monetary cost, the toll it takes on other employees, and the negative effect it can have on your customers. Far too often business owners think it is the price of doing business. But it doesn’t have to be. You can improve your employee retention by changing the way you think about employees. They should be thought of as a long-term asset and it is worth putting in a little more effort upfront. It can be done. About Dr. Sabrina Dr. Sabrina Starling, The Business Psychologist™ and author of the How to Hire the Best series is the founder of Tap the Potential. At Tap the Potential, we work to free business owners from the constant demands of a growing business. We believe work supports life, not the other way around. Clients in our Better Business, Better Life™ coaching program have more time and more money than they've ever had before. Next, we send them off on a 4 Week Vacation™ to celebrate their hard-earned journey to Get Their Life Back! Never one to accept status quo or back down from a challenge, Dr. Sabrina’s How to Hire the Best series grew from her desire to solve the toughest hiring challenges interfering with her clients’ growth and profitability. What sprang from her experience working with entrepreneurs in rural areas catapulted her into becoming the world’s leading expert in attracting top talent in small businesses — no matter what hiring challenges those businesses are facing — and earned Tap the Potential’s reputation as the go-to resource for entrepreneurs committed to creating Great Places to Work with thriving coaching cultures and highly engaged team members working from strengths. Her newest book (Nov 2020), How to Hire the Best: The Entrepreneur's Ultimate Guide to Attracting Top Performing Employees. This is truly the mothership book of the series, catering to ALL entrepreneurs in every industry. From decades of work and research, Dr. Sabrina shares crucial hiring strategies to transform small businesses everywhere AND improve personal lives. As The Business Psychologist™, and with her years of driving profit in small businesses, Dr. Sabrina knows what it takes to find, keep, and motivate exceptional performance out of an owner's biggest investment—team members. Her last book, How to Hire the Best: The Contractor’s Ultimate Guide to Attracting Top Performing Employees, was an International Best Seller on Amazon! Facebook - /sabrinastarlingTTP/ Facebook - /tapthepotential/ LinkedIn - /drsabrina/ Twitter - @drsabrina/ Instagram - @drsabrina Full Episode Below   Employee Turnover Eating into Your Profits? Learn To Hire Featuring Dr. Sabrina Starling Wed, 9/1 11:09AM • 49:13 SUMMARY KEYWORDS people, business, hiring, players, business owners, team members, roles, immutable laws, support, recruiting, small business owners, life, person, talk, week, turnover, attract, team, home, work SPEAKERS Dr. Sabrina, Roy Barker   Roy Barker  00:02 Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that speak to a diverse set of topics. Today is no different. We are happy to have with us Dr. Sabrina Starling, "The Business Psychologist" and author of "How to Hire the Best series. and also the founder of "Tap The Potential" at Tap the Potential they work to free business owners from the constant demands of a growing business.   They believe that work supports life not the other way around. Clients in their "Better Business Better Life Coaching Program have more time and more money than they've ever had before. Next, they send them off to a four week vacation to celebrate their hard earned journey to get their life back. Up to Sabrina, welcome to the show.   Dr. Sabrina  00:54 Thank you. I am so excited to be here with you.   Roy Barker  00:56 Yeah. Can you stamp my passport? I am ready to be on that celebration journey.   Dr. Sabrina  01:03 Yes, every business owner deserves, especially after what we've been through with COVID We All right, I'll need that.   Roy Barker  01:10 Well, and I do apologize. I'm thought I was a little bit better. But I still have a little bit of a cough. So we're gonna try to make it through this. Unfortunately, you're not appreciate your patience. You've been put off like two or three times the last time, like five minutes before we were going to start taping we had total power outage. So anyway, thank you for your patience. But before we jump into this, you know this is one of my soapbox is I love to get on and love to talk about I think that there's so much that business owners can do to help themselves that they just overlooked. But tell us a little bit about your journey. I mean, how did you end up here?   Dr. Sabrina  01:53 Well, I'll tell you, it really goes back to my childhood. And you know, when I was when I was a young girl, maybe like around five years old, I really became aware of my dad and how busy He always was like I would watch him scarf down his food and race out the door. And he would work from sunup till sundown always working. And my mother explained to me that, you know, your father never got to sit down for a meal as a child. And my father grew up during his childhood. My grandfather was an entrepreneur. He owned service stations and multiple drive in movie theaters in West Texas.   And he stumbled on when he had a service station, he wanted to have more gas sales. And so he got this idea that he would put a screen up on the back of his service station. And he would if you purchase five gallons of gas, you would get a free ticket to the movies. Well, that idea took off like gangbusters. And so the the service station got busy. And then he ended up opening multiple drive in movie theaters. And everyone in the family worked. I mean, that was a true family run business with multiple business endeavors. And this was the age of Elvis and, you know, muscle cars.   And like because the business was booming, and my young dad worked and he ate his meal, his diet consisted of whatever they ate in the concession stands. So with no burgers, hotdogs, nachos, soda pop. And I have always wondered, when I look back if, if my grandfather had had a really good team that he could count on? How would that have changed my dad's experience growing up, and my grandparents lives and even their longevity, you know, because of how they aged and the health problems they had in their older age. If they'd had help, and the team and its support there, they experienced a lot of financial success from that.   But their quality of life, I wonder like that, that was not a good quality of life. And so I was a real family, I grew up in a family that was impacted by the legacy of entrepreneurship. Because my dad was not an entrepreneur, but what I learned from him is you work hard, you don't play until the work is done. And there's always more work to be done. And so that's a situation where life supports work. And I really believe that works to support life, not the other way around. And so these hiring challenges that small business owners have had are not new, they're worse because of COVID they existed pre COVID they existed back in the 50s and before it this is it's always been hard for small business owners to find good team members   Roy Barker  04:42 yeah yeah, before we before we move on I'm gonna have to get you to sign up for episode number two to explain service stations and drive ins cuz that may have just gone have gone by some people in the audience. I didn't drive it. What is the service gas station Should I play? I'm old enough to know what those are? Yeah, it's kind of cool. Because not to get too far off track. But in the town where I live, they actually lived in the screen.   They had built the house out, you know, like from the screen. And it was like three, four storeys tall, it was kind of thin. It wasn't really, you know, wide. But it was interesting, dynamic. And, yeah, I grew up worked in the service stations as well. And you know, it was a different time. And you're exactly right, that life did support work instead of being the other way around. And it's unfortunate, but for a lot of people my age, it's hard to flip that switch.   And sometimes just when we think we have flipped it, and we're doing good, another challenge or another opportunity comes along, and then we're right back in it. And I think what makes it even worse, is if you really love your job, and you have fun at what you do, it makes it even doubly hard to just take a step back from that. Absolutely. Well, I just and we talk pre show about this. So I'm really not surprising, or I don't like to do that to guess.   But I just got an alert from the Wall Street Journal. And basically, it said something like the states that discontinued the extra federal unemployment did not fare much, if any better than those that continue that. So I was a true believer that that was part of our problem, a big part, maybe not all of it, but I thought we would solve 75 to 80% of our staffing situation or not being defined staff with cutting that off. But again, proven wrong. So I think you have some insights into that.   Dr. Sabrina  06:49 Yeah. So I think one of the the big, there's multiple factors at play, and as to why is it that now that business owners are poised to make a comeback, they have lots of opportunity in their business now that COVID is is less of a concern is still a huge concern, but we're learning to deal with it. So why is it that we have these hiring challenges, even in states where the federal and the state support has been cut, or is getting getting reduced. And what happened is, first off COVID lasted a very long time. So all of us have learned to adapt to challenging circumstances that we have been placed in, we found ways to get by.   So if this had been three months, instead of a year and a half going on to almost two years, we wouldn't have as much as we would have people ready to go back to work. It was just like a temporary blip, but people have adapted. The other piece that's happened is that a lot of women were forced out of the workforce, to stay home and take care of children. And because of that many families have figured out how to get by on one income.   Yeah. And so that is a huge portion of the labor force that's just gone away. And, you know, if they have school aged kids at home, they may be deciding I'm staying home for the next 10 years. Yeah, that's significant. And then we also have just the general people's general fear about going back to work because they're really looking at if they're really afraid. So they're looking at, you know, some extra money in my household to make things easier, or safety. And fear and safety, people are always going to choose from from fear.   And so we have a situation where our labor pool has shrunk. Prior to COVID, the hiring challenge that was out there is that only 10% of the population are a players to begin with. So a players are those individuals who are highly motivated. They're intrinsically motivated. That means that they just want to do a good job, just yearning. And when you find something that you want to do you want to do it, you enjoy doing that kind of work. And so when you have this natural drive to want to do it better, that's that a player intrinsic motivation. extrinsic motivation is when you have to give somebody a perk like I'm going to give you $1 an hour or more if you produce more for me, a player's don't work that way.   The other challenge is that a players who want to work are rarely unemployed, so they are not home reading ads on indeed, they're not reading the Help Wanted ads. And so your challenge as a business owner is how do I find the eight players that I want on my team? Because the typical hiring strategies don't work. They actually set us up to this higher 75% of the time, but they're not geared to attract a players or teams.   Roy Barker  09:55 Yeah, I don't like to be too rough on anybody. But I think that's one A skill that's been lost, even prior to COVID is recruiting. And I think you make a very good point that the A players, the people that you really want, they're not perusing the ads anyway. Right? You know, because what I always challenge people to do is do actual recruiting, which means talking to people being in touch with people prior to needing them to that way, especially today, you can monitor them on social media to see what's their attitude about things, how they feel, did they spend a lot of time during the day on there, you know,.   There's so much reconnaissance that you can do in the beginning, instead of just putting up, you know, instead of like, Hey, we got a guy that left today, let's put an indeed app. I mean, let's put it in D dad. And that's, to me, that's not really recruiting. And that's where we get in this position of, well, we hired somebody because we had to hurry and it was basically, okay, they got a pulse, and they filled out an application. So there there are person with the wrong person, which just, you know, trickles through and makes things even worse as we go.   Dr. Sabrina  11:14 Yes. And that that's exactly the the traditional hiring strategy. That's what the majority of small business owners do. And that's what sets us up to miss hire 75% of the time. So that's where you have that experience of I hate hiring, I don't want to go through this again, it's so painful, and I don't think I'm going to get a good candidate anyway. So because you really aren't, because one out of four is going to be good, three out of four is going to be awful, and you're going to fire him. And when you're a small business, your margins are so slim to begin with. payroll is the biggest expense turnover on your payroll will eat away your profit, like if you're not profitable.   Now, if you learn how to attract the best, and you actually have a system that works to attract a players to your team, and you can retain those eight players on your team, that is the fastest path to building a highly profitable business. So getting this piece right, and your experience ROI, where so many business owners don't recruit is spot on. We have been surveying small business owners over the last year and a half. And in a survey of over 200 entrepreneurs 89% have no system to attract a players to their team. 89%. So only 11% have a system for hiring.   Roy Barker  12:34 Yeah. And we're, I think you can put this as a question, but it seems like we've become very reactionary in hiring. I mean, in in the starting the process is we wait till, hey, that guy's been gone for two, three, you know, sometimes it's been weeks. And that's another thing I look at, like this slots been open for 30 6090 days. You have to at some point, ask yourself, do we really even need that person if we've been able to go? I mean, maybe we're paying crazy overtime.   But and then the the other part that's kind of weird is that sometimes it can the process can take so long that they just lose that they leaves the good people because they're, it's competitive for somebody that is that top 10%. And we do all this stuff that sometimes it's necessary, sometimes it's not, but look at it's kind of like the sliding scale, like the lower wage. employees, it seems like, they quit their job today. And they need to go to work tomorrow, they don't have three weeks, six weeks, you know, for 10 $15 hour an employee, typically what I would see and then, you know, with your professional workers, you know, they're gonna give two weeks to a month notice. So there is some time to go through that. But let me get your opinion on that as well.   Dr. Sabrina  14:05 design your recruiting and hiring system so that it filters out the wrong people very early on in the process, because you don't have time as a small business owner to be talking to everybody and interviewing. So you want to filter out the wrong people early on in the process. And you want to fast track the right people. And that's what I'm hearing you speak to Roy is that you want to treat your recruiting and hiring like you do marketing and sales things. So if you had no marketing system in your business, and you had inconsistent sales, you would have no business.   And yet and so we've all learned we figured that part out early on in our business as part of surviving as a business. I'm right at the point where we have steady lead generation and steady sales conversion is the point where we need as business owners to be starting to think About how am I going to steadily recruit and attract the eight players that I need on my team? If my business is going to grow three times from where it is now, over the next few years, how many roles do I need? What role? What are those roles? How am I going to attract those eight players to my team.   So when it goes back to your hiring process, and you want to speed it up, you want to fast track those who seem like they're a good fit, you want to have some filters in place early on. And if people are passing through those filters, and it's like, check, they've got this criteria, check. They've got this criteria, get it on a phone call. I mean, like, just like sales, if someone comes to your business, and they want to buy something from you, are you gonna say, you know, my schedule is pretty full. So maybe in our discussion about this, no, you're gonna have that conversation right then? Right? Soon thereafter.   Roy Barker  15:48 Right? Yeah. And it's funny, we must read from the same script, because that's what I always talk about is that we have to market for talent, just like we market for business. Because, and we, and also talking about growth, you know, it's one thing, just replacing current staff just in that turnover process. But if we're in a growth mode, we have to really be thinking, who we're going to need to add At what point so we can get on that. And again, it's been a little more difficult through this time, because you know, things I recommend are getting out in front of if you need younger people getting out in front of students to tell them about your business, your industry to, you know, again, we're selling them on why they need to come to work for us, but also at trade events, things like that, meet people that and not that you need them, right that moment, but you're always making a list of Hey, I really like this person, attitude, the way they talk and everything they do, that there's somebody you may want to reach out to in the future.   Dr. Sabrina  16:56 Yes, Yes, for sure. And so when we look at the roles that we need to fill in our business, both the existing roles because you could have turnover, as well as new roles. And you identify what if that person in that role can only get one thing done for me in a given day or given week? What is the most important one thing they're going to do? Identify what that one result is that you need from them? And then think through what are the personality strengths needed to do this job exceptionally well, day in and day out?   So now you're starting to define exactly who you're looking for, in this role, what are their personal qualities, and I'll explain why this is so important. years ago, I had coached a young man, I think he was he might have still been in high school I never asked he just told me. He was very young. And this was his first business venture. And he had, he had made a product. And he was selling it in a mall at a kiosk. And his product was taking off. And he needed somebody to stand at the kiosk and make the sale. So he could go in the back and make the product. So he hired some of his friends. And they were really good friends of his and they were gung ho they wanted to help him and support him, they would show up for work.   And he said, You know, he said, I need you to wave down the foot traffic. And we're all just get them to come over here and try the product. And usually they'll they'll buy and they'll try it and they'll buy some. And he said it works for me. I know you can do this. And so they his friends would do this. And he said, Dr. Sabrina, I don't understand why after an hour or two, I go I walk away and I come back and I find them standing in the kiosk with their phone, their back, turned to the foot traffic going by and mall. And and I said well, have you talked to them about that?   And you said yeah, we've had repeated conversations and they still, you know, they could they come back and I see is I know I need to do this and they'll they'll try but then I see them you know later on. And I said I'm just I'm really curious. Are your friends like when you go to parties? Are they the ones who mingle and talk to everybody? And he said Dr. Sabrina they don't go was trying to get them to come out with me and do things he said they they study and they you know they're they're very studious, they don't miss classes.   They make straight A's. I don't understand why I can't get them here. They look like a players I don't understand why kick them to me. And I said I'm so I said I'm, I think maybe you have hired some introverts who are trying to be extroverts for you. They're not succeeding. And that was like a lightbulb moment for him because he said you're absolutely right. He said they don't like to talk to people very much. They're very quiet and reserved, and it's exactly they're trying very hard for you. But that drains their batteries.   And when you see them turn their back to the foot traffic. They're actually trying to recharge their batteries to get energy to do what you need them to do. Like, oh my gosh, so heat started being intentional. The one result he needed was just Get the foot traffic over to try the product. So he started hiring people who were extroverts and from, it just grew from there like it, that freed him up to go do other things that he needed to do in the business, he could rely on them.   So when we get really clear in our hiring process, the kind of person the personality strengths that are needed to deliver the result exceptionally well, we have a description that we can go out and share when we're networking and saying, I'm looking for someone like this. Who do you know, don't say, I'm looking for someone like this? Who do you know who's looking for a job, right? players are not unemployed.   So you immediately whoever you're talking to, they're not going to think of anybody. So you just say, who do you know who's like this. And then the other key piece that's really nice to be part of that filtering process that I talked about earlier, is your immutable laws. So identifying your core values, your how you what you believe in, and every one of us has three to five core values that really define who we are and how we show up in the world.   And when we can articulate those. That's a part of how we attract the A players we want on our team, we want to hire a players whose core values align with our immutable laws. And that's the number one filter to put in place in your hiring process. It's not skill set, it's not personality strengths. It's are your immutable laws are your core values similar to ours, if they're not, you want to just move on, you don't even want to talk to them and bring them in for an interview.   But anybody who's checking the boxes, and the core values lineup, right, want to move them through, and you want to have a conversation with them. Because that's somebody, they have a network because a players hang together. And they come together around core values. Okay, and so if you have somebody that has filled out an application, even if they don't have the skill set that you're looking for, they're not right for that particular role, they go into your database of who you're going to stay in contact with, because they have a network of other a players around them, able to tap into that network, know that nobody is ever a dead end when they have a match with you with your immutable laws, because they can put you in contact with other people who might be looking for exactly what you have to offer, again, which   Roy Barker  22:21 follows the the rule of the I guess the sales method is follow. Even if we don't close a sale, we want to follow up with these people because things can change. Like you said, maybe not necessarily with them, but they may have a good connection that, you know, would be a good candidate. And   Dr. Sabrina  22:40 I am so glad you said that. Because we've I I've had a job, have you had a job. Okay. And there were days I went to work where I really liked my job. And there were days I went to work, and I was like, This is awful. This place. And it's like this, you know, emotional roller coaster. If a place is really a great place to work, those feelings that hate this place, it's awful.   Those come and go and they're fleeting. But if it's a place like most work environments that are not all that great, where there's not a lot of attention put to culture and building relationships with team members, chances are, there's going to be an opportunity where that person that you would like to work for you is having a number of bad days at work. And if you are present in their world, if you show up and say hey, I'm Roy, remember me I have an opportunity over here is if you're ever interested, remember this opportunity is over here. And I'd be happy to have a conversation with you about it. Yeah. So that staying present, you will show up in their world, eventually, you're going to catch them on a day where they're like, I'm ready to go.   Roy Barker  23:45 Yeah, yeah. And that's so important, because we need to have those people, you know, not only those people, but we also need to have those that are disappointed that are calling us saying, Hey, I'm just checking with, you know, we have to build up to make it the place that they want to be, you know, we have, and I don't mean, do a sales job, because it's not a good place to work.   But I mean, we have to make it a good place to work, but then we have to sell people on why they need to be working for us and get that attention with them reaching out to somebody, you know, being in that constant communication mode. And it's funny, too, I'm a it's a difficult situation, because I do believe in education. And, you know, some people aren't for college, but their trade schools or trade education, but there was a great line in the TV show. It actually was law and order years ago. So there was this lawyer that was just really pounding them in this episode. And one of the assistants is like, I don't know, I don't understand this guy's really killing us.   But you know, he barely passed law school, like, you know, he had like a two five or three or whatever the minimum was and the other guy said Yeah, but the reason why he made poor grades is was because he was always hanging around a court house, learning his craft. And so well, I don't want to discourage education, I just want to say that, you know, we also have to look at other abilities that go with that, because sometimes, we've gotten so rigid on degrees in education that we want. Again, I'm gonna just tell you my story is that, you know, I struggled and went to night school for 20 years to get my undergrad.   So I definitely believe in it, don't, please, nobody Take me, take me, don't think we need it. I believe everybody needs it just for the sometimes it's just for the socialization part. But anyway, we have to just look at the person well round in sometimes I think we may have this arbitrary line that we put up, there's somebody that could be bumping right up against the bottom of it, that we give no consideration.   Dr. Sabrina  26:02 I absolutely agree with you. As one who has a doctoral degree, I will, I'm the first to say that college may not be the best investment for a lot of people. And there's, there's lots of people who have broad skill sets and a broad base of experience, who are very eager to learn in most things can be trained. And I'm not going to say, you know, like, you wouldn't put somebody in the role of psychologists just because they've had a broad live experience.   And, you know, I'm not gonna go into that part. But what I'm hearing you say is, we've got to think outside the box. Correct. And I have had many small business owners that we've worked with that have done that out of the box thinking and so they will bring entry level team members into their company, and they know they can they figured out their system for attracting their entry level team members. Yes. And then they start working on how do we teach them leadership skills?   How do we give them the skills that they need to advance and fill our higher level roles, because those higher level roles are so hard to fill, they're finding more success and raising up their team and giving them opportunities for advancement and recruiting that way. And the the other piece that I think it's so important for small business owners to hear right now is that the bird in the hand is worth more than 10 in the bush. So when you have a players on your team, be aware of why they like working for you and what they consider to be a great place to work.   So ask them, you seem happy here. What do you like here, what could be better for you, you don't have to make any promises that you know you're going to do anything extravagant, because you may not be able to, but just you need to be in conversation with them to understand their perspective. And use that to help you create the culture that will attract more a player. So the cult, the A players that you have on your team, are your greatest source of information for how to figure out how to attract more a players still like them. And we need to be focusing on retention moreso than attraction so retain what you have the A players, not everybody on your team, B and C players will be like a player repellent in your business.   So if you don't have warm bodies on your team, you need to be aware of that because they can actually be driving off your a players, right. So we need to really be focusing on retaining those a players getting to know them spending time and investing time with them that just an opportunity every week for a one to one conversation with the business owner or the person that they directly report to is the number one thing that you can do to retain a player's know if that goes away. They feel disconnected and they are much more likely to leave. But that's also your avenue to learn about them and how to figure out how to recruit more like   Roy Barker  28:58 them. Right. Right. And that, you know, I think one thing is that attracting that entry level that we can show a path of promotion that also plays to our future a player's because we can bring them in and train them up in our own system and move them up. And then the part about getting to know our employees, that's me, that's such a big part. Because what I would do and if you're a larger company, excuse me there, if you're a larger company, you may have to delegate it to managers and I would want to manage your I didn't have to delegate it to you that could just do it on their own.   But that is Get to know your people outside of work. I mean, I used to have, you know, we would do quick cookouts at the office just because there doesn't have to be a reason just that I appreciate you showed up today. And we would also do events outside even if it was just a cook out at the house just to have people but other leaders find it interesting that I knew my people, I knew their wives, I knew their kids, I knew their situations, not macroscopically.   But I knew enough that somebody came in and was having a bad day, we could sit down and talk about it because I knew who they were. But it's so important because it builds trust, I think between, you know, they, they knew that I cared about them. And therefore, even when we had to make hard decisions, when he had to step up and be a manager and actually say, Look, you're not gonna like it, but we've got to do this. They may have said, a bad word, and they may have stomped off, but they went and did it. And they did it. Right. So I don't know, I've always thought that his key is just that humanization part.   Dr. Sabrina  30:49 At the end of the day, all businesses relationships, yes. And when we take the time to invest in the people who work hard for us, and learn about them and look for, you know, ask the questions, how can I support you? What support Do you need, that's the number one thing that you can do to retain the A players on your team.   Roy Barker  31:10 And I know we're running short on time, a couple things I want to hit pretty quickly, uh, the dollars per turnover, I don't think I don't think a lot of people really know that there are dollars true expense dollars related to turnover, I usually use about, you know, 5000 is usually an average for, you know, a $10 hour employee.   And then we move up to, you know, like a tech worker, that may be like 400% of their salary, is most of that is true cash going out the door. Because even if you say, Well, we've got an HR person, that recruiter on staff that does this, well, if they're working on that person, they're not working on your growth person that's fixing to come up.   So there are true costs or true cost to your staff, because typically, we're having to overwork them, or there's something going on inside of this company that is kind of sour in them. I mean, you know, you know, there's all kinds of internal names. And then the other thing as a customer, when I come to your business, and I'm dealing with somebody new every time I walk in, I have to think, Hey, what's going on here?   Dr. Sabrina  32:27 Yeah, it creates a lack of consistency, and it breaks the relationships that your customers have, right? And that that the estimates are and it's anywhere from 100 to 300% or more of the rock the amount that you're paying that person either in wage or salary. And there's a lot of hidden costs. And that's really what you're touching on the lack of morale, the disengagement and the stakes, the rework that has to be done. losing someone and going through the turnover process is one of the most costly things you can do in your business, plus all the time that's spent in training and onboarding.   And so this is where what we've seen in small businesses, your greatest opportunity for success is to look at those entry level roles, and really focus their first on how are you going to attract and fill those roles and have a steady pipeline of people for those roles, and then move into the higher level roles in your business and figure out   Roy Barker  33:27 we see here got a page full of notes, we could talk for three or four,   Dr. Sabrina  33:32 we could clearly have a lot of similar viewpoints here. And we want to help these small   Roy Barker  33:38 business this. Yeah, because a couple things you talked about, just wanted to reiterate about why people may not be coming back. You know, a lot of people had to develop a side hustle, just to make it through. So they're just continuing that even at a lower rate. Maybe they don't, you know, it's like working from home. You don't have any cleaning bills, you don't have to drive the commute. You know, there are a lot of expenses that they may say, Hey, I could do my side hustle.   But then you talked about working mothers and my next door group and some Facebook pages I've been on they have just blown up, you know, the last couple of weeks about childcare that as people are being going back to work to offices. And then school, they're having mothers and families are having trouble finding that after school care, or you know, it's like I've had this is my third person I've been on in the last two months, you know, help?   Dr. Sabrina  34:37 Well, and I'll tell you, there's even another layer to this as a mother myself, that there are our youngest kids are not able to be vaccinated. And so there's there with the Delta variant, there's a lot of fear and there's a high likelihood that our elementary school kids if they're in environments where people aren't wearing masks and not vaccinated They're going to come down with COVID. And so there's a lot of moms out there who are like, I'm choosing not to work, because I'm going to homeschool My child, we have that variable in there, too.   And so what we do see is that employers who have roles that can be filled virtually have lots of applicants for those roles. So because people have figured out how to work from home and take care of their kids like that, we've had that great juggling act now for a long time. So if you can look at the roles that you need to fill in your business and ask, Is there any portion of this that can be done virtually on a contractual basis, like through a virtual assistant or an executive assistant, and get that administrative support?   And if you have team that are spread really thin? Ask them? What admin support do they need? And then asked, Can any Is there a way we can figure out how to do any of this virtually, because if we can, you can take some of the load off of your existing team. And you again, that helps you to retain your existing team. And then you can get some of the rest of the work done by someone who has virtual, if you've never tried virtual work before, I know a lot of you know, Main Street businesses like virtual work, are you kidding?   How do we have somebody who's not here in the office, we're all in office? Think about from the perspective that somebody who does virtual work on a contractual basis can teach you they can you can talk to them and say, Hey, you know, we have these bookkeeping functions in our business, or we have these admin scheduling things. It's always been done by somebody in the office, how would you do that? virtually? What would that look like for us? So, again, that's some of that out of the box thinking?   Roy Barker  36:44 Yeah. We'll just touch it on the children. That's another thing that's gone crazy here. Because I know that there are now whole classes, and sometimes whole schools that have had to go back into quarantine, again, virtual just because the whole math, you know, and I don't want to get into the politics of that the whole masking versus not masking. And then but you know, now all of a sudden, we're back to where we were. But I'm also the remote work. I haven't figured out why some companies that have survived, even thrived with workers at home, have been so adamant that you're coming back. And why there's not more of a was there such reluctance to let people be remote, I don't get that.   Dr. Sabrina  37:36 So, so much of the way we work in our country is done, because it's just the way it is. always done it this way. The eight hour work day, five days a week was something that Henry Ford came up with, because he thought that would be a great idea to help factory workers and productions in factories. Well, so many of us now are not producing things, we are knowledge based workers, right. And so shifting our thinking to, we have certain results that we need our team members to deliver. And let's pay them for the results versus how often how long they show up.   Right? psychologically, people cannot focus on zoom at a computer for eight hours a day with a half hour or an hour for lunch and a 15 minute break mid morning and mid afternoon. And that's why we have people who are checking out and going on Facebook and doing whatever because their focus is going away. So rather than paying them for eight hours, say here's the results you're responsible for this week, go do it. If it takes you 40 hours, if it takes you 20 I'm going to pay you this amount, this result. And so it's a mindset shift to go on to results oriented versus I'm paying you to show up and paying for your physical presence.   Roy Barker  38:57 Yeah, that's the thing is I'm paying the you have to be here at these particular times because it and I get deadlines. And I'm not saying that it's we shouldn't meet deadlines, but I'm saying does it really matter if I filled out this Excel spreadsheet at nine in the morning or nine in the evening, as long as if you needed tomorrow, as long as I got it to you tomorrow, that's really all the counts.   Dr. Sabrina  39:21 Exactly. And if there are certain core meetings that everyone you need everyone present for, set those on the schedule, so everyone knows I haven't either for this, but then give people the flexibility they need. You likely have team members who have family members who have COVID. So you people are stretched really thin and the number one reason people will stay with employers is they feel supported in their personal life. So you can offer the flexibility for someone to take care of a sick family member that builds loyalty and that loyalty is it invaluable. Yeah. And that's something we in small business can run circles around the corporate world with.   Roy Barker  40:07 Yeah. Yeah. And, again, this gets back to knowing your staff. Because I had a friend that was a nursing home administrator, and one of her best staff just dropped off the face of the earth. And, you know, we have to put ourself in that position is, it's like, they don't want to get the hassle of why did you not show up? Why can't you come to work? So she was like, I'm not calling, I'll just go, I can get another job at this pay rate, with no problem.   But she was such a good worker that the administrator went to the home actually, to chase her down, sat down and talked with her, and found out that there were some issues with the husband, and he had been in jail. So she didn't have a car because it was impounded. And instead of trying to explain all that, it was easier not to. But all they did was set. She moved her from her shift from, you know, seven to three to like noon to seven or whatever, something in that, but it was just a small tweak, that it was good for the staff, because she got to retain her job, but great for the administrator because she retained one of her top employees.   Yeah, it's just as little as that communication as caring instead of just being like, Oh, my gosh, I should have known that person was gonna do me this way and be in the when it there will be people that do that. I you know, I'm not saying there won't. But we should know the ones that aren't that way. And the ones that will be that way.   Dr. Sabrina  41:37 Well, and I actually, I want to speak to those who are hearing this and saying, but she just flaked out on you and didn't show up. So why do you want her back on your team? If you really understand a player psychology, and you think about what might have been going on in this woman's life, she was juggling a whole family crisis that she was trying to not burden her employer with. So she kept her mouth shut and showed up and did a good job. And then it got overwhelming. And she wasn't able things were out of her control.   At that point. If she wasn't able to show up and do a good job, she probably felt a lot of shame. Yes. And that's that shame, where it's just easier to go find another job. So I'm playing all this. And I, I know I've let someone down that I care about a lot. And so just like he said, Be that employer, when some somebody exhibits behavior that is out of character, from what you've known them, get curious, rather than judge get curious and find out what's going on.   Roy Barker  42:33 Yeah, yeah. Because we have to understand that a lot of people live different lives than what we do. I mean, it's just, that is their norm. It's not ours, and we have no understanding. And so it's something I've said more lately than I thought I ever would, but you know, seek first to understand. And there's a lot of power in that, actually.   Absolutely. So one more thing. And then I'm promised, I'm gonna let you go. This time, with the promise of coming back. What is the end of the rent moratorium going to do because another thing that's blown up on my phone starting this week? Was I need to move in truck, I need a place to stay? It is. I mean, it's like to the nth degree. And I assume it has to do with the moratorium being over? I think it was yesterday, maybe?   Dr. Sabrina  43:22 Yeah. Yeah, I think it just ties into everything we're talking about people have stressors that we can't even fathom, right. And so we need to be in contact with our team members. And if they need help finding a place to live, we have a huge network around us, how can we tap into our network and help them get the resources they need? I small business owners are notorious for going above and beyond to support their team members. And so this is something we just need, we need to be aware of that our teams need a lot of support, right?   Roy Barker  44:05 Yeah, yeah. And don't again, let's don't lose good workers, just because they're in a bad spot. And they try to deal with it as much as they can. And then when they can't, you know, they just have to stop everything else to do it, where if we could just give them a helping hand where possible. It makes life so much easier for everybody involved.   Dr. Sabrina  44:24 Yes. And then I think also give finding out about resources in your community that, you know, the food, food kitchens and places that will help people get through a tough time and sharing that with your team members. The when you're having those one to one conversations with your team members. You're building an emotional bank account because they come to trust you more. And a lot of times when we are in crisis. We make fighter flight survival decisions. And so if your team member trusts you and they will come and talk with you about crises in their lives. You can be that trusted guide that can help them identify resources and come up with a plan to get through a very tough difficult time. Yeah.   Roy Barker  45:10 All right. Well, I appreciate you taking time out of your day. It's been interesting conversation, always learn a lot. When we speak. Before I let you go a couple questions. What is a tool or a habit that you use every day that you feel adds a lot of value?   Dr. Sabrina  45:26 Well, exercise number one, hands down, I do my best thinking, when I can exercise every day and trying really hard to get a good night's sleep. And most business owners were not so great at that. But I try hard,   Roy Barker  45:40 right, right. Now that's good advice on both of those, the exercise seems to clear my head where I can get over hurdles that I may have been bumping up to in the day and then asleep always, if I don't get enough sleep, my day never starts that well. So yes, great words of advice. So I'm gonna, instead of me being tongue tied, I'm gonna let you explain your book series. And then also, you can tell us, who do you like to work with how you can help them where they can reach out and get a hold of you and find your books as well.   Dr. Sabrina  46:11 Okay, so I have the "How to Hire the Best" series. And this evolved from 16-17 years of me trying to help business owners get themselves out of the day to day in the business because, you know, like we've talked about everyone needs a break, everyone deserves a vacation. And when you don't have good team members that you can count on, you can't take that time off. So my latest in the series is the "How to Hire the Best: The Entrepreneurs Ultimate Guide to Attracting Top Performing Team Members," it's available on Amazon, we at Tap My Business is Tapped the Potential and we're on a mission to support entrepreneurs and taking their lives back from their business.   So many entrepreneurs really have that experience where work takes over life, and you sacrifice your health and your important relationships all for the sake of keeping the business going. We believe work supports life, not the other way around. We have a community of entrepreneurs on Facebook, your is called entrepreneurs take your life back, I would love to welcome your listeners and you right over there.   And we have ongoing conversations in that group to support business owners in building these businesses that are profitable, and what we call life giving where everyone the business owner, and team members feel like they get energy and get life from going to work. So you can join that group, And then the final, I have a really good free resource.   That is it's the best way to get started with everything that you've heard me talk about here, as a business owner really starting to bring on team and the quality team members and free yourself up to do the most valuable things in the business. It's my training on "How to Make Your Time Worth $10,000 an Hour. Oh, wow. And you can get that at   Roy Barker  48:11 Okay, yeah. And I'll be sure to include all that in the show notes as well. Thank you, boy. All right. Well, thank you for your time. Thank you for the resources and most of all, thank you for your patience and finally making it to the tape.   Dr. Sabrina  48:23 It's well worth it. I'm so glad to share and support other business owners and I appreciate you giving me that opportunity.   Roy Barker  48:28 You bet you bet. Well, that's gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcasts. Of course. I'm your host Roy. You can find us at We're on all the major podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google, Spotify, Pandora, one that she listened to please reach out, I'd be glad to add it and make your listening easier. We're also on all the major social media platforms tend to hang out on Instagram a little bit more than others love to interact with you there and a video of this interview will go on our YouTube page. So check that out as well as some of our past episodes. Until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business. Facebook - /sabrinastarlingTTP/ Facebook - /tapthepotential/ LinkedIn - /drsabrina/ Twitter - @drsabrina/ Instagram - @drsabrina  
49:22 02/09/2022
In Order to Be Successful in Your Business Understand the Numbers
In Order to Be Successful in Your Business, Understand the Numbers Featuring Ean Price Murphy Everyone does get the same opportunity to learn about money. Most of the time these days it is not until you get on your own you are forced into paying attention to money and its involvement in your life. That’s why as an entrepreneur you can reach out and get help. Do what you do best and leave the finance and numbers to someone else that can really add value to your operation. About Ean and Moxie Bookkeeping and Coaching Money scares many people. But it doesn't scare me. I don't want you to have to worry about your “crazy” finances anymore! If you're nervous or confused about money, I will help you become confident, comfortable, and knowledgeable around money. I wasn't born a bookkeeper. I learned it slowly. In fact, I graduated with a Liberal Arts degree, so it wasn't until my 20s that I started becoming educated about money. After all, it's just another language, and with a little guidance, you'll be fluent, too. So if you're overwhelmed or even embarrassed by where you're at - fear not! I want your business to be successful, and I will do everything in my power to make it so using my experience as a bookkeeper, business coach, and fellow small business owner. Want to do your best for your business, your bottom line, and your mental peace? We know small businesses lack clarity with their money stuff. The uncertainty can  create paralysis and impact their ability to reach their goals. Using a proprietary system, Moxie gives you accurate books, actionable reports, and  at-a-glance clarity, without crazy spreadsheets so that you go back to doing what you  love in your business and kick back knowing you’ve handled the money stuff like the  CEO that you are. Moxie Bookkeeping and Coaching Inc. Facebook - moxiebooks Instagram - moxiebookkeeping LinkedIn - eanpricemurphy Twitter - moxiebooks   In Order to Be Successful in Your Business, Understand the Numbers Featuring Ean Price Murphy Fri, 8/27 6:06PM • 54:39 SUMMARY KEYWORDS bookkeeper, people, money, pay, business, bookkeeping, numbers, expenses, spend, profit, small business owners, buy, client, started, irs, bank balance, quickbooks, tax accountants, question, software SPEAKERS Ean, Roy Barker   Roy Barker  00:02 Well, hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy, of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that could talk about a diverse set of topics we'd like to maybe point something out that you haven't thought about or if something is keeping you up at night, we definitely want to provide you with some information and professionals in that field to, for you to reach out to and get some help, we want to see everybody be as successful as possible.   And today, we we've got an awesome guest that's been waiting for an extended period, so we're gonna give her a big checkmark for patience and persistence that we finally got her on. But Ean Price Murphy founded Moxie Bookkeeping and Coaching in 2003. To work with creative businesses and non for profits. Companies deeply engaged with their work, but frequently not comfortable with the numbers. When the money makes sense, organizations thrive and so when they do, and so do their communities.   Unlike other consultants, Ean isn't a wall street or corporate escapee. She has decades of firsthand knowledge of the challenging of being small business owner with staff is a Certified Mastery Level Profit First Professional, Certified Fix This Now Advisor, Zero, Platinum Partner, QuickBooks Pro Advisor, and a Certified Business Coach. Wow, that last one was, I think I got them all.   Ean  01:33 Got them all. You got them. All. Right.   Roy Barker  01:37 Thanks so much for taking time to be with us. And we certainly do appreciate it.   Ean  01:40 Yeah, thank you for having me.   Roy Barker  01:42 So Well, first off, before I jump in, let's talk about how you got here. Has numbers of numbers always been something that interests you? Or did you have one of those career path changes at some point in time?   Ean  01:56 Good question. I numbers definitely did not interest me, I hated math growing up, I'm still not a huge fan. Got a liberal arts degree, you know, and started bartending with it. And what what got me interested in numbers was the deep negative consequence that it had on my life, not understanding that I grew up with, you know, a family that always had enough, but not a whole lot extra and was always told, no work hard, and you'll succeed, follow your passion, and the money will come. And, boy, neither one of those were true for me.   So I was chronically under earning, I had no idea because I didn't know how money worked. And so, you know, I ended up just by putting my living expenses on my credit card to make it from one paycheck to the next. And actually had a boss where we all had to run across the street and try and cash our paychecks before they started bouncing. That I found myself 10s of 1000s of dollars in credit card debt, which is the most expensive kind of debt you can have. And, and I was actually pushed into a point where I wasn't gonna be able to pay that off in my lifetime, and declared bankruptcy.   And that felt like, like losing it life, right. And, and I've always considered myself a person of their word. If I say I'm going to do something, I'm gonna do it. And and so it just felt like a huge failing and a betrayal of my own integrity. And so the deal that I made with myself, when that happened was, well, I'm never gonna do that again.   Roy Barker  03:44 Lesson learned,   Ean  03:45 lesson learned you Only you don't got to tell me that one more than once. And, and so that really motivated me to start figuring out how money worked. And and I had some skill as a bookkeeper and realized that was a skill that not a lot of people had. And so I had a whole lot of motivation and enough aptitude to make that my business.   Roy Barker  04:08 Yeah, that's awesome. And, you know, we're in a lot different age category. So I will ask you did when you came through high school did, did they even talk about money or anything like that?   04:21 No, my sister got home ec and shop. But by the time I got there, that was gone. And I mean, I think we're seeing the consequences of that now as well you know, with kids at home and schools be an iffy and, you know, the generations between those of kids who don't know how to change a tire they don't know how to cook an egg or you don't know how to mend a patch on their jeans and or you know, or or make jellies or any of these things that are really simple. If you've had someone show you how to do it, right. And and I think it's a tragedy, that that is not part of our education system.   Roy Barker  04:59 Well I will give my age away and say that, you know, we had a class that was like bookkeeping or business systems, or it was simplistic, but they did make us learn how to write a check. And I think that we did take a stab at budgeting. But really, that it was, that was kind of a sidebar of what the class was just because the teacher felt like we needed to know and, you know, even myself, when I first moved out on my own, I was thinking the rent was the worst part of this, but, you know, nobody ever explained the, you know, the electric bill, the gas bill, the groceries, you know, soap, the deodorant off the things that you've got to have.   And that was a huge eye opener to think, wow, you know, okay, here's all these other expenses that you really never thought about. So I do feel bad that we don't have more of an education. And, you know, if we, if we would even train or give them a, you know, we don't have to train them to be business to be, you know, accountant types, but we give him at least the underlying skills or knowledge, that would be so much more helpful.   And, you know, maybe people would make the decision because I, you know, I know a lot of people that I used to work for, I did some work for not for profit in the man, the director over the program, whenever I would show her spreadsheet out, always have some, like smelling salts with me too, because, you know, I could see her eyes start going or Head Start swirling, if there's more than, you know, three numbers in a row, she just couldn't stand that. So it's definitely a challenge. And, you know, we were talking a little bit earlier.   But I think the biggest thing to you know, maybe that we could touch on to start with is that, if you're good at something, you want to spend your time doing that. And if you're, you know, a tradesman, plumber, electrician, even if you're professional of some sort, you're good at what you do. But that doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be good at keeping the books. And again, you know, kind of go into your example, at the end of the year, when you owe taxes when you owe employment taxes, if you have people working for you.   Those can be very enlightening moments. You know, a lot of people just don't think about like the, when you're self employed, paying, you know, that quarterly estimation, Oh, my gosh, I was told that at such an early age, that it's helpful, because, you know, it's like, I just opened up a separate bank account, when I would get revenue from clients, you know, I just cut it what I needed and pushed it over there and just let it set. So there was no temptation, you know, to be like, Oh, that's a big old balance, I see. Now just go ahead, and, you know, buy this little extra thing I need.   Ean  07:44 And that's the secret right there. Right, just peel it off and put it in, put it in a jar where you're not looking at it.   Roy Barker  07:53 Now, because we've had a, it's unfortunate, pre pandemic, probably 2017 or 18, the area I live in, we had a couple of restaurants that actually went out of business because they could not pay their payroll tax. And, you know, the government, I don't know how that works, but they came out foreclosed on them and shut the business down at some very, you know, it was I don't know how it was run on the back end, but they had a lot of business, it wasn't that they were hurting for anything. So   Ean  08:22 right. And that's the terrible part, right, is that so many of us are taught that it's the sales number. That's important, right? Not the what you keep and take home number that's important. And that the government taking their cut doesn't count as part of what you get to keep. Right. So they I mean, there's a shocking number of wildly successful businesses in terms of demand for their product and love for what they do that that are barely scraping by.   Roy Barker  08:53 Yeah, cuz that's another kind of a joke. People always say, Oh, I got a, you know, I got a $5 million company. And it's the you know, my question. I know, I'm not that abrasive. I don't usually ask it out loud. But my, you know, my next question would be, so does it take you 10 million to earn that five? You know, does you have to spend 10 million to get that 5 million is like that. Whatever flows down to the bottom line, that's the most important thing for surely   Ean  09:18 I probably am that abrasive. The way that I phrased that question is, Oh, is that gross or net?   Roy Barker  09:24 Yeah. Like glassy eyed and Yeah,   Ean  09:29 I know. It's and then I know it's gross. As soon as as soon as they their face goes over it.   Roy Barker  09:35 Yeah, likely. Yeah, it just, again, it's like live like I was saying that example. There are so many other expenses that we really have to know about. Think about keep up with and I think this is an interesting time because I think we're gonna have a lot or I think we do have a lot of new minted entrepreneurial type, because they had to do either their side hustle or figure out something Then to kind of make it through this pandemic. But you know, if they want to flourish and keep on going, definitely going to have to pay attention to expenses.   And well, we can even back up and say, even pricing, because, again, I've worked with people that, why do you charge this amount? Because a guy down the street charges $5 more. So we're just cutting more, do you know what's wrapped up in that, and so working through everything that goes into whatever that unit of pricing is. So anyway, that's where people like you could really help, especially some new entrepreneurs or new businesspeople, that's where you would be really helpful to make sure First off, we get the pricing, right.   Ean  10:43 Yep. Yeah. And, you know, to me, there's sort of this leapfrog of the financials, the marketing and the financials, where you want to have that strong foundation where we say, Well, this is what you need to charge. In order to have the life you want to have you know, I love starting with the question, what do you want to take home? Like, what, what's what salary do you want? Yeah, you know, what's the minimum? what's what's sort of a little bit above that that's comfortable? And then work backwards from there to figure out how much you have to do in sales? And then how many sales Do you think you can reasonably do?   And great, there's, there's your There's your bottom price, right? Right. And then you go to marketing to figure out how do I differentiate myself from the guy down the street, so that price is not the thing I'm competing on? Right? So even if I'm four times as much as him, people are saying, You're the one I want, though, because some of its to the perception of the price.   You know, if I'm getting some for five cents, I'm assuming that it's made of plastic and in a factory and mass produced, right? If I'm paying 500, for something, It better not be. Right, right. And so there is something about that, where you need to decide, who do you want to be working with? Who do you want to be selling to? And does your price not only meet your minimum?   But does it resonate with the people that you're, you're trying to attract? And if those don't line up? Well, you got to work on your marketing and your messaging some more. And then we get back to the numbers and say, Great, now, how do we how do we optimize this? Yeah,   Roy Barker  12:17 yeah, and that's a couple important parts that you mentioned. value, because, you know, if you always if you just want to win on price, it's going to be a fight, because the next guy that comes along, he's gonna undercut you. And it just becomes a war where, you know, I like to take it that if you provide a service or product that has value, you need to, you know, you market and that's how you get business off the value that we provide it sometimes to low price can be, you know, some people will be like, that's a low price, that's probably low quality. So we're just moving on anyway.   Ean  12:51 There's a Benjamin Franklin quote, that says, there's always somebody willing to go out of business faster than you.   Roy Barker  12:58 I've never heard that. I like that. Yeah, so yeah. Thinking that through how how we, you know, what is our messaging to make sure that we are that them value, not that we don't need to keep up with pricing and what's going on in the world. But, you know, sometimes we just have to stay in our own lane and do our own thing. And if we've got the right business model, the right product and service, it'll work. Yep.   And the other thing I had written down was the trust factor, because, you know, I will pay a premium to do business with somebody that I trust. And so that's the other thing, I think we have to, you know, kind of on that marketing side, and sales and service and follow up and all that whatever your business model, you really have to provide that level where people trust you. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Because they can relegate you to the, you know, the low end if you don't have a trust, and you're going to have to be the low cost leader, and sometimes to those can be more challenging clients.   Maybe I don't know if you found that to be Oh, yes. You know, in the early days, when it was like, we'll take any business anybody can send, then you start learning, the people that beat you down on pricing the most are the ones that you are going to probably lose money on and have the most, you know, they want more, because they will continue to ask for more.   Ean  14:23 Yep. Yeah, just becomes a battle, right? They're going to try and beat you down on everything that so those are the people texting you in the middle of the night or asking for something, you know, or just making you feel bad about what you're what you are providing. Right, right. Yeah. And, And to me, that's, you know, that's sort of one of the fundamental questions that we have to ask ourselves is, would I tolerate this bad client if I worked for anybody else, like if my boss treated me the way that this client is treating me, then I'm working for the worst boss ever, which is me. Right? Exactly. I'm treating my best employee the worst, which is me.   Roy Barker  15:04 So, you know, there's an old adage about, you can't save your way to prosperity. I mean, you see, yeah, you can't cut your expenses to prosperity. But I'm a firm believer wrong, we have to keep up. And we have to manage those because they get out of control. It's like, you know, some things that I've done before where it started out as a reasonable price, but it escalates or technology changes. But yet, we're still paying the higher price or doing that same old thing. And so I assume that's another great place where you could come in handy is to help people, you know, with the expense control?   Ean  15:41 Absolutely. I mean, I think that there's a huge difference between an expense and an investment. And so people sort of see all expenses as equal, and they're really not, your people are an investment, marketing as an investment. Now, you need to make sure you're getting a return, that it's a good investment. But that's different than buying a pack of pens, you know, that are going to get used up and go in the trash.   And now we're done. So, so being really clear, where are the things that when I spend more, I can make more because I've got better quality to deliver? versus what are the things you know, and a lot of us are finding out turns out, that's our office rent, that the money's just gone, and I didn't really need an office, sometimes we do. But a lot of times offices are sort of vanity projects. Right? And we've found ways to get along without them.   Roy Barker  16:35 Yeah. Yeah, kind of off the subject a little bit. But I've actually found that this has been better, because you know, you don't spend time driving from one person or one place to the next you could do it. And it's, it seems, when you're in person, things may, the time gets away from me. And you know, whereas when you're zooming or teams, it's like, you know, the time is there, you quit and you move on. So it's like, kind of a time management tool, almost. Oh, yeah.   Ean  17:05 I used to only be able to service one, maybe two clients a day. Right? That's nuts. Now, can you imagine? Now I can get like six in no problem.   Roy Barker  17:17 So I like what you said about investments and employees, because that's another important part. And you probably are well aware, this, this link to that. The CFO comes to the CEO and says how can we continue to spend money training these people when they just leave? And the CEO says, How can we not train them and have them stay?   That's an important part is that, you know, we have to, and again, everything has to make sense. We don't want to be reckless with that. But you know, we do want to find ways to continue our training that fit within our budget, which gets back to is it within our pricing, because we want to keep up with everything. So I think it's a lot more complicated, sometimes building the right pricing in based on, you know, our expenses that we're either projecting, or that we've been able to see.   But, you know, it's always, that's fine. We want to have a margin, if we didn't need to do all these things. I guess we would just break even at the end of the day, but we need to make these continue to make these investments as we go forward.   Ean  18:23 Yep. Yeah. And so I think that, you know, the challenge for most small business owners is, okay, I get that. But how, how do I do that? Right. I mean, same thing with the whole. I don't pay yourself first. Right. Right. We all know that. That's not news. But how do I do that? Right. And, you know, that was what drew me so strongly to the methodology in the book profit first by a guy named Mike mccalla wits. You know, I mean, I remember reading the E myth, Michael Gerber classic text that fundamentally transformed the way that I thought about business.   And not just, you know, systemization is kind of what he's remembered for. But this idea of three personalities, there's the technician, the manager, and the visionary. And a lot of times, that's all got to fit in you. Right. And so just being conscious of Well, which one of those do I default to under stress, right, helps you fill in the gaps. So that was a big that was a big leap forward for me that book then the next big leap forward for me was profit first by Mike McCalla Wits because same thing, you know, here I am. I'm a freelance bookkeeper. I know I'm supposed to pay myself first.   But when the expenses are that high, how am I supposed to manage that? And so what Mike does is he takes the traditional accounting formula, sales minus expenses equals profit, and flips it. sales minus profit equals expenses. Now you have a natural budget, you don't have to worry about line item, being How much do I project I might spend on office supplies? I don't know, when am I going to run out of ink? I don't know. Right? And lets you just kind of look in a very general category of this is how much I'm spending.   Now. He also gives a very clear outline of how much is how much does a healthy business spend on overhead? How much does a healthy business set aside for profit? How much does a healthy business pay its owner? And so that gives you the framework to say, Okay, well, my overhead right now is 70%. But according to this chart, it should be 30%. Well, that gives me a whole lot of information, and tells me, I need to get creative and strategic and wily about how I'm spending my money to see if I can get down to below where I'm at now without cutting into that muscle of quality.   Right. And so that just simple framework, you know, that's the frame of the house. Now, it's solid and sturdy. And now you can paint it whatever color you want, put whatever wallpaper you own, make it yours. But you still have this guideline to stay within that that really helps small business owners who hate accounting and hate spreadsheets and hate math. answer that fundamental question of Am I gonna be okay, right?   Roy Barker  21:26 Yeah, that's a, sometimes we have to answer that on a day. So when you when a new client comes to you, what are some things that you're seeing? I mean, what would I guess what is that first thing that you target or something that just really rises to the top that you can see that needs help and attention?   Ean  21:51 Usually, the first thing we do is we look at their Chart of Accounts. And the reason that we do that is because people come to us saying, I've got a decent business, but I feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants. I don't really know what's going on. I keep depositing money, keep spending money, am I okay? And so when I say, Well, you know, do the reports make sense to you? Most of the time? They say i don't i don't really look at those.   I Oh, well, let's maybe we should start there. Because if you I don't even have a metaphor for that, if you have all of this rich data. Yes, I do. I have a business coach friend mentioned McDonald, who loves to say, Don't Starve at the barbecue. All of this information is laid out in front of you. But if you don't know how to go fill up your plate with it. Right? What are you doing? So so just saying, Let's change the categories in the chart of accounts, let's change what you're calling things.   So that it makes sense to you. Right? Your accountants job is to translate whatever happened in the real world, to whatever the IRS wants to hear. That's a crazy language in and of itself. Your tax person is your interpreter. Let me be the interpreter for what really happened in the real world into your books, and teach you the kind of get around phrases so that you can answer those questions. How much did I make? How much did it cost me to make that? How much do I have leftover to spend on my overhead? What is my overhead? And what do I got at the end?   Because if you have the categories, right when my favorite is dues and subscriptions. Nobody knows what goes into subscriptions. But everybody tries to use it. They go, Well, maybe that's my software subscriptions. And maybe that's my iTunes subscription. And maybe that's my newspaper subscription. And maybe that's my membership. And then they get this big number and they go I that doesn't mean anything to me.   Of course not. Because you don't know what goes in there and what doesn't go in there. Right. So let's, let's call it what it? Is it software subscriptions. Great. Is it memberships? Great. Now, you know, and so that just clears up so much of the confusion, because now it reflects the way that people's brains work. Great.   Roy Barker  24:09 Yeah, cuz I think, you know, sometimes you get that, what are your chart of accounts? And, you know, that's when you get that glazed over? Look, that's a definite sign. Because, you know, I've seen that before. It's like, I don't know, but I don't know, we had $100,000 in expenses. And that's what it says that the bottom line, you know, because my bank balance, you know, fell from this to that, and that's why it was spent.   But it's hard to pinpoint, okay, how can we change what can we change? Is there anything we can change? Sometimes there's not sometimes it is what it is, we may have to go back to that pricing structure. But if we see something that's way out of line and these expenses, it's easy to go fix that in. A lot of industries, have publications where they have some benchmarks that are helpful. You know, I always have the footnote The benchmarks because that doesn't mean you're wrong.   You don't know what people you know, everybody chooses to drop things in different categories. But what I always do is look at it say, if I'm close, it's good. If it's way out of whack, then either there could be something wrong maybe needs further investigation.   Ean  25:17 Yeah. And so for me that you know, the chart of accounts, for anyone that isn't, doesn't know what that means. The chart of accounts is the definitive list of all of the ways that your money can come in, go out, move around, or hang around. So it's not just that, you know, what I earned? What should I spend, but all the other stuff, too? How much do I owe? have I taken a loan? Did I make a loan into the business? How much have I put in? How much am I taking out? What's my credit card balance? What is my bank balance?   And a lot of people don't understand why when they look at a profit and loss statement that hopefully profit at the bottom sometimes doesn't equal their bank balance. And to be able to explain to them, well, there's a bunch of other stuff happening with your money, which, again, is why profit first is one of my top Recommended Business books ever. And why I believe in the system so deeply is because it looks at what is the cash you actually have? And what does it need it for? So that loan payment, which won't show up on your p&l statement, we count that as an operating expense because cash is needed to operate. Right. A   Roy Barker  26:28 lot of complexities, a lot of them, if you brought up something earlier, I wanted to touch on for a minute about taxes. So well, this is one thing why I don't do my own taxes, even though I like I like numbers, and I could probably muddle my way through it. But the IRS sends out how many tax bulletins every year? hundreds, probably?   Ean  26:51 Probably hundreds. Yeah. Sometimes several a day. I think, with the PPP, it was changing daily. Yeah.   Roy Barker  26:57 So those are things to you have to look at the kind of that the knowledge component is that I could plug some numbers in here. But as these rules laws, as everything is changing, you have to stay up on that. And that's why, you know, unless you do this for a living, if you're, like I said, trade, the professional that's not in numbers, then it's that's why it's beneficial to have someone like yourself to help because you stay up on all of that. It's easy, because you have a lot of clients, you can spread that cost of education, I guess you could say across all of them.   Where if it's just me, I've got to find time, you know, Sunday afternoon, instead of watching the football game, I'm now breaking out some IRS regs to look at our bulletins to look at see what's changing. So from that standpoint, you know, I guess let's talk about the importance of that just a little bit.   Ean  27:53 Yeah, I mean, I think to me, the importance of that is the important outsourcing. And it's again, another trap that a lot of small business owners get stuck in of, well, why should I pay somebody else to do it? If I can do it myself? And my answer is, is it making you money, right? Because if it's not making you money, and if someone else could do it, the and you think that you could go use that time that you save to either get a good night's rest, so you're back doesn't kill all the time, right to play with your kids.   So they're, you know, your wife's not mad at you? Or, you know, or, or just sell more of what you do, then you're holding yourself back by trying to get it all done yourself, you know that? That is one of the most dangerous myths that pervades our culture of this, like I did it myself kind of a thing? Like I'm sure you did. But Wow, you probably could have gotten it done a lot faster. And a lot better if you just ask for a little help.   Roy Barker  28:52 Yeah, yeah. Because there's Oh, there's so many things like working from home, you know, there's a square footage allotment, I don't know, that has changed. But you know, that percentage of utilities I think used to be part of I mean, there's these all these equations that have percentages or square footages, or whatever attached to them. So the law doesn't necessarily have to change, or the regulation change that you can't write your home space off. But the square footage could change. And so those are just little nuances. And again, I don't know if this is still true, but used to working from home. Probably one of the bigger triggers to get the IRS up in your business. Yeah.   Ean  29:34 Yeah, I mean, I think last year may have changed that. But that's that is definitely true.   Roy Barker  29:41 So again, you work from home, you definitely want to have your business in order. Okay, see come knocking on your door, you know, on be charging off 10% if it's only 5% now, or you know, whatever these little changes because it doesn't matter. The small you know, even if they find something small, it just makes them look harder to see hey, He messed up on that. Let me just rip this whole thing open and see what we got going on.   Ean  30:05 Yeah, I actually had a client once who correctly wrote off her home office space. And then they moved. And when they moved to their new house, the space changed. She had a curtain instead of a door, and she stopped writing it off. Well, the IRS came to her door, she foolishly let them in because you don't have to let him in. You can meet him at your your accountants office if you have an account. And the assessor looked around and said, That's not an office and disallowed it.   And she said, it's not the same address. He said, I don't care. I'm disallowing it. She's like, but I'm not writing this off. He said, I don't care. I'm just allowing it. Oh, my gosh. And she had to decide whether, you know, a couple 100 bucks was worth escalating this and she decided it wasn't. And so like, what a what attracts so many levels? Yeah.   Roy Barker  30:58 You know, well, if what I'm seeing that's another great thing is the advice that you can give, you know, if if, I guess if he had called and said, Hey, this guy's here What now? You know, yeah. Don't let them in. And yeah, don't let him in. Yeah. So those are other great things that because you   Ean  31:14 don't want to not take that. Yeah, I was gonna say you don't want to not take that deduction, you don't want to be scared of taking the money that is rightfully yours. That's a real deduction. You know, that's the tax accountants job is to help you pay them out the least amount legally possible. And they know all the tips and tricks.   Roy Barker  31:33 Yeah. Well, and that representation that you could provide, even if they do start looking through, it's nice to have an educated professional in that space to say, you know, this is why we did it, I can show you the, you know, I guess all the paper trail of law, we would do something like that. It makes it much easier to personally to defend, you know, the, what is the saying that guy is a lawyer that represents himself is the, I don't know the words a fool for a client.   You could kind of say that probably in the in the bookkeeping round, too. If you're sure not a bookkeeper, then you definitely don't want to be representing yourself if something does go, if you do get audited doesn't necessarily mean sometimes they come out, just spit them out for other reasons. But   Ean  32:20 yeah, one of my I mean, there's there's a random selection as well. But again, that, you know, they will take you more seriously if you've taken yourself seriously as a business right now. And I actually don't represent people in front of the IRS because I'm, I'm not getting in that pool. Right. But I do make sure that everything is clean and clear, so that you understand what's happening and what your taxes are going to say, well, and that the person signing your taxes is in agreement.   Roy Barker  32:48 No. Yeah, definitely. So let's talk about setting up. So if I just brought you my, my shoebox full of receipts and just dumped it on, you know that I mean, the first thing is like, Okay, let's go back to the chart of accounts, we need to figure out how we drop all this stuff in here. But again, I think this is why if you get out in front of this and get some help before you got the shoe box full, it makes my life much easier on everybody.   Ean  33:19 Yep, yeah. And so I actually, when when people come to me with a shoe box, I say you're not ready for a bookkeeper yet. What you really need is you need an office assistant, right? To go through and figure out, you know, are any of these not on your bank statement? Did you pay cash for those, because I don't want to enter everything we can import in from your bank, like there's so many leaps forward in technology that lets bookkeeping be automated and set up, right.   So there's way less that you have to do way less that I have to do, and you don't want to pay me an expert rate to be, you know, reading receipts that are faded, and that a six or an eight or a three. Right, so so I just say let's, you know, take your best guess work off your statements and get you set up right going forward? Because I'm not touching those soggy things.   Roy Barker  34:13 Yeah, because it's, well, like you said, we don't know if you get it, you know that it's time you spend, is it cash? Is it not even isn't even a business expense? Or was that a you know, some new pair of shoes or whatever, somebody may have button? And it just got lumped into that? So definitely, those are calls that the, I guess the potential client needs to make before.   But okay, so we the next step would be okay, let's go get some software. And there's a ton of software out there. And nowadays, I guess a lot of it's moving to the cloud, but are different ones better for different industries, or can you give us a little bit advice on how we would want to choose one for us?   Ean  34:55 Yeah, I think more than industry, it's about what do you plan to do with To your business. So the only software out there that I know people use, and it just makes me cry a little inside when I hear that they use it is QuickBooks self employed. That's the only one I just can't. And the reason is, in my opinion, they shouldn't be charging for that software. There's a version by a different company called wave like a wave in the ocean wave apps calm. Okay?   That does everything QuickBooks self employed does, but it's free. Okay? So the fact that Intuit feels good charging you $10 a month for a piece of crap product, right? And I say, I'd say piece of crap. From my perspective. It I think it works wonders for the people that use it. They just don't know they could get it for free.   Roy Barker  35:51 Yeah. Well, And that, to me, it was a little different, because I've always had some form of QuickBooks, you know, basically old wooden, where it was on a computer. And it was pretty good. But when I tried that one, I feel pretty technical. I'm gonna say I'm average technical. And I don't mind trying, I could not figure it out. I mean, I ended up having to go back and buy the old computer based version, because it was just, it was too difficult to enter stuff for me, but then I never could get the reports that I was looking in. I'm not saying they're not available.   I'm just saying it was just difficult. Very difficult. That's what you're saying that the self employed, or you're talking about online? Yeah. Yeah. The online. I think it was self employed online. Yeah. It was just like minimal. I guess they're trying to make it easy. It was minimal entries, but minimal entries, equal minimal information coming out the back end as well.   Ean  36:44 Right. And so it would make perfect sense to me that that would be their entry level product, and that they would charge for it if it upgraded to a different QuickBooks. Right, right. But what happened, I suspect is that they bought somebody else's product and packaged it as their own and sold it. And you can't go from QuickBooks self employed to a better version of QuickBooks.   And so that, to me is like Well, come on, guys. Like everyone why anyone that bought QuickBooks self employed would assume that you would be able to upgrade it and keep your history. No, no, no. So for those levels for QuickBooks self employed, and for wave apps, and I normally would put fresh books in there too. But I think freshbooks is getting a little different, they actually don't have it's not true double entry accounting.   When you make a transfer the categories just called transfer, and it doesn't matter where the money went, we just know that your transfer. So if something goes wrong, I as the outside bookkeeper, have no way to say, Oh, I see where the problem is, you said that you used this money to transfer to this bank account. But actually, it went to this other one. And so when you choose the, the sort of do it yourself versions, that's what you're committing to doing it yourself, right? And if there's a problem being like, well, I don't know.   Let's just make it work and who hope it isn't a big problem. So I tend to to only do very minimal consulting with people who are using that because again, what they're saying is I've chosen, you know, it's like buying a bicycle and hiring a driver. Well, I can't, I mean, you can ride on the handlebars or your own bar bike, but I don't know why you're paying me to paddle because you could be doing this.   Roy Barker  38:35 Exactly.   Ean  38:37 So if you want to work with a bookkeeper with someone who can help think do things for you, and help make sure that the starting and ending balances line up to your bank and that the books are good, you're going to need to upgrade. And and the two ones that I like, are both cloud based QuickBooks Online and a software called 0x. Er, Oh, okay. And that's because, you know, unless you live in a rural community where your Internet's real bad, no, I know you're out on the road. I know you're doing 20 things at once.   I know you're running around like a chicken with your head cut off and trying to make the most of your time. So if you've got something that you can take with you on your phone, snap a picture of a receipt, say this is what it was right now. Throw that receipt away. Great. Right? You know, and if you plan to grow and expand, you want your people to be able to do that too. You want to be able to send an invoice when you're done with the job right there.   Roy Barker  39:37 So the next thing is let's talk about getting with you because the other good thing if you use some kind of a an electronic version, you can just usually send the file to whoever's helping you do tax prep at the end of the year. So but, but give me a chance to get up on your soapbox, I'm sure is that transferring that file April 14. At 530 in the evening, probably not the best, probably not the best strategy to be able to file on time,   Ean  40:08 not the best strategy. So, here's, I'm gonna, I'm gonna make a little distinction here, okay? A lot of people don't know the difference between what a bookkeeper does what an accountant does and what a tax person does,   Roy Barker  40:22 okay?   Ean  40:24 When when we say accountant, we meaning us here in the financial world, what we mean is kind of anything that has to do with money. So, in some ways, it's like saying, Doctor, Well, okay, ear, nose, throat doctor, joint doctor or professor of philosophy, Dr. liveweight, where are we going with this? Because I want to know what kind of doctor I'm going to if I have a particular problem that needs to be solved.   So a bookkeeper handles everything from the data entry of the information about the transaction by transaction through reconciling, which is making sure that what you have in your software matches to the bank through producing the reports and saying, Do those numbers look right to you? Or has the mistake been made? Once you start talking about interpreting those reports, okay, this is what it says, What do I do about it? Now you're in this weird gray area that traditionally has been filled by CFOs. Right.   But most small business owners don't have a CFO. And then on the other side of that gray area is your tax accountant, who is there again, to help you stay in compliance and pay the least amount of tax legally possible. And so most people do some of their own bookkeeping, or have a bookkeeper, that they don't oversee, that they never double check. And they send the file direct to the accountant.   So whether they're sending it on April 14, or even months ahead of time, if you as the business owner have never looked at that file, you are likely sending over some pretty messy stuff. Because the bookkeeper has been working without any direction, guidance or supervision. And that's not the tax accountants job.   So. So we actually don't file annual taxes for people because I love to live in that middle zone. I want to make sure your books are clean. And I do that whether you need a bookkeeper, whether you have a bookkeeper or whether you are the bookkeeper, because we do bookkeeping to obviously Moxie bookkeeping.   But I think we're our real value comes in because so much of that can be automated and streamlined in the software itself, that we often pick up where everybody else leaves off with the What do I do about it? Right, what can I afford? Am I okay, which is not a bookkeeping question. And it's not a tax question.   Roy Barker  43:01 Yeah, definitely. Because, again, interpreting the numbers is probably just as important as the numbers. So we know can we can we buy something do we have? Are we going to be able to make payroll at the end of this month? And then are we, I guess, going to be able to buy a new piece of machinery or hire that next person?   Ean  43:22 Yeah, I mean, so in that ways, it's more important. And again, this is what brought me to my particular soapbox of profit first, which is this dead simple cash management system that lets your bookkeeping exist on its own. So I think of bookkeeping, a profit first, like beans and rice, right? You can cook beans a million ways. You can cook rice a million ways. But when you bring them together, suddenly you have this magical complete protein, right?   Something that wasn't there before. Right? So what I love about profit first, and why I insist that all of my clients do it. They don't have to do it with me, but they have to do it is it lets you make those financial decisions without having to wait on those reports, which are only going to tell you what already happened yesterday, right?   That's like trying to drive by looking in the rearview mirror. You know, what I what I know, you really want to know, and I know this because I myself, I'm a small business owner is what about tomorrow? What about next week? What about the end of the month? And so having that, you know, having your money set aside into those different bank accounts, lets me look at two numbers. Have I hit my sales target for the month?   And what is my bank balance? And if those are both, okay, the answer is Yeah, you're fine. Now you can let your bookkeeper worry about, Hey, would you buy on Amazon? You know, would you see this restaurant charge? Is that really business? Or is that you just going out after work? And so and so it lets you know people really do their jobs correctly. And let you answer the thing that is most important.   Roy Barker  44:59 Yeah. Do you ever use a pro formas? to kind of take a look? If I want to buy a piece of equipment to go that far to be like, how many more units do I need to sell to, to finance that or to pay for it?   Ean  45:13 I can. Yeah. And and here's why I don't start there. I don't start there, because most of the small business owners that I know, don't have the time or interest to figure that out with me. Right? They just want the answer. And so again, I can charge you a whole bunch of money to be on speed dial and give you that answer. Or I can say, let's open up yet another bank account, which sounds crazy. I know it sounds crazy.   And you definitely want to go to a bank that doesn't charge you monthly fees and doesn't charge you minimums. And there's a lot of good banks that do that. Now, I'm going to say let's open up an account that's just for equipment purchase, because we know you're going to want to buy a new whatever, in a year or two or three. So if if we want to buy a new truck, and we want to have $100,000 in there to buy a new truck when we're ready. What's our goal to how you know, how soon do we want to do that? And so how much do I need to be putting in there.   And so based on a percentage of my income, so as my income fluctuates up and down with seasons, or demand or whatever pandemics, whatever, I say, Okay, I'm gonna put, you know, 3% of my income into this truck fund. And I know that I have to be putting in at least X number of dollars a month to be on track, I'm putting in less, well, I need to sell more, my sales aren't good enough. Or I need to cut expenses somewhere else so that I can still do that.   So it it, it lets business owners do this thing called bank balance accounting, where you look at your bank balance, which I know y'all do every day, multiple times a day. And say, got it. I know what that is, rather than having to do the math backwards of Oh, right. But payroll and Oh, right. But rent and Oh, right. But insurance, you just you know if it's in that account, and that's the account for that purpose, you're good. Give every dollar a job, give every dollar a home,   Roy Barker  47:18 like that give every dollar home. That's good. All right. Well, no, we appreciate you being on the show. I know we ran a little long, but it's a great conversation. I just, you know, I think people need to pay a lot more attention to their money. Because like you say, at the end of the day, it's like, wow, I'm making a lot of money, got a lot of business. But at the end of the month, when the you know, it's time to sit down and pay the bills, a lot of people say, well, where did all that go? So we need to be sure and you know, have ways that we can manage both our revenue coming in and our expenses going out? For sure. Absolutely. So any any other wisdom that you want to leave the audience with? Before we wrap up?   Ean  48:01 I mean, I would say if you're excited by that idea, or if you're curious about what that might look like, the one step that you can take is to activate that old savings account tied to your business checking account, which you probably have, or if not open one up, and just start putting 1% of your income in there. And watch it grow. Yeah, and see how fast that grows. And, you know, maybe that'll motivate you to get curious a little a little bit more and see how the system can really transform your relationship to money. And the way that you think about what you can afford and how to afford it.   Roy Barker  48:37 Yeah, cuz most banks nowadays, they beat you up to take that savings account when you do an account with them. Yeah, and it gets back to the other one of my favorite things of finance that, I guess, you know, got me more excited about it when I was younger is just learning about the time value of money. And so you know, this is kind of a message to younger kids. I'm sure you've seen the analogy of the two sisters, that and you can correct me if I'm wrong, it's been a while. But basically, you got two sisters.   One is gets out, they both get out of school and one's kind of the party girl that's, you know, running around doing everything, not saving any money. The other one is the conservative one that starts putting X number of dollars back for I think it's like 15 years, and then she gets married has kids quit saving never saved another dime. Well, about this time, the party girl decides she wants to start saving. And so she starts putting the same amount of money back.   But at the end of like, what 3040 years. The Conservative one that saved all the money in the very beginning still has much much more money in savings and the other other one compound that was close. Yeah, that was close. Closer than I would have gotten. I need to pull the figures because when You sit down and actually work through the math is like really eye opening. And so if younger people, younger business owners, it's never too late to start.   I'm not trying to discourage anybody, but I'm just saying, way sooner, the sooner the better for everybody. Yep. All right. Well, before we get away a couple questions, first off, what is a tool or a habit? What's something that you use every day, that really adds value, either professionally or personally?   Ean  50:29 Well, the tool is the tool that I use every day, which I think is a personal tool, but allows me to do my business is I don't get out of bed without saying five things I'm grateful for, that just puts my head in the right space keeps everything right where it should be, you know, I can't be in too bad of mood when I when I acknowledge all of the blessings that I have.   Roy Barker  50:50 Right. Now, that's awesome. I think we, you know, sometimes when things feel rough for us, if we think about all the things we have to be grateful for, and there's a lot of people going through a lot worse, it does take our mind off of our troubles and allows, you know, we don't want to be weighed down by always thinking how bad we have it too. That's hard, too hard to advance in life. Yep. So tell me tell us who do you like to work with? How you can help them? And of course, how can they reach out and get a hold of you?   Ean  51:25 So I think, you know, my favorite people to work with are, are people who are ready to make a change, that are willing to have a conversation and collaborate on it. They're not wanting to bury their head in the sand anymore. They don't want to just hand it off and never think about it again, they really want that education piece of it. Right? Hey, how can I be a smarter, better business owner, that, you know, that really gets the most value for my time?   You know, I know a lot of people who love what they do and are happy to work 60 hour weeks, that's great. I want that to be a choice. I don't want you you know, if you feel sick, if your family gets sick, I want you to be able to work less than that, and not worry about your financial security. Right? It's that you know, you have to not be bouncing on that razor's edge.   Right. So you know, people who are either just getting started and want to get started, right, or people who are at the point where they're making enough that they're worried about how to handle it, you know, but they they, so they want to, they want to know the number stuff, but they don't want to learn accounting. And that's where I can come in, and really help make it simple and clean. And, you know, not full of technical terms, where they don't have to worry about budgeting and really can just keep their eye on those two key numbers. Right?   Roy Barker  52:46 Yeah, not to open up another big topic, because I'm sure we could do another show. But when you're a business person, most of the time people are counting on part of this as their retirement. And, you know, my advice is you always need to, you know, have your, well, you know, what they're calling more about your steps or whatever the you know, the vigil, retirement accounts are for yourself. But if you take care of your business, and you stay on top of this, typically, you're you will see more value at the end of the line.   Because unfortunately, what I've seen is businesses that are in disarray, now they need to sell or want to sell, and they can't because their financial back office is in such a mess that, you know, they'd have to take 50% of the value. So, again, it's a part I wish we wish I would thought to talk a little bit more about that. But it's just imperative because you don't want to work in your business for 30 or 40 years and be like, okay, now we can finally retire. We're going to go travel. And then the money's not there. Yeah,   Ean  53:50 I mean, it's, you know, there's some terrible irony to what makes a business enjoyable to run is what makes it profitable to sell. Right, exactly.   Roy Barker  54:01 Alright. Well, thanks so much for your time. It's been wonderful talking to you a wonderful talk with you. that's gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course I am Roy. You can find us on all the major podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google, Spotify, we are also on all the major podcast platforms, usually, I mean, we're on all the major social media platforms, we hang out on Instagram a little bit more than anything else. And also, a video of this interview will go up as soon as the episode goes live. So check it out there. Until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business. Moxie Bookkeeping and Coaching Inc.
54:50 02/08/2022
Want A Profitable Agency? Understand These Dynamics
Want A Profitable Agency? Understand These Dynamics Featuring Marcel Petitpas There's much more to being a successful marketing agency than writing great copy, unique placement, and gathering attention for your client. You have to be able to run a financially sound operation. Learn the key indicators you want to look at in order to be successful.  About Marcel Marcel Petitpas is the CEO & Co-Founder of Parakeeto, a software company that helps agencies increase profitability by generating accurate, data-driven estimates in seconds using their existing time-tracking data. He’s also the fractional COO at Gold Front, an award-winning creative agency in San Francisco working with brands like Uber, Slack, Keap and more. As well as the head strategic coach at SaaS Academy by Dan Martell, the #1 coaching program for B2B SaaS businesses in the world. In his work as a speaker, podcast host and consultant, specializing in Agency Profitability Optimization, he's helped hundreds of agencies around the world improve profitability and cash flow in their business. When he’s not helping agencies make more money, he’s probably watching “The Office” or “Parks and Rec” on a never-ending loop and eating breakfast foods for every meal of the day.    Links: Linkedin: Instagram: Twitter: Full Transcript Below   Want A Profitability Agency? Understand These Dynamics Featuring Marcel Petitpas Tue, 8/24 12:07PM • 40:24 SUMMARY KEYWORDS agency, client, profitability, project, processes, typically, create, gross margin, people, estimate, service, marcel, work, thought, overhead, cash flow, business, revenue, call, sell SPEAKERS Marcel, Roy Barker   Roy Barker  00:02 Hello and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy. Of course we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that speak to a diverse set of topics. Hopefully we can shine a light on something that maybe you haven't thought about to help you be successful or if there's something keeping you up at night definitely.   We can provide you some information and guest professionals I can help you with that we just want to see everybody and be successful in their endeavors. Today is no different. We are lucky enough to have Marcel Petitpas I hope I got that right. He is CEO and founder of Parakeeto Software company that helps agencies increase profitability by generating accurate data driven estimates.   In seconds using their existing time tracking data is also the fractional COO of Gold Front an award winning creative agency in San Francisco working with brands like Uber, Slack,, Keap and more as well as head of Strategic Coach at Saas Academy by Dan Martell the number one coaching program for B2B SAS businesses in the world.   In his work as a speaker, podcast host and consultant specializing in agency profitability optimization, he has helped hundreds of agencies around the world improve profitability and cash flow in their businesses. Marcel, welcome to the show. Thanks for taking time out of your day to visit with us.   Marcel  01:32 Thank you, Roy, for having me and for taking the time out of your day for that very elaborate intro. I think I've missed the Uber Slack and as KEAP. I'm not sure if that's keep up so used to be Infusionsoft, they rebranded we actually helped them with some of the creative in that rebrand that launch video. Okay, well, yeah, some pretty cool companies we get to work with there.   Roy Barker  01:53 I'm about 97%, right on pronunciations this morning. So Well, before we jump off into this agency profitability and some things that you could do to help. Tell us a little bit about your past? How did you is Have you always been in marketing? Is that been? It sounds like you may have constant marketing skills and the analytical skills as well. So how do you match those up? And how did you get here?   Marcel  02:19 Yeah, so I mean, my career at the earliest started in sales, retail sales. And that led to me becoming an account manager with Apple, where I worked with primarily future shop, and then Best Buy here in Canada as a manager, helping them sell more Apple products. So that was a combination of marketing, sales, skills, training, you know, all that kind of good stuff, and then left Apple to start my own agency, when I was very young, that agency was called Real Tours Media, and we were doing real estate services primarily in virtual reality.   So we, you know, create those 3d models of a house that people could kind of tour through from their home or with a VR headset, we were kind of early days in that, and that was when I first started really running into these problems of, hey, like, when we sell a project to a client, it can actually cost us more money to do that work than the client paid us and started getting really in touch with some of the challenges of trying to figure that stuff out as a small agency, you know.   The tools that are available out there, your accounting data is in one place, your time tracking data isn't another, you know, your estimates about the project are probably in a spreadsheet, somewhere bringing all that together to get a pulse on are we actually gonna make money on this thing is actually not as straightforward as I thought it was going to be. And that's where I kind of discovered this problem space. From there, you know, that agency didn't work out for those reasons, the cash flow, the pricing, it all just kind of didn't work.   And candidly, I didn't like doing the work. And I realized very early on that I didn't have enough margin in that service to hire somebody to scale us. So I left that business and got really interested in software as a service or SaaS. And from there, you know, started failed at several different ideas and eventually landed on Parakeeto, when a friend of mine called me up and said, Hey, I'm sick and tired of building spreadsheets to answer these questions in my agency about are we making money? Can we bring on you know, new work?   Do we need to hire people? And you know, there isn't a solution out there. That's, that's solving this for me. I want to figure out how to make this easier for agency owners. And I immediately resonated, said, Yeah, I totally know what you're talking about. We start we put our heads together. And that was the birth of Parakeeto.   Roy Barker  04:21 Oh, nice. Yeah, it's, it's a definite issue. You know, I'm sure not only for marketing agencies, but for consultants or you know, a lot of times people that sell products is you know, I've worked with people to say, what's your you know, they charge x numbers like Well, what's all included in that? How did you come up with that price and when you sit down and really work it out, it's like, you know, they were priced at 4999. And they were, it cost them about 7990.   To do that, not a bad thing. I mean, he can't keep that up. But you know, we, we always talk about price and value and not want to, you know, necessarily be the price leader and then as the in the consultant world it's like, we call it scope creep or work creep or cost creep, that, you know, you just do one little thing more, you put a little extra time into this. And then the next thing, you know, like you said, at the end of the job, you're writing a check to your customer, which isn't ever the position you really want to be in.   Marcel  05:19 Yeah, it's a it's a funny thing, right? I think as service business owners, we tend to make the mistake of thinking of revenue as being revenue, or revenue as being the same as profit. And I think that often comes from this starting point, I think a lot of us start into building an agency or building or consultancy doing the work ourselves. And we don't value our time, the same way that we, you know, inherently understand the cost of having somebody else do the work.   So a lot of times, we're setting these baseline expectations, that, you know, when I sell something to a client, that money belongs to me, of course, at scale, that money doesn't belong to you, first, you have to pay all the people to get the work done, and then what's leftover belongs to you. And then you got to pay your rent, and then you got to pay for all your software, and then you got to pay your lawyer and your accountant, and then you get to keep some of that money.   So often, there is an inflection point where the design of our products and services needs to change dramatically to make sure that there's enough margin in that service to actually have a healthy and scalable business. And that's what we help agencies do. Of course, we have software, but we also do a lot of consulting around this as well.   Roy Barker  06:20 Now, I think this is an awesome time to be having this discussion, because you know, we've talked about this over the last six or eight months is that some people may have gotten into, into doing some consulting or some marketing, because of COVID. And so now it's like time to make a decision, do we go back to the work for somebody else? Do we stay in this business? And that's an important part of it is being able to make a living and not just while in way, your time and you know, at the end of the day not having anything?   Marcel  06:54 Yep. Yep. So I think one of the things that needs to be true in order to make that assessment is you need to understand what the profitability of your service offering is, and then be able to figure out if you can truly scale it. So I mean, if you're just a consultants, and you just want to be solo, that's one thing, right? Then you just figure out like, basically, how much time does it take me to do this kind of an engagement? Therefore, how many of them can I do in a year?   And does that get me to a level of revenue that I'm happy with from a lifestyle perspective? But notice that even in that simplest possible case, there's still an element of tracking your time that's required there so that you can actually assess like, what is my capacity to earn revenue in a year, you should know that number, you should know if I work all the hours that I'm willing to work, how much money could I earn in a given year, so that you're not setting yourself up again for disappointment. And then if you're going to take that a level further, basically, what you need to understand is a couple of really important numbers on a project by project basis. And then as well, at the agency level, or at the company level.   The first is, what is my agency gross income. So I think a mistake that a lot of people make in the agency spaces, they focus on top line revenue, when depending on what your service offering is, there might be a lot of revenue that's passing through you on to another vendor that actually doesn't belong to you and is not, is not going to be impacted by your level of efficiency. So an example of this would be if you have ad spend, that you're doing on behalf of a client or print budgets, or you hire an external video production agency to do a part of an engagement, right? There's might be some external vendors that you work with where they're actually doing the work.   And so you need to be able to subtract that out from your revenue to understand what is my agency gross income, what is the amount of revenue that I'm responsible, or my team is responsible for earning with the work we do for the clients so that you can start to understand how efficiently your business and your system earns that revenue. The next thing you want to be able to figure out is what is our gross margin or gross profit. And so many accountants that work with agencies don't actually include this inherently in the profit and loss statement, because it's designed to be generic for all of their clients who run all kinds of different businesses.   But an agency is unique because you typically have two layers of cogs, you have the first layer, which is all the external vendors that gets you to your AGI. On your profit loss statement today, it's probably called your gross profit. Then the second thing you got to figure out is what does it cost us to actually earn that revenue, and that is by looking at your production expenses that are typically shared across clients. This would be things like your software that you pay for your Adobe Creative Cloud, your stock images, your you know, figma design software, like all the stuff that you might use to actually do creative work for your clients.   And then there's the direct labor cost. So what does it actually cost you or cost you for the team that's doing the work in terms of the time they put in what they cost per hour, whether they're a freelancer contractor or they're an employee need to understand what they cost, measure the amount of time that they put in on every project and figure out how much did it cost us so that you can understand what was our gross margin on that product. And if you're gross margin on a project by project basis is not in that 60 to 70% range, then you probably want to work on getting that up and if at the agency level like across your whole business.   If you're not in a, you know, 45 to 60% range, then you probably have some improvements that you want to make. So that's your kind of target on gross margin, then from there, it's a question of paying attention to your overhead, making sure you're not overspending relative to your size. But typically 20 to 30% of your AGI being spent on overhead is an appropriate level. That should mean that, say, for example, you're making a 50% gross margin across the whole agency, after you sold your product.   And you spend 25% of that of your AGI on overhead, you have a 25%. net margin, that's a profitable agency, and you're in a good place. So those are kind of some of the baselines that you need to start understanding, no, and we can get into more nuance and how to figure that stuff out some of the details on the calculations.But unless you're clear on that information, then it's going to be really, really hard to start hiring people and build the agency and make sure you have good cash flow, and it's scalable. And what we see too often is an agency owner comes to us once they've hired 10 people and they're like, I don't get it, we're so busy, but I have no money in my bank account what's going on here. And it's Well, you didn't pay attention to those important things.   Roy Barker  11:03 Well, on the secondary part of that, too, is if we're not keeping up with, you know, the time that we spend on each project correctly, it's hard to know, do we have the bandwidth to take on that next project without having to bring somebody on? And you know, we typically see that a lot. And I've been kind of reiterating this a lot lately, but businesses don't always fail, because they don't have any business.   There's a lot of businesses that fail because they had too much business to good marketing. Right? They weren't able to keep up with it, you know, on the back end. And so, another thing you mentioned was, you know, top line revenue, and I love to, you know, it's kind of financial humor, but I love it when somebody says, I've got a $10 million company, it's like, Okay, well, if it costs you 20 million to make that 10 million, then you know what? We're, you know, and so I don't think people focus enough on like, what is that margin? What is that bottom line that we get to keep?   That's the most important part. And even when you're on your own, there are a lot of expenses, you know, the software, your equipment, your travel, you know, sometimes you have somebody do a little one off project, got to be sure, and include all of that into, you know, our pricing as well.   Marcel  12:17 Yeah, absolutely. And I want to double click on something you said there, which was like kind of the difference between starvation and indigestion, they often feel the same in an agency, which is just like shit, our payroll and our overheads coming up, we don't have a lot of cash in our bank account. And so you think, Okay, well, I just need to go close a couple more deals, so I can pay that. But if the problem is that your services and fundamentally profitable, right, it's creating cash flow problems for your business, then selling more is actually going to make the problem worse, right?   Your agency is experiencing indigestion. So until you have insight into what is the gross margin, what is the gross profitability of our service, then you won't know if that's the case or not, you're just gonna feel like we just need more work. We just need more work. But you're just gonna keep compounding this element of being behind the eight ball. Yeah,   Roy Barker  13:01 yeah. And something about, you know, talking about cash flow. And we can I can ask you what is the best way to structure this for the marketing agency? I know, you know, like, in the business that I do, we get a percentage upfront, because you know, we have to pay, you know, we have to pay vendors and things like that, because I have worked with a couple of they were more solopreneurs, but they were in the marketing space that they just did the job and cross their fingers and hope that they got something at the end of the day. And sometimes the end of that day, wasn't the it wasn't the same day that the project ended.   Marcel  13:36 Yeah, yeah. So the way I explained this, typically, it's like for most people's contracts that they write with clients, profitability is a function of the volume of time that goes into a project, cash flow is a function of the time elapsed on that project. And typically, that's because to your point, you're usually trying to get some kind of payment upfront, some kind of deposit, whether it's 25 50%, the more money you can get up front, obviously, the better.   And then generally, the rest of the payment is tied to milestones, usually the completeness of the project. So when you deliver certain deliverables to the client that might trigger milestone payments, that's a typical contract. What I love is after some kind of a project based engagement moving on to a retainer, or you get their credit card on file, and you're just charging it every single month, so that really can alleviate a lot of the cash flow challenges that you run into.   But really, it's just making sure that you're not putting yourself in a position where deadlines keep getting pushed out, because of course, that's the kiss of death, right? Where if all of a sudden, the client needs one more revision, one more revision, one more revision, and all of a sudden your milestone payment gets pushed out three, four or five months. That's when you start to run into significant cashflow problems, especially if that's a material amount of money if that's a big project, a big client, and you've put all your eggs in that basket.   So I think contract structure is important. definitely make sure you get enough money up front to cover your costs. So typically, if you're going to have you know, a 60 to 70% On your project, getting 50% upfront should be enough to pay for all the delivery of the project. And if the client screws off and never pays you again, at least you're not going to be in the red. So try to push for a 50% upfront deposit. And then do your best to structure the contract such that there are limits on revisions and there are limits on time extensions to the contract.   That perhaps there's a scope change that's triggered if that and the timeline gets pushed out too, significantly, so that you're not putting yourself in a position where you might end up having to go a very long time without getting paid and outlay a ton of capital to get this thing done for the client without ever seeing that cash flow back in,   Roy Barker  15:38 you know, regular clients, I work with their understanding, and you know, these are part of the ways we can educate them. But I will say that there are some plants that have a short memory that due to them not getting stuff to you, due to wanting something change more revisions, this and that, then at the end of the day, they're like, wow, we're 60 days over this deadline. And you know, it's hard some at that point, it's really difficult to go back and explain to them that, well, you were a major influence, or major influence on that.   So I think that's where pricing, we have to realize our value. And this is another component of realizing that value is that if you want if you want or need 50% upfront, you shouldn't be scared to ask for that. You know, and that's sometimes with our newer clients, we have to educate them. Look, here's the way this goes, if we you know, if we push, if we can't get our information in a timely manner, we don't get responses in a timely manner, then we push out these deadlines. And then that's not good for either one of us.   Marcel  16:45 Yeah, cuz I mean, imagine that case where the deadline is pushed out 60 days, and then you've got 90 day payment terms on your invoice, right? You're five months late on getting paid, but your whole team still need to get paid in that time. So yeah, definitely an important thing to pay attention to on the cash flow side.   Roy Barker  16:59 And then when you start looking at scheduling work it compounds because, you know, I thought this job was going to be over August 30. And now we're in October, and we're still working on it. But we had three other jobs that we started because we thought we were going to be free on our time. So it can kind of rip has a ripple effect through every part of the business   Marcel  17:20 100%. And this is where like, you know, this is why our company, our thesis is solving this broader problem of profitability for agencies that we started with estimation. The reason for that is estimation, we really see it as being the foundation of agency operations. If you think about it, all the systems that you want to build in your agency that look forward at anything resource planning, capacity management, hiring, profitability, cash flow, all of those rely on the assumptions you make about your client work, when you are designing that and selling it to the client, right?   How much time is it going to take what time horizon, what volume of time and these different skill sets, you know who is going to be required to work on this. And if those assumptions are way off, then all these systems that you try to build on top of it are going to be way off as a result. So that foundation, the place where you have to start is getting really deliberate about estimation how you come up with assumptions for your client work.   How you use historical data to make that more objective and more accurate over time, how you normalize the structure of that estimate, so that you can actually start building time tracking schemas that map back to the estimate, you start building cost tracking that map back to the estimate, like all of these things need to be really intentionally designed, if you want to be in a place where you can quickly and easily answer questions like, did we scope this properly?   How should we change our scope next time? You know, did we make a profit on this? Do we have enough people to work on this project? If not, when can we start? Or who do we need to bring in in order to say, yes, these questions you're asking yourself every day, but they're hard to answer, probably because you haven't put enough thought into how that data is structured, so that you can quickly ask those questions of it and get the answers.   Roy Barker  18:53 So when, you know, if you were come to my agency and asked me, you know, like, what, what is the amount of time you spend per job? versus how much you price that are? Are you finding that people are just letting that the scope creep out and kind of go crazy? Or do you find that they're not charging enough, you know, per hour or some I'm sure it's some combination, but which do you find the most that they're not charging enough? Or that they're just letting their hours get out of control?   Marcel  19:25 Yeah, I mean, so we do. Part of our consulting practices. We start with an audit and we go in and we evaluate earning efficiency. We look at average bill rate, we look at gross margin on the p&l. We dig into projects, we look at utilization rates, and then we look at overhead spending. The two major culprits are almost always utilization and or average billable rate. So the two things that we see is you're not earning revenue efficiently.   That's typically a question of pricing. And there's one or two reasons that the price is too low either I they just didn't set the price high enough to begin With and so they're being too optimistic in their estimation, or they are not actually targeting a high enough gross profit, or they're trying to do all kinds of stuff like, you know bake time off and holidays and overhead into their our, like cost per hour for employees, which just makes things way more complicated.   And they're targeting like a net profit on a project, which, to me doesn't make any sense at all like this, it just really doesn't make sense. Like your overhead is not tied to a single project, you're not going to hire a fire your accounting firm, or downsize your office space because of a single project. So why not focus on gross margin and simplify that calculation? The second reason is because, yeah, they just estimated the project poorly, and it ended up taking twice as many hours as they thought. So it's the scope creep thing.   And I don't know if that's so much, you know, it varies. If that's more their client management isn't good, or if it's more, so they just did a poor job of scoping the project. And it wasn't the client changed what they wanted, they just didn't quite do a good enough job of understanding that. And then the second piece is utilization, we see a lot of utilization gaps. And those are typically caused by one of three things. Number one, they are not consistent enough about new business.   So we see what I like to call the feast or famine roller coaster a lot, which is where if the founder is still involved in sales and delivery, they sell, sell, sell, when there's no work, they get a bunch of work, then they get slammed with the work and they stop selling. And then they lift their head up after six months, and like Oh, shit, we have no work to do, then they sell, sell, sell. And those, you know, 345678 week periods where there's almost no work to do, that just drags your utilization rate down.   And so typically, those companies, when we benchmark their utilization, we create a graph and the graph goes from 150%, where the team is completely slammed nobody's sleeping, they're you know, living off of coffee, to they have nothing to do, they're sitting on their hands, you know, they're looking for internal projects to work on backup to 150%. And it's just totally unsustainable. The second reason is they just don't have great project management practices. So they're not doing a great job of capacity management Resource Planning Task assignments. And a lot of times we see this in agencies where they have either a client or service dilution problem. So they are having a single person work on way too many clients at the same time.   So they're not productive, because they're bouncing around, they're constantly in meetings, they're not actually getting things done. or number two, they are creating skill set silos where they might have a lot of services that they offer, but their team is relatively small. And so they might have this thing where they've got three designers, but only one of them knows how to do this particular thing. So they might have enough hours to keep the whole team utilized. But they can't effectively collaborate, because they're creating skill sets silos within the organization. So those are a couple of their culprits. And then the last one is just team composition.   They, you know, typically, we see this when you have a wide and shallow delivery team that's trying to do a bunch of different services, as opposed to creating deep competency in a couple of specific areas, which again, allow you to have more billable employees relative to administrative employees, because you're decreasing all the complexity that happens on admin, finance, accounting, project management, account management, sales.   So you can make that process more efficient, reduce that overhead, and focus more of your budget on producers. And if you can balance the team, and then utilize them, that typically makes a massive difference. So those are kind of the two big issues that we see. And some of the reasons behind why those numbers typically are below what they should be for these agencies that we work with. Okay.   Roy Barker  23:23 Yeah. Something you said earlier about, you know, it's a, it's a definite cycle for, you know, most solopreneurs entrepreneurs, smaller businesses is market market market. Yeah, who we got all this business. So we quit that. And then, you know, six months out, it's like, wow, this dried up in a hurry. So it's back to market market market.   And, you know, that puts a stress on, on your employees, if you if you are a smaller company, or even a mid size where, like you said, you know, we're about 125% of capacity. So everybody's working from can to can't, and you wear them out, we get a little burnout. And then we have this period where we've got nothing. So now they're sitting around worrying about is this job going to be here tomorrow. So I think just another good point, and why it would be so nice to at least smooth this out as much as totally possible.   Marcel  24:14 Yeah. And and these things are all related, right? So the way that we get there is by a making sure that our delivery process is well defined enough that we can hire people to do that work. And as a founder, we don't have to be involved anymore, necessarily, or we can make deliberate decisions about whether we choose to be involved in work or not, not that we have to be involved. Right. So we want to as quickly as possible in the agency separate ourselves from delivery, because that is a natural handbrake, right. If you are still going to sell yourself into pain as a founder when you're selling, then there is a natural handbrake just built into that relationship.   So very quickly start to better define your delivery processes. In doing that your delivery processes should get more efficient, which means it costs you less to earn your revenues your profitability goes up, that's good. And as your processes get more defined, they're easier to actually estimate, right? Because if you know, here's the five steps that we do to build a great website for a client, then it's much easier to predict what those five steps are going to take in terms of time, who they're going to require time for how much of that's designed.   How much Miss development, how much of his strategy, whereas if our processes are not very well defined, then maybe it's not the fact that we're just bad at estimating, it's that the thing we're trying to estimate is just hard to estimate. So we want to close that gap by defining our processes. And as processes get designed, another great benefit is it typically reduces the amount of skill or experience required to do the work. Because the more open ended processes, the more judgment is required from the person doing the work in order to do that thing.   And typically, employees with good judgment are expensive, because they have more experience, they've seen more things, they're able to be more self sufficient. And that's not good for margin either. So it is to your benefit as an agency owner, especially in the early days, if you're still doing a lot of work to document your processes, such that you can get somebody to do every single part of delivering the result to the client as early as possible.   That way, if you do happen to go out and sell a bunch of work, you're not then going to get pulled in and get pulled away from sales that allows you to then focus on sales all the time, which creates outsize pipeline, which means that you can go into every sales conversation, not worrying about losing the work. That way, you can ask for that 50% deposit upfront, that way, you can ask for the price that you actually need to do this work well, that way, you can start to define the process for the client, as opposed to taking orders from the client, therefore protecting scope creep.   So you can start doing all the things that allow you to actually control engagement from end to end, which usually ends up meaning better work for your client, because you got to do your process the way that you're supposed to do it, and better margins for you, because you got to actually keep things running the way that you estimated they would, will get the price of the claim in the first place.   Roy Barker  26:52 Yeah, I'm a big fan of the documentation of processes. And not only just one time, but you know, we always it should be a, you know, a dynamic document that we're always looking at. Because what I found is that even though people think, Oh, this process is really dialed in, when you put it on paper and you start walking through it, you usually will find either gaps that that they were unaware of, or maybe just little tweaks that could be made to make it much more efficient than what it was.   Marcel  27:21 And this is this is the entire thesis of Parakeeto. So for those that are listening, if you want to dig into this, we have a system called the agency profitability flywheel, you can find tutorial videos on exactly what that is inside of our agency profitability toolkit, which is free on our website. So make sure you go check that out. We'll see if we're, I can leave it in the show notes for you. Yeah, the basic premise there is absolutely no, you want to create a feedback loop between our estimates and actuals. So we can see what are the projects that are going way better than we thought and which ones are not going the way that we thought?   And then within that we can even get some additional level of insight like, where are we going over? Is it dev? Is it project management? Is it design? Right? What are the problem areas? And then we can start facilitating a regular meeting cadence for most people. This is project retroactive, they do it at the end of every project, they sit down, they have a conversation about how did this go? What can we learn from it, I prefer to do actually what I call project performance meetings, which happen every two weeks.   And we just look at the projects that have finished or that are close to finishing in that two week period. But that depends on the rate of change in your agency. And you get the team involved in that conversation. So it's not a conversation about, hey, here's what we're seeing, I think we should change this. We're talking to the team, we're saying, hey, looks like we absolutely crushed this project, we were way more efficient than we thought we took us half the amount of time that we planned. What did we do differently here?   What can we learn from this, we can apply to other projects? And they go oh, well, you know, the way we hand it off from design to dev was super efficient. We did this new thing that I thought was really smart. We reuse templates from the last project that we did. And it really saved us a lot of time. It's like amazing, that's a great idea, we should document that process. Do you want to be accountable for installing that process, when we get the team involved in this conversation, it creates buy in, and they're actually more incentivized to install, following maintain these processes.   And then as an owner that scales because we're no longer the bottleneck in defining how things should work. We're just facilitators. And we let the team actually do the work of making the way that things happen in the agency more efficient over time. And eventually, we can be completely removed from this process of estimating, tracking, reporting, and reviewing this and then facilitating process improvements with the team. We could have our whole project management organization running that whole process.   But that is the profitability flywheel which should make our estimates more accurate, make our processes more efficient, and build profitability and scalability into the agency, just naturally with the data and the processes that are happening every single day. So if you want to dig deeper on that, definitely go check that out. But right I absolutely agree that we want to make sure that this is a living document and that process is a process, not an event.   Roy Barker  29:52 Right, right. Yeah. And it's funny because I just said I had just written down a couple things when you started that about We really need to involve the team and we need to listen, not just lip service, and also our customers, because I think there's there can, it's easily to have a disconnect between I think, Wow, this went super smooth life is really good. And the customers like good gravy, I mean, what's going on over that place?   And so I think it's eye opening. And a lot of people don't ask it because they're scared to the answer. But I think you have to turn that around and say, if we want to do this better, we've got it. Number one, get the people that are doing it involved and really listen to them. But then we've also got to hear what our customer has to say about that.   Marcel  30:39 Absolutely. And on that note, I think one of the places that I see agencies dropped the ball all the time is client communication, you know, you go a week, two weeks, three weeks without letting the client know what's going on. And in those moments, you let the client create their own narrative about what's happening.   And that's when I see scope creep happen, because the client is used to having to micromanage their agency, and when you're not creating clarity for them on what's going on, then they feel like they have to step in and tell you what to do. Because in their mind, you're not doing anything. Right. So creating these cadences around talking to customers, often giving them updates, getting feedback often is just a really great practice.   If nothing else to like, manage the relationship and reduce the risk that they're going to feel like they have to step in, and tell you what to do in order to you know, get a successful outcome from the engagement. And it should give you more ammunition to go into that conversation at the end of the project with the team and understand like, not only did this go well, for us, but to your point, like was this a good outcome for the client?   Roy Barker  31:39 Oh, yeah, cuz those periods of silence, you know, it's like, as a customer, you think? How long? How long do I let this go? I don't want to be, you know, to in their business, I want to give them time. But then I don't want to let so much time go by that nothing's been done. Or we're off track, we have issues. And so that's why I think, just even if it's just an email, like, Hey, you know, we told you, we're working on this, this is what we're doing.   We're about 50% there, we should have, you know, something to show you next week or anything, you know, anything is better than nothing. Because you know, at when when you don't hear anything, you're, as a consumer, your mind starts kind of wandering. And if you've had a bad experience before, that just amplifies those feelings that you start having   Marcel  32:22 100% you just allow your client to bring whatever baggage they have into your engagement. And it's usually not not good baggage. Yeah.   Roy Barker  32:31 So what about earlier you had mentioned? Kind of doing a lot of stuff. So what's your opinion on kind of having a nice that you fit into, instead of trying to be everything to everybody?   Marcel  32:48 Yeah, I think probably you can probably predict the answer to this question. So obviously, I like systems. And I like to have a system for estimating. And I like to have a system for tracking time and doing the work. And all of these things. And systems require some level of regularity, right. If there's a ton of variety in the type of work that we do, then it's very, very hard to create systems that are predictable and repeatable around that.   So I definitely like the idea of finding a way to reduce the complexity of the work that you offer, and reduce how much that changes. And I think there's a couple of different ways to look at doing this. Ultimately, it comes down to solving a specific problem for a specific person. So I think a lot of people get too caught up in this idea of Oh, we've got to pick just one service that we offer, like we need to just do Facebook ads are just do website design development. And we also need to just serve one industry or just one type of client. And I think those are useful lenses to apply to niching.   But fundamentally, at the end of the day, if you can understand who has a specific problem, understand that problem better than anyone else, and design a great way to solve that problem, even if, right so like this is the one case for full service agencies. I think that's become a bad word. I think there still is room for full service agencies. But I think full service agencies need to pick one problem that they apply a full service lens to, right.   So you know, it's not inherently bad to say we will build your website and build your funnel and run your ads and do your email campaigns. But if you're doing that for 100 different industries, or 100 different types of businesses, that's where there's too much complexity. But if you can say, we can build the entire marketing engine for a legal firm, then you can start to actually create a process for that that's repeatable, you can start to create scopes of work for that that are relatively compatible with one another, you can start to create horizontally consistent data schemas, like you can still do a lot of things and create some level of consistency.   But until you create that level of consistency, right, all this stuff that I've talked about is a lot harder to do. And so I definitely think it behooves agency owners that might be feeling like they're doing a lot of different things to start thinking about. How to focus in. And there's a lot of advantages to that we could do a whole episode on that, and I'm sure you've done several others on that topic. So and so have I,   Roy Barker  35:08 yeah, it's that it's strategic, I think is the best way to put it is that you know, because when, when you're starting out, or when you get that low spot, you know, somebody walked in and said, I'd like for you to change the alternator on that 62 Chevy up front, you know, we're like, okay, we'll jump right on that. But it's, if we set our you know, get our processes down for whatever we do, then when we see upsell opportunities or ways to expand if we do it in a manageable and strategic way, where we, you know, actually develop the processes before we get involved in it.   Because that's what I see a lot too is that when we get into this, this area, we're not that we don't do a lot. And then we're trying to figure out processes and procedures, you know, in the midst of trying to do the job and do it right. Whereas if we thought about how do we do this, how do we add this extra service, it's much more manageable. And so it just has to be my opinion, it just has to be very thought out.   Marcel  36:10 And there's a psychological aspect to this, I think is fascinating. If you haven't tried saying no to a client during a sales call. Try it. And more often than I mean, this literally happened to me yesterday, where I told the client like, these are the things I think you need help with. And that's not what I do. I'm not an expert in these things. I think there's other people out there that are much better suited to serve you.   And that flip the sale, I spent the next 10 minutes hearing from the client, all the reasons that I should work with them, right, they were now trying to sell me on why I should still work with them. And they started adjusting their needs to fit into the box of like what I said, like this is my lane, this is where I like to live, this is where I bring the most value, it's a fascinating thing to try.   So I'd encourage you to try it on a call when you get somebody that you're like, clearly this is just not a good fit. Or we've never done this before. I'm not really excited about this, push back and just see how it changes the dynamic of the conversation. More often than not, you'll find yourself basically flipping the sale. Yeah,   Roy Barker  37:03 and we talked about that a lot too. With pricing, you know, the minute somebody comes out, start, Oh, that's too high, you know, start trying to beat you down on pricing. Sometimes all you got to do is say you know what, we just may not be a good match, but I wish you luck. And then like you said, you'll spend the next 30 minutes listening to them sell you on why you actually should work with them.   Marcel  37:22 It's a fascinating experiment. And it's this, it's this really interesting compounding effect of when you don't need the work. You can sell like you don't need the work. And when you sell like you don't need the work, you typically make more money, you close more deals, and you end up with more profitable projects on the back end.   Roy Barker  37:38 Yeah, yeah. Cut down our mistakes or our chances for mistakes for sure. Because when we get in a bind and feel like we have to sell everybody that we talked to, we can do some things we probably shouldn't be doing.   Marcel  37:50 We end up with indigestion ROI ingestion, I feel like starvation.   Roy Barker  37:55 All right, Marcel. Well, is there anything else you want to put out there before we wrap this up?   Marcel  38:00 Yeah, I mean, if you've listened to this episode, and you want to dig deeper into all this stuff, I mean, like everything from how to calculate the cost per hour on your employee, you know, basis how to figure out what the right utilization rate is for you all the nerdy details of agency profitability. We've got all kinds of free resources for you. I'd start by checking out the agency profitability toolkit, definitely check out our blog. And we also have a podcast called The Agency Profit Podcast where we talk about, you guessed it, agency profitability.   So if you want to go deeper, you want to dive into all the content we've created. I spent the last three years just kind of share everything I know, on this subject. So feel free to go and consume that. And if you have questions, or you want to nerd out, you'll be able to find me on the internet pretty easily. So feel free to reach out. I'd love to hear from you.   Roy Barker  38:44 Okay, yeah. Great. And can you give us the website and let everybody know where they can go find you?   Marcel  38:49 Absolutely. So, P A R A K E E T And it's The Agency Profit Podcast. You'll find that on any other podcasts services that you use. If you want to find me, LinkedIn is probably the best place to reach out to Marcel Petitpas, I'm wearing the same shirt with a the Parkeets on it and my profile picture so easy to spot. Feel free to connect, send me a message. Let me know you're heard about me on Roy's podcast, and I'll be happy to chat. All right, great. Well, we appreciate that.   Roy Barker  39:17 I like the that's a good idea of wearing the same shirt as the profile picture. I'm glad to think about that.   Marcel  39:23 I keep that UX consistent omni channel. Yeah, right.   Roy Barker  39:27 Right. All right. Well, thanks so much. It's been great talking to you a lot of great information y'all reach out to Marcel and, you know, read some of his information, reach out and talk to him, see how he can help you improve your agency profitability. So until next time, that's gonna do it for this podcast episode. You can also find us at We're on all the major podcast platforms iTunes, Stitcher, Google, Spotify, and Pandora.   We're also on all the major social media networks, probably hanging out On Instagram a little more than others, So reach out there we'd love to interact with you, you can find a video of this interview will go up on our YouTube page. So go over there, check out the video and some of our other great guests from the past. Until next time, that's gonna do it. For The Business of Business Podcast. Take care of yourself and take care of your business. Links: Linkedin: Instagram: Twitter:
40:35 01/25/2022
Persistence Drives An Overnight Success Two Years in the Making
Persistence Drives An Overnight Success Two Years in the Making Featuring Alison Lumbatis Persistence drives overnight success. They're very few overnight successes in this world. I think it's actually a disservice to call someone that term. It discounts all the years and hard work they put in to be successful. Probably even some failures mixed in. It's not easy. You have to show up and grind it out every day. Be persistent and consistent. About Alison Alison Lumbatis is a 7 figure entrepreneur and the founder of the Get Your Pretty On website and creator of Outfit Formulas - the #1 online capsule wardrobe building program in the world. She's served over 40,000 women through the Outfit Formulas program and has attracted an audience of millions to the GYPO website. As a former engineer, she knew there had to be an easier way to get dressed every day so she created Outfit Formulas - a foolproof system to build your wardrobe and create outfits. An author and life coach, Alison is a thought leader in the personal style and confidence arenas. She's been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, Redbook, Life & Style Magazine and on Good Morning Texas. Her book The Ultimate Book of Outfit Formulas will be released on September 14th. Facebook - Twitter - @alisonlumbatis Book Link -   Full Transcript Below Persistence Drives an Overnight Success Two Years in the Making Featuring Alison Lumbatis Sun, 8/22 2:38PM • 46:54 SUMMARY KEYWORDS people, blogging, blog, create, content, women, blog post, business, formulas, instagram, dressed, put, pieces, thought, day, work, long, top, outfit, started SPEAKERS Alison, Roy Barker   Roy Barker  00:03 Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy. Of course we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that can speak to a diverse set of topics. Hopefully we can point out something that you haven't thought about that can help you in your business or we can provide you with solutions with things that are keeping you up at night. We have we're lucky today to have Alison Lumbatis with us.   She is a seven figure entrepreneur and the founder of Get Your pretty On website, and the creator of Outfit Formulas. The number one online capsule wardrobe building program in the world. She served over 40,000 women through the Outfit Formulas program and has attached attracted an audience of millions. The GYPO website. As a former engineer, she knew there had to be an easier way to get dressed every day. So she created Outfit Formulas, a foolproof system to build your wardrobe and create outfits, and author and life coach Alison is a thought leader in the personal style and confidence arenas.   She has been featured in Forbes Business Inside, Red Book, Life and Style Magazine and on Good Morning Texas. Her book, The Ultimate Book of Outfit Formulas will be released on September 14, Allison lives in Flower Mound, Texas with her husband, Craig, and three children, Devin, Aubrey, and Ava plus a whole host of critters from their meaning farm. Allison, how are you doing today?   Alison  01:35  I'm doing good, right? How are you?   Roy Barker  01:37 I'm doing great. Thanks so much for taking time out of your day. Not only do I probably need to be a client, but there's a lot of us out there. I could share yourself in the wardrobe. After taking a whole year off. It's like we forget where the nice shirts and slacks are. .   Alison  01:51 Yeah, absolutely. That's what I'm here for.   Roy Barker  01:55 Well, so tell us a little bit first kind of how your journey went from telephone engineer over into fashion. Has that always been something that you've been interested in?   Alison  02:06 Actually, it's not. So it's interesting. You know, I've always had creative pursuits on the side, I was in a very technical career as a as a telecom engineer for 14 years. And I just felt like there was something missing. Well, I enjoyed the challenges of being in a technical career, I also had these creative things that were on the side that I was doing along the way. So you know, I did some acting in the Dallas area for about 10 years, overlapping with my career, in Telecom, I got my life switching certifications, started working with clients, you know, on their businesses, and in personal life coaching as well. And I always felt like I had something else going on.   So whenever I'm around 2011, I got the opportunity to work from home, which was amazing. Something I always wanted to do, as a mom of three, my kids were still pretty young at the time. And I was just, you know, just so incredibly grateful for this opportunity to do that. But what I started to notice was that I didn't know how to dress anymore, it's super easy to get dressed for the office, you know, we get into our little, I want to say ruts, but they're more like routines of our office uniforms that we put on every single day, whether that, you know, for me, it was a skirt, a blouse and some high heels or, you know, some dress pants or a button down whatever.   We know what to wear to work, right. I didn't know what to wear to work from home. And I think a lot of us have dealt with this, you know, just during the pandemic, especially where we're just not quite sure how to dress for the day. So I did the thing that I probably shouldn't have done, which was default into throwing on my favorite yoga pants every morning, throwing on a sweatshirt, a big t shirt, pulling my hair back in a ponytail and calling it a day. Which is fine, because I got ready really fast, right? But I noticed over time that things were changing, and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I felt like I didn't have as much motivation as I did when I first started working from home.   And I didn't want to work out anymore. I wasn't making time for that anymore. I wasn't taking care of myself. I wasn't cooking as healthy as I used to. And I was like the snowball effect of these things happening. And I kind of just woke up one day and said, What happened? Like, what changed? And how can I get out of this. And so the first thing I knew that I could do that was super easy, was get dressed in real clothes, take a shower, get up and feel good about how I looked for the day. And even if no one was going to see me, you know, as I was seeing my kids off the pool in the morning or whatever, and then getting ready for the day.   So I did that. And the first day that I did it, I was like wow, I feel so much better. I feel so much more productive. And I just feel better about myself. And I just kind of went through the day feeling like every like I was clicking on all cylinders. And when my daughter got in the car that afternoon, she looked at me and she kind of did a double take and I said what honey, she said What have you done? What She said, You look pretty today. And I think for me, that was really that moment where I thought, Okay, this isn't just affecting me, it's affecting everyone around me too.   And I want to be the best version of myself. And in order to do that, that I need to take a little bit of time and devote it to getting dressed every day and taking the steps that are going to make me feel good. But the problem was that all of those clothes in my closet would have worked great in office, they just did not work for my work from home lifestyle. So that's really why I started blogging, I had to reinvent my wardrobe, to work for my new lifestyle.   And as I went through this journey, I started blogging about it and other women started following along, they're like, Hey, I'm gonna work from home mom, I'm a stay at home mom, I don't go into an office anymore. And I don't know how to dress. And really, that's what I was teaching them, I was just one step ahead in that journey, but enough to be able to say, this is what I'm learning. This is how I'm rebuilding my closet. And that is how everything started and just kind of really took off from there.   Roy Barker  05:57 Wow. Yeah, it's an it's different. I have to admit, for men and women, you know, we do the smell test if it you know, if it doesn't smell bad, and it's good, good to go. But you know, especially working from home, it, it's a challenge, because, you know, as I told you pre show, I really wasn't kidding, I have a nail over here on the wall that I keep my nice shirt on.   And then it's usually sweats or t shirt and shorts is you know what I do? And that that worked really good back in the olden days. But now that zoom has become more prevalent. It's like, Well, you know, you have to appear on camera three or four times a day. So you have to probably do a little bit more. But I think for women that it's even a bigger challenge, because just there's so many components, like you know, we have slacks and shirt, and that's really about it. But I don't know, it's more, it's more complicated. I've seen it in action.   Slightly. But then there's also the fact of like you said, dressing for the office is one thing, but if you're home, and you've got kids, and you're chasing them around, sometimes that's not always the best thing to just go with. And so I never really thought about it. But it's an interesting concept. And so what, so how does this work? As far as the Outfit Formulas? Do you just, I wouldn't even know where to start. So I'll let you talk a little bit. Yeah, if I called you up and said, Hey, or emailed you said, Hey, I really need some help. Where would you start? Besides probably firing me for a customer before you get started? But pretend to pretend I did have some potential?   Alison  07:33 No, we never fired. You know, I, I really love meeting people where they're at as far as as far as getting dressed and building a wardrobe. And I started out with Formulas in 2014, after I'd been blogging for about two years. So I really had built an audience up at that point and was able to go to them and say, What would you like to see more of? What can I do for you? What kind of service can I provide for you that's going to help you get dressed every day, it's gonna make this easier for you. And I sent out a customer survey at that point and or reader survey. They weren't customers yet. But I asked them these questions. And when I started going through all the responses that came back to me, there were so many women saying, hey, just give me a list.   Tell me what to go out and buy. I want to know what basics to have in my closet. And I want to know what seasonal trends to add in keep things fresh and new. And I said great, I can do that. Sure. So I started working on this list. And then I realized as I was going through it well what good is this list if I'm not showing you ways pair it up, so I inadvertently created a capsule wardrobe which is basically a group of pieces that can mix and match easily in your closet to create outfits. And this first tap hole that came out of Outfit Formulas.   I thought you know, maybe 50 women would sign up with 500 signed up out of the gate and I realized right then and there Okay, this is definitely got some potential to become a really big thing and grow into you know, a great community of women who are able to support each other on this style journey. So I started it as a seasonal program. And what I do is I give women the shopping list of top, bottoms, toppers, which are essentially jackets, shoes and accessories. So there are five pieces of an Outfit Formula. And then once they have the pieces then they mix and match all of those so there might be you know, say five pairs of jeans or pants or skirts on the list and then six or seven tops and then three jackets, for different types of shoes and then some accessories and I take those pieces and my engineering mind comes in handy here.   And I just mix and match them into different outfits and show the women different ways that they can wear them. So the cool thing about this is that it truly works for everybody. So all every shape, every size, it does not matter. It works for every budget because I am giving you guidance and telling you these are the categories of items you need. For instance a stripe top you can buy a stripe top at anywhere from Amazon to Neiman's, it doesn't matter as long as you have that stripe top. Some women do thrift shopping for their purchases too.   And others find that they have a lot of the pieces in their closet, they don't do any shopping at all, they're just seeing new ways to pair up the item. And that's what I love about it is I feel like, I'm able to democratize personal style, like most women aren't going to spend $150 an hour to have a stylist come in, show them how to pair up pieces in their closet, and then take them out shopping to buy more clothes. They just want somebody to give them ideas and tell them what to buy and then be able to pair it up.   So I really believe that that the way that my program kind of created disruption in the personal styling space, because it wasn't a one on one program. It's a group program. And also because I don't send the clothes out like there are companies out there like Stitch Fix and other box styling services that send you a box of clothing that may or may not work for your body shape that may be the quality's not quite what you want, or the price is too high.   With this, I'm allowing you to pick those pieces and pair up the outfits and giving you the inspiration to do that. So I love when women can shop with a purpose that we're not just walking into the store and saying, I don't know what to buy, I used to be a terrible shopper. And I would do that all the time, kind of walk in and get overwhelmed or chase the bright shiny objects and take all the stuff home. And then I didn't know how to pair it up. So I really wanted to make that easy for women and just take away that decision fatigue of deciding what to wear every morning. Now they get an email in their inbox, or they log into our membership site app on their phones. And they see exactly what they're going to wear every single day. And it just makes it one less thing that they have to worry about.   Roy Barker  11:31 Now, and that's cool, because I know for myself, I find myself in a rut is like that pair of pants and that shirt, you know, and I don't really look outside that box to see that, you know, you can mix and match. And I I think I come from a time that nowadays is a little more liberal and what you can mix and match. It's not as I don't know, used to seem like it was a very stringent code.   Well, yeah. We're relaxed. Yeah. Yeah. So let's talk a little bit about this transition. So I know that you were saying you're kind of winding down, you know, at the telecom. But Had this been a thought that something you had been doing prior to that, that you were kind of starting to build the list up. And then at that point, it was like, Okay, now I get it in, this is the direction I'm headed.   Alison  12:20 Yeah, so I had to blogging for about six months. And my manager came to me and said, Hey, would you like to move to the data group I, I was a member of an engineering group that had 20 engineers and and I was a team lead at the time. And by the time I left in 2013, there were two engineers left in that team. So I had the opportunity to either go and retrain and do something completely different, or take a chance on this blog that I've been only doing for six months, and I decided to kind of take the chance on it and see what would happen.   So for the next year, I took that severance, I put it in the bank, and we were very conservative, you know, living off of half of what I used to make, honestly, just to make it stretch as long as possible. And I put everything into growing that blog into growing my readers, what happened at the end of that year, when that server was gone. I wasn't making any money. And I think this is an important part of the story that I did not make money.   For two years, I blogged I created free resources, I was blogging sometimes five or six days a week, just putting information out there and growing my readers growing my followers building my email list, so that when I did launch out that formulas in 2014, it was a six figure business in year one. And, you know, this is one of the things that I tell entrepreneurs all the time is that you put in the effort and you've got it like the hardest part of being an entrepreneur is doing the work when you're not seeing the results. Because you just have trust that it's going to come like six months, a year, two years later down the road, when you look back, you're gonna say, Well, this is happening because of the things that I was doing back then.   And we're so used to that instant gratification. And we want those immediate results and those immediate sales, but sometimes it doesn't work that way. And not everybody has the luxury of a severance package. And I do understand that maybe you have a side hustle and you're still in, you know, in corporate America, you're you're trying to transition out, just trust that if you keep putting in the work, someday it's gonna pay off and then you'll have that audience and those people that are there ready to buy what you're selling at that point.   Roy Barker  14:25 I think it's good to that, you know, you have that passion. Because that's what sustains you on those days you wake up and say, I've been working hard at this and I see nothing at all. But if you really feel passionate about what you're doing, it makes you push on. So I'm always gonna ask about so you get your severance, you leave and the first day you're at home. Do you like I mean, I've you just got your mind's already made up that that first day off you were pushing it or was there some time where you kind of like, Hey, is this really what I want to do? Was there any of that decision making?   Alison  15:00 You know, it was scary. I think that that first six months honestly, were the scariest of my adult life because I didn't, I didn't know if it was going to work. And there were no guarantees that it would. And my the law, I worked for Verizon than when I left, they assigned me a career counselor as part of my severance package. And she was I would jump on the call, you know, once a week and talk about what was going on and talk through different options.   And there were times that I was scared. And I was like, Oh, I'm just gonna run back into Telecom. And she would say, No, I really think you need to try to make a go of this, like, this is your thing. And every time I talk to you, this is the thing I can hear you get excited about, and you get passionate about, you start talking really fast, and you start using hand motions. And this is what you need to do. You don't need to go back to Telecom. And I was like, Okay, okay, but you know, I'm paired up here to pick, okay, all right, just keep going.   And I think I needed that voice there to really just cut through the fear for me and helped me to tap into my intuition, and tell me what she was seeing in me. And that's what sustained me and I laugh, I tell people all the time, I quit, I've quit this, like 100 times, probably 100. I wake up the next morning, and I started again, like, it's fine, you can quit in 5pm. But you're gonna start the next day. And and you'll have days like that, where you're just gonna feel like, you're getting nowhere and nothing is happening, or everyone's blowing past you.   And social media especially makes us feel that way. Because we log in and like comparison is the thief of joy. We see everybody on social media, you see all these other businesses that start out with you. And you think, oh, gosh, they've got it. So together, they're so far ahead of me or whatever. But you really don't know what's going on in the inside of that. And everybody struggles and has their things that they go to go through.   And yes, I might be a seven figures now in my business, but it takes an average of 10 years to get there, and I'm on your nine. So it's not, it wasn't an overnight success by any stretch. And if you keep at it, though, I promise you it will pay off.   Roy Barker  17:02 Yeah, cuz most of the time, we see these overnight successes, and it just means that we've just kind of become, we've just seen them in the last overnight. They've, you know, they've all got these 10 15 20 year stories before they got to that point. And you said that earlier about the instant gratification. I think that to us, the old agrarian thing is, you know, we have to plant the seed, and then we have to cultivate it before we can actually harvest it and so many, and this, it goes into sales, too. You know, when we talk about sales, people want to call you up.   Are you ready to buy? No. So they're off to the next one. They don't take the time to try to cultivate it's and it's the same being this being an entrepreneur, and it's a struggle, there are times and it's funny, as I had a an interview years ago, and a young lady was asking me, have you ever thought about quitting? I said probably three times this morning. But true, yeah. But it's like, you know, it's like, at some point you get to it's like, well, there's really not an option because I believe in this enough, then you know, I'm just going to keep pushing. So that's interesting.     And I think also to talk about the importance of surrounding yourself with people. Not Not that tell you what you want to hear. But that can be encouraging to you, you know, like this lady, because it's, it's sometimes it can feel lonely, especially if we're if we're doing it by herself is that you know, and I'm fortunate with Terry, she is awesome to bounce ideas off or to cry on shoulder or, you know, walk outside and throw a rock or whatever.   And then when I'm done with it, she'll pat me on the shoulder and say, You know what, it's gonna be a better day tomorrow, we're going to just push on through and sure enough, it helps. So you know, I guess the message is, get a coach, surround yourself with some other business people, you know, talk to, you know, have somebody that you can talk to it makes a world of difference.   Alison  18:55 It really does. Yeah, see, every all of us need those sounding boards. And we need more than one like, I rely on my husband a lot for that, too. I have my business manager who's my right hand woman and I have all these different people in my life that I can go through and know that, that I'm not alone. And I think you know, it can be they say it's lonely at the top.   And when you are a founder, you are a CEO, and you're the one that's responsible for everything. You really have to make it a priority to have that support network in place for sure. And I've even joined my mastermind groups, I find that they're really super beneficial not only for your network, but just the emotional support people who really get what it's like to be in the trenches and be there with you.   Roy Barker  19:35 Yeah. So let's switch over. The other interesting aspect that I found about your story is that you actually blog for two years. And, you know, I realized that some of that was still when you were working for your other company. But I think that's another point that we could talk about about the instant gratification is I talked to many people that like I did two blogs. But you know, my phone's not blowing up or people aren't walking through the door. It's so much more to that. So tell us a little bit about, you know how you went through that process?   Alison  20:11 Yeah, so and this is a topic, I love talking about this, especially whatever I'm exploring the entrepreneurial side of, of my business and that story, because I do encounter so many entrepreneurs that come to me and say, Hey, I'm just getting started out, or I've only been at this for about six months, or I'm just, I'm not making money. And I say, Yeah, you're you're right, you're not making money, you probably shouldn't be right now, like, that's, that's true. Yeah, so building that audience first, I mean, there, there are two ways you can start a business.   And some people get frustrated, because they don't have the audience there, they have the idea, they have the concept, they have the product, or they have the service, or they have a program that they're trying to sell, but they don't have anybody to sell it to. So if you're in that situation, and you're wanting to get results faster, then that's when you got to put some money behind it. And you've got to be able to pay for your traffic and pay for your marketing and your ads and all of the things that are going to bring it to you and but I did it organically.   And I think that there are definite advantages to organic growth. Number one, it's relationship building. So you're going to be bringing those people on the journey with you, they're going to be engaged with you, they're going to love knowing that they were part of your story. I have people with me that have been with me since I started blogging in 2012, that are now customers that have been with me for years and years and years because of that personal relationship that I was able to cultivate with them, and continue throughout all these years.   So you know, you get that opportunity. When you're producing content, people trust you people like you, they get to know that you're somebody that's gonna keep showing up for them. And when I was blogging every week, they were getting glimpses into who I was as a person, they were seeing that I was going to be someone that was going to be around for the long haul, so that they did make a purchase. For me, they didn't have to worry that I was just gonna take their money and run. But it's all about that, you know, the know, like trust factor, they, they get to know you, they like you, they trust you.   And they'll be fans for life. And it's really about kind of creating that. I want to use the term cult following. Because isn't that what everybody wants? Like, there are companies out there like What-A-Burger. And you know, these other companies are doing this so well, where they have this cult following of loyal fans that absolutely love them and are there for them and cheering them on. And that's, that's really one of the biggest benefits of just going slow and gaining that organic following and all of those people that are there just cheering you on.   And another great thing about that is you can involve them in what you're creating. I involved my readers all along and everything that I've ever done, I say what do you want to see? What do you like to wear? What trends Do you like this this fall? What colors? are you liking what patterns, and I can take all of that feedback and create a product that they've been involved in and that they love? And that absolutely make selling a really easy thing for me to do?   Roy Barker  23:03 Yeah, no. And I think that engagement because a lot of times and it's hard in the beginning, but you know, we're blowing this information out there. But we're not really trying to engage our audience, which I think that's what leads to the cult following, like you're talking about is that you've engaged them, you're you, you care what they think, which is important. That's what people want to do. They want somebody to care what they think and be as responsive as they possibly can to that.   Alison  23:32 Mm hmm. Definitely.   Roy Barker  23:33 Yeah. Yeah. And that is, again, that there's a there was a guy and I think his name was Palooza, Joe Pulizzi. He's a marketing guru guy. And he wrote a book about this about he blogged for like, like you said, two years, with really not even a path, a service or a product in mind. I think he was, you know, talking about something specific, but he actually blogged for this whole entire period, getting that feedback.   So he could decide, you know, kind of which direction he wanted to navigate to versus just, you know, like you said earlier, too, is like, Okay, well, I dreamed up this awesome product in my basement. But I don't know if anybody else thinks it's awesome. I do. But maybe there's something like it out there. Maybe it's like, I wouldn't waste my time where, you know, when we do engage, and we do some of this upfront work, we can get it we can get an idea of you know, this is not so great. Or, you know, maybe we need to tweak this or tweak that. There's just a lot of information we can get out there.   Alison  24:33 Absolutely. It's a goldmine when you have those people that are already there that, you know, you can use as your beta testers and can give you that feedback. And then you can launch it into the world and on a bigger scale.   Roy Barker  24:46 Yeah, and you've talked about this as well, but education, you know, I think to me, that's what I always strive to do with my blogs is not I don't want to tell people how awesome I am or how awesome the company is. That's always better from third party. People to tell other people how great you are. But try to make sure that we're giving people actionable items like in your, in your position, but also, you know, when I send emails out to different groups, I may say, Hey, I found this article, here's a couple really good points that might work, you know, might be something for you to think about. But always continuing this education prog process. I think it it's engaging, because people are, you know, glad that somebody is there to try to help them.   Alison  25:36 Definitely, I, I love educating and I think that a lot of us kind of get stuck in this headspace where we think I'm not an expert. So why would anybody want to listen to me, we don't have to be an expert, you just need to be one or two steps ahead of the people that you're talking to, because they sometimes don't want that expert, you're more relatable than somebody that they see is an expert on a topic.   And I've had to really view myself in that way as a stylist because I did not come from a style background. I'm self taught, I'm you know, and the same thing with being an entrepreneur, I didn't come from a business background, I taught myself how to run businesses. But that doesn't make my experience any less valuable. In order to share it with others, it's just about giving them the shortcuts that you're learning along the way, that's what they want.   Roy Barker  26:26 Because I think we're all experts in our journey, you know, it's like is that journey, relatable to other people, but you know, once you've gone through a buying process for any product or service, you know, you're pretty well aware of, you know, the different aspects of it, what you should look for the pitfalls, and so I think, yet we are a little hard on ourselves that we think we have to have years of education or experience. But again, I think this gets back to passion, if you're willing to learn, willing to listen, and that's your passion, it really comes across to our readers or listeners very, it's very loud, louder than it is sometimes,   Alison  27:05 for sure. And authenticity is something you can't fake. And people can see through that, even though you might think you can follow them on social media or your blog posts or whatever, but they're gonna see through that if it's something that you're not truly passionate about. For instance, I have a good story to tell on this. So when I started out as a blogger than primary business model, was to sell clothing to people that would come to your website, or would follow you on social media.   So you would earn commission on the back end of that. So I would send them to, you know, Nordstrom and say, Hey, you can buy the shirt I'm wearing or whatever. And I would earn a little bit of money. So that's what was working really, really well. And it still works really, really well. There's influencers, they're making millions of dollars a year on YouTube, and Instagram and Tiktok, and all the places doing this business model.   But it was inauthentic for me because I didn't shop a lot. I reused the pieces in my closet. So I learned early on that my readers were going to pick up on that, if that wasn't an authentic to me behavior to be out shopping constantly. And they did. And then I started saying, Well, how am I going to make money if I don't do this business model that everybody else is doing. But that's when they came to me with the idea. I didn't have to reinvent the wheel.   They were waiting. And because I attracted the right people to me, that we're also not into just going out and buying a lot of stuff. I was able to create a business that was really truly authentic to who and who I am as a person. And I think that that just strengthen that relationship and that trust factor there as well. Yeah,   Roy Barker  28:34 yeah, definitely. So talk about the blog for a few minutes. Did you start out just blogging? Or did you use social, like Instagram is huge on the pictures that were you putting a lot of stuff up there, as well.   Alison  28:49 So I started off just blogging, and this was in 2012. So at that point, Instagram was probably in its infancy, I had a Facebook page associated with my blog. But I wasn't really putting a whole lot into social media. At that point. One of the things that I want to stress is that social media is great. But you own your website, you own your assets, you don't own your social media following and if Facebook, Instagram, whatever goes away tomorrow, you lose all of those people. So if you're not building your own platform, then you're making a big mistake.   So I one of my biggest regrets is I did not start my email marketing list early enough. In my blogging career, I didn't started to play around two years in and then I started building my list. But that list is something else that you own. You always have those contacts they belong to you and you will always have those people to communicate with even if something else falls by the wayside. So I wasn't doing a lot of social media back then I do now. But I use social media more of the handshake and get to know me opportunity not as a sales opportunity.   We do run ads on Facebook and Instagram. And Pinterest is my top traffic. Refer to my website because I have a very visual company, and it works very, very well for me. And I do put some money into ads over there too. And I have specialists that kind of work in each of the social media platforms to help us get the most out of them. But at the end of the day, my program sales are my bread and butter, they're my revenue. And that's what I focus on is what assets do I own? And how can I feed into my program. And, and that's really, it's hard, because we get distracted by Oh, it's fun to have all these likes and followers here and there, and then our ego who loves that stuff.   But when it comes right down to it, my P&L statement comes at the end of the month, every month, and I take a look at that. And I realized, okay, this is what really matters is you know, you know, getting people into the program, and social media is fine, to entertain and educate and inspire people and create authority, but at the end of the day, you've got to be feeding them into whatever your program product is, as well.   Roy Barker  30:59 Yeah, cuz two examples I like to give is that, no, we're on an income statement. Do you see Facebook likes listed on that. And also, as you know, this little Mexican restaurant we'd like to go to over here, you know, she brought the check one day and I said, oh, here, I got 1000 Facebook likes, I'll just put, you know, just take the tag out on my likes.   And you know, she didn't understand what I find. It's kind of funny, because we sometimes we do lose our way and think about these vanity metrics. Versus, you know, what does it take to put money in the bank account, which is what we do. So but you mentioned you didn't start your email list until later. So how did you grow that in the beginning, was it just word of mouth and other people sharing your blog on your website with their friends?   Alison 31:47 Yeah, so it was mostly just organic traffic. For the most part, I was serving a niche that no one was at that point, which was really helping work from home moms and stay at home moms feel stylish and not in the sense that they had to be dressed up. But more about cute, casual put together looks like t shirts and jeans and sneakers, nothing that was really, very like haute couture high fashion.   And there weren't a lot of blogs out there at the time that were like that. So back in the early days of blogging, we do something called blog hops. And we would host them with other bloggers. And essentially, it was this piece of code that you would put in a blog post, and people can link up their blog posts to it. And I think that a lot of my growth came through the top because people would hop through the different blogs and comment on them, and would start following them that way.   So it was really a cool way to create, you know, like viral hits on your site by collaborating with other bloggers. And I brought a lot of traffic in that way. And I also started out with a few bloggers that were in my circle that were just getting started with me. And we're kind of blowing past me at that point, if I'm being honest. It's funny now because I've kind of like been in, in the long, like the long haul for so long that everything is sort of leveled out.   And I'm kind of going like this now or they're kind of like this, but they were doing a different business model than me it was all about the affiliate commission's model. But that group of core bloggers that I started with, we all just kind of lifted each other up at the same time too. And we're sharing each other's content, and just getting everyone's names out there at the same time. Yeah,   Roy Barker  33:25 it's important to, you know, kind of beat run your own race be in your own lane, you know, we need to know what the competition is doing. We need to check it out and be, don't be blind to it. Because we can learn a lot from their research their mistakes and their successes. But when we look at are we successful versus somebody else, those pictures are always the reality, you know, we see the guy with the new car and the new boat, but we really don't even know if he owns the old, he knows he owns any one of those. So just if you have if you're passionate, you got your plan, just you know, work your plan and keep moving forward.   Alison  34:04 100% Yes. Now that consistency beats anything else, you know, just showing up every single day and doing it over the long haul?   Roy Barker  34:12 Yeah. Which kind of brings up the next question I had on the there's always a number of experts weighing in on the number of blog posts we need to make per week. How long do they all need to be? So in the beginning, when you were starting out, what was your averages? And generally what were you putting out?   Alison  34:31 Yeah, so it's interesting because you can talk to people today who say blogging is dead, most of those people would be millennials or younger and I kind of get where they're coming from. However, blogging is not dead at all. If you are wanting any kind of search engine optimization on your site, if you want to hit if you want traffic, you should be blogging, curious, unless you're gonna pay some SEO expert to do a bunch of work for you on the back end and get traffic to your website, blogging is still an incredibly powerful tool. And I went 100%. And still totally on board with it. In the beginning, I was creating probably around five to six pieces of content a week, which was a lot. So I was blogging at normal daily basis in the beginning.   And I did that for, you know, consistently for almost two years. The great thing about that was not only were my people getting to know me, knowing that I was showing up consistently, but Google was, you know, crawling my site every single time I put that new content out there, and creating all of this great stuff on the back end, that I'm still benefiting from to this day. And I talked to an SEO expert last week. And I said, I'm kind of embarrassed to say this, but I've never done paid search engine optimization. And he said, Well give yourself some grace, because I want to tell you that you are ranking organically on 90 unique keywords. And that's amazing.   And he said, that's the result of you, just blogging all these years, and putting that content out there. So yeah, so you don't have to do that much content if you don't want to. But if you are going to do it, just be consistent with it, don't do a blog post, you know, five times in one week, and then wait a month and do one more like commit to one blog post a week, or commit to one every two weeks or whatever, just make sure that you stay on a schedule, because that also helps the people that are following you know, hey, she's going to show up with new stuff now.   And then what I also do is I send out a newsletter once a week on Wednesday mornings, I've been doing this for ever since I started my email list. And I put all of the blog posts in that newsletter, so they can click through and visit anything that they may have missed. We pull evergreen content, because there's so much out there, we don't have to reinvent the wheel with content, you can repurpose that your people don't care, they will read it again, they might get something different out of it this time than they did the first time. So don't think that you constantly have to always be creating content, either you can go back and pull up some of the stuff that you've done in the past to   Roy Barker  36:55 Yeah, so how long were when you were putting out four or five a week? How long were those typically, word count.   Alison  37:04 Typically, you know, no more than 500 to 700 words. And I could get away with that, because I was putting a lot of outfit photos in there. So images, images can definitely you know, take the place of putting in a lot of you know, words. And if you're going to using a lot of images in your blog post, just remember that your images have tags on them also. So we're you know, kind of like getting into the technical part of this, because I'm an engineer, I got to do it. You know, use that to your advantage because you can rename your images with those image tags. And they will also index in Google so that when people put in key words, and they stick to the search terms, then your images will pop up to and they can find you that way. Yeah,   Roy Barker  37:47 yeah, definitely pictures and videos, anything we can plug in there. But because there's always this, it's kind of shifted used to it was that, you know, 800 is a pretty good target. And then now I see a lot like 2000 2500 words, and it can depend on the industry that you're in, I'm just I don't long attention span. So for me 6, 7, 8 800 words is probably just long enough for me to look at get all the information I need. So I think that's it's a good point to make.   Because sometimes people get so caught up in, you know, this crazy word count that they don't do anything. And that analysis paralysis, sometimes it's, you know, just keep if you're consistently put out the 700 800 words, you can see, as you know, you're a great representative of what can happen if you just stay after it. And as far as the indexing, you're right, I think the putting good content out is is definitely the way to the top of Google.   And we have to make it good. There's a lot of behind the scenes on that, because you know, Google likes to rank for the experience of their consumer. So obviously, make sure that we're giving them good, consistent content that you know, that they're enjoying, and that's easy to read and all those other things. Any other tips along those lines that you have that you did?   Alison  39:11 Yeah, so YouTube is really powerful too. So if you google virtually any person or business, one of the first things that shows up on that first page from Google is their YouTube videos, if they have a YouTube presence, if you're creating any kind of video content whatsoever, if it's on Instagram for igtv, if it's on Facebook, if you're doing live, download that content and upload it to YouTube, because that is really going to help your ranking and Google loves to show the YouTube results.   So you know, we we definitely utilize video in that way and I feel like video is such a powerful way to connect with your audience to all of the platform's are rewarding it now Instagrams loving real, those are this short little 30 to 60 second video 15 to 6o second videos that that people are doing now and I've been resistant to some of the newer social media platforms. I'm really not sure like, what, where should I be spending my time, right?   But I did finally become a late adopter to tik tok. And that's another place where you don't have to pay to play yet. And if you feel like there's something that you can share on tik tok, I created a video two weeks ago, I'm very new to the platform, I had maybe like 40 followers. And over a single weekend, it got 150,000 views and I was at 5000 followers in a single weekend. So content is still very much able to go viral on tik tok.   And if you don't think it's your demographic, let me tell you that it is your demographic, my 50 year old husband system lets you sit back all day long, like I my women are over 40 but do my program and for the most part, I was like they're probably not Tick tock, well, heck, yes, they are, they are on Tick Tock and they are watching the videos. So don't discount that. And it can definitely lead to growing, you know, getting your name out there and growing your platform and doing it in a free way, which is something that's incredibly hard to do right now on Instagram and Facebook, everything is, is pay to play and a lot of those arenas.   Roy Barker  41:12 Well, just a small Tick Tock story, you know, we were the same way, neither one of us because, you know, I just jokingly said, well, you're not gonna see me out there dancing, or, you know, putting any crazy moves on there, for sure. But a guy just said, Look, just go reserve your names, just in case, you know, things changed later on. So we did and then but now we have gotten hooked that, you know, in the morning, we were drinking coffee, we've got a couple people.   It's they're not selling anything, but just a couple people we like to follow and look and see what's going on. So it's interesting that you know, like, people of our age have, you know, are looking at Tick Tock on a daily basis. So I think it's interesting. Any other thing you mentioned earlier, just want to touch on briefly, I know we're getting long on time. But that content repurpose and content, when you write a lot of blogs. And when you have that inventory, it makes it so much easier for your social media campaigns.   Because you know, like us, we will break up our videos into a couple smaller pieces to use, we will pull you know, specific quotes or couple sentences even from an episode and from our blogs to use. So really, it's because there are a lot of people that struggle like I don't even know what to put up on social media. But say, if you're blogging and doing these other things, you've got the content, you just have to figure out how to use it.   Alison  42:37 It's true. And if you have one piece of Cornerstone content, you can take that and you can repurpose it across all your platforms. So say for instance, if you start you can start with a blog post, or you can start with a video if you start with a video as the cornerstone content, you can take that video, have it completely, you know, transcribed on a service, there's a bunch of free services out there that do that, that will transcribe that for you make a blog post out of that, embed your video in the blog post, then take you know 10 second clips out of that video, use it on your social media create quote cards out of that, you can just take it and put it everywhere.   You can show up on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, your own blog, tik tok, all of it just from this one Cornerstone piece of content. And I think that that's super important for everybody to realize, because you don't have the same followers on all those platforms. So not everybody's going to be seeing that. And just taking that one piece of content really save you so much time and energy and effort thinking that you have to do all of these things for all of these different platforms, because you really don't.   Roy Barker  43:42 Right, right. Exactly. Well, Alison, I want to thank you so much for taking time out of your day. It's been a pleasure speaking with you. And I think it's such a great success story. I think there's so many people that can follow in your footsteps. So a couple things tell us. I know you've got a lot going on. But tell us about the website about the Outfit Formulas. And then of course, about your book.   Alison  44:06 Sure, yes. So you can find my blog and it's just really, it still exists as a free resource for women to really kind of help them on that style journey to give them affordable options. For pieces that work for everybody, every budget, no exceptions. I have my first book coming out September 14, it is The Ultimate Book of Outfit Formulas. It's already hitting some bestseller lists. So I'm really excited about that. And I'm launching the Outfit Formula Fall Capsule wardrobe in September as well. So it is going to be a really fun and busy month but lots of really good stuff going on. You can learn more about that at and the book is sold in on Amazon and stores everywhere. Okay.   Roy Barker  44:46 Yeah, great. Yeah, you're gonna have a I think this is the end of August. We're talking right now. So you're gonna have a busy? Probably six or eight weeks coming up getting it? Yeah, for sure. Yeah. You'll have to come back. Well, maybe we'll You rest up in October, November, but you have, and tell us how it's going.   Because that's that's another important part is I like to keep up with guests, especially who were, you know, have something launches like this going on, it'd be nice to come back and see you know, how that went things that you've learned from it and just be able to keep our listeners updated. So that way, I love to do that. I forgot to ask what is a tool or a habit? What is something that you use in your daily life that you feel adds a lot of value? Personal professional, either one?   Alison  45:32 Yeah. So I would have to say my planner, I know it sounds so basic, but I have an hourly planner that I've kept ever since I first started blogging in 2012. Because I feel like if I can keep myself accountable on an hourly basis, that I never waste time. And one of the most important things I do in there is I put non negotiable things in this calendar, like getting showered, getting dressed for the day, working out the things that are important to myself care and filling my cup up. Because that's what makes me a better wife, a better mom a better leader a better everything. Yeah,   Roy Barker  46:05 All right, that's awesome. Well, again, y'all reach out, take a look at all of Alison's content. And we'll get her back on here. Tell us how this next few months goes for. So that's gonna do it for this episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course, I'm your host Roy, you can find us at We're on all the major podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify.   If we're not a one you listen to reach up, be glad to get it added to make your listening easier. We're also on all the major social media networks probably hang out on Instagram a little bit more than others. So reach out we'd be glad to interact with you over there and a video of this interview will go up when the episode goes live. So until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.
47:05 01/11/2022
What Are Great SEO, SEM, and Inbound Marketing Strategies?
What Are Great SEO, SEM, and Inbound Marketing Strategies? Featuring Steve Wiideman What Are Great SEO, SEM, and Inbound Marketing Strategies? Having the best website in your space is just the start. If no one is reading it then is serves no purpose adds no value. Today you have to work hard to drive the right traffic to your site, potential buyers. Those who are buyers are just vanity numbers. Use a combination of SEO, SEM, and targeted inbound marketing strategies to help prospects find your site About Steve Specializing in strategic planning for multi-location and franchise SEO campaigns, Steve Wiideman, of Wiideman Consulting Group, considers himself a scientist and practitioner of local and e-commerce search engine optimization and paid search advertising. He is the author of SEO Strategy & Skills, a college textbook through Stukent. Wiideman has played a role in the inbound successes of brands that have included Disney, Linksys, Belkin, Public Storage, Honda, Skechers, Applebee's, IHOP, Dole, and others, with emphasis on strategy, planning, and campaign oversight.  In 2018, Wiideman won Industry MVP at a popular SEO conference (C3 Searchies) and helped Meineke earn the NatLo Top 30 in Local Marketing by Placeable.   Wiideman and his team have worked with Fortune 500 companies and small start-ups alike for over 22 years. His personal experience ranges from having managed or assisted with large sponsored ads budgets, to turning brick and mortar businesses into Internet profit machines using SEO best practices learned while studying under the world’s best organic and paid search optimization specialists.  Wiideman conducts online video and in-person presentations at various conferences and tradeshows throughout America on such topics as the history of SEO, link-earning, multi-location ranking factors, pay-per-click advertising, responding to search engine updates, and much more. He also is a frequent panelist at online marketing events and speaks at many California meet-up groups and networking events.  Wiideman designed and teaches the Website Optimization and Strategic Search Engine Marketing online course for California State University Fullerton, the SEO Tools and Analytics course at University of California San Diego, and was recently commissioned to write a textbook for a popular online learning service for colleges. Wiideman's information products of the 2000s have been adopted by thousands of small- and mid-sized businesses as a model for building websites on a platform optimized for higher placement in search results and social media destinations. As a consultant, Wiideman has developed creative strategies that garner organic links and citations to web properties, in addition to strategizing website migrations, upgrades, and social media integration. Wiideman has been mentioned and featured in a number of popular publications including: CNN Money Entrepreneur Magazine Marketing Sherpa National Journal Response Magazine Vice Magazine Visibility Magazine CNBC Vice / Motherboard Fortune Magazine Local Search Association American Express  Wiideman is currently working on a project to provide his knowledge in the SEO industry in the form of a 6-week online training program.  Steve’s current projects include a transparency service for small businesses, along with experiments his team is running to better understand the impacts of voice search, featured snippets, and structured data. How to reach Steve Wiideman: By Phone: (562) 732-4417 By Email: By Social: @seosteve | Business of Business Podcast Offer: CODE: SEOSTEVE (complimentary access) Full Transcript Below What Are Great SEO, SEM, and Inbound Marketing Strategies? Featuring Steve Wiideman Tue, 8/17 12:11PM • 45:04 SUMMARY KEYWORDS people, page, seo, work, clients, website, search, pay, site, google, create, business, ad, set, questions, important, buy, steve, put, users SPEAKERS Steve, Roy Barker   Roy Barker  00:03 Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that talk to a diverse set of topics. But we want to do is hopefully we can maybe bring up some topics that you may not have thought about. Or if you have something that's keeping you up at night, we can definitely provide you some information and some professionals to help you there.   Today, we're excited to have Steve Wiideman with us He is a writer, a scientist, professor and practitioner of search optimization, Steve lives and breathes and eats SEO, SEM and inbound marketing, when he's not leading his team of SEO consultants for franchise, multilocation and e commerce brands. He's a cheeseball romantic, entertaining dad, and world traveler with a passion for life, embracing culture and diversity, while serving as an adjunct professor at UCSD and CSUF. Steve's also building the Academy of Search while volunteering time to help improve transparency and industry standards as an agency trainer. Steve, welcome to the show.   Steve  01:13 Thanks for Thanks for having me. And I know, you're just hearing a little bit of my bio brings back so many memories of you know, the reason I I decided to leave, you know, the the employee role and, you know, kind of venture off on my own as an entrepreneur and how scary that journey was.   Roy Barker  01:29 Yeah, well tell us a little bit about that. Tell us a little as you know, as was marketing something, or SEO, something that you've always been into? Or have you kind of grown into that through your career?   Steve  01:40 Sure. So I was actually started in web design, while I was still in the military, it was the late 90s. And, you know, we just discovered this, this whole thing called web design and building websites. And I don't know, I just, I just found an interest in it. So when I wasn't, you know, on the on the field and, you know, playing with, you know, with rifles and, and guns and so forth, we, you know, we're playing around with gopher servers and and you know, Wi Fi and I was part of an operation at the time where I was teaching soldiers how to how to use laptops to be able to measure and fire Javelin missiles, right over hills, it was really kind of neat.   So So yeah, I just, I just discovered a love for all things. And when I when I got back home, and I was working for IBM, I had a lot of friends that said, Hey, I got a DJ business. Can you build me a website? Hey, I've got a, you know, a friend of mine who, who has a couple of limousines. But you know, he's having trouble and and other people using the internet, you know, trying to be found. And so I'm like, Well, I guess I could try to figure this stuff out. Right. And I like designing websites, let me see what I can do.   And before I knew it, I was hooked. I was addicted to, you know, all things, digital marketing, how do I get more traffic. And, you know, two years later, after sort of blank being Neo from the Matrix, and just diving in a day and night into this thing, the DJ comes to me and he says, You got to turn it off. I I'm one guy, I can't do all I can't have this many people calling me and I'm like, I might be onto something here. And so I went back to scrub   Roy Barker  03:12 them to have   Steve  03:13 I know, right? So I so I went back to school, and I got a degree in business management. And I learned how web servers work and got to install web servers, I learned how databases worked and learned everything about SQL and how databases are created and how to never type in the words DROP TABLE into programming and destroy everything. Learn some programming, you know, we started with like, was a QBasic, and then C++ and a little bit of JavaScript. I'd already been coding HTML when I went back to school.   So that part of it was pretty easy for me. But then I learned how to put all that stuff together the graphic design that the server that the databases, you know, put all that into a project so that I can take a site from conception to launch to all the way to the marketing side of it. And my first job out of college, I left the world of IBM over there and went to a kind of a startup It was called Paciolan. In fact, Yulin was like Ticketmaster, we ran 20% of the ticketing sales for for the MLB.   And we did theaters and whenever you book a ticket, you always see, you know, even you dots, whatever their site was, and that's where the ticketing thing happened. And that's where I got to really, you know, show them what I was made of as it pertained to digital marketing, not just with HTML and JavaScript, but I also got to do some things with email marketing. So I just I just discovered a passion for all things digital and you know, made that my career.   Roy Barker  04:42 Yeah, that's a cool story. I guess. I'm not that in depth, but you know, like this, you know, I was of a certain age when this the, I guess the digital revolution came along. And so, I've always been interested in it and it's, you know, just like yourself, you've seen such a change that used to, if you put up a website, you are probably virtually one of the only ones in your industry that had one up.   Steve  05:06 So put on your business card, but it wasn't good for anything else.   Roy Barker  05:10 Right. And, you know, you gain traffic just because there's nobody else in your space. But I think now we've evolved to, there's so much stuff out there that you know, you really have to find ways not only in your web design, to set yourself apart and capture that audience. But also you have to have a way for people to find you. I mean, it's this is like being its like looking for your friend and Times Square on New Year's Eve. It's tough.   Steve  05:38 And a lockdown taught us a lesson that we can't, we can't depend on people just strolling by our store and coming in as a customer is not going to work like that anymore. We have to, we have to be online, we have to pay attention to make sure that the products and services that we sell we appear for in search results in Google and Bing and YouTube. Wherever people are looking for what we have and what we know about what we do. We want to make sure that we have content there to drive customers who either have an affinity or a specific demand for what we have.   So many so many businesses just didn't realize that and when that pandemic hit, they're like, the phone stopped ringing. Even even our clients, Applebee's Nighthawk who you know, between the two of them have like 3500, you know, stores locations, you know, when when this pandemic happened? They're like, Oh, my God, what are we going to? Do? We need to put all our, our marketing on pause and stop. And we said, No, no, we're gonna, we're gonna help you through this, don't pause your marketing, pause spending if you need to, but we're going to carry the load for you. And what we ended up doing was creating delivery and takeout pages across every single location.   So if you were to do a search for breakfast delivery near me, or breakfast delivery in your city, and a lot of other queries, for restaurant terms, for Applebee's, you would actually see takeout curbside carside related keywords will drive you to their their little pages that we have create. And because of that, we think we played a pretty significant role in keeping the kitchen lights on during a period where those restaurants were about to shut down. And and now now because you know, there's two demands, right demand one was, how do we get people to still buy from us when you know, they're locked in their homes? Now the demand is, everybody's here, but all our employees quit, and they don't want to come back. So now we're launching job pages.   And we have job pages now across every single location. And now they're getting phone calls from people saying, Yeah, I need a job. My unemployment is going to run out in September, and I need to start, you know, looking for something new. And so, so now we're trying to satisfy that through digital marketing through creating a web page on the website that targets the specific thing that you know, we're trying to drive people in from,   Roy Barker  07:46 yeah, no, that's a great idea. Because, you know, we saw such a shift in such a hurry. And I think that the the companies, like you said, that could adapt, they're the ones that are still here, because there was a lot that either they couldn't some resistance or whatever, but unfortunately, they're not still in business anymore.   So but the other thing is, like, there was that big ramp up. And I don't think we're gonna see it go back down to pre COVID levels. I mean, not but I'll ask you, I think I can speak from my point of views that we would order some grocery items off of Amazon, or the local company every now and then. Yeah, yeah. But now it's like we are pretty much I haven't been to the grocery store, you know, probably in the last year, and we've just gotten what we do everything online that we possibly can. So you know, people like me, we're not going back.   It's just a waste of time to go in there when we could sit down and place our order and get it delivered. But What are y'all seeing, you know, across the industries that you serve? Do you feel like we're going to maintain a certain level, there's   Steve  08:57 a massive retention, right? When I look at the data, and granted month over month, the numbers are dropping, right month over month, they're slowly dropping more people are going out. They are kind of getting back to somewhat of normal life, but it's a very slow decrease. We're looking at like three to 5% per month, going down where people are, are looking for directions more than they're looking to place an order online.   So I'd say it depends on on the industry for shopping and clothes shopping. My wife still loves to go into the stores show $3 and torrid. I kid you not and she'll come out and she'll see me hanging from the rafter and like no, no, but just mentally yeah and and yeah, so so there there are circumstances where people still do want to shop but you know offline but I do agree. I think I think a lot of a lot of people have assimilated to the idea that they can purchase and buy things online Amazon where you can see Amazon stocks, right?   It's it's pretty obvious that that everybody is latched on to the idea that they can get whatever they need from Amazon which which is a bit of a Because there are, there are some really, there are some really good local businesses that we love to patronize and visit that, you know, that are probably not going to make it because the traffic just hasn't gone back, even though that three to 5% probably helps a little bit, they're coming out of a deficit, you know, during a period where, you know, and for restaurants, some of the restaurants had to buy all this patio stuff, and then they had to buy heaters, we know when it got cold.   And so save all this debt that they created to be able to stay in business, right and, and if it doesn't come back right away, like a hockey stick on a graph, you know, they're, they're gonna have to get more loans and get more and more debt. So I, I really feel for the small business owner. And I would encourage anybody, you know, who who feels comfortable going out to go out, patronize the local businesses, they're, they're doing online to purchase from them online, even though their system isn't as efficient as an Amazon or as, as you know.   Some of the bigger names that are out there, the targets and Walmart's, you know, put up with the wacky system, you know, and then go in and tell them, show them your experience so that they can work with their development teams to get better. But don't just not patronize them, because their mobile sites are awful. We're trying as digital marketers to help them right now. But they don't have a lot of budget. In many cases, we're just doing it pro bono to try to help businesses that we care about.   Roy Barker  11:22 Yeah, because I'm like you, we actually were having a conversation the other day about a little town just not too far from here, that I spent some time in growing up. And I was thinking that the field that you got, when you walked into this old hardware store, they still had the wood floors that were all worn down the you know, like washers and screws and everything were in these boxes, and I was just thinking, you know, how far that we have come that.   The sad thing is, those people aren't in business anymore, it's made our life a little easier, you know, ordering online, but you know, there's got, I think we have to have a good balance. Because sometimes we do need to go in and actually see this thing or touch this thing or the social contact as well. Sometimes you just want to go out and see people.   Steve  12:09 So so for you business owners that are listening, I think there's some things that you can do with your webmaster to prioritize and maybe get a little bit more visibility when people are searching locally. The first thing I'd mentioned is mobile experience, really, you know, go through your website and place an order and see what it's like, Can you do it from your thumb? Can you do it without having to fill in information on a keyboard?   Can you tap your way through an experience and, and pay with something like Google pay or Apple Pay or Amazon, you know, without having to put in credit card information? Can you can you make that experience for users so seamless that, you know, they can literally find what they need and purchase and get out in a few seconds. Accessibility is important. Make sure using large fonts, make sure that you're not putting images or text on images so that those people that are have visual impairments, you know, can't see it. And search engines can't always read the text in an image either. It's really like binary code to them.   Yeah, making sure that you know that you've thought about security and accessibility, if they don't see that, that little secure lock on the browser, they're probably going to go back to Google and choose a competitor. And over time, Google's gonna say one, that must not have been a very helpful result, I'm going to demote it and put this other more secure website up, you know, make sure that you're you're thinking about privacy. And if someone's concerned about what you're doing with their data, that, you know, they can click on the privacy policy, see that it was updated recently, and know what you're doing with your information. So privacy, security, accessibility, mobile experience, all of those things are, you know, create a strong foundation for a successful digital marketing campaign, not just for keyword rankings, but also for users who, you know, get to from referral, and so forth. Now, that's   Roy Barker  13:53 an important part, it's, I've seen to have talked about this on maybe two or three shows of late is that it's, it's important for companies to go through that buying process, because you know, what I've found is, you know, get all excited, ready to buy and get all the stuff in, and then the submit button is below the screen, and you can't move it up or, you know, there's Yes, there's this and there's that. And so, also, how many clicks does it take? Or, you know, how burdensome is it compared to others in your field, you know, make it as easy as possible.   And I think that was one thing. You know, we could say about Steve Jobs, I think he, you know, pretty much mandated his engineers, it needs to be three clicks or less to make this thing, you know, to make this procedure work. And it's important. I mean, unfortunately, our attention spans have grown short, and our patients have grown short. And so it's like you go on to the site, and if it's not working, close it and move on to the next one.   Steve  14:55 And if we're used to a two second experience, where we know exactly what to do, when we You get to a website, and some website that hasn't updated itself is taking longer than that. You know, it's why should I have to wait, I can go back to a site that's going to be faster. And that's, that's going to hurt us in the orders we get. And over time, we're going to sort of our website's gonna fizzle away and not appear in search results anymore. Right? Yeah.   So I would think, you know, also, there's, there's probably three areas that I might focus on, if you're a small business or midsize business, you've got somebody who manages your website, hopefully, you have a team of people that one who focuses on the writing to create content that people are searching for, to, you know, the person who's in charge of the technical pieces to make that mobile experience great. And three, somebody who can help promote that website.   But you're going to get with them every month. And you're going to say, how are we doing in improving these three areas? How are we improving, you know, our relevancy to what people are looking for? When I searched for shoe repair in Dallas? I see 10 pages that show up on page one, I see us on page two, what are these guys on page one doing that we're not? Let's look at their titles, let's look at their descriptions. Let's look at their content. Let's look at it on mobile, let's look at it on desktop, then let's come up with a better page that is more helpful than what the other 10 pages have. The second thing we want to look at every month is, you know, how are we improving our visibility off the website.   So somebody needs to be out there making connections with similar brands, if your shoe repair, maybe you're gonna work with a company that sells shoes, but doesn't repair them, or a few of them to build those partnerships, where they're going to refer business to you and maybe even link to your website, those links, Google's going to crawl and follow and pass some voting power to and move your whole website up for a various number of keywords. And the last thing is, when those 10 results do come up in the search, how do you stand out? How do you stand out so that you get click on More? Do you stand out because you've put your customer ratings on there? And they can see five stars under your listing?   Do you stand out because you've answered some FAQ questions, and I have two other listings underneath your listing with some questions and answers. Do you stand out because you have a video or a image thumbnail next to your listing, because you've told your developer to add some code to your site to make sure that we've got, you know, a really standout experience in the search results. So be focused on those three areas every month with your team and set some KPIs some key performance indicators of of where you want to be in a year from now, every month you sit down, how's our relevancy? How's our off page visibility? How's our search experience for users that do see us in search? And if you're nurturing those three things, you know, you're gonna see success and you know, search engine optimization.   Roy Barker  17:39 Yeah, important part that, you know, this isn't like the rotisserie of the night you see on late night TV that you set it and forget it. I mean, it because I   Steve  17:49 missed those days, that was so easy. Just throw up 50 words on a page somewhere, you know, let it go. And then two months later, you get traffic? Yeah, right, it was early,   Roy Barker  17:59 because if you even get it dialed in today, things change so much tomorrow, that, you know, you just have to stay on top of it. And there's, you know, competitors moving up and down,   Steve  18:08 not gonna rest on their laurels. Right. That's for sure.   Roy Barker  18:11 So what I don't want to do not trying to stump you, but do you know, right off the top of your head? What is the percentage of people that actually would roll to page two to look for results? Is that they still publish those?   Steve  18:25 Sure? Well, it varies based on the query, right? What's your intent? Is your intent doing research? Are you doing a what, who how, why strategies, tips, ideas, if you're doing more of a research search, you'll go as far as page three. But if you're looking for a product or service, if that product is 20 bucks, 50 bucks, you're probably not going to go past the first three results, you're going to get what you need, as long as you feel like this is a sign I trust. This is a site that I've I'm familiar with, because I've seen it other places, and they've helped me in the past with questions I've had, I've heard of them, you know, then you're not going to go past the first three or four results.   If your product is over 50 bucks, if you're getting into the 200 300 400 range, then they might go to page two, because they they want to sort of price things out, they want to see the difference. That's the larger investment. You know, they want to make sure that they're getting value, not necessarily the best price, but value. And I think you can provide value by giving people a sense of guarantee that, you know, hey, if you're not happy with this product, we're going to, you know, make sure we send it back.   We're going to warranty it, here's why you should buy it from us and not go to Amazon and try to find a cheaper rate, the loyalty programs, the initial discounts that you get when you visit a website. So yeah, again, uh, you know, depending on the intent of what the user is searching for, if it's if it's something low cost, then I just need to search by it and be done. The first couple of results if it's, you know, search, but I want to make sure I'm getting value, you know, they'll go as far as page two, but if it's just informational.   They're going to Do all sorts of searches the probably even click on image search and video search and eventually go over to YouTube because image search isn't that great in Google, or video search isn't. And so they'll go over to YouTube and find you know exactly what they're looking for, for some of those queries.   Roy Barker  20:16 So another question I had is, can you tell us the difference between SEO and SEM,   Steve  20:23 of course, so So there's two ways to look at it. For us older veteran digital marketers, search engine marketing is the all encompassing umbrella of everything we do in search. It is, you know, optimizing for organic results. It's optimizing for universal search with our images and videos. It's having paid ads, you know, at the top for shopping ads for, you know, your static text ads. And so search engine marketing is sort of everything that you do for search.   But in some context and some functional roles, they've considered sem more on the paid search side, specifically around paid search ads. So you'll hear it both ways. For me, I like to look at search engine marketing, as paid and organic. But in a lot of business functions, they'll say there's SEO, the organic side and sem the paid side. And that's okay. I don't I don't know why it did that. 10 years ago, it did this little bit of a shift. But there's two ways of looking at now, the difference in the algorithms isn't that great, right? That the only major difference is, if you're willing to spend more on the ads, you have a higher probability of appearing more often, right?   It is an auction still, but the auction isn't strictly cost. The auction has a lot to do with quality and ad relevancy. Even even if you're willing to spend $100 a click, if you're sending somebody to a page that has nothing to do with the keyword that you're bidding on, Google's not going to display your listing. So there's still there's still that algorithm, but the principles are the same, right? It's making sure that that the relevancy is there, do we have an ad that's relevant to the keyword or an organic listing that's relevant to the keyword? When they get to our page? Is the content helpful? Is it accessible? Is it secure? are they paying attention to privacy? In Google ads, they'll actually, you know, disallow or disapprove an ad, if you don't have a privacy policy, and they won't tell you why you're just like, Why did my ad get disapproved, and you realize, because you didn't say what you're doing with their data. So so the algorithms are very similar.   And they're all focused around, you know, quality, relevancy, one of the most to actual to actual hacks that you could do to sort of marry, paid and organic. The first is, if you want a better score, and paid and pay less per click, make sure that the language that you use in the ad is represented on the page. So that way, when a user does see an ad, and they go to the page, like, yeah, that's exactly what I was expecting to see. But if you say, Here's why you should buy from us, and they go to the page, and it says, here's another reason why you should buy from us, you're like, wait a minute, what about what happened in the first reason, you know, so there's, there's a lot of that disconnect sometimes.   So that's one, the other thing to do is, is you take some of the data, after running your ads for a few months, you can take some of those search terms that actually triggered your ads, and move those over to your content strategy to make sure that you're addressing those keywords. From an organic standpoint. Now, you'll start to appear more often organically, because you're taking the you know, the the data from your paid search and applying it to organic, in fact, you're taking search terms that produce sales or leads for you so that you're getting higher quality clicks on organic, not just more traffic.   And then you take the same thing from your organic data, using Google's free Search Console tool, just go to Google Search Console, log in, go to this specific performance URL for the page, it'll give you a whole list of words that Google serve that listing for, take those words, print out all the weird stuff that doesn't make sense for you put it in an exact match and throw it into your Google Ads campaign. And watch your quality scores and cost per click, go performance go through the roof. Yeah. So yeah, so there's some things that you could do if you want to do both.   But having both does give you more visibility gives you more real estates, and the data shows that there's a higher likelihood of a searcher actually clicking on one of your listings if you've got both. So which one you do? I say, do both of them pay less overtime for the paid search while you continue to nurture organic? But I would say do both for sure.   Roy Barker  24:19 Yeah, and I think one thing I learned not long ago is, if you think about things, and in terms of Google and who they are and what they do, the best, I guess thing I heard about to put that in a concise manner is that, you know, they are very focused on user experience. And so kind of to what you were saying, if, if, if you provide a poor experience for their people that they're sending to you, they're going to figure that out. And then they're going to quit sending people so important to kind of keep that in mind.   Steve  24:50 Yeah, and if they've created a whole new dashboard for you, again, it's free. You just go to Google Search Console, and you'll go over to the tab that says core web vitals, and they'll have this whole list of things. that you can do to improve user experience, things like making sure that the content above the fold line on a mobile device loads faster, right? Maybe, Hey, move, move some of those images and pictures down so that people kind of get what they need right away. And then they can scroll and see some of that heavier content. security issues. privacy's not really something you see a lot in Search Console, but you see security in there.   If you've got some problems, where Google can't really figure out which version of a page to appear for though, they'll allow you in the URL parameters section to filter some of that stuff out and say, Hey, search engines don't go into this stuff. It's all duplicate of what I already have on the website, things like a print version of a page, like question mark print equals one in the URL, you don't need that just tell the search engines don't crawl those URLs.   They're just duplicate of, you know, the main page. So there's lots of things that that search console will help you to do for free and being has a tool set as well, that being webmaster tool set free to use, you just go in there claim your your site, they'll have you verify by adding a little piece of code to your site or through your registrar, and then they'll walk you through all the things that you can pay attention to.   Roy Barker  26:06 Okay, cool. Well, I want to switch over to just a minute to, I guess two more the business side of what you do, I know that, you know, you started doing this yourself. And now you've got a team that you manage, and, you know, I look at I'm, I'm more of the numbers guy on the spreadsheet. And so, you know, it's easier for me to manage a team, because two and two is always gonna should always equal four, there's really no interpretation of that.   But when you when you start talking about creative, you know, my creative or what I think is gonna differ from what you think. And so, you know, what are some of those challenges that you've had to overcome? And what are some solutions to, you know, go from, you know, the guy that was coding it to now managing a team,   Steve  26:51 I first thing that I first build I had to swallow, is that I couldn't do it myself. When I was early in my career, you know, I left the corporate world in 2010, I had to do everything myself, it's all I had, I had no, no other income than what I was bringing in with my freelance clients. And I had to do everything myself. But as I, as I was able to bring in sales people to help me sell some of the things that I was doing, they sold for three times as much as I was selling for, because they're salespeople, and I wasn't I was a tech geek.   So they, they saw the value in what we're providing with SEO, and they sold it accordingly. So I was able to make significantly more money and with that, instead of just saying, Hey, I'm gonna buy a mansion and sports cars, and whatever I reinvested and, you know, put it back into the business to get more people to help me to streamline, get, get more minimes, right, so that I wouldn't have to do all the work. I think that was that was something I learned right away is, you know, look at, look at the value of what you're providing.   And change your costs, if you need to, we have a friend of ours that works with us, who's called Mr. Charge Higher Prices. And he his thing is always charged more and have your clients thank you for it. And, and he and he hit it on the nail, because if you if you charge respective to the quality of what you're providing, people will want to pay it you don't have to sell they'll come to you because they heard you're the best at what you do.   And they're willing to pay, you know, what, what they feel is a reasonable value for it's not about the cost if they're, if they're clients that are looking for low cost cheap products, and that's what you do great. But if you're, if you have a lot of pride in what you do, then, you know, don't don't target those kind of clients don't look for that, you know, I'm looking for a cheap discount offer whatever look for somebody who knows that, you know, when we, when we go through an hour of planning with the client for their digital marketing, and they take that planning and update their website, and six months later, they're getting an extra 20 $30,000 a month in revenue from their site, and they paid us 200 bucks for that call.   Yeah, I mean, it's it's pretty easy to see, we know where some of the value can be in what we do in this industry. So how we differentiated ourselves before anything else was transparency coming from the corporate world and working for for Disney parks and resorts and an IBM and some of those other great brands. I had already, you know, established a sense of we're transparent about everything reporting what we do, how we operate, you know, we don't keep anything secret.   So with us, you know, when when we set up our project management system for our clients, we include the clients when we set up a Google Drive folder to store all the documents that we're working on, and don't keep anything local. We give the client's admin access to that so that they can pull it down whenever they want to and back it up or, or interact with us in the Google Sheets and Google Docs, we keep 100% transparency, so the client knows that we're not extorting them, they own it, they run it, we're just their wing man.   And, and that that gives that gives your client a sense of like a peace of mind, and they're never gonna want to leave because they know that if they go to another agency, or if they decide, you know what, I'm going to try another group to see if I can go faster. And that other groups gonna say, okay, we're not going to give you access to anything, we're not going to tell you about what we do, because that's our secret sauce. And when when you go away from us, we get to keep everything we did. And you're gonna have to start all over. And they're like, Yeah, no, this is my marketing. This is my brand. I'm gonna bring someone in who's going to support that not own that. Right. I think that's, that's what differentiated us. Yeah, yeah, I   Roy Barker  30:22 think it's important, you know, within reason that we can either focus on price, or we can focus on the value that we add. And, you know, my opinion, and what I've seen is, if you focus on price, there's, you're always going to be fighting that battle, somebody's always going to be trying to underprice you. And so, you know, making that switch to what value do we actually provide, because, you know, as a consumer, I buy from people I, like I buy from people I trust, and I'm willing to pay a premium for that, you know, for certain things, you know, I know, lower cost items is probably not as big of an issue.   But when we start talking about services and high dollar things, it makes a difference, because I want to know, you know, the things like you said that all this is my information, you're supporting me, you know, those are things that are important to me.   Steve  31:09 Absolutely. And we, we, we know, there's a lot of snake oil in SEO, and it gets a really bad name, sometimes to me, everybody, every business owner has gotten the call, hey, this is so and so with Google, it's really just some agency trying to sell them on some $200 a month product that does nothing for them other than extort them and take, you know, access away from their own tools. So we created a site called SEO verified. And basically, it's, it allows business owners to have this little interview sheet.   So when they're talking to new SEO companies, they can say, hey, by the way, do I have admin access to my analytics? Or do you own that? Do you? Do you own the content that you create for me? Or do I write asking all those important questions, so they don't have to worry about starting over if they decide to shift from one agency to another. And I thought it was a neat thing to do to kind of give back to the business community, we got a lot of negative feedback from some agencies when we first started it, because they're like, our business model is this, you know, if we give our client access to the site, they're gonna break things and hopefully break things. It's their fault.   That's because you didn't you didn't communicate with them about what you shouldn't shouldn't be doing. But it's their website, you can't block them from editing their own website, you know, right. So and I get it, you know, if the client goes in, strips out, all the keywords I used and titles and descriptions, and their rankings go down, and they come back later, and they're mad at me because their traffic slowed down, I get that.   But that's why we educate and collaborate with our clients ahead of time, let them know, by the way, any change you make to the website, let us know so that we can we can give you feedback, you know, when when applebees Nighthawk when they when they do press releases, they lead him in anything we can do from an SEO standpoint on this before we blast it out all over the internet. Sure, can you make sure not linking to the homepage, but to the actual specialist page, you know, things like that. So having that communication and that relationship with your clients prevents those things from happening.   So I think if you're if you're a business owner, whether you're doing digital marketing or something else, just just making sure your client has enough education on what they're buying. So that that they don't come back later and are disappointed setting the right expectations, of course, and, you know, making it very clear, here's, here's what you're purchasing, and here's what here's what's not included? And what you can do to you know, take care of those as   Roy Barker  33:27 well. Yeah, I think communication, you know, in any businesses, it's something we've gotten away from, but I think it's, it's an important factor from all aspects and that education part as well. But unfortunately, you know, it's cuz when I think about is that guy that you know, the guy that calls you up and says, Oh, my gosh, I've got this plan, you know, if you'll just send me 200 bucks, we're gonna get this started. And they don't take the time to Who are you? I mean, you may sell, you may sell this widget, but what's your positioning versus the next guy? You know, and I just always say, that's a huge red flag with any service. If somebody doesn't ask you a lot of questions about   Steve  34:09 that those dialers now, too, it's so ridiculous. Yeah, I know exactly what I mean, when I'm, when I'm talking to somebody I really want to work with, I take the time to do the research, it takes about 30 minutes to an hour to come up with with enough information to to help give them something for free. And if they take that and run with it and never hire you, that's fine, they're still gonna know who you are, and remember you and you're probably gonna get a referral out of it down the road. But at least you're providing value and showing where you know where the sort of the sense of deficit is, and where the opportunity is, Hey, I took a look at the current competitive landscape.   And it turns out, you've got about 26% of the share voice and your competitor has 30. Here's what they're doing. Here's some suggestions on what you can do to combat that. We'd love to do a full analysis and see how we can help you build out an entire roadmap. But here are some starter things that we have identified and looking at your top competitors, your top keywords, where your competitors are getting links from that you're not. And it gives you a starting point of some things to work with. And if you want more of that we're around, you know,   Roy Barker  35:11 you mentioned this earlier, but people are concerned that they're given the secret sauce away, and I kind of look at it the other way is that, first off, we're educating number one priority. And then sometimes though, we can actually show people why this is difficult, why you need to hire because when they get this, they're like, Oh my gosh, I don't even know, this looks like it's, you know, written in a different language.   Steve  35:34 Right. That's what got me into teaching. I saw that so much that I said, you know, what, I've got so much in my head that I want to share that I want to get out so many, you know, 1000s of title tag tests that we've done to see, you know, what, what users respond to, and so many usability tests and things. So I said, I'm going to start teaching. So I teach at Cal State Fullerton, an SEO strategy course. And they throw me into the landscape class.   And then on the analytic side, at UC San Diego, I get to teach, you know, web, SEO tools and analytics. So we get to kind of show students how to create KPI sheets, so they know, you know how to how to start with a baseline report, here's where we are. And here's where I think we can be in a year from now. And that Fullerton community, geez, some SEO, web design, sem, website promotion, you know, we kind of do all these different these courses for the digital marketing.   And with those same thing, I get to put these videos together, here's, here's how to do it, and present it when you're going out into the job world. So that you're you're educating first, and that you're creating a roadmap and a strategy. First, you're not just doing SEO, you're not just doing Facebook, you've got an actual roadmap for technical, contextual and off page. No,   Roy Barker  36:47 no, that's so important. I was gonna ask you to about the Academy of Search that you're building? Can you tell us a little bit about that?   Steve  36:53 Sure. Sure. So you know, when you get to 11 years, you know, of, you know, teaching and consulting and training you, you start to put a lot of content together a lot of best practices. So we decided, let's start creating some videos recorded one that mimics my course sets, Cal State Fullerton, in fact, if your listeners want to take that one at Academy of Search, just use my handle SEO Steve as a code and you get free access. We're revamping it, but that code will still be good. So you know, just write it down log in, you know, make sure you have it.   And the next few months, we're going to be launching a series of smaller bite size videos, not a full six week course like the one that's on there right now. So if you want to just learn something with on page optimization, how do I get my one page to rank better, there'll be something on that there's going to be one on how to use basic Google Analytics. So if you're just new to analytics, here's, here's a way that you can dive in and get just what you need as a starting point. So we're, we're putting those together.   And it's just one of the thing, few things that we're trying to do to scale as, as a consultancy, there's only so many hours in a day. Right? Right. So we figured let's, let's put some videos up, let's see, if we can, we can put some, you know, $30 $40 videos up and, and if it works, and people get the training they want, maybe they'll buy more of them. Maybe though, they'll come back to us and ask us to do a strategy forum, you know, and we can apply what they've already put into it.   So. So it's a cool way to give back to create a low cost way to learn. But it's based on corporate experience in my days, you know, at Disney as well as, you know, 11 years of consulting for some of the most exciting brands, you know, that that you probably know of?   Roy Barker  38:36 That's awesome. And we appreciate the code. And I'll be sure to include all that in the show notes as well. But yeah, that's awesome. I think I love the approach, because again, you know, there's going to be certain number of people that just either aren't going to do anything, or they may dabble a little bit themselves, but this just really shows that you need an expert in the you know, in really whatever space it doesn't matter if it's SEO Marketing bookkeeping, is that, you know, we're all good at we all have our own talent. So we need to hire talent to do these things and really make it count.   Steve  39:07 But I wouldn't have made it had I not brought in the people that I brought it in to help with without, you know, Brian Fernandez, our creative director, we wouldn't be half as as presentable at conferences and presentations that we've done, you know, without Hanzel over here, I wouldn't have been able to manage those 3500 locations that we take care of with our, our restaurant chains, you know, so you're right, bringing in the right people that have experience, you know, and, and maybe maybe there's a way to do it for business owners where you bring them in to set the foundation for you, and give some training to a less expensive resource to manage it.   Some people are fine with that some people aren't looking for a career. They're looking for a project, they'll come in help you set everything up for you the way that it should be set up, train somebody who's fresh out of college who wants to learn, especially for small businesses, and then they run the fort and if they need that other person, you just pay time material for consulting. I think that's a, that's a great strategy for businesses that don't want to hire six people full time, bring those experts in, lay out the groundwork and then hire somebody more affordable at a school.   Roy Barker  40:10 Yeah. And then with this, the gig economy and with these sites where you can go out and hire professional, you know, what we call fractional? Yes. You know, it's I mean, it's such a, it's really a nice innovation, because, you know, I can't afford to put on $100,000 a year, you know, CFO or something like that, but I certainly reach out and, you know, get it on those project base, which is a lot better, you know, in the long term to you can actually afford that.   So absolutely love. Great advice. Well, Steve, I appreciate you taking time out of your day to be with us such great information. Before we get away a couple questions. Like what is a tool or a habit, something that you do or use every day that you feel like adds a lot of value? Can it be professional or personally, the one   Steve  40:56 Oh God, I have so many apps on my phone for productivity, I can't even tell you. I don't know my favorite right now. I'm using Evernote, right I use that for everything I journal there every day I i staged my my to do's of things that I'm working on and focusing on Evernote spend, you know, a pretty awesome productivity tool for me. I'd say that's, that's super helpful. For digital marketers, I'd say my favorite tools, SEM Rush right now, for smaller businesses as SEM Rush, is a great suite, to manage your digital marketing.   But yeah, I'd say I use that. And I use Slack with my team with, you know, other groups that I'm in, it's helped me collaborate with other experts in ways that I couldn't have done and then social media. So I'd say keep Slack on your phone, join some Slack groups of people that are in your industry that you can collaborate with. And then yeah, Evernote, just a really good productivity tool.   Roy Barker  41:54 Yeah, all three of those are great, I think I use all of those. That's a, you know, the one thing about the Evernote, what we've been trying to do is, you know, get rid of piles of paper and filing cabinets. And with Evernote or some other apps out there, you know, it's so easy to take a picture of that receipt, file it away or take a picture of that document.   And then you don't need the you know, I guess legal papers, you know, ask your professionals before you get rid of anything, you know, important but, you know, for a lot of the stuff that we keep around, take a picture of it and store it digitally, get it out of the way. It works. Alright, Steve, well tell us how can who first off Who do you like to work with? How can you help them? And then of course, how can they reach out and get in touch   Steve  42:43 we, we, we always try to save the world, right? And it's good and bad. It's good, because I feel like we get to get back. But it's bad because sometimes we a little overwhelmed. But we we want to help. So if there's something that we can do, we're not, we're not working with a lot of small businesses. So if we are helping somebody, it's going to be free.   So if you want to reach out on social my handles SEO Steve, you know, our company handles Wiideman W I I D E M A N, if you want to ask a question, why is our page not ranking? How come this competitors beating me? How do I show up in the maps, ask those questions, we're going to help you and we're not going to charge you anything. Our target of you know, the clients that we do still want to work with are usually multi location brands, you know, those that have 100 to, you know, a few 1000 locations, they want to try to figure out how to scale.   So those those are the ones that we we've had a really good track record with. And I've learned some things that make the process a little bit a little bit more seamless, and a little less effort on the side of the you know, points of contact we work with. So I'd say those are the folks that we do really, really well with but we've we've worked with no 11 years, every type of client you can imagine, right?   So if you've got a an SEO question are you want, you know, some free templates or checklists are about ready to build a new website and you want to know what prerequisite stock to use. you're upgrading your website and you want to make sure you don't lose SEO during that process. Hit us up. We've got plenty of those guides and we're happy to share them with you for free.   Roy Barker  44:10 That's awesome. Well, Steve, thanks so much for being here. We certainly do appreciate it. Y'all reach out to Steve see how he can help you out a lot of great information in this program as well. Right. It's been great. Yeah. been a lot of fun. All right. Well, that's gonna do it for this episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course I am your host Roy.   You can find us at We're on all the major podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify, we're on all the major social media networks, probably hang out on Instagram a little more reach out we'd love to engage and a video of this interview will go live when it goes will go up when the episode goes live. So be sure to go over to our YouTube channel and check that out as well as our other episodes. Until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.  
45:13 01/06/2022
The Hub and Spoke Digital Marketing Strategy Delivers Value
The Hub and Spoke Digital Marketing Strategy Delivers Value Featuring James Hipkin The Hub and Spoke digital marketing strategy is a great way to keep the digital marketing plan simple and easy. The hub to the middle is our website, the spokes are are channels we use to deliver our message. The outer rim is our messaging. We don't always need to next shiny object in messaging. More figure out what works and replicate it. About James James is an accomplished, forward-thinking marketing professional with 40+ years of multi-disciplinary experience in marketing and marketing communications companies serving high-profile, global brands and B2C clients in consumer packaged goods, durables, transportation, telecommunications, and financial services. He has been involved in digital marketing for more than ten years, first as president of a direct marketing agency Brann Worldwide's San Francisco office, where he led the evolution of the agency from traditional direct marketing to digital. Clients included Apple, Wells Fargo Online Bank and Nestlé. He went on to become the head of a mid-sized agency’s interactive group, with Toyota as the main client. Over ten years ago, he joined Red8 Interactive, a long-term vendor and became an owner and managing director.   Full Transcript Below The Hub and Spoke Digital Marketing Strategy Delivers Value Featuring James Hipkin Tue, 8/10 12:13PM • 48:43 SUMMARY KEYWORDS website, customer, strategy, James, people, small business owners, problem, business, spokes, email, important, build, sales, product, create, purchase, messaging, hear, interest, privacy policy, The Hub and Spoke Digital Marketing Strategy, delivers value SPEAKERS James, Roy Barker Roy Barker  00:00 Hello and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy course we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that can speak to a diverse set of topics. Hopefully we can shine a light on something maybe you haven't thought about. Or at the very least, if you have something that's keeping you up at night, we can provide some information maybe to help you solve that problem, or some professionals in that discipline that can give you some great guidance and today is no different.   We'd like to welcome James hipkin to the show. James is an accomplished for thinking marketing professional with 40 plus years of multi discipline, disciplinary experience in marketing and marketing communication companies. Serving high profile global brands and B to C clients in consumer packaged goods, durables, transportation, telecommunications, and financial services. He has been involved in digital marketing for more than ten years first, as a president of a direct marketing agency brand worldwide San Francisco office.   Where he led the evolution of the agency from traditional direct marketing to digital. Clients included Apple, Wells Fargo online bank, and Nestle. He went on to become the head of a midsize agency's interactive group with Toyota as the main client over Ten years ago, he joined Red Eight, interactive, a long term vendor and became an owner and manager Managing Director. James, welcome to the show.   James  00:00 Thank you, Roy, it's pleasure to be here.   Roy Barker  00:00 Yeah, so tell us a little bit about your journey, you've got a sound like an awesome background. And I know I gave a little bit but just drill down a little bit more, how did you kind of end up in this space and something that you always wanted to do or something that you just kind of fell into,   James  01:56 I always wanted to be a scuba diver. But that didn't work out. Right? I it's it's a function of I'm a very curious guy, and things keep popping up in front of me. And I'm not afraid to embrace that and you know, have a have a go at something new. So even with the gray hair on top, I'm still enjoying learning new things and exploring new things and continuing to help. The common theme throughout my career is I've always been in account management and working directly with clients, and I just have a deep passion for helping business people, you know, be more successful and take advantage of the opportunities that exists and the technology that exists and the techniques that exist in order to create more value for their customers, which ultimately creates value for the business.   Roy Barker  02:59 Right. Yeah, and that lifelong learning that that's the one great thing about this age that we live in, it's given us the opportunity to, you know, continue to learn. And also there's so many new and different innovations and tools that come out just about every day, you know, you can get behind if you don't stay on top of it really easy.   James  03:19 That's true. But that, as with most things has a other side to the coin. One of the things that I counsel small business folks about is you know, avoid shiny new things syndrome, right? An awful lot of the what's called Digital Marketing. And it's it's that genies not going back in the bottle, it's it's here to stay. But the principles haven't really changed. Right? The principles of getting the right message to the right person at the right time hasn't changed.   Right. And that, you know, that's, there's a tendency and to grab the next tactic that comes in to take the advice of the next, you know, plaid jacket sales guy who shows up. And that's almost never a good idea. Right? Right. And this is I came up with this concept of the hub and spoke strategy to try to make an analogy that small business folks can can relate to. And that's if they start thinking about digital tactics, they think about the website as being the hub.   The various digital tactics that they can employ are the spokes and then their messaging strategy, content strategy, their you know, what they say, is the rim that holds it all together. Then you have something that's very powerful because the power comes from the from the connection and the connection is how you create a wheel out of those three disparate parts. When I, you know, pre pandemic, when I was doing a lot of public speaking, I would stand there with a bicycle hub in one hand and a handful of spokes and another hand and there'll be a rim sitting on the table in front of me.   And I'd pick that up. And I'd say, okay, each of these pieces is fine. But they don't have much value on by themselves. Right? Right, you put them together, and you've got a wheel, which is kind of a fundamental thing in the evolution of mankind, and a very powerful tool that you can use to create value for your business and for your customers.   Roy Barker  05:39 Yeah, I would imagine that, you know, kind of starting at the beginning that developing a strategy, so we can, you know, center our website to make sure it has that material that it needs to have to be the center. And then also, think about each one of those spokes and how we want to deploy that.   James  05:58 Right, how they, how it interconnects with the website, how it interconnects with the brand, the brand messaging strategy, the product, whatever it is that you're doing, these concepts are universal, it's there doesn't matter what business you're in, these concepts will apply. And the other piece is that in the shiny new things syndrome, pick a couple of things. Do them well, right. You know, avoid the tendency to Oh, my God, I got to do this now.   Oh, my God, I have to do that. I have one customer who sells a very specific kind of orchid. Not orchids in general, not house plants in general, but a very specific kind of orchid. He's followed this strategy, and he's picked organic social media is his main spoke and email marketing as another spoke. And he's generating a significant six figure income using this, these simple strategies, but but the power comes from tying them all together. Right. Right, not treating them as disparate bits and pieces.   Roy Barker  07:11 Exactly. Yeah. And that gets back to the, you know, chasing the new and this, the latest is we sometimes we don't give the things we have in place, the proper attention or the time and, you know, always try to just to reiterate that, you know, marketing is a long term play, you might get lucky and fling something out there tomorrow, and it blows up. But for most of us guys, it's grinding it out every day. It's doing it, it's getting better at what we do.   James  07:41 Right? And listening to customers. And, you know, the many years ago, a business reporter was interviewing Peter Lynch, who is managing the Magellan Fund for Fidelity, very large, very successful mutual fund. And he asked Peter Lynch, what was the key to his success, and he expected a complicated financial kind of response that, you know, ways that he picked stocks and that sort of thing. And Peter Lynch came back with a very simple statement, he said, "water, the flowers, prune the weeds?"   Roy Barker  08:23 No, that's great. Yeah, you know, because a lot of times, too, you know, what I've seen is that somebody says, Well, you know, I spent $50 on a, on a Facebook ad, and then that didn't work out. So we went over and did this. And you know, that for I think it gets back to the strategy and thinking about, you know, how we're going to deploy our resources, all of our resources are limited. And, you know, we we have a certain amount that can go, but I think really sitting down and figuring that out before we you know, jump off into the deep end is a probably a pretty good strategy. Would you agree?   James  08:57 Absolutely. And patience is also important. You know, $50, on a Facebook ad in the, in the absence of anything else that you're doing, is $50. That makes Zuckerberg richer? Yeah. But doesn't help you, but $50 in the context of a larger strategy, where I, I'm using this money to drive traffic back into the website, I'm using the facebook pixel to understand what that traffic looks like. And then using that understanding, to send ads out to people who look just like the people who came back to my website, suddenly, it starts to become part of the plan. And the hub and the spoke are working with each other and supporting each other and it increases the value of all of the pieces,   Roy Barker  09:50 right. So what are some components of a good hub website that we want to really think about?   James  09:57 Well, that's a great question. I use a concept that I call the five second rule. Every page on a website needs to do three things in five seconds. That's not a lot of seconds. And that's quite a few things, right? You need to make it clear to the visitor, that they're in the right place. You need to give them a benefit oriented reason to stay. This is an outside in statement, not an inside out statement. What's your problem? And how am I going to solve it?   And then you need to make it crystal clear what they should do next. A website is like an onion, it has layers, websites that I see where people have put everything they can think of on the homepage, right? Accomplishes nothing other than confusing the visitor. Now, am I in the right place? I have no idea. What am I? Why should I stay here? I have no idea. What should I do next? I have no idea. So that concept of the five second rule, when applied to a website is is really important. Another piece of this is what's the primary objective of the website?   It's a seems like an obvious question. But more often than not people have an asset of themselves. And I'll ask that question to somebody that we're working with, I'll say what's the primary objective of the website, and I will get a litany of things that they want to accomplish, then we'll have a little chat about the movie Highlander. There can only be one that's a reference that you probably have to be of a certain age to   Roy Barker  11:46 recognize, well, I was racking my brain, I think I've no, I've heard of the movie, but I just can't, I can't place it, I'm sure I'm seeing it. But   James  11:55 the concept was that these were all immortal folks. And there could only be one, so they went around chopping each other's heads off. But at any rate, with the objective, there can only be one. And in a business to business situation, which most small biz, many small businesses are business to business, professional services, that kind of thing, coaches, you know, lawyers, accountants, that sort of thing. There are basically two objectives that are common. It's either confirmation or conversion.   And if you're most of your business is coming from word of mouth, which is very common with professional services, businesses, then the confirmation objective makes all the sense in the world, I often hear this, well, I don't get any leads from my website. And I'll respond and said, Well, perhaps, but perhaps it's because you're not seeing the null set. You're not seeing the folks that go to your website, look at it, think my God, this was built by a teenager, 20 years ago, these people can't be serious, and they don't even bother to call you.   That's the null set. And that's what happens when you don't have a proper website, even when you're getting most of your business or word of mouth. Because executive a tells executive B about this great resource, this, you know, marketing consultant or business consultant that they heard about or that they've worked with. So executive B goes to that business consultants website to confirm that they have the skills and knowledge and expertise that this guy's looking for, then they'll call you.   So that understanding that primary objective is a really key piece of creating an effective hub, within the hub and spoke method. And then is your messaging clear? That's the rim? Are you being consistent about what you're saying to people? Are you being consistent about how you're saying it, and then the spokes are the various media that you use to get that message out to the right people?   Roy Barker  14:10 Yeah, I'm back on the, on the website for just a minute. One thing I was gonna kind of add to that is, you know, thinking about what we want it to achieve, but also make sure that it whatever you have set up on it is functional, I have run into more websites, you know, sign up for this, and then the button is either below the screen where you can't get to it or, you know, you hit it and it doesn't do anything. So it's always good to you know, periodically, like just run through the process. And sometimes I think we lose sight of thinking like our customer and right you know, we need to take that time to do that. Think Like a customer go through the process just to make sure that everything's working like you want it to   James  14:54 exactly correct and the words are very important on a website. Picture Tell copy sells. And having those words be from the customer's point of view. I see this often that all kinds of features and attributes being listed on a website, on the assumption that the customer is going to figure out which one of these things works for them, as opposed to making a bold statement about the problem that the customer likely has, and then providing your solution to that problem, and then providing reasons why the consumer can believe that your solution will work, right? It's exactly the same information.   But it's presented in a very different way. And the way I've just described will actually generate interest and involvement from the consumer, because it's, they don't care about you, they only care about their own problem. Exactly, you know, what's in it for me? And if you recognize that and craft your words, appropriately, and of course, everything needs to function as well, but part of function is the third part of the five second rule, what do I do next? Right. Right, if I am a, you know, it's a clear call to action, like a typical, you know, response, we have built a website for a business consultant in the Boston area.   You're sorry, this guy was in New York, that's different one in the New York area, and he works in government. He was a New York congressman. And and he was now he's working as a consultant. And his website is all about confirmation. So there's clear branding, there's a clear benefit statement as to what it is he does. And then there's a clear call to action that says learn more about the founder. And that's where you can see his deep credentials. And what makes him valid choice. Right? I mean, he's, I mean, he's, he raves about the impact, that just eliminating lots of stuff from his website has had on his business.   Roy Barker  17:14 Yeah. Yeah, sometimes less is more. And you know that that goes to the the sales portion, we won't get into that. But, you know, sometimes we can talk ourselves out of business if we're not careful. That's right. So tell us a little bit about the messaging, I want to skip the spokes for just a minute. But let's let's talk about messaging and how we can get that consistent and concise, you know, across all of our channels,   James  17:42 right, I, I counsel folks to use to create an avatar of their ideal customer. That avatar has four components. There's the demographics, the physical characteristics of the the, the customer, then there's the psychographics, there, what what's their attitude? You know, the, how do they think about things, then there's the problem, what do they need, and then there's the ideal solution. So if you've mapped out your ideal customer in terms of those four components, you've got a very clear understanding of who it is you're talking to, and what it is you need to be talking about.   The other piece of this is mapping the customer's journey. You know, they go through any consumer of any product goes through a series of steps from, I call it the interest curve, it looks like a bell curve. Out in the far left area of the bell curve, there's, they're just not thinking about you. So doesn't matter what you say, honestly. And then, as they've identified a need in their life, that needs to be solved, they go into the consideration phase, and they start climbing the left hand side of the bell curve, in terms of their interest.   And that means they start to see the advertising, they start to see the messages from various potential solutions, then they get into the consideration phase, where they're actually picking, you know, their top three potential solutions. And then they make the purchase. While their interest doesn't end. When they've made that purchase. They're just at the top of the bell curve, you've still got the whole right hand side of the bell curve that you can take advantage of.   So having a consistent messaging throughout this process, but continuing that messaging, and this is where the hub and spoke starts to get involved. They've made the purchase there in the website. What do you do with your email marketing? After they've made the purchase? Is your messaging consistent? Are you reinforcing how smart they were to make this purchase?   Are you giving them additional information on how to take full advantage of what they've just purchased? You know, those that that understands the bell curve that is interest, and it with a consistent messaging strategy, then you can start to apply that across all of these touch points. So that makes sense.   Roy Barker  20:22 Yeah, yeah, does. And, you know, to the last point, I wish I could think of what I bought, it's not been long ago, but I actually got an email like, Hey, thanks for your purchase, how's it going? You know, and I wish I could tell you exactly what it was. But it was, it was very, it was very nice. It was a surprise number one, because we don't take the time to do that.   But I think that we miss a lot of opportunity, because it's like, you know, we make the sale, and we're done. But with this follow up, we may actually sell more, you know, we have more offerings. That are, it'd be like, you know, being able to tell my friend like, Oh, my gosh, can you believe it? They You know, this was that process and my journey? Why don't you provide?   James  21:09 absolutely the most important sale is not the first sale? It's the second sale, right? Because if they're purchased the second time, then your chances that they'll purchase the third time go up exponentially. Right. And that's, that's super important for the lifetime value of customers. You know, I spent, I did a training session with our staff this morning, where I was talking about the importance of transactional emails. People forget about it, they just they, it's, you know, not terribly exciting.   It's not terribly sexy. Right? They may not see any email that they sent you send to them, but they will see the transactional emails. So take full advantage of that. That's another one of your spokes is the transactional emails. Is the messaging in that spoke consistent with your brand? Are you taking full advantage of the fact that they're high in the interest? bell curve?   Roy Barker  22:12 Yeah, yeah, cuz somewhere along the way, you know, we've gotten and we, we don't think about our current customer, it's always, hey, I made a sale, I'm moving on to the next one. But typically, in the cost of acquisition, or the you know, the cost to get that your current consumer to purchase that next product is infinitely lower than trying to go out and attract that next new customer.   James  22:39 Absolutely. There, there are five ways that current customers can generate value for you, the longer they stay with you, the more return you've had on the investment that was required to get them in the first place. Right? The longer they stay with you, the more they know about your product and service, the less expensive they are to service, the longer they stay with you, the more likely they are to buy additional products and services from you.   The longer they stay with you, the more likely they are to recommend your product to other people just like them. Right. So we've got five different revenue streams that are generating from an existing customer. Yeah. And that's, that's a it's an often overlooked fact, that that your current customer is your most likely source of new business.   Roy Barker  23:34 Yeah. Yeah, definitely take some time and provide care for them. If we're going to nurture you know, continue to, you know, we always think about nurturing up into the point of purchase, but we always need to continue to nurture, you know, our present customers as well.   James  23:49 Right. And that's, that's is why I've talked about the the interest curve, that bell curve that they're interested in, stop at the top of the curve when they made the purchase, it's still very high, this is your chance to move the relationship beyond transactional into something that has some more equity. Yeah.   Roy Barker  24:11 So let's talk about that. Excuse me, let's talk about the spokes for a minute. And so how we connect these, you know, we've got our website as our hub, we've got our messaging as our rim out on the outside. So how do we connect these with our spokes? How do we make these decisions on you know, what, what ones we want to employ?   James  24:32 Well, the key to this is avoid shiny new things syndrome. You want to pick a few things and do them well. The example I was talking about before was with a guy who sells a specific kind of orchid. He uses organic social media, he has built his presence in Facebook and Instagram, and he uses that aggressively and he uses email marketing to maximize The traffic back to the website and do actually generate sales.   Occasionally he will pay for some Facebook advertising. But in the end, it's very profitable for him, he might spend three or $400 and generate $3,000 to $4,000 in sales. While can't really argue with that, but it's not a didn't come by accident, it came because he's been very careful about maximizing the impact of the channels he's using. Email Marketing is an extremely valuable and important piece of this, I know people, all kinds of myths out there about email marketing is dead and blah, blah, blah.   None of it's true. Even if they just see the subject line in preview text and the email that you've sent, you've once again reminded them of the positive experience they've had with your company. And keeps keeps you in mind. So when their need arises, again, the interest curve we talked about earlier, when their need arises, where they're going to think about. Yeah. And it's this, it's just that it's an underutilized tool, transactional emails, and then ongoing what I call the lazy river. Now, ongoing emails that are designed to create value are very important. spoke in the hub and spoke strategy.   Roy Barker  26:35 Yeah, and I think you the, the point you made was the call it the lazy river. Because, you know, what, when I see a lot of times now is like, I sent James an email and he didn't buy. So again, I'm off to, you know, whoever the next person on my list is, and there's, you know, kind of the myths you talk about, there's always, sometimes you hear salesman, like, Ah, you know, they're just lying, or this, you know, they always have all these different reasons, but really, maybe James just didn't need my product at that particular point in time.   And, you know, there's a lot of things maybe couldn't afford it, maybe saving up maybe looking around. But I think we, again, we lose the value in our prospects by sending out one, maybe two emails and calling it quits what my strategy has always been, I want to educate, so I'm not just hounding you, James, are you ready to buy we talked last week, and we go ahead, right, let's do let's get this done. Let's get you know, whatever that is. But to take something, you know, a simple strategy for me as if I'm, you know, I do trying to read a lot of articles. So picking an article and saying, hey, James, I saw this article, this might be interesting, here's three points that I found.   But I try to continue to do this over time, because like you just mentioned is, I want to be at the forefront of somebody's mind when they actually need it. Because, you know, it doesn't, it's not a reflection on me, if if we haven't talked in 10 years, and you've, you know, somebody else just reached out the other day, it's like, oh, this other guy's Top of Mind, it really doesn't have anything to do with whether I'm better or worse or anything like that. It's just, I haven't taken the time to be in front of you.   James  28:21 And I need to solve my problem. And the timing for when I need to solve my problem is, as you said, I mean, it's up to the individual. So you just want to have a constant stream, there's a generally accepted idea that with this kind of, what kind of content do you send out? And is I got the 70/20/10 strategy? You know, 70% of your communication to customers should be just value creation, give stuff away, give them information, tell them how to use the product better.   Tell them about what's going on that sort of thing. Be friendly. 20% is the kind of thing that you've just very well described, which is you've curated content that you've discovered elsewhere, that nothing to do with your brand, but you think your consumers, your target audience, your list would find value in this and then the last 10% is more sales. Hey, we're introducing a new product. Hey, have you heard about this?   You know, how did you know about this and they can be combined, for example, with website's privacy policies and having a privacy policy is extremely important. It's again, states are God bless America. Every state is different. And every state is writing their own privacy rules. The issue with a website is not where your website is located. It's where the consumer is who visits Your website. Okay. So if you've got a form on your website, then you need a privacy policy published on the website. How many small business owners have that?   My guess is not very many. Right? Then there's the added problem of every two weeks it changes. Because every state's publishing their own or changing them or adjusting. So it's, it's complicated. Yeah. So now there are resources and tools that you can use to create privacy policies that are dynamic, that are adjusted automatically. And that's where, you know, folks, like, you know, our company gets involved, because we know about these tools. And that's the sort of thing that we build into our, the websites that we build for our small business owners, were thinking about what they need before they realize that they need it.   Roy Barker  31:00 Yeah. Yeah, because so many times we don't realize we need it until we're in trouble because we don't,   James  31:07 right. And this is the value creating communication that will send out in emails that say, you know, Hey, I know it ain't sexy, but you really need to pay attention to this, because these are the things that are going on, you should be aware, you know, this, there are multiple ways you can do it yourself, you can hire your lawyer to do it, you there's a number of resources online, where you can download templates, or you can use a dynamic, dynamic service, that will maintain the privacy policy for you dynamically, and then you don't have to worry about it. But be informed.   Yeah. And that's a good example of that kind of relationship building ongoing communication that you can send out in the lazy river. It has all three components in one, it's it is informative, and creates value that way it does share information about other people who are solving this problem, if you want to take advantage, and it has a sales component, because we offer that service to Right,   Roy Barker  32:11 right. No, that's an awesome ideal, I just think that, you know, we have to, we have to take the time to make these thoughtful. And, you know, the other part of that is the gathering of information. So you know, about our clients, so we can know, what might interest them or what we need to send out because, you know, again, try to ask, you know, as many discovery questions as possible, not overloading somebody, but you know, we do want to do a little bit deeper discussion.   Number one, it shows interest that I'm interested in you, not just, you know, I need to book your business, so I can move on to the next guy, but, you know, tell me about yourself, because I want to make a lifetime, you know, the goal is to make that lifetime customer.   James  32:58 Right, and and have that customer beat. I mean, more than half of our current sales are coming through customer referrals. Right, you know, suggest you're doing something right, exactly, you know,   Roy Barker  33:14 yeah, no, that's, and that's really where you want to be you want those referrals, because it's your, whoever made the referral convinced the new prospect that you're the one that you can get this done, you know, that you're trustworthy. So, I mean, you're probably 80% through the hardest part of the sales process once you get that taken care of. exactly correct. Yeah. Alright, James, well, I appreciate you taking time out of your day to be with us. Tell us a little bit before we get out of here about Inn8ly.   James  33:49 Okay, innately is a small business website subscription product. We provide an alternative to the Wixs and Square Spaces of the world, which are also small business websites, subscription products. Our key differentiator is, and you will probably laugh when I say this, we answer the phone.   Roy Barker  34:16 Yeah. Oh, yeah. You're one in a million if you actually do that.   James  34:21 Yeah, we hear all the time I signed up for this. I signed up for that. And you know, the fashion model and the TV ad lied to me. It's not that easy. Our debt were more expensive than they are, but we do it for you. Yeah, we are training content specialists to actually build these websites for the small business owners, and that's included in the subscription cost. And we're here for ongoing support requests. Most of our customers, they don't want to be webmasters.   It's not cost effective for them to try to figure it out. How to make a change on a page. Right? So they just email it, the change to us and one of our content specialists makes the change for them, and then we send them a bill. And they love it. Because it's so much more cost effective to have our folks do it quickly and efficiently.   Because they know how, versus the small business owner trying to Okay, now I need to stop being a dentist and I have to figure out how to be a website guy, right? I mean, seriously. So that that's our key differentiator is we build high quality sites, they're well designed, they, they have a strategy, we spend a lot of time educating our own staff about the difference between can and should.   We frequently get requests from clients, and we're like, I really like to take your money, but that's a really bad idea. This is why it's a really bad idea. And here's another way that will actually cost you less. And that will get you where you need to be. And they just love it. Because they know we've got their back. Yeah, we answered the phone.   Roy Barker  36:14 Yeah, that is such a big deal. You know, because everything is not as simple as, you know, an expert can make the example for an expert on that. But you know,   James  36:25 we are an expert makes it look simple.   Roy Barker  36:27 And trying to transfer that knowledge. And, you know, like myself, I was reading through something the other day, and it wouldn't work, it wouldn't work finally emailed support, and I got this, it was like a whole new plan, that it wasn't even included, where it would have been awesome to pick up the phone and say, Hey, can I get this done? For sure. Right? Exactly.   A couple points to just, before we move on that, you know, I like that, you, you know your marketing on value, which I think that we have to rethink about that we are not always going to be the price, the lowest price leader. And we're we shouldn't be scared of that if we have value to offer, we have to stand up and say you know what we we aren't. But this is the value that we can provide.   And, again, I always think about things in relation to my time, like standing at one of the at one of the bigger big box stores that tell you that they save you money, but yet you spend 30-40 minutes trying to go through the line to check out so I'm always like, well, you saved me 10 bucks, but you cost me you know, another 100 standing in line so really unproductive is that.   James  37:41 Right? And and you know you're an expert in whatever it is that you do. You're not an expert in this kind of digital marketing and digital advertising. And what makes a website work. I mean, the concept of the five second rule, it's a very simple thing to explain. And anybody I explained to goes well build that makes a lot of sense.   And it does make a lot of sense. But yet I see over and over again. navigations on websites with eight or nine or 10 different choices. What am I supposed to do next? I don't know, I've got all these choices. Oh, my God, I have to think about this, then they're gone. Right? Or this? They get to a page. And there's, you know, a whole list of things that you do, but I don't know, how is does it solve my problem?   Roy Barker  38:34 Right? Yeah, the other thing, you know, you talked earlier about, you know, maybe talking about the process or given things away. Another misconception I'll get your opinion on is that sometimes I hear people are scared to you know, we don't want to give away the secret sauce. And we don't want to say this. I found just the opposite.   If it's a complex issue, sometimes when we explain to somebody what we do and how we do it, they're like, Oh, I can't I couldn't do that, or I don't have the time to do that here. Just take it over. So, you know, I think we have to be careful. We have to be smart about it. Let's put it that way. We need to be smart about it. But it doesn't hurt to give information away.   James  39:21 You said something earlier, which I think is very important is that with regards to word of mouth sales and references and the fact that the trust factor has already been established. That sharing of information being clear and honest and upfront about what things can and can't do. Even the can't do part builds trust. And ultimately, people buy people and they want to know that they're going to be working with somebody that they can trust that will have their back that is not their you know in It's not there to sell them something they don't need. Yeah. But is there if there is something that they do need?   Roy Barker  40:07 Right. And most consumers are willing to pay a premium for that. That's the other thing is it's I guess it's a, it's the comfort of knowing just like you that, hey, I can reach out make a phone call. That's It's incredible. It really.   James  40:28 I had a call from one of my customers, his name was Joe. And I saw on caller ID who was calling. So I picked up the phone and I said, Hi, Joe, how can I help you? And then it was silence. And I heard some ruffling and shuffling around in the background. And then he came back on. I said, Joe, what happened? What's the matter? And he said, James, I had to sit down. Why did you have to sit down? Joe? You are literally the first web developer I've ever called, who answered their phone?   Roy Barker  41:00 Yeah, and didn't have to go through a phone tree three miles long to exactly right.   James  41:09 And because our core business builds large corporate sites, we have a whole support infrastructure in place for those large corporations. So we have a support desk, and we have support software and all that sort of thing. We have a process. So that, you know, even if they don't want to phone and a lot of people don't. There's still there's an email process that is monitored and maintained, and and responsive to whatever it is that they need.   Roy Barker  41:38 Yeah, and I'll just, I'll tell you one horror story on the way out for another service. I emailed support. And this was like on June, 5, or sixth, got a response. August, the ninth or something, it was just over 60 days? To answer a question. I realized there's a lot of stuff going on with labor and supply chain and all that, but still 60 days it because what I take it as a consumer, it's really how important is my business to them? And right, not very much.   James  42:16 Yeah, that's a that's a pretty clear message. And, and, you know, it comes into the business executive said something to me when I was a young, bright eyed kid, explaining why something hadn't happened. And he looked at me and he said, James, I understand your problem. I don't care. And, you know, I appreciate that there's stuff going on pandemic, labor's supply chain, all that stuff. Now. I understand your problem. I don't care. I need an answer. And even if the answer is we're working on it, or it's in the queue, or I mean, communication is so important. Right. Right. Because their interest is high. Yep. Take advantage of it.   Roy Barker  43:11 Yeah, and the other thing, you know, I look at the underlying, you know, isn't an excuse or reason, because we've been in this for 18 months now. Right? Most companies that are anywhere near flexible, you know, they figured out obstacles, you know, and some of us, you know, maybe we've had to sacrifice profits because of service in our customers.   But you know, to me, it's a short term problem that we're going through that you know, you have to do everything to preserve your customers and your integrity through this and then be okay, on the other end. Right. Exactly. Right. All right, James. Well, tell me one couple things before we go first off, what is the tool or a habit? What is something that you do every day, that really adds a lot of value to your life, personal and professionally, the one   James  44:00 I'll tell you, my favorite utility is a little utility called text expander. Okay, and what this is, is a little keyboard macro that you can add, so that those things that you have to type every day when it's the same thing every time like your email signature, or your whatever it might be with text expander I can just type semi colon si g for signature, and my whole email signature gets typed out for me.   Oh, nice. It is you know, I'm we use a lot of Greek and Latin in as placeholder copy for websites and that sort of thing. So I have two little things s l o r for short. lorem ipsum and l l o r for long, lorem ipsum. And it just types it out for me. I don't have to do anything. It saves so many keystrokes every day. It is the best.   Roy Barker  45:02 I'll check that out. Which brings up another good question Why? Why do why do people use Latin? on you know, on the web, when you see them under construction or something like that? You see, I have I have no idea. So great question. I've never asked that question. I have no idea. I didn't think about tea brought it up. But it's usually, you know, pretty much the same thing. Yeah. Same copy. Let's use lorem ipsum. Yeah. All right. Well, James, tell everybody, you know, who do you like to work with? How they, how you can help them? And of course, how can they reach out and get a hold of you.   James  45:38 We love to work with small businesses that are serious about their online presence, that want to work with a professional resource that want to maximize the power of the online space and digital marketing. It starts and ends with a well designed, well built, managed, secure website. And that's what our product i n n number eight, l   That's what we're offering is a reliable, powerful resource. And then using that like a website as a fulcrum. We're using that to provide services to these small business owners. We're not providing the services, we are vetting, marketing communications professionals, and making their services available to the small business owners who subscribe to innately where we want to stay focused on the technology. I happen to have a background in in this.   So I'm pretty good at vetting. Folks, there are a lot of snake oil salesmen in the space, sorry to say, but they can't get past me. And so if I'm making a recommendation to a small business owner, you need to hire these guys to do your local SEO, you can be assured that you're getting a good recommendation. And that's so that's what we're looking for is small business owners that are serious about their online presence who want a professional website, but they don't want to have to look after it themselves.   Roy Barker  47:21 Okay, great. Yeah. Tell us a website one more time.   James  47:24, i n n number eight, l Okay, great. And our little tagline is websites without worry. So we got a few little puns going on there. We've got the N like i n n, we take care of you. And we have websites without worry, which is of course www.   Roy Barker  47:44 Oh, nice. Nice. I didn't even put that one together. Like that. All right. Well, y'all reach out to James see how they can help y'all. And maybe he'll answer the phone, give him a call. If you'd be happy to. Alright, that's gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast.   Of course I am Roy. You can find us at We're on all the major podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google, Spotify. If we are not on one that you listen to reach out, I'd be glad to get it added to make your listening easier. Also, we're on all the major social media platforms, we tend to hang out on Instagram a little bit more reach out there, we'd be glad to interact with you. And a video of this interview will go up when the episode goes live. So go to our YouTube channel. Check it out in some of our other interviews that we've previously had. Until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.  
48:54 01/05/2022
Want More? Seven Steps to Building a Smarter Business Engine
Want More? Seven Steps to Building a Smarter Business Engine Featuring Luke Fatooros Want more? Is your business working for you or are you just trading your time for dollars? Most of the time it's because your business structure is all wrong. Its always better to consider these seven steps in the initial phases of setting up a business, but It's never too late to implement these strategic changes to see changes in your fundamental business ops About Luke About Luke Fatooros: Ideas Into Business Smart Business Coaching Luke co-founded his first business at the age of 23. Starting out in his father's shed, together with his partner, he turned an idea and $800 into a $12 million retail company with 65 staff within 5 years. He, unfortunately, lost this entire business because he was making the same everyday mistakes most businesses make. His business was not structured correctly. He was exchanging time for money. He was focused on tasks to get through the day, not to set himself up for the future. He, therefore, burnt out and learned the single most important lesson in business - the difference between being Self Employed and being a Business Owner. He took 7 years to regain his confidence and try again. This time, however, he did things smarter. Based on his real-life lessons, he created a smart business system that does the work for you while adding value to your business. He applied this system to several new ideas, created a business valued at $3.5 million after just 2.5 years, and sold another business to a publicly listed company on the Australian stock market for $820k after 14 months. Luke is now a successful business coach who over the last 12 years, has helped over 1000+ business owners implement his smart business system into their businesses, helping them create a valuable asset to set themselves up for life.   (this will be set live for the podcast) Free 90 min Master Class and downloadable blueprint of the 7 steps covered.   Full Transcript Below Want More? Seven Steps to Building a Smarter Business Engine Featuring Luke Fatooros Thu, 8/5 6:36PM • 50:35 SUMMARY KEYWORDS business, people, business owners, step, customers, optimize, set, buy, niche, money, sell, businesses, staff, salesperson, structure, stress, marketing, computers, build, sales, Want More, Seven Steps to building a smarter business engine SPEAKERS Luke, Roy Barker   Roy Barker  00:05 Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that can speak to a diverse set of topics. Hopefully we can find something that you have thought about. Or maybe even if you have something keeping you up at night, the material we provide, and the experts that we bring on, we'll be able to help you get past that. We just really want to see everybody be successful. And hopefully we're giving you some tools and ideas to do that here.   So today we're excited to have Luke Fatooros. He is with Ideas Into Business, which is Smart Business Coaching. He co founded his first business at the age of 23. started out in his father's shed together with his partner, he turned an idea and $800 into a $12 million retail company with 65 staff within five years. He unfortunately lost the business because he was making the same everyday mistakes most businesses make. His business was not structured correctly, he was exchanging time for money he was forced on, he was forced on tasks to get through the day, not to set himself up for the future.   He there ever burned out and learned the single most important lesson of business, the difference between being self employed and being a business owner. He took seven years to rein in his confidence and to regain his confidence and try again. This time, however, he did things smarter. Based on his real-life lessons, he created a smart business system that does the work for you while you add while adding value to your business. He applied this system to several new ideas created a business valued at 3.5 million after just two and a half years. And sold another business to a publicly listed company on the Australian stock market for $820,000, after 14 months.   Luke is now a successful business coach who over the last 12 years has helped over 1,000 businesses owner 1,000 business owners implement his smart business system into their businesses, helping the creative value, build assets to set themselves up for life. Luke, thanks for taking time out of your day to be with us. Certainly do appreciate it.   Luke  02:27 Thanks for having me, Roy. It's fantastic to be here. Yeah,   Roy Barker  02:30 it sounds like quite a roller coaster ride. You know, before we get into, you know, before we get into the meat of this discussion, tell us a little bit more about this journey, you know, how you got it sounded like, you know, you created a heck of a business. And then, you know, kind of went through some stumbled a little bit and then came back figured it out that structure is really the key.   Luke  02:55 Yeah, so what you mentioned earlier, I guess, starting out it, my father shared 800 bucks to young kids taking on the world, we're gonna get rich and do everything. Everything. A person who wants to build a business, all the big desires. But we had no idea what they were doing. We just hope we wait. And yeah, that there was a, you know, we struggled for 14 months not buying anything was just pure will desire, we just got to make this thing happen.   So it was no brains was pure stupidity, just going forward, going forward. And eventually, we worked out a few things. I learned how to do my first joint venture, I did a little bit of bad marketing. And the business took off like it took off like a rocket and we created a $4 million business in five years. And we won so many awards, and we thought we were so marvelous. Looking from the outside, you want to say wow, scars are incredible.   They're so successful. That success at a young age and happening the way did they actually set us up for failure. And it did. And we lost the whole business. And you know, reflecting back, it took me five to seven years to just get the confidence to Hey, let me try again. Because obviously, it was a life changing disaster that happened and what happened on that reflection was those three life changing lesson which you touched on in the intro and the first one was really to understand how money works. And that was stop trading time for money.   I learned the difference between unlimited earning structure and an unlimited earning structure and working hard. I mean you got to have a good work, work ethic that's different to just working hard and killing yourself and drop drive yourself into the ground which ultimately What happened to Gary my partner? Now we work so hard, we drove ourselves into the ground, because our business was just not structured correctly.   It wasn't doing the work, which led me to the second most important lesson I learned on this reflection of failure. And that was the difference between being self employed, and a business owner. And so, when Gary and I started, we thought, this is how many business owners think they think, well, I'm just going to make profits, the business can make profits. And that's how we're going to get rich, and we're going to work hard. But that's not how you do it. That's just setting yourself up for burnout, and exhaustion, which happened to us, what you want to be doing is, you want to be creating a structure that actually creates a valuable asset, you want to create a business engine that ultimately does the work for you that you can step back from.   So there was like a huge mind shift, understanding the difference really, between what is a self employed person and a business owner. And so to give you like an example, my first business, I had 65 stops, was going for five years, and it was a poor million dollar business each year. And so someone would say, well, there must be worth a lot of money. The truth was, that had very little value. Because if Gary and I stepped out about sequence drop dead, the business just couldn't work. So it has very little value, even though it's perceived, well, amazing.   The second business I created from an idea in a home office, and it was me with a notebook. I've set up distribution of East retailers, distribution retailers around the world, it was just me one person with a notebook at a home office working to two days a week once that thing was set up. Obviously, there's a lot of groundwork setting up, but there was barely the three and a half million dollars after three years. That's, that's the difference. When I'm talking about now. I had to learn this on my journey. And most business, I just don't know this exists.   And that's very powerful knowledge. And so the question is, well, okay, well, how do you do that? How do you go from an unlimited limited structure? How do you get an engine working? How do you step back so that your business actually worth something that you can sell? And you can have a life not be equal for your business, which is, you know, most business owners are stressed time or? And the intent or the purpose of the business is just not what they set out? It's a complete opposite. Yeah. And which leads us to the chat with you today, the seven steps, the sequential steps, and the sequencing is like, the key, which I learned, because, no, you can't build a house with the roof first and put all the fancy chandeliers and if you don't have structure, so it's all a collapse.   And that's really, our businesses, people want to build a website, or let's give them a Facebook page. That's like your chandelier or your roof. Well, who is it? What's your what's your resonating message? And you know, how are you going to scale this thing without killing So? So that leads us into race discussion, the seven steps, how did they come about? It came about through my lessons, and the first one is optimizing your mindset.   Now. When you speak to most people about success in business, they will say well in sales and marketing strategies, growth strategies, negotiation products and services, websites, digital marketing, all the cool stuff, and you do need all that but there's a piece next to that call you and if you're not straight upstairs in the head, or you're not sorted out in your brain Well, you're going to sabotage your business no matter how good your sales and marketing negotiation, or whatever. And that's really what happened to me my first business because every one of us has self sabotaging traits. No, no, no one's exempt.   And, you know, the people who think they they don't have any losers or prohibition, you know, which often you hear and that was me, that's the voice of my younger man speaking. I the ones who needed that the most they need the help the most, but they the ego says not nurturance not me, I've got it all worked out. And you know, these self sabotaging beliefs usually stemmed from our childhood, you know, the way we were raised the beliefs installed stillness. You know, my biggest problem was my ego. For Success. No one could tell me what to look around them would kill me. Where I couldn't see was my business. Some sort of train racing towards the water 300 kilometers out, no charge, not anyone's going to tell me the difference.   So I had a crash, burn and things like people have have issues with money is very common in business, the way they're raised the teachers, the church, the parents, whatever, you know, if they told rich people evil, or no, you have a low self esteem or low value of money, if your services say $150 that you charge for the service, but you have this thing with money, where you don't believe people will actually pay for that, because you're not worth it or whatever, you're going to start selling your service for $40 or $45.   And so that's what you call self sabotaging traits. It doesn't matter how much time energy and effort you put into your business strategies. You're an entrepreneur wise, your mindset, your business actually doesn't have a choice. Yeah, so that's why step one is, hey, you gotta fix your brain. You need help?   Roy Barker  11:01 Yeah, yeah. And so many times we, we let the business start driving us instead of us driving the business. And I think you know, you're right, because when we trade that time for money than it, all that means is we just have to work more, to earn more. And then, of course, like you said, it leads us down that path to burnout.   Luke  11:22 Correct? It's a vicious cycle, you know, because cash flow gets tighter, okay, we need to work harder, but you got no time. And then you get exhausted and you just can never get over that grudge. Right? That's a structural problem. Yeah. And so the second piece is optimizing your niche versus step two. So here's a very common mistake in business, people try to sell the products and services to the wrong customers. You can't sell meat to a vegetarian. Doesn't matter how fancy your sales pitches if the meats been blessed by the Pope.   How many times you practice your pitch, how many energy put into your presentations, you can change the price that doesn't matter what you're trying to do a vegetarian is just not going to buy your meat, they're not your real customers. Right? What you want to do is spend your time finding meat lovers. So they're not trying and convince and spend energy trying to convert a vegetarian that's just not optimizing your energy and time sales. So the lesson is, stop trying to waste your time trying to sell to the wrong people.   And what I find is dealing with lots of businesses over the years, most businesses are tortures to sell, sell, sell, you know, the sales managers setting budgets and targets and they slam the hell out of the sales teams. Get on the phone, you want to make 100 calls today, blah, blah, blah. That's not really smart. Because first of all, who wants to be a salesperson being told to go to hell every five phone calls and maybe you have 250 phone calls you get a break?   What is it doing the brand of your business where your pack the hands, selling, counting customers, chronic onboard customers the wrong decision, pressure tactics, manipulation tactics, which is if you know what I'm talking, you get the sales phone calls all day handling you no one enjoys that and doesn't have a good reflection on the brain. So what should you be doing? This is where I think a lot of marketing companies get things wrong. There's a difference between your ideal customer and your real customer.   So one of the first things you always hear is that what is your ideal avatar? What is your ideal customer what they look like? The truth is I've found a lot of businesses not all of them have worked as you know what I've found over the years and on the business, I mean that when you actually go out there and you start selling and doing things, your ideal customer who you thought was gonna buy your stuff very rarely ends up being the person who actually hand you cash in hand.   And so what you want to do is you want to like hone in on your niche and optimize your niche you want to find out over time you all these real customers are the ones that are actually giving you the cash and stop trying to chase ideal customers you probably know it's like the wrong marketing This is the wrong currency trying to give these people aren't your real customers and service them go ahead No, no,   Roy Barker  14:48 no, I was just gonna say because you know, even marketing we if we don't really niche down to our buyers, you know, we end up spending a lot of money casting this wide net Over people, like you said, you know, we're the meat salesman, and we're throwing a wide net over vegetarians as well. And even if we, you know, maybe we it's something that they may not know that, that it's not for them, then we can waste our sales team's time we waste You know, a lot of time and energy, talking and dealing with people that ultimately aren't our customers anyway,   Luke  15:25 True and then what happens in that situation is the manipulation, the pressure tactics, and some people are polite, and they given to the pressure and they buy other stuff, but that that leads to resentment, resentment of the salesperson presenting to their company's brand online because no one likes to be sold under pressure or manipulated into into selling something you want a customer to walk away saying, this is the right product, love that salesperson love the company, I'm going to refer my friends to them.   Roy Barker  15:57 Yeah, because sometimes it's even not as defined as just like, you know, the vegetarian in the meat lover, but it can be maybe not even the right time. Maybe it's an age thing. Maybe it's a stage in life. But now I've made you upset. And so when it is your time to be my customers like, Hey, I remember those guys. I don't want anything to do with them.   Luke  16:20 Absolutely. Yeah. Bang on this like a short term view elliniko cash in the bank today, there's no long term transit the transactional value today not live value of the customer.   Roy Barker  16:32 Right, right.   Luke  16:34 And so that leads us to step number three, which is optimize your sales now. I've been building business for 25 years. And I've sat through dozens and dozens of just about every sales training under the sun conferences, whatever. And they all tell you this a sales cycle or sales model, and find the leads, connect qualified present, overcome objections, close the deal nurture in all these fuzzy terms.   But there, I believe that the sales cycles are missing out on the, you know, the most important pieces to be successful in sales. And I'm talking long term view. And I believe there's two secrets that every sales process needs to be successful themselves. And the first one is, what I before becoming a master salesperson, without all the tactics and pressure, and that is let your customers buy don't sell. Right.   And it's quite hard for people to imagine, but there's a process. You set your framing and a property and you just allow the customer to be in control of the equation. They put them at ease number one, because they can make the choice to bet caught on not genuinely, they're more inclined to buy from you when they feel in control, or they buy.   And the second the second thing I'll actually ask you question is what is the thing that number one thing more that you are subconsciously scanning for? When you're going to buy something from someone? That is?   Roy Barker  18:23 Well for myself? Usually it's trust   Luke  18:27 thing on it. Okay, that is not many people get that right. That's actually that's exactly it. That's trust, when you grant a boss or buy something from the salesperson, you only look at a product or service, they haven't even opened your mouth. You're scanning for that one thing, do I trust this person. And if you buy like that doesn't matter how good your your sales pitch or how fancy product is only five stars, it's good. I don't like you don't trust you. Gonna go and find someone else. You may even have inferior product or whatever it may be me or sales person, but they got integrity, where they got their personal branding of trust. So me to optimize your sales. That's what you need to do is just average those two critical things.   Roy Barker  19:22 Yeah, it's so important on the trust, because I'll be honest, I will pay a premium for somebody's product or our service where I trust them. And I know that they're going to be there you know, sometimes they're one off purchases, but usually it's it's usually going to lead to more purchases and I want somebody that I trust is going to be there to take care of me after the fact and what I don't get a lot about these.   You know about the high pressure sales is there are people that you can bend into buying what you want, you can manipulate them, you can trick them, you can pressure them, you can do all that stuff, but well I found over the years is that tend tends to make a bad customer that, you know, they don't get what they thought that trust isn't there, there's no follow up. And then now you've got somebody who purchased that may be upset. And it's gonna end up costing you more money and time to deal with that in the long run.   Luke  20:21 Absolutely. That's like taking a longer term view, as opposed to, like, let's get some cash on the top today. And that's, that's the thing, most sales people I mean, I've had worked in corporate environments. And most salespeople are they just got managers on the back of the managers, you got the CEOs on the back on the board, and it's slam those targets, get those targets, sell, sell, sell.   Now that takes care of that, you know, the sales managers bonus and the salespersons. commission, or that doesn't take care of your customers. Right. Right. So that only takes us then to optimize your marketing as the next step, because why is marketing? And step four? Well, the first few steps is who are boom? Are your customers who are really selling to who's gonna buy from you the quickest and easiest. And then when you work out when you're selling? What products will they buy from you the quickest and easiest, as opposed to what do you want to sell? And who do you want to sell to to different scenarios, once you work that out through the steps?   Well, that's when it's time to now market. Because, you know, if you try and talk to everyone, connect with no one. And yet, in my first business, we, we we sold computers, we've started out selling personalized software programs, which was a disaster. No one bought it, we thought it was, you know, your search engine was gonna change the world. But it was just an army, we were not in a lucrative niche. This is a classic example, I spoke earlier about our ideal customers where, you know, businesses are going to buy our software, improve the profits and efficiency and blah, blah, blah, no one bought our stuff. And real customers actually ended up being families.   Selling buying computers are both two different worlds apart. That's where the money led us. And that's ultimately, when the business started taking off. This is what I call you follow the cash flowing. We had stuck our heels in and had a chart on the wall about your customers will still be there today with no money. And so this is where connect chronotope day run connector, no one comes in. So when we started selling computers, customers will start asking us cars and last cars, but just software's not interested. But however, do you sell computer audio?   There's what I call following the money shifting from non lucrative niches to niches customers just asked us we weren't even trying to sell something they're asking us Can we buy? Yeah, so we started selling computers. But if you take computers, that's a huge niche, right? You can have it managers and they can have larger businesses, property owners, who have bigger budgets, you can have small little companies, Home Home operators with tiny budgets, families, bargain hunters gains, all by computers. But you have to have a lot like every one of those, you have a separate resignated message. And that's where you have to find out what he wants to buy from you.   And what do they really want to buy. And so in our business, when things went from struggle to rocket taking offers, is the process I'm sharing with you the first few steps, we found that these people were buying, but he was buying from us the quickest and easiest, he was our most lucrative niche. And that became families. Family. Wasn't that those back in the 90s internet precursor computers were not mainstream. Right, right. And so we tapped into this and then we started honing our messaging offering towards families.   And so targeting a message or resonating message, shorter family is very, very different to an IT manager of a corporation. And so this is what I say like, optimize your marketing, create that resonating message. Now one of the natural things that comes up at this point is what? Surely if you are targeting lucrative niches where the money's flowing, you're going to have more competition. Yes, you are. And this is quite a hard concept for many business owners to cross I've found over the years. I say, well, there's no competition. So I'm going to put my business is smart businesses go to where the money's flowing.   So if you find a niche An opportunity where there's no competition, but chances are, that it's a more liquid niche, it's like trying to find gold in the leg might gotta go to where the money's flying and where the money is flying is going to be competition. Right? That's not about what you got to do in that situation is you just got to go through the steps on site, because what you got to do in that situation in their crowded niche, lucrative niche with these money, is you've got to stand out. And the way you stand out is you've got to create your X Factor on Create your X Factor your resonating message, if you haven't, the what we did was who we actually talking to, what are the radio on the vibe from you?   And the third part of that is, well, what is your competition thing wrong? So that's becomes more then plug the gaps. That secret you extract in your resume the message, that's how you optimize your marketing. That's a very, very powerful technique that I learned. And that's only when you get to that point, can you start to scale marketing. And this, I think, is probably one of the most important pieces on the call today. What most people do in business. They start off with a website. I mean, just about every client I have.   First thing I do is like a corporate website. And I say but what about step one? Step two, and step three, like we're talking about? What is your message? What they spent $10,000 on Facebook ads, and they got a digital marketing agency, and they got an SEO company do all the stuff. And I'm saying what are the marketing niches? If you can't tell me on this call? What is your resonating message? So why are you standing up? First of all, what niche are you in? Right? And why our customers come to you not competition? If you can on that?   How are you spending all this money? What are you actually marketing? Just noise and confusion? You're hoping? Many do that? Well, if we market our customers, we'll work out why we are different I can buy from us, which is ludicrous. Right? Yeah. And that's what happens. And so that's one step pause. happens then not before? Yeah,   Roy Barker  27:06 you know, the other part of that, using computers as a good example that when you What do you? When we think about that, what are we going to mark, if we don't know, our nice, what are we going to market because if we're marketing to all computer users, that's a lot of inventory, it's a lot of different configurations, it's a lot of, you know, screens, it's a lot of inventory. And so knowing that, you know, we pick one out, maybe, you know, it's the family, like you said, this typical setup is what works for most families versus, you know, the gamers or the business people.   So it helps us to, you know, kind of on that back end as well to, to have the product that they're gonna want not, you know, somebody calls you, again, recalls you out of the blue. And that's just not the target. It's easy to say you're not, you know, you're not in our customer base. But this these people are,   Luke  28:03 right, this is what our church is optimizing, like optimizing your business engine, so that you're not wasting time doing all these wrong things, you you process that I'm explaining the steps as what I call the fastest route to passion, just go with the cash flowing, your objective of businesses to be profitable, give yourself time and money in a lifetime, your choice not chasing datings and killing yourself, all the wrong bits and pieces. And this is where the optimization strategies come and missteps. which then leads us to point five.   And this is not optimizing your efficiency. So you've got all the stuff going, you worked out what you sell, and you're selling to your marketing is kicked in your neck, your message, well, then you need to start optimizing your efficiencies, your workflow processes, because obviously, this steps you out of the engine annoys you forever in that engine. And, again, this was a great lesson, I learned that the real money is not in your products and services. It's in your ability to leverage your time, energy and resource to selling your products and services. And one of the best ways to do this is through adventuring, tapping into others, already got everything out.   They just happen to learn to joint venture with other businesses so that you don't have to reinvent the process. They want all the infrastructure, their customers, they've got everything going on. And so one of the ways is through joint venturing, but great joint ventures, you actually have to have time to set up a joint venture and do a proper job. And the more efficient you're inefficient you are in the business, the less time you have. The reason why it's because you're so busy chasing your tail. You are doing all the work, not your business, right.   So there's four ways to become more efficient in your business, the first one is stop trading time for money. The second one is create an unlimited earning structure. Third one is systemize your business. And the fourth one, which I mentioned is use joint ventures, to grow your business independently of you. When you do this, this is like the foundation, this is the formula, right? It creates a business engine that does the work for you, your business starts to grow independently of you. And this is how your business, creates value in that.   And this is how you create a valuable asset to set you up for life. And when you build a business this way, which is how I build my second business and all my subsequent businesses, you work for less hours, you under way less stress. And of course, you can build an asset that you can cash out on which I've done a few times. I mean, the success in this was the biggest lesson I learned all the assets that you can sell. Don't just keep working on that post every day to profits.   Roy Barker  31:18 Yeah, yeah, it's tough. You know, if you, if you don't systemize, like you said, if you end up having to touch everything that goes out the front door, you become limited by their 24 hours in every day. And so, you know, setting that system up to where we can really make it happen without us having to touch every unit or be a part of every service.   That's how we really grow exponentially. And you know, you brought up something else will earlier about, you know, what would the business be worth but it's the same thing, if if this business is dependent upon you touching everything, typically, your business, if you want to go sell, it will be valued much less. Because if you remove yourself from the business, and this other person that's buying it, they're typically not wanting to buy a job, they want to buy a business.   Luke  32:08 Absolutely. Absolutely. You have to demonstrate that they are buying something that runs because if they put themselves in trying to figure out everything you're doing, that's not very attractive for me. Right, right. And so you got to demonstrate this is like a machine that they just turn the key and indicate and put the lights on. That's what they're looking for. Right, exactly. And so the next piece is, okay, so you've got your flow processes your systems, the next thing is you want to optimize your team. And what most people do is they do this the other way around, they get a team, and then they try to systemize the business?   Because I don't know that's what they do. And I guess it's a natural part of business evolution, how ever a problem is if you have staff and no system, what are you doing? Just creating more headaches yourself, because staff don't really know what they're supposed to be doing many of them trying. But there's there's gray areas, there's all sorts of things they've dropped, the boss may drop the stock man and staff leave because they get frustrated renting the proper leadership. And that's because just inefficiency says business has not been occupied, it's not ready yet to actually take on staff.   So the staff are there to help the boss but what they actually do is drag the boss nuts, and try and drain more of the time, put stress on the complete opposite of why you employed someone in the first place. And so step six is optimize your team. And your chains only as strong as your weakest link. Now, it's very common for business owners and managers to blame stuff shut and scream carry on when things go wrong. But often, you know, screaming and shouting and carrying on doesn't really fix the situation.   Right. and managing, motivating, getting staff to operate at peak performance. That's a challenge. I think any business owner would realize that and acknowledge that. And it's no good promising the world your customers are good your if your staff keep letting you down. You know, one of the reasons they're letting you down as well, because you probably don't have systems in place for them to execute.   And the busier you get, the more messy things become. And so you know, this happens every every day. And usually staff staff are the biggest overhead and managing staff are the biggest stress points for our business owners and managers. I think everyone agrees that's not us. So how do you go about optimizing your staff? Well, I had 65 staff my first business and systems and they were very foreign territory for me stick and understand the stress and pails I went through. But through that I did learn a lot of things. And there's actually eight points but the time is short. I'm going to give you three Three ways of how do you go about optimizing my team and the first one is ensure your staff understand how they contribute to the bigger picture.   So when our employee employee is engaged and made to feel that they're part of something bigger than themselves, produces a sense of value and belonging. And listen turn, makes him perform better and produce more favorable, favorable results compared to employee who's just given a task and a manager looking over the shoulder and shouting and screaming. Second one is structure first staff second.   Think you want to paint your business to fit a stock was 10. From tempers, demands personality, or, you know what they're good at or what they are not good at, which most businesses do this, and they create a structure to fit this in. Now, that's, that's a recipe for disaster. What happens when a staff member leaves or you suddenly have a huge crack in your, in your business structure. So every position should have a set of responsibilities to optimize the performance of their position. And then what you do is you then go and find the right store staff member to fill these positions that optimize your business, not any staff member.   The right staff member. And the third one is don't be held ransom. So many business owners are held to ransom by staff members, they live in fear that the staff members will leave. And then what are they going to do? And so they pander to staff, the morons to the detriment of, of the business. Or if you are clear on the positions and make your company work that needs to function, and inside each of those positions, you crystal clear on the responsibilities that make their position optimal?   Well, then you you caught comfortable to go out and find the right people to fit your profile your tasks not depend on someone jumping and screaming and only ransom. And so after the specific action, I just did it three for the time. And then so did you want to say yes, I   Roy Barker  37:26 was gonna say, it's very important, because before you got into that, I was gonna say, you know, we need to step back to that last step to the systems that we create, because a lot of businesses that I work with, it's the business or the management has failed the staff, not the staff failing the business. And I think that we get that wrong, because we've done one of two things, we haven't hired the right person to put in that seat.   And that's number one. And then number two is like, I think you said in your, in the first step of that is that we don't tell them how they are an integral part of this business, what they do. And it can be as simple as a receptionist that you're the first person that people talk to, and the first person that people see when they walk in, you were one of the most important people in this business, because if they come in and you're sour, you're out the door.   And so, you know, but just working with people like that, like you get a bad phone call and it makes you upset, walk away, get somebody to cover your desk for 15 minutes, clear your head, don't sit there and talk to that next customer with the you know, the hangover of being upset. customer. So, anyway, I feel like that a lot of times that, you know, we look at staff and that person is not a good, they didn't do a good job. And I just think we set them up for failure a lot of times   Luke  38:58 100% agree, right? Yeah. Okay, so the final step of building your business engine is optimize your wealth. And, as I said, as I mentioned earlier, when I first started in business, I didn't even understand what this meant this concept of building a business to create wealth. It was just what are you? What do you own it, it just didn't exist. And, like I said, the mistake that Gary now made me first time around which most businesses I work with are doing the same thing.   They would just fold throw to the wall. And they're trying to make as much profit as possible because they think this is the way that they're going to build lifestyle of their choice. They're going to get financial freedom, whatever. But this is, this is like I said, the first step is like changing your mindset, optimizing your mindset. There's two ways you build a business. And the first the first mistake most most business owners did like I didn't know First business was working to make profits today by creating wealth for your future.   So what cost you do everyday in your business? Is it hit through dying by the bolts, or you working to set yourselves up for the future. And that's the concept. It's, it's a mindset. And it's two different strategies of how you build your business. And it goes back to the point when I first started, this is the difference between being self employed and being a business owner.   And I see business owners, they exchange time for money, this sort nothing to do with how fancy your turnover is, or how many staff you've got, or you know, you've been in business 30 years, it actually doesn't matter. It's the structure of your business, and how you go about building your business every single day, that is ultimately going to determine whether your business achieves what you set out in the first place.   We also had a build business to give us a lifestyle about choice, freedom at some time freedom, money freedom, lifestyle, less stress, whatever. What the truth is, I think it's like 96% of businesses go about building the business the wrong way. Like I did. And you ultimately pay the price, burnout or your dreams disappear. And it just becomes just become inside this engine. It just kills you.   Roy Barker  41:27 Yeah. And it you know, one thing a lot of people don't think about is, their, there are businesses that go out of business, because they don't have business. But there's a lot of businesses that get hurt, because they actually have too much success. And they haven't walked through these optimal optimization steps, they don't have structures, they don't have systems in place, and then you know, they kind of just get drowned in their own success.   And, to me, that's the very worst thing to see. Because even if we have a little side hustle that we're starting, if you want to grow it, you really have to think about this stuff from the very beginning from day one, because you can get too far down the road. And then it's not that you can't do it, but it's much more difficult to stop a move and train to move it over to another set of tracks.   Luke  42:23 Like that. Yeah, that's, that's correct. That's a good. Yeah. So the final final piece I have for you, Roy, is just to reflect your three stages of building your business that, you know, I can bring to business owners attention, or people building the business. And the first one is, you know, building your business engine, the first thing is the doing, you can't get rid of the doing in the first stage. And that doing is you've got to prove your concept.   So you can't scale something or, you know, become independent, but if it's not proven, you got to prove a concept, it's got to work, it's got to get results for your customers, whatever that means. And it's got to be profitable, that's the first piece then what you do is you move to the managing stage. And that's of course, putting your your flow processes in your systems. And then your staff putting in management, you know, structure KPIs, budgets, targets, etc, that's managing it.   And then the final stage is, of course, that engine is now running, you step back, and your business is producing independent of you. That's your investment, that you keep nurturing and looking after, for for your future. Yeah.   Roy Barker  43:39 Yeah, so important, because that's the one reason what we most of us want to step out here is to give ourself a better life, you know, at some point in the future. So it actually takes care to set ourselves up to be able to do that to achieve that goal. Alright, Luke, any other words of wisdom you want to leave us with? Before we wrap up?   Luke  44:01 I just want to thank you. It's been a pleasure. Hopefully, you found it useful.   Roy Barker  44:07 Yeah, yeah. I mean, these are great seven steps to optimization that, you know, we all need to keep in mind. And then I think, you know, you stress to that the order, there's a certain order that we need to work these down in order to make to make it make sense for our business. So before we wrap up a couple things, one, first question is, what is a tool or a habit, something that you use in your daily life, either professional or personal, that you feel like adds a lot of value?   Luke  44:43 One of the things I found when I was like, again, the biggest lesson was my first business, I had little peace of mind. So sort of an oxymoron. You're desperately trying to work. Give yourself, freedom and call that freedom is peace. Mind free of worry and stress. And it in my first person said for a large portion of my life, because I'm a business owner, I was always stressed, stressed dismissed, as you know, this is this never ending stress.   And one of the ways I found to manage that was, I take time in the morning, I live near the beach here in Australia. I take time out in the morning, but 20 minutes each morning, I get up early, and I just go down there and just spend quiet time just reflecting on life and things and things that worry me and try to this late post going. And, you know, this is I guess, being my saving grace, because when I'm, if I don't do that, what happens all the stress builds up, builds up, and eventually you start freaking out, you get sick, you get run down.   And your brain becomes like a washing machine is not healthy, don't make good decisions. You're not good to your family, your friends, and you have to learn to manage the stuff. Because there's no one business is not stressed. I mean, anyone who tells you that's mad. So how do you manage the stuff and I found it's a discipline. So whatever brings you joy, like walk with the dog in the morning, or the evening, I found morning is better.   So set yourself up for the day. But some people might want to diffuse at the end of the day, maybe you can do both. You got to have that precious time that diffusion or setting your priorities. That's what I found is against my sanity over the years as being a business owner, because, you know, it's never easy.   Roy Barker  46:40 Yeah, it's, it's, it does wonders, to start your day outright with the little you know, for us, we just take a little walk around the area where we live, and then hopefully in the evening, you know, we can do that just to kind of clear our head and be done with today. So we can move on to you know, having family time and then also to restful sleep. So I think it's very important, different for everybody. So you know, I just always say, try to find your happy place, wherever that is.   Sometimes it's just setting and being with yourself. But that's kind of another part of that is we need to be comfortable with ourselves, too. So we can actually do that. Yeah, that's great. All right, Luke. Well, again, thank you so much. So tell everybody, you know, what kind of businesses do you like to work with? How you can help them? You know, where can they come to, you get to get more information and training on the seven steps to optimization.   Luke  47:38 So I typically work with business owners who pretty much found themselves trapped in an engine, like how do they they exchanging time for money, they need to learn how to leverage? And how do they How do they unstrap themselves and give them you know, freedom, freedom, free of worries, they want more time? And how did they get the business working for them?   How do they put the infrastructure in place that this thing is becomes a valuable asset, that they can cash out one day or give to the kids or whatever. So that is, anyone is in that frame of mind, who has, you know, been struggling once once that outcome, that's what I'm very structured, we put you through the seven steps. And I've been doing this for over 12 years, many, many businesses all around the world have got incredible results. That is, you obviously have to do the work. And so there's two ways, you can either just go to my website   And contact me on the contact page. Or if you want some free training, or a full 90 minute masterclass of what we've taught today with the downloadable blueprint of the seven steps. Just go to training. And it's all free. There's no catches. And you can check it out and see if you like it.   Roy Barker  49:13 Okay, great. And we'll include all that in the show notes as well as on the web page so people can reach out. Very important to build yourself some structure, take the take the time to do these optimization steps. You can't go wrong and you won't be sorry, you know, at the end when you do have some freedom. And when it's you've built a sustainable business that can last for years and years.   Luke  49:38 Thank you, Roy. It's been a real pleasure speaking to you. And hopefully your audience. found it useful. Thank you so much.   Roy Barker  49:45 Yeah, it was very useful. Thank you so much, Luke. We appreciate it again for your time. that's gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. You can of course find us at we're on all the major your podcast platforms iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify for not a one that you listen to please reach out I'd be glad to get it added so you can listen easier.   Also, we're on all the major podcast excuse me, all the major social media networks usually hang out on Instagram a little bit more than other places. So reach out, we'd be glad to interact with you over there. Also, you can find a video of this interview live on our YouTube channel when the episode goes live as well. So until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.      
50:41 01/04/2022
Authenticity is a Great Way to Connect with Your Audience
Authenticity is a Great Way to Connect with Your Audience Featuring Ashleigh Chanel Authenticity is a great way to connect with your audience. There's an old saying, "Be yourself, everyone else is taken". How true is that saying? When we try to be someone we arent it really hinders our connection with others. It can also make us uncomfortable with what we are trying to accomplish. Be yourself, you will resonate with those you need to resonate with! About Ashleigh Your friendly, virtual, neighborhood Marketing Genie here to make all of your marketing dreams come true. I’m Ashleigh Chanel! A world-traveling gadgets addict and Expert Digital Marketer. I am also the CEO of Make Your Mark Digital Marketing Agency. I’m passionate about helping women business owners to market profitably through innovation, creativity, action, and implementing strategic digital media strategies that transform their business. Through my over a decade journey, I have consistently added monthly 5 and 6 figure revenue to my client's top-line — product, service, and local businesses alike. This is all done through organic and paid advertising. This positions my clients as authorities in their industries, gain the trust of their ideal audiences, and builds highly profitable business. Instagram - @ashleighchanel   Full Transcript Below Authenticity is a Great Way to Connect with Your Audience Featuring Ashleigh Chanel Thu, 8/5 12:13PM • 43:37 SUMMARY KEYWORDS marketing, clients, people, business, messaging, audience, hire, Ashleigh, pay, buy, reach, ad, important, vanity metrics, influencer, run, bit, knowing, speak, stepped, Authenticity is a great way to connect, connect with you audience SPEAKERS Ashleigh, Roy Barker Roy Barker  00:03 Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy. Of course, we're the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that can speak to a diverse set of topics. Hopefully, we can shine the light on some things that you may not have thought about, or at the very least, if you have something that's keeping you up at night, we can provide you some information and some professionals to help you out. Our main goal is that, you know, we want to see everybody successful. And today we're excited to have Ashleigh Chanel. She is your friendly virtual neighborhood marketing Genie, here to make all of your marketing dreams come true. She's a world traveling gadgets addict, addict and expert digital marketer. She is also the CEO of Make Your Mark digital marketing agency. She is passionate about helping women business owners to market profitable through innovation, creativity, action, and implementing strategic digital media strategies that transforms their businesses. Through her over a decade journey, she has consistently added monthly five and six figure revenue to her clients top line product service and local businesses alike. This is all done through organic and paid advertising this, she positions her clients, as authorities in their industries gains the trust of their ideal audiences and builds highly profitable businesses. Ashleigh, welcome to the show. Thank you so much.   Ashleigh  01:32 Thanks for having me. Happy to be here.   Roy Barker  01:34 Oh, great. Great. Yeah, we're excited to talk to you about, you know, getting into marketing and the authenticity aspect. But before we get there, tell us a little bit about your journey. is marketing something that you you know, you just have always wanted to do you're always in that? Or is it kind of been one of those long and twisted roads getting here?   Ashleigh  01:55 No, it has not been a long interested road, it has been a straight shot. My mom was an HR all my life. And she gave me those assessments, you know, those like career assessments, and I took one and we kind of figured because I actually use my brain equally like the left side and the right side. So I'm creative, and I'm analytic. And we figured that, you know, marketing would be a great opportunity for me and I went and my undergrad was in entrepreneurship and marketing. And then my MBA, I got my MBA in Italy. And that was a double concentration in global marketing, global finance. So it was a straight shot.   Roy Barker  02:38 Wow. And got to study in Italy, too. I did. Wow, I'm jealous, I'm jealous. Well, you know, we had a pre show conversation. And, you know, we want to talk a little bit about authenticity. And you know, you were saying that you've really seen a lot of changes from to, you know, around 2018 2019 coming into today. Can you tell us a little bit about, you know, what you're seeing?   Ashleigh  03:02 Yeah, I think because of COVID, because of the pandemic, because of the shutdown, everyone kind of lost connection from, you know, family, friends, and sometimes within themselves. But what I've noticed was that people were craving connection, they were craving authenticity. I even asked my audience one of the questions, I sent them a survey and I was like, What is something one of the questions was, what is something that you cannot stand when it comes to marketing and marketers? And they said, once I like they all say that, you know, this can happen overnight, or it's one size fits all marketing. And I hate that because they know it's not true, you know, our buyers, our customers, our humans, they are not dumb. So if you're going to sell to them, sell to them in a way that makes sense to themselves, to them in a way that connects with them. Because what what was going on in 2012, 2016, 2018-19 is not gonna fly now. Because they're just over it. So.   Roy Barker  04:11 Yeah, and, you know, there's an old saying that, you know, you have to be yourself because everybody else has taken and so yeah, I think that we, you know, we miss that we look at there's so much stuff coming at us all the time. And we, you know, we think, oh, look at this guy, what's he doing? And, you know, should I do that, and sometimes we just have to, basically, you know, we had to run our own race standard rule and do our own thing. And, you know, kind of back to what you said to about one size fits all is that that's one thing I kind of warn prospective buyers about is if somebody comes to you and says, I got you know, this plan is work for everybody. It'll work for you. Typically a huge red flag because they don't know who you are. They don't know what your product, your service. You know, we have to have somebody that takes a lot of money. interest in that,   Ashleigh  05:00 yeah, it's such a red flag. I it, you know, what's so important to me is integrity. And one of the things that I tell my clients is that I'm never going to do a rinse and repeat for you I'm, I'm always going to analyze, what are your clients saying? What do your clients want, because my job is to help your clients connect with you, right. And to do one size fits all to do the same strategy I did for one of my clients doesn't make sense for another one. Even if you're in the same industry, even if you have the same business model, your audience is different, your messaging is different. And you're like yourself, you're the personality of your business is different. So using the same strategy across the board does not make sense,   Roy Barker  05:45 right. And let's talk a little bit about marketing as a long term strategy versus short term and just that, you know, it's a marathon. And you have to, and I think it's interesting, you say, you know, we don't do the same things for you know, each and every client. But also, as you get started down this path, you may need to tweak what you're, you can't just say, in January, this is our plan, and this is what we're doing, but never really review what the results are that are coming from that.   Ashleigh  06:16 Absolutely data driven. Marketing is extremely important. Understanding what your clients are saying and, and what their actions are, is, is extremely important. I think it's when when you are looking at what your audience wants, and what they're saying to you, you can absolutely tweak in marketing, like you said, it's a marathon, it is not a sprint, and what the marketing community, the online marketing community especially has done, they have done a disservice to, to business owners everywhere, in my opinion, because they made it seem like this one thing can help you move forward, or this one hack is going to transform your business. But you have to look at what the data is saying if like for as just like for apps specifically, if someone if you have ads running and somebody is clicking, but they're not buying, there could be a disconnect between your messaging from what you said in the ad versus what they see on the landing page, they could, your load speed for your page could be really slow, and they're clicking out of it. Because who has time to wait, you know, point 03 seconds to load in a hurry, I gotta go. Exactly. So looking at the data and making decisions based on what is my data telling me. So if people aren't clicking on your ad, it could be your targeting, which means you may need to figure out some new targeting. Or it could be your messaging, you may not even be connecting with the with even the right audience. So these are things you have to look at and tweak. Don't tweak them all the same time. Because then you'll never know what what worked. But you really have to pay attention to what the data is   Roy Barker  08:00 telling you. Yeah, and you make a good point about the the disconnect between the click throughs. And what happens maybe once you get to your website, and it's It sounds very simplistic, but it's a step that is often overlooked is to test your path through there. Because there's nothing more off putting as a consumer than to you know, either be signing up for an email or trying to sign up for a product or whatever. And maybe the send button, it's not there. It does it.   Ashleigh  08:33 Yeah, because the page wasn't optimized properly. And it's like underneath this scroll, but you can't scroll and click at the same time that has happened to me that   Roy Barker  08:42 you're reading my mind. Yeah, and it's just and then that sets a bad tone for that person or that that company, it's like, because I look at things this way is that if you're not really interested in getting my business or getting my money, how interested Are you going to be in me, you know, for that follow up. And I think it's so important that we really have to give our prospects are those that are in that between being a prospect and a client, we really have to give them a lot of attention to show them that we are interested, you are a value to us.   Ashleigh  09:14 Absolutely.   Roy Barker  09:16 Yeah. And we can talk we were, you know, talking a little bit about authenticity. And it's interesting, because I hear a lot of times like, Oh, this guy's got, you know, million followers or whatever, and I don't but there's a lot that goes into that. Number one, we don't know how long they've been out there. But the other thing, I guess I saw this one thing, it's like, you know, they show when called train wrecks or people have in, you know, confrontations and things like that. And, you know, unfortunately, people like to click on train wrecks and see what's gonna happen. But that doesn't translate to my business. I mean, I could go out and do a train wreck video of my own, but it's not going to it will probably not attract People who are going to do business with me, right?   Ashleigh  10:03 Or maybe not even the people you want to do business with?   Roy Barker  10:08 Yeah. And so I think that gets back to, you know, running our own race. What is good for us? And that's take that next step back is that this is why when you have somebody come in to help you with your marketing, they have got to ask these questions like, Who are you? What do you want to try to attract here? Are we just attracting views? Is that our main thing? Because if it is different than trying to attract for a high price service, maybe,   Ashleigh  10:34 right, I know that there's a lot of a lot of disconnect. And I think the the internet kind of makes you feel bad about yourself or your business sometimes. And people think because like, initially, a lot of people and I've done it before, when I first got started, you start doing what the gurus are doing. And you don't pave your own way. And I realized that people started hiring me because they liked me. And I was like, oh, okay, well, then let me show my personality a little bit more. And like, really enjoy what I'm doing. And because initially, I just wanted my work to speak for itself. But to be honest, your work can't speak unless you do. So I needed to get out there. And I needed to show people who I was, what my values were, what mattered to me. And also letting them know what kind of clients I work with, and who likes to work with me. Because once I started being authentic, I started loving my clients, because initially, I was working with people who they were the reasons why I have certain things in my contracts now. So just knowing you know, what you want, what you want out of life, what you want out of your business, is going to I feel like catapult you into a direction that you're actually going to love and into a business that puts life into you instead of sucks the life out of you. Yeah,   Roy Barker  12:04 yeah, definitely. And you make a great point about, you know, your work speaking for itself, but people wanted to work with you, because I really liked you. And that's so important. When we think do pictures and do videos, write our stories, that we have to be authentic and tell our true story. Because people tend to buy from people that they like, or people that they maybe see a little bit of themself in. And so when we're trying to be somebody, we're not like you said, we will attract people that we really don't want to be doing business with.   Ashleigh  12:40 Right, I had, I was so scared to tell my story initially, because I didn't have a rags to riches story. Like, I grew up in a great neighborhood, I had a great job. You know what I mean? And I didn't have like, I haven't been homeless, you know, so I was like, well, who's gonna buy from me because I haven't, like, pulled myself up from the bootstraps or from the mud. And I was really self conscious about. But when I realized that I have another story from corporate that was that, that I know, so many people can relate to, and that I really have a vision and a grand goals for myself that I know that people can relate to. And my goal is to help get them to their goals. So when I figured out that my story matters, that's when a lot of like, I was just able to show fully.   Roy Barker  13:36 Yeah, yeah. And I think you're right, that sometimes even that's over done, and because we really don't know if those other stories are true or not. But you know, it's like, I'm the same way I came from a great family, you know, had a great childhood growing up. But, you know, it's taught me lessons, just like, you know, everybody's story has taught them lessons, how to relate to people. And, you know, the other thing is listening, is you mentioned that earlier, but we really have to listen to our client, you know, not only Who are they But who are they trying to reach and, you know, setting down I guess, and trying to figure out that the avatar, you know, who is that person that you're trying to reach out to with your product or service. Important for a lot of reasons, the messaging, if you're trying to reach somebody of my age versus you know, a 20 something gonna be a lot. The stimulus will be a lot different. The verbiage will be different. But you know, we have to really know, you know, where is this messaging going?   Ashleigh  14:38 Absolutely. I think the buyer persona or customer avatar, they're the same thing is the foundation and that's something else that I realized that the online marketing space has done everyone a disservice in and they don't teach marketing, which was crazy to me when I finally You know, realized, like, got over being starstruck and and saying, Oh my goodness, they're doing this, they're doing that when I really took a step back and was like Ashleigh, you know you like in our in the marketing, or in my entrepreneurship program, it was the number one entrepreneurship program in the country. And we had, you know, business owners and millionaires coming in every Tuesday doing lunch and learns, telling us talking to us about things and showing us their business and how things work. And I was like, Ashleigh, you know, what you're doing. And all of this stuff was not rooted in marketing. It was rooted in hats. And it was rooted in. I don't know, some, some of it was fear mongering some of it was, you know, do this, because it worked for me. And I'm like, that's not how you run a business, you have to have a foundation that's rooted in marketing. And the number one thing is knowing your audience, knowing what not only what age they are, what their sexual orientation is, what their marital status is, like those, okay? But sometimes those only matter if they matter. But what really matters is what makes them buy, what is it? What do they value when it comes to buying your product or service? What is it that's going to actually excite them? What are they freaking out about? What is wearing them day and night? And what do they what goals do they want to achieve? What do they want their life to look like, after they hire you or purchase your product or service, you know what I mean? So that is so important. And once you know that you'll never run out of content, you always know how to talk to your audience. And you'll always know how to reach them and where they are.   Roy Barker  16:48 Right? Yeah, and talking about that a guy told me a long time ago, if the influencer to make the purchase may not be the same person that's taking the money out of their wallet. And that's another thing to think about. And this, this guy did a, he had Taekwondo studio for kids. And so you know, what he, after advertising to the adults, because they're like now that the, you know, the kids will never do it. Not much traction. But when he shifted to, you know, running videos of kids breaking boards, and all the cool stuff that they were doing, he says, it took some time, but the kids just wore the parents down, like, I want to do this, I want to do this. And that's really when they picked up some traction.   Ashleigh  17:37 Yeah, that's so important, knowing who the influencers are, as well. And also, knowing when to when to speak to them. So I mean, I think that's awesome. I mean, good job for him. Because a lot of people don't realize that sometimes, you know, especially like, you know, what's interesting going into this new era of having partnerships in your relationships, and listening to children and allowing them their opinions to matter. This is something that was not the case, in my mom's generation, she raised me and sometimes not even in mind, but she raised me in a way that she asked for my opinion, and my opinion actually mattered. I know that I have a lot of friends who did not grow up like that. And I know a lot of people who did not grow up like that. But we're, we're in a new era, and you have to pay attention to that there are, you know, Generation Z, they are challenging their parents and their parents thinking, right. So when you are learning to market, that one of the things about being a marketer is that you can't be judgmental, you have to take what's that? So right now, we know that generation Z's are challenging their parents, how can how does that affect your marketing? How does that affect them showing up? And are they the influencer? Or are they the one who can actually you know purchase?   Roy Barker  19:03 Right? Yeah, definitely. And that's something else, you know, there used to be some good, good information on the different generations kind of what they were about what they wanted. And it's, it's an interesting background to really think about that not only for the communication part, but also for the, you know, what do they need out of this? Because there's some times when, you know, we can talk about employment that, you know, the younger generation now, they want the, the company to be more philanthropic, philanthropic, thing, you know, like environmental issues, or maybe they want some time off, once, you know, every month, a few hours a month to go work toward a charity or something that they really believe in. So, again, it really affects our messaging. Another thing I think is important is that whether you bring this in house or whether you hire somebody From the outside, like yourself, the business owner still really needs to be involved, there has to be communication back and forth for a lot of different reasons. But it's not just like, Oh, I finally got somebody do marketing. Now I can just not even think about that anymore. There still has to be. And I'll let you talk about, you know, kind of what do you need from your client to actually help them be successful?   Ashleigh  20:25 Yes, I'm so happy you said that. Because I cannot work with people who do not want to be involved in their own business, I can't, I can't work with them. Because they think that, Okay, I'm going to toss it over to them. And I don't have to do anything, which maybe if you're an enterprise, that is true, but when you are a smaller business, or even a medium sized business, you still need to be involved. Because you know, your client better than anyone. I mean, I do some in depth research, okay, I talk to their clients. And I do research on you know, their, their buying patterns and things like that, and go deep into their financials and things like that. But you still know your client, best your salespeople are the ones going out, or your front of house are the ones speaking to your clients. So you still have to be involved in some way to help shape and, and build a path to to the goal that you're looking to build. I mean, in those who don't want to be involved, I don't think really understand business, or they don't take their business as seriously as I think that they should. Because when I have stepped out of my business, things do not run the way that or when I've stepped out of certain pieces of my marketing, things don't run the way that they should. Right. And you have to be involved in it has to matter to you.   Roy Barker  21:54 Yeah, because I think there's there needs to be a lot of feedback. And this is where, you know, what I see a lot of times from, sometimes even the smallest of companies, if they have one person marketing, one person selling, there's no communication. And so, you know, you start a plan, something is not right, the wrong people are calling me if I never communicate that, how, how can we ever tweak our plan? You know, that's part of it is, you know, if I'm, if I used to do a lot of work in the senior living industry, and one example that I use, there is like, if you run marketing campaign, and you get 1000s, of inquiries, that's awesome. But if they're all 20, something, people with kids that you know, not your customer, not looking for a parent or grandparent, then it really doesn't matter. You know, the, to me, the success is that if we can convert all these leads that we generate into actual clients, which takes some, you know, back and forth to, to get that messaging just right,   Ashleigh  22:57 right. And, you know, marketing, no piece of marketing works by itself, you can run ads, but if that's all you're doing, ads are only there to generate leads, they are not there to sell for you. And that is a big misconception. You know, your your landing pages cannot work. If nobody sees them. You're you know, you can't follow up with people if there's no one in your pipeline. So all of these things cannot work by themselves. Marketing is a full and complete system. So you have to know who your audiences what your messaging is one of my clients, we, we honed her messaging. And then after that she started getting more clients because they aligned with the messaging that then the new messaging, right, because before she was speaking a little bit more generally. And when you're speaking to everyone, you are speaking to no one I'm sure   Roy Barker  23:50 your audience has heard that before. But I mean, it's it's so true. Right. And we talked a little bit about earlier. Well, we talked pre show about vanity results. And I always like to bring this up because, you know, there's a huge difference in in, I've got 1000 likes versus what what am I getting for business and this kind of translates back to the train wreck stuff is that, you know, I could do outrageous stuff to get views. But if those people are, you know, now they may be thinking this guy so crazy. I don't want to do business with you anyways, it's like, you know, you have to be careful. And, you know, like I've said before, is that you can we go to this Mexican restaurant quite a bit. And I always tell like, you know, one time I went in there, and they brought me the bill and I gave them a Facebook page and said, Well, can you just take it off these 1000 likes that I have and you know, they look at you like you're crazy. So there's a huge difference between getting some likes versus getting the dollars in the door.   Ashleigh  24:53 Right? I would say always mind the business that pays you and likes don't Pay likes are vanity metrics. And they may look good because I mean, I have a story where someone didn't hire me, because I did not have a lot of followers. And he was like, Well, how can you make me money if you don't have a lot of followers, and I was like, Oh, sweetie, how sad that that's what you think, is going to make you money instead of me knowing the fundamentals of marketing and getting you in front of your audience. But which is also interesting, people don't want to pay money to make money. Yeah, and sometimes, you know, you can start a business with little to no money. But typically, you do have to spend a little bit of money to make money. But when it comes to vanity metrics, I don't have a lot of followers now, on social media. It's not a priority for me to build my following, but I absolutely can make money. Because of what I know about my clients. And because I'm positioned properly, and because I have a great front facing offer to get people in to my pipeline. And I know my conversion rates, and I know all of these things about my business and my clients business and what they inherently want, which is to be able to do what they want, when they want how they want. I can speak directly to that. I know not all marketers have clients who want that. Some people say some of my friends clients say the first thing that they say, I want to spend more time with my family. My clients don't say that. But it's involved in the doing what they want, when they want how they want. But the first thing that they really just want the truth freedom, that building a business can can give them, right, but there are steps you have to take in order to scale your business to that point.   Roy Barker  26:42 Yeah, and it gets back to the longevity and the marathon that, you know, that's this is kind of extreme. I know, but I can't give you $25 and say, Can you just buy me a Facebook ad? And then, you know, we're done. Right? I mean, it takes a lot of it takes, you know, there, there used to be formulas that said, if you want to increase it by this much, this is what your ad spend should be. But you know, the the I think the reality of this is that it it's over time, because the first time I see you, and your product or your service, if I'm not needing it, I'm just moving on, I don't even pay attention. But now I've seen you 10 times A times 30 times. Well, now today, guess what I woke up this morning, and I need what you're selling. And so you're top of mind, because you've been there, right, you know, period. And, again, I think it's a misconception with the internet. And with our short attention spans, you know, we think we can just throw a couple dollars out run one ad and be like, we've done are really in there.   Ashleigh  27:51 It's so interesting, because now, you know, I know a lot of people know, or have heard that it takes you know, seven times for somebody to buy from you seven to nine, and that's active selling, right? That is like somebody coming to your house or calling you and you know, having a sales call with you and things like that. But on the internet, it takes upwards of 12 times for someone to even trust you 7-12 touch points. So meaning them seeing email saying add watching a video, looking at your content, and up to 24 times for somebody to touch points for someone to buy from you. Yeah. So how are you reaching these people? Do you have the content out? And is? Is it the content that makes you money? Because I have people who find me who have never heard of me before and book a call because I have all of my touch points available for them. Yeah, and I and my content speaks directly to them. So I don't need 5000 people to like my video, I need five right people to watch my video. And so when you're talking about vanity metrics, like you said, vanity metrics, they don't pay bills, your views don't pay bills, you're the only time your views and likes may or may pay bills as if you are an influencer, like your job is to partner with brands and give them that brand awareness. But other than that, awareness doesn't always it doesn't typically pay the bills for most businesses. So what you need to do is get in front of the right audience and speak their language speak to their problems or fears or goals or pain points and whatever challenges they have. So that when they like it, they're actually going to take action on it not, you know, just having 1000 likes and then nobody does anything with it because it'll   Roy Barker  29:44 Right, right. Yeah. And I'm sure like an all inclusive strategy. You tell us what components of that typically look like because, you know, we may have one sector that performs better than others, but we really can't just ignore different parts of the marketing process, right?   Ashleigh  30:04 So what I say is, I help my clients in a way where I build funnels for them. And a funnel is just a marketing and sales system. That's all a funnel is because I know the word funnel kind of freaks people out sometimes. But it's just your sales process. It's just how you get someone from point A high to point B, why buy, right, so they're not knowing you and then buying from you. So the components of that are, you need a traffic system, a conversion system and a follow up system. These are the only components that you need. And within that, within those three components, there are many things. So your traffic system is your social media, which is organic, or you can use paid, which is like Facebook ads, or Google ads or something like that, then within your conversion system, you need a great front facing offer. And what that looks like, is some type of lead magnet, which does not necessarily have to be free. Your lead magnet is what engages them so that you can get some piece of information from them, whether it's your phone number, or their phone number, their email address, messaging with their messenger, some way to contact them outside of them looking at your your page, right. So once you have your front facing offer, whether it's something free or something paid, then you can move them in and figure out what is your ascension model, how are you going to get them from just giving you their you know, phone number or their email address to purchasing whatever it is that you want them to purchase. So that's where your convergence system comes in and you understanding what they want what they need, as your as your customer or potential customer. And making sure your messaging is on point. Because like you should always be paying attention to your messaging, always be paying attention to what your clients want. And then the last piece in your follow up system can be retargeting ads, it can be your email, it can be your SMS, text, message marketing, but all of these things only work together, they cannot work by themselves. So if you have their their phone numbers or their email address, and you email them, but you don't send them anywhere, because you don't have anywhere to send them, what is the point? And then they're on top of mind when they first sign up. But then you go three months, because I have done it before I have gone months without speaking to my audience. And it's kind of like crickets, so then you have to re engage them or go find new people. And that is Oh, my goodness, it's annoying. And you have to start over. So in order to keep yourself from starting over. You have to stay engaged. And that's also where automation comes from.   Roy Barker  32:46 Yeah, yeah, that's a that's a hazard for, you know, US entrepreneurs, solopreneurs people that, you know, we don't have large staffs is like you market market market, and then you while you're fulfilling, you know, yes, all your time. So no marketing, and, you know, that's the best thing that people like yourself can do to help us is to, you know, show us how to level that out where, you know, we can have an enough marketing to fulfill our needs and not get overwhelmed, because what I was gonna say after, you know, you talk in through the system is that this is where, you know, great marketing advice can help you because what, it's more about that I'm placing an ad or we're writing a blog, or we're doing whatever, it's what is that follow up? And what does that look like? Because Do I need to have people in place? Do I have to have, you know, is there is an automated follow up, I need to have this already, you know, we can't wait until they're like Holy smoke decided to do an awesome, alright, a lot of traction, but we're not doing anything with them. They've fallen through the cracks, because, again, I've had that happen. With with more personal follow up where you reach out to want to talk to somebody, nothing. You know, I know, today COVID. I know we're have some supply chain and staffing shortages. But you know, discounting that this has happened long before COVID ever came around, you know, people just not getting back with you. And this can be this is something I think that has to be disclosed up front is not all businesses fail, because they don't have any business. Sometimes businesses can fail because they have too much business. And they're not handling it in the right way. Or they have too much too many inquiries or too many people wanting to do business. They don't handle it correct. And then the next thing you know, they're viral on the internet, about how poor they are, and then it kills their traffic.   Ashleigh  34:45 Absolutely. I think getting your client fulfillment and your customer experience is so important. And again, all of this is marketing because we have all read either on Yelp or Google some awful, and maybe sometimes hilarious reviews. And those things matter. Like the reviews matter the way that you make someone feel about themselves, even though this is business, we are all humans. This is human to human every single time. And when you remember that you are marketing to people who have feelings, who have things going on in their lives who have, you know, children, you know, business struggles, whatever, you. You can relate to them on a more human level and get them to trust you in a way that makes them comfortable and want to buy from you.   Roy Barker  35:43 Yeah, I know, we're running short on time. But one thing just off of what you said, is reviews. And people think that this doesn't happen. But it just happened the other day, I was looking at a thread, where a lady just said, Look, we had problems with this company. I'm trying to find somebody to reach out to because they won't return my calls or I can't talk to him about it. That was it. Simple to say, I'm sorry to hear that. Ma'am. I will reach out, you know, however, let me know. Oh, no, this business, I don't know if it was the business, somebody within it how it happened. But this guy came back with this. Oh, you're the worst customer ever. And you know, I'm sure you know, your husband waited in the car, because I'm sure he knew that you were going to be all crazy when you walked in here. And your something about it took so long to because your credit was terrible. I mean, they will go on. And it was you know, this lady had like three sentences. And this guy wrote like, you can see that he wrote like this long response that was just terrible. I mean, in my opinion, is if that's all you have to say, you're better off being quiet. But absolutely. problems happen in businesses. Not going to say you're ever going to be 100% error free, but it's how we handle it. And I think people look at that. It's like, if somebody would have just stepped up and say, Hey, sorry, you're having get in trouble. And I'll reach out, we'll work this out. I want to make you happy. That goes a long way to that next guy saying, Well, look, they're at least trying to work with these people. But now, they just showed what kind of a business they were to a whole lot of people out there. It was crazy.   Ashleigh  37:27 Wow, that's awful. Yeah. And I have seen some like that, too. And I also, I, because of my market, I look at how a couple companies do respond. And I love seeing the ones that are so gracious and so nice. And their response even if people aren't so nice. And it's hard to do. And maybe it's not you who should leave the response. Maybe you should get your friend to say something nicer, or you know, a different company to go through your reviews and respond. But yeah, that's terrible. Because   Roy Barker  37:58 that, you know, to me, that just backfires. They didn't make the lady look bad. There's no way that's going to happen. They just made themselves look bad. And again, no response to me is better than something a crazy one. And you know, we take like a match flicker and turn it into this huge flaming bonfire that was totally unnecessary. Yeah. Well, I appreciate you taking time out of your day. Before we get away a couple questions. First off, what is a tool or a habit? What is something that you do every day that you feel adds a lot of value can be professional or personal.   Ashleigh  38:37 Um, my most, the thing that I I've done is self development. Knowing myself and being self aware has been one of the things that has tremendously helped me, I took this test. It's called the Kolbe assessment, K O L B E. And it told me that my follow through game was pretty weak. And I loved hearing that because it made me realize that, Oh, this is why I look, I'm quickstart I'm quick to start something, but I need someone else to implement. And then I can come back and make it beautiful, make it better. But that showed me that I needed a team and that there was nothing wrong with me because I was like, why do I start all of these things? And it's taking so long to finish. Why is that? It's because I need someone else to intervene and help me do do these things. So I need a team. And so when I figured that out, I was like, oh, okay, well, let me do this. And I know for a lot of people that might be a little difficult because you need cash flow, to hire a team. Right? And so that's where all of the things that we were talking about earlier, the systems and the automation come in. But me having a team helped me propel my business forward because otherwise, me me thinking that there's something wrong with me, was hindering me and it was it was you know, low vibrational energy. And now that I know that I'm like, okay, so I just need to hire somebody to do this or hire Someone should do this or outsource this piece, you know, maybe not a full time member of the team, but someone who can help me do these things, and get me over the hump, so that I can make them as grand and as wonderful as they need to be. So I would say self development.   Roy Barker  40:14 That's awesome. I think you make a good point is that those things aren't necessarily to point out our flaws. But they are to point out, where we can take action to make those things better. And it doesn't, you know, everybody has their everybody is good at one thing or another are better at one thing than they are others are finding those pieces to plug in to help us be better across the spectrum. invaluable. For sure.   Ashleigh  40:41 Right. And it helped me hire better. Because if I know that I'm a visionary, I can't hire another visionary, who has low follow through game, right. So I need somebody who's great at implementation, to take my vision, do something with it, and then I can come back and make it as as amazing as it needs to be.   Roy Barker  41:01 funny you say that, because I depending upon, you know, some of the way the responses or interviews, that's one thing I have to sometimes make clear is that I'm not looking for somebody to re engineer this. I mean, I know, you know, in the beginning is like, I know what I want and what I need, and I'm trying to hire to that not somebody to come in here and you know, re engineer the whole process where you know, they can be the visionary. So   Ashleigh  41:25 Right, exactly. And that's also when it comes to hiring. What I want your audience to know is that if someone's trying to do that, I think that's a red flag also.   Roy Barker  41:35 Exactly, exactly. All right. Well tell everybody who do you like to work with? How can you help them? And of course, how can they reach out and get a hold of you?   Ashleigh  41:44 Okay, I love to work with people who know that marketing is a process who have something that has already worked. So you're selling a product or service and you know that it works. You just need users looking to scale because you want that true freedom. And you want to be able to do what you want, when you want how you want. That is my absolute goal to help you get there. And you can contact me at theoffice@Make Your Mark And that is a tribute to The Office the show. I wanted to find email address that made me happy.   42:22 That's good. That's good.   Ashleigh  42:24 And you can find me @AshleighChanel on Instagram, or you can send me an email.   Roy Barker  42:29 All right. Well, thank you again, so much for your time. It's been a wonderful conversation, a lot of things to think about a lot of great ideas as well. So y'all reach out to Ashleigh Chanel, let her help you get your marketing going. And that way you can have a little bit more of that free time to do some things that you want to do. that's gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course, I am your host Roy. You can find us at We are on all the major podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify, and if we're not a one that you listen to reach out, I'd be glad to get it added. So make your listening easier. Also, we're on all the major social media platforms, we probably tend to hang out on Instagram a little bit more than others. Reach out be glad to interact with you there. You can also find a video of this interview when it goes live on our YouTube channel. So go check that out in a lot of our other great guests. Until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business. Instagram - @ashleighchanel
43:42 12/30/2021
How to Increase Sales and Generate More Income Through Storytelling
How to Increase Sales and Generate More Income Through Storytelling Featuring Tom Jackobs Start 2020 off right. Work on your sales process and give storytelling a try. It really helps you connect with your prospect. Storytelling will help put them at ease and increase trust immediately. It's really amazing the connection you can build. Step up your entrepreneur game in the new year. It will be working the extra effort to learn. We all have a story, why not use it to make more money and increase your success.  About Tom Tom Jackobs  - The Impact Pilot To say Tom has been through a few things in his 30+ years of being an entrepreneur is an understatement. He’s definitely had more failures than successes, but wouldn’t have it any other way. He sold His fitness business which he owned for 9 years a year ago to become the Impact Pilot, helping entrepreneurs generate more income through better sales strategy and using stories to sell. Tom has a BFA Degree in Theatre from DePaul University in Chicago and holds his private pilot license for single-engine airplanes, which was a lifelong dream he achieved in 2013. He’s been a contributor to CBS Radio in Houston, a guest on Great Day Houston television show, Univision Television, Fox 26 News, KPRC Channel 2 and The CW Houston. He is also a presenter at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Houston. Special Gift for your audience: or 3 Keys to Doubling Sales: Instagram - @impactpilot Twiter @tomjackobs Facebook - YouTube - LinkedIn -   Full Transcript Below   How to Increase Sales and Generate More Income Through Storytelling Featuring Tom Jackobs Wed, 8/4 7:05PM • 51:55 SUMMARY KEYWORDS people, story, sales, presentation, business, salesperson, prospect, tom, sell, question, struggles, listen, years, buy, audience, talk, empathize, day, absolutely, entrepreneurial journey, how to increase sales, Generate more income, storytelling SPEAKERS Tom, Roy Barker   Roy Barker  00:04 Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests, I can talk to a diverse set of topics and today is no different. We're excited to have Tom Jackobs with us today he is the Impact Pilot. To say Tom has been through a few things in his 30 years of being an entrepreneur is an understatement.   He has definitely had more failures and successes, but wouldn't have it any other way. He sold his fitness business, which he owned for nine years to become the Impact Pilot helping entrepreneurs generate more income, through better sales strategy and using stories to sell. Tom, thanks for taking time out of your day to be with us today.   Tom  00:49 Roy, good to be here. Thanks for having me.   Roy Barker  00:52 Yeah, yeah. First off, before we get to too far got I got a lot of questions, a lot of thoughts running through my mind. But tell us a little bit about your journey, you know, kind of how you got here. In through, you know, how did you discover storytelling and what kind of an impact that it can have on our sales? sales process?   Tom  01:16 Yeah no, that's great question. Good, good lead in as well. You Know, I started   Roy Barker  01:23 I'm gonna let you tell us a good story that, in fact, oh, yeah.   Tom  01:29 couple good stories. Like, I started my entrepreneurial journey when I was 16 years old. And not not the typical lemonade stand that that most kids and that in dealing drugs. But I was actually a mobile DJ. And I also had a string quartet. So I played violin. And so a couple other my orchestra buddies from high school, would rent ourselves out for weddings and things like that, and Christmas parties and stuff in play, and then I would DJ homecomings, Bar Mitzvahs, and, and weddings as well.   And remember, this is just in my head, just how important sales became at that point, but kind of lost that feeling I get sort of the skill set after a while. But I would go through the Sunday paper when there was a paper and look at all the engagement announcements. Okay, I'd write down all of the brides to be a little ladies that got engaged. And then I would look them up in the white pages.   Roy Barker  02:50 Yeah, you're dating yourself.   Tom  02:54 Get there. This is when phone number address was all public information. And, and then I'd send them a letter with a call to action and a demo tape. And that was I didn't realize I was doing direct response marketing and sales. And this one, this one time this lady calls up and she wants to do a consultation. And so I go when I do that kind of what kind of music do you want? Because go through the whole intake process. And she was like, Oh, well, What school do you go to?   And I was like, Oh, I go to Northmont. And she's I haven't heard that college. Like, no, it's it's high school. It's just like, it was after she gave me the check the deposit. It she's like, you're at high school is Yeah, my high school. And actually, my mom's waiting in the car to take me home. So can we wrap this up? Yeah. So that and at that point, and in telling that story. Now, it's it's relating to what you kind of everybody's journey. At some point, you start somewhere, right. And, you know, fast forward 20 years from that moment, I started my fitness business.   And I was in corporate work for 10 years. I always had a side hustle. So I always had that entrepreneurial kind of bug. But finally, you know, the fitness center was my one entrepreneurial journey are that up until that point where I had no safety net. So no day job or in like that, so burned the bridges and went all in. And I thought, you know, in corporate America, I was a mid level manager, you know, making good money, managing millions of dollars of freight. And I thought, like, if I could do that I could certainly run a small business and within six months, I was broke.   Roy Barker  04:59 Oh wow   Tom  05:02 you know, financially, broke, mentally physically, it's just really took a toll on on my life and I bought an existing facility dumped out my entire 401k after 10 years of working in oil and gas, so you can imagine what that might have looked like. And in all the Apple stock I had 19 are in 2006, which, again, shoot me. And it was what six months in and I was looking at my shoes, I remember it was a Sunday, Sunday afternoon, and I was I was looking at my computer screens, and I was looking at my my bank account, and just tears started streaming down my my face and and you hear it, it was I was 40 years old at the time and and I was like, What the heck am I doing?   And I was looking at my bank account, and rent and payroll. This was Sunday rent and payroll were due on Friday. And anybody that's been in business, you know that, you know, employees like to get paid for and landlords love to get paid. As like, am I gonna have to shut down my business. And I had to make the hardest phone call of my life. I had to call dad for money at 40 years old. No. And I don't know if anybody's done that before.   But it is an extremely humbling experience. And I'm on the I'm on the phone with dad and you know, love my parents. They're awesome and very supportive. They've never worked for themselves. I mean, my mom's done some consulting work, but never like had a business. And so he's trying to help me like, well, so I'm Have you tried Facebook ads? Now I'm just kidding. But is you just kind of trying to help out like Dad, look, I know what I need. It's $10,000.   And I need it by Friday. Can you wire that? Or like, how's that work? Yeah. And he's like, Well, look, I'll go ahead and loan you the money. And the emphasis there was on loan, right? Because it came with a 12% interest rate. And I had to mortgage my house with him with my father. I like wait a second. I thought you were very entrepreneurial. This is not bad at 12% interest. That's good. That's good. I'll give you six month interest free.   The first six months. And at that moment, I was like, This is definitely the low point of my, my entrepreneurial journey. And, and I was like, okay, so I obviously paid rent, I paid my employees. But it also took some of that money. And I invested in learning. Because at that moment, I realized I didn't know everything that needed to be done in business. I didn't I didn't know sales. Sales was one thing that just like completely went away from me. And I invested in a sales program. And it completely transformed my business.   And I was able to pay my dad off in three months. Wow, that's really true. Yeah, completely turned around, you know, the first year of business. You know, even with the first six months of being a complete disaster, I squeezed out about $100,000 in gross revenue. In the second year, I did just shy of 500,000. And it was all because I learned how to sell, but more importantly, how to sell with story. And it's not just my own story, but stories of clients and things like that. And that's why, like I got really passionate about, about, you know, selling from store, selling with story, doing presentations on stage to build a business.   It just became kind of that that thing that I did and over the years, it's just grown and grown and grown. So now I I teach people how to sell from stage how to create those presentations, how to bring in their own personal story. So one it's kind of info-taining. And, and it's not just like a chronological story that bores people's to tears, but rather moves them to tears, oftentimes, so and then relate that personal story back to whatever they're selling so that they ultimately sell. Yeah.   Roy Barker  09:42 Yeah, cuz a couple things. It sounds like that, you know, I've got limited knowledge. So I'll place these more as questions and statements, but, you know, I think we need to be relatable people tend to buy from people that they like or people that they maybe see themself in a little bit. So if we can take these personal stories, I think that probably goes a lot further than me saying, well, I used to know, Joe, you know, live down the street from me. And here's Joe's story. Sometimes I'm sure that's helpful and appropriate. But when we get the chance to tie our story into it, it probably exponential.   Tom  10:19 Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And a lot of lot of people that work with there, and I was this way, as well, as, you know, why would I tell my story, it's not about me, it's about my client. So yeah, it is about your client, your client needs to relate to you. And we need to find that story. And it doesn't have to be a tragedy, you don't have to be in a car accident in your life to death experience or anything like that. But everybody has a journey, and, and struggles along the way.   And, and also, it doesn't mean we even need to be struggles, it could be like one of the most joyous occasions of your of your life, you know, I've couple stories about moments in my life that were just super, super amazing. And sometimes I dropped those stories in as well as a way of inspiring others.   Roy Barker  11:09 Yeah, because there, there used to be an old theory to that people bought on emotion and justify that with logic. And so absolutely, I guess, you know, again, as a question, part of what we want to do is try to get that emotional hook in, absolutely, to not be relatable, but also to start building a little bit of rapport.   Tom  11:34 Absolutely, that's it. And that's not just a theory, that's the reality. Some people do buy on emotion, and then back it up with with logic,   Roy Barker  11:44 right. So what are some good elements? I mean, I'm a, I'm a non writer, writer. I mean, I love to write, I wish I was better at it. So, you know, what are some good components of, of the storytelling, you know, whether we're writing whether we're up on stage, or, you know, sitting down across the desk from somebody in a sales presentation?   Tom  12:07 Yeah. Great, great question. So I use the Hero's Journey Framework. Okay. So it's kind of public domain theory. And every good put the emphasis on good I like a good movie is is it goes back to the hero's journey. And I break it down into just a pretty simple framework. The first thing that you need to do is started off with what I call an impact statement. So it's just a one or two sentence, intro that hooks the audience. So he's kind of started off with a bang. When I tell the the fitness center story, I always start with, you're sitting at my desk on a Sunday afternoon, looking at my computer, and tears started streaming down my face. Automatically with that. It's a hook because people are like, That's odd. what's what's going on. And then, and then you can back go back in time, and what led up to that moment, and then how you resolve that moment. And then within that, you have people that help you, and then or people things or thoughts that help you, and then people things or thoughts that hurt you. And create that, and that push and pull that we often go through. And that's really that's the that's the structure. And, you know, we go through that. And whether you're writing or speaking, the story structure is still the same.   Roy Barker  13:46 Yeah, and I think the other thing it, it humanizes us because if I'm, if I'm in the audience, and, you know, we, I think we all do, we, we never want to admit that we're, we're struggling or that we failed. You know, we keep that to keep that to a minimum to our, you know, close, close family. I guess this, you know, this kind of opens that up to say, Oh, you know, I empathize with you. I know exactly how you feel because I've been there and and vice versa. You're telling the audience that I can empathize with you. I know exactly. You know, how you may be feeling?   Tom  14:24 Yep, you know, exactly. And it and again, people buy from those that they know, like and trust, right, if they can relate to you. Yeah. And this is what gets me you know, current day, kind of the Instagram influencers. And just people give out their sizzle reel all day long, you know, seven days a week, and nobody see sees kind of that the other real of life and what they've gone through to achieve what they have, even if they even have achieved anything.   Some of the some of the. But it's it's, you know, the old saying it takes 10 years to be an overnight success, right? We don't see the struggles a lot of time. And I think it does a disservice to people just starting out in business or in life and wanting to achieve something, if they don't understand what the struggle is and how to avoid it.   Roy Barker  15:23 right. Yeah. And kind of take a sidebar there for a minute about, you know, the internet, social media, it's awesome. And there's so much good to it. I don't be negative Nelly. But I think as a beginning entrepreneur, as somebody that may be struggling, you know, we look on there, and somebody just got the new car, the, you know, they're standing from this yacht, and like you said, We don't even know, if they were even within 10 miles of that yacht. It could have been photoshopped and dropped right in there. You know, we don't, we don't talk about or we don't understand. On the flip side of that, it's like, you know, who's Tom, he's all over the place.   Now. I mean, this guy just came on overnight. But he realizes that Tom has been working hard, you know, for 10 years or more, building this and the other good, I think it's a meme of like an iceberg. You know, where 90% of it is below the surface, all we see is a small, you know, 10% at the top. So I think we have to always have to be careful of comparing ourselves and judging ourselves. And it's, it's hard. But I think the, you know, kind of a new mantra is like, stay in your own lane, run your own race, you'll be much better off by not getting hung up and all of that.   Tom  16:44 Absolutely.   Roy Barker  16:47  So when we're doing a presentation in front of an audience, it could be sales. I mean, sometimes we have a tablet or a computer we get to use as a prop. But more thinking about when we're on that stage. You know, so many people get so nervous, like, oh, even if it's their story, it's still nerve racking to talk to other people about that. So what are some tips to, you know, number one, make sure we got this thing put together correctly. But number two, just take a deep breath, relax and just tell our story.   Tom  17:24 Yeah. I've seen some train wrecks. And I've been a train wreck. But yeah, yeah, the first step is in this may seem counterintuitive, but I actually have my clients write out their entire story longhand, or on the computer, but but written word for word. Yeah. So then we can really wordsmith it, to make sure that we're using the like words that are going to have an impact with the audience and with them. And so we go through the whole whole process, and then find the details. Because that's where you create the imagery in people's mind. You know, I could say, you know, I was driving my car, to the gym. And I don't know what type of cars popped into your head.   Roy Barker  18:20 I guess mine Nissan.   Tom  18:22 Yeah, and everybody's gonna have a different car in their head. Right? But if you want to bring them into your story, then you need to tell them what car you're driving. So that it's like the little things in the detail. Right? So you know, I was, and I had one client that said, You know, I was sitting in my gray, seen better days 1985 BMW in the parking lot. And then goes on with their story. And now you're there in the parking lot and a gray beat up BMW. Yeah.   So. So we go through and just kind of longhand, write that out and practice it word for word, and just go through it multiple times. Because that's, that's where you get the confidence is just doing the rehearsal and going through over and over and over again. And then once once you're up on stage, and that's, that's where I have this thing called the three P prop process. So presentation to performance for more profits. So then the performance part is where do you stand on stage when you're in front of people? How do you just move intentionally? Because a lot of speakers it's like, you know, a tennis match, right? They're just pacing back and forth. And there's and there's no reason for them to move on stage. It's really annoying.   And that actually takes away from from the story itself, or they're stuck behind a podium reading. And again, that's that's a big, no, no, to do. So. But that comes with practice. And that's, you know, There's nothing that that will get by with with just winging it. Right? You have to practice you have to have time to practice. And that's going to take the nerves away as well, you're going to be pretty confident. That's your story. So you better not forget it.   Roy Barker  20:15 Yeah, and I think that's a great point about the details. Because, you know, something a lot of us wouldn't even think about is like, Hey, I drove my car. But I think that really puts us in that car to where, you know, you can visualize, either you're in that situation, and like, yeah, I get that, or I've been there before. I remember that, you know, my old gray car. It really ties that together.   Tom  20:39 Yeah, yeah. And that's that, that's the whole point is to bring the audience into the story with you. There was a study done by a Princeton University professor, where they they did a fMRI, so functional MRI machine, that's where the magnetic stuff, and they did a brain scan. While on I think it was three people. One was the storyteller, and two are the receivers or the listeners of the story. And while they were telling the story, the same areas of the brain were lighting up in the receivers of the story. As with the teller of the story, interested, there becomes this neuro connection between the teller and the in the receiver of the story. It's so powerful.   Roy Barker  21:28 Yeah. So what about I hate to say props, but you know, we have PowerPoint, we have the, with the technology today, it's easier now I was telling somebody the other day, like, I was actually trying to explain to them what an overhead projector was with, you know, with those little clear things you put up there and wrote on. So I said, you know, we've come a long way, because there was so much wrong with those. But it's all we had. Anyway, you know, today, we've got so much, so much access to technology, but it can be a deterrent in some if we don't use it correctly, or we use too much too little.   And there's also other things and I know this is long, probably the longest question ever. But the other thing is using visuals now, instead of just words, you know, basically what you're saying, sometimes, you know, we say yeah, I know better. I don't want to stand at a podium and read this thing. But sometimes what we do is we have it written on the projector behind us. And we're just reading it look in the other direction. You know, we've memorized it, we're we're still reading off our slides. So tell us a little bit about you know, how the links, the the props we may want to use and then also, visuals versus text?   Tom  22:44 Yeah, yeah. And that's the same for webinars, as well as live presentations as well. So webinars, you can get away with a little bit more text. But you know, most people are visual, right? So having a visual representation of what you're talking about is going to go a lot further than having text. And as much as people love to think that they multitask, people do not multitask. They're either reading the text on the screen, or they're listening to you, right, it's much better to have them listen to you than to have them reading text.   So you want to minimize the text as much as possible. If you can have a not really a teleprompter, but a prompt in front of you like the screen of what's going on behind you. So a small screen in front that shows what's on the screen that goes a long way as well. I think they call it confidence projectors that are up in the front of the stage. And that, that way, you'd never have to turn around to see what's on the slide deck. And that by the way, slide deck, the term slide deck that came from creating all those slides on plastic because it became a deck right onto the overhead.   Back there, right? Yeah. Yeah, but yeah, visual is visual imagery, whether it's, you know, graphics or pictures, but less is more when when, when you're doing the telling of the story. And then when you're doing the teaching as well. You just want to have like really simple bullet points.   Roy Barker  24:35 Know your technology and I'm gonna throw myself under the bus here and say that, you know, this has been like it's been a few years ago. So it wasn't yesterday, thank goodness, but I'm good with I was good with, you know, PowerPoint and computer. I knew what was going on. So I was doing some webinars and for some reason, at this point, I was in a place where I had my external monitor hooked up.   And what happens if you've done this is when you power that PowerPoint up, when you have an external monitor, your slide deck goes to the external monitor, and you're left with that, you know, the thing that you were talking about kind of your guide on your computer. And so here I am trying to do a webinar. And all they're seeing is this thing that's on my computer. So I think, yeah, yeah, no.   So basically, it's like, you know, we even though we are good with stuff, we still need to kind of do a few run throughs make sure everything is set up the same, and then also checking out a room if we're going to a room, because there's nothing worse than showing up, you know, 15-30 minutes early, and there's no, there's no screen in this room. There's no projector, there's no cord. I mean, there's a million things that can go wrong.   Tom  25:55 Oh, absolutely. And I spent three years kind of traveling around the world, doing presentations for a marketing company that sold an educational program. And I had this big Pelican case that had the projector, all the learning materials, everything that we would hand out to the crowd. And generally, we'd have like 20-30 people in the audience. And I flew up to Toronto, and I get good. Yeah, I'm waiting for the bags. And my Pelican case didn't come off the plane, Oh, my gosh, nor did my suitcase with my suit and all that that would be wearing. I just had what was on my back.   Working with the airline to try like, Where is it? How's it going to get delivered? Is it going to be delivered by eight o'clock in the morning? So I go there to the hotel, and I'm like, okay, where's your printer? Where's your Where's your business center? I need to print. But I tell you what, that was one of the best presentations that I ever gave without any material without any projector. And I closed more than half the room. Yeah. Because I think they they emphasize empathize with the fact that I didn't have any, any materials.   Roy Barker  27:25 Well, Nick empathise on the luggage, because it wasn't quite that bad. But, you know, I've been, you know, back in the old days, if something went bad, if you're on a, you know, an overnight or fly in fly out, it was you were just stuck, because seems like the world's open 24 hours a day now. But you know, you go somewhere and you run a shirt, and it's just like, you have to kind of walk in with your hand over the spot, or whatever's wrong.   And it was kind of cool. The very first time when that happened, you know, had a something got on it at dinner one night, I was actually able to go to a 24 hour, you know, Walmart and it wasn't the best of shirts, but it was at least it was clean, and you know, be able to go out and replace that. But, you know, it things have, things have become much better over the years that, you know, for people that travel and not just being stuck and not having any access to you know, replace or get something like that.   So, yeah, that kind of takes me back to to the being, you know, being embarrassed to have to stand up in front of people with the big, you know, like, a barbecue stain. Yeah, one thing I was saying in like a red sauce with, you know, Italian meatballs, were some big variable down your shirt.   Tom  28:40 Yeah, but I mean, that's the moral of that is you always want to get in early. I always check the room out, make sure that the AV is working. Like if I'm doing a presentation. And and if I'm not the organizer of the event, I will always go the day before and just kind of check the room out. Kinda. I called mark in the room. So I'll just like walk around the room and just kind of get the feeling of like, how much do I have to project? You know, what type of AV am I gonna have? It's a headset, it's a lav mic and just just kind of play. Right. And you have the time so you're not rushed? Yeah,   Roy Barker  29:17 yeah. Yeah. And making sure even like a projector, or the screen is big enough. You know, I've been in those situations where it's, you know, they give you a screen or something that's about as big as your laptop and, you know, the people in the front row can't even see what you're doing. So it gives you an opportunity to make some changes to adapt, you know, if you can either find what you need or change your presentation to, you know, fit what you've got.   Yeah, exactly. So, a couple things I want to talk about is more. Let's take more of an intimate setting where either in somebody's home, giving them a sales presentation, you know, typically the salesman And maybe husband and wife, or even at the office, somebody sitting across from me where it's a smaller group? How are they? How is that different than, you know, playing to the larger room? What are some?   Tom  30:16 Yeah, I mean, the biggest thing is the dynamics are switch now, in terms of who's speaking. So when you're in a sales situation, one on one or one on two sales situation, the prospect needs to be doing the talking, you know, 80% of the time, and you need to be asking questions. So that's all the salesperson should be doing is asking questions. And then when it comes to the presentation of the solution, that's when the story can come in.   Yeah, it can be there, you know, your own personal journey through why you started the business in the first place, and why you want to help them, or it could be a success story from somebody that you've helped with, so you can pull in a client testimonial as well. And when I was doing the fitness business, I always, always always had like, six different testimonials, you know, their picture and kind of their story. And while I wouldn't go through every single one of them, but I would pick one of the people that testimonies that I had, that was most like my prospect.   So if I had a 45 year old woman had two kids, sitting across from me, for the prospect, I would pull up my 40 something woman with kids testimonial, and then tell her story and her journey. And that always just made that connect. They're like, Oh, if she can do it, I can do it, too. Yeah.   Roy Barker  31:44 Now, one thing I was going to ask you is details. You know, how far do you go? How when is it become too much information? You know, kind of, where is that line that we need to watch? Because, you know, it's, it's tough, we need to share some details like, you know, the gray 1985 BMW, but there may be more personal things that, you know, we need to really stay away from.   Tom  32:12 Yeah, well, there doesn't have to be a line. Right. So it's all in what you're trying to get to get across in the story. And what you want the audience to feel, and how that's going to serve the audience to the best, right? So if you go through, and you're just making this up, but it go through and talking about, you know, the the three days you spent in jail, and you got that DUI, blah, blah, blah, it has no impact, unless you put some con. Unless you're an attorney that gets people off from DUIs, then it doesn't have any impact   Roy Barker  32:53 at all, or your bail bonds. Yeah.   Tom  33:00 I mean, I've had clients that that talk about their suicide attempt said, you know, talk about if one one client that was a bodybuilder, are fairly well known in the strength industry. And, you know, she was in saying, I don't know, if I want to talk about my steroid use. I was like, I think you definitely need to, because, you know, it's something that I wish she wasn't doing now, but felt bad about, and wanted to kind of go through that whole transformation. I think I was like, no, that I think, I think we need to, like really lean into that. So it's a case by case, you know, but but if you're just doing a shock, for shock sake, then it's not it doesn't make any sense.   Roy Barker  33:45 Yeah, I think the relative part is kind of the key word there. And the only reason I asked because I had a very specific situation I was sitting down. I was the prospect and the lady was, for some reason, she just opened up with her divorce, how bad her husband was to her how it took getting away. I mean, it was this, this bizarre story that did you know, it's like, I hate hated it for her. But it didn't have anything to do with the product or the service we were trying to talk about.   So off putting because yeah, I just felt it was like a sympathy play that that was, what she had learned is, you know, let's get the sympathy vote. And anyway, so I just, I felt bad for after this whole thing. I'm like, Oh, my gosh, I can't believe he just told me all that because I didn't he didn't need to know it didn't really want to know it and had nothing to do you know, with me trying to get out there as fast as I possibly could.   Tom  34:41 But she was trying to get the commit. You know, like you said, a guilt trip about I need this commission because now. Yeah, yeah. So   Roy Barker  34:53 you know, one thing too, when we're talking and maybe it works in a big room too, but I've been told for it. You know, when we're in that sale situation that instead of saying, hey, Tom, let me tell you something, because that is kind of a inferior, superior type of relationship. But the key term was, let me share something with you. And it's such an easy turn of a phrase, but it's just not something a lot of people think about.   Tom  35:23 Yeah, no, that's, that's great. Yeah, yeah, you want to, and that's where the word smithing comes in, when we're going through the story and the presentation and in the sales pitch, is because words matter. But what really matters more is how you say stuff versus what you say. Yeah. So that, that that's more of the emphasis that I go through. But um, there's some phrases like that, that definitely bring you down a notch. And you definitely want to be in the power position, when in the sales situation, whether on stage or one on one. Yeah.   Roy Barker  36:02 Yeah. And it's so I think, like you said to, you know, when we're in that one on one listening, you know, we we want to get our story out, we want to listen, but sometimes we could talk ourselves out of a sale, because I've, I've listened to kind of monitored, you know, it was a sales presentation, I was just listening to the recording of, but it's like, Okay, I've got this story I've memorized or I've got this presentation, you know, that contains my story and all this. So we get started, and like, maybe it's six minutes long, and within a minute or two minutes, the people are like, Oh, man, that sounds good. Okay, well hang on just a second, let me keep telling him.   And in this one instance, there were like, three or four stop signs that the salesperson just I mean, they just kept going through because it's like, I got 6000 words here. I've got to get out. Before you can tell, you know, before you can tell me you're ready to buy. And these people like, Oh, that sounds great. We want to really, how do we sign up? Well, let me just go ahead and tell you a little bit more, you know, read through this whole thing. Like, okay, they're gonna say, you know, by the time you get through, they're gonna say, Okay, forget it. We've tried.   Tom  37:15 Yeah, no, that's your you brought up a really great point. And that's like, when I'm coaching salespeople, I like I'll be listening to their calls. And I had a couple that, you know, this. The, the thought process was, I need to ask all of these questions. Yeah. And the prospect was like, I am sounds good. Sounds good. And then oh, well, let me ask you another question. Okay. And that's, I was like, close the sale, take the money. What are you waiting for, like, all these other questions, they they're serving you. And they aren't serving the prospect, you've already you've already convinced them, or they've convinced themselves more likely that your solution is the solution that they want. So sign them up.   Roy Barker  38:01 Yeah. Yeah. Because it's a it's a real true danger of talking yourself out of this sale. And people think that's a joke. But I've actually seen it before. I've seen it where somebody was ready to sign up. And they just kept on talk until the people were like, Oh, yeah, and no thanks.   Tom  38:17 Well, and I've done it myself. And it comes down to that, you're you're going into, most likely the people are going into more of the the features of what they're going what they're going to give to the prospect, rather than focusing on the benefit of the program to the prospect. And when you go through the features like this typical in car sales, I go in a car, like, it's got a v-8 that's got this, like, does it have an engine? And does it go? Like that's what I you know, it doesn't look cool. That's what I care about. When I'm buying a car, I don't care. The gas mileage, you know, you have to fit the presentation to the prospect and where they're at, and focus on the benefits versus the features. And when you get too technical. That's where you lose people.   Roy Barker  39:16 Yeah. Yeah, that's like, my, this is where I think we have to listen and start where our prospect is because I had a car dealer that I've been with, you know, for, I don't know, 10-15 years or more. And I told the lady when we first started, I said, Look, I'm not your typical consumer. I don't need to smell it to sit in it to feel it. I'm not going to fall in love with it. I'm like you it's got, you know, protection where I'm not getting wet. When I'm driving.   It's got four wheels and it moves, you know, forward and backwards turns left and right. That's all I need. And I don't care if it's gray, green, red, blue, whatever you've got that has all the you know the option I want, but she listened. And she never tried to, you know, kind of force me down that path. And she made a customer for, like I said, for about the last 12 years we've done, I don't know, five or six car deals together. Because she listened to what I needed as the customer prospect, whatever.   Tom  40:19 Yeah, no, that's great. Yeah. And then you get car car sales people have kind of a bad rap sometimes. I think they're, they're coming coming up. Definitely. I mean, there's one dealer, I was buying a BMW and I go in and I was like, well, I want you know, this blue BMW 325, litre, blah, blah, blah. And it goes. That's, that's, that's, it's, it's good. But I've got this red 328 it's got more power, or you post more power. Done. I like to drive fast. And I think he realized that when when I walked in, he was like, yeah, we're not gonna do it at 325. You've got to have the 328. Right. Yeah.   Roy Barker  41:13 I know, we're running long on time. One more question. And I'll we'll start a wrap up. But pauses, you know, people keep speakers let me say speakers can be very scared of pauses, or they can actually we can use them to our benefit.   Tom  41:31 Mm hmm. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that's the power of the pause. Yeah. In that, and that's one of the very first lessons that I learned in sales is to shut up. Yeah. So the moment that and, and for, for storytelling as well, it's good for dramatic impact as well. Because at some, you know, if you're going into a heavy story, you got to give the audience a little time to catch up and can process their emotions. So having a pause. And typically, that's when I have the speaker move is we don't walk and talk at the same time. That's kind of my rule.   So you, you lay down something, give the audience time to kind of adapt to that, and then you're moving on stage. And then in the sales situation, like one on one. The moment that I that I asked the closes like okay, well, great. Did you want to put that on a Visa or MasterCard? Yeah. And, you know, the old saying the first person that that speaks is by hearing them by their excuse, or either buying your program,   Roy Barker  42:38 right? Yeah, that's what we always said the first one that speaks is the loser. Yeah, hopefully nobody loses. Yeah. Well, the, you know, the No, name forgot where I was going. 15 Wait, yeah, that that, you know, that. Again, it just gets back to, you know, give them a chance to process this. And, you know, see what the answer is, we can always come back and address objections if they say no, or I've got this question. But if we're like, you know, credit card or debit, yep. And then, you know, we have the pause. But yet, we just keep jumping right in, you know, we don't give them a chance to really process this and give us the answer again, we'll end up talking ourselves, probably out of sale.   Tom  43:29 Yeah, exactly. And you don't know what that person is thinking in their head, either. Because I had a one of my very first sales when I learned the power of kind of asking questions, consultations. And I said, you know, this lady down, and, you know, went through the whole presentation, at the end, I was like, you know, based on what your goals are, you really need that our 100 session program, and that's $5,200. And granted, I'd only sold like, 10 session packages worth like $600 before. And now to go to 100 site. I was so nervous. I was just like, Okay, my coach told me to shut up, shut up, Tom. And I was and then she was the lady was just kind of sitting there kind of looking.   And I was like, Oh, she's not gonna go for it. She's like, I should offer her 50 session. Oh, no, I should just do a free session for her. And this is what my, my thought process was. And she was just kind of sitting there. You know, it probably went on for a minute. And my head is just spinning. I was like, Oh, I shouldn't have done that. I'm gonna lose the sale, blah. And then she goes, Okay, yeah, I'll put that on my MasterCard. I was like, are you sure? Like, how do I charge $5,200 I've never done that before.   Roy Barker  44:52 And I think the other thing too, is, you know, a lot of times people will be like that, you know, you want to do the 100 And then instead of giving them that minute to think about it, and process, it's like, the very next thing is, I'll discount that 20% for you, if you'll, you know, we just like, right, right to the discount. And, you know, we say, if we run specials or things like that, that's one thing, but you know, we should never discount the value of our service that needs to be priced. Right?   Because there's also this reverse psychology and that, if you come back to me and say, you know, I'm really need 20% offer this or I don't want, you know, whatever the features may be. Sometimes it's just as beneficial to say, you know, what, this, my service may just not be right for you. And I would rather part friends, and have you come back to me when it is right. And you'll be surprised? Well, you wouldn't be but some, you know, people that don't do this every day would be surprised how they will. Now they're trying to sell you on why they should be your customer?   Tom  46:00 Oh, yeah. I mean, that's the takeaway, right? So when you when you take something away from people, they wanted even more anxiety that is powerful. Like I do that all the time, I probably should stop doing the whole, what kind of discount Can you give me? But yeah, I like it this time. I like to test the salespeople. And I gotta tell you, I have so much more respect for people that say, No, there is no just in the car that the BMW that I bought this, like 10 years ago.   I was like, Oh, you know, go ahead and knock off like 2000. He was like, No, no, because if you don't buy it, somebody else will think Oh, damn, like that. That is like, Okay. He's right. Because at the end of the day, I mean, everybody kind of wants a deal, I think. But if you're showing tremendous value, then they'll they'll accept your price.   Roy Barker  46:56 Yeah, yeah. Yeah, cuz that's where I always tell people, you know, we want to sell from a place of value. If you're, Well, again, this is my opinion, if we're trying to be a price leader, there's always going to be somebody that's going to come in below us that just, it never fails. But what we want to do is we want to sell them value, why am I you know, I may be higher than the next guy. But this is the value that I'm bringing to the table, my experience, the quality, you know, whatever that value proposition is?   Tom  47:27 Yeah. And it's really the value that they're the prospect is going to get out of it. And, and that's, that's where the focus needs to lie. is, you know, yeah, and you're gonna, you're gonna benefit this this way, this way, in this way. And that's why it's valuable to you. Yeah.   Roy Barker  47:42 Yeah. Because, you know, from my point of view, I have paid more for a product or service, because I like the guy. And we trust it's like, you know, I felt like the service, or the maybe the service after the sale, if it was a product or whatever. And I paid more money, and I know I did, but it's because I valued the relationship with that salesperson.   Tom  48:08 Yeah, absolutely.   Roy Barker  48:10 That's why I just can't stress enough do your homework. Listen. And if you do the process, right, not a lot of times, you know, more than not, you won't get beat down on on price, you know, they'll buy the value.   Tom  48:24 Yeah, exactly.   Roy Barker  48:26 Well, Tom, again, like I said, I apologize, we're waiting. I think, my fault I like to talk No, me too. This is so exciting. I don't get, you know, a lot of people want to talk sales on here. And so the storytelling and the sales, you know, such a great combination, but I appreciate you taking time out of your day to be with us. Before we go a couple things. First off, do you have a habit or a tool, something that you use every day that you feel adds a lot of value? personally or professionally?   Tom  48:58 Yeah, so the the habit that I do on a regular basis, it's just, I write in a journal every morning, that may sound weird or woowoo, but definitely the gratitude journal. So and that I do that in the morning, because that sets my day off to be really good. And, you know, I think a lot of people, myself included, you know, wake up with love, like negative self talk. And by doing what, what I'm grateful for in my life, it just snaps it out and sets a day off right now. That's   Roy Barker  49:36 perfect. And, yeah, you know, there's an old adage that if Are you going to have a good day or bad day? And the answer is yes, it's whatever you whatever you believe that you're gonna have. You're gonna you can make that come true. That's awesome. All right, Tom, tell everybody. How can they reach out get a hold of you? Who do you like to work with? How can you help them?   Tom  49:58 Yeah, so it's Definitely for the storytelling, people are interested in learning that whole process I actually have a little free gift. So it's the the process of taking your own personal story and putting that into the Hero's Journey. So I have a little download PDF that I'd love to give to folks. That's on my my website, Tom And it's J A C K O B S. So Tom They can download that and learn a little bit more about not only just learn, but actually put their story together in there as well.   Roy Barker  50:35 Okay. Great. Yeah. And we will we'll include all that on the in the show notes as well so they can reach out and get a hold of you. All right, awesome. Well, thanks so much. Again, we appreciate it. And y'all reach out to Tom let him help you learn how to tell a good story. It will definitely change your life in both the marketing and the sales part. There's just don't think you can find anything that beats a good story when you're trying to, you know, in trying to get somebody to do business with you for sure. Thanks for praying.   So that's gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course, I'm your host Roy, we can be found at We are on all the major podcast platforms iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify for not a one that you listen to. If you'll reach out, I'd be glad to add that for you. Make it easier for you to listen also on all the major social media platforms probably hang out on Instagram a little more than others. So reach out there we'd be glad to interact with you. Also, a video of this interview will go up on our YouTube channel. So go check that out as well some of our other episodes. Until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business. Instagram - @impactpilot Twiter @tomjackobs Facebook - YouTube - LinkedIn -
52:05 12/29/2021
Business Exit Planning, A Guide to a Successful Conclusion
Business Exit Planning, A Guide to a Successful Conclusion Featuring Chris Younger It's really never too early to start thinking about your business exit plan. This is one of the most important parts just after starting and being successful in your business. For most, it's their retirement plan. Some entrepreneurs are asset-heavy and cash short. Please don't wait until the last minute to handle this. It can make a huge difference. About Chris Chris is the co-founder of Class VI Partners (fka CVA), a Denver-based financial services firm providing investment banking, wealth management, and business exit preparation services for middle-market companies. Class VI’s mission is to Enable the Entrepreneurial Spirit by helping business owners get the most of out their investment of time, energy and money in their businesses. Class VI developed CoPilot, an online assessment application, to help business owners better understand how an investor would view their business. CoPilot’s patent-pending algorithm prioritizes the different risk factors in a business and suggests ways to resolve those risks to increase value. Unlike online valuation tools which provide only a high-level analysis of a business’s value (which can be dangerous), CoPilot reveals the specific factors that help or hurt a company’s valuation and a roadmap to help guide the business owner. Class VI utilizes CoPilot as the first step in its own program to help business owners prepare for a sale (Pathfinder), and as part of Class VI’s unique 12-month “boot camp” called Exit University that helps business owners learn more about mergers and acquisitions. These programs are available to interested and qualified companies. Prior to founding Class VI in 2005, Chris co-founded and was the President of the country’s largest communications equipment value-added reseller (Expanets), which he helped grow through acquisition (27 acquisitions over 2 years) and subsequently sold to Avaya Communications. Chris also practiced law at the law firm of Wilson, Sonsini in Palo Alto (he is a “fully recovered” attorney), and clerked for The Honorable Jesse E Eschbach of the United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a graduate of Miami University (Ohio) and Harvard Law School where he was Managing Editor of the Harvard Law Review, and he attended the London School of Economics. He is also the co-author of Harvest: The Definitive Guide to Selling Your Company.  Chris lives in Denver with his wife of 25 years, Maribeth. They have three children in college and high school. Chris is an avid mountain biker, golfer, and tries to get up to the Colorado mountains as often as he can.   Full Transcript Below Business Exit Planning, A Guide to a Successful Conclusion Featuring Chris Younger Tue, 8/3 12:08PM • 42:42 SUMMARY KEYWORDS business, business owners, buyer, transaction, businesses, sell, money, deal, people, typically, work, roy, entrepreneurs, acquisitions, capital, revenues, question, pandemic, risks, online, Business Exit Planning, Successful Conclusion SPEAKERS Chris, Roy Barker   Roy Barker  00:07 Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that can talk to a diverse set of topics. Hopefully we can shine a light on something maybe haven't thought about, or at the very least provide you with information and professionals to help you solve some problems that may be keeping you up at night.   Today, we're excited to have with us Chris Younger, he is the founder of Class VI Partners, a Denver based financial services firm providing investment banking, wealth management and business exit preparation services for middle market companies. Class VI's mission is to enable the entrepreneurial spirit by helping business owners get the most out of their investment of time, energy, and money in their business. Chris, thanks so much for taking time out of your day to be with us.   Chris  00:57 Well, thanks for having me, Roy. And thanks for doing what you're doing for your listeners. It's a it's a great service to him.   Roy Barker  01:03 Well, I appreciate that. It's so much fun, I get to meet awesome people like yourself from all over the world. So it's a you know, it's kind of the best gig in the whole world. I love it. That's terrific. So um, let's start off with a little bit about your history. I've got so many questions, I don't even know where to start. Let's start from the gate. Let's start with, you know, kind of your history how you found yourself here. And then you can also tell us, I like the explanation of Class VI, you can tell us about that, too.   Chris  01:30 Oh, you bet. Happy to do it. And, you know, in terms of history, my wife accuses me of having a little bit of career add. I started out as an attorney, worked for a Federal Judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals for about a year and then spent a couple years practicing corporate and securities law in Silicon Valley, a firm called Wilson Sonsini and quickly figured out that I didn't much care for the law. And I have to be careful because my wife's an attorney.   But um, and so I left legal practice to start with an investment group. It was a, an investment group that was funded by utility. And they were investing in unregulated businesses. And so at a fairly young age, I was able to help them develop a consolidation strategy in the communications industry. And I was the lead acquisitions person. And so I would go out source acquisitions and then manage the acquisition process. And so it was a pretty intense experience, we completed 27 acquisitions over about 25 months. So yeah, it's   Roy Barker  02:47 a heavy schedule.   Chris  02:48 Yeah, lots of travel. And as you might expect, when you do that many acquisitions in that short period of time, you make your fair share of mistakes. Like, I always like to joke, I, for about a third of those deals, I looked a lot smarter than I am, about a third of those went exactly as planned. And then about a third of those, I probably should have been fired for doing. But so I I did the acquisitions and then moved into an operating role, I became the chief operating officer and the president of that business. At that time, we had grown it to over a billion dollars in revenues, and was responsible for the integration of the businesses.   And we did a big systems conversion. And then we sold that business to Avaya, which is a large communications company back in 2003. And then I actually tried to retire about a year and a half. And it was after organizing my wife spice drawer that she told me I needed to go find a hobby, maybe in a little bit more colorful language. But yeah. And so with my partner, we started our investment bank, and we originally started it as a hobby, really just to do a deal or two a year. We really like working with entrepreneurs.   And but as the business progressed, we got busier and busier. And so we were fortunate to be able to hire a lot of really, really great, smart, talented team members. And today we've got a team of 23 people across our across our business and like you I feel like I've got the best job in the world. I get to talk with entrepreneurs every day, we get to help them with a really meaningful and important transaction in their life. And with the advent of our wealth management for a lot of those entrepreneurs, we get to work with them in their families, you know, for the rest of their lives, and hopefully the rest of their families lives as well.   And so it's a it's been really, really rewarding and we've worked with I think we've completed almost 100 transactions In that, you know, in the 15 years since we started 16 years since we started, and it's like I said, don't get me wrong, I love doing transactions, but it's really getting to know these entrepreneurs and call them friends, once we're complete is, it's been really gratifying.   Roy Barker  05:18 Yeah, that's an awesome transition, because you know, selling a business, especially a smaller one. I mean, that's somebody's baby, that's somebody's child that they've nurtured and grown. And, but I think that's an awesome transition, once you've built that relationship and built that trust, and you can help them on the wealth management side, you know, once they decide to retire.   Chris  05:40 Yeah, it's when you think about for an entrepreneur, to the point you just made Roy. It's their business is usually their largest investment. And prior to selling their company, they're usually I call them asset rich and cash poor, right. Most of their cash is going back into the business. And if we can get involved with them two or three years before they're gonna sell, you can actually do a lot of things. From a tax standpoint, from an estate standpoint, from educating their kids about money management, budgeting.   That you can have a much more significant impact than what typically happens. An entrepreneur might sell their business, come into a bunch of cash. And not necessarily know what to do or how to do it. And you know, at that point, you've got every wealth manager in the, in the world trying to get their money. But it's usually too late to really accomplish a lot of the things that we can accomplish earlier on, if we get involved before they actually transact.   Roy Barker  06:42 Yeah, and it's, like you said, when you're when they're in that position, the unfortunate part I've seen as you know, they have kids and family members that they end up giving all their wealth away, and still have a quite a ways to go in life to make it in, you know, I've seen some they've had to go out and get the, you know, menial jobs just to try to live in that.   So it's so important. I think it's also, the other thing that's always on my mind is people that may think that they want to sell or we're getting close. And I'm gonna let you answer this, but you can't wake up on Monday morning and say, I'm ready to sell and put a for sale sign out in the front yard. And it's just, it's a lot more preparation that goes into that.   Chris  07:31 Yeah, it's, uh, you know, for our clients, they kind of fall into three buckets, right? You have one bucket are folks that they've been approached by somebody. And for whatever reason, I mean, they, a lot of business owners get approached quite a bit for people wanting to buy their business. And for whatever reason, this particular one, they've decided this is the one and I want to go sell my company. And we'll get that call just to help them navigate that transaction.   It's a, it's a fairly complex process. So you have about a third, you have another third, who know that they want to sell their business, but they want to run, you know, full process, they want to go talk to multiple buyers that want to put their story together and tell it in a compelling way. And so they run a traditional investment banking process. And then you have this other third, I call kind of the intentional planners, they know, hey, in five years I want to sell.   So what are the things I ought to be doing today, in my business, whether that's, you know, building my management team, diversifying my revenue stream, you know, taking certain risks out of my business, what are those things that they can be doing today, that set them up such that when they do go to sell, they get the most out of it, and you know, get the most money and the best transactions? And I can tell you, in those thirds, we, we can get very successful deals done in each one of those buckets, but those business owners who are really intentional and plan ahead, by far the most successful transactions that we work on. Yeah.   Roy Barker  09:04 Yeah. Like, I can only imagine, you know, trying to clean up an income statement balance sheet. And then also, you know, if it's the right size business, where the owner whose name is maybe even on the business, but he's the guy that's at the top, there's always a sustainability question. And I really liked the point you brought up is that if you've got that five year time horizon, you can actually bring some management in and kind of start slowly stepping away where you can prove to buyers that hey, this is a sustainable business without me coming in every day.   Chris  09:38 Yeah, what's interesting is for business owners who undertake that effort, to bring in a team to start to delegate their day to day responsibilities. A couple of things happen, which all of which are positive. One is that that business owner starts to get potentially more of the life that they want outside of the business, they're able to, you know, most business owners are typically type A. And so this allows them to actually either spend more time on the things that they really liked doing in the business or get more free time for them and their families.   And so that has the corollary benefit of increasing the value of the business. As you said, if that business owner is the key revenue generator, or has their hands in every facet of the operations, for a buyer, that's really risky, because as we all know, you know, that business owner cashes a nice check, their incentives are gonna change, and that creates risk for the buyer, if they don't have a good team underneath them. But having that team kind of correspondingly decreases, potentially the need for the owner to sell.   Because if they're generating good cash from the business, and they've got a good team, you know, they may have a perfect life for them, which is great. That's that's the position you always want your business owners in, we would call it being indifferent to whether a deal happens or not, you know, if they've got a great company, and they're comfortable continuing to own it, that means that any deal that they do is going to be the very best deal possible, because it has to be so compelling, as to convince them that yeah, that's better than continuing to own and operate my business.   Roy Barker  11:25 Right. So let's go back to the beginning just a little bit. Let's talk about what what's the difference in the ways that we, as a business can get money, you know, we have a loan, we have the underwritten by SBA, but we also have, you know, investment bankers, angel investors. Wonder, can you just briefly touch on all these different types? And then, you know, kind of what space that y'all feel there?   Chris  11:54 Yeah, you bet. You bet. So, if you think about, we call it a capital stack, and you, as you said, you start at the least expensive, but the most restrictive is, you know, a bank loan. Right? The bank loans today have relatively low interest rates, but they're gonna have covenants and restrictions on the business in terms of what it can and cannot do with its cash flow. And at the very top of the equity stack is common equity, which is the most expensive, it's gonna dilute the business owner the most in terms of their ownership.   But it's the most flexible, right, it typically doesn't come with covenants or restrictions on what the business owner can do. And in between there, you have in that debt stack, so you start with bank debt. And then you might have third party debt that aren't banks, but are more flexible lenders, interest rates are going to be higher, but they're more flexible in terms of what the business can do with the capital. And then as you get into equity, you might have a preferred equity, which could have a dividend or what we call liquidation preference, meaning their money comes out before a common shareholders money comes out. And there are different players in terms of investors at each one of those stages.   So, for example, for a young business, you obviously you know, about banks and SBA loans, those, those are traditional commercial banks that can lend money. There are also mezzanine lenders, which are those folks that provide debt that may be more expensive, but more flexible. And then you have venture capitalists that provide capital, usually in the form of preferred equity, to businesses that are relatively young, maybe that's prior to when they actually have revenues or prior to when they have earnings.   And then you have private equity, that typically like to invest in businesses that are more mature and have free cash flow, where they like to typically either provide growth capital, or they may actually provide a majority of the capital and what we call recapitalize the business. Our job as an investment bank, is usually at the later stages of a business, which is when a business is ready to raise capital, not necessarily venture capital. I think venture capitalists, a lot of times have sort of an allergic reaction to investment bankers being involved.   But we typically get involved when they're looking to raise growth capital from private equity, or they're looking to sell or to recapitalize their business, and we'll help them put their story together, identify the biders, manage the transaction process, help them get ready for diligence, and then manage that that whole process to closing.   Roy Barker  14:46 That is so important to you know, maybe you're good at running your business. But this is a very complicated process. And I'm sure that the larger, more complex businesses it gets even more and more complicated. You know, each one of these, you know, debt or investors, you know, they have different things that they want, you know, of course debt, they want you to pay it back, paid back in the scheduled time. But you know, at the investor part, you know, the sometimes people want to invest the money, and then they want to get out within a couple years, sometimes you have these groups that maybe they want to come in and perform a little bit more of the management oversight or send their people in.   And so, anyway, that's one reason why I just advise people seek out a professional that has the understanding, because, you know, I'm sure it's like, my house that, you know, I get probably two or three calls a day, hey, I really like to buy your house. And of course, they do you know, about half the price. And so, you know, assume businesses are probably in that way trying to get squeezed out. And that that's the other thing I'm assuming you can help with, is that valuation cleaning everything up and saying, This is what it should be worth?   Chris  16:07 Yeah, it's, you know, it's a fairly, as you said, it's a fairly complicated process. It takes a lot of kind of expertise and experience. And there are lots of different ways, right, that the transaction can go off the rails. And so having someone you under really understands, hey, hear the train wrecks that could happen, how do we prevent those right? But also, as you said, how to tell the business's story in a way that's going to maximize the value of that business.   Because we have found entrepreneurs and investors, they may say the same words, but their language is a little different. Entrepreneurs think about their business in a certain way. And investors think about business in a different way. And so helping to translate that story so that the investment community really hears the story. In the way that you want them to hear it is, is important.   And I liken it to, it's like any other business process, if you were setting up a new manufacturing line for your business, most times, you're you're probably not going to try to do that all on your own, you're going to require you're going to require somebody who has done that before, who understands the equipment, who understands what you need to accomplish with that equipment. And it's no different, right in a in a transaction, you want somebody who understands that process to help guide you, because it's a, you know, the stakes are very, very high. And mistakes can be really, really expensive.   Roy Barker  17:42 I think they like the story part, because we all have a story. You know, things look one way on paper, but when we can tell the story. But the second part of that is who's telling the story. If it's somebody that you trust, and you know, it's in this business, then a lot of transactions would probably sit there with a lot more ease than, you know, if I'm telling the story of my business and how great it is. It's always better for somebody else to tell people how great you are than to have to tell people how great you are.   Chris  18:17 Yeah, it helps in it. I think it's also good, right? I think business owners, oftentimes are very comfortable with their business. And they're comfortable with the risks in their business, right. So in in sometimes that creates blinders for the business owner, they may not see their business the same way an outsider is going to see their business. And so having a third party, objectively look at the business and identify, hey, you've got an every business does.   You've got some soft spots here that we need to shore up and make sure that we're prepared to address. It's not just like sales, right? You want to know, hey, what are the objections that I'm going to hear when I go talk to this prospect? It's the same with selling your company only the stakes are a lot lot higher. So kind of anticipating those objections and being able to explain them and position around them. It's critical. Otherwise, you'll leave money on the table.   Roy Barker  19:17 So what is our climate right now? Are there? Is there a lot of money chasing a lot of businesses? Is there a lot of money chasing few businesses? What's that look like?   Chris  19:27 It's got a little crazy Roy. We're as busy as we've ever been. I think we have 16 active deals right now that are trying to get done before your end, which is kind of crazy when you think about it. And that's created by a couple of different dynamics. One is, there is a lot of they call it dry powder in our industry, but there's a lot of capital sitting on the sidelines right now looking for homes.   So it's it's over a trillion trillion and a half dollars, not including the debt financing that they typically use, so maybe double or triple that in terms of cash. capital that wants to invest in businesses. And during the pandemic, there was probably a six month period where almost none of that capital got deployed. And for those managers of that capital, you know, they get paid when that capital gets deployed, so they're anxious to get it to work. And so you have that on the, on the kind of the demand side. And on the supply side, when Biden announced potential tax increases for capital gains, you know.   His proposal, which we don't think will pass at this level, you know, 43%, on capital gains, that drove a lot of business owners who may have been thinking about selling, to conclude, I gotta get out before year end, right, because the increase in taxes, you know, if your deals a $20 million deal, and the taxes went from, effectively 20-23%, up to 43%, well, that's a couple million dollars to you $4 million to you, which is, you know, that's meaningful. And so that on the supply side has drove in a lot of driven a lot of business owners to conclude, if I'm going to get out, this is the year to go do it. And so I don't know what that holds for 2022. But at 2021, it's crazy.   Roy Barker  21:11 So the something I just read this morning is that, you know, product businesses, and product focused businesses, you know, had been really under the gun through this pandemic, everybody was staying at home, we weren't doing anything. So we're buying stuff. And then now, they were saying that, you know, we've got supply chain issues, but we're kind of moving out of that, because now people are going out trying to have experiences. So is this something that we need to take into account, like how this pandemic affected your business? And that, you know, if you have time, of course, it may not be the right time to do it, we may need to, you know, take that two or three years to, let's get out of it and have some sense of normalcy?   Chris  21:57 Yeah, it's a great question, because I think businesses fit into one of three buckets. During the pandemic, you had businesses suffer greatly, where they couldn't do business, right, restaurants are a great example. Or gyms, where, you know, their business discuss shut down, and a lot of them couldn't make it out. You also had businesses where there may not have been much of an impact at all software sales, businesses where he didn't necessarily need to be in person to execute the transaction, you know, those, those did pretty well.   And then you had businesses and we've represented a few of them, were actually COVID, in the pandemic dramatically increased their sales, we had a business that was in online training, in the real estate sector of business called a The CE Shop that we sold late last year. And that business did very well during the pandemic, because students, instead of taking their classes in person all moved online. And once they figured out just how convenient and cost effective taking those classes online was, you know, that's a permanent shift, that's not going to go back to, you know, somebody taking an online class.   And so that business did very well, we have another business that was selling home fitness equipment, and, you know, they, they literally would sell out, as soon as they got inventory, because everybody wanted to stock their home gyms. And that's also a trend that we don't necessarily see, going backwards. People, that that convenience, the safety, and just the ease of being able to do your workouts at home, you know, it was a big boon to their business.   And so, you know, there's, for each one of those businesses going back to the importance of being able to tell your story, hey, if your business really suffered, you've got if you want to sell, you've kind of have to be able to normalize for that hit to earnings. And that's, that's a story for those businesses that did well. You also have to be able to convince buyers, that that wasn't a COVID bump.   But it's a new plateau for that business that they're going to continue to do well, and so it's, you know, that it really depends on the business on the industry. And now that we're out of COVID you start to get some proof points. Is the business continuing to do well, or is it recovered? And those will be helpful to be able to kind of tell the story in the right way.   Roy Barker  24:27 Yeah, yeah, no, it's very industry and product and service specific but in your opinion, do you feel like we're gonna remain like 75% of what we've been doing on the internet or is it going back to 50% you know, and I'll use me as an example is you know, we ordered some stuff over the like groceries, you know, we've ordered we're pretty prolific orders of other stuff, always because the convenience of coming to your house and not getting out but groceries, we were still always going to the store. But now that we were forced into it, we're staying with it. We're not, we're not gonna I'm not going back to the grocery store.   Chris  25:09 Yeah, I, to your point, I think the jury's out, we, we have some clients that have a mix of online and retail focused business and the retail has come back pretty strong. And so I do think there's a subset of consumers, just like you, Roy, where, hey, the online convenience, it's going to stay, I think you have another set where they enjoy the the shopping and the store experience. And you know, and those, I think those businesses will do pretty well. But overall, I would expect probably a more permanent trend towards online purchasing. Because people experience just how convenient that is, you know, for those of us that have an Amazon addiction, you know, it's, it's pretty easy to get on your phone, you know, when you order things and haven't delivered the next day. So it's   Roy Barker  25:57 Christmas every day, you know, I was trying to find something in my order history yesterday, I'm like, Oh, my gosh, I've had something delivered just almost every day, the last month or so.   Chris  26:08 Yeah, it's my wife gives me a hard time about the box to show up. So.   Roy Barker  26:15 So um, you know, I know that when we go through these transactions, it's important, you know, people are looking at what is the profit margin, you know, what are the revenues, expenses, things like that? What are some other things that people take into consideration that business owners really need to think about that may not be, you know, on an income state or balance sheet?   Chris  26:39 Yeah, if you think about how businesses are valued, it's really mean, you can have two identical businesses in terms of their revenues and cash flow. But if one, business is a lot riskier, right, their revenues might be more volatile, their management team may not be as deep there, they may only have a few big customers, you know, they may have litigation issues or environmental issues, that business is going to be worth less than the business that doesn't have those risks. We we use an application.   And I think I mentioned we'll make this available to your listeners for free. It's called Copilot, which allows a business owner to really self diagnose, they can take this assessment, and it asks about 120 questions, but it's designed to uncover those risks, to be able to help educate the business owner, hey, here are the things that an outsider looking in, is going to see that makes my business less valuable. And we use it in our own business, just to help us quickly assess the business to know, hey, here are the things that we've got to either explain our way around, or if we've got time, go fix, because that'll make the business more valuable.   But there's, you know, we break it into six value drivers, you have the financial value drivers, you've got operational and organizational value drivers, you've got customer value drivers, you've got your team or employee value drivers, you've got strategy, your strategic value drivers, and then you have market value drivers, and you want to look at each one of those to really understand, Hey, where is this business situated? Does it have you know, what Warren Buffett calls a moat around that business? Or protects it from competition? Or is it just I've got to run faster and jump higher type business, which is, you know, more risky?   Roy Barker  28:29 Yeah. You know, assume that at certain levels, you know, there there'll be a team, either from your company or from the buyer that'll come in and do a lot of due diligence walking around kick, you know, if we say in the old days, kicking the tires, and, you know, seeing if that if there really is a plant here, we really do have employees, that kind of stuff.   Chris  28:51 He had due diligence these days, typically takes between 45 and 60 days, and I I really try hard to condition our clients as much as I possibly can just how intrusive, how challenging how frustrating that process can be it is explained to him. It's like having your three worst medical exams all at once. It is it's very painful, because they, you know, sophisticated buyers, I mean, we we've closed deals where the buyer has spent over a million dollars just on the due diligence process.   So that's their lawyers, their accountants, they've got environmental people, they've got insurance people they've got, you know, Employment and Labor practices, people, they have all kinds of outside advisors. And their whole job is to come in and assess that business to see where the landmines what issues are, we're going to have post closing. And it's it's truly remarkable how many different players come in to do this due diligence. And so, as a business owner, you've you've got to prepare for that. If you're not prepared. Paired life is going to be really, really challenging and odds are your deal will probably bust, because they're just going to be too many issues that the buyer uncovers. And you know, how this goes is.   If you're negotiating a one off transaction where somebody has approached you and they want to buy your company, you're going to put your best foot forward, right. You're going to try to tell your story, the best way that you can, they may make an offer on your business based on the story that you've told them. And as that story starts to unravel, during diligence, as they start to learn the truth, the price is going to come down, you're going to feel like they're trying to nickel and dime you. And ultimately, that transaction will fall apart because the trust breaks down. So being being prepared. And really, you know, if you've got an issue in your business, you kind of have to lead with that. So that the buyer understands that and prices that in so that it's not a surprise later.   Roy Barker  30:55 Yeah. You know, in? Well, it's hard, because like I mentioned earlier, this is our baby that we've you know, we've raised and brought up and live with for many, many years. We don't want some, even if we know we've got a kink in the armor, we don't want somebody else calling that out. But like you said, if we don't know, and somebody else funds it, I think, you know, we can almost have to look at that as a free opportunity that, you know, somebody pointed this out, we can fix it and make it better for us, and may change our mind, we may well be like, Oh, well, this isn't so bad. Now that we fix this, or, you know, we just need to spruce it up a little bit to you know, engage the next buyer.   Chris  31:34 It's interesting, we had a deal, three or four years ago, and it was a business that had a lot of revenues, they were utility services company. And so their customers were utilities, well, their biggest customer was probably 70 or 80% of their business. And when we first took them to market, we knew this was going to be an issue. But it really it actually prevented any deals from happening because that that risk with that big customer was too much. And we did get we got one bid, and then we the owner said, hey, let's take a step back. And so what we did was we worked on that relationship, we instead of having one contract with that main customer, we broken into four contracts. Instead of having a one year contract, we got it into five and seven year contracts.   Instead of having the relationship just at the CEO level, we built that relationship all the way through the organization. And then we were able to take them back out to market. And the value of the company probably doubled, just by taking care of that risk. You know that and and it was, it's a great story to your point of pay, if your first deal busts, it's not the end of the world. And it's given you great feedback on the things that you can do to drive more value in your business. And usually it mean, like I said, we've had a story after story like that, where, you know, the second time around the business has just been worth a lot more money. And it's been to the owners benefit.   Roy Barker  33:04 It gets back to time, if you have the luxury of time. Get out ahead of this because I think the people, again, that get hurt the worst are the ones that maybe it's not the maybe it's a health issue, or maybe it's just like, I'm just over this. You know, there could be a lot of reasons not necessarily financial, or that have to do with the business itself. But you know, you can take a huge risk, a huge hit on the price just trying to get out too soon without handling stuff.   Chris  33:37 No question, no question. And we we see it all the time, there's, there are risks that you can do a lot to fix and or alleviate. And if you do that, you're, again, your business is going to be more valuable. And to the point that you made earlier Roy. It's it's going to make the business more fun to manage. Right. Yeah. We're not dealing with all those risks.   Roy Barker  33:58 Yeah, it's like, Hey, thanks for taking care of that. I think I'll stay around. It's fun now. Yeah, I actually I actually enjoy it. Right. So I know we're getting short on time. But one more question is like, what about owners staying around is, I guess it can depend on the business, the size, a lot of variables, but just in general, is the are these transactions where it's like, just we're done, you're out and you got your money? Or did they have these consulting contracts where they want him to hang around for a year or something like that.   Chris  34:33 So there, again, I'm gonna use the three buckets, okay. The first bucket are business owners who maybe they're younger, and they want to stick around and grow the business to the next level and maybe sell it again. We've had a lot of instances where a business owner, you know, they may have sold 80% of the company, but they reinvested 20% with A new buyer. And then they stuck around, they were the CEO for that next sale right three or five years later. And they may have made more money on the second sale than they did on the first sale.   And so, you know, there's that type of owner who can successfully transition from being the entrepreneur to working with an outside investor, and managing for that investor. That's probably maybe 30 to 40% of the time. The next bucket are business owners who they want to transition, but they're willing, and ideally, they want to stick around for two or three years, because that will help ensure the best transition for the business that takes best care of their team, it cares for their reputation, it'll, it'll just make that transition smoother. And then they work with the buyer to find the next CEO.   And that's maybe another third. And then you have a third of business owners who they just want out when the when the transaction closes. Now that tends, that tends to decrease the value of the business, because it's now riskier, right, because if that business owner were really involved, and they're now gone, you know, that makes that business much more risky. So it's, you know, we always advise business owners, if they don't have a really strong team, you should plan to stick around for at least two or three years after the deal just to make the buyers comfortable, because that'll add a lot of value to the deal.   Roy Barker  36:27 The guy that comes to closing in his tennis shoes and kind of down in the track blocks, you know, getting ready to jet out probably probably makes a buyer a little nervous. Definitely. So one more thing I thought about what we're talking about that is what about like clawbacks or, you know, I'm sure this isn't just as like, it's a done deal. And, you know, buyer beware in some of these transactions, or are there actually causes written into contracts? Or how does that work in general?   Chris  37:02 Yeah, so when you sell a business, you're going to make a series of statements about your business in that purchase contract, you're going to state that you don't have any environmental issues, you don't have any litigation issues, you don't have any, you know, your financials are accurate. And usually, there's probably 25 or 30 reps and warranties, we call them, which are the statements that you make about your business. And in some deals, the buyer will take 10% of the purchase price, say and put that into an escrow account.   So if you're sold your business for 20 million, they might take 2 million and put that into an escrow account. So that when you if you if you sell your business, and it turns out that one of the statements that you made was false, right? Whether knowingly or unknowingly, about your business, then the buyers got recourse against that 2 million. And if it's, you know, big issue, they could come after you for more than that. Typically, it's typically it's limited to the escrow. But that's, again, it's it's kind of like providing a warranty on the car, right? You're representing this business as a sound business. It doesn't have all these different issues.    I don't know about any surprises that you might find as a buyer. And if there are surprises, you know, that's where the contract come in, comes in to determine is that going to be on the buyers nickel? Or is there going to be on the sellers nickel? And so, back to the complexity? You know, that's where you want a great transaction attorney who knows how to protect you as best he or she can, you know, as it relates to that transaction?   Roy Barker  38:39 Alright Chris what the other thing you were going to tell us about Class VI partners, I think, I think that's an awesome name. But where did that come from?   Chris  38:47 So during COVID, we decided we had we needed to do a rebranding and Class VI is a classification system, right for rapids. You know, we have whitewater here in Colorado and Class VI, or, you know, those rapids that haven't been navigated before, and are treacherous. And so as we like to say, as you're as you're going down this process of potentially selling your business or raising money, it can be quite treacherous if you're not familiar with the river. And so as a guide, right, hopefully will reduce your chances of something really bad happening.   Roy Barker  39:24 That's a great visual. I love that. Yeah. Yeah. Well, Chris, we appreciate you taking time out of your day to talk to us. It's been very informative, and we'll have to get you back on we could talk for another couple hours. I'm sure. You know, this is an exciting, I can see your passion for what you do really shines through. So I think that's awesome as well.   Chris  39:43 Well thank you so much for having me. And likewise, it's great that you're doing this for your listeners and always, always happy to help entrepreneurs.   Roy Barker  39:52 Alright. So before we go, a couple questions. First off, do you have a tool or a habit, something that you do every day that you feel like adds a lot of value personally or professionally,   Chris  40:03 I will tell you that, for me, it's exercise. You know, in our careers, things can be pretty stressful. And so, you know, my, my morning starts out with a little bit of reflection on kind of what's important. And then usually, you know, 45 minutes to an hour of some type of exercise. And that just helps me kind of level set and clear my head. And it's, I've done that for probably 15-20 years, and it's worked out really well.   Roy Barker  40:30 Yeah, I like that even during the day, if I get blocked up, just taking a you know, 10 minute walk outside just really clears your head and come back. And you're like, wow, that that problem wasn't as big as what I had made it into just getting a little getting a little air.   Chris  40:45 Yeah. 100% 100%.   Roy Barker  40:48 All right, we'll tell people who you'd like to work with, of course, what can you do for them, and how they can reach out and get a hold of you?   Chris  40:55 Sure. So our ideal client is really it's an entrepreneur, typically, with a business that's, you know, probably more than five or 10 million in revenues. And, and the best clients for us are really what I call lifelong learners. You know, these are folks who love to better themselves, they love to better their businesses, they want to learn more, you know, we're going to be a great fit for them and, and they're going to be a great fit for us.   And we said, we love working with those entrepreneurs. If they if they have an interest, they can reach out to me My email address is Chris, C H R I S @ Class VI Partners. That's Class VI and happy to happy to help anybody whether we get formerly engaged or not. Like I said, Our mission is to enable the entrepreneurial spirit. And so even if we don't get engaged, I love talking with entrepreneurs.   Roy Barker  41:49 Awesome. Yeah. And we'll include all those of that in the show notes as well. All right, Chris, I hope you have a great afternoon and thanks so much for stopping by. That's great. Thank you so much. You bet you bet. that's gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course, I am your host Roy. You can find us at we're on all the major podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify.   If we're not a one that you've listened to please reach out I'd be glad to add it to make your listening easier. You can also find us on all the major social media platforms we typically hang out on Instagram more than others so we'd be glad to engage with there. Also a video this interview will go up on our YouTube channel so go check it out. Till next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.
42:47 12/28/2021
People Buy People: Trust Is the True Currency of Sales
People Buy People: Trust Is the True Currency of Sales Featuring Rob Elliott The internet has contributed to sales becoming a lost art. We have gotten use to a consumer selecting a button on a website we have forgotten how to talk to them. This may work for more transactional products and services but for high ticket items, you still need to be able to convey how you add value. Be patient, follow up, and develop trust with your prospect. About Rob Being brought in the family hospitality business exposed Rob to sales and the importance of community at an early age. Watching his parents navigate difficult customers and the expectations of people while at the same time run a profitable business ensured that when he moved to full time sales roles, he had all the tools needed. Those same tools have enabled him to become very skilled in public presenting, training as well as giving back to his community through volunteering and raising much needed funds for charities close to his heart. Roberts mantra is “Just be you”   Full Transcript Below   People Buy People: Trust Is The True Currency Of Sales Featuring Rob Elliott Sun, 8/1 2:39PM • 36:43 SUMMARY KEYWORDS people, business, person, sales, pubs, buy, sell, rob, find, call, customer, big, sit, day, coaches, bit, hang, watch, little bit, important SPEAKERS Rob, Roy Barker   Roy Barker  00:04 Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests, I can talk to a diverse set of topics, hopefully we can shed the light on something maybe that you haven't thought about, or if something's keeping you up at night, and we can definitely provide some information and professionals to help you get that worked out.   We want to see everybody be successful. And with all this technology and code connectivity across the world, there's no reason why we can't all be successful and find the information that we need. Today, we're excited to have Rob Elliot he is a sales and business coach, a speaker and a podcaster. He was brought into the family hospitality business, and expose Rob to sales and the importance of community at an early age.   Watching his parents navigate difficult customers and the expectation of people while at the same time run a profitable business ensure that when he moved to full time sales role, he had all the tools needed. The those same tools have enabled him to become very skilled in public presentations, training, as well as giving back to the community through volunteering, and raising much needed funds for charities close to his heart. Roberts mantra is just be you, Robert. Rob, welcome to the show. Thank you for taking time out of your day to be with us.   Rob  01:31 I thanks very much. Thank you so much again for the interview.   Roy Barker  01:34 You bet you bet. So we're excited. You know, we we don't get to talk about sales a lot here. And I think it's a lost art in the last few years in this digital world. But before we get into that kind of tell us a little bit more about your background, you know, the family business, kind of how you navigated through that to get where you are today.   Rob  01:55 Look, I was always born in pubs, as you know, in Australia, a huge thing and my dad was actually a electrician by trade. And he was he was looking for something slightly different. And you got offered a traineeship. Back then to I get in the pubs and I think I was probably five or six I was just a little fella running around upstairs and the dad ran and owned hotels for like 25 years with mum. And you like any family business you got brought up in it.   And my mum and dad were very opposite. There was a big man, gentle giant and bless he was pushed. And mum was more of a call a spade, a shovel type of person, she was black and white. So it was the Ying and the Yang. And it was actually great because I pubs in those days in Australia, especially with tough places, you had to through what you would call putting out a persona out there, you had to be able to throw people out of a bar without attaching them and now are bigger and stronger than you.   You had to make someone feel when they walked into the pub, that they were the only person they know they were the most important person. So I watched on our loan. And it was amazing. I don't think I realized how much I learned until we finished. I mean, we saw their power mom passed away. And we got out of the industry and I would have loved to stay in. But I stayed in the liquor industry. And I went into business with my father and his partner and we worked what we call a bottle shop.   Over here we come and buy takeaway liquor that you don't buy anything else. So and that was interesting as well, because I was put between two best mates who never should have gone into business together. You know, and that's and that's so true. Yeah,   Roy Barker  03:37 yeah. Yeah, it's interesting. Because you know, that bar business or pub, you know, it's, it's challenging, because you have to feel very welcome. I think that's why people continue to go to the same place because it's that welcoming. And I think, you know, we had a show years ago, cheers that probably was a little bit over the top. But I think the concept is that, in that environment, people want to go where they're known where they feel welcome, where their other friends and mates are hanging out, you know? Yes, not a lot of people just want to go and drink over at the end of the bar in solitude.   Rob  04:13 Nah, look, in Australia, there's no such thing as solitude if you're standing there by yourself or someone's likely to walk up and say get a in over chat. You right there, you're right there in cheese. I actually use cheese when I'm doing training, the actual theme to it and people listen to it. I say now tell me what's in the theme. Everybody knows your name when you feel welcome and all that I said, you can take that and put that into any business. Right?   It can be a sandwich shop, it can be a bed store. It can mean accountants firm. Yeah, you take the same principles that they built cheese around, which is what they build every successful business around. And all of a sudden every member of your staff is selling. Yeah, all of a sudden, every time it doesn't matter who they come in contact with. Too many businesses today have forgotten that everybody in the business is part of the sales chain, as we call it, right?   Roy Barker  05:08 Yeah. And we go to a little restaurant not far from the house, and that's fine. We go this, you know, it was a lady that started this business after her. Her husband had passed away years ago. We go in because her and the staff, they, they treat us like we're going to our friend's house to eat. Yes. And it's just so pleasurable.   And I think, some of this, I don't know, I, I'm older. So sometimes I wonder if I'm just starting to talk like an old man, like, you know, this digital age has taken a lot of that person personable, touch away. You know, I've spent a, we were always taught to speak to everybody on the street, hey, how, you know, nothing but more, Hey, how you doing? And, you know, I said, hated this person one day in a store.   And then I, what do you want, they were so defensive about just, you know, just like, a little, you know, just a little bit of greeting basically was nothing more. But I think that we, you know, because on the flip side of this, we do business with people who we like, I think, we maybe see a little bit of ourselves in them, and we want to see them be successful. So it's kind of funny that we've lost that, that personal touch point when that is so important to the sales process.   Rob  06:28 Look, there's a mantra that we all go live by, and then his people by people, right, they don't buy the product, they don't buy the price. Yes, if it's a transactional sale, that's fine. But if you're doing somebody that, that purchases important to you, it doesn't matter how good the product is, it doesn't matter, the price doesn't matter, the company, if the person you're dealing with or the person's website you're dealing with, or the telephone person you're dealing with isn't up to scratch or you don't like it, you won't buy it. Right, right.   Roy Barker  07:01 Yeah. And always think about the follow through because I think, I think if you don't give me enough effort to even try to take my money, what is it going to look like after I buy the product or service if something goes wrong, or if I need support. And so I don't think we think through that enough that we have to give enough attention on this front end to make people feel comfortable that we're going to be there on the back end as well.   Rob  07:26 All look so true. I want to buy a new mobile phone about 12 months ago, and I've been with the same carrier in Australia, probably 10 years. So there's three main carrier carriers in Australia and I went down to the shop you know, those beautiful branded shops and all it is all lovely, it's all this little that and I walked in and saw some of the phones and I said the one of the guys you know, can you tell me what the phone is? And his eyes lit up and he started rattling off this and that and stories and this and everything? No, I I never once asked me was my plan out. never asked me what I wanted. Or a kid watching all the people will pass out the front.   Roy Barker  08:05 And I just went thank you and walked out around the corner to the opposition. Yeah, he never engaged never asked a question never did anything. Now. We used to do a lot of mystery shopping and I would have that going into establishment and they wouldn't even ask my name or contact information which was you know, strange because I feel like we need to know people's names at the very least even if I'm not gonna write it down. Just so we can engage on a personal level not just Hey, you   Rob  08:37 I think a lot of the kids today have been spent too much time with their head in the phone, right too much time on their laptop and forgotten the art of communication. And it are not saying that you know what, they they shouldn't be on their phone and that's fine. I'm on my phone to your on your phone. You know, that's how we do communicate. But if they can't turn around and communicate to people in business, what the hope Do they ever have of getting married and having a family right what are they gonna do text the girl or guy across the bar their name, but they don't know their number. So you know, that falls over here. Right? Right.   Roy Barker  09:13 Yeah. When if you're going to be in a successful relationship you bet. Well, as a man, you better learn to communicate, but you need to do a lot of listening. Listening. Yeah. No, I saw you know, one of the funniest memes I ever saw was this little kid laying in bed and she texts her mom, would you text me a bedtime story and it's, it's funny, but it's sad in the same respect that you know, we've kind of moved to that point.   Rob  09:41 I was I was sitting back before COVID Hill sitting with my wife Rachel down at Darling Harbour which is the big harbor next to Sydney CBD so it links into the beautiful Sydney Harbour and it's where all the restaurants and the pubs and the bars and the lovely shops and we were sitting there looking at over Sydney Harbour the most It is one of the most beautiful places in the world. And a seafood restaurant. Great view. And we looked out at the table makes to us there was two, there was three millennials. I think they spoke five or six times the whole time or on the phone. Yeah. They weren't, they weren't experiencing life. They weren't watching what was going on around them. Yeah. So sad.   Roy Barker  10:21 And when we go out, that's one of our experiences. As you know, that's time we put all the phones away, and we get to set and interact, enjoy the environment, and everything around us, it's so important to me, let me just say that it's important to me to feel fulfilled in life. And I guess that I'm like, you, it's hard to see people go out to eat and, you know, they're just both on their phone text and, and not even paying attention to each other, you could have stayed home and had TV dinner for that.   Rob  10:47 Well, I might as well I've seen staff in shops doing the same thing and saying, hang on a minute, I'm just finishing my text.   Roy Barker  10:54 So, um, you know, this. The other thing I think that the internet has brought us is instant gratification. And I see this a lot in the sales process. But, you know, there, we used to kind of use the agrarian model, say that you had to plant the seed, then you had cultivated, and then you harvested. And I think all the times that we've skipped from really not even planting the seed, we just go straight to the harvest, like, you know, are you ready to buy? Oh, can I get you to sign up and think that, you know, we're missing so much in the middle there.   Rob  11:31 I think there's two sides of the story, the customers, especially the younger customers, do have a shorter attention span. And so if you don't get them very quickly, you don't get them at all. And that's the way they are. But when someone shows him as what we call a bit of love, they respond very quickly. I if you get a someone who's never been in sales before or just started out, and they get hung up to get this sale inside them, they jump from the start to the end, they forget is what we call discovery. They forget to ask the person Why are you making the purchase?   What is it is this important about the purchase, and you can do that in a five minute transaction in a shop that sells shoes, or you can do it in somebody's gonna buy a car, right? It just comes down to practice, and it just comes down to opening your eyes and your ears. And when we were given two ears, you know, we'll give him you know, one mouth for a reason. And that's exactly how much you should talk. Yeah,   Roy Barker  12:27 yeah, no, I love that reference about the two ears and one mouth, because a lot of times as sales, you know, we think we have to do an information dump. And if I see your lips moving a little bit, I need to talk faster, because I gotta get, I gotta get all this stuff man, and Hatcher be detrimental. I've listened to some calls that you hear salespeople, you know, what I call run through a stop sign. And this was the this was like a senior living community where the goal of the phone call was to get somebody to come visit.   And so the salesperson was going through and you know, after a couple minutes, she's like, Oh, yeah, this sounds good. We really need to come visit. You know, I mean, that's like the answer. Okay, well, if you could just hang on just a minute, I want to tell you, and she kept going. Yes. And then the customer or the prospect again said, Yeah, you know, all this sounds fantastic. We just really needed to set a time when you're going to be there and come visit. Okay. And you know, we also offer this and she just kept on going.   And so I think we have to, again, this gets back to that good listening, that we have to listen for the signs that they've got the information that they need or feel like they need and a lot of it depends on our goal. But like in this, she was wet, ready and willing to come in where we could be face to face. But salesperson had a script, I'm sure that they were just felt like if I don't get through the script, I haven't done my job. We call it overselling.   Rob  14:00 We people, a person stops listening, just keeps going. And I think we've all been guilty of it from time to time, especially when we first started out in the industry. Yeah, you just get excited. You just keep going. I've got to tell him this, I've got to tell her that. I've got to do this. And all the time the person is just saying I'm ready to buy.   Roy Barker  14:19 Right. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. You know, I'm talking about discovery. It depends. You know, I think if we're selling lower price products and services, people are willing to gamble. I would, you know, I would buy a $10 product or service and take a chance that it's going to be okay, but when we start talking about, you know, 5000 10,020 $5,000 products and services, typically not a one touch, you know, close the deal type scenario.   And so, when we talk about discovery, it's not only so we can win my opinion is not only so we can kind of pitch our conversation to the needs and the wants of the individual. But if we're thoughtful enough, we can get some good information for follow up, because the chances that we're going to need to follow up with the phone call or an email is highly likely. And instead of just saying, hey, Robert, this is Roy, talk to you last week, are you ready yet? You know that, and I still get those calls to this day.   But we can say, Hey, you know, I know that you go out the you know, you go out to eat by the harbor, you'd like to go out down there and sit and have dinner, you know, we have a little bit of personal information that we can actually have a conversation with. Look, the best people that do this are the real estate agents if they're trained, right?   Rob  15:45 If you ever watch like million dollar listing New York or LA, they have guys and ladies on there that are different levels, but most of them are multimillionaires themselves. But a well trained real estate agent will turn around and say to you if you're visiting your home, so what do you like about the home? And you'll start saying this, but automatically, Simon also what they don't like, and people don't realize is what they're doing is they're not trying to do anything wrong. They're qualifying you. So if you don't like this home, I've got this other one, right.   Give us your email, give us your name. And I'll send you over the details. And if you want to have a look at it, let me know. And we'll put you in, that means he doesn't lose the sale. She doesn't lose a sale. Right? And it's exactly what you're talking about. You get that little bit more information. We call them open questions. Never a closed question in sales always open never yes or no. Right. And unless you're closing.   Roy Barker  16:44 Yeah, and I think this even plays into if we lose the opportunity up front and talking about a real estate. You know, I've got a great example that happened a few years ago, where I was selling a house, I interviewed a couple of agents found one I like she was young. She was an older person, but young in the business. And she just seemed very hungry and very eager. So I ended up going with her. And things just didn't work out. It was a total disaster. But there was one lady, one of these five people that I had initially talked to, when I told her, you know, sorry, I'm going with this other person, she never quit.   She never called me and said, You don't need to take this over. But she would send me information. Here's some information about the market in your area. I thought you might find this useful. And even would send me like a recipe. You know, this was around the holidays. So she had sent me, you know, like a cider recipe or something. But this lady dripped on me every week. And guess what? When this other deal blew up? She was top of mind. She's who I called him, she can market herself to me like this. What can she do with my home?   Rob  18:01 Look 100% right, they made the best way to sell is not to sell? Yes. She didn't sell. But she sold. Right. She put she kept herself in front of you. Yeah. It also means that when you went to sell, you're going to be looking for something. Guess who was the first person you're gonna call to help you find a new place? It's going to be her.   Roy Barker  18:22 Yep. And I think this resonates through a lot of industries that maybe I'm just not ready. I may love your price on a love your product. But you know what, it's just not the time for me, I've got either other expensive things that I'm purchasing or the thing that you're selling. Mine is not worn completely out yet. But and so what I guess where people you know, they make the one phone call, and then they quit.   They're not there. And that's one thing I try to teach is that it's so important just to keep dribbling because you never know when they're going to be ready. We can't anticipate but they're gonna go with who their top of mind with not. Remember you may be from six, eight months or a year ago and try to think back on who that guy was.   Rob  19:10 Well, if anyone listens, especially your American audience, Tom Brady, he was the third quarterback when he started out and all he did was hang around, kept training. He did the stuff before and after he picked up after everyone. He just hung in me. Yeah. And when the opportunity came and the number two was was was couldn't do it. He got in and look at he Yeah. You just got to hang around without without going over the top without being a pest.   Roy Barker  19:40 Right. Yeah, we just lost a an awesome musician who's actually from here in Texas. dusty hill with Zizi up I don't know if you if you've ever heard of them but so anyway, he unexpectedly passes away and there's a guitar tech it's been his his He has been his guitar tech for 30 years. Wow. And that was dusty, evidently from raw I have read that was his last request is that my guitar tech take over this position.   So 30 years as a guitar tech behind the scenes, and now one day, you know, they're not as big as they weren't my youth. But still, it's a pretty well known name that he has stepped up to be on stage. So I think that you know, the perseverance and just never giving up. But also having that knowing where the middle is, of being a pest, and being consistent, because there is a fine line in between there.   Rob  20:40 I mean, if you want to, we're now we're in the middle of the Olympics. At the moment, you've only got to look back to the Winter Olympics two years ago with Steven Bradbury from Australia, who was sitting fifth in the ice skating, and everyone in front of him fell over. And he skated through and got the gold. Yeah, he was good enough to be there. He just waited for his opportunity. And that's no different in sales or business. Right?   Roy Barker  21:04 Right. So what is your strategy? If you're reaching out to people cold? Are you? Are you more of an educator, I find myself being more trying to educate people, not only in the beginning, but also, you know, as we go through time.   Rob  21:21 Look, I, when I first meet someone, I just asked a few questions how their business is going, and they got new challenges, and I listen, and I never take a client on that I can't help. But I'll help them find someone who's best for them. Because we're coaches and advisors, coaches aren't experts. But what we just like the casual football side, or a cricket side, or whatever your sport or business you're in. The person who knows their business the most is the person who and they know how to cook the cake.   They know how to do the books. So what we do is we sit there and listen and watch, and then help them discover the best solutions for what they're doing. And then if we can't find it, and they can't find it, we go out and find it for them. So I like to find just one thing that they need help with. Yeah. And it's and it's like, I suppose you call it the chink in the armor. But if I can help someone just fix that one thing that can turn their whole business around, well, that's I've done my job and actually puts a big smile on my face as well. You know,   Roy Barker  22:24 and sometimes we just need somebody to talk to and talk things through. I think it makes a there's a couple big, larger than life personalities, you know, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs. But what a lot of people don't realize is that they had other people that they worked with, in the beginning, they kind of rose to the top and were the public figure. But you know, for me personally, it's always good to have somebody I can trust to bounce ideas off. Or, you know, when you get down say, well, this thing is really crushing me. You just get a little bit of a lift. Anyway, it to me, it's very important. They've all got couches. Yeah.   Rob  23:10 People behind the people, right? They've all got mentors, coaches and advisors. Every single one of them. Yeah. Even Tony Robbins. He's one of the best known coaches in the world has got coaches. Got a coach? Yeah. Because as we say, in Australia, you got to have someone that's willing to call you out. We say a little bit differently, but I'll keep up the polite version. You got to have someone and it can be a maid that just sits you sit there and talk to Yeah, it can be a friend, it can be another business person in the same business as you and you become each other's Yeah. And then and then that's when you start to after that you'd start looking for getting professional coaches in that really can save you time and money.   Roy Barker  23:53 Yeah. Yeah, I think that's an important point that you make is you don't want somebody that's just a yes man or not, you know, you're the best You're doing great. Keep on I mean, you know, we need that cheerleading for sure. But, you know, if I tell you that, you know, I want to sell ice cream, you know, down around the equator, you know, with no electricity, the keep the stuff frozen. You need somebody that's going to say is that really, you know, the best use of resources?   Rob  24:24 I'll look, I've said I've had people come to me complaining about their opposition, doing so much better than them. And I said, so why? And they start making excuse after excuse now, it's a setup because when we asked a user word why a person goes into what we call justification mode. So if you're doing one on one personally, personal coaching you don't use that word. He is what made you or you will use other words, so either internal or inside of them, so they're obviously doing something you're not what is it and you know, Watch the blood drain out of the face. And I get why I get a bit clammy. Because we've called him up. And there is always something else.   Roy Barker  25:10 Right? Right. Yeah, cuz like we were talking about earlier, if even if you're dealing, if you're dealing with somebody that you like, and you trust them, I'll tell you personally, I'll pay a premium for that, because it's hard to find. And because I see a lot of, you know, most sales, people that are struggling, the first thing they talk about is, well, this other company is undercutting me. And so, you know, typically, it's always pricing related. But, you know, what I say to and I'll get your opinion on this is, if you're competing on price, you're, you're in a losing situation, because there will always be somebody trying to come along and undercut you, we have to try to sell on value, what value do we bring to this problem that we're trying to solve?   Rob  25:56 will look, if you want to look at analogy there, I completely agree is cars. If that was the case, you would only have cheap Chinese Kia, ion di cars around, and Mercedes and BMW would be out of business. Right? So they all do the same thing. They all get you from one place to another. Right. But, you know, it's it's a case of you get what you buy, you get what you pay for. Right? And it's got nothing to do with price Really? In the end? Yeah,   Roy Barker  26:26 yeah. Yeah, it's usually typically what I've seen. And it's our messaging is that, you know, we, we need to really take the time to explain our value proposition, what we bring to the table, how we can help you, and then how, you know, if your follow up, what your follow up is, anyway, a lot of room in there to work besides just what's the price,   Rob  26:47 and you've also got to be willing to walk away, if a customer's fixated on price, he's gonna want your best of everything for nothing. So I tell people walk away. Yeah,   Roy Barker  26:57 I was just fixing to bring, I just jotted that down when you earlier, when you said you'd like to, you know, the people you'd like to work with is that it's important that we have people that are on our same philosophy level. Because if not, what I find is it just you can make a bad customer, you can make a customer that drains your time, drains your energy, and you end up firing later in the process anyway. And so, you know, like the price thing, I find this interesting, because of the law of, I guess of scarcity is that sometimes when you say, maybe this just really isn't for you. And then all of a sudden, you know, when it's about 50% of these people, then they get their backup? Well, I'll prove to you why it's for me.   Rob  27:49 Look, people do attract people who are very similar to them. Yeah, that's natural. And we can call it nation, you can even call it you will want to do business with people who are close to who you are. And I'm not talking about selling your hammer and getting those, you know, those small transactional sales, but you will find people in any type of service business. Normally their customers are aligned very close to who they are and what they stand for without them even knowing it. And the universe has a funny way of delivering to you those who see. Yeah.   Roy Barker  28:27 Yeah, it's interesting that and I guess the converse of that is, we also need to be careful who we surround ourselves with, because, again, I'll let you speak to it. But typically, we are the, the average wage earner of everybody who we surround ourselves with,   Rob  28:49 how lucky you are and all you've heard it so many times you are the five people you surround yourself with. People think it's a cliche, it's actually not it's fact. Yeah. And you can learn so much if you've got a good support group around you, you can learn so much and support each other. And I said to someone was Annie the other day, they were talking about our had a really good week, and I'd went down to the pub and all that and one of the guys was a bit of a negative Nelly. And I went I said, you know, what was his point knew I Oh, you'll never be any good.   This is as good as you're gonna get. I said dumping. So what do you mean, it's a dumping? I said, All he is is a black hole. It's sucking all your positive energy out and leaving you with negative, right? I said, you don't need him in your life. I said, He's your he's putting self doubt into you. And that's the same in business. You can have your personal friends and your business friends. Your Business friends are there to support you. If they're not being that way. I know it's brutal, but you need to surround yourself with people who are gonna lift you up.   It's an assignment to add basis if you're working with people. Don't hang out with people who sit there and moan and groan at the office cooler about how everyone's bad Hang out with the guys who are quietly sitting down the back, getting their budgets, having a good time. And with a big smile on their face.   Roy Barker  30:08 Yeah. Yeah, definitely good advice. So we're getting close on time, what are some other tips that you'd like to, you know, give out to people in the sales area?   Rob  30:22 Look, I believe in also giving without expectation. And I looked at two ways, don't be afraid to provide value to someone, even if they're not going to buy for you. Because that person that may not buy off, you may refer, right? Someone tunes Hello, this guy's honest, he's good guy to him. Yeah, I also believe strongly being part of your community. And I don't mean picking a charity and donating money, just so you can put it on your website to say hi, right? Find a charity or cause it can be helping out the local baseball club, it can be helping out homeless youth, it doesn't matter. Yeah. Get and be part of your community.   But if you do it very quietly, people will notice you might not think so. Yeah, but they they look over, they say you know what, he owns a local bead store. And he's Danny helping us give out meals and look after the homeless, but he's not seeking anything for it. And without, you will get back three or fourfold without a blink. So that's just one of my mantras. And the last one is, of course be you don't try and be someone you're not.   Roy Barker  31:32 That's one of my favorite sayings is be you everybody else's taken. You get it? You know, I think that, you know, the bigger point of what I just heard you say is that, you know, we kind of even getting back to the people, we surround ourselves and we, we really are that energy, you know, we we whatever we put out in the world, that is what we get back.   And that's kind of careful to, to pick that. But the other interesting thing about, you know, even providing value to people that may not be your customer, because I hear people scared, like, Oh, I don't want to give this away, you know, the secret sauce and don't want to tell them too much. They may do it themselves. And you know, my point always is, if they're going to do it themselves, they're going to do it themselves.   Whatever you tell them, they help them a little bit. The other thing though, at giving information is we may actually educate somebody why they shouldn't try to do it themselves that, you know, if there's little intricacies or, you know, like myself, I'm a do it yourselfer. But when I get jammed up, you know, I think about the people that have helped me along the way, you know, and I call them to come, you know, clean up this mess that I've, unfortunately, we're all guilty of that from time to time, right.   But we don't like to admit it, we mean, yeah. Thanks. Rob, I appreciate you taking time out of your day to be with us. It's been awesome speaking with you. What is a tool or a habit? What is something that you use in your daily life that you feel adds a lot of value?   Rob  33:12 I think one of the most important things is is I call it taking time for yourself. Everyone should take 10 minutes every day, turn the phone off. Fine. I've got a favorite spots and a couple of parties, I can just sit turn everything off radio, put a little bit of music on and just chill. Now, I call it a reset, especially if you're having one of those days where things just aren't going right. Right? Or take the time to celebrate a good week. But take five to 10 minutes to be you to look after you every day. And I'll tell you what, within a month, you'll be a different person. Yeah.   Roy Barker  33:54 Self Care is so important. You know, a lot of us are guilty of, you know, being givers we want to give and get but we can't give our best if we're not at our best. So 100% 100% All right, awesome. Well, that's good advice to those out there. So I certainly do appreciate that. So tell everybody, who do you like to work with? How can you help them? And of course, how can they reach out and get a hold of you.   Rob  34:20 I like to work with people who are open, who are willing to be honest, who just want to improve and be better at what they do. Doesn't matter what their business is. I like them to be able to come to me and go, hi Rob. This is where I'm at. How can you help me or how can we work together? And that means more to me than anything. He then after that? Look, I say look can look my website, you know Rob have a look on my Instagram, you know, see what you do. And then come back to me with four or five things that are concerning you in your business or concerning you in sales. Okay, and then we'll sit down work through But pretty relaxed, very chilled. But also I'm not here to be your friend.   Roy Barker  35:06 Exactly.   Rob  35:06 But I mean, that's where people use You said yourself before you can employ anyone to, to buy smoke to tell you how good you are. Or you can sit say with someone and go, what do I need to improve? And the very what we call brutally honest. Right, right. And you've got to be brutally honest and being brutally honest to me. It's showing love. Yeah. And I do I everything I say to someone comes from the right place. So that's how I look at people and I manifest them and they come to me.   Roy Barker  35:35 Yeah. No, I think that's the important the outlet that we come to you with that, you know, we have to be wanting that help and want really get to the root if, if all I need to know is how good I am like to go see my mother. She'll tell me that. She'll tell me that every job. Yeah, my mom was also good at telling me the other side. All right, Rob. Well, thanks so much for taking time out of your day y'all reach out to Rob see how he can help you.   You know, get your business on track help you in that sales process. I know he do work wonders for you. So again, thanks so much. that's gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy. You can find us at We're on all the major podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify, we're on all the major social media platforms, as well hang out on Instagram a little bit more. And then also a video of this interview will go up on our YouTube channel. So go check that out. Until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.
36:52 12/14/2021
Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important To Being Charming and Disarming
Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important To Being Charming and Disarming Featuring Salman Raza Being self-aware is key to a lot of things in life. We also need to be very aware of others we are wanting to communicate with and build relationships with. We have to take into account the individuals, cultural differences, surroundings, social, emotional, and behavioral theories to be successful in relationship building. About Salman Salman is a Biomedical Engineer by qualification, an Auditor by profession, and a reformist and visionary at heart. He has lived on four continents and worked in thirty countries. The diversity and experiences afforded him an insight into working with different cultures, values, and personality types. He leads trainings and workshops on the enclosed subjects; meeting and teaching a thousand new people every year. With decades of experience, Salman’s work provided him with a better understanding of our various emotions and behaviors. Now these practices are found in one place   Full Transcript Below Self-Awareness and Self-Efficacy Are Important To Being Charming and Disarming Featuring Salman Raza Sat, 7/31 2:36PM • 54:59 SUMMARY KEYWORDS societies, ego, business, countries, people, culture, absolutely, personality, vision, world, china, individual, important, book, higher, smiling, lead, index, understand, Houston, Self-Awareness, Self-Efficacy are important, Charming and Disarming SPEAKERS Salman, Roy Barker   Roy Barker  00:03 Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy. Of course we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests speaking to a diverse set of topics. Hopefully we can shine a light on something maybe you haven't thought about to help you be successful or if you have something that's keeping you up at night. We'd be glad to hopefully you can use the information that we're presenting and rely on our professionals that we have to help resolve that we want to see everybody be successful. Today we are pleased to have with us Salmon Raza, he is on Well, he's the owner of resolution which awesome name by the way, but he's also the author of "Life's Non-Conformities: An Auditor's Tale of Practical Application of Social, Emotional and Behavioral Strategies." He is Salman is a biomedical engineer by qualification, an auditor by profession, and a reformist and visionary at heart. He has lived on four continents and worked in 30 countries. The diversity and experiences afforded him an insight into working with different cultures, values, and personality types. He leads trainings and workshops, meeting and teaching 1000 new people every year with decades of experience. Salman's work has provided him with better understanding of various emotions and behaviors. Now these practical prac now these practices are found in one place in his new book again Life's Non-Conformities. Salman, welcome to the show. And thank you for taking time out of your day to be with us.   Salman  01:47 Thank you, thank you for having me.   Roy Barker  01:48 So you've had a long and long and winding road, like for you can't tell us you know, how you got here from a biomedical engineer to to an auditor? That's quite a leap.   Salman  02:01 It isn't it is not. Because I I'm in medical device regulations. So biomedical engineering led me to medical device regulations. And then I became auditor, a medical device regulatory auditor. that enabled me to travel the world and interact with different people, different sized companies from billion dollar company to a one man band. So, and all sorts of emotions along the way.   Roy Barker  02:34 Yeah, four continents and 30 companies. I mean, that's four, and I'm sorry, four continents in 30. Countries that so that's quite expansive. And I'm sure that you know, making that journey, the different cultures, just like you said, the personalities, the practices, I know that you have to be very careful, because we have a reference of our country and our practices, but when you step in somebody else's country, they may have a whole different protocol.   Salman  03:03 Oh, yeah, absolutely. And, and a lot of focus in the business world, remains on the technical side of things, and the functional side of things, and a lot of soft skills and soft aspects of human interaction. After all, we are all human. And that, unfortunately, get overlooked. And a lot of times, we don't achieve our business goals because of overlooked soft skills. And that's what we are trying to bring to the forefront that we should focus a little more than what we have.   Roy Barker  03:42 Right, right. Yeah. And, you know, it's my reference point is, I'm not even gonna tell you how many years back but we actually had to do a, we had to do some research and a presentation on doing business in different countries. And it was a, it was one of the best exercises that a professor could have ever assigned to us. Because, you know, I think it's gotten worse today, we're a lot more casual than we were. But even back then, just all the different rituals and things like that. So different, you know, we have to be careful who we talk to do you look them in the eye, do we look down? All these different things?   Salman  04:26 Yeah, absolutely. The interesting thing on this journey as I learned, we as a human you can you can see in a triangle or pyramid, the base of it is very The most common the base of a triangle is human nature. So the nature across the globe is exactly the same. We all get hungry, we all need some water, we all need some low end care. So that is the human nature. We all have the same globally. difference. But then when we move up towards the apex of the pyramid, in between, there's a layer, which is culture where we bring we are growing up, that is learned. So all these things happening around us, we are consciously and subconsciously, we are learning that trait. And that is, because we don't even realize because we are growing in that environment, but it still, it's not the human nature, it's taught and learned. And then you go further up in the triangle that's unique to individual, that's personality, that's my personality I'm born with. And of course, my personal experiences, my my family and my culture, combined with my personality combined with my exposure in life, that creates me individual. So there is a few layers that we need to understand. And that that makes us complicated. human being.   Roy Barker  06:06 Right, exactly, yeah. And brought to mind that sometimes, when we're discussing things, especially with people may be of a different culture, even if we're on friendly terms, I might say to you, oh, that's just your perception. But I think what we have to realize is that your perception is your reality, if this is what you've lived with, it could be totally different, you know, from my life experiences, even inside of the US, even inside of different cities. And, you know, I was just thinking, you know, you're located in Houston, and I'm up in the Fort Worth area. So you know, two of our reference points, if you come up here, you're gonna eat some barbecue, and some beef for sure, you know, being down in Houston, you may run into, you know, the more the the crab boil, and things like that. So, even within a state, there can be, you know, a lot of nuances across that.   Salman  07:07 Absolutely. And then, and if we are not engaging or interacting with people from different, different cultures and different environment, that gap of awareness increases a great deal. So let me give you some examples. And it perhaps might open up the conversation a little, though, so I follow the half said insight model for the cultural awareness. So that model describes society in six different dimensions. So there's one, the first one is power index, so how societies respond to power. So if I'm your boss, or I'm at higher hierarchy, how the society see that store, the higher index societies, boss or upper up in the higher management is to God, you don't talk to them, you respect them, you bow to them, you basically they are like your God, but in low power index societies, yeah, you may have the right you may have the title, but you're not better than me, you are just like me, so. So countries like China and Russia, they're really higher on the power index. However, if you are in Scandinavia, I don't care if you are the CEO, you will stand with me in the same line for food as as I would, and they will talk to you such a such way. I don't have any special privilege. So it just society and the expectation, how they respond to power is different. And if you're ailing from certain culture, where power is important, then you For example, if you are in a chain classroom in China, or in a meeting room in China, questioning or interrupting the presenter is its inaugural you cannot challenge your presenter, he's your higher up he's your teacher whereas if you are in UK or in us or any low index society, they will say no, this is why I'm here ask me question and they will encourage you. Similarly, if you are different, the next dimension is individualism and collectivism. So some societies they believe that individuals are responsible for their own welfare The United States is one of them the one of the highest index on individualism, you are responsible for your own welfare and, and you are not expected to interfere in anyone's affair. However, if you're living in a collective society, a lot of Latin America, a lot of Asia, their collective societies, so you are no Carrying yourself only you are carrying your community, your family. So these expectations within the social norms are very different. So in Japan, people don't leave jobs in us is, if it serves me, my family, my objectives, I will move on. But in Japan, if you lose, leave the job, you bring insult and dishonor to the company and community. So, there are several layers of culture that we don't realize that when we interact, right, exactly,   Roy Barker  10:33 yeah, and that's interesting. You know, because we don't want to get too political. But you know, we're dealing with that here, in the US, as I assume, probably across the world with this pandemic is, you know, where do the individual responsibilities versus the collectivism, you know, it's a very blurred line. So even though we can make the two distinctions, it's still not that easy, you know, going forward, and especially, you know, we run into all these different things, as we try to do business across the lines. And as we become a global society, you know, it's not the same as talking to your next door neighbor, you know, trying to sell them an item versus, you know, taking all these different things into account as we do business across the world.   Salman  11:21 Absolutely. In business, well, for example, yeah, you do a lot of things out of courtesy, you do a lot of things out of norm, not because you agree with them, but that is the normal that country right. So let me give you an example of contract law. When we write a contract law in Western Hemisphere, we we go to the every single possibility is written on it. And after 1000 page of details, you say force majeure, oh, then you come to force majeure, that we don't know what else we can ride on. If you're writing a contract law in, in Asia, in Japan, in particular, China, force majeure will probably won't be fifth or sixth line. Because that culture deals with trust. And if you don't have trust, then what's the point of dealing with it? So if you want me to write that sort of possibilities, and in eventualities, that means there's lack of trust in between parties? And then if you don't trust me, then what's the point dealing and doing business with me? So there is a different perspective, the intent on United States or UK point of view is not that they don't trust you, it just, they liked everything to be written on paper. Whereas in China, in Japan, and a lot of countries, they say, No, you have to trust me to move forward. Right? It's same breath. normal practice in Western Hemisphere, we do business during the day. And then you socialize in the evening, you go for dinner, you go for drinks, or whatever. In China, when you go to do business, before you talk business, you will socialize. And one of my client approached me, and then they asked me, we've been drinking for last three days, when we're going to talk business. And I thought, okay, if you're drinking for last three days, that means you will not talk business because they haven't established trust level they're looking for. So they socialize, first, establish the trustworthiness. And if you are deemed trustworthy, then they will talk business as if the other way around in United States. So it's all about perspective and how things proceed. And,   Roy Barker  13:43 and it makes a big difference. Because if you come on too strong in those societies and tried to skip that socialization piece, they'll basically just cut you out and say, we're not going to do business with you, not only because we can establish trust, but you obviously don't understand, you know, our cultural need to establish that trust moving forward.   Salman  14:06 Oh, yeah. And similarly, if you are going into some Latin American societies, that trust is built, not necessarily directly, it almost always is through an intermediary. So you need a reference that someone can trust. So I, if I'm looking for a service, I will ask within my circle, do you know someone trustworthy and then I will go on recommendation, it works in the greater extent at all societies, but a lot more in certain societies. So we need to understand the dynamics of those cultural upbringing and cultural values to penetrate in those situations.   Roy Barker  14:51 Yeah, we we tend to forget that, you know, there are a lot of other cultures out there. And, you know, we live in our own world until we Don't. And then sometimes it's too late if we haven't done our homework on that. Yeah.   Salman  15:05 And it is very relevant in these cosmopolitan societies. Because, yes, we are in the United States, but it's a Global Village, we are interacting with people who have come to and from all across all corners of the world. And even though they speak the same language, they dress like ourselves, but they, subconsciously, they have a cultural value that we are not aware of. Right? Certain things can be perceived very differently. And so it goes both ways.   Roy Barker  15:36 Yeah. So what of the 30 countries that you've worked in? What was the most difficult cultural environment that you've been in?   Salman  15:48 I wouldn't say difficult, because they all are. They have the different values, and they are. But you just need to be aware and mindful. So the experience of I had a lot of countries that I have traveled, you have to adjust your expectation, and you have to adjust your routine to certain extent. So for example, once I was working in Scandinavia, I think Denmark, it was, and I came back from work, stay in my hotel room start working again, before I knew it was already almost 830 in the evening, and as Oh, I better get out and eat something. So by the time I got out, almost everything was shot. And I thought, Oh, I need to be careful, you know, I shouldn't make it to that late for the week, I was working in Barcelona, and I was okay, I'll make sure I'll go for my dinner in time. So 730 went out, and almost everything was shut again. And then they said, Come back at 930. Because we don't open for dinner that early. So and if you're Brazil, it's going even later, so. So it's not only the behavior is to society, how they the common language, the terms, I used to say, we'll do that after lunch, we'll do that before lunch. That lunch, is my perception was 12 1230. In Barcelona, it was 230. So, so I had to say no, I should be more specific in terms of time, rather than just a generic term after lunch, because after lunch means different things in different places.   Roy Barker  17:42 And, you know, I've run into that before as well, you know, hearing where I'm from five o'clock, six o'clock, latest, you know, we're sitting down to have dinner and you know, being in a place like New York or LA, you know, I'd be ready to go back to my hotel and go to bed at like, nine or 10 o'clock, and they're like, hey, let's go out and have dinner, you know, they're just kind of getting their night started. And it's, it's, it's, sometimes it can be kind of hard, you know, like to keep up if you're not expecting that.   Salman  18:15 Yeah, absolutely. There are several layers of it that that goes and and this is kind of informal setting. But when you get into the formal settings, within the organization, the organization, culture and the practices and in negotiations and managing teams and working with a different person that may have a different cultural background or personality type, it gets very difficult. So we have to be a lot more aware and mindful.   Roy Barker  18:53 Can you the first one you mentioned was the power index, I guess the, you know, like you were saying, maybe what China and Russia have a little bit different thoughts of their leader. So when we're doing business in those countries with that culture? Do we start at the Do you have to start at the bottom and work your way up as far as you know, talk about, you know, maybe having a conversation about your product and if there's interest or is it expected that you start at the top?   Salman  19:26 It depends what we are dealing with here. So for example, the higher up person, the boss has the ultimate responsibility and subordinate expect to receive clear instructions from the top. So if, if, for example, a boss says, I want to do this, I want some ideas, bring in your ideas. He, in a lot of cases will lose credibility, because you're the boss, you should tell us what to do. If you don't know Why you're the boss, they are expected to lead they are expected to give instructions. Whereas if you are, if you are in low index societies, Scandinavia is one of them. If someone is giving instructions to their subordinates, so well you hired me to do the job, then trust me, let me do the job. Why? Why are you bossing me. So so there is a difference. And, and again, you don't have to be in those countries to feel that, right. You can feel all those things in Fort Worth. And in Houston in New York, because we do come across those are those instances where people feel, and it goes all the way up to personality, some personalities, they like, specific things, and very, to the point things and some personalities, like reassurances and validation of what they're doing the same time. So it's, it's a very mindful thing that we need to be aware of.   Roy Barker  21:01 Yeah, and I think it's a good point to, you know, remind that, even though, even though we're in the states and you know, Fort Worth or Houston, that just because we hire the hire individuals, they are definitely that individuals. And that's why we have to get to know them, because we have to, we have to understand, you know, what are the cultural differences, because it affects the way that we manage and our expectations, and I've got a great examples, I had a young lady that worked for me for a while that she was great at her job, but she was very, she was very quiet and reserved. And so you know, I'm I asked her, can you research a couple things for me, get me some, you know, tell me about this more. She would do it immediately. But she was so reserved that she wouldn't speak up. And so you know, maybe two, three hours later, I'm like, have you had time to look? Oh, yeah, I've got it right here. So you know, it's something I had to learn to manage about her is that, number one, it's okay to interrupt me and let me know, you know, when you get through, or that, I just have to know that, you know, I have to keep coming back to her to ask her when I'm ready for the information, and she will have that. But there are some other individuals that, you know, you kind of have to pump the brakes on them. They're like, they got the inflammation, and they're fixing to get started on something. And you're like, I have to go back. So, you know, again, I think this is why it's so important that we get to know our teams. So we know how to manage each individually that we can't manage a 10 2030 man team, all this exact same way.   Salman  22:46 Exactly. And to get the best out of right, we need to we need to find the ways that what takes them what what makes them feel assured and confident. And so that's all the managers or to do to give them confidence. Yeah, into my showrooms and security, that whatever their style, whatever their preferences, you're secured in a short and you have element.   Roy Barker  23:10 Right, exactly. Yeah. And that's another thing, you know, like that different things make different people feel valued. Again, we can't just apply one method to everybody, we really have to take the time to get to know and that's not a bad thing. I don't think I've always suggested that we think, I don't think we take that time nowadays. And you know, everything has gotten shortened up instead of even on emails, you know, good morning, how's your day, you know, having a few pleasantries, it's like, bam, it's like, I need you to do this, or, you know, it's just right, Kurt and to the point, and we've lost a lot of that social interaction, you know, in this digital world that we live in.   Salman  23:51 That is true. Again, it's probably is generational, but it is happening. Yeah. So managing those expectations, understanding the requirements. So, there are several ways that we need to be mindful of   Roy Barker  24:10 Yeah, for sure. So we got to the individual versus the collectivism, what what are what's the number three on our list?   Salman  24:18 They are they are six as I said. So the two we already spoke about the turn one is, so we did power we did individualism collectivism. And then there is a uncertainty avoidance. So how societies respond to uncertainty. So that's one so some some societies they they don't mind. They just, they find themselves resourceful, innovative, and they said, No, I don't need to know the details. I can just wing it, as we call it. We all just go along and then find a way to do it. I don't need to know the precise details, because other society to say, No, no, no, I need to know if there is a plan if there is a contingency and all that. So that's another the third one, which is very important is the Hachette insight model describes them as masculinity and femininity, but it's not the general masculine and feminine. It's the competitiveness, how societies responds to competitiveness. So do I celebrate my success and brag about it, or some society says, No, I don't need to brag my overall harmony of the society is more important. So a lot of countries that we deal with, they have they scale, some are higher, some are lower, very competitive, we play hard, we celebrate odd and that sort of thing. And some, for example, Scandinavian countries, they are so low in that masculinity call, you can call them feminine, they care about harmony. So they don't like to be differentiated because of the success. So society is willing to pay more tax to bring the gap between rich and poor to bare minimum, whereas higher competitive societies, there's no I have worked hard for it. And I, I want to be sending out so there is one, one of that. So we have seen these four, then this fourth, fifth and final, fifth and six were fifth is long term orientation against short term orientation. So some societies, they like to plan ahead, they like long term planning in their planning. They think, for example, in China, the business plan in as compared to us, we have a five year plan, or, you know, mostly three to five year plan business plan. In China 50 year plan, it's 70 year plan. So their long term orientation they don't think of today and tomorrow, they are thinking long term, even the emergency plans for two, three years. So that brings a different attitude, in expectations. So because I don't expect results tomorrow, because my plan is for 50 years, so you can invest earlier, but in that duplex, reflecting society. in us, we are relatively short, term oriented, we like nicer house bigger house, it doesn't have to be full brake, it can be relatively lighter, that can sweep away in one fluid, but like that nicer, shiny thing, whereas in other societies they want pure brake doesn't have to be big, but it has to be solid that last generations, you know, in a lot of countries inherit their homes from the great, great grandparents. So that's the fifth dimension. The sixth one is indulgence. how society responds to pleasure. Some societies are very expressive, they like to express when they're happy. They like to display emotions in public. Some societies don't like that. Some, some societies are reserved. So if you are in Latin America, or Mexico, in particular, the life part like expressing the like expression, expressing the emotions. But if you are in other countries, such as Asian countries, in China, in particular, they're very well preserved. They don't like to display their emotions in public even. Not much anymore. But if you go few years back, even family pictures, everyone appears very serious. They don't like to smile because it's a public image. They need to be seen as serious. in the same breath, if you are a professional meeting in some countries, if you're smiling, you're not taken seriously. Because you you are you are perceived to be joking around. You're not expert, why you're smiling. Yeah, doing serious business. Whereas in us in Western Hemisphere, you cracking a joke to break the ice is is traditionally very well received. So you should be behaving in that fashion. That is the cultural expectation. So these are the six dimensions that that culture brings into   Roy Barker  29:51 play. Yeah, and you talk to the long term versus short term and something in and you're very generous to say American cup. Knees look three to five years, because a lot of the public companies, if they can look three months out to the next quarterly earnings, that's long, it's long term for them. You're right. And we make some really, you know, I speak from a little bit of experience that I work for, you know, a huge corporation for time. And in the beginning, things were different. Because, well, you know, we're basically kind of a monopoly. So, while we were still public, you know, focus was on service, and then some things happened in the industry. And then all of a sudden, you know, we were a smaller company. And we, we live quarter to quarter. And I think the thing that that really killed me about it is, you know, we would spend, well, we would do some, we would take action to save $1 today, that cost us $5, in seven months from now, but because this affected the quarterly earnings, now, you know, somebody made a decision to not do it the right way. So when you look at the different businesses, you know, the longer term planning, you know, 50 to 70 years, I mean, that's a lot. But basically, you know, in general, do you find that they put in to place better plans, more manageable plans, when we're looking at 10 years versus, you know, three months, six months or a year?   Salman  31:28 Yeah. And that's a good question. And that the important thing, in that we are coming into the pure business territory now. That aspect, I personally, strongly believe a business should always be very well aligned with the vision. What is your vision where you want to go? Where are you heading? If you lose sight of your vision, and you are distracted by numbers, then you will lose sight. So if you know, this is where, for example, we are going, I need to go from Houston to fourth word. And I know this is what I need to go. Now if right comes along, most amazing car in the world that is the best ever made. I can be tempted to write on it without realizing that he's not even going before. Right, right. So he may well be going to San Antonio, or even know. So if we lose sight if we distracted by anything technology, competition, and lose sight of our own vision. That's where the problem occurs. So if we need to decide, what is my vision, where I want to go, where I want to lead, once I have that clear part define, then it helps me identify my strategy. Okay. Yes, it is short term, but it will move me away from my ultimate goal. So the decision making becomes a lot easier if we somehow businesses find a way to continuously assess against that vision are we aligned. So a lot of times in small to medium sized, even corporate world, when you get distracted and bogged down into numbers and quarterly performance, because you want to win because you want to earn a bonus. The likelihood is you're moving away from your vision. And when you're moving away from your vision. And there we have tons of stories what happened, you know, quote, what happened to Kodak? You know, what happened to Blackberry, there's so many business case studies where you can say, You are the gods, what happened to you?   Roy Barker  33:50 Right, right. Yeah, you know, not to get too far off track, but you can look at Kodak as an example is they had the answer, right on the shelf. And, you know, they just would not pay attention, because, you know, and some of that, I think lassis more as a question, but a lot of that gets back to ego is we think we're a leader. And we think we will set the pace. But there's always a disrupter looking to disrupt.   Salman  34:22 Absolutely. And and this is where the blind spot occurs. Ego you hit the nail on the head, ego in a business environment. It can put you in a blind spot you don't see what's coming along your way blockbuster did to Netflix, it's all the boys just trying to sell door to door. They can't come beat. That's what happens to. That's what Netflix is it the blockbusters. The ego is equally even more important in personal. So our ego, restrict us to achieve even more because ego, start competing with people, we shouldn't be competing people. I personally believe every single individual in this world has something to offer. And there is something for me to gain from my ego will restrict them because I get distracted by the obvious behavior and obvious tone of voice or body language I'm seeing, forgetting that there is a wealth of benefit this person has for me, we can benefit from so the ego management, we get threatened easily, we get distracted easily. Let me give you an example of ego. very slightly personal example. And I use listen might find it useful A few years ago, my five year daughter was sat together and she she said to me, daddy, you look ugly and fat. And I looked at her, and then I smiled. And of course, everyone else allowed it. She there was surprised, but I because I was smiling. Everyone was and then I started reflecting on it as to why I'm smiling. Why I'm smiling to a common which in in a general terms is a very rude and disappointed. What say, you know, it's a spectacle and disappointing. To cut long story short, hopefully, you'll get to read the book, it has a whole chapter on it. Because my heart is at peace with my daughter. She was not at competition at any level, any psychological level, she is not posing any threat to me, psychologically, is consciously subconsciously, I'm at peace. She's not threatening me. However, that comment if said, but anyone else in the world would have triggered my ego? How dare you say that? How dare so my inner even though I may not have uttered those words, but my heart, my mind is thinking, and that happens every single day in our lives. We don't have awareness of the ego triggers what triggers my ego. And once the ego is triggered, I'm not rational self make decision that I will regret. So the whole point of ego is same. It happens in company settings, business settings, and it happens in personal life every single day, several times a day. Yeah.   Roy Barker  37:45 Yeah. And speaking of that, so throughout the different countries that you've worked in, how do egos compare? I mean, you know, as far as like, Americans have bigger egos, it's more involved versus other countries. How is what did you observe there?   Salman  38:04 It is, it is, it is a combination. So you cannot drill down to purely on culture. Because there's so many other things at play. So it's not purely dependent on culture, it's very much on personality types and the settings. However, the high PDI countries, they may behave differently, they have more, they are kind of they grew up in a society where they can take a lot more from their hierarchy, hierarchy. So if boss is yelling at you, the chances of an American losing control a lot higher because they are not used to taking it. Whereas its bosses giving you hard time, the those societies, those individuals, they have learned to tolerate a little more, that doesn't mean that it's right or wrong. We're not talking about the moral morality of it, we're just talking about in terms of taking it how do we respond. So, the term I use in my book quite frequently, never react always respond, because reaction is impulsive. And response is measured. So, if certain societies and certain personalities and certain awareness we are able to minimize the reaction and maximizers plants, so, so this is what leads and it's a combination of a lot of things.   Roy Barker  39:50 Yeah, and just had a guest on that was a therapist that deals with the lot, you know of emotions, and the workplace and that was one thing we were talking about is that difference between reaction and response? And, you know, a lot of the literature out there says, you know, Count 125, it's okay to have a reaction. I mean, that's who we are we are, we react to certain things certain stimulus. But it's the response, if we will count to five, we will have a much more measured response than what we normally if we would have just, you know, blurted out.   Salman  40:30 Yeah, so that doesn't mean that we don't want to communicate the displeasure or the seriousness of the issue. The response may well be strong. Yes, response may well be potent and formative. And However, it's, it's more appropriate thought through rather than impulsive.   Roy Barker  40:53 Yeah. Yeah. Because what I've noticed is impulsive tends to, to lead to more personal responses, instead of a response on the issue, you know, target exactly, you know, we can have a very productive, hopefully conversation about something that we disagree. But the minute I say that, you know, I don't like you, because you have a shirt on that's, you know, it's hard to it may be gray or green. But you know, I don't like you know, the pattern of your shirt, your bad dresser, you know, we start it, we just start going off the edge instead of being on to the issue of, you know, what the, what the discord is actually about?   Salman  41:37 Absolutely. And it is built out to the ego management. And it's so important because my ego is triggered, I'm losing sight of what is what is the issue? What are we talking about? I'm, my ego is kind of leading me in a non rational direction, where it's getting personal, I want my ego at any cost me to win? Yeah, is to have the upper hand.   Roy Barker  42:04 Yeah. And I think it's, I don't know, for my opinion, I'm not a scientist or in you know, in the behavior around, but it's also my, it's that the willingness is after if I can make you feel bad. Or if I can say something bad about you, then all of a sudden, it makes me? Well, in theory, they think it makes them a winner, or bigger, or better or whatever, when really, it just is the opposite. You know, people see people react that way. And you just have to shake your head and say, you know, what's up with that, because, guess what, we still got the same problem we had before we deteriorated into this personal thing. And if we're at work expecially, or well, even in a family environment, we need to solve the problem. And the way that we do that, I feel is through communication, we have to, sometimes we have to just say, you know what, we got to agree to disagree. And leave it at that. But you know, in a work environment more or less, you know, we may have actually come to a solution that we can both live with.   Salman  43:10 And it's communication is important. You don't even sometimes you don't even need to solve the problem. Just hear hear them out. Yeah, right. Give them assurance that what you're thinking is not wrong, necessarily. Know, however, you can lead the conversation that so you're not suggesting the other person is wrong triggering their ego. it's valid. It's correct. However, we have mitigations, or will do blah, blah. So how we communicate is is very important.   Roy Barker  43:46 Yeah. Yeah. And I think that's another big point, too, is that if you have a feeling about something that we can't say that that you're feeling is wrong, I mean, you have that based on your lived experiences. So we have to, you know, we have to see what that's all about. But then we get back to that perception issue is that, you know, your perception of whatever this is that is based in? Well, it's your reality, but it's based in your life experiences. That's why you know, you perceive that   Salman  44:20 and that is possibly possibly is due to the personality types that we have several personality types, some personalities, we call them Myers Briggs terminologies they are. They're driven by the feelings of rather than logic, so doesn't mean that they don't exist. We need to understand that the individual in front of me, may be driven by feelings. So I need to give them assurance, not logic, because logic will not go well. Give them assurance, right, that makes them feel comfortable rather than rather than giving them a logical judge. A note that we think will solve the problem. No, it won't, because they are looking for emotional validation that what they had felt was correct, right? Because for damage,   Roy Barker  45:14 yeah, and you mentioned this, I can't speak culturally, I can speak to male, female, you know, a huge mistake that I'm guilty of in my relationship is, sometimes she just wants to talk, she doesn't want an answer or solve the problem as hard. You know, the males, we, when we hear things, we always want to solve the problem where women, they're pretty good about just like, letting us vent and listening to it.   Salman  45:39 Absolutely. And funny enough to hear there is a bias. And there's a gender bias and feeling type and perceiving a logical type in males and females, however, it's not guaranteed I have known males who have feeling types and females who were logical. So I agree with you, but just we need to understand. So just because they are male, they will be logical and the female they will be feeling during it's not always true. Yeah. I have seen other way around as well. And but you're right, if there are different personality types, we need to understand.   Roy Barker  46:19 Yeah, and again, it gets back to understanding and taking, being present. Being mindful, taking the time to understand because, you know, it can drive a real wedge, and you know, now, I don't have any problems saying, Are you just mitten? Are you looking for an answer? That way I can shift to just listen mode, or I can be, you know, the wheels be turning about do we need to try to solve this problem. And so, again, it I try not to be quite that abrupt, but sometimes we if we don't understand the situation, it never hurts to just ask, it can save us a lot of heartache. Absolutely. Yeah, I agree. Yeah. All right. Well, it's certainly appreciate you take the time to be here. Is there anything else any other points that you want to leave us with? Before we wrap this up?   Salman  47:09 I think the biggest takeaway for me too, for your audience is to become lifelong learners. Don't take things for granted. There's a lot of soft skills, that we should be aware of personality types, there are different types of people, value individual, every single person in this world has something to offer, it doesn't matter who that person is, what their title is, they have something to offer. And if we have that attitude, it doesn't matter, the race, color language culture, if I somehow believe I truly believe, to the core of my existence, that the person next to me has something valuable to, for me, my attitude will change. And I will have a different personality and outlook to the world.   Roy Barker  48:01 Now know, I can't say how strongly I believe in that, that we just, you know, we just have to be kind to each other. And know that me trying to put you down is not going to make me any better of a place and vice versa. That, you know, we have to understand that everybody has that value to offer at some point. Absolutely. Yeah. All right. Well, thanks so much for being with us. So do you have a habit or a tool? Is there something that you use in your everyday life that you feel adds a lot of value?   Salman  48:35 Absolutely, there are a few. So there are a few. So the one of the things I speak in detail in my book is, as I said, always respond, never react. And the other ones, I say, always find honest, be honest to yourself, be honest, you can mislead others, but never be misleading your own self. So be honest to yourself, and find your balance. Whatever you do, it has, you have to find the right balance, whether you want to whatever you do find the right balance of managing expectations. And finally, the third one is whatever you do whatever you enjoy doing, you have to be consistent. Do it consistently. Just doing once. Being nice, once is enough. To be nice. You have to do it day in, day out. minute in minute out. So honesty balance and consistent.   Roy Barker  49:39 Yeah, and then that consistency thing too. I think we have to we have to look at our results over a long period of time. We can't just do that thing once and if it doesn't work out or and we don't get the reaction that we're looking for. That doesn't mean that it's wrong. It just means that it didn't work. In that instance, and we can't get discouraged, we still have to still have to keep doing that.   Salman  50:05 They keep doing it until we get it right. Thomas Edison says, I haven't failed 700 times, I just know 700 times it doesn't work.   Roy Barker  50:15 Right. Exactly. Exactly. All right. Well, thanks so much for being with us. Also, tell us a little bit about I love the name of this resolution, that's your company name. Tell us a little bit about resolution? how, you know, who do you like to work with? How they could reach out and get a hold? You know, what you could do for them? And of course, how could they reach out and get a hold of you and the man we're looking at? Well,   Salman  50:38 so resolution is primarily focusing on three fundamental aspects of business. So we believe that there are three fundamentals that any business enterprise need to have in in sync to succeed. So the first one we touched upon it is vision, we need to have a clear vision, what we want to do what we want to achieve, and that drives the correct strategy. So vision and strategy. So that's one, then the second piece in the any enterprise is your infrastructure, how you're going to do it. So first bit is what, and then the next one is how, so you need to have a system, you need to have infrastructure, procedures, process, the infrastructure that you need to make it happen. And then the third, and the most important of all, is people who will do it. So your team, you need to have a team that can deliver your vision, using the process that you feel that works. So these are the three fundamental aspects of any successful business enterprise at resolution. We give those advice, all three, what we call it, 360 degree services, fine tuning the vision and strategy, putting in place the infrastructure in relation to process and then training and making your team competent through cultural awareness, personality awareness, team building and oral leadership. So that's what we do at resolution. We can be So the book that we have written is purely focusing on the human side of things. And hopefully, we will contribute on other aspects in the coming future.   Roy Barker  52:41 Okay, great. What's your website that they can reach out there?   Salman  52:45 Yeah, it's a Okay, our R A Z A L U T I O And we'll be happy to be at your service.   Roy Barker  52:57 Yeah. And I'll be sure to include that in the show notes. And can they find information on the book there as well?   Salman  53:03 Absolutely. So there is a book information, but there is a additional website, which is, which is specifically for the book. So again, S A L M A N  R A Z And this is primarily dedicated for the book and they can find a lot more about the book and how to get in touch.   Roy Barker  53:31 Okay, awesome. Yeah, reach out, get a copy of this book, for sure. I think. My opinion again, it's that, you know, with the digital age and texting and this, you know, it's like we, we get further and further away from this human interaction. But I think that we really need to be conscious of everybody comes from a different place in how we treat people, how we react, how we have discussions, it's very important, not only in business, but also in our personal lives as well. So reach out also, you know, if you're needing some help with the vision, your infrastructure people, let salmon in his group tie that all together for you, put you on the right path to success. that's gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Thank you for listening. You can also find us at We're on all the majors, podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify for not a one that you listen to please reach out, I'd be glad to add it and make your listening easier. We're also not on all the major social media platforms probably tend to hang out on Instagram a little bit more, so please send us a message we'd love to interact with you there. A video of this interview will go up when the episode goes live, so you can check that out over on our YouTube channel. Until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.
55:08 12/07/2021
Develop a Replicable Framework of What Makes Your Business Successful
Develop a Replicable Framework of What Makes Your Business Successful Featuring Alicia Butler Pierre When you find something that works, stick with it! Develop the framework in order to use your successful processes in order to scale and grow your business. We should always be in a continual improvement process, but that doesn't mean we are running and changing everything at one time. Be strategic, consistent and success will follow. About Alicia  Alicia Butler Pierre is the founder and CEO of Equilibria, Inc., a 15-year-old operations management firm. She specializes in increasing bandwidth for fast-growing organizations via business infrastructure. Alicia has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Louisiana State University, an MBA from Tulane University, and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification. Combined, her content has over three-quarters of a million views across various online platforms. Alicia hosts the weekly Business Infrastructure: Curing Back Office Blues podcast. She’s also the author of the 2x Amazon bestseller, Behind the Façade: How to Structure Company Operations for Sustainable Success. Committed to doing the right things the right way, Alicia's mantra is "to leave it better than you found it." Full Transcript Below Develop a Replicable Framework of What Makes Your Business Successful Featuring Alicia Butler Pierre Sat, 7/31 11:37AM • 1:02:08 SUMMARY KEYWORDS business, people, roy, company, Alicia, process, literally, started, book, methodology, documents, New Orleans, listening, find, customer, months, product, businesses, day, Monsanto, Kasennu, Develop a Replicable Frame Work SPEAKERS Alicia, Roy Barker Alicia  00:04 Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business podcast. I'm your host, Roy. We are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that can speak to a diverse set of topics and trying to either you know, maybe help you look at something a little different that you hadn't thought about. Or if you have something that is keeping you up at night, maybe we can provide a solution or a professional that would be able to help you out. We all we want to see everybody successful and we try to give you you know, as much insight and tools to help you do that. Today, we are excited to have Alicia Butler Pierre with us. We are supposed to be on a couple months ago got delayed. Alicia, welcome to the show. Thank you for your patience and being here. Alicia is the founder and CEO of Equilibria Incorporated, where she first formulated the Kasennu, and you'll have to help me with that if that's wrong pronunciation methodology for her clients. She has since successfully applied this methodology in over 30 different industries and counting. Alicia has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Louisiana State University Go Tigers, and an MBA from Tulane University. She is also a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and has authored over 200 articles, case studies, videos and white papers in areas of business infrastructure, process improvement and operational excellence. Combined, our content has received over a quarter million views on SlideShare dotnet alone, and Equilibria is the world's largest repository of subject of business infrastructure. And for small businesses. At least his ability to blend scientific business and mathematical methodologies to solve complex operational problems enables her to bring a unique, tactical and realistic perspective to her clients who have also included larger enterprises like Coca Cola, Lowe's, Shell Oil, she lives in Georgia with her husband and committed to doing right things the right way. Alicia's mantra is to leave it better than you found it. Alicia, thank you so much. And welcome to the show.  Thank you so much for I'm glad we were finally able to make this happen.   Roy Barker  02:32 I know. So I'm sure that I butchered Kasennu, as much as he said it correctly. Does it now No. Perfect, okay. And if you give me enough tries, I'll get it for I First off, I gotta say, you know, I want you to talk us through this journey. Because, you know, you started out working in, I guess in oil and gas and chemicals, kind of in some chemical plants. It's an interesting journey that, you know, kind of like for you to tell the readers but I want to say what an amazing book Behind The Facade. That's one of the books that you've put out how to structure company operations for sustainable success. And I love it because it talks about two of my favorite things business and the Wizard of Oz. So planning to talk about the meeting was about your journey here. And, you know, kind of how you ended up in the business consulting and then how you develop this methodology and about the book a little bit of everything.   Alicia  03:39 Okay, sure. So let me give a cliff notes version without boring your listeners to tears. So my my journey professional journey, as you mentioned, Roy, it started with me working as a chemical engineer, and my very first job out of college was at Monsanto. So I always tell people don't judge me, because I know there are a lot of opinions about Monsanto. And, you know, when I worked there, for those who are listening chemical engineers, we typically work as either process engineers, or design engineers. And because I was working, this was a location right outside of New Orleans in Louisiana. I was pretty much working as a process engineer. And so literally as different batches of roundup were being produced. It was my job as a process engineer to figure out what went wrong or what went correctly, even sometimes in the process of producing a particular batch of roundup that might have caused it to not meet the specifications. So that's kind of that was part of our quality control checkpoints. That's really what I did. As a process engineer. You're constantly just monitoring and if you ever need to design a new manufacturing part of the process as part of improving it or even expanding your your capacity. That's the type of work that I did. And what I noticed ROI. When I was working as an engineer at Monsanto, every single unit within the plant was assigned an accountant. And that accountant would come over to your unit once a month, and have a meeting with all of the engineers and the the unit leaders. And I have to tell you, Roy, that those accountants may as well have spoken Greek, because it was like a completely different language, talking about assets and liabilities and profitability and revenue, top line growth, bottom line growth it was, it was completely over my head because my training was as an engineer, I didn't know a lot about business, which is why I'm so excited to be on your show the business of business, I didn't, I knew the technical aspects of engineering, I didn't know the business of being in an engineering environment. And that's when I realized I needed to go back to business school. So I actually, I eventually left Monsanto and I started working at a small engineering consulting firm that was family owned, this was also in New Orleans. And at that moment, that's when I enrolled into two lanes professional MBA program. So I would work full time during the day, go to school at night. And I have to tell you, Business School, opened my eyes up to it was like exploring a whole new world, I did not look at anything the same again. Even things I'll never forget one time I walked inside of a target. And I don't remember what I was learning at the time in business school. But I just remember taking it all in the logo, the color scheme, the layout of the store, the customer service, the uniforms that the employees were wearing, things that would have completely been background before became came to the forefront because of what I was learning in business school. And so eventually, I fast forward, I graduated with my MBA in December of 2004. January of 2005, I just had this hunch that I needed to leave New Orleans quick, fast and in a hurry. And I relocated, I relocated to a city where I knew only one person. So I left New Orleans, relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, this was February of 2005. And six months later, Hurricane Katrina happened. But when I when I came here to Atlanta, Roy and not to compare the two cities to each other, but it it was, it was like a brave new world. You know, seeing all of the Fortune, the companies that had a fortune 500 presence, or excuse me, their headquarters were located here. So companies like Coca Cola, Delta Airlines, chick fil a Home Depot ups, they all have a presence here. And I thought for sure I was going to get a job. Here I am with this engineering background, newly minted MBA, I was not going to bang down my door to hire me. And that did not happen. My friend, Josh, because there are a lot of really smart people here. And so I decided after about two months of what seemed to be endless job searching, I decided to redirect the time, effort and energy that I was spending toward looking for a job working for someone else and redirecting that to creating my own opportunity. And that's when I started my company equilibria. So I don't know how far how much, you know, if you want me to kind of go down the journey of how equilibria started and how it evolved into what it is today. But that's that's kind of the backstory of how I even came to start my consulting firm.   Roy Barker  09:01 Okay, no, that's great. And, you know, it's an interesting journey that, you know, I think of New Orleans as you know, it's an entertainment town kind of town and then going to Atlanta. You know, it to me, Atlanta is just like a shiny penny. You know, when you get there. There's just so much that's so much going on. And there's so many new buildings and everything going up. So, right, I'm sure that was quite a culture shock not only not knowing anybody that makes it even harder. So you know, I have to give you kudos for being self confident enough to do that. That's really amazing.   Alicia  09:40 Yeah, and you know, it's funny, you mentioned not knowing anyone and how, you know, that takes some bravery. I it also was a huge plus, believe it or not Roy because I didn't have distractions. Not that you think of your family and friends as distractions, but you know what I mean, you when you're here, and you're by yourself, you have to make it work, right. And so I because I, everything was so new to me, learning my way around navigating meeting new people. So I didn't have these hangups I didn't have people around me to say, What on earth are you doing? So in some ways, it was actually a really good thing. But of course, obviously you get lonely and you want to have your your close family and friends around you for the for that support. But I think in terms of having the discipline and the rigor, to get up every morning, and just go for it and go after it. It helps a lot, I think if you can have a change in surroundings.   Roy Barker  10:49 Yeah, certainly. And like you said, just, and I don't mean this negatively there, but the distractions of all the, hey, let's go do this, let's go do that, you know, because that's an easier choice, I'd much rather go have some fun, then Exactly. Try to figure this out. So that can be a plus, the other thing I was gonna tell you is, you know, you've done this long enough now, but when you walk into the businesses and start evaluating, you know, that is an affliction that you will never ever get over. Because, you know, I'll get caught doing that looking around thinking, how does this company make money? Or, you know, what is this? What How does this work? You know, what is their process? And, you know, Terry, my, my partner, she'll be like, Hey, where are you at? I'm like, I'm trying to figure this place out, right? It never goes away. Like, is this a cover for something else? I have asked that question more than once. Like, how does this place make money? Think, you know, what is the rent for this building, or this space that we're setting in? And then they're charging, you know, $3 for a product, and I'm sitting there thinking, how many $3 products do you have to sell to pay this $12,000? rent every month?   Alicia  12:03 Yeah. So So what led you to creating? And I'll try it again, Kasennu? Is that close? That was perfect that you hit the nail on the head. So you know, you How long were you consulting before you decided to create this methodology? Is it something that, you know, it kind of been accumulating as your process as you walk through businesses? And you know, it was just more documenting your process and getting it together? How did that come together? I'm glad you asked that question. And thank you for asking that question, Roy. So the way it happened was very organically. When I started my company, as many people who I'm sure are listening right now. You're just so grateful for business. They you just kind of take it all on? Well, hi, Alicia, can you do this? Yep, I can do that. What can you do this? Yep, I can do that, too. And I just started taking on all of this work, Roy, and about two to three years in. I had a friend. She's still my friend, actually. She was one of the first people that I met when I was in it. When I moved to Atlanta, Louisa and Louisa told me one day, she said, Alicia, you've got to figure out a way to package your services, you're all over the place. And I was like, Well, how can I do that? I don't know how to do that. It's not possible. No, no, no, no, no. And so one day, Roy, I decided to the great thing about Atlanta is, you know, it's it's close to a lot of other states that are that have mountains. And so I decided to travel up to the northern part of Georgia. And I remember being in a bed and breakfast in the mountains. So no cell phone coverage, no internet, it was just me in the woods. And I appreciate that so much because I had an opportunity to really think, and here's what I did. I wrote down every single service that I had performed for a client up to that point. Again, this was about somewhere two to three years into the business. And I wrote each service on an individual index card. And I spread everything out. And as I started to look for similarities in some of the different things that I had done for these companies, seven unique services emerged. And then I started to put those services in sequential order. And I said, You know what, this is a framework. And no matter how many times without me even knowing it, I was doing certain things with certain clients over and over again, regardless of industry. And regardless of sector And it worked every single time. And I said, Oh my goodness, this is the package. This is what Louisa was talking about. And so those seven different services became what I now refer to as seven elements of this customer new framework. So I knew I had the bones or the structure for a framework that was repeatable, that could be documented that could easily be shared with other people, but I knew it needed a name. And Roy, I'm a student of ancient civilizations. So one of my favorites, of course, is ancient Egypt. And I had been to Egypt before, actually, I hadn't been to Egypt at that point. But from my studies, I was in contact with a few Egyptologist, and I reached out to one and I said, You know, I have this framework. And the idea of it is, once you apply this framework to your company, it really, in essence, helps you to clone or replicate what makes your company so successful. So as you start growing, and you want to open additional offices, or if you even want to offer your company up as a franchise, you can do that, because you figured out what your company's unique formula or secret sauce is, and you know how to replicate it over and over and over again. So I knew I wanted a term that has its that spoke to cloning, if you will. And I also wanted to talk about cloning the spirit or the essence of what makes your business so special and so unique. And so I knew that the ancient Egyptian word for spirit is Ka K, I didn't know an ancient Egyptian word that would represent clone or cloning. And so I reached out to an ancient Egypt, in Egyptologists that I know. Dr. Charles Finch, and he was the one who told me the word Sindhu, which is S II in in you and it means twin or similar similitude. So basically the spirit of cloning, and I said, Okay, I'm just going to put those two words together. And that's going to become the name of this framework. So kasungu is, is how that name came about. Interesting.   Roy Barker  17:18 That's really cool. But it comes, taken the Egyptian terms, I really liked it, I wasn't sure of the origin. But that's awesome. And it has a good meaning because we'll kind of like fast forward into the book that you know, that you spell this out. And what a great I want to talk about that for just a minute. Because, like I said, I'm a huge fan of business and a huge fan of the Wizard of Oz. And one thing I had been told many years ago that the basis of the Wizard of Oz is actually financially rooted in a struggle back around the turn of the century, I think, between those that wanted to go with the gold standard versus those that wanted to go with the silver standard, you know, the yellow brick road that led to nowhere, and I think originally, Dorothy shoes were silver, I think they had to make them red to give it a little punch for TV. But anyway, it's interesting, because I had heard that many years, but cannot find any evidence. And that one time, I actually thought my professor was just kind of, you know, Shawn in the song a little bit, basically that hey, you know, he told us some kind of made up story that he thought about was probably snickering when he told it. But, you know, after after I read your book, I went back and looked again. And sure enough, there's a lot of documented evidence out there now that that is probably you know, where this did come from So, but it's interesting, you know, we talk about the, you know, the man behind the curtain the facade, but on, and that is what, you know, I think he took he married the method ology with business. And with storytelling, because it again, it's been a few months since I read the book, so please forgive me, but I think there are three distinct stories if I'm not correct. I mean, if I'm correct three distinct instances, and you kind of walk through how you use the methodology, well, a fictional person, how they use that methodology to help a not for profit and a couple of other businesses, is that right?   Alicia  19:29 Yes. So there's, there's six unique stories, okay. And, and you're right each, each of those stories, it actually focuses on one of those seven elements. So you have these different characters and those characters Roy, I don't know if we talked about this before, but those characters are actually loosely based off of people that I've actually worked with. So I would say each character is really like a composite of four to five different People that I've actually worked with. And so, to your point, yes, there's a nonprofit that's represented. There's another company where they, they primarily work in the government space. There's another retail company, there's a company that's a food distribution company. So I tried to have a fairly good representation of the different types of businesses. So not just strictly service based businesses, and not just, you know, retail related businesses. But to have a, it was important to me to have a cross representation, again, to show that the application of this framework really is industry agnostic. But the one thing that is the one thing that is common across every character, and his or her situation is the fact that they have found themselves the victims of very good marketing. Yes. And now they have a different type of problem, right. So in the beginning, when we're first starting our organizations, we have to focus on marketing and branding and PR and publicity we because we have to attract customers to our respective organizations. But what happens when you've done such a great job of attracting attention to your business or your organization, that you now have a different issue, you now have more than you can handle. And that's usually when people that run these different organizations that run these fast growing small businesses, that's usually when they are ready to have a serious conversation about operations. And those back office processes, which I know Roy year, you also specialize in. So that's why it's so important. That's really what the book is about. And I wanted it to be a true how to book there's no, there's no funny business or monkey business here, right? Where there's, there's no cliffhangers that intentionally leave you as the reader hanging so that you can now be routed to the website and hire my company to help you actually implement it. The whole point is, pick up this book. Don't read it from cover to cover, because it's it's it can be very overwhelming to scan the table of contents, see what jumps out at you what what speaks to you right away, read that particular chapter. And it's literally going to tell you step by step. This is how you implement this in your specific company.   Roy Barker  22:29 Yeah, I think that's a good point, before we go much further to talk about is that a lot of people think businesses fail, because they don't have any business or because there's mismanagement with funds or things like that. But in reality, you know, I'm sure as I do you do, we talk to a lot of people who are struggling and having, you know, businesses that are fixing to go out of business, because they have too much business. And today with our reputation with the online reputation, unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on which side of this coin you're on, you know, that word starts to travel very fast, that, you know, ordered something. And, you know, it took three months to fulfill the order or the service that you know, I've told you, I'm going to give you x, y and z, but I keep answering phone calls, because I don't want to turn anybody away, and then we just get jammed up. And all of a sudden, you know, we're in a lot of trouble. And I actually had a great example yesterday, not necessarily of the management part, but it's a product, I use that as a turn in a support question to their support June 8 of 2021. June 8, and we're, we're taping this on July 31. I got an answer yesterday, almost 60 days after Wow. Well, I was not very nice. When I wrote back. I'm like, really 60 days. I mean, like, Do you not like to cash my checks every month when I don't get that and you know, they're luckily they're in an industry that not a lot of competition yet. But you know, believe me, customers remember things like that. It's like, you know, if I if my cheque or my debit card failed for 60 days, am I still going to be one of their customers? No, I guarantee you, if my debit card, credit card didn't charge the day of they may give me a couple of days, but they are not going to hesitate to cut me off after that. And, you know, I feel like we vote with our dollars and so when we when we have these experiences with businesses, people take their dollars elsewhere. And you know, I guess we're lucky in some respects if somebody will nicely speak up and say hey, you know what, love your company, love your product, love your service. But I had this little issue. And if they take it the right way and say you know what, we're working on that too. Thanks for bringing it up. It's good because A lot of times businesses may not even realize what they're missing out on with, you know, different operational processes that fall through the cracks. Amen to everything you just told you, I just don't I can't even you know, get on my soapbox and don't know when to quit. But anyway,   Alicia  25:19 no, but you know it actually, there's something else that you said that reminded me of something that I think is very timely for us to bring into the conversation, if I may, and that is labor shortages. So I'm wondering, I'm curious if the reason you received you know, such there was such a delay in responding to you is, I'm wondering if that company is experiencing some type of a labor shortage. That's a huge issue right now, because of the pandemic. And then we have all of these, these increases in prices, because there's so many supply chain bottlenecks in the supply chains have so many different companies, bottlenecks that they never experienced before. So everyone is trying, literally trying to figure it out on the fly, right at the same time, so so right now is a particularly challenging time for so many businesses. And again, you know, as we've been discussing, not everyone is struggling. I don't know about your ROI. But I, I feel like I'm drinking water from a fire fire fire hydrant, right? Every single day ever since COVID, the COVID, lockdown started, and you know, I would listen to some people. They're like, Oh, I'm so bored. I don't have anything to do. I'm, I'm constantly bingeing on Netflix, and I'm like, Oh, my God, I can't I feel like I can't come up for air. Right? Yeah, it's just been crazy. So So that's something that's something that I think is worth mentioning also. But something else that I talk about quite a bit in the book. And it's the reason I, I named it behind the facade is this idea that there's there's there seems to be this battle between marketing and operations. And so many companies focus on marketing. Again, we erect this facade, whether intentional or not, in its, that's not a bad thing, by the way. My argument is, just make sure that you operate on the inside as good as you look on the outside. So if you've, if you're presenting this mighty lion, and that's what people see on the outside, and then very similar to the Wizard of Oz, when if a todo happens to pull back the curtain, and they see you're just a little kitty cat, then that's a that's an issue, because marketing is all about making a promise to your customer or your client operations is how you actually deliver on that promise. So if you make the promise, but you can't deliver on it, that's that's a clear indication that you need that business infrastructure in place, you need to have a focus on operations to make sure that you can fulfill these customer orders, respond to your customers in a timely manner, and make sure that your product and service is consistently delivered or produced.   Roy Barker  28:19 Yeah, I think there's, there is a slight window in there where you know, enough business can cover up some operational issues. And then one of two things happens, either the growth is exponentially and then it really exposes them to the point of crippling us, or things slow down enough that we just can't seem to, you know, get any traction and catch up. And then that's when everybody's like, Oh, you know, there's something that's wrong here, even though it's been wrong for quite some time, you were just in this zone, where, to me, my opinion, is that there was just enough business that you know, and enough money coming in that it could cover some of the shortcomings that we find. And then I guess the second part of this is, as an entrepreneur as a solopreneur, smaller business, it happens to larger ones, but we tend to focus on, you know, smaller business here is that we have, you know, we have egos, I don't want to call Alicia and say, I'm struggling. And yeah, that's the first step we've got to take. And, you know, we have to realize, I think a lot of businesses struggle doesn't you know, you can be very smart, you can have a good product, good service and all that but it happens and we have to be able to recognize that sooner rather than later.   Alicia  29:40 I completely agree with you, Roy. And if just to add to that. Another challenge for us as small business owners is that if we are proactive and we do go out and seek support and help in the area of operations, we usually find one of two things. One All the information that's out there is reserved for manufacturing companies, or to the information that we come across is really targeted toward the large enterprise Corporation type organizations. So where do you go? When you are you have this fast growing small emerging business that has the potential to become a Facebook, for example. But you don't it finding those resources are so challenging. And I remind people this all the time, it's no accident that Amazon has become the behemoth that it is. Jeff Bezos is an engineer, he understands operations and operational excellence in business infrastructure and having those processes. And even though people like fat may not verbalize it, you better believe they definitely value it. And it is ingrained in their culture and the way that they do things. That's what's helping to drive, the innovation, and the continuous improvement. And unfortunately, ROI. We do such a disservice to small businesses by not talking about these things, because it's so easy to talk about social media, and how to give a great presentation, and how to have nice websites and search engine optimization. And don't get me wrong, all of those things are incredibly important. But we also need to bring into the conversation, the things you and I are talking about the processes, the procedures, the quote unquote, not so sexy stuff. Right? Right. But the things that will make sure that your company runs, you know, it doesn't skip a beat.   Roy Barker  31:50 Yeah, and a lot of times people create a plan, or they write it down, and then you know, flowchart it, but then it goes on the shelf, and months, years go by and things change. And I can also emphasize enough that, you know, these are living documents that need to be revisited, because we had a supplier change, or we added a product or what you know, whatever the cause may be, maybe we added another person or you know, new person comes in. And it's it's important, because we always want to be revising our plans to be better, you know, find out where is the end, it struck me. Be honest, it struck me as odd that you started out with the, you know, with a product that is really fairly mature. But yet you are still watching over that process very carefully. And, you know, I would have never suspected that I would have figured that they had that down that, you know, you know, unless there was just a total meltdown of a procedure piece of equipment that quit or we ran out of liquid that, you know, that would product would be consistent through time.   Alicia  33:05 Well, actually, that brings up an excellent point, Roy, I'm so glad you say said that. Because that that kind of ties into some things that we've seen unfold in the news lately. But you have to constantly test, you have to constantly monitor a process. So the only wait reason you'll know that, let's say for example, when I was at Monsanto, the only reason you may know that a section of pipeline, for example, needs to be replaced is because you're constantly testing the end product. And if it does not meet those specifications, that's when you know, Okay, wait a minute, something has changed, something's wrong. Let's go into the process and figure out what it is is it? Is it because of a piece of equipment needs to be replaced? Is it some pipeline, maybe there's some corrosion that's taking place on the inside and it's, it's causing you know, that again, the the product to not meet the specifications? Let's think about what has happened recently in I think the city is sunny inside, Florida. It's right outside of Miami, we have this this condo building that collapsed. You better believe someone sounded the alarm? Yeah, that's why we have things like inspections. Don't ever think that something is just done. Nothing is ever done. Whether you're building a structure or building a business, it's never just complete, we have to continuously maintain it. And so part of maintaining this building just using it as an example is doing that performing these inspections. And so if red flags are raised up raised on these inspections, yet no one acts on it. Right? Look at what happened, all of that loss of life for no reason, right? So you know, that's obviously a much more extreme thing that can happen but it just goes to show the importance of having these checks and balances having these quality control check points. But then acting on those things. When people find that there are errors or defects or something's missing, something's wrong, something's not quite right. Don't wait for your customers to have to be the people to tell you, wait a minute, this is wrong. You want to be able to figure that out before it even gets to your customer. Because once it gets to your customer, things can really get ugly, especially from a public relations perspective.   Roy Barker  35:28 No one I think that, as tragic as that is, it's an example because they continued their sales and marketing process. It because I think the red flags went off a year or two ago, you know, when things were brought to light. But through this time, they continued their sales and marketing process to try to, you know, bring in new people. So, you know, it kind of gets back to what you were saying earlier that, you know, we we all want to focus on that marketing and sales, but then are we listening to our employees that are trying to say, hey, there's something going wrong internally. And and sometimes maybe what goes unsaid, like employees leaving, you know, because a lot of retention work as well. And that's what, you know, we noticed is that, hey, you know, I've been telling these people for six months about this, or about that. nobody's listening. So I'm getting out, you know, sometimes it's because they're just tired of the frustration, but sometimes it because it could be harmful to other people.   Alicia  36:36 Yes. Yes. And and it's, again, it's it's really unfortunate, and you just have to be so careful about the culture that you're creating. Right. And your company, do you have a culture? Are you have you created this culture of fear, where people are literally fearful? You know, that if they find that something has gone awry, or amiss, do they? Do they feel comfortable bringing forward that information? You know, there's Oh, my gosh, there's so many examples, recent examples that we can look to with this type of thing. Another one that always comes to mind is theranos, with Elizabeth Holmes. And for those who are listening, who may not be aware of this, this was a young lady who purported to create a device that could test with just the prick of a finger could run up to 250 blood blood tests. And, you know, of course, the the technology did not work. But she put up this elaborate facade, she was on the cover of Forbes, named time Person of the Year she did. She spoke at the main TED event, she had all of this coverage, all of this press on paper, she looked great. The company was revolutionary. Sure, her her her board was like a who's who, of people and all of this money that she attracted all of this fame, all of this fortune, the company at one point was actually worth 10 billion, and that is with a B dollars. And it was all built on a lie. The technology never worked. But here's the thing, Roy, there were people who tried to say something, hey, Elizabeth, this this doesn't actually work. They were threatened. They were threatened with lawsuits. They were some some employees actually reported being followed. Wow, wanted to make sure that you did not say anything outside of company walls. And you know, eventually she you know, the company was exposed. It's it's now defunct. But my point is, we can spend so much time again, erecting that facade and looking great on the on the outside, we look like the shiny golden apple. Right. But once that Apple is sliced open, is it rotten to the core, right? Does your technology actually work? You know, just yesterday, I'm sorry. I keep coming up with these examples. But just just yesterday, there was you know, I'm sure you heard this story about this billionaire who purported to have created a completely electric 18 Wheeler size truck.   Roy Barker  39:23 No, I haven't heard that story. Okay.   Alicia  39:25 And so there was a video that he produced showing this truck driving along the highway. It turns out, they actually intentionally chose an area where they could place this truck at the top of a hill and it literally oh my gosh, it literally so it wasn't there was no pressing of a gas pedal. Okay, inside of or pedal excuse me, not gas pedal a pedal inside of the truck. It literally was rolling down a hill. Oh, my thanks to gravity. And so he's been caught this this is like breaking news. Literally hot off The press the story just broke a few days ago. But again, it just it just goes to show this is a man who has now defrauded investors out of several hundreds of 1000s of dollars. And, you know all because I think we see people like that they, they have these great ideas, once they realize that their idea actually can't work. They just keep the charade going. Yeah. And they keep the facade going. And, again, just for cautionary tales, for everyone who's listening, just make sure that you operate as good on the inside, as your company looks on the outside, and you won't have anything to worry about.   Roy Barker  40:40 Yeah, because it eventually comes to an end, whether it's, you know, devious like that, or whether it is just not paying attention, just, you know, where there may not be any criminal criminal elements involved. But eventually, it just comes to a stop, it cannot go on, right? for a lot of reasons. Either business dries up, your nobody wants to work for you, or there's no money, you know, to continue the facade. Correct. And, yeah, it's there's just so much to talk about, I knew we were gonna have trouble with time. And I know, we're running way long. But I wanted to see, can you talk to us just quickly, can you tell us what are the seven, you know, the pillars of the methodology that you were talking about a little earlier?   Alicia  41:29 Sure. So it starts with what I call a business parts analysis. And that's when you that's where you are actually identifying all of the tasks and activities that have to be performed in your company, you group them into departments, and then from there you assign, ideally, the perfect the role, or the position or the title of that role or position that should ideally perform those activities. So that's step one, or element one, element two is then taking that information and putting it into an organizational chart. Now, in this instance, for the sake of the methodology, I refer to it as your business design blueprint. So you're literally almost think of it as your company's vision board, even though you may not have all of the resources that you need right now, to make this plan of action, you know, put put that plan of action in place, it's still a good idea to actually commit pen to paper and see what it looks like because it gives you so much more focus and clarity. The third element is what I call paper records management. These are the physical records. Now that you know the departments that make up your company, this is how you start to organize your physical records. Some people may say, Well, I have a paperless office Elisa, that's fine. But there are still some documents, especially when we're talking about legal contracts, where you still have to maintain a hard copy. So for situations like that, you just want to make sure that you have a filing system in place that everyone understands and can easily access. fourth one is what I call the electronic records management system. So this is literally the digital version of what you've put in place physically. If we have the workspace logistics, so again, once you know the people, that departments, and how work should ideally flow within your company. That's how you want to set up your physical workspace. Even if you are a solopreneur. Listen closely, you should still set up your workspace so that you have different zones. One quarter, you might say you know what this is where I keep all of my HR related information. And another corner, this is where I keep all of my accounting, legal and it related information. And this corner over here, that's where all of my sales and marketing stuff is. And then finally in the other corner, this is where all of the operational and day to day things that need to take place in the company. That's where that's what this zone represents. But just start getting in the habit now. Because as you start to expand from out of your home office and into an brick and mortar space, you can still you're just going to take that idea and just scale it. The sixth one is what I call a service delivery blueprint. So what does that process look like at a high level? From the moment a customer places an order or says I want to? Yes, I want this particular service? What does that look like from the moment that customer or that potential lead? If we're talking about a service based business, from the moment you first have an interaction with that person, or that other business to the moment that product or service is delivered? What are all of the steps? What is the technology that's involved? Who are the people that need to be involved? And what are the metrics? That's what's going to help you figure out where potential bottlenecks may exist in that in that you Your effort to deliver products and services on time. And then finally, the big kahuna is the business process manual. That is the final element that is literally you identifying all of the processes that need to be captured in your company. And then actually documenting those. And quick caveat, don't think that every procedure or process, excuse me has to be documented in that standard old school way of, you know, standard operating procedure. Step one, do this step to do that. You can use video, you can have checklists, you can have little short job aids, you can get really creative, whatever it's takes for people to understand how to perform a particular job or task at your company. That is the primary goal in documenting your processes. And they are living breathing documents, don't just put it on a shelf to collect dust, as Roy and I have talked about,   Roy Barker  45:58 right. Yeah, don't see, and there's dust. All right.   Alicia  46:02 That's right. So I want to mention, Roy really quickly is this amazing tool that my team and I started using, as of about six or seven months ago, it's called Notion,, please, everyone look into it. It's very inexpensive. It's only I believe, like $4 per user each month. But here's what notion does. It's part wiki, part, database, part knowledge base, and part project management tool, it has replaced so many other tools that we were using. And it's literally brought all of that information into one place. It's very visual. And so now that's where we have all of our processes. And again, those processes take different forms. Some of them, one of our processes is literally a calendar. And just based on that calendar, different people know what they need to be working on. Some processes are videos, some processes are just checklist. And then of course, we have the you know, those that are the standard, you know, standard operating procedure format. So I just wanted to make sure I I left that little nugget with your listeners   Roy Barker  47:15 That's a great point to make. Number one, I'll check this Notion out. But back to the others that, you know, we need to make this interesting. And so and in depth instead of the written I'm very visual. So I would rather see you do this on screen, then have it written down. And so we've got, you know, products like loom, awesome. Yes, zoom, even you can do just the self recording of what you're doing to capture. If you're working on a computer, it captures the movements and so much easier for a process than for me to look down and see step one, you know, click here, step two, and I'm like kind of landed on the page where with with one of these screen captures, you can actually watch that physically, where does this guy move this mouse to to make this happen. And I'm looking at the same screen as what's on it's, there's so many great ways that we can, I guess, enhance these processes and procedures that we're putting out, and then also to make them searchable? Because I know some people that have some great processes and procedures took a lot of time. But the employees don't know where they are. It's not, it's not like on boarded? Well, there's not a common space where you can go when you need answers. And then then it just becomes tribal knowledge like, well, instead of trying to find this thing, you know, I'll just ask the guy next to me. And he may or may not know the correct procedure if it's been updated. So a lot of things that we need to think about, we have so much access to digital steps to make it not only better, but also easier for people to find and you know, have it consolidated somewhere.   Alicia  49:02 Absolutely. I'm sure you already knew that I would agree with everything, right?   Roy Barker  49:10 Yeah, that's kind of like, you know, similar situations, like, you know, we always talk to elderly people need wills, and trust, and you need all these documents. And what we always say is that, if nobody knows where to find them, it's just like not having them. So you've got to make things where people can actually reach out and use that to, you know, better themselves and a couple things. Again, I'm gonna say I know we're running late. I'll try to make this quick but to you know, that's what I like about the book, because he actually gives you examples and the couple that stick out are the the one with the not for profit person that if I'm recounting correctly, she's probably fixing to lose her job. It was something that she started it was her baby, but when once you take the step to put a board of directors Then all of a sudden, it's really not yours anymore, the board has decisions to make has the power to make decisions over who's running, and she was fixing to lose her job. But they sat down and figured out, like, all of the stuff that this young lady was doing, it was just crazy. I think they either use like a post it notes or the three by five cards to write down, you know, what this process is, and once and then then they were able to basically group all of those into, you know, different positions, they didn't actually have to end up hiring anybody, but they were able to redistribute some of these roles to give her time to be more creative at the vision and the mission of the not for profit itself. Is that pretty close?   Alicia  50:48 That's, that's, that's very close. And I think it also highlights, one of the outputs of this framework is being able to have those succinct job descriptions, because a lot of times people I mean, how many times have you and I both heard Roy, we just can't find them. The people they just aren't out there. Well, are you being as descriptive as you possibly can be? When it comes to crafting your job description, because there really isn't. It's part art and part science, right when you're coming up with these job descriptions. But when you go through an exercise, like what's described in the book, and what the character you're referencing, her name is Emily Miller. And so when you go through the same process that Emily went through, that's when you start to realize, Oh, wait a minute, okay. Now I understand why I may not have been attracting the right people to even interview, right yet alone hire. So so it gives you even more. I don't want to say ammunition gives you, it gives you because that's not the word that I want to use. But it basically arms you or equips you with the information that you need to really go out and make sure that you are recruiting, interviewing, and ultimately hiring the best people to fill those open positions at your company.   Roy Barker  52:09 Yeah, because I have seen that before, where we advertised for a position that, you know, it's a general position, but then we are asking them to either be very heavily analytical, or heavily creative. But the person that came in thought, I thought I was just going to be answering the telephone and, you know, making some appointments, I didn't realize you're going to ask me to, you know, make a proform of where we're going to go with this new product, or are either bad or to be, you know, rat, you know, our creative blogs or something. So, then what we do is we spend all the time and energy hiring that person, they get discouraged, because it's not what they wanted. You get discouraged, because they're not able to give you what you need. And then we start this process all over again. That's exactly right. Yeah. And then second one that I wanted to talk about was the thinking was two sisters that were in like a healthcare business. Yes, they hired the new guy. And he's like, Oh, my gosh, they had like, I don't know, I just had this visual of, you know, he opens the door to this room, and there's nothing but filing cabinets all through. Nobody knew what was where they were trying to, they had a couple locations, they wanted to open up some more, they were just trying to get everything in order. So then it got that kind of overlapped into the digital storage looking at, you know, what they could put digital, making sure, the most important thing I got out of that was vetting the provider to make sure that they could give you you know exactly what you need them to be able to provide you. Because it you know, I think they were scanning in documents, they were moving stuff that they wanted to keep to some off site storage, and then, you know, put trying to scan everything up again for accessibility.   Alicia  53:58 Right, and another big point or lesson to learn from their story in particular, they were in New Orleans. And so New Orleans floods very easily. So for everyone who's listening right now, we another thing that so many of us in this just isn't confined to smaller companies, even big companies get caught off guard when it comes to disaster recovery. So if most of your records are in a paper based format, you probably don't want it stuck in a bunch of file cabinets in a city that is prone to flooding. So they had to come up with these creative ways of distributing these old files into and strategically placing them as far away from the city of New Orleans as possible, just to make sure that in the event, another catastrophic hurricane comes through or tropical storm that those records would not in fact be lost. That's something that's that actually happened to so many organizations just from Hurricane Katrina. alone. I mean, you have courts, you know, all types of court documents were lost just when you think about the amount of things that are still held in a paper format. I know a lot of us like to think that everyone has gone digital, but there are still so many organizations that are very old school. A lot of old information has not been digitized yet. And so all it takes is a bad snowstorm, tornado, you name it, any type of natural disasters, something unforeseen, unexpected to happen. And now all of a sudden, all of that information is compromised.   Roy Barker  55:37 Yeah, and, you know, it's just even like, we had that bad winter storm here back in February, and people ever thought that there would be water pipes breaking so rapidly and shooting water, you know, like you said, early, like a fire hydrant through the house. And so, our small business where all of these paper files were just ruined, and, you know, for some things, they can be recreated. But I think in some instances, especially like, the the story in the book, you know, they had to produce these records to, I think it was, you know, like state agencies for billing and things. So they needed access to them frequently, it's not like that they had time, and they would have been totally out of compliance. And, you know, would have lost probably all of their income had that happened to them. So something to think about for sure. Hmm. The other thing, just to mention quickly, is that, you know, these are all things that we need to think about from the beginning. We can't, if we wait to we've got 235 10 employees, we're probably going to be behind the eight ball and take a lot more time. Whereas if we would just think this through from the beginning, make some notes, how are we going to do this, it makes it easier when we add number two, we've already got things in place to share with them. We're not having to take time out of our day to create these job aids, our processes and procedures, you know, for a new person that's sitting here, tapping their finger on a desk wondering what they're going to do tomorrow. Yes. And then we can also capture the, you know, we could just capture more in depth. And like we said they need to be living growing documents as we go through time. All right. Well, I certainly do appreciate it, Alicia, you're giving of your time. I know that you mentioned this, the notion but one of my wrap up questions always what is a habit or a tool? What is something that you use in your daily life that really adds a lot of value? slack? Oh, my   Alicia  57:42 Slack, Oh, my gosh, Slack in Yes. Sack has significantly reduced the amount of emails that I receive in my inbox, because it's so easy for things to get lost. And I was I was starting to drop the ball to be honest with you Roy on some things simply because I couldn't keep up with the volume of email coming into my inbox so by by forcing everyone to start using Slack, and now we all love it, we absolutely love it. And the great thing about Slack is that all of your communications can be organized according to different projects or according to, you know, however you want to organize your conversations, actually. So it's it's been a lifesaver. You can attach files, Slack actually connects with Zoom. It's, it's such an amazing tool. And Slack also integrates with Notion.   Roy Barker  58:35 Oh, okay, interesting. Yeah, you know, I like those, I use one in teams a lot similar to Slack. But the nice thing is, it's like you don't have the volume of emails, you don't do that forget to copy this person. Or if the you know, it's a cc person that, you know, may not be paying a lot of attention, they can easily go back and find you know, the information that they need. So, yeah, great tool, check it out, and put it to use for you for sure. All right, tell us how can Who do you like to work with? How can you help them? How can they reach out, get a hold of you, and then also tell us where we can pick up a copy of the book   Alicia  59:16 Sure. The The, the people that tend to attend to come to us are usually almost always in the same position. They they have been in business at least two to three years. So they're not startups. And they have a different type of problem. They're growing rapidly, and they desperately need to take a look at their operations and their put a business infrastructure in place to make sure that they can sustain the growth. So those that's who we typically work with the best place to find out about me and the company and the book. I recommend that people just go to my personal website, which is Alicia Butler and my first name is spelled A L I C I A Butler, Pierre and Pierre is spelled P I E R R So go there. And Roy that really, that site really serves as a hub for everything that I have going on. So they can find out more about the book, which is also on Amazon. By the way, they can also find out about my I have a podcast as well a weekly podcast called Business Infrastructure. And they can also find out more about my consulting company Qquilibria. And it can link them to all of those different sites. But rather than reciting a bunch of different websites, I always like to send people to that one hub first. And then you know, if you want to connect on social media, links to all of my social media profiles are there as well.   Roy Barker  1:00:39 Okay, great. Yeah, we'll include that in the show notes as well as the book and the company sign just to help people find you a lot easier. Again, I cannot say thank you enough. Love the book. It was such a good, easy read. I mean, I could not put it down once I got started. And, you know, great. Yeah, yeah, I love the whole reference to the well, to the Wizard of Oz, couldn't have tied it in better. So anyway, thanks a lot. Y'all reach out, see how Alicia can help you out and go pick up the book. It's a great read. It'll sure help you a lot, you know, help you get started on making some positive changes. And then I know Alicia and her team can help you, you know, drive that across the finish line. Until next time, that's going to do it for this episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course, you can find us at we're on all the major podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google, Spotify. We're also on all the major social media platforms tend to hang out on Instagram probably a little bit more than others. So we'd be glad to interact with you there. You can also see a video of this interview live on youtube when it when the episode goes live as well. So until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.
62:16 11/30/2021
Quit Pitching Your Prospects, Try Story Telling To Get Your Message Across
Quit Pitching Your Prospects, Try Story Telling To Get Your Message Across Featuring Ted Janusz Are you still using old sales pitches? Give them all the facts and figures and then squeeze them for the close? Try storytelling as an alternative. Develop a story that involves their problem and then how you solved it. This should be based on past experiences you have had with other clients. This will put them at ease and work magic. About Ted Ted Janusz is a Certified Speaking Professional and a Certified Virtual Presenter. He has facilitated over 1,100 workshops (over 6,500 total hours) in 49 of the 50 United States (lone exception: Wyoming), in Canada, Australia, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Janusz’s work has appeared on,, and has been invited to appear on the Fox News Channel. He is a member of the National Speakers Association and earned his MBA in marketing from the University of Pittsburgh   Full Transcript Below Quit Pitching Your Prospects, Try Story Telling To Get Your Message Across Featuring Ted Janusz Wed, 7/28 7:07PM • 52:37 SUMMARY KEYWORDS book, people, roi, roy, postcards, write, fact, speaker, day, client, videos, speaking, image, presentation, linkedin, marketing, talk, kindle direct publishing, story, called SPEAKERS Ted, Roy Barker Roy Barker  00:05 Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that speak to a diverse set of topics. Hopefully, we can point some things out that maybe you haven't thought about or haven't been on your radar. Or if they're things that are keeping you up at night, we can actually provide some solutions and some professionals that can help you. With that. No, we just want to see everybody be successful. And today we have awesome guests. We've been waiting to get on Ted Janusz is a certified speaking professional, and a certified virtual presenter. He has facilitated over 1100 workshops, which is over 6500 total hours in 49 of the 50 states, with the lone exception being Wyoming across Canada, from Halifax, to Vancouver, and in Australia, Mexico and Puerto Rico. His work has appeared on, And he has been invited to appear on the Fox News channel. He is a member of the National Speakers Association and earned an MBA in Marketing from the University of Pittsburgh. He's also the author of Superpower Marketing and Branding, No Cost To Low Cost Resources To Propel Your Business. Ted, thanks for taking time out of your day to be with us.   Ted  01:29 It's a pleasure to be here, Roy.   Roy Barker  01:32 So tell us a little bit about how you got here. I mean, is speaking been something that you've done, you know, since your early days, and that's just kind of the path you've always been on? Or is it kind of been that long and winding road like a lot of us have had?   Ted  01:47 Well, it's definitely been a long and winding road, right. But I actually started the day before 911. I didn't know it was the day before 911 until the next day. I started speaking when I still had a full time job. And then I enjoyed training so much in that corporate environment. I went out on my own. And you know, you just told about the results. But yeah, it was a long and winding road. I wish I would have started many years ago. But my wife said and all of us can take hard on this. You weren't ready. Yeah. You weren't ready yet. So   Roy Barker  02:22 that's a hard lesson. I'm still trying Yes. On some things is like Yes, in due time with your reading. But we all want it yesterday. Yes. So yeah. And speaking is I think a lot of people may not realize that speaking can also be a great form of marketing. Excellent. Yes, we used to, you know, utilize that at professional trade shows, kind of you get to be the speaker presenter at one of the little breakout sessions, talk about your, your discipline. And you know, it's not, again, I'm gonna ask, I'll ask that as a question. Not really supposed to make it a commercial are more of a sales pitch, but you present your information about what you do, or what you know. And then of course, people are interested after Listen, tell us a little bit about how that works. Sure.   Ted  03:15 Well, during the recession, during the housing crisis, I had to give up what I love to do and get a real job. So what I was doing was I was selling training for community college, and I was smiling and dialing and that just wasn't working well ROI. So what I decided to do was something totally different. I made up these postcards, and I sent the local businesses and said, Hey, let us come in for lunch, we'll provide a meal for your employees. And we'll give a little educational session all free of charge, you know, just just invite us in. So the very first one I went out on, we gave a half hour presentation on time refuses to be managed how to manage yourself instead. Well, unbeknownst to me, there was the CEO of the corporation sitting in the audience now. What would have been the chances ROI of me connecting with the CEO if I made a cold call?   Roy Barker  04:05 Yeah, problems, the 00. But   Ted  04:08 because, yeah, she was in this environment where she didn't feel threatened. You know, in fact, if we didn't know she was the CEO, after the presentation, she came up to us and said, you know, you were talking about some things I think we need some help with. Could you assist us? And we got a $50,000 contract out of that first lunch handler. So yes, I agree. Because people are looking for not speakers, for instance, they're looking for experts, right? People who know things, you know, they want to get information. And that's a that's a very good no cost or low cost way to get in to see potential clients.   Roy Barker  04:46 Yeah, and I like that because of that education factor. Right. Like you said, my you know, one of my biggest marketing techniques even with the mail and newsletters is to provide information not always be just Are you ready? by you. But, you know, one of the things I do is like, you know, if I find a good article somewhere, you can put little tidbits of that in an email to say, Hey, I thought you may be interested. But I think, number one, we take the time to educate, we're giving something to our audience in our company. But we're also it's a form for us to present that we really are expert, we really do have this information that's valuable to you.   Ted  05:28 Oh, I agree totally. As matter of fact, before coming on this podcast, what I did was I had an article printed in an association publication, and I ran off copies. And I sent it out to other associations. And all I had on their ROI was a post it note that said, Could this information be valuable to your members, right. And then on the very last page, I had information about my breakout session at the conference. But I didn't say hire me, I'm a great speaker. Here's some information for In fact, we teach that with newsletters. So many of those email newsletters are just veiled product pitches with maybe a 10% discount. That's not what people want to have a successful e newsletter, solve your buyers problems once a month, make it be about them, or, for instance, a success story, you know, some clients you helped, in fact, the formula I would suggest, is talk about the problem. And you tell a story about the problem. Because your potential client could see themselves in that story. You don't Pitch Anything, you don't try and sell anything. You just say hey, you know, Roy had this issue. And and maybe you're experiencing something similar. Let me tell you about what was going on with Roy. Then you talk about how you solve the problem. And then at the very end, have the client come in and talk about how well ROI serve me in his own words. Because they're going to believe that that client far more than your own marketing puffery or a salesperson? So yes, like you were saying, we're always looking at ways to solve people's problems, be a problem solver, or if you're a speaker, be an expert who speaks?   Roy Barker  07:12 Yeah, and I think you hit probably three or four topics of, you know, some podcasts that I've done in the past. First off, education. You know, to me, again, that's my personal choice for the best thing of marketing, storytelling. It's always good to, you know, have the story. The problem solution is awesome. And then the well, the other person coming in that you work for coming in to substantiate not only substantiate the story that you just told, but I think people are prospects would much rather hear that. Roy is great from Ted, tell us why is great, more credibility, right step number, because it's easy for me to tell everybody how great I am. And I'm okay leaves me, you know, right next to you believe me. But you know, there's just so much more validity to it when we actually have that client step up. So yeah, I love the way that this ties everything together. And another key point us, I think, that really encapsulates all that is make it about that process Exactly. out there,   Ted  08:24 the protagonist. In fact, that's the reason you tell stories. It's not so people can learn about TED or Roy, it's so they see themselves in your story. It's like when I give presentations, I talk about my wife and my kids. Not so you get to know about my wife and kids. But so you see your spouse or your children.   Roy Barker  08:41 Right, right. Yeah. Yeah, tell us a little bit about that. Because I think that's important, we have to, we have to make that story relatable, like you just said, kind of where they can see a portion of them in the story, or at least the story, the problem of the story is something that I'm experiencing, but we can't make it too long to draw, and we can't make it to get rid of the fluff, get rid of the details,   Ted  09:10 because their only concern, but everybody listens to the same radio station, right? And it's called letters or wi I FM. What's in it for me, anytime you give a presentation, you have to think as you do about the listener, the viewer, because they're sitting there thinking so what, who cares? What's in it for me?   Roy Barker  09:30 Right? Yeah, and the sooner we get to that exactly, the better off that we are. And yeah, and and the the other thing is not making it overly complex with I mean, we may want to have some data that we can throw out but it should be easily understood and not like, you know, if you multiply you know, 1000 times four and a half and then you divide it and then you square root that and then do the you know it just Because after about the second or third number, a lot of people aren't that numbers oriented. And you know, you can basically see their eyes roll back up in their head. Exactly.   Ted  10:11 Yeah. In fact, I'd like to talk about a book, not my book. But I don't know, Roy, if you've ever read the book Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath, you'd know it because it has an orange cover and duct tape on it made the stick? I've actually got it on my show. Okay, well, let me let me give you the Reader's Digest version of the book. They studied marketing campaigns to find out which ones stuck, which ones were most successful. And they boiled it down to six factors, which is the word success without the last s. So the first test is just when you were talking about ROI, you have to make it simple. Don't talk about 10 things. Talk about one thing in detail. Now, the U stands for unexpected. Why do we laugh at jokes, because the story is going like this and all of a sudden the punch line goes off to the side. Now, if you're selling industrial screws, this could be a challenge. But if you take a look at the YouTube videos that have been most popular, they all do something unexpected. Like one of my favorite business, YouTube videos that went viral was Dollar Shave Club. If you ever seen that video,   Roy Barker  11:21 I don't get so.   Ted  11:22 Okay. That's your homework assignment, right? The reason the reason I mentioned it is because the gentleman who produced that video, he ultimately sold his company, which he created off of one YouTube video to Unilever for $1 billion be with because all he All he does is sell razors. Okay, but it doesn't look like a Gillette commercial. Let me just leave it at that, though. The whole thing is unexpected. You have to keep watching, like what the heck's he going to do next? The C stands for concrete, you have to make it very easy for people to grasp the idea. The next C is credible. Why should I listen to you? Why are you the authority? In fact, we'll be talking about books. If you write a book, you are the trusted member of the community. And we'll talk about how easy that is. The next letter is E. emotion. ROI. People spend billions of dollars each year in a normal year going to sporting events going to movies, nobody's ever spent a dime to see a PowerPoint presentation. And what's the difference? People want to get emotionally involved, they want to laugh, they want to scream, they want to boo, they want to yell even pay hundreds of dollars to cry to see their football team lose. All right. So they want to get emotionally involved. And the last letter we just talked about s for story. Dale Carnegie said a good 30 minute presentation is 15 two minute stories woven together, they won't remember like you said the data and the statistics and the facts and the charts. But they will remember a story especially if it's emotional. Right. So take a look at your presentations. Take a look at your marketing campaigns. And do they have success meaning simple, unexpected? credible, concrete and an emotional story?   Roy Barker  13:20 That's awesome. Yeah, I'm gonna have to pull that book off the   Ted  13:24 may just stick by Chip and Dan Heath are brothers. One's a professor at Duke the other one a professor at Stanford. So pretty smart,   Roy Barker  13:31 guys. Okay. So, um, do you use props? Or do you use a deck when you use when you present? Do you use something or just mainly just speaking?   Ted  13:43 I do use PowerPoint. And there's been some discussion among speakers whether you need to have a PowerPoint deck. And I say you don't have to, but then you have to be visually interesting. Yeah. You know, because, as you know, there's three types of learners. There's the visual learner, there is the auditory learner. And then there was the kinesthetic learner, the person who learns by doing. So if you if you, you never know who you're going to have in your audience. So if you have a visual learner, and all you're doing is auditory, you're just speaking, they're tuning you out. So you have to make sure you have something for everybody. And by PowerPoint, we don't mean tons of bullet points. We mean visuals, visuals that will reinforce your story. It's like I've heard speakers say I'm not funny. We have a saying in the National Speakers Association. Do you have to be funny as a speaker? And the answer is no. Only if you want to get paid. Okay, so you can put up a funny image. It doesn't have to all be on you. But make sure that the PowerPoint is reinforcing you. It isn't the presentation. You're the presentation. That's your prop.   Roy Barker  14:56 Yeah. Well, awesome. And so I guess Out of all this, you decided to write the book, the superpower marketing branding professional for with the no cost and low cost resources to propel your business, which I assume is gonna help us with this presentation.   Ted  15:16 Yeah, in fact, that's what I did. I didn't really write the book. Because I didn't know Roy, if you tried to write a book, yeah, yes. Okay. Yeah. How tough that is. You know, you get out your piece of paper, you get the pen and you write a sentence, and then you start correcting it. Ernest Hemingway same age Moksha. Exactly. Exactly. And in fact, Ernest Hemingway, the famous author said, right, drunk, edit sober. Well, you know, maybe he didn't mean that exactly. But you know, I'm saying. So the way I got my book was I happen to give a presentation, an hour long presentation to a chapter. And they put on social media, how wonderful was, so one of the members sent me the video of my presentation. I uploaded to a site called Rev. Are you familiar with rev?   Roy Barker  16:03 Yes, I used to use them. Yes, yeah.   Ted  16:04 R e You upload it to that site? For $1 a minute. They'll transcribe what you said. And in a few hours, you'd get it back. Now, obviously, you write differently than you speak. Okay. But it was a huge 80% of the work was done right there. Right. Right. You know, because I love to edit, I hate to write, you know, so it was easy. I had 11,000 Word document already done. I just had to go in and, you know, clean it up. And so that would be a recommendation I'd have for speakers and trainers just have somebody, either audio or video, record yourself, upload it to a site called Rev. RTV. Calm, and then within just a few hours, you'll have most of the book right there.   Roy Barker  16:45 Yeah, well, that's good advice. And I never really thought about that. But it is much easier for a lot of us to speak and you know, the, if you're not a good typing guru that you know, we can spend, I spend more time correcting spelling, spelling errors, and I do actually get words on a piece of paper. Well, I   Ted  17:04 like what you said the paper just sits there in mocks Oh my god, it's like I am blank. put something on me.   Roy Barker  17:10 Well, even like Ratan blogs, even if you're only trying to get you know, 800,000 1200 words, it's like, well, I've got this awesome idea. You sit down, you know, crack the knuckles, get your dream, you know, all set up. And it's like, you get maybe two sentences out. It's like, we're just going no way. Somebody. Yes, yeah. That's a non rider rider. I guess it happens to real riders. But yes, non rider riders is an affliction for Yes, I agree. But you know, and you mentioned this earlier, is that having a book, even if you know, and I think one mistake that I make a lot of times is, you know, we think about these 200 250 word books. Oh, you know, and it, it really doesn't have to be that way. It just needs to be something that makes good sense for whatever you're doing, that you can put in somebody's hand. And it Yes, really has a huge effect on people. Definitely.   Ted  18:08 Yes. I don't know if you're familiar with a survey study that Microsoft did. Roy, they said the average attention span of American adult is now less than that of a goldfish. Yes, yeah. goldfish is apparently can focus for nine seconds, the average adult eight seconds. I don't know how you measure the attention span of goldfish, but Microsoft's pretty smart. So like you said, keep it short, right? No, I don't know about you ROI. But if I'm interested in something, I don't want to go to Amazon and find a 300 page book about it. Just give me the top 10 tips, the eight keys, the five secrets that you're not. I want it right now. I just don't have the time. I don't have the energy. I don't have the attention span to labor over something like that.   Roy Barker  18:52 Yeah. And, you know, one thing I've looked at two is just making multiple modules. You know, you can have one, you know, 50 pager that talks about one part and just break that up. Because I think it goes with our attention span again, that somebody is more apt to sit down and breeze through 50 you know, again, I wish that have been this is you know, when we have regrets from our childhood, and my mother, I know that she'll be glad to hear me say that wish I had finally. Yeah, finally, I'm admitting it. I wish I had more books. Because, you know, it's a it's a, I guess it's like, training for to run a marathon, the more you because like now, I love to read but I'll lay down and read two pages and, you know, fall asleep if they're so rusty like me, you know, I can like get through the 50 100 pages pretty quick. But you know, once like you said, if it's too daunting, it just sets on the nightstand.   Ted  19:49 And here's another key ROI. You have to be a good date for the reader. What does this mean? If you're not enjoy writing it if it doesn't flow, the reader isn't going to enjoy reading it. And they probably aren't, you know, it's too laborious on their end. Like you said, you're gonna fall right asleep. So you got to be having fun so that they can have fun. Yeah. And here's another thing, just start someplace doesn't have to be at the beginning, start in the middle, you know, because of course with Microsoft Word, you can move things around, just get started.   Roy Barker  20:17 Yeah, yeah, that's a good tip for a lot of things is just get started that momentum you'll be, you'll be amazed at what just that first step, how easy it is for the second third step to come after that. So once we get it, you know, through Reb understand that process, we get it back. And it's usually in either, you know, like a Word document, we'd write some more edits, but how do we actually get that to be an E book?   Ted  20:45 Oh, I'm glad you asked Roy. Yeah, well, unlike when I wrote my first book, I mean, back then it was just a real tedious process, you know. But now there is a free resource, because that's what we're talking about free reuse of resources. Take that word document that you've added, you know, after rev give you the file back, you got the Word document, you edit it, and you upload it to a site called Kindle Direct Publishing. Kindle Direct Publishing is part of Amazon. And they'll make it look rather than a Word document, they'll make it look like a book. And it's totally free. Now, the only thing you're missing. And one thing you're missing in that process is what right?   Roy Barker  21:22 I don't know. I don't know enough to even know what we're missing. The cover. Oh, cover. Okay. All right.   Ted  21:28 So this is the only cost. All right. Get yourself cover. Now, are you familiar with the site Fiverr, Roy, f fi ve RR com, you know, where there's, there's fantastically talented artists, but they primarily live in and we used to be able to say third world, it's now called developing countries where maybe they can live on $5 a day. So it doesn't mean they're not professional. It doesn't mean they're not creative doesn't mean that they're not courteous. It doesn't mean they're talented. It's just, you know, they have a different economy. Right. So now the site is hit or miss. Alright, so always go with a recommendation. But one of my favorite artists is the guy who creates my ebook covers. So for instance, let me show you my book here. I do not think this looks like a self published book. Not Not at all, what one of my biggest pet peeves with Self Publishers is their books like that look like they're self published. We judge a book by its cover. So make, you know, make it look professional. But he put together the cover for my ebook for just $5. Wow. Yeah, yeah. And let me just if I could just tell quick story.   Roy Barker  22:39 Yeah, sure.   Ted  22:40 part of the process is he asks you to choose an image. So he gives you a library and you go through and you choose images, and you get to choose five. And I kind of thought he would use this one. But he, of course, is a graphic artist, I am not. Instead, he chose this one, which is far better than the cartoony type image that I came up with. And again, you know, $5 Oh, so let me give you his name, his ebook cover, underscore   Roy Barker  23:09 expert,   Ted  23:10 ebook cover underscore x p, e. r. So you can go to Fiverr fi ve RR com, look them up and see some of the great work he's done.   Roy Barker  23:20 Yeah, and I've had some logo work done over there. And it's it, it's a surprisingly good experience for the amount of money that you pay, you know, there, it's not just a one time exchange, you know, like the people I work with, there is a back and forth and them actually trying too hard to get what you want, you know, the representation that you want. So, like you said, you just need to be careful to go with somebody that's got this right. negations because, you know, it's with the feedback in that civically feedback means a whole lot. And there's no feedback. Sometimes. That's right. There's a reason.   Ted  24:02 Yeah, so at this point, you have the E book. Now, some people of course, like the paperback book, that's something that could actually hold. So you can actually use Kindle Direct Publishing to create a book. So they're on Amazon, for the millions of people use Amazon and we're looking for a topic that have a choice. Either they could download your ebook, you know, use their Kindle reader, or they could order a paperback. And the nice thing there is when I wrote my first book, right, in order to get a decent price on the book, I had to order 2000 copies, you know, a 2000 copies of the book look like? Yes, it came on a pallet.   Roy Barker  24:42 Yes. Yeah, I   Ted  24:42 had to store them in my basement, attic and garage, my neighbor's basement, attic and garage. They got moldy. Alright, you don't have to do that anymore. With Kindle Direct Publishing, you print on demand. So you know, let's say you were going to give a presentation. You could sell you could order and sell 25 copies back of the room. And what I like about it is, you could probably, for this book, I could order author copies for $2.15. I mean, that's less than a price book greeting card. Exactly. Yeah. So you can order author copies, use those as market, what I do is I use this as marketing material, because like you said, It educates. It's not selling anything. I'm trying to show myself as the trusted expert.   Roy Barker  25:25 And, and hold that back up. Again. The other thing that is even if people don't read it, it's a huge business card. I mean, it just tells your story is got your name. And even if it's laying around on somebody's coffee table, it's still a presence in front of people, which That's awesome.   Ted  25:43 I remember the first, when I wrote my first book, I was giving a presentation on my books there. And the lady bought a copy. And she looked at me with all because apparently she'd never met a published author before. She said, will you sign my book? Oh, yeah, there's, we, well, you kind of have to organize your thoughts, you know, you've you've gone through the process. And so therefore, you have this this aura of credibility. But someone else who has all the information in their head, but doesn't have a tangible, doesn't have tangible proof. This can make all the difference. And like I said, doesn't matter what, you know, you're a plumber, you could write a book about how to fix your drains or whatever, put it in a book, it's going to cost you $5. And you could give this out to potential clients, whatever your expertise is, set yourself apart. I know you talk about employee retention. And that's a huge issue right now, of course, as you know, but I think the second biggest issue for small businesses is how do you set yourself apart from all your competitors? an E book is a book is a great way to do it.   Roy Barker  26:52 Yeah, we talk a lot about just the noise level out there now as you have to do, you know, back in the day, if you had a website that was now it's like, everybody's got one and everybody right, this level. So we've got to take that next step. Which basically, you know, the other cool thing about this is, you know, kind of taking a step back, is, you know, once you get your rev copy edited before you submit it. What a lot of great social media posts. Oh, yeah. Found up right there. Take the chunks. Yeah.   Ted  27:29 In fact, I don't mean to interrupt you, right. Try not to do that. I just get so excited about talking about this. But it's very key to chunk your information, chunk your information. So what I usually do my classes, I asked somebody to write down a random nine digit number, any nine numbers of doom as low as long as they're not sequential. So after they do that, I'll say, Roy, if I were to see you next week, first of all, thank you for allowing me to be on your podcast. And then ask you could you recall that nine digit number? Do you think you could?   Roy Barker  27:59 Probably, oh, you could, I couldn't. But you could say I can you remember what I have for lunch?   Ted  28:07 Well, I'm going to give you a little trick, a little tip, right? After the third digit and the fifth digit. So after the third number in the fifth number, put in a dash, put in a hyphen after the third number in the fifth number of now, if you can visualize that. What does that look like in your mind's eye? No.   Roy Barker  28:23 I was saying like Social Security now.   Ted  28:26 We've gone from nine pieces of information down to just three, we've chunked the information. See, a confused mind never learns a confused mind never buys. That's why for instance, there are the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People that some of the Habits of Highly Effective People, in fact, you know, I just used that on you a little while ago, by talking about that principle from May to stick. It was an acronym, they chunk the information. So it's spelled su cc e. s, that's how I'm able to remember it. If I didn't have that acronym, I couldn't tell you, you know, but when we chunk the information, it makes it really easy for people to remember.   Roy Barker  29:04 Yeah. Yeah. And you know, we work. Sometimes it's like that, you know, the blank page mark in us that we talked about earlier. It's like, Okay, well, we want to sit down and schedule some social media out. And it kills me because I know people, you know, or bloggers or good writers, they're like, Ha, just, I don't know what I'm gonna put out. And I'm like, Oh, my gosh, you got three pages of information, you know, you just pull from it. Right? You're able to do the same thing. Like you said, chocolate, but you're still educating your engine to yourself. So I mean, that this is an awesome tool that we've just created for ourselves. Mm   Ted  29:40 hmm. In fact, I want to give you an alternative to blogging. This is one of my favorite tips. You're on LinkedIn. Right? Right. Yes. Correct. Yes. Either and LinkedIn, okay, so on the homepage of LinkedIn, the top, middle, there's either a button or a link that says write an article. Okay, okay. So click on that link, it'll take you to a three part template. At the top of the template, they're looking for an image. So kind of like what's behind you, for instance, now one of my favorite sites to get images is pixabay. Have you ever used pixabay? No, p IX, a BA YPIXAB. Ba, why? Now one of the reasons I love going to that site is you were talking about web websites. I happen open up my PO Box, and I got a letter from Getty Images. unbeknownst to me, my webmaster had unauthorized use of one of their images, and I got a bill for $1,000. You don't want to do that. Okay, but pixabay these are our images from amateur photographers. Now, it doesn't mean they're not good. Because, you know, with our iPhones now, I mean, they're so sophisticated, you know, anybody can be of what looks like a professional photographer. And what I also like about it is it doesn't look like stock photography normally looks so prim and proper, and perfect. I mean, these are real images. And it's a search engine. So for instance, if you wanted to do an article about employee retention, you could type in employee, and it would show you images of employees, okay? no cost. Now you can give attribution, you can give a contribution, if you like, one of the things I always do is I at least like the image, you know, to give the whoever provided some feedback. So I get an image from And the next part is the headline. And so what I do in the headline is I think about how people would be looking for the information in my article, you know, what do people type into Google? And the reason I do that is, you know, when Google is looking for answers, they go to a credible site like LinkedIn, and they'll look for information there. You know, so I want my title, my headline to match what they're typing in the search engine. So that's the second part of this template. The third part is the body copy 500 words or less, remember their short attention spans, there's a little blue button in the upper right corner says publish, hit that, and it goes out to all your connections. Now, I'm very particular as to who my friends are on Facebook, like, for instance, if I get a request from a half naked female, I think I probably shouldn't go there. But with LinkedIn, it's just business. You know, I never know when I could help you. Or you could help me. So I always say, I always say yes to those connections, and I have 1300 connections, and I ever do anything to promote it. No. So as soon as you do that, your article goes out to all of them. And then what you can also do is take that link, and use it on your other social media sites, use it on your, on your website. And it what it'll say is the the title of your article by Roy Barker doesn't say by Roy Barker, it says this information is coming from Alright, you're an authority now. Yeah, you know, so at least get started there. If writing an E book or a book, it just seems too intimidating to you start with a LinkedIn article. It's another one of those no cost resources. All it does is it takes up a little bit of your time. And you can prove yourself to be the again trusted member of the community. The real authority on your topic.   Roy Barker  33:14 Yeah. Yeah. And because LinkedIn is such, they have such a high domain authority, it really boosts your I think it really boosts your credibility as well.   Ted  33:26 Definitely, definitely. And the other thing you could you can do, of course, is post videos 80% of what we'll be consuming it online will be videos, and keep them short. Again, very, very short, within 10 seconds to according to tubemogul. Within 10 seconds, 10% of your audience will be gone by the half minute mark, or third, by the one minute mark a half by the two minute mark three quarters. Wow. So keep them short. Keep really short, again, because of that short attention span, but you can you can post videos, put your videos on YouTube on LinkedIn as well.   Roy Barker  34:08 Yeah, videos or they used to reference it. I'm sure my audience gets tired hear me say it. I say it all the time. But it used to we talked about pictures were like breadcrumbs to your article, where videos were like chocolate covered your article that, you know, they just have so much more impact. And, you know, we talked about this to the importance of using a picture or video. And one of the reasons that was explained to me it really made a lot of sense at one time was that when you write even just a post on LinkedIn or Facebook, you take up, you know, maybe an inch, half an inch of real estate, where if you have a picture, now all of a sudden you have widened out that real estate because it's easier to scroll back up the lines of text than it is that picture makes at least it visible. And then if you have a great image, it gets somebody's attention, you know, whatever you've posted there. So   Ted  35:06 definitely, if a picture's worth 1000 words of videos probably worth a million.   Roy Barker  35:09 Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And I'm like you I like, I like things that look more real. I tried to take pictures, you know myself to use, I don't, you know, there's times we have to use the stock image you can't get around it, but not my choice. also depend on what we're writing about. If it's our company, or our service, or something that's more personalized a picture of you, goes a long way to people can identify you with the company name with the service makes people feel more comfortable.   Ted  35:38 Yeah, and that's the thing about social media marketing, you want to make it real, make it authentic.   Roy Barker  35:43 Yeah, yeah. That's why it's different. Yeah, see a lot of these websites, it's, you know, I was helping a young lady and they had a bunch of equipment, trucks and some manufacturing equipment that they were showing stock pictures of something that looked kinda like, I'm like, Well, why are we doing that? Why don't we do a real thing, you know, right worker have a real worker standing by this thing. And people can tell the difference, just like you can. Exactly. And so anyway, I think it makes such a much better presentation. But so I was just reading down through here. The, you're talking about forget the rejection and the stress of cold calling.   Ted  36:25 Oh, okay. Yeah. Well, I already told you a little bit of that story. I send out postcards. You know, I had, I was working for another speaker, and he had me doing some cold calling ROI. And I kept track. That day, I made 49 cold calls. I talked to a machine 45 times. I mean, I remember, maybe you do too, back in the old days where people would actually would answer their phone. But now on my iPhone, if I had a number I don't recognize it's not one of my contacts. I never take it, right. As a matter of fact, if they don't leave a message, I automatically block the call, or they don't call back. Yeah. Okay. So anyway, I made these 49 calls. 45 times I talked to voicemail. The four times I did talk to an actual person, they told me go to Hell yeah. And I thought there's got to be a better way. And I also, I listened to a podcast from the National Speakers Association and the host, like you was talking about? Well, he was interviewing a meeting professional. And she said, I get 10 unsolicited emails each day from speakers as 50 a week. And one of the keys to success. I got this from the book, what they didn't teach you at the heart at Harvard Business School, by Mark McCormack, he said, take a look at what everybody else is doing. And if you want to be successful, do just   Roy Barker  37:45 the opposite. Right.   Ted  37:47 That's why send postcards and on the postcards. I don't talk about how wonderful and great I Am. I'll talk about things that are of interest to the meeting professional, for instance, do virtual trade shows work? Or should my virtual conference be pre recorded? Or how to get the shy expert to speak things like that? Because, you know, if it looks like an ad, what do we do? As soon as we get advertisement in the mail? We don't even look at it. Right? You know, and so unlike the cold call, where somebody listen to the first two seconds, and then delete, or you know, they may only look at the subject line of an email, they can tell it's coming from a speaker or you know, some solicitor with a postcard you can't help but at least spend three to five seconds with it. You know, like, what is this? And what you want to do is make it look like it's coming from a friend. Because I gave this tip to another speaker. She said, Oh, great. I'll print off 100 mailing labels and slap them on that. No, no, no, no, no. You want to handwrite In fact, sometimes I'll even write something that looks like a personal note. Yeah. You know, in fact, just recently, I spoke here in Columbus, for an association that makes chocolate candies. And the executive director said, you know, why had you come speak? And I said, No, she said, because I loved your marketing materials. They're just so so different. So that's what I do. I send out postcards. And so I use another artist on Fiverr. Let me give you his name. His name is Balu ba elegoo. But he has the handle of blufor 12 ba l UBA One, two Beluga. 12 on He's in India. And every time he sends me back a PDF of my new postcard ROI, I get excited like a kid at Christmas. I mean, he does what I would do if I was creative. You know, I give him the general idea. And he just works magic. And then I go to vistaprint and have these printed up. By the way, anytime you've used vistaprint, haven't you? Yes, yeah, I mean, never pay full price. I always do a search on Google for vistaprint postcards, promo code or discount code, and I can usually say 30 to 50%. But that's what I do to be different, you know, because I don't want to blend in with everybody else I want to stand out. And I think that's what a lot of your listeners need to do running small businesses. You know, we don't have the marketing budget of a Gillette or Procter and Gamble, you know, so so we have to use these guerilla marketing tactics in order to get noticed.   Roy Barker  40:23 Yeah. And it's funny, because even no matter what age you are, I still like to get stuff in the mailbox. And now I'm not so excited about getting emails that that's that's a no,   Ted  40:32 no, the average white collar worker sends and receives 115 a day now. You're just gonna blend it with everybody else. Yeah. But   Roy Barker  40:39 when she comes down with the male says, hey, that's something male. I mean, my ears kind of perked up, like, what is that? So, you know, I'm a lot more apt to give it a read. And I think the other good advice you just gave is to, you know, don't, don't stamp it like, No, no, you know, Mike, in fact, they   Ted  40:56 laugh at me at the postcard at the post office, because I say, hey, what what fun stamp Do you have this month? Right? So like, I'll put Star Wars stamps on there, or, you know, something to make it stand out. So it's fun. Yeah. And distinctive. In fact, we we had the part of the reason I got the idea. We had somebody come speak to our National Speakers Association chapter. And like we said, the average white collar worker sends and receives 115 emails a day. How many pieces of mail Do you get now? Maybe, I don't know. six, eight, something like that. You know, so yeah, it's kind of a break your day, you're going to take a little time to go through the mail. And, you know, try yourself. See, see if you you get an interesting I don't even know if you get interesting postcards, but if you do, could you not   Roy Barker  41:39 look at Right, exactly. Yeah. And that's well, that's another key I think you have to get it you have to design it. To where it is an interesting enough. Somebody's gonna flip it over and say Hey, what is this?   Ted  41:50 And to make it be about them? I mean, so many postcards again, males, mee mee mee mee mee mee mee mee mee mee mee mee mee mee mee it's like when I was getting information in the mail for my daughter, for colleges, it's all about us, us, us, us, us, us, us. No talk about my daughter are people like her and and how you've been able to help people like her and how much they enjoyed the experience? Or what type of job they got is resolved about, you know, make it be about the recipient, make it be about your client, not about you.   Roy Barker  42:22 Yeah, yeah, one more tip, we're getting kind of late. I know one more thing I wanted that this kind of brought up that it was an old. So what this is a way to get a really good free mailing list or low cost mailing list to people that really care about what you're sending them. So this was a jewelry store and this jewelry store, what they had figured out is that 50 to 70% of their clients were repeat clients. So if they come in the door to make the first purchase, you know, about a 750 to 70% chance you're coming back for a second purchase. So what they did is they went to a local dentist, and they said, Look, I've got this deal, I want you to send out a letter to your clientele, and say, thanks for being such an awesome customer of our dental service. And because of that, we have arranged a you know, whatever discount and this particular jewelry store, you know, they said it at cost. So basically, this first purchase was going to be you know, they weren't gonna make any money, they want to make money off of you the next 500. Right. But what they did is they said, you know, we don't want to touch your mailing list, we're not asking right client's name, we want your secretary, we'll give you the form letter, she can type it out, she will send it out on your letterhead and say, thanks for being a client, we've arranged, you know, 30% discount on this purchase, send it out to all their clients. And then you know, one, one good thing to do is you may fund an hour to the secretaries time that has to, you know, get the data and send it down pay for post. Is this not a student say it's no cost? It's low cost. But yeah, yeah. But now you've got an engaged audience, because they are current clients of this dentist. They're excited because he's saying thanks for being a client. And I've figured out how you can get a discount at the store. And now the jewelry store, you know, they were just saying, Hey, you know, this first one is going to be breakeven for us. But you know, think about if even 30 or 40% of these people come in and make repeat customers. I've always thought that was such an awesome   Ted  44:39 kind of Oh, it is ROI. In fact, it even has a name. Oh, does it Okay, yeah, that's called fusion marketing. Okay. Yeah. In fact, the former CEO of ups said, you know, used to be if you can't beat them, join them. But But now used to be, you know, you try to beat your competition. But if you can't do that, then join them. Yeah. And then you both can't be beat. Yeah, yeah. It's called fusion marketing. In fact, I've heard, for instance, a car dealer and a carwash owner got together, or a sporting bar, a sports bar, and a sporting goods owner got together, or a hairstylist and a clothing boutique. You know, each one had a display for the other. Yeah. Because again, what does it cost you? You know, and it makes both of you look good. So it's a win win win?   Roy Barker  45:32 Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Love the ideation marketing. Okay, great. Yeah, we put them after all these years, I can put a name to that. Cool thing. All right, Ted. Well, any any other points you want to put out to the audience before we wrap this up?   Ted  45:50 Okay, well, this one is a little bit more philosophical. Okay. But it's a tip that I picked up from Brian Tracy. Okay. It's something that I've instituted the last few months. And he said that one of the best things you can do when you get up in the morning, is to write down your goals. What are you trying to accomplish today? You know, personal goal, maybe a physical fitness goal. professional goal, and then that will keep you focused for the rest of the day. And because you know, most people have no clue as to really why they're here what their purpose is. So define what's most important to you. And in that way, you'll stay motivated toward those goals throughout the day. And then each day as you rewrite them, you'll refocus yourself. And you'll be amazed at how this will keep you on track and what you can accomplish.   Roy Barker  46:47 I love that. And I was just fixing to ask what is a habit or a tool that you and if that's it, that's understandable if you have something else that you do every day that really adds value, if you want to show there,   Ted  46:59 there is something else. But this this is I mean, sometimes I tell people this and they just kind of shake their head, but I am a runner last year, because like many of us back in March, I lost all of my engagements for the rest of the year. And I was under huge stress, like, what the heck am I going to do? So one of the things I did to deal with the stress was I increased my running. And by the end of the year, by the end of 20. I had run 2020 miles. But what that enables me to do is just to let my mind go. And I think about things like this helps me plan my day. It's just been a huge, tremendous stress lever reliever for me. In fact, last time I was seriously sick, was right after I got married. first month we were married, my wife had to convalesce me back I got mononucleosis. And that was 38 years ago. So it is it's really helped me to keep my energy up, keep me healthy. So you know, running may not be the thing for you. But but find some sort of physical activity, because it will help you in multiple ways. Not only will it help you with your energy in your physical fitness, but it'll help you with your creativity as well.   Roy Barker  48:14 Yeah, yeah. And I'm not a runner, for sure. But just even for me getting out and taking the 10 or 15 Oh, yeah. And I'll probably do that tonight when we're done. Yeah. And if you get stuck, if I get stuck in a problem, you know, something I can't solve or if I am writing in and get caught in a block, just instead of trying to power through Yes, because I easily end up rewriting that. Just get up, take a walk, it clears my head. And then, you know, talking about the creativity, you know, there are studies that say that, you know, like our kids and this extrapolates to adults that were so overscheduled stimulated, that we have lost the creative edge in some cases, but taking that walk or even just sitting with yourself and trying to calm your mind can really help those creative juices start flowing again.   Ted  49:03 Yeah, the other thing that helps me and of course, this isn't gonna help everybody but I have eight grandkids. So when they come over again, this is one of my goals. I want to be the best grandfather I can possibly be. I become like a kid. Yeah, I get down on their level. I do the same crazier, zany, are you they love it when you act like them. And you're allowed to be you know, as I go out and play tag with them and chase them around and we ride go karts, and they think it's fantastic and i'm doing i'm working on one of my goals. I want to be a good grandfather you know so that when I get done I feel energized I feel like a kid I get that energy back and if so that's that's serious work for me is is to be a good granddad.   Roy Barker  49:42 Nothing like being a grandpa and not really having the rules and constraints as write up the kids by word is here to have that can make your job and eat your vegetables at all night.   Ted  49:55 That is your job. Yeah, yeah. It's just to be as much fun as you possibly can. cannon, it takes a lot of energy. You know, sometimes they come over and go, Oh, geez, I'm I'm up for today. But then after they leave, I'm so glad that I did expend the energy.   Roy Barker  50:09 Now they are blessing for sure. Yes. Well, Ted, thanks so much for taking.   Ted  50:13 Oh, my pleasure.   Roy Barker  50:15 It's been awesome conversation. So tell everybody a couple things. Who, how, who do you like to work with? How can you help them and then how they can reach you, but then also tell us how we can get a copy of the book?   Ted  50:28 Oh, certainly. Well, if anybody's struggling with writing the book, I've already written mine. This is everything I know, Roy. So I can't I'd love to write another. But that's all I know. So if somebody needs some assistance with their ebook or book, I'd be happy to help them out. You could reach me at Ted T E D @ Janus J A N U S So Ted @ Janus That's all one word, obviously, my website is And I'd be happy to assist you in any way that I could. Once again, the name of my book is Superpower Superpower Marketing and Branding. I wrote it specifically for professional speakers and trainers. But just like the tips we talked about here, I think it spills over to other small business owners. And we discussed No Cost and Low Cost Resources to Propel Your Business and the ebook and the paperback book are available on Amazon.   Roy Barker  51:27 Okay, awesome. Y'all reach out and pick up pick up a copy of the book to get started and then give 10 a call. Let him help you with your presentations with your speaking or least writing your next best seller.   Ted  51:41 was indeed a pleasure, Roy. Yeah, I'm sorry. It's over.   Roy Barker  51:44 Yeah, me too. Yeah, it was a great conversation. And I learned that it is fusion marketing. So learn something every day.   Ted  51:52 You didn't even know you were a genius. But maybe you did. But that's just more proof.   Roy Barker  51:55 Right? Exactly. All right. Well, that's gonna do it for another episode of the business of business podcast. Of course I am your host Roy. You can find us at We're on all the major social media networks, hangout probably on Instagram a little more than anywhere else. So reach out there be glad to interact with you also on all the podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify, if we're not a one that you listened to reach out to be glad to add it to make your ears listening easier. A video of this interview will also go up on our YouTube channel. So go over there and check us out till next time. Take care of yourself and take care of your business.
52:44 11/23/2021
Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence
Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence Featuring Shayla Boyd-Gill Sales strategies especially for women to focus on high ticket items to scale and provide the freedom you want. About Shayla Shayla Boyd-Gill went from bankruptcy to a multiple six-figure business. Now Shayla is a Family Freedom and Affluence Mentor and creator of the Luxe Your BusinessTM Sales System and a sales strategist who shows women entrepreneurs how to have it all – family, freedom, and affluence – while doing what they love.  She teaches her clients - service-based businesses - to restructure their businesses and lives by boosting their high-ticket sales so they can make more money in less time without a heavy client load.   Full Transcript Below Sales Strategies That Let Women Have It All, Family, Freedom, and Affluence Featuring Shayla Boyd-Gill Tue, 7/27 12:04PM • 50:19 SUMMARY KEYWORDS clients, people, business, money, shayla, person, service, selling, sales, birth, important, offer, find, integrity, absolutely, teach, problem, clarity, doula, experience, Sales Strategies SPEAKERS Shayla, Roy Barker   Roy Barker  00:00 Good afternoon and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that can talk about a diverse set of topics. Hopefully we can show you something that maybe you haven't thought about or something that's keeping you up at night. We can provide you some answers, or at least a go to person to help you out. Today we're excited to have Shayla Boyd Gill.   She went from bankruptcy to multiple six figure business. She now is a family freedom and influence mentor and creator of luxr business sales system. And a sales strategist who knows women entrepreneurs have to have it all family freedom and influence while doing what they love. She teaches our clients which are mostly service based businesses to restructure their businesses and lives by boosting their high ticket sales so that they can make more money in less time without a heavy client load. Shayla, thanks for taking time out of your day to be with us. Really excited to be with you here today. Roy, thank you for inviting me to your community. Yes, yeah. And nothing better that we like to talk about, then how we can increase our sales without having to increase, you know, necessarily our customer base. And, you know, talking more focusing on those high ticket items and how we can structure that. But before we jump into to the good stuff. Tell us about yourself. How did you end up here? Have you always been in sales? Is this something that maybe, you know, you took a turn three, some other disciplines to get here? Yeah,   Shayla  01:42 I took a turn, leap, hop in a few other things, actually. So I started out as an entrepreneur in 2003, in that entrepreneurship journey, was actually in the world of birthing like having babies. Oh, wow. And by the time I started that journey, I'd already had three babies. And I decided that I wanted to leave my corporate job as a construction engineering manager, ground up construction. I was like, I need to go home. And I want to be with my kids. But I need to figure out something that I can do because we had a dual family income. And the one thing I thought about the funny thing I tell everyone is the thing that I thought about was what can I do really well and I that I could use to make money. I was really good at having babies. Sounds weird. But so I said, Well, you know, what can we do? I'm not going back to school for this. This is not the journey I was quite thinking of. But what I realized I had amazing birthing experiences and so many women in my community had horrible experiences. And what I understood they needed was education. So I became a childbirth educator and a doula. One of the top pain, birth workers in the Washington DC area. Wow, this industry ROI is a very we are very giving industry. And so a lot of birth workers have a hard time charging for their services.   Roy Barker  03:04 Right, right.   Shayla  03:05 I started having different birth workers come to me and say, How are you getting all these clients? Number one, and how are you charging this much for your service? We are doulas we're childbirth educators. No one's paying this kind of money. I'm like, actually they are. But you don't know how to set up your business. I just happened to be a little bit more business savvy. So I started teaching some of them how to structure their businesses and how to get better quality clients. But also make sure that as you're serving, they're not burning themselves out. Yeah. The only from that industry. I personally as I taught and served everyone else I burned out. Because you know, getting up at three in the morning babies don't have a schedule right now they call when they call. And I had by the time I left the birthing industry, I had six children a mile. Wow. And I literally said I need to retire. I need to get out of this birth working service is really good money, but it's not sustainable. And I wanted to leave while I was still on top. I decided to leave, continue to coach other birth workers. And then I knew I knew it was time to expand beyond birth workers. Because I got out of the industry. I got out of some of the lingo the knowledge, I didn't stay up to date. I was like, I'm actually when I retired, I disconnected. And some of my clients that had babies with me, they wanted to stay home, how can I start making money? I'm like, Oh, you should become an entrepreneur. What do you do? Well, we figured it out. Same path. Great. Let me teach you how to turn that into a business. And from there I just realized people really suck at selling. It's just it doesn't matter who you are, most people don't want to sell. I understand because we've been taught to sell in the wrong manner for many personalities. And I had to develop what I call my luck sale system. And I've been able to teach people to go from just starting to selling then Once you have an established six figure business or more how to start scaling, and sell higher ticket, that's how I got to where I am now.   Roy Barker  05:07 Nice. Yeah, so many people, you know, they're good at their craft. That's selling part and I think, you know, the, with people that deliver care, it's even worse because they are compassionate by nature. Absolutely. They look at the situation like this person really needs help. How can so you can overcome that the only thing only question I have about the, you know, the birthing businesses. Did you have people come back to you? You know, when these kids turn 13 years old and hit those teenage years, like coming back wanting their money back? What   Shayla  05:39 do we do now? You know, the funniest thing is I have people that will see me in the area of like, they may see me at the grocery store. They're like, Hi, Shayla. This is Johnny. And I'm like, Whoa, Johnny, you were my doula. You were my childhood educator. And these are teenagers now. So it's really fascinating are like, this is your doula she was at your birth, and the kids are looking at me like, This is strange. Why are you telling me this? Mom, Dad, what's   Roy Barker  06:05 what's going on here? I'm definitely seeing them now. That's funny. What So tell us about your about your system. And you know, I think, especially starting out, you know, we want to take everybody that we possibly can. And, you know, sometimes we make deals we shouldn't make for lower dollars, because all of us have to help us in the long run. And, you know, we all have made those mistakes. But talk a little bit about, you know, how you structure this where we can no focus on the high ticket items, like you said, less clients, less fuss, but probably more money at the end of the day.   Shayla  06:44 Well, the most challenging part that I find that my clients have in my system, we have five parts. The first part is what I call my Lux clarity. And when we're looking at clarity, we're getting clear on the type of client that we want to serve. Especially if we come from a place where we're serving everyone, meaning I can teach anyone how to start a business, how to sell in your business, that was me, when I switched from the birth workers, I'm like, I can teach any woman how to start a business, right, I had to over time learn to refine that because I did fall victim into it, I was used to generating money very easily as a doula and childbirth educator. Now going into general coaching, I needed a win, I need to land a client. And usually that gut instinct will tell you, if you're on the phone with someone and you're selling to them, and you realize that's probably not the person, you should say, hey, let's make a deal. And you make the deal. And it's the worst client you've ever had, they want the most, and you've charged the least amount of money. So one of the first steps I have my clients do and really just make peace with is releasing what's no longer working for you. Alright, so when we're looking at releasing what's no longer working for us, what I like to say is, you know, people always teach you to go for the lowest hanging fruit of what you already know. But sometimes what you know, and what you're familiar familiar with, or whom you're familiar with, may not be the best person that you need to serve. Just because you're familiar with them doesn't mean that they need to be your clients. And so we will often sell, and we are, we're wanting to sell here pretty high, but will often our messaging in our language, and the persons we're calling in are at a lower level. And so it's a mixed match in the language. So people will say, I'm booking calls, but no one's buying. Because you're speaking to the lower version of the client that you really desire. You're not speaking your client's language, because you're still connected to what you what worked for you in the past. And if you've elevated to this new higher ticket client, they're speaking a different language. So you have to release what's no longer working for you. That client you used to work with may not be the client that's going to work with you now, if they're not elevating with you, it's okay to release them. And the thing ROI is to make peace with that fear of leaving people behind. There's someone for everyone. Your job is not to serve everyone, your job is to serve the right people that need to work with you right now.   Roy Barker  09:15 Yeah, because we can get so bogged down serving everybody, and not that market that we really need to be in that we don't have to take care of the people in that higher market the way that we really should, you know, giving them the time and attention that they deserve absolutely no another's and like you said, they either make a really bad client where you spend twice as much time trying to make them happy, or you end up having to fire them for them to you know, a huge mess. I think trying to get that who you know who your target is who you want to work with. And then there has to be that they need to want to work with you as bad as you want to work with them. Sometimes that's I don't want to get ahead of you here, but Sometimes that's the problem with the hard sell is, you know, we end up getting a client making a client or turning on, but they weren't the right person. And then it just leads to a lot more problems down the   Shayla  10:11 road as lead to problems. And, and the and I love that you said the word turning them into a client until a client, our job is not to convince someone to work with us. And sometimes cells go wrong, because we're convincing the person like they're saying, find the pain, find the pain, tell them that you have the solution. Okay, that's cute in a moment. But if you have to convince them that they need to work with you, you're going to be continuing to convince them to make the shifts that you're encouraging them to make while they're working with you. And so it still becomes more work more effort, more time than you actually need. The people that you really want to work with. The reality is, they often need less time. And this is what I find with my higher level level clients. They're not looking for more hours. They want to have access to me, but they just need quick answers. They're busy. They want quick answers. They want solutions. They want connections, they want the resources, but they're not buying time. So when you stop selling time, you're going to attract a different kind of client.   Roy Barker  11:23 Yeah, definitely. I have heard that before as well about you know, we have to quit selling time because that just basically means that we, you know, we have a job. So we have an employee mindset. Yeah, exactly. Well, so what is number two, after we found clarity, where do we go from there.   Shayla  11:39 So after you find clarity, then it's important that we create and we provide an amazing solution that's so this is your high ticket offer. Your offer needs to be something that not only provides a solution to whatever the challenges that you're having. But I love to say that it's transformational, it's it should take them from A to Z, right. And if your offer is that compelling, and it solves the problem for them, they're going to do one of two things, they're going to stick around and renew meaning you're able to retain your clients if you have that type of service, or they're going to become raving fans, where they're going to tell more people about what you've done. And so now you have new marketing, internal marketing that's in place, you have people that are marketing for you a mistake that I think a lot of my clients have made, and I made in the past, too. I've had clients, I'm focusing on nurturing them, but I'm looking with the other I try to look at who can I bring in as another client, whereas you could work with your clients that you already have, and nurture them and make sure you're creating so they have something else to go towards? Because they create you create brand loyalty that way, right. So I do have clients that renew services, and or if our contract is over, they may come back for a VIP day or something of that nature. So we forget, there's money right in front of us. But we're looking to decide to chase money that's going to take longer to nurture in, get into our system. So don't forget what's already there for you.   Roy Barker  13:08 Yeah, it's, I'm glad you mentioned that, because I see that a lot. We're so focused on the, you know, the new people that a lot of companies totally forget the number one to take care of their customer because we want to not only keep them as a customer for longer term, but then we also don't focus on how we can provide more services because the cost of acquisition for an existing client for a new service is minuscule, compared to you know, the cost of acquisition of a brand new client.   Shayla  13:41 You know, what I find people really buy for me ROI, they purchase an experience, right? We think like I'm a business coach, business strategist, sales coach, we think they're buying sales coaching, but actually they're purchasing an experience. So I have what I call seven Lux touch points, that's one of my Lux touch points, the Lux experience, there should be an experience from the time they first have a conversation with you when they're exploring. If we should do work together to the point where they are giving you their credit card information, they should still like feel like they're having an experience. Once they've said yes, we dropped the ball on the experience. Once we get paid. We get paid, we put them in the loop, put them in an email cycle, get them on the calendar, and it's just like, okay, on to the next person. So are they having an experience where they feel like I made an amazing decision? Do you have emails that are following up with them? Do you have a client concierge or someone that's calling saying, Hey, welcome. Are you sending a welcome gift? Is there something that makes them feel like they made an amazing decision and they're so glad that they said yes. versus them paying, sitting in silence waiting for their appointment talking to their friends or family members and second guessing their decision?   Roy Barker  14:55 Exactly. Yeah. And that's funny you mentioned that because there's a lot of have evidence out there that, you know, it's generational as well as just good business to add that value of the experience. But it's, sometimes it can be our target group, because like the, like the silent generation, they were all about the thing, you know, like they wanted the coffee mug. And that, whereas, you know, the baby boomers and even the next step down, it's more about the experience, that's what they want, is they want to have a good experience, not just feel like they just purchased a thing.   Shayla  15:34 Yeah, they like they want to feel like they're coming off the car a lot with the car that they really desire. Not like, okay, I just purchased the phone call, okay.   Roy Barker  15:44 And it's scary, because even if you have some, if you have some history or experience with somebody, once you give them money for something, then you kind of hold your breath wondering, you know, are you going to hear from them again? And what is that going to look like? So I love the reaching out, you know, with kind of, you know, basically onboarding, your new clients.   Shayla  16:08 Yeah. And if you document that, and it and you're consistent with that process, every client is going to have the same experience. So say, if you have some event they meet, and they're like, Well, I didn't get bad or Oh, yeah, I did talk to Mary. She was awesome. I have clients that will share with other people. They're like, Yeah, when I joined Sheila's program, we did X, Y, and Z, and then I got this thing, but they're excited, you know, it keeps the momentum going. And we just can't forget that it can't just be on selling. Right, you know, we are giving an experience, the transformation starts from the Yes,   Roy Barker  16:43 right, right. Right. So what was number? What's our third step after we provide an amazing solution?   Shayla  16:49 Okay, so your amazing solution is one thing that you're creating. But also now we're looking at pricing. So when a person says I want a high ticket, a high ticket offer, oftentimes people say, well just raise your prices, right? That's what you hear, oh, you should raise your prices. But what does that mean? What does it really mean for your business, it's important that as you're packaging, this offer, that we have value pricing. And, and it's not based on how many phone calls as we said before, so when we're looking at a high ticket range, especially when we're looking in this coaching consulting range, some people may look at what we call a front end or short term. So your front end or short term, you may be looking at something between 3020 $1,000, that's like a few months of service, when we're looking at something that's maybe a year long, you can easily be going from a range of 25 to 100,000 or more. And if you're asking someone for $100,000, for example, it's not just you're getting four coaching calls Plus, you know, a title and a plaque, right? It's an experience, you know, and so number one, I tell people, make sure whatever number that you're deciding to value your services at, that it really is valued at that, you know, anyone can say this is worth 199. And that's worth 299. We love putting 99 and 90 sevens on the end of things, but really look at, if I, if I price a service for my clients, I'm saying oftentimes, because the way I'm selling to them, I'm like, how many clients does will it take for them to be able to get a return on investment, I only want it to be one or two. And they can easily get a return on investment so they can see for themselves. This makes sense for my budget, you'd have to number one, know who the client is, and know what the price range is that that client can tolerate. You need to also make sure you're absolutely delivering on the promises. The problem we have in this industry in my industry, specifically, coaching, consulting, there's no regulation, so anyone can do anything. And there's been a lot of raggedy things that have happened, unfortunately. So people have been scarred and burned. People have not delivered on what they've promised. You need to be clear what your promises are. You have to be very careful. If you're making promises saying you're gonna make $100,000 in six months, how can you promise that if you don't know how the person works? You don't know the commitment level. There's a lot of empty promises in that. So be clear on what the outcome is that you can promise for the person and make sure you can deliver on that outcome that's being promised. That's the biggest thing be integrity around the pricing is super important. It doesn't matter how much it is it matters. Are they going to get what was promised? Yeah, people talk. Yes. If you are pricing your services at some very high ticket level, and people are, you know, losing homes and can't eat can't pay their mortgage, and you told them to go and get their 401k or something strange. That's a problem. You know, That's a huge problem. So you should be able to sleep at night with whatever pricing that you're asking for. But knowing you can deliver on what you say that you can do.   Roy Barker  20:09 Yeah, that's important, because I can give you all the best advice in the whole world. But if you don't put it into practice, you're not going to make any more money or any more clients. And so I think, you know, as consultants, we all have to be very careful about those promises. Because you, it sounds great when you're signing them up, and you get them all hyped up. But if there's nothing on the back end, and you know what today's virtual ratings and virtual communication, it doesn't take long for something when something goes wrong for it to start spreading like wildfire, and then all of a sudden, everybody's scared of you,   Shayla  20:47 oh, all of them, then people talk people thought. So it's, it's, it's a dual agreement is the agreement on what you're going to deliver. But it's the agreement on what your clients are going to commit to doing. And one of the things when I'm having discovery calls with people, I'm very clear about that, here's what I know, I can show up and do for you. Here's the type of client that I need to show up for me. And if we are matched in that manner, we can work well together. So I love to tell my clients, you know, when you hear the term not all money is good money. Just because someone can't afford to pay your high ticket services doesn't mean that they're a good fit to work with you. If they don't have the integrity around, showing up to their appointments on time doing what it is that you've requested, they are not coachable. They are like you, you can tell if people are complainer's from the beginning. If they start their discovery call off like with like, what's your refund policy? Okay, so let's, let's talk about why we're starting there. Okay. Because you've already identified that you might not do what you're supposed to do. So if that's your first question, we're probably not a good fit to work together. And I'm okay with leaving a discovery call. Like, if I see red flags, I'm okay with saying I don't believe that we're a good fit. And people are like, you're not gonna make me an offer? Absolutely not. Yeah, there's no obligation for me to make an offer just because it's a sales call. You're not obligated to make an offer.   Roy Barker  22:17 Yeah. And I think another great point is that it's better to walk away from those situations, when you get that feeling are, you know, and it's something that you just learn over time, when the conversation is going the wrong direction. It's okay to say, you know what, we're just not going to be a good fit. And there's nothing wrong with that. We don't have to explain ourselves, we get to choose who we work for. As we go through this,   Shayla  22:43 you get to choose it. And and you know they're there. For ELS I like to say, when you're on that discovery call, your job is to listen, people are going to tell you exactly what you need to know. You're going to learn from that conversation that they're telling you. So you're going to learn, is this a good fit? Or is this not a good fit? Does this person have the integrity or not? And then you need to lead le a D as in David, you have to lead your calls. If you get people on a discovery call that are chatty, they don't answer questions, they get distracted, and you're not able to bring them back to focus on the question that's being asked, you're not leading the call, therefore, you're not showing your authority from the beginning. So just imagine what it will look like if you decide to start working with the person. That can be another indicator if you can't leave this call properly. And that fourth one is what we just talked about lead le a V, if it's not going in the direction it needs to if you're unable to lead or redirect if the person's not being considerate if the person gets on the call and says, So how much does it cost? And you're not having a conversation? It's not a good fit.   Roy Barker  23:55 Yeah. And usually when people will lead with that, how much is it? That's when easily stop it right there and say, you're just trying to find a bargain basement price. And I'm not your guy, for sure. And I kind of wanted to touch on that on the prior to setting up pricing. Because I see this in the other way as people try to price something so low that they end up working for minimum wage. And so we have to give a lot of thought into how much time are we committing to this? And what do we need to charge to make money, there's nothing you know, there's nothing wrong with where you fall on the spectrum, if you want to make 25,000 a year and you're good with that if you will make 50 100 whatever it is, but really give some thought into the price. And because I've had people before price services and I'm like, Well, how much time does it really take you to fulfill that and then when they start adding up all of these different things. It's like oh, wow, I'm just barely breaking even on this service. And so give it some thought and then kind of on the other side of this is when people start trying to beat you up. overpriced That's another great time to say, you know what we are just, this just isn't for you, the service just isn't for you. And that's okay. And I guarantee you, if you do that enough, you will have people that hang up, think about it. And they call you back and say, you know what it is for me, you know, they just want to see what they can get get by with it a lot of times, but you can actually bring somebody around to your way of thinking by just letting them know, because people want things that are scarce. And yes, they think you're willing to walk away, you still have to be careful, because those still may be troubled clients. Absolutely. Absolutely. Still, you might get a second chance at that. So never be scared to stand up for yourself.   Shayla  25:42 Yeah, you can't be scared of that. Like another last touch point is being exclusive. So exclusivity is important for me, because I speak about having fewer clients but making more money. So if my client knows that I have a very exclusive offer, they understand I don't have hundreds of people in a program, there may be just 12 of them. And if I have 12 spaces for the year, they understand I wanted the 12. And if you don't get in, you're on the waitlist. I don't want to wait 12 months on a waiting list. So I'm making my decision. But don't use scarcity, scarcity as a false way of advertising. We've seen that too, right? You've seen like, Oh, I only have space for five people today. Oh, it was such a demand. But now we have 10 more spots available. All the email didn't work. We're over it. I'm like, Come on, let's just do true marketing. have real conversations, attract the people you really want. The people that I work with, they don't fall into that trap. You know, they're they're not looking for the gimmicky things, they want a straightforward offer straightforward answers. And that's what I prefer. So know your clients know what they can tolerate.   Roy Barker  26:51 Yeah, no, and that's so important. I love that to be straightforward. If if you have a product or service that you have to be gimmicky, you need to really, that's a problem. It's not, it's not ethical number one, but you're going to get into trouble on the back end, because I've seen those deals, you know, where it's like, Oh, we got five seats, you know, we have limited five seats, and then you get on the call. And there may be 35 or 50 people on the limit with all five of those right? Five in that one hour or so, but didn't exactly know, we just can't stress that enough, is just the honesty and integrity. Because the other part is that if you do have a client that you get, if they get a hint of that, that you're not honest. And then you don't have integrity, you do say things like that, then they're gonna start to question everything that you say in your relationship. And that's   Shayla  27:51 absolutely, you know, you might one of my coaches once told me that, you know, you need to show up as who you are, and don't surprise people once they paid. So, you know, you can't show up one way online, and then people pay you and they're like, Who's this person? And so you need to be consistent with your messaging consistent with your behavior consistent with the way that you're speaking to people, I can't be this super nice person online. And then I get a client and I'm like, Oh, are you like, Oh, my drill sergeant, people don't want that. They want to know that they are buying into what you sold to them. That's all they want.   Roy Barker  28:24 Because that's why they bought in the first place. Usually, you know, we buy from people that we like, or we buy from people that we see ourselves in, or we see qualities that we like, and so if we present those to get the client, and then that's not who they get after that, you know, that's another big red flag.   Shayla  28:42 Absolutely, absolutely. And I've I've purchased that way before. And I'm like, What happened? This first   Roy Barker  28:50 or they say, you know, they call you call for john. And it's like, john is never around, he always pushed off to somebody else. And then, you know, again, it's like, if that is the arrangement up front, and everybody's clear, then that's understandable. But I always feel like especially in consulting, if you're going to be the salesperson and you're going to represent you're getting my wisdom, then you have to get my wish. Now you were say   Shayla  29:15 my team and I and you know you're going to be working with several members of my team along with me. So I know I can I can accept that.   Roy Barker  29:25 No, yeah, that just gets back to the honesty and integrity that we have to present and live by we are you know, we can't just I shouldn't say present because we have to live by it from sales to servicing.   Shayla  29:37 Yes, well, I believe in karma. So like, if you do people dirty, it's going to come back you're going to pay the price one way or another. Exactly.   Roy Barker  29:44 Oh my god. Yeah. I have a good story. I'm gonna skip for now. But I believe me in sometimes it's Instant Karma. Right? You can do that and walk two steps and you know, it gets you get caught up with absolutely So what is our fifth? fifth step?   Shayla  30:03 Let's see, where are we Oh, and so once we've done our let me just go through everything again. So we have our legs clarity, we have the offer our pricing, selling and giving. So we're when we're getting into luck selling and giving, I'd like to combine them together. So we kind of talked about selling on the phone already, and selling an offer that we really believe in that we value that we can stand behind. The other piece is giving, everyone wants to teach you how to sell and become a millionaire. Right. But I like to position with that is also giving, giving energetically making an impact. And so one of the ways that I challenge my clients is for them to not only reach their sales goals, but to attach their impact goal to that. So their impact goal may be I want to give to an organization, or I want to give time, I want to travel to this place to make an impact. I want to start my own 501 c three to make an impact. But usually the clients that come to me, it's bigger than I just want to make the money, money is important. But I tell people, your goal alone cannot be money. Because you can quit on that goal. That's not enough of a driver, you can go get a job and make money. But you have to have something that's like people say what's your big why you may have a personal why, but I want you to have an impact. Why too. And so that impact may be, it may be a percentage of your sales for certain product or service that you have. It may be you just make a bold acclamation the beginning of the year, I'm going to be able to give $5,000 or 15 or $20,000 by the end of the year to this cause, you're going to work a little differently to meet that goal. Because now you're not going to sit back and say, Well, let me rest Oh, boy, I didn't make my goal. No, I made a promise. Let me make sure I can meet this goal. So I can make a bigger impact, not an impact, just so my name can be associated with giving but an impact. So someone else's life can be changed. Yeah, it's good karma. We just talked about karma. It's good energy, to be able to have that to be a part of your business. Because you're working not only for you, but you're impacting other people's lives, your impact, maybe if you have all high ticket items, maybe you want to be able to help. Like for me, maybe I want to help some other women to just start businesses, but they wouldn't be in a position to do my high ticket pieces that I have, I might decided to have a program, a free program for a few women, a select group of women. And depending on what my cells look like, I might be able to support five women in starting their first business and be able to give them a mini grant to do that. Yeah, I might be sending some young women to college, but I am making an impact outside of what I'm bringing into the company. It's also what we're doing outside of the company.   Roy Barker  32:49 Yeah, again, another great point, because it's not only the karma factor, but I think it's just energy. You know, it is we are what we put out. And absolutely it gets back to, you know, our attitude and a lot of other things if we have bad attitude and poor me, guess what, it's going to be poor you because you're you're setting yourself up for that where even when things that we don't understand or we don't don't go our way, we have to still pick ourselves up and have a smile and say, You know what, I don't know why that happened. Yeah, but it happened for a reason. And it's funny, because some we just had, oh, I just said something happened the other day, I was trying to purchase something, and it wouldn't go through my credit card company blocked it. So call them got it released, I still could not buy this thing. And it was just frustrating. I came tell you how, because I needed this component to use pretty quickly to get something done. And so I'm just like, or I'm talking to Terry, my partner about this and telling her I don't know what's going on and this and that. Okay, so went to bed slept got up the next day. And like I'm trying this one more time. And so as I'm looking through this collateral, I see the second component that I was looking at. Now I find that there's a bundle where both of these things together for the same price I was fixing to pay for the first so to me, it's just little things like that, that that frustration was actually led me to a better place. And it's it's hard to it's hard to get in that mindset, but I just feel like we have to you know, it's what we put out in the world.   Shayla  34:27 It's what we put out. So I always say I circulate money, and it always comes back to me. Exactly. I circulate. If you're circulating it's always going to come around. And those little things like that, like trying to use that card because you were set on getting this thing. Sometimes I believe the universe has blocks for us on purpose and when I realize I'm being blocked, I don't I'm not mad about it is you I get frustrated and then usually once I pause, I'm like there's a reason and I release I kind of surrender to Okay, this is happening for a reason. Let me be still and see What's really happening and things will clear the way up. So it happens all the time.   Roy Barker  35:04 I'm a slow learner, I know that it's yours. It's yours, don't worry, I know that we're putting it into practice. Yeah. And I heard another great thing. And this this could go when we're talking to prospects or clients too, is that instead of having a poor reaction, unseat reaction and resisted having a poor response, we can have a poor reaction, but count to like, you know, three or five, whatever, before you respond. And it'll definitely change the way you know, instead of that initial whatever, you know, blurting out something that you wish you hadn't have, you could take a minute to think about it to really have a measured response.   Shayla  35:43 And we're in a society now where we do need to pause, we need to pause because so much is there's so much stimulation, so much is coming to us that you need to sit, pause, breathe, absorb what's being said, especially if it's texting. If someone's sending messages, you're interpreting assumptions or getting us in trouble. Okay? assumptions are like the big thing if they always like someone says something and you're like, what did they mean by that? You create a whole story that you don't need to create. So you do I love that you said sometimes you just have to sit for a few seconds and just let it sit with you. And then you can find the words that need to be said, and you might be able to really save a relationship and opportunity, all kinds of things.   Roy Barker  36:27 Yeah, cuz there's one meme that says, you know, there's a list of things but the words are one thing we can ever take back and once we say that, and the other thing is getting clarity, with what said and this dealing with clients, it's important because we don't want to misinterpret something and that another thing, pick up the phone call pick up the phone and make a phone call where you can hear the voice the inflection, all of those different things make a difference because I will tell you I have misread misinterpreted emails and be like what the heck is going on? So pick up the phone call, call the guy and say like, Hey, can you explain this to me? And they're like this in like, oh, okay, now I get it not anywhere close to what I thought   Shayla  37:11 nowhere. And I had that happen yesterday, someone sent me a message. And they said, you know, hey Shayla, something else just hold story, then I was like, I really need to talk. And I'm like, oh, whoa, what happened? I'm running through racking my head, like, Did I say something? What happened? I'm like, wait a minute, why are you having this whole story? Right? That person didn't say that you did anything. You've come up with an entire story of something's wrong. And when I spoke to the person, it was really amazing. It was a whole totally opposite. It was a celebration. But we make up these stories. Just because I'm like, I'm always on I had to fix it. And I'm like, What am I fix? You don't even know what you're fixing Shayla stop it?   Roy Barker  37:49 Yeah, yeah. So I didn't mean to stray off topic. But I think that you know, what we put out in the world, not only money wise, but helping people helping people without expecting reciprocation. You know, I've got a little company that somebody reached out on LinkedIn, asked a question, it turned into a thing. And you know, we just had a quick phone call. I didn't charge them for it. But I made a relationship with these two people that I'll probably get some business from them at a later date. But if not, at least, they will tell but I'm not. I didn't do it expecting return, I think we have to be careful with that we have to give without expectations.   Shayla  38:30 You do, you do. And you can be selective of who you choose to give to right. There's nothing wrong with giving. There's nothing wrong because someone probably gave something to you. So there's nothing wrong with giving just you're selective of what you who you choose to give to and you have to give openly, like you said without that expectation, whatever needs to be taken care of will be taken care of. Right. So I always believe if I'm giving however I choose to walk in my lane. Things will be taken care of.   Roy Barker  38:59 Right. Right. Exactly. It's an abundant mindset. It all comes from that place of abundance. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. And talking about that. I'll say one more thing before we get back on track is that I read this interesting article that was saying, you know, instead of being like, dang it, you know, shangela just got this new car. She just got this new client and me not so much and I'm all down. Instead of that we should say you know what, thank goodness for Shayla getting what she got. Now, I want some of that, please. And you know, you kind of have to ask for that instead of, you know, getting distraught that somebody else got something that you think you should have or wanted, is, you know, you said it to stay in our lane run our race, because, you know, I don't know what you've been doing for the last 10 years to get to this point where maybe I just started six months ago. So we're going to be totally different places. But we can. It's not a zero sum game. We can all be six First of all, we can all have what we need and what we want. And so there's no reason to kind of be down on yourself or other people for what they've got.   Shayla  40:09 I've heard that story differently. And it's very similar. So when you start seeing the things that you want and desire, you start seeing the cards, you start seeing the person that you didn't think could get this thing, they started getting it. So instead of us also doing that negative thought of why did they have it, we look at this, and it's an indicator of evidence, it's closer to you now than ever before, it's closer to you now, especially if you've been asking for it, it's closer to you now than ever before. So you absolutely are celebrating that that person was able to get that that that person has that car, that person got that opportunity, because now it's closer to you. Meaning it's coming to you very soon.   Roy Barker  40:48 I like that. Yeah, anytime we can ship this because, you know, our mind is always grinding. And we get to choose what it grinds, we can just as easily put the positive stuff through there, then the negative. So anyway, I'm sorry, back on track, back on track, I'm always on track, always on track. Okay. So after, after we have selling and giving, we have one more,   Shayla  41:13 we have one more after selling and given is our overall what I call my luck CEO. So your luck CEO, everything that I teach my clients is about business. But what we forget often is we have to take care of ourselves too. So you can build this million dollar multimillion dollar business. But if you spent your whole time focusing on building the business, and not focusing on taking care of you, taking care of what you had before the business, so if it's your family, if it's your relationship, those pieces I try to make sure we put in place. So for with my clients, for example, it may be as simple as I tell them, once we're getting our money to a place where it's stable, we have consistent monthly revenue, where they want to be how, how about taking one week off a month, and using that to focus on you focus on your family focus in other areas, doing things that are not businessy. Right? What are we looking at as far as spending the time and making sure you're eating a meal with the family? What we find when we start making more money with women, and then relationships are falling apart? Right? They fall apart? One person's on this high journey. And the other person is over here holding down the fort. And they're looking at you like what about me. And I saw this in the corporate world, I see this in the entrepreneurial world too. So I really am where you read you read earlier family freedom and affluence family is super important to me. Many of my clients are family oriented. And so I want them to build this piece, this legacy piece, but also keep their family intact in the process. And also keep themselves intact, make sure that you're feeling good people get burned out. People get sick, we see it people in your 40s and 50s, there's more disease that's coming to us as entrepreneurs because we're stressed, you can't make money when you're stressed. Or you're going to make the money and spend it all on your health because you are stressed. And so I don't teach balance because I don't believe there's like work life balance. But I believe you put energy where you need to put it when it's needed, you need to create and build that space in so that you can do that. So that's part of being a CEO, not only being a leader in running this business, but also leading your life. And leading the things that are around you don't leave that behind don't sacrifice what you had just for the sake of the money.   Roy Barker  43:40 Yeah, and I do a self self lis plug that we just did an episode with. He's more of a wellness coach, but we did an episode because it's important when you're making decisions, we need to be well rested, we need to be in you know, we need to have some movement, some exercise. And and also for myself, it helps me to have some clarity. If I'm getting jammed up, if I can't solve a problem, if I'm feeling stressed, if I can take a minute and go walk around the you know the area where we live for just a minute, I will come back so refreshed, absolutely give it much more but taking care of ourselves extremely important. And our relationships don't want to leave that out because we can get to the end of our journey and be very successful. And then we've lost all the important relationships around us. And even if they're not involved in the business, you know, like Terry, I keep her involved. She does a lot, but it's the conversation that we have. So she never feels left out. She always knows what's going on. When things get stressful, you know, we're kind of going through this little stretch period for this reason so   Shayla  44:50 or add add we to the conversation, right? When we're talking about our business, we will often say I'm doing this, I'm making money. I'm going to do This thing, and I always like to tell my clients, add the tag one so that we can, if you can add this so that we can, that's the first group of people you're selling to your family. So for me, I have six children and I have a husband, when I'm saying, I'm going to a conference for a week, they're like, okay, you get to go on vacation for a week, and we're staying here, I'm going to the conference on this conference. So that we can be able to, I'm going to always add to so that we can do on there. And so now when I have to leave my husband's like, Yeah, go ahead. I know exactly why you're doing what you're doing. And I support you, right, because he understands this journey. This is we're looking at long money, we're looking at creating this legacy, and he understands this temporary sense of me being away, is worth it's worth the time.   Roy Barker  45:52 And it's so much easier in life when those closest to us support us. Because once friction starts to build, oh, it's hard. I mean, it's tough to go on, it's tough to know what to do you spend more time dealing with the friction than you do on the business. So it's always good to keep that. And I'm like you I don't, I don't really know that there is a balance, because there's times when you can take more personal time, then you can there's times you have to do more business time. And it's even more of a hurdle for some people, and I'm not speaking for you, but I can assume this as well. When you really like what you do, you know, I never feel like I'm at work. Exactly. I can go and go and go. And so you know, having a little tap on the shoulder saying, you know, enough, enough is enough for today we're getting away from the computers. You know, it's that does add an extra dimension, it's but it's good. It's really good than to something that you love. It is it is   Shayla  46:54 because it doesn't feel like work. No, no. And if you know, like, if I know every time I get on the phone with my clients, and like, there's a breakthrough, something amazing is happening. I do have to remind myself shut it down. Which is why I only schedule calls between a certain time I don't do calls late. I'm I will tell people whenever they work with me, I don't take calls in the evening. I'm not a night person. So I need to spend the time I can with my family, but I don't want to be on the phone, talking to people about business and night, I want to turn my computer off. I want to be able to say hey, family, let's go let's do something. And people respect that my clients can respect that people say, Well, what if my clients only can talk at that time, people will find the time to speak to you when you say you're available if they really want the thing that you say that you can do.   Roy Barker  47:40 Yeah, and again, you've got to set those boundaries. Because if you don't, you will get everything will get out of whack. You will get out of whack with your health with your relationships. And then everything gets back to affecting the business. So don't don't feel bad about setting those boundaries that again, that's what we get to do. If people don't like it, or can't operate within them, then that's when we get to say, you know what, this just probably isn't going to be a good fit, right? We don't we don't feel bad about that. We had it all hold your head up. Because we're looking for people that want to work with us in the way that we work. And they're out there. I guarantee you out there. Alright, Shayla. Well, thanks so much for being with us. Is there any other anything else that you want to share before we wrap this up? I know we're kind of long. I apologize for that. But   Shayla  48:28 you're fine. It's fine. So yeah, if you want to really connect with me, you can find me online under my name, Shayla Boyd Gill everywhere from all the social media platforms to my website. So if you go there, you'll find me plus free resources that you can use for your business and for your life.   Roy Barker  48:47 Okay, great. And I will put all that in the show notes as well. So y'all can reach out to cygwin and get some of her expertise run through this program. It's great. I mean, everything that you hit on, it's like putting it all together. So we can have half we can be successful, healthy, happy. And also we have a process to go through. I think that's one thing, right? That happens to us is that, you know, well, I tried this one time, and I tried this this next time, if we have a system that we can polish it and perfect it. And we go through those same steps every time it really helps us as well. That's the key repetition the same steps every time. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. All right. Well, thanks so much for your time. Again, we much much appreciated. Y'all reach out, see how she can give you a hand on your sales process. that's gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course, you know, I'm your host, Roy. You can find us at We're on all the major social media platforms hang out on Instagram a little bit more than anywhere else. So reach out to us there we'd be glad to engage. Also, we're on all the major podcast platforms iTunes, Stitcher, Google, Spotify. If we're not on one that you've listened to reach out I'd be glad to get added make it easier for you to listen to us every week. Also, a video of this interview will go up on our YouTube channel, so go check that out. So until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.
50:27 11/18/2021
Use Neuromarketing Science For More Efficient and Effective Marketing
Use Neuromarketing Science For More Efficient and Effective Marketing Featuring Felix Cao What makes your consumers have loyalty? How does the consumer what to connect with you? How do you drive brand loyalty? We have to try to engage our messaging with the consumer with as many senses as possible. Neuromarketing helps us to answer all of these questions, connect with our consumers in a deeper more efficient manner. About Felix Felix has accrued over 15 years of business experience when it comes to sales & marketing. He has been featured in major media outlets, such as the HuffPost, Adweek, and Authority Magazine, and has also appeared on a major Canadian morning radio show, to talk about neuromarketing and the 2019 Canadian election. You can find him on numerous top podcasts where he shares neuromarketing insights on how businesses can grow and thrive during the pandemic and moving forward into 2021. Today, at his neuromarketing company called Happy Buying Brain, he is combining his 15 years of business experience with his educational background in biological science and psychology, to help businesses truly understand what makes their customers’ brains tick when it comes to better achieving customer brand loyalty over their competitors, through the power of implementing neuromarketing into their own marketing campaigns. Happy Buying Brain Website Listen to more great episodes of The Business of Business Podcast here Full Transcript Below Use Neuromarketing Science For More Efficient and Effective Marketing Featuring Felix Cao Fri, 7/23 7:12PM • 54:52 SUMMARY KEYWORDS brain, consumer, people, happening, called, company, brand, restaurants, customer, terms, thinking, marketing, logical, stimulus, emotion, minutes, area, primal, important, cortex SPEAKERS Felix, Roy Barker Roy Barker  00:03 Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests, I can talk about a diverse set of topics. We want to try to point some things out that maybe you hadn't thought about or either provides support for things that are keeping you up at night. We also have professionals in many different fields that come on give us their expert opinion and today is no different. We are excited to have Felix Cao back with us he has accrued over 15 years of business experience when it comes to sales and marketing. He has been featured in major media outlets such as the Huffpost, Ad Week, and Authority Magazine and also appeared on major Canadian morning radio show to talk about Neuro Marketing and the 2019 Canadian election. You can find him on numerous top podcast where he shares Neuro Marketing insights on how businesses can grow and thrive during the pandemic. And then of course, moving forward in 2021. Today at his Neuro Marketing company called Happy Buying Brain, he is combining his 15 years of business experience with his educational background in biology, science and psychology to help businesses truly understand what makes our customers brains tick, when it comes to better achieving customer brand loyalty over their competitors, through the power of marketing, implementing Neuro Marketing into their own marketing campaigns. Felix, thanks so much. And welcome to the show. Again, we appreciate you coming back to talk with us.   Felix  01:41 Hi Roy. Well, thank you for having me back on the show. I definitely appreciate it. This is exciting.   Roy Barker  01:45 Yeah, for for visitors, for new listeners that maybe didn't hear you know, your history before. Just give us a brief rundown of kind of what led you to this spot in life?   Felix  01:57 Yeah, absolutely. So as you mentioned, you know, in your introduction, and thank you for the introduction, many, many, many thanks there. So as you touched on, you know, I come from an educational background that strongly resides in biological science and psychology. Right. So, that was, so initially the journey was to go into more of the medical field during that time, but then I got introduced, obviously, to the world of business. And, and from there on, you know, got involved in things, industries, such as finance and investments, which eventually segwayed into the world of technology. So, you know, mobile in the 2010, was very, very popular, it was a growing field. So, you know, I spent nearly a decade there and just coming out of it now, is, is, I believe that we're at the cusp of another type of logical revolution, mainly in artificial intelligence, machine learning. Virtual Reality, when I looked at the landscape of where, let's see, technology was going and I was going to penetrate everyday life was that neuroscience was actually the core of a lot of these innovation. So as we were familiar with, you know, anything that becomes familiarized, or really popular concepts that are related to it, also become more mainstream, right. So, when I, so when neuroscience is now applied to the field of medicine, and technology, what I saw was no for, for the growth of the entire discipline was that actually is going to start to be come a lot more permeated in all the different areas of our lives. And, you know, one of the biggest things that I saw was that neuroscience was going to be a huge thing when it came to marrying the world, the scientific world with marketing and sales and business in general. So, you know, it's really a combination of educational background in 15 plus years of experience, having an extensive background in terms of now, technology for over a decade. And the timing right now seems to be ripe for neuro marketing.   Roy Barker  04:08 Yeah. No, that's awesome. I think it is, like you said, it is time there's so much. There's just so much coming at the daily at the consumer on a daily basis, find a way to you know, kind of hit get to the heart of the issue or whatever they're needing and write best. speak to them because we all like we all like our messaging someone you know, I mean, I'm sure there's groups but different, like different messaging and different things we can do to attract them that may turn another group completely off.   Felix  04:42 Exactly. Yeah. 100% is so Neuro Marketing is really the window that allows the companies to gain that much deeper understanding of you know, the underlying mechanisms that are happening inside their consumers brains, so that they could craft their marketing messages. To connect with them, you know, a lot better, right?   Roy Barker  05:03 Yeah. And we I think we touched on this a little bit last time. But it's not only the marketing message, but right. It's also the packaging of the product. And there's just so much more that, you know, companies really do give a lot of thought over.   Felix  05:17 Yeah, 100% there. So obviously, core brand messaging is a huge component. But it's the entire experience, right? Because you know, you just don't go to a restaurant and just have a good meal. It's the atmosphere, everything that comes along with it very similar to, you know, when consumer has brand loyalty to a specific company, the product is great, let's say but it's also the entire experiencing the packaging. You know, apple, Tiffany's is notorious for the sound that comes when you when, you know, somebody opens the packaging to you know, it, all that stuff adds to the experience for sure. So companies do put a lot of thought into all the details, in addition to the core brand messaging.   Roy Barker  06:00 Yeah, and there's different, just don't want to belabor it, but just the, I think it was one of the chip manufacturers   Felix  06:11 Frito lays no delays.   Roy Barker  06:13 While I was thinking Intel, you know, they had a chip, okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah, they had that little. It was just like a little bump, bump, being bump bone, you know, whenever Yeah, it was instantly recognizable. You didn't have to read the copy or hear what was said. But once you heard that sound, instantly brand new that it was Intel, right. Yeah. Yeah. And I didn't mean to interrupt you on that. The other chip, sorry about that. So what was the Fredo   Felix  06:41 all free delays. But that's a first of all, before we get into that, that's a wonderful way for a company to associate, let's say, the ping of a noise. And then, and then having that connect to their brand, right? So just the fact that, you know, their consumers would hear that sound would activate in their brains, this kind of neuro map of all their experiences, memories, thoughts, and so forth, to bring their product or not and their brand, top of mind. Right. So   Roy Barker  07:09 it's a simple concept, a noise, re and a reaction. But I know that figuring that out is probably not, that's not the simple part. I mean, it's probably a lot of years of research, Oh, 100%. And go into that.   Felix  07:22 Yeah, it's the same idea. I know that Google uses a specific blue, because they've ran tons and tons of tests of it to get people to click on it. So that's one example of something that seems so simple, of having the color of let's say, you know, a little sort of some some words, but also it would impact, you know, their users, say, wanting to, to click on those words, right, based on on the color itself. So it's so much the same idea of that building association between the sound and then connecting it with the brand.   Roy Barker  07:56 Right, right. So what was the talk about the Frito? Lay? What were you gonna say, Oh, yeah,   Felix  08:03 it was just a matter of how when we're talking about the importance of not only core brand messaging, but also the packaging, right. So you know, at that time, you know, in the late 2000s, close to 2000 10s, there Frito lays, you know, was looking to gain greater market share into their female audience and what they're found, what they found, when they ran, you know, studies brain studies is that the packaging was actually done in a, in a nice, shiny type of format, right, and that would activate an area of the brain that was, you know, responsible for decision making, but also guilt. So that, you know, revealed that there was an association happening in the brains of the female participants that whenever, you know, their participants would view shiny, their current shiny for delays package that would also, you know, trigger feelings of guilt eating it, right. So in order for them to, to actually, you know, create a different, a much more positive association, they change their packaging from a shiny style to a more beige and matte style. And what they found when they when they actually conducted brain studies was there's a dramatic reduction in that same area. So now that with that indicated, or suggested that, you know, that the responses from their female participants was a lot more positive to the new packaging. Interesting. Yeah.   Roy Barker  09:32 Amazing how our brain works, and just something so subtle can make such a huge, big   Felix  09:36 difference, right? It's a huge nudge for sure.   Roy Barker  09:39 Yeah. And, you know, you mentioned females and not to pick on them, but I'm sure that consumer goods because they're in the grocery store, typically shopping, I'm sure that consumer goods do a lot of studies, you know, based on females. Mm hmm. Yeah. Well,   Felix  09:55 when we look at it like females, in general, you know, in terms of decision making, for purchasing, it could be as high as 80%. So they're the really main drivers when it comes to, you know, making a lot of the consumer choices, right. And, you know, this is this is very important in terms of, you know, there's a lot of similarities in terms of brain structure, but there's also some, some common are some, some differences that play into the decision making process that companies should be aware of, right. And some of them are, some of these basic brain structures are the limbic system. So that system is more involved in let's say, things such as emotions, memories, and, you know, and social situations, right. So the, the way that that plays out in terms of the the world of marketing is that when, let's say, for example, a company that is looking to, let's say, put out an ad that's targeted more towards female, one of the biggest thing is social harmony, for example, because that part of the brain, the limbic system, you know, one of its core functions is to evaluate things on a social situation. And, and from an evolutionary point of view, as well, that's actually increases the chances of mercy gathering food, for example, to bring back to the family or for childbearing, where even to the day, you know, you have playdates and you have moms coming together. And all that stuff is really the genesis of you know, that that part of the brain that looks at things from, from a social point of view, right, so for a company to come in and create, let's say, an ad, to really want to emphasize that social aspect, and, and show let's say, you know, people in close proximity, but to take that even a notch hires to actually have the, let's say, the people in the ad actually physically touching each other, because that actually activates what we call oxytocin, which is a near, which is a hormone that is responsible for bonding. Right? So this is something that's very common when, let's say, a mother has a baby.   Roy Barker  12:08 No, during that time. Interesting. So I guess there's, well, there used to be an old saying that said that we buy on emotion, and then we justify with logic, right? Still pretty much hold true.   Felix  12:24 Yeah, absolutely. Like one of the things is, there's something called bottom up process processing. So everyone understands or is familiar with left and right brain, right. So left is more logical, right is like more of the creative side, but really, the flow of information. So this is very important that that to mention, as well as understanding how the brain is structured, and how information physically enters the brain. So a lot of that will actually support, you know, the whole notion of buying based on emotion and then backing up based on logic, right, so the flow from the bottom up is actually at the base of your brain is, you know, you really have your reptilian brain, right, or your physical brain, because so that's really responsible, you know, it's, it's fast, impulsive, reflexive, and it's really responsible for your fight or flight type of responses, right? So information goes from that to assess situations that are, let's say, a threat or non threat to the individual. And let's say it passes from there into the next level, which is the midbrain limbic system that we touched on that was more deals with emotions, memories, and social situation. So research and look at things from you know, like, from an emotional point of view, what kind of associates you haven't, that you have good memories, or thoughts of something of the stimuli. And then who else is kind of using this kind of thing, right, and then it passes on to finally the last part of the brain, which is the cortex, and that's your logical part of the brain. So I started to look at things from like a statistical point of view figures, facts and things like that. So when you actually see how that path of information gets gets traveled, at first, that's where the emotion kind of comes in at the midbrain. And then let's say that's all it makes a purchase and then it finally gets to the last part of the brain to receive information which is the cortex and that's the logical part. Yeah,   Roy Barker  14:13 I think I was just thinking about Car and Truck advertising and the difference because typically you know the woman would drive the car right but you see like you said the touching you usually see I'm taking a lot of times children to events are dropping out of school. But then when we you know you never see on like a gas split in a injector fuel injector open and saying, hey, look at the flow of this thing. Exactly. But when we talk about the trucks, I guess targeting men in the group is you know, it's a lot more about the power and how tough it is, you know, dropping stuff in the bed of it not too many people hugging and you know,   Felix  14:56 doing all the 100% right. If you're looking towards something that's gravitating more to the social concept, then then of course, it's more like, Oh, we, you want to buy this SUV, because you could fit the family in there. And you have more space for, let's say, the baby stroller so to speak. But, you know, for for, let's say, the male demographic, you know, that might be important as well. But it's also, you know, like, Can I take this off roading? Right, like, so it's kind of like a different type of approach, even though there is crossover. But, you know, probably off roading is on the mind of most male consumers who are looking at bigger vehicles, especially trucks. Right, exactly.   Roy Barker  15:37 So, you know, it's we're in an interesting time coming out of the pandemic. have, have you noticed any? Are there any large consumer shifts that are happening? Or is everybody still kind of holding back kind of still wait and see attitude right this moment?   Felix  15:56 Yeah, that's a good question. I think right now, it's a maybe a combination of both, I think, from the consumer point of view, you know, it seems like they like the consumers want to go out and actually experience life, again, and from a business point of view, of course, they're looking to make up for that revenue, but also at the same time being very strategic in terms of how they reopen. So it's a little bit of this Dad's going on, because nobody knows what's gonna happen, you know, in the next foreseeable future.   Roy Barker  16:27 Yeah, there was a story not like, yes, this week or last week about that, that, you know, while everybody was home, and stranded, a lot of home improvement projects. Yeah, that the airlines have opened, backed up, people have like, ditched the home improvement project   Felix  16:43 and jumped on the plane to go wherever they wanted to go. Right. Yeah, I remember reading about that, as well. So it's, it's quite a, it's quite changed. And I think that everybody wants to kind of have things returned back to normal as much as possible.   Roy Barker  16:56 Yeah. Yeah. And it's a and the other thing, I think, you know, for our businesses out there, they've been struggling with some staff shortages in places, also some of their raw materials shortage, is that right? You know, in talking about home builders, the price of lumber has just skyrocketed. But anyway, even the local restaurants, we were talking about the, you know, ingredients in some restaurants that have been short. So, I mean, the businesses are dealing with a lot of challenges. Mm hmm.   Felix  17:31 Yeah, there's a lot of things on the on, you know, that's on the radar for sure, dealing with, you know, like workers, you know, employment, can you bring in the labor force to come in and run the business, and all the way through to, you know, like, the materials to actually create the consumer product. And then, and also, you know, people are probably are in a different state of mind, as well, as they make this transition into more of the social world, if you want to call it real life, social world. So there's a lot of different, you know, variables that come into things, as you know, we approached the next stage here.   Roy Barker  18:11 Yeah. And, you know, we were talking earlier, you mentioned grass and your rotation. And, you know, I see that in some consumers, it's, it's a trying time, because it's like, some people are trying to open up and get back to normal, and maybe it's not happening as fast for them. Right? I think if you're the, you're the neuroscientist that can really give the answer. But do you think that there's like a lot of pent up frustration and anxiety that consumers are kind of bringing into this time period?   Felix  18:44 Well, definitely, like when we look at it from, you know, a neuroscience point of view that the primal brain, you know, is certainly in a heightened state or a much more heightened state of, let's say, anxiety, anxiety, uncertainty, due to all the turbulence that's happening, right. So, really, when you look at the brand, so the brand is this a verb, our emotional state, is to really help the consumer come to a level where it alleviates a lot of those, let's say stress is if you want to call it that, right. So that's the main goal of, you know, of a brand to help return that level of normalcy, so that they could, you know, just have some sense of satisfaction and fulfillment, which is something that has been, you know, highly affected over the last probably year and a half during that time. And, and, and there's, there's certain, of course, a certain ways like on a one to one interaction or, and so forth of how that would affect, let's say, a business in terms of how to, you know, what, we increase the effectiveness, and we could touch on that as well. And I think, you know, we talked about sleep, being very, very important because, you know, try tries to resolving a situation when you have You know, one or both parties in an agitated state? Right, right, right, like the primal brain is, is highly active and it shuts off the cortex. So the logical the logical part of the brain goes offline. So,   Roy Barker  20:16 no, I was just gonna saying, I think that we can even talk a little bit about how businesses really need to take care of their employees through this time. Because, you know, companies that are short of people, the people that do show up there, right, you know, from candy cane, and right, get tired, and then it just takes one little lag, Hey, you got that order wrong. And it's like, you know, it's, it's unnecessary, I understand why it happens. But if we, as employers, we need to not only monitor our employees, make sure they're getting their rest or have their chance to get even right, say, I'm fine, I can do another double. At some point, we have to, you know, be the logical one and say, Look, you really need to rest before bad. And, you know, we noticed this in, I used to do a lot of work in the senior living industry and be like in a nursing home environment. And what we noticed was that, that was when staff tended to be more abusive, not necessarily physical, but more short with the residents or verbally abusive, when they had worked a couple of double shifts, there's not enough staff, they know, they're going to have to keep doubling, they're missing their bright family events, and that their agitation level just was increases. Yeah, it's just right on the cusp. So any little thing would just put them over the edge. And I think that we're not seeing it wholesale. But I think that if we're not careful, we will see a lot of that, you know, in some industries out there today,   Felix  21:53 that's a great, great point that you brought up in terms of being overworked, burned out, and not having time to spend less time with loved ones. And friends. And from a company point of view that this obviously, meal, there's ways to support, let's say, your employees and your and the people that work with you, that really make the company run. And as I mentioned, one is sleep. And the reason why that's so is it does several things, it's it actually prunes the pathways in the brain, and really and strengthen the ones that that are in use. So what that does is, it pretty much clears the highway from for like neurons to speak to each other. So So what it does is, when someone's in a confused state, it's easy to get agitated. So sleep really kind of opens up these highways, so that the you know, the cells within the brain can communicate with each other, which reduces the chances of someone getting frustrated, right. So that's why getting adequate sleep really, really matters because it strengthens, you know, really highways that are important, and really reduces or cleans out the ones that are not in use, right. So that's one reason. The second reason why you know, it's important to get a good rest is it, it actually allows the brain to consolidate what you learn in that day. So your memories get strengthened. So it moves it from an area called the hippocampus, which is kind of like your short term and medium term memory. And then it gets transported to your cortex for long term storage if you want. So that way, when I say, the next day you wake up well rested, it's the exact same idea where someone does not feel agitated, because their thoughts are a lot more clear on what they need to do. Right. So that's the power the neuroscience behind you know, the importance of good sleep, you know, the other one actually is taking walks being around nature. And what it does is it calms the the primal brain by actually strengthening the cortex, which in this case, it's like if you just see as an organization, you have the executive team, like the leadership team, that lets you communicate with Mr. frontline workers. And if if the leadership team is all in disarray, then you can bet that, you know, the workers underneath are going to do whatever they want. And before you know, you just have a big mass, right, so by having a very, very strong leadership team that could actually help, you know, communicate effectively with their workers, then you have you know, something that is a much more well run organization. And that's what happens when the say taking walks or being around nature is that part of the brain or the leadership team becomes a lot more strengthened. And it's able to regulate the primal brain, you know, a lot more effectively. Right? So those are two big things to keep in mind. The third thing is having support programs that facilitate you know, being social even having fun outside of work. I think that's building that rebuilding that camaraderie again, I had been missing for the last year and a half. So by buying those things, as you know, that's how companies could support their workers. Yeah. And   Roy Barker  25:05 what about stimulus? I was just thinking, because sometimes it, it kind of acts like lack of sleep for me is that if you're in a heavy stimulus environment, you just got things coming at you got the questions and this and always, you know, having to kind of be on on your step thinking about this next thing, right? If we have a lot of that in a short period of time that can I, I'm asking as a question, does that act, kind of like, you know, going for a long time without getting any sleep that it just wears our brain down?   Felix  25:39 Yeah, 100%, because at the end of the day, our brains need time to rest and recover. Right? So burnout is, you know, it's a likely scenario. So during that time, there's only so many second wins that someone could get. Right. So it's the same idea. So even though you know, the person may be going off of, let's say, adrenaline, and all the other good stuff, but but what ends up happening is, it becomes a law of diminishing returns as well. So even though let's say, there's just much more benefit to let's say, study for, you know, a short period of time than just dragging it out, and not sleeping for three days and pulling all nighters, even though if you look at the time itself, it's like, well, someone dedicated, you know, let's say, 20 hours over three days, but they're not going to remember anything, because as I mentioned before, during sleep, that's how your memories and your learning gets consolidated. Right? So there's this kind of like this, this middle ground, that that needs to happen in terms of optimize, optimizing someone's, you know, thought process and regulating their emotions. Yeah.   Roy Barker  26:41 Yeah. Like you said, that what works for me well, is that walk, sometimes just taking a little 15 minute walk, it makes a world of difference to just kind of clear your head. And, you know, I know, there's a lot of research on the creative part, too, is that, you know, we cannot be creative. When we're constantly being bombarded with stimulus. We have to have that quiet. Yeah. To think and be creative.   Felix  27:06 100% agree with you on that. Yeah, those those walks? I mean, they're so valuable, it seems, you know, it's 20 1520 minutes, but they, but what it does on a neurological level on the brain, is, it's significant. Yeah. Right. So it's, yeah, it This allows, you know, clear thinking allows the primal brain to be a lot more regulated and under control, and rather than have it like, act as a loose cannon, and that's when a lot of the kind of irrational behaviors happen where, you know, it just takes a little to put someone over the top. Yeah.   Roy Barker  27:39 Right. So I think you mentioned, maybe it was pre show, or last time we talked that stress can actually reduce parts of the brain is that did I get that? Right?   Felix  27:52 Yeah, that's pretty much what it is. So right now, obviously, for for some people, you know, that's a reality, right? So based on all the different circumstances, and on a brain level, what ends up happening is we talked about the cortex, which is like the leadership executive team, right. So stress actually reduces the amount of area they called gray, or gray area, or this thing, that that part of the brain, let's say, your executive team, you know, shrinks pretty much, so they're there. And then what ends up happening is there's a part of the brain called the amygdala, which is your kind of your emotion, area of the brain that's found in the midbrain, or midbrain, your primal brain, and that's where a lot of your fears and that kind of stuff comes out, that area to actually grow gets bigger. So you have this executive team at the top, kind of shrink. And then you have the the megillah, which is your emotions, and one of its fear. You know, there's a big imbalance here. So that so that's why, you know, stress has a has a big effect on, you know, the the areas the brain, and that's one way to look at as a comic, the power of balance of a shrinking executive team and a growing, you know, a growing base underneath it that without control is, is acts like a loose cannon.   Roy Barker  29:06 Yeah. Yeah. And I know, this is kind of off topic from sales and marketing. But I guess I think it's important because of the damage, you know, if we're not careful, if we don't think all this through the drain that we can do to our company to our brand, that can be permanent. I mean, sometimes we don't get out from under that. If we've got staff that's on the ragged edge, and maybe they don't treat our customers, right. And then, you know, we've got, again, Alaska says a question, but it seems that we have a little bit more of the canceled culture, right, and go on. So it's like, if if I come into your establishment and I feel like you've wronged me, then I'm like, I am never going back and I'm telling everybody, you know, I'm telling all my friends never go back. You know, sometimes it amounts to something. Sometimes it doesn't, but really, as a business owner, you In the fragile environment that we're operating in, right, this moment, you just can't really chance any of that. Right?   Felix  30:07 Yeah, so the Catholic culture is, especially now that everybody pretty much has the voice on social media and on the internet, right. So that's, so for a company, it's, it's almost like you, the way they'll look at is the reason why that really exists. And really, it's a kind of like a dichotomy of polar opposites, as they say, right, like, it's big contrast between A and B, for example, but to really get down to it is to really break out this us versus them type of thinking, is the final way to make you know, as, as the your consumer base as inclusive as possible in different circles. So really, you're expanding your click to these different areas of value, that also overlap with the consumer. So before it would be, for example, was this based on product, you someone would go to a company, and they would really, really like the product. And then and then that's how kind of like the relationship was built on. But now as we see it, and brands are now offering to extend and deal with more social matters, for example, you know, equality, gender, all that stuff now. So now it's like, you know, companies that go beyond just okay, we provide the best products and services, so come to us and, and your value it to now it's like, okay, we probably provide the best price and services. But also, we understand that, okay, this is some of your values as well, we share some of those values. So that's something that's becoming really important as the company is expanding, kind of like their web of values, right. So that it starts to, you know, really get connected with their consumers as more of a whole rather than just product service by   Roy Barker  31:48 relationship. Yeah, it's funny, you mentioned that because I just did an interview with an author, land, Yap, she wrote, The altruistic capitalist, okay, you know, basically, you know, what we were talking about is, you know, these companies are getting squeezed on three sides, the consumer wants him to be socially, environmentally, socially, and management responsible, but investors are actually asking for that same thing. And now, employees are kind of stepping up and wanting that same thing. So companies are, you know, they're really gonna get squeezed into doing the right things. And, you know, it's just a matter of making sure that we develop some checks and balances, because, you know, one of my questions always is, and I can tell you, I'm environmentally sensitive, while I'm, you know, porn, you know, toxic waste out the back door here. So, you know, it's easy, sometimes it's easier said than done.   Felix  32:47 Exactly. I think as you brought some really good points there in terms of that would be more of an accountability, accountability issue, right? When you know, somebody, or let's say, an entity or a brand, for example, a company or business mentions that they're going to do a certain task, do they actually carry out with it? Right. And, you know, social media is, that's one of the things that has enabled people the ability to self express themselves and brands to have social identities as well. And that's how, you know, the ability to communicate effectively. And I think that's where the key is that the communication options, all those channels are, there's now how, from a brand point of view, how did they communicate with their consumers, based on let's say, carrying through ensuring accountability for what it is that they had mentioned? Right, and broadcast to the public?   Roy Barker  33:40 Yep, had one other question kind of back on the council on the canceled culture, and kind of this maybe like a heightened state of agitation that right, people are in for, you know, what we all the uncertainties that we've talked about. So it's part of this lack of an illusion of control issues that things have been so out of everybody's control. It's, these things have been forced on us for the last year. So now I've got some control to write get on social media and I realized social media, the reach that we have there has influenced it some but do we? Do you think that it's part of this trying to gain a little bit of control back of our life?   Felix  34:24 I think I think that's the goal for pretty much anybody. Right? wouldn't wouldn't really look at I think what has happened has this kind of open the doors to more what was really going on? And then But, yeah, that's, you know, in terms of that sense of control, it's, it could be just, you know, can I communicate with this person? Could I share my ideas, right, so, that's something I don't think will ever ever change is is now there's a lot more opportunities and channels to share and to express. You know, what someone is feeling I'm thinking so in terms of that is this, you know, that's just the way that we're, we're moving in terms of, you know, a wide platform for people to communicate. But there's also things that come out of it, where, obviously, you know, they would have to be, you know, there's certain things that that comes with, like the good part, like the positives and negatives of, of any situation. Right. So is this a matter of how do we navigate this, to make sure people are still heard, but done in a way that continues to move our society forward?   Roy Barker  35:34 Yeah. And I've always communicated with businesses as a consumer, because, you know, a lot of times I feel like the business may not know what's going wrong, right? They're not necessarily their own customer every day. So sometimes it just doesn't hurt to politely I'll stress, I politely, you know, reach out to the company and say, Hey, I had this experience. And then if, if they're good, and they do what they're supposed to by saying, well, we probably made a mistake, let me know, we'll fix it. That's awesome. You know, but, again, we've talked a little bit about reviews and things like that. Don't throw gasoline on that when either and, you know, just started Yeah, well, you're pretty bad consumer. So yeah, right. Because I have seen those where it's like, you know, somebody reaches out with what may be a legitimate issue. And the business owner just goes crazy on them   Felix  36:26 exactly what it comes down, as you mentioned, to to accountability as well, right for the for a bow, but it's almost like, the way to see is it the responsibility lies on all parties involved. So at the end of the day, a company can only control what they can control this, like in real life, an individual could only control what they can control. So so the approach needs to be a very holistic approach where it takes in all these different factors and variables, rather than singling one variable out, and saying that, hey, we fixed this, everything else is going to fall in this place. But here, as you mentioned, you know, there's a lot of a lot of changes that are happening, or that has happened over the last a year and a half, that are influencing the way that people think feel and expressing themselves. So so the, you know, the concept needs to take in all those different, all those different drivers. And then find the best way to make all make everything align as best as possible. So that as a unit, or as a collective unit. It moves from in the direction that you want it to come rather than Okay, you fix one thing, but then the muffler falls off, for example, right. So there's different aspects to the situation that has a much greater chance of success when they're addressed together.   Roy Barker  37:43 Yeah, yeah, there's a good technique, it's called something about the difference between how you how you react and how you respond, you know, we can take that all in. But if we'll take about 234, breaths before we actually respond, sometimes we'll be much better off in the long run for that.   Felix  38:03 Exactly. That's a great point, there's actually a book and maybe that's what you're alluding to, by Mel Robbins written in 2017, called the five second rule. And that's, that's probably where, you know, there's probably connection between that, but it was pretty much saying that, you know, confronted with a situation, instead of this acting out, really quick, take take the time to count backwards 54321. Because what that does, that actually, you know, allocates the blood from that agitated part of the brain, where it's so easy to just like, you know, lash out at somebody back into the cortex, so it turns it back on, and then it turns the logical side of the, you know, the process back and then from there on, you know, it could be one step to reducing an impulsive action, for example, but it also works the other way, where if someone's in the, let's say, Stage or Stage of procrastination, also, counting down from five will, will bring the blood flow back into the cortex, and then that would be the moment to act otherwise, you know, nobody's going to take any action. And, you know, things get procrastinate or delayed for X amount of time. Right. So, so same idea there, but the neurosciences, well, how are you? How are you allocating the blood flow from one area of the brain to the next, in order to really turn on the part of the brain that you need to work? Well, that's   Roy Barker  39:29 cool. I'm gonna try that. I need to take the trash out after a while. I'm gonna do that and see if I can get motivated.   Felix  39:35 Yeah, exactly. So so there's different things and you know, the, the primal brain and the logical brain. It's almost like this tug of war, because the primal brain wants things now, it's almost like a little kid, right? Once it's now it's impulsive. Whereas the logical brain is like the grown up adult, for example, or the parent, and they're more in the private brain or the logical brain is more long term thinking. So it's a matter of, you know, how do you come up with strategies To make them work together very similar to your situation with, you know, you're taking businesses with, you know, consumers and so forth. And everyone is having this big conversation with each other. And then, but making sure that the conversations are, are, you know, very valuable and an effective right in terms of moving things in the right direction, as opposed to just, you know, talking about a bunch of things and then adding more, more powder to the to the keg, if you want to call it   Roy Barker  40:27 you're at. Yeah, so what are some, let's look at the some, as we open up, a lot of let's just kind of stick with restaurants for a minute, because some of them have kind of limited menus for cut it down to be more manageable, they're still doing a lot of takeout, and they still encourage a lot of takeout. I know that, you know, we've had places around here that, you know, they just have to close the dining room down because they don't have staff to staff. But what are some things that businesses can do to, I guess, to be proactive with the consumer about it? I don't know coaxing them back or, you know, trying to write need to let them know kind of what's going on. So that doesn't have to turn into a thing everybody can understand, not the way we want to operate. Unfortunately, we just have to operate this way.   Felix  41:21 Yeah, so the number one thing is obviously to make it safe. if let's say you're a restaurant, and you have a dining room. That's the number one thing, right? So let's say that there's a restaurant that's open. And they want to encourage people to come that they know it's going to be safe, but also quipped at the same time, they're not sitting there waiting for you know, two hours to get a seat. So they're gonna have to have the restaurants gonna have some sort of system in place to facilitate that. That just that that traffic, let's say gets really, really busy. Because the last thing, especially right now is have a have a waiting consumer, because our primal brain already, he goes, look, I want Now's my opportunity to get out and then have some sort of social life other than this thing at home for the last 18 months. But now let's see, they get there. And then and then they find out that they have to now wait another half an hour, two hours, or whatever it is like that is going to really take someone over the edge. Right. So So what, you know, one of the things is this having processes in place, where it could help facilitate kind of like that, that type of traffic if or even, you know, one of the one of the restaurants is one thing they could do is assuming they have the resources, is that shakes bad and their patio. Yeah. Right. So that's something that you know, like, because chances are most restaurants, they can't just knock down a wall. And then like put more tables in there. But the patio assuming that there's space there, that's a much more cost efficient way to add more chairs. That would be instead of, you know, without doing that needed, the customer that waits there for two hours now only has to know that the waiting times a lot shorter, right.   Roy Barker  42:57 Yeah, and we've seen around here, some that have even taken up some of their parking space, you know, they have enough extra parking against some of those front parking spaces and setting up tents and outside   Felix  43:07 darkly doing those, those things that will make a big difference for the customer experience. Right. And obviously, you know, everybody has kind of been inside for the last year and a half is Yeah, is is now will continue to, to market and to get the front of mine again. Right. So that's gonna be huge thing in terms of, you know, being being on the radar again.   Roy Barker  43:31 Yeah, yeah. And I think communication, we can't over stress that enough, as we just have a good open line of communication and the gym that I go to, they actually put a meter on the little, you have an app that you have to show the card when you walk in the door, but they put a little meter on it to show how crowded it is. Right? You know, and I think that was pretty cool. Because he can evaluate even if you want to go over there or not, let's just don't even think about the COVID process for a minute just you know, want to go to crowded gym and stand around and wait to get on machine. So it allows a customer to be a little bit more informed. And you know, some of these restaurants would do good at just being honest. And you know, some of them think that they're doing there. Some of them think that they're being a little bit tricky by saying, Oh, yeah, well, just 15 minutes, but you know, when 15 turns in 45 then all you've done is really make some people mad.   Felix  44:31 Exactly. So that's actually really neat to hear that the the gym that you go to actually has that type of neuroscience is called biometrics. It's almost like oh, what's your heart rate? Right or like that's what is or the dilation of the people are people for example, or you know, for instruments that are measuring this kind of like your physiological reaction and responses to stimuli. So from the outside, for example, you know, in the in the medical field, let's say in the operation room, you know that they would hook you up to those machines, and they'll show you your heart rate so, so you would know how the person is actually where they're at, on a physiological level. So the same thing applies not to those of the gym or the restaurant, where people know, there's some sort of indication or external indicator that says all this restaurants like 90%, full, for example. So that's going to impact whether someone's okay with coming there, know that they're gonna wait a long time or being like, okay, you know, what, maybe I'm gonna have to have a look at another, another option, right? And that's one of the reasons why Uber and no log companies follow suit is to have, you're able to track your Uber driver, because that eliminates the stress of, you know, where's my food? Right, it eliminates that fear, right? So it brings that level of certainty and be like, Oh, you know, like, the food is only five minutes away, and so forth. It's, that's, that's a similar type of concept. When it comes to Oh, this restaurant is, you know, 80% 90% full? Do I want to go here or not? Yeah.   Roy Barker  46:02 Right. And that applies to a lot of things. And I just, I'll use me, for example, is, you know, you want to be patient, and you want to wait, so let's take food delivery, it's like, they said, it'd be here in 20 minutes, okay, it's been 30. But you know, what, they're behind traffic, we've got all this stuff. And so you can be patient. And then all of a sudden, when you're at 45 minutes, you're like, Hey, we're, you know, it's kind of like, there's this line where you're patient, you're bright. But you never know, you know, when do I when do I not be patient? When do I pick up the phone and give somebody a call and don't want to rush them? Right? Let there's external circumstances. And so this is, again, backward communication, and, you know, implementing whatever we can try and help that customer understand where they are in their journey. It just, it's invaluable. Oh, exactly. So   Felix  46:55 you know, having some sort of system that will let someone know, almost like an ordering system, for example, you're at the back, working and creating the the meals, there's some sort of timeline? Like, if you look at fast food restaurant, for example, they'll let you know, hey, like in 60 seconds, where should it be along the way? Pretty much. And the same thing would apply from a consumer point of view, when they're looking to engage with the company, right? It's kind of like, I'm waiting in line here, what position on my end line, you know, and then the groceries are in the earlier like, they I think they removed that system was everybody used to take a ticket? You remember that? Oh, you wanted you wanted your favorite cold cut? meats, for example, here's the machine and take a number, we'll call your number. So at least you like, you know, it's very straightforward. It's hard to say, hey, look up before you write if someone's holding a ticket with it with a number closer to be in front of line, so it's a similar idea.   Roy Barker  47:48 I'm like, yeah, that back. That's pretty good. Except it backfired at the driver's license office, you know, when you walk up there, and you see the click, and like, they're on number 10. And you pull, like, number 312? off of the machine.   Felix  48:01 Yeah, so there's always gonna be some sort of variation, right? Where, where it could work for or, in that case, you know, a lot of people, because they're not too excited to renew, to do those tasks. But but if someone goes, Oh, look, I'm moving up in the light. And I know that, hey, I'm gonna, let's say, finally get seated and have a meal, then the type of anticipation is different, right. So there's different what's happening is the dopamine is the activities, the two different activities or have a different impact on the dopamine levels. Right.   Roy Barker  48:33 Well, Felix, we appreciate you taking time out of your day to come talk with us. This is all great information. I just, you know, I think that this is such an interesting discipline. And it's needed. I mean, you know, as sales and as marketing, we want to be able to reach our customers, give them the message and write all the activities that we need to do, you know, in order to make that a pleasant experience, for sure. Perfect.   Felix  48:59 Well, yeah, it's, you know, it's always a pleasure to speak with you right to be on your podcast, and I'm absolutely privileged to be a returning guest on here. And I hope that our conversation here is gonna provide a lot of insights to help your listeners in their entrepreneurial journey.   Roy Barker  49:18 Yeah, yeah, it will. And I'll do like I did last time, I'll, you know, extend an invitation to get you back on here and two or three. So you kind of, you know, how this environment has changed. And, you know, if there's anything that as businesses that we need to be doing, you know, a little bit different to take care of, you know, the other thing we talked a lot about prospects, but also to take care of our current customers. I mean, that's, yeah, that's an important thing. Sometimes we, you know, and I'm, I'm guilty of that we think about how we're going to get the next new guy and we're not thinking about taking care of the people. God already. That's   Felix  49:52 a really that's really good one is there. That's why they're a customer, right? It's it would make sense to take care of them. So I think that goes a huge way and the consumer, the customer, and they'll definitely remember that.   Roy Barker  50:05 Yeah. All right, well, tell us give us another tool or another habit, he was something that you do every day, that really adds a lot of value to your life, either professionally or personally,   Felix  50:19 I would say, meditating, meditating even for 1015 minutes, you know, it is certainly has a way to rewire the brain makes things a lot more calmer, clears up the thinking. And that's something that will, you know, generally what I found my personal experience to impact how the rest of the goes, right. So, you know, personally, that's something that has been effective for in my own life. And, you know, hopefully, that will encourage some people to try that and then see how it affects, you know, their life moving forward. Yeah,   Roy Barker  50:52 I'm pretty new at this. I've been trying it. And one thing I implemented was in the evening, too, because it gives me a little bit of separation from whatever I was doing until, you know, trying to lay down and sleep exactly, head. But, you know,   Felix  51:06 what I have to say is, I am not good at it. And I find myself some days being all over the place, but I think it's one of these things, you just have to stay after it. Yeah, you just practice, right? Like, there's no easy way around it. Like as much as we like to take, you know, some sort of accelerated shortcut, it isn't a matter of, you know, it's like, typically, if you know, a baby's getting born, it needs nine months. Yeah, thing, right. So let's say anything rushing it. It does, it does, it does, like it typically does not work as well as we'd like to like it to.   Roy Barker  51:39 Yeah, and the other thing, I'm gonna start, I've heard this last week is a guy that he actually implemented a little, maybe not, you know, 10 minutes, but maybe two or three of meditation and breathing in between when switching tasks. And I thought, wow, that's an awesome idea. Because I've never thought of that, you know, you're fully engaged in whatever you're doing. And you have to stop and try to engage. And it takes just a little bit of time to make that transition. So anyway, that's I think that's really cool.   Felix  52:09 Yeah, that's very similar to the whole idea of taking naps throughout the day, rather than just having a big sleep a night. Right. So yeah, so it's this on a micro scale, is kind of like these mini meditation sessions in between each, each task to allow the brain maybe to make sense of all the different activities and kind of create some sort of barrier, so it doesn't get all mushed together, right.   Roy Barker  52:36 Actually, I saw Sorry, I'm gonna ask you one more question. Yeah, absolutely. No, there just was actually a I read a piece just the other day about napping in the afternoon. Again, I don't know. It's trying to make a resurgence, you know, make a resurgence. But they were just saying, you know, how much more productive that we could be? Right, by taking I think it said like a 30 minute nap. Which depending on that?   Felix  53:00 Well, there are studies, I believe in Europe, that's a quite common practice. I can't remember the specific country so but but from what I recall, and of course, we could always look at is Sweden, the highly encourage that. And it seems to maybe have the same effect, as you know, that the one tip, which is to have those kind of like mini naps, or meditation sessions in between, right, and allows like the brain to kind of recharge itself instead of just going full throttle for so long. So so it's so it's like, it's really a way for the brain is to contact brakes. Now, so that could begin to like kind of recharge, you know, consolidate the the memories and so forth. And, and then get going again, because, you know, as much as we'd like to go at 100%. You know, that's a that's a fast way to go to Burnham. Oh, two.   Roy Barker  54:00 Right. Alright, Felix, I certainly appreciate it. We'll get you back on here. And we can talk a lot more as a lot of great information for our audience for sure.   Felix  54:09 Excellent. You bet.   Roy Barker  54:10 So that's gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course, you can find us at We're on all the major podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify, we're not a one that you listened to please reach out I'd be glad to get it added and make it easier for your listening. Also, we're on all the major social media platforms, probably hanging out on Instagram a little bit more than anywhere else. So reach out there. We'd love to interact with you. A video of this interview will go up on our YouTube channel, so be sure and check that out when the episode goes live. Until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business. Happy Buying Brain Website Listen to more great episodes of The Business of Business Podcast here
55:01 11/17/2021
How To Scale Your Business With Facebook and Instagram Ads That Convert
How To Scale Your Business With Facebook and Instagram Ads That Convert Featuring Shelby Fowler If you are looking to scale your business today you can't discount the value of advertising on channels like Instagram and Facebook. Learn how to develop and run ads that convert About Shelby Shelby Fowler is a Facebook and Instagram ads expert, creator of Fempire Ads Academy, and the founder and CEO of Fempire Media. She started Fempire Media, an ads agency, in 2019 after freelancing as a digital marketer for years. She has grown the company to multiple six figures in the first 2 years and is passionate about serving clients, teaching ads, and encouraging her team. In late 2020, Shelby launched Fempire Ads Academy to empower female entrepreneurs to run their own profitable Facebook and Instagram ads. Every month, members get all the tools and support they need to scale their business with ads. Outside of business, Shelby is a mom of 2 girls, a crazy-awesome cook, lover of real housewives (and all things Bravo), and a true-crime fan   Full Transcript Below How To Scale Your Business With Facebook and Instagram Featuring Shelby Fowler Fri, 7/23 12:06PM • 48:46 SUMMARY KEYWORDS ads, people, business, clients, instagram, run, spend, shelby, industry, customer, lifetime value, figure, sell, pay, money, brand awareness, leads, video, posts, facebook SPEAKERS Shelby, Roy Barker   Roy Barker  00:00 Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests and that can talk to a diverse set of topics. Hopefully we can either point something out that you aren't doing that can really help you add some success, or we can. If something is keeping you up at night, we can provide you some answers and some awesome professionals that can help you out to kind of get you back on the right track again. Today we're excited to have Shelby Fowler. She is a Facebook and Instagram ads expert. She is the creator of Fempire Ads Academy and the founder and CEO of Fempire Media. She started Fempire Media as an ads ads agency in 2019. After freelancing as a digital marketer for years, she has grown the company to multiple six figures in the first two years and is passionate about serving clients teaching ads and encouraging her team. In late 2020. Shelby launched Fempire Ads Academy to empower female entrepreneurs to run their own profitable Facebook and Instagram ads every month. Members get all the tools and support they need to scale their business with ads. Outside of business. Shelby's a mom of two girls a crazy awesome cook, lover of Real Housewives and all things Bravo and a true crime fan. Shelby, thanks for taking time out of your day. And welcome to the show.   Shelby  00:00 Thank you for having me.   Roy Barker  00:00 Yeah, you bet. Yeah, we kind of bonded over the true crime fan. fan myself, so that's awesome. Well, tell us a little bit about how you got here is, you know, is Facebook and Instagram ads? Is that kind of something that you've been interested in for a long time? Did you kind of take that path where it just kind of came up on you?   Shelby  01:57 Yeah, kind of just came upon me, I was doing a lot of marketing for restaurants and salons, doctors offices, and everything from web design, to social media management to ads, like you name it, I was an and like, just in, in house promotions, like I was doing an event like I was doing kind of all the things. And what I learned pretty quickly was that I really liked doing the ads, I just at the time didn't know people like specialized in that I just honestly didn't know people could do only that. So what I loved about it was, and with clients, we would see, social media takes a long time to see results. Like it's a lot about consistency. And, and time. And with ads, we could see quick results. And it was nice to be able to see the fruits of my labor, like, you know, for for social media and a lot of other marketing. It's really the long game, which is powerful. It's just a lot of times I wouldn't be able to see the fruit of my labor. So I fell in love with it. And then once I realized that I could specialize in it. I met a few people that like Well, yeah, we we own ad agencies. And I was like no way you can do that. And so I really began to pivot at that point and really specialize a nation on that area.   Roy Barker  03:29 Oh, that's cool. Yeah. You know, I think it takes a special technique. I'll just write down some notes for you. There's really a lot to unpack in some of your statements there. I was also going to comment on Empire, I have to say, I love love that are that is an awesome company name. But it really describes you know what you've got going on. So kudos on figuring that one out. Thank you. Yeah, I mean, it's tough. You know, it's always you always want to find a name that sticks with people. That's not too complicated. But that's a little bit out of the norm. And I think you accomplish that on that. So that's awesome. Thank you. Yeah, a couple things that you mentioned, I always like to start with is, you know, ads, like marketing, like a lot of things growing a business, anything we do in life. It takes time, and it takes consistency. And I think sometimes in this world today, you know, we have this instant gratification thing going on, and we forget that we and I'm not saying that you can't get lucky, there are people that put an ad out on Facebook, they get slammed life is awesome for them. But for most of us, it's just it's really that constant grind. I mean, you got to get up every day and you just got to do something number one take step and then tweak it as you go to try to find where your sweet spot is.   Shelby  04:53 There's a lot of strategy that goes into it. I think. I think we have you know, cold really made it sound like it's just this magic pill or quick fix. And of course, you hear those miraculous stories about, you know, somebody, it's like the jackpot, right? They hit the lottery. And you know, I always that it does happen, right. But But usually very rarely. And I, they don't always share what happened before they did that all of the ads that didn't work out and all the testing that was done, or that they hired an agency that has 10 years of experience, right or, or a couple years of experience, they don't really share that part of it. Right. So just to kind of it just to clarify here, it takes a lot of strategy and time to really figure out what your audience is responding to. Ultimately, if we could really just simplify this idea of Facebook and Instagram ads, it all it is, is you're getting a ton of ton more traffic to something than you would be able to do organically with with your own marketing efforts, right? And so it's going to amplify what's already happening in your business. Now, if you already have a funnel or a website that converts like crazy, or you already have an offer that people just can't get enough of and you run ads to it. Well, what do you think's gonna happen? It's gonna, of course, it's gonna blow up because you're getting on more traffic to something that's already working.   Roy Barker  06:24 Right? Yeah. And I guess the converse of that, if you've got something that's struggling, even if you drive much more traffic to it, you might have incremental growth, but it's not going to be exponential, like what you would hope it's going to be.   Shelby  06:38 Yeah, you're probably going to lose some money on advertising. Yeah.   Roy Barker  06:42 Yeah. And, you know, when we talk about strategy, oh, there's a lot of things that work together. And I noticed that, you know, you do the Facebook and Instagram, which are tied pretty closely together. So do you actually look at that, the other components of that? Or do you just focus on night, the Facebook and Instagram, and then how to integrate that into somebody else's other overall marketing plan.   Shelby  07:08 So when we when we typically work with the client, well, first, Facebook owns Instagram, so innately, when you go to create an ad, it's going to artists, as long as you have your Instagram connected as a business account, it will go to both platforms automatically. So that saves you a lot of time, right? You don't have to figure out how to like run ads on both platforms, it does it for you. Right, I will say that going into into running ads, you should already have a marketing system that's working. And you should already have a sales process that's working, because ads aren't going to fix a broken sales problem I see this a lot with especially new newer entrepreneurs, is they think, again, the ads are going to be a quick fix. And so maybe they have a sales system that is not working out really well. And they're like, well, all I need is just a bunch more leads. Well, you know, although Yeah, sometimes sales is a numbers game, right? But, I mean, if you can't close people on the phone, nothing's gonna change with 50. More.   Roy Barker  08:11 Exactly. Yeah. And you'll just be actually burning through opportunities. If you get your, if you get that sales process down. Just think about how much further along he could be with those few ads?   Shelby  08:24 Absolutely. I'm always like, figure out where the bottlenecks are in your business and in your marketing and sales before you run ads. That way, you know, what you need to fix, and then it's not, you're not wasting money, you're gonna be a lot, the ads are gonna be a lot more effective if you're doing the job on the back end. Right.   Roy Barker  08:45 Right. So if I came to you today and said, Hey, I need you to, I want you to get involved and run some ads for me count, what is that intake process? What are some things that I need to think about having answer for, you know, prior to me coming to you to make that a productive conversation?   Shelby  09:03 That's a really great question. So it's gonna depend on what type of business you own. But these are the questions I asked. And if you're hiring an ads manager, these are some things that you want to pay attention to, that they're going to ask you, right. And that is, what's your monthly revenue. And that makes people uncomfortable sometimes, but if you actually are serious about scaling your business, that shouldn't be uncomfortable, because I want to see the reason why I asked that is I want to see, are you profitable, right? are we adding ads into on to something that's already going? Well, if you tell me that you're only making a couple $1,000 a month in revenue, then I'm going to kind of ask some more questions about your process because I want to see, you know, and your growth like How long have you had along Have you been doing this and all of that because I want to see where you're at. It's not that effective to pay someone like me. A couple $1,000 a month in addition to your ad spend if you're only making a couple 1000. Right? And so, like, that's a question that I asked how much are you making off in revenue per month? Then I asked what they're wanting to run ads to, right? Because, again, you need to have something to run ads to before you, we don't just like magically run ads, it needs to go to something, whether that's a free webinar that you're providing. Or if you want to, if the if the The goal is to sell more of a course, right? You don't have to have all the answers because a good a good ad agency will help you with strategy as well, based on experience, they they know what works more than probably you do. So because they're spending people's money all the time. So trust, trust that the probably 1000s, hundreds of 1000s of dollars, they probably manage an ad spend, right? Because they're going to tell you what, like, Hey, I would do it this way, because this is what we're seeing a couple clients get really good results with. So you don't have to have all the answers. But you need to know what you want to grow or scale. Is that is that a one to one model? Are you wanting more clients? Or patients? Or, you know, what does that look like? Do you need just leads coming in? Or do you want to grow your audience more, you need to have kind of an idea? Do you have a certain offer that you want to grow? And then I will always ask what the cost is for that offer, or service that you provide. So again, I'm in my head doing a little bit of math, like, Okay, I know this is on average, the cost per lead or click for your industry, right? So I kind of do a little bit of math to make sure that you're going to be profitable running ads, I would also ask if you're going to hire somebody, ask them some questions about if they've ever run ads for your industry before, because I will tell you that there's agencies that specialize in certain types of ads. And a great example of this is e commerce ads, vastly different than ads for like coaches, right? The strategies are going to be different, it's a whole different ballgame. It's like being and I'm going to use this example. Because we can all we all know what it means. And I'm by no means relating what I do, or what my industry does to a professional, you know, medical doctor, but it's like going to a, you know, a podiatrist and being like, hey, my eyeball is really itchy. You know, and they're gonna be like, well, I could tell you all the stuff about a foot, but I don't know about your eyeball? So it's the same thing like find a find somebody who's an expert in your industry. Yeah. And and you'll probably have much better results.   Roy Barker  12:59 Yeah. Yeah, I think that's good to, to know these questions, but to also be aware, in my opinion, is that if, if there's somebody offering you a quick fix for money, and they don't ask you any questions, that's a huge red flag. Because you know, everybody, even if I'm, even if we're in the same, even if we're, you know, you mentioned beauty salons earlier. So we'll go with that. But, you know, even if different beauty salons, they may kind of focus on different things. I mean, maybe one's just the haircut place, but maybe one does more of the fancy extensions. Yeah. So asking those questions, it's very important because it can change the audience in which we are going to be or which you're going to be, you know, trying to target. Absolutely. And I assume that's another thing, that's probably a very good to give some thought to. I mean, hopefully, you gave some thought to it, you know, like, as you're working through your business, but at some point, you kind of have to think of who is my customer, as we need to know what the age group is, you know, because and also within, you can set parameters on your ads, but also it's in the messaging, I wouldn't have thought to a young 20 something the same way, you know, the same language in the same way we would talk to somebody like myself, because, you know, may say, hey, go see us on tik tok. And I'm like, What was that? You know? Yeah. So we have to be careful with that messaging.   Shelby  14:34 Absolutely. I always ask, what, where is your ideal customer or client? Where are they currently at in their life in their life or business? Like what's happening? What is their life in business? Look like right now? What are they experiencing? and becoming aware of the pain points that you solve is so important and knowing A few things like, like you said, age range and gender, like do you maybe some of you really only work with? Maybe like, we talked about the hair salon industry? Like maybe your you do hair extensions? Well, you know, sure, there's gonna be some men out there that are like, Yes, I want hair extensions, but the vast majority are going to be women. So it's best for you to spend your ad dollars probably targeting women, right? Um, and there's, I mean, there's several like men examples there, too, right? So figure out what gender and maybe it's both. Maybe you work with both, that's fine, too. But think about the gender you work with. And age range, I tell a lot of my clients, because they they come to me, many come to me, and they're like, I could really help everybody. Right? A lot of people are there you have a business that has maybe a lot of clients or customers and you're like, oh, a lot of people buy my stuff. And that's great. I want to know what age range the vast majority of your clients are coming from, and who do you enjoy working with or selling to? So I tell this to people, you know, anybody under 25, for example, you obviously are going to always have outliers, you'll always have outliers. I know some people in their early 20s that have million dollar businesses. And I'm like, Man, I wish I could have figured that out in my early 20s. Right. But there is most of the people in their early 20s. Where are they at in life? You know, they're in college, they're, or they're trying to figure life out. They're just paying off student loan debt, or they're getting their first car or their first house or, or they're still living in an apartment. They don't have a lot of money. I mean, I mean, I lived off of, you know, Taco Bell, and hopes and dreams is what I? Ramen. Yeah, ramen noodles. So, think about that, like, of course, there's gonna be outliers, but we're talking about targeting a huge amount of people. So we have to get pretty specific here. Like, what age gap? What age range Do you want to work with. So most of that is usually somewhere between 25 and, you know, 5560, something like that. Think about also technology. If you sell if you're an a SaaS company, you sell some sort of software, if you target someone over 60. Think about that. Like that may not be your ideal audience, you might want to target someone more in their 30s or 40s. Because they probably are a lot more comfortable with technology, and software. Like, you know, that's just that's just being realistic. There's, of course, always outliers, but I want you to really think about that. Who can you best serve? That would best Enjoy your product or service?   Roy Barker  17:54 Yeah, that's a good point. Even if we we have buyers from all ages and all genders, you kind of have to look at, you know, like in statistics, the bell curve, and say, Where are the majority of those coming from? And then also, you know, I can only say, like, talking about the hair salon is, you know, prior to COVID. You know, I was the, you know, the $10 cut every three or four weeks. So, even though I'm your client, I'm probably not one of your high margin clients. And so, you talked about earlier about, you know, how much does your service cost? Because we have to look at that customer acquisition costs. Yep. No, how is it really good to go spin $100 to acquire one customer that you make 15 off of now, if they are a lifetime customer, and we have, you know, a lifetime value of more than that, we can figure all that out. But Yep, you know, again, it's like, I may be that hair salons customer, but I'm not the person that they want to target. Just because I don't spend the money you want to, you know, try to get as the people that use the most services, the higher margin people that are going to spend with you too. So it's just important to think about all of those things in depth. I mean, it takes a lot of thought, but it's well worth it before you start going to spend for advertising.   Shelby  19:12 You made a really great point about knowing the lifetime value of a customer, and what are you willing to spend to acquire a customer? So what is their average order value? So, you know, if you talk about hair, like if someone if your haircut costs $10, but you know, you're doing hair extensions for 20 $500 it you know, that makes a lot more sense to get clients   Roy Barker  19:38 on Sorry. I'm not gonna be in the hair extension market, I can do that.   Shelby  19:44 That will that's where all the money is in, in the hair industry. It's hair extensions, right? It's weaves it's all it's the they have to pay for somebody else's hair to be sewn into their head. So that it's a it's you It's a higher priced. And you're targeting, again people with money, right? People that have expendable income. They're like, Yes, I want I want all this hair. Yeah. Right? So keep that in mind, like, what and what and how long now, your hair extension client, they have to get their hairs resewn back in their head every like, eight weeks. So they're coming back for and that's a couple 100 bucks, right? So think about that lifetime value of a customer? What are your margins? How much are you spending on labor? If you have an assistant or something? What are your margins? What are you willing to acquire a customer? Like, what are you willing to spend, and also, a lot of you that may have a lower priced offer, think about this, if your lifetime value of a customer is much higher, like let's say your product or service is maybe 50 bucks, okay? But people on average, the your lifetime value of a customer is more like, let's say 1000 bucks, like, let's say that you have a reusable product or service, and they have to come back and come back and come back, you might be willing to spend more than that initial cut, like the other initial order to acquire a client or customer because you know that they're going to ultimately spend quite a bit of money with you on average, right?   Roy Barker  21:15 Yeah, yeah. And it's, you know, kind of figuring out that with the industry a great example, this used to be, you know, this was back in the old male days. But, you know, the jeweler figured out that 50% of his customers, or, excuse me, 70% of his customers came back in were repeat purchasers. So what they they figured out was, they could actually give you the first visit at cost, you know, whatever that was, you know, offered this huge discount, take all their margins off, because they knew that you would, you know, 70% of the people would be back in their 234 times, and that's where they really made their money. So yeah, no, no one your industry, it's very important. Let's talk about managing expectations, because you know, we're all impatiently think that the good thing about social media is is kept us all in touch. It's a great advertising vehicle. But the bad thing is, like you were saying earlier is that we can make a lot of presumptions about people that we've never seen them before. So today, they ran an ad, and now they're an overnight success. But we we don't know the 10 year story have come to get to this point. So you know, we just have to manage expectations that this is a long term play. And, again, if you got lucky and put an ad up tomorrow, and you just got swamped, then, you know, bless you. And I'm glad that happens for people, but for most of us, it's figuring out that strategy within it sticking to it.   Shelby  22:46 Yeah, absolutely. And it's it's also about reading the data. So numbers do tell a story. And if you know how to run ads properly, you'll be able to see what needs to be tweaked in your ad, like if your click link, click through rate on your ad is less than 1%, then you probably need to update your graphics or video on your ad because that's what's actually slowing your ad down. Now if you notice that people are clicking on your ad, and let's say they're they're going to your website, but your website's converting at like 5%, then you need to change your website up, you need to bring in somebody to help you with that, because that's where you're losing the people. It's actually not the ad that's not working. And I see this with a lot of people, they're like, my ad didn't work. And we look at the data. And it's like, actually, your ad was doing really well. But you are losing them on your website, right, your website sucks. So go find somebody to help you with that ASAP. Because if you turn these ads back on, I have a feeling you're gonna be you know, you're gonna be in a good spot. So knowing the numbers and knowing what the I guess the benchmarks are for your industry. And then as far as managing expectations, when you hear these stories, and I'm telling you this as somebody who runs ads for for a lot of high ticket coaches, okay, so business coaches, a lot of business coaches, they're selling programs that are $15,000 $30,000, right? And what do you think when they run ads to like, let's say, a master class, okay, we run ads to fill a masterclass, they teach something, and they sell their program at the end of it. Now, if we spend $10,000 in ads, let's just say that. And they so three of their programs. That's what getting these like stories of people are like, Oh my gosh, I made, you know, hundreds of 1000s of dollars from ads, but like, it's like, yeah, they also spend a little bit more money than you probably would, but also, their price point is really high. So of course, they're going to get this really great ROI. Now, of course, like we have clients that sell 20 $9 products online, and it's you know, it's, they do really well. But again, they're spending 300 bucks a day. And they have a they have a very successful business already. They're in Walmart they're in. They're on Amazon during CVS drugstores, right, like, people know this business already. So it's a lot you there's no, there's brand awareness. So people already trust the brand.   Roy Barker  25:27 Yeah, I was just written that down on the brand awareness. Because, I mean, I don't even know what to say, you know, I start selling Roy's chicken soup tomorrow and put an ad on Facebook, people are gonna be like, well, what is this now, if I was Campbell's, and ran the same ad with Sam in, it would be totally different reacts. And And so, again, I think this gets back to managing expectations is in slow, lower ticket items. Versus higher ticket items, you know, there's a little difference we can afford, how we do that. But for a big ticket item for the 1520 $30,000 package. That's where we have to be patient because you see my name one time with this $20,000 back ends, you're probably going right on by or maybe you check it out, but you move on, it takes, you know, it used to take like eight to 12 touches or view before somebody would be that interested in maybe picking up the phone or reaching out through email. So how does that work nowadays?   Shelby  26:33 Yeah, and a lot of it is just the strategies are going to be different for every industry. So if you're selling high ticket, like a coaching package, the best most effective way to do this is to always in the background, we should be running brand awareness ads, because we want you to be seen as the expert. But all it is the difference between low priced items. And high ticket when you sell high ticket. It's all about positioning and authority like you have to be positioning yourself as the go to in the industry. So how you do this is you should have a conversion event. like and what I mean by that is a masterclass a workshop, this can be virtual right, and a challenge a webinar or something like that, right, a presentation style, where you're going through, you're giving value. So now that people are watching it, these cold leads come in, watch your training, and now they know like and trust you because you're giving them really good content for free. And then you convert them into clients because now they like you know, you trust you. It's almost impossible, I will I'm going to reiterate this. If you are selling high ticket, it is almost impossible to convert cold leads, like straight cold never heard about you before, into paying clients, you have to warm them up just any marketing is all about that. That's what building a community or following it's all about, and building brand awareness. It's about warming you up, and you use Campbell as an example, right? We all have memories of, of eating their soup as a kid, or opening up those cans when you're sick, and mom brings it home because she's working and she can't make you homemade soup. So she's like, you're gonna have to have canned soup today, right? We have we have we trust the brand. We see it in stores. And if you're online, you have to warm people up. And especially if you're selling something that's high priced, you need people to like know and trust you if they're going to invest in you.   Roy Barker  28:42 Yeah, cuz I was, as you're saying that I was just thinking about the distrust factor. Let's not say district, let's just say the trust factor, like you're speaking about that, you know, if I'm going to go buy a $5 item or $10 item, if it's if it's from a reputable company, you know, if I'm going through, I would be more concerned to get it off XYZ because I don't know if that's a real deal or not. If somebody told me that it is but really, I'm more and more ready to you know, wager five or $10 that this is going to work out and live. You know, if it doesn't, I really haven't lost that much. But then when we're talking about 10 15,000 I can only imagine that I'm not going to see this ad The first time you say oh Joe Smith, the coach, bam, charged my credit card $10,000 or sign up for $1,000 a month or whatever it is. It just it just really doesn't happen that way.   Shelby  29:43 Even Dean grazi oc and Tony Robbins they partner up with a bunch of people to like Brendon Burchard, Marie Forleo, Annie Porterfield, Jenna cook, there's a bunch of people that they partner up with every year they do a conversion event. We all know who Tony Robbins is. Do you think that we need more brand awareness from Tony Robbins. Now we all know who he is. He has the same thing. They sell a $10,000 program every single year on how to use your knowledge to basically build like a consulting agency or to have a high ticket mastermind program. That's what they teach $10,000 that's the price point, or two grand a month. If you break it up into payments for 12 months, you end up paying 12 grand, okay? That's the price point. They don't just run ads to join. What do they do? They have a huge masterclass, a huge masterclass, and they run ads. Hey, free, masterclass, Join Now we're gonna teach you how to, you know, use your knowledge to make more money, and whatever you do. And so people sign up, people sign up, people sign up, and then what do they do they share with you how to how you can do this, why you would want to do it. And then they say, hey, if you want all of our templates, if you want our coaching, if you want to know how to price yourself and how to make you know, how to get the support, then join the join our $10,000 program, and they make a lot of money doing that. So that's the way to sell high ticket is is follow that lead because that's exactly what they do. And like I said, Tony Robbins you don't need. We all know who he is he could probably run an ad for, you know, a $10,000 program and get some cells.   Roy Barker  31:18 Yeah, yeah. But even though I know who he is, I think the the benefit of that warm up, like you're saying is that I want to know what's in this because, you know, a lot of us were just skeptical of anything that costs a lot of money. And we want to make sure that we are really, truly getting value for that. And I guess that's another good thing about, you know, like having testimonials and other things like that can really benefit us to 100%. Yeah. Okay, so the other thing, now we need to think about is spend and time so if, you know if I've got a fairly good business that's going on, and how, what kind of commitment should we make at a minimum? And then also, what's that time horizon, you know, do we need to go for two months, three months, six months, make that commitment to continue to do this.   Shelby  32:18 So how much you spend is going to depend on your offer, what industry you're in all of that and what the strategy is, so there's no one size fits all. A, you know, again, when you get on a call with an ads manager or agency that you want to hire, ask them to run some numbers with you. Because if you have an idea, I always like for you to leave a call knowing, you know, a rough estimate of what the investments going to look like, as a whole, because I'm already a couple $1,000, then you add in your ad spend, and we can quickly get up to 567 $1,000 a month, right? So I want you to have an idea, like a really clear idea of what this looks like. Um, if you are just running ads to let's say, grow your email list, you have a lead magnet out there, you just want and by the way, like you can do this for any type of business, because you're just growing your email list. And with a bigger email list, you do have more leads in your lead pool, if you will. So you know, with that you really want, you know, I would spend 20 bucks a day, at least like that's what I would do right now. If you're, if you're running ads to, let's say just a video, and it's only just like, maybe you're a, let's say you're a chiropractor in Dallas, and you're like, Okay, there's a lot of chiropractors out here, I just want to get my face out there. And I don't really want to go by a billboard, cuz I'm not into that. But like, I want that effect. Like I just want to be everywhere. I want everybody to know who I am. I'm not necessarily looking for them to click, and you know, book a console, I just want to be out there. So I would recommend running a video view ad for like, let's say, you could do it for like 1020 bucks a day or more. And you're just running the ad to people in a certain age range that would pay for your services in your location, like maybe 15 miles from your address. So now you're everywhere and that it's like I call this the billboard effect, right? Because now people are on social media. They're just seeing you all the time. You know, you can run, you can run reach ads. So just like a picture of you like, come visit me right? Or you can do a video of maybe you walking around the office or telling how you started your business. And again, there's no direct call to action. It's just about getting that brand awareness and getting out there, which I promise you and leads up to in the long term getting more business because if you're seeing again as the authority in the industry in your area, then you're gonna you're gonna win the competition.   Roy Barker  35:07 And, again, it's there's so many variables depend on if we, you know, if we're just trying to gain the attention if we want to, if we're collecting emails, or if we're actually, you know, direct to an event or the master class or something, but in general, how do we cut through the noise? You know, because we have a lot of options. We've got text, we got pictures, we got videos, I guess any advice on how we kind of use these different mediums to get our message across?   Shelby  35:44 Yeah. So in every ad, you're going to have, you'll see when you go to create an ad, inside of ads manager, you can choose a graphic or a video for your ad for that campaign. And you also have ad copy, which is they call it primary text. And that is a it's it's just ad copy. You know, when you go through a magazine, and you see ads in the magazine, the people you know, writers that get paid the most money in the in the world are the ones that write those ads, they get paid a bunch of money to do that. And no different in your ad, you want it to stand out, you want to call out who you who you are trying to attract, right, you want to tell them what they're going to get. As far as your graphic or video though, this is the first thing people see. Right? It's the first thing that's gonna either make them scroll past or stop. And like you said, there's a lot of there's a lot of noise out there. And there's a lot of other advertisers and people posting on social media. I think our attention spans have gotten shorter and shorter and shorter in the last couple years, especially. And the goal for you is to create a pattern interrupt in someone's mind as they scroll. And there's, there's some ways to do this. I'll tell you some of my secrets here. But you want to stop their scroll as they're scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. You want them to be like, Oh, wait, what was that? And take a look doubletake, right, you want them to take a doubletap on your ad, and then they can read it and click on it. And the way to do this is I'll ask you a few questions here. What is Facebook's brand color? Blue? Exactly. So if you use a lot of blue in your ad, people are gonna think it's like, just they're gonna scroll past it. They're used to seeing a lot of blue on Facebook. Okay, it doesn't create a pattern interrupt in their head, right? It's just like, oh, blue stuff was. Right, you want to make sure that you're, if you can use bolder or brighter colors, please do. Here's the other thing, what is the shape of every post? And there's two shapes right? The the shape of my laptop screen right now is a rectangle. The shape of my iPhone screen is a rectangle. Every my tablet, my iPad? What are they rectangles right? Now, let's go inside of those. When I'm on Facebook. Every post is like square shaped or rectangle shaped? Right? The only thing that's a circle is your profile photo. So people you're used to seeing squares and rectangles everywhere.   Roy Barker  38:29 Interesting.   Shelby  38:30 So what if your graphic created us had a circle on it or a more fluid like shape on it? It's gonna create a pattern interrupt in your brain because your brain is categorizing things. As you're scrolling. This is just psychology. And you're gonna see Oh, wait, what was that? Because it's different than the five other things you just scroll past. So that's the goal is you have to capture attention quickly. We have we have less than a second to do this really. People scroll fast. And we have you know, we have such a short time to be able to capture this attention. So the goal is to create this moment of of pattern interruption where you're just like, okay, square, blue, square, blue, well, that's yellow and a circle. What is that? Right? And that's what you want to do. photos of people do well, so because again, it's like creating that like no trust factor. If I see somebody's face, I'm more likely to trust what you're selling me, right. Even if it's not your face, you can use you certainly can use stock images, although my recommendation is if it's your business and you're the face of the business, please use a photo of you and use a high quality photo of you a headshot professional photo, photograph. Use use that please. And not just necessarily like unless you're doing a video ad that I have different opinion about. But yeah, that's like my best tips is the brighter colors, more bold colors. And or using more fluid shapes or circles on your graphics, put pictures of people on there. And make sure that you have a few words on the graphic, but not too many. And it's telling them what they are going to walk away with or get, okay? People don't care about you. And this is what people don't understand. Like, I don't care about your chiropractor business, I don't write you know, what I care about, what how you're gonna make me feel when I leave, I get I care about what I get out of it. And we're all selfish like that, like I nobody cares about you or your business. What they care about is how you're going to make them feel what you're going to do for them what they're going to feel like once they leave after working with you. That's what they care about.   Roy Barker  40:46 Yeah, it's like when we come on about us and all of our credentials and things people get turned off, because they they don't really care that my concern, they want to know what's in it for them. What's the benefit? What problem do you solve for me? And it's important to keep that in our messaging we can. Yeah, and the other thing is, is, it's always better to have somebody else tell people have great, you have to do so much rather believe other people when they tell me. But yeah, I think that's the, you know, we talk a little bit also about the real estate factor, like, even just regular posts that we put out there is when you have text, you know, it's maybe an answer to window, and it's black and white, easy to go by. But when we have a picture, all of a sudden, it's like we stretch this real estate out. And then, you know, somebody told me a long time ago that using a picture is like leaving breadcrumbs to our blog, or to our product or landing page. When we use videos, it's like leaving chocolate covered. Video, chocolate covered breadcrumbs to that same spot it just and I don't know if that's still the same, but videos used to just have so much more power than even just an image.   Shelby  42:04 They still do if and when done right. And I think it's an untapped thing. Um, not enough people are using video ads. But I will tell you that I've seen the very well produced videos work well. But a lot of times like just you walking, filming a short video on your iPhone or smartphone, like those do really well to like, there's no secret to the quality necessarily, I say test both. But I will tell you that you got to get to the point sooner. Again, we go back to our attention span is very short. So people that are there videos are like, Hey, guys, it shall be here. How you doing? I'll wait for a second, you know, to get some comments or you know, when you're when you're, when you're maybe or sharing like, like you said all of your accolades at first and start the video. Nobody cares. The sooner you get into it, the better. And remember that like, even if you do the video on your phone and you shoot it, it's not overly produced, you still have to capture attention until you're going to do that by talking faster, so people can keep up with you and they're not going to scroll past you. If you're pointing to something point at the camera, because it's like, again, pattern interrupt if I do this, I'm right now for those of you that can't see, I'm just reaching towards my camera. And if you saw that in a video, you're gonna be like, Whoa, what's that? Right? Instead of just watching my face talk, like use exaggerated movements and stuff, you have to have high energy, if you are naturally somebody who is very monotone video won't work for you. You know, it's just not gonna work. Or the   Roy Barker  43:56 talking fast. I don't know if I could ever get in. Yeah, to practice that.   Shelby  44:00 Well, but you're not monotone. So that will that helps you right. But like some people are, you know, and you know if you know if you're this way, if you're just like, Hey, you know, I don't have all that energy. Like, I don't know how to exude that kind of confidence or energy on video. If you're really nervous to do it. If you're really nervous on video, it's not going to work. It's not going to show up well, so don't pay for that ad. You know, just try graphics.   Roy Barker  44:27 Yeah, and you can look at a lot of these ads on TV. I think too. Well, I'll ask this as an opinion. But, you know, when you said that I was thinking of a guy he's a car dealer here in town, but he's got they're not crazy, as you know, like with the elephants coming through the screen, but he is really high energy and does use a lot of, you know, hand gesturing and things like this. They're really well done ads because you don't he doesn't come off as you know. Questions? Very professional, but you know, I know who the guy is like, yeah, you know, I know his name. I know where his dealership is and know all about him. So, you know, we can I think it goes a long way to study other ads that have a lot of impact and then kind of mirror that as we go. 100% Alright, Shelby, I know we're running late. I appreciate you taking time. Is there anything else you want to leave the audience with any other tips or tricks before we get out of here?   Shelby  45:27 No, thank you for having me. But if any of you are wanting to learn more about what ads can do for you, you can head to my website fempire And you can also follow me on Instagram for fun videos, or me trying to dance. You can follow me at life with Shelby.   Roy Barker  45:49 Okay, great. Also to what is a habit, or a an app or anything, something like that, that you use daily that you feel adds a lot of value to your life? Professional or personal?   Shelby  45:54 That's a great question. Um, can I give you two?   Roy Barker  45:55 Certainly, yeah.   Shelby  45:56 Okay. I, I have, I have a desk calendar. And I know that that's old school, for those of you that are that are maybe young, but and I feel like I'm pretty young too. But I have to have a desk count, I have to like visually see it, not only do I have Google Calendar, I have a desk calendar. And I look at it, and it just I don't know, like things click much better. The second thing is, um, I would say, this is an app that I use on my computer. It's a Google Chrome extension. And it is it eliminates, it's called Newsfeed Eradicator. And you can turn it on, and it eliminates all of the posts on your newsfeed. So you can go into social media, if you use it for business, especially, and kind of do your work without getting you know, sidetracked with everybody's, you know, personal posts and everything.   Roy Barker  46:59 Okay, great. Those are two good tips. We appreciate it. Okay, so also just tell us a little bit to like, Who do you like to work with? And then of course, you know, how can you help them? And then yeah, what's that one more time?   Shelby  47:12 Absolutely. Um, business coaches, life coaches, mindset coaches, I love working with coaches, high ticket coaches, specifically, that are ready to run ads are at multiple, six figures. And they're like, let's go, let's let's scale this bad boy. So you can go to my website, fempire, to get more information book a free consultation, and we can run some numbers and see if it would be a good idea for you.   Roy Barker  47:42 Okay, awesome. Well, again, thank you for your time y'all reach out to Shelby see how she can go to work for you help you scale your business. It's, you know, it is a nice niche that not we, as business people, we can't do everything. So we have to pick and choose and then you know, find experts like yourself who are good at the Facebook and the Instagram ads and reach out. Let her help you. Increase your business make that easy? Yeah. All right. So that's gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course, you can find us at We are on all the major podcast platforms Stitcher, Google, Spotify, iTunes. You can also find us on all the social media platforms. Typically we hang out on Instagram a little bit more than others. A video of this interview will go up when the episode goes live so you can reach out on our YouTube channel and see that until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.
48:54 11/16/2021
Finally, You Published That Awesome Blog or Social Media Post. What Now?
Finally, You Published That Awesome Blog or Social Media Post. What Now? Featuring Alison Ver Halen It's very difficult today to market without including content. Your audience has grown dependent upon it. They want it and they expect it. Tunning up your SEO to make sure your message is seen is also important. But now you have posted this awesome content and someone has seen it, now what? What is the next step? What action do they need to take? About Alison Alison majored in English and Psychology, little knowing she was getting the perfect degree for content marketing. When she was offered a chance to write blog posts for a friend's law firm, she jumped at the chance to make money with her writing. Not only has she not looked back, she's improved her online marketing and SEO skills while gaining experience writing for various industries.   Full Transcript Below Finally, You Published That Awesome Blog or Social Media Post. What Now? Featuring Alison Ver Halen Thu, 7/22 3:40PM • 48:09 SUMMARY KEYWORDS people, google, content, keyword, writing, blog post, words, domain authority, providing, backlink, content marketing, picture, searches, website, strategy, talk, email, link, seo, newsletter SPEAKERS Alison, Roy Barker   Roy Barker  00:05 Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that speak to a diverse set of topics. Hopefully we'll uncover something that may help you be more successful in your business or if you have something that's keeping you up at night we can provide you a solution. So today we are we are happy to have Alison Ver Halen she is with AV Writing Services as our guest. She majored in English and Psychology little knowing she was getting the perfect degree for content marketing. When she was offered a chance to write blog post for a friend's law firm, she jumped at the chance to make money with her writing. Not only has she not looked back, she's improved her online marketing and SEO skills while gaining experience writing for various industries. Alison, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to be with us. We certainly do appreciate it.   Alison  00:57 Thank you so much for having me.   Roy Barker  00:59 Yeah, if we get through the introduction, and there we go. It's gonna be all downhill from here. So before we jump into this is something I'm I am so interested in because I'm a non writer, writer, I love to write. But I mean, my skills are in spreadsheets and more math functions. And so it's it's a challenge. But before we get into that, tell us a little bit more about your history. So what was your original path that you wanted to? Where did you think you wanted to go? And then what really excited you about writing enough to, you know, make you stick around and make a career out of it?   Alison  01:34 Well, I've always loved writing, I've been writing short stories since I learned my alphabet. And always always wanted to be a professional writer, I was always told growing up that writers don't make any money, and I needed to get a realistic career. But I ended up majoring in English, because I just couldn't stay away from it. And there's always something you can do with an English major. I also got sucked into psychology, which really surprised me. I took an AP Psych class in high school and loved it and took another class in college and love that. And so I ended up double majoring. So I graduated thinking I was going to go into publishing, thinking, Okay, well, if I can't be a professional writer, maybe I can be an editor or something to do with writing and books. I graduated college in 2009, right after the job market crashed. So there were no jobs to be had in publishing or really anywhere else. So, you know, I was in customer service, I was receptionist, they were jobs, they were not careers. And as you said, I found myself doing jobs at one point. And my roommate at the time, her dad, who was an attorney was awesome, and offered to give me stuff to do around his office until I got back on my feet. And one of the things he needed was someone to write blog posts for his law firm. So I took over writing for him and then for an associate of his and then for some friends of mine, I did eventually get another day job, but I kept writing on the side. And the writing kept going growing to the point where I couldn't really do both anymore. So quit the day job, but six and a half years ago now, and I've been doing this full time ever since.   Roy Barker  03:11 Yeah, that's an awesome story. And I don't think that a lot of people don't understand the value of writing. for a lot of reasons. I mean, even personally, we could talk about journaling, that's something that I've picked up of late that I really tried to do to get thoughts down, but then also in our business, because it's not, you know, blogs are important, I think, but think about emails, our conversations, our email marketing, you know, we have to have a plan behind that, and not just loosely throw some words out there that might make a sentence and send out because not only is it the message that we're trying to motivate somebody, but also I think we're probably just a little bit on our grammar. And you know, being from Texas, English is my second language. So, you know, that's something I have to really watch for is the the grammatical and the, you know, turn of phrases and things like that.   Alison  04:08 Yeah, and the the strategy, I think is something that people really fall behind on when they're trying to do their own content marketing is they know they need to be emailing. They know they need to be doing blogging and social media, but they don't really think about what happens next. What do you want the person to do after they've seen your social media post or your email or read your whole blog post? So that's another area where I help my clients and help figure out okay, what does this client journey look like? Where are they going after this?   Roy Barker  04:37 Yeah, no strategy is so important because with with writing and what we can do with that, it's, um, we really need to sit down and have a strategy. I think for a couple reasons on I'll throw this out to get your comment on that. But it's not a short term. It's not a short term fix or not a short term problem. And basically, you know, we may get lucky. And we may hit something off that first email we send out. But typically, you know, it takes time. And so anyway, I think that gets back to why the we need to develop a strategy that cuts across all different forms of media.   Alison  05:18 Yeah, absolutely. And you need a strategy that, like I said, gets people in the door and then converts them so that you're actually getting them to engage with you. And like you said, it's not, I always say it's not a get rich quick scheme. It's it's a long term strategy, you made a lot of blog posts and a lot of emails, because you're building that trust is what it really comes down to, you have to build trust with Google, Google is not going to start sending traffic your way immediately. You have to build trust with your readers. So it, that's everything that goes into your your, your strategy is building that trust. And yeah, that's not going to happen overnight.   Roy Barker  05:58 Yeah. And there was a, you know, we were talking to a friend of ours that has a more of a fashion type business. And she started out blogging, and that's where she grew it. But she said it was probably well over two years. And you know, I don't know exactly how much she was doing it just more The point is, we need to have a strategy because we can want as we jump in and say, Hey, I'm gonna start writing, you know, we write three or four pieces, put them up in a couple weeks. And then after two weeks, it's like, phone's not ringing. So that must not be the thing they need to do. Whereas like you said, I mean, it just takes a while for Google to start looking at it. But then also, you can kind of speak to the fact of the word counts, because I think sometimes people, people kind of short themselves on what they write. So it doesn't get a lot of exposure as well.   Alison  06:48 Yeah, so I do want to talk about word count, because I do get that question a lot is how long should my blog post be? I always say at a minimum 500 words. And consistency is a big one, too. So if you can write at least once a month, I recommend that preferably more often. But I know as small business owners, we're often crunched for time. So if you can only do 500 words a month, that's the bare minimum. But the average post showing up on the first page of Google these days is closer to 1700 words, which is like three and a half pages, if you're writing it up in a in a Word document, single spaced. So that's a lot of content. But we find these people these pieces of content that are these really long, really in depth, how to guides that are like the ultimate guide on such and such. That is what gets the the searches and Google that shows up on the first page. And that's what people tend to engage with, when they see that you are answering every question that they have on a particular topic, they are much more likely to not only engage with the content, but spend more time engaging with the content, and then again, they're going to be more likely to convert into a customer at the end.   Roy Barker  07:59 The other thing is because some people think, whoo, 1700 words, that's a lot. But what I think another part I'd like for you to talk to is about repurposing some of that longer form content, you know, into other platforms.   Alison  08:16 Yeah, and we talked about this a little bit at the beginning, right, you've got the emails, you've got the blog, you've got the social media there, the podcast, there are all these kinds of content you're supposed to be creating, and it is really overwhelming. So I always recommend that people repurpose as much as they can. If you have 1700 words of content, take advantage of all of those 1700 words, put them out in your emails, put it out on social media, again, people don't tend to have a strategy when it comes to social media. They put stuff out on social media, and it's like, Okay, are you driving people back to your website? Where are you just posting and hoping they'll find you after that? Right. So I always think blog posts are a great way to provide something of value on social media that also gets people back to your website. So yeah, having all that great content is a great way to it gives you something to repurpose, it gives you a lot to work with on all those different platforms.   Roy Barker  09:10 And one thing I just thought of while you were talking, you know, is if you're doing the How to, like you said you're answering people's questions. Another conversion is not necessarily writing, but we can take our writing and make it into quick how to videos because again, it's, you know, we, I think part of our strategy is, you know, we have places we know our audience lives and we hit that a little bit more, but we really can't ignore every place and so we try to, you know, break it up and have a little bit of nuggets that go out across a wide variety of channels. So it's it's a tough question to ask and I don't mean to put you on the spot because I know it depends on if your service if your product who your audience is, but you know, how do you typically handle strategy across All of these multiple channels, as far as maybe, you know, more number of posts, things like that.   Alison  10:07 Yeah, again, it all comes back to repurposing your content. And I like to remind people that if they are making videos, and they should be making videos that that's great, because yes, people do engage with videos, Google cannot yet read visual visual content or audio content, they are working on it, I am sure they will get there soon. But for right now, it really is all about the text. So you need that that written text in order to show up in Google. That being said, Google also owns YouTube. So if you really optimize your video headlines and your descriptions in YouTube, that gives you a pretty good chance of showing up in online searches. And again, like you said, it depends on what you're providing. If you're doing a high how to tutorial. That's very, it relies on video, and you're showing someone how to do something that can show up on the first page of Google because, again, Google owns YouTube. So but yeah, as far as repurposing, I always recommend, if you're already making a video, and it's not super reliant on the visual, you can have the video, you can take the audio from that video, turn it into a podcast, like this. And then you can transcribe that content, the audio content into a blog post. So you, you created one thing, but you can spread it across three different channels without spending all that time creating three different pieces of content.   Roy Barker  11:35 So I'll tell you what my list of the turn page, turn the page on my list. Let's start at the top. Because headlines, usually is is that the one the I guess, rank high and what Google looks at first, I know they scan the entire document, but how to headlines play into us getting eyes on our writing?   Alison  12:01 Yes, headlines are one of those things that Google looks at first, if you have 1700 words of content or longer. I know some people write 2000 3000 words, long blog posts, that's a lot of content. And it does take Google a while to go through it. So yes, Google will look at your headline, first, it will look at your subheadings first or second. So always use those subheadings. A for SEO reasons. But also, if you're writing 1000s of words, it helps to break up that content. So it's easier for people to skim and to read and to find what they're looking for. So yeah, and then alt tags on your images. Again, Google can't read images yet. But you can have a little alt tag there that inserts a keyword there. And Google will read that first. Those are all what we call meta tags. So you can put those in throughout your content. And Google kind of kind of scans those first, before it looks at the rest of your content. So you absolutely want to make sure that your target keyword for that particular piece is throughout all of those meta tags. Okay.   Roy Barker  13:07 Yeah. So on the the alt tags for the pictures, do you have suggestions on what we should be putting there? Because I've heard both like, sometimes I use the actual headline, again, there with the name of the show after it. But I've also heard that you can just describe what you see in the picture with your keywords in it. Is there a preference on that?   Alison  13:31 Yeah, I would not use the same thing over and over the same description or the same alt tag just because then you you're kind of fighting with yourself to rank for that particular keyword. So I would recommend having a different keyword for each image. Obviously, it all has to be related to what it is you're providing, and the search terms you want to show up for it with that particular piece of content. But yeah, make sure you have a good keyword.   Roy Barker  13:57 Okay. So let's talk about selection of pictures. I mean, I have some very definite opinions that I've made on this show about that about picture selection, but I'll let you talk about that. Images are important. And a couple reasons that I know about is just because we're visual, I would rather look at a picture than anything else. But also, when we start looking at social media, especially like Twitter, and a Facebook, it's the real estate, you know, if we write for send sentences or five sentences, you take up, you know, an inch or so but if you got a picture, that all of a sudden, you know, doubles, triples, quadruples, the real estate, and that the picture usually catches people's attention then they read.   Alison  14:45 Yeah, absolutely. It's very eye catching. Like you said, We are primed to engage with visual content. So yeah, if people see even if you have a whole bunch of text on something, and it is like a big long post, first of all, you're going to have that little show more tags. So it's not necessarily all going to show up right away. But yeah, people are, a lot of people tend to see a big block of text, even readers like me, who will look at it and be kind of intimidated by it like, Oh, that's a lot of text. I don't know if I'd have to read all of this. But yeah, you break it up with some images, and it makes it much more engaging. So I would say, make sure they are high quality images, try avoid using stock images, try you know, hiring a graphic designer or learning graphic design yourself. So you can get high quality images in there. You can also use images. And I do this a lot, because in my blog post, because I talked about SEO, when sometimes it gets a little technical. So you can use charts and graphs to demonstrate what it is you're talking about. So if you've got a bunch of data and numbers and stuff that people can get bogged down in, if you can present that in a visual format, that's going to be much more engaging. So it's not just that you need good images, it's that you need good images that help people engage with the content you're writing.   Roy Barker  15:59 Yeah, yeah. And that's kind of one of my things I stand on quite a bit is that, you know, if there are times we have to use stock images, we don't, there's no way around it. But if we can use a personal personalized picture, something that we took, if it relates to what we're writing about, it seems to resonate much better with the audience, because what I find is people are, they can relate to this picture, which makes them relate to you and to the story that you're writing. Because I Oh, you know, we used to go to a lake or you know, whatever it may be that, or we're dog lover. So, you know, it's like when we see a picture with the dog, and of course, we're drawn to that.   Alison  16:39 Absolutely, yeah. And people do love looking at pictures of other people's faces. So it might be kind of scary to put your face out there. But that's what people want to see. Because, like you said, it makes you relatable, especially in this digital era, where we are increasingly digital, people want that proof that there's a real live person behind this website and showing a picture of yourself, or even a video is the best way to do that.   Roy Barker  17:06 So let's jump down to the bottom of the page for just a minute hashtags. You know, a lot. And I'm confused about that used to more was better than I've read some stuff of late where, you know, it's even stranger that each different platform maybe has some of its own guidelines for how many do you use? What can you help us with on that?   Alison  17:29 Yeah, I've I think the general rule I've seen is that like, two is best. And I think I initially saw that on Twitter. And then I've kind of seen that rule on other social media platforms as well. So that's kind of the rule that I stick to is no more than two, someone once put it really succinctly, I think, which is they said that if you're, you know, if you've got two hashtags, you're talking to people, if you've got more than that, if you've got, if you're trying to max out that those like 30, hashtags, you're not talking to people anymore, you're talking to an algorithm. And while we do have to work with the algorithm, it's important to remember that at the end of the day, there's a specific audience you're trying to reach. So what hashtags are they following? What search terms? Are they using? focus on that? And that's where you're going to find the gold?   Roy Barker  18:21 Yeah, cuz I've seen Instagram, it seems to be the place that happens is there's three lines of text and 24 lines of hashtags that follow. But yeah, I've seen that too. So let's talk about the middle. Because, you know, as we write, we want to keep the keywords and the SEO, in line. But again, I will ask you this, at the very basics, if we write a good piece about what we are, you know, what we're writing about, and we do a good job at that. It's pretty much going to be optimized in itself. Is that correct?   Alison  19:02 Yeah, you have to answer people's questions and provide value and do that consistently. So yes, there's always tweaking you can do around the length and the subheadings, and then other tags and the keywords, but at its most basic level, content marketing is all about creating that rich content that answers people's questions. Google is just getting better and better at matching people with the content they're looking for. So if you always keep your customer in mind and not trying to think too much about Google, again, we do have to play by Google's rules. But keep in mind that Google is not your customer. That's not the person you're ultimately trying to reach. What does your customer want to know about? If you can provide that Google will find a way to pair you with those people?   Roy Barker  19:45 Yeah. Which kind of leads to the keyword stuffing. That's what I had written down is that, you know, we have to be careful back in the old days. You know, there were all kinds of tips and tricks you could make the words fade into the background and he could have you know, Like a whole nother written page that was all white on the background. But nowadays, you know, they will actually, I guess they'll take you know, we call it jokingly Google jail that they'll put you in, but they know they're actually blocked your website from any of the search results. Is that correct?   Alison  20:17 That is correct. Yes. So for I don't know how much your your listeners know about this. But keyword stuffing is when you have one keyword that you cram in as many times as you can into a page or a paragraph. So if we want to talk about content marketing, and I can tell you how I can help you with content marketing, because content marketing is awesome, unique content marketing. That's an example of keyword stuffing that yeah, it did work for a short period of time, as far as showing up for that particular keyword. And then Google caught wise to it. And now Yeah, like you said, they'll actually blacklist you for it. So you, you won't show up in any searches on Google. So yeah, and it's just not good content. I mean, again, always keep in mind, you want real people reading your content, and you want to convert them. So showing up in searches is just the first step, then you have to get them to engage with your content, and then convert them into a customer. So always keep in mind, what kind of content will accomplish that? Yeah,   Roy Barker  21:12 cuz I've heard you know, when, when it was explained to me this way about Google is, you know, they want to provide the optimal experience to their clients to their readers. And so, you know, it kind of gets back to the The, the, what you were just talking about, about the content marketing, stuffing, that's not going to be very pleasurable to read, and probably, nobody's gonna really get much out of reading that. So it's a good thing, you know, sometimes people look at as a bad thing, but really, what's the use of washing up to search return with something that's just really garbage that nobody can read anyway? Yeah, exactly. So So let's talk about that for a minute. That brings up something a good point that I have pondered more lately than I ever thought I would. But if, how do we structure that key word, are key phrases that we want to work around, because what of what I've heard lately is that when you try to structure it to a keyword that's got a lot of a bunch of traffic and a lot of high, big money chasing it, it can be very difficult for a smaller company, to really ranked for that. So sometimes, it's almost better to look down the list at some, you know, and I don't know how far you go. But can you talk about that just a little bit?   Alison  22:32 Yeah. So I always look for the content gaps when I'm doing my keyword research, which means you want something that's getting a decent search volume, which sometimes you hit gold, and you do find those keywords that are getting 10s of 1000s of searches a month, but don't already have a ton of competition. And if you're using any keyword research tool, even the free ones, they're going to show you the monthly search volume that numbers the average monthly search volume, and then it's going to show you the SEO competition score, which is a score from one to 100. And that gives you an idea of the competition out there, what are your chances of actually showing up for this particular keyword. So one is super easy, there's no other content out there, you're golden 100 is there's a ton of content out there don't even bother, I tend to aim for like 20 to 30 as my SEO competition score, which gives me like a 70 to 80% chance of showing up in on the first page of Google for that particular keyword. So yet, sometimes you gotta go for the keywords with a little bit lower search volume in order to get this sweet spot for the SEO competition score. And yeah, it's all about playing around and finding about where where's the sweetest spot where you can get the most searches for the least amount of competition. And one of the ways to do that is those longtail keywords. So a short tail keyword is one to two words, long tail keyword is three to five words, those are the ones that tend to have, again, a lower search volume, but also lower competition score. And the big value of those, I think is the fact that people tend to be looking for something specific if they're looking for I'm gonna use myself as an example. Again, content marketing is a huge keyword that a lot of people use, it's really hard to rank for it. If I talk about a content marketing company providing you know, serving small businesses in Chicago, that's someone's looking for something very specific when they're searching for that. So when they find me, they're much more likely to click on my website to engage with my content and become a customer.   Roy Barker  24:37 Yeah, and also we can talk about the again, the volume, the number of pages that we have out there, I think, you know, as we build that content, it's always much better to have more than less quality. You know, we don't want to put a lot of quantity a large quantity of junk out there but if we do a high quality, high quantity of high quality Then we have something, you know, we start to have something for everyone. Because everybody, even if we have, even if we're looking at content marketing, I may have some different, you know, like I may search for blog writer or something, you know, kind of a little bit different. So the more pieces we get out there that cover more ground, we generally are just automatically start to attract more viewers, because you can like I look at it this way, instead of having one page and 100 viewers, you can have, you know, 100 pages now with one viewer, and then that way your numbers can usually tend to grow correct?   Alison  25:38 Correct? Yeah. Because you've got all that juicy content. And Google gets, the more content you have, the more Google gets an idea of what you're all about, which helps Google pair you with the right search terms. So yeah, and I always advocate for quality and consistency over quantity, quantity does matter. But I would say quality and consistency first, and then worry about the quantity.   Roy Barker  26:02 Yeah, and a good recommendation of like you said earlier, I guess you know it. If you could write quality every day, of course, that's more desirable. But if if you're in a business, and you've got to take care of your daily stuff, if you get one quality longer of work higher word count peace out a month, that's a great starting point. As you get used to doing that, you can always up it to twice a month and then grow from there.   Alison  26:30 Yeah, absolutely. And again, it's going to be better at engaging and converting the people who do find those blog posts. Because if you try to create content every day or every week, and it's just not sustainable for you, you're not going to get results from that. So yeah, focus on quality. First,   Roy Barker  26:47 you mentioned earlier, the little dotted read more line. And I've always been curious, cuz I use those because you know, the transcripts from these podcasts can be quite lengthy. So ones that have taken up a lot of real estate. But I just wonder, do they affect Google's ability to scan that text for that page?   Alison  27:08 Not at all Google sees every Google knows all this even reading stuff, you can put stuff on the back end of your your website, stuff that the viewers don't see Google will go in and see that like the alt tags for those images. That's something that does not the viewer never gets to see that. But Google will see it. So that's a way of saying Google Hey, this is what's here in this block, but you can't really see right now.   Roy Barker  27:34 Yeah. So let's talk about those. What do you call them the subtitles, it's like you have the the title at the top, and then you're supposed to break your text up and put like a subtitle? How many words? How, how should we use those? Because I've heard that they're very important. And you just confirm that, but you know, somebody like myself, be honest. And say you're, you know, until a few years ago, I never used them, I just didn't understand the value and just write a straight piece of paper, but talk about them for just a minute.   Alison  28:10 Yeah, it is really a way of breaking up your content into different sections. So I think the most concrete example I can give is, if you have you know, three ways to do such and such, you've got three tips that you're providing. So you have tip, you've got your little intro right after the main headline. And then you've got tip number one is your first heading. And then you're going to talk about that tip and more depth and the two or three paragraphs following and so with the tip to tip three, however many chips do you end up providing?   Roy Barker  28:44 Okay. infographics of you kind of were talking about that we didn't call it by name, but you know, talking about if you have a lot of numbers, stats, you know, graphically format, but I've heard that those things perform easily, very well.   Alison  28:59 They do perform very well. That's another way that people again, they're very visual, we are primed to engage with visual content, so they're very eye catching. And for people who look at, you know, a multi 1000 word blog post and figure that's too much content for them to read. There. If you can condense that content into an infographic, people are much more likely to look at that and see what they need. And right now, the big thing is interactive infographics. So if you can get little animated stuff in there, that's really eye catching, if you can get a link in there or multiple links, so you can have like a, an infographic where each little thing provides a link to a subheading in your blog post so they can click on it and go straight to the part of the blog post that really interests them. You know, if you have lots of words on a particular subject, maybe they don't want to read the whole blog post. They just want an answer to this. particular question by providing an interactive visual format that they can navigate and find their way to just the answer they need. It's going to be make it much more likely that they interact with that content.   Roy Barker  30:13 Yeah. Would you bring up links and, you know, talk about this and kind of multifaceted points. Number one, our content, let's just take a blog, for instance, our blogs, usually, they want was at one internal link to something that's in our site, and then the next sternal link or more going out, but then we also have what they call the backlinks. And I'll let you talk a little bit about both of those and the importance of them.   Alison  30:43 Yeah, so there are internal and external backlinks. And internal backlinks are like you said, when you link back to another piece of content and your own website from something else on your website, that's an internal backlink. And external backlink is when another website, links back to your website and Google kind of figures that like hangs out with like, so if you have high quality websites, with great content that are ranking for certain keywords, and they're linking back to your website, that's really good for you, Google is gonna like that, that helps establish you as an authority in your industry, that helps boost your rankings, if not, so great. websites are linking back to your website, again, Google figures like hangs out with like, and it's gonna discount me for that you're, you're going to be punished for it, which I know is not fair. But you're getting punished for what other people do online. There are backlink trackers and analyzers and ways to mitigate that. So you can use these online tools, not to delete the link, because you don't have that power, because it's on their website unless you delete your content that they linked back to. But you can tell Google Hey, no, I don't associate with this website. Please don't follow this link back to me.   Roy Barker  32:00 Yeah, because, you know, they're, and they may still go on, there was a time they had what they call backlink farms. And, you know, I'd create a website, and all I did was charge people $100 to put their website link on mine. And it I mean, I guess in theory, it makes sense. But the other part you have to think about is that domain authority. And I'll let you talk a little bit about that. But if you get a backlink from a domain authority, it's equal to or less, are you really not going to help you that much. And so it's just a word of caution that when people reach out to you and say, Hey, I can get you this backlink for, you know, 50 bucks. I always kind of grimace at that because it takes a lot of work to get a decent, good backlink you don't just you can't acquire them. And it's very hard if you try to do it organically as well.   Alison  32:55 Yeah, I would say don't ever buy backlinks. Google does not like it admittedly, it is kind of hard for Google to figure out what's a blog battling backlink and what's not. But again, Google knows all and they do have their ways of figuring these things out. So just don't risk it, make sure that they are quality websites, you mentioned domain authority, which has gotten a lot of talk lately, it's actually something that Moz made up as a tool that they offer where you can, in theory, track your your domain authority, which is supposed to be how well Google likes you. But Google doesn't talk too much about like how their algorithm works. So Moz has their own algorithm to figure out domain authority, which is not necessarily the same as Google's algorithm. So and I know there are other SEO tools that are, again, they're saying they provide domain authority, it's it's more tricky than that. So take it with a grain of salt. But I think if you're if someone links back to your website, and you get that little alert, just take some time to look through their website, make sure it's relevant, make sure they've got good content, make sure that the content in which they've linked back to your website, it actually makes sense that they linked back to you it has something to do with what you're talking about in your content. If it seems completely unrelated, and it's really badly written and there are no graphics or terrible graphics, then you want to manage that backlink.   Roy Barker  34:25 Yeah, and I would say that echo that message across all social medias because, you know, years ago, almost learned the hard way that, you know, a guy told me he could really increase my Facebook traffic, I think. So I'm like, Okay, well, he did. But they were, unfortunately, from another country that weren't buyers of my product. And so, luckily, you know, I told him, You show me what you can do, and then we'll talk about how much this is going to cost me Well, yeah, I had a flurry of activity, but they were not buyers, and I think it's an important part, an important point to stress is that, and I kind of use it jokingly and said that, you know, we went out to eat at our local Mexican restaurant last weekend. And when she brought the bill, I pulled out all my legs from Facebook, and she wouldn't take them, you know, she still wants cash. And so unless they are quality people who are our customers that will lead to them being a buyer. It's totally useless. It's more of a vanity metric.   Alison  35:29 Yeah, and I think that's all gets back to what we were saying, beginning about how this is a long term strategy. There really is no get rich, quick scheme, whether it's, you know, buying those backlinks or buying views on social media is, you really have to put in the work in order to earn Google's trust. And again, are your audiences stressed? Yeah,   Roy Barker  35:51 there's just really no shortcut. So if anybody approaches you with a short cut, always be leery? Well, I know we're running a little bit long. But a couple things I wanted to touch on before we get out of here are newsletters, and, of course, emails, again, one of my strategies in email marketing was to, what I would do is I had Google alerts for a lot of different things. And so whenever an article would come across, that I felt like resonated with one or more of my clients, what I would do is kind of deconstruct that and say, Look, I found this article, give them a hot link to it, here are three points that I got out of it that I think will really help you and send it to them, I think. Because I don't like and this is a personal thing. I don't like getting an email saying, hey, Roy, we talked last week, and are you ready to buy it? You know, it's like, and I think we also have to think about how many touches does it usually take now, I think smaller dollar items and services, don't take much thought I buy five or $10 thing on an impulse. When we start talking about 510 $20,000 items, I'm gonna have to give that a lot more thought. You're gonna have to reach out and touch me a lot more during that buying process. So how, how can we handle that tactfully?   Alison  37:13 Yeah, I feel like there's a lot of questions in there. So let me see if I can remember everything. So yes, it does take a lot of touches, especially for me, I'm in a b2b industry. So people need to make sure that they're really going to get a return on their investment with me. A lot of my clients that I work with, like I said, I started working with an attorney, I have since worked with other attorneys, and coaches and financial planners. And those are all people who they're their clients are really going to think for a while before they decide to go ahead and buy and make that investment. So you again, long term strategy, again, you can if you have lower cost items, like you said, you can put up an ad on Facebook or Instagram or wherever your audience is hanging out. And they're more likely to go for that, that impulse buy. But if you're in professional services, and or b2b industry, yeah, it's going to take a little bit longer. And I love what you did with your email because you're providing value to them. So it, but it is a way to get in front of them. And to remind them that, hey, remind them you're still around and be remind them that you're an authority on the subject by demonstrating that in everything that you provided for them. So I think that's a really good strategy.   Roy Barker  38:29 Yeah, because I like the education component, because maybe you maybe you're a user of my product or service, that doesn't necessarily mean that you need it right at this moment. Maybe you're perfectly happy with the person, maybe you don't have the money for it. lots of reasons that we just don't know. But I think it's important to stay in front of prospects that haven't bought from us, because we never know when the moment is that they're going to be ready to commit. And I think this, again, it kind of winds us back to this long term strategy, that if we are consistent in our messaging and getting it out there, it's not like I sent you a message, you know, six months ago, now you're ready to bind, and you don't even remember who I am or can't remember that last email. But if I've just been dripping on you along over this last six months, you're like, Hey, I know. I got it. Somewhere in here in my email. I know this guy's been sending maybe I'll take a look at that. Yeah, exactly. So what about newsletters? How often how much stuff? I know, there used to be a lot of talk about structure about, you know, kind of breaking it up and not just being totally all business. What are your thoughts on that?   Alison  39:41 Yeah, again, I would say no less than once per month, because if you get less than that people aren't going to forget who you are and they're gonna they're gonna think they never signed up for that newsletter because they don't remember signing up for it. So at least once a month, no more than once a week. I think most of the newsletters I follow some Do something once a week. Some of them I think, send me the same thing twice, which probably means I messed up and gave them multiple email addresses. But yeah, I think most of the ones that I follow send me something once a week, which is good because I, again, I know who they are, it reminds me that they're still around and what they're doing. But it's not inundating my inbox with their newsletters. So that as far as timing, that's what I recommend, as far as frequency. Timing is something you want to play around with, again, it's going to depend on your industry, on your target audience, when are they answering your emails? When are they more likely to be checking their email and engaging with your newsletters? So take a look at that. See, when people are opening your emails, if they're opening them after you, you know, hours or days after you send them, you might want to switch around when you send them out to get a better open rate?   Roy Barker  40:54 Yeah, yeah. And that's another good place to remember that it's a it's a long term strategy that we don't. If we, if we buy a list, and we upload them, and we send it out, and a lot of people unsubscribe or cancel, or whatever they do at that point, that the, I guess the big newsletter companies they whacked, I guess they will deactivate you from us. And because that's a score for them, they don't want to be the name at the bottom of the page that's keep spamming people. So again, we grow them organically, and they need to be people that we've had some interaction with the prospect the customer, you know, something like that.   Alison  41:34 Yeah. And they have to either opt in or confirm that they want your newsletter. So I think I've had one or two people on my newsletter where I manually put in their email address, because they asked me to. But yeah, I never just like, input a whole bunch of emails or by emails, because yeah, like you said, that's that's gonna backfire.   Roy Barker  41:55 Yeah, yeah. Oh, what about days to release used to Tuesdays, that was the day everybody pushed everything out. But now I just wonder is everybody pushing everything out on Tuesday, is there you know, a better day to put our blogs out there? Yeah, I   Alison  42:12 think the data I've seen is Tuesday is probably still the best day, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday are like the top three. Again, if you're providing something and like the professional services, or b2b industry, if you're selling something more, that's fine. So sorry about that. If you're selling something that's more B to be a little less expensive, you can get away with sending stuff on the weekends when people are more likely to be shopping. But again, know which email it's going to if it's going to their business email address, and they're only checking in Monday through Friday, then make sure it goes out Monday through Friday. And take a look at when people are looking at your email and when they're opening your email address or your your newsletter that you send out. So that I think I played around with that for a while because I used to send mine out on Tuesdays. And I was realizing most people opened it on Wednesdays. So I switched it to Wednesday, and I get a higher open rate now. So there are always the general rules, but your audience might be a little different. So always check your own data and do some AV testing.   Roy Barker  43:13 And that's kind of been the pattern with this podcast is you know, played around with releasing through the weekends. You know, the traffic goes way, way down, just because everybody's out doing fun stuff. The other thing you can tell summer versus winter, it's like you get a lot more traction in the winter months when people are sometimes have to stay indoors when everybody's outdoors in the summer. So you have to look at all that you can't get discouraged if you have a bad week, because you know, holiday weekends when everybody's out of the office, you know, just gonna be have less people there to read it. Yeah. All right. Well, I appreciate your time. Alison, we're going to wrap this up. So what what is a tool? Well, first, before we do that, any other tips that you want to put out there for people writing? Yeah,   Alison  44:01 you mentioned the phrase that when to post the blog post, the one thing is again, like the newsletters, it tends to be best on Tuesdays, or, you know, if you can't do Tuesday, for whatever reason, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, or like the three best days, again, do some A/B testing, play around with it, see what works for you. And also the more you can drive traffic to your blog post the day it goes up, the better it will perform because that organic traffic kind of shows Google that there is value in this that people are interested in this content. So that can help improve your rankings as well. So if you can get it up and then get a newsletter out that same day and start pushing it out on social media that same day, that's going to help you out a little bit.   Roy Barker  44:47 Yeah, definitely we didn't talk about that a lot. But definitely if we put a blog post or a podcast or anything out we need to really you know follow up on social media put some words out about it. Let people know we have loyal followers for sure. But we always want to grow that audience so we could find some new eyes out there. Absolutely. Well, we appreciate it. So what is a habit that you use in your daily life that professional or personal just something that you couldn't do without   Alison  45:15 just the writing is something I could not do without that there's a reason I chose that as my profession, or the reason it chose me, I think is just, it's something that I do every day, even if it's only for a little bit, if writing to if you don't have time to sit down and write 2000 words, then sit down and research some keywords. And then the next day, write an outline, and the next day do a little bit of research, it doesn't have to be a two hour chunk, which is one of the things I've learned most recently, I think, is that I'm actually more productive in those smaller chunks of time, rather than the huge chunks of time. So take advantage of that.   Roy Barker  45:50 Yeah, you know, as a non writer, writer, I got into that as well, I thought I had to sit down and just wrap this whole thing out. And I'd get very discouraged. But I think I've learned to do like you said the outline, let it set, get back and do the rain, if you can structure this in the beginning and get on a path. But then also, once it's written, I let it sit there for a day or two. Because I tend to find changes I need to make or other things I would like to add. So you know, don't rush through the process. Be sure and set aside enough time to make it high quality for sure.   Alison  46:23 Yeah, I always let it sit for at least 24 hours before coming back and editing it. And yeah, if I can leave it alone for a week or longer, that's even better.   Roy Barker  46:32 All right, we'll tell everybody, how can they reach out and get a hold of you at AV Writing Services? Who is your typical client you'd like to work with? What can you do for them? And then of course, how can they reach out and get a hold of you?   Alison  46:44 Yeah, so typical client is any small business owner who's looking to increase their online presence, whether they're not blogging or and they know they need to be or if they are blogging and not seeing results from it. Those are the people that I can help. So again, my company is AV Writing Services. It's really easy to find me, I'm at AV Writing Services everywhere. My website is I'm on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and my youtube channel is actually under my name, Allison Ver Halen. So you can find my videos there.   Roy Barker  47:21 Alright, yeah, and I'll be sharing that include all those in the shownotes as well. So, again, thank you so much for your time certainly appreciated. that's gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course you can find us at We're on all the major podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify. If we're not on one that you listened to reach out, I'd be glad to add it to help you listen easier. We're also on all the major social media platforms probably hang out on Instagram a little bit more. Be sure and reach out and engage with us over there. A video of this interview will go up on our YouTube channel when the episode goes live so you can look at it over there as well. So until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business
48:15 11/11/2021
Is Anxiety Impeding You From Creating Healthy Professional Relationships?
Is Anxiety Impeding You From Creating Healthy Professional Relationships? Featuring Adam Wiseman Anxiety can affect all of our different professional relationships and hold us back from success. Whether it's our clients, co-workers, managers, or vendors. Anxiety will also affect our productivity when interdependent relationships are needed. Toxic people and relationships can be turned around with the right tools. About Adam Adam Wiseman PMP, CHE Founder and Lead Consultant Quality Mental health Interventions Training and Consulting Adam Wiseman is a sought-after international speaker with more than 20 years of experience working with adults living with mental illness and other intersecting challenges.  He managed the Forensic Assertive Community Treatment Programs at Canada’s largest Mental Health organization and spent several years as a professor of Community Mental Health Case Management at George Brown College. In 2018 he founded Quality Mental health Interventions Training and Consulting which focusses on workplace mental health and teaching the mental health skills necessary to turn “toxic” relationships with clients and colleagues into productive ones.  Adam is a senior level Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Instructor, Suicide Alertness trainer and is certified in Mental Health Law in the workplace from Osgoode Hall Law School and as a Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace Advisor from the Canadian Mental Health Association.  He has trained members of organizations ranging from financial planners and ombudsmen in the financial sector to Court Support Officers and Toronto Police Services.  He also offers online training including a one day certificate course in Mental Health for Professional Relationships. When he is tending to his own mental health he enjoys fishing, his dog Lucy, and spending time with his family.   Full Transcript Below Is Anxiety Impeding You From Creating Healthy Professional Relationship Featuring Adam Wiseman Thu, 7/22 12:48PM • 1:08:19 SUMMARY KEYWORDS people, mental health, mental illness, anxiety, productive, called, talking, day, employer, person, important, company, staff, living, professional, home, line, thought, clients, mentioned SPEAKERS Adam, Roy Barker   Roy Barker  00:06 Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that speak to a diverse set of topics. Hopefully we can bring something to light maybe you haven't thought about. Or conversely, if you have something that's keeping you awake at night, hopefully we can provide you a solution to that. Today we are blessed to have Adam Wiseman. He is the founder and lead consultant of quality mental health interventions, training and consulting. He is a sought after international speaker with more than 20 years experience working with adults living with mental illness and other intersecting challenges. He managed the forensic assertive community treatment programs at Canada's largest mental health organization, and spent several years as a Professor of Community Mental Health Case Management at George Brown College. In 2018. He founded Quality Mental Health Interventions, Training and Consulting, which focuses on workplace mental health and teaching the mental health skills necessary to turn toxic relationships with clients and colleagues into productive one. He is also a Senior Level, Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Instructor Suicide, Alertness Trainer, and is a Certified Mental Health Law in the Workplace from Osgoode Hall Law, and as a Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace Advisor from the Canadian Mental Health Association. Adam, thank you so much for being with us. We certainly do appreciate it.   Adam  01:42 Thanks so much, Roy. I'm looking forward to having a chat today.   Roy Barker  01:45 Yeah, and it's, you know, we had just a little mental health experience just now with some technical issues that you know, and before we get off into that, I want you to tell me a little bit about, you know, how you got here, kind of what was your road, and you know, what you do to help companies right now?   Adam  02:06 Sure. So the way I got here was like most people, in my family, there was someone living with mental illness, who, you know, as much as it was inspiring, it was also quite frustrating the lack of services that were available and what was out there. So that's what initially got me interested in mental health and mental illness. So I started, I've worked in a variety of settings, I worked in group homes, I worked in employment. And then I started working as a case manager with the Canadian Mental Health Association. And that's really where I really started to fall in love with the work. So I stayed, I was with them for about 17 years, frontline for about 10, and then spent the balance in management running the forensic mental health program. And forensic mental health is for people who aren't familiar. When somebody commits a crime, and they're found not criminal in Canada, we call it not criminally responsible, because it's acknowledged that the crime occurred due to their mental illness, not due to them making a sound rational decision that they, you know, thought about 1/4, which, which has different outcomes. And it's very challenging. I mean, it's it's underfunded, you deal with staff burnout all the time. You know, COVID has given the world sort of a new appreciation for nurses, but it's one that I had, going back many years, because seeing them working in the mental health sector is just amazing what they go through. And equally amazing is the patients and the clients that we get to work with and the challenges that they have, and that they're able to, you know, come forward and live productive lives and achieve, you know, the goals they set out for themselves. And that was really our role. However, included in that role is also monitoring for safety, specifically, safety for the clients and for others, to work with this population, where addictions are incredibly high as well, you really had to develop some very specific skills. In large part, it's around how do you help someone achieve the goals that they've set for themselves, when they're also sometimes going to be their own worst enemy. So if you think about, like, anytime you've tried, maybe someone's tried to quit smoking or has tried a weight loss plan, you know, intellectually, we might know exactly what to write down to achieve it. But to actually make that happen, sometimes we need a little help. And that's where experts can come in. So we were never experts on the individuals living with mental illness. We were experts on how to help people achieve quality of life that's going to be productive and and appreciated, but by the individuals. So that's an interesting twist came in my career when a asset management company came and said, we would like you to talk with us. And I started to do some public speaking and that I was Teaching as well at the time and going to conferences, and they said, We'd like you to talk to talk to her advisors a little bit about mental health and mental illness. And I thought, okay, I can give them a mental health mental illness one on one. But then they really pushed me and they said, No, no, we want the skills. We don't just want the awareness, we want the skills that we can use. And I thought, Well, what do I know about financial advisors? Well, it didn't take long after speaking with a couple of them to realize that the same skill set that we're using to try to help people stay on their own treatment plan is what financial advisors need us to help people stay on their own financial plan as they experience not just the ups and downs of the markets, but also the ups and downs in their own mental health and what's happening in their own lives. So for example, you know, when you go to a financial planner, when something big has happened, you've maybe lost your job, or you've gotten big promotion, or you've come into an inheritance, which also means that you've lost someone that you love. So all these mental health skills, and a lot of them are borrowed from a specific type of intervention called motivational interviewing, apply directly to the professional sector. After starting to work with the financial planners, it quickly branched out into other groups that would come up. So I presented a conference for financial planners, and a lawyer would come up to me after the presentation and start talking to me about their challenges. So I really began to become quite passionate about trying to support professionals to develop the mental health skills, not just so that they can get better professional outcomes themselves, meaning they can increase their bottom line, but also so that people experiencing mental health challenges can get more equitable service from the experts they're going to see. Right. So one thing led to another, and eventually, that became so busy that I had to leave the Canadian Mental Health Association, and I officially formed my own company quality mental health interventions, training and consulting, which is what we've been doing for the last few years.   Roy Barker  06:56 Yeah, I think that it's interesting, interesting concept to take this to the, you know, like the salesman and with them, having to not only call to, you know, try to get people to sign up, but also managing them and finances, one that, you know, it can be very, very emotional for the, for the investor, you know, with the ups and downs. And then, like you said, just the live life situations that come along. So, you know, one thing I was going to ask is, and I guess part of this is giving them the tools, when not only for their own mental health, but maybe to understand the what the other party is going through as well to be able to, well, sometimes when we understand we can choose the right words versus like, Hey, I just don't know what's going on with this person.   Adam  07:48 Absolutely. And one of the things that we focus on and again, which comes from working directly with people living with mental illness, and maybe I should just just for your audience just quickly mentioned the difference between mental health and mental illness. Okay. So mental illness is a specific diagnosis, it affects about 20% of the population. It's things like depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, mental health is what we all have 100% of people just like we all have physical health, and some days is positive, and some days is not positive. Mental health is the same. So somebody with a mental illness that might have that's gonna, that could affect their mental health, right. So because they're hearing voices, which are putting them down and saying horrible things and telling them to hurt themselves, they might experience a negative mental health, but they can also have a mental illness and experience positive mental health. So that's the goal when it comes to somebody living with a mental illness. But the mistake that society's made for a long time, and I feel like COVID, it's kind of sped up the process of people understanding is that having a mental illness does not mean you're the only one with mental health. Everybody has mental health. So some mental health issues, you have to manage your entire life, just like some physical health issues. Diabetes is a good competitor, where diabetes can be managed, you might have to take medication to help with it, you might have to make a couple lifestyle changes. But you can live a long and productive life with diabetes the same as you can, as you take care of your own mental health. And if you did have a mental illness that you were kind of managing at the same time. So it's important to recognize that when we do talk about supporting professionals to develop their mental health skills, we're not talking about just serving that 20% of the population. We're talking about 100% of the population and just like you've mentioned, that includes themselves, so their relationship with themselves is an important part of that. Yeah, and   Roy Barker  09:39 I guess to take that further, I think what I'm hearing you say is so, just like myself, I can have poor mental health episodically today because of events that are happening, doesn't necessarily mean I have a mental illness. And conversely, if you have a diagnosis as mental illness, you can still have good mental health days. If You have the tools in which the navigate your illness? Absolutely. That's exactly. Yeah. And yes, I'm sure this, actually, you know, it has a lot to do with our, with our peers. And our work, I'm sure that even management would be managers would be very well served to learn some of these techniques. And I guess most of it starts with listening, is that correct? Listening and observing behavior?   Adam  10:28 Absolutely. So much of it is around, you know, listening, and really hearing what a person means not just jumping on. You know, they might say, you know, the classic is How are you doing, I'm fine. And find means 10,000 different things, right. And if you're married, it means 100,000 different things. So, so this idea of really listening to learn about a person and to get a bit more knowledge around their experience is so important. I was listening to your, the podcast you did with David brecker, just prior to us talking. And he talked about this innate desire to be listened to, and it's so true, there's nothing more frustrating than when you want to communicate something you're not able to. And if you're not able to, because the other person isn't listening, because they just want to sell you something or whatever it might be, that's gonna set up a really negative relationship. Whereas people who master this, while still maintaining their boundaries, we're not talking about professionals becoming therapists, we're just talking about them using mental health skills to achieve what I call the golden thread their professional goals, which are in line with the customer's professional goals, the techniques I teach, and the things that I work with. It's not meant for the, you know, quote, unquote, used car salesman trying to sell you a lemon. It's meant for the people like lawyers, financial advisors, realtors, human resource professionals, people who are trying to help people achieve what's in their own best interest. So you're both lined up with theirs.   Roy Barker  11:59 Yeah. Yeah, cuz most of those situations are all very typically emotionally charged. interactions, I'm assuming anyway, absolutely. You have to talk to the lawyer, or the HR department, oh, even if you're, even if it's a good thing, even if you're interviewing for a job, there can be a lot of stress and anxiety that goes along with that   Adam  12:23 100%. And there's things that you can do to help lower your stress and anxiety before things like job interviews, or stressful interactions with the HR department or something along those lines. But yeah, it's all about how can we have an underlying theme of the mental health professional relationships course, which is sort of my my flagship online course, is the idea that anxiety is the enemy of professional relationships, the more you can help to reduce the client's anxiety, your own anxiety, your supervisor, if you have one your colleagues if you have, the more productive you can be and productive is different than positive. Because Roy, you mentioned a whole bunch of very stressful conversations a person might have, those might not feel comfortable. But they might be very productive if you've got the skills to to make that happen. And that's the ultimate goal. I don't have a secret to make life always feel good and happy. And you know, sometimes we see these memes on the internet, and they can actually be harmful to our mental health. Because they make it sound like it's so easy to be happy, you just have to look for the positive. But that can actually be damaging, because like toxic positivity is a thing to where we want you to experience the uncomfortable and to experience the, you know, the whole range of emotions that makes us human, but then to have productive actions come out of that.   Roy Barker  13:43 Yeah, and that's interesting. Because I think that's my opinion, I'll ask you as this as a question is, you know, a lot of times these uncomfortable, conversations become toxic, because we get off track and we forget about what we're talking about. And then we either, you know, make it personal or about something else. And I you know, I just use spouses. Typically they're the easy ones to take, take your stressors out on so, you know, somebody says, Well, you know, could you pick your shoes up by the front door and move those out of the way? And then all of a sudden, it's like, Yeah, well, you didn't clean up the dishes quick. And you know, we kind of jump off of that topics. I imagine some of that skills is remaining on topic, remaining civil, not getting, you know, enraged and then also not getting personal. So I'll let you address that let you address those.   Adam  14:39 No 100%. And actually, yeah, like you said that very well. So the idea is to put space between our reaction so we have a reaction, it's instant. It happens. We don't want to judge it. We don't want to beat ourselves up for it. It's important that we're not getting stuck in there. But in a professional setting, we really have to make sure there's space between Our reaction and our response. So our reactions, what happens inside, it could be, you know, I remember having a conversation as a manager, and the person was talking in a way that made them seem like my judgmental mind was saying this person seems really entitled, like, they seem to be really like not getting the fact that this is their job, and they're supposed to be working and all this stuff. And that was my reaction. And my response based on that reaction would be to potentially attack them on that sense of entitlement, which would not be helpful at all. So I couldn't control that I had that feeling. And do I want to be judgmental? No, but I didn't beat myself up for feeling that you put some space in there to think and then the response is, you know, what, I'm curious, what is it that you really want to get out of this job, so I could get a better understanding from the individual about what it is that they want it because what I was judging as entitlement was really them doing me a favor, which is sharing information, because more information is always better, and that they weren't getting everything they wanted out of the job. And if I want somebody to be happy and successful, especially in such important work as community mental health work with a really vulnerable population, then I want them to feel positive and good. And we ended up having a fantastic working relationship. And it really changed how they approach their their client base, which if you, if you take that and you move it over into something like financial planning, or realtors or whatever, you know, that's going to affect the bottom line, you know, you're going to increase sales, increase customer loyalty, get multi generational clients, right? Because you're, you're really engaging with them, as opposed to judging and then just getting these power struggles and these immediate reactions, or even jumping right into what you can do for them, as they look that has nothing to do with me, all I can do is buy and sell your house. So let's get back to it. Right. So that you can build those relationships. And hopefully, again, as I said, it's always going to be comfortable, but it was productive. Yeah.   Roy Barker  16:58 Now that you mentioned that, that was something that struck me that the very first time that we talked was the, you know, really putting that separation between the reaction and the response. I mean, you know, we can feel taken aback with our reaction, but not trying to, you know, not taking the count of three or whatever, before we actually have a response instead of being in a heated situation. And I it's funny, because I just posted a meme not long ago about things that you can't take back. And that's one of those is the words that come out of your mouth, we can never get those back. Right.   Adam  17:32 And the other thing I would suggest is, you know, it's kind of like there's this expression, Time heals all wounds. Not really, um, time that's used effectively heals all wounds, right? It might mean counseling is involved, it might mean just self improvement is involved self awareness, spending some time with your emotions, whatever it might be, but just time doesn't really tend to do that much for us. So the same thing with putting time between our reaction and our response. It's how do we use that time? So that's where we can run some filters. That's where we can say things like, Am I making a judgment? Right? And if so, how can I change the outcome? I reword this? You know, is this am I being attacked? Because usually the answer is no. Right? It's not that I even if the person seems like they're attacking you, it's probably because you're part of a larger system that's involved, maybe they're angry at the company that you work with, maybe they had bad interactions with five other people who held your position, it's usually not actually a personal attack. And then you might, and then also confronting our biases, right, and our things which are, because different people come across, in in different ways based on their background, but also based on your background, that's all going to influence how we how we interact with each other. And that's where the value of things like diversity training, and cultural competency and all that sort of stuff, really does blend in not just with, you know, the idea that we want to live in a more, you know, loving and fair world. But also ultimately, with improving the bottom line, the more people you can relate to and connect with in a positive productive way, the larger your customer basis. So that's why that stuff becomes so important. Yeah.   Roy Barker  19:09 You mentioned earlier the core, well, that the mental health struggles are mental illness struggles and drugs. Is there studies out there that kind of show which one of those come first do is the people have mental illness that lead to drug use? Or is the drug use lead to some mental illnesses?   Adam  19:29 So the answer is yes. Okay. And that's a that's a fantastic and very insightful question. Yeah. Um, the truth is, is I say yes, because it can be both. So very often, for example, if you look at rates of men with depression 50 years ago, almost non existent. all you had was a bunch of alcoholics. Well, what were these alcoholics doing people living with alcohol addiction. They were self medicating their depression. Right. So there's certainly is that there also with some of the opiates and drugs on the market right now? Absolutely, they can cause organic issues with the brain. And people can develop long term mental health issues based on using substances. And then, so you have this kind of double full one is people maybe who are trying to self medicate and have a mental illness, so the illness came first. And then you can also develop certain mental health issues based on drug use. We are like, anecdotally, from speaking with community workers, we're seeing more and more of people who are seem to have an addiction issue first and a mental illness. Second, even to the point where some people were thought to have a mental illness, when they're able to get away from the opiates and clean. They sometimes they don't actually have a mental illness, and they're able to get into just functioning. And, you know, they may always consider themselves someone with addiction issues. And they might always need counseling and things on that, because addiction issues on their own are now considered a mental illness. And that can certainly exist concurrently with other illnesses. So it's a very, it's a, it's a tough question to answer. Absolutely, though, drugs impact people's mental health, and some people do have long term very serious consequences of   Roy Barker  21:23 So and I don't want to, you know, kind of go down that rabbit hole too far. But one more question is that, so sometimes we self medicate with, you know, alcohol, drugs, whatever. But if we weren't self medicating could we maybe implored tools that would help us with our mental health. Whereas if we're self medicating, we're not able to use those tools.   Adam  21:50 So the mental mental health treatment has really taken a very progressive approach, which has proven to be very effective. So I should also mention, so in my background, I'm also a project manager, I also do something called Six Sigma, which is process improvement through data management. I'm an outcomes guy, I'm not a Kumbaya, this feels good. So let's do it kind of person, I want to see if I'm doing something I want it to work, right. So like when working as a community mental health worker, if I went to someone's house, and all I did was sit and have a coffee with them, and chat, that might feel good. And I might feel like I've done a lot. And sometimes that that means more than you think. But if that's all that I'm doing, if that's all I'm bringing to the table, that's kind of that feel good idea, what I want to do is bring in some of those tools from cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy help the person really to move in the direction that they want. So no matter where someone is out on the mental health spectrum, from very ill to absolutely healthy, there's always interventions that we can assist with and things that they can do. So even someone who's very actively a addicted to opiates, and living with a serious mental illness, there's things they can do to improve their mental health. And it's incremental. And the hope is that they get to the point where they say there's some ambivalence, some ambivalence in terms of saying, you know, what, I do drugs, because I like how they make me feel for, you know, an hour, I don't have any problems, and I'm living in poverty, and I'm living with all this mental, you know, that centers of my mental illness and all this. But I wonder if I had a bit more money to go out for, you know, coffees, with my friends, I wonder if life would be a little bit better. And that's where we can jump in and say, interesting, tell me more about how life could be better if you had more money to spend, and time with your friends. So it's not quitting the drugs necessarily. That's the first part of the intervention. It's increasing their social life, and then that one kind of feeds off together. Okay, interesting. So you don't have to wait to be well, like, just like, if you had a broken leg, you don't have to wait for it to heal to start treating it. Right. You got to start treating it in order to heal. Exactly. Okay.   Roy Barker  23:55 So, you know, this is, I guess, after we come through COVID, you know, what are some? What are some observations that you've had over this last year? And then I feel like we're going through a critical state of reopening, people are getting back. I don't know, it's been such a divisive time for a lot of reasons. But you know, I guess just what are your thoughts on you know, what you've seen over the last year versus, you know, what's, what's coming up for us?   Adam  24:27 Well, there's things that I've seen and then there's also studies Luckily, they've, they've done a lot of work on on kind of where people are at, they've definitely seen a huge spike in terms of people identifying as having mental health challenges, and experiencing mental health crises. I know, a company called bridgehouse Asset Management did did some research with a company called navigator. And they found that 92% of financial planners identify that they work with clients who are having mental health child who have made bad decisions based on their mental So it's a it's definitely affecting everyone, what I'm seeing anecdotally Now, in addition to, you know, and also there was things around increases in domestic violence, and that's often can be due to stress, increasing self harm activities, children experiencing major increases in terms of their anxiety and mental health challenges that they're having. So we're definitely seeing that. And anecdotally, what I'm seeing now is a lot of anxiety around what's going back to work gonna look like, you know, is it? Is it going to be, you know, us all working out of our cubicles in the same way is it going to be a 5050 kind of thing, I heard a great phrase called COVID keepers, which are, you know, we got a lot, there's a lot of good stuff that happened during this pandemic, people got more family time, people spend more time with their pets and animals, which actually has a great impact on people's mental health. So some anxiety around losing some of those things that we might think of as positive. And as well of how do Is there a way for me to keep both and progressive employers and employers who want to hang on to people are definitely going to have to have those conversations with their employees, because people have been working from home for a year and a half. Now, a lot of them are keen to sit in two hours of morning traffic every day to get to the office to go up and do what they can do from their home office. Yeah, so. So some anxiety around that. And it should be interesting to see. But I think a lot of a lot of hope people are ready for life to get a little bit more back to normal and to engage. And people who initially thought working from home is awesome. I never have to go into the office, I could work in my pajamas. And isn't that after a year and a half, they're expressing loneliness. And most most people seem to want to blend Yeah, certain amount of days in an office, and then a certain amount of days at home to allow that flexibility.   Roy Barker  27:01 Yeah, and, you know, we've shown that it can be done in a lot of instances, and I just actually published a piece this morning on my personal website about this, that, you know, because what I keep hearing is a lot of, you know, like a big brush for the door that, you know, people have been talking about that we've become used to working from home, and those that want to stay at home are saying, Look, I'm not going back, I'll just go find another job. Yeah, the market has been good enough. You know, people are short handed everywhere. They've had that that option. But I think, kind of going along with this lines of, you know, I think it's good to ask the question, because you're right, I think there are a couple there about three camps of people, there's people like me that I like being at home, I get more done, not interruptions, I get enough socialization, you know, on zoom meetings and talking with family. But there are some people that really, it's hard for them to function without that social interaction. And then, you know, working in groups, you get some synergies, things like that. And then, like you said, there those people there be like, I'd like to go in for a day or two, but spend the other, you know, two or three days at home. So, as an employer, I just feel like, you know, we really have to ask this question, and it's part of getting to know our people. And because I think you, I'm assuming that, you know, we can have some core reactions, you know, based on exactly what you want, and what you're mandated to do.   Adam  28:29 And you actually, you hit the nail on the head, again, their ROI, which is you got to ask, because the days of, you know, worker number 27643 coming in and punching a ticket and all this stuff. Sure, they still may be environments that that are that work that way. But for a large part, it's time my if I was to give employers one piece of mail, let me give him two pieces of advice. The first would be implement the psychological health and safety standards. Canada has a national standard that's optional right now. But it is a world leading standard based on other countries which have developed the same, but that puts in place that makes sure that the environment is not causing psychological harm. And the second piece of advice would be Get to know your staff, get to know them really well get to know who is rushing to pick up and drop off their kids get to know who really loves the break of leaving the home life where it's very chaotic and coming into the office, you know, get to know who who he who enjoys, like team building events and things of that nature, and who are the people that are really afraid of it and you can start to put together teams that really represent people from every angle, because that's going to help you to better serve the clients because I can guarantee you the clients are coming from every angle as well. So like if you take me for example, I love that I can meet with my doctor over with similar to zoom, we have something called the Ontario telehealth network, but it's similar to zoom was just a little more secure. That's amazing. Why on earth do I want to sit in a unless I need something physical like checked? It's great. Whereas for other people, they don't trust it. And they're worried that you know that they're not able to communicate effectively. And it's also important that we recognize like, as a man, when I was managing with the Canadian Mental Health Association, if I some stuff I didn't see very often at all, because they were out in the community all the time. So I could have a quick chat on the phone. Anyone can sound happy, and content for 20 minutes. Yeah, right. Even often, some of the most depressed people can still pull that off. And if they can't pull it off on a zoom, they can definitely do it in the text. So it is different than seeing people seven hours a day when you can really see who's dragging who's not dragging, who might need a little bit more support that day. So getting in touch with that really getting to know those those staff is is going to be crucial for retention.   Roy Barker  30:51 Yeah, yeah, definitely. And the other part of I like what you say about getting to know your employees, because it was something, you know, when I had a lot of people working for me, I took that time to know, I knew them, I knew their families and knew their wives, their kids, we had, you know, outside functions outside the workplace, because it gave me a good indication, because I had people that, you know, they were just grumpy. I mean, they were grumpy. And that was who they were, versus people who, you know, tended not to be as grumpy. But you can tell when there was a change in their demeanor, and be able to go out and say, Hey, what's up because, and not in a threatening way, but like, I'm here to help. Because what we have to, I think what we have to understand is whatever's happening at home, it comes to the workplace, and whatever happens in the workplace goes home, not many people that I know are able just to check it out the door and say, You know what, I had a really terrible day at work, but I'm not going home and you know, slam the door, do whatever, do whatever people do.   Adam  31:55 Yeah, and there are techniques to help with that. There are things that you can do mindfulness exercises, and things that you could do in your car before you go into your home. I was talking, I'm part of a really cool group that a friend of mine, David Cohen put together, it's called a mastermind group. And we sort of read different books and support each other and, you know, come up with different ideas. But one of the ones that one of the participants shared was, you know, a lot of people do mantras in the morning, they'll say, like this, you know, visit my goals for the day, and I'm going to accomplish them in that, but the idea of doing it twice a day, once you move forward, and then once before going into your house. So before we're you know, I'm you know, my mantra might be connected to, I'm going to be productive today, I'm going to get everything on my to do list on, and I'm going to make two phone calls to people to try to work on to do some networking, right. And then before going back into the house, saying, I am going to be an amazing partner, I'm going to be an amazing Dad, you know, these are the things I want to accomplish, I'm going to have a one to one conversation with each my kids, I've got four kids so that, you know, you got to book the time. And, you know, and that idea of a second manager for to, to help to put some separation between the two. So at work, it helps you to leave the home life a little bit, even though we acknowledge you never completely Leave it. And when you're coming home, you leave the work life a little bit even acknowledging that, as you said, you can never totally, but one of the really negative things that's come out of the working from home, is for people who haven't been able to set boundaries, maybe they haven't been taught or they never thought about it, then come come across, instead of working from home, they're living at work. So their work is constantly around them. And you know, they've got all their computers stuff set up in their bedrooms. So as they're going to sleep, you know, they're seeing that there's emails coming in on their computer and all this kind of stuff. And that can be really detrimental to a person's mental health.   Roy Barker  33:53 Yeah, and I have to, I'll check the box on that one. And, you know, it's even more complicated for myself because I always enjoy what I do. And so, it's not like a drudgery, like, I gotta go do this. I mean, there's always some sense of excitement, and, you know, getting things done and being productive. And is, it is a difficult thing to turn that off. We, we've just had to regroup, you know, around my house and say, Okay, here's our definite, hard stop no more, because, you know, I have to admit, the last three or four months, I've gotten a little bit out of hand about, you know, being up all hours of the day and night and like you said, you know, phone's going off in the middle of the night because I deal with people all over the world. So it's always so wait, somebody is always open, and you know, during my 24 hour period, so it's it's and it's not only just for me, I'm sure it'll really improve my health because I've got to start you know, getting back out and walking, doing you know, eat and eat and you know, kind of getting back to the schedule, but also helps the family lives because that's another thing you know, Happy Happy wife. Happy A lot of things to consider.   Adam  35:05 Yeah, definitely the goal is to have a home that's full of contentment and happiness no matter what the family unit might look like, exactly,   Roy Barker  35:14 yeah. And, you know, I think the awareness between situational has, because this is where I was kind of trying to think about this while ago, talking about, you know, really getting to know your people, you know, that situational? And then, you know, I guess the people that maybe are having some more chronic, long or acute, that were the chronic issues, more long term issues. And I think that companies have become very well about providing services for employees. But number one, I don't think that information has been disseminated enough to let everybody know, but, you know, I have to think that there's also still a stigma, like, if I have to go tell my boss, and I'm struggling, you know, is he gonna be like, yeah, that, that guy's on his way out, we're gonna go ahead and start, you know, looking for somebody new. Even though it's probably, you know, it's illegal to do that, I'm sure. But it's still people are scared about it. So people are scared to raise their hands and say, you know, what, I need help. And I don't know, I guess that's probably the biggest message that we could hope to deliver from this, this talk is that don't be afraid to reach out for help.   Adam  36:28 Yeah, and I mean, that's part of like, when I talk about the psychological health and safety standard, you don't need a standard to say that I want my workplace to be psychologically healthy and safe, right? Basically, I it means less time off, it means less, or not less time off. But less sick time off from staff means less presenteeism, which is one of the most rampant things right now taking money out of businesses, bottom lines, is people coming to work, but who just mentally aren't able to, and who if they did take a day off, maybe they could take the time to catch their breath, and to re you know, kind of reset their compass. Often it takes more than a day, and it takes a series of things, but at least to get moving on it. So do you have a place where someone can say, I really need a mental health day today. And the other thing is around employee assistance programs, which most companies now offer? There was some interesting work done around that where, you know, the question was raised, so if we were a great company, because our staff don't use the EAP service, the employee assistance program a lot, right? Well, that doesn't mean that you're safe, a great company, most likely, what that means is either it's an inadequate service, which isn't I mean, it's it is insurance companies running, you know, offering counseling and things like that, or it is that staff don't trust it, they don't trust the organization. So they don't believe that it's anonymous. And that if they call in, because at the end of the day, those EAP services usually offer, or it could also be that staff are unaware of the service and what they can use it for, because most of them offer things from budgeting to like people going through divorce and through everything. So if your company has very low EAP use, then it means that your staff are these magical staff who don't experience loss who don't experience divorce, who never had financial issues, because those are all unworked related things that EAP service can help with. And if they're not going for that stuff, they're probably not going for the feelings of burnout, that they're getting at work. And some of those other challenges they're experiencing, or even if they're having a challenge with a colleague, that's something you can potentially go to your EAP about and get some direction around. Now you know, how you can, how you can work through it in a in a, you know, I use the word psychologically safe, but we're really talking about is trying to remove as many things that cause psychological harm in the workplace, right, and trying to put things in place that promote psychological health and having an open a open communication between management and staff. That's not based on trying to assign blame. It's based on trying to solve problems. You know, that's a major part.   Roy Barker  39:04 Yeah. Yeah, that's a huge aspect. You know, even with all different aspects of our businesses, you know, a lot of times we spend so much trying to time trying to figure out who to blame that we're not really focused on finding a solution. And one thing I'll add to the EAP issue is taking care of aging parents, you know, back in the 60s and 70s. The issues were, you know, around child care, child birth, things like that. And now we've progressed that, you know, a lot of people my age are having to spend more and more time taking care of their parents and loved one. And, you know, it's, it becomes a real stressor for people as well. Absolutely. And   Adam  39:45 let me give an example with that one specifically of an accommodation that that I did with a staff member who didn't come to me I went to them, and I could just tell and again, because they were an all star mentioned that you love your work those things. logistic is at risk. In fact, you can make a case that they can be even more at risk of burnout. Because they're burning the candle at both ends. I know I went through a period where I was way overextended. And, you know, I'm sitting there doing these trainings with companies, and I'm working on the PowerPoint, and I'm like, I had a broken leg at the time. And it's three in the morning, and I'm writing about how important sleep is to your, you know, to your health. And, you know, you do run into these cases of the, you know, the cobblers kids have no shoes. But it No one's immune to it right now. Like it affects everybody. So yeah, we definitely want to make sure that we're taking care of ourselves so that we can be a president effective.   Roy Barker  40:40 Yeah, and you know, we, it's a professional has, we had to be careful what we write because I've had my partner Terry, she's like, are you actually reading what you're writing here? Because you could probably apply that to your life.   Adam  40:52 I'm not gonna say that my partner has ever said that to me, and arguments or anything, but certainly none of us are perfect all the time. Yeah. So having your own words thrown in your face anxiety? about listening? Yeah, making sure you understand the other person first. And exactly.   Roy Barker  41:11 So what are some tips that you would give I know, there's, it's a wide category, you know, we've talked about like, maybe that the financial person in that sales role, or the real estate person or lawyer, and then we've also talked kind of about managing individuals in the workplace. But you know, what are some tips that you could just throw out there that could help help everybody some, in terms of things they could do for themselves, yeah, themselves, or even relating to others better.   Adam  41:41 So, um, when it comes to things that people can do for themselves, mindfulness is an evidence based, very useful set of body of knowledge, it can be all kinds of different aspects, one that I use a lot is box breathing, which I'll just explain, because it's been so so simple, I actually did it just before we started our conversation, it's a way that I like to get myself into either peak performance, or sometimes just to transition from one activity to another. And what I like about box breathing, especially when I'm training companies, because some of the companies I work in, they have quite a, you know, a high energy staff, maybe they're working in, you know, where they're pushing stocks and bonds and that kind of stuff. And the energy is different than in the nonprofit sector. Right. And it's kind of like a hurrah, let's go, let's go and that. So I like box breathing, because it like people who do yoga are familiar with it. But it's also used by navy seals in the States by SWAT teams by police. It's, it's just very effective, right, and I'm talking about right before they breach a building. So if you're, if you're so tough, that mindfulness isn't for you, because you're you know, you this tough person and everything, you have to be tougher than a navy seal, if you're going to tell me that this breathing exercise can help you, right. So it's basically just picture building a box in your in your mind, you breathe in, it's all the breathing zone through your nose in and out, you breathe in for four counts, you hold it for four count. And as you're breathing, you're kind of tracing this box in your head. So you breathe in for four count, hold for four count, breathe out for four count, hold for four count. And you just keep doing that in a cycle for a few minutes. And it really helps to drop the anxiety and to get your breathing in line. It helps with like your parasympathetic response, and all these sorts of things. So that you can be clear and focused on what you're doing, you don't want to end up in a panic, right? So it can be very, very useful that way. So that's, that's one technique that people can use. The one that nobody likes, is diet, and exercise is very effective at helping everybody in terms of how they're able to manage stress. Yeah, um, probably the most useful one is just reach out, reach out to the people around you, I guarantee you're not the only one struggling. If you reach out to someone, and you don't get a productive response, don't let that stop you from reaching out to somebody else. You know, there was one I did a I presented with someone from the Canadian Medical Association. And they presented this amazing slide, they said, if you want to see what stigma looks like, look at this slide. And it said, How many doctors would support a colleague who came to them with a mental health challenge, and you see this bar on the bar graph up at like 95%. And then it said, How many doctors would go to a colleague with a mental health challenge? And it was like 20%. And that's exactly what stigma looks like this fear of, and it's not that stigma is not real. You could go to your employer and your employer absolutely could you know if they're not progressive or knowledgeable on mental health issues, could do something that goes against your human rights, your your your rights in the workforce, and sometimes you do have to go that route. But what we want to do is obviously reduce reduce that stigma, but that idea that so many people are willing to help. And so few people are willing to ask for it is a real paradox in our society. And hopefully, we're moving towards more and more people saying, you know what I am, I am going to talk about this. But when it comes to self disclosure, you know, you do have to gauge Dude, you know, do you that's why trust is so important. You know, and also, again, going back to that idea of anxiety is the enemy of professional relationships, if you're a manager, your staffs anxiety is a problem, you want to get that down as low as possible, so that you can have a productive relationship, and then they're more likely to come to you with a challenge. So around that, that idea of the, you know, the sandwich generation of people taking care of kids and parents. So I have the staff member who's great, but I could tell was exhausted and it was we, you know, didn't seem to be caring as much about the work. So I could make a judgment and say, Oh, they don't care about the work anymore. They're jaded, it's time to get rid of them, or at least write them off as an effective staff member, whatever, I had the conversation with them, they had an elderly parent. And they said, We got, you know, we got an hour for lunch. And I appreciate that it's flexible, and I can take it when I want. But it takes me 20 minutes to drive back to my house where I like to, I have to check in on my parent, or you have to check in on my father, I have 20 minutes. And then I got to race back here. And I'm not even getting Time to eat anything and all this. So we said we looked at the requirements of the position and said, Well, why don't you take a two hour lunch and work an hour later? Right? And they said, Oh, that would be that would really help. You know, on some days, except there are days that I've got to pick up my kids and I can't work an hour later. And I said, Okay, well come back to me with some ideas, right. And they came back with a schedule, they got everything done. They put in the same hours as everybody else. And a complete 180 back to being an all star on the team. Yeah. And they went actually on to a leadership position. So yeah, it's communication and trust can be very powerful. But it's got to be earned on both parties.   Roy Barker  46:57 Right? Yeah. And that flexibility, because it's funny, you mentioned that paper that, you know, that I just published today mentioned that about it, I know we have deadlines, and we have meetings, there are certain things that happen a certain time that we just have to be present for. But if you're writing a report, or if you're doing some analysis, typically, you know, if you're in the early or middle stages of a project, does it really matter if you do that at 10, in the morning, or at eight at night, you know, whatever, whenever you can be productive, if you you know, have like that taken that the extra time for lunch to be in a good mindset. The other thing I think it does, or it's done for me is I feel gratitude to my employer. Yes, I want to make sure I give enough back that you can see that. I do appreciate, recognize and appreciate what you're doing for me. So I don't mind giving a little bit extra important to remember   Adam  47:52 that. And if you look at loyalty to employers, it's probably at an all time, low and high right now, depending on how well your company navigated the COVID experience, because I think that it did remind people because we you know, millennials and, and, and younger, you know, some of the gen Z's and stuff like that, statistically, I'm not stereotyping statistically, they job hop a lot more than like, you know, boomers is doing and even, you know, you could argue that Generation X is sort of the last group who really thinks in terms of, I'm going to have a 30 year career at this company, right, a lot of people are doing gig work and moving back and forth, and all this kind of stuff. And so to build that loyalty does mean that you're going to reduce your, you're going to improve your retention rates. And any study that you look at retention is the is definitely a goal, a piece of gold that you want to you want to be able to mind. Because every time you bring in a new staff, it's not just bringing in new staff, it means that you're adding to the existing staff, a training world. So they also start to get more burnt out and you can end up in these vicious circles. Again, we mentioned nurses before, nurses get burnt out, like the the amount of people are sort of like, okay, you this group can do this, and this group can do that. And nurses, well, you guys just have to figure out a way to do it, right, whether it's COVID, whether it's anything, it's like find a way and get it done. So nurses would burn out, they end up on stress leave, which means you're now you've got a lowered Lord number of nurses. Well, then they get burnt out because they're doing the work of an extra person. And you've brought in a new nurse who has to be trained, so they're also trying to train and then you lose another nurse to it. By the end of it. You have nurses who've only worked there for six or seven months training the new ones coming in because everyone's either leaving her on leave, and it really becomes quite detrimental. If you translate that to a for profit company. You can see how that would really you know, you're just say what you end up with is dirty water. And what I mean by that is if you take a clean fish and you put it into dirty water, you don't end up with clean water you end up with Dirty fish, you've got to clean the water. Yeah. And that's that environment of how we support each other and sort of what the lines of communication look like.   Roy Barker  50:08 And if that goes on long enough, I think also what you see is a breakdown in processes and procedures, because nobody was here to really train me correctly. And now I'm training you, and I've got maybe half the story, you know, and it just as we do this consistently over the long term, it gets to where, you know, we have zero knowledge transfer, and people aren't doing what they need to do in the job itself.   Adam  50:35 100% and ultimately, how management then deals with that says a lot about the emotional intelligence and the the expertise of the management, because if they just start blasting people for making mistakes with procedures that they were never properly shown, you're gonna lose good employees, right, and you know, who sticks around the worst ones, the ones who are just phoning it in, who don't want to go anywhere, and all that, but you know, what, even they can be engaged and, and, and fired up and active. Because at the end of the day, people want to contribute, people want to be passionate, no matter what the work is, you know, finding that Zen that just love of doing the tasks, no matter if it's a mundane task, or a complex task. and engaging all those people is just about finding out what their Why is, you know, why do they come to work? What is it that they get out of it? You know, why? What gets what gets them excited, and then putting in the house. So how can we shape your position, so that you're doing more of the things that you love, which is going to help us doing less of the things you don't love, like documentation, and, you know, data entry, and all that kind of stuff, and let's get creative. And when you have a workforce that's, that's engaged, they drive, you don't need to pull them, right, they push towards it.   Roy Barker  51:47 And I don't think a lot of companies realize the actual true dollar outlay for turning over employees, you know, some of the lower level employees, it can cost, you know, five $6,000, to turn them over. And as you start working up to professional C suite people, it gets astronomical, but it's not a line item on an income statement. And so, I think a lot of times people just disregard it, but they don't understand the true impact. dollar was and then also, you know, as we bring people in, if they're toxic, they, they can poison the pool as well, kind of, like you said, the dirty water. So, you know, one of my sayings is always, you know, be an employer of choice, don't be an employer of last resort, because right, then get you in trouble.   Adam  52:36 All right, and also, how do you put a price on losing an individual who is starting in the mailroom, and who 15 years from now was going to be one of your maybe C suite people with all this great experience, you've been led by great managers who's now been conditioned to have, you know, great instincts, and as well as having good knowledge of policies and procedures and how to do change management, because they've seen it. Right. But when they left after six months, because you know, it wasn't there in the wind somewhere else.   Roy Barker  53:07 Yeah, exactly. Adam, we appreciate you taking time out of your day, there's so much to cover. I know, we probably didn't even hit the tip of the iceberg. So I'm gonna give you an invite to you know, please come back and join us. And we can delve off more into this. I think it's so important. I think it's a pivotal time because of, you know, just honestly, when, when the COVID started, I thought we might see a lot of misbehavior, I don't know how else to say it, you know, like criminal activity and fights and things like that. But we did not think because people were home, we were separated. And then also there was that level extra level of support by governments to help with the unemployment. But now, it seems as all of this is going away, and we're getting back to normal. I know, you know, around in where I live in the Dallas area, the road rage, the shootings, all of these violence has just really taken off over the last month or so. I mean, like to crazy levels that all these local police departments are having to come out to make, you know, statements to address it. It's so bad. Yeah.   Adam  54:19 Yeah. And it's, uh, you know, when we see a crisis, like, you know, when the world was running out of toilet paper, everyone was on the rest of buying toilet paper. We immediately think okay, the solution is, we got to get more toilet paper accessible to more people. Well, right now we have a mental health crisis, because everyone's gone through a traumatic experience, however, they experienced some people have good stuff happened. So not so good. But everyone's going through this weird like, you know, a lot of anxiety and, and that sort of peace. And right now what we need is mental health support. We need the government to maybe increase funding for counseling and things of that nature. And just because you can't see it doesn't make it any less real. And that's the crisis that we have right now. And it does, because governments aren't really stepping up in this regard, it does come back to employers, but also to all of us to really develop those skills. And that's part of why some of the work I do is directly with companies. And but a lot of the work that I do is directly with individuals, because there's a lot that you can do, even if your workplace isn't going to change. There's a lot that you can do to take care of your own mental health to make you more effective. And to make a clear decision on, you know, maybe that's not the workplace where you want to thrive. Right, but and then go find it.   Roy Barker  55:32 Yeah, because it's out there. Yeah. Yeah. And I think we could, we can even be better for those people around us, you know, we can recognize better when people need help, maybe we don't have to make them ask us, but also removing that stigma, to be sure, ask for help, if you need it. And then also employers to be aware that, you know, there's some fragile individuals out there right now that we need to really seek to understand what they're going through what we could do to help them, it's going to be an important time going forward, for sure.   Adam  56:05 And those are likely to be officers of the future, because like you said, it builds that loyalty. Yeah. Right. When somebody helps you out, you want to do you want to show that you appreciate it? And that that's really how you build psychologically positive workspaces.   Roy Barker  56:19 Yeah, you know, the other thing I was gonna mention earlier, I forgot was the talking about the four square breathing. But I've never really thought about that between events. So I'm going to try to do that, you know, as switch gears, because what I started doing in at night, well, I'll do it in the morning. But then I added the evening one, just to kind of clear my mind for sleep. And it's been very effective just to sit quietly, mindfully. And so I think that would help a lot with that anxiety of transitioning, you know, as we run through our day, just to take a minute to go through that exercise before we start that next task.   Adam  56:57 Yeah, especially like, if you're driving to work, and you start getting all you know, wound up, because you know, you've got to confront somebody, when you go in, and you're afraid it's gonna be, you know, someone who doesn't take feedback well, or something like that. And so you're really anxious, before you get out of your car, you just take two, three minutes, do some box breathing, and you approach everything differently. When I do live trainings, it's commonly something that I'll get everyone to do, right after the break. And it really brings everyone back into the room and you know, it leaves, the phone calls that they had to make at the break and all that kind of stuff, it helps to transition out of that. And, yeah, it's it's very helpful when they did want to mention it. Actually, if you do that, I think it was 20 minutes a day, they actually say it changes how you breathe, in general eating. So you're taking longer, deeper breaths, and you're anxious, and you'll experience lower anxiety as a baseline. Okay, so it's pretty amazing. Yeah, cuz   Roy Barker  57:49 I know, it's something I've found out about myself is I'm usually a very shallow breather. And I think that's something that we really need. I've been told, you know, to work on, taking those deep breaths, making sure we're getting enough oxygen flowing around, because it doesn't even have to be a tense situation. But just more something, when you're really when I'm really engaged, and really paying attention to what I'm doing, you know, you kind of forget that and you just, I'll catch myself taking shallow breaths. So   Adam  58:19 you want to get in that flow, where everything's where your body feels good, your brain feels good. You're working, you're working, you're working. And then when it's time to stop working, though, you know, you say, I'm really excited about this. And I can't wait to get to it tomorrow, because I'm spending the rest of the night with my family. And that's what I'm going to have.   Roy Barker  58:35 Right, right. All right. So what is a habit? Now, we've talked about a few in this in here. But what is a habit that you just couldn't do without in your daily life, either professionally, or personally, the one habit that I could not do without you.   Adam  58:58 I can tell you, I think that for me, it is honestly, just how I use that space between reactions and responses. I learned more about myself in that time, too. I see my own biases come out. And there's so many different types of, you know, conscious and unconscious bias, and we're always kind of trying to work through and it's changed how I interact with my children, how I interact with my partner, Kristen, it's really, I would say that's the biggest one is the idea of just not reacting all the time. And like just taking that that opportunity. Now in addition to that, certainly the days I exercise are a lot better than the days I don't. The days that I'm eating, non processed healthier foods are a lot better than the days that
68:25 11/10/2021
The Challenging And Rewarding Task of Sourcing High Demand Nurses During A Pandemic
The Challenging And Rewarding Task of Sourcing High Demand Nurses During A Pandemic Featuring Kelli Christina Talk about a demanding job. Sourcing nurses for high-demand, nonstop positions during a pandemic. Asking nurses to step into a highly volatile position not knowing if they would ever get any time off and hoping not to become infected with the virus as they went about their business helping others to survive during a very scary time About Kelli As a woman in today’s world, Kelli Dennehey Christina attributes her success to her hard work, education and determination. With 20 years of specialized medical recruiting experience and 10 years in business management, she is currently the CEO, owner, and director of recruiting for KD-Staffing. Ms. Christina created KD-Staffing on the idea that “recruiting is an art.” She has perfected her skills in this “art” through a number of managerial and leadership positions since the start of her career; she became a restaurant manager and a boss at nineteen years old. Before she started a career in recruiting, Ms. Christina obtained a bachelor’s degree in business, hotel and restaurant management from the University of North Texas. With 30 years of career experience, her advice to younger generations of women entering the workforce is to remember the importance of education. She also advises them to be strong-willed and to never give up. Kelli Christina is an international best-selling author, public speaker, CEO and business coach current day. Ms. Christina has worked part-time government projects for ten years. She loves "making a difference" on today's world.   Full transcript Below The Challenging And Rewarding Task of Sourcing High Demand Nurses During A Pandemic Featuring Kelli Dennehey Christina Wed, 7/21 6:09PM • 43:20 SUMMARY KEYWORDS people, job, medical professionals, roy, years, recruiting, resume, recruitment, business, employers, clients, staffing, career, company, employee, little bit, restaurant, kelli, question, talk SPEAKERS Kelli, Roy Barker   Roy Barker  00:00 Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that can speak to a diverse set of topics, either trying to identify something maybe our audience hasn't thought about, or at least providing them support on major issues that may be keeping them up at night. So today is no different. This is an awesome timely interview. We've been waiting for a couple months to get her ons but Kelli Christina, she is a top female healthcare executive.   As a woman in today's world, Kelli attributes her success to hard work, education and determination with 20 years of specialized medical recruiting experience in 10 years in business management. She is currently the CEO, owner and director of recruiting for k d staffing. She created Katie staffing on the idea that recruiting is an art. She has perfected her skills in this art through a number of managerial and leadership positions since the start of her career.   She became a restaurant manager and boss at 19 years old, before she started a career in recruiting. She also obtained her Bachelor degree in business hotel restaurant management from the University of North Texas. With 30 years of career experience. Her advice to younger generation of women entering the workforce is to remember the importance of education.   She also advises them to be strong willed and to never give up. She is also an international best selling author, public speaker, CEO and business coach. current day. Yeah, business coach current day. She also worked part time for the government projects for 10 years. She loves making a difference on today's world. Kelli, thank you so much for being with us. And go eagles.   Kelli  00:00 Aha, I love it. I just I know we both graduated from the same college did we Roy, right?   Roy Barker  00:00 Yeah. And we're, yeah, we're waiting for our football team to catch up. You know, it's that's the sad thing about it is it's such an awesome school. I think one of the best schools in the country, but because we don't have a football team. You don't get much attention. And you know, the other thing about this DFW area where we both live that, you know, we've got SMU TCU, the Rangers, the Cowboys, you know, we got so much sports that they kind of get drowned out. But anyway, that's a topic for another show. Maybe we can get the athletic director to come on.   Kelli  00:00 I enjoyed going to UN T and I actually, and you know, this will definitely show my age. But they were just rolling out the hotel restaurant business management program. I think they were just a couple years into the program, Roy. And so of course that was it was awesome in the 90s. And I graduated in 1993.   Roy Barker  00:00 Yeah, yeah, they do they are known for that is a one of the recognized programs across the country as well as my specialty was gerontology, which they are a leader in that field. And then I think music, but yeah, they've got so many great schools that try to do anything I can to give them a little bit of support. That's right, we've got to do it. Right. That's right. Well, before we get jump into recruiting and staffing and what's going on in the world today, tell us a little bit more about you know, I know that you know, as I read through this, that you you were in the restaurant and Hotel Management, you went through that education track, but what really made you settle on recruiting and how did you make those decisions?   Kelli  00:00 That is, that's an excellent, most excellent because I am definitely a restaurant baby. And, you know, my personality is hospitality. I do tend to be a people pleaser. I love level of service. And I have had some amazing, I think that my bosses in the 90s they actually they developed me at a very young age, to you know, troubleshoot operations handle problems, you know, you know, handle systems, just my business success, or my career success was probably based on those bosses and what they taught me in the 90s.   And so 20 years ago, and for a very smart, small time, you know, so you decide that you're going to switch careers and, and it was a it was a big decision for me to make. But the actual way that I transitioned is I there was a recruitment firm that I had used in restaurant management for my own jobs. And they had asked me three times now this would have been I think, 1999 did I want to try recruitment it's 100% commission bubble, but I I'd be working, you know, with restaurant managers and area directors and such and give it a try.   By the third time, I think you're a little scared, because commission sales that can be a little bit scary. And, but I gave it a try, and I just happened to be really excellent. You know, you find people that just really can't do it, or they can do it all the way. So that is actually how I started recruitment is in the restaurant industry. And then, of course, I transitioned to the medical industry. And it was a great challenge. I didn't, you know, learning, I had to learn to be typing and computers and and now you're a corporate job, and you got to learn all the medical terminology. And so I've had two careers that I absolutely, I mean, I love them both. I always say now, current day, if I'm not working in a restaurant, I'm spending money in the restaurant.   Roy Barker  00:00 So that's an awesome story. And I really liked the part that you talked about the your bosses, when you were young really shaped you and gave you that success, because I was lucky in the same respect. I mean, I had my parents were both awesome and gave me a lot of life lessons. But you know, at some point, I moved out and move, you know, about an hour away.   And my first corporate job, and I was lucky to be surrounded by not only were they awesome people, but willing to give and I just I really liked that aspect about, you know, once we get good at our career, our job or whatever we're doing, we really need to give back by helping others because I've seen people take the approach of well, I had to learn the hard way they can too. And I just don't really subscribe to that.   Kelli  00:00 I don't either. And I'm huge. And I know and I really thank you for reading off my formal biography. And I do you know, speaking of UN T, and what did I do in college, and what do I believe in. And I still current day cell recruitment is an art, which is a training program. But I started training, I actually wrote training manuals in college, and I'm a huge believer, it doesn't matter what industry that you're in, you've got if you if you want your people to be successful, then you have to train them to be successful, you have to set them up for success, otherwise, they're gonna fail. So part of that is your training manuals, your systems, your processes, and teaching, you know, your staff, the right methods, you know, for success?   Roy Barker  07:35 No, no, that's important. And, you know, two things that I see a lot because I, you know, I do some employee retention work. And a couple things that I see that really troubled me, I guess, is that now, corporate recruiters, a lot of corporate recruiters, call recruiting, I posted an ad on indeed, somewhere, and you know, then they wonder why they get 2000 people that are qualified for their further job.   And so, you know, that's one thing is, you know, sometimes you have to get out from behind the desk to speak, to educate, you know, students in school, other groups, you know, find a way to personalize it, where you can actually meet people and learn more about them. And then the second part is the onboarding, I feel like that we've sacrificed in the digital age, because I know people that have, you know, gone into their first day at a company, and it's like, here's your desk, and we're going to get you a computer in a few minutes.   And then there you go, instead of, you know, like, in my time, in the old days, there'd actually be somebody from HR that came out, sit down with you went over, you know, all the important stuff to get that out of the way, but you know, made you feel comfortable and not just left you on an island with a link on a computer.   Kelli  08:56 Oh, I I agree. And, you know, my you know, and we do have a small team, but we office from home, and but my philosophy behind working from home? Well, number one, not everybody, a lot of people want to work from home, but can they actually do the job? That is a big challenge, you know, because you either you're either self discipline to do the job, or you're not. So that's a challenge.   There are a lot of positive with the office environment and the energy and the synergy and you can kind of, but my point is, is that, in order for me to have staff at home, I've got to have organized systems in place. And we're still going to take that time to train and develop, because you can't just hang an employee out there and think that they know the job because they don't   Roy Barker  09:44 know. Yeah, even if they came from a different discipline, even if they're recruiting in some other industry. They're still specific things that you know, you can't just say, Hey, your recruiter so here's your chair, get on the phone and get going. It's, you know, we have to take and I'd say that Even for like bookkeepers or what other kind of professional staff is, maybe they had the same basic job title somewhere else. But everybody has a little bit different system and procedure that we really have to educate them on.   Kelli  10:14 Yes. And, you know, I, at the end of the day, all the years of being Boss, I will still pick and actually, I do pull some of my staff out of the restaurant industry. Because I feel that I feel that they're smart, they have a very big personality, they know how to handle people. But the point is, is that when I'm hiring, I'll pick the the young, energetic over the top, wanting to do a good job employee that I need to grow and develop over the seasons, you know, lazy, doesn't want to learn new tech techniques type of employee, right? Yeah, it's   Roy Barker  10:52 funny, you mentioned that, because that's what I used to do some work in the senior living field. And of course, it was always hard attracting talent. But that was one hint that I gave to all my clients where, when you're out eating a meal, and you have good restaurants or good service in a restaurant, that is the young man or young lady that you need to say, Hey, have you ever thought about being in this field?   Because, you know, I don't know, when you have good service in a restaurant, it really makes a difference in your experience in most jobs. That's what we're looking for. We could teach you the skills, we need that attitude and to make our customers feel like we're having a good experience. So yeah, it's a great place to draw from.   Kelli  11:35 Yes, it is. And, you know, in the matter of talking about recruitment, and the job and everything, you know, one of the first things that I talk about is, you know, when you've got somebody on the phone, you've got to ask open ended questions, because you got to remember something, you have a relationship on the other side of the phone. And, you know, you ask a few questions to engage, don't be so you know, because I think new sales, new recruiters that are so quick to punches sell punch of sale, that they forget that they want to engage the other person. And that, you know, there's information shared, which means they'll get a lot of hangouts if they don't or hang ups if they don't learn that. Yeah.   Roy Barker  12:15 Yeah, I think it's a it's funny, you mentioned that we were talking the other day with somebody about scripts and about how you need to learn the job good enough to get the information across. But we have to, you have to really position it as a conversation, because I've heard this. Hello, my name is Roy, I'm with XYZ, I'm calling you about your resume that you send in, you know.   It's like, learned enough that you can have a conversation, but then also too, it's like in sales that I've heard, recordings of people that, like they blow through stop signs, like, you know, if you call somebody and they, they like, yeah, I'll take that job. It's like, okay, the sale, you're done selling wit telling them about that, let me just tell you one more thing about this job. You know, it's like, we have to take these cues from the people that we're talking with.   Kelli  13:08 You know, I ended up you know, when we're in communications, and before our clients are ever going to get our, our candidates, which are medical professionals, you know, my team is going to be with that individual, at least two to three calls. And then of course, I, I call, I'm nicknamed the information Queen, because I am the type that you know, if we're going to talk about a job, and we're going to talk about a move in a community, that I need to know all the job legit logistics, I need to know the healthcare, I need to know a healthcare system, I need to know the benefits. I need the city, I need the schools, I need the housing, I need all of the things that these individuals are looking at for an educated decision. You know, go ahead. No, no, no, I'm   Roy Barker  13:52 just saying yeah, that's, that's right. You have to be a good listener in sales and in recruiting as well, I'm sure.   Kelli  13:59 Oh, yes, you do. And, you know, if you're, you know, enough years and enough strength into the job, you know, you'll you will weed out the people just on, you know, new recruitment, they don't think about, you know, like, I know, after 20 years, you know, if a spouse or boyfriend, girlfriend or family is going to move to that area, then you might as well just stop the tracks are out there. Okay, because you're not going anywhere. Yeah, you can try you can talk them into it, talk them into it, but they're going to get cold feet, you know, so if you're very good at listening to, you know, whoever you're working with on their exact needs and everything, then you'll key in on whether it's a good fit or a bad fit earlier in the process, and you waste less time.   Roy Barker  14:42 Yeah, no, that's, I think that's a good. That's a good thing for all sales to remember is sometimes people just aren't a good fit for that position. And we have to be strong enough to say, you know what, after all the information that I've heard, this may just this opportunity Probably just isn't for you and agreed to part ways instead of, because I've found some people will go through the process and go through three or four calls and get down to the end. And then they just say, okay, rejected. And they could have really actually let them go, maybe two, three calls earlier.   Kelli  15:20 Yes, yes. And, you know, if I, if I said, I've never had years of career where, you know, you have somebody that's wasting your time, or you're pushing, or you're pulling or whatever. And I do think it's later in your career that you learn when to let them loose, you know, sometimes they'll be even surprised that you know, how laid back you can be about just not a good decision, you know? Yeah, yeah. Cuz, I   Roy Barker  15:47 mean, I've actually, sometimes it can work in the, in the reverse that, you know, I've had customers that have said, Yeah, I really don't think this is going to be for you. And then they're like, Huh, well, yeah, it is for me. And they try to start selling me on why it is good for them. So it doesn't work all the time. But, you know, I think it's just that honest feedback that we have to give and communication, I think in in your business, it's a lot, it's a little different.   Because you're, you have to have a lot of close communication with a lot of people for one position, you know, until you start narrowing down the field. But I think that communication between your applicants and the company that you're sourcing for, you just have to really be on top of your communication game to pull that off.   Kelli  16:37 I agree about 150% on that one. Yeah, yes. And, you know, we, you know, there's a little bit of groundwork that will ask of the people that are interviewing for jobs to do up front, and, and will patiently wait, you know, until that groundwork is done. And for me, it's almost like a testing, you know, type situation, because for the serious minded that are really interested in their job, they're gonna they're gonna jump all over and get it done. Yeah, you know.   Roy Barker  17:10 So this is an interesting time, I'm sure to be in recruiting. You know, we're taping this in July, the end of July 2021. But we're coming out of COVID businesses are opening up. I think there's still some areas that may have the What is it, the extended level of unemployment benefits in some places, but then we've also got a group of, you know, maybe individuals that have underlying issues that are like, I'm just not taking the chance and going back into the workforce, that's created a little bit of a shortage in some places, but what are some things that you're seeing with your customers? Oh,   Kelli  17:52 we could talk the next hour. No, I, you know, I think we were just kind of discussing this before we went here. You know, what I've noticed with business is just, you know, a lot of small stackup this year of small business problems, but it just kind of stacks up problems, maybe you haven't seen with your systems, your companies or anything in five years, and then they surface. So for me, as a business owner, I've had to learn to practice my patients a little bit, um, do you know, stay all over? And then oh, by the way, your adjust, come up with some new plans. You know, you know, medical professionals are coming full speed into full time jobs, again, permanent positions, that's what we staff, the housing market is a new challenge.   And, you know, what we've, you know, and I was thinking about this the other day, Roy, you know, I haven't had to talk medical professionals, through housing situations, or housing shortages, send some 2008. And that was a year of recession. And so if you've got enough years of recruitment, you do come up with some, you know, housing issues, or other issues in the moving and transitioning process. And really, it's just adjusting to the problems, and then talking people through what we can do, if that makes sense. Yeah.   So right now, I'm just think I mentioned, um, you know, Texas has definitely, um, we're in Texas housing, housing is taking longer, whether you're renting or you're buying, well, I just learned two weeks ago, so as Tennessee, that's the home of another one of my clients, and, you know, it's an issue we're going to have to work through. I and so, you know, when you're talking about transitioning and moving people, they got to live somewhere. Right, exactly. Right.   Roy Barker  19:50 And that's a little bit different of a situ you know, yours is because there may be move involved, but I guess the other part of this or how are him Employers taking this, you know, change in the way things are done, like, you know, because a lot of times, especially, they wait till this position is empty. And sometimes these things can be very short fuse like they need somebody yesterday. But it's unfortunate that in this environment, sometimes things don't move that fast. So our, I guess our employers kind of adjusting their expectations about when how this recruiting process is and getting people in the seat?   Kelli  20:32 Well, I'm like, and I'm sure this is the kind of stuff that keeps company owners up at night, you know, and me, because sometimes when you're working slower, it's more stressful than when you're fast and you're moving full speed. And, you know, as a company owner, I'm not programmed to give up, you know, or say, Okay, well, this is failing, so we'll just let it fail. Um, I am always adjust. I'm one of those, you know, like, some people come up with one to two plans, I'll have six, you know, do all the plans work?   No, but you got to think outside the box, you know, I'm the type of business leader that we're not going to accept defeat, we're going to keep going. You know, in a matter of my clients in the employers are the hospitals, of course, they have been aware of what kind of hiccups we've got. Because, you know, I work with human resources and the challenges that I've got, they've got, um, but are they going to let us lie low and not perform? No. But I think that there's probably a little bit more push, especially when we're talking about like, the housing market or whatever, right.   But, um, you know, you don't ever want to lose your clients over excuses, either, you know, so you keep pushing. And do you know, for my company, we've got a lot of long term clients, so they know how strong we perform, you know, and I'm also in the medical industry, and it does not shut down during any types of, you know, national, you know, disasters. You know, it's a more stressful process when we are having problems in this country, on medical professionals through. But you know, we handle the stress, and we keep moving forward.   Roy Barker  22:21 So have you seen any fluctuation Well, in number one, and I guess, job postings, versus applicants, or people interested in jobs that y'all have? Have you seen either one of those fluctuate?   Kelli  22:36 That is an amazing question. I'm glad that you asked that. Um, yes, we've had problems. And I'm sure you if you talk to enough on staffing, there probably share these opinions. Our national job boards have not performing or not performing as strong as as normal. And this has been probably a problem that started around lockdown, you know. And so for me, of course, is the company owner. I've scraped up a few. You know, let's try digital marketing.   Let's try this path. Let's try this path. Because you are right. Yes. You know, we've seen the indeed zips career builders, we've seen all of them go through the slowdown. It doesn't mean they're not performing. There's not performing as strong. Yeah. And so go ahead. For me, oh, we use we use three to five sources. Okay. So I'm going to try to keep the engines running wherever we can. But yeah, that was a great question.   Roy Barker  23:38 Yeah. And I think, probably also, you can confirm this, as well as that. I mean, we all know, we're in a little bit of a tight spot, just because people aren't graduating, you know, being becoming doctors and nurses, you know, there was kind of a low in people choosing those paths. And then not only on top of that, I guess we've had so many health care workers that have been going to the hotspots and working remote that some of them are probably coming home and want to take a deep breath before they you know, take that next step.   Kelli  24:10 I just and, you know, we're definitely definitely not at complete full speed for our company. But I would definitely say that we're coming out of it, you know, for the permanent staff, you know, on the medical side last year, we were challenged just because, you know, if you're looking at a job for me, that's, you know, 30 or $40. And you can take a COVID contract for over 100 but you're going COVID you know what I mean? And by the way, that's what our medical professionals do. That's how they respond. You know, they respond to their emergency, let's go during hard challenging times, but they are starting to come off. I've heard a lot of stories on those COVID contracts and they are getting ready to Okay, let's stabilize a little bit and get that permanent job back. Yeah.   Roy Barker  24:59 So What are some? What are some things that you would some advice that you would give to employers reaching out to recruiters like yourself? What are some things that they need to do? to not only help themselves, but to help you perform better? Oh, that's it. Can you? Can you rephrase that for me? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, just like me on a tough question.   Yeah, no, no, just some, you know, some tips or tricks, like, you know, I'm sure that they need to make sure they've got their, you know, start and their start dates all lined up the salary ranges, the, the job descriptions, you know, we're up to date for y'all just those kinds of things like that, what makes it easier? If I was to call you tomorrow and say, I need you to look for this person for me, you know, what are some things that you would ask for that I probably need to have on hand to get started.   Kelli  25:53 Okay, that I understand that completely. Here we go. So, um, you know, I do ask for my clients a little bit more information up front. Okay, so I have my company has like, Question and Answer forum, she know, that we give new clients, you know, in the matter of, you know, we do a lot of nursing departments, all nursing departments, managers, directors, those sort of, we do some tech roles and stuff.   But for me, I'm, you know, in for our pre screening process with our candidates, and we want to give them more information that I I typically send a form out, which is very simple, you know, you know, what are your benefits, and what's the shift and, and the range on the job. And, you know, shift differentials.   And so if we get all the logistics of the job in as much of the hospital or the health care system that we can get up front, because my job is not to send a hiring manager or 15, sloppy resumes on people that are semi interested, my job is to deliver the right information. And from a scale of one to 10. You know, our medical professionals need to be at least an eight on interest.   And so for that to happen, then we've got to give them more information up front, and it's very valuable system. Sure, it might take a little bit of time of, you know, 30 minutes or an hour come up with this information. But then we are representing, you know, our clients in the right way.   Roy Barker  27:28 Yeah, yeah, definitely make it easier on them in the long run getting the person instead of getting, like you said, 12 marginal people, maybe you can get them three or four, you know, really good fits. So let's turn that on the flip side and say, Okay, I'm a nurse professional, that I'm going to be looking at one of your job openings, or you know, want to talk to you about it, what are some things that I need to have in order, you know, to make that easier and faster, and one place I'm going to definitely lead to on this is the, I think, is at the applicant tracking, I don't know if y'all use one, but you know, like, kind of tweaking people's resumes to come through that.   Kelli  28:11 So we do not use that system. Um, and but I will, and, you know, my team, we do do like the free resume service. Okay. And that that's pretty important, by the way. So, you know, what, what my medical professionals, you know, typically, you know, obviously, I need the resume, but I'm going to tweak it now. If myself, my team, we're going to tweak anything, of course, we always deliver that information back.   But that is the that is does the resume present itself the way it does? Because sometimes we'll have like, you know, the travel nurses out there. And so they show all these short, you know, short term jobs and everything. Well, the hiring managers are typically going to look at that resume about a minute or two, and they're done. So they need to know if you're at a travel company, okay, well, these are not five short jobs. This is one travel company for this many years.   So we do that. But I also, I do the screening job guide forums with medical professionals, and it just asked the basics, you know, what kind of money are you looking for? Have you you know, have you done the research in this area? Do you have anything on your background? Do you have anything on your license, you know, what department are you looking for? What shift are you looking for? So we do a little bit of groundwork so that nobody's wasting their time right up front?   Roy Barker  29:31 Yeah. So how do you address gaps in in a resume? You know, my opinion was always been To be honest, and specifically state what it is and but what is your How do you recommend applicants handle those?   Kelli  29:50 It depends, is going to be my answer. You know, when we're working with the clients, you know, like, let's use this as an example. If you've been off work a year, or two years or whatever, then you're probably not going to be able to build through my company. Okay? Because they're gonna want to know, you know, like, but sometimes somebody is doing something, you know, or maybe they had an injured and they're staying home or whatever, but there is some company or sometimes it's a matter of what are they doing? And is it on paper? And does it read the right way? Yeah. Oh,   Roy Barker  30:26 yeah. Yeah, no, that's important. The end, he talked a little bit about service links, because that, again, you know, talking to somebody like myself, where, you know, my generation, we got out of school went to work somewhere for 30 years. And so we've definitely transitioned away from that. But you know, what is a good link, because, you know, I, when I look at resumes, I usually like to see three to five years in a position, or if they're in a company, if it's a growth, you know, where they're obviously working their self up, that's another consideration. But I'm, like, scary when I see resumes that come across, and there's five or six entries in there eight months, nine months, 12 months, one point, you know, 1.1 year, those are little frightening for me, is that just me stuck in the olden days.   Kelli  31:22 Now, no, it's not. And, and, you know, I look at tenure too. And I wish I could say that, you know, as a team, we can just accept everybody to interview for a process, you know, and, but we can't, we just, we can't, it's kind of like, you know, knowing what kind of backgrounds we can work with, you know, a few infractions or one infraction, or, you know, my human resources that I've worked with have trained me on what we can look at and what we can't, and I'm not going to argue, I'm not here to argue with any hiring manager, they are the decision maker.   So stability, you know, I don't think that that's old school, I think that, you know, it's it's common sense, you know, um, and, you know, I still work with the whole two year note, or that's how I was trained, you're, you're always looking for those two to three years, you know, not saying you can't have a job for one year. But if it's one year, one year, one year, one year, and it's not travel, and these are permanent jobs, And to me, that's, that's a red flag.   Roy Barker  32:33 Yeah, I think people need to be aware of the costs in order to turn over an employee and I don't, you know, we even at the lowest of levels, we usually put somewhere between 3500 to $5,000. And when you start getting into medical professionals, I'm sure that price goes up with the vacant positions, the time the company spends with your cost, and all of that, you know, I'm sure it can reach 70 $500, very easy. But I think a lot of people don't take that into consideration, that that's one reason why we don't look at you as hard because if I feel like you're going to turn over in nine months or a year, that's another 70 $500. And I'm going to have to show up to replace you.   Kelli  33:13 Right, now we have a guarantee on our medical professional. So, you know, I do have to be tough on the front end, you know, but then also you have to be reasonable too, because we are selling people and selling people is not perfect. And you know, things happen. So there is another thing, job coaching and training people how to interview Well, you know, some people they haven't either they haven't interviewed in a very long time, they just need a little bit of a polish.   Or we've got the perfectionist of the world, let's say and this is this is where you you got to come in and you got to do some job coaching. Because no, we don't want to ever lie to anybody. That's, that's, you know, be honest. But, you know, how do you present yourself, you know, if you got somebody that's got 15 years of solid, wonderful experience, yet they're perfectionist and they took a job and for three months, they hate it. Yeah.   You know, when you're going on that interview, you want to focus on the 15 years, that and to the employer on what you bring to the table and how well you and how much you enjoy your job. And the three months job that sometimes they'll cry about. You want to leave that alone, you know, and focus on what do you bring for the employer?   Roy Barker  34:32 Right, right. Yeah,   Kelli  34:33 beat yourself up. Because if enough years of career, all of us have had the three months or the six months job? Yeah. And oh, no, you're fine. Good. No, if you focus on the negativity and an interview, then you're good. That's what's you're going to get you're going to get a negative turn down.   Roy Barker  34:50 Yeah, I was just gonna say that kind of leads into not that three month position don't bash it and how bad they were, you know, I think you can present any differences or problems that may have been there more in a positive light, like, it just wasn't a good fit for me, you know, it took me a while to really get into it and figure it out, but it's just not a good fit. And, you know, the The other thing I think is good to say is that, I want them to be able to have an employee that's going to be happy, and, you know, come in and give them their all, and I just couldn't be that person at this point.   Kelli  35:24 I agree. You know, and then, you know, the other thing is, is when your job coaching and you're, you know, training people on interviews is, you know, for, for a percentage of people and their jobs fall apart, sometimes per it was personal things from years ago, or it was health problems, or it was family or in so you have to, you know, first forgive yourself, let it go, you know, don't talk about the past, and, you know, present yourself on a positive note, what do you bring to the table? And but I find that with people often,   Roy Barker  36:01 yeah. So you mentioned, you know, different lengths of time? How far back? Do you recommend that people go, because, you know, I know, there's some theories out there that if you put, you know, 35 or 40 years worth of information, it doesn't take long for somebody to do some simple math and figure out that you're 60 years old. And unfortunately, even though it's a kid's the law, they're still age discrimination out there. Number one, they think you may not have long to work, you may be you know, I don't know a lot of things that go around, you may cost more money. And so I've heard some people say, like, maybe you can go go back 20 years, and then just cut it off after that, that that's really all that employers are looking for.   Kelli  36:51 So an excellent question, because I obviously I'm 51 myself, and so I tend to attract the, you know, the more seasoned, well seasoned and older medical professionals just probably, I don't know something about the age, you know, um, but I would say 20 to 25 years. And, you know, we, you know, I think I've even let somebody get away with 30 Plus, but and i and i remind them, because you You're right, it is against law, but it does people do start looking at age or whatever. In a remind them we're not lying to anybody, we're gonna start expressing. Yeah, you know, you've got the years because honestly, with with our nurses and medical professionals, typically you're going to top out on the pay scale anyway, at 25 years. Yeah, you're topped out. Yeah.   Roy Barker  37:47 All right. Well, great. Well, any other things, points or advice that you want to leave our audience with before we wrap up?   Kelli  37:53 No, I absolutely love all your questions. Oh, thanks. Well, yeah, you really, you really drilled my brain today on the recruitment side, and the business side and just thank you so much, Roy, for your time today.   Roy Barker  38:09 Yeah, I thank you for making time for us. And a lot of great answers a lot of great things for our employers and employees to think about, you know, as things start opening back up, and you know, trying to get back out there again, a couple questions before we let you go. Number one, what is a tool or a habit that you use in your daily life that you feel adds a lot of value, and it could be professional or personal either one?   Kelli  38:34 I would definitely say It's My Life program is my motivational tool. And what I mean by that is, is bad, I have a life coach, you know, and we have a, you know, we positive attitude, gratitude. It's, it's generally a live program, but I found by, you know, working this program, oh, 15 years now, and having a life coach, that I'm able to coach other people through more job and life problems, which is what we're doing. And so that's a that's a huge success when you're talking about working with people and relationships. Yeah. No, you're talking life or business? Go ahead.   Roy Barker  39:18 No, I just say that's, that's a good thing, especially in your environment, you know, you have to be able to handle people on both sides of this equation. You got the the employers and the employees. And, you know, the other thing about life coaching, it's like, the, some of our top athletes not only do they have a coach for the team, but most of them all have their own personal coaches as well.   And so that, you know, it's somebody that can be there to help ride us when we get off track or when we're having a bad day remind us Why is this so? important? part, important part? Well, thank you for that. before we let you go. Also tell us how Who do you like? And of course hospitals and medical professionals, but basically, who do you like to work with? How can you help them? And then how can people reach out and get a hold of you?   Kelli  40:09 Well, I always have to remind people, you know, KD Staffing. We are where nursing, we're primarily nursing nursing managers, nursing directors tax on jobs, because when you think of recruiters, you think of every job in the country, and you know, we're very specialized. I also am, you know, I am known to do some government and service work out there.   Work with her, you know, I share a lot of ideas, some with the other company owners, and, and most recently been working with them some new authors out there that are needing advice, although I'm still learning the process myself. I'm always able to help, you know, go ahead. No, what is the what's your website? At KD? staffing? So it's www. k d is in dog Okay,   Roy Barker  40:52 great. And y'all work? Pretty much all across the US.   Kelli  40:58 We do We absolutely do. You know, in 20 years with the medical industry, and I always say our medical professionals, I label them they're the caretakers of the world, but someone has to care take them in the job and the moving process. And honestly, I've worked I've recruited 49 out of 50 countries in in 20 years, obviously, I don't have 5050. What I didn't say countries, I said states, sorry about that. You got my message, right. So you work with 50 countries know, that states up. Anyway, the only state that I haven't had a client is Alaska, but I sure have pulled some Alaska nerve nurses out of the state. And I bet you know, they want warmer weather.   Roy Barker  42:01 Looking for a beach.   Kelli  42:03 Exactly. And they're very, you know, when they're ready to leave that cold weather for warm weather stay there. They'll be flying, they got their whole travel package ready to go. Just get them there. You know.   Roy Barker  42:16 Kelli, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to be with us a lot of great information. If you are in the healthcare business. Reach out to Kelli, if you're a nurse in the nursing space, looking for a job, reach out, see how she can help you put together with the you know, put a good employer together with a good employee. All right, well, thanks again. that's gonna do it for Oh, go ahead. I was gonna say goodbye, Roy.   Thank you so much. You bet. Have a great week. Okay. Thank you. Bye. Hi. that's gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course, I'm your host Roy. You can find us on all the major podcast platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify, and if you're not on one that you listen to please reach out I'd be glad to get it added we're on all the major social media networks typically tend to hang out on Instagram more than others. So reach out. Be happy to engage with you there and a video of this interview will go up when the episode goes live. You can find that on our YouTube channel. So until next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.  
43:27 11/09/2021
Profitability and Social Responsibility: Doing Well By Doing Good Is Possible
Profitability and Social Responsibility Doing Well By Doing Good Is Possible Featuring Lynn Yap Some business leaders tell you they can't be both profitable and socially responsible. I think they are saying they can't maximize their bonus structures by making decisions that have positive social impacts. A growing number of business leaders are dispelling this myth by leading with profits and social responsibility. About Lynn Lynn Yap is the Founder of Actv8 Network, whose mission is to increase the participation of women in technology, and entrepreneurship. She started her career as a corporate attorney, graduated from the Wharton School with an MBA, and worked in investment banking. Her curiosity led her to write about businesses as a force for good. The Altruistic Capitalist culminates conversations with leaders at for-profit corporations, entrepreneurs, and investors, and her personal experience. The Altruistic Capitalist Are you tired of hearing that companies can’t create a profit and make a positive impact simultaneously? The Altruistic Capitalist looks to spark change in conversations in board rooms, offices, and schools to turn the focus from sales, profits, and returns to the impact good business can have on people and the planet. Through her interviews with prominent business leaders as well as her personal experiences in the business world, author Lynn Yap offers ways to rethink capitalism, create a positive impact, and do meaningful work. Y ap looks to tackle questions like: Where do people and planet enter into the equation when businesses calculate returns? How can we turn a profit while also creating a sustainable business with positive impacts? How can companies scale impact to provide benefits to the environment and community? This book speaks to leaders, social entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, and innovators who want to change the relationship between business, our people, and the planet. We can no longer rely on governments and non-profit organizations alone to solve our social and environmental problems. As we look urgently to the business world for solutions, this kinder, more mindful brand of capitalism just may provide a pathway out.   Full Transcript Below Profitability and Social Responsibility: Doing Well By Doing Good Is Possible Featuring Lynn Yap Tue, 7/20 2:16PM • 44:34 SUMMARY KEYWORDS business, investors, people, companies, quarterly earnings, investing, consumers, book, impact, community, employees, purpose, positive impact, write, talk, thinking, question, started, terms, grit, Profitability and Social Responsibility SPEAKERS Lynn, Roy Barker   Roy Barker  00:04 Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I'm your host Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that speak to a diverse set of topics. We like to hopefully we can bring some things to light that maybe you haven't thought about, or at least we can provide some help, help if there are things that are keeping you up at night. Today is no different. We're excited to have Lynn Yap with us. She's been waiting quite some time. So we do want to say thank you for your patience very much. But Lynn is the founder of ACTV8 Network and that is A  C T V 8. I will spell all that out for you in the show notes. But the mission is to increase the participation of women in technology and entrepreneurship. She started her career as a corporate attorney, graduated from the Wharton School with an MBA and worked in investment banking. Her curiosity, curiosity led her to write about business as a force for good The Altruistic Capitalist culminates conversations with leaders at for profit corporations, entrepreneurs and investors and in her personal experience. Lynn, thank you so much for being with us.   Lynn  01:15 Thank you so much for hosting me, right?   Roy Barker  01:17 Yeah, this is I, you know, I'm very excited to talk about this, this altruistic view. And it's becoming much more prevalent, you know, as we talk about the employee side, and the investment side, and the consumer side is kind of like a triangle. But before we get off too far, tell us a little bit more about your story. I mean, how did you end up here? How did you, you know, what made you decide to just focus on writing this book from this perspective?   Lynn  01:46 Good question, good way to start, I guess, from the very beginning. So I have a very traditional business background as as, as you as you said, I started out my career as a corporate attorney, I went to Wharton, and then I worked in investment banking, so very much a business focus. You know, I'm, I help companies, I help tech startups raise public financing in the market. So I took companies such as Facebook public, but one day I was, you know, I thought to myself, we, we say, people, our most important asset. But when I look at the rolls of financial statements, there is nowhere in there that we me