I’ve just come back from an awesome 2 day conference in Brisbane called “We are Podcast”, otherwise known as ‘WAP’. A good friend told me if I do one professional development activity this year, then WAP should be the one. He was dead right. It was an awesome couple of days.😃
The theme this year was convince, convert and automate.
☑Kate Erickson, podcaster Kate’s Take, and behind the scenes at Entrepreneurs on Fire (EOF)
One of my fav speakers was American Kate Erickson (who happens to be the wife of one of my heroes, John Lee Dumas). Kate is a podcaster in her own right with ‘Kate’s Take’, and a driving force behind Team EOFire (Entrepreneur on Fire). Kate started her session by asking “What does freedom mean to you?”
For Kate it is being able to do what you want to do when you want to do it. Her firm belief being that systems give freedom. “Yes to that!” says my inner Systems Queen.
Kate said that at EOFire systems are essential and without them the business would not run. It seems to me that so many people want to start a business for “freedom” and yet most people want to run for the hills when we mention systems.
Kate’s keynote for WAP2017 was How to Achieve Audience Growth and Meaningful Monetization with Podcasting Systems. Yep I know that is a scary title but her message was pretty simple.
Kate was all about content that is:
- Valuable – solves a problem for your audience;
- Consistent – gives your audience the opportunity to know, like and trust you;
- Purposeful – gives your audience direction; what they should do next.
☑ John Lee Dumas (JLD) of EOFire
Kate was a terrific conclusion to day 1 which started with John Lee Dumas –JLD- giving the opening keynote Podcasting with Purpose. My own podcast is inspired by JLD’s EOFire with its simple system of asking the same questions of every guest.
JLDs #1 message is “you have to do what doesn’t scale.” So many businesses strive to scale for volume, for size, for reach – way too early.
This is one of the secrets of his success. JLD says: Talk one-on-one with your people and find out as much as possible about them; what are their obstacles? What do they struggle with?
Really listen to what they say and then use that information to create a solution for their problem. Here is where JLD’s wisdom shines.
Here’s my take on what he said next: People have an idea for a business. They go out and talk to a bunch of people – potential clients/ customers. They ask if they would buy their product/ service and ask about their problems and struggles. They find out the real problem is X.
The business takes this information and says “I can fix this problem.” The really important question to ask is “Do I really want to fix this problem?” The answer to this question leads to finding a niche. The next questions is: “Is this a niche I want to work with?”
Try this for yourself. When you think about your business or the one you want to start, what is the real problem? – what are your people really struggling with? And can you fix that? Do you want to fix that? What is the niche? And is it a niche you want to work with?
If you need some help with this, feel free to email me at Ingrid@healthynumbers.com.au
JLD introduced us to his ideal listener – his name is “Jimmy”. JLD has a very detailed description of ‘Jimmy’, he’s a male with a family doing a fairly boring 9-5 desk job, and his heart lies elsewhere. So he listens to EoFire in the car every day and dreams about starting his own business. In fact I think I know Jimmy! (Oh wait, there’s a bit of Jimmy or a Jemima in all of us!)
Pretty much everyone at some point has heard about the ideal client or client avatar. This person is the reason to be in business, they are the ideal client. It’s important to identify who they are, give them a name or a persona in order to make them into a real person. In my experience most people when they start out in business want to skip over doing this or choose a broad description – women between 25 and 40 years of age.
Being vague or wanting an avatar who is “everyone” doesn’t lead to business success.
JLD is very clear about Jimmy and described that “Every time I come to a fork in the road in my business and I don’t know what to do, I simply ask “WWJD?”: “What would Jimmy do? It’s not about me, it’s about Jimmy”.
JLD was asked a question about having more than one ’Jimmy’ or avatar and he said at the beginning, when starting out, to focus on one clear cut avatar and get the momentum going, be the best and dominate that niche.
JLD also talked to us about his 8 functioning Fire Funnels which are all different revenue streams, grown from listening to all of the EOFire listeners and creating products that are useful to solve their problems.
His final words were “We as people need to DO not just be”. Its all about action.
☑ Clarissa Rayward, family lawyer and podcaster
Taking action on her ideas was a strong message from family lawyer and podcaster Clarissa Rayward. She starts with “What do I want to achieve?” and using ‘Speed Thinking’ to generate ideas:
- You have 3 minutes
- And it happens in 3 minutes.
(She took this from the idea that most mornings you get ready for work in one hour because you have one hour. On the days when you only have 10 minutes, you can do it in 10 minutes. You take as long as you have available.)
Ideas become products. Clarissa’s underlying philosophy is “Have a go, what’s the worst that can happen?” Build fast and fail fast. Has everything worked out the way she thought it would? Not at all. Are most of her ideas that became products well established? Indeed they are.
Clarissa gets stuff done and as fast as possible. She’s not an over-thinker. Clarissa is a family lawyer so one aspect of her business is practicing family law. She has also created a podcast, an online program and “The Club” for other lawyers called “Happy Lawyer Happy Life.” They head off next weekend on a retreat. She listened to what her audience needed/ wanted, didn’t overthink it, took action, created a product – an online course which led to The Club which led to the retreat. Taking action on ideas = results.
Clarissa was asked “How do you feel about selling?” She answered that she has written 2 books and “when people read my book they want to come and work with me. I’m not selling.”
☑ Sean D’sousa from ‘Psychotactics’
Sean D’sousa from ‘Psychotactics’ talked about his book “Brain Audit” and the role it plays in his business. He says it leads the reader to ask questions which leads them to want more of what Sean offers. He doesn’t work with a lot of people, he likes to stay “under the radar” and described how smaller audiences work for them so they “always have time for everyone”. Nice.
JLD had spoken about one-to-one before scaling. Sean added to this by saying you “don’t need to build an apartment block, start with a tent” and being really clear about your WHY!
Sean also posed the reverse question: “What is my reason for NOT doing this?” Many people talk about scale and getting bigger and the illusive 7 figure income, but Sean spoke about affluence vs abundance.
Affluence gives him choices, for example where to live, how to live and to build in down time – “Resting helps me to look after clients better”. Sean was quite clear that he does not seek abundance.
One of his key strategies is maximum exposure leading up to a launch of any new product. He creates snippets of information to include in every possible media opportunity. This creates the desire for the product even without a lot of detail of every feature.
Apple does this very effectively with iPhone launches, for example. Movies do it with snippets of the movie which arouses our desire to see the film, interviews with the actors about even the most random matters draws attention to the new movie. The drip-feeding effect.
On day 2 of the conference a friend and I took a few minutes to check out the new release Mac lipstick in the leading department store in Brisbane. As I asked if I could try the new lipstick colour the Mac assistant said: “Oh this one is completely sold out already. The first day of this release there was such a queue of people waiting at the door, we sold out in 20 minutes. That happens with all our new releases. You have to be quick.”
New release + maximum exposure leading up to the launch = sold out. Everything Sean had been talking about happening right there at the Mac lipstick counter.
Let your audience know the product is coming during the lead up to the launch.
Maybe Mac cosmetics engaged word of mouth promotion (WOM) and maybe they used Influencer Marketing – Danielle Lewis from Scrunch told us this is the “new WOM marketing”. Danielle’s session covered some of the pitfalls she has seen:
- Not reviewing data
- Not setting clear expectations
- The issue of multiple agencies
- Not having a clear brief, and
- Who owns the content?
Influencer marketing is a fast growing aspect and like any other marketing tool it is not a magic bullet, and requires the business to actually convert the sale. The influencer can attract attention to the business – then what systems are in place to help the client/ customer make the purchase? Danielle raised the idea of the ambassador model vs influencer and for a business to consider which would work best for them.
☑ Louisa Dahl from ‘The Deliberate Digital Marketer’
Louisa Dahl reminded us:
- Relationships – are all about the follow up;
- Results – come from Pareto and is fractal i.e. 20% of 20% leads to 80% of 80% which results in 4% which generates 64%…hmmmm, not sure I’ve got that 100% correct but I’m sure you get the gist. Who doesn’t love a bit of fractalling J
- Reputation – comes from sharing thought leadership in order to position yourself – “if you don’t tell others about your achievements, who will?” – creating content to get your message out there.
☑ Glen Carlson of Dent Global
And on the topic of building assets, Glen Carlson of Dent Global (and co-founder of the KPI program) was interviewed about his building assets of value. The big take away for me from Glen is his take on “proximity bias”. He mostly spoke about our own belief that what we know and what we do is “not that special”.
I could immediately relate and maybe you can too. If you’re good at what you do and it’s just what you do, it’s surprising that others see it as so extraordinary. This is Glen’s adaptation of “proximity bias” – we are so close to something we cannot see it. Effectively his message was to “blow your own trumpet.”
By the way: it also happens in relation to our relationships with other people. We can be so familiar with someone that we stop seeing their true value. Something for all of us to watch out for. I am forever conscious of that old saying ‘familiarity breeds contempt’.
☑ Nathan Chan from Foundr
Each presentation was packed with shared entrepreneurial wisdom and Nathan Chan from Foundr certainly has a strong philosophy of creating content that is freely available and widely shared.
Nathan covered a lot of ground in his presentation and a couple of his key points:
- it takes 7-10 years to build a business of real worth – there is no such thing as overnight success;
- when it comes to creating products – we are all in the business of pain relief!! This is the critical mindset to have.
Think about this: You have a headache and in pain – you take a Panadol to fix the pain – Panadol promises to fix the problem fast.
We as entrepreneurs must do the same thing:
- We are not in the business of prevention – this won’t grow your business. We are in the business of helping with pain relief – fixing a customer’s pain-point.
- When looking for inspiration look at other markets and industries and especially those not serving the same audience.
Nathan spoke about the importance of a physical, tangible product in this digital age. People like having a tactile experience. Interestingly, Foundr will also be offered as an actual magazine, not just a digital format.
He said a great question to ask is: “Is the word going to be a better place because this product exists?” What a terrific guiding principle!
…. And that was just day 1!
Day 2 was equally terrific – but that’s for another post. The whole WAP 2017 was put together by Ronsley and his Amplify team. The plans for WAP 2018 are already underway – click here to register your interest.
My “to do” list from WAP 2017 has more than 22 actions and notes. I’m taking inspiration from Clarissa in 2018 – more action, less thinking!
Thanks for reading this –
My guess is that you are here because you are curious about what it might be like to start a business?
Perhaps you’ve been wondering if you have what it takes? If your idea will work or even how much it actually costs to build a successful business?
I’ve written a book that can answer pretty much all your questions “So You Want to Start a Business” and you can download the first 20 pages at www.thestartupsteps.com
15 years of experience working with start up businesses are condensed into this book.
It’s your step by step guide to launch your business smarter and faster and I’m so excited to be sharing it with you and can’t wait to hear about your progress.
Are you ready to grab your excerpt? Click here www.thestartupsteps.com
You can call me on 0450 212 887 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org