About Bob Gentle

I work with businesses of all sizes on digital marketing, host the Amplify digital marketing entrepreneur podcast and work with entrepreneurs to help them amplify their business online.

Today I want to share three free traffic sources you can use to drive traffic to your website, youtube channel, social media – wherever you want.

Anyone can use these traffic sources. They need no technical ability and take very little time. Getting traffic, people or eyeballs on your stuff is central to any kind of success online and there are a million traffic generation strategies you could use. In this video, I sat back and thought about three sources I’d suggest every business owner spends a little time on.

I promise that if you take action on this, you’ll see quality results.

For a lot of people, sales are suffering right now. When things are easy a bad plan can work but when times get tough the weaknesses in a bad plan start to show. I talk about digital marketing a lot.

But the truth is that marketing is only half of the equation. For marketing to have any impact on a business there has to be a strong sales process. In this video I’ll explain what this means.


This week on the podcast we're comparing staring a new business with planning a bank job and digging under the bonnet of one of the world's top business coaching businesses.

I'm joined by Daniel Priestley, award-winning author of many of my favourite business books and a serial entrepreneur. You are in for a treat.

About Daniel

Daniel Priestley is a successful entrepreneur who's built and sold businesses in Australia, Singapore, and the UK. He's the co-founder of Dent Global, one of the world's top business accelerators for entrepreneurs and leaders to stand out and scale up.

With offices in London, Sydney, Singapore and Tampa, the program is endorsed by the Institute of Leadership and Management. Over 500 entrepreneurs and leaders, each year participate globally in developing their businesses with the support of high-net-worth mentors.

Daniel is the author of four best-selling books Key Person of Influence, Entrepreneur Revolution, Oversubscribed and 24Assets.

He's named as one of the top 25 entrepreneurs in London (Smith & Williamson Power 100) and awarded as being in the Top 10 Business Advisors (Enterprise Nation).

Daniel's website : http://www.dent.global/

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Automatic Audio Transcription

This week, we're comparing starting a new business with planning a bank job, and we're digging under the bonnet of one of the world's top business coaching organizations. This week, I'm joined by Daniel Priestley, award winning author of many of my favorite business books and a serial entrepreneur. You are in for a treat. Hi there. And welcome back to Amplify the Digital Marketing Entrepreneur podcast. I'm Bob Tantallon. Every week I'm joined by amazing people who share what makes their business work.

If your new take a second right now to subscribe so you don't miss new episodes and you can grab some older ones when you're done with this one. Don't forget as well, you can join my Facebook community to amplify me to perform for our insiders and protection right there. So welcome along. And let's meet Daniel. So this week, I am delighted to welcome Daniel Priestley to the show. Daniel's probably one of the authors I've read most consistently and lots of podcast listeners won't know.

That's the reason there is a podcast now is largely down to a lot of the inspiration I got from your first book, Keep Person of Influence. So for those people who haven't heard of you, Daniel, welcome to the show. Why don't you just start by telling us a little bit about who you are, where you are and what you do.

Bob, thank you very much for having me on the show and for reading all four books. I know that you organize your books by color code. So so all of my books are the same white, red and blue. So hopefully I've been very helpful to in getting the books side by side on your shelf. Yeah. So I'm an entrepreneur by background. I launched my first company when I was 21 years old. I'd never actually had a proper job in terms of a regular paycheck or knowing how much I would earn at the end of the month type thing launched a company in the marketing space and grew very, very rapidly.

We went from zero to a million in the first year and then one to 11 million in the three years after that. And that was in Australia, mostly in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. And then when I got out of that business in 2005, 2006, I was looking for some adventure, something to do. So I came to the UK and I started a business here in the UK, which once again was a fast growth company, which which we grew up here in the UK.

So that was all around the early 2000s and around 2010. I wrote the book Key Person of Influence and launched something called The Key Person of Influence Accelerator, which has grown into an accelerator business called Dent Global and Global runs accelerator programs for entrepreneurs all over the world. We've got offices in Sydney, in Toronto and in London. We've we've got about a team of 60 people. And and we also have part of the business that does our award winning film production, IT services and book publishing.

So it's it's an interesting group of companies. But I guess people ask me what I do. I guess I'm entrepreneurial. Do do a few different things. I write books and I start and grow companies.

And now there is a threat there starting a marketing company. Lots of people have started marketing companies to grow it to a million in the first year. That's already unusual, 11 million shortly after, even more unusual. So leaving that, OK, we're talking about what's essentially in 2008 tannish oversubscribed, which is essentially, to sum it up for the listener, it's a personal brand business book, essentially. Would you agree that that's a horrible summary, a key person of influence?

Yeah. Yeah. So if you think about how I was able to grow those businesses really fast, the cornerstone strategy was to put someone who is very well known up on stage and to do roadshow events. And we had dragons from Dragons Den and we had, you know, best selling authors and business personalities as regular features, you know, in our conferences that we ran. And and that brought in a lot of people. And actually the businesses grew off the back of those conferences.

So when I wrote the book Person of Influence, essentially I was kind of sharing a little bit behind the scenes of how we built those businesses using that strategy. So, yes, it was one of the very first personal branding books in that category, which is now quite a category. There wasn't I don't even remember a very, you know, big awareness of the words personal branding when I was writing it. But now there's this real category of personal branding books.

So it was it was in that personal branding space very early on. But it was just kind of that that strategy that we had leveraged in order to grow a couple of fast growth businesses. At that stage, it was three businesses that had each gone to seven figure revenues, all within 12 months.

Well, that was kind of where I was going. Was from person of influence, which is, as I said, it's a it's essentially one of the one of the first personal branding related books out of Art Springs, another business that's employing 50 people around the world, 60 people around the world. Lots of people have written LaBranche books, but they haven't done that. And I think what you've said, there's the manual on how you did it, really that is one of the standout features is lots of people do things, but they don't do what you've done with them.

And that was really what I wanted to borrow into a little bit is putting modesty aside, what is it about Daniel Priestley that seems to do things differently with what everybody else has available to them because everyone has the same opportunities?

Well, I would say that one of the things that probably makes me a little bit different to 75 percent of entrepreneurs statistically is that I love building teams. So so essentially I quit because I started very young and because I never completed university, I I've always assumed that other people know more than I do and that other people would be better at a job than I would be. So I kind of I mean, every business I've ever started, we almost on day one start with a team of four.

That's a common, common strategy for me, that there's always four people in the room on day one. And and then very rapidly, we kind of get up to a team of eight. And we you know, every time the business grows, we just keep hiring people and putting people into into roles. And we try and recruit and enroll talented and energetic people. And most of the time my attitude is stand back and get out of their way, get them really enrolled in the vision of what we want from them.

And and then excuse yourself and let them know that you're a resource if they need a resource. But other than that, they're in control.

So if I put myself in the shoes of a lot of people that are in the very early start up stage of their business, they will go typically one of two routes. They'll bootstrap the ass off. I won't spend any money until they've made that money. And they'll or the alternative path is they'll go out with an idea. They're looking to fund that idea and they typically won't hire until there's some money to pay for those people. I guess if I go back to the very first marketing business, what was the first hire there?

How did that get funded?

So, okay. So I think I personally think starting a business should be a little bit like robbing a bank like that. If you see a movie about a bank robbery, they're sitting down in the basement in the dingy little basement and they've got a big piece of paper and they're drawing out like all their thoughts and their plans and they're kind of working out who will do what and how they might split the money when the money is in the in the duffel bag.

And, you know, OK, we're going to cross the border to Mexico and then then you're going to get two shares and I get three shares and you get one share and and they kind of like divvy it up like that. So and then someone says, oh, but what about the security guard? And then they come up with a plan for that. And someone says, what about the alarm system? Well, then we come up with a plan for that and there comes a point where they kind of go, you know what, I think we can do this.

And and my businesses have always started that way where I get some smart people in the room and we're sitting around having a conversation about wouldn't it be cool if we did a business like this and what would we do and how do we do it? And we're just having fun playing with that. And then the question obviously comes up, well, if we do this, how will how we all get paid so that when you come up with a way of how we all get paid, that's just one of the things that has to be solved.

So in day one of my very first company, a good friend of mine, was an amazing salesperson, very good at hitting the phones and making sales. So that was pretty simple. That was just come and join the company and we'll give you 10 percent of every sale that you make. And if you don't make any sales, you'll earn nothing. And if you do make sales, you'll get 10 percent. So that was an easy hire. And then a young guy called Nick, I basically said that he could stay rent free in the house that we were renting and and that covid half of his wage.

And then the other the other half was was was fifteen dollars an hour or something like that. But the thing about most people's pay is that you've got a month of their work before you have to pay them. So I just assumed that we would probably have money in the bank at the end of the month if we made some sales. And I probably I probably had on my credit. Well, I do remember I had a credit card with twenty thousand dollar limit, so I figured I could probably advance myself some money if I needed to to pay Nick's wage if if I needed to.

Now, mind you, I'm making this sound a little. A bit more haphazard than it was, let me just let me just rewind this so that people are not people are not misled. The prior two years to that, I worked in a start up and I said I'd never had a proper job. I was actually part of a start up at age 19 to 21. And the founder of that business had asked me to set up as a consultancy to that business rather than employing me.

And and I just invoiced at the end of the month based on a combination of sales and time spent. So he had said, you know, this that was my business consulting his business. But we had gone from three of us on day one to about 50 people two years later and from zero to six million in revenue in two years. I had had one hell of a ride for two years leading up to that point. So I'd had a shotgun seat in a fast growth start up for two years.

And then I got two years in and I asked John whether I could get some shares in the business. And I was wanting to negotiate ownership in the business because I'd brought in something like seven hundred and fifty grand. And and, you know, he said to me, listen, Dan, if you want shares in a business, go start your own business. And he was basically trying to brush me off, but it planted the seed in my head of going off and starting a similar business.

And I went, actually, you know what? I wouldn't mind doing that. So I did. So we were not completely green and we weren't completely naive in the sense that I had actually just come straight off the back of a very successful start up.

I think once you've been on the periphery of something like that and it's become normalized for you, it's actually much easier sometimes to recreate it. So that makes a lot of sense.

Yeah, that word normalization is such a powerful word. Word. I would I would really say that one of the things that hardly ever gets talked about is this idea of what's normal, what's not normal for a person. So, you know, you hear about kids who grow up in fairly wealthy families and it's normal to discuss business over dinner and it's normal to think about who in the family circle might have some money to invest in a startup idea. And it's normal for a business to be doing one to five million as a little family business or part of the family business empire.

And therefore that normalization means that you're highly likely to go off and do that. And the opposite can be true. You can grow up in a family where it's not normal to talk about money, it's not normal to be successful. It's not normal to see something take off. And therefore you're really fighting a psychological barrier that you are essentially outside of your realms of what's normal.

I absolutely get that. And I think something that struck me many times over the years is I'll meet very capable, very creative, smart people working in a job as an employee somewhere. And I'm scratching my head thinking you should really be doing this on your own. And occasionally I'll mention it. And fear is often something that's pushed back. I could never do that. I'm I could never run my own business. It feels so. And the word risky comes up again and again.

And I'm sitting there thinking only one person has to get annoyed with you before you're out on your ass. You know how many people have to get annoyed with me.

Yeah. How do you.

Because you do work with organisations like the Prince's Trust. You work with start ups, you start up companies. I wouldn't say you do it all the time, but it's not something you're unaccustomed to. How often do you come across sort of start up fear and how do you deal with that?

So I come across it well, it's normal to come across it because essentially growth requires you to step outside your comfort zone. And, you know, by definition, you have to stretch into the unknown and and we all come up against a particular comfort zone. You know, there are certain friends of mine, like a friend of mine who's a much greater entrepreneur than I am. You know, he just basically he just because of all the things happening with covid, he decided to lease a jet for eighty thousand pounds a month and and just basically continue flying around doing what he wanted to do.

And, you know, he just said, oh, well, you know, I'm sure that I'm sure that it'll pay for itself over time. And, you know, so we all have our comfort zone for me. That made me feel a little bit uncomfortable.

But the that you know, the the funny thing is, is that I really do believe that environment dictates performance and that in that it's it's that you need to be in an environment where whatever you're about to do becomes normal. So I give you an example from my personal life, which is that I've never really taken any interest whatsoever in fitness. It's just something I've never had. And I didn't grow up in a family that was into sport. I you know, I kind of never had any great.

Sporting moments that that kind of haunt me to this day or anything like that, and I've just never found terribly much interest in sitting around a gym and lifting heavy plates of metal so or anything like that. So I've kind of always engaged in business and family and friends and all that sort of stuff, but never very much sport. Anyway, I decided a few months back that I was going to join a gym and get myself a little bit fit after I saw a very unflattering photo of myself and thought, oh, wait a second, I need to I need to kind of have a jaw.

And and I joined a cross fit gym. And basically, I couldn't believe it because as soon as I would get into the environment of this these crosthwaite classes, it was unbelievable what I was capable of and what I would push myself to do. And it just was because that was normal in the context of the class. You know, there's eight people all going through a one hour grueling workout and all of us want to stop, but none of us can stop.

You know, we've got we've got this person who's really calling the shots. We've got all this equipment that we've got. We've got the list of exercises that we've got to get through. And it's all like the environment is so pervasive that you just simply end up doing the workout. And they're like, we all say the same thing at the end, which is I would never be able to push myself that hard if I were to try and do that on my own.

And and it's like that with entrepreneurship that if you're not around people who are pushing themselves or pushing their barriers or if you're not around entrepreneurs who are pushing your barriers, then it's so it's so impossible, especially if you work from home to kind of radically start, you know, you're not going to suddenly go radically going out there and having funding meetings and hiring people and developing digital assets and talking to software companies in the Ukraine about whether they can code up a NVP for you or anything like that, because it's just a set of things that just all of them together feel like a bit of a difficult, you know, step in too many directions.

And yet, if I place you around 60 other people who are all doing those things and I'm calling the shots, then you say, oh, okay, well, I just have to get that done in the next two weeks, so I better do it. So environment dictates the dictates performance and the environment dictates nor dictates normalization. To go back to what we were saying before is a really powerful idea.

I think I absolutely echo that. I spent most of my career in a very competitive space and would never spend really much time with other business owners unless they were my client. And I moved out of that competitive space and suddenly I was speaking to business owners in a very, very different way and spending times and mastermind's and things like that. And my my business has changed faster in that short period of time than it has in the previous 20 years. So spending time with people who are on the same journey is ridiculously powerful.

And it's actually very rare that most of us, as business owners, as entrepreneurs, we're fairly isolated because it's actually a fairly rare breed. I mean, you're in London is probably a little easier, but I'm willing to bet you have to put yourself in situations where you can have these conversations because you they don't happen in the post office.

Yeah, exactly. Well, that's the thing. You have to join the gym in the first place. Right. So the hard part is you've got to actually like for me, I've got to walk down to that Crosthwaite gym and look at all those incredibly fit people and say, you know what, I'm going to jump even though it feels out of my depth. I'm going to jump in and join this thing and turn up to those first few classes and push through that initial discomfort.

But, yes, you have to find yourself like like in the same way that you're not going to bump into someone on the street who says, hey, let's do a workout and really push each other. You have to find a place where that is already happening and that's already going on. The beauty is that ever since covid, we've all gone and taken these things online. So, you know, Bob, whereas previously you wouldn't have flown to London once a month to to to work with us.

You might jump on the Zune calls every two weeks that we have. You know, we now we now run three and a half hours room sessions every two weeks with our clients. And it's you know, you're in an accountability group and you've got a coach and all this sort of stuff. And then very rapidly, you know, it's we've got clients now in in Amsterdam and South Africa and Dubai. And, you know, we basically broke the company into three time zones.

And we have we were in seven cities and we had footprint in seven cities with venues in seven cities. And then at covid, we just went, let's go all online and run it out of London, Sydney and Toronto and those three time zones, we just we literally just cover the whole time zone now. And it's just an amazing shift. And it means that a lot of people who didn't previously have access to this type of environment now suddenly do I really like that?

Because it's kind of takes me where I want to. To go next, I was having a bit of a flick through key person of influence before we started talking and immediately one phrase jumped out at me and it was, the world has changed and so must you. It's kind of your your banner at the front of the book. And there was never anything more appropriate than right now for for the moment right now. I guess the reason I'm saying this is oversubscribed on subsequent books.

They really do provide quite a helpful roadmap for anybody who's business, for anybody who can't do business the way they've always done it. There are everything that you go through in person of influence can be adapted to overcome the current situation for most business owners. So how are you finding your clients are adapting? Are people sort of caving in in panic or are they being proactive?

No, I would describe it like a wave that the wave is going through the economy and you're either surfing it or getting dumped by it. And our clients are surfing it, you know, because we've been preparing them for years. So, you know, in town, I mean, I wrote the that word I wrote, The world has changed and so must you. 2009. That was the first the first one. And I wrote that probably after the global financial crisis.

But in in in 2009, like in the 2010s, the last pages of twenty four assets basically say that be careful, the 20s are going to create a radical shift in the way we live and work and everything's going to change again. And essentially there's there's two reasons for massive wholesale change. Number one is that whenever you get big technological change, technology changes the way humans live and work. So Bronze Age, you know, changes the way you know things, the way we live and work.

And, you know, when we get to the agricultural age, we then had new technology of steam engines and factories and tractors and that moved us into factories and that changed the way that we live and work. And essentially what has happened is that there's these computers that are connected and there's these new organisations that can spring up around an idea really rapidly, but don't rely very much on geography or anything traditional in terms of business. And there's always a delay of about 20 to 30 years for society to actually shift and completely begin the reorganisation around this new technology.

So, you know, even even in the early 2000s, I was saying that we're probably 15 years away from a shift and you can see videos of me talking about this. I'm not just kind of making it up in hindsight. I can go back and actually watch the videos where I'm talking about it. But I was basically saying we're going to have a wholesale shift in the way that we live and work. We're going to see global small businesses.

We're going to see tiny little companies that are multinational that have one inch, one inch wide niche with a mile deep of customers. You know, we have to have new ways of approaching our marketing and our business strategy. So so I was expecting that to happen in the 20s. Couple that with the ageing baby boomer generation, where two thirds of all businesses are owned by people turning 70, you know, you essentially have a massive disruption on its way.

So I never knew there would be a pandemic, but I knew something would trigger a huge disruption to the Western economies just because of the age demographics.

Hmm. And it's inevitable anyway. I mean, the sort of dominance of the global geopolitical setup, it changes radically from time to time. That's almost inevitable as well.

Yeah. Yeah. And the pendulum has swung right.

So one book that I haven't read of yours is 24 assets, and the title has always intrigued me. That's the one that I'm sorry, I haven't read that one.

Well, it's a terrible title. The title of a book should always tell you the benefit. The outcome of what? Of what you you hope to achieve as a result of it. So getting oversubscribed is a reasonable title, becoming a key person of influence. A reasonable title 24 assets is a typical example where the author fell in love with the methodology and and came up with invented something and kind of like became a, you know, like parent to it and just wanted to talk about it.

But had I called the big book Digital Scalable Fun, it probably probably would have resonated with a few more people. But you see, now you've got me. Yeah. So so the idea is, is that the business is made up of twenty four unique assets. All businesses are made up of twenty four unique assets, and it's the assets of the business that dictate the income, the profitability, the fund, the stress or the assets or the lack thereof.

And most people are focused, focusing on something that I call Pinnell, thinking profit and loss thinking, which is sales. Marketing lead generation conversions, which all fit within driving PNL that most people, especially small businesses, are not thinking about what I would call balance sheet thinking, which is the underlying assets of the business that you're leveraging. So if you imagine a real estate example, if you go to the middle of Mayfair and look at a three bedroom apartment in Mayfair, London, versus a three bedroom apartment in Liverpool, there's going to be a massive price difference.

And let's imagine two salespeople, real estate salespeople, trying to sell those properties. And one says, I am so clever because I just sold a property for two million pounds. I'm way cleverer than you are because you only sold yours for 250000 pounds. And it's actually they're both exactly the same people with the same sales skills. But the underlying asset is ridiculously more valuable in Mayfair than in than in Liverpool. So essentially, what is it going on with most small businesses is that they're running around being that salesperson, that real estate salesperson, trying to improve their sales patter and their, you know, their skills at prospecting and things like that.

But they're not actually turning their Liverpool property into a Mayfair property.

I like it. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Yeah, I often use the analogy of a bear with me. It's tenuous, but I think a lot of people, they're very skilled, they're very gifted and they're just not playing in the right place. And it's a little bit like I walked into McDonald's and there's Yoda flipping burgers. You think, wow, Yoda, you're amazing. I want to work with you. Sorry, dude.

I just flip burgers. He's doing the wrong thing in the wrong place. Yeah.

Or being Yoda, maybe he's in the right place, you know. Yeah. Yeah. Well, who knows what's going to happen at that McDonald's, but I don't know exactly that. So and then the other distinction in that book is that the assets have changed. So whereas most people over the age of 35 probably think of assets as land, labor, capital, an enterprise, whatever you learn in in business school, or you might think of assets as properties and and, you know, tangible kind of assets.

The vast majority of assets now is made up of intellectual property, brand systems, company culture. So these assets are these assets actually make up more than 85 percent of the value of the stock market. And yet we don't have very good names for them.

Yeah, I totally get that. So when we're talking about assets, if I maybe look at Tent Global and then you have you've written these books and I think like a lot of business owners, you write the books not because you were a born author, is because there are well, obviously you might be, but they're an amazing way to build an audience, to build a loyal tribe, to build appetite. And then behind that, there is a business.

And I'm curious and this is the noisy part of my interview, and I make no apology for this, but across all the time, global, what will be the two or three key revenue streams?

So the revenues, about 50 percent is accelerator revenues. So our accelerators, we've got three accelerators, which is the startup accelerator for very early stage companies. And typically our annual fee is around three grand for a very early stage company to work with them all year.

That's really, really reasonable. Yeah.

So it's exactly right. It's because they haven't really got revenues yet. So it's just for us, it's just about kicking off the relationship. And then you've got our key person of Influence program, which is you've got to be above 100000 US dollars worth of revenue or eighty five thousand pounds to get yourself on that. But most companies are more high. Six figure early, seven figure. And that is and and the fee for that for the year is about seven thousand pounds.

And then you've got something that we Runkel better every quarter, which is an ongoing coaching and development program to build a better business every single quarter, which works out at about three hundred pounds a month. So globally, we you know, we have about 50 percent of our revenues that from accelerators. And, you know, on each time zone, we have around 500 core business clients who kind of sign on with us each year. And then we have an award winning IT services company, which is a seven figure business.

And it actually builds it builds, it projects, it does it implementation. It builds a lot of shopping carts and e-commerce platforms, e-learning platforms. And we've won like major global awards, you know, awards where over 10000 companies apply and we come out and win it. We've got a multi award winning film production business that that creates. Films on digital films, and we actually have clients like Nike and Cadbury and Land Securities and big food companies that we we work with as well as entrepreneurs.

And then we have a book publishing side to the business, which is also a seven figure business. And we publish about 500 authors. We sign we sign about 75 new books per year. And to put that in perspective, Penguin does about 25. Right. So we we smash out really great books. We know how to market books and produce books. And our book catalog is is growing every single year where, you know, we're hosting awards now and and we're actually attracting phenomenal authors like Olympic athletes and, you know, ex military, you know, senior ranking people.

So that's that's a good part of the business. And then we have a arm to the business where we do equity equity stakes. And we do we actually take stakes in businesses. We do fundraising. And as a result of like the work we do in the venture side of the business, we actually take stakes in companies and then produce films, produce digital assets, publish stuff for them and and actually add a lot of that capability to the side.

So if you think about this, I know it sounds really complex to someone on the outside. It's actually a really simple business for us. On the inside, we've got the accelerators and then we've got the services and adventures side of the business.

It's actually a really nice little ecosystem that is sort of it's almost like a symbiotic organism. There is really, really.

Exactly. So there's three of the companies we we bought. So we acquired the companies. When we when we bought those companies, we saw growth of 300 percent growth in two years just because it plugs into the ecosystem so well. So that's that's been great. And then, you know, I can't help myself every now and then. I have a great idea for a new company and go off and start something. So recently I we started we developed a little piece of technology for our own business that that was a hugely successful marketing activity for us.

And it relied upon a piece of technology that we built. And then our clients started saying it generate this little piece of tech, generated seventy five thousand leads, data rich, amazing late. And that resulted in close to 10 million worth of sales. And basically a lot of our clients said, hey, we want one of those as well. So we started building them and then we thought we need to turn this into a service business so that it's really cheap and really easy for people to leverage this strategy.

So we went and set up score up dotcom, which has been great. We launched it about seven months ago and we've just raised some money for it independently. So it's a funded company now and we've got an amazing team of six developers building month in, month out. We've just signed up our three hundred the client. So yeah, it's a it's a cool, really cool new sideline business too. And it puts me in startup mode, which is my favorite.

Well, I think scorable is going to be huge. I had obviously I, I do a lot of sort of rummaging around before an interview and I came across a score up through your LinkedIn profile and it's awesome. I hear people asking about how can I do this every couple of days and Facebook groups and the answers to that question are usually quite expensive. Yeah. So what you've brought to market there looks very flexible.

It looks we we used to build we used to build scorecards for nine thousand pounds with our IT services company because they were all bespoke. And by the time we actually bespoke built these scorecards, it would typically come out all in about six to nine thousand pounds to do a set up and that exact same year. And then we would probably charge fifty to one hundred and fifty a month for just hosting and tweaks and changes and all that sort of stuff. That exact same system is now twenty five pounds a month.

Yeah. I'm sitting here thinking about the cost of an average Facebook campaign. If you've got something like score up at the end of that as the destination for a lot of business owners, it's really compelling. So I wish you a lot of success with that.

Thank you. I'm glad I'm glad you feel that way because it's in internally. We just geek out on this stuff all the time. We're super, super excited. And, you know, we we just see we see the future as being very much about data and that small businesses really need to have simple ways to leverage data. And that's what we're trying to do.

So something I'm curious about and I'm I'm always curious about this with people who have done very, very well, who have who've managed to grow businesses or or even those people who who simply have portrayed the impression that they have is you come across as very competent, very experienced. A lot of authority, but in real terms, what part of your business do you struggle most with? Hmm? Um, I struggle a bit with time zones because we're in Sydney and Toronto.

It's it's not it's not easy that as soon as I open my eyes in the morning, it's it's quite possible that I might have a full day of things that have gone on in the Australian side of the business or the Sydney office. I might not, but but I'm you know, or I might have someone who I want who wants to talk to me before it's close of business in Australia. And then sometimes in the same, Dave and I will have a chat with one of my guys in Toronto at eight, nine o'clock at night.

And that can be a day like it can be genuinely seven in the morning till nine o'clock at night. And it's like not really stopping much in between. So one thing that one thing that I love is having a global business. And one thing I hate is having a global business.

I totally get I have a couple of clients on the US West Coast and yeah, I'm just thinking about packing up for the day and making some dinner and they're like full on. Just want to talk guys. Five o'clock tapping my watch. But no, they don't get that.

Yeah. And yeah. So that I mean that definitely. And then for me personally, when everything's running smoothly it's bliss, it's great. But very occasionally the shit hits the fan in three different places at once. And then it's kind of like, oh wow, ok, I've got three pots boiling over all at once. I can personally handle if something and there's always something going wrong. But if there's one or two things going wrong at any given time, that's easy.

But if they're if it kind of if, if, if, if there's a few things going wrong in a few different places at once, I struggle with that. I hit my upper limit and and my little monkey or reptile brain takes over.

Daniel, I'm looking at the time. I know you have things to do today, so I don't want to take too much of your time. If people do want to connect with you, if they want to sort of move forward with don't global, obviously they need to read your books. But how can people connect with you?

Well, on all the social media's other than tick tock, I'm not doing any coordinated dancing at this point in my life. So the detox off the off the radar rather than right there with you all the social media is a fine LinkedIn or Instagram or Facebook or Twitter, but also just Dent Dot Global. You can check out the website there. Key person of influence, dot com if you want to read some of the blogs and then score up dot com if you're interested in the scorecards.

So so that's kind of the ecosystem there.

And obviously I have my signature question that I have been really good at not forgetting recently. And that's what's one thing that you do now that you wish you'd started five years ago.

Crossfade I actually wish I had. I've gotten into fitness a little bit a little bit earlier. I know that everyone who does cross fit becomes a cross fit like evangelist. But, you know, five, five years ago would have been a better time to be to be getting myself a little bit fit so that so that I don't have so much catching up to do. It's actually also kind of good for the good for the spirit as well. Yeah, it is.

How long have you been doing it? Only three months.

Three times a week. Three, four, four, three months. Long enough to be feeling the benefit. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And actually the first like the first two weeks I felt every single day I felt like a train had hit me to the extent that I actually had to take ibuprofen in the first week or two just because I was aching so much. And and then and then most recently, it's like I feel weird if I don't.

And and it's kind of like I've hit that weird thing of like the body wants to go down there. It's craving it. So, yeah, something like just having that extra dimension to life would have been it's it's a more recent discovery and it's one of those things that it's quite obvious that I would have benefited five years ago.

Daniel, you've been a treat to speak to. It's been really good fun things like nobody's listening. You need to go read Daniel's books. But thank you so much for your time.

Redefining what you think of as normal for you is the first step in getting results nobody expected. Give yourself permission to daydream a little about what you could do and then ask yourself this. I just daydream before I go. Just a quick reminder to subscribe. And if you haven't already join my Facebook group, you'll find a link in the show. Notes or visit. Amplify me. Don't form forward slash insiders. I would love for you to connect with me on social.

You'll find me wherever you hang out at Bob Temple, and if you do message me and let me know so I can follow you back. If you enjoyed the show, then I would love for you to review it on iTunes. It's the best way to help me reach more subscribers, and it means a lot to me. My name's Bob Gentil. Thanks again to Daniel for giving us his time this week and to you for listening. And I'll see you next week.

If you’re like most business owners then you never have enough time. I see this all the time with my clients so don’t feel bad about it. It’s a universal condition for most small business owners.

Something I’ve found, though, is that how people respond to this condition is one of the main reasons small businesses fail to thrive and where the biggest opportunity is to be found. If you want o find out how the most successful business owners manage time then stick around.


We connect with people through stories. If you watch any good speaker, entertainer or educator they illustrate what they communicate with stories. If you're like most people then you have a ton of stories you could tell - and if you told them, you'd stand out. We remember stories.

This week my Podcast guest is Hillary Rea from tell me a story. Hillary works with business owners of all kinds to help them discover and deliver the stories which can make you and your brand connect far more deeply than the more superficial content we're used to. 

About Hillary

Hillary Rea is the founder of Tell Me A Story, a full-service communication consulting business that trains entrepreneurs, leaders, and change makers how to use the art of storytelling as a powerful communication tool. She’s worked with leaders across industries — social justice nonprofits, women-owned small businesses, tech start-ups and Fortune 500 companies — to communicate an authentic narrative through 1-on-1 services (now fully virtual) and the long running Tell Me A Story Live Show (virtual for the time being).

Hillary graduated from New York University with a degree in Vocal Performance and holds a certificate in Audio Documentary from Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies. She is an award-winning storyteller (NYC Moth StorySLAM winner and 2019 Rad Award for Storyteller of the year), was an artist-in-residence at Elsewhere in Greensboro, NC, and a recipient of the 2016 Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts. In addition to running her own business, Hillary is the producer and host of Rashomon - a long form narrative storytelling podcast where one family tells every side of the same story.

Hillary's website : https://www.tellmeastory.info/

Thanks for listening!

It means a lot to me and to the guests. If you enjoyed listening then please do take a second to rate the show on iTunes.  Every podcaster will tell you that iTunes reviews drive listeners to our shows so please let me know what you thought and make sure you subscribe using your favourite player using the links below.

Automatic Audio Transcription

We connect with other people through stories, whether it's online or offline, if you watch any good speaker or entertainer or educator to illustrate what they communicate with stories. And if you're like most people, didn't you have a ton of stories you could tell? And if you did, it's turned out. We remember stories this week. My guest is Hillary Rae from Tell Me a Story. Hilary works with businesses of all kinds to help them discover and deliver the stories which can make them stand out, make their brand stand out, make them stand out as individuals, make them stand out much more deeply than any other, more superficial kind of content, which we're used to.

So hi there. And welcome back to Amplify the Digital Marketing Entrepreneur podcast. I'm Bob Tantallon. Every week I'm joined by amazing people who share what makes their business work. If you're new to the show or take a second right now to subscribe so you don't miss new episodes and you can grab some older ones when you're done with this one. Don't forget as well, you can join my Facebook community, just visit, amplify me, dot EFM forward, slash insiders and you'll be taken right there.

So welcome along. And let's meet Hillary. So this week, I am thrilled to welcome Hillary away from telling your story to the show. Hilary, welcome. Thanks, Bob. Thanks for having me. So, Hillary, for those who don't know you, why don't you start just by telling us a little bit about who you are, where you are and the kind of work you do?

Sure. I am a storyteller. I'm based in the United States, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. And I work with mostly entrepreneurs and folks in leadership on using personal narrative storytelling as their main powerful communication tool. And Tell Me a story also exists as a live storytelling event, which is on hiatus during the global pandemic, but will come back in some way, shape or form in the future.

I think what I like about what I'm seeing in aerospace that's quite unusual is that you're kind of on this seesaw in between entertainment and business, that the storytelling event that you you do, is it an event or is it it kind of sits on the entertainment side. Have I got that right?

Absolutely. And that's my background. I came to this work via stories for entertainment.

And me personally, 10 years ago, I began getting up on stage and telling stories from my life at comedy venues and on formal, more formal storytelling shows. And then this coming year will be the 10 year anniversary of Tell Me a stories live storytelling event. I always had entertainment at the forefront when I began this work. Great.

I'm glad I didn't misunderstand that. And you have your own podcast as well, which is it's kind of similar. It's it looks entertaining. It is entertaining. I would you describe it as also entertainment?

Yeah. So the podcast is called Rashomon. It's a long form narrative storytelling show. And the premise is that, well, when it started that each episode featured one family sharing every side of the same story. So it was an event that they all experienced together. And you hear the multiple perspective account of what happened. And I've done two full seasons. It was incredibly labor intensive. And so season three is taking a little longer than expected. But in season two, I actually spent, I believe, eight of the 10 episodes on one huge story that involved four, five families, 14 people, all connected because of an experience they shared together.

And I really loved exploring storytelling in that longer, slower unfolding.

You see, I listen to complicated podcast sometimes, and I think that just looks like so much work. This one is easy. I just talk to someone and we record it and it goes out with a little bit of sparkle, but you have to weave a thread through all of that. And that just looks mindblowing in terms of the amount of work it must take. How long does it take just to put on one episode of that?

Well, each season took about a year from start to finish. So, yeah, it takes about a year. I would say I'm six months behind on this new one just because I haven't built the time back into my schedule. But I have a lot of the recording done. I would say the most labor intensive part is the editing because I really go in and edit so that you're hearing all of the voices collectively as the story unfolds. So there's a lot of like quick edits and then me jumping in as host, filling in the gaps of the story.

But I really try to stay out of it and my perspective stay out of it and just help the listener get through like I helped them weave through each perspective.

And you can't delegate editing that kind of podcast. I imagine it's an editor's not going to understand your story.

Oh, no, I did it. All of it. I went and most all of the interviews were done in person traveling to people. But I actually really love the editing, which I think makes sense because I'm essentially in the work I do a tell me a story. I'm helping people edit the stories that they're sharing live and for like a spoken version of their story. And so that lends really comes into play when I'm editing the podcast and I learn.

I studied at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University for two years and in a long distance training program. And so I did a lot of studying, of making audio stories before I really jumped into it.

Now, one of the reasons I was most keen to speak to you, because a lot of people would be listening to the show thinking digital marketing storyteller. Come on, Bob, now. And if if you're listening, thinking that one of the challenges I most frequently have with all my clients and I speak to my colleagues around the world, and what regularly comes up is this single question of how do I bring across who I am? How can I explain to people the spirit of my business, not just the the nuts and bolts and the values and the.

The features and benefits, but how can I really bring across the magic of my business and we're talking stories there, so that's why I was really excited to speak to you, because the story in your business is the beacon that will shine through your content. It's the it's what's going to attract that ideal customer. So how do you do this work with the entrepreneurs and what does that journey typically look like?

Yeah, I mean, the good thing is the word storytelling has been a buzz word in digital marketing and in entrepreneurial spaces for a number of years now. And so there's always an excitement around this idea of needing to tell a story or wanting to tell a story to convey the work that you do as the leader in your business or the products that you offer and all of that. And I think. There's a blessing and a curse to that, there's this enthusiasm and passion for this idea of storytelling, but then there's this also this idea of, well, I can't tell my story.

I have to make it about the story of the person on the receiving end of my work or the person out there listening or I don't want to be the face of my business. I want the work or the product to speak for itself. And I definitely push back on people when they come to me with that objection, because in whatever stage of business you are, the founder or leader of that business has a story that serves the purpose of the work that they do and helps others see for themselves how that work can change them, affect them, impact them, transform them.

And so I there's always this work of transforming someone's, what I call you language, like the language of speaking to the customer in second person, you flipping that to I language and sharing. Here's this experience I'm having as the leader of my business or an experience I had that relates to the experience you're having listening to me. And I'm going to tell you about that from the first person. And you're going to take what you want from that and and do this little mind map in your mind and translate it to the experiences that you have as the listener.

And to me, that is by far more impactful than this idea of talking at the person on the other end.

That makes a lot of sense. I think what comes out of that for me is a lot of questions. But one specifically is how do you move people past the point of I think most people, when they're looking at their story, they see a sea stretching back years into their childhood. There's an awful lot of stories within which there are some relevant business story landmarks. So one question is, how do you help people pull out the right elements to build their story?

And another problem, I think alongside that is we have one identity of ourselves that we hold from the inside, but the rest of the world and often those people who value us most, they see something completely different. So how do you cross that bridge from, OK, this is my self identity. I know other people have their own ideas, but I don't really understand what that is. And then throw on top of that imposter syndrome and really fragile egos.

How do you get people to the story that's going to serve them rather than the story that they think they need?

I'm so excited that you brought it up in this way, because this is exactly what I like talking about in my work and with my clients and in my newsletter and everything. So I'm very excited. I don't know if you can hear it in my voice, but I am.

But I want to touch on that identity piece first, because this has been something that I've been exploring all year. And I'm actually in the middle of a research project around identity, which I can jump back into and explain a little bit more. But yes. So I think storytelling comes in three forms. I think there are the stories we tell ourselves. And when we dig deep down into that, I think that that is where the imposter syndrome comes in.

And those, quote unquote stories we tell ourselves are really self limiting beliefs that can hold us back and and don't have much truth contained within them, their false narratives, I believe. So there's the stories we tell ourselves and then there's the stories other people tell about us. And that usually comes in the form of assumptions, perceptions, receptions. And as the communicator, we actually can't control those narratives that are being formed about us from external places and sources.

But then there's a third type of storytelling, which is the stories that you wholeheartedly want to share with other people. And those stories are the stories that will serve you in the present moment.

And when you shift, focus away from the worry and concern of how the story is being received.

And you try the hardest to push aside those internal narratives that are self limiting and can spark all of that self-doubt and imposter syndrome when you really zoom in on. OK, here's what I want to share with people. Here's why I want to share it and here's how I'm going to share it. Then when you do that and when you share those stories with your audience, the stories that are being told about you become more in line with your story in.

A story you're taking ownership over and when you start to take ownership of your story, those self limiting belief stories go away.

I love that because it's very well aligned, something I try and get my clients to think about. And it's something I often have to come back to myself, which is there are stories told about us all the time. And the more visible you become, the more people tell stories about you and you can contribute to that, or you can leave it entirely to chance and to the whims of the psychological weather in the people who are telling those stories. And something I often come back to is this idea of trying to create your own legend in a very and not in a big headed kind of way.

But a legend is a story that lingers around after you're gone. And in intelligence circles, they talk about like a secret agent has to create a legend. This is identity that they're going to live into. And that's something they have to quite deliberately cultivate in order that when they're out doing their spy stuff, people assume that, well, that's the guy who works in the supermarket. He's told me about what he's been doing there. If you create and then that situation, it's a false identity, but it's a deliberate and intentional cultivation of an identity through telling stories.

So I really like that. One of the things, again, I'm particularly drawn to in your work is you're helping a lot of people, entrepreneurs in particular, move in to being very visible and often like eyeball to eyeball on a stage. And one of the things I was reading on your website was. About public speaking courses, that public speaking courses are great at teaching the idea of public speaking, but there are not a great way to learn public speaking.

And it reminded me a little bit of what was one of my very early podcast guests, Philip Vonda's. And he's a he has a very big YouTube channel. And I was sort of asking him, how do you how do you become confident doing that kind of video? How do you get good at it? And he said, if you want to be a great tennis player, you can hire a great tennis coach, you can buy great tennis balls, get all the good gear, watch great tennis players.

But until you start playing tennis, you'll never learn to be a great tennis player. And it's the same with anything and including public speaking. But it's one thing saying, how do you actually get somebody from OK, I've accepted the idea of public speaking through to knowing what they're going to be speaking about to actually cutting their teeth and actually making a commitment there.

Yeah, it's I think the key word is commitment. And I think it's making a commitment to yourself as the person who wants to expand the realm of visibility and putting themselves out there in a whole new way. I think it's making that commitment and saying, I'm going to wholeheartedly go for this. And if I fall flat on my face, that's fine because I'm all in and this is what I want to do. And then the spoiler alert most of the time is that you never fall flat on your face once you have the tools and the training to put yourself out there by sharing your story with other people.

And the way I help people, once they trust themselves, continue to trust themselves and to continue to commit is when I work with folks, there's pretty much a three step process. And there's this deep brainstorming that happens at the beginning of the work. There's then there's preparation and practice section, which is a lot of that practicing happens with me one on one.

However, homework is always given of you need to tell the story to three people. Here are the parameters and how you're going to approach telling the story as you're practicing. Here's how you're going to do a self-assessment afterwards.

So giving homework around that and getting people to really trust that they have to practice and keep sharing the story and a variety of ways to get it to the place that they want to be. And then that third section of working together is strategy and performance and performance can be as low stakes as a story shared in a social setting and as high stakes as a keynote or your own podcast and really just trusting that you've done the work. And then there's this element of letting go and being in the moment and finding the marriage between the two.

And the more that you do it, the easier it gets. The last stage fright comes in, even if it's a virtual stage. And that was my experience.

And even telling stories on stage in front of audiences was the more I just pushed myself to get up and do it, the less scared I was. And actually the more comfortable I felt being in my own skin and putting myself out there in this way because of the energy received by the people on the listening and in that deep sense of connection, of just sharing who I am and having a deeply listening audience on the receiving end is something I've found again and again that you worry about all the negative things that are going to happen and very rarely do they happen.

But we've very rarely focus on actually the impact that what we have to say can have, because we're so wrapped up in imposter syndrome and our own anxieties, we never think about the value somebody else is going to get from what we have to say. And a lot of the time as well, I find when you are doing any kind of storytelling or public speaking in particular, there's what you wanted to communicate. But then what somebody actually takes from that can really leave you.

Surprised you think I spoke for 20 minutes about I thought I was speaking about one thing, but you're telling me you took something completely different that I'd never anticipated. And it's a magical thing, because once you start expressing yourself, especially if it's in a nicely logical, practiced, structured way, these synchronicities can start happening, that they just can never happen in any other way. And one of the things I run a challenge in a Facebook group the other day and I had to do some preparation.

And one of the quotes that I came up with was from Seneca or Greek guy, and he said that luck is where preparation meets opportunity. And that's your business right there. It's helping people be lucky. So I love it. I'm very enthusiastic about this, but the idea still makes me super anxious. So you've got the brainstorming at the. Again, you've got the execution in the middle. I'm curious to know a little bit more about the brainstorming.

How do you help people draw this kind of line through a story that takes you to a logical place rather than. Here's a random thing that happened to me.

Hmm. So I have a very specific framework for doing this and a very specific brainstorming process, but it's grounded in experiential learning. So a lot of the exercises are designed to where I give vague instruction up top to really let the person going through the exercise trust their gut and tap deep into their memory and their experience to see what comes out. And so there's a sequence of exercises like that that build upon each other. And then there's this moment of release where I say, OK, now it's time to write your list of ten.

And so what the list of 10 is, is, are the 10 story ideas that are coming to your mind after doing all of this brainstorming work that might feel a bit wacky while you're doing it, but there's a method to the madness.

And it's so funny in the in the last six months, all of the people that I've taken through and they've gotten to that list of 10, they've had 20 or more stories written down, which I never expected, because in the past, when I did it, people were even like struggling to get to the 10 in the in the time constraint. And so that's the starting place. And I really start from this broader brainstorm of of this larger context of who we are and all of the experiences that shape where we are presently in our lives.

And then once we have that large brainstorm, then everything starts to get filtered through the lens of, OK, what is your stories, the story that you want to work on now? What is the purpose of it? Who do you want to share it with? Do you have an event booked that you need to get ready for?

Is this an origin story that needs to remove itself from the stagnancy of the way that you're sharing it now and kind of find a new starting place for your origin?

So it's really like honing in on the specific goals of who I am working with. But I think it's also like, again, it's like that trust of like, OK, I'm going to go on this wild series of exercises knowing that it's going to get filtered through once the brainstorming is done to to prep and practice and craft the narrative and then build the strategy around it from there. I think if there's too much strategy or expectation set at top, it can limit your brainstorming and it can limit the, I guess, the capacity of what you really have to share with people.

Yeah, I guess it also limits people's own internal permission to play. Mm hmm. Because if you're talking stories, you're talking playing really and not sort of prejudging all your ideas and structure would tend to do that.

Mm hmm. And then it also goes back to what you said about the people listening are always going to take away the message or moment in your story. I call those stories snapshots. If someone listening is taking a picture of your story, what's sticking with them? What are they carrying away with them? That's out of your control and out of your hands. And so worrying about what you want someone to hear, what message you want to convey, like worrying about that stuff too much is trying to take control over something that can't be controlled.

And often in storytelling, I've heard a lot of especially there's a big organization called The Moth, which is a big national in America national storytelling organization. And they're brilliant. And they they do a lot of wonderful programming and feature a lot of wonderful stories. But after a while, there's always this sentence pattern of people saying, and at that moment I realized dot, dot, dot. And they deliver the moment of realization or literal message of their story to the people listening.

And I'm always so disappointed because I just want to be able to take away what I want from it and create my own message and have that moment of realization with the storyteller with them.

If they're bringing me into the scene and showing me what happened instead of telling me what happened. And so I think having too much strategy or too much focus on the messaging before you begin the storytelling work can hinder the impact and power of it.

So when you're working with entrepreneurs, there's there's a spectrum of personalities from the very playful and open through to the to very conservative and uptight. I'm I'm sort of I'm.

Yeah. What do you call that reticent or.

You know what I mean I guess is I'm stereotyping. Oh, I see what you're saying, but stereotypes are quite helpful. Mm hmm. What do you find are the most common. Barriers people have to getting through this or giving themselves permission to tell the story.

Yeah. So I think I love working with entrepreneurs because of all of the spectrum of personality types and energy that come with the territory.

And I think part of it is identifying each individual's communication strengths and communication challenges. And I actually sit with people and create a unique set of story ingredients. So it's not your story has to have a climactic, like rising action to a moment of climax to a tied up, happy ending resolution. It's really OK. What ingredients do you want to include? Are you someone that loves to share about your life with humor attached? Do you like to state things simply?

Do you want to build curiosity and suspense within your story and really identifying all of the elements that will serve each person and work on that ingredient list with them? And so there's that. And then there's also just the getting over the hurdle of, well, I'm not ready to tell my story yet because I'm not at my desired ending, which can often happen and hold people back like, oh, well, I don't want to talk about this this moment in my life that I don't have clarity around or I'm not like making eight figures.

This is like a fairy tale, like making eight figures and like working on my laptop on a beach in the Maldives or something. You know, there's always like that end goal that a lot of us think we want or think we know or think we're on the path to getting to. And so we want to wait until we've gotten over all the hurdles before we share the story. But actually, there's always an end. There's always you're always at an end and you're always moving forward.

So it's really identifying, OK, you're not in the Maldives and maybe you'll never get to the Maldives. So that's not an experience that's serving you. So what experience is serving you? Where are you now and how did you get there or what message are you trying to convey to your audience and what story from your life really illuminates that bigger idea that you're bringing forth?

And so I think it's that giving people permission to let go of the fairy tale ending because that's boring and it's also never going to happen.

I love that. And I think it's something that I meet all the time that I was speaking to a business owner today. I don't normally talk about my business, but you would think my business is all about digital marketing. It's tech tactics strategy. But most of the time when we're talking about digital marketing, it's it's positioning. It's how can we make you visible with authority to the people that are going to be influential enough to make things happen for you.

And sometimes I get I'm too old. I don't look like a 35 year old. I was speaking to a 35 year old today. I think he was saying people don't take me seriously because I'm not 65. I think it's really what you were talking about there, that your end point, you're never there. You have to make the absolute best of where you are right now, because right now it is the end of time as far as time is concerned is done today.

And it's you will only ever find your opportunities today, not tomorrow or yesterday. So, yeah, it's a bit of a ramble, but I'm not an old one. But it kind of resonated quite strongly with me that you're never ready ever. Nobody I know in business would say they're ready to take their next step, but they step anyway.

Yeah. And I think that's the important part. And I think I you weren't rambling. I, I resonated with everything that you were saying. And I think I've made this in kind of a joking way to people in conversation.

But I've said in the past that you're only ending is death. So why worry about wrapping everything up into a bow and really find like it's it's this idea of who do I want to become versus what do you want to be known for? And I like to focus on the what do you want to be known for?

And that slight tweak in prompt really helps you dig through what you've already experienced to show people where you're heading versus the who do I want to become, which feels so fantastical or aspirational and kind of boring compared to talking about what you want to be known for.

Yeah, you put bigger. Yeah. So I'm curious to know a little bit about your business then. I think we've got a good handle on the value that you bring to the world and who you bring it to. And I totally get that. I think, I think anybody I know as an entrepreneur would be excited about that. And if they're not, they should be.

Yes. But how did you get to this point, because you come from a sort of theatrical entertainment space? What's what's your story?

Yeah, so I my background is in theater, and I went to school for musical theater thinking that I was going to get up on a New York stage and be in musicals. And very soon into my four years in university, I realized that I wasn't comfortable in the skin of being a musical theater performer. And I think a lot of it had to do with my education, but a lot of that had to do with the discomfort I felt getting up and using my voice.

And in a weird turn of events, I developed a crippling stage fright while in school for performing on a stage. And I really did lose my voice sometimes physically, like I my voice would crack when I was singing and I didn't understand why, or I would lose literally lose my voice. And I felt so uncomfortable. And so I took a step back from it and not like it didn't feel like I was like giving up on a dream. It was just like, OK, like what else is out there?

And a few years came in between.

But I eventually found myself on a comedy stage thinking that I was telling jokes. But really I told a full story from a beginning, middle and end. And the first time I did it, I brought my own laugh track and I handed it I think it was on a CD, like a boombox. And it was it was 10 years ago. And I handed it to a friend and I said, Can you hit this every time you think there should be a laugh?

And so people were laughing. But my friend also did that, which then became a part of the experience. And instead of it being an experience where I was like, oh, I'm comfortable because people are laughing and they like me, I, I was thinking, oh, wow, this there's an exchange of energy here and I'm just being myself and I do like being in front of people, so how can I explore that more? And that's how the performing aspect came in.

And I had this weird experience like a few years into that, where I was invited to tell a story on stage at a Victoria's Secret sales conference in Las Vegas.

And I actually was invited via like a marketing focus group.

And I never said, oh, I tell stories on stage. I just had a really good story to tell about shopping at Victoria's Secret. And so I was flown to Las Vegas and wined and dined. And all the things were pretty amazing.

And I really my goal was just to go there to get all the free stuff and to get the free trip to Las Vegas and to have fun telling a story on stage. And it was then this huge conference hall with 2000 sales managers from all of the Victoria's Secret stores in America and all of the, you know, executive staff from the company. And they had the whole conference set up as if it was like a lingerie fashion show, like there were pink striped cylinders that we came out of.

And we had Britney Spears microphones and there were Jumbotron things with our faces. We were wearing clothes, though not under like laundry. But I told the story that I didn't really even care about. I knew it was funny. I it was the story that got me the trip to Las Vegas, and that was the goal.

And when I shared it on that stage, there was a standing ovation from all of the sales managers. And it was one of those light bulb moments of, wow, this is a really powerful and effective communication tool. I'm very impressed with Victoria's Secret looking back that they were so savvy about that and for however long ago it was. But I got excited about exploring that. Like, what if I did actually share a story to these people that I cared about?

It was relevant to them. But what if I also cared about it? What would that do? And the wheels were turning because I did want to do storytelling.

I wanted storytelling to be my livelihood. I didn't necessarily want that to be a performance based livelihood. And so that really got the wheels turning. And that's how I came to thinking of it as a communication tool instead of a performance medium.

See something that jumped into my head as you were talking. And it sounds like a really powerful experience. I sort of don't want don't want to move away from that without acknowledging it. But what popped out to me there was you had a funny story and people found it really, really engaging and different people's idea of funny. Yeah. People's idea of what's funny. Yeah. It ranges from it's actually not funny through to. That's just ridiculous. That's just downright offensive.

How do you police funny with your clients. Hmm.

So I know that humor is one of my storytelling ingredients and that is something that is a strong suit of mine. And it's never like I'm not sitting there crafting these punch lines, but I know that the lens in which I see my life has a filter of of. Humor, now that there's perspective on things and I can shine in those moments, but if someone's coming to me and they're like, I want to be funny, I can't help them do that, but I can help that pull from the way that they are already communicating the the stylistic elements and the content elements that will support that goal.

And often that's just comes from telling the truth and zooming in on small moments and details in a way that brings joy and energy and light into the conversation and into the way that you're sharing. And so that's how I approach it. And I really and it's like what you said, people are going to respond differently to things. They might not think it's funny or they might laugh at a place that we're not expecting people to laugh. And so it's never the goal to work with someone on their story, like packaging it up like, oh, now you're a stand up comedian, but it's really finding the truth and the humor.

And usually that comes from a perspective on an experience, looking back on it as the storyteller and then at the same time bringing us into that experience as the character.

Yeah. And how do you handle I guess some people are just boring. How do you help them out of this identity? If I'm a boring person, I have nothing interesting to say.

I see. I don't think anybody is boring and I know nobody's really boring.

And I think, yeah, there's that there's sometimes that, again, self limiting belief of like, I don't have anything worth sharing because nothing in my life feels monumental or maybe not even feels monumental, but could be interpreted as monumental. And so I often say, like, your story doesn't have to be that time that you climbed Mount Kilimanjaro while blindfolded.

In fact, if the more you can zoom in on those small moments that illuminate the bigger story, the more impactful it will be for the people on the receiving end.

And that is like I excel at small moments stories because I haven't had any of those Mount Kilimanjaro moments in my life.

But I love bringing drama and perspective into something that maybe was so small at the time. But looking back on it as a storyteller, I know that it tells a bigger story.

And so to me, the joy in communication comes from really digging in to those smaller moments.

I love that. I don't think anybody listening will know that when I am talking about people who think they're funny but aren't or people who are really boring, I'm actually looking in the mirror. So it's all about me.

I'm going to channel it now. I would challenge all of that. And and I would challenge you to think differently about that, because I don't think I don't know. I just don't think boring exists if there's authenticity or or if there's purpose.

No, it doesn't. And I'm super rad. Just everyone needs to know. So before we started recording, I asked you a question and I thought, oh, this is going to be awkward because this is the digital marketing entrepreneurship. We're all about personal brands being super visible, online ads, blogs, YouTube, the whole Internet. And you're like super quiet online. And I thought, oh, what am I going to do here? Because Hillary is like almost nonexistent on the Internet.

You have an amazing website. Everyone needs to go and look at that. But no, no Facebook, very little Twitter, no Instagram. I thought this is weird, but when we were speaking again, we kind of touched on this earlier. I say I'm going to ask the question because I've almost answered it myself. But everybody that I have on the show, I often ask them work and opportunity can come to us in one of many ways.

Well, one of actually a small number of ways. It either comes through open sales activity. So you, you know, cold calls, you do doorstep and you you have a traditional sales machine, if you like, or it comes as the fruits of inbound marketing. So people consume your content, they discover you on the Internet, they go, I like the look of that person. And they they find their way back to you or it comes through ads and paid content.

And then there's referrals and word of mouth. Now, I often ask them to sort of out from you. How does that mix usually work for you? But I know for you it's it's going to be word of mouth, am I right? Yeah. And what we were talking about earlier when we were discussing this was that stories travel and the more powerful you tell a story, the more that story is out there in the world working for you.

And I think probably that's really you live that it's not just a hi, I'm Hillary. I help. You discover and tell your story, but your whole business is the story, if you don't have a story yourself, you don't have a business. I love that you really put your money where your mouth is there. Yeah.

And this is a sort of new angle or new action stuff that I've taken. I spent maybe twenty eighteen and twenty nineteen really doubling down on social media, growing my Instagram, which I think at the time I made the decision to grow it was that like 300 people on the Tell Me a story Instagram. I didn't put any effort into it and I wanted to grow. But I but looking back, I don't know if I really had a goal. I was like, I need to be bigger.

I need my Instagram to be big. And so I put a lot of effort there. I put a little bit of effort in Facebook and I really like liked Instagram as a user and really admired people that could really use their Instagram to showcase their work, showcase their business. But the more I tried to do what I thought I needed to do or tried to tell stories the way I like to tell stories within the confines of that platform, like word count lies image wise, and then for how quickly the it changed with like what they call stories and figuring out like, well, what can I actually do with this?

The less I enjoyed it. And it felt like a chore that didn't lead to. The type of engagement that I really wanted, which was a conversation, a moment of connection, a sale like a show where there were likes and things, but it wasn't worth it to me that I didn't need that external validation. It wasn't worth my time. And then I just started to question the ethics of Facebook and Instagram a bit.

And so, like from a personal value standpoint, I made the decision at the end of July to just go dormant and leave the profiles up, say, you know what, the best way to learn about Tell Me a story is to sign up for my newsletter. And I already was really proud of my newsletter. It's called The Speak Up, and I was sharing stories. They're sharing resources there. And I was having a conversation with people. People would reply back and share things with me and I found that really wonderful.

And when I really looked at who was working with me, it was word of mouth.

And a lot of it was like, I've been listening to your stories for X amount of years. I saw you speak at this event two years ago, and I wrote your name down on a piece of paper saying I wanted to work with you and now I'm ready to work with you. And so it's a lot of like it feels like a long game. But I, I know that I have planted lots of seeds just by showing up and sharing my story and sharing what I do, and that now it's up to the person to be ready and to commit and to trust themselves to do the work, because it's I think it's fun, but it's also hard and it's also like deep work.

And you do have to go along and go all in for it to get the results and to feel the impact. And so I know that there's that long game and the Instagram Facebook aspect just I didn't have the energy to to upkeep it and then I didn't really believe in it personally. And so I've let go and yeah, it's it's word of mouth. But again, yeah, I think my stories are traveling and I share every week on my newsletter.

I share a story, I share a communication tip of the week. I share a podcast episode of the week. Like all things that are related to the work that I do, and I've been doing a lot of virtual workshops and presentations like going in and introducing myself to new groups and communities. And it's funny with those two, there's a connection happening in the like if it's on Zoome like in the private chat on Zoome So people will be chatting publicly and sharing.

But then there's all this extra private chat that happens between me and the participants and then in my mind I'm like, Oh, I hope that this is also happening from participant participant and people are connecting via story sharing and sharing more stories in these private, more intimate conversations. And to me in the digital world, that is really exciting to me.

And this is something I hear quite often from some people that you would think are a pretty big Internet people that actually the story is really what matters. And a lot of them that the social media profiles that people see, that's the busy work. It's actually not that productive for them. They do it because that's just part of the routine. That's part of what you do. But what sells is their story. And I think a lot of people who don't find success online, it's not because they haven't got social media sorted out.

It's because they haven't got these stories that really resonate with people. They haven't got their legend created. There's there isn't something out there in the world for people to look at. Go. I love that. And I think we could all do with spending a little bit longer thinking about our stories. And hopefully some people listening will think they want to come and work with you to do that better. If they do, how would you like them to do that?

Yeah, so I work with people all fully, virtually now and fully and a one on one capacity. And I have three different crafting or narrative programs. One is a is a brainstorming session. And so you leave with that list of ten or maybe it's a list of fifty depending on how you're brainstorming goes. And then I have a solo retreat, which is my favorite service that I offer, which is includes up brainstorming with. Then you really go deep with working on one story that meets your specific goals.

And then while working on that story, you get all of the tools and skills needed to repeat that process. For other stories on your list of ten and really stories that can cross all channels, podcasts, getting up in front of an audience, live in person, in the room or on Zoom. And then even like I think once people really have that story and they also really love social media as a marketing channel, then once you have that story, you can use all of your other social media tips and tricks to really bring that story to life in a cool way or work with a digital marketer to really bring that story to life in the way that it needs to on social media.

So I think that is exciting, too, that it's not one or the other. But I think that there's a lot of the initial story work that needs to really happen and need to be done by the person whose story it is before it can go out into the world via social media. So any way that can all happen in the solo retreat. And then I also have a longer seven month package for folks that are all in on their public speaking.

They have a podcast there on other people's podcast. They have a book tour. They give a lot of keynotes, all of that. So it's giving that ongoing support in that capacity.

And if people want to find out more about you, what can they do that? So the website is tell me a story, dot info info. And there's a work with Hillary Tab right at the top of that homepage. And you can check out everything there and Hillary to bring things to a close.

What's one thing you do now? You wish you'd started five years ago? Hmm.

I would say I trust myself a lot. Like I wholeheartedly trust myself who I am and the work that I do and my purpose for being here and like as a human. And I feel fully aligned. And, yeah, I'm sure that that takes growth and aging and life experience to get there.

But I would say five years ago, which is almost like just shy of when I went full time with Tell Me a story as a full service communication business, I don't think I trusted my uniqueness and trusted my own perspective on storytelling. I was really scared that what I thought and what I taught and that I was what I believed in was too far out there and that it wouldn't resonate with people. And so it felt safer to blend in and to doubt that uniqueness and doubt that ability.

So, yeah, looking back, I wish I had just gone all in and trusted myself at the beginning, but I'm grateful for all of the self-doubt and I guess the I like not so much imposter syndrome, but self-doubt or those internal narratives that might have steered me off course.

I'm grateful for that because now there are stories I can share and now I really come into my own. And I'm sure that there's even more trusting and growth that can happen from here. I love it here in the range. You've been awesome guest. I've had great fun. I've learned so much. Thank you so much for your time. Yeah, thanks again for having me. This was such a wonderful conversation. Since speaking with Hillary, I've been much more mindful about the stories I use in business and more importantly, the stories I could be using but don't they're not yet part of my illustrations in my vocabulary, but because I'm capturing them, they soon will be before I go.

Just a quick reminder to subscribe. And if you haven't already joined the Facebook group, you'll find a link in the show, notes or visit, amplify me forward, slash insiders. If you would like to connect with me on social media, I would be thrilled. You'll find me wherever you hang out at Bob Gentle. And if you do message me, let me know and I'll follow you back. If you enjoyed the show, then as always, I would love a review and iTunes.

It means so much to me and it's also a great way to help me reach more subscribers. My name is Bob Gentled, thanks to Hilary Rosen for giving us her time this week and to you for listening and see you next week.


Most people find it hard to bet on themselves. There are all kinds of things messing with your head and the brain doesn’t like it when you try new things.

This week my podcast guest is the Brave Branding Queen, Esther De Charon and we're talking about how you can move past this, learn to love yourself and lean into your engaging, authentic self and really connect with your audience online.

We're talking about Facebook Ads copy, video marketing and why there are more reasons to succeed than to fail - if you just give yourself permission.

Esthers Website : https://www.estherdecharon.com/

Thanks for listening!

It means a lot to me and to the guests. If you enjoyed listening then please do take a second to rate the show on iTunes.  Every podcaster will tell you that iTunes reviews drive listeners to our shows so please let me know what you thought and make sure you subscribe using your favourite player using the links below.

Automatic Audio Transcription

Hi there and welcome back to Amplify the Digital Marketing Entrepreneur podcast. I'm Bob Gentle, and every Monday I'm joined by amazing people who share what makes their business work. If you're new to the show or take a second right now to subscribe so you don't miss new episodes and you can grab some older ones when you're done with this one. Don't forget as well, you can join my Facebook community, just visit uplifting me. Don't form forward slash insiders and you'll be taken right there.

Most people find it hard to bet on themselves. There are all kinds of things messing with your head, and most of them don't like it when you try new things. This week, my guest is the brave branding Queen Esther de Sharon. And we're talking about how you can move past this, learn to love yourself and lean into your engaging, authentic self and really connect with your audience online. We're talking about Facebook ads, copy video marketing and why there are more reasons to succeed than to fail if you just give yourself permission.

So welcome along. And let's meet Esther. So this week, I'm thrilled to welcome Mr. Sharon deciles, your man to the show. Esther, did I say your name properly yet?

You did. It's awesome. Thank you very much for joining me. I've been looking forward to speaking to you for a long time. And it's been really tough having a little bit of chat that you previously are not starting to ask all the questions I want to ask. So for the listener who doesn't know you, why don't you start just by telling us a little bit about who you are, where you are and the kind of work you do.

So I am in the Netherlands. I live all the way up in the north and I run a brave Bren's.

And so we are a bit well, it used to be me, right? So but now there's this team. So it's it's a business for women entrepreneurs, brave women entrepreneurs who are too bright to a multifaceted multi potential and sensitive to fit in the regular A to Z business moult.

So whenever they start a program, they get lost because their brains, our brains work differently. And and and so I.

I work with women like that. See what I find. I think I really like it. And on the other hand, I really don't like it that you just work with women.

Yeah. So how did you make that decision? Why did you make that decision?

Um, actually well I've been I have been working with men before, but it was a long time ago. The thing was that the men it's a little bit weird maybe, but the men who worked with me were the kind of guys who needed some sort of a firm female hand to really it's like, stop doing that. You can change this, done like this. And it made me work really hard. So there was it was definitely something I was doing.

And, um, and then and then from there it became all women. And but I do get the occasional question from men. Why don't you work with men as well? So I don't know, maybe in the future, but for now, it's it's like it's it's an old all women.

I work with all women groups.

Well, I completely understand that and and I applaud it. And I think it's not so much that it's all women. It's how you defined those women and the challenges that they have. What would you say is the biggest problem that people have when they're working with you? What's the problem that sort of drives them towards you?

There are a couple of things. One is that because they are so smart and they have so many degrees that they don't value what they already have. They think that what they they think that treats their degrees. The person who they are is just a very average kind of person. And so they they they think they need to know more. They need to learn more. They need to evolve more. They need to be more perfect, more like the others.

And they never will be like the others because they're different.

And one of the things I teach them is that the fact that they are different is it's the best thing you can have as an entrepreneur because there are so many people who are very much alike and everyone who is even if you're slightly different, it it's it's like you're wearing free advertisement the entire time. But you can only it only works when you are aware of the fact that you are different and that it's great to be different.

I think in many respects most of us are different. We all have characteristics and traits that are just ours. And I think one of the problems a lot of people have when it comes to personal branding is deciding which traits am I going to focus on? Hmm. Am I going to focus on the fact that I'm amazing at a technical thing or am I going to focus on the fact that I'm really adventurous or am I going to focus on I'm really shy, but have overcome it.

How do you sort of guide people towards creating this? I'm going to say it's almost an alter ego. They're really putting on a costume, but they're deciding what they're going to be wearing in terms of a personal brand. How do you help them through that?

It's two things. It's it's it's actually starts with the client, the audience, or what I call your soul client, the you want to attract. And if you create a brand, you want to be truly relatable for that audience.

So if you let's say you're a health coach and your audience are men in their 30s, I'm going to make this really complicated for myself. It's men in their 30s who like they like fast cars.

And I think that when that is your choice, if that's if that's your audience, then need for sure. There is a love of fast cars that you've got. So to make it really simple, instead of be like all the other health coaches, you are going to be the health coach who loves fast cars because now you attract the 30 year something guys who are going to be in love with your car. And and so you made this invisible. No, it's very visible connection between them and you.

So it's it's it's you pick one thing. That is already in your energy, in who you are or what you love and what in you, and then match it with what your social clients really love is. It makes sense.

It does make sense. And I'm trying to sort of roll through that in my head. I think one of the challenges then is really embracing who you are. I think a lot of the time from you can you can fake what you're describing there, but it won't really work very well because you won't be living it.

It won't it will never work because you will. So that's why my work always starts with self-love and self acceptance. If you. I know that many of my clients have a certain time in their life. They've heard that they are that they're weird. Why do you always talk back? Why do you always need to stand out? Why do you always need to disagree with everything? Why can't you just fit in? Why don't you fit in the box?

Things like that. And so if you if you've been hearing that for all your life, you really you start using those words for yourself and then it's like this 24/7 in our roll call that says, why don't why, why? Why can't I never fit in? Why? What's what's wrong with me? Why does my business not grow? I'm sure they hate me. It's like this whole story that we're it, that it's even when no one outside ourselves is saying it, we are seeing it to ourselves.

We are relentless when it comes to ourselves. So self-love and self acceptance changes everything because it's like this layer. It's like this this truly strong foundation in your business, in your life, that once it's there, you can basically do everything.

Something you mentioned about your clients is that they're often very intelligent, they're very smart, they're very experienced, very, very well qualified from a professional perspective a lot of the time. But the thing with really clever, intelligent, well qualified people is their second guess themselves a lot. So this sort of idea of the sole client I know when I work with my clients and we're trying to work out who is your ideal customer, and we go through this whole sort of traditional avatar process, the second guess themselves a lot.

And it's really, really hard for them actually to make commitments to a particular person in terms of an avatar. How do you help your clients? Discover this sole client, as you put it. How how do you sort of give them the compass and a map to finding out who this person is and make sure that they don't get distracted into the more traditional avatars of they need to have the right amount of money to spend on my services or you know what I mean?

Well, I have a little bit of a different kind of path because I usually start with what I call a soul whisperer, where we do some sort of a visualization and where they go to a place. And I just make this stuff up. Right. Well, so I'm just sitting with them and I'll take them to a place where there are people. And then some of the people don't look at them and some are. And then there is. And it's just it's just a whole it's a whole thing.

It's happening.

And then they meet people who eventually are their sole clients. And sometimes it's.

Oh, and they they tell my clients themselves what it is, what they need and why they've chosen her. And so we start from there. We start with an idea. And sometimes it happens that the people who work with me run into that person the next day. And it's really weird and I cannot explain it. I've not I've I actually have no idea how I'm doing it, but it really works.

And then I invite them to really have a talk to that person or to someone who looks like that person. And and it's very it's very often a very open discussion, like, what is it that you really need? And then I tell them to really listen to the things they're not telling. So let's let's do the example of the health coach again. If she or he is talking to the 30 year old man who loves fast cars because of the way you do the you have the conversation.

You might find out that the fear of the 30 year old man is the fear of losing the car or never get the car. And maybe that person is truly stressed out about it.

And but you can only find out about that once you once you really talk to people.

And the thing is that many people have the conversation in their own heads. And it's it's it that that won't help. So you really need to talk to people also instead of going in circles for a very long time, sometimes you just need to decide on this is my person. And so there are a couple of things that person needs. You need to really honor, love and respect that person as a sole client. Otherwise it's not going to work and it needs to be Fizer first.

That person needs to be able to pay you. If he or she cannot pay you, then it's never a sole client. And and it's someone that you want to work with now. And it's someone that wants to buy something from you that only you can give her or him.

And so it's it's all about being different from all the others. Does that make sense?

It does. It makes perfect sense. I think the whole idea of the sole client is quite easy. But then if you imagine the Venn diagram of all the qualities that person could have, but then there's a circle that also declares they must be able to pay you, that actually excludes quite a lot. Yeah. So that's that's a very interesting measure, I think. Yeah, I think for a lot of people this this idea, I think for some people it doesn't matter.

But for other people I think this sense of vocation which goes beyond making money, this is the life's purpose, is very, very important. Yeah. And I think that's where the sole client can actually give work. Meaning because once you've got past while making money is actually quite easy online. But what's this doing in order to build a legacy or what's this doing in order to really move the life forward of somebody that I care about? That's that's a much bigger goal.

That's a much bigger vision. And that's something that's much easier to get out of bed for. To be honest. Yeah. Another element, I guess, that a lot of your clients probably struggle with, and I'm making a bit of a reach here, is probably imposter syndrome and comparison. Self-love, I guess, is one antidote to that. But how do you help them through that? Because it's one thing understanding. Well, now I know who I am for me, but now I need to start showing up for them.

And there's all kinds of mindset issues around that.

I actually always think that everything comes down to fear, impulse, impulse, imposter syndrome, fear, procrastination, fear, perfectionism, fear. It's all fear. And we are so freaking afraid to show up who we really are because of all the reasons of all the things people have been telling us when we were young. And now we are telling ourselves that we come up with anything. And I and so Elizabeth Gilbert says that, oh, that's about perfectionism.

So perfectionism is a fear into a beautiful shoes wearing a mink coat. So it's it's all fear.

And I really think that. There is a little part is about. Getting over it by taking action, but the biggest part is really look into your fear and now the danger is that you're going into like this, you self development a deep dive in yourself. There's nothing wrong with that. But if you're an entrepreneur, you need to make money. Otherwise, you're you're growing a hobby.

So sometimes you just need to do it. And that's actually this is why groups work and why a community works, because it's really hard to do it by yourself. If if you and if you are afraid that your voice is horrible in new convince, your voice is horrible and that that is the reason why you can never go live, then that is going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. But if you're in a group and everyone says, I believe you can do it and we would love to hear what you've got to say, and then you go live in that group, everything changes.

So it's a combination of being with others. They're all there to be vulnerable with you. It's taking action not by pushing yourself, but by falling into it and by really exploring where the web is, what's with this whole fear thing. So it's it's not one thing. It's a lot of things you need to do.

But I guess accepting that that's what it is is probably a very definitely.

Yeah. I think a lot of people let ego get in the way and that's why they don't make any progress, is because their ego will not permit them to make mistakes because they have to they're qualified, the professional, they're experienced. They can make mistakes. They can't take risks now. And something that I know to be 100 percent true is if you're going to build your business online, you better give yourself permission to make a lot of mistakes to look very, very foolish.

That's part of it. That's the price of entry.

So obviously, before I do an interview, I have a little bit of a rummage around somebody ecosystem and see what they're doing online. And what I really like about yours is, you know, a lot of people that you go on their website and there's here, download my checklist or get this thing. You've got things that people can download, but a lot of the time that's where it ends. You get the download. What I loved about yours was at every point along that many journey, there's intimacy and warmth built into it.

So when you get your download, that takes you to a page where, again, there's a lot of storytelling, there's lots of relationship building, I call it. There's a video to watch. Most people will often say you need to put a video on your thank you page, but you took this much further and it's really, really polished.

I'm curious to know how much time or thought these aren't even the right questions I'm asking, what has been your journey in terms of your lead generation business?

Not early generation business, but not part of your online world because it's so polished.

OK, thank you.

Hey, it's polished, polished isn't necessarily the right word because it's terabits of it that are not polished, but what it is, is intimate.

I, I really started my online business in 2014 and I, I had no idea who I was talking to.

So it's a little bit of a story, but I'll get there. So I focused on women, young mothers. So I did everything in Dutch at first.

So I started with young mothers who know I started with 30 something city girls who were looking for happiness. So I found it happiness school. So that was my first thing. And then nothing happened because I had no idea how to do this. But I could build websites. I loved the whole coding thing. I, I really went all left brain on it. And so to make a very long story short, I made websites and lead magnets and and and the most amazing thing, things for so many different.

Target audiences like magnets, I think I created over a five different crisis that that I'm not even using them anymore. So I'm really fast with creating something. And then I sort of. I just let it go. I even forgot about it, which is very much something that my clients experience as well. So we're really facing creating something. And then it's like, oh, it's gone. So. I actually think that's the whole storytelling and the reaching out, and I I think that started once I got over that it needs to be perfect.

I need to only speak to that person and not to the rest. And when I. I actually really love doing it, and I don't know, I think that I think that's it. I just really love doing it and I love reaching out to people. And I'm really, really introvert. I, I love the lockdown, which is hard. It's hard because there's so many people, so many people. It's impacting so many people.

But I love I'm with my husband and my son and the three of us love the lockdown. We love staying home and just busy with the three of us. And being an online entrepreneur gives me.

Gives me permission to really reach out from the depth of my heart to people without actually having them in my home.

I really like that. And I think from one introvert to another, I'm right there with you on social isolation. I think it causes a few problems. But mental health is not part of that for me. I really enjoy my quiet. Something I'm curious about then is. Everything you said, you're quite introverted, but I'm guessing you're not shy are such.

You see, you don't seem sure, yeah, no, because I I when I'm so I'm sitting here in my office and I'm at home and but the moment you take me out of the office and put me in a large room with strangers, the thing is, whenever there is like a two days event, the first day I it's almost I find it extremely difficult to talk to everyone. The second day. I'm much better because now it feels like I know these people.

So, yeah, it's I shy.

I don't know because I really like to I like to be on stage for instance. But one on one. That's the thing, that's the difference. I, I completely am OK with a small group, not so much with a bigger group right now.

That makes perfect sense. So I would like to ask you about a few of the nuts and bolts of your business. And the reason I ask these questions is lots of people will see people like Esther online who appear to have great businesses. Now, I know for a fact you have a great business. And so for a lot of people, they'll be wondering what's under the bonnet and a great business. That is really what leads me to ask the question, how does opportunity typically come to you?

Is it coming through Facebook or is it coming through network referrals? Is it coming through affiliates? What is it that actually drives most business for you? Sort of. Maybe if we leave email to one side for the moment, what is it that drives people into your world in the first place?

Facebook, definitely. Facebook ads just being present on Facebook, some on Instagram, but to a lesser account, a little bit on Pinterest. But I, I'm very inconsistent there. So it's it's mainly it's mainly Facebook.

And when new people come into your world, is it typically through us?

It's through ads. And so the client journey very often is they join for some sort of a free program. So I'm doing a free program called Become the Client Magnet next month. End of this month, and so I think around 2000 or so people will join and then they go into my free group and sort of regroup gross and I really nurturing my free group. And then part of them goes into my membership. And then a part of the people are in the membership.

Go and be in my Leape program, which is a year program or in my program that is a self love program. But the majority of them comes via Facebook ads. Or sometimes I got a couple of these clients who have sort of sometimes open it like a door for me, which I really, really love. I find it so amazing and it's like, hey, you need to learn, you need to get to know this person. And then there is this huge, huge group of Czech women is because one that you are my client right now is because one person opened the door to me.

And I am so grateful for that.

It's so amazing.

I think certainly when you do deliver value as somebody shares that you've done that that can lead to all kinds of opportunities. Yeah. So this is my impertinent question then, um, to generate those 2000 people into your free program, how much would you have spent on ads to achieve that?

Two thousand, probably, right. I'm guessing that's urines a year in euros.

Yeah, right. And I never know if that's a lot or not, but that's the amount of money I am about to invest in the next launch.

I'm really glad you told me that because I think nobody really has a benchmark for what is normal. You hear all kinds of stories saying, oh, I generated so much business from 50 pounds, but what is so much business look like really? And how true is that? Whereas somebody else will tell you or you going to need to spend 50000 pounds to see any benefit. But to understand this is what I achieved as my customer journey, this is what went into it.

It's very practically useful. So thanks for that. Thank you.

So one of the things I love about your content in particular is your copywriting that. It's again, the word that keeps coming back again and again is, is intimacy you? Express yourself and a lot of people don't. Has that ever gone badly for you now in terms of negative reactions?

Oh, all the time that it's I, I show up pretty vulnerable.

And open about who I am and where I come from, about the fact that I have been really depressed for over 10 years, about my own struggles and.

It's so there are a lot of people who like that because they completely relate to that.

It also gets me off if there's ever anyone who puts me on a pedestal, I climb off within seconds and but sometimes people are upset or they are, yeah, I get unfriendly emails, but thankfully, which is something everyone needs to do, it's I, I don't read my own emails anymore.

And so my team is reading my emails and they show me the ones that are wonderful and they destroy the ones that are mean because sometimes they're mean. And so yeah, it happens, people feel the need to say mean things, but it's never about me. It's really all about them.

I guess so I think as well, if if you want to reach out to people, if you if you really want to create the sort of beacon effect where everybody can see who you are, what you do and what you're about and who you are for, that's going to polarize. Some people are going to be, oh, my God, that's amazing. But you can't have that without the. Oh, my God, that's terrible. Yeah, that's the price of admission.

If you want to be visible online, you're going to have to accept people have polarizing views. Some people love cheese. Some people hate cheese. What are you going to do? So which part of your business do you feel you struggle with the most or is it leaves you feeling, you know what? I'm not I'm not playing at my best here.

In all honesty, I find growing a team really hard and.

So we're a team of six right now, and I've been doing all the work by myself for so long, and I'm one of those eight type entrepreneurs who go like, oh, just give it to me, I'm much faster.

I can do this myself. I've been working so hard and I think for the past years. And my office, which doesn't work, so I don't work like crazy or I just don't do anything for an entire day, but I'm mostly it's on the switch and working with a team means that sometimes I need to take my switch off and let other people really do the work. They can do much faster and better than me. And so it's it's it's all trust letting go, having faith that people will really do the work and then get all those soapies out there and systems and processes.

And, oh, I find it really hard, even though I know it's the only way to get me to the next level.

I totally get that. I think delegation is a nice idea, but it's it can be so painful sometimes because you, you know, you could do things faster and better yourself, but it's always what does that prevent you doing that only you can do? Hmm. That's really interesting, I guess. What are your ambitions for the business? What would you where would you like the business to go? Where where do you maybe feel you're called to but you're not currently at.

I, I want world domination.

I really what I if I if there's anything I want to do is to teach people. And then in my case, women who can teach their children and everyone around them and their partners and their their neighbors, that self-love really is the foundation of everything that I stop by, by by not by accepting ourselves and by. And it's not just by being courageous and brave that we can I really believe that we can we could change the world with that.

So so it's much bigger than just my business.

Yeah. I guess something that I really like to ask anybody that I see and doing what you're doing and that they're doing it well and they're doing it successfully, is when I speak to my clients and ask him, what's your biggest barrier to being successful? And they will all tell me almost universally it's not tactics, it's not content is not ideal time. They don't know how to manage their time. So looking at somebody who's doing well online, how do you manage and prioritize your time?

Yeah, it's such a good question.

I in all honesty, I very much in the process to promote prioritize my time over business time. And so I'm I'm. I'm really bad at getting up in the early morning, so just not doing that. I just I just work harder.

What is the question how I do it or how well do you have a time management process?

Oh, yes. Yes. So what? Let me see what I do.

I actually I never have clients or Kohl's or there or anything before 10:00 am, because the time before the moment I wake up, it's I start thinking about life and my clients and where I want to go and all the possibilities. And so I use the a big part of the morning to be outside in the garden, to be with the cats, to talk to my husband, to drink coffee, to have breakfast.

And then at 10:00 is this there's this work switch happening. And so I always sent out a message to my accountability body and telling her what I'm doing that day and reading what she's going to do that day, and then it's and oh, and the other thing I do, I always look at my calendar the night before I go to bed and see what kind of day is coming towards me, whether it's a day filled with coaching or Wade mastermind calls.

And then when it's an empty day, then I'm using the emptiness of my calendar to do something for myself.

Like being outside and read a book or to do something that is immediately beneficial for my business, like writing an email that I will send out or make a couple of posts. So I play with my empty time, but my but I'm always I'm really bad at calendars, so my team needs to put all my or my calendar thingies in my calendar. Otherwise, I just I've just spoken like a true artist. I don't think you need to explain anymore as though we're probably coming towards the end of the interview.

And I guess there will be people listening who think I really I want to connect with Esther if they want to do that. How would you like them to do that?

There are two things you can do. I have my copy guide on my website, on the show, on dotcom.

And I will say I download a lot of PDF, but I very rarely print them. I have actually printed your. You did. I did print it. It's really good. Thank you.

The thing is, I'm Dutch. I know my English is not perfect, but I loved writing the book. I had so much fun. It was so I, I created it while being on Skumanick. Oh. Which is a very small island in the Netherlands. And I just I wrote it in I think two days or so and I really, really love doing it. So hearing you saying that, that means the world to me.

So that was one way. Yeah. Oh right. So that's one way. And the other way is I'm doing a five days of program called How to Become the Client Magnet, which is basically showing up really like you, because that is what will bring you the clients. And so that will be on my website as well. And I don't have the exact link to it. That's OK.

I can put that on the show. OK, so for this, this will probably go live in a few weeks, so I'll make sure when it does, there is a link there. Great. I need to ask you my signature question. I've been really good with this recently. So what's one thing you do now that you wish you'd started five years ago?

So it is 2020. So I wish in 2015 I had started to stop doing it by myself.

I hiring people to work with me and to gently nudge me into out of my fear, I think if I had started doing that five years ago, I, I would be already at a different level than where where I am now.

This idea that you can do everything yourself as an entrepreneur, that you don't need others. This whole also this self. I'm a self-made men. I'm a self-made woman. I genuinely don't believe that. I believe in having it takes a village to grow a business like this. And so having support professional it all any kind of support.

That I wish I had I wish I had started in 2015 instead of almost in 2017.

That's a great answer. So has the decision to German awesome name. Why don't you say it for me once it's to the shareholders. Asherman. So you say much better. Thank you so much for your time. And yeah. I can't wait to see you again sometime. Me too. I love this. If you're listening to this as I publish it, then I hope you had a great Christmas and I wish you a very prosperous 2021 if you've struggled this year, and I really hope next year is better for you.

Before I go, just a quick reminder to subscribe. And if you haven't already join my Facebook group, you'll find a link in the show, notes or just visit, amplify me from forward, slash insiders and you'll be taken right there. I would also love for you to connect with me on social media. You'll find me wherever you hang out. Just find at Bob Temple. And if you do message me, let me know and I can follow you back.

If you enjoyed the show, then I would love for you to review it on iTunes. It means a lot to me and it's the very best way to help me reach more subscribers. My name is Bob Gentil. Thanks again to Esther for giving us her time this week and to you for listening and see you next year.


This week my guest on the podcast is Matthew Kimberly.  As head of the Book Yourself Solid organisation, he knows a thing or two about what successful business owners do differently.  If you are in the coaching space then you’re in for a treat.

Listen in as we discuss exactly how to book yourself solid with the right kind of clients and why you might fall in love with a £1000 hamburger.

About Matthew Kimberley

Matthew Kimberley is the Head of Book Yourself Solid Worldwide. He's also the author of Get A F*cking Grip, creator of Delightful Emails and the School for Selling and host of the Marketing For Coaches podcast.

He lives in Malta with two boys, one wife and one dog and pre-Covid traveled the world speaking on stages from Singapore to San Diego. He mostly likes good Scotch and better conversation.

Matthew's Website : https://matthewkimberley.com/
Matthew's Podcast: https://marketingforcoaches.com/

Thanks for listening!

It means a lot to me and to the guests. If you enjoyed listening then please do take a second to rate the show on iTunes.  Every podcaster will tell you that iTunes reviews drive listeners to our shows so please let me know what you thought and make sure you subscribe using your favourite player using the links below.

Automatic Audio Transcription

Hi there and welcome back to Amplify the Digital Marketing Entrepreneur podcast. I'm Bob Gentle, and every Monday I'm joined by amazing people who share what makes their business work. If you're new to the show that, take a second right now to subscribe so you don't miss new episodes and you can grab some older ones when you're done with this one. Don't forget as well, you can join my Facebook community, just visit, amplify me EFM forward, slash insiders or search for insiders on Facebook and you'll be taken right there this week.

My guest on the show is Matthew Kimberley. And as head of the book yourself solid organization, he knows a thing or two about what it takes to be successful. And if you're in the coaching space, you are in for a treat. But if you're a business owner of any kind, there is so much for you in this episode. Listen in as we discuss exactly how to book yourself solid with the right kind of clients and why you might fall in love with a 1000 dollar hamburger.

So welcome along. And let's meet Matthew. So this week, I am delighted to finally welcome back Matthew Show. Matthew is a legend in my world and I'm really excited to get to spend time with you any time I get to spend time near you. I'm excited. So welcome to the show. Well, thank you for having me back, Bob. There's no way I would rather be. So you've been on the podcast before.

And again, I have to say thank you. You were one of the first people that came on my podcast. And back then, I think when you came on, I'd published like three episodes or something.

So thanks for that. But for the listener, that doesn't listen that far back. And why not?

Why don't you start just by telling us a little bit about who you are, what you do and where you are?

Absolutely. Well, at the time of recording, I'm based in Malta, which is a small Mediterranean island originally from the U.K., although I haven't lived there as an adult. I was about 10 years in Belgium and 10 years now in Malta with a couple of stints in the Far East and elsewhere.

And what I do now after a decade in sales is I am the head of the Put Yourself Solid organization, which I'll be happy to talk more about in a second. And my role really is recruitment and support of our licensed business coaches. That's it in a nutshell.

I think the book is Have Solid Bits that I know you worked with Michael Port before, now you're back. And in that world, it's probably the books that I've given to clients most often. And I think the reason I've given it to them is it it gives a really nice systematic approach to building and monetizing your personal brand. For people who aren't accustomed to that at all. It's really, really logical, really easy to understand. But rather than me, explain what that is.

How do you describe it to people?

Well, you're absolutely right, Bob, that it's a systematic approach to business formation and business launch and business sustenance.

It's applicable to all service business owners and most other business owners as well.

It's designed for the person who's becoming a dentist for the first time or becoming an attorney or a gardener for the first time.

Equally as it's designed to help fine-tune the processes and specifically the sales and marketing aspect of a well-established business as well.

It's not new information. Michael Port is the author and now my business partner. He would say that none of the information in there is new. It deals with everything from coming up with a message to or service to market match, which is one of the first modules that they'll teach you if you do an MBA right through to how to get clients through marketing efforts. And none of this information is revolutionary, but the way in which it is packaged and the way in which it is explained at the analogies and the models that we use have struck a chord over the last 15 or 16 years since the book has been released.

And the book was first released in about 2015 sorry, 2005, and it's now on its fourth edition. It's been sold over a million copies. It's been translated into twenty plus languages. And when you say, Bob, it's the most gifted book. Your I'm a we're hugely grateful both that it's useful and that it struck a chord that you're a supporter, but also you're in great company because we hear this time and time again when people join business coaching franchisees, for example, or even online business building programs, very often at the beginning, you know, pre work is read a copy of this book.

So we're thrilled to report. And that is is designed to help you go from. Not really having an idea to having a booked solid practice, and it's yeah, there's something beautiful about its simplicity.

It's designed for the person who comes to sales and marketing, because most of us are most of us, most of us owner operators have a skill. So we're tradespeople or we're technicians to a certain degree. We have something that we can execute, whether that's because we're good at numbers or because we're good at photography or because we're good at developing software programs. And the bit there's often missing from all of these vocational skills that we have is how do I turn this into an ongoing and systematic source of revenue?

Lots. Sorry, I've stopped.

I could keep talking for the next half hour about yourself.

That's why I hear if you're on a roll, you keep rolling.

So lots of one of the fundamental tenets of the program is that when you when you sign up to become self-employed or when you start your own business, the barriers to entry are pretty low. And often what you think is, OK, I'm good at this thing. I'm good at making things. I'm good at designing things. I'm good at thinking about things. What I need to do now is marketing.

And so many of the programs and many of the appealing strategies for early stage entrepreneurs and even well-established entrepreneurs is to pursue marketing programs as a source of inspiration to get new business.

But we actually believe that marketing should be the last thing that you do. Marketing in and of itself does not get you clients. Marketing done well will get you leads, although there's a lot of confusion in the marketplace around that today.

There's there's a lot of people who are pursuing, you know, applause rather than prospects, people who are looking for validation rather than results in terms of vanity metrics which which seem to be the flavour of the month or flavor of the year at the moment.

But marketing done well will get you leads, but even leads on their own are useless.

What you have to be able to do is have a systematic way of converting those leads into happy repeat customers. And so we start with that foundational element. You must understand who your customer is. You must understand who your customer isn't. You must understand what you deliver to them. And believe it or not, that might sound very straightforward, but it's the bit that most of our clients struggle with the most. We will spend a lot.

I think a lot of people I think a lot of the time people have stumbled into who their customer is. And I think that's one of the problems, is if you continue marketing the way you marketed, even if you do marketing, unless you're very clear on who you're for, you just get what you got. And one of the things I remember from reading your book yourself was this idea of the velvet rope where you need to actually almost have a clear barrier to entry.

Absolutely right. It's an exclusionary tactic. You know, how do you how do you how do you guarantee that your nightclub or your or your discotheque I'm showing my age now will still be we'll still be in business ten years from now. Will you make sure that the experience for your clientele is fantastic? And the only way I could do that is by enforcing a red velvet rope policy. We are for this group of people and we are going to encourage this group of people.

And also when we get started, often we don't need to do any marketing. Right, because we've got passion, we have enthusiasm. We have identified two or three people who are going to pay our bills for the first few months or years. And therefore we say, well, is a target market that important? And the answer is yes. When it comes to actually marketing, a target market is not a group of people you restrict your sales to.

It's a group of people or companies to which you restrict your marketing focus is quite literally where you target your marketing. And a great analogy for people who've dived headfirst into Facebook ads without any other kind of exposure to marketing is to say, well, you know, what's your what's your budget and who are you going to who you going to be attracting with your adverts? Because if you say I want to attract everybody in the world, then nobody's going to see your ads and your budget is going to expire after a few minutes.

Whereas if you're very clear about targeting your marketing to a specific group of people, you get multiple at bats. As our friends across the Atlantic would say, you get multiple opportunities to address a small group of people who have existing networks of communication, and your message will spread virally, which is quite appropriate for twenty twenty if if you try to spread that message in an elevator rather than in a football field. Right. You're more like people are going to hear and.

Right. So you got to choose that elevator, get in there and spread your germs around. If you want people to be treated, you want your message to go viral. All right, so by being too broad and it doesn't mean that if somebody from outside the elevator or outside of your target market wants to work with you, you say no. On the contrary. You say sure, if you can and if you can help them and if they pass your red velvet rope policy.

But we do a enormous amount of work getting that right. And then you have to be able to answer why they should choose you, because if you can't answer that, they won't be able to answer that. And a lot of people are stuck on that point as well. Yeah, absolutely.

I have a surprising number of people. I think one of the problems that I have a lot of the time, I think you probably will recognize this as well as if you were to point out, will take one dentist practice. So what's the difference between that dentist practice and another dentist practice? Unless they found a really clear way of expressing that, there would be no way of knowing. But if you were to ask those to a dentist, are you the same as each other?

No, no, of course we're not. We're completely different. But if that's so rarely articulated in the business in any way. So I think you're absolutely right.

And very often the answer is actually found in the precedent work that we've done in the target market. You know, the answer to why should I choose this dentist over that dentist might be as simple as because some of my friends trust this dentist. Right. But if so often we can, because dental services are dental services, much as business growth services, a business growth services. And we all like to think we've got a unique algorithm. But so few organizations have unique algorithms that are unique, you know, truly unique, disruptive offers that they taken to market that why should we, you know, should we choose to pursue that?

I doubt it. Very often the major differentiator is in our choice of target market.

And if we're running a personality based business or even if we know how we show up in the world. So I might choose Bob Gentil because he's Bob Gentle, because his personal brand identity speaks to me in a way that Matthew Kimberlites doesn't. For example, I hope you're listening, people.

So another problem I see a lot of businesses have and put yourself solid really has something clear to bring to. This is you establish your business. You've been around for a while, but you've kind of plateaued. You're just get the business that you always got. You're not really playing to your key strengths. You're kind of coasting as a business. And maybe if I were to use the analogy of the dentist again. So you're doing routine dental work, but you really have a gift for or a passion for reconstructive surgery or something like that.

A lot of people don't know how to go about expressing this is who I am and what I do. And the book itself, solid practice. It has clear strategies for communicating across X, Y and Z, building your authority in that space. And it's the authority piece that's really going to over time, build that trust. So if somebody does want to move off the plateau they found themselves on, how would the book itself solid framework, if you like, give them a map and a compass for that?

Sure. Well, once we've established our foundation, which we more or less covered in, you know, it's a it's a I could talk for I have been talking for a decade about this. I say we more or less covered it. I've given you a whistle stop helicopter tour of the first three components of sixteen total components.

But once we move beyond the the foundational elements, which is making sure we have a product or service to market match, and we're clear on why people would choose us and we know who our target market is and we know who we are in the way that we put ourselves in the world. People will give you the opportunity to earn their trust and they'll do that by making investments in you that you make available to them. Right. So if you are a dentist who only offers emergency dental surgery, then that's going to be the experience that people have with you.

They're going to become aware of you realize they can make that investment in you, may they invest menu and then move on.

There's an enormous hole in almost every business, like no matter how big the business is in exploiting existing customers for future revenue. And I mean not in the nicest possible way, using very, you know, direct language there. But what I mean is your best source of future revenues, your existing clients in almost every single case, and we we booked yourself solid.

We look at two very specific notions that we can pretty much immediately implement in pretty much any business in order to see an uptick in an uptick in lifetime customer value. So the first one of those is having a sales cycle. Now, many people confuse this with the sales funnel or a series of up sell opportunities, but sales cycle is more like a carousel. It's if you're a dentist who offers X, like I go to my dentist, he's never once said to me and I like him and he's local and I'd love to give him more money, but he's never once said in Matthew you could probably benefit.

We're doing this new cosmetic treatment. Would you like. Try, you know, or I can fix your snoring. Do you want me to? Is that a problem for you? He's never once given me the opportunity to explore other parts of his sales cycle. But the sales cycle says that people will make investments on you directly, proportional investments in you directly proportionate to the amount of trust that you've earned. So two things have to be in place for different levels of investments be made by different people.

The first one is they must have the need or the desire for what you're offering. And secondly, they must have sufficient trust to match the level of investment that you're asking.

We recommend that all businesses bar none offer a level of investment, which is eyeballs and time only. So, Bob, folks get to know you. I might listen to your podcast. That's a great way for me to invest my time in getting to know you and naturally building trust. We have something which we believe is proprietary, which is the always have something to invite people to offer, which is the closest thing to doing endless brain picking sessions without any of the endlessness that many service providers.

And I'd love to pick your brain. OK, we'll do another Coffey's. We have something called and always have something to invite people to offer which allows people to invest their time in you in real time and have an interactive conversation that should be free of charge.

But then we have you know, we recommend that everybody put other offers in place, including entry level offers, mid level offers, ongoing offers, thousand dollar burgers, which you won't find in the book. That's a recent addition to our methodology, which is, you know, what's the super, super lux option? Because people will buy the super, super lux option when it's appropriate for them. But you have to offer it. Don't expect to sell a thousand dollar burger in your restaurant if it's not on the menu, but if it is on the menu, some people will buy it.

So the thing is, trust develops at different times and different speeds for different people. Not and of course, their need is dependent almost entirely on circumstances.

So we need to rather them push people into a funnel and say, hey, download my thing, then do my online course, then do my in-person program, then do my do it yourself thing, then do my done with you thing, then done my done, then do my done for your agency thing.

Instead we say, look, here's all of the things that we have on offer and you're going to pick which is most appropriate for you.

And we find that this speeds up the opportunity for people to make more sizable investments in you without leaving anybody behind. In short, we don't allow anything to be left on the table if it shouldn't be left on the table. By means of example, I may give a keynote speech back when travel was a thing, I would typically speak six to ten times a year. And typically, if the audience was right at the end of a 45 minute presentation, somebody would say, I'd like to be a private client.

That was depending on the size of the audience and whether they're open and that that's going to start about 12000 dollars today for an engagement with me. But it took that one person forty five minutes to spend twelve thousand dollars with me.

And then I'll get back to my hotel room and there'll be an email from somebody saying, hey, Matthew, I've been on your mailing list for the past seven years. I thought you'd like to know. I just bought a copy of your book. So they took this person seven years to make a ten dollar investment. And that brings us to the second part, which is keep in touch strategy. So many. I'm going to say ninety.

I don't have hard statistics, but based upon experience and research, 95 percent of all businesses can improve their email, keep in touch strategies.

And that gives people the opportunity to continue to build trust with you and continue to put their eyeballs and their wallets into your investable opportunities by showing up repeatedly. It doesn't mean you have to be endlessly valuable. I don't think, you know, Gardiner's necessarily have to become content marketers or publishers or educators. That's a bit of a fallacy that's going around at the moment. But there are ways to delightfully and effectively keep in touch with people so that your top of mind and so they welcome you and they think of you first when the need arises.

That is pretty straightforward. But I think everybody would probably benefit from Ring-fencing a little bit of time for marketing, communications, media, whatever it is. I think it does take a little bit of work and it does take a bit of routine rewrite. It doesn't need to be complicated. I love the idea of the sales cycle. I especially love the idea of the one thousand dollar program. That's such a nice way of putting it. So you've recently, fairly recently launched your own podcast, Marketing for Coaches'.

How is that going to take place?

Well, thank you for asking, Bob. It's been the time of recording, which is the beginning of November. I think we're probably looking at about 20 episodes a drop twice a week. It's a solo podcast. And here's the story behind it. I previously had a podcast called How to Get a Grip and How to Get a Grip with an interview based podcast where I spoke to my friends and asked them what crunk is and what keeps you sane. And it was largely if it was a lot of fun, hugely appealing to fans of Matthew Kimberle, fans of my guests and general entrepreneurial types.

And I'm glad I did it. And it was an awful lot of fun and it built trust. There's no question that it built trust with my listeners and my target market.

However, Bob, I wasn't following my own advice, so I have come back to I started with Put Yourself Solid. In 2009, I became an integral member of the team, by which I mean I became a certified put yourself solid coach in 2009. I became an integral part of the team probably by 2010, 2011. And then I had a management position until about 2000 and sixteen, twenty, seventeen. I then took a couple of years off and self indulged, created some programs, did some speaking gigs, ran some coaching, took about eight months off in that two and a half year period.

And then I realized actually what I wanted to do was come back to be part of something bigger than myself. And honestly, you say, you know, put yourself solid is incredibly simple. It is. And that's its beauty. This is the checklist that you're the only checklist you need for the rest of your business building career.

Now, it's nuanced, of course, once you get into the weeds of it. But the very base level, I've never seen a better organization of the fundamental principles of running a small business. So I was desperate to get back. And I spoke to Mike and I said I'd like to take over the organization.

And so we had that conversation. Well, we cut a deal. Michael was very happy to give it. You know, Michael and I started an organization called Heroic Public Speaking about four years ago off the back of the public speaking training we were doing with our business owner, book yourself solid clients. And Michael said, oh, my goodness, this is what I was made to do.

He's a classically trained actor. He was a television actor. He was in Sex in the City and all our days and various other TV shows before he realized that, you know, life as a jobbing actor is one thing, but life is a best selling business, although it is if it's that simple, it was it was another thing.

So he went back to his roots and put yourself so that I recognize that because it could could do with a caretaker.

And so I had that conversation, Michael, actually, he was thrilled to cut a deal. So we cut a deal. And I looked at what we could do with the business and what I wanted to do with the business. And for a very, very long time, for fifteen years, what we used to do was we would provide book yourself solid support services to business owners. And one of the benefits of that is we had a ready-Made target market, which was the hundreds and thousands of people who give us their email address after they bought the book.

One of the downsides of that was they were everything from new Etsy store owners or future Etsy store owners to partners in nine figure law firms.

And so part of the issue there was finding appropriate and relevant conversations for all of those people at scale in a lean business. And I said, well, perhaps the opportunity here is in training the trainer. So long story short, but yourself, solid HQ no longer provides end user services. We do, yeah. Informational staff, we do free training.

We we we continue to support ebook readers and business owners in the growth of their business, but we pass on all these.

To our book yourself on coach. So I said, if we train the trainer, we're going to reach more people, more relevantly, if that's a word, than trying to do all of that ourselves.

So we don't want to be the bottleneck anymore. So my target market then became. Trainers and coaches who want to add book yourself solid to their training arsenal. So we've got a couple of groups of people who are becoming put yourself solid licence holders. They can call themselves certified coaches or licensed professionals or licensed consultants. We're not too fast, but they're fully trained up in the methodology and they get resale rights to the book yourself, solid intellectual property and all of its material.

What? We found is there are two groups of people who are interested in this, the first group of people are the people with the existing business consulting businesses. They might call themselves business coaches or sales trainers or consultants or something like that.

And they recognize the value of having a little I don't like to use the word business in a box because that has connotations, but it is a turnkey training solution will train you. And a week later or two weeks later, you are ready to give a paid workshop. And some of our coaches have seen a return on their annual investment within a couple of weeks because they have an existing client base and they contact them and say, hey, new offer.

It's almost like they're buying yourself on it, wholesale selling at retail. So there's that group of people who want to add an extra source of revenue to their coaching business. And the second group are the pivotal people who want to become consultants or coaches based upon their previous professional experience. But they don't want to do it themselves, which is exactly my situation. I used to own a recruitment company. I was a sales manager, I was a CEO, and when I decided to become a sales trainer slash business coach, I just wanted this the framework that was proven and already existed.

So it's a shortcut to starting a new coaching business.

And one of the things that we do is we provide them with all of the materials they could need, including contracts and swiped copy and PowerPoint presentations and workbooks and all the assets that you might need for a knowledge based business. But then there's the support. So the secret hidden extra is the mastermind now full of like minded people. We meet at the moment four times a week. Obviously that's optional, but you'll have four dates a week in your calendar if you want to jump on a coaching call with some very experienced coaches, which I lead most of those.

So my position then was that my target market changed from readers of Book Yourself Solid to coaches, hence the podcast marketing for coaches. It allows me to talk about something which is very, very dear to my heart, which is supporting the professional training industry whilst at the same time building a list and building awareness about the fact that we have this supplemental method of supporting business coaches.

So I have so many places I could go with that. I think what the one thing that obviously springs to mind is lots of people listening will be central to our peripheral to the coaching space. I think a lot of people who listen to the show have an element of their business which has done for you and an element which is more advisory or consultancy, which is just a hop skip from coaching. So when you're looking at who is a great fit for a book yourself solid coach, what's your what what is your dream coach look like?

That's a great question. Up until now, Bob, it's been based upon the intangibles. It's the red velvet rope policy. You know, we have coaches in there who run eight figure franchises. We have coaches who are just getting started working with alternative therapists after a lifetime of alternative therapy. But they've all got something that they can bring to the conversation.

And I am far less interested in. Professional CV or professional resume than I am in, whether you are somebody who can add value is a horrible word. I'm going to use it, someone who can add value to the organization. With regards to the financial investment, it's a.

I you know, I continue to get grief from my peers about the fact that it's very affordable, if you if you were if you were serious career coach, a by career coach, I mean, this is what you've dedicated your life to, not that you're coaching people in their careers, but your career is in coaching and and you use our help, then it's kind of a no brainer.

But we've also got Bob, I mean, we've got people in there who have come to us because they want to get their law practice booked solid or they want to get their chiropractic practice booked solid. And instead of hiring a coach, which is probably more expensive, which which could well be more expensive than becoming a coach. And when you become a coach, you get access to all of the coaches four times a week.

So if you, you know, come straight to the source if you're interested in that. So we do have a number of coaches who are just using it internally in their business.

I don't have a I don't have an idea, but I'd like I'd like someone who takes responsibility for themselves, somebody who recognizes that world class intellectual property has a has a price label attached to it and who's prepared to be coached.

You know, we we we we my my only job now is to support our.

Folk are coaches in the pursuit of their business goals because when they're successful, their clients are successful and any typical call will be 50 percent. What about your business? And then people come to that brain trust or to that advisory board with client issues. So I've got this client who's trying to achieve this. What do you guys think? So actually, by hiring a book yourself, sort of coach, you kind of almost get access to all of the book yourself.

So the coaches at one step removed.

So something I'm curious to ask you about is you've been around the book yourself, solid world for a while. You've worked with lots of different coaches. You've seen coaches of all different stripes inside and outside of book yourself solid. If you were to sum up sort of when you're looking at people and their practice and what I'm talking about being successful as a coach, but also successful as somebody who builds a coaching practice, what are you looking for in somebody that you think they're really going to they're going to fly?

Communication skills are front and center, and that doesn't mean they have to be fantastically garrulous, loquacious and eloquent speakers. That doesn't mean that at all. But being able to clearly communicate is a massive asset for any business owner. So that's important. I find that if if there are problems in communication at the application stage, then this is historically I found this because we've had some kind of coach licensing program for a decade or so, but we changed we changed it to a more affordable ongoing fee rather than a lifetime license recently.

So I've interviewed hundreds of coaches and communication skills are front and center. They're critical. The second thing is a lot of people come with me included and probably you included, Bob, you know, a certain amount of baggage which wages down to a certain degree inasmuch as we are contained within our concept of what is normal. And just this morning at one of our calls, we were talking about the massive leaps and bounds that you can take as a coach and therefore deliver to your clients if you're prepared to explore a new normal.

And often that means being prepared to be coached. What's the difference between the coach, that coach? Two hundred pounds a month and the coach, the coach, 2000 pounds a month. Well, in terms of their competence and in terms of their ability to affect change, often absolutely nothing. Right, but it's often to do with the level of normal or the exposure that they have had if you've grown up.

I grew up in a neighborhood where 25000 pounds a year was the standard, if not.

Something to aspire to, and that's still true for some of my family members, but by breaking through that and there's nothing wrong, there's zero judgment around that.

But. A good book yourself, solid coach is going to explore, they're going to be this a very long winded way of saying they're going to be open minded, that there is another way of doing things.

Hmm. I think, yeah, they're being coachable, not being too egoistic and just accepting what you said. There are other ways of doing things. I think a lot of people are very fixed in their mindset. I think I've I've worked around athletes quite a lot. And you can see quite clearly those who are open to trying and those that have accepted the can't, that where it can't can often be a problem.

Yeah, we won't take whiners I don't like. Likewise, I find them to be an energy drain. You know, anyone who looks for reasons why something won't work. Now, the other thing that we don't do, we're kind of the antithesis to the pro marketers. We believe that we can learn from everybody.

So when we see the yellow highlighter crowd who say that, you know, the the true measure of a good coach is how many millions they make, we know that there are things that we could learn from them in terms of marketing best practices and how to close a sale. But we also have a slightly different set of measurements for what makes a great coach. I think it's fantastic that some coaches are owning multiple millions of dollars a year. I would argue that their business model is not necessarily coaching at that point, although it may well be.

You know, I don't want to talk in broad brush strokes. That's unfair to everybody. But we have a slightly different set of values and we've got plenty of put yourself solid coaches who are very clear that what they want is an income of seventy five thousand pounds a year and Fridays off.

And we support with all of these people in their goals. Yeah.

So I'm going to move off because of solitude. And I want to ask you about your book, because I would put my hand up at this point and say I haven't read it, but I love the title and I know you've changed it recently. So it's how to get a grip on it.

Was I have avoided it was originally called How to Get a Grip, and it was rereleased by my publisher, got bought by another publisher because it was originally released about a decade ago. And my publisher was bought by another publisher who decided to rerelease it under a scary title because they were jumping on the you know, on the probably the fast disappearing bandwagon of of books with with scary titles.

Well, it looks fantastic. But what is I mean, the book's called How to Get a Grip. What's it actually about? Who's it for?

It's for me. It was written when I was at the end of my tether.

I got my dream of being a business owner and I was running a recruitment professional recruitment company for professional as opposed to, you know, white collar recruitment company as opposed to blue collar recruiting company.

I was dealing with IT professionals who cost multiple thousands of euros a day. Sometimes I was selling those to large organizations a corporate set up, and I hated it.

I was the boss and I hated the job. I really you know, I'd hit the snooze button every morning and year, two and a half. It took me 25 minutes to walk the three minute walk to work because I found, oh, there's a new coffee shop I should probably explore, which is a bad sign when it's the CEO who's doing that.

So I was in a in a position where I I was disappointed in myself. I was in a fractious relationship with a business partner. My son had just been born. I was worried I wasn't seeing him. And so I started writing as a means of therapy. I guess I was like, get a grip, Kimberle, you're OK. You've got everything you could possibly want. You own a company, you have any debt, you own a house.

You have a beautiful family. Why are you so miserable? Get a grip. And I wrote it online in a blog and each of these was kind of 300 to 500 word missives and about I'm going to say about 10000 words in to the blog. I got an email from someone who said we'd like to turn this into a book, and it became hard to get a grip the book. And it's it's really designed for the first world winner. It's design.

That's who is for it. You know, I was thirty when I wrote it, probably younger, actually. I was late 20s when I wrote it. So, you know, is it full of wisdom? It is.

And I know this because plenty of people who I admire and respect have told me out of the blue that this including a huge number of doctors, funnily enough, even got featured in the BMJ, formerly known as the British Medical Journal, as a book for every doctor should read bizarrely. Wow.

So, you know, professionals who have a tendency to take themselves too seriously, who get stuck in deflecting responsibility for themselves, it's a call to arms. There it is in the beginning of the book. There is nothing original or new in this book. It's a repackaging of common sense. It's just a reminder that a things are within your control and B, there's always an alternative. And and it's a book you can read in the toilet. It was you know, it's not a rehashing a blog post, but about 25 percent of the book was originally.

Written for the web, so each chapter is short and doable and I get a lot of positive feedback of it. Yeah, it's probably sold 80, 90000 copies, which isn't a massive number in the scheme of things, but it's a downside better. And it's still in print after a decade. You know, so darn sight better than a lot of first books. So I'm proud of it. I'm proud of it. And one day I'll let my kids read it.

Well, as somebody who's on your email list, I get lots of emails from lots of different people every day. And I probably know you best outside of book is How Solid and your book and your podcast as the guy who writes the best, most engaging, entertaining marketing emails ever. And I remember the reason I got on your mailing list was because you offered, I think was five things to do every day to see more sales.

You remember what it was to get more clients or make more sales in the next 60 days? Yeah, yeah. Is that still available anywhere? It is. So Matthew Kimberle dot com is where I've I've still got an opt in. I was actually thinking about that earlier today, so I've kind of shifted my attention to put yourself sort of the marketing for coaches now. So marketing for coaches where I'll be emailing regularly. That's very about marketing to coaches.

Dot com in my own voice. Put Yourself Solid is is written in the company voice, although the nerves are still delightful. But you can get a copy if you're a coach, I'd recommend you. And even if you're not, if you're somebody who's interested in making more sales in your service business marketing to coach dot com is a great place to go and download that guide, which gives you an introduction to put yourself solid networking and marketing and sales strategies, but also get you on my list.

And I promise to write to you at least at least a couple of times a month. And I think the emails will make you smile because that's the feedback I've had over the years.

And honestly, if you are listening, thinking, why is Bob suggesting I just get on somebody's mailing list, Matthew is worth it.

So, Matthew, if somebody wants to take things further with you, if they want to connect with you, how would you like them to do it?

You can telegraph your intentions any which way you like. The safest way is to send me an email via any of my publicly available email addresses. Matthew at Matthew Kimberle dot com. Matthew, book yourself.

So this is difficult. This is breaking all the rules, right? You want me to have more than one more mature marketing for coaches dot com, because somebody else keeps an eye on my email inbox with me, which means it's not like it's fall between the cracks. But if you'd like to send me an Instagram message or something, I I'm full of good intentions at replying. I do love hearing from people and email is the best way to do that.

All right, Matthew, I'm coming to the end of the interview and I have one question that I want to ask you, which I ask every guest. Usually I give them a tiny bit of warning, but I didn't give you any warning because the Internet was causing us problems. But what's one thing you do know that you wish had started five years ago taking Fridays off?

Oh, great answer. I did that for a while.

It doesn't mean I don't work Fridays. It means that I don't schedule anything Fridays. And often it means that I don't work.

But we wear so many.

I run a very lean business. I've got some support in the delivery and the administration and the marketing about yourself solid. But, you know, by intention, I partly because I used to run a very bloated business. I run a very lean business and wearing that number of hats can cause you neck pain.

And I think we have a duty to ourselves to make sure that we're taking off those hats and allowing our brains to mix my metaphors, allowing our brain some breathing space.

And once a week is a pretty good, pretty good rhythm for me. Awesome answer, Matthew. I have a great fun. It's always lovely to catch up with. You can never get too much of a thank you so much for your time. And hopefully once all this pandemic is over, I'll get to see you again. If you've been here, listen to this podcast for just one episode or for the whole year, and if you listening as this episode comes out, which is the week running up to Christmas, then I just want to say thank you very much for listening over the last 12 months.

And I hope you have a fantastic Christmas and a great New Year and you start planning ahead right now for 2021 if you haven't started already. I know it's been a tough year for a lot of people. It doesn't have to be all bad. It's really very much what you make it. But let's have a reset. Let's look forward to 2020. I want to make that the best year you've ever had. Before we go, just a quick reminder to subscribe.

And if you haven't tried my Facebook group, you'll find a link in the show, notes or visit, amplify me, dot form forward slash insiders. I would love for you to connect with me on social media. Follow me wherever you hang out. You'll find me at Bob Gentle. And if you do message me, let me know. And that way I can follow you back if you enjoyed the show. As always, a great Christmas gift if you were to pop a review on iTunes.

That way they will show the show to more people and it'll help me reach more subscribers. My name is Bob Gentil. Thanks again to Matthew for giving us his time this week and to you for listening and see you next week.


Attention is one of the fundamental goals of digital marketing. Having a clear strategy for capturing and holding attention in order that you can communicate your value and build relationships with the people who need what you provide is so important, but also surprisingly hard.

Many people resort to silly tactics to get attention, but when someone naturally captures your attention online and rapidly connects with you, it's very impressive.

This week my guest is Neen James, author of Attention Pays, How to Drive Profitability, Productivity, and Accountability, and she's going to walk me through the Attention Matrix, and so much more.

About Neen James

Neen James is the author of Folding Time™ and Attention Pays™. She has been named one of the Top 30 Leadership Speakers by Global Guru several years in a row because of her work with companies like Viacom, Comcast, and Abbot Pharmaceuticals among others.

Neen has boundless energy, is quick-witted and always offers powerful strategies for paying attention to what matters so you can get more done and create more significant moments at work, and home.

Neen is the kind of speaker that engages, educates, entertains, and delivers the real-world solutions that apply in your organization, your home, and your community. She also provides one-on-one consulting in a variety of leadership topics and loves serving her audiences.

Neen's website : https://neenjames.com

Thanks for listening!

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