In late 2015 a good friend and I went along to the inaugural We Are Podcast conference on the Gold Coast. I’m a big fan of live events and I was keen to find out what was involved in starting a Podcast.
I was inspired! Three months later Your Next Chapter, Business & Life Beyond 40 was imperfectly launched and I’ve created 68 episodes since. I did originally intend to Podcast every week, but life got in the way and I needed to pull back to fortnightly episodes.
You need to find a marketing and content creation rhythm that fits you and your life and let go of any “the right way to do it” guilt. The world did not end when I shared content every 14 days instead of 7!
I missed the 2016 event because of that life of mine, but when I saw this year’s event advertised I knew I wanted to be there. I love Podcasting and although I’ve had a tonne of positive feedback about my interviewing style and the value of the show, I am really keen to make this “Marketing Megaphone” of mine, 100% better and more helpful for you in the New Year.
This whole Next Chapter trip, it’s an evolution, not a revolution. You will constantly add too, improve and change what you’re offering your audience – as you learn more, you give more.
I decided to invest in the upgraded “Mastermind Ticket” option. This provided me with an extra day of workshops and contact with all of the speakers in a more direct and intimate group experience. I am so glad I did, as the direct feedback I received in these sessions was pure gold. I also upgraded my hotel so I was less than 5 minutes walk from the event – another great decision as it meant I arrived relaxed and ready to roll each day. It also meant that it was easy to arrive a wee bit early and I was lucky enough to spend some extra time with the speakers as a result!
That’s Sean D’Souza in the image below from Psychotactics – his session on Day One was GOLD and to have the chance to chat with him further on Day Two before the room filled up was PLATINUM! (Lessons from Sean on pre-selling your services and programs is further down in this blog post – don’t miss it – so very valuable).
Turn up early, leave late and spend time networking. I met so many wonderful new people who I am sure to connect with again.
The room set up was wonderful – no “huddle with your writing pad on your lap” scenario, we were seated at tables with ample space to sprawl – vital for my style of note taking! To be honest, this is a deal breaker for me for events if they are for more than one day. I cannot stand trying to balance my notes on my knees…
I read a great article some time ago about the importance of bringing colour and symbols and all sorts into your notes at events like this to retain the info better and ever since, I’ve always brought along a fresh new unlined A4 or A3 notebook and a tonne of texters and YES, it does help! When I opened my notes again today to write this post, all of the ideas and excitement came flooding back….
Great notes are so worthwhile and the ritual of investing in a new writing pad especially for an event is rather delicious. #StationeryAddict
I could wax lyrical about so many others aspects of the event, but I want to get onto the main takeaways that I believe will be most helpful for you.
What would Jimmy do?
John Le Dumas, the Creator of Entrepreneurs on Fire walked us through the “Funnel Up and Funnel Down” concepts and reiterated the importance of clear and distinct niching. You know you can’t be all things to all people – for example, a social media marketer for small business is broad and undifferentiated, but a social media marketer supporting the growth of dentist practices based in the Brisbane area? That’s cut through! And you can always broaden your audience once you’ve dominated this niche.
John also shared how he has a fully developed Client Avatar (or Most Aligned Client, the term I use), Jimmy, who his Podcast is completely focused on.
Jimmy is a guy in is mid 30’s who spends 35 minutes driving to work in the morning and another 35 minutes driving home in traffic to and from a job he detests and feels stuck in… He listens to John's Podcast instead of the radio and gradually gets inspired about moving on. Whenever John needs to make a decision about products, services and other aspects of his business, he asks himself “WWJD? – in other words, “What would Jimmy do? How would Jimmy feel about this?” and his answers and deep understanding of Jimmy makes these decisions so much easier.
An intimate knowledge of your Most Aligned Client is essential. Go deep here, surface levels demographics aren’t enough to truly understand what’s going on for your Jimmy or Jemima. Tap into their emotions, their TOMPPA (that’s top of mind problem, pain or aspirations) discover what books they’re reading, their preferred learning styles, the language they use to describe what’s going on for them… uncover as much insight as you can and keep adding to your sheet of info. Check your old client notes, interact in Facebook groups, ask your audience through polls and FB Lives – this deep research takes time, but is worth its weight in gold. It’s why I am enrolled in the Avatar Academy with my Mastermind coach, Liz Scully and I can’t wait to share what I learn and the actions I am taking in the new year with you.
The secrets to pre-selling your programs and services
Have you ever had the experience of putting the proverbial blood, sweat, tears and a whole lot of love into the creation and launch of a program or service and been less than delighted by the response from your audience?
Yep. Me too.
That’s when we can dive into what I call “The Ditch of Doubt and Despair” and that’s not a fun place to stay for very long.
Contrast that with the idea of quietly mentioning a workshop you’re running in May of 2018 and have it sell out completely without so much as a sales page?
Would you prefer that?
Yep. Me too!
And that’s why when Sean D’Souza told his story and shared his tactics with us, we were all madly scribbling notes about Announcements, Snippets, Samples and his Secret Weapon of sales – GIVING!
Apparently, the problem we often create for ourselves is our habit of focusing on getting an idea, working it up and BAM hitting the market with the fully fledged version of it and saying “so, would you like to buy this?” and working on persuasion from there on in.
It is far, far more effective to announce that something good, great, exciting, helpful is coming. And leave it there. An announcement only. Sort of like “Jimmy and Jemima are getting married!”…. and stopping there. No details about the actual event, venue, date, time or anything else.
You follow this up with snippets. Little tidbits of info about the upcoming nuptials, but again, no great full, detail. “We’ve chosen the venue, it’s Casablanca’s. Black tie”. “The Maldives are looking good for the honeymoon…” and perhaps add an image or two.
This leads to samples and this is where the Giving and Gifts aspect comes in – you share small pieces of the event – here comes the invitation, which showcases the style of what you can expect and the excitement and anticipation builds….
How might this look for you? Exercises from your program, checklists and audio guides, I know for sure if you interrogate your laptop you will have a tonne of gifts to share.
The online world is so very crowded, noisy and overwhelming with a veritable smorgasbord of options. Adding to the noise is not the best option. The persuasion angle brings pressure to both you and your potential clients. Curiosity and generosity and a longer lead time resonate with me and remove the Launch Heaviness of expectation that can point straight to the Ditch of Doubt, Dismay, and Despair! Let’s explore a new way, shall we?
Moving on to Mindset
It was time for a change of pace with another great speaker, Amber Hawkins, a Mindfulness Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, NLP Practitioner and Deep State Re-patterning Therapist – phew!
One heck of a mouthful of qualifications there, but balanced by simple, powerful messages.
- Confidence comes from getting the hell out of your head.
- Who you think you are or believe you should be, is usually the opposite of who you really, actually, truly are.
- Your life is a series of choices you make, the consequences of which will tell the story of your life
- So, just be you.
Amber asked us to connect strongly with our purpose. To write it down. And then she threw us a curve ball – “who wants to share theirs? as she nonchalantly dangled a copy of her book as an incentive….
My Purpose (the short version)
"To help every single person I meet in life to feel a wee bit more confident about their ability to do the thing they dream about. And then to provide them with tools and guidance to take action".
"You can borrow my belief in you until you have your own".
Reconnect with your own purpose today! It’s what will keep you connected and inspired to continue to move forward even on the hardest of days.
This post was intended to be short and sweet...but I think I need to finally accept that I rarely do short and sweet (it's why I'm not on Twitter!).
So, I'll stop now and give you time to digest and take action on the ideas shared here...
Part Two has now been written and you can read it here.