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Finding Your Fire And Igniting Change

Marketing Podcast with Terri Broussard Williams

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Terri Broussard Williams. Terri is an executive with 20 years of experience specializing in government relations, social impact strategy, corporate social responsibility, public affairs, and innovative business operations to further the organizational mission. She’s also the author of a book: Find Your Fire: Stories and Strategies to Inspire the Changemaker in You.

Key Takeaway:

Terri Broussard Williams defines a ‘fire starter’ as someone that sees things that others ignore and they take the first step to create change. In this episode, Terri and I dive into concepts from her new book Find Your Fire. We talk about what it takes to ignite change within us and turn moments into movements.

Questions I ask Terri Broussard Williams:

  • [1:15] What is a firestarter and a change-maker?
  • [1:44] Do you try to live your life as a fire starter?
  • [2:44] Do you have a Firestarter story that lit this flame for you?
  • [4:57] Who are the kinds of people we’re going to meet in Find Your Fire?
  • [6:19] Was there any particular story or individual that you got to know through this process that you found the most inspirational?
  • [9:06] Was a through-line in a lot of these stories is something dramatic had to happen?
  • [11:01] Can you talk a little bit about the framework of the Movement Maker Collective and what you hope to accomplish with it?
  • [12:15] Is the goal of your work to help people launch in the social impact space?
  • [13:08] Did you see a change in the appetite for people who believe now’s the time because they’ve been forced to change?
  • [14:38] Where can people find your book and more about the work that you do?

More About Terri Broussard Williams:

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

John Jantsch (00:01): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the gain grow, retain podcast, hosted by Jeff Brunsbach and Jay Nathan brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network gain grow retain is built to inspire SAS and technology leaders who are facing day to day. Challenges of scaling Jeff and Jay share conversations about growing and scaling subscription businesses with a customer first approach, check out all the episodes. Recently, they did one on onboarding, such a key thing when you wanna get going, keep and retain those clients. So listen to gain, grow, retain wherever you get your podcast.

John Jantsch (00:49): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today's Terri Broussard Williams. She's a consultant speaker and author of find your fire stories and strategies to inspire the change maker in you. So Terry, welcome to the show.

Terri Broussard Williams (01:07): Thank you for having me.

John Jantsch (01:09): All right. So let's start with, and maybe you use these terms interchangeably, or maybe they're completely different things. What is a fire starter and a change maker?

Terri Broussard Williams (01:18): Ah, they are pretty much the same, but I believe that a fire starter is someone that sees things that others ignore and they take the first step to create change. Whereas a change maker, you know, they are just a person that wants to do good in the world sometimes with great intention sometimes without, but a fire starter is truly that person that ignites change within us and around us.

John Jantsch (01:44): All right. So I'm guessing that, uh, you at least try to live your life as a fire starter.

Terri Broussard Williams (01:50): I do, but here's the thing, John, um, you know, I say that I am a fire starter and I, you know, like many that are listening, I am a leader that looks to turn moments into movements. And so sometimes you might be a movement maker that will build a movement and that's is a true definition of a fire starter, but then you might be a movement maker that will support a movement. So maybe you are back of the house, cheering someone on, or you are, you know, a, a soldier within a committee struck, or you might amplify a movement by giving to an event giving a donation or posting on social media. So there are different ways that we can be a part of a social movement for good.

John Jantsch (02:39): Well, so I guess where I was headed with that actually was, do you have a moment? Do you have a fire starter story that kind of lit this flame for you?

Terri Broussard Williams (02:50): Yeah, so I, there are a couple of points in my life where there definitely has been a match that is in night. It's something in me and it's been fuel for, for my fire and for my soul. But in regards to, um, my book that you mentioned at the top of your show in 20, um, 2017, my father passed away and I began a blog just as a way, it to really process a lot of the feelings that I had. And that led to this idea of writing down many of the lessons that I learned throughout my life, including some that I learned from my, and some that I learned in the workplace. And I began to also capture stories from friends and it became really clear that I had a structure and framework for a book, but truly what pushed me to accelerate the process was an accident that I had.

Terri Broussard Williams (03:40): And in 2019 I was doing my day job, which is serving as a lobbyist. And I was at a legislative reception. And someone was, you know, got up from a V I P couch. Usually they bring them in for a party they're very light, they're intended to be, you know, portable. And so this individual thought his cell phone was underneath the sofa. And so he proceeded at six, four to pick up the sofa to look for his cell phone. And when it came down, it came down right in the center of, of my head I'm five, two. So there was just enough room, um, for me to be under that sofa. And fast forward, I had a major concussion had to stay home for three months, no phone time, no laptop time. And so I just began to really think about how could I bring that book to life. I was already working on it, but really wanted to double down and accelerate it. And so I think, you know, there was a time when the couch was centered on my head, I became centered on the couch and that was truly the birth of finds your fire.

John Jantsch (04:46): So, so the book is essentially, I'm, I'm gonna not do it. Joseph, it's essentially a group of profiles of people, individuals that you are in your life or that you met and interviewed for the book. So tell me a little bit about who or are the kinds of people we're gonna meet you and find your fire.

Terri Broussard Williams (05:02): Absolutely. I looked for change makers around the world, so they, they are truly around the world doing a number of things. You know, when I looked at my professional career, there's this through line for me, I worked in television that I pivot into working in the nonprofit space and then move into the tech sector. No matter the juncture, no matter my role, I've always been a person that provided data to either a person or community so that they could create change. So the way that I did that work has been the same, no matter the task. So I began to talk to other change makers to find out how did they do their work? What did to get there? What were their biggest failures? So we could celebrate those failures and learn from them. When we, we have what I call a failure festival, we become more innovative, more generative, and we learn from that great themes are traditionally born outta failure. Uh, but I wanted to begin to normalize the idea that anyone could be a leader that would turn a moment into a movement. So you'll see different types of strategies to create change and different types of leadership style so that we can all find something within ourselves in one of these stories about the movement makers in the book.

John Jantsch (06:16): All right. So the, this is a very unfair question, but I'm gonna ask it anyway. Was there any particular story or any particular individual that, that you got to know through this process that, that truly you found inspirational? Maybe the most inspirational?

Terri Broussard Williams (06:31): I, I would,

John Jantsch (06:31): I told you it was an unfair,

Terri Broussard Williams (06:32): Yeah, it is fair. You know, they are equal among equals, but one that took me by surprise resided right. In my family tree, you know, so I profile my cousin, Angela provost, and for about a year, Angie was like, we have to sit down and need to talk to you about what I'm doing. And I'm always running like, you know, a hundred to nothing. And so I was like, yes, we will do that. That, and you know, I was truly writing, find your fire. And she called and she just started, you know, to tell me the story about some things that I didn't know, just because, you know, at some points in your life, you can be close to a cousin or a family member, but you're so focused on one thing that you might talk about the things that matter. And you might, might not get some of your struggles or some of your daily work. Sure.

Terri Broussard Williams (07:22): Angie and her husband had been fighting for their lives for, for the land that he owned through his father and say they are sugar cane farmers in Southwest Louisiana. And their story is so powerful that it literal vibrated something in me. And I began to ask more questions about even my family lineage, but it's such a powerful story that it's featured in the podcast 16, 19 as well as in the book. And that that book was written by a fire starter in order to create change in the last three years. And so I am so honored and lucky, you know, to be a fire starter among fire starters. Um, but was so surprised that Angie's story was one that made me cry when I heard it.

John Jantsch (08:12): And now we're from a sponsor, you know, small business owners have a lot on their plate, but luckily you don't have to be a graphic designer are extraordinary superstar, creative strategist or marketing Maven to make your work come to life on social with Vista create, you can create beautiful assets without design experience or needing to delegate to a third party, making it the ultimate hack for creating slick visuals that boost engagement you can have that looked like they took hours made in minutes. And you can try it out for free @ create.vista.com.

John Jantsch (08:48): I imagine there are a lot of people out there that have this fire have this idea, have this passion, but sometimes it's a really scary leap. I mean, oh, absolutely. Maybe in, or, or you're just gone a hundred miles an hour and who has time to stop, right. Or you don't get a couch dropped on your head. Right. So, you know, were, was a through line in a lot of these stories is something dramatic had to happen. Like they, they had it or, you know, some they got fired from their J uh, you know, or something like that, that, that allowed them to say, you know what? This must be the time.

Terri Broussard Williams (09:20): Yeah. I think it differs, you know, with each person. I think of, you know, I recently expanded by your fire by a hundred pages, told some stories from the pandemic, some stories that were challenging, you know, during the last like one is the Karen Weaver who led the Flint water crisis, a movement that continues to date even past her term as mayor. But the one that comes to mind is Ashley Chan. So when I first talked to Ashley Chan, I met her because she was learning how to become an advocate. She was, you know, going through some programs to give her the skills needed. When I ran into her a couple of years later, she had started one of the most popular podcasts for advocates and people in politics in the state of Texas. And it was taking off like wildfire. It was insane. But during the pandemic, Ashley was on the front lines of COVID response, figuring out how to get people, well, hot meals. You know, then a couple of months later, Ashley was on the front lines of, you know, ensuring that Asians were not victims of hate crimes. And so I think what is the real takeaway is we will show up as leaders, no matter the challenge, we'll still have that passion. We'll still use this same framework to lead. Um, but we might evolve with each movement and each problem that we're trying to solve. So I think that is the real through line.

John Jantsch (10:48): So you have started something that you call the movement maker collective, which is really a bit of feels that like a bit of a community to bring a lot of these folks together and, and obviously support each other, collaborate, you know, give each other ideas, but to talk a little bit about kind of the framework of that and what you hope to accomplish with, uh, that collective.

Terri Broussard Williams (11:08): Yeah. So the movement maker collective is of a platform that began as a blog. And I saw that so many people were talking to each other, I would get on LinkedIn or Facebook. You know, I reach out to this person that was highlighting your blog, and now they're helping me. And so I truly wanted space to where people could just talk directly to each other. Right. And so for a while, that was happening organically, or I was setting them up on, you know, like a first blind date, if you will giving them that warm introduction they could to their work. But what it's evolved to now is I'm allowing those change makers to tell their story in their own words. So we will soon be posting our first contributor article from someone that I met simply through an email by telling their own story, Alexandria, French, her story is up at movement maker, collective.com. You can all about why she decided to quit a PhD program after reading finds your fire and launching a nonprofit. So she will begin in her own words to talk about what it's like to an international nonprofit.

John Jantsch (12:15): So, so is that maybe that's an oversimplification, but in a lot of ways, is that a goal of your work is to help people launch? I, I guess they don't have to be nonprofits, but I guess they, there certainly are gonna be in the social impact space.

Terri Broussard Williams (12:28): Yeah. That's a great question. And I'm happy you asked that because, you know, I am a social impact strategist. I want people to understand there's so many ways to, to create change. And so sometimes it might be a nonprofit. Sometimes it might be a B cor or a social enterprise, no matter what it is. If you look towards it for solving a problem and creating change that is larger than yourself, then you are a fire starter or a movement maker. I simply wanna give them the stories, tips, tools, and strategies. So they are not afraid to take that first step. Or if they're afraid, at least they have a framework on how and what they should do and the why they should do it.

John Jantsch (13:08): So a lot of people have gone through a lot the last couple years, you know, just felt like a decade, right. So do, you've been doing this for a while? Did you see a change in the appetite for people who are like, now's the time, because what the heck, you know, I've been forced to change, you know, why not make another change?

Terri Broussard Williams (13:25): Absolutely. I mean, you know, I was talking about this yesterday, so many nonprofits have popped up, you know, because of the, the racial unrest that we experie it's because of COVID and just the, the impact on the economy. Yeah. And so people are trying to figure out how can they create the change that they wanna see and have more ownership. And so we're at this tipping point where it can become a little dangerous, you know, again, you can be a leader that turns a moment into a movement. You don't always have to drive the movement. You don't always have to build it. And we wanna truly encourage people to find their right seat on the bus and also think about, you know, supporting that movement or amplifying that movement. We don't wanna get in the space where we're duplicating services that already exist. Yeah. And we're creating competing nonprofits or competing galas, or we're unmet mission needs to go unmet because we're not working together. That would be harmful to the work that we do and to our communities. So I'm hoping that, you know, through platforms like movement maker, collectives, or communities build around, find your fire, that people will find, find kindred spirits. They will find people that will help them find a way if they don't already have a way.

John Jantsch (14:38): So Terry tell people where they can find, obviously I know the book's available on Amazon and other book sellers, but, uh, a little bit about maybe before you tell me where they can find you. I mean, how do you, how do you actually go about working with folks that have this idea and this passion?

Terri Broussard Williams (14:53): Yeah. So, you know, people can definitely go to movement maker collective to get information there. I also give keynotes on how to create change, how to create movements that are truly diverse in every dimension or from every dimension of diversity. How can you guys identify the right people to bring to the table if you are a fire starter and how can you create change? Like, what are the first steps that you take also really just spending more time thinking about how we can protect our energy as people that are in the trenches. And I've created a framework called the great reset. And so I'm starting to roll that out. The world has experienced this great reset, but how do we protect our most valuable thing, which is our time and ourselves, and, you know, recover renew and realign with our life's mission. So I'm doing some of that work, but I'm also helping to consult those who are working on launching movements, or just wanna learn how to do this work. But most importantly, all of this can be found @ terribwilliams.com. My website is Terri B williams.com. And you can find me on Twitter and Instagram and you know, all of the social media spaces by using Terry B. Williams.

John Jantsch (16:08): Awesome. Well, Terry, thanks for, so from, by taking time to stop the duct tape marketing podcast, and, uh, hopefully we'll run into you one of these days out there on the road.

Terri Broussard Williams (16:17): Yes. Same to you. Thank you so much, Don, for creating this place for people who are creative and wanna learn more about how to do get in the world.

John Jantsch (16:25): Hey, and don't forget Vista create is a graphic design platform where anyone can easily craft professional and unique content for social media and digital marketing. It's a combination of graphic design editor and an ever growing library of customizable templates to suit any industry or occasion. Check it out @ create.vista.com. You can try it for free that's create.vista.com.

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network and VistaCreate.

HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals who seek the best education and inspiration on how to grow a business.

 

 

Small business owners have a lot on their plate, but luckily you don’t have to be a graphic designer, extraordinary superstar, creative strategist, or marketing maven to make your work come to life on social media. With VistaCreate, you can create beautiful assets without design experience or needing to delegate to a third party – making it the ultimate hack for creating slick visuals that boost engagement. You can have designs that look like they took you hours made in minutes. Try it out for free.

How Operations Can Be Used As A Lever For Compound Growth

Marketing Podcast with Jhana Li

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Jhana Li. Jhana has over 4 years of experience as a COO and Operations Consultant for digital entrepreneurs. She specializes in executing scalable team, systems infrastructure, and harnessing the true power of operations as a lever for compound growth.

Key Takeaway:

Today, operations is an underutilized lever for growth. Operations is any task or action required within a business to optimize its use of its core resources – time, energy, money, and human potential. In this episode, I talk with Operations Consultant, Jhana Li, about how to harness the power of operations, cultivate a company culture in a way that supports both the individual and an organization’s growth, and create systems and processes for all parts of the business.

Questions I ask Jhana Li:

  • [1:25] What’s your definition of operations when you’re talking to a business owner?
  • [2:41] Does operations still exist as its own department today, and how has the operations department changed?
  • [5:12] What are some things that people are doing to develop their company culture with distributed teams?
  • [10:12] How does a business balance outsourcing talent and hiring freelancers while maintaining and building their team culture?
  • [12:59] Is there a breaking point where having an internal team works better than someone orchestrating a lot of external members?
  • [14:55] How do you operationalize this idea of creating systems and processes for all parts of the business?
  • [17:17] How do you invite innovation when you delegate processes?
  • [20:15] How do you engage with folks with the work that you do?
  • [21:25] How would you define an operator?
  • [22:48] Can this operator or person run a company, or does a company need somebody who has strategic vision as more of their zone of genius?

More About Jhana Li:

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

John Jantsch (00:01): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the Gain Grow, Retain podcast, hosted by Jeff Brunsbach and Jay Nathan brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network gain grow retain is built to inspire SAS and technology leaders who are facing day to day. Challenges of scaling Jeff and Jay share conversations about growing and scaling subscription businesses with a customer first approach, check out all the episodes. Recently, they did one on onboarding, such a key thing when you wanna get going, keep and retain those clients. So listen to Dain, Grow, Retain wherever you get your podcast.

John Jantsch (00:50): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Jhana Li. She is a COO and operations consultant for digital entrepreneur specializes in executing scalable team and systems infrastructure, and harnessing the true power of operations as a lever for compound growth. So Jhana, and welcome to the show.

Jhana Li (01:16): Thank you so much, John. It's awesome to be here.

John Jantsch (01:18): So I would guess if we ask 10 people, 10 business owners, even what operations is, we would get a number of answers. So what's your defin definition of operations when you're talking to a business owner?

Jhana Li (01:31): That's a fantastic question. And I would agree. I would generally get about 10 answers. I've run that 10. So I have, you know, it's actually funny. If you ask operators, you'll also get different answers. So I have my own, I define operations as, and any task or action required within a business to optimize its use of its core for resources, which is time, energy, money, and human potential. That is the broadest reaching definition that I can make that encompasses everything I believe opts to be. It is just about the efficient and streamlined use of resources, the board,

John Jantsch (02:06): And that definition's probably evolved a lot. Hasn't it? Over the last decade or so, I mean, I remember, you know, old school operation was, you know, managing the facilities and, you know, a lot of things that I suppose for a lot of companies are still relevant, but for a lot of companies sure. Just aren't even a part of the equation, right?

Jhana Li (02:25): Yep. Absolutely. I would say that if you have a physical operation, we would maybe add physical capital as a resource to be managed, but with so many businesses moving online and remote teams and remote work, becoming a new norm, I think the focus of operations has moved towards optimizing that environment.

John Jantsch (02:42): So I wonder too, if, if it's still even a department, if you think of about a company, you know, structure as a department, or is it almost a point of view or a culture or, I mean, how would you kinda say that part has changed?

Jhana Li (02:54): Yeah, that's a great question. I oftentimes say that operations is the only department whose job it is to live between departments. Right? If we look at where the inefficiencies normally crop up in a business, it is in the handoff. It because you have sales fully focused on sales, you have client success fully focused on client success. They should be that's their focus, their lens of the business, but nobody owns the space in between. And so that is always where balls get drawn. That is always where inefficiencies is introduced. And so the job of operations I really see is to look at the company horizontally and to live in between places and optimize for the inefficiencies that you find there.

John Jantsch (03:32): So I've been saying for years, that marketing is everything. And because I really do think that what you just described, you know, marketing to sales to service is really a marketing. I mean, when you drop the ball there, you are performing a marketing function for good or for bad, right. That's right. And so I've spent a lot of time in the last few years, operationalizing, or at least talking about operationalizing marketing because you know, the onboarding process, I mean, a lot of the things that we can quibble over what it's called, but I mean, a lot of the things that, that I'm sure that you end up doing with folks, I mean really do impact for good or bad marketing.

Jhana Li (04:05): Yep, absolutely. And I would say, I agree with you that at the end of the day, I think every role is just a lens, right? It's just a, a selective frame that you're taking of the company. You're looking at that data and you're processing it through that frame. So a marketer could look at the exact same set of data happening within a business and get a totally different analysis and outcome and deliverable from that than the operator then the salesperson. And I think that is the point, right? Like you want people to be focused through a particular lens and towards a particular outcome. And operations just happens to be one where they need to be looking more places than the average role.

John Jantsch (04:40): So culture inside of organizations has, you know, certainly been a buzzword for, you know, the last 10 years or so. But I think a lot of companies really are realizing, Hey, it, it has value to the bottom line. It has value to, you know, the customer experience, all those things, but more and more companies, especially some that were forced to be distributed during, during COVID and mean more and more companies feel like they're losing that, cuz you know, you think of company culture as the picnic and sitting around the sure. You know, at the water cooler and things that it used to be. And so you work with a lot of folks whose entire teams are distributed. So what are some things that people are doing to develop and, or at the very least maintain kind of that sense of I'm on a team?

Jhana Li (05:24): Yeah. That's a fantastic question. And I would agree just to address like kind of the first part here, as far as culture, as something that is necessary. Um, there's a reason that I added human potential as one of those four core resources. I see every company, it, it is this like wellspring that you are either tapping into or not, it's a bank account that you were choosing to get a return on investment for or not. Right. And culture is a very distinct mechanism and lever by which to tap into that resource, optimize it, maximize the return on investment or not cause it's there, whether or not you're using it. Right. And so culture is one of the ways of doing that. And I think that goes for any company remote or in person, right? I think in person, maybe you are able to rely on certain things, just kind of spontaneously happening, certain spark points and team camaraderie and these sorts of things that happen naturally when human beings get in a room together in a remote environment, you just have to be more critical around how you design it, but all of the same best practices apply.

Jhana Li (06:23): I think you just have to be more active in terms of how you cultivate that culture versus allowing for it to just kind of happen naturally in the background. But the reality is is that if you're really trying to maximize this as a lever for growth, you should be designing it either or way, right. Cultures that are allowed to evolve organically probably are not the cultures that are generating the highest levels of performance or the maximum level of alignment across the team. If you look at the world's best cultures remote, or otherwise, there is a critical design there. And I would say as far as best practices, there's a few, it's a very interesting thing, John, but the people that I always point to when it comes to the most amazing culture builders are cult leaders. Hmm. You look at a cult and the behaviors that leaders are able to get out of cult participants, it's astronomical, like the things that people will do, right?

Jhana Li (07:10): Like they will donate their entire life savings or they will move to Guyana and voluntarily drink poisoned. Kool-Aid right. If we are categorized, that is quote unquote performance, like that's the desired behavioral outcome, then what on earth are they doing to generate that kind of performance? And you can learn a lot that comes out of, uh, those leaders specifically shared language, shared ritual. Yeah. Right. I've seen really high quality corporate cultures or just business cultures in general are critically designed where things like the language they put in the core values or the rituals that they use to launch the meetings or wrap the meeting up, uh, wrap the meetings up are really designed and put in place to make people feel like they are part of in us. And if you're part of an us, then I will sacrifice for the us and the us is not them. Right. And so there's this very interesting dynamic where you have to build an identity around what it means to work at your company. Right. That's why Google has Googlers and Zappos has, Zonis like they've done this very intentionally to make being a member of this team actually means something very definable and very concrete. And if you're missing out on that definition, you're not actively cultivating that definition you're missing out.

John Jantsch (08:23): Or I wanna go way back to something you said before we went down that funky, uh, cult, uh, thing,

Jhana Li (08:28): Probably not the answer you were expecting

John Jantsch (08:30): Because I think a lot of people, when they think of culture naturally think about, oh, this is a place people like to work. You know, they like to come in here, it's friendly. It has perks. I mean, that's how people kind of think about, but you, something that I think might be the, one of the best definitions of, of sort of how to develop that and that idea of if you focused all of your energy on maximizing each individual's potential. Yeah. That would be a pretty great place to work. Wouldn't it? It

Jhana Li (08:55): Would be my definition of culture is what happens when you are not looking.

John Jantsch (09:00): Yeah. Right, right.

Jhana Li (09:01): Or at least that's the place that you can look to see what the culture is. Right.

John Jantsch (09:05): But I was gonna say, that's a measurement

Jhana Li (09:07): About you.

John Jantsch (09:07): That's a measurement of it. Right. But what I mean is this idea that, that cuz a lot of times people are like, well, how, and I think that this idea of how is, what if we focused on maximizing everyone's potential. I mean, some people would not, would not grow, would not, you know, but if, instead of, you know, your job performance being, you know, you did what I said you were supposed to do. It was more about did you grow? You know, that, I think that could lead to a lot of how

Jhana Li (09:34): I think the most effective company cultures are ones where it is every individual manager's responsibility to help the employees understand how their company represents a vehicle for that employee's growth when you can align the motivator and the why and the ambition of that individual and the growth capacity of that individual and help of them see that this company is really just like in expression of that. It's just a vehicle for them to show up and get better at something and do their best work every day. And you've cultivated an, an operational infrastructure to support that person in doing their best work every day. Then you get high performance culture.

John Jantsch (10:11): Okay. We just, we just outlined like dream state. But what about all the companies now that you know, are hiring freelancers that have, you know, offshore workers that have people that they're not really invested in the outcome of the company they're invested in doing what they agreed to do. I mean, how do you balance that? Because that is for live companies, that's a great way to get work done. But how do you balance that with keeping a, keeping a company kind of team cultural?

Jhana Li (10:36): That's a fantastic question. I would say it comes down to two things first off, it's the decision making of the company and who they choose to hire and how they choose to hire them. Like I've worked with quote unquote VAs, right? Virtual assistants that are often the Philippines I've never met them. I never will. Who I would say are emblematic of my culture. Like they're the best performers across the company by that standard. Right? And so you can choose as a business, is culture going to be a core facet of this company? If so, are we willing to make hires and fires around it? Are we willing to sacrifice maybe the cheapest labor for the labor that's in alignment with our culture? And that's a decision. I'm not saying there's a right or wrong. It's just a matter of again, how much are you tapping into the human potential within your team?

Jhana Li (11:18): Because the VA that feels aligned and bought in and like their work has purpose is going to generate a higher level of performance and productivity than the VA that shows up has to have every single second of their time tracked because that's how you build 'em and then they go off. Right? Yeah. So it's just, it's, it's a decision. And if you need to selectively bring in contractors, then you're bringing in contractors and they're filling a specific role. And that is kept separate from us. The core culture, the core group, right? We are still us and we can leverage the experts in our field to help us fulfill on certain deliverables without the expectation that those people be a part of us.

John Jantsch (11:55): And now we're from a sponsor, you know, small business owners have a lot on their plate, but luckily you don't have to be a graphic designer, extraordinaire, superstar, creative strategist, or marketing Maven to make your work come to life on social. With Vista Create, you can create beautiful assets without up design experience or needing to delegate to a third party, making it the ultimate hack for creating slick visuals that boost engagement. You can have designs that look like they took hours made in minutes and you can try it out for free @ create.vista.com.

John Jantsch (12:31): One of the things I see been quite often, or I hear a lot of talk about in the digital agency space or in marketing agency space in general, is that it's really easy to be that orchestrator and get a lot of work done without a lot of overhead and a lot of employees until you grow to a certain level. And then the word always is, oh no. Now you need your internal talent. You know, you, you can't really, you know, go beyond that, just with freelancers in, in your working with the types of businesses that you work with. Do you see that there is sort of a breaking point at which, you know, an internal team does better than somebody just kind of orchestrating a bunch of external members?

Jhana Li (13:09): That's an really interesting question. If I thought about it, I would say the breaking point wouldn't happen at a particular revenue level or anything like that, right? It would happen at the moment of growth where the decision making has to be delegated throughout the company where you, as the business owner can no longer be single handedly responsible for every action taken. Every decision made every task met when you have to trust your team, because there is simply too much complexity, creep and scale within the business to do otherwise. Then culture becomes a really important to bring it back around, right. Becomes a really important lever because those core values are the guiding benchmarks by which people make the decisions. And you can only trust the decisions being made and know that they're in alignment with the strategic vision of the company, if you have guidelines around them.

Jhana Li (14:00): And if you have this kind of Frankenstein monster of all of these white labels and vendors and all of these sorts of things, right, right. Those people have to be managed. That alignment has to be, uh, cultivated. It can't evolve organically and it can't be delegated because they don't really know care about the bigger thing that's being built there. And so at that point, it starts to break down and you require a lot of operational intensity at the top of the business like management in order to just make sure that people are constantly being kept in alignment manually because that's never going to happen organically on its own.

John Jantsch (14:32): So when I think about operational efficiency, I immediately think systems and processes, of course, documented systems and processes. In fact, there's a very popular book. People are familiar with atomic habits by James clear that one of my favorite quotes from that book is we don't rise to the level of our goals. We fall to the level of our systems. And I think that is so true from many of the people that, that I've worked with over the years. So how do you think about, and then how do you sort of operationalize this idea of creating systems and processes for, you know, growth for fulfillment, you know, for all the things, all the parts of a business.

Jhana Li (15:08): Yep, absolutely. It's a, I think that at the core systems and processes obviously are essential. Like it is a repeatable process that can have a single trigger and a reliable, desired outcome. And we can process out everything in between. And that creates consistency. It creates reliability. Like there's a reason everybody loves SOPs and that SOPs are, are needed and necessary. Right? The question I put to people when they are designing those systems is through what lens and towards what desired outcome are you building this? So P to tell every single person what to do every single day at every single stage of the business, because that can work. Like you can build a well oiled machine that way, but what you Rob them of is the opportunity to introduce their own creativity, their own innovation. Like if I was your employee, John, and you said, cool, here's the right way to do it.

Jhana Li (15:58): Well, that's the right way to do it. Why would I ever question that it came from John? Like, I'm not gonna put any time towards innovating or improving on this. Right. I don't care. Like it's his job, it's his deal. And so what I see is that if systems are being created from this place of like micromanaging, then you end up losing a lot of the human potential, which comes through in creativity and innovation and like human error. Right. And we have to balance those two things. If you build the systems from the perspective of am I setting my employees up to do their best work every day, right? Like that's the critical question. Am I supporting them to do their best work every single day? And every system that I put in place is either to take something off their plate or to clear a bottleneck in front of them, or to give them a more efficient way of accessing the information that they need to do their work. Those are the systems where you can still allow for them to take ownership for their roles and continuously innovate on them. Because now if it's been framed that way, it's like, cool, Hey boss, I, I need a change to this. So P because it's not allowing me to do my best work. Yeah. Cool. Now we can continue to innovate and move forward from there.

John Jantsch (17:00): Yeah. Cuz I mean the bottom line is, if you let's say you're gonna delegate some process that, you know, works and you're gonna bring somebody in who doesn't know, you know, anything about, you know, how to do it, that roadmap of here's the checklist we'll make them successful. I mean, you've get the result you want it won't be confusing. Right. But then how do you invite that innovation?

Jhana Li (17:19): Yeah, definitely. I think it starts with, again, are you transferring ownership? Yeah. To innovate on that SOP, like I roll out all of my SOPs from my team with the pre-frame that, Hey, I expect this to change and I expect you to be the one to change it. Right. Right. This is just the best practices that we figured out up until now there is nothing about this that is fixed. And in fact, I hired you to be the expert in this role. Yeah. You know, this role way better than I do, or you will in two weeks. So you tell me how can I better optimize this system or process around you to set you up for success.

John Jantsch (17:54): So we need a, we need a new term there. Everybody uses best practices, but it's really just current practices and we're looking for better practices. Right, right. Nobody has best practices or we're done. Right?

Jhana Li (18:04): Yes, absolutely. And I think if you wouldn't mind me going on a little rant here where systems are breaking and falling apart for people and companies right now, because like COVID was the perfect example of this. When you live in a world that is changing that fast, right. Where every single day is bringing a new set of data and the need to respond appropriately to that data. Then a well oiled machine starts to break down because there's not enough time for the people at the top to truly understand what's going on at the front lines, have that like chain of command go all the way up, have a decision made and then all the way back down, right? It's like actually a quite rigid unflexible and inefficient structure. And so where SOPs as this end all be all like desired result fall apart is when, what happens when they break, what happens when there's change.

Jhana Li (18:49): Right? And so in the places I draw the distinction between where is your business complicated? Meaning it's a series of processes that don't change all that much. We can break it down. We can build a machine here. And where is it complex? Meaning it's a dynamic environment that is changing every single day. That information needs to be taken in responded to. And without any kind of like top day, there's no chain of command there. Right? Where is it complex where it's complex? You can't have SOPs. That's like not a thing. Right? You have to rely on these other harder levers, like cultural alignment and strategic vision and transfer of ownership and autonomy to appropriately respond to those areas of the business. Because if you like make this desire for complication everywhere and making sure everything is complicated, those systems are going to fail in the face of complex dynamic environments.

John Jantsch (19:42): I think a lot of times too, because there's so many books out there that you can read on systems. It's like people get overwhelmed because they think, oh, well we have 474, you know, that we need to develop and document and they start developing and documenting stupid meaningless stuff. And it, it really, a lot, most businesses I've worked with, if they just had five or six kind of core things, you know, really locked down that they were always looking at. I mean, how growth happens, you know, how fulfillment happens, things like that, those engines, you know, are really the, the, the key drive, you know, from a process standpoint.

Jhana Li (20:14): Yep. Absolutely.

John Jantsch (20:15): So Jenna, tell us how, how do you engage folks? How do you work with folks? I mean, everything you've said is spot on and I'm sure people are out there going well, how do I get that? You know, as opposed to just it being theory.

Jhana Li (20:26): Yeah, absolutely. So I'm a big component guys that there are people who zone of genius. It is to think about the system and the process and where is it relevant and where is it not, where is it complicating? Where is it complex? Right. And so my big lever point is with those operators, the people who think that way, um, and that looks one of two ways I have direct consulting, right? So I'll come in, do an audit of your business, tell you all of the bottlenecks and challenges lying in the way. And then we can talk about whether it makes sense for me to help you solve those. That's on the consulting side. On the coaching side, I will work directly with your operator. I will train them up to apply, take it away from theory and actually into executable actions and skills that can be taken back and apply to your business. And that's a four month training program. I call it ops academy. So those are essentially the two ways to get in touch, or those are the two services. If you wanted to get in touch, probably the best way to do it at this stage would be email. My website is going live here in just a couple weeks. But as of right now, email would be the best.

John Jantsch (21:22): So we'll have your email and we'll have the website when we publish this. But maybe before we wrap this up, make that distinction of what an operator is. That may be a fairly new term, at least the way you're using it to some people.

Jhana Li (21:34): Sure, absolutely. So there is a single, underlying talent that I assign to somebody who can be really stellar in operations, whether they're in a ops role or not. And I call it level three, thinking it's a essentially just complex systems analysis. It's the ability to say, cool, I see problem a and problem B. And I see how actually neither of those are the problem and the root cause is all the way back here. And I see how that root cause is actually going to have ripple effects six months from now, right? There are certain people that when they look at the world, they break it down. That way. If you have that underlying world view that I underlying talent, that operations is just a set of skills and resources and knowledge and tools that can be layered on top of that to create world class operations in your business, whoever on your team has that world view that lens. That's your highest talent, your highest potential for an amazing operator, again, regardless of the role that they fill. So maybe they're currently employed in operations and they need additional training and support in that role. Maybe this is just how they've like, you'll notice that they're the people who have gone in their role and started fixing things up where they see that they're dirty or broken or like could be better because they just, can't not, that's just how they see the world. Those are the people to elevate into an ops position.

John Jantsch (22:48): Okay, here's the bone question then? Can, can that person be a CEO also, can that person run a company or does a company need somebody who has strategic vision as more of their zone of genius? So to speak

Jhana Li (22:59): Great question. I would say that there are a rare percentage of the population, actually it's about four to 5% of the population that can be both that strong charismatic leader, as well as the behind the scenes integrator. What I would say is that you should, if that's you first off, it's probably not. But if it is run with that, as long as you can, and at some point, your business will still ask you to choose. Because again, it's two different lenses of the same set of data and you need both lenses represented at scale. Both lenses represent a full time job and there's a time amount of work to be done within both. And so when you reach that point, you will have to make that decision. But if you are that rare few, you can get away with being your own integrator, being your own operator for much longer than the average business owner. If you hate systems and processes, you're not that person don't try and be that person you're actually costing your business money. If you try and fill that role,

John Jantsch (23:51): I have no problem telling you. I'm not that person, But I that's an amazing person. I have an amazing person that is that's the real key. There you go. Realize that and then get that person right.

Jhana Li (24:01): That's it? Yep, absolutely.

John Jantsch (24:04): Right. Jhana. It was great having you stop by the duct tape marketing podcast and hopefully we'll run into you one of these days when, uh, I'm out on the road or you're back in Colorado.

Jhana Li (24:13): I love it. Appreciate it. John, quit chatting with you.

John Jantsch (24:15): Hey, and don't forget. Vista Create is a graphic design platform where anyone can easily craft professional and unique content for social media and digital Mar marketing. It's a combination of graphic design editor and an ever growing library of customizable templates to suit any industry or occasion. Check it out @ create.vista.com. You can try it for free, that's create.vista.com.

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network and VistaCreate.

HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals who seek the best education and inspiration on how to grow a business.

 

 

Small business owners have a lot on their plate, but luckily you don’t have to be a graphic designer, extraordinary superstar, creative strategist, or marketing maven to make your work come to life on social media. With VistaCreate, you can create beautiful assets without design experience or needing to delegate to a third party – making it the ultimate hack for creating slick visuals that boost engagement. You can have designs that look like they took you hours made in minutes. Try it out for free.

Why Publishing A Book Helps Build Your Credibility

Marketing Podcast with Michael DeLon

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Michael DeLon. Michael is a Credibility Marketing Expert who helps business owners publish a book that positions them as an expert in their field. He’s also the author of On Marketing: The Definitive Guide for Small Business Owners.

Key Takeaway:

Building credibility as an expert in your field is an essential component to reaching new audiences and attracting new customers and clients. If you want to build your credibility, publishing a book is a way to do just that. In this episode, I talk with Michael DeLon about how publishing your own book helps you not only demonstrate your expertise but also differentiate yourself from your competition.

Questions I ask Michael DeLon:

  • [1:16] What has your journey to becoming a credibility marketing expert looked like?
  • [4:04] What is credibility marketing?
  • [5:35] A lot of people are self-proclaimed experts, self-proclaimed thought leaders – so who gets to decide if you’re credible or an expert?
  • [8:05] Is there something unique about the market or the way people buy today that makes credibility even more important?
  • [12:34] What makes a book a significant tool or significant channel over and above something like just doing video on LinkedIn?
  • [13:48] If you’ve got a decent idea, is there a formula to help people turn that into a book?
  • [15:01] Are you starting to see that this is a tactic that can actually work for people that might have the mindset that no one would want to read a book by them?
  • [16:03] Most authors and speakers have a book nowadays – but what are your thoughts on someone like a remodeling contractor that could write a book on ways to make your home suitable for your family? Wouldn’t that be a big differentiator?
  •  [19:00] What’s your favorite book project that you’ve done, and what impact did it have on that person or business?
  • [21:56] Where can people find out more about your programs and your latest coaching program?

More About Michael DeLon:

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the Salesman Podcast, hosted by Will Barron brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network. Look, if you work in sales, wanna learn how to sell or just peek at the latest sales news. Check out the sales podcast where host Will Barron helps sales professionals learn how to find buyers and in big business in effective and ethical ways. One of my favorite episodes lately, how to personalize your sales outreach at massive scale, who doesn't want to do that? Listen to the Salesman Podcast, wherever you get your podcast.

John Jantsch (00:46): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Michael Delon. He's a credibility marketing expert who helps business owners publish a book that positions them as the expert in their field. He's also the author of a book on marketing. So, Michael, thanks for joining me.

Michael DeLon (01:06): Hey, you're welcome, John. I appreciate, uh, the opportunity to be here. It's gonna be a fun conversation.

John Jantsch (01:10): So before we get into exactly what a credibility marketing expert does, what, uh, gimme a little bit of history on your kind of your journey.

Michael DeLon (01:20): Sure. Yeah. I'll, I'll try to make it quick. Wow. Back in the nineties, back in 1990, my wife and I got married, I was in Christian radio selling Christian radio, right. Realized my business, my, my clients didn't wanna buy radio. They wanted to grow their business. So I decided instead of being really good at selling, I would learn about marketing. So I started buying books and going to the seminars. Then we left that after about nine years of doing that, went to a family ministry for about 10 years to help build marriages and families thought that was gonna be the last thing I ever did until they went through corporate reorganizations. And I found myself in prison as I call it a job that I hated did that for two years finally got fed up, talked to my wife, prayed. I said, I gotta get out of here, stepped out of, of ministry.

Michael DeLon (02:03): This was January of 2013. Stepped out of ministry, hit easy street, John. I started my own company and I I'd come out to you. I say, John, I think I can help you with your business. Cause I understand small business in marketing. You'd meet with me. We'd have a great conversation. You'd say, Michael, what have you done for the last few years? I said, I've build marriages and families and family life. And you would say that that's awesome. Michael, look at the time I gotta go and you wouldn't hire me. And I wasn't getting any clients. And I said, I gotta fix this. So I was at my church one day, pacing, the hallways, just praying, going God, how can I help somebody? And he gave me the idea to take all of my marketing ideas and put them in a book. So I did.

Michael DeLon (02:41): I wrote a book. I, I knew nothing. I mean, you've published four, five I or six books. I, I knew nothing about publishing. So I wrote my first book on marketing. Then I would call you and I'd say, John, I think I can help you with your, your marketing. I'd mail a copy of my book to you. I'd walk into your office a week later. And there it was, my book was on your desk dog. You'd highlighted that. And you'd read my book in that meeting, John, you'd say now, Michael, in your book, you said, yeah, how do you help me do that? And you'd hire me. So what changed in those two meetings? Did my understanding of marketing change? Nope. Right. Did my background in ministry change? Nope. What John was how you thought of me when you got in my book, you immediately saw me as a marketing expert, right? You had pen in hand, ready to take down the solutions I had for you. That changed my, my life. I started gaining clients and I said, why don't more business owners do this? Well, as you know, cause you've published so many books, a little challenging and publish it in new books. So our, our contention is that business owners are experts at what they do. Everybody wants to be an author. Nobody wants to write a book. We figured out how to make that happen. So that's the short version, John of my story.

John Jantsch (03:52): Well, it's interesting. I've worked with, uh, small business owners. Many of them are family businesses for many years. And I think a little bit of marriage and counseling will probably go a long way in working with that demographic.

Michael DeLon (04:03): Absolutely.

John Jantsch (04:04): So let's define the term. I mean, I think you started to unpack a little bit, but let's just define, you know, the Webster's dictionary term of, you know, what is credibility marketing?

Michael DeLon (04:15): Yeah. Credibility marketing is being seen by your odd audience as trustworthy. Right. And believable. Right. Okay. We've all heard for years. They gotta know like, and trust you. Right. I, I love, and I hate that definition. It's just beat to death, right? Yeah. Credibility goes to the next level because it deals with really how the perception your audience has of you. The and, and do they feel that connection that yes, you're a person of integrity. You have a consistent message and I believe that you are who you say you are and can do what you say can do. Now I wanna have a conversation to see for a good fit. Right. Really is the big difference.

John Jantsch (04:58): Yeah. And I think as you, uh, describe that too, I think gets a huge differentiator as well. Right? I mean, because part of the challenge with people who sell marketing services, for example, marketing consulting is 200 other people in my town that do it too. So how do I kind of stand out and have somebody say, well, you know what, I'm gonna talk to you instead of them

Michael DeLon (05:16): AB absolutely. And there is no better differentiator on earth, in my opinion than handing somebody a copy of the book you wrote. Right. And said, I'm the author of yeah. Right. It stops them in their tracks.

John Jantsch (05:29): So one of the, one of the challenges, I think nobody disagrees with that point of view. Right. But, but you see a lot of people sort of self proclaimed experts, self proclaimed thought leaders, you know, I mean, who gets to decide if, if you're credible or an expert.

Michael DeLon (05:44): Yeah. Great question. At the end of the day, it is your audience. Right. Right. People determine credibility through a, a variety of, of, of ways. Right. Do you have media credentials, have you been featured? Do you have experts? All of that, but the real aspect, John is we're, we're looking for an opportunity to connect with a prospect and have a conversation. What better way to do that than to hand them a copy of your book and let them read and spend one on one time with you through the pages of the book so that they will bond with you understand your message when you do that, you gain credibility. Yeah. Because what they've seen on your website or on your Facebook ads or whatever, it's consistent, that's the real essence of the credibility.

John Jantsch (06:33): Yeah. And I think there's a lot of people that attach credibility to a book, you know, it's easier than ever to write a book now. Of course. And uh, so, so maybe some of that's left over from a day when it was a very exclusive club right. Of people writing books. But in truth, what we're talking about is content in general. I mean yeah. Audio content, your content on your website, content of your emails and then certainly a giant mega content piece of content Absolut a book. Right?

Michael DeLon (07:01): Absolutely. Yeah. Cuz I mean, we've got a whole coaching program for people who don't even have books. Yeah. Because credibility doesn't necessitate a book, right? Yeah. Yeah. But it is the, it's the content and, and John, what I found many times, it's your story. You asked me my story at the beginning, that's unique to me and my competitors cannot compete with that story. Right? Yeah. Every business owner has a story, but what I find is they don't tell it and they don't. And so that's one thing we help them do at the very beginning is help us understand your story because that plays into what we would call brand G that set you apart. So that you're not just another financial advisor or CPA or attorney. You're a guy who has a unique story. And now you can tell me about that story and how that plays into my life because of, of how it connects with all the dots. So that's one of the biggest things I, I see business owners just really miss in the boat on.

John Jantsch (08:00): So having credibility of course has always been important. I mean, that's never gonna hurt you. Right. But, but is there something unique about the market or the way people buy, uh, today that makes it even more important? There seems to be a lot more emphasis on this idea.

Michael DeLon (08:15): Oh yeah. Well, without question, I, I think because the, the market has been flooded, not only right advertising, but with practitioners. Right. And I don't care where you go, whether you're an attorney, a CPA, a financial advisor, a dog trainer, I can go to Google and find 22 of them. Yeah. How am I gonna know who who's a good fit for me? And that's why a, I, I want simple websites with compelling copy. Yeah. I want videos. I want podcasts. I want books to read. I wanna know who you are and is your message consistent? And are you the type of person I even like. Yeah. Right. That's that all of that builds credibility nugget by nugget layer upon layer. I, I had a client yesterday. We were doing his podcast and he, he written a book with me and he said, I just got a client. She's 30. This is a retirement financial advisor. Right. Got a client. She's 30. She said, I got a copy of your book. I've listened to numerous podcasts. And I've read a couple of your articles. Now I'm ready to have a conversation with you. Yeah. He built credibility through a variety of media of content and she felt good to, to, we forget that marketing's about winning people's hearts and getting them to believe we're the right person and waiting for them to be ready. It's not a, it's not a light switch. Yeah. It's a relationship.

John Jantsch (09:38): Well, I tell people all the time, I think the things that changed the most that we underestimate, a lot of times the thing that's changed the most about marketing is how people are able to and choose to buy today. And just what you described. I mean, it used, there was a day when somebody had to wait for me to send an ad or put an ad out there or, you know, do a sales call and convince them that I was the right choice. But in many cases today, I think people just doing what you said, listen to a podcast, listen to this. I mean, they've already made their mind up that you're the right choice. And I think that's why I think the emphasis on the need for this is so great. Isn't it?

Michael DeLon (10:11): Well, it, it is. And when, whether you have a podcast or a book or something, right. It's I call it precon, auditioning people to hire you before you ever meet with them. People are researching. Yeah. They're all over the internet. What's on your website. Are, are you educational? Are you entertainment? Are you what I call infotainment? Right. Yeah. Yeah. How are you engaging with people in, in keeping it and forth? Yep. Talking about their needs and how you serve people, giving examples and giving them an opportunity to walk through, um, that process to say, yeah, I'm ready to have a conversation with you. And I don't feel like you're a used car salesman, right. That,

John Jantsch (10:51): That, well, and I think the other thing that probably raises the bar quite significantly too, is that now, you know, when I, I started my consulting practice, you know, in Kansas city, Missouri, you know, that's who I could effectively go after were people there? Well, I can, I sell to people now in 12 or 13 countries. And so now all of a sudden, you know, every marketing consultant is competing maybe with every Mar marketing consultant around the world. And so, so the need to stay it out. I think it's just the bar's gone up significantly. Well,

Michael DeLon (11:22): It, it really has. And, and really at, at your level, but at a business owner's level, your ideal client is going to buy you right. More than what you do. Sure. Right. And that's where that credibility really comes out. And the consistency of message. And are, are you a good fit? And, and your whole funnel, your process should be all about giving information, directing them down a path and saying, this is who I am. This is how we operate. We would love to serve you, take the next step when you're ready.

John Jantsch (11:53): And now we're from a sponsor. You know, small business owners have a lot on their plate, but luckily you don't have to be a graphic designer, extraordinaire, superstar, creative strategist, or marketing Maven to make your work, come to life on social with Vista Create, you can create beautiful assets without design experience or needing to it to a third party, making it the ultimate hack for creating slick visuals that boost engagement. You can have designs that look like they took hours made in minutes, and you can try it out for free @ create.vista.com.

John Jantsch (12:29): So let's go, uh, back to books. Um, what makes a book sort of a significant tool or significant channel maybe over and above? Just, you know, doing video on LinkedIn.

Michael DeLon (12:42): Yeah. Great question. Still in the mind of consumers, Pete experts have books. Yeah. Period. That's why you've written five of them. It's why Tony Robbins is who he is. Cuz he is got books, right? Yeah. And he book. So that's number one is how the mind thinks about authors. Number one, number two, it gives you real estate. It gives you time. When we read books, we read them one, one on one, right? Yeah. I don't gather my family to read a book. I read it. So I'm bonding with you through the pages of your book, sharing your story as I'm reading your book, I'm nodding on. Oh yeah. Or new I'm underlining. You're connecting with me. And then hopefully your book has mechanisms to go back to your website, listen to a podcast. It's the content delivery of, are you meeting me where I am and are you sharing stories that help me understand that you have helped other people go to where I, I need to go. Yeah.

John Jantsch (13:35): So you, we already talked about the hard part. I think a lot of people probably believe that it's, you know, it's very hard or don't believe they can write 56,473 words, you know, in one, on one topic, what have you been able to do? Or is there sort of a formula for saying, look, if you've got a halfway decent idea, we can get it into a book. I mean, is there something you've done to, to, to kind of make that process less arduous?

Michael DeLon (13:59): Yeah, absolutely. We created, uh, years ago, what we call our speak to write process. Okay. You can talk about your business all day long so it can every business on it. Right? Right. What we do is we have a team of expert writers who jump on a phone call or a zoom call. We ask questions to build the outline for the book because you're an for, you can, again, you can talk about this. We help you structure what's in your head and in your heart to an outline. And then from that outline our writers, get you to speak and, and record all of your content. And then our writers craft that and massage your words, your content, your voice into the book, you're obviously in total control of it, but it saves so much time in, in less than we've clocked it. If you stay on our process less than 24 o'clock hours of your time to create a book over about five or six months of our time. Right? Yeah,

John Jantsch (14:47): Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So I, I, you know, I think you could make a case globally for saying, well, every business can use a book or every business owner. I, I mean, there's no question a consultant, you know, a professional service provider. I mean, that's a no brainer, but are you starting to see that, that this is a tactic that can actually work for, you know, people that would traditionally think, why does anybody wanna read a book from me?

Michael DeLon (15:13): Yeah, absolutely. You know, I, I walked into a grocery store a few years ago. It was, um, national chain and the owner of that national train was a regional chain. The owner of that regional chain had written a book telling his story. I'm like a grocery store. Uh, we done it for dog trainers, a guy who trains canine dogs for police forces. Right. Go figure. But what happens is people read the book and because you're just sharing your knowledge in a specific way, you're automatically elevated in that person's mind as the expert. Well guess what, they're gonna find you on LinkedIn or Facebook or a blog. And they're gonna tell other people around you cuz your market's not just your audience, it's their sphere of I yeah. And, and we haven't even talked about referrals with the book and how powerful that is. Cuz everybody says, well, I love referrals. Do you have a system in place to give, get re so I dunno if that helped or not.

John Jantsch (16:03): Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Well, and, and the, the thing that I think is interesting about is because every author, speaker consultant has a book, you know, I mean, because that's, it's just like you have to, but how about that remodeling contractor, you know, that could write a book about, you know, how to make your home suitable for, you know, your family or whatever, you know? I mean that, that kind of thing would be such a differentiator, wouldn't it?

Michael DeLon (16:27): Oh, absolutely. We I've got a, I've got a book on shelf, uh, home inspector. Okay. It doesn't get more generic than home inspection dude. Yeah. Yeah. And as he came to us, we got his story, which is where we always start. He's a football referee on weekends and that's what he loves to do. And he said, there's a lot of con consistency between referee and football and home inspection there's rules, there's foul. And, and we rebranded him as America's home inspection referee. So when he comes out to, um, do your home inspection, guess what? He's wearing a referees outfit. Yeah. When he sees something wrong with your house, guess what he puts on it, a yellow.

John Jantsch (17:00): Oh, I, I thought he just yeah. Threw a

Michael DeLon (17:02): Well, oh, there it is. Now tell me, does he now have price elasticity because he's got a great compelling message. Right? Anybody can do that. It's a matter of discovering your story and connecting the dots. It's it's not rocket science.

John Jantsch (17:16): Well, and you make a really good point too. Um, that I think often is underestimated. You know, all of these things go together, right? I mean, not the book was just a piece of telling the story, but there was a story and a brand promise and a differentiation that became part of the over overall arching strategy. Isn't it?

Michael DeLon (17:32): Oh, absolutely. Yeah. And I mean, the book's great. It, because you know, with our book program, we create a podcast for our clients and we interview them on every chapter. So now they have content going out in audio form. We do it on zoom so that now they have videos to go out. And now you're populating YouTube and LinkedIn and Facebook with videos of you being the expert. Again, it's taking a piece of content saying how many different ways can I use that one piece of content? Yeah. I've got a book, I've got a blog, I've got a Facebook post. I've got a video. I've got a podcast. You pretty soon. You're the only, and trust me, John you're competitors are not marketing this way.

John Jantsch (18:06): Right? Yeah. Yeah. It's such, you know, in some ways going into these non-traditional fields and doing this, it's such a differentiator because nobody else is doing it. Yeah.

Michael DeLon (18:17): Well, no. Okay. Let's alright. Roofers flooring, contractors, plumbers, electricians. They all have a bad reputation. Right. They don't show up. They don't. I, we had, we did a, a, a book for a roofer here in town. And he specifically niche in being your roof leak detective. Yeah. That's his whole thing. Right. And it was just beautiful to position him that way and say, you've got roofers, but I, I can find the leak and then he uses it for commercial, but he wrote the book on it. Yeah. Do you think that makes an impact when you're looking at four different roofing companies, the guy can hand you his book game over. Yeah.

John Jantsch (18:51): Yeah. So I think you've kind, I was gonna ask you about some success stories, but I think you've shared some, maybe just pick up your, pick out your favorite, um, kind of book project that you've done and, and maybe talk a little bit about what the impact for that person or business was.

Michael DeLon (19:09): Yeah.

John Jantsch (19:10): They always hard. Yeah.

Michael DeLon (19:12): It, it is. Cuz we got many, there's an attorney down in, I think it's Fort Lauderdale, Florida, personal injury attorney, young guy going against two major dogs. Okay. These, these other guys were spending millions a a month and he doesn't have that budget. He's on TV to comes to me. We, we talk about his story. He was a baseball player from the Northeast, went to, to on baseball. Scholarship was a pitcher, threw his arm out second year, ruined his baseball career, went to law school. Now he's a personal injury attorney. Okay. We got that story. And we realized he went through rehab. He went through all the stuff that he helps his clients go through now. Yeah. And we said time out here it is. So his book is when what to do when life throws you a curve ball ties into his unique story, his competitors can't compete about it meets his audience right where they are.

Michael DeLon (20:04): Yeah. Now when he's on television being interviewed, which was what he was doing saying, I'm a personal injury attorney. I can get you millions of dollars against the big dogs done work. He said, he tells his story. He says, get a free copy of my book. You can read my story and what you can do and what you need to do when life throws you a curve ball. Yeah. It's a beautiful message on, and what's happened is when he is on TV. Now he gets a lot more people requesting his book that he mails out to them. And he has a relationship. His business is only consistently because he has a clear message that ties to his story. That's different than anybody else.

John Jantsch (20:41): Yeah. And that brings up another point too. The people he's competing against are spending, you know, $30,000 a month on an SEO firm, you know, running probably got billboards, probably running radio. Right. And what he's doing is costing, you know, a 10th of that or, or you know, a 20th of that. Right. Absolutely. And I think that's a point that credibility can really bring isn't it, it

Michael DeLon (21:01): Really is. And right. So think about this, John, and this is the reason I love books. If you, if he had, if he buys a hundred copies of his book and he hands them out to his prospects and clients, he goes out to universities where he used to play baseball. He hands his book all out, he's all over the place. You don't need to reach the entire Fort Lauderdale market. Right. He needs a smaller market that he can be consistently relentless in and it will change everything. You don't need massive budgets. You need smart marketing. Yeah. And that's the one thing I found even. I mean, there are a lot of guys, a lot of business who've written books, John, they don't know what to do with that book to market their firm. That's why we started our coaching programs to help them up there because there's so much you can do. And, and most of it is low cost or no cost strategy, the GS to go, how do I position myself differently and do that flank move around the big dog. Cause we all have them. Right. Yeah.

John Jantsch (21:56): All right. Michael, tell people where they can find out more about, uh, your programs, including your latest coaching program.

Michael DeLon (22:01): Yeah. Yeah. If you go to, uh, just paperback expert.com, that's our website. Everything you need about us is there and yeah. It's the easiest way. Paperback expert.com.

John Jantsch (22:12): All right. Well thanks Michael. For some by the duct tape marketing podcast and hopefully we'll, uh, run into each other one of these days out there on the road.

Michael DeLon (22:18): That sounds great, John. Thanks for having me, buddy. All

John Jantsch (22:20): Righty.

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This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network and VistaCreate.

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