Transcript of Using Your Personality and Authentic Self to Build a Platform
John Jantsch: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Duck Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch, and my guest today is Chris Ducker. He is a serial entrepreneur. He’s been on the show before when we talked about his previous book, Virtual Freedom. He is also the host of the Youpreneur Summit Podcast. He is, as he likes to tell people, a proud Brit, and the creator of the Youpreneur community and movement, and author of a book we’re going to talk about today, Rise of the Youpreneur. Chris, thank you for joining us.
Chris Ducker: I just like to challenge people on the subtitle, John. That’s what it is. Thanks for having me back. I appreciate it.
John Jantsch: So what’s funny is a lot of people … We’ve been talking for years now about this idea of becoming an authority and having influence in your industry. I think a lot of people took that to be, “Oh, I’m going to be an online marketer, and so I have to build my influence.” But I think today, we’re finding the accountant and the attorney and the person working in their local business can really benefit from this same approach, can’t they?
Chris Ducker: Totally. Absolutely. And I think, honestly, if they don’t start focusing, those kind of people, those kind of professionals, if they don’t start focusing more on their personal brands they’re going to miss out. They’re going to miss out on a lot of opportunities to effect change, and to serve people in the right way; and, obviously, to make a lot of money in the process. When we talk specifically about the online business world, people instantly have their shields up a little bit online. From everything from giving up their email addresses to get that must have email or rather ebook that they want, they’ve got to opt in with their email to get it. Everything from that right the way down to buying the $2000 course, you know what I mean, the shields go up.
At the end of the day, and I talk about this very early on in the book, it will always just come down to trust. If people trust you, then they will do business with you, or at least they will be more likely to do business with you. So for me building that trust up in today’s world means being very, very relentless and very consistent and very focused on dropping great, valuable, high energy, useful content on a very regular basis. Then, following up with solutions to problems in the form of live events, and coaching, and online products, and everything else. People will be more than happy to invest in their problems being solved, if you’re doing it in the right way.
John Jantsch: I’ve told people this for a long time, that the real thing that’s changed is the way people buy. I think that’s what’s given this rise to the need for content. Because back in the day when I started my business, I would try to get a client listed in the newspaper. You would certainly see people who got quoted all the time, and they were then the perceived experts, and they had trust that maybe was borrowed because the Kansas City Star thought you were important enough to talk to.
Chris Ducker: Right.
John Jantsch: So, that’s not really changed. I just think the way in which people then consume and find and determine this level of trust is what’s changed.
Chris Ducker: It has. You’re absolutely right. And that, I think, comes down to you embracing your uniqueness as a business owner. It doesn’t matter if you are all out, going and focusing in on building a personal brand, but understand that people want to do business with other people. Big brands will always want to do business with other big brands. It’s an ego thing. But if you’re selling your wares online, or if you’re a coach or a consultant or you’re a YouTuber or a livestreamer or a podcast or a blogger, whatever the case may be, speaker, author, if you’re building this business based around you and your experience and your personality, what you’re really doing is what I call building the business of you. And that comes down to your experience, your personality, your stories, and the solutions that you can provide people. So at the end of the day, it’s about embracing your uniqueness, your differentiating factors, and then understanding that being different actually is a far easier way to be remembered in any crowded niche than just simply being better than your competitors. I have no problems being as different as I possibly can be.
John Jantsch: Well, one of the things that that leads to, and I, for years, have struggled to get small business owners to think this way; but, if you were going to build a business around you, then you also have to find that perfect customer that likes you, right? So how do you do that?
Chris Ducker: Sure. Well, great question. You’ll love this, and I know you’ll love it because you’re all about marketing. You do what I say. You market like a magnet, so you attract the best and you repel the rest at the very same time with every piece of content that you put out, every bit of knowledge that you share, every value bomb that you drop on Facebook or on your podcast or on your blog. With every single piece of content you create, you are ultimately marketing like a magnet. So you are attracting the right type of people to you and your vibe, what you stand for, the type of people that you want to serve and sell to; but at the exact same time, this is the exciting thing, you are repelling away the people that are the types of people you don’t need in your life. You don’t need the guy that’s going to pay for a $50 product, and ask for a refund on day 29 of the 30 days. You don’t need that.
You need the type of people that are going to be on board with what you stand for. They’re going to back you up. They’re going to come with you. They’re going to follow you as your varying interests change as a personal brand entrepreneur, and they’ll be happy to continue to support and buy and share and all that sort of good stuff. I think, ultimately, it comes down to being very acutely aware of the fact that you can’t please all the people all the time. So you just focus on pleasing the people that you really want to do business with.
John Jantsch: So does that require … I think that sometimes people struggle with this, because there are a lot of people that don’t want to repel anyone because, “Gosh, they might pay me.” So does that require you to have an element that is sort of intentionally polarizing?
Chris Ducker: I don’t think you have to be ridiculously intentional about it. I think that if you have a clear picture of the type of person that you want to work with … We talk in the book about building your perfect customer avatar and understanding that these are the types of people that you really like when you dream up your dream client. This is the type of person. So, it’s their background. It’s the situations they’re in. It’s their age. It’s where they live, and all those types of things; and if you do that then, you’re not really pushing people away on purpose. It’s really just being very aware of the type of people that you want to attract.
John Jantsch: So one of the things that took awhile, certainly the people that started online businesses exclusively got the need for this, but the website being your hub, really, and your online home has changed dramatically. When I started this, it was another channel almost, like we do this and we do this. “Oh, if people want to find us online, they can use the web.” I think today it really is the center of any business, online and off. Would you agree?
Chris Ducker: Absolutely, 100%, and this is why when I see people building their business on rented land, it scares the bejesus out of me. You’ve got people that start these Facebook groups, and they start charging for access to this Mastermind group or they’re putting all their content just on YouTube because they’re vloggers or whatever the case may be. Stop building your online home on rented land. You must make sure that … Yes, by all means, post those videos up on YouTube, but pay for a Wistia or a Vimeo account, and also embed them onto your blog that way as well, or at the very least have them on those other channels with free accounts.
So instead of creating a Mastermind group, and charging fifty bucks a month or whatever it is for access to a private Facebook group, bring that over to your own domain name. Put a forum on your website and do it that way. If people want to be involved in you and your community, they’ll go the way that you lead them to go. That’s the very definition of being a leader, is that people will follow you. But it drives me nuts. It scares the hell out of me when I see people doing that.
John Jantsch: Yeah, and obviously, those are great channels to create awareness, for people to find you. Top of the funnel kind of stuff, but absolutely no question, almost all of our efforts should be driving people to something, as you deemed it, that we own.
Chris Ducker: Absolutely.
John Jantsch: So you wrote, and again depending upon when people are listening to this, this was in the first month of 2018, a post on email that I checked out recently had an infographic with it that I really thought was brilliant; and again, hopefully I’m not putting you on the spot. I know sometimes people ask me about a post I wrote and I was like, “What did I say? I don’t remember that.”
Chris Ducker: Right, right.
John Jantsch: But I think … so we’ll have link to it in the show notes, but you had an infographic about the idea of using a funnel approach with email. I think a lot of people got so enamored with the Facebooks, and all the other stuff, that some people forgot that email is still really the closing tool.
Chris Ducker: It is, and I don’t think it’s going to go away any time soon. Things are changing. You’ve got these bots now. People are talking about the death of email, and all this kind of stuff. Please. Don’t-
John Jantsch: That’s about the fourth death of email, I think. Isn’t it?
Chris Ducker: Yeah, I know, if we’re counting. Just like it’s been the year of video every year for the last five years.
John Jantsch: I saw somebody predict that 2018 was going to be the year of mobile, so who knows?
Chris Ducker: I know, right? I think I remember the infographic you’re talking about. I think it was something along the lines of the super easy six step marketing funnel, something like that, it’s a couple of years old. But, let me tell you, it served us very well. It’s been shared thousands and thousands of times. I’m all about creating that kind of evergreen content, but there’s no point in doing that also and attracting people to the website and getting them onto the mailing list if you’re not going to serve them via that medium as well.
People open up their emails … Almost everybody will open up their email before they do anything else when they get to work every day. So it’s still probably the number one way to ultimately market and sell your wares. I think that particularly from a personal brand business owner perspective, such as authors, speakers, consultants, coaches, that kind of thing, it puts the personal in personal brand. You’re jumping into someone’s communication world at the beginning of every day or at least at the days when you’re sending them email. You’re ultimately interrupting them. You’d better have a bloody good reason for doing so. And, here’s the thing, if you do have a good reason for doing so, they’ll fall in love with you over and over again, and they’ll stay on that list. Eventually, sooner or later, they’re going to click on a link that will hopefully make you a little bit of money and at the very same time, obviously, make sure that you’re solving a problem for them as well.
John Jantsch: Yeah, and I think a lot of people can look at their analytics. I know if I look at mine, somewhere in the neighborhood of 70% of visitors are new users, new visitors. If I’m not doing something to stay in their life, like getting their email address so I can communicate with them, 70% of my traffic may be for not. That should be fair warning enough as to why you need to be capturing email.
Chris Ducker: Absolutely, and when you do that, whatever lead magnet you consider doing, whether it’s a free trial or something or a free course or a checklist or whatever the case may be, just make sure it’s providing a quick win. I talk about this in the book. It’s one thing to just help somebody, but when you help somebody solve a problem fast, you instantly win a new fan, and that’s what we want to do. We want to become somebody’s favorite. We want to be able to have someone say, “Oh, that John. Oh man, he’s incredible that guy. That guy from Duck Tape, you know what he did for me?” Bop, bop, bop, bop, bop. And that’s exactly the kind of viral type of environment that we thrive on. I mean the fact that people are coming to your website, 70% of the people that come to your website are new, we want to make a good first impression on them, right? And you can do that by creating that quick win.
John Jantsch: And I think the bar’s sort of been raised. I mean, when I started this people would sign up for anything. Today I think, as you said, it’s almost like you have to build that trust initially by giving them something very consumable, very quick, addresses a very specific problem. Nobody wants the generic ebooks anymore until you’ve kind of moved them along and now they want to go deeper, but people aren’t going to invest the time to read an ebook if they don’t really know that what you put out is something that’s useful.
Chris Ducker: Absolutely.
John Jantsch: So let’s talk about the book, Rise of the Youpreneur. First off, I just now after 20 years, finally figured out how to spell entrepreneur, and now we’ve got a new word that we have to look up. But, I will tell people “Get this book. This book is going to be one of your favorites for 2018.” But if nothing else, on page 191, and I know you know exactly what’s on that page, Chris, there is the sample Youpreneur Ecosystem Map that is worth the price of the book.
Chris Ducker: Thank you. I know the plan. I’m not joking. I’m getting tweets. I’m getting emails from people, like page 191, that’s what it’s all about. It’s funny, isn’t it? A lot of time when you pick up a book, you only need that one paragraph or that one line to make it all worthwhile. I have a very sneaky feeling that this is going to be the one thing in this book where everybody turns around and say, “Oh, my God. Now I see it.” I mean, it’s a graphic. It’s an image. If you remember the old spider charts that you used to do when you were brainstorming where you sort of had all the legs coming out and it would go onto more legs and another body and more legs. It’s like that, but ultimately we call it the Youpreneur Ecosystem.
This, in this book, is probably going to be one of the pages … This is one of the reasons why I independently published this book. I didn’t go traditionally, publish like I did with my last book. I can update this page whenever I want. I think it’s going to be updated quite regularly. I think that, in itself, shows you what the very incubus of an ecosystem is. It’s an ever-evolving thing, but ultimately it starts with the free content. It starts with the blog and the podcast and the video and all that sort of stuff; and then, very slowly but surely, you’ll see how you can ultimately see how you can monetize your brand and your business and your expertise and build that business of you.
So, we’ve got the online products. We’ve got books and ebooks and one-on-one coaching, and life events and one day Masterminds and high level mentoring, and services and communities, and all that sort of type of stuff. Really, for me, it was a no-brainer to include this; and, this is my ecosystem, my personal business, right here on one page. So, steal it, copy it, as much as you want, because I truly believe that I’m a 100% unique person in my industry. If you have that same mindset, you can take everything I’ve laid out on this one page, and you can plug it into you and what you stand for, and it’ll be equally as beneficial for you and the people that you’re serving and selling to.
John Jantsch: I will warn listeners that, while we’re talking about this one page being the magic, the key that unlocks this one page is the rest of the book. Because you can look at a chart, and it’ll say put out free content. Okay, that’s helpful. It’s understanding what your free content should be and how you get it in front of a hungry audience is really what’s in the rest of the book. So I don’t want to minimize that aspect, because it becomes relevant because of the context of the entire book.
One thing that I think a lot of, particularly people that haven’t done this. They have a business. And that business may be … A lot of my listeners are local businesses. So, that business may be, I’m an attorney that does a certain type of work, and they’re very used to charging for a certain type of work. They’re not so used to charging for a $50 and a $500 and a $5000 program, course, coaching. How do you get people kind of started on that whole pricing ladder?
Chris Ducker: Pricing is such a tough topic to talk about and to handle, particularly with coaching clients, and things like that. We put an entire chapter together in the book in regards to pricing effectively, and why it was important to not only look at what your competitors are doing, but understand that you’re in charge of your own pricing structure. We talk about the importance of testing your idea and validating that, and how you can even dry test certain pricing models is an old term I use from my days in the infomercial industry. At the end of the day, you won’t know until you actually pitch something whether or not it’s going to work from a price perspective.
But one thing I do know to be very, very true, and I’m sure you’ll agree with this, is that to have several different products, services, experiences, whatever you want to call it, to have several of them available to your client base at several different price points is just the smart thing. Because ultimately what you’re doing is, you’re taking them on that customer lifetime value of “Well, you’re going to start here. Then you’re going to be ready for this. And then, you’re going to be happy to invest that.” Maybe two, three years into our relationship, you’ll be in the top 5% of my customer base that’s happy to drop 25 grand a year to spend an hour a month with me, or whatever it is. Do you know what I mean? It’s that ladder. I think Ryan Deiss from Digital Marketer talks about this from time to time, that customer value ladder, I think he calls it, but you can come up with any sexy name for it. It ultimately is just giving people options.
John Jantsch: I think there can be a logical path that people kind of climb the ladder, but I’ve also discovered that there will always be … And I think Perry Marshall talks about this all the time, the 80-20 principal in marketing. There will always be some percentage of your community that you’ve built trust around that they don’t want the fifty dollar thing. They want the five thousand dollar thing. That’s all they want. That’s how they want to get served. I think you also want to realize that as well. It’s not just about moving everybody up, it’s about having the right solution that matches up with every component of your market.
Chris Ducker: Could not agree more, which is one of the reasons why I hate seeing these launches online. These launches where you just get absolutely hammered for a week to ten days in your inbox on the latest course, or whatever the case may be. You know, the analogy that I use all the time and I believe it mentioned it in the book, now I hope I did because it’s a good one. I can’t quite remember. You write a book, and then you forget about what you put in it.
But I’m almost sure I used the analogy of, if you’re really hungry and you go out looking for a restaurant, and you say, “Oh, there’s an Italian. I love Italian food. Let’s go get a plate of fettuccine or something.” You walk up and the door’s shut, and it says, “We’re closed. We’ll be open again in six months.” What are going to do? Are you going to wait six months for your fettuccine. No. You’re going to walk down the street, and find another restaurant, and eat there. So I’m a big believer that whatever you’re offering, doesn’t matter what it is, whatever it is that you’re offering, you should give people the opportunity to get it when they need it, and not make them wait.
John Jantsch: Well, one of the things that I know you are a proponent of too, and I think this goes nicely with this idea of launching, is that everybody’s creating these complex funnels, and all these ways to generate leads on Facebook and whatnot; and I have contended for years the best source of leads is a happy customer. I know that’s certainly a component of this ecosystem is that you also create such a great experience that people want to move up the ladder perhaps, but also they want to tell their friends, neighbors and colleagues. So how do you intentionally create that experience that just so wows people that they want to tell their friends.
Chris Ducker: You care, John. There’s no tactic. There’s no silver bullet to that one. You care. We put on the Youpreneur Summit in 2017. You opened up Day Two as our opening keynote there, which was incredible, by the way. I’ll say this in front of your tribe, right now. It was great to have you speak at our inaugural event. It was a big deal for me. It had been a big dream of mine to hold a big business event like that in my home town, and not just in my home town, but a stone through from Westminster Abbey, and Big Ben and all the rise of it. You care. For weeks after putting that event on, for weeks, I was getting emails and tweets and messages from people saying just how much they appreciated the attention to detail, and the care on everything from the swag bag down to the little things on the table and lighting, and the whole kit and caboodle. You just care.
And for the first time in my career, my emotions got the end of me at the end of that event. I’ve keynoted tons of events. I’ve spoken all over the world, as you have. I’ve never choked up on stage before, but I did as I was wrapping up that event. I didn’t completely lose it or anything, but I choked up and I had to kind of just pause and get myself together a little bit. And people saying, “It was great. We wished you’d cried like a baby. It would have been so much better”, because they realized that I genuinely cared. I think that’s really, you know, if there is a magic potion that we can use as business owners, and want our customers to have those experiences to go away and start talking about us, that is that magic potion. It’s just a give a damn at the end of the day.
John Jantsch: Yeah, I wrote a book called The Referral Engine that is clearly about referrals, and there are a couple of negative reviews on Amazon because I spent the first half of the book basically saying the way to get more referrals is to be more referable. People didn’t want to hear that. They wanted the magic bullet.
Chris Ducker: Yeah.
John Jantsch: Let’s talk a little bit about the community itself. You mentioned the Summit, and that Summit is sort of an outgrowth of a movement that you have kind of facilitated, that you’re calling Youpreneur; but talk a little bit about the Youpreneur community, and ways that people can, perhaps, plug in.
Chris Ducker: This was something that came about as a lot of good business ideas, over a coffee or a beer or a cocktail or a dinner table, or whenever. I was at my good friend Pay Flynn’s house in San Diego. It was July 4th, 2014, and it was the first time I had ever done July 4th in the US. I was saying to Pat, “What does one do on July 4th in the US?” He said, “Just come over, and you’ll find out.” So I came over, and we did the bar-b-que. We did beer. We did water balloon fights. I said, “I’ve been missing out. This is great.”
Afterwards we went to his home office, and we had a cup of coffee. The kids carried on playing and everything. He asked me a question that no one’s ever asked me before. He said to me, “What do you want people to say about you when you’re dead, when you’re gone? What do you want people to say about you?” I was like, “Oh, my god. I don’t know.” We weren’t necessarily talking the legacy question, but how do I want to be remembered ultimately.I said to him, “I want to be remembered as a nice guy that helped people get stuff done.” And that’s really at the very core of what Youpreneur is all about.
It’s about me leading a group of now hundreds and hundreds of people around the world to get stuff done when it comes to building their businesses in a long term manner. I think long game and everything. I’m already planning 2020, 2021. I’m already planning those years in my business, and what I want to achieve. I think, again, your vibe attracts your tribe. And, that very day at Pat’s house, that was when the term Youpreneur was born. It took me a whole year and a bit to actually launch it and get it out there, because I’m a bit of a perfectionist, quite frankly. But once it was out, it was clear that I’d struck a nerve.
We had over 200 people join the community in like 72 hours. It was incredible. And these are recurring payment customers, so this is predictable, recurring income month in month out, year in year out, if they’re on an annual subscription. The book comes from them really. I mean a whole bunch of them, of the members, are case studies inside of the book. It comes from my interactions with them. It comes from testing what works, and what doesn’t, with hundreds of people that are building personal brand businesses.
The event, the Youpreneur Summit, also came out of that. I specifically remember one of our Mastermind calls, we were two, maybe three, months in to the membership. It would have been March 2016, or something along those lines. I said, “I’m throwing this out here you guys. I’m throwing it out. We’re going to do a big Youpreneur event at some point in 2017. We’re going to make it happen?” And, you know what happens? I did nothing, and then they started reminding me about it towards the end of 2016.
So I had to get my stuff together, and we ended up putting the event on, literally right at the end of 2017, we did the event. So it’s about support, it’s about that accountability, also for me as well, to continue to lead the way; because I believe a good leader will continue to learn himself, or herself, in able to be able to help other people along the way as well. It’s honestly, John, I think this is going to be my life’s work now. This whole Youpreneur malarkey. This is going to be what I do until I’m done, and I retire. I think this is going to be it.
John Jantsch: Well, as you mentioned, I was at the event. I can attest to what an amazing event it was in terms of how it was produced, and as you mentioned, the details. But I think the part that you can’t see unless you’re there and experience it, is how passionate and involved and engaged your community is. I think that is clearly props to you because obviously there’s a lot of people in that community that do a lot of things to support the community, but it comes from your leadership; and I think that part was on full display.
Chris Ducker: Well, thank you, man. I appreciate it, and it’s something that I don’t take for granted in any way, shape, or form. I work on that on a daily basis.
Chris Ducker: Well, the book has its own website as well, riseoftheyoupreneur.com. Or, if anybody’s interested and want to pick it up and see what’s on page 191, they can do so just by going to Amazon, as well.
John Jantsch: And you’ll find some things at chrisducker.com that are just a bit cheeky, but you can still overcome that. I actually just wanted to say cheeky. It’s the first time I’ve said it on the podcast.
Chris Ducker: There you go. How does it feel? Does it feel good to say it?
John Jantsch: It’s been said of me more than once, but I’ve never actually said it.
Chris Ducker: But, it’s good that you’ve mentioned it though, because I practice what I preach. I think who I am is I’m your cheeky, chappy Londoner. I don’t necessarily play on that, but I don’t hide it at all. What you see is what you get. I think that at the core of that Youpreneur business model, that is what should be there. There should not be any smoke and mirrors. It should be all you, all the time; and if you do that, then great things will happen.
John Jantsch: Good or bad, it’s hard to fake authenticity.
Chris Ducker: It sure is.
John Jantsch: So, speaking with Chris Ducker, author of Rise of the Youpreneur. Chris, thanks for stopping by and hopefully we’ll see you soon out there on the road.
Chris Ducker: Thank you for having me back, man. I appreciate it.