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The Paradox of Leadership

Marketing Podcast with Simon Sinek Simon Sinek

For this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast I had a visit with Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why and the more recent Leaders Eat Last. First off, if you’ve not read either of these books I suggest you get both. In Start With Why Sinek echoes many of themes surrounding purpose that I’ve been preaching for years. Leaders Eat Last is a bit of a follow up in that once you have your “why” you must go to work on attracting and leading with whom that why resonates. As Sinek explains, the title of the book is drawn from a long standing, yet undocumented, policy in military mess hall in which leaders by rank eat last. Perhaps the primary point in the book is that the true art of leadership isn’t about ruling with power, it’s about helping others get what they want. Sinek compares that act of parenting to leadership. In a perfect world, a parent wants what’s best for a child, helps them reach their full potential and doesn’t always get to be their best friend in the process. But the key here is trust. When we trust a leader, even if we don’t actually like spending time with them, we will follow them. Sinek uses the success of the 12 Step Program widely used in Alcoholics Anonymous to make another point about true leadership. Over the years AA has found that if people successfully move through the first eleven steps, but fail to embrace the twelfth, they often fall back into old habits. The final step asks them to help another alcoholic find recovery. The message and perhaps paradox of leadership is that in the end it is simply the act of helping others get what they want.

It’s All About the Choices We Make

Marketing Podcast with Ryan Holiday

In mid July I’ll be in Portland presenting at Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit.

The title of my talk is “Make Good Choices

Make Good Choices

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If the title to that presentation sounds a bit like well-worn advice from a dad to his teenage daughters, that’s because it is. (But you’ll have to be in Portland to hear the story behind that!)

It’s also something much bigger – our choices dictate every element of our day, our life and our work.

When we become unaware of the choices we make in every moment we hand over the reins of our journey to someone or something else.

One of the principles I’ve instilled in my business over the years is that in business, you get to choose who you want to attract, who you want to work with and how you want run, marketing and position everything you do. If you don’t make intentional choices, the kind that feed your soul, you’ll find yourself constantly on the run chasing the next big thing.

In this week episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast I visit with Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

Holiday is a well-read man and it comes across is the ideas he espouses and the people he chooses to hang out with.

We cover a lot of ground in this twenty minute interview and don’t overtly focus on the idea of choice, but I think that’s the main topic of his work when it really comes down to it.

We have choices in every moment and we choose to take right action, get upset or be unmoved – but somewhere, for just a moment in time, there lies our freedom.

The Benefits of Building, Joining or Growing a Mastermind Group

Marketing Podcast with Bill Hibbler

Mastermind Groups

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Anyone who has read Napoleon Hill’s often cited business classic, Think and Grow Rich will be familiar with the business use of something called a Mastermind Group. Hill’s book recounts how many successful business people rely on a small, tight-knit group of advisors to help them build their businesses.

I’ve long been an advocate of assembling some form of a group of peer advisors, board members or customer collaborators to help you grow your business. As an entrepreneur or CEO you often lack both the filter and the sounding board you need to see things bigger ways.

The right mastermind group can provide these benefits:

Accountability – Simply stating your goals and objectives to a group that intends to hold you accountable for your stated result can have the kind of pull that keeps you focused on meeting your goals

Growth – Many mastermind group members form strategic business relationships that bring additional revenue streams and growth opportunities

Specific knowledge – A group comprised of people from different backgrounds and industries can help you fill gaps in your own knowledge and provide very specific help

Resources – Your group members may very well end up loaning and providing the kinds of resources and introductions that can help you get to the next level in your business

New perspectives – Sometimes having someone from outside your industry question your long held beliefs or suggest innovations from a new point of view can prove very helpful

Support – As a group forms a very close common bond this can be a great place to go for support when you have a troubling business issue

Energy – Simply having a team that understands your objectives and helps you celebrate your wins can be very energizing

There are any number of organizations formed specifically for the purpose of helping people join mastermind groups such as Convene, Vistage, The Alternative Board and EO to name a few. But, you may also find that assembling your own team based on common interests, beliefs, goals, expertise and chemistry is a great way to go as well.

Most industry associations have some form of group opportunity for their members.

Technology and global reach make this an even more desirable option today.

There are many ways to form Mastermind Groups. You can stick the classic style of frequent meetings focused only on goal support or you can create looser, less formal groups that come together to offer routine advice or even collaboration on a common project.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Bill Hibbler, co-author of Meet and Grow Rich: How to Easily Create and Operate Your Own “Mastermind” Group for Health, Wealth, and More

On the show and in his book Hibbler shares his experiences as a participant in a number of Mastermind Groups over the years.

Probably the best nugget I took from this interview was that if you are forming your own group you want to move slowly in the act of recruiting members because chemistry and long-term commitments are crucial for a tight group to form if that’s is your goal.

I believe that every small business owner should find or form their group or network and commit to using this resource as the significant growth tool it can be.

Are You Sending the Message You Want to Send?

Marketing Podcast with Nick Morgan

You’ve probably come upon some variation of the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote – “Your actions speak so loudly, I can not hear what you are saying.” 

Power Cues

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When it comes to speaking in public, leading teams or even having a personal conversation, we communicate a great deal about how we are feeling and thinking through non-verbal cues.

Most of the time we are not actually aware of the fact that, no matter our words, we may be sending a very strong message of confusion, fear, angst, doubt, self-importance or disinterest. Now, of course the good news is that we also be sending messages of authority, love, kindness, empathy and trust.

It’s one of the reasons why emails are often misinterpreted. We get so good at understanding through cues when someone is teasing, being sarcastic or genuinely trying to help.

The key is to become aware of the non-verbal things we do, quite often out of habit and deeply engrained thought patterns, so that we choose cues that allow us to communicate our true intent.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Dr. Nick Morgan, one of America’s top communication theorists and coaches and author of Give a Speech Change the World, Trust Me and Power Cues: The Subtle Science of Leading Groups, Persuading Others, and Maximizing Your Personal Impact

Morgan has made a career out of helping speakers and executives break through some of their deeply held beliefs in an effort to more effectively lead, communicate and influence.

Let me quickly point out that none of this work has anything to do with using non-verbal cues as a way to manipulate. Morgan’s work and teachings are all about being your best self by bringing your words and actions together so that you are more clearly understood and heard.

For example, if you’re in a leadership position and it’s not something you’ve always been comfortable with, you may be sending that signal to those you are charged to lead by the way you stand and speak.

Once you become aware of the ways people send cues, you may also be more equipped to read cues sent by others. Imagine listening to a potential client’s concerns through this filter. You may likely be able restart a conversation when you better appreciate what a prospect is really saying by reading visual clues along with words.

Power Cues is a fascinating guide into the subtle and not so subtle things many people do to mix and confuse their message.

Pick this book up today and start becoming much more aware of the message your body sends and you’ll be much more prepared to be heard.

Success Is Often Mostly About Context

This post and podcast are drawn from Duct Tape Selling: Think Like a Marketer – Sell Like a Superstar on sale globally May 15th.

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

Duct Tape Selling

Image credit: Ellen Jantsch

On a cold January morning in 2007, a hidden video camera captured thousands of commuters simply walking past violinist Joshua Bell as he played some of the most complex music ever written, on an extremely valuable Stradivarius violin. Most didn’t seem to notice the difference between Bell’s virtuosity and the skill of an everyday subway musician.

Just days before, and then again after this experiment, Bell performed to sold-out theaters filled with ticket holders willing to pay top dollar and ready to deliver thunderous standing ovations.

In the context of the subway station, ordinary people did not recognize Bell’s genius.

We don’t live in a vacuum. Every idea we have, song we hear, or sales pitch we connect with is filtered through a number of elements, including our mood, the environment, and our unique understanding of the world and our place in it. All of these factors affect the value and importance we place on what we believe in, what we deem worthy of our time, and what we buy.

In the same vein, while sales people’s mastery, skill, or point of view may be important and well thought-out, the context in which their ideas, introductions, and pitches are delivered is equally—or sometimes more— important.

In many ways Duct Tape Selling is about changing the context of how you, as a salesperson, are received and perceived.

So let me ask you this: Are you ready to hone your virtuosity as a sales- person and put it on display in the places where people willingly pay a premium to engage such work or are you content to hang around in the subway hoping for the scraps of interested passersby?

Change Your Context, Change Your Results

In Duct Tape Selling I show you, first, how to reframe your own mindset about what it means to sell in the world today. From there, we look at how to vastly alter the way prospects, customers, and competitors view your professional brand. To accomplish this, you need to think of yourself as a guide in the customer’s buying process rather than an information source, re- search data point, transaction catalyst, or whatever other trendy term people have assigned to the act of selling.

Duct Tape Selling shows you how to change the context of selling by teaching you how to:

  • Ask what you can give your clients instead of asking what they can give you
  • Form and lead an industry group instead of mindlessly joining every one you find
  • Make education-rich sales pitches to rooms packed with engaged potential clients instead of cold-calling prospects
  • Get yourself invited to speak in front of audiences instead of simply attending events
  • Earn the trust to be introduced to referral prospects instead of given leads?Interview industry luminaries instead of simply downloading their podcasts
  • Build a strategic-partner network instead of waiting around to be asked to partner
  • Write for respected industry publications instead of just putting them in your RSS reader

When you reframe any relationship, you often change the way you are heard, received, and perceived. In sales, by reframing the selling process as a journey that you and the client are on together—and that you are guiding him through—you can become a valuable and necessary part of your client’s team.

Is Networking a Waste of Time?

Marketing podcast with Derek Coburn

The simple answer to the question posed in the title of this post is – maybe.

always be connecting

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Networking is actually one of the most powerful strategic activities you can engage in if you do it right. In fact, when people ask me what they should do to market their business when they are just getting started I tell them to start networking.

However, I don’t simply mean print off a bunch of business cards and head out to the next wine and cheese Chamber event and start passing out your new cards.

Effective networking today has taken on a vastly different look but one thing has not changed – networking is not about selling, it’s about connecting people.

Technology, social networks and our propensity to turn online for every need have greatly expanded the elements of networking but connecting is, and I suggest always will be, at the core.

Today networking is the richest source of organic backlinks that still drive SEO. Today networking is building stakeholder maps as a way to shorten sales cycles. Today networking is how you make yourself more valuable to your existing clients.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Derek Coburn. He and his wife Melanie have created a unique network in Washington DC called cadre. The network is based on the idea of people connecting people rather than people promoting themselves.

You know of course the ironic thing about this idea of focusing on connecting and adding value rather than selling is that it’s a crazy powerful way to sell.

Derek is also the author of Networking Is Not Working: Stop Collecting Business Cards and Start Making Meaningful Connections, the best book I’ve read on the idea of connecting.

As he shares in our interview this book and his Cadre community were born out of frustration with having spent thousands of fruitless hours attending traditional networking events. Coburn’s book offers fresh, effective, unconventional strategies for growing and nurturing a powerful network. These strategies grew Coburn’s revenue by 300% in just 18 months and can have a major impact on your business.

Some of the most ideas contained in the book include:

  • How to become the Ultimate Connector
  • How to become the Ultimate Resource
  • How to identify and develop relationships with world-class professionals
  • How to enhance the value you deliver for your best clients
  • How to position yourself for more quality introductions to ideal prospective clients

Connecting is the master skill no matter if you are a salesperson, business owner or someone starting a career.

Creating Audio Authority One Interview at a Time

Marketing podcast with John Lee Dumas

Podcasts are back in fashion again, but my view of why you should be creating interview style audio content hasn’t changed since I started podcasting back in 2005 or so.

Blue yetti podcasting micWhether you ever plan to view your podcast as a show or publication or just another way to create a highly portable form of content, a podcast can open doors.

I’ve interviewed hundreds of interesting, influential and downright famous folks on my show over the years and many of these guests had no idea who I was when I asked to interview them – but they were drawn to the age-old media request of an interview.

I’ll be the first to admit that many of the guests I approached were people in my industry, authors, speakers and consultants, who I wanted to get to know. Instead of sending them a request to “pick their brain” sometime, I asked to interview them so I could promote their next big project or book.

The net effect of this approach is that I became a journalist in their eyes rather than someone simply seeking their time. Don’t get me wrong; many influential people will give you their time, but why not start these relationships by giving them something they crave – exposure.

I’ve written four books now and every single “big name” person I’ve convinced to write a blurb for my book jackets appeared on my podcast at some point.

It doesn’t matter what industry you are in or what your long-term objective are, you can benefit by way of interviewing your customers, industry leaders and even prospects as a way to create better content while you gain access to those you want to be part of your network.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is John Lee Dumas. John is a wealth of information on the subject of podcasting and in this episode he shares the tips, tricks and tools he’s used to not only create a wildly popular podcast, but make a living doing so and teaching others how to do so.

If you’re thinking about getting your podcast game on, below are some of the major elements you’ll need to consider. First and foremost you have to decide why you are doing your show. Is it to gain access, grow and audience, get exposure, build authority or make money as a podcaster? The answers to these questions should dictate how you proceed.

For more in depth coverage of each of these topics check out John’s course on podcasting.

Editorial

  • Theme – What will your show be about? What will the overarching objective of the show be?
  • Style – Will your show be interview style, 2 host banter style or simply a roundup of ideas from around the web?
  • Content – Will you have regular segments, guest appearances, or free flowing ideas and conversation?

Program

  • Format – How long? Co-hosted? Will you have music and advertising?
  • Frequency – How often will you publish a show? Daily, weekly, monthly?
  • Segments – What segments will appear over and over again?

Production

Publication

  • Hosting – You may end up needing lost of bandwidth. I use Libsyn to host my files
  • Display – I run my podcast as you can on my existing WordPress blog as a category
  • Podcast Plugin – I use the Blubrry Power Press plugin to handle some of the podcast specific details (PowerPress getting started guide has some useful information as well)

Distribution

  • iTunes – The Blubrry Press plugin will submit your show to iTunes, which is a must (How to from Apple)
  • Sticher – Submit your show to other directories like Sticher
  • Network – Don’t forget to tell lots of people about your show and network with other podcasters

Chris Brogan Is a Proud Freak

Marketing Podcast with Chris Brogan

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Chris Brogan, founder of Owner magazine and author of The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth: Entrepreneurship for Weirdos, Misfits, and World Dominators

Freaks Chris BroganChris Brogan has embarked on a bit of a mission. He’s proudly telling his story and the story of many others who might not always end up on tidily scripted news shows. Brogan is calling them “freaks” but he’s doing so as a badge of honor, not as a put down.

One of the primary objectives of this mission is to provide some hope and encouragement for those who feel somehow they are different and are struggling to stay on that path as the world tries to push them back to its idea of normal.

He is building a community or place where people can start to believe that maybe there is a place for them. Check out his #proudfreak hashtag to meet some of those people. (Ironically, people who don’t feel like they fit in maybe aren’t the best people to try to corral into a group of some sort, so community might not be the exact term.)

But Freaks is also very much about turning your idea into something that has business value in your very unique way. In Freaks he also shows you how people have begun to find and serve a community and then how they have developed a marketplace around that.

One of the most interesting points in the interview is when I ask Brogan if his treatise is autobiographical. He claims in fact that he wrote this book for his children who he affectionately calls weirdos. In that he means that he never sees them finding their passion in a cubicle and this book just might help them understand why.

In Freaks you’ll meet dozens of other “weirdos” in what amounts to a fun filled romp through what it can mean to own a business these days.

If you feel like you’re a little different, your idea is a little off beat, then dive into Brogan’s new book and you just may find solid evidence that you’re not only right, you’re not alone.