What would it mean for your business if you could become known as the “Go-to person” in your niche market? Is there a way to pivot the direction of your business and make a more practical approach? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott as he sits down with his guest, Michael Stelzner.
Michael is the founder of Social Media Examiner, author of the books “Launch” and “Writing White Papers”, and the man behind Social Media Marketing World–the industry’s largest conference. He’s also the host of the Social Media Marketing podcast and founder of the Social Media Marketing Society. In his conversation with Scott, Michael brings his seasoned and knowledgeable approach to branding and content creation. If you are ready to really dig into how to create a thriving and successful business – don’t miss a minute of this powerful episode!
From “I have to,” to “I want to.”
Let’s face it, building a business from the ground up is not for the faint of heart! So much of building your business revolves around tasks that you have to complete or you’ll never get anywhere. At some point, you need to make the shift from doing what you “Have to do” to what you “Want to do.” Where are you in your journey? Are you still in the “Have to” phase? What will it take for you to get to the “I want to” phase? Tune into this episode of The Amazing Seller to hear more from Scott and Michael as they discuss this important topic!
Content is KING
If you’ve been around the TAS community for very long you know that Scott is passionate about helping sellers like you understand that content is key to a successful ecommerce business in 2020. Don’t just take Scott’s word for it! Michael has his own success story with creating content that connectes with people.
On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott and Michael as they explain why content is king, how niche markets work, why you should model your business off this method, and so much more. Don’t just hope your ecommerce business with succeed, learn from helpful examples that actually worked! You’ll need pen and paper for this fascinating episode – don’t miss it!
Telling your story with your brand.
What is the story with your ecommerce brand? Are you giving people a reason to connect with you over your competitors? If you aren’t taking a storytelling approach with your brand you could be missing out on a huge opportunity! Too often Scott hears sellers say things like “I don’t have a story to tell.” That’s not true!
Your journey and your approach will connect with people, just give it a chance. What do you have to lose? If you want to build a following that will sustain an ecommerce business, then give Scott and Michael’s method a chance to succeed. Learn more about building a business that connected with people and sustains that connection by listening to this episode of The Amazing Seller!
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
- [1:50] Scott welcomes his guest, Michael Stelzner.
- [3:15] Michael opens up about his career and how he got started in ecommerce.
- [9:00] What happened with Michael’s project, “The Journey?”
- [16:00] From “I have to,” to “I want to.”
- [18:40] Michael talks about his validation process.
- [25:00] The key to everything is content marketing.
- [31:30] Scott and Michael examine Pat Flynn’s SwitchPod.
- [35:30] Telling your story with your brand.
- [39:40] The value of authenticity.
- [41:30] How to connect with Michael.
- [46:20] Closing thoughts.
Speaker 1: 00:00 How would you like to become well known in your market or get massive attention to your market with the right people? If that sounds interesting, you're going to want to stick around because I've got a special interview with an expert in this category and he's going to share all his secrets. So if that sounds interesting, stick around cause that's what we're going to cover in this episode.
Speaker 2: 00:25 Hey, Hey, what's up everyone? Welcome back to another episode of the amazing seller podcast. This is episode number eight 21. Like I said, today I've got a special guest and his name is Michael Stelzner and this is long overdue. I've, uh, met with Michael. He was actually a guest judge on our show, the five minute pitch and uh, was able to have dinner with him and just really get to know him. Really awesome guy.
Speaker 1: 00:49 But this guy has been around, he knows how to get attention in a market, but really on social media and all different types of platforms. So I had a chance to sit down with Michael and it was a great conversation and you're gonna be able to hear all about it. But the other thing that I wanted to dig in here, cause I'm always curious about people when they are pivoting. Now Michael you would say is not pivoting, but he's actually rolling something out in his business that's different than when he's done in the past. So it's somewhat of a pivot now. This also goes well if you are going down a certain path and then you're like, wait a minute here, what do I really want to do? Do I want to be known for something? Does my business want to be known for something or should it be known for something?
Speaker 1: 01:31 And really what I wanted to do here is dig into that as well. And that's why the title, this is really about pivoting but then also being well known in your industry and in your market. So with that all being said, I'm going to stop talking here so we can get to this interview that I did with my friend Michael Stelzner. Sit back, relax and enjoy. Hey Michael, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. This is long overdue, really excited to have, you can't wait to dig into what we're going to talk about today. How you doing man, with all this craziness in the world?
Speaker 3: 02:02 You know, Scott, it's turned out to be a big blessing. I mean, I'm stuck in my house for weeks, but I'm getting more work done than I've ever gotten done before. I'm totally focused and it's a, you know, uncertain times for sure on the revenue side of things. Don't get me wrong, but I also see it as a great opportunity to kind of like dig in and get some stuff done that I have been just delaying on forever.
Speaker 1: 02:26 Yeah, and you've been busy. You've been busy on a little side project, which we're going to talk about here, which isn't so much of a side project. But uh, yeah, we're going to talk about that. But let's get people caught up that don't know who Michael Stelzner is. We don't need to obviously, you know, going back to high school or anything. But we like, and it was funny because when I read your post that you had posted on your page, um, I didn't know some things about you, about, you know, that you weren't, you know, the social media guy or the social media examiner guy before like, and so I kind of want to, I want to let people know like where you were and kind of how you got to where you and how this next
Speaker 3: 03:00 thing kind of happened. Yeah. So, uh, in the mid nineties, I started a creative agency and we were basically, uh, servicing high tech companies. So we were doing everything from websites, you know, back when websites were becoming popular to, uh, logo designs, to annual reports, to brochures and, you know, trade show booth displays, anything, uh, animation, all the things that a high tech company would need to try to sell their complex products and services. And then I pivoted after, um, nine 11, Y two K area era, uh, into, uh, focusing really on writing in the craft or writing in. And I became a copywriter, which, um, and, and really zoomed in on a craft called white papers. Do you know what a white paper is by chance? You ever heard of one? Yeah. Well it was in that kind of like e-sign articles. Was that kind of like similar to that?
Speaker 3: 03:52 No, a little white paper is usually used by a marketing and or sales teams to either generate leads or to, or to help people understand, um, like in a complex sale. Like a sales guy would leave behind a white paper that would just kind of, but, but it really is a persuasive document. It's like an ebook part and informative and part persuasive and designed to sell. And I started writing for a lot of, um, companies. And then I started writing about how to write in the craft of writing. And I started writing on other bigger blogs and started developing a name for myself. And then I ultimately wrote a book, self-published a call writing white papers, sold 10,000 copies of that and then just kind of became, um, and then I started my own blog on it and I started a little, a site called white paper source, which is no longer around.
Speaker 3: 04:45 And on that side I included how to articles and, um, how to create, how to write and also how to market. And you're right, I did have a newsletter, an email newsletter, uh, which I emailed to about 20,000 people because back then that was the main way you would communicate with people before the social platforms. And, um, built up a pretty big following. I had some of the biggest brands in the world that I was working with, like FedEx and Dow Jones and Hewlett Packard and Motorola and Microsoft and all these huge companies. HP. Um, I was set for life, but um, had done that for about a decade and all of a sudden this little thing called social media popped up on the horizon in the, uh, early two thousands, like, eh, mid two thousands, maybe seven or eight. And I started writing about how to use social, uh, in combination with the thing that I was known for.
Speaker 3: 05:38 And I was writing about social media in general as well from a marketer's perspective for big publications like marketing profs and Copyblogger. And those were the best articles the most. They were told to me that those are some of the most successful articles that those pubs had ever published. And I'm like, Whoa, maybe I'm onto something here. So you know, stop me at whatever rate. I'm going super fast here. No, no, you, this is great. This is great. Good, good. Yeah. So then I decided maybe I should try to start a blog on social and I went out and secured the domain social media examiner.com and figured it would be maybe a three year kind of side experiment and started taking all my contacts that I'd already made from my prior, you know, experiences in the writing world and asked them if they'd be willing to write an article a month.
Speaker 3: 06:25 And I would write one a week and we kind of authored a multi-author blog. That thing blew up. I got 10,000 email subscribers in months instead of years. Wow. Did millions in my first year, um, and shut down all the other businesses. And today, social media examiners, uh, 10 years old, uh, we, we've had, I don't know, 25 million people read this site. We've had 15 million to 16 million downloads on our podcast. Um, and we've had, um, top three in the world in marketing, in the podcast and category. I do a conference called social media marketing world. 4,000 people came from all over the world just before the pandemic explosion. You know, they, that came to San Diego March 1st, second, and third, and we saw it all happen in slow motion. But you know, it's, I'd built this really fascinating brand and, uh, all around really just figuring out how to provide incredible value, uh, to lots of people. So that's, that's kinda my backstory.
Speaker 1: 07:25 Yeah, no, and I've kind of seen it from afar. Uh, you know, I've been following your work for probably, I'm going to say probably six or seven years. Um, as I was getting into this, coming up through the ranks. I mean, I got my start, um, back in, uh, Jeff Walker when he first launched product launch formula and that's, and I actually got to meet him in Puerto Rico and hang out with him for a weekend at our Puerto Rico masterminds, which was awesome. Um, but yeah, so I was following you, uh, just on that side of it and I, I just, I admired what you were doing. I liked the simplicity of it, but yet it seemed complex in a sense, but yet you always made it seem simple. Um, and I just loved it that you were always kind of like, you know, on the ground and, or had people on the ground kind of reporting, which was always kind of cool.
Speaker 1: 08:10 But I've also seen it evolve a little bit and even like what you're working on now is kind of like another, another thing you're adding to the mix. Right. Um, so let's kinda talk about that though, because like, it sounds like everything went smooth. Let's talk about those. Something that didn't go smooth through that, through that journey of yours. Um, which I love by the way, if anybody gets a chance, even though it's like a year old, the journey, the thing that you published, like documenting you trying to sell that many tickets to an event. Like it was awesome like that. I thought that was great. And one of the reasons I thought it was great cause I was doing my first ever event with only 250 people and I'm like, well, if he's going to try to do 7,000, I'm going to try to do 300. And uh, it was, it was very motivating, but also just really cool to see behind the scenes and see the stuff that's always going right.
Speaker 3: 08:56 You know? Thank you. Yeah. So you know, the story about what I'm doing now is the, the world of social media has kind of not grown as much as it used to because there's not been as much innovation like with Facebook and the Cambridge Analytica scandal and all that stuff. You know what I mean? It got to the point where there just wasn't as much innovation and there wasn't as much competitiveness between the social platforms and work. Social examiner is really all about teaching, everything related to how to was social for marketers and entrepreneurs. And it was kind of, it wasn't shrinking but it wasn't growing either. So I knew I needed to diversify my business model. So about, um, in the fall of last year I started asking myself, all right, right now my business model is very heavily built on the insight that's in the minds of other people, right?
Speaker 3: 09:46 People that speak on our stages speak on my podcast, right for us. And the idea is that maybe that we have some internal knowledge specifically inside of my mind that I could bring to the table, um, and potentially sell in some sort of a course. And I started thinking about, you know, after I started social media examiner, I kind of wasn't the guy anymore. I was really the King of court quote unquote white papers. And then I went behind the scenes and I was much more helping other people in my industry become really well known. And I mentored and advised and coached dozens of people that are really super well known right now. And I thought to myself, I wonder if maybe people would be interested in what I've learned, having been well known twice cause it happened again when I, the podcast came around and having mentored a lot of people, is there something I could teach there?
Speaker 3: 10:41 So I came up with an idea, uh, called it becoming well known and I started doing the research and I started talking to customers and I started, you know, serving hundreds of customers in addition to talking to them. And it turned out everything in my data showed that there was something legit here. So I started creating videos, uh, because the journey was canceled because I hired a director of marketing and I was no longer, the journey was about the marketing journey, Ted Mark at a conference and then I hired a director of marketing. So I wasn't in the marketing trench anymore. There was the central character of that. So I'm like, eh, that's not going to happen. So, uh, eventually got back to, you know, this thing and, but I dealt with a lot of, first of all internal struggle. Right. Which is like nobody knows me for helping people become known.
Speaker 3: 11:31 Is anyone gonna listen to me. Right. Cause somebody might look at me and say, well he's like the social strategists dude. Why, why would I ever want to listen to him when it comes to entrepreneurship or when it comes to like strategy when it around building a name for yourself or your business. So I went through a lot of internal like I guess what they call imposter syndrome, you know, cause, yup. Yup. Cause I was like developing another leg of the business here and I was questioning myself as to whether anybody would ever want something like this. So I decided to, uh, at my conference, since it's my conference, do a breakout session and I, I decided to deliver that. I delivered to a pack room of about 750 people and it was really well received. Nobody laughed. I could tell that was a key signal.
Speaker 3: 12:19 I was having people in the room watching what people were taking pictures of if they were leaning in. And it was just all very high engagement, small group of people afterwards talk to me. Uh, and then after the whole conference, one of my friends came to me and said, did you know that there are some of your peers that are privately mocking you about this thing that you want to do because other people have already done it and it's not your thing, it's their thing. And that kind of pissed me off, you know, because I don't operate social media examiner and say, I can be the only company that can talk about social media. I mean, that's such a limiting belief, you know? Right, right. So, so yeah, that was like kind of a struggle. And you know, I kind of reflected on it. And I do think that a lot of people struggle when they look. And if somebody wants to be known and you might, you can appreciate this, they might look at someone like you and say, well, he's already done it. There's no room for me or so-and-so's the guy or the gal, therefore there is no room for me. And they'll just put their dream to bed and the lever let it happen. You ever deal with that?
Speaker 1: 13:29 Oh yeah. Yeah. And I think you and I, um, we share a lot in common in that [inaudible] and you would look at you and go, Oh my Michael's got it all figured out, guys, confident is all heck gets on a stage, sells out these big events. Um, but it's just great to hear you say that. But yeah, I definitely do. And I honestly like I'm kind of going through that myself right now. Like I'm open and transparent on my podcast. So it's like I let people know like I'm not like super human. Like I am going to have those feelings. And like right now, like I've been, you know, this, this podcast has been the amazing seller for five years and that's kind of what, you know, got me in the spotlight if you'll call it that. But I'm not sure that's where I want to go. Right? Like I'm talking about other things now and I don't really think the name represents where I'm going. So there's a little bit of a struggle there and there's something I'm working on with that with, you know, some of my friends and, and, and
Speaker 3: 14:19 here's the good news. You can rebrand the podcast art and the name and keep the audience. Yeah. And that's kinda what I'm, and that's what I'm hearing. You know what I mean? But it's kinda like you don't, and then you're like, well, is everybody going to be okay with it? You know, so you start going through all this stuff and you don't want it. You're like, I don't want to lose the momentum that I already have. And like you start going through all of these internal highway into this. When I pivoted from, from white papers to social media, because I had a successful business, I was the top at that. And anybody in their right mind would say he's crazy to leave that he's crazy to leave that. But if didn't leave that, I wouldn't have been able to open up to this much bigger thing that I did. Which was the social media examiner, which ultimately did change the world, I think in its own unique way. So yeah, I mean these are the things that I think I go through and you go through and everyone goes through, which is we have a dream, but we have this thing, you know, and we can be trapped in this thing which can stop us from achieving our dream.
Speaker 1: 15:11 Yeah. I, that's huge because I think a lot of people do limit themselves. And I'm glad that you're sharing that and being open about that because I think that helps people more than we, than we even know than we think, right? Because they're like, Oh, okay. So it's not just me. Uh, I, you may or may not know. I wrote a book this past year. I announced it at my conference called the take action effect. And it's all based around take action moments. So the moment that you decided to make that switch back in the day when you're doing white papers or that, that one moment that you'd finally decided created this other thing, now that's 10 years old, right? And so everything that we do, like you're doing this new thing is another moment that you made the decision. But what made that decision really click for you because you had those? I'm not sure. Well, okay. So, so, so yeah. So the story was like,
Speaker 3: 15:59 I felt like I needed to diversify my business model because, you know, the conference alone wasn't gonna wasn't gonna cut it. Right. And then all of a sudden now conferences are like not even happening. So this has become even more important. Right. But, um, you know, it started with I have to do this and I knew that that wasn't a good enough reason. I wanted to go from, I have to, to, I want to. So I hired a coach, his name is Angus Nelson, and he helped me with kind of my mindset and I said, look, you know, first thing I needed to do is I, I went out and hire an ops person so I could get out of the role of operator of the whole company. You know, second thing I did was I just worked on this concept in my mind, which is like I want, I want to do what I want to do, not because I have to write like this is such a big thing.
Speaker 3: 16:45 Like we take out the trash because we have to write and we do all these stupid things because we in our mind tell us to ourselves that we have to. But if we don't get to the point where we want to, and then we can eventually get to the point where we say it's a calling, I want to, I love this. I can't even believe I've ever even considered not doing this. Like I think there is a natural evolution that we go through and giving yourself permission to kind of like dig in and explore things is part of it, you know? And, and letting go of other things as the other part of it, right? Because you cannot do everything. And I had to let go of some things to be freed up to dream. And then when I was freed up the dream, I began to realize, wow, this thing I'm about to do could be huge.
Speaker 1: 17:27 How did it feel when you finally made up your mind that you were going to do it? Well,
Speaker 3: 17:32 it was a gradual process to be honest with you. Um, and it took me weeks, right? Like I wanted to first prove it out to make sure there was an audience for it. Because I've done stuff in the past where, and you know this, like the worst thing you can ever do is have an idea and then go and make something and have it fail and they're done that. Right? Right. So I talked a little bit of my old medicine and I just went through a lot of, uh, you know, experiments and stuff and followed the method that I maybe we'll talk about. And man, when I started to see all the right signals, I was like, Holy cow, this is big. This is huge.
Speaker 1: 18:09 So you were able to validate it. And I think that's a big thing. And even if it's just a small validation. So let's just talk about that real quick and then I do want to transition into you helping us in this short window of time. And I know that you have, you know, a training and people can find out more and we'll, we'll get to that. But, uh, like, so like just take us through that validation process for you, that like what, what was that little validation process that made you say, okay, good Greenlight, I'm going,
Speaker 3: 18:37 well, you know, I've got this method I call the dreams method and in the experiment stage, which, you know, we can go through each of the steps, I would love to explain it, but in the experiment phase is when you actually put it to the test. And, um, you know, so at a high, at the first level of anything is, is depiction, right? Which is, which is kind of what we've been talking about. And in the depict phase, you build a visual storyboard in your mind of what the movie of your future you is going to be. Right? Who do you want to become? Why do you want it? Um, and when you think of a storyboard, do you think about also some of the drama in a movie? What's the drama that you're going to face down the road? Perhaps some of it is, um, no one will listen to me or another one is there's too much competition, right?
Speaker 3: 19:28 Or I can't handle the critics, right? So in that phase we want to reprogram ourselves to say for example, um, another one is time. I don't have time. Right? So we reprogram that to say, well I make time for everything that's truly important to me. Right? So you know, that's all the stuff that happens in the depict phase. And then, you know, you come out of it clearly with some sort of an understanding of exactly, you know, a clear vision of, of, of your why. Cause you know this, right? Like if you know what can hold you back and, and, and you kinda think about it ahead of time and then when it happens, you can rot around it. Cause too many of us don't even think anything about the future. We say, Oh, everything's going to be perfect. But we don't think about how we might like get stuck by criticism and stuff like that.
Speaker 3: 20:14 So then the research phase is, um, we've kind of talked about this a little bit, but um, in the research phase is when we, when we go out and we actually, um, gather some information to see whether or not our pre thinking is accurate. Right? Like would anybody be interested in this actual thing that I'm thinking about being known for? Right. Um, and what are their struggles and frustrations? I think I know them but I don't really know them. So you go out and you talk to people, you survey people and then also a survey, the competitive landscape. Like who are the amazing competitors in the world that I am about to go into and what actually makes them strong? You don't see them as an enemy as much as you see them as an opportunity to understand what is it about them that got them where they are, right?
Speaker 3: 21:00 What is their strength? Like, if you think of Gary Vaynerchuk in my world, you would say, okay, what's great about Gary is he is like constantly out on the front lines talking to people nonstop. He's an amazing verbal communicator. He's got passion, right? And he is, um, you know, those are the things that make him strong, right? Like he's constantly trying new things and experimenting and he's on the front lines. And then you ask yourself, who do they serve? Okay, well, scary definitely attracts a very aspirational crowd. And um, and then you ask yourself, how could I be different? Well, maybe instead of a speaker, I'll be a writer because Gary doesn't write, you know, I'm a good writer. Um, maybe instead of being spontaneous and dropping F bombs, I'm going to be more of a measured, you know, calm, thoughtful guy, you know? But you go through this process of researching your audience and your competitors, and then you discover things, right?
Speaker 3: 21:54 Like when you're talking to your audience, you discover certain phrases and struggles that maybe you didn't realize, and then you put them to the test in the experiment phase. And this is how you stop yourself from making these crazy mistakes. For example, one of the things I discovered, which I did not anticipate was how many people in my audience that wanted to be well known. We're really interested in making a difference like changing the world kind of stuff, right? Yeah. I thought it was all going to be about making more money and it turned out that was not the case with my audience. They placed money. It was important, but equally as important was they wanted to make an impact on people. They wanted more people to hear their message so that they could make a difference. That was like eyeopening for me. Right. So then in the experiment phase, what I tell people is you take some of this data that you've discovered from the messaging and you put out little experiments on the social platforms that lasts for 24 hours.
Speaker 3: 22:48 Like a question on Instagram stories or a little statement on Facebook and you watch for the signals and the signals are going to be things like really deep comments from people not just likes but loves, you know, and then you start to put these tests out on all the different platforms and you start to identify, all right, where are these people residing online? Because probably they're not all your friends, you know, they might be in special groups or whatever. So, so that's what I did by the way, leading up to this. Right. And then I noticed that, yeah, by the time you get out of the experiment phase, like you've done your research, you know who you want to reach, you know what their pain points are, you know what their messages are and you know what doesn't work right. And that's when you're armed for success. So I've just talked on the first couple steps of this, but I can keep going if you want me to. Yeah, no, that's, that's really good. And I, I think, honestly, uh, what I'd love to do too is another time after you get done with your launch and all that stuff, I like
Speaker 1: 23:46 to have you come back on and talk through even like how you were dripping out those seeds, if you will, and what the strategy was behind that. Because I think, I know, um, and I think it's brilliant and I think you're exactly right. You can put out these messages, you could drive, you can put some paid ads towards it. You can, you can play with that. You can build custom audiences, like all that fun stuff. Um, but I would love to just dig into that one part of it as a strategic, you know, a strategy session. Cause that would be fun. Um, but let's, let's kind of help the personal, there's, there's two different people I think right now that are, that are in this situation where they're like, I want more attention for my brand. Uh, I don't know that I want to be the person, but I might have a person, right. And I, and I don't want to pay a whole bunch for marketing. Like I don't want to pay like big media companies or anything like that. And I know that you can help that person. So let's talk about that person, that other person, I'm gonna talk about the person that's just starting and it's like, I want to do this, but I'm not an expert. Who am I? Like, I want to talk about what they can do. So let's talk about the first person. Yeah. So
Speaker 3: 24:48 someone in your company, and it might be you talking to the listeners right now, um, is really, really got a lot of expertise, right? And has a message that, you know, would connect with the audience that you want to be in front of [inaudible] and there's really no better way to market than to provide a lot of great wisdom and advice to that audience on a regular basis. That's kind of like them coming back to the, well, just like they do every week to our podcast. Write yours in mind, right? So the idea is that you want to figure out a way to get somebody, um, out in front and providing value and not asking for anything in return, right? Because when you can do that, then you can draw an audience to you and then they'll begin talking about you. For example, when I started social media examiner, there was nothing for sale, no ads or anything.
Speaker 3: 25:39 It was just free movement, nothing. And when all that stuff is stripped out of it, it's received as the way you hope it is received, which is just incredibly value valuable. And then what happens is people start sharing that information, they start talking to others about that information. They say, you gotta check out this person. You got to watch this video by this company. You've got to subscribe to this email newsletter, this blog, whatever. Right? So, so the moral of the story is, um, the key to everything is content marketing. So the idea that you're creating content and there's four different kinds of content. There's the spoken word, which we're talking about right now, which is a podcast. Um, there's the written word, right? Which uh, obviously is like blogs, but it could also be social posts out on LinkedIn or Facebook. You know, you can wear medium, uh, wherever you choose to publish it.
Speaker 3: 26:34 Then there's the, then there's video. What's great about video is it's, it can be highly edited, just like the written word, right? And you can, you can take of cuts and make it beautiful and put it up on LinkedIn or Instagram, IGT, V. dot, dot, dot. And then you've got performance, right? Which is live. So the idea there is we're talking about like webinars, we're talking about events. Um, and in that context it could be solo presenting. It could be on a panel to be moderating, you know, it could be emceeing. So, so the idea is once you, um, once you kind of know that you have a message you want to share with the world, one of the things you want to think about is what, where are my gift sets? Right? It's very rare to have somebody who can do all four of these things. Someone who can, who's got a great speaking voice, someone who has a great, who's a great writer or someone who's good on camera and someone who's a performer. It's like highly unlikely. But you want to start with one area. I would imagine podcasting was where you got started. Am I right or was it speaking?
Speaker 1: 27:36 No, no, it was, it was podcasting. And the reason why I went with podcasting is cause I'm not a good writer and I don't really enjoy writing. So I went that route because it's easy for me to just fire up the mic and start talking like that's easy to me. The, the writing is the hard part, which I've, I've, I've gotten better because I've forced myself and I want to be better. But the audio is just easier for me. Video is actually easy to
Speaker 3: 27:57 so, so, so while, while it sounds, uh, at, uh, it sounds elementary that it's just content. The reason why most people don't do this successfully is they don't, first of all really think through what they want. They don't have a why figured out all that stuff. They don't talk to their prospects, they don't have any sense of what they're really interested in. They just think they do. And they ended up talking about stuff that nobody gives a crap about. Um, they don't have any sense of who they're competing against. They haven't tried little experiments. And, and another thing that a lot of really successful experts do, um, which most people never do is they've got their message figured out. And in my method, uh, I call it augmenting. So if you think about like augmented reality, you know how if you have a heads up display in your car, the idea is showing you some traffic indicator on top of your glass.
Speaker 3: 28:51 Yup. The idea is to take what you have and to make it better. And this is where the writer in me comes out, right? This is where you have things ideally develop like talking points. Like what is, is it that I, um, I do, who do I serve? Uh, what's the problem? How do I solve it? And you know it just like that, you know, like social media marketing, social media examiner is the trail guide for the social media jungle. You know, we point the way you know and you know these things instinctively and you even visualize something when I said that, right? You can envision that guy on a trail with a shirt that says guide pointing in the way, right? And then you come up with a method like I've got a dream's method, which I'm kind of talking about. Gary V has jab, jab, jab, right hook, right, which is give, give, give and then ask.
Speaker 3: 29:36 And you come up with your own methods. And most people don't even think this through, but some of the best have their proprietary methods that come up with that kind of described things in ways anyone can understand. You also get your stories figured out. So it's fascinating. I don't know how familiar you are with what happens with the brain when stories are told. But the brain loses track of time when a good story is going on and all these chemicals are released inside your mind that forces you to remember things and to feel connected to who is telling the story. And a key part of a really good expert is they've got a arsenal of stories that they have developed. Some of those are their own stories and some of those are other people's stories. And anyone who's ever seen a really good keynoter, they know that the best ones, all they do is tell stories. And a lot of times they're not even their own story, but they do it and they sew it together. Any way that accomplishes an objective and a mission. And then you know that that's, I could keep going. But you know, those are the things that are like next level kind of things that certain experts do and that I think all people should try to do if they really want to try to connect with the tribe.
Speaker 1: 30:51 So let me ask you this, cause you know, there are people in our audience that are, you know, e-commerce sellers, physical products, and we have a mutual friend, Pat Flynn who has a physical product now. He launched the switch pod, which has been, it's done great. Right? And part of it is, you know, Pat, you know, is Pat and he endorsed it and promoted it and got other influencers and stuff like that. But let's just take like a physical product and let's just pretend like we want to bring attention to that. But also that, and I know this and you know this, that the switch pod isn't necessarily, it's not about the device more than it's, or it's actually more about the story. It's being used to share from people with their video cameras, right? Or their, you know what I mean? Like they're creating,
Speaker 3: 31:37 can I, I can tell you how I would do it, but I also, I'm in a mastermind with Pat, so I know a lot about this story. So here's the deal. Um, okay. It's really just a little gorilla pod. A competitor. Okay. So the idea is that it's just a small little thing that you can put a camera on and holding their hands. Right. But what, what's fascinating is Pat first started with, who am I trying to get in front of? He realized that it was professional camera guys, okay. Uh, or YouTube or is right vloggers that we're carrying around equipment that just bug them. And they, they hated the fact that it was hard to carry. They hated the fact that it was, it didn't fit comfortably in their bags and they needed a better solution. So, um, he developed relationships in the YouTube community before this product even came out.
Speaker 3: 32:25 He started becoming a YouTuber himself. He started drawing a tribe of creators to him before the switch pot even came out. He began talking about things that he knew, um, and he began talking things that he knew video people would be interested in. Okay. Then the next step of the process was to begin, you know, like really getting to a point where he knew he could get in front of an audience that would want this product and he had to become one of them. Right? Cause he was not, he was a blogger, he was a podcast or he was not a YouTuber today, he is a YouTuber. Right. So he had to immerse himself completely in that environment and get to know their needs and struggles. Um, and then once he did that, he began to have stories that he could tell, you know, and he began coming up with ways to describe what it was that he had.
Speaker 3: 33:16 He knew what he didn't want to talk about and he knew what he did want to talk about. And then he eventually started developing relationships and then eventually got to the point where Casey Neistat saw his product and Peter McKinnon saw his product and he began to have stories that he could begin to tell about the journey that he went on developing the product, how he had to send people to China, how the first prototypes fell apart. How they were made out of plastic, you know, or how they were too heavy and how he got feedback from people along the journey and how he filmed that feedback of people saying what they thought about it. First impressions, right? And he was able to develop an entire storyline that led up to the creation of this product. And it was the story that was just as fascinating as the product.
Speaker 3: 34:03 And then, you know, now he's got a really big YouTube channel with, I dunno, 200,000 subscribers now and he's still out there talking about stuff that he knows his tribe is interested in and they by his product, not because just they love the product, but because they love PatFlynn. And that's a key distinction, right? The product itself is great, but because there is also a spokesperson who they love and respect, it's even more amazing. And I think that's the key, right? Like so Pat developed a brand for himself. He's a regular everyday kind of guy. When you couple that with a good product, all of a sudden, Holy crap. Then he came out with a ball head, okay. To go on this product and he sold like 8,000 of them in days. Okay. And it's partly because it's not just a product. It is a person. People love the idea that these guys came out of nowhere and solved the problem that the big guys could install. You know? And, and when you begin to hear his story, you begin to say, okay, wow, maybe I could do that with my product. Because most people that have a product, they just talk about the product. They don't talk about the story. They don't talk about the people, you know, they don't do any of that kind of stuff. They don't create content around their product.
Speaker 1: 35:13 Yeah. I love that. And, uh, the other example there would be, and I don't know anybody that's done it personally, but I always in my Inmar, uh, in our audience and in our community, we're always kind of, uh, using like the bass fishing kind of example. Like if you were a bass fisherman, like, and you sold products, what would that look like? I could see this being a guy that just loves fishing and he creates poll because he's frustrated with the pole and he makes a better version or lures or whatever, and then you're going fishing with that guy every Sunday or every week or whatever. Right? And it's just like, you're going to then go and he's going to, you're going to go in with all his buddies that are into bass fishing and they're in tournaments or whatever, right? And there he's going to interview all his buddies and stuff. It's kind of like, I think that's what you're talking about, right? Like it doesn't matter if you're a Pat Flynn or now, except I think it's so much more
Speaker 3: 36:01 powerful. Let's take the bass fishing example. Okay. Let's say you've already got a product, but you don't have a story. You've already got a product and you know who your audience is, which are fishermen who are efficient every weekend, you know, and, um, what you decide to do is survey the industry and see like, uh, what's out there. Right? Is there a lot of, uh, content out there for bass fisherman? Yeah, there's a couple of podcasts, there's a couple of YouTube channels, and you just decide, all right, I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to start creating content and I'm going to interview everybody that's in back into bass fishing. I'm going to go ahead and go around and, and, and film techniques and stuff. I'm going to talk about lures. I'm gonna talk about bait. I'm going to talk about locations. I'm going to travel around the country and talk about the best places to fish.
Speaker 3: 36:42 And there might already be people that do that, but who cares? I'm going to do it better or I'm going to do it in my way because here's the thing. You have to understand. Some people will only resonate with you and the way that you communicate, you know, there's, there's a huge industry of bass fishermen out there and just cause there's one or two people that have a lock on it doesn't mean that there isn't an opportunity for you. Maybe you're the first female bass Fisher spokesperson and everybody's going to be like, wow, you know, women can fish too. It's a big deal. Or maybe there's something unique about your angle. Maybe you're super scientific about the way you do it, where everybody else is more like voodoo, crazy stuff.
Speaker 1: 37:21 You know, you're going to come at it from a totally different perspective, you know?
Speaker 3: 37:27 Um, or maybe you're just a crazy personality or maybe you're just actually super calm, methodical, and you want to be helping out the people that are the beginner of fat, a bass, Fisher people. Because everything out there out there so fricking advanced that no beginner could ever come in. You know, whatever. You can find an angle.
Speaker 1: 37:46 Yeah, yeah. I love that. That you just, you just turn that and you're exactly right. Like you could totally just go at it your angle. But I think the one thing that I want people to understand is like, don't limit yourself to thinking just because someone else is already doing it, already done it. Whatever that you can't, like, there's no other, like we said, there is no other Michael Stelzner, there's no other PatFlynn. There's no other Scott Voelker. It's like we are our own people. Put your own unique spin on it and don't try to be something you're not either. I would say that, I mean, I don't know. Do you agree with that Michael? I know that it's going to be harder to show her, you know, hundred percent because the point of the matter is that you have to acknowledge what your strengths are. Like are you
Speaker 3: 38:26 quirky? Mmm. Like the two best examples are Gary V versus Seth Goden. Okay. So, so hopefully everybody knows both of them, but Gary is kinda crazy and out there. Okay. And like in your face, Seth Goden is a hundred percent opposite direction. He's very careful, well-spoken, and all of his words, never ever, you know, never tells you what to do. Always does it through story and metaphor. And he started out as a blogger and they're both huge and totally on the opposite ends of the spectrum. So, so what happens for a lot of us is we look at who's successful and we see, we say to ourselves, we have to be like them. And it's absolutely not true. Instead, the reason they're successful is because they were themselves. And what people don't understand is people want authenticity. They want to hear the true you and all you gotta do is be you. And that's like very liberating for people.
Speaker 1: 39:20 W yeah. The other day I was doing a, a a little coffee talk. I've been doing these little coffee talks, uh, inspired by Pat by the way. Uh, he's doing his little, you know, morning thing and I'm like, you know what, I'm going to do that for my audience. I'm going to show up, have coffee, whoever shows up, shows up and we have coffee and I was sitting here and I was, we were just talking and you know, talking with some people and I had a book I wanted to share. It was on my bookshelf and I just got up and went to the bookshelf and came back and a guy commented and he's like, I can't believe that you just got up and did that. That is what makes you, you like a lot of people would think not to do that because it's not professional. And I just got up and just walked over there and turned my back on everybody. And went over there and got a book and I came over and I go, this is the book I'm talking about. And they loved it because it was real and authentic.
Speaker 3: 40:02 You know, I'll tell you what, I went live every day for 25 days, uh, on Facebook, hiking. [inaudible] I only knew in my brain what I was going to say seconds before I turned on the camera. Yeah. I've got to tell you, I just wanted to prove to myself I could get to 30 days and I couldn't, but I'm hiking these trails and I'm, I'm having like branches, Whitney in the face. I'm having these attack me and, and, and it didn't matter. People loved it, you know? And I was just taking questions and answering, and I was putting myself to the test to say, can I do two things at once as a man? Can I hike? Can I talk? Can I engage people? You know, and, um, and people loved it. They just loved it. You know, I stopped doing it, but it's just proved to me that, you know what, as long as you, you know, as long as you know who you're trying to connect with and you can just be truly you, nobody cares, man. People are looking for people just like, just like you, Scott. They're looking for people that are imperfect. That's the key to everything because they want to know. They're just like, you're just like them because that's the truth. That's how the world is.
Speaker 1: 41:09 All right, Michael, this has been awesome. Let's, uh, give people, uh, the ways that they can get ahold of you. Check out your new training. If they're, if they're tuning in before I know that you're going to be opening it and then you're gonna be closing it and probably opening again in the future, I'm assuming as long as everything goes as planned. But, uh, yeah, let, let them know how they can get, you know, more information or around you.
Speaker 3: 41:30 Yeah. So, um, I've got a course called becoming known. The doors closed on May 1st. And what I am teaching in the course is essentially a lot of what we've been talking about today, which is a very methodical, step-by-step plan that's part art, part science that enables anyone in any industry to become well known. And if you go to a social media examiner.com/course you can see, I put a really detailed blog post together that has a lot of the steps. And then at the end it talks about the course. So if you're interested, check it out. Um, I've also put together 14 different videos on YouTube. So if you go to youtube.com/social media examiner, there's a little playlist called becoming well known. And um, I've been releasing those over the last many months and you can kind of get a get a sense of my quirky style cause I'm definitely quirky. I don't mind, you know, like I'm, I'm filming and all of a sudden the Mack truck goes by and it, I keep all the outtakes in it because I think people love that about me. So, um, you get a sense for my style there and my teaching. Um, I also have a podcast called social media marketing. If you have a room, you're listening.
Speaker 1: 42:40 I felt like saying listening to that, Oh no, you're dating us. I know. Exactly. So regardless, I just want to leave people with a couple of thoughts.
Speaker 3: 42:50 Mmm. It doesn't matter if you sell a physical product or not. It doesn't matter if you have an amazing personality, you can become like the top dude or gal in your space. And if you do that well man, just think about what that could do for you, right? You won't have to pay Facebook and Google anymore. You won't have to worry about like spending so much money on advertising because people will begin to know you and love you. And then they'll be like Pat and there'll be like checking out everything you have to offer. And before you know it, it's like you don't have to try hard at all to sell things, which is what everybody wants. And this is in a day and age right now where we're in in the middle of a pandemic, when when we all have a lot of time in our hands. I think it's a good time to ask ourselves whether or not something like this could also be a bridge to the next something, you know what I mean? Because when you have a big audience, you can bridge and do a lot of different things. It's a lot easier than just coming out with a new product.
Speaker 1: 43:51 So yeah, no, it's, it's 100% agree with everything that you said. And I, I think right now he's going to be a shift for a lot of people. Uh, and this here, you know, becoming well known in your industry, whether you already have a product or you don't. Um, to me this is an asset and a skill that you're going to be building. Like everything that you've done, you're going to be shortcutting it by, you know, listening to someone like you. But I'll say this, I, and I don't think I've ever really mentioned this, but you know, I built my podcast and I didn't sell anything for at least like 50 or 60 episodes. It was like an affiliate commission out like the 50th episode it was or something like that. Cause I didn't worry about that cause I had done stuff in the past that I knew that you've built.
Speaker 1: 44:30 If you build the audience, everything else will kind of, it'll figure itself out. And it always does. But my best traffic to this day is from the podcast. Like it is by far the the for me, right? I've done paid ads, still do paid ads and they work, but nothing beats the traffic you get from a podcast or from someone that finds your content on YouTube, whatever. Because they get to know, like, and trust you so much quicker. And I, I mean if you want signups for a, a webinar easier, if you want to sell a product easier, you know, and it's just, it's so much easier to do. It said the keywords, you know, I can trust
Speaker 3: 45:09 people buy from people that they know and they like and trust. It's the underlying tenant to all good marketing and they've got to let you know somebody in your company ideally should be that person that the world that your audience gets to know and like and trust. Because that asset development is so much more valuable, you essentially kind of become like a little media company and you don't have to like you and you do it on platforms that already exist, right. You know, like we're, we're skating off the success of Apple, right? Or Google. Right? And the idea is we're just creating these audio files, but tens of thousands of people are listening and that is huge. And if you could have that and if you could get that man, would that be valuable? And I've been talking about this for, for so many years and I've seen so many people do this successfully and I just feel like now's the time, whether you do it through just the steps we've talked about today or whether you do it through any other way, I feel like it's essential for the future. So it's only a competitor out there, more competitive out there. Right. So you've got to stand out.
Speaker 1: 46:19 Yeah, no, I agree. And so like I said, let's wrap this up. But um, I definitely wanna get you back on after your launch and everything and we can kind of talk about some more strategic stuff cause I think that's actually a good learning lesson for people to see how you kind of seeded the market and then you kind of take it to where, okay, we figured out some things and we have something to offer now. I'd love to walk through that because I think it's fascinating. I would love to just kind of, I'd love to geek out on that stuff anyway, so it'd be cool to just jam with you about it. But I just want to thank you man for everything that you've done and just being so open and transparent. Thank you for being one of our guest judges on the five minute pitch.
Speaker 1: 46:53 That was fun. And yeah, I just again, want to say thank you for coming on. I appreciate you and yeah, everyone go on over and check out Michael stuff. Appreciate you Michael. Thank you Scott. All right, well, like I said, that was pretty amazing and I love going deep in these conversations. That's why I love these interviews because I get to ask questions that I'm interested in, but then also I think that you're going to be interested in or that will at least help you in your business and in your journey here. All right, so if you have any questions, definitely hit up. Michael, he's definitely willing, willing to answer any questions, so go over to his page over to his resources, social media, examiner.com is where you can find all their information, but again, I just want to thank Michael for doing this and hopefully you got a ton of value like I did as well.
Speaker 1: 47:39 So like I said, that's going to wrap it up. If you want to head on over and grab the show notes of this episode, head on over to the amazing seller.com forward slash eight 21 you can grab all the goodies over there. All right guys, so that's it. That's going to wrap it up. As always, remember, I'm here for you. I believe in you and I am rooting for you, but you have to, you have to come out. Say it with me. Say it loud. Say it proud. Take action. Have an awesome, amazing day, and I'll see you right back here on the next episode. Now go get them. Boom, boom, boom.
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