Andrew: Three messages before we get started.
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And do you remember when I interviewed Sara Sutton Fell about how thousands of people pay for her job site? Look at the biggest point that she made. She said that she has a phone number on every page of her site because, and here’s the stat, 95% of the people who call end up buying. Most people, though, don’t call her. But seeing a real number increases their confidence in her and they buy. So try this. Go to grasshopper.com and get a phone number that will make your company sound professional. Add it to your site and see what happens, grasshopper.com.
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Here’s the program.
Hi, everyone. I’m Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy.com, home of the ambitious upstart. How do you create fame for yourself so customers come to you? Laura Roeder is the creator of the Creating Fame on-line program, which teaches entrepreneurs and business owners how to become known as the number one person in their field.
Laura, I’ve done tons of interviews with guys here, like the founder of Unbounce, Visual Website Optimizer, all these tools for creating great landing pages. It seems to me if you’ve got a great landing page, and you know how to buy ads from Google, than you’re set. Why do you need fame as an entrepreneur?
Laura: I think that’s one of the biggest fantasies of starting an on-line business. I don’t know, maybe I’m just bad at it, but I haven’t seen that it’s true that you can just create a page and sell something. I think that’s how on-line businesses are often sold, like, “It’s so much easier than a regular business because you just make a page and you send AdWords traffic to it and then people buy.” But if you’ve ever tried to do it, as I know you have, Andrew, as I know I have, as a lot of listeners have, it’s not that easy, right?
People just don’t come to a page and buy. If it’s a great sales page, they have more of a chance of buying, but what a great sales page is, is the sales process in a page. And that can do a lot of the work, but it has to be an amazing sales page to get people to buy that have never heard of you before. Because when we make a purchase on-line, all the same factors come into play that come into play when we make a purchase off-line or we make any other purchase. So “creating fame”, fame is all about establishing the know-like-and-trust factor, the things people need to have, you know, the emotional reasons, the logical, “OK. Other people have done business with her before, so this isn’t a scam.” All those things need to be in place before people will buy and creating fame is a leveraged way to have people know, like and trust you so that they can come to your website, or your store, or whatever it is and make a purchase from you without you having to convince every person individually, which is what I used to do, which is what a lot of service providers do.
Andrew: Actually, I was feeling guilty that I was getting so much more, stronger results by advertising directly to my own people or just talking something up to my own people. I thought, “Well, I must just not be doing Google AdWords right. We must not be doing Facebook ads right.” And I know that you buy Facebook ads. And they’re not ineffective, they’re great, but I feel guilty that this is working so well and having this conversation with you is reassuring me , “Hey, you know what? It’s meant to work better.” When people know you they’re much more likely to buy.
Andrew: All right. What do you think?
Laura: I mean, we even have that term in our industry, “warm traffic” versus “cold traffic”, right? And everybody knows, they’re like, you’ll say, “Well I got this conversion rate.” and people will say, “Oh, but was that with warm traffic?” because everybody knows that warm traffic converts higher. No surprise that people who already know you have already been primed to buy.
Andrew: All right. So if I use you as an example, people are going to say, “Of course, she’s the example. She’s selling the solution, so of course she does it well.” If I use myself as an example, they might feel like, “Well, I’ve known Andrew for a long time. He’s different in my world.”
Andrew: What about a regular entrepreneur who is not just focused on being on camera. And you told me in the pre-interview about a podiatrist who took your sessions.
Laura: Yes, it’s Dr. Andrew Schneider, one of my favorite stories to tell because he is in such an unusual industry. He’s HoustonFootDoc on Twitter. He would love to talk to you on Twitter if you want to hit him up. Dr. Schneider took Creating Fame on 2009 when I first offered it.
He wrote me some sort of testimonial at some point. I don’t even know if I have it on the website, but he even said in the testimonial, “I asked Laura if this would work for me, and she said, ‘I don’t know. I don’t know if this will work for a doctor'” because I had never worked with a doctor before, and doctors have to be very careful about what they say online.
Someone talked to me the other day about doing this program, that is in the financial services industry. The same with them, there’s some industries where you can’t just go on Twitter and say whatever you want and being a medical doctor is one of them. So, he started doing Creating Fame, starting blogging regularly, got on Twitter, got on Facebook. And what’s so cool about him is a lot of people think, well, this won’t work in my industry because no one is doing it in my industry.
If no one is doing it in your industry, that’s when you have to act [?]. If you’re selling info products, there are a lot of people doing the stuff I’m doing already. To be honest, it will still work, but you’re just now getting at that same level as everyone else. It’s going to take you even more to get above.
If you are a podiatrist in the suburbs of Houston, Texas, no one else is doing this. So, just creating blog posts, people are like, wow, a podiatrist is on Twitter? You see those stories like on the local news, like podiatrist uses Twitter. [laughs] That enough is a novelty for people. So, he started blogging and enjoying all of these things, basic things to a lot of people but expressing his personality, and this is something that a lot of people, obviously have heard to blog, people have heard to be on social media. But part of Creating Fame is making yourself distinct and expressing your personality and your business.
So, he would write funny blog posts about like . . . he had one about Paris Hilton’s shoes and how they were hurting her feet. I think he had one about when Britney Spears went barefoot in the bathroom, things that a lot of people would say, “I can’t do that in my industry. That’s too silly. That’s not professional.” He wasn’t afraid to go there.
Throughout these things, he ended up getting a whole new business. He ended up partnering with someone that sold cycle sepedics [SP] online, and he made that relationship through Twitter. He ended up getting featured in a lot of trade journals for his industry. He actually started writing about social media because now for his industry he’s the expert in social media and social media online marketing and also just other not related to social media as being featured as one of the expert podiatrists in his industry.
Andrew: I’m used to actually seeing podiatrists as the guy who advertise in the subway in New York. In my mind, going to Twitter is a step forward. Kind of cool, by the way, that he saw what was playing up in mainstream media, what the hot topics were, who the celebrities that were discussed were and found a way to connect it back to his topic.
I feel guilty, too, when I do that, but man, is that powerful.
Laura: It works.
Andrew: It really does, like if everyone is talking about the new Google product that they hate or they love, and I do a post about it, and I relate it back to my work on Mixergy, I get tons of traffic for it. And at the same time I feel guilty for it, but that’s what works and we’re not just talking about celebrities. We’re talking about say, hey, you’re all paying attention to this one thing, let me get your attention to that as bait. .And then by the way here’s this other serious thing that I’m known for, and I’m not staying away from that. I’m not losing my focus.
Laura: Yeah. That’s another marketing classic. You join the conversation that’s already in the prospect’s head. That’s all you’re doing by talking about current events. People are talking about them. Why should your business not be talking about them as well? And it really helps in establishing you as an expert because whenever there’s something going on and people are looking for quotes about it, too. So, if you blogged about it, your post is getting quoted.
Andrew: All right. I want to know specifically, specifically what the person who is listening to us can do. What’s the first thing they can do?
Laura: The first place to start is with your website. So many people overlook their own websites. I know there are a lot of people here that do spend a lot of time optimizing their site. That’s awesome, and that’s what you should be doing. There are also a lot of people listening to this that know their site is outdated and have a list. Everyone has one of these of all the things that you’re planning to change on your site.
People are like, your header has a typo in it. Oh yeah, I know. We’re going to get to that. Your site is so crucially important. I know this is one of those things where you’re like, duh, I know this, but you cannot have this list going of things that you know need to be improved on your site that you’ve got to change. Your site is all you have, in marketing, in a lot of ways.
People are going by your site and your Google results, which are also extremely important and we’ll talk about, but if your site has mistakes on it, if your site has a blog that hasn’t been updated in six months, people think that you are out of business. If your site has hours that are wrong, if your site has the wrong location. Again it’s these things you know, but have you made all these changes on your site? There are small things you can do to make yourself much more of an expert in your industry.
Andrew: Before you get into that, I’m going to write down the word expert, because I do want to figure out how I can know. I’m an expert. I talk to entrepreneurs who have sold these incredible companies and still don’t feel like they’re anywhere near experts or don’t know enough about entrepreneurship to blog about it. So no one knows that they’re out there and I’m going to find out about that. I also want to find out about how to build a movement and so on, but you brought up something that’s important. The idea that we have this list of things that needs to be improved on our sites. I know for many people, it becomes this big guilt that’s just hanging over their head that they have to fix their site. They have to figure out what to blog about. How do you get past that guilt of knowing that there’s so much that you haven’t done and there’s so much you need to do? Like, figure out what to write about every week.
Laura: I just try to ask myself, “Is this working for me? Is this moving myself towards where I want to be?” Feeling guilty about my site is not furthering my goals and you do as best you can. You probably have a small budget, you probably have a small team. There are things you want to change, but nothing is that difficult. You’re spending so much more time thinking about it than you are actually doing it. I meet people all the time that say, ‘I should be doing split tests.’ Well set up a split test. When you actually do it, it takes five minutes and once you’ve made one change on your site, it’s easier to make more.
Another thing, logistically, is hire someone for an hour. A lot of people put off changes to their site because they’re like, ‘I have to find a web guy and I have to find someone who’s really good and it’s going to be an expensive project.’ Hire anyone for just one hour of their time and they can make tons of changes to your site. If you do that, maybe you can post in the comments below this interview and get some business, because there are plenty of people that are happy to take your $50 to $100 for just one hour and make a bunch of changes.
Andrew: OK. All right and sometimes it also helps to work with someone else because it keeps you accountable.
Andrew: What about the idea of what to write about. If you’ve been ignoring your blog for awhile, you’re not even getting emails from people saying, ‘You should be writing about this.’ You’re almost starting to forget the blog exists and you have to find a way to rejuvenate the site. Don’t know what to write about.
Laura: Well they should take our Mixergy class about blogging first of all.
Andrew: By the way, you did an incredible job with that course. Anyone who took even a sample of that, I believe understands what I’m doing with those courses because you really knocked it out. You made it completely usable, you showed people exactly how to blog. I’m not going to talk too much about that. I’ll let you finish your answer, but I’m raving because it was really good.
Laura: I know we’re a little all over the place; we have so much to talk about. The simple answer is the easiest way to find things to blog about is to blog about the questions that your customers ask you. That’s it. Go through your email, find the questions, copy and paste them onto your blog and answer them. That’s all you have to do.
Andrew: OK. All right, let me leave that. There’s so much that I want to get into.
Laura: I know.
Andrew: You were about to say become an expert with your site.
Laura: One easy thing you can do is put logos on your website.
Laura: Here’s the funny thing about logos. They don’t have to be that impressive. We have some instant visual recognition with logos. We see logos and we say, ‘Wow, logos.’ So it’s nice, if you’ve been featured in the Wall Street Journal, but it’s not essential. If you’ve been in any sort of local press or a website, right, you can put website logos. If you’ve been interviewed on Mixergy, I’m sure that Andrew would love it if you put the Mixergy logo on your site, right?
Laura: And that’s another thing people ask, ‘Do I have permission to do that?’ All you’re doing is promoting websites. Most people are very happy to have their website promoted. Even if you’ve just been interviewed on a few blogs or even if you’ve guest posted on a few blogs, which is very easy to do, pull those three logos and put them on your website as a little ‘As Featured In.’ Instantly when people look at your site they think, ‘Oh this company is professional.’
Andrew: I see. In fact I’m on your website right now at LauraRoeder.com. I see Blogherd, DIY Themes, USC, and of course you’ve got some other bigger ones, but you’re saying if you didn’t have those bigger ones like Los Angeles Times and CNET. Even having those lesser known sites adds a feeling of credibility.
Laura: It does, it really does.
Andrew: OK. All right what else can we do to make ourselves look as the expert?
Laura: Put your picture on your site. This, a lot of start-ups are guilty of, especially if you have some sort of web service, you’ll go to the ‘About’ page and there’s no pictures. People want to know who they’re doing business with. And I think, as a small business, you have a huge opportunity to be better than the competitors by being more real and being more personal.
Laura: And, especially, a lot of you start-up dudes who are watching this are like ‘Nobody wants to see me; nobody cares about me; the business isn’t about me, it’s about the business’. I understand all of that stuff, but as humans, we like to know who we’re having a relationship with. Put your picture on your website. Put the pictures of your team on your website. We just added that to my site. It used to just have me and now it has pictures of my team, and people love it so much because now they get to feel like they’re in a relationship with everyone on the team. And, if you’re hoping that the press with call you to get quoted, the press is not going to call a general ‘About Us’ page and ask if there’s anyone who works there whom they can talk to. They need a human being to latch onto.
Andrew: All right. I want to come back and ask you about how to get featured in the press, but give me one other thing that we can do to let others know, “Hey, we know what we’re doing in this topic.”
Laura: Something that’s really important is how many Google search results you have.
Andrew: I’m sorry, one second. The connection is going out. Can you repeat that, please?
Laura: OK. I said, a dentist’s ability to work on your teeth has no relationship between how many search results they have on Google. We know this, however, if we’re comparing two businesses and one has their website and the other has pages and pages of search results, we think that the second one is famous. Right? We think they are better, we think people are talking about them, because it proves that you didn’t just start this business yesterday, it proves that you’ve had a customer before. Again, all these things we look for before we make a purchase.
So another really easy thing to do is just add bulk to your search results. Creating content is a great way to do that because your videos and your blog posts will show up. An easy way to do that is to start going through a [??] and start looking through all of the start-ups. A lot of these start-ups have a way to post your video, or a way to post your slides, or a way to post your document. If you do ten of those sites where it’s like, ‘Slides, documents, videos’, all of that stuff comes up when people search for you and it looks very, very impressive. It looks like you’re all over the place, that you are the expert that you are the one that’s filling up Google with news about your business, even if it’s just stuff that you’ve made and put out there.
Andrew: I see. Now, I wrote down the word ‘credible’ because I think the word ‘expert’ is what scares a lot of people.
Andrew: I’m thinking about this one guy I met in southern California. I invited him out to an event and I said, ‘I’ll introduce you to other entrepreneurs.’ He goes, ‘Thank you! I don’t know any other entrepreneurs here.’ I said, ‘More people need to hear your story. You just have this great exit where you sold your business and so on.’ And he goes, ‘Well, I shouldn’t be blogging, I’m not really an expert.’ And I think the idea of being called an expert scares people.
Andrew: But he should absolutely be blogging. He should absolutely talk about what he learned, the good and the bad. He doesn’t have to be Brad Feld; he doesn’t have to be Steve Jobs in order for the rest of us to want to learn from him.
All right, so you’ve shown us how to become credible, how to establish a reputation. Tell me how to get others now to talk about us. How do we get featured in other places?
Laura: We’ll be talking about sharing and featured. Something that doesn’t work is forcing people to share, in general. I just read… I don’t know if you saw that post that was really interesting, that was breaking down the launch of the lean start-up and what worked and what didn’t. They said that trying to… they had this complicated thing where they tried to give people points for sharing on social media, and it didn’t work at all. Sometimes it’s like people will send out one tweet. It has to be very low commitment. You can’t ask them to email five friends, or try to set up these complicated loyalty or rewards programs. Those don’t work as well as just having an idea that people can latch-on to. I know we wanted to talk about that, as well, so let’s get back to that and let’s talk more concretely about being featured.
Laura: The way to get featured is to pitch yourself. A lot of people are very scared to do that. I don’t know if I told this story when I was interviewed before, but the first time that I went to South by Southwest Interactive in 2009, I had my own panel. So many people came up to me and said, “Wow, that’s my dream to have my own panel at South by Southwest, and I would love to.” And I’d say, “Did you submit a proposal?” And they’re like, “No.” So, you’re not going to get a panel if you don’t submit a proposal.
I got interviewed on Mixergy because I sent you an e-mail and I said, “I would like to be interviewed on Mixergy, right?” It’s very scary to put yourself out there for those opportunities. It’s very scary to call yourself “an expert”, as you were saying earlier. Because it’s so scary the vast majority of people are not using it. So you would be shocked by how easy it is to get interviewed and featured in tons of places by just sending e-mails saying, “I love your show. I think that your audience would be really interested in this tip I have to share or this story I have to share. Let’s do this.” Like, a really short e-mail, it’s not that hard.
Go look up 10 places, interview shows, podcasts, blog-talk radio, iTunes podcast are a great source. Look up 10 things your customers are listening to and send them a short e-mail. The odds are actually very good. People don’t believe this, the odds are very good that all 10 will have you on the show.
Andrew: I saw a video on your website that you were on Fox News. How did you get on Fox News?
Laura: Well, to get on Fox News, I hired a publicist, which I do not recommend.
Laura: And that’s the only thing it did for me, was get me on Fox News.
Andrew: Why don’t you recommend hiring a publicist? I’ve heard a lot of things about how ineffective they are. What happened with you?
Laura: Oh my God. So I asked people, all my entrepreneur friends told me not to do it and I was, like, “Whatever. I’m going to give it a try. I’m going to do it anyway.” You can do so much more yourself, is the thing. I get so much more done with all the “creating fame” stuff that I’m talking about than hiring a publicist because the fact is, being on Fox News looks really impressive, it’s great to have that clip and I think that it actually adds a lot of credibility to have that clip on your site. I think you should do it once. But how many people are going to see you on the news, write down your website, go to your site? As a business, it makes so much more sense to be featured on-line where people can just click and go to your site and on-line sources are not getting pitched very much. A lot of on-line sources are not, they’re spending more time looking for [inaudible] people coming in.
Andrew: Absolutely. I know people who are new interviewers will e-mail me all the time asking me how you get guests . . .
Andrew: Where do I find somebody to interview? How do I get someone to talk about on my site? It’s a process. I suggest that they go to HARO, but that’s even a tough process because there are so many people who are pitching themselves to HARO (Help a Reporter Out), looking for . . .
Andrew: . . . subjects for interviews and people to write about.
Laura: And you have to remember that even something small is going to add to your Google search results. So even if you do an interview that nobody watches, it will still come up when people Google you. So in that way it still helps the reputation.
Andrew: I remember in the early days when I got interviewees, I’d wonder why were they doing interviews with me? I don’t have a big enough audience and I would say that sometimes in the interview and then I’d realize, it’s not about me, it’s about Google. When people search they don’t want to have to write all the great things about themselves. They know that when people search, if Andrew says something nice, or if Andrew just interviews them, it says to anyone who’s searching, “Wait. This guy is important. He’s been interviewed. This guy’s important. Others have written about him.” All right. So, pitch to the smaller guys, pitch on-line and avoid press, PR people. Apparently it’s not worth the money.
Laura: I hate to say that, but yes.
Andrew: OK. And so pitching yourself is helpful but being the writer on other sites feels like it’s a much more consistent way to get your message out, right?
Laura: Yes and no. I think it’s great to do both. Guest posting on other sites is really good for the same reasons because you get that audience from that site when people Google you, they see posts. However, I, personally, find being interviewed much easier because I don’t have to prepare. I just show up.
Laura: And they talk to me and I answer questions. So for that reason, I actually prefer to be interviewed. Also, once you get to a certain level, it’s harder to find publications that get less traffic than you. You know what I mean? Like, when you’re starting out, again, put them out there. Why not? It’s going to add to your Google search results but I’m at a point right now where I get a lot of people who want me to guest-post and their site has less traffic than mine. So I’m kind of, like, “I don’t know. I might as well post on my own site unless you have a totally new audience.” Because that can be valuable to if their audience hasn’t heard of me or if it’s a new market that would be a great match for my stuff, then I’ll do it.
It goes back to the whole idea of you want to be strategic while you’re doing these things, you know? Honestly, getting interviewed anywhere is better than nowhere, just because of the Google factor. But, you really want to spend your time being interviewed to sources and posting on sources if your customers are consuming. So don’t just stay within your own industry. This is another thing that’s really common is, especially start-up founders, like, so many of them, get so much press unimaginable and it’s like a service for people who aren’t tech people. So it’s like, yes, maybe that helped you get funding, that impresses people like your customers who are reading it.
Andrew: Where do you get a list of sites that you could potentially guest post on or ask for interviews at?
Laura: On All Top, is one of the best sites [??] is alltop.com and, you know, just Google let your customers are searching for [??] type the blog, you’ll find plenty of sites.
Andrew: I see. So if you maybe thought, well, podiatrist are a good market for me, you might do a search for a podiatrist blog and then go pitch them.
Laura: Yeah, I mean, yeah, it’s not that hard. And you can look at a [??] to get sort of a vague idea of what their traffic is like.
Andrew: Your business is grown so much since the first time we did an interview and it was big the first time. It was, I think, doing about 300,000 now it’s over a million. Now I’m noticing that I’m interacting with you just for the initial conversation and then there’s an assistant who books the rest which is . . .
Andrew: . . . which is cool and helpful. Can you get your assistant to do a search for a podiatrist blog and send that email out or does it lose some creditability or personal touch if it’s not coming from you?
Laura: No, I mean, the research, an assistant can absolutely do. The email itself, I would say the email needs to come from you or as a person who is creating content for your company. I don’t think that email should come from someone who is just your virtual assistant. If you have someone that’s [??] content marketing for your company then it makes sense for that person to be sending the email. But you don’t want it to be like [??]. I think that might be off putting to people.
Andrew: I see. That’s too bad. I was hoping I could off load everything except actually showing up. And then I was even thinking, well, can I get somebody else to write my guest post for me and then I’ll just send those out. All right, so, All Top, Google for finding places to guest post. You’re recommending that we find new audiences to guest post to, if you’re a start up blog and you don’t want to just keep reaching out to other start up blogs. You want to think about, well, what’s specifically your niche within that community or what other areas would be interested and go there. What else can we do to get the sites to let us write for them?
Laura: Well, again, it’s some of these things that people think is much harder than it is because sites only care about good contact. A lot of people will tell me, oh, I can’t write on, you know, Copy Blogger or Pro Blogger, because I don’t have a blog myself or like knowing those [??]. Copy Blogger only cares about publishing a great article because their readers, I don’t know, I read Copy Blogger, I don’t recognize half the authors.
I mean, yeah, it’s great when you have that one author that you love and you read all their stuff, but they just want high quality content. So if you can give them high quality content, you don’t even need to have your own blog up yet. I mean you’re probably going to, right? But you definitely don’t have to. The only perimeter that you need to care about for getting writing gigs on other sites is do you have great content to offer them, the way you offer great content. Read Copy Blogger there’s a million resources, but basically what does their audience want to know about, that’s what you want to write about.
Andrew: I’ve actually been thinking of hiring a writer to take theses interviews, break them down into specific points with examples and then submit them to sites like Copy Blogger. So if you’re going to show people how to build an audience I’d like to take your photo, the best ideas from this interview, make them into an article on Copy Blogger and say, as heard on Mixergy or things like that. What do you think of that idea?
Laura: I think that’s a fantastic idea and it brings up another thing that people often don’t do which is they often are terrified to re-purpose content which are going to make your life a lot easier if you’re re-purposing content. One of my main content channels is a newsletter [??] published every week that has like a little [??] it’s called the dash, a little action item for what you can do for social media marketing.
We recycle action items. One because you actually do need to do them over again. We have things like, have you searched your address book lately to see if you have new contacts [??]. You actually do want to do that regularly or maybe you haven’t done it the first time or whatever. People don’t notice that we’ve repeated them. And if they do notice, they don’t care. When we look at our own businesses we have, I know I talked about this in the Master class too, we have this weird idea that like, what if they see that I’ve already published this tip. What are they going to do?
But in reality if you do though just as a reader, you just think, oh, I’ve already read this line. And that’s all [??], you know. You’re not [??] off. So it’s great to recycle content and to re-purpose content like you’re talking about is a really smart move. Do the interview, break it down into a post, break it down into a post for your blog, for someone else blog, make little tweet-able tips that you can feed into your Facebook and your Twitter and it makes your life much, much easier.
Andrew: One second. Yes, this is unprofessional. This would never happen to Charlie Rose. Yes, come on in. Thank you. [laughs] All right, I can tell what that is. It’s another book for a potential interviewee. All right, Martha Stewart actually used to be the queen of doing this stuff. She would do an early morning spot on a morning show. She would give a tip there and she would also give a tip on her radio clip that she would play on ABC radio stations across the country. Then she would take the same point and she would make it into an article. I’d go, whoa, this woman’s just putting the same exact thing everywhere. Are people getting upset? She said no, it’s part of her movement. That’s part of her thing. She owned it.
Andrew: And it worked for her. Speaking of movement, how do we build a movement online? So this is a juicy topic and I think it’s essential for creating fame because you can’t be famous if you’re just like everybody else. I think that’s part of the biggest struggle. People copy other people’s business because what else are you going to do? You look around, you’re trying to figure out how to do things. OK I’ll just do what that guy did. That can get you so far, but if you want to keep growing your business and if you want to become known as the industry leader, you cannot just keep copying what other people are doing because how will anyone ever choose you as the leader if you are the same as everyone else?
Laura: My two favorite resources about this topic are Simon Sinek’s book, “Start with Why”, and his [??], I think it’s called “The Power of Why” and Seth Godin’s book “Tribes”. In “Tribes”, he calls this your movement. Which can be a very scary word for people. I call it your big idea thinking.
Andrew: Right. I just want to sell some things. I don’t want to build a movement. How do you figure out how to build a movement? I mean guys like Chase spent years in real pain before they figured out what their movement was or in real anger.
Laura: Right, right.
Andrew: How do I find mine?
Laura: Right, so creating a movement doesn’t have to mean that you’re changing the world. This is something that used to stress me out because I’m just teaching people how to use social media.
Laura: Like, I’m not doing something important.
Andrew: Right, I’m teaching you how to use social media and you’re going to pay me for it and that’s my whole business model and leave me alone. What’s your movement, by the way?
Laura: My movement is about making things not intimidated and things doable. Technology is very scary to people and my passion and thing is it’s not scary. Have fun with it. Anyone can do it. You don’t have to be a certain age to do it and anyone can use this to really [??] tight [??]. A big part of the movement is that small businesses can be totally in control of their own destiny, which is something that really fires me up. Those ideas are not unique to me. I’m not the only one that has these ideas and that’s important. People hear and they think they have to pick some cheesy tagline or some arbitrary niche that no one else is in.
It’s unique to you because it’s you and that’s another reason why, I think, putting a personality behind your business is so important. This has been really interesting about Steve Jobs passing; people didn’t know Steve Jobs personally at all. Now the biography is released with much more information, but he revealed very, very little about his personal life. People didn’t really know that he was sick, or how sick he was, but people attached him to the brand so much because people want a human being to have a relationship with and he’s a great example.
You don’t have to be super personal as part of your brand. This is something a lot of people have trouble with. They’re like, “I don’t want to air my dirty laundry or talk about my personal life all the time.’ I’m very, very present as a part of my brand, but I actually don’t talk about my personal life much” at all online. It’s not like you have to put everything out there. It’s not like you have to have real world, style, transparency in order to attach yourself to a brand. Apple showed us that people are so hungry for a human being to connect with and we felt such a personal relationship to him, even though we knew very little about him.
Andrew: Give an example of maybe someone like a podiatrist. Someone like that from your classes who was able to build a movement around something that we ordinarily wouldn’t think is movement worthy.
Laura: What came to mind is someone who is doing a religious project. She was doing this project about getting people to give testimony. I guess this is a Christian concept. I actually didn’t know about it, but she told me about it. I guess giving testimony is something you do as a Christian to share why you’re a Christian. I don’t know. [laughs] She was all excited about it and she had a website where people gave testimony and she used Creating Fame to gain attention and gain traction to that site because people liked the idea, but people weren’t participating.
She’d tell people about it and people would say that’s interesting. So we worked on how do you get people to actually post their testimony on the site instead of just talking about it. I don’t know, that probably wasn’t a good example because people think of religion associated with a movement. To me that was a surprise to me for how people were using the course.
Andrew: There’s someone you brought up earlier who did an incredible job building a movement around something that I never would think that is movement worthy. Copyblogger. Those guys at Copyblogger have this whole belief about what they call, “The Third Tribe.” They say you’ve got these online marketers, they call them the highlighter brigade. They want to highlight every ad, every line of their copy, they want to put a lot of exclamation points and just pump whatever crap out into the world that it’s going to take in order to get people to put their credit cards on their forms. On the other side they say there are people who are just too passive with their marketing. They’re clueless. They’re think that they are too cool to learn any copywriting and Copyblogger says we’re going to march right in a new direction.
It’s going to be an enlightened marketing. It’s going to be about copywriting that speaks to people, about copywriting that teaches and so on. I always think of them as the best example, online, of building a movement. Maybe 37 signals is another, because two companies that I would never think should build movements, or two companies that I never would think are movement worthy.
Laura: Brian has done an amazing job with Copyblogger. One woman that went through Creating Fame, in 2009. This one’s a funny story. So she had a business when she came in that was called Raw Food Switch and it was about how to get people to switch to raw food. So her domain was RawFoodSwitch.com and somehow in a conversation it came up. She said, “When I bought that domain, I was secretly thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be Raw Food Switch, but I would be the Raw Foods Witch,” and that would be her brand the Raw Foods Witch. She said, “I really want to be the Raw Foods Witch,” because what she believed was that you don’t have to switch 100% to raw foods. That you can incorporate raw foods and sort of similar to what I was talking about she believed that raw food doesn’t have to be this huge lifestyle change.
It doesn’t have to be something where you’re alienating everyone you know because you don’t eat real food anymore. So through the program, she actually ended up changing her brand from Raw Food Switch to the Raw Foods Witch and she had this cute little character, everything was magical. She loved it. It was totally her and people latched onto it because they loved the idea of making raw food fun and playful and she attracted people that were also into this whole magical witch brand and it worked amazing for her. I think that’s a great example of really being yourself in your marketing in a way that usually feels very scary because you think, ‘People are going to think I’m crazy. Who’s going to go for this witch thing?’ The people who love it are going to love it.
Andrew: You might have noticed my eyes just moving over to the side. I’m so curious about what’s in here.
Laura: I think we should open it up.
Andrew: I never acknowledge when a box comes in during an interview or an envelope and apparently it does a lot. I’m thinking maybe what I should do is when a box comes in, I should acknowledge it. I should say, ‘I just got a new package, at the end of the interview I will open it up and we’ll both get to see what’s in there.’
Laura: What if it was a framed portrait of me that I sent you during the interview? [laughter]
Andrew: Actually someone once did that. A friend of mine said, “We’ve got this package from a guy we helped out. He was an author who became a best-selling author and we just helped him a lot. I got a package in the mail.”And he thought, “What’s this guy going to send me?” He’s probably very appreciative. He opens up the package and it was him with a note about how grateful he was and on the inside was basically a copy of the cover in Lucite saying, “#1 bestseller.” [laughter]
It’s like, that’s great for you. What am I going to do, put this in my office? All right. I will open this today and we’ll see if it makes sense to keep it as an element to these interviews. I’ll open it towards the end of the interview. All right we’re going to create a website. It means we have to create more content. How often do we have to create more content?
Laura: Once a week.
Andrew: Once a week.
Laura: I think you should create content once a week.
Andrew: So you’re saying, and you’ve said this before and I can’t stop doing, but you’ve said this before, “Andrew, don’t do an interview a day.” Other people tell me, “Don’t do an interview a day.” The audience undervalues it. You’re going to kill yourself. Why? Why not?
Laura: I don’t understand why you do it because you have told me that your audience tells you that they don’t have time to watch them all. I literally will see you tweet with a new interview, and it will literally make me feel bad because I remember another one that I want to listen to that I still haven’t listened to. And then I’ll be like, I feel bad about myself, I’m never going to catch up. So, I don’t know why you still do it every day. Yes, I don’t see any benefits to doing it every day.
Andrew: I’ll tell you why. There are a few reasons. One is I want to become a better interviewer, and by doing a new one every day I improve.
Laura: OK. No, you had that excuse about a year ago, but you’ve done so many of them now.
Andrew: I still need to get even better. I keep thinking about that article in Fortune Magazine where Charlie Rose was featured and it talked about how he would just do the endless series of interviews with people like the Dog Lady or the Man on the Street. I feel like that made him a better interviewer. To this day, he’s still doing one a day.
The second thing is I want this to be like the background of your life. It’s not necessarily the soundtrack to your life. It’s the kind of thing that I would, if I were at home, want to play this in the background. If I weren’t creating Mixergy interviews, on my way into work I’d be listening to a Mixergy interview. I keep listening to these guys who do tech programs bitch forever about Apple.
I can’t keep listening to these guys bitch, so then what I do is go to business programs. And these guys in business programs think that everyone wants to be friends, like I want a Fox & Friends for business. No, I don’t care about you. I don’t care about your life. I don’t care about anything. I want to know what can I do in business and entertain me with that because I get entertained by that.
And so, what I figured is I’ll go and buy audio books. So, I got a subscription to Audible. I’ve had one since 2004, and Audible is unpredictable because you’ll get this great book that should be fantastic, but the person doesn’t know how to tell a good story or it’ll just go on forever. I got “Confidence Men” about the Obama administration. I thought, I care about political stories. I’ll get lost in this story for what? 18-20 hours. It was just an endless series of names that I’m never going to keep up with, whose people’s lives don’t really impact me or I don’t care about.
Andrew: So, I stopped. I figured I would want to listen to this day in and day out. This would be playing in the background if I weren’t making it every day. That’s my feeling on this, but I get that it’s overwhelming for people. I don’t know how to tell them: you don’t have to listen to everything. I don’t listen to every Howard Stern episode. I will be listening to Leo Laporte.
Andrew: Listen to the ones that you want.
Laura: Yeah. Well, maybe I don’t understand because I don’t drive to work. If I drove to work . . . actually, how would I do that? That would be really complicated to try to listen to Mixergy on the way to work. That’s the only time I can think of that you could do it every day. So, I hear what you’re saying, but I think your audience does not have that time slot where they’re listening to something every day or I don’t. I don’t know.
Andrew: I think you may be right. I also just frickin’ love it, and it doesn’t take me that much time. So then, who was it? Ramid Safti [SP] said, “Great. Then do five different sites, or do interviews and don’t publish them. But every time you publish five interviews a week, you end up devaluing the interviews. You’ve got to do much less.
And I get it, and maybe at some point in the future I will, but I can’t help it plus every new interview, like your audience. Now, you’re going to tweet about this. Your audience is going to find this. People who don’t have interest in you or don’t know who you are going to find it because they care about the topic, and they’re going to discover you. But they’re also going to discover me, and I feel like it’ll build up. But I get your point.
For people who aren’t maniacs like me, why is a week the right amount for them, to publish once a week?
Laura: I think once a week is good because . . . the other big difference about you is interviewing is your business. And we’re talking about businesses whose blogging is marketing their business but actually doing the business is something else.
Laura: I think there’s a lot of unrealistic advice out there for people who run businesses. Love Gary, love Crush It, but I don’t think you need to tell people, like work all day and never see your family and then work six more hours every night. It’s not the advice for me, and I don’t think it’s necessary. Most small businesses do not have time to blog every day. They have more important things to do, running their business.
Andrew: By the way, Gary Vaynerchuk, who you’re talking about, said that every day: work your face off, publish once a day and even on weekends. He now stopped. You get burned out when you do it that way, right? I get it.
Laura: Yeah. And he said that daily. It was going to be every day and then it wasn’t, and then it’s like, that’s work.
Andrew: And then, he said I can’t do it every day. I can’t do it at all. I’m going to go back and run my business and think about my future businesses. So, you’re saying, once a week would have kept him from burning out. Once a week would have allowed him to run the rest of his business.
What else? What about the audience? How does publishing once a week help build an audience?
Laura: Well, once a week is enough that you are publishing a lot, in my opinion. I mean, you’re right: every new post is a new opportunity to get tweeted, to get Facebooked, to get featured, to get shared. That’s just the nature of things that are new.
So every new post is an opportunity. So it’s good to have a regular meta-content. And that’s enough that people . . . Because the thing is, even a small business, most small businesses, most people are not going to be checking on your blog every single week. But it’s enough so that they can check in once a month or two, they have a few things to read.
And of course, there’s no hard and fast rules on these things. But I think once a week is enough for a small business to get into the habit of doing it regularly, without it being completely insurmountable.
Andrew: All right, how about one other one? You talked earlier about Google. By the way, if I searched, and I had to shut down my browser because I was worried that was taking up a lot of bandwidth.
Andrew: But if I search for Creating Fame, am I going to see you at the first page? Am I going to see you at the top? Where am I going to see you?
Laura: Yeah, I should know that off the top of my head. You’ll definitely see me at the top. Well, I own creatingfame.com, which always helps.
Yeah, this is all my stuff. When you look for creating fame, you see a few sites of mine, you see an interview about creating fame, you see two videos from YouTube, you see more interviews. There’s one that’s not about, no, there are two that are not about me. The last two are little to none about me.
Andrew: Well, we’re going to knock one of those out once we publish this interview, because I’ve got a feeling that Ari’s going to use Creating Fame in the headline, which will help. All right, so how do you do that? How do you do it? How does somebody who doesn’t know as much about social media, and doesn’t have as much time, do it for themselves?
Laura: Actually, looking through these results is a great example, because nothing that I’ve done here is time-consuming. So the first result is my website, creatingfame.com. The second result is another page on lauraroeder.com that I made about creating fame. So you can make a page on your site about what you do.
Then I have a YouTube video that I made. This is an old video, actually, the six steps to creating fame. I’ve since condensed it into three steps. [laughs] Put two of the steps together for each of the six. So that’s a YouTube video I made myself. You can see it’s just like PowerPoint, and me talking. Not hard to do.
The next video is a video I did with Lewis Howes, who I know you just interviewed. That video is him holding a flip cam in front of us, like this, and it’s a five minute video about us chatting, and we talked about creating fame. So he used that in the headline.
Then we have a Twitter account. Oh wait, that one’s not mine either. [laughs] We have a twitter account called that. Then we have another interview I did.
Andrew: So you’re just saying, publish a lot around the specific topic that you want to own.
Andrew: And do it with as many people as possible, on as many formats as possible, including Lewis’s flip cam.
Laura: Yeah, exactly. And this is what you’re going to be talking about all the time, anyway. You’re going to be talking about your stuff. You’re talking about your product. So it’s not like you have to game the system in order to get those things on search results. That’s what you’re naturally talking about.
Andrew: All right. Let me ask you what is it about creating fame, if people want to learn more, where do they go? And then I’ll open up this package, and if it’s really embarrassing, like . . . well, I’ll probably show it anyway. We’ll see.
Laura: [laughing] To learn more about creating fame, you go to creatingfame.com. I think this interview will be published while we’re open for enrollment. I run it as a live class, only once a year, and right now it’s open for enrollment. If you see this later, you can also enroll, just not in the live class. We just do it live once a year.
Andrew: What do they get in the live class?
Laura: You get Q&A with me, and you get a community element, so that you get to meet other people, go through it with other people, get masterminding support, all that good stuff.
Andrew: So you create a video and text-based product for them to learn from. But once a week, you do some kind of live interaction. Is it live via voice?
Laura: Yep. We do a webinar so that I can pull up references if I want to, but then that’s where people can ask me questions. That’s my only program that I get on, and do live Q&A.
Andrew: All right. And in between those, if they want to talk to each other, what do you use to let them talk to each other?
Laura: You know, we’re actually using a Facebook group for the first time. We checked out every different way to do it, and we thought Facebook groups were the best way. So that’s where we’re [inaudible].
Andrew: I keep hearing that. That instead of putting it on your own website, people are just suggesting that . . . this is me, now, I’m thinking to myself. You’ve done these interviews all the time, you should be really well spoken, or else you’re just going to say that you do it every day so that you can get good, and now you can’t even get out of a simple statement?
Once you get those thoughts in your head, they screw up everything that you do, because you can’t do something and second guess it at the same time.
What I was trying to say was, Facebook groups, I’ve heard, have been very effective. Why? Why are people choosing that over their own message boards?
Laura: One, because Facebook groups have crazy awesome notifications now. When you are in a Facebook group, you get, it’s in your standard Facebook notifications, every time a new message is posted, which you don’t have on a page and you can send an e-mail out to people in a Facebook group, which you don’t have on a page. I still think you should use pages for marketing your business but as they keep making these improvements to groups, I’m like, “Man. Maybe every business should have a group too.” People are already on Facebook, so you don’t have to deal with, like, “What’s my forum?”, registration, “What’s my password?”.
A lot of the people that take my programs have never used a forum before, so, it’s like, “How do I do this?”, every forum is different. A problem with any sort of on-line program is what to do with it after it’s done because you either have to shut down the forum, which people don’t really like, or you have to continue the forum which means that you’re just giving free support and free programs forever for people or make them pay for it afterwards, which they also don’t like. One easy option for Facebook is just to take yourself out of the group, because it’s hosted on Facebook, so you’re like, “If you guys want to keep rocking this group, great, cool. Like, I’m not going to be in here answering questions any more . . . or you can, obviously.”
Andrew: How do you let in just the people who pay you?
Andrew: How do you make sure there’s no riff-raff in there?
Laura: What we’re doing is just . . . because the only way that you would find the group, like, you would have no way to find exactly what it’s called or the URL unless . . . well, now you can listen to this interview and you can try to find it, whatever. But, generally, you wouldn’t know that it was there unless you’re in the program. So what we’re doing is, we’re just approving everyone and then we’re going through and comparing to our list, which is kind of a pain, but enrollment only lasts for a week, so we only have to do that for a week. I anticipate that there won’t be anyone that tries to join the group that wasn’t in the program.
Andrew: So Joe really needs to edit this interview and put it up on-line quickly so that within a week people can sign up . . .
Andrew: . . . to creatingfame.com. That’s where they’ll go sign up. All right. Let’s open this up. Let’s see what’s in here.
Laura: So excited.
Andrew: The most embarrassing thing isn’t what’s in it, but the most embarrassing option is if I couldn’t open it up. Let’s me see. I’m going to put it over right here.
Laura: I was hoping that I had a package to open. I don’t think I do.
Andrew: This is . . . oh, boy, what is it? Oh, wonder who this is? It’s a book, like I thought. “Creating Business You’ll Love”.
Laura: Who sent it to you?
Andrew: It is from . . . oh, I’ve never gotten a folder before . . . it is from Jeff Hall PR and Marketing Specialists.
Andrew: For once it seems like PR is big. I see that he’s got, like, a whole bunch of books. Can I tell you the best package that came in the mail ever? I don’t even know how to thank these guys, but Lucas, Lee and Peter from HasOffers – there they are, right there – sent me my favorite whiskey. My favorite Scotch Glenlivet, can you see that?
Andrew: Oh, man, do I love this. I’ve been keeping it here because I don’t even know how to thank them for it, it’s so frigging touching that they would even know what my favorite whiskey is. Don’t send just because you saw this. I can’t drink enough . . . actually I really can drink enough. That’s my favorite drug – whiskey. All right. So there it is. Should I keep that bit in? Do I even need a bit? It’s a little bit distracting, right, to open up a package? I’ve got to keep the interview focused, shouldn’t I?
Andrew: Maybe I should leave it up to the audience. What do you think?
Laura: We can ask the audience what they think.
Andrew: Would you want to hear me open up a package? Would it be, like, a curiosity that would keep you listening in or is it too much of a distraction from the business goal of the interview?
Laura; It’s a curiosity, although the package wasn’t especially exciting.
Andrew: I know! But maybe if I do it often enough people will just start to send me stuff, like more Glenlivet would come in the mail . . .
Laura: That’s true.
Andrew: . . . maybe, I don’t know, iPhone suddenly . . . I don’t know.
Laura: That’s cool. I have a little, you can kind of see in the corner that little board behind me is all thank you cards and stuff that people have sent me. I put them on a little bulletin board.
Andrew: Actually, I would prefer that. I don’t want anymore stuff. I’m not doing that anymore because I don’t want people to send me stuff. I like my life stuff-free.
Andrew: Cars are the best. All right. Back to business here. Creatingfame.com is the website. Go check it out and then come back to Mixergy and let me know what you thought of this interview and some of the new ideas that we’ve discussed here. Thank you, Laura.
Laura: Thank you, Andrew.
Andrew: Thank you.