Monthly Archives: May 2014

Episode 84: Stop Job Seeking and Start Networking | Tom Dowd, aka Transformation Tom, author of Displacement Day

Thomas Dowd talks about networking when you are job seekingThomas Dowd is the author of his book, Displacement Day. It’s about trying to recover from losing a job and going out job hunting. One of the things that I thought was very interesting was the way he would go about job seeking and how he recommends others do it as well. It’s the difference between networking and job searching.

Thomas Dowd, or Transformation Tom, is the author of “Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work.” With over twenty-three years of experience in the financial industry in management and leadership roles at the same organization, Thomas Dowd received the call nobody wanted: “We’re downsizing.” What could have been a devastating day, immediately turned into a journey toward his next book “Displacement Day.”

Zeb’s Take – Networking while Job Seeking

I really liked the fact that he brought up how to go about finding a job. Recently, I’ve been approached by a couple people who tell me that they’re looking for jobs. When they come up to me and they ask, “Hey, I’m looking for a job. I don’t have a job. Is there anything that I can do?” Desperately I want to try to help them in some capacity, but it’s tough to think of a way to do that. Sometimes I think of people that I might know to put them in touch with.

What Tom brought up in the interview was that instead of being a job seeker, instead of asking people for jobs all the time. Which actually can be kind of a weird feeling, because the person you’re asking, it feels a little uncomfortable because they want to help, but they can feel like they are in control of your destiny… it’s a lot of pressure and makes it a more uncomfortable conversation, I think. Where, if you look at it as you are networking with someone who could potentially give you a job, and not so much like, “hey I need a job, give me a job.” Instead, going in there and asking asking them questions about their business, what is it that they well, how do people get that job, how do they excel in that industry. By asking those questions it’s more of a relationship where you have two people engaging and discussing together. It’s more comfortable for the other people involved. It’s really a great way to think about job seeking and looking for jobs.

In the interview I mentioned that I went around the country, and check out Craigslist and just blast my resume out everywhere. Say, “Hey, I need a job! I need a job! I need a job!” I’m telling everyone, and it didn’t work for me. If I had gone about it differently and I had looked for ways to network with those people I think I would have had better results.

If you are looking for a job, follow Tom’s advice.

Now, go out there and find your success!

Find Out More About Tom Down and His BookThomas Dowd's book Displacement Day

Go to TransformationTom.com

Tom’s book, Displacement Day: When My Job Was Looking for a Job, is available in regular book form and ebook form on Amazon. Just search for the title “Displacement Day.”

 

Quotes

  • “It wasn’t my communication skills, it was actually my confidence level. By gaining this confidence I learned to communicate much more effectively.”
  • “It’s not about getting the project done. It’s about building the right relationships with the right people to get the job done.”
  • “When I stopped trying to impress and start being myself I gained the confidence, I gained the skills, and I found a whole lot more success.”
  • “I had built the network, I felt really good about it, and I built it before I needed it.”
  • “Networking isn’t just checking off a box. It’s about building a true relationship. A mutual relationship.”
  • “Stop job seeking and start networking.”
  • “In these networking sessions, never leave it without asking the question, who else can I meet with? And run with it.”
  • “The important part of the network is that you start the process, but the network does the work for you if you allow it to.”
  • “As soon as I became a better teacher I became a better learner. By becoming a better learner I became a better teacher.”
  • “I believe in who I am, and more importantly, I believe in who I can still be.”

Dowd2      TomDowd

More From the Interview

Tom was a communications major at the University of Delaware. He graduated on a Friday and started work at a Finance company on a Monday. Worked there in several positions for over 23 years. When his company was taken over and went from a 28,000 person organization to a 300,000 person organization, he had to make a mental adjustment: decide if he was going to be swallowed up in the 300,000 person organization or did he want to make a difference. He joined Host Masters, a worldwide organization that helps to improve communication skills and leadership skills, it was that that boosted Tom’s confidence through the roof. It allowed him to do things within his own professional state, and within the organization to make a difference in the organization. He wrote a couple books while he was at that job. One was on his own transformation of becoming self aware and the other on public speaking.

“I was told for 18 years on my performance appraisals that I couldn’t communicate I was told that I have some issues with those skills: listening, yapping, not being clear/concise, not being confident in how I communicated with senior leaders. So I ended up joining Toast Masters, I found during a time, it wasn’t my communication skills, it was actually my confidence level. By gaining this confidence I learned to communicate much more effectively.”

In Toast Masters, he competed in these speech competitions. Twice he got as far as one speech away from the world semi-finals. He met many people who helped him in his journey of communication, confidence and leadership. He gained mentors. One of whom inspired him to write about leadership, success, and how to be a better speaker.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 8.47.03 AM

“I became much more successful when I learned to be myself. Which believe it or not is where my confidence came from. I found myself trying to impress so many people at my job. When I stopped trying to impress and start being myself I gained the confidence, I gained the skills, and I found a whole lot more success.”

To clarify what he means by “Being Yourself.” He was learning to build trust and build relationships. Tom compares his work-self to his home-self. There’s the Tom who is sitting at the dinner table having a conversation with his family, laughing, joking, casual. It’s not about communication or confidence, it’s just being Tom. And then he goes to work, has a tie choking him around the neck, a white collar, get the job done, force the hand of the people around him, give them critical feedback whether they want it or not, who never missed his goals, never missed hitting his numbers.

He got lots of criticism. There were a few people who gained his trust. One of them talked to him and asked him about his relationships with the other people at the company. It helped him realize things he needed to change. He had a reputation as an uptight guy who gets the job done, but people were concerned about his leadership abilities.

Once a month he would pick up the phone and talk to somebody he didn’t know, and who were a couple levels above him in the organization. To push his comfort zone and to reinventing himself. He would tell them about what he’s been doing at the organization and what they’ve been doing. How they could maybe help each other. He became a better listener, a better business partner, became more successful because he stopped trying to impress people and just worried about the job. The people became more important to him.

“I became this push and pull man. I’m gonna push you when you need it and I’m gonna pull you in and figure out what you can do to help yourself.”

“It’s not about getting the project done. It’s about building the right relationships with the right people to get the job done.”

“I was trying to change people. What I really needed to do was change me to be who I wanted to be while still getting the best out of people.”

When he found out his company was downsizing, he said that phone call was almost calming. He has such confidence in the network he built, in the skills he had, in his vulnerability to learn from his mistakes and develop who he wanted to be, he says he saw the whole world ahead of him and said, “Okay.” He wasn’t worried.

“I had built the network, I felt really good about it, and I built it before I needed it.”

“Networking isn’t just checking off a box. It’s about building a true relationship. A mutual relationship.”

“Stop job seeking and start networking.”

Tom stopped asking for a job and started working to build his relationships with people in his network. He had to reinvent himself to them so they would know what he was looking for. Also, he says one of the biggest things he learned was don’t make assumptions. Because he assumed that people in his network, certain people, would support him – drop everything they’re doing to give Tom advice, give him a direction, a path. That wasn’t always the case He realized that they were too close to him. They knew exactly what he wanted and what he didn’t want. It was the secondary network, people who knew people, who had new conversations with Tom about what are you looking for? what do you want? and that led to the first chapter of his book.

By talking to his secondary network Tom realized that maybe he didn’t need to go back into the financial industry. Another assumption. He had the speaking stuff, this coaching, this training world that maybe he could turn into a job.

If you’re networking, instead of job seeking, there is no expectation. It takes the pressure away from the situation so they won’t shy away.

Tom says to have an elevator speech, whether you’re employed or not. Think about what do you want people to know about you. What is your greatest accomplishment. Have a 2 min, 5 min, 10 min version of who you are that you can share.

“In these networking sessions, never leave it, without asking the question, who else can I meet with, and run with it.”

Tom says, that’s when you see the spiderweb of network.

“The important part of the network is that you start the process, but the network does the work for you if you allow it to.”

That’s where you move past sympathy and into action.

He says, I had a little credibility issue as I was trying to coach and train people on how to write resumes and network while I was unemployed. I continued to do that while I was job seeking. I talked to people that had been looking for jobs for over two years. I found a lot of people who would not apply for a job because they met a few of the requirements, but they did not quite meet everything within the job description. He says the hiring manager put down the absolute perfect candidate, probably no one is going meet everything on that job description. He also recommends that have to differentiate yourself, all resume’s look the same. Make your story come alive. Your resume should read like a book. It is the introductory chapter, make people want to read the rest of the book.

“People are just too vanilla in their resumes.”

People always get frozen in these situations.

Always have a plan. Wake up like you have a job. Have a plan of attack for the day. Send emails, make phone calls, schedule and go to meetings. What is your marketing plan? What companies are you going to target?

Until someone offers you a job and you’re unpacking your boxes at that organization you need to continue job searching. When “I got my full time job offer, I was ecstatic, I told my wife, I came back upstairs to the laptop and I continued my job search until I had the official contract signed.” It wasn’t a lack of confidence that he’d get the job, it was how many times did things fall through before becoming official.

“As soon as I became a better teacher, I became a better learner. By becoming a better learner I became a better teacher.”

“I learned that I can be the person I want to be. I learned to be willing to be the student. I became a better listener. I became a better person, a better business partner.”

Anyone out there that considers themselves a failure. I would tell them to go back and revisit themselves. You shouldn’t be striving for perfection, you should be striving for excellence and really strive to make yourself a better person.

“I believe in who I am, and more importantly, I believe in who I can still be.”

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Episode 83: Continually Learning and Volunteering | Peter Rogers, Commercial Photographer and Chino Hills City Council Member

Peter Rogers, always learning and volunteering throughout his life has made him a success.Peter Rogers has been continually learning and volunteering throughout his life. He has his own photography business and is on the city council of Chino Hills in California, the town I grew up in. The way the city council works in Chino Hills is he gets elected to city council and then once every term he gets elected for a year as mayor of our town. He’s been mayor twice and was mayor last year. Today he’s going to talk with us about his career as a photographer and also about his experiences being the mayor of Chino Hills.

Peter Rogers was elected to the Chino Hills city council in November 2006 and has served as the mayor for two of those years. He’s also a Southern California based commercial photographer specializing in partnerships with businesses and ad agencies to create innovative photographic solutions for advertising and marketing needs.

Zeb’s Take – The Learning Process and Volunteering

It was an honor for me to interview Peter Rogers, our previous mayor, member of the city council, someone who has volunteered so much time to the community and surrounding areas. I have a lot of respect for Peter, I think he’s done a lot of really good things for our community. You can just tell that he means well by talking with him and seeing how he engages with the community.

What he mentioned that I thought was fascinating, he’s been so active volunteering in the community doing activities being involved, he said that was the way he was brought up and that once you lead towards a life of volunteering you just sort of continue doing that.

Another thing he mentioned that I thought was surprising was when he told me about him starting his own business. He was very into learning about sales and business. He would constantly read and listen to tapes about sales, closing the sale and all that stuff. He did the work took the time and put in the effort, but sometimes you look at people and you think that it’s ingrained in them and they’re naturally that way. It’s obvious that he put a lot of work into a lot of aspects of the things that he’s doing. That he’s constantly been learning. That’s one of the reasons why everybody who is around him is seeing something special in him. Because he is continually learning, continually growing, and is continually finding ways to improve himself, his business and the people that are around him.

That is pretty remarkable; just the learning process in general, whether it be through sales, about business, how to close people, and always learning.

Check out the podcast on iTunes, rate and review it. Let me know how I’m doing on here.

Go out there and find your success!

Find Out More About Peter Rogers, his Photography, and Chino Hills

Visit PeterRogersPhoto.com and ChinoHills.org.

Peter Rogers PhotographyQuotes

  • “You’ve seen my photos all over the place, you just don’t know it.”
  • “Clients hire me because I know the craft of photography.”
  • “I always had a side business going, that’s how much I liked it.”
  • “I realized, you know I think I can be successful at this on my own.”
  • “People go ‘wow, you’re lucky to to have a job full-time doing something that we love doing as a hobby.’ I think, that’s pretty cool.”
  • “The combination of buying equipment that made me successful plus the art of business and that’s what made the difference.”
  • “I became the president of Canyon Hills Little League[…] that was the best training ground for what I eventually came to, which was City Council because it was dealing with a lot of emotion of parents, and of kids, and of coaches. Everybody having their emotional bouts, and in the leadership role you have see if you can stem the tide and work things out.”
  • “I have had a lot of volunteer type roles that have turned into more leadership roles. It’s been interesting.”
  • “You always need to be around, that’s the life of a Mayor”
  • “People walk up to me and say, ‘We love living in Chino Hills. There’s a certain atmosphere that has been created that it’s hard to define other than, we love living in Chino Hills.’ I think that’s part of my accomplishment.”
  • “It’s taking the quality of life that existed and upping it. I’ve helped do that and I plan to continue to do that.”
  • “You set a goal. You try your hardest to achieve your goals, knowing there will be setbacks along the way.”

quote-peterrogers

More from the Interview

Becoming a Commercial Photographer
When Peter was younger he found himself as basically the family photographer, especially on family vacations. In high school, he was given a camera as a gift. Took pictures on campus and, in his junior year, he became one of the campus photographers. At the end of the year he was asked to become president of the Photography Club. In his senior year, he was transitioned into being yearbook editor and lead photographer for the yearbook.

In college he was hip deep in photography. At Cal Poly Pomona he joined the yearbook staff, the newspaper staff, the magazine staff, and he majored in visual communications. Studied still photography and video. He also got the chance to do side work for local newspapers and was paid to be the campus photographer; especially for sports. He got the opportunity to do some overseas travel to fine tune his skill. He won some awards, including from Sigma Delta Pi, a journalism group. Winning awards encouraged him and gave him confidence in his abilities.

He wanted to get a job at the Wide World of Sports, had a number of interviews, but it never panned out. So he stuck with still photography, rather than video, and became a press photographer. Got married. Worked with a corporation for 10 years, travelled all over the world doing photography for their corporate reports and brochures. Gerald Ford was on their board of directors, and Peter was around him often.

In 1987 he started his own photography business. He does commercial photography for corporations, ad agencies. He does location photography for car companies, NASA companies, Pomona Valley Hospital, Ad Agencies, Graphic Firms.

“You’ve seen my photos all over the place, you just don’t know it.”

Peter realizes that he’s been pretty fortunate, for this 35+ years of being a professional photographer. He’s finetuned it enough that he’s very efficient for his clients. He also likes to take his time when he does nature photography. It’s a nice balance between the pressure of work and having to make money, and having fun going on trips and just being a tourist photographer.

Since his Junior year of high school he hasn’t stopped doing photography.

Journalism photography and corporate photography are distinctly different. So he continued taking photography classes at Art Center in Pasadena, a high end photo and art school. Honing his craft. He realized that his eye was good for lighting. The lighting aspect was fascinating to him. He started using filters, and creating really high end dramatic photographs. It separated him from other photographers.

“Clients hire me because I know the craft of photography.”Commercial Photographer Peter Rogers working with NASA

When Peter decided to start his own photography business it was partly because he had always had his own side business.

“From my Cal Poly days on I always had a side business going, that’s how much I liked it.”

It was a combination of working for a corporation for 10 years. Getting up, putting on a suit, getting to work, it took an hour to get to work. Typical corporate job. Combine that with having a part-time photo business working with clients, and that was mostly nights and weekends.

“I realized, you know I think I can be successful at this on my own.”

He started his family and craved flexibility with a home based business. “I decided, okay let’s do it. Did it. And, it’s been successful ever since.”

“People go ‘wow, you’re lucky to to have a job full-time doing something that we love doing as a hobby.’ I think, that’s pretty cool.”

When asked if he could choose a career other than the one you’re in what would you do, he didn’t have an answer.

One of the biggest hurdles, when you are an equipment driven business, you have to have the tools to get the job done. Photo is not cheap, especially when you’re using fancy lighting equipment. Have equipment in redundancy, so that if something goes down I can be sure that I have backup equipment.

Peter used Hasselblad up until pretty recently, very expensive cameras. “The biggest struggle was to have enough money to buy the proper equipment to make the business successful and to let the clients know that you’re serious.” Personal computers were just getting going in the mainstream. The business stepped toward the computer world. Peter had to buy and take the time to learn the software to be able to run the business.

Getting clients was the other big thing. Peter put together lots of promotional materials, he researched joint associations, he attended seminars, learned techniques, worked to get himself a step above; how to be a little more sophisticated in how you go about marketing yourself, how you deal with clients. Peter bought business tapes on the art of sales, how to deal with clients. He took business seminar classes to understand the art of business and learn how to conclude a sale, how to get yourself in front of people. In those early years Peter really immersed himself in understanding the world of being a business owner and being successful.

“The combination of buying equipment that made me successful plus the art of business and that’s what made the difference.”

Volunteering to City Council
“You will know it if you’re a natural volunteer. It just comes naturally to you.”
“Once it’s in you you’re always going to do it. Guaranteed.“

Peter wasn’t volunteering much when he was starting his career, because he was so busy. But when he started his own business, had a little more freedom, he joined the board of directors for his HOA. Within two months he was president. He often finds himself in the lead. When his kids got older he stopped being president of the HOA (he stayed on the board) so he’d have time to be his son’s little league coach. There he was recruited to be on the little league board of directors. Soon after he was backed into the position of being the little league president.

“I became the president of Canyon Hills Little League[…] that was the best training ground for what I eventually came to, which was City Council because it was dealing with a lot of emotion of parents, and of kids, and of coaches. Everybody having their emotional bouts, and in the leadership role you have see if you can stem the tide and work things out.”

While he was president of Canyon Hills Little League, he interacted with Chino Hills, which just became a city. He saw the Sports Council with the goal of getting field space for practice and to play games. He did that for a couple times each year. At some point Peter was approached to be the parks and recs commissioner. He thought that was a good idea and did that for about 8 years.

When a space opened up for a space on city council for an 8 month term he went for it, several people ran. He didn’t win.

Years later a normal spot came up, one of the original council members told Peter he should run again. He did, and he was successful. Now he is getting into his 8th year on city Council.

“I have had a lot of volunteer type roles that have turned into more leadership roles. It’s been interesting.”

About being a Mayor: Day to day is very busy if you do it right.

“You always need to be around, that’s the life of a Mayor”

In city council and as mayor Peter focused on communications. Communication with internal staff, communicating with the public and with the press. He says, if the citizens know what’s going on there’s less concern about the direction of the city.

In Chino Hills the council has been trying to attract retail to the city. Chino Hills is known as a bedroom community. Of any of the cities in the Inland Empire, Chino Hills sustained the least amount of effect from the economic downturn.

“People walk up to me and say, ‘We love living in Chino Hills. There’s a certain atmosphere that has been created that it’s hard to define other than, we love living in Chino Hills.’ I think that’s part of my accomplishment.”

“It’s taking the quality of life that existed and upping it. I’ve helped do that and I plan to continue to do that.”

Coolest Thing
Setting a mission and accomplishing going to every school and talking to the kids. Peter would stay at the school for an hour to 3 hours, talking to the kids about the history of Chino Hills, about city government, how they get money, how the council is structured and how the city manager runs the city. For Peter it was cool to visit class rooms and teach the kids.

“If you can find someone who can truly define success, I’ll listen. Success is always evolving.”

“You set a goal. You try your hardest to achieve your goals, knowing there will be setbacks along the way.”

“If you’ve been able to reach the goals you have set for yourself, and feel good about reaching those goals, To me that’s success.”

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Episode 82: There is No Secret to Success | Sushant Misra, Host of Trep Talks

Sushant Misra explains there is no big secret to success in this episode of The Defining Success PodcastSushant Misra is the owner of Trep Talks, and he and I are in a mastermind together. He actually interviewed me on his show about six months ago. He’s a really bright guy, has a great advice. One thing that he brought up, which I have found to be true with the interviews I’ve done with people for The Defining Success Podcast, is that there is no big secret to success. It’s a great episode, I hope you all enjoy!

Sushant Misra is the host of Trep Talks, a web-based interview show where he interviews some of the most successful digital entrepreneurs on the internet. These entrepreneurs share their stories as well as a few “secrets” – i.e. mindsets, strategies and tactics that worked really well for them in starting and growing their own online businesses. He is also the owner of yogamatstore.com.

Zeb’s Take – There is No Secret to Success

It was a lot of fun for me talking with Sushant. He and I have a conversation every week and talk about our businesses and talk about ways to improve our businesses. It’s always been a good learning experience for me and everyone else that comes and participates in that mastermind group that we’re involved in. He gave so much practical advice, and a lot of great philosophical stuff too. One of the things he said that he learned from doing his Trep Talks show, the video show on his podcast, is that there is no big secret to success.

I think when I started the Defining Success Podcast I was kind of looking for that too. I think a lot of people when they think about using social media or using the internet they think it’s kind of like a gold mine maybe, or that you just jump in and you can make money off of it. But that is absolutely not the case. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and commitment. So maybe the secret to success is that you need to work hard, you need to be committed, you need to persevere, you need to have all those different tools in place.

I remember being approached by a friend of mine. He had, it was called, The Leather Traveller, he would sell leather goods online. I guess it was a franchise or something. He put up a website to sell his leather goods. He thought, “I’m just going to put this website up there, I’m going to sell other people’s goods, and I’m going to make money. It’s that easy.”

What he came to realize was that he had to find out how to drive traffic to his website, had to make sure his website functioned properly, he had to make sure visitors to the website can find what they want and purchase the leather goods. He just didn’t have that level of commitment and interest to go in there and dive in there and make it happen. He kept telling me about all these dreams he had to use the internet to make money, but he would never do the hard work that was necessary to do that. (If he’s listening, I apologize for bringing that up. I know he’s really active and excited about the work he’s doing now.) I will say that from all the people I’ve interviewed on The Defining Success Podcast is that there is no secret to success. The secret to success is that hard work, perseverance, getting that stuff done, and doing it in a smart efficient way.

Such a great time talking with Sushant today, a lot of great advice in the interview. Adam, Scott, Jolene, Herby, Sushant: thank you all for being a part of that mastermind group.

Go out there and find your success!

Find out more about Sushant Misra and Trep Talks

Trep Talks. Learn. Start. Grow.Go to TrepTalks.com
Trep is short for the word Entrepreneur. It’s a great place for people that are interested in learning about online marketing or online entrepreneurship. Sushant is taking this project in a new direction. He’s working to create a lot of great educational content with really successful people teaching you directly.

Quotes

  • “Entrepreneurship is a process.”
  • “You have to find an idea that is at the intersection of the skills that you have, your own interests and passions, and something that can be monetized. If you have an idea that matches those three criteria, you have an idea that you have a good shot at pursuing.”
  • “Every person has something from their own experiences, from their own knowledge, that they can share with the world.”
  • “I really try to learn from every single guest. In the hopes that by coming from that place of curiosity, I will be able to create content that will be helpful to other people as well.”
  • “One of the big things that I’ve learned is that there is no big secret.”
  • “As an entrepreneur, if you have a small vision or a mediocre vision, you’re going to spend the same amount of time and effort in trying to get that off the ground as you are going to do with a big vision. It’s much better to try to achieve something bigger.”
  • “What really matters is choosing the right idea, the idea that is right for you, and just executing properly and consistently over the long term.”
  • “Business is really about people. You have to be comfortable talking to people, networking with people, and helping people.”
  • “People are very friendly, people are helpful. If you ask them for a meeting or some help, a lot of times they say yes.”
  • “You have to become comfortable making mistakes, learning from them, and not get discouraged from making mistakes. Once you can do that it really helps you take your entrepreneurial journey to the next level. At that point you really start learning at a rapid pace. You’re not getting discouraged by mistakes and you consider that as part of the process.”

sushant-quote1      sushant-quote2

More from the Interview

Sushant had Zeb on his show, Trep Talks, about 6 months ago. He was the first to turn the tables on Zeb and make him an interviewee on a podcast. Zeb had a great experience on Trep Talks and is excited to now have Sushant on The Defining Success Podcast. Zeb and Sushant are part of the same mastermind group.

In 2010, Sushant finished his master’s degree in Health Administration mainly because his parents wanted him to be a doctor, but he wanted to learn about business. He had realized that he was very entrepreneurial. After graduation he had the decision to take the safe life, get a typical 9-to-5 type job, or to really pursue his passion. He took a leap of faith.

“Entrepreneurship involves a lot of uncertainty.”

He didn’t know much about online marketing or online entrepreneurship, but from the little he did know and from his experiences visiting wesites, he knew the internet would continue to grow. He taught himself and created his own online ecommerce store called yogamatstore.com where he sold yoga products. He did that for a few years, but he wanted his own products and lacked the investment to be able to do that. He had to go back in the industry and work for some bigger ecommerce businesses and gain more experience.

Then he found a product that did not require a lot of upfront investment, he started Trep Talks. On Trep Talks he interviews a lot of knowledgeable people in the online world and put out those interviews. Now Sushant is at a point where he wants to take that project and make it something bigger.

Entrepreneurship is a process.

Sushant says there are two kinds of people who become entrepreneurs. One kind is an accidental entrepreneurship, these are people who have worked in the corporate world for 15 – 30 years, they have an acquired set of skills, they know a lot about a certain industry. Now with all that skill and knowledge about an industry they identify an opportunity and start a business. Often they have some capital investment, partners, and things like that.

The other kind of entrepreneur, which Sushant falls into, is someone who has an entrepreneurial personality. It’s innate to them. “For me, entrepreneurship is a process. I realize that it’s something that you do, you learn through the process, then you start something again.”

YogaMatStore is a learning process for Sushant about entrepreneurship, about his own personality, about the online world. He has taken that experience and brought it with him and to new level with Trep Talks.

He hopes to create something that is useful and valuable for people in the world, and that creates a better life for people around the world.

To feed his entrepreneurial personality he says you have to find a sweet spot, “My definition of a sweet spot is you have to find an idea that is at the intersection of the skills that you have, your own interests and passions, and something that can be monetized. If you have an idea that matches those three criteria, I think, you have an idea that you have a good shot at pursuing.”

Entrepreneurship is so difficult that if you are not truly interested or passionate about it, it’s not really something that everyone should pursue.

He says, I realized that I had a passion in learning about the online world. I started approaching people, I approached you, I really started talking to people about how the online world works. I started putting videos on the website just thinking that there are other people out there just like me who want to learn more about online marketing, online entrepreneurship, how to start a business, how to find clients online, and I received a great response from people on different social media sites and people emailing me with great feedback.

It was really a project for me to learn more about online marketing because I was really passionate about it. But, it seemed that it’s something that other people are also interested in learning about. I want to take it and turn it into a big business and really take this idea and take it further.

Fun Fact: Sushant had never used Facebook before 2013.
He realized that he should remedy that, so he created a set of interviews where he interviewed a lot of great Facebook marketing experts. He dug deep and asked them questions from the perspective of a beginner trying to learn how to leverage Facebook marketing, how to leverage Facebook advertising, to find your clients online, to really generate revenue for your business.

Sushant has interviewed 60 to 65 people for Trep Talks. He says it’s already been a great journey. He is appreciative especially of the people who gave him their time and knowledge in the very beginning and who believed in him.

He says one of his best interviews was the one with Zeb, but there are several good ones.

“Every person has something from their own experiences, from their own knowledge, that they can share with the world.”

One of his first interviews was with Tim Ferriss, a very well known online marketer, and it was done in person, an experience Sushant will never forget. Another one was with a blogger named Michelle Shaeffer, she was one of those first people who believed in him. She introduced him to a lot of other people that he was able to interview on Trep Talks.

“I always come from a place of curiosity and learning. I really try to learn from every single guest. In the hopes that by coming from that place of curiosity, I would be able to create content that will be helpful to other people as well.”

“One of the big things that I’ve learned is that there is no big secret.”

“I had this secret hope that they would share something, you know this secret formula, that made them successful, or that made them wealthy. And what I realized was there wasn’t really a big secret, a lot of it was really just perseverance and hard work and having a big vision.”

“As an entrepreneur, if you have a small vision or a mediocre vision, you’re going to spend the same amount of time and effort in trying to get that off the ground as you are going to do with a big vision. It’s much better to try to achieve something bigger rather than smaller.”

He says there is no shortage of ideas or talent. “What really matters is choosing the right idea, the idea that is right for you, and just executing properly and consistently over the long term.”

Advice: Find a big vision. Start. Learn. Refine your idea. After that it’s just about pure perseverance and just not giving up.

He says, 6 or 7 months ago when he started this project, networking and meeting new people was a big challenge for him. One of his mentors pushed him to start networking when he had to go back to working at a bigger business. Sushant had an a-ha moment. Business is really about people. You have to be comfortable talking to people, networking with people, and helping people.

“I could have never, in my wildest dreams, could have imagined that I would met so many wonderful people and have this opportunity to learn from them. It has been a wild ride. For me, it’s really something out of a dream.”

“People are very friendly, people are helpful. If you ask them for a meeting or some help, a lot of times they say yes.”

“You have to become comfortable making mistakes, learning from them, and not get discouraged from making mistakes. Once you can do that it really helps you take your entrepreneurial journey to the next level. At that point you really start learning at a rapid pace. You’re not getting discouraged by mistakes and you consider that as part of the process.”

Example
Sushant was doing Trep Talks as a full time job. At one point he wasn’t getting the revenue he needed, his savings was running out and it took him to a dark place. He clearly remembers thinking, in this dark place, this is where I should start looking for opportunities. A couple weeks later he ran across a funding opportunity from the government in Ontario, Canada. They help new and young business owners with funding and training and things like that. He applied for that opportunity, it took some time, but he finally was very fortunate to receive that and now is able to pursue his dream and take his idea to the next level. He had to stop and tell himself, “this is a dark place, I really need to look for an opportunity” and he found it.

Sushant has been in Canada for about a decade, before that he lived in India. He says he was raised in a very safe environment. He was very comfortable, he never wanted to take a risk. He cared too much about what everyone else thought about him. When he went to Canada, he kinda took that as an opportunity to try a lot of new different things, because he thought, “who cares, no one here knows me.” He wonders what if he would have felt that way sooner at a younger age.

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Episode 81: Twitter and Relationship Building | John Sparks, Owner of Online ImageWorks

John Sparks talks Twitter and building relationships online in this episode of the Defining Success Podcast.John Sparks owns his own social media company, an internet marketing business where he helps businesses expand their reach online: Online Image Works. One of the things he prides himself on is his experience on Twitter and how he’s been able to use Twitter to build a massive following and build some word-of-mouth marketing. In this interview he has some great tips and advice on using Twitter.

John Sparks is the Owner and CEO of Online ImageWorks. He has a passion for helping others learn about social media and technology and has become known as a nationally recognized social media coach.

Zeb’s Take – Twitter and Building Relationships Online

It was a blast talking with John. It’s always great to talk with someone in the same space as I am. We were talking about Twitter. I love the examples he gave and how he was able to help people out with Twitter. One of the things that he said that I thought was interesting was strategically stalking people with excellence in a good way. He mentioned it a couple of times. It’s something he uses to build a Twitter following and get people to engage and interact with him on Twitter and it could be used on other social media channels as well.

What he does is, if there is a person he wants to go after (he used the example of Oprah) he will do a little research and find out who is really connected to that person. Then he reaches out to those people, works to build a relationship, a genuine relationship, and potentially get that opportunity to meet the person you’re trying to go after.

I’ve never used Twitter in that sense, but it’s not a bad idea. On LinkedIn they do have that function sort of built in to their system. One of the cool things LinkedIn does is show your connections and how you are connected to them. For example, if I wanted to target golf course general managers, I could search for that and in the results it will show my connections. 1st Degree Connections are people that I’m already connected with. 2nd Degree Connections are people who are connected to someone that I know. If that is the case, I can ask for an introduction from the person I know who is connected with the person I’m trying to get a hold of.

LinkedIn is great for that, but I really like how John is using that same idea and strategy for Twitter. That has been working well for him. He’s been able to build up quite the following. He’s one of the top Tweeters in Dallas, which is very cool.

It was a great interview. I hope you learned a lot about using twitter and social media. Thanks to John for the great interview.

Go out there and find your success.

Find out more about John Sparks or Online ImageWorks

Visit OnlineImageWorks.com, which is his website hub.
John can also be found on all the social media platforms at /iamJohnSparks (ex. facebook.com/iamJohnSparks, twitter.com/iamJohSparks and at gplus.to/iamJohnSparks)Online ImageWorks

Quotes

  • “It’s building those relationships online and then taking them offline.”
  • “You can have anything that you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want.”
  • “People reach out to people who reach out.”
  • “Make sure when you’re messaging people that your intentions are coming across as being good natured.”

sparks

More From the Interview

John has a media background working at television stations across the country. He was a newscast writer for broadcast journalism. Then ventured into the business world, then into education and finally was able to bring all that together when he started his business Online ImageWorks.

Social media, and the whole idea of people being able to access things when they want to and to interact was really exciting to John. The idea of using his background and skills to help people use these tools properly convinced him to start his own company.

Among other things John works on SEO, conducting social media campaigns, websites, design and coaching. It’s important to make sure people’s name looks good out there online. Coaching, how to use social media; sharing the idea that people reach out to people who reach out and that it’s a powerful tool if it’s used correctly.

Twitter
Twitter is John’s favorite social media platform. The area where we can have instant communication is interesting.

Businesses can use twitter to engage customers and as a listening tool.

John says businesses should use social media for several reasons. Social media increases your visibility. It shows people that you have something of value that you are offering in the market. It gives your business the chance to show what makes you different from everybody else. It can help you stand out in the crowd. And, it’s a great relationship builder; everyone wants to feel like they are welcome, special and appreciated. It’s building those relationships online and then taking them offline. It’s a great stepping stone for the offline conversations that happen later on for businesses to convert customers into possible clients down the line.

John sees so many companies that put up a twitter logo or pinterest logo and then you go there and there’s nothing there. There is nobody managing it. John’s advice for those companies is that if you’re not using the tools then get rid of the links.

What’s one trick or piece of advice that the average person may not know about social media and how to use it effectively?
Strategically stalking people in excellence in a good way.

The people that they are most socially influenced by on Twitter are the people at the very bottom of their friends list. Those are the people that instantly came to their mind when they first joined Twitter.

Oprah, just for an example, follows about let’s say 230 people. So if you can interact with and build a relationship with one of those people on Twitter. Then you could potentially get an introduction from that person. Thinking about LinkedIn and their 1st 2nd and 3rd connections, look through her list, look through their lists, look for Oprah’s 3rd connections. Look towards the bottom of the list and pick out the ones that do not have the verified account, the blue checkmark. Those people are probably going to be easier to connect with.

John says a lot of cool things have happened over the last 2 years owning Online ImageWorks. Just having the opportunity to work with some of these people and watching their businesses grow. John says seeing these Twitter accounts grow to a point where they’re getting verified on Twitter and build a following by thousands, and it’s not just about the number of the followers, but about the quality of the followers you have.

Mistakes
In conversations with people on twitter you have to be really careful how you talk with people so you don’t offend them. Twitter has the reputation of being light and fluffy. Where people don’t hear your voice, they don’t know your voice, they don’t know your true intentions. So make sure when you’re messaging people that your intentions are coming across as being good natured.

How did you get where you are?
Going out there and basically, I wanted to be a social media influencer. I’m soon to be on the Forbes and Huffington Post list of top 50 social media influencers. Going through and doing my research and finding out, okay if this is what I want to be who are the people that are on that list right now, and who is following those people, and how can I get some of those people to come follow me. And what can I add of value to get those people to follow me.

Advice
I would say finding those people that are in your industry that you’re interested in. And making a list of those people. And then going out and seeing who’s following those people. Provide good content and follow those individuals and see if you can engage with those people and follow them as well.

On Twitter, you just have to get out there and do it. Get out there follow people, engage, you’re going to make some mistakes, it’s gonna happen; mentioning people incorrectly, retweeting incorrectly… but you just gotta do it.

Define Success
John recommends the book, See You at the Top.
You can have anything that you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want. That’s what success is about.

You have to have that positive mindset and take every positive thought captive. Turn those negative thoughts into thoughts of being successful. Even in your darkest moment. If not, you’re going to get sidetracked.

That positive self talk that’s so critical when starting a business and being successful on social media. John prides himself on his positive uplifting tweets — It’s amazing how many people go out there and will retweet those over and over again.

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Episode 80: Networking vs Working a Room with the Mingling Maven | Susan RoAne, Author of How To Work a Room

Author Susan RoAne talks about networing and working a roomThis episode I interview the Mingling Maven, Susan RoAne. She is the author of How to Work a Room. In the interview she gives great ideas on having conversations with people, how to start those conversations, and how to feel comfortable in those scenarios. One of the things she highlighted was the difference between working a room and networking. The real key to networking is in the follow-up.

Susan RoAne, or the Mingling Maven, is the best selling author of How to Work a Room. If you’ve ever walked into a roomful of strangers and felt uncomfortable, you’re not alone. According to research, over 90% feel the same way. Because it’s essential, to building our businesses as well as our personal life, we must be able to comfortably attend gatherings and meet, connect and converse with people we don’t know as well as the ones we do.

Working a room and networking in Susan Roane's book How To Work a Room

Zeb’s Take

What a great interview with Susan. She gave a lot of really great tidbits of information about how you can work a room, how you can feel comfortable in networking situations and meeting new people. I really love the advice she gave.

One of the things she pointed out that I’d like to talk about more is the difference between networking and working a room. Working a room is the initial interactions, initial discussions, and how to make sure your presence is known throughout the room. The networking side of it is through the follow-up. Networking isn’t the mingling and interacting at the location, it’s the follow-up afterwards and that is where the value comes in with networking.

I’ve seen it a lot at networking events. Business owners go wanting to grow their business and they expect outcomes the first time they show up. They walk in, they’re interacting with everybody, they are very outgoing, shaking everyone’s hand and exchange business cards. But they don’t get any business that one day and you’ll never see those people return again. I know from experience with our Chamber of Commerce that my continued presence there, the follow up I did with the people I met at the chamber, that ultimately it led to a lot of sales for me and my business down the road, as people began to trust and know me. Now that I’ve gotten better and gotten more experience at networking I have a good system set in place that encourages follow up, that promotes myself and reaching out to people. Then it’s either getting coffee with them or just connecting through email or social media networks.

The networking at the event is not the goal, it’s about the follow-up afterwards. If you are going to networking events to get the most value out of it make sure you follow up with the people you meet at those events. Because there is always an opportunity. Even if they are not going to be a customer for your business they have the potential to refer your business or connect you with people who can benefit your business. You can also help them in different capacities and build a relationship that way.

Go out there and find your success!

Find out more about Susan Roanne, The Mingling Maven

Go to www.SusanRoane.com or HowToWorkARoom.com
Email Susan at Susan@SusanRoane.com with your questions

Her Book, How To Work a Room
She says, “Please go to your local bookstore, if they don’t have it on the shelf they will order it for you. We have to support our local book stores. But of course it’s in online bookstores. The book is How to Work a Room, the Silver Anniversary Edition.”

Susan RoAne, Best-Selling Author and Keynote Speaker

Quotes

  • “I think that’s part of success, being willing to say yes and stretching ourselves.”
  • ” If you are not re-tweeting, letting someone know you appreciated a tweet, responding, engaging, commenting then you are a lurker, not a worker.”
  • “I found that the people who created their own luck[…], they said yes when they wanted to say no.”
  • “Real networking happens over time, it’s a process. It’s not something that happens once at an event.”
  • “The people who I find with the most success are people that have diverse relationships with people of different ages, different backgrounds, different interests; as well as those who are in their field.”
  • “Some of the best networkers are people who used to be shy, but they realized there was a benefit to meeting interesting people.”
  • “The banquet of banter is a potluck: what are you bringing to the banquet?”
  • “Bring who you are to what you do.”
  • “At a certain point the stuff that we have isn’t as important as the stuff we’re made of.”

susan      susan2

More from the Interview

Susan was a former public school teacher in Chicago and San Francisco. In San Francisco they had massive layoffs, Susan was one of them. She was then able to help former teachers find new career paths. That evolved into Susan writing books including How to Work a Room. She designed a career change workshop for teachers. Made sure it got on radio. When the editor of the San Francisco Examiner contacted her to do a local career series she said, “Yes.” She immediately got a headache because she wasn’t sure what she had gotten herself into.

“I think that’s part of success, being willing to say yes and stretching ourselves.”

Susan’s Book – How To Work A Room

The main premise of her book is to make it easy for any person that has to walk into a room, a meeting, a party, a reunion, a wedding, a conference, a retreat. So that no one stands at the door and feels uncomfortable walking into a room full of people they may not know. Susan’s mission is to take away that discomfort and help people prepare so they can make the most of whatever event they are going to.

In a Room

If Susan is at an event and sees someone standing alone, she’s the one that will seek them out and try to start a conversation with them. Because, she says, one of the top traits of people we really remember are the people who noticed us, came over to us, made us feel included. For the people already in the room, being cognizant of the people who are alone and welcoming them is not only a wonderful trait, it’s a brilliant business strategy.

For the first version of her book, Susan did most of her research at her local chamber. She saw things that people did that were wonderful. She also saw things that made her question how some people were raised.

Being able to work a room is a skill. To be a networker is a different skill. There are people that are wonderful in a room; we’ve all seen them, they are very conversant, they are interesting, fun to be around, but they have no interest in following up and no skill at following up. In her book Susan refers to these people as One-Night-Stands.

There are people out there with phenomenal networking skills. Networking is really the key to success. They have immense follow-up. They do what they say they’re going to do when they say they’re going to do it. They stay in touch. Those same people may feel very uncomfortable when they walk into a room full of strangers.

Those two skills together, working a room and networking, really are dramatic and they contribute to our personal and professional success.

New Rooms

Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, there are new rooms that we need to appropriately work, appropriately be social in, and behave appropriately in. Each one has a different etiquette. If you are not re-tweeting, letting someone know you appreciated a tweet, responding, engaging, commenting then “you are a lurker, not a worker.”

Twitter is the most fascinating time-suck Susan has ever experienced that does not involve the TV.

In video chats for Skype and Google Hangouts, make sure you look great. Make sure you have the right lighting and that it’s not too dark. It’s different on the camera than it is to your eyes. Look at your office and make sure it looks they way you want it to be seen. When you are doing something face to face remember that you are really in that room with them, so you have to remember the same manners you would have in a real room. It’s still about paying attention and listening. Don’t look at your smartphone while you’re in a Google Hangout.

Teaching

Susan still loves speaking at a to universities and colleges. Sharing these techniques to empower a whole new group of people so they can go to places and meet people and get the first job, or the second or third. Even at high schools; giving kids the tools so they can connect with each other and people they need to know. “I think it’s wonderful.”

“I found that the people who created their own luck[…], they said yes when they wanted to say no.”

Advice

For people that feel uncomfortable going to an event, know that if you come prepared you will feel more comfortable. There are some things you can prepare ahead of time. There’s no reason now, with the internet, that you can’t do some research on the event ahead of time so you’re not walking in cold. Prepare your own self introduction, it should be specific to the event. Susan says her introduction at her chamber of commerce meetings is very different than at a friend’s wedding. Tailor your introduction to give people context for how to talk to you. It’s not the 30 second upchucking of an elevator speech; it’s 7-9 seconds, it’s a pleasantry. Give the benefit of what you do set in an interesting fun way that engages people so they get to ask what it means. Then you are invited to speak more. Only go on a little bit. Stop, look at the other person and say, “How about you?” not, “What do you do?” how about you, it allows them to talk about their passion which could be something different than their job.

How are networking and working the room different?

Working a room, you’re really just socializing. You’re mixing, meeting, greeting, you’re having a lot of little conversations and you’re circulating. It’s a social party. Nobody invites you to hog the time of one other guest.

Networking is very specific in that it’s the follow-up. You can’t network a room. Networking is a mutually beneficial process whereby we change ideas, information, ideas, advice, laughter. The real networking happens over time, it’s a process, it’s not something that happens once at an event. When you are developing a network you are developing a group of people where there is a stronger connection and it is the beginning of building relationships.

“The people who I find with the most success are people that have diverse relationships with people of different ages, different backgrounds, different interests; as well as those who are in your field.”

Icebreakers

Just look at the room/the event you’re going to. That’s what’s happening to everyone, it’s something in common. Susan talks about the food, she talks about how long it took to find a parking space. Look for name tags. If you are at a fundraiser, ask how someone came to support the cause. Say something that’s relevant to the event at hand, because that makes sense. It’s easy, it starts the conversation with small talk and then you can move from there.

Complement a tie, a nice scarf, an interesting necklace. It’s okay to compliment someone as long as it’s sincere. Notice things: pins, ties, jewelry; then you are in an easier conversation.

If you want to have something interesting to talk about make sure you know what’s going on in the world. Get it from a newspaper, online, TV, anywhere. Know what’s going on and you can always talk to other people.

For the Shy

In 1980 about 80% of people considered themselves shy, by 2000 it jumped to 93%. If you think you are shy, know that at least 90% of people in that room also feel shy sometimes. Some of the best networkers are people who used to be shy, but they realized there was a benefit to meeting interesting people. So they approach it as, “Oh my goodness, isn’t this great! I’m going to meet interesting people therefore I’m going to learn new things.” and it’s that attitude that gets them over the shyness.

“Some of the best networkers are people who used to be shy. but they realized there was a benefit to meeting interesting people.”

Susan suggests that if you walk into an event with someone that you don’t stay with them for the whole evening. Decide to split up and talk to other people then come back and introduce people to each other. Even for couples. Don’t stand face-to-face talking to each other; stand side-by-side facing room.

Susan’s Top Tips for a Great Conversation

Number one: Listen. Listen. Listen.

Two: “The banquet of banter is a potluck: what are you bringing to the banquet?” Be sure to bring your favorite stores. Listen to other people’s stories. Susan does this thing where she barrows other people’s stories, you can relate to people with kids even if you don’t have any. If you listen and pay attention to their stories that’s another story you can share to someone that has similar interests.

For conversation it’s listen, participate, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and don’t ask only questions. Share something of yourself.

“Bring who you are to what you do.”

On Success

“Can you look in your own mirror and feel comfortable with the person you are, how you treat people, how you’ve walked around this planet; and what your contribution has been?”

“It’s how you treat people.”

“I have a wonderful network of people around the world that I’ve stayed in touch with that has made me have the most wonderful life.”

“I want to know that when you’ve listened to me that you’ve got something that you can do to make your life just a little bit easier, better, and that to me is success.”

“At a certain point the stuff that we have isn’t as important as the stuff we’re made of.”

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Episode 79: Social Media and ROI | Brian Basilico owner of B2b Interactive Marketing

Brian Basilico, owner of B2B Interactive MarketingBrian Basilico is the owner of his own social media company. One of the things we talked about was return on investment, and looking at ROI when you are using social media and actually for many things you are probably doing.

B2B Interactive MarketingBrian Basilico is the owner of B2B Interactive Marketing. B2b Interactive Marketing combines audio, video, interactive, web, communications, and advertising, with branding and marketing experience of almost 30 years in the communications industry.

 

Zeb’s Take – Social Media and ROI

It was a blast talking with Brian about social media and all the different things that he’s doing. We had some great back and forth while talking about social media marketing.

The thing I want to expand on is the return on Investment or ROI of social media, which I think is very important for business owners understand when they are getting into the social media space. Social Media and ROI. People will ask me, “Should every business use social media?” My response is always yes. I honestly think every single business should use social media. Having said that, I don’t always think paying for someone to run a social media presence is the best investment of your money. Timewise, yes you should use social media, use it as much as you can. But sometimes the cost doesn’t make sense for the returns that you’re getting from the social media usage.

It is important to analyze time versus money and how you’re going to spend that using social media. Sometimes people think it’s a just one-stop-shop; it’s not, it’s a long term goal. If your goal in a business is to grow as large as you possibly can then social media is a no-brainer. Hire people to do it and realize that it’s an investment. If you are looking to use social media to make instant sales to cover the cost of what you’re paying for the social media, especially in the first few months, you’re going to be disappointed. With social media, you’re putting in the time, money and resources now for gains down the road.

Go out there and find your success!

Find out more about Brian Basilico and B2B Interactive Marketing

Go to his business website: B2B-IM.com and the website for his book: NotAboutU.com

Quotes

  • “It’s been something I’ve had to do for myself and since I was able to do it for myself I was able to do it for other people.”
  • “I’m a student first, I got to learn it. Then I’m a teacher second, and a purveyor or presenter last. You got to learn it, teach it, then do it.”
  • “Marketing has to be an investment and never an expense.”
  • “Marketing is a participation sport, it’s not like advertising where you pass it off to somebody.”
  • “The whole point of social media is crowdsourcing; getting other people to talk about your brand.”
  • “Get to know people, ask them for advice, and find out what happens.”
  • “When people are better when you are done, that’s success.”
  • “The reason I consider myself successful is because I have a message, I have a methodology and I provide value to people when it’s all said and done.”

brian-wm

More From the Interview

Growing up Brian was a musician. At 18 years of age he started a recording studio in his Dad’s basement. He had to learn to promote himself. At first, he used a word processor to print out articles, cut and paste them together into a newsletter that he would take to a copy shop and print and put together his newsletters. Since then he’s been a video editor and producer, he owned a commercial recording studio (produced jingles, radio programs and commercials), and online marketing.

“It’s been something I’ve had to do for myself and since I was able to do it for myself I was able to do it for other people.”

He says, the funny thing about marketing is marketing has never changed. It is always about people, knowing who the audience is and how they want to be communicated to. The thing that has changed is the technology and tools. You have to learn to adapt over the years.

Not too long no one knew what the smartphone was and now it’s updated every day.

“I’m a student first, I got to learn it. Then I’m a teacher second, and a purveyor or presenter last. You got to learn it, teach it, then do it.”

The smartest and most profitable people learn how to adapt to where their audience is. If you want to reach a 20 year old you need to text them. If you’re talking to 70 year olds, you still need to put out a print newsletter. You have to know where your audience is and you have to learn to adapt to get your message there. The message and the content has always been the same. It’s always been really good content and great articles. But, you have to know the channels where you can connect with them.

Branding
Branding is part logo, part image and part message. You need to know who your audience and know what your audience is looking for. An example Brian shared was for a company that made ferrules, a small part on a golf club. Once an industry staple, this company had lost a lot of their customers to cheaper overseas competition. Their business model was to sell high quality at a low price to the largest golf manufacturers. While doing research Brian spoke with someone who builds clubs for professional golfers around the world. This person agreed that this company made the highest quality part and it never broke, whereas the competitor’s part did break. He mentioned that fixing that one part cost $150 each time the repair needed to be made. He said I don’t care what I have to pay for that thing I want that ferrule. Now she manufactures custom versions of this and what sells she used to sell for $0.07 for $1.50. She learned that the marketplace had changed, without her noticing it. We completely reinvented her business.

Success Story
Brian shares his success story with a fortune 100 company that was making a $1k a month in online sales, Brian convinced them to put in a true ecommerce system on their site. By creating a very familiar interface for their ecommerce their online sales skyrocketed to $25k in sales a month.

What I see a lot of people doing wrong in marketing is throwing a lot of good money at bad. You have to consider social media and ROI. “Marketing has to be an investment and never an expense.” People don’t understand the concept of using marketing as an investment and how to measure their return on investment so they do get ripped off.

“The whole point of social media is crowdsourcing; getting other people to talk about your brand.” If you reward people for promoting you to your friends and give them something relatively inexpensive, you’re winning.

Brian’s Book
It’s Not About You it’s About Bacon: Relationship Marketing in a Social Media World by Brian BasilicoIt’s Not About You it’s About Bacon: Relationship Marketing in a Social Media World is Brian’s book. It is a why-to book about social media. It takes you through a whole journey of marketing. There are chapters on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and all that other stuff. It doesn’t tell you how to do things, it tells you why it’s important and who is there. The whole purpose of the book is getting you to understand the concept of what social media marketing means. From there, there’s lots of other opportunities to learn how to use it.

The title is from Brian’s experience at a conference. One of the other presenters encouraged people to use a hashtag, #bacon. She got 20 new followers. After that Brian started posting pictures of bacon and #bacon and breakfast with bacon online. Brian got an incredible response. What he came to find out was that the two most shared things on the internet were kittens and bacon. The whole concept is that social media marketing is not able sales and about you, and bacon is about creating a brand that is memorable and something that people will search out.

Advice for New Businesses
Go out and network. Go out and meet people. Find people you can have a 1-on-1 conversation with ask them about their experiences and their life. From there, ask them for referrals, for whatever you need. connect with them and then ask them for advice. Get to know people, ask them for advice, and find out what happens. Getting good proper referrals is the best way to get the best return on investment of quality. Look for good consultants and people who really have your best interests in mind and are not just trying to take your money. Then go learn as much as you possibly can, take online classes, community college classes, buy books, research; invest in yourself and in your own knowledge.

Success
Success for is seeing his clients blossom and make money. The biggest success that Brian gets is when they recommend him to somebody else. From a personal standpoint, it is making a difference in a way that changes people’s lives. I don’t care whether it’s through my business, or donating my time. “When people are better when you are done, that’s success.”

I’ve reinvented myself so many times, I’m very successful and always working harder to be better. The reason I consider myself successful is because I have a message, I have a methodology and I provide value to people when it’s all said and done.

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