Behind the veil of ROARlocal… Neil and Nicola reveal the secrets of working entrepreneurs, what works, what flopped, what they are reading and having fun with this week. Could business planning just be a form of mental masturbation?
This week we are starting a new format for our podcasts. Every Wednesday will be a brand new, fresh off the press recording of Neil and I discussing insider tips and tricks.
On Saturday’s, we will continue to showcase podcast recordings of our favourite blog posts, hand picked from the ROARlocal archives.
If you have any suggestions or questions you’d like us to answer, we’d love to hear from you. Please mention Podcast in the subject.
Prefer to read than listen? Here’s the transcription
ROARentrepreneurs | Business Diary 11 February 2014
Nicola: This is Nicola Cairncross, and I’m joined today, all the way from sunny Sydney, by Neal Asher, and this is our first entrepreneur facing podcasts, which I’m looking forward to enormously.
Neil: It’s not you know.
Nicola: It’s not?!
Neil: It’s not sunny.
Nicola: Oh, it’s not nice and sunny?
Neil: Well often it is, but actually bloody awful here so you probably feel better about that.
Nicola: Yes, I do, exactly. What’s going on with the weather then? It’s supposed to be Summer there.
Neil: It’s supposed to be but it’s utter crap.which is actually nice because it makes me feel like I want to do some work, which is a nice place to be.
Nicola: Because the sunshine must very distracting, especially when you’ve got kids and things, wanting to go out and play.
Neil: It’s not so much the kids as much as the beach.
Nicola: It’s drawing you down there EVEN with your luminous skin.
Neil: My skin is, like, translucent. You know that rice paper that you use to wrap those wonton wraps? That you see in Marks & Spencer and places like that? They just put all sorts of crap in there, but it’s just like those white rice paper square things.
Nicola: That’s you on the beach. Perhaps we should set the scene a bit really before we plunge into the first podcast?
We have a digital marketing agency called ROARlocal and we also have a bunch of ROARentrepreneur mentoring students who’ve largely flown under the radar so far.
I can’t remember how that started. I think we had a “Real Products, Real Business” workshop in London, didn’t we? And then people wanted further support to put it into place.
Neil: That’s right. We did a “Real Products, Real Business” workshop and from there we had loads and loads of people, specifically Rozina, she was actually the real driver behind that, and she pushed us to start a mentoring program on the back end of that.
Nicola: Yeah. We weren’t sure if you wanted to do that – you weren’t sure if we wanted to do ongoing coaching/ mentoring, so we sort of did it just to see what happened and it’s been incredibly successful.
Actually, they are starting to get some real results in that group, aren’t they? Irene has scored over £7K worth of new business from just one strategy we taught her and Guy is making over $6K a month now.
Neil: Indeed. Which is nice. It’s always good when you teach people things and they apply it. That’s always a great thing.
Nicola: Yes, that’s right. So what we wanted to so with the existing podcast, where we suddenly realised that had a number of great products and we also had the mentoring group, but we didn’t want to promote the products from our main website at ROARlocal.com because that’s all about “done for you” services for businesses.
So we just launched the new website called ROARentrepreneurs.com and that will be there to showcase our training products and mentoring group.
Then we realised if you start a new website, we really need to be able to put some new content into it and we were trying to figure out the most efficient way to put new content into it, because Neil already blogs on the main site, so a podcast came to our minds.
The ones I enjoy most are the ones where two people talk about what they’ve done in the last week to move their businesses forward. So I’ve dragooned Neil into joining me on a Monday morning and telling us what he’s been doing, and what I’ve been doing in the UK, to drive our respective ROAR businesses forward.
Neil: Which is like recording our normal conversations on Monday, isn’t it?
Nicola: Yeah, because we do our… they are grandly called ‘strategy meetings’.
Neil: It’s our way of saying we just have a chat.
Nicola: Yeah, exactly. Because you got keep focus, otherwise you can drift off into busy work rather than focussed strategy work.
Neil: Yes, that’s true.
Nicola: You’re the real strategist amongst us, I would say, although I’ve usually got a plan of the three things I want to achieve during the week, but you you plan things a lot more than what people would think, don’t you?
Neil: I plan things to the nth degree, almost to the point of OCD levels of planning, and then my plan is to plan them to the nth degree. You see I’ve got a plan for planning which is very OCD. Then I completely forget all about my plan once I read it all and have got it all straight in my mind, and I forget all about it and wing it.
Nicola: But somehow it must be in your subconscious.
Neil: That’s actually the strategy behind it all. I think to a big degree that the planning process for me develops a belief and certainty and then once I’ve got the belief and certainty as high as I can get inside myself, then taking all the action I need to take becomes like a foregone conclusion for me. It’s something I just kind a of do out of this belief and certainty that I’ve created, so I create the that first and then the action flows from that.
And everybody has a different strategy. But that’s what really works for me.
Nicola: It is interesting because that goes into a really interesting conversation we had in the ROARentrepreneurs mentoring call a week or so ago, where we were talking about life getting in the way, I think, and why people are a bit slow in taking action.
I said if you knew there was only 20 steps between you and success, or the success you’re after, wouldn’t you just take those 20 steps as quickly as possible? Wouldn’t you try and carve out some time to make those 20 steps?
And one of our most experienced mentoring students said to me, and he’s a very intelligent man who’s got a business that I thought was going quite well, he said to me “but what are those 20 steps?” And it made me realise that you and I have a plan in our heads, all the time, that might be a slightly different plan, but we do know what to do get this of the ground, don’t we? But still it appears some people are not very certain of that.
Neil: Yes, I was reading the other day, I think it was an old Jay Abraham thing actually, where Jay talked about the ultimate thing to sell is a step by step plan with just ‘do this, do this and do this’. It’s that concept of just waiting to plugin a USB drive into somebody else and just downloading the necessary steps and, in a way, abdicate the responsibility for the completion of them by doing that.
But that’s what most people want and Jay Abraham said “That’s great to sell but it’s fraught with danger because then of course what you open yourself up to is that everybody who has simply abdicated their responsibility of making sure that that gets done and you end up with people who plug themselves into you and they’ve no longer got responsibility for the completion of their own goals. You’ve now got the responsibility for the completions of their goals because you’ve given them this step by step … Do this and you will be successful.
Nicola: Do you think that? Rick Schefren talks about this. He talks about “the entrepreneurial uncertainty” and how that stops a lot of people from becoming entrepreneurs because they can’t bear the thought of the uncertainty involved. Do you think anyone goes through Jay’s plans and gets to the end and says ” Well, I’ve done step 20, where’s my success?” or do you think they simply don’t get to step 20?
Neil: Well, I think that people probably do get to step 20. I’ve done businesses before… where were we…. A notable one is the Life Coach Training Company “New Insights”, so we started, and we had as part of our guarantee criteria – something else that I’ve learned from Jay Abraham – we had listed out this 20 steps and with the knowledge, intrinsically maybe not explicit, but the intrinsic knowledge that if they did those 20 steps, then as a result of doing them, and as a result of being the sort of person who was able to do them, because that’s probably the most important part of the equation, then you will get to be successful.
All the time that you’ve offered that guarantee it enabled us to to sell the course for much more money than we normally would be able to. But we had, I think, four people who went for that entire process, who did those 20 detailed steps. It was things that you and I would look at it and say, “That’s a foregone conclusion”. So they did those 20 steps and still didn’t get their success and we ended up refunding them. I think there’s no doubt at all that Jay would have had the exactly same thing happening as well. That’s probably why he said that you open yourself up to a whole rack of problems by offering it.
Nicola: It seems to be, especially in their earlier stages of people’s entrepreneurial journey, perhaps they have been forced into it by a redundancy or something, that they go looking for step by step plans and that’s why they get stuck into to the all shiny object syndrome, buying systems and things like that.
Neil: I agree with that and it’s not until you kinda take the time to plan properly that you realise that there isn’t a step by step plan and neither CAN there be a one size fits all step by step plan. Everybody’s entrepreneurial journey is different and every journey to a successful business is different and everybody’s definition of a successful business is different too.
Nicola: Interesting. We didn’t really know when we started ROARlocal… we sort of knew what we wanted to achieve with it, but we didn’t really know what was going to be the most successful tactic, so we had to sort of put our fingers in the air, lick them, stick them in the air, and see which way the wind was going and decide on a few tactics to start first, didn’t we?
Neil: Yes, that’s exactly right. I totally sympathise with the ‘I am working in a full time job and I don’t have the resources to start my own business thing’. I do actually sympathise with that, with that thought process, because for many people it can be debilitating in many ways to think about that kinda step out into the unknown, kinda of sticking your finger up in the air, starting something that is not perfect because it’s so indoctrinated for people to be perfect, to not make mistakes. It’s a very difficult thing.
Nicola: We are taught in school to learn initially, and then we are taught not to get things wrong or not to get things enough wrong. I mean, I went to parents’ evening with my son Nelson the other day, and it was all about how he could… what amount he needed to do in order to not get a fail.
Because he is bright, but he is bored, so he is not aiming for an A, he is just aiming for a “pass” at this stage. So the conversations were all about not failing, so he could come out to the world of work with the required Cs and Bs under his belt, so he could go off to get jobs or get into college. It was such an interesting experience for someone like us, who are aiming at the top success thing. Just odd, weird experience!
Neil: I’m with you in that. We’ve just come from the process where my eldest daughter is only six and we are just going through that school process now. Do we put her into a public school or private school and all that sort of stuff, and my kind of opinion of that is that Google has really destroyed the need for learning or exam learning of anything. It’s only a matter of time until we are able to be plugged in and get all those useless bits of crapping information that we are forced to memorise at school. So we can pass our exams.
That’s just going to be utterly useless in years to come, if not now. What they ought to be taught or what we are trying to find is a way to teach critical thinking skills. Probably Nelson has got that in abundance…
Nicola: Yes, he is really sharp… It is… The most shocking thing for me was when you’ve got to the IT department and they told me he was making a website for the Miami basketball team. I haven’t even thought to mention that at home, even though he knows I do websites because he says the way they teach me here how to do websites, there’s so much written work to go with it that he has to justify every decision in writing, while he sees us just cracking on and making websites that make money with it. He just can’t be bothered with the writing. That’s not real, that’s not what real people do.
Neil: That’s interesting that he says that’s not real. I like that! Again that kinda falls back on what people think about when they are thinking about getting out on their own and starting their own businesses “That’s not real. That’s not what normal people do”. The full understanding that people have…
Nicola: You raised a great point a minute ago. Something about the Google thing. It’s all about “just in time” learning for me. I only want to learn something when I need to learn it, but there are so many people that need to know everything and know it really well and know that it’s the right steps to take before they start and take the first step.
Neil: Yes, that’s well said. I love that concept of “just in time learning”. I never heard it put like that.
Nicola: Just in time rather than just in case.
Neil: Yes, I really like that. I think that plays to people’s strengths. If you look at businesses, businesses operate best on that “just in time ” strategy too.
Nicola: I bet whenever you started your businesses you haven’t gone out and thought, “Right, I need to know everything there is to know about the life coaching businesses. I need to know everything there is to know about building a life coaching business” and actually, your life coaching business was very different to others and that’s what got my attention initially, because you were the only people, as far as I can see, who were teaching people marketing and how to get clients, as well as the actual skills involved in being a coach.
Neil: You know what?! I thought to myself people who are going to become life coaches are already naturally asking a lot of questions, they are naturally interested in personal development. And I thought it was like Harvard has got the best reputation as a business school because it attracts people who are bright and business savvy. Not because it teaches any better, but because it attracts those people ordinarily. Do you know what I mean?
So I thought the New Insights course was already going to attract people who were great catches by definition. They’d be interested in personal development, they’d be interested in helping people. They would already have those skills, so I didn’t see a great need to teach them that, other than to give them a framework from within which to do it.
So I focus on teaching them how to get clients because I figure if… you can be the best coach in the world, but if you haven’t got any clients then… what’s the point.
Nicola: Yes, interesting. I was brave… when I started… I had about 3 months of thinking I wanted to be a life coach, and once I’d started my life coach training, I immediately started going out and going to networking things, because that’s what they told us to do, and I thought, “Ok, I’m up for it” and I ended up joining BNI and spending a couple of years with BNI, and that’s where I tested all my 30 second introductions. As my coaching business evolved, I just kept testing on this live willing audience of 30 business people, but I didn’t have the fear.
I think a lot of people have so much fear around taking steps, taking the actions that might actually bring you some business.
Neil: And that for me is why I did the full planning thing, but it was interesting actually in the group when we’ve talked about the hyperactive planning stage that some people said as a result of doing planning, they felt that they’d satiated their need to actually go and start the business. Like the mental masturbation that you get when you kind of go through the process was enough. They’ve had their orgasm. So that was an interesting thing for me to hear as well, so I found that fascinating.
I’ve done that myself through other things, not so with businesses, but certainly with other things. We kinda go through the process of planning them out and then you don’t actually find the need at the end to go and take the action. The planning of it and the thinking about it was enough to satiate the desire within you.
Nicola: There’s a couple of things that spring to mind… One is what Anita Roddick use to say… don’t share your dream too soon with other people, because it’s like a little bird that you are holding in your hand. You have to hold it close enough so that you can protect it, but also not let anyone see it too early. Otherwise other people would just accidentally trample on your dream.
There’s also a “Ted Talk”, where a guy talks about, can’t remember his name now, but he talks about how you mustn’t talk about your business plan or your goals and your dreams too early because your brain feels that you have to actually achieve them by talking about them and planning them too much. He says that psychologically you feel, like you said, satisfied and then you don’t have actually go and take any action.
Neil. Yes, It’s interesting. I mean, to play the opposing side of it, in a weird kind of way, perhaps that’s an inbuilt mechanism to get rid of the businesses or the business ideas that you only like to think about. You don’t necessarily like to do. I don’t know?!
But I certainly did find that. Like you and I, we got this weird kinda… we have an idea for a business, we must go and buy every available domain name associated with that business. Because of that we’ve got like hundreds of domain names in our account. I still do that now. I still can’t help myself.
Nicola: You still have a domain named Brain Fart!
Neil: Exactly. Interestingly enough for me, sometime the buying of the domain name is enough action for me to take to recognise that that’s not a good business to go after. It’s kinda a weird.
Nicola: Ok. So $13 well spent for the .com and the .co.uk then.
Neil: Yes, absolutely. In terms of time management and time saving, yes, for sure.
Nicola: A $13 investment saves you a lot more later.
Nicola: Well, I think that that’s actually fascinating, we might come back to that, because it’s going to be a recurring theme. Let’s talk about what you’ve grown up to, because I’m in the UK and you are in Australia, we are working on the same business except you’ve got one in Australia and I’ve got one in the UK, and you also have other activities outside that, so what was your week all about last week?
Neil: Hiring staff, funnily enough. I’m looking for more salespeople. Part and parcel of what we’ve spoken with regards to the lead gen side of the business. Like that’s always been something that I’ve been very addicted to, the online lead generation… I’m good at that, but I am shit with everything else, so I had to become very good at hiring staff! So, I have been looking for sales staff.
Between me and you and everybody else listening to this podcast, the most effective strategy I’ve found to find good sales people is to go and poach them from other companies, because generally speaking, good salespeople are not on the open market…
Nicola: No, if they are good they are selling.
Neil: If they’re good they are selling and making money. Absolutely!
Nicola: It’s interesting because I’ve heard several of my mentors in the past talk about this and yes, they have to make the conditions right for a great sales person to come over to them, and that seems to involve a small degree of security with a large degree of reward based on results.
Neil: Yes, It’s a lot upside. I mean, what I’m offering is obviously some profit share, but also the ability to have shared ownership, because of the way we structured the deals with the lead gen thing that we do. Oftentimes, we’re able to get some equity within the businesses, and so I’m structuring deals with the salespeople that if they hit the target, then they’ll get some of the equity too.
So I am kinda of ‘entrepreneuralising’ that in a very safe way for them.
Nicola: I was going to say because you don’t really think of salespeople as being particularly entrepreneurial, they are very money motivated and reward motivated, and ego driven largely.
If you think of them in wealth dynamics terms they are creative stars, as opposed to lord accumulators who are the kind of people who want to acquire equity in businesses.
Neil: Yes, exactly, But that has been a very good… so far it’s been demonstrated to be a far better inducement, than kind of intangible things such as working conditions and things like that.
Nicola: So how are you going about this? Because I know we are keen to bring the same business into the UK. So how are you going about finding these salespeople? Are you advertising? Or putting the word out on social media?
Neil: LinkedIn is where I am doing it. Also, I am meeting quite a number of people per week, just in other businesses, again through LinkedIn, and it’s totally not digital marketing professionals. I actively avoid other digital marketing professionals.
Not because of anything other than the fact that I want to diversify my contacts and if I just met someone that was in digital marketing we would just talk about digital marketing, and that doesn’t make any sense at all to me.
So I am going out and actively meeting other people and then as a result of that I get to talk with them about their business, get talking about one thing and another, we talk about sales people. More often they’ll say “you should chat to such and such, they’re at such and such a company and I know they’ve got itchy feet. You know what I mean…
Nicola: Yes, you are getting referrals. It’s pushing you right out of your comfort zone, isn’t it? This whole meeting business, because you’re actually not a very… you’re not someone that finds it easy to go out and socialise like that casually.
Neil: Yes and no. If I’m going at socially with a purpose, then I can have my game face on. I can go out, and I can schmooze for Australia. Really I can! But If I’m just going out… like Natasha my wife organises a dinner party and there’s just random people showing up, then that for me, is uncomfortable. I don’t really like that.
But if I am going out to talk business and to do business and stuff like that, which is all valuable to me, then I feel great about that and I can see a purpose to it, and I get a real sense of achievement from it.
If I am just having a dinner party with random people and we’re just going to talk about things that probably don’t interest me that much, then I find that uncomfortable, absolutely.
Nicola: And do you find it living in the center of Sydney easier? Because when you were in the UK, you lived sort on the other side of Brighton to where I am, and really all the action happens in London.
Well, there’s a good Brighton scene, but most of the really high level action happens in London.
Neil: Yes, that’s so true. That has certainly been an advantage time wise, no doubt about it. Also, you feel it’s so much easier to go do that as well. Like it’s only 20 minutes into the middle of the city for me for here. Whereas in Brighton it was 1.30 hours…
Nicola: On a good day, if all the trains were working.
Neil: That’s definitely been an advantage and it’s interesting you’ve mentioned that because Natasha – we’re buying a house at the minute, and we’re going through that process of do we buy something in the middle of Sidney, or do we buy something much like what we had just outside of Brighton, like an hour in.
We’re kind of going through that process mentally and we oscillate between the 2 coins. So that’s interesting that you refer to that.
Nicola: Yes, so for you, last week as all about hiring stuff and finding good sales people for you. Anything else that came up for you last week, or should I tell you what was I up to?
Neil: It’s your turn.
Nicola: Ok, It was quite an interesting week for me in terms of… We had this thing where we’ve always done blog posts and you’d set up a system to send out mailing list links on Tuesday and Thursdays to the new blog posts and you’ve recently introduced “What we are reading on a Sunday?” where the all team contribute interesting articles, and wasn’t it interesting that the 2 of us picked up on the same last week.
Neil: That was really funny. I quite liked that as well. It shows that we are thinking in the same direction.
Nicola: It was just a little fun thing, but I found it quite fascinating and so did the other members of our team, so it turned up in both our lists. Really for me last week was all about starting to put an automated follow system for ROAR, and actually I’ve had some further thoughts about that… whether we should be separating our mailing list out into ROARlocal subscribers and ROARentrepreneurs subscribers, so we have to talk about that some other time. I had to put into place something that was quite far out of my comfort zone mentally, because writing stuff is OK for me if I have a big block of time to become creative.
I get interrupted a lot of times, I can’t do anything creative at all. But I did block off big blocks of time and it involved going into InfusionSoft and working with the campaign builder, which I really enjoyed. And it was all about putting a follow up sequence in place to introduce us and what we could do for people and then moving people onto a couple offers. Offer 1, if they haven’t had offer one before, they would move to offer 1 sequence. If they have had offer 1 they move into offer 2 sequence, and if they’ve had offer 1 and offer 2 in the past, they go straight into a “had both” offer sequence which then leads to more follow up and then eventually into another offer 3 and offer 4 sequence.
The logic involved in these is absolutely astonishing. It was like being back in algebra class or something. My brain was like OMG. I had a tuition that I filmed, then I had the tuition transcribed, so I was watching the video and reading the transcription and making notes and still it wasn’t enough, so… I did manage to get it up and running.
I’ve got 2 offers up and running and a follow up sequence, and now I’ve got to do another follow up sequence with 2 more offers. I am going to make step by step notes as I do it this time, because somehow watching it on video is great, but it’s not very helpful if we want to then delegate to someone, because they will need really detailed step by step instructions.
Neil: That’s an interesting point you make about the delegation part of it. Also, about the note part of it. I saw today somebody selling their seminar notes from Ryan Deiss’s seminar. So someone was selling their notes from that. We can probably sell the notes of what you do as well.
Nicola: Yes, the interesting thing is that it was a member of my mastermind who is a really successful betting person. He got into Internet marketing because he was really successful in playing poker and then he was really successful working out a horse racing betting system. I didn’t think that thing existed, but apparently they do and he went off to America where it’s all a lot more online and computer orientated and he created his own system, came back to the UK and sold it as a tuition course and was phenomenally successful with that because people did get amazing results.
He then moved into using InfusionSoft and ended up in my mastermind group somehow and we were all blown away when he described this sort of 1 step, 2 step, 3 step, 4 step offer system and using InfusionSoft to its nth degree, with all the tagging and everything, and he did us a quick demo on the day and then there were 2 or 3 of us who wanted more and so he did a sort of group call for us, and we all still couldn’t get it, so then I invited him on a call and he gave me a bit of tuition in return for me giving him the recordings and the transcriptions so he could sell it to his lists.
So yes, I definitely feel there is a product for us there as well because it’s basically how to set up an automated selling sequence within InfusionSoft, where people don’t get sold something if they have already been sold or bought it before.
Neil: Very sexy! I mean, that’s the beautiful thing about InfusionSoft. That’s very sexy!
Nicola: Yes, but as I said, it did take several blocks of 5hrs last week, but I’m on it now. I am going to do the second bit today and I want to make step by step notes as I go, so there’s not just a transcription of the video but there’s actually step by step notes.
He’s just got a very logical mind and I haven’t.
Neil : You’ve got a different sort of logic.
Nicola: Yes. Some people would argue that it is alien logic. I know one person that would because it doesn’t work like anyone elses. But it was enjoyable because I did get a sense of achievement after I had done it. When a thousand odd people, who’ve been waiting in a holding sequence, then move into a selling sequence… It’s quite an interesting experience.
Neil: I am looking forward to seeing the results of that and maybe we can kind of reference that in next week’s podcast because some people have now gone into that sequence, haven’t they?
Nicola: Already 2 people have tried to buy, and for two different reasons, haven’t been able to do it. One’s card was declined and I don’t know what happened to the second one, so I will be monitoring the results very closely. Those people wouldn’t have seen those offers unless I’d set that up last week.
Neil: Just out of interest. Those people who’ve tried to buy and weren’t able to, are they then put into… is there just something happening to them. Like are they flagged or…
Nicola: Oh it’s so interesting that you say that because that’s obviously the next step.
Neil: So many moving parts, isn’t there, when you start breaking down a business.
Nicola: Yes, it is and I sort of like that. The fact that it is a system. Because I used to think before I met you, and before I met other successful business owners, I used to think that it was all a bit of a mystery and a mystique, and I think a lot of people do feel that still.
Neil: Yes, I think they do.
Nicola: But if people think of it as a system…
Neil: Which is all it is. I see it as systems. Michael Gerber’s book was the big ground-breaking book for me with regards to that – E-myth.
Nicola: It was. So it had a big impact on you as well?
Neil: Yes, someone had bought for me, actually a guy called Ed, who’s now a TV chef here in Australia – he bought it for me. It really changed my business life, but also if you read below the subtext of the book it’s actually a brilliant personal development book as well.
So financially, emotionally, and on a business level, it really was highly impactable.
Nicola: I remember particularly being struck by the story of the when she hired a bookkeeper – the pie lady hired a bookkeeper, and the phrase that jumped out at me was: You’ve got to learn to delegate responsibility rather their abdicating responsibility. Which is very easy to do – to hire someone, to give them all the responsibility for achieving something, without you anywhere near the guidance on how you wanted done.
Neil: That’s exactly right. I’ve just gone through that today. Actually, we go through that all the time if you think about it. I got a really high level piece of website code that needs to get done. It needs to be written in a language called PHP, and it needs somebody really shit hot to do it, so I’m going through the process of trying to explain what I want doing in such a way… like talking two languages – the developer talks developer language, ‘developerese’ and I talk layman, kind of like I want you to do this and then can you do that please.
Going through that process is very easy once you find someone who says “Yes, totally understand what you mean” and then you go (take a deep breath) and relax and abdicate all responsibility for seeing that project through then. Which is something I have been very acutely aware of not doing, but also not wanting to go and learn developerese, to be able to communicate that. So that’s interesting you’ve reference that.
Nicola: Are you dividing the project into outcome benchmarks?
Neil: Yes, that’s exactly what I have been doing. Looking at exactly what I am doing and then flow-diagramming that because… just for leveraging all the things I am able to do, or the tools I have access to, so I can then get them to convert that into… So we’ve got like a common language between the 2 of us. It gives us a way of actually staying on top of the project as well, without me just going, “Thank God for that, now you’re going to look after all that”.
Nicola: And 3 months later ending up with them asking for the money and you not having the thing that you want.
Neil: That’s exactly right.
Nicola: Cool. So moving on, what are you looking forward to this week? What are you up to this week in particular?
Neil: This week is a week of putting joint ventures in place with focus extremely heavily on… because we’ve realised our greater source of lead closures come from a particular market segment, so we are going after that market segment very, very aggressively now.
We’ve created a list of all the people that are in that market segment and now we’re going just to cold call them and basically offer them a deal on the front end like “Do you want to do this and make a lot money kind of deal”, you know what I mean? Without sounding like a used car salesman, which will be very difficult. Which is really just lead gen, but doing it in a different way.
Nicola: And that’s through that Linkedin strategy that you’ve taught us all.
Neil: It’s not through LinkedIn. We are going to Google, Google searching this particular industry, and then cold calling them. If it was accountants you’d go to Google and type in accountants in Sydney, or whatever it might be, get a list of the accountants and then start cold calling them.
Nicola: Call business development people. It sounds like, once you’ve got it really nailed down, it sounds like if we put that and a LinkedIn strategy too, it would be a really good lead gen product, wouldn’t it?
Neil: The more I go through this… Like, who was it that said “When you really understand something it’s actually very simple. No matter how complex you think it is to begin with, when you actually break it down and really understand it is actually very, very simple.” I can’t remember who said that.
I’ll make his name up and I am going to say it was Einstein just because… Natasha Hay said that. She is very smart.
Nicola: I just heard her. I’m sure it was her.
Neil: No. Honestly, it wasn’t. So right now I am not at the with this particular project where I am good enough at it and proficient enough at doing it that I can explain it simply.
So right now I don’t think I’m at the point that I can teach it Because I still feel like it is very skill driven rather than system driven, because it’s a sales thing. Although there is no doubt a system to it, I haven’t figured it out yet. That’s probably what it more is, I haven’t figured it a system yet.
Nicola: OK, cool! I will be putting in offer 3 and offer 4 into the sequence. I’m also going to be puzzling out whether we want to have two separate mailing lists and follow up for the two separate sites…
Neil: Talk to me about that. So what makes you think that we need to? What’s your thinking and reason behind that.
Nicola: Ok, at the moment we’ve got a lot of inbound leads to ROARlocal, which are all going into the campaign builder, in the same place, and then what I have put in place, then, was a sort of warm up follow up sequence of about 10 emails, which were taken from blog posts you’ve written in the past.
That really introduces people to the idea of the “All done for you” services for businesses, and then I am putting in place now, and obviously in each of those follow up emails, there’s a call to action, which is to optin for a consultation so they can talk to me about their business and see what we could offer as a tactic to fulfil their strategy for their business, their marketing strategy.
Then I’ve realised that we are now going to have an optin box on ROARentrepreneurs, which is all about the training and the mentoring, and people will be coming in to ideally the same campaign builder sequence, but they will suddenly be offered, talked to, about “All done for you” services. So in those first 10 emails, I’m going to go back now and tailor the call to action to, Ok, this is how we can help you… we can either do “All done for you” or we can teach you to do it yourself. So that they are separate, and when people click on either of those, they get moved into a separate follow up sequence that specifically speaks to them, I think.
Neil: And do you think it should be as explicit as that? Like, “would you prefer us doing it for you or do you like to learn yourself”, or do you think it ought to be something like a survey “Is your business doing less than a million in a year, or more than a million a year? With the knowledge that if it’s doing less than a million a year, they probably want to learn it themselves, and if it’s doing more than a million in a year, they probably want someone to do it for them.
Nicola: That’s a great idea. I’m just not convinced yet that the people come along and are that clear cut themselves. I think perhaps a business that has grown to a million a year, the entrepreneur in charge might still have the scarcity mindset of having to learn how to do everything himself… It’s a good thought, because a survey… You know what, I’ve done quite a lot surveys in my own business, and I have never found the to be particularly conclusive. Have you?
Neil: No. No I haven’t ,and that’s why I suggest that kind of money question, because that can be conclusive in as much as you can’t fudge the answer, whereas with most surveys the answers are very fudgeable.
Nicola: People are very reluctant to tell you how much they are earning on a survey.
Neil: Within their business, what their business turnover is, that ought to be different. In the end you are making a million a year or you are not!
Nicola: But are you willing to tell someone who’s obviously asking for marketing purposes what your turnover is? I am not sure if I would be.
Neil: Yes, sure. You’ve got to be really, really sneaky with that question. But have it done it in a such a way that it doesn’t flag anything… Maybe it’s like the blog posts that we write.
Some blog posts are going to be more attractive to people who want to do it themselves, and other blog posts are going to be more attractive to those people… It could be things like, if you are successful in business, generally speaking, you are hiring talented people.
Nicola: So an educational process.
Neil: All the hiring posts ought to flag somebody that wants to outsource it to us, and all the learning posts ought to find someone that wants to learn it for themselves. So any blog post that talks about teaching them something like – Where and how to put your Google adwords account together? – then ought to flag that they are interested in learning how to learn doing Google AdWords.
Nicola: Yes, that’s a good idea. Because you said that we’ve got to remember, and we do remember it all the time, that we’ve got to be adding value here or people will not read our emails and they will gradually sink into the email spam box. So value adding is definitely the order of the day! And I like the idea of getting people to click somehow to say whether they’re interested, and of course, you can do so many amazing things.
For example if I wanted someone to a TED Talk about being a founder of a business and hiring as quickly as possible, then that would would flag someone up of being that kind of mindset. Whereas if you want to send someone to, say, Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income podcast tutorial, and that would flag people as someone who wants to learn how to do things for themselves.
There’s a lot of ways to do it in InfusionSoft. Interesting, that’s one of the examples of a system that looks incredibly complicated, but as you get into it, it becomes simple and logical to use.
Neil: Yes, exactly. I like that, and it’s also very behavioral driven, like you can’t bust that. You either are clicking the links that flag that, or you’re not.
Nicola: Cool. That’s probably going to take… The thinking around that and the implementation around that, it’s probably going to take up most of the week, so I’ll report next Monday on how it went and what results we’ve had.
Neil: Good luck!
Nicola: Ok. Good stuff. I think that’s the perfect time to draw a veil over our podcast. SO have you enjoyed it? I certainly have.
Neil: It’s been utterly, utterly good fun.
Nicola: That’s all we ask of a business really, business activity.
Neil: We like fun activities.
Nicola: Til the same time next week, Neil. Thanks very much for joining me, and I’ll see you next week.
Neil: See you Nicola.