Using fascinating powers for good, leaning into being weak, creating top-notch videos on a tight budget and much more on Episode 7 of the Be Heard Podcast! It’s an amazing spring day here in Philly. It got up to almost 80 degrees for a while. It threatened to thunder like it did yesterday but the heavens held back the fury and let us have a full day dry weather. Business continues to bustle all around me and as I write this the energy of the city’s hardworking people fills my spirit. I wonder if any city has as much hustle as Philadelphia. I hope you feel that energy in today’s podcast. Let’s get started!
Mindset Minute: Be Weak
This week’s mindset minute is about just being real. We are not strong all of the time. We are not amazing every second of every day. There are times when we just have nothing left in the tank and no matter how hard we press the gas pedal; we are going absolutely nowhere. In those times, in those moments, what do we do? Here’s what I do: Nothing. I do nothing at first. Then I dial a friend or a close family member – someone I trust. I pray. I listen to an inspiring podcast. But before I do anything proactive, I take no action at all. Then I acknowledge my weakness, really feel it, and know that I’m in it. That is the most frustrating thing for me to do because I am not a weak person. I am a person who is sometimes weak, just like all of us. Knowing that, accepting that, and living with that, will always be a challenge for me. Maybe that is one of my biggest weaknesses of all. And in knowing I’m weak and accepting it, I am actually strong.
I’m strong because I have to lower my sense of invincibility and get strength from other areas of my life. The key for me is to know truly weak moments are coming and to cultivate areas of strength outside of myself for when those times take place. That’s why friendships, family ties, and inspirational resources are my biggest pursuits at the moment. I’m filling up in preparation for the times when I will be empty through no fault of my own. Sometimes weakness and an inability to move or to function just sneak up on us. Storing up strength gives me what I need to make it through the weak times. Then when I’m strong I can support and encourage others.
Cool Process: Visual Goal Progress Thermometer
One of the greatest tools I have at my disposal is a visual reminder of my goals and where I am in relation to them. This gives me a turbo boost of energy when I’m faced with tasks I’m a little less-than-enthusiastic to tackle. I use Hubspot CRM’s Sales tool to help me out with my sales goals. I give myself a quota for the month. As I sign new and return clients I reflect that in the system. Whenever I log in I can see where I am with my quota. It is so much fun to see how close I can get before the end of each month.
One of the best jobs I ever had was as a door-to-door insurance salesperson. We had quotas, sales goals, scripts, testimonials, forms, and vacation package rewards for the salespeople who sold the most each quarter. I thrived in that environment and was near the top of the list and sometimes I was at the top each month. I made an exit once the workplace became a hostile but still, I look back on those days fondly because of the structure it provided me.
Different is Better Than Better.
One thing I took from those days was the quota and how it drives sales activity. Things I never thought possible suddenly happened simply because I worked the system, stuck to the script, and kept my goal in sight. I’m no longer a part of a sales team, but I recommend this experience for every single business owner out here today. And a visual sales goal helps to give the feel of being in a sales team and having something to strive for and someone (myself) to compete against.
Set that quota. Take a look at it daily. Then you’ll be excited to track your activities for the day, knowing each and every move you make contributes to a sale. Want more sales, tweak your process until you have a system that can’t be beat. Then it’s on to the next challenge.
Best Resource: WeVideo.com
WeVideo.com is my go-to source for creating videos for my business. It’s a do-it-yourself video editing tool I use to polish up my public speaking demo reels and testimonials. By the way, whenever I have the chance to get a video testimonial from a client, I seize it. There are few tools that make sales easier than visual proof you’re as awesome as you say you are.
I record the testimonial with my phone and then upload it to my computer. I also upload it into WeVideo and the fun begins. It has all kinds of cool things for adding audio and text to make your videos look as if done by a video production company. All the videos you see on the LisaDSparks.com site I created through WeVideo.com. I’m including a link to one of my favorite customer testimonials with the notes for this show. Once I’ve uploaded the raw video it takes me about an hour to have a fully produced video.
I’d like to note this does not take the place of the fine work my friends do who are in the video production business. Brie and Rizel are absolutely amazing and as budgets allow I see a huge advantage in hiring them to handle video production and editing. Until then, I use WeVideo.com. It’s also a good training ground for me to understand the wording around video production. This helps me to explain my concepts and ideas clearly once I’m ready to take things to the next level and hand them off to top-tier professionals. WeVideo.com also helps me to understand my own aesthetic and branding. This helps with budgeting and controlling production costs since I’ll understand what is and what isn’t possible; and what takes hundreds of hours of work vs. what may only take a few hours.
WeVideo.com gives me great video quality and it’s not super-expensive for the service itself. The system charges for hosting of larger images and distribution packages. They have flexible pricing that is not month-to-month (thank God!) and it’s easy to distribute the finished product across all major social media channels. Check out WeVideo.com, especially for your customer testimonials.
Book Review of the Week: Fascinate by Sally Hogshead
This week I’m reviewing the reboot of Sally Hogshead’s “Fascinate: How to Make Your Brand Impossible to Resist.” This book is impossible to resist. It’s slow going at first because I read so many business and branding books. Because of the common subject matter many of them start in the same way. But once Sally gets going she really does mesmerize with the way she explains a complex and truly difficult section of marketing.
Everyone seems to be on a storytelling kick when it comes to marketing your business these days. To me, it’s always been a fundamental thing and it seems easy. I buy from the people I know, like, and trust. How can I know, like, and trust you if I don’t know who you are? It’s intrinsic. Sally take the intrinsic and turns it into a predictable formula for success in getting people to pay attention, to buy, and to come back to your brand. She does it in a way that’s a marketer’s dream and I would imagine it’s a dream for someone who isn’t in the profession either.
The second and third parts of the book shine because I can roll up my sleeves and apply what she’s talking about immediately to my business. I look at “Fascinate” as a textbook and instead of taking a test at the end of the term, I’m trying out the tactics she describes. I get a high grade when I score a new client or I can create a deeper engagement with my existing customers. Don’t skip over the first few chapters, though. She explains something called the orange ticket that she refers to throughout the book and it’s critical to understanding the powerful concepts and tactics she describes.
Whatever you do, read each word carefully. Sally really does tie it all together in the final two-thirds of the book. I’m referring to the author as Sally instead of by her last name Hogshead because I feel her when it comes to the lottery of last names. It’s tough to go through life with a unique one, especially as a marketer. People expect you to build your entire brand around that last name. Ugh! Sally inspires me in that she hasn’t done that. Her ideas and the ease in which she explains concepts speaks for her. No last-name gimmicks. Just straight-up actionable advice I can use immediately to produce positive, predictable results for my business. Muah!
The book is filled with diagrams and charts to make the Seven Fascination Advantages come to life. Be not dismayed, putting these things into practice will take work. But if you’re eager and keen to get ahead, you’ll start to get ideas even as you’re in the middle of a sentence. So read this with pen and paper by your side. Or be prepared to stop and highlight certain sections. This is one of those books that “gets me.” Meaning, I bought the Kindle version, but I know I’ll be buying the physical paper version soon since I like to mark up parts of texts. And then I’ll be getting the audio version because I like to listen to these things while I’m doing cleaning house and folding laundry. I’ve only done this with two other books, “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend; and “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg which I’ve mentioned several times through this podcast series.
Sally captures greatness in this book because she speaks visually while she’s conveying key insights into marketing/branding/relationship building for a business. I’m right there when she describes how nurses turned her daughter’s surgery into a magical moment by blowing bubbles through a wand as they wheeled her bed into the surgical wing of the hospital. I was there when she distributed post-party prescriptions to departing guests from the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. Read this and you’ll see why branding is a fun adventure, rather than the chore some marketers can make it out to be. She goes beyond coordinating color schemes and really lays out the inner workings of brand development and brand longevity.
“Fascinate” is just one of those books. As soon as I finish I want to take the ride again.
By far a classic, “Fascinate” definitely has done it to me. It is an urgent read. Whatever you are a consuming now, put it down. Read this instead.
Closing Out Show
Today’s show was a blast! I’m so glad I had the chance to share with you today. I’ve been super-busy and that is a blessing from up above. But getting the chance to talk with you every week gives me such a wonderful thrill. Thank you for being such awesome listeners of the podcast! I’m getting positive feedback and it makes me smile every single time. Feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know of a concept or an idea you’d like me to cover. I’d be happy to take a look.
Next week I’m reviewing one of the latest books from Dan Kennedy. I love his entire No B.S. series but this one is on social media so I had to share my thoughts with you. Stay tuned for that. I’m also working on a Mindset Minute segment about doing nothing after you’ve tried just about everything. Next, I’ll be sharing some of the ways I’m using Google Keep to replace other note-taking tools. Stay tuned and until then make sure to Be Heard!