Our Guest Today: Michael Roderick
Michael Roderick is the CEO of Small Pond Enterprises which helps thoughtful givers become thought leaders by making their brands referable, their messaging memorable, and their ideas unforgettable. His frameworks have been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, and popular podcasts like The Art of Charm and Unmistakable Creative. Michael is also the host of the podcast Access to Anyone which shows how you can get to know anyone you want in business and in life using the latest technology and time tested principals.
Michael began his career in education teaching High School English before breaking into the world of Broadway producing. He made this transition in less than two years prompting colleagues to ask him how he did it. This led to Michael creating a series of experiential workshops to study the dynamics behind relationship building and messaging.
His discoveries led him to create frameworks that landed him a position in a NYC tech startup in business development, founding a popular conference for Connectors called ConnectorCon and building a consulting business teaching how people who were great at giving to others could package their ideas in a way that led to their content being shared and attracting the types of relationships that could move their careers faster. In addition to this, he founded Relationship Adventure Day, a networking event combined with a scavenger hunt set in New York City.
Now Michael speaks and consults on how individuals and companies can create Referable Brands for themselves so they can be top of mind for partnership, media opportunities, and more.
Michael is also a published playwright and the author of “Last Hour of The Day” a workbook built off a tweet campaign where he challenged his followers to do something at the last hour of their day and reflect on their experiences.
Watch Our Interview
Michael Roderick How to Make Your Brand Referable, Memorable, and Unforgettable.m4a – powered by Happy Scribe
Feisworld podcast helps independent creators live their creative and financial freedom. I’m your host, Fei Wu, and I’ll be taking you through a series of interviews with creators from around the world who are living life on their own terms. Each episode is packed with tactics, nuggets you can implement origin stories to make listening productive and enjoyable. We’re not only focused on the more aspirational stories, but relatable ones as well. We also have none interview based miniseries releasing throughout the year to help Deep dove into topics such as freelancing, marketing, even indie filmmaking that would benefit creators like you.
Show notes, lengths and ways to connect with the guests are available on Feisworld.com. Now onto the show. Hello, hello, this is Fei Wu from Feisworld live stream, we’re Feisworld podcast. I love live streaming with my friends since the beginning of the pandemic. And I’m just so glad that you’re listening to this because it means so, so much. And believe it or not, I really love to get to know all my listeners, all my viewers from my podcast, from YouTube.
So I try to diligently reply to as many messages as possible. You can reach me at Feisworld. Atheists are LDS pretty much anywhere. Instagram, Twitter and my email is Feisworld Media Gmail dot com. So check it out. Drop me your feedback. And what I find most exciting is that when people do reach out to me and if I discover that they too are a content creator or they love making cookies or they love singing or broadcasting, doesn’t matter what it is.
I ended up following them, stalking them on LinkedIn and I always check out their websites. And when s.. I would love to read is the about page. So if you’re listening to this, you’ve got a website or you’re thinking about building one. Make sure you include some juicy details and stories on your about page that is often the second most visited page on your website besides the home page or your most popular content pieces. Right. And so I just want to say that, you know, it just incredible that this opportunity, this moment I share with you, it’s very special for me and always will be.
People ask me, how do you feel about interviews? And my honest answer is, I absolutely love them. I’ve always loved them, even though I didn’t realize I was doing this as a little kid, but as an adult, looking back when I was three or four years old, I just love sitting down with people, not just little kids like me at the time, but people who are older. People are in grade schools, people are middle schools, high schools, even adults.
And also in my teenage years, the most relief that I find, especially going through a stressful day or stressful period of time, is that I love sitting down with people, especially one on one, because sometimes, you know, for me with two other people, it’s fine. But the energy synching up, if we are kind of operating on the same wavelength and the conversation is kind of just continue on naturally that way. But it’s not always the case with with everyone, with every group, which is great, which is fine, because you then you learn from different people in different opinions.
But I just personally love one on one connections, especially when with your cell phone turn away and engaging with each other and in a very deep in conversation, it is such a treat. So you haven’t tried that. Maybe start on Zoom on a phone call with family members and friends? Well, without further delay, apologies for my rant. And some of you guys enjoy that. I know, but maybe some are just thinking, oh, my God, who are you interviewing today?
What’s the story you bring forward? I have a very dear friend, Michael Roderic. I’m bringing to the show today. We have interviewed him once before on Face World. And it just occurred to me about a month ago that we had not continued our conversation on a one on one basis. So I was eager to bring him back. And here’s a beautiful part. When you talk to someone not only for the second time, but actually get to know him as a person, maybe you belong to a group, a Facebook group, a channel that he runs, which is the case for me.
I feel I’m getting to know so many different Dimanche dimensions about Michael. And this conversation really dives in deep. We stop talking about just the origin stories. I know where he’s from. I know he was a high school English teacher who transitioned to being a Broadway producer in less than two years. Super, super impressive, impressive resume and a company in a podcast he runs. But today we talk about something. In my opinion, much more helpful is how to build your brand.
That’s right. Your brand, not a company brand. Well, not something that a corporation owns, but just your brand personal brand and make it more referable memorable and unforgettable. Think about those three words for a second here. Referable is the first piece which we go right in, if not just your best, best mates, your best friends, your colleagues or your partners can talk about your business. Other people need to be able to refer back to your business and be able to talk about it.
And also it needs to make them look good, make them look knowledgeable. Right. Make them feel like they’re in control. So that’s precisely what we’re talking about. And we break down the amazing framework Michael built. So in short, that is AIM A.I.M. for access, influence and memory. And the next part from memory comes Élysées. That’s less. What does I stand for? How to make your brand memorable. It’s the language is the emotions, it’s the simplicity and structure.
So I go and I break it down. We’re not trying to make the super academic or anything like that, but to make it highly and fully accessible by any. And I use myself as one as a guinea pig, as I’m developing a new structure, a construct called the Three CS, which stands for content, community and collaboration over the years as I started podcast, that’s purely a content play or some might argue to say that’s part of collaboration as well, because I am a huge fan of interviewing other people.
So in a way, when you share a conversation, that is partly collaboration. But then I realized the community position is so important community that I build, including the creative mastermind and previously known as the old podcasters to bring podcasts and content creators together, not just me working from my basement, from my office. It’s other people. It’s that we are growing together. That was the missing piece that I was looking for for a long time. But the same structure also applies, of course, as if you guys were developing courses.
You notice that you strongly believe in the content is going to bring people value, even if you have already proven that you’ve noticed the change, the results among a small group of people. But for me, when I developed my signature courses, there are two of them that you can find on member vault. I’ll make sure to include a link in the description as well. So they’re designed for podcasters and virtual assistants. So for them to really thrive, well, podcasting, as well as knowing how to edit one without a degree in audio engineering.
So I was super passionate. I got people on the phone. Everybody’s like, oh my God, where have you been my life? And I love these courses. Then guess what happened two weeks later? A month later, I went into the progress bar. Very few people actually made the progress I needed them to make, so I decided to create an accelerator. As you’re listening to this right now, all the content, including the recordings of the accelerator, are accessible.
Remember Volt. So I highly encourage you to come check it out. I try to make pricing also highly affordable as an entry level course, even though I definitely pour my heart and soul into that. So check it out. I think the accelerator workshop really enabled me to grab and gather a group of small group of people together, and I can all of a sudden see the progress being made in their personal journey with podcasting. So that’s my rant for today.
I hope you enjoy this episode. I certainly did. Very, very much so. So before further delay, please welcome Michael Roderic to join me here on the podcast. And Fazlur Lifestream, I’ll see you at the end of the show. All right, so hi, everyone, this is Fei Wu from Feisworld Media, I was live yesterday with CROSSFIRE’s Brandon Moss and Derrick God, but today I have a super special treat with my long time friend, Michael Roderic, who’s an entrepreneur based in New York.
And I keep thinking about the people I love and I love spending time with. I remember just a couple of years ago where in New York, eating in Chinatown, talking for two or three hours. I don’t know. I just keep doing the fundamentals. I know I can’t hug you and I can’t exactly what am I supposed to do? And we you know, I tell myself you we went to next door to get ice cream. I don’t know why.
I just keep referring back to that moment. And we’re sitting there, if you remember those like ice cream that you can make any way with waffles on top and like, crazy.
And that and that room was so tiny right where we’re now, you think about it, there’s absolutely no way you could be in the place ordering that ice cream. Right in the same way that we were like. Now, literally, you’re probably one person in there making one ice cream and a big line out the door if if it’s still operating in the same in the same way and not just doing the work. Right.
Yeah, it isn’t easy. Things change in a year. In two years.
Absolutely. But that moment just made me think about, like, how, you know, Adam first connected us and how we kind of took our friendship. And I interviewed you. You interview me and I must give it a shout out to to you, because since the beginning of the pandemic, you started a group. I was very honored, very lucky to be part of that group and met so many wonderful people. And on top of that, you introduced me to more guests on the show.
For people who don’t know that Jeff Madoff, as one of the more recent guests, love talking to him. And he referred me to even more people within this connection. So that is all to say. You practice what you preach and you create a community, you share your connection. And I love the message that you bring to this discussion. I think it’s so relevant to anyone, to any organizations how do become more referable and memorable and eventually unforgettable.
So could you talk to us a little bit about that? Might go in. And we started talking about that even before.
Beforehand. No worries. So so basically, one of the things that has happened, I would say, and over the past, probably like four or five years, is that there’s been a level of market sophistication that’s come into play because tons and tons of people are teaching people marketing. Right. So so at the beginning, we didn’t really know very much in the early stages. A lot of entrepreneurs didn’t really know much about sort of outreach, didn’t know much about growing their business or building their business.
And then probably about four or five years ago, there was this proliferation of people who would teach you how to reach out to people, how to grow your business, how to present yourself. And one of the main drivers of that message was always the idea of the differentiation, the concept that if you stood out, if you were different, then that was what was going to make you successful, that that was the thing that was going to just skyrocket your business.
But the problem is, so many people started teaching people how to be different, that everyone’s different is now starting to sound the same. So when you start to look at that, you have to ask yourself, OK, well, how do I still end up standing out, being sort of part of somebody, part of some of these mind? And what I realize, the more that I would sort of look at the successes of both my clients as well as individuals, that I knew it had to do with the fact that they were being talked about when they weren’t in the room in a good way.
So it was this aspect of being referable. It was this concept of like, how do we package our ideas so that people are more likely to have conversations with other people about us and about our services without us actually doing anything to like to organize and tell them to do it like any of those different types of things. So that’s really what got me into starting to look at this idea of repairability and really paying attention to the idea of like, how do people in the leadership world end up becoming so, so well known?
So I started to kind of dove into we’ve talked in the past about the fact that. I am a very big believer in framework’s over formulas, right? I don’t want to tell you how to do something because then you’ll sound exactly like me. But if I can give you a new way to think about things, then you can bring yourself to the process and you can create something that is truly yours, as opposed to just a parroting of my system or my process at the moment.
You said we all is an unmagical. Everybody’s teaching you the, like you said, the formula and will assign the same, I think about the uses metaphor, but it’s like all the plastic surgery that was happening, especially in Asia and Korea, that everybody pointed at the magazine to say, I want to look like her. Seriously. There was like a period of time still today that you look like people post surgery, they all look identical. And some people even say you look more distinctive, more memorable before you know what’s happening.
So, you know, if we’re breaking down, by the way, the audience we’re that are listening, who are listening to this hour, as you can imagine, entrepreneurs and like you, like me, who are a little bit more conditioned and have more access to this type of have this conversation nurtured in such a way. But there are also people who haven’t been exposed to branding or thinking as there were. So if we were to kind of break it down a little bit, like how like how would you approach someone without as much background and self promotion, branding design development to help them understand that?
Yeah. So so basically I would use the framework that I use with pretty much my even my more sophisticated clients as because the framework itself is actually a very, very simple framework. And the way that you want to think about creating Referable Brand, if you want to think about three concepts and it’s easy to remember because it spells the word aim. So you want to think about this idea of taking aim when it comes to your brand. So it is accessibility, influence and memory.
So those are the three principles to creating a referable brand. And first, from an accessibility standpoint, the way you want to think about things is can people outside of your industry, can people outside of your world understand what it is that you do? Right. Can they get it? Because most of the time what happens is we fall into what I like to refer to as the echo chamber of the Enlightenment, where everybody’s kind of using the same words and talking about the same thing.
So we feel like people get it. But we go outside of our circles and it’s completely like, what are you talking about? Yeah, what is this? I’ve never even heard this before. I never even thought about this before. So accessibility and each of these is a like is its own rabbit hole. So we could go. But what I’m going to do just for the purpose of this is I’m going to lightly touch on each and then we can dig deeper into each of them or we can spend more time on one than another, whatever the most useful.
So moving on from accessibility, we have influence. And what’s fascinating about influence is that most of the time we have studied influence in the context of persuasion, mainly because there’s a lot of material and content and content out there that basically says that if we can persuade others to do things, then that is influence. If we can use particular psychological tools to get somebody to do something, then that is influence. But what I’ve seen time and time again with the most popular mediums and the most popular forms of entertainment and even like thought leaders and books, is the fact that the most influential material is material that we share on our own.
We don’t get asked to share it. We don’t have somebody telling us to do anything. We are motivated by sharing it. So the question then is what is that motivation? Yeah, and that motivation is the sharing of it makes us look good. So most of the time when we’re thinking about a brand, we’re trying to sort of like prove our value and tell people about our value. And what we really should be doing is think about what can I give people, what can I create that they would want to share with other people?
Because it will make them look good. It’ll make them look interesting. Yeah. And that’s how the stuff starts to refer back to us. And then finally, memory is a very, very important part of the equation, because if somebody can’t remember your ideas, it’s very, very unlikely that they’re going to share that. Right. It’s just it’s going to be too hard. So the way that I like to look at memory is if you want people to remember you more, you focus on less.
And that is language, emotion simply. And structure. So language has to do with the fact that we can create our own language around our offerings, around our ideas, and if people use that language, it becomes the language of a community, right. People then sort of use that language with each other and talk to each other and they’re bonded more. And we hold a special part in their memory, like we actually hold a little piece of real estate because we came up with that word.
We came up with that way of singing that word. And most people will not do that. Right, because it’s it’s hard to sit down and come up with your own your own language. It’s much, much easier to just take somebody else’s and use it in your work. And you’re doing sorry, I don’t go for it. You’re like there’s a lot of echoes that are kind of inside my head thinking about so many other people are doing this.
I’m taking notes while recording it says. Giono says emotional labor dance with fear. He always says people like us do things like this. It feels so good in the gut. Like people are like, Oh, I do this like we go live. People like us do this. I think about your language, the community that you build, like we have the ask, give experiment and thank so and not only it’s a language is a system, it’s a it’s a framework where in for people who don’t haven’t checked out Michael’s group, it’s really about you want to give something to the community before you ask, you have someone to thank you.
We constantly thank you. But you always say think someone else. Think about to have an appreciate in a long time. And I’ll never forget there’s one woman like she hesitated and she’s like, I really want to thank the assistant in my office. I don’t even get to see her right now. And during the pandemic, I so appreciate her. She very quiet. And I just want and she was not even in the room with us, so.
Yeah. And then lately, well, outside of this group, I’ve been experimenting a lot of things and I finally was able to attach that language to my conversations completely outside of your group. So thank you for that, Michael. Please continue.
We’re just talking about language. Yeah. Yeah, no. And that’s a thing, right? You give people something that is useful for them. They can go and do something with it. And this is actually ties to concept. I’ll keep going in a second. But there’s a concept that I like to use where as an entrepreneur, you want to give yourself an app. And the idea there is most of the time we’re trying to say, like, this is what I do.
And what we want to do is we want to say this is what I do for right. So we want to think about, like, what am I doing for my clients? Give yourself an app. Like sit down and say, what am I doing for the people that I’m working with? What am I doing for the community? Because we spend way too much time trying to explain to people what it is that we do and not enough time actually communicating what we do for others.
That’s a very, very important part of the part of the equation. And when you create something that has that level of utility, you’re doing something for other people while also sharing your thought leadership. Yeah. So the next thing is emotion. And what’s really, really fascinating about emotion is that emotion basically creates like a sponge in our brain. So when we’re in a heightened state of emotion, we will remember details much, much more easily. Because in the wild, when when we were primitive, if we didn’t remember that part of the forest where the tiger was like we were in trouble.
Right. Like whatever experience we had, that was like a heightened emotional experience. Our brain suddenly like, well, sort of just graft onto that. Right. But most of the time, when people are sharing concepts and ideas of thought, leadership or sharing something about a brand, they don’t necessarily tap into emotions. So people will forget the idea. And the way that I like to look at this is nobody can actually tell you the details of the opening of the movie Titanic, but everybody can tell you the image that they can see if I say I’ll never let go.
But they can they can tell you like the exact details of that moment and think of any film that made you cry. They made you laugh hysterically, like you can pinpoint exact moments, like you can see all of the details. And that’s because your brain is is basically absorbing details at a higher level when you were in that heightened state of emotion. So if you’re communicating something, if you want people to share it, you want to get them into that heightened state of emotion so that it sticks in their memory.
So I was with them. Yeah, right.
And realizable. I want to raise my hand. It’s like Michael used to be a very successful high school teacher and became a Broadway producer in two years. So I was like, question I. I’m thinking a scenario where when we used to be out in the open like I live in Boston, I would go to Harvard Yard for years and kids. Will, everybody would get together, coffee talk. So what are what’s your take on? I guess two things.
We have to break it down. One is people say social media website where people are reading your story, which I often have a visceral connection to really good stories while reading. And then there’s the other scenarios, like everything’s virtual. This is like as close as I get to you. So I guess what I’m saying is verbal versus nonverbal, emotional attachment or impact. What’s your take on that?
So I think that there’s this concept in acting known as sense memory, where basically what you do is if you’re doing a scene and let’s say it’s a sad scene, rather than trying to sort of emote, rather than trying to sort of show that you’re sad, you go back to a moment in your own life where you were that sad and you get yourself kind of worked up enough to feel like you’re about to cry and then you do the scene. Right.
So if you’re writing your about page, if you are doing a presentation, if you are doing a top. Why not find some very, very specific details of something that is a heightened emotion for you, because that level of vulnerability, no matter what you’re doing, even if it’s virtual like this, will draw people in and it will give them additional feeling of emotion. And when you’re doing that, they’re going to feel closer to you, but they’re going to listen more to the details of the information that comes after it.
They’re going to listen more. They’re going to pay attention more to those details because of that sponge brain kind of moment that I’ve been talking about. So a lot of the time, what we tend to do is we tend to shy away from the stuff that is hard to talk about, the stuff that is emotional for us, the stuff that would make us cry or the stuff or the stuff that we just think is hilarious. Right. And other people might not think it’s it’s like other people might be like, that’s actually not very fun or, you know, or that, you know, like there’s stuff like we watch and we think, oh, my God, that was like religion and other people will watch and be like, that was really stupid.
Yeah. That was just not entertaining at all.
Maybe they’ll be friends with them. Yeah.
Well, there you go. Right. So it’s like it’s that dynamic of it’s it’s scary for a lot of people to share a part of themselves that is vulnerable as you so often. So like I, I almost hesitate to use it. Right. But when you think about it, it’s when you think about that aspect of like showing a part of yourself that you feel emotion while you’re showing that part of yourself. Well, it just connects people to you better.
Like you just feel more connected to somebody. And like, for example, my my mother passed away of cancer about a year ago. And when you sort of have that, when you are somebody who has had a parent pass everybody else in your life, who is also having a parent pass, you kind of become part of this like like strange club where it’s like you’re supporting each other and you are and you only understand it on a completely different a completely different level.
And when you share those things right, you help other people understand that they’re not alone, which I think is probably the most important aspect. I think sometimes we get worried that if I share something emotional, it’s it’s going to be bad for my brand or it’s going to be bad for how I look. But in many cases, when we share that emotional thing and we share the stuff that we’re going through, there are people out there who are like, wow, I’m not alone.
Know somebody else is actually talking about that, which I think is really, really powerful.
It’s super powerful. I certainly I’ve gone through my dad passing when I was in my early twenties. He was sick and then he finally passed away two years later when I was twenty six. So exactly like you said, Michael, I became was awkward because I’m became one of the first among my friends to experience that. While all of us expect us to go through that in our forties and fifties, I expect of myself to. I’m like, I’ll be ready then.
And it turns out nobody will be exactly ready to experience that. And so I joked around us that I become I became the palliative care social worker, that everybody came to me and said, hey, you know, and yeah, well, whose husband we’re dying. You know, we’re all approaching me for this. And that’s why I had I would save a question for a little bit later in terms of access and language for palliative care, because that’s so hugely misunderstood sort of area in of itself.
So I love that connection. And because I read one of my friends about Page, I called our friend Jen called Dotcom, and she’s in a Chinese heritage woman living in Australia. I literally read her about page, which was like five miles long, is like those mega posts. And I couldn’t stop reading and we did not cross paths in any sort of way. But she kept saying from agency to feeling out of place to, you know, romantic lives, feeling awkward, living in a Western world, it finding creativity.
I’m like, that’s me, that’s me. Was just like, who wrote my story better? I like it just in a very weird feeling, like you really have like a long lost twin on the other side of the world. So. Yeah. Or clarifying that. Yeah.
Yeah. And and what you’re bringing up is the fact that that is that level of emotion made her referable because now you’re talking about her on the show. I just don’t think so. She’s in your memory. She’s actually got a piece of real estate in your memory that. You access whenever you hear things like this, right, think about that, think about how powerful that is and most of the time we don’t take the time to ever tap into the emotional component, which actually gives people a completely different piece of real estate in our memory, like a completely different piece of real estate, an area that maybe a lot of the time we don’t talk about or that we don’t that that we don’t discuss.
So it’s always worth it to think about that. When you’re thinking about creating memory markers for the content of the material. The next piece is simplicity. And what’s really, really interesting is that all throughout our lives from academics, we were taught that complexity was the way to go. Like we were taught that if we use the biggest words and we write the biggest papers and then we’re smart. And what tends to happen is that translates into the business world and into the branding world.
We think that if we can use these really big words and we think that if we can come up with these like things that make you feel like, wow, you must really know your stuff, that that’s going to help sell us. But the thing is, the memory rewards simplicity because there’s just too much content. There’s too many things to take. Right. So if I said if I said, OK, I’m going to talk to you about memory.
And here thirty two different ways that you can become memorable. It would be lost. Right. But by taking it and saying it’s language, emotion, simplicity and structure and saying focus on, you can basically remember more by focusing on less, it makes it very, very easy for you to process. And that ties to the last piece, which is structure. The spelling gives you a structure. It gives you a process to be able to explain that to somebody else without feeling awkward, without feeling like you can’t remember it, without you know, and even if you didn’t remember every piece.
Right. You could mention it and say, oh, I’ll look up the other part. But it spells the word less. And you wouldn’t be embarrassed, right? There wouldn’t be an aspect of like I don’t really it’s not like I really get it. Like I’m giving you a tool that makes it so that you can share this very, very easily. You can remember it very, very easily because there’s a structure that and that’s why jokes are lasted as long as they have.
Right. That’s it. Because there’s everybody knows that you have the the punchline, the set up in the punchline. So they have existed forever. And structure is something that we need for memory. Like we can’t remember things if we don’t know what comes first, what comes second, what comes third. It’s too hard. There’s too many things. There’s a reason why we write lists when we go to the grocery store. Right. Because we don’t it otherwise it’s all kind of bouncing around inside of our heads.
We need an organizational system. And most people, especially in branding and thought leadership, don’t think about that. That organizational system. They don’t think, OK, I’ve got all these great ideas, but how would other people organize? How would they actually be able to process it? And when we look at the people who have really it’s been very, very high levels of success. They have created structures that they’ve built entire empires of intellectual property, right where they’ve broken down for us, like these are the steps.
This is the particular this is the particular process. This is the way that you can go through this. And any book that you’ve ever read that has been in that business can and where you’re just like, wow, that book was really, really helpful. You are almost always going to be able to point to a graph that they give you or a process or a structure that basically helps you understand the complex information that they’re trying to, that basically they’re making sure that other people outside of their little circle, outside of the chamber of the alliance actually get this is getting so juicy because I was looking at my little notes.
I mean, this is literally the size of my notebook right now. That is like it says aim less. Right, access, influence, memory, aim. And then we break down memory, language, emotion, simplicity, structure, structure. So lesson. That’s such a positive thing in terms of association, because less is more in this case. And I want to this myself as a guinea pig because of an opportunity, because I until I’ve started my company in January twenty sixteen.
And I think not that I purposely overmind it overly complex, but it’s just, you know, when you start out, you’re not quite sure exactly what you’re doing and you say yes to a lot of things. You will not believe this guy literally. I think last month or maybe two weeks ago, I sat down with myself and I start I start writing on my home page to say. This is how this is what I do for my clients in plain English, and I think I did around midnight by myself because it was quiet with no distraction, a distraction.
I said at the beginning, I thought to myself, I should be able to explain this to any eight year old. So, like, literally and I realize the structure that I always believed in wasn’t necessarily some someone else’s framework or formula. So so I call it the three C’s. I think I do remember Jason Ventor in the head, his like three P’s I for one being one of them. But as I think I have the three C’s.
So mine is as you know, I’m a content junkie, not just consuming but creating so much of it like film and blog post videos and podcast Lifestream. So it really is my three SESAR content, community and collaboration. I mean, I feel free to please feel free to say this sucks. So what what happened is content is at the core. I help my client create content and then community is I notice that by putting a course out there without a community and when it’s pays, it’s five percent completion rate.
People don’t feel a sense of community. And it doesn’t matter how big the community is for people who are watching this. I’m not talking about ten thousand people. I’m talking about five, ten people completing a course together. I have one hundred and twenty people in my Facebook group that are thriving together. Michael has five hundred or more. Last piece is collaboration. This to me is a collaboration that my people get to access your content, get to know your work and hopefully hire you to learn from you one on one or through your courses and content.
But I also realize the moment that I start to see an uptick in my YouTube channel now has over a hundred thousand unique views per month like user. Thank you. That’s like a hundred shares like Husar, a thousand shares. Who are these people sharing my content out on their own? And so that the level of collaboration in the literal sense, people sending me videos and I say I’ll host it on my channel and brands reaching out to me to say, oh, something’s working over there.
Could you talk about our product, our brand? So I feel like that to me is a triangle. It’s not perfect. I’m just like literally figuring this out and talking to you.
Yeah. Yeah. So so there are a couple of different things that are popping to mind for me. The first is what it sounds like is that your work is actually the combination of those three effects. And it could be very, very interesting for you to explore what is it look like? And a lot of people have used this particular model which can sometimes help map it out, which is the Venn diagram where you could basically have like this is the circle for content, this is the circle for collaboration, this is the circle for community.
And then what is that thing when you bring it all together, like what do you call like what is that result? And then looking at if you only have content and community without collaboration, what is that? And you can actually develop a whole framework that you can sort of show people and communicate to them. And it’s like these things all together are what actually make the success happen. So like you can show them, like these are where the gaps are.
And the other really interesting thing about that is something like that, you can then start to create some sort of evaluation tool for your clients, which really makes for a great like ledman right. Where basically people can rate themselves on like what they’re doing with their content, what they’re doing with community, what they’re doing with collaboration and at the end have a score that helps them understand. Oh, I guess I haven’t yet achieved what I want to achieve.
And it motivates them to come to you. Right. Like it motivates them to say like, oh, OK. I don’t necessarily understand all of these things about myself or I kind of see the areas where I’m falling down. I want to talk to you about how. So I want to talk to you about how to fix. Right. So so that’s that’s one piece of this. Right. The other piece of this that ties to the language idea is that right now what you have are what I like to refer to as a bunch of container words and container words are words that we use all the time and everybody kind of nods their head.
But everybody’s got a different definition and nobody really knows what they need right now. So a lot of the time we hear content and we think lots of different things. We think community, we think lots of different things and we think collaboration and we think lots of different things. So what’s really, really interesting that you can do with stuff like that is you can open up that container and look at the contents. Right. So what you do is you say, if I wasn’t allowed to use the word.
MUNITY, which words would I personally would I be used like, which words are important to me that if I was not allowed to use the word community, I would call it this.
I call the tribe, for example.
Exactly. Yeah, right. And the thing is like let’s say let’s say a tribe gets used a bunch. Right. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t use tribe, but you could think about what is a word that goes in front of tribe or after tribe or tribe of and something right. Where basically you start to communicate that it’s your right, that it’s your intellectual property to your ideas. And that’s the thing that a lot of us like. That’s an extra step that we don’t often take because there’s a very good chance that if you did this, I call it the language sandbox.
Right. Where basically if you take each of these words, you don’t use that word and you say, what are all the different synonyms words that I can use that kind of fit that or words that remind me of that idea. Then you have the sandbox of words like you have this whole big pile of words. And then what you can do is you can basically play Mad Libs and start putting those words together. And you may come up with a new word.
You may come up with a new fruit or a new idea and a new way to present things. Right. And when you do, that becomes the thing that everybody suddenly decides that they want to share. Right. Because they’re like, yeah, I’ve heard about I’ve heard about collaboration, but I’ve never heard about content, collaboration or whatever. Like, it’s it’s a whole different ballgame when we start to come up with our own language for these things.
And that’s where a really big opportunity can sort of come from. Right. And if you start to think about what you’re doing for the clients by basically incorporating these three things, you may start to notice. Oh, well, I do far more with these people. That is visual, right? Like, you know, I think about the fact that there are a lot of people podcasting. Right. And that number is only grown right. And you have found that this visual component has worked really well for you.
That has gotten you a lot of a lot of use and a lot more attention than just sort of the traditional sort of podcast side of the show.
Live streams, very visual. And people love it.
Yeah, exactly right. And the live stream is collaborative right now because people are watching this right now. They’re watching it live. So if they wanted to ask questions or if they wanted to comment or they wanted to talk about it and feel like they were in the room and sort of part of the experience, they would be right. So if you then look at what your clients are doing and you say, oh, it looks like there’s actually no visual component to what you’re doing, let’s test adding a visual component and see, do you get more updates?
Do you get more attention, etc. you may start to find, oh, wow. You know, visual visual component is added with content is one of the things that we need to keep doing or that we need to keep thinking about. And you may end up coming up with new words for that. Right. Like there may be a whole other ways of presenting that information.
Yeah. I so want to say, Mr. Roderic, I we I so I’m so jealous of people who have been in your English class because I I’m really envious of teachers who are so engaging and I think we’ve all been there like you are so drawn to, like I’m learning something more excited about learning, not because you’re spoon feeding me and forcing me to sit there with you. I have a follow up question in terms of there’s language, I hear a sense of style as well.
How do I balance between language versus simplicity? Because one of the reasons why we’re learning let’s get the three P’s, let’s get the three C’s is we want something that rhymes to something that people can remember, agree with you. Sometimes we fall into the trap of being very generic or unclear, even though. Right. So, for example, if I were to just break it down, like now my three C’s, I change one word for community from community to tribe.
Now, obviously, that’s not what I’m ending, is that we are recommending like an umbrella concept and then breaking it down below that. Or maybe just scratch like just break that barrier, break that down and recreate.
Yeah. So you have options. Right. I think that that’s the biggest thing here, is that when you were creating new language, in essence, what you’re going to be doing is you’re going to be testing it anyway. Right. And most of the time when we’re creating. Leadership content and material, we’re basically doing market research, we’re seeing which things get a lot of attention, which things that people pay attention to and say like, oh, I’m going to talk about that more in the future.
And in many cases, we’ll forget about some things that we may have talked about on a podcast or presented and not necessarily think anything of it. And then somebody else brings it up and we’re like, wow, I should probably go deeper into that concept or I should probably dig more into into that particular idea. So the thing is, you want to create basically. A gateway drug, if you will, in terms of the initial idea or the initial contact, because you want as many people as possible to sort of understand that contact, which is why what you could do with the idea of the three C’s, if you make that event diagram, a lot of people get the concept of the Venn diagram.
It’s a very general sort of sort of thing. Right. But then if you were able to say here is the word for the combination of community and collaboration, then we’re already bought in because we’ve read the diagram and we’re thinking about it. So we’re actually open to the innovation. And I talk about this in the context of I’ve talked about this before. I call it finding your solution. And there is this really, really great story and power of habit about the song Hey Ya by Outkast and the fact that when it first came out, it was turned off almost right away and people couldn’t listen to it because the sound was just too different.
It was just kind of like weirdly like it. It felt like it was like starting in the middle of the in the middle of the chorus. So so people just couldn’t quite process this new sound. And what the radio stations did was they actually took artists like Celine Dion, who if you heard a Celine Dion song, you’ve heard them. All right. And Maroon five and a number of those other artists who have very, very similar sounds, very comfortable sounds for the brain.
Right. The brain will just sort of listen all the way through. And what they would do is they would sandwich in the middle. And after a while, the unfamiliar became familiar. And this is the thing most people who are trying to come up with something cool or something interesting from a brand standpoint, they’re trying to introduce the world to their haigha, but they have to find their solution first because people don’t trust you. They don’t like they’re not going to go from zero to nine.
Right. But they will go from zero to 10. And if they’re at 10 and you come up with something interesting enough or innovative enough, they will go with you tonight because they’re bought in to that particular that particular idea. And Seth Godin is a perfect example, because if you go all the way back to the earliest books of Seth Godin, they were very, very general concepts at the beginning that were very just like hardcore marketing books. Yeah, right.
Like permission marketing is not esoteric. Like there is nothing there’s nothing like it was a very straightforward kind of thing. But once people trusted him and saw all of that, he was allowed to go in any direction that he wanted to. Yeah, right. Because the buy in was there and people were willing to listen to the innovations. They were willing to listen to the new ideas, to the new concepts. And if you actually watch the trajectory of the books.
Right, they go from being very straightforward, like here’s how to do it kind of stuff, or here’s how to think about it, to think for yourself with, you know, like it shifted over time to the point where now he basically has more of, like, a philosopher kind of kind of Bob Dylan and start there. Yeah, yeah. He wasn’t starting by saying, like, here’s the philosophy of permission marketing, because who would have listened.
Yeah. At that time was this guy.
But now we’re like, you know, we’re like, oh, you’re going to write three words and make me think really, really hard as to why you only wrote three words in a post. Awesome.
And I know I said I send emails to stuff going every once in a while and he does reply and and it’s just incredible sometimes three words because, like, I really need to contemplate and write meaningful, like we really oh my God, we really mean it. And by the way, Mike, I’m keeping you all the way through noon, if that’s OK with you.
Oh, yeah. No worries.
Just getting this is so good. This is incredible. I mean, if you guys want to check out Michael’s or Disorder’s, I’ll be sure after this to include a link to our previous interview. This is so true about I think podcast is this vehicle and so is live streaming, so is a blog post. And writing in general is just helping people to get to know you. I recently I’m not saying as a brand, but I just found this phenomenon.
I found out a doctor psychotherapies has been following my blog, my particular my podcast for four years. Lovely, lovely gentleman. I was a. I literally had this moment of self imposter’s and it was like, why would a doctor, you know, working the jail system like a series doctor, ever be interested in my content and actually listened to many episodes over the course of four years? Reach out to me. I said three make sense. I really like what you’re doing and we’re going to start working together.
And I, I said, oh, this is amazing. I said, I really love what you’re doing. We had a 20 minute Zoom call and you said, Michael, I sent him the contract, the invoices. I was starting October 1st. He literally responded, signed and paid me within five minutes. I’m like like, you know, you mentioned before of, you know, not the not forcing people you should really work with. You should.
You should. This is why the testimonials my landing page was like a ten thousand words on it. Look at what everybody else like. No, they’ve I never I didn’t even know this person. I never pushed them to do so. And he was he was ready. And then just that the level of readiness that made me think about the traditional way of many of us think how marketing should work. Like you said, LinkedIn, every day we get these notifications like, say, your website is broken.
You should do better.
So, yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. All of these types of all these types of things, actually, I wrote a I read an email about this a little while back. I called ba ba ba ba ba ba ba hang out at the LinkedIn. Right. And you know, I always look at that like like it is, it’s like this in right. And like we all come and we sort of like share our business stories. Right.
All these different types of things. And then there are these people who basically just like I don’t know what they do all day, but they just hang around on. It’s the messenger sending you messages where they haven’t done any research nowhere. It’s literally they’re asking you to hire them to do something sometimes that you do.
Exactly. The times you do marketing.
Yeah. And then other times, you know, they just like like I got one, I got one where somebody was asking me about my team and office. Three sixty. And I’m like, I’m like my team. Well, I have a four year old little girl named Juniper who is very, very good at coming in and pulling wires out. I have a 10 month old named Diana was very, very good at putting things in her mouth. And yeah, they’re both very proficient at Microsoft.
Three six, like like, oh, man, I just wow it. Right. And it’s just like and the thing that bothers me sometimes about all of this is the aspect of they were taught to follow up. And there’s so much technology now that basically makes follow up automatic. Yeah. That you’ll get these, like, follow ups that are like, well, I just I guess my thing didn’t make it to the top of your inbox, so I’m giving it a.
No, it’s not relevant. It’s not interesting. You did no research, you know, and it’s just. Yeah, it’s but the great thing about that for for people who really have great services and know how to do things, is that the bar? I’m sorry, but the bar is low. Yeah. You want to do cold outreach if you want to do cold outreach. So many people are doing cold outreach so bad right now, so bad that you just being genuinely curious and asking somebody like a good question.
Yeah. Is it likely to get a better response. I know it’s crazy.
It’s crazy. I love the. Oh my God. If you haven’t seen this, Michael, there’s a movie I believe is on either Hulu, Netflix or both called Song of the Sea and oh my God, your little girl, maybe maybe they’re a little too young, actually, especially your maybe you and your wife enjoy. Which is it just this animation. But it’s now 3-D. It’s just most beautifully crafted story about these two little kids and like mythical characters and in Ireland.
But it’s one of those things like I watch the whole thing and I I was so I couldn’t look away that day. I had other things planned, but I decided I need to sit here for an hour and a half, watch the whole thing. So I emailed the writer and I said, oh, my God, this is most incredible. You’re describing, as I learn about, like you said, is like that was probably more research than what he expected.
I didn’t read a synopsis or anything like that on the website. I watched every moment of it. I describe how the drawing so different than Disney and Pixar. And the guy replied immediately. I got when we started recording the podcast and we we did. And it was just phenomenal. Yeah, you’re right. The bar is so low. If you’re truly interested in someone, please do watch the whatever documentary. Listen to a few episodes before you reach out.
You might as well get the person you really want and invest in that. So, Michael, it’s so rare to have you here. So I’m going to I mean, it’s not rare, but your time is so precious. I have a burning question that I learned from earlier is I am helping. I’m working with a doctor, actually, more than one recently. But I this is more of a general thing. I know that I’ve lived through cancer with my dad and I know that you mentioned about your mom.
And both of us are familiar with being a caretaker, being just on the I don’t want to say the dark side, but the health care system, the medical system is very complex. And it’s not something you and I, anybody could be in a situation, be like, oh, I’m going to learn this by a book. And I, I worry, yes, I’ll be ready to go. So I’ve been working and really admire a palliative care three palliative care doctors.
One of them is B.J. Miller. And one of the struggles that I hear from every single one of them is the term palliative care. Most people, including myself and four years ago, like, what’s that? Is that hospice? Is it end of life care? But the four people are watching this. Like, what is it? It is the interdisciplinary approach to the quality of life, which means there’s so many aspects. If you’re overwhelmed with any somewhat serious illness way before you die, you don’t have to die, even a remission.
You can talk to these people and they will help you figure that out. Here’s the thing, Mike. I know that we don’t have a ton of time, but with your expertize in branding, matters are all struggling. Patients are struggling. What can we do to break it down with language that people can accept and actually understand?
Yeah, well, I think it’s you have to think about what is what is a term that’s actually going to tap into some of that emotion. Right. And it’s kind of along the lines of like if the medical profession could hold your hand through a process, like that’s what palliative care is. Yeah. Like it’s that kind of thing. Like you want to you want to help. Understand, a lot of the time, a metaphor is a very, very good tool to help people understand a process and they will ask you more details if they need more details.
But for some people, just giving them a metaphor can completely just like make it clear to them. And they’ll be and they’ll be fine. So a lot of the time when things are, like, overly complex, it’s best to think about, is there a metaphor or is there an image that you can give people that causes them to say, OK, this is what this is. This is what this is about. This is how this this is how this works.
And if you can do that, people will ask the additional follow up questions if they need clarification. But most of the time people will say, like when you say stuff like that, like people would just like, OK, I get it. You know, like, OK, yes, I get it. So the most effective sentence I say whenever I am talking to a potential client is that nine times out of ten people who are really, really good at what they do, do you prioritize packaging their intellectual property.
They die with their song inside them, that kind of that kind of concept. Right. So the work that I do is about getting them to sit down and say, like, how do I package my ideas? How do I turn this into an thought leadership? How do I turn this into a business or all those different types of things? But if I opened with I’m going to turn you into a thought leader, I’m going to help you change your your concepts.
It wouldn’t work. Right, because I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about me. But if I say most people did prioritize packaging their intellectual property, then if that’s you, you instantly have this gut punch that says, wow, I haven’t done that, like, I haven’t put my stuff together. So in the context of what you’re talking about, you could very easily say something along the lines of most people who are going through a very, very difficult time, like cancer with a loved one, have families hands to hold, but they don’t have a hand to hold in the medical profession.
The medical profession feels cold. It feels like it’s not really helping them at all. And palliative care is like having that and extend to you from people in the medical profession, people who want to talk numbers and charts, that you people will tell you exactly what you need to have a better experience so that you’re not blind when it comes to all of the jargon. Frankly, that is part of the world of medicine.
Yeah. Now, that is brilliant. And I think to you triggered all these thoughts, which I find that will then I can. You started this matlab that I continue to continue and and also and this and, you know, to look at my own situation, like my dad was put on a lot of clinical trials in retrospect, the doctor some of the doctors were kind enough to say that probably won’t work if it’s up to you. If you want to spend six hundred dollars a day in addition to the medication that you’re already paying for.
And of course, my mom and I were ready to bankrupt the entire family and just go in and do that. But there was not a second voice to say maybe there are other routes. What is that your dad really want? My dad, unfortunately passed away at the ICU like so many other people, that if I had the slightest knowledge and language I can use to talk to people in my culture, this was happening in China. So very different than here.
So the palliative care doctors, the people I had the privilege to interview on my show, Jessica Zitter, Vicki Jackson, Vimla, they give you that language. They will write down literally your walk away with all these notes to say this is how you go talk to your oncologist. This is how you talk to your primary care. I mean, not even a serious cancer or even something that’s non-life threatening. That would have I don’t I don’t know how much money with that.
That is something money can buy. And. Yeah. Thank you so much, Michael. I mean, that was just so incredible. You did bring up a second. That’s very true. E prioritizing intellectual property. Why do people do that? Like dizziness, lack of clarity.
What can you do? I, I think where it ultimately comes down to is there I think there’s two things. I think the first thing is that it’s very, very easy to get lost in helping everybody else. It’s a very, very easy thing. It’s a very, very natural thing, because when we’re helping other people, we get the reward of feeling proficient. Right. Like if I help you and you succeed in something, there is a.
There is a. Reward that I’m getting when I watch you succeed. Yeah, when you’re trying to sit there and come up with your own stuff, there’s no reward there. There is no like, oh, I’ve solved it because you’re basically just creating something that you’re going to be testing and sort of putting out into the market. Right. So so the aspect of doing that or it doesn’t have the same, it doesn’t have the same appeal is doing the same work.
You know, just like for many people, having a conversation with somebody doesn’t has infinitely more appeal than them sitting down and writing down what their ideas are. Right. Right. And coming up with their own thing and having a conversation with themselves instead of an individual. That’s a very, very, very scary kind of process. But then the second thing is that. We are we’re wired to be safe. Our brains have always been wired to be safe.
And the second that we decide that we’re going to put our ideas out there, we are opening ourselves up to criticism and we are opening ourselves up to people not agreeing with us, and we’re opening ourselves up to all sorts of challenges. So a lot of people worry about that and they do what I like to refer to as polishing the car, but never driving, where basically you spend all your time trying to fix something and then you never get it out the door.
And the way that I handle this and what I think works best is giving yourself permission to suck. And what that comes down to is you can’t be consistent and brilliant. It’s just not going to happen. Like some things are going to be good and some things are going to be OK and some things are going to be really bad like. So if you accept that and you just say, I give myself permission, I give myself permission to create things that don’t actually work, that aren’t any good, etc.
, and I’m not going to worry about how people react to it, etc., because I’m showing up and I’m doing things right. And you treat your work as market research, like you treat every failure not as a failure, but as new information. Then it’s going to be much, much easier to sort of move move through. I refer to as the tennis novice versus the tennis pro approach that novice misses a shot game is over because they’re in their head, just going to be all messed up.
Tennis promises a shot and says, what can I learn? What has this taught me? And then even if they lose the game, they’re still thinking about how they can play in future and all those different types of that. So tennis novice is a slave to the product. A tennis pro is a student of the process. You make yourself a student of the process instead of slave to the product. You can get a lot of content out there.
You get a lot of things happen.
Oh, I love that. I was like busy writing things down. I’ll get a transcript for this. This is so wonderful. Michael, what what do you do for your clients? There are links in Downbelow. I’m posting those everywhere, people trying to connect with you. But if they want to learn from you directly, how do they find you and.
Sure. Well, I’m on the book basis, so you’ve probably seen me tagged on there. So of course, say hello there and I will get you say I’ve got a recoverability reader that I’ve been working on. So you would actually be the first person to get it. So I’ll post that. And basically it will help you kind of look at your own recoverability and then people can reach out to me at the LinkedIn. If they mention this show, obviously, I’ll be much more open to having conversations of different types of things, but always happy to help.
And basically the work that I do is if you’re really interested in packaging your ideas and getting your stuff out there, I can help you think through that process and develop business models around it, frameworks, things like that.
Oh, this is wonderful. I literally just the link of referral ability. Rayder opt in is in the description everywhere. It doesn’t matter where you are on Facebook and YouTube, so definitely subscribe. I just did and I can wait to see what comes of it. And I want to just give a shout out to Michael’s daily email newsletter. Know it’s absolutely you are the I would say the second person, I mean, other than Seth Godin, who does as I say, people kind of start and stop, but over the years and long form content on your social media walls and it just so inspiring.
I can’t say enough about how important that is, is like that. Thank you. Yeah. Decided that the energy that you put in there. So definitely very, very worth learning if after this interview you’re still making up your mind. Come on. So definitely so much to learn from Michael. And I love seeing comments. People are like, this is amazing. It makes me so, so glad. Yeah. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it as always, Michael.
So I’m going to say take us off live right now. And thank you so much, guys, for watching. We’re going to stop Livestream. This episode of the First World podcast is brought to you by phrase World LLC, our marketing service agency created for independent creators and businesses. We offer website development, video production, marketing, mentorship to people who want to tell better stories, level up and create a profitable brand phasor podcast team. Our chief editor and producer, Herman Silvio’s associate producer, Adam Lefort, social media and content manager, Rosta Leon transcript editor Allena Almodovar.
And lastly, myself, the creator and host of Face World. Thank you so much for listening.
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