Success has a spectrum just as much as creativity does. To find your writing voice, you first need to find what you are curious about. Chris Brogan understands that this curiosity can lead people to paint you as weird, but given time, it will become interesting. Chris shares that in order to find your own path, you need to break out and try new things. James Malinchak has many experiences with successful people which gives him more reason to help other entrepreneurs who are starting on their own. His best marketing advice is to find people who have events and those who have budgets for speakers at those events. James shares more tips on how to get people to listen to you.
We have Chris Brogan and James Malinchak. Chris you’ve seen him from every New York Times bestselling author list to all of his work he does as an owner of a media group. He does a lot of public speaking and he is everywhere on social media. Then we’re going to talk to James Malinchak, who is a real American Success Story. He’s one of the most requested and in-demand business and motivational keynote speakers. He’s got great advice for those who are thinking of trying to get together a mastermind or get people to attend an event.
Listen to the podcast here
Find Your Writing Voice with Chris Brogan
I am with Chris Brogan, who’s CEO of Owner Media Group, providing skills for the modern entrepreneur. He’s also a highly sought after professional speaker and the New York Times bestselling author of nine books. His book is called Find Your Writing Voice. I love the one that you said is your favorite one on your site, the best speech you ever gave. What is it about that speech that stands out to you that makes it your favorite?
It’s a perfect storm in a lot of ways. It was a chance to talk about superheroes. I’ve been a lifelong fan of comic books and superheroes. It was pulled towards this whole concept of bravery and how do you build your own personal bravery and how do you learn how to move yourself forward when you’re lacking confidence. The three things together felt like a great opportunity. It was a great crowd and a good lot of human beings that made it fun and worthwhile. It’s one of those days where you wake up and say, “This is why I do what I’m doing it.”
I’ve heard your story, your father and your grandfather that would take you along on his route in the morning. Can you give a little background on your superhero thing?
My grandfather was a candy salesman in Augusta, Maine and he won awards for being one of the best candy salesmen in Augusta, Maine. Back then, comic books were very often distributed in magazine racks. There wasn’t this culture of having comic book stores and fancy people collecting them in plastic sleeves. We would go up on Sand Hill and we’d go to Depot News, which is where the Greyhound Bus came into the city. Everywhere we went, he’d buy me one or two comic books. It was influential in a lot of ways, including getting me to learn how to read better. It’s a very meaningful part of my origin story.
It seems like Spider-Man is your favorite, is that right? I couldn’t tell who’s your favorite superhero. Or do you not have one?
I do, Batman. Spider-Man as well and I enjoy the story there because he’s a teenager. With Batman, the thing that I liked the most is besides being a billionaire, he’s like any human being. He doesn’t have any special powers and his job is to go toe-to-toe with all these people from other planets and people with all kinds of magical abilities. He is a guy.
I’m fascinated by what you talk about and what you write about. You are everywhere and I can’t imagine anybody who doesn’t know all about your work. What I’m interested in is a lot of the stuff you were talking about fear and different things that you talked about. I’m writing a book about curiosity and I had to listen to a couple of things that you say. I wanted to make sure I heard you properly on some of it because I don’t want to say something you didn’t say, but you said something about if you ever get in a room with Simon Sinek, that you’d have to talk to him about because you don’t like the starting with why.
You said your dad had to feed the family and that type of thing, and he knew what his why was. When you look at what makes somebody successful, to me I’d like to look if it’s curiosity, if it’s ambition, if it’s drive, if it’s motivation. Do you think you can teach somebody to be curious? Did it come to you naturally? How do you feel about that topic?
There’s a spectrum of creativity. There’s people that express that in so many different ways. Entrepreneurial types like Elon Musk, he wants to scratch fun ideas. He said a bunch of times on stage that math is one of the ways that he decides what projects to work on. I don’t know enough about math to be useful to tell you what it means when he says that, but I can tell you, that’s not how I go after it. I go after “What would happen if” or “I wonder what.” There’re other people with curiosity that love data and analysis and they strive endlessly to get tons and tons of information.
I was listening to this interview with an astronomer on data science and astronomy. He was saying in the old days, you had to write these papers to request time on one of the big telescopes and “Please, I’ve got this cool project,” wouldn’t cut it, so you’d have to write lots of information requests. Now, what happens is there’s this big array of telescopes that work autonomously to us and shoot all over the place and take as much data in as they can. That data gets pooled, so you don’t have to say, “Can you point your telescope over here?” It’s already been over there and you can sift through the information and find the scientific information you want. That’s another kind of creativity and curiosity, and that I’m not suited for that.
People have their own innate curiosity. I don’t know that you can teach curiosity, but you could teach its expression and its execution. What’s more accurate is that you can also help people understand a path to the curiosity that they most are suited to handle. If someone said to me, “You would only be successful if you dealt with math,” I would start vacuuming people’s houses or something. My daughter loves math and/or probably could be a lawyer because she loves very succinct definitions of things. These are things that are not my traits, and so not unlike my last mainstream book, The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth. You’ve got to define your own success and go after it, and that’s true with curiosity. You have to find what you’re curious about and commercial value be damned for awhile until you find the intersection.
In your writing, you were talking about how you can’t be weird. You’re weird until you’re in middle school age and then you don’t find out all the things that we’ve been hiding until we’re in our 40s or 50s. Did you say something to that effect? Is that one of the reasons you wrote that book? For the kids to be able to embrace their weird self?
The very first premise of writing The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth is that neither of my kids is going to have some normal desk job. I didn’t know this. This is not going to work out for them that way. They’re too weird, and so I wanted to give them a bit of encouragement, but I also knows that there’s a lot of other humans. All through life, especially at my age, I’m heading towards 50, and so I’m on that cusp. I’m on one of the big cusps of everything that our parents thought was true but turned out not to be true. They didn’t mean for that to be that way, but my mom said, “Once you get in that phone company, you can stay there a good 30 years.” I thought, “Great.” My mom, she was at 29 and3/4 years and they let her go so they wouldn’t have to pay the full pension. I learned a lesson that day, “Companies aren’t especially loyal to their employees.”
With those other lessons, I’ve always had this “it almost fits.” They say one size fits all. I’m always the guy going, “Not me.” With professional life and with business, there’s this feeling that this marries nicely to curiosity, which is like, “Why hasn’t anyone?” Finishing that sentence is a powerful way to figure out business and it’s also a good way to get in trouble. When you’re going to school and you’re like, “Why was this a bad idea?” If people can’t understand that you’re asking that question academically, then they might label you poorly. The going out and finding your own fit in this planet is the only way that you’re likely to find the kind of happiness that you want in your own personal definition of success. I say find the creative thing that you’re interested in and it could be, for a long time, that you’re the only one that thinks that’s interesting. It could also be that at some later date, it turns out you’re weird curiosity is the engine may need to fuel some important change in life.
I meet so many people who seem to lack that drive or desire to even let their curiosity flow. Sometimes there’re different reasons that are holding people back, either they’re afraid or maybe your family told you that you need to have a 30-year job. What do you think is the biggest reason that people don’t follow their normal sense of curiosity?
It gets beaten out of us at such an early age. It was Pablo Picasso who said, “I can go into a classroom full of six-year-olds and ask who’s a dancer, and every hand will go up, and who’s an artist, and every hand will go up, and who’s a poet, and every hand will go up. I will go into a class of twelve-year-olds and ask the same questions and almost no hands go up.” He goes, “In my mind, school is teaching us how not to be things.” That’s true in life. Fergie, the musician had sung our National Anthem at a basketball game and was ridiculed for it because she tried some creative approaches to how she was going to sing. The way I heard people complaining about it, I thought, “This must be horrendous” When I listened, it sounded like a musician taking a take on a song. What it all came down to was, “You don’t mess with the National Anthem.”
If you’re not going to try new things and break out, then you’re not ever going to find your path. The internet and all kinds of voices rose up to be negative about this with her. We get that every day, especially with the new technology. Think about you color your hair a funny color and you go on Instagram and take a photo and then all your friends say how much they hate it. You have instant access to shame and disdain. In the old days, we used to have to wonder what everyone was thinking about us, which created our own paranoia. Now, we can get it for free and that’s the big problem.
Did you ever see the movie, The Invention of Lying, where nobody could tell the truth? They lie and don’t have to tell the truth. It is that way. As you were doing your talks, I was thinking how funny you are. Some of the times, if you have only a few people who will clap, you go, “Thank you to the six of you in the audience.” You made a joke, maybe you didn’t get the reaction that you would’ve liked to have had. Do you ever find yourself holding back because you don’t want to deal with the haters? Or does not that impact you anymore?
No, I don’t hold back and sometimes I get in trouble for this. I find that there’s this line that you’re not supposed to cross sometimes. It seems like most people know where that line is or they know right before where that line is, and I seem to run by it a lot and then look back over my shoulder and go, “That was the line.” I’ve had to issue my apologies here and there. Sometimes, it’s pure straightforward, good old fashioned ignorance. I made a John McCain joke years ago when he was going for the election, not realizing that he’d suffered tremendous trauma as a prisoner of war. My joke related to a physical thing I had noticed about him, not realizing that that came at a huge cost to him, and I went, “Good job, Brogan. Malign a war veteran.” That changed how I take on some things.
I’ll try not to say things negative at someone’s expense a lot more often than I used to, but that’s about it. As far as me being weird and me being willing to look stupid, that’s been a job definer for me. I’m always the one who likes to say something dumb as long as it leads us to somewhere that’s better. I have no shame about saying, “I don’t know. Now let’s figure it out.” I’ve always hated that answer of, “I don’t know, but I could get you an answer.” I feel like, “I don’t know. Let’s figure out an answer.” I’m sure no one knows a lot of times and we have to all pretend we’re faking until we find the one person pretending to be mom and then she’ll say it, but anyone at anytime can pretend to be that authoritative and it’ll work.
With the Presidents using social media to say about anything, are we reaching a point where we’re saying too much?
That’s a whole other thing. This is like ‘70s and bell bottoms. We’re going to look back and go, “What were we doing?” I’m sure a lot of us already know that feeling, but I would say that saying what you want, I’ve made a point of this in a bunch of different books I’ve written. There’s this Perez Hilton mess line. he still has been, but no one pays as much attention, but he was like a one-man People Magazine. The funny story is that they said he couldn’t work there, so we said, “I’ll make my own.” He got more famous. He has sort of a point of when celebrities go kind of Britney Spears meltdown crazy and you can be weird and crazy until you get to that point and then it’s a little too much.
When we share about ourselves, he can share lots of things. I share a lot about having mild clinical depression and what that’s like and how that impacts a business person’s life, and that’s okay. if I wrote a big rant about paranoia or what I’m thinking in the midst of my depression or my bathroom habits, then you could see that being a problem. One little thing about bathroom habits, I made a poop joke onstage once that then translated to me telling the story of making a poop joke on stage, that then translated to American Standard Toilets, saying, “Want to review some stuff with us because we might have a job for you.” Even that, you can be that weird and that creative and still get business.
It’s getting to be a point where so many people are becoming famous for being famous. There is a Woody Allen movie with Roberto Benigni where they randomly picked them as the next famous guy, and everybody follows him around. It’s getting to be like that instead of substance. I like that you help people with substance. You teach them actions that are going to help them get to where they want to go in. Is that most of your time doing speeches and workshops? Where is most of your day spent?
I’m a business advisor, so my primary role is different companies want to talk to me about “This artificial intelligence looks weird. What do we do?” or, “Chatbot, how do we do that and not seem like evil robot empire?” That sometimes is translated into speeches. A lot of times it’s consulting small projects. I like big consulting company. I like to go in, get some projects done with a company and then leave and never stick around. Consultants have a joke about if they can find more ways to do billable hours, they would. I like finite engagements, so that’s what I do mostly.
If you had to put percentages on the productive things I might do in my day, I would say that writing and creating and making new content that helps push an idea down the street is a lot of what I do. In this world where we can all be a massive media empire if we want, that’s one of my choices. I have chosen to make my podcast, make a bunch of video, make all kinds of blogs, and also articles on different platforms. Through that, I get these connections that I wouldn’t otherwise get. Through that, I get the opportunity to further express an idea or business concept with bigger toys than I have in my own toy box.
You were talking about finding your unique voice. You were talking about how you like to look for places that people are not likely to look for things to talk about. Where do you look that we’re not looking?
Andrea Kates, she wrote a great book a few years back called Find Your Next. I try to credit her as often as I can, but at this point it’s part of me. She said, “You’re never going to find any of the stuff that you need to know from the industry you’re in.” If you’re in the banking world, you’re not going to look at some other bank and go, “That’s novel.” You’re going to have to go very afield of where you are to do it. I like to follow a very strange and eclectic bunch of places. I read a lot about Africa because some of the challenges that Africa is facing with its industrialization and its attempts to pull certain areas out of poverty. When we say Africa, there’s the Serengeti and lions. There’s a viable business, but one of the things they do a lot more innovative than us is mobile because they have far lower data limits. They don’t have as high-speed broadband and so they have to do inventive things to push data around, so I looked there.
I look at places that are on the cusp of something new, and I follow different kinds of industries. I’m somewhat drawn to food industries even though I have no reason to be. I’m interested in plant-based foods, vegetarian, vegan. Plant-based milk products are so successful that cow milk dairies are now running ads and fighting back because there’s a massive dent in their revenue. To me, that’s interesting. How did we get there? How do we get almond milk to be more interesting than cow milk, beside all the medical reasons why and all the ethical reasons why? That’s where I started looking for ideas that I can then tell Amazon or that’s where I tell an idea that’ll help somebody like Staples. I’m always trying to figure out in a world where we can buy from anyone, “Why should we buy from you?” That’s my favorite thing to solve for.
That’s what makes you unique. A lot of people don’t look outside their industries and you’ve dealt with so many fascinating people. You were on Tony Robbins’ Money Master series. You interviewed Richard Branson. You’ve been around some of the top successful people either interviewing them or have them interviewing you. What do they do differently? Are they doing the same kind of things? Are they looking outside of their normal areas? What have you learned from them?
With Tony Robbins, one of the reasons he reached out to me is funny. He didn’t know much about me, but he’d been asking around who’s somebody that’s in this new space of the internet. This was 2009. You could ask about 10 million people, and I’m so out of place with everyone else on that series. It was like a shark‑tank‑looking person after a shark-tank-looking person and they were like, “This is how I go for the jugular.” You get to me and I’m like a happy teddy bear, and I’m like, “We should all hug.” It is vivid that I am not part of those things.
What’s great about Tony is he takes his ideas from a lot of places, like I do. What’s slightly different is that he has enough smarts to keep in one particular set of lane as close as he can, so that people don’t get confused at where he’s going with it. Pick any week and I’m like a whole different person. I invent myself once a year like Madonna, and so it’s tricky. Tony did it better. Richard Branson is very that way. I talked to him for an article for SUCCESS Magazine, and the first time, he was like super sweet. The very first sentence he said to me was, “Is there anything I could get you?” I thought, “He’s a billionaire,” and that’s repeated itself.
The nicest, most humble people I’ve met are billionaires, the millionaires are not as. Manoj Bhargava, the inventor of 5-Hour Energy, was nice, humble, fun. His way of solving things is a very different approach and opinion than I would have. He says, “Let’s have the biggest things first.” My brain can’t possibly comprehend it. My brain says, “That’s a horrible idea. It’s too big. I’ll get lost in it.” He’s like, “Let’s go over to India and figure out how to get power into people’s houses in a way that they’re not indebted for the rest of their life and that it works.”
That’s like Naveen Jain. He was on my show and he does the same thing. He wants to completely eliminate hunger, land on the moon, or fix all disease. He spends so much of his time reading. That’s his biggest focus and he’ll go into new industries he completely knows nothing about. He likes it better because he doesn’t have to unlearn whatever he thought he knew. Has that changed you? Did you use to go for the moon shot like he does for the big things? Or do you still think the scaffolding needs to build on the next idea?
I only have small ideas. I’m not doubting myself or anything like that. When I work, I’m thinking, “What’s the smallest unit that we could do?” There’s all these holistic approaches to life that are so much smarter. There’s all these better ways to view everything in the aggregate, and then you go, “I totally get it.” When I say I break things down, I don’t break them down in that way if I know the smallest parts are not the biggest. If it could fit in my backpack, I could figure it out. Our creativity is set up for how we’re going to play with specific people. My creativity is set up to say, “How would this treat my mom better?” When Disney comes to me and says, “We want to do this project because we want people to feel like they can have this experience in our parks.” I go, “Let’s solve for that.” It’s one small thing. I don’t think, “How can I make the next theme park for Disney.” I’m not wired that way.
I was looking at some of the brands you’ve worked with. You mentioned Disney, Coke, Google, GM, and Microsoft. You’ve been on Dr. Phil. You were even listed by Forbes as Must Follow Marketing Minds. A lot of people will want to know more about how they could get your book and contact you or how to follow you. Can you share all that?
The fastest, easiest way is if you swing by ChrisBrogan.com or Owner.Media, either one of those sites, and grab my newsletter. My newsletter is very different than any other person. You can hit reply to it and then I’ll reply to you. The other thing with my newsletter is it comes out every Sunday. It’s the best thing I write anyway. You might as well get a feel of me that way and decide if you want to do more of anything with me. That’s probably the easiest.
Thank you so much.
My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Finding People And Events with James Malinchak
I am with James Malinchak, who is a true American Success Story. James is recognized as one of the most requested, in-demand business and motivational keynote speakers and marketing consultants in the world. He was featured on the hit ABC TV show, Secret Millionaire, co-authored the bestselling book, Chicken Soup for the College Soul, was twice named College Speaker of the Year, and James is behind-the-scenes, go-to marketing advisor for many top speakers, authors, celebrities, business professionals, entrepreneurs, sports coaches, athletes, and thought leaders.
He’s recognized as the World’s Premiere Speaker Trainer and Coach by USA Today.
I got a little bit cold sweats reminding myself of some of the sales calls I had to make when I heard you talk about having to make 100 cold calls a day. That’s a lot of us who have had to go through that. They throw you the phone book and say, “Have fun! Dial for dollars.” I loved how you got the idea of making it more efficient. Can you give your background on how you got to this point in your career?
Thanks for having me. I appreciate any time that I have the opportunity to say something that might help someone. I grew up in a small steel mill town in Western Pennsylvania, about 6,000 to 8,000 people and didn’t have much growing up. Dad worked in the steel mill as a railroad conductor and mom was a lunch mother at the school, serving lunches, so we didn’t have much. It wasn’t like it came from anything, but I had big dreams and big goals. One of those was to play college basketball. I ended up accepting a basketball scholarship to the University of Cincinnati out of high school, played college basketball there, and then transferred and played for the University of Hawaii at Hilo, graduated from there, moved to Los Angeles. I started my career as a stockbroker with a major Wall Street investment firm, and at one point I had an office on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. I managed entertainers and athletes and celebrities and helping them with their money. That’s what I mean with manage, not manage their career.
I got started at a very young age and was successful at a young age. Somebody said, “Would you come speak for our group?” I was like, “I don’t speak. What do you mean speak for your group?” “Teach our sales people how you built your business with no cold calling.” I’m like, “I don’t do that. I’m over here running my business.” They said, “We’ll pay you $5,000.” I said, “I’ll come and speak.” If somebody’s going to pay me to talk, my momma didn’t raise no fool. I’m talking all day long anyway, and they’re not going to pay me to talk. I went and did that talk and loved it. People were coming up and saying, “You helped me change my life.” Long story short, one led to two, led to three. Three led to a hundred, hundred led to thousand. I’ve done over 3,000 some talks over the last twenty years, written twenty books, done a thousand business consultations, and was on the TV show, Secret Millionaire on ABC. There’s the short scenario of how I got started.
You’ve had quite an experience with very successful people and yet you’re still helping so many people. I have a lot of people that still need a lot of help, not just avoiding cold calls but some of the stuff you talked about, how to set up a seminar, how to fill a room. One of the things you said was different was you had 56 different ways or steps to get people to go to a seminar. There’s not just one step?
The story is Jack Canfield, co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, and he was in the movie The Secret. He is the author of the bestselling book, The Success Principles. Patty Aubery, who’s his CEO, was texting me because I helped her and Jack a lot with their stuff. One of the things that happened because I had all this success with consulting and speaking, I became the behind-the-scenes, go-to-marketing person for a lot of thought leaders that a lot of people would know. They never promoted and mentioned it but I’ve been helping a lot of folks over the last few years. The story you’re relating to is Jack Canfield walked into one of my Big Money Speaker seminars one time, and he said, “How do you get 700 or 500 or 800 people here? I’m Jack Canfield and I don’t even get 500 people.” Let’s say it was 500, and I said “I don’t know one way to get 500 people, but I know 50 ways to get ten and I do them all.” It looked like a revelation.
There’s no magic pill for anything in any business. There’s not one way that works all the time. A lot of people when they look at me like I’m a mix of “I’m doing three or four different marketing things, which one should I do because this one is producing the best and this one’s producing the least?” You don’t cancel the least, you keep all of them, and you do them all. I have an air force colonel who is a client of mine, and I asked him one time, “If we were going to attack a country, what is the best way to do that? Is it land, air, or sea?” He said, ”All of the above.” He said, “You want them all because you don’t know which is going to work and you don’t know which is going to produce the best results.” That’s the same for your business. You do all of the above. We do 50 things because we don’t know which one’s going to work best.
You said you can give some talks locally and you go to the business journal to get some of those ideas of where to talk. Can you share some of your ideas of where you find places to give talks?
If someone is starting out, you start out, you don’t know what to do. A big coaching consulting day is I have 120 different consulting clients with these CS ranging from $25,000 to over $100,000. One of my clients, he was on a reality TV show called The Biggest Loser on NBC, and he’s getting into speaking, and I said, “The most important thing when it comes to any kind of speaking is forget everything else. Everything else is a bunch of smoke and mirrors that people sell you on. This is the only thing that matters. The thing that matters is you have to find people who have events and who have budgets for speakers at those events. You have to get them to pick you and pay you the check. That is the only thing that matters. Everything else is smoking mirrors.” I got to get new business cards and branding, get the people who have budgets and get them to pay you. I was telling him, “When you’re starting out and you don’t have any talks, one of the ways you do it is you do free talks, so that you hone your skills. At the end of your talk, you can offer something.”
You might make profit from speaking for free, but they invest in your books or CDs. The key is we got to find people who have events. Most major cities, I live in Los Angeles, they had it there. I live in Vegas now, and they have them here. In Memphis, they have what’s called the Business Journal, the Scottsdale Business Journal, the Los Angeles Business Journal, the Las Vegas Business Journal. This is a weekly newspaper that you find at a newsstand or your local bookstore. If you go online and you look at business journal, it should pull up the main business journal sites, and you should be able to find the business journal newspaper in your city or your town. Not all of them have it, but most of the major ones have it.
I got a subscription to it. I did it for Los Angeles when I lived there, I did it for Las Vegas when I lived here. In the back of the business journals, they list all of the meetings that are going on in the business community in that city. Like here in Las Vegas, in the back of that Journal, 200 or 300 go on every week a month in Las Vegas. These are the local businesspeople. Everything from the Chamber of Commerce to the Little Lady Red Hat Society group that meets at Denny’s every week. It lists there the organization, when they meet, where they meet, and who the primary contact person is that runs that event, a.k.a., the people you want to get to. It gives you a listing of a few hundred people who put on meetings. That’s a tiny, small, little way in your community.
There are so many websites, free speaker sites. Do you even advise people to get on those sites that even charge us a little bit? Or do you think it’s better to do it yourself?
The answer is yes and no. It depends on the site. You have to be very careful because there are a lot of sites that are moneymakers. The problem with the internet, it’s still the Wild, Wild West. Anybody can put up a website and look like a legitimate business. There’s one called SpeakerMatch.com. Good friend of mine, Bryan Caplovitz is the owner. He’s a great guy. It provides you with speaker leads. There’s one called Gig Salad. There’s another one called Gig Masters, that you can be listed on. These are all lead‑generation sites for speaking gigs. I’ve lifted myself with them, so I’ve added them and checked them out. Do we list with them or do we do it ourselves? The answer is yes and yes, you do both. I was telling the guy from The Biggest Loser TV show, “Let me tell you why I consistently book 100 to 150 paid talks a year.”
There aren’t many people out there that you know who consistently have booked 100 to 150 paid talks a year. I said, “Here’s my secret. I figured out a long time ago that the only thing that matters is eight balls. If we’re shooting a game of pool, and I knock in every ball on the table, but you knock in the eight ball, you win. I lose.” The purpose of the game of eight ball pool is to get the eight-ball in. You have to find people who have budgets and get them to pick you. When I figured this out, I told this guy, “I went on a quest. My database was filled with as many as I could find who had budgets in meetings, and I have various ways to do that on how to easily get those people.” I said, “There was a point where I had 10,000 event coordinators who all have budgets and it’s my 10-10-10 philosophy. You have 10,000 folks who have money to pay you to speak and you mail a mail piece to them because they’re not looking for you on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Instagram.
They’re not out there searching for speakers.” I know because I’ve talked to so many coordinators over the years. That’s not how they do it, but they had told me this years ago. I surveyed a hundred of them and they said, “The best way to approach me is in the mail because nobody does it. I’m so busy, I don’t have time to go looking on the Internet for people.” They’re not finding who they want to find anyway, because all they’re finding are the people who know how to trick keywords and SEO who were coming up. They taught me the importance of showing up with what’s called a six-page brochure in their mailbox. Here’s how I came up with my 10-10-10 marketing philosophy. If you mail brochures out, it costs you one stamp. With the printing of the brochure and the postage, it costs you about 70 cents to mail out 10,000 brochures, $7,000 to get in front of 10,000 people who could give you a check.
Assuming the brochure is written correctly, it’s a perfect match when it shows up. 10,000 folks receive it, 10% or a thousand will be very interested in you. They may not be able to book you or may, depending on when their event is. Of the thousand, 10% will book you, that’s 100 talks. If your fee is $10,000, I made you a million dollars and it only costs you $7,000 to get in front of them. The key is you have to find people who have budgets and get in front of them. I don’t care if you have a sandwich shop. If you own a sandwich shop, what’s the key? You have to get in front of people who are hungry and get them to walk into your shop.
How do you get their physical addresses?
There’re several ways. We don’t have enough time to go through that on this call. It’s something that I only share with my high-priced coaching clients.
Is this brochure you’re sending six pages? Or is it one sheet thing that you’re sending?
They laugh at one sheet. The other thing they tell me is “Don’t do what these speaker associations tell you to do because those things don’t work.” I’m very smart at one thing. I go and talk to the people who are decision makers and I research, and I ask them, “How would you like for me to approach you? What would you like to see? What would you have to see in order to pick me?” When they tell me, I go away and do exactly what they tell me to do. That’s my whole smarts right there. Let’s go talk to the people who matter and think like the buyer. The mistake most people make is they create from their point of view. They don’t create from the potential buyer’s point of view.
One thing that is important is to listen to what the buyer says and create from their point of view. When these event coordinators told me, “This is what we liked,” they would show me these brochures. I’m like, “What about one sheet or postcard?” They’re like, “We don’t look at that stuff. We throw that stuff away. Here’s what we like.” They would always have this drawer with a file folder and they’d show me the things they liked. First thing is if they want me to show up in the mail, I have to show up in the mail. Second thing is if they’re telling me they like these things, I have to make sure I show up the way they’d like me to show out. That’s all I did. This comes from real in-the-trenches research from people who control budgets. This doesn’t come from one of the speakers speaking at some convention who don’t know how to market but are talking about what they think. Two words that’ll make you broke are, “I think.”
Is it like a resume where you get them too much, and they go, “Ugh.” They don’t want too much?
Absolutely not. Most people don’t understand direct response marketing. You mentioned Genius Network, Joe Polish. Joe is a master. He did it for carpet cleaners for years. Dan Kennedy, Gary Halbert. There’s an old line in marketing, “The more you tell, the more you sell.” The problem is most folks, especially speakers, they don’t know what they’re supposed to tell, so they’re talking about themselves instead of talking about things that the event coordinator wants to hear that is going to be in it for them like “Why should we book you? What’s going to happen for our folks when they walk out of your speech? How are they going to be better?”
Those are the things that need to be on, not, “James has been speaking for 22 years.” They don’t care about any of that stuff. That’s the way most mail pieces are written; me versus you. It’s six pages, so it’s 8-1/2×11 three sheets of paper, that’s it. That’s what a six-page brochure is. Front back, because that’s only one stamp. You can mass mail those. For my Big Money Speaker Boot Camp, here’s one of the 56 things. As we mail out 50,000 brochures to speakers, authors, trainers, coaches, consultants, and entrepreneurs, it takes us about five days to get those in the mail because we use the mail service and a mail house. We got a list, we send it to the mail house, we send the piece that I designed over there, and within five days, 50,000 pieces in the mail. It’s not like you’re sitting there, folding brochures.
Do you use something like Canva? Do you do it yourself? What kind of a software do you like?
You got to look good. You’ve got to work with a designer. The way I do it, I design everything on paper. Every marketing thing you’ve ever seen from me or one of my clients, I have designed it with paper and pen, and then I take it to a graphic designer and I say, “I know marketing and how to make this work. I don’t know how to make it look pretty. You make it look pretty and professional.” That’s how we do it. I don’t do it on my own on a software program because I’m not a graphic specialist, and it has to look good. Imagine Apple trying to charge $700 for an iPhone and it doesn’t come in a pretty packaging.
Does there have to be something specific right at the beginning? Is there a format that you teach people?
That’s stuff we cover in all my trainings and there’s no way I can go through it in a couple of minutes.
I’ve listened to some of your talks about how to price things, and I notice that you end with seven. Do people buy it if it ends in a seven, unless it’s on TV that it ends in 95?
This doesn’t come from me. This comes from direct response folks who’ve done this for hundreds of years. Based on these studies, statistically, you sell more if you end in a seven versus a nine or a zero or a five. Unless you’re selling on radio or television, then it’s better to end in 0.95 like $39.95. Here’s my question to you, “Why does that work?” Meaning when you end in a seven, you sell better.
Here’s is the answer. Who cares? When it works, you do it. People spend so much time trying to figure out, “Why did this work?” Who cares? When we see that the response is better when we do it this way versus that way, we keep doing it this way and we don’t care why it works.
I enjoy watching your work and the stuff you did with the Secret Millionaire was inspirational. Can you say what you did on that show?
For anyone who doesn’t know, they picked me up, took me out of my element, didn’t tell me where I was going, didn’t let me have a watch, credit cards, money, phone, nothing. They put me on a plane, and sent me to an impoverished area which was Gary, Indiana. I didn’t know at the time that it was one of the worst murder places in the U.S. and they had me living undercover; hence the Secret Millionaire. The mission was to go through looking for beautiful, amazing people who are making a difference in the lives of others. I was the volunteer and working the charity in their organization. Nobody knew what I was doing. I was a volunteer, and at the end of my time, I go to them and say, “I’m heading out of town, but there’s something I haven’t told you.” I reveal my identity not as a struggling volunteer, but as a successful entrepreneur, and then open up my checkbook and I start writing them checks to help them further their mission. I wrote over $100,000 worth of checks. That’s the whole Secret Millionaire premise.
A lot of people want to know how they could learn more about you and find out how they could figure out what to put on those six pages, so share with them how to reach you.
The best would be to go to this website. I have a free book you can get. You pay the shipping and handling, which is $6.95 roughly. It’s a hardcover book. It’s 150 some pages. It’s called Millionaire Success Secrets: 33 Unique Ways to Think and Act Like a Millionaire Top Achiever. You can get the book by going to www.MillionaireFreeBook.com. It’s $25 hard cover book. You get it for free if you cover the shipping and handling, plus you get three free training videos as a bonus. It’s $997 training course, and you get those for free as well.
Thank you so much to James and to Chris. We have so many wonderful guests on the show. If you’ve missed any of the past episodes, you can go to DrDianeHamiltonRadio.com and look at past guests there. We’re now putting everything into blog format so you can read what was on the show, which is cool. We’re doing that because it’s such great content. I hope that you enjoy our show and we look forward to the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.
About Chris Brogan
Chris Brogan is CEO of Owner Media Group , providing skills for the modern entrepreneur. He is also a highly sought after professional speaker and the New York Times bestselling author of nine books and counting. His latest is called Find Your Writing Voice. Chris has spoken for or consulted with the biggest brands you know, including Disney, Coke, Google, GM, Microsoft, Coldwell Banker, Titleist, Scotts, Humana Health, Cisco, Sony USA, and many more. He’s appeared on the Dr. Phil Show, interviewed Richard Branson for a cover story for Success magazine, and once even presented to a Princess. People like Paulo Coelho, Harvey Mackay, and Steven Pressfield enjoy sharing their projects and best ideas with Chris, because they know he’ll share them with you. Tony Robbins had Chris on his Internet Money Masters series. Forbes listed Chris as one of the Must Follow Marketing Minds of 2014, plus listed his website as one of the 100 best websites for entrepreneurs. Statsocial rated Chris the #3 power influencer online.
About James Malinchak
James Malinchak is a true American Success Story! James is recognized as one of the most requested, in-demand business and motivational keynote speakers and marketing consultants in the world. He was featured on the Hit ABC TV Show, Secret Millionaire, Co-Authored the Best-Selling book, Chicken Soup for the College Soul and was twice named “College Speaker of the Year.” James is the behind-the-scenes, go-to marketing advisor for many top speakers, authors, celebrities, business professionals, entrepreneurs, sports coaches, athletes and thought leaders and is recognized as the: “World’s Premiere Speaker Trainer and Coach!” by USA Today.
- Chris Brogan
- James Malinchak
- Owner Media Group
- Find Your Writing Voice
- The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth
- Find Your Next
- 5-Hour Energy
- Naveen Jain
- Chicken Soup for the College Soul
- Jack Canfield
- The Success Principles
- Patty Aubery
- Gig Salad
- Gig Masters
- Big Money Speaker Boot Camp
- Millionaire Success Secrets: 33 Unique Ways to Think and Act Like a Millionaire Top Achiever