How often do we hold ourselves back for fear of being seen?
What are we afraid of? Being vulnerable? Being judged? How can we find the courage to put ourselves out there and release the fear of judgement and perfectionism?
How to create Omnipresence in your business.
Omnipresence is the art or illusion of being seen everywhere.
This is a key strategy designed to create like and trust with your audience and to grow your business.
The books I mentioned:
The subtle art of not giving a fuck – Mark Manson
The Life-changing magic of not giving a fuck – Sarah Knight
LWYD (Love What You Do) 2 Day Business Mastermind – Feb 16 & 17th 2019
Take 2 days out to create your 2019 Vision with inspiring women who want to up-level their mindset, motivation and business strategy to make 2019 incredible!
Connect with like-minded women as you learn from some amazing powerhouse women on how to take your business to the next level through workshops, experiences, connections, and collaborations.
For more info- Click the link – LWYD (Love What You Do) 2 Day Business Mastermind – Feb 16 & 17th 2019
Today’s episode is a delicious conversation with Anita Siek, Director of Wordfetti Group.
Born from her love of the medium of words and its ability to trigger different emotions to a reader, what began as a side-gig while juggling her Corporate role, then turned into her full-time gig. What began as 0 clients. Crickets. Nothing. Has today rapidly turned into a waitlist of like-minded clients who as part of their community understands the importance of language when it comes to communicating the value for their brand.
Wordfetti‘s client base ranges from local SME’s to corporate organisations, Aussie brands such as Lack of Color, to global brands such as Korea’s largest fried chicken brand.
For more information on Wordfetti and what they offer – feel free to connect here:
Our conversation covered topics such as;
LWYD (Love What You Do) 2 Day Business Mastermind – Feb 16 & 17th 2019
Take 2 days out to create your 2019 Vision with inspiring women who want to up-level their mindset, motivation and business strategy to make 2019 incredible!
Connect with like-minded women as you learn from some amazing powerhouse women on how to take your business to the next level through workshops, experiences, connections and collaborations.
For more info- Click the link – LWYD (Love What You Do) 2 Day Business Mastermind – Feb 16 & 17th 2019
Christine I’m excited to welcome the beautiful and data Anita from Wordfetti today. Thanks so much for joining me.
Anita 0:05 Thank you so much for having me. I’m very excited.
Christine 0:08 Tell us a little bit just to get started. Tell us what wordfetti is all about.
Anita 0:13 Oh okay. So we’re funny we’re a copywriting, SEO and we specialize a little pitch is that we specialize in helping brands stand out through strategies, psychology and words. So we don’t necessarily write copy based off of grief. We instead you know we write copy based off firstly understanding consumer behavior, the psychology of why people buy from a certain brand or engage a certain range and then we craft a message that is tailored to that. So that’s, you know, website copy. I think a lot of the time people are like copywriting for one. So here it is, here’s the little bit of a list; website, copy, video scripts, to pitch decks, marketing collateral to potentially a tagline you see on a billboard. Yeah, it’s got words on it was awesome.
I love that. And I think what really drew me to you, when I first met you was the concept of storytelling. Tell me why storytelling is really important to you.
The thing is, I think storytelling is important, I think because each and every single one of us and I say us as well. And this is also reflective of brands as well. I think each brand or each person behind all has a unique story to tell. And I think that sounds a little cliche, but it’s, it’s true. Like, there’s always there’s a secret sauce that makes at business or branch different to the others like you can have, you know, a question I usually ask like, what workshop participants is like, if you have to other major cupcake shop, and you have to car tech shops or the opposite sides of the street. Like what would make someone come to your store compared to your competitors down the road. I mean, for me, like imagine, yeah, the same cupcake shop. So we’ve got a cupcake shop that has got amazing delicious cupcakes versus a cupcake shop there has got the amazing delicious cupcakes. But it’s got that story about how this is a recipe that’s passed down, I don’t know for from grandma to daughter, daughter to now the owner of the account pixel like I don’t know about you, but I would probably go towards the one that’s got the secret recipe that’s been passed down through generations. And it’s it’s that storytelling that element and it may not necessarily be the recipe it may be potentially how you wrap the cupcake or it might be the sprinkles that you put on top it there’s always like one element or one secret sauce that makes a branch different from the others who have storytelling
I totally agree and it’s it’s so important to be able to differentiate yourself in this place where in the market where it’s sort of flooded with every type of business there is there’s got to be something different than makes you stand out absolutely I agree
100% I think there’s always so many people who like one of the questions I usually asked the funds is now what makes your brain unique and it’s at the beginning that was like oh it’s you know we just have personalized service that we deliver to our clients and in my mind I’m just like all that is great but that is the standard is not like I definitely agree that that is important and that is you know something that at the beginning of you know the copywriting journey they go on with us is something they saw as you need but it’s something that a lot of I see I guess I see a lot of brands horn ensure you know personalized service see quality products the you know all of that you know fighting towards I guess yeah when we standards like when you go into a shop to buy a product with the exception of the reject shock you I said but products to be on good quality yeah it’s it needs to be more than that
and I love how you put that because it literally is the expectation so things develop in the way that they can businesses evolve and certain things in the way that when there’s lots assign what’s the word like when it is become the norm to have that specific thing in your business that I can’t be your your unique positioning at all anymore. My business is always going to be evolving and it to the next you know two three stores down the road or actually having the same thing or you know the other business online whoever it yeah I have the same thing they join the same thing then you’ve got to still go past that and I think storytelling is 100% 100%
because that’s when when you tell me that unique story or whatever it is and I’m going to like a great example is I’m going to use I’m going to use this example my like is a lot of people know the brand but yeah Airbnb is one mainly because they’ve now their unique selling proposition or they need their story that story so a lot of other you know home share companies or holiday rental companies will focus on you know the convenience of the price service which is all true I probably cheaper to book an Airbnb but they don’t focus on that they focus on a completely different element which is if you want to travel like a local then book with us and that is such a strong story that even if someone else was to come around now and use that they’ll be like that is that is being base
Yeah. Um, I’ve had like over like, she’s actually could then interviewed the guys who, who created Airbnb and the way that their story was what, how it started out when they were actually just allowing people to sleep on that’s an LA LA beds and couches and stuff. So they can go Yes, also in the same area. Like it was just so so cool. But in the way that even further they were like, Okay, cool. So this is a unique positioning, what else can make us unique, the live event going to you and a baby experiences which makes the experience of that look like so much even more impactful. So I just love that I agree.
Unknown 6:18 Yeah, hundred percent. And there’s no better feeling than chicken engine in the Airbnb. I recently went to one recently in bar and they would knock on my door. I’m trying to take gene with some cookies and milk.
Unknown 6:33 Yes. Beautiful. So what other things do you normally ask your clients when you first get to get to know someone who can maybe start selling out with a new client? What are some key things you asked us to uncover a unique positioning or their storytelling voice?
Oh, my gosh, that is a great question. And that is very hard to answer. Because I it probably it’s a lot of questions a lot of a lot and a lot and a lot of questions. And it’s there’s no single list of questions that we do go through. It’s really just asking questions. And if there’s something that they say in the answer that we want to uncover a bit more we asked a question related to that again. But the whole purpose of I guess the first stage, I guess, is discovery and understanding in an earthing, you know, what makes this brand unique, but the whole purpose of it is really to, the best way I can put it is to put our brains literally into the head so that we can literally think, as an extension of their brain. So any question that will help us understand their business as though we are literally them, we will probably ask until we’re crystal clear that we are actually thinking about their business as though we are them like everything from, you know, where, like, where they see their brand darling is definitely one of them. Like, for example, what I mean by that is, if there are brands that really wants to be seen as the boutique or bespoke, you know, business that is only, I don’t know, five staff members from compared to say, like, yeah, like a graphic design agency, if they just want to be seen as the boutique, you know, five people x exceptional work as opposed to a full blown agency that is like, I don’t know, 5060 people, how you communicate to those two audiences are completely different. So it’s things like that is important, you know, watch whether or not they’re introducing, you know, products, whether or not there’s a, you know, they might be starting off with this, but, you know, the big goal is this, like, we need to know exactly what’s going on in the founder or the executive or there Yeah, that’s a person’s brain so we can actually see everything, see the landscape and then really dissect so that we can get that secret sauce out whatever that is. Um, yeah, I’m not a question so I didn’t really answer your question but yet another lot of questions.
So what is it that you love about the most what is absolutely part of that is to love the most but you
should be honest, I am going to say it’s actually not really going to be ironic but it’s not really just about the words to me it’s it has to be a covered a little bit just fine, but it what has to beach and just meet people and to meet people understand them hear their stories and Unknown 9:33 kind of uncovering kind of jumbling everything together. And mixing everything together and then finding that I guess unique selling points or that brand story to tell meeting people is would have to be and hearing their stories would have to be one of my favorite parts of the job. It’s one it’s an honor true it’s just particularly business owners themselves, like we were we both business owners and executives. But when you work with small business owners or you know SMEs like there’s just such passion and just such you know, gracious and perseverance like hearing their stories is Yeah, like that energy is contagious it’s just awesome how people it you know, it’s never a linear path to you know, doing what they do and sometimes you hear from I know doctors who have then gone on to become you know, a cupcake owner cupcake shop owner left it’s it’s it’s cool it’s awesome.
That’s awesome. And I think like even talking about stories in general hearing that you didn’t necessarily start out as a copywriter, you have a little bit of a story of your background and how wordfetti got started. Can you share with us that?
Yeah, yeah. Okay, so that’s correct. So mine was simpler nonlinear. So I let me pick where should I start. So I deeper traditional thing where you went to university and chose a few chats, you know, choice that you think would work so I my choices for law and psychology and I was six and a half years very, very six, I have used for two very expensive pieces of paper. And as if that wasn’t enough, I decided to get another piece of paper to say, I do not regret doing all of that. I mean, if I had the chance to do it, I may have just stuck with potentially just one sort of, Unknown 11:41 but I definitely do. I do not regret going through university. But that then led me to getting a corporate job. I worked in law firms I also worked in my most recent job was in the public sector. And I actually really enjoyed working in the different roles. I was in the Queensland Government. I really, really enjoyed it was rewarding. It was challenging, but I think deep within my brain I knew I just, you know, that moment when you’re just like, Okay, if I get this job, I’m going to be really happy. But then you get that job. You’re just like, Okay, cool. Still not happy? Yeah, exactly. Yeah, it was exactly what’s happening. I just felt like that would be a role that I would want and then I would go and do everything I could to, you know, work towards that. And then I’d get it and then I’ll just be like, oh, okay, well, what makes it’s not like I can take over the entire album so it’s so I really wanted something that was just you know, third place in a way and yeah, we’re very was born as a side gig It was early hundred energy. thousand 16, early 2017 as a soccer game I saw gauge for around a year, people thought I was crazy because I had no life. But that’s cool. Because Yeah, it gave me the opportunity to really build the brand to the spice way It wasn’t just I was just typing on any jobs I could really be selective with, you know, the type of clients I want you to a weapon it because I wasn’t doing it just really for the money. Like I had a stable income from, you know, the corporate job I had. So the side gig really offered me the opportunity to work with people I really loved. And that helps me bro, I guess, our portfolio. And then by the time I had to choose between corporate job or my myself, I was like, and I was, let’s, let’s go, let’s give it a full on crack. And yeah, it really it really helps. I mean, it’s not for everyone to start their business as a side gig. But I personally think it’s a it’s a great way to, to start it. Because I think when people sometimes people jump full throttle and quit their job, and then start their business because of financial issues, or because they just like, Oh, I need to make you know this much money by this month, I’m just going to take on this job. And then they get sad, because they’re like, Oh, this is not really what I wanted.
Unknown 14:14 That’s so true. So much. I hundred percent believe that if people are going to start a business, they’re doing a side hustle first really prove that you can go all in and doing the jobs that you don’t necessarily like that you have to do to set up the business and to start making it profitable. If you don’t, if you aren’t willing to do that still, while you’re working full time or part time, then what makes you think you get a bit actually want to do it when you’re not like,
Unknown 14:39 Oh my gosh, yes. So true. So true. Yeah, Yeah, I cannot agree more than that. Because, yeah, it is going to be long hours owning your own business, your brain doesn’t really switch off. So it’s almost like the entree to the laptop. It’s it’s like, it’s so funny that you mentioned that because I think a lot of I love my girlfriends. And I think a lot of my friends do things. I bet that’s my life that I get to do you know, and sometimes look, I’m gonna lie. I do sometimes bring my laptop me at all, or I will work from a cafe. But it’s Yeah, it’s definitely not always rainbows.
Unknown 15:23 What would you say the best thing about being your own bosses,
Unknown 15:31 I would probably have to say it’s the ability to really paint my own path as true what I want to achieve. Like, if I want to achieve x y z I enjoyed that I can put towards a plan I could put towards, you know, the number of clans a tree going towards our path. Or if I want to switch things up, I can do that as well. If I want you to completely go and do something different. I can do that as well. And that is damn awesome. That is pretty awesome. Being able to really have full control of Yeah, watch. Life is going to look like what life is going to feel locked. And where the life well, even if I could be. Yeah. in Brisbane or Sydney. I could be one. It’s, you know, Unknown 16:23 it’s awesome. Yeah. That is so cool. I love it. So what would you say the hardest part about being your impulses. There’s definitely a number of hotspotsthat come to come to mind when it comes to owning a business I think the biggest one for me personally would really be the ability to switch off from business friend she just normal any of the brain because and I think you any business owner that is listening to this would completely understand when you’re a business owner, you are there is no work life balance. It’s it’s work life integration, your work becomes your life, your life in a way is you’re consumed by not because you have a lot of client work to do. It’s not just about that, it’s it’s mainly was thinking about, you know what else I can do, or how else I can make this better, or how I’m going to make that client experience even more awesome than previous, like, you’re always thinking of how to better ABC or how to make how to create something that your clients want. And sometimes, and this sucks life and I love my partner to base for this is my like, we would be sitting next to each other. And we would be talking and I would literally be typing and we’ll be talking I’ll be like, sorry, what I did not like my brain is not there because I’m in business mode. And in a way that is hard. That sucks. And I’m yeah, I’m so lucky to have a partner who really understands and is really supportive of that. That’s definitely the hardest food because unless you disconnect all internet or electronic devices, it’s so easy to checking emails. It’s so easy to jump on your phone and open the laptop up now those and just start working even on weekends.
Unknown 18:35 And so I’m going to mention your position also, like text, so much creative juices and so much space around the creative zone. Is there anything that you do to help yourself get into the creative zone? Or is it just something that free? You will Unknown 18:51 all man Unknown 18:52 Yeah, I definitely need to get better at this. And I think we were just chatting about this before. But I definitely the creative juices are definitely not always on 24 seven. And I think Unknown 19:06 anyone else that’s in the creative industry listening to this Unknown 19:10 well, understand, like, there’s definitely peaks for the communities, you know, magic. But there’s definitely there’s only so much creative juice that can be milked, you can’t help but sometimes go down the sun. So it’s really understanding for me, it’s really been trying to understand, you know, when the pizza and of course also understanding that it’s okay to know it’s okay to take that weekend off and recharge the creative juices. It’s okay to, you know, finish potentially at 4pm one day because you started at 5am. Like it’s it’s definitely being I think transitioning from corporate role to owning your own business. There is this idea that you have to still work nine to five because you feel like that’s what you need to do. But each each person has just it. It’s so different. Like, sometimes people are amazing. And the morning and if we wake up for you, you could finish up on Oh, three or four. If you are more of a model. You can start work every day and finish Layla. It’s just finding weighing the peaks of your creative juices common So to answer your question, it’s to be okay to recharge those creative juices. but to also find that when I guess my personal and whoever’s listening, like your creative juice is at its peak, because it’s different for everyone. Unknown 20:34 Yeah, absolutely. So you works alongside your corporate role for for quite a while for about a year doing you’re doing a side hustle. And then he went into full time and then at what point did you feel that you actually need to hire staff Unknown 20:48 I have play hide my stuff. And I’ll still in the corporate job. So there was yes, Unknown 20:54 I hired my Unknown 20:56 first time probably six months into side begging. And that was my life because I started to get times and of course, I only had why, like, have the weekend, Saturday and Sunday. And the job I was in was they were amazing to have given me either did a flexible work arrangement that allowed me to also Friday off work Monday to Thursday from six 7am till, like five very like compressed hours so that I can have a day off but still, I needed someone to help me, you know, ended my work and review you know, make sure the i’s are dotted the T’s are, you know, how stout so the first person I had was another editor and a copywriter result to really go through the work that I create first. So I had book first and then that was the first so then by the time I left my corporate role, I already had the amazing group and then it wasn’t until probably say four months into full time I then hired another Unknown 21:59 copywriter and strategic so that was, yeah, Michelle. And then the third was an admin person. I I do now looking back, I think I feel really bad for my admin girl because I’m like, I’m so sorry. All of my stuff is so Unknown 22:17 manual Unknown 22:20 bit of me is like, maybe I should have, you know, hide the Unknown 22:24 little bit early on, because now she has a lot of stuff to do. Unknown 22:32 Well, yeah. What do you feel that you’ve learned about yourself through the journey of actually managing staff down? Unknown 22:40 Um, wow, that’s it’s Unknown 22:44 hard. I think Unknown 22:45 the hardest part for me is I’m usually someone Unknown 22:51 really trust to be friends with everyone. I’m really someone who Unknown 22:57 Yeah, you know, I am able to going to networking events. I’m not one of those people who are like, show like, I will be there I’ll be like, Oh, hey, we are friends now. But it’s I guess it’s finding that balance between you know, making sure that you’re being the best you know, support or boss as still feel weird saying that being the best boss to yourself. But also of course, maintaining that relationship and someone friendship and then being okay with me giving them feedback or them being okay with me just letting them know hey, this should have been like this or this should have been done like this. Like that has been hard because sometimes I feel bad Unknown 23:39 I’m like, oh, but Unknown 23:41 yeah, I definitely have had to learn how to provide feedback and also understand that it is it’s it’s it’s a big thing to for someone to be part of a brand as well and you really need to not just sees them as just another copywriter or just I don’t know another admin person. It’s so much more than that. Because it’s Yeah, it’s you really need to get to understand this what I’ve learned like you really need to get understand what they want to do as well. Like, like, if the copywriter also wants to do this, then we can mold the role to it if that’s what she wants. Because that’s what how she’s going to perform her that’s so it’s really almost not putting the person into the job. It’s also molding the job to the person and you know, what they love doing and all that. Yeah, I’m still learning every day. I’m still running. Unknown 24:42 So is there anything in particular the deep bring you did hire With that in mind, Unknown 24:47 I’m Unknown 24:50 hustling. I definitely hire not on not necessarily on skill. I mean, skill is important. But it was definitely the attitude attitude is the most important thing. It’s like I just stick with my gosh, when it comes to hiring staff. Because you can always teach people how to do something. Of course, it may take longer if the person hasn’t got the experience. But if they’ve got the right attitude, or they’ve got the Grinch, like, it’s fine. Like they will be there’ll be there like rain or shine, like they will be there and there’ll be willing to learn but that that would definitely have been my biggest lining terms of hiring people for attitude and sticking with your God. And and you’ll you’ll feel it to like, even if you go out and hire someone or put out an ad to hire someone, you might have some amazing applications. And this is something that, you know, we we are this is from personal experience. We used to get some amazing applications, but you just don’t have that connection. Or you just don’t feel that person has got the right attitude. And you don’t have to jump in. Because it’s Yeah, if you’re a business owner, and you’re hiring. So this is your brand new baby you’re talking about. You know, so Unknown 26:09 make sure you got the right people because they’re the biggest Unknown 26:11 asset really, Unknown 26:13 absolutely. Because they’re also a reward for you. I could Yeah, I like it’s, it’s so important. I love I love that you’d actually considered that as well. When, when bringing someone on board. It’s not just about what you need, and the company needs. It’s actually about what they need to like, I really, really love that. That’s awesome. Unknown 26:31 Definitely. I think when when you a business or company able to not just satisfy someone professionally, but personally as like a staff member or whoever you’ve gotten, your team will be like, wow, like she doesn’t know he doesn’t just care about me because I can do the job. They actually care about my you know, you remember that stuff? My partner’s name what the cat’s name like older like the little things yeah, that stuff Unknown 27:03 really matters and it’s one of the key things that you know I think in this day and age people have started wanting to work for businesses or companies that have a purpose and that I’m making a difference in the world but also true that actually care about the progression I insolence one of the challenges I had throughout many using corporate was that real fine line of did actually did actually care about my about my future. Hundred percent. Yeah, come full lately. Get you? Yeah. It’s it’s hard. Because Yeah, like, like you mentioned, I think back in the corporate Well, I it’s definitely not saying this chair for for every single corporate organization. But there are definitely times where I’m just like, okay, so is this just the boxing thing Unknown 27:50 do you actually care about, you know, watch what, what I actually love doing? Or is this you just need to jump down night and people perform at their best when they work in an environment where they spend so much about Unknown 28:06 working Unknown 28:08 when it comes to corporate career, like more more time than you spend with your family, your friends, your pets, your you know, like, it’s important that that’s not you’re not just going there and Unknown 28:21 joining you Unknown 28:24 enjoy it. You really need to enjoy it and find purpose and feel great about it and not be like, Oh my god, I can’t wait until the weekend. You should feel pretty good about going to work on a Monday. Unknown 28:36 I really want to go back a little bit to your story you told about how you became a lawyer and you did social and organizational psychology. But it wasn’t that high. You say it was just very expensive pages and type a bunch How have you implemented some other things that you learned in that into your business? Now? Unknown 28:58 I would probably Yeah, that’s a great question. I would probably say the biggest thing are Blench would probably be the choices are just words, I think. And I’m saying this because I wrote a lot of essays and assignments, and, you know, exams and all of that. And it’s and I also did an elective under the psychology element on linguistics and language. And it’s interesting, just the choices of words and understanding the differences of words and the meanings behind it. And I use this example quite often because it’s, it’s true, but like the words huge and massive, they have similar meanings. But the latter sounds bigger, like it’s, it’s little things like that, and knowing what words to use, and this is going back to uni days, knowing what words to use your assignment to convey a certain feeling you want the reader to have, or the professor who was marking up that assignment, like using certain words and a meeting certain words to make sure that it’s just sharp and succinct, like, therefore. And that slide these are just weasel words a lot of the time, but we love to throw them in because it adds to the word tell, but it’s it’s little. Yeah, little things like that. It’s Yeah, little things like that. Because I think one of the key things like even with my business coaching clients, sometimes they we get to a point in our lives where we start a new business or we start a new venture and then we think we need to discount everything that we’ve learned in the past or the skill new ever had Yeah, it’s interesting how those types of really keeping the glad that possibly at the time you didn’t think are really important. But now you look back on it and go Wow, that was really key on how I can utilize that now. Yeah, no, it’s it’s it’s so true because I think even though the beginning of the chat today I was like oh my god, two very expensive pieces of paper but I definitely like I mentioned I do not regret it because I’m definitely lunch so a lot from you know, even just talking like public speaking was something that I did not necessarily in the same you know same topic like but in law we had to do minutes we had to do you know, talk also go to the in my role in law firms like they had to go to the cord injury mentions in front of a judge like being able to not be scared to be in front of people that that used to be something I was very scared of public speaking or just speaking in general because Unknown 31:36 you you it’s natural I guess like a lot of the time 90% of people are quite scared of public speaking or speaking in general so going through that worth experiences unique experiences even in high school even it’s all little bits of it has all come into like together like a puzzle to you know and and I’m still learning I’m still getting I’m still learning from what I’m doing now and piecing it all together again so definitely do not discount you know even if it’s a completely different Korea that you’ve been in I was I was completed in Korea there are going to be a little elements of it that you can definitely and you might not realize but there’s going to be little elements of it that you can definitely implementing a business and sometimes it’s that one little thing that you completely discount that could make you completely unique. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So what would you say some of the do’s and don’ts or some things that you see copywriters, not copywriters, what in regional segment but black Unknown 32:44 in regards to copywriting? Unknown 32:47 In regards to copywriting, what would you say some do’s and don’ts on Unknown 0:09 um, I would probably say the biggest mistake I see people doing is they write, they seem copywriting or content in general as either a ticking the box, or just about communicating something about what they do clearly or succinctly. Which is definitely true. It’s very important to be able to communicate what you’re doing clearly. And 16 people need to understand what you do. But I think what a what a lot of people don’t realize it, that’s no longer enough. If you really want to stand out in your industry. And let’s be honest, we didn’t know we didn’t start a business to blending. So if you really want to stand out in your industry, you really need to craft something and really understand your consumers not bright as though I think this is gonna sound cool, or I think this is going to make sense, but really right to your audience, you’re not writing for yourself, you’re writing for them, they need to craft a message that is going to really connect with them, that’s going to resonate with them, that’s going to stick with them, because they’re going to do research on other people that are going to be doing what you do. Unknown 1:25 Yes, truth bomb, there are competitors. And even if you’ve got the most amazing new idea that not many people have, yet other people are going to say what you do and think, hey, that’s pretty awesome. I can totally do that. And that’s why it’s not it’s not enough just to say what you do. Clearly, you really need to craft a message that is so strong and memorable that they’re going to remember you after all the research that they do on your competitors. Yeah, that would be Unknown 1:56 john cena do and how would you say like, I actually really love how you inject humor into a lot of work to a lot of what you do. And it’s like, even just the way that your website comes up with, hey, I’m actually fully booked for the rest of 2018 and then like to put little button saying, push not cool. Unknown 2:16 You’re like that is Yeah, that’s that’s legit. me because Unknown 2:21 I’m very Yeah, Unknown 2:24 I would be that person that would actually Yeah, me too. Me. Right. And I actually saw an article that you weren’t in the business cheeks Unknown 2:34 magazine. And it was about how to create you’re out of office message on your email, which I thought was so different. It was so unique in the way that you let the story really excite creative. I just really loved them got lots of every single one of them. How important do you think humor is in copywriting? Unknown 2:53 Look, I humor is important for our branch. Because it is a voice that’s part of our brand is kind of trying to voice we like change actually bit of tongue in cheek, sometimes not too much. But to answer your question, it really depends on your your brand. I mean, you could if you were a brand that is Unknown 3:17 quite serious, or your your target audience like executives and big corporates, and yet your brand that caters purely to that then if you talk a bit true tongue in cheek, or if you talk about a little bit too, you know, funny when it comes to a serious manner, then people might be like, Oh, that’s a little bit inappropriate, or that’s not really funny. Or they might just not be appeal to that. Like, it’s really important that you craft a tone of voice based on not what you think is going to work emotional, again, what your audience is going to be appeal to. So human works for our audience. Because we like to Unknown 3:59 Yeah, I haven’t been Unknown 4:00 having a little bit of fun when it comes to writing words for, you know, businesses and organizations. I think a lot of the time when it comes to writing words, people get overwhelmed he Paul alone, or God, I don’t want to do this. But I have to well, we want to make a little bit of fun as opposed to more of a daunting task. But that definitely doesn’t mean every single brand should adopt the dash of humor. And it really depends on your audience and whether or not they’re going to appeal to that. Hmm. And I mentioned in your role, being able to really build a really strong relationship with your clients is quite key, Unknown 4:39 obviously, with the way that you attract a lot of business as well. I would imagine quite a quite a lot of issues with barrels. Well, is that true? Unknown 4:46 Yeah, I would probably say 80%, 80%, 70% of our Unknown 4:54 like, workload is referrals, which is absolutely amazing. And I feel so honored to have, you know, clients that refer us or just say, people who have not even worked with us, which that is just absolutely yeah, even more amazing. Unknown 5:10 Its relationships is a key component of I mean, along with a lot of other businesses, I’m sure they would say the same relationships are very important to us hustling, and mainly because I think at the end of the day, people should get it is like the old fashioned way of doing business. And I know there’s internet, their social media, there’s additional marketing and all that. But a big chunk of why people do business or why people do business with certain people all go back to relationships in a way or that connection, really not not so much relationship, but that connection and whether or not that’s done through relationships, whether or not that’s done through another type of, you know, thing that you offer, maybe you do handwritten notes or maybe you too Unknown 6:03 cold to your clients after your mortgage broking your 40 of clients after they have settled on the home or something like that. Like it’s it’s just going back to the old birds and really understanding at the end of the day. We’re all humans here. Like we Yeah, we’re all humans and way it should never feel like a transaction. Unknown 6:25 I think honestly, speaking from from experience as well in relation to that, like having that true connection in a place where it’s actually just getting to know another human being and not like when I really felt some when I first met you at an event was that you’re actually interested in another human being, it wasn’t about, Hey, this is what I do. It was actually Unknown 6:45 Hey, Unknown 6:46 what’s happening and we just had a really beautiful chat, just so not really that, you know, you can be in situations where we’re constantly always talking business or its field, very transactional, so I think Yeah, really well. So Unknown 7:03 thank you. I think it’s, I think that’s another way to look at change in terms of networking events in general, like we shouldn’t, people put a lot of pressure when it comes to going to, or people are scared of going to networking events, sometimes like themselves, because they’re like, Oh, my God, what I say. But if you just approach it based on the fact that, hey, you’re just making some connection, you’re not trying to do a hot page or hard sell majority of people don’t like the hard sell, by the way, but you’re just trying to get to know people who knows? Like, if something comes out of it, right? If nothing, then that’s fine. Sure. You still got to connect with someone? And who knows, they might have a brother or sister or even if they don’t, that’s fine. You just got to know someone, and you might have just learned something from them. Unknown 7:45 So in that sense, yeah. And even remind them to become a client of yours. Like you said before, they could actually just be a supporter with a connected with the right well, they recommend you refer you so yeah, never. You never know what’s going to come out of it. But it can come from that place of needing that client or needing that referral mass. And I come from a nice slice nine, Unknown 8:06 and you’ll you’re just putting pressure on yourself. It’s just Unknown 8:10 absolutely. There’s nothing more awkward than being like, Oh, my God, I’m going to slip my business card in right about now. Yeah, okay. Unknown 8:21 Sorry. True. Like, I’ve looked invaded events, and someone’s given me a business card. And I’m like, Oh, I’m your ideal client. But I don’t even know what. Unknown 8:31 Oh, my gosh, I’ve had so many. Yeah, I’ve personally had a number of experiences. And it’s, it’s almost like I and it’s even more funny, I guess, when they Yeah, they that’s the first thing I do. This is my this is like, Who Unknown 8:45 You Are you like, why do you love doing what you do live in? Like, Unknown 8:48 people want to know, stuff like that to not just about what you do? Unknown 8:53 Absolutely. So is there any, any key things that you feel like you’ve done this year that it really helped to grow your business where it is now? Unknown 9:02 Um, I would have to say maybe two things. I will probably say Unknown 9:12 I Unknown 9:14 getting a mental that’s one. And the other one is getting and counting, Unknown 9:23 getting confident in my numbers. Because Oh, my gosh, my number gang is not great. Unknown 9:29 And yeah, as a business owner, you need to know your numbers. Sorry, if you can’t throw up and find someone Unknown 9:35 who Unknown 9:36 will dissect all of that lingo to you. So that at least you know, the important stuff. So that has definitely been something that I’ve, Unknown 9:46 yeah, I’ve done this year. And Unknown 9:48 it’s, it’s helped me tremendously, because I’m just, I guess a lot of the time you’re like, Okay, so I guess money is coming in, but it’s also going out, but like, Am I making a profit like that? That is just one question. But like, Well, how do I what what service offering or what product offering is actually generating the biggest ROI life what or when it comes to advertising? Like, I spent this money from advertising isn’t even working? Or should I just keep pushing money down the drain like, so it’s understanding and numbers is Unknown 10:19 one thing I wasn’t good at. Unknown 10:21 But one thing I invested in uncannily, or just a financial advisor which has really helped me Unknown 10:29 up level of my numbers game and we chat every quarter we we review everything and see how we can chickens better and all that that accountability as well. Unknown 10:41 Great, awesome. And what will you keeping that you learned from your mental Unknown 10:49 number of things, I think the biggest thing is Unknown 10:53 two things. One, success is defined so differently into so many people. And I’m still trying Personally, I’m still trying to find my definition of success. I feel like I Unknown 11:06 a lot of the time people jump towards, you know, if you make this lunch, you’re successful. But it’s not necessarily that I think a part of what I think success for me personally, is, is probably in a way freedom, like freedom to do what I want when I want as well as you mentioned, travel, to see my family to see my friends. And so of course, have a business that runs so really, that every person has their own definition of success. And that it’s not always about money, Unknown 11:39 and that you can like do it all. But you can’t do it all at once. Unknown 11:46 That’s another thing. I think I have a lot of ideas for the brand and what we want to do, but definitely try not to it, Unknown 11:59 what would you say some of the best advice you’ve ever been given is, Unknown 12:03 um, it would have to be focused on one thing and Unknown 12:07 focus Unknown 12:08 and do it well. So I think a lot of the time businesses and myself included at the beginning of the word fatty journey, we this is spoiler alert, like, we focus on a lot of different elements. But and that probably last in the last few months, Unknown 12:27 until I realized, Unknown 12:28 okay, I am trying to put my hands on all these different baskets, when really I just should just focus on one thing, I think a lot of the time people seem to be just focus on one thing, and losing on all these other clients watch, if you focus on one thing, and they shouldn’t be a master and being known as the go to forge then that in a way is a ripple effect as well. That is even stronger than focusing on you know, we could have focused on copywriting and PR and marketing and advertising and Facebook ads and photography Unknown 13:01 and life. You know, we put a focus on so much but Unknown 13:05 I think it’s just about getting clear on what you do and what you do best. And Unknown 13:11 knowing that Unknown 13:13 the same as the go shoot for that you don’t have to do it all to be seen Unknown 13:17 unless that is what we want to do. Okay. And unless that is what you want to do. But Unknown 13:21 yeah, I’m do not feel like you have to do that. Unknown 13:24 Because some people do actually think like, come from a place of will I can do that. So I should be doing that. Yeah, Unknown 13:31 you want to do Unknown 13:33 yeah, that was definitely myself as well. full transparency. I I we recently had our best day event and I actually told everyone who came to the event we had a bit of a I screwed up panels and my little spiel was that when we first start with Betty we actually is which is good but now you guys are about you know Unknown 13:58 we actually offered a random service that was for audio transcription very very random yeah but at the beginning I was like you know I can we can talk Austin’s this has to do with words. Unknown 14:13 So why don’t we offer it no one zero? Unknown 14:17 Absolutely. No one ever inquired about it. It was all copywriting clients that came to us and I was like, Okay, well, the Tron has spoken. I am going to get rid of it. Because I should have never introduced this I hadn’t been feeling about it at the beginning. And this just consensys So Unknown 14:34 yeah, don’t don’t feel like you need to put on your Unknown 14:37 hands baskets. Just because you can do it like you really love doing it. Yeah. And you feel you’re being able to really trust that gut feeling now Unknown 14:47 Yes, I’m getting so much better out of that thing. Unknown 14:51 It has been sometimes I need to be reminded, but I definitely am a big believer in trusting your gut it’s always every single time I didn’t trust my god it’s always been like okay I should have asked me Unknown 15:04 that God does not lie. Yeah, Unknown 15:09 you’re right like you have to kind of feel the oneness and test it and yeah yeah. Need to screw up to get that feeling of Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Like I really love this point that I’ve come across itself Yeah, it’s never fail. Yeah always a lesson So true. Christine So what’s next wordfetti? Unknown 15:34 Um. Well, thankful and I like it too. Unknown 15:37 Well, yes, holiday Unknown 15:39 holiday entree. And then for main course, it will be we’re really wanting to dive into I guess the education space. So that’s you know, running workshops and teaching people how to do exactly what we do because it’s a skill copywriting is a skill I think that’s important not just for obviously other copywriters but also for business owners for, you know, marketing managers, to even organizations in general. And that’s, again, not just to communicate what you do clearly. And frankly, the ability to really get under the surface and craft a message that is not going to be replicable and all that. And I really think everyone has the ability to do that. They just need the tools and the resources to help them get there. So we’re going to be this is exciting, because it’s the first time I’ve actually said it. But we’re, yeah, we’re launching workshops next next year under our brand. And we’ll also be doing workshops like tailored workshops for corporates, and we may or may not have something as well that runs with forecast or pocket that baby Christine Love it. Love it. Love it. Love it. Awesome. Sorry. Last question. Just to bring it all back around. Is there a key thing that you have lines in your journey throughout your whole business journey that you would like someone else was wanting to go out onto the space of opening and are starting their own business? What advice would you give them? Anita 17:15 I would have to say, you really, really have to 150% believe in what you’re about to this business idea. And business venture you do. I personally giant think someone should start a business just just because they’re like you know, that sounds like the next cool thing. Let’s go with that and start a business from that you really need to believe in it as well. Because things will go wrong, things will not go, you know, perfect. And the only way for you to stand back up is if you really have the belief and the idea that this you know what this, this is wanted, this is something that the market wants. So I’m going to keep going, you really need to have that drive and believe in what you do, so that you can really bring yourself back up because there’s been so many times that I’ve been pushed down as well. I’ve been you’re going to get rejected, you’re going to have people you know, so things that are not, you know, fantastic to hear. And you’re gonna have people you know, say mean things to you for no reason at all. But you cannot let that Yeah, get to you at all. And the only way for us not to get to have that you know, cloud your mind is when you have such a clear idea of why you do what you do. So, yeah, that would be advice. Christine 18:42 Love it. Love it. Thank you so much. I really, really enjoyed this conversation today. Terry, thank you so much for having me. It’s been my pleasure. I just want to acknowledge you for everything you’ve achieved so far with Freddie like honestly, it’s incredible to see that you’ve not only worked your butt off doing your side hustle but then also created this beautiful little company with cool people at work alongside and your message is just so strong so I really really want to just technology for that so well done. Unknown 19:09 Thank you so much that yeah, that really meaningful. Thank you. Unknown 19:13 I thank you so much for joining me today.
Is it time to let go of all the stories from the past? All the reasons you can or cannot do the things you want to do.
Is it time to give yourself a fresh new start? You can choose to continue to believe those stories or you can put them down and choose never to pick them up again.
There are so many incredible things happening in this world that we can to choose to experience, but we are easily persuaded that the world is imploding. Yet there are incredible people doing amazing things and the best part – we get to be one of them.
It’s time to choose.
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Kate Toon is an Award-winning SEO copywriter and SEO consultant, With over two decades of experience in all things advertising, digital and writing she has worked with big brands such as eHarmony, Curash and Kmart. And she’s helped countless small businesses produce great content, improve their copy writing and SEO to find success in business.
Kate recently published her popular business book, The Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur, and is the host of 2 Podcast shows – Hotcopy -the secrets of successful copywriters & The recipe for SEO Podcast.
Originally from the UK but now based just outside Sydney, Kate is also the founder of The Clever Copywriting School and The Recipe for SEO Success eCourse and is the founder of The Copywriting Conference – Australia’s first dedicated Copywriting Conference.
We covered so many fun topics including:
Be sure to check out all things Kate Toon via her site – http://www.katetoon.com/
And check out her courses and podcasts here:
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Christine 0:05 Well, welcome to the podcast Kate. I’m so excited to get into this conversation today. Kate 0:11 I’m excited to be here. Sorry, there was a bit of a pause there. But I was like, Yes, it’s good to be here. Hello. Christine 0:19 So I was literally just saying to you, I was down the whole vortex of everything Kate Toonis all about and I’m so excited, and I’m impressed and just blown away with everything that you do, and everything that your business encompasses. So just to get started, Could you just tell us a little bit about your journey of becoming an entrepreneur and how that’s been happening for the last however many I don’t want to have to put years on it but however many years that’s been Kate 0:48 it’s been it’s actually been about 10 years I should I should work that out I’m sure LinkedIn will send me a reminder to tell me at some point but it’s been about 10 years and the first five or six I was a copywriter purely focusing on doing SEO copywriting for big brands around Australia and around the world and that went really well like I was doing pretty well as decent money but you know there’s only so many hours in the week and you get to the point where you can charge so much and I realized that that was going to limit not so much my earning potential but my freedom like you know I had to work all the hours I had, to make the money but I mean so about seven years ago I decided to start looking into you know, multiple income sources and passive income hahaha and I’ll talk about that a bit more I’m sure but you know so that’s when I went down the route of setting up other businesses. So the clever copywriting school which teaches copywriters to be better copywriters and the recipe for SEO success which teaches small business owners and solid colors how to get to grips with Google. And then from there other things popped up podcast books, courses, memberships, shops, you name it, speaking, conferences, events, workshops, and it’s all kind of snowballed, and I’m stuck in the vortex of Kate Toon. You can get out again. But I can’t Kate 2:09 pity. pity me. Christine 2:11 So what would you say the best part of your week is? Kate2:15 I love doing, I love to podcast like this. I love chatting to other business owners, making connections for me this year has really been about making connections with other business people and finding friends and common interest. So I love that I love speaking I spoken at 37 events and show Kate 2:34 I know it’s insane. But it was a deliberate strategy to get over my fear. And to actually get to the point where I love it. Like, I enjoy it. I get like, get up on stage. Like I’m like, I’m Beyonce, saying you know, it strut my stuff. And you should see me two years ago, I kind of shuffled on stage, shaking. And so yeah, I think I think speaking, speak I love the sound of my own voice. Christine. It’s terrible. Christine 2:57 But I think to you have so much value to offer. When I saw you speak at an event here in Brisbane, it was you know, I love how you bring all the humor into it. And I love it how you just real but you still add a lot of value. Is that something that you are really focused on? Kate 3:13 Yeah, I mean, I loathe going to see speakers or listening to podcast where it’s all just abstract fluff and nonsense. I really like to get into the nitty gritty, I’ll be very honest about my failures and successes and the literal how I did it. But you know, I think a lot of entrepreneurs, they kind of show the magic trick. And really, what you want to see is how they did the magic trick. And that, to do that, you’ve got to pay for that seven figure course. You know, I don’t want to do that. So I feel like I have enough knowledge that I can give a chunk of it away, and the still going to be more you know, I’m not going to run out. Do you know what I mean? And, you know, it’s not going to by me helping other people and sharing my knowledge. It’s not going to stop people buying from me, or using me or wanting my services, there’s enough to go around to, you know, and, and the humor and stuff is, I just think people take business very seriously and take themselves very seriously. And if you’re not, you won’t have any of this. You should say it’s state of me today. Like literally like I’ve been dragged to the hedge. It’s just, you know, we’re not all polished, beautiful, competent beings. Most of us are struggling. And I just think that honesty is it’s reassuring, to be honest. Christine 4:23 Yeah. Real. Absolutely. Yeah. And I love how you said that. Because it’s something that you were saying how and that you not necessarily have to know all the answers and, you know, figure it out along the way. But I love it, how you consistently add lots of value. And so many people are so scared to do that early on in their journey. When you have Do you often have people aske you that, like, you know, I don’t want to give away too much that people won’t pay for what I’m going to give them. Kate 4:53 How do yeah, I mean, I think at the end of the day, most everything we need to know is on the Google, you know, like someone selling an Instagram course telling you how to do this, I did all I if I really wanted to find out, I could read 50 blog posts. And I know probably as much as the person and but the differences is the lived experience. I think that really does help. And, and also, you know, even if you tell someone how to do a thing, most people don’t want to do it themselves. They can’t be bothered, you know, so they’ll always be people want your services. And look there will be a small percentage of people who will take your free stuff, your advice, you have knowledge, and they will never buy from you, you know, just they just never will. But you can run your business worrying about those people. And funnily enough, I, you know, I have a group for Facebook to give SEO tips. And I see people join that group. And some of them have been there for years and asked me literally hundreds of questions and never bought a thing. And it almost, you know, a couple years ago, got to a point like I’m going to delete them at the group. This is not our listeners. Not that and then whatever. I’ve had that thought. And next round, they bought these calls. Not me, I hadn’t said anything. But sometimes it takes people like 2,3, 4 years to get to the position where they have the time, the money, that inclination to work with you. I’ve even had people send me emails going, finally, I have something I can work on. You will have been following me to two years now. And if you caught this, but you know what I mean? And yeah, that people are waiting. So yeah, I’d never be afraid about giving too much away. My only advice to be focus more on the water in the wise and maybe keep a little bit of the how back. Yeah, so I talk a lot about what SEO is why it’s important, why you should be doing it. But the how, keep a little bit of that back, because that’s my expertise, then you could talk a lot around your subject without giving away all your secrets. Christine 6:44 But there’s just something about that. How is it isn’t it funny how all the information is there, but people still want someone else to do it for them all. They still need their hand held as they do it, Kate 6:54 or they need to explained in a different way. I read some stuff that said, people need to hear something seven times before it goes into their brain. And, you know, maybe they’re breathable. I mean, I can’t tell you how many blog posts I’ve read about Instagram, for example, none of it stuck in my head. I’ve got folders full of articles I intend to read. And then you know, you have a 10 minute chat with an expert. And they tell you one or two things and you implement those one or two things. And that’s the difference because sometimes it’s not about what you need to do. It’s like if I could do one thing, what should I do? Because really only got time to do one thing. And then what’s the next thing? So it’s the order the priority and the impact I think we can really get help from from an expert either. Unknown 7:36 Yeah, absolutely. So he tells us about how you have created the success in your business. And you mentioned before that it’s literally without paying for much advertising at all. Unknown 7:47 Yeah, so I saw strangely against paying for ads. I don’t know why I’ve got a little bit of Google remarketing. And I tried one Facebook campaign about three years ago for my my course. But even then, it was a meet somebody who one person you bought, and that campaign was on my list. So I already might be my customer. So I kind of feel a bit like, That’s not fair. We got them anyway. Unknown 8:12 It’s just simply like spending money. It’s not that I’m tight. But like, I’m like, Well, you know, every round I run the course I’m like, this is the round where I’m going to have to pay that because surely I’ve tapped out my audience. Now there’s no less. But inside this round that actually got someone to set up some Google ads and some remarketing. And on the morning, I launched my course I emailed him and said, the consensys going and then by the time they email me back that already sold out. So it was like, Whoa, yeah, Unknown 8:45 I need and what it does, I think is it it is actually a story that helps my brand because I built my business on SEO and content marketing. And I’m teaching people how to do SEO and content marketing. If I was getting people on my course, by paying thousands of dollars for ads, it would kind of negate what I’m trying to sell. You know what I mean? So it’s almost the proof of my pudding. And so yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s been interesting. It’s pretty much all through SEO, that’s how I built it. And now very much Facebook, social media, Facebook groups, that’s where I put my focus these days. Unknown 9:16 What’s your focus when it comes to content marketing, Unknown 9:21 I don’t have focus when it comes to content marketing. So I’m not a planner. And I don’t have any kind of content marketing strategy. I don’t have a plan. I don’t map out my Instagram posts for the next 60 days. I don’t, I don’t know what I’m going to blog about next week. I have no idea what I’m doing. Next one, I really just do what I felt like doing on The Daily Show you that’s the joy the joy of what we do. I mean, I have themes I talk about copywriting and SEO, I have a tone of voice and I have values. So but then we’ll just need which means I don’t have to refer to some brand guidelines. Think about what I’m going to post because I just post whatever comes into my head. And I very Don’t worry too much about you know, this post doesn’t go off. Who cares? The next one, like I just, I just don’t care. I just if you look, if you’ve been in the vortex, you’ll see that it’s quite sporadic. Like some days, I’ll post 20 things The next day, nothing. I’ll post a really great SEO tips, then the next five posts will be pictures of my dog. And it all seems to seems to work I Unknown 10:19 don’t know about. Unknown 10:21 But I think I sound like I’m clueless. But I do know how it’s because it’s that word. I’m going to do our fingers. It’s authentic and real. And I’m in you know, I think people can tell that can see the enthusiasm what I do. I love social media. I love talking to people online and having a gig or having some bands sharing useful stuff. That’s silly stuff. And, and I think that enthusiasm and positivity comes through. And that’s what makes it work. Yeah, it’s it’s inconsistent. It’s a bit messy, and make a lot of spelling mistakes. But the divide is good. You know, Unknown 10:54 something’s people’s bullshit meters. It’s just Unknown 10:59 it’s so attuned now, like because we’re so sick of being sold to. We’re so sick of you can really read the posts that people have spent so long putting together and I can’t even deal with reading a post that longer than three paragraphs, understand either way too much time into it. I can’t even deal and sometimes like without events that we do. And the girl that I ran them with, she’ll do the posts, and sometimes so long. I’m like, dude, I didn’t want to read that. Unknown 11:26 Yeah, I know, I mean, all of it. Like, I write some of my best posts while I’m cooking in the evening, and I’m having a glass of wine. And I write them and they come out really well, because I’m not in business mode. And in different mode when friends slipped sideways a little bit. And yes, obviously, I read them and the next morning, and that’s sort of typos, but the message is there and those ones go down really, really well. The ones where I gave a really amazing, useful SEO tip with insight and stats, tumbleweeds, no clicks on that no one likes them. I think, you know, especially on Facebook. I don’t know if we necessarily that to learn and I always can be salty. I think that have a good time. I think we’re there to have a good time and mate, mate, mate, finance, you know, go to LinkedIn. If you want to learn stuff. It’s boring as hell. And but, you know, if you really want to learn stuff, you do a course you read a blog, but Facebook, I think it’s just about interaction and having fun and being memorable Unknown 12:22 across the nation tool. Yeah, but it works. You know, it works. It works. Awesome. So tell me, at what point in your business did you figure that you needed to stop working towards time versus money? Unknown 12:36 I think it’s something I’m still I’m still working on. So last year, I had like, an amazing, amazing, I’m not very good at math, but I own five times as much as the year before. So it’s a huge leap for me. And, and, and it was really on satisfactory. Sounds really bad, doesn’t it? Like the years you know, I’d be like, I need to crack it’s bigger. Why I made that figure out. But no, it’s just some random figure. And then you crack it and you realize an awful lot of money doesn’t actually come back to you. Unknown 13:03 Because, you know, Unknown 13:04 even though I’m a limited company, and I do profit first and split my money up, you know, it’s not like about buying a Lamborghini and if you point to some, I did contrived Unknown 13:15 and it was, it was like, Okay, great. I made some money. Now what you know, and so I think this year, it’s been more about I really want to enjoy my life a little bit more about my business life and my personal life. I love my business. I’m not one of these people is like, you know, you’ve got to work to live, not live to work. I love my business. I love coming into my office. I love what I do. And I’ve no shame about that. But not what I did was quite boring. So this year, I spent a lot of time traveling, speaking at events, running workshops. Networking, does it make noodles of money? No. Do I enjoy it? Yes. And it’s I wanted to that balance a bit more so and probably still spending the same amount of time we still going to make similar money. But I just wanted to ask you to join levels. I want to have some fun, because otherwise, I’m going to go and work for the man. You know, like if the fun levels I’m trying to increase. Unknown 14:07 Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s a great perspective. Like, otherwise, why the hell even here? Like, I know, the thing is, it’s Unknown 14:14 a luxury. And, you know, speaking events is an expensive business, because you don’t often get paid, you know, maybe travel cover costs that covers your hotel, sometimes you get a fee, but very rarely. And you know, even when I run workshops, I don’t charge the earth. I’m not making gazillion dollars. But it’s just exciting as let’s go to another city state. And I say, Tell me able to meet people, share your knowledge, get that feedback at face to face interaction. I love it. And in great this year, I’ve really enjoyed it. Unknown 14:45 That’s awesome. So what have you learned about yourself during that journey of Unknown 14:51 public speaking? Unknown 14:53 I’m a lot actually. I mean, I, that’s why I delivered so much. And I wanted to be able to walk on stage and just feel super confident. You know, I wanted to know, I can always tell me the night before thinking about my presentation. And, you know, I’ve learned that you will get heckled I’ve been here called a few times, I’ve been asked questions that I actually had no idea what the answer was. And it was, it’s okay, it’s fine that you get through and, and, you know, I love that people don’t really understand what a lot of people don’t understand what public speaking is about. They try and disseminate as much information as possible. I like the like, I’ve got to make people take loads of this information in and their slides are covered and bullets and text, it’s a performance it’s a performance speaking and some people walk away with maybe one or two things that they remember from your actual presentation that people are there to be entertained. They are there to be educated but honestly if you want to be educated will read a blog post will do an online course and that an event I need some pizzazz I want someone on stage he doesn’t claim to the lectern and reader knows I want someone who leaps about that makes a joke, makes it fun has engaging slides. I think that’s what I’ve realized that it is a performance and it’s not about the presentation like the presentations 30 minutes, but I’m at the amendment for two full days. It’s everything else that I do at the event that makes the difference. You know, do I get drunk good at the after party who I sit next to it lunch what you know who I bump into? I talked to so that’s the real benefit. I think. And I think people don’t see that that’s the real benefit. Hmm, Unknown 16:27 very true. So what would you say one of your biggest challenges has been over the last 10 years Unknown 16:33 I think the challenge has have changed and you know early years it was having a baby I started my business when I was five months pregnant. So the first year I was you know, food feeding and with one arm and typing with the other and then a lot of financial difficulties you know, I got in debt with the tax office I had that whole feast and famine thing going on and having lots wonder no money that lots of money than no money and dealing with difficult clients for a long time and I thought great when I stopped being a copywriter I’ll have no clients but what I’ve done is exchange for clients a month or two two and a half thousand clients and different courses and so now i think it’s it’s what my friend Carrie X to call summit syndrome and not but I’m you know, hugely fabulously successful. But I’ve kind of ticked off everything I wanted to do. Like I’ve got to the top of the mountain and either I create another mountain to climb or sit on this existing mountain or a client back down. I don’t know. So it’s bit like now it’s like what next? You know, because I’m a person who needs a carrot on the end of this thick otherwise the stick just becomes a stick to beat myself when I’m searching for my next carrot right now. That’s that’s what that’s what my current issues do you find yourself Unknown 17:46 Do you really struggle on finishing things? or do something that you love starting things? Or is it the maintaining that you struggle Unknown 17:52 I think I’m pretty No one likes finishing things, let’s be honest, your love starting them and but I’m pretty good at forcing myself to complete things. For me, it’s, it’s the maintenance. So for example, I have this big SEO course there’s 100 videos and 40 worksheets hundred videos. And the problem with SEO is it changes and and it’s changed quite a lot in the last year. The whole ethos so shifted the whole mentality or shifted. So it’s not like I can replace individual videos where there’s a character count wrong or button in the wrong place. It’s like I need to change the voice of the whole course. So I’m not looking forward to that. So I’ll be sending my January doing and I will do my time and I will sit down I will remove all those videos because then that pays for me to enjoy the rest of the year. If you want to make sentences built. Once it’s done, I sell it three times a year. That’s the majority man Come on, Mike all pretty much all my income on three days of the year. And so it’s worth the effort Unknown 18:49 now. Unknown 18:50 Yeah, and then maintaining it. And the analogy I use is, you know, like if you’re a pop star, and you’ve got famous for singing this number one song and every time you turn off at a gig that’s what people want to hear. And you’re like you about all this new material when you Unknown 19:02 album no one cats and that’s Unknown 19:05 and sometimes I do get a bit like I can’t talk about SEO anymore. And but if I give myself a break. I’m talking a lot about conversion, copyright and sales pages and pages this year. And then I can come back to SEO again because it gets boring you know, doing the same thing every day Unknown 19:23 to talk actually at the last event that I saw you about sales and how much you actually love sales. Was it about sales that you learn all about the conversion writing that you love? Unknown 19:33 Well, I think a lot of people put off sales because I think it’s sleazy and like American infomercial, Lee and you know, big claims and oh my god this is the best course ever. But really for me it’s about having conversations and really understanding what makes your customers tick and then writing really conversational copy like I love to write as I talk slightly better than I talk just for some reason I sound a bit copy and this interview I don’t know why Unknown 20:00 I just love making that connection is a I’m a copywriter at heart I love being able to put together you know you put together a beautiful sentence you read that back and you go Unknown 20:10 oh Unknown 20:10 that was a good sentence all that was a good joke. I love that and so you know that’s what I’m trying to focus on that moment teaching people how to sell without feeling like they’re being sleazy like they’re lying like that over promising because you’re not really when someone hits your sales page, all they’re looking for is reassurance reassurance that the decision they’re about to make is the right one reassurance that the money they’re going to spend is going to be well spent. And you can reassure them because you believe in what you’re as long as you believe in what you’re selling and you think the offering something good and all you’re doing is explaining that someone who wants to hear and when you take that approach it becomes a conversation not a pitch you know I think pitching is where people are trapped in a room being sold to and they don’t want to be in its proper conversion copywriter is chatting someone through their objections, their fears and just explaining them away and helping them feel better about the decision that they already kind of want to make. You Unknown 21:05 know You make it sound so easy Yeah. After Unknown 21:10 I literally get stuck in that copywriting headspace of this. None of this is making sense. Is there any key suggestions that you have for someone writing copy? Unknown 21:20 Yeah, I mean, I think the biggest the biggest, the biggest one is that like, record yourself, take notes and have a chat with someone else and have them ask you questions about your product. Like, who’s it for? And what’s good about it, and what am I going to get out of it. And you literally just all Unknown 21:37 add up your Bible icon babbling a little bit now. Unknown 21:39 And then record that don’t read scope transcribed. And you’re gonna be some gems in there. And some real Idioms and Expressions that only you use, you know, we’ve all got a little weird phrases and turns of phrase, so the things you need to put in your copies and its really essentially very you it’s not vanilla, I think the worst thing people can do is, you know, have someone else’s sales page up and try and not look, copy it bigger. Like all they’ve got this, I should have this, they’ve got this, you know, they’re reading their language. And it just doesn’t sound like you. Because, you know, when someone buys from you, whatever you’re selling, ultimately, they’re probably going to connect with you. Yeah, so someone buys my course now then doing my course they’re going to see 100 videos of me going to hear my voice for Unknown 22:23 our words, Unknown 22:24 if it’s not the same experience on the sales page is going to be a disconnect like true though I try and make myself page almost like very me. Like I think the first line on my pages like SEO is a giant pain in the bum, isn’t it? You know, now that will not appeal to everybody and won’t appeal to your seat the straight business person, but I don’t want them because they’re going to hate the course they’re going to hate me and they’re going to leave unhappy and it’s something I say all the time to coming a bit of a mantra but good marks and good sales is as much about repelling as it is about attracting I want people who want me to send are going to be happy with me. I don’t want people who are a bit indecisive and they’re thinking like, Well, I’m not sure she doesn’t seem a good go away. Don’t I don’t want you because you’ll end up being a customer that hates the experience. And then I have an awful emotional time with you. And then you’ll go away and say bad things about me. So you know, to me Unknown 23:15 completely, Unknown 23:16 cut them out Quick, get rid of them quick and just get the people who are really wanting, you know, yeah, Unknown 23:20 let’s see. And I think I often tell clients like don’t be, don’t be fearful of people dropping off the email they select. Don’t be scared of people writing comments that aren’t necessarily positive. Like if they’re not your people. They want your people like Unknown 23:33 wow, and it’s how you respond to them. I mean, God the number of trolls I’ve had over the years we put an awful things on my wall. But now I’m like, thank you. Thank you so much of just giving me a brilliant piece of social media content. Because how I respond to you, you know, thousand people read your comment 3000 people read my reply, you know, it’s that it’s that terrible review that gets left on TripAdvisor. It’s how the hotel owner responds that makes you decide whether you’re going to stay there are not because we all know that people right stupid things and the emotion that is the person owns it is that honest if I handle it with grace and it can actually be more of a sales split sales appointment you think of you know Unknown 24:13 absolutely really shows tree character doesn’t it does definitely So tell me a little bit about like your book you’ve written a book the entrepreneur which is a cool title love that Unknown 24:26 about the book Unknown 24:28 well I guess you know I don’t embrace the phrase that entrepreneur warmly I feel a bit about it because, you know, usually it’s some dude lying on a Porsche counting cash, you know, and I’m quite scruffy as a set of don’t have never had a business plan on quiet and emotional business person. I’m not to be logical, rational thought should I say that. And so I really wanted to write a book that it’s like look, you can earn six figures, seven figures without doing all these things you’re supposed to do without you know, having the workspace with being bad without having a business plan without without any of that stuff. Because I’ve done it here’s how I did it. And it’s got advice in it and tips and little exercises but it’s it’s funny it’s not a proper its proper business book. It’s not it’s business or light, you know, it’s a good rely on people read it, read it in a day journey, because they’re just like, it’s a giggle, it’s fun, but there are useful insights in there as well. And, and also I just wanted to write a book because it’s pretty exciting when they come and get that smell than this. And you know, it’s a tangible I made this thing wickedness but now I’m trying to write my next book Unknown 25:36 which is going to be called be more sharp, introduce my little sharp here Unknown 25:42 and I’m writing the next book is going to be about business bravery, and the fears and stuff we have around business and how to overcome those. So a lot of things we’ve been talking about today, you know, the, the foam over comparison, ISIS, the imposter syndrome, the copycats all that kind of stuff that’s holds us back from being more sharp and just attacking or business getting things done Unknown 26:06 is there any one of those that has been a key thing for you to be able to overcome I think the Unknown 26:12 worrying about competitors not necessarily comparing myself but just more feeling that people are nipping at my heels so you know I make a thing and then a couple of months later someone else makes pretty much essentially the same thing or you know someone does my course and then they launched a very similar course to mine and it you know you know it’s it’s hard I have big community is a copyrighted is for example you know some of the people in my community community there was an engineering communities but every my community they’re launching templates their health resources courses podcasts all similar to mine you know and it’s like it feels a bit know but then I just so really I wasted a lot of time and emotion worrying about that but you know the truth is there is enough to go around and that’s so cliche and also I can’t have everybody Unknown 27:06 and Unknown 27:08 the clients that didn’t want you and you didn’t want them Unknown 27:11 and you know some people just aren’t gonna like my style like my voice right the way I look that’s perfectly fine and and often you know I run a podcast with my friend Belinda and she has exactly the same offer reside zoom memberships causes she’s building up to have exactly pretty much what I have and that could be a bit threatening but some people have the lender on the podcast they don’t like me very much and some people who love me and they’re not so crazy about Belinda but some people like us both and by both are things so and the truth is as well no matter how much I dislike it or feel threatened by it or get upset by it there’s nothing I can do about it I can’t stop I can’t go to the competitive and say stop I can’t so it’s easy just got to get over it so you’re quick right we’ve got over it the better so now I just do not work on no one’s listening no one’s great you know I don’t want to know anyone people sometimes send me stuff and go hey this is like the exact copy of your sales page and they put it on their page and like have at a good on them you know I want a new sales page great you’ve inspired me muscle Unknown 28:14 cells ventures not going to be even better all I’ll just go Unknown 28:17 What’s the chances of both people seeing both sales pages most to share? So that’s my biggest thing, I think. Yeah, but it’s a hard one. Believe it hard 1 Unknown 28:27 billion daily challenge. It is it is most definitely, I think to for very much. So for people starting out. We often fill our social medias with other people to do what we do. And then it gets you that comparison mode all the time think that what you’re putting out is actually the same as what everybody else is putting out. But when you actually really tap into exactly how you do you deliver always something different. And you be able to what you’re saying before, connect with the right people that want to work with you. And you do it in a way that they needed to hear for it to them. Yeah, Unknown 29:03 and that’s the thing. That’s why it’s so important that you bring as much of you into your marketing as possible so that people are making a choice. They’re choosing it because you’re not vanilla, you know, they’ve got 600 vanilla options to choose from. And you are mint chocolate chip and your proudly mint chocolate chip. And if people don’t like mint chocolate, fine going on a vanilla people. But if you try to be all things to all people, and then there is no choice there’s no point of differentiation and they will choose your competitor. You know people are going to choose the person that clicks with them. So you have to give them some things to click on. You know, Unknown 29:34 that’s that’s the point. I think it’s awesome advice. So has been what’s been one of your proudest moments over the 10 years of being an entrepreneur Unknown 29:44 I think Unknown 29:46 I had a moment I don’t if you’ve heard of Robert garish he was flying solo solo printer PVC. And Unknown 29:54 you can read that book. Yes, yes. He’s got a few books. Yeah. Unknown 29:57 And but he wants said to me, you know, imagine you’re on you’re on stage and everyone’s clapping you and you’re being handed a reward. What is it for, you know, instead, it’s a really good way of getting clarity on what you want your business and at the time I think I said it was fun, you know, writing a young adult novel or something, which is something I would love to do that later in life. But then recently I was on stage everyone was clapping I wasn’t being hands you know what I was being handed I think a bag of crisps or something. But it wasn’t my conference, the copywriting conference, it was the end of the day, you know, bringing all the speakers on stage and my team came up and they had a present for me and I was saying thank you. And the whole room stood up and clapped for me and it was like I did this this huge venue patchy people for all these people that I did this and I don’t know anything about events and only what we’re doing but it was a nice outfit on as well. So I felt Unknown 30:50 I felt glamorous It was just that was awesome that was a really proud moment Unknown 30:56 awesome it must make all of those 100 days that you just so sick of talking about SEO copywriting all worthwhile. Unknown 31:04 Yeah, I think that this tiny moments as well. And I’m sure you have them to. So that was a big glamorous moment. But even sometimes someone will just send me a Facebook message saying, you know, I just read your entire book while sitting in the bath water is cold. And, and it made me cry and laugh. And thank you so much for writing it. And that can be a moment where you go boom, you know, Wow, thank you. That’s pretty awesome. You know, so little things like that can be pretty impressive as well. Unknown 31:30 Awesome. And so you mentioned to you got a couple of kids and you’re married. And you’ve got three podcasts of the guy and couple of online courses and like, Oh, my God like this so much that you offer. And how do you juggle all of that? You say Unknown 31:46 what do you have a question, I only have one child and the manchild which is my husband that a dog but still and I started you know it’s there’s no work life balance. People make that up, you know, have good weeks where I’m a brilliant mom and I’m making perfect packed lunches and nutritional dinners. And the house is clean. And then I have other weeks where it’s not you know, I have weeks where I’m really efficient with my business and everything smooth and then others where I’m literally finishing things two minutes people they would do and I do now have a virtual assistant and she does handle a lot of the kind of dates they emails because there’s so many people in so many courses who’s going to be you know, X amount of people to date, you can’t login or he caught so she handles a lot of that and I worked quite hard. You know, I was a project manager and pretty good at organizing with time and I’m very good now doing what’s the most important thing you know, so, you know, today I’ve had so so little time one thing I really need to do and I did that first I Eat That Frog as they say you know I do the horrible thing first and but it’s it’s difficult. A lot of tools I use a sauna slack I track my time with toggle and disciplined I come to my office I don’t get up and go and do washing you know, bring my lunch to my office. I sit in my office you know I make the maximum time and then in the evening I do like some things like social media so I used the day for deep work and I do like work when I’m distracted but it’s it’s a challenge and I don’t want to make it sound like I’m sitting in a hammock and doing nothing. It’s it’s a challenge and now it’s a lot easier than it was a couple years ago when I was still full time copywriting and building all this stuff and have like a six year old five year old it’s pretty miserable and so you know I think a lot of people come to me and go you know we should do everything you do like okay well here’s what it’s going to take you know your eye out for that and they’re like oh yeah no i’m not i’m really not and their days I see people in my groups you know and they’re like oh yeah we’re not putting up today so I’m just going to go watch Netflix I’m like you don’t think I would love to watch Netflix Of course I would love to just stop now going to have a foot massage but I don’t you know i’m i’m disciplined to have a bit of willpower and that’s made the difference for me you know so Unknown 34:04 yeah, you’re anything that you do for yourself that helps keep you sane. Unknown 34:08 Oh yeah. I mean I would often have free time It sounds like I’m working like a beast but you know I don’t start till nine and I finished it’s three and I have my weekends yeah you know I walk my dog recent podcast go swimming I have massages hang out with my mates all the all the normal stuff and you know but I pack a lot into that nine separate You know, when I’m working I’m working you know even though I’m on social major Unknown 34:31 I bet for a reason I know Unknown 34:32 that it’s just like look at pictures of cats and you know things like that I’ve done to get stuff done and but yeah I treat myself very well I do look after myself Unknown 34:42 you know the mission is not necessarily things that you don’t necessarily make the plans and content plans and all of that sort of thing but is there any way that you do plan goals like you ever see mentioned before you do have you did have some yearly goals how do you go about creating targets goals for what you want to create Unknown 34:59 for you know last year I kind of pulled a figure out my bottom and just that pretty cool if I could hit that a wouldn’t know that that’s me setting a goal this year I might be pretty cool if I could do that again. So that’s that’s my financial planning Unknown 35:13 about about two years ago I said wouldn’t be great if I could get like 2000 followers on Instagram that would be brilliant when it and then I did not seeing on Instagram to two years and did lots of other things as soon as I give myself a goal I’ll do anything to avoid it so what I do more is think about how do I want this year to look like what I what I want to do this year and like last year I said it was all about connection and public speaking for me next year I really want to do some overseas stuff so my my word for next year is born born which sounds really where anyone can I’m heading to the to the Netherlands to speak and to New York to speak and Unknown 35:50 I want to want to do a couple more so that’s as far as I go and then a lot of it is I just want to keep on keeping on you know like I don’t need some big huge goal that’s going to become make me miserable when I don’t hit it I just want to be able to get up each day and enjoy coming into my office yeah that’s for me that’s a huge goal to enjoy your job and to make money from it and to make help people and make them happy that’s those are pretty good goals I think and Unknown 36:17 yeah bloody is causing Why do you Unknown 36:23 tell me a little bit about how you dealt into the whole world of creating some passive income How did that come about? Well I Unknown 36:30 started off with being copywriter and I had I had a document I came from agency life and an agency like you know everything’s completed you have copied up templates financial templates and when I left for took a lot of that with me not not kind of stealing you know all agencies have them you collect them over the years so I had this thing called a copy deck which is like what what agency copywriters put all the copy for saying website into everything’s in one document is well formatted and Scott and index that of cover sounds really obvious doesn’t it but I started to find the other copywriters we’re just throwing together stuff Times New Roman font sizes all different and they looked really ugly so it made people focus on the format not the words because they couldn’t understand it so I had this copy that thing and I was talking about it and saying oh this is awesome people that can’t have a copy so I’ll be giving people allowing my template and I was like I could charge charge 10 bucks for this what I charge 10 bucks with so I made a little shot on my side started selling it for 10 bucks and then as I could I could make another one could not blog posts maybe I could do one for press releases and it’s got a sampling there and it just grew from there and and I think I’ve sold about 3000 copies of that copy deck now to copywriters all over the world and and then from there you know as I offer short maybe I could have like a directory of copywriters pictures and stuff never could have a membership group and I could sell them they’re gonna want stuff so I’ll make some courses on stuff and then no one event so I’ll do some local events and then I’ll make a conference and so it just grows like that you know and only really only those templates are purely passive because I made them once and I don’t often have to update them and they just sit there the courses there’s anything but passive you know that maintaining them but really it’s the support so when people buy my course they are buying the course materials but where they’re really buying is me for three months to be in the group to answer their questions is coaching calls this q amp a that takes time not a huge amount of time but it does take time and so it’s not purely passive and the other thing of course is you have to market it all constantly you know people don’t just turn up and what about you start to get them there but there’s potential to earn a lot more obviously because you’re not selling 121 you’re sending one too many and so you know that’s what really shifted in my business and that that year to year thing of earning five times more was just really giving up I don’t do any one on one services anymore now know copywriting SEO and I don’t even do very many consultants are you can’t very few offer like you can buy an hour of me because I honestly like that’s a whole hour about my day. What can I do that our can help 50 people rather than just that one person how to put a price on that. So yeah, it’s just really making sure that every bit of my day hits as many people as possible helps as many people not hit. Unknown 39:22 Do you think that you do differently that makes you successful? Unknown 39:28 I don’t know. Can I stop Unknown 39:29 myself? I don’t know. Unknown 39:31 I’m think I’m quite enthusiastic. I think I have a sense of I think I’m funny. I don’t know if anybody else does. But I think I bring a lot of humor into my business. And I’m consistent. I’m not consistent in terms of, you know, regularity and being organized. But I turn up you know, I really do turn up I don’t cancel things. I don’t know if I say I’m going to do something I will really do it. Which is often why I said I’m going to do stuff on social media. So but I have to follow through. Unknown 39:59 So Unknown 40:00 yeah, I think it’s a cool Welsh and I don’t watch as well to where that’s an Australian word, isn’t it? I don’t know. Make it make a word up. Unknown 40:08 I don’t. Unknown 40:10 I don’t. I don’t mess around. I mean, I get things done. I do things quickly. I don’t. I don’t second guess myself either. say like, you know, I think a lot of people worry so much about how they put themselves forward in business about the post that check it 17 times to typos. Is it right? Ask their friends? Should I post it? Oh my god. By then I posted 60 things. Half of them have offended someone. one’s got a typo. The other one I posted in the wrong place with the wrong graphic on the wrong day. Doesn’t matter. People scroll down. I no one’s looking. No one cares. Just Unknown 40:42 just crack on. Unknown 40:45 What’s the worst that can happen? Unknown 40:47 That’s actually be my much. Yeah, that’s almost like stop thinking about what everyone else thinks. You know, I think so. Things have you and just do it. Yeah, people. Shark There you go. Very sharp. Sharp. Unknown 40:58 Sharp doesn’t wake up in the morning and worry about what people think of it. It just is a shark and just does shark stuff Unknown 41:04 all day? No questions. Unknown 41:06 We should all be Moshe. That’s my Unknown 41:08 mantra. Love it. Great segue. Unknown 41:13 I did it. Sorry. Last couple of questions. Sorry. What’s the one of your biggest failures? And what did you learn from it, Unknown 41:21 and all the things I got very much in depth with it with the tax office by just being stupid. That was one. So I learned not to be stupid. one bit of advice I give everybody in businesses, they should get a decent accountant from date dots. And they should get zero or whatever platform QuickBooks but unlike zero and from data by email event, 50 bucks still plan your money. Money is what will kill your business. So plan. I really am a big fan of profit first as well. So I’m very careful about my money now. And the other things would be the usual stuff, you know, you launch your work. So you sell one place, and you’re like, this is embarrassing. And then you have to cancel it. But all those things, it’s just been like, well, run it again. And then you’ll sell five places. And if you sell five, there’s five people are going to love it. Because it was only five of them. And they’re gonna get loads of you. They’re going to tell their friends and then you’ll sell 10. So and obviously, I’ve had a few phone calls online were posted embarrassing stuff, or offensive stuff, or things that I didn’t think would be offensive. And I think that’s it. I fell on. I felt over on the stage event. That was fun. And Unknown 42:28 yeah, that’s about it. Really, Unknown 42:31 so many Unknown 42:32 so many, but I can’t remember them. So then clearly weren’t that bad. Unknown 42:36 Yeah, I think too, it’s also the way that you think about, about families or about things not working, it’s actually not something that completely stopped doing your tracks, he kind of just keep going Unknown 42:46 you do I mean, I’d say the side is phone is all the things in business that had the most the when relationships or partnerships broke down. So you know, when, for whatever reason, someone that you’re working with, or was a customer or in any way, and it goes south, and it’s not. And it says, whatever reason, you can’t get that back those of you some of the saddest things because he can’t be in business for 10 years without having a few people not like you and me for whatever reason. So those would be my side is the things to do a couple of people I’ve lost along the way. And, but generally, other than that, and it’s, you know, it all kind of works out in the end. So here Unknown 43:24 So you mentioned that you working on your fear of public speaking and you went out and you just gone her weight and disease management course. Is there anything working on for yourself between 19 Unknown 43:35 and I think, I think I really need to get my head back in the game a little bit. I want to I want to optimize everything that I have. And I really, I’m actually going to hire someone, oh my god, I’m going to let me I’m actually gonna hire a company to look at my whole business and and just see what they can do to make it better. Because I don’t track or measure anything. I don’t use you know, I have Google Analytics. But I don’t I don’t look a convert. Like if you asked me what my conversion rate is for x. I have no idea. What’s my ROI for this? I don’t know how much money did I make the other night? And because it’s all going well, so I’m just like, it’s going well, why do I care? But, you know, I think it’d be interesting to get someone else’s perspective, however painful it will be, and they go actually, where you do this is dumb. You should do this. And I need to hear that, like, I need someone else’s opinion. I’m gonna hate every living second of it. Because I lived think I know what I’m doing. But that’s my focus. to really optimize what I have not make anything. You just make what I have work as efficiently as possible. That’s my plan to travel the world speaking at events, Unknown 44:42 world domination, not just world domination. Unknown 44:45 Yeah, just a bit. Well, done. Nice to sprinkle that, you know, and just the continue having fun reading and to enjoying my business, because I can’t think of anything else to do. So I’m stuck. But no one would employ me now. I’m stuck doing this. So I’ve really got to try and keep it enjoyable. That’s fine. Unknown 45:03 Yeah, keep that balance and fly. That’s awesome. So last question. If you had to enter two parter. So what’s the best advice you’ve ever been given in regards to business? And what advice would you give someone who is in business that’s possibly having a hard time and wanting to get to that 10 year successful stage? Unknown 45:24 I think the best advice that you know, Unknown 45:27 would probably be, you can only do what you can do, which I know that sounds really silly. But I think we all put an awful lot of pressure on ourselves to do all the things and to be everywhere, and we look at people who are down again, we don’t know what’s behind the scenes. We don’t know their financial situation. Yeah, they look like they’re doing is amazing stuff. But, you know, that could be miserable. So I think we put too much pressure on ourselves, we can only do what we can do. Usually it’s enough, you know, so that’s pretty tweet. But I think it’s important to take the pressure off yourself because you myself miserable and I mean, you’re miserable, you’re not productive. And then it’s, you’re doing even less than you could, you shouldn’t do and, and I think for someone who’s struggling and I think, you know, you need to really look up why you’re struggling and what you want to achieve. And you need to give yourself time period. Because, look, running your own business isn’t everybody. That’s why everyone isn’t doing it is really hard. It’s you have to be brave, you have to be resourceful. You have to be good at so many different things, you know, beyond what your actual core skill set is. You become an accountant, a marketer a diplomat at speaker it’s it’s really hard and so I think it has to enjoy the process. I don’t know if you’ve read the book The subtle art of not giving a F Unknown 46:41 and and you know, he talks about how you’ve got to enjoy the process not always be thinking about the end results and you know, someone who wins Madison’s enjoys running Unknown 46:51 you know, if you enjoy running, Unknown 46:53 you’re never going to win American. So if you don’t enjoy the boring repetitiveness of opening emails, reconciling your zero posting things on Hootsuite, if you don’t enjoy that, then you’re never going to get the end result. Because that is the process. So I think that would be my advice. Make sure that you really enjoy the process. And you’re not just doing this because you think it’d be cool because a lot of time running your own business is hard and boring. And sometimes it’s great, but a lot of time it’s just pretty hard and board and I think people forget that, you know. Unknown 47:22 Yeah, absolutely. Right. We see that the end result we see the beautiful images on Instagram. You can guess what it’s like it’s actually crock of you know, you know, Unknown 47:30 surely his buddy is this. He said, Oh, yeah, Unknown 47:35 absolutely. Well, I want to thank you so much for your time today. And your insights and your humor and just your realness of His love, how you really don’t care. And it’s more about just being real and honest. I think it’s awesome. So thank you. Thank you. It’s been an honor to be on your podcast and thank you very much for having me. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you so much. Okay, awesome.
Adam McCurdie was an engineer and mathematician, consulting for an IT company creating solutions for other reasons and wanted find a way to disrupt the ticketing industry and create a social impact for good.
Founders, Adam McCurdie and Joshua Ross founded Humanitix in 2015 to transform the events ticketing industry into a force for good and make events accessible to everyone, particularly those with disabilities who are often marginalised from community participation.
Humanitix is the first not-for-profit ticketing platform in the world to redirect its share of the billions of dollars in event booking fees to solve social challenges including poverty, disadvantage and education gaps.
The platform is economic and unique in model, allowing Humanitix to invest grant funds wholly into charitable projects, yet still being able to scale its operations to support even more projects with sustainable revenue generated by ticketed events.
Humanitix is passionate about ensuring every child has the right to an education and the opportunity to reach their potential. With the support of your vote, Humanitix pledges to support over 1 Million disadvantaged children every year through tutoring, literacy programs, scholarships and meals. Follow the journey #Humanitix1Million
Humanitix was recently announced as a Winner of the Google Impact Challenge and will share will receive a share of $5.5 million in grant funding as they continue to help create better futures for all Australians.
We talked all about the journey and so much more;
The book Adam mentioned was Homo Deus from Yuval Noah Harari
I would love to welcome you to the podcast. Thank you so much for joining me today. Adam.
I’m so excited to get into this conversation and find a little bit more about everything that’s been happening with you, and Humanitix, Can you tell us a little bit about your background before you started Humanitix?
Yeah, sure. I was a registered as a mechanical engineer and a mathematician out of university. And I went into management consulting, so I was predominantly working in the communications media and technology space is equally as, as Big Data started to become a thing and was working on a lot of projects of that nature. And also in did a masters of agriculture and environmental economics just kind of found that to be particularly interesting. So I thought I’d I do a master’s in that. And that was it, I was a consultant for quite a number of years. And then Josh, my co founder, and I actually plan for, for humanitix. And then we just kind of threw everything at it and haven’t looked back since
That’s awesome. So what drew you to disrupting the ticketing platform? How did the idea get hatched?
Yeah, Josh and I, we were friends since high school. And we had always, I guess, found the idea of social business, social enterprise really interesting and compelling. So the idea of using business as a force for good that charities are burdened with solving the biggest problems in our society and their fundraising, the way that they offer it is not necessarily optimized. And that particularly transforming businesses to start to be focused on solving these bigger problems than charities and it’s a really, really compelling idea and something that we wanted to be involved with. And so we played around with a whole bunch of ideas, it was everything from social media platforms, that could be a social enterprise in some way, a whole bunch of ideas. But then the ticketing industry continued to stand out as, as really the perfect industry with the perfect ingredients to be disrupted in a, you know, social sense. And that’s what we set about doing we, we found that the industry was 10s of billions of dollars in size, it’s comprised these booking fees that everybody hates when they buy tickets to a show or something. And there’s no social value that’s provided by these ticketing companies. And there’s just essentially not much difference between many of the players out there. And we found that to be a huge issue and, and a huge opportunity to start to redirect that profit, presented profitable to alleviating global inequality.
Listen, it’s time I think, to like, now that it’s available. It’s like, Well, duh, why wasn’t this something that people didn’t think of before and each month at the Love What You Do Collective events when we talk about the feedback that we have, and the fact that your tickets that you’ve purchased to come to this event booking fees are actually going to this charity which we change it up each month. So depending on which one we choose, it depends on the topic that we’re doing that month as well. So we do that and it’s lovely way that people actually look at and go Wow, that’s really cool. So it’s definitely something that people are wanting to be a part of. So it’s really cool.
I can tell you that the trick to that is that we give the organizer the credit for the social impact that we create with those booking fees so we very happily stand to the side and say to the event organizer thank you very much for using humanitix, congratulations you’ve now just deciding to use humanitix has now resulted in eight and a half thousand dollars of resented booking fees now being distributed to this particular indigenous education scholarship program, for example. And now you can go off and tell people about that on social media or email any way you want. Because Thank you, that was you’re doing that you decided to, to create that. And so that’s what we find is that it’s really compelling because now there’s a commercial incentive for organizers to semantics as well as the right thing to do.
Absolutely. So he came up with the idea and I’m sure it wasn’t just Okay, let’s do this and make it happen. What was the journey like, tell us a little bit about how that came about.
Yeah, so So, you know, as every new idea, you’ve got your day job in your spare time, on late nights and weekends, we were, you know, trying to get this idea off the ground trying to test to try to see if this had legs, particularly ticketing and, and then it got to the stage where we realized, okay, I really think we’re onto something here. And we really need to start to put our heads down but, you know, Josh was working in finance and fund management, I was working at a hedge management consultancy and, and there’s not much spare time. So we thought, right, we need to leave our jobs to focus on this full time. Otherwise, it’s just impossible to really get something properly going at the stage that we’re at. But we thought to ourselves, it’s silly for both of us to leave our jobs, we don’t have any investments. Humanitix acts as a not for profit. So we can’t even attract investors if we tried to, because there’s no equity value. And we had to self fund the thing. So we thought it’s best that one of us leave our jobs to go full time on humanitix, and the other one stay in their job. So with my engineering background, we decided that it was best for me to leave my job, give up my salary, and be exposed to and focus full time on trying to build humanitix for us. But Josh would stay in his job at the hedge fund so that we could continue to self fund the idea and share his salary to keep us both afloat. And so we shared a salary for roughly 18 months until we were simply we reached a point that we were just getting flooded with more and more event organizers and events. And the idea was really kind of starting to take off, the platform itself was starting to get really competitive. And Josh then had to leave his job to join me full time. And at that stage, we’ve were both volunteering full time getting this idea to continue to grow. And and then that was a few months after that, that the first philanthropists that were really excited by what we were doing decided to join us into our system to help us fund this and to grow this really compelling software and, grow. And that was just what a Wow, what an experience to go through that with the with a best mate. Yeah, doing that is quite a thing.
And to know that the Friendship is still intact. Like that’s massive. Like, I can’t even imagine going, Hey, can you pay for the groceries? I’m just Yeah. Cool. Very cool. Very nice to see that that’s still a really strong part of, I guess your values of being really having that friendship same time as building businesses. Sure, was challenging along the way. So you mentioned that you then had the philanthropists come along, how did you know who was the right person to work with, and how did that all transpire?
from the philanthropists like which philanthropists would be interested?
Yeah, so we really just started, we reached the stage where the pilot was obviously working incredibly well. And we were talking to corporates, to some more successful businessmen and women around the community. And, and that the individual, I guess, high net worth philanthropist was, was the best fit. And there was somebody that was, would be excited by that humanitix that had a leverage on their philanthropic dollar, that, you know, if humanitix at this, we were saying, you know, if this works, this would mean that at scale, we will be redistributed millions of dollars in booking fees every single year towards ending global inequality, and the self sustainable company, a completely sustainable ourselves. And that is a completely in the concept that that you as a charity, you can be sustainable and be doing so much good and to provide leverage on the money that you’ve received from philanthropists. So that took quite a specific kind of philanthropists to really get to be interested in that and to be willing to take the risk because obviously, that’s obviously the risk is that you manage x doesn’t work and and then the money would have been best spent, you know, I guess just donating
donating to one of the charities that they support or regularly. So, and that was that was high high net worth businessmen and women we were Yeah, really,
really, really grateful to take us have their support and, and that they were backing us to succeed. And they thought that we could succeed,
but it was bloody tough to talk to. We talked to her before we got to Yes, we’ve talked a hell of a lot of nice.
How did you know? Like,
like, wasn’t that like, what’s what had to happen for you guys to go? Yeah, this is the right person, like, was there anything in particular that they would like? Yeah, so I mean,
yeah, definitely. It was that they said, yes, it will,
we will not be picky,
we are going to receive money from we were, we were kind of, I can’t tell you how grateful we were to have somebody believed in us. Few people believe that lots of people believe
it’s not a it’s not a
it’s a pretty unique concept.
Now Now it’s working and now it makes sense. And so you look back at the great but you know, when when when you just kind of have an idea that’s got a little bit of promise because of a pilot it’s a much more difficult sell.
And I think to like even though it’s only been you know, three years like a lots changed in just in society in the way that so many more people are wanting to give back like I don’t know if you’ve noticed that but I’ve definitely noticed that like there’s so many more businesses out there wanting to be aligned with charities they wanted to be aligned with that some form of give back and they constantly looking for opportunities to utilize their business for good so I think that’s also the whole landscapes changed as well
yeah I think there’s also been there’s almost an expectation now that your business does something
yes becoming it’s really promising to see that that trend
yeah i think that i think it also might be linked to
the motivation and engagement of employees around a particular company that you know if a company’s making a genuine effort to use their platform as a way to distribute good as well as you know making profits for their for their own survival then you know that’s some that’s a place you want to work for
absolutely So was there a moment early on that you kind of look back on and go yet that was a time where we were like yet this is going to work
to them said no I don’t think so we’ve just we’ve had our heads down and we’ve been you know you just keep I know we’ve just had a heads down so for so long and then eventually the head often and I guess what we’re doing quite well now and and that’s great that you know we’ve got a long way to go if we really want to achieve what what we want to which is totally revolutionizing the industry and we haven’t achieved revolutionising the industry yet so we don’t see ourselves as yet. Having done what we’ve set out to do. We’ve just we’ve got a lot of prior we’ve got a good start. And we’re doing a lot of good on the way because we’ve seen a redistributing 100% of the profits of all the fees. We’re getting our hands on the way and that’s really cool.
Yeah, I guess we will only feel like we’ve made it when the entire ticketing industry is expected to do what we’re doing.
Awesome. And what type of impact would you like to see saying this in the next say, five years?
Yeah, the next five years on air budgets where we’re looking to redistribute somewhere in the ballpark of eight to $9 million in fees
to our charitable projects. So that would be predominantly around in the third world literacy programs and life skills programs, particularly for girls in the developing world. We work very closely with the Atlassian foundation now. And they’ve really opened our eyes to the sustainable benefits of education as a focus for ending inequality, as well as the social return on invested capital in in investing in life school programs and misuse the programs particularly for girls in that region.
And as well, here in Australia, we focus heavily on indigenous scholarships and indigenous youth education as indigenous people are by far the most disadvantaged groups in the country.
And is there a reason why that is important to you?
Absolutely. I mean, our aim is to alleviate in, in global inequality. And so education is the most sustainable way to do that. Now, we are living in, in one of the most privileged countries in the world, I’ve been lucky to receive a fantastic education and to grow up in a family that, you know, valued education and, and did all those wonderful things. And
you can’t, you can’t sit in your visit in a position like this, and then not not try to afford that to other people that haven’t been so lucky. In my opinion,
you know, this history is marked with, with countless examples of when you’re in a position to do something, do it to make the world a better place, because otherwise, history will judge you for anything.
And I very much feel that I’m in that situation. And Josh is in that situation and everybody that that is, you know, working with us is very much of that mindset.
Awesome. So, what would you say one of the biggest challenges has been, since the
biggest challenge by far was initially raising money,
like I said, with a philanthropist and join us we were picky. That was that was very difficult. We, we decided from day one, that we wanted to be a charity meaning a not for profit organization that gives 100% of its profits to its charitable objects in its ambitions. And that, that that means that you’ve got no equity. So, you know, an investor comes students that are great, you’ve got this exciting startup, you’re taking on the ticketing industry, and now doing you know, a bunch of ticket sales sounds really interesting. Can I invest? And you say no, because there’s no there’s no equity to invest in. But I’ll but how about a donation, and then they look at you like, you’re absolutely mad, because, well, I’m not donating to us software platform that’s going to sell tickets that then who’s going to get their hands on booking fees to then redistribute to charity, you know, like that, that it makes sense now, because we’re just doing it, but, you know, that’s a really difficult sell, because the way people view philanthropy typically, you know, and that’s most charitable, philanthropic senses, it just doesn’t align with online ticketing, you know, being used as a force for good. So
that that was by far the biggest, the biggest
challenge that we’ve set face today. And, you know, we’ve been very lucky now, we’ve received funding from those individual philanthropists. But now also the Atlassian Foundation has come in and loves what we’re doing their ambition is to educate 10 million disadvantaged children over the next decade. And they’ve taken the view that we’re, we’re in great
asset to help them achieve that. And most recently, Google has announced us as a Google impact challenge winner. So we’ve just received a million dollars in funding from Google last week. And that was that was being part of that challenge. And they really like what we’re doing
so well. I mean, it’s surreal to actually explain that far to fund to fund this project.
Amazing. So what did you learn about yourself through the journey?
Yeah, I, I think I
could, no one’s really asked me that
would even anything change or you become aware of a certain strength that you’ve had, or any type of quality that you didn’t realize you had before?
Yeah, I think it’s many just the benefit of trusting maybe just trusting my intuition a bit,
typically somebody engineer science background, you know, I typically only do something if it if it really thought about it properly. And it makes sense and just kind of more and more learned the value of just trying something and just giving it a go and, and that and that, that, that’s, that’s what’s best. That’s what always works out best is this is if I just try something and that’s certainly what happened here with him analytics that we just, we just kind of tried it and then learn along the way and change things up as we went. And
it’s just impossible to try and map out and strategize you know, a journey from a starter and I’ve learned that in myself that that’s, that’s just something to that have to be comfortable in. And with that, that’s okay. That’s that’s exactly to be expected you to drive yourself insane. If you if you just try to
think about every single little thing that’s going to happen along your way, and try and give yourselves certainty as to what the park who exactly it’s going to look like. And I’ve certainly learned to be more comfortable with that.
Well, Sam, what do you think you’ve learned about friendship over these?
friendship, friendship really matters. Well,
the value of value of surrounding yourself with good people that have good values that you can trust that want the best for you, and you want the best for them. That is that’s that’s process
What would you say is I wanted to ask you about your husband your proudest moment over the years, but seeing what’s just happened with Google, I’m thinking that that might be one of them. Is there another moment that you can think of that has been one of the proudest moments?
Yeah, honestly, the proudest moment was the day Josh left his job to join me full time. And then we we managed to, to, I guess it was the analogy would be that we both wanted to climb over this wall. And he gave me a leg up to climb over the wall. And then I turned around and I was able to extend my arm down and Yang came over the wall to to be on the other side of the world that we wanted to be on, you know, which was growing a really exciting charity doing really exciting cool things and, and the fact that we just pulled that off as a team that was that was really that was really awesome. And also I mean, at the beginning of this year, we were fortunate enough to interview Professor Muhammad Yunus he was the Nobel Peace Prize winner for invented micro finance has lifted millions of people out of poverty, starting in Bangladesh and moving around other parts of Asia and just a phenomenal
character and he came here as part of his visit with Grameen Australia and myself and Josh were asked to interview him as at the main event
and and really just get a moment to to meet him and to talk with him and I guess share some ideas and hear what he has to say and that was that was just surreal and that was just so so amazing to took that we have just come to that point the Crimean Australia looked at us and said we want you semantics to be for me in Australia’s first social business partner we love what you’re doing and we we think we think what you’re doing is so great that we we want you to interview Professor Eunice when he comes here to add our main event that means
that was that was really something special
incredible. Anything in particular that that resonated with you well, you took away from that
yeah the the I mean his personal story of how he how he created Grameen Bank was one of
role position persistence.
Yeah, just you hear him tell that story about about his his idea of financing
essentially, the ports of providing loans to people that the bank thought no way are we going to give loans to the poorest people in our country, and that he was laughed out of banks and that we and that he managed to, you know, get slowly get around that was just pure persistence could be because he knew what he was doing was right, the right thing to do
try to do, we’ve tried to take that into our journey as well. Incredible
and like, honestly, that’s probably the best thing to have when you try and be an entrepreneur is having that consistent assistants like just literally getting back up after you may not know back down and, you know, keep going, no matter what, whether anybody’s watching or anyone is listening. It’s something you just gotta keep doing, if you believe in it.
That’s right. That’s right. That’s where it helps to have a good good co founder or a good friend at least
bounce ideas off. Hey,
is there anything that you do to develop yourself in regards to like here in education, furthering on in regards to business?
Yeah, I tried to do as much reading as I can hold on trying to do more reading. And I currently am sometimes difficult,
but no, it’s mainly it’s mainly just exercise and I I really enjoy hiking. I find that’s the best thing of all, to just to just go hiking. I love the following National Park, particularly, it’s in the south coast, just just inland of Jarvis Bay, in theory, New South Wales. And you can just go there for four days and see nobody and and that’s Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s a really great way to just
get rid of the clutter and, and come back with a bit of a clear mind.
Yeah, nice. Is there anything else that you do to set yourself up for success? Like, do you have a set morning routine or anything else that you do?
I don’t actually,
I have tried
a few of the early morning routines. I mean, I’ll, I’ll I’ll do it. I’ll do exercise every morning. Which, which, I guess is a huge amount of their routine.
But yeah, it’s just been me waking up getting getting moving.
And then just kind of giving myself at least maybe 15 minutes to think about what I’m gonna do today, I find the day you know, the days when I just kind of go into it. And that was kind of every thought about it is not as good of a day trying to do that as much as I can.
So true, we go in on reaction mode, rather than actually being focused on what we’re doing. Hey,
So is there anything now that would you say that humanity is still technically in startup phase? Would you feel like, it’s kind of past that you now feeling like you’re more in the growth phase where you feel it’s out of the moment,
it will, probably on that borderline, to be honest, it’s quite difficult to tell where I mean, yeah, but we’re still we’re still very much a startup that and we want to maintain that startup culture which is,
you know, having that growth mindset and being having our eyes open to exploring ideas and solving problems that, you know, that come away that we feel we can solve it. But, um, yeah, I mean, we’re at a point now, where would grind quickly and a lot of partners are coming on board to help us grow, which is really exciting product is, is certainly it’s got to a stage where it just compete with with the best products out there, which is, which is awesome, because, you know, when we were starting, you know, you’ve got a very basic pilot, you go to very basic event organizers to ask if they would kindly switch to us as the ticketing platform to manage their registration. And, you know, we certainly we certainly past that point now, where we not we’re not just the most ethical ticketing company out there and can achieve the most social good, but the platform itself, you know, feature feature is just is just awesome. That was, there was actually something very core to us that that we felt if we ever rely on the organizers using our product, just because we’re the most ethical, we will fail, we cannot rely on that we have to be both both the best platform out there solving those core ticketing problems that event organizers are experiencing as well as being the most ethical where we donate 100% of the profits of those annoying booking fees and to their charity of choice and then on top of that, giving them the credit for it said that now the federal from a marketing perspective and CSR perspective. And then now on every single front price product, social procurement CSR, humanity is the total package and that’s we’ve we’ve always thought that that if we didn’t have that in mind, that we wouldn’t be successful. Yeah, that’s that’s really exciting to get to that
point. You can’t just rely on a being for good I know the world silly to Sony’s to be seen as being professional. So it’s, I guess it’s Yeah, I agree. Um, is there anything that you guys do like when you think about the way everything even if changed over the last three years? Thanks a startup and learning to be obviously successful in what you do? How did you go about strategy? Or how did you go about creating goals to figure out how to get to the next stage?
Yeah, it was, it was it was quite a loose we had Well, I guess the first thing is, we did we said, we said, very clear budgets of this is the budget that we want to do this year meeting. This is how much how many ticket sales, how much ticket sales, we want to sell this financial year,
thankfully, I’m on the last two budgets, we’ve beat that amount. But that was really important, because that gave us a very clear goal is to how we’re going to get to being 100% sustainable ourselves, and that what the path looks like to us becoming a multi million dollar fund every single year for charitable projects. And so we’ve just kind of been laser focused on hitting those,
those budgets for ticket sales. And, and that was really around, okay, well, what does that take for us to hit our budgets, okay, there’s these kinds of events that will be going after. And this is the kind of product that we need to have to be satisfying those events as far as features and functionality goes, Okay, so then we dedicate significant amount of resources to building out the product and building out the features and going after that, that areas, the market and then that kind of transitions and evolves as we continue to go, that was really the thing that we stayed laser laser focused on
goals wise, I guess, because that that hard number is, is where people will look to, at the end of the day, particular philanthropists as well as like, Well, you know, is this thing working? Well, how many tickets? Are you selling our clients using? You, you know, and there’s no hiding behind that. So maybe the knows exactly, exactly it specifically when you have a social impact model that’s completely driven around redistribution of booking fees, you know, it’s all just around Well, how many booking fees or redistributed
and so that, yeah, that was really important that strategy wise, is we, you know, we really had to learn as we go approach, you know, we, we talk with every single one of our clients, we understand what they like about their current solution, what they like about our solution, once they switch to us, asking them for feedback after their event during the ticket sales of their event, how can we improve What don’t you like, what do you like, what should we emphasize even further. And, you know, in that in that very agile product approach, we’ve been, you know, that’s been on number one aim is to how do we keep our event organizers happy, you know, organized as a as a lot on their plate. They’re incredibly time poor. And there’s a whole bunch of ways that we can make their lives a lot easier, as well as being able to redistribute these feeds to charitable causes.
side one lakh doing that market research, I think, is one of the key things that helps drive your business forward continuously. It’s one of the things where I have a client and new client come to me and their challenge what to do next. And they’re struggling with how to grow their business. My one of my first questions is always, when was the last time you did any research based on the clients you’ve worked with. And once you want to work with interesting that so many people can often be so scared to even do that research, but being so open to it, and constantly, like searching for that feedback, I think is key to growth.
It’s awesome there. So a trick that we found is that, you know, a really nice phone call to an organizer just to say thank you and see how things went. And us for any feedback is, it’s it’s a, it’s a business development call, it’s now turned into a product review, call the feedback on your product. And so you can achieve both in the same call. And that that really helps.
And it’s that because no one’s opening email surveys anymore.
Yeah, that’s right
times. So what would you say? How did you go about building your team out like being obviously a not for profit, and wanting to make sure that you’re making the biggest impact, you can obviously going to be really picky, but specific on who you hire. And when you Hi, um, how did you go about that?
Yeah, so the beginning of our journey, it was really all around
who was interested in joining us. And so actually, the first person that joined us was a was a guy by the name of James Harrison. And he joined us at the time that Josh had just left his job. We were both volunteering, we weren’t earning anything. And James said, Look, I just saw you, you know, present to the conference. And this was fantastic. I want to join you to which we told him that well, you know, by all means, but not even Josh and I are doing anything, you know, we want to be upfront with you. And he said, nevermind. I love this idea. I love where it’s going. And I see the opportunity, I’ll leave my job, I’ll get a bad job of the weekend and work a couple of other weeks. And I’ll join you to three days a week to help get humanities off the ground in Genesis. So that was, that was our first I guess, higher obviously, the few months later, when we got funding from philanthropists, that’s when this when we were able to pay James and pay Joshua myself a little bit just that we were going backwards. But yeah, that was, you know, that was our first hire, and, you know, very much, you know, you know,
no matter what,
that’s right, that’s right. It’s just awesome. But then after that, it became, it became a real focus on product, which was okay, we have to get our product to a point that there is no reason why you wouldn’t use him analytics, if anything, the product is better town for down and the other products on the market. And so that’s when we had that emphasis on, on the technology. So that’s when we went to hire our CTO, and then complement the CTO with with other developers and designers as well for the product was very much a product focus. And then as we’ve now kind of shifted more towards sales and marketing, that’s where that’s where we’ve kind of started to shift a little bit more to those kinds of skills. But it was really just the needs of of the business as we evolved, what we saw was our most pressing need and then just how that shifts over time and then and then how we how we evolve to fill that
beautiful and now that you’ve grown quite a little good little team is there anything that you guys do to develop the culture is there anything you do to when you do hire you highs is their philosophy you have around it or neither?
Yes, good question. We’ve actually got a little a supposedly bone in that regard now we were named a Westpac top 20 business of tomorrow, it’s not as much tech thing and that was really cool as a charity to be named a top 20 business of tomorrow was was it was just awesome. You know, that’s the world starting to blend that we’re that we’re trying to create, but I’m in that we got given a mentor, and we were lucky enough to get john eels as our mentor x Wallabies captain, and we’ve done quite a few culture sessions with john and he’s absolutely fantastic. I’ve learned so much from him as as Josh and as as everyone in the team when it comes to building culture when it comes to what matters when it comes to communicating wealth. And so that is certainly helped. But we’ve also I guess, just try to emulate some of the things that allowed
to analytics to work in the first place under stressful circumstances of sharing a salary, etc. We try to really uncover what what those things were. And one of the things that we we found that we did really well was that if something is bothering you, it’s all about me or something’s bothering me about you, it’s on me to raise that with you straightaway. If I let that fester for two weeks that something’s bothering me about you, then that’s that’s now my fault. I shouldn’t have let that fester. I should have raised that straightaway and nipped in the bud.
And you know, if you let that fester, it’s your own fault. And that’s that’s really something that that held us well. And that’s that’s something that, you know, we emulate in the team and just to not let those things so it’s boiled think that things are spoken in a really quickly and really efficiently, which, which really helps.
Yeah, yeah, that’s right. Yeah, I mean, the other interesting thing that Josh and I recognize that the beginning simply while sharing his salary was that, you know, depending on the demands of the business, things are never even at one point in time, in terms of how much are you giving to this, and how much am I giving to this and is that even that will never be even at any one point in time. Because it will fluctuate over time, it’ll actually be you know, even, but at any one point in time, it’s very uneven. And to recognize that from day one is really important. So that’s, that’s also something that we just, you know, there’s different demands on the business at different times. And that’s okay.
And that you know, if you’re, if you’re having an easier time right now then go and support somebody that’s having a tough time because you know, they’re they’re having a much harder time right now and they could really use your help and and in six months time she will be on the other foot and that’s really important.
Very good so has there been any major failure anything that didn’t work that you guys have lunch from and you look back on and kind of laugh at it now but it’s something that was huge and time
yeah pilot in the early days
we were ticketing an event and we we underestimated the volume and we and we crashed and
thankfully we got it up in you know thinking about half an hour or something like that but you know, it was we were so excited that we’ve come to stop this this night this big event and and they’re so happy to be using us we’re happy with them and we didn’t realize that they’d sent out an email to 10s of thousands of people and it all got them to to go and click on the vote on the register now link at the exact same second
yeah and we and that was on our pilot when we went away and started and and that is when we cry we were so excited to see the volumes come in and then we just flat line and crashed and then we quickly recovered and and then we did a whole bunch of marketing assets to recover you know, in turn cover any last sales that they were they were grateful for, but
hot Nestle fun. So what do you feel is next week, humanity now that you obviously with the impact challenges Google Where do you want to take it next
year, we want to
continue to grow strongly here in Australia. And as well, we’ll be going to New Zealand now calm, which is really exciting.
There is Yeah, there is so much potential and opportunity for us to scale up this, this product. And this idea. And it’s really just around continuing to put our heads down and scale. It’s all it’s all around scale. Now, there’s another interesting aspect to what we do, which is that we we recognize that people with disabilities are having a terrible time trying to attend live events. And so much so that many of them have just given up trying to go to live events, because it’s always typically a disaster. And so we’ve done a lot of quite a few design thinking workshops with a lot of people with ranging disabilities to discover what it is that would be most important for them to understand in order to give them confidence to attend. And what we’ve done is distill that into a tool for organizers. So it takes three minutes to fill out the most important information to help people with disabilities understand how they’re going to attend your event with confidence. And we guide the organizer very much on making it really quick and simple, even if you’re an organizer that doesn’t know much about accessibility or anything at all. And so that’s become an awesome focus of ours. And we’re really going to be doubling down on improving that accessibility tool, because there’s so much good that can be done there in allowing people with disabilities to be better included in in events, community events, etc, we found that the number one problem raised by people with disabilities is a lack of community participation and social inclusion. And events are at the heart of community participation. And we as the ticketing platform hold the key to an organizer having a more inclusive event.
And that’s why Vision Australia, in Australia network on disability are all super excited about what we’re doing, and trying to help us out to achieve it. And, and that’s very much a focus for us to to do to do good in that way, as well. So we now very much see ourselves as our social goals as being Jul. Focus. So one is on the accessibility front to transform event accessibility. And the other is around, you know, mining these billions of dollars in booking fees to use them to embed global inequality.
Listen, do you get to hear back from the charities that you do donate through the booking fees to hear to hear much about the impact from them?
Yes, absolutely. And so we will work closely with them to to focus on a specific project as well inside their charity so that we can make it as transparent as possible for an organizer to tell them exactly what their event achieved
all the sense
really, really powerful. We also do it so transparently that on the dashboard as the organizers selling tickets, we tell you exactly how much booking fees have been redistributed to the charity and what the charity does with that money.
Awesome. Any key and be take place takeaway. So you’ve had from that, that you look back on and go, Wow, that was huge impact.
I mean, all of our charities, a phenomenal
Yeah, the media literacy programs that we’re now supporting, through the, through the developing world, and just unbelievably inspiring and, and phenomenal as well as the other education projects we do here domestically in Australia, just it’s just the personal stories that come out of that. And to know that you’ve, you’ve kind of made that impact. And that’s what we find is most amazing when an organizer will use our products, and then we then report to them exactly what the impact was. And it will be something very big and tangible, like literacy programs for 125 pills in this part of the world. And then all of a sudden, you know, it just becomes that much more real and such a no brainer to use your analytics because it’s like, well, oh, wow, I just, I just ran my event like I normally would have. And now all of this good has come out of out of my event
that’s just amazing. Or it was a therapy dog suit for a child who suffered from muscular dystrophy. And now you know, this child can walk again, and it was just because of my event doing ticketing and it didn’t cost me anything. And but it was just this This is amazing. That’s where we find it’s really, really awesome to see people engage on that level and, and appreciate appreciate what we’re doing.
That’s the lesson because it’s not there’s often a disconnect there where you have when you give back to certain charities and you’re like, Oh, this is my donation. But then you never often hear the actual impact that it’s making. So that’s really cool that you can do that. Hmm. So is there anything that you’re listening to our reading at the moment that you find motivating?
Yeah, I just finished reading a homo Deus actually to is the Yuval Harari, his latest book found that yeah, it was is the one after Sapiens I’m not sure if you’ve if you’ve read it.
Yeah, it was, it was it was what he’s thinking is based on how humans behave, how we might navigate in the future and what we might gravitate towards
technologies and the way we apply them. That was,
that was particularly interesting. Yeah, I prefer nonfiction or fiction, although I didn’t, I gotta start reading more fiction. It’s getting to nonfiction. a
while since I’ve read a fiction book too long.
Yeah. Okay. So the last couple of questions, I would love to know is there anything in particular that you do to celebrate your wins within the team? Like when you hit a certain target or a goal what do you do to celebrate,
we’re pretty we’re pretty simple. We we have a nice barbecue might go to a park and just kind of hang out and eat some nice food and and you know, drink some beers and have a swim or, or go to the beach and much of a morning beach session now, particularly that the summer is coming around. So we’ll do a nice morning session or a morning team walk as a lot of national parks around where our offices base so we might do a morning push work.
Yeah, we just, we just find that that’s nice. gives people an opportunity to, to connect and just have a good time and relax and cool I like to think too fancy.
Yes, it still is still good to hear you actually do celebrate. sometimes not. We just go What’s next? What’s the next big thing going to target?
We’ve been very guilty of that. I’ll be honest,
what are you looking forward to? In 2019?
Yeah, the thing I’m looking forward most to is us really getting into a whole new groove with Yeah, just with the, with the, with the way the products come along with the volume of events that are coming onto onto the platform, really going to the next level for our clients and making them feel like they’re well taken care of in their events are going to be smooth because of us. And then and then and then really doing a much better job to work closer without, without charity, charity partners to understand what impact is being done, how we can optimize that, how we can make it better how we can communicate that back to our organizers.
Yeah, getting getting much more involved on the impact side as well, to ensure that that impact is meaningful and tangible.
Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s really going to be a big focus in 2019
Boston. And last question, if you have, is there any key advice that you’ve been given over the years? Or if they Is there any advice you would like to impart on someone who possibly has an idea they want to take to become successful,
just give it a go,
Yeah, when you when you when you create something, and then all of a sudden, people are using it, and then they, you know, they taking it for granted only, you know, the day you know, years ago when it was just some idea that you had thinking about doing and I could never do something like that, that’s, you know, that’s where every idea starts from and, and is, you know, just just give it a try and learn and be open and surround yourselves with good people. Because if you try to do everything yourself, that is a very difficult, unnecessary,
you know, resistance that you’re placing on yourself. So just give it a go surround yourself with people that mean that that believe in what you’re trying to achieve and have similar values
and want to see what’s the worst that can happen.
Great, thank you so much. It’s really beautiful. I just want to acknowledge you for all the work that you’re doing in the world, the impact that you’re making and the way that you are disrupt disrupting the ticketing platform. I think it’s incredible. And I want to thank you so much for your time today and all your insights.
Thank you was a pleasure to be on the podcast.
Thank you. Thanks again.
Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be on the podcast.
Thank you. Thanks again.
Do you feel stuck in confusion because you have so many ideas and don’t know where to start?
Do you have 50 notebooks on the go where you’re always making notes with new ideas, yet never actually executing on any of the ideas?
Often we can get stuck in a place of overwhelm, not taking action and wishing things were different and becoming comfortable being in confusion.
So how do we manage all the different ideas that come our way and decide and commit to the ones we want to make happen?
Today’s podcast, we delve into the tools you can use to flesh out our ideas to figure out where to take action, how to overcome confusion and learn to decide and commit on the ideas we want to see come to fruition.
Confusion can become a dangerous comfort zone that keeps us stuck and making decisions is a still we need to learn to move ourselves move forward, and finding clarity is always the first step in the decision making progress.
Try using these questions to recognise how decisions shape your life:
What are two decisions that I have made in the past that I have positively shaped my life? How did they change my life for the better?
What finally got me to decide?
What are two new decisions you are committed to making now, and how will they powerfully improve your life forever?
How do we Execute?
Allowing yourself to be imperfect – we all learn through mistakes and sometimes we need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Where do I start?
What type of learner are you?
Visual? – Vision Board, Post it note wall, Flip chart it, create a sales page, Mind map it ( https://www.mindmapping.com/ )
Mind mapping is a highly effective way of getting information in and out of your brain. Mind mapping is a creative and logical means of note-taking and note-making that literally “maps out” your ideas.
All Mind Maps have some things in common. They have a natural organizational structure that radiates from the center and use lines, symbols, words, color and images according to simple, brain-friendly concepts. Mind mapping converts a long list of monotonous information into a colorful, memorable and highly organized diagram that works in line with your brain’s natural way of doing things.
One simple way to understand a Mind Map is by comparing it to a map of a city. The city center represents the main idea; the main roads leading from the center represent the key thoughts in your thinking process; the secondary roads or branches represent your secondary thoughts, and so on. Special images or shapes can represent landmarks of interest or particularly relevant ideas.
The great thing about mind mapping is that you can put your ideas down in any order, as soon as they pop into your head. You are not constrained by thinking in order. Simply, throw out any and all ideas, then worry about reorganizing them later.
Kinestethic – put it into practice – what would feel right? Do the action, practice in a safe space
Auditory – tell someone about it, ask a friend to brainstorm with you,
Book I mentioned was Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Lessons I learnt from a failed launch
Reflection is important for growth and if we don’t take the opportunity to debrief and reflect on past campaigns and launches especially when they don’t go well, then we’ll never grow.
There is always something to learn and ignoring it or avoiding it is just our ego trying to protect itself.
So when we can set our ego aside and look at what we could have done better we get to learn from our mistakes and take things to the next level!
Key things to consider when creating your next launch, campaign or offering
Now i have a list of steps to follow for next launch or campaign 🙂
Understanding how pain and pleasure effects what changes we make in our lives can become a game changer. We can use this model to change unwanted behaviours in our lives, and start doing the things we know we want to be doing, but aren’t.
Nobody likes to feel obligated to do anything, yet so many of our daily and weekly activities have become obligations, even though we chose them.
Obligation can often lead to resentment, anger and burnout.
So what’s the difference between an obligation and a commitment?
Today’s podcast is taking a look at our obligations and where we are choosing to say yes to things that maybe could be a No!
And choosing how we want to think, feel and act when we do say yes, but still feel like it’s an obligation and out of our control.
Asja is a resourceful mentor, successfully bridging real life experience with actionable strategy and meticulous planning to bring small business and entrepreneurial dreams to life. With an accountable, creative, and compassionate approach she works closely with teams to work on scalable growth and facilitating change management to create more social impact.
Today’s conversation covers not only these points, but so much more: