The Art of Breaking Out with Craig McBreen







July 2015
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Stanford (Stan) Smith has created a beautiful marketing machine of his own making. And the reason I had him on the show was to dispense sage bits of wisdom on the topic of online business done right—how to sell with your business blog.

So, this podcast is about the art and science of creating an online property that brings in clients and moves the needle in your business.

Stan's business, Pushing Social, combines strategy and implementation to help clients enjoy a return on their content marketing investment quickly. And I would like to emphasize "quickly," because Stan is a no-nonsense guy with marketing smarts and a great business mind.

Trust me, if you want to sell with your business blog, THIS is the show for you.

So, how did Stan do it?

The key to him truly hitting his stride was the realization of several core concepts…

  1. When it came to his business goals, he needed to have end in mind.
  2. And to understand exactly what he was prepared to do different than everyone else.
  3. He also had to have one big goal: In his case it was to write a book and then see that book on display while walking through the airport bookstore.

His plan… initially a very focused methodology of getting on the radar.

You may have heard of Brian ClarkJay Baer, and Michael Stelzner. Stan realized they had the biggest audience and the golden role of online marketing is that you must get on the radar of the people who have the audience.

How did Stan Smith (Pushing Social) get on the radar of some of the biggest names in the content marketing / social media world?

  1. He auditioned. In the form of thoughtful comments on the above blogs.
  2. He put money on the line. (In this case it was Brian Clark's course he signed up for.)
  3. And he wasn't afraid to ask for support. (Note: please ignore the social media "experts" who tell you NOT to reach out to those you respect. Stan connected with them and told them how his articles would help their audience. He then asked for a helpful, little retweet.)

What about your business? Can you do the same type of outreach today?

Of course you can. If you want to get on the radar of an influencer in a particular niche, first be helpful. Go to them and start contributing, commenting and work at building a relationship.

What about finding the right customers?

According to Stan, you must first know what is going on in the head of your consumer. Do a survey to find out who they are and what they need. At first he spent a full month giving out free 30 minute sessions. He then turned these sessions into products and services.

How do you find the right customers online?

  • Understand what people are willing to pay for.
  • Give it to them at great price.
  • Work to exceed their expectations.

Create a buyer persona with a focus on 2 things…

  1. What are they trying to achieve?
  2. How can you help them get there?

Then figure out the most unique way you can help them. Research and find out what your competitors are unwilling to do? Find out how others are talking about your niche and devise a way to talk about it differently.

Ask yourself… How am I going to not sound like everyone else?

Do you want an Example?...

In this podcast Stan lays out an actionable 1-2-3 plan using the example of someone with a fitness blog trying to attract and obtain clients. We talk about creating an online property that prompts them to say… "I want to learn a bit more about what you do”.

What are the most essential very first steps?…

  1. Realize every part of your day is important.
  2. You must put in the time whenever you can. (When he was starting Pushing Social he would write a blog post every day at lunch.)
  3. Get out in the the real world and network. Create Meetups and talk to real people about what you can offer.
  4. Adopt a craftsman's mindset! In other words, don't do everything, niche down and master your thing.
  5. Stop researching and start doing.

What should you NOT do?

Take a look at your activity—especially that wasted Facebook time—following people back, commenting, emailing, etc. And develop the mindset that all activities should lead to a result. You should always have a reason for doing something, matched to a return.

Stop worrying about missing out. Or maybe you should ask yourself the following: Was your last client from Facebook? Twitter? If not, figure out what needs to change in your world.

Think about how many sales you closed and what led to them. If you spend much of your time writing blog posts, and those posts lead people to download your guides and look deeper into your offerings, that's a positive activity.

Pay attention to the metrics that help you get better. If blogging leads to another activity that somehow moves the needle in your business, that's a good thing.

What about about creating your ideal life (achieving your dream business)?

And last, but not least, Stan has some amazing advice on creating an ideal life and business. It's at the very end of the podcast and it's well worth the listen, so hang in to the end. You won't be disappointed.

What you'll learn:

  • The importance of niching down (and becoming a craftsman).
  • Why you must know what is going on in the head of your consumer.
  • Stan's amazing automation process (using a combination of VAs and software).
  • Why your online tools should be connected and easy to automate.
  • The importance of giving yourself the license to suck.
  • That you have to do something radically different to make it (this is what "showing up" means to Stan).

Questions I ask:

  • What's a typical work day like for Stan Smith?
  • How do you automate your process? (You will really want to listen to this!)
  • How did Brian Clark change your world?
  • What are the most essential very first steps to finding the right customers?
  • Is the future of work about combining a variety of skills? Or is it better to niche down?

Links mentioned in the show:

Asana (one of my favorites)
Slack (Instant messaging for businesses, on steroids)
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (all about "the craftsman's approach")
Startup Marketing Blog
Noah Kagen's OKdork

Direct download: Stanford_SmithHow_to_Create_a_Breakout_Online_Business.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:32pm PDT