[Webinar] The Opening Act Strategy

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Video Transcript

Just going to jump into it then. If are here to learn about how to build an audience and get referrals without spending a penny, then you're in the right place. If you’re not here for that, I'm sorry, I'm not going to present what you thought I would, but this is it. Thank you so much. I know who a lot of you are. If you haven't met me directly before, please do jump into the chat. Let me know your name and where in the world you are. I want to thank Anthony coming to us from Australia. I can never track. Is it early or late there Anthony?

We have people from all over the world. Only 7 a.m. Friday here. Well, you are more committed than I am. Joel, thank you so much for being here. Anthony says not too early. Anthony only sleeps for one hour a day. Fun fact about Anthony that I just made up. Thank you ,everybody, for being here. I'm Liston and I help consultants, creatives and freelancers find and create the five relationships that will fuel their growth. The reason that's relevant to you is because you probably thought something like this before. I could help so many people if I could just reach them. Well if you thought that, you're not alone because every consultant and freelancer ever has thought this. Of course, this begs the question, “What should you do about it?”

Now a lot of marketing gurus, a lot of people who will go out there and tell you everything that you should be doing to build your business will tell you something like this. “Go out and build an audience, a big group of raving fans who are bn there hanging on the edge of their seats waiting for the next word out of your mouth.”

It's not so easy. How do you do it? What's the common wisdom? Well, they say something like, “Go out and write a blog or create a bunch of content that demonstrates how amazingly original, unique and thoughtful you are. After you do that, you have to go on to social media and promote it. You have to pay for promotion. You have to go connect with influencers who seem completely out of reach, and then you can create custom graphics for every single post in order to frame it in the best possible light.

After you do that, of course, naturally, you're going to get zillions of readers, millions of subscribers and then you're going to build fancy email marketing and drip campaigns in order to keep all of these people nurtured because it's now completely out of the grasp of a human being to do this one on one. Of course, there's more you can do, but that's probably the most that any single small agency, consultant or freelancer could possibly do.

The question is do you even have time? Well, you thought that if you did all of that, it would look something like this: A rocket ship taking off into the stratosphere breaching the bounds of earth, hockey stick growth on a graph. What really happened was probably more like this. A little paddle boat on the water making some progress, but nothing like you were promised and nothing like you expected. Or maybe you thought something like this, if you build it, they will come. Sorry this is a very old reference, but it is from a real movie, I promise, and it was a good movie. You thought if you built this content and you set up this system, people would show up, but it was more like this: A tree falling in the forest, proof that it actually does make a sound.

The question is if you're doing all these good things to build an audience and to build attention and awareness for your thing, the thing that you're amazingly good at and you know you could help lots and lots of people out there, if only they knew who you are and what you do and what your agency does, what's going on?

Well this. Who knows what this number means? 2.7 million. Anybody? You can go ahead and pop it into the chat. 2.7 million. What does that represent? Not sure says Sam. How many new pieces of content published every minute online says, Mike Russell. Anthony says how many new pieces of content published each day. Joel Kessel says time of the year or week. The grand prize goes to Anthony with one caveat. This is the number of daily blog posts posted in 2015. Now I would guess that today 2017, almost 2018 ... Yes, congratulations, we all survive 2017. We should pat ourselves on the back for that.

Now it probably stands to reason that this number is at least a million higher, maybe even double. I couldn't find the current number, and I don't think anybody could truly know what it looks like, but the fact is if you publish something new today, you are one of 3 million, at least maybe 4 or 5 million new pieces of content in a day. Holy Moley says, Sam. That's right, Sam. Sam, here we are. This is us. This is you a consultant, a freelancer, the leader of an agency trying to stand out while also doing the books, sending the invoices, doing client delivery, managing people if you have employees or coworkers. You have all these jobs, and meanwhile, you also want to stand out and be noticed so that you can go out and help the people that you know you can help.

Well what's the big problem there? You're competing with people like this. This is Molly Pittman, VP of Marketing at Digital Marketer. Molly's only job is to market and stand out from the crowd. That's her only job. She doesn't do any client services. She doesn't do any bookkeeping. She doesn't write any invoices. She doesn't, I'm guessing, hand write letters to her past clients, all of the things that we do as freelancers and consultants and agencies Molly doesn't have to do. Molly's only job is to kick butt at marketing. Same with Neil Patel who you may have heard of, right?

Now both Neil and Molly market about marketing, very meta I know, but there are people in your industry and in your space who are doing the same thing. Their only job as a professional marketer is to outrank you, is to outshine you, is to out-aware you, get more awareness and more eyeballs to the things that they're doing. You're competing head to head with them because a whole industry told you that what you should be doing is producing this content and hoping that people see it. We know it just doesn't happen that way because you're going up against Molly and Neil, and they also have resources. It sometimes may feel like this. You're pulling as hard as you can, but what you're really pulling is an immovable object.

Why? Well building an audience really comes down to three things: Time plus money plus knowhow. Now let's be honest with ourselves. Are we the best and most capable of devoting the amount of time and money and knowhow to do this really, really well? You don't have to answer. I’ll answer myself. I would say for me, probably not. I don't have an advantage in each of these categories. We're 10 minutes in. You're probably sitting there thinking, “Liston, is there any good news?” Well, the answer is yes and it's called partnership marketing. Before I get into that, I have a quick quiz for you all.

Who is this? I swear there's at least one famous person in this picture who you can recognize. The dog is not the most famous being in this picture. Any guesses? Who is this band? That's a hint. It's a band from the 60s and 70s. Neil Young says Anthony. No. The Beatles. No. Anyone else? The Spice Girls. Anthony, very naughty. Aerosmith, no. This is a band called Derek and the Dominos. Their lead singer, you may have heard of, Eric Clapton, but I had never heard of Derek and the Dominos, so I'll give you an easier one.

Who's this? Anyone. EJ, that's right. Elton John. We all recognize Elton John. Great. By the way, his glasses are amazing. Where can we get a pair of those? That's Elton John and we have Derek and the Dominos, and on December 4th, 1970, they played a show together. This is 100% true. I've never heard Derek and the Dominos. Certainly, we've heard of Eric Clapton, but I've never heard of them. Yet we all know who Elton John is. On December 4th, 1970, Elton John was the opening act for the headliner Derek and the Dominos.

Here's some other famous opening acts you may recognize. The Beatles, The Doors, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Justin Bieber. Pretty much anybody who you would recognize in music started as an opening act somewhere or sometime. This is strategy number one that I want you to take for building your audience, and that is the opening act. Say it with me, “I will not create my audience from scratch.” I’m going to tell you why in a second.

Why be the opening act? The answer is simple. The audience that you want to access, they already exist. When you're the opening act, think about it. Elton John, when he opened for Derek and the Dominos played for the same crowd. He had access to the very same audience that Derek and the Dominos had. Then also you get to develop a relationship with the headliner. As the opening act, you align yourself with someone who already has traction, notoriety, awareness for your business and someone who's already respected by the audience you want to access.

Then let's continue the music metaphor. Once you have your set, in this case your content, as the opening act, you can go on tour with other headliners. You can open up for other people who have other audiences that are somewhat similar to the one you want to access. Most of all, you don't have to build your audience from scratch.

I want you to think about this in two questions. Number one, who can I help? Every relationship, every partnership comes down to this. It starts with who can I help and secondly, how can I help them? There must be alignment and a win-win situation for both parties in order for this to work. When you find your headliner, you're going to need to know who their audience probably is and how you can help both the headliner and the audience. Here's how it works. You've got a big audience, you’ve got a headliner that has awareness and you're on the outside. Neither the headliner nor the audience has likely heard of you. That's okay because if you can help them, then you get to move inside the circle. You get to perform for the audience.

I know this seems a little abstract, and what I want to do is make this very tangible. I'm going to give you a case study here, and that is of a company called Outreach. I was working with a friend named Josh. Josh, I love you too. He's here on this webinar, and as we sat down to think about what would be a good go to market strategy, the question was which headliner do we want to pursue? What was clear to me is we wanted an audience of sales leaders and salespeople. There are lots of sales tools out there, so when I think about finding a headliner or someone's audience that I want to borrow, I ask questions like, “What tools and services do they use? What connections do they already have? What conferences do they go to?” I want to know how I can access that audience.

In this case, Outreach, a category-leading piece of software has 270,000 visitors per month. It's a not a giant number in Internet-speak; however, they have the exact audience we wanted to access. Secondly, they're the market leader in their category. Lastly, they have the perfect audience. As I line up these three parties, this is what I see. Outreach on the left, they have a huge email list. They have an audience of salespeople and sales leaders. They have a relatively new webinar program, which I’ll come back to that in a second, and they have an expanding content program.

What they really want to do is deliver great information to customers, and what they want to do even more than that is convert subscribers into demos because that's the first sign that someone might buy. What does the audience want? Well, they want to be more awesome at sales. They want to be better at their jobs. They want to get paid more. If they sell more, they get paid more. That's what the audience wants. What did sales DNA want? Sales DNA wanted to make sales-people more awesome, perfect alignment with the audience. Sales DNA also wanted to get in front of a bigger audience.

You can see Outreach wants to deliver great information to customers, their audience wants to be more awesome at sales and sales DNA wants to make people more awesome. Perfect alignment there. Also, because Outreach had a relatively new webinar program, there are lots of reasons a headliner will choose an opening act. One of those may be that the headliner doesn't even have enough content to fill the pipeline for their own marketing. As an opening act, you get to do that for them. What we also figured out was sales DNA could bring a fresh perspective that was completely different.

This is the process. Start small, look for other ways to help, develop new relationships internally so that we know more than just one person there, and then find the ultimate win-win. I want you to ask yourself, “How can I make people more awesome?”

This is a book by Kathy Sierra called Badass: Making Users More Awesome. In her career as a user experience designer, which is a fancy way of saying, “I want to make my software really useful and easy to use,” this was her primary question. Rather than saying, “How do I get more people to use my software?” Or rather than saying, “ How can I bug them to the point of submission?” Her question was, “How can I make this software so good that it makes people so much better at the problem that they're trying to solve that they'll never ever even think about leaving?” Very different mindset and this is the kind of mindset that I want you to have.

This is the way it works. I reached out to Mark, the VP of Sales at Outreach, and I asked if he would be on a podcast. He said yes, and so that podcast was published. Shortly after that, before the podcast was even published, I reached out to Chelsea. Chelsea is in charge of the content marketing program at Outreach, and I said, “Hey Chelsea, think it would be really interesting to tell your audience how I used Outreach to land Mark on my podcast, and then I can tell them also how I used Outreach to manage the whole podcast guest acquisition funnel.”

She said, "That's a great idea. We love to show what our customers are doing and no-one's talking about podcasting now. This is awesome." And I said great, so I started working on that. Before I was done with that article I reached out to Chelsea and said, "Hey, Chelsea, I notice you don't have any information on why it's so hard to get your prospect's attention and what to do about it. And yet this is the exact aim of Outreach, right? The reason Outreach exists is to manage the process of gaining attention from new prospects. I think your audience would like this." And she said, "Yeah, that's a great idea. We should."

So you can see I started small. I had Mark on the podcast, published two articles. After that, I pitched the webinar to them and Josh co-presented with Mark, the guy I originally had on the podcast. And that webinar was the most successful one they'd ever had. That brought 450 registrants, 150 attendees. And then we took that list of registrants that they gave us and we ran the webinar again for the people who didn't show up the first time. Now Josh is working on a second webinar with them. What an ideal partner for Josh.

So rather than Josh saying I'm going to go out and build my audience of leaders and salespeople from scratch, we found someone who already did. So that is the opening act model. So basically a headliner provides the audience and you perform. And in this case what performance means is sharing information that you have that's extremely valuable. So that could be articles, that could be podcasts, that could be videos, it could be eBooks or longer form content, it could be special websites. Whatever it is, if you have something valuable and you ask yourself how can I help, that's how to start with this opening act strategy.

Now, at this point you may be saying, "You know what? That's not gonna work for me. I don't have a giant audience because it doesn't exist. No-one's built it and my market is so small and so inaccessible that that is just absolutely not feasible." To which I say, "Start paying attention again." Strategy number two is called the gatekeeper. Why use the gatekeeper strategy? Because gatekeepers hold the keys. So unlike the opening act strategy, we're not performing for a big audience. We're looking to make a small set of extremely important relationships in order to get referrals.

So you would pursue this if you have a small market or audience if they're difficult to find or access. If your people, your potential customers, your prospects, are already in the orbit of another group of people and there's a multiplying effect on each relationship, especially connectors. Quick aside. Network multiplier, so whenever I meet someone, that someone knows other someones. I think we can all agree with that. So I have 2,025 connections on LinkedIn. Let's assume that all of my connections are average, which is, say, about 500 LinkedIn connections. And each one of them has about 500 LinkedIn connections. That means my total accessible network, two people removed, is 506 million. So when we meet one new person, when we meet one new gatekeeper, it's not just one person. There's the potential for many, many more relationships there.

If you haven't seen this movie, I recommend you watch it today. It's called Supermensch. I believe it's still on Netflix and it's about this guy named Shep Gordon. And Shep Gordon is what I would call a super connector. If you've read Malcolm Gladwell's book, The Tipping Point, you're familiar with this concept. But basically, he says some people have so many more connections than everyone else that they are crucial to anything hitting a tipping point or spreading en masse. So just some of Shep's clients, he was a music manager and he managed chefs and basically manages talent. So you may recognize some of these people. Blondie, Luther Vandross, Pink Floyd, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck.

The point is, if I know one Shep Gordon, it's like knowing 10 other talent managers, right? So this will be a natural side-effect of pursuing this gatekeeper strategy. This is the way it works. There's a gatekeeper and then the gatekeeper is connected to the people you want to talk to, right? Your prospects, your potential clients. And gatekeepers will share mutual points of connection. Gatekeepers will know other gatekeepers. So, once again, I want to give you a really concrete example about how this works.

So this is Sam and she owns a company called Red Zest Media. What Sam's superpower is is she helps TEDx speakers give more awesome talks. So if you've heard of TED, they spread great ideas. It's a conference company, I guess, although I think they're a nonprofit. And it became so popular, I'm sure you've seen a TED video or heard about one at some point, that there's now something called TEDx which happens all over the place and all the time. So every week there are multiple TEDx events across the world. Each of those events has speakers who want to be seen in a good light, right? They want to give a great speech, they want the audience to love it and maybe they even want to promote themselves or what they're doing.

So for Sam, the gatekeeper is the event organizers. Her clients are the speakers, so she needs a strategy in order to develop a relationship with the event organizers. Sam and I talked for only about an hour and a half. This entire strategy that you're seeing was put together in one to two hours. I asked Sam what do you have now, right? What do we know about the gatekeepers, these event organizers? What do we know about the speakers? What are their problems, how can you access them? She said, "Well, good news. There's this event coming up and it's called TEDfest, and it's a place for TEDx organizers to get together and share their experiences, and potentially become better TEDx organizers.

And I said, "That sounds amazing. Let's take advantage of that." So here's the plan. We need to determine how to help them, right? Back to that first question, who can I help and how can I help them? So the who is easy in this case. We know it's the event organizers. The how can I help them, we need to figure out. So number two, we want to reconnect with these organizers and, related to that, we want to ask for referrals of the people that we know. And then Sam's going to make sure to connect with them in person at the event.

So number one, determine how to help. Here's what we know. Every event organizer, this is an evergreen problem meaning it will never go away, they will always experience this, they want to make their event better, right? They want people to be more blown away by the speakers, they want it to feel professional, they want it to be exciting, they want it to be useful. And so two things that go into that. One is the speakers need to really deliver, and we know that the speakers need some help. And also the event organizers, they have virtually no support. So they have to raise the money, they have to book the speakers, they have to book the venue, they have to do all of the event planning in addition to making it look great. So maybe that's a place Sam can help because they have no support with design, just like they have no support for most other things.

So Sam's going to put together a checklist for the event organizers to help polish the speakers. She will also give them a template that makes all of the slides that you see in between each speaker look absolutely professional and amazing, right? It frames the event in the best possible light. She'll give that for free and this is going to be her strategy for helping the event organizers. So then this is our playbook. She made an inventory of the people that she knew already who were event organizers and we have a two-prong strategy. One is to reach out to them and connect with them at the event, and the other is to ask them for referrals of other event organizers that maybe they know who are coming to TEDfest.

So this is the exact email script Sam's going to be sending. "Hey Scott, I'm getting excited for the upcoming TEDfest event. Will I see you there? Just curious - do you know any other organizers headed to the event? I only ask because I want to make sure to talk to anyone you think is awesome." Now, if she gets a positive response to that, we're ready for that as well. So Sam says, "Thanks Scott! If you're up for it, could you send a mutual intro email? All you have to do is copy and paste this text." And the text there is, "Hi there, I was talking to Sam about TEDfest." Remember, this is coming from one organizer to another. "I was talking to Sam about TEDfest and we're going to meet up there. Since you're also a TEDx organizer, I thought you two should meet. Sam helped me tame the chaos of organizing my speakers' presentations and made them look like they were ready for the biggest TED stage. You could say - for a moment at least - she brought the joy of dealing with speakers back into my life. I'll let the two of you take it from here."

So the intention of this email is to not only introduce Sam, but also give the person a very solid idea of what Sam could do for them. So she gets a response to this. Or, actually, whether she gets a response or not she's going to go ahead and email the person who was introduced. So let's say it's Dustin. "Hey Dustin, I'm getting excited for the upcoming TEDx event. Will I see you there? Just curious - would you like to meet up? I've worked with Scott at TEDx and another proof point, another person she's worked with, to help them put on a stunning event. And I'd love to share some ideas with you. You could take 'em for free or just pretend you like 'em." So Sam's giving them an out, right?

So number four, what happens once she connects in person? This is all deepening this gatekeeper relationship, right? That's the whole goal here. So instead of when someone says, "What do you do?" Instead of that, ask a question. And I've got to give full credit to Josh Braun on this one. Thank you, Josh, because it is the absolute best way I've ever heard of introducing yourself at a networking event. So if Sam gets asked what do you do, rather than saying I do graphic design and help speakers give a better talk, she could say something like, "Have you ever organized a TEDx event?" "Yeah." "And did you feel like it was really difficult to get all your speakers ready and have them fit into their time slot, and still make an amazingly beautiful presentation so that everybody at the event was wowed by how great your TEDx event was?" "Yeah." And then Sam says, "Well, that's exactly what I can do. That's my job is to help you do that."

And at the end, after she parts ways with whoever she met, she's going to ask a question like this. Would it be helpful if? Right? So what she wants to do is give the slides and the checklist that she made, and she also wants to get the person's contact info. That is the absolutely critical part of all of this is to get the person's contact info.

So that is the gatekeeper strategy. So just to compare the two, the gatekeeper means meeting and helping people with access to your market or audience. The opening act means you're performing for your audience, right? There's no separation between the two. So whereas with the Outreach example, Josh or I were performing for the audience, giving the content directly to the audience, in Sam's example she is reliant on the gatekeepers to make introductions because she's so fricking useful, right? This is very, very different. So at this point, I've been to lots of webinars and I often go, "Okay, so what? Like I knew all of that. What should I do now?" And so here's what I want you to do. I want to make this exceedingly simple for you. Number one, who can you help? This is a question you should be thinking about constantly in your business, right? So I want you to think about who can I help? Once you figure that out, the next obvious question is how can you help them? What can you do to improve something for someone, or solve a problem for them? And number three, contact one single person.

I was asked this yesterday. I was asked what are the best steps I should take to build a professional network? Great question, but I think it's the wrong approach. A professional network is a big blob or body of people, right? Every relationship, on the other hand, starts with one-on-one contact. Starts with me talking to someone else and seeing if we like each other, if there's anything we can do each other. Seeing if I can help this person. So when you think about building a professional network, I want you to get rid of that thought and ask who is the one single person that I can help, and what can I do for them?

So that is the big takeaway, right, is it's really about key relationships. The trouble, of course, is we don't know which relationships are going to work out, and that's part of the process. Nothing in life is 100% guaranteed. But we also know that nothing good starts until there is a one-on-one relationship.

So I have a question from Anthony here. And by the way, at this point in the webinar you are free to ask any questions. I don't have any more content other than to tell you how I might be able to help you in the near future. But I'm going to go ahead and answer this question from Anthony. He says, "I get to know the gatekeepers at events, sales events, largely for people selling to my industry. How do I go from ..." And then, Anthony, I think it got cut off. Can I ... Anthony, would you mind coming on screen actually and asking your question? Anthony, you there?

Yeah. Hi there, Liston, how are you?

I'm good. How are you?

Yeah, very well. Okay, so you've turned off video. That's fine. Okay, so my question is this. Thank you so much for the webinar. Absolutely awesome. Very simple. As usual, very clear. You're very persuasive. So I make a point when I go to networking events. I always make a point of meeting the organizers. Usually, I might even promote it beforehand or I might share something afterward. So I get to know them and they get to know me, even if there's like 150 people there. But how do I be the supporting act for their audience when they've already got like a mountain of wonderful material?

Well, the painfully obvious answer is how can you make better material than what they have? Or how can you bring a different perspective?

Okay.

So Philip and I were talking. You know Phillip Morgan. We were talking last night on our podcast about what creates an influencer. Like why do some people start to wield interest in the marketplace?

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

And, you know-

Start to wield interest in the marketplace.

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

And you know, I really think it comes down to three things. One is controversy. So you could ... you know, I didn't make the point very strongly here, but one of the points I am making underlying this, is the idea of volume marketing should just be dead to all of us, right?

Yeah.

That's over. It's gotta be about a small number of really direct relationship.

Yeah, so ...

Controversy or ... Go ahead.

Thank you for giving me permission to abandon the idea of volume marketing a long time ago, but thank you for giving us permission.

Yeah, totally. So controversy could be one. You know, I think having a special kind of magnetic or charismatic personality, which is difficult. And if you're very polarizing, I think that's another way. But you know, I think the most common way people really start to gain interest, is they have a fresh perspective on something. I'll give you an example. I was reading a book by Ryan Holiday recently. I'm a big Ryan Holiday fan. Like his last three books, three or four books, they've all been research-based. So he's not saying something brand new like he did in the believe me I'm lying book. He's in the most recent books, he's just bringing a fresh perspective, his own take on something we already knew about. Which was, whatever, stoicism, or how to create evergreen content or whatever.

And so, you know, I think having that is really part of the key to stand out from the crowd, but also asking, right? If you go to these gatekeepers who you have a relationship with, start with a high-level question like, when are you gonna start looking for speakers? And that tells them indirectly, right, that you're interested in speaking at their event. And then the conversation, excuse me, can move forward from there.

Yeah, okay. That's ... That's really good. When you say controversy, and I know that Philip Morgan has mentioned that many times. A contrary position. A contrary position doesn't necessarily mean that you've got to be aggressive, or that you're political or anything like that. I mean, it could be something like, well, say in my space, I believe that IT people can make the transition across the dark side of sales. And most ... There's a contrary position, because most, I'd say people that say, "I hate sales," never got to touch it.

Great.

And I can't do it.

Yeah, that's perfect. Yeah, I mean, that's controversial. You know, I also think of, you know, basically it's just saying something opposite of the status quo, right?

Yeah.

So that, there are lots of examples of that. I think, Jason talking about how can I work less not more, is a big one. How do I create a distraction-free environment? Like we were anti-notification, which is something that you don't hear a lot from tech people. So yeah, I think those would represent ... Basically challenging some sort of status quo idea or behemoth, right? Yeah.

Thank you. Fantastic, thank you so much Liston.

Cool, yeah, you're absolutely welcome. Thank you. So I don't have any other, oh, I have a question from Tristan. So Tristan asks if you're using the strategy to meet people at an event, do you think you should limit to maybe five to 10-time slots, and chase weeds to fill them, or just offer more as you know people will say no? When you say ... Tristan, I'm gonna invite you on here. Lucy, smart question. I'm gonna get to that in a second. So Tristan, I'm going to invite you on, as I fumble through this. Tristan you there?

Hey there Liston.

Hey, how are you?

I'm good, thanks, yourself?

I'm good, thanks for staying up late.

Indeed. Finish the day. Yup, no, it was more that, you could say you got your 10 prime slots and you're just gonna target getting people to book into those, and if they don't, you have this free time during the day, and probably you'll meet up then anyway with other people, or randomly bump into things. Or do you, in a sense oversubscribe the slots, in a sense you might end up giving a follow-up email to ... This is expecting that lots of people reply, they may not. Going, sure, meet me at 10 o'clock ... To a few people, and then first come first served, but then you may find you've overbooked it, or several people say yes, and you're like, "Well, I can't meet you all." Then you got oh well, could I then follow that up with rearranging it or something.

Whether to just be focused in this, or whether to be slightly more accepting that it is marketing outreach, and so it's probably more likely that some people will say no at a certain point, or not value meeting up quite as much as with other people they already know?

Sure, yeah. So I would work, or worry about that once it happens. Worrying about whether ... How are you going to accommodate if you get a flood of people who want to meet with you at a conference, or at an event? Personally, I've never had the problem where I couldn't accommodate everybody who I reached out to, or reached out to me. So I would say that's, cross that bridge when you come to it because if you have the problem where too many people wanna meet with you, you probably want to figure out a way to accommodate them, right? Or maybe you could say to some people, oh no, turns out I'm totally booked, I'm so sorry, what's the best way for us to meet. You know, do you want to have lunch together at the conference, something like that. Or go to a session together, something ... I mean, there's all kinds of ways that you can make that happen, but I wouldn't worry about that right now.

I was only thinking of it as a metric of working out how many people to contact in the first place. Because if I decided I only had five slots, then maybe in the first place, only contact 20 or 50 people, rather than contacting ...

I'd say 20 would be good. 25% take rate would be pretty good if you only had five slots.

Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think I would try that first, and then it's easier to be personal back to them. There's no point targeting everyone on a speaker list, or invite list or something, just for the sake of just managing, I think it's ... You're trying to be personal. Yeah. Anyway.

Yup.

Thank you.

Cool, yeah, you're very welcome. All right, so Lucy asked, and I almost addressed this Lucy, right in the webinar, because I thought someone might ask this, so thank you for asking. She said, "Is this webinar an example of your strategy?" So, I'm not sure what you're implying there exactly, but basically, I had already had access to various audiences that I didn't build from scratch. I could trace back, you know, a lot of people are here because of some mentorship things that I've done. Some people are here because they've seen me on blogs. Like the opening act strategy, where I was in front of an audience.

They signed up for my email list and they've been following me for months or years. So you know, it's something that built over time, Lucy, to answer your question. And what I'm trying to do here is ... It's a good example. Lucy says it's a good example. Okay, great. I'm not sure how that red thing appeared on my screen, but that's amazing. Great, so yeah, I would say this is an example of my strategy because I've already borrowed platforms to get to this point. So I'm gonna say done to there.

Mike Russell asks, "Could I compare and contrast podcast outreach, which is something that Kai Davis advocates, with opening act strategy itself, is podcast outreach an example of your opening act strategy, or is there more of a difference between the two?" Okay, so I'm gonna answer that in a second. And I'm just gonna throw this up on the screen, so if anybody wants to talk to me directly about how to implement this yourself, just go to liston.io/talk, and you can book a calendar right on my, or book an appointment right on my calendar. So Mike, to answer your question, the answer is, yes it is an example with a little bit of a caveat.

So one thing that, you know, in the example I gave of outreach, that it's hugely beneficial is, you can continue to create more content and perform for the same audience over and over again, so you get repeated exposure to the same audience, and we know it's the same, because it's always with outreach. I did a similar thing with Ontraport, which is a marketing automation software. I wrote a couple articles for them, the first article was the most successful one they had ever had. And then I said, "Hey, why don't we do some webinars together?" And I got to do four webinars for their audience.

Now, the reason that's valuable is because of that repeated exposure and that deepening relationship with folks at a single company or organization. With podcasting, sure you can go on tour, you can choose a couple different ideas that you want to talk about, and so there's consistency when you go around, and you're driving people back to a commonplace. So for Kai, I think it's double your audience, I'm not sure exactly what he's doing when he goes on podcasts now, but ... I'd say the key difference is, there isn't a lot of further leverage with a lot of those relationships with podcasts, although you still get access to the audience.

So in that way, the performing for someone's audience, it is exactly the same, and I think it is extremely valuable. Mike, does that answer your question? Yes. Wonderful. Okay, great. So any other questions, that anyone here has on their mind? Try to keep this short, so I could answer all of your questions as they came up. By the way, thank you Vincent for checking us out, thank you Dallas. Thank you Adam again, thank you Michael. Oh, okay, great question Mike. You're welcome Sam, thanks for coming. So Mike asks, as a follow-up to that last question. " Are headliners vary of sharing their audience with opening acts?"

And the answer is, yeah of course they are. They spent all this time building their audience, and so ... You know, I want to go back to this. Often the best way, if you feel that you're looking for access to an audience that's owned by someone who seems a little inaccessible, the best thing to do is really to start small. And so my strategy typically has been either with podcast outreach, having people on my podcast, or writing an article for them, and working up from there. Basically, people want proof that you're going to do a good job, and that you're not at risk, and that you're gonna deliver on time. And if they're writing you into ... Thank you Lucy. If they're writing you into their marketing plans, they need to make sure you're gonna show up, and that you're gonna kick butt.

So starting small is the best way to prove that to them. You get the benefit, let's say you publish an article, you get the benefit of a link back to your site, you get the benefit of accessing their audience, you get to deepen that relationship and start to throw around ideas with that person you were working with, on how to expand that relationship, right, and how to share more content, and how to play to their audience a lot more. So that's what I would suggest Mike, is looking for that small thing that you can pitch to people, and see if you can expand from there. But the key, of course, is really choosing a small number of very targeted relationships or partnerships that are gonna make the most difference.

Because we only have so much time to do this, and if you choose wisely like I have a friend who is a film editor, his name is Zach. And Zach also teaches other film editors how to be more productive at their jobs, because as you might imagine, editing a film requires tons and tons of organization, right. So it's an easy thing to lose track of. And one of the places where he had a content partnership was with Trello. And he's done, you know, 20 or 50 guest recordings on podcasts, and done guest blogs, but he says, you know, that one Trello article was worth pretty much everything else he's ever done.

And it took a while to develop that partnership, but once he has it, now he's kind of the go-to resident expert for creatives on how to use Trello to improve your process. So that's just a single example of the value and power of these relationships and focusing. Mike asked, Anthony that's a good question in Zoom's chat, "What was your positioning at the start of about five relationships?" Yeah, so what I do is I help people create the partnerships and or relationships that are gonna make the biggest difference in their business.

So if anybody on this call needs that kind of help, the best thing to do is for us to talk first, and see if there's anything I can do to help you, and the answer to that may be no, but all we would do in the beginning is to have a conversation. And my goal in all of these, so like when I talk to Sam, we decided that the gatekeeper strategy was best. So having a very small number of these one on one relationships made a lot of sense, right? There's no huge group of Ted Ex organizers out there in an audience. So we could, you know, the opening act strategy wouldn't work for Sam.

But for sales DNA, it totally works, right? So in the call, I would work with you to determine who's your market, what do you have to say to them, how could they be accessed and what are the steps you can take to access them. So, there you go, yeah, five partnerships or relationships, it just depends on the nature of your business and your market. Does that answer your question Mike? Excellent. Cool. Well, unless there are any other questions here, I'm gonna get going, because I need to lay in bed and take a nap because I'm sick. I think maybe the biggest benefit of all of this is, if I did this face to face, you'd all be sick afterward, but no health code violations here.

So thank you so much for showing up. I really really appreciate it. Do pop over to liston.io/talk if there's any reason for us to chat, I would welcome the opportunity, and I hope you all have a great day. Bye.