Making Your Brand Referable

With Michael Roderick, the CEO of Small Pond Enterprises which helps thoughtful givers become thought leaders by making their brands referable, their messaging memorable, and their ideas unforgettable. He is also the host of the podcast Access to Anyone which shows how you can get to know anyone you want in business and in life using time-tested relationship-building principles. Michael’s unique methodology comes from his own experience of going from being a High School English teacher to a Broadway Producer in under two years.

Join us for this super enjoyable conversation about how to create a brand that is memorable, that gets referred, and that creates influence instead of relying on persuasion. You will not want to miss Michael’s walk-through of his own framework, which models the work he teaches to others in simplifying their brand messaging, and creating ideas that are easy to share.

We discuss the importance of packaging your ideas and intellectual property, how your business is like a broadway show, and the importance of structure when sharing ideas. Michael will have you thinking about your business in a whole new way, and will give you actionable takeaways that will help you simplify what you are already doing, and bring a level of focus to your messaging and ideas that you may not have had before.

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Biggest takeaways (or quotes) you don’t want to miss:

  • Why titles are so important.
  • Learn about “the agenda effect.”
  • How your “side dish” can become your “main dish.” 🙂 Don’t miss this!
  • What makes for a refer-able brand? You do not want to miss final third of our conversation where Michael shares his framework for creating a referable brand, and discusses true influence vs. persuasion.
  • “What we want to do is create an idea that makes other people look good by sharing it.”
  • Once you simplify something (your ideas, packaging of your IP, etc), your sales cycle moves so much faster.

Check out these highlights:

  • 7:21 “Everybody’s business is that Broadway show. Would anyone buy a ticket?”
  • 16:36 If I taught what I knew, I always found that there were a handful of people that asked “Can I do this WITH you?” and wanted more support.
  • 19:48 There is nothing that is original in the traditional sense. But there are words that we use, and ways that we position things that “give people an access point” to the idea.
  • 29:10 “Patterns are the precursors to frameworks.” And most of the time, we don’t pay attention to our patterns.
  • 35:15 We often de-prioritize the packaging of our intellectual property. And in some cases you are leaving massive amounts of money on the table.
  • 39:40 If you have your own words for things, you are going to have people coming to you all the time.
  • 41:00 What do you need in order to create a referable brand? Don’t miss Michael’s walk through of his fabulous framework!!
  • 57:00 We need structure. “If we don’t give our audience a structure for what we are teaching, they will forget about it.” (Make sure you listen for Michael’s framework and structure, which he summarizes here.)

How to get in touch with Michael:

On social media:

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On Facebook:


How referable is your brand? Get access to Michael’s FREE Quiz at his Referability Rater here

Imperfect Show Notes

We are happy to offer these imperfect show notes to make this podcast more accessible to those who are hearing impaired or those who prefer reading over listening. While we would love to offer more polished show notes, we are currently offering an automated transcription (which likely includes errors, but hopefully will still deliver great value), below.

GGGB Intro 0:00
Coming up today on Guts, Grit & Great Business…

Michael Roderick 0:03
And I have seen numerous instances where somebody is a process or something that they do. And they charge $500 for it, maybe 1000. And then they look at it, they put a process behind it, they give it some packaging, they give it some positioning, they take the exact same thing. And they’re charging $5,000 for it, they’re charging $10,000 for a weekend and pensive of going down that process of working with a group. And it’s one of those things where it’s so easy, I think, for entrepreneurs, because we are very, you know, immediate gratification focused right? to just be like, I’m going to do the work, I’m going to get the money, I’m going to do the work, I’m going to get the money. Rather than saying I’m going to do the work that’s going to get me more money.

GGGB Intro 0:57
The Adventure of entrepreneurship and building a life and business you love, preferably at the same time is not for the faint of heart. That’s why Heather Pearce Campbell is bringing you a dose of guts, grit and great business stories that will inspire and motivate you to create what you want in your business and life. Welcome to the guts, grit and great business podcast where endurance is required. Now, here’s your host, The Legal Website Warrior®, Heather Pearce Campbell.

Heather Pearce Campbell 1:24
Hello and welcome. I am Heather Pearce Campbell, The Legal Website Warrior®. I’m an attorney and legal coach based here in Seattle, Washington and working with entrepreneurs around the world. Welcome to another episode of Guts, Grit and Great Business. Today, I am so happy to bring you my friend Michael Roderick and Michael and I first met through a mastermind group and he’s been one of my favorite people. And we’ve since made other friends in the group. And I feel like it’s a little love fest whenever I get to hang out with Michael, because I’m such a fan of your work, Michael, I’ve been inside your group online, I’ve attended some of your online events. And I just I really love what you’re up to and the way that you help people in our space. So for those of you that don’t know, Michael, Michael is the CEO of small pond enterprises, which helps thoughtful givers become thought leaders by making their brands referral, their messaging memorable and their ideas unforgettable. He is also the host of the podcast access to anyone, which shows how you can get to know anyone you want in business and in life using time tested relationship building principles. Michael’s unique methodology comes from his own experience of going from being a high school English teacher to a Broadway producer in under two years. So Michael lives in New York, and we were just chatting about what life in New York is like recently. But Michael, welcome. I am so happy to have you here. Yeah, thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here. Yeah, absolutely. So what do you love about your work? And I know you and I have chatted a bit about this. And I love the clarity that you bring to your clients, because I feel like so much of what, you know, especially in the I’ll just call it the online information entrepreneur space. I think so much of your success hinges on whether people get what you do, whether they understand it quickly. Right. And whether you are using your words in the right way to talk to exactly the right people, and these are the problems that you help with. But so I love the clarity that you bring, what is it that you love about your work?

Michael Roderick 3:56
Yeah, I love the fact that there’s always a new puzzle that I I’ve always been the type of person who loves the idea of sort of like diving down the rabbit hole, right? And, and sort of figuring out like, how do these things work? And sort of like what, you know what clicks and what doesn’t? So for me, and when somebody comes to me and says, This isn’t connecting, you know, with with my audience, this isn’t quite working. I love being able to pick it apart, and basically saying, like, what are the things that we’re not looking at? Because I think that that’s actually one of the biggest elements? I think so. So often we spend so much time looking at the things that are there, and we don’t spend enough time thinking about like, what are the things that are not there? What are the gaps in the silences, right that we’re just not noticing? And I love doing that kind of work. It’s it’s one of my favorite things.

Heather Pearce Campbell 4:53
Oh, I love your perspective on that. I’m laughing a little bit because inside my head, that’s part of my job right in the league. Don’t feel like I think about like the number of contracts I’ve reviewed or the things I’ve drafted for people. And so often, the problem is in what is not there? Not in what is there. And so I love that you bring that perspective to your work as well. I mean, I think it’s clear from your background like you’ve I’m just guessing you’ve always had a love for language, right? Going from being a high school English teacher, can you talk to us a little bit about that? Where did your love language and words come from?

Michael Roderick 5:32
Yeah, so I was reading from a very, very young age, I actually remember being in grade school, and having the kids go to the teacher and ask if I could read out loud in the sort of like little round robin groups that they that they used to do. Because I would always act out the stories and sort of just read everything in this like very animated, you know, animated kind of way. And throughout, from when I was young, all the way through, I always would just be reading so many different types of things. And I’ve always been fascinated with language, I’ve always been very, very interested in sort of, how do words have the level of power, you know, that they do, and so many different in so many different areas. So I think I’ve just always thought so much about it ever since I was very, very young. And it’s, you know, it’s it. It’s this thing where over time, you don’t realize how you know how much you’ve done, right? Like you go, you sort of look back, and you’re just like, you’re like, Oh, that’s right, I did that. And I did that. And I did that. And you start to have this realization that all of these things have come together to help me do the work that I do today. And I just think, you know, back to the times when I worked in Broadway, and how titles were everything in Broadway. So if you had a show and your audience didn’t understand the title, or a tourist could, you know see a poster and didn’t know what they were getting the showed in and sell you didn’t do you know you didn’t do well. And what I realized, as I started to do more of this work with business owners, was that everybody’s business is that Broadway show? And the question you always have to ask is, would anybody buy a ticket? So I’m always loving this aspect of like, looking at the language and being like, Well, what do you call it? Like, how does it you know, and how does it trigger something in people’s mind? How does it encourage that sort of level of curiosity? So that’s always something that I’ve just loved ever since I was very, very young.

Heather Pearce Campbell 7:49
Hmm. Well, there’s a couple pieces in there that I want to dig into. But one, the concept of your business is a Broadway show. I mean, I never thought about Broadway, or the title of a show or the title, the movie or whatever, basically, being that, you know, five second opportunity to catch somebody’s attention and keep it but you’re exactly right. Like, that’s it. And if you if you miss it there, you may be missing a whole bunch of other opportunity with that particular potential client or marketplace or whatever. I also am loving the fact that since a young age, you were the kid that could read well, that probably did all the intonation the right way. You know, I, we were talking parenting a little bit. And I have a kid who’s eight and then a daughter who’s three and was really funny. When my son was learning to read write it. Everything was like so flat. You’re so focused just on the word. And as he’s, as he’s progressing, he’s now reading to his sister. Oh, he is putting on accents and like a robot and reading that book, you know, I mean, it’s it’s so fun to see that progression. But no wonder kids loved you from a young age and reading. You can make it so much more fun. Yeah. So English teacher light of high school English teacher, Broadway. Talk to us about I mean, I’d like to know about that leap for one, but also the leap from Broadway into what you’re doing now.

Michael Roderick 9:23
Sure, sure. So one of the things that I learned specifically about Broadway was that the way that Broadway producing specifically worked was all about raising money. And a lot of the time when people sort of think of producers they think of them as just sort of already having the money it’s and and most of the media that sort of presents the idea of a producer sort of has this image of like, here’s this person that just writes checks, right? And there are a lot of producers where it’s actually their job to find people who have the funds and get a group of those people together to Basically invest in a Broadway show and sort of get that show, get that show off the ground. So the thing that I had learned about the industry was that all of the up and coming producers had one thing that mattered more to them than anything else. And that was credit. So the idea was that you would go to another producer, and you’d basically say, Hey, I’m gonna raise this amount of money if you are willing to put my name above the title, or my name on this project, or I get to partner with you or, or something of that nature. And when I saw that, I realized, well, that kind of is a bit of a barrier to entry. Because if you’re trying to develop a relationship, you’re going to be pretty discerning about sort of Who are you going to let raise money for you if their name is also going to be on it? Right? So I had this idea where I, where I basically said, What if I didn’t ask for credit. And all I did was asked for deal flow. So I went to producers, and I basically said, Listen, I don’t really care about having my name on that anything, I just want to get better at raising money. And what happened was, all of these producers basically gave me their paperwork on shows, and said, Here, good, you know, good luck, if you can bring me an investor, fantastic, you know, kind of thing like, and, and there wasn’t that pressure, because I wasn’t saying I’m going to raise this money, I said, I’m going to try. And as a result, I had a portfolio of shows. So now when I went to an investor, I could say, Yep, that one isn’t a fit for you, I’ve got four others that might be. So I was able to raise money a lot faster than a lot of my colleagues, because I had a portfolio of shows as opposed to just trying to get people to invest in one show. So what that did was it built a massive amount of credibility. And eventually, I was approached very quickly by some other producers who basically said, you know, we know that you can raise money. If you can raise this much on this project, we’re happy to give you the credit. And that’s how that moved so much faster than than anything else. So where this tied into the business, that the the work that I ended up doing, and sort of how I kind of took that leap into entrepreneurship was everybody asked me how I was getting in all these doors, how I was meeting these people. So I started basically, in the relationship building space. And I started hosting workshops and simulating networking experiences, and, and creating all these relationship building frameworks. And I thought for a very long time that that was the thing. But as I looked back, I realized that the reason that I ended up in the rooms that I ended up in was that people would talk about me when I wasn’t in the room, in a good way. And that’s where this idea of refer ability came to the fore, where I started to say, yes, relationship building is an important part of the equation. But if people aren’t excited to meet you, if people don’t feel honored to introduce you to others, because you have these really interesting ideas, or because other people have talked about you, it doesn’t matter how good you are at the networking piece, or the relationship building piece, you’re always going to kind of stay at the same level. So once I shifted in that direction, I found that I loved that work. I love that aspect of figuring out okay, how do I package this idea? How do I position this person so that their genius is everywhere that other people want to talk about them and share their ideas and do things with them? Mm hmm.

Heather Pearce Campbell 13:45
Well, couple parts of that, that stand out to me, one is the creativity that you took to just call it a model. Right. And I think a lot of people you’re right, don’t know that about Broadway. It’s not just a bunch of people sitting on money waiting to hand it out, right? Yep. It’s a business like anything else. And the money has to come from somewhere. And folding in this aspect of understanding that the root of what got you from point A to point B so quickly, first of all, was being really human about it, right. And this this fact of emphasis on the relationship building I mean, it takes me back to reading, right How to Win Friends and Influence People, any anybody that has read that or a similar book that’s really about like anything in life, like give first, you know, do it first like build the relationship from the standpoint of giving and serving first is exactly what you were doing and obviously, worked really, really well. But I love the fact that the the piece that clicked for you about you like yes, that’s essential, and not enough. It’s not the year Right. And so this layering on of the fact that to really do what you want to do people have to be saying good things about you when you’re not there. So did businesses when you started working in the business world? First of all, I want to know a little bit about how that leap was made. How did you decide to leave the Broadway scene and really get more into business and entrepreneurship?

Michael Roderick 15:24
Yeah. So interestingly enough, it started more as a experiment, because I had been writing a blog. So I’ve been writing a blog as a producer, called one producer in the city. And every once in a while, I’d share some like, basically some basic kind of networking advice, or I’d be like, Oh, this is something I think you should do. And I would get all these people saying, Can I take you out for coffee? Can I meet with you, right? Like I have like this, like massive sort of inflow of individuals. And I just kind of started, you know, meeting people for coffee and giving them advice and sort of helping them kind of think through ideas. And at one point, somebody said to me, You know, I would pay you for this, like, this is really useful, I’m going to make a lot of money because of this thing that you just said, you know, maybe you should charge and that was kind of my first foray into it, where I was like, Oh, well, this is kind of interesting. Maybe I could, and because I had had that teaching background, I just kind of put together, you know, workshops, and, and some basic sort of offerings to be like, yeah, I’ll teach you what I know. Right? And what I always find found was that if I taught what I knew, in some kind of workshop setting, or in some cases, just a presentation, a free setting a speech, whatever it was, there was always a handful of people who basically were like, Can I do this with you? Can I work with you on this? Can you help me figure this out for myself? And that’s really where I started to figure out, oh, there’s there. There’s the coaching model, right? Like, there’s the there’s not only the teaching of like, here’s the information, but there’s also the aspect of like, everybody has their own very, very unique situation that has all of these tiny variables and moving parts. And they want somebody who can come in and sort of see what it looks like the metaphor they often use, is that in our own business is our faces are pressed up against the TV screen. And all we can see are colored pixels, because we’re too close to our business. So we need people who are standing behind us to tell us what’s on TV, or more importantly, let us know if we need to change the channel. And I realized that was who I was, that was what I did best was sort of looking at things with that outside eye, which coincidentally, was exactly what I did as a producer, exactly what I did as a professor, exactly what I did as a teacher, right? Like all of these instances, all of these things, like when I was a director, when I was working on projects, every time it came down to me having an outside eye on something that somebody else was doing, and being able to give notes and mention, here’s something to think about. Here’s something that I don’t see, here’s something that you know, here’s something that’s missing. And that’s really where it all kind of started.

Heather Pearce Campbell 18:25
Yeah. Well, I mean, I love that first of all, people can see your genius, and they can also see how it helped them. And I think a lot of people like when you reflect back on your path, I think a lot of people get those little nudges of somebody seeing something in them, that turns out to be a major opportunity, right? Yeah, and a major need in the marketplace. Because when you have people asking for something that you’re just doing naturally, because it’s fun for you, or you have the expertise to be able to drop some real truth bombs or whatever, they’re, you know, they’re gonna be there to eat it up. And the other point that you made about teaching it, because I like I know. And I can see in you how much of a teacher you are. And what I know about any area of work is that people want to be taught, they want to learn, but there’s a certain percentage that want much more than that. Yeah, they’re the hand raisers that are like, you know, I don’t just need any information. I need you to do this with me or do it for me, right. And this is, I think, in my opinion, what businesses are built around, right. And people get very afraid to share their special sauce or to teach their formula because they think that they’re giving it all away. And it’s like, no, that’s just Oh,

Michael Roderick 19:46
yeah, yeah. And the thing is, you whatever your intellectual property is, right, whatever you’ve, you know, whatever you’ve created. Somebody has created something, almost the exact same thing. They’ve called it something different. There is actually nothing that is original in sort of the traditional sense. But there are words that we use, there are ways that we position things that cause people to say that is different than this race. Yeah. And and that’s all that it actually is. Right? It’s, it’s really just you’re sharing this idea. That is actually it’s been there forever. But you’re giving people an access point to that idea, that they’re just like, Oh, now I get it. Yeah, right.

Heather Pearce Campbell 20:35
And I love I love the way you describe that you’re giving them an access point. Because I, you know, some of the work I do is obviously teaching people from the legal side about intellectual property and how it applies to their business and how to protect it and all of that good stuff. And the thing I say, because copyrights you go study our copyright system. copyrights don’t protect the idea, they protect your unique expression of that idea. And so people can get very offended in the marketplace, when they see somebody else having a similar idea or something that they think is the same idea. And it’s like, no, the idea itself is not protectable, the way that you’re protected is through your unique expression. And just like that gives you a right to copyright, it is also what can set you apart in relation to that idea, or, you know, that piece of the marketplace, because like you said, it gives people access point. So I love that piece about the access that you are through a framework or through, you know, a proprietary approach to a specific idea that you’re right. No ideas are really new. But our particular twist on that idea could be And that, to me, that is where the power comes from. And it is why the work that you do, and I think the extra time that anybody can spend really digging into the way that they present ideas through their business is just so worth it.

Michael Roderick 22:08
Yeah. And what you’re bringing up is, is a really, really important point, which has to do with the fact that we very rarely, and actually, this ties a lot to legal as well, we very rarely pay attention to the before. And all the foundational, right, we always are sort of in this mode of like fixing or trying to solve the problem in the moment, as opposed to saying, what could I do ahead of time, that would actually make this a lot easier when I actually have to do the execution part of it. And the number of people who end up not being able to sell their product or their service, because they didn’t do that initial work is absolutely staggering, right? You meet people all the time, who they get, they get out of some sort of coaching certification or the you know, they learn to you know, they decide like they’re going to go off on their own, or whatever it is. And they don’t take the time to ask, how are people going to understand this? They just think, Oh, well, you know, I know what I’m doing. And people are gonna trust me. So I’m just gonna tell them, you know, you should pay me to do these things.

Heather Pearce Campbell 23:21
Well, and the thing that’s so interesting about this topic that you’re talking about right here is that, like, you just look at human nature, right, just like step back and look at things kind of on a broader perspective. When there’s a system, when there’s a framework, like when there’s this proven path, like how much we’re comfortable, do we feel? Yep, yep. I want to talk to a doctor who just, you know, we had to take a pause, and we’re talking about medical stuff, I want to talk to a doctor who has a very specific approach to the way they deal with this problem, because they’ve done it 1000 times I don’t want like, oh, maybe we’ll try it. You know, it’s, it is interesting, because you can see that when you look at applicability to like the broader world, but in our business, we can just get this so wrong.

Michael Roderick 24:10
Yeah, yeah. And what you’re talking about is something I like to refer to as the agenda effect. So when I used to teach high school, one of the best ways that I was able to control my classroom was by putting an agenda on the board when the students arrived that literally told them, these are each of the things that you’re going to learn and this is how long we’re going to spend on each of those things. And because there was no sense of like, I don’t know when this class is going to end, I don’t know what’s coming next. my classroom was so much better behaved and so much more focused. Right? And it’s the same concept when you it’s that it’s that when you show people, this is the journey, this is where it begins. This is the middle and this is the end. And they feel so much more confident. Because they’re like, I can trust you, because you’ve given me the guardrails, I know that you’re not going to take me down this long winding path of uncertainty. And especially if somebody is in the coaching space or the consulting space, you can bet that before somebody came to you, the they’ve come to a coach who didn’t have a process, who basically sent them around in circles, dozens and dozens and dozens of times. So they’re sitting there saying, Okay, well, what are you going to do? And sort of how are you going to handle this? Because I don’t want to I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole, again, want to know what comes next? Well,

Heather Pearce Campbell 25:45
Yes, what you’re talking about, and having, you know, consumer confidence, nobody wants to be lost in the weeds. Nobody wants to be trying thing a trying thing be trying to like, they just want the solution. And it’s it’s on us as business owners to put, you know, put the solution out there in a way that helps them recognize we have the solution, right? It is interesting, because when you operate a business, basically without systems without anything, and this is to me really one more way, in a sense to systematize what you do, right, put it inside of a framework, put it inside of a system, put it inside of a roadmap, whatever you want to call it, that gives somebody the confidence that, you know, they they can believe you know what you’re doing, and you’re going to take them down the right path and not into the weeds. I had this conversation with a potential client recently who ended up becoming a client. And they would ask me, you know, different questions. And I was like, Oh, I have a whole process for that. Here’s, you know, and I can walk them through exactly what the experience was going to be like. And by the end of the call, and it didn’t really matter what area like whether we were talking about website protection, whether we were talking about trademarks, right, I would say, oh, here’s my system for that. And I could just very clearly walk them through exactly how it was gonna go. By the end of the call, they were like, you know, what, we we have this other legal work that’s already going with this attorney like, Can we transfer it to you can, you know, I was laughing? Because I actually hadn’t been asked that before, like middle of the word, can you transfer it to my car? Well, you could certainly ask. But that is the power of being able to clearly define like, here’s the system, here’s how it’s gonna go for you this is this is what’s going to happen. And why do you think what do you think gets in the way of people being able to do that for themselves in their own business?

Michael Roderick 27:44
So I think we do our stuff so naturally, that for us, it feels like there actually isn’t a system. Even if we have one. Even if we have one, we feel like we’re referring like we feel like we’re just kind of doing whatever. And it’s working

Heather Pearce Campbell 28:05
Right back to the pixels in the TV. Like we just can’t see it. We’re just so close to it, we can’t see it.

Michael Roderick 28:11
Exactly, exactly. And and often, there’s an exercise that I often recommend people do. That comes from my teaching background. And it’s basically the check for understanding. So in the classroom, when you do a check for understanding, you share something, and then you say to a student, can you tell back to me what I just said, in your own words. And you see whether or not the kid gets it and shares it, right. But as a coach or consultant, or a business owner, or somebody who has a product or service, you could go to a past client. And you could ask them, in your own words, what did I do for you? And they will often lay out what actually happens, right? And you can then start to see Oh, okay, these are the phases like this is what it looks like. You know, the other thing that I often talk about is the fact that patterns are the precursors to frameworks. Yes. So if we can examine our patterns, we’re going to notice, this thing seems to almost always happen first, this thing always seems to happen second, and we can sort of just like go down the list, right? And that’s how we build these frameworks if we actually pay attention to our patterns. And I think that most of the time, to answer to answer your question, most of the time, we don’t pay attention to our patterns. We don’t do that reflecting piece where we ask ourselves, what am I doing, like, Is this working? what is working and what isn’t? And going back to again, education that was the plan, act reflect model, which was a major, major part of if you were a classroom teacher, which was you You plan the lesson, you taught the lesson. And then afterwards you reflected and modified based on the experience that your students had. And then you taught the next lesson, sometimes differently. Or sometimes you might scrap the lesson. But you were always always reflecting on how well the thing worked. And in entrepreneurship, it’s an entrepreneurship we spend an enormous amount of time on all of the preparation. We spend an enormous amount of time on all of the execution. But when it comes to reflection, all we have our journals.

Heather Pearce Campbell 30:36
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Michael Roderick 35:13
Yeah. And I think, you know, the thing that we often do is we d prioritize the packaging of our intellectual property. Yeah, we always think, Oh, well, you know, I’ll get to that, or I’ll work on that later. Or if it would be a nice to have, and really, it’s a need to have. And, and it’s that my 80s, that mindset shift that you have to sort of you have to address, which is this dynamic of the work that you’re doing is great. And if people are paying you for that work, that that is great. But if you never package it, you’re leaving, in some cases, massive amounts of money on the table. Yeah. And I have seen numerous instances where somebody is a process or something that they do. And they charge $500 for it, maybe 1000. And then they look at it, they put a process behind it, they give it some packaging, they give it some positioning, they take the exact same thing. And they’re charging $5,000. for it, they’re charging $10,000 for a weekend intensive of going down that process of working with a group. And it’s one of those things where it’s so easy, I think, for entrepreneurs, because we are very, you know, immediate gratification focused, right? to just be like, I’m going to do the work, I’m going to get the money, I’m going to do the work, I’m going to get the money, rather than saying, I’m going to do the work that’s going to get me more money.

Heather Pearce Campbell 36:50
Yeah. Well, and this, I love the way that you frame it as packaging, because again, you take that application to the real world, the only reason that we often will buy thing a overthink, B is because of the packaging, right? And, and I’ve had that experience, especially working a little bit with jayvees, like wanting to promote people that do really good work for entrepreneurs in the online space. But I’ve had some I’ll call them colleagues, their friends and colleagues in the business that will send me like, here’s my landing page. And I go look at it. I’m like, I’m sorry, I can’t send this out. I can’t, you know, I know that you’re brilliant at what you do. But somebody is going to hit this page and totally not get it, there’s going to be a major disconnect. And that’s Yeah, that’s packaging.

Michael Roderick 37:42
Yeah. Yeah. And it’s thinking through like, what is that? Right? It’s thinking through what do you want people to perceive? And making sure that whatever you think you’re doing is actually it goes back to that check for understanding whatever you think you’re doing? Is that what other people believe that you’re doing? Yeah. And I’ve seen numerous instances where I’ve had conversations with entrepreneurs where they believe they’re doing one thing. But when you dig deeper into it, the real value is somewhere completely different.

Heather Pearce Campbell 38:14
How How do they close that gap? How do you help them close that gap?

Michael Roderick 38:19
Yeah, so we, so I have an exercise that I like to do, which I actually also use for writing called finding color. And basically, the idea is, I’ll ask them, what do they do. And I’ll say that you have permission to just word vomit. So you do not have to be, you know, thoughtful about it, or anything, just like just throw out everything that you think you’re doing. And nothing’s off the table. And most of the stuff I hear is in black and white. But every once in a while, they’ll say something to me that I’m like that’s in color. That’s really useful. That’s something that’s compelling. And then we’ll talk about that. And a lot of the time, I’ve often said your side dish becomes your main, because a lot of the time they’ve got this thing that they’re like, yeah, I kind of do that. And people kind of like that, you know, or, you know, it’s it’s all right. And you’re like nobody’s doing that. That’s super useful. That’s super helpful. You have that much knowledge in that area. Oh, why are you not focusing there? Why are you not packaging this around that idea? As opposed to this thing that everybody else is saying? Right? Like how many people are going to try to tell you that they’re going to take you to the next level? What the heck does that even mean? Hey, what does that mean? As like if you break that down, you start to figure it out. It’s like okay, how do you describe this idea of next level? How does it tie to your market? What are Your words for this. And that’s the it goes back to that language piece. If you have your own words for things, you basically you’re going to have people coming to you all the time. And anytime that you name something, you basically create a bond with the audience that you’re sharing that idea with, because now they know the name as well. And they use that name. And they talk about it, and they refer back to you. And it just a moves show so well, when you actually take the time to give something a name.

Heather Pearce Campbell 40:32
Well, and I think that’s right, you’ve just described what you referenced earlier, which is how to make an idea accessible, they have to be able to remember it, they have to be able to relate to it and remember it right. Which then ties into my next question is, what do people need to think about back to this topic of creating a referral brand? Yeah. What do people need to be thinking about when it comes to the referral brand is? Yeah,

Michael Roderick 41:02
So we’ve spent a good amount of time on the first piece, which is accessibility? Yeah, right. Basically, people outside of your industry need to be able to understand it. Otherwise, they will literally just you’ll be in the echo champion lightened. And you’ll never get beyond whatever that industry norm is. Because every industry basically has an income ceiling, an understanding ceiling. And in Erie, you basically have a decision of like, this is how much money I’m willing to spend within this industry. So if you’re trying to sell something within the entertainment industry, $1,000 is a lot of money. If you’re trying to sell something in finance, $1,000 is a lunch. Yeah, right. That’s right. Yeah. And you want to be able to take that thing that you sell for $1,000. Somewhere, that somebody else would be willing to spend 10 million on and live and and have them get it and have them understand it. So so that’s really the first hurdle that we always have to think about is how do we make this accessible enough that people outside the industry understand it?

Heather Pearce Campbell 42:11
Love that.

Michael Roderick 42:13
If we do that, right, if we get that accessibility piece, the next hurdle that we have is influence. And most of the time when we think about influence, we think about persuasion, because that is the dominant narrative. So a lot of the material that’s out there on influence, including books on influence, right? Talk about the fact that here are the tools that you use to persuade people to do things. And that’s what influence is. But when we look at true influence, true influence is if you go and do something without me asking you to. That’s where I have real influence on you, right now you do something and I don’t ask you, you share my idea. You put my stuff out there, you introduce me, whatever it is. And I don’t ask you to, then I have a much, much higher level of influence than anybody who’s sort of playing a persuasion tactic game. Right,

Heather Pearce Campbell 43:11
Right, totally next level.

Michael Roderick 43:14
So the question is, what is it that causes you to want to share something of mine? Well, it’s, if it gives you something when you share it. So most of the time, we’re spending all of our time trying to look cool, when we create our stuff when we put our stuff together. And what we want to do is we want to create something that makes

Heather Pearce Campbell 43:40
Other people look cool. Oh, I love that shift. Yes.

Michael Roderick 43:44
It’s so so important. And not enough people think about this, right? Not enough people think about if somebody else shared this idea, how good would they look in sharing it? Yeah, right. How cool would they look? How interesting would they look? And I have often referred to it as the magic trick, where if you go to a party and you see a magician, every magician has at least one trick that they can show you exactly how they do it. So they’ll show you how to make the salt shaker disappear or take the cards out of the hands or whatever. And what’s the next thing that you do? You go to a party and you do that trick. And you’re like, hey, look at me. Cool. I can do a magic trick, right? Like,

Heather Pearce Campbell 44:26
This is my eight year old son right now, like, fall into magic. Anything you can learn he is going to show you that take

Michael Roderick 44:33
Exactly, exactly. And it’s because magic turns you into the hero. Right? And that’s the thing. It’s like, it’s like we spend so much time trying to like get people to see how impressive we are. When will impress the heck out of them if we can make them look impressive. Yeah, like they will just like the latch on to us, right? So if we create ideas and we pack ideas in such a way that when somebody else shares it with somebody else, they’re like, wow, that was so useful. That was so helpful. Man, where did you get that?

Heather Pearce Campbell 45:09
Right, right. And it’s really just backtracking to the point of the design of that idea, the design of the expression of that idea, idea to think about it in a totally different way. Right? And so Exactly, yeah, that’s what do you find when you’re having this conversation with your clients? Do they have a hard time with that reframe? Do they have a hard time letting go of the original packaging?

Michael Roderick 45:37
Yeah, yeah, there. And, and, and the thing with the original packaging, it’s just like, it’s just like a writer, right? There, they’ll have a character. And the character is not moving the narrative forward, nothing’s actually working. But they love that character attached right there. Just so you know. And I see this with names, I see this as all sorts of different things. And ultimately, you have to, you have to realize that you’re basically the you’re you’re learning from your market, right? And those are the only people that you’re selling to. So the thing is, it may be cool to you. But if it’s not cool to the market, you’re not going to sell anything. Yeah. So do you want to spend all this time and money on your cool thing? Or would you rather create something that makes other people look cool, and send you lots of money? Ding, ding, ding. It’s that kind of, you know, it’s a it’s, it’s, it’s that kind of idea, right? It’s that it’s that kind of process. And the thing is, like, when we do that, when we sort of make other people look good, they want to be around us more, they want to share our stuff they want to you know, they want to talk and like podcasts are a perfect example, right? If somebody provides really great material on a podcast, and a bunch of other people share it, because that material was so good, then what’s gonna happen? The podcast host is going to look better, right? Because there is going to ask, how did you find that person? Where did you find that person? Right? It’s that type of dynamics. So when we create when we think about refer ability, and we want to think about how are we developing that level of influence, where we’re actually making other people look good. And that ties to the last, you know, the the last piece is, even if you get the accessibility down, and even if you’ve got the influence piece down, and you’ve got lots of people who want to share it and want to talk about it, it won’t actually matter if people can’t remember it. Right. And I often like to say that we spend so much time on figuring out how to tell our story. And we spent far too little time figuring out how people are going to retell our story. Yeah, yeah. And that piece, the retelling of the story is such a powerful tool. It is how so much information in the world has become as prolific as it has the retelling the ability to retell the packaging that makes it easy to retell. Yeah. So the question we have to ask is, how do we build memory into the work that we create. And the way that I like to frame this is if you want people to remember you more, you focus on less. And that’s language, emotion, simplicity, and structure. So I’ll start with language, because we’ve talked about it quite a bit. Yep. If you have your own words for things, basically, now people have a reason to talk to each other. And if you go to comic book convention, if you go to a Trekkie convention, if you hang out in a room with a bunch of people who watched Game of Thrones, if you go to anywhere where there are a bunch of Potter fanatics, right, there is language that they use that they Converse it so it’s so so important, and something that we almost never take the time to do to come up with our own words for things and our own ways of saying that, right. And if we do that, we basically carve a little piece of mental real estate in people’s heads. And they remember us in that you know, in in that context, and that memory gets solidified by the next point, which is emotion. Because when we were in primitive times, if we were in a heightened state of emotion, our brains had to become like sponges to understand the details like we had to know Like the, you know, the tiger jumped out from behind the tree over here. So we had to remember details. So anytime we’re in a heightened state of emotion that didn’t go away, that, you know, evolution wise, we still have that lizard brain, right. So if we’re in a heightened state of emotion, our brains become like a sponge. And the example that I often use with this is, you can ask anybody what the opening scenes are of Titanic, and they will not be able to tell you, they will not be able to give you any images or any ideas. But you can ask that same group of people, what image pops into their head when you say I’ll never let go. And everybody’s got an image, everybody knows exactly what they see, because that is the most heightened moment of that particular of that particular film. So if we’re not taking the time to tap into emotion, when we’re creating these narratives, and especially if we’re selling products and services, then we are losing out on being solidified in people’s memories. And the thing is, if we want to stay in the memory, right, if we want to stay there, then we need the next thing, which is simplicity. Because our brains can only handle so much information at one time. And for all of our lives. For the most part, academics have always rewarded complexity. We’ve always been rewarded for having the big words, the big concepts, all of those different types of things. But the memory rewards simplicity. Because if it’s simple, we’ll share it. Right? We’ll talk about it. Yeah. And

Heather Pearce Campbell 51:38
In my mind like this, to me, I think is the piece that probably stumps a lot of people, how do they break down? You know what it is? They’re teaching what their idea is into something that is simple. It’s like, Yeah, and I think I’m studying for my law school exams. Like we had acronyms that were like, you know, 14 letters or whatever. Yeah. I couldn’t tell you what they are. Now. That was an attempt to get it as simple as it would go. But I think people really struggle with simplicity. Yeah.

Michael Roderick 52:08
Yeah. And that’s the thing simple as hard. Yeah. You know, and that’s the thing that most of us forget about simple is hard. You’ve got to sit down. And you got to take the time to say, if I were to boil this down, how, how much could I boil it down? Right. So if you’ve got a massive tagline, and you were challenged to be like, you have to turn it into three, three words, what would you do? Right? And the thing is, constraints increase creativity, right? Like most of us think that constraints actually get late, cause us to not be as creative, but constraints increase creativity. So if we say, How do I simplify this, our brains are actually going to go in this mode, where we actually are far more creative. And we come up with much, much better stuff, when we’re given that aspect of like, you only have this much, you only have this amount of space to say this or sort of put this, you know, information information down.

Heather Pearce Campbell 53:06
Well, and I love that it increases creativity. I think this piece, though, requires more time. Right? Going into a more simplified version. It’s not like it’s easy to do, because you said simple as hard. It just requires time. Yes, if you’re working within those constraints, you can still have the creativity that you need to get there. But I think people skip the work that needs to be done in that, you know, in that, because it’s a commitment to come up with that time. It’s like that. There’s a famous quote that I can’t remember who said it, but it was something about I would have written you a shorter letter, but I didn’t have the time. Yes. Mark Twain. Yeah, right. Yeah, totally. Yeah. I think we face that all the time. And oh, yeah.

Michael Roderick 53:52
Oh, yeah, exactly. And the thing is, and and if anybody struggles with that, right, one of the best things to understand is that your time constraints and your issues, you know, your issues around it. That’s not the only time that you’re spending, that’s only the time that your conscious mind is working. Yes. And your subconscious mind is where all of the things get fused together. And where you actually get to understand the material, and where you usually come up with the titles and all those different types of things. So it’s actually better to give yourself a time constraint and say, I’m going to brainstorm this for 30 minutes. And then I’m gonna go take a walk. I’m gonna let my subconscious mind do the rest of the work.

Heather Pearce Campbell 54:38
Well, I love that and for people because I mean, I will be the first to admit I’ve totally had a strained relationship with time. Thank you. COVID. Right. We were just being parents of little people and trying to run a business like there just has not felt like there’s enough time and, and yet, when you think about from the reverse perspective, how much time this is gonna cost you if you don’t get it right. That’s the right. Right. What I’m going to is like, what is this going to cost me in the long run? If I don’t take the time right now to get this right.

Michael Roderick 55:13
Yeah, yeah. And that’s always the thing. That’s always the thing we have to learn. And it goes back to this idea of the the before. If we take the time before, to put this stuff together, everything else takes less time after. Right? Yeah. And we have to deal with it as much, right? But if you start and you never simplify, right, and you already have something complex, it’s you’re gonna spend way more time trying to explain it to people, you’re going to spend way more time trying to figure out what it is you’re actually doing for them,

Heather Pearce Campbell 55:45
Try and get them to remember it trying to repeat it.

Michael Roderick 55:49
Yeah. And they’re going to be stuck, right? They’re going to be like, Well, what do I do? You know, what do I do? Now? You know, do do I want to hire you do I know? And your sales cycles gonna be massive, right? Yeah. And the thing is, once you simplify something, and people can either say like, yeah, that sounds great, or No, that doesn’t, then the sales cycle moves so much faster, right? It’s so much better to be able to say something, and I call it sort of like the punch in the chest moment, right? where basically, it’s like, the person hears it and says, oh, man, that’s me. Right. And I, when I say, you know, I work with people who D prioritize the packaging of their intellectual property. If you’re a person who has been D, prioritizing, boom, you and you either are like, I need to hire you, or I need to talk to you more. Or you’re like, Nope, I’m good. With that I’ve got, you know, I’ve got that down. So your decision process is way, way faster, where it’s gone, like going in like 80 different directions and talking about all the things I could potentially do for you, who knows how long as that sales conversation is going to be, and how long that decision conversation is going to be when that person steps away, and tries to figure out Should I spend this money or not. So the last piece, I want to make sure that I hit the final s Exactly. The last one is structure. And our brains process information only through structure, we read books, beginning, middle and end, we tell jokes based on the punch line and the structure of the joke. Like we need structure. So if we don’t give our audience a structure, for how to follow to basically how to understand what we’re teaching, what’ll happen is they’ll forget about it. They’ll share somebody else’s idea. Right? And it’s in the same context of I just walked you through accessibility, influencing memory spells, the word aim, I talked to you about the fact that memory has to do with less language, emotion, simplicity and structure. So you just experienced the agenda effect. Because you knew exactly where you were going. And you knew that we were at the end. Yep.

Heather Pearce Campbell 57:51
Yep. Well, and how much comfort did that give to all of us? Right? Raise your right, you know, here, here’s the map. And here’s where I’m at on the map. Yes, exactly. Well, and you know, when your ideas are being translated clearly, because you see those moments in your, in your clients where they raise their hand, and they go, Oh, that’s me. I need that, like, whatever you just said, I need that. And when you have those moments, you realize like, oh, what I just said, was clear enough that it resonated and they self selected into the next service or into, right, and those are, I mean, it’s so great to have those moments, but so frustrating if you’re not getting those. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Well, I love your framework. I’m a huge fan, I know that we are totally bumping up against time. And I just so appreciate like getting to see your teaching style on display. I’m a big fan of people who are teachers. And it was interesting, because I had a conversation with an attorney who totally didn’t know from Adam. And we had connected through a listserv because I asked a question, and he responded, and we ended up having a phone call. And I by the end of the phone call, I just loved him. He also loves teaching. And he talked about how he’s like mentoring these younger attorneys and, and like we were exchanging notes on our frameworks, like how we are clients through teaching them the concepts they need to learn in their business. He calls his a flight plan, right? And I like more and more, I just thought, Oh my gosh, I’d love to be inside of that and see exactly how it goes. And yeah, that container and the way that we package things like it just gives people so much comfort and so much, you know so much more. I think so much more of a push and an inclination to say yes to something. And so, I love that you came on here and shared all of this with us. For folks that are thinking like, gosh, I need to reach out to Michael I want to learn more about where he’s you know, where he’s doing the things in the online space. What he’s up up to where do you like for people to find you?

Michael Roderick 1:00:02
Sure. So my website is just small pond enterprises calm. And I also have had a podcast for a number of years called access to anyone. So that’s just access to anyone podcast calm. And if folks are interested in sort of doing more with this refer ability side they can go to my refer ability rater calm and actually test their own refer ability and see kind of where they measure up on this on this process.

Heather Pearce Campbell 1:00:29
Oh, I love that I love that you built that tool. And for folks listening, you can find these links and other links to Michael including on social media and wherever else he wants to share out the show notes page, which is legal website warrior comm forward slash podcast. So Michael, one last question for you, for folks that are still hanging on and listening. What is one action step or takeaway that you would like them to go do right now? Oh,

Michael Roderick 1:00:59
Go and talk to either a past client or somebody that you’ve done work with? and ask them that question of what did I do for you? And that’s really important for you. So you can understand what is the transformation that you actually provided? And in many cases, you’re going to be surprised based on based on the response because we almost always have one impression of what we’re doing for people. And when they tell us what we did. It’s usually not that thing that we think we are.

Heather Pearce Campbell 1:01:33
Well, and the thing I love about that question is you are going to capture it in really genuine language from your client, that probably your right is a total mismatch to the way that you describe your own services. Right. Yeah, as one example, when I was talking with a client, and, you know, in my words, like, I helped him protect his online website, I built out a whole bunch of legal documentation. We did it, you know, anyways, on and on the way that I could describe the legal work that I do. In his words. I helped him take off a really heavy backpack. There you go. Right.

Michael Roderick 1:02:08
Right. I never described it that way. Exactly. And very often your best copy is in your clients. mouth’s. Yeah. Yeah.

Heather Pearce Campbell 1:02:17
I love that. So if you’re listening, go follow up on that tip and ask your clients What did you do for them? My goal so great to have you here today. Thank you again for being with us. And I really hope folks will hop over and check out your especially the opt in the reversibility rater. I love that and, you know connect with you online. Awesome. Yeah, for having me. This was an absolute blast. Oh, you’re so welcome. Hope to see you again soon. Thanks.

GGGB Outro 1:02:50
Thank you for joining us today on the Guts, Grit & Great Business podcast. We hope that we’ve added a little fuel to your tank, some coffee to your cup and pep in your step to keep you moving forward in your own great adventures. For key takeaways, links to any resources mentioned in today’s show and more, see the show notes which can be found at Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and if you enjoyed today’s conversation, please give us some stars and a review on Apple podcast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast so others will find us too. Keep up the great work you are doing in the world and we’ll see you next week.