June 1st, 2021
With Michelle Mazur, founder of Communication Rebel, host of The Rebel Rising Podcast, and author of 3 Word Rebellion: Create a One-of-a-Kind Message that Grows Your Business into a Movement.
Michelle works with brilliant business owners who are shaking things up…but having trouble talking about it. She combines the tools of successful social movements with the qualitative research skills she earned in her Communication Ph.D. to help them craft their powerful, captivating message. The author of the 3 Word Rebellion and featured in Fast Company, Entrepreneur, and Inc., she knows that speaking about what you do in a clear and captivating way is the key to reaching the people you could help the most and making more money in your business.
Biggest takeaways (or quotes) you don’t want to miss:
- Michelle believes there are two questions that we subconsciously ask ourselves. The first one is, am I motivated to process this message? And the other one is, am I able to?
- “Success takes time.”
- Michelle wants to encourage people to pause and think about their message because your words have impact.
- What is “bro-marketing”?
Check out these highlights:
- 3:01 Michelle’s early life.
- 7:25 Michelle’s struggle to master the skills.
- 24:48 In public speaking, the message is all about the change you’re creating for the audience. How can you impact them in that short amount of time on stage? In the messaging work I’m doing now, it’s the same thing. How do you take people on this journey with you?
- 45:33 The importance of the 3-word rebellion.
How to get in touch with Michelle
On social media:
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Michelle Mazur works with brilliant business owners who are shaking things up…but having trouble talking about it. She combines the tools of successful social movements with the qualitative research skills she earned in her Communication Ph.D. to help them craft their powerful, captivating message. The author of the 3 Word Rebellion and featured in Fast Company, Entrepreneur, and Inc., she knows that speaking about what you do in a clear and captivating way is the key to reaching the people you could help the most and making more money in your business.
Learn more about Michelle 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
Here’s what to expect today.
Michelle Mazur 0:02
And I think we always see people at that pinnacle moment of like, oh, Michelle must be naturally talented at speaking, because my teammates didn’t see the five years before that, where I was really trying to hone this skill and this craft and all the hours I spent by talking to myself practicing. And but we just see the end and we think, Oh, well, it just happen so quickly. And I don’t care if it’s life or business. It’s never that quick. We are building a skill. We’re building a business, you know, and mastery takes time. Success takes time.
GGGB Intro 0:45
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 hand 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 1:16
Righty welcome. I am Heather Pearce Campbell, The Legal Website Warrior®. I’m an attorney and legal coach based here in Seattle, Washington, and serving information entrepreneurs around the world. I am super excited to bring you my friend and somebody who I’ve known for really a handful of years now. But it’s so great to reconnect because Michelle maser and I think the last time we connected was at a live event where we both spoke or Yeah, yeah. And that was like 2016. I want to say so. Wow. I know, it’s been a few years. Michelle is brilliant. If you are not familiar with Michelle’s work, Michelle maser works with brilliant business owners who are shaking things up. But having trouble talking about it, she combines the tools of successful social movements with the qualitative research skills she earned in her communication PhD, to help them craft their powerful, captivating message, the author of the three word rebellion and featured in Fast Company entrepreneur and Inc, Michelle knows that speaking about what you do in a clear and captivating way is the key to reaching the people you can help the most, and making more money in your business. So Michelle, and I, I’m just gonna say we’re neighbors. We live right here in Seattle as well.
Michelle Mazur 2:39
Yep, yep, I’m in the Fremont area.
Heather Pearce Campbell 2:42
So I’m, I know, I could probably throw a rock and hit your house. So I joke but you know, compared to the world, we feel very, very close. So, Michelle, tell us for those that don’t know you yet. Tell us how you got started in the communications and messaging world.
Michelle Mazur 3:01
It I mean, I always feel like when somebody asked me this question, it’s like, well, let’s go back to high school, because that’s what it really started. Perfect. Yeah. So in high school, I had this moment of taking a public speaking class. And I was one of those people who was very shy and quiet and never really spoke up. Like one of my teachers described me as the girl who knows all the answers, but would never raise her hand. And so they forced you to take public speaking in college or in high school. And I remember my first speech because it was horrible experience. It was sweating palms, my knees, were knocking behind the desk where I was standing shaky voice like all of the nerves. And in the back of my head, I had this little voice say, you need to master this. And that first class, I got like a C in it, like the gentleman see, like, you really suck, but I will let you pass. So you don’t have to do this again. And I remember going home after getting my report card, my mom seeing this and I said, Yeah, I think I’m gonna take advanced public speaking and she’s like, why would you want to do that? I took advanced public speaking and then I decided, Okay, if I’m gonna be serious about this, I need to join the Speech and Debate Team because nothing will help you master a skill like doing it competitively and getting your ass kicked every single Saturday, and we’re in gear. And so I was really able to hone the communication skills and my speaking skills and I fell in love with the with communication and speaking and how do we get our messages across and eventually that led me to a PhD in communication, becoming a professor, I taught persuasion and interpersonal and argumentation and debate for like over 10 years at one point in time, and once I left academia, I still knew like, I wanted to pursue communication in some way. But I went into corporate and did research. And even when I was doing the research, I would, I was always helping our executives, like, get ready for speeches, or figure out how to message something important. Like they would just come to me and be like, Yeah, what do you think about this? I know this isn’t your job. But what do you think? And eventually, I started a blog about public speaking and started a business around it, an event, and then I got burned out with speaking because I hate the industry. That’s a whole other conversation. The speaking industry is a little weird, especially when it comes to paying speakers, I don’t know. And then, I mean, one of the things I was always helping my clients with was their message like it was, for me, it was all about, like, let’s write the keynote speech. Let’s figure out what your message is. Let’s figure out how to market this message. So you can get speaking gigs. And I thought, wow, why don’t I just take some of that and start applying it to people in business? Because there’s a lot of bad marketing out there. And it’s not because the marketing is bad. It’s because the message isn’t quite right. And at this time, that’s when like, the idea of the three word rebellion kind of hit me. And I was like, yep, this is my next step. And this is my next evolution in communication.
Heather Pearce Campbell 6:37
Hmm. Well, I love and we’ll, I want, I want us to get to the three word rebellion and some of the current work, you’re doing a couple questions for you on the origins of this word, was it the kind of fear because I love the story, first of all of like, overcoming this fear right here, you were somebody that, obviously and I really believe, like, we’re pulled in the direction that we’re meant to go in. And it happens in unusual way sometimes. And the experience of like, knowing that that was a fear, and also deciding to overcome it one is so powerful, especially because it’s like your superhero strength, right? Did you recognize at the time that there was a desire there? Or was it really like, the fear of this bothered you? And you just wanted to eliminate that?
Michelle Mazur 7:25
You know, really, for me, it was mastery. Like, I wanted to master this skill, like it was important for me for some reason, to master this skill. And even though I wasn’t very talented at it naturally, I wasn’t, I won one award in high school speech and debate. And that was an honorable mention. And it was at my very last tournament, and my coach was so proud, he almost cried. But it was really that drive of like, this is super important. I don’t know why. Let’s just go for it. And I also think, you know, there’s something about being 15 and 16, where you’re just like, sure I suck at this. I’m just gonna go for it. And I’m like, I don’t know if the 47 version. So 47 year old version of myself would do that.
Heather Pearce Campbell 8:19
Yes, absolutely. Well, the thing that I find fascinating, especially for women about this concept around fear, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Tara Moore, but she’s one of my pet. And I just I love her work. She is for anybody that doesn’t know Tara, she wrote the book playing big, she leads a playing big course for women as well as a facilitators course. But she specifically deals with supporting women around like, you know, taking big leaps and making big decisions and moving through that fear and that she describes it that there’s two kinds of fear right, there’s a she I think she calls it Pasha and euro, which, you know, come from Hebrew, I believe. And the your raw kind of fear is the fear that pulls you because it’s the longing of your soul and like what you really want versus the kind of fear that that stops you for another reason and is really there to keep you safe and turn you around and go a different direction. Right. And so that’s partly what was going off in my head is, was those the your raw kind of fear? Like, yes, clearly, you followed it, and it worked out. And I think it’s really important for us on our own journeys to understand that concept and pay attention to what kind of fear is showing up. And like you, there was a moment not around public speaking, but when I was in college, I first of all, I’ve always been a terrible swimmer. I had like really bad water experiences as a kid. But I went on this hike, and was on this cliff and it was literally over like a 60 foot drop and across the way was a waterfall that went you know, way down and then the river kept kind of got lazy a little while down. But it was pretty wild looking down into that. And there was a part of me that just knew I couldn’t leave this area until I jumped like till I overcame that fear not only of heights but of swimming. And it was really strange. I had not yet had an experience like that where I was so fearful, but also so drawn to doing a certain thing, right?
Unknown Speaker 10:24
Heather Pearce Campbell 10:25
Anyways, I just made me think of like the clammy hands and like feeling so extraordinarily nervous, like literally thinking, I might die. I’m a terrible swimmer. And I’m also afraid of heights, but I have to do this thing. So I love your story from the perspective of like, taking the leap, and not only taking it pursuing it, again, to the point of mastery, I just think it’s so powerful. At what point like, I love that your mom was like, really, you want to
Michelle Mazur 10:56
know like, What? What is wrong with you?
Heather Pearce Campbell 11:00
You’re clearly not good at this. No, but I think this happens in our life, right? People around us sometimes, especially around these leaps in these decisions are like what like you think of the path of entrepreneurship? How many have to be like, I’m doing this in the face of people going, What? Really? You’re doing what, right? Yes. At what point did that turn into like, Oh, my gosh, of course, you’re doing this, like, of course, this is what you’re here to do.
Michelle Mazur 11:28
Yeah, I spent a lot of a lot of time in the woodshed just practicing, like, you know, like, just doing the work practicing, like writing speeches getting better at it. And then I actually was at a school that didn’t have a speech and debate team. So I transferred to the University of Wyoming because I wanted to be on the Speech and Debate Team. And my second year there, I was the star of the team, like literally like the person who was winning tournaments would you know, because you could take up to like six events to a tournament, I would break all six of my events, like into the finals, rounds and win like trophies and ribbons and everything. And it’s like, oh, all of those years in the woodshed practicing going to tournaments, getting feedback, losing again, and again and again, prepared me to have that year of like, oh, like, I’m at the top of my game, like, I’m the best competitor on this team.
Heather Pearce Campbell 12:37
I love that. And I specifically, first of all, I love the concept of the woodshed. We all have some version of that around that thing that requires practice and practice and more practice, right. But it’s, I also just love the reality of it, you don’t get to skip that you don’t get to get to the point of seeing the results and having the rewards and like really feeling like you’re at the top of your game without that.
Michelle Mazur 13:06
Yeah. And I think we always see people at that Pinnacle moment of like, oh, Michelle must be naturally talented at speaking, because my teammates didn’t see the five years before that, where I was really trying to hone this skill and this craft and all the hours I spent by talking to myself practicing. And but we just see the end. And we think, Oh, well, it just happened so quickly. And I don’t care if it’s life or business. It’s never that quick. We are building a skill, we’re building a business, you know, and mastery takes time, success takes time.
Heather Pearce Campbell 13:47
Well, and I it’s so important. I think that we say that out loud. And we continue to say that because I feel like we are also in a society that is enamored with natural skill and not you know, there’s so many stories that get put into whether it’s social media, whether it’s on the news, like we’re so enamored with people being like super skilled or super talented. And this, you know, and we tend to have, actually there have been tons of studies on this, we tend to favor those people, as front runners not only for jobs, if we perceive as an employer, that somebody is coming in with natural skill versus hard earned skill, they will actually be favored for a job and a position at the company. So I think it’s really important that we have awareness around this and that we understand. In most scenarios, it’s about people putting in the work.
Michelle Mazur 14:43
Yeah. And honestly, I’d rather hire someone who had the tenacity to stick with it to develop their talent, their skill than somebody who’s unnatural because I think with naturals, they get to a certain point and then plateau. Because they’re not willing to do the work to take them to that next point.
Heather Pearce Campbell 15:05
I love that you said that there’s actually a study for anybody that has read the book. grit, oh my gosh. Yeah. You know, talking to Angela Duckworth, Angela Duckworth. She’s got an amazing TED talk on it everything. But there’s a specific study that proves your point that you just made exactly, which is they they studied, like all the incoming class to West Point. And a lot of people think that success happens because of natural talent happens because somebody just has this inborn ability to do a certain thing. And instead, what they found is the people that not only came or incoming class, but also stuck around actually made it through all of the levels at West Point, were the ones that were not considered naturally talented, they had more grit, they had more persistence, they were the kids that had to work harder to get there by the end. And because of that, they didn’t give up easier, they did not give up when the going got tough because they had expanded their natural talent.
Unknown Speaker 16:07
Mm hmm. Yes.
Heather Pearce Campbell 16:10
So I love that as a point, because it is I think that it’s, it’s so important to be aware of that surround ourselves with people that not only can help us develop our own perseverance and our own grit, but who have that in themselves. The other thing I love about what you shared is this idea that people were coming to you and asking you for support right in the area that you are brilliant at, even though it wasn’t what you were primarily doing at the time. And I think, yeah, this shows up as a theme for people as far as the arrows pointing towards your greatest strengths, right?
Michelle Mazur 16:44
Mm hmm. Yeah. Cuz I would have like the CMO of a company, like coming into my office and being like, Hey, I’m working on this, you know, talk for this big event, what do you think? Or they would go to my boss and be like, Hey, can I borrow Michelle for an hour? I really need help like figuring out how I want to say this thing. And my boss is like, she actually has other work to do, but okay.
Heather Pearce Campbell 17:11
I love that. So clearly, at some point, you transitioned into messaging being your core work, right?
Michelle Mazur 17:22
Yes. Yeah. And it did start off as. And it’s, it’s funny, because it’s my business started off as a blog, which I think a lot of businesses do. Because one of my friends, I was having dinner with him. And he just said, Do you love market research? And I’m like, I don’t think anyone loves market research. And he’s like, you have all of this knowledge around communication. He’s like, it’s a real shame. You’re not sharing it. He’s like, you should do something with it, like start a blog, start something. And so I was like, Oh, right. Like, I have a massive amount of knowledge about how to communicate how to create messages how to persuade. So I started a blog, which was freaking terrible at first, because I’m in a former academic, right, like, Ambien had nothing on the power of my blog to put people to sleep. But it was, you know, it was this journey of finding my voice. And when I found my voice, which was this, it’s one of my favorite stories to tell, like I was at an event. And there was this motivational speaker, and she got up in front of the room, and she saw, like, all right, everyone stand up. And so we all stand up, because we’re good audience members. Clap. So we start clapping. And she says, You have given me a standing ovation. Now I must earn it. And I was like, Oh, this is so gross. Yuck. You like yuck. Like, I feel manipulated. This is disgusting. So I wrote this, like really ranty blog post about how not to be a motivational speaker. And it was the kind of post that was like, in my true voice. And I was terrified to push publish on. But when I did, like, everybody started sharing it. And all of a sudden, I got this email from this person who saw the post, and he’s like, I loved this. I’m looking for a new public speaking coach, could I work with you? I didn’t have pricing. I didn’t have anything. And I get on the phone with him. And he’s telling me about the speech. And it was like for Barbara Bush’s Points of Light foundation in front of all these famous people and the former First Lady, and I was just like, oh, and that was my first client all because I was just like, really ranty in this blog post and just giving people a fresh perspective.
Heather Pearce Campbell 19:49
I love that I first of all, I love the Guts that it took to hit publish, but also the message around really speaking out about what is not Working I think so often people get caught up looking around at the marketplace and being like, how do I make this work for me? How do I fit in? How do I, you know, take advantage of this river that’s already flowing, versus being the signpost versus being the person that says don’t go that way, go this way, right? Yes,
Unknown Speaker 20:23
Heather Pearce Campbell 20:24
So because I see that in the stuff that you do now, right, we were talking about this even before we went live. So I love that that is like one of your, you know, early Kickstarter stories for your, your path, you know, becoming a coach and a writer and speaking coach, I mean, and writing on marketing in the, in the online world, it’s just people need more of that.
Michelle Mazur 20:48
Yes, I agree.
Heather Pearce Campbell 20:50
So what were some of your early struggles, like when you decided, when did you make the choice to make the leap to entrepreneurship, right, because it sounds like you were embedded in somebody else’s organization.
Michelle Mazur 21:02
Yeah, I was working in somebody’s business. And my business was very much a side hustle. So it was one of those things, I would get up at, like six o’clock in the morning and work for two hours on the business and then get up and get dressed, go to work work till about five o’clock. And then usually, I was pretty spent to, like, really work on the business. You know, I would take clients during, like my lunch hour, like all of the side hustle things that you hear about. And then one day, and we had a lot going on in our family, my, my husband’s mother had just passed away. And you know, and with that, we also got some inheritance. And so I was having a conversation with my boss, and my boss, who I love, like, I have the best boss at this point in time, he was like an amazing human being. And we were sitting in this cafe, and he’s telling me about that he’s going to get promoted into this position of leadership, which was probably the best thing that organization ever did was to promote him. And so you know, he’s telling me all about it. He’s super excited. And then he’s talking to me about like, well, this is gonna be a real opportunity for you to like, step up and really take a leadership role in the Seattle office and blah, blah, blah. And he’s like, and what do you think I said, I think I’m quitting.
Heather Pearce Campbell 22:26
Not What He was expecting.
Michelle Mazur 22:29
Like, he was like, cuz he had been talking for like, 20 minutes straight. And in my head, I was doing this battle of like, do I need to tell him that I’m thinking of leaving? Like, should should I tell him like, I’m like, I can’t fake this. Like, I can’t be like, Oh, yeah, I’m totally excited about it. And he was just like, Oh, well, this changes the conversation, what’s going on? So he was really open to it. But you know, and I had, like about a five month transition planned. So we decided I would leave in May. So they can because my job was super specialized, so they could find somebody else. And I wouldn’t leave him kind of like high and dry without anyone in the Seattle office. So yeah, that was my that was my moment. I was because my husband and I had been talking about it like this probably feels like the time to
Heather Pearce Campbell 23:19
well, in recognizing I mean, it’s I think it’s ironic that that leap happened, right, as your opportunities are growing inside of this company, right. So I think people are often faced with a choice. And it’s not always an easy choice. But I’m glad that it was so clear for you, because I think sometimes it takes people just really reaching burnout and reaching a point where they just no longer feel like they have a choice.
Michelle Mazur 23:44
Yeah. And I just knew I didn’t want that level of responsibility in that organization. Like I like, the leadership outside of him was kind of a mess. I’m like, it didn’t want to deal with that. So I was just like, I think I’m leaving. I’m quitting.
Heather Pearce Campbell 23:59
So you make the leap, and you obviously see some success using your real kind of rant ranty, you know, whatever, anti everything else that’s going on voice. Did that continue? Like, did you recognize that early on and continue in that same vein? Yeah,
Michelle Mazur 24:17
it’s always been a theme in my business like ranting, rebelling. And also like, what what are you trying to create? Instead, I write in the three word rebellion book that ranting for the sake of ranting is just complaining. And if you’re going to destroy a system, you have to outline what comes next, even if you don’t know exactly what it looks like. So I mean, in speaking because for me, like public speaking, the message is all about the change you’re creating for the audience, like what is that? How can you impact them in that short amount of time you have onstage and with the message work that I’m doing now it’s the same thing. How do you take people on this journey with you from like, not knowing you not knowing what you do and who you are to seeing how they can be impacted by the work you’re doing in the world. So it’s always been this, like yin and yang of like ranting. And also, what are we trying to create here? And the creation part is way harder than the ranting part, the rebelling part? Oh, writer?
Heather Pearce Campbell 25:29
Yes. Well, and let’s talk a little bit about the rebelling part. What What do you see going wrong in the world of messaging, right? Oh, there’s
Michelle Mazur 25:41
so many things. So the first
Unknown Speaker 25:43
couple a couple?
Michelle Mazur 25:46
Well, one of the things I’ve really come to realize, especially in the online business world, is that we skip steps. So people start out and they create an offer. And that offer sells, and they get people word of mouth, and they think, Oh, I want to help more people with this. So I need marketing. So then they invest in all of this marketing. And for some reason, it doesn’t work. So they try a different strategy, a different tactic, a different coach, maybe they’ll do like podcasts, or you know, the they’ll try so many strategies. And it’s still just not like nothing’s catching on, there’s no traction there. And it’s because we skip that step of messaging so often, because that is, the deeper the harder work of thinking about like, what am I creating here? What’s the value of this? How do I talk about this thing? In order to make people want it? How do I get people’s attention? Like how do I even capture their minds in the first place, but we just skip to the marketing, which kind of leads to the second problem is, I call this lazy ass messaging. So a lot of the marketing programs and courses will give you like templates and formulas and Mad Libs. And it’s all based on that kind of bro marketing, let’s psychologically manipulate people by using scarcity authority, all of those, so that they buy. So we use that messaging, and it never feels great and never feels aligned, it doesn’t really capture what we do. Because lazy ass marketing, we’re messaging really causes that, oh, I have to be like everybody else and use these formulas and templates. And that’s a huge problem. I mean, it’s a huge problem when you, you know, you manipulate people or people manipulate others into buying things they don’t need. Like, I have a huge issue with that. I’ve seen it happen so many times in the online world, and 10s of 1000s of dollars are wasted. Because they those celebrity entrepreneurs aren’t really willing to take a step back and be like, Okay, this is the work you have to do around messaging to get something that really stands apart, and gets people’s attention. They’re like, Oh, no, this bro marketing stuff works. So just use this and you’ll be fine.
Heather Pearce Campbell 28:12
It’s so interesting, because this this concept of bro marketing, and even just the manipulation, really any kind of manipulation, you see it show up, I feel like in different ways you can see it, when it shows up as formulas. You can see it when it shows up as what’s the name of like, the stories that people tell
Michelle Mazur 28:34
about the rags to riches stories,
Heather Pearce Campbell 28:37
and their own, like transition point stories where they’re using, you know, obviously, you know, playing on people’s emotions to manipulate in a way that’s very inauthentic and really gross. I see that a lot. And it totally turns me off. But even the and I’m not going to name a name. But there’s somebody who sells software. And it’s the whole offer stack at the end and getting three yeses and blah, blah, like you see it over and over and over. And I was having a conversation the other day with a friend about just this. And I said, Does it work? I’m so turned off by it that when I see it, even if it’s a good thing being marketed, I will say no, just because I’m so turned off by the tactic or the strategy or the formula, because it’s so recognizable.
Michelle Mazur 29:27
But the interesting thing is not recognizable to everyone. And there’s so much research in persuasion. Like one of the big books that I use when I’m teaching like ethical marketing is Robert Cialdini, his book influence where he talks about the six weapons of influence. And this is where you know I call it bro marketing not because it’s a guy thing. I mean, it definitely is a masculine energy, but women use it to Yes, but it is that very masculine. I know Better than you, my product is what you need, you don’t know what you need. So let me shut down your thinking take away your ability to consent to even processing this message. And then you can buy my thing because really what I want you to do is to buy my thing. Yeah. And I think for us when you’re in the industry for a while, or because like I saw it right away, because I was teaching from this textbook at university. So I would see these things. I’m like, ah, did you just say you should manufacturer authority using rags to riches stories, like, that’s like 20 ways raw, it wouldn’t blow my mind. But other people be like, oh, okay, this is what works. And there’s research that it absolutely 100% works. But I think when you get more familiar you see it, or if you’re more intuitive, you feel feel that it’s off somehow.
Heather Pearce Campbell 31:04
And this when I was talking with my friend the other day, who has a phenomenal business, he’s a very heart centered entrepreneur, he is not the bro market, he type at all. And he was like, This is gonna be really controversial. But that tactic works on people who are less conscious. That’s how he described it, right? And he says, That’s not a put down. It’s just the reason why it works. And it’s like all this NLP built into it. And then that it made me so much angrier, like clearly, people who do this to some extent, I’m not saying everybody, because I think some people end up in this space, and they’re just following the formula, right? I don’t know that it’s that intentional. They just think, well, this is a strategy. That’s right, that I’m going to be I’m being taught and that’s obviously what works. So I’m going to do it. But I think there are people who know exactly what they’re doing. And they understand how they can manipulate people who are going to be very prone to that manipulation. And that’s massively like I have a huge ethical problem.
Michelle Mazur 32:05
Yeah. And it’s interesting, because so when I taught persuasion, there’s a theory called the elaboration likelihood model. And it describes basically two paths to persuasion. And it’s predicated on two questions that we kind of subconsciously ask ourselves. And the one question is, am I motivated to process this message? And the other one is, am I able to? So am I if you know, because if you’re sleepy or distracted by your kid, or you’ve got a million things on your mind, you’re not able to actually do that. And so if you answer no to either one of those questions, you are susceptible to the NLP to scarcity, authority, reciprocity, social proof. And what I find fascinating is the people who teach marketing often teach you how to manipulate the answers to those questions, so that they overwhelm you with all of those, like triggers that actually your brain loves, and relies on like, when you go to the grocery store, your brain is thinking, alright, what do I like, oh, yogurt, what kind of yogurt Oh, I’m going to buy the yogurt. I like like, that’s a trigger that we use all the time. But if you stack them up, you can shut down people’s critical thinking, especially when it’s like a big price tag. And all of a sudden, they can’t process the message. They’re feeling overwhelmed. It’s 11:58pm. And the carts going to close. And everybody’s talking about this thing. So it must be the right thing for your business. And oh my gosh, should you buy and probably even listening to that you’re feeling a little like, I knew that. And that’s like the bro marketing. And then the other path is when we say yes to those questions. Yes, I have the bandwidth to process this message. And yes, I want to think like I’m motivated, then we rely more on relationship building, making an argument for your work and why it can help a person and less on those manipulative triggers. And so I think, you know, and I think the important thing I always like to say is like, those triggers like scarcity, they can actually help people make decisions sometimes. So they can be good because being stuck in indecision sucks. If you’ve ever most of us have been there. And so like having something like oh, this has a deadline to it, that helps me make the decision. But if it’s the you know, the the disappearing and reappearing bonuses, and you’ll never get this again, or they’ll never be at this price again, then that just gets to be a lot.
Heather Pearce Campbell 34:52
Well, and I appreciate you pointing out that there are certain I’ll just call them like components of human behavior. A viewer that we do have to be aware of right. So like one of the things, even in coaching my clients on the legal side of things, when, when they’re talking about refund policies, and we’re building their terms and trying to put contracts in place that will protect them, I tell them upfront, like, be really conscientious of talking with your potential client or your potential buyers that especially on high ticket items, there is nearly always this period immediately following the purchase, where there’s buyer’s remorse. And it’s just part of our psychology that is designed to keep us safe, like, Oh, we ventured outside of our comfort zone a little bit. Now let’s pull it back in, right, but talk about it up front so that you can minimize the experience of that, if you know that you’re really authentically aligned with this particular client, and you know, that this would serve them. And I think it’s why I most appreciate, you know, because I’ve been at lots of events and watch people sell from stage and tons of online stuff, but the ones who do it right, in my opinion, are the ones that take the time to really authentically say, this is for you. If you fit these criteria, this will help you and I’m here to help you make a yes or no decision. But if you’re over here, or you’re not yet to this stage in business, like it’s not going to be a fit for you. Like we just, you know,
Michelle Mazur 36:21
oh my gosh, yeah, cuz everything for me goes back to agency and critical thinking. Like when I do messaging for clients, it’s about creating these conversations that make people think and give them agency to think, do I want to learn more? Do I want to take the next step? Or do I want to get their their guide or take their quiz or whatever, like, and so they’re actively making decisions, because they’re intrigued, or they think this might be the right next step for them. Instead of like, Oh, my gosh, this is the only time I can ever get this or everybody else is buying this thing. So I better buy it too.
Heather Pearce Campbell 37:00
Yes. And watching the difference of people who skillfully are committed to helping somebody reach the right decision for themselves versus a yes decision. There’s a huge distinction in watching the process. And I have watched, there’s one particular guy in the marketplace, and I’ve seen him present probably three times, every time every audience, it’s exactly the same. He sells the heck out of whatever it is he’s selling. And there’s a lot of unhappy people on the back end once they actually consume the service. But they literally have people like running to sign up on the signup form. And every time I’m just like, so sick to my stomach watching it because it’s such a charade. And it’s designed to get everybody thinking Yes, whether they need it or not. Yeah, that’s, you know, that’s the I, in my mind the worst of the worst. And I’m always like, very, and I’ll talk openly the people around me like, Did you see that? Like, you know, kind of describe it as I’m watching it. But it is amazing to watch it work every time.
Unknown Speaker 38:05
Heather Pearce Campbell 38:08
And that’s what’s unfortunate about that method of marketing.
Michelle Mazur 38:12
Mm hmm. Yeah, it’s highly effective. I’m not gonna lie and say that it’s not.
Heather Pearce Campbell 38:16
Right. Right. So what do you say to people who are like, okay, that’s one of my choices, it’s highly effective. I really, really, genuinely believe in what I’m offering. Because, you know, there are people who will teach sales from the standpoint of like, if you believe in your offer, and in your service, you will sell it right, you’re gonna be so much better standing authentically and being like, Yes, I believe I truly, genuinely believe that this will help you and help your business. Right? So for people who really are, let’s say, ethically motivated, but they have this choice to make about whether or not they may be give upsells sales versus, you know, engage in a more authentic dialogue that may ultimately get fewer people into their program. Right. How do you have that conversation with people?
Michelle Mazur 39:07
I look at it this way. Are you giving up sales? Are you giving up your next pain in the ass client?
Heather Pearce Campbell 39:13
Yeah, right, right.
Michelle Mazur 39:15
So if you manipulate somebody in to a program, there is a high likelihood they are going to have buyer’s remorse, there’s a high likelihood that they’re going to tell other people what a crappy experience they had in your program. And yes, you can believe in the power of what you do. 100%. And also, it is not right for every business owner or every person on the planet. Yep. And so when you’re truly looking, you know, having a conversation with someone and you’re like, No, I know I can help you. That’s very different than like, Oh, no, this is great. And it can help everyone so I’m gonna just get as many people as I can in it. Right. So That is how I look at the trade off. And honestly, I I guess I haven’t done the research on this quite yet in my own business and with my clients, but I’m I’m interested to see if like doesn’t negatively impact sales?
Heather Pearce Campbell 40:12
Yeah. Yeah. Well, it’s a good question. I just know that from certain live events, I’ve been to like watching the percentage of the room that responds to some of the techniques that we’re talking about that are so distasteful versus, you know, I think sometimes there can be a difference. But I also think that having the commitment, like you said to drawing in exactly the right people does mean better business, it probably means fewer, you know, pains in our hind ends. Better referrals.
Unknown Speaker 40:46
Heather Pearce Campbell 40:47
Right. So it’s, it’s the long game. It’s the I think it’s a longer play, and I think it’s a much better play.
Michelle Mazur 40:52
Yeah, cuz I feel like the bro marketing will get you the quick money grab.
Heather Pearce Campbell 40:56
Yes, yes. There’s the Actually, this comes full circle, because just one of the other conversations I was having the other day is about somebody, a gentleman that we all see online that does massive amounts of marketing and, you know, puts a huge amount of money into Facebook ads and online funnels and all of this, but somebody who is familiar with his business said the other day that they think his like refund request rate is as high as 50% on many of his sales. And I think that’s the trade off. That’s like an extreme example of what that trade off looks like.
Unknown Speaker 41:29
Yep, exactly. Exactly.
Heather Pearce Campbell 41:32
So talk with us. Share with us a bit about your three word rebellion. Right? So it’s a
Michelle Mazur 41:39
it’s a book, it’s a framework, it’s a movement? Yes. I’m really it’s kind of the answer to that like lazy ass marketing, messaging that fuels marketing, that bro marketing we’re just talking about. Because what I realized when I was like, burned out on speaking and wanting to leave that industry is I was what it was 2016. So I was watching a lot of news at the time. And I was also seeing the rise of social movements love, whether it was black lives matter, or even make America great again. But in my communication brain, I was like, Oh, that’s so interesting. You know, what movements do really well, they capture what they’re about, in just a few words. It’s memorable. And then I realized that some of my favorite, favorite favorite entrepreneurs did the same thing. Like I thought about Simon Sinek. And start with why or Mel Robbins and the five second rule, and I’m like, that is really interesting. These two groups have something in common, they both have a very memorable message about change that they’re trying to create in the world. And so I took a social movement class, like back in my PhD, and I was like, I wonder if I could use some of the questions that are from social movements, and have my clients a free write on them. So we can like, get like a word bank and see if we could find the core message that their business is all about. That is remarkable that other people would want to share. That’s not the normal like positioning, I help x dou y so that they can z statement. But really this message that is for your people to spread. And it worked. That was really how the three word rebellion was born. And then I realized, like, great, you get your three words, like even when I came up with the term three word rebellion, I was like, Okay, this is so good. And then the next problem was, how do I talk about this, so people actually buy in? Because I mean, we’re so familiar with start with why but I always tell people like when Simon Sinek first came up with that, and he lived in the Puget Sound area, it’s not like he was in downtown Seattle, just like on the corner, start with why
Unknown Speaker 43:54
start with why
Michelle Mazur 43:56
you got to figure out how to talk about that thing. And I had to figure that out. So I was like, Oh, my clients are gonna have to figure this out, too. And that’s where the other work around the client journey and signature stories come in. And then thinking about like, Oh, my gosh, I’m gonna launch this and apply this to my marketing. And so for me, that’s really the crux of it. But the three, your three word rebellion is the genesis of where all your other messaging grows out from. And then you use that messaging everywhere in your business, in your copy on your website, in your marketing campaigns. When you post on social media when you’re in a podcast interview like this, do you know how many stories from today that I’ve told before?
Unknown Speaker 44:41
I’ve made these
Michelle Mazur 44:41
points before? Right, right. And that means we get to practice our message, we get to see what works and we get to be what I call radically consistent with our message the way you know, Bernie brown shows up and tells us the same story and we love to hear it again and again. So that’s really what the messaging framework morphed into. But it really all starts with the three word rebellion. And then once you have that message, like, everything becomes a little bit easier in your business because you know, what the heck to say?
Heather Pearce Campbell 45:16
The thing that’s so clarifying about that one, it’s like a tagline or a mini mission statement or something. Right. And I think to be memorable, it has to be that concise. Right? It has to be that simple.
Michelle Mazur 45:33
Yeah. So I saw a three word rebellion. A good three word rebellion does something in your, you know, your audience’s head? So the first thing it does it like grabs their attention, it makes them lean forward, and then think, Oh, well, what does that mean? Like, what is the three word rebellion? And then the second part takes place, like they’re curious about what it is, and then they start thinking about themselves? Like, what are my three words? How could I use a three word rebellion? And when people start thinking about your message, your work, it’s way more memorable. You’ve got their attention, they’re ready to learn more from you. And I mean, I mean, and since I’m all about inspiring thinking, that’s exactly what it does. It inspires people to think and ask more. So that’s, that’s really the power of it grabs attention and makes people think,
Heather Pearce Campbell 46:33
I love that piece. I mean, the thinking part the sparking curiosity, right? And then especially the self reflection, like, how does this apply? Because nothing happens until you make that leap for somebody? Right? They’re not going to get into movement without seeing how the dots connect to them.
Michelle Mazur 46:52
Exactly, exactly. And most of the positioning statements out there, it’s all about the business owner and never makes people think like, ooh, what, what does that mean for me? Or what could or what are my three words? Or what is my Why? We’re just like thinking like, Oh, so that’s what you do. Cool. And so that that’s really the thing, it makes people connect those dots and start thinking about themselves and how they can use your work.
Heather Pearce Campbell 47:20
Totally. So are you able to share examples of clients you’ve worked with to come up with their 3 billion, I would love to hear some examples. One of
Michelle Mazur 47:28
my favorite, this is one of my all time favorite examples. Her name is Michelle Evans. And she’s she does marketing. And she had a podcast called the marketing funnel show. And I don’t know about you, I do not want to listen to a podcast about marketing funnel show that is like, Oh,
Heather Pearce Campbell 47:47
I missed what was going off is like went well, like? Yes.
Michelle Mazur 47:53
Let’s have that. And Michelle always had such like, a unique perspective on how to do marketing. And she had a really unique mission about how and even in her own business she had these times where, like, stuff would happen in her life, and she wasn’t able to attend to her business. So how do you keep that going? And so as we went through the three word rebellion process, her three word rebellion ended up being profit without worry. Oh, nice. And she changed her podcasts name, like, that’s all she did. She changed the name of her podcast, and her downloads quadrupled. Because people want to know, like, ooh, profit without worry, like, you can do that. How do I do that? And it was intriguing. It totally represented who she was. And it got her right people to listen to her show and pay attention to her work.
Heather Pearce Campbell 48:47
I love that. Do you find that the strongest three word rebellions point the arrow towards a result or towards a desired outcome for somebody? Right?
Unknown Speaker 49:03
I think it depends, because
Michelle Mazur 49:07
because I in the book, well, I’m going to be revising the book soon, because I’ve learned a lot about the three word rebellion in three years. There are different types of three word rebellions. There’s that kind of action oriented starts with the verb points to the result. But then the ones I find that are really intriguing are the ones that are a little bit named the change. So like the five second rule is like a great example. Because when I first heard Mel Robbins, and she was like talking and did today, and I was like, Oh, I really liked this woman. She’s like, yeah, so I just use the five second rule, and I’m like, what, what’s five second rule? Should I be following this five second rule, like and so said, I’m googling I’m like watching her TED Talk To find out more information. So like a three word rebellion is like a change agent one because people don’t know what it is, but they’re like, Oh, that’s like that’s intriguing. But that sounds super cool. And so so it does in some way. It always incorporates change. But sometimes it’s that outcome result that people really want. And other times it’s more of that abstract way we get them to that ultimate results.
Heather Pearce Campbell 50:18
Well, and I like your point about the App Store. I think the abstract has the, the really strong potential to create that curiosity, right. Like, wait a second, should I know what this is? Have I heard this beat? Like, I better go look it up, right?
Michelle Mazur 50:34
Yes. And I think that’s when it’s, I mean, both of them, it’s particularly important to have like messaging that backs it up. Because if you can’t explain to people what profit without where a means, or you can’t explain to people what the five second rule is, then you’re going to lose them. So having that messaging to back it up is so important.
Heather Pearce Campbell 50:55
And the messaging to back it up, is that also another exercise and becoming even more concise, like in our descriptions, is that are you talking a few sentences that are consistently that you’re using? Are you talking something bigger than that?
Michelle Mazur 51:11
It can. So sometimes it is just a few sentences, I think about them as conversation starters. So you know, I and I use the customer awareness spectrum, when I do the client journey work thinking about like, how do you get people because there are 7 billion people in the world, right? And only a few of them know, you sow? How do you get more of those seven billions attention? So what kinds of topics Can you be talking about? Because most entrepreneurs and business owners, they go straight for the solution? Like, oh, messaging is your problem, and let me tell you how to solve it. And most of the time, they don’t know that. That’s actually what their problem is. They’re somewhere else and you have to like, capture their attention somehow. So what are those conversation starters? And sometimes they’re, like super pithy, like you share a quote that reinsures reassures them, and then they like, are like, Oh, this is cool. Like, I love this, this makes me feel better. And then they go a little bit further down the rabbit hole. And it can be longer form content. So it can have form like your blog posts and your podcasts that you’re doing. And videos. Yeah.
Heather Pearce Campbell 52:19
Well, that first point, I think is so important we get so I mean, all of us are so close to our work, we forget that we have to spend more time at the beginning, connecting the dots for somebody, right? Yeah, for a certain proportion of our potential audience, we actually have to be the person saying, hey, you don’t even know this is a problem. And it’s a problem. You better pay attention to it. Here’s why. Right?
Michelle Mazur 52:43
Well, it’s like how I was describing at the beginning that most people don’t realize they have. They don’t know what messaging is really, because there are people who define it in very strange ways.
Heather Pearce Campbell 52:53
Right? They just think they’re using the wrong marketing strategy. Right? Yeah.
Michelle Mazur 52:57
Yeah. So it’s like, oh, my business isn’t growing, because I’m using the wrong marketing strategy. And it’s like, No, your message is kind of all over the place. And I don’t know what you’re about or what you do.
Heather Pearce Campbell 53:10
Yes, so important. So I feel like we could just go so deep into this. You’re just a wealth of knowledge. And I love it. For folks that are listening. Where, where do you like to connect online? Where do you like for them to come find you?
Michelle Mazur 53:26
Yeah, so I am on Instagram. That’s like my main social media squeeze. So I’m at Dr. Michelle maser on Instagram. If you’re listening, you can like DM me, and tell me like one of your takeaways from the show. I love to connect with people that way. So just feel free to follow me and slide in my DMS and let me know what you think.
Heather Pearce Campbell 53:47
And I highly recommend this. So Michelle and I have known each other for years, but this is where I was seeing her especially more recently, and I thought, oh, I’ve got to get Michelle on my podcast. So perfect. I love your messaging. I love the way that you teach through Instagram, right? Some people really use it as a way to share their knowledge which you do so well. So if you’re listening connect with Michelle on Instagram. I’m also going to share your any other links like your website, anything else you want me to share in the show notes which can be found at Legal Website Warrior® comm forward slash podcast. I think you’ve got a couple of gifts for people, right?
Michelle Mazur 54:24
Yes, yes. So if you’re curious about this three word rebellion thing, and you’re not sure you want to buy the book yet, you can go to three word rebellion, calm and get a taster. So you’ll get a couple of the prompts to do free writing on and it starts taking you through how to find and create your three word rebellion. And I also have a quiz that’s all about finding the right roadmap for getting your message out into the world and that is at the rebel quiz.com
Heather Pearce Campbell 54:58
I love it. I love the way You use rebel in your messaging and your I mean, it’s so who you are I remember even when I first met you feeling like that was so perfect for you. So you definitely want to connect with Michelle online. She’s so fun to follow, you’re going to learn so much. We’re going to have those links for both of her freebies as well at the show notes. So again, The Legal Website Warrior®, forward slash podcast. Michelle, what final either takeaways or action steps do you want to leave with people?
Michelle Mazur 55:30
Yeah, I want to encourage people to pause and think about their message because your words have impact. And there’s even neuroscience that words can change how you feel it can change your body, it can change your mind. So taking the time between creating that great offer and marketing that great offer to pause and go deep and figure out how you want to communicate this offer is going to make a huge difference in your business.
Heather Pearce Campbell 56:08
Oh, I feel like that is I mean, everybody needs to hear that especially now this weird, intense time that we’re in. giving ourselves permission to pause i think is a really hard thing to do, especially right now. And that reminder that our words have power, right our self talk our marketing, like all the words that we choose, we have to be very careful with love that. Michelle, I’m so glad you’re in this space helping people get it right. Thank you so much for coming on here and sharing your brilliance and your joy for what you do. I love it.
Michelle Mazur 56:44
Thanks for having me, Heather.
Heather Pearce Campbell 56:46
Oh you are so welcome.
GGGB Outro 56:51
Thank you for joining us today on the Guts, Grit and 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 legalwebsitewarrior.com/podcast. 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.