Guts, Grit & Great Business Podcast
February 2nd, 2021
Unstoppable Referrals – Growth Strategies for Consultants
With Steve Gordon, Founder of The Unstoppable Agency, and a 2-time entrepreneur and bestselling author of Unstoppable Referrals: 10x Referrals, Half the Effort and The Exponential Network Strategy. He’s the host of The Unstoppable CEO podcast and has published over 400 articles on marketing and sales for professional service firms. His firm, The Unstoppable Agency helps consultants and digital agencies land great clients by hosting their own podcast and using his proprietary Podcast Prospecting Method.
Join us in this conversation as Steve shares about his desire to “find a lazy way to market” and how that launched his journey into podcasting, what a gem podcasting turned out to be in supporting relationship building, and how it became his primary way to create content for his business. Steve shares numerous insights into how podcasting can be multi-purposed for various needs in business, ultimately saving two of our most valuable resources: time and energy.
Steve shares about how to thoughtfully use podcasting as a tool for serving others, including colleagues and potential clients, shares his insights on the power of letting your ideas sell for you, and the magic that happens when you set yourself up as a trusted advisor instead of a salesperson. Whether you are interested in podcasting, or are just wanting additional insights that will serve you in your marketing efforts, you will love Steve’s episode.
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Biggest takeaways (or quotes) you don’t want to miss:
- How to multipurpose podcast content to save two of our greatest resources: time & energy!
- Why podcasting surpassed all of Steve’s other marketing efforts
- How podcasting supports sales without being “salesy”
Check out these highlights:
2:57 The surprising reason Steve got into podcasting.
19:17 The challenges Steve faced when building his business.
27:00 Getting your marketing systemized so that it keeps on going no matter what.
How to get in touch with Steve:
On social media:
FREE GIFT FOR LISTENERS:
Head on over to Steve’s website here to grab his free book, Podcast Prospecting™ and get your free Growth Score.
Steve Gordon is a 2-time entrepreneur, and bestselling author of Unstoppable Referrals: 10x Referrals, Half the Effort and The Exponential Network Strategy. He’s the host of The Unstoppable CEO podcast and has published over 400 articles on marketing and sales for professional service firms.
His firm, The Unstoppable Agency helps consultants and digital agencies land great clients by hosting their own podcast and using his proprietary Podcast Prospecting Method.
Learn more about Steve 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 and Great Business.
Steve Gordon 0:04
It took a few years to realize all of those sales, but we probably did, I don’t know, five or $6 million worth of sales out of the people who were in that room. You know, when I finally realized that, I thought, wait a second, this is this is a powerful thing, being able to use some type of medium to stand up and kind of share your ideas and let your ideas sell for you. Which is one of the things that we really advocate. Now for all of our clients get those ideas to sell for you, they’ll do a far better job of selling your expertise than you trying to go into a sales meeting where they’re trying to pitch.
GGGB Intro 0:38
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 1:10
Okay, welcome. I am Heather Pearce Campbell, The Legal Website Warrior®. I am an attorney and legal coach based here in Seattle, Washington. Welcome to another episode of Guts, Grit, and Great Business. We met through a mutual group and I’ve gotten to know him over the last month or so. And I’m so excited for you to hear about what he does for folks in the entrepreneurial space. Steve is a two time entrepreneur and best selling author of three books including unstoppable referrals, half the effort and the exponential network strategy. He’s the host of the unstoppable CEO podcast and has published over 400 articles on marketing and sales for professional service firms. His firm, the unstoppable agency helps consultants and digital agencies land great clients by hosting their own podcast, and using his proprietary podcast, prospecting method. Steve, welcome. I’m so excited to have you here today. I know right? Before we got started, you said you’re in the midst of a storm in the background. So we might hear some lightning and thundering going on where you are.
Steve Gordon 2:24
I’m hoping we’re on the tail end. That’s the way it sort of works here in Florida. They come up, they’re really kind of crazy for about 20 minutes, and then they go away. I think we’re getting on the tail end of it.
Heather Pearce Campbell 2:35
So good. Yeah, just in time for you to enjoy your Friday evening. Well, thank you so much for joining. I tell me how did you get I’m curious how you got into podcasting. You’re obviously a marketing guy, you have a lot of experience around marketing. And podcasting looks like seems to be a love of yours. How did you get into the podcasting space?
Steve Gordon 2:57
Well, so it’s interesting. I started my first podcast in 2012. And I think I was probably an early podcast listener. You know, going back to the old iPod days when you had to actually plug it into your computer and sync the latest episodes. And I was two years into starting our current company, and we do marketing for professional, I thought, well, this will be a great way for me to market. And so I kind of got into it from that direction. But that podcast lasted a year, I got really busy with the business after that, I got too busy, in fact, to keep it going. So it died. I kicked myself every day now for not carrying it forward. But I came back around to it about three and a half years ago, really, because I was looking for a lazy way to market. And you know, and so when I started our current podcast, it was a way for me to do several things at one time without taking up a lot of time on my already packed calendar. You know, it kind of checked the box for all of my networking and building strategic relationships. I went in 2012, I actually went cold turkey on networking, I quit going to local networking events, and, frankly, click onto a lot of conferences that that was turning out to be a waste of time that I would go to and tell myself, I needed to be at those places because, gosh, I need to go and network and see who’s there and all that. What I found was I could get just about anybody on the other end of an interview like this. And it was a really great way to build relationships actually much more productive than meeting somebody in the hallway at a conference or having a coffee date or something like that. So so it took care of that and took care of all of my content creation. So instead of me having to sit down and write an article, you know, every week or something, took care of that and other times started this podcast that I’ve got now, I had come off of four years of writing a daily email to our mailing list. And if you’ve never tried it, I don’t recommend it. It’s a lot of work. You know, I’d be up at 5:30 in the morning trying to cram in my 20 or 30 minutes to get a message out. That made any kind of sense. And after about four years of that, you know, I finally just said, Look, it’s been great, it’s been effective, but I need a way that actually works with my schedule. So check that box. And, you know, and so it fed all of our other marketing or social media, or, you know, our email marketing, all of that. So that’s really where it came from. It was my, my own laziness that got me into it.
Heather Pearce Campbell 5:47
I love the description of how it you know, how you can multi purpose it and like, even the concept, that podcast could be the new networking, right? I think for a lot of people networking does feel like that thing they have to do, you know, it can be hard. For some people, it feels awkward, you know, like, depending on how it’s done, the organization that’s hosting it, the groups, right, it can be that thing that feels like one more thing to do on your schedule. But which, truthfully, is like really, really important that we all be doing, right?
Steve Gordon 6:24
We have been meeting people, of course, yeah, you’ve got to build those relationships, it’s not that you have to start doing that, or that you even can start doing that you need to do that to grow your business. But one of the things I found so I did a ton of networking, I was involved in, you know, one of the big international networking groups, I was an officer in a local chapter of that group. And I remember them talking about like, their best members all over the world spent like 10% of their time, or 20% of their time is eight to 10 hours a week networking. And so I said, okay, well, I’m going to do that. And, and thankfully, I had a team at the time that was able to handle the business, I could be away from the business for a full, you know, effectively a full day a week. But that’s all if you think about it, that is a tremendous amount of time to be out of the business. So I would, you know, I go to various networking events. So you know, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I’d have something on the calendar, I was constantly coming home late, which did not make my wife happy. And, and that wasn’t sustainable. And I then set up these coffee dates. And it got to the point that I got pretty efficient with it. I go and camp out in one of the local coffee shops for a morning, once a week. And I’d have two appointments an hour, 20 minutes each with a little bit of a break in between, you know, so it’s really efficient. But something I noticed there was people would show up, and they would be the person I was meeting, they’d be late, they’d be rushed. They were coming from something else. You know, if they did get there on time, we’d have a great conversation at the end of it, they go, well, this is really great. I can’t wait to have a mutually beneficial relationship. I walk away from that and go, Yeah, it sounds great. But what does it mean? What are we going to do? And, and most of the time, nothing would ever come of it. And the other thing I found is I wasn’t always being I wasn’t always able to really meet the people that would move the business forward. A lot of the people that I really wanted to connect with a higher level, people were harder to reach. And they weren’t out doing the networking, they’d already built their network. So you know, what I found when I started doing podcasts is that I could reach those higher-level people because they still have this sort of drive to promote themselves. They understand that exposure is important that PR is important. And we’re giving them an opportunity to do that. And then the experience was totally different. They would show up instead of me getting 20 minutes with them. I might have 45 minutes or an hour as we have today. Yeah. And the other person would show up not late. They’d never be late. They’d never be hurried. They’d be prepared and ready and full of energy and you know why they’re on stage?
Heather Pearce Campbell 9:18
Well, I love that I love how the podcasting you know, platform and using it as a method for more than that in your business. But you know, you are using it to network and really spend time with somebody to get to know them. you’re offering them essentially a gift, right? The business necessity that we all get our message out there. So already like you’re starting that relationship off from the standpoint of having essentially given them a gift. Which doesn’t, right who doesn’t love that? And then getting to spend like you said more than 15 minutes like on the phone or at a coffee shop with them. Like really asking for the most part probably I mean, I’m sure you are phenomenal hosts since you’ve done it for Yours, asking meaningful questions and really getting people to open up and have real conversations, I think it’s a really powerful tool. And then the icing on the cake is being able to use that content in other places, fulfilling the need that you have in your business to create content and educate people.
Steve Gordon 10:18
Yeah, absolutely. It’s just a phenomenal use of time in your marketing, and, you know, it’s, it’s really interesting when you connect with somebody in this way, and we connect, not just with, you know, strategic partners, or referral, you know, centers will connect with prospects, yes, if you’ve got that hard to reach a prospect, this is a really great way to jump over all of the gatekeepers that they’ve got, you know, they put that moat around themselves, so that you can’t get into them if you’re a salesperson. So don’t show up as a salesperson, right? Show up as a member of the media, so to speak, and, you know, and interview them about their expertise, it creates reciprocity, you’re going to create enough of a relationship that the next time you do want to reach out with an email or phone call, they’re going to be open and receptive to it, they’re going to take the call, they’re going to respond to the email. And we actually have over the year sort of developed a way to, to wrap the conversation up after the interview, where you get really focused on their goals so that you understand where they’re headed because that’s the only way you’re ever going to create any opportunity for yourself in the future. So you can help them get where they want to go. You know, you need to know what that is. And then once you know what it is, you can come back creatively and say, you know, I, maybe I can introduce you to people because now I have a podcast, I have this amazing network, you know, or maybe, you know, maybe you come back with some ideas that will help them and sometimes those ideas are, hey, would it be great if we collaborated? I think I could get you there faster?
Heather Pearce Campbell 11:55
Yes. Well, I love that. I mean, there’s an I agree to like and I love the idea that you have this system, right, there’s a path that you can walk that will facilitate the kind of conversation that you need to have in order to not only learn more about them, especially if they are a potential prospect, but to actually be able to serve them on their path, whether that is just an additional connection in your network or whatever might come next for them. But I love the idea of systematizing it and really being more thoughtful about the way that you use your podcast as a tool in your business as a platform and as a way to serve other people. And I’d love to come back to this because I know you’ve got a gift that people will want to hear about. But I want to go back a little bit into the earlier days of your career. Right. So you started what was your first business? What was the very first thing you did out of the gate?
Steve Gordon 12:48
So my background is, is technical. I’m a recovering engineer, and I went to work for an engineering consulting company down in South Florida. And I was the 10th employee, a small growing firm. And, and had been there about four years and, and the founder kind of pulled me aside and said, Hey, I’d love for you to, to step in and take over and you know, and so I took over for him leading the firm, but we got to work together for about, I guess about eight years after that. It was great. He was a fantastic mentor. And, you know, really kind of guided me as we grew that business was a lot of fun.
Heather Pearce Campbell 13:27
Wow. So I love the recovering engineer part. You’re obviously no longer in engineering then. But so what was that the business that you grew to the multi seven-figure? Yes. Yep. So you had a team of engineers and other people supporting that work? Absolutely. Yeah.
Steve Gordon 13:43
So we were in a tiny little discipline of engineering called geomatics, which probably no one has ever heard of. But if you’ve used something like Google Maps, then you’ve kind of had an experience with it. We were kind of in the early days of those sorts of computer systems.
Heather Pearce Campbell 14:00
Oh, wow. Yeah, you’re right. I’ve not heard of geomatics I was, you know, thinking like, is it structural? Is it civil? Like you think of the main, the main ones, engineers are essential to everything we build? Right? So how did you shift out of engineering? What did your path look like when you moved away from that?
Steve Gordon 14:22
Well, you know, I, over the years of growing that business really just kind of come to the realization that I was much more passionate about the marketing part of the business. And, you know, being out in front of people you know, and doing that, that part of it rather than doing a lot of the technical work. And, and so I had the opportunity to, to start you know, this new venture and really focused on working with other expertise-based businesses, you know, people who are getting really paid for their knowledge you know, you’re here in LA, you’re in the same kind of business you get paid for your knowledge and your patience. arrogance and applying that knowledge and experience to help someone solve a particular problem. And as you know, it’s that it’s a very different thing to try and sell your own expertise. It’s not like selling a product. No, you’re both the salesperson and the product at that same time. Kind of hard to do.
Heather Pearce Campbell 15:26
Yeah, it is.
Steve Gordon 15:26
It takes a different approach. And so that’s, that’s really who we serve, and kind of came out of that experience in the engineering world.
Heather Pearce Campbell 15:35
Well, and I love that because people who are I mean, who are in the area, you know, in the fields, I’m sure there’s a variety of professions in there that you serve? It’s an interesting thing to be both the salesperson, right, and the product. I mean, it’s, you know, and it really is all about developing relationships, which is, I mean, I think another reason why the podcast method is so brilliant at that, right. It’s one of the things that I think podcasting can really do well. What did you learn in that first business engineering business, even though it was different than what you moved into next? What did you learn in that business that you really take with you from a business building perspective?
Steve Gordon 16:21
I think probably the biggest thing that, that I learned, and it took me a little while to sort of reflecting back on how valuable this was. But one of the very first things I did in that business, it was, I got pulled into doing presentations for new projects. And, you know, the part of our growth was really growing the government contracting side of that business, we hadn’t done that before I got there. And so that involves doing a lot of presentations, a lot of education, we were rolling out new technologies at the time, and trying to convince government agencies that they would, they’d be a lot better off if they adopted some of these technologies, and really increase their efficiency and their effectiveness. And so we really became almost like a Pied Piper for some of these techniques. And so that meant I was doing a lot of speaking, I didn’t really put the pieces of that together and how important that was for a few years. But within six months of me, starting right out of college, I was giving a presentation for a room full of prospects. And I look back on that presentation, it took a few years to realize all of those sales, but we probably did, I don’t know, five or $6 million worth of sales out of the people who were in that room, you know, when I finally realized that I can’t wait for a second, this is a powerful thing, being able to use some type of medium to stand up and kind of share your ideas and let your ideas sell for you. This is one of the things that we really advocate now for all of our clients get those ideas to sell for you, they’ll do a far better job of selling your expertise than you trying to go into a sales meeting where they’re trying to pitch, we want to pre-sell prospects so that by the time you’re in that conversation, they’ve already decided that, you know, in like, in your case, you know, Heather that you’re the only attorney they ever want to talk to because your ideas, resonate with them, that your ideas are perfectly tuned for them. And I love what you’ve done with your business because you’ve made it specifically for certain types of clients.
Heather Pearce Campbell 18:24
Thank you. I love this concept that you mentioned about like, don’t show up as a salesman, right. And, you know, with the podcast, you get to do that you show up as a peer, you show up as a member of the media. I think even in speaking when you can show up as an educator or show up as a helper, right, here’s what you need to know, like, before you get to the point of needing to show up as the salesman, you’ve done the key part of the relationship building, which is really powerful. But you learned that lesson early through your speaking and then you get to take those gifts into what you’re doing now in serving your clients. What in your business building journey especially, you know, transitioning to this new business based around marketing, helping your clients really develop systems for attracting clients and marketing. What are some of the speed bumps that you’ve hit?
Steve Gordon 19:17
My gosh, there are a lot of them as you know, building any business is a challenge. I really underestimated how difficult it is to start from scratch. So my first experience running a business, I was running a business that was functioning and operating and had cash flow, you know, and had clients that it was so much easier to come into that situation and enhance what was already there and working then to start from scratch and really try and figure out, okay, who’s my market? What are we selling? How we got it? How do we need to present it, you know, in a way that they’re going to want to buy it and That took more than I thought it was going to take to accomplish. And so that was probably the first big kind of speed bump. But I mean, all along the way, I think there are inflection points in business. Most of the speed bumps that I know this is something you and I are working on a lot in the group that we’re in, I think most of the speed bumps your mindset. Yeah, yeah. So I wrote my book, my first book, Unstoppable Referrals in 2014. And that was actually the third attempt at writing a book. The first two went in the trash can, because, frankly, because of my own head trash around, is this good enough? Do you know? And am I really, you know, expert enough? To write my Yes, who am I put this out there? All the things? Absolutely. And so now, I mean, one of the things we do in addition to creating podcasts for our clients as we helped them, create a book because I found that the two tools together, really complement each other. But yeah, I went through all of those challenges, I see it in our clients now, where whether it’s, you know, whether it’s a book or a podcast, or presentation or webinar that they’re trying to give, they have these questions and doubts in their mind. And that can really create speed bumps, I’ve seen it with, with some of the clients that we’ve coached in the past, it’ll slow them down for six months, or a year, where they just, they know they want to do it, they know they need to do it, you know, but they’re just, it’s like their feet have, you know, concrete poured over them, they can’t move.
Heather Pearce Campbell 21:40
Well, and it’s Yes, I want to revisit both the points, you made one about it taking longer and more like activation energy to build something from scratch, you know, to me, like you think of an actual building project, right. And I cut my teeth in legal world on a massive piece of construction defect litigation, right, multi-million dollar piece of litigation that went sideways. I mean, the whole project was really a catastrophe. At one point, I think we had over 20 or 30, individual attorneys on the case representing different parties. Yeah. So but the like, some of the lessons that came out of that, and really exposure to the building industry period, like a project always takes longer, and cost more than you think it’s going to write just full stop pretty much like across the board. And I think the same is true. In our business building journey, right? There are those quips over like overnight success, really, which make light of the fact that like, there is no such thing, right? It just, it takes longer, it takes like being in it you. And this is part of actually the conversation that I love, whether it’s business, whether it’s life, like anything worth doing is like you have to be in it for the marathon, not the sprint, right. And so the business-building journey is the same. And I think that’s a powerful lesson and just a reality. And the earlier people can accept that I think we can do a better job of not trying to look at what is, you know, we’re immediately trying to get done tomorrow, but like, what is the bigger path? What is the fuller path, and, you know, secondarily, this concept about, you know, and it’s my fundamental belief that our business journeys are limited, right, by our, our cap on our personal growth, we cap our personal growth off, like our business growth is going to be limited by that?
Steve Gordon 23:38
Yes, very much. So. And I gotta tell you, that was really challenging thing. So in, you know, in that first half of my career, you know, within that small little industry, I mean, you have to remember, this is going back to the mid-90s. And, you know, when I first started, there was no internet, you know, we didn’t have it in the business for a year. We didn’t have an email for, I think, a year and a half, two years. So it was a little bit of a different time, a little bit of a smaller world, frankly. But at age 28, to be in that kind of a position. That was pretty noteworthy within, you know, within the state. I mean, I was fairly well known. You know, I actually got a few years later got elected to be the the president of the state, you know, Association for nine industry. Yeah, you know, and did a lot with that, and a lot of lobbying and all this stuff. And so I was, I had reached this sort of pinnacle of success in that career kind of gone as far as I could go. We built one of the bigger firms in, you know, at least in our region. And, and then I come back around, and I’m starting over and I think this should really be easy, you know, look at what I’ve done. Look at how great I’ve been, you know, doesn’t really work like that. Yeah. When you’re starting over, yes, there are some advantages, you know, some things, but you still have that journey to go through. And I think a lot of people aren’t prepared for that. You know?
Heather Pearce Campbell 25:12
Talk to me about the process of taking that leap, was it hard? What did it take for you to make that choice of like, Hmm, this is not the thing I want to be doing right. And, and actually making a big pivot, especially because you had already reached a certain level of success, right. In some ways, I think that would be harder for people, once they’re there, to walk away from that, or pivot, versus somebody who hadn’t ever gone, there might be easier to walk away from that path.
Steve Gordon 25:41
Actually as, you know, at the time that happened, we were going through massive changes in the market. So a lot of the work we did was, with real estate. And, and this is, oh, 08-09. And, and so we might, you know, my partners and I, we looked around it at what was about to happen to the industry, it was about to go through a 10-year depression. And thankfully, we were in good enough shape that we could, you know, we could all go our separate ways. And so it was just good timing and to kind of, to kind of move on. But I’m very thankful that we made that decision, I had colleagues that that stuck it out. And it was a long, challenging road, you know, staying with it. And so it was the right time, I was at a place where I knew there were other bigger challenges I wanted to go after. So it’s just great timing.
Heather Pearce Campbell 26:38
Yeah. Well, and now, I mean, looking backward, and especially at what you’ve done in this business, what like, what are some of the keys? What are the key ways you wish that you could influence other people to avoid some of the same bumps? Right? What are the like, share a couple of points with us that you feel like people should either sidestep or skip over, you know, based on your experience and what you’ve learned?
Steve Gordon 27:03
Sure, so I, you know, the big thing that I think people are always trying to figure out is, how do I get traction and kind of get momentum, so the business is growing. And the biggest, I think, hurdle there is for, for experts, for service businesses. The owner is usually the one that’s driving all the business development. And they’re also intimately involved in the delivery of the service, usually. And they always sort of, you know, pulled back and forth between these two roles. And it’s, you know, it’s like living this sort of mini nightmare, because you are either so stressed because you’ve got so much work, or you’re freaked out and laying in bed, you know, as, as one of our clients says, doing math on the ceiling at 2 am, you know, trying to figure how am I going to make payroll, you know, because you don’t have a backlog. So the answer to that is getting marketing that you can do that getting business development and getting that systemized so that it keeps going, no matter how busy you get that it takes up a really small footprint on your calendar, and get a team in place to handle all of the moving parts behind you so that you’re doing the CEO work, you’re keeping the business, develop machine development machine going, even while you’re busy having to do client work as well. And to me, that is the fundamental thing that flips people over into, into that momentum phase where they’re really starting to move forward.
Heather Pearce Campbell 28:44
No, I love that I and I can relate really strongly to that dichotomy that you described between like, being pulled in two directions and having to split your focus in your business, right you do the work and serve the clients and show up doing essentially the thing that caused you to start the business in the first place, right. Most of us usually are technicians like we do a certain thing, we have a certain skill set, we want to show up and do that. And then along the way, we have to learn what it actually takes to run a business doing that, right. And that’s where the business development, the learning, marketing and sales, and all of this stuff piles on. And then we have to figure out how do we split our time between those two things. And I, I love the concept of choosing a tool that has a smaller footprint on your calendar, right? Because I think some people alternately could try to offload the actual work right, offload the client work and get subsumed by like, How do you stay in the marketing? How do you be the face of your business? How do you show up over here and rather than looking for tools that are more efficient to do that for you? I love that little highlighter.
Steve Gordon 29:51
Yeah, I think a lot of people are you said, you know a lot of us are technicians in the business that we’re in. A lot of people like doing client work. That’s what fires them up, you know, they enjoy it. And so you shouldn’t have to give that up if you really enjoy it, but you also have to be able to develop new business. And, and so the other thing that that I think is a little bit of a secret with podcasts is that you’re, you’re booking people onto your calendar, you’re going out and identifying very strategically, who are the relationships that I, you know, I need for the business and you’re getting them on your calendar. Well, guess what that’s built-in accountability. If there’s a really great prospect, and they’re on your calendar, it doesn’t really matter how busy you are with client work, you’re not going to change that meeting, and you’re going to show up on time. Every time.
Heather Pearce Campbell 30:45
True, yes. And I think that for those of us who have learned, and especially if you’re in a services-based business, you better be accountable to your calendar, right? mean, your business really relies on it. And so use that to our advantage. I mean, to the extent that we can use that to our advantage, and, and also multi-purpose, like use the time that we’re spending doing certain activities, I mean, the thing that’s fascinating about a podcast, and I really see it now that and I’m still a podcast newbie, right, but I’m a few months in and seeing how, you know, compared to other things that you can be doing, like the podcast, this whole concept of doing the relationship building, doing the content creation, doing the even the prospecting, if you’re using a system, like the one that you teach, right, can really minimize the other time that you spend having to do each of those things separately.
Steve Gordon 31:44
Heather Pearce Campbell 31:45
Yeah. So. So you where you’re at now and serving, I mean, probably hundreds, maybe 1000s of folks in essentially service-based businesses, get their system set up, go through their marketing, etc. What, what do you see as their biggest hurdles in implementing some of the stuff that you teach?
Steve Gordon 32:10
The number one biggest hurdle is time.
Heather Pearce Campbell 32:12
Steve Gordon 32:13
They don’t have time to do it. But the close second to that is capability. And, you know, what we see a lot of times is people will, they’ll look at a strategy, they’ll read a book, they’ll attend a webinar, they’ll go, Okay, how can I implement that myself? And I think that’s a trap. And I know, maybe it’s a little bit self-serving, because that’s what we do. We but we didn’t do that. To begin with, when we started the business. It was just consulting, you know, I would have clients come in, we develop a marketing strategy for them, we didn’t do any of the implementations. The way that we kind of got into this was our clients kept coming to us saying other strategies. I don’t know how to get this done. I don’t have anybody in my office that could get this done. You know, some of them tried to go hire people to help them. And that turned out to be a disaster. And I got to ask enough, I was on a coaching call with one of our clients. And I finally just said to him, Look, if we did that piece for you, would it help, he’s like, Oh, my God, change the world because he’d come back for like three quarters in a row with us on a list to get it done. And he just was hitting a brick wall. And we talked through the solution to the problem, you know until we’re blue in the face, you know, he knew what it was. He just couldn’t get there. And so we said, Well, look, we’ve got the team, we’ve got the systems and the processes will just start doing this for clients. It’s amazing when we began offering that to all of our consulting clients, like within a month and a half, they had all flipped and said, yeah, we want you to do that, too.
Heather Pearce Campbell 33:50
Nervous, then what you’re talking about the difference between knowing how to do something or knowing that you should versus the actual doing of it? I mean, I think so many people stay stuck in that place. Because already they’re at a point, I think often already, they’re at a point of being maxed out as far as you know, how much they can do themselves. And there’s a point where you can’t grow your business without support, right? It’s just the reality of it. You can’t you have to build in support in some way. And so where do you choose those? Where do you put those in? And so I’m sure rocked their world that you suddenly could show up and do that for them?
Steve Gordon 34:27
Yeah, so that’s one of the things that we tell people, and whether you work with our firm or a firm like ours, or you do it internally, or you go and hire, you know, a cadre of freelancers, however, you get that done, if you’re going to go down this path and use this kind of strategy, get a team in place, that’s where my first podcast failed because I was trying to do it myself. I didn’t have a team, right. So I’m solving sort of solving my own problem, right, right. And I didn’t you know, decided I wasn’t going to start our current podcast, and I delayed it for about six months, I wasn’t gonna start it until I had a team in place.
Heather Pearce Campbell 35:07
Oh, it makes all the difference. And I, you know, when I started mine, I edited the first handful of episodes, really just for the exercise of doing it. And it served me for, you know, for a couple of reasons. One is I got to really appreciate once I wasn’t doing it, right, hiring an editor, like I so appreciate my editor. And it also really informed me like having to listen to my voice over and over and mistakes that I was making. Right? When you do your own editing, especially early on, I think that it’s beneficial. But right away, I mean, within the first handful or seven episodes, right, I handed it off to an editor, and there’s no way that I would be able to I mean, I’m probably, I don’t know, 35 or 40 episodes in done recorded on all of them published live, but there’s no way that I would be here if I had not hired out support for those pieces.
Steve Gordon 36:00
Yeah, absolutely. It’s hard. It’s a lot. I think that’s true no matter what, what form of marketing you go after. Yeah, I have yet to find one that that is easy to master. I think that’s another big mistake people make is they, they look around and you know, we’re all getting inundated. Because marketers are good at marketing, right? We’re getting inundated with ads on Facebook or Instagram or, you know, I get them in direct mail, because I’m on those lists. You know about,
Heather Pearce Campbell 36:32
Do this, no do this.
Steve Gordon 36:34
It’s overwhelming. It’s confusing. I call it the fog of marketing. You know, there are more ways to market your business now than there have ever been. And I’ll tell you a little secret. They all work. But they only work if you focus and you master a method. And so you’ll see somebody who you know, is, you know, they built an eight-figure law firm using Instagram, right? I don’t know if that’s a thing, but there’s probably somebody.
Heather Pearce Campbell 37:04
I’m sure somebody Yes, right.
Steve Gordon 37:06
And you’ll go oh, well, I need to do that. And, and the truth of the matter is that worked for them because they mastered it. And if you’re not willing to commit to that and master it, if you’re going to try and do a little bit of that, and a little bit of posting on LinkedIn, and maybe a little bit of email marketing, and you’re going to then go write an article for your blog. And, you know, you end up spreading yourself so thin, that you make zero progress on any of it. So pick one method, I don’t know if it’s podcasting, great. If you listen to this, you go, that’s, that’s my thing. Great. You know, the most important thing I think is that you pick a method for business development that fits you that fit your personality that you’re going to be able to stick with whatever it is, and then make a big commitment. So I started our current podcast. And if I’ve ever told you this, I made a 10-year commitment. I said, I’m going to do this podcast for 10 years, it’s going to be a 10-year experiment. At the end of it, we’re going to determine whether or not I should go for another 10. So I’m three and a half years in.
Heather Pearce Campbell 38:03
Amazing. So I didn’t know that about your current podcast, the will and for anybody listening, like the point you just made, I think to make like doesn’t even matter if somebody was paying attention before, like what you just said, I think is totally, totally worth the whole time that we’ve spent together, choosing something and mastering it because you’re right, that experience of like, Oh, I’m going to try this here or dabble in this here. Or people can get so frustrated because the tools are not working and the tools to work. Like you have to work the tool consistently consistently, right. As you said, you have to master it for work. And I think a lot of people don’t ever get to the point of mastery.
Steve Gordon 38:43
No, they never do.
Heather Pearce Campbell 38:46
Yeah, well and it was funny because when I launched my own podcast like I literally went from not thinking I could have a podcast or not even really considering it to like four weeks later having one launched and episodes recorded and like 30 interviews already scheduled pre-scheduled, right. So it was full speed ahead. But I learned that there’s this thing called pod fade after like eight or nine or some number of episodes pretty early on. Six, even less than what I thought that most podcasts like fade off into Nowhere Land. And that was fascinating because that felt like so early to me. But it’s a thing and I think it’s it just shows how challenging it is to show up and consistently do something.
Steve Gordon 39:29
Yeah, it really is. Yeah.
Heather Pearce Campbell 39:32
Well I love, I love that big takeaway of choose one that fits for you fits for your business fits for your personality, stick with it and master it. So Steve, I think you’ve got a gift which I’m super excited about that you wanted to share with people. Do you want to talk for a minute about it?
Steve Gordon 39:47
Yeah, so I, you mentioned my first two books in the intro, and I’ve written a third called podcast prospecting and it really is Sort of the combination and update to the first two. And so we’ve learned some new things, we’ve sort of refined the process even more. And we’ve kind of boiled it down in that book. And if you’re looking, if you’re, if you’ve listened to this, you know, hey, I might like to have a podcast, that book is going to lay out how you actually use a podcast to drive business results. And we kind of sort of open source, our whole system will tell you exactly how to do it, you can do it for yourself. At the end of the book, there’s you know, it’ll tell you how you can get in touch with us. If you’d like to work with us, we’d love to talk with you about that you don’t see if it’s a fit. But at least you’ll see how this whole thing works. And I wrote it with the intention that it would be what I call a plane ride book. So you can read it on the short leg of a plane ride, take about 45 minutes or an hour, and you’ll get everything that you need to know to get started. And so yeah, I’d love to give that away to anybody that would like a copy of unstoppableceo.net/grit Get it there.
Heather Pearce Campbell 40:59
Oh, I love it. That’s such. First of all, I love the concept of a plane ride book. I’m a huge fan. And for folks that are listening, you can get that and other links to connect with Steve links to his website. Steve, if you like this, so show up on social we’ll put those links there. You can find those in the show notes, legalwebsitewarrior.com/podcast. First of all, that’s a really, really generous gift. Steve, I love that. And for people that are trying to figure out would that be a fit? I think that that would be an awesome place for them to start. See the full extent of how it podcast can be used successfully. Final question for you. I mean, you’ve had an amazing background, and you’ve really done some things to bring both yourself and your clients a lot of success. What is one thing right now that you are either still working on or still trying to figure out for yourself or your business?
Steve Gordon 41:51
We talked about mindset. I am always working on mindset, I think you’re probably always working on mindset to True story. You know, and one of the things I’m really working on right now is upping our game with sales, you know, and how we’re having sales conversations and how we’re helping potential clients. Understand what you know, what our opportunity is, how we can help them and, and be more effective at that. So that’s really what I’m trying to figure out right now.
Heather Pearce Campbell 42:23
Oh, I love that. Well, I was just having a conversation with somebody. The thing that’s fascinating about that is I don’t think in any of these topics, whether it’s marketing, whether it’s sales, like all of these things that we have to figure out for our businesses, like there’s no there there, right, like these areas evolve, just like marketing right now. Like I think people are figuring out some of the old ways of doing marketing like just are not working the way that they used to. Right. It’s an evolution and so it’s I think it’s a really powerful reminder that all of us get to revisit these topics and focus on them at times and try to figure out like what is our next level of growth in that area? Well, so great to connect with you. I wish you a lot of success in whatever your strategy ends up being around up-leveling your sales, but to appreciate you popping on today and talking about your own business journey and the really like true power of podcasting when you do it right and incorporate it as a business strategy and a way to connect. Thanks so much, Steve.
GGGB Intro 43:26
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. four 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 podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast so others will find us to keep up the great work you are doing in the world and we’ll see you next week.