#71 – “All About Digital Empathy With Brian Swichkow”

Content Summary:

00:00:22 – 00:03:28 – Introductions
00:04:04 – 00:05:58 – About Brian Swichkow’s Ghost Influence podcast
00:05:58 – 00:11:05 About Slack group and how it works
00:11:39 – 00:13:15 PrimeMind and understanding Reddit
00:14:07 – 00:18:52 How to create empathy in a company brand and how to deliver a transparent message when building an authority website
00:23:24 – The 20-second rule
00:30:52 – 00:35:14 What Brian actually does, what he offers
00:35:37 – 00:40:50 strategies for a podcast
00:41:50 – 00:46:19 how to create empathy with the writer of your blog articles
00:46:51 – 00:50:16 what you need to do to build a Slack group
00:53:41 – 00:55:26 What the AI does.


[00:00:14] Stephen:  Hey guys, Stephen Esketzis here from Marketing on the Move and today I’ve got Brian with me.  How are you going Brian?

Brian:  I’m going well.

[00:00:22] Stephen:  Yeah, awesome to have you here.

Brian:  And the Australian introduction that I love.

[00:00:26] Stephen:  Yeah, we keep it nice and cozy here on the Marketing on the Move podcast with the Australian accent, so awesome to have you on, man.  It’s been cool, I’ve been on your website for a while and we mean to get you on the podcast and have a chat with you, so thanks for jumping on making the time.

Brian:  Yeah, I’m excited to be here.

[00:00:43] Stephen:  So, tell our audience a little bit about what you do.  I find it really fascinating some of the stuff that you work on, so yeah, give us a bit of a taste on who you are, what you do.

Brian:  Yeah.  I am a self-taught marketer that kind of my — everything ties back to just a deep frustration with communication as a kid and kind of an obsession for finding a way to be more effective and actually communicate a message.  I think my mom once told me, actually many, many times over, she said that it doesn’t matter what she said, but rather how someone received it and I think that just kind of stuck with me.  So just basically learning how to communicate digitally got into affiliate space.  I’ve done eCommerce, Facebook advertising, copyrighting design.  I’ve kind of touched pretty much everything and I just really loved the process of facilitating communication.  And so, I teach digital empathy and I’m kind of known for pranking my roommate with Facebook ads and Reddit marketing are kind of my things.

[00:01:48] Stephen:  I remember reading that initial article that you did with pranking your roommate, but then I didn’t know who wrote that, I just remember reading it and I was like, oh this is really fun.  I can remember seeing it and I’m kind of like, whoever did this is really smart, and I just didn’t think anything of it.  And then I came across you like later on down the track as well, so it was pretty funny.

Brian:  Yeah.  It was just like a thing I did.  I didn’t even do it for the blog.  I did it six months before I wrote that article, and then when I decided to launch the blog, I was like, oh, I should tell that story.  I was on a conversation with someone earlier and basically saying, look, if you’re going to do something, do it well, and if you’re going to play, play to win.  I get really competitive about the most stupid things.  But even if it’s a dumb contest, like I did a murder mystery party and I swindled all of my friends out of their fake money because none of them had remembered their character sheets and I just started making stuff up so that I could basically like extort them for money based on complete lies because they didn’t take the time to remember their character sheet and I did.

And then the only way that I lost was because everybody banded together to have all the money that remained in one person’s hands so that they could win the like, you have the most money at the end of the thing.  And it’s just like, I mean with anything, if you take that level of obsession with things that most people don’t think matter, be it the confirmation page on an email or like your shopping cart experience, like if you just go above and beyond in small ways, you’re above and beyond in big ways because nobody else tries.

[00:03:28] Stephen:  Yeah, I find it really fascinating.  I mean the way you sort of go around — well, before I get into it, I kind of don’t want to jump too deep and explain everything, I want you to do the talking today.  Tell us a little about Ghost Influence as well, because I know I came across that as well and people might not be familiar with the reason — because there’s a bit of a story behind the name.  I remember going to your website and reading the about page, I’m like, all right, it actually makes sense.  Most pages and websites and businesses, they’ve got this cool name and then the about us is like, hey, so we’re like three people from this state and we do this and we like this.  But yours actually had like a cool twist to it, like it had a bit of a meaning to it.  Do you want to share that?

Brian:  Yeah.  I mean Ghost Influence is basically exactly as it sounds.  I kind of learned that being someone that has obsessed a little bit too much over body language and voice inflection and just kind of being an empathetic person in general have the ability to read people pretty well in person and a lot of times it freaks them out.  I’ve been able to guess people’s occupations, names, not all the time but on occasion and they’re weirded out because I know so much about them.  And the Facebook prank kind of played to that and it was like Facebook knows so much about you, be paranoid.  That was kind of the angle of the prank.

Ghost Influence is kind of along the lines of the fact that you can’t really influence someone when you’re doing it directly head on because it’s always your idea that you’re pushing on to them and they always know that.  But if it’s the right person and in the right situation, you can, with complete transparency, you can lead someone to something that they’re already going to be interested in much like a ghost.  So it’s about these gentle nudges towards things that people want, but maybe not necessarily know what they want, that they basically take an idea that they feel that they’ve discovered and they make it their own.

[00:05:20] Stephen:  Yeah.  And by the way, just for anyone out there, I just thought I’d quickly mention, if you guys do hear static on this podcast interview, we’re both doing this pretty on the fly, so it’s going to come up.  So focus on the quality, not the quality.  It kind of doesn’t make sense, but focus on the content, not the audio.

Brian:  It’s all about the delivery.

[00:05:39] Stephen:  That’s it, so stick with it.  It will be worth your while to listen to this.  So you’ve also got like a membership site, right?  Is that a Slack or — which is really interesting, so everyone has told me about Slack and how to use it and how to get on to it.  It’s something which I’ve actually never played around with, I’m embarrassed to say.  So tell us a little bit about that group and how it works.

Brian:  Yeah.  So I mean I grew up buying products and learning about products from Amy Porterfield as like a beginner Facebook thing and then Jon Loomer when I got a little bit more advanced, and just everything, SEO, website development, whatever.  And they all kind of fell apart in the same ways.  They were too generalized to really be effective for me, or they were too specific and then I would get lost along the way and have no way to get back on course, or I’d like hit a snag or something didn’t work as it was supposed to and I have no ability to troubleshoot because I wouldn’t know what I was actually doing.

So the Slack group was designed with that in mind.  It was designed to be kind of like chat sized consulting, people ask questions and then I direct them to a resource and make it relevant to them and help them go through it.  It’s been really interesting because we have bloggers, eCommerce people, influencers, just everything and everybody is kind of in a different part of their journey.  So driving people to the right resource and kind of helping make it relevant with them.  One of the things that I’ve done to be more effective as a teacher was kind of automate it a little bit so that people could get the answers faster and then I could spend more time making them relevant.  And as of two days ago, I’m in the process of on-boarding artificial intelligence into the group which I’m super, super nerdily excited about.

[00:07:38] Stephen:  It sounds a little bit scary.

Brian:  It learns what you want.  But yeah, I mean it’s really just like a chat group and there’s different segments for different platforms, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, you name it, there’s different topics, eCommerce.  And it’s like a house with a bunch of rooms and you can walk in to whatever room you want, ask a question.  I typically answer the most questions, but we have other teachers in there and a lot of the students will jump in and share something that they’ve learned.  It’s just a really collaborative place and it was kind of designed that way.  I’ve always hated the standard course model and it’s not supportive.  If someone falls off the wagon or gets lost, they’re not really getting the service of the actual information.

[00:08:23] Stephen:  Yeah.  No, I love that, that’s awesome.  I’m going to definitely be checking that out, so that would be really cool.  And that’s a paid group, correct?

Brian:  Yeah, yeah.  It’s a monthly group, 97 bucks and everything was positioned to enable me to actually help people.  I’ve done stuff before where you sell something for super cheap and then people don’t use it.  I don’t want that.  I sold a book at one point and a bunch of people bought it and nobody emailed me back to say thank you.  And that like really ate away at me, because it’s like if you aren’t emailing me back, then you either haven’t read it or you didn’t like it and I’m trying to help you.  So the group is really about making it relevant and I really enjoy the fact that since we really launched with a pretty new website and all that jazz, 100 percent retention rate, so I like to brag about that.

[00:09:13] Stephen:  It’s a good bragging point to have.

Brian:  It’s the Bates Motel of information.

[00:09:18] Stephen:  That’s awesome.  I think that works really well.  When you’ve got value like that you can give away, I’ve been to the website, I love it the whole lot and yeah, I think it’s going to be killer.  I’ll definitely be in there.  I think you’re going to be my first person that’s going to make me download Slack to use just to access that group.

Brian:  It’s addicting.  And building groups is fantastic.  I think that most info product people, it’s like they have been selling a course and then now it’s like they sell a course and you also get access to a Facebook group.  But now I’ve seen people that are just doing a Facebook group.

[00:09:51] Stephen:  Well, that’s right.

Brian:  Yeah, yeah, I mean I —

[00:09:53] Stephen:  Sorry, go on.

Brian:  I saw someone that just did a Facebook group and I was like, well that’s an awesome idea, but Facebook is not built for that and there’s no way that that’s effective for people because it’s just like one — you just get a shit ton of notifications.  There’s no real tagging ability, like there’s no way to make stuff relevant.  It’s one loud and crowded room and Slack I had used for years and I’m a huge fan of the company.

[00:10:18] Stephen:  Yeah, that’s awesome.  To be honest, I’ve had a few people emailing me, they’ve been like, yeah you should start up something.  I’m like, well, it’s not more like that I don’t want to, it’s more of the time thing, kind of like you said, it needs to be valuable, you need to be able to leverage it so you can help people, but you also want to make sure you can help people at different levels and all of that.  So, I was looking of just doing a Facebook group straight out and just doing an email membership site, very similar to what you’re saying, but now that I’ve seen Slack — and I love the fact that you said it’s literally like walking to a room.  So for your Facebook ads, go into that room, for Instagram, go in here.  It just makes it so much easier and you can do it by niche or you can do it by topic or you can do it by funnel or you can do it whatever you want.  I think it’s a really cool idea what you’ve done with that, so that’s awesome.  So I mean tell me, what do you do with your time day-to-day?  You’ve got the Slack group going on, you’ve got a few things on the go, what’s a typical day?

Brian:  Well, a typical day right now is a little — it’s getting a little less crazy.  I just made a pretty big transition, but one of my clients, I was doing consulting and one of my clients who is the best client I’ve ever had just got a loan, they paid within 24 hours of being invoiced.  They’re like a well-oiled machine.  They offered me a chief marketing officer role and the archetype and kind of message of the brand is so similar to mine that it means that I really don’t have to work at it, it’s just kind of speaking and being enthusiastic.  It’s called PrimeMind and it is exploratory journalism designed to foster critical thinking.

So the content is fantastic and a lot of the people within Ghost Influence are really eager to learn Reddit marketing and one of the ways to learn Reddit marketing is to practice.  You need good content in order to practice, so you can’t submit a really shitty gift that’s been submitted 20 times over and be like, oh, now I understand Reddit.  You have to have good content that’s unique.  You have to then look at that, assess it, find out what subreddit it fits on and then figure out what the voice of that community is and how you can tailor this piece of content that you know fits them so that they receive it as something that their community member has submitted.  And so basically the two kinds of products, Ghost Influence and PrimeMind have tied together.  So my day is a lot of emailing and just connecting people and playing introducer, most of which I’ve automated because I’m nerdy and then pretty much outside of that living in Slack.  One of my four groups I have Ghost Influence, two groups for PrimeMind, one internal and one that’s kind of like a collective networking group where we help to put people together and then another one which is a networking group that I built with entrepreneurs.

[00:13:00] Stephen:  That’s exciting.

Brian:  So yeah.

[00:13:03] Stephen:  That’s really cool.

Brian:  Get out of the house, ride the bike, enjoy the traffic, which I actually do enjoy because I get to split lanes because it’s legal in California and then live and flex, so it’s fun.

[00:13:15] Stephen:  That’s cool, I like that.  I think that’s really interesting.  What I wanted to ask you, this is a question which I get a little bit and this is like something which — I know I’ve kind of got an answer in my mind, but I want to know what you’re going to say.  So you know there’s big websites going out, companies that want to build like authority websites in certain spaces whether it would be health or fitness or anything.  It could be like making anything, it could be selling a particular topic or whatever it might be, not just specific to marketing and whatnot.  So let’s say you’re building an authority site and you want to talk about women’s health for example.  What’s the best way to really deliver your message in a way that’s transparent, because obviously transparency and delivering that clear message is what’s going to give you value and creating that vision?  How do you create that empathy in that company brand?  I don’t know if this question even makes sense, but hopefully you kind of get an idea of what I’m trying to say.

Brian:  Yeah, I think where you’re going — and I wrote about this, it involves alcohol.  When I’m starting anything significant, if I’m at the beginning of something, I create an avatar of who am I talking to.  From a marketing standpoint, oh, well this is Suzy Jane and she is between this age and these are the problems she faces.  I didn’t go to school for marketing.  I was actually told by the professor of marketing at our school that run the department after I graduated with a degree in graphic design, she said and in this voice at least to my head, she said, you can’t do marketing, you don’t have a degree in marketing.  I have a doctorate in marketing.  And I’m like, screw you.  And she still is a professor at a — we’ll go with small college and then I’m not, like whatever.

[00:14:56] Stephen:  It could be euphemism, but it’s all good.

Brian:  Yeah.  Anyway, so I didn’t know the whole like avatar thing.  I learned that after the fact.  Really it was just like I want to sell thing to people like my friend Bob, and like I actually have a friend Bob.  And so I’m just kind of like, if I wanted to make something that Bob would buy, how would I do it?  How would I communicate it to Bob?  So I usually make something for one person, but that one person that I know ahead of time I’ll buy him a few beers, a bottle of wine, whatever and we’ll just talk.  And it’s not really invasive questions.  The time that I did this most recently was actually for a client and we were planning on marketing flight attendants.  And there’s a super cute flight attendant in my building, and so double purpose.

[00:15:39] Stephen:  I was going to say, yeah, you kind of got both ends of the stick going there, that’s good.

Brian:  Yeah.  I was like, well, could I come over and just shoot the shit about flight attendants and we’ll drink wine.

[00:15:50] Stephen:  It’s all business baby, it’s all business.

Brian:  Yeah, we started to talk.  She had a boyfriend, it was all business, but she actually broke up with the boyfriend, later I will get to that.

[00:16:00] Stephen:  Your story sounds pretty exciting, keep going.

Brian:  So we drank and I started off, I’m like, oh cool.  We talked about wine.  She was telling me about where she had been lately.  I was like, shit, how often do you travel, like, oh you know, so you just get to travel — you know, it was very organic.  And then after a while we’re a few glasses in and we started talking dating and I’m like, how do you actually date as you’re traveling half a month?  And she’s like, well, the guy that I’m with right now, this is how it happened and honestly I’m not — and she started talking how she had relationship issues with this guy.  I’m trying to market to this person with a product that interfaces with her life and I need to understand her life.  And it was a really pleasant, fun conversation and the outcome of which was that because of the regulations that they face as flight attendants, there’s no way that they would say yes to this service because it threatens their job because they’re not allowed to do it.

[00:16:59] Stephen:  Yeah.

Brian:  And so let’s not waste the marketing budget advertising to people who can’t use the service without losing their job.  But because the conversation was just so friendly, when she broke up with the boyfriend and we ran into each other, it was a very different conversation.  And it was kind of funny that I legitimately interviewed someone for business purposes and it was so pleasant that I built the idea in her head that I was a potential date.  And she’s a very attractive human.  So I was like, win and yeah I also try and build up my resume with random shit like that.

[00:17:39] Stephen:  That’s awesome.

Brian:  So proficient at audience interviews they want to date me.

[00:17:45] Stephen:  That’s definitely something.  Forget all those seals and those websites you’ve been featured on, start putting like girls you’ve wooed, flight attendants and market research.

Brian:  Oh I have many of those.  I’ve referred work to girls that I’ve met on dating apps and I’ve become roommates with.  The boys in which I make friends are perpetually astounding to me, but it’s just like I don’t have a contextual barrier.  It’s not like we’re in this professional situation so I should act professional or we’re in this dating situation, so that conversation is like —

[00:18:16] Stephen:  Just whatever happens, happens.

Brian:  It’s a lot of practice of going with the gut and over the years, I feel this way and then I’ll not listen to it and then I’m like, ah shit, I should have listened to it.  You know like, mental note, when I get that feeling, do the thing.  And so I just kind of always check back in with myself and if I said, go for it and it went well, I’m like, good move, good move.  If I said, don’t go for it and I still went for it, I’m like, fucking listen next time.

[00:18:43] Stephen:  Yeah.  I think it’s really good that you can sort of listen to your gut like that.  A lot of people underestimate it.  How many times have your gut been wrong in general, for all the listeners out there, that’s the thing, you just go with it, just let it flow.

Brian:  Yeah.  And a lot of times you don’t know.  I’m trying to think of a good example, but I’ve had times where I’m in hell.  Actually there’s a guy, long story short, the reason that artificial intelligence is being injected into Slack, which is a big deal because the company that’s doing it is funded by the guy who started Evernote and Slack themselves.  The reason that I met him was because I asked him to watch my computer when I went to pee, at a café.  But I kind of asked him that because he looked like a cool human and I don’t know if anyone knows this, but scientifically speaking, if you ask someone to — if you trust someone, inherently they will trust you, so I was like, I trust you with my computer.  And then it just sparked a conversation and we became friends and next thing I know he’s telling me that he raised $3 million and has this cool product and wants to put it in a thing that a made.  And I’m like, that’s awesome, but I didn’t start that conversation because I knew who he was and I wanted to impress him.  That was just my gut said he’s a cool person to talk to.

[00:19:59] Stephen:  Yeah, that’s really interesting.  I think that that organic — I don’t know what the word is, like organic building, organic relationship building, something like that, will you just do it for value upfront?  It turns out to be a lot better 99 percent of the time than actually pushing and pushing and pushing an opportunity which isn’t going to work.  You know what I mean?  It’s kind of like that organicness.

Brian:  Well and also when my gut is wrong, it’s like, oh, I should go talk to that girl, and then it’s kind of awkward, which happened yesterday.

[00:20:29] Stephen:  Like we still make the same mistakes anyway.

Brian:  Oh yeah, I was looking for this girl for like a good hour.  I’m like, I need to talk this girl.  She’s adorable.  I don’t know why I need to talk to this girl.  There’s a balance, right?  And so I’m just like trying to find a way to talk to this girl while attempting to work.  One of my readers emailed me following my 100th email and he’s like, you know, I’m not on the internet, I’m not doing things, but I really have gotten value from your emails and this is going to sound really weird, but it inspired me to go after this job, this promotion that I wouldn’t have otherwise gone for.  And because of you, I went after this thing that I wasn’t qualified for.  And as I’m reading this, I’m like, I have to go talk to this girl.  This guy went for a job that he wasn’t qualified for and he’s like talking about how he overcame his fears because of something I wrote.  I feel like I’m lying if I don’t go over and talk to this girl.

So literally as I’m reading this, I’m like, oh yeah, and I just stood up, moved all my computer and stuff over to her table.  No reason, right?  She knew I was in the café and so she knew that I was literally just walking to that table.

[00:21:39] Stephen:  She was like, what’s going to happen now?

Brian:  For no reason, and she was there for a while and I just moved to her table and I’m emailing this guy.  I should move to her table.  I promise you before she leaves, I will ask for her name and number.  She might not give it to me, but I will ask.  And I did and her name was Kristen but she has a boyfriend and did not give me her number.  But she was very nice about it.  She was very nice about it.

[00:22:02] Stephen:  That’s cool.  You know what?  That’s it, you miss all the shots you don’t take.  Isn’t that something like Michael Jordan said or something like that?

Brian:  I think it was Wayne Gretzky, one of the pros.

[00:22:10] Stephen:  One of those guys.  That’s awesome.  Those are the stories that I love, it just sort of happens.  It’s kind of coincidence, but not coincidence, who knows?  But I think that kind of stuff is like where all your big ideas come from, all the big wins come from.  They make the good stories for podcasts and like down the track.

Brian:  Oh yeah.  And if nothing else, it’s a learning experience.  But I mean the thing that I don’t like about the you miss all the shots you don’t take, is because it seems very like — kind of like dismissive of like just take a lot to hit a bunch of pucks, right?

[00:22:40] Stephen:  Yeah.

Brian:  And it’s not about hitting a bunch of pucks.  It’s about hitting it with intention and focusing on the goal, and if you miss, take another shot.  It’s not about just slap the stick, it’s about focus on the end and if you miss, then focus again.  And that’s with her, I mean I led into that poorly.  You build it up.  There’s a thing called the 20-second rule, it’s if you get something — and I learned this ages ago, but if you get something in your head, you have exactly 20 seconds to act on it, because if you wait more than 20 seconds, it just becomes such a big idea in your head and you become afraid of it.  And with her, it was probably like 30 minutes after I got the idea to talk to her that I actually went to talk to her, so in my head I’m like, I’m going to fuck this up.

[00:23:24] Stephen:  I’ll have to find some more information on that, the 20-second rule.  Just thinking back on some of the decisions I made even today.  It’s crazy, in the first 20 seconds, as soon as you think about it, then you just either do it or you don’t, but the longer you leave it, the bigger it manifests and gets worst and better and worst and better and then you don’t know what to do.

Brian:  Totally.  And an opposite example was I was sitting at a different café and I happen to know that this guy came in, I had never seen him and I very clearly knew what he looked like, he’s very easy to recognize.  But it’s the founder of Dollar Beard Club.

[00:23:56] Stephen:  Oh yeah.

Brian:  And he’s like big, huge, blonde beard.  He’s an easy guy to spot.  I knew that he had gone to this café at a different time that I normally go for a very long time and I joked around with friends like, I’m going to bump to him at one point.  I love his videos.  And one day I’m there and I looked up and he’s standing across from me and I took a picture of a guy and sent it to a friend of mine who’s also bearded and I was like — who I told that he goes to the café.  And then I put my phone down, I’m like, I should need to go talk to him.  What the hell am I doing taking a picture?  I took a picture of Bradley Cooper.  That was fun.  But he does have really good hair.

[00:24:34] Stephen:  I couldn’t close Bradley Cooper on the day, unfortunately.

Brian:  It was actually really awkward because he kept looking at me looking at him and every time I’d look away and then looked back to make sure he wasn’t looking at me, still he looked.  Yeah, it was weird.

[00:24:45] Stephen:  Another story for another day.

Brian:  Another story, yeah.  So anyway, so I went over to him and I was just like, hey, are you Chris?  He’s like, yeah.  I’m like, oh, I love your videos, Dollar Beard Club is awesome.  He’s like, yeah, nice beard, bro.  And I was like, your oil.  And then I was like, you mind if I take a picture?  And he’s like, no, no, no.  He goes and takes pictures, he’s like, you know, we have a new video coming out soon.  I was like, no shit.  I was like, do you need help with distribution?  And I said, do you need help with distribution?  I do stuff with Reddit.  And he goes, no shit!  We have every channel figured out, but Reddit is the one thing that we can’t figure out.  Oh my God, take my info.  And I’m like holding my phone trying not to shake my hands because I’m so nervous, because I built it up in my head for months.  He’s a cool fucking dude, I just want to meet him and now I’m meeting him and he wants to work with me and I’m like — fan girl.

[00:25:33] Stephen:  I’ve definitely been in that position.  Yeah, keep doing.  I was like at that point exactly.  Even Chris actually because I just came back from Funnel Hacking LIVE Event in San Diego.  I think he was there — because I work with ClickFunnels as well, they do some stuff with his Dollar Beard Club, awesome, awesome product.  Like him specifically, but even in general like that position where you start fan girling really hard when you see someone, it’s so funny.  There were many times I’ve gone through that, I’d be like, oh my God, I’ve seen that guy’s website.  I’ve seen his ads.  I’ve seen his thing.  He was like a celebrity in the marketing space, or even just people in general where you get on their podcast where they comment or they reply back to you, just like these kind of micro things that just builds them up in your head and then as soon as you break that chain you just have a chat with them.  You’re like, oh, they’re a real person, it’s not that bad.

Brian:  Yeah, and I try knowing that and knowing how I feel in those situations.  I try and kind of play to that in my email list, because I know that people are afraid to email me for no reason whatsoever, because I am afraid to email people for no reason whatsoever.  I speak very personally when I write, but then if someone emails me, I don’t magically turn into prim and proper and not cursing or whatever.  I will respond with gifts or pictures of my dating life or whatever is relevant.

[00:26:54] Stephen:  Yeah.

Brian:  Because it’s just a conversation, it’s another human being.  Now, if they email me with some cheesy peasy pitch and they’re like, hello, I am the founder of blah, blah, blah and I would like for you to do a guest post.  I’m like, hey dude, it seems like you haven’t gone through any of my content because this is just completely the opposite of everything that I teach.  So either you’re spamming or you didn’t take the time and I would recommend you don’t do both.  You know I’ve called people and they’re bullshit and most of the time they just kind of say, okay.  But every once in a while, you know what, you’re totally fucking right.  I was really nervous and I was trying to present myself and then we just break that wall and have this great conversation and I’ve done work with those people.  It has its place, but yeah.

[00:27:41] Stephen:  And that’s the way to do it.  It’s interesting, the amount of people that you go to and they’re like, yeah, yeah, I’ve seen some of your stuff before.  I read a couple of your articles, and then you can just tell instantly.  It’s usually pretty easy to pick up on what the people have done, what they haven’t, you know what I mean, like it’s not rocket science.  And people are sort of — they try to put on like this façade, try to make themselves, either jack themselves up and say they got a massive following and this and that, or they just try like not be transparent, not being themselves and then the message get flushed anyway.  No one is interested in listening to what they have to say.

Brian:  Totally.

[00:28:12] Stephen:  I think it’s just — you just play to your own strength, so that’s the way to do it.

Brian:  Yeah.  People speak a lot more than they think they’re actually communicating.  I read emails, like even from a potential client, someone goes, oh we’d really be excited to, we’d be interested to explore, oh that seems like something we could do.  Those are all phrasings and wordings that tell me, okay, A, you don’t have your shit together nor do you have the money to do this.  Just the tense, like we would be really interested, would be or are, right?  Versus the clients that are ready to move, it’s like, send us a proposal, we want to move on this because this is happening in this month and blah, blah, blah, this is our budget.  I’m like, great, let’s work together.

[00:29:02] Stephen:  There’s no bullshit, straight up, what do you need, happy to help you, can you give a yes or no?  All right, let’s do it.  That’s all you need.

Brian:  Yeah.  I like chunk out time in my calendar for bullshit, like to just sit around and watch shitty TV to relax, but when I’m working there’s no bullshit, it’s like sure it gets done.

[00:29:21] Stephen:  Yeah.  And that’s it, you don’t want to waste their time either or your own.  You don’t want them to waste your time even more importantly, but I think at the end of the day, you just want to be productive and you want to make sure that all right, from speaking in here, I want to do what I want to be doing and I want to enjoy what I want to be doing.  I don’t enjoy speaking to people that want to waste my time.  That’s kind of the position I think.  I kind of say it’s interesting, you also get people like, I don’t mind — and then you’re probably the same I’m guessing, but I don’t mind people sending an email asking for help doing this and I’ll reply one-on-one and I’ll do emails and replies.  But at the end of the day if you’re going to pussyfoot around services and consulting and actually working with people, that’s the issue.  I don’t have a problem saying, look, I’ve got issues with your sales funnel, here’s how I can help you, and I’ll go there and I’ll be back, cool.  Here’s what you should change in this system, there’s no worries, don’t worry about it.  Just take some free value and go.  I just want to give value, but the people that you know actually want your time because they make you think they want to buy and they don’t buy.  It’s a bit different.

Brian:  Yeah.  And there’s another side to it to and you have to communicate in that way as well.  So basically around November-ish of last year, I realized that I was just being abstinent and that I wasn’t — I’m not a consultant, I only take on projects that I want it, like that, and I was just being a tool because I was very particular about who I wanted to work with.  And I kind of just got to the point where I was like, I need to package myself.  I need to make it so that people can understand what the hell I do and who I am, because I had so many people that I just kind of had this realization that —

[00:30:52] Stephen:  What do you actually do?  What do you offer, right?

Brian:  So at the time, I realized that I had all these people that really liked me and they thought that I was a smart guy, but I kind of got the sense that when someone else that they knew needed me, they just kind of defaulted to this, you got to talk to my friend Brian, he’s like super crazy smart.  He does stuff with marketing.  Talk to him.  And that person is like, what?  Why?  I don’t have any context or relevance or I don’t see a need.  So my friends and colleagues were not able to introduce me in a way that was effective.  Add in a few beers, they’ve got to just deeply and immediately know what I do.  And so I just broke it down, I said Reddit marketing.  I’m going to own this fucking space.  And I ended up doing it like a month.  I actually wrote an article about it.

So now it was funny, like the way that I kind of culminated the experiment was that there was this private group that this influencer had with 3,000 people and he posted because he was in my target audience that I was running on Facebook and he posted like, I keep seeing stuff about Reddit marketing everywhere, which was my entire campaign, but it was driving to my site, it was driving to eight different properties that all either talked about me or Reddit marketing in some way, so I was kind of like seeding that quietly.  So I broke into his subconscious and he’s asking his group like, who does this?  And three of his members like, you have to talk to Brian.  And I was like, perfect, you heard the word Reddit and marketing in the same sentence and you just shown the bat signal and said, Brian, come!  And inherently that has been called the Batman strategy.

I kind of was joking with someone the other day that I need to do the same thing for dating because my friends don’t know my type.  And so like if they meet my type — I don’t ever get introductions to people in a dating sense.  I get introduced at events, like oh you know, come to this party, and then I’ll meet someone, but I never get like the, hey you should meet my friend so and so, you’d like each other.  I’m like, hmm, how could I make that happen?  And I was like, oh, like I always tell people I like girls with button noses, freckles and dimples.  That’s like my three things.  But like that’s a physical thing and my friends aren’t looking at their friends being like, oh she has a button nose, I should introduce her to Brian.  They’re looking at their friends and saying like, oh, she really likes rock climbing.  Oh, Brian likes girls who like rock climbing, or whatever.  That’s how they in their life are going about things, so I have to put myself in their shoes and frame what I want in a way that they would easily recognize.

And it’s kind of like — it’s a bad reference, but like in a videogame, if you’re walking and you see an object that’s supposed to be interacted with, it’s highlighted.  You want to build that in other people’s minds.  That is you.  And that was kind of the game.

[00:33:48] Stephen:  I like that actually.  I get what you mean, it actually makes sense.  You want to make those highlights as easy for people as they possibly can.  It’s like a walkthrough when you start using a software.

Brian:  Yeah, and you see it so that they’re triggered to remember you when those things happen.

[00:34:09] Stephen:  Yeah.  It’s interesting.  I think there’s so many different strategies that you can implement, but at the end of the day it’s all one thing, it’s not like one strategy here, one there, it’s kind of everything together is what makes it work or doesn’t work, which is cool.

Brian:  That’s exactly why I started Ghost Influence, because it’s that strategy and kind of looking at how the pieces fit together that I saw so many people struggling with, and that’s what I love.  I love that kind of like in between space.  I don’t think there’s anything, even stuff that I write, I don’t think that it’s going to be relevant for a broad audience.  It can’t be.  It’s either generalized and relevant to a lot of people or it’s highly specific and relevant to a handful, but it’s really the context and it might have different relevance at a different time in your journey and you might not have a big list, but you do have a successful eCommerce store.  So the strategy is always going to be different, but it’s always going to have the same pieces and that’s the thing that I really love is kind of pulling from the quiver and saying, all right, you need to fire these arrows in this succession at that target and go.

[00:35:14] Stephen:  Yeah.  I love that, that’s awesome, man.  Well, what I want to do — we’ll start wrapping up pretty soon, but I want to ask you a couple more questions before we go, and that is, so you’ve got a podcast as well.  Do you have any strategies on podcasting as well?  Because I know your podcast is great.  What are your strategies behind that?  Do you have something that you’re using or you’re using it just to build a rapport with your existing base?  What’s the reasoning behind the podcast?

Brian:  Strategies for launch, strategies for gaining viewership or strategies for monetization?

[00:35:43] Stephen:  All three.  Give us a short version on the three.

Brian:  Yeah.  I have a process that I’ve used for launching two of my podcasts and to my knowledge eight of other people’s and every single one has hit the top of new and noteworthy and had a kind of big burst of subscribers.  Short version is that iTunes algorithm sucks.  It’s based on velocity and not amount.  So if you stack all of your engagement into a short window of time, they measure it as much higher.  So it’s like when I launch a podcast, I’m living in Facebook Messenger for like two weeks and just like, I will buy you a beer if you subscribe, listen to my full episode, download the next five and then write a review and then open up your computer and play them all on mute for an hour, or whatever.  I will bribe people.  I will go to their computer and do it for them.  I have a thing against growth hacking, it’s fucking growth working.  That is what I do, it seems so simple and stupid and grunt work, but that’s what it takes.

So that will be the gaining subscribers, I mean it’s just working it into conversation.  I try and kind of interview people that I think that I could talk about.  I talk to people about game development and someone is like, oh I’m a game developer.  How do I leverage Reddit?  I was like, I should find a game developer that has leveraged Reddit.  And then I was like, oh shit, there’s someone in my address book that has hit the front page of Reddit with his game, and then I looked him up and I was like, hey dude, what’s up?  And he had hit the front page again, so I interviewed him.  And then when I’m talking to a game developer, I was like, oh, I interviewed this guy who hit the front page of Reddit with his game.  I look for things that I can talk about in conversation, because then you’re not promoting, you’re just sharing.

And then as far as monetization, I hate ads and I’ve never done ads on any of my podcasts, but podcasts are a really great way to talk to people.  Actually this podcast was started about a week after I kind of got the bug of like, I miss podcasting, I just get to talk to cool people all day, and I kind of look for an excuse, and I was like, that works.  But you know, you talk to someone, you get to know him.  I ended every episode of my first podcast — after we stopped recording we had a quick conversation and I always ended with, is there anything that I can help you to do with social media or digital marketing?  Those are my two things.  That’s what I do.  And I even think today those are very broad.  That question alone facilitated the interest that ended up birthing a marketing agency and I had all of my clients came from the podcast.  It wasn’t the intention, I said let me know what I could do to help, and they said, well this, and then I did that and they were like, oh shit, what else can you do?

It’s a networking tool, it’s a sales tool, but I mean really just go into it saying like, all right, the person on the other end, what can I do to help them.  And I fight for that too.  I’ve had some people who know that game and they come at me and they’re like, what can I do to help you?  I was like, no, what can I do to help you?  And then we would get into an argument.

[00:38:55] Stephen:  I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the TV show, The Office in the U.S., there’s an episode — I don’t know if you know the characters, but like Dwight and another character, two characters in there and they keep trying to one-up each other on giving each other compliments.  I feel like that’s kind of what you’d be doing if someone was like, oh, I’d love to help you and you’re like, no, I’ll help you, and just keep one-upping them throughout the entire conversation.  Anyway, that’s not the point.

Brian:  Pretty much.  I have a few very, very good friends that became good friends because as a — whatever you want to call me, linguistic strategist, I don’t fucking know, when you see someone else doing something very intentionally, I kind of just call it out, I’m like, well done.  And my recent example that I — I need to write about this, but my friend Aaron who I love, I’ve written about, we went out for Robin one night and he’s just like going at the menu like, this, this, this and this, and I just like, I’ve had it, order.  And he’s just going at it, I’m like, dude, how often do you come here?  Any normal person would have answered like, a few times a week or often or every once in a while, whatever, they would have answered the question directly.  And he just kind of like took a breath and he’s like, maybe often enough that if I came after closing they’d still serve me.  And I’m like, okay, that did answer the question, it was colorful, but it also subliminally communicated that you’re a likeable guy and that you have friends.  And I’ve called him out and he’s like, yeah, that was intentional.

And he and I both do stuff like that, if you’re trying to make a sale or something that you can’t tell someone, I’m a nice human being who has friends, but you can lead people to that.  And again, it’s Ghost Influence, you’re not doing something that’s untrue, you’re not leading someone to believe something that is not something that they wouldn’t otherwise believe, but if you do it in this way it becomes their idea and their concept of reality and that’s much stronger.

[00:40:50] Stephen:  Yeah, I love it.  That’s a really cool example.  I’ve got to use that one myself.  Anyone ask me, I’m going to have that prepared.  I’ll write it down.  I think that’s awesome.  It’s that Ghost Influence I think which is it’s going to become more and more prominent.  I think only now are people starting to realize how important it is in their business I think specifically.  People are starting to realize, and I started noticing it in my social media and things like that, but it’s in their business now.  When you’ve got an identity behind your business, you need to actually make sure that it’s not just some BS.  So actually here’s a question, we’ll end on this one as well, so here’s my question, let’s say you’re doing a blog or you’re creating some sort of entity where you’ve got writers and you want to really have that website being launched and you hired 5 or 10 different types of writers, how do you create that empathy with the writer when everyone has their own different taste, like everyone has their own different writing topics and stuff.  Do you have an overall look and feel of the website or do you have individual personas behind each article?  What do you think of something like that?

Brian:  Yeah.  Well I can actually talk about this from firsthand current experience with PrimeMind.  So we have I would say probably somewhere in the range of 50 different editorials that are all very deep, very well researched and they’re written by — I’m going to guess somewhere in the range of 40 different people.  We have some regular contributors, but about 40 different people and it kind of conveys this big publishing house mindset because it’s always the same voice.  But in actuality, we’re in an office of seven people, two of which are on the editorial team, and they curate this voice through all the different writers.  And the way that we do this is first of all there’s a very distinct kind of overarching brand which is exploratory journalism designed to foster critical thinking.  We want to bring people deeper.  It’s not about what’s going to be super marketable on the back end, it’s not about we want to bring people deeper and to write something that would never exist anywhere else, like it’s only on PrimeMind.  Below that there’s a style guide, and so the style guide is just like this is how we speak, this is how we curate information and actually I’m sorry, in between those two really is the archetype of the brand.  So it’s a philosopher and sage.  And we kind of explain that and say, look, this is who we as a brand are, we want you to speak within that voice.  So like take it and make it your own.  You’re taking something that currently exists and you’re making it your own versus trying to adapt your voice to fit someone else’s.

We don’t ask people to change their voice, we want them to speak their voice, but we want them to speak it in this way where you bring people into a deeper conversation.  For some people that means after a glass of whisky, it’s the type of intellectual conversation you have about a head transplant, which is one of our articles, and for other people it means drinking a cup of tea and talking about — actually I probably switched these, drinking a cup of tea and talking about a head transplant and neurology and ethics and blah, blah, blah, or drinking a glass of whisky and talking about male chastity belts.  I had to switch the alcohol for that.  I got to spend a day talking about those two things in tandem and I was just like, it was such a brain switch.

But I mean really, it’s communication.  You have to know who you are from a conceptual level, and I’m doing this with Ghost Influence as well.  The brand archetype for Ghost Influence is basically my personal personality archetype which is maverick, which is a rebel with a purpose.  And I’m a maverick within Ghost Influence and in PrimeMind I do have my maverick tendencies, but I usually kind of pull back and I’m kind of more thoughtful.  I love neurology and weird shit and I love talking about things that I have no experience in because they’re new and fascinating and that’s who I am within PrimeMind.  That’s both pieces of my personality, but it’s kind of like turning on one versus the other, it’s like you’re a different person when you’re around your mom versus your college friend.  And it’s just kind of a matter of consciously switching those pieces of yourself and being louder about one element of your personality.

[00:45:11] Stephen:  Yeah.  I think that makes sense.  So I think then from what you’ve said, it’s critical to make sure that whoever is curating the content through all the writers actually has a strong sense of identity behind the website and how things should come out and how they should look and how they should come across, is that right?

Brian:  Oh absolutely.  That has to happen before you ever bring writers on.  If you’re trying to build a brand, it has to, because otherwise everything just goes everywhere.  I call it a base reality.  It’s in stand-up comedy, that’s a term from stand-up comedy, is that you have to have a base reality that everybody else conforms to.  And I did that in the slack group.  I made sure to bring in people initially that would help me set that base reality from the usernames and profile pictures to the questions being asked in the introductions.  Everything was specifically geared to create that base reality, that when other people who I didn’t know came into the group would conform to and adapt, like they would make it their own.  But if there wasn’t any base reality, it would just be a bunch of noise and like people running around with their heads cut off, you have to present that.  And it’s the framework, and then everybody can adapt and build on and modify the framework, but you have to have the framework.

[00:46:19] Stephen:  Now quick question, I know I said that was going to be the last one, but that kind of led me on to one more.  So in your Slack group, when you started it, like let’s say for example if someone else out there wants to start a membership site, when I say membership site, I mean just a group, not like content, but like just a group, like a Slack group I would say, give us a few of the key steps that you need to do when you start out.  Like you said, you need to build that foundation, what do you need to do to get the first 50 people in the door?  What needs to happen so people feel at home?

Brian:  This is one of the things that I teach in Ghost Influence because it’s — and I’m prefacing this, it has to be relevant to what you’re doing.  Some of what I’m about to say is not going to be relevant to certain situations.  There’s a lot of different types of groups.

[00:47:08] Stephen:  Yeah.

Brian:  One of the things is creating the base reality, right?  So you want to bring in either — I mean, if you want to bring them in for free, or if you want to sell to specific people, whatever it may be, but you need to bring in a core group of people that are exactly who you want in that group.  If you bring in free people, they will have less of an investment into actually engaging.  So you want to bring in core people that are going to be vested.  If they are free, you need to make sure to get the paid people in and get the free people out because they’ll probably just stop playing with it anyway.

[00:47:45] Stephen:  So how many people do you think you need to get in at the beginning that are a part of that extreme target market, part of that foundation that you want to build?  How many people did you bring initially?

Brian:  If you do it all at once, I would say like 10.  It’s like with anything, it’s like you can have a puddle of water or you can have a fire hose.  You’ve got to channel what you’ve got down into a focused burst and then maintain that.  So I started Ghost Influence I think when I launched the next day, I had 10 people.  And there were 10 people that I curated and they were all free and then I started bringing people, and the free people stayed for a little bit, but I don’t think any of them are still there.  They didn’t see the value because they weren’t paying for it.  So yeah, so that and then I do a lot of private introductions.  So I kind of talk to people and I say hey, make sure to introduce yourself in the main channel, because then when they go and introduce themselves in the main channel, everybody else is seeing them as like really enthusiastic on their own even though I totally do that.

[00:48:47] Stephen:  Yup, super engaged.

Brian:  Yeah.  And so it’s just kind of like knowing that you can — I don’t tend to sell publicly in my email list, I just talk publicly and they’re like, how are you doing this and you’re not selling?  And I’m like, well because you guys fucking respond to me and tell me what you’re having trouble with and many times, not all, many times, the answer is by this thing and then it’s the right fit, it’s not a sale, they give me money and then I give them value.  And they’re like, how do you not sell?  I’m like, I just give value and if you want specific to you how do I do this, then join the group, that’s what it’s for.  So you can mix your messages public and private, they don’t have to be the same.  So yeah, so community wise, I mean it’s a lot of little semantics and done in a specific order and like I mean for me, I wanted to make sure that I brought in a certain number of people every month, because then that had a lot of new blood and excitement, which got the old people committed, and the more that they were engaged and committed, the more that they did things, the more that they saw value, the more happy they were to pay the next month.

It’s like coaching a bunch of drunk people at the bar, like you’ve got to, hey guys, oh my God let’s go to this other bar, there’s a ton of cool people there and there’s like a line, it’s super awesome.  And then as you’re walking, you’re like, it’s going to be super cool.  Aren’t you guys excited?  It’s like you’re a fucking cheerleader, that’s it.  If you’re doing any community, that is the only thing that you should be doing, is being a cheerleader.  Sometimes you’re quiet, sometimes you’re loud, but you’re a cheerleader.

[00:50:16] Stephen:  But you’re a cheerleader nonetheless.  That’s awesome.  I love that.  I can’t wait.  Now you’re getting me excited to join the groups.  So whoever is listening, I recommend checking it out.  I’m just going to jump in there to be curious.  So I’m going to go back and start reading people’s first questions and then I’m going to have a super weird first question, so expect that.  Man, it’s been so much fun chatting with you and what was supposed to be a 20, 30-minute chat turned out 53 minutes.  So I’m glad to have you onboard, it was awesome speaking with you.  If people want to find out more, where can they reach you?

Brian:  Ghostinfluence.com.

[00:50:48] Stephen:  Awesome.  And if they want to check out — I think you had a prank a roommate article.  I know that one’s awesome to have a read.  If you haven’t read that already, that can be found on Ghost Influence as well?

Brian:  Yeah, ghostinfluence.com/prank.

[00:51:02] Stephen:  All right.  Definitely check that one out guys, because I remember reading that and that was awesome.  It’s just entertaining.  It’s not even for the marketing, it’s just entertaining and you’ll definitely enjoy that.  Awesome, I’ll make sure those are in the show notes as well.  Thanks so much for jumping on, Brian, it’s been a pleasure.  It should be a lot of fun when I jump in the Slack channel and we’ll continue the conversation over there.

Brian:  Yeah, thanks so much for the conversation.  That was awesome.  You have great energy and great questions.  This is one of the things that I learned that if you don’t ask a good question you’re not going to get a good answer and energy is a part of that and it’s always fun to jump into conversations like this.

[00:51:37] Stephen:  Awesome, man, I appreciate it.  I’ll speak to you soon.

Brian:  Speak to you soon.

[00:51:43] Stephen:  Awesome man, how did you find it?

Brian:  It was good.  Long, but that’s typically me.

[00:51:50] Stephen:  No, no, that’s cool.

Brian:  I have a thing for going long.

[00:51:52] Stephen:  No, no, I’m kind of the same, so it’s all good.  That’s what I was going to say, some really interesting topics we covered, so I think that went really well.  People are going to love it.  But yeah, I’ve got to get into this Slack group.  That’s my next thing.  I’ll have to jump in and try it out and play around with slack.  I’ll really get Slack first of all and then get in the Slack group second.

Brian:  Once you joined you’re going to invite — I have a few people that make that mistake, but yes, Slack is —

[00:52:18] Stephen:  Because what I didn’t get, I thought it was like mainly team management, like within your own team and I didn’t realize you can create like —

Brian:  It is, it is.

[00:52:23] Stephen:  Yeah, it is, right?

Brian:  Yeah.

[00:52:25] Stephen:  And then now like the only reason — someone else posted a link to a website that has a whole lot of Slack groups like Facebook groups like in certain niches and on certain topics and I didn’t know that you could do it like that and turn it into like groups, as in my Facebook groups equivalent.

Brian:  Yeah.  So Slack’s official policy is that they don’t support communities.

[00:52:45] Stephen:  It sounds like there’s more and more of them coming out.

Brian:  Yeah.  I think I have access to like 25 different communities and I would say probably six of them have over 3500, something like that.  But it’s a really interesting community, but like the ones that have 4,000 people, it’s just moving so quickly that like it’s — I mean you either post something and nothing happens, or you’re sitting in there for an hour and having a long conversation and the latter is really the only effective one.  So I mean I actually, in working with this AI guy, because he’s funded by Slack, it’s one of his investors, it’s looking like I might have to switch my group to the paid group so that I can use that because they wouldn’t be too thrilled with one of their investments encouraging this.  But that’s fine because I can just suck up the cost, because the benefit is immense.

[00:53:41] Stephen:  Yeah.  So what is the AI?  What would this AI do?

Brian:  So I created a bot.  So Slack has a bot within it and you can do really simple rules.  Someone asked me one day, he said, what’s the best time of day to post on Reddit?  And I answered and I was like, oh, the answer is pretty good and I get asked this question a lot in person, so I’ll save the answer because someone is going to ask again and I don’t want to fucking — I’m lazy, so I don’t want to type it.

[00:54:06] Stephen:  Yeah.  So you press like /AI something and it would just put it through.

Brian:  Pretty much.  So I answered it, I moved it to a Google Doc and then kind of like flushed it out and then added links to tools that you could use to find out the best time and what you should look for and da, da, da, da, da.

[00:54:22] Stephen:  Yeah, continue with the best answer.

Brian:  Yeah, and then I went into Slack bot and said anytime someone says time to post — and this is back when it was just Reddit marketing, says time to post or best time or something like that, it fires a message and Slack bot goes hey, it looks like you’re looking for the best time to post on Reddit, here’s your answer, and then it links to the Google Doc.  So the AI is that on 8,000 pounds of steroids.  So it actually builds out a profile of each individual user in every conversation that they’ve ever had within the group.  And so basically if you ask a question and it serves you an answer and then you tell that that’s what you aren’t looking for, it learns, and it learns an individual profile of each person.  So instead of being the type of AI where it’s like, I know the best answer for you and you’re going to fucking listen to me because I am an AI, it’s a learning AI.  So it’s very much like, oh my God, I’m so sorry.  I thought that you wanted this thing.  Let me fix that next time.  But not like Siri where she says she’s going to fix it and she fucking doesn’t.

[00:55:26] Stephen:  It’s so true.  It’s so true, Siri is a bit of a — yeah, sorry go on.

Brian:  Well, and so one of the things I wanted to do was AI because I’m lazy.  Another thing that I wanted to do is I know a lot of people that are very, very high-end consultants and they make other people who sell products a lot of money, but they just have never committed — they have all this information that they could sell, but they’re not about to go build an entire brand just to sell it and the people that they’re working with have a bigger brand, but their information is this stuff that’s powering it.  So they have all of this amazing insight and they don’t have the brand to deliver it, so I’m bringing them into Ghost Influence.

So Ghost Influence is not just going to be me.  I’ve already got a few people in there that are teaching, but I’m about to bring in some really big people and all of their information.  So I’m basically on-boarding what would be their course and then making it available through Ghost Influence.  And so when you’re having a conversation, it’s like oh, you should just create a retargeting campaign.  Okay, how do you create a retargeting campaign, oh, AI just gave me the answer.  Never mind.  And then you go through and you say, hey I got stuck because I’m doing engagement.  In your experience when you’re promoting a product to teams in the United States, should I be doing this kind of bidding or that kind of bidding, then because the AI takes care of so much kind of connection, the actual experts have the time to invest into the members by answering those questions.

[00:56:53] Stephen:  Got it.

Brian:  So it’s like a choose your own adventure kind of course where what you need is delivered to you and when you get stuck, the people who actually have the experience have the time to help you versus otherwise that I’m bogged down with like here’s the link and da, da, da.  So, it gives me more time to go deeper with people and that’s what really actually helps people move forward.

[00:57:16] Stephen:  Nice.  I think that’s going to be awesome.  I think that’s the way for it as well, especially for just groups in general, I think any sort of groups.  Once you have an AI, there’s someone to actually facilitate the management of the conversations and then bring in the experts to do the deeper level stuff.  That will be awesome.  It just makes some more sense.

Brian:  Yeah.  It’s like for a lot of reasons because it’s a lot of people that have really great information.  One example is like, you know ClickFunnels?

[00:57:42] Stephen:  Yeah.

Brian:  Yeah, so ClickFunnels, everybody tries to hack their algorithm and be the best at ClickFunnels.  I talked to a guy that made $11 million on a product launch through ClickFunnels.

[00:57:53] Stephen:  Wow!

Brian:  And you’re like, oh, $250,000, wow, that’s impressive, how did you do it?  And this guy is like $11 million, you’re like, holy shit, what did you fucking do?  And one of the many things that they did, because of the clout that this guy has, like everybody knows who he is, ClickFunnels told them their secrets and they said, hey, you’re about to spend all this money on marketing, instead of having one ClickFunnels affiliate account selling your product, create 50.  So he created 50 affiliate accounts and then used all of his marketing dollars through those 50 affiliate accounts and because all of those accounts were using the same budget and the same intelligence and they were all making money, the gravity rating of the actual product shot to the top and he captured the whole fucking niche.  And then everybody else jumped in and started carrying it.  That is a fucking, massively powerful piece of information, but I can’t put it out because I’m not a ClickFunnels guy.

[00:58:50] Stephen:  Just so you know, I don’t know if you know, but I’m the head of content marketing at ClickFunnels.

Brian:  Oh shit, really?

[00:58:56] Stephen:  Yeah, which is pretty fun, because actually I heard of someone that did — I don’t know who it was, but I think someone mentioned that, that’s why I was at the Funnel Hacking Event recently, whenever it was, like a month or two ago when I flew out there.  And I think someone did a big launch.  I can’t remember who it was.  Maybe Russell talked about it or something.

Brian:  If you said the name, I could remember.  It was a private mastermind group.  I went for someone else, but it was like 40 people, $40,000 a year and like Anik Singla is one of the members and blah, blah, blah.

[00:59:25] Stephen:  Yeah, yeah.

Brian:  And it’s just like cool people, but it’s like, great that that piece of information is only valuable to someone who has a marketing budget and who has a worthwhile product and who has the capacity to manage 50 affiliate accounts.  But for the lay man, like, oh, that’s really cool, I understand how that works.  That makes sense to me, so I can’t get everybody to be my affiliate.  I mean if translated to someone who’s just getting started, if you don’t have a big whatever and you’re not that guy, just make sure that you don’t invite people that aren’t serious.  Focus on the core people and then get three people to make 50 bucks a month with your product and that’s going to help you.  But don’t say, everybody on my list, be an affiliate, and then they’re all going to sign up and none of them are going to do any work and then your gravity is going to be low as shit.  I mean it’s taking the time to think what do the people want, what does the algorithm want, blah, blah, blah.

[01:00:25] Stephen:  Yeah.  I’m keen to check it out.  So you’re saying if I sign up just through your group, will that automatically register me for Slack or should I just get Slack then do your group?

Brian:  Just click the sign up button, fill out the form and you’ll get an invite in your email.  That’s the magic of the code my developer made.

[01:00:41] Stephen:  I see, I’ll give it a go.  But that sounds awesome, man.  Well what I’ll do with this podcast anyway, it will be edited, whatever, and it will go out probably the next couple weeks.  I’ll shoot you a message.  Do I have you on Facebook or anything?

Brian:  I don’t think so.

[01:00:53] Stephen:  Let’s have a look.  I joined there, now I can shoot you a message when it all goes out and whatnot.

Brian:  Hot damn.  Yeah, and it’s not live yet, but someone actually, one of my readers is a software developer and made a thing called Slack Pass, and basically it is a done for you Slack community solution and whatever you charge your members, they take a percentage.  So literally as I understand it, because it’s not done yet, but you just fill out a form and do whatever and then they set up a page for you and then anyone that you direct to that page, if they sign up, their credit card is automatically billed and they’re in your group.

[01:01:35] Stephen:  That’s awesome.

Brian:  He’s going after musicians and creators and I’m like, dude, I’ll send you a bunch of internet marketers.

[01:01:43] Stephen:  I was going to say marketers are going to love that sort of stuff.  They could initially.

Brian:  Slack has marketers as well.

[01:01:48] Stephen:  Yeah, well I was about to say, I’m sure there’s massive demand for it in the marketing space.  I’m definitely here to check it out, but the only thing is I’m fairly sure I’m going to be addicted to it for the next week if I do, so I might have to like regulate my time in it.  Is it like Netflix where you go on in and you just binge all the content that’s been processed for the last two years?

Brian:  With Ghost Influence?

[01:02:08] Stephen:  Yeah, or with anything, with Ghost Influence specifically, yeah.

Brian:  Yeah, I mean I’ve had that set.  I don’t think of it that way, but yeah.  I mean it’s about what’s relevant to you.  If you’re doing an eCommerce business, you’re going to go into the eCommerce channel and you’re going to read all the stories of what other people are doing and my answers to them and the stuff that they’re finding.  But yeah, I mean I guess.  It’s funny because — well I guess not.  #well, I kind of binge, but I’ve never binged in one place for a long period of time.  I usually binge when I go and grab something and then look at a bunch of other shit.  And that’s the thing with the AI, I’m linking a bunch of supplementary resources that I don’t create, like stuff that I look to.  So yeah, it’s just about helping people move forward.  The group digital empathy is kind of the core of it, but really I don’t fucking care.  If I can help you move a step forward, then I’m going to do it.  And if you ask me a question that I’m not aware of, I’m going to find someone who can answer it for you because that’s just what the group is and that’s why I have 100 percent retention rate, is because no matter what, I’m going to make you $100 a month.  I don’t know how, but I’m going to make it happen.

[01:03:21] Stephen:  It will happen, whether it’s through dating advice or whether it’s through internet marketing ROI, you’re going to get $100 worth out of it.

Brian:  I should totally create a channel for that.

[01:03:30] Stephen:  That’s awesome, man, awesome.  What I’ll do is I’m going to join now.  I’ll show you a message when I’m in there, otherwise I’ll message you on Facebook when this podcast and everything wraps up and we’ll get it out.  Are you around Australia anytime soon?  You should come down.

Brian:  Not planning on it, but at some point I’m sure I will be.  Where in Australia are you?

[01:03:46] Stephen:  I’m in Melbourne.

Brian:  Okay.

[01:03:49] Stephen:  Actually literally just an hour ago, all of a sudden I found out I might be coming to the States later this year again.  So where are you in the States?

Brian:  That’s good, where are you planning?  I’m in LA.

[01:04:00] Stephen:  I’m going through LA to Orlando I think.  I think Digital Marketer is putting on a conference that I’m probably going to be attending.  What’s it called?  Content and Commerce.

Brian:  Do one of those long layover things.  I think you could do up to the 24-hour layover or something.

[01:04:17] Stephen:  Maybe I’ll do something like that because my flight is literally 16 hours.  I came down to San Diego for Funnel Hacks and TNC the last few months and it’s both like 16-hour flight to LA and then a 30-minute flight down San Diego.  So maybe I’ll chill in San Diego for a day and then fly across down to Florida.

Brian:  Oh really?  I always laugh when I meet people from the other side of the globe at conferences because they’re always in a daze, unless of course you’re Ben Croft.

[01:04:45] Stephen:  Ben Croft.  Yeah, I’m more of like a — I’ve kind of learned it now, like I’m kind of picking up on it because I’ve done it a few times.  I think it’s the third or fourth time I’ve done that flight, so I’m slowly learning that 16-hour flight.  You’ve got to time your sleeping habits, you’ve got to stay up, watch the movies, do the work and then sleep at a certain time.  So, I’m learning.

Brian:  Totally.

[01:05:04] Stephen:  All good man.  I’ll leave you to it.

Brian:  Well, awesome.  Well, let me know when you’re headed this way and let’s do cool shit.

[01:05:08] Stephen:  We’ll do, man.  We can catch up for sure.

Brian:  All right, it was a pleasure.  I’ll talk to you soon.

[01:05:12] Stephen:  You too man.  Thanks for trying to be on.  Catch you later.

Brian:  Bye.

[01:05:14] Stephen:  Bye.



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