In this episode of Freedom Ocean, Tim warms things up with a little bit of Apple trivia and some puns and Dad jokes. James shares highlights from his recent trips, update on his latest travel gear and big ideas from a recent conference…
– Involving the public, going light and lean
– Update on James’ video production travel gear
– Apple-influenced design
– Thinking big and reaching out to others
– Top things James learned from his recent travels
– Meditation, being a good person, mental models and envisioning your future
– Being grateful for what you have
– The best way to get introduced to the right people
– James’ 3 main marketing moves
Powerful people influence through media and content. [Click To Tweet].
Our thoughts affect our actions. [Click To Tweet].
Know your SMART numbers. [Click To Tweet].
Religion can pull people apart. [Click To Tweet].
Redefine your mental model of the world. [Click To Tweet].
Acknowledge the gifts that you have. [Click To Tweet].
Internet Marketing Products & Resources
Here you’ll find Tim and James have some things to help your business become more powerful.
Tim: Welcome back listeners, to the very, very warm waters of Freedom Ocean. Timbo Reid here. Right there is….
James: James Schramko.
Tim: “Jimmy” James Schramko. And this is episode 66.
James: It’s like a Bingo night.
Tim: It is, it is. Clickety-click, 66. That’s the older people, who don’t have teeth, Jimmy.
James: I just took the kids to see Bad Grandpa and they have a Bingo scene in that one.
Tim: What’s Bad Grandpa?
James: Oh, it’s a Johnny Knoxville guy from Jackass, and he dresses up as an old grandpa, and he has a little kid sidekick. And they basically go around causing terror. But the people who are in the scenes don’t know that they’re in the scene. It’s like a surprise, so…
Tim: So is it a mockumentary, like Borat?
James: Exactly like that, yeah.
Tim: Oh, man, I love those. Love those shows!
James: But with Jackass-like stunts.
Tim: Wow. I would really like to see that, I didn’t even know that was out. I’m still yet to see Gravity. I kind of like the idea. Imagine if we could get to the point with our content marketing, James, where we could kind of inject ideas like, you know, kind of mockumentary-type ideas. Not that we couldn’t already, but you know, it takes it to another level.
James: Well, I think a lot of the time I am involving members of the public when I’m filming, because I don’t rent the space and put in a council permit and have a catering van on site. You know, it’s a bit ghetto.
Tim: You probably don’t have catering, but I imagine you’d have some kind of trailer where you just have the foundation applied, get the lippy off your teeth before you hit record on the video camera. Someone just, dare I say…
James: I’m lucky if I look in the mirror. I’m lucky if I look in the mirror and check that I haven’t got the last meal in my teeth. And having just been away, I have made quite a lot of videos, just on the iPad, and the RODE smartLav microphone, which I’m loving. Just those two things. I’ve really gone light and lean with the equipment. It’s so easy now.
Tim: Well, let me ask you then, you’ve been prolific in your video output, and we have spoken about video on the run previously, but update: so you’ve got your iPad Mini, and…
James: iPad Mini, yup.
Tim: Yeah. And your RODE smartLav. Yeah, I’ve got the RODE smartLav, 60 bucks, I think it is, we’ll put a link in the show notes.
James: Yup, and it’s important to get the windshield for it.
Tim: Because you get a lot of wind when you travel, don’t you?
James: Yeah. Quite often you’ll be outside, or in a breezy place.
Tim: Oh yeah, the outside wind.
James: Like if you’re in a hot climate, things like fans will bring you on stuck.
James: Because they’ll blow across, you know. Quite a lot of the time I’m speaking to someone in my team and I can hear a fan clicking away in the background.
Tim: But you just say you love your fans. You said you’ve got lots of fans, that you like to reply to their emails, and you know, you’re really a man of the people.
James: Is this really a dreadful pun? That’s terrible.
Tim: Every now and then you actually hear, and/or acknowledge my puns.
James: I do hear them, but you know, I classify your jokes on the same level as my dad’s jokes.
Tim: Oh, wow. Someone said to me last week, oh, they were a 20-something year-old person and they said that’s a dad joke. I’m now, wow, I’m now…
James: You’ve been relegated. Now on the iPad Mini, there’s an important app called…
Tim: I can’t move on from the dad jokes, mate, I’m sorry.
James: No, I’m just going to be polite, and I’m just going to move past it. TiltShift video app.
Tim: Is that what gives it the little human movement?
James: No, this one gives it a blurry background as if it’s a 50mm f/1.8 lens. So it’s simulating the blurry edges. And you can also have a vignette, and adjust the contrast and the colors.
James: Just basically giving it a little bit of treatment on the spot, and it will then overwrite the video and make it nicer.
Tim: Have you got someone holding your iPad, or is it stationed on a tripod?
James: It varies. If I’ve got someone there, then I will ask them to hold it. But probably at least half the time, it’s adjusted onto something, you know, I wrap it around something…
James: …or just put it on top of a counter or stick it next to a window and then step back. So it’s fifty-fifty.
James: Sometimes I use a flowerpot, a Starbucks carton, a fuse box, a window sill, a lighting fixture, it could be anything. Even a monitor screen – I just wrap it over the back of it.
Tim: Have you ever asked, at random, when you’re out and about to just go, “Would you mind just holding this iPad while I record a quick video?”
James: I wouldn’t do it. It actually takes huge strength and endurance to hold an iPad for three minutes.
Tim: Wow, really?
James: Yep, I’ve found, having tried many different people for it ranging from the smallest son through to co-workers, I’ve found that not everyone is cut out to holding an iPad for three to five minutes.
Tim: It’s a big discovery.
James: It is a big discovery. You know, somewhat shocking and surprising to me. However, I think, you know, not everyone’s up for it. It’s ideal if they actually prop themselves onto something like a tree or a wall.
Tim: OK, so you’ve done your research on the old “where to place the iPad.” Once you’ve done that, you’ve got your file there, James, you upload it to Dropbox for your editor.
James: Yeah, I usually just plug my iPad into the MacBook Pro, do a quick edit. I use a pre-done template, I’ve got ScreenFlow there, and it’s already got the watermark, and the intro, the little swoosh in it, shwooo!
James: And so I just drag the file in. I usually don’t have to edit much, because I can say what I want to say in one go. I just chop the front off, the back off, and then render it. And it goes into Dropbox, and I don’t see it again. So probably the biggest surprise to me in the last two weeks is how consistent I’ve been able to be with the video content, even when I had virtually no Wi-Fi. Video is something you can make if you’ve got nothing else. And the battery on these things lasts a long time, too.
Tim: Gee, that would be a first for Apple.
James: What? The iPad battery goes forever.
Tim: Yeah, well most batteries on their other devices don’t. Oh, that’s probably unfair. Their iPhone battery’s still pretty weak. I’ve just got the new MacBook Pro, and that’s holding up. The newest MacBook Pro… I’m sure that the Air is going to disappear, because this thing is so thin. There is no need for an Air anymore, I would have thought.
James: I noticed a lot of Airs when I was out and about. Airs are very popular for travellers.
James: And I think somewhere between an Air and the 13-inch Pro Retina that I’ve got would be a great combo.
Tim: It’s their least attractive-looking piece, I think, the Air. It’s got an ugly frame about it, but that’s me, just being…. I was reading an article in Fast Company the other day, about… there was one particular Apple app, the design… what would you call it? The album cover of an app? Or the logo of an app? One particular Apple app that Apple were never happy with, but Jobs demanded that it be a particular way. Can you guess what it is? It always troubled me.
James: No, I can’t guess.
Tim: Game Center. You know that weird felt-looking kind of design, on the iPhone? Felt and cork board?
Tim: Yeah. Never felt very Apple to me, but Jobs kind of liked it.
James: Well, there you go.
Tim: Yeah. I thought that would lead to some kind of conversation about design, but you know….
James: Well my kids like a PC computer. They want something that’s called a Razer Pro or something and it’s for gaming. But it looks to me like an Apple MacBook Pro, but black. They’ve literally taken the same design. Looks exactly the same.
Tim: Wait till they turn it on and look at the operating system, though.
James: Well, it’s even got an illuminated keyboard and everything. But they love it, they love this thing, and they want one. And it’s just interesting to me how strong the Apple design has been pushed into every other crevice of the universe. So I’m sure a lot of designer briefs go along the lines of, “Make it look like Apple.”
Tim: Yeah, everything. Logo, briefs, design, product design, briefs. Hey, if you could have Apple design – any other product in your life, what would it be?
James: That’s weird. I don’t like those try to be everything brands, so that’s…
Tim: Oh, I know, but just humor me.
James: OK, my whiteboard.
Tim: That’s because you just looked around and it was the first thing you saw.
Tim: Yeah, yeah yeah.
James: I’m like, how can I get him off the scent? Maybe my chair?
James: I don’t know. I don’t really… I wouldn’t dare have them influence AMG, I’m happy with my car. You know, what else is there? Whiteboard…
Tim: Well if you had have asked me…
James: Tim, what would you have Apple design?
Tim: Oh, stop it, stop it.
James: If you could have anything?
Tim: My car.
James: Alright. I wouldn’t do that.
Tim: We love you. Your AMG.
James: I just watched a documentary on the airplane about Henry Ford, and that was fascinating.
Tim: Was it? In what way?
James: Well, he was so inspirational, but also a real tyrant. He bullied his only son. He was quite laggard in his latter years. Like he really only wanted one car, and he was a control freak. But he also did some cool stuff, which is very, very in line with what we talk about. He actually started making films, as did people like Hitler. OK? So what I’m noticing is most powerful and influential people in the last hundred years, a lot of them…
James: They were hiring and creating content that was putting out the message they wanted to put out, whether it was negative propaganda, whether it was… You know, the movie that Ford put out was about him, on the farm, and he was a really cool dude, showing how he’s just a normal everyman and stuff. So these people realized the power of having positive press that they created themselves.
Tim: Makes sense.
James: Thought that was quite interesting.
James: The other thing that he did that was really quite interesting was he borrowed things from other industries and he brought them into his industry. So he borrowed from the meatpacking plant the production line concept and brought that into automotive manufacturer. And another thing that I thought was interesting he had just huge vision, like he wanted to build this massive factory that could produce a thousand cars a day. And everyone thought he was nuts. But his belief in his vision was so big that no one could tell him otherwise.
Tim: He was very driven.
James: Very driven. But he also liked to exercise. He banned alcohol from his house, he insisted on eating healthy, and he didn’t understand that anyone else wouldn’t want to do that. He even sent people around to inspect his workers and make sure they were living a proper life.
Tim: He was ahead of his time, clearly.
James: He was ahead of his time and behind his time, all at the same time.
Tim: Hey Jimmy, we’re going to cut….
James: Oh, one more thing. He hated investors. Absolutely loathed investors. He wanted complete control, which again, having wound back my affiliate program and not being interested in taking funding for my business I can sort of understand that. About it’s good to have that position of being able to do what you want without having to second-guess it with someone else.
Tim: Fair call. Hey, listen. We were going to talk today – so what are we in, 15 minutes in, 12 minutes in – about how the online marketing world has changed in the past 12 months. But you are fresh off a plane, you’ve been travelling a bit, and I reckon there might be three or four or five things that you’ve kind of picked up along the way that would be very much top-of-mind for this episode. So should we go down that path and leave the “how the world’s changed in the past 12 months” to the next episode?
James: You could open this huge, big loop and ensure that listeners come back for Episode 67.
Tim: Correct, 67.
James: Well you will have seen the movie by then.
Tim: Yeah, possibly. Possibly. Don’t bet on it, but I may have… So, mate, you have been – where have you been – Dominican Republic, you’ve been to Thailand, you have been… You’ve been around, you know? Miami? Did you see Pitbull? Did you sort of get in a bit of a… I don’t even know what that kind of music’s called anymore. It’s not rap. Rap would be way too old. Way too dad.
James: I went out to dinner. A friend of mine took me to dinner. It was nice. But I only stayed there one night. It was interesting.
James: It’s actually not dissimilar to the coast at Manly, that little Miami Beach strip there.
Tim: Yeah. And bigger, I’d imagine.
James: Yeah. You know, I prefer it at home here. I saw Manly in one of the latest video clips of that, one of those judges on that TV show.
Tim: Ah, yep. Yep. Mate of mine walked past the filming of that and…
James: It’s not a great clip, but it does have Manly in it.
Tim: I don’t get that guy. What’s his name?
James: Oh, see he’s remarkable.
Tim: Do you think he’s remarkable, do you?
James: No. He’s the guy from LFMAO or whatever it is.
James: Yeah. No, I think…
Tim: We’re showing our ages.
James: We’re not being very respectful.
James: I’m sure he’s an amazing artist.
Tim: So, mate, you’ve been hanging with some heavy hitters in the online marketing world. What’s the biggest thing? Was there anything that made Jimmy James Schramko go, “Wow, that’s big. That’s a big idea.”
James: Yep, there was an astronaut there, Anousheh? She’s the first public astronaut. Like she just dreamed that she wanted to be an astronaut. And she did, she was in the XPRIZE thing with Peter Diamandis. And she was up there in space looking down on the world, thinking, you know what, up here it’s just one place. There’s no borders, there’s no different currencies, there’s no different languages. It’s just one place, and we’re really making a mess of it. So it’s like a big thought. That’s like a big thought. This lady thinks big.
Tim: Do you think she really felt that? It sounds like a cliché to me.
James: I reckon she probably really did. I reckon it would be profound, propelling yourself above the earth and looking down. And she had to teach herself Russian to learn how to use the controls and stuff. Very ambitious and successful lady. Probably the biggest takeaway is that we just play such a small game. We’re just thinking tiny compared to what we could be thinking. And I’ve seen people with their vision of what they would like the world to look like and what they’re trying to do for education and how they’re reaching a lot of people with their own distribution, being able to go out and you know, literally have a message and then get that across to a lot more people. It was really quite interesting.
Tim: OK. What about some kind of online marketing strategies and kind of maybe bring it down a level and talk like that.
James: Well, a lot of stuff I was quite familiar with. Like the concept of knowing what your smart numbers are, we’ve talked about that on this podcast before. That you’ve got to break down and find out what, you know, firstly what’s your “what” was one of the topics. Like what are you all about? You know, we talk about why you’re doing stuff, what are you doing, what’s the purpose? What’s the point? And then are you able to measure it? What are the measurements that show you that you’re being successful in that mission? So, you know, if you want to break it right down, in your case, have you started tracking the podcast downloads of Small Business Big Marketing yet?
Tim: Oh, you know, I have.
James: Right, so you have a baseline measurement to be able to determine the reach that you might have, and then you can actually measure if that’s increasing, and then you can set yourself some targets to see if you can, you know, expand that, if that’s important to you.
Tim: Yeah, I also see what topics kind of get more traction than others. And it’s funny, I got my Amazon hosting bill for Small Business Big Marketing the other day and it had doubled, like over the month, or the month previously. I was like, oh, that’s pretty cool. It must be double the amount of downloads as well. But actually someone had hacked into my account.
James: Oh, really?
James: How did you determine that? Because I find it very fuzzy with Amazon.
Tim: Yeah, very fuzzy. Well, I got my, who I call in, my” mechanic” to look into it. He’s not my mechanic as in car, he’s my mechanic as in all things technical, and established that there’d been some foul play. It’s hard talking to those guys. It’s like they use big words and language at Amazon S3.
James: Yeah, it’s big stuff and I don’t really understand it, I just get the bill. I wouldn’t know if I’d been hacked.
Tim: Well, it just doubled. It literally was more than double what I’d normally pay for the hosting of the show, so yeah, I thought… The audience increases month on month but not that quickly.
James: Out of curiosity, is that a number you’d be prepared to share?
Tim: No, not really. Only because I’ve got sponsors.
James: Ah, right.
Tim: It kind of limits me from doing that.
James: OK. I don’t really understand, but I’ll just run with it.
James: I think listeners are probably curious to know what an Amazon S3 bill might cost for a podcast, but I can say that in my case it’s fluctuated between… and I used to run a lot of my videos from my membership on there, which I’ve now switched over to Wistia because it’s a better experience for my users. But it still runs at $200 or $300 a month. But at times, it’s hit… I think it hit $2,000 or something one month when I launched TrafficGrab, because I had a lot of video that people were watching, so it spiked up that much. But I think your average listener who’s setting up a podcast might expect an Amazon bill probably of twenty or thirty bucks.
Tim: Oh, I see. Yeah, I think you’re talking about numbers. The cost of my Amazon bill just for Small Business Big Marketing doesn’t have any video, but the average is about, at the moment, it’s just over 200 bucks a month.
James: There you go. So a couple of hundred bucks a month is going to get you quite a lot of distribution.
James: That’s good. Thank you for sharing that.
Tim: Well, thank you for asking.
James: Well, I’m curious. You know, there was a lot of business concepts. For me, it was probably the first time I’ve sat in probably about seven days of conference. I don’t think I can recall a time when I sat in that many days. By the time you get to the end, you forget what was at the beginning.
Tim: So is that one conference that went for seven days, or in total….
James: The first one was two days, and there was like a four, a four-and-a-half day one. And because they were in the same place, with the same people, like the same promoter, I decided to stay on for the second one, even though it was a completely different sort of topic. It was a lot lighter subject, more about meditation and being a good person and the lighter side of life. You know,how to… I think there was even a hugging workshop, like how to hug.
Tim: Oh, I would have loved… Did you hug? Did you hug the person next to you?
James: Oh, we did other stuff, like they…
Tim: No, no, don’t deflect that one. Did you…?
James: Yes. The answer is yes.
Tim: Oh, did you get a photo, a video? I would love to have seen that.
James: We did other exercises which were interesting. One of them was from a guy called Terry Tillman, who was a fascinating guy. But he was talking about how people greet each other all around the world. And he was talking about how in African deserts, they just walk up to each other, pause, and then walk off. And he asked this guide, “What are they doing?” and he says, well, they don’t shake hands or kiss or any of that stuff. They look into each other’s eyes, and when they feel there’s a connection, one guy says ”I see you.” And the other one says, “I am here.” And then they walk off.
Tim: Love that.
James: And it’s just good for humanity to have this idea that we can connect a little more with people and stop being in this trance.
Tim: Yeah, I’ve done that exercise at the local meditation place that I go to. It’s called “Drishti.” Drishti is an Indian term, and I don’t know from what dialect, but it means to look beyond the eyes, and you’re actually focusing on the third eye, and connecting with someone’s soul. And that’s what I’m thinking those people would. And it’s quite powerful. This is going to get a bit woo woo.
James: Yeah, I was just thinking, this is very woo woo.
Tim: Yeah, yeah. You better just finish this conversation off on TAG, with Ezra, and you can, you know, completely go into that space.
James: Yeah, Ezra was there but he didn’t come to the event. I think he didn’t feel that it was…
James: No, I think it was too structured for him. Maybe I’ll ask him that question, but he sort of more liked that naturally as a kid so it’s not news to him, this stuff. It was interesting to me to attend that I was quite happy to just soak it all in, see what they were up to. There’s nothing bad. It was almost anti-religious, which I actually kind of liked. Because, you know, when you put it in the context of a broader, just connecting with people, you don’t need all those religions and stuff to pull people together. In fact, they can be quite divisive and pull people apart. So it’s quite interesting to me that there’s different solutions out there that people look at, or mental models of the world. And the guy running this thing’s called Vishen Lakhiani and he’s kind of a big thinker, I’ll give him credit for thinking big. And one of the most interesting points was that whichever mental model of the world you choose, even if it’s not true, you can still experience some of the benefits of that model, in some ways like a placebo effect. Like if you think that you are a Superman, right? If your model of the world is that you are a Superman,.then, chances are you’ll be a little more confident as you’re out and about, go to buy the bread and milk. And you may actually experience some of the benefits of your mental model. If you really think you are Superman.
Tim: Yeah, OK, I got you.
James: You know, you might actually experience some of the benefits of being more confident about feeling strong.
Tim: That’s positive thinking. Yeah, it is.
James: I guess you could call it that if you want to be simple about it.
Tim: Well, I think that’s being simple about it. It’s just being clear about it.
James: But your mental model might not just be positive, it might be some other thing. But it’s basically thinking. What you think, therefore I am sort of thing. You can just redefine your mental model of the world. That’s the powerful thing. If you think your life sucks right now, then that is pretty much a choice and the way that you see yourself in the mental model of the world that you’ve created for yourself because everything is pretty much just imaginary right? We’re just moving through light, vibrating or whatever. So, if you want a better mental model, and to a large extent – this is true of my background – I used to always think about and envision what “better” would look like. What would my ideal be? Would I like to live by the sea, watching the surf, have a nice car, drink good coffee, listen to music, read books…
Tim: Talk to Tim.
James: Talk to Timbo. You know, my life is now a reality of the vision that I had before that and I’m just saying that the big takeaway for someone listening to this is to just reflect for a minute about what do you actually want and how much do you believe it is possible? Because, if you start meditating or, and by the way, my meditation is very informal – I just have quiet time when I’m in the shower usually, I’m not going to…
Tim: OK. Don’t need to know any more about that.
James: No, I’m not going to go and sit cross-legged and stare at the sun or whatever.
Tim: Light incense. Yeah.
James: You know, and yeah, body makeup and chakras and that. That’s not for me, for the moment. I just like to just reflect on the people around me, what my day is going to look like and what are the most important things for me to focus on and I’ve been doing that for a long time.
Tim: Can I just add to that too, because it’s funny, the timeliness of some of the topics of the conversations we – and not just you and I – but we have with people… I don’t think there’s any such thing as a coincidence. So just an hour before we hit record today, I was just out wandering in my garden, and I don’t want this to sound like a podcast of a couple of you know, pompous, marketing-type folk, business owners, you know, but I was wandering in my garden, it’s quite a big garden, in my new home, and I was thinking, you know what, I’m just really lucky to be where I am, and I’d forgotten to acknowledge that. My point being, and in fact I’ll add to that, because from a business point of view, this morning, I sent out an email about a webinar that I’ve got coming up in December on content marketing, and I’ve had just a fantastic response to it. And it just again reminded me of… you know what? Just sometimes we’ve got to acknowledge where we’re at with things…
James: Well they call that gratitude and there’s a lot of discussion about that.
James: It’s about that’s essential really. In fact, that’s a way of being happy with who you are now is to have gratitude. I think there was some great explanation and I’m probably going to mock it off but it’s something like “gratitude is basically acknowledging all the gifts and stuff that you’ve already got.” So you can actually be happy with the stuff you’ve got when you use gratitude.
Tim: I think also, too (excuse me while I lower my desk, if you can hear a little engine in the background, but I want to sit down now)… I think too we can… I just think we forget to acknowledge where we’re at, you know? And we’re so busy trying to get to the next place that you don’t identify finish line.
James: If you’re listening to this podcast, chances are you’ve probably got a computer or a smartphone, you live in a reasonable society where you’ve got food and water and shelter. And if you put in the context of things like the disaster in the Philippines that has just happened at the time of recording, there’s a lot of people worse off. They’re not even alive anymore that were alive a week or two ago. We are very fortunate and I always think about no matter how bad my day is, if I have a bad day (which is very rare anyway), but if I do, there’s someone having a much worse day than me.
Tim: Much worse. In fact the guy who… the episode of Small Business Big Marketing that goes up tomorrow, is with this fellow. My interview in that show is with the fellow who lost five businesses in the Black Saturday fires in Marysville, which is a country town in Victoria. He lost five businesses that day, and then his son got critically injured in a boating accident three months after the fires. And highly positive, the whole chat I had with him was all about kind of resilience and rebuilding. And he’s back again, you know. He’s got two businesses back up and running, he’s in Marysville, and he’s the head of the Chamber of Commerce. He actually drew his strength mainly by helping others. He got the most kind of inner strength when he was out there helping others rebuild in the community as opposed to kind of rebuilding his own businesses, which he did as well.
James: Yeah, that really is. It’s empowering to help other people. So, it was basically a really emotional week or so over there. It was about 350 people in the big conference.
James: 150 in the little one. But, a lot of conversations and that’s a bit you’d love. It was like breakfast, lunch, dinner. The conference didn’t start until 10, which was awesome.
Tim: Nice. Yep.
James: It was breakfast, it was lunch, it was dinners, it was dancing, it was really just socializing and discussing ideas and I think I would do an event like that again. It was really good. And I’ll incorporate some of the things that I saw there into my own events to get them even more social.
Tim: So could I expect FastWebFormula 5 to… there’d be hugging and dancing?
James: I might have a personal development person there. I’m just thinking about that at the moment.
James: I don’t think there’ll be hugging. You know it’s not going to get all woo woo, but there will definitely be socializing. There’ll be a comedian, there’ll be a fully-paid for dinner and drinks and there’ll be a little bit… you know, I’m going to talk about probably the key things that have changed me that I’m incorporating into my business. So, it started this week, even, with the stuff we’ve been able to do for my team in the background to support the community. Just through our connection of people being able to do some voluntary work and to sponsor some food packages and stuff. You know, just putting more good back out in the world is a definite takeaway for me.
Tim: Yeah, that’s nice, mate. Tell me, the conferences you’ve been to, any speakers, and I ask this as a speaker myself, any speakers kind of stand out? Not necessarily in their content, but in their delivery?
James: One guy was very good at delivering his content. It was like I was at a professional sort of a show, like a highly polished show in maybe a Las Vegas magic show or something. He was such a good… He had his slides and his music and everything timed beautifully and he was talking us through the experience as like a host. It’s like someone taking you through the haunted house or something in a themepark. He really knew his material.
James: And it was making the experience good for us.
Tim: And he was integrating music into his presentation, was he?
James: The whole thing was about music. It was about the changing generations and how they cycle between a “me” and a “we.” I really liked his presentation. Other people liked his content but not his presentation, which is bizarre because I would go the opposite to most with this stuff. Like there was a lady who was an evangelistic preacher and I thought it was unbelievably productized and synthesized to beyond believability. You know, she even muffled her lines in parts. And, people love that stuff. They just go nuts for it. I wasn’t taken at all. I felt this was a con. That’s my cynic sort of within. It’s too polished. Then there was another guy who was… you speak to him and he’s normal like us talking now, then he gets on stage and again he’s got this Carolina, preachy drawl.
Tim: Ah, yeah, yeah.
James: Where’s this guy coming from? He was all staged, I don’t like that. It’s not congruous. And then, there’s other people who are… who just suck at presenting like they’re so bad, they distract you. They’re burning a hole in the dancefloor back and forth. They muck up their lines. They do a lot of rookie errors and they take away from the ability to move and transform the audience. Then there’s a lot of people in the middle who are reasonably good at, you know, quite good content, quite good delivery – the message gets through. I mean, the whole point of presenting is to move the audience from where they at when you start, to where you’d like them to be at the end. And I also manage to jam myself a little speaking spot.
Tim: Oh, no surprises there, Jimmy.
James: Yeah, well I did my usual “1:30 in the morning at the bar,” you know, why aren’t I speaking at this event or do you have my spot there?
Tim: Yeah. Do you know who I am?
James: “Do I have my spot?” he says. And so I did. I turned up at 9 o’clock with my slides and I loved it.
Tim: Ah, love it.
James: It was fantastic. And then I also managed to earned myself a speaking spot at a couple of events next year. So, I’ll be speaking at Traffic and Conversions Summit and I’ll be speaking at the Annex Underground Number 10.
Tim: Nice, nice. Mate, you’re back on the road. Well and truly.
James: Just little guest spots. I’m not doing pitchfests. I’m not selling anything. I just like to… you know, if I’m going to go to the event, I would rather be on the stage and it pushes me to create something new and to reflect on my own business and to share something that’s really working so I feel good about it. And also it’s more leverage for me to attend an event that’s great for generating business, of course, which is a good reason to speak. I enjoy it and I like sharing ideas and I’m at a point where feel I can open up and share stuff that’s working. People resonate with it and they give me such good feedback that I’m encouraged to do occasional spots. But you know, select targeted events with the right people. I wouldn’t go and do the local Bingo stall or whatever. I’m not trying to speak for the sake of speaking. I’m not that guy. I’m speaking because I want to share to my peer group.
Tim: Don’t underestimate the local Bingo. There could be some heavy hitters in there. You don’t know who’d people know, you know? It could be the grandfather of like your next big client.
James: Yeah, well it’s not really. That’s not the point.
Tim: I know, mate. I know.
James: The point is if I want to go to a big event, there’s 1,700 people. I would rather get on stage and meet all of them in one go, that’s much more leveraged. And then the people who liked my presentation, come and find me and they talk to me. So, it’s the best way to get introduced to the right people at an event is to pop up on stage for half an hour and share something useful.
James: That grows the business. That’s really… my main marketing strategy these days is these podcasts, putting up some videos on my site and attending select live events.
Tim: Yeah, well they’re pretty good strategies, really. You don’t need much more than that.
James: No. Well, I don’t really need paid traffic so much. I don’t need launches. I don’t need affiliates. So, it gives you a lot more ability to craft your message and deliver it in a way that you want. Interesting, I updated to Mavericks on my computer and it updated Keynote and I’ve prepared my slides from 1:30 in the morning until 6:30 in the morning and then it crashed at 7 and I was speaking at 9. And I rebuilt my slides for an hour and had about 35 minutes sleep.
James: And you know, so it was: “Damn it, this is a challenge.” I always do new slides and new presentation. I don’t like to present the same thing over and over again.
Tim: Gee, that’s putting pressure on yourself.
James: Yes, and that’s how you get diamonds.
Tim: Boom. Tssh! Weren’t you saving as you went?
James: Yes but it… because it was a complete upgrade it was some little bug and I had no Internet to be able to update the software. It was just a nightmare. Basically, I was living a nightmare.
Tim: Ah, right. Yeah.
James: Actually I exported it as a PDF before it crashed again and then I screenshot every single slide, like 170 of them, and dragged them into another Keynote and managed to get away with it.
Tim: What a good idea.
James: No hiccups but if I was required to, I would have been able to talk for 30 minutes without any slides. It’s just nicer for the audience to have a visual. And there was no words on the slides, there were pictures. That was another thing.
Tim: Ah, yeah. I’m not sure about that. I too, I often have that. I mean every keynote that I do, I have slides, they’re all pretty much visual, maybe three or four words on them. But I actually have this thought when I’m preparing slide decks, that sometimes I think, gee, I wish they’d just call me now and say, “You’re on in five minutes, Timbo.” And then I’d go on the rip, OK, I can’t use my slide decks, I’ll just go on and talk from the heart.
James: That is how my first presentation happened.
Tim: Well the first ever.
James: Yup. This guy wanted me to speak to his staff and I asked my boss if it’s alright and he said: “Yeah but charge plenty.” So I charged $4,000, I went out and bought a laptop, created my Powerpoint, turned up and the projector was locked in the cabinet and it was bad but thankfully I’d printed off my presenter’s notes and I was able to present off the piece of paper as a prompt where I forgot what the next slide was.
Tim: Well, there is something…
James: These things bring out the best in you don’t they?
Tim: I agree, I agree. I think I’m just not sure of the audience – do you need slides? I think if you can speak from the heart, then they are going to be engaged. Yet to be tested?
James: Well, you know, why is TV so popular?
Tim: Yeah, I sort of know what you mean, there, but not sure it’s…
James: Why is Facebook so popular? Pictures drive emotions, man. A picture’s worth a thousand words, so I’m using pictures without words, quite a lot of the time, and they support what I’m saying and they enhance and flavor and develop it.
Tim: Yep. Fair call. Fair call. What are you going to name this episode, Jimmy? We’ve been all over the show.
James: I have no idea.
Tim: No idea.
James: We could call it “From Woo Woo to Whatever,” I don’t know.
Tim: From woo woo to Bingo and back again.
James: This is the wonderful thing about having a talented team. I’m sure they’ll come up with a wonderful name.
Tim: Correct, correct. Alright, buddy, well that has been another episode, one more time, Episode 66, of Freedom Ocean, and we will cover next time how the online marketing world has changed in the past 12 months. In fact, you and I have got a little Google doc happening that has about 20 topics that we were going to cover in upcoming episodes. Are you there?
James: Excited about that. That’s sort of our little dotted line to the horizon isn’t it?
Tim: It is, it is. Our train tracks.
James: It is. We’re rolling.
Tim: Yeah, we’re rolling. I noticed Ezra on the email this morning. He’s, you know, as hard to pin down as I am, which I felt really good about when I saw that.
James: Well, he was over at that event as well.
James: And he had a bit of travel for him. Get out and about. He’s got plenty happening but yeah, we’ve been very consistent up until then and I need to get back on. I’ve been able to manage my own shows but it’s just much harder with the co-hosts isn’t it?
Tim: You only need to pin one down.
James: Yeah just, you know, family’s timing, travel, etc.
Tim: Yeah, yeah.
James: But I think we’re back on now and we should have a good run.
Tim: Correct, correct. Alright buddy, well lovely to hear your voice, and we’ll see you next time. Listeners, if you want to get a little bit more of Freedom Ocean, if you haven’t heard us before, head over to FreedomOcean.com, and there’s a whole back catalogue of episodes there and some resources and things that we use in our own online businesses. And if you have a topic that you’d like us to cover, or a question for Jimmy or myself, then the email address James would be… well, actually, if you go to the site you can click on SpeakPipe or Contact Us.
James: Yeah, SpeakPipe or leave a message or just inquire to any of our broadcast emails.
Tim: Leave a message. That is absolutely correct. Mate, I’m hopping back into that Freedom Ocean, I’ll see you next time.
James: Alright, see you Timbo.