#71 How To Create A Helpful Business


In this episode, Tim and James give tips and strategies on making a business truly helpful to customers.



In this episode:

01: 30 – What is confronting for you?
04:05 – Honesty within the business
07:50 – James’ scheduled trip to New Orleans
06:15 – Underground Conference by Yanik Silver
10:31 – How helpful is content marketing?
11:50 – Identifying and answering customers’ true problems
14:36 – Knowing who your ideal customer is
14:53 – What’s the big question?
16:12 – Being helpful can be a point of difference
17:32 – Build your own race course
19:06 – Selling the experience
20:06 – How do you want to be perceived?
23:18 – Podcasting is a great way to share knowledge
24:25 – James’ new podcast Kicking Back
31:17 – Helpful business examples
31:59 – Be reachable



The benefits of content marketing. [Click To Tweet].
Know your ideal customer. [Click To Tweet].
Selling the experience. [Click To Tweet].
Helpful business examples. [Click To Tweet].
Be reachable. [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 everyone to episode 71 of your favorite Freedom Ocean podcast. I’m Timbo Reid and over there is Jimmy James Schramko.

James: Good day Timbo.

Tim: How are you, mate?

James: Good, good, good. That’s what you get for us having too long a delay between episodes.

Tim: Correct. Correct. That’s all your fault.

James: Well, interesting. It is to the extent that I don’t want to work on Sundays or do anything really late at night anymore, which I guess you probably find quite a shock.

Tim: No. I stand at the shock that you worked with hours.

James: Yeah, well I’m back to much more regular times these days. And it’s been great. Actually, one of the best things that I installed is RescueTime and it’s free and it emails me a weekly report of how many hours I spent on the computer.

Tim: Does it tell you what you were on?

James: Yes.

Tim: It’s quite confronting.

James: Well, not for me because I’m not like other people.

Tim: Jimmy, Jimmy. What is confronting for you?

James: Well I tell you I’m less easily confronted than other people.

Tim: When was the last time you went, “Oh, wow!” like that? You know, like just crazy, emotional, “Oh, wow”?

James: Yesterday, I was driving the car and I heard a radio announcer, a Cinderella Ball. And they said there was a horse and cart arrived to pick her up and she was quoted saying, “Are they real horses?” I’m like, It was confronting to me that someone could be that dumb.

Tim: That’s silly. I don’t know the context to that story. But maybe she…

James: Well that’s it. Literally, she was just like, what else could it be? You think like a mechanical horse? That’s like “Oh, are they real horses?”

Tim: I don’t know, maybe we even do it while we are podcasting, but people do some funny things when the microphone’s on, when the camera’s on us. I listened to the radio today and someone said “Yeah, look, the emotional events of your life really are your birth, your wedding and your death.”

James: That’s right.

Tim: Really? Really?

James: No, there’s a lot more more emotion than that.

Tim: Well, they were actually saying the most emotional kind of celebrations. Or how you want to look at it type of thing. But It just seemed obvious. However they put it, it seemed obvious. Sometimes when the microphone’s on you, you’re kind of… Just like I’m talking tomorrow, I’m talking in front of 300 people tomorrow and I just did my rehearsal earlier. And it’s like, you know, you just want to make sure you nailed it. So then you don’t go off on tangent saying silly things, which I will do. There’s no doubt. I will say a silly thing from stage tomorrow. But getting a laugh kind of eases the nerves anyway. I don’t…

James: I just did a video about this which was “Professionals don’t wing it”. I really think that if you are presenting for a living, you should tighten it up and have a core message and make sure that you hit home with the key point so that you’re not wasting people’s time.

Tim: You want to talk about that?

James: I’ll talk about anything you want, Tim. Ironically. We don’t really wing it. We did discuss the topic and we like to talk about what we will talk about and get the most value. But I feel like I should close that first question. There was nothing in my weekly report that was confronting because it’s all work-y stuff. But the reason that I am not confronted that often in business is I think that I’m more honest with myself about business and that’s where a lot of entrepreneurs fail.

Tim: What do you mean by that?

James: Well, they’re not really being honest about how long they spend on the business, what activities they are doing, what their chances of success without preparation are. I think they are in lala-land sometimes. The more honest you are, the more responsible you want to become. The better you will be as an entrepreneur.

Tim: A word I would use to describe your approach to the way you run your business is brutal.

James: (Laughs) Brutal?

Tim: Oh no, no, I say that lovingly. I don’t mean like that.

James: It sounds like such a harsh word.

Tim: Well it kind of is. Actually, I don’t mind brutal as a word. It can be construed as being aggressive, or it can be construed as being lean, and decisive and don’t take any prisoners and…

James: Well I would just say direct. Because if you look up brutal, it’s savagely violent. Savage, cruel, blood-thirsty, vicious, ferocious, barbaric, wicked, murderous, cold-blooded, hardhearted, harsh.

Tim: You probably looked at the Oxford dictionary. I refer to the Timbo Reid dictionary and it’s full of terms of endearment, brutal which is one of them. You just kind of, you ride at it.

James: Direct.

Tim: Direct is probably a better word that sits more comfortably with you.

James: It certainly does.

Tim: (Laughs) You do take things personally sometimes, Jimmy James.

James: I think we all take things personally.

Tim: Well we do.

James: We’re self-oriented in the world.

Tim: I still remember suggesting that you’re a bit nerdy in the way you dressed, last time I saw you. I did back it up by saying geeky chic, but you kind of got your nose out of joint about that I think.

James: Well I think we were talking about the fine differences between an authentic Polo and…

Tim: We were. I think I might have had a fake Ralph Lauren and you had the, you were packing the Lacoste.

James: This actually came up today on another podcast I did on my new podcast. And my co-host was talking about his friend who got a real bargain. I can’t remember where he was, somewhere in China. He got bargain watch and bargain pants. He went up to do his comedy routine and his pants split right down the back. He got on the airplane to adjust his time for the new time zone and the hands, like, fell off. It was quite comedic. But the real message was of course, that it’s sometimes worth having the right, you know, the nice thing, the good one. The one that lasts.

Tim: Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. The pants splitting is kinda good because that applied to his comedy routine. The watch, not so much.

James: Well, it’s even more hilarious because the pants he got on special were those Levi’s engineered pants. The ones supposedly designed by engineers to be like the perfect jeans.

Tim: Right.

James: They were quite fashionable a while ago. I’m sure you haven’t heard of them.

Tim: No. thank you. Thank you. That was a little dig. Me being the fashionista that I am.

James: We’ve both got pink shirts on our profiles these days.

Tim: Well, pink shirts have kind of been a bit of a signature of mine, although it might have done its time. Might be time to move on. Hey, some good topics coming up. We’re going to launch into… I think we will still, we might put that other topic aside for another time which was about being on message, and also the fact that pros rehearse. Two very, very… I would call them pro tips. I just was lucky enough to present at a showcase up in Sydney last week where a number of speakers, professional speakers, spoke. Just saw all the quality of them. Just nailing their story, being on message, walking off stage, leaving people with one thing to consider, not a hundred. You know, mass confusion. It was really good.

James: Sounds kind of like, as tight as a Ted talk would be.

Tim: Yep Well, my talk tomorrow is 18 minutes. Which is a TED talk.

James: That’s great.

Tim: Yeah.

James: Actually, I’m flying over to New Orleans to deliver a 30-minute presentation. It’s quite a special treat for me because this is the 10th conference of the series that I went to number four. That was like a pivotal point in my career. It’s like the 6 years later, returning to talk about the changes that have happened since then and how…

Tim: What’s the conference?

James: It’s called Underground. It’s run by Yanik Silver. Really looking forward to sharing that story. I’ve been delivering different presentations of each of the places that I go in the last year. I’ve covered such a range of topics, everything from podcasting to what’s holding you back from your first seven-figure year to the journey. This one is about being there in that moment of really having to make everything work. Everything had to line up for it to work and I managed to make it through like a good Hollywood blockbuster.

Tim: Through brutality.

James: (Laughs) I took the direct path.

Tim: Well, that’s good, mate. Underground. Who goes to Underground?

James: Actually, there’s a lot of very wealthy people who go. More than half of the audience from the studies that they do, making a good six or seven or eight or nine figures. Real heavy hitters in the industry. And it got a reputation for being not a pitchfest and not the worn out traditional speakers. It’s more of people who actually are doing things, who come and share just because they have been sought out. That’s kind of cool about it. But there is a good vibe. I’ve been to four, five, six, eight and I’ll be at 10, so five out of the last seven.

Tim: Cool. How many go?

James: I think there’ll be about five or six hundred.

Tim: Right. And it changes city each time?

James: Yes. I’ve been to it in Washington, Los Angeles and this time, New Orleans. Most often, it’s probably been in Washington. I think probably three or four of them. It was in London, and it was in Los Angeles. This will be interesting. I actually haven’t been to New Orleans so I’m really interested in the culture there.

Tim: Yeah, very much though. How long are you going for?

James: It’s like a week, round trip. Leave and then come back, close to a week.

Tim: Right, yeah. So Jimmy, Let’s talk about the helpful business. Because it’s something that’s kind of been… a little sort of concept I’ve been toying with lately. And as I reflect on a lot of the marketing that, really, both you and I have been doing for a long time now. It’s been, you know, you’ve been classified as being helpful. And I’m seeing a lot of businesses of late jumping on the kind of wagon of content marketing, and it all comes down to being helpful, making your customer more informed, helping them make a better purchase decision and kind of pulling them towards you as opposed to pushing some kind of sales message on them.

James: Yeah, and I think our show is a great example of that. We started at 71 episodes ago, we sat down with the idea to share some ideas on the popular Internet marketing models, answering some of these big, unknown questions. You could definitely classify this a content marketing helpful show, and we even have the ability for people to send us messages, which we respond and we answer the questions that people ask us. I think it’s been a good vehicle for that, hence why I’ve been able to start some more, and really develop that into a super brand on my main site, and you’ve been building your super brand the whole time. And when I ask most people where they found out about me, a lot of them say, “Oh, I follow Freedom Ocean and I originally came from Small Business, Big Marketing.” That thing is an oil tanker out there in the ocean of content. You know, it’s laid into the deck.

Tim: It is, mate, it’s a hard one to turn, too. The idea of a helpful business, I love businesses that identify what the true problems are that their customers and their prospects have got, and go about answering them. And I was only talking to an old mate the other day, Darren. Darren has been a long time mate, and he’s had a boat selling… This is really an example of what I consider a helpful business. This is a boat sales business, a boat yard, right? And about two years ago he made the shift to becoming helpful, as opposed to… He lived in the world of classifieds for a long time, and he took the turn to start creating content that was helpful. He put a web camera on the lighthouse that sits outside his boat yard, which happens to be at a marina. And people can access the weather conditions on the bay 24/7. So that’s helpful. He wrote a book about… The book’s called, “Honey, Let’s Buy a Boat.”

James: Is it all the things someone goes through when they’re considering boat ownership?

Tim: Correct. Correct.

James: Nice.

Tim: And he’s just answered all those questions. He creates a video each week on a Thursday that is a news report on what the weather conditions out on port, Phillip Bay, are going to be doing for the weekend. And everything he’s doing is very, very helpful. And there’s always a call to action. I think the call to action makes it not art. Because if you’re just creating it for content’s sake then it’s really art. But at the end of the day, he’s trying to sell boats. But he goes about it in a very helpful way. So for me, that’s an example of a real business being really helpful.

James: I don’t know if you have to say it’s not art because of the call to action. Because a lot of people refer to stuff like Mad Men, you know, the Kodak carousel episode or whatever it was as being kind of art, when you have a true film. And they’ve got sales hooks all through them, product placements and stuff.

Tim: I haven’t seen that episode, but I think anything that does… You’ve at least got to say, “Where is this content from?” Whether it be a logo at the end or you know, seeding stuff throughout the actual content. At the end of the day, you’ve got to have… There’s got to be a commercial hook to it.

James: Well, I think the real art is when you are selling but people don’t feel sold to. When you really get a hit. Actually, I went through a couple of questions for some of my clients. Today, I added it to SilverCircle. And these are things that you might want to consider when you’re coming up with your business offering and positioning, and maybe we could run through a few, and you’ve probably got a few to add to the list as well, to be a helpful company. I guess it really helps to know who your ideal customer is.

Tim: Yup.

James: And I’m sure Darren has a fair idea of that.

Tim: Well, and if you want to go deep on that, it’s not about a demographic kind of answer. It’s like, again, it comes back to… I mean for me, getting understanding of your ideal customer would be, what’s their central question, what’s the big question that they have? Of all the questions they have about the category, the industry in which you operate, what’s the really big one, that if they had the answer to, they’d be a lot closer to buying?

James: Yeah. So that’s sort of bordering on something like the magic wand solution. If the customer could wave a magic wand, what would they wish for? And it’s sort of, you dig that out with things like, what is the biggest challenge they’re facing right now? Obviously, buying a boat would be a huge challenge. A very expensive and awkward one, I imagine. Then there’s a few other cool things, like why is your solution the best? And it can’t be price or service. Because those two… Service is just a generic throwaway line these days, and price is not the position you want to be taking, unless it’s maybe high price. And there are a few brands that can pull that off, where they’re always wanting to be the highest price in the market. But it’s pretty rare that that’s going to be your hook.

Tim: Yup. Absolutely agreeing. There is that old thing that if someone’s going to be the most expensive, it might as well be you. But what you’re touching on is the point of difference, and that point of difference can often be something intangible, and that’s again like why being helpful can be a point of difference. It’s pretty hard to find a tangible point of difference these days. I mean, so many products and services are the same, just differently packaged, differently branded.

James: I think there’s a clue, though. One of the things is, how can you give away something that feeds your biggest solutions, right? And the second part to that is how can you name and claim it, to be unique to you? And an example of this, in the very crowded marketplace of Internet marketing, I really push that phrase, “own the racecourse,” and people know that phrase belongs to me, and they understand what it means. And people talk about it. That’s when you know it’s really stuck, when people talk about it.

Tim: It becomes part of the language.

James: It’s part of the language. People refer to it when they’re talking to you on podcasts, they start mentioning it on forums when you’re not there, and the whole idea…I mean, I really came here with this whole new concept. There’s other people out there with stuff like, you know, be everywhere and all of this stuff, but I really put that concept that if you want to own your own assets, especially with the big threats like Facebook and Google sort of dictating to you, “Give us your best content, we’ll determine what we do with it and how we control it and you’ll have nothing. You’ll be lucky to play on our racecourse.” I’m like, well screw that, I’ll build my racecourse. And I’ll just let you guys know when it’s there and you can keep coming back if you like but…

Tim: Well, to that point, another example would be Simon Sinek, the way he packaged up that whole “finding your why.” Like, that’s an old concept but he’s packaged it in a way that he owns it. It’s kind of like you mention his name and the concept in the same breath, although it’s not really his concept.

James: Yeah, so you could rework an old concept, or you could come up with a new concept, or you could bundle together a few things in your market. I really like what your friend Darren’s done, because when you mention the name of his book, it’s really catchy. And he would own that. He already, immediately realizes that the true decision maker is the wife. That’s very clever.

Tim: Yeah, absolutely. I was only talking to him this morning about it, and it’s changed his business. The other fundamental change that he talks about, too, is that at the same time as becoming helpful he realized that he wasn’t in the business of selling boats, he was in the business of connecting people. And it was an emotional shift. It’s a shift from the rational to the emotional. So in selling boats, it’s kind of like it’s a transaction, whereas what he’s found is that putting someone on a boat, it’s getting a kid off an iPad and getting him on the water with his mum and dad. It’s bringing Mum and Dad together. It’s bringing a group of blokes together to go fishing and…

James: Yeah, he’s selling experiences.

Tim: He’s selling lifestyle.

James: He’s selling boating and what does that mean to someone? It’s the experience. And it’s not that far a move from what I used to do in selling cars. I was actually selling motoring and the feeling that someone gets when they slip behind the wheel and the acknowledgement and the acceptance, excitement. It’s definitely an emotional thing. It just happens to be really expensive. So you have to test out your mettle. Now I think there’s an element of trust that you can build up. If you’re using content marketing and putting out audios or videos or media rich stuff, then that really sort of covers off the “why should someone believe you” aspect. Because there’s a lot of people lining up to get your attention. And I think people want to know if they can trust you or not.

Tim: Yes. Yeah, absolutely. Have you got some other questions there, Jimmy, that form part of this initial process?

James: Yes. Aside from that, it is how do you want to be perceived, like how do you want people to think about you when they are thinking of your brand or your name of your business, or you if you are the business.

Tim: Great question. So, it’s all about personality.

James: Yes, and an extension of that, I was speaking to a friend of mine today, Franziska Iseli-Hall. She was saying “what do you want to be known for?” And importantly, it’s sometimes helpful to say what you don’t want to be known for. So you can really disqualify people with that one. We believe in this and we don’t believe in that.

Tim: I like that.

James: Yes. Like, if you were forming a mastermind, you can have a “no dickheads” policy or something. You could screen out the people who are not right for your solution and that helps people identify with you. What else you got?

Tim: I reckon, I like that “no dickheads” policy. I’m just reflecting here. Actually no, no one ever tells you I’ve got that on the terms of business, and they don’t use the word dickheads. They’re a little bit more brutal. James? A little bit more brutal.

James: Well, in the correct application.

Tim: But that’s all about knowing your personality. I think again, you know like, a helpful business. It’s all very well to be helpful, but also being clear on how you want to be perceived and how you want people to describe you because, again, that’s a point of difference. Like it’s a big, big point of difference to own a particular personality, a space in people’s mind. You know, I’ll use this example. I’ve just finished this book, Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” on social media. And Vaynerchuk is a classic example. There’s no shortage of social media consultants out there. But his personalities, he’s also quite brutal, by the way.

James: He’s hardcore, yeah.

Tim: He’s hardcore. It sets him apart. It gives him… He owns that position. There is no one else like him. Polarizing, love him or hate him. It’s interesting.

James: Do you love him or hate him?

Tim: I love him. I just like people who are black or white. I just think that’s…

James: I think in his case… when I went to Underground 4, I saw references to one library TV and I went and checked it out, and that’s where I really got the seed of the idea for making all these videos because that guy was pioneering the channel and doing such a great work with it and selling an actual product. That’s the bit a lot of people in the Internet space, is they don’t have anything to sell. If you have, I mean, he had one store to sell stuff. This works beautifully. Content marketing paired with an actual offer. Something that people can buy is the key and I’m sure you’re finding that when you’ve paired a community on top of your podcast. You now have something to sell in keynote presentations.

Tim: I was a classic example. I started podcasting close on five years ago. I started podcasting, (a) because an amazing opportunity came up to you as a professional sound studio – which you don’t need, by the way – and the other opportunity was that I just sort of, it’s just a great way to share knowledge and it wasn’t until quite a while later that I started going “oh, shit…” All of a sudden people were wondering, wanting a bit more of me. You know.

James: I remember you used to have a co-host. That partnership changed because I think there was effort involved and not enough monetization. But when you hook up a monetization vehicle, it really changes the name. I mean like, here’s me, I’m a classic. I’m just starting my next podcast because I think it is the best thing ever to introduce yourself to new people. They get to know you. You can help them as much as you possibly want. Then I know that maybe, that maybe one percent of the people who listen to a podcast will go and buy something. Hopefully, it’d be 10 percent. A hundred percent would be fantastic.

Tim: A hundred and 10 percent would be amazing.

James: However, it’s no real extra cost. Those extra 10, 20, 30 or 50 thousand downloads a month aren’t really costing a whole lot extra to find the buyers, and to find the people who really want to develop the relationship and improve their lives faster and invest in themselves. It’s such a great vehicle.

Tim: What’s the new podcast called?

James: Kicking Back.

Tim: Kicking Back? What’s the aim of it? You got a co-host, a comedian?

James: My co-host is a comedian. So one of us is funny in this show, which is good. Hopefully, the comedian will get on board and start clipping some jokes.

Tim: You wish. You wish. You’re the one kicking back.

James: You know, I wanna treat my kids to a better standard of dad joke.

Tim: Hey. Nothing wrong with dad jokes.

James: Something wrong with my dad’s jokes. I wanna break the cycle. So anyway, we get down. Basically, we’re just catching up for coffee through a mutual friend. Every time I meet this guy, we just laugh and I thought, we should record this. So, the aim of this, you might find this strange, but I want to go into a very broad, general market. More of the Hamish and Andy, general mainstream, not Internet business savvy-type people. Just normal people who might listen to a comedian and an average guy who can put a show together, talk about stuff. So we actually sort of have a tagline and it’s “Unapologetically Hypeless and Heartfelt.” We’re genuine. We’re unhype-y. We’re just having a chat. We’ve recorded four episodes now. Here’s one observation. It’s nowhere near as tight as our conversations after 71 episodes. We banter back and forth like a well-oiled machine. I noticed the difference immediately because I’m speaking to you, I’m speaking to Ezra, and I’m speaking to Joel, my new co-host. The first few episodes are always a little bit awkward when you’re getting off the ground. Just to find a way to…

Tim: The first day.

James: Yes. When he’d jump in, where does the line cross. It’s been really fun going through that whole process of setting up the artwork, the intros and the outros and the website. But of course the goal would be, be helpful in some way. If we could entertain people, then I think that would be helpful. And if it helps him book comedy gigs, it would serve his needs. And if it introduces a few people to my world, then it would be great. But honestly, I would record these episodes just for the entertainment value. To be in the presence of a comedian for an hour a week is a treat for me at this point.

Tim: Well, two hours a week, now that you’ve got Joel. Tell me…

James: (Laughs) Look at you. Getting in right there. That’s good.

Tim: So, Jimmy, I’ve been through the first 80 episodes of my first podcast, “Small Business, Big Marketing”. I did have a co-host in Luke and it worked really well, really well. And co-hosts, it sounds like an easy option for anyone. We’re kind of digressing a bit here, but I’m sure there’s a lesson in it outside of podcasting – maybe business partnerships. Yes, business partnerships, generally. You need to have, my advice to you and Joel to get through that awkwardness is to just have a really honest relationship on the air and off the air. And if there’s stuff that’s pissing you off about what he does and vice versa, you should talk about it. Luke and I were pretty good at that. I think I pissed him off more than he pissed me off. But it was just a good healthy relationship that kind of meant that we had a good discussion and it was about not agreeing with each other. It sounds so boring when you hear two people talking and they’re agreeing with each other. That’s really boring.

James: Well, that’s been, I think, one of our formulas. It certainly worked with Ezra because him and I couldn’t be more different. Also, with Joel, we definitely disagree. One thing we’ve noticed after 4 episodes is I think we hardly ever complete a topic. I think we’ve opened about a thousand loops because we move so quickly from topic to topic, that we sometimes just can’t get back But he has told some wonderful stories. He’s able to set things up in a way that you and I could only dream about, because he’s so practiced with that?

Tim: I was going to say, unusual to say, but you will learn a lot from a standup comedian.

James: That’s why I’m doing it. I’ve learned a lot from you. From you, I’ve learned how to set up a podcast because you sent me over the brief to build this type of site, use this plugin, and hooked it all up. You introduced me to the naming conventions, the setting up of episodes, and show notes. These were all foreign concepts to me. I fully credit you with all of that introduction, here’s the podcasting world. And if you recall, and we talked about this many episodes ago, I went and retrofitted Internet Marketing Speed at the time and fast forward, I switched that across to SuperFastBusiness. But then I set up with Ezra and a year later and 40-odd episodes, that thing’s flying. Now, with the new one, it’s going well. But Ezra’s taught me the softer side, the hippie-dippie emotional stuff. And Joel is going to make me much funnier.

Tim: I’ll hold you to that.

James: He’s gonna help me develop stories and work on my misdirects and bring out another flavor of me. I like doing something new, actually. I am really embracing the challenge of learning a new craft.

Tim: It’s funny. You know, I… the gig I spoke at last week in Sydney showcased lots of different speakers. One of them was a comedian. I got to know him and he was tremendous. They do have an amazing ability to create a story. Another one of the speakers was Australia’s youngest entrepreneur and he’s won it four times and blah blah blah. Great guy. Great guy. 26 years old. He came on stage and he nailed it. He had 20 minutes. He nailed his story and had a beautiful arc in it. Just told a great story that was both entertaining, inspiring and motivational. I got to talk to him later and said, you know, “You did not write that. You did not write that.” Someone wrote it for him. And I was right. It was two comedians. There you go.

James: It goes back to our other point which we are gonna cover in a future episode but we already covered, is how professionals prepare. It’s really worth doing. Most people in the entrepreneurial space are really gonna try and just wing it. They think they are God’s gift to the universe and that they can do anything. They’ve got massive confidence and the reality is that if you do a bit of prep, you’re going to get a significantly better result.

Tim: Yes. No doubt. No doubt. Now that was a massive digression, big loop.

James: Let’s bring it back on topic.

Tim: Bring it back on topic. Helpful businesses. Why don’t we just wrap it up? Why don’t we…

James: A couple of tips. Rapid-fire tips.

Tim: Well, rapid-fire tips. Any examples that come to your mind or businesses that have been… It’s interesting, you know. Even Australian examples. It is very easy to identify lots of American examples but I actually found it hard to identify really helpful Australian businesses at a really deep level. Any business that comes to mind for you, Jimmy?

James: Well, some do. I think eWAY are pretty good. The send an email thing. They suggest that you can have better security by installing a particular thing. And if you’re interested, just reply back, “Yes, I’m interested.” Then the next thing, the phone rings.

Tim: That’s pretty helpful. That’s cool.

James: They’re making it easy for me. Certainly, in my own business, I make it really easy for people to get a hold of me. Most people are shocked that they can just call my phone and most of the time, I will answer. And being contactable is a great way to separate yourself out from people when you’re online because there’s that perceived… You never really know who you’re dealing with. You know, they throw you layers deep on a helpdesk and there’s a no-reply email. We’ve talked about this before, but being reachable, being contactable, and I think you do that on social media as well, right? You will actually have a conversation with someone. They can find you and engage with you.

Tim: Yes. Love it. I don’t know. There is a danger when you go down the podcasting-over-the-air route that you can overbrand yourself. And I don’t get that. The whole reason, surely the whole reason you want to become a helpful business and go down that route of creating useful content is that you want to engage with your prospects. I mean, if you don’t want to speak to people, write an ad. Write an ad and don’t put your phone number in it. Write an ad.

James: Actually, I spoke to a service provider today in the morning and two hours later he was here, did the job in three minutes.

Tim: In a rush.

James: And then he was gone. See, this is quality stuff. Too often, you could, might leave a message and not hear from the company for like three weeks and you finally get a call and you’ve already done business. I remember when I was trying to buy remote control cars for my kids, and I was out in front of the store and it was sort of vacant. I didn’t know if their online store was legit or not after that. I left a message. I think they rang me back in about March. And they were like, “You left a message, were you interested in some remote…” and I’m like, “You’re kidding, right?” It’s unbelievable.

Tim: Doesn’t take much. You just got to have a… Wonderful strategy being helpful. Wonderful, wonderful strategy. I think, listeners, any businesses, if you think that you have a business that is a helpful business, James and I would love to know how that is the case so leave a comment in the show notes for episode 71. If you have come across a business that has been extremely helpful and it doesn’t necessarily mean bending over backwards either, by the way. Just means providing useful content that allowed you to make an informed decision, the right decision. That’s good. You know, I’ll give an example actually. Just to sort of finish up, Jimmy. Hilton Hotels. I came across this the other day. Hilton Hotels have a Twitter account, what’s it called, is it AskHilton or Hilton… It skips my mind at the moment. But, they actually answer any questions. They scour Twitter for people arriving in any city where Hilton Hotel is. That person might be saying “Just arrived in New Orleans and I’d kill for a great coffee.” You’d expect the Hilton Hotels, what they’d do, is just say, “Come to our hotel, there’s a great coffee down in the foyer”. But, what they do is that they just suggest places to get a good coffee in New Orleans – just being incredibly helpful. Going beyond the call of duty, beyond brand. And there’s a great, this whole concept of creating marketing your customers want, not what your business needs.

James: And this is the Hilton Help one?

Tim: Correct. I can’t think what it’s called. But it’s called Hilton something or other on Twitter. Look up Hilton on Twitter. You’ll find it.

James: Well, there’s a lot. There’s Paris Hilton. There’s Hilton Hotels. There’s Hilton Help. And they’ve done nine and a half thousand tweets so they’re pretty active.

Tim: Pretty active.

James: I tell you what… Can’t tell you how amazing it is to be able to use the Internet and record a podcast at the same time.

Tim: You are a simple man James, very, very simple man. That’s what we all love about you.

James: Some say brutal.

Tim: Brutal? Brutally simple? Simply brutal? Two very different things. Now mate, come episode 72, post-Underground. Boy, oh boy, am I expecting you to be funny. I am expecting some seriously good gags.

James: Well, you think it’s going to happen that quick? This is me after four episodes. I think, I think there’s a steep learning curve here.

Tim: All right, mate. Well, safe travels. See you when you get back. I look forward to hearing I’ll bet some pretty interesting insights you’ll bring from an event like Underground so I look forward to hearing what they are. Listeners, thanks for tuning in. This has been Freedom Ocean and I’m Timbo Reid, that there, right there is Jimmy James Schramko. We’ll see you next time.

James: See you.


  1. Joshua Eldridge says

    Just so you guys know, I listen to both of your individual (and James, your group podcasts) podcasts and this is by far my favorite.

    The dynamic is awesome and I love how Tim has grown in his internet knowledge as I have over the past 71 episodes. Tim has a way of bringing out amazing information from you James and it is an absolute education for me.

    I love it and wish you’d go back to weekly episodes, but maybe the break in episodes helps them have even more incredible info!

    Thank you both!

  2. great nuggets in this one. here’s a simplified formula i took away from the discussion: content + product + community = success.

  3. Casey Stevens says

    I rarely listen to this podcast, if it sounds interesting I read the transcript but this was by far the best podcast I’ve listened to from you both. I’m really looking forward to your new podcast James.

    • Thank you Casey!!! I appreciate that feedback

    • Thanks Casey – I find it interesting when people read the transcript versus listening to the show. What’s your reason for consuming info that way?

      • Casey Stevens says

        I generally read the transcripts as I find if I’m listening to an audio I don’t pay much attention. I fiddle or multi task and end up having to ‘rewind’ to places I missed.

        I don’t run at all or drive much (and when I exercise I prefer music to podcasts) so if I want to consume a business/marketing podcast it’s generally when I’m at home or out and about and waiting for something and I just read through the transcript like a book.

        This episode was very entertaining though and I did actually pay attention 🙂

Speak Your Mind