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MDH 32 | Generate Leads

MDH 32 | Generate Leads

 

This pandemic showed us that more than just surviving in business, we also need to thrive. However, this has proven to be easier said than done. But while it is so, it is nevertheless not impossible. Join Victoria Wieck and guest, Visionary Marketing Coach Leon Streete, as they share marketing strategies that can help generate leads and increase conversion rates in the business. He talks about the importance of maintaining good relationships, recognizing problems, and creating solutions for customers. To stand out from the competition, he also emphasizes the need for doing business differently. Leon then takes us across his professional experiences, lending lessons that helped him get to where he is today. Join him in this episode to learn insights into staying connected with customers and growing as entrepreneurs.

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How To Generate More Leads And Increase Conversion Rates With Leon Streete

I love being here every week with you, reconnecting with amazing guests. Now is another exceptional guest by the name of Leon Streete. He is the host of the Business Owner Elevation Podcast. If you haven’t listened to it, you might want to give it a listen. Honestly, when I first listened to it, I was delighted and amazed. I learned a lot from that one episode. Go ahead and give it a listen. Leon is a visionary marketing coach who always offers a fresh perspective on where the market is going and how you, the entrepreneur can take opportunities of that. He’s very innovative in his approach and the man has the patience of a saint. What he is known for is helping entrepreneurs discover ways to generate more leads consistently and also to increase their conversion rates. If you’re interested in learning a lot more of this and walk away from this episode with actionable tips, stay tuned.

Welcome, Leon.

Victoria, thank you very much. I’m looking forward to this. You’re such a gracious lady and everything about you is perfect. Let’s go.

I didn’t mention that Leon’s Business Owner Elevation Podcast won the Best UK Business Podcast award. I’m sure it took you a lot of heart and soul to get to that point. Before we even go to that point, you’re a visionary marketing coach. When I say visionary marketing, in marketing, we do need to have a vision. You need to step out outside of the box, you can’t always follow leaders supposedly out there. You charted and carved out your own little niche within that very crowded market. Give me a little three-minute bio about how you got to this point, and I’m sure there was a lot of pain and gain involved.

I literally finish my degree here in the UK. If I take you back to 2004, I was already creating websites and into marketing, I was starting it in 1997. It was at that point, I thought, “I need to get real and get some clients now because education’s finished, so I need some cash.” Fortunately, I had a great relationship with my dissertation lecturer and he said to me, “Leon, there’s a contract going here at the university. I think you’d be great to take it up, six-month contract.” I said, “Perfect.” I took the contract on, it was a six-month contract and I finished within five months. I literally had a month’s holiday from getting paid because the contract ran for six months. You know how universities work. They’re very rigid and it’s six months so that’s how long it lasts but I finished it early.

What I realized at that early stage was relationships and my ability to think on my feet and create what I needed based on whatever the solution needed to be the type of thing. Whatever the problem was, I could come up with something. I was always creative and it was at that point, as I stepped forward, that I landed on my feet continuously all the way up until 2010. You mentioned pain. 2010, I got to a point where I would hedge my bets too far. I was about to get in for a big shock of cash gap. It was around about $75,000 if I do the conversion rates. I had no cash, we had money owed to us but it wasn’t coming in. We had two clients who also owed us money that went after the 2008 recession. They, in 2010 went out of business owing us money, I would use all of my resources. I learned a big lesson there about trading insolvent. The business was cash flowing so well up until the final three months, it was masking the problem.

If you go into hiding, you are going to face even bigger problems.

What I realized is when the chips are down, the greatest resource that you can have is to know that there are still options. I didn’t know that at the time. It was speaking to my business coach at the time and to people around me. Up until that failure, I didn’t speak to people where I was in areas of weakness where I needed to be stronger. I thought I was Superman, I would wear an S on my chest and somehow, I would figure it out. That was as far as my figure out Leon’s creative mind could go. To veteran business owners in me now, I can see it’s part of the learning curve in it. That’s what I needed because everybody’s journey is different.

What I realized is that I needed to focus on more of, “What’s the vision for Leon this time around? What am I going to create? What is it that I need to put in place? How do I need to do business differently this time?” It took me a few years. When I look back, I could see it was a few years of depression, not years of growth. We all come out of these things better off but at the time it didn’t feel like it. When I got to this point where we’re launching this new podcast, it was at that point, I was able to look back and think, “That’s what those few years were.” I looked back and I realized, “You’ve come a long way, Leon. You restarted, you got a team going again, you’ve got clients paying, you’re about to launch this new podcast.” It was at that point I realized that there needed to be a big shift. Steadily but surely since 2014, we launched the podcast in 2015 and a lot of things changed for the better. I’ll let you ask me the next question before we get up to speed.

If I heard you correctly, I’m going to paraphrase this in a simple way, which is you basically got an involuntary gift of a few years. You didn’t ask for it, but you got into a situation that you didn’t know you were getting into. People can say that 2008, 2009, 2010 were rough years for everybody, but everybody didn’t go bankrupt, somebody did benefit from that at that time. It seems to me you have learned more than you bargained for because of the situation.

The scenario you described the cash gap, I have an upcoming book called Million Dollar Hobbies and I have a chapter there that describes that exact thing. This is when you’re young, you’re an entrepreneur, and you’re lucky enough to seem to have been at the right place at the right time and doing all the right things, the money’s coming in and things are going good. You think you can conquer the world and you’re just scratching the surface of whatever and you don’t look at the potential landmines that are in front of you, it’s very easy to grow broke. You’re growing without a plan and you’re growing too fast.

You do have this cash gap. If you have 1 or 2 customers that go bankrupt on you or that are late, this is how a lot of companies grow broke. In that particular case in 2010, most people think that 2008 was the meltdown but I personally think 2010 was the bottom. It was like hit the bottom in 2008 but it continued to shift things out. You learned all these lessons and you launch this new podcast, which is amazing. When you’re talking about podcasting, the entrepreneurship category is number one, which means it’s very crowded. To win that top prize is amazing.

I’ve listened to several episodes quite regularly and you do offer things that are different than what’s out there. Some of the things that you do differently than other coaches, maybe not completely contrarian but if you’re going from point A to point B, there are many different ways to get there. You are specifically catering to the small business owner and also trying to help them from avoiding some of those kinds of mistakes that you walked into. What are the top three things that you’re focusing on now in terms of marketing?

Marketing, we both agree that marketing was shifting at a faster rate because we are now living in this constant barrage of instant gratification, instant messaging, whatever. Things were moving out of control up to the point we got hit with COVID. Things were already naturally shifting in a very dynamic way and COVID put its own twist to it. Tells us what was happening. How do we now cope with the result of COVID and what’s your advice for moving forward coming out of COVID?

MDH 32 | Generate Leads

Generate Leads: The market wasn’t so saturated before the pandemic. A lot of people who never thought they would really go a hundred percent online were now faced with the reality that if you want your business to continue, you have to go online.

 

Just before COVID, the difference was the market wasn’t so saturated because the market, the world globally as a society, we weren’t educated up to the technology. We’re doing this interview right now in Zoom, for me, I’ve been using it for 5 or 6 years. A lot of people had never come across Zoom in 2020, they never used it before. That’s been one of the main communication systems that I’ve used for many years to coach my clients in my group coaching programs. When I say the market wasn’t so saturated, a lot of people who never thought they would go 100% online we’re now faced with, “You now have to go online if you want your business to continue.”

We’re talking about big corporations right through to small business owners. Everybody had to educate up into this new technology arena. What that also meant is there’s a lot of online communities that I’m a part of. Basically, where the opportunities lie for people if you want to generate leads, traditionally, it would be business networking, business-to-business and so on. Whereas now, it went all online in 2020. The shift was basically how do we continue to run our business with the fact that we can’t get out and use the habits that we’re so used to. That was the challenge for a lot of people in those six months.

I picked up a lot of clients coming in because they didn’t know how to use Facebook and Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, they’re know how to load the app but they didn’t know how to use it to market themselves. It’s because of that, it created a lot of problems where some people went into hiding because they couldn’t face this online world technology. It sounds like how my mom would respond like, “I’m not good at technology, Leon, you know me.” A lot of business owners also realize that if they went into hiding, they were going to face even bigger problems because everything was locked down, there’s no cash coming in. What I was able to do is sift through that by being able to create new offers for the time. That was the choice that I made and that’s what I also taught my clients.

I’ll give you one quick example. I had this one client who is a leadership coach, she works at corporates C-Suite level. She helps people with confidence and was facing a £4,000 month which is about $6,000, so not particularly huge, but it was enough to keep her going. She was already pretty successful. She owned two properties here in the UK. We could say she was comfortable, it wasn’t like she needed to earn lots. I helped her to create a brand-new offer so that she could go out to a market and she turned that month from being £4,000 into £18,000, which is $24,000. That was in April 2020.

That’s what 2020 going into the beginning of this year, 2021 was all about. It was, “Can you pivot? Can you change? Can you adapt?” Now, the dynamics have changed, it isn’t “can you pivot?” It’s “can you stand out amongst the crowded noise there is?” That’s the biggest thing. What it’s forced is for people to dig into the emotions of your niche to stand out because most people don’t. What I mean by that is simply get into the point of what is the true psychological pain or desire of your audience, and that needs to be your message because that’s what’s going to help you to stand out. That’s where I believe we are now.

I agree with you 100% that in 2021, it is not simply a matter of survival anymore. This is time to figure out how you’re going to thrive. What you were saying is that I like to paraphrase because I want to make sure that we’re getting very clear messages and you made it very clear, that to clarify what you’re good at, clarify your strengths. Make sure that they will solve the problems of the pain that your audience is experiencing and going through and double down and make sure that you stand out. This is a time to stand out. Everybody else is pretty much contracting and trying to figure out what to do next but leaders don’t wait until everybody else determines what’s next. You’re going to determine what’s next.

Basically, you’ve answered all three of my questions. This time-tested question is, how do we generate more leads? The second part of that question is, how do you increase your conversion rates? This might be a great time to take a look at that because I do think that there is an opportunity to increase your rates of conversion because if you can connect to your customers on an emotional level. To me, that’s a pretty easy picking but you’re the expert.

All come out of challenging things better off. At the time, it won’t feel like it.

We’ve spoken about this before. I think the example you gave me is when you were talking about what jewelry does for a woman. I loved how you broke that down into woman doesn’t have to speak, it presents for her, it speaks for her. I’m not going to go into your answer much more. It was amazing. You’ll have to catch that episode on my podcast. What you raised here in terms of generating leads, to keep it simple, there are two ways that you can generate leads. The two specific ways are you can push an offer or you can generate a lead. There is a difference. An offer is, I’m going to put something in front of you that you combine now.

If you’ve ever come across Chet Holmes, the author of the Ultimate Sales Machine, I believe he was the guy who came up with the customer buying pyramid. If you’ve not come across that, it’s a cool diagram and it breaks down. What you find is that there is only ever 3% of your market who will buy now. However, if you create an offer that generates leads that educate, education-based marketing, you open up the doors to having an extra 67% of the market warm to your idea even if they had no clue as to whether or not they wanted to buy something or had a problem in the first place. With that in mind, the most powerful way to generate leads is to truly understand the fears, frustrations, the wants or aspirations of your audience. You’re either motivated by the stick or the carrot.

As human beings, that means that you have to put marketing messages out that appeal to both of those. People who want to get past the pain or people who want to get towards their desire. If you want to generate more leads, what I find is a lot of people tend to put their offers out. As I said, you’re only ever going to pick up 3% of your potential market or however far and wide-reaching your message goes. It’s only ever going to hit 3%. Don’t get me wrong, you may go 1% or 2% over there. The point is if you really want to attract people, you need to get them to raise their hands. The reason why you want people to raise their hand is if I feel like I don’t have to buy the thing that you’re offering me now, but I can learn more about it, there’s less of a barrier of risk for me.

A quick example would be, one of my coaching clients is a natural fertility mentor. She helps people who are having difficulties getting pregnant naturally. She created a guide on twenty recipes that women can take to help improve their ability to conceive naturally. Previously, she would just put, “Who wants to get pregnant? Are you looking to get pregnant?” We put these recipes out into specific places, into a Facebook group of professional women. Within three days, she has 700 leads. The reason for that is because what she’s doing is giving value. She’s providing something where the person doesn’t have to buy now, so the risk is low and the person can say, “Send me that thing.” Off the back of that, she’s now speaking to 700 women who are her target market.

This is what I’m talking about. If you educate your audience and you don’t push to put the offer in front of them straight away, what that does is open up the doors for you to put the offer in the backend. That’s exactly what happened. I think she got to about 800 by the time seven days had passed. For a lot of small business owners, that doesn’t happen in a year, never in quite two years for a lot of them. Off the back of that, she was able to book sales calls for people to join her mentoring program. You talk about conversions, for me, education-based marketing is how you generate leads.

The second part of your question, how do you increase your conversion rates? You increase your conversion rates through constant testing and what happens on the front tent? You can’t increase your conversion rates if you’re not generating more leads. What I’ve found that works really well is if you do more of what works. For instance, if you found a way to generate leads on the front end, you find a great topic, angle, whatever it is, that’s the place where you need to keep pushing those messages out, so you generate more leads on the front end.

Now, you’re going to get to the point, what’s the next step? Are you trying to convert those leads into prospects or straight to clients? That can also happen. I know you know about this, especially when it comes to eCommerce because you can jump a few steps. When it comes to conversion, I coach a lot of people who sell by Zoom these days, not so much phones. The biggest thing I would say to you is that you’ve got to have a system either for how you do your sales calls, a script. If you’re pushing people through to sell a funnel where somebody can end up on a checkout page and buy, what you have to do is remove distraction. That’s what the script does. If you’re speaking to somebody on the phone, “Let me remove distractions and ask them questions that will reveal, whether or not they’re a great prospect and whether I want to work with them or not, or sell to them.”

MDH 32 | Generate Leads

Generate Leads: Education-based marketing opens the doors to having an extra 67% of the market actually warm to your idea.

 

It’s the same thing for eCommerce. What I found with my e-commerce clients, which is if we remove the distraction, it allows them to get towards the desire of what they want when it comes to buying. It is more of how much of this stuff can you repeat the laborious stuff but get better at. I found this from a Keith Cunningham book. I’ll remember the title before the episodes are up but it’s a great book. He talks about, the entrepreneurs that win are the ones who can do the boring stuff over and over again to get better.

I’m going to write Keith Cunningham here. I’m so glad that we’re having this conversation together because the traditional way of lead generation is to create a slick marketing ad or create a quick brochure and make sure that you understand where to populate. You’re looking at the traditional rates of Facebook and all the different social media conversion rates. I’ve always had a problem with that because I just know when you’re not targeted when you’re not emotionally connecting with. You can’t emotionally connect with, for example, if you said something like, “I want to talk to women who might want to get pregnant.” For example, you’re talking.

That’s different than somebody who has gone through all the procedures and that they’re desperate to try almost anything at this point. You would have a very different marketing message there. The two-part questions were related because if you start with the right lead generation, you’re going to automatically increase your conversion rate to a certain number. The way you create the right kind of lead generation is by understanding your customer first, understanding who you’re talking to, what their problems are, and how you’re going to connect with them. The way you connect with them is by sharing your knowledge first.

What I love about that model you gave is that you share your knowledge with 5,000 people that are highly curated leads. In that lady’s case, women who have problems with trying artificial medical ways of getting pregnant. She wants to do it naturally and this woman’s got some expertise in this. I guess a large percentage of them are going to come in and say, “Help me.” You’ve got a percentage of those people who won’t buy anything right away but they’ll keep listening to you because they might have more time. They might want to try a couple of other different ways but down the line, they keep getting information so they’re going to buy anything. They’re going to go to somebody who has shared rather than a slick marketing ad. I feel like the kind of model that can keep paying the first 3 months, 6 months, maybe 5 years.

The longest I had somebody come back to me from the first communication was fourteen months. When you do it the right way, I think exactly, as you say, it pays dividends in the end. That’s the thing you’ve got to remember, not everybody’s in the market to buy now only have 3%. The 7% that are open to it, don’t take me for verbatim, this is from Chet Holmes’s Buyer’s Pyramid. From what I’ve tested as well, and what I’ve seen in the market, it holds pretty true. He had tested it with thousands of people that he’d done marketing to over the years. He worked with some great people. I think Warren Buffett’s business partner, I can’t remember his name off, it’s the top of my head, he works with Jay Abraham. Chet Holmes is not with us anymore but a very well-respected guy from America. The book came to me, The Road Less Stupid, Keith Cunningham, great book. The audiobook is great to listen to as well.

Where do you think the market now is going? I think you answered it partly. The overarching question now is as we know, human beings, some of this is going to be out of our control. Meaning that if the world economy, all of a sudden improves crazy, we’re going to be looking at a different mindset in terms of our customer base as well as how coaches respond. Where do you think we’re going? If you don’t want to answer the question, that’s okay, too.

In terms of where we’re going, this is 2019, where information is what people are paying for, now it’s transformation. Now, more than ever, that’s the thing that people are looking for because of the rapid ascension in up-leveling in technology and the approach to marketing and being online. There are so many different things. I think we mentioned one of the apps when we were speaking before the interview Clubhouse, there’s TikTok. I’ve got one client on there, he’s a driving instructor. I may have mentioned him to you before. He’s literally got millions of views on TikTok. He’s not just on his own, he’s got a fairly decent business that we’ve built up together but it sends hundreds of thousands of visitors to his YouTube channel, which is growing at an exponential rate.

The most powerful way to generate leads is to truly understand your market’s fears, frustrations, wants, or aspirations.

The biggest thing I genuinely believe 2022 is about is the journey of transformation that you help people within your marketing message. I truly believe gone are the days where you can simply say, “I’m a business coach, I’m a live coach, I’m a consultant,” and people want to speak to you. No. Tell them what you’ve done for your customers. That’s what people are interested in. We’re no longer interested in, “Can we exchange business cards, and perhaps, I’ll give you a call.” Do people want to know what’s the outcome you create? What difference do you make in this world?

That’s partly where the visionary marketing coach has developed and evolved from. What I found is that there was less substance with people with who I was working. When I started to dig into what their vision was, and we married up their offers compared to their vision, we were able to bring them from being a person who was selling on features and a basic story to, “Here’s the difference that this product is going to make and here’s why we do what we do.”

I think that’s it. It’s just people showing up more like you’re doing this show and you have such an amazing message and story. I shared your message to some of my group coaching clients after the interview, and they were like, “She sounds amazing.” That’s what people want. This is the funny thing. When you look at it, we’re going back to what we want and crave as human beings, which is to go into the fantasy of the story. What you’ve got to do is bring that into your marketing messages. I think that’s what 2022 is all about.

One thing about the digital age, the information age brought to us is that we went through two decades of time where people with information, didn’t do anything with that information. They simply gave us information and this is how they made their fortunes. Now, we have the same information, we have access to the information but some of us can turn that into magic. Some of us can help you dial in on your strengths, work on your weaknesses and how that applies to what you’re doing now. With the digital revolution, everybody’s got a mobile phone and everyone can check you out. That’s the thing you can’t get away with one word that’s wrong. I think twenty years ago, a business coach would never come on any show and say, “I made these six mistakes and they were painful.” You could never do that six years ago. You have to be perfect. Now, that’s not even believable anymore. When I first asked you the question, I prefaced it with, I’m sure there was pain and gain involved because without the pain there isn’t going to be any game.

It’s like anything. I always see the quote, “Even a diamond is created under pressure.” It’s the same thing. We go to the gym but if we want to grow our muscles, we can’t get away from the pain and the tension that our body has to go through in order to grow muscle. It’s the same as an entrepreneur business. If your business is going to grow, expect the pain that comes with you going for it. It’s quite interesting because we know we’re getting on something, you could see my energy lifted as well. When I’m speaking to my coaching clients, a lot of the time, even though we’re talking about marketing strategy, I probably spent 50% of my time talking about their mindset and their ability to see through their misbehaviors and their bad habits. The things that basically are their blind spots that they don’t see. The more we get past our blind spots in life, the more we end up with people like Victoria.

As we close, what are your couple of advice for entrepreneurs who are reading now, thinking about what they can do right away? You’ve already covered a lot of actionable tips. If you had to leave us with the one thing, I’m very big on doing the one thing you can do for yourself, what would that be?

The one thing in two parts. The one thing is, if you know what it is that you want to do for the next 5, 10 years, so you’ve got this feeling or even the next twelve months, start going onto places like YouTube and Amazon to find the books, the videos and get the information you need. Part two, if you’re at the stage where you could invest in a culture or a mentor, or you get to the point where you’ve grown your business enough to get a cultural mentor, that would be the advice that I would give everybody. Make sure that culture mentor is in an area where they’ve either helped somebody achieve that or they’ve done it for themselves. You don’t want to go for somebody who’s generic. That way, you’ll get to wherever your goals are set to or your vision much faster. That would be my advice. If there’s anything that I could have learned early in my career, it would have been to speak to somebody who’s in that place where I wanted to be.

MDH 32 | Generate Leads

Generate Leads: When you’ve grown your business enough, it’s best to get a cultural mentor, where they’ve either helped somebody achieve that business goal you desire, or they’ve done it for themselves.

 

Those were some great advice. When I started my business, Amazon and YouTube didn’t exist and coaches were not all that assessable at least in my area. I do agree with you that having gone through that journey, the one thing that I wish I had was a mentor or somebody. There were so many times I was this close to giving up and thinking to myself, “This was a stupid idea.” A great coach will collapse time. They will help you get results that are exponentially better with the same amount of effort.

Once again, ladies and gentlemen, Leon, he’s the host of a podcast called Small Business Elevation Podcast voted the number one business entrepreneurship podcast in the UK in 2015. As you heard, he’s so delightful and so polite and ever gentlemen. Thank you so much Leon for coming and I hope you enjoyed it. If you have not subscribed to my show yet, go ahead and do that, I would appreciate that very much and share it with everybody because the more the merrier. We want a community of successful entrepreneurs who are happy and people who will share as Leon has. Again, thank you so much.

I was going to say, Victoria, it’s been an absolute pleasure. I encourage everybody to read this show to make sure you leave a five-star review on whatever platform that you’re reading it on because of the guidance of what you bring as you articulate the answers, your presence, and obviously, your experience. People will learn and gain a lot of great results and transformation in life just from reading this. Thank you for having me on the show.

Thank you. That’s it for this episode. Until next time. Stay wealthy and happy. Remember, happiness is a choice.

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About Leon Streete

MDH 32 | Generate LeadsGrowing up as an 80’s baby and being from a mixed-race background (English & Jamaican), I had such a vibrant upbringing.

With a heavy influence from my father who was into the Reggae Sound System scene, I was destined to follow, especially with my love, for beats and heavy bassline, Bob Marley, John Holt and Freddy Macgregor plus more were part of the music I grew up listening too, so in 1994 I decided to become a DJ.

In 1997 I created my first website off the back of me being a DJ “Disc Jockey“. I wanted to reach out to new fans, listeners and make waves with promoters and record labels.

It worked! My passion for music drove my need to be heard and after dj’ing around the country whilst trying to finish up my A-Levels, the music career and Website work were going great, should have perhaps focused a little more on my A-Levels!

 

Stories have become a part of people’s lives even when we were kids, where we enjoy listening to children’s books. As we grow up and learn how the world works, we should be aware that stories are still an important part of our everyday lives, even as entrepreneurs. Join Victoria Wieck in this episode as she discusses how mastering storytelling techniques can help generate more sales in your business. Know how to craft compelling stories relevant to your brand and make great impressions for a job interview, sales pitch or anything else. Master the art of storytelling and experience its numerous benefits!

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here

Achieving Storytelling Mastery To Increase Brand Awareness

Welcome to another episode. If you haven’t done so already, I would love you to subscribe, share and spread the word out because I am so excited to be sharing this time with you every week. Without further ado, let’s get into our topic. I want to talk about the topic of storytelling. It seems to be a big topic out there now. I’m delighted that the topic of storytelling is something that’s taking off now because I have been doing exactly that, telling stories, sharing my stories, inspirations and mastering the art of storytelling for many years on TV. Let’s talk about why storytelling is important. Many of you who own a business, think about owning a business, maybe you work for someone or a large company if you are going to be successful in selling anything, including making a great impression about yourself, to somebody for a job interview or anything else, the best way to do that would be to master the art of storytelling.

Now, let’s think about what storytelling is. It is the oldest form of communication. Think about that. I imagine, maybe 2,000 years ago, even longer than that, people didn’t have digital computers, even written books or anything. If you go back to human history, they communicated by telling stories. Our history is recorded by oral history of some sort. It’s a lot of stories. I ask, “Why is that?” There are so many incidences. If you go back for 10,000 years, I’m sure people can remember. There were a lot of things that are not written in books that we don’t know anything about.

My theory is that stories could be very interesting, compelling, make you cry, laugh or sad. All those things that move your emotions to a different place, good or bad, have to do with human stories. I would say that most of us can remember incredible stories. We don’t remember a lot of statistics or data but we remember stories. I’m not saying that data isn’t important. In fact, I will get to data about storytelling. Data is important but remember not to overwhelm people with data. I do quite a bit of speaking engagements. Whenever I do speak, I usually have a warmup person or I’m not the first person to speak at an event.

It saddens me when speakers get on the podium where everyone has done all the work. All they have to do is shine and they get lost in statistics. There are so many percentages and 3 out of 5 or whatever numbers that they have to quote, those numbers mean nothing. Just remember that numbers are boring and stories are interesting. What is storytelling in terms of how you create a brand, a company or enough of an emotional connection for millions of people to connect with you and fall in love with you, your brand and your brand story? I am so excited to get a deep dive into this.

By the way, if you have not checked out my YouTube channel, it’s called Million Dollar Hobbies with Victoria Wieck. I want to be very specific on YouTube. I’m starting that channel so that we can dedicate it to amazing episodes. My vision is to create that whole thing into a free mastermind class that you guys can join in. It’s not just my story but also a lot of other people’s success stories and what they have learned throughout their journey. Let’s talk about stories. Stories could be very factual. Factual history would be all fact-based.

MDH 30 | Storytelling Mastery

Storytelling Mastery: Data is really important, but remember not to overwhelm people with data because they will not grasp them properly.

 

Some stories are factual but fictionalized with a character to emphasize a point. Those would be based on true stories, which have been fictionalized. You will have stories that are completely made up that are fictional. There are all these different kinds of stories. We remembered each one of them. I would tell you that think about things that we remembered like what’s your favorite movie that usually has to do with a story about a person. I’m not going to pick one and I have different reasons for it but my personal favorite movie is Godfather, for example. I love that movie for the music. I love the soundtrack. I’m a big music fan. I also love how flawed a person is like Michael Corleone, the whole Corleone family and even though they were so flawed, you want to almost root for them because, among all the bad people, there were the ones that still had love and all the other stuff that’s going on in their family.

I digressed in there but the point is the iconic movies and songs all have stories. Obviously, this is a business show so we are going to talk about how you tell stories artfully with the idea that you share enough stories to be memorable but you also have to cause them to take action. Think about some of your favorite movies, favorite books and what made you remember those things. I love the story about Jane Eyre and James Michener’s Hawaii, which is a fictional novel based on facts about how Hawaii was formed and all that but there are a lot of fictional characters in there. He does quite a bit of research on those too.

Differentiating Your Brand

First of all, before you even get there, what storytelling will do for your business? Number one, if you are a small to medium-sized business, your best bet in differentiating yourself versus all the big companies or corporations, or you were coming up with a new spritzer, for example, you don’t want to be competing with a Coca-Cola, Diet Pepsi or all those companies for ad budget. You are better off telling your story. It’s the same thing with a lot of other small businesses because most of us before we were business people or vice-presidents of any company, we are consumers of amazing stories and inspiration. If you can generate that time after time, that’s great.

I’m going to get into a systematic way of getting this done but you should have a brand video. I was approached by someone who wanted me to coach her for a mastermind class. I did not end up working with this person because I didn’t feel that she could benefit from me. She wasn’t quite there yet to waste the money that she was going to have to pay for this particular mastermind. When I was probing her about her business, her brand, where she was going and what it stood for to see if I could help her quickly, she told me that she had her brand story. It was all done on her website.

Stories have to be interesting and compelling. They should make you cry or laugh.

On our website, in terms of a blog and a brand story, it was about three-paragraph long explaining a little bit about our brand. I didn’t see a story about why she does what she does, the genesis of the company, what their mission was or how committed she was to either the product line or to serving the customer. Those were number 1, 2 or 3 mistakes that you make when you have a website. You want to have a compelling story. If you can, have a brand story that tells customers how you’ve got started, who you are and why you do what you do. It doesn’t have to be lengthy.

For example, in my own brand story, my daughter and I have a bridle Millennial business, which is 100% dedicated to conflict-free stones. Many of you don’t know about conflict-free or the word conflict-free. Just to give you a little backstory, a lot of your bigger stores will tell you that they guarantee it’s conflict-free but there is no way anyone can guarantee it’s conflict-free if it’s Earth-mined. A lot of the stones are mined in Africa. It’s cut in India then it’s polished to somewhere else. All these stones get mixed up. There was no chain of custody for every single stone or diamond that is a dot size. There was no way they could have a chain of custody papers for every one of them.

She and I started a company to educate a lot of the Millennials who think that if they get that piece of paper, they are getting something that’s 100% conflict-free, which is not true. In our brand story, we talk about how the mother, that’s me, who has been in this business for many years and has seen the devastation, destruction and confusion in terms of the consumer and what that does when you don’t have clear communication. She and I have decided to change the world, at least our own world, starting with our own little circle of friends. One engagement meeting at a time to bring awareness and also bring high-quality materials to their engagement process. Our whole mission is your love story is unique to you so why should you settle for something that some designer created to fit 10 million people out there?

That’s our brand story and we talk about the mother’s experience and the young girl’s hopes and dreams mesh them together coming up to a beautiful brand. With that story, we’ve been covered by a lot of the big companies like ABC and NBC. A lot of the affiliates have covered our story based on that. If you’re going to talk about starting a company, start with your brand story because that tells you a little bit about the personality, the genesis of your company, who you are and who you hope to serve so you can do this. I will do a whole other series of videos on how to do a great video.

MDH 30 | Storytelling Mastery

Storytelling Mastery: Storytelling plays a big role in creating a brand or a company or how you create because of the emotional connection it creates for millions of people.

 

Identify Who You Want To Serve

If you can, at least, write them down because even if you do your video, you are going to do a text version of that. Secondly, clearly identify who you hope to serve. In our case, we have several brands. I have a different brand altogether. My core customers are 45 to 65 years old. Her customers are about 25 to 35-year-old. On her website, she identifies who our customers are and who we hope to serve, which are Millennials who want to get educated and make an informed decision. We don’t judge anybody for buying an Earth-mined diamond. We don’t judge anybody for doing anything but we want to inform them of the choices that they have.

We hope to be one of the choices that they have. Clearly identify who you want to serve. Sometimes, you could say who you don’t want to serve or who you are not for. For example, you are selling anti-aging skincare. I have a lot of friends who are in that business because we are all aging and they have discovered some secret to anti-aging. If you are selling anti-wrinkle or anti-aging products, you have no business selling them to the twenty-year-olds. They are not aging yet. Their skincare routine is going to be very different than somebody who is already dealing with fine lines, wrinkles and everything else. You might actually say something like, “If you are twenty-some years old, we are not for you.”

I tell you why you do that because when you do that, you get credibility. Having been a 20, 30, 40, 50, 60-year-old woman in my life, I’m over that now. I know that my skincare routine changed when I was 20, 30 to 40. All those times, your skin and body change. When somebody says, “I’m not for you when you are twenty. As a 60-year-old woman, I know that this company is serious about taking care of the people that are 45 to 65 years old.” You get a lot of authority by being honest. That’s amazing. Secondly, nail down your story, meaning that all of us have amazing stories. I say that to you because you do each person.

You may not think you do but you have amazing stories and moments that shaped who you are, who your company is and your vision for creating the company that you have. A lot of times, you are like, “I want to do this in one paragraph. They tell me I could do it in 3 or 4 sentences something about my story but I have this long, old story that could take 1 or 2 hours about me.” You have to pick and choose what’s important to your brand. For example, I could talk about the fact that I immigrated from South Korea, I’m a mother and a lot of different things but when it comes to my own brand story, my own joy brand, aside from my daughter’s and mine, is The Victoria Wieck Collection, which caters to the 45 to a 65-year-old woman. We have two different websites for those.

Most of us can remember incredible stories. We don’t remember a lot of stats, statistics, or data, but we remember stories.

That brand story talks about making incredibly beautiful, stylish jewelry at affordable prices with their little artistic flair. The artistic flair is very unusual because of my background. I lived in South Korea until I was basically a teenager. I came to America where I had to embrace and honor both cultures. Being multicultural where East meets West, I have a very different eye. I use that to my advantage. My brand story would talk about how I love history and other cultures. I am a curious person with an artistic flair. I bring the best of all the world into amazing designs that they could buy at affordable prices. Also, those pieces become heirloom pieces because they are of very premium quality.

Effective Communication

You can read the exact wording on this because it’s a very short story but they are very effective. I can tell you that because I have built a $500 million business off of that brand story. It’s very important to nail down the story that’s relevant to your brand. As I said, I will do a series on video on how effective communication on video, which is a little different than how you write. The third thing I will tell you is If you can tell your story, tell it on video because when you say things on video, you collapsed the number of words you need to. If you were elegantly dressed, well-mannered, quiet, somebody who takes time and you speak with a lot of authority but you speak at a very slow pace with a lot of patience, you don’t have to write those in words.

People can check that. If you are hyper and you are like, “I’m so excited to talk to you,” and you are going wild if your branding is about that Millennial excitement and all that, that’s great. It fits perfectly. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Videos can do a lot with the same story because they can also add context, tone, pace, speed, delivery and all of that. You should tune into that and the other thing, too is if you are listening to me on audio, make sure that you check out the video version of a video series because we will teach you about lighting the makeup, how you address the audience and the whole thing.

Storytelling, as I said, is something that you should master. I also say if you ever want to pitch for a TV station or if you want to sell your things to a major department store, maybe like Harrods London or Galeries Lafayette, you may not have a ton of volume from there but you get some beautiful prestige. You get the global street cred pretty much right away because I have experienced that too. You can do that by effective storytelling again. Storytelling is something that you should master. If you are interested in learning about storytelling, come to my website because I will be loading up a lot of those mini videos that you don’t have to pay for. It’s not going to be like a masterclass on its own but if you are somebody who needed a little extra help or you are curious about this and you want to add a little extra pizzazz to your website or all your branding pitches, they should all be around a story.

MDH 30 | Storytelling Mastery

Storytelling Mastery: Storytelling is the oldest form of communication. A long time ago, stories were the only way to communicate with people when there aren’t any digital computers or written books.

 

If you are uncomfortable telling your story, there was a back way around that. You could have other people tell your story. Ideally, it could be your past customers, best friends or people that will be character witnesses, like maybe in a courtroom type of thing. If you are starting your company, it doesn’t have to be about 2 million people you have served. It could be about one person who got transformed based on what you do. That’s important as well. For this particular episode, I hope that I opened your ears and eyes to storytelling and why that’s important.

In the future, I will be sharing with you a deep dive on how to master the art of storytelling. When I’m on ShopHQ, we have to tell lots of stories. Every single design I present on TV has a story, where I was sitting and what I was inspired by. I love certain colors, for example, blue and green. A lot of designers use them. I happen to love those colors. I talk about how, for me, the tranquility, the majesty of all the palm trees and the greeneries around the beach, which is very blue. Mother Nature created those colors to be almost like a perfect fit for me. I used them very extensively in my collection. Again, that’s a very small story but it makes a lot of sense. A lot of people can relate to that.

When I go to Hawaii, one of my favorite places in the world, you are surrounded by blue. The song I will be singing is blue Hawaii, blue ocean. It’s so majestic and beautiful but it’s also surrounded by lush greens all over the place. That’s my dreamland, my heaven. Whenever I have certain pieces, especially hibiscus designs or things like that around me, that transports me emotionally to a completely different place. Again, that’s one example of simple storytelling that has been very effective for me. I hope that this lesson has been very helpful. Even if you are working for someone in your company and you are doing a lot of sales presentations, try to incorporate at least one story the next time you are faced with that task.

Anyway, thank you so much for reading. Please come to my website, www.VictoriaWieck.com or you can go to MillionDollarHobbies.com, give us some comments and also, if you can, please write a review. I’m not asking for a great review. I’m asking for a very honest review so that we can continue to improve our shows. It could be as simple as, “I’m going to hear more about betrayals or self-improvement.” It could be about, “I didn’t love such and such episode. I want to hear less of that.” It’s okay. You could give me a negative review but I want a review and hear from you. Until next time, please stay healthy and happy. Remember, happiness is a choice and I hope you all make great choices as we move to the next episode. Bye.

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