In this video:
00:18 – Who was at the event
01:41 – What to do less of
03:30 – Do more of this
05:00 – 3 steps to good SEO
07:00 – A story that can make men cry
08:10 – A proven storytelling arc
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James: James Schramko here, welcome to this little video, where we’re talking about SuperFastBusiness Live 11, the recap. And Ezra’s here.
Ezra: What actually happened? It’s sort of like, behind-the-scenes behind the scenes.
Who was there?
James: Behind the scenes. So it’s important to know who we had at the event. We had intermediate to advanced marketers, it’s a really important context to put to it, and a few world-level experts.
Ezra: You know, I keep saying this, that one of the things I’m so impressed by is the sort of level of the community. You never run into a community where that many people are that advanced.
James: A lot of some have kept coming to the event, and actually a member of mine gave me this idea. In the beginning, I thought I’d put on an event and people would come, and then the next year I would sell the event and new people would come. Wrong.
I actually thought about like professional accounting, professional legal.
Ezra: It’s really changed fast.
James: They have to keep education, and so now it’s totally framed as keep coming along, and the first hundred tickets for this event sell within SuperFastBusiness membership on the first day.
James: When we release the tickets, just to give you some context.
Ezra: A high level group of people, you know, people who are 6 figures and above, a lot of them, you know?
James: So we thought maybe we’d just cover one key point from each of the experts, just a little bit of a grab bag of what was there.
Ezra: What’s a — a grab bag is a thing?
James: A grab bag is kind of like if you just grab into the bag and take…
Ezra: Whatever you get?
James: Like a lolly bag at a party, we’re going to give you some lollies.
Ezra: It’s going to be a lolly bag.
James: It’s not a full meal, we can’t give you a 2-day event, word for word replay.
James: Because it will take two days.
Ezra: But we can give you a lolly bag event.
Ezra: Recap of an event.
Less of some things
James: So firstly, I introduced this idea with my audience that we should be doing less, and we should be doing more. And it’s a really simple concept, if you think about the 80/20 rule, which we talked about a few events ago.
Ezra: The Pareto Principle.
“Do less of some things, and more of others.”
James: There are some things you should really just do less of, and there are some things you should do more of. Simple, right?
Ezra: How do you figure out what those are?
James: Well, you actually track your tasks for a week or two and see what you spend your time on.
For me, I got constantly attacked by people saying, “Can I pick your brain? Can I take you for a coffee, I just want to pick your brain,” which means, I’d like to dredge through all of your ideas, while you meet me somewhere, we’ll drink coffee, and then you’ll go feeling exhausted and like a shucked oyster.
“Filter who gets to talk to you.”
Ezra: I actually learned this strategy from you. A couple of years ago, you said, hey, look, Tuesday’s the only day I get on the phone. And I implemented that. I just had it be there was only one day that you could talk to me, and I filtered who would get to talk to me.
James: And how did that go?
Ezra: Amazing. It just frees up so much when you don’t have a meeting here and there, you know?
James: It’s the same for me, so it’s just the days of the week where I do meet people, and I do it using a scheduling tool on my own terms.
Ezra: It’s a really good one. Less meetings.
James: Protect your time. And it sounds harsh, because you think being an entrepreneur means you can do anything, any time, with anyone.
James: Otherwise, it’s all open.
Ezra: Or otherwise you end up only ever doing the things right here, and you never figure out, you never go deeper than just the sh** that’s (pardon my language, I apologize) the stuff that’s just right…
James: That’s alright, it’s my show, so we’ve done that before.
Ezra: It’s just, you never go deeper than like, putting the fires out that are right in front of you. And when you create that space, you can really think at a higher level.
More of others
And the thing that I suggested doing more of is serialized podcasts. They have been working really well for me, where we pick an expert or a topic, and we do multiple episodes.
Ezra: Short-form content rather than long-form content?
James: No, they can be long, they’d be 25 minutes or 40 minutes, but he whole point is, they’re not just one thing. If you think about Netflix series, I just watched Narcos, fantastic.
Ezra: I’ve heard good things.
James: Watch it. But once you watch one episode, it’s like, well, that’s not enough. I want to watch the next and the next, until you watch all of them.
Ezra: And everyone has binge watched a show.
James: Right. So I think that now, at no time like before, we can actually consume content on demand, it makes sense to structure content in a consumable way that continues on a series so that…
Ezra: It sort of hooks people.
James: Yeah, sort of 3-part series, 1, 2 and 3 will now get more downloads than the most listened-to episode.
Ezra: And you can interlink them, which is good for SEO.
James: Always interlink them, and you forecast what’s coming, you retrocast what was before, you say to people, hey, if you’re listening to this, and you didn’t listen to the first one, go back and listen to that.
Ezra: And I don’t know if we’re going to get there, but Darren Rowse mentioned that he does this, that he creates three pieces of content and it’s the third piece of content that has people go back and…
James: It is, and he talks about the different types of content that you can create around the same topic. So different ways to present content. So we will get into that in a future episode. He just did it there. Should we go on?
The SEO expert
Ezra: We should, yeah.
James: So we heard about SEO from James Reynolds, and he just put up a couple of test results. And I’ll just give you the short answer.
Ezra: I have like, sworn off SEO. I just don’t do it.
Ezra: New content. My SEO is my content creation.
James: Well, you’re doing it, you’re just not thinking about it.
Ezra: That’s right, I don’t think about it. So I’m curious.
James: Tell me, do you do any of these? Do you increase your click-through rates?
Ezra: I try to.
James: With compelling titles?
Ezra: Yes, I write good headlines.
James: Right, well that increases your SEO.
Ezra: Right, good headlines.
James: Do you link out to authoritative sites from your website?
James: So that does good SEO.
Ezra: Alright, I’m doing it.
James: And do you link between your content internally?
Ezra: I certainly do.
James: Well, that’s it. So you are doing SEO. The reluctant SEO guru.
Ezra: I am not a guru in SEO.
James: But James Reynolds is.
Ezra: Yeah, he is. What’s his website?
James: And those three things are great things to do.
Ezra: You know, the recent study came out and said, 50% of all traffic to e-commerce businesses is organic. So I mean, it is happening out there.
James: A huge slice of my traffic is organic. So I’m getting podcast traffic, and I’m getting search engine visits, because we transcribe every show. Every word we say in every episode is transcribed and put on the page. So if I say, “how to make $5,000 in a week,” that gets transcribed, and now people searching for it, and that actually happens to be a phrase that Google puts my site high up in the rankings for.
James: So we just said it then, it’ll get transcribed, put on the site, and it will now become relevant to someone searching for that.
Ezra: I think, at least my understanding of it today, is that high quality, relevant, engaging content optimized into multiple media formats is a really good SEO strategy.
James: It’s what Google wants to deliver to their audience, so that their real customers, the people spending money on ads, want to spend money on ads with them.
Ezra: There you go.
How to tell a story
James: There you go. We heard about storytelling…
Ezra: This one was awesome.
James: …from a professional comedian who also had…
Ezra: It was hilarious.
James: …a debilitating illness that he overcame.
Ezra: I cried during his thing. He got me, man, like at the end of his thing, I was tearing up, and I didn’t, you know, he got me.
James: What I liked about it is that he told us a story framework, and then he told us a story, and broke it down for us.
Ezra: Sort of you know, showed us what he was talking about.
James: Exactly. But each time he told a story, first time he told a comedy joke, and the second time he told a health story that he’d spoken about at TED. Each time, the audience is starting to think, oh, he’s gone way off track here, what’s this got to do with Internet marketing? And then, he said, did you catch the story line? It was perfect, he did it twice within the same 20-minute session.
Ezra: And I think one of the things to remember from his session was that at the end of the day, all we’re doing is telling stories. I mean really, selling is storytelling, to some degree.
James: If you’re a great storyteller, you’re going to have compelling content, and if you watched A Bug’s Life or Star Wars or any well-produced online content, it’s going to have a story arc to it. We could say what some of the steps are, if you want.
Ezra: Sure, go for it.
James: So you start out with this sort of situation where the character is at when they start out. Then they go through this difficult situation, you build up all this tension.
Ezra: What was the problem?
Ezra: Essentially, you talk about the problem.
Ezra: Hopefully, your product solves that.
James: Then they get exposed to their character, and you see their humility and their vulnerability. And then they go for this epic ride, and then you get to the main sort of result, and then finally the tension breaks.
Sometimes they sort of backpedal a bit, you think it’s solved, but it’s not and they give you another dose and then you get into the end bit where the character gets to sit around the campfire telling this amazing adventure that happened to them. And it’s a compelling story, because we’re hardwired for that since cavemen times when they’d sit around the fire telling stories to remember things.
Ezra: And if you want to be effective at selling whatever it is you sell, then you’ve got to be able to describe to your potential customer what that thing does, and what the ownership benefits of it are. Like where they are now, and where this thing is going to take them.
“A good before-and-after element is the short story.”
James: Yes, so a good before-and-after element is really the short story. Talk about where you’re at, then all the transformations that happened and where you’re at now, that’s the transformation. That’s a popular story. And remember to use this in your emails and everything else.
James: So make sure you catch up on the next episode, we’re going to talk about some subscription model things, and a few other little surprises.
Ezra: We might even mention what I talked about, maybe.
James: We might, we might get there.
Ezra: See you later.
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