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Alastair McDermott, Voiceover, Judson Rollins
Judson Rollins 00:00
Take a point of view don’ts don’t go with what everyone else is saying, don’t try to be middle of the road, there really is no room to be the same voice that everyone else is being it just doesn’t work.
Welcome to The Recognized Authority, a podcast that helps specialized consultants and domain experts on your journey to become known as an authority in your field. So you can increase your reach, have more impact and work with great clients. Here’s your host, Alastair McDermott.
Alastair McDermott 00:27
Hey, folks, it’s August, as the summer winds down and we’re getting ready for September, I’m getting ready for a new intake into authority labs. That’s a coaching group and tight knit community for independent consultants and experts who are looking for coaching, accountability and peer support on your journey to authority. The next authority labs cohort will be starting in September. And if you’re a consultant or expert, and you’d like to build your authority and grow your income, have accountability and support around you while you do that, then this might be the right group for you. You can sign up for the interest list at the recognized authority.com/group. Now on with the show. Okay, so Judson, thank you for coming on. And we’re going to do something a little bit different. We’re going to do a live coaching session about content strategy. So thanks for being the guinea pig. Hey, thanks, Alastair. It’s
Judson Rollins 01:17
a pleasure to be here. Okay.
Alastair McDermott 01:18
So because we’re doing this slightly different, I’m just going to ask you to introduce yourself to the listener, and can you tell them a little bit about what you do, and what your businesses but
Judson Rollins 01:27
sure, I’m Johnson Rollins. I’m the founder of propel revenue, which is a transportation pricing consultancy, I’m probably best described as a recovered airline consultant was working with airlines and aircraft manufacturers until a COVID-19 hits. Unfortunately, a lot of that business was wiped out. And so I pivoted into working with transport companies, especially cargo carriers, air, sea road and rail on their pricing and demand segmentation practices. And so basically, my mission is to help cargo companies identify their customers know what their demand is relative to capacity, and instead of setting their pricing according to cost or competition, to set their pricing according to demand versus capacity, and according to each customer’s individual willingness to pay.
Alastair McDermott 02:10
Awesome, and I love the way that rolls off your tongue so easy.
Judson Rollins 02:13
I’ve gotten paid a few times lately.
Alastair McDermott 02:17
Hey, folks, just to give some context to today’s episode, this is a coaching call with a client of mine, Johnson Rollins, and Johnson has given me permission to publish this conversation. And this is not the first conversation I’ve had with Judson. He’s in our authority labs mastermind group. And I’ve already had several one on one calls with him before today. That means that you don’t get all the context on this call that I have had with speaking with Judson. But nevertheless, I still think that some folks will find this conversation useful, particularly if you’re thinking about publishing through a podcast, or book, through YouTube video, or even email as we touch on all of those platforms. Okay, with that context out of the way, here’s my call with Judson. Can you just give me a little bit about what’s in your head? At the moment about creating your content? What like, what are you thinking about?
Judson Rollins 03:05
Sure, I think, according to the conversations we’ve had so far in line with those conversations, I really want to focus on just having a couple of channels and really maximizing the value of those channels. And for me, that’s going to be written Word through a blog on my website and through LinkedIn. And then that’s going to be audio video content, primarily through YouTube, but also through a podcast that I’m planning to launch later this year.
Alastair McDermott 03:26
Okay, so that makes sense. Yeah, so in terms of pillars, I see three big pillars in terms of kind of key key things that you should be doing as an authority. One is writing. Second one is speaking. And the third one is research. And we can talk about where that might come in a little bit. And then in terms of actual channels, one one thing that I’m seeing working really well, for a lot of people is having a podcast, and then having a book as well, at some point. And quite often that book is coming later. It depends on how far down the journey to authority they are. So that’s those are kind of the key things. And then in terms of social channels, LinkedIn for most of the people that I’m talking to is the primary channel. And then they have like a secondary social channels sometimes, like YouTube or Instagram or Twitter. Yep, that’s right. Yeah, they’re focusing most of that content effort on on LinkedIn in terms of social distribution. So yeah, so So is that that’s kind of what you were thinking of.
Judson Rollins 04:25
Not so much Facebook and Instagram, but the rest of the channels, yes, Facebook and Instagram. I think to my mind, I associate those with more b2c brands in mind. It’s more of a b2b brand. And Instagram in particular, is really geared toward visual imagery. And that’s something that’s really not a talent area. For me. It’s not an area of strength, but I think maybe if I get to the point where I start having more graphically oriented marketing materials, maybe I introduce Instagram at a later date.
Alastair McDermott 04:51
Okay, cool. Yeah. So one example of the kind of the text focused Instagram accounts is that they have a lot of carousels, which Have these multi page documents. And where I found that useful is because I want to make carousels for for LinkedIn anyway, because I found that they do work quite well on LinkedIn. And they make for a nice, a nice kind of packaged document, you can create those quite quickly on something like Canva, if you have a style guide, credit, creating something like that, but also that you can then dual purpose them from LinkedIn, also over to Instagram. So the future is is Christos brand. And they have some really great carousels on there. So just just as an example of an Instagram account that’s heavily tax based, but it’s really nicely designed as well. So that’s just one example of that Instagram. Now I know that’s not your primary. So. But that was just I just wanted to kind of draw, draw attention to that there is an option there if you do want to get on the Instagramers.
Judson Rollins 05:52
Oh, that sounds great. And Alistair, let me just maybe ask you a question for a second. Is that something that you do personally? Or is that something you do through your virtual assistant or a larger team? How do you produce that content?
Alastair McDermott 06:02
Okay, so what I had was I had my designer, so I have a designer who works two or three days a week for me depending on the week and the amount of work that we have. And so I have her create. So first of all, she did the rebrand. And that was how I found her i i had to work on the rebrand that I did last year, from Marketing for Consultants over to The Recognized Authority. And so I wanted somebody who could help me with that rebrand, and create a style guide for me. And I wanted that style guide, because I then use the style guide, with all of the contents that I create, and anybody else creates for me, I give them the style guide. And the style guide really is two key pieces of information. One is the font that we use. So what’s the font that we use across all of the like the website, all of the graphics and everything, it’s, it’s very consistent. And then the second thing is the color scheme. And so there’s a color scheme or brand colors. And so usually we’ll have three colors will usually have a primary, secondary and a tertiary. And that’s kind of like, so you’ll notice if you look at my LinkedIn channel, if you look at Instagram, if you look at YouTube, there’s this consistency all across all of those. In fact, you’ll even see it if you if you get a spreadsheet or something for me, I always use those that those same colors and fonts as well just keeps everything brand keeps it looking really coherent, congruent. So I think that’s really important. So if nothing else, I would create a style guide for myself, you know, that’s what I would recommend that you do, if you if you don’t, don’t have somebody to work with on that. And it’s about picking a consistent color scheme. And I think you’ve already got a good color scheme, and then a good font that you can use. And you want a font that’s nice and clean and readable. Some some brands have two, two fonts, some brands have one font, it’s up to you, I wouldn’t go more than two fonts, it gets to start to look to disorganized. You don’t want to look like a flyer that’s on the wall of a supermarket. You know, you don’t want to look like that. Some something somebody threw together in Microsoft Word Art. You want it that’s why we kind of limit the number of fonts and colors, because then everything starts to have this kind of consistency. So does that answer the question?
Judson Rollins 08:19
I think it does. Yeah, maybe a different way of putting it drawing on my airline background is, if it looks like something you’d see on board or Ryanair or Spirit Airlines, it probably isn’t good for your brand.
Alastair McDermott 08:31
All right, I’m not gonna touch that one. Very good. Very good. All right, so So, so let’s let’s just circle back and see what we’re talking about here. So we’re talking about the the design of the content that you’re gonna be putting out, we’re talking about the channels that you’re putting it on. Let’s talk a little bit about the actual content. So you talked about having you talked about starting a podcast? Can we talk about that a little bit?
Judson Rollins 08:59
Absolutely. So the idea with the podcast is it serves two purposes. One, it’s an opportunity for me to certainly demonstrate my expertise both through solo podcasts as well as being able to ask intelligent questions of thought leaders in the cargo industry. But it’s also an opportunity for me to network, not just with the podcast guests, but with their contacts as well. And so there is an opportunity to kind of climb the ladder, so to speak, in terms of getting access to better podcast guests and getting access to better and more prominent potential clients. And so what I’m thinking right now is looking at about a 6535 mix of guest episodes and solo episodes. So that’s enough to keep the audience interested. They’re not just hearing my voice week after week, but it also gives me a chance to do long form solo content where it’s justified.
Alastair McDermott 09:49
Yeah. 100%. And so you’ve already preempted some of my questions there. The overall goal and the podcast can have a number of goals here, but the overall goal typically It’s something like growing an audience, maybe growing an email list, building trust, building relationships directly with people. And some people go down the revenue route with sponsorship. And I think that you’re not going to go down that route. From what you’ve told me. Yeah, you know, and then you know, build. So growing that audience and email lists into clients, and building trust with with those listeners and with those with those relationships with those guests. So I like to mix if you were, so there’s a couple of different ways you can you can go about this, about podcasting for authority. One of those is to have a purely solo show. And what that does is that gives you this entirely kind of authority building show. The problem with that is distribution. There’s no network effect that’s built into that. The Another option is to do what I’ve done with The Recognized Authority, which is to have an interview based show, and there is a network effect built in because every guest will, in theory, share it now, in reality, they don’t, but a lot of them will. And so you gain access to new audiences that way. And then you can have a mix of those, which I think is a really good option. That’s what you’re talking about here. And then one other option is with those sort with the solo shows is to actually create a solo show, as a complementary show. And that’s something that I’ve done, and I talked with, with Jonathan Bailey strong on the podcast, but recently, which is to have a, a solo show that’s kind of standalone is an evergreen audio training course. It’s just out there all of the time working for you 24/7, building your authority. And so people can can just turn up and listen to that. And, and you can so if you have the framework for some sort of training course, you could actually deliver through podcasts like that. And what I like about that is it’s getting you onto another platform, with the podcasting platform and having something out there for you all the time. Seth Godin did this, as well, no one’s we mentioned on the on the show with Jonathan. Seth Godin did this, I think, eight years ago, and his podcast is still up and running and driving leads to his, you know, to his training courses and things. So that’s an option as well. So you’re, you’re talking about going on the hybrid, the hybrid option. One of the things about the interview, the interview show is who you actually choose as guests. And the interesting thing with this is you can choose to interview potential clients. And that can be really interesting. And then you can also interview authority figures in your space. So what’s what’s your thinking on who you’re actually going to get get us guests?
Judson Rollins 12:34
Sure, I think where I’m looking to go is start with commercial leaders, people who are already working in my particular niche at target company prospect to target prospects, who are on my radar, people who are working on pricing, working on demand segmentation, knowing the customer and putting together the service offerings. Certainly, I’d be looking to target a top tier firms in air cargo and sea cargo, say Atlas air or Maersk on the sea side. And looking for the people who are the movers and thinkers and influencers in my particular niche.
Alastair McDermott 13:09
Yeah, yeah, I like it. And so are Are any of those potential clients for you?
Judson Rollins 13:13
Yes, certainly. All of them are. My Yeah, they are people. I’d love to talk to you both in terms of networking, and in terms of future business.
Alastair McDermott 13:21
Both cool. Yeah, I mean, there’s no stronger as far as I can see, there’s there’s no stronger LinkedIn connection requests than, hey, I was really interested in what you said there. Would you like to come on my podcast and talk about it more. And it’s just such a powerful way to connect with people. It doesn’t come across, you’re not asking them for something. You’re giving them something, you’re giving them a platform? So I find that works really well. So I think that’s that’s really strong. Do you have any plan for growing the podcast listenership?
Judson Rollins 13:54
That’s something that I really kind of need to think about. I’ve been really more focused on Who do I want? What topics do I want to cover? But growth planning is something that I need to start thinking about?
Alastair McDermott 14:02
Yeah, yeah. So we can talk about the topics in a minute. So one of the best ways to grow your podcast is to get on other podcasts. So can you so do you know anybody else who’s podcasting in this space podcasting to those same people or to similar people in in your, in your in your industry, in your niche Sherm and can you do you have any podcasts there that you’re already listening to? Maybe that you that you might might make for a good guest for
Judson Rollins 14:33
a Yeah, I think one that’s really high on my priority list is called the lodestar and that is a UK based podcast that focuses on what’s happening in the transport and supply chain worlds both from an operator slash carrier perspective and from a customer perspective. What’s What’s the latest and greatest? What’s next? What do shippers need to worry about? And certainly they’ve had plenty of grist for their mill the past couple of years with all the chaos that’s been going on in the shipping In the blockchain world,
Alastair McDermott 15:01
oh, yeah, yeah, for sure. So okay, that’s, that’s a great way to get on to other people’s podcasts is, well, first of all, you can just go and pitch them. And the second way is to actually invite the podcaster to come on yours, you invite them to come out and your podcast and talk about, you know, the issues that are facing them. And what they see in the industry, and quite often, they will invite you back. That’s just it’s, you know, because you’re building relationship and you’re not doing you know, you’re not doing it in a kind of a sleazy way, you’re doing it in a genuine way. And, and yeah, that works really well. So, so I would specifically target podcasters, as well who have, who have a podcast targeting your industry and people you’d like to reach. And then the key part of that is when you go on those podcasts is to have a call to action to listen to your podcast. Because when people are listening to podcasts, quite often, they’re, you know, they’re doing something where they probably don’t have their hands free, it’s not going to be easy for them, like they’re doing the dishes, or they’re driving a car, or they’re at the gym. And so asking them to take some action where they go to visit your website, it, I find that it’s a better call to action, to ask them to go check out your podcast and have a very easy, memorable podcast, because they do have their podcast app open, and they know how to find new new podcasts in there. And so it makes for a much softer launch, then put your other call to action in your own podcast. So your goal on other people’s podcasts is to get them to come and listen to your podcast.
Judson Rollins 16:38
And something that I like is when people are listening to your podcast, and you’ve got kind of the opportunity. I can’t remember whether you’ve had this in some of your previous episodes, I don’t think you’ve always had it. But to have kind of a 32nd commercial break, so to speak, or ever break in which you do plug your own services. It’s something that MICHAEL ZIPURSKY does with consulting success, and does it really brilliantly, because it’s he keeps it down to about a 15 second spot. It’s just one, it’s in the middle of the episode. It’s not obnoxious, it doesn’t feel over the top. But it gives you a strong reminder of Oh, yeah, this this podcast is with a purpose. And there might be an opportunity for this person to add value.
Alastair McDermott 17:12
Yeah. And so I like what he does with consulting success like that. And I’ve listened to I’ve actually paused and listened to that, that actual advertisement for his or pitch for for his training. I’ve listened like quite a few times to, to hear how he actually describes it. At the moment, I have a call to action at the start and end of episodes. And so we can talk a little bit of actually about the format of the podcast if you want. What I like for an interview show is I like to take a clip of the guests speaking. And so to take a 10 to 22nd quote from from the guest speaking and then take that and put that at the start as as a cold open. So to kind of open a loop to show something, hey, this is this is kind of a taster of what you’re going to get in the episode. And then after that, I have a I think it’s 15 second intro, which has has some music on which is a voiceover. And so what that will do is that will give the listener kind of a taste of what it’s about. And then at the end of that, and that’s not me speaking with the voiceover that’s, that’s voiceover artists that I hired to do that part. And then what I do is go into my call to action, which is usually uplink by 30 seconds. And then I’ll go into the intro. So that’s, that’s the format. And then like Michael has his, he has a mid roll, ad break. And then I don’t do that currently, I wait to the end of the interview and then do a call to action at the end. And I have pre recorded, I think six different calls to action, and six for the start and six for the end. And I tell the editor which one I want them to put in. So I’ll say hey, use this CTA at the start this one the end, one of them promotes my free ebook. One of them promotes the other podcast, one of them is to one of them is to rate review the podcast and one of them is about group coaching that I’m starting soon. So all of those are, you know, they’re kind of dependent on the on the, on the context of the you know, the time and everything, but I just want to try and I want to kind of try and rotate through those as well. So what you can do is you can record those, and this is that this is that’s a kind of taking a very produced approach to it, which ultimately requires editing. And the next question then is a gonna hire an editor or a service, which is an option. Or the other option is to not use an editor or service and which is to record it all live to tape. And that’s harder to do, particularly if you’re starting out, but it is possible and and what you can do then is you can just livestream the whole interview. And if you do it that way, you know, it’s usually not as well produced but It’s live. And so you know, there’s a bit of there’s a bit of give, you know, from the audience because they know it was core to life. So that’s an option as well. So what do you think of that?
Judson Rollins 20:09
At this stage, what I’m thinking is to have a service helped me with diverse view. In fact, I just had a call with somebody in Chicago yesterday, who seemed to offer pretty promising service. I think I would rather have a more it doesn’t need to be completely polished, but it needs to be a somewhat polished product, I think just to make it more listenable for the audience. Maybe at a later stage, once I get more used to format and I’m more comfortable, I might transition to self produced. But frankly, there’s just so much else to do with the business as a solo consultant that I don’t want to get into audio video production, it’s just not the best use of my time.
Alastair McDermott 20:41
Yeah, 100% agree with that. Now I’m, I’m a bit a bit strange. I like to do things before I outsource them. So I edited first, to figure out how it should be done. And then I outsourced it I, I’ve always liked. I’ve always liked learning how to do something so that when I go to source that I know what the person is doing for me. I agree that may not be the best use of time. But I think it’s the engineer in me that likes to do that. So maybe do as I say not do as I do you?
Judson Rollins 21:13
Well, I mentioned your your staff really appreciate having a pretty well written SOPs, because you’ve got been there and done that.
Alastair McDermott 21:19
Yeah, I think so I think it is easier. And because I know, like I know, the problems they’re facing. So I think hopefully, that that helps. And it’s a bit like, well, to use a kind of a marine example. It’s a bit like a captain of a ship who’s actually been on all of the different stations. And so they know how all of those work, you know, so when they’re asking somebody to do something, it’s not something that they haven’t done themselves before, you know,
Judson Rollins 21:44
it’s great path to leadership. Elsewhere, before we move on, let me just ask you another question. I mean, you’ve talked a little bit about having voice over talent, you’ve talked about having a graphic designer? How are you finding these people? Are you finding through Upwork? Or Fiverr? Or are these personal relationships? Are they local? Are they within region? Are they global?
Alastair McDermott 22:01
Yeah, so I’m kind of all of the, all of the above. So first off, I’ve been outsourcing online since 2007. So I’m quite used to doing that. I started off using a company that was Upwork, before they were Upwork, there’s a big consolidation in that space I’ve been using. So Upwork and freelancer.com are kind of the two major players there. And I’ve been using both of those for well since 2007. And so I find people on there. And also, I’ve had people outreach to me sometimes and most times, I’ll ignore outreach. But every so often, when somebody does get in touch, I’ll, I’ll check them out. And that was how I found my podcast editor. And I found another Podcast Producer on Reddit. I found my, I found my current VA, because my previous va va was leaving. And she said, Hey, there’s somebody who I’ve been working with, I had found her through another outsourcing service, which I don’t recommend, not because the quality people, the people are great there. But because I think they don’t the service doesn’t treat people very well. And so I don’t want to promote them. And then there’s another, there’s another service, like there’s a couple of country specific services. So for example, two of the people I work with are from the Philippines. And so there are services that will help you to hire people directly from those, those places. And I think part part of the reason why it’s very popular to work with them is well, in part because the cost of living is cheaper there. But also because a major part of their economy is what they call BPO or business process outsourcing. So there’s a lot of people available, and they have pretty good English. So it’s I think it’s a second language for most of them. But what they speak it very, very well. So so you can get people. So really, it’s a question of getting used to hiring people online and then finding people you can build relationships with and trust. One of the things I’d say is important is to have some kind of contract with them. And this was something that I didn’t do a back at the start, you’ve listened to my episode with Aaron, about IP and legal. Let’s find out what that is in a second. But I didn’t have a an agreement in place that I would own the copyright for something that I got somebody to build for me. And the client asked for the copyright and I couldn’t assign it to them. And the provider, the subcontractor asked me for a lot of money. And so I was I was just I was stuck. I couldn’t give them copyright. So that was a bad place to be because it was something I wanted to do. And so that was a good lesson for me, Hey, have an agreement in place with every subcontractor so it’s so it’s you’re working on work for hire bases. Yeah. So episode 16 is with Aaron Austin, how to leverage expertise with the intellectual property. If you want to learn more about that I was talking about it on that episode. And so I paid I think about $1,000 to the lawyer for or the equivalent here in euros to get a template, contract subcontractor agreements that that covered all of these things would work for an international subcontractor. So yeah, so that’s how we cover that part.
Judson Rollins 25:32
So does that answer the question? Yeah, but quite thoroughly. Thank you.
Alastair McDermott 25:35
So okay, so where were we? Well,
Judson Rollins 25:38
I think we’re traveling the podcast, we’ve talked a little bit about written word, I think something else we wanted to cover off was a video.
Alastair McDermott 25:45
Okay, so with video, there’s a few few things that are important. So first off, I shared with you before we got on here I shared with you the free books that I have on video and microphone, video and audio hardware that look good, sound good. One of the things that we were discussing was a tip that I got from Nina for Europe, which and I have a whole podcast interview with her that would be worth listening to about looking better on video and, and an audio. And it’s really important for anybody building their authority. I prefer interviewed Professor Norbert Schwartz on the podcast as well, because he did a study which showed that you are more you come across as more likable, as smarter. And your work is more important if you’ve got better audio and video. I mean, like that’s crucial to what we’re doing. So I think that’s really, really important to do that. So yeah, so So audio video, and I will share that, that book with you the ebook link. And I’ll put it in the show notes for this for this episode as well. But it’s just about you know, looking better on camera. And I’m one of the things is what I’m doing right now is I’m looking directly at the camera. And that’s really important to do as well to make eye contact with the viewer. And the viewer will feel that you’re you’re talking directly to them as well, it’s really important to do that. If you’re on a call like this one. Yeah, every so often I need to look down and make sure that you’re still with me, and I’m looking at you out of my peripheral vision. But to try and make contact eye contact as much as possible by looking at the camera. And with YouTube, it’s really even more important to do that. So with with pre recorded video, so you got to be looking at the camera 100% of the time, so or 95% of the time. So what else some other simple things on camera, have yourself framed so that the top of your head is near the top of the frame, you don’t want to be like way down in the frame. And so crop it or find a way to do it. Yeah, cuz you look like you’re falling off the screen, it makes you look small, diminutive another version of basically, it just looks a bit silly as well. So you want to do that. You want to have a decent background, you’ve got a nice background there. But your bookshelf bookshelf is perfectly good background. I’ve seen people using screens like like, like a folding screen and things like that, that’s absolutely fine as well. I like to have like I put a bit of work into my background, because I was gonna be doing a lot of videos. Let’s see what else. Yeah, for video, the audio quality is more important than the picture quality, particularly when you’re talking to a camera, it’s just the it’s what’s going to, it’s what people are going to judge on first. And, and then try and bring a better personality into it as well, particularly if it’s solo video. So you know, try and make it make it make it kind of embrace your personality a little bit. Don’t make it boring.
Judson Rollins 28:26
Alex, your What are your thoughts on dynamic backgrounds, like for instance, because I’m working in the transport space, I was thinking about going out and shooting some of my videos at train stations and container yards and other places that are operationally critical for my potential clients. Does that add anything? Or is that just adding visual clutter that really distracts from the message?
Alastair McDermott 28:45
Well, it depends on the way that you use it. And I probably need to talk to a video editor to know more about this. There are certainly places for B roll which is where you you have related video that you can play over the audio of somebody talking in order to break up the monotony of just the talking head and I think that can be really useful. Yeah, I wouldn’t I like I wouldn’t put a huge amount of time or money into it. I think it’s nice to have but but probably not critical of where you are right now. Does that make sense?
Judson Rollins 29:18
It does make sense. Yeah, the reason I’m thinking about it is I mean being based in Amsterdam, I’ve got a lot of options here we’ve got a really thriving rail hub here we’ve got a huge seaport just down the road in Rotterdam are just down the tracks in Rotterdam is at work, and also significant airport here at Schiphol so it really offers a lot of possibilities for me to go out and shoot live shots if I want to. Yeah,
Alastair McDermott 29:40
I mean, I think that kind of stuff doesn’t hurt at all. And I think that that’s where, you know, maybe some of your other channels like doing video for social media, and shooting some live videos. And again, going back to say Instagram or I think LinkedIn have gotten rid of stories. I think they had Are these for a while, but they got rid of them. But but that would particularly suit the story style, which are these videos that that stay live for a day or two. So yeah, that that that could be interesting for those. But I would worry about the amount of time that you would spend doing that compared to, if you spent that same amount of time, like pitching podcasts, guests, or you know, that kind of that kind of activity.
Judson Rollins 30:24
And also, I think I’m a little bit put off by the idea of the story that expires in 24 hours, I want to be producing things that are more evergreen, I’m not going to break the news business. So things that only last 24 hours don’t really make a lot of sense for me.
Alastair McDermott 30:37
Yeah, it the only issue with that is is it’s what the channels are promoting. So where they’re useful is if you’ve got an audience is sharing what you’re working on right now and things like that, that can be useful for that. Particularly that kind of the behind the scenes, that behind the scenes content works really well on some of the social media channels. So that’s, that’s where I think that would come in.
Judson Rollins 31:01
And since we’re talking about video, let me ask you your thoughts on Tik Tok. And that’s been a great subject of conversation.
Alastair McDermott 31:07
Okay, so I have heard that of people getting an incredible numbers, like, you know, 50,000 views of a video on a day on b2b content, you know, on a relatively new Tik Tok channel. So, the numbers sound incredible, but I’m still pretty skeptical. I, I don’t understand Tik Tok, I don’t use it. And I, I personally, I like to work on channels where I’m a native, where I know the channel. And so I’m quite comfortable on LinkedIn. And I’m quite comfortable on Twitter, and less. So Instagram and Facebook, I don’t spend much time at all on Facebook, and haven’t for years. And so I don’t really like going in there. And I don’t create content for in there much very often. So I think in part, it’s like, where are you used to spending your time? And what are you good at doing? And what do you like doing? You know, like, do you have the app installed on your phone, things like that, you know, so, but it particularly as a solo. And even even as a solo person, or somebody with a couple of subcontractors working part time, I would still be wary about spending time, outside of the core, the core platforms and core activities, because there are so many distractions. And you know, if somebody has a full marketing department to work on creating content, and, you know, if you’ve got a full team for that great you could you can be everywhere. But I think you’ve got to be really careful not to waste time. Because it’s the it’s the only it’s the only asset that we can recreate, you know, so. So we’ve got to we’ve got to use our time wisely. So that’s what I’d say about that.
Judson Rollins 32:47
Absolutely. And as I love to tell people as a solo consultant, I’m the CEO, the chief everything officer. So there’s always other things to work on. And going down up, for instance, tick tock rabbit hole isn’t really something I can afford to do unless I can clearly see where the ROI is going to be.
Alastair McDermott 33:03
Yeah, yeah, exactly. So if we just take a step back for a minute, so we were talking about writing speaking research. One thing I think the podcast can be really useful for is in terms of research, because when I think of research, I’m thinking about small scale research. And so I did a study where I surveyed over 1000 consultants, and it was really useful, I got a huge amount of data from it. And in fact, I got enough. I got enough content ideas, probably to satisfy social media for the rest of my life if I wanted to. There’s also, you know, the guts of 123 books in there as well. What was really interesting was that a guy called Tom Miller did a similar survey of the same audience. And he didn’t serve in the same way that I did. He, he had telephone interviews, well, I think 43 or 47, consultants, and he went in depth with each of them. And whereas I did this kind of more broad survey, where I was asking shorter questions and different different ones each time to a different segment. What was really interesting was I gotten a call with Tom, and we kind of compare notes. And both of us came to identical conclusions from the different methods. And so first of all, I thought it was really nice to have kind of independent validation of my conclusions. But the other thing that was really interesting to me was the way that he had approached it is actually what you do on a podcast, because you get on a call with somebody and you talk to talk to them for 2530 minutes about their area of expertise. And so you can actually use the podcast as a way to do small scale research as well. And where this gets really interesting, then is you then end up with the material for your book. So like this is all about being being clever about how you use your time and repurposing what you’re doing. And so I think that It’s where your podcast, your small scale research your book all tie in together. So I think that could be useful for you, if you if you approach your podcast from that perspective of, I want to if I was to survey the audience about something, what will they serve the survey them about? And just ask those questions, you know? Yeah. Now that makes sense. So a couple other things about the podcasts, the workflow is really important. So having, having a repeatable SOP checklist, having a list of all of your guests that you intend to have somewhere, I have, like a crazy master spreadsheet from my podcasts that has everything in there from creating shownotes and pulling out guests quotes to listing all the topics to it, I even counted the number of minutes of runtime of episodes and create a running average of that. So I know it’s approximately right all the time. And I even put down the gender of the guests, because I want to try and keep a an approximate 5050 gender as well. So you know, things like that. And that’s all in the spreadsheet in one spreadsheet for me to keep track of. And then the the workflow and having the workflow laid out, so that you know what the workflow is and who’s doing each part of it. I think that’s really important as well. And then once you’ve got the audio file ready to go, having your, your processes set up to actually distribute it. So it goes live on the on the podcast host or do you have a page on your website? When that goes live? Do you send that to the guests? Do you email that to the guest? Do you have a? Do you have some sort of promotional graphic to go with that? You know, all of those types of things?
Judson Rollins 36:41
Yeah, it’s really important. And that’s something that I know I need to start learning. Again, that kind of actually leads to a question I have for you, which is, is this just your SOP? Is that something you kind of developed through trial and error along the way? Did you have someone else’s template? Had you done research online? How did you find the material for the SOPs that you use today?
Alastair McDermott 36:59
I think a lot of it grew organically. Now, one big one big advantage that I’ve had in podcasting. Well, maybe it’s an advantage, maybe not. So first of all, I’ve been listening to podcasts since about 2004. And secondly, I have been planning this particular podcast for about six years. And that’s, that’s so bad. But actually, the reason why I didn’t launch it earlier was because I needed to a nice dish and the business. And so it was actually an indicator to me that there was a problem with my positioning. And that was a reason but what I had put a lot of work into podcast planning back then. Because so I had gone through a lot of those issues, and we had, and so I had a lot of notes and things. But it’s certainly something I can help you with as well as to share some of my some my podcasting SOPs and things like that with you. That’d be great. Okay, so let me see, is there anything else on the podcasting side of things you want to ask about?
Judson Rollins 37:57
No, I think we’ve, we’ve covered everything that we need to do. We’ve talked about podcasting, we’ve talked about videos, we’ve talked about written content. Yeah, that’s really all the media that I can think of.
Alastair McDermott 38:06
Okay, just just one other thing on video. First off, if you’re doing YouTube, it’s different than if you’re doing social media videos. So if you’re doing social media videos, what I would say is make make them between 60 seconds and five minutes long. Batch record them if you can just do them straight to camera. And don’t if you make a mistake, and don’t bother trying to edit it out, just cancel the recording and rerecord it’s much quicker, usually, and the end result will be better. It’s usually much quicker than editing. And so record five of those in a session, you know, or 10 of those in the session maybe once every two weeks. And so plan out your topics beforehand and just just do a batch record. And that will give you material to put out if you want to do it that way. If you were doing YouTube, things are a little bit different. So the way YouTube was going right now, I think that story is really important. So having like an A story arc in your in your video. So having a first act, second act, third act, having some sort of tension, and also having some sort of hook at the start. I think all of that is really important. And then the other thing about video, and I’m going to have a guy on at some point to talk about YouTube. But one thing I’ve noticed is YouTube channels, it’s more about having it’s more about designing your channel than the individual individual videos. So that what you want to do is you want to create a binge worthy channel. So you want to you want your YouTube videos, so that each one is is kind of a segue to the next one. And so you want somebody to go in and binge and all of your videos. So you kind of you’re you’re approaching the whole thing from that perspective. That’s why I mentioned at the very start, that’s why I mentioned how if you’re doing putting your podcasts up on YouTube, then I think you’re better off having them on a secondary channel. Because the people who watch the shorter video clips are not the same people who are going to watch the longer videos. And when YouTube suggests it to them as something to watch, they’re going to start watching and they’re going to go, Hey, this isn’t for me. And that’s going to kill your stats with the other people. So keep the short videos together and keep the longer videos together. That’s kind of the approach. And so I was planning to do a lot of work on YouTube, I’ve put it on the back burner, because what I’m wanting to do is I want to make them more more tightly edited, and more edutainment, so bringing the entertainment part into it as well. And to make them into kind of more into like, almost like a small mini documentary. So that’s kind of my plan with that. So and so I’ve put that on the backburner a bit because of that. I do love the idea of being on YouTube and having stuff up there. But I think you have to put a bit more work into the videos, because everybody is, you know, people are putting serious money into into videos now. You know, video, I’ve seen people talking about, you know, episodes, video production, investment for some channels is 50,000 $100,000 per video. For some it’s even more than that. So,
Judson Rollins 41:15
but a question that I would have to ask there is, I mean, is there really a distinguishable difference in terms of the Listen ability watch ability and the quality of the information that’s being delivered? Or is it just a lot of, as we say, in America, Razzle and dazzle,
Alastair McDermott 41:31
you see, that’s the thing, I think if you write it off as Razzle and dazzle I think that’s that’s doing a disservice. Because it’s probably more than that, like, like it’s well scripted. But it’s scripted in a way by somebody who understands copywriting who understands plot arcs, who understands tension, and entertainment. And so it may be like, if you have a brilliantly informative, but utterly boring video, I think you’re just not going to capture people. And so you’ve you’ve got to try and mix those two things up, you know,
Judson Rollins 42:03
yeah, but I think that’s really more you know, what you say how you say it, how you deliver it, rather than having a five or six digit special effects team in the background?
Alastair McDermott 42:12
Yeah, yeah. It’s not just about the special effects. No, it’s about more than that. But, you know, I think that, like, this comes back to a core topic for me, which is that, as somebody who wants to build your authority, and for me to, like, we have to learn how to use these channels, we have to learn how to use the audio video equipment, we were talking about this beforehand, we have to learn how to turn up in on video, like, virtually because we’re going to be doing so many virtual events, you know, that’s, that’s the future, we’re going to be doing a lot of virtual events, even even if we still do in person events, but we will, we will forevermore be doing doing virtual events as well. So we need to learn how to do these things, we need to learn how these channels work, we need to learn how to hook somebody’s attention. Like, like every everybody who is, you know, for example, TED speakers, they’re all trained by Ted in how to give a really great speech. And that kind of skill, like that’s something that we need to upskill on as well. And so I think I think that’s like, that’s a process that you go through and a bit like, you know, in the old school, TV career progression, where somebody starts out in an affiliate station in the middle of nowhere, and then they get promoted into a secondary channel, and then they get promoted up until the primary shows, you know, in the in the big, the big cities, it’s kind of like that, like, that’s also what we’re going through, like I’m at the moment I’m appearing and guesting on some smaller podcasts as a guest, I’m sure that at some point, if I keep doing this, like keep following this same process, I’m sure at some point, I’ll be interviewed on one of the larger shows. And that’s just going to be a natural progression. I hope Touchwood. But you know, that’s, and you have to have done those smaller shows in order to get to the bigger show. In fact, you don’t want to get invited directly onto the big show, you know, because you’re going to embarrass yourself, you won’t be ready for it. You won’t have your call to action down, Pat, you won’t have your website ready, you know, because you will learn over time so that I think there is an incremental thing here. That’s really important as well. And that only comes from writing and speaking and writing and speaking for, you know, years.
Judson Rollins 44:25
You really have to hone your craft. It’s important.
Alastair McDermott 44:27
I think so yeah. Yeah. So let me see. So that so we talked about podcasting book, LinkedIn. So in terms of the actual content, like how are you set for having the content ideas for LinkedIn, like like or social? Do you know what you want to put out?
Judson Rollins 44:45
Yes, definitely. I actually have an Evernote file that’s currently about 120 lines long with topics that I want to cover. A lot of it’s a lot of written form, but it’s things that I also can repurpose into audio content, solo podcasts. interview subjects etc. And the ideas just come to you the most random places, you know, it’s I was watching episodes of a one of my favorite. Good. It’s kind of a comedy drama show called House of Lies. And it’s a show with Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell, and it’s about management consultants. And, and it’s, I actually became the inspiration for a series that I want to do called and this is not the most family friendly title, why you effing hate consultants. And I want to talk about the things that clients really hate about consultants and why I’m different value based fees, money back guarantee, offering things that are actually based on research, not just PowerPoints made up on the fly. And really touching on the things the the kind of the pain points that consulting clients have had in the past and why it can propel revenue differentiate itself from the competition. But it’s, it’s amazing, you’re you’re watching this fictional TV series, you’re like, oh, that’s that’s actually a real life idea that might work. And so I’m constantly looking for new ideas, or, you know, one of the periodicals that I read pretty often is called the Journal of Commerce, which is really the the Wall Street Journal of the supply chain world. And I’m constantly seeing articles on new trends, things that are happening, I’m going wait a second, that actually that story. Sure. It’s today’s story. And the actual headline will be irrelevant by tomorrow. But it demonstrates a concept of that I could write evergreen content about in terms of oh, this is why this shipping carrier is taking too much of a risk averse approach to its pricing. There. I was reading last week about a multipurpose vessel carrier that’s already booked out through the middle of next year. And it’s like, at what pricing, you don’t know where the world is going to be. You don’t know what fuel is going to cost. You don’t have no idea what demand is gonna look like, which is the most important factor. And you’re already sold out more than 12 months out what’s going on here. And so I’ve got an opportunity to say, are you really sure? And I don’t necessarily, it’s doesn’t the story that I’m writing doesn’t become irrelevant when this carrier’s decision is no longer relevant?
Alastair McDermott 46:58
Yeah, yeah. 100%. Yeah, I like the fact that your content is kind of evergreen like that. And also, some of that sounds a little bit provocative. Some of that sounds like it’s a little bit contrarian. And, you know, I just have Alan Weiss on and he likes to, he likes to be bit contrarian. So having that it’s certainly can attract attention. Not Not always 100%, good attention, but it certainly can attract attention. So, you know, you got to try to try the line there and do what feels natural for you with that. But, yeah, I can see some options for you to talk about, you know, why being sold out might be a bad thing, you know, yep.
Judson Rollins 47:37
In fact, Alan Weiss talks about this, but also, the founders of boot camp, also the software company, have talked about, pick a fight, find an enemy and pick a fight, you know, you don’t want to do it in a way that’s completely obnoxious. You don’t want to do it in a way that’s toxic. But you need to have that ability to take a strong stance and say, No, this is a suboptimal way of doing business. And here’s why. Without my yapper
Alastair McDermott 48:01
Yeah, and so you’re kind of touching on a topic that runs through everything, which is to develop a point of view and have that point of view. And so, and that will then come across in your content. And I think what you’re talking about there is just that, you know, you know, having having somebody you’re picking a fight with, maybe not a person, but like maybe a concept, you know, very cool. Yeah,
Judson Rollins 48:27
absolutely. You know, for instance, if I’m, if I’m writing, why you effing hate consultants, I’m not going to be calling out competitors by name. That’s just that’s bad form. I could, but I’m not going to just it doesn’t, it really doesn’t add to the message. The message is, here’s why consultants as a stereotype or as a group are kind of painful to deal with. And here’s why you won’t experience that pain if you deal with me. And I don’t have to call out a competitor by name in order to do that.
Alastair McDermott 48:52
Yep. Cool. Okay, that sounds good. So, is there anything else you want to ask me about content strategy? Anything else we should cover?
Judson Rollins 49:02
What are your What are your thoughts on newsletters? The Oh, it’s interesting. You see people on LinkedIn, talking about it literally, within the last seven days, I’ve seen one person write a brilliant column on one newspaper newsletters are dead. And then another person writing a column on why LinkedIn newsletters are a mainstay of your marketing strategy. And you have to have
Alastair McDermott 49:21
Yeah, yeah. So first off, I think if anybody writes why X is dead, they’re wrong. Because usually, that’s that’s not the case that all and no matter what x is, okay? So I don’t like email newsletters. And I love email lists. So for me, it’s the terminology there. The idea of a newsletter, being a periodical letter that you send to your clients or to people on your list about news related to your company. That’s kind of what the original idea of a newsletter was. Now I know that you know, that might be taking In a very tight definition, a very narrow definition. Broadly speaking, the concept of having an email list where people opt in to hear from you, I think that is brilliant. And I think it’s really important to do that. So that you are not totally tied into any of the social media channels. So you’re not building on rented ground. So I mean, it’s okay to to have a presence in the on those rented ground. But you do want to bring people back into your ecosystem, that’s where podcasts and emails are really great, because their will with the podcast is less, it’s less so because if they’re opted in to, to subscribe to the the RSS feed, but with email, you actually have their email address, you can always contact them. And so I think that that’s a really important thing to do. But I would just approach it slightly differently from the newsletter idea. So the newsletter thing, like opt in to our free email newsletter, it doesn’t sound like a very compelling offer. If you can turn that around and say, here’s something that can help you with the problem that you’re facing right now. And offer that to them for free as an incentive, then that’s much more compelling to me. So is there something that you can offer them that is a compelling? A compelling offer of some kind? It’s quite often called a lead magnet, which is it’s an okay term. It’s not the best. It’s not the worst. I love these marketing terms are so so like, like the term funnel? It’s not great, technically, but it’s not the worst either. But yeah, so So lead magnets. I like that idea of having something like that. Love it.
Judson Rollins 51:40
Fantastic. Yeah, I think we’ve really, we’ve done a pretty thorough job covering all the various media that a solo consultant needs to think about.
Alastair McDermott 51:48
Cool. Okay, well, so what we’ll do is I’ll wrap it up, is there, I do have a couple of questions I mentioned to you beforehand, I want to ask you the regular podcast interview questions, because I want to put this out as a regular episode without your permission. So what what is the number one tip you’d give somebody who wants to build their authority,
Judson Rollins 52:08
take a stand, take a point of view, don’t don’t go with what everyone else is saying, don’t try to be middle of the road, there really is no room to be the same voice that everyone else has been. It just doesn’t work. And so figure out who you who your personality is, what is the angle that you’re selling? What’s your value proposition? And what is the unique way through the lens of your personality that you can package that to sell it in and make people want to gravitate toward it?
Alastair McDermott 52:36
Love it love us? Is there a business mistake or failure that you’ve experienced that you can tell us about? And what you learn from it?
Judson Rollins 52:42
Gosh, yeah. How much time do you have? Look, I would say probably one of the biggest ones is, before I is I was trying to transition through business models. In the aftermath of the COVID outbreak, I one of the one of the models that I tried was doing a solo consultancy, based in New Zealand, where I was at the time, and I just didn’t do enough, I was so focused on trying to sell value that I didn’t do my homework on the business culture. And is this a place where I can sell consulting? Is this a place where people are interested in innovations and improvements? And if I had just really taken a month and done that homework, I could have saved myself a year of pain.
Alastair McDermott 53:25
Wow. Okay. Okay. And so, what did that change? For your next projects? How did you approach it differently?
Judson Rollins 53:35
Absolutely. So for my current venture for propel revenue, I took a lot of time actually making contacts on LinkedIn talking to people in the cargo space using my network to say not to cite here, let me tell you something, but just, hey, look, I’m I’m researching this, I want to make sure that my perception of the industry and the state of the industry is correct. And in some cases, I was right. And in some cases, I was wrong. But it definitely gave me enough confidence to go forward and say, Hey, this is a business model. That’s going to work.
Alastair McDermott 54:04
Cool. Cool. Is there a business book or resource that’s been important for you or that you’d recommend? Oh, gosh,
Judson Rollins 54:11
yeah, many. So we’ve talked about Alan Weiss. The million dollar consulting series is priceless. Lots of great ideas, lots of great frameworks, especially if you’re just getting started. And he actually has a book called Getting Started in consulting that I would highly recommend. In terms of, well, for timing authority, one that I someone that you and I both respect is Rochelle Moulton. And she just wrote a book last year called the authority code, which I think is brilliant, and it lays out a great framework. In fact, I think it’s a really good starting point for anybody who’s going to be a client of yours to start that with that book, and then use you to kind of define down exactly what the tentacles of the strategy are going to be. But she provides a really nice high level framework. But the biggest thing I would recommend is is read books from earlier in history, three books from World War Two read books from the 1600s. There is so much history repeats itself and humanity keeps making the same mistakes over and over. And the more even as business people, the more we understand about history, the more we understand about humanity, the better we can serve our fellow humans. Perry Marshall, who said, another marketing guru that we both respect, and we’ve talked about before, has what he calls Renaissance time. And he recommends that everyone spend 20 minutes a day reading something that was written from before the printing press from before Gutenberg. And I think that is priceless advice. Because even in the first half of this millennium, there really was, or sorry, the previous Millennium there, there were things happening that we’re seeing repeated now, just in slightly different frame, slightly different terms. And so I think having a solid knowledge of history makes you a better business person.
Alastair McDermott 55:56
Really, really interesting. Yeah, yeah. I love that. And by the way, I had Rochelle on she’s the only repeat guest so far. And I had her on to talk about the authority code. So you can find that episode if you go back, I think is episode 50. No, I can’t find that. We’ll have to cut that out. It was. It was great. Yeah. Episode Nine, Episode 38. There we go. So episode 38 is where she talks about, about the building authority and the authority code. So okay, so last question is about fiction. Do you read fiction? Is there anything that you love and recommend?
Judson Rollins 56:38
I do, I actually, I’m reading something that’s it’s both fictional, but it’s also kind of tied to my niche. It’s a book called The shipping man. And the author is a fellow called Matthew McCleary. And it’s about a New York City hedge fund manager who, when he watched the the shipping price index crater. This was about set about a decade ago. By 97%, he actually went out and bought cargo ships on the cheap and decided to become a cargo magnate himself. And it’s the greatest trial by fire and trial by error story that you really could imagine. And yeah, that’s called the shipping man. I love that. And then another one that I just finished recently, it’s called the enemies of my country. And that’s more of a military fiction intelligence fiction piece. And that’s about a Special Forces operative, whose family members come under attack, and that’s something I’ve really been enjoying lately.
Alastair McDermott 57:30
Okay, cool. And we’ll put links to all of those in the show notes. So Justin, where can people find you if they want to learn more? Absolutely.
Judson Rollins 57:38
I’m on. I’m on LinkedIn at Judson, Rollins ju de SLN, Ara o ll i and s. Or you can find me at propel rev.com proplrev.com. And yeah, if you’re in the shipping space, even if you’re not looking to be a potential client, please feel free to reach out. I’d love to just meet you and have a chat.
Alastair McDermott 58:00
Awesome. Justin, thanks so much for coming on. Thank you, Alastair. Thanks for listening. And don’t forget, if you’re interested in learning more about getting some coaching peer support accountability on your journey to authority. The next authority labs cohort will be starting in September. So if you want to learn more about how you can build your authority, grow your income, have some support while you’re doing it, check out the interest list at the recognized authority.com/group. Catch you in the next one.
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