Don’t let an algorithm decide what you read »

Failing Your Way to Success with Content & Outreach Strategy with Luca Ingianni

April 29, 2024
The Recognized Authority Podcast Cover

The podcast that helps experts & consultants on the journey to becoming a recognized authority in your field, so you can increase your impact, command premium fees, work less hours, and never have to suffer a bad-fit client again!.

Have you ever struggled to find the right content marketing strategy that aligns with your personality and strengths? In this candid conversation on The Recognized Authority podcast, host Alastair McDermott sits down with Luca Ingianni, an agile consultant specializing in embedded systems.

Luca shares his refreshingly honest journey of “failing his way to success,” experimenting with various content formats and outreach approaches over the years. From the writing challenges of blogging to the unexpected connections formed through podcasting, Luca’s story offers valuable insights for experts and consultants seeking to build their authority and attract better clients.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • The power of “parasocial relationships” and how they can lead to pre-approved sales conversations
  • Strategies for embracing imperfection and consistency in content creation
  • Lessons learned from Luca’s experiments with live interviews and surveys
  • Insights into leveraging authentic personality for more meaningful business opportunities

Tune in today to gain inspiration and actionable tips from Luca’s authentic, trial-and-error approach to content marketing and authority building.

Show Notes

Key Insights:

  • Embracing imperfection and prioritizing consistency over production value can lead to more sustainable content creation.
  • Podcasting allows listeners to get to know the host’s personality, resulting in a “parasocial relationship” that can facilitate easier sales conversations.
  • Experimenting with different content formats and outreach strategies is essential to find the approach that resonates with one’s personality and audience.
  • Surveys can be an effective outreach tool for gathering data and elevating authority in a specific domain.

Learn more about Luca here:

Guest Bio

Luca is a trained aeronautical engineer, and has made a trajectory from embedded systems development to agile consulting for everything from individauls to engineering organisations of more than 1000 people.


podcast, talk, interesting, feel, people, work, luca, writing, guess, outreach, introvert, devops, interviews, idea, started, conference, authority, survey, record, linkedin

Alastair McDermott, Luca Ingianni, Voiceover


Alastair McDermott  00:07

Today I am going to talk to a guest who has been failing his way to success with content marketing, outreach, and lots of different media. And one of the quotes that he told me before we started in the greenroom was customers who came through the podcast had already made the decision. It was a very different type of inter interaction, I came pre approved. So I’m going to get into that with my guest next


Voiceover  00:36

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. Here’s your host, Alastair McDermott.


Alastair McDermott  00:46

Today’s episode is brought to you by WebsiteDoctor, which is my other brand alongside The Recognized Authority. WebsiteDoctor is a small web design agency that focuses on creating websites for professional services, experts, consultants, and people in the b2b Professional Services expertise space. And in fact, that’s where The Recognized Authority came from. When I wanted to create a, an add on or focus on the authority building part of the puzzle. WebsiteDoctor still runs in the background, and we’ve been building websites since day one in 2007. In fact, I’ve personally been building websites since 1996. So Been there, done that and bought that T shirt. So if you’re looking for a website for your expertise based business, then check out website and schedule a call with me. I’d love to chat with you, and see if it’s a good fit. The link is in the show notes or you can visit website Doctor all spelled And now on with the episode. And today, my guest is Luca in Gianni Luca I hope I got your name right. Yeah, certainly. I should do because we’ve known each other for five or six years now.


Luca Ingianni  01:52

I think so I believe 2019 or something? Yeah,


Alastair McDermott  01:56

yeah. Last time. The the first time we met we had a beer in the in the beer house in Munich.


Luca Ingianni  02:04

Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. I mean, that was the first time we met physically. But yeah, we’ve been, you know, we’ve we’ve been doing a lot of stuff together, or sort of alongside one another. Over the years, we’ve participated in workshops together and and sort of learned quite a bit about I think consulting and outreach strategy, I guess, over the years. Yeah.


Alastair McDermott  02:28

And that brings us on to today’s topic. And I’m gonna get into a specific question first, and then and then bring it back to kind of a broader discussion. You contacted me a couple of weeks ago, and you asked me for some advice about podcasting at a conference? Can you give a little bit of backstory


Luca Ingianni  02:48

to that? Yeah. So as you know, as the title of the episode goes, I’m trying to find my way to success with content and outreach strategy. And I’ve tried a couple of things, quite a few things over the years. I’ve listed them here in a little note that I wrote, and I think I haven’t got anything, but there’s like, 10 entries there. Yeah, and so that the latest thing that I wanted to try was to do live interviews, or sort of impromptu interviews, or trade shows or, or conferences, because I’ve, I have been going to conferences and trade shows quite a bit lately. And and I’m going to do some more of that in the near future. And I figured, you know, it wouldn’t be wasteful to not get a couple of interesting interviews are sound bites or something. And I was certainly uncertain how to do that, because I’ve never tried it before. And that is why I was asking you for advice, because maybe you had some ideas that that I couldn’t come up with on my own. Yeah, so I tried it. Two, three weeks ago, and it went kind of unimpressive. I think.


Alastair McDermott  04:06

What what was what was the the major difficulty or problem that you encountered? Yeah. So


Luca Ingianni  04:11

what I did was I went to a tradeshow embedded world. And I figured, you know, this is a whole floor of people who are there specifically to talk about, like, their work and their product should be no problem to get a couple of people to talk about this into a microphone. But turns out people were really reluctant to get on the record. Okay, for a variety of reasons. So, first thing I noticed was that large organizations, you really couldn’t get the employees to speak on the record because everybody was kind of afraid to stick their neck out, which is fair enough, I suppose. Yeah, yeah. Okay. And the smaller companies, they they, it feels like they didn’t want to commit So much time to an interview because they were kind of hoping that a paying customer would show up all of a sudden. Because I’m trusting I wasn’t the customer. So it was just some guy.


Alastair McDermott  05:15

Yeah, I mean, it’s interesting. This is the first time we’ve talked about this. Now, like, I want to mention, like you’re a veteran podcaster at this point, right?


Luca Ingianni  05:24

Definitely. I’ve got three podcasts that I’m that I’m doing. Yeah. One that just started. In fact, it’s not even publicly out yet. Because we’re still building up the backlog a little bit. But another one has been going since I think, 2017 or something. So. So yes, I do have experienced podcasting. I do have a sizable backlog of episodes. But I’ve never traded in such a live setting before. Well,


Alastair McDermott  05:55

I mean, it’s really interesting. Now you work in, in its agile development for embedded systems. Right? Got that, right. Yeah, pretty


Luca Ingianni  06:05

much. So I’m, I’m an agile consultant. And I specialize on embedded systems, because they come from sort of historically, and on scalar, dial, so you know, agility for 100 to 1000 people sort of thing.


Alastair McDermott  06:22

And for anybody not familiar this, is this the world of software development? And in embedded systems, in particular for for hardware, right? Exactly.


Luca Ingianni  06:30

Embedded Systems is anything from a toaster to a car, you know, anything that is a physical thing that incorporates some software in some capacity. Yeah.


Alastair McDermott  06:38

And so I’m quite interested that you had difficulty in getting people to talk to you the conference, because I think that a lot of people, you know, would think that, you know, the logic is, if you get a chance to be interviewed, it’s putting you in a position of kind of platforming you. So you know, pretty much anytime I do any kind of outreach, the the outreach is usually overwhelmingly positive responses saying, yes, I’d love to come on your show, whatever the podcast is, because people, you know, like, appreciate being platformed and appreciate the chance to, you know, sell their wares if nothing else, you know, so I’m surprised at the at the kind of the reticence that you experienced, and it wasn’t where there were there any other reasons apart from the, the, you know, the smaller guys did that? Did anybody give you any other reason as to why they didn’t want to talk? Yeah,


Luca Ingianni  07:32

so so some of them didn’t feel confident enough to go on the record. And there was just this, sort of, unfamiliarity with being a podcast guest with podcasting in general. And, of course, me just sort of waltzing up to, to their booth didn’t give them any time to, to get into into the idea for themselves, but it was like, Would you like to do in a podcast interview? Would you like to do it now. And I guess that it was just too much. So what worked better was to arrange for podcast interviews after the show. So I’ve collected a couple of a couple of business cards from people who said, Well, now’s not a good time. But talk to me later. And we’ll arrange a proper recording with a bit of advance warning. So that went well enough. I’ve got a couple of recordings scheduled. But I was kind of hoping for more live and, and really spontaneous conversation, that did not happen. The only people who agreed to interviews with me, were persons who I had already had on the podcast as guests before.


Alastair McDermott  08:47

That’s interesting. That’s a good learning, I think that if you are approaching people in a, in a conference environment, you probably want to have talked to them in some way beforehand. That’s kind of almost like a meta point. Because that connects directly back to what you said to me in the green room beforehand, that customers who come to you through the podcast have already made a decision, that it’s a different type of interaction that you came pre approved. So it’s kind of the same point in that people felt that they already knew you to some degree, they already had some sort of understanding of what you were like and was like talking to you. So is there anything else about the conference, podcasts idea that you want to share with us?


Luca Ingianni  09:33

Well, so I haven’t given up on the idea itself, you know, as the time goes, failing your way to success. So this particular experiment didn’t go according to plan. And so obviously, what comes next is to plan the next experiment. So what I’m going to do next time I’m going to a trade show, is that I’m going to just pre book, interviews and say and try to you know, get people well can we meet at like 1430 for half An hour, I can ask you about your conference experience. So far, sort of thing. And I suspect that is going to go better. And if nothing else, at least I already know how many interviews I can expect.


Alastair McDermott  10:14

Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. Okay, so then more generally, you have been doing podcasting. We also spoke about blogging. I know you’ve tried blogging, and it didn’t work for you, can you? Can you talk a bit about how you think about blogging and why you didn’t feel it was working for you.


Luca Ingianni  10:32

But so let me just preface the preface this by saying that I’ve tried a lot of different things over the years to get myself out there, do outreach, provide interesting content. And back when I started with this whole idea, you know, back when I seriously considered becoming a freelancer, back in whatever there was 2007, also, podcasting really wasn’t a thing, like the term podcast existed. And I guess a couple of podcasts were out there already. But it was by no means as ubiquitous as it is now. And I I didn’t feel at ease with the idea at the time. So what I started with was the natural thing for techies, I guess, which was blogging, I thought, you know, just spin up a WordPress blog, and then I, you know, then I write articles and people are going to be departing. Well, didn’t happen didn’t happen, because, frankly, I think I’m not a bad writer. And I made a point before I became a freelance consultant of improving some of my skills, and one of them was writing, because I figured, you know, if I’m going to sell that I must be able to write persuasively and you know, presently, pie is just such a chore is just no fun at all, to read blog posts. He’s so annoying.


Alastair McDermott  12:15

I love it. I love it. And you clearly don’t. So, okay, so is that just because you don’t like the medium? Or the format of the process of writing?


Luca Ingianni  12:31

Yeah, I don’t I don’t enjoy the process of writing. I’m not even all that, you know, I’m not all that bad. Like, I, I’m reasonably good with words, I don’t get to, I don’t tend to get writer’s block. So the the process itself is not actually all that bad is just so, so unpleasant. I’d rather do the dishes or something. It’s just, it’s just unadulterated work.


Alastair McDermott  12:58

Okay, so we’re talking about now, I guess, the different formats or types of content creation, and maybe outreach as well. So can you? Can you list off some? Because I know that you’ve already listed them off beforehand? Can you list off some of the things that you you have tried experiments? Yeah, so there’s the list. So yeah, can you can you tell me a bit more about what you have tried in your experiments as you fail your way to success?


Luca Ingianni  13:31

Exactly. So the first thing, we’ve already covered this that I’ve tried, we’re what pause and they’re not a good experience. But somehow I was still rooted to the idea that I should create, like written words. So if not, if not blog post and then what else and I think that’s the first time we really met each other when we went to flip Morgan’s Authority building workshop, where the idea was to build an email list through daily email writing. And in retrospect, I can say that was just a terrible idea and would never have worked for me personally. Because it’s yet for writing. So that was something I tried and failed at successfully. But it kind of got me into podcasts. No, that’s not that’s not right. That’s sort of happening in parallel. So a friend of mine was running a modestly successful DevOps podcast in German called DevOps of the one on its own for those who are interested. And he asked me to come on as a co host. And so I had already been a guest there so I I kind of felt my way into this and it felt okay to me. That’s why he came on as a co host. And I really noticed that I enjoyed hosting podcasts. In case you can’t tell, I really like talking.


Alastair McDermott  15:17

He really likes talking.


Luca Ingianni  15:22

So it feels like this is just a good medium for me, you know, where I can be myself where I can follow interesting topics as I discover them when I don’t feel shackled to a process. And yeah, this doesn’t feel like work. This is just enjoyable. So I started, I started podcasting. And I did some more podcasting because I met somebody else at this at this content creation workshop. And we had common interests and and on a whim, we started another podcast that has proven to be very successful. That’s the Agile embedded podcast. All right, and that sort of one LED, one thing led to another. So I’ve been experimenting with live streams on what was it on Twitch and on YouTube Live? And that worked sort of moderately, okay. We don’t, we didn’t really cultivate the kind of following that would make, we would have a space in the calendar to watch a live episode. I think it would have taken a lot more preparation and sort of just being consistently online at Friday morning or something. And then it would have started work. And we kind of ran out of energy to do that. But it would have worked out I think.


Alastair McDermott  16:55

So when you say run out of energy, you mean ran out of energy to do it live or run out of energy to the podcast in general?


Luca Ingianni  17:00

No to do it live. Okay. Yeah.





Luca Ingianni  17:04

you know, it’s it’s more difficult. You must be online at exactly this time. If you’ve got guests, they must be able to get online at this time, nothing can go wrong. You need to be meticulous about about outreach beforehand and letting your followers know that you’re going to be online so that they will be online and writing interesting questions. So it’s just a lot harder.


Alastair McDermott  17:34

Yeah, yeah, for sure.


Luca Ingianni  17:35

There’s just a lot less slop in the system. Everything Must Go right. But I’ve tried it, and I would like to retry it again, but maybe not now. What else have I done? So yeah, I’ve done in person appearances at meetups, odd conferences. I’ve been trying to go to trade shows, turns out trade shows is also on the whole more of a failure than success success if we’re being honest. Because despite the impression that I gave on on shows like this, I’m really quite shy. And so it’s not really my strong suit to walk up to random people and chat them up in the booth or something. Can


Alastair McDermott  18:25

we dive into that for a moment, because I find that this is interesting. So I am most definitely an introvert. Now, people don’t know that because I fake being an extrovert very well, even in person. But I’m actually an introvert. And, like, I find social interaction, sometimes very awkward. But I did want to any good engineer doesn’t I went to and I read a book about


Luca Ingianni  18:51

that’s a programming language, isn’t


Alastair McDermott  18:52

it? Not the programming language, the people language of small talk, which, which I learned, I realized at the age of 15, or 16, that I had a serious problem with social interaction. So I decided to learn how to deal with it. So yeah, and that helped a lot, actually. And that’s something I’d recommend to anybody who’s who has finds it awkward to have social interactions is just gonna learn how to how to do it. But the I find it interesting that here we are two introverts who are having a very extroverted type of conversation on a podcast, I’m on a live stream on video. Like what’s, what’s the logic there? Do you Do you know, is it that we’re feel safe in this environment that we’re in, or you know, that we can control it? Because I’ve seen this before? It seems to be something where for people who are introverted and don’t like going out to networking events, that may be having something like your own podcast is a good way to go.


Luca Ingianni  19:55

Yeah, so I’m, I’ve been pondering this, to a degree doesn’t matter. But but it’s still, you know, an amusing question. Am I an introvert who likes people? Am I an extrovert? Who gets tired of people quickly? I? I don’t know. I guess I’m an introvert. I like being on my own. I’m good at being on my own. Like I’ve, I’ve travelled for months on my own. And I’ve enjoyed it. So that’s, that’s not a thing. But I do, like people. And I think that comes across also in conversational situations. But I think you’re onto something when you say, Well, this is a safe environment. You know, I know you, I like you. This is fine. But what’s more, I think it is clear what my role is. It is, it is clear what the interaction is going to feel like if I walk up to a random person, that I don’t know what direction the interaction is going to take in a podcast is crystal clear. You’re the host, I’m the guest, I get to talk a lot, you get to ask questions.


Alastair McDermott  21:00

There is no, no rules, the social, the rules of the social engagement here are already kind of spelled out. Because some of it literally spell out because we discussed beforehand. And then some of it is just implied by the fact that I’m probably going to direct the conversation and decide when it ends. And you’re going to answer the questions as you feel like,


Luca Ingianni  21:21

exactly. And I know this also from from my trainings, for instance, like, I do a lot of trainings, and the first couple of minutes are always awkward, I mean, that there isn’t an element of straight stage fright that right. But also, until I know the people, and until I’ve sort of proven to myself once again, that I that I can interact with them in a not awkward way. I, I feel sort of tense about it. And then after a couple of months, a couple of minutes, I guess it goes away. And it’s the same, for example, at conferences like yes, of course, I get stage fright before stepping up on the stage at a conference. But it’s okay. Because I, you know, I know I can push through it is going to be fine. But my role is crystal clear. I’m going to go up there. And I’m going to say a bunch of words, and I’m going to turn around and walk away.


Alastair McDermott  22:16

Yeah, I think this is it’s very matter. But I think this is really interesting. Because it goes to I mean, it goes to the type of experimentation and figuring out what works for you and what doesn’t work for you. And so clearly, you tried blogging didn’t like the writing part, it felt like work. You tried daily emails, which was effectively the same thing. You just guess. You guessed it on a podcast found that you really liked it, and then started your own podcast, and then a second podcast and I think a third podcast. Yes. So yeah, so you’re a bit like me, then. Yeah. And for anybody listening, like the, the first podcast for me, was difficult to start. In fact, it took me I think, eight years to start my first podcast after planning on hiring a voiceover artist and writing all the scripts and everything. It actually took me eight years to publish the first episode. Since then, I have started five of my own podcast, and I also host a podcast for for my publisher as well. So it becomes very easy. If once it becomes a skill, it becomes something that becomes very, very kind of straightforward. And starting a new podcast is not a big deal for me now. But the first time Yeah, was was difficult. So the other thing I’m really interested when it come back to your original quote, one of the reasons why we’re doing this, we’re creating content. We want to share our knowledge and ideas with the world. But we also want to generate business, we want to generate leads for our own business. We want to sell things and make money so that we can afford to pay for food. So what you said that was really interesting to me was customers who came through your podcast had already made a decision. It was a very different different interaction that you came pre approved. Can you talk me through that a bit?


Luca Ingianni  24:02

Yeah, that that one was really interesting. And it took me surprisingly long to catch on to it. Too, okay to maybe go to as an argument the long way around. When I did blogging, I figured you know, this is this is what an IT. So you want to be expert does I, I demonstrate my knowledge, my skills, my expertise, I become discoverable. And that’s all well and good. But once I started podcasting, exactly where this had happened, where people who approached me, already knew me in the same funny way that you imagine, you know, an actor in a TV series that you enjoy. And of course, you don’t know the first thing about them, but somehow they feel familiar to you. You imagine that you I relate to this person who’s entirely artificial. Like it’s just an act literally. And the same thing happens with a podcast. Now, my podcasts obviously aren’t an act. And I’m not even actively trying to monetize them or make them a business thing. And I’m just being me being here, like on this podcast. But the point is that people have a chance to get to know me from a distance, and really understand the way I speak the way I interact. My opinions, my motives, my way of maybe handling disagreements and so on, they have a very clear impression of who I am. And so once they pick up the phone and say, Well, can you come work for us? They know precisely what they’re getting. This is what what I noticed in those interactions, because of course, I had never heard of them. And they spoke with a certain familiarity that was sort of, but it was very one sided. And it’s quite funny. And it took me a while to realize what was happening. And I’ve now come to realize that if you are the kind of person to kind of authority who works in a field that that lives from human interaction, like me as a, as a coach, and trainer, then you I think, all to find a format that allows you to transport this personality in ways that characters on a page simply can’t.


Alastair McDermott  26:35

Yeah, so. And this, this will, these are mostly audio podcasts right?


Luca Ingianni  26:42

Now even on renewing towards video, but so far, they’ve all been audio and and I agree, I think video is even better, especially because I’m somebody who speaks very lively. With my hand and everything in case you’re just listening while you’re in the car or something, I tend to wave my hand around a lot and do all kinds of things. And I think that works very well, in such sort of remote settings.


Alastair McDermott  27:10

I so the technical term for this isn’t a very pleasant term. It’s called a parasocial relationship. And that’s this one sided relationship where one party feels like they know the other very well. And and it’s very useful if like, if you’re selling expert services, and you want to have easier sales calls. So let’s talk about that. It sure does make it a lot easier. Can you tell me about your experience with that when when people actually get on a call with you? They they like you’ve got this kind of this stilted relationship that you mentioned, where they feel like they know you like how does that actually make the job of selling?


Luca Ingianni  27:56

Well, it’s, it’s funny, because in at the beginning of the interaction, it’s palpable, that they that their communication implies a familiarity that of course, I can’t have because they don’t know the first thing about them. This is just some random email from some random person, from my perspective, and yet, they’re saying, you know, can you come work for us? Because we know what you’re doing? Well, okay, fine. Happy to of course. So, yeah. I couldn’t even tell you what exactly makes it feel that way. But, but there is a certain disparity there that only dissipates after a while after we’ve had a bit of a bit of a conversation. It also, interestingly, goes further like this DevOps podcast for a time, we had three co hosts. And we had customers very explicitly say, of you three, we want this guy. Because we like him the most is not just sort of, yeah, one one of the podcast hosts because they sort of have implied authority. It was really about who was the most plus pleasant, agreeable off the three in the eyes of, of the customer.


Alastair McDermott  29:20

I think it goes back to the old phrase of know, like and trust, and I’m not sure who originated that it might have been John Lee Dumas or Perry Marshall or somebody like that. But that’s, that’s something that that is hammered home to me is that they have to know you, they have to like you, and they have to trust you. And if you don’t have those things, then it’s going to be hard, hard sell. And so when you talk about this disparity between you and the potential client, you’re not talking about it in a negative way. Right? Like, you know, it just it exists is something to be aware of, but


Luca Ingianni  29:58

now that I’m aware of it, I’m kind of amused by it like, oh, okay, there we go this is this is the funny bit of the conversation. But no, it’s not negative at all, it’s just something that happens. And, and in a way I think this sort of thing happens maybe to me particularly easily because I think it come across very sympathetic on online media, I just have the kind of mannerisms for it, I guess. And that strengthens it, if somebody is like, still quite knowledgeable, but maybe maybe a bit of a drawn back personality, then maybe it’s not a strong. That’s interesting, by the way, now that I think of it, I guess everybody does it to a degree, but I’ve always observed myself, adjusting my personality to the person I’m talking to, like, especially when I’m when I’m traveling, and I’m speaking to somebody in Africa or something, then I will kind of figure out how their social interactions work, and then I’ll mimic them. I’m sure everybody does that to a degree. But it’s interesting to observe that in myself, and I guess, that also works on on the medium of podcasting, where I’m trying to fill a particular role where I feel it’s particularly beneficial to, to the audience, you know, pleasant to listen to. Interesting to listen to engaging.


Alastair McDermott  31:27

So now, I have some other questions about this a bit a bit, you know, it’s almost like a power disparity in the relationship a little bit in a in a positive sense. And I know that as, as expert providers, sometimes we have difficult clients, who won’t take the actions that we suggest or request of them. And so I’m just wondering, have you noticed that people are more likely to take action based on what you say to them if they come to you through the podcast?


Luca Ingianni  32:05

I think so. Because, like, if they feel they know me, like, if sort of as though you imagine you’re friends with an actor, which, of course you aren’t, because they don’t know you, then they will find it harder to disappoint me by not like keeping to the end of the agreement, that sort of thing. It’s just a much more personal relationship.


Alastair McDermott  32:33

Interesting. And then the other question I’m wondering is, have you found that there is less quibbling over price, a less pushback over over fees?


Luca Ingianni  32:47

To a DA there is yes, there is less pushback? It might be that I’m simply out of the out of their price range, where they say, Well, I, I won’t get this approved. Like, I only have a budget of x. So sorry, doesn’t work. But the will not doubt my price. People ever say, Are you sure this is worth it? Like there’s somebody else who can do it for half the price? They again, they already know they want me?


Alastair McDermott  33:16

Yeah, and I think that I’ve experienced this as well, where it’s more, it’s more a case of they’re disappointed that they can’t afford it. But they would never ask me to reduce my price. And so they would love to work with me in some other way if there was an option, but I’ve experienced it as you know, in that way where, you know, cuz because other other types of clients who arrive without that, that kind of that parasocial relationship setup, those types of clients who are potential clients who arrive, they’re much more likely to ask for discounts, question the pricing and ask, you know, compare you to others. Yeah, exactly. And where you’re seeing is much more of a commodity. Yep. So I think that’s, that’s the big differential here is the is the relationship takes you out of the role of of potentially being compared to others as a commodity. And it puts you in a in a kind of unique position where you’re like, we want to work with Luca, that’s who we want to work with.


Luca Ingianni  34:28

Exactly. I mean, they came to my podcast because they were intensely interested in the topic in the first place. And then they found my personality agreeable. And so just as you said, they’ve already decided for themselves the topic is important. They’ve already decided for themselves that I as a person,


Luca Ingianni  34:50

the right man for the job. So it’s just a matter of well, can we afford this


Alastair McDermott  35:00

Okay, so we talked about blogging. Yeah, I’m emailing podcasting. In person. Is there anything else that you’ve tried?


Luca Ingianni  35:10

So, I’ve yeah, I’ve gone to conferences, I’ve gone to meetups, we’ve already gone over these meetups I feel are not so interesting. Because they they are a lot of work compared to what you can get out of


Alastair McDermott  35:28

them. Is that when you say meetups? Is this where you meet one person? Or is this like a meeting of peers or something like


Luca Ingianni  35:34

yeah, meeting of peers, so like a local users group or something of that nature, right? Yeah. Where either and there to give a talk, in which case, you know, it’s as much effort as a conference talk for 10,000 people. Or it’s, or it’s just a social gathering. And we’ve already established that this is not my strength. One thing that I’ve Okay, there are two more things that we might talk about, which are interesting. The first is for quite a while until I fell off the wagon, I need to get back on I guess, was I for quite a while I recorded thrice weekly short videos that I posted to LinkedIn. Okay, interesting. And those worked really well. So I think I limited myself to not more than five minutes, and I tried to keep it around three typically. And I deliberately resisted the urge to make them polished.


Alastair McDermott  36:41

So let’s say let’s just, let’s just dig into that a little bit. Because this is something that I’ve also struggled with, can you just explain that to the listener to the viewer? What’s, what’s the urge to make it polished?


Luca Ingianni  36:57

But I have to preface this by saying I’m not a perfectionist, I’m a good enough fist. I’m reasonably good at saying I still have to do. But yes, you you kind of compare yourself to others. And you think, well, they have much higher production value, you know, they, the, the videos are obviously much more polished down to them having like an intro. Like, I say, you’ve got an awesome intro for your podcast. I don’t. I could. I could block myself into saying, well, until I’ve got an awesome intro like Alastair, I have no business publishing my works. And of course, that’s not true. And so I, from my experience with the daily emails, I knew that the hard thing about any kind of frequent production is, you must make it really, really effortless. It has to be like brushing your teeth, no big deal. You just kind of do it on your own, and it’s going to be fine. So not long, no big preparation, no second takes. No, nothing, just recorded and ship done. And if it’s bad, the one on the next day, will it be better? It’ll be fine.


Alastair McDermott  38:21

Yeah. Okay, so. So you were doing this, so that that’s your approach to kind of the quality, the good enough, which is really hard. I used to be a perfectionist. And clearly I’m not anymore. Because I had to, I had to train myself out of that instinct. And one of the reasons why we record this live is because if we didn’t do this live, I probably wouldn’t publish the video, because I would want to edit it. And I was procrastinating, I still have around 100 episodes of the season one of this podcast, where I have the old video of those, and I never published it because we edited the audio. And I would have to go back and edit the video. I don’t I don’t I didn’t want to publish the raw, the raw video. And so it’s kind of a shame. And eventually I will do something with that. But the reason why we are live now is not because of the live stream viewers, although I really do appreciate everybody who’s who’s watching live. But it’s, it’s more because this is a way to hack my my brain to stop it to force my hand because otherwise I will just procrastinate about video. And so that’s why it’s purely for that reason. So that’s why I really wanted to dig into that point. I


Luca Ingianni  39:38

want to make another point which is interesting, which is also a quite deliberately resisted the urge to make the production value high like the episodes I kind of sketched them out beforehand, of course. But the approach I took was that I sort of had a green screen behind me and I would make little drawings of what I was talking about. thought, as I was talking sort of just live sketching my talk. And that was, that was it. And I did, I could have improved my technique or something, but that would have made the hurdle higher. And so I very deliberately said this will have to do. In the same sense, I can’t remember which book that was, but it was a book about about product design. And they said, there is great danger in making your prototypes too pretty. To the point that if you are prototyping something that has a switch, don’t use a proper switch, use a pair of clothes pins and a little bit of stripped wire something. So that obviously you must throw it away afterwards, because no personnel, right mind would build a switch like this. If you make a prototype, a first attempt, a first, you know, version of your podcasts too nice. It gets too hard to throw away, it gets too hard to step down, even even just imagine, step down in quality. You know, this is a, this is a trick to to, to essentially, deliberately run the run through the hurdle instead of jumping over it, just just, you know, smash the thing.


Alastair McDermott  41:19

Why is that important?


Luca Ingianni  41:24

Because the, you know, the first, the first episode of your podcast or whatever, you have all the time in the world to prepare, it’s going to be well thought out, you’re full of energy, you know, this is the exciting new thing. And then after you’ve done it a while, then comes this slump, where, you know, it’s, it’s a chore and and as this podcasting goes, you must feed the content beast. There’s just, you know, it becomes it turns into this pressure. And so if you, if you accidentally make the pressure too high for yourself, that’s just a recipe for giving up and saying, Well, I’m gonna go to record today, because no way you can do it. And then once you’ve not recorded for one day, then you’re not going to record for another day. And there you go. Your podcast has died.


Alastair McDermott  42:18

Well, this will be episode 169. I think of The Recognized Authority. So I haven’t got to that point. Yes. But yes, I, I agree. So the reason why I asked quite why that’s important is because I do think it’s important to but I haven’t figured it out. But I think that there is something more important about consistency, and producing and creating content. I would love if everything I made was to Hollywood production standards all the time, that would be great. But I’m not going to be capable of doing that. And one of the reasons why I procrastinated so long this was one of those reasons was because I wanted to get things right. And perfectionism is procrastination. So having slightly lower standards, it sounds terrible. But having slightly lower standards can really help with that.


Luca Ingianni  43:18

Well, that’s that’s the same, right? The Better is the enemy of the good. If you’re aiming for better, the good will never reach your ends, because you you will make yourself stuck. So yeah, that’s just what it is. Okay,


Alastair McDermott  43:34

we saw we were going through all of the different things that you’ve tried, is there anything else on that list that we haven’t talked about yet, there is


Luca Ingianni  43:41

something that I feel is very important for your audience. Because I was surprised by how well it worked, which is surveys.


Alastair McDermott  43:49

Okay, it’s


Luca Ingianni  43:50

been a while and I’ve been meaning to do it again. But I’ve been procrastinating. But a couple of years ago, I did a, a survey on LinkedIn on and I targeted DevOps, like lead engineers, managers, those kinds of people. And it worked surprisingly well. Especially given that if somebody approached me with a survey, I would never fill it out. Like I would be like, Who is this person? And what what gives them the right to approach me with them, like marketing law. But I had pretty good response rates I want to say between 30 and 50%, I can’t remember exactly but a lot more than I expected. The whole thing went through LinkedIn. So I did some I had some LinkedIn automation, I would just sink a send LinkedIn connection request to people you know with within the right demographic, and ask them whether they would mind filling in this this survey and promising that I would then send them the results. Once I have evaluated this Sorry. And it worked surprisingly well. And I got a couple of 100 replies, I think until I stopped the survey program. It was just really impressive. And it got really good data. And it’s, it got me lots of new LinkedIn connections, it got me opportunities to talk to people, because they could always say, Oh, I noticed you wrote this. Why didn’t you and it was such an you know, it felt like it elevated my status so much in that I was wasn’t just a random like DevOps Person A was somebody who ran an actual honest to god survey about this on authoritatively about what I perceived in, in the sphere. Have you,


Alastair McDermott  45:49

by the way, taken the results of the survey, and put them through any AI tools to help with that,


Luca Ingianni  45:56

that was before AI was commonly used, I


Alastair McDermott  46:00

did a survey in around 2019 as well over 1000 consultants. But I did save the date, I’ve obviously saved the survey responses. And I was able to anonymize it and put it through through the new version of Gemini from Google, which is only available through a US IP address I had to go VPN in, but it can take up to a million tokens. So I was able to put in loads of data and get it to process. So that’s just for me, that’s that’s one of the great things about these AI tools. They can process this vast amount of data. But it could be interesting to to do that and see doesn’t work with any any other interesting insights for you. Yeah,


Luca Ingianni  46:41

I think there’s also value. So yes, it’s a good idea to go to run this through AI. But there’s also a lot of value in doing the time honored engineering tradition of just staring at the data for a good long while.


Alastair McDermott  46:55

There is that too. Yes, I agree. Luca, we only have three minutes left. Is there anything else that you think that would be useful to share with the audience in three minutes?


Luca Ingianni  47:06

Yeah, maybe just to summarize this, like you’ve, you’ve now listened to something like 15 years of me trying to well fail my way to success. And I think the important thing to take away is that it’s perfectly okay to fail, it’s perfectly okay. The whole point is to iterate and to generate new ideas and, and sort of feel round for new things you can do and find something that fits you as a person as a personality. And then success will come on its own. A consultant friend of mine call it increasing your luck surface area. You can’t force luck your way. But if you if you make yourself big enough, eventually you’ll smack it in that. Yeah,


Alastair McDermott  47:49

I’m trying that physically. Tommy? Luca, where can people find you if they want to learn more? The


Luca Ingianni  47:59

easiest way to get in contact with me is either to look for me on LinkedIn, there’s not been you look at in Danny’s around is there. But you could also go to Luca dot engineer. That is a URL that will send you to my main website where you can get in contact with me learn more about me. And by all means, please reach out. I always love talking to people in case you haven’t noticed.


Alastair McDermott  48:21

Awesome. Well, Luca, I will put links to all of that in the show notes. Thank you so much for coming on and chatting today.


Luca Ingianni  48:29

It was my friend. It was my pleasure.

🎙️+📺 SHOW: The Recognized Authority is the podcast & YouTube show that helps experts & consultants on the journey to becoming a recognized authority in your field, so you can increase your impact, command higher fees, and work with better clients.

📲 | SUBSCRIBE on YouTube:

🕮 – NEW BOOK: Alastair’s new book “33 Ways Not to Screw Up Your Business podcast”

🎓 COACHING: Find out more about working with Alastair:

🚨 – FOLLOW Alastair and The Recognized Authority ON SOCIAL MEDIA… 👇