people, authority, work, book, niche, clients, write, expertise, talk, important, publishing, podcast, big, business, specialization, positioning, story, chapters, jonathan, create
Alastair McDermott, Rochelle Moulton
Rochelle Moulton 00:00
We can each be heroes to our own audience because of what we’re doing. And until we do the work to figure out, you know, what’s our vision? Who are the people we want to be with? Or what’s the revolution that we want to lead? And then what’s what’s our specialty, and it can be horizontal, it can be vertical, it can be both. I mean, it’s like when you just realized we’re not having a visual, even though I can see your face. But I was thinking of when you when you slice an onion, and you do it, you know, horizontally and this way, and you just slice them off, and they come out in nice little diced pieces. There are so many ways that you can slice and dice your expertise to create authority in a niche that doesn’t exist. 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 01:01
Today, my guest is the, this is the first time I’m having somebody back for a repeat on the show. It’s Rochelle Moulton. She is the author now of “The Authority Code: How to Position, Monetize and Sell Your Expertise”. And Rochelle turns consultants and big thinkers into authorities. And she co-hosts “The Business of Authority” with Jonathan Stark, and she is a forward thinker in the consulting space, and just something I’m really glad to have on here again. So Rochelle, you’re very welcome.
Rochelle Moulton 01:26
Oh, thank you so much, Alastair. I didn’t realize I was the first repeat. So I feel honored.
Alastair McDermott 01:30
Yeah. Yeah. And I actually have a couple of people lined up for repeats. But you’re the first one, so I like. Yeah. Okay, so I got to dive straight into this. So, so you, I think for long for the longest time you were you were thinking about writing this book, but didn’t. So what changed for you to get you to actually write it?
Rochelle Moulton 01:51
Was a couple things. I mean, I first started thinking about a book around 2015. Not exactly this book, but sort of the elements of it. And I just got to the point where I was, I was frustrated that so many people would say to me, people who are you know, consultants, freelancers, independents would say I’m having trouble selling, I just, I’m not getting a consistent flow. I don’t I don’t know where my next sale is coming from. They’re like I need to learn how to sell. And the challenge was that I thought they were wrong. I didn’t think they needed to learn to sell. I think the problem in most cases, when I listened to what they said and looked at what they were doing, is that they hadn’t positioned themselves correctly for what they were doing. And on top of that, they weren’t optimally monetizing their expertise. And so selling was really hard. And in my view, selling should be easy, because you’ve done all the other stuff first. So I wanted to write the book, so that, you know, my people, if you will independent consultants and freelancers would have the tools and the confidence, right, I think the confidence piece is important to be able to build and grow a sustainable and happy, because I like happy, six figure plus authority business, and faster than they would ever do it on their own. So that was that was the goal of the book.
Alastair McDermott 03:19
Yeah. What was it that that changed you to write it now that that you hadn’t done it before?
Rochelle Moulton 03:25
Oh, a few things. The first thing that happened is I read a book by Chandler Bolt. And he had such a simple thing. And I thought, now that couldn’t work for me. We’re basically what he says is you write every day for 30 days for an hour. And and I was as I was reading, I’m like, yeah, yeah. But then he said something that really got my attention. And he said that if you edit as you go, you’re going to wind up with two perfect chapters, being goes, that was me, I kept having these two perfect chapters. And I wanted to have a book. So I thought, You know what, I need to just let my preconceived notions go. And I need to try this. And so, so what was different I had an outline before, it wasn’t quite as detailed. So I had a much more detailed outline this time. The other thing I did, because I’m very visual is I tried this idea of like, almost like a mind map. So I’d set the timer for a half an hour and I would just make pictures of what I wanted to cover in the chapters and I found that I, first of all, I uncovered a couple things I hadn’t thought of that needed to be in the book. And the other thing is I started rearranging them. So that kind of told the story a little bit differently. So that was really powerful. And then I found the hour wasn’t enough for me because I had to get warmed up. First. It’s kind of like took me a while to get into it. So I, for that 30 days, which was in August. I blocked out two hours every day including weekends on my calendar, and a couple of days I did less than two hours when I had something else I just couldn’t move. But I always did at least an hour. And some days, I did three, four, and even five, one day I did six. And that was too much. Yeah, that was a little too intense. But I was into something it was working, and I kept flowing. And I did not edit my work. I didn’t go. I mean, if I was typing something, and I saw a typo, I would fix it in that moment. But I wouldn’t go back and reread something and try to rephrase it, I just left it. And I had a plan, it’s I said, I figured out I had 10 chapters, I had 30 days. So I needed to do a chapter every three days. And I did not let myself miss any of those deadlines. And I was ahead of the game when I started. And then I I lost a little time, but I never got behind I had that schedule made all the difference for me.
Alastair McDermott 05:49
I just want to mention something because I was talking to Professor Norbert Schwartz from University of Southern California a few, about a month or two ago, this is another episode and it talks about audio quality, and how your audio quality can change your perception of you know how people perceive you. So better audio is better effectively. But if you draw attention to issues beforehand, or during that that can actually offset the negative impact. So I do want to draw attention to the fact that there’s a building site outside your place. But this, but this was the only time that we can actually record this in time. Because there is something that I want to do with this episode, which is your your book is actually going to be available for free on Amazon for two days. The day after this episode is released. So this is released on Monday. So Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, if you’re hearing this in November 2021. On the 9th and 10th It’s gonna be available for free. So I just want to let people know that but that is why there is a little bit of background noise.
Rochelle Moulton 06:50
Yes, I apologize. But yeah, giant machine, crunching gravel.
Alastair McDermott 06:56
It is what it is. But actually, your new microphone does a fantastic job of cutting out the majority of that. So it’s great. So okay, so that. So I’m really interested in the mechanics of the writing, because it’s something that for me, you know, trying to write has always been, I love writing, but I also find it difficult to actually get to the get, you know, get the book done kind of. So it’s always interesting to see what what process has worked for other people. Um, I know that a lot of people who are listening to this, want to write a book or have been told, Hey, you should write a book. So so that’s, you know, it’s a great way to build authority.
Rochelle Moulton 07:33
So I just throw in, I just have to throw in a plug for Steven Pressfield’s book, “The War of Art”, because if you’re struggling and I’d read it a few years ago, I’ve gifted it to so many people I reread it. It’s a very short book, just before I started, and he basically talks about he gets very poetic, actually about invoking the Muses when he writes and is this it’s this lyrical book in some ways, but I read that and it really inspired me and I absolutely, absolutely believe that by focusing on that book, that and for 30 solid days with you no other distractions. But I always had that time that the answers came, the things you struggle with when you think about the writing a book, but you’re not writing it, they get resolved, as you’re writing the book. Maybe you sleep on it, which happened to me a couple times where I woke up with the idea, but the only way through is to write.
Alastair McDermott 08:29
Yeah. And I really liked what you said about not editing that that wouldn’t make a major difference. Because I’ve been there where I’ve done the to perfect chapters, and you said I should have more than this. Yeah, yeah. Very cool. So okay, so so let’s talk about “The Authority Code”. Can you tell me first off, like, why did you choose “The Authority Code” as the title? What was it about code that that made it, ahm, what was what was that?
Rochelle Moulton 08:53
Yeah, I think it’s partly it’s because I kept thinking, this is a how to book there’s a workbook with it with exercises. But I felt like it was more than a how to, and one of my clients actually said this, when he he heard the concept for the book, and it immediately made sense to me. He said, it’s about the Bushido of authority. It’s like, the way to think the way to be if you want to think of yourself and present yourself as an authority. So it’s the very practical, you know, if you do this, do this, do this. And there’s an element of, you know, Bible in quotes to it. Right. Here’s, here’s the way to follow. And then by
Alastair McDermott 09:33
It’s very Dan Brown.
Rochelle Moulton 09:34
Yeah, exactly. And then there’s that Bushido that because a lot of this is about what I call generous authority. It’s about authority isn’t just being in charge or being well known for something. It’s also being generous with your expertise and your knowledge, and that’s going to help you push your authority out into the world more and get more people to engage with it.
Alastair McDermott 09:59
Right. That’s I mean, I think that’s kind of the core for me of being an authority and and being a recognized authority is being generous with I hate the word content, but being generous with your, with your thinking and publishing and putting it out there for people. So yeah, I think that’s the that’s really like the core part of, of the whole thing is, because the difference between being an authority and being a mere expert is kind of the spotlight of public, you know, public consumption or this audience, you can be an expert in a dark room, you can’t be an authority in a dark room, you have to have public showing.
Rochelle Moulton 10:38
Yes. That’s a great way to say it, you cannot be an authority in a dark room.
Alastair McDermott 10:43
Okay, so So let’s, let’s talk because I would like to take the listeners through an overview of what “The Authority Code” is. So like your, your take on this, so, so can we take a whistle stop tour through through the book? Is that okay?
Rochelle Moulton 10:58
Alastair McDermott 10:59
So, so let’s start with the V word then.
Rochelle Moulton 11:03
The V word, the V word is vision, right. And this idea is that you really have to embrace your vision, not just for your authority, but for your business. And so what happens a lot of times, I think, is that people don’t really think through what they’re doing as a business, they think through Oh, I’m going to, you know, do this project for so and so and I’m going to finish it in two weeks or a month, or I’m going to work for six weeks, at a daily or hourly or monthly rate of x. This is really about not just the vision for your business, but the vision for yourself. What does your life look like? Why do you want to do this business? What do you most want to do? And it’s not just about giving, I mean, it is about that. But to me, the V word is where you really get to be selfish, you get to say, this is what I want to do out in the world. This is how I want to do it, how I want to work. And then we’ll you know, we’ll get to some of the other pieces. But it all starts with having this vision. Because if you don’t have that you’re not gonna get anywhere.
Alastair McDermott 12:07
Yeah, it’s very much start with the end in mind.
Rochelle Moulton 12:09
Yeah, exactly. And it sounds so basic. But I think a lot of times what happens is that people don’t think about anything beyond the money, when especially when they first start, it’s okay, I’ve left my job, I have to make sure I make this much money. And that’s great. That’s a that’s an important part of the vision. And then the question becomes, what else? How do you want to work? Where do you want to work? What kind of people do you want to work with? How do you want to spend your day? How much time do you want to have off, all of those kinds of things start to help you create this vision of the ideal life that you can create for yourself when you create an authority business?
Alastair McDermott 12:45
Yeah, I think a lot of people feel constrained by kind of, like, traditional route, like, this is how I’ve seen others do it in the past. So, you know, this is how I should do it, too. You know, there’s a lot of consultants out there, and they’re doing, you know, hourly rate or daily rate projects. And that’s the way it must be done. You know, and, and so, there’s lots of different ways to approach it. I think, I think that’s the kind of the entrepreneurial thing. I think that you know, if you can kind of take a an entrepreneurial mindset to it, like you have total control, it’s your business, you know, Do do do whatever works for you in your life, you know.
Rochelle Moulton 13:27
Yeah, I mean, it’s, you really have to take a leap of faith when you start your own business. So as long as you’re taking that leap, let’s make it count. Let’s make it be what you want it to be. Because part of this is that is I want you to be able to create a sustainable business. And it’s not sustainable if it’s not going to work for you. So that’s why the V word is so important.
Alastair McDermott 13:48
Yeah. Well, I think that’s a good segue then into revolution. So you talked about leading a revolution?
Rochelle Moulton 13:54
Alastair McDermott 13:55
I think can you tell us a bit more about that?
Rochelle Moulton 13:56
Yeah. Well, you know, I’ve often talked about this as the big idea, like, what is the transformation you want to make in your audience. And as I was working on the book, I decided it needed to be more aggressive. And so I started using and testing the word revolution. And I can already hear, you know, some people going revolution, I just want to work, I just want to be able to do this. But what a revolution allows you to do is it allows you to focus on this big idea for change for your people. So there is an aspect of service to it. But there’s also an aspect of focus of intense focus on this outcome. So the revolution in my in the way I think of this is the Revolution should be big, right? As in, oh my god, can we ever even do this in my lifetime, but it’s a worthy goal, like the Knights quest, right? It’s this worthy goal, and you’re ready to dedicate your authority to making that happen.
Alastair McDermott 14:56
Right. I love this idea of you know, something that’s bigger than me? It’s, you know, it’s, it’s something and I think this is where you can recruit allies. Like, I think you and Jonathan mentioned in a recent episode, you know, where when we’re working in a business mindset, particularly in a scarcity mindset, we see direct competitors, as competitors, all fighting for the same pie. Whereas I think if you if you’re approaching with this type of mindset, it’s it’s that they now become allies in the same mission in the same revolution, right?
Rochelle Moulton 15:31
Yes, the visual is that you’re out there protesting in the streets holding the banner, who do you want next to you holding up the banner, and those are going to be people in your space. Jonathan and I don’t look at each other as competitors. You know, we’re ultimately in the same revolution. We’re approaching it in different ways. But we want the same outcome. Yeah.
Alastair McDermott 15:52
I was just talking to, to a friend of mine, who is probably the closest thing to a direct competitor that I have. And so as I was talking to him yesterday about potentially collaborating on some stuff, so I think he’s interested. So we’ll see.
Rochelle Moulton 16:09
Alastair McDermott 16:10
That’s it. So I think it’s just a different, it’s a different mindset, you know?
Rochelle Moulton 16:13
Well, it’s one of the things that that made that really obvious to me, it was when I was looking for blurbs for the book is, you know, where am I going to go, I’m going to go to the people whose audiences care about things like authority. And, you know, you know, are they competitors? No, we’re all trying to do the same thing. But it’s not a zero sum game. And a number of those people stepped forward and, and wrote a blurb for me for the book.
Alastair McDermott 16:40
Yeah, I knew I would be able to turn this conversation to specialization really quickly. This, this is where specialization really helps because when when you’re really specialized, you know, you don’t really have direct competitors, because you’re always slightly different. So. So okay, so let’s get back off specialization, because I know we’ll be able to come back to the minute.
Rochelle Moulton 17:00
Yeah, I’m gonna say if you’re going by chapter, we’re going to hit that one.
Alastair McDermott 17:06
So let’s talk about the ideal clients. He talked about energizing, and inspiring. How important is that?
Rochelle Moulton 17:12
Well, for me, it’s everything. It you know, when you think about, I go back to this idea of all the risks that we’ve all taken and starting our own businesses, and when you when you are an employee, you don’t get a lot of choice about who your colleagues are. I mean, you maybe get some, but when you take the job, you know, it’s kind of a package deal. When you’re starting your own business, the sky’s the limit, so why not work with clients who energize and inspire you. And we all know, when when a client calls or this email lands in your inbox, and it’s from that client, and you go, I, my goal is to never have that feeling just because of who the email is from.
Alastair McDermott 17:54
Rochelle Moulton 17:55
Alastair McDermott 17:55
Yeah, life’s too short.
Rochelle Moulton 17:56
Yeah. And it’s not hard to figure out who those people are. Because if you have an existing business, and you think about force, ranking your clients like from the best to the worst, you probably know the top one, or two, or you probably know who the bottom is, you may not know who the middle is, but you can start to think about it. And
Alastair McDermott 18:15
They pay late, they nitpick, they micromanage. You know, they ask for too much they push the scope, all of those things.
Rochelle Moulton 18:23
It’s their classic, you know, on the other hand, for some, sometimes even my ideal client might be different than your ideal client, right? Because it has to do with maybe their vision, or how hard they’re willing to push on something, especially if you’re working with a fortune 500, you know, big corporates, there’s, there’s an art form to that. And some people love that, you know, that, that fight that, you know, getting in there and making that work. And for other people that’s just not attractive at all. So there’s a lot of wiggle room to decide who’s right for you, which is actually why I have the workbook. the companion workbook with a book because it allows you to really think through this for you. And the only guideline that I I tried to live by is are they energizing and inspiring you?
Alastair McDermott 19:10
Rochelle Moulton 19:10
If they’re not,
Alastair McDermott 19:11
This is, yeah. Is this about defining like the ideal client avatar? Or is it more than that?
Rochelle Moulton 19:17
Well, that’s part of it. Yes. But I in terms of the Avatar, I also think about what is it? How do they operate? How do they think how do they feel? I was just working with someone recently, where the podcast was designed for one audience, which was a learning audience who was probably never going to pull the trigger for the big thing, but his audience or people who would pull the big the trigger on the big thing. And so to me, that was a disconnect as well, which which one are your people? And immediately he said, Oh, it’s the people who are going to trigger us it Okay, so then maybe this stuff doesn’t make sense for you. It’s not that you don’t care about them, but they’re not your people. Your people are going to want to pull the trigger. So it’s really it’s understanding that, and it’s the client avatar exercise looks at things like, you know, psychographics, you know, what are my fears? What do I, what I care about? What’s my big dream? What’s my vision, and it’s all of those things as well as demographics. Sometimes our clients are, sort of have some demographic outlines. But at the end of the day, it’s about the people that you want to work with. And you know it in your gut. I mean, I’ve had I could sit here right now, I’ve been consulting a lot of years, I could sit here and I could fill a sheet of paper with the worst clients and the best clients with no prompting, you know, give me 10 seconds to say go, and I’m going to have 20 people on that list. And, and that’s, it really is visceral. But sometimes, it’s almost as though we need permission to think about that and understand that we do not have to twist ourselves up like a pretzel to serve someone who is not, you know, an energizing and inspiring client for you.
Alastair McDermott 21:03
Yeah, I think David C. Baker talks about this, on his podcast, the 2Bobs a blur, and sometimes I can’t remember what percentage but he talks about, you know, the natural turnover of clients, and that you should be losing, you know, a small percentage, I know that 5% or 8% of clients every year, something like that. I mean, you should always be firing your worst clients. And it depends on how many clients you have, and you know, different scenarios. But, you know, you don’t have to always keep, you know, you don’t have to work with people forever, you know. So, I want to talk to you about specialization.
Rochelle Moulton 21:40
How many minutes are we?
Alastair McDermott 21:44
I already got it in first, we’re about 20 minutes in, but I already got it in there. So yeah, okay, so so you say you don’t become a hero by being like everybody else. So let’s talk about that.
Rochelle Moulton 21:54
Yeah, it’s, it’s all about niching. And, you know, we can talk about, you know, a million different ways to niche, but the core thing is that you only become the hero, when you’re unique. And you can be in a space, like, you and I are in a very similar space, we don’t compete directly, I don’t think of you as a competitor, I think of you as an ally. But we each have, we can each be heroes to our own audience because of what we’re doing. And until we do the work to figure out, you know, what’s our vision? Who are the people we want to be with? Or what’s the revolution that we want to lead? And then what’s what’s our specialty, and it can be horizontal, it can be vertical, it can be both. I mean, it’s like, it’s like when you just realized we’re not having a visual, even though I can see your face. But I was thinking of when you when you slice an onion, and you do it, you know, horizontally and this way, and you just slice them off, and they come out in nice little diced pieces. There are so many ways that you can slice and dice your expertise to create authority in a niche that doesn’t exist. Even though you’re surrounded by people who do something similar. Your angle is different. That’s the key. Yeah. There isn’t anyone who doesn’t have a potential niche, and probably multiple ones. Right?
Alastair McDermott 23:23
Yeah, yeah. And I think, for me, it’s like all roads lead to Rome, all roads lead to specialization. When when I look at, you know, I’ve done training courses in in YouTube. In book writing, I’ve done training courses in podcasting. And almost one of the first things in every one of those different different scenarios, the first thing to do is, hey, you probably need to niche down a little bit more. And these are from entirely different sources. And it just seems to be this is the thing that you must start with. And if you don’t do this one thing, then everything else is so much harder.
Rochelle Moulton 24:00
Yeah, I mean, nobody wants a generalist, right? I mean, you don’t go down to the guy at the gas station and say, Hey, can you help me, you know, figure out how to do my taxes. We want people who are special specialists at what they do. But the other thing is that specialists are much more memorable. The guy who does everything is not terribly memorable. And even when it’s like a geographic specialty, like I just saw a web address the other day, that was something like it was the name of a city. I’ll just call it San Diego, SanDiegoWebsites.com. Like, who cares? And if you’re not in San Diego, you don’t care if you are in San Diego, well, I might care if I own a pet store. I might like somebody who specializes in pet stores. If I’m a financial advisor, I might want somebody who knows a little bit more about that. And I don’t care if they’re in San Diego. So there’s we do ourselves a disservice when we just put ourselves out there as kind of this blog generalist and what I’ve seen In my work is that most people, this is very much of a journey. It’s not that you, you leave your corporate life and you start consulting and you go, Aha, this is my new niche, this is what I’m going to do. Sometimes that happens, it’s pretty rare. What normally happens is people start and say, Okay, this is what I’m going to do, which is whatever I used to do, but now I’m going to do it by the hour by the day by the month on retainer, and the first year or two is when you can really get by on the people you know, and your business friendships, because they want to help you succeed in your business. And by the end of the second year, that’s usually when things start to look a little bleak, because you don’t know where your next job is coming from where your next project, or opportunity is coming from. That’s when people
Alastair McDermott 25:48
Or is top dead.
Rochelle Moulton 25:49
Yeah, yeah. And so at that point, you need to have a really clear, crisp, a description of what you’re going to do and for whom, and most people will, they’ll niche a little bit at first, like, Okay, so maybe my niche was, was web design in Denver. And then I started working for a bunch of restaurants. So I think I’m going to niche restaurants in Denver, but Dennis not really quite a big enough market for me. So I’m going to look at restaurants beyond just this geographic. But what about the restaurants, maybe I’m doing very high end fine dining, maybe I’m doing fast casual, startups mom and pops, you know, you find that niche, and it happens over time you try it. And the important thing here is, to me, that’s a strategy. It’s not a tactic, the niche is a strategy. So then you start to work on tactics to support that strategy, so that you want to stick with that niche. Even if it’s not the one you wind up with long term, you want to stick with that for a while, six months, a year, I mean, it’s gonna take a little while to get the wheels moving. And then if that’s not working, typically they’re going to niche down a little bit more. But more often, what happens is it does work, it works better than what they had before. And then when they start doing it, they get more confidence. And they go, Oh, maybe I could tighten this up even more, maybe I could do fine dining restaurants all over the country. Right? So there’s a lot of different ways you can get there. And there’s no shame in having multiple stops on the journey to niching or to specialization.
Alastair McDermott 27:29
Yeah. And what I’ve, what I have spoken to a lot of people about and I experienced myself is it is a process sometimes of trial and error of space of experimentation. And if you approach it with, you know, I’m trying to test a hypothesis here, is this niche for me, then it becomes less kind of less of a commitment. And you can say, Okay, I’m just gonna test this out and see how it goes. You know, it’s not about face tattoo as Jonathan says.
Rochelle Moulton 27:57
It’s not a what?
Alastair McDermott 27:58
It’s not a face tattoo.
Rochelle Moulton 27:59
Ah, there we go. Yes, yes. It’s all recoverable.
Alastair McDermott 28:03
Yeah, yeah. So, okay, so the next the next thing, because, like I talked about, I could talk about specialization all day. And actually, I have done if anybody listening to this, once a free resource on specialization, you can go to specializationpodcast.com. And you can find a half an audio podcast, it’s like a free audio course, which is about eight or 10 episodes about specialization. But let’s get on to telling stories and see, you say, tell your story. So it doesn’t suck. So can you tell me about that? Because, because you’re quite specific there about.
Rochelle Moulton 28:38
Well, you know, because the book really talks about positioning, monetizing, and selling, I couldn’t spend a lot of time on story. But I thought the thing that was most important when you think about authority is your origin story. Because that’s the story that connects your audience to what you’re doing. And I, the first five chapters are really all about positioning. And so I included the story there, because I just felt like it needed to be there. And so many people don’t do it well, right. It’s hard to tell your own story. So the origin story is how did you get into this? And not just the the how, but the why, but not too much focus on the why? Because then I feel like it gets very self absorbed. This is about why your subject matter. Why that and why are you that person that we should listen to about this topic. And there are all different ways to do those origin stories. And the sample I use in the book is by an a now author named Kristen Smedley, who is the mother of two blind two sons and she tells her story in such a brilliant, but uniquely personal way. It’s very powerful and I urge people to read that on her website. It’s brilliant. And I use that example, because there’s so much emotion around that. And then people might say, Yeah, but I didn’t have anything like that happened to me, or I had something happen, but it’s not related to the work that I do. We all have linkages in our past in our stories to what we’re doing now. And the trick is to find them. So I give an exercise in the book that basically is about experiences and stories, and I walk you through how to pull out your experiences and stories from your past, and then actually tease out the ones that really made an impact on how you got here. So that’s you’re answering the question, Why am I here right now? Why am I the right person to be talking about x the revolution you want to lead?
Alastair McDermott 30:53
Absolutely. I think story, I mean, it’s just, it’s coming up so often, in the conversations I’m having on the podcast, I’m doing some work with, with video creators on on my YouTube channel. And story is a major part of that incorporating story, either in the form of a classic three act structure, or the hero’s journey, or whatever way you want to incorporate it. There is one resource I want to suggest to people. It’s a book called “Storyworthy” by a guy called Matthew Dicks. And I strongly suggest you get that if you do listen to audiobooks, I don’t normally listen to audiobooks, but I was recommended to get this one on Audible. And it is fantastic. And it just, it talks about, you know, looking for small things that happen in our day to day, that can be stories, and that can can help us to teach others and can also be quite important in reflecting on our own lives. So that that one, the guy who wrote that Matthew Dicks, he is a storytelling champion at the math, which I have no idea what that is, it’s some sort of storytelling competition, but he’s one of more times than anybody else. But what I found most interesting was that he said that the stories that that got the biggest stem, the most feedback, were not the times where you know, his he, his life was threatened by a guy who put a gun to his head and pull the trigger or the time that his house went on fire any of those, it was the small stories, like the time he took his dog out in the rain for a walk at night, and things like that, that those ones were the ones that had the biggest impact on the audience. So it, I think it’s really important to start to understand why stories are important to, you know, to our communication, and to try and learn more about it. So I think that it really stood out to me when I saw that chapter in your book, Rochelle, it just strikes me that yeah, you know, this is something that people need to look up need to learn about.
Rochelle Moulton 32:49
Well, and there’s the other side of this, for those of us in, you know, building authority is that stories help you to connect with others with your expertise, in addition to all the other things, and they will help you when you start to publish.
Alastair McDermott 33:02
Rochelle Moulton 33:03
And it’s it’s so much easier when you when you start to write, particularly, at least for me, when it comes to writing, I pay much more attention to what’s going on around me relative to my area of expertise, because it allows people to see a different way of understanding some aspect of your expertise. And it’s really, really powerful. Even if we’re not naturally great storytellers, I don’t consider myself a great storyteller at all. I just try to find those little pieces that maybe can give some insight. And when you start doing it after a while you sort of can’t not see those things as they happen. My husband and I know when we’re out and about, he’ll turn to me, I’m gonna go. That’s a blog, something that just happened. That’s a blog, that could be an episode. Yeah.
Alastair McDermott 33:56
Yeah, absolutely. And so the context that I’m learning about, you know, the hero’s journey, and the three extraction, all that it’s in the context of creating a YouTube channel on YouTube videos. So it’s very much about connecting with an audience and making what can be quite dry educational content, and making that something that people want to watch more of, and to, ultimately to become binge worthy content is kind of the the concept. So I don’t know if I can do that with them with you know, stuff about the fear of specialization. But, I’ll let you know.
Rochelle Moulton 34:34
To the right audience to the right audience.
Alastair McDermott 34:36
Rochelle Moulton 34:37
I believe that.
Alastair McDermott 34:38
Rochelle Moulton 34:39
Alastair McDermott 34:40
So, okay, let’s, let’s get on with it with our tour. Monetization. So monetizing expertise, because this is fascinating, so many different ways you can monetize. So so what what do you you talking about there in the book?
Rochelle Moulton 34:55
Well, there’s kind of two things. The first one is, you know, how do you monetize? Like what do you offer? And then the second piece is, what are the price tags that you’re attaching to that? And I think sometimes we make a lot of assumptions when we monetize, we think, oh, yeah, well, I have to provide services directly to clients. Like I came out of a big consulting firm. I never thought about doing anything. But else but providing services, I didn’t think about all those other things I didn’t think about, oh, well, maybe I want to leverage. So the first thing you want to do, and it’s why you have all these positioning, things first, the first five chapters are basically how to position your your self and your authority business. So then the monetizing, says, okay, given this positioning, what’s the best way to optimize how I’m going to build this business how I’m going to make money. And just give a simple example, let’s say that you decide that you really want to, to serve a market that doesn’t have really big pockets, like pet shop owners, something like that. So you can’t offer them a $20,000 consulting assignment, because it’s just too much for them. But maybe you could offer them a $500 package of something or a $50, pdf of something about how to how to open a store, how to set up operational procedures, you can create different products. So you can’t monetize until you know how you’re positioning. Once you get into that, then you have to decide how to match the pricing of your products and services, to your authority, to your reputation. And one of the stories I tell in the book is a client of mine, and I we were just on he wasn’t a client yet, we were just on our first call together. And he was describing this thing that he had designed, which was a an assessment, and it was priced at $10,000. And I said, Well, you’ve got all of this authority. I mean, he was pretty well known within his niche, but he also had some really interesting things. And I said, I $10,000 I don’t know anything else yet. But it just feels too small. What would happen if you just kept raising it by $10,000? I guess I could try. So he did. And last time that we talked, he was at 45,000. He he added a five in there somewhere. I think he got a little nervous. But it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he could get to 100,000 on this assessment, but he saw it as less worthy because it was in a box. And his idea was well, I just want to sell more of them. Well, yeah, but the price tag needs to reflect the value of this and the authority. So it was both and he was producing regularly producing value, many times what the 10,000 and even 50,000 price tag would indicate. So my point in telling that story is that sometimes it’s hard to see it for yourself. So sometimes maybe you need to have somebody else kind of give you a little look and say, what about this? What how would you value this? So but it’s the monetizing if you don’t do the monetizing well, you’re not going to have a sustainable business. So it’s a really critical piece of this, this authority code of this journey to authority. And you will change it, not just the price tags, you’ll change the mix, maybe you’ll add products where you’ve only had services, maybe you’ll add a product ties service, where you draw a box around something, you maybe start a membership course, or a membership option, or a course like what you’ve just done with your with your audio, there’s so many options. And I give some examples in the book of kind of line items. And I use my buddy Atticus, which is not his real name, to show you how to, you know one way to work through multiple lines in your revenue, and also to protect your revenue. You want multiple revenue streams so that if one big client disappears, or we have a global pandemic, that you know, maybe one income stream disappears, but not all of them.
Alastair McDermott 39:09
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I love the examples that you have. You’ve actually got examples of the product ladders in the book with pricing and everything. It’s great. So yeah, yeah, I think I mean, I know you talked about, you know, avoiding hourly billing and some stuff in there. Yeah, we know where that came from. So yeah, no, I think that, you know, pricing is it’s such a crucial part. And it’s so hard to get it right. So I agree the you know, getting some external feedback on your pricing, I think is really important. And getting that external feedback from the right people, from people who are not in some sort of scarcity mindset themselves because that can lead you the wrong direction.
Rochelle Moulton 39:53
Avoid this adversity mindset people. I mean, the classic is is the yoga industry. If you look at anybody who’s teaching yoga, they are constantly bombarded with why they need to either give it away or do it very cheaply. And don’t talk to those people. Those those people meaning scarcity mindset, who believe that there are limits to your price tags, the limits to your price tags are the value that you create for your clients. That’s the limit.
Alastair McDermott 40:22
Yeah, I had RON BAKER on the show recently, and just talking about value pricing. And, you know, he said, all pricing is subjective, you know, and so all value is subjective. And so you know, it, you know, you really can charge whatever you think is fair value. And your clients will tell you by buying or not buying, you know, so just be careful about getting that advice from the wrong people.
Rochelle Moulton 40:45
Alastair McDermott 40:46
Okay. So I do want to move on, because I want to talk to you now, but what you’re doing right now. So you say published like, it’s a revenue stream?
Rochelle Moulton 40:53
Yeah, because it is. So So here’s the core premise of the book is that selling is easy. If you do selling authority is easy. If you do all these other things first, if you do them well. So if you’re positioning yourself in the right niche with people who energize and inspire, you’ve got this big idea, this revolution you’re really excited about, you’ve created products and services to monetize what you’re doing. In order to sell like an authority, you’ve got to publish. And I don’t mean a book, I mean, sure, book is fine. But I’m talking about just something as simple as blog posts on your website that you share via email to a list, the most important sign of an authority from the outside world looking in is that you’re publishing. Because if you’re not sharing your expertise, it doesn’t exist. And so I usually like to see people start with either about an email list no matter what, but in terms of content, it could be writing, or for some people, podcasting, not for me, podcasting is easier than writing if podcasting or video, like, like YouTube channel is easier do that. But the point is to get your ideas out there. And until you start doing it and really treating it like a revenue stream. And by that, I mean, you treat it like a client. This is something that you’re going to do, whether it’s every day, every week, multiple times a month, however, you’ve set up your systems, it is every bit as important as the billable work that you do. And that’s part of the Bushido, if you will, of being an authority, it’s that commitment to publishing on a regular and consistent basis.
Alastair McDermott 42:39
One hundred percent. So the, the publishing is as important as the billable work, I think that just bears repeating. Because it’s a crucial part of, of building that deep expertise. A friend of mine said, and I don’t know if he got this quote from somewhere else, but a friend of mine Guillame, who is also on the show, upcoming an upcoming episode talking about narrative and storytelling. But Guillaume says, I don’t, I don’t write because I have ideas. I have ideas because I write.
Rochelle Moulton 43:10
Alastair McDermott 43:10
And it’s brilliant. You know, it’s just that important. And Philip Morgan, another friend of ours talks about this all the time, you know, he talks about daily publishing. And just, you know, when you get into the mode of, of continually publishing, writing, whatever that that publishing is for you, you do really start to understand the problem better to understand the solutions better. It just, it teaches you, you know, as as, as you as you publish, as you teach, it teaches you so I think it’s one of the most important things. I’m really glad you said, you know, it’s just as important to us the billable work, because I think that it is.
Rochelle Moulton 43:48
It absolutely is. And there’s two pieces to this, there’s writing or maybe we could say producing because podcasting is speaking and video is being on camera. But there’s the producing and there’s the publishing. And they don’t have to be the exactly the same. You can produce something that you don’t publish. But you have to do both. Right? If you’re not publishing, you’re not getting the feedback, you’re not putting your tail on the line to get feedback. And there’s something that you like the first few times you hit that send button. There’s a lot of fear around that, especially if it’s something really controversial. But that’s the difference between just being an expert, and being an authority is that you’re taking risk.
Alastair McDermott 44:31
I want to ask you something about this that you mentioned in the book, which is just talking about point of view, and I think that it’s it’s something like I know Philip Morgan talks about it a lot. You talk about it, Jonathan talks about it. It’s it’s something that’s kind of hard to get a grasp on sometimes, like do we need to have like this really distinct point of view and how do we develop that when you know, we’re becoming an expert or we’re becoming an authority? Where does that come from?
Rochelle Moulton 44:57
Okay, first of all, I absolutely think it’s essential. I think that when you first start consulting, you don’t have a point of view. And that’s okay. Because you’re you’re working, you’re figuring it out, it takes time to develop how you think about things. And I would argue you could probably consult or freelance for a few years before you have a point of view, that could happen. But what it is, is what you believe to be true about your area of expertise. And it’s not about the technical piece, it’s big picture planks of your belief system. And I would argue, if you take any space that we’re talking about with authority, pick any space and pick the top three or four people in the space, there’s going to be some crossover in their point of view, but there will be something that’s different. And I’ll use Jonathan, because we both know Jonathan Stark, “Hourly Billing is Nuts”. Nobody else says that there are other people who focus on pricing that do very different things than people in sort of what I would call our space. David C. Baker, for example, talks about it, he focuses more on creative agencies, it’s a different issue than for soloists. So what that point of view helps you to do is first it helps you to really define the edges of your niche. But it also helps you to differentiate your viewpoint from other people. So there are other people who talk about authority. There are other people who talk about consulting, and we’ve got some different viewpoints. That’s good, right? We don’t have to agree on everything. But what that that point of view does for you is it helps you to develop the material content, and we hate that word, but the content and material that we want to create, to spread the word, it’s, it’s absolutely critical as as you develop, it doesn’t, it doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it doesn’t happen on day one.
Alastair McDermott 46:57
Now you’re getting into your authority, you’ve started to publish. So you talk about enlisting your authority circle, and you have fantastic names for these people. So can you talk about your authority circle?
Rochelle Moulton 47:08
Sure. So the authority circle is your rat pack, your apostles and your tribal leaders. And you know, I live in Palm Springs, so I’ve been, you know, affected by this Rat Pack idea. And, and it was, you know, I think it was from the 60s. But the Rat Pack, this idea is that it’s a very core group of people, you probably count them on one hand, that are helping you in your business, but they’re like business friends. So like Jonathan Stark is part of my rat pack, and I’m part of his that would be an example. And these are people it’s not your mother, unless your mother’s in your business fear. So it’s not about personal friendships so much, although these are typically your friends as well. But it’s about people that are in your space, and you help each other. It’s a very small group. It’s the group that you look to, and they look to you for support. It’s and different people will give me different things. If I want cheerleading, I probably won’t go to Jonathan, if I want a critical, No, I mean, he’ll tell me if it’s a good idea, he’ll tell me. But if it’s a bad idea, he’s gonna say, Ah, this is bad. So if I want somebody to just cheerlead, I might go to somebody else, if I want somebody to give it to me straight, I’m gonna go right to him. So you, you develop this Rat Pack based on very intimate, close friendships. And then the second circle, I think of these is like circles. So there’s this small inner circle as your rat pack. The next circle is apostles. And the apostles no religious significance to this, the idea of the apostles is that they just really believe in what you’re doing. They’re not I don’t even think of them as super fans, I think of them as different because they’re spreading the word. They’re not just going, yes, yes, that’s good. We agree. They’re going out and telling other people about it, maybe putting their own spin on it, maybe taking it in a different direction, but they believe, and it’s a really important part of your circle. And that that could be a couple of handfuls. It could be you know, for handfuls. It’s not, you know, probably 50 or 60 people, but it’s a solid core group. And if you’re just getting started, you may not have any yet, but you know, we can talk about how to find those. And then the last piece is what I’ve been calling tribal leaders. And the idea is, you know, from Seth Godin, his use of the word tribes, we all have these different tribes. But tribal leaders are people who basically have the keys to the kingdom for these large groups of tribes that might benefit from your knowledge, and they’re typically going to be different than yours there. They may have focus on just one aspect of what you do. So like, I’m talking about authority, I could talk to about authority to PR people. I could talk about it to marketing consultants to software developers, I could pick all of those different audiences. So tribal leaders are the people who they resonate with your message. But they’re worried about their tribe, right? They’re paying attention to you, maybe if they know about you, but they’re really paying attention to their tribe. And so one of the things I talk a lot about in the book is, how do you kind of break through to that, and because it’s a process, but when you think about those three circles, and the combination of those is what I call your authority circle. It might be if you’re kind of fully mature as a business, it might be 150 people, which by the way, is that Dunbar’s number that says, it’s kind of the outer limit of how many people you can kind of know.
Alastair McDermott 50:38
Rochelle Moulton 50:38
But it’s probably about 150. And if you have 150, people who are with you who are aligned, you can become not only an authority, you can become “The Authority” in your space, you can create multiple businesses or multiple revenue streams from that, it’s I mean, it’s, it’s really all you need to be able to do this. Even if you want to create, you know, seven, eight, even nine figure businesses, you can do it with that with that concept.
Alastair McDermott 51:11
Very cool. I love the you know, the language that you using. Did you read Patrick Hanlon’s “Primal Branding”, by the way? Is that where that came from?
Rochelle Moulton 51:20
Alastair McDermott 51:22
Okay. Very interesting. Because it’s, it seems like what you’re doing there, it’s using some of his, you know, elements of Primal Branding. So that’s, that’s something I hope to get him on the podcast. Okay, cool. Okay, because we are pressed for time, I’m going to just move on to the last the last two. So the, you talk about the gentle art of persuasion, so you don’t have to sell? Can you can tell us why you don’t have to sell?
Rochelle Moulton 51:47
Yeah, so if you’re publishing, and if you’ve enlisted your authority circle, you really don’t need to sell anymore. And by sell, I mean, cold call. I mean, warm call. I mean, basically what happens because your authority is out there, this publishing that you’ve done is speaking for itself. You are you’re building an email list, so you’re getting some traction and attention that way. And you’ve got this authority circle that is starting to share your, your expertise, your content, your ideas. So when that is all aligned, when that is all moving, what happens is your sales process shifts to having sales conversations, which is not it’s not, you’re not pitching, you’re not selling in the classic sense, what you’re doing is listening, you’re asking questions, you’re very subtly showing them your expertise by how you ask questions. And the way you frame that meeting. And it really that chapter is really why I wrote the book is because I want everybody to have those kinds of sales conversations, because they are so much fun. It is I just can’t even tell you how excited I get when I have a sales conversation like that, because you know that you’re there to help them get what they want, what they’re asking you for, you’re helping by using your authority, your knowledge, your expertise, you’re helping them figure that out. And it’s a, it’s a very powerful experience. And I’d love everybody to have.
Alastair McDermott 53:24
Yeah, I actually recorded a bit of a rant video about this on YouTube recently, when somebody was asking me about, you know, I don’t want to be salesy, because I hate that word salesy. But I think that, you know, when, when you’re in this position of authority, what you’re doing is you’re publishing and you’re teaching. And so that’s your selling, that’s your marketing, your marketing is your teaching. And then when you’re selling when you’re on a sales call, all you’re doing is checking to see if you’re a good fit to help them. And if you’re not a good fit to help them, then who is a good fit and send them to that person. And that’s, that’s, that’s all a sales call is.
Rochelle Moulton 53:58
Exactly. And there’s, you know, I don’t use this word too often. But there’s some karma with this too. Like, if you go and you help somebody through this situation. And when I say somebody, it might be a roomful of people, if you’re dealing with big corporates, and you help them see something and you realize you’re not the right one and you bow out gracefully. They may bring you back again, I’ve had it happen multiple times in my big corporate career. And even if they don’t, somebody in that room may go to another organization. And they’re going to remember you when they see something similar and they’re going to you know, say you know what, I need Alastair to come in and talk to us about this. So it’s, it’s all positive. It’s all good. But what’s important is it’s that shift in mindset from I have to convince them to hire me for this to well, let’s see if we’re a good fit. Let’s see how this works.
Alastair McDermott 54:46
Rochelle Moulton 54:46
How can I help?
Alastair McDermott 54:48
Yeah, and it makes it so much easier. It means you don’t have to you don’t stress about the sale?
Rochelle Moulton 54:53
Alastair McDermott 54:54
Yeah, that’s, that’s good motivation to write a book. I agree. We all want so Okay, let’s um, let’s take take the last one then is taking your authority out for a spin. So so let’s take authority out for a spin here.
Rochelle Moulton 55:10
Well, in the book, that it’s really kind of the culmination chapter where you take all the work that you’ve done with the exercises throughout the book, there’s 12 of them, and you create your authority action plan from those. And the reason I did the workbook is because you know, you know, there’s no one right answer that works for everybody. It’s based on what you want to do, who your audiences how you want to publish, what your area of expertise is, and what your willingness is to go front and center go, you know, full bore on your new potentially niche and area of expertise. So what I’ve done in the workbook is I’ve given them a whole series of questions to ask now that you know, what your positioning is, you know, how you’re monetizing, you know how you’re publishing. So what does that mean for your website? What does it mean for your marketing collateral? What does it mean for your content? I’ve had people go through and change. Well, I know you’ve done this, the titles of their podcast, they’ve changed website names, they’ve changed product and service names. And a lot of times, it’s much more subtle than that. It’s just you’re changing the copy on your site, to more tightly attract the people that you want. And to really find your voice as an authority or as an authority builder.
Alastair McDermott 56:30
Yeah, it’s that process of kind of continually growing. And as you learn, you adapt even more, and you kind of course, correct very slightly all the time. And like you said, I did that with this podcast. And I do with my my positioning statement all the time. I’ve changed that probably every month at this point, every so slightly, just tweaking a word, you know, just changing something. But yeah, and all of that, yeah, you but you need to start somewhere. That’s the other thing is, is you can’t perfect that at the start, you can never perfect that until you actually jump in and get into this.
Rochelle Moulton 57:04
Well and I think the other thing too, is, is there’s all kinds of books where they’ll lead you through a process. And so if you go through and you follow that process, at the end of that, you’ve got to do something with that. And that’s why I wanted this format of an action plan. So you could turn it into statements of what you’re going to do next. And whether you do those in, you know, a day, a week, a month or six months, depending on how much time you have, and, and how large the changes, you’ve got to plan. And that’s the other piece is that we all need a plan. And that’s part of you know, we can all have these wonderful visions. But until we have a plan to actually make it happen. You know, it doesn’t happen.
Alastair McDermott 57:45
Yeah, yeah. I think that’s a good place to to leave it. So Rochelle, the book is called “The Authority Code”. Where can people find that?
Rochelle Moulton 57:54
It’ll be on Amazon, as of Tuesday, November 9.
Alastair McDermott 57:58
Cool. So hopefully, you’re listening to this on Monday, the eighth, or maybe Tuesday night or Wednesday, the 10th. And you will be able to get it for free. So if it’s the ninth or the 10th, you can get it for free. All the links will be in the show notes with this episode. So you can just find wherever you’re listening to this, you can find the link below this. Rochelle, thank you so much for being on the podcast.
Rochelle Moulton 58:20
Thanks so much, Alastair. It was really a pleasure to be back.
Alastair McDermott 58:23
My first first repeat guest. Thank you. Hey, folks, I just want to let you know that it’s really motivating and energizing when I see people sharing the podcast on their social networks. So if you want to support the podcast in any way, if you like what we’re doing, then please share the podcast either on your social networks or directly with anybody who you think it might be useful for. That really helps with motivation, and that really encouraged me to invest more time and money into producing the podcast. Thanks for your support, and thanks for listening.