podcast, people, episode, book, companies, business, outsmart, create, authority, bit, strategic positioning, authentic, listen, audio, talking, competitive, software, guests, rochelle, write
Alastair McDermott, Mark Edwards
Alastair McDermott 00:00
So hello, and welcome to episode 101 of The Recognized Authority podcast. This is Season Two of the podcast. And if you are a longtime listener, welcome and thank you for your patience. Over the last I don’t know what it’s been 6, 7, 8 weeks, while waiting for season two to kickoff. If you are a new listener, you are very, very welcome. I’m delighted to tell you that there are 100 episodes of evergreen content in season one. All of it is as relevant for you now as it was the day that it was recorded. And you can find all of that at the recognized authority.com. So I want to tell you kind of just reset the room like they do on Clubhouse just want to tell you what the podcast is about. It’s a podcast for consultants, any kind of expert services business, anybody who is a solo practitioner, or running a small firm, for any kind of expertise based business, this podcast is aimed at helping you the ultimate goal is to help you become known as a recognized authority in your field. That’s why we call it The Recognized Authority podcast. And we look at all sorts of related issues, from publishing books, to publishing social media, to creating podcasts to LinkedIn, to sales in the Expert Space pricing, anything that is related to this kind of authority business, this kind of authority strategy. And I’m delighted to to talk to expert guests, I have had some big names on the podcasts, people like Chris doe and Alan Weiss and Mark Schaefer, Rochelle Moulton, I have had many less known people on the podcast, some really interesting guests, and whose first time it was actually on a podcast. So I’m delighted to talk to all of these types of people. This is the start of season two. And so this very first episode is going to be a little bit different from what you’re going to get in the next few episodes. But I want to tell you what you can expect for season two, I have changed the format in terms of recording. And so instead of pre recording episodes, and editing, what we’re going to do is we’re going to live broadcasts most of the episodes, so it’s kind of go everywhere, I can send it like YouTube, Facebook, and primarily LinkedIn, it’s where I imagine a lot of you may be watching this, if you’re not listening to it, in your podcast player, it will always be in your podcast player at 601. I am on a Monday morning, just like I think we got about 90/90 ish percent of season one, we’re at that time. So basically everything after after season 10. Sorry, Episode 10. So we’re going to keep that consistency. The big thing is that it’s going to be unedited is going to be broadcast live. And so we’re not going to edit it in post, it’s going to be live raw, unfiltered conversation between me and my expert guests. Occasionally, there might be some solo episodes, or things like that. But it’s going to be very authentic. And it’s going to be that live broadcast. And one of the reasons why I’m doing that, in case you’re wondering, is I’m trying to fight my internal perfection. And I have a problem. In that. I have all of this video footage from season one. I didn’t put that out because we recorded the audio. But we did we we recorded a video as well. But we did not edit the video, we just edited the audio. And I have this kind of tension internally where I don’t want to put that stuff out because I feel like it’s not you know, it’s not perfect. And so I’m trying to fight that. That tension that is forcing me not to put stuff out. And I’m trying to just push my own internal boundaries or my own internal barriers a little bit. And so that’s why I’m doing these live broadcasts, and unedited is to push that. So you know, if I cough or if we make a mistake, if we say the wrong word, you’re going to hear everything, you’re going to get it exactly as unfiltered as it was when we recorded it and broadcast it. I hope you appreciate that. And that you understand why we’re doing that. And I hope you liked the authenticity of that. So some of that may be you know, feel like it’s behind the scenes because of that. So okay, so that’s what season two is going to be like, the episode length is going to be unchanged, it’s going to be around 45 minutes or so. I know that some of my episodes have gone as long as an hour and maybe even the longest ones as long as an hour and five minutes. For the most part we’re going to be live broadcasting. I haven’t figured out the schedule for the live broadcast. But obviously the live broadcasts are going to happen before it comes out on the podcast feed. You can continue to listen to it on the podcast feed in your podcast player. Absolutely. It’ll always be there if you want to listen to the audio, but you should also be able to find it in places like YouTube and LinkedIn as well. So okay, so let me see I’ve got a couple of kind of news items or things I want to let you know about. Many of you know that towards the end end of last year, I was writing a book. And I’m delighted to announce that it has now been published. If you’re watching this on video, you can probably see I’m holding it up here. This is the hardcopy, and it’s called 33 ways not to screw up your business podcast. And I’m really happy with how it’s turned out how the printer and the hard hardcover in particular is amazing. It is available now on Amazon. And it’s available in Kindle. It’s available in paperback and in hardback. And it’s available on all of the Amazon sites. Some of the Amazon sites are still even though it was that went up there officially 30 days ago, some of the Amazon sites still are making it hard to get the paperback version in particular, I will be ordering a batch of them to sell myself off off my own website just to make it quicker for people to get their hands on a copy if they do want a hard copy. And the Kindle version, obviously is available immediately. So so that’s the book. And so the book is called 33 ways not to screw up your business podcast, the forward is by Rochelle Moulton, I’m really honored to have her write the foreword for the book. And she did an amazing job with that. The book itself, I want to tell you a little bit more about that in a few minutes. But I want to just tell you about some other podcasts that you might be interested in, that I’ve been working on. So the first of those is the specialization podcast, which is a podcast that has been available for quite some time now. And it is a fixed length. Mini audio course effectively on niching down especially as a an expert business. So if you have an expertise based business and you feel you’re still too broad, maybe a little bit too generalist, and you want to niche down, go check out the specialization podcast. That’s specialization podcast.com. And you can find it in the show notes for this as well. So that is still there, it’s got about I think at this point, it’s got maybe nine episodes, something like that. Every so often, I’ll add another episode on there. But it’s not something that’s updated frequently. It’s it’s, it’s basically just something there for you to go and kind of listen through if you want to learn more about specializing in niching down, which I think is a really crucial topic. Um, I’ve talked many, many times. And pretty much every expert who I’ve had on the podcast agrees with me that specialization is key to success in this kind of field. Okay, so that’s specialization podcast. Next podcast I want to tell you about is our podcast which I have just started with the with publishing company well with Melissa Wilson, who is CEO of Networlding. And so my book is part of a series, so if you see the cover, you’ll see that this the yellow cover with the screw on the front, and the “33 ways not to screw up your business podcast”. And all of the other books in the series are “33 ways not to screw up x”. And so,o there’s things like Anne Janzer’s book, which is 33 err “33 ways not to screw up your business email”, there’s books on HR, and lots of things related to business. So we’re going to be interviewing each author in that series, we started with an answer. So that episode is already up. And I was the second. So I’m actually interviewed me, me. And that’s up as well. So we’re going to interview every author in that series. Currently, there’s about 10 books in the series. And there’s more to come. So that if you’re interested in learning more about the book series, and we’ll be talking a little bit about kind of like the publishing process and things like that. So that’s available, the podcasts, you can find a 33 ways series.com. And the podcast itself is called 33 ways not to screw up and you can put that in your podcast player, and you should be able to find it. So that’s the podcast for the books in general. So that’s the podcast for the book series. The other podcast that I have personally just launched, is called accelerating your authority. And so what I found with with The Recognized Authority podcast, which is kind of I feel like it’s my flagship podcast, the episodes are a little bit longer than some people want. Some guests as well as listeners, and I know that I really personally I love the longer format podcasts. And so I like to have a conversation that goes, you know, 45-55 minutes, something like that, where you can go really deep, and some of the episodes have been described as masterclass in in that particular topic, but by some of the reviews that we’ve gotten on Apple podcasts, and so I really do like that, but I know that as well, that I know that some people will want to to have a shorter podcast experience. And so this is this is something that I wanted to offer you. And so I’ve created a new podcast called accelerating your authority, and it’s a shorter format podcast. It’s about that 15 to 20 minutes per episode in around that. And basically, it’s, it’s just kind of these bite sized chunks, it’s going to be coming out on a more frequent basis than The Recognized Authority, I assume. And it’s experimental. So I’m gonna see how it goes, I have about 10 episodes pre recorded, and I’ve put, I think three or four of them out. So far, it’s not going to be coming up on a regular basis, as in, I don’t have a, I don’t have a publishing schedule for it right now. I will, at some point, I’m sure I’ll fall into a rhythm with that. But at the moment, it’s just going to go a point I haven’t. But if you are interested in checking out some other conversations with experts in this kind of area, it’s called accelerating your authority. And you can actually find it and all the podcasts that I’m involved in, you can find all of those if you go to the recognized authority.com. So that is, that’s kind of the roundup of the podcast is this is the flagship podcast, obviously, The Recognized Authority. The specialization podcast is always there as a kind of like an audio course for anybody’s interested listening to that. The three ways not to screw up podcast is is, it’s gonna be like, it’s not going to be a frequent podcasts not going to be a regular one, there’s going to be, I’m guessing 1012 episodes this year, so maybe like one a month or extra, they’ll probably be weighted towards them coming out earlier. So there’ll probably be 10 or 12 of those in the next two months. And then we’ll be adding that every so often as a new author comes comes in on the series. And then then there’s the accelerating your authority podcast. And so what I’m going to do after, towards the end of this episode, what I’m going to do is I’m going to actually play you an episode, I’m going to I’m going to bolt it on to this and play you an episode of accelerating your authority as a taster to let you hear what that’s about. So that’s what I’m going to do. But before that, what I want to do is I just want to give you as kind of a like a sneak preview at the at the book 33 ways not to screw up your business podcast. So what I wanted to do was was actually read a little bit of the book for you, and just give you a bit of a taster. So I’m going to be recording this book as an audiobook as well. So they’ll give me a little bit practice at the reading. But just, if you’re interested in learning more about the book and what it’s about, I’m going to give you a taster of that. And if you’re not interested, no, if you if you just want to get straight to the interview, if you if you skip on a bit in your podcast player, you’ll get on to the interview, which is one of the first episodes of accelerating your authority. Okay, so “33 ways not to screw up your business podcast”. So what I’m gonna do is I’m just gonna give you a taster by by reading some of the introduction, and then I’ll, I’ll actually go through some of the tips with you as well. So I wrote this book, because I’m passionate about helping business owners like you to share your expertise and advice, because one of the most valuable long term investments that you can make in your business is to build your authority and your credibility. One of my guests on the podcast is Christ Do, who’s an Emmy Award winning designer and founder of the future. And in Episode 69, of The Recognized Authority, he said: “Is there a benefit to sharing your work in teaching other people? If you don’t share, right and produce content? How else will people discover you?” I think that is the crux of the matter. There is only one route to authority, demonstrating your expertise in public in some way. And traditionally, that meant you had to write a book and find a publisher willing to write it and to print it. But now, more recently, we’ve seen blogging, video and podcasting sprang up as viable and maybe even superior alternatives. All of these formats and channels have their pros and cons for you, the creator and for your audience who consume your content. As a channel podcasting has some major differences built in that makes it advantageous for us, notably the speed, consistency, engagement and relationships. So in terms of speed, it’s one of the quickest ways to start creating content, you could start planning your podcast today, and realistically have your first episode live in 24 to 48 hours. Now, I would not recommend rushing it to that extent, but it can be done. And even if it takes you weeks to prepare, record and launch a podcast that still compares favorably with other options like writing a book, for example. It’s also much quicker to create the actual content. If I asked you to write 100 to 1000 words about a topic. How long would that take? If I put a microphone in front of you and ask you to tell me about it instead? That 100 Sorry that 1000 words would take you about five minutes to speak. And then there’s consent Since most podcasts have a regular release schedule, which means that your audience engages with your thinking on a consistent basis, and many will even make your podcast part of their weekly routine. So from your perspective, as a creator, the regular release schedule allows you to create a routine as well, and allows you to build a workflow that fits your schedule. In terms of engagement, podcasts, allow your audience to consume your thinking without having to look at a screen, they can listen while doing other things like driving and exercising and gardening or doing chores. And your podcast is not competing for attention with 50 open browser tabs. And then in terms of relationships, I’m going to give you the backstory to the creation of this book to demonstrate. So I have a podcast, of course, which is called The Recognized Authority. And last year I interviewed and dancer who was an author. And after the interview, we chatted in the post show and says, You should interview my publisher Melissa Wilson, she’d be a fantastic guest. And so I reached out to Melissa and invited her on the show and she was a fantastic guest. And after the interview, we chatted in the post show, you’re seeing a pattern right? And she said Alastair, would you be interested in writing a book for the 33 way series. So I’m honored to have Rochelle Moulton, author of the authority code, write the foreword for this book. And at this point, you won’t be shocked to learn that Rochelle was a guest not once but twice on The Recognized Authority. I met Rochelle through Jonathan Stark, who’s a business coach I’ve worked with to help on my business. Jonathan was also the first guest I had on this podcast. And after the interview, we chatted in the post show and I asked him if he could introduce me to Rochelle, so I can invite her on. So that’s the huge advantage of podcasting allows you to build relationships with great people. So you can leverage your show to speak with people that you wouldn’t have access to otherwise. For example, I’ve spoken with Alan Weiss, Carl Cox, Christo, Monique mills and Marcus Sheridan. They’re all renowned authorities in their field. And it’s having the platform of my podcast that allowed me to speak with them, and build these great relationships. Podcasting is incredibly valuable, but can also be tricky. There’s 100 different decisions to make some minor with minimal impact, and others major strategic decisions that can determine your success or failure. And I’ve written this book to help you navigate those decisions, and to help you avoid making the mistakes that I’ve made myself and see others make. So that is the introduction to the book 33 ways not to screw up your business podcast. And I just want to go through the some of the tips that I have. And I’m not going to go and give you readings from all of those but some of the tips at the start. Part one is called Designing your podcast and some of the tips are talking about having clear goals. targeting specific audience, choosing the topic that you love talking about picking the right format, picking the right frequency, doing a fixed length season first, listening to other podcasts, and then creating artwork. And that’s the designing your podcast part. Part two is setting up your podcast and addresses getting the right equipment, getting a good recording environments, recording video, and choosing hosting. Part three is launch, launching your podcast, publishing a trailer in advance of your launch, launching with episodes and how to list your podcast everywhere. Part four is fine tuning your podcast writing episodes, grading hooks, and including call to actions and choosing guests. So it’s actually this book ended up being a fairly comprehensive guide to podcasting for people who are interested. And I kind of accidentally wrote it as a comprehensive guide that was initially wasn’t my intention. But it turned into that that and that was kind of the book that I wanted to write. So if you are interested in podcasting started podcasts for your business, we think somebody who might be go check it out. So okay, and by the way, you can find all of this in the links in the show notes and at therecognizedauthority.com. The final thing that I want to do in this episode is I want to give you a sneak preview of the accelerating your authority podcast. So what I’m going to do now is I’m going to play you an episode to give you a taster haven’t picked which one yet. So that’s that’s how authentic This is. I’m going to go check out I’m going to pick, pick it and kind of a nice teaser for you to give you an example of what that’s like. And this will run about 20 minutes. And thank you for listening. And I will see you in the next episode of The Recognized Authority at 6:01 next Monday, and check out my social media follow me on LinkedIn. And you will see updates for when we’re actually going to be recording and broadcasting live because I will be broadcasting live the interviews on there and so you can get early access to the episodes if you check that out. Thanks for listening. And here is the accelerating your authority podcast. Hello and welcome to Accelerating Your Authority. This is the show to help you grow your expertise based business through six figures and beyond. I’m your host, Alastair McDermott, and I interview leaders, consultants and experts about their business so that they can share their stories, advice and insights for growth. So today, my guest is Mark Edwards. Mark is the CEO of BossEquity. He’s a co founder of outsmart. And he has over 19 years of thrilling and sometimes backbreaking years. And I really resonate with that one Mark. Mark has been personally involved in over 120 software tech acquisitions, which is a huge number. He has an ability to find the right fit for client companies and acquirers. And he has a stellar reputation. And he has a wealth of knowledge, a wide range of contacts and a vast experience that have proven invaluable. And I’ve already spoken with you, Mark, previously. So I’m delighted to have you on the show here.
Mark Edwards 20:56
It’s great to be on the show. And it’s good to speak to you again. We had an interesting conversation last time. So it’s it’s nice to have a follow up.
Alastair McDermott 21:04
Yeah, so I think we’re going to talk a little bit about outsmart today, because you’ve got you’ve got these two different businesses, can you tell me a little bit about outsmart who are your ideal clients, and what’s the challenge that they face.
Mark Edwards 21:16
So I specialize very in a niche area. But it’s quite a big niche, which is for software development companies. So companies that are out there, creating software solutions, or whatever form I’d been in the sector for probably approaching 30 years, originally, as a shareholder, I’ve sold software. And I’ve, you know, I’ve managed software companies, then as boss equity in in being working with companies to help them exit. So it’s to sell those businesses helping companies to acquire other software companies. And then part of the what we were doing in helping increase the valuation of a company was a was sort of one section of the framework that we’d have been in boss equity, which we call competitive space. And competitive space is about understanding your organization, within the market, and being able to articulate it in the right way to your target market, in a compelling and engaging way. But to do so, in a way that creates competitive space between you and your competitors. Because a lot of companies, one, you’ve got to make it clear and understandable. But also, you’ve got to be able to give people the reason of why should I buy from you, and not one of these many other companies, because there are always a lot of competitors. So we help them to create that strategic positioning, help people to articulate what they do, in a way that’s really understandable to make it more compelling and engaging. And what that does is it gives, it makes all of their marketing and it makes all of their, their sales effort, much more powerful, and helps with the growth. And we’ve seen, you know, phenomenal. It’s been a great experience, actually just, this is a relative, this is a relatively new company, although the process and competitive space was was started nearly a decade ago now based upon just having experience with hundreds and hundreds of different software companies. And also it was based upon a study that we did last two, three or four years, which was looking at the very fastest growth software companies. And what are those common denominators between that 1% or less than 1%? And the rest? Because most most companies out there really struggle.
Alastair McDermott 23:42
Yeah, it’s interesting is there’s there’s a couple of things that are, I think are interesting. One is even if if people don’t ever intend to actually sell their business, in preparing to sell a business, even if you don’t actually sell it, it puts into place a lot of systems and it it kind of trains you into really good habits, I think. And the other thing that you mentioned, and I think you mentioned this in the in the pre show, standing out in the crowd, and having that strategic positioning is very different from branding. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Mark Edwards 24:15
Yes, I think that there is often a lot of confusion between branding and strategic positioning. Branding is something that your marketing department can can handle, they can do that in house, or they can do that with a marketing agency. And that is about being able to create recognition regarding products. It’s about creating some consistency. It’s the identification of those products and the identification of the company. sitting above that, which is always at the highest level within your organization is strategic positioning, which starts from Why do you exist? What is it that you do? What is it that you do best? And how can you articulate that to your specific target market, that helps you to stand out and to gives the gives you an advantage. And that is, it’s quite difficult to achieve. But it’s, it’s something that needs to be done at the very highest level within the organization. Because it’s not just for the external messaging, it also creates great alignment internally. And that’s been, that’s been a very satisfying aspect of the work that we’ve been doing is seeing when we present back to the company, this is how we believe you that you supposition this is your competitive space, is that people within the organization smile and say I get it are great. It actually helps a business leader to be able to get get more from his employees not getting them to work harder, but to get them to be able to focus on what this company really does.
Alastair McDermott 26:06
Right? Because they’re bringing that alignment. Yes, everything is pulling in the same direction.
Mark Edwards 26:12
It is yes. And what’s what’s that real core objective? What makes us special, it doesn’t mean that, that that doesn’t incorporate branding, because obviously you do want to be able to create that instant identification. But it’s how you all apply that. So in a way I see. I see these as sort of branding, at one level strategic positioning just above that. And actually what we do in competitive space is a combination of those two, with a methodology via how to apply both, but at a strategic level.
Alastair McDermott 26:44
Yeah. So one thing that I think people sometimes have difficulty with is in the concept of standing out, and what makes us different, is grasping what that actually looks like, you know, when it comes down to brass tacks, when it comes down to reality. Do you have any examples of how one company can stand out against another? In you know, in from your experience?
Mark Edwards 27:11
Wow, lots of different examples. I mean, that covers many different things. There are that there’s a number of different elements to that. It’s it’s not a simple subject, I think, in being able to stand out, one of the things that we always focus upon is the ability to be able to communicate visually, effectively. And that’s something that all businesses use visual images. 99% of them don’t do it effectively. And why is that important? Well, because we’ve communicated visually, since Stone Age man, for 40,000 years, 50,000 years, on the walls of the caves we communicated. Now long before writing would have writing come in sort of five or 6000 years ago, our brains have adapted over time, to be able to take in visual information very, very quickly. That’s been part of our survival. The reason that you and I are here today is because our ancestors survived, and lots of others didn’t. And part of that would be being able to visually taking a lot of information, that part of our brain is actually very, very large, because of that is our survival has been based upon that. If you have a visual image that communicates, it will communicate to somebody 60,000 times faster than words will. And that’s just the way that we get up. And especially today, with social media and the internet, and with very short attention spans, and we were talking about that earlier, before we started this podcast. I think that there are trends that people’s generally, their attention spans have shrunk. Because we get so many demands on our attention. It’s visual communication, from the perspective of business in based b2b awareness has become even more important. So all companies use images, and they use them to sort of pretty fie the page or the catalog or whatever, but they don’t do it effectively. So that’s, that’s one aspect of that. Then the other sort of big concept is, is people being able to to create their competitive space, but doing so in a cohesive way? Doing so in a way that makes it memorable and it sticks in the mind of your target market. And, you know, we’ve we’ve created our methodology based upon experience upon study in action You’re doing research of the most successful companies, but also based upon cognitive science and psychology, what’s going to make you more memorable, and, and stay in the minds of your prospects. And that’s, that’s a really big aspect, which is, if you think, for instance, just on PowerPoint presentations, I don’t know how many PowerPoint presentations you’ve seen in your life, I’ve probably seen literally 1000s. And I would say, the vast majority, I’ve forgotten 95% of it, sometimes I’ve forgotten it before it goes out the room. One is it doesn’t communicate in the first place, but people think that it does, because they understand it. And secondly, it’s not done in a way that actually aids that transfer information. And thirdly, I think, and this is a big aspect is it lacks creativity. And that’s important, because our brains are designed to pay attention to things that are new. And that’s part of our built in survival mechanism that goes back 1000s and 1000s of years. And when you have cliches, cliches, whether it’s words, or whether it’s visual imagery, we tend to just skip them. Because we have to do that, you know, that’s, that’s part of how we, we keep saying is if you took attention to every bit of inward piece of information, right? Could be sound, touch, sight, whatever, you would go crazy. So your your brain is filtering information, and it will filter out the things that we’ve seen before. So I was complicated answer may be, but it’s a big question that you ask those? How do you do that, you know, being being memorable, being understood being able to get people’s attention. These are all sort of core aspects. And we’ve got a sort of methodology of how we create that code pen bear competitive space, but then also, the competitive space. Methodology also includes how does the client take that and implement it, which is something that we’ve always felt has been forgotten? Yeah, sorry, that was a long answer.
Alastair McDermott 32:14
That was very, very interesting. Yeah. And it, you know, it fascinates me just how detailed you go into the kind of the inner workings of the brain and thinking about, you know, the psychology of that, and how the brain is actually working to, to process this. Now, I know that you also have a background in photography, you’re big into photography. And so I’m sure that that that comes into it, as well, as you think about the visuals.
Mark Edwards 32:41
Yeah, I mean, it just just to say on that point, because it’s a well observed point is that the OutSmart is a fantastic, well engineered accident. And actually, it was a combination, it’s a combination of my skills. Being in the software sector as a, as a photographer, I studied psychology. And my co founder, who’s Neil coming is who’s, who studied cognitive science, graphic design, and about communicating very complex ideas to people who have no idea about a particular subject, you know, doing it for some really big companies. And we just happen to meet by coincidence, and started to share ideas. And I explained about competitive space that I’d created on the boss equity, and how that added so much value to the companies we’ve worked with, that we said, is really something of value here, combining our skills, which are very complementary, we could make something we believe that is well, baiting.
Alastair McDermott 33:46
Fascinating. So if somebody’s listening to this, and is interested in, you know, in taking the concepts that you’ve spoken with them, and actually working them into their own business, making it work for them, do you have any, any tips or advice for somebody who wants to actually go button and implement that?
Mark Edwards 34:08
Yes, I would say and it’s, at its core, is always truth. And I think that a lot of communication that’s handled by by marketing parts of marketing people, and maybe salespeople. There is a certain cynicism, I think, from some people to say, you know, is, is that really the truth, but I think to build a really good competitive space, the message has to come from, from the core strength of your business. I think if you’re if you’re looking at your own business, it’s creating creating your own competitive space is hard. Doing it on your own business is even harder because you get so close to it. But you have to, you have to be able to sort of step outside and look objectively and say, what is our core strength. And then you have to understand a lot about about communication. But you I mean, we’ve written an article, just recently, people may be able to find it on my LinkedIn profile, and actually was talking about the difference between branding, strategic positioning and competitive space. But one point that was made was, so many companies, for instance, will say we’re highly professional. And then they push that out is it’s our professionalism. Well, that is not going to get you attention, that is not going to capture anybody’s attention. Unless your competitors are out there saying, with we’re fairly amateurish, but we’re gonna give it a good go. Yeah, that doesn’t happen. You know, being professional is a given. But get it. And I think one way, one tip I would give is, is to take those messages. And this is part of what we we deliver on when we create competitive space. It’s its core value propositions, messages, is to take the messages that you’ve currently got and reverse them and say, does the opposite sound ridiculous. And if it does, is often a good indication that what you’ve created is a given. You know, I mean, one that I see very often in the software sector, either as software software development company, or providing software solutions, or a company that is a services company, is they effectively say we’ve got this process. So does a serial killer, he has a process. So well, who hasn’t got a process? I have a process when I get up in the morning. I’m gonna sell it to anyone.
Alastair McDermott 36:49
Yeah, I do see this quite a bit. With we have the we have the best framework, or we have the best people. Yes. See that quite a lot in consulting. Yeah. And yeah, it’s like, everybody can claim that, you know, yeah, and for almost nobody. It’s true. You know, because there is only one best framework, and there is only one best people, you know, yeah. So yeah, I think I think
Mark Edwards 37:17
there’s an image. So we talked about, we’re talking about visual images, the way that visual image can communicate. So I said that there was this article, which you can find on my LinkedIn profile. And there’s that we’ve got an image of a herd of zebra. All the same sign. I’m professional. No, I’m really professional. No, I’m more professional than him. All bleating the same. Yeah, that communicates exactly what that does. Yeah, yeah. Which is nothing. achieve anything.
Alastair McDermott 37:48
So do you have any resources that can help people with this? Apart from the LinkedIn article, which I’ll find a link in the show notes?
Mark Edwards 37:57
Good question, actually. And we are we’ve got Yes, we have. So first of all, we’ve got what we call the competitive space pathway. And you’d need to email us for that at the moment. But we’re also in the process of creating an online assessment for organizations to be able to say, you know, have we created competitive space? And is there an opportunity for us and through a series of questions, it will be able to give them some feedback and give them the report as to, you know, the opportunity within their particular sector. So if you go onto the outsmart website, which is our smart strategy.com, mentioned this podcast, and we’ll make sure that you’re one of the first people to receive that information, we’ll send you the pathway. The pathway is a visual representation of competitive space, but it’s got it’s got some audio that you can listen to which explaining different aspects. There’s some visuals, there’s some articles, and hopefully should find it interesting.
Alastair McDermott 39:04
Awesome. Okay. We’ll link to that in the show notes as well to the website. There’s something I just want to ask you, because I know that you have a podcast, the bar set podcast, right? Yes. Is that audio or video or both?
Mark Edwards 39:17
It’s both. It’s both. It used to be just audio in the early days. But since just before COVID, we changed to video audio on YouTube or various
Alastair McDermott 39:30
different platforms. Yeah, I’m just interested in how you think because I know that you think a lot about communication, and how the brain processes things. How do you feel about audio only versus audio and video podcasts? But how do you like do you think one is better than the other thing one’s more important?
Mark Edwards 39:49
It’s an interesting question. i There are studies that say that if somebody is listening to an audio Oh, Usually, they pay more attention to the voice. And actually, they have a very good ability to be able to tell when when somebody is lying, because they’re cutting out one of the channels, which is the visual, and they’re listening. So that I mean, I don’t go on to the podcast a lie. So it doesn’t apply. In that case. I only did audio. And I think I felt most comfortable when I was just beginning as a podcaster. To do that audio, and I thought, I’ve just got to listen, I’ve just got to focus focus on what I’m saying, I don’t have to worry about the background, the lighting there. But when COVID came along, I did have some pressure to people saying you should make this visual. And I thought, well, let me set up a purpose part. I’ve got a photographic studio, part of that photographic studio where I do the podcast, and I’ll set up the lighting. I just turn everything on, and I’m ready to go. I think from a podcast perspective, I think that there are advantages, because you get the option. There are people that like to watch, and there are other people who just like to listen. And you can do either.
Alastair McDermott 41:11
Yeah, yeah, I think it’s really interesting. And there’s a couple of things that I’ve heard about this. One is that audio for some reason, if somebody listens to you over audio, they build up a stronger trust. Which is strange, because you’re getting less information.
Mark Edwards 41:28
But it might be late to that point about we we know when somebody’s being truthful or not. Yeah, well, maybe it’s actually because I know from the last conversation that we had, when I started talking to you, I liked the conversation because you will authentic, I’ve had people on boss, it doesn’t necessarily get published. But you know, all the recordings I do don’t necessarily get published, that they’re coming on, to present a version of themselves. That to me doesn’t come across as genuine. He I want somebody to come across and be themselves. That’s really important. And
Alastair McDermott 42:06
I think this actually goes back to something that you were talking about earlier, when you were talking about when you were talking about strategy, you were talking about that it has to it has to be true. It has to be aligned. I actually wrote down the word authentic back then. Because you’re in the middle of your monologue. So didn’t want to interrupt you. But that’s
Mark Edwards 42:24
people have accused me of many doing that many times my monologue.
Alastair McDermott 42:29
It was good monologue. So but yeah, I think authentic is the is the is the key word there. Is that like people can tell when you’re being authentic? So yeah, I find this just as a podcast or somebody producing content. As somebody who listens to podcasts. I find it really interesting how people consume them. We’re here on my short form podcast, and which is going to be a long, short form episode. That’s, that’s, that’s why because I want to have some episodes that are self contained that are for those shorter snippets. Now, other people want the longer, more conversational ones. So it’s really interesting how people process these things.
Mark Edwards 43:06
I think the point that you make about when it’s audio that you get you build up greater trust, and maybe that relates back to that point in is that people are saying, I can tell this guy has been authentic, we are more attuned to being able to spot that. Yeah, that’s interesting point. I’ve not really thought of it, but it’s quite likely.
Alastair McDermott 43:29
So I do have to move on. Because we’re coming up on time. Is there a business book or resource that’s been important for you or that you’d recommend?
Mark Edwards 43:37
The first book that came comes to mind is the power of simplicity, which was published probably back in the 1980s. And I’m reaching a bit for the, it was the co author who worked with Al Ries and Jack trout, Jack trout. That’s it. I think that’s a fantastic book. I’ve read many, many books years ago, and I spent a lot of time on the road. I used to have audiobooks as well. So many, many. So that one sticks in my mind. And yeah, I think that’s worth reading.
Alastair McDermott 44:13
Yeah, he’s also one of the co authors, I think, probably we’re gonna be talking about the the book or positioning. Yes. Is on my bookshelf. And behind me, that’s, that’s like a blessing for
Mark Edwards 44:23
anybody in marketing. Yeah,
Alastair McDermott 44:25
yeah, absolutely. What’s the number one tip that you would give to somebody who wants to accelerate their authority?
Mark Edwards 44:33
Be authentic. Be genuine. Tell the truth, when even that truth may not be exactly what your client wants to hear. And sometimes they may it may scare them away. I appreciate that. On my podcasts, or maybe my initial calls when we go through that sort of initial getting to know know each other stage, I may say things or may behave in a way that my client doesn’t like, or my prospective client doesn’t like. But I think that’s fine, too. I think whatever you do be authentic and don’t become part of what I see now happens is that the Internet ECHO, which is everyone consuming lots and lots of YouTube videos from experts. And it just becomes regurgitated information. I, you know, I will listen to things, but I’ll listen to somebody if I believe they’ve actually got that experience. When I see 20 year olds, talking about how to make a software company successful, I think, how many have you really done, you know, how much could you possibly have done in that time, or if you just consumed a lot of YouTube videos and tried to turn that into a course. And that goes on a lot. And and the other thing is, don’t trust anybody who has a baseball cap on back to front, because actually, it’s an IQ knob. And the further it is twisted from around the front, the lower the IQ.
Alastair McDermott 46:13
I love it. I love it. Thank you so much Mark for coming on the show. Where can people find you if they want to learn more?
Mark Edwards 46:20
Go to outsmart strategy.com or find me on LinkedIn. There might be a bit harder because it’s not an uncommon name market. Will I will have a little bit once Yeah, that’d be great but outsmart strategy.com be great. Link link to me. And give me some feedback on on this podcast may be
Alastair McDermott 46:40
awesome. And also check out the boss at podcast.
Mark Edwards 46:44
Yes, yes, please do was always well,
Alastair McDermott 46:47
thank you so much for being with us today.
Mark Edwards 46:50
Thank you very much. I enjoyed the call. It’s good to be on it.