book, people, clients, referral, podcast, write, business, talk, bit, authority, alastair, tool, outline, person, asset, expert, conversation, read, minutes, author
Alastair McDermott, Voiceover, Steve Gordon
Steve Gordon 00:00
Instead of being introduced as someone who is there to sell something to the referred prospect, you get introduced and start the relationship as the one who wrote the book.
Welcome to The Recognized Authority, a podcast that helps specialized consultants and domain experts on your journey to become known as an authority in your field. So you can increase your reach, have more impact, and work with great clients. Here’s your host, Alastair McDermott.
Alastair McDermott 00:28
Before we get into today’s episode, I just want to let you know about a mastermind group that we’re running called authority labs. It’s for independent consultants and experts who are looking for coaching, accountability and peer support on your journey to authority. So if you’re a consultant or expert, and you’re working to position yourself, build your authority, grow your income, and you’d like to have an accountability and support group around you, then this might be the right group for you. So the cohort is starting in the next month, there’s going to be a group call every two weeks, and the numbers will be limited to a maximum of six for this cohort. So you get a lot of my time and attention. If you’d like to know more about this, visit the link in the show notes, or go to the recognized authority.com/group. Thanks for listening and on with the show. So today, my guest is Steve Gordon. And I’m really delighted to have Steve on the show because I’d be listening to his podcast. And also, my friend Alistair McBride is in one of his groups, his book writing groups. And I know that Steve is a really good guy. So I’m delighted to have him here today. So he is a two time entrepreneur, best selling author of five books, including unstoppable referrals. And we’ll talk a little bit about referrals in a minute, his latest book, The magnetic author method, he’s interviewed over 185 entrepreneurs on the unstoppable CEO podcast. And he and his team help smart entrepreneurs go from being the best kept secret in their industry, to being the guy who wrote the book in 30 days. I love that. And I love the way you phrase that as well. So welcome to the show, Steve.
Steve Gordon 02:02
Hey, great to be here. Alastair? Thanks so much for having me.
Alastair McDermott 02:05
Yeah. So let’s talk about, oh, we got so many different things here we can talk about, but let’s talk about referrals first, because you and I had a brief chat about what referrals actually means. And we may have a different take on this. So let’s try and dig into this a little bit. Can you talk about how you would define referral in context what we were talking about?
Steve Gordon 02:26
Sure. So for for me, well, let’s, let’s talk for a minute first about the the traditional definition of referral. Okay, the traditional definition of referral is someone that you know, has gone to someone that they know, and they’ve taken them by the hand, and they’ve brought them by the hand, one, one hand, they’re holding the other hand, they’ve made sure that the person has their wallet, and they bring them to you. And they say, Here, give this guy money. And yeah, it might happen a little differently than that. But for the most part, what we’re expecting is someone who is ready to buy and pre sold. And those are fantastic, I love getting those kinds of referrals. I just got one the other day, it’s they make my day, my definition has expanded a little bit over time, because I found that it was harder and harder to engineer, that kind of, of very direct, very complete referral on a consistent basis. Because my clients are busy. They’re, they’re not thinking about me all the time, because they got their own stuff that most of them are running businesses, right. So it was very hard to engineer that. But I knew they knew people that I could help. And a lot of times what holds people back from making that kind of very direct, very intimate referral is that they don’t know if the other person is a fit, right, because they haven’t had the conversation with them to really dig into that. And they’re not going to on your behalf most of the time, it’s going to be one of those things like if it comes up, they’ll mention you. And so the way to be a little bit more proactive about it, what we’ve kind of ultimately come to is that I want to be able to go to my clients to the people in my network, and give them a tool to introduce me so that they don’t have to know ahead of time that that person has a need. And so on LinkedIn, you and I had a an exchange where you’re saying, aren’t you really talking about an inbound leads? Well, sort of. But we’re talking about an inbound lead that’s coming from a recommendation from somebody that they know, not just randomly from an ad or a blog post or something like that. So it’s, it’s sort of this hybrid thing. So that’s what I really look for in a referral. Yeah, I want the ones that are ready to buy that are brought by the hand by my best client, and I get those no matter what. But I also want to be able to expand the universe out and say, Well, who else do you know, let me see if I can give you a tool that will make you look like a hero and really help a whole bunch of people whether they do business with me or not, and the ones that really need me will now on your recommendation come and work with me. And I think that’s a referral.
Alastair McDermott 05:07
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Can you talk about that tool for for a minute? What like, what do you see that like, what is that?
Steve Gordon 05:13
So when I, when I wrote unstoppable referrals, it’s been eight years now. So that was 2014. I called it a referral kit. And at the time, we were using a number of different tools. So what we were doing is we were taking the expertise of the business, typically of the business owner, and taking their best ideas about how they’d help people. And we were packaging that. So instead of putting it in the most expensive package possible, which is the business owner themselves, because it’s expensive to get that person around and in front of somebody to share the idea, we would package it up, sometimes we put it on an audio CD, sometimes we put it in a book, sometimes in a report, sometimes in a webinar. And you know, back then we thought, well, all of these formats tend to work and they all have worked. But what I’ve kind of come to over the last eight years is that the one that works the best, and the one that you really should focus on is a book. And, and the reason is simple. It positions you better than anything else as the leading authority in the industry.
Alastair McDermott 06:17
Yeah, I don’t disagree with that. That’s for sure. Yeah. So okay. So the tool that you’re using to help people give you referrals. So you’re thinking of books and podcasts, as as these types of tools? Yeah.
Steve Gordon 06:34
Primarily books for that. So we use a podcast a little bit differently, we use a podcast as a tool to connect with people who have in their network and their audience, the type of prospects that you want to be in front of. So one is the network expansion tool. And the other one is a way to be referred and the book is the way to be referred.
Alastair McDermott 06:54
Can you talk about how you use the book as a tool to be referred like, like you talking about giving this, like giving a copy of the book to people in your network and say, Hey, if you meet somebody who needs somebody like me, you know, handing my book is that literally how you do it?
Steve Gordon 07:09
Well, you could do it that way, it probably wouldn’t work very well, what you’d end up with is a bunch of copies of books driving around town in the back of people’s cars. And what we recommend is, is waiting for an opportune time. So the best time to have the referral conversation is any point where a client expresses gratitude, okay, partners are a little bit different. But with clients, anytime they express gratitude for what you’ve done for them, that’s the perfect time to have the referral conversation. And we call it the value conversation. And it sounds a little bit like this. So I might come to you and say, Alastair, I’m so glad that that, you know, if we’d worked together, let’s say on writing a book, I’m so glad you finally got your book out amazing to hear all the great response you’re getting from it. You know that I’m on a mission to help as many people as I possibly can get their book written so that they can build their business, they can attract clients, they’ll be seen as the number one authority in their industry. And that’s why I wrote my latest book, The magnetic author method, and I would love to sit down with you for 1520 minutes and brainstorm. Who in your world who in your network would really benefit from getting a copy of the book? And I’d love to send it to him as a gift from you. What do you say?
Alastair McDermott 08:26
Wow, right. Okay. That’s, that’s an interesting approach. Yeah. So you’re saying to them, I’m going to gift anybody you think would find this useful? A copy of my book, and it’s coming from you as a gift? Yeah, that’s really clever. So I see how it’s a tool for you to use like that. That’s really cool.
Steve Gordon 08:43
And now you have the great advantage of instead of being introduced as someone who is there to sell something to the referred prospect, you get introduced and start the relationship as the one who wrote the book.
Alastair McDermott 08:58
Yeah, I think that’s gold. I think, I think anybody who has a book can already just take this and use the script you’ve just given us and and use that. Yeah. Very cool. Okay. So let’s, let’s talk a little bit about the book then. Because you’re you’re actually helping people to write the book. So obviously, you’re helping them to write a book that actually helps them to, to, you know, to use this process in the most efficient, effective way.
Steve Gordon 09:28
Yeah. And I was drugged, kicking and screaming to the point of helping people write books. I wrote unstoppable referrals. I talked about the value of having a book as one of the types of referral kits. And I said in the book, it was the gold standard. And it is. And so people would come to us and say, Well, this is great, but I don’t know how to write a book and you wrote a book, can you help me? And we would help people here in there, and we didn’t really have a system for it. But I had written that book in 30 days. It was the second can’t excuse me the third attempt at writing a book. And in fact, I was, I was talking with a buddy at the time. Ian Brodie. He’s a marketer in the UK and sharing this referral approach. And he’s like, you know, that’s really great. You want to come to a webinar for my audience and talk to them about that. So I did. And after the webinar is like, you know, this is like the first new approach to referrals. In decades, you should write a book about it. And little did I know, a little he know, actually, at the time that I had tried that year to write two books. And both of them went in the trash before I got to the third chapter. And so he tells me this, I’m like, okay, yeah, great here, here I go, again, if I’m going to try this, like, I’ve been completely unsuccessful at it. And that’s why I was so reluctant to try and help anybody else, because I hadn’t quite reverse engineered the process. But I knew that when I finally read unstoppable referrals that I’d figured something different out. And so it’s taken us now – the last – took us about six years to really unpack that. I had to write several more books, and really figure out what I was doing that allowed me to write them really fast. And then we started doing that for clients and refining that process and getting it to the point where, you know, now our clients are getting them done for the most part in about 90 days, you know, maybe about 30 days of dedicated writing. And then, you know, 30 days of, of getting it ready to publish and publishing it. And then about 30 days of promotion and launch.
Alastair McDermott 11:32
That’s, that’s really impressive. So I know him very well. I had Ian on. I think it was episode 59 of the show. We were talking about attention. So yeah, you can you can listen to that back. If this will probably be around episode 70. I’d say on the show. So about 10, 11 episodes, go you’ll find find my conversation with Ian Brodie, yeah.
Steve Gordon 11:53
He’s one of the smartest marketers that I know. And he’s awesome. Yeah,
Alastair McDermott 11:57
absolutely. I love it. I love his stuff. So okay, so you wrote this book in 30 days yourself, and you’re helping people to write books in 90 days? Can Can you share a little bit of that process? Like, what is what’s behind the curtain there? How are you actually writing that so quickly? Because most people think that books take years to write?
Steve Gordon 12:18
They do. And I did. For a long time. The thing that I’ve that I figured out in failing those first few times, is that the blinking cursor will kick your butt. If you show up to try and write the next piece of the book. And all you have in front of you is that blinking cursor. You’re doomed. And so right before I after I talked to Ian, before I wrote, started writing what became unstoppable referrals. I was listening to a podcast, I wish I could remember who it was I can’t I’ve gone back to look for it, I can’t find it. But it was an entrepreneur who said, you know, I’ve had all this success, you know, I get all these clients from my book. And here’s how I wrote it. And he walked through how he broke the book down. And what shocked me about that is that he broke it down into like a really excruciating level of detail. And, and I remember that interview said he did it in a day. Like he did this whole outline for the book in a day. And I’m like, Alright, I heard that I’d had the conversation with even told my wife, the following Saturday, I’m going in the office, I’m not coming out till I’ve got an outline, I’m finally going to get this done, I went in came out at four o’clock in the afternoon, after being in there since about six o’clock in the morning. And I had written an outline for the book. And the key was getting it down to a level of detail where to begin writing in the morning, every day for those 30 days. All I had to do was open up and look at the outline and answer the next little piece, you know, I’d broken it down into questions. And so I’d answer two or three questions, and I had half of the chapter. And I could do that 45 minutes or an hour and then close the laptop and go on with my day.
Alastair McDermott 14:03
So how granular is that outline you’re talking about? So
Steve Gordon 14:07
what I did then was a little bit different than what we do now. But But what I did then, is I broke the book into five parts, like five main kind of themes. Each theme had three chapters, each chapter had three main points. Each main point then had three questions that if you answered those questions rolled up and created the content for that main point. And and so it was it was pretty granular, you know, down to the sub page level in the book, but that made all the difference in the world.
Alastair McDermott 14:40
Yeah, I can see how that would. So how long of a book like how many words is that is that 35,000 Words 40 50,000 Words something like that. Like that would be a reasonably not a small business book, but it will be like an entry level I think business book for something that’s going to look substantial.
Steve Gordon 14:58
So My original book was 35 36,000 words, somewhere in that ballpark about 150 160 pages, what we teach our clients is to write a shorter book. And there’s a balance between having a book that is so thin that there’s no value, and having a book that’s going to take you forever, and also that looks like work for someone to read. And so what we want to really do, if we want to make an impact with it, it needs to be consumed. So we want to engineer that book for consumption and, and you’re not trying to necessarily become the next New York Times bestseller. Now those books are longer. That’s a particular format that the publishers require. But if we’re talking about a book that is going to go and create authority for you in the marketplace, and you’re not trying to be that international bestseller, or that New York Times bestseller, you need a book that is 100 pages to maybe 150 pages tops, okay. And that’s 15-20,000 words to about 30-35,000 words on the high end. And you want to follow a particular format. So what I found is that most of the best clients aren’t interested in, they aren’t interested in learning exactly how to do what you do, they don’t want to be you, if you’re an expert, they want to understand what’s possible for them. And they want to trust that you have a proven process, and they want to see a demonstration of it. And so where I where a lot of experts get caught up as they think I’ve got to write everything I do down and on. Now I’m going to have this 500 page book, and then no one will ever need to hire me because I will have told them how to do it all all the secret sauce will, will be out. And I think that’s just a really, really dangerous assumption.
Alastair McDermott 16:41
Yeah, on the, you know, the secret sauce thing. I think that that’s one one kind of myth that people need to bust. Like I say this all the time, you know, I know exactly what type of engine oil I need for my car, I know that I need, you know, seven and a half liters of five w 40. Or whatever it is, I know where the some note is to drain the engine oil, I know that I need to get the front of the car up on blocks are Jackalope or whatever, I know how to do all of that I know where the oil filter is, I know the type of oil filter that it needs, I’m still going to drive to the shop and get somebody else to do that. Because I don’t want to hurt myself, I don’t want to have to dispose of seven liters of used motor oil, I don’t want to get dirty, I don’t want to, you know, I don’t want to waste my time. I don’t want to make a mistake. I don’t want to break the car accidentally. But it would be really nice to see something that shows that the person who I’m hiring for that knows how to do it. And if I see a video on their website saying, here’s how you do this, and then I know how to I know that they know how to do it. So exactly. So. So that’s I think that’s the key thing to you know, revealing the secret sauce, or you know how you do things, because some people will go along and do it themselves, but they were never going to be your client in the first place. So absolutely. I think revealing all of your secrets, and showing people how to do things. I think there’s no real downside to that.
Steve Gordon 18:04
No, in fact, I think if you’re in an intangible business, if you’re a consultant or an expert, somebody that sells your expertise, I think it’s a secret weapon to be able to bring it out and demonstrate it. So I often use the analogy of the deli, you go to the deli, and they’ll give you a sample of cheese or ham or whatever. Right? That’s the best sales tool they have. Because once you taste it, you’re like, oh, yeah, okay, I want to take that home with me, right. But as, as an expert, who does really complicated and intangible things for people, you don’t have a way to let them sample ahead of time, a book is a great way to put it out there. And allow them to experience a little bit of what it would be like to work with you because they’re interacting with your thinking, which is what you’re really selling them. And they’re they’re able to see that through the book.
Alastair McDermott 18:57
Yeah. Can you talk a little bit about? Because I think there’s a bit of nuance in what you said there, you know that it’s a demonstration of of the process, rather than showing them exactly how to do things. Can you talk about like what like the way that people traditionally did it? And then the way that you do it?
Steve Gordon 19:13
Well, so yeah, the way I like to kind of draw the contrast is the difference between transformation and textbook. And we actually had a client who came to us he had already written his book, and he came to us for help marketing the book several years ago, and I mean, this guy was a true expert. He had combined, you know, engineering and sales in a really unique way. That was very, very effective for the organizations that that implemented his ideas, but he’d written this book and the book was fantastic. It had won awards. And he had this award winning book and he was frustrated because he just wasn’t getting clients but he had written a 400 page textbook on how to do this. And he was trying to get that in front of decision makers who had you know in sales you had In no time, and they didn’t want a technical book they needed, they needed something so that they could understand, here’s where here’s where you are, if you’re at this starting point, you’re probably a good fit for this method. And if you want to go to this ending point, the method will get you there. And in between is where you demonstrate your expertise, and you show them. Here are the steps of the maca method, I call it the unique mechanism. Or sometimes in presentations, I like to call it the yellow brick road. Like if we, you know, if we land in, you know, for Dorothy, and I’m dating myself now because this movie is getting a little bit old, but the Wizard of Oz, you know, Dorothy lands in, you know, Munchkin land, and she wants to go home and they say, Well, you have to go see the Wizard, and he’s an AWS. Well, how do you get there, you follow the yellow brick road? Okay, because at the end of the Yellow Brick Road is oz. And that’s where all of your dreams come true. That’s what that’s the storyline for your book.
Alastair McDermott 20:53
Right? So does that mean that that somebody can pick up? Like, I’m just thinking somebody picks up this book? And can they take that and, you know, get that transformation themselves? Without talking to you as the author? I mean, is it still a standalone book in that way?
Steve Gordon 21:08
Oh, absolutely. So you could take a great example is is my podcast prospecting book, where we talk about how to use a podcast and a book together to drive referrals and grow your network. And you can take that book, and it gives you enough of the process where you’re going to be able to go and do it, but does it tell you how to set up a podcast, and all the technical details, we’ll know that that wasn’t the goal, it was really to share with you a strategy that if you decide to use a podcast, here’s how we transform, because there’s plenty of other resources out there. For that sort of thing. We tried to get across the most important and most captivating ideas, not the technical nitty gritty. And that’s the distinction.
Alastair McDermott 21:48
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I’m fascinated by this approach to book writing. And I can see how, you know, starting from, from, from the results, and using it as the as the referral tool, and then, you know, writing it in that way, and and writing it very, in a very efficient way as well. Can people like, I still feel this mental resistance that 90 day number? How are people actually managing to do that in 90 days, when they’re working with you? Like, are they were they writing every every morning? To they have a word count every day? How do people find the time to do that?
Steve Gordon 22:23
Well, what I tell all of our clients is, if you’ll come in and follow the process, and you’ll write for 30 to 45 minutes a day. And in that time, most people can write about 500 words. So if you have an outline structured, the way that we teach them to structure it, they should be able to get in write about 500 words in 30 to 45 minutes. And they’re done for the day, if they want to do more than that great. Well, if you write 500 words, for 30 days, you have a 15,000 word book. Now, some people want to go beyond that. And we’ll have more and they take a little bit longer, but that’s okay, that’s just a function of the length of the book that they want to write. But you know, that that’s kind of how we approach it. And, and you have to break the it’s a big project to write a book, you have to break it down in these little chunks that that are easy to do. Otherwise, it’s just too daunting.
Alastair McDermott 23:16
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I love that. Okay, is there anything that is there any other tricks or techniques that you’re using in that book writing process, that are different from how people are approaching it normally?
Steve Gordon 23:28
Well, you know, a lot of the clients that come to us may not have a marketing background. And so they think about structuring their book, and they often will start with a solution. They want to like lead with what they do upfront, because that’s what’s top of mind for them. And so we coach all of our clients to actually build a persuasive structure into the book. So that it’s, it’s designed not only to take the reader on that transformation, but to set it up in a way that their brain is actually going to process it. Right. We, we don’t walk around all the time, looking for solutions, we walk around all the time looking for problems to avoid, or thinking about the problems that we have. And only then when we identify a problem, do we look for a solution, right? And so you need to structure your book that way. And for a lot of our authors, that’s a bit of a surprise at first. So we, you know, we want to make sure that they’re addressing the main pain point or the problem or the lost opportunity that their their clients face and then get into their solution.
Alastair McDermott 24:31
Yeah, so and this goes back to a formula I’ve mentioned before, which is pain dream fix, which is an old Well, it’s an old copywriters kind of formula for for formatting sales pages, where you talk about the pain first the problem, and then you talk about the dream was to the desired future state. And then the fix is, this is how to get there. So is it something like that you’re talking about?
Steve Gordon 24:54
Yeah, very much like that. You know, and we’ve got specific structures and formulas for For example, the introduction and the conclusion, because people often will get stuck on that. Wow. Okay, how do I start this off? Well here, answer these four questions. And that’ll get you a great introduction answer these three questions, you’ll have a great conclusion. And the other thing that we’ve noticed over the years is that as we’ve done these books, for clients, there are there are patterns within chapters that tend to work very well. And so now we’re rolling out these patterns so that even for, you know, people who’ve got their book outline, they can just look at and say, Okay, well, I want to use the, you know, one of the patterns we use is, what is it? Why is it important? What’s the impact? You know, there’s a really simple three step pattern you can use inside any chapter. And we’re developing more and more of these just to make the whole process really easy, because the hard part, again, is that blank page, you know, if I’ve got somebody who’s really great at what they do, and I can give them a structure to hang their expertise on, they’re going to write that book in record time. But if I bring them in, and I give them a blank page and say, off you go, they’re just going to be lost.
Alastair McDermott 26:09
Yeah, absolutely. I’ve been there. Yeah. So and it’s the same actually, with, with planning any kind of content, I think, if you’ve got some kind of outline or framework to start with, you’re going to be in a much better place. What’s the biggest mistake you see people making, when they when they try and do this when they try and write a book,
Steve Gordon 26:25
biggest mistake is trying to do it on their own. And, you know, I maybe that sounds a little self serving, but I’ve talked to so many people who have tried to write a book multiple times, and they just never could get it done. And they’ve, they’ve missed out on all of the growth that happens. Once you enter the author’s club, you know, they, it’s just a shame, like one of our best clients has now written three books with us. He waited 27 years of his career to write his first book. And now that he’s got his 33, record setting years in a row. And, you know, the, the impact that a book can have is dramatic. And it’s hard to understand until you do it, but I love the first few calls I’ll get from a client after they put their book out. And they’re like, oh, you know, I got a client, who’s in the insurance business. He’s the number one consultant for insurance agencies in the US. And then he was at his gym, talking with the owner of the gym, just small talk and saying, Yeah, you know, we were really excited to just just publish our book. And somebody ever heard that and said, Oh, wow, you wrote a book. What’s it about? He’s like, Oh, you wouldn’t be interested, it’s about insurance stuff? Well, no, I really wouldn’t be interested. I’m in insurance. And like that, he’s in conversation with somebody that that person turned out not to be a great fit for a client, but the reaction that you get, and the adulation that you get from your clients, from people in your network, that spreads that excitement gets them wanting to share you, because you’re somebody who’s moving in the world, somebody who is, is doing something that they probably wish that they had the guts to do.
Alastair McDermott 28:09
Yeah, and I think part of part of what your clients are seeing is the fact that you’re talking to them about how to specifically use it as a tool to get those referrals, like he talked about at the start, because I think that a lot of authors aren’t aren’t doing that. And, you know, I think that that’s probably a major part of that as well. Because, you know, I know people like, like, I have self published a book. And I have a commercially published free book, which I’m not sure if it really counts. It’s a free ebook. And I’m working on writing a commercially, a book that will be commercially published. And that’s something I’m working on. And so I’m very conscious about all of this, what, what you’re talking about my personal lack of progress, as we talk, but that, you know, that marketing part afterwards, and I love the way you’re talking about, you know, giving it away as a gift. Because, you know, for, for most people, I think you’re listening to this to this podcast, the value of a single client would far outweigh the the cost of actually distributing that book, to DOE to clients for free. And so I think that that’s where where it gets really interesting is where you start to do things like that. But I know there are also people who are making very good living, like, for example, I know Mark Schaefer was on the podcast a few episodes ago. And he makes very, very significant amounts of money from his podcast, he was talking about, oh, sorry, from his books, he was talking about six figures worth of sales. So you know, you can go that way as well. But I think that that what you were talking about here, using it as a tool in that way, and that kind of reaction that you’re talking about, but that could have a very positive impact. So you talked about some of the other effects, some of the other kind of impact of having a book is there anything else that you know, any other benefits? I mean, you literally get introduced as he’s the guy who wrote the book on this think that’s a huge thing?
Steve Gordon 30:01
Well, so a book is A is an asset, right? So there’s all kinds of, of, there’s more information about marketing today than there’s ever been in history. You can’t go on YouTube or LinkedIn, or Facebook or Twitter or anywhere without running into somebody with some new, shiny approach to marketing your business. And those are all great, but for the most part, they’re tactics, a book is an asset. And, you know, I’ve got my books on the shelf behind me. Eight years ago, I wrote the first one and published it, we still get clients from that book every month, it has staying power, that’s what I mean, when I say it’s an asset, it’s something that you invest in, that is going to pay dividends for you for a very long time. And you then can use it to maximize the effectiveness of any marketing tactic that you use. So, you know, we teach clients how to use their book, from a referral perspective, and for probably about 80% of our clients, that’s all they ever need, you know, if they’re in a high ticket, sort of expertise business, and they’re only looking for the, you know, that right, you know, two to 10 clients a month, they don’t need ever to do anything more than have the book and use the referral process. Life is easy, they never have to worry about ads, or much anything else. But, but there are plenty of other tactics. So you know, we use advertising, with our books, we use direct mail, you know, we use podcasts, all kinds of other different tactics to get the word out about the book. But it’s so much easier to show up and promote the book than show up and, you know, promote myself or my business, you know, because people like to get books. So it’s, it’s just an easier thing, I think, to bring into your marketing and really maximize anything that you’re doing.
Alastair McDermott 31:57
Yeah. And nobody ever wants to throw out a book. You know, there’s no lettings. You can give somebody but but they’ll never throw out a book.
Steve Gordon 32:04
Yeah. You know, I learned that I learned about the real estate value of a book. A couple years after I published unstoppable referrals. There was a guy in the UK who booked a time on my calendar, and we get on a sales call. And he said, I’m a little bit embarrassed. I have your book, I’ve never read it. And he said was given to me as a gift. I’ve had it for about two years. It’s been sitting on my nightstand. I look at it at night, and I look at it in the morning when I wake up. And I’ve had every intention of reading it. But never going to read it. I know that now. But I need what it says on the cover and your name is there. Your website was there. You’re my guy, and easiest sale I ever made. And he never read the book. But the book owned a little five and a half by eight and a half inch square real estate on his nightstand. And he looked at that every day.
Alastair McDermott 32:56
Yeah, that’s that’s just incredible. Repetition and the power of advertising and everything. That Yeah. Okay, you talk there about using podcasts to promote books. And I’m interested in that part, in part because I’m a podcaster, who will have a book to promote. So can you can you give me some of your some of your thoughts on how to do that?
Steve Gordon 33:17
Yeah, so a podcast is the very best networking and connection tool that I have ever found. I used to do loads of networking, when, you know, I was a little local consulting firm here in Florida. And I probably spent eight or 10 hours a week networking because I thought that was what would really work. And it did work to a degree but boy, was it expensive from a time perspective. And have you ever done a lot of that kind of networking you meet at a coffee shop or you have a lunch? So you ever had the experience where you’re at the coffee shop and the other person comes in like a little flustered and hurried? Because they’re five minutes late for your meeting? And they sit down? Is that ever happened?
Alastair McDermott 34:01
It probably has I started to cut those meetings out because I realized about two years into my business, what an absolute waste of time it was probably this exact situation.
Steve Gordon 34:13
Yeah, exactly. And so you know, you’d have a conversation and maybe you you’d end that with some, you know, some mutual statement of Oh, yeah, well, let’s, let’s help each other out. Let’s refer one another and then immediately that person enters the witness protection program, never to be heard from again. And, you know, I found in that I was helping refer people to all these folks that I met, wasn’t getting a lot in return. I was okay with that. Because I believed that you know, you give to give, but it just wasn’t a productive use of time. And so then I started a podcast, and I found that I was able to actually connect with strategic relationships, people that actually wouldn’t necessarily be Lucky to bump into a potential client, but who actually had a whole bunch of potential clients already in their network. And because I had a podcast, I had this media platform that I could invite them to, I could give value in that way first. And the other thing that happened is they didn’t show up late, they didn’t show up hurried, they didn’t show up stressed, when they came to the podcast interview, because we were promoting them, and they were buttoned up and their absolute best selves. And, you know, I showed up as my best self too, because I was on camera or on audio, and I came ready to perform, we both did, the energy that’s generated out of that is incredible, you’ve probably experienced this, yet,
Alastair McDermott 35:45
you have a different relationship with somebody because you’ve spoken to them for an hour in front of an audience. It’s like right now that the audience is just this virtual concept. But there will be people listening to us at some point. And at this point of the podcast, probably about 400 listeners, for this episode, I would guess, in the first in the first two or three months. And so I envisage this as we’re speaking in this kind of panel, a panel discussion or panel conversation, in the front of a room of 400 people, and which is a great privilege for us. But it also it, it does, there’s a certain energy to that. And, you know, you get to know that the person quite well, and you have a connection,
Steve Gordon 36:28
you do, you absolutely do. So we’ll we’ll turn off the recording at some point. And, you know, we’ve had this conversation and, and, you know, from my end of it as a guest today, which is, you know, I told you, it’s hard for me to, to be the guest. So I just go into interviewer mode, because I’ve done it for so long. But as the guest, you’ve now spent the last I don’t know how long we’ve been recording at this point. But however long, 2030 minutes, 40 minutes, doing nothing, but highlighting my expertise. So I feel amazing, like I am, and I’m like you’re now at the top of my list at the moment of relationships, because we’ve just done this, right. And so it’s a great way to start relationships that allows you to give value first and do it in a really easy way, the byproduct of which is this great recording that you can now use to go nurture all of your prospects, and your clients and your partners, and they begin to see you as a leader as an authority, because you’re the one that’s orchestrating all of these great guests. You’re the the constant in it. So that’s the byproduct. So I used it as a cheat to get all of my marketing done. Because before this, I was writing a daily email newsletter, and let me tell you, that’s a grind. But doing a podcast is a piece of cake because I get to make friends, get to interview people. And then at the end of the interview, if there’s a fit, if you like the person they seem to like you, then you can have that value conversation, you say, Look, you know, this has been really great. Thank you for coming and giving so much value to my audience would, would I be able to repay you in any way I have a book? I would love to share that with your audience, we could give it to them? Would you be open to that? And quite often that guests will go, yeah, that’d be great. How can we do that, or it will lead to other deeper collaborations. So the podcast is the thing that you use to expand your network, and to get all of your marketing done in a very short amount of time on your content created. And you’re building these relationships that then can turn into really great long term referral partnerships where people will share your book.
Alastair McDermott 38:35
Yeah, I mean, I’m totally sold on this, because I have a podcast and I’m working on I’m working on a book, which is how to put it more targeted to what I’m doing. I did write a few years ago, I did write a book about WordPress, and I’m no longer in that area. And so I don’t really promote that. And it’s now out of print. And I’ve no really interest in. And also, because of the way technology works. It’s also out of date, the content is out of date. And so. So I’m currently working on a book, I’m talking to you on a podcast. So like I am bought in on this totally. And so for anybody listening to this, I think that these are two kind of key pillars to authority, writing a book, and podcasting. And yeah, so I’m with you all the way there, Steve.
Steve Gordon 39:23
Well, the other thing that is important to note about it is that they’re both easy. Now, you might not think that at the beginning, but you know, writing a book, in our process is, you know, 30 days of getting the writing done. And we’re actually now experimenting with some artificial intelligence tools to help even make that easier. So we’ve taken all the hard work out of that, but you get the thing done, and now you’ve got this forever asset to use. Well, now you pair that with a podcast. podcast is the absolute easiest way, as I said to connect with people and get all your marketing done. And so instead of running around and trying to do it million different shiny things. You do these two things, and it really takes care of everything that you need.
Alastair McDermott 40:05
Yeah, yeah. Well, we’re going to run out of time soon. So I have to move on. But I now live talk to you about this stuff. And like, I’m on the same page with you. 100%. Let me see, I think I already know the answer to this. But I gotta ask the question anyway. What’s your number one tip for people who want to build their own authority?
Steve Gordon 40:25
Write a book, write a book? Yeah. So
Alastair McDermott 40:28
I think that was that was going to be a pretty obvious one for most people. Can you tell us? Is there a business value that you’ve experienced? How did you get through it? What did you learn from it?
Steve Gordon 40:38
Yeah, I, my first business, which was an engineering technical company, here in the US, we hit the 2008 2009 real estate challenge. And most of our clients were in real estate. And we went from being a multimillion dollar company to being a, you know, barely mid six figure company. And in about six months time, 90% of our clients shut down operations or went out of business completely in six months. And we were prepared for a pretty rough time back, then we knew that things were going to be bad and things were coming, but never imagined that it was going to get as bad as it did as fast as it did. Were stay that way that long. And so, you know, shutting that business down. And thankfully, you know, the business itself didn’t have to, you know, go through any kind of difficult process to do that. But shutting it down and having to let people go and liquidating the assets, and all of that hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
Alastair McDermott 41:44
Yeah. What was there anything that you could have done that could have changed things? Was there any? Like, was there anything in hindsight that you could have improved?
Steve Gordon 41:51
Probably, yeah. I mean, there. So we, so the way that in that business that you sort of hedge your bets, is you make sure you have some private sector work, and you make sure you have some government contracts. And we did, we were about 5050, what I did not account for was the source of the money for the government contracts. So the real estate market crashed, and the bond market in the US crashed. And the source of funding for all of our government contracts was a series of state issued state of Florida, who was our client would would sell these bonds, these debt, basically, people would buy the bonds on the bond market. And that funded all of the contracts like ours. And when Lehman Brothers crashed, in Oh, nine, I’ll never forget hearing it on the radio. And I didn’t quite understand the connection at that point. But I learned pretty quickly, everything, everything shut down. And so the thing that was our hedge, because I didn’t follow the money far enough and didn’t foresee that the bond market would crash. And I, you know, I beat myself up about that for a long time. But there were an awful lot of other people in the world that didn’t perceive that come in either. That’s really, that’s what put us in a position where there was there was no way out.
Alastair McDermott 43:08
Yeah, so you had you had a backup plan. You had a hedge? But I mean, who could have foreseen that failing as well. That’s, that’s when your backup drive fails, as well as your main dry?
Steve Gordon 43:20
Yeah. And you know, and we talked, before we started recording that you know, about talking about failure, you mentioned that maybe it’s a little more acceptable here in the states to do than in Ireland, where you are, it’s taken me almost a decade to be able to talk about that. And to deal with that, that failure. And I’ll tell you the the good that has come out of it, though, the confidence that I have in facing difficulty. So we’re, as we record this, we’re in a time of economic turmoil and potential challenge on the horizon. And I have a great deal of confidence now, because I was able to rebuild from that and rebuild relatively quickly. And I know now, because I’ve got 10 or 12 years more experience, that it will happen even faster, if I have to ever do it again. So, you know, good comes out of everything. You know, there is a point to suffering in life.
Alastair McDermott 44:18
Yeah, yeah. Well, I think, you know, we can learn from our failures, other people can learn from our failures and our mistakes, and they can be an asset, but thank you for sharing that as well. That’s really, really great to to, you know, that you share that with with us. Okay, I’m going to move on because I’m just weary of time here. On books, we’ve been talking a lot about books. Do you have a favorite business book that’s not your own? Do you have a favorite business book that you could tell us about? That has been important for you?
Steve Gordon 44:46
My favorite business business book is the Bible. And whether you’re religious or not, the principles in their will, if you follow them, they will lead you to business success. And so I always start there. My second is probably thinking Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. So those are the two that I go I read regularly.
Alastair McDermott 45:06
Cool. And nonfiction sorry, fiction
Steve Gordon 45:09
fiction. I wish I read more fiction. The last fiction I read was Harry Potter because my kids were reading it.
Alastair McDermott 45:18
Yeah, that’s like, I want an autograph from my kid. Right? Right. Yeah. So and like, Do you have any fiction? Or? Or if you’re not going to read, do you watch movies? Or is there any particular genre of TV that you watch?
Steve Gordon 45:33
We thankfully, I married a woman who loves sports. And so we watch an awful lot of sports. And so during American football season, college football during other times of the year, its premier league and lacrosse, which is an American sport that maybe I don’t know if that’s made it over to Europe yet. But
Alastair McDermott 45:54
what what what is that? Lacrosse? I think they do play it a bit. But it’s not it hasn’t taken off.
Steve Gordon 46:01
Yeah, it’s it’s growing really rapidly over here. But it’s, it’s still not widely played here. Even though it’s a native sport.
Alastair McDermott 46:09
Yeah, I’m a sports addict. And yeah, so I’ll watch anything that moves. And I’ll talk sports all day as well. So Oh, yeah, we better not get into that. Otherwise, we will be here all day. So is there any question I should have asked you that I didn’t. Oh, my
Steve Gordon 46:25
gosh, we talked about so much. I, you know, I can’t think of anything. We we covered an awful lot today.
Alastair McDermott 46:31
Awesome. Well, that’s, that’s a good sign. So okay, tell us where we can find out more where we can learn more.
Steve Gordon 46:40
Sure. So our main website is unstoppable. ceo.net. You can find the podcast there and, and all kinds of stuff, about 400 articles up on the site. But my my latest book, which is called the magnetic author method, is depending on when we go live here with the episode should be out and available. And you can find that at magnetic author book.com. And, and that really lays out our whole process. And so for folks who are listening, they can get that there. And they can find unstoppable referrals up on Amazon.
Alastair McDermott 47:19
Awesome. And I also recommend your podcast, I think it’s great, great for people to listen to so. So we didn’t get to all of those in the shownotes. Steve Gordon, thank you so much for being on the show.
Steve Gordon 47:29
This has been so much fun. Thanks for having me, Alastair.
Alastair McDermott 47:35
Thanks for listening, and a reminder about the mastermind group that we’re running called authority labs. It’s for independent consultants and experts who were looking for coaching, accountability and peer support on your journey to authority. So if you’re a consultant or expert, and you’re looking to position yourself, build your authority, grow your income, and you’d like to have accountability and a support group around you for that, then this might be the right group for you. So there’s a cohort starting in the next month, there’s going to be a group call every two weeks, and the numbers are going to be limited to a maximum of six for this cohort. So you’ll get a lot of my time and attention. So if you’d like to know more about that, please visit the link in the show notes or go to the recognized authority.com/group Thanks for listening.
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