148 FS How to Attract Clients Without Doing Sales with Jonathan Stark

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The panelists welcome back Jonathan Shank to talk about how to attract clients without doing sales.


[This episode is brought to you by Audible. Audible is the first place I go to keep my business skills sharp. They offer over 150,000 books on business, finance, planning and much more. They also have a great selection of fiction that keeps me entertained when I'm just not up for some serious content. I love it because I can buy a book, download it to my iPhone, and listen while running errands or at the gym. Get your free trial at freelancersshow.com/audible]**[This episode is brought to you by Code School. Code School offers interactive online courses in Ruby, JavaScript, HTML, CSS and iOS. Their courses are fun and interesting and include exercises for the student. To level up your development skills, go to freelancersshow.com/codeschool]****[This episode is brought to you by ProXPN. If you are out and about on public Wi-Fi, you never know who might be listening. With ProXPN, you no longer have to worry. ProXPN is a VPN solution which sends all of your traffic over a secure connection to one of their servers around the world. To sign up, go to ProXPN.com and use the promo code tmtcs (short for teach me to code screencasts) to get 10% off for life]****CHUCK: Hey everybody and welcome to episode 148 of the Freelancers’ Show. This week on our panel we have Reuven Lerner. REUVEN: Hey everyone. CHUCK: I’m Charles Max Wood from DevChat.tv and this week we have a special guest, Jonathan Stark. JONATHAN: Hello. CHUCK: Now Jonathan, we had you on a few months ago, but do want to introduce yourself anyway? JONATHAN: Yeah, absolutely. I am a mobile strategy consultant. I help retail brands thrive in a post-PC era but the reason why you guys are interested in having me on is because I also do mentoring and coaching for technical firms who are trying to basically grow their business. So we’ve talked in the past about ditching hourly billing and this week we are going to talk about how to attract clients without doing sales. CHUCK: Awesome. Now when you say how to attract clients without doing sales, are you talking about not doing marketing or are you talking about a different kind of sales process once you have a lead? JONATHAN: Good question. So of course everyone’s doing sales in a sense that they’re doing a transaction so there’s a sale, but I think the word that comes to mind when I talk to people about their fear of doing sales is the notion of doing cold calling, or an aggressive sales outreach, as opposed to what I’ll describe today which is more passive and will be certainly, extremely comfortable for anybody in the technical field. CHUCK: Gotcha. I’m just going to throw it out there; it seems a little bit almost too good to be true. JONATHAN:**I get that [chuckles]. So I’ll quickly say that it’s not the kind of thing you do overnight first of all. And second of all, that sort of aggressive cold calling sales thing doesn’t work for our kind of jobs anyway. It’s not like I’m saying, “Oh, doing cold calls is really effective but I know you don’t want to do it, so let’s do something more comfortable for you,” because cold calls don’t really work anyway when you’re trying to sell your expertise, because the balance of powers is completely wrong in the relationship if that’s how you’re beginning it. It’s the bad first foot forward.REUVEN: I’ll just say, a number of years ago probably like 10-15 years ago, I somehow was convinced, I don’t think people convinced me but I convinced myself, “I should get more clients. I should do cold calls.” I’ve heard it works, and I made some calls and I don’t know whether they were more confused or I was more uncomfortable. JONATHAN:[Chuckles].REUVEN:[Chuckles] Basically it was a lose-lose situation all around. And after ten of these calls, I realized this is a terrible way for me to be spending my time.JONATHAN: It doesn’t even make sense. REUVEN:[Chuckles] I just stopped right then and there. I’ve heard people able to succeed with this but I agree with what you’re saying; it doesn’t seem to make sense.**JONATHAN: Yeah. I can think of one example of an iOS shop that has – it’s like churn and burn type of thing where they do one off apps for people. At the time when I spoke with them, which is going back a year or two now; they had like three iOS developers and 16 sales people. And they just called all day until they landed someone. I’m not saying it doesn’t – it can I suppose get you clients, but they’re the worst kind of clients and they’re not the kind of clients that you’re ever going to – it’s just a horrible way to approach the stuff we do. And it’s probably not the kind of organization that anyone listening wants to build. I mean, do you really want your core expertise to be outnumbered staff-wise by sales people three to one? It’s a whole different kind of organization. CHUCK: Well, and it seems to me that if you’re doing cold calling I mean you’re really not short – you may find some people that wouldn’t have found otherwise but you’re not short circuiting any of the process. And you actually have to work harder to do the things that your marketing systems would have done for you because you have to manually lead people through it instead of having a system out there that does all that for you. JONATHAN: Agreed. So that goes back to your question of, “It sounds too good to be true.” It’s all hard work but I propose that there’s a better way to do it, which we can talk about today. I think most people that I talk to don’t really have – they’re not doing anything. They just stumble along by accidental word of mouth. I’m noticing more and more people getting a little bit better at capturing email addresses, doing lead generation and lead nurturing with marketing automation, and that’s definitely one of the tactics. But that sort of thing where – I think in the field that we’re in the end goal is to become the go-to person or the go-to agency for a particular thing. And what that means is – another way to put that is that you’ve generated an insane amount of trust in the audience around this thing you do. So for me it was culminated in me writing a really popular book. And once I did that, the phones just basically rings off the hook. Because once you’re the person that wrote the book on something, it’s almost like a meme, you can’t beat it. You can’t just go out write a book and have it be successful, there’s a whole series of steps that lead up to putting yourself in a position to get a book deal like that. REUVEN:**Okay, so I want in. What do I do [chuckles]?JONATHAN:[Chuckles] Great segue. So I broke this into – for the purposes of this conversation. I’m focusing mostly on the attract clients part, but a little bit of how to convert that into sales. So there are three main aspects to this and I’ll talk about each one in depth. And the first one is to pigeon hole yourself, which probably sounds counter intuitive but like I said, we’ll talk about it. Next thing is going to be I would want people to share their passion as much as possible. So that of course implies that you have a passion and you know what it is, and then share it as freely as you can and as far and wide as you can. And the third aspect to this is creating a product ladder on your site, where people can get into the habit of buying things from you. So the product ladder basically is maybe three or four items that start at a low price point, then work themselves up to a high price point. And they all hang together; they’re on the same topic. And you could almost think of them as – they’re not up sales really but they’re valuable versions of your expertise packaged up in some way. And as people start to hear about you and they have a lower trust level they can get in with the least expensive option. And then if you deliver on that and deliver value then it builds trust. And they hear more about you in the market place. Then it sort of has this virtuous cycle where they can ladder up your products. And when I say products, they could be products or productize services or high touch consulting services. So does that seem like a good overview? Are there any questions there?REUVEN: No that’s totally – that makes a lot of sense and is in line with the advice that I’ve heard and that I’ve been trying to get into practice over the last few months. And I’m starting to see the benefits, I haven’t quite gotten there, but I’m starting to see exactly how this works and why it’s so powerful. Do go on. JONATHAN: Okay, so step one is pigeon holing yourself and I purposely use that term because it sounds counter intuitive it seems. Like being pigeon holed is a bad thing, but in fact with the overwhelming amount of choice that everybody has now, that the internet is the marketplace or the web is everybody’s marketplace, you need to do everything you can to slot yourself into that little compartment in your prospective client’s heads. So they’ve got a need and you fit it. Even though, you’re over simplifying a million things, you still want to create a positioning statement that will pigeon hole you with a particular audience. Without doing this, none of the other things I’m going to talk about will work. So when we get to the sharing your passion part, and content marketing and all of those activities. None of it will work because if you haven’t specialized, focused down on a particular thing that you do for a particular audience of people. Then, as you do these marketing activities, they won’t slowly build on each other; they’ll just be all over the place. So the work you do today on a blog post will be wasted when six months later someone is considering buying one of your higher ticket items and they’re clicking through your site and these certain things don’t support their concept of the box they’ve put you in, in their head. We’ll get into that when we get into marketing. But Reuven, how would you characterize what it is that you do? When you meet somebody at a cocktail party, and they say, “Hey, nice to meet you,” what do you do? REUVEN: Right. So this has shifted a bit over the last few years because I used to say – I would say even two years ago, “Well, I do some development and I do some consulting and I do some training,” and they say’ “Oh in what?” And I say “I do it in Ruby and in Python, and in PostgreSQL.” And basically by the time I get through describing what I do, they’ve either fallen asleep or found someone more interesting or I have not described anything actually useful to them. JONATHAN:[Chuckles]**REUVEN: So through reading discussions, some of the discussions on the show, it’s become clear that choosing a niche is important. And so I’ve been moving more and more into the training area. So basically I do other things too but my main thing nowadays is I help people get better use out of certain open source technologies with a particular – this is Python nowadays. So I give lectures, I write books, I write blog posts, I give webinars on how you can use Python more effectively. JONATHAN: So in your shift, into focusing down a little bit have you noticed that it has created a bit of a gravitational pull for you, where people are just automatically coming to you for a particular thing? REUVEN: Increasingly, I’ve been a little hesitant to – I realize I need to rebrand my website to make that shift very obvious. I’m hesitant to do – because of business/political concerns. I do a lot of my training through a training company and I’m trying to break away from them, and they don’t want me advertising myself on my own yet. But literally in the next day or two I have a phone call set up with them that I’m going to be saying, “You know what, it’s been great, but I’m moving on to do things myself.” And at that point basically I’m going to switch my website to say, “You want to learn Python better? Come to me.” But even without that, even with just the blog post and the book, have definitely – look, Cisco called me and said we want two weeks every month through November from you to do training. And that’s a nice feeling. And basically I’ve run out of days in the week and days in the month for me to do training because I want to at least in theory do some other things too. JONATHAN: Excellent. REUVEN: And it’s been fascinating, because just yesterday someone asked me about – she said her husband wants to do freelancing, what should he do? And I said, “Well he should define a really, really narrow subject to specialize in.” And she gave me the same bug eyes that I give people even the last year or two. But it’s true, it definitely helps. You become the big fish in the small pond right - rather than the small fish in the big pond. JONATHAN:**Exactly, it’s totally true. And the thing is the pond is so huge now that even a small pond is pretty big. Because one of the things that people fear when they imagine moving from a generalist position to a specialized position is that they feel like there won’t be enough business, they won’t get enough leads to sustain things and typically when I ask someone, “Okay, how many leads are you getting now?” They’ll say one or two a month and like “You’re basically getting no leads right now.” So niche-ing down or pigeon holing yourself in your marketing is not going to do anything negative to your business. It is already pretty bad. [Crosstalk 12:46] No pipeline, you’re imaging that there’s this huge market out there who’s waiting to call you but it’s not happening. So you really have little to lose. The other thing that tends to scare people about this is that they fear that they’ll become bored because they’ll be doing the same thing all the time. And my response to that is; the focus that you are adding to your business shifts your – I guess the educational part of your job, like that part of your brain that loves learning things because I think we all have that, that’s why we do this job. That part of your brain that wants to learn things is scared that it’s not going to learn anything anymore. But in fact, what happens is you start to learn deep expertise instead of broad expertise. So instead being a jack of all trades and learning everything about everything, “Oh I’m going to try Node on this project because I just think it sounds cool; everybody tells me it’s really cool.” You don’t do that, you do that in your side projects if you’re really curious about it, you really want to do it for yourself and you’re just curious. That is on your time, that’s you’re education. But you can go super deep in a particular topic and you find that it’s bottomless; there is no end to the depth that you can take into a field. And that is how you become an expert. So people who are – you see it all the time, “I’m a full stack web developer,” and they feel like they have this broad, well they do have a broad expertise. But it’s no expertise really; they have a bunch of skills that hang together pretty well, but I wouldn’t call it expertise in the sense that we’re talking about it because they haven’t gone deep.**CHUCK: I guess my question is and I know we’ve talked about this a little bit on other episodes, I guess the question is how do you know that one particular niche does have enough work to support you? I mean if you pick an open source software or something that’s semi-popular and you can do something that’s niche-ed down in it, some areas going to be more – there’s going to be more work in there versus another. Like if you can niche down into basket weaving websites and you’re going to build them in rails. I don’t know if there are that many people out there, but if you’re going to go into one of the big open source platforms like Spree or Redmine then there’s a ton of work out there. JONATHAN:**So great question, and you’re bringing up a couple of important issues. One is that – oh to answer your first question first which is how do you know if the niche is big enough, and I would say that if there’s a conference for the thing, it’s big enough. [Crosstalk 15:12] That’s a really quick answer. It’s a little bit of a broad brush, but if there’s no conference for the thing, if there’s no trade journal for the thing, you probably still could get away with it. But I would say that I would be extremely confident that there are plenty of people if there’s a conference for the thing. The other thing that you’ve brought up which we haven’t touched on yet, which is not just niche-ing down on your discipline but also focusing on a target market. You started to make a couple of examples of target markets there when you said basket weaving. And I think this is actually extremely important because if you focus on a target market – so I pick retail brands, you could pick basket weaving, you could pick soap making, whatever it is – if there’s a conference for that thing then the market’s probably big enough for you. So assuming you got a boutique for them or a solo developer.**CHUCK:**Yeah retail brands, seems a little bit large. Is there, have you [crosstalk 16:09] far enough?**JONATHAN:**To be perfectly honest – and we’ll get into this later – I’m actually getting ready to change my target market, which I wasn’t even going to talk about until later. But this positioning statement is not forever, which is another thing if you’re scared of picking this positioning statement or [inaudible 16:25] yourself down, it’s not necessarily forever. Retail brands is vague for someone who’s just starting out. But I’m just at a point where I’ve been doing this long enough that I can really focus on – I can get the phone calls from a Target or from a Staples. So for me yes, it is broad but I’m higher up the chain. But really how many retailers at a high level, how many Fortune 50 retailers are there? Less than 50.**REUVEN:**Probably about 50 [chuckles] just a guess.**JONATHAN: Yeah, but it’s a great point. I wouldn’t start there with something like that. I would start with what would be more truly considered a niche. I mean soap making examples is hilarious. I’ll give you a link to put in the show notes but there’s this great website where this woman does business development for soap makers. And she by all appearances has a booming business, which you’d think there’s no way could you support that kind of a job and that kind of a niche. How much money do people have to spend on making soap as a hobby? But it happens so at any rate. If you pick a target market, so you say something like, “I do content marketing for basket weavers.” So you say what you do, that’s your discipline, “My discipline is content marketing, and/or web design.” Whatever it is, and who do you do it for. And once you do that, once you pick that, you have immediately just clicked with a whole, maybe a hundred thousand people who are devout basket weavers. You will meet – they’ll be like, “I can’t believe this exists. Look at this; this is exactly what I’ve been looking for.” And they start reading and the thing – the side benefit of picking niche is now you can start writing all your copy on your site, on your blog post. Everything that you put out, you can write in their language because you picked someone who has a tribe, you picked a tribe, you picked a culture that has terms that are specific to them that will cause them to identify you as a member of the tribe. So, it’s a borrowing a term from Seth Godin there, but he’s right, it’s very powerful. So all of a sudden all your content on your site, when you’re staring at pages, “Oh I need to redo my site.” And you’re just staring at this blank page, “What will I write?” And you come up with these weasel worry, “We solve complex solutions with elegance.” You just come up with this weird corporate pseudo speak because you don’t know who you’re talking to. So as soon as you know who you’re talking to, you can get really specific. And it becomes – it’s just a great trust indicator so it increases trust among your target market. Again, to your point of how do you know if the market is big enough? Anyone I’ve ever worked with in my mentor program, no one has ever, ever had that problem. You always tend to err on the side that’s too general. REUVEN: To some degree, I’ve thought about this a bit over the last few months. And at the end of the day how many clients can I really serve a year? If I am one person, let’s assume I have one new client every week, which is natural. Even for someone like me who has lots of clients, I’m constantly switching things and so forth. If I have 25 clients a year, that’s already a lot. And finding a topic for which only 20 people on the entire planet are interested in is going to be really hard. JONATHAN: Right. REUVEN: And so, you can get really specific and there will still be a lot of people interested in that topic almost certainly. JONATHAN: Right. And again if there’s a conference for those people, not only do you know that there’s an audience but you also know how to find them. If you don’t pick a target market, you are just putting pages on the web. And maybe I was guilty of this until recently actually, you end up – once you get to the point in your marketing where you’re getting asked to speak at conferences, you end up going to these generalist conferences that are about your discipline, but not about your target market. Once you have a target market, you can start speaking at conferences that they go to, if that makes sense, so a vertical conference. So instead of going to – I’ve spoken at Web Directions a bunch of times and that is attended by a bizarre pastiche of – well, it’s all web designers and web developers and sometimes you’ll get product managers, digital product managers. But it's never the CEO of Target, it’s never the SVP of North American Sales for IBM, but there are conferences that those people go to. So if you switch over like I’m doing next month, I’m doing a talk in Vegas at Mertech which is the largest conference for multi-unit restaurants aka chain restaurants. So there’s not going to be web developer in the house, it’s going to be all upper management, and I’m going to be talking about mobile and I’m going to be talking about strategy and web and how to actually design for mobile. It’s the same talk I give to web designers or web developers but it’s a much more targeted and potentially lucrative audience. REUVEN: But even better than that, if you’re the only person in that room who knows about web technologies, then you are suddenly, of course you are the expert. You literally are the expert in that room on that stuff and all these people are saying, “Wow, I know I had to get into mobile because this guy just told me. Who am I going to turn to? I’ll talk to this guy.” JONATHAN:**Yeah, and you’re absolutely right. If you look at the agenda, there are a million things on the agenda. And I think only one or two are mobile related. You know there’s things like how to manage a drive-thru, there’s all sorts of topics as you might imagine that are specific to that industry. So for the people who are interested in mobile, they are automatically going to gravitate to – they’re pre-qualified like they’re self-selecting as people who are interested in the stuff I’m passionate about. So you can imagine – just as a thought experiment you can see how that is a wildly more valuable opportunity than speaking at something like Artifact or Future of [inaudible 22:35]. Even a list apart or an event apart, that’s a massive conference you get. You speak there, all of a sudden you have a hundred thousand Twitter followers. But it’s not targeted at a vertical.**CHUCK:**So let’s say that you’ve chosen you vertical or be that in industry or a particular solution and you figured out, “Okay, they kind of have these places that they gather, right?” I mean that’s what you’re talking about with the conference so you can be there and be the technical expert for them. What do you do next? So you go speak at their conference, or are there other things that you should be doing that will target them, that will build that marketing funnel or whatever you want to call it, that’s going to [crosstalk 23:19] move them into the next phase?**JONATHAN: Yes exactly. You’re not going to start off getting asked to go to conferences like that, so where do you start? And picture this as a concentric expanding spiral so you start in the middle and you’re going to do some small stuff to share your passion. And then you’re going to keep circling larger and larger and larger, spiraling out farther and farther into the consciousness of your target market. So there’s basically – I broke it into three stages. So first is the simple stuff, and then there’s a point where you’ve built up enough trust with doing simple things that you can borrow someone else’s audience. And then eventually you can leverage that up into longer formal work. So let’s run through those. So simple stuff you can do to share this passion that you have that is in support of your marketing message, your positioning statement. You can obviously – blogging – blogging on your own site, you’re going to do social media, and you’re going to tweet about stuff that you love. People are going to start following you based on you creating that information for them. You can do podcasting – we all know that is a great way to build expertise and you don’t need permission to do it, you just start recording. You can PR through sites or services like Help a Reporter Out or PR Leads. Have you guys heard of those? CHUCK:**Uh hmm, I’ve subscribed to Help a Reporter Out or HARO [crosstalk 24:40]**JONATHAN:**So PR Leads is a paid version of that. I think the quality is a little higher there but it is a little bit more expensive. Well it’s more expensive than free. I think its a hundred bucks a month. But I think it’s the same concept where writers are looking for experts to essentially comment on the theme of a story. And there are two interesting things that happen there, one is that obviously you’ll get your name in print and you inherit some of the trust that the readers of that publication invest in the publication. So you get this halo effect. But also day after day as you’re getting these requests, which 90% won’t apply to you, you’re actually seeing what things are of interest to people. And you can a lot of times find an angle that supports your position. So even if a reporter is looking for comments on drones, I can comment on that but from a market, mobile strategy angle. So I could say something about drones, “Oh, the reason why drones are even possible with the general market is because the popularity of smart phones and you can leverage. But you could do it with crazy stuff like a weight loss like somebody for women’s day wants people to comment on weight loss trends, and I could totally jump on that with a wearables thing and how like a Fitbit angle and how that’s tethers off your phone and the way the phone enables you to actually get any usefulness out of these wearables, so you get the idea. Once you have this position [inaudible 26:12] you can see almost anything through that lens, an attempt to get into really pretty mass market publication. Okay, so that’s PR. And the other thing that everyone should be doing is building up their mailing list, and sort of nurturing that mailing list by sending out valuable content periodically. Maybe once a week is too often, once a month is probably as far as you’d let it go, but set up a mailing list and continue to gather more and more email addresses which will become more and more valuable overtime as you create more and more content and free value and free educational resources that all hang together your positioning. So the stuff that you did six months ago all of a sudden doesn’t become irrelevant. Does that make sense?**REUVEN: Uh hmm. CHUCK: Yup. JONATHAN:**Yeah so you’re increasing the shelf life of all of the work that lead up to wherever you are at the moment. So once you start to have a bit of a name for yourself in the area. Maybe you’re not the go-to guy yet but you’re starting to build up a kind of an audience and you got a little bit of depth to your work. Then you can basically, I call it [inaudible 27:17] I’m doing it today. So you guys invited me to your show, thank you very much, and your audience is hearing what I’m talking about. I have a podcast as well and when people come on that show, they’re doing the same thing. When you do a guest post on somebody else’s blog, you’re doing the same thing. When you speak at a meet up, you’re doing the same thing. Where people, this third party, something besides you have an audience and the person who runs that something besides you has – you’ve convinced them that you are somewhat of an expert in your area. And they invite you to share that expertise with their audience, and it makes them look good and it makes you look good. So that’s the next level up where you don’t have all the control over that. You need to get an invite to do it, but it’s extremely valuable. Once you have moved up to that point or once you’re getting to that point, you’re probably going to notice that you are seeing themes in your own work that you didn’t intentionally put there. So for me, pigeon-holing yourself is the theme that revealed itself to me. I didn’t start out telling people to pigeon hole themselves or specialize, but it became something that I kept telling people. So I blogged about it, I talked about it on shows, etc. For me that became a theme and it’s a perfect candidate to do a webinar or just sort of bundle together the sort of things that are written around that subject and turn it into an e-book, an e-book guide, or a manual. So you can take, not cut and paste but you can pull from all of these body of work that you’re creating and create a bundled focus. Some kind of product or whether it’s free or paid that is a little bit more long form, and the effort potentially and probably more useful to people, but certainly an indicator of your expertise and something that will build trust within an audience. So I wouldn’t recommend people just out of the gates sit down and write a 300 page book, that’s a great way to write a bad book [chuckles].CHUCK:[Chuckles] Well, it’s funny because another podcast that I’m involved in is the Entreprogrammers podcast, and anyway we got an email from somebody that basically said, “I’m writing this book, about this thing,” – it was financial investing, some kind of investing. And anyway what he wrote was, “I’m writing this book and I want to know how to get into the niche market when I’m done with the book.” And it just seemed a little bit backward to me. I’ve been reading a book about being a key person of influence in the area that you work in. And they mentioned that a book is a credibility builder but it’s not the first thing that they recommend you do. And so it was kind of interesting. It got centered around our mailing list for our mastermind group and my response was basically – is it okay if my response is, “Don’t write the book.” [Chuckles].**JONATHAN: Yeah, totally. A lot of people want to be the person who writes the book rightly, so it’s a great thing for a business.  But it’s biting off a lot it’s a lot of work, and if your theories haven’t been road tested at all people will know. First of all it won’t hold together; it’d be really hard to write, so it’s definitely not a great first step. I think a great first step is hosting so you’ve got a theory, you’ve got some hypothesis that you feel like you’ve got a theory on. Hosting free webinars and allowing a Q&A. So do a 45 minute webinar on your subject and do Q&A on hopefully a targeted audience. So you do a free webinar for basket weavers on web development, or whatever is your subject area, your discipline is. And you talk to them for a solid 15-20 minutes after you’re done and get their feedback. And you’ll see immediately what their pain points are, the parts of your argument that didn’t make sense or they just completely disagree with or offended by. There are all sorts of ways when you’re on the early side of things to really shoot yourself in the foot. And the last place to have your words recorded is in a printed book. It’s a terrible place to have stuff you’re embarrassed about later. So that’s just one suggestion of how to build yourself up, build your way into a book. You got to have a conversation first. A book is almost like the outcome of already being very confident that you know what you are talking about. REUVEN:**Yeah, the book that I wrote was basically a print version of the – I mean, it’s a book of exercises in Python to improve your fluency, and it was taken almost a 100% from the exercises I’ve done with training over the past ten years, especially in the last five years. And so I saw what worked and what didn’t work. So I felt confident, “Okay, I can write this down and I can use it.” And the people who’ve bought it have said, “Wow, this is what I was looking for.” But I don’t think that it would have been nearly as successful if I just said, “You know what, I kind of know this subject, I’m going to sit down and write some exercises.” There’s definitely [chuckles] I think it indeed would actually have been a flop.**JONATHAN:**Yes, I agree. The approach that you took was more or less the approach that I took. I didn’t have ten years of training under my belt but that was more similar to the approach that I took or the path that I took. I didn’t do it on purpose; I didn’t realize what I was doing at that time but it was very similar. I had done a lot of training, I had spoken to a lot of people in person, internalized their pains; they were the same pains I was feeling. I was just the one that went and said, “Alright, I’m figuring this out.” [Chuckles] and figured out. So that was the iPhone Book I did, the HTML, CSS, JavaScript, iPhone Book. And it just resonates with people because and it’s not magic why it resonated. It resonated because I talked with a million people first so it was no surprise. Well, yes I was surprised. I was incredibly gratified that it sold well but it’s not rocket science, that’s for sure.REUVEN:[Crosstalk 33:23] I can’t remember if you were on this on your list, if you mentioned this at the beginning. It’s also important to have these multiple products at different tiers. One of the products that I tried to sell with absolutely no success was a paid three day online course. Sounds like, “People do this all the time. I have been doing training all the time, I’ll just advertise and people will flock to me right?”REUVEN:[Chuckles] that sort of the smirk that I heard now from you was completely and a 100% in place. And I remember I was talking to Brennan Dunn about this, and he was very as usual nice about it. He said, “You know Reuven, the first purchase people make from you online is not likely a $1000 product. I’ve never met you before,” that’s probably – I can’t remember exactly how he phrased it, it was, “That’s going to be a challenge.” I think that was the phrase [chuckles].JONATHAN:[Chuckles] Classic.**REUVEN: Right, and now I’m seeing. So I did my book, I did some free webinars and I’m starting to get people emailing me. It’s like this amazing feeling of “What else are you doing? I will buy it,” which I never ever expected. You have to play the long game; you have to do it little by little and it’ll sort of happen. JONATHAN: And you can imagine how it wouldn’t work. If you didn’t have a focus at the very beginning because you wouldn’t be able to – your concentric circles as you increase your fame, if you will, or your repute as some people say it wouldn’t hold together, because you have to basically start over every time with a new topic. CHUCK: Before we get to too much further down this road, so we’ve talked about choosing your niche or pigeon holing yourself, we’ve talked about the strategies to do the marketing, I’m trying to remember what the third step was or are we into that yet? JONATHAN: It was exactly what Reuven was talking about which is creating a product ladder. CHUCK: Oh, okay. JONATHAN: So everything I’ve talked about with – yeah, I mean a book is a product. If you publish through a third party, like mine was with O’Reilly. If you go through a publisher like that you’re not going to be getting direct access to your customers, in my case they are O’Reilly’s customers. I had no idea who they are unless they come up to me and ask for an autograph “Can you sign the book?” I literally do not know who has my book which is really frustrating. So for me a book is more – even though it is technically a product, a book that’s published through a publisher to me is more of a marketing activity and less of a profit center. So when you do get to the point where you’ve generated enough trust in your audience that you think you can start converting that into paid engagements of some kind or another, you want to have three or four different levels that they can start paying you. And they would start at a very low price point say $10-20 and they would quickly level up to as much as $20,000 a month, so depending on the services.  So a friend of mine called this exercising the Pay Me muscles. I want my audience to exercise their Pay Me muscles. And you can do that by giving them a very low risk proposition. Yeah, it’s hilarious huh? I think it was Kurt Elster who said that. So want to give them something that they only want to have a low level of trust, so almost an impulse purchase price. Then that’s where you see the $9 e-books. CHUCK:**Do you have other good examples of that [crosstalk 36:55].**JONATHAN: Of a low price point? E-books are definitely great, white paper is – basically it’s going to be a PDF probably. Maybe a teleconference like a paid one- hour long class basically. So I can almost take the content that we’re talking about here and just record it by myself and say, “Hey, for $19 here’s my three steps to never have to do cold calls again.” CHUCK: Gotcha. JONATHAN: Yeah, it’s usually an e-book to be honest. So that’s at the low level, that’s a pure product. It’s something that’s not customized at all for a particular person. That’s just basically, they look at it, they judge it based on the value that they thing it is going to give them, and they just make that value judgment, they either pay or they don’t. That’s at the lower end of the spectrum. Then maybe a level up from that could be a productized service which seems to be coming into vogue a little bit these days. Where you do things that are like services and do require your direct intervention, but are productized in a sense that you don’t have to write a proposal to the client. That’s like a normal consulting engagement but has very little customization. You can basically put a description on your site and people can make a judgment right there without talking to you whether or not it will be a value to them. So things like a strategy call or an online training where it’s like a live online training not a video training, an on–site strategy session where you come in for half a day and talk to upper management about whatever your expertise is. You can do an on–site workshop. The list of things I gave you are from the low price point going to a higher price point. So a strategy call might be $200 or $300-$400 and online training probably be like Reuven said it probably be a grand if it’s a couple of days, at least a grand if it’s a day. Maybe it’s $500 for a couple of hours. And in person on–site talk, you can easily sell for a $1000. These sorts of things so they go up, so if there’s something about your expertise that you can pack in at a job as a productize service then that decreases the labor intensity of having to come up with proposals for every single engagement. I suppose that you guys do proposals right? It tends to be a lot of work. CHUCK: Yeah. REUVEN: Yes. CHUCK: Always a lot of work. JONATHAN: So it easily takes me four hours to do a good consulting proposal. And that’s the next level up. So the next type of product you can sell, where it’s really a service like a high touch consulting service where you essentially agree to a monthly retainer or an access to your expertise on an ad hoc basis. So my highest end product is just mobile strategy retainer and it’s five figures per month where people essentially the client has 24/7 email access to me. Typically we have one meeting a month in person depending on where they are and weekly meetings otherwise but they can get in touch with me anytime to answer anything that’s under the mobile strategy umbrella. So in that sort of thing it takes a long time, there’s a very long lead cycle so it’s extremely lucrative but it takes a long time to attract and close deals like that. Attract client that are into that then close the actual deal with them. So it’s nice to have a range of products that start down in the one or two digits, and work your way up to three or four digits and hopefully up to five digits. So you have this product ladder people can ladder up your services. As their trust is increased, because you’ve delivered on all the promises at the lower levels, then they just trust you more and more and more. And they have been flexing their Pay Me muscles. By the time you get to the top of the chain, you can make some serious cash. REUVEN: Right and one of the things that when I was talking to Brennan Dunn about this – about my online courses and so forth – his point to me was he teaches these consulting master classes like how to do what he does, how to do what we aim to do in many ways. He said, “All of those people bought his lower end products first.” They’ve all worked their way up the ladder and then they’re willing to pay whatever it is; $2000 is something for the two half days. But it’s rare for someone, even for someone as well-known as him to get someone just saying, “Oh let me go to the master class.” And so it sounds like we all have to aim to do that. We have to have these baskets of services that are all in the same area so that people can level up little by little. JONATHAN: I think so, I agree with Brennan on all of this stuff, a 100%. He’s great at it. He’s also particularly good at the marketing automation that goes behind it to make it easier for himself and decrease his labor intensity. So he and I both completely agree about that approach. And it’s not like – I hate the word should, like “People should do this.” I just think it’s easier; you’re making it easier for people to trust you more and more over time by delivering first on small promises then on bigger promises. And if on every point you are creating a customer profit so to speak, then they’re just going to keep coming back to you, as long as they need that expertise, that particular kind of expertise. REUVEN: Right, so let’s say someone – I think you mentioned something earlier. Let’s say someone wants to start off in this direction. First of all, how much time do you think they should expect it to take from the beginning of this process until it starts really reaping benefits. I mean this is not obviously a week or a month long thing. JONATHAN:**No. I think six months is a good rule of thumb that you’ll start to feel that traction happening. So you’re not going to be selling that $20,000 engagement after six months, but you will start getting contacted by bloggers, podcasters and just people directly via email for [inaudible 42:53]. You will feel it start to happen when you go from that first simple stuff level where you are in complete control of all of your output. And you’ll feel it automatically go up to that next level where people are inviting you to speak to their audiences or people are introducing you. So another thing that will happen is if you have colleagues who are familiar with what you are doing but maybe they’re not the target market, they will know people who are the in the target market and they will say, “You know who you should talk to?” – that’s how I met you guys actually, to tell you the truth that’s exactly how I met you guys. A colleague said you should talk to the Freelancer Show guys – and you’ll start to feel that happening. So here’s the really cool thing about pigeon holing yourself is that it really increases people’s ability to help you because they know exactly what you do and who you do it for. So even if they’re not in your market, they probably know someone who is. So they can say – you meet someone at a cocktail party and you say, “I’m a mobile strategist.” “Who do you work for?” “I work for retail brands.” “No way, I know the SVP of Costco.” So they can, “Oh I should introduce you.”  But if I just said, “Oh I’m a consultant,” “Oh well what, what kind of a consultant?” “Oh I do mobile, I do mobile stuff.” They’re not going to be automatically be like, “You know who I should introduce you to? I know a whole bunch of people who need mobile stuff.” It’s too blurry to trigger anything in their mind. So once you start to really take a stand, then people will automatically – it helps you all around. I will say that I’ve had people get very emotional with me trying to push them and to coach them to pick something. It can be brutally painful for someone to pick something because this fear crops up that – we talked about it already – they’re going to essentially make too small of a pond and there’s not going to be enough market to support them, which is virtually always wrong. And they just think they’re going to get bored. They can’t believe it, “It just doesn’t fit with my natural curiosity. I love learning new things” and I’m like, “Learn it. That’s great, learn new things,” but learn it on your own free time. When your business is throwing off enough profit for you to indulge your curiosity in educational pursuits, then go ahead but that’s not a disciplined way to build a business. Being a generalist is not disciplined way to build a business. It’s just indulging your personal curiosity.**CHUCK:**So, I’m going to be asking you some questions now about one of my favorite topics and that is – myself [chuckles]. I think that’s a common ailment but I’m just going to put it out there. So I have five podcasts that are I think they’re reasonably niched down some more than others. So if I were going to pursue this strategy, should I just focus on one of them?**JONATHAN: Interesting question. So I suppose it depends on what your goal is. The first thing I hear when you say you’ve got multiple podcasts is you could niche down to podcasters and offer a product that is directed at podcasters. CHUCK:**I could stop you right there because that’s actually what I really want to do [chuckles]. But those are not the people that I’m reaching right now with my current audience.**JONATHAN: Understood, but you would know where to find podcasters right? CHUCK: Oh yes. JONATHAN: And then the fact that you have built what you’ve build would be proof, social proof or proof-proof that you know what you’re talking about. I usually refer to this as street cred, you have street cred with the target audience. I have a podcast too and it’s never been in my experience that podcasters who are good podcast producers are great to reach with podcast. I don’t know if that actually maps. CHUCK: It depends. JONATHAN: Yeah, I think it does depend; I think it’s a safe bet to say that people who do podcasts listen to podcasts about podcasting. CHUCK: I was going to say that I know people who do podcasts generally listen to podcast, but I don’t know if they listen to the one about podcasting. JONATHAN:**Right, I feel like here could be a lot of ways. But that’s fine we’ve talked today, I must have listed ten different ways to reach an audience. And it’s going to be different for everybody in the audience, some people – podcasters maybe do like listening to podcast podcast [chuckles].**CHUCK: So I am considering putting together a really short form podcast about podcasting. Because I feel like there are people out there who can be reached that way. And I listen to one or two podcast about podcasting but to be honest, I disagree with most of the bigger names out there and I agree half the time with Cliff Ravenscraft. And then the other issue is that there are other avenues that can be used to reach other podcasters that don’t involve having an audio podcast. JONATHAN: Absolutely. CHUCK: And I’m not going to outline all of the things that I want to do but suffice it to say that I do have strategies for social media, YouTube and iTunes basically that I’d like to implement, and so I get a lot of people asking me about podcasting but they come from my existing audiences in programming essentially. JONATHAN: Oh, interesting. CHUCK: It’s funny because I'll talk to a programmer about, “Oh I went to a conference on podcasting.” And they’re like, “Oh really, did you speak?” and “You’re an expert.” And then I talk to other people that are in the podcasting community at large that I know, and they just see me as another podcaster and not as the content expert. So I’m wondering if I can start with people who think I’m an expert, and build out into the larger podcasting arena? JONATHAN: Right. You know who your target market is? It's podcasters. CHUCK: I know how to reach them, I know where they are. JONATHAN: Okay, and you know what your passion is? CHUCK: Yes. JONATHAN:**So I would say not to oversimplify it. Share your passion like I said, but just because your niche is podcasting I see absolutely no reason to limit yourself at all to that as your medium. You should do it like a multi-channel strategy. And actually, have you guys talked to Philip Morgan? He’s a good friend, he’s a content marketer, and he’s a real genius about this. And he’s been experimenting with this thing I think he calls Audio-First Workflow where you do an audio recording, because some people have a hard time sitting down with a blank sheet of paper in front of them but they can talk all day long. So you do the audio recording, you have it transcribed, you have it edited or you edit it yourself, you turn it into a blog post, you turn it into a Facebook post on your Facebook page. Then over time you collect these hanging around the same theme, they become sections or chapters on a longer form piece. It’s just what we talked about today, I see no reason for someone focusing on your audience and having the passion that you have to not have a printed format work. It’s like when I’m teaching people how to Photoshop I don’t only show them PSD [chuckles]. I’m not going to limit myself to the thing I’m talking about. It happens to be a medium. So the thing that you’re talking about happens to be a medium so it feels a little confusing but I don’t think it needs to be. You don’t have to use your medium to talk about your medium.**CHUCK: That makes sense. JONATHAN: Okay. CHUCK: It was funny that you went straight for ultimately where I want to go. I love putting stuff out there for programmers but I record Screencasts and I enjoy. But that I really just love talking about podcasting. Maybe that’s because I don’t talk about it all the time like I do on the other shows. So I could get it out there, I could get those things going. I’ve made a lot of context where I could borrow some audiences and speak at the conferences. Then from there, I could put out a video on what to look for when you design your album art. Then just start out with a series of videos and then build from there into maybe live events, just different things like that. And build that product ladder, and in fact that’s essentially that’s what my friend Cliff did; he sold basically webinars between $30-$50 a seat and then from there he compiled all that together, and then started selling packages and started selling a course that included all those videos. JONATHAN: Right, that sounds exactly what I’m talking about. CHUCK: I could definitely see that; that could work here. And I think I could build that level of expertise and then move up from there. So I just start blogging, I just start putting videos up on YouTube, I started podcasting about podcasting, I start interacting with all the folks out there that have an audience or ear. I keep participating in the areas where podcasters get together, build my mailing list. At what point should I start putting out the products though? When do I know that it’s time? JONATHAN:**I’ll say for me, and this is pretty true across the board, for people I’ve spoken to as well is that it becomes obvious when it happens. It’s like, “How do I know I’m in love?” You’ll know [chuckles]. You’ll know because people will be emailing you, asking for this stuff.**CHUCK: Right. JONATHAN:**Like, “Where, how do I give you money?” basically. And one thing that hasn’t come up to what you’re talking about is that – I would urge you to consider as you’re thinking about all these things – is to be thinking about what the expensive problems are that your audience needs solved. Expensive could be money, expensive could be emotional, expensive could be time. One of the painful problem that this audience has, and this is the benefits of picking a target market, is you can’t just randomly ask people on the street and go, “What are your most expensive mobile strategy problems?” [Chuckles] it doesn’t make sense. But you can ask people who, you could make a shortlist of specific names, not categories. I could make a list of a dozen names of people that I would want to get in front of and ask them what their problem is. So you could do the same thing. I almost wonder if podcasters in general is a little – I feel like you could go down a level there, or at least focus your lower tier products on different skill set. I remember when I started doing podcasting, I had very different pains than after episode 150. So what are the problems – you know a lot of stuff, but the goal isn’t to tell the world everything you know, “Look at all these stuff. I know so much stuff about this. I’m just going to share it.” You want it to be shared in a way, at least presented in a way – I know I tell myself about this, “I’m not going to tell you everything because you don’t care about everything. You have a problem right now that you want to solve; here’s the solution.” So part of knowing your audience is knowing that, knowing what the really painful problems are and take the pain away.CHUCK: Yeah, that makes sense. REUVEN:[Crosstalk 54:17] I’m curious because you worked with these really big, as you said, Fortune 50 companies. When you chose a niche, when you chose a direction, when you chose to position yourself, were you looking at working with these large companies because you knew that they have painful problems and they have the cash to pay large amounts of money? Or were you just following your passion and one thing just lead to another?**JONATHAN: It was a little bit one thing lead to another. So I’ve changed my positioning statement a few times over the years. And a lot of times when I change it, it’s because when I look back – first of all when I change it is was because it was too vague and I needed more focus. What happens is I’m just feeling like either the lead aren’t coming as quickly as they were, I just felt like things are feeling stale. I will look back over the clients that I’ve had and be like, “Okay what’s the common theme here? Is there a subset of clients that I can focus on in the future, and what do they fall under? Which ones did I enjoy working with the most? Which ones had the most expensive problems? Which ones can I help the most? Or which ones need the most help?” and yes it’s nice if they also have a big budget. So you look at that list “Oh I loved working with retailers.” I don’t know why, there’s just this certain mindset with retailers. I think it’s because they deal directly with actual customers. They tend to be a bit more pragmatic than people who are like more B to B or little bit more hand wave-y I guess. So I just look back and say, “Hey, I’ve had fun working with these customers and by the way I’ve worked with these customers so I can put a list on my page of people who are retail or customer facing, guest facing type of enterprise.” So for me even I’m doing this. I’m focusing down more and more, trying to always get myself a smaller pond to play in. Like I said I’m planning to switch it probably in the next month or two. When I do switch it I try to make a small lateral step. So my intention is to, I’m definitely going to do this but I’m thinking about going from focusing on retail to focusing on hospitality, which is a bit more – I think they’re a little bit more behind the times, I think they need a little bit more help. And I love the fact that they are guest-centric type of industry because those are the ones that are really getting hammered by the consumerization of IT, where anybody with a Smartphone knows what they want Panera to do, how come Panera’s not doing it? The three of us sitting on this call could make a list independently of six things that Panera should be doing with mobile. Why aren’t they doing it? CHUCK: Right. JONATHAN: So it’s an iterative process which I think will hopefully take away some of the fear from people hearing this, like generalists who do not want to specialize. It’s not forever; you can go deeper and deeper and get more specialized. You can change it if you hate it. It’s nice to do a lateral move, so that you can purpose a lot of case studies and you can have an adjacency to your switch so you’re just not starting from scratch. REUVEN: Right. The fact that you’re saying also we can hone the niche over time and hone or either change it completely or hone it; is of course very encouraging. It means it’s an experiment. It’s like everything we do with our businesses. We experiment with it. If it works great, improve it. If it doesn’t work, then try something else. JONATHAN: Right, it’s called taking risks. And you want to take calculated risks and that’s how you make money, you take risks. While we’re talking about focusing and iterating so all of these mentoring and coaching stuff that I’m doing, right now it’s on my strategy website which is super awkward. So I’m offering products to technical firms – basically web geeks – to help them with their business with this sort of stuff. And it’s super weird and uncomfortable to me of all people to have it on my website at all. So I don’t even have it on the navigation, it’s something that people just go to. I tell them to go to jonathanstark.com/mentoring. It’s not advertised anywhere on the site. What I’m going to do is spin that out into its own domain so it’s its own thing, it’s a completely separate entity, because I’m petrified of the SVP of retail or SVP of User Experience at Target coming to my site and  being like, “What’s this mentoring thing?” and it’s completely not for that person. REUVEN: Do you think that would turn them off or confuse them? JONATHAN: Absolutely. REUVEN: Really? JONATHAN: Oh yes, 100%. I want that person to come to the page and feel like it was written for them personally. I want my target audience to come to my site and be like, “I cannot believe this guy exists. This is exactly what we’ve been looking for.” And having mentoring in there is not going to engender that reaction in a retail executive’s mind. CHUCK: Yep. So one other question I have then and that is let’s say that I niched down and I’m just like, “You know what, I am going to go out and I’m going to totally own the space of,” I usually pick plumbers or dentists so let’s just pick plumbers. JONATHAN:**Everyone picks, dentist comes up every time. I don’t know why [chuckles].**CHUCK: My dad’s a dentist, that’s why I use it as an example frequently, but let’s says plumbers. So I get things together, I put together a website for plumbers, I get things humming along, I hire a bunch of people to help me get the work done. And then I decided, “You know what I’d like to expand,” and so I expand to something related to plumbers or maybe I do expand to dentists. JONATHAN: What do you mean when you expand? CHUCK: So I want to go tackle another market and grow. JONATHAN: Why would you grow like that? CHUCK: I don’t know. JONATHAN:**Why don’t you just increase your profit margin? [Crosstalk 1:00:03]. There’s two ways to grow, you can increase your profit by becoming the most famous plumber website builder in the world and demand a really high fee. But there’s no good reason to grow horizontally.**CHUCK: Gotcha. JONATHAN: And if you did – I would do it like if it’s a situation I’m in – where it’s a completely different service. It’s a completely different thing. CHUCK: Right. REUVEN: Jonathan, your examples of weekly strategy sessions with the company, quite frankly, the amount of time you’re putting into it is very small. They are using your expertise and getting a huge value out of it, so it’s great for everyone. But I mean you’re only going to get to that point if you become “the guy” in that field, and that’s not going to happen if the quarter guy in this and the quarter guy in that quarter guy and that quarter guy and that. JONATHAN: Correct. You will be the go to guy for nothing. Are you asking a question or just agreeing? REUVEN: Yeah, I was just confirming that. That’s very interesting because my natural inclination is to think in terms of what Chuck is saying also which is, “Okay, I’ll sort of conquer this area of the world. And then I’ll move on to this other thing because I’m the kind of person you were describing earlier. I don’t want to get bored and I’m curious about lots of things and I want to continue learning about different kinds of things.” And your point seems to be basically that’s great for you personally that’s not good for your business. Don’t do that. JONATHAN: Yeah, if you want to continue to learn, but it’s going to be a depth type of learning. You’re going to be learning a lot more about your audience. It would make me a little bit nervous to do the exact same thing for a new target market although people do it. You see it happen sometimes when they say – you write a book for Chicken Soup for this, Chicken Soup for that, Chicken Soup for that, or the E-Myth for dentists and the E-Myth for plumbers. You can see it but I feel like getting to that point is a long way off for most people. And that they can take a business – if someone listening is a generalist solo developer, or a freelancer or a boutique farm – if you’re a generalist you can greatly increase your business. You can grow your business like crazy using this approach, and if you listen to the other episode that we did, I also have a whole bunch of opinions about how pricing, not to go by the hour, etc. if you take all of that stuff together, you are not going to be worried about branching out or entertaining yourself for a long time at least two years. At least two year you can be like, “I go this dialed. I’m speaking at the big conferences. I’m getting quoted at the Wall Street Journal.” There’s a long way up. Most people don’t realize how far up you can go. CHUCK:**Awesome. Alright we’re at the end of the time. I hate to cut this off but I’m going to have to so [chuckles] I want to just keep talking for another hour really [chuckles].JONATHAN:[Chuckles] I’m always happy to come back.**CHUCK: But anyway, so we’re going to do the picks. Reuven do you have some picks for us? REUVEN:Yeah, I have two books for picks this week. The first one I’m sure many listeners have heard of, I’m sure many listeners are familiar with the comic strip xkcd. So I guess probably about two years ago the author Randall Munroe started this thing called “What If”. As he puts it, serious scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions and he’s collected a bunch of them in a book. And I’ve made the mistake of bringing this book with me to a restaurant when I was done working on a client’s project. So I finished working on it, went to the restaurant, opened the book and started reading it. And thankfully my children were not around because I would embarrass them even more than I usually do laughing hysterically at this book. It is so incredibly funny, so clever. If you think the comic is good, this is even ten times better. It’s a fantastic, I would say even learning tool, for showing kids, showing people how the scientific method works. You have this hypothesis and let’s see what we do, what if we increase the power, what if we decrease the power. And of course being a cartoonist he not only includes these great drawing but he does things like, “Okay this is how the world would look like if we drained the oceans.” And he draws them out and so forth. It’s like so clever and so funny and I was so disappointed when it ended because I just wanted to keep going on and on. So A, that’s a great book. And the book that I’m in the middle of reading and it’s not as funny but certainly clever, it’s called Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking). This one’s written by one of the founders of OkCupid the dating site. It’s an introduction basically to what you can do with lots of data or what people like to call it now, data science. The initial part of the book, the first chapter says, “Well, women claim that they are interested in men of this age. And men claim they’re interested in women of this age. But we actually have data on what they’ve clicked on. And we know the truth.” He owes this in all sorts of fascinating, fascinating aspects of life through the prism of OkCupid and them some other large data sets. And if you’re curious about this whole data science, slicing and dicing what could you learn about people, fascinating introduction to it but it could use a few more cartoons I think [chuckles]. Anyway those are my two picks for this week.CHUCK: Alright. I just have one pick this week. I’ve just been listening to a book on audible called American Sniper. It’s about a service man; he was in the Navy Seal. All these terms I’m using probably don’t mean a whole lot to people outside of the US. Anyway it was a really interesting look on the war on terror, the war in Iraq, which was where he was stationed for a while. So anyway if you’re interested in having that kind of perspective of somebody who is out there and fought all over Iraq. I thought it was a pretty awesome book. That’s my pick. JONATHAN: Isn’t that a movie now? CHUCK: Yes, they made a movie about it. I want to see the movie, but busy person. Anyway, Jonathan what are your picks? JONATHAN: I have two, if that’s okay. CHUCK: Yeah. JONATHAN:The first is very practical it is a new e-book from my friend Philip Morgan, who I’ve mentioned earlier. It’s called The Positioning Manual and it is so good that I’m actually using it as a work book in my mentoring classes it is amazing and it’s an e-book, it’s inexpensive. I presume we can link to it in the show notes. But it’s about the specific content marketing aspects of Positioning that we talked a little bit about today. So I would urge everyone who is interested in this at all to go read that because hands down – it’s the best business book I’ve read in the last couple of years. So that’s the Positioning Manual. The other one is a little bit more bizarre pick. I somehow came across – I don’t even know how I heard about it, but a website called allegory. I think its allegory pens and they have a fountain pen, handmade fountain pen called the Dignitary and it’s bizarre because I’m absurdly addicted to this pen [chuckles]. It makes me want to write on paper which is not my style normally. Normally, I’m just on the keyboard all the time but it has this effect on my thought process where you can’t write fast with it as you can say with a ball point pen or a gel ink pen. So it forces me to think more while I’m writing and it slows me down a little bit and it’s something about it makes my thoughts come out in a way that’s much more pleasing feels less crazy and scattered. So it’s probably not for everyone, I’m sure it’s not for everyone but if you Google for Dignitary pen allegory, I’m sure it’ll come up. It’s a bizarre little pen. So that’s it for me.CHUCK: Cool. Well, thanks for coming back it was really an interesting conversation and I’m hoping that some people get some ideas about some of the stuff they can do. I definitely got some insight on some of the things that I’m thinking about. JONATHAN: Fabulous. Well, thanks for having me. CHUCK: Alright, we’ll wrap up the show then. We’ll catch on next week. [This episode is sponsored by MadGlory. You've been building software for a long time and sometimes it gets a little overwhelming. Work piles up, hiring sucks and it's hard to get projects out the door. Check out MadGlory. They're a small shop with experience shipping big products. They're smart, dedicated, will augment your team and work as hard as you do. Find them online at MadGlory.com or on Twitter @MadGlory.]**[Hosting and bandwidth provided by the Blue Box Group. Check them out at BlueBox.net.]**[Bandwidth for this segment is provided by CacheFly, the world’s fastest CDN. Deliver your content fast with CacheFly. Visit cachefly.com to learn more]**[Would you like to join a conversation with the Freelancers’ Show panelists and their guests? Wanna support the show? We have a forum that allows you to join the conversation and support the show at the same time. Sign up at freelancersshow.com/forum]

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