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Writing Brand Copy that Connects with Your Audience

Small Biz Buzz hosts Crystal Heuft and Scott Martineau are joined by Mike Kim, an online educator of marketing who focuses on the personal brand and copywriting space.

Kim’s business operates on two arms: copywriting for personal brands–meaning a speaker, a coach, an expert, a trainer, a thought leader, an author, anyone who's paid for their thoughts, and being a marketing consultant for some of the bigger thought leadership brands.

“I always say that when you influence language you influence thinking,” said Kim. “We have that opportunity right now because the world is in a very, very unique place and we can use our words to bring comfort, to bring hope, to bring leadership, to bring clarity.”

When Kim is ever asked, "What is unique about the way that you see marketing?" he says, marketing isn't about closing a sale. It's about opening a relationship. If you filter everything you say and do, marketing wise, through that lens, that's going to help you, because you're going to approach people as friends. You're going to approach people as people. People do business with people.

“My marketing isn't just a nice slick campaign with a nice slogan. It's actually part of a bigger context, which is a movement I'm trying to start,” said Kim. “I'm not trying to be a religious leader, a cult leader, political leader, but in a sense, I'm trying to help the folks who want to become their own boss at a personal brand and help them through using the power of marketing to do it.”

During this unprecedented time of the "coronapocalypse" as Kim refers to it, it is a golden opportunity for businesses to pivot the way they brand themselves and let their personal voice come out.

Click play for more.


Speaker 1 (00:00):

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Speaker 1 (00:31):

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Crystal (01:10):

Okay. So, since it was the last time I had like full on connections with people in the outside world. Let's tell Scott, Mike a little bit about how Social Media Marketing World parties go down. I just-

Scott (01:24):

Yeah, so seriously, Crystal, I thought you were off, like actually-

Mike (01:27):

Doing work.

Scott (01:29):

Doing something productive.

Crystal (01:30):

I mean, they make work look fun. I'm not going to lie. The main party, the main networking event, let me call it what they call it, has karaoke, but not just any karaoke. Not like you'd expect to see in a dive bar. It's like with a live band. A live band karaoke.

Scott (01:47):

Live band karaoke? That's awesome.

Crystal (01:49):

Yes. They had this contraption this year where you had to, you wear this weird thing that looks like it could have been a guillotine in a past life. And you, I'm using my hands, no one can see me, but you have to drag the shot up to your mouth to take a shot from this thing. Then they have food. Last year they had rolled ice cream, which was delicious. They had all kinds of desserts this year but I stayed away because I was trying to be good. But I'm telling you, right Mike? They get down at these parties.

Mike (02:18):

Yeah. Yeah.

Crystal (02:18):

I think for you-

Mike (02:20):

They live it up. Yeah they rent out a nightclub and everything.

Crystal (02:21):

Yeah. But for you, by the time you probably get there, you're exhausted because usually you've already done your speaking engagement. You're like, please don't. You're always still talking to people. If I had a speaking engagement at that event, because all the speakers are always so giving at Social Media Marketing World, I would be like no one talk to me for like three days. Because you guys stay late, you answer questions, you meet people in the hall. It is the best event I've ever been to that really the speakers want to help, which leads me to why we are so lucky to have you here today.

Crystal (02:51):

Thank you for joining us because you're always giving back to your community and really making sure you can share any knowledge you have with everyone. You're always hanging out late, answering questions and happy to jump in. So thank you for being here today.

Mike (03:04):

Yeah. It's a pleasure.

Crystal (03:05):

I think I probably broke the Social Media Marketing World rule and like shared what happens after hours at the conference, but hopefully people think of it as a sneak peek and one of the many reasons they should attend. Right?

Mike (03:16):

Yeah. Yeah. I have a theory that conferences are just big excuses for adults to party. You get work done during the day and you go out and you live like you did in college, kind of, not as crazy but as close as you can to be like you were in college while still maintaining some semblance of responsibility.

Crystal (03:36):

Yeah, it's like a weird mix. It's like if college you had actual responsibilities other than just going to class because then you get up, the conference starts at like 8:00 AM the next day and you have sessions all day long. It's like a jam packed party for sure. But today we're going to be talking all about, a little bit of personal branding, a little bit of copy and really what small businesses can be doing to take that to the next level. I think copy personally to me is going to become more important than ever, considering people are having less and less human interactions right now. So you are like the expert of experts to have on to chat with us about this today.

Mike (04:16):

Well, I'm excited to be here and hope that I can add value to just everybody tuning in today and yeah, copy does matter. And I always say that like when you influence language you influence thinking, and we have that opportunity right now because the world is in a very, very unique place and we can use our words to bring comfort, to bring hope, to bring leadership, to bring clarity or we can just fear monger and make people feel really bad. That's not hard to do either. So I'm excited to just kind of-

Crystal (04:45):

That it isn't.

Mike (04:45):

Yeah, just contribute a little bit today.

Scott (04:48):

Well, Mike welcome to Small Biz Buzz. I'd love to have you maybe start out, sorry Crystal-

Crystal (04:51):

No. That's-

Scott (04:51):

... by derailed what you were-

Crystal (04:53):

You went exactly where I was... Thanks.

Scott (04:54):

I just want to [crosstalk 00:04:54] Oh. Okay. Well let's just give our listeners a quick overview of who you are and what you offer to the world so they can get a sense of where you're coming from.

Mike (05:04):

Yeah. So there's two arms to the business I run on. On one hand, I'm an online educator of marketing that centers on the personal brand and copywriting space, copywriting for personal brands. And by personal brand, I mean, a speaker, a coach, an expert, a trainer, a thought leader, an author, anyone who's paid for their thoughts, right? They're paid for like what's inside their brain. Which is a unique industry to be in because we have so many creators who are out there now and podcasters and bloggers and influencers and so forth. And on the other side of the business, and this is not as much prevalent anymore, but when I was striking out on my own, I was hired as a marketing consultant or a launch consultant and copywriter for some of the bigger thought leadership brands who are out there.

Mike (05:51):

So I've worked with clients like John Maxwell, he's a business author, Donald Miller from StoryBrand, Suzanne Evans. And these are all coaches' coaches. Right? The leaders of these thought leaders. And so I have realized that in that space that I've been entrenched in for years now, what really sets someone apart is who they are and how they say it. Right? And it's not even what they say, but it's how they say it, right?

Crystal (06:20):

So true.

Mike (06:20):

And so it's a very unique place to be in. And it's why I love talking about personal branding and copywriting because I think the two are inseparable at least in any brands that are really, really influential and impactful. So that's what I do. I help people market, mobilize and monetize a message. And hopefully do it in a tasteful way.

Crystal (06:43):


Scott (06:43):

I'd love to hear what is... Sorry Crystal. I am so sorry. Go for it.

Crystal (06:47):

That's okay. We're both excited today. I can tell. No, you go right ahead. I was just going to bring up every time, I'll just quickly say mine, every time I listen to Mike talk, it helps me reevaluate like down to the smallest tweet, how we're saying something because I just feel like sometimes you get caught up in the day to day and all of a sudden you're saying something, it sounds too canned or it sounds like it's not really what you're... Like you don't care or that it's just marketing speak and every time I listen to you at Social Media Marketing World or see you somewhere online, it's like always just a gut check to me to be like, are you getting stuck in the day to day and not really focusing on who you're speaking to.

Crystal (07:28):

And I just think that's so important. And I'm so excited that not for what's happening right now, but the timing of this worked out to have you on our show right now because that's exactly what people need to be doing is gut checking every single post, every single blog, everything they're writing or emailing their customers to make sure they're speaking in a way that is going to be received well.

Mike (07:50):

Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. One of the things that I often share when it comes to marketing is like if you really asked me, "How do you see marketing? What is unique about the way that you see marketing?" And I just tell them, marketing isn't about closing a sale. It's about opening a relationship. And if you just filter everything you say and do, marketing wise through that lens, that's going to help you, because you're going to approach people as friends. You're going to approach people as people. And that might sound like a nice little sound bite there. "Mike, you don't understand. We're in a big business." No people do business with people. People do business face to face with people.

Mike (08:36):

And you can take, this is why Geico has a Gecko that has a unique personality as a mascot. They're trying to take an industry, a vertical that is not very personable and they're trying to put a personality to it. So everything that I share is just seen through that lens. If you're going to do marketing you do it from the approach of opening a relationship, not just closing a sale. And that'll help right there. That right there will help. Gut check everything you do.

Scott (09:07):

I'd love to hear maybe some examples for people just to put this together. I loved your comment about, it's about who you are and how you say it, and this concept of opening a relationship. Give us an idea of maybe what that doesn't look like and an example of what that could look like.

Mike (09:25):

Yeah. So what, it doesn't look like are canned slogans that you could fit in any industry. For example, bridging the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Like, okay, snooze. Right? Put me to sleep, right? Clarify your message so that customers engage, like kill me now. Right? And yeah, those are nice slogans. They're clear, but they're not compelling. And they're not compelling because there's no personality in them. And that doesn't mean you have to use like 18 emojis in a slogan or email copy or anything like that. What it means is that-

Scott (09:57):

Dang, that was going to be my go-to. All right.

Mike (10:00):

Yeah. Yeah. I mean some people do that and it works for them, but what it means is that, the message has to be believable. It has to come from the core. So what I often lead people through is a little framework that I call the PB3. The personal brand three. And it's just three questions. And the first question is, what pisses you off? The second question is, what breaks your heart? And the third question is, what is the big problem you're trying to solve? And your brand message-

Crystal (10:27):

I think I need therapy.

Mike (10:28):

Yeah, the brand message sits-

Crystal (10:30):

The way my answers went.

Mike (10:31):

The brand message sits at the intersection of those three things. So what pisses you off is simply the injustice that you see in the world. And what breaks your heart is the compassion that you have for people. And what's the big problem you're trying to solve? That's your business. Because a business is nothing more than solving a problem for a profit. Right? So if we look at the answers to those questions, you will actually start to find threads in the backstory of a brand, or a founder, or a thought leader, or creator that actually ties them to their business in ways that they never imagined before. So an example of this is, and I tether everything to a story. It was once said, never tell a story without making a point, and never make a point without telling a story.

Scott (11:19):

That's right.

Mike (11:20):

So what pisses me off, I have a story for that. I remember 2013 I was working as a CMO of her company and my mom and sister had come over my house for Thanksgiving and we stayed up till two in the morning. Just sharing stories, like having a great time, first time in a long time we ever did that. And then I got called into work the next day. And I got really ticked off about that. It was Black Friday, like what? I was already working 60 hours. Why do I need to come in? Right? And I just started having all these thoughts, like I don't want to be told what days I can spend with my family.

Mike (11:52):

I don't want to be told what I'm allowed to work. I don't want to be called last minute to come in on Black Friday when it's pointless. And that's the story I tell and what breaks my heart is that, I met so many people in my workplace and outside of the workplace who see what I do now and they say, I wish I could do something like you. I just don't think that I can do it. And these people are smart, they're intelligent, probably valedictorians in high school, graduate degrees, and they are just living life like they're the walking dead. They're just zombies. They're just going through the motions. Right?

Mike (12:26):

And so what's the big problem I'm trying to solve for the small sliver of the population? It's not for everybody. I know that. But for the small sliver of the population who wants to become a creator or a thought leader or personal brand, I'm going to help them through marketing. And so you'll notice my answers to the first two questions weren't, what really pisses me off is bad email copy. And what breaks my heart is terrible marketing. Those folks work at Ogilvy. Those folks work at the huge... And rightfully so. We need them there. But people will follow me amidst a sea of other personal brands and speakers and consultants because they hear those stories and they believe it.

Mike (13:06):

And now, my marketing isn't just a nice slick campaign with a nice slogan. It's actually part of a bigger context, which is a movement I'm trying to start, and I'm not trying to be a religious leader, a cult leader, political leader, but in a sense, I'm trying to help the folks who want to become their own boss at a personal brand and help them through using the power of marketing and what I know, to do it. And you see this all the time in companies like Uber and Toms Shoes, these are not just marketing ploys. These are movements. So that's where you really tap into who you are and how you say it. We got to figure out who you are, and then we got to find the voice behind that. And it's much easier to market somebody or market a company or market a cause that actually has some substance to it, right? That comes from the core. So, yeah. That's the-

Scott (14:06):

What do you think it is about humans that causes them to resonate more with something like that versus, we could write compelling copy about all of the benefits that are stacked up when somebody works with you. Right? It could be very compelling for somebody. What is it about this story-based, deeper connection with the personal brand along those three vectors? What's the why behind that? Why does that work in your opinion?

Mike (14:32):

I think human beings are just wired for story. We always have been and this is why we still watch movies even though it's the same plot over and over again. Hunger Games is the same as Star Wars is the same as The Lord of the Rings, is Joseph Campbell's hero's journey. Right? Over and over and over again. And I think we're always looking for ways to make things relevant and simple and a good story will do that for you. And we grew up reading stories. That's how we went to bed. Mom, dad read me a story or you know, and I don't know what comes first, the chicken or the egg, but it is definitely baked into us and it stays with us through all our lives.

Mike (15:19):

And so I'm always looking for a way to frame a big idea with a story and then give the solution. So that's another framework that I often use, especially in email or social media, copy or even social media videos. A lot of people say, "I don't know what to say on these one minute Instagram videos." I'm like, all right, grab a tweet or grab a quote, grab a one liner that resonated with you, that's your big idea. Tell a story and then tell people really quickly how to do it, and then reiterate the big idea. So it might be something like, "Hey, marketing isn't about closing a sale, it's about opening a relationship." I'll tell you about a time where a relationship opened doors for me that sales couldn't. This guy named Ray hooked me up with Social Media Marketing World.

Mike (16:09):

They needed a copywriting session and he recommended me and this guy mentored me in business and online business early on. And I've spoken there now three times. I didn't sell this guy anything. I didn't make a sale. And all I did was just be recommendable to him. That's how I did it. So marketing isn't about closing a sale, it's about opening a relationship. That's a one-minute Instagram video. People can be like, "Whoa, that's really good." And the story is like the meat inside the sandwich, but the big idea frames it, and it's just this little simple thing that really makes it come alive, and it makes it memorable, and it makes it easy to create.

Crystal (16:47):

I feel like, too, stories, unlike other ways of selling or talking, building relationships, stories help whoever you're telling the story to see themselves in the story. You become the hero, you become the princess, you become whatever it is in the story. And you can see yourself accomplishing it. And I think for me, that's what makes a story so compelling and makes it not only were we ingrained with it, but it helps you kind of connect to who you're talking to. And do you see yourself as part of what they're describing? So that's for me why I love stories. I just love to feel that connection.

Mike (17:26):

Yeah. Stories are kind of like the catchall, right? And so when I write a campaign for a launch, or whether it's my own products or for clients in the past. There's kind of a spectrum that a prospect is on, right? They're completely unaware there's a problem. Well you have to tell them a story because that's the easiest way to connect with them. If they're somewhat aware that there's a solution to that problem, or if they're aware that there's a problem in the first place, then you share the secrets to fixing that problem. Right?

Mike (18:01):

So I'll tell you a story. Case in point like, this girl came to one of my workshops two years ago. A wonderful person. And she goes, Mike, I want to start this business on healthy homes. I was like, "What is that healthy homes? What do you mean, you're going to just clean the house or something?" And she's like, "No. We moved 10 times in 10 years. We're a military family. And we were always having headaches in certain houses. We didn't know why. And I realized that like, where the electric meter is in the house, if your head is faced towards that, it's going to give off these weird waves and it's going to mess with your head." And I just looked at her like she had three heads.

Mike (18:36):

I was like, "Lady, I have no idea what you're talking about." And she was like, "Well, how do I sell this?" I was like, "I don't know, because no one is even aware that this problem exists." So she's like, "Then what do I do?" I was like, "You need to tell stories. You need to do exactly what you told me. Tell the story of you guys moving 10 times in 10 years." So when a prospect is completely unaware, there's even a problem, you have to tell stories. When they're aware there's a problem, then you tell them the secrets of how to fix it. Right? So here's what's really going in your house-

Scott (19:14):

Yeah. Love that.

Mike (19:14):

... with your electric meter, and all these invisible waves. And if they're aware that there's a solution, then you just from a copywriting standpoint, we all know this as copywriters, you just drop the age old problem solution. Here's the problem, we have a solution. If they're product aware, they're aware of your brand, then you just make them promises because they already know who you are. And if they're what the kids say these days, if they're woke. Right?

Mike (19:43):

They're your biggest fans, all you have to do is make a direct offer. So you guys all at Keap know this, if people are familiar with your brand, you just make them offers. Right? But if they're not even aware that email marketing is the most important aspect of their online marketing, you have to tell them stories because they're just not going to believe you. They don't even think that problem is real. So that's how I differentiate. So a good campaign is going to have all five of those. Right? They're going to have the stories, the secrets, the problem solution, the promise and the offer.

Mike (20:14):

A good campaign is going to have all five of those, because I hit all five stages that a prospect is on. And that's how I double check everything that I'm doing. I got to make sure it's all in there. Yeah.

Crystal (20:25):

So based the story you just told us, a lot of small businesses really are focused on making the sale. They're focused on pushing, why should you buy this? Why should you buy this? What would you say to small businesses out there? If they're focused more on sales and pushing their product or their service rather than building those connections?

Mike (20:47):

Yeah, I mean, you can get away with it for a little while. But you're not going to have a sustainable customer base. Right? We all talk about the lifetime value of a customer and how important that is. And if you're a big brand, this is what a lot of people will say to me, Crystal.

Mike (21:05):

They'll say, "Well this is what a XYZ brand does. All they do is sell all the time." And it's all about direct response, direct response, direct response that works if people know who you are to begin with. And I'm kind of like, "Hey, I think I'm a nice guy, but I'm going to tell you the truth." Mean, Asian uncle Mike is going to come out here. If you asked me for help, "Sorry, you're not Tony Robbins, you are not Gary Vaynerchuk. No one knows who you are."

Mike (21:35):

Those guys, the people are woke when it comes to their brand, people are very aware of their brand. So you can get away with a lot more when you have that kind of brand equity. So right now with the situation that people are in, the world is in right now. It's kind of a dicey time. We have to focus on telling better stories because that's what's going to differentiate a lot of us, because a lot of us do... There are thousands of people who do what I do. But the unique thing that I bring to the table is my unique journey and that's what people resonate with.

Crystal (22:07):

We've been talking a lot about copy and about personal branding and why all of that is really important in general. But how at a time like this, do you gauge like, how much empathy should they be putting into their message? How much empathy and how much help, what should they be kind of doing to make sure they're reaching out to their audience in the right way?

Mike (22:30):

Yeah, that's a great question. And here's what I feel that, at this point we're recording, we're doing this interview about probably what, three weeks in to when the situation got really serious here in the United States where the country really started taking action and the shock of it is still sort of there, but it's clearly it's that initial shock, we're past that phase. Right? People are settling into a new groove.

Mike (23:03):

It doesn't mean that the world is peachy and it is what it was. But people are settling in and here's what I've advised folks because a lot of folks are wondering do we just empathize like nonstop, like no people. Yeah, don't be a jerk about it. Again, open a relationship, but I think it's probably an appropriate time to shift our language from survival and struggle to adjusting and adapting. And so I've advised brands who was small, big, you name it, take the word struggle and survival out of your vocabulary right now. Use the words, adjust and adapt. It is week three, week four of people working from home.

Mike (23:50):

It is week three or four of kids having to be home from school. So let's lead people to help them adapt. Right? Be positive. Show them there's a way forward. And so a lot of folks who are in the creative space, the creator space. Do we stop selling things? No, no, don't stop selling things. Just sell on, march on, show them how your product can help them adjust and help them adapt. So I really think that. Yes, there's a place for empathy and hey, we hear you, we're here for you, we want to help you.

Mike (24:27):

But at some point, human beings, we are very adaptable. We're going to survive. We are. And at some point we're going to create a new normal and it's already starting to settle in, that this is not going to go away, snap a finger tomorrow. And so people are just starting to make these slow course corrections and these slow adjustments. And believe it or not, people still want to be productive with their time. They don't want to just sit around and watch Tiger King on Netflix all day, every day. Right? They want to make some of these adjustments. So yeah, just that's what I would say.

Mike (25:02):

Those words can be a really helpful pivot point. Let's adjust, let's adapt. What market strategies can we adapt or adopt right now and adjust to the situation that's going on?

Scott (25:16):

I loved your opener where you talked about the power of language and we can do anything with that language. Right? And have you seen people trying to use fear in their messaging or maybe overuse the concept of fear as of late?

Mike (25:32):

Yeah, definitely. I feel like early on, especially there were, as I scroll through my Facebook feed and Twitter and all that sort of stuff. There are these messages and they probably boiled down to a couple of messages. Right? Like, "Hey now's a great time to grow your business, don't let up or anything like that and stuff like that." And then there's another message that would be out there like, "Screw doing epic things during the quarantine, maybe the universe is showing that, we're taking the everyday things for granted." And then there's like another-

Scott (26:20):

Go to Social Marketing World and party. Come on.

Mike (26:23):

Yes. Right. And then it's like, save money, hunker down, hoard toilet paper. And then it's like, "Don't sink things so selflessly you idiots. There's plenty of toilet paper. Be nice to people." It's a very general set of messages. And it's fine. It's going to be like, it was like that for about a week and a half and now all of that has passed. Right? The whole, "There's so much opportunity right now. Keep building your business." That's kind of past. Right? And, "Screw this maybe the universe is telling us to calm down and really just take every day at face value and appreciate every day and not take it for granted."

Mike (27:03):

That's going to pass, because life has to move on. And so I just feel that we're at this point where it's completely justifiable for us to make offers, to help people we're going to adjust. I had someone to ask me today on a call. They were like, "Hey, you know that live workshop that you used to do with sales pages? Do you think you could do a virtual one of that for like two, three days? I'd sign up for that." No problem. People want to be productive. We can't just assume just because we're all staying indoors and we're not spending money at restaurants or the theater, that all our money just disappeared. That everyone's financial accounts... We're facing a biological virus, not a cyber virus that wiped out all of our bank accounts. And it's a story we tell ourselves and we have to realize that's not really true.

Scott (28:00):

So I'm guessing as you, I love the way that you, even the tone you take, as you talk about the sort of the mainstream messaging because I think probably, I'm probably not the only listener who hears that and is like, "Oh yeah. That's where my mind went as well." So I love that. You're challenging us to say, "Look, there are going to be messages that just sound like everything else, and getting to a deeper place." I think that the challenge that I think our listeners should probably feel is, "Okay, well that was what came to mind. I know when I thought it, I have inside of me... I feel all of the emotions that I feel to try to serve my customers. So like it really resonated with me, but I don't really feel uniquely equipped to necessarily make that story more unique to myself." So I think we've talked about stories. How do you combat the challenge that I might feel as a business owner? If I don't feel like I have, I'm not a copywriter, I've got so many things to think about. Are you telling me I have to go master copywriters? So what are some kind of quick tips? If there are some that you can give to somebody that's just a feels like a regular old business owner, trying to create a unique message that will resonate.

Mike (29:09):

I guess what I would say in context of that. Because they're all these messages are out there and they've been floated out there. I first just try to help people kind of settle down and reframe because none of us have gone through this before. And an analogy came to me that a friend shared with me several years ago, and I personally, this is my personal bit. I don't really believe in life balance. Work life, but I don't think there's such a thing. Right? I think that navigating life, especially in this season that we're in right now is entrepreneurs, business owners, you name it. It's more like a symphony, giving the appropriate amount of attention to the appropriate thing for the appropriate amount of time. Yeah, I was an amateur musician in my twenties or I played a little bit and did some recording and stuff like that.

Mike (29:59):

And I can appreciate that symphony concept like, no piece by Mozart has the violence screaming the entire time. Right? You go to a jazz concert, the saxophonist plays maybe one tenth of the time that the drummer does. Right? Even Metallica has some breaks and rests in the heavy metal songs. Right? And so no one knows how long "coronapocalypse" is going to last, but we can't hammer one note the entire rest of the way. And so I just, I just tell owners, I'm like, Hey, you have permission to feel any one of those four or five feelings that we rattled off before in the kind of a half-joking manner, give space for other people to do the same, but come back to asking yourself, am I giving the appropriate amount of attention to this thing? Is this the appropriate thing for the appropriate amount of time? Is it really necessary for me to wake up every morning and have the first thing I do is check CNN or Fox news to see if there's a miracle cure today? Probably not. Right?

Crystal (31:09):

I'm limiting myself.

Mike (31:11):

Yeah. I'm blasting the violins though. That's like blasting the violins, the whole song. We'd all go crazy. So I'm just sort of like the first thing I say is like, keep your head in the game. And you guys can steal that if you want. All of you who are listening, if you feel like communicating that little symphony illustration to your lists, to your audience then steal it. You have my permission, take it. Because I think that right there is going to help people really reframe the emotions that we're all feeling. Right? And that is something like a friend would tell you. And you just start-

Crystal (31:46):

For sure. And that's-

Mike (31:49):

Yeah. Yeah.

Crystal (31:50):

That's what I was just going to say too, is that at the end of the day, copy is just a fancy way of saying, a message your constructing on different mediums to send someone you're trying to tell something to. So one of the messages I've been getting at this time that I feel is just from my personal trainer, but I can tell he's sending it to all of his trainees, but he's just literally saying, "Hey, the gym is still closed. I'm so sorry. We're all going through this."

Crystal (32:17):

Actually the last one didn't even say that he said, "We're all going to keep adapting, stay active. Here's what you should be doing at home. You don't need any equipment for, for this week. I'll touch base another week." Now he's not even getting paid for that. Because they only get paid when they're training, but he's trying to maintain the relationship so I don't go anywhere else. And it's very just straight forward like, "Hey, just wanted to check in. I know this has been hard to not have the gym. Here's what you can do at home in absence of having training sessions right now."

Crystal (32:49):

But you know what? There hasn't been one moment that I thought, what if I got rid of my trainer? If anything, I'm thinking I can't wait to go back to having training sessions with him. He's being caring. He's sending me workouts right now even though we're not working out, he wants me to stay attached to my goals. And I just think there are people out there that are approaching it the way they should, which is just being straightforward, talking with the people you've already built connections with and making sure they feel connected to you. So they don't want to go anywhere else. Right? I mean, at the end of the day, that's what it is.

Mike (33:22):

Well, and he or she is being a leader. Right? And if there's anything that this has shown all of us, is that leaders don't go dark in times like this, they show up.

Scott (33:34):


Crystal (33:35):

I love that.

Mike (33:35):

They don't add to the noise. They make sense of it. And that's why I'm like, take the symphony example. If that helps your people make sense of what they're feeling, take it. You know, leaders bring clarity, their voice calms. It rallies people when you need to, it reminds people of the greatness they carry inside. Leaders create to contribute right now more than ever because if you think about it in times of crisis, if you allow there to be a vacuum of silence, the only thing human beings tend to fill that vacuum with, is fear and worst assumptions. Right?

Mike (34:09):

If your family is like, "I haven't heard from Crystal for like..." or, "I haven't heard from Scott." They're going to assume the worst. And so right now is when we have to step up our communication, it could be as something as simple as that, it could be something as simple as you know guys, this is something that, that a friend just recently shared with me. I thought I'd pass this along. It's like, life is like a symphony, appropriate amount of attention to the appropriate thing for the appropriate amount of time. And that's it. And I think where businesses, Crystal, this gets back to one of your questions earlier, they hit a wall in times like this, because up until this point, they've been creating content just to earn money, but not to really grow their people. And yeah, they're industry insiders, they're brilliant, they're talented at what they do, but ultimately they're creating from a transactional position.

Mike (35:02):

And if you treat people that way, then they will leave you because they're a transaction and so are you. But if you've grown a tribe of people who are loyal because you've added value to them and you've grown them, you've grown big people. Now you have a tribe who's there with you. And it doesn't matter what the situation is. They're going to stay loyal. They're going to stay with you, I think because they want your leadership. They want to be around you and you guys have done that really, really well. You have a tribe of people. And I think, when you think about it, in that context, it's a relationship, tribes have leaders. We need to speak up. We need to fill that vacuum with positive stuff. So yeah.

Scott (35:46):

That's so great. Mike, this has been awesome. I think we're coming close on time, but I wanted to squeak in at least one more question. I think, I keep going back this sort of intimidation that a lot of business owners have. So you work with thought leaders. Let's say I'm not a thought leader, so I'm just another type of service provider. I don't really think of what I'm doing as a movement. Do you feel like what we've talked about today can still apply to them in the way that they go think about their own branding and how they say what they say?

Mike (36:19):

I do because at the heart of at the heart of every business and at the heart of every entrepreneur who starts a business there is a why. Right? Because there are other easier ways to make money than running your own business man, I'm telling you like these ups and downs are crazy. Right? And so when you ask yourself those deeper questions, like what really pisses you off? What breaks your heart? One old client comes to mind. They contacted me. I have no idea how they found me, but it turns out that they were from Beverly Hills and they were Beyonce's dentist.

Mike (36:53):

And I'm like, "What?" That's crazy. "Yeah. We're on rodeo drive. Beyonce is one of our clients and so on and so forth." And I happened to be out in California. I paid them a surprise visit and I was shocked first at how small their facility was. And then secondly, I was shocked at these were not dentists. These were not orals. These were philosophers who take care of people's teeth.

Crystal (37:17):

Of course they are.

Mike (37:17):

And I was like-

Crystal (37:17):

I mean, Beyonce trusted them to have their hands in her mouth. So clearly they were philosophers.

Mike (37:23):

They were like philosophers, who did it through dental work. And I was like, "What ticks you off? What breaks your heart?" They're like, and they just started railing against the entire industry and all these competitors who are selling people terrible things. And they clearly had opinions. And here's what I would like almost beg people in this, in this season that we're in right now, this is a golden opportunity for you to vent what's really on the inside in a healthy way, in a way that would have been shocking during another time in history. Like for example, if the world was as is right now, and you all of a sudden wrote a Jerry Maguire piece. You guys remember that movie where Jerry, one night-

Crystal (38:09):

Yes. I loved that.

Mike (38:09):

... he just has this epiphany. It would just come out of left field and people have been like, "What the heck are you smoking right now?" It would have come out of left field. There's no good time. If you've been kind of a middle of the road brand very safe in your voice and your opinions. There's never a really good time, just come out of nowhere and be like, "You know what, let me tell you what I really think." But right now it is a great time to do that.

Crystal (38:35):

Disrupt the industry.

Mike (38:37):

Disrupt. Yeah. Here's why we don't like this. Here's why we don't like that. Here's why we love this. Right? And people are just shedding the BS because they're all working from home. They realize, I don't really want to go into an office. I don't like my spouse, I do like my spouse, Oh my gosh, my kids, I want to kill them. People being super raw and honest right now. And it is a golden opportunity for us to kind of make an about face or a pivot in the way we brand ourselves, to really let that personal voice come out. So whether you're selling pizza.

Crystal (39:13):

I love that.

Mike (39:13):

Yeah. Whether you're a massage therapist, whether your physical therapist, whether your digital marketing company, whether you're a SaaS product, whatever it is, this is the time where you can really voice something personally.

Scott (39:23):

Love that.

Crystal (39:23):

Scott are you ready to disrupt?

Mike (39:25):


Scott (39:25):

There's this interesting... Oh yeah, of course. There's this interesting line between trying to create emotional connection with people and then feeling like you're being manipulative. And I think what you're saying really resonates because you're not actually inviting anybody to be anything other than what they are, but they haven't been willing to be. Right?

Mike (39:45):


Scott (39:45):

At least externally.

Mike (39:46):

Yeah, absolutely.

Crystal (39:47):

I love that. You already got me thinking of all the ways I'm going to try to disrupt some things. I may make a minute video and put it out today, Mike.

Mike (39:57):

Throw some tables, whatever-

Crystal (40:00):

Flip a table.

Scott (40:01):

What pisses me off. So Scott does this. Scott does that.

Crystal (40:05):

Oh no, no, no. I love where I'm at working wise, but I might just take a whole stab at the whole dating world right now, in a one-minute video and just vent on that. You'll have to follow me on social to see, but it'll be vent, Mike. I'm telling you. I love that. That is like the best advice.

Scott (40:24):

Mike, thanks so much for taking time today. This is super helpful. I love the way that you boiled this down into formulas, that you're challenging people to open up a relationship. I love that you shared how to put stories in the right place in this whole funnel to help introduce the problem. And I'm sure that's not the only place you put them, but super insightful and appreciate your energy and your commitment and for being with us today.

Mike (40:47):

It was an absolute pleasure.

Crystal (40:48):

Thank you so much, Mike.

Mike (40:49):

Absolute pleasure. Thank you.

Crystal (40:51):

It was great. Thank you.

Scott (40:52):

All right.

Mike (40:53):

Thanks guys.

Scott (40:53):

Thanks to all our listeners. We're going to call this a wrap for this edition of Small Biz Buzz. Thanks everybody.

Speaker 1 (41:00):

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