How do you stand out amongst the competition?
You learn to understand your prospective clients' lingo.
Our guest, Jeffrey Shaw, who is a nationally acclaimed keynote speaker and host of the popular business podcast, Creative Warriors, helps entrepreneurs and small businesses with their brand and messaging.
He shares his practical action steps and insights on how to make your bookkeeping business easier and profitable.
During this interview, you'll discover...
The importance of putting out the right branding
Why lingo is the ideal marketing strategy
Why you should understand yourself first
To learn more about his website, visit here.
To visit his podcast, Creative Warriors, click here.
For Jeffrey's Facebook, go here.
For his LinkedIn, page, discover here.
To buy his book, LINGO, click this link.
Michael Palmer: 01:12 Welcome back to The Successful Bookkeeper podcast. I'm your host, Michael Palmer, and today's show is going to be a great one. Our guest is a nationally acclaimed keynote speaker and host of the popular business podcast, creative warriors. He speaks at creative and business conferences on the topics of marketing, branding, customer relations and sales. Jeffrey Shaw, welcome to the podcast.
Jeffrey Shaw: 01:50 Hey Michael, I'm glad to be here with you.
MP: 01:53 Thank you. It is all of our pleasure to have you and thanks for generously giving us your time. I saw you speak at profit con this year and after watching, watching you talk and share, I thought you have to be on the podcast. I think our listener is going to love what you have to say. And before we get into all of that, please, Geoffrey, tell us a little bit about your career and your journey really leading up to where you found yourself today.
JS: 02:06 Sure. Well, I'll tell you, let's, let's kind of reverse engineer this. So where I am today is I primarily help entrepreneurs and small businesses with their brand messaging and creating the right connection by what I refer to as speaking the lingo of your ideal clients. It's one of the biggest breaks I, I've been a business coach for about nine years or so. And what I found was when I started working your longer-term with my coaching clients, that the starting problem was a branding problem, right? The problem. And once that was fixed, it fixed so many other problems. You know, they wondered, why am I not getting enough clients? Why am I getting, why am I not getting the clients that are my ideal clients? Why are people asking me for discounts is so many of the questions they insure challenges they faced when you really looked at it, the biggest break was right up front in their front-facing branding because they weren't putting out the right brand and message to attract the ideal clients.
JS: 02:57 So that's, I wrote my book lingo on that premise and that now is primarily the work I do a, so now what got me here, uh, in a very jagged journey, if you will, is I've had a 33 year career as a high end portrait photographer. Now I get asked all the time, it's like, well, how do you go from one to the other? Well, to me it's kind of a natural transition, right? Because I started out at 20 years old, faced the challenges of a new business, made the corrections that needed to be done. When I really understood that I needed to understand the lingo of the affluent market, which I knew nothing about. I grew up lower middle class, but I had a luxury product. Family photography is not something anybody that you have to have. So once I realized it was a luxury product and I therefore needed to market my work to the affluent market, who could afford luxury, that was a great awareness problem was I, I knew I didn't know anything about their world.
JS: 03:52 I didn't know anything about their lifestyle, their values. So that became, to me the terminology I refer to as Lingo, which is when you really understand someone's almost their unspoken language, like when you're speaking to somebody lingo, you're so aligned with them that it's almost unspoken. And this is a very powerful strategy we can use. And this is what I use to change my photography business and have a very successful career as a photographer for three decades. And then ultimately, as much as I've loved being a photographer, I just really wanted to help other people have the same level of success and to fix what I see is that starting problem of businesses not putting out front word, uh, correct brand message that's speaking the lingo of their ideal clients. So I said anything but a linear journey, if you will. But while confusing to other people, that all make sense to me, you know, I mean, I, I feel like I should be, as someone asked me before I wrote my book lingo, Somebody said, well, what gives you the authority to write this book?
JS: 04:50 And I said, because I've lived it. There isn't a degree in this. You don't need a degree in it. It's because I get it. I, I've developed my, my own business and, uh, many other people's businesses on the strategy of, of Lingo. So that's how I ended up here.
MP: 05:09 Fantastic. And you, I, I, in your talk, you really, I think made the concept of branding very accessible just even through your language. Uh, so I think you already, you, you, you demonstrate what you're actually talking about and, and actually creating lingo that your ideal customers can understand, which I thought it was brilliant. You, you told a great story about you. You are selling a portrait for, I think it was like you had it down to the penny. Uh, and then you, you went into New York City. Can you share that story? I absolutely love.
JS: 05:40 Yeah. So you know, and here's the thing, I want to make it clear, like when I speak of this concept of speaking lingo, first of all, let's look at a little historical con context here. Right? Lingo has, there have always been lingos that have held together communities and cultures, right? Teenagers have their own lingo. Texting is a lingo. Cultures have a lingo. It's, it's when you speak a common, you speak common values. I mean, it's more than a jargon, right? To speak somebody. Lingo is not, it's not just an industry jargon. It's really speaking to someone's, you know, values. And most importantly speaking to their emotional triggers. And I, I tell you for your listeners, I mean you all are in probably the most emotional business there is. You're dealing with people's money. I mean it's the cause of most arguments and marriages and you know, you know how emotionally charged it is.
JS: 06:31 So that excites me. Like, I mean, if there's any industry that could really tap into finding deep seated emotions, which you can trigger to attract your ideal customers, it is, you know, the business of money. I mean, it's kind of incredible. So that's what I was looking for when I went into Bergdorf Goodman, the department store in New York City. So anybody that's not familiar with at Bergdorf Goodman in the fact of matter is most people are not familiar with it because it's not for everybody. It's a very exclusive one of a kind department store in New York City. And for whatever reason, at 23 years old when I set out to make these changes and understand the lingo, the affluent market, I knew of the store and I don't know how it must have been in a movie or something, but I went into New York City to go into Bergdorf Goodman.
JS: 07:19 I had $20 as a broke 23 year old having struggled in business for three years. I literally had no money, so I had 20 bucks. That's all I, that's all he had, you know, thinking I could find something to buy until I walked into the store. Right. And his store is, it's all marble floors and it was huge. Crystal Chandelier's and the staff are impeccably dressed and I realized right away I'm way out of my league, but I need to find something that I can purchase for 20 bucks so I can experience the store. But it also was a study while I was there. I was studying everything, pricing, structure. I was noticing how things were marketed, how they were laid out. I wanted to, the bottom line is I was studying the behavior of the customers more than anything. Like why were they comfortable here?
MP: 08:02 Wow.
JS: 08:03 In what way did this feel familiar to them, to other things in their life. So the only thing I could find a by Michael for 20 bucks was a candle, a tiny votive candle, like something you'd put into like a tea light. Like this is a tiny little candle for 20 bucks. That was it. So, but nonetheless, I asked for it to be wrapped because appearances clearly were an important part of demonstrating quality of the product that you're offering. And that became very obvious to me. So I asked for it to be gift wrapped and this lovely lady, that Gift Wrap Department is wrapping it for me. And actually I had made a comment to her. I asked her if she could show me how to wrap it. I didn't want just, I didn't want it to just be done. I asked her if she could show me how to do it because I said to her, I wanted to understand what rich people liked.
JS: 08:48 And, um, so she actually took me in the backroom and showed me hands on how to wrap this candle, right? So first of all, it included a beautiful silver metallic box with a purple ribbon. So I realized that there was a signature packaging was important, which I didn't have at the time, but the important thing was that she started wrapping this candle in wads and wads of tissue paper. And as she goes to put this tissue paper wrapped candle into the box, she stopped. She looked up at me and she said, don't use any tape. Now, this struck me so odd because you know, I, as I said in my talk, I grew up in a family that wrapped Christmas presents in newspapers and duct tape. Like I just didn't understand why he couldn't use tape. I asked why. She went on to explain that the customer is going to get this gift home and before they give it as a gift, they're going to untie the ribbon, take off the box top, unfold the tissue paper, make sure the candle is perfect because they clear value of this client.
JSSpeaker 1: 09:48 This high end clientele is perfection or a big value for them is lack of embarrassment. They would never want to give a broken candle, so they're going to unwrap this and I realized that if there was any tape used, especially on the tissue paper, you would not be able to do that. The boxes and taped clothes is tied with a ribbon. The tissue isn't taped close because it would tear and as simple as that is, that was a huge awakening moment for me to realize that this brand, Bergdorf Goodman understood their client tells so well that they knew what was not only what was going to go on to the store, but how this client is going to behave outside the store and that for the customer. This was the big light bulb moment for the customer when they received things that quote unquote didn't have tape.
JS: 10:35 It meant that somebody got them. And that's what I wanted. I wanted to create. This is what we all want to create. We want to create for our customers. This feeling that, wow, this business really gets me. If I had included tape when I gave my portrait. So I hit, which I had been doing up before, wrapping in tissue paper with tape and everything. You know, that was not creating the connection to the customer that wow, he really gets me. He shops in similar stores but now I do, or at least I studied them. So you know, when I unpacked that I started looking around and seeing that, you know, the way things were priced and I realized, and I've come to realize, and this is what I, what I try to promote is that this idea of understanding the lingo of your ideal customers is true. Whether it's the affluent market, the low end market or anything in between. It is an accessible strategy to understand your ideal customers so well that you make them feel like, wow, this business or this brand totally gets me. And it requires, you know, really with deep empathy, understanding your customers in an out of doing business with you.
MP: 11:50 It's remarkable. I find it remarkable what you've done and I loved how you then took that and applied it into your business and saw exponential results. In fact, you, you had one of the largest portrait photography businesses on the planet.
JS: 12:03 Yeah. I just want to make it clear cause you know, I think you just made a really key point that it's the adaptability part, right? It's seeing things in the world that, that you, that work for other businesses and adapt them, adapting them to your own. And again, if for anybody in the financial business, bookkeeping, uh, you know, you're dealing with people's money. If there's ever a time to empathetically understand your customers in am my talk at profit con, I asked the audience what are some of the emotions that you think your customers are dealing with? And people were yelling out words like shame and which I hadn't even thought of.
JS: 12:43 You know, I was like, I was expecting responsibility, longterm planning, you know, the things that are important to people, but I hadn't thought about shame and it's true, right? So it's, it's, but if you're, you know, that, that that may be a key emotion of your ideal customer or it may not be right. One of the participants in the group, uh, you know, I, I even told her story about she works entirely with, uh, lawn care services and you know, wonderful story about her father and how her father did a similar type of work and she saw him work countless hours but never really get ahead. So she wanted to make sure she worked with people in the lawn care business and that really helped them get ahead financially. Right? So there's a deep meaning to that. It's, you can understand their world, doesn't mean you're living it, but you, with empathy and understanding, you can understand the world of your ideal client.
JS: 13:37 And I do stress the idea of the ideal client, uh, because you know, those are the people that you're meant to serve. None of us are meant to serve everyone, but find those that you are meant to serve and then understand them so deeply that you speak their lingo. And that becomes your number one marketing strategy because people feel like, wow, this, this business really gets me so very clear and very simple when you put it that way, it's no who you were meant to serve a figure out what their lingo is.
MP: 14:13 Wow, let's walk through maybe some steps on if our listeners is listening right now, what should they be thinking about in terms of figuring out who they were meant to serve?
JS: 14:20 Yeah. And that is interesting story behind that. So I wrote the entire book lingo. It was in the hands of the editor and I started doing, I did as a podcast tour.
JS: 14:31 So I did 60 interviews in three months. And as you know, you know, it's, they're often recorded weeks, sometimes months in advance. So I started doing the interviews way before public, two months before the book was even going to be published, but the book was already at that point in the hands of the editor as I'm doing all these podcasts interviews, that very question that kept coming up. People were saying, well, how do we know who ideal customers? I realized I had written an entire book, assuming that people knew who their ideal customers were. The book I wrote Lingo originally was a marketing branding strategy for people that already knew who their ideal con. I realized the biggest problem is people don't know who they're meant to serve. So I went back and wrote that chapter. It's now chapter two in the book. I had to go back and write him and thank goodness I started doing the podcast tour and it was, you know, a great learning lesson.
JS: 15:17 So it is, I found, I realized that it is actually one of the more challenging things because honestly, Michael, the deal, the problem with it is the world has taught us to do it backwards and here's why. So businesses are inherently built backwards. We have to understand that first, and I don't know that it's avoidable, but businesses are inherently built backwards because what happens is we either have, we have an idea that we want to run with and create a business out of or progressively we're, we're good at something and progressively it goes from being a hobby into a profession, right? So next, you know, we're in business and the first thing people do when they go into businesses, they design a logo and a business card and they launch a website and they of course put a whole bunch of content and words on the website and then they spend years struggling trying to figure out who to fit into the business.
JS: 16:07 You know, the whole idea, the whole terminology, talk about a lingo, right? The whole terminology. A target market says it all. It's as if we're the shooter and we're trying to figure out how to hit a target. And this is one of the biggest struggles. The right way to build a business is to know whom you're building the business for. Build a business with all the processes and systems that are right for them and the way that they live, and then market it speaking of their lingo so that they feel like you get them. That's the right way to build a business. It just doesn't naturally happen that way, but any business can change their existing business by getting that concept. The problem is that I said so the world of business has told us to find customers that based on what, based on it could be based on, hey, I think that's going to be a profitable market, so I'll chase after them or that's the demographic I relate to.
JS: 17:02 Assault, chase after them. The right way to define your ideal customers is actually to first understand yourself. What are your innate characteristics? What makes you naturally good at what you do? What is your skillset right, and your skillset is more than just your education and experience. Your skillset, which I think is even more important. The most important part of your skillset is in what way is your brain uniquely wired that makes you good at what you do? Right? Many of my coaching clients refer to me as a chaos curator. It kind of caught on because that's how I see it. That's how my brain is uniquely wired. It's true as a photographer, and it's true as a branding consultant that I see the bring me the broken pieces, bringing to the chaos and I can synchronize it and compose it into something. That's how my brain is wired.
JS: 17:52 So how is your brain uniquely wired? Are you particularly when it comes to money, are you really good at seeing gaps where things are broken or you're really good at seeing patterns? Are you really good at seeing habitual patterns that have kept people stuck where they are, right? Or is that what are you really good at? Are you highly sensitive for trends and changes that are to come that can help people prepare financially for the future? But that's an important question I have. What way are you uniquely built or is your brain wired that makes you uniquely good at what you do? And then the third piece is to understand what is your unique perspective on why you do what you do. How is it that you look at why you do what you do differently than everybody else. And underneath that, there's usually a meaningful story as to why you do what you do.
JS: 18:40 But the, your unique perspective, it's kind of the proof of your why. It's not just a fluffy story. It's, it makes sense that you look at the world the way you do because that's just your perspective, right? That's what separates you from everybody else. Because there's way too much competition in every industry, but no two people are going to look at why they do what they do the exact same way. Right? So you use the previous example I mentioned before, the accounting services for, uh, lawn services. Unless that her father, you know, this is what her, she grew up with an absentee father and a lot of ways because he was so busy working and she didn't want that for other hardworking people. And as I had said to her and our conversation, I said, so really you're an advocate for hardworking people. You're not just their bookkeeper or her accountant.
JS: 19:29 You're their advocate, right? The there, you're the person to stand up for them to make sure that they have a financially sound business that prepares them for the future and maybe even makes it possible they could be home for dinner, right? That's a very different perspective. Accounting Services. So you put those three things together, your innate characteristics, your skillset, your unique perspective, you know, then you know yourself and then the ultimate question, which is the title of the chapter of two in the book is who will love that? That's the question, right? When you know yourself so well, then you can say, and who will love that? Who will already see value in that? Because fundamentally, one of the most important things people can understand in business is that, and this turns everybody's world upside down, but it is not your job to prove your value to anyone. It is your job through marketing and understanding your clients. It is your job to find the people who already value what you do. Big Difference. Because when you're trying to prove your value, you're selling yourself every day. But instead, if you put all your marketing branding efforts towards, you know, finding your ideal clients because you understand whom you're best to serve, you're not selling anymore. People are coming to you because they feel aligned with your values.
JS: 20:54 That is gold bullion you can take to the bank. That concept. I mean, if you think about it, not only does that make, I think, make our listener relax a little bit, right? Yeah. It's, it's such an opportunity to say, well, who do I, who do, who am I, who will love what I have to offer? And, and think about putting yourself in front of those people instead of thinking, Oh gee, that person might not like me. Or you know, they, they don't, they don't want to pay for that kind of a service. I mean, you remove so much noise and the focus when you go out into the world, it's just so much more of a, a linear line to, to going out into the business.
MP: 21:32 Yeah.
JS: 21:33 And we already know no, this experienced, right. Every, there isn't a listener listening in that doesn't know the experience. Where we've had some customers that are so easy to work with, we feel like we're in complete flow. They pay her for a full price, they're our most profitable and they were the easiest ones to work with. And then we have those customers that no matter what we do, what Ho what hoops we jumped through, no matter what we do, we can't make them happy and they're almost always the least profitable. There isn't a business person alive that doesn't know that experience. So my point is you want more of the easiest, most profitable ones, right? What and chance that if you, if you break it down, it's because they already, they had a different level of value for what you do. They're the client that really respects what you do and knows that they need it and sees value in it and they are the easiest ones to work with. And a don't Becker about your rates.
MP: 22:31 I think every, every listener right now is going, okay, we've got that. There's some work to be done to figure this out. But now we want, that's essentially who wouldn't want to have that in their business, where their business is filled with those people.
JS: 22:45 Yeah. And it is possible. And I, as you were, if you remember my talk, I, I'd lightly spoke about the Pareto principle, uh, which is a longstanding business principle that I think just needs to be questioned in today's world due to Preddo principles, the 80, 20 rule, which states that 80% of our income comes from 20% of our clients. You know, it's, it's mathematically accurate. I'm not going to argue that. But the problem is, and it's the, the prop is that people buy into that as a concept for their business. And when they do, they start seeing, well, some money is better than no money. And it's not because that keeps you stuck in a loop. It's, that's where you're wasting your time. It is better to put all your attention towards the clients that already value what you do. And here's the other, you know, positive loop of this.
JS: 23:27 When you work with people who already value what you do together, you create the highest value work that you're capable of. So now you're doing your best work, which exponentially will grow any business. Because when you're always, you know, it's like I said, it's such an irony. We do, we work our hardest for the customers that are the least profitable and probably do some of our poorest work. Yeah, right. That's not a path to success. So just say no, just don't go there. Build a business where you are. You know, we speak at using the strategies of lingo that I teach in my book. Build a business where you are for through your marketing and branding, speaking the lingo of your ideal customers so that you know, nine out of 10 of your customers are in your sweet spot. They're the most profitable, easiest, and you're doing your best work, which makes them happy, more likely to come back time and time again and far more eager to tell other people. And it becomes such a positive loop that you're not saying no for very long because you're only attracting the ideal customers.
MP: 24:27 Yeah. I think it's, you know, if we think of the 80 20 roads, it could be easy to fall victim to, well, it's just the way that it is, but what you're proposing is to be proactive in building a better 80 20 you got it. I love way of saying it, so now that we've got an exciting future, which is we're going to build a better 80 20 we're going to have great more great customers that, that bring out our, the best in us, in our businesses. How do we start putting out our lingo? How do we start really attracting those, those people? Maybe some ideas there.
MP: 25:07 Yeah. Interesting enough there. The, what I refer to as front facing branding, I see a front facing branding is your at the immediate response. It's the first seven to nine seconds that someone is on your website. It's the opening of your website. Really. It's the subject line in your emails. It's the beginning of your emails. It's right. What's at top of your promotion? Is there any way that you're putting yourself out there? I refer to front facing branding as the first seven to nine second experience. And it's incredible how important it is today that that experience, because you only have a seven and nine seconds to get someone's attention. And if you do, then they'll want to find out more and you have to fall through by, you know, and when you speak someone's lingo, you have to speak their lingo upfront to, to compel them and stop them or in their tracks and get their attention in the first seven to nine seconds. But you can't break communication. You have to follow through. You have to be authentic throughout your entire experience, processes, systems, and, and you know, your entire experience of working with a customer, you have to be consistent. That lingo, you can't, uh, you know, you can't attract that by speaking their lingo and then go off and there are businesses that do, right. So, um,
MP: 26:16 it actually reminds me of a, of one of my favorite little signs is it's a, it said free beer tomorrow. Oh yeah.
JS: 26:25 Well, I'll tell you an even better story. A friend of mine, Joey Coleman, wrote an amazing book called never lose a customer again. It's so, it's about customer retention, which is his area of specialty. He tells a great story in the book about a great scenario. So imagine you find the love of your life. You meet, you start dating your cording, you, you know you, you do all the right things. You're speaking one of those lingo. You're madly in love. You get engaged to get married and the day of the wedding you, you, you, you, you sweep your, your love of your life off their feet. You carry them into the hotel room and put him or her down on the bed and you say, okay, you're all set. Now here's Bob. Bob's going to take care of you for the rest of the time, right? That his ex, you know how many customers, how many businesses?
JS: 27:07 That's exactly how it feels, right? Somebody, courts, you, wounds you to get your business and the moment they have your business, it's like they handed it off to Bob. Somebody you've never met before, right? Right, right. It's such a funny scenario that he lays out, but I was like, oh my gosh, the I, that is so true in business. So what you know, to get back to your initial question, the um, what I've broken it down to in my book are the five key emotional triggers that you want to, this is building the lingo, right? This is how you build the link, this to speak the lingo of your ideal customers based on capturing these five emotional triggers right away in your, your front-facing branding. The first of those five is perspective. Now, and by the way, these five steps need to be done in order and you'll understand why.
JS: 27:54 But if prospective is number one, because you can't speak someone's lingo, you can't build a business for your ideal customer unless you've done the work to understand their perspective. That's why I went to Bergdorf Goodman, right? You know, I wonder what does it look like to be a rich person? I didn't know. I didn't grow up like that. So what does it look like? What does it feel like? So you have to understand the proverbial, you have to walk a mile in someone's shoes or it should be lots of miles, but you have to understand their perspective and you have to do that without judgment and assumptions. And a lot of people, a lot of businesses think, oh, I know my customer well. Do you really? Do you really know their world, right? It's, and there's almost always a gap between who we are as the owner of the business and who we're serving.
JS: 28:37 Maybe that could be an age gap, there could be a financial gap I willing to bet. Most people don't fully understand the perspective or their ideal customer as well as they think that step number one, step number two is familiarity. Familiarity is one of the strongest human emotions and hooks that I know of. We are so naturally drawn to what's familiar to us because familiarity makes us feel comfortable. We know we're in the right place, right? So if you are used to shopping in this type of certain environment or buying certain types of brands, you know, be that high end or low end, you're going to stay in that, that realm. Somebody, you know, someone that currently shops at Walmart. If I threw them through the revolving doors of Bergdorf Goodman past the doorman and onto the marble floor, they probably would be horribly uncomfortable. It's not familiar to them. Right?
JS: 29:30 Vice versa. Like I'm such a, I, I'm, I'm very, I live my life in support of small businesses and entrepreneurs. I'm not a big box shopper of any kind. I Costco Home Depot, they are not familiar to me and I break out in sweats if I forced myself to go to either end of any of them because I am a small business entrepreneur. I'd rather go to a local hardware store. I don't care if I have to pay more. I live in support of the small business owner. And that's also a very familiar environment for me. So, you know, so in your business you want to create an environment that's familiar. Uh, I'm always amazed at how many, as I do a lot of website reviewing, uh, is something I offer and I can offer to your listeners as a gift where I will review their website, do an initial review and give them some quick feedback.
JS: 30:18 And you know, a lot of people that you go to their website and their website, it's all about them. It's all about this is what I can do for you. And I'm an I'm a bookkeeper's, here are pictures of people at desks, but that's not who the customer is. And the customer's going to your website, they want to see themselves, right? They want, if they're, if you're as an accountant serving construction workers, they want to see photographs of fellow construction workers, not white collared people sitting on a desk. Right? And yet that's what time and time again, that's what websites look like. You want to, it's, it needs to feel familiar to the people that are landing on your website, not familiar to you, familiar to them. That's step number two. Step number three is style. Now Style and familiarity can kind of get wrapped together, but the differences file is almost entirely completely visual.
JS: 31:12 But the important thing about style is style is the decision-maker, right? People make a decision instantly whether something that is something, a style speaks to them. An example I love to give is when we go discount shopping or shopping for shirts at a TJ Max or a department store where all the designers, it's a mix of looks, a mix of styles all in your size and you could think about it and you're flipping through those hangers. Like people flip through a website. What makes you stop, right? You stop because something that shirt is like, that's totally your style and you hold it up and you're like, oh my God, I should get this. It's so me. Well that's how you want to stop people. In a noisy marketing world, that's how you want to stop them. You know on your website, your email or your marketing promotions.
JS: 31:56 It has to be in their style. So if you're serving a clientele that is high end, the style is going to be very clean, minimalist, toned down. If you're serving someone on the low end, it's going to be busier, cluttered, sorta like a Walmart is. If you're surfing someone in the lawn care business, then you know, they want to see that. They want to see a style that looks like them. Uh, the fourth step is pricing psychology. Super, super powerful because how you price yourself completely creates a perception of your business. Uh, and we all know this, we all have chosen to not buy something because it was so cheap. The perception we got is that it wasn't good quality. So are you priced high enough to create the perception of professionalism and quality or are you priced low enough to hit, you know, if you need a, if you want to hit a mass of more mass market, but how you price yourself and needs to be aligned with the kind of pricing psychology.
JS: 32:58 Same thing with, you know, if you've got a restaurant that doesn't have prices on the menu, you have an immediate perception, right? So it's is that for you or is it not for you? If that's not who you're reaching, then you know you don't want to do that. Same thing with even pricing on a website. I get asked all the time, should my prices be on the website? It depends. If price is your biggest differentiator, then absolutely put your prices on the website and if it's your biggest differentiator, it probably means that you're inexpensive. If it's not your biggest differentiator, then I wouldn't put your prices. I would put up maybe a range just so that you can filter out people that aren't even in that range. But ultimately, if as most of us are in professional services, we're almost always taking people a little out of their spending comfort zone.
JS: 33:45 And if you're going to do that, then you want to build a relationship first, right? You don't want to just put your prices out there. And then the fourth and final, excuse me, fifth and final step is the words that you use, and this is where I had said before how businesses are built backwards. If you, you know, again, these steps need to be done in order. You can't market yourself with the proper branding message and the words that you use on your website, your emails in your marketing materials until you've done the free previous four steps. You can't speak their lingo until you know their perspective, what's familiar to them, what style resonates for them and where you're positioning your pricing in the market. Then you can build a website and a brand message. But again, as I said earlier, that's usually the first thing people do when they go into business, which is why it's backwards.
MP: 34:40 So much generosity in terms of what you're giving our listener today, Jeffery, it's absolutely, I mean in my, my mind is just spinning. I'm sure our listener is as well. This may be an episode people are gonna want to listen to a couple of times. I hear that a lot of people go
MP: 34:55 back and listen to the episodes and take notes or they can just buy the book.
JS: 34:58 That's well that you, you are the, the, the man that brings the brains in the chaos. Right? So it's not surprising this, this your brain works well this way. Uh, there's a couple things that I think you've mentioned already that are going to really help those that feel this is resonating for them. Number one, you mentioned that there is an opportunity to get an assessment done on their website, which we'll put a link for that in the show notes for the listener that's introduced interested in that they, they can find that at Lingoreviewdotcomlingoreview.com.
MP: 35:32 So that's the link though that they will have their as well. You've got a, it's called lingo, these concepts just from hearing you talk about the book, I personally have ordered it so I have not read it yet cause I've just seen you speak in a couple of weeks ago, but I'm going to read the book. I think what you're talking about, every small business owners should be thinking about what messages they're putting out into the world. You're doing a fantastic job of helping us understand that. And you also have a podcast where it's called the creative warriors. I recommend listeners check that out as well. Before I let you go and I know we could probably go on for a lot longer, but we try and keep these episodes shorter. You shared a movement that you're creating called the, I'm proud of you movement. Can you share a little bit more about that for our listener?
JS: 36:20 Sure. And it's very much a personal story. Um, so yeah, it's called it's Hashtag I'm proud of you day. And it, uh, the story behind it is that, let me say two years ago, uh, I was turning the same age my father was when he died, which was 52, and my father tragically and suddenly died the day of my wedding. Uh, I was married at 20 years old, which is young. Um, but I, you know, I grew up in a small country town and that's kind of what you did that married the girl down the street. I was 20 years old and my father tragically died of massive heart attack just hours before this pope is suppose to be the ceremony. Everything was canceled. It technically is still our wedding day because we got married late that night just with the minister. Uh, but there was never, we never had a ceremony or reception or any of those things.
JS: 37:03 It was a tragic event and I was with, I was the only person with my father. Um, it happened shortly after the rehearsal dinner that one has at a wedding. We had it at my parents' home, you know, it, my father collapsed and I got my mom out of the room and I stayed with him and watched him pass. And as I did, it occurred to me at 20 years old and he was a stern guy and not a, not, not an emotional guy and had never told me he was proud of me. And as I watched him die, I thought, I'm never going to hear this man telling me he's proud of me. And I assumed throughout my life that I might make some people proud, but I also knew that no one saying those words was ever going to be as important to me as hearing it from my father.
JS: 37:43 And that opportunity was now gone. So two years ago when I turned 52, which by the way, I just had been dreading, which is common, but I had drip it driven, dreading that birthday for decades because I have no vision of what life looks like as a man past the age of 52 and wondered is, is my heart going to suddenly give out to me? Am I going to die when I'm 52 or shortly after? And so at the month or two before that birthday, I see I have to make something more positive of this. So I started a social media movement called Hashtag I'm proud of you day, which, um, is April 4th of each year. And right now it's just a complete social media campaign. Um, at some point I wouldn't mind, I'm gonna see if I can get it designated as a, an actual holiday.
JS: 38:27 Um, but I encourage everybody in that on April 4th of each year on, I'm proud of you day to tell everyone in your world that you're proud of them. You know, it, it's a wonderful thought to think that we would do that all year long, but we don't and you know, maybe I'm more sensitive to it than most. I try to tell my three kids that I am proud of them on a pretty ongoing basis. I try to make sure I not only say it but you know, show it and uh, but gosh, at least on one day you have to try to spread it. On the very first year we did it, we had over 2 million hits. It was a trending Hashtag and um, yeah, so that's the story behind it and it's a, that's that's the movement I would like to encourage just really making sure if not just on April 4th every day to tell the people those four words can totally change a person's life. And so many people are walking around the world having never really heard anybody tell them with true heart and meaning that I'm proud of you.
MP: 39:20 It's such a touching story and a thank you for bringing it to the world and for sharing it. It's a, I think every listener listening is either thinking they can share that more with the people in their lives or, or maybe want to hear it more from others. So better, best way to, to get more of it is to give more of it. So thank you Jeffrey. You're such a wonderful speaker, a wonderful guest, and up to wonderful things in the world. Thank you so much for generously giving us your time.
JS: 39:49 It's my pleasure, Michael. Thank you for having me.
MP: 39:50 It's all our pleasure and I'm hoping that we'll have you back at some point maybe when your next book comes out because speakers always got in to have a new book, right?
JS: 40:05 So I'm told, but I'm not there yet. It's a big job. It's a big job for sure.
MP: 40:10 For sure. Well, again, thank you so much and I've had a lot of fun with you today.
JS: 40:16 Thank you.
MP: 40:17 That wraps another episode of The Successful Bookkeeper podcast. To learn more about today's wonderful guest and to get access to all sorts of valuable free business-building resources. You can go to Thesuccessfulbookkeeper.com until next time,
MP: 40:27 goodbye.