Marketer of the Day: Podcast Interview

An Interview by Robert Plank

· Interview,Marketing,Marketing Tips,Success,Succeeding

Stephanie was recently featured on the Marketer of the Day Podcast with Robert Plank, and it was so great that we wanted to give you the best bits! So we’ve sat down to summarize the 30+ minute podcast in a less-than 10 minute read for you to get the most inspiring and helpful parts.

Robert:

I’m super excited to have you here, and I’ve got some open-ended questions as well as some more selfish/pointed questions. But we’ll start with a broad one: as far as what you have going on, what has gotten you excited in the last 6-12 months?

Stephanie:

One thing that’s got me really excited is that we launched the new Impact Authority brand.

We were looking at everything I was doing, and just weren’t sure what the common denominator was; I was a sales trainer, marketing coach, business coach, etc. The common denominator turned out to be psychology, so we rolled out a brand built around the psychology of business: how we can use psychology to make an impact. It’s been a ton of fun, because we impact the lives of our families, vendors, clients, etc., and it creates a ripple effect in the lives of those around us.

We also leveled up our live events!

What’s exciting about that, is in part that we’re still doing live events (With Zero Viral Spread too!)! It’s been mind-blowing and incredibly exciting to find ways to level-up our live events and continue to connect people through events.

Robert:

So what is your secret?

Like you, I’ve been seeing the evolution of live events with COVID. I sometimes see the sales angle of “Once everything’s over, we’ll meet in person again. If not, your ticket will be used for a virtual event.” And event organizers are saying that we’ll have less capacity and more ballroom type spaces, but very few people are even having live events. So how are you still doing live events when no one else is?

Stephanie:

There’s a few things we’ve been doing to enable safe events while also taking our live events to the next level.

First and foremost, we built a 25 page manual on how to run an event in a pandemic. All our vendors, caterers, and staff have to sign off that we’re abiding by this manual. And all our attendees get the manual in an email prior to the event, and if they aren’t comfortable with the manual parameters then we ask them to refrain from coming.

Within that manual, there are a couple really important things.

I know it’s a controversy, but we ask people to wear masks at our events. What we tell people when they ask about the masks, is this:

Whether we believe that masks work or not, they were part of the formula for running three events in the middle of COVID-19 spikes with zero cross-contamination and viral spread. Since that formula works, we’re not changing it. So, yes, we include waivers in our events now. But we haven’t had to rely on them, because we’ve had zero viral spread at our events.

We also provide alternatives and keep in contact with people in advance.

Leading up to our 100 person event in January, we were in regular contact with the attendees leading up to the event and provided high-level alternative ways of being involved with the event in the case that they were exposed within 2 weeks of the event. 

In fact, we had people calling us up saying “Hey, my wife just tested positive” or “I got exposed.” And because we already had a plan in place to ensure people felt involved regardless of whether they were in the room or on the live-stream, we made it easy for them to switch their ticket to the online ticket. 

At the end of the day, we have had to put a lot more work in. But we’ve also been able to provide a space where people can come in and connect free of fear. And it’s been worth it! 

Robert:

I haven’t done events quite to your size, but even the smaller events I’ve done (And before COVID!) like weddings were crazy.

There’s so many nooks and crannies to keep track of, I can only imagine it’s 10-20 times harder to do it with COVID restrictions just to keep people safe. And then there’s the layer of higher cancelations and switches to virtual. At this point, you have to sell people on something you haven’t created yet. I think the cool thing is that you’ve done it!  A lot of people gave up, didn’t try, but you’ve actually done it. 

Stephanie:

And it was a hard, huge, hairy deal! We got a lot of flack for it, especially leading up to our 100 person event in January. People were worried, the case numbers were spiking, everyone was asking what was going on.

Eventually we straight up emailed everyone our 25 page manual and said “This is what we’re doing to keep you safe. If you’re not comfortable with this, you can switch to a virtual ticket. But we are confident in this manual!”

For us, it came down to the fact that people need to be together!

If you look at the stats, you notice that anxiety, depression, and utter isolation are up. Social media and zoom only go so far, people need real connections. And small business owners are not immune to anxiety and depression, so we knew we had to do it and it was so worth it! I had so many people tell me that they were debating not coming to our January event because of COVID, but they came because they paid so much for the ticket. And they told me that they realized they had needed it and were glad they came! 

One of our core values is the indomitable spirit (coming from my black belt background) so, it was never a question of “If?”, it was a question of “how?” 

Robert:

You’ve mentioned that spirit, the manual, having a team, and being on the ball with things. So I’m curious: what makes you succeed when others are failing?

Stephanie:

The indomitable spirit is a big part of it, and marketing as well.

When I started events, I had the mindset of “if you build it, they will come.” I quickly realized that doesn’t work, because there are a lot of good events out there. Worse, there are crappy events with great marketers. So we work insanely hard to make sure that every detail is perfect. And we work doubly hard to make sure the marketing lives up to the event.

I think too many people forget about the marketing and sales side of things, and just expect people to show up. But you must get people’s attention. As my friend Jesse Cole likes to say, “Attention is everything! If you can’t get their attention, you’ve got nothing.”

So we lean very heavily on making sure our marketing is on-point. Because we’re not just doing events, we’re selling $3-$7K tickets: it’s not a small commitment. So our clients need to feel comfortable trusting us with that investment. 

Going back to the indomitable spirit, the other thing is that people underestimate how many times you have to put a marketing message out there and then they give up. They send 5-10 messages out, and when they get closer to the event and have 3 people coming (Them, their mom, and the guest speaker), they panic and cancel the event. 

For one, marketing messages have to go out by the hundreds to make a dent in your sales!

For two, canceling events like that damages your brand. It tells your audience “don’t buy my ticket, you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Robert:

I agree completely!

I mean, imagine if something like that happened at a movie theater: you buy your ticket, show up, and either the movie isn’t showing or it’s a completely different movie. You’d never go back. And even worse, that kind of action is de-motivating for the person putting on the event. They get everything ready, put in all the cost, give it all your energy, and then give up right at the end. If that kind of thing happened, they’d probably never want to do an event again. It’s draining!

Stephanie:

So true! And if you really think about it, time isn’t our greatest asset: it’s energy.

Because without energy, time is a useless asset: just think about the last time you sat down at the end of the day