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How To Build Momentum For Your Ideas - With Mark Schaefer

succeed through speaking tom bailey Oct 28, 2021

Tom Bailey, founder of Succeed Through Speaking, interviews Mark Schaefer.

Mark Schaefer is a globally-recognized consultant, keynote speaker, and the best-selling author of nine books including his latest: "Cumulative Advantage: How to Build Momentum for Your Ideas, Business, and Life Against All Odds"

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Tom Bailey  00:07

Hello and welcome to Succeed Through Speaking. The place for experts and entrepreneurs who want high value ideas to boost business results.  Hello, I'm Tom Bailey and in today's episode I'll be getting to know Mark Schaefer who is a globally recognised consultant, a keynote speaker, and the best selling author of nine books now including his latest, which is called cumulative advantage, how to build momentum for your ideas, your business and life against all odds. So Mark, hello, and a very warm welcome to today's episode.

Mark Schaefer  00:48

Thanks, Tom. Thanks for having me. Appreciate it and

Tom Bailey  00:50

just of interest for those people who aren't familiar with you yet, whereabouts are you based in the world?

Mark Schaefer  00:56

I am based in America, I'm based in the Mid Atlantic state of Tennessee and enjoying a beautiful fall right now.

Tom Bailey  01:05

Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing. And I try to share one small last thing about you before we do get started. So Mark has worked in global sales, and PR, and marketing positions for more than 30 years now provides consulting services. He specialises in marketing strategy and social media workshops. And serving his clients include brands such as Adidas, Cisco, Dell, Pfizer, the US Air Force, and even the UK Government. And the title for today's episode is all about momentum and cumulative advantage. And Mark is going to show us or talk about this in just seven minutes. So my question for you today is when you think of this area of research you've been doing, who is the target audience that you typically find this out?

Mark Schaefer  01:52

Well, what I found is that, you know, I only write a book, whenever I see a problem that I that I can't really solve. And I go down this dark rabbit hole, and I get obsessed with something. And the problem is this time is that people really are having a harder, harder time being seen and standing out in this world. Yeah, and maybe they're even doing great work, maybe even excellent work, and they're still being buried. And so as a consultant, and as a teacher, I just can't sit back and say, Oh, well, life is hard right? Now. Let's go take it up. You know, I want to figure it out. Like what are the options, and that led me to write this book, cumulative advantage. So this book is really, for anyone who's an entrepreneur who has a business or even just as ideas they want to have shared with the world, how do you get that those ideas to be seen, heard and discovered in the world?

Tom Bailey  02:51

Great. I love it. So yeah, entrepreneurs, experts, business owners, and when you think of them, when you wrote this book, what would you say is the number one challenge that they typically faced when it comes to this area?

Mark Schaefer  03:03

The problem is, is just sheer volume, Tom, um, you know, if you look at any statistics about the number of podcasts that are being launched, the number of blog posts that are being written number of videos being uploaded to YouTube, and then you look at all the new streaming services that have come online and make no mistake, those are all competing for our attention. So it's harder and harder and harder to earn that attention and earn an audience. And that's, that's the problem that we all face as business owners and entrepreneurs. Yeah, it

Tom Bailey  03:41

makes complete sense. And I absolutely recognise that through some of the work that I do as well. So I guess the buried entrepreneur, you know, the hidden experts, what impact would that have on them personally, or even on their business.

Mark Schaefer  03:53

But for most businesses, it's really everything. Because you don't really have a business unless you have customers and you don't have customers unless they're aware of you. So I think we have to, it's time for a wake up call, about how the world really works today, how marketing really works today. I think the big problem a lot of businesses fall into is they do a little bit better this year than they did last year on their SEO or their Facebook ads. But meanwhile, our customer has taken a quantum leap away from us. And we have to like reimagine marketing based on the new relationship they want with us. That that you know, the way marketing work three or five years ago, doesn't work today. So it's time for a wake up call.

Tom Bailey  04:44

Great. And we've absolutely identified a huge problem that we've we can see in this industry. So given that if somebody's listening to this episode, and they're resonating with that challenge, what's that one piece of advice that you might give them, or at least a nugget of information just to get them started in the right direction.

Mark Schaefer  05:01

Well, I think one very, very simple piece of advice around marketing today is to number one, stop doing what people hate. So if you're spamming people interrupting people intercepting people, if you're filling their mailbox with direct mail pieces that they don't want, you got to stop. And you have to think about what were our customers? How do we create unique value to them? What is the problem we solve for them, come alongside them at their point of need, instead of disrupting them and disturbing them? Do what people love, be more human in every in every customer? touchpoint?

Tom Bailey  05:43

Great. And And just one more question, just to build off of that is, how is the best way as a business owner to find out where our customers are? what they want, how to get alongside them is? Is it by asking them?

Mark Schaefer  05:54

Yeah, I think Tom, so many businesses don't do that anymore. Especially in the era of social media, where we count on following little breadcrumbs on social media, and say, Oh, you know, this customer said this, or this customer said that, and that is just a very small fraction of what's really going on out there. When I work with a client, the first thing I do is try to go out and visit customers and just see how they work. What do they love? What do they hate? What are our competitors doing? If I can't visit them? Maybe I'll talk to them on the phone. That's where the truth is. That's where the truth really lies about where we need to be with our customers, we need to ask them, yeah, great. I love it.

Tom Bailey  06:38

And therefore, for people who do want to take that next step, and really put this into practice in their business, what resource or what can you share with them to help them get started on this journey?

Mark Schaefer  06:50

Well, a lot of people have really loved my last two books that kind of go together. One is marketing rebellion, which is this wake up call that I'm talking about to say, you know, marketing just doesn't work the way that it used to. And then cumulative advantage is about building momentum. If you're feeling stuck, you're feeling buried and ignored. How do we get momentum to go to that next level. And the thing is, both of these books are really books of hope. There's nothing in these books that that aren't accessible, and actionable by everyone. You don't have to have a big college degree or a million dollars in the bank. These are both books of good, you know, practices, and hope.

Tom Bailey  07:33

Excellent. And I've got a link here, which is business for SAS cumulative hyphen advantage. And what it is I'll post a link in the shownotes. If people click on that, and I can go in and I think there's a free chapter of your book is there is actually his businesses, plural businesses grow calm.

Tom Bailey  07:51

businesses grow calm. Absolutely, yes. Despite that, perfect, I'll put that into the show notes, we can click on that. And they can go and download that free chapter. Awesome. So quick question then about yourself. Obviously, Mark, you've got lots of different businesses, you've been on a long journey in business, what would you say is one of your greatest either learnings, mistakes or failures you've made? And what did you learn from it?

Mark Schaefer  08:11

You know, it's funny, I get that question a lot. And actually, I got this question this morning. And other show, and honestly, I don't really beat myself up too much about the mistakes that I made. Because, you know, I mean, the biggest mistakes I've learned, taught me something about myself, and and either my limits or my opportunities. And so the mistakes I've made really brought me to where I am today, I wouldn't be here talking to you, if I hadn't learned from the mistakes that I made. So I mean, really, I don't have any regrets. I've certainly made mistakes. But everybody does. And you know, I've never made the mistake, so big that I can't dig myself out of it. I think that's the key to progress.

Tom Bailey  08:58

It is and like I said mistakes and challenges. They create awareness for us to focus on particular parts of our business operations, which we can enhance. Great. And the last question from me today, and we're already getting such great value. But what is the one question I should have asked you that will also bring some great value to our audience?

Mark Schaefer  09:17

Well, I think the thing that I'm most passionate about, is this idea of how we need to be more human centred in our in our marketing. And so the question would be how does marketing really work today? I think, Tom, we're gonna like, maybe 50 years from now we're gonna look back at history and say, What was all that advertising stuff about? Right? Because before advertising we bought from people that we knew, we still want to do that. We still want to do that. And I think that in the future, the personal brand, how we're known, how we come across as a person, that's really going to be the brand And that is really going to be the marketing and that human connection in business. I think it's, it's going through a renaissance right now. And I think that's really where the future lies. Yeah, I completely

Tom Bailey  10:12

agree. And podcasting, like you said, is getting swamped at the minute but it is a great way for you to get yourself and your message out there in person and connect with new audiences. So, Mark, I wanted to thank you again, so much for your time today for bringing such great value to our audience in such a short amount of time. Yeah, really appreciate you being here.

Mark Schaefer  10:32

It's a pleasure. Thank you, Tom.