In this episode, Jim James joins the Systemize Your Success Podcast by Dr Steve Day, Small Business Systems and Outsource Expert at Systems and Outsourcing, to discuss how you can unlock the value in your business through effective communication, and how knowing your audience can help you to deliver far higher levels of value, and increase your success.
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This week I'm joined by PR expert Jim James. He's the founder of EastWest PR and also the host of the very successful UnNoticed Podcast. We're going to be talking about how to unlock the value in your businesses through effective communication. And as we'll be talking about how to use his SPEAK methodology to do just that. How to storify, how to personalise, how to engage, how to amplify,. and how to know your audience in order to deliver higher levels of value and make your company a bigger success as a result. So the question is this, how do entrepreneurs like us who don't have an endless supply of cash, how do we leverage the best apps, virtual assistants, automation tools, and systems to scale our businesses, increase our profits and have more time to do what we love to do each day. That is the question. And this podcast will give you the answer. My name is Dr. Steve Day, and this is Systemizing Your Success. Hi Jim, thank you so much for coming out here and chat with me today. Just give us a three-minute intro to who you are, how you help people.Jim James:
Steve, thanks so much for having me. I'm a big fan of the show and also having worked with, you know, just how impactful you are when you help companies to outsource their systems or build an outsource. So I'm an entrepreneur and I have been for 30 years now. I've built eight businesses on three continents. I'm really the Champion of the unnoticed. So, what I love to do is I love to help business owners to express the full value of their business through public relations, through really a focus on content, consistency, and channels.Steve Day:
Fantastic. Okay. I think, well, I know this is going to be a fantastic episode. It's one I've been looking forward to since we first spoke probably a couple of months ago now. Because what you do is so massively relevant to, to every, well, to my business, but also small businesses. Getting yourself out there and letting people know what you do as a business is probably one of the things I think that we, genuinely speaking, probably yourself excluded from this, but generally speaking as business owners do, do pretty poorly, like for my, for myself, for example, this tries to give some context, but we're going to talk about, you know, I'm a creator by heart. I love solving problems, I love creating solutions and providing things that make people's lives easier. But what I'm not natural at is actually then selling that stuff and getting it out and helping people, because if we're not selling or promoting what we do, then, then no one gets the benefit. So what would your advice be for myself or, you know, a typical business owner who's stuck in that, that role of just basically keeping on creating, but never actually getting themselves into the 'how?' What are their first steps we should be taking?Jim James:
Well, Steve, I think you're right that, um, most people start a business because they've found a problem to solve. Communicating that wasn't part of the original business plan, right? So people are you great at solving problems? And then it's almost the definition of being an entrepreneur, isn't it? And then how you get the value in your business unlocked through sharing that through effective communication is really a huge problem. So I think really it comes down to content, really, to start with. So I think that we create great information and what most entrepreneurs struggle with is how to create that as content so that not just one but different audiences can, can, sort of empathise with that content. So let me just tell you what I, what I mean by that. So on the whole, we tend to create content that we understand and we recognize. And I've developed a program called Speak PR, which is Storify. Personalize. Engage. Amplify. And to Know. And within the SPEAK PR program, we talk about content within the context of storification. We're often, as business owners, explaining what we do and how we do it, and the storification part of the role that we need to play as communicators on behalf of our business is to understand what it means for our clients, but also for our partners and for our employees. So storification is moving it away from 'how I'm solving the problem?' to 'how my customers and partners and employees are feeling about the problems that they're facing'. Okay. So it's about taking the view from the other side. So what I mean by that is I'm, I'm offering a PR service, for example, I help clients to get noticed, but that actually people aren't looking to buy that service, what they're feeling is unnoticed. Okay. So that's where I've just published a book called The UnNoticed Entrepreneur, Steven. It's all about helping people say, well, actually, it's great what I'm doing, but what I really need to do is I need to see what the person is coming to me for. So that's the first part with the storification is not what you're offering, but what is the problem the other person is trying to solve? So sometimes that's quite hard to do where we're doing that internally. So a really good way of doing that is to record yourself and play it back, right. And play it back. And actually what happens is then you realise, well, I'm just talking about myself all the time, whereas a company, that's what we do. So the second part of the-Steve Day:
Kind of stuck with that Jim, I just want to get some clarification. So when you say record yourself, what, what are we, what are we recording when we're, when we're doing this?Jim James:
So our pitch? So you can either be on the video or in front of the mirror and you say, 'hi, my name is Steve. This is what I do.' And what happens is you're going that's, that's great. But then why am I, why am I interested, right? As opposed to ' hi, what problems are you trying to solve?' ' How do you feel when you come to my business? Are you feeling anxious? Are you feeling stressed? Are you feeling undervalued? Are you feeling that you need more staff?' So when we record and play back, then we can start to get honest sense of how we're currently representing ourselves. Okay. So you can do that with a friend or a coach. So a large part of what an agency does is it listens to the client and then says, 'That's great from your perspective.' But let me share with you, for example, what the journalist is going to be wanting to find out, they're going to know, how does it impact their readers, for example. Okay. So the second part, really Steve is the 'Personalisation' is starting to think about who we're talking to. So first of all, we're saying what problems that people facing, but the second part is, you know, 'Who am I really addressing?' And you, I think I'm sure you're familiar with this idea of the avatar, right? Or the persona, right? So, so what we need to do as business owners is start to understand who, who is our customer, who is our potential employee, who's our partner, for example, cause they're not just the one audience that we need to address because if we build a business, we're often doing it for clients, but we need to have staff or we need to have virtual assistants or we need to have partners. So personalisation is about starting to take the message that we've got and making it relevant to the individuals. And we can only do that if we know who the individuals are. So is it, you know, a middle aged business person, who's just started a business. That's one set of problems that they've got to solve. If with your business, helping someone to outsource it, if they've been in business for 20 years and never grown, they have a different set of issues and if they've just started a business and haven't grown yet, right? So, so the message is going to be slightly different, right? What we offer may be the same, but what the person is seeking to solve is different. So personalisation is about finding out who that person is. But also what we talk about is the customer journey. So step back, we've, we're thinking about our content, but we're thinking about what problems were the other person seeking to solve. We think about who they are. And then we need to think about where and when are they about to receive the message? You know, I've got kids. If, if I take the kids to school and someone rings me trying to sell me something, my mind is not, not on the job, you have to ring me back, right? So what we often do is we often send information as a business when we're ready to send it, right? And actually a big part of what we need to think about is when is the person ready to receive that information. So I'm, I'm sending out information about the book, for example, this week, and on the Zoho campaigns, I can elect to send the email by time zone. Okay. I can, I can choose to send it at nine o'clock when I'm ready, for example. I can also have it by the recipient's time zone. And I can also test the message by whether it's on mobile or on the big screen. So if we think about who we're, who the avatar is and what place they're at with their day, that content needs to change, right? I need to send it when it's relevant and to send it in a format when it's, when it's relevant. Okay. So, and then the E for the 'engage' is about creating, engaging content. Now, what most companies do in the same way that most people do when, when you meet them socially, they tell you kind of a lot of detail about themselves and they may miss the glazing over of the eyes. And, you know, someone goes, 'Oh, that's interesting, this guy, you know. How do I get away?' I've just seen a friend or I just go and get a drink from the bar, right. That old social cue. We're not getting it when we're doing a lot of, for example, social media marketing. So engaging content really is about creating content that is new and interesting. So we talk about content being king, but the twist on this, Steve now is context is queen. Okay. So we used to say that content is king and it ignored the context. And what we mean by that is how does it embed itself into the, into the lives of the person receiving. So a great example of this is the the uncle Tom phenomenon, right. Do you remember the, the guy who did a wheel, you know, did his walk around his, compound to raise money for the NHS? Right.Steve Day:
Oh yeah, I'm actually living in Sweden and not big, a huge digester of, of news. I could totally miss this until I think it was last week. Someone just mentioned that, 'Oh, you know, uncle Tom...' I have no idea what they're talking about, but I actually do not not know what they're talking about, so yeah.Jim James:
But yeah, so they go, so sorry, I call him uncle Tom. But that's the Harriet Beecher Stowe book, isn't it? It's captain Tom. Anyway, The reason that went viral was because the content was context sensitive. In other words, he was doing something simple, he was raising money, he was raising up something that everyone had empathy with the NHS, and he was doing it at a time when everyone felt an outpouring because of COVID. So when we talk about engagement with content, it's not just about creating content that you think is good for your company. It's about, 'Is it going to land with the person who needs it in a way that's a thought already in their head?' Okay. So we have to speak methodology of the storify. So, you know, what problem aware is our person at. And then the personalisation is who are their more detailed with the avatar and what are they doing in their day? And then the engagement is about how are you creating content that they're going to be able to accept and engage with. Okay. So it's, and it's, it's called the 'Cascade Theory'. If you're really interested by a guy called Watson all about how do we get people to share content that they will reshare. So captain Tom is a great case study in that. And the final thing is 'Amplification', which is, and I've got a map I can share with you, you can share with people that are going to watch this, but amplification is about taking one piece of content and sending it across multiple channels. And if there's, if there's an easy, free win for your listeners, Steve, it's to use amplification tools, really, there is nothing better than the tool sets available to entrepreneurs like buffer, like HubSpot, like Zoho, like Ask Edgar. There are lots of them and now available; some on free, some on freemiums, some paid for models. But there really is something for everybody. And if you take one piece of content, you can hook it up to all of these different channels. And you can basically post once and it'll get distributed in real time or as a repeat or scheduled by these tools. So we talk about outsourcing, which you know, is a big part of what you're helping people with. You can outsource the amplification to these platforms with a PR firm. That's what clients pay me to do. They pay me to take a piece of information and get it into the media. But as a business owner, you can use your own, owned the channels. You know, whether it's YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Medium, Reddit. In China, Wei Xin or UTA, Youku, TikTok, and you can hook these channels up, Steve. Click once they all go out. The final part is the 'knowing', which is the metric. And I mentioned about a very simple metric that I like to use. It's called the Active Communications Index. And it's very simple. It's about how much content you create and how many channels you hook it up to and how consistent you are, because it's, it's a common problem where people create content and they send it once. We see this often in smaller businesses where they haven't got a dedicated resource and maybe when there's a product launch or there's an office opening, or there's an acquisition and there's a big flurry of activity. But after that, there's nothing. And it's the kind of the, the social equivalent of meeting someone and, you know, moving into a neighborhood and going, 'Hi, I'm, you know, I've just moved in and isn't it great we're neighbors'. And then never going and saying hello again and never, you know, just, I just took some rhubarb to our new neighbors, for example, there. Lots of touch points that you can have to build a relationship. So the Active Communications Index is about creating a rhythm in the same way you, for example, I have a daily huddle as I do with my team. We need that with our communication strategy as well. So the Speak PR program really, it's a, it's a methodology that's online as well, is all about helping business owners to use some of the AI tools that are available, because you could have AI tools for content creation. You can have it for amplification. You can even have it for storification. It's amazing now what these tools will do for you. But it comes down to first of all, putting your customer or your, your member of staff or your partner at the center of your story. Not yourself. So if I can, I'll just finish with one anecdote, Steve, as an example, I think schools do this better than anybody; schools do it better.So companies often talk about themselves and go like:
'I've just built this, isn't it great. You know, this is me. This is what it, isn't it great. You should buy one.' When you go to a school, as I did, my daughters graduated from junior to senior school. And you go to school and the head, head teachers come up, they don't mention themselves at all. They say, 'Your daughters have done brilliantly. Look at what they've done. Let's go and cut all their work. Let's go and celebrate their successes. They've been proactive, and they've been collaborative, and they've achieved great academics.' And then you leave the teachers never say 'Aren't we great?' and yet, as companies, it would be like going to the school and the head Mister saying, 'Thanks for coming to the school. I've done a great job this year.' Right. So I think from a mindset point of view, when I've done the coaching with, with companies is to get them to think about who they serve rather than what they serve. And if you start from that perspective, Steve, doesn't cost anything. It's just a bit of a mind shift. And then actually the public relations becomes really good fun. So it's kind of a long-winded answer, but there's a methodology to that as you have for yours. And if people apply that mindset and go through that flow, then they'll get noticed for what they do. Love it, Dr. Steve day. Thank you so much for spending your day with me. Thank you so much.Steve Day:
Thank you so much for joining me and listening to this episode, I'm well aware that are hundreds of great business podcasts out there. And you chose to listen to this one. After that, I am truly grateful. Hopefully what you heard today took you one step closer to building a successful business. So you can share your passion with the world and serve an ever growing number of people. If you got value out of today's episode, then so well, someone else, you know, I sharing with others, what has helped you along the way? You will grow your influence and be the guy or girl that everybody wants to know. So please hit the share button right now, and also remember to subscribe to this podcast. So you don't miss future episodes. It's impossible for me to cover absolutely everything in these podcasts. So please do head over to systemizeyoursuccess.com right now, and download the show notes, transcriptions, and some of my best frameworks and systems for free. Thanks again for tuning in and being a part of this amazing community until next time. This is Dr. Steve bay, a newbie listening to Systemize Your Success.