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The Entrepreneurs Radio Show 070 Steven Levine

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The Entrepreneurs Radio Show
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  • 1. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 1 of 21 EPISODE #70: STEVEN LE VINE On this episode, Travis speaks with Steven Le Vine, a talented and successful entrepreneur, whose success in business earned him various awards and accolades, and labeled him as one of the most promising entrepreneurs in the business today. He is the founder of theprgrapevine.com, a PR firm that helps businesses with their marketing campaigns. Travis and Steven shared valuable insights in how to create an effective PR campaign to be more visible to your target audience and effectively sell your product. Steven also gave tips on what to focus on in order to create a successful PR drive and placed an emphasis on selling an experience and giving your customers value rather than just focusing on the product. Steven Le Vine – Using PR to grow your business Travis: Hey, it's Travis Lane Jenkins, welcome to episode number 70, seven zero, of the Entrepreneur's Radio Show. A production of Rockstar Entrepreneur Network. It's just me and you, and our great guest today, my good friend and co-host, Sandra, is still travelling for business. Our guest today is Steven Le Vine, and today we're going to talk about using PR, also known as public relations to grow your business. Now to give you a little background on Steven. In 2011, he was named a rising star in global business magazine, and in 2012 he was a recipient of an award called Power 30 under 30, which is basically an award given from apex society. So basically, Steven is just a really sharp guy even though he's very young. I think, if I remember correctly he's 27. So lots of value in this episode. Now, just in case you just started listening to the show, one of the things we like to do is we record the show first and then I'll come back and do an intro so that I can talk intelligently about what I'm about to introduce you to. Now before we segway into the show, I want to remind you to, or ask you to stay with us until the very end if you can because I have a question for you. Also, I have a challenge for you and I'd like to share a little inspiration with you as an entrepreneur also. So be sure and hang in there with us until the very end. So, now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's go ahead and get down to business. Without further ado welcome to the show Steven.
  • 2. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 2 of 21 Steven: Thank you so much for having me. Travis: You betcha, I appreciate you taking the time out. I don't know if you're familiar with the format of kind of how we get started. Although we don't have a real strict format one of the things that I like to do is I like to kind of get the background of how you got started or what brought you to becoming a success today. Because I feel like it's illustrated for the other people listening. Steven: Sure, (Unintelligible 00:02:21), thank you for that. Basically, the way that I got into what I'm doing now which is public relations and strategic PR consulting was kind of organic. In high school, actually even before high school I had sort of a reputation at school for talking a lot because I used to come into class and I'd share my stories of what I did over the summer and experiences that I had. And it was just my way of promoting things that I like, that I found enjoyment. Travis: Right. Steven: And so in high school that changed a little bit, I got more into music. And so I used to talk a lot about artists that I liked and I would record copies of albums of artists that I liked. And hand them out to my classmates and say, "Hey, you should listen to this." And I didn't really know what I was doing, I just knew that I was promoting again things that I liked and I wanted to share them. I guess the keyword there would be to share. And my father said one day, "You're basically a publicist, you should look into studying publicity when you're a PR, when you go into college. And I, at that point, knew nothing about publicity. I had actually never even heard of it but I was only in high school. And so from there I went into studying communications and PR in college, and went through that throughout my whole college studies. And turned out that it was exactly what I wanted to do. So that's sort of how I found my love of sharing, of publicizing things. Travis: So you actually went to school for this? Steven: I did. Travis: Wow, I think that's rare. I mean, maybe that sounds counter-intuitive but most entrepreneurs, very few entrepreneurs have actually gone to school for exactly what it is they do, right. Steven: Right. No, that's definitely true, and I don't think I necessarily would have done that if I hadn't been caught early on until, you know, with that tidbit of advise or my father, I think I probably would have gone into something a little bit more general and may have still ended up in PR but not have the studies behind it. Travis: Right. Well... So here's a crazy question, what does your father do? Because the reason why I ask that is I'm wondering how it is that you saw what it is that he saw?
  • 3. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 3 of 21 Steven: Do you mean what he was doing at that time in terms of... Travis: Yeah, what was he doing at that time? Steven: He was in HR, Human Resources, and he did that for about I think 25 years. He did that for a long time, so I think there's kind of a connection there too. It's not exactly the same thing but it's also kind of working with people and it's also can be occasion. Travis: No, I completely agree with you. In his business it's looking at the person and looking deeper into what the real potential and what completely aligns with their natural skill set, right. Steven: Right, exactly. Travis: So, bring me through this journey here. So you went through college and graduated, how long before you found success in doing this financially? Steven: To be honest, it was only probably about a couple of years. I graduated in 2006 and immediately, I was very lucky to get an internship with a good friend of the family, who... Her name's Silvia Allen, she runs a very successful PR marketing and Sponsorship Company. She's been doing it for over 30 years and so she gave me an internship. And while I was interning with her I had taken on this independent musician on the side just to kind of try my hand at PR as a solo-preneur, I guess you would call it. Travis: Right. Steven: Kind of as a freelancer. And so I was doing it for her on the side and just to create some sort of structure to define what I was doing, I decided to create a name and create a business. And from there that kind of, I mean, it really did evolve very quickly. I was with Silvia for about 9 months and then I went to work for a real estate PR firm which was much bigger in scope and, you know, much different in the types of clients that they work with. And that's when grapevine, which was at the time Grapevine Promotions and it turned into Grapevine PR, kind of took on a life of its own it was on. I kind of had pointed on hold for just a few months but I had a co-client. I had somebody that I had reached out to, and actor who written me back and asked me then, he decided to go with me. And from there it just started to take on a life of its own while I was working at that PR firm. Travis: So how different is PR? So you have one PR effort towards a musician, one towards an actor, one towards real estate. How different are they, or is there a very common thread between all of those? Steven: It is definitely a common thread and it's about communicating a message with the public which put at really, what it really is is your target audience. So that's always consistent, but it's different in the sense that there might be different tactics that you use. Whereas one type of client you might heavily
  • 4. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 4 of 21 use press releases or create content. Whereas another one you might create more pitch letters. So the tactics change, the strategy might be different, the media outlet's definitely are different. But at the core of it it's all pretty much the same. Travis: So I would imagine it changes dramatically, whether it's B to B, or B to C, right. Steven: Absolutely. Travis: And... Steven: And it's also about, you know, with a lot of the real estate clients that I was working with at the PR firm, a lot of it is dealing with trade, industry, newspapers, which are heavily geared to that audience. And with other clients, whereas maybe actors and musicians are dealing a lot more with consumer press, so you're dealing more with the public. Travis: Right, right. And so for clarification, because I want to try to avoid speaking in industry or esoteric terms. So B to B is business to business, and B to C is business to consumer. Steven: Right. Travis: And so, can you walk us down that path because really we have both types of entrepreneurs that, B to B and B to C. Can you pick maybe, let's say an example B to B, and just walk us down a path of explanation so that it makes sense and hits home with everybody. Steven: Sure, I mean, I guess the best way to what it would be a B to B client would be kind of communication from one business. Let's say it's real estate, let's say it's a developer. You'd be dealing more with communicating through your vertical markets, so you'd be communicating to other people within the industry but within other types of markets. So it's not so much to the public but you're dealing with communicating to various specific niche markets that would drive business or drive some sort of, generate some sort of business for your business. Travis: So maybe your ideal client is an independent home builder, so you would target your press releases and all your efforts. Maybe your trade magazines would target the places where those independent home builders hang out and do business, right. Steven: Exactly. And it could be tray papers that focus specifically on home builders but it could also be multi-housing news. I mean, I guess it wouldn't be multi-housing but it would be residential developers, it would be, maybe the construction market. It would be those with federal, (unintelligible 00:10:51) I'll have some sort of connection to that one piece. Travis: Right. And there's many, many ways to get at that, right.
  • 5. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 5 of 21 Steven: Exactly. Travis: And so let's... Then, walk me down a path with the B to C. Steven: Sure. So B to C would essentially be communicating with the public which would be, you know, I mean I guess you could still say, you could still use the home builder maybe as an example, or maybe you'd want to use a developer again. But instead of targeting industry trade papers that your industry is reading, you'd be targeting maybe something like the Wall Street Journal or a local newspaper that the consumers are, the public at large is reading. Travis: Right. So the first example is a land developer that targets maybe small home builders and that's B to B, and then B to C could be a home builder that's targeting people that want to buy a home. Steven: Exactly, that's exactly it. Travis: And so it's a very... I know that that is something that is... It slices it very thin and I know that that's a confusing topic for somebody and that's why I kind of wanted to break it down. So what do you feel like are the top 5 things that somebody should focus on when they're creating a PR campaign. Say they are a business to Consumer Company, what are the 5 things that they should prioritize? Steven: I would say the most important thing is to really evaluate, really assess who you are as a brand, and I think that one of the misconceptions is that it's more difficult to promote your business when there are competitors, obviously. But the thing that I would say is that every brand, no matter what they're selling, even if it's completely similar to what another brand is selling. Each brand I think has its own DNA, the back story might be different, the history might be different, and the types of fabrics that they use might be different. There's always going to be sort of, there's going to be differences, so really know what you're selling and assess that. I would say also, make sure that you can deal with the success that a potential PR campaign may drive. I've worked with a client before where we had such a big press hit that it shut down the website for a day which was great, but in other words, in another sense it wasn't because they couldn't, they didn't expect that and they didn't prepare for that. So I think that's really important, so not just preparing for beforehand but also what may happen. And I would also say, also know how to parley that success into more. Don't just be happy with the press exposure that you're getting but also think about how you can parley that into more, you know, posting it but on your social media networks. Sending it to your other vertical markets, sharing it. I think your ability is really important. I'd say those are the top 3 things that I would say those are the most important. Travis: Okay. So let me go back and we'll drill in a little deeper. So the first one, you say identify your brand and so what I'm hearing you say and correct me if I'm wrong, okay.
  • 6. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 6 of 21 Steven: Sure. Travis: What I'm hearing you say is come up with, become crystal clear about what's unique about your business and what sets you apart from everyone else? Steven: Right, exactly, and your message. I think that's going to inform your message. Travis: And so, because I, and I agree with you. A lot of people have a hard time... I want to think about this and say it right. They have a hard time separating themselves. So let's say you have a service company and you provide some type of random service. I think most people lack the clarity of focusing on the sizzle rather than the steak, and so the steak is what you do. But what makes it special are you is there a guarantee, do you have 15,000 customers, do you have something unique, can you deliver it in an unusual amount of time. Something that clearly sets you apart from everyone else, right. Steven: Right, exactly. Travis: And so, get crystal clear on that and when you're crystal clear on what your sizzle is about your business, then honing your message becomes much easier in the process as well, right. Steven: Right, exactly. Travis: Okay. And then number 2 is be prepared for the results. Now I've had a personal experience with this and I know exactly what you mean. So early on in my business when I was first getting started, we were just dying to get a large volume of business in and we were trying to do everything that we possibly could to get it in. Steven: Right. Travis: Well, we struck gold in a manner of speaking and we got all we can handle and then some. Steven: Wow. Travis: And it become a nightmare because we didn't have the capacity to keep up with it. Steven: Right. Travis: We created a lot of frustration and we made promises that we couldn't keep up with. Steven: Right. Travis: And so we had to refine things in the middle of the process and just start telling people in advance that it's going to take 3 months for us to come out and provide the service to you.
  • 7. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 7 of 21 Steven: Wow. Travis: And in the beginning people were throwing a fit and we found that the sooner we got that news to them, the better off they handled it, right. Steven: Right, because you were being honest with them. Travis: Exactly. And then we actually learned to use it to our benefit, to where we would say, "Now listen, if we could come out tomorrow or next week and work on your home, then maybe you should be concerned. But we pride ourselves in doing such a great job that we have that much of a waiting list." Now that's kind of an arrogant way of saying it but it drove the point across and really obliterated our competition because our competition could come out tomorrow or next week, right. Steven: Right. Travis: And so, once we manage to get our hands around this but it took us a while and there was a lot of problems when you can't deliver what you promised initially. Steven: Right, absolutely. Travis: And a lot of people can't, you know, if you don't get your arms around that it can ruin you, right. Steven: Right. And it happens a lot. I read so many stories about, and they usually, it turns our well but so many stories and places like fast company or (unknown word 00:18:33) where somebody has an overnight success. Maybe they started a cupcake company and it ends up on a TV show, and overnight they have hundreds of orders where they have to create thousands of the cupcake. And it ends up hurting them more than you would think it would help them because they're not prepared for the success. Travis: Right. Steven: For the response I should say. Travis: Yeah, because normally the quality goes out the door when the volume comes in and you're not prepared for it. Quality goes down and a compounding problem comes out of that. And then number three was plan or parleying that to other. So what I, I don't think I completely wrote that down. Parley your success into other platforms. And so, what I'm understanding there is when you start getting some success from your PR efforts to magnify it through Facebook and through Twitter and through other things, how do you do that? Steven: Sure. Well, again it's about being prepared beforehand with these tools, make sure that you always have a Facebook, a Twitter account, and possibly whatever else is related. You may want to
  • 8. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 8 of 21 have an Instagram account if you're product is more, if your brand is more visually appealing. But you want to be prepared with that beforehand, and so when you get most of the time right now, most of the time so much press is online and if it's not primarily online it's still is online. If it's in a print publication it's still going to be online most likely. So you want to make sure that that first press hit, that initial primary press hit isn't the be all and end all, you want to make sure that your event showing, your event sharing it with your core audience and you want to make sure that they see it. Because I'm a big proponent of when people see activity, it appeals to them, it draws them in, and I think there's so much more you could do with one press hit. And so it's really about just kind of, like you said, magnifying it exponentially. Travis: Right. Well, one PR event could be a promotion of some sorts, and then another PR event could be the reporting the success of the promotion, right. Steven: Absolutely. Travis: Yeah, and so to me that's what comes to mind, not only spreading it across multiple platforms, but it's a completely new event to share, and to celebrate, and to draw attention. Steven: Right. Travis: Now, we have the top 3 and I know I'm putting you on the spot as most people. In case you just started listening to the Entrepreneur's Radio Show is we're very unscripted. I only share three questions which is in the lighting round and then everything else is just an impromptu conversation. So I'm really putting Steve on the spot when I say five. Give me 5 right off the top of your head. Steven: In addition to those three, one which I think is the most important, especially if you're maybe a smaller brand and you don't necessarily want to hire a publicist but you want to do it yourself which I think is where this question is really focused on would be really become educated first about how PR works and not just PR but really look at also how marketing works, how branding works, how such media works because it's all connected. And the more that you understand the process and what it can generate for you, and dispel some of the myths out there, I think there's a lot of myths. The easier it'll become and the more success that you'll have. So I think that's one. And the fifth one I would say, I would say make sure that you're completely honest. I think that's another thing is not so much with brands but I think with individuals. They'll see the code word spinned as making something up and being false when that not necessarily what it is. And I think that become a dangerous territory. So it's really about, it's not so much about making something up that's not true but it's really about finding what makes you special, what makes the story special to which is the hook, and solidifying that and publicizing that. I think that's what spin really is. And so honesty is very important but it's just about kind of putting a little gloss on it.
  • 9. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 9 of 21 Travis: Right. Now I feel like that we're an era to where some of the hypeeness is being dialed down, do you agree with that? Steven: I think the public is necessitating that, I think that there's just so much sizzle that's out there, or there's been so much sizzle that people want to see kind of be more authentic, less glossy. They want to see the meat of it, they don't want to see, kind of like you said, the sizzle and steak. Travis: Right. Steven: They're being inundated by so much now that I think they just want you to cut right to it. And I think it's less about the glitz and the glamour behind it and more about the quality. Travis: Yeah, and I'm a big fan of psychology and I understand the reasons for using words like discover, and all of these other things. But I think discover and reveal, and a lot of those things have been used a little. And I guess it really depends on what industry you're in. A lot of those hype-y things, and that's not really that hype-y but a lot of the sales-y things have been over used and many of the genres and I see the places where I'm reading and a lot of the stuff I'm reading, really dialing that down, which I'm kind of glad. Steven: Well, I think another part of it is people now start to see it as alright, what are you, well hype you know that what are you really selling, you know. How much of it is you trying to make it more than it is. Because I think when you legitimately have a good product, a good service, there doesn't need to be as much hype. So I think people kind of are having aversion to the hype because they wonder sort of what's really beneath it. Travis: Right. I'm a capitalist and so I'm fine with people selling me stuff. But I dislike the fact when it's out of proportion. Steven: Right. Travis: And before we started this interview today I went through and unsubscribed 4 or 5 regular emails that I get because they're always, all of it is about selling me something new. Steven: Right. Travis: And virtually none of it is value based and they could at least take a little time, put some thought in it, and present it in a value-based way and then offer me some relevant things along the way. And I'm okay with that. Steven: Right. Well, you see that you brought up a great point. A lot of it is I think when we get things like that, when we see things like that, we're getting more of the impression that it's about them rather
  • 10. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 10 of 21 than what it means for us. And there's a great book I was actually going to bring it up by Simon Sinek called Start with why and it's really about brands, not just brands, I mean it could be individuals as personal brands. But brands trying to sell things and starting from a what or a how versus a why. It should be a why, it should be what does your product do for me and why do you feel the need to create it rather than sort of the behind it. And I think it's really about personalizing it, making the connection with your customer. Travis: Yeah, I agree with you, I've read that book and it's definitely a good book. I've watched some people teach and they're more focused on the how rather than the why. Steven: Absolutely. Travis: And so most people aren't going to take 20 minutes of their time to learn something unless they're clear on why. Steven: I totally agree with you there. Travis: Like for me, I think a lot of people don't realize this, and I'll give you an example. Maybe I need directions somewhere and if someone just starts in and says, "Well, take a left, and then right, and then do this, and then do that." I'm really not listening to him because my mind's asking myself the same question over and over, but where are we starting from? Steven: Right. Travis: But where are we starting from? Where are we starting from? And then I start this whole other dialogue with myself, you're not listening to what he's saying. I'm having all these inner dialogue while I'm getting this extensive directions. Where if the individual would have started out by saying, "Okay now listen, we're right here and this is from pulling out of this driveway right here, and you're going to be going to ABC." And then he gives me the directions. It allows me to turn off that inner voice and be focused and present and pay attention. Steven: And it's creating a context for you. Travis: Right. And so writing meaningful messages means that you sit down, take a few minutes and put it in context. Steven: Absolutely. Travis: And I believe that that's what the most people are, and I've been guilty, I've sent some messages out that I didn't do a good job of setting the context. And I want to be completely accountable for all of that stuff. And so I'm constantly looking for ways to do a better job and add context, and I know
  • 11. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 11 of 21 that every interview I do and every piece of content that I turn out is not going to be right for everybody. So the least that I can do is be respectful of their time and put some context. And so I could say, "Steven, if you're struggling with A, B, or C then this is going to be a great podcast for you or this is going to be a great whatever for you", right. Steven: Right. Travis: And then you can make that decision to invest your time or not. Steven: Absolutely. Travis: And I believe that that is the missing ingredient for maybe 80% of the people that are producing content out there, do you agree with that? Steven: Right. They don't know who they're targeting. Travis: Yeah. Steven: Right, I totally agree. Travis: Yeah, so let's flip this on the other side, let's see if I can put you on the spot in a nice way, not in a mean way, in a nice way. So what are the top 5 mistakes that you see people make when it comes to just PR and promotion? Steven: I think that, number 1, they don't know who their market is. I guess you can say they're throwing their message sort of at the wall to see where it sticks instead of really doing the research beforehand and finding out who is best to target, who is going to buy their product, who is going to hire them for the services. Because I think when you make it so general and you throw that gum against the wall to see where it sticks, you're not going to really hit anybody. Travis: Right. Steven: Because it's going to go over everybody's heads. So that's one of the big mistakes. Also, sort of similar to that would be not knowing your message, because then you could possibly know your target audience but you don't know your message. But I think at the same time when you do know your message it helps you clarify your audience. And again, if you don't know your message, you don't really know what you’re selling and again it's going to go over their heads, whether you know the audience or you don't. So those are two, again I'd say honesty is very important and I think that a lot of people, again, see spin as being misleading when I think it's just really about making it a little bit more appealing and a little bit more crystal clear. Travis: Right.
  • 12. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 12 of 21 Steven: So I'd say those 3... Travis: So let me recount these while you ruminate on that for a minute, okay. Steven: Okay. Travis: Alright so, not clear who their key or target audience is. That's a common problem and one of the things that I found is in every market, I break the market into 3 groups. Steven: Right. Travis: So the 3 groups for me are price buyers, the bottom rung. Steven: Right. Travis: And then the top rung is value buyers, they're looking for value and the removal of risk. And then you've got the group in-between which are on the fence. And most people have never taken enough time to get crystal clear on who their client is. So they can't speak directly to the value buyer, which by the way is the most profitable client to have because they're less focused on price and more focused on getting a good whatever it is, good widget and a good experience, right. Steven: Right. Travis: And so, when you're not clear who you're talking to within that group, then you can't write in a compelling way to take that top tier and also the people in the middle, 50% of them, depending on geographically where you're targeting, those people can be compelled to spend the extra money for quality if you have a compelling reason or a compelling offer why. Steven: Right. Travis: What do you think about that? Steven: I totally agree, I think it's about selling an experience more than just selling them. Again, it comes back to the why versus the how, or the what. It's selling an experience that's going to make them want to come back again, because you're selling basically consistency. They know, everytime they come to you they're getting the value, they're getting the quality. I think I would agree with you there. Travis: Okay. And so, number 2, it is closely related, knowing your message, you need to know your message so well. There's something that is definitely worth talking about here that happens when you know your message. And I've talked about this before. Now I had my first business which I still own as a construction, home improvement business. I own a few businesses. And so I had some pretty
  • 13. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 13 of 21 extreme levels of success with that business. And now I started about on the topic of some home improvements after I generated many, many millions of dollars on this topic. And what happened is when I started writing on the topic I found a whole new level of clarity that I did not have before. And you would think somebody that's created $30, $40 million at the time of revenue off of something could know everything there is to know about it. But when I wrote on it, it gave me a level of depth and clarity that is just beyond belief. And so, have you found that to be true and is that part of what you're talking about? Steven: Absolutely, I think that's a big part of it. Especially with publicity, with PR, a lot of it is content creation, it's about writing a press release or writing an article about a subject. And I think that when you can take it out of your head and put it on paper, it does make it a little bit more crystal clear. Because I think some people are also more visual so when they see it, when they're able to get it out of your head onto paper and actually see it, it becomes a little bit more crystal clear than when it's kind of all running through their heads in an abstract way. Travis: Right. And so, once you do that, I can't tell you what it is but it connects something, some dots inside your mind, in your brain, that allow you to handle topics, and questions, and issues from any angle. You could hang me by my toes and ask me a question, you know, wake me up and hang me by my toes and I could answer those questions, it's because I know my stuff that good, right. Steven: Right. Travis: And I believe that's part of what you're alluding to. Steven: Yeah, that's a big part of it. Travis: And so, number 3 is not using honesty. And so is exaggerating with that qualifies what you're saying, exaggerating? Steven: I would say it could, I mean it depends how far you bend it. If once you're going outside of the limits of sort of what the truth is I think people could sense that. I think it's really not so much about misleading people but I think it's really about people realizing that you are trying to mislead them. I think people are a lot smarter than some people, you know... The public at large I think is smarter than we give them credit for and I think that they pick up on things like that, then it's not authentic. Travis: I agree with you. I think people's BS detector is heightened now. Steven: absolutely, because they have to be. Again we're being in a day that with so much information all the time that we're able to sort of figure out almost with an instinctual, with your gut when somebody is not telling the truth or exaggerating.
  • 14. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 14 of 21 Travis: Yeah, exactly. Okay, we've got three there. Do you have to ruminate on two more? Steven: Yeah, actually, three more. Travis: Okay, cool. Steven: One of them is I think consistency is key, whether it's in PR, marketing, or advertising, I always say, if you could buy an ad, one ad, this is more advertising but it's related. If you could buy on ad at the New York Times that runs once, or you can buy many different ads in various smaller publications that run for a longer period of time and more consistent period of time, always go with the second one because people are habit based and they like familiarity. And they may not remember that one ad that they saw but they will remember it being consistent. So the same goes with PR, you don't want to stop and start, you will always be consistent with your exposure and what you're putting out there because the more people see your name and what you're selling, and what you're all about. The more inclined they are finally pick up that phone, or send that email, or go into the store and purchase it. Travis: Very cool, good point. Steven: Thanks. And the next one would be, another one would be brands or people that, again, don't know how to deal with the success, they don't prepare. And it ends up hurting them or it may not hurt them but they can turn it into anything. They don't know how to turn that media exposure into something that’s going to help them. Because again, I think a lot of people also think that, or have the misconception that getting that press hit or that one press hit is going to lead directly to sales. And it's not meant for that, it's meant for building awareness and creating visibility. So I think it's about kind of finding that mechanism in-between where you can parley that press success into sales or whatever your goal is. And that would be another thing, finding out what your goal is. The last one I would say is I think a lot of people are too close to the message and it's very hard. I think when you're too close to something to be able to accurately depict it, or, you know sometimes it's a little difficult when you actually go down to write something. And again, it's all in your head but you're so close to it that you can't get it from your head to the paper. So I think it's also about finding somebody else outside of your circle, or in your circle but outside of your own personal circle. And allowing them to find out what you're trying to get at because sometimes it's a little more difficult to get it from yourself than it is from somebody else. Travis: Yeah, I agree with you. It's whenever you're emotionally connected to something it's hard to be impartial. Steven: Absolutely.
  • 15. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 15 of 21 Travis: I've paid dearly for my education and marketing through experience and generated wisdom through applied knowledge. Although I still need an outside source to look at what I'm doing and poke holes in it. Not in a negative way but help me refine it and see what I'm missing. Steven: Right. And I think that's where consultants come into play where sometimes you may have all the answers but it takes a consultant to be able to define it for you. Because, again, it's hard to see it in yourself sometimes if you're too close to it. Travis: Right. So give me some clarity, and I understand consistency. Can you give me some additional clarity on don't know how to handle the success. What I hear you saying, and I'm maybe wrong on this is, the attention that can come from PR, I view that as traffic rather than sales conversions and... Steven: Right. Travis: Sales conversions is a whole another part of the game that you've got to be prepared for. And so, is that what you're alluding to? Steven: Yes, that's exactly what it is, but also, there is that connection. I'll give you a perfect example. Somebody, a new brand puts out a press release that gets a lot of traffic and starts sending people to their website. But when the people come to the website there's no maybe contact form. So they then can't communicate directly to the brand properly and end up leaving. So there would be a perfect, you know, it's generating that traffic but they're missing out because they don't have the proper mechanisms in place. Travis: Yeah exactly, or I've seen like opt-in forms not work, and... Steven: Right. Travis: And there's no, in case of an emergency you can contact us at XYZ on the page. Steven: Right. And people aren't going to go do the, you know, people have a very short attention span and again with being inundated constantly with, you know. It's a rapid pace, people move on very quickly so if you don't have even an email address at the bottom where a phone number, they're just going to move on unfortunately. So you want to make sure that you have all of that in place beforehand. Travis: Yeah, I agree with you. So, okay, now we're running a little long at this point of the conversation and so I think probably what we need to do is segway into the lightning round where I ask you those three questions that I did give you some time to prepare for. Are you ready for that? Steven: Yeah, absolutely.
  • 16. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 16 of 21 Travis: By the way, do you sing Steven? Steven: What did you say? Travis: Do you sing? Steven: Sing music? Travis: Yeah, do you sing at all? Steven: Oh, no. Travis: I was going to say a little later I could have you sing us out or something. I normally try to put that on Sandra but, you know... Steven: I don't want to punish your listeners. Travis: Okay. Alright, so let's start off with the first question. What book or program made an impact on you related to business that you'd recommend and why. I think this is the one that you already suggested, right. Steven: Right. The books that, well actually I have a different for that. But the books that, well actually I have a different one for that but the books that always resonate with me are more of the philosophical books that the how-to's, I think there are a lot of informative books that help me. But the one that really resonated with me which I had read last year was Anything You Want by Derek Sivers who started CD Baby. And it's primarily because he put my view of running a business in a different light from thinking that it's got to be more, more, more, to really bring you back to why you started in the first place, which is, to be happy doing what you love. And so that really resonated with me. Travis: And so, what was the name of that again? Steven: It's called Anything You Want and it's by Derek Sivers. Travis: Yeah, you know, and I've read something. I think I read something about him on AppSumo or something I wanted to, okay, cool. So what's one of your favorite tools or pieces of technology that you've recently discovered, if any, that you'd recommend to other business owners and why? Steven: I would absolutely recommend it and I'm sure they've heard it quite a lot because there's been a lot of buzz about it. And it's a very simple tool but it's called the Evernote, and what I like about is that, you know, whereas you can use a general notepad app on your phone or on your computer and it's really just limited to text. Evernote allows you to really put anything in there to save and it makes it so easy to find it. So let's say what I think is really cool about is, let's say you pass a sign, you could take a
  • 17. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 17 of 21 picture of that sign and it will create algorithm where if you type in the text that's on the sign, it will pull up the photo that has that text on it. And it also allows you to record things and-- So it's really, just kind of puts... You can throw anything in there and it allows you to basically be able to Google all of your notes. And it syncs it up to your computer, your iPad, your tablet, your phone, I think. So it's really very helpful. Travis: I've heard people mention that before but I don't think I've heard the mention the fact that you can snap a picture and do that. And I try to keep everything on my phone which is a hassle, so it would be nice to... Steven: Right. Travis: And it's fragmented over different... Some stick notes and some this... You know, you know. Steven: And then you don't know where it is in the first place to be look for, which I think is when it becomes more difficult. So when you can have access to all of it in one app, it makes it a lot easier to find. Travis: Right. Okay, great suggestion, I'm going to check that out. So what famous quote would best summarize your belief or attitude in business? Travis: Would say, and I'm naming him again Simon Sinek, his quote which is, "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it. And I think that's always important to come back to that. And that kind of also relates to the book that I had mentioned, it's kind of the same philosophy. PR isn't rocket science and a lot of like what different people sell isn’t rocket science. And I think that it's not so much about the specifics of what you're offering but I think it's about people knowing that they could build trust with you, that they know that what you're selling them comes from a real place, and that you're not doing necessarily just to make bucks, you know, money. And to have an impersonal connection, it's really about finding why you do it. And I think that resonates with your customers or your clients. Travis: I like that. Let me ask you, if you had to start over today, what would you do to get back to where you're at the fastest? Steven: To be honest, it seems like it's been pretty fast. I would say, it's hard question. Travis: I like that question because you have the benefit of hindsight, right? Steven: Right. I mean it's funny you would think, I mean I would think that it is a benefit to me but I don't know necessarily that I would change it because to me it seems like it's become pretty fast. I guess here is one thing that I would probably change and that is I wouldn't have taken on, I would have learned to say no a little bit more instead of realizing that... It's not necessarily about quantity, it's more
  • 18. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 18 of 21 about quality, and that's also, it's easier for me to publicize somebody when they have all of that. The things that we spoke before, they've already prepared, they already know that, it's easier for me to sell them. And I think a lot of it was probably focusing more on where I could have been, made the biggest impact. Travis: Right. Some people, and I've helped people before that are so far away from where they need to be that just trying to get them to the level of being able to help them is almost insurmountable task, right. Steven: Right, because they're not ready. I think that's a big part of, is they have to be ready. Because that is a no win for everybody involved, it's a no win for them, it's no win for me, for my business. Certainly the saying goes I'm sure with you, when you work with somebody I think that's not ready, and it's no fault of their own, it's just that they're not maybe far along enough... Travis: In their journey. Yeah, it's not a fault of theirs, it's just where they're at in the cycle of learning. Steven: Exactly. Travis: Or in the journey of being an entrepreneur. There's several steps to that. Steven: Right. Travis: Yeah. So, well, great perspective, a lot of value. I didn't mean to put you in the spot so much but great job thinking on your toes. What's the best way for people to connect with you Steven? Steven: Sure, I would say the easiest is to go to my website which is http://www.theprgrapevine.com, so that's t-h-e-p-r, like public relations, and grapevine like heard it through the grapevine dot com. And there you have access to contact me and I'm also on Facebook, you can Google Grapevine PR, or Grapevine PR and Consulting. Twitter, grapevinepr, I would say those are the main ways. Travis: Cool, great, can you hang out for a couple more minutes? Steven: Absolutely, I'd love to. Travis: Alright, great. I want to remind you that you can find all the links to the books and the resources mentioned on the show in the show notes. Just go to rockstarentrepreneur.com. You know, since you don't sing, Steven, normally what Sandra does is she does the .com part, so when I read the website will you do that part? Steven: Sure. Travis: So just go to rockstarentpreneurnetwork dot...
  • 19. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 19 of 21 Steven: com Travis: .com Steven: .com Travis: It's a brand new site that we're building out that's completely focused on giving you the resources just like the show to grow your business. Now, while you're there, remember that I had mentioned a challenge for you at the beginning of the show, this is my challenge to you. Click on the microphone icon and send us a message. There's a little icon on the right side of the screen, and it's got a microphone on it, and then click on that. And the challenge is I want you to be brave enough to tell me what's holding you back, what do you need advise on, what do you feel like is preventing you from taking it to that next level. Are you struggling with marketing, staffing, sales, profits, it doesn't matter, any aspect of business. This is one of the ways that we help entrepreneurs just like you, grow their business and take it to that next level. So just click on send us a voice mail voice message, and give us your name, your business type, and what the problem is. Before we close the show today, I want to close with reminding you that again, no matter where you're at as an entrepreneur. Just starting like we were talking about earlier or killing it, you're an inspiration to those around you to go after their dreams too as entrepreneur. Because as an entrepreneur, we've got to do things that scare us, right Steven? Steven: Absolutely. Travis: You've got to be willing to get out of your comfort zone. And so it's easy to downplay when you're sitting in front of the computer screen or you're spending this time alone to downplay what you're doing. I want to assure you that there's 90% of the population envy people that have the bravery or the gall to go out and try these things. So you truly are an inspiration to others to go after their dream. Our quote today comes from Henry Ford, and the quote reads. As matter of fact this is great alignment for what we're talking about, "One who fears failure limits his activities. Failure is only the opportunity to more intelligently begin again. Great quote. Steven, you want to say good bye?
  • 20. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 20 of 21 Steven: Yeah, I wanted to say thank to you and Sandra for having me on your show and I appreciate everybody listening. So thank you. Travis: Yeah, you rock my friend. Steven: Thanks. So this is Travis Lane Jenkins signing off for now, to your incredible success, talk to you on the next show. End of Interview
  • 21. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show Page 21 of 21 How We Can Help You We know that finding someone that you can trust online today is hard and that so many “so called gurus” are self-‐appointed and have never really even done what they teach you to do. That’s exactly why we created the Double Your Profits Business Accelerator. This is an exclusive offer for our fans at a fraction of its normal cost. Here's what to expect. We'll Schedule a 'One on One' private session, where we'll take the time to dive deep into your business and tell you what is missing, so that you can have your best year ever! We'll do this by performing a S.W.O.T. Analysis. This tells us your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats within your business. This will be an eye opener for YOU, for several reasons, however some of the most common reasons are. As the 'Business Owner' it’s difficult to see the big picture of your own business because you’re in the middle of a daily management. And you are too emotionally involved to completely impartial. This is a common problem for EVERY business owner. It doesn’t matter if you are a one-man army, or an army of 150, the problem is still the same. Travis Lane Jenkins Business Mentor-Turn Around Specialist Radio Host of The Entrepreneurs Radio Show “Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs That Grow Your Business"