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Rochelle Moulton

Rochelle shares how she prepares for important presentations, her experience self-publishing a book, the parallels of building a brand and building authority, and why having a vision for your business is imperative to its success.

How to Build Authority
How to Build Authority

How to Build Authority

Ep
168
Dec
22
With
Rochelle Moulton
Or Listen On:

Give your creativity direction

Rochelle Moulton is a brand strategist and business coach that helps people (and their businesses) build authority.

In this episode Rochelle shares how she prepares for important presentations, her experience self-publishing a book, the parallels of building a brand and building authority, and why having a vision for your business is imperative to its success.

She also walks Chris through a niche-finding exercise that might help all your designers out there.

Hosted By
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produced by
edited by
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Episode Transcript

Rochelle:

If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there. So what I find with the vision is, especially if you're first starting a business or you're thinking about it when you're still working for somebody else, is it gives you this focus. So you're not, "Oh, I just want to get out of Agency X because I'm tired of this, that, and the other thing." It's about, "This is what I'm going to. This is what I want to create."

Chris:

Before we go any further, for people who don't know you, can you introduce yourself, please?

Rochelle:

Sure. I'm Rochelle Moulton, and I turn consultants and big thinkers into authorities. I've been doing that since 2007 with my Be Unforgettable media company, and then in the last week, at least as of the recording date, I've released my new book, The Authority Code: How to Position, Monetize, and Sell Your Expertise. Then before that, my entire career has really been a series of leading, building, and sometimes selling a variety of six, seven, and eight-figure consulting businesses.

Chris:

To dovetail or not to dovetail, to just go back briefly into your history, you're a highly educated person working in these big consulting firms, right?

Rochelle:

Yes.

Chris:

You, at one point, even sold one of your companies to, is it Andersen?

Rochelle:

Andersen. That's right. Arthur Andersen.

Chris:

Yeah. Well, tell me a little bit about that. So we're setting up the foundation of who you are for our audience. Yeah.

Rochelle:

Gotcha. Well, maybe we could start when I was 26 because I think that's where my obsession with what I now call authority really started. I was a junior consultant, the most junior consultant in this giant consulting firm. There was this new law that passed that we needed to let clients know about. So in the US, every office selected one person to become the expert, and most of us were the junior people in the office.
So I took that on really excited. I studied everything. I talked to my other counterparts. At some point, someone in the office decided we should do a client briefing. I was really nervous because I had never done a client briefing before, especially, maybe in class I'd done something. So I was nervous, but I was excited.
Then the acceptances started rolling in, and they kept coming. Finally, we had 120 and they were still coming, and we'd never had an event with that many people before and here I was the greenest member of the team that was going to do the presentation.
So some people wanted to have me replaced. Luckily, I didn't know about that so I didn't lose any confidence, but the compromise was that I would, the night before the presentation, go through my deck and practice with a group of people. I was there for four to five hours. It was a dark room. I had the deck. They were grilling me and some of them were just vicious, ruthless.
So I left there and I went home. I worked on it till 2:00 in the morning. I mean, I was just praying that I wouldn't suck. So I did the presentation the next day and I didn't suck. I mean, it was my first presentation so I have no doubt I could have done better, but it went really, really well. I got a lot of compliments on it and congratulations.
Then I had this moment of realization that even though that grilling session was horrible, I mean, I almost wanted to cry at several times during it, it was really a pure gift because what I learned is that authority wasn't about me. None of this was about me. It was about how you use your expertise to transform your audience.
So that was my lesson, and from that, I really got a lot of confidence behind the mic. I was doing speeches in Chicago, where I was based at the time. I was getting national podium time. I wound up becoming president of an 800-member industry association all because of this one thing. So that was the first authority lesson.
Then I really didn't want to stay at that firm when I realized I couldn't achieve the entrepreneurial ambitions that I had. So after becoming a global partner at 31, I left and I co-founded a firm, and this is the firm that we wound up selling to Arthur Andersen, and we started it with this idea, and I guess I would call it brand today and authority.
We had this idea to create a firm that was 100% flexibly scheduled consultants, which hadn't been done at the time, and they were all refugees from these big firms. Except for one, we were all women. We had 10 years plus of experience, and this was the requirement. People had to have 10 years plus at one of the big firms, and they had to have some kind of a master's degree.
So we created this firm and it was wildfire. People loved this idea because no one thought it could be done. There's no way you can do big firm, big idea consulting that way. So as we proved it could be done. There was interest in our firm and Andersen, we talked to Andersen about it and ultimately sold the firm, but here's the lesson.
So I was thinking about this authority or brand, if you want to call it that, as the reason you build that is to get people to hire you. What I missed was this idea of value creation. So when we talked to Andersen, I knew they were going to pay us a premium. I knew that. What I didn't understand was that it would literally add a zero to the price tag. Yeah. That got me. That got my attention.
Then I think the third lesson going into the company I eventually created was when I joined Andersen, I had to work with them for two years as part of the deal, and I was teaching their partners how to sell better, and the halls were littered with experts. I mean, they were everywhere, but there was something at the time I called experts on steroids, and they were people who they were just as smart as everybody else, but they had this way of being able to take their expertise and boil it into these little nuggets that their clients could understand, and they might vary it how they say it from audience to audience depending on who they were, and they had this sense of empathy, even if they were on a big stage talking to 500 people. They had this element of empathy with their audience.
One guy I used to work with, he had a movie scene analogy for any problem that ever occurred with a client or internally. So I would say, "Oh, this happened," and he'd say, "Rochelle, that's like in the Matrix and you need to take the red pill." So it was this new idea of what I now call authority. What really struck me when I was there was that this wasn't some secret magical thing. It's actually a series of actions, of habits, of mindset that you can not only learn it, you can practice it and you can master it.
So at that point, I was sold. That's what I've done since then in my entire career is really focusing on this idea of building authority and building value through your business by building authority.

Chris:

Wonderful. I wrote down some ideas or some questions I want to follow up with, but before I do, I just want to mention that we have a friend in common, Jonathan Stark. So usually, we dive into everything that you're going to share with us and go down this trip. Just really briefly, what is your connection and relationship with Jonathan?

Rochelle:

Jonathan is actually a member of, and we'll probably talk about this, a member of my rep pack, which is a small group of people where we help each other in our businesses, but our primary relationship is we are podcast co-hosts on The Business of Authority. We've been doing that for four years now. Very proud of that. Yeah. We buddy up on a lot of these things, and we think a lot alike. We focus on some slightly different things.

Chris:

So you guys have been doing the podcast together for four years. How did you guys meet?

Rochelle:

Oh, funny story. So he kept retweeting this article of mine about every maybe six or eight weeks. He would retweet it and I noticed it, but by the third time I thought, "Okay. I need to talk to this guy. Who is this guy?" So I sent him, I think it was a DM in Twitter, and he didn't read DMs. I didn't know that. Eventually, I think it took us about four months, we finally connected and I said, "Listen. Let's just have a phone call. I just want to meet you. I mean, it sounds like we think alike."
At the end of the phone call, and it was an hour, and we were filling in each other's sentences. It was just like that. We thought so much alike on so many things. So we hang up, and maybe 15 minutes later, I get an email from him saying, "Hey, I had this idea for a new podcast, but I didn't want to do it alone. You want to do it with me?"
He had the title and, of course, a lot of the work that I did was around naming things. So nobody ever gives me a title that I just love first out, but I loved this one. I thought, "The Business of Authority, this is perfect," and I'd been thinking about doing podcasting, but I didn't want to deal with some of the technical sides of it, and he was going to do that. I do the marketing side, he does the tech. So I said, "Yes." We spent maybe three emails figuring out what that was going to look like, and I think maybe two weeks later, we recorded our first episode.

Chris:

How many episodes have you recorded together in the four years?

Rochelle:

I think we're at 208.

Chris:

Wow.

Rochelle:

Yeah. We just hit 200 not too long ago.

Chris:

Okay. Wonderful. So if people want to check that out, it's called The Business of Authority. It's with you and Jonathan Stark.

Rochelle:

Yes. You can find it at either the thebusinessofauthority.com or you can find it on my website at rochellemoulton.com/podcast.

Chris:

Wonderful. Okay. So now, let's go back. When you created this consultancy and you brought in all these powerful women, you had some requirements, 10 years experience at a big firm, that's very specific, and they also have to have an MBA in something. Okay.

Rochelle:

A master's. It didn't have to be business, but, yeah, a master's.

Chris:

Okay. I'm sorry, a master's degree in something, and those were your requirements. As I'm listing to what I think we're going to dive into, which is how you build authority, The Authority Code, as your book is titled, what requirements do I have to have in order to apply the things that you write in this book?

Rochelle:

You have to have the desire to build a business on your expertise. This is not about how many degrees you have. It's not about, what I think of is that old version of authority, which was, and it was usually a man, a US man on a stage with silver hair speaking with the voice of God. That was that old view of authority. That goes away. This is about building expertise in something that you are really excited about, that the market is going to value, where you're going to transform a group of people in some way with your expertise.

Chris:

Are there any other requirements where I can qualify myself to say like, "I am ready to leverage my authority?"

Rochelle:

Well, I would argue that if you just came out of school and you haven't had a real job yet, I would say probably not. It's not that you can't. It's just harder. The advantage of going to work inside of an agency for at least a couple years, if not a little longer is really powerful because you learn how things are done and you will decide which things you like and which things you want to do differently.
I had one woman I used to work with who used to call her firm, inside, she would call it McKinsey Not. So anytime they would try to make decision, they would do the opposite of what they thought McKinsey would do. So there's a real value because you're not just building your craft from other people who you can learn from, but you're also learning the ways of business, the ways of commerce. I think that's a really good education to have.
I don't think there's a hard and fast rule. I've met people that have started their businesses really early and been very successful, and then people like me, I mean, it took me 10 years inside and actually more. I had a job before that. It took me 10 years inside a big firm before I felt I was ready to do that.

Chris:

Okay. So on that note, for all the people who you know if you were to talk to them and look at their body of work, and you know they're ready, but they're like, "Well, I'm not ready, Rochelle," how could you encourage them to say, "No, you are ready. You do have the required experience. You do know enough. You're passionate. You have desire. You have a mission"? What else would you need to say to them so that they're like, "Okay. I'm ready to take this leap with you"?

Rochelle:

Well, I think sometimes people need a roadmap, and that's one of the reasons why I wrote the book. There's a companion piece. It's about a 5,000-word workbook that you can work through. What I found, and I learned this with my private clients, this is why I wanted to put it in a book because they know that it works, is that when you put pen to paper or letters on a screen, you will start to see that you do have the ability to do that, but the road to authority is full of several things. It's full of having a vision for where you want to go. It's understanding the revolution that you want to lead. We can talk some more about all of these things, if you like, and it's really identifying your ideal clients and buyers, the people who energize and inspire you to serve them.
Then it's selecting a niche because as an individual business owner or if you're starting a small firm or agency, you need that specialization to move forward profitably and sustainably. Then it's about connecting your origin story to all of those things.
So from there, it becomes a little simpler, and then you're monetizing. All of that that I just mentioned is positioning yourself and your firm as an authority or on the road to authority. Most of us, I mean, who comes out of the womb in authority, right? We're always learning and growing and changing. So it's where you are right now is where you start. Then with the process of publishing, I'd love to talk about that some more, with the process of publishing, it's a way to get your ideas out in the ether and to start to build connective tissue with your people. That's the thing that really gets you off the ground. Sometimes what you have to do is you have to publish before you think you're ready. You just have to hit the send button.

Chris:

I'm curious about the publishing part because there's one. I have the advanced reader copy. It was going through your book, and you shared the story about how this person was speaking, had two books that they'd written, and some of the suggestions that you make, one of which is to possibly self-publish. Did you go that route yourself?

Rochelle:

I did. I did self-publish, yeah, and I did that quite intentionally. Do you want to talk about that decision?

Chris:

Yes, I do.

Rochelle:

Okay. Okay. So I've worked with a lot of authors. My experience prior to this book, my own book was really working with typically good sized publishers or niche publishers in particular areas. So I was used to that process. I know what it looks like. I know how it works. The way that it works now for a lot of people, unless you come in with a king size audience, like a celebrity style audience, most of the deals that are being made now are, we tend to think of, "Oh, I'm going to get this big advance and it's going to pay me to write the book," those deals are very, very small or in the case of a lot of business books, you actually pay them, and you pay them to publish typically a certain number of hard backs, but they'll distribute them and get them into bookstores and things like that. So there's a whole different process with that.
I self-published for two reasons. One was time. I wanted to get this to market, and if I didn't self-publish, I would add it at least a year to the timeline, and that's including the fact that I had somebody that was going to shop the book. So I didn't have to go find an agent. I didn't have to do all that, which would've added months to the timeline. So I was looking at at least a year before the book came out, but the second was it really had to do with revenue and an intellectual property and how we monetize these things.
It wasn't particularly important to me with this book to make a lot of money directly from the revenue stream, from book sales. What was important is I wanted to use the book to help further my positioning as an authority on authority for consultants, and I wanted it to attract multiple revenue streams to my firm. I wanted it to attract more people to purchase other things that I offer.
So for me, it was about speed and it was about really owning the content and being able to do whatever I wanted with it like creating the workbook. That would've been a difficult thing to do with a conventional publisher. I felt it was essential for the book to operate with a vision that I had for it.

Chris:

I just want to half geek out with you and just talk shop a little bit.

Rochelle:

Sure.

Chris:

Is this a print-on-demand book or do you have to warehouse a bunch of books and then ship them to Amazon? What did you do?

Rochelle:

It's a POD. It's a print-on-demand, and I do not recommend, people, I do not recommend that you wind up being your own book distribution system, where you've got a garage full of books and you're shipping them out. That is no fun. Now, if you're on the speaking circuit, there are some reasons why might make sense where somebody's buying 100 or 200 at a time, but with Amazon, it's so much easier. As long as you're doing the ebook, creating the paperback is so little extra effort. I mean, basically, your book designer has to create a spine and a back cover, and that's really the only thing that's different, and you have to know the length of it before they can design the spine. It's so amazingly simple.
The interesting thing is I was shocked. So the books spin out a week and a few days now. I just assumed most people would want an ebook because that's how I love to read my books. Right now, the sales are for every one ebook I'm selling three paperbacks. Don't know why that is. I have no explanation yet.

Chris:

Nostalgia, perhaps.

Rochelle:

Maybe.

Chris:

I mean, I'm an old school book person myself. As digital as I am with everything else in my life, I actually like to hold the book in my hand. There is a physical connection. I like that.

Rochelle:

Okay. That's interesting because what I do now is I'll buy two. So I'll buy the ebook, and if I feel like it's a book that needs to be in my library, then I buy a physical copy.

Chris:

Yeah. Wonderful. The book is called The Authority Code: How to Position, Monetize, and Sell Your Expertise. It's out on Amazon right now, at least in the US. It's 17.95 or there's a Kindle Unlimited version here that's $0.

Rochelle:

Yeah. If you're a member of Kindle Unlimited, you get it free, and that's another decision if you really want to geek out is whether to join the Kindle Unlimited program or not. So I did for three months. I don't think I'm going to stay in it, but I did it in the first three months because it allows you to do price promotions with your book.

Chris:

I see.

Rochelle:

I wanted to be able to do that as part of the launch.

Chris:

Okay. So if you're part of the Kindle Unlimited program, does it expire in three months because you're going to pull it from it? Is that the idea?

Rochelle:

Well, you can still read it now. It won't go away. Once you-

Chris:

It won't go away.

Rochelle:

... download, I was going to say buy it in quotes because you're not actually buying it, but, yeah, it won't go away, but, yeah. If somebody's listening to this after, I have to think about this, after February 2022, it may not be available in Kindle Unlimited, but it will be available on Amazon and it's available on every Amazon platform that they have around the world.

Chris:

That's incentive for you. If you're an Amazon Prime member or you're part of this Kindle thing, I would jump on it now so you can read the book or if you're an old school person like me, I still prefer the paperback, even though I have access to the Kindle version. Okay. I want to get back to this because your book is a little different than other kinds of books where they talk about theories and share a lot of stories. Your book is extremely practical. I believe there are 12 exercises in it. Is that right?

Rochelle:

Yes, yes.

Chris:

Yes. So there's a clear roadmap, and just by reading it, I can tell this is not your first rodeo. This is something you've done many times because I see the frameworks and I see prompts and it's very, very clear. It's well-written. I want to talk to you a little bit about these 12 exercises that you've developed. Okay?

Rochelle:

Sure. Thank you.

Chris:

Okay. Well, let's start at the beginning. Exercise one, define your vision. You say to embrace the V word and tell me more about this.

Rochelle:

Well, one of the reasons, it's just tongue in cheek I said that, is because there's this thing that trips so many people up about mission, vision. It's like, "It's too big. Rochelle, I can't deal with that. It's just too big." So the idea here is every other exercise, every other part of this book is about you connecting with your ideal audience. The vision exercise is about you connecting with yourself, with why you created this business in the first place, and what you want to get out of it.
I wanted to break that down into things that were not so lofty, but were really important to the heart and soul of most people that create their own businesses. It was questions like, "What do you want this business to do? How much do you want to work?" I mean, some people do their own business because they want to cut back from a 60 or 70-hour week in a big agency. Other people are like, "No. I have this idea. I want to go on a mission. I want to hire this many people. I want to grow this firm. I want it to be like this."
Someone else will say, "I want this to be a lifestyle business, and I'd like to make $100,000 or $200,000," whatever the magic number is, "and I want to be able to travel. I want to be able to do this when I'm on the road. I want to hike in Mongolia and have my laptop and be able to work at odd hours." It's about getting really clear about what you want your business to do for you.

Chris:

Yeah. You have some questions in there. I think it's the four questions. Is it okay if I read those questions?

Rochelle:

Sure.

Chris:

Because it is a big, scary thing to say like, "Okay." Just prior to this I'm like, "I've been thinking about this and now you're telling me, Rochelle, I have to have a vision before I start, that this is important, this is foundational." So some of the questions you ask people to consider are, what do you want for your life? What are your dreams? What do you want to create? What does living and working well look like? I love that because you break it down. So I think I can answer each of one of those questions without getting stuck.
Then later on, there's a framework that you talk about in exercise four about design your revolution, and somewhere in there, I think, and maybe this is out of order, but you give some of examples like what your vision for your business sounds like. Okay. So you have these prompts, you have a framework, and I'm curious because the last one that's on here, the example that you gave is, "I make consultants and big thinkers unforgettable."

Rochelle:

Yes.

Chris:

Just out of curiosity, is that your vision?

Rochelle:

Yes. That is mine.

Chris:

I could spot that. I'm like, "I think I know Rochelle's vision. It's out there." The other ones that you include are, "I build wealth for risk takers. I teach lawyers to sell more business. I create beloved companies," et cetera. So we have to figure that out because, well, let me ask you the question then. Why is it so important for us to have a vision?

Rochelle:

Well, if you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there. So what I find with the vision is, especially if you're first starting a business or you're thinking about it when you're still working for somebody else, is it gives you this focus. So you're not, "Oh, I just want to get out of Agency X because I'm tired of this, that, and the other thing." It's about, "This is what I'm going to. This is what I want to create," and it keeps your focus. It also keeps your focus on building value even if you start by saying, "I just want to freelance. I just want to be my own boss and decide where I'm going to go for a while." By doing this exercise, you keep your eye on the prize and the prize looks different for every person based on how you answer those questions.

Chris:

I like what you just said. It's a small little tweak. It's a subtle reframe. You're not running from something, you're running towards something.

Rochelle:

Exactly.

Chris:

It's not about what you hate in life, but it's what gets you up every morning, what drives you, what compels you to move forward, and I like that distinction.

Rochelle:

Yeah. I mean, building a business is not easy. I think that if we're going to dive into doing this, we should make it a happy, profitable, sustainable business. What makes it that is that it meets the needs of the person who's founding it, right? It's not about not meeting everybody else's needs, but you have to start by saying, "This is what I want to create," and you can change it as you go. You probably will, but it's very helpful to have a stake in the ground right from the beginning.

Chris:

Wow. That sounds really wonderful, this business that doesn't stress me out. It's like, "Where do I sign up for this kind of life that you're talking about?" You've said it, and I think it rang true. Starting a business is not easy. There's a lot of ugly things you're going to have to do. That's why not everybody has a business and that's why not everyone is successful in their business endeavors. I think having some of these clear plans that you are talking about, the roadmap, the blueprint, if you will, or the tools, I think make it a lot easier.
Okay. Let me just jump around a little bit. Let's talk about this idea that I just really love, but I'm confused by it. This is exercise three. Pinpoint your genius zone. Am I a genius? Do I have a zone? Tell me more about this.

Rochelle:

Yes. Everyone has a genius zone, which is not saying that we're all geniuses by IQ tests, but we all have this place where we're operating at our best capacity, where it's, many people call it flow, where things just happen and they flow, and they're, I won't say effortless, but it feels effortless. There are certain kinds of activities, certain kinds of roles, certain kinds of situations, certain kinds of people that bring out that state in us.
So one person might be in their genius zone when they're in front of a room of people facilitating a number of people that all have different opinions and are arguing about something. Someone else might be in their genius zone when they're all by themselves, maybe headphones on creating something, and everything in between.
So part of the way to create a business that is really going to satisfy you is to understand where your genius zone lies and then spend as much of your time as possible doing those things. I mean, I am not a proponent of, "Oh, let's work on our weaknesses." No. Let's pile on our strengths. Let's do those as much as we can, and let's find other people whose genius zone is the things that we don't want to do ourselves.

Chris:

Wonderful. My weaknesses are on numbers and reading contracts. I want somebody else to do all that stuff. I don't care about any of that stuff. I'm just curious. What areas where you're like, "You know what? Somebody else is going to do that? That's not for me"?

Rochelle:

Basically, anything that's technology I'm not interested in, outsource, website, all that, anything. When I say financial, I actually have two degrees in finance. So it's not like I don't like it, but I don't feel like it furthers what I do. So other than pulling reports off my system so I know how my business is doing, I didn't do anything with that. I love design. I can't do it myself. I don't have the talent for it. So all of that. I have a designer on retainer. So anything with that, I outsource.
Then there are certain things that I just really don't want to do. One of the examples I used in the book is I used to be really, really good at being in a room with multiple partners who would argue about whether the sun was shining. They couldn't agree on anything. I would find a way to get them to agree to something. Then one day I realized, "Wait a minute. I don't have to do that." I mean, it wasn't fun anymore. So instead, what I do is I used that skill to help my coaching clients figure out how to deal with difficult people or difficult situations, but I don't do it myself anymore.

Chris:

Hmm. I think you just raised something here that I wanted to highlight a little bit, which is sometimes you're good at something, but you don't want to be good at it, and you need to recognize that, right? Just because it comes easy to you and people love you for it isn't necessarily your genius zone.

Rochelle:

Yeah. Sometimes you have to kick that talent to the curb when it doesn't satisfy you because, again, this is your life. You get to choose how you want to spend it. So I've had people tell me so many times, "Ugh, you are so organized. You're such a good organizer. You should run this, like be a COO."
I'm like, "No. I don't want to do that. Could I? Probably, but there's lots of people that could do it better and it wouldn't make me happy."
So that's really part of this journey, if you will, I think, especially if you start your business relatively early in your career is discovering what you like, and it probably changes. I mean, most people I know have changed the things. The core things tend to stay the same, but they've changed some of the non-core things that really interest them at different points in their career.

Chris:

Do you think that then it's essential for someone to be successful monetizing their authority is to have that internal conversation to know thy self?

Rochelle:

I'm going to say I did want to say it's essential because I've met plenty of authorities and we would both agree that there are authorities that haven't quite had that, but I think it's so much easier if you do. It's just so much less stressful and clear.

Chris:

I agree, by the way, 100% because the first 15 to 20 years of my professional life, I pursued something that I thought made me happy only to later discover I was showing up and I was running the business, but I wasn't in love with running the business anymore until I discovered that I want to focus all of my energies on teaching, and that's when my soul was on fire. This is what we want to do.

Rochelle:

Yes. We have that in common. That's why I sold the firm to Andersen because I knew that in order to take the firm to the next level, I was going to have to morph myself into the reason I left the big firm. I thought, "No. I don't want to be that far away from the people that I'm impacting. That's not for me."

Chris:

How long ago did you sell your firm?

Rochelle:

20 years.

Chris:

Oh, my gosh! It's been a minute. Okay.

Rochelle:

Yeah. It's been a while. Yeah.

Chris:

Yeah. When did you come up with this idea that you're going to be this person who helps consultants and big thinkers become unforgettable?

Rochelle:

That really didn't happen. The words didn't happen until early 2009. I started the business in 2007, and when Enron imploded Andersen in 2007, that's really when I was starting to figure out how to put the pieces together. I did some coaching for a while. Then what I did was I took my very last, what I call a job job, and I took a job with a fortune 500 company to run a piece of their business, and they kept firing my bosses so I kept getting promoted.
So at the end of the day, I was running a group of consultants that it was a mess. It was a turnaround situation. It was very, very challenging and messy and difficult, and not unlike some more work I had done in my prior life in consulting, but at that moment, I said, "You know what? I'm done with this aspect of my life. I want to really focus on helping people to grow their authority, to grow their authority business because that's where my expertise lies, not just my passion, but I've got a long history of building and leading and growing businesses, and I wanted to put that in service to people."

Chris:

You write in the book, "You need to learn how to tell stories that don't suck." As humans, we're hardwired to listen and to learn from stories. I'm listening to your story there, and I'm a big fan of the Joseph Campbell's story structure, the Hero's Journey, the Monomyth, and I'm trying to figure out in your story if there was a singular inciting incident when you, the hero, was reluctant to go on that call to adventure. You had anxiety with the call. Was there something that happened in your life or person, event, something that said, "You know what, Rochelle? You weren't meant to do this. You were meant to do this other thing," but you fought it for a little bit?

Rochelle:

Yes. Yeah. It was actually when Enron imploded because I had to work for Andersen for two years, and I planned from day one that I was going to quit the moment my two years was up, and I actually enjoyed it. I mean, I really did. I enjoyed it. So when Enron happened, which was outside of my control, I lost my job, and I lost this vision of where I had changed my vision of what I was going to do.
So I had that moment in the desert, felt like longer than a moment, where I was in a city where 5,000 people, 5,000 professionals of all different stripes were let go in a day. So it was a very strange time. It was right after 9/11. So the economy was bad. So I was in that desert trying to figure out, "What do I do next?"
I did start a coaching business. My heart wasn't in it, and it was a corporate coaching business, not consultants. It was consulting to corporate executives, but I only wanted to work with people who were already successful who wanted to be more successful. At the time, now it's common, but at the time, that wasn't the corporate model. I kept getting, "Here's somebody. We really want to fire them, but we want you to coach them for three months so then we're sure we can fire them." It just wasn't me.
So I spent some time. I actually moved from Chicago to Washington D.C. for a couple of years. I had money from the deals so I have to worry about where my next meal was coming from, and I experimented with all sorts of creative things. Then I realized that I wasn't living up to my potential. It's not like I was just going to sit there and create. I was cooking, basically. I was making food. I wasn't going to just do that all the time. I needed to do something different.
That's when the consulting piece just came back to me because they're my people, consultants, and especially consultants who are starting and running businesses. Those are my people. I understand them. I really care about them. I want them to be successful, but, yeah. It was pretty ugly for a while in the desert.

Greg:

Time for a quick break, but we'll be right back.

Speaker 4:

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Greg:

Welcome back to our conversation.

Chris:

Okay. I'm going to jump around a little bit. Exercise six, choose your niche. I know John talks about this a lot. Other writers talk about this, and it is a very difficult thing for creative people, especially, to choose a niche. So I'm hoping that you're going to be the definitive argument in this for people just to sit up and listen to this part. So help us through this process. What do we need to do and why is it important for us to choose a niche?

Rochelle:

Well, let me preface this by I actually listened to one of your episodes with the ECD from Mother. One one of the things she said is, "No, no. Generalization is the way." The reason I loved that is because for her, that was true. I was thinking about this. Actually, I woke up thinking about this yesterday, is that had I stayed in the big firm, I would be a generalist now because you keep getting further and further away from your craft as grow in the firm.
So there's nothing wrong with that path. It's absolutely a great path if that's the one that's for you, if that's within your genius zone, but if you want to create a business, and let's talk about starting a business, you have to niche, right? Nobody wants a generalist.
Somebody says, "Oh, I need a graphic designer." You don't want to be that guy. You want to be the one that is known for whatever, however you slice and dice your niche, whether it's by industry, it's by typography, it's by a style. There are infinite number of ways that you can niche. I'm going to argue that you will shave at least a year, if not two years, off your journey to profitability if you niche early on.
Now, let me add to that because I want this to be very transparent and realistic. When you first start, almost nobody niches, and the reason they don't is because, usually, they're inside an agency, they're inside a firm of some sort, and they're, "I just want to freelance. I don't know what I want to do."
There's a thing in the US, in particular, where we love this idea of being an entrepreneur. It's like the American dream. So when somebody leaves their employment to do something new, we want to support them. So we send them leads. We send them referrals. We're really excited about it.
So the first year when you're on your own is usually the best in the sense that you're not really selling, you're just closing the deals that come to you and you're like, "Man, this is great. I love it." Then in year two, it's a little bit harder, especially if you haven't started to find those areas that get you excited about specializing. Then when you hit the third year, that's when you hear the tires squealing because at that point, if you don't have any regular revenue coming in and you haven't figured out how to define your ideal client and your niche, all of a sudden you're not busy and that does not feel good. You're wondering where your rent payment or your mortgage or your next meal is coming from is not a good place to be.
So it usually takes people a year to two years to take their first foray into niching. The way it usually works, sometimes people get it, they just snap, they just get it and they just go and they stick with it for the next 10 years, 15 years, whatever. Usually, what happens is people niche gradually because it feels so scary. It's like declaring a major in college, "Oh, no. If I do accounting, I have to become an accountant. I can't take an art class. I have to become an accountant."
So yeah, and I think especially for creative people because we just want to do so many different things. A way to look at niching when you're creative is that you're giving your creativity a direction. It doesn't mean you can't do other things. It doesn't mean you won't do other things, but it means that you're going to have a certain amount of focus, and that will teach you whether that's a good focus for you or not. It might not be. Your first niching exercise might turn out not to be right and you may pivot, and that's okay, too. It's all part of this journey to authority.

Chris:

I have to say if I'm listening on behalf of our audience, their reaction probably is, "Rochelle's lived a very blessed life that when she started her business, all her friends wanted to help her and they sent her leads, and she was enjoying life because," they're like, "That does not line up with my life experience. First year, crickets and grind." I think it's the same result is that the first year is about just grabbing everything because you're desperate. You don't know what to do, but you know you need to make money, and it feels like there's this weight on your shoulder so you grab for anything. My former business coach would tell me like, "When you're drowning in the pool, you'll grab anything," and it's like that, right?

Rochelle:

Yeah. Part of this I experienced. My husband's an agency producer, and he has freelanced at various points of his career, and I really didn't have any experience myself with freelancing. I never did that. I was watching how it worked. It was fascinating because there was very much of a network of people say saying, "Oh, call so and so," and the network of producers also had writers and an art director. So it was one of those three topics or one of those three areas, and they would let each other know when the good people were available.
So it was fascinating to me, but the problem that I saw with it, especially if you're first starting, is that by saying yes to everything, and you feel like you have to, I get why someone would feel that way, is that you never get a chance to breathe because if you're lending yourself out effectively, and it's probably not for an eight-hour day, it's probably longer, and you don't have a chance to really think about, "Well, what else do I want to do here? How do I want to build my own point of view? How do I want to build my portfolio, perhaps? How do I want to get relationships where I'm not a freelancer, but where I'm giving them a flat fee and they're paying me for something so I don't have to always be working like this?"
Then what happens if you keep doing that, if you don't let yourself find another way, is that something like COVID happens and everybody gets laid off or there's a new ECD and they say, "You know what? We're going in a new direction." All of those things impact you and they're beyond your control.

Chris:

Okay. I'm hearing you. I'm scared. I want to take this plunge. I do want to niche. Help me. What do I need to do?

Rochelle:

Okay. So in terms of niching, the most important thing is ... The way that I've ordered it in the book, and you can do these in different orders if you want, but I'm assuming that you've already identified who your ideal client and/or buyer is. So I'm going to make the assumption when we're looking at niching that you've already decided the people that you get excited to serve.
So maybe it veterinarians. You just love animals and you'd like to serve them in that way. So you decide, "Veterinarians are my people." So now with niching, you could argue, "Okay. Well, we've already hit one thing. We already know the niche is veterinarians." You might just stop right there and say, let's say you're a graphic designer, you might say, "I am going to design identity, logos, websites, marketing collateral for veterinarians," and maybe you start, if you live in a big enough area, maybe you start locally and you don't worry about beyond your local area or maybe you start that way, but then your vet client number one talks to their vet buddy from school who isn't in LA but is in New York or is in Boise, Idaho. So you start by word of mouth to develop that.
So I would say start with your ideal client and buyer, that that's your first point of niching, and that's going to feel the safest because these are people who energize and inspire you. So you can get excited about that. Then if you want to get more specific, then you could say, "All right." So you'd look and say, let's say you're in the US, "How many veterinarians are there in the US? How many are there?" Let's assume that you're doing solo or small group practices, not like VCA, right? "How many of those are there?" So you do some research and understand more about veterinarians, and maybe you have some calls with some, whether their clients or not clients, and you start to learn just enough about their business so that you can serve them. You don't have to become a business expert, but by focusing on veterinarians, those are the problems you're going to hear, and those are the problems that you're going to start to solve with your expertise.
So you're going to be looking at, "How can I use my design expertise to solve this problem of getting more patients? How can I help them?" You know you can, but you're connecting to the core desires of your audience. When you start to do that, you create this emotional connection with your audience and it makes niching not only easier, it makes it natural. It's not as painful as it sounds.
I totally get the fear. I felt exactly the same way the first time I said I was working with consultants. I was like, "Oh," but we have to do it, right? That's the way, by niching if you want to have your business. Again, if you're not, it's not as important, but that is the way to start to really get clear and provide more value to that group of clients than you could to a diluted group of clients.

Chris:

Wonderful. Now, as I was looking through the book, I don't know if this is fair for me to say, so tell me, "Chris, you got it all wrong," but it almost feels like the book is about branding, like branding yourself, knowing who you are, your mission, vision, and purpose, who your audience is, how to reach them, how to communicate this to them, and then it gets into a little bit of marketing. Is The Authority Code and what you're talking about something different than what I just said?

Rochelle:

It has a lot of branding in it. In fact, for a while, I use the words personal branding. I don't use them anymore because I think personal branding and authority, even though they're interconnected, they mean different things to people, but, yeah. You're not 100% wrong, Chris.
So here's how I think about the book. So the first chapters are all about positioning, which is part of branding, right? You've got to know what you're positioning. That is total brand. The difference is that you're branding. Typically, you're branding a person, you're branding your expertise if you're a firm, but it's very similar. The process is very similar. There's some different things where you're focusing on your vision for yourself. If you're running a fortune 500 company, you're more focused on the profits for shareholders than you are your personal vision for the business.
So there's that, and the monetizing section is really once you know how you've positioned yourself, how can you make money with that particular audience with your particular skillset? Then the last piece is what I call selling, which I believe is different for an authority than if we're selling widgets, and that's where publishing comes in in building your authority circle. So, yeah, there's a lot of brand in here, absolutely, because what you're doing is you're building your brand as an authority. Building authority is the same as building brand. It's just a very specific kind of brand based on expertise.

Chris:

Yeah. I don't say that as a comment that disparages you. I didn't think I was reading a book on branding and marketing, and as I'm reading it, I'm thinking, "Rochelle knows her stuff. She knows branding," because I teach this stuff as well and I'm reading, I'm like, "Wow!" Okay. So let's try to peel apart some of the parts where it's different, it's unique. What makes your book so different? Perhaps I can ask the question this way, which is, what is the ideal business model if I'm an authority and I'm a big thinker, and I want to build an ecosystem around my authority? Just can you lay out the 30,000 foot view? How am I supposed to build a business around this? What does the model look like?

Rochelle:

Okay. So it can look a lot of different ways. The traditional authority model is usually consulting, speaking, and books. So you make money by consulting to particular organizations, and that's often where they'll make the bulk of the money, especially as they're working towards authority model. They're speaking, and I'm talking about paid speaking gigs, and there are books, and the ideal, not ideal, the idea typically is that you write a book, you get on the speaking circuit, it allows you to raise your consulting fees. It's some combination of those three.
The problem with that model for a lot of people is that it can become a gilded hamster wheel. You can make a lot of money doing it, but it's heavily labor-intensive. It isn't leveragable. You're not really building value in your business because if you die tomorrow, chances are the only value left is whatever revenue stream is coming from the books.
So that's a typical, big picture authority. There are so many other ways to leverage that, though. So one is to create, much like what you're doing, is to create products, create services, create membership communities of your ideal people, create subscription models. That's the beauty of authority is there's so many ways you can slice and dice it.
So I've had people say, "Listen. My thing is I don't want to sell. I want to go off in a room by myself. I want to create something and I want to put it up there to sell. How do I do that?" That's a very specific positioning. You have to monetize it in something that you can sell without personally delivering it, and then you sell that in a different way. You're not having one-on-one sales conversations to sell your thing. You're selling it digitally, and that looks a little different. You're using social media. You're using a different way of selling your concept.
So what I love so much about authority businesses is I've yet to see any two business models that are exactly alike. There's so many ways you can monetize your expertise.

Chris:

That was really helpful what you just did. It really was, and I'm super excited right now. You talked about the traditional model of what an expert, an authority does, consulting, which is high hourly rates, potentially, maybe value-based pricing, we're not sure, speaking fees, and books. If you get published, which a lot of people like, is to have a name brand publisher because it gives them credibility, you make very little money. You make pennies on the dollar, right?

Rochelle:

Yeah.

Chris:

So it's not a way for you to make money. It is a way for you to build authority. Then  you moved into other ways of thinking about this. I think this is starting to make it really concrete. You talked about products. So give me an example of a couple things that you would define as products.

Rochelle:

Okay. So a product could be maybe you design a blueprint for a client to work through some problem that they have or you design a piece of content and you sell it for 50 bucks, 100 bucks, 200 bucks, something that's standalone. Then I still, I mean, some people will, we could argue the point, but I also think of products as memberships, even though you do have to do some work to maintain them. You're not just selling it and going away, but if you look at something like a membership, you're selling them entrance into something and then you're typically offering them some kind of services and/or products inside that membership. Yeah.

Chris:

Okay. So that sounds like in the product category, like you said, a blueprint, it could be a tool, a piece of content, a course, some kind of template or software.

Rochelle:

Sure, a standalone course.

Chris:

Something, right? So you said the requirements are it be standalone. It has to be, I think, scalable, right? That's key.

Rochelle:

I would argue that's where you want to spend your time is on creating things that are scalable. Yes.

Chris:

Preferably digital so it can be distributed easily, right?

Rochelle:

Preferably.

Chris:

It can be automated as well. Okay. Then when you talked about services, which is not scalable, not standalone, I don't think, but you can probably, I think, hire people to help you do the parts that you do the mechanics of it so it's not consuming all of your time. Is that the idea?

Rochelle:

Well, you can do that two ways. One is you can leverage in the traditional sense, which is what I did when I created my first firm, where I had people and I made money when I build them out, but you can also do something like where you are doing. Let's say you're doing some kind of a program, like a nine-month program. So it has a beginning, a middle and an end. Maybe you have an upgrade that has coaching, and you could have a series of coaches. Maybe you start out being the coach for that, but as you build it, you train a few other coaches and you share some revenue, but you're able to scale it and not spend as much time as you would otherwise.

Chris:

I see. So you're talking about something that I think John talks about a lot, too, which is productizing your service so that once you develop it, you could swap out the parts. Right?

Rochelle:

Well, I would take that another level. So let me give you an example of a productized service. So let's say that I was going to do an assessment. So my area of expertise is this, and I'm going to do an assessment, and the assessment is $10,000. That's a productized service because I'm following the exact steps, probably if I'm smart, I'm showing, on my website, I'm showing the client what the steps are. I'm saying, "Here's what we're going to do. Here's what the deliverable is. Here's what the outcome is and pay me your 10 grand." You don't really have to have a conversation. Sometimes you will, but it's like design in a box, "Here's the box and this is what we're going to do." So assessments are really good for that. There's a lot of website in a day kinds of productized services. That would be another example.

Chris:

Wonderful. I'm glad you did that. It's becoming more and more clear and more concrete. I think most of us understand what a membership community is, I guess, in a way that you can think of a masterclass or Netflix as a membership that you pay a monthly fee for for which you get something for them. It's highly scalable, depending on what you do. Yours could be different. It could be a coaching group that they pay money to, right? Okay. So there's some work there, but you can do it at a reasonable scale. Subscription model is very similar. There's some overlap. So let me to just ask you a question. As it relates to your business, Rochelle, what does your thing look like?

Rochelle:

Okay. So my highest end option is where I actually do the positioning with them, and then I coach them for three months until it becomes a habit because there's this thing when you switch positioning. It takes people a while to get used to how they talk about themselves. So that's my highest end. Then I have a coaching option, which is a monthly coaching, which is for people who have authority businesses, and that is very non-leveraged. That's me, myself, and I working with the client.
The other options are I have something called Authority Nation, which I would call a membership program. It's really group coaching. So it's a Slack channel where people can chat, and then we have two calls a month, where there's basically a mini mastermind plus some ask me anything sessions. Then sometimes we'll do what I call a tear down and build up, where somebody has a website that they need feedback on or a marketing letter, those kinds of things.
Then I do have a buy an hour of my time option because sometimes people want to do that. I actually created that because I had people asking me for advice all the time. I thought, "Well, that's an easy way." If you want it, there's an easy way to access me quickly.

Chris:

You have your book.

Rochelle:

The book, yes, and the book. It's funny. I'm not used to thinking of it in there yet. It's been there a week.

Chris:

Right. It's so new.

Rochelle:

I think I need to rethink that. Yes, yes, absolutely, the book. The book, as I said earlier, the way I view it in my product service mix is that I don't need to make a ton of money from the book. Boy, it would be awesome if I did, but the book will drive and already has driven people to these other services. So that's how I view the book. Other people might do a book for different reasons.

Chris:

Any products as I do air quotes in the mix right now?

Rochelle:

No. I think of the book as a product.

Chris:

Okay. You're right, and public speaking.

Rochelle:

I haven't done a lot in the last couple of years because of what's been going on here, but yeah, no, I absolutely would. I just haven't done much lately.

Chris:

Okay. I'm writing those down so I get the sense of your business. Okay. This is wonderful. As an aside, can I dig into the details on the prices or you don't want to talk about that?

Rochelle:

Oh, sure. They're all up. I have them all on the site, so they're not secret.

Chris:

Okay. Beautiful. So let's go through it. Okay. When you say your highest offering, this positioning, this done-for-you and three months of coaching, that's the highest ticket item? What does that cost?

Rochelle:

Yes. So that's 25,000.

Chris:

Okay, and then your monthly coaching?

Rochelle:

The monthly coaching is 149.

Chris:

Okay.

Rochelle:

Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I was thinking Authority Coaching. Excuse me. My monthly coaching is $2,500. I'm bumping it to 3,000 on January 1st of 2022, if anybody's listening to this. Yes.

Chris:

So 3,000, essentially.

Rochelle:

Yes.

Chris:

The Authority Nation, which is the group coaching, two calls, AMA, mastermind, tear down and build up, how much is that?

Rochelle:

That's 149.

Chris:

Perfect, and then your hourly coaching?

Rochelle:

That's 750, and that's going to 1,000 after the first.

Chris:

Okay, and the book as we said is it's selling for, is it $18? 17.95 right now.

Rochelle:

Yeah, 17 and change, and 9.95, I think, for the digital. I am going to be doing an audio. I just couldn't quite get that for the first launch. So that'll be phase two.

Chris:

An audio book?

Rochelle:

Yes.

Chris:

Yeah. Wonderful. People love those, by the way.

Rochelle:

Oh, yeah.

Chris:

Yeah. If we were looking at a pie of 100% of your business, is the largest chunk of your pie today the positioning, the high ticket service that you do?

Rochelle:

The two high tickets, yes, it is, and what you've just identified is why I wrote the book because I would like to have more people in my group programs and be able to shift how I spend my time. You're very insightful, Chris. You've got that.

Chris:

So if we look at your pie chart one year from today, let's say you and I are talking December of, we'll say December, December 2022, what percentage of your total gross revenue is coming from say your monthly coaching? What percentage does that take up now?

Rochelle:

I would say 25%.

Chris:

Love it. Okay. What is it today? What kind of change are we looking at here?

Rochelle:

Oh, it's inverted. It's 75%/25% now, and I want to switch it to 25/75. In other words, 25 on the  in other words, 25 on the less leveraged options and 75% from more highly leveraged options.

Chris:

Right. Okay. Just so we can say that everybody's clear because somebody's driving, they're going to drive off the road like, "What did they just say?" Okay. Just in basic terms if we understand, 75% of your revenue comes from customized one-on-one services right now, right?

Rochelle:

Yes. That's correct.

Chris:

25% comes from these things that you can sell at scale like books, whatever other things, and your subscription monthly program, and you want to invert that so that you're doing less customized services done-for-you things.

Rochelle:

Yes.

Chris:

Perfect. Okay. That's quite an inversion.

Rochelle:

It is, and we'll see whether I can do that or not, but that is my goal. I think that there are people who will have goals to be 100% leveraged. I don't think I will go there because I really do love having some one-to-one clients. I don't want to not do that. It's just it's so much fun and I'm in flow in those kinds of meetings. So I don't want to not do that. I would just like to change the mix a little bit. It allows me to reach more people.

Chris:

Right, and it allows you to be very, very selective, too.

Rochelle:

Yes.

Chris:

Right?

Rochelle:

Yes. Life is short.

Chris:

It is.

Rochelle:

I have a no a-holes rule. Can I say that on this? Is that okay?

Chris:

Yes, you can. Yeah. Absolutely. This is another reason why you want to build an authority business because as you have leveraged a scalable product and service, it gives you a lot of freedom and autonomy to, "I don't want to work like that," or "I want to charge this amount," and you don't have to worry so much. It's done a great monthly recurring revenue thing that's very predictable and dependable. I'm a big fan. So this is why I'm talking about this part.

Rochelle:

I hear you.

Chris:

Okay. So the big question I have for you today, and this is something that everybody's going to want to know. I imagine a lot of people are in exactly where you are, but even more towards a non-scalable services like maybe they're 90/10, right? So it seems like this is going to be some massive challenge to get over. What do you identify, if you can tell me the top two or three things, as to the challenge of you going from 25% to 75% scalable products?

Rochelle:

Okay. So the first challenge is audience, and you can make a lot of money with a very small audience if it's specialized and you have a high-end service. So in order to offer group products or group services or products at a much lower price point, you need a bigger audience. So you need to be able to really understand what they need so that these things that you're creating are going to be valuable, that they're not just crickets when you introduce something, but that people start to buy them and you see the momentum in your business. I think the audience piece is the most important.
When I work with people who've made that shift, sometimes intellectually they don't quite get it because they're used to calling on a certain number of companies or clients, and so maybe they have 20 people or 50 people on their list, and I'm saying, "No. You need maybe 5,000 people to be able to make money on this."
So it means means that, yes, you have to publish, yes, you have to be on social media selectively, but you have to do those things. You have to put yourself out there and market. You can't sit inside a dark room and hope and pray, which is not a strategy, that people are going to buy this stuff. So it starts with the audience.
I think the second thing is that you have to get used to changing how you think about your time and that the best use of your time is creating something that you can leverage. It's not solving a client problem where this person is obnoxious and they're asking you to do things that are wildly out of scope. It's not that. It's you start to train yourself to be able to really focus on creating things for that new audience.
So those are the top two things. I mean, the third one is really just getting comfortable with communicating with your audience because most of us when we have clients, we're comfortable talking to clients and having meetings and that kind of thing, but when you have a digital audience, you're speaking and listening to them in a different way.
So you have to find that middle ground where you're getting the information you need to be able to provide value, they're feeling like they get you, they know you, they're connecting with you. When you do all those three things together, that's when you can really shift your business model.

Chris:

Wonderful. As you're saying that, I think you're speaking to an audience and helping them, but I can't help but to think, are you also saying that to yourself?

Rochelle:

Of course, I am. Of course, I am. We're all a work in progress, Chris.

Chris:

We didn't establish that at the beginning.

Rochelle:

I mean, I wrote the book, but I still have to do the work. Yeah.

Chris:

Yes, yes. Okay. Quickly recapping for everybody. The three things that Rochelle's saying that you need to do is you have to, okay, when you go from selling high ticket services, which are done at a very small scale because there's only so many people who can afford $25,000 to work with you and you go a broader audience, which supports this community membership thing that you're talking about, you need to have more bodies in it, and it's a whole different way of talking, engaging, and creating.
Number two, you're talking about how you can create scalable products. You used the term leverage. It's create once, sell many times, which is very different for people in the service, coaching, consulting business because it's very bespoke, tailored for the person in front of them.
Number three, it's a mindset shift and it's like you got to get out there. You introverts, you got to get comfortable speaking to large groups of people, whether it's virtually on stage or in some social platform. Those are big things. So that's the highlight. Everybody, if you want to build an authority business that's scalable so that you can be at the beach, spend time with the kids and do whatever you want and move away from these services that you're selling, you have to master these three things, for sure. I'm going to come back to one, though. You need a bigger audience. You got to get on social media. What social media are you focusing on today?

Rochelle:

For me, I have two. My primary one is Twitter, and my secondary one is LinkedIn. I'm on Instagram, but I don't really do much there. I stay away from Facebook, and I'm not a TikToker. I have an old YouTube channel, but I haven't done a new video in about five years, so they're pretty dated.

Chris:

Okay. Now, we've also established things you love and things that you hate. There's some things that you hate or don't want to do. I think it was teach. So now, I think you're running into a wall because on these social platforms is some kind of gamesmanship if you want to master and grow. If you want to grow really fast, you have to get on those platforms that have that opportunity for virality, right?

Rochelle:

Yes.

Chris:

So this is tough. As much as I love social media, Twitter has been one of the hardest, most grueling places to actually just explode. It is just slogging it out, in my opinion. What has your experience been like?

Rochelle:

Interesting. I think we're probably the inverse because I know you have a lot of YouTube, a big YouTube presence, a lot of YouTubers. YouTube just didn't really work for me. It just sat there. Twitter, it's different now, but Twitter's been amazing for me. In fact, at one point, I mean, I stopped counting. I'd have to go out and figure it out. I figured it was worth something like $389,000 that I could directly attribute to somebody finding me on Twitter and hiring me, something like that, and it's bigger now because I think that was five years ago.
Less so now, I find less commerce on Twitter, but more, I think part of it is the way that the platform prioritizes conversations that take place on Twitter versus linking to something else. So it used to be I would get a lot more traffic on, like I would post my blog post with multiple teaser throughout the week. I'd get a lot more traffic. I think as I understand the Twitter algorithms now, they're not doing that as much. So I've changed how I operate on Twitter. I do a lot more a little one sentence or two sentence blurb and engage with people that way.
So I still like Twitter. The reason I like Twitter for authorities in particular is because media is on Twitter. So it's not like you have to be on there and have 100,000 followers, but if you want to get some kind of traction with media, Twitter's an easy place. It's much more democratic. You can approach a big name journalist in your field on Twitter and they may answer you. So I like it for that reason.
LinkedIn is the professional network, but, again, I like it because you can see how you're connected to different people. I like having that visual, and being that close to so many millions of people is kind of interesting, but, yeah. I think video is really important and whether that's in YouTube, Instagram. I find Instagram a bit challenging just because it's so time-consuming. So I'm sticking with Twitter and LinkedIn for now.

Chris:

Okay. All right. So the thing that you mentioned about Twitter is the thing that all social platforms seem to be doing today, which is punishing when you send traffic offsite, anything with an external link on whatever platform. If you think it from the social media platform's point of view, it totally makes sense. We didn't build a platform for it to become an ad portal to just bounce traffic off of here. It'll trash up the timeline, the feed, right? Okay.
So it's very interesting. Okay. Twitter has been the most difficult place for me to grow a massive audience. I'm at 80,000 followers, but I just grind it out. Here's why I say this. I've seen people who have had a tweet get into the hundreds of thousands of likes, but then they go to their account and they have 2,000 followers. There doesn't seem to be that one-to-one correlation. When you have a hit, you should have a massive following, but they don't because they like it and they don't bother to follow people, and it's just how people behave on certain platforms, but since you like Twitter and Twitter's a great place, like you said, for media, for news. A lot of the tech companies are there. They spend a lot of time there, CEOs, those types. Great for high ticket services is, have you dabbled with Twitter spaces doing the social audio thing?

Rochelle:

I haven't. I haven't. In fact, I just joined Clubhouse about a month ago after talking to one of your guys, actually, who suggested that would be a great place to listen into some conversations, but I haven't had time to really dive into it and even clearly understand how it works yet, but I'm watching. I'm a lurker right now.

Chris:

Yeah. Okay. Well, I'll be happy to report. I think social audio is here to stay. It's some weird hybrid thing that isn't a podcast. It isn't just a three-way conference call with your friends. There's something interesting about it. I don't know about the staying power of Clubhouse. I'm rooting for them, but I'm not certain, but I know LinkedIn is getting in the game. Twitter spaces recently have improved their algorithm in terms of serving your content to bigger audience.
When I was experimenting with it in the beta release, you can get a room, maybe three or 400 people. Now, I'm seeing rooms in the thousands of people. So I would encourage you, since you're already strong on Twitter, to just tap in there and not try to build from the ground up again on Clubhouse because it can be a difficult journey.

Rochelle:

Yeah. Well, and the other thing interesting on Twitter is I'm sure you're familiar with tweet chats of different sorts, and I've been guessed on maybe a half dozen of them, and I think social audio would improve them by about 1,000%, maybe 10,000% because you have this thing and what it feels like, I know people can't see me, but it feels like everybody's zinging over each other. By the time somebody's answered the question, you're 40 people down and you can't hear it. If there were some kind of a way to moderate that with audio, it would be so much more powerful.
I always walk away from those a little bit frustrated because it's very social with the group that's already there, but you have a guest come in and it's like, literally, everybody's talking over everybody else. Sometimes I just walk away scratching my head going, "Did I just help anybody? I'm not sure."

Chris:

Yeah. So get one of your tech friends to help you get set up because you're ready to go. If you were just to teach things from your book, I think you can do really, really well.

Rochelle:

Well, thanks for the tip, Chris. I'll give it a shot.

Chris:

Yeah. Okay. So I look forward to chatting with you in December 2022 when all of this is inverted. If you hit a brick wall, reach out, let me know because that is my full-time preoccupation, which is to grow on social media and to have that broad, big audience that you're talking about.

Rochelle:

Well, you've got a great big revolution, a billion.

Chris:

A billion.

Rochelle:

I love that. I use that all the time. I just think it's audacious and I love it. That's what we're talking about. That's a stake in the ground.

Chris:

Well, thank you very much. It's been a delight talking to you. I've been talking to Rochelle. Her new book, The Authority Code: How to Position, Monetize, and Sell Your Expertise, is out now on Amazon and soon to be audiobook. It is currently selling for 17.95 in the United States. Pick up a copy. It's very actionable, and just like the subtext on the cover, it says, "How to position, monetize, and sell your expertise." Thank you very much.

Rochelle:

Thank you so much, Chris. Absolutely an honor, a pleasure. I so appreciate what you're doing in the world.

Chris:

Thank you. Before I forget, if people want to reach out to you and find out more about what you're doing, where do they go?

Rochelle:

Rochellemoulton.com. You can find everything there, including the podcast, a link to the book, and a link to Twitter and LinkedIn.

Chris:

So rochellemoulton.com is where you want to go. Thank you very much.

Rochelle:

Thank you. I'm Rochelle Moulton, and you're to The Futur.

Greg:

Thanks for joining us this time. If you haven't already, subscribe to our show on your favorite podcasting app and get a new insightful episode from us every week. The Futur podcast is hosted by Chris Do and produced by me, Greg Gunn. Thank you to Anthony Barrow for editing and mixing this episode, and thank you to Adam Sanborne for our intro music.
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