Does the thought of starting your own business seem daunting? Many people have bought into the idea that being an entrepreneur means lots of sleepless nights and 18-hour workdays, but Dorie Clark is here today to shatter that myth. She explains why creating an entrepreneurial income stream is not only something you could do, but also something you should do.
Described by The New York Times as an “expert at self-reinvention and helping others make changes in their lives,” Dorie Clark consults and speaks for clients including Google, Microsoft, and the World Bank. She is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, as well as the author of Reinventing You and Stand Out, which was named the #1 Leadership Book of 2015 by Inc. magazine.
Her new book, Entrepreneurial You: Monetize Your Expertise, Create Multiple Income Streams, and Thrive, breaks down what it really takes to create an entrepreneurial side career, and why it’s much more achievable than you might think.
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On Today’s Episode We’ll Learn:
- Why it’s risky to earn all of your money from one source.
- Where to find inspiration for what to do as an entrepreneurial side income stream.
- The most typical starting point for side careers.
- A major factor that gets in people’s way when it comes to success.
- Three key things you need to build a scaled, sustainable business.
- The truth about how much time you have to invest in your side job.
- Dorie’s advice for someone who wants to create an online community.
- How to transition into monetizing your side career.
Key Resources for Dorie Clark:
- Connect with Dorie Clark: Website | Twitter
- Free Entrepreneurial You Self-Assessment
- Amazon: Entrepreneurial You: Monetize Your Expertise, Create Multiple Income Streams, and Thrive
- Kindle: Entrepreneurial You: Monetize Your Expertise, Create Multiple Income Streams, and Thrive
- Amazon: Reinventing You
- Amazon: Stand Out
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Full Episode Transcript:
Welcome to the Brainfluence Podcast with Roger Dooley, author, speaker and educator on neuromarketing and the psychology of persuasion. Every week, we talk with thought leaders that will help you improve your influence with factual evidence and concrete research. Introducing your host, Roger Dooley.
Roger Dooley: Welcome to The Brainfluence Podcast, I’m Roger Dooley. Our guest this week is Dorie Clark. The last time Dorie was here we discussed her best-selling book, Stand Out. That book was later named the number one leadership book of 2015 by Inc Magazine. Dorie is an adjunct professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. The New York Times described her as an expert at self reinvention and helping others make changes in their lives. Dorie’s a frequent contributor to The Harvard Business Review and she consults and speaks for clients including big names like Google, Microsoft and The World Bank. Dorie’s newest book is Entrepreneurial You, Monetize Your Expertise, Create Multiple Income Streams. Welcome to the show Dorie.
Dorie Clark: Hey Roger, I’m glad to be talking with you. Thanks for having me.
Roger Dooley: It’s great, I was really excited to read Entrepreneurial You because I’ve always been a believer in multiple income streams. Not always, for the last few decades if you prefer to call it a side hustle, as some might if you’re gainfully employed, more or less gainfully employed. It seems like your new book, Entrepreneurial You, takes Stand Out to the next level by adding the idea of monetization. Would that be accurate?
Dorie Clark: Yeah, that was exactly that idea, because as I was touring around a couple of years ago, when I released Stand Out, that’s a book basically about how to become a recognized expert in your field. I came to realize that while it absolutely is important, critical, to become well known for your ideas, become respect by your peers, really build up a strong brand. That’s something that we all as professionals need to do these days.
It’s not the end of the story because I think all of us can probably think of people that we know who are very successful in terms of being good at what they do. You know, really smart, have a lot to contribute, have a lot of talent and yet they struggle to sustainably monetize their business. That could be because they’re trying to crack the code on how people actually make money these days, which has really change. It could be because, many of us have fallen victim to this, you become very successful doing what you do, maybe it’s consulting or whatever, but you are running yourself ragged in an unsustainable fashion.
I wanted to write Entrepreneurial You as a way of really laying out and breaking down what some of the options are. How do we set out this smorgasbord so that people can get an honest look at different business models that are possible to them these days in the internet enabled economy and have real numbers, real facts so that people can figure out how to apply these principles and these business models to their own lives.
Roger Dooley: Yeah, that’s one thing I did enjoy Dorie, is that you include quite a few hard numbers, both from your own experience and that of folks you’ve talked to, so people can get an idea of the range. For just about all of the activities you described there’s an enormous range of pricing and monetization level from zero to some really big numbers. Sometimes even for the same people, one gig may be zero and the next one could be a big number.
Dorie Clark: Yeah, that’s exactly right. In our culture of course there’s always a lot of I think baggage sometimes about money and about people being willing to talk about it honestly and openly. Often times it’s either avoided altogether, so it becomes cloaked in mystery, or, especially in the entrepreneurial space, it gets talked about in a way that’s not really a real or helpful way. It’s kind of a chest-thumping sort of way. You know, “Here’s me with my Ferrari.” I don’t think that that’s useful to anyone. If you are a professional that is trying to create something, you need to know what’s possible and realistic and how people actually did it. I wanted to be able to try to help people create an actual playbook based on fact.
Roger Dooley: It seems like there’s two kinds of readers for the book Dorie. One would be somebody who is in a day job who’s looking to be entrepreneurial, at least in part, with their lives and get some additional monetization streams. The other would be somebody who is already in that life who wants to be more effective. Perhaps right now they may only do consulting, but there may be other ways of monetizing. Looking at that first person, that person who has a day job and has some level of expertise in something that they think might be monetizable. How would that person go about getting started?
Dorie Clark: Yeah, absolutely Roger. I think you’re exactly right, there are two target audiences for Entrepreneurial You there. I feel particularly passionate in fact about the people who have day jobs and maybe want to explore a little bit, because I think that this is a story that isn’t being told enough. There still is a lingering belief in our culture that having this, quote-unquote, “steady day job,” is the way to security. The pop culture version of entrepreneurship is that that’s the risky move.
The truth is, if you look at the statistics, and certainly from my own experience, I was laid off from my first job when I was 22 years old so I got a cold hard taste of it. It is a very precarious situation to be earning all of your money from one source. I think that one of the best things that we can do for ourselves, even if you have a day job that you love. You want to stay in it. You have no desire to be a full time entrepreneur.
It is still one of the very best things that you can do, to create an entrepreneurial side stream, an entrepreneurial side income of some sort. A, to hedge against risk, but B, because it gives you a playing field. It gives you a place where you can learn an experiment, make new connections, teach yourself new things in a very low risk environment. I actually tell the story in Entrepreneurial You about a guy named Lenny Achan, who started his career as a nurse. He ended up as the head of communications for his entire hospital system.
The way that he got there was that he had started experimenting on the side and created a couple of apps on his own time. When his boss found out about it, his boss was so impressed with Lenny’s initiative and the fact that he had taught his self to do this, that he made Lenny the head of social media for the hospital. Then, when he did a good job of that, he gave him the entire communications portfolio. Sometimes people think that having an entrepreneurial side income stream is in conflict with having a day job, I actually believe that it is complementary and even helpful to having that day job.
Roger Dooley: I suppose it can allow you to develop skills beyond what your current job is. Obviously in the example you just stated, he was exploring a totally different area. But in many cases it’d probably be a related area, but perhaps going beyond the scope of the day job.
Dorie Clark: Yeah, that’s exactly right. In fact, you were asking about, how do you get started with that? One of the most important things to think about is, what are people already asking you about? There’s a couple of different starting places you could have of course if you’re interested in creating some entrepreneurial thing. Like Lenny, you might just have something that you think is cool and you want to learn about for your own interest and edification, like starting an app. But another direction, another way that you can if you’re looking for inspiration is, what is it in your life that people are already coming to you about?
I think for most people we probably have something that within out network or within our social group we are considered the expert at. Whether that is, “Oh, my phone keeps breaking. You’re a tech person, will you help me?” Or maybe you’re a great cook and so everybody wants recipes, or maybe you work out all and so people want your help showing them some routines. You know, that kind of thing. It can be related to your job, it doesn’t have to be but look at where the momentum is first.
Roger Dooley: Right, so would the most typical starting point be blogging or some kind of online writing?
Dorie Clark: That is a common starting point. It’s certainly a good one for a few different reasons. One is that very early one it enables you to clarify your thoughts at a very basic level. Many people learn and codify their philosophies through writing them down. That’s a great thing. Number two, by creating content you’re starting to get your name out there, into the public discourse. People can find you, that’s great. Also, there’s often times a networking benefit.
Many times if you’re blogging or maybe podcasting like this, you would doing an interview. That gives you a chance not only to create content and get out there, but also to connect with somebody and build a relationship. Those are very positive way to get the momentum started, but if blogging isn’t you’re thing. If you really a write that’s okay, it’s really more about ideas than it is about the act of writing, so podcasts or videos are totally equally acceptable. But I’ll also say, you can start person to person to, it doesn’t necessarily have to be starting out by putting stuff out to the world.
It literally could be as simple as, somebody comes to you for the tenth time saying, “Hey, would you come to the gym with me and look at my workout, look at my form?” And you say, “Yeah, I’d be happy to. You know, I’ve started a personal training business and so I charge $50 an hour. Are you interested?” It could be as simple as that in getting going with a coaching thing, a consulting thing, et cetera. It’s really about getting started, taking that initial step. It often leads, it creates the momentum that leads to a positive outcome and an ongoing income stream, if you discover that you like it.
Roger Dooley: I think one benefit too, even for the person who maybe never wants to give up their day job, they really think that is their long term career path. These additional activities may qualify them for additional jobs, like in the example you gave, or even if they do suddenly find themselves in a situation where they’re laid off and need to look for a new job, they’re going to be perhaps more visible and more qualified than many of the competition.
Dorie Clark: Yeah, that’s exactly right. The way that I describe this, building your personal brand, building your reputation, is that it is the modern form of career insurance. You can’t guarantee, because we do not control these circumstances, that your company will never lay you off. Things happen. Industries changes. Industries, companies evolve.
Sometimes that might leave you with the short end of the stick, but if you have invested enough in building a solid reputation for yourself, it could be through blogging or sharing content or giving speeches or building a robust network. If you have somehow invested in getting to be known as someone who is a quality person and is excellent at what you do, the opportunities will come to you. The minute that people hear that you’re available they’ll say, “Oh my gosh, we have a chance to get Roger, let’s get on it.” That’s the position that we want to be in. That’s the power of position.
Roger Dooley: Yeah. I think that these days you have to think more about employability security than employment security. I know a few years back I had a service company, we would have a few people come in and ask about job security, probably because they’d just been laid of from a previous job or have with the, really, changes in the industry, a lot of stuff going on. I tried to be very honest and say, “Look, we cannot offer you 100% employment security, but what we can do is offer you exposure to the latest technology and make sure that you’re getting appropriate training and exposure in the workspace so that you are highly employable. If this company imploded tomorrow, you wouldn’t be out of a job for long at all.”
Dorie Clark: Yeah, that’s perfect.
Roger Dooley: Yep. I think one thing that you do hear Dorie is sort of, dismiss the idea that to be an entrepreneur you have to be all in. You’ve got to be working 80 a week on this entrepreneurial venture. We had a past guest, Patrick McGinnis, who wrote a book called, The 10% Entrepreneur, who emphasized that same thing.
I think a key point that he made was that it may actually be better for you entrepreneurial venture if you can start it off that way because you can nurture it through those periods when you don’t have income or you find out that you went down the wrong path and that the idea that you thought was so wonderful, wasn’t that accepted by the customers. But after some feedback, now you know what the idea is. Had you quit your job and been all in, you might have been out of cash at that point. By starting small you can get through some of that. I take it you pretty much agree with that philosophy.
Dorie Clark: Yeah, I do. I do. Patrick’s a friend of mine up here in New York. We are simpatico in that way. I really agree, I think that part of what holds people back from exploring entrepreneurial ventures is the societal myth that you have to leap off the bridge, that you have to burn all the supplies and say, “Well, you’re moving in this direction, hell or high water.” I think that’s really damaging because most people literally can’t afford to do that. They think, “Well, okay, entrepreneurship then is never going to be an option for me.”
But the truth is, having a hybrid approach can be really smart. In fact, one of the people that I profiled in my first book, Reinventing You, I loved his story. Her name is Patricia Fripp. She started her career in San Francisco as a hairdresser. She had this salon and she had a 10 year lease on her Salon. She discovered at a certain point that she had a passion for public speaking and she really wanted to become a professional speaker. But of course, when you’re starting you are not making a ton of money doing it, you’re establishing your footing.
She had this 10 year horizon that she set for herself. She said, “You know what, I’ve got this lease for 10 years, let’s see what I can do.” Over the course of it she worked on the side to get as many gigs as she could, get as much experience as she could. Any money that she made from speaking she reinvested in her business to get training, to become a good speaker, to get really high quality videos and other marketing materials that she needed to present herself well. She was able to do that because she was living off of her salary from the salon.
By the time she reached the end of the least, by the time the 10 years was up, she was able to shut her business down without a thought because she had more than replaced her salon income with the money that she was now making as a professional speaker. I think that sometimes people imagine that doing entrepreneurial things leads to these periods of drought and privation. The truth is, if you are viewing it as a side stream for yourself, it really enables you if you’ve built in a long enough horizon to transition seamlessly, if you want to. Or, if Patricia had really loved being a hairdresser, theoretically she could have kept at it forever but built up a really lovely side income stream for herself that would have been a great supplement for the rest of her life.
Roger Dooley: Dorie, I wonder if some folks who have developed … Now, you’re sort of intentional about developing your expertise and promoting it and then monetizing it. But I think there are probably a fair number of folks who have developed that expertise and are maybe somewhat visible there. Maybe they’ve got a very visible blog or they do videos on some topic that’s of interest to them. I’m wondering if imposter syndrome keeps them from monetizing. In other words they’ve been doing this because it’s an interest and it’s fun and people recognize them as having expertise in that field, but the thought of suddenly charging people for that seems a little wrong, like they’re not really good enough.
Dorie Clark: Yeah. No, that’s certainly a factor at play Roger. I’m glad you brought that up. In my most recent past book, Stand Out, I actually tell the story of a guy named Ramit Sethi who runs a blog called, I Will Teach You To Be Rich. He’s very successful today. He does a number of online courses about business and lifestyle and career. He was telling me when I interviewed him about a time in the past where he had, what he describes even to this day as, the most stressful moment in his entire business. He had been blogging for three years and he had always, from the beginning, done it for free, running this regular personal finance blog.
Finally he decided three years in, “I guess I should try to monetize it a little bit.” He released an e-book and he charged, get this, $4.95 for his e-book. He said that when he pressed send on the message, sharing that with people, that even now to this day that we the most nervous he’s ever been, because he was so worried that people would rebel against it, or say, “You’re not worth it. You’re not good enough.” The truth is, and we have to be ready for this, he actually did get some people who wrote back and were like, “You sellout, I can’t believe that you’re just trying to make money off of us.” Even though it seems ridiculous, it’s a $5 e-book and people don’t have to buy it. No one’s holding a gun to their head.
If you do put yourself out there, let’s be honest, there is a risk that some people, some sort of disgruntled types, will call you on it, but that is the desert we have to cross. We have to acknowledge that if we never monetize what we have is a nice hobby for ourselves, but it can never become sustainable. Unless people are blessed to have some kind of a trust fund, if you cannot make money from what you are doing you will have to stop at a certain point because it becomes unsustainable and infeasible. That’s sad to me because people have gifts to share and the world can benefit from those gifts.
Being able to cross the hurdle and recognize and make it okay within ourselves to realize, “You know what, some people are going to be really cranky but it is not a crazy thing to sell a $5 e-book.” That is a legitimate thing for people to do. That is what enables you to have a business that helps people. I think getting comfortable with that … in Entrepreneurial You I actually have a chapter, a whole chapter called, The Courage To Monetize, because I think in many ways it is a matter of courage.
Roger Dooley: It reminds me of somebody that I know who has a different evolution in monetization. To support an expensive camera hobby decided to offer some videography services. That turned around and ended up becoming quite successful, even though really it was a way of basically making his expenses tax deductible and maybe paying for a little bit of gear. Ended up being a good profit center in its own right.
Dorie Clark: That’s great, yeah.
Roger Dooley: How would you compare some sort of high touch service monetization techniques like consulting or training with more passive activities like affiliate marketing and selling ads and that sort of thing?
Dorie Clark: Yeah. The model that I lay out in Entrepreneurial You is one that in many cases, I think that it is useful to begin with the kind of high touch activities and then later transition into the more passive and scaled activities. Here’s the reason why, if you are starting a business venture, first of all the primary objective early on, above and beyond brand and platform and all that kind of stuff, is you need to get money in the door.
It’s very hard to get money in the door if you are, for instance, only selling a $5 e-book, because you’re going to have to sell a lot of $5 e-books in order to actually earn a decent living. Which means that you probably need to have or have access to a pretty large audience, which basically no one is starting out with. Whereas if you are selling consulting services or coaching services, because it’s just so much more money, the range varies obviously. But the low end let’s stay it’s a $1,000 dollar contract or a $5,000, as compared to a $5 e-book. Obviously you need far fewer sales to be able to do that and that is far more likely for you to be able to do with hand selling, or referral based selling.
That’s something that out of the gate, if people are actually willing to do the things they need to do, meaning ask friends and colleagues, “Hey, do you know anyone that would be good for this?” Then you really can monetize quickly and build up a decent business for yourself. It’s not to say it’s impossible to start with an internet based business where you’re selling things at scale, but somehow you’re going to have to solve the problem, how to build up your audience first.
The key things that are necessary ingredients that I lay out in Entrepreneurial You in order to build a scaled sustainable business, three things. First of all, it is building trust with your audience. Second, it’s going deep. Third, it’s about leveraging your ideas and your IP. Very briefly what I mean by that, the first two, they can be done at the same time, they walk hand in hand. But building trust is essential, no one is going to buy anything from you. Whether it is a $10,000 coaching contract or whatever, the $5 e-book, if they don’t trust you and your information. As a result you need to invest in content creation, in sharing your ideas. This part is often done for free and it often takes a while to do. This is really where you do the yeoman’s work of showing people why you have something to contribute and that you are worth listening to. That’s an important step.
And then, going deep is something that people can do certainly through the act of consulting or coaching, that’s a big one. It could also be through in depth market research. You have to really understand your customer and what they’re facing, how to talk to them in their language. Because a lot of times the myth that people are sold is that you can immediately or super quickly to, “I’m just going to sell something online and I’m going to reach millions of people.” The truth is, if you don’t have a very deep understanding of your market, whatever you’re going to come up with is going to be a little bit off base. You need to immerse yourself in that way. You need to have the ultimate experiential empathy for your customer, which often arises through being in the trenches with them first, before you can create something, a product or a service, that scales widely.
Roger Dooley: Dorie, I think the entrepreneurial venture that you’re focused on in Entrepreneurial You is not so much, I’m going to start a new venture to create an app, or create a new software, or hardware product, or something, but rather a personal entrepreneurship type of thing.” It seems that the sorts of activities that you describe, you have a chapter devoted to many of these, on writing and speaking and coaching and consulting and training and online course. When things are going well, they all form sort of a flywheel and drive each other, right?
Dorie Clark: Yeah, that exactly right. I’m glad that you pointed that out Roger because sometimes a question that I get from people is they say, “Well you know, multiple income streams, that sounds good in theory, but in practice wouldn’t that distract me? Wouldn’t that pull me in too many directions so that I couldn’t do any of them effectively?” That would be true if your different income streams were completely different activities with completely different audiences.
If you are trying to be a dog trainer and a physician’s assistant and a blogger about consumer electronics and a ski instructor, yeah, you’re going to be pulled in too many directions, but that’s not what we’re talking about. What we are really talking about is creating a portfolio of activities that enable you to serve essentially the same audience in many different ways, so that you are capitalizing on your skills and your relationships, giving people different facets of what they’re looking for. For instance, in my own business I have eight different income streams but they are all tightly entwined.
For instance, I write books, that’s one income stream. I have got this new one, Entrepreneurial You, that’s coming out. As a result of that, income stream number two I will often give speeches about the book. Let’s say someone hears a speech about it, they say, “This is great. I need coaching from Dorie.” That’s income stream number three. We now have this coaching relationship, they hear about a workshop that I’m doing. That’s income stream number four. They attend the live workshop and they like that enough that they say, “Wow, I should go even deeper. I should register for this online course that Dorie’s doing.” That’s income stream number five. This is literally all the same people, the same type of people, but it’s enabling folks to go deeper and/or allowing them to choose off the smorgasbord of the way that they want to learn or the depth in which they want to learn.
Roger Dooley: That makes a huge amount of sense. One of your incomes streams that I would guess our listeners are less familiar with than the more obvious ones like consulting or speaking or coaching, is corporate sponsorships. Why don’t you explain a little bit about that?
Dorie Clark: Yeah. Corporate sponsorships is indeed a possible income stream that I talk about in Entrepreneurial You. The caveat here is that it’s what I would call a downstream activity. If you’re just starting out you’re probably not going to get a corporation to sponsor you. You need to have built up some kind of an audience already because the reason they would want to sponsor you is that they look at you as an influencer, someone who can reach an audience that they are interested in connecting with.
They say, “Roger’s a trusted source and so therefor we would like him to be our messenger because his audience is predisposed to really believe in what he says.” I think for some activities, you can make money right out of the gate from them. This is one that people forget about and so they often don’t tap into, but it does usually come a little bit later. There’s plenty examples of this. In Entrepreneurial You I profile a woman named Stefanie O’Connell who was very clever about this I think. She would get invited by PR firms to attend a lot of events, because she was a blogger. She would go to these events and she would notice who’s sponsoring the event, what audience do they seem like they’re trying to reach, how is the event structured, et cetera.
She knows of course that the PR firm is a conduit to that company, so she would later go back and pitch the PR firm and say, “Hey, I know that such and such company did this event and they were trying to reach professional women. What if,” this was an example that she did, “What if we did a similar event but it was aimed a millennial women? Instead of having it be a formal gathering we had it as a pub trivia night related to personal finance?” The company bit. She had that line in because she understood what their business goals were, and she had enough of a following, obviously she was already on their radar since they were inviting her to the event to cover it, that she was able to get noticed and create that sale.
Roger Dooley: Do you think that online communities still work Dorie? It seems like years ago online communities were huge. I had quite a bit of experience in that space as both the founder and so on, but these days Facebook is taking over so much of that online interaction. First of all, do you think there’s a future for online communities? What would your advice be to somebody who wants to create as part of their overall effort to connect with their audience?
Dorie Clark: Yeah. This is an important question Roger. I think it gets at something that in many ways underlies a lot of the strategies that we talk about in Entrepreneurial You. Which is that as competition mounts just about anything that we’re doing, whether it’s a money making activity or not, becomes a bit harder, let’s be honest, because there is more competition out there. There’s more noise out there. If you are dealing with a million other distractions, a million other Facebook groups, a million other coaches or consultants or whoever, that are saying, “Hey, join my online community,” that it becomes trickier.
That being said, if you can surmount the noise, if you can find a way to do it, then the same principles that made online communities successful 10 years ago still apply today. The best ones are very sticky because people are not just coming for the information. Which is helpful, maybe they can access a video repository, they can ask questions and get help, whatever. Informationally it’s helpful, but the reason an online community is sticky is that they build relationships with other people and the relationships become personally valuable to them.
It’s like, you know what, would I pay $15 a month or $100 a month, or whatever the price point is, to be able to have conversations every day with my friends? Yes, because they are my friends. It is something that I both learned from and take pleasure in. I think that as a recurring revenue model that is fantastic. What we see in a lot of things in modern life is that as the competition grows, the network effects grow. There is a disproportionate benefit to the people that are already leaders in a field. It becomes harder and harder for the smaller guys to break through. Is it more challenging? Yes, but really what I think it is is it’s an opportunity, an incentive that if you are dogged, if you are relentless and you’re able to ascend to a level of popularity, then it becomes extraordinarily worthwhile.
I’ll share a quick anecdote that I feel like really highlights this. There was study, I quote this in Entrepreneurial You, by a guy named Josh Morgan about podcasts. But the same principles apply with podcasts as compared to online communities and other things. He did a 10 year longitudinal study of podcasts. What he discovered is that the average podcast lasted only 12 episodes before its creator gave up. When people look at the landscape, at the time that he did this study in 2015 there were 206,000 podcasts. It looks enormous. Like, “Oh my gosh, how can I ever compete? How can I ever break in there?” Then you look closer and you realize, you know what, almost everyone quits. If you are both good and persistent you will have a massive structural advantage over almost anyone else.
Roger Dooley: I like that. We’re somewhere around number 185 here, one a week.
Dorie Clark: You’re making it happen.
Roger Dooley: Haven’t quit yet.
Dorie Clark: Love it.
Roger Dooley: As far as online communities, do you have any trepidation about building on Facebook as a platform? They make it very easy to start a closed community, but at the same time you’ve got their willingness to change the way they do unexpectedly in a way that can disadvantage brands.
Dorie Clark: Yeah. I always believe it is a little risky to build your house on someone else’s land. Yeah, I approach it cautiously, you’re exactly right. Certainly when it comes to marketing, I am a huge advocate of email and building email lists as compared to the many people who just like, “La la la, I’ll just tell people to like my Facebook page.” Because of course, we have seen that Facebook has throttled that back because they want to get advertising revenue so they are keeping companies from being able to get their message out unless they’re paying additional ad revenue. For groups, that has not happened yet, but could it? Absolutely.
Now, I say this as someone who runs my own Facebook group, so I recognize that it is precarious. As I am getting it started, about 150 people have been through my recognized expert online course. As you’re building that traction with that initial cohort, Facebook is a place that people already spend a lot of time, so it’s very easy to build that community. I would like to build it up to the place where it is so large and so robust that if anything ever changed and Facebook became for some reason a less desirable place to host it, that there would still be enough people and momentum that we could successful transplant it to other places. But it is important I think to scale in order to make that be possible, because if you’re running a tiny little group it’s a lot harder to convince people to spend time on a new site as compared to Facebook, which they’re already on. It is a real challenge, a real Scylla and Charybdis.
Roger Dooley: Let me echo one point you made there to wrap up. That is the importance of the email list as a marketing tool. We’ve had everybody, from Ryan Holiday to Tim Grahl, on the show. Basically, these are folks who have worked with a lot of experts, either authors or other kinds of experts. The one thing that is really effective from a marketing standpoint is that email list.
Even if you’re got 100,000 Twitter followers, that’s probably not going to move the needle for promoting your actually product and your monetization. Let me remind our listeners that we’re speaking with Dorie Clark, author of the new book, Entrepreneurial You, Monetize Your Expertise, Create Multiple Income Streams. Dorie, I think you’ve got a free workbook for our listeners. How can they find you and get the workbook and so on?
Dorie Clark: It is true Roger, thank you. Yes, I do have a free workbook. It is The 88 Question Entrepreneurial You Self-Assessment. For folks that are interested in learning about how to create multiple income streams and how to apply that to your own business, whether you are currently self employed or have a day job and want to create more security for yourself, you can do that at dorieclark.com/entrepreneur. You can download it for free. For folks that are interested in checking out other things that I’ve done, I more that 400 free articles that I’ve written for places like The Harvard Business Review and Forbes, available all for free on my site, dorieclark.com.
Roger Dooley: Great. We will link there and to any other resources we talked about on the show notes page at rogerdooley.com/podcast. We’ll have a text version of our conversation there as well. Dorie, thanks for being on the show. Even as a long term entrepreneur I’ve gotten some great ideas from the book. Definitely going to keep that one of the shelf.
Dorie Clark: Roger, I appreciate it, thanks for having me.
Thank you for joining me for this episode of the Brainfluence Podcast. To continue the discussion and to find your own path to brainy success, please visit us at RogerDooley.com.
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