Working Sessions Podcast – Episode 24
[00:00:00] James Sowers (Castaway): Hey John, welcome back to another working session, man. I'm looking forward to getting the update. I know we haven't really spoken beyond some Slack messages and texts and things since before the holiday break. Um, so hopefully things are all well in your world. And I know we had the sicknesses float around through my household, like a lot of other families, and everybody's fine now, but it was a little bit touch and go there for a while.
[00:00:23] Like who's, who's healthy today and, and who's not, and who needs to be in bed and getting some rest and. We'll come out the other end and pick up here about mid-January and it's like, whoa, you know, we already lost a month of the year pretty much. Where did that go? Uh, so it was slow and then it got real fast real
[00:00:37] John Doherty (EditorNinja): quick for me.
[00:00:39] Yep, yep. I'm feeling the same way man. Good to see you. Happy to be back on the mic. Yeah, it's crazy. That's right. The 19th of January. And I was just telling you offline, like I'm gonna get in like nine work days in January and uh, yeah, we've got, got some sickness going around. I was sick yesterday. Just like unexpectedly.
[00:00:55] I think just some like stomach bug thing. Feeling better today, but you know, still not a hundred percent. You know, you don't eat for a day. You're not gonna feel great. You know, you're not gonna feel a hundred percent the next day. So I'm the one that's been sick. I mean, I've basically been sick for almost a month now.
[00:01:08] Have like, got a cough coming back from the holidays and then, uh, yeah. And then, yeah, this sickness yesterday and, you know, so it's, it's been, uh, it's been not super fun, but, you know, but also been busy and around. I was in Costa Rica last week for a mastermind, which I'm sure we'll get into a little bit.
[00:01:24] You know, before that was a holiday, so did a week in Virginia with my family and then did, uh, a week at the cabin, uh, with kind of a couple different groups of people coming through, but got, I don't know, four days with just me and my wife and my daughter. Um, and, uh, we finally got our hot tub up there, rigged up, wired up working.
[00:01:40] So got into that last weekend and, you know, it just feels like a big, uh, big life upgrade. So, um, yeah. But yeah. All, all good over here.
[00:01:49] James Sowers (Castaway): Yeah, I can only imagine. Uh, you get that cold Denver air and a nice hot tub and that kind of cold hot dichotomy going on. That's, that's the best, you know, nobody wants a hot tub in the middle of summer.
[00:01:59] They want right in the winter, in the mountains. Mm-hmm. With a nice view. I think you got, you got the right setup going on there.
[00:02:04] John Doherty (EditorNinja): That's what we got. Yeah. And this is up at the, the cabin. So it's like 10,800 feet in elevation and cold and snowy and got out there on a su Sunday and it was just dumping snow.
[00:02:14] Um, so, uh, yeah, that was, that was pretty great. You know, the dream is sitting in a hot tub in the mountains when, while it's snowing with a view of the mountains and I. Got that. I have that. So pretty, uh, pretty great, pretty great. Um, now I just gotta get one in, in Denver, I guess, but yeah.
[00:02:30] James Sowers (Castaway): Yeah. You don't wanna be left without bad hot tub.
[00:02:31] Bad. Like that would be, that would be savage. You don't wanna live like that. Um, cool man. Well, I
[00:02:36] John Doherty (EditorNinja): wanna hear the, oh, go ahead. My thought is doing is doing a, a sauna down here, um, in Denver, and then do it like a sauna and a cold plunge in Denver, and then having the hot tub in the mountains. Um, but we'll see.
[00:02:47] We'll have space at the new house, so We'll, uh, we'll see. I hear.
[00:02:51] James Sowers (Castaway): I hear they have those now where you can basically assemble them yourself in your backyard, like it's only a few, few pieces and a power drill, and then you're good. You throw the coals in there, throw some water on the coals and sweat it out.
[00:03:02] John Doherty (EditorNinja): I have a buddy that did that. There's also a brewery up in Idaho Springs, which is about 45 minutes outside of Denver. It's on the way up into the mountains. Um, and there's a brewery there that bought four, like of those like barrel saunas and turned them into basically like space, like during, you know, high of the pandemic into spaces for like, families to come and like sit out there and have their own space or whatever.
[00:03:22] And I'm assuming they don't use them anymore, so I'm assuming they're gonna sell them. So I'm like, huh, can I pick one of those up for like half of the usual price? Right? Of course. Like, have to get it into Denver, but um, you know, do that and just save myself a bunch of money, right? Take the table out and whatever.
[00:03:36] Make it back into a sauna. So anyways, we'll see. We'll see. Lots of, lots of ideas. No hard plans. Feels like that's my life.
[00:03:45] James Sowers (Castaway): That's the, that's the best way to, what was that? I was talking to my wife last night and she said the phrase, oh, he figured it out eventually. And I was like, that's what they're gonna put on my tombstone.
[00:03:53] Like, oh, he figured it out eventually. It just took him longer than most, you know, he just figured it out. That's right. That's right. Yeah. I love it. I love it. No, that's, that's fair. Yeah. Uh, cool man. Well, I wanna hear the business update, but uh, you know, we usually kick these things off with an icebreaker, and I thought it would be interesting today for us to talk about, I'm sure you run into the same kind of roadblock or hurdle that I run into during the sales process where they start talking to Castaway and they're like, Hey, we're interested in your services, tell me more.
[00:04:18] And we start talking about, uh, scope and pricing and deliverables and things like that. And then ultimately they say something like, well, I think we're gonna try this in-house first and see if we can make it work, and then maybe we'll come back to you. So I'm curious if you see that with Editor Ninja, um, or any of the other businesses that you've had a hand in about this whole, like doing things in-house versus hiring an external consultant or agency and, and that kind of being a sales objection, if you run into it, like how do you handle that or, um, do you not handle it or you just not worry about it, you move on and say they're
[00:04:47] John Doherty (EditorNinja): not a great fit.
[00:04:50] I think it's a, it's a pretty common question. I mean, it's definitely something that we get, we've gotten over the years at Credo. Um, and you know, then definitely get it at Editor Ninja, though. With Editor Ninja, it's more if they're going to have anyone editing at all or if they're gonna hire like a service like ours.
[00:05:09] Cuz most companies, most especially like SMBs, Are not at the place where they're gonna hire a full-time editor. Right. They don't even have full-time writers. Right. They might even have a full-time, like director of marketing. So some of this is just the, like, for me at least, is like the qualification, um, of like, okay, what does your team look like?
[00:05:29] Like that sort of thing, and really understanding where they are. Um, but, um, k kind of what we run into more often and what, what we run into at Credo as well is people just, um, They're at Credo, they're kind of weighing like, are we gonna do it in-house? Like hire a full-time person? Are we gonna hire freelancers or are we gonna hire, you know, an agency?
[00:05:47] Right? Without Ninja, it's like, okay, are we gonna hire, like, are we gonna do it all? Are we gonna hire freelancers on our own? Or um, are we gonna do, um, are, are we gonna hire Editor Ninja or similar service? So we don't really have many similar services. Um, there aren't many similar services out there, lemme put it that way.
[00:06:02] Um, But a lot of people are, um, they, they're having writers edit it. Um, and so basically what they're deciding is like, are we also gonna bring on this additional cost of like having an editor that is not also the writer? Um, so. Um, yeah, but, but what I was saying about like the team kind of where we, where I started was like, okay, do you like, what's your team look like?
[00:06:24] Do you have a director of marketing or head of content or that sort of thing. Um, basically just trying to qualify them, right? Because if they don't have that, then they're likely not gonna be a great fit. They're not really gonna value it. They're gonna see it as an expense instead of an investment, not something they have to have cuz they're not fully invested in content.
[00:06:38] Right. All, all of those sorts of things. Um, and then, uh, and, and then basically I get into asking questions. Um, you know, k kind of, uh, To try to get them to realize what they need to do. Um, but before I get into those, I'm curious, what do you do with, uh, with Castaway when people come to you? Um, you know, and they're, they're trying to decide if they're gonna do it in-house or, you know, wanna, wanna hire a service or wanna test it out or
[00:07:01] James Sowers (Castaway): something like that.
[00:07:03] Yeah, I would say, um, oddly enough, Castaway is one of the easier situations I've been in. I've, I've. Experience this kind of challenge or objection in various areas in the past, but this is one of the easier ones because, um, I think that podcasting in general tends to be, tends to be like an add on. Task or project to an existing person's role.
[00:07:22] So they're already doing like 80% other marketing tasks. They're a marketing coordinator or something like that. And um, most of their job is putting white papers together or blog articles or running the newsletter, managing the social media account. It's like all this stuff. And then, and then the boss suddenly decides they wanna do a podcast.
[00:07:38] So, um, the boss is gonna be the host and they get the guests on or whatever. But it's the marketing manager's responsibility to. Publish this and promote it and that kind of thing. So, um, but the nice thing is it's like, yeah, you can keep doing that and you'll probably keep getting the results you're already getting.
[00:07:54] And that's because you have somebody giving fractional attention who's more of a generalist and is not a specialist in any one particular area related to podcasting. So, Um, you could also try to hire a dedicated person to do that. Uh, but you're gonna run into the same challenges where that person's probably not an excellent audio engineer and video editor, and social media strategist and content marketer and whatever, whatever.
[00:08:17] So, Um, yeah, you could probably hire that person, uh, but they might not do as good a job as a team of experts, which is basically what Castaway provides. Uh, or you could try to build your own team of experts in fractional employment roles. And the headache there is finding those people. Vetting those people, getting those people to stick around and as long as they're with you, um, managing those projects and making sure that all those individual assets get turned around on time for when you need them, there's a complexity there where you've basically just given yourself another job as project manager, right?
[00:08:48] So it's actually pretty easy for me to handle the objection. Now, how somebody decides to move forward with those options or cast away is totally up to them. Um, but at least like the business case for. Working with an all-in-one solution is easier for Castaway than I've had in the past because there are so many moving parts to doing a comprehensive repurposing program for a podcast that it really is hard to replicate that either with contractors and not pull your hair out or to replicate it by h making a single full-time hire with somebody who's capable of being excellent at all those different
[00:09:22] John Doherty (EditorNinja): areas.
[00:09:24] Yeah. And my, my approach is very similar. Um, I take the approach of asking questions to them, um, you know, things like, you know, have you worked with an editor before, right? Yes or no? If they've not worked with an editor before then, you know, they're, they're less qualified, right. Um, but you know, they're still not, they're not unqualified cuz obviously we're on a call and they're interested in it, but, you know, they, they don't quite understand like, you know what all um, Is involved in it.
[00:09:49] Um, and then I ask them, you know, how confident are you in your ability to h to, you know, find and, and hire and, and fully vet out a great editor, right? Usually they're not very right. And so then that kind of eliminates the freelancer objection. Um, and then I ask them, you know, if they're like, well, you know, we could get our like content, you know, strategist to edit.
[00:10:08] Um, and then I basically, you know, um, asked them like, well, you know, Do they have editing experience? Um, you know, are, are they interested in doing it right? Um, and, you know, sometimes yes, sometimes no. Um, and then I ask them, you know, especially if it's like the person that controls the budget, I then basically ask them if, you know, if it would, if it's worth taking time, you know, uh, taking their time to do something like this.
[00:10:32] Um, you know, if the editor's making, or the, the content strateg is making, let's say $75,000 a year, right? Like they're, you know, they're worth basically, You know, I mean, what is that? I was just doing a, a calculation today. Um, but so if they're making $75,000 a year and working 2000 hours a year, um, which is very like US focused, right?
[00:10:54] That's basically, they're basically worth, you know, 30, they, they're hourly is like, is 37, 50 3000 or $37 and 50 cents. Um, but if they're making even more, right? And, and often I see it's like, it's not even a, um, like a, a. Content strategist, but it's like a director of marketing that's editing. Right? Right.
[00:11:15] And they're probably making a hundred, a hundred twenty five, a hundred fifty. And so they're like $75 an hour. I'm like, doesn't make sense for someone that's doing, you know, that's being paid basically 60, $65 an hour to be doing work that you could outsource to someone else for half of that. Right. And then they also get their time back and they could focus on more revenue generating activities.
[00:11:32] A lot of people don't think that way, um, but. I'm trying to encourage people to think that way because it's, I mean, like outsourcing and, and I've actually like started using the term outsourcing, um, simply because, uh, instead of like, you know, hiring but outsourcing cuz then it's like, oh, well I can get this done and my people don't have to like, take on these things.
[00:11:51] Right? Um, so, uh, yeah, that, that one usually if it's like high enough of a level of person that's gonna be doing it, that one usually makes sense. It's like, well just a straight like business like decision. Pay double or pay half. I'd rather pay half for like the same level, if not better work, right?
[00:12:11] Because like we're professional editors and have the process and. You get stuff back on time and, and all, you know, it's not like we don't have other things come up that meant that we don't get to your article, we always get to your article, right? We're dedicated. Um, so anyways, that's how I, that's how I tend to approach it.
[00:12:28] Um, and for the right prospects it's gonna make sense. Others, you know, some people are just stubborn and they're like, I'm just gonna go hire some freelancers and see how it goes. I'm like, cool. Good luck. We'll be here. Right. Yeah. When, when you've realized that it's a total pain in the butt, and hiring writers is just, or hiring editors is just as hard as hiring writers.
[00:12:43] Um, so why don't you focus on like, great writing or getting yourself the time to be writing if you're a good writer, um, and let someone else take care of the editing as well. Right. Um, so the problem is a lot of this stuff is like kind of hypothetical to them. And so the more numbers we can give them, like the, like hourly rate or, you know, uh, Like more hours focused, right?
[00:13:04] Like you're producing eight, 10 pieces of content a month. It takes an hour each, that's 10 hours. That's basically like two and a half days that you're buying back, or sorry, like a day and a half, two days that you're buying back. And that's just a 10 pieces a month, right? If you're doing 20, 30, 40 pieces of content a month, um, it, it, it totally makes sense, right?
[00:13:20] You, you could literally buy back a week of your time. Yeah. So, um, that's how I approach it. Um, seems to work pretty well.
[00:13:28] James Sowers (Castaway): Yeah, I think, um, one of the most compelling strategies I've seen is actually just pulling up a whiteboard. And maybe if you're doing a Zoom call or something, there's some kind of software you need to wire up there, but like maybe you physically, I have a whiteboard on my wall over here for anybody watching on YouTube, and it's like you just get up and, and.
[00:13:42] You know, you can spit some numbers out, uh, and and do the calculation for them, and maybe that convinces them. But what's way more powerful is if you ask a series of questions like you just presented and you say, okay, uh, hey John, you're the director of marketing over there. What's your hourly rate? 75 bucks an hour.
[00:13:57] Okay. How many hours a week do you think you would spend on editing pieces submitted by your current contract writers? Uh, five hours a week, whatever. Okay, let's do that math. So if you fill, have them fill in those variables with real. Data, like what's the lead worth to you? What's your current cost to acquire a lead, yada, y yada.
[00:14:12] And you run that out and you create, like if you do it right and you end up with a very attractive result, there's not much more powerful than that. Like you gave me these numbers, right? And and you agreed with my math along the way, right? You could stop me at any point if you disagree with how I'm calculating this, but it seems to me that we can, if we save you five hours a week for 52 weeks for the rest of the year, that's worth $40,000 to you, you're gonna pay us 20.
[00:14:34] Doesn't that seem a lot easier than trying to find a full-time editor or a contract editor to step in there? Um, you know, I, I think that's really compelling. I think the other thing that jumps out at me here is, uh, when you have a great botta, right, like a best alternative to a negotiated agreement, if you don't have pressure to land this sale, if you can come at that from a position of.
[00:14:53] Strength and peace of mind and just say, look, I, I don't need you to sign up today. There's no urgency on my end. In fact, I wanna make sure it's a good fit. So let's talk through this, and if you want to go test this out on your own, I encourage you to do so. In fact, um, I have actually thought about do I just build a course for castaway of how we do our things?
[00:15:12] And if, if I wanna downsell somebody to that course and say, here, I'll give it to you for free. Here's a hundred percent discount code. Take the course. It'll teach you exactly how to DIY everything we do. Please take that and do it for 30, 60, 90 days. I'd love to hear how it goes because I think most people are gonna realize it's more of a headache than you think.
[00:15:29] It takes more time than you think. It gets more expensive than you think, and the easy button is sign on with castaway. And that'll all be taken care of for you, Tara, uh, taken care of for you because, The first time you submit an article to Editor Ninja and it comes back in 24 hours edited and you didn't have to do anything.
[00:15:43] That's magic. The first time you record a podcast episode, pass the audio files to Castaway and get dozens of assets back within a couple of days. It's magic. And the faster you can get somebody to that point, it takes that other objection about in-house versus working with us off the table because they just, the value's tangible at that point.
[00:16:00] Right. But I, I think there are creative ways to get somebody through that, that test, experiment or experience.
[00:16:07] John Doherty (EditorNinja): Yeah, no, I, I completely, I completely agree. Right? And the like, and people do like the, you know, no pressure, like sales. At the same time, sometimes we have to help people get outta their own way and actually make a decision, right?
[00:16:20] Um, and so, you know, from reading like a hundred million dollar offers, you know, you can give like a, you know, there's a 30 day mon, you know, money back guarantee, um, you know, if you're not happy, like that sort of thing. And just really like, make it, you know, make it more of a no-brainer, um, you know, for them.
[00:16:33] Um, so there, there's. Alternatives you can do as well. Um, you know, to get people to commit, right? Um, as opposed to like the, eh, I'm gonna go talk to people and get back to you. Cuz most people won't. Some will. I had one this week that did and he is like, yeah, it looks, you know, sounds great cuz like, um, and, and maybe sometime, maybe next time we could talk about like, what do you do in, there are multiple decision makers.
[00:16:53] Cause I'm running into that more as we scale up to agencies where there's like five people that are gonna be using it. You know, so like how do you get everybody bought in? Um, is a very different thing. Uh, very different like sales. Uh, process. But, um, yeah, I, I think there's a, uh, I, I, I do think sometimes we need to help people get outta their own way and actually start.
[00:17:15] Because getting started is the hardest thing, right? And making the decision to get started is the hardest thing. So I haven't done that. I was thinking about this yesterday that like, um, at Credo in the past, like 20 19, 20 20, we were actually getting people to put down deposit on their project before we introduced them.
[00:17:27] Um, and like they were closing left, right, and center with agencies cuz like this person was already bought in to hiring, you know, through, uh, through us. Um, and we basically told them like, you know, th this is our fee. And, uh, you know, if you don't hire, like, this is us going to work for you. If you do hire, then it's applied to your project, right?
[00:17:44] And we would just make that up on the backend. Um, but you're not getting a refund if you choose not to hire through us. Right. Um, as long as you agree that at least one of the agencies was like a, a, you know, a, a contender, you know, for your project. Um, I haven't gone to that about like, cool, you wanna get started?
[00:17:58] What credit card would you like to put this on? Right. I haven't done that at at Ninja yet. But I might, um, you know, at least like, to try it out, especially with moving to like, um, you know, our price change and like doing like annual deals. Um, you know, I might, um, go ahead and, uh, you know, and, and start doing that.
[00:18:14] Or at least be like, Hey, what credit card would you like to put it on? Right. Um, you know, I'm gonna go, I'll go ahead and get you, you know, and get you signed up. Um, you know, but you know, in, you know, But we have this, you know, money back guarantee and you have buyers remorse and whatever. Like, let me know and you know, I can, I can reverse, like I'm, I'm just gonna authorize the charge right now, not gonna capture it for seven days.
[00:18:33] Um, and so, you know, you get started and you know it's not the right fit for you. I'll just never capture that charge, you know? Um, yeah. And, uh, you know, and, and you'll never be charged, right? Like, I could do that. I prob probably should as I'm talking about it and probably will. Um, but, you know, but, but that's also not like, like if they've agreed that it's a good fit, it's gonna save 'em a bunch of money, it's what they're looking for, et cetera, why wouldn't, right.
[00:18:55] Unless they're just scared. Um, so we should do things like that to help them make the right choice. Yeah.
[00:19:01] James Sowers (Castaway): Um, you know, the one thing I was thinking about there that I wanted to make sure I mentioned when I talked about the BATNA is the great thing about, um, having a, a best alternative to negotiate agreement, a good being in a good place and not having to land the deal to sustain your business or whatever.
[00:19:15] Is, um, you don't default to discounting, which is, I what I think a lot of people do to close these deals is like, you're thinking about going in house. What's it gonna cost you to pay somebody in house? Okay, I'll beat that price. Right? And you're just sucking away your margin at that point. So yeah, I'm not saying never discount, that's, that's at the discretion of the business owner if that's something you want to do.
[00:19:31] Um, I do think it's dangerous and, and it only hurts you financially. Uh, I wouldn't default to discounting. I would try to find creative ways to. Communicate the value of your service over in-house, assuming that's true, make that more tangible. And maybe that means, um, you know, a free test project instead of a monthly subscription and you give a hundred percent money back guarantee type of thing or something like that.
[00:19:54] Yeah. Um, but don't just slash prices because as compelling as that may seem, and it might close deals and it feels good to close deals, um, it's just not starting the relationship on the right foot. And I think that comes from a place of like, My best alternative is I've got more deals in my pipeline or, you know, I've got recurring revenue and I don't need to close this deal, and I think you'll be back someday anyway, that kind of thing.
[00:20:12] Um, if you're in a position of strength, it's a lot easier to not slash prices in these scenarios because there's no desperation.
[00:20:19] John Doherty (EditorNinja): Sure. And I've got two things to say about that. One is a great way to not give discounts is to, uh, make it so that your system makes it really hard to give discounts, right?
[00:20:28] Like, sorry, like we're not set up to do that. Right? To give, like, to give discounts like that. And I would be doing you a dis or be doing you a and my other customers a disfavor. To give you, like, to give you a discount. Um, you know, so like, cuz you know they're paying X and then you'd be paying y and that's not, you know, that's not fair to them.
[00:20:44] Um, and also, you know, we're gonna be less incentivized to like, to, to do great work for you and to like prioritize your project if you're paying us less. Right. Let's just be honest about that. And people are usually like, oh yeah, actually, like, no one ever really says that, but you just said that and I respect that you just said that.
[00:20:59] Um, and then the second thing is, uh, Think about their batna, what are they gonna do? Right? Like if you're, if you're close, and like their final thing is like, ask if they can get a discount, which some people are just like, they're just in the habit of doing that. And I don't, I, I don't like, um, hold that against them at all.
[00:21:16] Like, it's good business practice to ask if someone could do it for less. Right. You just need to be willing to say no because like, what are they gonna do? Right? They're like, what are we gonna sign up with you? But like, could you do this for 400 instead of 500? No, we can't. And why am I gonna, why am I gonna say that confidently?
[00:21:30] Because what are they gonna use instead? They're gonna have to go hire freelancers or do it themselves or something like that. And if they're already determined to use us, right? Why am I gonna, like, why am I gonna, you know, do it for less? Um, so it's not only like, what is, what is, uh, you know, my alternative, right?
[00:21:44] Like, I'm confident in saying no. Right? What is their alternative? What are they gonna do instead? And if they don't have any alternatives, and I know that, why am I gonna agree to less money? Yeah,
[00:21:54] James Sowers (Castaway): yeah, totally. Um, you know, I, if you're gonna do a discount, make sure you get like an annual commitment or something like Sure.
[00:22:00] Give them yes, give them a percentage off to pay all year upfront or six months upfront. Yes. Something significant. Then, then maybe I'd be okay with it. But otherwise, yeah, don't, don't slash prices unless you absolutely have to. Cuz uh, that puts you on eight April from the start.
[00:22:13] John Doherty (EditorNinja): Exactly, and, and, and this is why I'm like with moving to, you know, trying to sell annual deals is like, I'll be able to say that where they're like, well, you know, whatever per month or, you know, whatever per billing period, would you do it for less?
[00:22:25] It's like, well if you, uh, you know, if you, um, if you, uh, sorry, sick brain is, is not letting me think. But if you commit, if you commit right. That's the word I'm looking for. Not a hard word. If you commit to an annual contract, you get 23% off, right? So it takes your price from X to Y per month. Right? I need to like have specifically what those numbers are and then they're like, oh.
[00:22:45] Okay. And usually what I'm seeing they're probably gonna do is they're like, well, let's get a test document done. Like, we're not sure, so we're not gonna commit to an annual deal yet, but like, let's get a test document done. Cool. We can do that. Um, and then, you know, then can get 'em onto a, uh, a monthly, right?
[00:22:59] Um, and onto the subscription and then, uh, you know, the multiple payment plan, let's call it. Um, and then they're like, well, this is great. Might as well save ourselves, you know, 20 some percent and commit to an annual deal, you know, for the next 12 months because, you know, it's, it. We're using it and it's valuable and that sort of thing.
[00:23:14] So, um, yeah, I'm, I'm just trying to figure out like, how do we get people to commit for longer? Because like, you know, someone signs up and they use this for like three weeks and then they churn, which isn't happening now. It happened a lot in the past. It's not happening now. Um, They're not realizing the gains, right?
[00:23:29] I guess I'm kind of going into my update, but they're not realizing the gains of buying back their time, right? Because it's been like two, three weeks and they're really just getting on board and getting familiar with the process and establishing their, their new processes, et cetera, versus they stick around for like, Two, three months.
[00:23:43] Right. Um, then that's when they start to see, you know, oh, I've had more time to sell new deals. I've had more time to write more content. Like that sort of stuff. Right. Um, and that's like two, three months in is where they've really, like, if I can get someone over that, then that's where they're like really bought in.
[00:23:59] Right. Like they wanna test it out first. Sure. No problem. But I gotta get 'em longer than like just three weeks. Right? Because like you don't see the value. No one sees value in anything in just three weeks time, you know? Yeah. Yeah. We see
[00:24:09] James Sowers (Castaway): that with the good a lot with our testing and optimization type stuff is like, it takes us 30 to 60 days to do all the front end research, fully understand your business, your customers, your competitors, that kind of thing.
[00:24:19] Um, set up a few tests, so everybody's like, when do I see a positive roi? When do I start earning return from this investment? And it's like, Well, three months in you might be breakeven or, or even negative, but six months in you might have a five x return on the whole thing, on the six month investment. So, uh, it only takes one winning test to have exponential results, but it takes a while to get to the place where you can have that winning test.
[00:24:41] So I totally get it. There is some kind of like eureka or Aha moment where somebody really, the value of the service and the ROI becomes clear and tangible and sometimes that's further down the line. So finding ways to get somebody to. Stick around and stay bought in until that happens is one of the biggest challenges any business owner has.
[00:25:00] John Doherty (EditorNinja): Yep. Yep. Exactly. Exactly. Cool.
[00:25:03] James Sowers (Castaway): Uh, so what else is going on over at Ed Ninja? I think we've tackled a couple of these. You've mentioned price change and stuff like that. So, so what's been happening
[00:25:08] John Doherty (EditorNinja): in the last few years? Yeah. Tackled that, but yeah, then there's, there's just the, the couple other big themes going on right now, or one is hiring, um, and two is uh, just like.
[00:25:18] I mean, just sales and, and like the services that we're offering. So on the hiring side, I mean, I've been reading de Martel's, uh, buyback principle. Um, I think is what it's called. But, um, you know, Dan's founder of SaaS Academy, which I was in for about three years, and, um, you know, considered Dan a friend and a, a mentor and coach.
[00:25:34] Um, and so he just released this book two days ago now. Um, and it's, it's great. And yeah, to be honest, it, it recaps. Stuff that I learned from Dan over the years I was in SAS Academy, but it puts it into kind of a cohesive place. Um, and it's, I mean, it's phenomenal so far. Um, but I'm really, but I'm realizing that like, and I've been thinking about this anyways, um, but like I'm just doing a lot of like WorkFlowy stuff that I figured out the processes for.
[00:25:59] Um, and it's time for me to hire someone, um, to kind of buy back, you know, my time, like, um, You know, I, I can't, like, I can't pay someone $45,000 a year to be like an admin, nor do I need to. Um, but like things, you know, just like a virtual assistant, so like assigning documents every day when they come in, right?
[00:26:17] Cause we're getting 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 documents a day, uploaded assigning 'em to editors and, and all of that. Um, Sending invoices, um, to, to some, to our, to bigger, uh, bigger customers. I think this is gonna be even more like necessary, um, when we're selling annual deals, cuz probably not lot, not a lot of people are gonna be willing to do, um, a credit card, right?
[00:26:39] So we may have to do like a c h and like pay, get payment in other ways. Um, you know, recruiting of editors. I've been recruiting a bunch of SEO writers and, and such recently just taken a ton of my time, like I found them. But like I posted in, uh, in Super Path in the like work dash freelance, uh, channel.
[00:26:55] So, Um, super Path is a content marketing slack that I think I've mentioned before. Um, I got like 50 people pinging me and I, I found like four, like really good ones. So I've got like the first one on and I'm gonna be testing out the second one. And, um, so like, it, it was worth it, but like, it was a lot of time, a lot of frustration, a lot of back and forth and just like, Um, you know, k kind of frustrating.
[00:27:14] Um, but, um, anyway, so like, I'm, I'm thinking about hiring someone, um, for that just like a virtual assistant. So, um, I've been pinging some friends. Someone at, uh, at mm m t, um, at, at the mastermind I was at in Costa Rica, uh, last week, um, mentioned that they've been a, actually a guy that's, uh, he was, he's. In SAS Academy.
[00:27:32] Um, I know him through there, so he was telling me about all the like, awesome overseas staff He's hired, so I'm gonna get his take and try to find someone. Um, and then I'm, I'm bringing on like a content strategist, um, that's gonna help me out with just like, identifying themes and who our best customers are and that sort of stuff.
[00:27:47] And kind of outlining a content plan and then figuring out kind of who executes on that. Because this is firmly am I like in, in Dan's like quadrant, there's like the delegate, so like kind of lower, uh, value tasks that still need to be done, like admin stuff. Then there's the replace yourself in. And so like marketing and content, I'm realizing it's like I'm good at it, but it doesn't light me on fire anymore.
[00:28:07] And so I need someone that is like, it lights 'em on fire to do that and to be increasing audience and such. Like, I love new product stuff. I love new initiatives. Um, and I love sales and, and you know, sales calls and that sort of stuff and, and closing deals. So like that's where I should be spending my time.
[00:28:21] Um, and then I, and then I think I mentioned back in December that I've, uh, I'm working with a de a designer, um, who also worked on kind of a, a project for us at Credo. Um, uh, and so I actually have my first call with him later today with, to see like his initial work. So just like defining more like fonts and colors and that sort of stuff, just kind of.
[00:28:40] Streamlining everything that's on the, that's on the site. Buttons and button sizes and like all that sort of stuff. Just like kind of the basics of design. Um, just to set a good, set, a good base. So that's kinda what's going on the op on the hiring side, I guess. Um, and then on the sales side, it's interesting.
[00:28:55] I've, uh, I'm getting super close to closing, uh, um, a, a fairly big, multiple thousands a month content updating project SEO content updating project. So, um, and I also closed a big, um, Editing project for a, a company in the education space, like redoing, like an assessment that they, that they sell. Um, and so close that, um, which was great.
[00:29:14] Um, and uh, and then this big SEO content updating project. I'm getting a lot of interest in the, like content updating, cuz a lot of companies seem to offer it. A lot of agencies seem to offer it. Um, but it takes 'em a ton of time, uh, and such. So if I can kind of staff up there, um, you know, I think it's a, it's an interesting, um, An interesting thing and it goes in line with the price change.
[00:29:35] Cause I'm putting the ability to request content update like SEO content updating. In the, like, it's not gonna be in like the base subscription, it's only gonna be on like a higher subscription. Um, well I guess technically it will be like what is currently the base, but I'm also upping the price, um, significantly.
[00:29:52] And we're gonna have a lower one that's just copy editing and proofreading, um, which I'm also raising the price and where it is currently. So we've added a ton of value, and so I'm raising prices. Um, and then this will be in, uh, ki kind of the bigger, like monthly, um, you know, uh, subscription or, or the annual, annual subscription.
[00:30:08] So, um, Anyways. Yeah, that's, uh, that's what's going on. It's, it's interesting, like higher, you know, seeing these bigger deals and closing these bigger deals. Um, but, um, but I will also say that. There's a part of me, cuz like I've fought for so long to get out of just seo. There's a part of me that's like, oh my gosh, I don't wanna build like an SEO agency.
[00:30:31] Right? Um, and I'm like very much resisting that. And, and I had someone recently be like, well, like we'd love to sign on for this, but could you also do like the content strategy around this and work on like our pillar pages and our pillar page strategy? I'm like, no. This is a service, not a consultancy.
[00:30:45] Right. So I think that's okay. And I obviously didn't say it that way. I was, I just wanna make sure that we're aligned, blah, blah, blah, about what this is. Um, but I am also realizing that like, this is something that people are interested in. And so like, I. Maybe I just need to remove the ego and just hire people to do it right.
[00:31:00] And I'm like, sure, I'll sell it if I don't have to deliver it. Right, that's fine. Um, but like, I'm not gonna, and so really like, have people lined up. So like when I sell it, then other people are just delivering it and I'm not like, involved, you know, in the delivery. Cuz the delivery just makes me angry. So, um, yeah.
[00:31:16] Yeah. I just, I just need to hire, you know, hire people for it and then I'll feel good about selling it. Cause I'm like, well, makes sense from a business perspective and I can close it. No problem. I can generate the leads and close it. No problem. So why not, you know? Yeah.
[00:31:27] James Sowers (Castaway): Yeah. I think, um, that, that content optimization opportunity makes so much sense to me because so many marketing teams are measured on output and strictly volume.
[00:31:37] Like are we churning out a new blog and newsletter every week and and stuff, and it, so it's like, it's really easy to outpace, um, your ability to go back and do refreshes to those, or add internal links or whatever you need to do to get the most out of it, like, I wish more companies would just write 50 amazing pieces and get as much mileage as possible out of those 50 kind of pillar pieces of content.
[00:31:58] But so many of them are publishing 50 new pieces every year, and they look up in five years and they've got 250, 300 articles going and it's like, well, we haven't touched the first 50 ever, and they're just losing steam and, and so I think there's a lot of value there. I totally understand. Why that's a deviation from kind of the core competency you want Editor Ninja to have.
[00:32:16] So it totally makes sense to me to be like, here are eight freelancers that I send this to, whether it's front end content strategy and putting that together, or whether it's content optimization, but it's like, Hey, you guys just sit in the wings. I'll call you when I need you. I'll bring a deal to the table.
[00:32:29] Um, if it helps me close the editor Ninja piece of the business, then, you know, you charge whatever you want to charge and, uh, I'd like a referral fee of whatever that is, like 10%, a certain dollar amount, whatever. Um, or, or I'll price it and they'll pay my invoice and I'll pass that money along to you and you just do it and that kind of thing.
[00:32:45] Um, Seems to make a lot of sense to me. Cause it seems, I was gonna say, it seems silly to turn that business away, but at the same time, um, if it closes the editor ninja deal, then it makes a lot of sense to me. If it's like, Hey, if you can check all these boxes, we'll do business with you.
[00:33:00] John Doherty (EditorNinja): Um, right. So. Right.
[00:33:02] I'll say the problem there is like, is the, the increased overhead of like, then finding the people and the deals closing and. Remembering to pay 'em and you know, all that, all that stuff. And yeah, I mean, I think the answer to that is like, hire someone to like, facilitate all of that, but it's still just like, it's a lot, it's a lot more, um, a lot more work.
[00:33:19] Um, Versus the like, this is what we offer, right? I mean, it's a productized service. So like not doing custom deals and not negotiating custom scopes and you know, all that sort of stuff. Like anything I'm doing like stuff that's early days where like I do a little bit of that, but it's all looking towards how do we scale this, right?
[00:33:35] And, and like what, what needs to be part of our process. Um, so, uh, and then also, um, the, the other thing is like, Bundling it in as part of our subscription and not selling like kind of custom deals. It's like it makes it very easy for them to be like, Hey, you know, you can get like whatever X documents done.
[00:33:55] Because I'm basically taking the like four hour, all of our services, like copy editing and proofreading thousand word blog posts. Right? It's a thousand words, right? Quote unquote words. Right. Thousand efforts, let's say, versus like content updating that's like 1600. So like, it's a 1.6 multiplier on that thousand words versus proofread is 0.8.
[00:34:15] So it's like a, you know, it's like 800 efforts. Right. Um, so, uh, you know, this will also kind of pace out, like, like the, you know, the amount of work. Like it'll take us a couple days to get, like, if you want us to update a 1500 word, like, you know, blog post for seo, it's gonna take us, you know, two days like.
[00:34:32] Starts work on Monday. It's coming back to you Wednesday, not Tuesday. Right? So it kind of slows down the quantity as well. So I like, I can work in these weights and not let people blow the curve. Um, but, uh, but, but also having these various things offered, um, within the subscription makes the product stickier.
[00:34:49] And this is the whole idea behind the, or the service stickers. The whole idea behind the platform is like, this piece just needs proof. It's a press release, it just needs proofreading, right? And so we turn that around versus this is a like pillar piece that needs content updating. Yes, it's gonna take longer, but it's still gonna get done, right?
[00:35:04] It's gonna get done professionally by a professional. You know that, that, and you know the process and you know, and that sort of stuff. So, um, So people can kind of request different things. And so it's not just like, oh yeah, we use these people for like copy editing, but it's like, oh no, this is our editing solution for like all of these things.
[00:35:19] Right. And editing can be so like, it can be defined so like broadly or, or just like very, you know, um, uh, uh, cleanly. Um, but when, when you define it more broadly, there's a lot of things that people can use us for, right. And if we can kind of staff up for that, systematize it, that's great. Um, and so, and, and I'm also, I know people are gonna come in and be like, Oh, we just wanna use the constant updating.
[00:35:42] Fine. That's great. These other things are there, right? Uh, but then we get people that they're like, oh, I'm, oh, but you also do this. Oh, you do that? Oh, I could outsource this. It's not gonna cost me anything extra. Nope. Cool. Right? Like, why are they, why are they ever leaving? You know, if anything, they're only gonna scale up, right?
[00:35:56] Cuz they need more. So that works better for
[00:35:58] James Sowers (Castaway): us. Yeah. What's interesting about that is it's kinda like a, um, like a gym membership or like a fitness center where it's like you pay a monthly fee and if somebody came in and said, but I just wanna use the treadmill. They wouldn't reduce your monthly fee.
[00:36:09] They'd be like, well, this is the membership and if you choose to only come in and use the treadmill, that's okay. Or like, yep, if you only wanna use the pool or if you only wanna use the basketball court, that's okay, but this is the price. You know? And sometimes they'll have a carve out for like, Classes or, or the pool itself or something.
[00:36:23] You only get the fitness center. But for the most part it's like you pay one price and whatever you use within that is up to you. But, um, so I think if Editor Ninja landed on a similar model where it's like, here's the monthly subscription. You can use it toward new document editing. You can use it toward optimization, you can use it toward just proofreading, whatever.
[00:36:39] That's fine. You're always drawing down from this, this flat rate subscription experience and you can, you take advantage of those benefits however you want. I feel like that's a really, you got it. Smart way that still kind of protects
[00:36:49] John Doherty (EditorNinja): your time and energy. Yep. Exactly. Exactly. So enough about me. What's going on, on Castaway, you were saying earlier, offline that it's, uh, you've, you've had a lot going on at the day job, but, um, what's, what's going on with, well, I guess castaway and productize.
[00:37:03] James Sowers (Castaway): Yeah. Yeah. Um, it's interesting, a lot of common themes like, uh, our pipeline's picking up here, coming outta the holidays. We're getting more inbound communication, which is great. Um, most people seem to wanna just focus in on like video clips cuz that's the hot thing now everybody wants to do YouTube shorts and be Alex Hormo and all this stuff, which, which makes sense.
[00:37:20] And, um, you know, it's not, it's not my favorite because it is a narrow scope of work and therefore the price point is lower and stuff like that. Um, but it's still a good source of customer feedback and, And we can reallocate those funds elsewhere, like build up a war chest and, and, or investment ads or whatever.
[00:37:34] Like it's still money in the door and it's easy to reproduce and it's pretty profitable compared to like paying a writer to do a long form article that that's a little pricier and there's less margin there for me right now. So I'm glad to see the pipeline picking back up. And I'm also, um, starting to staff up, uh, just kinda like you are where it's like I'm not hiring a bunch of people, but um, I'm going back into the recruiting pool and trying to build out a bench of providers who are.
[00:37:57] Ready to take on kind of freelance or project-based work so that as demand ebbs and flows, I'm not locked into a fractional employment situation, but I can go to a number of people and say, Hey, I've got this deal available. Uh, I need someone to pick it up starting tomorrow. Is anybody interested and, and ready to rock?
[00:38:15] Let's, let's, uh, send you over the details or whatever. That's where I'm getting to. And part of that is, um, It's kind of looking at what's out there for some new positions, um, namely writers and audio engineers. So historically I've drawn from my personal network for writers. They've all been very talented.
[00:38:31] Uh, people here are usually based in the US or the neighboring countries. And, um, Just high quality stuff, but they come with a certain price point and um, a lot of folks are already handling kind of podcast repurposing or something in-house with their own freelance writers that are working on the blog side.
[00:38:46] So I'm trying to just explore if there's an opportunity to work with more offshore or emerging. Uh, country, uh, providers to see if that improves margins, right? Because there's a, there's a geo arbitrage, uh, situation that could be taken advantage of there. And if the quality's not that much lower, but the price is significantly lower, that totally changes my business.
[00:39:04] And it also, um, you know, usually the more talented writers here in the states aren't as readily available for that project based work. They're kind of booked out a few months and you can't just drop in, uh, as needed. So as we move more and more to this, A la carte self-serve, kind of build your own bundle model for Castaway where people can just buy a conversion of one episode to a blog post.
[00:39:24] I'm thinking I'm just gonna need more hands available, because you never know who's ready to jump in and tackle that task on a quick turnaround. So I'm starting to explore new roles like. Writers and audio engineers maybe bringing podcast editing in-house and um, you know, maybe that unlocks the capability to do kind of full service podcast production.
[00:39:41] I don't even know if I want to go that route. It's kinda like you with the SEO thing. Like, I don't want to be another podcast production agency. There are a million of those out there, but if it helps me close the deal to also edit the episode or, um, you know, let them part ways with their current freelance editor and bring everything in house to Castaway, I think that's a compelling situation for me.
[00:39:58] So, Um, kind of in the dating phase there and just seeing what kind of prospects are out there in terms of, uh, talent. Um, so yeah. And then the last thing on the Castaway update is I'm starting to scope out what an outbound campaign might look like. So we're gonna go out and start getting business, um, instead of just relying on referrals and word of mouth and my personal posting and whatnot.
[00:40:17] So, um, you know, I'm trying to be really thoughtful about that because. You and I, we, a lot of people listening get tons of really shitty cold dms and cold emails and, um, certainly don't want to do that. But at the same time, uh, I'm not sure that like I can be in there manually sending every single message.
[00:40:33] So I'm trying to do this delicate dance of like, How do I make these introductions in a way that leads with value and is respectful of their time and attention, but also like, not that I wanna do it at scale, but I wanna do it at a little bit larger scale than me hammering a few of these out 30 minutes a night, a couple nights a week.
[00:40:48] Like, I'd like to do it a little bit more, uh, systematized than that. So, um, I guess I'll pause there. That's all the castaway stuff for the last few weeks.
[00:40:56] John Doherty (EditorNinja): Yeah. I like the idea of, um, Do an outbound, uh, especially for Castaway. And I think it's gonna make sense for Editor Ninja here soon as well. Um, and like hiring someone else to do it simply because it's not your main thing, right?
[00:41:13] Um, and like, you know, we're very good at saying like, oh, I'm gonna do this, and then you send five emails and you don't get any positive responses and you're like, ah, I'm not gonna do that anymore. Right. My time is better on, uh, my time is better spent on other things. But maybe part of the reason why it's not succeeding is because it's not your main thing and you're not very good at it.
[00:41:31] So like, might as well hire someone to do it right. And treat it as a test. I'm gonna do this for two months. Right. And like, gotta have like something, you know, coming in, gotta have some sales calls, like that sort of stuff. Um, but, um, yeah, I think that could work very well, you know, for, uh, for y'all. So I'll be curious to hear how that, how that goes.
[00:41:48] Um, I've been, I've also been thinking about it. I'm more gonna do like partnerships and affiliate stuff. Um, first for Editor Ninja, but I think, uh, they, yeah, I'll read, but like, Outreach to agencies works really well for me. Um, yeah. You know, uh, like reach out to the founder or whoever and what are you doing for this?
[00:42:03] And they introduced me to their head of content and they hop on a call. I've got, I've had four of those this week. So, you know, maybe that's how I grow, you know, for a little while. But, um, yeah, that, I think that makes sense for, for Castaway as well, especially like big shows and that sort of stuff. Right?
[00:42:18] James Sowers (Castaway): Yeah. Yeah, that's a, that's a great point because I guess I didn't say that explicitly, but part of the scoping is like, who is the target audience? Like do I want to go to agency owners, podcast production shops who don't have repurposing, and can I just attach on to them as kind of the back end of their, fulfill their fulfillment?
[00:42:34] Do I want to reach out directly to the hosts? Do I wanna reach out to. B2B SAS companies who are venture backed and happen to have a podcast and might not want an in-house team member dedicated full-time to those assets. Like there are a number of different ways I can slice this. I, I'm sure there's a YouTube channel out there that talks about podcasting where I could get an affiliate deal set up a million different ways.
[00:42:51] So I'm trying to figure out, I, you can't do all of them, right? So part of the scoping is like, where do you wanna start? What is the value proposition? What is the offer? Um, and just test that out for some set amount of time. But I think as we turn on, uh, this new pricing model that allows for a la carte, I think that really casts a much wider net in terms of converting people to customers because it's not hit the landing page.
[00:43:13] Make a decision now about a $1,500 a month or $3,000 a month subscription. It's like, Here's a broad array of, of, so, uh, it's like a menu of services that you can get for repurposing your podcast. Maybe dip your toe in with something at a lower price point. I think the uptake rate on that is gonna be much higher.
[00:43:29] So outbound starts to make sense for me because to your point, um, it's a lot stickier to come in and get a blog post converted and be like, wow, they really not knock that outta the park. Or, um, man, they created some great video clips. I'd love to just put this on autopilot after this kind of low risk, low price, um, test project.
[00:43:46] So, Yeah, I'm excited about what that could be.
[00:43:48] John Doherty (EditorNinja): Yeah. Cool. I like it. I like it, man. What's going on with productize?
[00:43:52] James Sowers (Castaway): Uh, so productize is actually where I've been making more progress lately because, um, castaways kind of like, we're kind of stuck in this. Maintenance mode, fulfillment, flywheel type of thing for the holidays, and we're just starting to come out of that.
[00:44:02] So that's been a little easier. I've been giving more attention to productize. Um, we're gonna be bringing back the Productize podcast that was originally started by Brian Castle. So I'm scoping out a 12 episode season there, get some guests on. Um, we'll start recording those episodes and I'm gonna use Castaway to do all the repurposing and the promotion there.
[00:44:18] So, um, that should be good to, to get back behind the microphone in that capacity. And then I'm working on moving the productized course from, Right now it's hosted in, um, WordPress in, I forget what the name of the plugin is. It's, I think it's member Full. Um, but they have like a course aspect. No Member Fool's, a standalone product.
[00:44:34] What is, uh, I don't know. There's the membership plugin for WordPress. It's like the wildly popular one that whose name escapes me, but they have a course component to it and that's where it is right now. It's suboptimal, it's not made for courses. Um, I'm gonna move it over to Circle and that's circle.co.
[00:44:49] They allow you to host courses now. They have both. I think they, I think they bought the doco, so I think the So will redirect to co. Um, so if people aren't confused, yeah, now they can be. Um, but so the, they host courses now and right next to the course, you can have the community discussion around that course content.
[00:45:06] So that's what I'm excited about is having those two things live in the same platform. Because right now it's like, The course is facilitated through WordPress, um, through its membership platform, but then all the discussion about the course happens in a separate Slack instance. And like Slack is great for water cooler chat and hanging out, but like, if you wanna talk about course content, it doesn't really feel like there's a neat way to do that without interrupting the other conversation that's happening in Slack.
[00:45:29] So, um, I like this as a more. Cohesive, uh, way to give people an opportunity to actually apply and get feedback and talk to peers as they're working through the course. So that should be good. Yeah. Um, cool. I'm also building out a directory of productize. Services. So I'm hoping that will have kind of a, an organic SEO o play, um, where you can filter by, you know, content, uh, agencies, you know, podcasting agencies, design agencies, whatever.
[00:45:54] If I can just get a hundred productized services in there and um, maybe monetize that through affiliate links or some kind of referral relationship, I think that'll be, Uh, kind of interesting and then I'm starting to think about long-term, more of a long-term effort about, uh, a membership or a subscription option.
[00:46:09] So it's like you have this course, um, I've done a little bit of coaching, which I've really been enjoying and, uh, find very fulfilling. But like, what if. Everybody who took the course kind of got, um, presented with this offer to join a monthly membership at $50, a hundred dollars a month or whatever. And it had all these extra benefits like, um, office hours and guest lectures and um, additional courses that maybe aren't available to the public, like smaller courses like, uh, sales strategy or SEO or something like that.
[00:46:37] Something that's like complimentary. Um, I dunno, I've just been dreaming this up because, uh, I think that that could be a really compelling offer and I don't know of anybody who's doing that specifically around. Launching a productized service business. There are plenty of kind of memberships and masterminds for agency owners and freelancers and business owners and entrepreneurs.
[00:46:54] But specifically to this model and the, the challenges and, and some of the benefits of that, I haven't seen anything directly targeting those folks. Um, and of course there's recurring revenue there and, and that kind stuff. So I'm trying to think about like, How do I do that, but I don't wanna phone it in.
[00:47:09] And also, it's pretty time intensive, so when is the right time to even consider doing that? Um, with everything else I've got going on with the day job and castaway. So that's more like a, like a thought exercise, like in the quiet moments of the evening, like what would a membership even look like? And, and um, you know, what are the communities and, and masterminds and courses I've been a part of and like, what did I like about their membership component and how can I improve upon that or replicate that?
[00:47:32] Um, so yeah, that, that's where my head's at with productize right now is the podcast is coming back. Making some product improvements in terms of the course in the community and adding this directory and then thinking about what does the future look like? Is there a productized premium membership or productized insiders type of experience where, um, you just form stronger relationships with some of the people who've gone through the course and are launching these businesses together, right.
[00:47:54] For the collective. Good. Totally.
[00:47:56] John Doherty (EditorNinja): Yeah. Yeah. I, I like the, I mean, people come for the content, they stay for the community. Um, so like that's a way also like, And people also don't finish courses, right? They'll buy it and then they don't finish it. Um, so, um, I think that's, uh, it, it's something to seriously consider.
[00:48:12] Um, and then you can also, you know, with having the, you know, everything in circle, like you can, you know, if you're doing weekly up, uh, you know, coaching calls, like that sort of stuff, um, then it's going to be, uh, you know, you just add that content in and it's just like an ever evolving, like bank library of content.
[00:48:29] Um, But yeah, I, I think that could be, that could be cool as long as you're willing to commit to, you know, weekly, weekly calls or something like that. I know, uh, Tom Critchlow at the S E O N B A has, uh, has an option for, or like it's just included in the course. Is, uh, like weekly, like he'll get feedback on homework and he'll, you know, he gives on these calls once or twice a week and you know, does them, and often it's just like two or three people showing up.
[00:48:55] Sometimes it's even like an hour one-on-one with someone, right? Yeah. Um, and those are the people that really get the value from it. But you know, when I think about like SAS Academy, there were like 300, 400 of us in it, and usually there'd be like 50 on a call, 60 on a call, something like that. Yeah. So like that's one in seven, one in six, not not leveraging it, but.
[00:49:12] Those of us that did, I mean, saw a ton of progress. So, um, yeah, I, I think it's worth thinking about. Yeah,
[00:49:19] James Sowers (Castaway): I, I talked to somebody who's in Ship 30 for 30, which I've heard a lot about and seen a lot of public praise for. I never actually met anybody who's in it, but I just did earlier this morning in fact.
[00:49:27] And, uh, I was like, Hey, what are they doing over there? Like, what, uh, is it, is it, has it been a good experience so far? Like, how does it stand out better or worse against other stuff you've done? And. He was like, you know, the really cool thing, and, and for those who don't know, ship 34 30 is all about building a writing habit and using, um, yeah, regular writing, like ideally daily writing as, as a driver for your personal brand and for your business and attract more leads and all that kind of stuff.
[00:49:48] But he's like, one thing that they do is really cool is, um, they'll have these office hours sessions or these like, Member spotlights or whatever, and they'll say, um, okay, bring up a piece of writing that you've done and one of the facilitators, I'm just gonna edit it on the spot. Like, how would I make this more compelling?
[00:50:02] And so in front of the group, in a very healthy and productive way, they're, they're kind of tearing down this piece of writing and they're like using principles from. The course or any of the educational workshops they've done, they say, well, this hook is fine, but um, if you use this template that I'm super familiar with because I've written a thousand pieces and I put this course together, let's swap it out for this hook format and let's all read it out loud.
[00:50:22] Like, do we feel this is an improvement or do we feel like we like the original version better? What if we underline this? What if we bold this? What if we had a heading here? That kind of thing. What if we tell a story here instead? They're basically breaking that down. And so I was like, that's really interesting.
[00:50:33] Like that's where I'd love to get to. Like if I'm gonna do this, I'd love to get hyper. Um, Tactical and, and, and action oriented where it's like, yeah, okay. Um, great productized service owner. Pull up your website. Like, let's look at it as a group here and like, see what you're struggling with and, and let's tear down your messaging.
[00:50:49] Or let's look at your price points. Like, let's put ourselves in the mind of the consumer. How many people would go with this package over this package and why or why not? Like, I'd love to get hyper tactical like that, and I think that's where. You get those outsized returns in terms of value. So it's like, I pay $50 a month for this, or $500 a year, but it's made me 10 grand.
[00:51:07] And that's where you get that viral like word of mouth referral loop testimonials, case studies, like when you deliver 10 x results for people, I think that's where the thing starts to grow on its own. So if I was gonna do it, I would want to find creative ways to like go down that route.
[00:51:22] John Doherty (EditorNinja): Mm-hmm. Totally.
[00:51:23] Yeah. Just like the encouraging of. Of the community, and I mean, I, I see you put here in, in our, our episode doc about what makes these things valuable, like masterminds and communities and courses. Like, I don't find courses valuable. Um, I find communities that are well curated, valuable, um, that have rules and you know, the rules and you know, so you're not getting a bunch of spam.
[00:51:44] Um, so like people being approved, it's not just like an open community. Those just get. Crazy. Um, and then masterminds, it's all about the people. It's all about the close curation. So, you know, I think if you have people that are like super interested, right? Um, that are motivated, that are actually like doing the work, cuz like if you're motivated in doing the work and, but other people aren't, right?
[00:52:03] Like, you're like, what, what are we doing here? You know? Like, why, why are we here? Um, well, why am I here even, right? Even if like they're the ones not doing the work, like I'm getting value from it. I'm still like, why am I here? So like, like-minded, like-minded people that are all like, you know, motivated and moving, you know, towards it.
[00:52:17] So I think that's something you'd need to, like, you'd need to curate, right? But getting people, you know, in and knowing them, knowing that like, hey, you know, our expectation that you show up to these calls, right? This is how you get the most value out of it. And you ask questions and you engage, and there's some ways you can do that with these presentations.
[00:52:30] But anyways, I think that's, uh, it's, it's a big lift. It really is. Yeah. Um, like I bought, uh, Taki Moore's like coaching thing. I actually got a refund on it. I think I mentioned that. Like I was gonna do it and then like my, my anxiety just spiked beginning of last year. I was like, I can't do this right now.
[00:52:45] I can't commit to this. Um, but like, it's, it's a lot of work, but like to build it properly and to make it like, uh, but I, I think it could, I think it could work if it's what you wanted to like really invest in, you know, Yeah, I think
[00:52:58] James Sowers (Castaway): it's one of those things for, you know, if I ever go full-time on these two businesses, it would be a no-brainer, but right now it's, uh, time's the biggest constraint.
[00:53:04] So I, I don't think it's a short term type of thing, but it is something I'm, I'm thinking about what would that look like and, um, yeah, that kind of thing. So, um, awesome man. Well, maybe, maybe we'll wrap it there and, and we'll just cross our fingers and hope it's not another three or four weeks till we talk again.
[00:53:17] Hopefully we'll see again. Back next week and, and our schedules were aligned and our health will align. And, um, we'll, we'll be regular with updates this year. Cause I know we talked last episode about all of our goals and the only way to get there is, uh, to show up consistently Right. And hold each other accountable.
[00:53:30] So looking
[00:53:30] John Doherty (EditorNinja): forward to it. That's right. That's right. Sounds good. Talk to y'all later.