601: How to Build a 6 Figure B2B Business in 12 Months w/ Stephen Mackey

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Stephen Mackey, Co-Founder & CEO at 2Words Character Development.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephen-mackey-366844132/

Wouldn't it be nice to have several thought leaders in your industry know and Love Your brand? Start a podcast, invite your industries thought leaders to be guests on your show and start reaping the benefits of having a network full of industry influencers? Learn more at sweetish MEDIACOM. You're listening to the B tob growth show, podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. What you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources? You've come to the right place. I'm Jonathan Green, I'm James Carberry. Let's get it into the show. Welcome back to the B tob growth show. We are here today with Steven Mackie. He is the CO founder and CEO at two words, character development. Steven. How you doing it, Ay man? I'm great. James, how are you doing brother? I am fantastic. So it was super weird calling you Stephen Right there. I don't know that I've ever called you Stephen. In my third life saw be referring to you as Macki the the the rest of this call macky, you and I. You and I've been friends what three three years now, three or four years now. Yeah, coming up. I think our three year friend of versary is about a month away. I love it. I love it so, Macki, this past year, man, has just been a whirlwind for you. We, you know, remember sitting in your living room in January of this year, yeah, early two thousand and seventeen, just dreaming about and what was what was next for you. You were doing some public speaking and in that living room we came up with this concept what turned into two words, character development. Can you walk us through a little bit of your journey leading up to that point and then, you know, tell the audience kind of what you and I discussed in that living room and we'll kind of start the story that way. Sure, man. So, for not seven years I just volunteered at local high school in the community that I lived in and and just helped coaches do one very simple thing, help their athletes connect the dots...

...between sports and a life's kind of our my working thesis was that if you can learn to be successful in sport, then you can learn to be successful in life. But the very same skill set that would make them good at football or basketball or volleyball, for the same skill sets that would ultimately make you good at business, at life, at being a husband, of father wife. We know, whatever what are, the case may be, and so we just wanted to help athletes connect those dots and did that for about seven years. And then in those the fall of two thousand and sixteen, before one of the football games, I was talking with the team and a coach said, Hey, do you mind if our film this as I got no problem with it. It never crossed my mind to ever even record these episodes. And so not episodes, but I'm I'm thinking about where I'm at now right, just the recording that one of the talks. And and so he did and he shared it with his coach friends on his network and it got a lot of play. And out of that semester we just begin to record each of these talks and more and more people were encouraged by them and started to just started to skill a lot of play. And so that day, as we were sitting there, you said, man, Mac, I think you can make a living working with high school coaches and athletes and I said there was no way. And I just remember Christe clear you said don't start with no, start with yes. And if you knew you could do it if you knew it be successful. How would you do it? And it was out of that question that we came up with the plan. And then, basically, you said, now that you have the plan that you know that you would do if you knew it would work, believe it work and go do it. And I did and I and I'm convinced that all of my all of my best successes are just because I'm taking your good ideas and then I've executed on them, like at an incredibly high level. Right and and so what we've seen over the last eleven month is we've gone today, actually is we're recording. This is the eleven, eleven month anniversary from idea to today. We have gone through and essentially we have created a service...

...for coaches. It's designed for coaches and written for athletes, and what I mean by that is we recognize that coaches are our buyers. They are the ones that will purchase the the curriculum, that will schedule me to come and speak. They're the ones that buy. So we designed it for them. We're solving their problems. That the every coach wants to have a charist development curriculum, but very few coaches have the time. there. A few coaches have the insert that done the interesting education, the time, the skill set to be able to deliver a character development message. There grow great at coaching and so it was well, if I could be great at delivering the message, let me solve that problem, really make it easy for you to implement. Let me solve your problem. So I designed it for them, but I write it for athletes and recognizing that it does no good to solve a coaches problem if the one that they are trying to solve the problem for right doesn't doesn't receive it. So we have designed for coaches, but we've written for athletes and it has just been an unreal eleven months and that you know, we're tracking that in our first year will do over over a quarter million dollars in sales on a self funded business, solving problems and making an impact and helping people. I love it and I mean it honestly. It feels it feels like a rocket shit man. The product market fit that you guys have, the reception to the product that that we've seen coaches have is just unreal. But what I want to really do a deep dive on today Mackie, and what I think will be helpful for our listeners is to unpack a few of the key strategies that you've deployed to be able to see that type of success. Specifically, I want to talk about social media and how you have one identified the platform where your people are living and then just gone all in on it to to create enormous opportunity. And then the podcast. Obviously...

...me being bullish on podcasting, I knew that, you know, podcast could be the way that you could connect with your ideal buyers, coaches and athletic directors pretty early on. So I want to camp out there. Let's first talk about social what has been your strategy on social and how have you seen wins there? Yeah, so we realize that we were March and I was in a hostel in Peru and, like the the flood of the century, wondering how is going to get out, watching scrolling on twitter and realize that high school coaches were on twitter and I thought that twitter was too noisy, too busy and too dead, too irrelevant, to have a real play and in the growth of business. I was thinking facebook or instagram. I was thinking about where our snapchat. I was thinking about where athletes were. But once we realize that coaches were on twitter, completely revamped my entire twitter profile to position myself to engage directly with coaches. And what we started doing was to say, what is it that coaches want to engage with and watch and view and see on twitter? Why are they there? And one of the things that we saw is that coaches loved, quote. Coaches love motivational bit that they and take back to their athletes and as they're standing in front of their teams and getting ready for practice, getting ready for the game, trying to motivate one thousand six hundred and seventeen eighteen year old kids on whom their livelihood depends, to motivate them to excel. And so we said, well, what if we started putting out sixty two videos that were motivational that coaches got fired up about, that they could take in translate to their athlete and at the same time they could see their kids and see me and their locker room by watching me be somewhere else. And so I just started reaching out two coaches at that I had a connection with coaches at great programs whose name...

...would carry some clout influencers in that way and I said, coach, I will come speak to your athletes for free. Can I come and encourage your guy? And there were a handful of coaches that took a shot because they had no reason to. They that was a nobody to them. They took a shot and I made an incredible purchase. I bought a tripod for about a hundred bucks with an iphone adapter clip and I set that up at the back and then I film most talks and then I youtube, taught myself I movie and I started editing clips, fifty two clips of me speaking to Athletic Department. And what coaches saw when they saw that, was not just a motivational clip, was not just something they wanted to share with their guys, but what they saw was wait, if not, he's there, he could be in my in my locker room. And so they would send me a direct message and say what does it take for you to come talk to my guys? And because we're all in on we want to add more value than we ever asked for, I replied back gas and gear, coach, I wear an excel. I'll be there for gas and gear. And they were sitting there and every week I get a message. It says, I don't think I can afford you, but what would it take for you to come? And when I reply back gas and gear, it blows their mind that one, I would be willing to come. That too they could afford it. And three, they go. This guy is absolutely everywhere because I post videos every single day of all the different places that I am and so then there's this high, high value added to it and it gives you all the leverage when you add the value first. So that's what we've done on twitter and then, just to kind of carry it on, we took that same strategy into podcasting and said I want to have conversations with coaches. I want to be viewed as a peer, not just someone WHO's trying to sell them something, and so we early on started what we call coach three hundred and sixty, where we interviewed coaches and and the same thing happened. Oh,...

I heard your interview with this coach who is the coach of the number one team in the nation, or I heard this interview with this coach who hired me at my first job, and all of a sudden it positioned US side by side with all of these right coaches, but in the meantime we're learning from them, we're having conversations with them and we're hearing from them the very problems that they need solved and we're saying hey, will solve them, and not because we want you to buy our stuff. Well, because we genuinely want to help you. And what we found is that there are five pillars of our business and four of them we do for free. Live thoughts, leaderships, comments, scholarships. Will Give Away Tenzeros in scholarship a year, fourteenzero and scholarships in our first fourteen months of existence, and the podcast. Those are four pillars of our business. And then the fifth is the curriculum, and that's the only one that coaches paid for. And because we've been so committed to the long game, so committed to adding more values, so committed to serving coaches, what we found is I've not want how to sell a coach on our curriculum. They asked me about it because they see me everywhere and we're adding real genuine value and we're building real genuine relationships all along the way that they want me to be a part of their program because we have a genuine relationship. Yeah, there's so many things there that you said, Mackie, that I think are so incredibly valuable. That is going to allow you could go from zero to two hundred and Fiftyzero in in twelve months and zero two, you know, over six figures that have already hit the bank account and in six months. And one of the things that I wanted to highlight is what you did with twitter chats specifically, so not just putting out content on twitter, but actually engaging in an existing conversation and allowing those twitter chats to give you visibility into a community that you were trying to tap...

...into. Can you talk to us a little bit about that? Yes. So I found there were a handful of twitter chats that coaches would use to network and to just grow their leaderships, skills, tactics and and I just got involved in those and the key thing with me on those was that I never want tried to sell me or product. Never once did I try to say, Oh hey, guys, check out our website or oh hey, I think that what we have would be valuable to you. I genuinely engaged as one who wanted to get better and learn more about our industry, about what we do and what it means to be a coach. And on the days that it was hyper specific, on you know, run pass offense, and I'm football ignorant. I got played defensive line and I'd literally just did what I was told and I did it really well, but I just did what I was told. I didn't understand the scheme of the game at all. And so I would ask questions, genuine questions, and turns out that they were excited to be highlighted as the one who had the answer. And it turns out that that people who have the most answers in life right are the ones who ask the best questions. It's not the month who are smartest. And so I just shut up long enough to let them teach me, to let them tell me, and out of that came relationship, and then we interviewed the twitter chat host on the podcast and became a genuine partner and genuine friend through that. And then in the meantime, I went through and I followed every one of those coaches and then I begin to lie on like their post and I begin to retweet them and I begin to comment on their stuff and then guess what? They did the same thing back, and it was hand to hand combat, one twitter handle at a time, and then looking for the opportunity to put a handshake to a handle whenever I was in their area, when I was whenever I was driving through. Got Put over twenty fivezero miles on the car that I bought July first and we're what for five months in right, so I'm logging four to fivezero miles a month just...

...starting across texts, speaking a locker rooms and putting a handshake to a twitter handle. Why? Because I value people and I know that when we value people right, then we're going to become valuable to them. Mackie, there's so, so many things about this story that I think they're fundamentally absolutely you know, the way to grow a business right, that the focus on relationships, putting things in place between social and the podcast that allow you to create these relationships. But then the hand to hand combat that you mentioned, of actually engaging. This is the kind of there there's no there's no hack, there's no cheap trick. It's actually going and engaging with people in ways that fifteen years ago just weren't even possible. But because of the platforms that we have at our disposal today are extremely possible. Anybody can start their own radio show and ask their I. Ideal buyers to be a guest on it, Aka a podcast. Anybody can sign up for twitter and go find where where their buyers are living. They can do the same thing on Linkedin or facebook or snapchat or wherever their buyers are hanging out. And you have done exactly that and you've seen the results. Over a hundred thousand dollars since since the first jet came in in June. And and I think this is a roadmap. What you were doing is a road map for anybody who is bootstrapping a BTB company and it just works. I'm watching it work with you. I so appreciate you. You sharing the story. If folks that are listening to this want to stay connected with you, they want to see your your twitter game or what your you know, get a get a closer look at what you're doing, or they want to learn more about two words. So what's the best way for them to go about doing that? Yeah, hit me up on twitter at Macki spinks, and may see Kay Macki speaks on twitter, instagram and pushing. Check it out at two words DOT TV. The...

...number two words Dot TV podcast is called coach three hundred and sixty. You find out I tunes or wherever you get your podcast. And then I've also been doing a daily leadership podcast in the similar vein of the crosspot that you do, called the plus one podcast, and so we're about ninety three episodes in on that and just documenting the journey and it's been it's been so great and kind to say this, James, about the podcast just model and why I think it's been so valuable for us. And one of the things that I had to get over in this process on twitter and on the podcast and all of that is that early on I thought the only way that you are successful on social or on podcasting is if you are popular, if you have gone viral, if you have enough downloads for sponsorships or you're on the top chart and all of that. But what this journey has taught me is that when you value people, you don't have to be popular to be profitable. You are when you are genuine about engaging with the people you interview, when you're genuine lot engaging with people that follow you, and that you follow on social when you're genuine about people, you don't have to be popular with a million people to be profitable, because you can find a thousand that become diehard committed to you because you are so genuinely interested in them that they invite you into their fold and they'll fight for you and you become profitable. I completely agree. Man. I have, I have been a no name in the BB marketing space compared to the and Handley is, in Jay bears and mark shafers of the world. And you know, six hundred episodes of this podcast later and active engagement on what Linkedin for me is what twitter is for you, and I'm finding the exact same thing to be true. I do not need to be popular to have a profitable business that I'm running and to gain the trust of people that will that will pay me dollars because of doing those fundamental things right. So I really appreciate you saying that that that is so...

...valuable for folks to know and what a what a compelling statement that is that you do not need to be popular to be profitable. Macki, again, this has been fantastic. Thank you so much for your time. Sure we will be talking later this afternoon, but man again, thank you. Thank you for your wisdom and I really appreciate you. Many thank you. But have a going to ensure that you never miss an episode of the B Tob Growth Show. Subscribe to the show and Itunes or your favorite podcast player. This guarantees that every episode will get delivered directly to your device. If you or someone you know would be an incredible guest for the B to be growth show, email me at Jonathan at Sweet Fish Mediacom let us know we love connecting with be to be executives and we love sharing their wisdom and perspective with our audience. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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