689: The Reason This Writer Gets 1.7 Million Readers a Month w/ Jeff Haden

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Jeff Haden, Contributing Editor for Inc. and Author of Motivation Myth.

Click here to connect with this guest on LinkedIn.

Looking for a guaranteed way to create content that resonates with your audience? Start a podcast, interview your ideal clients and let them choose the topic of the interview, because if your ideal clients care about the topic, there's a good chance the rest of your audience will care about it too. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the BE 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 and I'm James Carberry. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BB growth show. This episode is sponsored by Directive Consulting, the B Tob Search Marketing Agency. We are here today with Jeff Hayden. He is the contributing editor for ink. He's also the author of motivation myth. Jeff, how you doing today? I'm great. Thanks for having me. I am really excited to chat with you, Jeff. Of been seeing your content on on the Linkedin. Your linkedin one of the elusive Linkedin influencers, and I'm excited because I looked at the list of people that you have talked to and I do not belong on the list, but it's really cool to fall under their halos. So you know, it's positive by association, so I will take it. I love it, man. So I listen to an interview that you did on my friend Dennis Brown's PODCAST, growth experts, a few days ago and love the conversation you guys had there. Before we dive into this, just want to talk a little bit about you know, your contributing editor for ink. You just wrote a book called Motivation Myth. You know, we don't, we don't need to talk a whole lot about your book. We had talked offline a little bit about that, but I do want listeners to know kind of what was the thought behind kind of writing motivation myth, because I think it's a really interesting concept. If I was...

...going to sum it up, and and I'll try to be really brief, I'm fortunate enough that I get to talk to a lot of really, really successful people and then I get to also to talk to a lot of people who feel stuck or who don't feel like they're achieving the success that they would hope to achieve. And if I contrast the two themes from those two groups. They're really successful. People don't wait for motivation, they don't expect to get it from somewhere else. They created on their own, even if they don't know that they are doing so, whereas the people that feel stuck are waiting for some and I always use the term lightning bolt, but it's appropriate. They're waiting for a lightning bolt to strike them that gives them all the passion, all the power, all the motivation they need to go off and chase this, you know, huge, audiencious, hairy goal, whatever that is that Jim Collins talks about. And so motivation is something that you could create. You don't have to wait and if you find the right processes then you can actually get little doses of motivation every day that will carry you for years and years and years. So that was the main impetus behind it. is to say to people who feel stuck, you don't have to be stuck. You have all the control that you need right in your hands. You just have to know how to exercise it. Of It. And so is when we were talking offline, Jeff, you'd mentioned a story at a conference that you are at recently you asked everybody to you said Hey, if you if you hate networking, raise your hand, and nobody raise your hand. I was like, I think it was about three thousand people and I don't even remember why. That wasn't part of my presentation, but it came up based on a question, and I just said, you know, how many of you hate networking? Because I hate I hate, quote on quote, networking. I like connecting with people, but I hate that formal process of networking. And nobody raise their hands. Not Thought, wow, it's so it's clearly just me. But then afterwards there was a reception and I was talking to different people and you know, they would kind of hold there. It was almost like they were whispering a secret to me, and they would say, you know, honestly, I hate networking, but I didn't want to admit in front of everybody because we're all supposed to love networking because you...

...know, that's how you succeed. You build a network, you have connections, and so I thought about that and I thought, you know, there are a lot of people, especially in your audience is business, where your network, in your connections are really, really important. They can open doors for you they can give you credibility. There's all kinds of reasons to have a very powerful network, but if you're like a lot of people, the process of building that seems really intimidating and scary and uncomfortable, and so I thought, well, you know, the best way to overcome that, if you're a person who is struggling in that area, and it's exactly what I've done, is just to break it down and look around and say, okay, who out there is really good at networking? And by that I don't mean that they just have lots of raw numbers, but who have you met that you connected with and later on you thought wow, that was really natural and it was unforced and you know there's a bond, there's a connection there. We can do business together if nothing else. Think about a person that's done that and they think about okay, how did they actually do that with me, and break it down into a process and then say to yourself, all right, next time, that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to reach out to this person, I'm going to do it this way. There's tons of great wheels out there. You don't have to reinvent wheels create this process, follow your process and when you have little successes, which you will, that will make you feel good, makes you feel a little bit better about yourself, makes you feel a little bit more confident and it will give you the motivation to keep on developing those skills and at some point you'll look back and even if you still don't love networking, you will be really good at it. But I would argue that you will probably reach a point where you, if not love it, at least like it, because we tend to like to do the things we are good at. You just have to get good at it, and so following a process and getting those little small wins that give you motivation, that's how you build up some new skill. So if you're a you know, if you're a marketer, and you've got certain things that you're great at and you've got certain things where you're a...

...little weaker and improving those weaknesses would improve your career or your business, then look at the people who do well at those things, break down what they actually do and then create a process that allows you to do those things and you will develop the skill and at some point you will find it's fun, because success is fun. Can you explain, Jeff, would have been some of the processes that you've created for yourself and as you've developed skills throughout your career. One of the one of the ones that I actually reference in my book. I write for ink and how average about I don't know, one point seven million readers a month, which I think is a pretty good number. But I started a zero, and so I just thought, you know, one of the one of the things that works is to interview and right about people who are extremely successful, because it's fun to read about that and it's fun to learn from those people. But I couldn't go all the way to to, I don't know, Jack Welch, you know right away, because Jack Watch is not talking to me, Richard Branson's not talking to me. So I had to start where I could. So I just kind of laid out a process and said, okay, who can I get? And it tends to be people that you know have a startup, that you know guys got a new type of cat letter or something like that. You know I can seriously, I can get cat letter guy and and if I do well with that and if it's interesting and it's informative and people get some value from it. That's great because that helps me build an audience. But then that also lets me, if I reach for whoever's one level above cattleer guy, I can say hey, you know, I know you don't know much about me, but this is the kind of thing I do, here's an example of something I did, and if they look at that and say wow, you know, I really like that, I can embrace that. Then you can bump your way up. So in three years I've been able to talk to you know, I've got more Cuban and Richard Branson and Jack Welch and Roger Penzki and about all these people that are really hard for the average person to get to. But I managed to get to because I followed a...

...process. I didn't reach for them right away. I said, okay, how do I build something that gets there? And that's how any career, any hobby and he advocation, whatever it is you're trying to achieve, that's actually how you do it. There is no well, I don't know anybody that is hacked their way to incredible success. I've everyone I know that is really successful worked really hard, worked really smart and kept their head down and focused on the daytoday and then at some point they pop their head up and said, wow, look how far I've come. Yeah, you know, that's in the last thing I'll say about this is that's that's the biggest d motivator of all is when you set a really big goal and you focus on that goal all the time, which we are taught to do, when you are miles from that goal and yet you're always looking at it, the distance from here to there, it's insurmount and it's demotivating and it makes you think, God, I'll never get there and I will just give up. But if your goal is just today, I'm going to do x and Y and Z, and if you complete x and Y and Z, you feel good. You did what you set out to do, that's great, that's fulfilling. That gives you the motivation tomorrow to go out and do your next x, Y and Z. Today's growth story is about how a big data platform increase the efficiency of their legion campaigns in a matter of weeks. Delphis, the company in the story, had hired an agency to manage their Google adds a few years ago, but they weren't seeing the results they wanted to see. Being such a technical be tob solution, they set out to find a team that could take on their challenge. After countless proposals, they found the perfect fit directive consulting, the B Tob Search Marketing Agency. In just one week after launching to reactives campaigns, delphis saw their lead volume double and their costper lead drop by sixty percent. I have a hunch that directive can get these kind of results for you to so head over to directive consultingcom and request a totally free custom proposal. That's directive consultingcom. All right, let's get...

...back to this interview. Jeff. A lot of folks listening would be really compelled by the fact that you're, you know, contributing at her for ink. was there a particular process or or thing that you followed that ultimately led you to have the platform, to be able to use ink as as a perform that you get to reach folks with? Now that's a it's a strange story. I'm also a ghostwriter, and so the problem with being a ghostwriter and marketing. Folks will instantly understand this. The problem of being a ghost writers. It's a lot like bike club. First Rule Five, clubmage. You can't talk about fight club. Person Rule ghostwriting as you can't talk about who you work for. So if you're trying to market yourself, it's really hard when you have to stand in front of someone and say I can't tell you I worked for, I can't show you anything I've done, but I promise I'll do a really good job. That that doesn't go that far. And so my wife actually said, you know, you really need some stuff in your name, and I said nobody wants to read anything by me, but she was persuasive because she's usually right, and so I pitched well, I don't know, ten or so of the major business sites at the time and said, you know, you don't know me, here's some here's some stuff. I actually wrote some examples of things that I would do and I said, you know, I can't tell you who's on it, but I have a really big ROLODEX and I can draw from a lot of people. And you know, and I even offered to do it. I offered to write for free, because to me it was just a marketing thing. You know, it was like if I wrote something and if you read it and you liked it and you happen to be need in the need of a ghostwriter, you might call me. That was really it was a credibility thing for me, and so they took a chance on me and it turned out that I did know how to attract an audience, because I sat down and thought, okay, what do people like to read? But I flipped a couple things, I discarded because I don't like doing controversial stuff and I don't really like clickbait stuff and, you know, not trying to just get attention anyway I can. I want long term readers, I want a long term audience and you if you sell people out once, you never get the back.

So I worked on that as well, but it was mainly just perseverance and the effort and then trying to do things that made me seem different than the average person so that if you read it, you thought, okay, I'm going to refer to myself in the third person. So sorry about that, but when you read it you woulds I know it sounds terrible, but work with me. When you read it you would say, okay, you know that's Jeff, not all. Okay, that could have been written by anyone and it was something generic. I wanted it to feel like you thought, okay, I like that, hopefully, and I'll come back. And so that's that's part of how I got the audience that I did is just that I focused on the audience and what they needed and I wanted to satisfy the audience and I figured if I did that that they would want to come back and make sense. And what I what I like about what you said, Jeff, and I've heard other folks talk about this before. Where I was, I was talking to Jason Feiffer, who's The editor chief that entrepreneur yes other day, and he and he was saying people. So you know that it's so common for folks to lead with just talking about how great they are and and Jason said, he said and like. We don't like we're not trying to hire you, like we care about the content and our readers. And so what I like about what you just said, Jeff, is is when you first you were thinking about what do readers want and you were positioning yourself to say, Hey, I I can present ideas that are compelling to your readers. Not Look at how great I am, look at all of my, you know, pedigree, of of the things that I've done in the past. It was much more centric around the value you can add to readers, and it seems like all the folks that I talked to that are contributing for these loader publications have that same mindset of the reader comes first, if you will, that the how can I add the most value, and even in the way you just articulated how you how you headline your content and how you think about of your content themes and the things that you're wanting to...

...write about, it's centric around I want to be a unique voice that people come to for the long term. So I really appreciate it and if I can extend that, since a lot of your folks are content marketers, I get pitched by a lot of companies that would like some kind of coverage and many of them the pitch is based on here's what we would like to tell people. Well, what you want to tell people is usually not particularly interesting to the people that you're trying to talk to. So I always tell people, you know, say you've started a company, I don't want your Roman noodle story has been told a thousand times. Max Style credit card stories have been told a thousand times, but what have you learned in starting this company that other entrepreneurs can benefit from and maybe we won't have to make the same mistakes. What Advice, guidance, tips, practical stuff can you provide? And if we do that in the article, you get to bask in the reflected glow of your wit and wisdom. People will think well of your company or of you. They will check out what you do because you provided some value to them. But if it's all just about here's my marketing message. But I'm going to pretend that this is an interview or an article. Nobody reads it, which I don't want, because I want readers. That's how I get paid, and you don't want really, because coverage without people reading about it is worthless to you. So you know that's I always the smart people that are marketing their companies realize that you serve the reader first and your company will then benefit. Serve yourself and nobody meant your spot on, your spot on, Jeff, this has been fantastic. If there's somebody listening to this, they want to stay connected with you. That you know. Obviously, I would assume they can get motivation myth anywhere, Amazon book stores, but they want to stay connected with you. What's the best way for them to go about doing that right for rank its inkcom. I'm also on Linkedin and and I do connect with people and I do respond, maybe not within...

...twenty four hours, but I will respond if you have questions or want to talk or you know, I like to connect people. So if there's something you're trying someone you're trying to get to and there is a valid reason to get to them and it is beneficial to the person on the other end, not just to you. You say you don't doll out Mark Cuban intradations, just any what's that's the whole thing about network and we talked about that early on. If if your goal when you network is to provide something to someone else that needs it, if that's your primary goal, then you can build an incredible network. If your goal is to get and that's your only goal, you can get a lot of numb first but you're not going to actually get people. So if you like to connect, I'm happy to and I'm happy to connect you with people, as long as your goal is to make it at least mutually beneficial for you and that other person, if not more beneficial to the other person. I love it, but Jeff will, thank you so much for your time. This has been fantastic. At the girl listeners are going to get a ton of value, so I really appreciate it. Him. Oh, you're welcome. It was an honor for me to be on your show. Thanks. There are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the be tob growth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners, and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations with likeminded people. Will Talk Business, will talk family, will talk goals and dreams, will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a BEDB growth dinner in a sitting near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's be to be growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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