Since 2005, Jason has helped thought leaders turn their expertise into online courses and programs that amplify their income and impact. In his consulting, he draws from a decade of researching top Internet influencers and personal experience gained through more than 60 online product launches of his own.
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3 Key Points:
- It’s important to know who your avatar is and what kind of avatar you’re reaching out to.
- Be relevant and resonant to your customers.
- Learn to speak the language of your customers.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [00:59] – Jason lives in New York City with his family
- 01:12 – Jason hosts The Internet Business Mastery Podcast that has been going for 11 years now
- [02:02] – The podcast runs itself
- [02:22] – Jason is focused in helping thought leaders
- 04:09 – Jason was in Episode #10 of EOFire
- [05:10] – The framework for standing out online
- [07:32] – Standout tips
- [07:39] – Know who your avatar is
- [08:50] – Your most important job is to enter a conversation that is already taking place in your customer’s mind
- [09:27] – Being highly relevant and highly resonant
- [11:00] – There’s magic that happens when we describe somebody’s pains and needs
- [11:40] – Every single prospect has a set of their own beliefs
- [12:09] – Have an empathetic stance
- [12:50] – Entering the conversation already taking place
- [16:35] – If you can describe the problem better than your customer, you’re going to win
- [17:13] – Life Time Income / Life Time Impact
- [22:07] – First actionable step we can take
- [22:23] – Know what the conversations are
- [23:55] – Places where you can find out more about your niche: Facebook, Quora, Amazon reviews – do your research!
- [25:22] – Have one-on-one conversations with your avatar
- 26:26 – Get Jason’s FREE document download for Fire Nation here!
Jason Van Orden: Most definitely, John. You do it.
John: Since 2005, Jason has helped thought leaders turn their expertise into online courses and program that amplify their income and impact. In his consulting, he draws from a decade of researching top internet influencers and personal experience that he’s gained through more than 60 online product launches of his own. Jason, take a minute. Fill in some gaps from that intro and give us a little glimpse into your personal life.
Jason Van Orden: Yeah, sure. So as far as my personal life goes, I live in New York City right now with my wife and 4-year-old daughter, who I both love very much and obviously are a big part of my life. A lot of people probably know me from Internet Business Mastery, which was the first podcast ever actually about internet business and marketing and we’ve been doing that show now for 11 years. Can you ever believe that?
John: I can’t even believe it.
Jason Van Orden: Oh, my gosh. Had no idea what we were doing when we started that and what it was gonna become.
John: Who does? Who does?
Jason Van Orden: But yeah. In fact, there’s a lot of today’s business podcasts that are either directly or indirectly patterned after the things that we’ve done in that show. In fact, it’s funny it brings to mind. I was talking to Clay Collins a couple years ago, founder of Leadpages and he asked me, he’s like, “Has anyone ever drawn the genealogy chart of business podcasts as they lead back to Internet Business.” I’m like –
John: You should do that. That would be an info graphic of epic proportions. That would go viral.
Jason Van Orden: Right. That’s awesome. Anyway, for the last couple years, that business and podcast, obviously I still do the podcast as does my cohost Jeremy but that runs itself with only just a few hours of my time a month, which is amazing, freeing up a lot of my time just to do things I’m really passionate about and be an entrepreneur and by leveraging my strengths and offering value in the greatest way I can in the world.
And so right now, I’m focused on working with thought leaders and influencers who maybe they’ve hit a ceiling in their growth and so I help them with strategy. I help them with internet marketing and business strategy. I think the world really needs more of these self made influencers, I call them, and there’s so much knowledge out there in the world that we need more people to kinda be a lens to focus that knowledge on very specific problems, on very specific needs.
And so there’s a lot of people with important messages to share, amazing ideas, and they just maybe need some experience to outside perspective, to identify the exact growth strategies that are right for them, help them dial in their content platform, their product offers, and so I help them do that and then kinda tie it all together into a sales funnel system that maximizes what I call their lifetime income or their lifetime impact LTI. We can talk more about that later but that’s what I like to do. Help thought leaders and influencers maximize their impact and income through online marketing and business strategy on the internet.
John: Well, sticking on the podcasting chain for a little bit here, I’ll take us back four plus years ago to 2012 and you had already been podcasting for still seven years at that point, which is insane to think and here we are at Blog World, New York City, 2012, and you’re giving a presentation. I’m in the audience. I’m still three months out from launching EOFire so I’m just eating up everything that you’re sharing. You’re talking about avatars and the perfect listener, et cetera, and I’m just loving all of this and I remember going up to afterwards and we talked for a little bit and you were very gracious to accept to be one of my top power 20 interviews of EOFire.
In fact, JVO, you were episode ten, which means 1507 episodes ago. 1507 episodes ago, you were a guest on EOFire, which officially makes you the biggest gap of any guest that’s been on my show between the two interviews, which is insane. But what’s cool is that a friendship developed from that. So I had you on the show and we’re like, “Oh, we have a lot of the same mindsets and stuff,” and I was just getting going and you were already a veteran in the space.
But still, when I went to Paris about, I think it was like a year and a half to two years later, we met up, myself and Kate. I got to meet your wonderful family. We hung out for a day so this all came from just podcasting fire nation and just deciding, “Hey, I’m gonna learn from a veteran, Jason, and I’m gonna develop a friendship and a relationship with him,” and it’s grown to this day where you reached out to me a month and a half ago and said, “Hey, John. There’s some stuff I feel like I could really share value with Fire Nation.” I’m like, “Dude, let’s get you on. How have we not done this in the past four years again? It’s been too long.”
And that’s what we’re gonna chat about today is the framework for standing out online and maximizing income from and impact on each customer Fire Nation, and this is a topic that we all need to learn more about or to learn about if you don’t really quite have that yet. So JVO, let’s kinda talk about the biggest change that you’ve seen over the past 12 years in internet business. What does it take these days to stand out?
Jason Van Orden: Yeah, so obviously in the last 12 years I could talk about how now we have Facebook and Twitter. None of those things –
Jason Van Orden: Existed when I got started. The Snapchat, Instagram. So social media wasn’t around yet. Blogging was just becoming a thing. When I first got online, podcasting wasn’t even quite out yet. No, and those are all wonderful tools that we have to leverage today and obviously important to recognize but they’re just tools and tactics. Really, I think one of the most significant and important changes to recognize in the last 12 years is simply that it’s gotten more noisy online.
Now, I don’t say that to discourage anybody who’s listening and going, “Well, I’m still trying to stand out online or take things that maybe take my business online to grow it to the next level,” because there’s certainly plenty of people on the internet and plenty of opportunity out there. I just think that it takes much more concerted, strategic approach and effort now in order to stand out online whereas before, you probably could just throw up a podcast, throw up a blog, and start getting some attention just as long as you had something of value to say.
John: Yeah. To break in real quick, I say all the time if I launched Entrepreneur On Fire today in 2016 at the same quality that it was in 2012, it wouldn’t succeed. It just wouldn’t.
Jason Van Orden: Hopefully, people actually take that as a hopeful thing because I know there’s a lot of people inspired by your show and then they start a podcast and maybe it doesn’t quite hit how they hoped and so they’re like, “Oh, well, the ship has sailed.” And I don’t think that it’s the ship has sailed. I just think that we need to be, again, just that much more concerted and concentrated and strategic about how we approach things. So I say that mostly just to kind of frame what we’re about to talk about and present why it’s so important. It’s just simply because there is more noise so it’s that much more important to think about how you are going to stand out and get the attention of the people that you want to attract online.
John: So let’s talk about a couple of those stands out tips.
Jason Van Orden: You just mentioned avatars and that’s awesome that you remember back. I don’t even remember my program. That presentation was back then.
John: It was kinda like a Q and A but you definitely focused on avatar for a lot of the As.
Jason Van Orden: It is still absolutely so important to know who your avatar is. Yeah. Not just demographics but psychographics, the needs that they have, all the things that have been talked about on your show before. I wanna take that to the next level and it’s really, really important. And really say, “It’s important to get even more granular about who you’re trying to reach out to.” And really, the funny is is even though we’ve advanced in technology and we’ve advanced in how many people are online and all these things, I wanna take us back to some advance that comes from the earliest part of the 20th century.
From a gentleman by the name of Robert Collier who was an author and personal development teacher. In fact, a lot of what we know in personal development, it still just stems and it’s been developed from stuff that he said, salesman and copywriter. And there’s a wonderful quote. In fact, I’d probably say this is my favorite business quote right now because it speaks so much to what I try to help my students and clients do and that is he said, “As a marketer, your most important job is to enter the conversation that’s already taking place in the customer’s mind.”
So what does that mean? Well, those people that you wanna reach out to, those people you wanna get the attention of, and we do live in an attention economy because attention is the most valuable thing you can get. It all starts with attention. You’re not gonna get them on your email list or to follow your podcast or to friend you on Facebook or any of that unless you first get their attention and keep it for more than that initial nine seconds or whatever you have. And so that requires two things. I’m gonna break this down into two different separate facets.
It requires being highly relevant and highly resonant and that’s what I pull out of this quote. So what is that relevance and then that resonance? Well relevance is to be as perfectly matched to that most pressing need that is in their mind. There’s a wonderful quote from Perry Marshall. I don't know what the exact quote is but he says, “What is their bleeding neck?” And that might be a little bit of a graphic image but it’s like look, what is that thing that is like, look, if somebody had a bleeding neck, it’s very clear what their most present need is. Right? Stop the bleeding.
John: The bleeding.
Jason Van Orden: Right? And so what is it when it comes relevant to what they want and relevant to what you wanna offer that is that most top of mind thing? And that’s the relevant. So it’s identifying the needs, the desires, the unfulfilled desires, the urgent pains and needs that haven’t been solved.
Resonance, which is perhaps now the even more important piece to layer on top of that, is knowing the exact language that they use to describe that pain or that unfulfilled desire. So this is everything from when they’re talking to their partner, their spouse about it and they’re just like, “Man, I’m just struggling with this thing,” or when they go and sit down at their computer and type into Google, what are they typing? That would be an obvious thing too.
But in their own language, if you were to sit down and let’s say they were thinking about hiring you as a consultant or a coach and you’re like, “Okay, well, tell me about your struggling with and where you’d like to be a year from now,” what is the exact language that they would use to describe that? Because there’s this magic that happens when we’re able to describe somebody’s pains and needs using the very language that is in their mind that obviously is going to get their attention, make them perk up and go, “Okay, not only is this speaking to the exact thing that I want most right now but –”
And in fact, they’re not even consciously thinking that. Just subconsciously, immediately, there’s this resonance, this trust, this connection that’s happening because you’re using the exact same language that they would use to describe it as well. So relevance and resonance are really, really important and it’s also just recognizing that every single prospect or customer that you’re working has their set of beliefs that they’re bringing to the table.
Maybe there’s certain myths that they’ve bought into and that’s effecting whether or not they hit the buy button or hit the follow button or stick around or buy the next thing from you. They have maybe certain not just myths or maybe misunderstandings. Maybe there’s some things that they need to believe about themselves or about your topic or about you before they can move forward to that next level.
And so it really takes this empathetic stance of knowing how to step into their footsteps and how they’re thinking about and speaking about these things to know, “Well, here’s what I need to say not only to be relevant, not only to be resonant, but also to start bringing them on a journey that’s going to take them from where they are now in a way that they can trust taking one step after the other to get them to where they want to be. And so that’s this idea of entering the conversation already taking place in the mind of the customer.
John: So you gave this visual of the bleeding neck, which really comes through and I understand that. Can you give an example like maybe another visual of what that would look like entering the conversation that’s already taking place in the customer’s mind for an online entrepreneur? What would be an example of that that you’ve seen for maybe your clients or even yourself?
Jason Van Orden: Yeah. That’s a great question. So there’s a client I’m working with right now whose niche is all about clean eating. Some people listening to this might be familiar with the whole 30, 30 days. In fact, I just did one recently and so clean eating is the idea –
John: How’d it work out for you?
Jason Van Orden: Actually, it was great. It definitely made me more mindful about what I ate. Definitely had more energy. It was wonderful. So yeah. Clean eating is this idea of eliminating the –
Jason Van Orden: Artificial crap that’s in all of our food and grains even. It’s getting rid of all those things that are inflammatory to our bodies for a while to kinda let them heal and reset and then see actually how things affect your body. So that’s their niche and she really believes in this because it’s changed her life.
Now, underneath that clean eating umbrella, so we can describe an avatar as somebody who wants to have better health, somebody who’s ready and willing to change their diet in order to feel better in life. But here’s another way to think about that, underneath that avatar are sub avatars and so for instance, there might be one person who’s looking towards clean eating who the conversation in their mind is, I’m just fatigued everyday. I’m lethargic.”
It’s an energy conversation. So they’re like, “I’m looking for something that’s gonna reset my energy.” In fact, that was one of the reasons I did it is I was dealing with some chronic fatigue issues and so I bring that one up because that was my conversation in my mind. “I’m lethargic, I’m fatigued. Clearly, I need to reset my body. What could I do?” And that’s how I discovered the whole 30.
Somebody else that might be a conversation of, “I’ve got this autoimmune disease and it attack my thyroid,” and often, autoimmune diseases are very related to inflammation of the body and so that’s another conversation. Somebody might be like, “Okay, how am I going to eliminate inflammation in my body because I’ve got this chronic disease that my doctor says changing my diet’s gonna help, so okay. I need to find help and support and a framework around doing that.” That’s another sub avatar conversation.
A third conversation would be somebody who’s thinking, “Well, I need to lose weight. I’m 40 years old now. My metabolism slowed down and I’m 30 pounds heavier than I was five years and ago I’d really like it not to go any more and if I can, get rid of ten or 20 of those pounds.” That’s another conversation that is in their mind. And another layer to add on top of that is they may or may not – in her case, obviously she’s not whole 30. She’s got her whole framework or her own framework.
Clean eating may or may not even be the language they are using to describe the thing that they want in order to. They may not even know what solution they want. They just know the outcome. Anti-inflammatory, more energy, lose weight, and so that’s another thing you need to know in that conversation. Are they looking for a particularly solution? Meaning they’re to the point where they’re like, “Well, it’s this clean eating thing that I gotta do,” or they’re more like, “I know the outcome I want but I’m not sure which path is gonna get me there so I’m kinda scanning the field to see what I –”
They’ve heard of paleo and they’ve heard of this and they’ve heard of that. And if that’s the case and they’re not solution aware yet, then you’re gonna have to do a little bit of filling in the gaps and enter the conversation at that point with them. So that’s to kinda give you a bit of an example of start thinking about these sub avatars that lie underneath the avatar so you can get even more specific about the conversation that needs to be had with them in order to lead them where you’d like them to do.
John: Enter the conversation that’s already taking place in the customer’s mind, Fire Nation. And I think JVO, that it was Abraham that said this, J. Abraham. I’m not positive but it was, “If you can describe the problem better than your customer, then you’re gonna win because that’s what they want.”
Jason Van Orden: Yeah, absolutely.
John: They want you to be able to describe their problem and then provide the solution because if you just provide the solution like, “Okay. But does he really know what my problem point is?” So that’s why the conversation is so key. And what I’m really excited to chat with you about, JVO, is the LTI idea. We kind of teased a little bit at the beginning, the lifetime income, lifetime impact. Fire Nation, you don’t wanna miss this conversation so we’ll be right back after we thank our sponsors.
JVO, Fire Nation, we are back and we’re gonna talk about LTI, lifetime income, lifetime impact. Kind of expound upon this, Jason. How does this matter to us? Why does this matter to us?
Jason Van Orden: I’m willing to bet that everybody listening to this, obviously, it’s entrepreneurs, some of whom maybe identify as thought leaders and influencers in their niche. We’re all looking to grow, grow our business. Now, what does that mean? That could mean a lot of things. It could mean we want bigger income. It could mean we want bigger opportunities. It could mean we want bigger reach so that more people are hearing or enjoying or adopting the thing that we are putting out there in the world.
And so ultimately, when a customer or client comes to me, that’s what I want to help them do is to grow their business in whichever way that they identify that growth but it always comes down to pretty much two things. I wanna make more money and I wanna make a bigger impact in the world.
Now, the nice thing is really these things go hand in hand. When you adopt strategies to help you maximize the income that you make for every single customer that comes in to your world for the lifetime that they’re in your world, now, I wanna make it clear that a lifetime might be two months that they’re around. It might be two years that they’re around, reading your content, buying your stuff, evangelizing your business. It might be ten years. I’ve had people who listened to us back 11 years ago in Internet Business Mastery still listen and buy our stuff today.
So lifetime is a variable thing but whatever that window of time is that they’re around, that this is a pressing issue for them, and they’ve chosen you to help them, what can you do to maximize how much money you make from that person? But at the same time, it’s about how can I maximize the impact I have on them during that time that they’re around? And so this requires being very efficient about what you place in front of them in terms of content, in terms of product offers, in terms of how you guide them through your sales funnel.
Back in the day when I got started, it was sufficient to have a couple products and you’d have your one opt in freebie bonus thing that you’d slap in your sidebar to get people on your email list and you’d have one sequence of auto-responders that just kinda guided people once they were on your list to that product that you had.
Whereas today, because of how we establish, there’s a lot more noise. You need to be more relevant and resonant to stand out. In order to maximize that income and that impact, you need to be highly segmented in the marketing that you do and that means ideally putting the exact perfect opt in freebie bonus enticing thing that they go, “Oh, I gotta have that,” and hence, they start following you. You get their attention.
Put the exact thing in front of them. Is it the energy thing? Is it the weight loss thing? Is it the anti-inflammatory thing? And so this affects what Facebook ads you’re running. This affects the placement, the content that you have. People talk about pillar content. They talk about writing these really in depth pieces and so if those are the three sub avatars that you have, you need to have content that reflects those sub avatars. You need to have opt in freebies that reflect those avatars.
You need to have different auto responders that reflect each of those conversations and so when somebody shows up on that blog post about energy and boosting their energy through clean eating, they’re like, “Oh, this is me. This is what I need. I’m gonna opt in.”
And the next thing that they get is this freebie bonus that continues that same conversation. You don’t wanna also jump to, “Hey, let’s talk about clean eating and how you’re lose weight on it.” They’re like, “No.” They’re still in the energy conversation. You might lead them to like, “Guess what? You’re gonna lose some weight too,” which is probably a secondary thing for them but if the front of mind thing is energy, everything from the Facebook ad or whatever the traffic generation strategy is to the content they land on to the first freebie, to the auto responder sequence of emails to even that first product offer that goes in front of them needs to be very congruent with that top of mind conversation.
And once they’ve been around, you’ve earned a little trust, you can start bringing them over to, “Hey, I’ve got this other core offering and not only is it gonna help with the energy, it’s also gonna reduce inflammation and disease in your body. It’s also gonna help you lose weight,” and you can expand that conversation. But when you do that and you’re highly relevant and resonant and you build out your marketing systems in that way, you’re gonna make money quicker. You’re gonna make more money off of each customer that shows up and you’re gonna manage to impact them more by, again, just entering and continuing that conversation that was already going on in their mind.
John: Lifetime income, lifetime impact, Fire Nation. This is the type of business that you wanna be growing, that you wanna be keeping your finger on the pulse because this is how you build a revenue generating machine, not just today, not just tomorrow but for years to come. It’s that lifetime impact. Now, JVO, I love this theme that’s developed. It’s all around that quote entering the conversation that’s already going on in the customer’s mind. So can you give us the first actionable step that one can take in order to do just that? How can we, Fire Nation, entrepreneurs, small business owners, how can we take that first actionable step to enter the conversation that’s already going on in our customer’s minds?
Jason Van Orden: Well, the first thing is to know well, what are the conversations that are going on. Now, in an ideal world, we would do that at such a granular level that it’s almost like for every single prospect or customer; we’d be able to sit down and go, “Okay, what are the exact things? Tell me the language,” but obviously, that’s not practical. Right?
So it’s sufficient. 80, 20 this. It’s sufficient to know, well, what are the three to five conversations? Or to use that other term, three to five sub avatars that you’re dealing with here. And an easy way to do that, there’s a lot of different ways to do that but really it’s just some good old listening and empathy and there’s a lot of great channels available to us to do that. I’m a big fan of running surveys and asking people questions like, “What is your biggest challenge when it comes to X?” It’s a question I’ve been asking for a decade through interviews and surveys and then digging deep on that.
And then, I’m a big fan of getting on the phone with some of these people too. Every time I run a survey, I’m always looking for three or four or five respondents to that survey that were pretty close to what I think are my ideal avatar and they took time to really write some in depth stuff and I’ve got their permission to get on the phone with them, get on Skype, or if they’re local, sit down with them for coffee and have a half hour of 45 minute conversation with them because you learn so much that’s actually talking to them.
And on the internet, I know we love this freedom and separation and the scale of being able to just do things digitally but sometimes, it’s really, really important to get in front of people or connect with people and have actual conversations. Now, you could go to where conversations are going on. You got Facebook groups. You’ve got places like Cora. You’ve got Amazon reviews. There are all places where you can start doing searches and people are asking questions. They’re telling you why they love the books that they read, what they don’t like about those books, what they read on Amazon, and Facebook groups and you can see the questions that are coming up. You go back through the histories.
If there’s still forums surrounding your niche, which is some markets, there are, you can go into those good old fashioned forums and see where those conversations are but a lot of listening is really valuable and what you wanna do is you wanna start gathering exact phrasing, especially when that phrasing, someone’s pouring their heart out and they’re emotional like, “Man, I’m just so lethargic. I’m tired of not having energy to play with my kid anymore. This is ridiculous. I lost concentration half way through the day. I can’t just keep drinking coffee. I’m gonna wreck my body.”
This is language that they’re using. I’m going back to the example of energy so, “I gotta do something like maybe clean eating, I don't know,” and you just start collating and grabbing that stuff together and have kinda these sub avatar documents where you’re just grabbing that.
And then, you can take that exact language when you’re writing opt in bonuses, when you’re writing landing pages, when you’re writing emails, and sample that language and put it right into your marketing messages. But that is the absolute first step. And from there, then that’s where you can start building out the architecture of your funnel to continue that conversation down a very logical line but it’s all gotta start with identifying what those three to five conversations are under your sub avatars.
John: Fire Nation, have a conversation with your avatar one on one. You have to do things that don’t scale. Stop being afraid of doing things that don’t scale because guess what? The information that you gather from those conversations is incredibly scalable. That one on one conversation can turn into a community that serves thousands and generates millions and you can use their vocabulary. I love how you shared that, JVO, where you can actually use the words they’re saying in copy and you should be using that word in copy on sales pages, during webinars, whatever it might be. Huge stuff.
And as always, Jason, it is a blast chatting with you. It’s hard to believe the entire 25 minutes has alright flown on by so why don’t you just do this? Let’s end with a parting piece of guidance, the best way that we can connect with what you have going and then we’ll say goodbye.
Jason Van Orden: Yeah. Sure thing. So I’ve actually, because there is a lot more that we could talk about here. There’s a third R we didn’t talk about, being remarkable, and again, how they build out the marketing architecture of your products and making sure they all line up. So I’ve put together a document that people can download. If they go to JasonVanOrden.com so that J A S O N V A N O R D E N.com/fire, I’ve prepared for Fire Nation, a document that not only reviews all the stuff that we’ve talked about but we’ll go more in depth of some steps that you can take to really dive into that conversation going on in your marketplace, identify your sub avatars, and start building out your marketing system so you do maximize your lifetime income and your lifetime impact on every customer that you have.
John: Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You’ve been hanging out with JVO and JLD today so keep up the heat and head over to EOFire.com. Just type Jason in the search bar and his show notes page is gonna pop up with everything that we’ve been talking about today. Best show notes in the biz, time stamps, links galore. What’s also gonna pop up is episode ten where he joined me and you’ll hear me saying, “Entrepreneur on fire, episode ten,” because that’s how I talked back then apparently.
So Fire Nation, of course take JVO up on JasonVanOrden.com/fire. That is your gift from Jason to you. Get over there. Snag that. Make it happen. And Jason, I wanna thank you, brother, for sharing your journey, your knowledge once again with Fire Nation. For that, we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flipside.
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