In the Now Podcast: Episode 24

Join Nowspeed's CEO, David Reske, as he engages in discussions with founders, marketers, and CEOs from around the globe. Delving into the realm of marketing and leadership, aiming to unravel the myths and misunderstandings that often surround these topics.

Should You Build A Fan Base Or Sell To Everyone?

Are you building a fan base or simply selling to anyone that will buy from you? According to Carl Gould in this edition of In the Now, you need to stop trying to please everyone and focus on the top 20% of the top 20% of your customer base! (If you do the math, that’s just 4%!) Find out what they want and focus relentlessly on their needs. Staying in the middle of the road with a politically correct strategy is a sure path to failure. While entrepreneurs often find themselves saying yes to everyone in the beginning, building a fanatical customer base that is moved by your mission is the real key to long-term growth. Check out the latest episode here.

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Episode Transcript

In the Now: Carl Gould

Carl Gould launched his first business as a teenager. Now, he has trained over 7,000 coaches in 35 countries, written a bestseller with his two idols, and given countless speeches on what it takes to see business success. Don’t miss this conversation. 

 

Watch the full interview with Carl Gould here and read an excerpt from the interview below. 

Nowspeed: My name is David Reske, Founder and President of Nowspeed Marketing. Welcome to this edition of In the Now where we focus on uncovering the myths and misunderstandings of marketing and leadership with some of the world’s most interesting people.

 

And my guest today is Carl Gould. Carl is a leading authority on business entrepreneurship, a business keynote speaker, and best-selling author. His company, 7 Stage Advisors helps organizations grow to the next level and his company has mentored and launched over 5,000 businesses. He will advise on whether it is better to build a client base or cater to everyone. Wow, Carl, you’ve been a busy guy.

 

Carl: That’s why I’m so tired backstage. Thanks for having me. I’m looking forward to being on the podcast. 

 

Nowspeed: So, I’ve seen you speak at conferences and you had a stage presence and ability to connect with the audience, especially with topics such as having a client base for your business or not. I looked at your website and it says that you’ve done over 1200 keynote speaker speeches. Is your ability to connect with the audience natural talent versus improving with experience?  

 

Carl: Thank you for that. Like anything, there might be some propensity but for anyone who’s done it, you realize it’s a lot harder than it looks. And if you doubt what I’m just saying right now, what if there was a videotape and audio tape on while you’re talking? Play it back and transcribe every pump, every, hum, “ah, ”“so,” “sure,” “enough,” “anyway,” every crutch word that you hear yourself say, and you realize that you don’t even really know the English language as much as you thought. 

 

When you give a speech, it’s coming right on and to have an economy of words and make your point at the same time is a hard skill to establish so it’s taken me a long time; I’ve been speaking now for 30 years. And, you know, it takes a while to get there so I do enjoy it. It’s an opportunity for me to make an impact and to get my message out to multiple people at the same time. So, it was worth taking the time to learn how to do it. But it’s not easy and it doesn’t come overnight.

 

Nowspeed: But you’ve done a great job and the fact you’ve made an impact on the lives of thousands of people must feel really good. On this podcast, as you know, I like to start with smashing a myth about leadership and business. So, just to kick us off, what is something that most years entrepreneurs think that’s just not true?

 

Carl: If I take one step back and look at how we are trained prior to getting to practice, we’re given the foundation of business, the foundation of leadership, marketing, sales operations, and because we’re given a theory, the foundation tends to run down the middle of the road. 

 

In other words, we are very politically correct. We try to break out of the gray area as much as possible. We try to build a sense of order to try to please everyone, and then we get into practice. And we realize that at the end of the day, you’re here not necessarily just to build customers, you’re going to build a fanbase who’s madly passionate about what you do. That’s the background. Think of the top 20% of the people that follow you on a regular basis and then take 20% of that; in other words, 4% of your customers. If you can message directly to them and really make them happy, you can scale your company. 

 

One example of this is Facebook, which is now the most inclusive social media platform on the planet. However, it was once the most exclusive social media platform on the planet. You not only had to go to Harvard, you had to have a harvard.edu email address. And that wasn’t enough. You had to be invited by somebody who had a harvard.edu address to even get on Facebook. 

 

As matter of fact, when the Winklevoss twins said Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea, and they wanted to sue, their attorney couldn’t get on Facebook to find out if the suit was worth it. The attorney had to use the Winklevoss’ mobile’s username and password to get on and inspect the site to find out if the cease and desist letter was appropriate. And so that’s how it was exclusive, but once they won Harvard, then they said okay, we can now branch out, what’s the next leg?

 

Don’t miss this insightful conversation. Listen to the full interview here