Listen in as James and his two special guests discuss the highlights of the recently concluded FastWebFormula 4 event.
00:50 – I’ve got two special people with me
02:15 – SilverCircle members’ workshop
06:02 – The Leverage Session
08:51 – Content Creation
12:54 – Ezra Firestone takes the stage
15:30 – The first live TAG podcast
18:00 – The importance of podcasting
21:15 – Bringing the community together
25:01 – The Simplify Module
26:54 – Conversions with Clay Collins
29:10 – One of James’ favorite sessions
37:51 – The final session: Action
43:43 – Where is the next event happening?
“…the 4% of things that you’re doing are getting that 64% of results” – James Schramko – Click To Tweet
“…different people prefer to consume media in different formats” – Ezra Firestone – Click To Tweet
“Stop being a consumer, start creating and the results will be great” – James Reynolds – Click To Tweet
James Schramko here. Welcome to a very special episode of SuperFastBusiness. This one is the FastWebFormula 4 debrief and it’s being conducted in a somewhat unofficial environment. I’m actually sitting at home using a portable recorder on my coffee table and right beside me, in real life, I actually have Ezra Firestone.
Ezra: Flanked. By Ezra Firestone.
James: Flanked. I’m flanked. And Ezra from New York who participated as an expert speaker at FastWebFormula 4 on the topic of e-commerce and we’ll come to that in just a moment but I also have another special guest from overseas, we have James Reynolds from Dubai.
J. Reynolds: Sitting on the right flank. See, Ezra’s to the left, I’m to the right.
James: So I’m flanked. (laughs) Now we all have a tea here so if you hear Ezra slurping, he’s got the hot tea.
James: It’s not actually.
Ezra: This is chamomile.
James: No, it’s just normal black English tea.
Ezra: Oh man… I guess you’re right.
James: Well, since I made it, I’m pretty certain. If you hear a clink in the glass, that’s because Reynolds and I have opted for the long island tea which apparently, famously, has no actual tea in it, did you know that?
Ezra: I didn’t.
James: No. See, we’re already into it. We’re actually… this is the day after the event and we have in front of us the event run sheet and we thought it’d be a good idea just to talk about what happened on each day and just get some basic reflections. What do you think guys?
J. Reynolds: Sounds good. Let’s do it.
James: Alright. So, in fact, just before FastWebFormula 4, there was a pre-event and that was just a small group workshop for SilverCircle members and at that one we had 20 of the 30 members flew in from all around the world and all around Australia and Tasmania to the event. You guys aren’t laughing but it’s funny for Australians. Tasmania is part of Australia but it’s sometimes referred to that little island off the south coast of Australia.
Ezra: I could go back and laugh if you want to say it again.
J. Reynolds: I’m sure the listeners are laughing.
James: Yeah, people from all around Australia and also from Tasmania.
James: And what we talked about there was… How would you describe that day? It was quite a bit unusual format compared to your average Mastermind format. The average Mastermind format is you’re sitting around a table and each person has a turn and they say what their problem is and everyone else solves it. In this case, we did a different format. So, what did we do and how do you think it went?
J. Reynolds: We did a P.E.Q. session, which I still don’t quite know what the P.E.Q. stands for but it was all, 20 of us in the room, we dig in deep on you know big sort of problems and really get everyone’s involvement in on that one issue and then drilling it down to kind of some really strong action items that people take away.
Ezra: I thought one of the cool things about that was you get 20 people’s viewpoints on one topic and a lot of people have overlapping solutions to problems. And then what we did was we took the 20 or so answers that came out of it and we boiled it down to the top three.
James: How did we boil it down though? This is… this is where it’s different than the round the table everyone suggesting their answers because typically, the problem with that is that the most persuasive or influential person is going to get their point across well.
But in this case, everyone’s answers are individually written down privately to them and then shared and you put everyone’s answers up until there’s no more people left. And once you have all the answers, then we score them. We vote…
Ezra: That’s right.
James: …which answers have the most points.
Ezra: And each answer is anonymous at that point. That’s cool.
James: Well by the time that they’re all up. It’s not about… oh this was Ezra’s idea or this was James Reynold’s idea. It was like… that’s just the idea. You see the deal is, a lot of people have come up with the same answer but if it’s already on the board you just don’t add it again. So now, it might be Ezra and James and someone else’s idea.
They all have the same idea, but it’s up on the board and then the idea has to fight for itself against all other ideas. And the goal is actually to rub off all the other ideas except for the top three.
So for a really well-framed question, you can end up with three solid answers and the whole thinking is that, if we focus more of our energy on just the best answers, we’ll get a better result than trying to implement every answer because as you know, we try and have too many things to do and we do a lot of them poorly but if we only have one or two things, or maybe three things to do, then it’s actually much easier to slice through those.
Ezra: Yeah and I think that goes along really well with the theme of the SilverCircle group itself which is focusing on getting one thing done each week. And what’s interesting about that is you wouldn’t expect to be more effective doing less things but in my experience you turn out to be significantly more effective than doing less things better.
James: Yeah. So, that was an interesting day. It was really good for people to meet each other and we finished up, we had a nice dinner opposite the Opera House and then we rolled into the first day at FastWebFormula 4. We had around 125 people come and we kicked it off with a session on leverage. That was my topic. I wanted to have a reflection on what was going on in my business over the last 18 months.
Things like OwnTheRacecourse, the way that SuperFastBusiness started from scratch pretty much and became a solid website for my business. But also other leverage points that I found have been like the few things that I focus on but I do lots of it and I just stop doing a lot of things and I think that people felt the sense of relief that knowing that they can actually get compound effect from doing less things but just doing the right things. Where there any highlights for you in the leverage session?
J. Reynolds: Leverage. What have we’ve covered… we’ve covered a few good bits for me which actually come up in the previous day was really acknowledging who your best customers are by working much more with them so we talked about lead scoring which was a strong one.
Really identifying based on you know, value of sales, you know, how often people order. Identify those top customers and just working with them and kind of ignoring or giving less attention to the rest. That was a big one for me.
Ezra: I thought the Top 4% concept was an interesting one.
James: Yeah, so if you take the Pareto Principle, we know the 20% of things we’re doing are getting 80% of the results. Well, if you move that a little bit further down the scale, the 4% of things that you’re doing are getting that 64% of the results. So just a few things getting the majority of your results. For most people, if you took all the things that you’re doing poorly or that you never even getting to, you could safely just cross them off.
And it’s actually not going to change anything at all. And one of the statistics I shared was how the bottom 40% of my customers were generating me a massive 2% of my gross revenue. Just 2%. And that lead me to a huge shift in the way that I sell my products and it created a much simpler model.
I far have less products and services in my product lineup now and much more clarity about how I’m serving those products, like the recurring aspect of it versus single products, and also who I’m serving those products to. And that clarity in thinking resulted in the products page on SuperFastBusiness.com.
If you have a look at that products page, that is an exact reflection of what the change to my business has been and how it’s been such a good change. So then we went into another session that I ran called Create. This one was really driving you in the point that most people are consuming and taking stuff in and not doing enough creating.
And I think we’re in a content creation environment where creating something, even like this audio, it just involves one audio recorder and us to create this.
But it’s something we can leverage, we can record this, publish it for other people, thousands of people can listen to it and get tips and ideas that we’re talking about and at some point in the recording, someone might think, “Hey you know what that sounded like a cool conference.
I’d love to come to the next conference!” And if that would be the result then that would be a payoff for creating that content. So did you like the content creation session?
Ezra: Yes (laughs)
James: Awww that’s a tough…
Ezra: Well no, tell you what, it’s one of the consistent conversations that we’ve been having for six months now. That creating content that is relevant to the topics and conversations that your community is interested in and then syndicating that content so that you can see it… so that they can see it, is a very effective strategy for engaging your group of people and then making them offers.
I’ve implemented that in every one of my businesses. Not even my content businesses, my physical product businesses and you know I’m a big believer in this.
James: Well I think you’d be a massive believer like a day or so in the launch of your product at the moment which you and I have been talking about quite some time and sharing ideas on how to structure the content, how to record it, how to make it effective for the person doing. I think we even created a bonus piece of content for it.
Ezra: We did. We did.
James: So now you’re getting the payoff. You literally getting thousands of people buying something from you. So you get a payoff for actually creating something.
Ezra: Yeah. I think it is the most highly leveraged use… I have decided that is the most highly leveraged use of my time. Creating content.
James: And you’re now an expert. And James you were telling me recently about your results from doing the OwnTheRacecourse in your business.
J. Reynolds: Yeah. I mean it’s just been, it’s been fantastic. You know you can take a little time to gain traction and you got to keep doing it consistently. But after a while, that payoff will be huge and you just find yourself popping up in people’s environments all the time.
I mean the conversation I have now with people that come to me and said, “I just see you everywhere!” and that’s the result of the consistent content I’ve been putting up and it’s converting people from interested parties into sales because they’re beginning to trust me more and yeah, the payoff’s been fantastic. So, yeah, stop being a consumer, start creating and the results will be great.
James: And just a regular content schedule. I mean we laid out the formula in this particular module and if you want to get a taste for it, at least opt-in for OwnTheRacecourse from the SuperFastBusiness website. There’s opt-ins on the side by there or the yellow thing that slides up. They lead to the first course that I put out about this.
Ezra: I think that a really nice little nugget from that session was the storytelling. The one sentence about storytelling.
James: Ah yes. Incorporating stories. I actually shared…
Ezra: Who did what and when..
James: Yeah and I shared stories about the stories I’ve been using how they came about and the results I got from it. Now if you’re listening to this and you want to get access to these recordings, you will be able to get them inside the SuperFastBusiness.com membership. You just go to SuperFastBusiness.com and join up.
I’ll be putting the recordings in that membership when I get the recordings and we’ll be formatting them and making them look nice. So, next up, we had a nice lunch. I buy lunch for people at these events.
J. Reynolds: Lunch was good.
James: Yeah, good networking. Then Ezra took the floor and he had 90 minutes of non-stop, and by non-stop, I mean, did you actually breathe?
Ezra: I did. I took some breathes in there.
James: Took some breathes and he delivered stunning and compelling session on e-commerce and the sort of thing he’s been up to and it was totally aligned with the course he’s putting out called Brown Box Formula and we have a link to that on the ThinkActGet.com podcasts that we do on our products page. You could check that out.
Now, Brown Box Formula’s out. Ezra is now the authority in the e-commerce space and we’re lucky enough Ezra to share with us the session. And how did you think the session went for you?
Ezra: I thought it went really well. I mean I really enjoyed listening to myself talk so I of course thought it went well but I did get positive feedback on it from the group and you know one of the things that… you’ve… we’ve been talking about, you and I for a while is when you are presenting information, it’s good to have attention on whether or not the people you are presenting it to can consume it.
And one of the mistakes that I’ve made in the past is having too much content in my presentation. So much so that it’s hard for people to walk away and remember those concepts because I’m speaking so fast so this time I try to slow it down a little bit and I think I could even slow it down more.
James: Relatively speaking, you’re quite a fast-paced presenter and the people who are in e-commerce, who came to the event came up to me afterwards and said, “That ticked the big box for me.” So I think it was a success based on that.
J. Reynolds: I think even… I mean you positioned Ezra going in as being great for people that do e-commerce and for those that are perhaps selling services to e-commerce.
But there was so much in there that was fantastic in terms of general conversions, strategies and trust factors that people could take away from your presentation apply it to whatever business they’re in even if they’re just in services or an offline business. That was some really good stuff there, so I enjoyed it. (Laughs)
James: And that’s why I scheduled that topic because you can’t hide from it. Normal retail stores are suffering and it’s going to be a part of it and in my own customer base, e-commerce stores are fantastic service business customers. So we had afternoon tea and I don’t think I could have prepared for what happened next.
It was definitely a world first, I think, but Ezra and I did a podcast on a ThinkActGet podcast show. We had some brand new T-shirts that a customer had sent us. A fan had made some shirts.
Ezra: Beautiful beautiful shirts.
James: New logo.
Ezra: Yeah, new logo.
James: So then we wore those and we podcasted for 90 minute straight. Now after the big e-commerce presentation, then afternoon tea, Ezra’s voice was starting to wane. He was getting a little bit queasy so we got him some tea. He kept sipping that tea for about 82 minutes?
James: Eight minutes to go, Ezra announces that he really needs to go to the bathroom and he just hopped out of his chair and disappeared off the stage. It’s just fantastic. It’s one of those magic moments.
Ezra: You know we had closed. We moved to the Q & A section.
James: We did. We actually played that… the audio to confirm that we moved to the Q & A and Ezra’s heard on tape saying, so are we finished the show now and just into questions? Right I got to pee.
James: Yeah but that would have been enough but it was even better when Ezra came back and he started answering a lady’s question but he didn’t know what the question was so he just answered it anyway.
Ezra: I think it was a relevant answer.
James: To you it was. No it was great. It was really good… it was one of those moments. When I spoke to people after that, they said they really enjoyed watching our chemistry and seeing how our show is actually recorded. Did you enjoy it?