LY Podcast: Ep 16 – Let’s Start with the Audience We Have with Kevin Kermes – Launch Yourself

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Kevin Kermes from All Things Career shares his experience launching several different launches including new sites and a podcast, all at once. He talks about how he determined it was time to spin off into new brands, how he managed fear, and how to figure out what your audience really wants.

Kevin pulls back the curtain on his business and shares how he starts with the audience he has and continues to provide incredible value to them before launching into new space.

 

TOPICS DISCUSSED INCLUDE:

  • Why doesn’t engagement scale
  • How is everything we are doing, going to help the people who are coming to us for advice?
  • Keep moving, start moving
  • Collective mindshare isn’t getting out to the people
  • You are not your market
  • If it’s not valuable to your market, stop wasting time on it
  • If you’re looking for a reason to validate why you aren’t moving forward, you won’t move forward – you’ve already decided
  • Instead of mitigating fear, how to become aware of it
  • When people call you out on mistakes, it creates an opportunity to listen to your audience
  • Fear can pop up at any point during the process
  • How to reach out to your clients to understand what they need and how you can provide it to them
  • Your knowledge that is so innate to you, is very useful to others
  • Being consistent and testing
  • The importance of engaged fans instead of numbers
  • Creating your own business inside of your career
  • Capturing your work so you can delegate

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

WANT TO GET IN TOUCH WITH KEVIN?

  • His flagship website: All Things Career
  • Other sites where you can find Kevin: Career Attraction, CareerMeh, Every Veteran Hired
  • Twitter: @AllThingsCareer
  • Facebook
  • His podcast All Things Career on iTunes

KKermes

MORE ABOUT KEVIN KERMES

Kevin Kermes is the Founder of All Things Career, a leading online media and publishing organization. As the purveyor of online resources such as Career AttractionCareerMehEvery Veteran Hired, ATC has published more than 30 different career-focused training programs. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, LinkedIn, Business Insider, LifeHacker, The Muse, Brazen Careerist, Monster, Career Builder, Military Times, and more.

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ENJOY THE PODCAST?

 

Melissa Anzman (00:00): This is a launch yourself podcast with Melissa Anzman episode number 16, featuring Kevin Kermes.

Melissa Anzman (00:09): Hello, Hello, and welcome to the launch yourself podcast. Career business and brand advice to help you be seen make an impact And deliver at your maximum potential. And now here's your host, Melissa Anzman

Melissa Anzman (00:28): Welcome to the launch yourself podcast. I'm your host, Melissa Anzman today. We're going to be chatting with Kevin Kermes. Kevin is the founder of all things career, a leading online media and publishing organization as the purveyor of online resources, such as career attraction, career meh, and every veteran hired all things career has published more than 30 different career focused training programs. His work has been featured in the wall street journal Forbes, LinkedIn business, insider life hacker, the muse brazen careerist monster CareerBuilder military times and more. Please welcome my friend, Kevin to the show. Hey Kevin, welcome to the show. Thank you very much for having me. It's so great to have you. I met Kevin through writing for career attraction actually, which has now become a partnership with career meh. And

Kevin Kermes (01:23): I love trying to say it

Melissa Anzman (01:27): Like, man, my man, it's a great site. That really focuses on careers for millennials and Kevin also just launched a podcast called all things career, which you will hear me on at some point in the future, but I recommend you checking that out as now it's up in live now, but that being said I really wanted to have Kevin on because he is a launcher. That is one thing him and I have in common, but he launches big and launches often. And so with that, I thought he'd be a perfect guest for the show. So Kevin here at launch yourself, we defined a launch as a specific point in time when you purposely decide to take action to fulfill your maximum potential in your career, business or brand. So with that in mind, which launch would you like to focus on today?

Kevin Kermes (02:16): Well, you know what I thought might be interesting and hopefully your listeners will find it interesting is that we've just recently done several launches at once which I learned a tremendous amount about myself, the ability to do launches and how you could coincide these things. So if that might be interesting, glad to dive into that.

Melissa Anzman (02:35): Absolutely. And I want to preface that by saying, when you say you did several launches at once, these were big launches, these were websites and a podcast. So maybe you can give us the background on all the launches that you did at watch.

Kevin Kermes (02:51): So, so I'll just, I'll back up to give some, some context to it. As you mentioned, our flagship site for a number of years is career attraction. That's been up and for about five years. And one of the things we did about six months ago is we started kind of aggregating information. It has largely been aimed at a boomer audience split 50 50 between career advice and jobs in specific, you know, job search, transition advice. And we started working with veterans. I'm a veteran myself. We started working with millennials and found that in my opinion, we had a, we had a communication issue. We had a messaging issue because we were trying to do all these things for all these different folks and, and branding became a little confusing. So we started splitting off sites about 30. I think we're coming up on 45 days ago. We were on off career meh. And and, and that went well, but in very quick fashion, we in the past week, as a matter of fact, have spun off every veteran hired and also have launched the podcast, all things career, which, all things, careers, actually our flagship company that these three sites fall under not to mention the 30 plus products that we have that are all centered around career and job search advice.

Melissa Anzman (04:10): Yeah. That's great background because it was quick, right? You'd had sort of a really well performing study flagship under career attraction for some time. And when you scaled it is when it became clear that you needed to do something a little different and spin out, which I think is a good lesson for everybody of, you know, don't be afraid to take that and go bigger if things aren't necessarily meshing the way they need to.

Kevin Kermes (04:38): Yeah. You know, it's, it's interesting. We, we grew from the first year we had 18, 16 or 18,000 subscribers. I don't remember. We're, we're a little over 72 edging up on 73,000 now. And the, the engagement, if you look at it from a percentage standpoint, isn't there. Like it was when we were smaller and more tight knit, it, it hasn't scaled. And I think it doesn't scale because we've tried to do too many things well in one site I'm a huge fan of Ryan Lee and, and, you know, work through some of his programs. And I had a call with him one day and he was talking to me about niching down twice. He said, so take what you've got. And like dial it down two times, like dig into times. And I started looking at, I started with a pole with career attraction to say, okay, who's, who's truly is the core audience.

Kevin Kermes (05:28): I think I know who the core audience is, but the reality is with so many people subscribing, it could be shifting. And I don't even know. So touched base, got that data and said, okay, we know the direction we're picking with career attraction. Now let's look at all the other groups that are inside there and let's start launching with them sequentially to serve them. And then because we've had, we've got big goals in terms of what we want to do under all things career, but let's start with the audience we have and continue to serve them and just serve them in a, in a really, kind of like a tighter fashion.

Melissa Anzman (06:02): So interesting. So you wanted a scale, you got a pulse and then realized, you know, things needed to shift a little bit more Niche, so to speak, gosh, you're having all these fabulous words today, having me say all those words all day long. I probably can't do, but they may not be complete

Kevin Kermes (06:21): Or me otherwise nobody would have any idea what I was talking about.

Melissa Anzman (06:25): That's scary. I mean, let's be honest, launching something in general is scary about launching in such a highly visible manner with a large audience and a lot of different launches at once is ridiculously frightening, at least in my opinion, how did you sort of figure that out in your mind and get it set up so that you were able to push past that and launch,

Kevin Kermes (06:52): I'll talk about two things. One, I'll talk about how we initially launched career attraction and the Genesis behind that, because that really is, is something that I follow. And then two of you'll indulge me. I'll, I'll kind of share my, my vantage point on fear. So we'll, we'll talk about the launch for career attraction. First. I was a head Hunter for 10 years. I don't two search firms you know, came to this, you know, this epiphany when I was 38. So that's five years ago that I, when I was doing some planning with one of my business partners that I really wasn't happy with with what I was doing as a, as a head Hunter, I, I didn't like serving the companies. I wanted to work with individuals and was there a business model in there? And the reality was, I just didn't know.

Kevin Kermes (07:35): So I started holding webinars, just talking about my philosophy as a head Hunter and approaching your job search and turning that 180 degrees to the advantage of the job seeker and thinking, I don't know if anybody else is gonna find this interesting. I mean, I, this has worked for me for years. I hope somebody else will like it. And it started to resonate. So everything has started that way with all of our launches, which is let's figure it out. I mean, who are the people? What are the, what are the problems that they, that they have that we understand that they have and how can we, how can we somehow or another help them achieve their outcomes faster and better, and like amplify their results and just serve, serve, serve. And it's one of the questions that we always ask ourselves as we continue to grow as a team, you know, how, how is what we're doing, like all the way down to selecting some kind of software platform we're going to use, how is this going to help the folks who are coming to us for advice or coming to us to achieve certain outcomes, if it's going to help them get there quicker, because it's going to help us be more efficient than let's do it.

Kevin Kermes (08:37): So, you know, the launch to me is not something, I mean, it's certainly something that we structure. There are certain things that we think about when we're doing it. But when I hear folks talk about, you know, prepare, prepare, prepare, prepare, unlike, you know, you gotta start moving. It's something in the military, you is taught like good decision, bad decision, make a decision, like, keep moving, keep moving. And, you know, slow is smooth and smooth as fast, like suggests continue to keep making progress and build on stuff because all this, like, you know, conceptual mind share via email amongst all of us that isn't getting out to an audience and I'm all for testing. And I think it's great, but like, you gotta, you gotta get out there and engage with people. And, and of crickets chirp, then, you know, cut your losses and move on.

Melissa Anzman (09:26): I love that because I tend to agree with that philosophy a lot. And working with so many people as clients who launch, it's almost, you know, hair pulling for me to be like, just put it out there, you know, because not everything's going to fly the first round and that everything's going to rock it off, but you learn from each instance and you can easily cut your losses or pivot into something that does work

Kevin Kermes (09:52): Well. You know, I was talking, I was talking to one of the one of the experts that we work with who is, has a book coming out and talking about launching a product off the back end of the book. And, and this is where a lot of our programs come from, or, you know, experts who write for us and working with them and launching through our platform, whether it's helping them launch completely or, you know, joint venture or affiliate arrangement. And one of the things he was really kind of hung up on was he kept saying, you know, I'm just thinking about like, he loves to speak live, and he's like, I just need this being a live workshop. I don't see this being a, you know, a program, a digital program. And, you know, he's like, Kevin, look, I just, I don't, I buy digital programs.

Kevin Kermes (10:28): I don't ever use them. I don't think people use them. And I said, you've got to remember that you are not your market. That's why on our podcast, we've got video, we've got audio, we've got transcripts. I don't know how people want to consume the data. I just, I just, I want them to consume the content, the data, the information, and, and lower those barriers. You know, if you never go to iTunes and watch it. Okay. I just, I want you to take it in. First of all, I want to figure out if, if you think it's valuable, because if it's not valuable, I don't wanna waste my time doing it. I mean, if it's just interesting to me, I like to go out to dinner with these folks and hang out and have a conversation. Not everybody else needs to be privy to that, but, you know, it's like, I want you to be able to consume it and they give us feedback and say, this is great. I want more of this. I want less of this. You know, tell us that's, that's how in my mind, that's how you communicate with your market.

Melissa Anzman (11:19): You know, my approach is a little different and not that it's good or bad or that any approach isn't good. It's just so different because I do something and then see if it catches on so to speak, you know, I love doing certain things. And so whether it's for my audience or for me, or for whatever, obviously it's to share content and information and knowledge, the basis of that doesn't change. But my sort of thought process going in is a little bit more reverse of, of maybe more relaxed even. Hey, I'm going to do this podcast. It's going to be for me, I'm going to learn. I'm going to share great information. And if people are interested in it even better, I'll keep doing it. And so for me, what is great about that is it's not scary for me to launch those things because it's almost like my own learning, but on the flip side of that, there is that mentality of not necessarily being all in with something right. Of if this works great, if it doesn't great, like I tried and did my best. And what have you, what are your thoughts on that, particularly with the launches you've done?

Kevin Kermes (12:27): Well, I think it's really interesting, cause we'll talk a little bit about behavior and behavior that we see in other people, you know, which ultimately we see in ourselves. So, okay. First of all, I think that when you are, when you're talking about a launch, it's kind of like when you read these articles, business, insider has them all the time, you know 10 highly successful people and what they do on the weekend or how they start their day or what they, and, and, you know, some people will walk away and go, Oh my God, Richard Branson needs seven bananas in the morning. I've got to do that. Right. And it just, not that it's that they have, they've got a system and they're following a system. And just like you were saying, your system's a little bit different than mine. Mine's different than yours.

Kevin Kermes (13:05): That's okay. But we, we have something that we are following and it becomes a ritual and it becomes something. Then you can test because then you've got something that you can measure against. I'm a big fan of Ramit Sethi and, and spoken to him a few times and, and everything that I have perceived with him doing. And he's really transparent about this, particularly this recent launch, he's done zero to launch. No, it's, it's awesome. And I, I read all his stuff and, you know, we were an affiliate for him and for a lot of his programs and I just, I love, I love his approach. And I think the, you know, one of the behavior things he talked about, one of the sequencing's I thought was so interesting where, you know, you were talking about, we'll see, we'll put this out there, we'll see if it works.

Kevin Kermes (13:51): If you are on some level looking to validate your, your fear or looking to validate your decision, not to make a decision or not to move forward, you'll, you know, you'll find it. And that's where I, I loved how he said one of the emails it's like, well, let me ask you some really pointed questions. You know, I'm 37. I live in an apartment all alone. I eat granola every morning and, you know, and, and calibrating something with so much detail, is this going to work for me? You know, or here's why I don't think it's going to work for me. And, and I will always push back and say, well, you know, it's already Sally, you've already decided it's not going to work for you. So I can, I can tell you right now, it's not going to so that the translating that to any of us who are looking to make launches, I think you've gotta be really careful about that.

Melissa Anzman (14:37): Yeah. And let me be very clear. I don't set out with the intent of trying to prove myself wrong, quite the outright, you know, I think everything's going to work. So that's sort of my, my sort of default of let try it. And, you know, like I said, put everything in it and hope it works. And if it doesn't like, then you move on. Yeah.

Kevin Kermes (14:57): And you, and you see what you can learn from it. And I, I think, you know, coming back to fear, I think that fear for a lot of people and, and in conversations I've had in coaching, I've done over the years, like listening to people, thinking that somehow that they're always going to mitigate fear. And I don't think you, at least for me personally, I don't feel like I ever mitigate fear as much as I just become really, really aware of it. And when it starts to pop up and I start to look at the behavior of like, why am I stalling on this? The recent podcast launch is a great one. I was sitting at your staring at everything yesterday and going over it. And finally, I was like, dude, you just got, you just got to hit publish, man. I'm like, what are you honest to God?

Kevin Kermes (15:42): What are you waiting for? Like you are, you are, you are the only thing standing between you and this thing getting published or this thing getting published and you know, the rest of the world kind of giving you feedback. And I'm not afraid to get feedback on it. It's so I'm not even sure what belies that. And I don't spend for me personally, I don't spend a lot of time looking at it as much as recognizing that those are some of the traits like, okay, that's, what's behind this. It's not, there's not something it's not, Oh my God. I think I forgot to do something. Just get it out there. And look, if people, if people then email you back and say, Hey, did you realize that X, Y, and Z, wasn't done the way I look at that? It's not, Oh God, that's a, that's a manifestation of, you know, how's crappy a planner. I'm not detail oriented. What I get from that is you take the time to look at this. Awesome, okay, I've got engagement. Like now I can start a conversation with you about it. And I, it's also an opportunity for me to tell somebody that I just listened to them. I mean, it's like, it's, you know, it's looking at the glass being half full versus half empty.

Melissa Anzman (16:46): Continue that thread through what I was referring to earlier for my own situation is that I don't get the fear at the publish. I get the fear of starting it. So it's an interesting way to look at it. You know, if I decide to do project, it goes, you know, forward no sort of stopping on that bandwagon, but it's that before decision. And it sounds like for you, it's the published decision in this one instance. So it's a good, good way to point out to, you know, everybody listening fear can come up anywhere in the process

Kevin Kermes (17:17): And it will. And, and, you know, to, to your point, like, I think a great way to address that if you've got any, you know, feelings one way or another, is I using, I mean, social media, any, any, any platform to be able to get your ideas out there, if you, if you have existing clients, this is something we do a lot is go to our, our prior clients. Those are the folks, you know, you find think most businesses find this. I mean, you hear the adage. It's really difficult to, to get a client. So once you've got one, once you've got a customer, you know, continue to service them. But what I find particularly let's take career attraction as an example, because it's the longest side. I know, I know who those people are, like, forget about an avatar. I've got, I've got total visualization, a crystal clear picture of who the people are that, that participate in our programs and the outcomes they want to achieve and the outcomes they have achieved.

Kevin Kermes (18:13): So when we develop something new, it is not uncommon at all that I will get on the phone and I will call some of these people who I've been working with for five years have been on the list for five years, have continued to buy things from us and say, here's what we're developing. What do you think? Like, give me, give me your first thought and if their thoughts are, you know, why in the world would, I want to do that? Then, you know, it tells me that either there is no value for them, because again, I'm not the market, or I'm not in most cases, it's, I'm not articulating the value to them. Like I'm not connecting with why it's important to them. It's, you know, and I'd be curious, like how many people run into this? Cause I know this is a habit I used to have, which was, I would go through, particularly when I was putting together, you know, sales copy or anything for a launch and talking about value and I'd get more into function than outcome. And it's because I've been so mired in the functionality and developing, and then putting this thing together. That that's where my head's at. It's, it's not, you know, the, the outcome to me is a given, but that's the picture that needs to be painted.

Melissa Anzman (19:23): Absolutely. And I think how you phrase that is correct. You being the product owner and creator for any of our launches. So this is across the board for anything that, you know, our listeners do as well. You don't understand the outcome because that's innate to you. That's why you're doing it. You're so good at it. You're knowledgeable about it. And so we tend to forget that's the most important part for somebody who's trying to hire us or engage with us or work with us. And I also want to say with that, that a lot of the advice about sales pages or program creation doesn't necessarily resonate with your audience. I have a interesting example. I just did my get promoted course, and I did a different sales page than I had in the past. More my style, more my type, last sort of fluffy.

Melissa Anzman (20:17): And like, here's all the fabulous things, like more here's bottom line, what you're going to get. And here's the outcomes. And I shared it with a colleague of mine. Who's very, very well known in our field and all that stuff. And the initial response was where's the emotional pull, right? And my response was, well, you know what? These people for this product want an outcome. They don't want their sort of heartstrings pulled so to speak. And I ended up being and converted more than ever before. So I just want to say like, you need to focus on outcomes and how you present that and deliver that it's completely up to you, but be, be sort of firm in that stance because it'll get you further than just using the right copy, you know, heartstrings emotional.

Kevin Kermes (21:07): Yeah. You know, and it's it again, I think becomes really important to focus in, on being consistent and test and we've launched, we have launched programs that crickets chirped. Yeah. And then we've launched stuff that has been way more successful than I, than I thought it would be. I think we've got a pretty good formula now to, to be able to get things out there. But one of the things in terms of testing that I think becomes really important and, and not a lot of folks talk about, and I'll, I'll I'll give an example. We, we recently launched a program that is focused on introverts, who are extremely ambitious, so introverts who want to get ahead in their careers. A lot of them are managers or leaders and they've bought into, well, I'm introverted. So I can only go so far, which is just total crap.

Kevin Kermes (21:54): So we launched an inadvertently. We ended up, well, not inadvertently, we just kind of overlooked it. We launched off of a webinar that wasn't specifically targeted and introverts and, and it was, it was okay. And, and, and the launch did fine, but one of the things that I made sure that we did as, as people were signing up for this program, which we were really clear was, was aimed at introverts. But the, the thing was the, the, it was a, it's a membership program that is focused in a continuity program that is focused on introverts. And what we did is we packaged it along with a four week program that was about career mapping. And I just wanted to make sure and like, you know, they're going to be some, there could be some people who sign up for this, this program that aren't introverts.

Kevin Kermes (22:37): They still want to go through the program when they're finished with the program. They're not going to stay in the, in the, the membership community. And when we go back to measure what our success was, we've got to make sure that we're measuring the right stuff, because if everybody we're getting in are an introverts and they just wanted that front end program, they're going to jump out and then we're going to think it's a total failure. So we just built in an intake survey and asked a number of questions that were going to help us understand better who it is that signed up a and B, where we want to go next. And one of those questions was really simple, you know, do you define yourself as an introvert or an extrovert? And it's like, okay, problem solved. Now we know. And actually, interestingly enough, like everybody said, they were an introvert, like, okay, there, you know, self-proclaimed introvert, this is great. Now we don't have to weed those people out when we're looking at attrition or, you know, kind of the stickiness of the program. But you know, just being, and to me, it was just a constant reminder that you've, you've gotta, you've gotta be consistent with your messaging all the way throughout. And, and I think we were moving a little quick and it was, it was something that got overlooked and it's not the end of the world.

Melissa Anzman (23:46): And it ended up working out great.

Kevin Kermes (23:48): Right, right. So it's just, you know, being nimble and reacting. And again, like, I mean, coming back to fear and fear is just, I mean, fear is such a huge, huge emotion for people. I think sometimes if, if, if you are secretly, you secretly want fear to win over. You'll find something like that and be like, Oh, see, I knew, I knew this wasn't gonna work. I screwed this up. I said, you know, it's not the end of the world.

Melissa Anzman (24:15): No. And that's that self sabotaging, you know, brain that most people have as well of like the fear. And then this is a sign and, Oh my gosh, it's not working. And I think the, what we both have found for our launches and our paths and careers is that you have to push through that. Like, it's going to show its head, particularly if you entice it to yes, absolutely. But you have to still, you know, push through and learn from it. And the other thing, and I don't know if you I'm guessing you do. But the other thing that really paralyzed me before I really got started in this entrepreneur business type of thing is it had to be perfect and everything was forever. And, you know, you can't like pivot or change or what have you. So I love your story today because it really shows, you know, you took something that was working, but made it better and wasn't afraid to take that pivot.

Kevin Kermes (25:16): Well, you know, it's something it's you, you are so right there. I mean, I can think of a number of instances where, you know, that was the case, you know, the one launch in particular, but the, the, the number one thing that I think about is, is recently our launch of our podcast and a question that I've gotten. And I probably said the same thing to you when I, when we talked about recording for the podcast, and that was April said, you know, who's, who's your target audience, who's your, you know, what's the, what's the demographic and be being like, I can tell you what I think it's going to be, but the reality is I've got no idea. It's, it's not, it's not there yet. I will tell you how we're, we're planning on using this strategically with all of our other sites. And I mean, I think it's a flat out brilliant plan, but, you know, I don't, I don't know.

Kevin Kermes (26:03): I don't know. And we'll, and we'll find out, which is, I was one of the mastermind groups I'm in, I shared this morning that it had launched. And I said, you know, now I'm just, I'm really in an engagement phase with everybody who's coming there and finding out what did you like? What do you want to see more of? I've got the things that I think need to be improved. But you know, they, they may not be important to other people and, you know, the tip and the tail music or the, the, the imagery or the branding, like people may not even care about that. I, it was funny. I was listening to do a really well known guy the other day and listening to the front end of a podcast. And number one, finding myself, getting irritated by all the lead in stuff.

Kevin Kermes (26:45): And I was like, for the love of God, like, let's just get to the, the, the podcast. And then all of a sudden realizing, and I thought that the whole podcast was about improving, you know, improving traffic to your website. And I'm in the middle of my workout, listening to this. And I'm thinking, why am I even listening this? We don't need more. I mean, yes, we could use more traffic to our website, but I'm way more interested in getting more engaged. People are taking those people who are coming and converting or doing some different things with them. And I thought, why, you know, why am I even, why am I listening to this? And part of it comes back to, it's a fear thing, you know, and I, it's not even so much a fear thing is it's a, I think a bright, shiny object type thing which I think all of us can relate to that you're sitting here and you're working on something.

Kevin Kermes (27:31): And then all of a sudden, an email comes in about, you know, Facebook is changing and you're going to get lower engagement and, Oh my God, you've got to change this now. And I think, I mean, do I really, I don't really want, I need to figure out is I need to figure out the 72,000 people have already signed up with us. How do we serve them better? Yes, yes. I want to add to them, but like, there's some people who've already raised their hand. It's kind of like, you know, I mean, it's, it's kinda like getting set up on a date and, and you've got somebody who's really interested in you, but you're, you're constantly chasing after someone else that's not achievable or not, not, not even not achievable, just not in line with where you need to be like, look, look at the people who are giving you the attention you want to talk to you versus coveting the things that you don't have work with, what you got.

Melissa Anzman (28:15): Yeah. And I mean, I talk about all of that. So often particularly the, you know, engaged fans mean more than your number of fans down. Right. And I think we're taught through those experts who do a really great job at selling us on it. Right. Like they're really good

Kevin Kermes (28:37): Thing. And I mean, and, and to their credit, I mean, we all feel passionate about what we're, what we're doing, and it just may not be, you know, what they're looking at may not be aligned with, with our current pain. But if they're really good at copywriting, they're going to tap into some, you know, some ache that we've got. And, and we'll respond to it. You know, your, your comment about the numbers reminds me of a post read this a long time ago. Kevin Kelly wrote this wrote this post called a thousand true followers. And his whole point was if you have a thousand people that will buy from you, that every time you put something out, we'll buy from you thousand people spend a hundred dollars with you a year. It's a hundred thousand dollars, and that's not all the money in the world, but I mean, it's pretty significant money for most people.

Kevin Kermes (29:25): And certainly if you're starting a business out, that's, I mean, that's not a bad place to start your first year out of the gate. So focusing on those people who are, who are serious, and this is where I think everybody benefits from a lot of what, what Ramit about. And, and some of the guides that he gives, you know, figuring out when we do surveys, I'm really keen on, I will listen to everybody, but I'm also really listening to those folks who have made investments in themselves through us and have taken a step to participate in a program or a number of programs because they voted with their wallets. And, you know, I'll share this. Cause I think it's really kind of funny. I got an email, we all get these emails, you know, from kind of contrary and folks and a guy complaining about a program that we were running.

Kevin Kermes (30:13): It was the second webinar by one of our experts who offers a done for you LinkedIn program. And it's about a thousand dollars. And her content is great. I mean, admittedly, it's good enough that he's coming back to those same webinar for a second time in 90 days. Right. And he emails me and says, I hope that she's looking. And this is really important. I think for everybody to think about when you get this kind of feedback, I hope that she is looking at providing something other than the nine 97, because for your market that has no money or has been unemployed. Since I think you said 2008, there need to be alternatives.

Kevin Kermes (30:48): And I thought, aye,

Kevin Kermes (30:50): The whole thing rubbed me wrong. And I just, before I hit respond and I won't even bother you with what I responded to him with, and it wasn't snarky, it was just, you know, we've got free content or actually content that's doesn't cost you anything on the site. Cause it's not free cause I pay for it all. But, but the real important thing out of that, but I thought about was, you know, if that directed me, he's talking about my market. I don't know anybody listening who's market defines themselves is not having any money. More importantly, not being willing for whatever reason to invest in themselves. That's not a market. And if you're taking your cues from the folks who are responding, like I am fine to, to help this guy. I want, like I said, I come back to what our core values are.

Kevin Kermes (31:38): I want there to be content to help them, but I want to focus. I want us to focus in more specifically and put the lion's share of our time in with the people who want to take a bigger step and want to make an investment in the self that allows us, you know, the, the, the finance piece is not just getting rich and making more money. The more people are investing. There is a contract with them. You know, they've got skin in the game, they've made an investment, you're going to deliver. It also allows you to be able to deliver bigger. Cause you can reinvest that back in. You can reinvest that in assets and resources and experts. And it's just a whole host of things that you can do to be able to deliver even bigger results. So, you know, you don't normally owe it to yourself. You owe it to those folks who want to pay to pay more attention to them. Then you are somebody who is going to tell you that you need to be serving a group of people who would never pay. I mean, it's just, it's not a market.

Kevin Kermes (32:39): Right. And I, and I

Kevin Kermes (32:40): Wasn't, I'm not going to kick this guy when he's down, but I'm thinking, you know, my friend, I don't, I don't think you understand the words you're using. So yeah.

Melissa Anzman (32:48): Yeah. I think that's such a great reminder. And, and one that everybody, even if you're working in a traditional job should keep in mind, right. Of like your clients are your market. How are you serving them? How are you using the right language around, you know, engaging them. It doesn't just have to be for entrepreneurs. And I think that's an important thing of looking at our careers a little differently these days than just you know, nine to five it's we can create our own little businesses inside of a corporate environment.

Kevin Kermes (33:20): Oh, absolutely. I, I did an interview on the podcast. It's actually the one that released today with Kimberly Palmer who wrote a book called economy of you. And it is great. And it speaks directly to that about, you know, diversifying as an individual. It's a, it's a great, easy read. And she she did a fantastic job with the book. I mean, there's a reason that that's the, that's the one that we launched with. Cause I think it's a really important theme that's going to carry forward and more, I mean, millennials get it. And, and there are a lot of boomers that go through our program that are saying all the things that lead towards them saying, this is what they want, but you've also got, you know, umpteen years of, of operant conditioning that they've kind of overcome in order to, to kind of make that, make that leap and, and, and some do you know, yeah.

Melissa Anzman (34:12): Some definitely do and some don't right. Like that's kind of,

Kevin Kermes (34:16): And that, and that's, and that comes right back to the comment before it's focusing on those folks who say, okay, you know what? I may be maybe a little scared. I may know nothing is a hundred percent. I know all this stuff, but I'm, I trust you. I know you, I like you. I trust you. And I'm ready to do this with you. It's like, let's go. No. Okay.

Melissa Anzman (34:37): So why don't we sort of get back a little bit on track to the launch itself and if you could cause we're, we're running out of time here, but if you could tell me what you think the biggest challenge you encountered was,

Kevin Kermes (34:49): You know, the biggest challenge bar, none. I mean, my, my team operated perfectly. They, they not only executed everything that I asked them to execute the executed things I couldn't even think about. So what would it really came down to for me was my own personal bandwidth and realizing going through this, that it's, it's difficult for me if I'm, if I'm looking at like launching the podcast, launching this site that is overarching kind of our, you know, our, the mothership, so to speak for everything that we do. And then also one for veterans like in making that shift between one site and another on who that audience is and changing where I to be focused and what I need to be thinking about even now just simple things like when we're, we're writing bios for the, for the sites I'm really fortunate to have a great team of editors who know enough about who the audiences that we're going after to line up experts.

Kevin Kermes (35:56): I mean, you're an expert on two of our sites that, that are going to deliver great content. That's our, you know, our mandate is smart, actionable advice that gets results and, and make sure that we're, we're getting that. So, you know, there's, there's a little bit of the, the delegation piece moving forward. I will definitely give more to the team to do one thing that I have learned recently and it's, I, I'm sure we all encounter this is I will look at, you know, I'm looking at the list of things that I need to get done today. And I, you know, when you got, I got on, we kind of joked about it being Friday and are you ready for the weekend? I'm like life. I actually did a couple more days this week to get stuff done, but, but looking at the things that I'm doing and realizing that some of this stuff needs to get off my plate and you may be listening and saying, okay, Kevin, awesome.

Kevin Kermes (36:47): You know, I've, I've heard that a thousand times before, but the, the real epiphany that I had, and it was so simple, which was, you know, when I'm going through and I'm doing something, I just need to document it. I need to flip on, go to webinar. I need to flip on Camtasia. I need to screen capture everything. I will put my headset on and I will talk through what I'm doing. And then I save that video in Wistia. And now I can give it to the project manager on our team and say, go find somebody to go do this. Now it's off my plate. And that took no time. So it wasn't like when people start to say document this document, that it's not me writing out step by step by step. I'm going to talk through this and then I'm going to give it to somebody and guess what, if there are gaps in it, it's just like shipping out a product.

Kevin Kermes (37:33): If there, if there are gaps in it, you're going to get feedback. You're either going to get feedback by an inaccurate solution. Coming back to you, take a, take somebody, you know, putting a, something as simple as a blog post into, into WordPress. You know, all the way up to, you know, editing videos. Cause we have a video podcast, you know, editing videos and putting all that information in there and I'll take it even a step further. I've told everybody on the team, you know, as we, as we grow the organization, as it stands right now has right of first refusal on pursuing opportunities inside the company. So, you know, when there's, when there's a new editorial role, there's no, you know, a new site that's launching somebody to run that site. They can take a look at it and we can have a conversation.

Kevin Kermes (38:19): If it's a good fit, we'll move forward, but we're not moving forward until they can backfill their role. And the first thing they've got to do to backfill their role, like they gotta be able to hand something over to somebody saying, here's, here's what you need to do in my role. And so they haven't documented it, you know? Cause I hemmed and hawed about this for so long and thinking, how do I get people motivated to do it? It's really simple. If they really want to move forward, they're going to document it. And if they don't really want to move forward, then that's fine. If you want to continue to do, be in the same role and just kick ass in the role, you're in totally fine with that. But if you want to, if you want to evolve with the company and you want to take a step in a different direction or a bigger role than here's what you need to do, you need to do the exact same thing that I'm doing.

Melissa Anzman (39:04): Love it. I loved your suggestions of how to video and screen cast yourself. I've never done that, but that that's going to save me a lot of time. So I'm taking that

Kevin Kermes (39:13): Well, I'll tell you, let Lexi grant said it to me one time when I, I moved from D C down to Florida, not too long ago and, and Lexi and I would sit down for coffee every couple of months. And it was one of those things where she basically said the same thing to me about documenting this and getting it off your plate. And I was like, [inaudible] yeah, got it. Got it. And it just didn't click. And then the day that it clicked, I just sat here and just started turning these things out. Like everything I was doing, I go down my to do list and I'm looking at things going, okay, copywriting. Now that's something that I need to hang on to. I'm at the point where I need to have it like a mini me, but that's, that's, that's, that's a whole other, well, I mean, it's, it's, that's a hiring decision and that's, that's something bigger that I got to think about then documenting it.

Kevin Kermes (39:57): I'm not, it's not something I want to document training somebody on right now. But all these other functionalities, like are the newsletters that go out. I'm like way too involved in those on a, on a daily basis. And that, and that's all changed and it changed. I shot a video, I sent it out and I'm like, this is now off my plate. Figure it out, get somebody to do it. And here's, here's what I'm willing to pay an hour. And those are things you can offshore. You know, we, we have one person on our team that it's not all she does, but a large part of her role is managing the offshore team because we scale it up. We scale it down. You know, we find people on oDesk who are good at things. And then we've basically got them on call. Some people are doing things for us regularly. And then other people are, you know, like editing for an ebook and putting stuff into create space. When we, when we publish stuff for authors, same sort of thing, you know, we've got, we've got people on call and we know him and we've got good relationships and I can push that to her. She knows what needs to be done. I don't have to worry about it.

Melissa Anzman (41:00): That's great. So bandwidth was the, was the biggest challenge. What is the one piece of advice you'd give to somebody who's looking to do the same thing that you've just recently went through?

Kevin Kermes (41:12): I would, the first thing that I would do is I would take, if you've been thinking about doing it and you haven't done it, take a good, hard look at why. I mean, and, and, and it requires some soul searching, go, do I love to surf? I love to work out. Those are places where I can totally disconnect. And that's where I, my biggest Epiphanies and, and go do something like that. Don't, you know, the whole concept. There's a great book, red thread thinking where they talking about this, this whole concept of two o'clock on Tuesday, we're going to sit down and have a brainstorming session. That didn't how it works. Isn't how our brains it's why brainstorming sessions largely like gets you crap. You know what, if you're doing this for yourself or you're doing it for a team, be able to say, look, here's something I want you to think about.

Kevin Kermes (41:57): And then we'll talk about this on Tuesday. And if other folks don't know how to do it, I mean, go in and engage yourself without getting into all the physiological stuff that happens. But you've, you've got to go do something where you disconnect for a lot of people, you know, it's running, it could be yoga to be any, whatever it is for years, for me, it was working out in the yard. I mean, just sitting there doing something as silly as like, you know, digging a hole to put a plan in, I just had these major epiphanies. And it was just that, that being able to disconnect and not everything.

Melissa Anzman (42:30): Great advice. Kevin, it's been so good having you on the show. You and I, I feel like I could talk forever. I felt this way when we had, I mean, and now I'm just, I'm sitting here thinking, okay, we need to have him on again with a different focus. Cause I, I feel like you and I could do a whole series, but it's been so great having you on. And I really appreciate you sharing a lot of the, you know, behind the curtain information about launching, launching big and launching a lot at once. So thank you for that. Thanks for having me. I hope you enjoyed today's episode with Kevin Kermes. Kevin is really an inspiration. He has so many great and amazing activities and projects and launches going on, and he still remains true to what he's in it for. So I hope you learned a lot about how he runs his successful business and how he keeps his customers engaged. If you'd like to get the show notes for this episode, you can go to launchyourself.co/session16. Again, that's launched yourself.co/session16, and please feel free to leave us a great review on iTunes or Stitcher if you enjoyed this episode until next time.

Melissa Anzman (43:44): Thanks for listening to the launch yourself podcast. Join the conversation at www.launchyourself.co