It’s founder, Ryan Sloper, and host of the Northern VA Advice Givers® Podcast, as a business owner himself, had an interest in meeting other smart business owners and fascinating entrepreneurs. When he started to reach out to these people, and started talking to them, he realized others needed to hear their stories too. These were experts in their respective fields, smart and intelligent, not to mention, many had discovered unique ways to impact the lives of their customers, clients and patients. So he asked, “Why not share these stories? Why not interview these people? Create a Podcast? Why not create a site where they could be posted and listened to?” With that, the concept for Northern VA Advice Givers® was born...
Do you share our same beliefs and convictions?
Expert interviews enhance your authority. Credibility. And are a great way to reach more people.LEARN MORE
Informal and fun. You have ideas and a story to tell. And we want to help you share that message with others.LEARN MORE
Smart marketers always leverage their media appearances. More clients. Higher conversions.LEARN MORE
1 —WE BELIEVE IF YOU CAN'T TRUST THE PERSON,
THEN YOU CAN'T TRUST HIS WORK.
Here is the truth. Trust is a function of “getting to know” someone. What is their story? Why did they choose the career path they chose? What drives them? What motivates them? What is their philosophical viewpoint? Does it align with yours? Do they have a family? Have they experienced tragedy? Adversity? Have they bounced back? When put into a difficult situation, how do they respond?… These are the kinds of question that can only be answered, by having a conversation with someone. This is why Northern VA Advice Givers® is a Podcast dedicated to interviewing local experts. There are no reviews or ratings. Only stories. Only conversations. And you’re welcome to listen in, to find that next professional you may hire. The idea, frankly, of hiring someone, when you’re in need of critical advice, from an ad or marketing piece, is ludicrous. As the saying goes, “truth in advertising.” HA!… Truth lives in stories, real, authentic, stories… Only by hearing someone’s voice, and understanding their thought-process, can you truly come to trust that person.
2 — WE BELIEVE RELATIONSHIPS, ACTUALLY GETTING TO KNOW SOMEONE,
IS MORE POWERFUL THAN A GOOGLE OR YELP REVIEW.
Let’s face it. Aren’t most review sites bombarded with fake and fraudulent reviews, or reviews, written by people who tend to over-exaggerate or under-exaggerate their true experience. How can the same establishment, for example, have so many 5-star reviews and 1-star reviews, at the same time? Time Magazine recently published an article titled, “9 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Trust Online Reviews." But this just gets to the bigger point, accurately expressed by entrepreneur and angel investor, Peter Shankman, who wrote, “A business model [i.e. online review sites] that allow anyone to review, at any time, with no structure or background is a flawed model. There’s no reason for me to trust anyone I don’t know. It’s the INTERNET, for the love of God. Why should I?” He has a point doesn’t he? “Why do people allow themselves to be influenced by complete strangers?” I suppose when the decision is trivial, like which restaurant to eat at, then it’s no big deal. There is little at stake. But... when it comes to getting real advice, for an important decision… Really? You’re going to trust a stranger? We believe, bluntly, there is a better way. To first, hear that person’s story …
3—WE BELIEVE THE CONSUMER IS TOO SMART TO BE FOOLED.
AND EVEN THOUGH SOME AREN'T, THEY DO NOT
DESERVE TO BE MISLED.
You don’t really think these review sites are “objective” do you? Of course not. You are too smart. The reality is, many of these sites allow businesses and service-providers to “pay for” top rankings. Take Angies’ List for example, according to Consumer Reports, “Angie’s List misleads consumers by prominently promising that “businesses don’t pay” and that it’s a consumer-driven service supported by membership fees. But almost 70 percent of the company’s revenues come from advertising purchased by the service providers being rated.” Huh? But the real kicker is that Angies’ List then charges consumers a “membership fee” for the privilege to view their skewed and misleading ratings. Or take Google + whose reviews have also been called into question… because businesses can reach out to customers who’ve posted bad reviews, and beg, bribe, make amends, or otherwise convince the aggrieved to change or delete their original opinion. “This can skew the ratings positively,” states Consumer Reports. That being said, we believe the public deserves better. The consumer is not stupid and he shouldn’t be treated as such. This kind of “false objectivity,” many online review sites are guilty of, speaks to the character of their site.
4—WE BELIEVE TRUST CAN'T BE BOUGHT. IT MUST BE EARNED.
Unlike other sites, we never sell out. If someone is on this podcast, interviewed, it is because he or she earned it. It is because they are smart. Intelligent. Have contrarian beliefs and views, and thus, something to offer—a different perspective. Or they have a long, celebrated track record of delivering their customers, clients or patients superior results. Unlike popular “review sites,” which are big Wall Street businesses disguised as consumer-sites, we are not. We have no shareholders to appease or to keep happy. Our trust. Our integrity, cannot be bought.
On Northern VA Advice Givers®, those featured, are the experts that we believe will have the greatest impact. And be of the greatest service, to Northern VA residents. And, we are committed to helping these folks impact more lives, through spreading their stories…
1—CREATE A REPUTATION THAT SERVES YOU:
Warren Buffett has a quote about reputation. It conveys the importance, the role of reputation plays in business. “If you cost me money, I will forgive you. If you cost me my reputation, I will be ruthless.” He did not say, “Mad, angry” or “unforgiving.” He said “ruthless.” Why? Because reputation, in business, is everything. Reputation is an unspoken language. In its purest and most powerful form, it’s a language based entirely on sight and beliefs. It dictates how people perceive you. By your stereotype you get judged (just think how politicians are perceived—can they be trusted?) In other words, your reputation precedes you. It’s how others judge you, BEFORE they know you. Whether or not you can be trusted, depends on your reputation too. It dictates your power, your influence, your authority. Even to the degree others respect you. This is why building a reputation that serves you is so important.
2—PUBLISH OR PERISH—CREATING AUTHORITY REPUTATION:
First, what is Authority? There is a misconception about this term. It is often thrown around casually. The dictionary definition though, is instructive: 1. The power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience. 2. A person or organization having power or control in a particular sphere. In other words, the ability to be perceived as Donald Trump, as he is perceived on Celebrity Apprentice. Or Warren Buffett in the financial world. You are the almighty. The supreme voice. What you say is believed. What you say is enforced. What you say is gospel and is passed around as fact, in regards to your area of expertise, simply because you are the one who said it.
How is this dominant reputation created? Because reputation is an unspoken language. It is not created through “talk,” or 1-to-1 presentations. It is created by symbols: A book. Authors are judged as authorities. Articles. Columnists are judged as authorities. Expert interviews. People who are interviewed, because of thier knowledge on a topic, are as judged as authorities. The overarching theme here: Publish. True authorities, as perceived by the public, publish content. They convert their knowledge and expertise into some kind of documented work. Something that is tangible. A book. An article. An interview. Those, sadly, who refuse to understand the importance of this word, publish, too often, perish. Or at least have to hustle, harder, for a lot less result than they should get, from every output of energy they put into their business.
3—LEVERAGE: THE BIG PICTURE!
Okay, we agree. Publishing is important. Reputation is important. Authority is important. So, you decide to be interviewed, now what? Without leverage, your interview may as well have never happened. Like a radio ad, without leverage, your interview will be here today, gone tomorrow. Leverage is about keeping that interview alive, in front of people, [preferably, ideal prospects and clients or patients] to get maximum mileage out of your appearance. An expert interview, at its core, magnifies credibility. The mere fact that someone wants to interview you conveys your position as an expert. And each interview you do, whether it be USA Today, WSJ, CNN, on a local radio station, blog or newspaper, or on a podcast, is a building block for credibility. And my favorite, a promotional opportunity.
PHASE 1: PRE-INTERVIEW:
Good. The date has been set. Your interview has been scheduled. What now? First, you need to realize. To society. Your family and friends. To your customers, clients, or patients—the idea of being interviewed, you being recognized as the expert, is a huge accomplishment. Thus, you should be proud and you should announce it. And you should treat it as a big deal. Because those who care about you most, will see it as a big deal. They will be proud of you too. They will congratulate you. And, if you spread the word, they will help you spread it further. In pure business terms, this is viral word-of-mouth advertising. At the same time, it’s building your authority and reputation because you are being talked about, and others are being told about you, as the expert. As a side note. If you are uncertain about how best to announce or promote your upcoming interview, don’t worry. Should we decide an interview on Northern VA Advice Givers® is right for you, we have a guide that can help you with that. Even if you’re an old media pro, this guide will introduce you to some new ideas.
PHASE 2: DAY OF THE INTERVIEW:
This is the big day. Leading up to this point, you have alerted friends and family members. Customers, clients, or patients that you will be interviewed on x-date, about X topic. In those few days of pre-interview promotion, you undoubtedly, even if only announcing it on Facebook or in your client newsletter, will have received many “congratulations.” On the day of your interview, this is one more opportunity to announce the big day, which perhaps, you have been counting down to. Not to mention, hopefully, have turned your Interview appearance into an opportunity to engage in a dialogue with your close personal sphere and audience. You may be an expert, for example, on topic X, but maybe you’ve only been interviewed a few times. Or maybe this is your first time. No problem. This is an opportunity to ask those who care about you, “for help” or “tips.” This gets people invested in your success. When you ask someone for advice, it deepens the relationship. So don’t be too proud to seek help. Up to this point, your aim has been to build a “community” of people that will be rooting for you. And don’t fool yourself, your people want to root for you. They are dying to be a part of your success. And people who root for you, need I say it? Are people who refer :-) i.e. lots of new business.
PHASE 3: POST-INTERVIEW:
This is where all the “money” is. From a trust and credibility perspective, as well as from a marketing and promotion stand-point. If you visit the websites and read the bio of known thought-leaders, you’ll notice they list their most recent interviews and media appearances. Has “appeared on…” “as seen on…” is a “regular contributor to…” If they write or publish articles, where their writing appears is often listed too. And, the longer these lists are, the human mind deducts, the greater the Authority that this person is. And, the more demand there is for his knowledge and expertise. If you take two plastic surgeons, for example, where one has been interviewed 16 times and has recent media appearances vs. the other, who has no media appearances—who is a prospective patient more likely to trust? Hey—I’m just telling you how the human mind works. This is why it’s so important though, to have “appearances” in your bio and to your credit… and, one of the fastest growing forms of media right now, gaining more exposure every day, are Podcasts. It’s like talk radio, except, the Podcast universe is exploding at the same time the radio universe is dying. According to the USA Today article, “Remember podcasting? It’s back—and booming” Apple has now surpassed 1 billion subscriptions on iTunes. That’s not counting Stitcher. Sound Cloud. Or any of the other Internet radio platforms.
Long story short, your Interview will give you exposure to a growing community of listeners,
and it can be leveraged long after its initial release.
The mission—to make any interview you do…to live on forever. And, if you’d welcome ideas on how to do this, for friends of the Podcast, I’ve put together a special report with 27 different ways your Interview can be leveraged… from simply updating your media appearances, to being added into your follow-up sequences, or even converted into content for positioning and lead generation.
ENGAGING CONTENT BUILDS YOUR DATABASE:
I am a big fan of converting Interviews into content that can (a) multiply me, so I can be in many places at once, and (b) position me as a solution to a known problem. For example, prior to your Interview, thought should be given to the topic itself. Imagine for a second that you’re a chiropractor. Maybe you specialize in helping patients eliminate back pain. And maybe you have 7 methods for helping chronic back pain suffers. During the interview, these 7 methods are what we would talk about, “7 Unconventional Ways to Eliminate Back Pain That No Medical Doctor Will Ever Tell You About.” Then, post-Interview, a copy of that recording can be sent to a transcriptionist. This now gives you a written document, which can be converted into a Free Report or Whitepaper. This is content that can be used for lead generation i.e. direct-response marketing. By creating a Free Report, from the transcript of your interview or a Free CD, from the mp3 recording, you now have valuable information that can be offered to prospective clients, in exchange for their contact information. This is what builds your prospective client, customer, patient database. It also offers a pressure-free way to introduce a prospective client to your knowledge and expertise. And now, from a trust perspective, because you have a way to communicate without forcing interested prospects to contact you, directly, you don’t have to try to “close” on the first meeting or appointment. You can follow-up with more content, more case studies, etc.. from your previous clients or you're able to reach out to them in the future, to answer any questions they may have.
Simplified, the process looks like this: The Interview gets recorded = Free Content/Report/Articles/CD that can marketed to prospective clients, and given away for free in exchange for contact information = Lead generation = The ability to follow-up with more valuable content, that further positions you as the Authority = Higher conversion rates from prospect to client, customer or patient.
YOUR COMMUNITY MUST BE FED:
Here is a business lesson I learned from a rich man, “Amateurs focus on sales. Pros focus on relationships.” Duh! Of course, right? But if it’s so obvious and common sense, why do most business owner not make it a priority to feed their audience, more often, with great content. What if your favorite sitcom or drama series only produced 1 new episode a year? Would you ever truly get to know the characters? How could you become invested in the plot or storyline? Think about Friends, which ran for 10 years. In season 1, episode 1, nobody knew who Rachel Green was, and Jennifer Aniston was a virtual no one. Ten years later though, fans of Rachel, those who connected with her—from 10 seasons of content, 23 episodes per season—chose to style their hair like Rachel, and dressed the same way as she did on the show. And Jennifer Aniston, she became America’s sweetheart, and one of the highest paid actresses in the world. Why? How? Because people fell in love with her character. From a conceptual standpoint, Jennifer Aniston is no different than you. She has a craft. You have a craft. Your craft is different than hers. But the outcome is the same. To grow and enjoy a large audience for your craft…to have real fans, and to build a real community around your knowledge and expertise, then you must commit to feeding that audience with consistent content. Thought-leaders have audiences and communities and fans around their work, that buy their books, hire them, etc. But to be a thought-leader, in your industry, to your community of clients, customers, patients—by definition—you must lead with thought…
Every interview you do, every blog post or article you write, every book you publish, should be seen as an episode of your “sitcom,” and opportunity to grow and feed your fan base. Even if you’re just a landscaper, I don’t see it that way, but why can’t you be the Ed Hume of Northern VA? — Ed was just a guy who loved gardening, who shared his knowledge and expertise, which built him a fan base, which he parlayed into a lucrative career as the go-to Authority on gardening. This opportunity to enjoy a fan base is available to every business owner, in every industry. He just needs more content, more “episodes”, to feed his growing audience.
MEDIA BEGETS MORE MEDIA:
P.T. Barnum famously said, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” Barnum was perhaps the most successful PR person in history. Why? Because he understood what Oscar Wilde understood, enunciated in this quote, “The only thing worse than being talked about [in a controversial nature] is not being talked about.” Said different. If you are not being talked about or interviewed, and if there isn’t demand for your thoughts, opinions, and commentary—then, from an importance standpoint—you don’t exist. And, as Robert Greene eludes to his his book, The 48 Laws of Power, for the man who seeks power and influence, nothing is worse than being ignored. This reveals the truth about getting media exposure for your business. Particularly, appearing on larger media outlets with larger and larger audiences. These content programmers, they want to know you’ll be able to deliver. It’s about ratings! This means the host of the program, or the program’s producer, will typically want a history of your past media appearances, and if you have it, audio or video examples from those interviews. Putting an unknown person “on air,” from their perspective is a risk. You may be smart. You may be the most qualified expert in town. But they need to know what they are getting. So, the more interviews you have to demonstrate your ability to deliver great content, the more attractive you can make yourself in future press releases. For future media appearances. For bigger and bigger media outlets.
Media experts, like Ryan Holiday, author of Trust Me I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, call this process—media begets more media—the “self-reinforcing news wave.”And, I don’t need to tell you how publicity can impact a business. One Interview is great. But one after another—because there is growing demand for your story, your knowledge and expertise, and because people want to hear what you have to say—is better. Who knows? Your Interview on Northern VA Advice Givers® may just be a stepping-stone to something even larger.
A CHANCE TO SERVE AND PROTECT THE PUBLIC:
Let’s face it. In this day and age, who can you trust? How many providers in your industry, in one way or another, to your frustration, mislead the public? “Truth in advertising.” HA!… Business is cutthroat and competition is fierce, and it seems more and more business owners, sales professionals and entrepreneurs are willing to cut corners, or bend the “truth” if needed, to out-compete competitors. And the consumer? Well, he often gets the short end of the proverbial stick. On Northern VA Advice Givers®, I’m not just interested in interviewing the brightest experts in Northern VA, I also want to interview the most ethical. Do you have a message that people need to hear? Can you help protect the public, by debunking myths or by empowering them, with your advice? I see Northern VA Advice Givers® becoming the most trusted source of consumer advice in Northern VA. When someone needs someone they can trust, I want them to come our website. Tune-in to our Podcast. And I want them to find you. Your interview. To hear your story and expert advice....
That is—if you have a message that can benefit the public?—our neighbors!
IT SHOULD BE CLEAR... I HAVE A DESIRE TO MEET AND SURROUND MYSELF WITH OTHER INTELLIGENT,
FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS AND BUSINESS OWNERS, AND, JUST MAYBE, YOU SHARE
MY SAME “SELFISH” INTEREST…
I have come to discover, as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, most of the world does not/cannot understand the pressure we face each day. Even with success, there is pressure. If you’re like me, you wake up every morning to another dragon that must be slayed. You cut one head off. Another one appears. The life of the entrepreneur is anything/everything but easy. One of the reasons I was inspired to co-found ENG (Northern VA Chapter) was to create a local brain trust of other smart entrepreneurs. Northern VA Advice Givers® is just an extension of that growing community. And an opportunity to share our message and expertise with the public, on a broader, larger scale, to impact more lives. And, one thing I’m certain about: You have a story to tell. Every entrepreneur does. It lives in their bones and in their heart. And frankly, I want to hear it. And so do many others, even if they don’t yet know it. If you believe and feel the same way I do, then I can honestly tell you—I can’t wait to get your Interview scheduled and to have you on the Podcast.
So, if interested, here’s the next step:
Complete the form below, to schedule a brief 15 minute call. If you have any questions, we’ll get them answered at this time. But this just allows us to hear each other’s voice. Also, you’ll be sent a copy of the ‘Pre-interview Info Packet’, which we’ll discuss briefly on the call as well, to ensure your Interview turns out to be a valuable Asset to your business and to our audience.
Who knows? This could be the beginning of a great friendship. I’m a Northern VA business owner. You’re a Northern VA business owner. We probably have a lot in common.
Talk soon my friend, I’m looking forward to it,