Chris Ducker on “Rise of The Youpreneur” and building your personal brand – MAF160


Returning to the show this week for his second appearance is serial entrepreneur and author, Chris Ducker.

He’s just published his new book, The Rise of the Youpreneur. I’m delighted Chris included my business as a case study in his book. We chat about how he built the Youprenuer community, planned the book and the writing process.

Welcome to episode 160 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Chris Ducker on "Rise of The Youpreneur" and building your personal brand - MAF160

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • What a Youpreneur is
  • Steps to take to make your business future-proof
  • Where the idea for the book came from
  • The story of how Chris built the Youpreneur community and what it does
  • How Chris structured the book
  • The writing process explained

Who is Chris Ducker?

Born and raised in London, Chris’s career started in publishing and events planning. He moved to the Philippines, worked as a consultant for a few years, before setting up a recruitment hub and a co-working space.

This led to the Youpreneur community, which sits alongside Chris’s personal brand. He has 460 employees and says “scotch, Star Wars and playing with his kids” are what makes him tick.

He’s a serial entrepreneur, running several big businesses. He specialised in helping people find virtual assistants. This led to his first book, Virtual Freedom.  He later pivoted into the supporting Youpreneurs.

Summary of our chat

A Youpreneur is a made-up word. It refers to someone building their business around their experiences. What they’re all about. Who they want to serve. And what they sell. It’s perfect for consultants, coaches, authors, speakers, bloggers, podcasters and anyone else focused on building a business around themselves and their expertise.

It’s about becoming a leader in your industry, but also making yourself future-proof through the ‘business of you’. You’re eliminating competition, regardless of your industry, because you’re the unique factor. Chris realised new clients wanted to work with him no matter which of his services they needed, because they trusted him.

The book is a direct result of the people Chris has met within the community, and the affect they’ve had on him. His intention was always to write a book about building a personal brand business. But his friends encouraged him to focus on the ‘Youpreneur’ aspect and make it a global concept.

When the Youpreneur community launched, Chris designed it to help entrepreneurs build a successful online business. It quickly became obvious the type of people who joined were personal brand entrepreneurs. That changed how they delivered the content, the technology, and the language used to talk about the community.

When they overhauled the website, they developed the Youpreneur Roadmap.  A four step process (building, marketing, monetising, growth) for creating a business. The growth part constantly evolves, but the other three are evergreen. The book reflects those three stages, and it’s intended to be a manual or how-to guide.

Most of the content is original material – only one chapter is based on a blog post. However, the writing process differed from the first book, as Chris couldn’t sit and type until it was done. Instead, he worked with an editor who interviewed him over several hours. This was transcribed and then they worked together to turn that into the book.

The one thing he’d like listeners to take away

When you write a book, you go on a journey, and Chris had a revelation with his –  he realised that these are people he wants to work with for the rest of his career. He’s happier than he’s ever been in his work, and he probably won’t write another business book.

A marketing campaign or product Chris loves

Chris took his son Charlie to the Lego Store in London in November. When they arrived at the shop, Charlie was given a little box of Lego, with instructions on how to make a different figure every day for the 24 days leading up to Christmas.

They went all around the shop, and while they chose some toys, Charlie clutched the free box the whole time, and that was what he wanted to make first. Chris noticed that the boxes were only given to children, which is a brilliant piece of targeted marketing to an enthusiastic and excitable audience.

Rise of the Youprenuer Book on Amazon

Or visit the book website – www.riseoftheyouprenuer.com

Links and contact details

If you enjoyed – Chris Ducker on “Rise of The Youpreneur” and building your personal brand – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

And if you know anyone who would enjoy the show – please share it with them. You can use the buttons below to share on social media.

Don’t miss an episode of the MAF Podcast – subscribe now.

Subscribe on iTunes     Subscribe by RSS Feed

If you like the Podcast please click

Sign up for Marketing and Finance bulletins and get your free Business Writing Tips eBook right here!

Ben Amos on storytelling, strategy and production for video – MAF159


My guest this week is online video strategist and storyteller, Ben Amos.

We talk about fitting video production into your marketing strategy and how to produce videos which engage your customers and bring in business.

Welcome to episode 159 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Ben Amos on storytelling, strategy and production for video - MAF159

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • Why strategy is a vital first step for video marketing
  • The seven elements for a successful strategy
  • How to deal with fear of video
  • Why production isn’t the most important part of video
  • Why storytelling is important
  • How businesses can communicate in a memorable way

Who is Ben Amos?

Ben has always been passionate in video in any form, and his grandfather and father were both enthusiastic home video makers. He studied film where he could, and became a film and television teacher in high school, before setting up a video production company, working with a range of businesses.

As online content got bigger, clients started uploading the videos they’d had made to the web, but without seeing a good return on investment. Ben realised that they were missing a strategy, so he now helps his clients put together a plan to get more from their videos.

Ben’s also the host of the “Engage with Story” Podcast.

Summary of our chat

Strategy is like a recipe. You’re combining a range of ingredients which taste ok on their own, but if you bring them together in the right way, they’ll be amazing. Bringing Instagram stories, vlogs and sales videos together with a great strategy gets people interested and wanting more. The key is to know your end goal.

There are seven elements that make a successful video strategy: audience, goals, content, distribution, optimisation, metrics and production. When you know your audience, you align them to your goals, produce the right content and distribute appropriately. Think about the platform, and position (optimise) accordingly, and measure success. These then influence your production decisions.

People always struggle with being in front of the camera and how they’ll look, because it’s not natural. Ben’s response is: “Do you worry about that when you’re at a client meeting or networking event?” Like anything, the biggest barrier is getting started, because it gets easier the more you do it.

There’s a perception that everything requires high-quality production, and people tend to focus on that before they consider the content. You need to take into account the other elements too. Where will you be sharing your video? Platforms such as LinkedIn need professional but natural-looking videos, with quality content.

People want to buy from brands they engage with, which is why story is so important. It’s an emotional form of communication, one we grow up with. If we can tell a good story to connect with someone, they’ll pay attention and buy in to your brand.

People don’t remember facts and figures, so if you need to communicate those, wrap them in a story and make them memorable. Storytelling is a powerful way of communicating tangible ideas, so businesses should help people make a connection, remember the message and be moved to take action.

The one thing he’d like listeners to take away

Using video to market your business, particularly online, can be overwhelming and scary. Although there are a lot of possibilities, you can beat that overwhelm by starting with a strategy. Identify your audience, goals, content, distribution platform and your metrics, and then consider production.

A marketing campaign or product Ben loves

Ben talked about a specific approach for using video marketing: when brands pay attention to how they’re using native video on social media, and consider the screen ratio and video size.

A paint company in Australia did this really well. They created a video of a couple discussing home improvements, but looked like half of it was missing. The male character then reached down and pushed the lounge room setting into the video frame, which encouraged the viewer to stop and watch.

Recommended business book

Ask, by Ryan Levesque. He’s the go-to guy for customer surveys. Knowing your audience is the best way to start off planning your strategy, and the book goes into some ninja approaches to using audience surveys to help you nail your customer and get your strategy right.

Special offer for MAF Podcast listeners from Ben

Ben’s kindly set up a page for listeners of the MAF Podcast so they can find links and downloads about online video strategy – visit www.engagevideomarketing.com/maf for more details.

Links and contact details

If you enjoyed – Ben Amos on storytelling, strategy and production for video – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

And if you know anyone who would enjoy the show – please share it with them. You can use the buttons below to share on social media.

Don’t miss an episode of the MAF Podcast – subscribe now.

Subscribe on iTunes     Subscribe by RSS Feed

If you like the Podcast please click

Sign up for Marketing and Finance bulletins and get your free Business Writing Tips eBook right here!

Debbie Bolton on underwriting, simpler protection and trust – MAF158m


This week we dive back into the world of financial services and protection. My guest is Debbie Bolton.

We talk about underwriting, protection product development and whether products and processes are getting simpler for customers.

Welcome to episode 158 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Debbie Bolton on underwriting, simpler protection and trust - MAF158

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • A simple definition of underwriting anyone can understand
  • The role of an underwriting development team in an insurance company
  • How AIG Life is speeding up the application process for protection products
  • Why the industry is trying to simplify insurance products
  • How AIG Life works with financial advisers
  • Why trust is a three-way process

Who is Debbie Bolton?

Debbie works for AIG Life. She’s responsible for claims and underwriting strategy. She’s been in the insurance industry for 20 years. 17 in underwriting. The role was completely different when she started, for example, paper-based with stacks of case files.

Starting off in smaller companies, Debbie progressed in her career, moving to Ageas (as AIG was then) as manager for the underwriting development team. The company represented innovation, technology and automation. It was an exciting place. And she says it still does. Debbie says the work is fast-paced, and she loves her job.

Summary of our chat

Underwriting is the combination of science and maths to work out a price for a customer. It looks at an individual’s health, their hobbies, occupational risks and where they travel. Healthy office-workers will pay a lower price than unhealthy people in dangerous jobs.  But the aim is to charge as little as they can so everyone benefits.

Debbie’s team differs from typical underwriters. They set the philosophy of the company.  They’re involved in all AIG Life’s developments. From products to technology. They manage the rules engine, to incrementally and continuously improve the processes for assessing, simplifying and pricing risk.

AIG Life is aiming its “Instant” product at younger, healthier customers who want to take out protection at speed. The application process has no interruptions. So after completing a form, a person knows straight away whether or not they’ve got cover. AIG Life came up with a shorter list of questions people can complete quickly. It offers a favourable price.

Debbie says companies are simplifying products and the processes. She explains that AIG Life customers want instant results. They want their insurance policy as quickly as possible. The shorter quiz has specific questions for identifying risks that would increase premiums. It often cuts out the need for medical evidence.

The response to the “Instant” product has been overwhelmingly positive from financial advisers. AIG Life has a team of underwriters who speak to advisers every day. Their feedback gives the strategy team a better understanding of the issues they face and helps product development.

There needs to be trust between the customers, the advisers and the underwriters in insurance companies. Being available to the advisers builds trust with them, particularly those writing complex cases, so they know they’re getting the best rates. AIG Life want the public to have confidence in their automated service, and to trust the information they offer.

The one thing she’d like listeners to take away

Underwriters and claims assessors are the technicians of the whole case. They decide if a case can be underwritten or a claim paid. As a rule, underwriters start from yes; they want to get a case on the books or pay a claim, as quickly as possible. They don’t want to say no to people.

A marketing campaign or product Debbie loves

Debbie’s recently been impressed with parcel delivery. Wanting to send something to New Zealand at Christmas, she researched a quick and simple solution to get it there in time. She found a company online which gave her a competitive quote, collected her parcel and shipped it six hours after she started looking.

Links and contact details

If you enjoyed – Debbie Bolton on underwriting, simpler protection and trust – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

And if you know anyone who would enjoy the show – please share it with them. You can use the buttons below to share on social media.

Don’t miss an episode of the MAF Podcast – subscribe now.

Subscribe on iTunes     Subscribe by RSS Feed

If you like the Podcast please click

Sign up for Marketing and Finance bulletins and get your free Business Writing Tips eBook right here!