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Trust: An Interview with Marcus Sheridan – GM39

Why is trust the most valuable currency online? Find out in this episode of the Grey Matters podcast, with special guest Marcus Sheridan.

Trust: The Most Valuable Currency Online

[0:00] – Introducing this episode: An interview with keynote speaker and thought leader Marcus Sheridan.

  • Marcus's book, They Ask You Answer, boils down content marketing to the simplest terms: if you create a community, and you answer the questions that they are asking, you serve the community, and only good can come from that process. 
  • Marcus understood that the most valuable currency in the current online world was trust; thus, he built his business on the trust economy. 

[5:47] – How Marcus endured nearly going bankrupt in 2008.

  • When Marcus was pretty positive that he was going to file bankruptcy in 2008, he had a lot of realizations, and started to do things that he had to do, but hadn't done. That included sharing his broad knowledge and expertise about swimming pools for two straight years—a course of action that eventually led to his meteoric success. 
  • The beauty of pain is that it forces us to lean into that which we, in many cases, knew we should have been doing.

[8:26] – How Marcus gained the clarity to know what he had to do.

  • Marcus believes that he became a successful speaker because he realized how often we complicate simple things, and has since stuck to using simple, relatable words and concepts to communicate in a way that everyone would just instantly “get”—in other words, breaking free from the desire to “sound smart.” With this approach, he started to build momentum online, and people started listening to him more.

[11:36] – When Marcus started to have respect for the trust of his customers—and recognized that that was the commodity that would make a difference.

  • Some time after 2006, identifying his strengths (and subsequently realizing that their approach to communication didn’t set them apart from their competitors) became the light bulb moment for Marcus.
  • Marcus realized that he does not receive validation by speaking, because he doesn’t feel the need for it. With this mindset, one can accomplish a lot as a thinker. This ties into why Marcus doesn’t accept comments on his blog—a practice started by Seth Godin in 2010.
  • Freeing yourself from seeking validation from others will let you realize what really matters to you, and help you produce great work.

[18:26] – Meaningful advice for individuals looking to carve out a new opportunity for themselves in the post-pandemic world.

  • Marcus believes that with what the world is going through right now, we have the option to either sit and feel sorry for ourselves, or turn this into an opportunity.
  • “I love cutting the grass, because 99% of the world would love to have grass cut.” 

[23:50] – On reacting to challenges, coping with the pandemic, and maintaining self-discipline and the right mindset.

  • One of the rules that Marcus made for himself once quarantine started: He was not going to pick up any new TV shows, unless he was on the treadmill to watch said show. Thus, he has been using his time to read, get new ideas, and find inspiration.
  • The only way that we're going to get inspired, is if we're going to surround ourselves with greatness—and sometimes, we can surround ourselves with greatness by being with other people that are great. But right now, we can't rub elbows with a lot of people. The alternative is to consume some of that beautiful knowledge that other people have, and just allow our minds to wander: Instead of getting lost in the shows, we have a chance to get lost, and ideas and the possibilities. 

[29:24] – Transitioning from live speaking gigs to webinars in the new normal.

[35:49] – Finding the silver linings in the current situation of the world, as it struggles with COVID-19.

  • Sales rates go down somewhere between 10 to 20% when both cameras are not on for sales calls, because it's attention we need: we need all of those senses engaging. 
  • Getting customers to turn on their cameras is all a matter of prepping the call. You have to give the why, and then you have to get the commitment. 
  • “Here's what we're going to do. And here's why we're going to do it. And here's going to be the result when you do that, and it's for our benefit.

[39:22] – Looking with excitement about what the next chapter is going to lead to, once we get on the other side.

  • It's way more fun to view it from that lens than it is from any other; it’s about seeing the opportunity. That doesn't mean that you're not a realist.

[40:20] – Addressing the fear of losing relevance, especially for Baby Boomers.

  • You don't have to be the smartest; you just have to know a little bit more than the next person. And if that “little bit more” is helpful to them, then they see you in a different light. 
  • Principle number one: Don't try to appear smart. Just seek communion with your audience. Seek understanding.

[44:38] – How trust will always be the gold standard for business, and the most important currency.

  • One of Marcus’ favorite questions to ask a business owner: “Do you think trust is going to be fundamental to your business to your industry, 50 years from today?”

Resources

New Patrons

  • Joel Nodelman
  • Stephanie Menzies
  • Carolyn Taylor
  • Liz McKen
  • Jim Baker
  • Pete Matthews
  • Pamela Barnett
  • Lindsey Glover 
  • Peggy Evans
  • Ellie Hunter 
  • Jeff Murray
  • Fernando Savoy
  • Tom Morrin
  • Spike Burkhart
  • David Markham

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