Brian Clark is a serial digital entrepreneur who's started several 7-figure businesses -- and one 8-figure business that was recently acquired. Drawing upon his own 20-year evolution from solo to CEO (and back again), Brian provides compelling stories and actionable strategies for ambitious freelancers and creative entrepreneurs looking to live the "7-Figure Small" lifestyle.
Notable guests include Seth Godin, Dan Pink, Jenny Blake, Tim Ferriss, Henry Rollins, Laura Roeder, Michael Stelzner, Chris Brogan, Emily Thompson, Darren Rowse, Andrew Warner, John Lee Dumas, Kathleen Shannon, and Gary Vaynerchuk.
Why You Must Choose Your Ideal Audience
We originally planned for this season finale of the 7-Figure Small podcast to be published a few weeks ago. But our world here in the U.S. changed quite drastically in the interim, so we took a little more time to collect our thoughts before recording.
This episode still focuses on the same topic we were planning to discuss -- the importance of choosing your idea audience -- but the context is now much different and, ultimately, much more meaningful.
We open with a discussion about an intriguing new online marketplace for "A.I.-generated characters," and what it could mean for your business, before moving onto perhaps the single greatest example in advertising history of defining who your ideal audience is (and who it isn't).
Then we address the importance of having core values and being willing to stand up for them, what it means to provide values-based leadership to an audience, and how these ideas come to a head when important societal events happen -- like the recent murder of George Floyd and the ensuing protests and national discussion about Black Lives Matter and race in America.
How do you decide when it's time to take a public stand and make your thoughts and feeling clear to your audience, even when it's obvious there will be some negative reaction? And is it possible that we overrate how much negative reaction there will be? Brian and Jerod use their own recent experiences with other audiences to provide some insight.
All of that and more on this season finale episode of 7-Figure Small.
Building a Defensible Business
The global economy is in bad shape right now. That is perhaps the understatement of the century.
In the span of 8 weeks, it feels like there has been a tectonic shift, and no one knows with any certainty what the new “normal” is going to be whenever it mercifully arrives.
What we do know -- because we learned it during the financial crisis of 2008, and in many examples prior -- is that the businesses that will survive this economic turmoil, and possibly even thrive on the other side of it, are those that are able to adapt to the changing economic reality.
In other words: those with a defensible business model.
In this episode of 7-Figure Small, Brian Clark defines what a defensible model is, uses examples like AirBNB, Uber, and Amazon to illustrate it, and explains how it applies to building a 7-figure small business that is audience-first as opposed to product-first.
This episode of 7-Figure Small is brought to you by Next Level 7 -- Brian Clark’s free audio course that teaches you how to start stacking the building blocks of a defensible business. Most notably, you’ll learn what’s working for attracting an audience and discovering what they want to buy, which are the first steps toward building a business that truly has the ability to adapt to changing times. To get started for free, go to nextlevel7.com.
What’s Working Right Now in SEO
A smart and sustainable SEO strategy remains one of the best ways to drive targeted traffic and build an engaged audience.
There is no one better to discuss what really work in SEO that this week's guest, Brian Dean, the founder of Backlinko. Brian shares with us some of the biggest takeaways from his epic article The Definitive Guide To SEO In 2020.
He begins by giving us a few of the most important high-level things that everyone needs to realize about SEO — including the enduring power of keyword optimization and some smart tips for how to discover search intent.
Then we cover a wide range of topics after that, including how AI will impact SEO moving forward, how to think about SEO when you're focusing on a curated email newsletter, tactical advice on how to structure content in WordPress, and much more.
Now there’s just one catch with this episode: we didn’t record it specifically for the podcast. What you’re about to hear is actually the audio from a webinar that we did inside of the Unemployable Initiative, our private, paid community for freelancers and solopreneurs. And as you’ll hear, the questions Brian answers are directly from community members.
With the doors to the community now open for ongoing registration, Brian Clark and I wanted to give you a little taste of the content you’ll find when you join. To find out everything that is included in your membership, go to unemployable.com/community.
Note: the original presentation was on video, and Brian does share his screen a few times. If you want to see the video replay, visit the lesson page: https://unemployable.com/podcast/seo
Artificial intelligence and the Highly Creative Solo Business
For years now, we’ve heard warnings of massive job losses due to the rise of artificial intelligence in business. A study from McKinsey suggests that by 2030, intelligent agents and robots could eliminate the jobs of 800 million people worldwide.
The flip side of this prediction is that, as with every other major technological transformation, more jobs will be created than lost. The idea is that the people who adapt and learn to work with machines will be the best off.
That remains to be seen for the employed, but for solo business owners, there’s no doubt that we’ll use artificial intelligence to enhance our businesses. No “boss” can replace us with software or a robot, but we will replace ourselves as much as possible.
So what will that leave us to do? Advanced technology will free us up to focus on the uniquely human aspects of our businesses, and that will center around enhanced creative thinking.
This week’s episode is all about creativity – a human quality so distinctive, differentiating, and valuable that it actually becomes more important the closer technology comes to mimicking it.
Joining us this week is Jason Miller, a digital marketing veteran who has worked at Marketo, LinkedIn, and Microsoft. Jason has been on the front lines of the automation and artificial intelligence business revolution for over a decade, and his message is music to the ears of creative entrepreneurs and freelancers who want to create outsized impacts with emerging technology.
This episode is brought to you by Freshbooks, cloud accounting software designed specifically for solo business owners. They’re offering a 30-day, no credit card required free trial to listeners of 7-Figure Small. To claim it, just visit FreshBooks.com/unemployable and make sure to enter UNEMPLOYABLE in the “How Did You Hear About Us?” section.
Everywhere is a Startup Hub
The early days of the tech startup craze would have you believe that Silicon Valley was not only the place to be, it was the only place to be. Or maybe Boston or New York City, but those were all the acceptable choices.
As time went on, Seattle, Austin, and Boulder became part of the conversation. But what about Indianapolis, Nashville, and Pittsburgh?
Truth is, there are vibrant startup communities all over the place. Not to mention the increasing numbers of seven figure small businesses that operate outside of the venture capital circus all together.
Matt Hunckler has been working tirelessly for years making the case that the middle of America amounts to an undervalued asset, rich in markets, new business ideas, and budding entrepreneurs. His company Powderkeg brings entrepreneurs between the coasts together to find the resources they need to grow and thrive.
Matt joins us this week to discuss Powerkeg’s mission. We also talk about how the pandemic is accelerating the idea of “everywhere is a startup hub,” and how Powderkeg quickly pivoted from live events to virtual value for its members out of obvious necessity.
If you’re about to start something up for yourself, or even pivot your existing business, you’ll want to take our free audio course Next Level 7. In six lessons, I’ll show you what's working right now for attracting an audience, discovering what they want to buy, and building your perfect business. Just head over to nextlevel7.com to sign up.
The Third Way to Start a Great Business
Once upon a time, when people wanted to start their own business, they went down to the bank. There was physical space to lease, equipment to buy, and people to hire.
Maybe it was a coffee shop, retail store, or professional services form. Or maybe light manufacturing or a car dealership. Sometimes the profits were substantial, other times meager. But there was always a lot on the line if things didn’t work out.
About 20 years ago, the idea of starting a business changed due to the tech startup craze. Now it was about raising a Series A, then B, then C … and then IPO or acquisition. Profit wasn’t part of the equation, only insane levels of growth that very few achieved, despite the relentless focus on the relatively few success stories.
During that same time period, however, a third way arose. A way to build a business using the reach of the Internet, the power of technology, and the creativity of entrepreneurs who very much focused on profit, all while mitigating risk with digital business models. Oh, and there was no need to deal with investors, because who wants that kind of meddling?
It’s the “third way” that Chris Guillebeau’s new book The Money Tree (https://amzn.to/2VknDaz) focuses on. And yes … it’s also the approach taken with the 7-Figure Small strategy for smart business building.
Chris joins us in this episode to discuss the third way and his new book. He also shares tips for generating extra income from his previous book Side Hustle (https://amzn.to/34O2UyI), which is a companion to his popular podcast Side Hustle School.
This episode is brought to you by Freshbooks, cloud accounting software designed specifically for freelancers and solo business owners. They’re offering a 30-day, no credit card required free trial to you … yes you! To claim it, just visit FreshBooks.com/unemployable and make sure to enter UNEMPLOYABLE in the “How Did You Hear About Us?” section.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The perfect balance of being encouraging to unemployable entrepreneurs and business owners and being practically helpful. The resources, tools and teaching have certainly helped our business.
Just begun, but sounds like
This guy's voice facinated me.
The content as well.
It was only after 3 episodes I realized he sounds exactly like Corey Taylor from Slipknot / Stone Sour.
Crazy, but the good crazy. Very helpful.
A Must Listen
Brian's podcasts are exceptional! Outstanding selection of guests with whom he's a master of engagement. Add to that a speaking voice whose timbre makes him the "Brian Adams of Podcasting". Each podcast enlarges the mind. Inspiring!