seanwes podcast

Tangible insights on creativity and business every Wednesday.

Want to make a living with your passion? From products and marketing to professionalism and clients, you'll get answers to the hard-hitting questions.

Join entrepreneurs Sean McCabe and Ben Toalson as they let you inside their discussions on the many facets of making a living online. You'll come away from every episode with something of value that you can apply to your business.

Preparing for the Virtual Reality Future and Why You'll Be Affected Whether You Like It or Not

277: Preparing for the Virtual Reality Future and Why You’ll Be Affected Whether You Like It or Not

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 – 39 minutes

Virtual reality is coming.

It’s not just for video games. It’s not just science fiction. We already live in virtual worlds. Look around you. Everyone has their face buried in their phone screen.

What will simply happen is the screen will no longer be something you hold in your hands. The awkward straps and head gear you see with early virtual reality devices is not how it’s always going to be.

Computers used to be the size of a city block. People thought a computer would never, ever fit inside a home.

The inevitability is that virtual reality will become more seamless, effortless to use, prevalent, and get closer and closer to looking like real life.

It doesn’t matter whether you like the idea of it or not. This is the future you will live in. And it’s not something you can put off thinking about.

You need to be preparing right now. If you want to succeed in an increasingly digital world, there are things you need to be doing right now to prepare.

You need to be able to interact with humans and do it well. You need to be able to present yourself with confidence and speak fluently. All technology does is make human interactions more seamless. The eventuality is that online human conversations will become indistinguishable from face-to-face interaction.

In this episode, we paint a picture of the future you’ll live in and give you some practical things you can, and should, be doing today if you want to succeed.

Dark Social, One-to-One Engagement, and Doing the Unscalable Things

276: Dark Social, One-to-One Engagement, and Doing the Unscalable Things

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 – 48 minutes

Dark social is traffic to your website that comes from sources that can’t be tracked in your analytics.

Every time you share a link in Messages.app, or Snapchat, or in a private chat room, you are engaging in dark social.

These conversations can’t be indexed by search engines. Your links open up directly in the browser and don’t have any referral data. Marketers are somewhat worried because the amount of traffic coming from dark social is increasing.

What does this mean for you as a creator? Well, a lot of things. It really just harkens back to the principles of word of mouth. We will revisit 7 ways to encourage more word of mouth referrals in this episode.

But beyond just being aware that people are sharing links to your content in places that can’t be tracked, you should also be engaging with these people one-on-one as much as possible.

As things have become increasing automated and people are scheduling social media posts now, we are understandably yearning for personal interaction. Actually engaging with someone in real time, one-on-one, is incredibly powerful.

Of course, that kind of engagement doesn’t scale. But it doesn’t matter. You need to be doing the unscalable things.

Creative Ideas to Help You Quickly Get More Products on the Shelf

275: Creative Ideas to Help You Quickly Get More Products on the Shelf

Wednesday, July 6, 2016 – 43 minutes

Today, we’re building off of the last episode on creating products.

In the last episode, we talked about the order in which you should create products. You first start with something small, then launch something big. After that, you want to go back and fill out the spectrum.

You need more products on the shelf. You need more products at all levels. At every price point someone wants to give you money, you need to have an offering.

Today’s episode is jam-packed with creative ideas for quickly getting more products on the shelf. We talk about things like selling your process, templates, scripts, copywriting checklists, launch plans and so much more…

The best part? We’re not just talking about making new things. Yes, we do give you a TON of ideas for quick products you can crank out in a short amount of time, but it doesn’t have to be new work. You can repurpose what you’ve already made.

We’re going to help you make money from work you’ve already done. You have so many potential products right now under your nose that you’re not even aware of. You’re going to get a ton of ideas from this episode.

The First Thing to Make and Sell When You're Just Getting Started With Products

274: The First Thing to Make and Sell When You’re Just Getting Started With Products

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 – 51 minutes

Don’t know where to start with products? Should you start small? Should you go big? This episode will help.

We break down the most sustainable order.

You want to get to something that’s big as soon as possible, but that doesn’t mean it’s where you should start with your very first product.

If your first product is too big, you can easily get overwhelmed and never end up shipping. You’ll end up biting off more than you can chew.

I recommend that you start small and ship a small product to prove to yourself that you can do it. You’re going to work out the kinks and learn a lot. You’ll make mistakes too. Better to do that at a small scale first.

Launching a small product first lets you iterate and develop processes. You’ll learn what it takes to market and sell. You’ll learn about payment processing. You’ll learn about delivery of goods (whether physical or digital).

All of this informs your big product. That’s the next step: maximize revenue. This becomes the fuel to all of your other ventures. This flagship product makes everything else you want to do possible.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with selling products and don’t know where to start, this episode gives you a clear order in which to approach things.

We talk about maximizing the value and return you get from products, whether to go digital or physical, implementing a sales funnel, nurturing leads, up-selling, tiers, and setting yourself up to completely fill out your product spectrum (that’s a teaser for to the next episode on Creative Ideas to Help You Quickly Get More Products on the Shelf).

The Only Two Numbers That Matter and Why You Can't Make Money

273: The Only Two Numbers That Matter and Why You Can’t Make Money

Wednesday, June 15, 2016 – 58 minutes

This episode title is tongue in cheek: The reason you can’t MAKE money is because making money is illegal. That’s called counterfeiting.

This isn’t just a silly play on words though. It’s to illustrate an important concept: You don’t MAKE money, you GET money.

You have to go GET money. Someone else has your money. A stranger has your money. You need to go get it from them.

Who are the people you want to reach? Who has your money and what do they want? What can you provide them? How can you give them a solution to a problem they have that they’re willing to pay to make go away?

You need to figure out a way to create value and exchange it for money.

This episode is about selling. The degree to which you are sold you will sell. Read that last sentence again, it’s important.

If you’re not selling, you’re not sold on your product. You don’t actually believe in what you’re selling.

This episode will remind you that you are a BUSINESS and help you focus on the things that matter.

Finding Your Focus When You're Doing Too Many Things and Feeling Overwhelmed

272: Finding Your Focus When You’re Doing Too Many Things and Feeling Overwhelmed

Wednesday, June 8, 2016 – 56 minutes

This episode is about finding your professional focus.

You cannot pursue multiple things. Think about the literal definition of the word “pursuit”. You cannot pursue more than one thing.

Imagine you are in a field and holding three foxes by the tail. They are all struggling to escape.

You let go and they dash off.

Now, pursue all three. You can’t do it. You’ll run around like a chicken with its head cut off. You might catch one if you focus on one.

You’re feeling overwhelmed right now because you don’t have clarity. There are too many things you could be doing and you’re trying to do them all.

With the pursuit of many things in your lack of clarity, you become overwhelmed. Too many projects. Too many choices. Too much to manage.

You need to find your focus. You need to know what you’re going after because it informs everything else you’re doing.

Let's Get Real About Why You're Not Making Money

271: Let’s Get Real About Why You’re Not Making Money

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 – 1 hour, 38 minutes

It’s time.

We’re getting serious about money today. Business models, cash, client work, day jobs.

You have to get your money right.

No, it’s not about your expenses. It’s that you’re not making money. If you’re MAKING money, expenses are not the problem.

Do you want to save $100 or make $1,000?

We’re going to get your money right today, and we’re going to help you keep your business alive instead of running it into the ground. I want you to be around next year. I don’t want you burnt out and hating your passion.

It starts with money. You must get your money situation right. You must start with money.

Money is not evil. Money is a necessity. You have to have it. We’re not talking about pursuing money for its own sake either.

Money is an enabler of purpose.

If you’re not focused on your money, you don’t actually care about your purpose.

Let’s get real about making money today.

How to Create an Interesting Story That Gets People Addicted to Tuning in to Your Content

270: How to Create an Interesting Story That Gets People Addicted to Tuning in to Your Content

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 – 1 hour, 12 minutes

If you don’t have an interesting challenge, you can’t create an interesting story.

People enjoy stories where someone faces, and ultimately overcomes, a big challenge.

Think of any TV show you’re watching to right now. In any given episode, someone wants something, they can’t get it because of some obstacle, and they spend the course of the show doing what it takes to try to get it.

Every compelling story is comprised of several common elements and you can use these elements intentionally to craft a compelling story.

Aaron Dowd joins me to talk about creating your interesting story to get people addicted to tuning in to your content.

How to Have Six Months of Income Saved in the Bank

269: How to Have Six Months of Income Saved in the Bank

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 – 1 hour, 18 minutes

70% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.

It shouldn’t be like this.

You’ve got to get ahead. In your personal life and with your business, you need to get ahead of barely making it month to month. You’re living in stress and you’re stuck in Scarcity Mindset.

You need money in the bank. At least six months of income. You need enough cash in the bank to cover all of your expenses for six months if nothing was coming in.

I call this figure “The New Zero”. To calculate it for yourself, take your monthly expenses and multiply them by six. If monthly expenses for you and your family are $5,000, you need $30,000 in the bank (six months). That means if you have less than $30,000, you need to see that as being in the hole. If you have $24,000, think of that as having -$6,000. You are below the minimum threshold.

This is not a luxury. This is a necessity. Living paycheck to paycheck in scarcity should not be a reality you accept. It should not be something you get complacent about. It needs to be something you work to get ahead of.

When you’re in scarcity mindet, you can’t make objective, long-term decisions about your future. You can’t have the life you want to have. You end up overworking. You don’t have the freedom to delegate or hire new people.

In this episode, we talk about the practical aspects of getting that money in the bank, two kinds of hustle, when to invest, and getting rid of debt.

How to Take Off a Week Every Seven Weeks Even if You Can’t Afford To

268: How to Take Off a Week Every Seven Weeks Even if You Can’t Afford To

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 – 1 hour, 23 minutes

I take a week off every seventh week. I also pay my employees to take off every seventh week.

I call this Small Scale Sabbaticals.

I was working 18-hour days, seven days a week with no end in sight, and I was heading towards burn out. I knew some people took off a year every seven years as a “sabbatical” and I knew we took off a day every seven days each week, but why was there nothing in between?

I decided to try it and I decided to prioritize it with my team. I started doing it in 2014 and haven’t look back. It’s been incredible. We feel healthier every time, we feel rested, we’re excited to get back to work, and I truly believe we are more productive as a whole. I certainly know we all do better work.

I’ve been sharing my journey of taking Small Scale Sabbaticals for some time now. You may be wondering how you could possibly do this yourself. Maybe you’re thinking, “How could I possibly take off even a day—much less a whole week?!”

How can you take a sabbatical when you can’t afford to?

The answer is: you’ll never be able to afford to. That’s right. You will never reach a moment in your life where you look at your schedule and the next week is just completely blank.

It won’t happen because we fill time automatically by habit. The only way is to drive a wedge into your schedule and carve out the time.

In this episode, we talk about the money, the how, the scheduling, the potential guilt, and the practicalities of actually being able to take off time with something like a sabbatical.

Future Vision for seanwes and Why the Podcast Is Switching to Once-a-Week Output

267: Future Vision for seanwes and Why the Podcast Is Switching to Once-a-Week Output

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 – 16 minutes

The seanwes podcast is now going to have only one new episode a week instead of two.

In 2013, I started the seanwes podcast with a commitment to produce two episodes a week. For nearly three years now, we’ve done that.

However, some big changes are on the horizon for seanwes. I’m here to tell you about a few of those changes today.

I took a step back. Actually, I took many steps back. Then I asked myself, “What is our mission? What is my vision for seanwes?” When I had that answer, I asked a second question:

“Is everything I’m doing right now serving that goal?”

The answer was no.

Many of the things I was doing on a regular basis were not helping me fulfill that vision. They were not getting me closer to the goal. I was just doing them because I’d fallen into a routine of fulfilling commitments I’d made long ago when my goals were different.

Things had to change. There are big changes coming to seanwes. I’m going to share a few of them with you today.

Value-Based Pricing (Part 3 of 3): Price With Confidence, Increase Value, & Increase Profits

266: Value-Based Pricing (Part 3 of 3): Price With Confidence, Increase Value, & Increase Profits

Friday, April 29, 2016 – 35 minutes

Most people do not feel confident about their pricing.

They are not 100% certain that the price they put on their proposal is completely fair to the client and completely fair to them.

A common misconception about Value-Based Pricing is that you will charge some companies more just because they’re bigger. That is not at all the case. In fact, two companies of vastly different sizes will always receive a quote of the same price if the value they get in return is the same.

Value-Based Pricing is the fairest pricing model in existence because it ensures a client never pays more than a fraction of the value they’re getting.

Of course, discovering and uncovering that value in an accurate fashion is the key. You then have to take that quantified value and calculate a value-based price that also accounts for the time it takes to realize that value.

That’s what we teach inside the Value-Based Pricing course, and that’s what the tools we’ve developed will help you accomplish.

Value-Based Pricing (Part 2 of 3): Find Clients That Pay What You’re Worth

265: Value-Based Pricing (Part 2 of 3): Find Clients That Pay What You’re Worth

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 – 1 hour, 8 minutes

How do you find clients that pay well?

First, stop saying yes to all the wrong clients. You will never convert the wrong client into a great client.

The only way to get great clients is to attract them. You have to be the kind of person they want to work with. You can’t chase them, you must attract them.

Chasing clients starts the relationship off on the wrong foot and leads to problems. This fights the Rule of Reciprocity. There’s only one way to get on peoples’ radar without chasing them (we talk about it in the episode).

But attracting clients means attracting all kinds of clients—including ones you don’t want to work with. That means you have to filter people out. You do this by asking questions. Yes, there are bad questions to ask. We share one question you should never ask in this episode.

To get great clients, you need hyper-selectivity. You must say no to all other potential clients. Even the good ones. If the client is not a great client, you say no.

This advice is counter to what most other people will tell you. They will say, “Take on whatever work you can get in the beginning. You have no other choice. You live in the real world where there are bills to pay, you have to make money. You can’t afford to wait around for great clients.” Their advice is rooted in Scarcity Mindset.

Justin joins me for part two of our Value-Based Pricing series. We talk about avoiding Scarcity Mindset when it comes to clients, positioning yourself as an investment instead of an expense, and what to do about your existing clients when switching to Value-Based Pricing.

Value-Based Pricing (Part 1 of 3): Make More Money While Doing Your Best Work

264: Value-Based Pricing (Part 1 of 3): Make More Money While Doing Your Best Work

Friday, April 22, 2016 – 55 minutes

You want to do good work. You want to be paid well. You want to work with great clients.

There’s only one thing stopping you: your broken pricing model.

The way you’re pricing right now is holding you back. Everything is based on arbitrary numbers. Hourly rates and flat rates both have the same issue: they have to be based on arbitrary numbers at some level.

What’s wrong with that? The problem is that your goal and your client’s goal are not aligned.

With hourly, you’re trying to work as much as possible so you get paid more. Your client wants you to work as quickly as possible so they can pay you less.

With flat rates, you’re trying to get the job done as quickly as possible because there’s no other way to increase your earnings. But where does that flat rate come from? It can only be arbitrary.

When your pricing is based on arbitrary numbers, you can never be certain if your price is fair. It could be unfair to the client (you may be overcharging), or it could be unfair to you (and you should have been compensated more).

Enter Value-Based Pricing.

For two years now, Justin Michael and I have been working on a course called Value-Based Pricing. This curriculum teaches you how to price on value. It is the only method of pricing that is not based on arbitrary numbers. It is the only method of pricing that aligns your goals and your client’s goals.

With Value-Based Pricing, you are incentivized to make the client more successful, because this directly affects your compensation. In fact, the value the client receives is the only thing that affects your compensation. This is why Value-Based Pricing is win-win for everybody.

Today’s episode is the first of a new 3-part series on Value-Based Pricing. Justin and I have spent the past half year teaching this curriculum to a Pilot Program. In this episode, we give you the background story and overview of Value-Based Pricing, as well as talk about how to fix your broken pricing model.

How and Why to Host a Workshop Before You Create an Online Course

263: How and Why to Host a Workshop Before You Create an Online Course

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 – 1 hour, 17 minutes

Maybe you’re thinking about creating an online course.

A lot of people want to start creating their own online courses and it makes sense: you record your curriculum, lessons, or videos once and then it’s an asset for you. It continues to serve you, teach other people, and bring in revenue automated on a consistent basis. Who wouldn’t want this?

However, I actually recommend that you host an in-person workshop before you create an online course.

That seems really strange because a workshop requires you to be there in person. You have to teach people, you have to be present at the workshop, and you only make money at that one event.

Once a workshop is over, you don’t make any more money. If you want to make more money, you have to do another event.

Why in the world would I recommend doing a workshop first instead of creating an online course from the start?

In a word: validation.

How to Get Your Spouse On Board 100% Even if They're Scared

262: How to Get Your Spouse On Board 100% Even if They’re Scared

Friday, April 15, 2016 – 1 hour, 20 minutes

I know you have big goals. I know you have ambitions and things you want to accomplish.

This episode is for you if you have a significant other or someday plan to.

Successful people know what they want, they know what they’re going for, and they invest all of their energy in getting there. You need clarity and you need concentrated efforts.

If your spouse is not on board, you will not be successful.

Read that sentence again. I’m serious. You cannot make progress when the very person who is your other half is not on board. If someone is not helping you get closer to your goal, they are taking you away from it.

You must get your spouse on board with your vision. You have to be completely on the same page.

It’s going to take time. It’s going to take a tremendous amount of time and investment, but you absolutely have to do it. It means spending time with them, it means having conversations with them, it means doing the things they enjoy, it means making sacrifices.

You have no business spending a single second pursuing your dream if your spouse is not on board. It’s wasted time. If they’re not on board, you need to make it your full-time effort to invest in them. Your full-time job is now to invest in your spouse and make sure you are both on the same page.

I’m starting to write a book instead of an excerpt, so just do yourself a favor and listen to this episode if you have big aspirations and a significant other (or plan to one day)!

Sean McCabe
Sean McCabe
Ben Toalson
Ben Toalson

 

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