About RJ Redden: RJ Redden is the Founder and human-in-charge at Black Belt Bots. Coaches hire RJ to skyrocket their engagement. RJ creates epic engagement experiences that motivate people to click that button, connect with you, and enroll like crazy. She holds two Master’s degrees at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Science in Management Information Systems. She is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and teaches technology skills to small businesses and nonprofits in the Omaha, Nebraska, and Council Bluffs, Iowa, metropolitan area. Redden specializes in websites, administrative streamlining, and social media campaigns. Check out the latest episode of our Conversational Selling podcast to learn more about RJ.
In this episode, Nancy and RJ discuss the following:
- The definition of epic engagement adventures.
- Standing out from the crowd in the modern marketing world.
- Ways of having personal and unique thumbprints in each marketing sphere.
- The psychology of Disneyland’s journey.
- The number of interactions needed before leads are converted into clients.
- The importance of being yourself in the sales world.
- The problem is that we are imprinted into our brains this idea that we need to reach the masses to be heard by a few.
- Engagement First Marketing reframes the funnel concept into what that client’s journey will be like.
- If you know exactly what you provide that’s unique to this world and that they desperately need, and if you know your people, it could take one or two times reach, and they’re sold.
- If you ever get into a coaching relationship or a program that demands that you be someone else to accomplish the goals – Run! Run away!
- You must embrace and own that brilliance to shine brightly!
“ The way to stand out right now, as I see it in the marketplace, is to do your writing, make your video, make your podcast, make everything personal, have that thumbprint in there. Do not accept “Oh, I could send 800 messages that all say the same thing to 800 people on LinkedIn today. Let’s go ahead and press that button”. Do not accept mass, you know, mass marketing, mass messaging. It’s not the way to go. Make it personal. Make it personal because everybody is using these AI writers nowadays to, you know, throw out an article or two. You know, those sound like they’re produced by robots, Nancy.” – RJ
“And Disneyland thinks about every moment of the journey that you are taking, and they do their best to make it a frictionless journey. What I mean by that is, this was a couple of years ago, they developed these watches that your watch opens your hotel room door. Your watch pays for dinner. Your watch basically does everything. They give you information right when you need it so that you can use it right there so you’re not carrying the cognitive load of where they say the thing was. All that kind of stuff. That intentional journey setting makes Disneyland what it is, which is a preferred destination for many, even those without kids. That journey is what your people need to take. That journey needs to be full of interaction with you. Some of its stuff that we kind of write into a process. The quizzes, games, choose your own adventure videos, all of these types of things allow people to get to know you at their own pace. You get to know a little bit about them, and that way, by the time they’re sitting across from you. They know that they want to be part of your tribe.” – RJ
“Here’s the really important part. Here’s the part that changed everything for me. I could just be myself in the conversation because they weren’t expecting a marketing expert. They were expecting a person who’s crazy enough to wear a caping mask to an event. They weren’t expecting a normal conversation. So, I could really be myself, and connect with them.” – RJ
Connect with RJ Redden:
Try Our Proven, 3-Step System, Guaranteeing Accountability and Transparency that Drives RESULTS by clicking on this link: https://oneofakindsales.com/call-center-in-a-box/
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- Website: https://oneofakindsales.com
- Phone: 908-879-2911
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- Email: email@example.com
Voiceover: You’re listening to The Conversational Selling Podcast with Nancy Calabrese.
Nancy Calabrese: Hi everyone, it’s Nancy Calabrese and it’s time again for Conversational Selling, the podcast where sales leaders and business experts share what’s going on in sales and marketing today. And it always starts with the human conversation. Today we’re speaking with RJ Redden, AI chat box strategist and CEO of Black Belt BOTS. Entrepreneurs hire RJ to skyrocket their marketing message because most are shouting into a black hole or they’re carbon copies of everyone else and they can’t get traction to save their lives. So, RJ creates epic engagement adventures that get people to click that button, connect with them, and convert like crazy. And the bottom line is RJ is on a mission to motivate a million people to change their marketing. Now I am thrilled to have RJ on the show. Can’t wait to explore her insights and experiences with all of you. This promises to be an exciting, and I think funny, enlightening conversation. Welcome to the show, RJ.
RJ: Thank you, Nancy. It is absolutely lovely to join you today. [1:25]
Nancy Calabrese: You see, we’re already started with the cackle.
RJ: That’s right.
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah, so define epic engagement adventures.
RJ: Absolutely, so you know what a funnel is like. You know, we’ve got three or four pages to click through. There’s usually a one-time offer or two or 16 at the end. You know, everybody’s been through thousands and thousands and thousands of these things. The trouble with those is that you have 100 people come in at the top of the funnel, and maybe three people are coming out at the bottom. My question has always been, what happened to the other 97%? What happened to those people? They were interested. They just didn’t know if they wanted to buy right now, or maybe their circumstances were different. We didn’t find anything out about them. We did not engage them. We just engaged the people that were ready to buy right now. And we hope we hope someday that some of their other content will get them to, I don’t know, wake up and do something. To me, this is not the most efficient use of resources in the entire world. [2:41]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah.
RJ: I want, I don’t want a funnel anymore. I want a waterfall. I want a waterfall, Nancy, of people who, a smaller amount of people, say 20 to 30, are super interested in me and what I really want at the bottom of the waterfall. is a great big pool that everybody can swim around with, get to know each other, get to know me. Maybe we’ll be partners, maybe we’ll be referrals, maybe we’ll bundle some programs, maybe they need to buy from me. It doesn’t matter. When you enter the pool, you can swim to a different part of the pool. So, in short, giving people an epic adventure is about interacting with them, true interaction. I am not talking about likes and shares here. That is not interaction, my friend. True interactions where you get to find out about them, they get to find out about you, and by the time they fall through that waterfall, they’re already ready to do something. To me, that’s the answer to the question of where did the other 97% go? [3:49]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah. Now you claim that everyone is guessing as it relates to marketing. Why is that?
RJ: Sure, we are imprinted into our brains this idea that we need to reach the masses to be heard by a few. That is a problem because when we are thinking about the masses, then we’re thinking about a mass industrial spray and pray message. I say everybody is guessing about marketing because algorithms change, people change, worries and fears and frustrations change. It is a moving target when you are shooting for a mass of people to get a few people back. I’d rather not guess. I’d rather have a laser. [4:46]
Nancy Calabrese: Okay, but how do you develop a laser? What do you do?
RJ: Okay, well, first, we take a really good look at you. What is it that your unique thumbprint puts out there in the world? I am not interested in what everybody else is selling. I’m not interested in you being a carbon copy of something that worked for somebody else five years ago. Haven’t we seen enough of that? No, I’m really interested in what you do that’s special. How do you provide a service that is different? We move to the next step, which is who are your people? Who are the people that when they hear your voice go “Oh my God, I need to talk to her right now”? When they hear your voice or read something you’ve written or see you on a summit or in a video or something, they go, it’s like they’re hearing their favorite song for the first time, and that resonance is there. That’s what we’re working toward. And so, to build that resonance and build that laser focus, we need to know who your people are. We need to take 60 different looks from different angles. We need to dice and slice the information. We need to know who our people are for sure. And then we need to point that laser. [6:04]
Nancy Calabrese: Huh, we live in a world bombarded with marketing outreach. I’m sure you agree. And you believe in making it genuine and stand out from the crowd. How do you do that?
RJ: Oh, well, my friends. And that was something that I wrote before AI became, the new next, basically the air that we’re breathing.
Nancy Calabrese: Yep.
RJ: The way to stand out right now, as I see it in the marketplace is, to make your writing, make your video, make your podcast, make everything personal, have that thumbprint in there. Do not accept “Oh, I could send 800 messages that all say the same thing to 800 people on LinkedIn today. Let’s go ahead and press that button”. Do not accept mass, you know, mass marketing, mass messaging. It’s not the way to go. Make it personal. Make it personal because everybody is using these AI writers nowadays to, you know, throw out an article or two. You know, those sound like they’re produced by robots, Nancy. [7:20]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah, well, I think, you know, as it relates to AI, it might give you a start, but you must make it your own then. You must get into the document and use your own words so that you do stand out. And I know that you have a product, engagement first marketing. What is that?
RJ: Engagement First Marketing reframes the funnel concept into what that client’s journey is going to be like. Have you ever been to Disneyland? [7:53]
Nancy Calabrese: Me? Oh no, world. Oh no, I was on Land when I was very young.
RJ: Okay, well, Land World, both the same for the purposes of these questions. And Disneyland and Disney World, think about every moment of the journey that you are taking, and they do their best to make it a frictionless journey. What I mean by that is, this was a couple of years ago, they developed these watches that your watch opens your hotel room door. Your watch pays for dinner. Your watch basically does everything. They give you information right when you need it so that you can use it right there so you’re not carrying the cognitive load of where they say the thing was. All that kind of stuff. That intentional journey setting makes Disneyland what it is, which is a preferred destination for many, even those without kids. Yes, I’ve been there. [8:59] That…
Nancy Calabrese: Yep.
RJ: That journey is what your people need to take. That journey needs to be full of interaction with you. Some of its stuff that we kind of write into a process. The quizzes, games, choose your own adventure videos, all of these types of things allow people to get to know you at their own pace. You get to know a little bit about them, and that way, by the time they’re sitting across from you. They know that they want to be part of your tribe. They know. [9:34]
Nancy Calabrese: So, as it relates to engagement though, how many conversations or interactions do you think are necessary before, you know, you go to convert them to a client?
RJ: Absolutely. So how many engagements are necessary? We’ve all heard it takes seven to twelve times to convert people. We’ve all, you know, kind of heard that statistic. And I guess it does for some people. But for me, the interaction ramps that it’s like when you go to a three-day event. And by the end of the three-day event, at least me, I feel like I know everybody there and I’m going to terribly miss them when I go home. An event ramps up, and face-to-face ramps up the trust factor. [10:24]
Nancy Calabrese: Right.
RJ: Interaction, marketing, engagement first marketing works in the same way. It starts to help people, and it also qualifies people, which is very important, but it qualifies the right people. So, my answer to that question is that it doesn’t have to take seven to 12. If you know exactly what you provide that’s unique to this world and that they desperately need, and if you know your people, it could take one or two times and they’re sold. And they just ask you in a message, how much is it going to be? They don’t even have to sit down with you to know. [10:59]
Nancy Calabrese: Right, huh? Okay, everyone out there listening, Unfortunately, this is audio only, but our guest is a big believer in wearing capes and goggles. So, why the cape and goggles?
RJ: Yes. Oh, well, that is a little story. And the story goes like this. So, I used to be a person who offered marketing services on the Internet. I offered chatbots, which I started with those. I’ve been working with those for about six years. At the beginning of my journey, I wore a polo with my logo on the left side of my shirt chest, you know what I mean? I said the words that I was supposed to say to get picked up by SEO. I said the words that I avoided saying the words that I wasn’t supposed to say because I didn’t want Facebook to debunk my videos. You know what I mean? I did all the things that you’re supposed to be able to do and it was boring. [12:01]
Nancy Calabrese: Okay.
RJ: Nobody really was super attracted to me, and I didn’t know why because I know a heck of a lot. And so anyway, I was low-key looking for a solution to that problem. I ran into a lady who was putting on an event. When she was describing the event, she said it was going to be themed as a superhero event. And I, being a smart aleck, wrote in the comments, “Oh, well, if it’s a superhero event, I’m wearing a cape”. And she stopped the event. She read my name out and she said, “RJ Redden, you bleep and well better wear a cape”. And then she went on with her presentation and I’m like, okay, I think I’m committed now. And so, you know what? I bought a cape on Amazon for $7.97, came with an itchy mask that did not fit my head properly. And I went to this superhero event dressed up. [13:05] Now,
Nancy Calabrese: I love it.
RJ: Was anybody else dressed up? No, they were not, Nancy. It was really just me. But what I found out was so important. Here I was trying to stand out in all the ways that they tell you to stand out and no one was interested. I put on a cape and goggles. People came up to me. They came running up and asking me about the cape and goggles. And I realized that I didn’t have to worry about being shy anymore because they’re… [13:37]
Nancy Calabrese: Yeah.
RJ: Running across the room to talk to me. And I also, here’s the really important part. Here’s the part that changed everything for me. I could just be myself in the conversation because they weren’t expecting a marketing expert. They were expecting a person who’s crazy enough to wear a caping mask to an event. They weren’t expecting a normal conversation. So, I could really be myself, and connect with them. [14:09]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow.
RJ: And that just, that tipped it all off. I started wearing a cape and goggles everywhere when I was working when I was working.
Nancy Calabrese: It’s your brand.
RJ: I don’t wear it to walk the dog unless I forget to take it off.
Nancy Calabrese: Come on. That’s a whole other business that you develop, right?
RJ: My wife will be so happy to hear that.
Nancy Calabrese: So, yeah, well, listen, cape goggles, we’re cackling. What is a fun fact about you want to share with the audience?
RJ: Oh my gosh. All right, I’ll share with you the most fun fact I have. This is known between my sisters and me as the can you be my friend question. Because if you can be my friend after hearing this fact, then you can really be my friend. Okay, so I’m eight years old. Picture it, Omaha, Nebraska. I’m eight. I have a sister who’s two years older. I have a sister who’s two years younger. My mom was a very interesting human and married some very, very interesting humans that really, you know, they believed, my mom and my stepdad and there you know, the crew that hung around them, they believed that the world was too commercialized, that we really, what we really needed to do was head to Oregon in a 1950 bus that had been renovated, and I say that with air quotes, renovated into an air quote mobile home and live off of the land while the guys panned for gold. There was a group of about eight to 10 of us, depending on which leg of the trip we were on. We drove the bus to Oregon. It took us a month and a half because that bus was not in good repair, my friends. [15:57]
Nancy Calabrese: Oh my goodness.
RJ: And we stayed in the mountains. They panned for gold and that was going to be our lives. And my grandmother flew to see us. She came up the side of the mountain and she said to my mother, “Rebecca, I love you. You can do whatever you want for the rest of your life, and I will always love you. And that’s never going away. But unless you move to a home with plumbing and a school for the kids to go to, I’m taking them home with me”. It was a thing. And so very quickly, there were plans and we moved into a place with plumbing. I just thought it was so fantastic. That is how I spent the summer of 1983. And I think from there, you can probably guess a lot about me. That’s the most fun fact I have. [16:49]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow, I don’t think I can top that one. I don’t think I’ve heard one like that. That’s quite an experience and I’m sure a memory that’s never going to fade in your mind.
RJ: Oh no.
Nancy Calabrese: No, you know, we’re coming up to the end of our program. What is the one takeaway you want to leave the audience with?
RJ: Here’s the takeaway. Many, many people, particularly when you’re first in business, many, many people will, you know, they’ll want to show you the way. They’ll want to give you the 18-step program or, you know, whatever they want to do. If you ever get into a coaching relationship or a program that demands that you be someone else to accomplish the goals, run, run away. [17:44]
Nancy Calabrese: Yep, totally agree.
RJ: That’s right. You must be yourself. You must embrace and own that brilliance for you to shine brightly out there because there’s a lot of noise out there, my friends. But you, if you’re resonating with the sound of my voice right now, if you know that that’s the truth, do it. Always embrace the path that lets you be you first and you’ll get to your goals faster. [18:08]
Nancy Calabrese: Cool. Now I’m going to tell you a funny story talking about being yourself. So, I have curly hair. And when I was growing up, in high school, it was not cool to have curly hair. And I would spend hours under a blow dryer with huge rollers to straighten my hair. As soon as I got outside, it would curl. So fast forward, I finally graduated high school. And then I did something dramatic. I got my hair cut short and I let it curl. And when I let it curl, I was free. [18:46]
Nancy Calabrese: I was me. So that kind of coincides with your story of being true to yourself. How can my people find you?
RJ: Oh, well, there are many places to find me. I am always lurking around that LinkedIn platform. Yes, look me up, RJ Redden. Obviously, I would love to connect with you there. Also, there’s just, you know, there’s my website, obviously, blackbeltbots.com. Black belts like in Karate Ninjas, that’s totally my branding. So, RJ at blackbeltbots.com. And you know, if you want to meet with me, meet with RJ.com, we’ll send you right to my calendar, and we can get into some ninja strategy for whatever you’re going through. And have some fun in the meantime. [19:42]
Nancy Calabrese: Wow. And remember everybody to wear your cape when you meet with her.
RJ: That’s right. That’s right, my friends. Any sort of cape, a prop of some kind, I accept wigs, whatever you got.
Nancy Calabrese: Oh, and every cut, this is too funny. So, listen, you were great. I’m going to have you back on the show and everyone take advantage of RJ’s expertise and her approach to business at the end of the day, it’s going to be a lot of fun. So, make it a great sales day, everyone. [20:15]