On today’s episode of Steal the Show, we’re talking about using search engine optimization (SEO) to drive conference organizers and meeting planners to your speaker website.

Stephan Spencer is an SEO expert and bestselling author of three books: The Art of SEO, Social eCommerce, and Google Power Search. He has optimized the websites of some of the biggest brands in the world, including Chanel,  Sony, Volvo, and Zappos. He founded the marketing agency Netconcepts, which was acquired in 2010 and now remains a part of a multi-billion dollar ad agency conglomerate. You can listen to Stephan on his two podcasts: Get Yourself Optimized and Marketing Speak.

Special Bonus for Steal the Show Listeners:

Stephan put together a cornucopia of SEO gifts for you, including an SEO hiring blueprint, SEO myths, and chapter 7 of his gargantuan book, The Art of SEO.

How You Can Steal the Show

  • Distinguish between organic and paid search engine optimization and what each one means for growing your speaker site’s visibility.
  • Discover the value of quality inbound links.
  • Scrub the dirty little secret about meta keywords.
  • Unpack what Google will reward you for right now.
  • Identify the three rules for determining effective keywords in SEO.
  • Learn what “pogo sticking” and “dwell time” are, and why they matter for your website’s Google ranking.
  • Discover what you need to know about how your target audience searches online.
  • Find out how to use SEO to pre-empt the competition.
  • Implement the philosophy “go where the fish are” when you’re looking to get people to click through to your site.
  • Consider the effects of the “no follow” option on your inbound links.
  • Find out who  the “Linkerati” is (and why you should target it).
  • Understand why SEO matters when it comes to a referral’s first impressions.
  • Discover the best place to post your TEDx talk on your website.
  • Find out the number one metric for the number two search engine.

Alumni Highlights

Discover how professional speaker Scott Wintrip receives his coveted high-profile keynote gigs.

Michael Port: (00:02)
So yes, you absolutely want to go to where the fish are because if there are no fish where you are attempting to fish, you’re definitely not going to catch any fish. But sometimes you go to where the fish are. You know, you can see on your fish finder that they are all over the place. You’re just marking fish nonstop, but you can’t seem to get them to bite because you’re there at the wrong time. Welcome to steal the show with Michael port. This is Michael. Today’s guest is Stephan Spencer. He’s an SEO expert and bestselling author of three books, the art of SEO, social, e-commerce and Google power search. He’s optimized the websites of some of the biggest brands in the world, including Chanel, Sony, Volvo, and Zappos. He’s founded the marketing agency net concepts, which was acquired in 2010 and is now part of a multibillion dollar ad agency conglomerate Stephan hosts two popular podcasts, get yourself optimized and marketing speak. And without further ado, here’s Stephan. Stephan, how are you?

Stephan Spencer: (01:14)
I’m doing great. Thanks for having me. Well, I’m very, very, very happy to have you because I I’ve scheduled this for completely selfish reasons. I don’t care if my audience gets anything out of this episode. It’s all for me. I just Mitt that I’ve done that before with my shows. Well, look, they’re, they’re gonna love it because we’re going to get really deep, deep into SEO or we’re going to get very tactical and and look, even if somebody doesn’t want to speak all the time what we’ll be addressing is going to apply to anyone that puts anything on the web, I would assume. Yes, yes. And let me make one distinction here. Yes, we’ll get tactical, but I also want to really underline that we’re going to get very strategic because in the art of war, there’s a great quote that goes, something like tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

Michael Port: (02:08)
So there’s going to be lots of great strategy. We’re just going to make it all practical. Ah, much better. I like that. Good. So let’s, let’s jump right into it with the question about growing your websites, visibility in organic and not paid. And I want to make a distinction. I’d like you to make sure that everybody understands the distinction between those two things. So why don’t you do that first, why don’t we define make sure everybody understands the difference in organic search results and paid search results. And then of course, why SEO organic is so important. Yeah. Well, I’ll distinguish it in two ways. First is the obvious way where you just see that the paid results have a little ad icon next to them, and that means that they’re paying for the clicks that’s different

Stephan Spencer: (03:00)
From the organic results, which are kind of like editorially provided results. Think of, yeah, the newspaper there is editorial and there’s advertising the other way. I’ll distinguish it as saying that with paid, when you are spending money advertising, it’s not building an asset in the way that you are building an asset when you’re doing SEO. Because with let’s say link-building as part of SEO, and we’ll talk more about this later, but let’s say you great, let’s say build some great links and like I got a link from Stanford university, I got a link from Harvard business review, I actually did. So that was pretty awesome and that stays with me. They’re not going to just remove that link. So that’s an asset that is going to pay dividends over time. Even if I stopped doing SEO, take let’s say a six months sabbatical, I’ll still get benefit for that whole time. So that’s a very important distinction.

Michael Port: (03:58)
It’s a really, really wonderful distinction and an important point because you know, if you look at the, the different initiatives that you put forth in your business, it’s really helpful to think about whether or not the thing is a one off initiative or if it’s something that will build a compound returns over time. And we’re really keenly focused on leveraging the time that we spend and the effort that we put out. And if you’re just buying attention, then you’re not building any longterm value, not building an asset. You just get what you pay for for that moment and then that’s it. But if you’re focusing on

Stephan Spencer: (04:43)
[Inaudible], it gets more expensive over time and you’re not adding value. It is interruption marketing. So I am not against advertising. I just don’t think it’s the most effective kind of bang for your buck.

Michael Port: (04:56)
Yeah. And look, you know, for there are definitely speakers who will pay for advertising. And you know, I’ve heard some great success stories, but I’ve also oddly enough at a conference recently I heard someone say that SEO is dead. And I always do that. And then recently I heard someone else, he’s not in the business of selling ads, but he said to me, he’s like, if your business is not running paper click ads, if you’re not running Facebook ads and Google ads, you’re done. There’s not a business that’s going to be successful. I mean, he’s, when I said, Whoa, I don’t even know what to say about that. And I think it’s so important for every single business owner to chart their own path, their own course, because there isn’t one way to do this work. And, and

Stephan Spencer: (05:42)
You know what else? That this is a common ploy that speakers use. I just heard it three weeks ago at a abundance three 60. So one of the speakers, he gave this quote, I don’t know if it is from Elon Musk or whoever, but that they’re going to be two kinds of businesses by the end of this decade. Businesses that are employing artificial intelligence and those that are out of business. And of course that is very provocative and frightening and all that. But that’s, that’s how it works. You get on stage and you, you polarize you, you freak people out. That’s a, you know, FID fear, uncertainty and doubt

Michael Port: (06:23)
And it’s so unnecessary and just not part of the, you know, world in which we want to operate. We certainly have to live in it, but we don’t have to operate in it.

Stephan Spencer: (06:32)
Yeah. So SEO, bottom line, SEO is not dead. It’s not going to die until Google is dead. I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Michael Port: (06:40)
Probably not too soon. All right. So so why does, so some people have tried some SEO in the past. Maybe they’ve hired, you know, a consultant to help them with it. But they haven’t had success. So why, what does it not work for some people and how can we change that so that we could benefit from search engine optimization you know, as speakers or small business owners.

Stephan Spencer: (07:10)
Yeah. So SEO doesn’t work when you do it badly. That’s the bottom line. If you, let’s say that you go out with a budget of $5,000 and you want to buy a new house for your family, you will fail. Let’s say that you don’t bother with the home inspection and you don’t bother getting a mortgage or anything and you don’t have enough money to pay for the house, you will fail. So if you are doing stuff that is not aligned with your best interests, you just don’t know what you don’t know. And you try to hire somebody when you do hire somebody, but they’re terrible at SEO. You just don’t know it and they backed out.

Michael Port: (07:49)
How can you figure that out? I mean, I, you know, like I could just say easily just, you know, call Stephan and you’ll be fine. But let’s say, you know, somebody is, you know, doesn’t have access to you for some reason or couldn’t come work with you. How can they determine whether or not somebody actually can produce results? Because it, it seems very very difficult for people if they don’t have contextual knowledge of the subject. And and, and you know, it’s sort of like eh, you know, someone’s trying to sell you a very complicated financial product and it doesn’t make any sense to you is very hard to analyze whether or not it’s it’s a good deal for you. And just for the record, if you, if it’s very complicated, it’s probably not a good deal for you that’s in finance, but what about an SEO? How do you determine whether or not somebody actually knows what they’re doing?

Stephan Spencer: (08:44)
Yeah, well, if it’s me, then I just do a second interview before, you know, on behalf of my client. And then they know after the interview whether the person’s full of hot air or not. I remember doing one interview and I asked him what was your, what was your favorite SEO tool? And he said majestic SEO. And I knew him by then. It was already over, but I wanted to confirm it because majestic rebranded from majestic SEO to majestic a long time ago. So I asked him a leading question. I said, what’s that metric in majestic? That is the really important metric. That was the leading question because there are two metrics, not one. The original metric AC rank was deprecated many years ago and replaced with trust flow and citation flow. So I’m getting really geeky here, but I was able to ask. So kind of those kind of geeky questions and I knew it, he failed he, he said AC rank and I wrapped up quickly the interview cause it was always time. This guy was full of it. Now if you don’t have those kind of skills or that kind of knowledge around SEO, no problem. I’ve got this SEO BS detector. So it’s a free download. I do, it’s a free download on stuff and spencer.com and there are trick questions in there that have only one right answer and you can slip those into the interview process. You don’t have to know SEO from a hole in the ground and you can suss out whether they’re full of hot air or not.

Michael Port: (10:11)
That’s fantastic. I feel so proud of my question that it elicited something so valuable for the, for the listener. That’s really cool. Yeah, that’s true.

Stephan Spencer: (10:21)
Seven step hiring process to that. The, the trick questions in the interview is just one part of that seven step process. So that’s also a free download. In fact, I’ll, I’ll create a a downloads page of free gifts for your listeners. I’ll put it@marketingspeak.com slash S T S. Okay. So I’ll put it there. I’ll put the hiring blueprint, the a BS detector and whatever cool stuff we end up talking about, I’ll just throw it all in there.

Michael Port: (10:53)
Fantastic. And we’ll of course put that link in the show notes. If anybody missed it while they were driving, don’t write while you’re driving. Please. you can go listen to check out the show notes later and you’ll find that link. So can we talk about key words? Because I, you know, I remember, you know, when I first started learning about SEO back in the day, everything was about keywords. And then I heard keywords were all of a sudden not relevant anymore because people were gaming the system. Yeah. And then it’s back and it’s not as bad. I don’t know. So what’s the skinny on keywords? Okay, well we got to distinguish

Stephan Spencer: (11:28)
What we’re talking about here with keywords. So you were mixing two different kinds of keywords, meta keywords, which never counted in Google. That’s actually one of the trick questions. You can just ask in the interview process. So what’s your process for optimizing my medic keywords? The only right answer for that is what medic keywords are you serious? Google never counted them. Why are you asking such a stupid question?

Michael Port: (11:50)
We’ll leave off that part. But the, the, the reason why

Stephan Spencer: (11:54)
Medic keywords never counted is because they were just easily spammed. They were never displayed as part of the page copies. So you could stuff whatever you wanted in there. And so back before Google info seek, I don’t know if you remember that search engine, but you could spend the heck out of that search tension with Medicare words. So we don’t want to waste any time talking about medic words other than to know that that’s one of the trick questions in my BS detector. The other type of keyword is what someone’s going to type into Google when they’re doing a search or what they’re going to speak to Google, right? Okay Google and then dah, dah, dah, dah. So those kinds of key words matter a lot. Now Google has advanced so much since the early days, early days, I mean like, I don’t know, a decade ago. So what they have now is so smart, these machine learning algorithms that understand the intent of the searcher, even if they’re not using quite the right words.

Stephan Spencer: (12:55)
So it’s not a word match, although people are still typing in the words. So you want to check your rankings and target those keywords and so forth. But you want to think in terms of topics. Google calls these entities, but you don’t need to use Google speak. You can just think of them as topics. And when you are trying to rank for a topic, you have multiple keywords that are associated with that topic. So let’s say that you wanted to rank for speaking or you know, the speaking business. Well, there are other kinds of permutations of that topic or in various keyword forms like the business of speaking, the speaking business. You could drop the word the and just say, speaking business, et cetera. And those are all part of the topic space. Now, when you’re thinking of a topic, let’s say that I’ll just use lawnmowers as an example.

Stephan Spencer: (13:51)
If you want to rank for lawnmowers, you gotta think in terms of what are the related keywords. What are known in SEO speak is LSI keywords, latent semantic indexing. If you’re really into the geeky, a TLAs three letter acronyms. So these LSI keywords are just related keywords to the topic at hand. You’re trying to rank for, let’s say it’s lawn mowers. So if you don’t talk about grass or yards or lawns or weed whackers or landscaping or anything else, it’s all just lawnmower, lawnmower, lawnmower, over and over again. That’s a very surface level. Just very thin piece of content that you’re writing. And Google is not going to reward you for that. So keywords and gives, it, gives you kind of a something to focus on. It’s, it’s like the lighthouse shining. It’s, it’s a light to you so you’d know where you’re going. And then you need to think of, okay, what’s the constellation of keywords that I’m targeting around that topic so that I don’t look like I’m thin content or the content I’m creating.

Michael Port: (15:02)
So let, let’s use a hypothetical example of a speaker, because you know, sometimes speakers think of themselves as a leadership speaker or a marketing speaker or you know, some other broad category of speaker. And if somebody is in search of a leadership speaker there are certainly thousands and thousands of others that may also consider themselves leadership speakers. So how can somebody identify the best, most effective keywords? How do they drill down deeper so that when people are searching on key words or key phrases that are in fact relevant to what they do, they might actually be found. What’s the process like for trying to drill down deeper into what kind of leadership? So that it’s much more specific.

Stephan Spencer: (15:57)
Yeah. Well, there are a bunch of different tools that will help you with this brainstorming process. But I first wanted to give, give you a kind of a checklist of what’s going to make an effective keyword. So there are really three things that will make for an effective keyword. If you’re going to target, let’s say leadership speaker as an example. First of all, is this a popular keyword? If nobody’s searching for it, then it’s kind of pointless, right? It might be you and a couple of competitors and that’s it. Out of the entire country, that’s not useful. So that’s gotta be popular. Number two, it’s gotta actually have the ability for you to rank for it a lot. Not enough or not too much competition, right? It’s gotta be,

Michael Port: (16:45)
You’re going to have a hard time competing against Marcus Buckingham for leadership,

Stephan Spencer: (16:49)
Right? If, if Marcus Buckingham is already ranking on page one, if you see that the page one results are full of really high authority speakers, high authority websites, you have a lot of kind of building up of your own reputation to do first your own authority and trust scores in the eyes of Google before you can rank for that kind of a keyword, you start smaller. In other words, maybe it’s a, maybe, I don’t know, I haven’t checked the numbers, but leadership keynote speaker might be less competitive and easier for you to get on page one, four. So that might be a more tangible keyword. So that’s number two is more attainable and the number three, of course it’s gotta be relevant to your business. If I’m, I dunno, some trending topic is very popular right now and has nothing to do with your business is just trying to ride on the coattails of it.

Stephan Spencer: (17:42)
I remember doing a, a speech for genius network and I used some examples from the audience. I got their permission in advance. And I remember finding Tom Brady shirtless as a key word that was driving traffic to this particular financial site. And I raised that as an example. And, and yeah, I became known as the Tom Brady shirtless guy. So that was really fun to provide a totally irrelevant example. And the reason why he ranked forward is because he was talking about such bizarre topics is this in his blog, he’s very funny and it’s a just very entertaining and engaging.

Michael Port: (18:21)
No, what happens though, what if you, you know, you’re getting a lot of traffic for some search terms you know, that really are not relevant to you, but because you know, these terms are showing up in your content like Tom Brady shirtless if people are searching for Tom Bertie shirtless, but they ended up on a financial advisor’s website they may not in fact have any interest in financial advice and then they’re going to bounce off that site quickly. And I don’t know, does Google then track how fast people are bouncing off sites when they’ve gone through organic search so that they know whether or not that site stay is actually relevant for that person?

Stephan Spencer: (18:59)
Of course, yes. This is a something called Pogo sticking when people bounce off of the site and then go click on some other search listing. So they’re not tracking your bounce rate. They’re not tracking your time on site. Those are metrics that are private to you inside of your Google analytics. Google is not using that information against you. That would be unethical. And also everybody would leave in droves from Google analytics and go to Adobe analytics or something else if Google were using that information against you. But dwell time is something that Google can see without looking into your Google analytics. They’re tracking the clicks from the search results to various webpages and you’ll see that because you’ll see there’s a, a link that goes through Google URL and then it ends up redirecting to the website in question. So,

Michael Port: (19:50)
So dwell time is the, is the dwell dwell time is the length of time somebody is spending on a page

Stephan Spencer: (19:56)
Before they go back and do another search or click on another listing. Yeah. So if the dwell time looks good for the kind of query, and so then this gets really sophisticated. If I’m just looking for a very simple, you know, how tall is the Eiffel tower sort of query, you know the answer to that, then I don’t need to spend much time on the website while I’ll get actually the answer directly from Google. So they cut out the middle man. But the idea here is if it’s a very simple question, I can jump right into grab that answer, bounce right out of your site cause I got the answer. Then Google’s not gonna penalize you for that. But if it’s something that looks like it should be a substantial piece of content that needs to be delivered to answer that query and they spend a fraction of a second on your site and they’re out and then click on another listing in Google, then Google knows that that is the case. Now I wanted to circle back to how do people actually know that a keyword is popular? A searchers, because there’s, there, there are some free, easy to use tools that will help you do that. And I should probably list a few of these for, for your listener.

Michael Port: (21:00)
Yeah, please. That would be great. Yeah. I just want to make sure that we covered all three of the elements that you started with. You were listing out.

Stephan Spencer: (21:09)
Yup. Yup. So popular, attainable and relevant. Yes. Popular, attainable and relevant. Good. Yup. So the popular part, if we simply go to some free tools, we can get an a general idea whether it’s popular or not. I’m thinking for example, of Google trends. So if you go to trends.google.com you can use this tool for free and it will give you a different comparisons. You gotta put in the multiple keywords with commas separating them, and then you can compare these different keywords to each other such as keynote speaker versus leadership keynote speaker. Right? So you might get some surprising results by comparing these two different keywords. I don’t know. I haven’t done that one. But I remember for example, searching for let’s say digital camera and digital cameras and being surprised by the results that the singular is way more popular than the plural. Of course the search volume for that keyword, both of them is massively on the decline because every camera now is digital. So thinking in terms of digital commerce cameras though, if you are targeting digital cameras, you’ve kind of missed the Mark. You’re a little, you’re too late.

Michael Port: (22:35)
Yeah, it might be too late. But unless you’re trying to go after an older segment of the population. So my father might put in digital camera cause he still thinks of cameras as having film in them. I mean he, he may at least subconsciously think like that, but a 25 year old is probably not going to put digital camera.

Stephan Spencer: (22:52)
Great. Yeah. So that also brings into the point that you need to understand your target audience and how they search, what problems they’re trying to solve, not just the problems that are external. And, and like the idea of an external problem versus an internal problem. I got this from Donald Miller from his building, a StoryBrand book. But if you think about what is the external problem, that’s the outward problem that people are trying to solve. It’s really obvious the spoken problem. In other words, however, the internal problem is when you kind of keep to yourself, you don’t maybe even articulate it to yourself. You just know that it’s just something that doesn’t feel right. So let me give you an example. And this actually comes from Donald’s book. Carmax never targets the external problem with their advertising, their or anything. That external problem being, I need a car. Where do I go? Like a used car. The internal problem, however, is how you feel about going to buy a car. If you think about what is it, what does it like to go to, I don’t know, the nearby car lot. Hop out of your car. Start walking, walking through the aisles looking at cars. What happens within a minute? As soon as you get there

Michael Port: (24:16)
You can start looking at all the cars now. You start getting harassed. It’s always a guy coming out, the next guy up, you know, in the, in the round Robin and he’s on your really quickly,

Stephan Spencer: (24:28)
Oh my God, it can’t, you can’t even breathe. How am I supposed to even know what car I want? When you give me 30 seconds at most, I like, I’m, I’m, I’m getting the high pressure tactics. I’m gotten just really stressed out. Nobody likes that. Very few people at least like that process of the, the used car salesperson just that their high pressure tactics on you, like a fly on, you know what? So CarMax addresses that internal problem and says, we don’t offer the, you know, that’s traditional sales process for the car where you’re going to get harassed by a salesperson. We don’t have salespeople. We just give you all the information we have. There’s no information asymmetry like the, a typical car salesperson has all the details about the car, the things that are wrong with it that they’re not going to tell you. Like they’re the invoice price and dah, dah, dah, dah, right? So we share everything with you. So that’s what’s called an agreement plan. This is not really SEO, but the idea of knowing what is the real problem, the unspoken problem and what’s going on inside of the mind of that searcher, that ideal kind of target customer avatar is so important because then you can preamble. How’s

Michael Port: (25:49)
That? Yeah, I’m going to hope that speakers and imagine that speakers are going to be even more tuned into this already then many businesses because this is the speaker’s job. This is the thought leaders job to understand deeply you know, what what the world looks like to the people that they serve, both on a conscious level, a subconscious level and more. You know, it’s interesting, I got a nice compliment from somebody this weekend. Amy and I were at an event for the Archangel community and are speaking at this event. And someone said, Oh, I love your podcast. You’re, you’re such a good interviewer. And I said, I really appreciate that. I actually don’t think of myself as a great interviewer. But what I do think is that I understand my listeners really well so that when I’m talking a guest, I can, I can help organize, reframe and, and, and guide the guest to be able to address issues that the people I serve have. And that’s really our job ultimately. So this is good news for speakers, especially those who are going, Oh God, the SEO sounds too complicated, too technical. They may already be ahead of the game because they really do understand the people they serve on a deep level. So that’s good news.

Stephan Spencer: (27:11)
That is good news and there’s always another level, another level of understanding and depth. So let me give you a quick example and what’s used a conference organizers as the target audience because that’s who we’re hopefully trying to reach with that leadership, keynote speaker sort of search query. How can we preempt even that process of finding the leadership keynote speaker and maybe even help influence the buying criteria that the conference organizer is using against us or our competition? Right? That would be pretty powerful. But then we have to think about what’s happening earlier in that that journey the conference organizer is going on. So they’re trying to figure out like, what’s the venue? Well, before they’re trying to figure out who the speakers are, I would guess, right? That’s usually the first thing that they got to now. Like, all right, we need the event venue and

Michael Port: (28:08)
It’s tough to go out to, you know, to busy speakers without a, an event, location and date,

Stephan Spencer: (28:13)
Right? So they got to nail that first. If you think about all the things that have to happen before they finally get to the point of, all right, I know that the topic is going to be leadership. I know that we need the keynote speaker first. That’s the most important. We need that headliner and dadadada. What happens before that? Who thinks about this sort of stuff is going to win, right? Who doesn’t think about it and just thinks, all right, I need to understand and empathize with the conference organizer and duh, duh, duh. And they’re just thinking about that tail end of the journey. They’re missing out. So let me give you a hypothetical example that I use when I’m speaking about SEO. I’ll, I’ll mention that straight. What, what’s something that that a new parent or an almost a to B parent is going to want to look for online and buy and then I’ll get it as an answer, like a bassinet or something, right?

Stephan Spencer: (29:09)
And they’ll say, well, as somebody who is selling a bassinet, right? So let’s say I’m a baby furniture retailer, I want to preempt all my competition and help set the Bryant buying criteria of that expectant parent. How can I do that? How can I go earlier in the buyer journey? What will people be searching for earlier on that are exactly my target audience expect in parents in this case, what can I be targeting? Now think about what happens when you come home from the ultrasound visit where you found out the sex of the baby. You’re so excited. Oh my God, it’s a boy or it’s a girl. Think about what you do. The first thing that you hop onto Google and what do you search for as soon as you got home from that doctor’s appointment? What do you think?

Michael Port: (29:58)
Maybe paint colors for the room,

Stephan Spencer: (30:02)
Maybe before you’re even thinking about the whole nesting thing. Yeah, this is early on.

Michael Port: (30:10)
Announcements may be like baby announcements, you know? Yeah, it’s a boy. You getting a little warmer, but it’s been a long time since I’ve had kids and I [inaudible] so this is all very fresh for me.

Stephan Spencer: (30:25)
Five months old. But the idea here of Oh my God, it’s a boy. What are we going to name it? Right.

Michael Port: (30:32)
Oh, the names you have, right sir. That’s funny because I knew what I wanted to name my son since I was in high school and that made me maybe wild, but yeah.

Stephan Spencer: (30:40)
Okay, so you search for baby names and if you target baby names and all your competition is targeting baby bassinets and baby cribs and bassinets for babies and all that. And they completely are. They’re clueless about baby names. You can kind of fly under the radar and swoop in and get all those expectant parents before they’ve started thinking about outfitting the baby’s room, right? And so make sure that you get a, this kind of a bassinet and not this kind and you know all the, the decor and all this sort of stuff. And you can set those buying criteria, have an essential nesting checklist. It’s a free download.

Michael Port: (31:17)
That is fantastic advice. You’re, you’re getting to the buyer earlier in the process before they even started thinking about basket hats you’re helping them realize that they’re going to need a bassinet earlier on in that process. Or you’re connecting with them in some way around the thing that they’re searching for. And then later you have the opportunity because you’re earning trust over time. You can make the sales offers for the best and that’s this really well done.

Stephan Spencer: (31:47)
That is so Ninja. And now let’s apply that to this hypothetical scenario that we just talked about prior to the expectant parent, the conference organizer. What’s the conference organizer going to need to do to, they’re going to need to secure a venue, for example. There’s so many different things. What could you have as a free resource, a download or something that would be so invaluable for that conference organizer?

Michael Port: (32:14)
Yeah, it could be a like a marketing plan for conferences. It could be you know, tips for saving money but producing, you know, more a value experiential value for the audience members. There’s a number of different things you could jump in there earlier with that I can see as value adds for them.

Stephan Spencer: (32:36)
Yeah. So take the example that I offered early on in this interview, I said I’ve got a BS detector that will help you suss out whether somebody is full of hot air or not. When you’re hiring an SEO, you could do the same thing for the conference organizer.

Michael Port: (32:50)
Yeah. I don’t remember the response that I had. I went, Oh my God, that’s incredible. That’s, that’s exactly what somebody would need.

Stephan Spencer: (32:57)
Yeah. And I also said I have a seven step hiring blueprint. What if you had a seven step hiring blueprint for hiring that keynote speaker or for filling your agenda with all the different breakout speakers? Yeah. Right. That’s really good. What if you had an overall checklist of the entire process, everything from a securing the venue and negotiating with catering and dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, all the way through getting all the individual breakout speakers as well as the big headliner keynotes.

Michael Port: (33:25)
Yeah. And you could do, you know, you can do something on, you know you know, how to determine whether or not somebody you know, can actually deliver you know, as a speaker. I mean there’s, there’s also more you could do on the actual speaking side, on the performance side, on the quality of the speaker side. For those folks who feel like, well, I don’t know if I would do something on, you know, marketing or vendors cause that’s not my thing, but, but, but it’s, but instead of thinking, just you know, just about these particular examples, if you think about it from a conceptual perspective, there’s a lot of value there. And I think you can apply this principle really of trying to add value earlier in the process rather than only when it’s time to, you know for somebody to be looking for you. You’ll see that there’s opportunities to do this in a number of different aspects of your relationship development. Not even just an SEO.

Stephan Spencer: (34:24)
Yeah. So good. Right. And now are you a fisherman? Yes, I am. Okay. So don’t you want to go to Fisher ads when you’re fishing? Let’s be clear. Let me just be clear.

Michael Port: (34:35)
I’m a fisherman. I’m, I’m not promising I’m a great fisherman. So I just, I just want to be clear on that. Okay.

Stephan Spencer: (34:41)
Okay. But as a, as someone who likes to fish, yes, no, you’d go to where the fish are. I try. Yeah. Well you try. So that’s the whole point when we’re going to where the fish are. That makes a lot of sense. And the fish are where the search volumes are higher, not where there is zero or close to zero. Right. So if we are trying to think about, all right, I’m going to create this really valuable piece of content and it’s earlier on in the buyer journey. I’m so excited. This is going to be really helpful. It’s, it’s a selection matrix for selecting the topics and then the speakers for my keynotes, and I’m going to put it out there for all the conference organizers and I want to make sure that I’m fishing for, you know, where the fish are. So I’m going to do my keyword research using tools like Google trends. But if you have a bit of money using tools like Moz keyword Explorer, and I think that might be 70 bucks a month or something like that. Now you can get real numbers and not just a percentage. And then you can say, all right, so my conference organizer targets are searching for this keyword but not this other keyword in relation to this really valuable piece of content I’m creating. And then you know that you’re going to where the fish are,

Michael Port: (35:59)
You know? So let me add to that analogy if I may. So yes, you absolutely want to go to the where the fish are. Because if there are no fish where you are attempting to fish, you’re definitely not going to catch any fish. But sometimes you go to where the fish are, you know, you can see on your fish finder that they are all over the place. You’re just marking fish nonstop. But you can’t seem to get them to bite cause you’re there at the wrong time. And one of the things that people who fish know is that the fish don’t always bite. It’s strange. You think, well why, why aren’t they, I mean if someone puts a cookie in front of me, I’m going to take it. But fish don’t always seem to take the bait. They are very, at least where I fish, they’re very likely to be active within two hours before and after a change in the direction of the current.

Michael Port: (36:53)
So when the, when the, when the when the current is going one way it, you know, they may not actually do anything, but when it starts to change is when they might start getting active again. And if you know, okay, I know what my, I know when the tides are going up and down, so then the currents are going to be changing. As a result then you can go to where the fish are at the right time so you can hook up quite quickly, catch your limit, go in, cook up your fish and you had a successful day on the water rather than just sitting there for 12 hours hoping at some point, you know, some, a fish will take the bait.

Stephan Spencer: (37:31)
Yup. That is such an important point. And I would refer to this more generally as the ability to calibrate. So if I’m trying to get on TV for example, to contact the TV producers, cold cold, call them at let’s say 8:00 AM is not calibrating. They’re so busy with Trent and they’re probably currently running the morning show and they don’t have time to take calls. But if you call it four in the morning, nobody else is working. You know, it’s like a ghost town in the news department there. They’re trying to plan out the morning, they have the ability to take a call and they will take it usually. So you could do a cold call pitch to be on their morning program and get through and you know, they’re, they’re receptive, a lot more receptive than they would be at 8:00 AM. So you can apply that same thought process when you’re doing SEO. Like what is this person doing? This conference organizer, for example, at this stage of the game, are they running around like a chicken with their head cut off or are, do have a little bit of time and space to think about who the different speakers are going to be.

Michael Port: (38:41)
Yeah. And the last thing we ever want to do is send an email or make a call and then two back, two days later send another email saying, Hey, listen, I’m just following up. You haven’t written me back. Cause you know, they could be running an event and you know, if you’re, if you’re intruding on their time in a way that feels aggressive or that you don’t understand what their life is like, then they may not be inclined to write back. So let me ask you another question. This time about social media. How does social media affects search results and where should speakers put their efforts when there are just so many different platforms that they might be able to use?

Stephan Spencer: (39:24)
Yeah. So there are, there’s a lot of mythology around social media and how it benefits SEO. So first of all, let me just dispel this big myth that links in social media actually count as far as Google is concerned, right? Each link to your website is like a vote. Unless that vote has been canceled, has been negated by what’s called a no-follow. If, if the webmaster, the blogger, whoever is linking to you, the journalist adds that no follow attribute, then you do not get any credit as far as Google is concerned from that link. So if it’s a, an irregular length that passes link equity, then you’re great. Okay. So you need to keep that in mind first. Now, where was I heading? Remind me again of the question.

Michael Port: (40:17)
Oh yeah, it was social [inaudible] you were saying social actually might not give you that much juice.

Stephan Spencer: (40:22)
So all of the social platforms, every single one, even ones you wouldn’t even think of as social, like Wikipedia, they all know follow their links. External links. Yes. Wow.

Michael Port: (40:35)
So even so, if someone puts a link links to you from Twitter, like, Hey, you know, I just saw this incredible speech with you know, with Stephan Spencer you gotta go check them out here, you know, and then put the website that, that Twitter automatically puts a no follow on that.

Stephan Spencer: (40:52)
Yeah. Wow. Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, everything, everything. Facebook, Facebook, of course. Yes.

Michael Port: (41:01)
Fantastic. I mean, it’s just, I’m saying fantastic because it’s good to, it’s good that everybody knows this now.

Stephan Spencer: (41:08)
Yeah. But on the positive side, if you go to fish where the fish are, if you know that conference organizers are hanging out in a particular community, a Facebook group a they, they follow a particular Instagram influence or something, then having a link in that community or in that influencers account. Can you noticed, especially if you’re targeting what I refer to as the linkerati, I’m not the only one who refers to them as that. Like Rand Fishkin, my coauthor on the first two additions of the art of SEO, which is my book on SEO, it’s like a thousand pages now, literally while 994 pages. So I guess not literally,

Michael Port: (41:52)
Oh you should, you really, I think you fell short. You really should have written another six, you know, I mean, just to get it to a thousand,

Stephan Spencer: (42:00)
The, the publisher is not real happy with the drawing. 250 pages each edition. In fact, it’s gotta be half the size for the next edition or we will publish it cause it just, it doesn’t sell the more overwhelming it looks. It’s a great sales piece for me. Like if I, it says it’s like a huge business card. I hand it to a prospect at a conference that I just spoke at and they’re like, Oh my God, can I just hire you? Like that’s music to my ears. Yes, you can. That’s really funny. Yeah. Oh, and I tell them also, anybody, I give the book to start with chapter seven, that is not an overly technical chapter. It’s a lot of fun. You get your creative juices flowing, thinking about content marketing and [inaudible] and no link building aspect and how that can work for you. And that is, yeah, a great way to start. I’ve got chapter seven I will give to your listeners. I do have permission from O’Reilly, my publisher that I can give that chapter away. So I’ll put that on the, on the gifts page.

Michael Port: (42:59)
Great. Yeah, it’s a, you know, I’m on my eighth book now and it’ll come out this summer and people often ask, you know, what is what’s one thing you’ve learned from writing books? You know, that you do differently now than when you first started? And I said one thing that I’ve consistently heard from readers is to write shorter books. So yeah. So your next one will be half as long it then

Stephan Spencer: (43:30)
What part of SEO am I supposed to leave out? Like, Oh, forget about keywords. We don’t need that this time. Oh, the links.

Michael Port: (43:38)
I have yet to meet someone with more knowledge on the topic than you. So it does make sense that you’ve written a book of that size.

Stephan Spencer: (43:45)
Oh, thank you. But, but I do have to circle back to the whole thing I was going to talk to, to mention is that this term, the linkerati, I think it was actually originally coined by Rand Fishkin. So the linker Rotty are the people you’re trying to target. And you’re like, what? I thought I was trying to target my ideal customer avatar. Now you’re telling me I’m targeting the linkerati. Yes. And here’s why. And here’s when the why is because they have all the influence. They have the authority, the trust, the importance that Google is looking for. Somebody who’s an Instagram influencer will oftentimes have a terrible website that Google doesn’t give a hoot about. And so getting a mention, a link on that person’s website isn’t going to drive any value from an SEO standpoint. However, if target the linkerati with your, I don’t know, awesome, remarkable piece of content that you’ve written.

Stephan Spencer: (44:38)
And when I say remarkable, I’m going to use Seth Golden’s definition, which is worthy of remark. It’s from the purple cow, did a great book, right? So it’s gotta be worthy of remark. And then you’ve got to target the linkerati with that remarkable piece of content, that blog post or whatever, and then that linkerati hopefully will link to you and that will pass so much juice to you. I remember a very, very early on in our discussion I just mentioned in passing that Stanford university and Harvard business review both linked to me, that was massive. That’s like this is not a democracy. A Google doesn’t run a democracy. It’s a meritocracy. So one link can be worth a thousand times more than another link. And you think, well, this other person there, they’re reputable, they’re smart, they’ve got you know, a long history of writing great content.

Stephan Spencer: (45:33)
And you’re saying they’re only worth a thousandth of this other blogger who’s just happens to have all this trust and authority as far as Google is concerned. Yes, that is absolutely the case. So if you want to do that 80 20 rule of targeting the 20% or even the 10% that would drive the 90% of the value in terms of building high quality links, totally do that. And focus on those really high authority sites. Pull up a tool like majestic, put in the domain of the site you’re trying to target and think, Oh wow, that trust score is terrible. That trust flow is a nine out of a thousand or out of a hundred and, and that just isn’t worth my time. Whereas another one might be a, I dunno, 60 out of a hundred and this is on a log scale, like a Richter scale. So it’s really a big difference between the nine and the and that 60 now I think, okay, this is a site I need to somehow get a mention on in a link.

Michael Port: (46:26)
That’s fantastic. Once again, it goes back to this principle of, you know, using your time and your efforts really well. So that you actually produce results from your efforts rather than feeling like you’re spinning your wheels and doing a lot of stuff, but it’s not actually making a difference. And I think the 80 20 or in this case, as you said, even 90 10 a really certainly does make a lot of sense.

Stephan Spencer: (46:51)
Yeah. Another way to think about it is, am I going to be outcome focused or I’m going to be activity focused. Most SEOs are activity focused. It’s like, well, you haven’t done your meta-description so you haven’t done this, that and the other thing. And those don’t move the needle not much. Or you know, if at all. So why do them, it’s just busy work. So just be outcome focused. Get to the things that are really gonna move the needle. And you might say, well, I don’t get any value out of my website. It’s like, why? Why do you even have one? That would be my next question, but then I, if nobody is finding you on Google, nobody wants to search for you on Google. And like all my leads come in through referrals. I never get any leads other than referrals. And that keeps me very busy.

Stephan Spencer: (47:34)
Why do I need to care about this SEO stuff? And the reason why is because people do due diligence about you before they hire you. Even if you were a referral, even if that referral source is a trusted source who they take very seriously, they will still Google you. And what is the very first thing that they see when they Google you? It’s the Google search results. It’s not your website. So if they see, I don’t know, some negative sentiment stuff, or they don’t see any great articles about you, or they don’t see that you’re mentioned or, or you’ve got articles in ink magazine or anything like that, they just see your social profiles and your website. And maybe just some weird stuff like you know, white pages type listings and stuff, then they don’t take you seriously.

Michael Port: (48:23)
Or like Stephan Spencer net worth. Right. The net worth thing. Yeah. yeah, Amy, Amy Googled Michael port net worth the other day and I was really quite surprised with with how much a Google thinks I’m worth. [inaudible] No, I’m just kidding. But [inaudible] create a webpage

Stephan Spencer: (48:49)
On your site like on your blog and it’s a target the keywords Michael port enough net worth and the answer is more than a dollar

Michael Port: (48:58)
And try to rank number one instead of the stupid stuff. That’s really funny, but you know, you make a really, really good point. I just, I just want to show some appreciation for it because I think that’s absolutely right. You know, most most speakers are getting their best gigs through referrals. That’s really where, you know the, the really valuable leads are coming from, but the people who are referred to you are going to check you out. They’re going to do exactly what Stephan just said, which is Google you. And, and if what comes up on that first page of Google doesn’t meet their expectations, then you’ve got to then overcome that potentially negative bias when they do go to your website, which you don’t, you know, you don’t want, you want them going into that site already feeling like, wow, this person has credibility.

Michael Port: (49:54)
And and so I think even if someone just focused on, you know, on working on trying to improve what is showing up when S when they’re Googled [inaudible] you know, even if they work in to spend a lot of time on trying to rank high for the most relevant keywords for them, although it would be a good idea, but let’s just say they, you know, weren’t going to do that. It seems to me that it would be a really good idea to put some focus on creating impact on the first page of Google results for you, for your name and for your business name. Yeah, yeah,

Stephan Spencer: (50:26)
Yeah. You got to curate that first impression. Yeah. And so, so you have, for example, a knowledge panel when people search your name Michael port, they will see on the right hand side pictures of you. There’s the main featured one has a picture with, with you having here, which is interesting cause I can’t, I don’t, I didn’t even know what you looked like before. I, I Googled, you forget that usually the way it works with baldness is you, you weren’t always bold. At one point you had hair at another point. You don’t. Yeah. So, so you’ve got some information about you. You’ve got a little blurb about you from Google books. You’ve got your birth date there. By the way, we are less than a month apart in, is that right? Yeah. Who’s older? I am by three weeks. No, I always knew it.

Stephan Spencer: (51:21)
I knew it. You’re just so much more mature. Thank you. But he might see that there’s some stuff in there that could be improved. Like maybe the books aren’t listed with the book covers. They’re just the names of the books. In your case, they have the book covers. But there are plenty of authors where it just lists the names without the covers. You only have two social profiles, Twitter and YouTube. Well you might be very active on LinkedIn and you’re like, Oh, what the heck, I need my LinkedIn there. You might have not claimed your knowledge panel. Then you got this little button at the bottom of the knowledge panel that says claim this knowledge panel. Now I told you to do that. And so it looks like you had your team do that or you did it yourself. So good job definitely wasn’t me.

Stephan Spencer: (52:01)
Yeah. So that’s awesome. But when you have a knowledge panel that is a very prominent part of that first impression and then you want to curate them. Well it’s one of the things that is, so for example, this knowledge panel, when I see just if on my name it has, it says actor next to my name, but I’m not, I haven’t been an actor in 20 something years. Yeah. So that’s something that, you know, you should carry it. Yeah. Yeah. We should, you know, we should just fix that. Yeah. So as to one of the options is author, I think of you more as an author as than as a an actor. But I, Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah. But it’s anyways, yeah. So there’s lots of opportunities to put your best foot forward with the search results for your name, for your brand, et cetera.

Stephan Spencer: (52:47)
And you might find that let’s say with you, you have let’s see. We’ll go on to page two or three and the results and see, Oh, you, you had an [inaudible] or a kind of a featured story about you on entrepreneur.com 10 public speaking lessons from Michael port. Somebody interviewed you and that’s an entrepreneur.com. That’s pretty awesome. So that’s on page three. If you link to that from your homepage, that simple thing would probably boost that article up to page one. And so people would see that when they’re Googling your name instead of stuff that’s not as impressive like creative live. Well, not, that’s not bad for people who are familiar with creative life.

Michael Port: (53:35)
Well creative life does, I think a lot of SEO because they tend to show up almost as often as we do when people are searching on us.

Stephan Spencer: (53:43)
Yeah. Yeah. But the idea here is that simple link from your homepage that drives some link equity to this particular feature story about you in this case from entrepreneur.com but you might have gotten featured in Forbes or fortune or fast company or a Harvard business review or something like that. And that’s not on page one yet. Just send it some juice and that could push it onto page one. So it’s like, it’s like playing a chess game, but being able to move your opponent’s pieces and not just your own. It’s so cool. That’s great.

Michael Port: (54:15)
That’s great. I, I love it. Okay. I, I really still do need to hire you. Hold on, hire, hire Stephan. See, here’s the thing. You know, we are now a referral only organization [inaudible]

Stephan Spencer: (54:34)
To a potential clients dude.

Michael Port: (54:36)
Oh, that’s great. That’s great. And for folks who are listening, you know, just so they know, we don’t, there are no, there’s no kickbacks or compensation that goes out to people now because we just think it’s a conflict of interest. We want our alumni to to have the ability to send people here because we know that those people are going to be people expecting that new Tesla from you. Right. So but for, but you know, so like we’re not w we were fortunate to be in a place right now where, because we’ve built up a lot of equity in the industry and you know, and we get compound returns from the actual work that we do, but we don’t need to buy ads. We don’t need to do you know, that kind of outward marketing. But we do need to fix up some of our SEO just for the reason that we were talking about before.

Michael Port: (55:32)
And so I just mentioned that because, you know, I’ve been in, and I’ve been doing this kind of work since 2003 and not everything in like in, there’s still work to do. You know, there’s still some things that I need to do that my listeners need to do, and there’s some things that I’ve, John, that they need to do and vice versa. So it’s really not something that is just done eventually. It’s, you’re just, it’s, it’s just like working on a speech. It’s an iterative process. And you know, no shame, no blame for wherever you are right now. Let’s just take one more step in the right direction.

Stephan Spencer: (56:08)
A website’s never finished. Why would your SEO ever be finished? You know? And so there’s, and there’s always going to be low hanging fruit. The easy stuff that’s going to drive a lot of value. And one thing that just occurred to me is I didn’t you do a TEDx talk like for TEDx Cambridge? Yeah, yeah, I did. That’s not on page one for your name. Oh, interesting. So you could see that you are a TEDx speaker before they even end on a up on your website. That is even more powerful than that entrepreneur.com article. Yeah, sure. So anybody who’s listening who has a Ted or a TEDx talk that should be on page one, ideally high up on page one for your name.

Michael Port: (56:50)
Well, speaking of video most people are probably aware that YouTube is the number two search engine. But SEO and YouTube is different than on Google from what I understand. Oh yeah. So how can people improve their YouTube search rankings? And I understand that’s a question that takes more than a w an answer that takes more than a few minutes. But is there a, there, there are a couple things they can do to start thinking about how to improve their rankings for their videos on YouTube.

Stephan Spencer: (57:21)
Yeah. So I actually have an article called YouTube SEO one Oh one a that I published on search engine land, which outlines a whole bunch of,

Michael Port: (57:31)
It’s just, I don’t know, I fell down, I fell off my chair completely. Sure.

Stephan Spencer: (57:35)
Yeah. So I have on that article a bunch of different tactics and, and, and, but then I also have another article I published on search engine land, which is link building for e-commerce. You may not have anything to do with e-commerce, but you’ll still, that you’ll, you’ll still get value from reading that article because it’s about thinking outside the box about the content you’re creating. And some of it will be video, how to make it more remarkable so that it’s worthy of getting links but also on YouTube worthy of watch time. That’s the number one metric for YouTube. If you have watch time, then there’s the opportunity for YouTube to insert more ads into that stream and then they make more money. So if somebody only watches 10% of your 10 minute long video, that’s not good. If they watch six minutes or seven minutes, that’s much better because more opportunities for YouTube to make money.

Stephan Spencer: (58:31)
So if you think in terms of like what are the strategies and the tactics, remember tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. So we don’t want to waste our time too much on stuff that’s just, you know, busy work. We want to focus on the things that will get massive amounts of of watch time. So there’s a bunch of tactical stuff that would be nice to do that. I’m going to say. Well leave that for now. You know, things like going through the auto-generated transcript and correcting any mistakes that the automated YouTube transcribing algorithm made is a nice to do, but it’s not going to massively move the needle. Same thing with uploading a foreign language translation of your transcript. Let’s say that a, a good sized audience that you also want to reach is a Spanish speaking. You could upload a foreign language translation of that transcript that’s already created with the, you know, timestamps and just get that translated.

Stephan Spencer: (59:33)
Now you upload that and people who are searching in that language can watch your video. Still, it’ll have the audio as is, but there’ll be able to turn on closed captioning with the, that, that translation. So that’s pretty cool. But is that gonna really move the needle, massively know you. What you need to have is a video which is so awesome, so remarkable, so worthy of people sharing it and watching it and linking to it and re tweeting it and posting it on Facebook and everything else that, that video is the one that moves the needle for you. All right. So I have one episode of so I have two podcasts. I’ve got yourself optimized and of marketing speak. So marketing speak is a marketing show and get yourself optimizes is not an SEO show. It’s, it’s biohacking and personal productivity and personal development and stuff like that.

Stephan Spencer: (01:00:36)
So I upload videos of like, I, I noticed a Michael, by the way, here’s a growth opportunity for you for YouTube is to start capturing video of the interviews and then upload that instead of just uploading us like a video with a still image or even just a wave form, but not the people speaking in the podcast interview. You’ll get more traction that way. So I do that now. And there’s one particular video out of all of the ones that I’ve uploaded for all the different episodes. It’s Marisa peer, Marissa peer episode. I don’t know, like she is just blowing up on YouTube. Super, super popular. That particular episode, even though that one was an episode, I don’t have the video of, I just had that one still image and it still has, I don’t know, a hundred times more views than any of the other videos.

Stephan Spencer: (01:01:36)
It has more views than all my other episodes combined. So if I wanted to go after that 80 20 rule of like the, the best opportunity that’s going to move the needle the most, I would optimize that video. I would create a new thumbnail that is even more enticing because that’s the first thing people look at when they’re doing a YouTube search is the thumbnail, not the title. I would also optimize the title as well. It’s just using the standard recipe for every single other episode of my podcast. But I would optimize that and incorporate some additional keywords in that. I wouldn’t spend a lot of time optimizing the description of that video. You know how you can see a little bit of the description and then you have to click on that show more to see the rest of the description. That’s not a big factor in the rankings algorithm and users don’t really look at that.

Stephan Spencer: (01:02:30)
They’re certainly not going to click that link that says show more unless you tell them in the video like, Hey, there’s this thing that you really should go grab. It’s at this URL, but you don’t have to write it down. Just go get it from the description, right? So there’s all this stuff that you could do to the entire YouTube channel, all the videos, but then there are things that you could do that are going to really move the needle massively to just a few videos or to create a new video that has the potential to get massive amounts of watch time and to go viral. You know, you’re going to be much better off doing that.

Michael Port: (01:03:07)
That’s fantastic. So listen, this was a, this was a pleasure for me. It was a treat for our audience. You obviously gave an enormous amount of information and a, a number of really valuable resources. Could you just share the link again for where those resources are going to be?

Stephan Spencer: (01:03:24)
Yeah, it’s at marketing speak.com/s T S for steal the show.

Michael Port: (01:03:31)
Great. And we’ll put that on the show notes as well, my friend. Thank you so much for being here. I truly appreciate it. Oh, this was a lot of fun. Thank you for having me.

Michael Port: (01:03:45)
At the end of each episode of steal the show, we feature a heroic public speaking alum who is saving the world one speech at a time this week we’re profiling Scott Wintrip who transformed into the international keynoter that he’d longed to be by just getting out of his own way. For years, Scott had a successful hiring and recruiting consulting business and a speaking career with gigs around the world. Though he was presenting on big stages before audiences of a thousand or more, he longed for high profile keynote gigs that had alluded him. He felt that he’d been typecast as a workshop speaker and he blamed his stagnation on himself. He’d often tell himself that a written and rehearsed speech would sound canned. And so he relied on his talent and his improv skills instead of on preparation. But as he sat in the audience watching keynoters perform in slots he wanted but couldn’t get, he decided it was time to make a change.

Michael Port: (01:04:48)
So a friend referred him to heroic public speaking at HPS grad. He realized he’d been experimenting on his audiences. Either they got something good or better, or they got what he calls quote a turd in the Punchbowl. That’s because he was basing his performance on his improv skills and winging it on stage, making it difficult to perform consistently from event to event. He, it was time to adopt a process for crafting and performing a keynote, writing a speech out, blocking and staging the performance and rehearsing and rehearsing and rehearsing. By the time he finished grad, he had a 60 minute speech that he still presents on stages around the world for upwards of $25,000 a speech. He says that now he would rather give a keynote that he spent hundreds of hours preparing, rehearsing, and fine tuning than anything he could come up with on the fly.

Michael Port: (01:05:50)
He still adds in some improv, but it’s within the structure of a tested and referable speech. Last year, Scott and his wife Holly sold their house in Florida to go on an adventure. They travel the world living in Airbnbs for weeks at a time in Europe, Asia, and the U S so they can take in the sights between his keynotes, his advice to new HPS students, do everything you’re told. He admits he doesn’t like to follow the rules, but when it came to HPS grad, he was humble enough to know that he needed to get out of his own way to make the most of this learning opportunity. It takes hard work and self-discipline, but he says it’s the best way to get the gigs that you want. Thanks for listening to steal the show. I’m your host Michael port. We record our episodes at heroic public speaking HQ. Thanks for listening and learning how to be a performer in your spotlight moments. Make sure to reach out to us on Instagram and Facebook at heroic public speaking and leave us a review on iTunes if you like the show. Until next time, keep thinking big about who you are and how you see the world. Bye for now.

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