Positioning Yourself As An Expert: EU 88 with Debbie Allen
She’s an expert’s expert. She bought into her family business when she was 19 years old and started a mini-storage business where she made her first million-dollar sale before the age of 30. From there, she built multiple million-dollar businesses until she realized she could make a difference by helping others do the same.
She went through multiple chapters in her career and continues to reinvent herself.
Her name is Debbie Allen.
In this episode, Debbie and I talk about reinventing yourself, becoming a highly paid expert, positioning techniques, tactics, and strategies for those who are looking to take the next step in their expert career.
We wrap up by diving into the real competitive market – teaching.
This episode of Experts Unleashed is full of powerful knowledge about the marketing field and how to position yourself as an expert.
As an expert, reinventing yourself is important. [7:26]
When to reinvent when your marketing is not working anymore. [9:47]
Strategy is deliverable - it gets people pointed in the right direction. [21:55]
Finding key strategic partners that can help each other. [30:23]
Start playing bigger games when you get the foundation of who you are as an expert. [33:17]
… and much more!
EU 88 audio
[00:00:00] Debbie Allen:
We can all be experts and we can do it in our own way. And that’s exactly what I love teaching people. And it couldn’t be a better time right now for you to step up as an authority, call yourself an expert, teach people what you know, and what you love doing and get paid really well for it.
[00:00:20] Joel Erway:
Hey, what’s going on, everybody. Joel Erway here and welcome to another very special episode of experts unleashed. I have a very special guest today. It is going to be very congruent message with the theme of our podcast. I know you’re going to get a lot out of it. Our guest today is Debbie Allen, debbieallen.com.
And she is an expert’s expert. She helps with helping position yourself as an expert to become a highly paid expert. And she has a book written on that topic and we are going to be diving into everything that you need to know on how to actually present yourself, how to position yourself as an expert, get other people to respect you and turn that into becoming a highly paid expert.
I talk a lot about this stuff just with the natural things that I do in webinars and offer creation, but it’s always great to get somebody else who literally wrote the book on this stuff. And so very excited to introduce you to Debbie. Debbie, welcome to the show.
[00:01:20] Debbie Allen:
I am excited to be here in the man cave.
I always say it looked like a man cave, interrogation room. I love it.
[00:01:27] Joel Erway:
If you’re watching this video or if you’re listening to the podcast, you’re not seeing the video. I mean, you know, my office with all the light except for my spotlight. So it looks a little bit dark with one tiny light in the background that gives a pretty cool feel.
So Debbie, why don’t you introduce yourself, give us a little bit of background about what it is that you do so we can get familiar with your field of expertise.
[00:01:46] Debbie Allen:
Okay, great. Well, it’s a long story. I’ll make it short. I started out as an entrepreneur at 19 years old.
I bought into the family business when I was 19 and it was a car rental business. And then we started a mini storage business, and I had my first million-dollar sale before the age of 30. Then I left and went on my own, started to buy a business that lost money for six years, which I thought was crazy, but that was the first opportunity.
Turn that around to multi-million-dollar business. That was a clothing store and built multiple clothing stores, built them, sold them. And, then like, what’s the next thing, right? Oh, I can teach people to be successful. And so, I never knew anything about the speaking business. I was at one of those retail trades shows and where I would buy for my store.
And I said, I could do a seminar. And I was like, okay. So next thing you know, I’m doing a seminar it’s I launched my speaking business, like instantly filled the room in Vegas. But it wasn’t instantly, it was a lot of work on that part. So, you know, I started out then as known as the paid professional speaker, but I was on another podcast is more than just talking about how many times I’ve reinvented myself.
And when I went through the stages of careers, you know, everybody’s got their stage is I call it the next chapter. It was like, there’s another reinvention. And then you kind of get to a point in your life. You go, okay, how many more reinventions do I have? Left in me because it is exhausting. And even when I came up with the highly paid expert, it took me a year and a half to come up with that.
And I had been on a three-year world tour, a speaking tour, amazing experience, but I just had to reinvent again because I couldn’t continue to do that. It was exhausting. I had no life at that time. I was doing online dating Joel, and it would be like, oh, I met you. Okay. Nice, Joel. Call me in a month or two, I’ll be back in town.
You know, it’s like, and I think I just didn’t have a life, you know, as far as outside of my career. And, and I said, okay, I’m done. I’m off the road. And so then I started trying to brand myself as an, as, as this, I didn’t even know, expert was the word then. And it was challenging for me. And that’s why I know this was something I could teach other people because here I am, this marketer and this person that’s been in this business for so long, and I can come up with this thing right away.
That really makes me stand out as that expert. And so I started out like business and brand strategists, and I had really put all my business in. World tour with another, another company. And I was really coming back, reinventing my whole website, revealing my business again. And it was like, it was challenging anytime you can take a dip.
And I started out with like business and brand strategists and it was like, it was too generic, but I couldn’t get it. And then it was like, well, what are we really doing? Okay. I’ve been a highly paid expert. It must be, you know, an expert who speaks professionally, but uses that to create multiple income streams.
And that’s what I could teach people is how do you highly paid expert? So, I came up with the idea for the book that was going to be a workshop, which was going to be my mentoring program, which is going to be what I was really known for. And I’ve written a lot of other books. But this one is really the thing that really resonated with so many people, because especially now, Joel, you know, you can say you could sit there in your ran cave, doing your podcast.
We can connect with people. We can do live events. I mean, right now it’s hopping in and out of live events all morning. I was on three different live events, listening to other people. And it’s like, we can all be experts and we can do it in our own way. And that’s exactly what I love teaching people.
And it couldn’t be a better time right now for you to step up as an authority, call yourself an expert, teach people what you know, and what you love doing and get paid really well for it.
[00:05:11] Joel Erway:
Yeah. You know, it’s funny because you mentioned reinvention and having worked with thousands of experts in my own business, I think that we in this community probably go through reinvention more than anybody else. Like any other industry. It’s probably just the natural thing for us because number one, we love information, and we have the ability to be an entrepreneur. It’s like, okay, cool. I can teach people this.
And once you get a taste of that success, it’s like, okay, well, you know, you might get tired of that. Or you might just be latched on to something else that you’ve done and you want to teach them something else. And, and so when you were talking about reinvention, like I think that’s something that gets echoed so much in our industry.
And I would love for you to kind of talk about that for a minute, we’ll go on a little tangent here, but before we dive into the deep, the nitty gritty details. How many times do you think you’ve reinvented yourself throughout your professional career?
[00:06:10] Debbie Allen:
I ran out of fingers and toes counting that at times, you know, I’ve done so many different types of businesses, and I think this is a true entrepreneur that has done more of reinvention.
So you’re either a true entrepreneur that builds itself, you know, build some businesses. We kind of get bored with stuff we want to redo, you know, learn something new. I went through that phase now as an expert, we continually have to reinvent it because the world around us is changing.
Marketing is changing. We know that COVID, the pandemic kind of shut us down. So then we like started doing more stuff online. We had to learn more technology, have forced us to learn some things that we didn’t learn before. And I think it knocked a lot of people that were high on their pedestal, off their pedestal.
And that’s hard to admit when you been in the business a long time, but the reason you’re knocked off your pedestal is because you might’ve been at the top of the game and the game changed and now you have to catch up to the game. And I think that’s the really true reinvention for an expert, is that you always strive to be that best in your industry.
And when things shift, sometimes it does knock you, knock you down. 2008, that knocked me down completely. I was at the highest paid speaking. It was a best gift though, because I wouldn’t have really positioned myself as an expert and had other multiple income streams. Wouldn’t have done the world. And now COVID, it’s like you just kept going and going and going and never ends.
Right. And it’s like, okay, well I need to learn, you know, first I think it was like people, like, I need to dabble in this online stuff, and I need to be this online expert and I need to do, you know, more podcasts, more things like this. And I think it got a lot of new experts in the business. I mean, it’s the absolute best time to be getting into this expert business.
So, there’s the people that have been around a long time, they had to reinvent completely the way they were doing it. I mean, if you’re doing live events, which I’ve been doing for 16 years to going and I have been doing the online, but nothing to the magnitude I was doing live.
So the reinvention is like, can I make as much money if not more being completely online and letting go what I know. And I think that’s what you have to do when you’re, re-invent, it’s really scary because you have to let go of what worked and what you know, really well to embrace something new. And it’s emotional.
It challenges your ego; it challenges your wisdom. It challenges a lot. I think it’s a higher level when you’re an expert, because you always strive, like you said, Joel, to go to be the best that you can be. And when the game’s changing, it’s like, you’re, you got to do that hustle again to catch up.
And then you ride it. You ride the wave. So people always ask me, when do you reinvent when your marketing is not working anymore? When your money’s not coming in? Like it was what was challenging to get a client. I mean, when you see all the brakes going on around you, it’s like there’s a red flashing light.
You need to pay attention to it says, reinvent.
[00:09:03] Joel Erway:
I love it. I love it. You couldn’t be truer. Right. And people naturally will think reinvention is scary, which is scary because you’re changing course. You’re changing paths and you’re venturing out into the unknown, but we’re entrepreneurs.
That’s what we were born to do. I mean, if we are afraid to go do something new then you shouldn’t be an entrepreneur. And so that’s not really a conversation that we’re having, but you know, it’s almost like brace the reinvention because once you get to that other side, like it’s greener pastures, like it could be something incredible. And so, anyway, that just resonated with me when you were talking about reinvention.
[00:09:41] Debbie Allen:
A couple of couple other reasons whoever invented is because it is because business started getting hard. Yeah. Business should not be hard. You shouldn’t have to put you’re pushing it.
You’re pushing against the grain. And you’re not going with the flow. So you haven’t reinvented something that’s like a different way of marketing or whatever. And the other one is when it’s not fun anymore. Like Joel, you know, as entrepreneurs, we like to have fun. We were all about finding freedom and if we’re not having fun and we’re not free in our business or like this isn’t cool.
I wouldn’t do it a different way.
[00:10:09] Joel Erway:
A hundred percent. All right. So let’s talk about becoming a highly paid expert, right? So, this is the book that you wrote. So, you know, what inspired you to write that book? And you said you wrote it, what was it, 10 years ago?
[00:10:20] Debbie Allen:
Yeah, I can’t believe it’s been 10 years.
And it’s still liked the thing I talk about the most, even more than my newest book, because there’s anybody that has like the subtitle here says, turn your passion, skills, and talents into a lucrative career by becoming the go-to expert in your industry. Like who would want that as an entrepreneur? Who would want to write their own ticket to say, I have paid my dues, I know something that I can teach other people?
And then the thing is being the expert, you just have to learn how to transition those skills and knowledge onto others so that you can teach them what you know. And then here’s the cool part about the highly paid expert is that it teaches you multiple income streams of how you can deliver that and make money from just your knowledge.
Because when you think about it, Joel, it’s just a form of communication. Whether you’re sitting, reading the book, you read the book. Now the book is a marketing tool. The book leads to go to a live event and go to the workshop. Then it leads you into going into a group program or a personal mentoring program, or another thing, another skillset that helps you with becoming that expert.
But it’s all different forms of communication. Whether it’s a live event, a podcast, a book, it’s just okay, I want to know something and then you can go deeper into it. And that’s the same thing with anybody can do as an expert. It’s like, well, how do you want to deliver that? Do you want to deliver it in a mastermind? In a membership program? What is it? How do you want to deliver it?
What do you enjoy doing? There are so many ways to make money. And you’re sitting on them. I know everybody listening to this podcast, Joel, is sitting on money and they just don’t know how to do it. They don’t know how to share what they know with somebody else. And I was doing it. That’s why I know that is because one of the incomes streams I created was kind of by accident.
It’s one of my biggest income streams is my client VIP days. So I have like, they are really VIP experiences. Like I put every detail into taking care of one client at a time when they come like they’re here almost two days. I pick them up at the airport or take them to dinner. They come and stay at my beautiful guest house, which is like the Ritz Carlton in my backyard.
And, you know, it’s like, wow. And so I love decorating. So my husband wanted to build a guest house because we have aging parents, maybe they’re going to need it. We’ve got a huge yard. Let’s throw up a guest house. Right. And he’s like, well, I’m not going to build the whole thing yet. I’m just getting started.
And it’s like, okay, now you don’t just get it started. You finish it. Then he gets to finish like, okay, I want to have my decorator mode take over. And I, you know, do it like to the nines. And then I’m like, well, now I need to monetize this thing. I can’t. You know, it’s not going to be an Airbnb for me. It’s going to be the very high-end Airbnb, which is like, you pay for a VIP day with me.
And now you get this whole experience. You get to come, and you get to stay here. And I love brainstorming and doing strategic planning. Like I have, I’m just a busy business visionary, and I can take somebody’s idea and take it here. I can take this idea to a business from one year, two years, three years.
I can just see; I can see it. Right. And because I’ve done this Mo this model for some. And so then we just sit in this, my conference room here and we work on their business all day and we leave them with an action plan. I’ll leave him with an action plan up to six months. So, you know, every single thing they’re going to do, like here’s all the ideas.
Now, let me wrap it up in a pretty bow. And here’s your things to do for six months to blow your business up. And that I get it, it came by an accident because we had built a guest house and it wasn’t going to be for my clients. And then I was doing a small event. I think I had like 25 people there. It was a specialty event.
They paid to come to learn how to speak and sell. And I said, okay, here’s another, I’m going to teach you how to sell from an auction. I never even done it. I just love auctions. So I auctioned off like my VIP guest experience. And, then I had all these people raising their hand and saying they wanted it.
And I had actually done a reserve. So I put this bid in an envelope. And we always undercharge, even as experts will undercharge what we think people will actually pay. So I put that dollar amount in envelope and I said, okay, you have to meet the reserve. That’s the rules. And that’s it.
That’s all the rule is. And so, I had eight people stand up, run to the front of the room and say, I want it. Okay. I said, well, sell me on it. So, they were actually, I was, I didn’t know how to do the auction. I just like to do it at my own way, like going with the flow. And they’re all like, okay. And they kept bidding up and bidding and bidding up because they wanted to win it.
And so then I just went and looked at all of them and I said, well, you’re also excited to be working with me. I’m really thrilled. I said, this is a lesson I’m learning. Is that I had undervalued myself and that’s what I’m teaching you because I’m going to pull out the dollar amount, which doesn’t exist anymore.
And you have all gone over that dollar that I was asking in my head, you had to reach the minimum. And I’m going to give it to everybody and I’m going to give to the lowest bidder in that lineup of eight and I’m going to take all of you. And so, they all bought, and that was eight the first year. And then I went 12, the next year then went 18 the next year.
It was like, okay, now it’s a bed and breakfast. So it was like, I got to raise my prices because people want to keep coming back. See, that was just information I was sitting on.
[00:15:25] Joel Erway:
You can’t leave us hanging like what was the reserve price and what were people bidding?
[00:15:28] Debbie Allen:
No this cause I started it many years ago. It was as low as $3,500. That was nothing. And they were bidding, $5,000, $6,000. I think the lowest bid at that first auction was $4850. You get to get all this time with me for $4,800. It was crazy. I gave them all that price. Right. And so, you know, it goes up from there.
And now my day is 7500. So, you know, and now I could pick it and it’ll probably go to 10,000 once we get back out of COVID and we have more people coming, but the return on investment is what’s massive is to have all of that time with me to be able to pick my brain and not just pick my brain, build your business for you, build your plan.
Not a lot of people do that. And here I had the ability to do that, but I wasn’t monetizing from it. At all. I was just like any coach, you know, let’s do another call, let’s get this done and let’s do another call. And what we get it done in a day and a half would take us a good six, eight months to get done with calls.
[00:16:27] Joel Erway:
I love it. What other income streams do you like? As an expert, what are you most gravitated to monetize for yourself? Like which ones do you like? Obviously like the VIP days. Right. But what are some other examples that you prefer?
[00:16:40] Debbie Allen:
Well, I’m like you, Joel, like we’re still have that entrepreneur in us where we like to do different things to think of different stuff. So I’ll watch a webinar and say, oh, something about laser coaching. I watched a webinar last month says you should offer laser coaching. I’m like, you know what? My clients have been asking me for laser coaching. I don’t do that. Like 15-minute calls.
I just want your lifeline. Can I buy a year of that? How much would that be? I never offered it. And I was like, I’m listening to this webinar. I’m like, yeah, I did that for one or two of my clients had asked, but why didn’t I offer that? Because after they stay with me a year, they want to stay with me. Right. I just sent out an email and like I said, three emails to my existing clients and I said, I’m going to take 10 clients at this price for laser coaching for a year.
And I sold it. That’s a quick cash formula. So, I like quick cash. Who doesn’t like quick cash? I like teaching people quick cash and they say, I don’t have money. Let me teach you how to make the money to pay off your program as fast as possible. It’s just delivery. That’s all it is. You don’t have to deliver your VIP experience like I do.
You can put people in a hotel room, you can still make it. What would it look like for you? I had invested in a mentor years ago and he had the guest house, and he had all this and you can drive my car, you know, I let people drive my brand new Mercedes, Hey, take my car out.
Like, they’re like, oh my God, this is killer. You know? It’s like, they’re a part of my family when they come. You just got to be thinking about, how can I keep helping my clients? And I think that’s where a lot of people miss out on income as an expert, because if you have done a great job working with them for one month, six months or a year, they shouldn’t leave you.
You should find a way to keep them in your loop with a mastermind with laser coaching, with continuous VIP days, at least once a year, whatever that is. Because they’re going to keep taking it to the next level because when they leave you, when they leave me, Debbie Allen, they’re going to go to Joel Erway.
They’re going to like, he’s next. I want him next. They’re going to give you the money. So you might as well find ways to keep working with them. And once you’ve taught them enough, let them go to anybody else. But you’ve seen that too, Joel is like, I think people, even in the position of experts, like, I just do this and this is how I do it.
So I want you to open up your mind to say, Hey, here’s a cafeteria of a way you want to deliver. Just go pick out everything you want; you can deliver it. And here’s an income stream and here’s an income stream. And everybody does it just a little bit differently depending on what their industry is and what their business lifestyle is and what they enjoy.
Like you said, too.
[00:18:57] Joel Erway:
Yeah. You know, one of the things that I talk about is when people are designing their offers, right? And they’re like an expert and, you know, in my world, we talk a lot about high ticket courses, and, along those lines, there’s this idea of like group coaching, and a lot of my clients are like really attracted this idea of group coaching, which is totally fine.
Like you can have a group coaching program, but so many people have tunnel vision thinking that group coaching is the only way for them to scale their one-to-one business. It’s like, that’s not true at all. Right. That’s totally not true. And we talk about all sorts of different ways that they can scale, you know, how they can create different offers to create different leveraged offers outside of one-on-one coaching.
And I’ve actually never given, considered laser coaching before. I’ve never even heard of it until you mentioned it.
[00:19:41] Debbie Allen:
Throw it out there. You’re going to make some money, instant cash.
[00:19:44] Joel Erway:
Yeah. And so, one of the things that we do is we do game planning sessions, which are probably very similar to a VIP day, a little bit different experience.
Like we do it over two calls virtually. I’ve considered doing one-on-one VIP days in the past. I just personally haven’t done it, but you get paid for strategy, like sell strategy, which so many people don’t do. Like they think that they have to actually sell a deliverable and people don’t realize that strategy is a deliverable because it gets people pointed in the right direction.
And so, I mean, as an expert, there’s so many ways. So many ways that you can monetize, monetize your information outside of just like the typical idea of like, oh, well I should sell a course or should do group coaching. It’s like, those are two of probably like 50 different options that you have.
And it’s time to just start to think outside of the box.
[00:20:28] Debbie Allen:
Well, yeah, and group coaching should turn into a course, like, you know, one of my first course, my highly paid expert academy course is fabulous. Full on beautiful video. I mean, so much loaded into it. It’s everything that book is, but now in a course, like it’s awesome.
But, I did all that work first took me three months to build that whole course. And then I would get on a webinar, you know, praying I’m going to sell it. So that’s a little scary. A lot of my clients that are starting, I said, go do your group program, but sell the group and then make it the course so that now you’ve sold the group to get the money up front.
Now it’s a course you can continue going on. And now if it’s 10 modules, then you could do a couple of group calls and they got the modules. You don’t have to do it all over again. There are so many different ways of delivering. And like you said, Joel, what do you enjoy doing? I like to do the things that get my clients the quickest ROI.
But again, I use their personality and what they want it and how they want to grow their business, because some of them have one client, she’s got a 60-hour workweek. I mean, you know, 60, are full-time medical career. And she’s building her business on the side and she’s one of my best clients.
Like she does everything I tell her and then some, and I have others that are doing nothing. They’ve already quit their corporate career, and now they’re just playing, and they go, oh, I didn’t realize how tired I was. I need another month to play. Like, no, you’re an entrepreneur now. Kick it up. An expert, as an entrepreneur, you got to go.
[00:21:52] Joel Erway:
What are some of your favorite ways? Getting the word out, like marketing and growing your audience. Like, is it, I’m assuming it’s speaking because I know you do used to do a lot of speaking, but like, you know, give us a little bit of insight as to your, your marketing strategy and how you get the word?
[00:22:07] Debbie Allen:
Oh, well, I think my biggest income stream for the last oh, so if you’re down like couple of years, I would say the last for the last 13, 14 years actually has been live events. Because I came from that speaking world. I know how to create that experience of an event. I know how to be on stage for days on end and create that energy and excitement and get that
[00:22:30] Joel Erway:
So, hosting your own live events.
[00:22:31] Debbie Allen:
Mostly my own live events. So, I’ll do the signature event, which is called highly paid extra workshop.
I’m actually going live coming up in October for life for two years. And, then the specialty events are smaller events. I do small events anywhere from six people to twenty-five, those are high-end more personalized group programs, teaching, mostly speaking to sell, teaching the skill of selling online, teaching the skill of selling from stage multiple different closing techniques.
And then having them practice that and do it live. Sometimes, the one where I take six people is they actually present. And then I go through every single one of their slides. Cause that’s the only way I learned it. That’s not my biggest moneymaker, but it’s the biggest return on investment for my clients.
So, I only sell that if they’re buying a bigger package. That’s where my biggest moneymakers ban. Yes. Can I sell online? Yes. Do I do group programs? Yes. Would I like to do less personal one-on-one than I’ve done over the years? Yeah. That’s my next reinvention. I’m in the process of that reinvention right now, Joel, but I’m so good at the live stage that it’s really hard to let go of my golden handcuffs when I can make multiple high six figures with a two-day event, you know, and now I got it dialed in, so it doesn’t take me that much time to do it. So, it’s harder for me to actually do the online stuff, to monetize as much as I have.
And so that’s your skill, like, I can give them an outline of how to do an online course. I can give them direction for that, but I’m like, go to Joel, like, Joel is the next person that’s going to teach you how to really monetize this, take it to the next level. I can do the same thing for a book, but then I’m going to send somebody that is a book, coach, or book expert to, to finish it with them. So, I work with other experts when I know what I’m good at and what I like doing. I don’t try and do it all. And I think that a lot of times when people start out, like I’m an expert, okay. Oh, Hey, I went to this workshop and there were teaching this thing and now I can teach you.
What? You don’t have any success in it. No, you can’t teach it. It’s like people saying, come to my workshop and I’m going to teach public speaking. No, especially, you haven’t got paid to speak, you know, it’s like, you know, so I think that you must have made some money in it and that gives you the confidence and also the system to do it because it isn’t just teaching.
It’s transferring your skills onto other. That’s the biggie. So, I can transfer a strategic point. Like you said, let’s mindset, here’s a plan, put it all together and I can transfer the skill of speaking and make it an offer. Like, okay. Don’t say this, he’s eliminated word. Say this, change your slide here.
Like that, that’s a skillset. And so, I can do both because I’ve done that. So, you have to pick a lane and know exactly what you’re good at teaching instead of trying to do everything. And that’s really what an expert is. What do you do? Okay. Joel, online courses, right?
Debbie, she teaches you how to become an expert so creates the foundation for you. Like people come up with an idea and then I can create a business around that, or they’re leaving the corporate world and want to start it on, you know, an expert business, you got to pick a lane and you got to stay in that lane.
And you know that Joel, I mean, you know, when you’re re-invent and then going back to that again is because you can’t dabble in this and that. You got to stay focused on that lane.
[00:25:48] Joel Erway:
What has been your most effective list building strategy, right? So, like you clearly monetize the best when you host these two three-day live events, large and small, right.
But in terms of growing your audience, what have you found to be the most effective?
[00:26:03] Debbie Allen:
Well, it used to be summits, you know, I would do my own summits. Summits are really a lot of work. Like I don’t like doing them. So that’s, it’s like, okay, well over doing the summits, I got to get summit I’m like, oh gosh, it’s trying to work.
So, I’ll fight myself because you know, I’m invited on so many summits and they’re like, oh, I got to do a summit again. I’m like, no. Okay. So, I’m actually signing up for a course for somebody, like, how do you monetize summits? Cause I really have monetized them. What does work for building the list for me?
I mean, that’s one way it can work with people. It just hasn’t worked for me for the time and energy I’ve put into it. And that’s what I’ve got to pay joint venture partners. I mean, you know this Joel and that’s how I met you, is by having these joint venture partners that can promote each other, like somebody at the higher level, they’ve got the list already.
I mean, you’ve got a podcast called experts unleashed. I have a podcast called access to experts. Like we’re perfect to work together. Right. It’s the same following but we do different things. Do they need Debbie Allen? You know, do they need to work with me? Yes. Do they need to work with Joel Erway? Yes, they need both of us.
And if you’re an expert, you need that. So, we have picked a lane that just connects, but did I know you Joel, before I joined that group? No, we just met recently. So that exposure of being on your podcast, being promoting one another’s email that promotes a webinar. You know, that’s the biggest moneymaker is because you’re not playing by yourself and I’ve been such a solo entrepreneur for so many of my years growing up, it was like, you can’t play this game as an expert, as a solo entrepreneur and be as successful anywhere near as successful or grow your list as fast without partners.
And, those partners are all experts, but we respect each other. We stay in our lane and we promote each other, and I think that’s the absolute basis. And when you position yourself as an expert, you have more opportunities to get those good JV partners.
[00:27:50] Joel Erway:
A hundred percent. It’s funny because I haven’t leveraged the JV circuit, or I don’t want to call it the JV circuit, but I haven’t leveraged JV partners as much as I probably should. Moving into the end of 2020, or, you know, we’re in 2021 now. Thank you. I was like, I had a little bit of a brain fart there, but moving towards the end of 2021 and into 2022, that’s been a big focus of me is to find some key strategic partners that we can help each other out in because there’s different types of JV worlds that you can play in.
Like if you go on the webinar world, which is where I kind of grew up in, this is why I was kind of anti-joint ventures for so long. I mean, Especially in the biz op world, like JV partners and the JV biz op webinars space.
It’s just so slimy and it’s like, promote my stuff and promote like it’s I just didn’t like it. And then being part of JVMM for kind of like probably three or four years now, it’s a different world. Like, I love participating in the email in the email group and, but I never really liked actively reached out to connect with other people.
And so anyway, moving into the end of 2021 and 2022 and beyond, I am making a stronger, more focused effort into leveraging the right partnerships with the right joint venture partners.
[00:29:08] Debbie Allen:
Yep. Right. You just get on the phone call and then you go, okay.
So, I have a list now, I put together a list of here’s six different ways we can work together as JV partners get on a phone call. Like could we do a podcast swap? We could do a webinars swap. You brought a live event. I’ve got them all laid out. Right. So, I get on the call now. last one I just said, he’s like, well, you got it all laid out and he just started this JVMM well, because I know like these are the things that I offer, and I don’t know what you offer.
How do you want to play? Like, we’re getting to know each other first. I already know your business. I’ve already done research on you. I mean, you’re very Google-able, you know, and it’s like, I’ve done the research and make sure we’re the right fit. And I think the thing about when we’re talking about JVMM, it’s a group that is joint ventures and joint ventures are partners that do maybe just one promotion for you, promote each other.
And you find ways to keep sharing business with them. And I think the reason that that one’s worked so well, you have to be invited. So, you have to be in a certain level. And I think that everybody’s very generous. And every time I get off, like get on a podcast or work with somebody somehow, I’m like, okay I can think of somebody else.
Like I referred you to another podcast before we got on the podcast today. Like I already sent you, I sent that person an email and, and so, you know, it’s like, as soon as I’m done with something, how can I share that success? Because that is my motto in business. And I think that’s really helped me grow partnerships.
I’ve always been really good at growing partnerships through a book model. And so that’s one way to start. I wrote my book confessions of shameless self-promoters, which became my first best seller all through partnerships. You know, through high level people, Mark Victor Hansen, Joe Vitale, Dan Kennedy, all the people I follow it as a marketer and I asked them, can I do an interview and put that into a book?
And that’s what positioned me from the very beginning before they even knew who the hell I was. This is the best way. It is the best absolute way, but you are not going to get great JV partners to promote you, if you don’t promote, if you don’t position yourself as an expert.
So, this is the foundation you’ve got to get your foundation of who you are as an expert first, then you can start playing bigger games. That’s why I love teaching this because if you’re not positioned like that, someone’s going to go check you out and they’re going to go, what? I don’t get it. I don’t get what they’re an expert at. I don’t get the thing that they do. They don’t have a podcast.
Like now, maybe before, you don’t have a website. And I was like, you don’t even have a podcast. You don’t have a book. They don’t take you seriously if you don’t have those things.
And yeah. Is it important to have a podcast? Is that important to have a book is as an expert? Yeah, it is.
[00:31:32] Joel Erway:
Got to stand out, especially in today’s day and age, you know, podcasting is becoming more commonplace, right? I mean, it’s still gives you great authority, but now it’s kind of like the minimum. It’s like got to have some sort of platform, right?
It’s got to have some sort of place where people can check you out, listen to you. I love podcasts. I have two podcasts and they’ve been the best investment in my business, hands down, because if somebody discovers me, then they say I’ve got a podcast. They’ll binge my podcast content, they’ll listen to my voice.
There’s something about listening to somebody’s voice versus reading it on a blog or reading it via email that builds a closer connection. And it’s been just an absolute, massive, massive ROI in my business. So, can’t agree with you.
[00:32:17] Debbie Allen:
And you’ve got a great radio show voice, and you don’t have to go to a studio.
[00:32:20] Joel Erway:
That’s what everybody said. Not everybody, but I have heard that so often and I don’t get it. I don’t know what a radio voice is, but so many people have said, you’ve got that radio voice, and I guess, thank you for the compliment. I don’t know what to say to them.
[00:32:32] Debbie Allen:
It’s like, it’s easy to listen to.
It’s strong, it’s deep in it, and it has commanding force, but we can get some, you know, microphones and things to make it work. And you can get better at that working in your voice. I used to hate my voice because I’m thinking, oh my gosh, he was like, oh, I love to listen to you as a speaker.
You have such a great voice. I’m thinking that I have a deep voice. I hate my voice, you know? We don’t like listening to ourselves. But it isn’t about listening to yourself. It’s about, you know, getting the interaction with other people. And so you’ve created joint venture partners, even with people on your podcast.
Just like you reach out. How long have you been doing your podcast? I am now turning to the interviewer. How long have you been doing the podcast?
[00:33:06] Joel Erway:
We started in 2017. Both of them. Experts unleashed has been around. Yeah. Experts on has been around, I think since early 2018. Sold with webinars, which is my marketing podcast, we started that in 2017.
[00:33:18] Debbie Allen:
And you do a podcast, what, twice a month? Every week?
[00:33:21] Joel Erway:
It’s kind of just whenever I feel like it. You know, I didn’t ever want to be handcuffed and forced to have to release an episode. You know, we’ve got over a hundred episodes of experts unleashed at this point and close to 200 have sold with webinars.
And so both of them are from my internal audience. Like I didn’t design it to be external outreach SEO, all that stuff. I mean, yeah. I’ll naturally get that with experts on leash because of all the different interviews that I’ve had and just people searching for those people, they’ll find mine.
But yeah, it’s meant for my internal audience to share connections and for them to learn. And so it’s been a great tool. It’s been a great resource and couldn’t recommend it more highly for anyone to start it. And it’s really easy to start. It’s not difficult to start a podcast.
[00:34:05] Debbie Allen:
Well, I think that you have to have the real goal in mind, like you said, I mean, it should sound like a brother from another mother.
Like, if it isn’t fun, we can’t do it our way. She doesn’t want to be handcuffed. Like we’re true entrepreneurs. Right. You know, I had to figure mine out. I did a whole year with really the wrong podcast. It was a new book that had come out. And, I was thinking, well, am I doing too many interviews with other people?
I didn’t know how to promote, or I was promoting them too much. And they weren’t really the JV partners. So, you know, one of my new things with, I get almost every day, I get an email, can I be on your podcast? And I’m sure you must get this constantly. You have to hand select them after a while and get the right people.
[00:34:42] Joel Erway:
Yeah. There are tons of podcasts agencies out there who were just pitching you. You know, sometimes you get good guests that way. And I would say it’s probably like 3 to 4% of all pitches I actually respond to. But anyway, we kind of got off topic a little bit. And so, Debbie, this has been fantastic, you know, it’s such a great topic to talk about, you know, especially for people who are trying to reinvent themselves, trying to figure out their next path. Right.
You know, how to position yourself as a highly paid expert, you know, it comes down to authority, how can you command authority? How can you position yourself? Podcast is just one way. I guess, you know, we’ll wrap up on this, but you know, what are some other great positioning techniques or tactics or strategies for someone who is looking to take that next step in their speaker career or in their expert career?
What are some of your favorite ways?
[00:35:32] Debbie Allen:
Well, you know, before we get into that, I tell you that, you know, I think that when you keep it right there and you’re listening to this right now, and there’s something about this podcast, it kept you interested in every word we’re talking about is because even if you have a job, both Joel and I would have to spell it because that’s terrifying for us to have to go get a job, but you have to have a side hustle.
We already know through this pandemic, you know, people, my heart goes out to the health care workers done so hard. They worked their butts off through the whole thing, and now they’re going, oh, you have to have a vaccine or we’re going to fire you. You can’t be here. I’m like my body, my choice. Okay.
I’m not judging either way. I’m just saying that there are people that have been in industries that have gone. I know this because I’m working with a lot of nurses and doctors and all kinds of industries. They quit. They went to all the school. I have another one is Dean of a college. She quit you know, she’s still paying off college debt and it’s like to get into this business, you don’t have to have a lot of investment.
It’s very profitable and you need to at least create a side hustle if you’re still staying in the business. Think of something that you can create as a podcast, as a course, as something that you can become just even an online work online expert working when you want. Everybody needs a side hustle, and it couldn’t be a better time in history right now to create your side hustle expert business.
It’s so primed right now. So, if you’re listening, pay attention to what both Joel and I are telling you is that there are so many ways and it could be any topic. I mean, Anything, I mean, some crazy expert, you know, worlds there’s things for everything, you know?
Just like there’s associations for everything. Like I remember when I was working in the association market, I was like looking through all the associations. So, there’s a national gay rodeo association. I’m like, oh my gosh, this is huge. Who would have thought national gay rodeos?
[00:37:17] Joel Erway:
I was going to tell you.
I mean, usually, I don’t want to say usually but, you know, oftentimes like the more obscure niche, like the better, to clarify that, I mean, you want to know what a real difficult market is to enter? Teaching other experts how to like to grow their business. That’s a real competitive market. Right. You know, so a lot of people would they get tunnel vision like us all, you know, what am I going to focus on?
It’s like, think about what you’ve had success with. Like, think about what you’re really, really good at. And like I’m trying to think of some of our, I’ve got a client doing $250,000 a month right now, teaching IT professionals how to get a six-figure job, like without a certification, like he’s just showing them this new skill, giving them that skill, not having to go through a whole certification then, and then showing them how to go find a job.
And he’s crushing it. He’s doing $250,000 a month since August of last year. Like it’s just wild, you know.
[00:38:11] Debbie Allen:
He’s talking their language to IT professionals typically don’t have the personality to do probably a good interview and he’s telling him, you know, he’s probably teaching them skills that they haven’t learned because they think one way linear.
And so yeah. Awesome. Yes, I know, the deeper than you know the more niche you are, the more successful you can be in many ways. So again, you can be an expert at anything. The piece that I do that I’m known for is taking your idea or your business. Either reinventing it to get you to the next level, positioning you as an expert, or from an idea starting a new business or a new side hustle positioning.
So that’s where my expertise is. I find an area you can own, you own the title, own all the domains around it. Then we build the brand. Then we build out the whole business. So, I’m at the foundation level. So then when you get the foundation bill, you go to Joel and Joel teaches you the online courses.
Then you find other people. So that’s very true what you said about teaching other experts, because I know where my lane is. My lane is at the foundation level. I can continue to work with people when they get to their levels, but I do refer them on to other people. I want to stay at that foundation level.
Cause I love growing businesses. So that’s my jam.
[00:39:23] Joel Erway:
Yeah. It’s so important to stay in your lane. So important. The wider you go, the more difficult is to stand out. And people miss that. They miss that mark a lot. But it’s cause it’s really difficult to think like in your mind, like, oh, well, if I’m just, hyper-focused on IT professionals showing them how to get this specific job.
Like it’s not like he’s targeting all IT professionals, I guess, targeting it professionals, showing them how to get a very specific job and he’s making 250 grand a month, you know, it’s like, you just don’t think that there’s that much opportunity going so niche, but there is.
[00:39:59] Debbie Allen:
[00:39:59] Joel Erway:
Right? It’s all online.
It’s all online. He spent $13,000 in ads to make $250,000 last month. He just posted that in our Facebook group. It was amazing. It was amazing. And so.
[00:40:09] Debbie Allen:
So, there’s part of me that just like jealous of the people that just can nail it a hundred percent online. Cause it’s like, that would be my next reinvention, but there’s also a part of me that it just I’m an entertainer.
I wanted to be an entertainer when I was young girl. And my mom says, you know, I said, I’m going to be a singer. And she’s like your voice sucks. I’m like, yeah, you’re right. You saved me from that. And then I said, well, I can be a dancer. And then she’s like you know, really to make any money you need to pole, that’s not a good idea either.
You know, so it’s not quite the same energy online as far as entertaining, you know, as my entertainment is education. I guess that’s the way you have to put it the way it worked, but anybody can do this. Everybody just does it in their own way.
[00:40:47] Joel Erway:
Awesome. Yeah. Well, thanks. Thanks, mom, for that advice. Hey, your voice, your voice sucks and you need a pole to dance.
[00:40:54] Debbie Allen:
Exactly. Yeah. Well, she was heading me in the right direction. She’s like, okay, I’m going to save you from yourself.
[00:41:00] Joel Erway:
Yeah, yeah. Sound advice. That’s what parents are for. Right. Debbie where can we find your stuff? Let’s drop some links.
[00:41:05] Debbie Allen:
Yeah, let’s do that. debbieallen.com, easy name to remember d e b b i e a l l e n dot com. That’s my website. The event that I do live is called the highly paid expert workshop. And what’s the domain? Highly paid expert workshop. But just go to debbieallen.com. You can click on my events, click on my mentoring programs.
You know, it takes you everywhere. It’s just like a spider web.
[00:41:26] Joel Erway:
Where do we find your book? Is it on Amazon?
[00:41:28] Debbie Allen:
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well go to Amazon of course it’s there the highly paid expert. You’ll find it there. One other thing I want to leave with a gift because you can go to my website. You can look around, but there’s a new page I just put up called expert positioning success.
So, this is exactly what we’ve been talking about today expertpositioningsuccess.com. And there I walk you through what it’s like to be an expert. Why create that business? So, there’s a short 30-minute video on there and then there’s the magic golden button.
If you pass the test, done the 30-minute video, and it sounds like it fit for you, then we’ll have a conversation. If it isn’t, then we won’t have a conversation, but if it is then click the button and we’ll set up a time. We’ll talk one-on-one.
[00:42:07] Joel Erway:
Awesome. Debbie, it’s been a blast. I was on your podcast not too long ago.
It’s great to have you on this podcast. This is an entertaining episode and always informative. And so, for those of you listening right now, go check out Debbie’s stuff. It was a pleasure having you, Debbie. And I know that we’ll be in touch soon, so thanks for listening. And we’ll talk to you soon.