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[Feature Friday] StoryBrand Guide Alex Schauer on Applying Good Marketing Principles to a Family Run Business - The ROI Online Podcast Ep. 25

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On this episode of the ROI Online Podcast, StoryBrand Guide Alex Schauer talks with Steve about her experience working for her family’s business and becoming a StoryBrand Guide to help others market theirs. 

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90% of businesses are family owned. Navigating the details of business gets exponentially more difficult when you add your family to the middle of it. If you’ve ever struggled with how to run and grow a family run business, StoryBrand Guide Alex Schauer has some great advice for you. 

Alex has a background in family business manufacturing from working for the family business she married into nine years ago. She learned quickly that being part of the family meant working for the business, even if you didn’t quite have the necessary skills and needed to learn them. She filled the gap in the marketing department and had to learn how to do so effectively having never done it before. 

 

 

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That led her to StoryBrand, which was a challenge for the business to implement for two reasons: 1) everyone in the company was used to sharing their message around why her father-in-law had started the business and 2) they had to pare down the number of products they featured on their website. 

Though his story was interesting, Alex and the company quickly realized that it was more important to feature the customer. She was also afraid if they didn’t feature all their products on their homepage, and instead only focused on one, they’d lose tons of potential revenue. 

What they found instead, was that clarifying their message and focusing on the feature product helped them increase their online revenue 417%. The company’s new message? “Do you know those pretreating coat hooks that stick out at eye level when you go through schools? Those are really dangerous for kids when they're hung at eye level. So we have a flat profile coat hook that makes school safer.”

It directly speaks to what their customers are looking for. 

Other challenges that came up for Alex were typical of family businesses everywhere. How did they keep important conversations from happening on Easter? How do they communicate with one another without making assumptions? What happened when management needed to transition? 

Most of their struggles were answered by focusing on the customer first and by getting to know themselves better. Difficult conversations about percentages and roles were more manageable when focused more on who they were helping. They even implemented using the Enneagram to more deeply understand each other and better work together.  

Alex herself then became a StoryBrand Guide to help other companies clarify their messaging. She has helped over 100 companies and counting and enjoys working with family owned businesses to navigate the unique challenges only they have to deal with. Her sweet spot includes businesses that have manufacturing as part of their model because that’s where her expertise lies. 

Her best advice for other business owners is to hire a guide to help you implement your own StoryBrand—even if it’s not her. Creating her own StoryBrand for their company took three months of agony because they were so close to their own message. That outside perspective is huge and can save you tons of time and heartache. 

 

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Topics: Marketing, Podcasts, Story

Alex Schauer : 

You know, what I found is, as we've stopped talking about who's in charge, and we've focused on who our customers are and how we're best going to serve them, a lot of those questions start slipping to the background. You know, who's going to be in charge? What is the percentage? You know, all those conversations happen with lawyers and it's an important conversation to have. Absolutely. But the day to day when we're serving our customers well together, the questions of percentages kind of fade to the background.

Steve Brown : 

Hi, everybody. Welcome to the ROI online podcast where we believe you. The courageous entrepreneurs of our day, are the invisible heroes of our economy. You not only improve our world with your ideas, your grit and your passion, but you make our world Better. I'm Steve Brown. And this is the place where we have great conversations with winners just like you while we laugh and learn together. Okay, welcome back everybody to the ROI online podcast and today I'm proud to introduce you to Alex shower, as in taking a shower. Okay. Alex is a story brand guide. And her company is shower branding Co. I've seen Alex contribute to the story brand guide community on slack. And I watch your stuff. And this is someone I think that everyone that's listening should get to meet Alex, welcome to the ROI online podcast.

Alex Schauer : 

Thank you so much for inviting me, Steve. I'm happy to be here.

Steve Brown : 

Yeah. You know, one of the things that I was attracted to about what you're doing. I think that You have experienced or recognize that there's, there's a big segment of the folks that we serve who are family based businesses, kind of give us the backstory and walk us into how you got to where you are. Sure. But let's let's talk about that family business flavor there. Absolutely.

Alex Schauer : 

Yeah, absolutely. So my background is in manufacturing, family business manufacturing. I married into a family business nine years ago. And so right out of the gate, I learned that when you're a family member, you have a job to do at the family business. So which was a really great thing for me. So they allowed me to come in and be a part of the family business and so there was a gap, and that time and the marketing department and so Alex was there to fill that role. Although my education was in business management, so I've never taken a marketing class before, but here I am in the marketing department for the business, so and so.

Steve Brown : 

Right and so people get pushed into the marketing role a because they're just going to do whatever they need to do to bring it but it's so typical to hear that they're not prepared, but yet someone's gotta run with the ball there.

Alex Schauer : 

Yeah, absolutely. So it became, you know, just kind of come out of college where I was in learning mode, but then I went right back into learning about again and started reading and doing everything that I could to figure out what we needed to do what I needed to do to contribute to the family business. And so, you know, is a kind of joke sometimes that we, my husband and I that first year we were learning how to beat business partners and married at the same time. So that was a little bit unique for sure. But everything about family business, I've loved it from day one. And we kind of relish it. And so I did about, let's see, it's been five years ago now that I came across story brands, as well, in my research as I was trying to figure out what I was supposed to do. And there was something about it that clicked on all cylinders. For me, I loved being able to change our narrative to be more about the customer and less about who we were. And so we began that process of implementing the framework into our business. And upon launching a new website, we grew 417% in online revenue, well, using the story brand framework. So it was a massive win across the board for the business, but I don't think I realized at the time, how much it was going to help us in other ways as as well. It didn't just change our communication, as it pertains to our business to our customers, but it changed our community communication internally and united us as a family. So it's been a huge part of our journey. And, you know, it took us four months. Do you know how long it takes to write a brand script? It took us four months to write a brand script for the business. And so it was a struggle every day to write it because we were so close to our message. But in the end, it all paid off. But I saw other businesses struggle in the same areas we did, and I thought, I would love to be able to help them through this process as well. And that's when I became a store brand guide.

Steve Brown : 

Wow. So let's talk about first of all, you're the new kid on the block. Yes, you're the daughter in law coming into the family business. Here's this responsibility. You go and do this assignment, but you can't I'm back with this initiative that's going to inject some change in the family business. Let's talk about how that was received. What challenges you you had there that are normal? Take the names off of it. Right. But let's talk about how you implemented that. And how you worked around that.

Alex Schauer : 

Yeah. Well, my husband was on board from day one with the story brand framework. He was actually the one that sent it over to me and said, I think this is the direction we should go. And, and honestly, I come from a very gracious family of that sounds like a great idea. I probably I think the biggest challenge for us was, you know, we used to tell the story. And if you would have asked me, you know, if you came up to me at a party or something, if you would have asked me what we did, I would have told you Well, my father in law, and then I would walk through his story of inventing a safety product first schools, and I got a lot of really, that's really cool. But I never made any connection as to those people need our products in their schools, those kinds of conversations. So the biggest change is that we stopped telling that story, we stopped telling the story about my father in law. And it's actually really interesting how he started our company. And so I always thought, Well, if it's interesting, people want to hear it. But the truth of the matter is they really wanted a safety product for their schools that made it safer for kids, where they, you know, play and so that's the story that we started to tell instead. The other biggest challenge that we faced implementing start with story brand framework is that we really pared down what we were talking about, so we had several products, and we decided let's focus our homepage and really some of the things premiere internal pages that we use and only talk about our one big product, and everything else will just go to the footer of the page. And that was a little bit scary because you don't want to lose any revenue, you know. But it didn't. It did the very opposite. When we focused on the one product that we really was proprietary to us and that people were really choosing then sales begin to increase. So it's pretty amazing.

Steve Brown : 

You know, marketing directors are relating with you right now. And then maybe they don't work for family business, but they get handed an assignment. They maybe learn about storebrand or someone was delegated story brand, but then they want to implement it and change how the organization talks about but they do. So what's the just for their edification? How do you talk about To business now.

Alex Schauer : 

How do I talk about the business?

Steve Brown : 

How do you talk about your business? Now let's let's hear what the new message sounds like.

Alex Schauer : 

Yeah, so the new message is: do you know those pretreating coat hooks that stick out at eye level? Whenever you go through schools? Yeah, those are really dangerous for kids when when they're hungry at eye level. So we have a flat profile coat hook that makes school safer. That was our one liner. That's what we say. That's our messaging now. And it resonates within everything that we do. So we went to a trade show. And the sign behind us said, Our hooks won't hurt you. And you'd be amazed how many people were coming up to us? And they would say to co hooks hurt you? And I was like, Yes, they do. And so it opened a huge story loop in people's minds. And we had, you know, really great conversations because we used we went towards their problem the problem that customers are facing and Saying, my father in law started this company. It's really cool. You know, that doesn't solve the problem for our customers

Steve Brown : 

that drew a picture in my mind of a cohort that retracts. And yeah, and so I can see where that would be safe, you, you pull it out and hang your code, but when you pull it off, it disappears.

Alex Schauer : 

Yeah, and ours is actually a flat profile. And so it's it kind of sucks up and down. And you know, they're virtually unbreakable. So what a district orders from us and they're able to have a coke that's going to last forever, so the life of their students and beyond. So it's a pretty neat product for sure.

Steve Brown : 

It's a really cool how sentence can convey a whole whole bunch of things and just quickly connect the dots. So let's talk some more about family business. So they family businesses, I didn't really realize you and I were talking before. Yeah, I didn't realize how many small businesses are actually family owned businesses.

Alex Schauer : 

Yeah. 90% 90% of businesses are family owned.

Steve Brown : 

That's crazy. And you think you think about just the challenges of running a business. And then you add on that layer of family dynamics.

Alex Schauer : 

Exactly. Exactly. And you know what, my I had a great education, and all business related, and not one of my books. So too, what happens when the management is your family member? They just talked about really great philosophies and principles that you could implement some of my favorite books, or so books that I refer back to, but they're missing that element of, well, what happens when that person is your father in law, or your mother in law or your brother in law, which is our story? They're 16 have us all together working in the family business. And so I always felt like there was this missing factor. Yes, I can run an effective meeting. But how do I make sure that that meeting doesn't happen over Easter? You know, you know what, I'm sitting at the table with my family over Easter and those type of ideas, how do I approach something in a way that's really clear and tight at the same time? And, you know, I've heard he probably heard the saying, to be clear, is to be kind. And I completely agree with that, especially in family business. You know, there's a different level of communication that you have to have when you're working with family. Totally.

Steve Brown : 

So, one of my clients, he specializes in family business coaching. Yeah, in particular, the time when the leadership of that family business is beginning to transition where the parents It's or an older elder folks are wanting to retire. Right? But you now have the kids or the siblings that are going to take over. And so there's a big, big challenge of transition of management of leadership. I can't imagine how difficult that can be. What's in place in how can your messaging How can your the way that you approach and that's a Marketing Challenge, as well, how do you approach that with your messaging?

Alex Schauer : 

Mm hmm. That's a really good question. And for us, the decision that we've made is that we're here to serve our customers. And that is multi generational, and that'll happen this generation. So we're second generation my kids will our third And my nieces and nephews will be third generation. And, you know, what I found is, as we've stopped talking about who's in charge, and we've focused on who our customers are, and how we're best going to serve them, a lot of those questions start slipping to the background. You know, who's going to be in charge? What is the percentage? You know, all those conversations happen with lawyers, and it's an important conversation to have. Absolutely. But the day to day when we're serving our customers, well together, the questions of percentages kind of fade to the background. We're all going to serve them really well.

Steve Brown : 

That's a powerful statement. You just said—

Alex Schauer : 

You probably know this quote from Donald Miller. And it was the one that really kind of spoke to me the first time ever read building a story brand. Was the minute that you stopped losing Sleep over your success and you start losing sleep over your customer success as the day you start to grow again. And that's really it's that's the epitome of everything that we're doing.

Steve Brown : 

Well, so you have success there. You started your in your chops you. You're in the respect of your new family. Yes. Right. Yeah. So success. And then you decide, hey, I think I want to do this for some other folks. Yes.

Alex Schauer : 

I did. And I originally, originally it was going to be kind of something fun that I did on the side because I enjoyed that process so much. And I became a guide in September 2017. So it was about that time that you know, I thought this will be something that I can do, like I said on the side, and it didn't take long before I realized that it was something I loved. So much. And in about two, two months, I think it was November of that year, that same year that I went full time. And so the family business is now a client of mine. But I do take on other clients now. So, so far, the last two and a half years, I've worked with over 100 companies to help them with this process. And it's been phenomenal. And I love being able to come alongside them and to make sure that their messaging is really clear. Because I know, I mean, you know, once you've been through this process, and Steve, you know exactly what it's like, once you've been through the process of getting clear on the message and making sure that, you know, it's through all of your marketing efforts. It does something for the momentum of the business and for the people that are involved in it. So it's just it's a fun thing to do every day.

Steve Brown : 

I think the momentum comes from when you align all the energies and in people's brains, yes on that team to start communicating the same message and that bleeds into how they treat customers. That was into the decisions they make about everything you found. So, when I learned about story, obviously, the first default way of applying it is on your marketing message. But it quickly became obvious to me that this was applicable and communicating with your team and communicating with all these other scenarios. Mm hmm. What have you experienced?

Alex Schauer : 

I completely agree. Like I said, originally, the idea of implementing storebrand was just going to be on our website. But after the same success from that, we started implementing it in every other area of the business and even at times in life. Brother in law, and I was just talking the other day, you know, there was a guy on the team who was kind of struggling with some things. And so I said, Well, does he, you know, have you reiterated to him the purpose of being here? You know, and I think that that's kind of our default, you know, we're here to serve our customers so that they have safer schools, is that been reiterated to him? And he said, No, that's the missing link. And so he was able to go back to that team member and say, hey, let's just let's focus in, you know, the reason that we're here every day is to be able to serve our customers that they have safer schools. And what you're doing is important, and I think that being able to offer that to people is just a great way to serve your team members to say there's so much clarity about what we do, why we're here. Then some of those big questions start fading into the background. Like I said, just the same way with a succession plan. Everything fades away when you start focusing on your customers.

Steve Brown : 

I've led many change initiatives with my company and naturally changes intimidating and you you encounter resistance. Because the team's just wanting to understand why why do I need to do this extra hurdle but when, when I introduced storebrand, the adoption rate on this was, yeah, impressive way better than all the other initiatives I'd done. And it It started us down a path of alignment, I believe was the big takeaway on that. But what other story man is like the entry, entry into another? expectation or realization of how to communicate? What are some other frameworks that you found? What are some other books? What are? Yeah, I'm curious at what other things that you've applied. That becomes a force multiplier on top of that.

Alex Schauer : 

One of the things that we did and we implemented was testing for the enneagram. So we do know what enneagram numbers are team members are, which is incredibly helpful. It really defined a lot for us even within our family members, my brother in law and I are both ones on the inia gram. So I think that explained a lot to our family if you know, I'm a one is a perfectionist. So we like to say we're reformers. So

Steve Brown : 

let's talk about a stop in the audience that may not be familiar with sure that would you kind of give us a back story there.

Alex Schauer : 

Right so the enneagram and you know, I am not a professional at the enneagram but in Kron is the one that we've, you know, adopted what he has to say about the inia gram and done his testing and those kinds of things, but it basically is a nine personality types that that are that you fit into. So you have one specific personality type that is you. And then you have moments of stress and moments of growth, and where you go in those areas as well. So it's very interesting. I think, one of the, you know, I've taken different personality tests throughout the years, and they've all been very good. But the thing about the enneagram that I like the most is that I feel like it. It gave us a path of communication to those different personality types within our company. And so if we start seeing something that we're like, oh, that seems a little off, then we know, maybe we haven't given them enough work at this point, because they're an achiever and they don't have enough right now or whatever it may be. So does that explain you

Steve Brown : 

I want to pause here just for a moment. talk to you about a program that we have just released called the ROI quickstart Academy for authors every day I talk to business owners just like you who struggle with quickly getting their fundamentals in place. We want to create a great foundation and we want to grow our business. But the things that are in our way, our lack of knowledge about the specifics, we should put in place, what kind of technology what kind of messaging and what kind of campaigns and that problem exists for authors as well. And we just gel so good with authors because, well, I'm an author, and I understand everything that you struggle with. You have a great idea you have a great book, but what do you want to do? You want to get your book in front of more people, you want to make it easy for them to find you learn how they can schedule a time to talk with you hire you for a conference, or maybe sign up for the services that your book promotes. So what is the Quickstart Academy for authors Imagine working with a small group of like minded authors, and the experts from the ROI quickstart. Team, it's a great way to get your messaging clear to be confident with the technology in your marketing automation, and how to run a strategic campaign to get you more of what you want from the investment of your book. To learn more about quickstart Academy for authors, you can visit ROI online.com or click in the link in the show notes below. And now, back to this episode. It's basically a framework to art. We tend to think everybody should approach everything like we do. Yes, exactly. And when we're not thinking about it, we're going what's wrong with that person? Can't they can't they see what I see. But the problem is they're different. Right? And so the knowledge of all the differences in us and how how we can At least create a standard to communicate and and know that Oh, they're not crazy. They're not weird. They're just like they're supposed to be.

Alex Schauer : 

Exactly. And how do we use that as a strength? You know, how do we help them use that as a strength and not and kind of get in their head? Kyle and I, my brother in law and I as both as No, as both ones on the inia gram. We have an inner critic. Well, I thought everyone had an inner critic, so I was very confused by anyone could make massive mistakes that would send them to jail. But it's figured out really quickly that not everyone has that. So if anything, Kyle and I are not never going to do, man, but yeah, no, you're absolutely right. So it does change the way that we communicate anything, Kyle and I coach each other sometimes it will say, I think that's your inner critic. I don't think that that's actually what's happening here. So it's been helpful to have kind of an ally in that in that way, but also understand how the rest of our family members work as well.

Steve Brown : 

So tell us about some of the clients that you work with, do you specialize in a certain industry or enneagram? type? Or how, tell us about that?

Alex Schauer : 

Any agreements enneagram type. I haven't started testing for enneagram first, but that's actually pretty an interesting concept. I work with a wide range of clients. So really my sweet spot I would say, are service based businesses or product based businesses. So ones that are like ours that have manufacturing as part of it. I know that world so it seems to come pretty easy for me. But I love it whenever I get to work with a family business. That is because I understand the weight whenever they say I have to run this by my cousin. It's not an odd thing for me to hear. And I think pletely We understand that and I know how many family members do we need to have in this discussion to really move it forward in those kinds of questions. So I love working with family businesses

Steve Brown : 

on that, when they have to go run it by their cousin or someone else, if that means is, I have a communication challenge. And I need to go, I need to go do a presentation, a sales presentation, basically. So that's a great time to help them get their messaging correct before they go into that and set them up for success.

Alex Schauer : 

Exactly. You're right on. That's right.

Steve Brown : 

I found that also, you know, it's our natural thinking that everyone has a Marketing Challenge and they do, but we we default to thinking it's an outside I need new customers. Yes, they do. But there's other marketing challenges such as, maybe they need to recruit employees. Good employees? Yes. Have you talked about a project? Maybe you're shaking your head. So I'm assuming you have done something like this. Tell us about how you approach that project and what the outcome look like.

Alex Schauer : 

Yeah. Well, um, you know, I think anytime you add a new team member to the I mean, it is it's kind of, especially in family business, I would say it's a very personal thing, when you're adding someone to, essentially the family. And they have to be the right person. So one of the ways that we, as we, you know, and this really goes back to and I probably sound like a broken record. But as we continue to focus on our customer became even clearer who we needed to have that could focus on our customers with us. So we tend to go, you know, for our business we like to go for people who are growth minded, have a growth mindset who are really detail oriented, because we're in manufacturing. So there's a lot of details that happen And, and so, but we write a brand script for the person that we're wanting to hire. So the problem they want to solve is, they want to be a part of a great company where they can continue to grow, you know, without having to leave kind of idea. And so, it's been helpful for us as we're having those conversations to think, you know, we want to build people into our business for the long term, we find it incredibly important to serve them. And so it just as well as our customers, and when, you know, when you serve your team members, well, you automatically turn around and serve your customer as well. So that's our first brand script is for our team members. But it all goes back to are they going to serve our customers Well,

Steve Brown : 

now the process of bringing someone into the organization Imagine if you put yourself in their shoes Okay, I need to learn the lingo. I need to learn the culture I need to learn, you know, who's, who's safe and who dies to steer away from right. That's their head.

Alex Schauer : 

Absolutely.

Steve Brown : 

But if you have a process that you're working on a brand script with them, you're actually giving them tools. Yeah, to be successful to go through that. That hazing process. Yeah. Because I'm being facetious, but that feels like hazing. Right?

Alex Schauer : 

Right. It does, it can feel that way. And I think that that's why it's so important to give everyone the same language because it becomes something that you say every day, you know, I find that I've been in organizations before where you walk in the hand you an employee handbook, and you're just going to figure it out. And I don't think that that works long term. I think that you have to continually have that conversation of what does it look like the server customers extremely well, and, you know, what do we need to do? do to make sure that you're equipped for the job that you have to do to make sure that we're getting all the details taken care of those kinds of things. So I don't think that it's although we we can brand script to the employee onboarding process. The internal conversation has to be consistent and fluid and it's not just a one time conversation of what's on board them well, it's what's on board them well, and let's keep them going for a year to three or till they've been with us forever.

Steve Brown : 

Have you experienced with the customer that maybe read story brand? And, okay, this is something we need to do isn't what they're thinking but they talk to you and they think that you're I'm going to pay a little bit of money or you get my brand script done and then then check. I got that off the list and let's get on to something else. I find that it's not that easy. Number one, but there's a lot more work You have to do but that person that's not a perfect client that you you want to bring on board unless you can get them to recognize, oh, this is way deeper than what I originally thought

Unknown Speaker : 

It is. It is. And I think a lot of that is, is guiding them through the process because I mean, even I when I first went through those story brand framework, you know, I thought this will be great for our website. And then as I started the process, it began to be very clear that it was way beyond what the homepage of our website could do. It was internal communication. It was every piece of every email, every piece of mail that went out to our customers, that was everything. It was the way that we talked just as a family but also with our team unity across the board. And so I think that that was the biggest And that's what I try to help my clients do is work through the process so that they understand that, yes, it's going to be the website, but then we're going to move it into the other areas of our business to be successful.

Steve Brown : 

So now we're in, in this time where we're sheltering in place, and a lot of people are doing personal inventory, first of all, on a reset. Businesses are thinking that as well. What are some of your suggestions or ideas

Alex Schauer : 

To resetting your business during—

Steve Brown : 

Yeah, or what things you know, what inventory items should we be working on right now?

Alex Schauer : 

Yeah, that's a really great question. You know, and I think it's, it's obviously different for every business. And, you know, I think it was maybe john Maxwell. I don't want to quote him incorrectly. But he said, plugged in every opportunity is a great challenge, you know, so, you know, you have this great challenge ahead of us and I'm not going to pretend like it's super easy. For everyone at all, but I think that some businesses, their call to arms during this time is going to be stay the course. It's not going to be let's innovate, let's create something new. For a lot of people, it's going to be stay the course. And I think that that's okay. And I mean, that's what we've, we've decided from the very beginning. We thought, do we need to iterate our business? Do we need to, to make any changes or innovate. And really, the thing that we all came came back to is, we're going to stay the course. And we're going to get through this time, and it's paid off for us really well. So I do think that that is going to be the narrative of many businesses as we stay the course and doing that paid off in great dividends. However, I also know that for many businesses, what this time allows them to do is to give greater focus to things that they've been that they should pat on the back burner, and things that they had in their mind is we could do this in the future or something along those lines. And this is really the time to to focus on those items. And so they know what it is that burning problem in the back of their mind that they've been thinking this whole time. You know, as soon as we get a break, that's what I'm going to focus on. Well, this is your break, this is your chance, and you lean into it and allow this challenge to bring out the best opportunities and innovation. But like I said, I think that there are two different and I don't know if that's a narrative that we're hearing a lot that for some businesses, the decision is to stay the course. But that's okay, too. It's okay to stay the course. If it's not, you know, you don't have burning things in the back of your mind that you're like, Oh, I should create this, then this is your time to just stay the course.

Steve Brown : 

degree just because otherwise people having to change doesn't mean you have to. Yeah, yeah. We started you know, I was thinking about what, what we should do or pivot or whatever. And so I think what we're going to do is we're start producing digital facemask for websites with that.

Alex Schauer : 

I like it. I did have a zoom call last week where someone were a face mask. I'm pretty sure the joke or the Coronavirus can now go through computer screens. I'm not sure, but pretty funny.

Steve Brown : 

So, how do you use? So what are some other books that you knew have gotten a lot of? I don't know Tiffany's or what some other books that you've read. It's really helped you. Then some marketing directors or folks that are relating with you are in a similar position. What's some books that they should consider

Alex Schauer : 

and the first book I want them to pick up is Never Split the Difference.

Steve Brown : 

Mm hmm. Chris Voss.

Alex Schauer : 

Chris Voss. I've read that one twice. I'm about to pick it up again for the third time. Yeah. Me. Such a good book. Right.

Steve Brown : 

I have it on Audible and I listen to it all the time. Yes, right.

Alex Schauer : 

Now good. Yeah. No, I think that that's the first one I would say to pick up and read it and understand it, the best you can and you I use it almost as a just a resource to go back to time and time again, whenever I'm coming up against a negotiation by nature. That's not my, my bent. You know, I'm not a negotiator. So he's helped me tremendously so I'm trying to think what other I have a stack of books on my desk right now. He's helped you tremendously. he's a he's a great writer, and it's just helped me Yeah, it's helped tremendously. The other books that I recommend are Mike mccalla wits. He, his book clockwork is excellent. I love that book I started using he has a 40 mix for his business and it's doing designing, delegating and deciding so deciding designing, therefore, and what I've taken from his book is I actually take my time and I divided it up into those four different categories to make sure that I have the right mix going on at all times and it's been really instrumental for me so I highly recommend that book as well. And you know, my kind of one that I have gone back to you every year is good to great. I just love that book. It may be my enneagram one that loves that first line of the book good is the enemy of great, But, but it's a fantastic book. I love to go back to that one year after the And especially the part and I actually went back to at the beginning of quarantine, where he talks about facing the brutal facts. And I reread that section just to prepare my mind or whatever we might be facing. Because it was so it is so unknown still, but it was very unknown in the beginning. But I wanted to be prepared to face whatever we were tackling So Jim Collins, Good to Great facing the brutal facts. That's my favorite chapter right now and asked me next week and I'll be a different one. But yeah, those are probably the ones other than obviously the storebrand books that I'm always referring back to, but that are helpful. So

Steve Brown : 

So what are some conferences that you've attended that you really enjoyed or really like?

Alex Schauer : 

Um, that's a really good question. I have attended Dave Ramsey events. entre leadership events and they've been really helpful. And actually any women that are maybe listening attended Christie Wright's business boutique, and it was pretty instrumental in my business early on, and I really appreciated all of her information as well. And then, you know, everyone should obviously go to the live storybrand workshop.

Steve Brown : 

Exactly.

Alex Schauer : 

Every time they have it and be perfectly happy. So, so much to learn, always.

Steve Brown : 

So when someone you take on a new client, yes, the first 30 days look like with you.

Alex Schauer : 

The first 30 days are really focused on messaging and making sure that we have that really clear. And so, you know, it typically starts out with an initial conversation where we're walking through what the messaging should be, and really what Their business is all about those kinds of things. Sometimes that includes conversations with past clients. Sometimes it includes conversations with other team team members, but we just want to be sure that we're covering all the bases. So the first 30 days is really focused on making sure the messaging is right. And we have a strategy moving forward. You know, we have great words, but we've got to put them in place somewhere. And that's going to happen on the, you know, through the strategy. So what are the next steps? What's the most important thing? Where are people finding you the most, and I found that that's different across the board. I have some clients that come to me and say, I have a trade show next month. So instead of trying to fix everything at one time, let's just make sure that you knock it out of the park at this trade show. So that's our focus first. So initially, it's the messaging and then from there, we're talking strategy on where we're going to use those words. And most effectively

Steve Brown : 

find that when you tell them as quick we're going to take some time to, to really nail this messaging. Like what we can do this and just an hour, a couple hours. What do you say to that?

Alex Schauer : 

It took me four months to write my first script for. I'm not saying like I, I was doing it on the side of my regular work, I was focused on it. And I was reiterating it over and over and I was starting from scratch and try again, and there was just a lot of trial and error in the process. A lot of that had to do with the fact that I was so close to the content, you know, the business itself that that I just couldn't see the label on the outside of the bottle, and so it just took that long to get that clear. So we're really saving them about three months of agony. If you work with a guide, I will save you time, I promise, but it still will take time to get it right

Steve Brown : 

You're illustrating awesome. The reason why hiring a guide is so valuable because you don't realize how close you are to your content and how even for us, it took a long time to really get it. And, and one day that just hit me. But it was like, I had been walking around this obstacle in my way all this time. And then one day I'm going, I can't believe I didn't see that. But we are too close to our stuff.

Alex Schauer : 

Exactly. That outside perspective is huge. And just to be able to have someone else and you know, I have clients tell me all the time, I can't believe you just said what we've been trying to say for 10 years. And it's just an outside perspective with with the framework. That's really what it is. And so hiring guide is, I think one of the best money that you can spend on your marketing. Just honestly point blank and That's not just me, there are plenty of guides to choose from. I just mean, it's going to save you a ton of time heartache in the process, and you get to a result much faster. Totally. And it's an asset, not just some words, it's an asset that's going to impact your organization for years to come. Absolutely. You know, the website that we launched five years ago, is still increases dollars every day. And I have a new iteration of the website, but then I'm like, it's working. So should we watch the update? Or should we just keep it, let it just let it keep working so

Steve Brown : 

well, your customers change? Your your services change? Sometimes your things change? Yeah, yeah. So I totally get it. So Alex, folks have been listening. Maybe they want to reach out to you. Talk to you a little bit. How do they get ahold of you?

Alex Schauer : 

Well, I'm There's a couple of ways the best way is through my website, which is shower co.com in shower is a little bit different spelling, it's a CH, au er, code calm, it's a German name. And, and then, but specifically, if they are a family business and you're listening, the best way is to go to shower co.com backslash family and actually have a download there that they can download. I actually titled it, how to work together and still love each other. So it's all about how to really make your experience and a family business incredibly successful. So the things that we've found that have worked for us and I hope they work for you, too.

Steve Brown : 

That's excellent. Alex, this is been a great conversation. I'm really enjoyed it and I appreciate you and I value you.

Alex Schauer : 

Thank you for inviting me, Steve. I really appreciate it.

Steve Brown : 

All right. Well, that's Rap Thanks for listening to another fun episode of the ROI online podcast. For more, be sure to check out the show notes of this episode. And feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn where we can chat and I can help direct you to the resources you're searching for. To learn more about how you can grow your business better. Be sure to pick up your copy of my book that golden Toilet at surprise that golden toilet.com. I'm Steve Brown, and we'll see you next week on another fun episode of the ROI online podcast.