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When McKenzie and I started Shine Insurance I had very little knowledge of how to run a business and even less about how to sell something.  I had been a teacher for 13 years.  People brought their kids to my classroom and if I bombed, the immediate consequences were pretty limited. I also knew that most people don’t like insurance or insurance agents very much. Along with people in the used car business, they’re often viewed as the epitome of the slimy salesperson. 

We knew what we were setting out to do–we wanted to change the way people perceive and feel about insurance. But beyond just being ourselves, we really didn’t know how to go about doing this. So we did what so many new business owners do– we asked people about how to find good resources for starting a business. Fortunately, we came across a pair of resources that eventually defined our trajectory. The first was an online course by Marie Forleo called B-School. The course, which was directed at female business owners, was chockful of great advice on brand strategies, launching a product and beyond.

The second was a book called ‘Youtility’ by Jay Baer.  This book laid out a basic premise: First you define your ideal client.  Then, you figure out ways to do good things for them– things that are useful and helpful in their lives.  These things don’t have to be connected with the product you sell at all.  They just have to be useful to the people you envision being able to help someday.

This book resolved an internal conflict I’d been struggling with for a long time. I loved helping people. As a teacher, my primary purpose was to help kids grow. I knew that leaving teaching and starting a business was the right thing to do, but the whole insurance things was a bit of a struggle. Was I going to be able to help people in a meaningful way? Jay gave me permission to add another layer and simply think of how I could help, period.

The Scratch Entrepreneur Podcast is actually a result of Jay’s book.  It is an attempt to help entrepreneurs both big and small. It’s designed to offer one conversation a week where you hear another business owner like yourself tell their story and connect with a greater community of business owners in a meaningful way.

So it is with great honor that I introduce this week’s guest. Jay Baer is the founder of the internationally renowned marketing firm Convince and Convert. Jay is also a Hall of Fame Keynote speaker and the author of six books. These books include ‘Youtility’, ‘Hug Your Haters’, and his most recent success ‘Talk Triggers.’ You’ll want to have a pen and paper ready for this conversation. Jay lays out a number of smart basic concepts about word of mouth marketing and creating an effective Talk Trigger. He also reveals why he loves doing research so much and discusses the future of social media.

As always, we’re so glad you joined us today.

Topics discussed include:

  • Storytelling in marketing (6:30)
  • Saying ‘no’ and knowing your competition (17:20)
  • Talk Triggers and Word of Mouth (22:00)
  • Current trends in social media (33:45)
  • Are we focusing too much on social media? (44:15)
  • Getting reviews (48:00)

Mentioned in the episode:


Special thanks to Jay Baer for taking the time to share his story with us. 

Contributors to this episode include:

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Until next time, we truly appreciate you listening.


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