287 Youth Pastor to Online Business Consultant – Scott Aughtmon

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  • April 9, 2015
287 Youth Pastor to Online Business Consultant - Scott Aughtmon
Listen to the Episode Below (0:28:23)

What You will Hear in Scott Aughtmon's Story:

  • From Pastor to Online Biz Owner
  • Starting First Online Biz – what it took to succeed
  • Content Marketing Tips 
  • Growing Your Visibility Online 
  • Attract the Right Customers with Content Marketing

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More about our featured guest Scott Aughtmon (click bar below)

More about our featured guest

Scott Aughtmon is the author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. He is a regular contributor to http://www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/ and he is the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave.

He is a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. He’s been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999. He has a unique perspective and ability to communicate ideas and concepts in a way that can help you climb to new heights. Read more of Scott's insights on his blog: http://www.RecessionSolution.com 

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Full Transcript (Click bar below)

Full Transcript

[00:02] Joel: Welcome to ReLaunch, your daily dose of inspiring stories, fresh ideas, and practical solutions to help you relaunch and become known in your niche. And if you are a daily listener, welcome back to the show, thank you for tuning in, and thank you for joining us in the before and the after show online conversations. And if you are new here, just know that you are among friends. And this is what you can expect: Unique insights, a-ha moments and actionable information from self-made successes that share with you their trials, tribulations, and their come-from-behind victories. Joining us on today's show, the author of “51 Content Marketing Hacks”. And you know what? He is also the person behind the wildly popular infographic, “21 Types of Content We Crave”. The one and only Scott Aughtmon is on today's show. Hey, Scott, welcome to ReLaunch.

[01:07] Scott Aughtmon: Thank you guys, it's good to be here.

[01:09] Joel: Good to have you here as well. And this show is highly practical because, well, not only is all about the relaunch and talking about how you did it, but it's also about becoming known in your niche, again, how you did it. And while we've all experienced numerous launches and relaunches in our life, I generally ask our guests to zero in on the relaunch that has been the most transformational for them, and then we just unfold the story from there. And we'll do that with you here in just a few minutes, if that's okay, but first, I wanna start the show off with a quick piece of takeaway gold. And you, Scott, have been studying marketing and content marketing's best practices for more than a decade now, and in your experience, what would you say is the number one mistake that people make in their content marketing plan that's easy to fix, if they only knew how? What do you think, number one mistake?

[02:15] Scott Aughton: I think the number one mistake these days is creating generic content, because there's so much content out there nowadays, if you just put another “me too” article with seven steps on how to do social media, it's not gonna make an impact like it maybe would have five years ago.

[02:32] Pei: So true. So, actually to be more focused and more niched, is that what you're saying?

[02:40] Scott Aughton: Yeah, even with the “51 Content Marketing Hacks”, even with the way you present your information, instead of… Personality, stories, the way you relate to people, your voice, even just in text, your voice that comes across, those things make you stand out instead of just sounding like another five, six, seven-point person.

[03:05] Joel: Okay. So the number one mistake is to basically copy someone else's style, do a “me too” article, like, “I also know this stuff.” Just carbon copy.

[03:15] Scott Aughton: Right. Yeah, and just assume if I just put out content now, if it's gonna have an impact. And content is a commodity now these days. It used to be, information was power, and now content is a commodity. Like with your show, you have a unique angle, unique niche, you let your personality shine through, that make you stand out, because otherwise, there's a ton of podcasts out there, you can't just put a podcast and say, “I'll just do another podcast.” You have to have something that makes it standout, and it's the same thing with any type of content in any kind of field.

[03:46] Joel: You know what, Pei? That's something I'm gonna have to tweet out after we get off of today's show. That content is now a commodity, because you know what? It really is. And what you're saying, Scott, is the antidote to “me too” articles, or being commoditized, is to let yourself shine through.

[04:06] Pei: Yeah, show your personality, your culture.

[04:06] Scott Aughton: That's right, that's right.

[04:09] Joel: Okay, fantastic.

[04:10] Scott Aughton: That's right. Even the angle that you take on an article can change, even if it's the same seven points you would have written in the generic article. But if you take a unique angle in way of looking at it, all of a sudden, the whole thing stands out in a way that it wouldn't have.

[04:24] Joel: Something tells me that we're going to be revisiting that tip that you gave a little bit later on in today's show as we begin to talk about your personal and professional relaunch, and then go from there. So, help me out here, Scott, how do we get started?

[04:40] Scott Aughton: Well, I should say this upfront, I grew up most of my life, and I did not notice marketing, I did not care about marketing. It wasn't until 1999 when I got involved online, I started to put up a website for, it was a music website in a small niche. And all of a sudden, I was trying to figure out, how do I get traffic for this website? And suddenly, I realized that I needed to know marketing, which I hadn't noticed or paid attention to. So, I started reading every online article from every late '90s guru that there was. They were mentioning classic marketing books, I started reading those. I read any current marketing book. And I started to gain information and I started to realize, I actually am interested in marketing. I like it, it clicks with me, I can think in that way, and I started to apply it to that site. And I saw that site go to probably one of the top five in that little niche, not that it was that impressive, but it was… There was results from it. And I had consistent visitors, and people in the message forum, and so I began to see this impact of marketing in one little niche, in one little arena. And that's where I was just sort of messing around until I kinda got pushed to the place where I had to make this relaunch happen.

[06:00] Pei: So, let's get into it.

[06:03] Joel: Yeah, so I'm interested. We talked before the show that you were actually working as a youth pastor, and you actually kind of were looking for other ways that would help you support yourself, basically.

[06:20] Scott Aughton: Exactly. I was living in Silicon Valley. It's the dot.com boom days. The housing prices were crazy. My wife and I were living here. We were surviving because we were both working, and then we had our first son, and we both decided we wanted her to stay home. And suddenly, we were trying to survive off of my income only, and that's when we realized, this wasn't gonna work. And I came across this, I think it was an ebook, it was an ebook, that said, “If you interview top experts, compile the interviews, you'll have an instant book”. And what I had done in that little music niche is I interviewed experts, and as soon as I got one person to say yes, it was easier to get the second, and once I got a few in line, adding the 10th or the 11th person, people were thanking me for including them.

[07:11] Scott Aughton: And so, I knew I could do that, but the issue was, I was afraid. I was afraid of rejection. And a relaunch in this arena where, at this point, I had been involved in it for about two years. I started in '99, this was probably around 2001. And I'll be very honest with you, I don't like rejection, I'm not good at asking for things. My wife doesn't mind asking anyone for anything, but I'm always cautious. So I'm at this place where I'd gotten a business license, I had this idea, the recession has hit, I know that there's marketers that know how to survive in a recession, I know business owners don't know how. And I've got this idea, it's gonna be this book, “How To Survive and Prosper In a Recession”, and I'm gonna ask experts to give their advice. But I'm scared. So I've got the business license and I'm stalled out because I'm afraid to move forward. I'm afraid of getting rejected.

[08:03] Joel: Let me ask you this. Were you afraid of the rejection, or was there a little taste of being afraid of the success that this actually might work? And it's kind of a silly question, but people, because they're people, humans, sometimes fear success. I know that's something that I'm challenged with.

[08:28] Scott Aughton: Oh, you know what? I don't think that's actually a weird question. I think it's actually a very truthful question. I think for most of us, the most upfront fear is the rejection. “What if it doesn't work?” “What if I'm a stupid failure?” Rejection and failure they're like the conjoined twins. We're afraid of both those things. But on the other hand, “What if I succeed? Can I really do this?” I think everybody's afraid they're gonna be found out that you're a fake, that you're not supposed to be on whatever arena you're in, 'cause everybody doesn't feel like they're really qualified, even if you are qualified. And so, I'm sure on that level, I was afraid, “What if it really works? What do I do then? How do I actually make this thing work?” So yeah, I'm sure both of those were involved. I just knew I didn't like to ask people for things, and if you would have asked me, “What's the thing that's stopping you?” I'm afraid of getting rejected”, that's what I would have told you. But it was all those things combined, definitely.

[09:19] Pei: So, at the time, you're still a youth pastor, and this business license you got, what kind of business did you think at the time you were starting?

[09:31] Scott Aughton: It was an online business. So I can't remember the category, but it basically, I was in that little section of the business licenses. It wasn't gonna be a place where anybody's gonna come to a shop somewhere and I was gonna sell anything, it was gonna be selling information online.

[09:47] Pei: So, go ahead.

[09:49] Joel: Me? Okay. I'm curious, we ask a lot of people this question, Scott, but as you had made some decisions with your wife that there was gonna be some changes in your household because of the things that you wanted and the life that you both wanted to live, and then also with your first born, what are some of the things that you learned or relearned about Scott, about Scott's potential, possibilities, value? And what you had to offer, not just to the world and society and the people that you helped, but the things that you had to offer yourself and your family and the greater good, things that you've learned or relearned? What do you think, Scott?

[10:35] Scott Aughton: In that arena, the funny thing is I was a youth pastor, but I hated public speaking my whole life. It was the biggest fear that I had. But I had moved into that arena and I, of course, would say God opened doors and helped those things to play out the way they did. But from the very beginning, I had always wanted to figure out, how do I capture someone's attention, how do I keep their attention, how do I present this information in the most powerful way? Because obviously, in a church setting, I don't believe it's just me, but at the same point, I don't wanna be the person boring someone to death with something that's very important for them to hear. And so, what I was going to find out, which I didn't know yet, was the same things that I had learned in this arena, when I could speak to junior high kids and high school school kids and keep their attention, the same things that I had learned over there could be pulled out of this arena and popped into another arena, and work just as well to get people's attention. And so, I would have never known that, that I was actually training indirectly for a completely different arena, but I was.

[11:42] Joel: Pei, do you wanna jump in? No? Me? Okay. I love that because one of the things that I sometimes remind people of is that their past, their past jobs, their past experiences, their past life, if you will, is nothing more than preparation for the next place, the next place that they're going to.

[12:04] Scott Aughton: That's right. That's exactly right.

[12:06] Pei: Yeah. And, also, there's a common theme in what we do. The occupation might be different, and the activities might be different, but the gifts we can, that bring us to success in one area is definitely transferable.

[12:25] Scott Aughton: That's exactly right.

[12:27] Joel: Indeed. Okay, so this is… You've actually kind of set up a very good segue for us moving into the next part of the show and that is becoming known in your niche. And the reason I love to talk about this thing, becoming known is because people that are going through a professional relaunch, that's what they're striving for, that's what they hope to accomplish is…

[12:53] Scott Aughton: Exactly.

[12:54] Joel: They want to be known in their niche because in today's… And we've already talked about this, in today's content-heavy environment, you have to become known.

[13:05] Scott Aughton: That's exactly right.

[13:06] Joel: Right. If you're gonna make it as an entrepreneur, and you have to use your skills, your abilities and your personality style, so I kind of gave it away right there, but how did you specifically become known in your niche's past just harnessing your experiences?

[13:27] Scott Aughton: What I did, I was at this place where I'm afraid to go for it. And I think it was like [1:50] in the morning, [1:50] AM, something like that, and I'm sitting there, and I know, I just need to send out these interviews, and I already know how I do it. I'm gonna offer people to… If they have bios, they can advertise whenever they want. That's all that I'm offering. I just need to do it. I'm sitting there at night, beating my self up. You always have these ideas, but you never do anything about it. And so, I just send out… I think it was, I don't even remember, seven or eight emails out to experts. And what happened was, by the morning, I had three interviews already sent back to me, with the answers ready to go. All I had to do was copy and paste them into a book. And I asked three questions, I asked, “What's the common mistake most businesses make in a recession? What are some methods that you used to survive and prosper? And what's a little known way for a business to make money right now?”

[14:19] Joel: Okay, simple questions.

[14:20] Scott Aughton: One of the… Yes, simple questions. And I explained it in the book, “How To Survive and Prosper in a Recession?”, I explained this in the ebook, all the background. One of the guys, who's sent me back his answers, was up and coming expert in… He's very big right now. I can't mention his name, only because of an agreement with him. But, anyway, he said, “Yes,” and he sent me his answers. And I remembered that he had co-authored a book with Jay Conrad Levinson, which… He's the Guerrilla Marketing guy.

[14:51] Joel: Right.

[14:51] Scott Aughton: He's the guru of all marketing. I remembered they co-authored something, and all of a sudden, it hit me. I don't remembered who the two other guys were that gave me their answers, but I remembered that and I thought, if they know each other, I think I can get Jay to say yes. So I sent him the email, I said, “This is what I'm doing, blah blah blah, and here's the questions, and here are the three people that have already sent their interviews to me. Here's the first one.” And I put that guy at the top. And then Jay sent me his. And then that just started the snowball. As soon as I had those two locked in, everybody was wanting to be a part, because they were a part. And so, what happened was, I get the book together, I even send it out to all of them. I got incredible testimonials from people. Jay Conrad Levinson gave me a testimonial, like, I couldn't have written for myself better than the one he wrote for me.

[15:41] Scott Aughton: The one thing that I did not do well was, I just tried to sell it online to all the how-to-make-money-online people. I didn't really get it to business owners. But what I learned in the process was, is what you were talking about, what I had done is, I had written an intro and a conclusion for the book. So I positioned myself in the market. I have already been doing marketing for three years at this point, and I've grown that little site in the niche, but nobody knew who I was. But by associating myself with these experts, I elevated myself, and, I mean, not like I was suddenly was well-known, but I had lifted myself up to a level that I wasn't at before I put together that book. So, even though the book didn't end up selling well 'cause of my own mistakes, the end results was worth it, because it positioned me. It put me on a path that kind of sent me down. That was like the first step that began to move me towards the final places that I'm at now.

[16:37] Joel: Absolutely. So. I love this advice here. Talking with Scott Aughtmon today. And of course, we're gonna include all of his social media hotspots and the go-to places in the blog article that accompanies this episode. I love asking this question about becoming known in your niche because everyone has their own twist on how it worked for them. And if I'm hearing you correctly, Scott, basically what you did is you chose to align yourself with certain industry leaders and frontrunners, so that you could, number one, learn from their wisdom and number two, so that you could become elevated and become lifted into a higher circle…

[17:24] Scott Aughton: That's right.

[17:25] Joel: Into more influence. Go ahead, Pei.

[17:28] Pei: I know you do that when you teach people how to book a high-profile guest. And with Scott, I hope our listeners, you catch this, too, 'cause once you can find somebody that… This person actually knows the other person, that could… You just snowball into a bigger and bigger circle.

[17:56] Scott Aughton: That's exactly right, yep. And even I got to the point where I started to just ask the people that had already said yes and gave me their answers. I said, “Do you know anybody else that might want to be a part of this book?” And they said, “Yeah, check this guy or this gal,” and they gave me their contact info. And soon as you approach their associate or friend, and say, “So and so thought you might wanna be a part of this,” it's peer pressure, positive peer pressure. “Hey, I'm doing this. You wanna do it with me?” And it's like, it just keeps going, like you said.

[18:24] Joel: And that's a great tip, and I'm glad you included that. People love to help other people when their heart's in the right place. And one of things that I train podcasters to do is to ask their guests for referrals. Who else could I invite to be on my show? Or who else would understand what we're trying to do and has a message that they would like to share? But here's the thing, Scott, and I'm sure you teach your people the same thing is, I always encourage people to ask for the referral after the interview, or after you've served, or after you've done something. So, you're not going in cold, saying, “Oh, by the way, who are five of your best friends that I can email?” I always encourage people, “Wait 'til after the podcast,” because the magic happens in the 15-20 minutes when you're talking person-to-person, and then afterwards, it's a completely different conversation.

[19:33] Pei: Right. So, Scott, earlier you talked about the fear of rejection. It's amazing how once you kind of get past that, and one thing leads to the next, that all these amazing relationship and new connections can do for us.

[19:53] Scott Aughton: That's right. And once you get past of being afraid of someone saying no, and just let them actually say no… At least, if they're gonna reject me, let them reject me, instead of them, rejecting me in my mind. Let them actually say “no”. And If they say no, then fine, there's other people, you can ask another person.

[20:13] Joel: Indeed.

[20:13] Scott Aughton: And you can always… Sorry, go ahead.

[20:16] Joel: No, I was just agreeing with you.

[20:17] Scott Aughton: Oh, sorry, you said, “indeed,” sorry. If that certain level of experts won't participate, you can drop down a level and start with that level. You can always bounce back up to the next one, once you have enough in that little plateau. So, I think most of us, we say, “Oh, they're gonna say no, they won't do that.” It's never gonna happen if we let them reject us in our minds. We have to take action.

[20:42] Joel: Yes, taking action. There's your tip right there, two words: Take action. I say this to people that I'm talking with, “Never decide for someone else.”

[20:55] Scott Aughton: That's right.

[20:55] Joel: “Let them make the decision.” I was talking with a group of podcasters the other day, and one lady was telling me about, “Well, but my audience is niched, and they're just a select group of people, and this, this, this. So I would never ask someone outside that secret circle of listeners, to listen to my show, or to endorse me, or to subscribe, or something like that.” But my answer was, “Don't decide for them. Let them make that decision.” And you'll save yourself a lot of emotional emotional energy, that's for sure, when you're not trying to make up someone else's mind, which really, you can't do anyways. Okay, “Content Marketing Hacks”. Got just a few minutes left, Scott, but I wouldn't be doing anyone a service if I didn't pick your brain here and get a handful of your favorite content marketing hacks. You know what I mean, hacks that people can put in gear and take action on today. So, what have you got for us?

[22:01] Scott Aughton: Well, what I will say is, it sort of plays off of what we've been talking about already. But we were in Europe, in France, for the first time ever, last summer, with my father-in-law and my son, and we walked by this bookstore. And it was this little bookstore, and I would have never really paid attention to it. I wouldn't maybe even thought anything about it until I looked at the window, and it says it's the oldest English bookstore on the continent, and that caught my attention. I ended up looking up the history of this place later on, and found out it's been there 213 years. And the way that they had started out was, they took put together an English newspaper for the people that spoke English in that arena, and they interviewed experts. And then they sold the books of those same experts. And so, I think one of the most important hacks is that you can gather content from other people and not assume that it has to just be created by you. Again, if someone says “I'm not a good writer,” you don't have to be a good writer, you just be a good curator.

[23:20] Joel: That's the word right there, “curator.”

[23:23] Scott Aughton: And so, you become the one that interviews the people that create the great content, and that will allow you to be able to move forward in whatever niche you're in, because every niche needs a curator. And basically, they did the same thing that we've been talking about here 213 years ago. And it's the same thing, all the top, Huffington Post, all these top publishing companies have done, they gather a group of experts, and they let them have a platform, and then they're able to get the momentum of the platform to carry them along with the whole process.

[24:03] Joel: Absolutely. Coming in for a landing here in just a minute or two, Scott, but I was just at Social Media Marketing World last week. It was held in San Diego this year, and one of the things that Guy Kawasaki kept saying over and over and over again is that, “Be a curator. Understand the needs that your audience has, or understand the problems they're trying to solve, and then funnel that content that's gonna help them solve those problems.” And to your point, you don't have to create it, but just let them know that, “Hey, here's a solution. This could probably help you out.” And that is how you put yourself in a very, very distinctive category of being a resource. And really, when you're in business, as an entrepreneur, you want people to see you as a resource. Final words, Scott, final words on that, or anything else that we haven't touched on yet?

[25:03] Scott Aughton: Again, I think what you're doing is, you create a channel instead of trying to advertise, like that little bookstore didn't try to advertise, they created a channel of information that they provided for their audience, and by doing that, they became a loved resource for that audience. So when they're gonna go buy a book, they're gonna go to that bookstore. And so, I think when you create a channel for your core audience where they can get information they need and you're someone they know, like, and trust, you are gonna get a benefit out of that in the ultimate end. Once you've gotten the audience, then you can figure out what their needs are and how to sell to them. But by creating that channel, you get that leverage and ability to really start out in a place where you're not chasing them, but they're coming to you, which gives you all the leverage in the world.

[25:45] Joel: Absolutely. So, don't be a hunter, be a fisherman. And a good fisherman uses the right stuff on the end of their hook, and the fish, so to speak, come to them. This has been great. Scott Aughtmon is our guest today. Again, we'll have all of the go-to places, including the links to his book on our website, on the show notes that accompany this show. And you are welcome to come back any time you like, Scott. It's been a pleasure having you on.

[26:22] Pei: And also, Scott, before you leave, I know you offered a very awesome… The infographic we've been talking about. And our listener can actually access it if they go to relaunchshow.com/287. Right, Scott?

[26:40] Scott Aughton: That's right, yeah. It's the infographic called, “21 Types of Content we Crave,” and it just shows you all the different types of content that people really crave, so when you're putting together content, you kinda have that as your outline.

[26:51] Pei: Awesome. And for anybody interested, you can also contact Scott, and I think Scott also has some other books and webinars available.

[27:04] Scott Aughton: That's right. Thank you so much. It's been great to be with you guys.

[27:06] Joel: Have a wonderful rest of your day. Bye, Scott.

[27:09] Scott Aughton: Thanks. Bye-bye.

[27:10] Pei: Thank you.

Connect with Scott on Twitter and his website.

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About Joel Boggess

Motivational Speaker | Podcast Host | Bestselling Author. I help entrepreneurs focus, build confidence, and drive success with interactive keynotes, workshops, and executive coaching. Together, we create possibilities that bring empowerment, meaning, and financial impact.

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