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Join Up Dots - Online Business Success Made Easy

Welcome To The #1 Global Hit Podcast Join Up Dots

May 20, 2020

Introducing Ben Krueger Ben Krueger is our guest today joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots podcast. He  is a man who joins a very select band of entrepreneurs and businessmen who have made more than one appearance on the show. First appearing on the show on the 17th July 2014, he spoke passionately about his love for podcasting and his deep dive into the medium. Joining up the dots, it all started when he was penned up in an office working the dreaded dead-end job, and had to find something that would help him alleviate that daily feeling of boredom and dread.  So he resorted to listening to marketing and business podcasts, and as he listened, he started researching, and learning more about podcasting as a personal interest. How The Dots Joined Up For Ben This quickly grew into voracious research trying to uncover what made certain podcasts wild successes, and others a flop. So obsessed was he that he first created Authority Engine, which helped people become legends through the power of their voice. This has now pivoted into helping people start a podcast, or get theirs edited through Cash Flow Podcasting. When we last spoke he was living in Thailand as was an entrepreneur with a passion for the outdoors, travel, adventure, business strategy and podcasting. So is he still wearing the baggy shorts, and the sunglasses or has he settled down and watched his efforts grow his business? Well let's find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Ben Krueger Show Highlights During the show we discussed such deep subjects with Ben Krueger such as: Why a product that is too different even if its brilliant, more often than not wont get legs and gain traction. Ben shares a great story about a photography business in the UK, who niche down on every website they have online. We discuss how the clarity of a business is an evolution, and more often than not will become visible straight away. And lastly........... Why all business owners must focus on the value proposition of the perfect customer time and time again to truly find success. Ben Krueger Books How To Connect With Ben Krueger Website Linkedin Facebook Twitter Return To The Top Of Cash Flow Podcasting If you enjoyed this episode of Ben why not listen to some of our favourite podcast episodes such as Spike Ball Founder, Nick Ruiz,  Sarah Caltieri or the amazing Sam Bearfoot Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from. Full Transcription Of Ben Krueger Interview Intro 0:00 When we're young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here's your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph. David Ralph 0:26 Now, good morning to you. Good morning, everybody. everywhere across the world. Do you ever sit there laying in bed or maybe in the bath and think to yourself, that guy who was on episode 88 of Join Up Dots back in 2014? I wonder what happened to him. Do you ever do that? Well, I know I do. And I'm glad I'm going to actually find out because today's guest is a man who joins a very select band of entrepreneurs and businessmen who have made more than one appearance on the show now first appearing on the show on the 17th of July 2014. As I said he spoke passionately about Lots of podcasting and he's deep dive into the medium. joining up the dots. It all started when he was penned up in an office working the dreaded dead end job and had to find something that would help him alleviate that daily feeling of boredom and dread. So he resorted to listening to marketing and business podcasts. And as he listened he started researching and learning more about podcasting just as a personal interest. Now, this quickly grew into a voracious research trying to uncover what made certain podcasts wild successes, and others a flop. And so obsessed was he that he first created authority engine, which helped people become legends through the power of their voice. This is now pivoted into helping people start a podcast or get theirs edited easily through cash flow podcasting. Now when we last spoke, he was living in Thailand and was an entrepreneur with a passion for the outdoors, travel, adventure business strategy and podcasting. So the question is, Is he still wearing the baggy shorts and the sunglasses He's always he settled down and watch these efforts grow into a fully fledged business. And why do so many people fail at podcasting when it's such an amazing medium to connect with people, and people are listening more and more every day? Well, let's find out as we bring them to the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Ben Krueger. Ben Krueger 2:25 I'm doing great. David, thank you so much for having me back. It's, it's bringing it all back bringing it all back a couple years now. David Ralph 2:32 I know I haven't changed back and I'm still doing the same old routine that I've been doing for six years. And that actually leads into a good question. I wasn't going to ask you that question. But do you think we've podcast the ones that do really well is because there's a kind of familiarity kind of people know what they're going to get. I remember hearing the producer of police academy films. Do you remember the police academy films back in the day? And oh, yeah, they got up to like police academy nine He said, the real thing to make something successful is give people what they liked about the one before, but make it different. So they come back. So that familiarity. Do you think that's what makes a podcast successful? Ben Krueger 3:14 I mean, I think that's one of one of many routes because yeah, you you as a podcaster. No. And anybody out there like all the podcast is, is recorded audio. So at the end of the day, there's so many different things you can do with the medium. But I like that, you know, if you tapped into a vein, where people are really engaged, people are really connected. And you give them more of that. Just with different stories, different people's experiences, like your show is a perfect format that doesn't need to be changed every episode because it's about people's stories. It's about the dots in their in their experience that have linked up to create who they are and who they're becoming. So it's this It's this interesting format that, you know, if somebody tried to apply the same format to something that was a little bit more different, you know, it's like an evolving news or something like that you could use the same kind of rough format so that people again, like you said, know what to expect. But there's got to be, you know, there's got to be something new going on there to bring them back and keep them interested. So I think there's definitely two sides to that coin, but I like because with these types of format of shows, there is newness, but it's in the same format. So you get, you get the same value delivered over and over and over again. You get the same type of entertainment, but it's new and it's fresh, because it's new people, new stories and new and interesting things going on. So yes and no is my gloriously refined answer there. Well, I'm David Ralph 4:55 gonna throw it to another level now because I was listening while I was watching So Scott, and I've been talking about it for over lockdown that we're in at the moment. There's some good content that's being produced. And there's some bloody awful content. And the one that I do like is some good news sGn network by john Wright and I just like that he's 1625 minutes. And I was watching it today. And he had Oprah Winfrey on any air to Steven Spielberg. And obviously, he's got a good network, but he can sprinkle the Stardust across. But it's format. It's the news. And I thought to myself, it's interesting, actually, we like the way it's happening. Because it's how we know. We know that the news, as I used to do training courses many, many years ago, and I always said, Tell them what you're going to tell him, Ben, tell him and Ben, tell them what you told him. And that was basically how you summarise the training goals. But news is exactly the same. They tell you what's in the news. And then they give you a bit more about it and then a summary at the end. And once again, that's gone off like a rocket because it reads Is that Amelie ality You know, I'm really interested in this pain. I wasn't going to speak to you about this because I hadn't thought about it. But I wonder if products and services are more likely to find legs because they're similar to something out there more than somebody trying to create something brand new. Ben Krueger 6:19 Yeah, well, it's that classic, you know, the the innovators kind of dilemma where, what what has been shown time and time again with different products with different services with different things. If something's too different from what currently is, even if it's significantly better. It's too big of a leap of faith for people to take, because there is there wasn't that like stair step in between. Whereas if it's a little bit better or a little bit different or a little bit improved, and a little bit refined, that tends to be my much more More resonant product or service or show. And so I see that all the time with shows that are trying to be too creative. Like they kind of they're, they're too out there. So they don't even, they don't really connect with people because they people can't draw a connection between what they think of as a podcast and what this thing is that they're trying to listen to. And it doesn't really doesn't really Join Up Dots as it were. So it's an interesting dilemma, where it seems to be and I think it's a little bit of a human nature thing. We want to know what we're expecting, or we want to have some idea of what we're looking at and what it is. So if it's a little bit too far out there, it's too different. It's going to be hard for us to track and hard for us to really engage fully without having that judgement piece. I think that's a big part of it. David Ralph 7:57 So if we go back in time law He was with us you were talking about your business authority engine. And what I loved about that at the time, and I remember I was very new in the game. But I remember having some kind of deep connection to the fact of biscuit. I didn't just throw it out. But he became an expert. He did the work. He did the research and a poverty engine, I thought was going to be your legacy work. It just seemed to be fulfilling a need at that time, is now pivoted to cash flow podcasting. Why Why did you change it? Ben Krueger 8:33 Yeah, good question. We we found over time working with folks that our specialty really came in as working with established businesses that were trying to use podcasting as a way to engage their audience to build you know, their authority and their network in their industries, to uplift their industry and at the end of the day, as well to generate clients and And revenue for their business. So, you know, there's a tonne of ways people can use podcasting, there's a tonne of different types of podcasts and categories of podcasts. But we really found that was our sweet spot is helping businesses, you know whether coaching online services SAS, you know, financial advising all those kinds of businesses use podcasting as a way to transform their audience over time, through trusting relationships, through results in advance in educating through their content into folks who are really great prospects and really great clients for their brand. So that's kind of where that transition came in. And a lot of the core elements are still there. It really just came down to a refinement of who we can add the most value for in terms of clients because we could work with all types of different podcasts. We have really found that's our sweet spot. We talk about that time and time again on Join Up Dots about online business is simple. And I Keep on drumming this in because I want people to understand that is simple, you've got to have something that other people value, it's got to either solve a big problem or move them into an increased level of status or pleasure point. And then focus in on that one person and just do that. And it's almost better if you've got a great idea to have like nine different customer bases, but just speak to that one customer in each of the portals. So create a website just for that customer and then another one just for that customer. And I speak to people and I say oh, no, no, no, I just want one business like oh, yeah, one business is brilliant. Let's try to get one business but let's try to get one customer that really buys big. Learn what works from that and then sort of rinse and repeat because it is easy isn't a pain once you've done it's it's the it's the classic Like be a big fish in a small pond or the air of a small town versus, you know, trying to trying to swim with the sharks. You know, I one great example of this that I really like and I've heard a couple other people bring up over time is a it's a it's a photography company out of the UK that does product photography. So they have two websites that I'm aware of and they may have other ones but one is we shoot bottles so you know it's it's product photography of anything in a bottle and we shoot cans to totally different domains they don't refer to each other at all. But it's the same company they pretty much use the exact same setup because cans and bottles are pretty similar from a photography standpoint, but I love that it's so special. Each one is so specific. So if you've got you know a product that comes in a bottle and you find out about we shoe bottles, calm boy does that sound like the right fit or not. David Ralph 12:00 And so many people out there think that they're gonna miss out open don't they think if I go for everyone they're gonna miss out and you can go as niche as you want. And I remember people used to say the riches are in the niches and they you know it doesn't work over the UK because we say niche but I like that niche and rich and I used to think really really bad is true is so true you can go too wide but you can't go too deep. Ben Krueger 12:27 Yeah, it's that classic when you've heard the same advice too many times you almost don't trust it cuz it seems a little cliche, but it's absolutely true. And we've found for for podcasts, and particularly for ones that are are trying to you know, they're they're creating a podcast community around a brand around a product or a service. We have found this this idea of niching down as if you can with your content you saw One main problem for one core group of people. So a perfect example of this is like a gal. We work with Katrina Ebell, she's got a podcast called weight loss for busy physicians. I mean, it couldn't be more specific and more directed, she solves one problem for one group of people. And so with that, her podcast really, really resonates for those folks that that fit in that space. And there's more people in that space then she can actually work with, she's been sold out for a while. So it's that classic. You know, if you try to be everything to everybody, you're gonna have a hard time getting traction, whereas if you can be the mayor of that small town, everybody in that small town knows you they share. You know, they talk about you with their neighbours like that that whole town knows who you are and what you're about and how you can help them out. Now with your David Ralph 13:54 tagline, I suppose on their podcast services, the busy thought leaders, I was looking And earlier, and I'm very much into trying to explain a business in four to five words that really say what your service is podcast services for busy thought leaders. Ben Krueger 14:14 Well, the fun part is we're in the process of a complete upgrade and how we communicate our our services. So the the new thing that we're moving towards or the new way we're describing how we do what we do, is we make podcasting easy. Yeah, that's really it, isn't it? Yeah. And that's with the caveat that you know, someone is in in kind of the verticals that we can help the most, but at the core foundation of it. That's what it's all about. Because when when we first started this whole process of helping people, create, plan, create and launch podcasts for their business We're actually working with a gentleman, who at the time, I had only been doing podcast production, I had helped out on some launches. But I had a gentleman come to me and say, you know, I want to start a podcast for my brand. I've got an online paid community. I don't have the time. I don't know what I don't know. And I want to do it right. Help me out. So what does that look like? So we work together to figure out what is this process where he can just show up as the host. And we can have a process and a team that supports him in just doing that. So really, what it comes down to over time is we make podcasting easy. And, you know, I always like to add on the little, you know, because I can't just leave it as simple as possible. We make podcasting easy and effective because at the end of the day, if it's not working for a brand or if it's not working in contributing to the goals that the host wants it to do, then what are we? What are we even doing? So I'm a big fan of start with the end in mind and make it easy and as simple as possible. effectiveness does not have to be complicated. David Ralph 16:16 Yeah, I agree with you totally. And I love the word easy. If you go over to Join Up Dots, my tagline is we make getting your own successful online business easy. And I saw one the other day, which is lawn care made easy. You know, in four words, it says everything that it does, and but that ability to have that kind of clarity in your own business. Is that something that people should get right at the beginning, or should they grow into it because I come to it from two different sides. I can do it for other people, but I wonder whether the actual evolution is part of getting that simplicity and clarity Ben Krueger 17:00 Well, I can definitely say I would have loved to be able to start with that clarity. But I can definitely say from a personal standpoint, like our message has shifted and changed and evolved and refined and gotten more and more simple over time. But I know my personal tendency is to say 10 words when three words will do yeah, so that David Ralph 17:23 I know that problem. Ben Krueger 17:25 Exactly, exactly. I think I think all of us talkers tend to have that challenge. But I think you know, it depends on where you're at. And I think what it really comes down to is the simplicity of the messaging comes from a deeper understanding of, of the space and of either the problem you're solving or you know, the the benefit that you are sharing with folks because the more you understand that space, their needs, their psychographics why it's important to them, the More you can simply communicate it. So if you are, you know, let's say you work in, in a industry for 20 years as an employee, or you know, in part of a different company, and then you strike out on your own, you've had 20 years to figure out what that industry is all about what's important to people, you know, and so you can, I think it'd be much easier to start with some super clarity. Because you know, the space you understand what's going on. Whereas if you are just getting into an arena, into a vertical into an industry, there's gonna be some time as you kind of get grips on what's going on, and what's important to people. And, you know, just because it's important to one doesn't mean it's important to others. So you got to kind of find where those sweet spots are. So I think it's a natural evolution. But it comes with an understanding of what the pain points are, what the challenges are, what the outcomes are, what the hopes and dreams are of the folks in that space, David Ralph 19:01 let's hear from Oprah. And then we'll be back with Ben, Oprah Winfrey 19:03 the way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself, what is the next right move? not think about, Oh, I got all of this stuff. What is the next right move? And then from that space, make the next right move, and the next right move, and not to be overwhelmed by it. Because you know, your life is bigger than that one moment, you know, you're not defined by what somebody says, is a failure for you. Because failure is just there to point you in a different direction. David Ralph 19:35 Now, have you had failuress? Because from my side of the fence, and I've connected with you a couple of times, and we've known each other for years, but we hardly know each other at all. But it's always seemed like you had persistence. You were somebody that was going to follow it through. And so have you actually had babies or have they just been sort of learning learning opportunities for you? Ben Krueger 19:59 Oh, I think Yeah, any anybody that says they haven't had failures, I think I think might be sweeping some things under the rug. And not that you can't take them and see them as learning experiences and step into the other side. But I've absolutely had some some failures. So one, one particularly tasty one is for a while, you know, I got into entrepreneurship with only having worked a few jobs and marketing all for a couple of months at a time. So I think I was I was an employee through I think I bounced around to four or five different companies over the course of about three years total. And then when I and then I went into starting my own business, but no, I didn't know what the heck I was doing. I had no idea how to manage a team or build a team or do it all myself or manage, you know, the finances of a company. So I think one of the one of the biggest learning opportunities for me, which at the time I definitely saw as a failure and really frustrated me was I did not know how to manage cash flow within a company, which is kind of funny seeing as we're now called cashflow podcasting, but this was also before the branding change. So essentially, we were we had a year where we just lost money because I was doing a lot of investing in growth in big ideas in shiny objects. And I was not paying attention to the bottom line I wasn't paying attention to like having stair step growth of just, you know, looking at the next piece and then the next piece as Oprah just, you know, so eloquently put it I was trying to skip steps and in doing so, Got the company into debt and not in a healthy way and I ended up having to let go of a key team member who and absolutely done an incredible job up until that point you know arguably better than me and it was it felt like a massive failing because I had I had not made decisions in the company that were intelligent around money in that I could could essentially keep employing him and so I had to essentially really tighten tighten about pulling the drawstrings relearn and understand like okay, how do I go from I'm losing money every single month to I need this to be profitable and not from some maniacal you know, laughing on top of my you know, pile of gold coins mixed, you know, Mix Scrooge type of thing. But for any venture to actually contribute and survive, it needs to be profitable. So that was a serious what felt like a huge failing at the time. And sometimes depending on how I'm feeling in the day, it can still feel like a giant failure. But it it was absolutely a learning curve and led me in a direction that now I feel like I've you know, got a really solid understanding for what needs to be in place financially for the company to do well. And I've put in systems in place so that when I'm when I start to you know, if things start to shift in a way that it's not supporting us and along in the long term financially, then I've got some early red flags and warning so I don't find myself in that position again. David Ralph 23:53 It's personally my biggest failing was obsession. I was obsessed and overwhelmed. And just I just grow, drove myself into knees and there's many different references of my journey on Join Up Dots that you can go back to. But my number one learning that I learned was it's better not to work on a business plan to work on a business. All my great ideas come up when I'm on vacation, or sitting in the garden, more than just being in front of a computer slogging away for hours on hours thinking that it's going to be genius. And a lot of stuff that I've done in the past. I look at it and I think it failed because there was a desperation in it. I there was a lack of clarity in it. I don't think I was totally believing in it. So it was just kind of a shadow of what it is now. Anybody that comes to me now, they get value. And I absolutely go to bed with you know, a clear conscience and I will sleep better than anybody. But in the early days, when I was trying to get it going. I think it was kind of half baked because I didn't have the journey, I think you've got to have the journey, which is why it's so important if somebody is starting a business to start with your current knowledge base, because then you've only got half the learning the entrepreneurial side is quite difficult to learn. But at least you start with something that you already know about. Ben Krueger 25:23 Yeah, and I think this is this reflects actually pretty accurately on on one of what I would consider my biggest failings as well as, for the longest time in business. Like I, when it comes down to it, I made it about me. I made it about what I wanted, like how I wanted the business to support my lifestyle, what I wanted to do and what I didn't want to do, it was it was very, you know, kind of, if a if a, you know, five year old was having a tantrum, and you know, it's about me, they don't get to have their nap time or you know, whatever. Yeah, it's It's a little bit of that, that going on. And it's not something I'm super proud to admit, but it's absolutely true and what I've, what the primary shift has been in, it's kind of the scarcity versus abundance mindset. Like if you're in a mindset where you you are doing okay, then you have the ability to give back. Whereas, if you feel like you are just scraping along and you're, you're in that hustle and grind, and you've got to get it's very, you know, get focused. So I think the big shift for me has been trying to and transition and stay in the place of contributing as much value as I can through our products and services through you know, all the content and things that we we create and at the same time, I think that that reflects our into how I interact with our team, how I interact with clients and customers, how I interact with referral partners and that kind of thing, because, you know, I'm not showing up to get in, in kind of on the flip side of that same coin when I'm showing up to figure out how can I highlight other people's genius and and partner with people in a way that's collaboratively expansive, as opposed to how can I do it myself to save a few bucks. And obviously, there's some realities here to where you need to, you need to be have the chequebook balance at the end of the month, but there's a lot of ways to partner with people and to contribute value without it necessarily being $1 and cents expense. So I think that's a big shift that you know, and to be honest, it's something that I have to work on. So just like any of these kind of things, it's Oftentimes not a snap your fingers and you were this yesterday and now you're this today. But I see it as like that's my area of continuous development and growth is how can I come from a place of giving of love of care and abundance? And the more I do that, the more the more things just seem to get easier and easier. David Ralph 28:26 We're talking to Ben Krueger from cash flow podcasting, and we'll be back with him after these words. Unknown Speaker 28:34 You ready to make a full time living online? Check out the amazing Join Up Dots business coaching. Hello, my name is Alan. And I've just completed the excellent eight week course with David before I started working with David Actually, I had no idea at all where to start. I had a lot of ideas about while I probably thought was going to be good business, David was able to help me through that though, to find that passion. Within literally minutes, we had, we had a business idea. And for the last seven weeks, we've been building on it and building on it. And the position I'm in now, I don't think I've ever got here Unknown Speaker 29:10 on my own because of the amount of information that David gives the structure. He's got the full package here and he explains it in a way that I can understand. His support is phenomenal. I feel like this is the way business is supposed to work. David helped me understand, okay, what David Ralph 29:26 were the next logical steps that I should do? How can I get this up and running? So I would really recommend this as an excellent course helping you if you have an idea if you have no idea, really teasing that out and some of the practicalities and steps to take to really launch your business whether as a full time job or as a side hustle. So it was really excellent. I recommend it for anybody thinking about setting up their own business, or both. It's an exaggeration to say David will totally save you years. Thank you, David for all your amazing help and support which keeps on going And we certainly couldn't be where we are today without you. So you're awesome. So if you would love to become my next success s