Not so long ago, I featured one of my coaching clients here on the site, Fern Camacho. He attended my New York Mastermind in July this year and since then has been making some serious moves in his business.
There were so many positive comments on that post, that I decided to invite another of my mastermind tribe to come onto the site, and tell his story.
Enter Germany-based leadership coach and entrepreneur, Bernd Geropp.
I originally ‘met’ Bernd when he signed up for one of my coaching sessions last year. We then met in person at New Media Expo in January, and then he attended my London Mastermind, in May. Bernd is a guy that takes action, this is clear – but following the London session I had no idea just how much action he was going to take!
Subject: Bernd Geropp (Before the Mastermind)
The 12-months prior to our meeting in London had been very, very tough for Bernd.
To say he was struggling would be an understatement. He wanted to build both his German and English platforms simultaneously – madness!!!
He was posting weekly on his English and German blogs, as well as learning how to make videos with a very ambitious target of recording and promoting 30 videos on YouTube.
On top of this, Bernd was also ‘playing around’ with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – and during all of this I was writing his first German book on the subject of leadership.
But with all of this going on, Bernd’s platform was not growing significantly. His newsletter list was small, and not really growing at all. Not only this, but BOTH his blogs had basically come to a halt, growth wise, and reached a pretty major plateau.
Here’s a quick video message from Bernd:
NOTE FROM CHRIS: Look at this guy! Full-on green screen background, professional podcasting mic and more poise than an olympic gold medalist! Bernd has come a long, long way in the last 12-months, I tell ya!
Subject: Bernd Geropp (After the Mastermind)
Bernd believes that being part of the London Mastermind Group in May 2013 was a big step forward for himself as an entrepreneur, and for his business. I asked him to put together a bit of an update on how things had shaped up, following the session, and what follows is his feedback – I’ve inserted some notes, too.
You asked for some feedback on how things were going, so here you go:
Talking with you and the other likeminded entrepreneurs at the London Mastermind gave me great support and helped me to get a clear picture on two major points: Focus and Podcasting.
Listening to their stories I realized I have to focus more. I decided to put all my time and efforts on building my German platform first – and to neglect my English one – at least for a certain amount of time.
NOTE FROM CHRIS: This, I believe was Bernd’s biggest move. For some reason he wanted that English speaking market – we were able to convince him in London to dump it for the foreseeable future. It’s paid off handsomely, as you will find out in a minute.
So for the next 6 months I decided to solely focus on German marketing activities for the launch of my German book which came out in mid of August 2013.
NOTES FROM CHRIS: Going into the session I had no idea that Bernd had already written his book – when we found out, and the fact that it was in German, it only cemented the decision to focus on this market – one where he was already slightly established and known in. Sometimes things are so clearly in front of us, but because we’re ‘too close’ we don’t see them – it needs other eyeballs on the situation to help come to conclusions.
I remember that Meron Bareket and you told me during the Mastermind Session: “Bernd, if you are not starting with a leadership podcast in German, you are missing out.” Well actually I think both of you used the wording: “You are stupid if you are not podcasting” – and you were absolutely right.
This podcasting boom has not yet arrived in Germany. But we should take into account that the number of SmartPhone users in Germany has nearly quadruplet in the last 4 years. Therefore, there seems to be a huge demand for audio content.
So for me it was the right time to start podcasting – and it really took off. I launched my first three episodes of my weekly 20-min podcast session on leadership at the end of June 2013.
After a little more than 3 months later, 1st of October 2013, I’ve had more than 250 four and five star reviews on iTunes. The download stats of my WordPress plugin showed that I cracked the mark of 100,000 downloads and my podcast was No.1 in the category of business podcasts in Germany.
Starting podcasting was hugely successful for me. In this short amount of time it has helped me:
- to significantly promote my book.
- to build a name in the market and to get orders for my consulting and training business.
- to double my subscriber list.
- to get in touch with well known speakers and book authors in my industry.
- to better understand the needs of my listeners because I get feedback regularly.
NOTE FROM CHRIS: Boom!!! Takeaway – realize where holes are in your market / niche and take advantage of them by being first to market – or, at least in the early adopter cycle. So happy for Bernd on this.
Here’s a shot of Bernd’s book, which he kindly sent me a copy of, along with a hand-written note. Imagine my surprise when he pointed out that he’d mentioned me in the book, too – if only I could understand it!!! 🙂
What’s Next for Bernd, His Brand and Business?
Right now I am recording my book on leadership, for the audio version which I want to sell using my podcast platform. This will be my first product I will sell online.
NOTE FROM CHRIS: This is such a great example of an entrepreneur, and in this case, a content creator knowing exactly what his audience wants. Those download numbers are nothing to bark at – Bernd has done a remarkable job in catapulting his brand using a platform that suits him, and resonates with his audience – now is the time to start making some money!
When I started I was a little bit worried. I was not sure if I could find enough good and interesting content to produce a weekly 20-min podcast. But that seems to be no problem. I get lots of questions from my listeners via email and I already have several interesting people in the queue to be interviewed.
In November I will plan the marketing activities and product launches for the next 3-4 months until I attend the Tropical Think Tank in the Philippines. I can’t wait to participate in this event and I am sure it will help me plan my actions in order to get my business to the next level in 2014.
Chris, thanks so much for this Mastermind event. Without it I would not have started podcasting and I would not be were I am today.
As you can clearly see, Bernd has really pulled out all the stops since the mastermind session in May this year.
Ditching one of two markets he was going after, focusing on building a personal brand, launching his first ever podcast, developing video content, publishing a book, and now he’s in the process of creating his first info-product.
There is nothing ‘slow’ about the way this entrepreneur is working. He saw all those opportunities and all he needed was the kick in the right direction – in this case, by his fellow masterminder’s and myself (the crazy Englishman – watch the video if you haven’t!).
I’ve got so much for business owners like Bernd. They deserve all the success in the world as they take action – they chase it down. Bernd is going to continue to rock over in Germany – and I can’t wait to hang out with him in the Philippines next March.
Have you got a similar story to Bernd’s? Have you gone through my New Business Bootcamp and had any cool results? I’d love to hear from you below, in the comment section. Got a question for Bernd – fire away!