RORY VADEN: “We call this the Thought Leadership List. So when you go, ‘What are the frameworks I could create?’ okay, we actually made a list of what this is.
“And by the way, if you ever hear somebody say, like, ‘Ooh, that speaker had great content,’ or ‘They're so smart,’ or ‘They're brilliant,’ or ‘They blew my mind,’ or another word that, weirdly, people say is they said, ‘That speaker had a lot of meat,’ right? I don't know why people say that, but they're, like, ‘It had a lot of meat,’ right? Like, they didn't waste a lot of time. It was so substantive. Here's what we started to realize. We realized, ‘Oh, what they're really saying when they say all those things is that this person has great frameworks.’ And then we said, ‘What counts as a framework?’ And we started to make a list of them, and now we call that the Thought Leadership List.”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started.
AMY PORTERFIELD: Welcome to another episode of Online Marketing Made Easy.
I am so excited to have you tuning in, because today I have a very special guest on the show who is going to share how to teach your digital-course content even better by using frameworks. Now, when I say frameworks, think of them like a roadmap or a skeleton for your ideas. It's a way to organize and make sense of complicated stuff by breaking it down into simpler pieces. Just like a roadmap helps you find your way, a framework helps you understand things better and explain them easily to others. It's like having a clear plan that makes tricky things easier to understand and to work with. And let me tell you, my friend, they are incredibly important, especially when it comes to digital courses. Like, today we're just going to talk about frameworks in general. You can use them everywhere. But I love to use them in my digital courses.
Over the years I found that teaching in frameworks does four things. So number one, it allows you to take your idea that might be a little bit scattered, a little bit hard to explain, and maybe a little over the heads of your students, and put it into a system or a simple process. On the flip side, if you only have a simple message you're working with, frameworks can also help you expand upon that and create a whole body of work if you choose.
So number two, frameworks allow your students to grasp your content more quickly. Maybe you incorporate illustrations or diagrams, which Rory, my guest, is going to encourage you to do that, and which for most people, especially visual learners, is extremely helpful. They see it in their mind's eye.
Number three, frameworks help you teach more efficiently. For instance, I have a framework called the Sweet Spot Formula, and that helps my students do the initial validation of an idea for a digital course. It's clear. It's simple. I can explain it easily within two minutes or less. I've probably talked about it on thirty different podcast episodes where I've been interviewed. “Oh, how do you come up with a digital-course idea? Let me take you through the Sweet Spot Formula. It's a framework I created with four quadrants that will help you come up with your initial idea to kickstart your digital course.” And then I take them through the four frameworks, boom. So it's really easy for me to talk about a very important topic because I've created a framework and an illustration for it.
And then, finally, frameworks help put you on the map as an expert in your field. The more frameworks you create, the more you become known for them; not to mention, as you continue to create frameworks, you'll be building out an entire library of content that is beautifully organized, easy to understand, easy to teach, and it's yours. So you get to be known for that content. And I love that.
And in the interview, Rory's going to give you a bunch of examples of different people who have frameworks, that you're going to think, “Oh yeah. I know, I know that.” Like, he's going to mention Dave Ramsey. “Oh, we know the seven baby steps. Like, he's been teaching that forever.” That's a framework. And so, so many people you know, they use many different frameworks. You just might not see them as frameworks, but that's exactly what they are.
So I mentioned this, I hinted at it, but my guest is Rory Vaden. Rory has been on the show once before, and it was an incredible episode. He talked about building your brand. I’ll link to it in the show notes. If you like this episode, you're going to love the other one as well. But he's here to explain frameworks. And what's really fun is he's never done this on a podcast before, so this is the first time he's taken it out of his paid coaching program, and he's going to teach it here for us.
So again, you will recognize his name because he's been on the podcast before. And also, he just so happens to be a New York Times’ bestselling author, Hall of Fame speaker, and he helps small-business owners to grow their reputation and their revenue.
He helped me come up with a signature talk. That's one of the things he does in his one-on-one coaching with his team and strategist, how to come up with a signature talk that you can get paid on stage to do over and over again. In fact, I just did it two days ago, my signature talk, on stage at an amazing event. I got paid to be there, and I had done it several times before, and it was still just as powerful. And my talk is full of frameworks that Rory helped me create.
And I just want to point out one more time, when you're nervous about teaching content; when you're on stage and it's something that it’s the first time you're teaching, or you're just nervous to be on stage in general; or you're on a webinar, and you're nervous about teaching on a webinar, a framework makes it easier to teach, especially when you practice the framework in advance. So you just start rattling it off like it's second nature to you because it's so easy to explain.
So just so you know, if you're nervous to be on webinars, you're nervous to teach inside your digital course, you're nervous to be on stages, you're nervous to be interviewed on podcasts, create frameworks, and it really shatters those nerves. I have no doubt about that. It helps me immensely.
So Rory is an expert when it comes to helping entrepreneurs find their uniqueness; create captivating content, like frameworks; and create a world-class presentation like he helped me do. And because of that, I couldn't think of a better person to interview on this topic.
So if you have a digital course or you are an expert in your field, if you're teaching on stage, if you're doing webinars, if you're doing any kind of trainings, if you're getting interviewed on podcasts, if you're teaching anything, pay close attention. This episode is for you.
Well, hey, there, Rory. Welcome back.
RORY: Hi, buddy. So good to be here.
AMY: I'm so thrilled to have you back. I talked about this in the intro, but I'm so glad we decided to do this and you said yes, especially because you've never taught this content on a podcast before. So I feel very lucky.
RORY: This is an Amy Porterfield exclusive, never before—
AMY: Sign me up.
RORY: —and only for you, friend. Well, you asked me about this specific topic, and so I was like, “Yes, let's do this.”
AMY: This is going to be so valuable for my listeners. These are the kind of episodes I love, where we get very specific, into the details.
So in the intro, I covered a little bit about how frameworks have helped my students grasp my content better and how they've made me a better educator. But I'd love to hear your perspective on why they're so important, because in my mind you are literally the king of frameworks, so—
AMY: —you really are. After our session, I called up Jasmine Star, and I'm like, “You've got to hear this guy talk frameworks. This is incredible.” Like, I was actually bragging about you right after our session.
So I want you to talk about your perspective on why they're so important and how using them can make you a better entrepreneur and educator.
RORY: Yeah, absolutely. Well, let me start off by saying this. If I say the words big red balloon, there's a good chance that you see in your brain a picture of a big red balloon.
RORY: What you do not see is the letters B-I-G R-E-D B-A-L-L-O-O-N. Why? Because the mind thinks in pictures. The mind remembers things in pictures, right? You go, when you have a memory and you think back in time, you remember what your first date was or your high school prom or your graduation or your day at the first job or getting married, your brain sees an image.
And that's really important for content creators to understand, because as a content creator, if we want people to remember us and we want them to remember our content and our ideas, both so that they can tell other people about us and so that there's more impact and depth of the things we're teaching, we have to speak and teach in pictures. And that's, to me, what a framework is, Amy. It's simply a visual way to illustrate an academic concept. That's how I would define it. And I've never defined it like that. I only did that because I was thinking about preparing for you, to go, “How would I define it?” I would say it is a visual way to illustrate an academic concept, because the mind thinks in pictures, so if we can teach it as a picture, then people are more likely to remember it, which means they're more likely to use it, which means they're more likely to have their life impacted by it, and also, it means they're more likely to remember you and refer you and to share you. And relatedly, your fees also go up when you have frameworks.
AMY: Ooh, why would that be? Tell me about that.
RORY: I think half of being perceived as smart is being smart. The other half of being smart is being perceived as smart. In other words, part of being a smart person, if other people are saying you’re smart, is that you're actually smart. But the other part is looking smart, sounding smart. So one of the things that we teach, we actually have a framework called the Six Pillar Point Formulas, and we teach people that 99 percent of all quotes that you've ever heard, famous quotes, they fall under one of six types of sentence structures. And so we're making the point that how you say what you say is as important as what you say. That is when we teach pillar points, which is a part—all of this, by the way, lives underneath the umbrella of something we call captivating content. So we have one of our signature stops on our Brand Builder Journey is just dedicated to helping people create their own original IP, intellectual property, their own original methodology, their own original frameworks. And so frameworks is a part of it. And so if I can say it with words, people automatically assume I'm smart just because it's more memorable, and it feels official; it feels formal.
It's very similar to in Brand DNA, which is, like, our first kind of flagship thing, which you and I talked about on the last episode, we help people with their expert bio. And one of the things that we teach people with their bio is if you want to sound credible, use names and numbers, because the moment—if I say, “Rory has lots of experience in personal branding,” it's very different when we say, “Rory has worked with Amy Porterfield and Jasmine Star and Lewis Howes. He and his team have helped seventeen people become bestselling authors. He has a TED Talk, with almost five million views.” And it doesn't even matter, like, what the number is, right? I don't have millions of social-media followers, but if we say, “He is an eight-figure entrepreneur,” or that, “He gets two hundred fifty thousand impressions every month on his content,” right? I don't have but thirty thousand followers online, but I add up the impressions. So names and numbers.
Visuals are that same concept of credibility. You know, they lend credibility to your content the way that names and numbers lend credibility to your bio.
AMY: Okay. That makes sense. You know, it has me thinking. At the time that we're recording this, Alex Hormozi just came out with his new book all bout leads, right?
AMY: And if anyone has that book—so I think it's called $100M Leads”?
AMY: Right? And in that book, there are tons of frameworks, visuals, illustrations. And he talks about how important he thinks that is in terms of learning and letting it sink in. He actually gave a bonus away during his book launch of all his illustrations. Like, that's how important he thinks they are. And he's so hot right now, and he's making such a big impact, that he's just proof that what you're saying, he's actually doing.
RORY: Totally. And there's lots of proof. If you look at 7 Habits of Highly Effective People—this book has sold fifty million copies—they have this whole Sharpen the Saw, this whole framework that the book is built around. Dr. Covey has the Time Management Matrix, which is importance and urgency. If you look at Jim Collins in Good to Great, he has the Hedgehog concept, which is, like, this sort of angled slant line with, like, a wheel. If you look at Simon Sinek’s TED Talk, “Start with Why,” it's three circles. I think he calls it the Golden Circle. These frameworks are all over the place. Dave Ramsey is a mutual friend of ours, right? another fellow Nashvillian here. Dave has built a multi-nine-figure annual business on a seven-step baby checklist that he's been teaching for three hours a day on the radio for thirty years, right? The 7 Baby Steps.
And it's because it makes it doable. That's the other part, is it makes it feel realistic. It makes it feel possible. It makes it all make sense when you can show it to me as a picture. So that's why you need frameworks.
And, you know, if you look at my TED Talk as an example, which has, you know, around five million views or something—
AMY: Okay. A lot of views. Five million.
RORY: —lots of views—my TED Talk is built on something called the focus funnel. And so my talk is called How to Multiply Time. And people go, “Well, it's impossible to multiply time.” And I say, “No. It’s actually very literal. We figured this out, and I can teach you in one sentence. The way you multiply time is by spending time on things today that create more time tomorrow.” Okay? So that’s the premise of my book. So the book is called Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time. My book doesn’t sell very well, because people don't remember that title Procrastinate on Purpose. It doesn't seem to resonate with them.
But the visual in my TED Talk of the focus funnel, and we go, there's five categories of tasks that help you multiply time. And it's, you know, it's a funnel. And at the top it says eliminate. Anything you say no to today creates time tomorrow because it prevents you from doing things you would have otherwise been doing.
If you can't eliminate it, it drops down to the middle of the funnel. And the question is, can it be automated? And then, we teach them that automation is to your time what compounding interest is to your money. It takes time to automate things, but if you automate them today, then in the future, it will save you time, right?
Then, the bottom of the funnel, if you can't eliminate it or automate it, the third one is, can you delegate it? So can this be done by someone else? And if you delegate it, that creates time. It costs you time today because you have to train someone, but then it saves you time tomorrow.
And so there's this funnel: eliminate, automate, delegate. And then, a task drops out the bottom of the focus funnel, and then there's one question remaining. Should I do this task now? which we call concentrate; or should I do this task later? which we call procrastinate on purpose. And then you POP. We call it POP for short. And if you POP it, it cycles back around to the top of the focus funnel.
And that's the whole book, basically. That's the whole talk. And it, to this day, is the number one thing that drives my speaking career is people watching this TED Talk, right? I got paid, Amy—this is crazy. I’ll go ahead and share this. I think it's okay to—I got paid over fifty thousand dollars to come speak on my TED Talk. Like, they paid me to come deliver the same talk that was available online for free.
RORY: But they wanted me to teach the framework in person to their people. That's the power of a framework.
AMY: And two things I want to add to that. Number one, when we talk about the importance of visuals, we're not talking about hiring an illustrator and making these visuals look amazing. Like, when you helped me create frameworks for my signature talk, one of them is three circles. I mean—
AMY: —it's nothing. One of them's a shield with a bunch of words in it for the Self-Doubt Shield framework, which, by the way, I want to mention this. Rory helped me create these different frameworks, and I just spoke at an event this weekend, Rory, with my signature talk. And one of the things that Rory said is if your framework is really good, that's what people are posting on social media. That's what people are taking snapshots of, of your slide on screen, posting about it, talking about it. And that's exactly what happened, Rory. They were posting about those core frameworks that I—
AMY: —you out, right? So it absolutely works. I've seen it after every single talk I do. And I wanted just to remind everyone, when we talk frameworks, you can add frameworks to your book, to your webinar, to your signature talk, to your podcast content, on social media. I mean, there's so many different ways to use these frameworks.
So with that, Rory, let's get into them, because you have seven questions that every creator should ask themselves to help them come up with the frameworks, because I know people are like, “Fine, Amy. I want some frameworks.” And I always say, “If you want to be put on the map, you got to create original content.” This is your original content. So there's seven questions you've got to ask yourself. This is how you're going to start your frameworks. Rory, take it away.
RORY: I love it. Okay. So before you get into the seven questions, the key thing—and this is what you can't skip over—is to nail the conceptual accuracy first. So before you can create a great framework, you have to be crystal clear on what it is that you're trying to communicate, the essence of the idea. And that's where a lot of people struggle with. And honestly, if you're struggling with that, I would say go back and listen to the first interview that you and I did on this podcast right after we worked together the very first time, because we talk about finding your uniqueness and all that kind of stuff.
So we have to enter into this conversation with the assumption that you have clarified the exact point you're trying to make, even though it might not be pretty. So one of our Brand Builders Group mantras is, “Say it ugly first.”
AMY: Yes. I love that.
RORY: “Say it ugly first.” You know, it doesn't have to be pithy. We have our Pillar Point Formulas for saying it nicely. But what matters first is that it's accurate, meaning that it's true, that it works, and most importantly, that it is what you have actually done in your life. If you remember back, this is from our first interview together, we said the key to finding your uniqueness as a personal brand is realizing you are most powerfully positioned to serve the person you once were. Why do we say that? For lots of reasons. But one of the reasons is that when we start to build out your content, when we start to create your IP, intellectual property, we have to teach people what you have actually done that changed your life, okay? So let's assume we're starting from there, okay?
Now, once you know, at least in an ugly way but an accurate way, the core idea that you're trying to communicate, then there are seven questions that we give people to help them come up with these frameworks. So the first one is simple. You just ask yourself, “How can I illustrate this concept visually?” That's it. You just say, “Okay. If I were forced to demonstrate this concept with a visual, what would it look like?” That's a great way to do this.
The other thing that you can do—this is one of my favorites here—is to look at all of the shapes—this is straight up, okay? Here comes an admission, all right, Amy? You ready for this?
AMY: I’m ready.
RORY: This one's a little bit of a hack. It's a little bit of a hack. But if you go into Microsoft Word or Microsoft PowerPoint, there is a tool called Smart Shapes or SmartArt. I'm looking at it right now. So if you go under, like, the design menu. And it shows you, like, all these different flowcharts and pyramids and concentric circles and overlapping diagrams. And in my very first book, Take the Stairs, the way that I created several of the frameworks was I looked at what pre-designed layouts of visuals already existed in Microsoft Office, like, the Office Suite and PowerPoint and Word, because I wasn't a designer, and I was broke as a joke, and I had no money. And so I was like, “I need to find some of the pre-existing templates, and then, I will kind of force fit my content into one of those,” just so it was visually. But it was that important to me to go, “I know that if I can demonstrate it visually, people will remember it.” So you can look at some tools that are like that.
AMY: Perfect. Okay.
RORY: All right. The third question, or the third thing to ask yourself is, “What frameworks that are already preexisting in my space?” So if you're an expert, part of what you should be doing is you should be studying what the other people who are in your space are sort of saying. That's called research, right? And you certainly would never want to steal what they're doing. But the question is, “How can I build on, add to, or forward the thinking that's already been done?”
So I did this. A good example of this was also with, you know, Procrastinate on Purpose and my TED Talk, I referenced Dr. Covey's Time Management Matrix, which is a two-dimensional square, and he talks about importance and urgency. And I added a third dimension that we call the Significance Calculation and that we delineate by saying, “Urgency is, how soon does something matter? Importance is, how much does it matter? But significance is different. Significance is how long is this going to matter?” And that's what multiplying time is all about. It's about the significance calculation. It's asking what are the things I can do today that will make tomorrow better, make tomorrow easier, right? So I'm adding on a preexisting framework. You might be able to do that.
The fourth one is, what are the sub steps of my content? So a lot of times if you just map out the steps, if you go, “Okay. I help people overcome this problem, and I help them create this payoff, this destination,” and you just say, “What are all of the steps it takes to go from point A to point B?” And then, list them out, the very steps or the sub steps here of the journey can be created into a signature framework, an overarching framework.
My focus funnel is a great example of that with Procrastinate on Purpose. The Dr. Covey one, with the little hourglass thing that I was referencing earlier, if you look in 7 Habits, it's a central framework for the whole book. At Brand Builders Group, there's a great example of this. We have something called the Brand Builder Journey, and it is our four-phase process that we take every personal brand through that we work with when we coach them. And inside of each phase are three sub steps, okay? And so we put all of the, you know, the twelve stops, so to speak, on the journey into a diagram that represents—it just looks like, basically, a circle, but it has, like, an arrow that wraps around, that’s sort of like a cyclone, that shows once you do this, you just build it up and up and up and up, and it gets easier and easier and easier. And so it's, like, it spirals up.
So you could do that with—anyone could do that with their frameworks. It's just kind of break your concept into sub steps. So that's number four.
Question number five is, where in the world or in nature does a similar dynamic exist? So a lot of times there are parallels that we want to make. I don't want to jump into the whole story here, but in my book Take the Stairs, one of the signature stories is a story about—it's called “Be the Buffalo.”
AMY: I love this story.
RORY: And it's about how cows run away from the storm, and buffalos charge the storm. And Amy, I'm actually writing a kid—I have written a kids’ book called Be the Buffalo.
AMY: Oh, so good.
RORY: It's this story about how when storms come, cows run away from the storm, and the storms follow them. Buffalo charge the storm, and they run at the storm, and they run through it. And that is a signature story that I built my career on since 2001, and then it became a book in Take the Stairs. And anyway, now it's about to become a kids’ book, and it's a poem. And maybe when I have the poem—
AMY: So cool.
RORY: —I'll read it for you.
But anyway, that is an example in nature of how I'm trying to illustrate a concept in Take the Stairs—this is, again, the first book—that here's what the pillar point is. It's called the Paradox Principle, and it says, “Easy, short-term choices lead to difficult long-term consequences. Meanwhile, difficult short-term choices lead to easy long-term consequences.” That's my point. That's what we call the Pillar Point. And that's one of the Pillar Point Formulas. We call that inverse construction, where it's the same parallel cadence, but there's an inversing to the words. You'll see that formula. It’s one of the six, you know, quotes follow this.
But I'm looking to go, “How do I illustrate this visually?” I couldn't think of—I never found a way to illustrate it visually. But then, I heard this difference between buffalo and cows and said, “Oh, that's it. Now, that story is a framework because it's a metaphor.” If you've ever heard someone talk about a magnifying glass and how that focuses power, that's a metaphor that people understand, that sunlight focused through a magnifying glass.
So there’s other examples that I've used, that other clients have used. But just ask yourself, question number five, “Where else in the world or in nature does this dynamic exist?” And you'll often be able to find ideas for that.
Question number six, “How can I make this concept more practical?”
AMY: Ooh, that's a good one.
RORY: “How can I make this concept more practical? What is a way that I could create, you know, a visual illustration or a tool that somebody could sort of, like, fill in the blanks or complete it themselves or connect the dots for themselves. Just going almost like, what tool could I create for people that would be visual that would make it make more sense?” And that's a good one.
And then, that kind of leads to number seven, which is, “How can I interpret this for my audience to better help them apply it?” How can I interpret this for my audience to better help apply it? which, in many ways, is the essence of all seven of these. It’s just going, “How do I show this as a picture,” right? “How do I make it clearer? What's going to make them more likely to implement it?” You know, “How can I make it more practical? How do I make it more likely for them to apply it? Where else have they seen this in nature?”
It's most of this, though, Amy, is not about having a checklist of seven questions. Most of it is just the intention of saying, “I want to make my content visual.” And if you do that, if you just have that intention, the answers will come. I believe this is part of your divine uniqueness. It shows up for you.
AMY: Also, would you agree that when you do come up with your framework that you title it? You give it a name? Like, in my signature talk, we came up with the Self-Doubt Shield, and then, we gave it an illustration. But it's important to name the framework, right?
RORY: Yeah, absolutely. So that's a great point. To brand it, right?
AMY: Brand it, yeah. Even better.
RORY: You want to brand it. You want to own it, right? Be the Buffalo, that needs to be a part of Rory Vaden’s brand, right? And that's why I'm creating the kids’ book, frankly, is I've started seeing other people go viral on social, telling my story and not tagging me, and I'm like, “What? This is my story.” And I'm like, “I need to do a better job of branding it, owning it. How can I claim it?” So it's like, boom, write a poem, write a kids’ book, called Be the Buffalo.
The Rent Axiom, “Success is never—” So here's a great example. Here's another one of my most famous things that I popularized that other people use, and I've got to do a better job of branding it. It's called the Rent Axiom. So that's what I call it. “Success is never owned. It's rented, and the rent is due every day.” That quote appears in my book Take the Stairs, all the way back in 2012, which means it was written in 2009, pretty much, like, before social media and everything went crazy. Now you see that quote everywhere. But I have to brand it. I have to own it. I have to say, “This is the Rent Axiom.”
This is, you know, you want to sort of carve a space around it because here's another thing that gets your fees going up is you want other experts citing you. You want other people referring to your work. That's a part of how you have established thought leadership. That means you're leading your space. Other people in your space are citing you. They're referencing your work. And so that's, you know, part of what you want to do is brand it, claim it, own it, get the URL, get it trademarked if you can, and, like, stake a claim around it, especially if you're going to build your career upon it.
AMY: Amen. And it doesn't have to be super sophisticated. It just needs to be incredibly useful.
Let me give you an example. Mel Robbins, 5 Second Rule. I mean, right? It's not rocket science. It's “Five, four, three, two, one. I'm getting up. I'm doing it even if I don't want to. I'm not thinking about it.” But it is revolutionary in terms of changing your life. And so she's branded that. That is hers. And she gets—
RORY: Oh, yeah.
AMY: —paid a lot of money to talk about it on stage.
RORY: Yeah. You can't say the word five second and not think of Mel Robbins. She, you know, owns that phrase, that concept. That's totally hers. What a great example, right? But a framework, it's a tool. It's like a little system. And what you said, Amy, was you said it doesn't have to be complicated. I would actually go so far as to say it can't be complicated. It's not allowed to be complicated. It must be simple. In order for it to transmit or to propagate or to be passed along through the interwebs of social media or through the corporate hierarchy structure of the people who hire their speakers and trainers or through the network-marketing company that shares all the books or going viral online, or even to be passed down from generations, one day I hope that people are telling the Buffalo story to their kids. It has to be memorable, which means it has to be short, tight, clear, clean, and simple. Mark Twain said that brevity is the essence of wisdom. That's what we're going for here.
AMY: Amen to that. I love that.
So here's the thing. I know that you've shared with me before that there are a few different places inside of a creator's body of knowledge where they should look to create a framework. So what are these three places?
RORY: Yeah. So easy. So these are called the three M’s, right? So if you go, “Okay. Where do I even go inside of my own content to try to find an idea that I should make into a visual framework?” And it's the three M's. It's super simple. Mindset, mistakes, and method. Mindset, mistakes, and method.
So first of all, let's break down mistakes first, because logically you would say, “What are the mistakes that people make related to your content area? Where do they screw stuff up? Where do they go out of order? Where do they do the wrong thing? How can you explain to them why it's the wrong thing or compare it side by side with the right thing or show them what the negative impact is of doing it that way. How can you do that visually?” So just kind of make a list of here's the most-common mistakes that my market, your market, whoever your market is, that they make. And that's a great source of inspiration, potentially, for a visual to show up.
The other is, then, the mindset, okay? So we often talk about the mindset and method. By the way, here I am, using a framework while we’re teaching frameworks, right?
AMY: I was hoping that wasn’t going to go over everyone’s heads. Yes. This is what I love.
RORY: So, this is part of our framework for helping people find their frameworks. So, what mistakes do they make? Then, the second M is, what is the mindset it takes to succeed? So you have to go, “What is the proper way to think about things? What is the right order in your mind that things have to be clarified, and what is the mindset that it takes to succeed?” And then go, “How could I make that visual?” And again, one of the big keys is say it ugly first, say it ugly first. Just sort of puke it out and then get clear conceptual accuracy. And this is, as you know, Amy, our core business at Brand Builders Group is one-on-one coaching. And part of the reason why is to do this kind of deep work, you kind of have to be working with someone one on one, right?
RORY: Like, I can sort of teach you what to do, but it helps to bounce it off. And we teach our strategists, when they're coaching people, this concept of conceptual accuracy. Step one, get conceptual accuracy. Step two, say it ugly first. And then, step three, how do I make it visual? And then, step four is, like, brand it, own it. And then, step five is tell the whole world about it.
So that's mistakes, mindset, and then the method. So the method is, what's the right way to do it? So opposite of the mistakes, it's the method. What's the proper way to do this? Not just how to think about it—that’s mindset. What are the practical behaviors? And make a list of those things, and then ask yourself, “How can I turn this into a picture?” So the three M's are the sources of where you would look to find the potential sort of fruitful gold mine of where you could create a framework. And then you apply the seven questions that we just went through to kind of come up with, like, “Okay. What would the framework be in those areas?”
AMY: Okay. So I'm really excited for my listeners to create their frameworks. But as creators, we've all been a little short on content ideas sometimes. So do you have any suggestions for my students on how they can become unstuck and create their own frameworks immediately?
RORY: Absolutely. I'm actually going to—I’m going to rattle off this list that we have, Amy. So we call this the Thought Leadership List. So when you go, “What are the frameworks I could create?” okay, we actually made a list of what this is.
And by the way, if you ever hear somebody say, like, “Ooh, that speaker had great content,” or “They're so smart,” or “They're brilliant,” or “They blew my mind,” or another word that, weirdly, people say is they said, “That speaker had a lot of meat,” right? I don't know why people say that, but they're, like, “It had a lot of meat,” right? Like, they didn't waste a lot of time. It was so substantive. Here's what we started to realize. We realized, “Oh, what they're really saying when they say all those things is that this person has great frameworks.” And then we said, “What counts as a framework?” And we started to make a list of them, and now we call that the Thought Leadership List.
And I'm going to rattle them off for you right now. I think there are, there's, like, I think there's, like, twenty-two of these or something, okay? So if you're driving, pull over, okay? Grab a pen. If you're running, bookmark the time stamp here so you can, like, come back and capture this. I'm going to just rattle them off because it's amazing how simple this is. So diagrams, statistics, charts, tables, graphs, acronyms, analogies, archetypes, metaphors, catchphrases, checklists, templates, quotes, scripts, formulas, data points, scales, illustrations, flow charts, spectrums, continuums, and processes.
AMY: So these are all different ideas. Look there to find your frameworks.
RORY: Bingo. Like, actually, what I would say is I would cross-reference the three M's with the Thought Leadership List. So for our paying clients, when we're doing one-on-one coaching with them, we actually have, like, an Excel grid where the rows are the three M's, and it'll say Mistakes, Mindset, and Method. And then the columns are all the elements that I just listed off. And so we go—it's kind of like Battleship. Do you remember playing Battleship as a kid—
AMY: Yep. I loved it.
RORY: —where you're like, you know?
RORY: So we say, you know, “Is there a diagram that we could create that explains mistakes? Is there a statistic we have around mistakes? Is there a chart we could create for mistake? Is there a table for mistake? Is there a graph? Is there an acronym?” and you go through the whole list, because when you first do it, it feels so overwhelming and so daunting, you know, and to be honest, kind of it is, because this is what separates world-class thought leadership from everyone else, right? Like, this is what separates Jim Collins and Simon Sinek and Mel Robbins and Stephen Covey and Alex Hormozi, who is doing this instinctively, of going, that's what it takes. That is what, when people say they're a thought leader, it's that they're doing great thinking, and great thinking always precedes great writing and great teaching and great speaking. And so this is great thinking. It's hard work.
One of my other favorite quotes is from Henry Ford. He said, “Thinking is hard work, which is why so few people do it.” So this is heavy thinking, and it definitely helps to have some other people around when you're trying to do this. But you can do it.
AMY: I agree.
So, one of the things that helped me immensely is I got the privilege to sit with you, and you helped me work out these frameworks. And I don't think I would have come up with so many great frameworks if I didn't have someone to pitch and catch with to say, “Well, what about this, and what do you do when you teach this? Or how do you explain this?” There's your framework. Like, I didn't see that I already had so many buried in everything that I teach. And so that pitch and catching, to me, was priceless.
So I know that this is what you do with your clients. You have a team of amazing people that help pull it out of your clients and help them get these frameworks together. So will you talk a little bit about that opportunity, because I think it's really valuable?
RORY: Thank you, Amy. Yeah, totally. Well, and the first call we do for free. I think I mentioned that earlier. If not, you know, if you go to freebrandcall.com/amyporterfield, freebrandcall.com/amyporterfield, we actually do the first call for free because we want to talk to you. Like, we want to hear your story. We want to understand your audience. Like, we want to learn. And even if you're not a good fit for us, like, we'll tell you.
But this is a very intimate—I would describe it as an intimate process because we're trying to literally get inside of your brain, and we're trying to grab hold of what makes you uniquely you. We're not ghostwriting. We're facilitating the extraction of your own brilliance and your own magnificence and your own uniqueness out of your brain into this sort of commoditized, prepackaged methodology so that the rest of the world can benefit from it, so that it can transmit further, faster. And it's an artistic process. And the most exciting part is, like, they're not our frameworks; they're yours. We're using our frameworks to help you access yours.
But it's just—and this is the other heartbreaking thing, Amy, is that so many people radically underestimate the power of what knowledge they have in their head. They just don't think that what they know would be so useful to someone else. And the reason they don't think that usually is that they're comparing themselves to other thought leaders instead of focusing themselves on the people they were divinely created to serve. And this goes back to why we say this: you’re most powerfully positioned to serve the person you once were, because when you focus on that person and you go, “Yeah, what I know isn't that special,” it's called the curse of knowledge. There's actually a psychological term for this. It’s called the curse of knowledge. It's assuming that everyone already knows what you know or discounting the value of what you know because you're so familiar with it. Familiar breeds contempt, right? Like, you're so familiar, you don't think it's special. And sometimes you then have the self-talk because you're comparing yourself to other people out there who are, like, thought leaders or whatever, and you convince yourself you're not special.
But your life and your business and your personal brand and your mission is not about serving the other people out there in the space who are thought leaders. It's about serving the people that you are uniquely equipped to help. There are some people who can only hear this message from you. And to that person; to that person who's going through the heartbreak that you have been through; to that person who is trying to get into college, and they've never been there, but you have; to that person trying to land that job interview or find their spouse or overcome their fear or lose that weight or find their spiritual centeredness or find their peace, to that person, you are a gold mine of a wealth of knowledge. You are the answer, literally, the answer to their prayers. And if you can come up with a few simple things that they can latch onto, that they can use as sort of mental coat hangers to understand these concepts, they can transform their lives.
And it doesn't require a Ph.D. It doesn't require a million followers. It doesn’t require you to be a New York Times’ bestselling author. All it requires is for you to have been a person who has walked the path and then to be a person who has taken the time to stop and say, “What can I put together that would help someone else?”
AMY: Boom. That’s powerful, Rory. And I 100 percent agree. I couldn’t say it any better. And also, when you offer this first free coaching call, it's not just about the framework. So there's so much that you offer through one-on-one coaching. Many of those that are listening right now, they've asked me, “Where can I find a one-on-one coach?” And so this is the answer to that. So talk a little bit about what else you offer through your one-on-one coaching programs.
RORY: Yeah. Thanks, Amy. So, again, if you go to freebrandcall.com/amyporterfield, we'll just talk to you, and you'll see for yourself. What happens is—maybe this would be helpful, Amy. What if I—I'll explain a little bit about our overarching framework quickly. So our phase one is we call it branding, the branding phase. But you could think of it more like positioning and messaging. So we first help you find your uniqueness and get clear on the one problem, the one-word problem you solve, the one audience you solve it for, the one-sentence message for how to solve it, and the one revenue stream above all others that matters. That was what you and I covered in our first interview. So if you want more on that, you could go listen to that.
Once we find your uniqueness, we codify it in something called a brand-positioning statement. We then extrapolate that brand-positioning statement into a body of work, a body of knowledge. We do that through this process that we're describing here, which we've never explained anywhere else publicly. We call it captivating content, and we take you through the three M's and the Thought Leadership List and the seven questions and something called the story point framework behavior. And we help extrapolate this out of your head, your brilliance into this, like, commoditized body of work. Then, we put you through world-class presentation craft. And so that's where we teach the art of speaking. And that's, like, phase one.
Then, phase two is all the marketing stuff. That's all the copywriting and funnels and social media. And we teach more of the, you know, a little bit, we have, like, some podcasting, and we talk about how to grow traffic for your personal brand, affiliate marketing, things like that.
Then, in phase three, which some people will skip to phase three, is the selling phase. We teach people how to have one-on-one conversations through real-life human relationships that will grow their brand. So one of our flagship things is called Pressure-Free Persuasion, and we teach people how to sell high-dollar offers through phone calls that people sign up for. So without having to have a shopping cart and a stripe integration and a checkout page, people just request a call and then you talk to them, which is how people used to sell. So we're combining, like, digital marketing and all the brilliant things that, like, you teach and going, you also, in addition to doing that, can offer people a call, and what you say on the call. And then, we teach book launches, and we teach the business of speaking and book launches.
And then, we teach something called Eight-Figure Entrepreneur in phase four. Phase four is our scaling phase. And that's typically where we work with people who are a little bit more advanced on installing, you know, a leadership structure and the cashflow management and the valuation of your business and hiring a sales team. And we really talk about becoming an eight-figure or nine-figure business.
So anyway, that's a gentle glance over the four phases of the Brand Builder Journey, which is our signature framework for the steps we take people on.
AMY: Fantastic. So one more time. To sign up for the free call, where do they go?
RORY: Freebrandcall.com/amyporterfield, though, okay? So go there, /amyporterfield, and then we'll know you came from Amy, and you know all the wonderful things, and we'll have a little background of, like, what knowledge you have coming in to the call. So we'll be able to kind of probably go a little bit faster. But most of it is we want to hear about you. We just want to hear your dream. We want to hear your vision. We want to hear where you at. And also, it's worth saying, Amy, that, you know, I've mentioned some of the names of people we've worked with, you know, you and people. And sometimes people are intimidated because they go, “Well, you know, Amy's a freaking bad mama jama. Like, she's the queen of this space, like, the original O.G., and like, you're such a legend.” But most of the people we work with—I'm talking 98 percent of the people we work with—are nothing like Amy Porterfield or Lewis Howes or a Jasmine Star. They're beginners or they're intermediate, right? They can be in the very beginning, have a dream, and then all the way in between. Now we walk the whole journey because we've walked the whole journey multiple times.
But don't be intimidated by other people. Don't be intimidated by other people in your space. Be focused on the people you're trying to serve. You know, there is no fear when the mission to serve is clear. Stay focused on your audience. That's the part that matters. And if you do that, you'll figure out everything else.
AMY: Oh, such a great way to wrap this up.
Rory, it is always a pleasure to have you on the show. I'm really excited for those that are going to sign up for a free coaching call. I really know that this is what many of my listeners have asked for. And I love that we got to dive into one of my most favorite topics: frameworks. So thanks again, my friend, for being here.
RORY: My pleasure, friend. Thank you for being everything you are in the world, Amy Porterfield. It is an honor to know you and to be your friend and to be, of course, in front of the audience that you've worked so hard to build and you work so diligently to serve. So thanks for that privilege.
AMY: Thanks again. Take care.
Well, there you have it. I think you'd agree that this little conversation with Rory was jam packed full of goodness. I hope that after listening to this episode, you not only understand the importance of frameworks when it comes to teaching your content, but you can get to work right now, putting all of your knowledge into a simple, easy-to-understand framework. I think more than anything, what I want you to walk away with is truly understanding that frameworks make it easier to teach your content. Many of you struggle with the nerves of webinars and teaching on video and showing up live on stage. That stuff is scary, especially if you're just starting out and you’re new at it. Frameworks ease your mind; allow you to stay organized, centered, and focused; and it allows your audience to pick it up a whole lot faster.
One more thing I want to add is my favorite thing about frameworks is when you name them, you brand them, as Rory said, you make them your own. Now you're going to be known for certain pieces of content, and that is powerful. If you want to be the expert, if you want to be the go-to source, you need to be known for specific pieces of content—frameworks—so that people know how to naturally talk about you to other people, and they also understand how to work with you. Frameworks do all of that, so let's start creating some frameworks for you as well.
I really want you to check out that free brand call. So it's freebrandcall.com/amyporterfield. I think it would be really valuable for you to at least jump on a call, see if they can help you, let them know where you're struggling, what you need help with, let them know where you want to go with your business, and see if they'd be a good fit. The call is free. Freebrandcall.com/amyporterfield.
Thanks so much for tuning in. I cannot wait to see you same time, same place, next week. Bye for now.