Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with Joseph Romm
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Introducing Joseph Romm
Today’s guest joining us on the Join Up Dots podcast business interview is a man who knows the secret ingredient that most people online are searching for.
How to make things go viral in an ever more shouty online world.
He is one of the country’s most influential progressive communicators.
He is Chief Science Advisor for “Years of Living Dangerously,” which won the 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Series and now generates viral videos online seen by tens of millions a month.
He is the founding editor of ClimateProgress.org, which NY Times columnist Tom Friedman called, “the indispensable blog.”
And if that isn’t enough he is also the senior advisor for New Frontier Data, the leading “big data” firm providing actionable analysis in cannabis, whose content reaches hundreds of millions of people a year.
How The Dots Joined Up For Joseph
Yeah that is a bit eclectic to say the least.
Now with his new book out across the world “How To Go Viral and Reach Millions: Top Persuasion Secrets from Social Media Superstars, Jesus, Shakespeare, Oprah, and Even Donald Trump“ he has even more things to talk about and do everyday.
So what of course is the key to going viral like Jesus?
And where does he find his focus turning to everyday?
A day off, or more and more work?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Joseph Romm
Joseph shares the three A’s that make viral content explode across the world….powerful stuff.
We discuss the power of “replacing” which has made Hollywood screenplays bring insight and excitement to the screen for years.
Why the first rule of communicating is making the receiver know that we are one of them. Bridge the gap between sender and receiver and you will win the game.
How and Why “The Hero’s Story” has become the key to so many of the inspiring content that we see in film, and platforms everywhere.
Books By Joseph Romm
Connect With Joseph Romm
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Audio Transcription Of Joseph Romm Interview
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 [0:21]
Yes. Good morning. Well, good morning and welcome to another. This is the revival wish show I know it’s going to go viral episode of join up dots. And today’s guest joining us on the show is a man who knows the secret ingredient that most people online are searching for. Guess what he knows, he knows how to make things go viral in an ever more shouty online world. He’s one of the country’s most influential progressive communicators. He is Chief Science Advisor at the years of Living Dangerously, which won the 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding non fiction series. And now he generates viral videos online seen by 10s of millions a month. He’s the founding editor of climate progress.org which New York Times column is Tom Friedman called the indispensable blog. And if that isn’t enough, he’s also the senior advisor for new frontier data, the leading Big Data firm providing actionable analysis in cannabis whose content reaches hundreds of millions of people a year. That’s a bit eclectic, to say the least in it now with his new book out across the across the world how to go viral and reach millions top persuasion secrets from social media superstars, Jesus, Shakespeare, Oprah and even Donald Trump. I would have thought it was even Jesus, he has even more things to talk about and do every day. So what is of course the key to going viral like Jesus? And where does he find these focus turning to every day a day off? Or just more and more work? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start joining up with the one and only Joseph Romm. Joseph how are you?
Joseph Romm [2:07]
I am I’m great David I’m really excited to be here.
David Ralph [2:10]
Oh, we’re excited to have you on it going viral like Jesus. I hate he wasn’t big on my Twitter feed To be honest, I will Jesus and so I’m going to get straight about how Chico five all like Jesus.
Joseph Romm [2:25]
Well, the way he did it was he said things that got people’s attention and stuck in their memory. And then other people repeated them, and then over and over again and to catch someone’s attention to be cliquey. To keep it to be sticky clicking and sticky, that is the modern art, the terms that we use for going viral. And those are the strategies that the great speakers have used throughout history. The core of it really is telling stories. There’s a certain way form of telling the stories that are more cliquey and sticky. The great speakers for thousands of years have mastered those techniques and the same tricks that Shakespeare use saying that Winston Churchill used Abraham Lincoln use, and the same that our modern songwriters use the beetle from the Beatles, you know, to to m&m to Adele, the people to to Lin Manuel Miranda and Hamilton. When you learn the art of viral storytelling, that becomes the cornerstone of your memorable and an effective communications.
David Ralph [3:37]
Right? This This has got my interest, big time so sticky and cliquey. So everybody out there who is screaming, me, me, me, and you see him on LinkedIn, oh, I did this today. I did back today. Even the ones that are making online videos, which to be honest, I watch about 15 seconds of it, and I just turned it off, Ben not being sticky and clicking maybe not telling me a story. That’s the key to it, is it?
Joseph Romm [4:04]
They’re not telling you a story, and they’re not stimulating emotions that caused us to want to share? And and what we have learned when people have studied what goes viral online and what doesn’t. It’s not, you know, there was a major study, for instance, of the New York Times, stories that were most shared by email, clearly, and what they found was that there were three emotions, that if you stimulated one of those emotions, you were more likely to be shared. And those were the three days they were anger, anxiety, and anger or outrage these days, I’m sure you get bombarded with emails from someone who is outraged by the latest celebrity or politician who did something ridiculous, ridiculous. So the thing about storytelling was, that was the way we shared information in an entertaining fashion, that stimulated emotions, because you know, no one’s reading, going online, to get knowledge and facts and charts and data, they want to feel something and then be able to share it with their friends and say, Look, what I saw, look, I saw this first, you know, I have a little social credit. So the key is use words that are memorable that stimulate emotions, and that promises story and then deliver a story. Yeah, but
David Ralph [5:36]
Joe jumping in there, my wife loves nothing more of a cat videos. And she’ll be on Facebook all the time. And she has a cat fall off a piano and she has share it. Now that doesn’t fall into the category of three A’s. But when I look at it, it’s had about 3 million views. How does that work there?
Joseph Romm [5:55]
Well, I you know, that’s a there is a fourth category, which we humor. And but the humor is always a certain type of humor to it’s, it’s a certain type of unexpected, you know, what we’re looking for is a novel experience. And that’s where you get the word or we’re like, we’re always surprised by what cats do when people have written about why cats go viral. And part of it is they’re more feral. They’re much closer to being a wild animal than let’s say dogs, or most other animals that we that we interact with. And so they do, if you’ve ever owned a cat or known that, you know that they that they’ll just be sitting there sitting there sitting there, and then they’ll zoom into another room. Yeah. And so they they do the unexpected. And and also, of course, they’re fantastically curious creatures, which just is constantly getting them into into trouble.
David Ralph [6:51]
I got told the other day that if a cat, domestic cat was the same size as a lion, it would kill us. It The only reason it doesn’t kill us. He’s the fact that it’s small. And he knows he’s not going to win.
Joseph Romm [7:04]
And we feed it. But yes, there’s there’s no question that look the cats. When the cats killed mice, they’re they’re not really knowing what they’re doing. I don’t think they’re playing with it. And, and and maybe it’s not like they go around eating the mice. Usually they they drop them off. But the point is, if if I’m trying to go viral, obviously, I have to promise you something that’s new, something unexpected, right? If we’re trying to break through the noise of the internet, right, so there’s there is a it’s like Niagara Falls, it’s like the constant din of information, like an open fire hydrant. And if you want to cut through that you have to not only do I have to promise you an interesting story that stimulates emotions. And and it’s something you haven’t heard before. But I really only have a few words to do it. Like you said, you’re going to turn off that video in 15 seconds. And I’ve spoken to the people who make these videos, that that go viral on four years of Living Dangerously, and and the executive producer, who has four Emmys, told me Look, I have to interest you grab your attention, keep it for the first 15 seconds, and then the next 15 seconds. And then the next 15 seconds. And I have to realize that at any given time, you know, there’s a million more interesting things that you could potentially be doing online, because you have you have the entire world’s body of music and humor. And, and and celebrities and and at your at your fingertips. Right. So obviously, the challenge for me is just a lot higher right now.
David Ralph [8:49]
So it’s it’s like 15 seconds, 15 seconds, 15 seconds, 15 seconds, because it’s interesting. I was listening to Howard Stern the other day, and Howard Stern was talking about how he got to the top of the charts as a radio host. And he realized that the stats were recorded every 15 minutes. And so as long as he said something, about 13 minutes in back over to the next 16 minutes, his stats went through the roof. So he used to just look at the clock and think right here we go, here we go. 13 minutes, I’m going to say something outrageous, people hang on and way it went up. So he was doing a very small bite sized trick, which meant that he gained maximum effect. So I like this hour. But does that mean that a podcast, for example, which is an hour long, really is going to struggle? Because it can’t keep to those small bite sized chunks that keep people stimulated? It has to have peaks and troughs, I suppose?
Joseph Romm [9:50]
Well, I would say two things, you know, look a good podcaster knows how to bring out the story of the guest, and presumably has interesting guests, you know, podcasts are very interesting. And I I view them sort of as the modern day book tour. And I think they are they are a high engagement medium. There’s sort of one factor I have left out here which which explains podcast. And that is, you know, I have been blogging for 12 years. So after a while, of course, if you consistently deliver what you promise, then you develop an audience that kind of trusts you. And and and they’re willing to give you more than 15 seconds, you know that you don’t have to you don’t have to get them every 15 seconds because they know hey, this person, you know, this is the movie reviewer I like you know, this is the comedian, I like this is a newspaper columnist that I like so I give them a little more time. And you know, if someone’s listening to a podcast, listen to your podcast, it’s because they like your point of view. They like that guests you have, you’ve developed some trust with them. But the trust is based on delivering the promise of your headlines, right? Obviously, there’s a lot of people out there who are doing these clickbait headlines where they’re, you know, promising you, you know, two three amazing ways to lose weight without trying right? Well, of course, they can’t deliver on that. So you might click on the ones. But the point is those the promising what you can’t deliver does not work over the long term.
David Ralph [11:30]
So we’re talking consistent approach so that people will go, okay, that wasn’t that good today. We give it another go. And we give it and it is a kind of it’s a roller coaster of emotion. Because I know certainly some shows up on a record. I feel like I’m on fire. And I feel like a guest is on fire. And I feel like it’s powerful stuff. And I don’t get much response to those. And the ones that I think to myself Oh, should I release that I didn’t feel about I’m really did the right questions and stuff, better the ones that seem to hit home and I get a lot of response. So is there any way that I can kind of program myself to deliver this kind of content? Or is it just me going for it over time and seeing sometimes I’m going to hit a home run and sometimes or not?
Joseph Romm [12:16]
Well, look, I can tell you the biggest trick in the book, and the one that the most people have commented to me about and I bought my own Kindle. And you can find out which passages are the most marked up. And it’s all from chapter two, where I discussed the rule replacing this, this trick that the Hollywood screenwriters developed to make their scripts more interesting, make the story more interesting, make them more emotionally compelling. And it’s very simple and you you can’t do it live, but you can prepare for it ahead of time. And and let me just tell you what this this rule is this is called the the rule the and but therefore rule or the rule of replacing. And basically, what you do is you look at what your your speech, that you’re right, whatever you’re writing, let’s say you’re going to give a talk, or you’re going to write a blog post, or you’re going to write, you know, an email, you printed out, you write out what you were going to say you circle all of the and the word and and then you try to replace it with the word but or equivalents like yet, wherever possible to introduce the kind of conflict and narrative tension we expect in our best stories. And then you also replace and with their four or equivalents, like so to introduce the resolution of that conflict intention. So what you’re trying to do, and this is, you know, I think what what howard stern understood, is, and, and and all of the great, you know, your TV shows, right? They all have Cliff hangers before the break. Yeah. So we what you’re trying to do is introduce some tension, what’s the contrast no one wants to listen to I did this. And then I did this, and then I did this, and then I did this, no one’s interested in that we don’t we don’t, you know, those are travel logs, you know, and maybe what they’re interested in is, is, I did this, but then this happened to me and and I had a problem. And now I had to overcome that problem. And this is sort of the adventure I went or this is how I figured out and here’s the solution. And you know, if I’m trying to do sales, which will all of us at some at one level, other are trying to sell our ideas or our products, or in my case, my book, which is how to go viral and reach millions, I have to persuade you. I mean, you have some problem you want help with. And I’ve got a I’m trying to persuade you, I can help you with that. And the way I’m going to do that is to say, Hey, you know, I was going about my life. But then I ran into this problem, which of course is similar to the one you have, and I had a lot of problems with it. But then I said, heck, I’m going to study all the people, the great speech writers, all the people, the great video creators, and talk to the experts. And then I’m going to figure out how to go viral because I want to be heard, and I want to be remembered. And then I’m going to write down everything I’ve learned in a book, and then I’m going to sell it. And so that’s the kind of arc of the story that you’re trying to create again, and again, you’re trying to introduce this this obstacle, and then the resolution how you overcame the obstacle.
David Ralph [15:32]
Well, I’m going to play some words now. And then when we come back, me and Joe, we’re going to arm wrestle to the death in a in a vat of hot mud. But is that a good cliffhanger to go with? Joe? Are people gonna hang on to find out?
Joseph Romm [15:48]
Yes, we’re like, it’s you and me wrestling at the Reichenbach falls. And you know, which one of us survives? You know, we don’t know yet.
David Ralph [15:57]
We don’t know. So they’re gonna come back to this. Let’s see, Tammy,
Jim Carrey [16:00]
my father could have been a great comedian. But he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love. Now, one
David Ralph [16:28]
of the things that I’m interested in Joe, is the fact that you’re saying that you’ve got to keep people interested, and you got to keep people, you know, on the journey. Now, I just come back from Florida, and we had a lovely time in Florida. And as normally in Florida, we went to a lot of the parks. And I found that the very first ride I went on, I got off and went brilliant. Enjoy it that we have to do that one again. That’s excellent. And then by the time I spent the whole day, I almost wanted, I don’t know what I wanted to happen. But I felt like I’d seen them all. It wasn’t big enough for me my interest they’ve gone even though they were throwing millions and millions at these things, and I was coming out guy was all right, it was okay. But I think they could do this. I could do that. How do we keep on sort of keeping that interest? Because after Whoa, we’ve seen it a weapon way.
Joseph Romm [17:16]
We have. But this is the interesting point. And this is something I talked about in the book, it took me a long time to realize because I have an 11 year old daughter, how could she watch the same movie, the first movie of Harry Potter 30 times, you know, I’m sure if you have kids, you know, and
David Ralph [17:31]
I now have a man.
Joseph Romm [17:33]
It took me a long time to realize because I was thinking well, and I was talking to her about how do you how come you’re so interested in a story when you know the ending? And it took me a long time to realize that and and of course, my daughter was answering that one of the reasons was she liked the emotions that it created. And it sort of dawned on me that it’s not that we do watch the same stories over if you like Sherlock Holmes, okay, that’s a similar story over and over again. But you, you know, you know what you’re going to get, and you know, you’re going to consistently get it and in the case of being able to deliver the same kind of story. But with twists, we get if we like we grow to like a certain character. I mean, look, people come in, they tuned your podcast, time and time again. Now all your guests are different. But obviously, there’s a certain sameness of your voice, the way you’re going to approach it. So clearly, people want a combination of the familiar and the novel. And if you just constantly throw its people stuff they’ve never heard before, and people they’ve never met before that that also isn’t going to work. So you know, there’s no question you have to find the right balance and that, you know, that’s your voice. Right? That’s the thing. we all strive for what I coach people, you know, that’s the thing that I am looking for, right? When if people are going to come to my blog, after years and years, when they have so many different choices for what to read about, it must be because they have come to see me as a voice they can trust, but also that is going to entertain. And presumably that’s the same with you. So again, this is the I have to deliver on my promises. But I also have to figure out how to do it in an entertaining way. And that’s my job. It was Howard Stern’s job, it’s your job. And the people who think they’re only in the business of Oh, I’m going to teach people and deliver them information as quickly as possible. Here’s the data. Here’s the chart, boom, PowerPoint, next PowerPoint, next PowerPoint, that is not how people learn. And that’s what bores people to death.
David Ralph [19:52]
I agree with you totally on this, because I don’t listen to podcasts. Because more often than not, I go over them. And I click on it just No, it bores me, it just doesn’t get me at all. And then other ones I really kind of enjoy. But at the end of it, I think what was the point of fact, it was just kind of an hour of the two coasts having a great time, and I kind of got involved in it for about an hour, but then I don’t go back to them very often. So you’re saying that a podcast, or anything has to have a meaning. And it has to deliver it in an entertaining or insightful way that hits both demographics. It’s either the people that want to be entertained, or the people that want to learn. And if you can do both things really well together, you’re starting to cook on gas. Is that right, Joe?
Joseph Romm [20:41]
Absolutely. And that’s where storytelling comes in. Because over thousands and thousands of years of human evolution, that was the way people figured out how to deliver information in an entertaining fashion.
David Ralph [20:53]
So when you get somebody like old, um, what’s his name, Lincoln, who gets up and he was known for his past four speeches, Ed, because I don’t know a lot about him. But did he throw a lot of his own personal stuff in LA to kind of stories about work, because I’ve always found that when I used to do training courses online, and in, in classroom based, and sort of studios and stuff. And I always used to do it like three ways, really, it was content, it was me. But then it was the audience. And I tried to bridge us three together. So we were working together on it. And so if somebody gave me insight about themselves, I would give them insight about me, which means about I could segment the content that I’m doing, and it kind of worked in that pre part way. Is that how they do it? They throw themselves into it? Did they give more themselves? Or do they lie to make themselves seem windswept and interesting after they do it?
Joseph Romm [21:48]
Well, there’s a lot of
different techniques, but I think you’re absolutely right. I mean, look, the first our first job as as communicators is is to persuade people that we’re one of them. Right? That’s that we’re tribal, we’re social creatures, right? So I am much more likely to believe you if somehow you persuade me, I’m like you in a certain way. So I’ve got to tell a story that shows that that I’m, I’m one of us, I’m a regular person. I’m a, you know, I had experiences that are the kinds of experiences that real people have this. And let me just say, this is sort of the other big trick that the great speech writers learned. And this is the use of the figures of speech. This is what Churchill understood and Shakespeare understood. And Lincoln understood the things that the these are the memory tricks, these are the the the phrases that make up the most compelling stories, whether it’s metaphors or alliteration or irony or repetition or puns. So, if if I deliver those, these are the things that really connect with people’s brains and say, Aha, well, I love a good, you know, metaphor, the Iron Curtain or, or, you know, something like that. And when I’m giving a speech, the way that I’m signaling to the audience that I am going to be interesting and entertaining is I’m going to be using iron and metaphor and puns and and and repetition, you know, we will fight them on the beaches will fight them on the landing grounds. These are the things that that that stick with people that pull people in that that that interest people. So that’s a key part of the storytelling. It’s certainly what Jesus did. You know, it’s certainly what Lincoln and Shakespeare and and john F. Kennedy, and and the great speech writers throughout history have done and the great storytellers, when you pick up a book, you’re not you don’t want to read something literal, you want to read stuff with a lot of figurative language that it is the figurative the thing that different from the literal recitation of facts that draw us in.
David Ralph [24:05]
Now, somebody like Donald Trump, as we all know, we all got strong opinions about Donald Trump. And basically, my opinion is, he’s a very amusing mental case. Basically, I say it from this side of the pond, looking at his tweets more often than not thinking, I can’t believe he sent now, isn’t it? Isn’t it somebody stopping him? Do that he is he actually sending these? Or is somebody doing on his behalf? He doesn’t tell stories at all. But he creates that viral effect, literally, by what I’ve just expressed, but all the time, I’m thinking, I can’t believe he’s getting away with this. Would that be his strategy? Or is that just him?
Joseph Romm [24:47]
Well, yes, and I, you know, I, on this side of the pond. Yeah, we actually he’s our actually our leader. So we can’t look at him quite as, as from from the distance, amused point of view that that you are and I suppose given have all of our nuclear weapons, everybody’s got to be a little worried. You’re exactly right, that Donald Trump is an entertainer. And he’s he’s an entertainer, slash salesman. And in the book, I talked about what clearly he knows how to make content go viral, whatever else you want to say about him. He knows how to make content go viral. And the interesting thing about him and the thing that people forget is, for 10 years, he ran a reality show. Now, when you run a reality show, you’re just creating a bunch of narratives, mini narratives of four different characters, right? And you get feedback in the ratings overnight, and you run focus groups is this is doing this interesting is this villain, losing interest or gaining interesting, you know, so you get the certain arc type of characters, and you learn over 10 years, hey, this is how to keep people entertained. And you know, if you watch a reality, there’s all these twists, and emotional conflict, and all this stuff. It’s all mostly made up fabricated stuff, to keep you entertained, but the point is, over a 10 year period, you’re going to learn what works and what doesn’t. And the other thing is that as a salesman, he learned how to be very good at BASF people. And in fact, in the art of the deal, by the way, he says, there’s actually a figure of speech, of course, that Donald Trump loves and said, he likes us, which is hyperbole. That’s, that’s in the art of the deal. He says, you know, he realized that when he was selling stuff, people don’t want the second best. They don’t want the third best, whatever they’re buying, it’s always the best. So okay, I exaggerate a little bit. You notice, whenever something happens to Trump, it’s it’s always the biggest, right? We’re going to get hit by Hurricane This is going to be the wettest hurricane. But again, he under stands in the art of storytelling, is he right? He doesn’t tell stories, what he does is he tell these mini narratives where he creates a drama, and then he promises a resolution. And so with Trump, this is always the biggest thing that ever happened, or I had the biggest problem or these people are the worst people but I you know, but I alone can solve it, that sort of thing. So he gets that, that that when you’re operating at the grandest scale, you you people want a little hyperbole. He’s a little like a PT Barnum, you know, a little like a huckster, but the fact is that what PT Barnum and, and and some of the great con men learned is that people really like to be conned at some level, right? We want to be fooled. Why do we watch TV? Right? We
David Ralph [27:49]
we like to be fooled by somebody who hasn’t got a big red button under their farm. Emily, really, you know, it’s, and that that must be great. After a while at the most What’s he been in two years, three years, it feels like 100 years, but whatever he’s been in. And it’s still interesting to me. But there’s going to be a time when you think well, Well, fortunately, I suppose there’s the eight year time that everybody’s had enough. And off he goes. And
Joseph Romm [28:15]
let’s hope it’s a four year time.
But But let me get to that point, you know, look, and one of the points I make in the book, his style is much more work viable for selling than it is for governing. Yeah. You see, it was a brilliant strategy campaigning, right, because he was always capturing the attention away from everyone else. And even though it was outrageous, he had a new outrage every day like it was this constant reality show. So he became the focus of entertainment, you know, he ended up with $2 billion more in free media than Hillary, who, you know what, you know, Hillary’s not the world’s greatest communicator, you know, among other problems. But the point is that, yes, his strategy works. If I’m trying to sell you real estate in Manhattan, this is going to be the biggest thing and I sell to you, and then I never have to deal with you again. Right. So I can, I can promise the moon doesn’t matter what I deliver when you’re actually running for president. He never expected to be president. Right. When you’re president, people can actually see whether you deliver. And, and so that that approach starts to fail. Yeah, I can assure you if you see the polls in this country in the last month or so have really he’s kind of fallen through the basement and he’s back in the in the 30. So other than his core audience, I can assure you that he is his act. His car has grown tire some for a great many us over here in the States, there’s it doesn’t that prove
David Ralph [29:48]
the point vein, as I said, with the Florida rides, that it’s exciting for a little bit, but after a while, we get fed up and you got to raise the ante, it needs to get more exciting, it needs to be more reeling. And we’re seeing that online. Generally, if you go back sort of five or 10 years, it wasn’t half as much of what I call rubbish. My daughter is 13. And she’s obsessed with watching families just living their life on YouTube. And I hear that content. And when I walk into the room, she says, Do you want me to put headphones on? And more often than not, I say yes. And sometimes I go No, leave it on. It just sounds like rubbish to me. But it’s getting loads and loads of audience and and she’s hooked on it. And I say, isn’t that just what you’re living? Isn’t that your life? Anyway, there’s there’s a proper there’s a sister is a mom and dad and you’re watching it. That’s your house. But you want to separate yourself from us lot to watch these other people. I don’t understand it, Joe?
Joseph Romm [30:47]
Well, I’m, I don’t know that I you know, I How old is your daughter? 13. Okay, well, my daughter is 11 and a half. So it seems like she’s 16 these days. I’m sure. You know what I’m saying? Look, I went when you’re a kid, this is a long time to realize I I opened the book with a story when my daughter was three years old. And she started saying blah, blah, blah to me. And I, she was very good at picking up phrases. So I was okay, if she knew what they meant. She could use them. So I said, you know, and Tony, do you know what? Blah, blah, blah means. And she paused and said it when daddy says something that doesn’t matter. So okay, she understood what blah, blah, blah, making, it means that it’s a phrase you use when when you’re interrupting someone. And and, and implying so. But I realized that that I wasn’t communicating to her the way she wanted to be communicated to, you know, I have a PhD in physics from MIT. So I spent sort of 910 years learning that the way you persuade people it with facts and charts and data, and you don’t tell stories, and you’re not figured of in use big words, and that’s a total failure with your kid and with most people. And so it it has taken a long time to understand things from her point of view, when you’re when you enter this world, you have no idea why you’re here, what your role is what you’re supposed to be doing. And it’s got to be and you have all these emotions, and they don’t make a lot of sense. And that’s one of the reasons why people get comfort, certainly kids in watching the same story over and over and over again. Because suddenly, here’s here’s a plot line. That makes sense. I know how it’s going to end, I keep watching it, I can know what emotions I’m going to experience, maybe I’ll see how people behave in certain situation. And fundamentally, that’s what we’re all trying to do is we’re interested in stories, because we’re trying to figure out, what is our role in this world? What is our special place in this world? What do I supposed to do? So I think, you know, with kids, it, it’s just doubly that they they want to to connect to stories that are somehow similar to what they’re going through. And so it’s not that they don’t aren’t interested in you, or me, it’s that, hey, I’m an 11 year old kid, and I’m, I’m just trying to figure out what the what the what do 11 year old kids do? And what’s going to happen to me when I’m 13. And I hear all this stuff about puberty and dating and kissing boys. And you know, so the point is, it’s, that’s why they’re looking desperately for those stories, that content online that is entertaining, and reassuring with a little bit of Hey, this is the way of 11 year old exists in this world.
David Ralph [33:43]
Yeah, I can say that. I can understand that. Totally. And I remember when my son, my son was six, and he woke up and kids, you know, nowadays, yeah, sleep till the afternoon, about 8pm early days, he would get out really early. And I put on Indiana Jones and the temples of doom for him. And my wife said, that’s a bit advanced for him. I said, Oh, boy, you know, it’s only Indiana Jones. And a lot of these films. Actually, it’s not until you sit later. And you think, Oh, actually, I forgot that bit in that film. And I forgot that bit. And he watched it back to back until he went to bed at night. He must have watched it nine times 10 times. And as soon as he finished, he wanted me back on again, which is amazing. And I still look at that. And I think what was he actually watching time and time again. And it was like, went to bed and he woke up the next morning and he’s rarely watched it again. It was just this one day, time and time again. So he obviously it got him he got him something that he wasn’t finding anywhere else on that day.
Joseph Romm [34:42]
Yeah, well, I talk. So what kind of story is Indiana Jones or Harry Potter? Or, you know, Luke Skywalker? You know, this is the story. Why do people keep coming back to that kind of story over and over all the Disney movies, all the superhero movies. And of course, Joseph Campbell, wrote the famous book, The hero with 1000 voices, and he realized that all of the great hero stories followed a certain pattern. And that book became the inspiration for George Lucas and episode four, five and six, the original Star Wars movies, the mythic hero stories, and that is what JK Rowling use as the basis for Harry Potter. And so you know, Why could my daughter watch the first Harry Potter movie 30 times? Well, again, it is the story of an ordinary kid who learns who’s going through troubles right raised in the uncle and aunts closet. And, but he learned he has a secret ability. And he has a journey, he’s going to go on into this very special place where he’s going to learn I had to deal with that special ability. And and in some sense, these hero’s journey. The reason these are the stories that have lasted for thousands of thousands of years is because that journey is a journey. We’re all on what is what is my superpower? Right? What is my story? How am I different? How am I going to stand out and that’s what everyone’s trying to do in a viral world, right? Everyone is trying to be I’m, this is what makes me special. You know, look at me, that’s fundamentally what all of the videos and things are about. So this story, as, as Joseph Campbell showed, and as modern movies show, we come back to again and again and again, of the emergence of a hero going through trials and tribulations, and coming back with some wisdom. And, and that journey, whether it is Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, or or or Harry Potter, or Luke Skywalker, or Peter Parker and Spider Man, even though the stories are all the same. That is the primal story of humanity and human beings.
David Ralph [37:06]
Let’s play some words. Now that connects the whole theme of join up dots and this guy, really, whether he was a hero, or whatever, but he went on a journey. And because of his failures and his ability to bounce back, he became stronger and more profound because of it.
Unknown Speaker [37:22]
Steve Jobs, of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards. 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [37:58]
Eight and 10 a good story or two, Tony?
Joseph Romm [38:01]
He can and I talk about Steve Jobs, in in, in in how to go viral and reach millions because I think he is a very exemplary will look. Remember he is the guy and he had his own journey. And there’s a great speech, you want a great viral speech, look up his commencement speech at Stanford, just have to Google it. And he talks about the journey he went through because we don’t remember this. But he went through the most bitter public humiliation a person can be his friend, his board of directors at Apple fired him, fired him at the age of 30. And he was utterly devastated. And he talks about how he got through that. But it’s this this power and and of course, one of the things he ended up doing, he says is that being fired was turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to him, because it’s set him free from the burden of that everyone’s idea of what Apple was at the time, and allowed his most creativity, creative moments to come to read him and he after all founded Pixar. Right. So he clearly worked with some of the greatest storytellers of all the man, the man reinvented the the the cartoon movie, you know, the Toy Story, and, and up, and, and a monster’s Inc, right? All of these stories that are told with a visual, you know, digital, visual, visual, amazing Miss, but still, at the end of the day are your classic Hero’s Journey stories. And so he did learn about storytelling. And when he came back to Apple, he came back as a world class storyteller. And and he and storytelling By the way, that’s how you create a brand. Right? I mean, when people ended up you know, that think different was the advertising campaign that they came up with, when he came back the or the throwing the hammer through the movie showing IBM, you know, that iconoclastic, that’s that brand of with Apple, we’re going to do things differently. And we’re going to create a product that is super user friendly, designed for you. And he would tell that story over and over again. And he created the most successful brand in in all of the business world. And that brand, a brand is nothing more than a compelling story, compelling origin story, and a compelling story that I’m promising you a lot. But I’m going to deliver a lot of
David Ralph [40:38]
value and value is value for you and value for your customers, your listeners, you readers, whatever. It’s got to be an equal balance between the two.
Joseph Romm [40:47]
Absolutely. And I I have a chapter in the book I which is actually titled Amazon branding and personal character. So I read this book in it Joe is
David Ralph [40:55]
like I’ve read this book, it is
Joseph Romm [40:58]
just like it alone. A lot of what I say in the book,
people sort of have heard, but they don’t practice it hasn’t been ingrained in them. Because when you go to higher education, you learn a the people are persuaded by facts. And that’s nonsense, but that’s what we’re taught. And I’ll tell you one very interesting thing that just happened. Jeff Bezos, the owner of the other most valuable brand in the world, Amazon. Every year he releases a shareholder letter, along with in his 2018 shareholder letter, he announced this amazing thing. He said, at all future business meetings. We are going to ban all PowerPoints. And when you what we’re going to do instead is people going to write a five or six minute narrative memo. Put what their idea is that a recommendation in a story form. And then people are going to read that memo, and we’re going to discuss it. But we’re not people do not learn by PowerPoints. So we’re banning them people learn through stories. And you know, and of course, Amazon, he also became a storyteller, right? Because Amazon, you watch the movies or the TV series on Amazon. So yes, at the end of the day, this is all comes back to the Mastering the Art of persuasive and memorable storytelling. Now, I love that
David Ralph [42:30]
because I used to hate PowerPoint, I was a trainer. And it was something that we sort of used by hardly used it at all. And I always said, If you know the content, you don’t need it. It’s just that you sort of habits clinging. So Jeff Bezos, I give you a round of applause. I really do. So when you sell when you look at all the all the people that we’ve been talking about, we’ve been talking about Jesus, we’ve been talking about Donald Trump, we’ve been talking about Steve Jobs is just a simple common theme through all of them, that the listeners out there today, you can go right? I’m going to implement that into my content strategy. And it will make a difference to me. Is there one thing that we can say to them all, go out and try this and see what difference it makes?
Joseph Romm [43:15]
Well, here’s what I would say. You, you have to know, your core story. Right? I mean, this comes down to consistency. At some level, yes, I’m delivering novelty. If I’m Steve Jobs, I’m the first iPhone. That’s novelty. And you know, Donald Trump, obviously every day. But at the at the core is this story, and everything has to connect to that story. So I’m, what I’m telling people is, figure out, what’s your superpower? Right? That’s what I do. You know, look, I in this case, I read a book on how to go viral. So everything comes back to Can I help you go viral? And what’s the story of how I learned to go viral? Right, and how does that connect? And what can you learn from my story? So that’s what people have to think and when when you’re selling? They don’t you know, there’s this famous quote about Steve Jobs, which is
that people don’t just try to find this quote.
In the book, people, this is cynic. You know, Simon cynic wrote, did this viral Ted video and he how great leaders inspire action, and he came to the conclusion, what it proves to us is that people don’t buy what you do people buy why you do it. Yeah, right. That was his realization, and I twisted a little bit for the individual, if you want people to buy whatever you’re selling, you first need to get them to buy your story. But the point is, you have to bring people along with the why of things. And that requires a story. And so you have to get out of the mindset, that I’m going to persuade people with the attributes, or the features. That’s not ultimately why people are buying that may be why people explain to other someone when they rationalize it later, but they need to make the emotional connection, if they’re doing a big purchase a big sale, they need to make an emotional connection with you, Hey, this is a person who’s like me, I can believe them, I can trust them. They went through what I’m going through, they figured out how to solve it. So maybe I can listen to them learn from them. That’s the core of it. And and that is whether you’re talking Donald Trump or Steve Jobs, or Jesus, it’s, it’s a consistency. It’s it’s it, they understand their story, their brand, and they don’t break from it.
David Ralph [45:50]
I love that. I do love that. And part of my sort of coaching that I do is about people becoming more of themselves becoming more part of the brain. So many people come to me and I’ve got this idea of business. And I say to him, the business doesn’t exist without you, you’ve got to be there, you’ve got to be sharing your stories, you’ve got to be the front of it. People don’t care about platform they care about the personal brand more than anything else. And that’s why I joined up dots is very much gone for me being a voice on the microphone. So me being splashed all over the platform, because that’s the connection, isn’t it? It’s not the voice. It’s not the content. It’s the person, the content, the voice, the promise, everything that you deliver on a daily basis. That is what connects with people.
Joseph Romm [46:36]
Absolutely. And I and and i think that this is very hard for people and and it’s it’s an understandable Look, I’m an introverted person. So when I was starting writing, I, I didn’t really want to become like, very well known, that wasn’t my goal, I had ideas that I wanted to get out there. But over time, you realize that in this world, you can’t separate the two. And if you want your ideas to become well known, then you’re going to have to become well known. And you’re just going to have to deal with that fact. Because, again, this is simply the way human nature is. And whether it’s Gwyneth Paltrow with goop. You know, or whether we’re, we’re, you know, watching a movie with Tom Cruise. It’s, there’s a brand, there’s an expectation of what I’m going to get. And then there is the delivery. And that is the satisfaction part. So yeah, I mean, I think it may be difficult that may be I’ve certainly women I’ve coached, it’s a little harder to be out there as a person bragging about yourself, us guys were raised to be self confident, and and brag about every little thing we can do. But that doesn’t come naturally to everybody. And in this world. Unfortunately, if you want to stand out, you have to be your own microphone, your own broadcast network.
David Ralph [48:04]
Yeah, brilliant, brilliant advice. So it’s all about getting out there people selling yourself selling your story, but making sure that the value that your customer gets is more than what you get, or at least equal. Never do it the other way, because that is a business that is prone to do men and death. Absolutely. Well, Joe, this is the bit that we’ve been leading up to. And I suppose in many ways, this is your hero story, because we’re going to send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self on the Sermon on the mic. When I played a theme, you get transported into a room. And if you had the chance to speak to the young Joe, what age and what advice would you give him? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the music. And when it fades, you’re up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Here we go with the best beer on the show.
Joseph Romm [49:13]
Well, what would I tell my younger self,
I would say, you’re going to end up in a very good place. And there are a lot of times when you don’t know that. And you think of this is the worst thing that ever happened to me. Or the worst thing that ever going to happen to me is about to occur. And all like, you know, my advice is, don’t worry so much. In the moment, you’re on a really great journey. And and there’s a quote, I would share with you from Mark Twain, I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened, you’re going to spend a lot more time worrying about things that don’t come to pass, or that you think you just went through something that has ruined everything, but it’s actually just opened the door to something else. And I don’t want to tell you anything about the future because I don’t want to change the future, I just want you to know that you’re on a good path. And, and to not be so anxious at moments about that.
David Ralph [50:20]
Great advice. And I hope the young Joe listens to that, because you’re gonna you’re going to end up in a good place going viral, and telling us all about Jesus media superstar Jesus, brilliant. So Joe, what’s the number one best way that our audience who’ve been listening today can connect with you?
Joseph Romm [50:37]
Well, they can, you can, the easiest thing. If you want to get the book, you can go on Amazon, and you know, Google how to go viral. I mean, or search it, I bought a bunch of I bought some advertising on Amazon and of course, some key words. If you want to get in touch with me or or just get a first chapter of my book, you can go to the website, I My website is rhetoric.com. So if you go to rhetoric, com, you’ll see a bit more about me, you’ll see a way of contacting me and you’ll also be able to download a free the free first chapter of the book. But I can promise you that you know, this book is going to change the way that you talk and write a chapter two alone. And so if you just want to go straight to Amazon, and buy it, people just tell me it really has influenced how they talk and how they speak.
David Ralph [51:33]
We will have over links on the show notes and of course add a link to how to go viral and reach millions directly from join up dots. Joe, thank you so much for spending time with us today joining those dots and please come back again when you got more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures Joe Rome Thank you so much. Thank you David So Joe Rome how to go viral and reach millions and it makes sense doesn’t it? You know, all the things that we remember as kids are based around stories really. And all the things that really hook us the the crime programs everything’s a story. So why in the online world do we just show me me me all the time. Look at this, this is my platform. This is my, my program this is based This is bad. It’s never going to work is it you’ve got to build up that body of work, reach that loyalty with people so they know that you’re not a charlatan and a fraudster ripping them off. And when they reach the personal brand with the business, it’s it seems easy to me in many, many ways. But probably it’s only seeming easy now because I’ve I’ve moved through the dark times and come out the upper end. Thank you so much as always for everybody who listens to join up dots. And thank you for so many of you dropping us lines leaving questions and we can answer them on the show. It really does make the show interactive. So we can always do with a lot more of those just go over to join up dots and click on Contact Form and send us an email and we will respond. But until next time thank you so much for being here. That was David Ralph and that was join up dots. Thank you so much Cheers.
doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become so he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to join up.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on join up dots.