Wow! This is a great question. As it turns out, I have the answer. Starting in 2020, after I was laid off by Suzuki Motor of America, Inc., I re-launched my personal project – Mañana No Mas! and its subsidiary projects like Challenge Connection, Podshow Exchange, and Powersport Academy. Soon, I will be launching the Action Leadership Team and I have some strong thoughts on what will take off and what will not.
When I re-launched, I felt that there was a huge leadership gap and that helpful daily content would serve to inspire people and add value. To a certain extent, that became a reality. In combination with the daily live content, I also loaded up a daily blog post and mass email. What?!?! Yes, I did that. I was starting from near scratch and looking to add value to as many would listen. What was my inspiration for this? How did I think this made any sense? What was I hoping to gain? What worked? What didn’t?
Let’s get right into it. As a longtime student of John Maxwell I have to say he inspired some of what I did. John has had the Minute With Maxwell for a long time and in fact, I was present at a couple of the filmings of the Maxwell Minutes. I loved the simplicity and directness of the messaging. However, I also wanted to have more a conversation with people. Let’s face facts. I am not John Maxwell and have nowhere near the following of the man. This led me to think I needed longer messages, but still fairly focused.
To start, I decided I would send people textual messages and also do a YouTube Live. This way, I could leverage what little mail list I had to inspire YouTube Subscriptions. I also made a decision to promote the mail list from the YouTube Channel and offer “Value Adds” – like free workbooks, planners, presentations, etc.
Some of the inspiration there came from other leaders like Grant Cardone, Pedro Adeo and Tony Robbins.
As the pandemic kicked off, I felt that I had a very level-headed approach to most things. Since being a child, I was never someone to react in a panicked way during an event. I generally stay calm, use an unproportionate level of Critical Thinking and seek alignment in things that should have parallels. For instance, in the very beginning, they were talking about masks, sanitizer, and staying inside. That has no alignment with anything we were taught previously. We were always taught that fresh air was a good thing. In fact, a few short years ago the rage was Interior pollution. Who remembers that?
It’s this Critical Thinking that helped me foretell the increase in Motorcycle, Boat, and Automotive sales. It is also how I foretold the Supply Chain issues before they occurred. Part of “Making Sense” for me was that people would en masse work remotely and allow themselves to be more openly distracted online than ever. So my message might get through. Companies would also be looking for better ways to engage with people at distance and that is what Mañana No Mas! excels at.
What’s to Gain?
Great question. The generous part of me says “nothing – just adding value”. However, in order to be generous one also needs to generate revenue. So while I was not intentionally selling during the majority of this messaging, I was setting the stage as an expert worthy of follow-through. Does your company need a site? a speaker? leadership consultation? online course? employee onboarding? This is what I can bring to the table.
What Worked and What Didn’t
I combined these answers. What worked? Well right off the bat I can tell you that I surprised myself. I came up with content every day to share with my small audience. This led to one of the “Didn’t work” items… the emails were originally well-received but over time the open rate declined a bit. This is when I decided to try weekly emails instead of daily ones. The video kept on going on a daily basis as I felt this was a better way of having a dialogue with those that cared.
Adding promotions to the messages generally had little effect. So things like 5-day challenges and webinars had super-small engagement on a percentage basis. What does this tell me? It can say a couple of things: maybe the content was sour or misguided? or… maybe the percentage rates are on par with other campaigns, and I just need to focus on growing the list to engage more people?
Here is a big part of what worked. Even though the audience started small, it developed a core group of listeners. In fact, I can go deeper on this one. It is really hard to know who is listening and who isn’t. When you embed the replays on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook and Twitter you can have people seeing you and hearing your message, but not engaging with you. This becomes something of a wonder as time goes on.
Here’s a for instance. I got onto the Erik Allen podcast and during the interview, he asked me about things I had posted previously. Another? Sure. I was visiting a dealer in Texas that was described as a hard sell. The owner called in and asked if I was there and what my last name was… “Kurt the Mañana No Mas! guy? I’ve been listening to him for years. Whatever he says, don’t worry about it, we’ll cut the check”.
I would say that was an “It worked” moment.
Bonus – What Could I Do Better
In the throws of producing content, I got a message one day criticizing the work. The critique said I made things too personal. I am a personal kind of guy so that comes with the territory. However, they also commented on the organic thumbnails I was letting YouTube put on the content. I was going for an organic feel, but I took her at her face value and decided to upgrade the thumbnails with a little production value. I used Canva to put decent titles, photos, and effects together and upload them with the replays. Viewership went up.
When I write “What could I do better”, it’s both an admission of partial failure looking for improvement but also a question for you to answer. Have you seen any of my stuff? What would you do differently?