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Pink Headphones | Fluid State of Heart w/ Shantanu Verma

unsplash-logoMay Lawrence

Welcome to todays epic-sode of the Dreamers Succeed Podcast. I promise you, you are in for a treat and a half. I am joined today by Shantanu Verma. He is known as the Automation Artist, and most of his clients refer to him as the CMO of their companies. I want to welcome Shantanu. I want to also say that – aside from the tangible things that we can talk about today – he is one of my favorite connections I’ve ever made on LinkedIn. He has been a tremendous blessing in my life and in the lives of people that I’ve introduced him to so far. I want you to know that you will never find anyone who does things with more heart and more grounding ever than Mr. Shantanu.

Shantanu

Thank you, Berta, for that wonderful introduction. I’ve never had someone introduce me so well until now!

Berta

Thank you for being here! Shantanu is coming to us today all the way from India. It’s a huge blessing. I know it’s a way different time where you are, so we’re going to get right into it. I know your time is very valuable. I know you’re helping so many people. I wanted to introduce him to you, because – if you do not know him, you need to know Shantanu.

We’re going to share his call letters and how to get a hold of him later. I cannot stress this enough. This is a key and important human being that you need to have in your life, and you’ll see why throughout the course of our podcast.

So, Shantanu, you ready?

Shantanu

Yes, absolutely. All set to go!

Berta

Wonderful. Shantanu, let’s start with the easiest-hardest question. If we looked you up in the dictionary, what would it say.

Shantanu

Wow… in other podcasts they ask me marketing questions! I can talk about that simply. But now I’m stumped as to what could that person be – my name in the dictionary. The last six months especially I’ve gone through a lot of personal development working with coaches, going deep inside. So now, Shantanu would be a fluid state of heart – if I could call it that.

Berta

I really see that. Because I’ve known him now and have gotten to work with you over the last few weeks and months, that really is the very best way to describe Shantanu. Really love that you were able to come up with that, Shantanu. Thank you for that.

Now… speaking of marketing; I know that you are a marketing guru. Shantanu is heart-centered as they come when it comes to the marketing world. We all have those people that we know and meet that it’s just sell-sell-sell. But Shantanu really helps us hone in on what is important when it comes to marketing. I’ve never heard the concept of marketing explained the way that Shantanu does it.

I want to get right into it, Shantanu. Who do you work with most? I know that I’ve been blessed as a speaker and a coach, but tell me who you work with the most?

Shantanu

So I work with coaches the most, then speakers, and then beyond that any kind of service-based or expertise-based business.

Berta

And that’s the key, guys. Expertise-based. A lot of times we think we have to fall into one category or another. We’ll get into a little bit of how we’re positioning ourselves on LinkedIn and on social media platforms. That’s one of the things that really stood out with me. Shantanu is all about getting it done and just get your ego out of the way.

I’ve never seen anyone who has been able to come in and just see things from the outside and instantly be able to extract what your positioning is. This is who you’re helping. This is what you’re helping them do.

So, Shantanu… can you talk a little bit about how the automation artist was born?

Shantanu

That’s a wonderful story. So, there was a time in my life where I was working in a different company and I worked in that company four years as a co-founder. Towards the end of my tenure over there, I was absolutely burnt out. I couldn’t even wake up in the morning and go to work with a smile on my face. I was in a very… I was completely burnt out basically.

That’s when I was like, “I need to find a business that is in alignment with who I want to be in my life.”

I want to work hard, I want to give it all I have, I want to invest in myself… but I need to do it in alignment. I realized that the best thing that I did from starting my own company when I was 17 to co-founding the company where I was working about three or four years back was that I love the process of customer acquisition and innovating on that process.

I realized that, whenever someone bought from me, I always gave them an amazing experience. But how can I get more people to buy from me and do it so innovatively that I feel very alive in that moment? That’s what drove me. Exactly at that time, someone reached out to me saying, “Hey… can you help me with something?”

My first contract was for 100 dollars to consult someone and build a funnel for their real-estate business. It was just 100 dollars, but the whole thrill of me having to consult someone and share my knowledge with someone gave me that aha moment, so to say. I can be in alignment and work in alignment, and that’s how the Automation Artist started. The automation piece was all the technology, the website, the funnels…

The artist came right after that, because each practitioner or each client I have – its not a cookie-cutter system I deploy for everyone. It’s their artistry and their alignment, which then comes together with my skillset and produces that result. So that’s how automation artist started. It also came at a very key point in my life, because my family was going through a separation at that moment. The Automation Artist was what helped me come out of that separation and take care of the people who came with me. So it turned my life around – that business perspective – but more importantly it gave meaning and purpose to me at a point that I was lost.

Berta

That’s huge, Shantanu. Thank you for sharing that, because just in that brief statement, you took us through a really, really powerful journey and the importance of doing something that is aligned with who we are. I can see it in the way you work with your clients that it’s all coming from a place of passion. And you see that potential.

I think we hit it off because I’m like that too: I see the potential in people before they see it in themselves. One of the first times we interacted (Shantanu joined me on a speaker round table) he was so gracious. He saw it pop up on LinkedIn. That was our first interaction. He said, “I can come and probably be of service to them. I’m not going to try to sell anything or pitch anything, but let me come and serve your audience, who is going to be there.”

That was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. I love when it starts from a place of service. One of the first things that you said, Shantanu – you had this quote from Michelangelo that said… I’m going to butcher it. Do you know it by heart, Shantanu?

Shantanu

Oh, I don’t know it by heart, so please go ahead.

Berta

So… it’s something like, “I saw the angel in the marble and all I did was set him free.” That’s how I see what you do, Shantanu. You know that we’re struggling – you know that we have a frustration. We have something that we’re not seeing. It’s so hard to see it from the inside. For you – you just swoop in. I think when you say the artistry of what you do… yeah you can have all the mechanisms and I know that you studied Harvard School of Business online – and you have the technique. But it’s the artistry! You have this special gift to be able to extract the potential in us that we don’t even see for ourselves.

So first of all, I’m grateful. Sometimes, in the hardest times that we’re going through, we can bring out the best of us. So I congratulate you for doing that, even amidst the chaos that must have been going on there at such a pivotal time in your life.

When you are working with someone, can you walk us through what your ideal client needs from you? I know they’re all different sectors of the service industry, but what is typically what you find that people come to you for the most?

Shantanu

When they come to me, they come to the desire to get more clients. But what I realize is that getting more clients is the result of the infrastructure they have to build to get those clients. When we sign up, it’s to get more clients, but when we start working, the mindset piece is the first one that has to be addressed.

If their mindset isn’t in a good place – especially when they face hardships or problems – no matter how good the system, they will not get results. After the mindset piece is done, then comes the process piece. A process is basically what is one thing they can do every day consistently to get results? It cannot be one week you’re on ten calls the next week your calendar is empty. Consistency in process is the second thing I set up. Then, the result comes after that. What they think they need vs what you know they need as an expert is the differentiation here.

Berta

So it doesn’t matter what they come to you for. Your process to get them through (customized to their needs) is that order. You go through the mindset, through the process, and you get the results.

Shantanu

I see that the process keeps on shifting based on what is best suited to that individual. Some clients – their whole business setup is more contextual to LinkedIn. Some other clients may have a more robust setup with Facebook advertising and scaling their offers in a different way. So I diagnose the right process for them, put that in, and then we get mindset, process, and result for each client.

Berta

I love that you use the word ‘diagnose!’ I know that you’re big on LinkedIn. Like I said before… our connection came from LinkedIn. I talk about LinkedIn all the time now because I know how powerful these connections can be. You have a very, very unique approach when you start working with a client on how they set up their profile.

Shantanu

I call it a LinkedIn Hero Persona. That’s the face I use to describe the way I optimize a client profile. The foundation here is that your LinkedIn profile should be a sales funnel by itself. When I see your LinkedIn profile as a target client, I should know the result you produce, who you produce it for, and what your track record is. I should know how to contact you.

The messaging of your profile should trigger that, “I need this” response or “This is right for me” response in the mind of the target client. If you have generic keywords like speaker and coach and expert, you’re just one among the thousands of them in the same ocean.

But if you articulate your result, that by itself is a pattern interrupt for your target client. That stops the scroll. He looks at you and reads your profile. He may not contact you at that moment, but in his mind he separated you from everybody else who does the same thing because of the accuracy of your messaging and making it a hero persona.

Your headline, for example… if someone comes to your profile, in less than three seconds, they know the exact results you produce. That becomes very, very powerful to stand out in the LinkedIn market.

Berta

Would you say that then what happens is if they contact you or you have that messaging or you have the videos – and I want to talk about those as well on LinkedIn – they are raising their hand when they contact you or want to set up a call with you… they already know what you do.

Shantanu

Absolutely. The fundamental philosophy here is that you run after people and you message them, you like and you comment and you send them, “here’s my article I just published check it out.” You’re basically trying to push. When you push, you are also pushing people away from you. It’s not about how many messages you send out, the automation you have set up. It’s about meaningful qualified conversations.

Instead of a push approach, you need to have a pull approach. What that means is that your profile – your content – becomes a magnet for your target clients. When they see you, they see your videos and see your articles. They see your profile. You need to make them raise their hands. When you ask them for a fifteen minute call or when you message them… they tell you, “Hey, Berta, I loved your content on that piece.”

You stand out from everyone else who is running after them and you have an equal frame conversation with these people where they are already very impressed with you. It changes the whole frame of the sales conversation after that. Instead of you saying, “please give me ten minutes. Can I have five minutes?”

They look at you as an expert and not as a contractor. It changes the frame of the interaction.

Berta

That’s very good. I can see that. I think even the way that the foundation of the relationship is established is coming from a place of service. Yes, you’re coming to me, you know that I’m the expert, it’s obviously something that you need. If we’re going to have a conversation, I’m serving you. Like you said, you’re pulling, not pushing. You came to me, not because I’m trying to stuff something down your throat. That’s really key, Shantanu. That’s one of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned from you. You use the metaphor of being the lighthouse; make sure you’re putting out the content, make sure they know how you can serve them, make sure they know that you know what their pain-points are and what their obstacles are and that you have a solution for that.

I’ve always really admired that. You’re the king of videos on LinkedIn! People still will say, “Well, I’m shy and I don’t really like doing videos.” But if you’re not doing videos, I feel like you’re just not in the game. How do you feel about that?

Shantanu

I absolutely agree! Videos give you a chance to communicate your energy with someone, and your content with someone. In a written post, you just read it. It triggers one sense. But video triggers multiple senses in the person that’s watching it. It’s a more immersive experience. What’s very important here is that your video should be very contextual to your audience.

I tell my clients this: your standards of consumption should be your standards of production. What that means is, if you watch someone else’s video and they start rambling, if the audio is not good, if they don’t give you a good experience… if the movie is boring you stop watching it.

If you have such high standards of consumption, why don’t you bring that same standards to your production? When you produce a video, don’t waste people’s time; get to the point. Share the idea with them. Put the subtitles, put a catchy banner on top, put a nice caption.

All these small things come together and they create that authority persona in your videos. The next thing is that, in your videos, you need to realize that you have not come to give people all your knowledge or all your value. Nor have you come to give them generic tips that they can find anywhere on the internet. If someone does, “five ways to look good in a zoom meeting,” that is information. They can find that easily. You’re giving a slightly more unique spin to it. What you have to do is go one level deeper.

You must see what are the objections and concerns and false beliefs of my audience. And how can I reframe them in my context? I tell everyone: you think you need x to get y? Or do you actually need z?

X is the old method, y is the result. Z is that new opportunity. You think you need a faster horse? You think you need to buy this amazing new horse food to get to your destination faster, but you actually need a car. So if you communicate that one big idea in two minutes, that triggers something in your target audience. “I’ve never heard this before, that’s a very unique perspective, he just changed my mind.”

If that one aha moment comes, your video becomes perfect. And the third level of that is that producing too many videos is also not recommended. If you produce like a thirty day non-stop video challenge, people become blind to your content. Not every video will be a home run. The more you produce, the more quality standards go down – just out of human nature.

What’s important is that you produce 2-3 videos at most every week, but all of them are very well-produced videos. Don’t become like a music album with their two hit songs and four average songs. Only produce the two hit songs every week. And use your audience as the source of topics for your content. You speak to them on the phone, they tell you about their concerns… that’s a video topic. Survey your audience. Take past client experiences and once you know video is working, then you start repurposing it.

A video can become a few short posts talking about the same thing. It can become an article. It can become a pdf where you do a call to action post. You need to work your content and then make your content work for you also. That is a quick overview of how I do content.

Berta

Either they’re not producing enough or they get into full-blown video mode and it’s constant and all the time and it really just – you lose the power of the message. Even if they’re all quality and quality content if you’re an all-star but it still gets lost in the ,’okay it’s too much, I’ve heard this before.’ So that’s really, really key, folks.

You see what I mean about Shantanu? He’s looking at it from a completely different perspective. The information that you gave on the video. Make sure you have a catchy banner. Just having the video is no longer enough. You need to – as you say, Shantanu – you need to make sure that they’re stopping the scrolling when they get to you.

It’s something that is captivating, that is catching their attention. I really appreciate that you mention that, Shantanu. Video is just the attention-grabber right now. Shantanu mentioned two minutes. You know… we have less and less patience and less and less of an attention span with every day that goes by.  Even with this blessing of extra time that we’ve been given with this stay-in-place issue that we’re all facing right now on a global scale, our attention-span is simply not there, just because we have more time now.

Shantanu

I’ll share one more quick thing I’m experimenting with. You cannot always produce videos. You should give it that time. I take a video and I take a few important ideas from that video and then make it into a written post and when I put that up on LinkedIn, I also add an image to that post, which basically has the title of that post. And I have a hand emoji pointing up at the “see more” at the LinkedIn text post.

Just using that, I’ve been able to multiply the reach of my text post because I have a very nice, catchy image with the title and I have the hand emoji pointing at the see more button. There’s an offer and a command to consume in that image by itself. So without making videos, I’m getting the same reaction as a video by doing it like this and not just typing something and clicking publish.

Berta

I love the little hand with the see more. That’s really interesting!

So you get that from whatever content was really, really robust from a video? Something that stood out, something that resonated.

Shantanu… what is the big dream for you?

Shantanu

What is the big dream for me…

I want to be the best in the world at what I do.

Berta

That’s amazing. You just gave me goosebumps. I can see that. I’ve never asked you for your age. Even though I’m an old lady and I can. I know that you’re a young man. You’re just getting started. You have so much passion for service. I see the heart and the dedication and the over-delivering of value that you take with all of us.; myself and the people that I know you’re working with. It’s refreshing to see someone who is so brilliant at what they do that still brings so much heart and so much passion for the results of their clients. That’s just not as normal as it should be in this world.

I, for one, am grateful. Beyond grateful. See, folks, what I mean? This is Shantanu. You need to follow him on LinkedIn. He’s always providing so much valuable information to help us take our businesses to the next level. If you are a speaker or a coach, I’m going to highly, highly recommend that you connect with him and that you get on his calendar somehow.

Like I said, just having a fifteen minute or a twenty minute conversation with him is going to blow your mind. He is laser-focused on being able to find exactly what you need to achieve the results that you want. He just has… that’s his super power. He can just see it in a way that we can’t see it.

So, Shantanu, I have to ask: when are you coming to the states? To Miami? To South Florida?

Shantanu

I don’t think I’m coming for a very long time. Hopefully next year. I would love to. I’ve never left my country. I’ve never travelled anywhere outside my country. I look forward to have my first visit to the US next year. It’s been a long time coming. One thing I would also like to say is that if you can find people who see the best in you and use that to find the best in themselves, that’s a blessing by itself.

I have been blessed that I have found that realize the potential in me who give me the chance, who took a shot and took that leap with me. That, by itself, is a blessing. You’re one of the people who did that with me. So I want to thank you for giving me the chance to work with you.

Berta

This is a mutual feeling. I feel extremely blessed. You know I try to tell people – everyone that I know – and I’m big on mutual introductions. Those who know me know that that’s a big part of my world. I love connecting really good people. Shantanu, I am beyond-thrilled that you made some time because I know that your time is limited and valuable. I appreciate you coming on and I hope this will be the first of many podcasts that you’ll share with us.

I know there’s always something new and more to share and the way that the marketing world works is constantly changing. Shantanu, if you could leave us with words of wisdom or some key advice, what would you tell myself and our listeners?

Shantanu

Your success is a result of your standards. I believe that there is a lion standard in all of us and a sheep standards in all of us. Every day you wake up in the morning, you decide who you want to be. Be that lion standard. That changed a lot of things for me. Never, ever hesitate. Invest in yourself. Whenever you invest in yourself and go into the unknown, you’ll find a greater life.

Berta

This is Shantanu. This is the real him. He has been a tremendous blessing to me, to the people that I know that have already been collaborating and working with him. It’s made a huge difference in my business. I’m just blown away all the time. So, Shantanu, how can our listeners find you?

Shantanu

All they have to do is go on theautomationartist.com.

They will get an idea of what I do, who I do it for, and they can book a quick 15-minute call on my calendar.

Berta

So Shantanu Verma, look him up on LinkedIn if you can. Go to theautomationartist.com, look him up on LinkedIn, and make that connection. I promise it will be life-changing for you. And it will make a huge difference in your business to be connected with him. Even if you’re only following him, I promise it’ll be worth it.

Shantanu I am grateful for you as always. You’re such a blessing. I thank you for coming on and being so generous with our audience and everything that you’ve shared with us today.

Shantanu

Thank you. I am very grateful to be here. I’m looking forward to coming back when I have my next set of ideas to share with the audience.

Berta

Shantanu… I know you have something coming up. You have a course or a program that you’re starting. I don’t want to leave without mentioning that. Can we talk about that a minute?

Shantanu

I’m launching a mastermind called The Speaker Process. This is basically to help speakers get clients on LinkedIn for their coaching offers. B2B or B2C without needing a stage or without any kind of cold outreach. That’s going live next week. That’s going to be a coaching program with an online course. The end-result will be that you have a consistent stream of clients coming to work with you irrespective of you speaking on the stage or not.

When you get on the phone I’ll be happy to walk you through it in detail.

Berta

Call him! It’s going to be fun. I’m already signed up for that one, and I can’t wait because I know that based on the difference that I’ve seen just from working with you for the last couple of months, I can’t wait to see what comes next. Guys, seriously! If you can jump on a call with him – it’s very easy to schedule some time with Shantanu… he’s very generous and giving, but he’s booking up. I know that your calendar is on overload.

I don’t know how he makes the hours in a day, but it’s a good thing. So, Shantanu, again… thank you, my friend. Many blessings to you. Guys, please do good, be great, and (unless you have an order not to do it) go outside and play.

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