Authentic Achievements Episode 1 with Special Guest Mike Roberts

Authentic Achievements – With Special Guest Mike Roberts

From Bestselling author, currently writing the forthcoming book Authentic Achievements – The 7 Secrets to Building Brave Belief, Unstoppable Sales, and Turning Your Leaders Into Talent Magnets for Guaranteed Sustainable Growth, this show shares advice, stories and inspiration to help you achieve exponential growth personally and for your business. Featuring interviews with industry leaders and a separate series on #confidencehacker to help you build authentic confidence. In this episode, I am delighted to be joined by Mike Roberts of Making Digital Real Fame – where he champions rehumanising your business through LinkedIn. Mike is a serial entrepreneur, whose businesses are designed to ensure you and your business are successful. His authentic approach is captivating from the start and his insights are invaluable, I promise you this is one not to miss. Find out more about Mike at https://www.mikedroberts.co.uk/

If you want to find out more check us out at www.kimadelerandall.com or www.authenticachievements.co.uk or subscribe to our YouTube

Transcript:

Authentic Achievements – With Special Guest Mike Roberts

Kim-Adele

00:00:00

Hi all and welcome. So this is the very first episode of our new authentic achievements podcast, which is designed around the book that’s coming out soon. Authentic achievements are seven secrets to building brave belief and stoppable sales and turning your leaders into talent magnets for guaranteed sustainable growth. And it’s built on 30 years of experience doing this for organizations globally. But as part of that, I had the joy of being able to interview some tremendous leaders from around the world about their authentic achievements. And that’s what gave me the idea for this podcast. And I’m delighted today to be able to introduce the fabulous Mike Roberts, who is my very first guest on this forthcoming series. So Mike, welcome.

Mike Roberts

00:00:51

Thank you so much, Kim Adele. I really, really appreciate the opportunity and amazing to be your first guest.

Kim-Adele

00:00:58

I’m thrilled. So Mike, you and I, we met last week didn’t we totally hit it off and I love that your energy and passion for your business and the people, and for the fact that you, you focus on doing what you do really well and letting that be what speaks for you rather than going out and trying to create noise about what it is you do. You let your work speak for you, which I think is just amazing. And that’s when we kind of started talking through your journey. So what would be great is if you could just start by telling us a little bit about your history so far, you know, what, what is it that you’ve been doing and what are you, what are you setting off to achieve next?

Mike Roberts

00:01:42

Yeah, of course. So if someone was to land on my LinkedIn page today, for example, they will see that I’m a specialist in email encryption and e-signatures so basically I provide software to companies around Europe, behind the scenes. I also have my own business called making digital real, which is helping people do exactly what I did, which was build a business and a brand and be successful against all the huge corporate competition out there just by knowing how to utilize blinked incorrectly. But my history goes back to leaving college at the age of 19, never went to university hardly any, you know, I didn’t have any degrees or qualifications. So I started out on telesales, moved to field sales. So there I was at the age of 22 knocking on doors with a clipboard selling franking machines to businesses. And, you know, I did that for many, many years and I did it really, really well.

Mike Roberts

00:02:45

And suddenly I got into a very fortunate position where I just became addicted and hooked on sales and, and, and learning the psychology of a salesperson, you know, understanding psychology of the, the buyer, you know, started looking at the buyer seller dance and realizing that we were, you know, in 2010 and we and managers were still training their salespeople the same way that they were doing it in the eighties and nineties. And even in 2010, I got, I got thinking, hang on a minute, there’s a technology that’s available to us that are changing the way that people sell, but nobody’s doing anything about it. So, so way before the pandemic, I was, I was one of these people that during our chat earlier, I was telling you I’m very unemployable because I don’t do the driving three hours to sit in front of a, decision-maker driving three hours back with nothing, but I’ll think about it in my, in the car.

Mike Roberts

00:03:46

And, and I thought, no, I’m going to go digital. I’m going to start doing things electronically. That benefit me. I’m going to throw the whole bias, Ella dance out of the wing window, stop getting addicted to hopium and just working on hopes and dreams and things like that. And just figuring out how I can automate the sales process, which led me to build in the business that I’m doing today and showing people how to do it, using great tools like LinkedIn. So it’s been an amazing journey and it all happened as you know when I was 38 years old. So my message would be never, ever think that it’s too late to become someone completely different and build an empire of your own. I did it now and, and I’ve just turned 40 and now it’s just beginning,

Kim-Adele

00:04:32

Oh, I love it. I love that. We have a similar background, you know, I equally have no degree, no qualifications. And sometimes that can be the thing that we tried playing use against ourselves. Don’t we to hold ourselves back? It’s like, well, I can’t do this because you know, I haven’t got the right degree or I haven’t got this, or I haven’t got the something else, but actually, it’s about you and what you bring. So what I loved from, from listening to your story is you really started to focus on what it was you were trying to do. So I lived the, this, the sales dance, which reminded me many years ago when I worked for a cause they used to do a course that was called dancing with customers that talked about the fact you got to know your own dance style and then recognize the dance style in your customer because I talk quite fast. So I’m probably a bit of a jazz and he might never had customers trying to waltz. That would be really awkward. Let’s say less. I turned it down. So when you were thinking about moving into creating your, your business, how did you get started?

Mike Roberts

00:05:42

Well, I, I realized that I had the talent, but not by me realizing it. It was other people were telling me, oh, I’m seeing you do this. And I’m seeing this happen. And you’ve got a really great brand and I really liked the way you do these live videos and these live streams. And I was like, really? I’m just doing it because I’m going through the motions and I’m doing it. So I don’t have to do three hour journeys across the country to sit in front of people, but it worked people and friends and family started saying, you should turn that into a little mini business of your own. And I ha I was super scared. I had no idea how to do anything like that. So I just went for it. Did it learn the highs learned a few lows, got into a bit of a sticky situation where I had to kind of start all over again because my brand was taken away from me. I didn’t do the right research, but here I am today on evenings and weekends, working with huge firms across the pond in the states who are asking me for help with their personal branding, marketing, and LinkedIn approach. So, you know, it’s just, it’s just something that I feel very fortunate, but I think it’s, I think it’s took a good, you know, 25 years of, of, of learning to get there. Some people can do it in two months, two years. It took me 20.

Kim-Adele

00:07:04

I think sometimes that’s the thing, isn’t it? A success is always one step beyond failure. So, you know, you talked about having had to rebrand that, being your brand taken away and almost having to start again. What, what did that teach you?

Mike Roberts

00:07:21

That taught me that, you know, you’re hearing in news articles and magazines and these big influences saying, you know, I failed so many times and, and up until recently, I kind of thought of that. Yeah. They’re just saying that you know, they’re just trying to, to, you know, sound cool. And then when that actually does happen to you, you’ve either got two options you just saw can walk away and think, oh, well, it was good while it lasted, but I’m one of these people that are thought, well, I’ve never had anything handed to me on a plate, so it’s gone. I’ll just take it back and get, and get it back somehow.

Kim-Adele

00:07:57

I love it. And it’s so true, isn’t it. Often we can look at these things and go, yeah, I bet that wasn’t really hard. You know, their life looks steady easy, but actually it isn’t is it where your things can go wrong? But I think it, isn’t the mistake that defines us. It’s what we do with that mistake. So I love is the fact that you guys went okay, well, I’ve done it once I can, I can do it again. I can do differently. So when you set about that, so you obviously come from having lost it and built it once. How did you, how did you go about starting again? Did you do anything differently that perhaps you hadn’t done the first time?

Mike Roberts

00:08:36

Well, I just went back to the drawing board and I just simply thought, how can I make it better? Simple as that it’s gone. It was great. What can I make? That’s brilliant. And, and luckily, you know, it was all done within this. Within one day I built a new website. I built the new branding, I, my graphic design skills to create the new logo and all of them, and then making digital real was born. And I just thought to myself, what can I do to add more services onto this new branding? So what was once this little cool business idea that had turned into a new brand where I could have lots of little different businesses kind of like shooting off from it.

Kim-Adele

00:09:21

I mean, live there. So really started to diversify into what is it that your ultimate client is looking for? What is it, what problems or desires have they got that you could, you could help them?

Mike Roberts

00:09:36

Yeah. I just thought, what business name can I create? And I thought, I’ll use my initials, Mike D. Roberts. So I used MDR making digital real. And I thought, because every time I have a new idea or, or a brainwave or lightning flash, I can say making digital real with LinkedIn, with canvas, with personal Brandon and, and you can just turn it into all sorts of things. And that’s what I didn’t have before. And I thought, great, everything happens for a reason. Maybe that was it.

Kim-Adele

01:10:06

I love it. And what I also love about that is the fact that it allows you to diversify and to continue to innovate whilst being consistent. Because one of the things that I’ve learned over the years, and, and I see in a lot of organizations is where there is a lack of consistency in the story. It creates confusion in the customer and a confused brain doesn’t buy. So if you start here doing one thing, and then obviously you’re doing something over here and you can’t make that link for your customer, they start to think you don’t really, you’re not really specializing in what you’re doing. You’ve been to the list of if you’ve seen that come out in what you do.

Mike Roberts

01:10:46

Well, what I do is, is, is very, very structured. So Monday to Friday, during working hours, I’m working with firms to help them with email encryption and e-signatures. And I love what I do because the business that I’m part of, which is from they’re a 50 year old franking machine company. So that was where my history takes me back 20 years, but I wanted to help this company go into the digital sector. And by being in where I am with, you know, the likes of DocuSign and Adobe to my left and right, we didn’t have a chance. So I thought, why not create something successful using my personal brand? You talk about leaders. A lot. Our leader Chris, from or is incredible. He understands the way I work, the way that I deal with clients, I don’t wear a suit. I’m a hoodie and a jeans and vans type of guy. And I am, if I’m in London going to visit a client, I and I go against the grain in a lot of things I do, but it works because I’m me and authentically me and, you know, word has got around that on evenings and weekends, I’m helping people just absolutely smash it on LinkedIn and they work hand in hand. So when I’m showing people, my LinkedIn profile, they’re learning about the, from a business and what they stand for as well. So it just, it just goes so great together.

Kim-Adele

01:12:11

I love it. I love most about that as one of the reasons why, why I asked you on is you are authentically, you, you bring your whole self to everything that you do and are consistently who you are. And actually that’s probably one of the greatest skills that people can learn is to just be themselves. And yet it’s the thing that we fear the most. I don’t know if you’ve always been the same. Well, you know, you said we were chatting before that you were unemployable. Is that because of the fact that you are always authentically yourself and that can sometimes be a challenge to, to comply in, in an organization that that wants is to complain.

Mike Roberts

01:12:57

Yeah, I’ve, I’ve only ever had two jobs in my life, which I’ve succeeded at all. The rest I’ve been greater, but I just didn’t fit in because I didn’t have that corporate mould. You know, I remember one job back in the day that I turned up on my first day and I was absolutely reprimanded for not wearing a tie. And I thought this isn’t going to work for me. No way, no way I don’t wear ties. I don’t, I, it was, it was weird that was wearing a shirt and a suit, but ties no way. But, but there’s only two times in life where I’ve actually had a leader. That’s basically let me be me do it my way. And they’ve seen the results and from her is one of them absolutely incredible team.

Kim-Adele

01:13:43

I love that. And it’s so true, isn’t it, as you know, as leaders, if we can have the confidence, let our people be who they are, then actually they can bring them whole selves to work and we all end up being significantly more successful, but that can be, you know, that can be so hard to just trust that actually, do you know what? I’m just going to be who I am. And I’m going to focus on getting the job done rather than focusing on trying to be who you want me to be and distracting myself from getting the job done, which is actually what often happens. Isn’t it. So when you think about, if you could give advice back to your younger self, what, what advice would that be? Firstly, around being yourself?

Mike Roberts

01:14:32

I suppose for me, it’s no matter where you’re at in this, in, in your career, always know that it’s never too late because I’ve always dreamt of having my own business and things like that. And didn’t really happen till I was nearly 40 years old, but throughout my twenties and thirties, you know, there were times when I just thought, this is it. This is, this is what I’m going to be for the rest of my life, a sales person, a door knocker, you know, and, and it’s never too late, but what I would always suggest as well is if you do enjoy what you’re doing, I’ve been very lucky in the fact that I L I landed sales as a career, but I just happened to absolutely love it. I liked the thrill of the chase. I love getting the deal signed. I love knowing that I’ve, I’m in charge of what my pay pack going to be at the end of the month. You know, when I was salaried and in sales. And if you do something that you love day in, day out, then all you’re going to be as successful and crazy great things are going to happen. And with the technology that people have got today, it doesn’t matter what your interests or hobbies are. You know, you could be a Batman phonetic, the social media out there that can make you turn that into a business in some way. So use it. And it’s never too late.

Kim-Adele

01:16:01

The live that it really, isn’t never too late. It reminds me of a Chinese proverb. That was the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. And the second best time is today. Cause it is that whole rather than saying, well, I should have before I go, well, I’ve got today. So just do it. Isn’t it just go out there and take that step because you never, you never know. And a lot of the self-made millionaire started out in their forties. So the hopes thinks we’re putting 50 there’s hope for us, all that we can, if we just doing what we’re passionate about and we’re doing it well, then actually the rest will come. It’s been an absolute joy chatting to you so far about kind of where you’ve come from and how you’re building your business. But I know also one of the things that I’ve loved about our conversations so far is how you get to know your connections and how you get to know your, you try, I guess, you know, finding the right people that connect with you. So what advice could you give us on how to actually build your network, build your connections in this digital age?

Mike Roberts

01:17:16

Well, first of all, have a great LinkedIn profile. Okay. I’ll give you, I’ll give you a couple of really good tips that I, that I think make a great LinkedIn profile. First of all, the banner behind your profile photo, it’s the biggest area of your page that people see. So as soon as someone lands on it, you’ve got seven seconds to basically tell them what problem it is that you solve and who you are. So just make sure that I know instantly who Kim Medallia is when I land on your profile and I see your banner. The second thing is, you know, you want to found on LinkedIn. So with your headline, it’s the biggest lead magnet that there is, fill it with keywords, buzzwords, trigger that cycle, or a psychological element in my brain. So that as I’m reading your headline, you’re almost giving me a little picture in my head of you solving this problem that I might have.

Mike Roberts

01:18:09

And the other thing is with the about section, don’t make it all about you make it about your audience who are reading it. If you land on someone’s LinkedIn page today, chances are, if you flick through five or six profiles, there’s going to be a few there that have every sentence that begin with the word I, I, this, we, this, I is all about them. If you turn that round and make it all about the audience, you know, clients have been working with us since 2012 because they find themselves frustrated with this. And they find that sometimes that they struggle with this. Again, psychologically as I’m reading this, I’m kind of nodding along thinking, yeah, this person knows my world. These, this person knows the struggles that I’m finding and always start your about section with the word the year that we’re in or the year that we’re about to enter.

Mike Roberts

01:18:59

So if I read your profile and it says as, as 2022 has arrived, you know, most business owners like yourself are looking to do X, Y, Z. That just convinces me that you are relevant up to date. It’s all about today. And now, and this wasn’t a profile that was created six years ago and never touched since. So there’s just a very few small changes that people can make today. But, you know, I’m using LinkedIn to find great people. Digital and zoom is that is the way for me. I, I work so much better like this than I do in a room of 300 people in suits at a networking event. And everybody’s different. That’s just me, but I find great people. I know instantly whether we’re going to get on well or not. And you just keep in touch, you nurture those relationships and you always make it about them. How can I help other people in my network today? Because it will always circle around and come back and help you in the end.

Kim-Adele

02:20:00

I love that. It’s so true. Isn’t it? It’s like if we live our life from a position of how can I serve, how can I leave things better than I found them? Then actually it does. You know, that’s the way the world works. What goes out, comes back. Doesn’t it, it’s not always linearly, but, but it’s about saying actually, rather than focusing on this piece, I lived those, those tips and your, your profile is a joy to read, but I think it is it’s that whole piece around putting yourself in the shoes. Isn’t it of the people that you are trying to serve so that they can recognize themselves in what it is that you, that you’re talking about so that they can self-select because the best way to sell to somebody is to have them buy from you rather than you sell to them.

Kim-Adele

02:20:44

Because actually then they’re opting in aren’t they they’re, they’re they’re, I’m saying, oh, this person gets me. They know what it’s like to be me, and they’ve solved it for the people. So they, why would they not be able to solve it for me? So then they’re all like really, really great tips. And I left the whole, I’d not thought of that before, but the whole making sure that you’re being relevant to the year, so that actually people do realize that it isn’t a profile that you, you know, you built five, six years ago and I’ve done nothing else with, because I guess we could all be a little bit guilty of that. Can’t we of not keeping it up to date and not keeping it relevant and that isn’t, it’s not how you connect as it were. I was having a debate with, with a contact on LinkedIn the other day about, you know, what, what are you pet hates?

Kim-Adele

02:21:33

And so one of my pet hates is when people just connect with you and then immediately send you some really spammy sales thing where they’re going to solve a problem, you know, I have some like, would you do that? If you met me in the, you know, if you met me in the street, if you met me at a networking event, would you go, hi Kim? And then immediately spam me with it because she wouldn’t. So why, why do people think that in a digital space, they can do something that they wouldn’t do in a face to face?

Mike Roberts

02:22:01

Well, one of the things that I always say to people that I’m training is, you know, there’s a load of digital pollution now on LinkedIn. So sending a random connection request without a personalized invite, just ain’t going to cut it anymore. So do a personalized invitation and just, just word it, the word, the way I word it is the same every single time. And it doesn’t work for everyone. But for me, it’s a case of, I would say to someone, hi, David, it would be great to have you in my wealth management network here on LinkedIn. I’m part of several parts of several notable forums in the financial sector. Look forward to connecting no selling involved, but it’s very slightly personalized to his sector when he connects with me and accepts my invitation. I’ll always say the same thing again. And I’ll say, thanks for connecting David.

Mike Roberts

02:22:51

If I can share any content or make any introductions, please just let me know. I’m not telling you what I do because my profile is strong enough. I’m not asking for a virtual coffee. It’s just a case of great to have you in my network. It’s over to you now basically to say, if I can help you in any way, but please I’d be delighted to. So let’s, let’s try and make it happen. And that’s how a great relationship will be nurtured on LinkedIn instead of the whole, you know, in insider selling, which nobody wants

Kim-Adele

02:23:24

No. Oh, they don’t do that because nobody likes to feel sold to because when we’ve been sold to, we feel a little bit duped, whereas if we’ve bought from people, then that’s, that’s different. Do you ever use the voice message element?

Mike Roberts

02:23:38

I Al I love using the audio messages. Yeah. But one of the things that I really love doing, and this is quite cringy, but, and it took me a while to get used to it, but there’s some great software applications out there to do great video messaging. So if I’ve connected with somebody and I really, really want to make an impact or get something back from them, or maybe it’s someone who’s just made an inquiry, you know, I’m gonna grab my little whiteboard. I’m dealing with a lady called Elisha at the moment over in Spain. So it’s literally a Delecia. Thank you so much for connecting. Then I’ll put my whiteboard down because the software I use, it actually grabs the first few seconds of your video frame. So when you paste it into the message box, a gift comes up. So now Delecia knows that that video messages for her, because I’ve got my little white board, so I know it’s going to be played.

Mike Roberts

02:24:33

And you’ve just got all these little things, sending a video message might sound really simple at first, but all these little elements just basically guarantee you a reply. And I usually get something along the lines of Mike. I’ve never had a video of such sense to me like that before. That’s incredible. And you’re just saying, yeah, because I’m doing something that is probably going to be the norm in a few years. And I’ve always had, I’ve always been one of those people that think what’s the next big thing. I want to do it before anyone else is doing it. So for me, audio messaging is brilliant. And video messaging used at the right time is incredible. Wow.

Kim-Adele

02:25:11

I love that. What a great idea, because I’m assuming I use all audio. Like somebody sends me an invite and I’ve looked at their profile and gone. Yeah. I’m going to accept that. I always send them a voice message back to say, thanks so much for inviting me. It’s really, really kind of looking forward to learning more about you and your journey and how I can, how I can help. And it’s amazing how many people come back and go, oh, you’ve totally made my day. So I didn’t, I didn’t think you’d take the time. Know I’ve invited you. And yet you’ve been so kind to come back and it’s like, well, it’s why would I connect with you? If I’m not going to try and connect with you? It’s like, I’m not captured numbers. I, you know, I was great. Cause I’ve got this many people I’m connected with.

Kim-Adele

02:25:52

I don’t know anything about any of them. I’m having no interaction with them because that’s not the point is that the point is to connect with people and have a see how you can help. Even if that help is just to say, there’s somebody in my network that might be able to really help you. I often tell us a story of my last face-to-face networking about my first one after corporate life. And I was terrified and I sat in the car for 20 minutes talking myself into it, going, this is ridiculous. You’ve been doing this for years, but I had a big corporate title. So people would want to talk to you because you know, you’ve got a big company that’s up behind you. And now it was just little old me. I remember going in and it was in an industrial estate and Sleaford, and ended up meeting this guy who lives three streets away with his wife and his daughter and his daughter at the time had just gone into remission from a really rare bone cancer.

Kim-Adele

02:26:49

And I was like, I don’t know if it helps. I happen to be connected to Mark Woods. Who’s the Paralympian who lost his leg to exactly the same cancer when he was 17. Would it help if I connected you work because maybe him sharing his story will, will help if you that hope that actually it isn’t going to be what defines you. It’s what you do with it. And he’s the most amazing guy. If you get the chance to check out his profile, I remember the coach saying to me, it’s like, really you do that. I was like, it’s probably what I’m here in an industrial estate and sleep for four. It’s not about what I can get from you. It’s about who do I know that can help. And actually they had a great conversation and went on to do that, you know, to do some stuff for charity together, which was amazing.

Kim-Adele

02:27:26

But I think if that’s how we, and you know, you’re very similar to that on you. That’s how we work, which is if I know someone who can help, of course, I’m going to put you in touch with them. And likewise, hopefully, you know, if you know someone who can help me we’ll do the same. And then together, we’re all going to be stronger. It has been such an immense joy. I’m conscious that we’re getting close to time. So if there were one thing that you would like our listeners to take away, what would it be?

Mike Roberts

02:27:57

One thing to take away? I would just say, I suppose, putting my old LinkedIn hat back on again is use the platform correctly. Don’t be part of the ninety-five percent that using it terribly and wrong. So just take the time to understand all the secret, hidden corners and elements. Understand the algorithm, come to one of my live events. If you wish my next one’s in March, I do six a year, but just learn how I can get my content in front of thousands of people. It’s not difficult to do. And if anyone needs any help or advice, or just a quick five minute chat, I’d love to help.

Kim-Adele

02:28:31

Oh, fantastic. So Mike, how can they get in touch with you? I will make sure that we drop in the chat. In fact, I’ll do that now. So if people see me starting to look away, it’s because I’m just going to go out and grab Mike’s linked in so that we can put you straight in there. But how else could people get in touch with you?

Mike Roberts

02:28:50

Yeah. Connect with me on there. Or my contact details are on there www.mikedas well. If you’re interested in, what I do for Frama the website is www.frama.co.uk. And then my website is Mike D. Roberts that’s D for David in the middle, www.mikedroberts.co.uk

Kim-Adele

02:29:07

Brilliant Mike, thank you. So, so very much you packed full of value as always, and a real epitome of authenticity, authenticism and being, being yourself. So thank you so much for joining me on my very first episode of authentic achievements and adding such amazing value. And thanks everybody for watching our next guest is Michael Tobin. So hopefully you will join us for that and in the interim have an amazing week take care and you and I will hopefully continue our chat.

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