Ask The Expert: Taming the Tech Monster with Anke Herrmann
Technology piece is such a big one that's stopped a lot of people in their tracks. Well if you’re one of them, it’s time to tame your tech monster and don’t let online struggles get in your way with Anke Herrmann. She helps experts and coaches work in their genius zone and magnify their impact through smart online tech & systems to confidently build their business online.
- The common problem with people starting an online business
- The typical beliefs that are rather limiting and misleading
- How to make your whole process more efficient, more streamlined for you and for your clients if you’re starting a blank slate in a new business idea, and taking it online
- As you evolve, your offer evolves, and the tools that are right for it also evolve
- Finding your sweet spot in your business
About Anke Herrmann
She's helping experts and coaches work in their genius zone, Anke is a business coach, online tech expert and author of Taming the Tech Monster.
She started her entrepreneurial journey in 2004 when she quit her software developer job in the UK, moved to Spain and started a sewing business.
She soon realized that building a business really is a creative process, the same as sewing a dress or developing software - a magical mix of vision, skill and soul.
She now helps coaches and educators demystify online tech to confidently build their business online - in a highly effective way that's both playful AND methodical.
About About the Host:
Michelle Abraham - Podcast Producer, Host and International Speaker.
Michelle was speaking on stages about podcasting before most people knew what they were, she started a Vancouver based Podcasting Group in 2012 and has learned the ins and outs of the industry. Michelle helped create and launched over 30 Podcasts in 2018 and has gone on to launch over 200 shows in the last few years, She wants to launch YOURS in 2022!
14 years as an Entrepreneur and 8 years as a Mom has led her to a lifestyle shift, spending more time with family while running location independent online digital marketing business for the last 9 years. Michelle and her family have been living completely off the grid lakeside boat access for the last 4 years!
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This is Amplifyou the podcast about you discovering your message and broadcasting to the world. If you're a coach, author or speaker, you'll want to tune in. If you're looking for the best return on your time investment to get your message out to the world in a bigger way. We're giving you full access behind the scenes look of how we're running our podcasts, how our clients have found success, and what you can do to launch your podcasts today. The world needs your message. I'm Michelle Abraham, the host join my family as we unleash your unique genius and find the connections you need to launch your venture today. Join us and let's get amplifiedMichelle Abraham:
Hello, hello amplify you Michelle Abraham, your host here today with an ask the expert interview. Oh my gosh, I'm so excited to introduce you to Anke Herrman. Anke , how are you doing today?Anke Herrman:
I'm very well indeed. Thanks for having me.Michelle Abraham:
Awesome. Well, let me tell our audience a little bit more about you. Okay. And she's a business coach and online tech expert and author of taming the tech monster. I love this because I love, love, love. This whole technology piece that is so clear when you say taming the tech monster. What you mean by this. Because we all know when we start our businesses, it goes crazy. So Anke started her entrepreneurial journey in 2004 when she quit her job as a software developer in the UK, and moved to Spain and started a sewing business. That's an amazing journey. I love it. She soon realized that building a business is really like a creative process the same as sewing a dress or developing software. It's a magical mixture mix a vision, skill and soul. She now helps coaches and educators demystify the online tech to confidently build their business online in a highly effective way that is both playful and methodical. So I'm gay, this is so cool that you're here. Because so many of our entrepreneurial friends give up, get tangled in the tech, the tech monster eat some. They throw in the towel and they walk away. So I know because I was right there too. And I love tech like you do. And I was really help wanting to help people get over this too. So I love what you're up to. And I'm so glad that you're here with us today. So share with us a little bit more about your, about your journey and what your what you're doing to help your clients these days.Anke Herrman:
Yeah, I'm one of those multi passionate people. And that really is reflected in my somewhat crazy career path. You know, I basically went from a linguist, language teacher translator, stumbled into software. I've always been a banker, I'd always liked sewing and making a knitting and lace making all of these things preferably with fabric or yarn or anything. And I really didn't feel comfortable with that. Like I didn't really, I wasn't happy about it. I was actually beating myself up like, why can't I just stick to one thing? Why do I have to flutter around and, you know, can change careers change jobs? I can't I just settled somewhere. Until one day really dawned on me that you know what, I've actually only ever done one thing. I've only ever taken an idea and transformed it into something tangible in the real world. That makes it more beautiful, more helpful, more useful, you know, taking a vision and bring it to life, you know, and I'm thinking, well, actually, I've spent the last almost six decades mastering that process of learning and creation. And when I saw that I'm like, Okay, so now what I do is I take everything I've learned the tech background, the passion for communication, and teaching and psychology, basically put all of that onto it on the table. Creativity, and put all my you know, everything on the table to help people, you know, transform their ideas for an online business into a real thing. Hmm,Michelle Abraham:
it's great because when someone starts an online business, I remember in my consulting business, they would come to me and be like, great, I have this website now but I have nobody here like they spend like $10,000 in like two years getting this job set up now the right websites up and then like you expected a flood of people that come through, and they're like, yeah, there's nobody here. Like, oh my goodness, soundboard they like I bought this technology about this technology and this one and this one and this one and they don't connect together and I don't know what to do with it. Now. I'm just gonna give up.Anke Herrman:
It's very, very common and And there's really one thing that I've seen. It's common with all the people who are in that boat. And that is what looks like a tech problem. Never. It'sMichelle Abraham:
Yes, I love this. So what So what is the problem? I'm curious.Anke Herrman:
Because he I missed I used to be a little bit more careful myself would hardly ever is because we've got all our error messages, right? So but the more I look into that direction, but the more bored I get, like it really never is. And it really is. Simply if you feel overwhelmed and confused by all the stuff, it's literally always a signal that you're trying to skip steps. Right? And so because if you imagine you go into a hardware shop, right, and you walk in there, and somebody comes, Hey, how can I help you? What do you want to do? And you go, Well, I don't know. Well, now the hardware shops gonna be quite overwhelming. BuyMichelle Abraham:
things. And nobodyAnke Herrman:
can even help you because you don't know what the heck you want to build. So if you go and say, Well, you know what, I need a shelf. Well, now, okay, that stone, well, where do you go? You know, but then if you say, Well, okay, I want a shelf inside, and I want to store fabric in it. And it needs to be done big carry that much weight. So now somebody would go, well, actually, you might want to have a wooden shelf. Well, now you can go into that aisle, and somebody can actually help you pick the tools. Right? So it's literally while you need to think through what it is you want to create to a little bit more detail than most people have when they start looking at tools. Because every single time and you'll know it, people go, Oh, I want to have an online program. What platform do I need? I want to start a podcast. What microphone do I need? You don't know what any microphone I tell you have a good answer to the question why anybody would want to listen to you. It's like people jump ahead. And don't really and most people come onto my website does my head in the pod, but they don't know how to put the image in the right place. That's usually like when you say, okay, when I first come to your website, and so what is it that you do? Convince me three seconds? They don't know. Right? And that's why like, they don't know what to put there. And then they try and figure out the content and try to learn how the tool works. And that gives all too much. Right? It's like, it's like watching a video on YouTube, about, you know, beginner less French, right? Tomorrow, you buy a French book and get frustrated because you can't read it. You know, that's, I think, pretty common.Michelle Abraham:
Yeah, and I feel like the industry itself has not really done much of a service for anyone, because there's so much like to hear is you need webinars, you need a funnel, you need a website, you need a podcast you need, like, there's so many, many pieces of things. But those whole things are all a part of a bigger picture, that not a lot of people started that bigger vision and bigger picture that you're talking about. They go right to the shiny object of that I went online course. So I want the podcast, but we gotta back it up a few steps. So true.Anke Herrman:
So true. And I think you really hit the nail, because I think there's, there's enough there's a part of like, what people believe about their own capabilities. You know, there's a bunch of typical beliefs that are rather limiting. So that's one thing, the part of skipping ahead is huge. But what you just said, I think it's probably the biggest that everybody out there, whether they sell a tool, whether they teach a strategy, or a skill or anything, everybody sells the sizzle and not sausage, everybody takes that, oh, you need to sell the best, you know, the the benefit, not the features. I take that very seriously. So what arrives at people is like, Oh, you need to build your business, you know, use the power of storytelling, because that will get you clients, right? And the next person says, Oh, you need a you need a webinar that will get your clients right. And everybody, it always sounds well, that makes sense. So this is the way so people get into this, like, it's an either or it's like if you build a house, and the plumber comes and says, Oh, well, if you want a good house, you need good plumbing. Well, that makes perfect sense. Right? Yeah. And then, and then the bricklayer comes up well, you need to have good walls. You know, the gardener says, Well, if you don't have a nice garden, this is going to be a nightmare. You know, and everybody, everybody kind of Yeah, that makes sense. But you wouldn't think in order to build a house, you either use the plumber or you lose the electrician, you know, or you use the you know, whoever else is there, right? The lead guy who puts the window and you need all of them, but just not all at once. Right? And I think that part is really missing. And the other part that's missing is that all these all these services and all this kind of thing. You're always positioned as if The process of implementing them is a straight line. And that's really, really miss like misleading, oh, you know, program we build your business. Week number one, nail your niche. And then week number two, develop your signature program like, you know, you don't nail your niche in one week, right? So it's like, you're gonna go through a number of iterations, and it's going to evolve, and it's going to take way more time. And way more detours and way more or like cul de sacs impact and, you know, it's a lot more fluid and a lot more, there's a lot more creativity of experimenting in there than they make it sound. So these promises really mess with people's expectations. And that causes a lot of trouble.Michelle Abraham:
Yeah, so if you were to start with a blank slate in a new business idea, or like you have a business, new business, and you're taking it online, what would be the first like five things to do?Anke Herrman:
Well, the first thing is to get clear on Okay, who is this for? Right? So what is it that you want to offer? And then you go sell it? And then I think, because that's the first step is you validate it, because you know, that's something that I really got to embody into this, like, learn to the point of like, that's so ingrained now. Because software is developed like that. Nobody has an idea of what piece of software and then goes and spends two years and pays a bunch of expensive programmers, you know, to develop a sophisticated piece of software just to find out oh, we actually misunderstood something, it doesn't really work like that, and people don't want it right. So you, you start off as a build the smallest core piece that you can put in front of people and get that feedback. And then you validate it, you review what you got back, and then you adjust, you pivot you, you and then you go again and you expand and you slowly build it up, build it up, but you test and review and adjust early and often. By then I think if you want to build a business, that's your best bet, because you don't want to go and put together these expensive funnels and this and that and complex. That's what people do, they get lost in that jungle, you know, instead of focusing on validating the idea first, and that can be low tech, no tech, whatever you want. But only once you've sold your thing a bunch of times, then you start to develop it. And then you start to focus on making this whole process more efficient and more streamlined for your clients first, and then for you too.Michelle Abraham:
Yeah, I'm a big fan of getting paid to create. And think of an idea for a workshop, I put it out there and say, Hey, anyone interested in this kind of workshop, this is the price 10 People pay for it. Great. Okay, well, now I'm craving it. Now we will do it and we will record it live. And you get the best, because it's live and you're there. And then the people after that didn't have the recording.Anke Herrman:
Yeah, in my, in my experience, it's beyond like, it's, it's the best way to go about it. Because you also because that's the thing is it doesn't. I mean, if you have a lot of experience, you've been doing this for a while, you probably now have an idea for works on a little little fly, right? And you're probably right nine out of 10 times. But if you start out, would you think people might want this probably, you know, that finding that sweet spot where it's like, okay, I this is what I want to offer and the right people actually want it. Well, that usually takes a few iterations. And you don't want to have to go and build all on time.Michelle Abraham:
You do a bunch of people to write like, exactly little mini things for people to find, like, Oh, I'm apparently done. But I actually don't like working with teams. I like working with the toddler parents like, No, I think that really takes a little bit of time on testing too, right? Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. It's interesting. So I'm curious as to what your thoughts are on doing like a tech detox or a Tech Tech, or like a subscription detox for most entrepreneurs, because we are probably over subscribed to too many different technology pieces and subscription tools and things.Anke Herrman:
Totally, I think actually, you know, Marie Kondo I always say like, you have to review your tech stack Marie Kondo style, if doesn't bring you joy chicken Chuck. You do want to you do? Probably, you know, all these all these, oh, you need to buy with the end of life. But it's like it, there's definitely because also, and it doesn't even mean that the decision at the time was wrong. It's just, you know, as you evolve and what you offer and how you offer things that evolve. So the tools that are right for it also evolve. So it doesn't even it's not like oh, you did something wrong at the time. It might have been the perfect tool when you got it. But now you're doing something different. And is that still relevant? Is that still the best way of of making your life easier? Right, and you can literally Yeah, I think you should Quite often,Michelle Abraham:
yeah, my team is literally forcing me to do this right now. I think we have to as as Christians have too many different things that you're not using. And let's take a look at what we're paying for. It's a great idea. I mean, we could probably save 500 bucks a month, if we look at really look at what we have and what we need and what we don't need. And because I'm always finding new ones to add, so with my so get rid of the ones for 90s.Anke Herrman:
You've just pointed something out that I'm actually also see a lot that people often think taming the tech monster is like that whole idea of, you know, Tech is a thing that slows you down building what you want to build. It's not just the tech challenge people, tech savvy people fall into it, too. They just have a different problem. Right. Exactly. I enjoy tinkering. So I, you know, by all these things, and I just kind of spend way too much in details, rather than validating the idea, right, so it's not just so you're not getting away just because you're tech savvy. Right? Right. Absolutely.Michelle Abraham:
It was a very dangerous place for me. Everything looks awesome. I'm gonna get back then. But he never use it.Anke Herrman:
Yeah, that's like, that's like a kid in the candy shop. Right?Michelle Abraham:
Exactly. So take us through the process of what you do with your clients, you do like an audit on them to see where they're at? Or somebody who work. Yeah, yaAnke Herrman:
know, told me you told me it's always like, you know, wait, wait, wait is my middle name. You know, people will come like, Oh, and there's two scenarios that are very, very common. And when you look at that whole iterative process, but I called the tornado process, because that's really what it looks like, you know, you get dizzy, and it kind of drives your mind a bit. But it's initially it is this phase, where you validate the idea where the whole point is to find that sweet spot between, okay, what is it that you offer Huri offers, so you want the right people to jump on it. And once you've validated the idea, then you move up and you develop it. And then you make things more efficient. And there's too and then obviously, if you want to scale it, if you want to really make it big, then you go and say, Okay, how can I get partners to help and ads, and you can really scale up from there. But you know, a lot of coaches don't even want to do that. And most people get themselves into trouble in two ways, right? So that and that to pretty much my client base. And these messages, they're the ones who are in the validation phase, and think they need all this tech stuff. And then they don't get started, because all this stuff is overwhelming. So they're really the job is to say, Well wait, literally, I spoke to somebody just recently, and he was like, literally posted in a Facebook group, because oh, I don't know what you said before. Like, I'm buying all these problems. And I'm going crazy. And I'm more confused now than I was before. So literally, he was in that space. He had an idea. And now all the staff and I'm like, wait, you need to connect to a potential audience. Well, if you're validating your best bet is working with people you already know. So do you know people? He goes, Oh, yeah, yeah, no, no, I put clients I put them in email list. Okay, good. Do you know what you want to offer? Yeah, you know, I haven't created the videos. Well, good. Do you have an outline of what it is you you know, and the reason for somebody to sign up? Like, why would it be a good idea for these people to sign up? Oh, yeah. Okay, do you know how to write an email? Oh, yeah, of course. Right? And I'm like, Well, why don't just send an email to these people and say, Hey, this is what I've got just literally what you said before, you know, look, this is what I've got in mind. What do you think, right? Ah, if you could see him like shoulder all of a sudden, well, that's doable. And like you do it? He says, Yes, I will. So will you let me know, two days later, you message me is as well 10 people signed up to 2k in the bank, and counting. That's one scenario. And it doesn't always work out that fails be a cash, sort of like the cash machine. You know, sometimes you find nobody signs up. And all that means that you just haven't quite found that sweet spot yet. So you're gonna have to shift pivot, and set up a new experiment. And the other way people get themselves into trouble is when they actually ready to develop their idea. And think they get away with that same spreadsheet they use for the first handful of clients, right? Because then when you want to put this in front of more people, the same simplicity that was really helpful to get you started now bites you in the butt, because now all of a sudden, there's so much manual, I had, like a kind of my like, she says, Well, I have to prove that people really love it. And I'd love to have more people but like, I just I just just can't handle the work. And when you're talking about, well, you know, every time I need to send them this stuff, and then when they pay, they have to check the bank account and then I have to put them in this thing and I have to right, that should be taken care of by tools. You know, so when, when, when, when once that's set up, and now She goes, Oh, she has to do is do a little wiggly dance when the notification comes in that somebody is involved and show. Exactly right. So that's the other part to say, well, the people are ready to develop, we basically put those systems in place one iteration at a time. So that's basically the process I've been through.Michelle Abraham:
That's awesome. I love it. As such, so great. I mean, how great would that be to have someone like you in your ball of cord in your, in your court? When you're first starting? You got the ball, you're ready to go? And having someone like you to help you really, like navigate that way? So how do you how do we connect with you? How do we reach out to you? How do we work with you?Anke Herrman:
Well, it's easy to find the tamingthetech monster.com. So you can get a free copy of the book. And they'll also be an invitation to all to a masterclass or talks to kind of through this process and a little bit more, more detail. And there's a there's a pre assessment that helps you okay, what's the next step for you? Right, so that'll that'll, that'll help you just take a couple of minutes and they'll say, Okay, do this next write the overwhelm out of it. And, you know, I'm on LinkedIn on my website is ankeherrman.com. Just like, my name. Once the.com is your best bet.Michelle Abraham:
I love it. Yeah, that's so helpful. Because he knew the technology piece is such a such a big one that's really stopped a lot of people in their tracks. I've seen so many entrepreneurs give up because of the can't figure out the thing, tech stuff. And actually, you know, the technology piece for podcasting, too, is one of the things that it's one of the four pillars we find that really stops a lot of really smart entrepreneurs from even launching their podcast is because of the tech piece, they just can't figure out what goes first what plugs into what and what you actually really need. And I love how you put it, you actually don't need any of that until you have an idea. If you have a pro approving program or in service and you're ready to roll, then you're ready to take it to the market. So I love what you've been saying on because it's really awesome. So guys, make sure you go out and check out okay, in her at her website and also, her taming the tech monster. Book. Yeah, it's a book right? You have a book.Anke Herrman:
It's a real book.Michelle Abraham:
It is a real book. Yes. I love it.Anke Herrman:
Like, you know, like there's a little tech monster. I don't know. I don't know whether you can see it. It's um, you know, because it's a it really. He kind of expresses at all like, what feels like a scary monster. It's just really a friend, a little dragon that wants to play for noodles, right?Michelle Abraham:
Yeah, it's like the friendly little ghosts like Casper, right? Yeah. So well, I love that so much. And it's really been great to connect with you and guys, reach out, please get some help. Don't get tangled in the tech. Don't give up. And we want you to keep going. Being an entrepreneur is not as difficult as we make it be. Especially if you don't have shiny object syndrome. I suffer from a Oh, for last 10 years. It's exhausting. Because you go in circles, and you're in my entrepreneurial route looks like a tidal wave instead of a straight line.Anke Herrman:
So that's everyone's and I think people need to know that because you know, if you know it, then you just sail it by if you don't try and control the waves of the ocean, you just learn to sail.Michelle Abraham:
Exactly. And if you can see all three tools in place. Oh my gosh, all the better. You save a lot of time and money and effort. And goodness, you need to have someone like NK in your corner. Yes, you do. Awesome. All right. Well, thank you so much. Thank you so much amplify you see you next week. And until next time, have a great week, everyone.