Listening to this week’s episode, you’ll probably laugh (Steve is hilarious), you might cry (Jeff almost did), and you’ll learn in the process how to overcome this obstacle called ‘social media.’
This organic conversation includes:
Steve Sims, a whiskey-drinking Brit who throws the biggest parties in the world from Ferrari’s 50th Birthday bash in Monaco to Elton John’s yearly Oscar after-parties.
Jeff Hunter, a viral sensation on Tik Tok for his video gaming videos, who also runs a VA staffing firm with 100+ employees.
Ramon Ray, a speaker on some of the biggest stages in the world as a representative for Fortune 100 companies like Visa, with a fascinating background that ranges from the FBI to United Nations.
This week’s episode is a transparently organic conversation about living in our fabricated social media world as business professionals and trying to get the attention of prospects.
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Amanda Holmes: We are about to talk about how to get your face everywhere. I just happened to have a whole couch full of people that, and we were just discussing, what are we going to discuss? Hey, I’ve seen you everywhere. Hey, I’ve seen you everywhere. Really? How do you get your face everywhere?
Steve Sims: I don’t think you do. I think maybe the reframing of that question is how do you make sure that people see you?
It’s like the classic sign that someone comes to you and they bought a yellow car and you go, damn, I haven’t seen a yellow car. What’s the only thing you see the following day?
Ramon Ray: Yellow cars all day.
Steve Sims: All day. So I think the trick is to make it that when your face does appear, people go Oh, you know, look at that guy inside of a bit different or that there’s something there.
And so when you pop up, it’s a case of I’m constantly recognizing it. So I think the question is, how do you show up is so unique that you burn yourself into someone’s memory. So they constantly come back to what you do.
Ramon Ray: Can I pull out one thing you said there? So unique.
Some people just do content, which you’re so right. I know when I produce content. It’s crazy different. Yesterday I did one, I was near the shower, the shower was running. I was pissed off that I had to take a shower. It was really weird, but, and also then the second thing is to the right target audience. So we’re not all speaking to the same people.
With me, it’s only large brands reaching very small businesses. People think it’s everybody, but it’s only because that’s all they’re interested in is what I do. So I love what you said.
Steve Sims: Which, which brings us. Playing the tennis here. Now., you’re talking about the niche, you know, so make yourself unique and niche down to your marketplace.
And I think the easiest way, because we all can, over-complicate the crap out of them. But basically, when you niche it down, you’re talking to your avatar. You’re talking to that person. And if you’re crystal clear on who you are, then that horrible word of today, authenticity, comes through. I hate the word ‘authenticity’. I despise it real good.
Ramon Ray: But you’re an authentic guy. I couldn’t help myself.
Steve Sims: Oh yeah, thanks for that. The trouble is the second do you call someone else out as authentic, you’re acknowledging that the rest that the people around you are not, you know, so I don’t want to be authentic. I want to be transparent. I want to be impossible to misunderstand. I want 100 clarity.
I can guarantee you, guarantee you people watching this now, there will be those people that go, “Damn, I like that guy.” and there’ll be other people going “I can’t understand that guy.” The first video you do today, there’s going to be subtitles. There’s going to be included with just go “I can’t stand that guy. I just don’t like that guy”. But the one thing that there won’t be are people on the fence.
Ramon Ray: And you don’t want that. It’s really uncomfortable on the fence. What do you think man?
Jeff Hunter: Yeah, well, I think that, that you’re spot on and I think that there’s a lot of power in polarity, and I think that a lot of people are afraid of it, especially for me, because I came from the corporate world before I became an entrepreneur.
Yeah, I remember updating my LinkedIn profile when I had a corporate job and my boss messages me and he goes, “Hey man, are you going to find another job?” You know? And now, you know, the stuff that really does well on my feed, which is another direction we can go. The reason why I’m always up on top of everyone’s Facebook feed or LinkedIn feed is because I dare challenge to be different.
And I take positions. I am not afraid of my positions. And by the way, not all my positions are always right, but I stand by them and I’m also open – and I think that word that Steve said earlier, transparency is really important. I’m very transparent with my network. They know what’s going on. You were walking around with me for two days at the conference and people would come up to me that I don’t remember, honestly.
I know if you’re listening to this, I’m sorry. If you’re listening to this, I’m not talking about you. It was someone else. It was one of those other people.
But they would come up to me and they would ask me questions about things that I am going through in my life that I’m posting about. So they already know, they feel like they know me. And I think that that’s very important.
Amanda Holmes: I think it’s also, what is your superpower to, so each one of us, when I think of how everyone, like, I know you’re so great at talking about what you’re experiencing in your emotions. And I love that.
You, on video, you just pop, right? Like you have to be involved because what is this guy doing? He’s talking and he’s high energy.
Ramon Ray: That’s a good demonstration, Amanda!
Amanda Holmes: And you just cracked me up. Like the things that you’ve posted, like yes. And there’s wisdom there. And I want to hear about it. So every person just has – you’re being exactly what you were saying. You’re being you in your authentic self. Like I was a musician. When I post things, I’ve been posting everybody’s pictures and I’ve been putting a theme song to each one of our pictures and every single one has gotten a repost because I’m a musician and that’s how I think. Right. So it’s being you and your authentic- transparent.
Steve Sims: You actually said something. You might yourself relatable because you make yourself understood. You had a position. So those people that came up could relate to them and that’s what you need to do. You need to connect with people by being understood and relatable.
So I post quite often some stupid shit because this will make me laugh. I’m posting. That’s daft, that bothers me. I’m posting that. And I’m often told, you know, you’ve got to think about what you post. Not really. It’s just going to connect with you. It’s got to ignite something in you. You’ve got to have a reaction.
Ramon Ray: And the people who jive to you are going to follow you.
Steve Sims: There you go.
Ramon Ray: People like us do things like this so to your point, yes. I mean, you ask people, the Ramon Ray people, what is Ramon having on Saturday morning? Everybody will tell you – burnt pancakes. Done in the store.
Jeff Hunter: And the same with me, because I think what you said about how you want to be so uniquely different that you’ve burned that image of you into their brain.
I though that was really spot on. Because I started something three or four years ago called the travel shirt where every time I go somewhere, I’m always wearing like a Hawaiian shirt. Like, so when I wear a travel shirt, like when I wear a Hawaiian shirt, I take a picture and I say, guess what I’m doing today? And my network will comment, like, where are you going?
So like, I think that there are some lessons about like how you can do things that are repeatable, but repeatably unique, so that are really a part of your brand.
Steve Sims: Can I cook something up?
Jeff Hunter: Good or bad?
Ramon Ray: I think he’s still gonna call it out.
Jeff Hunter: If I say no, are you going to stop?
Steve Sims: You say about being unique and a lot of people are out there now thinking, “How do I be unique?”. Basically amazing how we’re unique by not trying. I’ve always said it takes zero effort to be unique. You know, there’s so many people, especially young entrepreneurs out there, they get into a business space, they get into an industry and they conform to “I’ve got to look like this. I’ve got to behave like this. I’m real estate. Oh my God, I’ve got to be -”
You know, they try to be someone else and they lose their identity because they’ve now become someone they’re not.
To be unique, stop trying.
Jeff Hunter: My most viral video on LinkedIn ever was a stupid video of me driving around in my old -. This is back when I was definitely didn’t make as much money. And I was in a convertible PT cruiser and I have hired a videographer off of Craigslist for like 200 bucks, you know, and we were just driving around and I was just saying random things that were bothering me about the industry.
And one of the things that went viral was just me talking about how tired I am of Gary V wannabes and how many people just like pop them out of nowhere with the little video clips and just like saying ridiculously obnoxious things. But the problem is like Gary V that’s being him.
Ramon Ray: He’s him. That’s it.
Jeff Hunter: That’s why it works. But when other people, and they’re not being genuine with their self and they’re just trying to imitate being Gary V like you’re just now another -. It doesn’t work.
Ramon Ray: And going to vulnerability. Going back to, it was, I don’t know if it’s a viral video or not, but I know, and this was a precursor to a South by Southwest talk. I was in my car, had a blue NFL jacket on the, whenever this super bowl was, in New York, in New Jersey.
The point is I talked about entrepreneurial depression. I want to take the conversation down, but that was for me. Going back to I’m just who I am. And I sat there on my little phone and I said, I’m so tired of the God complex. We all may have, we have fans and followers, images. You know what I mean?
And I just said, guys, I’m just not feeling it today. I am so tired. The business is tough and I went on and ranted and so many people I didn’t need for them to, but to your point, I was just being me. And I think the second thing I’m curious, do you think Steven, all of us is that some people though, I must say being them though, isn’t it a bit straight-laced that being them is that we have characters I think that lend itself to being drawn in my good. You can disagree, that’s cool.
Jeff Hunter: No it’s not that I disagree. It’s just, it’s a hard truth to hear because sometimes, you’re just not that cool.
Ramon Ray: Right. No, I talked to a friend of mine and I said, she said, Ramon, I’m not going to be going around screaming on videos like you do.
I said, in that case, you never will. In that case, you have to find the hook. You have to find that cool thing cause you’re not going to be, “Hey, my name is so-and-so.” You’re not going to do it. Not going to be you.
Steve Sims: I’ve often said that just because we can take selfie videos, it doesn’t mean that a lot of people should. This is true.
Jeff Hunter: Especially if you’re like me and you got a face for radio.
Steve Sims: But there are some people that if you’re having a conversation like we are now. You’re in a party and they’re all great and it’s all brilliant. And all of a sudden, the camera comes out to film this and they suddenly become -.
Ramon Ray: Like many of our family members, I bet. Christmas time or Thanksgiving, whatever we’re celebrating. I don’t know if you have those. Everybody’s laughing. I know, I’m a certain talent member of mine. The camera comes up.
Can you all stop? Just keep doing what you were doing.
Steve Sims: Yeah, it’s crazy but there is a lot of that lens phobia, but you’re right.
People should – the first thing they should realize is do they have something to say that can help somebody else? If they do, what you look like doesn’t matter. Okay. If you focus on the them rather than the you, then you’re going to be a little more comfortable.
Too many people are like, okay, I’m going to do a video. How do I look? What is, what is my good side? How’s my hair today, you know? And then you focus so much on their metrics. They’re not going to connect with anyone in any case, because they’re only caring about that.
Amanda Holmes: I hundred percent agree with that. No, because if it was about me and carrying on my father’s legacy and then it became the Amanda Holmes show, I was like, I have no zero interest in the house.
If it’s when I started to see our clients and see what happens to them, how they grow their businesses, how they flourish, I felt morally responsible to make sure that more people got that and it became about serving them and then to the moon and back, whatever I need to do. Right. But when it was about me, I’m like, screw that.
Steve Sims: I’ve got a question. I’ve got a question. When did you get it wrong? Because I know I had a moment in my life where I was me, then that little entrepreneurial devil doubt came out in me and I actually changed my persona. I was a black t-shirt motorcycle riding guy. didn’t give a shit, too much whiskey, blah, blah, blah. And then I got concerned about what other people thought. And I started wearing suits. I actually bought a car. Okay. I bought a Ferrari cause I wanted – I bought suits. I took my earrings out.
But I did all of those things, because I suddenly thought to myself, you know, for people to take me seriously, I’ve got to be this. And there’s a picture of me leaning up and we have it in the house. There’s a picture of me leaning up against the Ferrari in Monaco at the 50th anniversary of Ferrari, me throwing parties there. And I’ve always said to everyone, it was the great celebrity party that I wasn’t ack.
And actually when the photographs came and I saw this photo, I realized I sold myself out. I got rid of the cars, got rid of the suits. I went back to this. So what was your moment of “Can I hang on a minute? I’ve lost me. I need to go back.” because I think you’re all at it.
Ramon Ray: I love it. I mean, I’m happy to go. I know I was, it would only happen for a few minutes or hours or metaphorically, but it happened. And I was looking at other speakers. I’m a member of a professional speaking association. I’ll leave it at that.
And I started speaking like this, say the audience, Ramon Ray.
“Hi everyone. One day, there was a little boy..” and going and giving it. You have to tell the story, you’re supposed to pause, you’re supposed to that poised as I saw other good speakers. But somebody, you know, a good friend of mine came up kind of afterwards, or the months later like “Ramon, you okay?” and I’m like no because I know, you know, what you went through. So I stopped. I said, I can’t, I just, I no longer will. The host or producer said, “Ramon, you have to turn it this way.” No, no, no. I, Ramon, will start the event sitting in a chair in the middle of the stage. End of story. So that was mine.
Jeff Hunter: Um, I don’t know if I’m going to like this answer, but I would say it’s right now for me. I mean right now for me, because personally I’d rather be at home playing video games. Like that’s me and it’s hard for me to actually be in a group and I’m not an extrovert at all. And I actually hired a coach back in 2017 and she really helped me become, I guess you could call me an ambivert.
Ramon Ray: My man, that’s good. Good, good to be recognized.
Jeff Hunter: But also what I’ve learned is that I’ve had to become a little bit more out there and make myself known. And if I want to do like as you guys know here at Convergence Summit, I mean, you don’t – this event isn’t for the trainings. It’s for these. It’s for moments like these.
Right? So if you’re uncomfortable in moments like this, which this isn’t to me, but I’ve learned that it is an important part of my own personal development. So that was a really hard thing to just confess.
Amanda Holmes: Well, I’ll tag on to you and say that I’m on that same boat. Like when you say that, the first thing that pops up for me is yeah, we were on a boat last night.
Jeff Hunter: Last night. I just want to say just because I, hopefully I don’t embarrass you on this, but two nights in a row, we went to a party or something together, and I’m an introvert. And obviously, she was feeling, you know, a little burnout as well. I’m not going to call you an introvert, but I could just tell on her face that she was done and I was definitely done.
I’m always looking for an excuse. So I looked at her and I said, “Are you ready?”. She goes “I’m ready” and we left.
Amanda Holmes: Oh, no, no, I’ll take it another level too. And just say, when you say that, the first thing that pops up for me is I was, so I shaved my head five years and I love having a shaved head. It’s so funny that all of you guys have shaved heads right now.
Ramon Ray: Once a week, I shave my head.
Amanda Holmes: So in November, I would have been, this would have been the bald crew.
Jeff Hunter: This would have been the Bald 4.
Amanda Holmes: It would have been hilarious. Actually, I would have talked about it but I miss being bald, I find it liberating. It’s a very spiritual practice for me.
It’s about letting go of my ego. So when you say deter from it, I’m like, oh man, I would love to go back to being bald. I just get so much rep for it. I did it for five years. It wasn’t like a small stint, but every day I look at my hair and I’m like –
Ramon Ray: But guess what? You are still the wonderful Amanda, your spirit inside.
Amanda Holmes: Well, that’s very kind.
Ramon Ray: No, really. Really. Still.
The second show after the commercial break, we;re going to talk about the wonderful Amanda.
Jeff Hunter: The one thing that I want to say though, that I hope is super valuable to anyone listening, who probably feels like what I just said. Because even right now, I’m like everything I can not to cry because I’m like, it’s so vulnerable.
But like, the thing that I learned is that like, when you are really good at what you do and you finally get confidence, then you can actually go into a room and you can be that person, right?
Even if that’s not what you want to do, you can be that person. And I think that confidence, I actually, I would say that competence breeds confidence. And then I can walk into a room confidently, which I think when you’re first starting out as an introvert, it’s very hard to do. I think that that’s one of the hardest things you can ever do as an introvert is walk into a room and not feel confident.
So I think that you have to work on your confidence, which of course is by developing your competence and what you do.
Amanda Holmes: Well, this has been such a perfect, this is exactly what I wanted. Right. I just said, “Hey, you guys want to come?”, “Hey, you guys want to come and build something?”, “Let’s put it out there.”
So thank you all for being a part.