When someone who has a company that manages marketing campaigns for Nike, Rosetta Stone and The Golden State Warriors has something to say then it makes sense to listen. Dennis Yu is not only a master of marketing but has also spoken on some of the biggest stages around the world. Join us to hear how Dennis uses his 3×3 method to land speaking opportunities and his strategies around over-delivering.
This is a game-changer.
Dennis Yu is the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company which partners with schools to train young adults.
Dennis’s program centers around mentorship, helping students grow their expertise to manage social campaigns for enterprise clients like the Golden State Warriors, Nike, and Rosetta Stone.
He’s an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook Marketing and has spoken in 17 countries, spanning 5 continents, including keynotes at L2E, Gultaggen, and Marketo Summit.
Dennis has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, National Public Radio, TechCrunch, CNN, Fox News, and CBS Evening News.
He’s a regular contributor for Adweek’s SocialTimes column and has published in Social Media Examiner, Social Media Club, Tweak Your Biz, B2C, Social Fresh, and Heyo.
He held leadership positions at Yahoo! and American Airlines and studied Finance and Economics at Southern Methodist University as well as London School of Economics. He ran collegiate cross-country at SMU and has competed in over 20 marathons including a 70 mile ultramarathon.
Besides being a Facebook data and ad geek, you can find him eating chicken wings or playing Ultimate Frisbee in a city near you.
Victor Ahipene: Speaking nation, what’s happening? Welcome to another episode of Public Speaking Secrets. I’m your host, Victor Ahipene. Super excited to have you all on here. I’ve got someone that I’ve been following who I think a lot of you are getting tremendous value out of because everything I’ve seen of his so far as being huge. His name’s Dennis Yu. He’s the cofounder of Blitzmetrics and is an absolute guy when it comes to marketing in particular Facebook. Welcome to the show, Dennis.
Dennis Yu: Pleasure, Victor. Good to meet.
Victor Ahipene: What a lot of people who haven’t come across you yet, which I’m sure they will by the end of this is you also as part of what you do is speak in a lot of conferences and a lot of the beats around the world, inspiring people to follow some of the methodologies that you put out there when it comes to Facebook.
I guess before we kind of jump into some of the things that I guess I selfishly and I think will be beneficial for the audience. Want to jump into, can we quickly talk about your three by three and your dollar a day method? Because I think it’ll probably give some credence, some follow-up things that we talk about when it comes to speaking.
Dennis Yu: Well, the dollar a day method and the one minute video is just getting your message out there. If you’re a speaker, you know you have to tell stories. Those stories have to live in one minute sound bites. That’s a lot harder to give a one minute story than it is to talk for 30 minutes about a particular topic. You have to keep resetting people’s attention.
When we think about what does it take to win over someone’s heart or to make them buy something, we have to go through three stages of why, how, and what. When we have three videos, one at videos, at each layer we have a tic tac toe that gives us nine videos. Think of that as your greatest hits. The very best nine videos you have, the best three you have in each of these categories is what’s going to continue to live on.
If you want to be a speaker, you want to be on more stages. You want to drive more sales. You want to be invited to more masterminds. People have to identify with your story. They have to know that you can tell a compelling story in 60 seconds. Anytime you’re speaking, there are other people in the audience that run events and they want to know whether you’re going to be good on stage.
They want to know who you’re with. They want to know whether you have knowledge. The three by three is how you’re going to be able to do that. I was on TV last year, you guys watch CNN for example. I was on CNN five times globally in front of three and a half million people live and the way I answered questions about Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg and Cambridge Analytica was I use the one minute message.
I told stories in one minute, one minute on what was it like to spend time with Mark Zuckerberg talking about spam when [inaudible 00:03:33] first launched, what was it like to spend $1 million in one day on Facebook, on ads for Rosetta stone? Each of those is a compelling story that’s interesting, but also creates authority. The beauty is when you put it out there for a dollar a day and you target journalists, you target conference organizers, you target people in your vertical.
That’s how you’re going to get more exposure. Most speakers don’t know that. They hop on podcast. Most podcasters don’t know that because they create great content but it doesn’t even show up. If you want to speak on stages, you have to be seen. How else are you going to get around that?
Victor Ahipene: When you’re creating these things, so let’s say like what you were just saying about a speaker wanting to target these people so you can target within the layers of Facebook and your audiences. You can target event organizers. If someone is trying to get on stages or trying to get into particular organizations, is that how you would go about it? Is the audience big enough?
Dennis Yu: It’s not whether the audience is big enough. It’s whether it’s the right audience. Ask yourself, who is your audience? Do you want to talk to C level marketers that CPG companies? Do you want to talk to orthodontists? Do you want to talk to whoever it is? That’s the audience you want to reach it. You’re not trying to become Gary Vaynerchuk.
You’re not trying to be Tai Lopez and hit millions of people unless that’s what you want to do. The larger that audiences, the more expensive it is to hit. The beauty of LinkedIn and Facebook and these other sites is that you can target people by the exact company they’re at. When I got on CNN, I had targeted people who work at the Wall Street Journal, who worked at the LA Times, who worked at Buzzfeed, who work at CBS.
I targeted by job title, whether a staff reporter, they’re the editor or the editor in chief, they’re journalists. If you know exactly who you want to reach, then it’s pretty easy. In fact, a smaller audiences are better. I don’t want to try to target 50,000 or a hundred thousand people. I’d rather target the thousand people that really matter and I want to show them something that’s going to be compelling. For example, do you have a speaker reel?
Do you have a sizzle reel that shows you being on stage, speaking in front of a lot of people, teaching authoritatively, being around other people that are important? If you don’t have that, what good is the targeting?
Victor Ahipene: Very, very true and I mean all of its super valuable, but I think people understanding, you don’t necessarily have to spend a hundred bucks a day trying to target everybody. Like you say, a $1,000 a day or whatever it is to try and be the Tai Lopez who had huge amounts of money behind them. You’re just going to burn out pretty quickly.
I think the other thing that I’ve really have loved following the things that you talk about and your one minute videos is it takes people through that know, like, and trust system. Whereas I see so, so many things targeted on different mediums that I’m on. It’s people trying to start off with that third video. They’re trying to propose on the first date. They’re trying to get the sale and you’re sending out, I don’t know who you are.
I know we’re both connected and friends with Scott Oldford. He’s created that hyper targeted audience when he was first starting out. Taking people through those layers that he does. I think equals at the sidewalk, slow lane, fast lane. Initially you transitioning people through there and once they get to that final stage, they know who you are, inducted into what you do, the familiar with what you do.
Then, they’re exponentially more likely to make bigger decisions, which I think is super powerful. When you’re personally going, there’s a lot of speakers who listened to this, when you’re going to an event, what does it look like in your build up when you’re actually there and then afterwards for you to make an impact for the event organizer as well as your audience. Are there’s certain things that you do that make you memorable? Ideally, hopefully get you either every booked or other people lining up to get you?
Dennis Yu: Well, that’s a broad question. There are a lot of things that you do along the way and a process to make sure that the event is successful. I would say no matter what your process is, number one, and make sure you have a process. Most people, they don’t even have a process. They just show up. They’re so busy trying to put their slide deck together the day before that they forget all these other details.
Do you know who the other speakers are? Do you know what the agenda is? Are you getting an early enough so you can walk the stage beforehand? Do you know the AB setup? Do you have a lead magnet? For example, what I’ve tested last year, this works super well as instead of giving them a URL or phone number or something like that, I’ll say, “If you make a one minute video within the next 60 minutes, I will give you this particular course for free.”
What is it that you can give away to create a ton of value? Another thing, this is a little bit more advanced, this is if you’ve done a lot of speaking, is you can bring other people on stage and practice doing things like one minute videos. Bring other people up from the audience just like you see magicians, are other performers do that?
Figure out ways that you can get participation beyond just asking people to raise their hand or say yes. What are the kinds of things that add so much value? Maybe the biggest thing is don’t sell. Most people I know, they’re so eager to sell from the stage. They’re so eager to talk about themselves that they end up making it not about stories where you’re elevating other people and entertaining, but it’s how do I use this time to try to build my own brand and that that’s a big cutoff.
I see a lot of people that want to be public speakers and they’re the last ones who should be speaking because they’re not focusing on sharing and loving their audience’s best they can or they’re so not confident that they have to try to fake it. They have to try to puff up that fake confidence, which other people can see through.
They’re scared to be on stage because they know that it’s about them. Instead of saying, I’m never scared on stage, and it’s not because I’ve done it a lot is because I’m not thinking about myself. I’m thinking about how I communicate that topic in the most powerful, emotional, interesting way. When if you find that you are scared of speaking on stage or you get the jitters that means you’re worried about yourself. You’re worried about how you look. You’re worried about how you sound. You’re worried about whether you’re going to forget your words. You’re worried about the slide transitions.
None of that stuff matters. I’ve gone to presentations. I’ve given closing keynotes in front of thousands of people where they A, B broke and there were no slides and you know what? It was just fine. You freak out. They freak out. I think public speaking is sharing on a larger scale and if you don’t have something to share, I don’t really think the techniques matter that much, but definitely make sure you have compelling stories.
Who wants to tell someone who wants to be a public speaker, “Hey Dude, your stuff sucks? You’re not ready. You need to get more experience. You don’t have stuff that’s worthy of sharing it and you know it.” You’re just trying to become famous. You’re trying to promote a book or one of your friends spoken on a big stage, so you feel like you have to as well.
Those are all the wrong reasons to become a speaker. A real speaker is a servant leader and they’re not worried about themselves. They’re worried about the impact. Here’s one tip, this is something that should help a lot of you guys. If you want to get accepted to speak at conferences big or small, and if you want to get rave reviews, do this. Ask the conference organizer, what can I do to make the biggest impact for the audience?
Tell me, who is the audience? Tell me, what are they looking for? Show the organizer that you care very much about who his or her audience is. When you do that, the light bulbs will go off and they’ll be like, “Oh my goodness, I’m so glad that I get to talk to this particular speaker because they’re not just trying to promote themselves.
They’re trying to tune their stuff and understand how they can create maximum value.” Anything that you can signal to them about how you want to create value that puts you on the right path. Because then you’ll learn more about the audience and you’ll be able to take stuff out that doesn’t matter. At the certain points that they’re looking for. You’ll know what the other speakers are talking about so you don’t overlap them.
Victor Ahipene: It’s a small ecosystem out there as well, like event organizers talk to other event organizers and like you say, it’s just being a good person rather than going, “Hey, I’ve got my own personal agenda.” I’m out of try to sell from stage or I’ve tried to plug myself as much as possible. I’m sure after you speak, your inbox floods or you’re missing [inaudible 00:13:10] floods with people who, because you’ve led with value and that seen a transformation, “What’s, what’s next? What’s next?” I know how to make the videos now.
Can you help us market those videos? Can you help us put them in front of the right people? Whereas I think too many people lead with themselves in mind. You’ve obviously made a video or two in your time. I’ve looked at this from you as well, so this is more of a question for everyone out there. What have you found to be a good framework for creating a successful or a good skeleton for a one minute video?
Dennis Yu: We’d like to talk about the why, how, and what. The best way to think about it is the why is you’re opening hook about something that’s happened such as, when I was 18 I dropped out of high school, I wanted to become a professional athlete running for Nike. I ran 10K’s and I raced on the weekend and I accumulated a box full of trophies because I wanted to run for Nike.
I applied and they rejected me. That’s the initial part of the story. You capture people’s attention because of something that’s personal, something vulnerable that shows who you are as a real person. That way it’s clear that you’re not selling. From that story, let’s say that’s 40 seconds, you can then spend 15 seconds talking about what it meant. Most people, they go straight to the conclusion, they go straight to lecturing without giving people the benefit of the story to come to that conclusion.
Then that next component could be, and when I was rejected, I realized that no matter how hard I worked out, I needed other people such as a coach to give me direction. I needed a team to help me go around blind spots. That’s why mentorship and what I learned as an athlete because I eventually ran division one cross country. That applies to the business world.
That applies to being an entrepreneur, is being part of a team where we help one another. You draw some kind of larger conclusion from the story. Yeah. Then the last part is you say who you are. Only at that point do you say, “Hi, I’m Victor. I help other people become successful as public speakers.” Or, “I’m Dennis and I started a mentorship organization that creates jobs for young adults.”
Most people they lead with that in the beginning. No one cares who you are. You lead with that in the beginning. They’re not going to stay around to hear your story. You got to tell your story first, then say what it means. Then say who you are. 40 seconds, 15 seconds, five seconds. That’s one minute. You want to try, Victor? Let’s hear your one minute story. Give it a shot.
Victor Ahipene: I remember when I was 13 years old, I got put into a public speaking contest because I was the only New Zealand moldy person at my school. It was by force, not by choice, and I had no idea what I was doing. I was sitting on stage trembling with cue cards in my hand and the most horrible fashion ever. I was standing in a bright red blazer and I absolutely choked. I was super competitive at sport at that stage. I’d realize that the fastest way to improve was to find a coach or a mentor.
I was lucky enough to get a public speaking teacher at my school who took me under her wing. It wasn’t until then that I could see how much of a transition you could make and a transformation you could make in your own mindset, your own confidence in such a short period of time. That transition my whole mindset. I’m Victor Ahipene and I help people overcome their confidence issues when it comes to public speaking and get their message out to a larger audience.
Dennis Yu: Excellent. That’s right on. That’s pretty close to one minute. Did you time it? Pretty good. What made it compelling are the little details such as when you say that you were 13 and you were wearing a red blazer and people can see that. You could make it even more compelling if you said the name of that public school teacher. What’s her name?
Victor Ahipene: Donna Jones.
Dennis Yu: Donna Jones. You say Donna Jones, isn’t that way more like— other people when they hear Donna Jones, they think of who Donna Jones might look like in their mind. They can see that just like a movie camera that’s following a particular scene. So you could paint a few more details in there. People can feel the failure. Think about what you might do, Victor, to land the emotional impact of that failure. What does it feel like?
So when you choked and failed, how do we know that that’s what happened? Is it because you ran off stage and then cried in the bathroom? Is it because there was silence when you’re done and people just kind of politely clap? Is it because you forgot your words and you’re trembling and you thought through what that meant with everyone watching you as you were being embarrassed publicly?
You have to be able to land a couple of those components so people can feel that failure with you. Then you can sequence into mentorship and what Donna Jones has done, and then why that caused you to start the organization, the mission, and the movement that you have. Compelling. What you have is amazing. Now imagine if you told that story with a lot of B roll of your childhood photos and then spliced in late.
When you make the transition from Donna Jones, they see pictures of you speaking confidently in front of large audiences. Think about how you’re able to land that turnaround in the tone of your voice, in the change of the B role, in the switchover from the story to what you’ve learned from Donna Jones. Think about all the different ways you can maximize that switch, that fulcrum basically that goes from the story to then, what does it mean and what you do?
Victor Ahipene: I appreciate it. It’s super powerful. Kind of right to fund that picture of me in a blazer.
Dennis Yu: Everyone should be able to do that. Not just you, not just speaker coaches. If you can’t tell a one minute story, it’s not just for public speaking. It’s for you want to close a deal, you want to get a girlfriend. You want to talk to a coworker and convinced them to join your team. You’ve got to be able to tell a one minute story just like you’re doing a Facetime with somebody else.
Victor Ahipene: It’s super powerful. We transitioned from the why to the how to the what. With the how, what does that transition look like?
Dennis Yu: The how is your teaching. You’re giving some piece of knowledge, some kind of advice, but if you give advice without having a story first, then you’re just lecturing the people and nobody wants to hear that. You have to show some sort of humility, some vulnerability, some sort of failure, some kind of moment that could be sensitive.
We’ve seen people talk about how their mom died of cancer. I’m not saying it has to be something like that. It could be, “Hey, I was, I was caught off in the parking lot yesterday when we’re eating at the barbecue restaurant. I was going to yell at this person.” Because in Texas, we’re in Dallas today in Texas, there’s a lot of road rage and then you’re going to, “Oh, I remember that everyone is struggling with something internal, whether you know it or not.”
If they get mad at you, their anger is really a sign of internal pain on their part. They’re like a wounded animal where it’s not really against you, it’s because they had a bad day. Then that caused me to treat other people differently because I understand and respect it. Everybody is carrying some kind of burden that you don’t necessarily know about.
Sometimes when they’re mean to you, it’s not because of you, things like that. That’s the conclusion. I have to tell the story before I tell the conclusion. Now imagine if you’re doing this as part of a speech. How many stories can you tell in your slot? You get a 30 minute slot or maybe a 50 minute keynote slot. How many stories can you tell and build concept upon concept, just like Lego blocks that build into a larger Star Wars giant thing.
Whatever it might be, the structure you’re trying to build, and that’s what you do as a speaker is that you paint through a series of one minute stories. Watched the best speakers. It could be the evangelical ministers on TV. It could be actors that you follow. It could be motivational speakers. Watch how they use these very same techniques and they’re so good at it. You don’t even realize they’re using these techniques.
Victor Ahipene: I think of like [inaudible 00:22:20] jump on the eye that a lot of those motivational, but they’ve got massive story intertwined into them. You think of the one about the guy who goes out into the ocean and as mentor pushes his head under and he trains hard every day. Everything you think about as kind of those stories. Martin Luther King, he has a dream. It’s that future based thing. He talks about stories. I’m a big advocate of the storytelling, but that’s one of the big reasons that I love your whole philosophy towards reaching and having a bigger impact with different people. Then we transitioned into the “what” and that’s obviously we can push people towards a particular opt-in or a purchase or sign up or an action to do something. Is that right?
Dennis Yu: The, what is the easiest part. It’s saying, “Hey, I’m selling consulting. I’ve got a course. I offer some kind of package.” There’s some products that have to sell. If you’ve done a good job in your why and how, the “what” is merely just saying what you have and people buy. There’s no need to coerce. There’s no need to have a discount.
There’s no need to scare people because, “You need to do it by tomorrow and there’s only five left.” There’s no need to pressure them. You merely say, “I’m, Victor and this is the course I have.” That’s it. Otherwise it’s like MLM or its people that are not really your friends trying to take your money from you. I don’t trust those people. If you give them value first—you hear all these people talk about value first or jab, jab, jab, right hook. When you do why and how, which is you tell the story and then you say what it means. You deliver some kind of nugget and you’ve done it appropriately. People identify with you.
Then when you move to the what, which is the close of the sale, if you have them at that point, people will naturally buy. If they have the money and if the timing works and what have you go buy. That’s what’s always worked for us. We never need to knock on doors. When I speak on stage, I never have anything to sell directly. I never mentioned what we do in terms of how people can hire us yet because we don’t do that.
People swarm us at the end at speeches. My inbox and text messages and all, I get flooded with people saying, “Hey, can we hire you?” But if you say, “Hire me, hire me, hire me.” The reverse psychology works where people think that you’re trying to sell and they always push in the opposite direction.
Victor Ahipene: I don’t like being told what to do. Let them come to their decision by themselves.
Dennis Yu: Exactly. People don’t want to be sold to, but people love to buy.
Victor Ahipene: It’s awesome. Dennis, I’m going to wrap that up because I know everyone has enough to take action and I’m going to put the challenge out there to anybody. I know a lot of you out there have fear to get behind the camera to pick it up. Pick up your phone, create a one minute video. Tag Dennis Facebook page and thank him for the motivation and tag me in it as well. Put it in our group at speaking nation. I will send you a copy of my book for anyone who does do that one minute video because I know that they are an absolute game changer in how you market and how you get your message out there.
Dennis, I appreciate you so much for what you’ve been able to share in such a short period of time. I could a question you for hours, but I want to also welcome you to our speaker nation family. If people do want to find out more about you, they want to grab it and go on a little bit more depth into some of the things that you’ve spoken about. Where can they go and what can they do?
Dennis Yu: They can go to LinkedIn and friend request me there. Look at my content there and they can Google me. The one thing you don’t want to do is make a friend request on Facebook. I’m at the 5,000 friend limit. I’ve been there since the beginning, like 10 years.
There’s a 5,000 friend limit if you didn’t know. LinkedIn has 30,000 so that’s fine. But definitely connect with me on LinkedIn. Tag me on the videos that you make. I want to see you guys take action. You might find it awkward or embarrassing or difficult to make your first few one minute videos.
You know what? They’re probably going to suck, but that’s the beauty of it. Just get past the suck. Make your 50 videos however many that it takes, one per day, and a few per day. Then we have a whole community of people that we can help each other. Not just speaker nation, but the larger community of people that are making videos, entrepreneurs, people that are building their brand. You’ll get great feedback. If you don’t make your one minute video, who’s going to be able to give you some feedback?
Victor Ahipene: Exactly. If it’s not bad, no one can tell you that. If you don’t make it.
Dennis Yu: It’s not even as bad as you think. Everyone thinks their thing suck, only you worry about your hair and your voice and stuff. No one really cares about that stuff. Just go ahead and make your videos, overcome your ego. If you can overcome your ego, you can be a good speaker too.
Victor Ahipene: Awesome, I appreciate your time. I look forward to hopefully touching base in person at some stage soon in the future.
Dennis Yu: We’ll do some bungee jumping, Victor.
Victor Ahipene: Sounds good.