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How to Create Hype with a Secret Society Featuring Michael Schein

Michael F. Schein is the Head Hype Artist at MicroFame Media, a company that specializes in making idea-based businesses famous in their fields.

In today’s episode of Smashing the Plateau, you will learn one of the success secrets used by the world’s greatest self-promoters.

Michael and I discuss:

  • How he uses his “Secret Society” concept [03:20]
  • How to start a “Secret Society” [08:59]
  • The rise in interest in communities [13:51]
  • The unique value Michael offers his “Secret Society” [17:14]
  • When Michael started his “Secret Society” [20:09]
  • The results Michael has observed from participants [21:46]
  • Michael’s ideal client [26:05]

Learn more about Michael at http://microfamemedia.com, https://www.hypereads.com/list, https://twitter.com/MichaelSchein1, and https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelfrancisschein/.

Thank you to our sponsors: 

The Smashing the Plateau Community

https://community.smashingtheplateau.com

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https://smashingtheplateau.com/circle

Transcript
Michael Schein:

People who are really good at, making things happen, always

Michael Schein:

make it seem like their success is grassroots, but in reality, they

Michael Schein:

also have people underneath the surface, pulling the strings and

Michael Schein:

they know how to make that happen.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Welcome to Smashing the Plateau.

David Shriner-Cahn:

We help consultants, coaches, entrepreneurs, and small business

David Shriner-Cahn:

owners build their business after a long career as an employed professional.

David Shriner-Cahn:

We believe you should be able to do what you love and get paid

David Shriner-Cahn:

what you're worth, consistently.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I'm your host, David Shriner-Cahn.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Today on Smashing the Plateau, I'm speaking with the head hype artist

David Shriner-Cahn:

at MicroFame Media, Michael F.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Schein.

David Shriner-Cahn:

In today's episode, you will learn one of the success secrets used by

David Shriner-Cahn:

the world's greatest self-promoters.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Stay with us to hear all the details.

David Shriner-Cahn:

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David Shriner-Cahn:

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David Shriner-Cahn:

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David Shriner-Cahn:

Now, let's welcome Michael F.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Schein.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Michael is the head hype artist at MicroFame Media, a company that

David Shriner-Cahn:

specializes in making idea-based businesses famous in their fields.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Some of his clients have included eBay, Magento, The Medici Group,

David Shriner-Cahn:

University of Pennsylvania, Gordon College, University of California

David Shriner-Cahn:

Irvine, United Methodist Publishing House, Ricoh, LinkedIn, and Citrix.

David Shriner-Cahn:

His writing has appeared in Fortune, Forbes, Inc., Psychology Today, and

David Shriner-Cahn:

Huffington Post, and he is a speaker for international audiences spanning

David Shriner-Cahn:

from the Northeastern United States to the Southeastern coast of China.

His book, The Hype Handbook:

12 Indispensable Success Secrets From

His book, The Hype Handbook:

the World's Greatest Propagandists, Self-Promoters, Cult Leaders,

His book, The Hype Handbook:

Mischief Makers, and Boundary Breakers, published by McGraw

His book, The Hype Handbook:

Hill, appears where books are sold.

His book, The Hype Handbook:

Michael, welcome back to the show, great to have you on again.

Michael Schein:

Hey, David, it's great to be here.

Michael Schein:

Obviously, one of my favorite places to be.

David Shriner-Cahn:

And then you were one of my favorite guests.

David Shriner-Cahn:

So the last time you were on Smashing the Plateau, you had actually just

David Shriner-Cahn:

published your book, The Hype Handbook, and we discussed reverse engineering

David Shriner-Cahn:

as a way to make people take an action.

David Shriner-Cahn:

In particular, you mentioned during our interview that you try out all of

David Shriner-Cahn:

your hype concepts on yourself, first.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Now you have just launched, what you refer to as a secret society, which

David Shriner-Cahn:

is your second strategy in your book, what kinds of results have you seen?

Michael Schein:

First of all, the book release, which I can't believe

Michael Schein:

it was two years ago now, has really transformed everything for me, the

Michael Schein:

secret society is one of the strategies and that's the newest sort of horizon.

Michael Schein:

I may base a new book on it.

Michael Schein:

It looks like, and I'm trying it out on myself, but, to provide a little bit of

Michael Schein:

context, I always used what I call hype.

Michael Schein:

So I, for anyone who doesn't know the first interview or my work.

Michael Schein:

I guess you would call me a professional marketer, but I've never thought of

Michael Schein:

myself that way, because I look at people who are really good at driving

Michael Schein:

a whole lot of attention and excitement around whatever it is, they're trying

Michael Schein:

to put out into the world who don't think of themselves as marketers.

Michael Schein:

So you'll look at a rock band manager or a rat manager or in some negative

Michael Schein:

areas, a cult leader or a propaganda artist, and those people understand

Michael Schein:

mass psychology better than any professional marketer that I've ever seen.

Michael Schein:

Some of them put it to negative ends.

Michael Schein:

I've always gone out of my way to repurpose these things ethically, but

Michael Schein:

because no one knew about my idea, about this concept of what I call hype,.

Michael Schein:

I used to have to call myself a marketer.

Michael Schein:

So I had a marketing agency.

Michael Schein:

We were just talking before the call started, doing all of the, just sort of

Michael Schein:

social media and nitty gritty stuff, just because that's what people expect from

Michael Schein:

an agency having to explain to people why you have an unorthodox point of view.

Michael Schein:

And it was a living and a good living, but, it's always a little bit like

Michael Schein:

pulling teeth and with the book, people now know me as the hype guy, right?

Michael Schein:

So apparently in the tech startup world, for example, there's a lot of talk

Michael Schein:

about how do we hype our products up.

Michael Schein:

And now I'm the guy who wrote the book on it.

Michael Schein:

So now I can really proudly go out into the world and say, I can sell you hype

Michael Schein:

Instead of I can sell you marketing.

Michael Schein:

And as a result, everything's changed.

Michael Schein:

we're a hundred percent focused on turning companies into ethical height machines

Michael Schein:

and generating everything that comes with that, whether it's sales or attention

Michael Schein:

and it all comes from the book, really.

Michael Schein:

So that's the first thing.

Michael Schein:

And then in terms of the secret society, so now that I've gotten those wheels

Michael Schein:

moving and have turned that into a bit of a machine it's time for the next

Michael Schein:

bold, and I always poke around for ideas for, the, chapter in the book that I

Michael Schein:

was always, that I really always have gotten a lot out of in my own career,

Michael Schein:

is one, what I call, build a secret society, create a secret society.

Michael Schein:

And the idea is that people who are really good at making things happen, always make

Michael Schein:

it seem like their success is grassroots.

Michael Schein:

But in reality, they also have people underneath the surface,

Michael Schein:

pulling the strings and they know how to make that happen.

Michael Schein:

But when I wrote about that, I used the term secret society

Michael Schein:

as a tongue in cheek way.

Michael Schein:

I thought that'd be more fun than calling it like hyper networking.

Michael Schein:

But then I got interested.

Michael Schein:

I was like, what about real secret societies?

Michael Schein:

These groups that you always hear about the Illuminati and the

Michael Schein:

Freemasons and Skull and Bones.

Michael Schein:

Why do people create these secret societies?

Michael Schein:

There must be something in it for them.

Michael Schein:

and you always hear these stories about people creating these secret

Michael Schein:

societies to control the world and do these sinister things.

Michael Schein:

So I started researching it and what I found was really interesting.

Michael Schein:

These secret societies, when you do get access into the inner sanctum,

Michael Schein:

which people have done right.

Michael Schein:

And have reported on it, the point of the secrecy is the secrecy.

Michael Schein:

Nothing very special is going on in there.

Michael Schein:

They're not really protecting anything that interesting.

Michael Schein:

So they have all kinds of rituals and costumes and

Michael Schein:

handshakes and all of this stuff.

Michael Schein:

But ultimately you'll come to the end and they'll do a little speech

Michael Schein:

about Goodwill toward mankind.

Michael Schein:

So the reason that people create these secret societies is because all of

Michael Schein:

that ritual and all of that exclusivity and that you need to be invited in

Michael Schein:

and that you have to go through all those levels, make it really appealing.

Michael Schein:

The most accomplished and successful and interesting people

Michael Schein:

want to be part of these things at different points in history.

Michael Schein:

And if you just call it a networking circle or a mastermind group, or,

Michael Schein:

the sheet let metal association of America, people will do it for

Michael Schein:

their careers, but they won't do it.

Michael Schein:

It's not fun.

Michael Schein:

they do it as a chore.

Michael Schein:

Whereas at their peak, groups like the Freemasons and the Shriners,

Michael Schein:

which have fallen out of date now, people spent the bulk of their free

Michael Schein:

time doing that, especially men.

Michael Schein:

And so I thought it would be interesting to recreate that for the modern

Michael Schein:

world, the way that sort of Soho house recreated the gentleman's club of the

Michael Schein:

18 hundreds for a modern audience.

Michael Schein:

I thought it would be really interesting to create a modern version of a

Michael Schein:

secret society instead of a plain old networking group or mastermind.

Michael Schein:

So I created a group called The Ludic Circle and I went to my mailing list,

Michael Schein:

which has, A lot of just people like you and me, but I noticed that once in

Michael Schein:

a while, someone really prominent would join the list and I reached out to them

Michael Schein:

and, with all the magic and mystery that a secret society would hint toward.

Michael Schein:

I invited them in and, Their response was really big.

Michael Schein:

So now we have this group, that I can't tell you who's on it, obviously what

Michael Schein:

we do there, but I have this group of people who we do these really cool

Michael Schein:

things, once, on a scheduled period of time, we meet up and we help each

Michael Schein:

other, ultimately get big things done.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Is there a secret to getting the secret society started?

Michael Schein:

I think there are a couple of things.

Michael Schein:

First of all, I think that it's really important to embrace your

Michael Schein:

theatrical side to not ironically, to not take yourself too seriously.

Michael Schein:

So we're all familiar with the Shriners, right?

Michael Schein:

Do you know the Shriners?

Michael Schein:

have you ever heard of that group

David Shriner-Cahn:

in case somebody isn't familiar with it?

David Shriner-Cahn:

Why don't you describe them?

Michael Schein:

So the Shriners were these, it was a group, a club, they're

Michael Schein:

less popular than they once were.

Michael Schein:

Like, all of these groups are for various reasons.

Michael Schein:

And the reasons have more to do with, there was a group called Bowling

Michael Schein:

Alone about how people are, a lot of this, the things that held society

Michael Schein:

together for a long time have frayed, but that's a different kind of issue.

Michael Schein:

But the Shriners were a group that, it was an offshoot of the Freemasons ,and

Michael Schein:

it was called like the mystical Shriners of something or other, I don't know.

Michael Schein:

And these business people, and back then it was usually men, but business

Michael Schein:

men, this and that they would wear these little like fez hats, that

Michael Schein:

they, imagined was from Turkey.

Michael Schein:

And, they had these sort of Crescent symbols, and they drove

Michael Schein:

around in these little cars.

Michael Schein:

And, you could easily think why would these grown men,

Michael Schein:

these professionals do this.

Because A:

it was fun.

And B:

it was a club.

And B:

If you wore that little hat, if you drove that little car, you're really

And B:

committing yourself to this group, this is an identity thing now, I'm a Shriner.

And B:

If I show up to a mastermind group or a networking group, that's

And B:

something you can just drop out of when it doesn't help you anymore.

And B:

If you were in a parade, driving a little car, wearing a little

And B:

fez, that's your identity, right?

And B:

So what's interesting about this is the Shriners do so much good.

And B:

This goofy group of guys, they have raised probably billions of dollars

And B:

at this point for hospitals, right?

And B:

The Shriner's hospitals are very famous and we often don't connect the two.

And B:

And so I think the first thing is creating a sense of mystique, right?

And B:

Whatever your modern version of the secret handshake, the special codes, the special

And B:

language, the special location, the special costumes don't ignore that stuff.

And B:

And I'm sure a lot of people listening right now are like, oh, I'm never

And B:

doing that in a million years.

And B:

That, that's your choice.

And B:

Do a version of it that works for you.

And B:

But that's the kind of thing that really does bond people together.

And B:

So how do you pick what those things are?

And B:

A good place to start, is to think about what are the things that

And B:

are cheap for you to give up and very valuable for other people.

And B:

So I met a guy early in, in my career, at least in this career, which is

And B:

about a decade or so old who literally started a business from his garage.

And B:

people use that metaphorically.

And B:

He started a, a security like alarm type business from his garage and it

And B:

grew to $500 million of revenue a year.

And B:

So I interviewed this gentleman for Inc.

And B:

Magazine cause I happened to be writing there and he was perfectly cordial and

And B:

nice, but, no real connection until he mentioned to me that he had just moved

And B:

from Indianapolis to New York City.

And B:

And one of the reasons was he absolutely loves live music and they don't

And B:

have the live music in Indianapolis and he wanted to go see, the club.

And B:

So now at the time I was like in my early thirties and I was at the tail end

And B:

of where I still was really interested in live music and I would go out still.

And B:

And so I knew these places in New York, so I offered to take

And B:

him around, to these clubs.

And B:

So it was the only thing I could have possibly given this guy.

And B:

I could have said to him, how can I help you?

And B:

Who can I introduce to you all of these things that we always

And B:

say in networking groups?

And B:

And it would've been meaningless to him, but by keeping my ears

And B:

and eyes open to something that was really easy for me to do.

And B:

And very valuable to him, it was really a big deal.

And B:

And he became a massive mentor in my career and whatever success I have, I

And B:

think he had a lot to, to do with it.

And B:

So what is it that you're doing in the group once you create all that

And B:

theatricality, whatever form that takes.

And B:

What happens once you're there.

And B:

And if it's just, we're going to sit around a table and give favors

And B:

and introductions and leads.

And B:

there's other places you can go for that.

And B:

Think about what are some things in your world.

And B:

That you can give access to.

And B:

Is it a special location that only you have access to?

And B:

some after hours, vault from the civil war that only you have access

And B:

to because your family was involved.

And B:

Whatever, if you can make a list of those things that almost seem

And B:

like no big deal to you, but that might be interesting to other people

And B:

before, it you've built a mystique and these don't have to be expensive.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Yeah, one thing that comes to my mind as you're describing

David Shriner-Cahn:

this, Mike is the rise and interest in communities, particularly, I think there's

David Shriner-Cahn:

been a leap forward in the last couple years due to COVID, of online communities.

David Shriner-Cahn:

and now there are also lots of new tools that are available to support the

David Shriner-Cahn:

infrastructure of these communities.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I'm wondering what connection you might see between the, your concept

David Shriner-Cahn:

of a secret society and what may be happening in these micro-communities.

Michael Schein:

I think civilizations or societies or whatever you want to

Michael Schein:

call it, go through ebbs and flows.

Michael Schein:

Like I think history is really cyclical and, there's this

Michael Schein:

really nice idea of progress that we're like Martin Luther King.

Michael Schein:

Who obviously was wonderful, had this comment, the arc of history

Michael Schein:

as long, but it bends toward justice, with due respect to Dr.

Michael Schein:

King.

Michael Schein:

I'm not sure he was right.

Michael Schein:

I don't think that there is a story to history.

Michael Schein:

I think that human beings make those stories in their minds

Michael Schein:

because we're story, making animals.

Michael Schein:

I think that history is very cyclical.

Michael Schein:

And so I think for many years, especially after WWII, people were joiners.

Michael Schein:

People joined communities, you would talk to anybody and they were a member of three

Michael Schein:

or four clubs, the Elks Clubs, The Rotary Club, the, this the, that they were in.

Michael Schein:

I just read a short story.

Michael Schein:

I was reading an old science fiction, short story from the fifties and all the

Michael Schein:

people he knew he was in a chess club.

Michael Schein:

He was in a book club.

Michael Schein:

He was into this.

Michael Schein:

And I think honestly with the baby boomers, who are, for all the

Michael Schein:

talk of peace and love, are very individualistic as a whole, and about

Michael Schein:

personal fulfillment, those joining groups dissolved, it was more about

Michael Schein:

what can I do to maximize my own, meanness my fulfillment, right?

Michael Schein:

And that's not all bad.

Michael Schein:

I mean that people went on spiritual journeys, all kinds of things,

Michael Schein:

but I think we're in a new cycle.

Michael Schein:

I think they're going to be new societies and new technologies.

Michael Schein:

But, this generation didn't grow up the way the baby boomers grew up.

Michael Schein:

They didn't grow up the way gen X grew up.

Michael Schein:

They, Millennials and Gen Z.

Michael Schein:

I also think that the last 10 years have been hard and they may

Michael Schein:

get harder before they get better.

Michael Schein:

we've had a massive pandemic.

Michael Schein:

We've had Wars, they didn't hit home, but they were wars, nevertheless,

Michael Schein:

we've had two financial collapses.

Michael Schein:

And so I think.

Michael Schein:

I think this is what's behind the Great Resignation.

Michael Schein:

I don't think it's so much that people are not wanting to go back to work.

Michael Schein:

I think they're looking at their lives before the pandemic that they were

Michael Schein:

sleep walking through and looking what happened since and what they

Michael Schein:

were able to do with technology and without technology and saying, I'm

Michael Schein:

not so sure I want to go back to that.

Michael Schein:

So I think people are looking to join again.

Michael Schein:

People are looking for solidarity, especially because of how lonely

Michael Schein:

everyone was during that pandemic.

Michael Schein:

I think now that we're able to meet again, some of it's going to happen online,

Michael Schein:

some of it's going to happen offline.

Michael Schein:

I think most of it's going to be a hybrid, but I expect to see my prediction is

Michael Schein:

we're going to see a new era of joining and I think it's already starting.

Michael Schein:

And I think that's a good thing.

Michael Schein:

I don't think that has to be like, oh, the sheep are walking off the cliff.

Michael Schein:

I think there's something too being part of a group with mutually

Michael Schein:

shared values and interest.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Because, and that's how people, as you said, people help

David Shriner-Cahn:

one another through these groups.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Yeah.

David Shriner-Cahn:

So go going back to your group.

David Shriner-Cahn:

what is it that you offer that's easy and valuable for you to offer that's good

David Shriner-Cahn:

for the members of your secret society.

Michael Schein:

Part of it without getting too much into the detail,

Michael Schein:

because that would defeat the purpose.

Michael Schein:

But part of it is that we tried to select people and continue to select

Michael Schein:

people that are some combination of really imaginative, almost artistic

Michael Schein:

and in some cases, truly artistic and also very commercially minded in terms

Michael Schein:

of that, that they're builders, right?

Michael Schein:

They're not, so it's not just all art for art's sake and it's not all just

Michael Schein:

let's trade leads and, do business.

Michael Schein:

But it's those people who were out there really imagining

Michael Schein:

things and making them happen.

Michael Schein:

And we've really picked and chose people and we continue to that go together.

Michael Schein:

Now, I think I may have mentioned on this show before, I've spent many

Michael Schein:

years exploring interests that have nothing to do with my core business.

Michael Schein:

So for years, I was really interested in this movement, and continued to be

Michael Schein:

of something called Immersive Theater.

Michael Schein:

And I, I never felt that it really, hit its full potential, but there's

Michael Schein:

this thing called Sleep No More.

Michael Schein:

It's this site specific theater I'm really interested in immersive

Michael Schein:

entertainment of various sorts.

Michael Schein:

Obviously I'm interested in storytelling.

Michael Schein:

I still hit write fiction and theatricality.

Michael Schein:

So there's elements of all that we're really trying to create

Michael Schein:

experiences for people so that you don't just show up around a table.

Michael Schein:

As I've said a lot of time.

Michael Schein:

Talk about what you need from a business perspective that you come to

Michael Schein:

the group and have a real experience.

Michael Schein:

And that's not done in a way that, costs a hundred thousand dollars every time.

Michael Schein:

In fact, all of the members chip in, in various ways.

Michael Schein:

But, just like when you went to, a Freemasons meeting, everyone was

Michael Schein:

wearing an apron and doing different degrees and saying things in Latin,

Michael Schein:

but ultimately there was no agenda.

Michael Schein:

It was a drinking club.

Michael Schein:

But a drinking club that had a big networking component,

Michael Schein:

it cost money to get in.

Michael Schein:

It was very selective, but people came for the experience.

Michael Schein:

The floor was always a checker board.

Michael Schein:

So I would say we're trying or have created something a little bit like that.

Michael Schein:

where the ,people involved and the experience when you get

Michael Schein:

there is what it's all about.

Michael Schein:

Now, there are things, I mean, there are, there are recommendations of

Michael Schein:

books and media there's expo, there's connections to, if you're trying to

Michael Schein:

promote something, there's connections to other people that can help you promote it.

Michael Schein:

We're trying to pull strings for each other.

Michael Schein:

In fact, we were thinking of calling it the, international back scratcher society.

Michael Schein:

But we, we abandoned that idea.

Michael Schein:

Does that answer your question?

Michael Schein:

I'm speaking around the subject because I don't want to, I'm trying

Michael Schein:

to in the spirit of secret society.

David Shriner-Cahn:

No, I I get that and I, yeah, it describes it enough.

David Shriner-Cahn:

How long ago did you invite the first people in.

Michael Schein:

Only about six months, it really is something that we started

Michael Schein:

cheap and dirty, which we were able to do.

Michael Schein:

Because like you said, there's the internet and we're really

Michael Schein:

relying on the people in the group.

Michael Schein:

So it's not about, Mike Schein has to create a production every week.

Michael Schein:

It's Hey, this is a group of people who have chosen to be together.

Michael Schein:

Here are the guidelines and the rules.

Michael Schein:

And as a result, we all help co-create it.

Michael Schein:

So I guess that's another point.

Michael Schein:

If you want to create a secret society, if you like this strategy, what I would

Michael Schein:

say is come up with the rules of the game.

Michael Schein:

So in other words, the frame is the most important part of the picture.

Michael Schein:

Restrictions create creativity.

Michael Schein:

So what do you want your group to be like, and get imaginative.

Michael Schein:

Do people have to, when they come to the door, do they have to not

Michael Schein:

disclose their true identity?

Michael Schein:

If so, why?

Michael Schein:

Just for fun.

Michael Schein:

Would that defeat the purpose?

Michael Schein:

Is there a way to make that work and still have it be productive?

Michael Schein:

I don't know.

Michael Schein:

come up with almost at 10 commandments for what your group is, and you'll

Michael Schein:

see this with a lot of these, a lot of old art movements, like the

Michael Schein:

Surrealists or the Dada movement, they were almost like secret societies.

Michael Schein:

And they always had to manifesto and business uses manifesto a lot, but

Michael Schein:

they were creating real manifestos.

Michael Schein:

They would be like art cannot, be representative.

Michael Schein:

Representation in art is obsolete.

Michael Schein:

you can do a lot with within that, but it also tells you what

Michael Schein:

you are and what you're not.

David Shriner-Cahn:

And I think what you're not is probably just

David Shriner-Cahn:

as important as what you are

Michael Schein:

probably the most important.

Michael Schein:

Yeah.

Michael Schein:

Yeah.

David Shriner-Cahn:

What kinds of results have you seen?

David Shriner-Cahn:

I know it's fairly early on six months.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Isn't a huge amount of time, but what's happened so far?

Michael Schein:

I was always a big quote unquote networker.

Michael Schein:

Which is why I wrote that chapter in the book, but I would see after mastering

Michael Schein:

the traditional networking thing, I realized the flaws with it very quickly,

Michael Schein:

and this has been going on for years.

Michael Schein:

So the basic idea between behind networking is that you should go

Michael Schein:

around, there's a lot of good in this by the way, you should go

Michael Schein:

around and be out as much as you can.

Michael Schein:

So have as many coffees as you can, go to cocktail events, go to

Michael Schein:

networking events, join masterminds, join BNI, And what you then should

Michael Schein:

do is look for opportunities to make connections and make introductions.

Michael Schein:

And if you do that enough, what people say, which I don't believe is that

Michael Schein:

the universe will return it to you.

Michael Schein:

that's obviously, unless you're, Rhonda Byrne with The Secret, that obviously

Michael Schein:

isn't what happens is people feel a sense of reciprocity and over time they're

Michael Schein:

going to want to help you out in return.

Michael Schein:

There's a lot of value in all of that.

Michael Schein:

The problem with it, however, is that everyone gets the game now.

Michael Schein:

You'll often get people.

Michael Schein:

And I don't know if you've experienced this David, where someone will call

Michael Schein:

you up on the phone for one of these networking things and almost like a

Michael Schein:

script of like, how can I help you?

Michael Schein:

What can I do for you?

Michael Schein:

How can I serve you?

Michael Schein:

And then the next day you'll get five introductions and it's

Michael Schein:

like a chore, cuz you don't really want to meet these people.

Michael Schein:

But it's like how the game is played.

Michael Schein:

So then you give them three introductions.

Michael Schein:

What we've done is tried to create an environment where help

Michael Schein:

is given where help is needed.

Michael Schein:

so Ryan Holiday, James Altucher, Tim Ferris, these

Michael Schein:

guys are friends, good friends.

Michael Schein:

So when one of them has a book, the other, people will promote the

Michael Schein:

book, Because they have this club.

Michael Schein:

So yeah.

Michael Schein:

so far people have opened their ears to what people have

Michael Schein:

needed in a very real way.

Michael Schein:

And I've helped them.

Michael Schein:

I started a new line of business, which is very connected to my, my, my core

Michael Schein:

business, which we can talk about.

Michael Schein:

And I think, typically it would've taken years to get it off the ground, but I

Michael Schein:

think largely because of my group, I got introductions, which led to business

Michael Schein:

very quickly and things like that.

Michael Schein:

I think a, another lesson here is that, even if you just take from this,

Michael Schein:

the typical networking stuff, it's very important to surround yourself

Michael Schein:

with the right level of people.

Michael Schein:

And I don't mean that in a put down kind of way, but like when I was

Michael Schein:

first using some of these strategies, I was naturally very good at it.

Michael Schein:

So I was part of a group called network that I think I met you through years ago.

Michael Schein:

And it's a wonderful group, it's kinda like BNI for business to business, but the

Michael Schein:

people were all like, I was at the time pretty well half successful entrepreneurs,

Michael Schein:

but usually just one or two people, some weren't, some were struggling.

Michael Schein:

And so I would get people really excited and do the favors and do the intro.

Michael Schein:

and then they would be chomping at the bit to make introductions to me.

Michael Schein:

And when I got there and I would quote my prices, which are a fraction of what

Michael Schein:

they are now, people would go green.

Michael Schein:

it seemed very expensive to them.

Michael Schein:

and I said to myself, what am I doing wrong?

Michael Schein:

And then I was accidentally at a producer's Guild event, which I was

Michael Schein:

invited to by a friend to live tweet by Blaine Graboyes who we both know..

Michael Schein:

And, it cost $5,000 to get in, but I got in for free and I, no one knew that.

Michael Schein:

So I was there and I was leaning against a table charging my phone

Michael Schein:

and a woman started to talk to me.

Michael Schein:

One thing led to another, she became a client and I quoted her

Michael Schein:

my fee and it was like nothing.

Michael Schein:

And I said to myself, this is the problem.

Michael Schein:

I'm not, I'm doing this thing, but I'm doing it with people.

Michael Schein:

Who are at the same level as me.

Michael Schein:

And I don't mean that morally or as friends.

Michael Schein:

in terms of the fact that they couldn't pay $5,000 to get into an event.

Michael Schein:

So I think one of the things that this has done for me, because we've

Michael Schein:

been so selective with it, is that.

Michael Schein:

The water we're swimming of is a very, is the kind of

Michael Schein:

people who can get things done.

Michael Schein:

so when you help someone out in this circle and provide a good experience

Michael Schein:

for them and, as will inevitably happen, they want to help you.

Michael Schein:

The kind of help they can give is pretty top notch.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Yeah.

David Shriner-Cahn:

No, it sounds like you've done a phenomenal job at, employing

David Shriner-Cahn:

one of your own strategies.

David Shriner-Cahn:

So congratulations on what you've built with your secret society before

David Shriner-Cahn:

we close out, can you just, maybe talk a little bit about who your ideal

David Shriner-Cahn:

client is and what you do for them now?

Michael Schein:

Yeah, I'll tell you about this new group of clients that we've

Michael Schein:

been working with, that has been the most exciting thing I've done in years.

Michael Schein:

So it's really interesting, like most things that I've done in my life,

Michael Schein:

anxiety and, seeing things the wrong way led to a benefit and something good.

Michael Schein:

I had this client called PopUp and I bring up their name, becuase they're

Michael Schein:

a fantastic company and best client I've had in the last five years.

Michael Schein:

And forgiveness to all my other clients had a lot of great clients,

Michael Schein:

but what made them so great is they checked all the boxes.

Michael Schein:

So they were a funded tech startup.

Michael Schein:

So not funded the way some people say they're funded, like they're

Michael Schein:

tapping into their old legacy business to fund their new business,

Michael Schein:

but the business doesn't have legs.

Michael Schein:

They were funded by a venture capital company because they believed that

Michael Schein:

much in the company and they had the fundamentals really good product.

Michael Schein:

A whole team to help with things the people showed up every week, because

Michael Schein:

what we do now is we, the, our clients have to really play a very proactive

Michael Schein:

role in hyping themselves up because we find that when people have skin in

Michael Schein:

the game and we give them the ideas and the frameworks and the blueprints and

Michael Schein:

all of that, and not the blueprints, but the tools when they get involved,

Michael Schein:

they, it just gets woven into their DNA.

Michael Schein:

They would do more work than we would ask 'em to do their

Michael Schein:

results were through the roof.

Michael Schein:

They were getting all kinds of attention.

Michael Schein:

They would take what we built for them and multiply it.

Michael Schein:

And then one day after about six and they told me every week, how happy

Michael Schein:

they were, And, But one day after six months, they wrote me an email that said,

Michael Schein:

Hey, we love you, but we're finished working with you, at least for now.

Michael Schein:

and I was like, what do you mean finish working with me?

Michael Schein:

This is my best client.

Michael Schein:

They love me.

Michael Schein:

I don't get it right.

Michael Schein:

So I got on the line with them and they said, Mike, everything we said is true.

Michael Schein:

We're not finished working with you because we don't like you we're finished

Michael Schein:

because we, you did, we made it happen.

Michael Schein:

And we want one more thing from you.

Michael Schein:

We want everyone in our organization and everyone attached to our organization

Michael Schein:

to have, marching orders for hyping ourselves up the way we've learned how to.

Michael Schein:

So what we did is we created a hype guide, a personalized guide that

Michael Schein:

codified every experiment that we did for them that worked every hype

Michael Schein:

strategy that we cracked the code to.

Michael Schein:

We put it in a big fat document, that they use now.

Michael Schein:

And they're just growing and growing and growing.

Michael Schein:

So I decided.

Michael Schein:

there were all these companies out there.

Michael Schein:

so it turns out that tech startups are all thinking about

Michael Schein:

how can they hype themselves up.

Michael Schein:

They use that word and they want to do it ethically.

Michael Schein:

They want to make sure the product is good, but they get frustrated that the

Michael Schein:

companies with all the hype have 300 million valuations and they have a 5

Michael Schein:

million valuation and there's a science to hyping something up and doing it

Michael Schein:

ethically, as long as the product is good.

Michael Schein:

And what they're doing to solve the problem is, they're hiring

Michael Schein:

branding firms, branding agencies to do a brand book, and they think

Michael Schein:

that's going to help with the hype.

Michael Schein:

And it helps.

Michael Schein:

You need a logo.

Michael Schein:

You need color.

Michael Schein:

But it's not solving the problem and they're spending a lot of money on that.

Michael Schein:

So what we've decided to do is work with tech startups to do what we

Michael Schein:

did for PopUp to, instead of them having to go to a branding agency,

Michael Schein:

we're saying, look, we're going to spend X number of months with you.

Michael Schein:

Work with you to systematically figure out based on mass psychology, we know works.

Michael Schein:

What hype strategies, will work in your world, do small experiments to

Michael Schein:

make sure they work, make them very specific for your world, get a result.

Michael Schein:

And then as soon as we know what the formula is for hyping yourself up in

Michael Schein:

a certain way, on some aspect, codify it, document it and do that a couple

Michael Schein:

of times until we have the formula.

Michael Schein:

And, it's like what a brand book is, but actually for the thing that they want.

Michael Schein:

So in some ways I think it's the best work that we've ever done because the,

Michael Schein:

these funded tech startups what's so wonderful about them is that they have

Michael Schein:

all the pieces in place, their product is, if it's not already amazing,

Michael Schein:

the fundamentals are so strong that they got someone to invest in them.

Michael Schein:

They're doing really forward thinking, cool cutting edge work, and they're

Michael Schein:

hard workers and open minded.

Michael Schein:

The only thing they don't always have is this systematic knowledge

Michael Schein:

of how to generate a huge amount of attention and emotion.

Michael Schein:

And we really like what, why I love doing it is I'd much rather see these

Michael Schein:

great companies doing that than quite frankly, Adam Neumann from WeWork or

Michael Schein:

the guy from Uber who also have good products, but who are egomaniacs and,

Michael Schein:

honestly they give a bad name to hype because you can really generate that kind

Michael Schein:

of emotion and attention without being unethical and without being an egomaniac.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Well said, Thank you for explaining that and congratulations

David Shriner-Cahn:

on what you've done with your book, where things are with you and your business.

David Shriner-Cahn:

If somebody wants to go deeper with anything we've discussed or access

David Shriner-Cahn:

any particular resources, get a copy of your book, where would

David Shriner-Cahn:

be the best place for them to go.

Michael Schein:

If you do read, The Hype Handbook, or go through

Michael Schein:

it, that's an encapsulation of a decade plus worth of this work.

Michael Schein:

So it may turn out that you read the book and you never have to

Michael Schein:

work with me or someone like me.

Michael Schein:

Because I, I hope I wrote a really good book and people have, seemed to think so.

Michael Schein:

And it's just a good way to get a feel for what I do and my ideas.

Michael Schein:

And all the information about my business is in there.

Michael Schein:

If you want to go further, but if you want to go directly to my

Michael Schein:

business, it's, microfamemedia.com, M I C R O F A M E M E D I A .com.

Michael Schein:

We just redesigned the site and I'm really happy about what we did with it.

Michael Schein:

Yeah, all of our contact information is there and I'd be happy to talk

Michael Schein:

to you, whether it's about possibly working with us or just trading some.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Mike, I want to thank you so much for coming back on

David Shriner-Cahn:

another episode of Smashing the Plateau.

David Shriner-Cahn:

It is always great to hear what you're up to.

David Shriner-Cahn:

My guest today has been head hype artist with MicroFame Media, Michael F.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Schein.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Thank you, Michael, for joining us.

Michael Schein:

Thank you, David.

David Shriner-Cahn:

When you visit the Smashing the Plateau website at

David Shriner-Cahn:

smashingtheplateau.com, you'll find a summary of each episode, along with

David Shriner-Cahn:

the links we mentioned on the show.

David Shriner-Cahn:

On today's episode with Michael Schein, we learned one of the success secrets used

David Shriner-Cahn:

by the world's greatest self promoters.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Are you building a community?

David Shriner-Cahn:

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David Shriner-Cahn:

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David Shriner-Cahn:

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David Shriner-Cahn:

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David Shriner-Cahn:

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David Shriner-Cahn:

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David Shriner-Cahn:

That's smashingtheplateau.com/circle.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I'm David Shriner-Cahn, thank you for taking the time to listen to our show.

About the author, David Shriner-Cahn

Host of the podcasts Smashing the Plateau and Going Solo, David guides solopreneurs selling knowledge and creativity to build profitability and sustainability in their businesses.

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