TAC Michael | Referable Brand

Access To Anyone: How To Create A Referable Brand with Michael Roderick

TAC Michael | Referable Brand


There are different kinds of conversations. With that, there are relevant ideas for specific topics. How do you share ideas that could be useful for other people? How could you make a difference and make an impact on their lives? Join Robin Colucci in this conversation with Michael Roderick on how to create referable brands. Michael is the CEO of Small Pond Enterprises, which helps thoughtful givers become thought leaders by making their brands referable, their messaging memorable, and their ideas unforgettable. He shares his professional journey and how to better communicate with people and influence them with our ideas. Don’t miss this episode to learn how to develop incredible ideas, deliver them, and grow your business in the industry you’re in.

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Access To Anyone: How To Create A Referable Brand with Michael Roderick

Of all the books, sales strategies, word of mouth is still the most reliable and powerful way for a book to build momentum and become a massive bestseller. I have invited an expert who is going to share with us some powerful strategies you can use to get people talking about you, your brand and what you offer, including your book. I’m happy to introduce to you Michael Roderick, who is the CEO of Small Pond Enterprises, which helps thoughtful givers become thought leaders by making their brands referrable, their messaging memorable, and their ideas unforgettable.

His frameworks have been featured in Forbes, Business Insider and popular podcasts like The Art of Charm and The Unmistakable Creative. Michael is also the host of the podcast Access to Anyone, which shows how you can get to know anyone you want to in business and life using the latest technology as well as time-tested principles. He is also a published playwright and the author of the Last Hour of the Day, a workbook built off of a tweet campaign where he challenged his followers to do something at the last hour of their day and reflect on their experiences.

In this episode, you will find surprising strategies on how to create a referrable brand including how a referrable brand raises the status of the one doing the referring. Which rooms to show up to if you want to get noticed and stand out among the crowd, and how to get people talking about you saying good things when you are not in the room. There are loads of value here for you. I hope you enjoy it.

Michael, welcome to the show.

Thanks so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.

I’m so excited to have you. First of all, you have such an amazing and interesting background and we were talking about how it led up to developing some of these incredibly powerful ideas around creating a referral brand. I wondered if you would be willing to share with our readers at least a Reader’s Digest version of the path to this awareness because it’s very interesting.

If you want people to understand your concept, give them an anchor in what they already know and what they already recognize. Share on X

Thank you, I appreciate that. A Reader’s Digest version is a good way to think about it because I have lived about seventeen different lives at this point. I started as a high school English Teacher and I went from being a high school English Teacher to becoming a Broadway Producer in under two years. There was a lot of curiosity around that. I had a lot of people asking me how I had moved so quickly. At the time, I was getting my Master’s in Educational Theatre at NYU.

One of the things that I had learned about was if you do simulations, if you have people act out scenarios, in many cases, they act out exactly how they normally would in real life. I started hosting these workshops where I would simulate one-on-one meetings, job interviews and cocktail parties. I noticed a lot of patterns in terms of how these people interacted. Based on those patterns, I started to develop all of these relationship-building frameworks and started to teach those. The next thing I knew, people were introducing me to people. They were inviting me to speak about things. They are having me on podcasts.

All these things were happening when I would share these frameworks and when I started teaching all of this stuff. I became well-known in that whole connector space. I started a podcast that I still run called Access to Anyone, where we talked about relationship-building, what are the best ways to do that and everything. About 4 or 5 years back, I noticed that the relationship-building space was becoming very sketchy. There were a lot of people trying to sell people on this idea that they could teach you how to meet famous people and meeting famous people was your key to being rich. I didn’t want to be associated with that market.

I didn’t want to be seen as, “This is another guy who’s going to be teaching networking.” I took a moment. I asked myself, “Let’s get rid of all of the teachings, all of the different things that are out there. What still got me into all of the rooms that I get into?” I realized it was because people would talk about me when I wasn’t in the room in a good way. I started to say like, “I wonder if there is something to this.”

TAC Michael | Referable Brand
Referable Brand: The biggest thing you always need to think about is how to make sure that your idea makes other people look good and interesting, so they want to share it.


I was doing one of my workshops and I decided to take about fifteen minutes on a theory that I had. I said to this group, “I have a theory that if you can create a referral brand for yourself, if you are able to make it so that other people are talking about your ideas when you are not there, then there is a very good chance that you will not need to do a lot of the traditional outreach networking stuff that everybody has to go through because people will want to introduce you to other people. They will want to show you off to their friends.”

I’ve got to the end of this workshop. I taught two days of some of my best stuff. When I asked everybody, “What do you want your hot seats to be on?” every single person wanted their hot seats to be on creating a referral brand. I said, “This is what people want. This is where it land. Why not go back to my framework-building process and develop frameworks around referability?” and that’s what led me to the work that I do now.

I want to highlight for our readers that this is key to the author success in so many ways. One of the first that occurs to me is that regardless of what the trends are and that common goal as it relates to how to sell more books, the one that everyone knows that works every time is someone referring your book to a friend that trusts them. The word of mouth is the best way to sell books. Creating a referrable brand with your book is a huge piece.

It’s one of those things that it is so easy for us to get into this place of thinking we’ve got to use all of the tactics like, “I’ve got to do this on social media, I’ve got to use these apps, I’ve got to do all of the things,” when if we focus on, “Why would anybody else talk about this?” We can get past a lot of that stuff. We can still use those tools and those tools are very effective but we are not going to feel like we are throwing things at the wall and trying to see what sticks, which is what happens a lot when we are saying, “How do I get my idea out there?” That’s one of the biggest questions that people ask.

The biggest thing that you always need to think about is how do I make sure that my idea makes other people look good and look interesting so they want to share it? They are excited to share it because they look cool and interesting. It’s so funny because it ties exactly into all the relationship-building principles. If you want to build great relationships, you think about, “What does the other person wants and looking for.” As the writer, you want to think, “How does this idea make somebody else look great and look like they’ve got new ideas and new concepts?” That’s why they are going to share it.

Can you give us an example of a time that you have seen this work well either for yourself, any of your clients or anybody that you have taught?

There are lots of instances in which this happens where people start talking about a particular concept. I teach a class for people who are interested in writing specifically. I have written a daily email for a very long time. People always ask me, “How do you write daily and then write in such a way that people read it and follow the stuff?” I was doing this class and I was talking about this aspect of what I call an anchor, where if you want people to understand your concept, you’ve got to give them anchor in what they already know and recognize.

We had this discussion and we started talking about this idea. We’ve got into this aspect of personal experience and how personal experience bond’s us to other people. One of the women in the group who works with women business owners told us the story about how her mother used to always eat the broken cookies. The reason was she wanted to make sure that the kids got the full cookies and that they’ve got everything else. She started talking it through him and as we were talking, it was like, “This does apply to how a woman business owner thinks about their value and all of these different types of things. If you are teaching them about value-based pricing and all of these different types of things, this concept could be the anchor.”

She went out there and started talking about the broken cookie effect. The next thing she knew, she was getting lots of people who are reaching out to her, asking her about it and wanting her to speak about it because she took this thing that for many people is often amorphous. It’s like, “What is business growth? How do we think about our finances and all these things?” She brought it down to this very simple concept and it has taken off, and she has been doing all cool things with it.

That makes sense because it’s connecting to something that her ideal reader/client is very familiar with at some of those behavioral tendencies that maternally-oriented women tend to have and giving that vivid metaphor is so easy to wrap your head around and grasp. I remember the first time you said getting people to talk about you when you are not in the room, this is generally something people try to avoid. What are some of the characteristics of a brand that would trigger that reaction? Obviously, connecting to something that the audience is already hip to. What are some other characteristics that would make somebody talk about you in a good way behind your back?

The first one is this aspect of accessibility. One of the things that we often forget is that we share things because we feel confident enough to share that. We feel like we can explain it clearly so we are not worried about how we are going to look when we explain it but we don’t quite understand something or we feel back and forth about it. We are less likely to share it even if it’s better than something else. For us, we don’t want to look like we don’t know what we are talking about.

The mistake that I often see is that we forget about that aspect of making sure that if somebody were to carry this idea and share it with somebody else, they are not going to be stumbling all over it and trying to figure out, “How many steps is it? What’s the process?” All of these different types of things that I think are the biggest mistake that I see that’s made at the very beginning. If you want to think about this as a hurdle, accessibility is always your first hurdle because you are always too close to your idea. I myself, need people outside of my circle to look at what I’m saying and say, “Mike, I know that you get it but I have no idea what you are talking about.” We all need that.

Go where you're awesome, not where you're ordinary. Share on X

That is such a big deal with authors. The people that we work with are legitimate high-level experts in their field and they are generally used to talking to their peers. There’s this peer-to-peer communication where we all know what we are talking about. We all understand the background of this very specific point of Molecular Biology or whatever it may be.

We are trying to translate that to a mass-market message. If you are going to set your reader loose to excitedly want to share about what they have read, how do you make it simple enough that they could not only share it reasonably accurately but, “I think what you are describing is,” and get someone else excited about it.

The trick there is this aspect of when you share it, it’s useful. It’s something that you are like, “I could use this in my own life. This will make me look better if I use or explain this to other people.” We’ve first got to figure out, “How do I make sure that people access it?” They understand and get it but then the second part is, “How do we make it so that they are going to want to share it?” That ties to this aspect of influence. A lot of the time, we think about influence in the context of persuasion. We think, “How do I get somebody to do something,” but we are not influential unless somebody does something without us asking them to.

TAC Michael | Referable Brand
Referable Brand: We often think about influence in the context of persuasion, but we’re not influential unless somebody does something without us asking them to.


We have to think for ourselves, we say, “Why would somebody share us or share something of ours without us asking them to?” They would do it because it makes them look better, look interesting, it helps and supports them. We always want to think about, “How does my idea help somebody so much that then they go and they tell that idea to somebody else because they are like, “I want to share this with you. I want to be able to help you.”

I call this a magic trick. If we have ever been to a party and you have seen a magician, magicians almost always have one trick that they can show you exactly how they did the trick. They will show you, “This is how I made the salt shaker go through the table or this is how I made the card disappear behind my hand.” The thing that you are most naturally going to do is learn that trick and the next time you are at a party, you want to show people that trick, that cool thing. We come up with these magic tricks, with these things that people would think can then use in front of other people and then they were like, “That’s so interesting.”

One of the ones that I do that gets shared all the time and this gets shared way back when I was still doing the relationship-building stuff is this concept I called the TCM Index. Every individual, no matter who you meet, has an index of time, connections and money. They care about those three things. They usually have one thing that they care about more at this moment in time than anything else. For some people, they are very money-focused, connection-focused and time-focused.

If you think about yourself in your own scenario, you have a TCM Index and you look at where your deficit is, the answer to solving your deficit is always in examining the other two things. If you have a deficit in money, it is directly tied to who you are connecting to and how you are spending your time. If you have a deficit and connections, it’s directly tied to where you are spending your time and how you are spending that money. Which rooms are you getting into as a result of that time and that investment?

If you have a deficit in your time, it is directly tied to, are you hiring people and spending money so that whatever is taking you a long time, is taking somebody else five minutes, then you get your time back? When I explain this, what happens? People go out. They mentioned this TCM concept to others. They say, “I never even thought about this but I totally deal with that. Why does it work?” It works because it’s completely accessible.

Every single one of us understands the idea of time, connections and money. There’s no ambiguity there. We totally get it but it’s this useful thing that’s going to help you figure out where you are and what you can do and it’s actionable. You can do something with it now. As a result, you are way more likely to share this particular concept than a lot of the other concepts that might end up getting shared. As a result, it’s far more likely that you are going to share this because it’s useful. It’s going to make you look good. More people are going to talk about it and want to share that with their friends.

The simplicity and being easy to explain but something else that strikes me about that particular magic trick that people share that’s yours is also the relevancy. That is so likely to come up as a relevant point in a conversation and so many different kinds of conversations. I could imagine that in a conversation about home life, work and relationships. That’s interesting because that has a lot of different contexts that could be a relevant thing to share.

That’s a major factor a lot of the time in how large an idea ends up growing. One of the things that are important to understand is that if there is only one industry or one place where the idea exists, if there’s only one area where we know or understand the idea, then it’s limited to that industry. Only that industry knows it and maybe 1 or 2 tangential industries will get it. If an idea ends up in multiple industries, it has crossover into lots of different industries. What ends up happening is it takes up a different place in our minds because now we have different reference points for it.

One of the best ways to see how this works in the world is to look at stars in Hollywood. One of my favorite examples is to take Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Vin Diesel. In essence, if we look at both of those actors on the surface, they are both action stars. That’s where we immediately equate them but Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tends to get far more opportunities and we tend to hear about him way more than Vin Diesel. We hear about Vin Diesel usually in the acting world of action movies and that’s about it, these days, in some memes. We don’t hear about him in any other industry, whereas, The Rock seems to be everywhere. Why is that?

The Rock is in all of these other industries. In our brains, it’s not just Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the action star, it’s the wrestler, the voice of Maui from Moana, the cheesy children’s comedies and an HBO series called Ballers. There are all of these different reference points for our brain. We see him and we recognize him from all of these other places so we are actually far more likely to have him be the one that we recall, think about and place at the top in terms of a star, then Vin Diesel is in only one category for us.

When we create something that taps into multiple industries, these industries use it. They can adapt to it and think about it. Now, when somebody sees that idea, they remember, “I didn’t only see that at that conference, I also saw that on TV. I also heard about that on that podcast,” all of these different channels.

The way that I like to think about it is Starbucks in New York. It is the undisputed winner of the coffee game regardless of all of the other coffee shops that are out there. Why are they the winner? They are the winner because they have the most real estate. Every street that you are on, there is a Starbucks somewhere, in some cases, directly across from each other. When we think about our own ideas, we want to think about, “How am I acquiring more than one piece of real estate?” Especially because most of the marketing things that are taught are to stay within this niche. Riches are in the niches and all of these different things.

You just expressed the traditional rebuttals of that, which is staying in your lane be known for one thing. You have just blown that up. You are going to have to say more about this. When I’m in New York, I have to make a concerted effort not to go to Starbucks because there are so many of them. No matter what neighborhood you are in and if you want to support those local coffee shops, which probably do have better coffee, you have to focus on it.

If we took that metaphor and expanded that to an end, there are some parallels there as well. Go a little deeper and help us buy into this idea. Somebody like me, I’m a little book coach. I don’t do anything else except writing comedy and stuff. Are you saying that somebody should promote lots of things that they do regardless of their core businesses because that would make them more memorable?

Every single person is on their journey, and we fit somewhere in that journey. It's up to us to figure out where. Share on X

What I think and what I have seen has worked really well is a concept that I refer to as, “Go where you are awesome, not where you are ordinary.” In your industry, everybody knows of you, they know what you are about and they are going to measure you against the other people within that industry who are doing something similar. You go to an industry that has never heard of what you do and you are the most fascinating person in the room.

The thing is we can niche and we can develop like, “This is where I want to be but a big idea needs to have that ability. I call it being Prometheus. It needs to have that ability to go into another industry and have somebody say like, “Could you do this for me? Can you help me with this idea or with this particular concept?”

I have watched this happen numerous times where somebody struggles. I refer to it as the highway lane type of problem. If there are multiple lanes on the highway and you are stuck behind one car, are you going to stay stuck behind that car or are you going to change lanes and cross around? We make this mistake in our careers all the time where we are like, “I’m in my lane. I’m doing my thing.” If you get stuck, you just keep pushing rather than saying, “Is there another place where this thing is going to take off and then I can always cross back into my other lane?”

It makes sense now that you are saying it that way. I had a very specific plan for my business where I was having a challenge finding the right client to connect to. I realized I was in the wrong lane and that I needed to actually up level who I was reaching out to. I started putting myself in different rooms that were more exclusive. I went from being seen as a regular book coach who charged three times more to be in a room of people who could recognize the added value that I was bringing. You are right. I’m not even marketing. I’m just being in the room and I have these wonderful connections that formed.

The thing that we often forget about is that every industry has both an understanding ceiling as well as an income ceiling.

Tell me about what these are.

TAC Michael | Referable Brand
Referable Brand: Every individual has an index of time, connections, and money. They have one thing they care about more at this moment in time than anything else.


An understanding ceiling is their grasp of what it is that you do. You go into an industry that’s completely outside of your circle, they don’t know half of the terms that you use so the ceiling is very low. You get to be the educator in that environment. Whereas in an environment where everybody already knows it, you don’t get to be the educator unless there’s some other way that you are presenting it and unless you’ve got your own little angle on the things that everybody is talking about. The thing is the understanding ceiling in your industry is super high. You are going to have to spend a lot of time figuring out how to be a better educator in an industry where everybody already knows the lingo. They know everything.

You go to one with a lower understanding ceiling, you can literally name one thing that is common knowledge to everybody else in the other industry. They are like, “You are a genius” What you are also pointing out with your own example is the income ceiling aspect. Every industry has a decision that they make about what is the ceiling on the income that I’m going to spend for somebody who’s going to provide a service for me.

If I go to the world of actors, writers, artists and I say I’m going to charge $1,000 for something, that is brutal. The income ceiling there is usually $100, $200, where it’s like, “I can squeeze that.” I take that same concept, that seems service, whatever it is. I go to somebody who runs a hedge fund and I say, “I can help you do this.” If you change the way that your company is positioned now, you are going to make ten times what you normally make. $100,000 is not even a blink of an eye.

I remember meeting a VC once who told me this story and this is one of my favorite stories about pricing. He said two optometrists are living in the same town. One optometrist is doing fantastic making boatloads of money and the other optometrist is dead broke. The second one comes to the first and says, “I do not understand. I do the exact same thing that you do. How in the world is it possible that I am struggling this much?” The first one says, “I’m going to do you a favor. I’m going to tell you exactly how I make my money.”

He’s like, “Please tell me.” He says, “Every time somebody comes into my office, I do the flinch test.” He’s like, “What’s the flinch test?” He says, “They come into the office and they say, ‘How much for an eye exam,’ I say $200. If they flinch, I say, ‘For you, I can probably make it $100 because you live in the area, maybe I can help you out,’ and I help them out. If somebody comes in the office, and they say, ‘How much for an eye exam,’ and I say $200, and they don’t flinch, I say, ‘For the left eye.’”

Aside from the ethical aspect of that, I get it.

It’s that same aspect of the perception of where somebody is and how they think about it. The other aspect that we often forget about is that when people are spending money, it is saying something about themselves and to themselves. We spend a lot on something because we want to feel like, “This is something I deserve so I’m going to spend more money on it.” If that thing is not the amount of money that we are expecting to pay, we sometimes question, whether or not it has a certain amount of value.

There’s such a thing as underpricing your service. Something else you said is true as well. I used to present at writers’ conferences and I wasn’t getting the people that were thinking bigger. I realize for somebody or for it to be actually to be worth it to invest in working with someone like me, the person needed to have more estate. They needed to have a bigger vision and they needed to be farther along in that vision for it to even make sense.

I love that idea of, if you are willing to get out of the lane you are in and look for another lane, it could very well be trying to lead you towards the people it’s more appropriate for you to serve based on your particular skillset. I was overpriced but I was also over-skilled for what those other people needed.

That’s the thing we sometimes forget is that every single person is actually on their journey and we fit somewhere in that journey. Sometimes they are not ready for us. Sometimes, they need us long before they do something else. It’s up to us to figure out where do we fit and does it really make sense? Going back to the ethical aspect of the conversation, we have an ethical responsibility in the coaching space to look at where somebody is and decide, “Am I the right fit for you for what you are trying to accomplish?”

I’m going to talk about someone who’s not in the room nicely. He is my former business coach, David Nagel who very wisely said, “Sales is not something you do to someone, it’s something you do for them.” A big part of what he called his compassionate conversion model is that it’s not your job to make the sale, it’s your job to help bring the person to a place of clarity, which concludes, whether or not this makes sense for them at this time. I found that to be so helpful because it removed all of my programmings about sales is slimy and snake oil. It takes all the pressure off because then you are just having a conversation from one person to another to figure out if does this makes sense to do or not.

It’s such an important way to think about that process. That’s such a great point.

Your stuff could be better than everybody else's stuff, but if somebody can remember somebody else's stuff faster, you lose. Share on X

I know you have more aspects to your model that we haven’t covered yet. Lead me, Michael, where do we go next to help our readers get more of the picture of what this looks like.

We have covered accessibility and we have talked about influence for a pretty good chunk of time but what we haven’t touched on is memory. Memory is one of the most important things for us to be thinking about and to be focused on because your stuff could be better than everybody else’s stuff but if somebody can remember somebody else’s stuff faster, you lose. That’s ultimately what it comes down to. If we are at the store and we’ve got to make a decision super quick, we buy whatever we remembered. That’s why brands hit a certain level.

TAC Michael | Referable Brand
Referable Brand: If an idea only exists within one industry, it’s going to survive just within that industry.


That’s why I have a grocery list. I invariably come home missing something because I forgot. This is also a key element of a bestselling book title is it has to be memorable. They have to be able to remember your title long enough to get to the store or to get online and buy it.

The way that I like to think about memory is if you want people to remember you more, you focus on less. That is language, emotion, simplicity and structure. I will start with language. If we have our own language for things, we are carving that piece of mental real estate. We all know people in our lives who use words that are new to us, and anytime we use those words, what do we do? We reference those words back. We start to talk about those words. One of the examples that I often use is Shakespeare. Everybody studies Shakespeare and knows Shakespeare. Shakespeare has a massive brand.

When you look at one of the core reasons why so many of us know who Shakespeare is, it’s because there are a ton of words in the dictionary now that were not there before Shakespeare. Shakespeare coined a whole bunch of new words. As a result, people were running around using those words. I read something that you are the first to hear.

This is the first show where I’m talking about this. I was fascinated by it and it’s another fantastic example of language. Macbeth is considered the Scottish play, the cursed play. There’s all of this stuff around the play Macbeth. One of the questions that people ask is, “Why does this play feel so creepy in comparison to all of these other plays?” There is no Shakespeare play that you would be worried about reading with the lights off.

You couldn’t say it out loud in the theater without cursing the whole production. Never mind a Shakespeare play, there’s no other play. You can’t say the name of it when you are in the theater.

The thing is some data scientists decided to study the words in Shakespearean plays and the frequency of those words. What they discovered specifically about Macbeth was that the word “the” is used far more than most of the other Shakespearean plays. Just a little article but here’s where it gets super freaky. There are all sorts of different lines but think about, “It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman of the night.”

Think about the fact it wasn’t an owl, it was the owl. All of a sudden, the owl is so much more ominous. It’s as if we knew it, it’s as if it was there. If you start to look at so many of the phrases and you start to look at the fact that “the” turns it into this foreboding type of thing, now we realized, “This is why we are so freaked out by it.”

It’s such a perfect example. People ask me all the time like, “If I can’t come up with my own words for things, am I just stuck on this language thing?” No. If you can’t come up with your own words for things, you can do this type of thing where you play around with what if you decided to take an article and turn it in the instead and see how does that change the language. Has it changed? People then will think about it in that way. When I was doing my daily writing, one of the very popular things was I would always refer to Facebook as the book of faces. As a result, everybody is commenting and talking about it and be like, “I love that.” All I did was reverse the words.

I know that we’ve got limited time but I’m going through the rest of them so that you can hear what each one is. The next is emotion. Emotion solidifies memory. It’s proven biologically that we are in a heightened emotional state, we will remember details more because our primitive brain needed to do that to make sure we didn’t die. When we would go past a tree and get attacked by something, we need to know where that tree was. When we are in a heightened state of emotion, our brain becomes like a sponge. If in our work, we caused a heightened sense of emotion, people will remember all of the details after.

An example I always use that is the easiest for this is ask anybody what the opening scenes are of the film Titanic, nobody can tell you. Ask anybody what comes to mind, what image pops into their head when I say, “I will never let go?” Everybody was there because they were experiencing that emotional moment in the film.

The next is simplicity. This ties back to a lot of what we were talking about. Academics always reward complexity were rewarded for the big words, for writing the big papers and for sounding complex but the memory rewards simplicity because we can only handle so much. Going back to your grocery list example, you forget things on the grocery list, usually, because there are too many things on the grocery list. It’s like, “I know that there are a bunch of things so I’m going to write this list down.” You are like, “I forgot this.” It’s too much for your brain to carry.

If you want people to remember you more, focus on less. Share on X

The simpler we make something and we say, “Here’s the concept,” the easier it’s going to be to carry the idea. There’s a reason why TCM is three letters and not 32. The final piece of this is structure because our brains need structure to be able to process information. We don’t read a book by starting in the middle and bouncing back and forth unless we are reading one of those Choose Your Own Adventure. Ultimately, we need to have a process to process that information.

If we give people a structure, then they know what comes next. I liked to put it as the agenda of fact. When I taught high school, one of the best ways I was able to get kids to do what they needed to do was to write an agenda on the board and be like, “This is going to happen in five minutes. This is going to happen in fifteen minutes.” Your audience is the same way. If they feel like they don’t know what’s coming next, they worry about, whether or not how much more time that they have to listen or read.

The second that you give them a structure, they know when they are at the end. Just like everybody listening knows that I have covered language, emotion, simplicity and structure, they know that this is the end. They know that I have accessibility, influence and memories. They know that the last piece is memory, which is language, emotion, simplicity and structure so you know that you are at the end.

TAC Michael | Referable Brand
Referable Brand: Emotion solidifies memory. When we’re in a heightened emotional state, we remember details more because our primitive brain needs to do that to make sure we don’t die.


I want to throw in before we wrap up because this is so close. This less model applies to book writing completely. Clear language, engaging the emotions and having simplicity because the genius is the one who can take a complex idea and make it sound simple. The structure is so vital to make sure the readers feel like you’ve got them. You are going to take them on a journey, you know where you are going and they are going to trust you to lead them there. This is terrific. There is so much we can apply to authorship. Thank you so much, Michael, for your time.

Thank you so much for having me. I had an absolute blast.

Maybe we will have you again sometime. Who knows?

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About Michael Roderick

TAC Michael | Referable BrandMichael Roderick is the CEO of Small Pond Enterprises which helps thoughtful givers become thought leaders by making their brands referable, their messaging memorable, and their ideas unforgettable. His frameworks have been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, and popular podcasts like The Art of Charm and Unmistakable Creative. Michael is also the host of the podcast Access to Anyone which shows how you can get to know anyone you want in business and in life using the latest technology and time tested principals.

Michael began his career in education teaching High School English before breaking into the world of Broadway producing. He made this transition in less than two years prompting colleagues to ask him how he did it. This led to Michael creating a series of experiential workshops to study the dynamics behind relationship building and messaging.

His discoveries led him to create frameworks that landed him a position in a NYC tech startup in business development, founding a popular conference for Connectors called ConnectorCon and building a consulting business teaching how people who were great at giving to others could package their ideas in a way that led to their content being shared and attracting the types of relationships that could move their careers faster. In addition to this, he founded Relationship Adventure Day, a networking event combined with a scavenger hunt set in New York City.

Now Michael speaks and consults on how individuals and companies can create Referable Brands for themselves so they can be top of mind for partnership, media opportunities, and more.

Michael is also a published playwright and the author of “Last Hour of The Day” a workbook built off a tweet campaign where he challenged his followers to do something at the last hour of their day and reflect on their experiences.

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