On episode 352 of The Solopreneur Hour with Michael O'Neal we have fan mail on the friction circle and how to land influencers on your podcast.Greetings and welcome to The Solopreneur Hour’s weekly Q&A edition.

Today’s questions were fielded from our Proudly Unemployable group on Facebook, The Twitter and Instagram.

On episode 352 we learn about how to price your wares, what the friction circle is, and how to land interviews with influencers, if you have a podcast. All of that and more coming right up!

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Brad Brown
Q: Hey Michael O’Neal! Hope you’re doing well mate. I wanted to bounce something off you and the rest of the soloists here. I popped a question to you for one of your Q&A shows a month or so ago about a side project I’ve been working on. The good news the website and podcast officially went live today. I would love some feedback. You can check it out here.

I also have a webinar scheduled with one of the best triathletes in the world on Friday. So far, we have over 450 people registered for it so super stoked about that.

I would also love to hear your thoughts on the podcast launch strategy I am thinking of:

Week one and two, 5 pods per week so 10 to start and launch with (done that already). From week three publish 3 a week. I have already submitted the podcast to Stitcher. I am thinking of waiting until January to submit the show to iTunes. Once submitted we will have about 20-25 shows already published and we will have a fairly decent sized list (1000) that we can email to ask for subscriptions, reviews etc.

Once we drop off new and noteworthy then up it to 5 a week so as to boost the download numbers and to keep us in the rankings.

Or, just submit it to iTunes now and see what happens?

A: Rad! Congrats on taking action, well done! It’s a cool brand and a cool idea, I think you’ll do great with it. The web site looks great, I took a look. And great on the webinar: you had an idea and took action to make it a reality.

On the podcast launch: you want to submit two hours of podcasts on day one. If your show is one hour you’d submit two, if it’s 30 minutes then you’d submit four shows.

I don’t recommend doing 5 days a week and then dropping to three days a week. If you’re normally going to be 3 days a week then start there. You want to give people something to download on your first day beyond your first episode. The testing done on this says 2 hours of content is the sweet spot.

Dave Hartman
Q: I always forget my dang questions by the time Thursday comes around so I’ll say this: The interview you did with Matt Farah of The Smoking Tire was one of the best you’ve done.

Although I am a car guy I had never seen any of their work but am checking it out now. The part that I found most valuable was hearing a content creator’s struggle to make money more efficiently across multiple channels and finding a way for it to work.

Too often we hear from people making money online by teaching people how to make money online and Matt was a breath of fresh air. I would definitely enjoy hearing from similar guests in the future. Keep up the great work.

A: Thanks Dave! Matt was great and I agree it was cool to hear how he made a tweak to change things. I loved hearing how he liked cars and made that into his daily work life. He shared how he changed his YouTube strategy to do a lot less, and make more money. It was a content creation hack and a big mindset shift that Matt talked about.

Thanks for your kind words Dave, much appreciated.

Shelby Kifer
Q: You and Matt Farah talked super briefly about a video teaching some basics of performance driving. How about a few pointers?

A: Wow that is a show in and of itself. I’ll take you through a process. Grab a piece of paper and a Sharpie. Draw a circle about 5 inches wide. In the top of the circle put A for acceleration. Directly below the A put B for Braking. On the left side of the circle put L for L and on the right put R for right.

So your circle should look like a compass. This is what’s called The Friction Circle. This is what you need to know for driving in the snow, etc and of course for racing. Inside the circle you can write 100%.

That inside represents the amount of traction that your tire has at any given time. If you are full on accelerating and there’s an imaginary dot in the circle at the top near the A. You’re accelerating as hard as it will. If you turn left or right nothing happens except you lose traction. So you have to pull back off the accelerator to turn.

It’s a delicate balance between accelerating, braking and turning. If you’re in a panic situation – you are skidding out – let your tires have 100% traction. From a driving tip standpoint if you can understand The Friction Circle you’ll be ahead of the game.

Mateo Echabarne
Q: Michael! How does one assign a value to a product? I’ve been getting some requests for custom rings and I don’t really know how to approach setting a price.

Do I pay myself a reasonable hourly wage plus materials? Do I set a minimum and work up, or a maximum and work down?

My current mindset tells me anything over $80 for a simple ring for two hour’s work would be outrageous. Am I selling myself short? Why is it so hard to ask for what I want?

I LOVE the Friday Q&A, it really brings a lot to the show. Cheers!

A:  To your first question: no. To your third question: yes you are selling yourself short.

So Mateo the answer is yes we for sure want to charge more than $80 for a custom ring they are going to enjoy forever. If you are making this ring, and it’s not part of your couples’ idea thing where they make their own custom ring for each other, here’s what I would say: give yourself a 4-6x price markup.

If your materials are $40 then the custom ring is $160-$250. I don’t know where I picked that; I just think if you are picking a custom ring it’s $300 for something.

Go to your local Nordstrom and price out how much rings are. Find out how much people are charging for rings and price that. There is a reasonable expectation that you are going to pay for quality. Putting a little more skin in the game makes it a little more valuable I think.

My instinct says $200-$300 range. But go to a high end place like Nordstrom and see how much they charge for rings. Don’t sell yourself short!

Q: Can you please talk about the best way to approach folks you want to interview?

A: It depends on the folks, some are easier to get to than others. And some are far more willing than others. If you have a new podcast find people who have some kind of influence and have them on early in the show. I don’t know if that’s the move but a good example to follow is Mike Johnston.

Mike isn’t in the internet marketing world but he has a huge audience and he was very willing to share. I think that really helped boost the show. So think about it: are there people in your industry who are interesting and you can bring them on and they do have influence. Early on you want to pack your show with people of influence who can and will share so you can really move the needle.

Otherwise the best approach for people you want to interview is to get an email intro: that is the #1 way. Has your Bob the Podcaster had Joe the Influencer on his show and you know Bob? Then ask Bob if he’d do an email intro to Joe for you.

And if Bob is smart he’ll check with Joe and get back to you about the introduction.

Another great way to get people on your show is get to events. Go out, meet people, have a drink with them and make the ask. Those are the two ways I can think of off the top of my head.

From a Twitter follower:
Q: How do you know when you’re good enough at something to charge people for it?

A: If people will buy from you, and if you get repeat customers! You can take the consultant approach: reach out to your audience, offer your services and see what the response is.

Q: What’s next for the Porsche?

A: I just put a new engine in it. It was so much work to get that thing in and running that it’s nice to have a break right now. But I do have a new bumper I want to put on, get some new tires on it and dial in the interior.

My goal is to get it on the cover of Excellence, the #1 Porsche magazine in the world.

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Selected Links and Resources From This Episode

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Matt Farah on The Solopreneur Hour
Mike Johnston’s episodes on The Solopreneur Hour
The Solopreneur Hour on the Twitter
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