Hey, Healthpreneurs! We’re back at it with an awesome episode of the Healthpreneur podcast. Today, I’m sharing with you an incredible interview with Per Bristow, the world’s most followed voice and performance coach who runs a successful online business. He has helped people in 132 countries become more empowered as communicators, performers, and human beings.
As business-owners and impact-makers, we need to get to the core of how to best communicate our message on webinars, on stage, on the phone, or in-person, right? Per teaches just that, and has a great business model and process as well.
Per has set up his online business by successfully utilizing Google ad words, connecting virtually with his clients, and staying true to his own personal code of ethics. Being able to perform is important – whether it’s for 1 or 1,000. Tune in to hear how Per found his voice – in general and online – and how you can find yours, too.
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In This Episode Per and I discuss:
- How he found his voice and why performance is important.
- Per’s business model and how he solves a problem.
- Staying authentic and ethical.
- Connecting virtually with clients.
- Understanding and accepting fear.
5:00 – 10:00 – Per’s journey, online business, and how he helps people get “a voice”
10:00 – 17:00 – Problem solving, Google ad words, and investments
17:00 – 18:30 – Authenticity, ethics, and Per’s client pipeline
18:30 – 20:30 – Connecting and engaging with clients online and at live events
20:30 – 26:00 – Being aware of fear and why knowing how to perform is important
What You Missed:
Do you want to know what your clients are really buying?
Clients buy the certainty that your outcome is going to work. To invest in you and your product, your client must feel your confidence first. If you’re uncertain about yourself, your product, or your prices, that doesn’t speak much about what you’re offering, does it?
In this episode, I dissect what’s holding you back and figure out what to do about it.
Hey guys, what’s going on? Yuri here. I’ve got another treat for you today. I’m digging back into the archives today, because I took a little bit of a hiatus from live interviews for a while. I’m not sure what happened there, but I was obviously on a cruise for two weeks and I kind of forgot to interview people, so I’m like, “Let me pull back into the archives of some of my previous podcast interviews back in the day.”
And when I say back in the day, I’m talking about within the last two, three years. The stuff we’re gonna be sharing is still very, very relevant, but today I’ve got my good friend Per Bristow who I’m bringing this interview to you, and the reason I’m doing this though is because Per is not really in the health and fitness space, but here’s the thing: when my first book, The All Day Energy Diet, came out Per was my number one affiliate. Like, the partner who sold the most number of books.
And he is in the voice and singing space. So like, how on earth does that happen? Well, people who wanna sing and improve their voice and performance obviously need more energy. The reason I’m bringing this to you today is because what Per does with his audience is very applicable to what you do in your business, and if you don’t know who Per Bristow is, check out his website perbristow.com
If you can spell that right the first time, I’ll give you $100 bucks, but essentially it’s perbristow.com. Per is an amazing person, originally from Sweden, now lives in LA. He is the world’s most followed voice and performance coach, having helped people in 132 countries become more empowered as communicators, performers, and human beings. The funny thing is Per doesn’t even know I’m releasing this episode again. So I’ll probably just send him a note, be like, “Hey buddy. Hope all’s well, just so you know, we’re gonna be re-submitting this podcast in a new format.”
So it’s gonna be awesome, and this is a really good episode because you’ll get to the core of what it takes to be a good performer, and a good performer means how can you communicate more effectively on your webinars, or from stage, or when you’re on the phone with somebody, or in person with someone? And little quick story for you, Per and I were in Strategic Coach together, and we knew each other from a previous mastermind. We got to hang out quite a bit, and he attended one of my masterminds maybe five years ago. I think it was about four years ago, in Orlando.
And I may have shared this story with you, I’m not too sure if I have, but in the room we had an exercise. One of the things we do in our HBA program, the Health Business Accelerator, is we give people a really simple way of attracting clients without having to do Facebook Ads right off the bat. It’s called conversational closing and it all stemmed from this one meeting, and we had people in the room. We say, “Hey, who wants to give this a shot first thing in the morning?” And it was basically like a simple message out to the email list. Per has an email list of over a million people, okay? So just to give you some context. It’s probably even more now.
So he was like, “Yeah, I’ll do it.” Because I’m like … I’m thinking of doing the event in Toronto, but I really haven’t done much around that. So we’re like, “Okay, cool. Send this message out. We’re gonna see who’s interested and we’ll go from there.” Sent it out at nine in the morning. By lunchtime they had 250 people in Toronto be like, “Yeah, I’m interested in attending, let’s do this.”
So fast forward a couple months, he sets up the event in Toronto, one of the nicest hotels in the city. I think he had about 250, 300 people attend, and that became the beginning of his world tour, and since then he has done huge events in Australia, New Zealand, England, all around the world, and it all started from that small incident meeting several years ago back in Florida. So I’m super excited to introduce Per Bristow to you. He’s a great human being, and I think you’ll get a lot out of this episode, so let’s jump right in.
Per’s journey, online business, and how he helps people get “a voice”
It’s always great to connect with you. We spent a lot of time hanging out together in Toronto and LA and elsewhere, and we’ve known each other for a number of years, and I’m always amazed at what you’ve been able to do with your business of helping people really kind of express themselves. Like, through singing and voice work and stuff, and it’s pretty amazing. Why did you start an online business? What was the whole motivation behind that?
Per Bristow: Well, I’d been working as a voice and performance coach for quite a while before I started my online business and the voice is such an interesting instrument to me. Many different reasons, the physical aspect of the voice, we know that it’s not fun to lose our voice. We can’t communicate, we wouldn’t be able to do what we’re doing today if we didn’t have a voice. So I mean, everybody needs a voice, and I was kind of shy and introverted when I was in high school so I’ve always … this thing about being able to express and being able to have an impact and be able to influence a situation, it’s really really powerful stuff and that’s what we need when we run a business or when we coach, when we do videos, when we do audios, all that kind of stuff.
So I really trained myself to become good at that, the communication aspect of it, and I come from Sweden so now that I’m in the US I’m dealing with a different language also, so therefore when I was coaching it was really to help people with the issues that I had issues with myself. How can you actually release the voice, how can you release not only physical restrictions but also psychological restrictions? The fears that we have. Singers have a lot of fears, of course, when it comes to how do they sound, and singing those high notes, and being able to sing on pitch.
How can we develop that? And then with speakers, really similar issues. A lot of speakers want deeper, richer, more resonant voices and when they get that it has an enormous impact on their communication, so that’s what I really really set out to do to help people. And that was all one on one, so the online thing was never, ever a thought really, because well frankly, the internet was in the beginning, right? But my passion for helping people release what they’re capable of, that’s really what set it out.
So then when I started my online business was really because I realized I had a very, very powerful method, a lot of people were getting helped, and I needed to figure out, “Okay, how can I publish this? How can I publish this so people who can’t see me in private can benefit from it?”
Yuri Elkaim: So that’s an awesome story and there’s so many people that can relate to that. So what was the first thing that you did? When you came online you had this amazing ability to help other people, and one of the things you’re great at doing and you love to do is learning and developing skills; what’s the first thing that you did to get your business online going?
Per Bristow: Yeah, and I’m glad you mention that word skill, because that’s something that singing … a lot of people think that singing is about talent, right? Either you have it or you not, and I have always despised the word talent. I’m always about skill development, and I love to develop skills, so when it comes to building a business I had absolutely no idea how to do that so I had to tap into my desire, my love, and my strength of developing skills. I need to learn stuff that I have no clue how to do.
So my initial thought, my thinking process, was then, “How can I create something so that people have the same experience that they would have if they would see me in private?” And I knew I could not do that through audio, I needed to do that through video, so that was … and there were a lot of singing programs out there, which basically is people playing scales and audio programs, and I didn’t want that. I needed people to be able to see me, to be able to engage with them and develop a process that people experience themselves, since I can’t tell them what … well, I can tell them what to do, but I can’t comment on how they execute something.
So I have to then develop a process where they experience themselves, so they start feeling themselves, and I knew I needed to do that with video. So when video was starting to get good online, that’s where I jumped in, and I started to learn everything I could about all kinds of aspects.
Problem solving, Google ad words, and investments
Yuri Elkaim: Sure. So let me ask you this: if you started today in a completely new market, what would be the first thing that you start doing knowing what you know now, in your business? To build your business?
Per Bristow: If I started in a new market?
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah. So let’s say you went into a market of like, dog grooming. Right? Something you don’t know too much about maybe, and you saw an opportunity there. What would be the first thing, knowing what you know now, what would be the first thing you do setting up that new business online?
Per Bristow: One of my strengths is having a deep understanding of the other person, so the psychology behind the fears that we have, the restrictions that we have and our desires, and all that kind of stuff, that’s why I become good as a coach. How can I actually draw something out of you that you didn’t know you were able to do?
So I would really probably have the same mindset now, or I would have, and that starts them with the other person. What is their problem? What is … ? What holds people back in whatever situation in life?
So whether that’s grooming your dog and how can you do that in a more effective way? And I would learn, then, what is the … well, I don’t know if I wanna use the word problem, but you know, what are the challenges someone has? And then I would probably be able to figure out a strategy on how to get that person to where they wanna be in a more effective way, and then how can I create a coaching program that would actually make that happen?
So I would look at it from that customer’s point of view. How do I actually get into the skin of that person and see what their dilemma is and then figure out how I can help them.
Yuri Elkaim: Awesome. That’s good.
Per Bristow: And then the marketing and all the sales and all that kinda stuff really becomes second hand, and that actually becomes pretty easy once you understand that.
Yuri Elkaim: Start with the customer first. I think it’s great advice, ’cause a lot of people, including myself when I first started, started with the product. So, “Okay, I’ve got this product that I wanna create. Now how do I force it onto the marketplace?” And that leads to a lot of frustration, so it’s great that you brought that up in terms of really thinking about the customer first, and what they want, what their challenges are. Because that’s how it starts. That’s good.
Per Bristow: Yeah. And even though we think we know, there’s more we can know. So I was using surveys a lot in the beginning. Before I had a product, I knew I was going to have a product but I started building my list and I started publishing a newsletter before I had a product, and that was with the intent of getting to know the audience and also for them to get to know me, of course, so that they understand the mindset, where I’m coming from, and how I think, how I coach. But also using surveys, then, to try and understand them even better.
Yuri Elkaim: Sure. So walk us through that. So you started building a list using I guess a free newsletter. What did you do to build the list?
Per Bristow: So I was running ads from the day one, and I know we all want organic traffic, and that sounds wonderful, but I really believe this: that if you have a valuable product, and if you have something of value, you should run ads. Number one, when you run an ad, and in this case it’s Google Ad Words, and these days we have Facebook and other ways to do it, first of all you get results quickly.
So even if you’re just testing headlines, testing the message, you get results quickly. You get data quickly, so trying to build SEO and stuff like that, we think that’s free? I don’t think that’s free at all, because time is very, very valuable.
Yuri Elkaim: Oh, it’s huge. It’s a huge investment, for sure.
Per Bristow: Yeah. So I was running ads from the get-go, and then I got the opportunity, then, to test ads. I got the opportunity to test landing pages, to test what is it that I’m giving them that it has value? Is it a video? Is it a report? What is that that actually has value? And then the surveys then that I’m running. So I learned so much in this investment in the beginning, even though I don’t have a product.
But of course my intent is always to have a product. I always know that I have the product within, but I’m not launching it first.
Yuri Elkaim: Smart. So you’re essentially willing to invest in some ads up front, almost like paying tuition to go to school I guess, get market intel, learn what you need to learn, figure out what the challenges are in the marketplace, and then develop the product after all that.
Per Bristow: Yes. Although, here’s what I really did. After I had my list, a little bit of a list, I launched a six week coaching program. But what a lot of people do, and this actually kind of troubles me sometimes, is that they try to make it super, super, super expensive, because it’s this idea of, “If I have really, really expensive I come across as some hotshot.”
And sure, we all want that, and then the promotion becomes, the authority becomes, “It’s because I’m expensive.” So I’m not so sure about that, because that’s not what I did anyway. I don’t charge too little, either, of course, because we want the customer to also feel that they are investing, and we all know that if we give stuff for free all the time the risk is that people don’t invest in themselves and they become, then, complacent, and they become, then … they feel that they are entitled to everything that’s free.
So we want, of course, everyone to invest just as we do as entrepreneurs, as learners, as skill developers, we invest in ourselves, right? And we of course want our customers to have that mindset also, because that will give them the results. But even so, I created a six week course, and that was again to test. I wanted to make sure that they got the absolute best value, best results. I was serving them, trying to figure out how that I could help them the best way, and again, so that is not the one and all product that I create there.
That’s just a rehearsal, if you will. But of course for them it becomes very beneficial because they get it for cheap and … I should never use that word cheap, right?
Yuri Elkaim: Less expensive.
Per Bristow: Yes, it’s a very high return on their investment.
Yuri Elkaim: Sure. So it was almost kind of like a Jeff Walker seed launch where you did the program along with them through the whole course of the six weeks?
Per Bristow: Yes.
Yuri Elkaim: Okay, cool.
Per Bristow: Mm-hmm (affirmative), right. And then again, getting the data and also for me it was about testing the technology. How can I get videos to actually show up in different parts of the world? And that was actually challenging back then. Now, it’s a different ballgame.
Yuri Elkaim: Sure. That’s awesome. So, now walk us through what’s working today. I mean, you’ve built an amazing business, huge lists, you’re doing really, really well. A lot of obviously your focus has been on Google AdWords. So now what is a typical funnel look like for you nowadays?
Authenticity, ethics, and Per’s client pipeline
Per Bristow: Quite similar, actually. They come to the page and I have something that entices them. Some reason for them to share their email address, and what that reason is, we know, can be many many things. I try to really be authentic, ethical. That’s my whole business, it’s my reputation, and I really want to give them something of value. On the other hand, I don’t want to train them to feel that they’re entitled to everything or to feel that they’re getting quick fixes.
I really want to help them understand that in order to develop the skill that they want to develop, there is a process. I do have that process available for them, that is not free, but I’m giving them insights into it that I hope is going to be helpful. So I try to have a balance there as far as what I’m giving and what I shouldn’t be giving. I don’t believe in giving alcohol to an alcoholic, so … right?
Yuri Elkaim: That’s a good motto to have.
Per Bristow: Yeah, so it’s a tricky … it’s a fine balance, what do we give away?
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah.
Per Bristow: And sometimes people feel maybe that I … well, I don’t know what people feel in that sense. But once the customers do engage in the training they all love it, and that’s really what’s built my business is that I have so may testimonials, and by the way, we could talk about that also if you’re interested, but I’ve never, ever asked for a testimonial.
Yuri Elkaim: That’s awesome. Just unsolicited, “We love you Per.” Well, on that note, I mean you did the live event in Toronto almost a year ago now and you had, what, 200-some-odd people show up and then you did another one in Miami and a bunch of other places, you went to Australia, and you’ve got hundreds of people coming to see you and I think that’s just a testament to how much your audience really loves you, which is amazing.
Connecting and engaging with clients online and at live events
Per Bristow: It’s so much fun. It really is so much fun to connect with people, and again, I’ve always tried to make a personal connection. I know that they are not getting personal coaching from me, but every single email, I write myself. I do all the communications and once in a while I do teleseminars when they can call up and ask questions. It’s not part of the program, it’s more of a surprise thing. I try to do stuff so that they feel engaged, and that’s always the challenge, of course, with the online programs, because we always know that people buy and then not become engaged.
So how can we make them do what they need to do to get the results they want? That’s the challenge of any coach. So yeah, so I’ve built a big list and I have a lot of customers in 132 countries that are part of The Singing Zone membership and my background is as a performer, so my desire these days now is how can I actually meet people in person? I’ve been doing this online stuff for a while so I’m so happy, I’m so excited to do these live events now.
Yeah, Toronto we had 270. We did it in Miami. We’re sold out now for Seattle, and in January we’re doing Las Vegas, and then we’re doing Australia, and then we’re doing London. I’m so excited to meet people, and obviously as I noticed that people were actually excited to meet too. So we had an after party afterwards and I was in line for three hours to take photos and talk with people, but see, I love that. I love that. See, I might have been introverted in the past, but we all love that connection and that’s what they want, also.
And that’s why people sing, that’s why people speak, that’s why people communicate. We need that bond so that’s sort of the evolution of what I’m doing, is sort of my next step, and that also gives me the opportunity to talk about things that I think are so important. How do we actually develop skills? That doesn’t only apply to developing the voice. Whatever it might be, how do we … the mental aspect of performance, which is a big part of what I coach; how do we perform well under pressure? Which is crucial for performing, getting up on stage, it’s crucial for an athlete and many things I draw from my sports background, but it is also crucial for building a business or being an entrepreneur because we have to be able to have that skill of being able to perform well when things aren’t going right.
Things are always gonna go wrong and most people give up when the shit hits the fan, right?
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah, so I was gonna ask you, in your mind, what is the number one skill that really determines lasting success? Would you say that that’s it, is being able to perform even when it’s a rainy day as opposed to sunshine all the time?
Being aware of fear and why knowing how to perform is important
Per Bristow: I think the most powerful trait, if you will, is the awareness of fear. I think this thing about fear, we cover it up in so many words. “I don’t want to do that. I’m uncomfortable.” Or we get angry, we get violent. All these kind of things that we do to ourselves, and often we don’t start a business in the first place out of fear, or we stop it, we change course. Everything is happening. All resistance, all restrictions that we have in our lives is due to fear.
And when we become aware of that it’s not about overcoming fear, it’s about using it to our benefit, and that’s actually how we become high level performers because we use the fears, we recognize the fears that we all have and that’s how we become great performers. Whether it’s in sports or on stage, or in business. As business owners we know that testing is crucial, we know that we’re gonna fail, we know that it’s gonna go wrong, and that is the awesome learning experience and most people, I think, honestly, are not trained to take that as good information.
We have all heard that we learn from our mistakes but the truth is that most people don’t. Most people associate fear with all the failures and mistakes and then just avoid it, and try to do something else instead.
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah, that’s great. Well, I remember you had a good amount of time speaking about that in Toronto at your event, and it definitely resonated with myself and pretty much everybody in the audience so that was awesome. So Per, this has been terrific. I know we can talk about this stuff all day. What is the best place for our listeners to stay in touch with what you’re up to, and maybe follow some of your work online?
Per Bristow: So thesingingzone.com is the main site for the singing program, and there is that free video that I offer, and the articles and some case study … well, some video interviews with people. So you can see a little bit what I do there, and if you just wanna see what I do as far as the marketing aspect you can just opt in and see what I do. I also have sing with … well, speakwithfreedom.com is my speaking program, and then I have perbristow.com which is my blog that I just recently revamped where I’m gonna publish more stuff that’s not necessarily about singing or speaking but also the mindset, the mental aspects of achievement and the peak performance aspect.
And I have some really interesting interviews there, also.
Yuri Elkaim: Awesome. And we’ll be sure to have all the links to those websites on the show’s notes on the blog at smartermarketerproject.com so be sure to check that out. Awesome, Per.
Per Bristow: Terrific.
Yuri Elkaim: Any last … in the last 30 seconds, any final words of wisdom?
Per Bristow: Well, I think that every time I meet these high level entrepreneurs such as yourself, other people who accomplish amazing things in the world, they always have a love for learning, and I think that is so important. If we have that, that’s when we’re gonna be able to learn from every challenge, every roadblock that we hit, and that’s really what makes life enjoyable.
That’s what makes it exciting to wake up Monday morning and explore what we’re capable of, and that’s what I love to do. That’s what I decided I was gonna do. I was gonna design a life where I love to wake up Monday morning to explore what’s possible.
Yuri Elkaim: That’s awesome. Thank goodness … what was it? TGIF? Thank God it’s Friday? Thank God it’s Monday, right?
Per Bristow: There you go.
Yuri Elkaim: That’s awesome. That’s beautiful, man. You’ve got a great mindset and that’s the foundation for a lot of your success.
So I hope you enjoyed that interview and got some great nuggets out of that, even though that interview is literally from like, I think two years ago. Still, lots of value, because these things are timeless. Like these messages, these insights, they are timeless, and I’m gonna be bringing to you, actually, over the next couple weeks some of the best interviews from previous years.
We’ve got some great stuff coming with Phil Caravaggio who is the co-founder of Precision Nutrition. We’ve got Emily Rosen who’s another good friend who is the co-founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. That’s just a few. I’ve got many, many more amazing guests that I’m pulling out of the archives and I’m gonna be bringing your way in the coming weeks.
So if you have not yet subscribed to the Healthpreneur podcast, be sure you do so today. You don’t wanna miss a thing, and for now continue to get out there, be great, do great, and I’ll see you in the next episode.
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