Lance Scoular Show Notes
Lance Scoular, AKA The Savvy Navigator, has been involved in International Trade and Transport for 50 years;
In 2008, Lance started receiving invitations from students in his classes to connect with them on both Facebook and LinkedIn.
Over the last nine years, he has developed and expanded his social media networks exponentially (especially LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, and beBee) and those of a select group of clients in a variety of sectors, both locally and globally.
The results have been significant.
Lance is now in the process of doing a 180-degree business pivot, refocussing away from Social Media Consulting, back to what he does best, International Trade and Transport Training.
He is soon to launch an online course “Import Export Made Easy” in video and audio as well as the “Import Export Made Easy” Podcast.
- I started my business back in the early 1970s as a shipping supervisor in what is now known as Baxter International, a fortune 500 company. In 1976, I completed my studies at TAFE, which is the Technical And Further Education College in Australia, and I passed the exams of the Australian customs services.
- I took two weeks holiday from the company I was working in to door-knock local businesses in my area to see if I could find people who were dealing with exporting and importing that are interested in my services. I gained a few clients and resigned from the company.
- Most of my marketing was door knocking, and I used direct mail, and telemarketing with the Australian Yellow Pages.
- Import-Export is a very big deal in Australia.
Most passionate about
- Today, I’m pivoting. Back in 2009, I got very involved in social media. I was running an Import Export course, and I was getting invitations from my students to connect with them on Facebook and LinkedIn.
- In the beginning, I didn’t understand what they wanted from me, but once I Googled it, I got very interested in the business potential of these social networks.
- As we mentioned before, Australia was very isolated from the rest of the world, the Internet and social media, in particular, have changed that.
- In 2009, I decided to start helping people to use social media with no connection to import or export. (I still taught the import and export courses, but the number of courses dropped during those years.)
- And today, I’m pivoting since I just recently realized that I could help many businesses all over the world with my knowledge and expertise in Import and Export, so I’m about to launch my first online Import-Export course.
- The exciting thing is that I’m going to use my wide network of social media connections that I built over the last nine years to promote my course.
Lance’s best advice about approaching customers
- The definition of a customer back in the 70s was someone who buys goods or services. I came across a marketing strategist, Sean D’Souza who wrote a book called, The Brain Audit, about why customers buy, and in that book, he talked about his concept of a client. He relates to Webster Dictionary which says, ‘If you are a service provider, the client is someone you should care for, someone who comes under your protection, and someone you should guide.’
- I believe in the concept of care, protection, and guidance for your clients.
Biggest failure with a customer
- Well, I’ve had failures… like most of the guests in your show. It’s a learning situation.
- Back in 2007 and 2008, I was running my own course, but I was also asked to be a guest presenter at the Sydney Community College, two courses for young entrepreneurs. One for young people that were thinking of becoming entrepreneurs and another one for those who are already entrepreneurs.
- On one night, I was asked by the course’s facilitator to share one of my business stories with the entrepreneurs. Some of the entrepreneurs were doing great things, and I didn’t want to take that from them, but the truth is that somehow there is a concept today that everyone can become an entrepreneur, but that is not possible. Gary V (Gary Vaynerchuk) talks a lot about the entrepreneurs that couldn’t deal with the failures.
- So, I felt compelled to share with those entrepreneurs what I considered to be the worst night of my life.
- It was in October 1999 when I realized I let down the most important client: my business partner, and wife, Sandie. I came home, and I found my wife crying so much, and I realized this is going to be our last night in the house we built 26 years earlier, that we planned to live in for the rest of our life.
- The bank we took the loan for the house sent us a letter saying either we pay off right now or you are out of the house, and this is it. And according to the contract they could do it.
- At that time, there was some issue of a government’s royal commotion and banks used to do awful things like that.
- So we had to move immediately with two of our three kids, two cats and a dog to our friends’ house. That was a terrible time for us, ‘a valley’ and it was all because I didn’t pay enough attention to take care of an overdraft in the bank.
- The customer here was my wife, who was my business partner, and I wasn’t caring, protecting, and guiding her. I was too busy taking care of the business’ clients.
- I want to tell these young entrepreneurs that you have a duty of care to your business partners and your employees, as well as for your family.
Biggest success due to the right customer approach
- I was a trainer for the Australian Federation of International Forwarders, and I run a course around the capitals of the five stats of Australia. We had a Christmas party, and when I said goodbye to the CEO of AFIF, Brian Lovell, he asked me to come to talk with him tomorrow. And he asked me to arrange what became to be a massive structure of meetings, guidance, presentations, and seminars around new tax rules.
- That was a big boost for me, and I managed to use my ability to explain these new complex tax rules in very clear and simple words to many business people at all levels.
Recommendation of a tool for customer focus, marketing, or sales:
- I recommend using the Twitter app that allows you to switch from one account to another (like from your private account to the company’s account) with a push of a button, and handle more than one account.
- The second tool is SocialOomph to boost my social activities and save time.
Lance’s key success factor
- The most important factor is my unique understanding of the complex workings of the various stakeholders in international trade.
- Because my understanding and interaction in these areas, I’m better able to share my extensive knowledge and insights in a clear, simple, and understandable style.
Since we believe that the best way for entrepreneurs to get a fast, big, and sustainable success is by leading your (new) market category, and the entire entrepreneurial journey reminds me of mountaineering, or conquering the mountain; I want to ask you if there is a mountain you dream of climbing or a mountain you have already climbed?
- Sandie and I went a five weeks vacation in Europe, and Sandie loved the 1959 film, “Third man on a mountain”, which was filmed on the Matterhorn. So one night we arrived at the mountain resort Zermatt near the Matterhorn. We went out to the small balcony of our room and we could see the glistening summit of the mountain, the snow was glistening in the moonlight, Sandie was overwhelmed, and this was the other hand of the spectrum of the valley we fell to when we had to sell our house. It was this magical moment for us.
The best way to connect with Lance
- Twitter – From breaking news and entertainment to sports and politics, get the full story with all the live commentary.
- SocialOomph – Boost your social media productivity — it doesn’t have to be a manual time-consuming process! Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, RSS feeds, blogs, …
More resources for Entrepreneurs
- Don’t Miss – Customer Focus Strategy & Execution: Market Analysis for Fundraising
- Hayut Yogev’s Latest post: The three free, most practical steps to researching and locating your market
- Former interview: With Dr. Robin Kiera’s best advice: “Love your customers, not your product! And share your knowledge! The time of silence is over.”