My amazing friend Kelly is a burn survivor since the age of 2 on 75% of her body. She found a way to go from near death to success, from the ugly scar-faced girl to the TEDx stage, not once but twice. A documentary about her life story, Still Beautiful launched on TV plus Goalcast launched a video that has over 10 million views.
Join us this week and meet Kelly!
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Interview With Kelly Falardeau-1
RJ Redden: Greetings, grasshoppers. Once again, this is your Rj. Entrepreneurs hire me to skyrocket their marketing message because most of them feel like they're shouting into a black hole, can't get traction online to save their lives, and end up being a carbon copy of everybody else. So I create epic engagement experiences that get people to click that button, connect with you, and convert like crazy.
Today you, of course, have stumbled upon the Epic Engagement Adventure where we have guests every single week, amazing people whom we love that will tell us all about themselves and we will find out their secrets of engagement as well. Uh, and today's guest is, amazing. Uh, Kelly F. Uh, Kelly is a dear friend of mine, uh, whom I've known.
I, I don't even know how long we've known each other Kelly. Uh, but she is a person who is a powerhouse at helping you get your stuff published. Uh, if you've got a book in ya, or if you've got something sitting in a drawer, you're gonna really love today's episode. Kelly, introduce yourself. Tell us who you are and what you do.
Kelly Falardeau: Ah, thank you for having me, aj. I just love when you and I get to have time together cause we always have so much fun. So, um, so yeah, so thank you. So yeah, I got burnt when I was two years old to most of my body and so I never ever thought I'd have a great life because I just thought, well, you know, I'm burnt.
Right. And um, I found a way to take my tragedy and make it into a story. Become a speaker, become a bestselling author. I've done a couple of different TEDx talks and now I coach people to become bestselling authors, and I have a hundred percent success rate in getting people to the bestseller lift.
So that's what I've been doing.
RJ Redden: That is one heck of a rate. Everybody. Did you hear a hundred percent? I heard a hundred percent. Uh, that's pretty amazing stuff. Your process must be absolutely stellar.
Kelly Falardeau: Yeah. I've been, you know, I've learned it over the years and I used to do it the old way where everybody would just try and get everybody to buy books on one day, and it was stressful.
Yeah. And then someone else taught me another way of doing it, and so I've been doing it that way and that's helped me to have a hundred percent success rate, so I love it.
RJ Redden: Wow. Excellent stuff. Um, so, you know, you, you had said, uh, this, this tragedy has happened and you would be able to, to make it into a story.
For all of my people out there that are, you know, not yet authors or maybe first-time book writers, what, what made you wanna write a book about it and how hard was it?
Kelly Falardeau: Well, the interesting thing is I've never thought I would ever write a book. But what happened was, um, about 11 or 12 years ago, I met, um, Tramaine who said, Kelly, you need to be a speaker.
You need to sell that other business you're in and be a speaker cuz people will be so inspired by you. And at that point in my life, I didn't see myself as being inspirational. I was in a toxic dead-end marriage. I was in a dead-end job and I had a business that was, you know, bankrupting me and, my former husband.
And so I didn't see myself as being inspirational. I saw myself as being a loser. And she's like, no, sell that business. Become a speaker. And so I actually did, I sold a business, left my husband became a, uh, um, an entrepreneur, a speaker, and then I hired a speaking coach, and my speaking coach said, Kel, now that you're a speaker, you need to have a book.
And I was like, I don't know how to write a book. I mean, I'm thinking I have to write for years and years and years, you know, to be someone like Stephen King, right? Or JK Rows, right? And she's like, no, you need to be an author because that way when people ask you to speak for free, you've got a product to sell.
The second reason is when people hear you speak and they wanna know more about you, then they've got your book that they can buy. And then the third reason is to give you expert credibility so that when people are looking to hire a speaker or even a podcaster or someone in the media that wants to get someone on their show, if you are a bestselling author, you are gonna be chosen first.
Yeah. Over the speaker who doesn't have that. Yeah. And so that was why I wrote the, the book. It was basically for my career.
RJ Redden: Awesome. Um, and how, the second part of the question, how hard was it? How hard was it to write your first book?
Kelly Falardeau: Oh my God. My first book was really hard to write because I didn't know, I didn't know how to write a book and I'm, and because I wanted to do it as a memoir, so be my life story of getting burned as a two-year-old to where I was as an adult.
I was like, how do you start, like, I don't know how to start writing. Like how do you write your first word? And I actually, what I did is I actually had my mom write letters to me.. About how I got burnt and her whole perspective. And so she wrote me like a 30 page letter and then I broke that letter up into the different chapters that I had.
So the first part of my book I wrote, um, more about, you know, me getting burnt as a two-year-old and some of the things that I had to go through and my surgeries and school and all that. And then the second part of my book is about what did I do in business. What's, or like the 10 principles that I live by.
And so that was how I started to organize my book. And then, of course, you know, got an editor involved and then they helped me with the flow of the book and then, you know, had a friend design the cover for me, and then I got it published and started selling.
RJ Redden: Wow. Whew. Uh, you know, when you break it up like that, uh, you know, because when, when people say, Hey, you know, you should write a book, people have told me this too.
Uh, it's like, it's such a daunting thing because like a, a book, you know, there's so many things, uh, that could be included and what should you include? And, and when you break it up like that, the, you know, first that, that story and having your mom write that letter, and then breaking that apart into digestible chunks for folks.
And then, you know, going to those 10 principles in business that you live by, that that is a manageable project. It is. And it just, it seems like so many people who are burgeoning first-time authors, uh, just don't, you know, they just don't even put a foot forward on the plank because it's like, this is gonna be a major time commitment.
Uh, you know, I don't know how many of these I'm going to sell. Uh, you know it, I'm not gonna buy 500 copies and they're gonna end up in my garage. You know, all the questions that people have.
Kelly Falardeau: Exactly. And I mean, that was how it was when I first became an author. You had to buy 500 copies, and if you wanted to sell them on Amazon, then you had to have those 500 copies delivered to each of the depots.
Right. And so then it was like a $10,000 investment. Yeah. But now how they do it is with the print on demand. You can just submit it all and then just get one book. Yeah. And that's it. So you don't have to worry about filling up your grad with butt, so it makes it so much easier. Yeah.
RJ Redden: So yes. Gosh, what I'm, what I'm hearing folks, is that writing and publishing a book is not as difficult as you might be making it in your mind.
Kelly Falardeau: No, exactly. Exactly. And actually one of the things that I would recommend for you, RJ, because you're doing interviews of people, So one of the things that I'm doing with, uh, some of my clients are taking their podcast interviews and turning them into a book. Wow. So you could take, let's say, 20 of your favorite interviews and say, Hey, why don't we make this into a book?
And then you get them, you get their transcription, and then I have editors that will turn it into a story for you, and then, you get them to promote the book, right? All the other authors. And that's how you generate your pre-sales and become a bestselling author.
RJ Redden: Wow. You know, I hadn't even thought about that.
Um, because, you know, I mean, I, I, I invite people on, I, I wanna learn about their secrets of engagement. We're gonna ask you that question in a minute or two, and I just, I never thought that something like this could be put into a book, you know, but it really is kind of, uh, I mean, it really is kind of cool. Kelly. It is ideas here, darling.
Kelly Falardeau: In fact, I was just trying to find one of the books.
RJ Redden: Oh, shoot. You go right ahead. I will keep the people entertained. Well, actually, while you do that, I am going to, I, I'm gonna give people some shouts out, uh, this week because I really wanna start doing this, you know? For me, networking is the heart of everything.
It really is. And I want to, I just wanna shout out all the people that I have met with this week. Uh, so we are going to start with Raja Vik, uh, who is, uh, an expert and fabulous and fun speaker trainer. Uh, he is a martial artist and he was telling me all about, uh, going in with other martial artists and actually getting a graphic novel done.
Uh, he is amazing and fascinating. Look him up, everybody. Uh, also, Carlton Brenton and I had a great conversation. Uh, Carlton is a storyteller primarily, uh, and, uh, you know, that's what he absolutely loves to do. His favorite medium is video, and he's got actually a really cool video series happening right now, just right on his LinkedIn page.
Look him up. Carlton Brunon, uh, an amazing guy to talk to. Uh, I of course spoke with, uh, Jane Powers, my coach, cuz we're putting on an event here at the end of the month. Uh, and, uh, it's gonna be crazy, uh, and a whole lot of fun. Uh, I spoke with Arlene Warwick, who is a person that helps people get sponsorships.
Not necessarily, well, she does get people big corporate ones, yes. But how to start with sponsorships is really her special specialty. And it's all about starting locally. Uh, so I learned some amazing and fascinating things. It was a hugely fun conversation. Uh, also spoke to, uh, rock the. Media, uh, this is Rich Bond Traeger, and, uh, he's, he's amazingly talented.
Uh, anyway, uh, I have engaged with him for him to do a little, uh, video interview of me that I'm gonna spread all over the place and spread his name all over the place because he's fascinating. Also, I learned a really deep, deep star trek nerd, which I am also, uh, Brian Luca I also spoke to this week. Uh, that guy is, uh, a fascinating financier.
Uh, and he has partnered up with somebody who's writing some cool AI stuff, uh, for LinkedIn. And uh, that's a fascinating project and it may be ongoing. So I'll come back to that. And finally today, coach Am and I had a conversation. Coach Am is a guy you can find right here on LinkedIn. Uh, his, his thing is creating leverage and creating a boss business. Uh, listen, if you haven't ever heard Coach, am you having a bad day, just get on his LinkedIn page or something. Uh, find a video because, uh, he just has a power and a passion, uh, that will, that will make you do things. Uh, so, uh, those are the people I met with last week.
Thank you for sitting through that and. with Kelly. Did you find the book you were looking for? I did. Fabulous.
Kelly Falardeau: So this is Kimberly Crow's book. Oh my gosh. And so she did, for Inter International Women's Day, she interviewed over 200 people. And so we gathered together 22 authors that wanted to be in the book.
And so what she did is she took their interviews and I had my editor, edit the stories and then we edited them further and then created the cover and did the book launch. And of course, it made the bestseller list in Canada and the US and so. Yeah, that's exactly what this book is. It's all of these girls' interviews, and the reason she wanted to do that is that she hates writing.
There you go. And so the hardest part is trying to get people to write and then you're waiting for them. So if you already have interviews and you already have transcripts, why wouldn't you just convert that content into a book? There you go. So that's how easy it can be. And I'm, I'm doing another one for another guy too.
Exactly. Same thing. We're taking all these interviews and converting them in through a, into a book.
RJ Redden: Beautiful. Um, I'm loving that idea. Uh, I'm loving that idea, and that could be pretty darn amazing. Uh, so watch out in the future people. Uh, there may be a book, uh, sliding into a, an, uh, something near you, uh, a mailbox.
I don't know. Uh, but, uh, well, let's get, let's, uh, move over to engagement. People love to listen to this podcast for engagement advice, tips, and how to engage their audiences. So do you have some experience with some great experience with, you know, engaging your audience, Kelly?
Kelly Falardeau: Well, Facebook is my favorite place to hang out, and I know you and I had that conversation a little bit earlier.
And so one of the things that I did to get people engaged was to ask questions. And it might sound really simple. Nope. But what I would do is I would say, I need your help, please. Um, I'm writing a new book, and no, I'm writing a new speech and I'm wondering, what do you think about this topic? Ugly is still beautiful.
And then I put your thoughts question mark. And it was amazing. I'd get like a hundred comments. Wow. Right. And it was just because I asked them a question, I invited them to play with me. Yes. And even one of the girls that responded, even said to me, thank you for asking us to play with you. And it was as simple as that.
Your thoughts question mark. And those people love giving their opinion. So even when I coach people to write books, I'm always telling them, look, put your cover up on Facebook even if you know that, that's the cover you want. Um, put it, put it up and just say, Hey, this is the cover I'm thinking of using for my brand new book.
What are your thoughts? Question mark. And you know how it is, RJ people love giving opinions.
RJ Redden: They really do. They absolutely love giving opinions. They love being asked to give their opinions. They do.
Kelly Falardeau: They love it. Um, and I found that that was my, my best way to get engagement was to say, I need your help, please, then whatever I need the help with, and then your thoughts.
And I just, I just get so much engagement that way. Yeah. Uh, so easy. But it works well.
RJ Redden: It works, it works. Uh, that's the thing is that you know, people want, and, and I, I am in charge of all of the technological weirdness that can give you engagement as, as you know. But the first secret of engagement, and I say this all the time when I speak, is to ask questions.
Ask questions. , you know, we have been, we've been conditioned over a long period of time, Kelly, to go and figure out what our audience is thinking by going and reading, uh, comments on YouTube videos, uh, book reviews, uh, all of that stuff. We're, we're taught to go and look at what people are saying about something that's kind of similar to what we do.
Right. Or we could just ask them. What we can just ask them.
Kelly Falardeau: I know, and it was funny cuz when you were telling me that you were gonna ask me that question, I'm thinking, oh my gosh, how do I get people engaged? And that was the first thing that came to mind of that. I asked them, what are your thoughts? And people love it.
RJ Redden: People do. And like we, it's also a different mindset of, um, you know, our, our entrepreneurial mindset in America is, uh, you know, work 16 hours a day at your desk, um, you know, pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.
You don't need anybody. Everybody's out for themselves anyway. Don't trust anybody. Yeah. But if you can switch over to the other mindset that says we're better together. Uh, that we are you. You know, we are not meant to go through entrepreneurship alone. We just are not that. Asking questions of people and getting opinions and getting and having conversations with people is the strength of what we do.
No matter what it is we do. It's the strength of what we do is those conversations and that connection. Um, and, uh, I just, I, I love that answer. And you, you said when you were giving it, you said, oh, it just sounds so simple, but it's the simple stuff, isn't it? It's the simple stuff. , uh, I'll tell you, I'll tell you a quick story.
Um, you, you think you're thinking this interview is about your stories? No. Uh, no. It is. Uh, but I'll tell you a quick one. And, uh, it's about me sitting in a movie theater audience cannot remember the year, but it was the last Harry Potter movie to come out.
Kelly Falardeau: Oh my God. I love the Harry Potter series.
RJ Redden: And back when everybody loved JK Rowling. Have you got a wand there?
Kelly Falardeau: I do. Obviously, my kids brought it back for me. Oh, nice. And I was teasing them because I said, you guys. This is, you guys bought me a real, real one because it says this is not a toy. Yeah. And sure enough, sure enough, on the little piece of paper it says, this is not a toy.
And I'm like, oh my God, you guys are in so much trouble. So continue with your story. Sorry.
RJ Redden: Yeah. Well, I believe I had a wand on me. Uh, and I was all dressed up and so were all my friends, and it was 12.01. And the movie's about to start. And I think what got us here, what got millions of people, you know, to read the books, to watch the movies, to uh, you know, I also did that thing where I would wait in the bookstore on the night that it would come out and, uh, you know, drink butter beer with everybody and you know, just be ridiculous.
What is that that makes us, that makes us want to take a ton of action like that because that's, you know, I want my people to take a ton of action. How do I inspire them? And everybody thinks because of our mindset, we think that the way that I inspire people is I gotta get a great speech, or, well, I mean, and I love speaking.
Don't get me wrong, I gotta get a great, something to say a little nugget, uh, and then, you know, shower them with amazement with this nugget of knowledge or whatever. Wait a minute, wait a minute. What if you could get the same kind of connection and action from asking a question? Yeah. Uh, and you said also an invitation to play.
That is my definition of engagement. It is an invitation to play. Let's interact, let's stop all this business of, I'm going to hopefully turn up on your feed, uh, and then maybe you'll wanna hang out with me. I don't care about that. I don't care for, uh, that kind of stuff. There are no marketing tools that are evil.
Repeat, no marketing tools are evil. Everything can be used for either good or evil, depending on our intentions. Uh, and for me, my intention is to let's interact. My intention is let's build something together because I don't wanna see what I would build alone. Um, you know, it's not nearly as fascinating.
Kelly Falardeau: agree. Yeah, I agree. It's, uh, it's important to work together because the more we work together, the more magic we can create.
RJ Redden: It's absolutely true. It's absolutely true. Well, so Kelly, tell us about, uh, tell us about what you have, uh, available as a special gift for the audience, and I'll paste it into the comment.
Kelly Falardeau: I do. I, um, have a free blueprint, and it teaches people the seven steps on how to publish a book. Yeah. So, um, but yeah, that's, your audience can grab that free blueprint and then connect with me, and then, uh, end of October, I'm having my next event to teach people on how to become a bestselling author. And so, would love to invite you guys to play.
And of course RJ we wanna have you, you play with us too.
RJ Redden: Of course. I will always play with you. I will always.
Kelly Falardeau: You gotta bring your Harry Potter wand.
RJ Redden: Oh, okay. Uh, you know what, he, he was in this office. It is absolutely in this office. I just can't reach it because part of my desk sits over it. So I'll get it. I'll get it though.
Kelly Falardeau: No problem. Maybe we'll have to do a Harry Potter party or something.
RJ Redden: I dunno, perhaps, yeah. That is everybody who, uh, didn't see the link there. It's seven steps author.com. And the words, the, it's a number seven, not the word. Right. So seven. The. Steps, author.com. Get ahold of Kelly.
Find out these secret magical things she's got going on because a hundred percent, a hundred percent rate on getting people to be bestselling authors, uh, that cannot be denied, that cannot be argued with, uh, this is, uh, undeniable fierceness coming right at you. So take advantage of getting ahold of her.
If you're thinking about write a, writing a book, if at least five people have told you you need to write a book if you've got a half-finished book in your drawer. Uh, whatever stage it's in, I would, uh, say bring it to. Bring it to Kelly. Kelly, thank you for being here, uh, for being very patient with all of my questions.
You've just been a treasure to have.
Kelly Falardeau: I love your questions. Thank you. Yes, and I love the engagement question. I, I loved it all. So beautiful. That's what I love about you and me cuz we have just incredible conversations.
RJ Redden: We do, we do every time. Uh, beautiful. Well, so everybody, uh, we're about to, uh, we're about to all fly to our next gigs, our next Zoom meeting right around the corner.
But, um, before we go, just want to give a shout-out to Power Networking. Uh, if you're watching this on LinkedIn, uh, we have, uh, you know, I've got an event going on called Power Networking. I'm putting it on with my partner in Crime, Jane Powers. Uh, you know, uh, she begged me, what can I say? Anyway, it's going to be a networking, it's a two-hour thing, August 31st, that's next Wednesday, 3:00 PM Central.
Do the math if you're in another time zone, and it's going to be filled with networking. uh, filled with real connections with really awesome people and fun and games because I'm going to be present. So how could there possibly not be fun and games, uh, so it's free babies come to the event, just hop on over grasshoppers because you need to know the people that I know.
This is the only way that I thought that I could make that happen in a quick way. Want you to get a lot of value. So hop on over, sign up and we will see you then. Uh, any final words, Kelly?
Kelly Falardeau: Oh, my final word is this. It's a quote that I came up with and it, uh, dreams are meant to be found, not tucked away in dreamland.
RJ Redden: There we go. There you go. There we go. Just let that wash over you, everybody. Uh, and uh, that's it for now. Gosh, it's been a pleasure having you all. If you're watching this on the replay, let me know, and hashtag it. And that's it for now. I will see you all in a bot.
Kelly is a burn survivor since the age of 2 on 75% of her body. She found a way to go from near death to success, from the ugly scar-faced girl to the TEDx stage, not once but twice. A documentary about her life story, Still Beautiful launched on TV plus Goalcast launched a video that has over 10 million views.