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Accounting Apps Podcast | Accounting Technology | formerly Cloud Stories

“Cloud Stories is the world’s coolest accounting podcast” A guy on the Internet told me this once, and I choose to believe him!

The Cloud Stories podcast explores how business solutions integrate with online accounting software (Xero, MYOB and or QBO), and can, in turn, automate processes and improve productivity and profitability. By sharing Cloud Stories from the community listeners gain insights into how small businesses and advisory services can thrive in a brave new world of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robots.

Over the years, Heather Smith has interviewed Accountants • Bookkeepers • Business Consultants • Cloud Advisors • Cloud Integrators • Developers • Small Business Owners • and Solution Providers • who have generously shared their own Cloud Story on the popular podcast.

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Feb 14, 2016

Today on the Cloud Stories podcast I’m talking with Bernadette Schwerdt. Bernadette is the author of Secrets of Online Entrepreneurs: How Australia's Online Mavericks, Innovators and Disruptors Built Their Businesses ... And How You Can Too. Bernadette and I are both authors with Wiley Publishing. We publish books with real pages! Every month Wiley sends authors a newsletter about what other authors are doing and I when I read Bernadette had written a book on the topic of successful entrepreneurs – I thought it would be of interest to listeners of this podcast.

So I approached her and she kindly agreed. We then played calendar games for a few months and finally I’m excited to share with you that she’s on the show!

What I learnt from my conversation with Bernadette is that you don’t need a team of expert in what your business does e.g. if you sell wine you don’t need a sommelier, what you need is a hacker and a hustler.  I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot. In episode 11 of Cloud Stories I spoke with Tejaswi Raghurama at Pipemonk and his job title was Growth Hacker. I need to speak with someone and explore the growth hacker phenomena.

Bernadette also shared that she learnt through her interviews that businesses needed to operate quickly and on a bootstring. If they were to fail they needed to fail forward.  Failing forward essentially means you turn your mistakes into stepping stones that move you forward.

I hope that hearing about how other successful entrepreneurs have succeeded may help you in your own business.

Bernadette is the director of The Australian School of Copywriting, an online training company specialising in the science and art of content marketing. She is the author of the best-selling manual “Writing for Profit” and of the new book “Secrets of Online Entrepreneurs” by Wiley Publishing.

She is a columnist with the magazine Inside Small Business, an Ambassador Blogger for Australia Post, a lecturer in marketing and communications at leading universities around Australia and is in demand as a speaker on leadership, entrepreneurship and marketing.

When she’s not working in marketing, she moonlights as an actor and appears regularly on TV in iconic shows such as Neighbours, Winners and Losers, Jack Irish and others.

In fact I was watching Jack Irish the other night and a lawyer appeared who sounded exactly like Bernadette and I checked the credits and it was her! Jack Irish is a great Australian drama on the ABC at the moment – if you have the chance to watch it.

Bernadette’s business The Australian School of Copywriting was formed in 2001, and has trained thousands of students in the art of copywriting. Specialising in providing real-world, practical techniques, students learn how copywriting can not only benefit their small business, but how it can become a main source of income.

Here’s an extract from Secrets of Online Entrepreneurs – that I read during the podcast:

Morris’s top 10 trends to watch: Lawyers/accountants/service industry

Statutory paperwork and routine regulatory forms will all be completed digitally by 2025, leaving service providers to earn their fees, by selling their wisdom, intuition and feelings.

As the sea of data rises and possibilities exponentially grow, we will be crying out for wise people to make sense and purpose out of all of it for us. We’ll be searching for experts who can let us know – in advance of use even knowing we need to know it – what to do about it or with it. That’s tomorrow’s service industry’s goldmine.

That’s all about understanding and accessing accurate timely big data interpret it, analyse it and communicate it. That’s one of the reasons I invited Geni Whitehouse to be a guest on the show – episode 36 of Cloud Stories – to speak about the importance of communicating in everyday language that small business people understand.

Today’s episode is kindly sponsored by Spotlight Reporting. I wanted to share with you a conversation I had during the week. I was speaking with a bookkeeper who had many freelance professionals from the same industry all on Xero. I explained to her that she could use the Spotlight Multi product and she could suck in all of the Xero organisations, and doing that she could rank them, visualise them, benchmark and consolidate them. Breaking that down, she could see the comparisons between revenue earned against cost of sales whether they were in line with the other business and potentially whether there were exceptions that needed further investigation.

Using a tool like Spotlight Multi can help you sell your wisdom, your intuition and your feelings. You can graphically look at something and quickly see exceptions that can lead you to understand and react to trends in the business. This in turns improves your ability to manage the business.


Laugh like a drain


In this episode I talk to Bernadette about:

  • Mad Men television series
  • What is copywriting
  • E-books vs books with real pages
  • Importance of all employees to have an online presence which incorporates what they want to be known for
  • How to develop high quality content and re-purpose it across platforms
  • When an online business needs a copywriter
  • How should a business engage a copywriter
  • 7 steps to create a successful online business: purpose, people, planning, profit, positioning, profile, promotion
  • Critical to understand the actual business you are in
  • How Malcolm Turnbull made his millions – it may surprise you!
  • The two people every online business needs is a hacker and a hustler
  • Don’t be obsessed with perfection
  • Fast and quick, think fast and fail forward

 Resources mentioned in this interview

 Connect with Bernadette Schwerdt



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