Digital Marketing Strategy: Maximize Your Content Marketing ROI with Stephen Woessner

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Are you looking for ways to increase the return on your content marketing investment?

Would you like to discover actionable tactics that you can immediately put into use in your business?

Stephen Woessner has helped thousands of clients over the course of 20 years, and he’s collected enough data to be able to confidently predict ROI so that his clients can achieve the maximum impact from their online marketing activities.

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, Stephen is going to share exactly what to pay attention to so that you too can predict (and maximize) your own marketing ROI. In our discussion, you will hear us talk about:

  • the #1 mistake that most businesses make when creating their content marketing plan
  • the best online marketing activities to use for immediate profit (if you’re not doing these, you should be)
  • the importance of measuring baselines and how to do it
  • which metrics you need to be paying attention to and why
  • how to create customer anticipation
  • how his clients are using social media to give a huge boost to their marketing results
  • his favorite business book
  • and so much more….

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

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Transcript

Trent: Hey there, bright idea hunters. Welcome to the Bright Ideas
Podcast. I am your host, Trent Dyrsmid, and this is the podcast for
business owners and marketers who want to understand how to use online
marketing and sales automation to massively boost their business. And in
this very episode, we are going to talk with my guest about how he’s
helping his clients to massively, and I mean massively, boost their
business, guaranteed no less. So I’ve got to get lots of answers to those
questions because in the . . . I think this is going to be a really
interesting interview. So my guest is Stephen, and I didn’t ask you how to
pronounce your last name so I’m sure I’m going to butcher it, but I’m going
to take a guess. Woessner?Stephen: It’s Woessner.Trent: Woessner, all right. And Stephen is the founder and president
of a company by the name of Predictive ROI, and he is also the author of
two top books in the digital marketing space. So Stephen, or rather Steve .
. . by the way, do you prefer Steve or Stephen? I think we had our first
bandwidth glitch. Did you prefer Steve or Stephen?Stephen: Either’s fine, it doesn’t matter.

Trent: Okay, so Steve, welcome to the show and hopefully we won’t have
any more bandwidth glitches like that. All right, so just tell us a little
bit about who you are and what do you do? Because I don’t imagine too many
of my audience is familiar with you or possibly even your company.

Stephen: Okay. Well, so for the last 20 years, really since the advent
of commercial Internet, I’ve been collecting tens of thousands of data
points that have given me the ability to identify what I call the seven
money drainers, and those are the things that literally cause websites to
leak serious money every day. And what we do is we teach business owners
how to fix them, and how to fix them immediately, and then how to apply
what I call the eight money-making opportunities. And those are the things
that really drive profits online by 200 to 500% or more in 12 months or
less.

And then as you mentioned in the introduction, we take it even further by
then guaranteeing to our personal consultant clients that they’re going to
deliver or receive X for return on investment, and typically it’s 200 to
300% although we’re working on some engagements where believe it or not
it’s about 1,300% return on investment. And if we don’t deliver that, we
pay the entire fee at the end of 12 months.

So before starting Predictive, I really came out of the private sector. I
have about 15 years of private sector experience. This is my fifth business
that I’ve owned, and then I spent six years in academia. So when I get to
share stuff with new clients and people like you, it’s coming from the
perspective of both private sector and academia. So all of my steps and
processes, the patent pending that we have, it’s all based on good quality
academic research as well as private sector data which makes it rock solid
awesome.

Trent: Terrific. So we actually have two really interesting stories
that I want to dive into in our time. One of them is the building of your
company, which I think we’ll cover second, and first just these . . . you
mentioned the seven money drainers, and then you also in our chat before we
went on air talked about eight money-making opportunities which I’m
assuming is kind of like the way you fix these seven problems, but maybe
I’m jumbling things up. In any case, so let’s dive into that first. You
mentioned that you find these seven areas where websites are leaking money.
Everybody listening to this episode has a website. I’m sure many of those
people are generating revenue from their website and would like to know how
they can stop it from, in your words, leaking money. So let’s dive right
into those seven if we can.

Stephen: Okay, sure. Well the first one is what I call the lack of
baselines and smart predict . . .

. The SMART stands for
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-sensitive. And I’m sure
that you’ve seen this or witnessed this happen many, many times whether
it’s digital marketing or just working with an entrepreneur offline is that
typically a business-owner entrepreneur says I just want more. I just want
more sales, right? I just want more leads, or I want more something.

And so the SMART framework gives us the ability to create very specific
goals and objectives right up front so we know exactly what it is we’re
trying to accomplish and what holes need to be fixed because we know what
our metrics are. So typically, we take some of these unique visitors and
we’ll increase that by 100% or more. That’s the very first predictive we
put in place. So it’s an increase of unique visitors by at least 100% in 12
months or less. And then that first predictive really ends up being the
lynchpin for all of the others, which is bounce rate, typically we’re
looking for a predictive of bringing a bounce rate down from 50 to 60% down
to 30% or less. And consequently, that’s also money drainer number three,
more specifically, about bounce rate.

And then we’re looking to increase leads by at least 100% or more, and
typically it’s by 200% or more. And then the same thing with revenues. So
typically when you ask a business-owner entrepreneur how much did you do
last year in the form of leads or sales or inquiries or traffic? Unless
they’re tracking that data through Google Analytics, sometimes they don’t
know. In fact, the vast majority of the time they don’t know how to capture
that data easily out of Google Analytics, so we can help them. But that’s
why it’s the first money drainer, because they’re not really sure what the
missed opportunity is until you put those measurements in place.

Trent: Okay, so that’s just the first one?

Stephen: It is.

Trent: Then let’s go on to number two. What comes next?

Stephen: So number two is the lack of distinction. And so we work with
clients on this exercise that we call XYZ and we ask a business-owner
executive to answer these three simple questions. So we do X for Y so they
can Z. In fact, we were just kicking off an engagement this morning and
working through that exercise this morning. And the reason why that XYZ is
so important is because . . . and where we feature, we feature it in the
upper left-hand corner typically of a homepage or content page so that
people are insured to see it. Only about 10% of all visitors will actually
scroll below the fold on any content page. You can take that right out of
in-page analytics to Google Analytics.

So we answer those three questions. We do X for Y so they can Z. And then
your audience, self-selects, raise their hand and say yes, that’s for me
and their bounce rate goes down dramatically when that is defined properly.

Trent: Can you give me an example of that? Because I’m still . . .
maybe I’m a bit slow. I’m still not quite clear on the practical
implementation of that.

Stephen: Okay. So let’s say the XYZ for Predictive; we’ll make it a real
tangible example. So we do digital marketing, applying our patent-pending
predictive ROI method, so that’s the X. We do X for Y. And so the Y would
be for companies of a million to 30 million dollars a year in revenue. So
that’s the Y; that’s the customer profile. And then for Z, or so they can
Z, the result outcome, that’s Z . . . so they can increase revenue online
by 200 to 500% or more in 12 months or less, guarantee, or it’s 100% free.
So that’s our XYZ.

Trent: So it’s kind of like an elevator pitch, is it not? It’s the
problem you’re solving, who you’re solving it for and the benefit.

Stephen: Yeah, but it’s putting it in the context of the recipient,
right? The prospective customer and client. Absolutely.

Trent: Okay. So how is that . . . when you talk about fixing that
money drainer, that number two, is that a process that you go through a
client where you say hey, you don’t have X, Y and Z well-define so we need
to get that verbiage or those images or whatever content can phase that
network; we need to do a better job of getting it on the website?

Stephen: Exactly. And so the way you’re saying it right there, it makes
it sound really simple doesn’t it? Because it is. It is not that difficult
of an exercise to go through; it’s actually quite simple to do. But I
suspect that if you go to some of the entrepreneurs that you’ve interviewed
or people within your sphere of influence and take a look at their
websites, it is very easy to have an ambiguous message. And unfortunately,
when you have an even slightly ambiguous message and the result outcome is
not clear, what ends up happening is we experience bounce rate. And then
that leads to the number three money drain.

Trent: Which would be?

Stephen: Which would be?

Trent: Yeah, which would be what? Your turn.

Stephen: The number three money drainer is high bounce rate.

Trent: Okay.

Stephen: So for example, the typical, un-optimized website will have a
bounce rate of between 50 to 60%. So to say that another way, for those
listeners who aren’t quite sure what bounce rate is, so when somebody comes
to any content page within your website, whether that’s a homepage,
article, doesn’t matter. Public service page, doesn’t matter. When they
come to that page and they look at it, for whatever reason they puke in a
bucket; they just didn’t like it. And they immediately leave without making
just one single click? Then the site has passed.

So typically a small business site, small business owners with a website,
their bounce rate is going to be between 50 and 60% if they haven’t done
anything to dramatically bring that down. So to say that another way, we’re
spending all this time on social media and marketing and advertising to
bring all this traffic in, and 60% of them leave without making one single
click.

Stephen: So the way that we fix bounce rate, there are really three
things we do to fix bounce rate. And the first one is the XYZ, and defining
XYZ. So when people come, they self-select and they know they’re in the
right place. It’s not ambiguous; they know what the result outcome is. It’s
very simple. They’re going to dig a little bit deeper and the bounce rate
goes down. Just by putting the bounce rate onto the homepage, we’ve been
able to reduce bounce rate by 10 to 20% in like two days.

Trent: Sorry, by putting what onto the homepage? Because you said
bounce rate.

Stephen: Yeah, by putting the XYZ message on the homepage we’ve been
able to reduce bounce rate by 10 to 20% in just two days.

Trent: Okay.

Stephen: And the second way to reduce bounce rate, so that’s the first
way . . . the second way is to reduce visual clutter or eliminate visual
clutter. And what I mean by that is when you go to a website and there’s 15
different types of either graphics or photos or copy blocks or offers or
sign up for this or download that? I just did a two-day intensive with a
client in New York and we looked at their homepage with their team and
there literally were 15 different things on the homepage.

Unfortunately what happens is, and in fact the Harvard Business Review did
a great story on this in their March 2013 issue, and that was that when you
give more choice, you unfortunately have no action. So we reduce the visual
clutter by removing 15 things and go down to three. Again, it’s very simple
but it has powerful impact. And then lastly, to reduce bounce rate, it’s to
have a very clear call to action like a 1-2-3 step process. Again, these
are things that business owners can absolutely fix on their own, which is
why we teach them, and because they’re not hard you can absolutely do it on
your own if you know what levers to pull and knobs to turn.

Trent: Yeah, what you’re describing right now is exactly what I have
been going through on my own site for the past month. I tested a different
landing page than what is there currently. So what is there currently is
essentially a squeeze page. There’s one call-to-action. It’s join,
subscribe or in faint letters you can click your way through to the blog
without subscribing, and it has a couple benefit statements below. And when
that one was my homepage, the bounce . . . the bounce rate I’m looking at
right now is overall to my site, but the vast majority of traffic goes to
my homepage. It was 62.78%. Then I switched that page temporarily to what
is now the blog page, which is BrightIdeas.co/blog, and my bounce rate went
up to 74.74% and my opt-in rate plummeted as a result of that change which
is why I switched it back. And just in speaking with you, I can see I don’t
think I’ve XYZ’ed my homepage very well. I think there’s probably a fair
amount of room for improvement there.

So when you see, and I’m diverting from the seven but it’s my show and I’m
allowed to do that . . . when you see a properly-optimized opt-in page such
as my home page, what conversion rate would you . . . have you seen? Not
your guess. What conversion rate are you seeing with your clients as an
achievable benchmark?

Stephen: Okay. And so typically, well, a couple things to that. So first
thing, your typical conversion rate of unique visitors is between 2 and 4%.
You know, the global standard, right? And my guess is you’re doing at least
that. But the litmus test we like to use is if it’s less than 2%, there’s
likely a content problem. If it’s more than 4% then you’re doing above the
global standard and that’s great. So now how do we optimize that further?
But when that traffic is coming from social media, we’ve seen that
conversion rate be as high as 22%. That’s a 780% increase because of the
like and trust factor; the relationship that’s in place.

Trent: Yeah, that’s not surprising.

Stephen: Right. So my guess is, what’s your conversion right now? I
would imagine it’s above four.

Trent: Two.

Stephen: Two? Okay. So you’re obviously on the bottom side of the
acceptable range, so I think that just adds validity to your theory that
you were surmising a couple minutes ago about the XYZ issue and so forth.
So yeah, there’s a content issue there for sure.

Trent: Which you can bet I will be working on as a result of this
conversation. All right, let me not divert too much down the rabbit hole.
Let’s go on to point number four.

Stephen: Okay. So point number four or money drainer number four is SEO
done poorly. And specifically what I mean by that is the biggest misstep in
my opinion, with respect to SEO, is poor keyword selection right from the
very beginning. And so we put this process into place for selecting what we
call predictive keywords. Kind of like Gordon Gecko said back in the movie
Wall Street, I bet on sure things? It’s kind of like that with keywords.
Now it might seem fundamental. Yeah, I can go to the Google AdWords tool
and I can type in entrepreneur toolbox and I’ll get a list of things and
that type of stuff. But that’s not deep enough for us.

So here’s what we do. We use a tool called SEOBook.com. That website is
owned by a friend of mine, his name is Aaron Wall. He happens to be one of
the foremost SEO trainers in the world. Just as a disclaimer, I have
absolutely no financial affiliation with Aaron. I just think he has a
rocking, awesome tool and we use it every day.

So you can go to SEOBook.com. You can create a free account and then you
can begin using what he calls the keyword suggestion tool. What I really
like about it is it provides you with data that’s even more precise than
even Google’s AdWords tool. So you can type in any keyword that you could
possibly think of, and it will tell you the number of times every single
day that somebody searches on the keyword in Google.

Now in and of itself, that may not be completely revolutionary. But then we
take that data, which we call the Google Daily Estimate, we take that and
combine it with something else. So once we know that the keyword is used
every single day and is relevant to our business, then we go into Google
and we do an exact match search for that keyword. We put it into quotes.
And as long as that keyword has at least a million or less competing pages,
then following steps 4 through 14 in my SEO book we can get a top 10
ranking on Google in 30 days or less for that keyword.

Trent: When did you write your SEO book?

Stephen: August of 2009.

Trent: So the SEO landscape has changed. I used to get lots of sites
ranked on the first page for long-tail keywords without too much difficult
because I was an opportunistic link builder we’ll say. And that doesn’t
work.

Stephen: Is that code for link farm?

Trent: I have no idea what you’re talking about. That does not work
anymore. So how is it? Because I’ve been around SEO for a few years now.
I’ve built, I don’t know, just shy of 100 sites and I’ve ranked a lot of
them on page one. And the big thing that I had a big bone of contention
with, so I’m calling you out on it here because I want you to explain it to
me, is the number of competing sites is in my opinion irrelevant. It’s the
strength of the top ten, because those are the only ones I care about. So
whether there’s 500 competing sites or 500,000 competing sites, if I can’t
beat any of the top ten, the number of competing sites doesn’t matter. And
you just said as long as it’s less than a million competing sites when you
put your phrase in quotes . . . why? Why is that still true in your
opinion?

Stephen: Okay, well a couple of things. First of all, so I was just out
in Southern California doing a speech and presentation to a group on
Saturday. And some of those people who were engaged in let’s say the
financial planning industry or investments, okay? And so one of the
keywords that we looked at first was financial planning. Okay, I searched
on almost

or unless you’re . . .

Trent: Steve? Sorry to interrupt you, but the bandwidth froze for
about four or five seconds and we missed what you said so I want you to
repeat it if you would please.

Stephen: Okay, sure. So the initial keyword that we started looking at
was financial planning.

Trent: Competitive keyword, I’m sure.

Stephen: Right. It’s searched on 800 times a day and on the services,
like wow, that’s great. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a top ten ranking
for that keyword? And I can’t remember exactly how many competing pages
were listed for that keyword, so it fell out from the competitiveness
standpoint. But also like you just said, the top ten sites that are ranked
for that are going to be really strong sites. It’s going to be large
investment banks; it’s going to be financial planners; it’s going to be
just large companies. So the hope of a small business owner getting on that
first page of results is likely nil.

However, there are a number of adjacent keywords related to financial
planning like financial planning for retirement. Now it’s obviously a
little bit longer tail. It’s searched on 64 or so times per day, and
there’s only 70 or so thousand competing pages. So I think that you’re
right in obviously measuring the strength of the top ten pages, or excuse
me, top ten sites. But what we like to do is we like to look for niche
keywords that are still very relevant to the customer’s business or
client’s business that still provide an influx of traffic. And then we
expand the digital footprint of the site dramatically. We go from ten pages
to maybe 100 pages or more of really great content spread out over many
different keywords. Traffic goes up, leads go up, revenue doubles and lots
of happiness comes as a result. What we don’t do is we don’t try to spend
all of our time to try to get a ranking for a keyword that’s impossible,
because that’s just not a good use of resources.

Trent: Okay, so let me feed that back and make sure that I got it,
because that’s pretty much what I understood. What you more or less just
said is focus on the long tail, build a lot of content and don’t target one
word, target 100 words that are all long-tail so the traffic in aggregate
from those 100 words will be meaningful.

Stephen: Great. You said it much better than I did.

Trent: Okay.

Stephen: You did. That sounds very good. I’ve got to steal that from
you.

Trent: By all means. I’ll trade it to you for a consulting session,
how’s that? [Laughs]

Stephen: Fair enough.

Trent: I’m having fun here so far. Thanks for being on the show. Okay,
number cinco, number five.

Stephen: Okay. So number five is not knowing your customer.

Trent: Oh, I wrote a 2,000 word blog post on this yesterday.

Stephen: Did you seriously?

Trent: I did. I haven’t published it yet. It’s going to be published I
think probably before this interview is published, but yeah. Huge, huge
issue.

Stephen: Totally huge. Yeah, and so I take this actually from Darren
Hardy who’s a good friend of mine from Success Magazine. He’s the one that
actually taught this to me, and I love this so much we worked it into our
process. So we create what we call or he calls the client avatar. Now
again, it sounds simple right? And it’s not a persona. It’s a real person.
In Predictive, we call her Sally. And so Sally had read lots of books;
Sally’s ambitious; Sally is tired of losing money and missed opportunity
and doesn’t know who to believe anymore because she’s been sold a bill of
goods so many different times.

And Sally has literally looked at me and said I need you to deliver on your
promises and that you can do what you actually say that you can do. And so
that’s, within Predictive ROI, that’s our client avatar. So anything that
we put out, whether that be an article or my next book or teaching a class
or whatever, we’re speaking to Sally or her counterpart Harriet.

Trent: And in my case they are Adam and Melissa. They’re on my about
page; you can read all about them. So how does one go about identifying
their Sally? Do they just pick and use their intuition and then say I know
that there’s . . . well I’m not going to answer the question. How does
someone pick their Sally?

Stephen: No, I think you’re on the right path because you obviously have
some experience with this. And so it’s being able to take the group of best
customers and really understanding what their hopes and dreams and fears
and challenges are from an emotional perspective. It’s not necessarily
about widgets and result outcomes. I mean that’s XYZ. It’s more about what
keeps them up at night, that very possible expression. And Darren likes to
say, and I think this is pretty good, it’s like you need to lay in their
bed at night to really understand what is causing them heartache at night
and how your solution could truly be a solution. How you can connect
emotionally.

So much of us are trying to throw out the features, advantages and benefits
and hope that something sticks on the wall, when the reality is people do
business with the people that they like, and they feel that they get them.
Does Trent really understand me? And if we can speak that language, we can
be really successful. I’ve literally in new client presentations, have
given them on a slide what the Predictive ROI avatar is, who Sally is, and
have literally had people on the phone say that’s me. How did you nail
that? So that’s not only the benefit of defining it, but then how to use it
by blatantly putting that out there and letting the prospect self-select
and say that’s me.

Trent: Well how do you do that? I’ve got them on my about page because
I want people to read it and come and say yeah, I’m Adam or I’m Melissa, so
this place is for me. But is that too simple? Is there a better way to do
it?

Stephen: No, I mean I’m trying to think that that’s one . . . that’s a
fantastic way to do it. And then when I’m writing articles or I’m writing
blog posts, I’m literally writing it to Sally. Not to this massive
universe; I’m writing it to her. Or when I’m writing the book that I’m
working on right now, it’s to Harry and Sally. Or when I’m out delivering a
presentation to a new client, I’m speaking to Sally. I’m looking at Harry
and Sally right now. And so it isn’t anything more complicated than that;
it’s a shift from features and advantages and benefits. That comes later.
It’s really speaking emotionally to connect.

Trent: So I’m just going to quickly read to you how I’ve define Adam,
and I’m interested in your feedback. So agency owner Adam runs a marketing
agency with fewer than 25 employees. Adam is busy managing human resources,
marketing, sales operations and the finance for his company and has little
time left for executing new ideas. His biggest challenge is that cash flow
is not predictable enough because he does not have enough retainer clients.
His top priority is lead generation and new client acquisition. Is that
enough? Have I clearly, for my own purpose and my audience, have I defined
Adam enough? Or is that too vague?

Stephen: Yes and no. So really, what’s keeping Adam up at night? The
fact that if he loses an account, he has to let Steve go or he has to let
Becky go? He feels like we’re really ill-equipped in being able to handle
digital, and that scares me to death that there’s these missed
opportunities and I feel like we’re not educated? I don’t want to look like
an idiot in front of my competitors? How come they’re outranking us? That
makes me nervous when I go to a cocktail party or a chamber event or some
sort of industry thing, and I know that I’m behind. It makes me fearful
that there’s all these missed opportunities where if a client asks me a
question, that I feel like I’m not prepared.

So if you are the resource that can help Adam be more prepared, that’s
awesome. That then solves what’s making him nervous at night. That then
gives him confidence that when he’s out in the industry, that he truly is
an expert because maybe he questions whether he’s truly an expert or not.
So I think that you’ve got the surface there, but I think you can peel the
onion even deeper to really cut to the core of what’s bothering Adam.

Trent: And how do you think I should do that? Do you think I should do
a survey, or do you think I should just send an email out to the people who
interact most with me, because I use InfusionSoft and I can see who clicks
what link and how often they click and all that business, and just say hey,
give me a call and talk to them?

Stephen: Personally, I don’t know that you need to. I think you have it
all up here already based on your years of experience and doing it. So I
don’t know that it . . . and here’s the thing. In all the years that I’ve
done surveys, statistical analysis, hundreds of focus groups, the reality
is unless you’re really maybe eyeball-to-eyeball with somebody and somebody
gives you an answer and you say now why was that important to you, Trent?
And they think about it for a second, then they give it to you again; it’s
a little bit deeper. You can say that’s interesting, I haven’t heard that
variation before. Now why is that important to you? And then they give you
something else. Oh my gosh, that is awesome. Why was that important to you?
You have to ask that question three times before you get to the meat and
potatoes of it. You can’t do that in a survey.

Trent: Yeah, so that’s where the phone calls and the one-on-one
interaction can be really beneficial.

Stephen: Yeah, and my guess is that if you really think about those pain
points that Adam was feeling and how you can deliver a solution to that, I
think you already have it. It’s just maybe being able to think about it in
a slightly different way. But I think you’re already there.

Trent: Okay.

Stephen: Most business owners don’t need more data.

Trent: Yeah, you’re right. I’ve been doing . . . I’ve been a business
owner for 14 years now. My business was very, very similar to that of a
marketing agency so I like to think I understand what keeps them . . .
because it’s what used to keep me awake at night, which is predominately
how do I get more leads and how do I get more customers?

Stephen: Yeah, I think . . . so what we’re talking about here, I think,
is kind of a very common thing for business owners is that we tend to de-
value or maybe mis-value the beautiful things that we do every single day,
and the really awesome value you deliver every single day. You obviously
have it. I don’t think you need more data; it’s just maybe being able to
tweak the story a little bit. But you obviously have the experience. I mean
that’s very, very clear.

Trent: Okay, let’s move to number six.

Stephen: Institution speak.

Trent: Jargon, my favorite thing.

Stephen: Yeah, exactly. And isn’t it really easy to kind of fall into
either institution speak, trying to make ourselves seem bigger than we
actually are because we think that that is somehow more attractive? And so
instead of talking about I or we, we end up using big, corporatey buzzwordy
terms? And the reality is that Trent is the man, right? The business owner,
he or she, is the man. They are the brand. So it’s time to really embrace
that, to be forward-facing with that, and realizing that people do business
with people; humans like humans; so let’s be human and let’s be that person
out in front and then great things happen. Leads go up, revenue goes up,
bounce rate goes down, lots of great things happen.

Trent: Makes perfect sense. All right, and the final money drainer,
unlucky number seven. [Laughs]

Stephen: That’s awesome. It’s really the ambiguous call-to-action. And
so what I mean by that is haven’t you ever been to a website, I know that I
have, and you want to give them money? You want to give them your
information. You want to convert and you just can’t. You can’t figure out
how to give them your MasterCard. It’s ambiguous. And so having an
ambiguous call-to-action is a huge money drainer when customers can’t
figure out what next step they’re supposed to take. You need to make it
simple. On the surface that sounds simple, but having a very clear 1-2-3 is
a real great way to solve that.

Trent: Okay, so obviously we have just skimmed, and I emphasize the
word skimmed, the surface of these even money drainers. And we’re going to
talk about some more stuff yet; I want to get to these eight money making
opportunities. But for people who want to know more about the seven money
drainers, do you talk about this in great detail in one of your books?

Stephen: In the one that I’m writing now, yes.

Trent: Okay. So they can’t get that yet. Are you pre-releasing any of
that content on your blog? Is there a report people can get?

Stephen: Actually on my blog right now, I’ve just released I think a
pretty in depth actual instructions and so forth on money drainer number
two. Actually, it was a combination. I did a blog post on money drainer
number two and three. So if they go to my blog, they’ll be able to get that
and follow the steps. I mean there’s nothing hidden there; it’s all right
there in a very clear way.

Trent: Okay. And what about this morning, actually, before I recorded
this, I was spending quite a bit of time in analytics trying to get better
at what I’m looking at and really figure out what the key metrics I should
be focusing on are. Have you got any written material on this? Number one
was lack of baselines. Do you have any documentation that is currently
accessible on that?

Stephen: I was just at the Ritz Carlton in Orlando in one of their board
rooms shooting a training video actually specifically on money drainer
number one. It hasn’t been released yet. And the reason I did that in video
is there’s a whiteboard there and I sketched it all out and I create
several different examples. And really to make it nice and tangible and
crisp. But anyway, we haven’t released that yet but I would think in the
next several weeks we’d have that done.

Trent: Okay. All right, let’s try and make sure that you give me a
link to that because this interview won’t be live for a number of weeks
anyway, so the two will probably time well. So before we move on, and I’m
assuming because I’ve seen you look down at your monitor when we were
talking about my own site, that you’ve probably got it up in front of you.
Just based upon the experience that you’ve had, what would you tell me
would be wrong in the context of these seven money drainers? And you don’t
have to go over all of them; just pick one. The biggest glaring error that
you see?

Stephen: For your site?

Trent: Yeah, for BrightIdeas.co.

Stephen: Actually, I wasn’t looking at that. Hang on a second. Bright
Ideas . . .

Trent: So if you’re listening to this in the audience, I would
encourage you to punch up my site so you can listen along with us as we
pick apart all my mistakes.

Stephen: Would you stop it? I’ve been in the business for 14 years . . .
sorry about that.

Trent: No problem.

Stephen: Okay, so I’m looking at the homepage and you’re asking me to
critique the homepage?

Trent: Yeah. Yeah, I’ve only got a 2% conversion out of that so it’s
not as good as it could be, and maybe it’s the X, Y, Zed issue, or X, Y, Z.
There’s my Canadian in me, saying Zed.

Stephen: When you’re saying conversion, I just want to make sure I’m on
the same thought path as you. Are you talking subscribers where you’re
asking people to give you first name and email?

Trent: Yes.

Stephen: Okay. All right, and so actually that fits in really well with
our second money maker which is build your list. And so you’re obviously
trying to get a list here, and build numbers of subscribers which is really
cool. First of all, it looks like you’ve got a good, responsive design
there; nicely done. I can still see . . .

Trent: Yeah, I had it custom-built for me.

Stephen: Yeah, it looks good. All right, so here’s what I would suggest
is to put it in a place what we consider or what we call value exchange,
something that’s screaming cool. Okay, so like right there, the headline,
learn from the brightest entrepreneurs. Learn what?

Trent: Yep.

Stephen: Okay, so learn what? If you want to succeed in business, the
best thing you can do is surround yourself with other smart entrepreneurs.
Why? At Bright Ideas, we make it easy, how? For you to do exactly that.
What? Just fill out the form below. It gives you free access; free access
to what? And what is the value proposition? So what is the result outcome
by me giving you my private information, what am I getting in exchange
that’s going to help me build my business?

My guess is you can probably articulate that in a really rock solid,
awesome way; it’s just not right here is all. So when that value exchange
is put in such a way that the person looks at that and says oh my gosh, I
need to connect with Trent because of this? We see that conversion rate go
up to 6 to 13%. And typically it’s in the form of something screaming cool
like a book or several free chapters or maybe it’s Trent’s exclusive
insights that have never been seen before or my five interviews with top
executives or these rocking cool business donors that I don’t share with
anybody else, but you can opt in here to get it. Something like that, you
will see your conversion rate go up to 6 to 13%.

Trent: Here’s the funny thing is I actually, and I’m laughing at
myself as I think about this, I have what’s called the Massive Traffic
Toolkit which is a combination of really effective traffic generation
strategies that have been shared with me by the guests here on Bright
Ideas. And once you get past the page you’re looking at, the Massive
Traffic Toolkit is the lead magnet that’s used all over the site. Yet on
the splash page I don’t mention the damn thing.

Stephen: [Laughs]

Trent: What an idiot.

Stephen: Well, okay.

Trent: I hope people listening to this are laughing right now.

Stephen: Okay, so the reality is it takes time. It’s easy to forget some
of the specialness and awesomeness that we each do every single day, and
you were asking me before the interview hey, you’re the social media
expert. Why in the world do you have 358 followers on Twitter? It doesn’t
make any sense. Why? Because I haven’t applied some of my own stuff, which
is almost ridiculous to say, but it’s also easy to do, getting caught up in
running other aspects of our business. So okay, you know how to fix it;
it’s just a matter of doing it.

Trent: Yep, very true. All right, I will be working on that. Let us
continue along then into the eight money makers, and if we have time
because I know we’re almost even closing in on an hour already. Can you
keep going?

Stephen: I can, yeah. I can. Yeah, for a little bit longer, yeah.
Absolutely.

Trent: All right, because people can come back to this. If they can’t
listen to it all in one session, that’s what the pause button’s for. All
right, money maker numero uno, rob banks?

Stephen: Okay, rob banks?

Trent: You know why bank robbers rob banks?

Stephen: Because there’s money there?

Trent: Because that’s where the money is.

Stephen: Yeah, so money maker number one, create your own Ponzi Scheme.

Trent: Wow.

Stephen: No, so money maker number one is something we call harmonize
the offer with the need. And there again I’ve adopted something from Darren
Hardy that he likes to call the White Knight Strategy. So money maker
number one is the white knight. And so it goes something like this. It
takes the XYZ. It blends it with the client avatar and serves it up to make
Trent the white knight solution to all of those pain points that Adam is
feeling. For example, this is what we say at Predictive. Since the advent
of commercial Internet, I’ve collected tens of thousands of data points
that have given me the ability to identify what I call the seven money
drainers. And these are the things that literally cause a website to leak
serious money every day. I can show you how to fix them, and how to fix
them immediately. And then I can show you how to apply what I call the
eight money making opportunities, and these are the things that drive
profits online by 200 to 500% or more in 12 months or less.

And then here’s the kicker, I can even show you how to predict your
financial return on investment before you even begin. So more visitors,
more leads, more sales. And if we don’t deliver the return on investment we
promised, it’s 100% free, guaranteed. So that white knight strategy
delivers our XYZ and it serves it up in a format that Sally is really going
to like because she has been abused before, treated poorly in engagements
before, false promises, under delivering, all of those things. It’s like
you can do all of that and you’re willing to guarantee it? We are. You’re
willing to put that in writing? Yes.

Trent: Where do you communicate that particular piece of information?
Is it going to be in a video of you that pops up? Is it written on the
homepage? Where does it go?

Stephen: Okay, so the way that I deliver the white knight is typically
during presentations, you know, speeches, presentations, training, where
I’m live. It’s typically not in written form. And then we use snippets of
it within articles that I write as we’re working on the next book and that
kind of stuff. It’s in our proposals. It’s actually right in the executive
summary of our proposals. And it’s in the introduction to all our training
videos, like when I was down in Florida recently, last week that I
mentioned, I shot these three training videos. And so I start off by saying
hi everyone, this is Stephen Woessner, founder of Predictive ROI. And in
case this is the first video you’re watching for me, here’s a brief
introduction. Then I go into white knight.

And at the end it’s like this is rock solid, awesome stuff. I’m going to
step into a boardroom here at the Ritz Carlton and I’m going to teach you
all about money drainer number two. And then I deliver ten minutes of
awesomeness with money drainer number two. There’s nothing left on the
table. It’s all give, give, give. There’s no smoke and mirrors or I’m
hiding stuff or anything like that. I’m giving the whole thing and I hope
it serves you well. And so then that establishes trust because I truly want
people to take that stuff and use it. This isn’t some sort of underhanded
marketing scheme; I want people to benefit from it. And I think that that
establishes trust and being genuine, and really sticks with the white
knight.

Trent: Okay, so number two on the money makers is what?

Stephen: Number two, going back to your homepage, it’s what we call
build the list. The reality is the most valuable asset in any business is
the list. It’s not employees; it’s not product; it’s not inventory; it’s
not capital, equipment, buildings. Because all that stuff could burn down
and all your employees could walk out and you could completely reinvent the
business if you have to. You certainly wouldn’t want to, clearly. But if
you had to, there was a time when it was just you anyway. So if you had to
rebuild it again, you could.

But I’ll tell you what, if all your customers walked out one day, that
would suck really bad. So the most valuable asset in any business is the
customer list. So what can we do like immediately to build the list
rapidly? And so we put these value exchanges into place. And I didn’t look
to see how your site is coded. Is that a WordPress site?

Trent: It is, yes.

Stephen: And so we do a lot of dev work in WordPress. It’s escaping me
right now, I can email it to you later, but there’s a very inexpensive
WordPress plug-in. I think it’s like WP Email Capture I think. Don’t quote
me on that, but I’m almost positive that’s what it is. I think it’s free to
maybe being a couple dollars. And we take that WordPress plug-in, and that
creates a popover. Not a popup; not an annoying pop under; not all these
goofy windows that when somebody wants to leave your site, we harass them;
none of that stuff. But we put up a good quality popover which is
essentially a layer between the homepage and the viewer, and then we give
them this screaming cool offer. You know, the very best insights from Trent
that nobody’s ever heard before, just for you. Or my exclusive audio series
or whatever. Something that delivers huge value. And then what happens when
we put that in place to any visitor, whether it’s homepage or one of your
articles or whatever, between 6 and 13% of all visitors will opt in and do
that.

Trent: I’ve got one of those now. I use a plug-in called Pippity which
is I think $47 and I’m a big fan. The controls are phenomenal. You can put
in . . . so you can have, so the way I’ve got it for example, on anything
other than the homepage, on your visit there’s a fade-in, just what you’ve
described. It makes an offer. Then on your second, if you click X on that
one and you keep reading, as you scroll down I have another strip that
comes up from the bottom when you get to the bottom of the post that has
another message on it. That’s the Pippity plug-in; it works really well. It
doesn’t take any rocket science to put in all the features and
configurations and so forth. So I’m a big fan of that, but I’ll tell you
I’m not getting 6 to 12% conversion so my XYZ is obviously not as well-
defined yet as it needs to be.

Stephen: Yeah, that sounds like it.

Trent: Okay, number three.

Stephen: Number three, and I’m looking at my notes which is why you may
see my eyes shifting, is nurture relationships and increasing sales. So
once somebody opts in and you use InfusionSoft, we’re big fans of Instant
Customer. Are you familiar with Instant Customer?

Trent: No, I’ve never heard of that one before.

Stephen: It’s really great. Now again, just as a disclaimer for you and
your audience, I have absolutely no financial affiliation with Mike
Kennings who created Instant Customer. But my opinion, it’s rock solid
awesome because the downside with InfusionSoft, and maybe you’ve
experienced this, is a couple times a year, the entire thing goes down
because a lot of spammers use InfusionSoft. I’ve gone toe-to-toe with
InfusionSoft about that issue, and they’ve admitted that sometimes they get
blacklisted.

In fact, a very good friend of mine actually just forced a refund from
InfusionSoft because of their deliverability issues. Not good. So if you
haven’t experienced any problems, that’s great, but lots of other people
have with InfusionSoft. So with that said, what I really, really like about
Instant Customer are two main things. So when somebody signs up or they opt
in, on value exchange, they immediately go into Instant Customer. And then
Instant Customer sets up the automated sequence.

So we deliver then three or four more value-based emails that come as a
result of downloading the first book. So that in and of itself is not
necessarily rocket science. But the content that we put into those emails
is, because again, we’re using Client Avatar; we’re using White Knight; and
so we’re putting out an offer and additional value that is in the right
language and context. Then what we typically do is we lead somebody into
what we call the no like and trust funnel. I take that from John Jantsch
from Duct Tape Marketing. I thought he hit the nail right on the head when
he said that.

So the no like and trust funnel, so we’re delivering these emails, moving
them through the no like and trust. Then at the bottom we’re inviting them
to an exclusive webinar just for the people who downloaded the book or
whatever. We’re giving them an exclusive webinar. We then deliver 60
minutes of awesomeness, really great stuff, not holding anything back. And
then at the end we give them an opportunity to either buy something, become
a lead, talk to a salesperson, convert on this membership opportunity,
whatever it might be. And then huge conversion rates go up.

For example, one of our clients had a relatively small list, about 2,000 or
so people. She had been using that list for years. I mean it was the
epitome of list burnout, okay? And was not getting any conversions off the
list. And I’m not trying to be overly dramatic; that was just the reality.
So we put this system in place that we nurture and developed sales over
time. We put a value exchange in place on that company’s website. We put an
instant customer funnel in place that led to a webinar, actually two
webinars. She did an incredible job of creating that campfire effect during
the webinar where people felt really, really good about the content she
delivered.

Trent: Are these live? Sorry to interrupt, but are these live webinars
or can they be recorded and put on autopilot?

Stephen: It was a live webinar because then we dealt with live Q&A. Then
at the end we did two things where we said for the next 48 hours, you have
access to this offer and after that it goes to the full distribution list.
So we sent out that email to all the webinar attendees, or registrants,
excuse me. Then we did that twice in four weeks and we generated $110,000
in revenue in four weeks off of presumably a dead list.

Trent: What was the offer?

Stephen: She is in . . . she’s in the financial industry, and so she is
selling a very high-end mentoring type sort of coaching program if you
will, actually like a licensing program. It’s about five grand a year. It’s
a premium-type price, so it’s not like it’s a $69.95 type offer. It’s a
relatively big-ticket item for somebody in that space. And again, these are
people who had known about her for years, or her business I should say for
years. She’s not a one man band; she’s across the country. And knew about
this company for years. So she had credibility in the marketplace, but the
offer just wasn’t right. And she is an expert. We just tweaked the message
and great things happened.

Trent: Yeah, no kidding, 110,000 of them. All right, I am . . . I do
want to ask a question about Instant Customer, because I am a pretty big
fan of InfusionSoft but I have not, out of sheer laziness more than
anything else, checked what the sender score on my server is. And for those
of you who are listening, if you don’t know anything about email
deliverability, your sender score is a number between 0 and 100 that the
ISPs use to determine how much of the email you send will get into the
inbox of the recipient. It was a shocker to me before I knew anything about
this stuff that just because you send out 5,000 emails doesn’t mean they’re
all going to get to the inbox. As a matter of fact, if your sender score is
low enough, less than half of them will get to the inbox.

So as a customer of Instant Customer, a couple questions. One, do they give
you . . . can you get the sender score on the IP address of the server
that’s sending the email? Do you have to ask or do they easily make that
available for you?

Stephen: That is a great question, Trent, and I have never asked for it
and so that’s something I will have to ask them because I’m not sure.

Trent: Okay. Number two, what I particularly like about InfusionSoft,
and I’ve looked at other systems and they’ve not been able to match this
yet, is the campaign vendor. So you need to segment your list. If you want
maximum conversions, you can’t treat everybody the same because they’re at
different points; they have different priorities. They’re at different
points in the buying cycle. So you need some way to let the behavior of
your list segment the list for you. I call it behavioral segmentation. I’m
sure I didn’t coin the team, and if I did, lucky me. But the point of it is
that InfusionSoft allows me to build a campaign on their campaign canvas
and it’s all drag-and-drop. It’s really easy to do once you have the logic
in your head of what you want to do. Implementing it is very easy.

And then based upon what links people click in your various emails . . . so
instead of having a single path through your funnel, so email number one,
number two, number three, number four in series? You can actually, to use
an electronics term, you can have things happen in parallel. So you can
have multiple paths through your funnel, and the path that a given prospect
goes down will be determined by the links that they click and the
subsequent tags, which is just a method of categorizing people that get
applied within InfusionSoft. I think that’s really badass. Does Instant
Customer allow you to do something similar, or is it more like an AWeber
where you just send them in and they get email one, two, three, four, five,
six, seven? I mean with AWeber you can make them join other lists, but it’s
kind of clunky and it’s a pain in the ass to do. How does Instant Customer
deal with that?

Stephen: You know, it’s a little bit of a hybrid between those two. But
I will tell you the learning curve, at least for us, on Instant Customer
was a bit significant because one of the cool things, I agree, with
InfusionSoft is it’s visual. I mean it looks almost like a schematic.

Trent: Yeah, it does.

Stephen: Drag-and-drop, that’s kind of cool. And Instant Customer is not
that way. So it’s a little bit of a learning curve for us, and so I have
not found it to be very intuitive. Now with that said, to be able to go
into different campaigns based on behavior and so forth, yes they give you
that option. But my guess is it’s not going to be as sophisticated as what
you’re used to with InfusionSoft.

Trent: So what’s the big reason you like Instant Customer so much?

Stephen: Oh, okay. So the second piece to that is aside from setting up
these auto-responders which are cool, the other thing I really like is, and
I’m pretty sure InfusionSoft cannot match this, is let’s say Trent is out
giving a speech someplace and there’s 1,000 people in the room. You’re out
there, you’re delivering great content, and you see people just rapidly
taking notes and trying to catch everything you’re saying, right? All this
great stuff. You’re like hey, hang on a second. We’ve got 60 minutes
together. I want you to stay here, listen to what it is I’m saying instead
of frantically trying to write it all down. In fact, just text me your name
and email address to the number you see here on the screen and I’ll
instantly send you the PowerPoint so you have it.

You’ll end up scraping probably 70 to 80% of the emails of the people who
are in that room because they want to get that PowerPoint they’re trying to
copy down, then they instantly go into a funnel. Or we all have smart
phones, and if you have an iPhone, Instant Customer has a great app where
if somebody comes up to you, instead of exchanging business cards, they get
your card, you take it, you shoot it with your phone and it instantly goes
and sends them a PDF or whatever sort of deliverable. So we like those
kinds of things.

Trent: I interviewed the founder of . . . his name’s Chris Branson, of
a company called Call Loop. And I’m pretty sure . . . I know he integrates
with InfusionSoft, and I’m pretty sure he does what you just described. But
again, we’re kind of getting off track. If people want to investigate that,
they can do it on their own or send me an email or what have you, or send
you an email. All right, so we’re at three of eight. We need to get through
. . . I want to finish this list of eight. So what is number four? Number
three was nurture relationships which obviously is done with whatever
software platform you choose to use. But number four, what happens there?

Stephen: Okay, so number four is what I call no friction lead
generation.

Trent: Okay.

Stephen: And so what I mean by that is taking sort of the essence of
what you have on the homepage, right now on the BrightIdeas.co, and just
tweaking that by putting again the value exchange next to that form. So
people know the financial value or result outcome or whatever it is by
giving you their first name and email address, so it’s very, very clear. If
I give you this, I’m going to get that. So it’s the balance of the
give/take relationship.

Because don’t you hate it when you go to a website, and yours doesn’t do
this, but don’t you hate it when you go to a website and they ask you like
27 different things? It’s almost like they want your DNA sample in order to
sign up for a newsletter. It’s like what are you doing? Why are you asking
for all of that stuff? So no friction lead generation is where we combine
value exchange, where we’re giving something, in exchange for first
name/last name and email address. And that’s the only thing we’re asking
for.

So this is pretty close, what’s on the homepage now. And by going through
that XYZ we were talking about before, I think even if you just did that
you’d see your conversion rate go up. Substantially, probably.

Trent: I will be running experiments on that and I will actually be
blogging about the results of those experiments. So if you are listening to
this and would like to participate in that as a voyeur, make sure you go to
BrightIdeas.co and join the email list because I will be sharing those
experiments with my subscribers. And by the way, just another tip too on
this opt-in form with no friction, what I and others do is on the first . .
. because the more forms, the more fields you have for someone to complete,
the higher the abandonment rate of the page. So why ask them everything at
once? Why not just get the email address and when they submit, when they
click submit, take them to another page that says hey, why don’t you tell
me more about yourself? What’s your last name? What do you do for a living?
What are you interested in? What keeps you awake at night?

Because they’ve already then made their small purchase, their psychological
purchase decision and you have their email. Whether they choose to fill out
the second form or not, you have now the opportunity to ask them as many
times as you’d like in the future by giving them value exchanges to get
more information, to learn more about them. But that first one, that’s why
I only ever ask for first name and email because I can get all the other
stuff. I can work at getting the other stuff later, but if I don’t get the
email, I’m done. I can’t do anything.

Stephen: Right.

Trent: Okay, how about number five?

Stephen: Creating anticipation. And this is where we do what’s called
seeding and opening loops.

Trent: Yep.

Stephen: And so within those value-based emails we’re sending out,
again, we say things like there’s nothing to sell here or you just
downloaded those seven tips and here comes number eight. Actually, there’s
47 steps in our entire process. We can’t go through all of those right now,
but here’s number eight, ten minutes of awesomeness. Then you deliver on
your promise of giving them ten minutes of awesomeness on the sales pitch.
And then a few days later we come back with hey, if you like number eight,
here’s number nine. This is number nine of 47. So we’re seeding and opening
loops, the fact that there’s 47 total tips. And then we’re delivering on
that promise. We’re giving eight, we’re giving nine and so forth.

And so at the end of those training videos that I just produced in Florida,
I talk about the event that we’re having in January down there, January 14
at the Ritz Carlton. We’re inviting 350 high-performing business owners and
executives to come. I talk about the result outcomes that they’re going to
be able to get. They’re going to hear from people like Darren Harvey and
Avanosh Kashik and Phillip Magoffin from Marketing Experiments and Mech
Labs; from me; from Don Yaeger; from some really amazing people who are
going to help them build their business. And then I also say that
registration’s not open yet. It won’t be for several more months, so
there’s no sales pitch here. But I do want you to know that when
registration opens, there are only 350 seats available so good fortune’s
going to go to those who act quickly. More details on that later. I hope
this ten minute video serves you well and farewell. So what I’ve just done
is seeded an open loop that at some point they’re going to get something
about the event, so they’re more aware of it. It creates anticipation.

Trent: Did you ever used to watch the TV show Lost?

Stephen: No. I mean I know of the show but didn’t see it, no.

Trent: Lost . . . open loops is a screenwriter’s concept as I’m sure
you’re well aware that is as old as dirt, and Lost was brilliant, brilliant
with open loops. I never missed an episode of Lost because invariably what
they and every other TV show does is at the very end of the episode, they
open a new loop that you’re dying to know how that . . . because we all
want closure. We’re human beings; we’re just wired to have closure. We all
want to know how it’s going to turn out, so we tune in next week.

And they even go so far as to open mini loops before commercials. I don’t
think it’s as effective now because people skip . . . who watches live TV
anymore? We just skip past all the commercials. But back in the day, I
think that it was probably more effective. And they would create that level
of curiosity so you would hang around for the end of the commercial so you
figure out what’s going to happen.

Stephen: Right. It’s a masterful thing.

Trent: It is indeed. All right, numero six. What do we have there?

Stephen: Social media done right which is a bit ironic because of how
you were beating me up before we started our call.

Trent: Yeah, I was beating you up wasn’t I?

Stephen: [Laughs] That’s okay, I deserve it. It’s fine.

Trent: You know, I love being candid so I’m going to say . . . because
I was referred to you by another, by Nancy who I enjoyed interviewing
immensely. When she referred you I just automatically said hey, do you want
to be on my show? And then some weeks later when I was actually preparing
for the interview and I’m looking at your website which you said needs a
big upgrade, and then I’m looking at this guy’s written a book on social
media and he’s got no social media following. I didn’t know you were the
founder of Predictive ROI. I thought wow, this guy’s an academic with a
book about social media and he’s got no social media following; what the
hell am I going to interview him about?

And I was nearly going to cancel, but I didn’t because I thought well,
Nancy was kind enough to refer him. And I enjoyed . . . so there must be
something I’m not seeing, and I need to talk to him to figure out what it
is. And now I’m glad I went ahead with the interview.

Stephen: Well, I’m glad that you did too because I’ve enjoyed the
conversation immensely. So social media done right, we’ve talked before
about how conversion rate changes when they come from . . . visitors come
from Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, whatever, because of that relationship.
That no like and trust funnel, again, as John mentions in Duct Tape
Marketing. And so specifically there’s a recipe that we use that’s actually
right out of my book, right out of the data. In fact, the data from my book
was actually published, like the foundational data, was actually published
in the journal of e-business and so it’s both peer reviewed scholarly
research, but then I’ve also made it private sector applicable.

And so that conversion rate changes. Here’s the recipe. You want to post at
least two times a day, once in the morning, once in the afternoon. Not any
more than that. Monday through Friday, two times a day, once in the
morning, once in the afternoon. And then you want to make . . . so you and
I being business owners, and we represent the brand, right? New demand. So
we want to do what I call six life and profession related posts to every
one product or service related post.

So Trent talks about new articles that he’s written, new interviews that
he’s done, birthday parties, vacations, kids, all this other type of stuff.
So we really get to understand who Trent is as a person. I want to see
Christmas morning at your house. I want to see kids opening birthday
presents. I want to see family over. I want to see you out catching fish,
or whatever it is you like to do. I want to see those things because then
that makes you a very tangible person.

But also, or in addition to that, I want to know when you were just
speaking at some event. I want to know if you did a keynote. I want to know
the latest article that you did or the research or these blogs that you’re
talking about or these studies that you’re going to do, the experiments.
That is awesome. That adds to your value. So I want to see six of those to
every one time you invite me to come to a webinar or to a . . . something
that’s product or service related, buy this thing, download X or whatever.
Six to one. So on Monday, you’ll be

, on Tuesday, two life and
profession related posts. On Wednesday, same thing. And on Thursday morning
it’s attend this or buy that or whatever. Six to one.

Trent: Let me jump in with a question and comment. Now is this . . .
when you say two posts, is this on your Facebook wall or is this Twitter?
Because I do a lot more on Twitter, and Twitter is my largest source of
traffic.

Stephen: Yeah, and so actually I do . . . within the book, two posts a
day across all channels. So with Twitter, I think Twitter is phenomenal,
especially if somebody has something that’s time sensitive. If you’re
promoting something with the element of time, Twitter’s fantastic. In doing
things correctly, I mean Twitter should be at least 10% of your traffic,
maybe more. How much traffic, a percentage basis, does Twitter represent
for you?

Trent: Less than . . . just shy, probably about 8%.

Stephen: Okay.

Trent: It’s just of my social referrals from any and all social
networks, Twitter is twice the second source which is Reddit. I should say
this is over just the last 30 days; I’m not looking at a window currently
any longer than that. And I think the reason for that is when I do
interviews with people, the day that it publishes, I contact my guests and
ask them to tweet it out and many of my guests have very large followings
so I think that’s why.

Stephen: That makes sense.

Trent: I don’t think it’s that I’m any Twitter genius.

Stephen: And how many Twitter followers do you have?

Trent: Me? Oh man, I don’t even know. I can tell you real quick. I
don’t even think I have a thousand; I think it’s in the hundreds. I will
tell you in just a second here, as soon as I get logged into Twitter. I
have 1,252 followers, not that I’ve ever put any particular great effort
into it to be honest with you.

Stephen: Well, it sounds like you’re using Twitter in a very strategic
way, asking your guests to tweet that out on your behalf. That’s coming
back to traffic to your site. That makes sense. Again, that’s time-
sensitive right? You just did something. There’s the element of time;
that’s great. Mark Cuban, he’s an investor in a pizza chain down in New
Orleans called Make It Pizza. And every day, they attribute 15% of their
sales to Twitter. Again, it’s an element of time. And so that makes a lot
of sense. Where are we going to get lunch today? I don’t know, I just got
this tweet from Make It Pizza so let’s go there. So that’s where Twitter, I
think, in my opinion, really, really fits well. But for people to just be
tweeting 18 to 20 times a day about every little thing that’s going on in
their life, from a business perspective I don’t think there’s a lot of
value.

The whole point, in my opinion, of social media is to do these two times a
day, move on with life. You’re running your business. You can do social
media by following these steps in like 10 to 15 minutes a day. I’m a huge
advocate for 10 minutes a day. Not sitting in Hoop Suite all day long
because I’ve got other things to do.

Trent: Yeah. Yeah, I agree. Okay, number . . . I’ve got so many pages
of notes I’ve got to turn it over. Number seven, two to go.

Stephen: Okay, so number seven and number eight really run parallel with
one another. And that’s how do we increase conversion rate by 200 to 400%
or more? So number seven is we’re big fans of retargeting. I really like
the company called Ad Roll. Google’s rolling out and doing a very good job
of remarketing as well within Google Analytics. I like the Ad Roll product;
I think it’s great.

Trent: Ad Roll or Admiral?

Stephen: No, Ad Roll. So you can find them at AdRoll.com. And so their
gift in life is retargeting, so for those of your listeners who are not
quite sure what that is, somebody comes to BrightIdeas.co and then Ad Roll
sets a cookie so next time I’m out at like the Wall Street Journal or any
place that accepts Google Ads, then I see an ad for Trent and I see an ad
for Trent’s latest webinar or latest book or latest whatever. And then what
happens is conversion rate goes up by 6x to 8x because I already have some
level of relationship with Trent. So the conversion rate goes up
dramatically.

Trent: This is assuming Trent is an advertiser with Google AdSense. If
you’re not buying any paid ads, retargeting’s not going to do you any good.

Stephen: Oh no, no, no. If you’re doing a placement through Ad Roll,
completely different from AdSense. Completely different.

Trent: Sorry, I used the wrong term. I need to be buying ads from Ad
Roll or whatever retargeting platform I’m using for retargeting to work is
the point I was trying to get at.

Stephen: Yes.

Trent: So using Ad Roll, that’s my one-stop shop or that is a one-stop
shop for buying traffic and having retargeting happen. You know, the first
time I purchased an engagement ring for my fiance a couple months ago, and
I got it from Blue Nile, I’ll tell you I was seeing Blue Nile ads on every
website I went to. And I’m thinking what the hell is going on here?

Stephen: [Laughs] We’ve got a live one here.

Trent: Yeah, because I’d put the ring in the shopping cart and it sat
in the shopping cart of Blue Nile for I don’t know, two or three weeks or
something like that while I pondered whether I had made the right choice. I
was just getting hammered with Blue Nile ads everyday after that.

Stephen: That’s right, it’s a full quarter press on Trent.

Trent: Pretty much. All right, so retargeting helps conversions a
whole bunch.

Stephen: Indeed. And then lastly we’re big fans of A/B testing, and so
what we use is . . . the tool is Visual Website Optimizer. You can find it
at VisualWebsiteOptimizer.com. Again, no financial affiliation with VWO; it
just happens to be, in my opinion, the easiest A/B testing tool that’s out
there. I can literally create an experiment, a B variation for a content
page, I can literally create that in about ten minutes, launch the test,
increase conversion rate by 200% or more in ten minutes.

Trent: I’m actually doing . . . I use Optimizely myself. So if you’re
listening to this, check them both out. The interface . . . the demo videos
seem very, very similar. I think, if I remember correctly which is why I
chose it, I think Optimizely is a little bit less expensive. Maybe it’s not
as good as Visual Website Optimizer; I haven’t used it. But I will say
creating the B version, again, super, super, super simple to do. And you
should always be testing. Always, always, always, always because how are
you supposed to . . . that’s the great thing about online marketing is you
can test everything. But you shouldn’t test everything all at once because
then you won’t know.

Stephen: Indeed.

Trent: All right. All right, so I still have more questions. I wanted
to talk to you about the building of your business, but I have kept you on
this podcast now for an hour and a half so I think maybe we should wind it
up.

Stephen: Wow, it has been an hour and a half. Holy cow, that went really
fast.

Trent: I think you may be the longest podcast on record with Bright
Ideas, and the ironic part is I didn’t even want to do this with you.

Stephen: [Laughs]

Trent: I was thinking to myself how do I get out of this without
getting egg on my face? And I’m glad that I didn’t cancel.

Stephen: I think that makes me feel special.

Trent: It should. I was sitting in front of my monitor last night at
11:30 and I had the draft of the I’m going to not have you on my show
email, and I couldn’t click the send button because I thought Nancy who I
really enjoyed interviewing, I thought she’s a smart woman. She didn’t
introduce me to some goofball; there’s got to be a reason why she told me
I’ve got to interview this guy. So with full credit to Nancy, and Nancy I
hope you’re listening, that this interview happened. It’s been terrific; I
really enjoyed it.

Stephen: Thank you. And I’ve really enjoyed it as well, so thanks for
having me on. Good conversation. It’s been fantastic, so thank you for
that.

Trent: Yeah, and I want to have you back because I’ve got so many
things I want to talk to you about. I might even want to see if you want to
team up with me on what I call a master class, but we’ll talk about that
here when we get off the air. Before I finish, I always like to ask just a
couple quick questions at the end. What are you most excited about, Steve,
for 2013?

Stephen: Wow, I think it’s really . . . a couple things. But I think it
really sort of involves around this event that we’re doing. And take like
the promotional stuff out of it for just a second, but one of the things
that I have built into Predictive is this message of empowerment and
education probably comes from my academia background, that I truly,
sincerely, genuinely want people to be able to learn this stuff and be able
to teach that. So I wasn’t trying to hold anything back today. There was no
hold barred. You could ask me anything you want whatsoever. And that’s the
way we approach it with clients. That’s the way we approach it when I teach
a class or seminar. And that’s what I really, really love.

So as that builds up to our event, it’s such an awesome opportunity, and
also responsibility, to be able to teach 350 business owners and
entrepreneurs. That’s going to be a really exciting two and a half days.
I’m so looking forward to that.

Trent: Yeah, I’ll bet. Favorite book that you have read in the last
six months? Business book.

Stephen: Business book? Let’s see. Well, I’ve read several that are
really good. But the one that I’ve read most recently that I thought rocked
was the I think now third edition, maybe even more than that, John
Jantsch’s recent version or latest edition I should say of Duct Tape
Marketing. I think he crushed it. It’s a phenomenal revision. I think it’s
really, really good. I highly suggest it for anybody. And then also the
book with John Wooden and Don Yaeger. So Don Yaeger wrote the book with
John Wooden about the Game Plan for Life. It’s a phenomenal book on
mentoring, and I’m studying it right now. In fact, I think I’ve . . . here
it is.

Trent: Wait a minute, isn’t Game Plan for Life . . . because Coach Joe
Gibbs has also a book called Game Plan for Life.

Stephen: Yeah, so this book was actually written by John Wooden and a
good friend of mine, Don Yaeger. It is phenomenal, and I’m using it right
now as I’m developing the new employees and training them. It’s really
taught me amazing weapons on how to be a better leader, about mentoring.
It’s phenomenal.

Trent: Okay. The confusion is that one of the books by Joe Gibbs is
called Game Plan for Life, and the one you’re talking about is A Game Plan
for Life. I don’t know what publisher genius allowed that to happen, but
anyway. Okay, so A Game Plan for Life. And how can people get a hold of
you? Do you want to give up your email address or your post office box or
website? Whatever you want to give.

Stephen: Sure, they can go to StephenWoessner.com. And my email address,
my direct email address, is just sw@stephenwoessner.com. So they’re welcome
to contact me there.

Trent: Okay, and your company website, which I’m assuming . . . it’s
being rebuilt now, but by the time this goes live it’s probably going to be
back online. It’s PredictiveROI.com right?

Stephen: It is.

Trent: All right, thank you so much for being on the show. It’s been a
blast. I’ve learned plenty. I have homework to do now, darn you, and I hope
the listeners also have got a lot out of this. You will be able to ask
questions, listeners, so if you hear, as soon as I wind up the recording,
I’ll do the little outro that I always do and tell you how to get to the
blog post for this and if you have questions for Stephen or myself, make
use of the comments to do that. So thanks very much, Stephen.

Stephen: Thanks very much for the time.

Trent: All right, to get to the show notes for today’s episode, go to
BrightIDeas.co/45. If you run a marketing agency and you want to get access
to the 2013 Marketing Agency Industry Report, go to
BrightIDeas.co/2013Report. And finally, if you’re looking for some traffic
generation strategies that actually work, go to
BrightIdeas.co/MassiveTraffic and enter your email address. You’ll be given
access to the Massive Traffic Toolkit which is a compilation of many of the
very best traffic generation ideas that have been shared with me by my
guests here on Bright Ideas. I’m your host, Trent Dyrsmid. Thank you so
much for tuning in to this episode. I had a blast. I hope you had just as
much fun listening to it and you got a lot out of it. And if you did,
please do me a favor. Down at the bottom of the blog post, there’ll be a
link that’ll take you to the iTunes store where you can leave some feedback
for this episode. I would love it if you would leave five stars and your
comments, because every time you do that it helps the show to get more
exposure, more entrepreneurs become aware of Bright Ideas, and the more
entrepreneurs that we can help to massively boost their business with all
the bright ideas that are shared by the guests here on the show. Thanks so
much for tuning in; we will see you on the next episode. Bye-bye.

About Stephen Woessner

StephenWFor nearly two decades, Stephen Woessner has been in the trenches consulting with hundreds of clients and teaching them how to leverage digital marketing tactics like search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and e-mail to expand into new markets, introduce new products, decrease costs, and increase revenue. Woessner is a digital marketing authority, bestselling author, speaker, and educator.

Woessner is also an entrepreneur and has made costly mistakes along the way. He built one of his previous companies up to a valuation of $10 million and enjoyed significant success as a result of digital marketing leadership. However, he also lost millions when the dot com bubble imploded. This expensive lesson taught Woessner the valuable principle of always measuring the return on investment (ROI) before any action is taken.

Learn more about Stephen at stephenwoessner.com.

Thanks for Listening!

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Welcome to the Bright Ideas Community of Entrenpreneurs

Digital Marketing Strategy: How to Make Your Agency Website 30% More Effective with Mark OBrien

, ,
Mark Obrien Image

Would you like to drastically shorten the time it takes you to get thousands of subscribers on your list?

Do you think that if you had 4,000 engaged subscribers that you would see a meaningful impact on the bottom line?

Would you like to hear from a guy who’s done it successfully?

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, I’m joined by Mark O’Brien, CEO of NewFangled.com and in our discussion, you are going to hear Mark and I talk about:

  • why many marketing agency websites aren’t consistently generating qualified leads
  • the four goals your site should help your firm to achieve
  • how to create content that will engage your audience
  • how to add thousands of subscribers to your list in under 30 days
  • the CRM and marketing automation tools that you need to be an expert in
  • the key performance indicators that an agency site should be measured by
  • how Mark went from intern to President to CEO of his agency
  • the structure of the deal he put together to buy his firm
  • And so much more…

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Watch Now

Download and Listen Later

Enjoyed this Interview? Here’s How To Leave us a Positive Review on iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

About Mark O’Brien

Mark Obrien ImageMark is fortunate to be able to spend his days working with the fantastic Newfangled team to discover new ways of planning and delivering the greatest conversion-focused websites they can imagine for their clients.

The way Mark sees it, he has three jobs. The first is to make sure Newfangled is the kind of company that attracts and retains top talent. The second is to develop and maintain the right kind of client relationships so that they’re able to do this work they love for as long as possible. The third job is to work with the Newfangled team and their clients to make sure that they’re offering the right strategic and technological solutions. If they’ve got the right people and the right clients, and are creating sites that have a significant impact on our client’s business, things are good.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

  • Leave a comment in the comment section below
  • Share this episode on Twitter or Facebook

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  • Leave a review on iTunes. It's your best way to say thank you to our team.
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Welcome to the Bright Ideas Community of Entrenpreneurs

How to Get Management Support for Content Marketing

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Lifecycle-Marketing-Guide

If you aren’t the boss and your company is not yet actively engaged in content marketing, chances are you are going to need to convince someone higher up the chain that this newfangled “content marketing stuff” is actually worth the time and investment.

For the folks that speak “ROI”, this guide from Eloqua will likely be very helpful (warning: optin required to download it) as it goes into plenty of detail on all the metrics that the C-suite could ever want to see.

Below are a few snippets from the report that I liked. Then, below that, I’m going to link you to some interviews that I’ve done with real live folks that are walking, talking proof that content marketing has worked remarkably well for them.

Don’t forget to check out our very own content management system.

Eloqua’s Findings

According to Eloqua’s findings, a mid-sized organization should expect to spend approximately $12,000 a month and a larger-sized company could expect about $33,000 a month. These costs would be inclusive of the Managing Editor, Chief Content Officer (for larger organizations), the freelancers to actually write the 2 blog posts per week (estimate to cost $150 per post), and $2,500 (mid-sized) or $3,500 (larger-sized) per month for a piece of premium content; which is typically a special report or video, etc…They also included a charge of $1,500 for mid-sized and $2,500 for larger-sized companies for software and hosting.

Image Credit: http://goo.gl/VkRlY

Image Credit: http://goo.gl/VkRlY

As the principle objective of content marketing is to drive traffic and conversions, let’s look at Eloqua’s findings for these two metrics.

Image Credit: http://goo.gl/VkRlY

Image Credit: http://goo.gl/VkRlY

Image Credit: http://goo.gl/VkRl

Image Credit: http://goo.gl/VkRl

When compared to the ongoing cost of paid advertising, content marketing shows a clear and substantial benefit; especially when longer time frames are taken into account.

Image Source: http://goo.gl/VkRlY

Image Source: http://goo.gl/VkRlY

Bencmarks, Budgets, and Trends

Some 86% of B2C marketers in North America are using content marketing, employing 12 individual tactics on average; but, as is the case with B2B content marketing, B2C content marketers are struggling with the effectiveness of their content marketing, according to the findings of the first B2C content marketing study from MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute.

  • Among the highlights of the “B2C Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America” study:
  • B2B marketers use social media more often than their B2C counterparts; however, B2C marketers consider it more effective (57% of B2C marketers think social media is effective vs. 49% of B2B marketers).
  • On average, B2C marketers use four social media platforms, compared with five used by B2B marketers.
  • On average, 28% of B2C marketing budgets are allocated to content marketing, and 55% of consumer marketers plan to increase their content marketing spend.

Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2012/9504/2013-b2c-content-marketing-benchmarks-budgets-and-trends#ixzz2MExOqdDU

Real Life Examples

As not every boss is going to be convinced of the merits of content marketing just by looking at just facts and figures, allow me to share some real-life stories from entrepreneurs that I have interviewed here on Bright Ideas.

River Pools and Spas – Marcus Sheridan

Marcus’ story is nothing short of amazing. In 2008, his fiberglass pool and spa business was nearly broke. Prior to then, there were spending $250,000 a year to produce $4M in annual revenue. By 2012, their marketing spend had decreased to $20,000 a year and sales had increased to $4.5M (keep in mind that the pool business was hit very hard during these years, so any increase in sales was amazing in itself). You can watch the full interview here.

Joe Pulizzi – Content Marketing Institute

As the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, Joe knows content marketing extremely well because he’s used it to build his entire company from scratch. Now one of the leading websites in the industry, CMI’s story is well worth listening to. You can watch the full interview here.

Rand Fishkin – SEOMoz

After starting out as an SEO consulting shop in 2004, SEOMoz has fast become one of the leading SEO software companies in the world today. Now with over 100 employees and venture backing, SEOmoz and Rand are proving the ROI on content marketing is extremely attractive. You can watch the full interview here.

Mike Stelzner – Social Media Examiner

Mike started SME back in back in October of 2009 at a time when there were already thousands of bloggers covering the topic. Despite that fact, SME has become the #2 blog in the US for small businesses and boasts a mailing list of just over 190,000 subscribers – all from a very focused content marketing strategy. You can watch the full interview here.

Conclusion

While there is no question that there is effort required to properly execute a well planned content marketing strategy, there is also no question that the benefits are substantial – and the best part is that, unlike with paid advertising, the benefits increase over time, even if your expenditures do not.

What Do You Think?

Did this article resonate with you? If so, please share it on your social networks and leave your comments down below.

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[xyz-ihs snippet=”BuildGroove”]

Introduction to Content Marketing

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Lifecycle-Marketing-Guide

How much of an impact do you think it would have on your business if you had a steady supply of qualified leads for your products and services?

Now imagine that you didn’t have to pay for advertising to attract all those leads.

Seem like a pipe dream? It’s not. It’s actually the natural result of a well defined and properly executed content marketing strategy. In today’s post, the first of the Bright Ideas Content Marketing Guide, I am going to begin by giving you an introduction to content marketing.

What is Content Marketing?

Content Marketing is a term that is getting a lot of buzz these days…and for good reason. It works better now than it ever has in the past. We’ll get into why it works so well in a bit.

But first…what is content marketing?

Content marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. Content Marketing’s basic premise is to “provide some valuable information or entertainment – ‘content’ – that stops short of a direct sales pitch or call to action, but which seeks to positively influence a customer in some way.” This information can be presented in a variety of media, including news, video, white papers, ebooks, info-graphics, case studies, how-to’s, Q&A’s, photos, etc. – Wikipedia

Let’s put this another way: content marketing is the process of using high quality, relevant content to attract people that are already looking for a solution (that you have) to a problem that they have.

Content is Your Greatest Asset

content-marketing-assetThink about the last time you bought a product or hired a company to perform a service for you. How did you begin your search for this product or service?

More than likely, you started off with Google, or some other search engine. You may have also done a search on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Regardless, my point is this: purchasing begins with search and the way to get found is to create valuable content.

Think about this from Google’s perspective. What is their goal? To provide the highest quality, most relevant search results for a given query.

Over time, Google’s search algorithm has changed a great deal, and in its current form, Google rewards websites that:

  • Have high quality content
  • Have a lot of content
  • Continually add content
  • See their content regularly shared on social networks

So, if you decide to create high quality content on your blog on a regular basis, what do you think is going to happen over time?

Google will like your site more and more, and reward you with more traffic. The more traffic you receive, the more social sharing that is going to occur and the more social sharing that occurs, the more Google is going to like your site.

Can you see the snowball effect I’m talking about? If you decide to make creating high quality, relevant content the focus of your overall marketing plan, your site is going to receive more and more traffic over time, the by-product of which will be more leads and more customers.

Oh…and did I mention that all this traffic is free?

True, you did have to incur the cost of creating the content; however, this content can have a very long shelf life, and so long as it is timely, you are still going to be rewarded for it.

Let’s compare this to paid advertising.

With paid advertising, you can drive a ton of traffic and you can do it very quickly. The problem is that as soon as you stop paying the bill, the traffic stops.

Image Source: http://goo.gl/VkRlY

Image Source: http://goo.gl/VkRlY

With paid advertising, you are not building an asset. You are only driving traffic. Worse, any competitor with an advertising budget can easily replicate what you are doing.

Is that much of a competitive advantage for you? Nope.

This is not the case with content.

High quality content takes effort to create, and as such, few of your competitors are going to take the time to create it. Instead, they will probably go with paid advertising and continue to attempt to interrupt people to grab their attention.

I’d much rather put my time and effort into attracting people who are already interested in what I have to say/sell.

Once I’ve attracted those people, I can then offer them something for free in exchange for their email address, and now I’m building another even more valuable asset: a mailing list.

With a mailing list, I can reach out to my prospects and customers whenever I like. In other words, I can drive traffic on demand.

Think about how valuable that would be for your company. Think about the types of partnerships you could form with other firms in your niche if you could each drive traffic to the other, whenever you liked.

In a later section of the Content Marketing Guide, we’ll take a much closer look at how to build and leverage a mailing list. For now, just know that it is the natural result of having valuable content for your audience to consume.

Buying Attention is Hard to Do

inbound-marketing-buying-attention

Image Credit: http://goo.gl/58ZDA

Remember earlier how I said that content marketing is working better now than ever before?

It’s not like content marketing is particularly new. In fact, it’s been around for a very long time.

The following examples (source: Wikipedia) demonstrate early use of content to disseminate information about a brand, and build a brand’s reputation:

 

1895 – John Deere launches their magazine, The Furrow, providing information to farmers on how to become more profitable. The magazine, considered the first custom publication, is a success and is still in circulation today, reaching 1.5 million readers in 40 countries in 12 different languages.

1900 – Published in France, Michelin develops the Michelin guides, offering drivers information on auto maintenance, accommodations, and other travel tips. 35,000 copies were distributed for free in this first edition. Eventually, the company began selling these books, yet the publication set a precedent for both informative guides and content marketing distribution.

1904 – Jell-O salesmen go door-to-door, distributing their cookbook for free. Touting the dessert as a versatile food, the company sees its sales rise to over $1 million by 1906.

What has changed is technology adoption.

Today, we all have a smart phone in our pockets, millions of us are on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ LinkedIn, Youtube, etc…and the truth is that we are totally overwhelmed with information and advertising.

As a result, breaking through and actually getting someone’s attention is harder than it has ever been. Back in the day when we didn’t see 5 zillion ads a day, any one ad stood a much better chance of getting out attention.

why-content-marketing

Image Credit: http://goo.gl/VkRlY

Those days are gone.

Not only is our attention hard to get, but as a consumer, I have easy access to the information I want, when I want it, so why do I need to pay attention to your ad? I can just go to a search engine and find anything I want, anytime I feel like looking for it.

How Content Marketing Differs From Outbound Marketing

Content Marketing

Image Credit: http://goo.gl/cDOB7

With content marketing, the goal is not to interrupt someone from what they are interested in – by attempting to grab their attention. That is outbound marketing’s goal – and it can be a very expensive one to achieve.

As a content marketer, my goal is to become what you are interested in, and in doing so, my chances of getting your attention go up exponentially.

To do that, all I have to do is design a content marketing strategy that will address the unique problems, goals, and desires of my target audience. We’ll examine exactly how to do this is upcoming sections of the Content Marketing Guide.

With inbound marketing, the communication is interactive and goes both ways. With outbound marketing, the communication is just one way – from seller to buyer.

With inbound marketing, the seller’s goal is to provide massive value to the buyer. That is how trust is built, and with trust, all sorts of wonderful things begin to happen.

With outbound marketing, the seller is not providing any value to the buyer. Instead, they are basically saying “Hey, look at me!! Buy my stuff!!”

If someone walked into a party and sounded like that, would you be very interested in speaking with them? Probably not.

On the other hand, if you met someone at a party who was incredibly knowledgeable about a topic you were interested in and after speaking with them for an hour or so, do you think you’d be more inclined to buy from them? You bet you would.

In case you still aren’t convinced that inbound is better than outbound, consider a few facts:

  • 84% of 25 to 34 year olds have left a favorite site because of intrusive advertising
  • 200 million Americans have registered their phone number of the FCC’s do not call list
  • 86% of people skip television ads
  • 91% of email users have unsubscribed from a company email they previously opted into
  • 44% of direct mail is never opened

Why Start Now?

There is no better time to get started than right now. Developing a content marketing strategy is not rocket science. In fact, it is incredibly easy to do and I’m going to share with you exactly how to do it in upcoming sections of the guide.

Unless you believe that the Internet is just a fad and people actually like advertising, there is not better time to get started than right now.

Bright Ideas is here to help, so let us know what questions you have and we’ll do our very best to provide you with answers you can immediately put into use.

To get started, make sure you subscribe to Bright Ideas so that you will never miss an update to this guide. As well, you will want to watch my interview with Joe Pulizzi, and if you really enjoyed that, you may also want to  head over to iTune to subscribe to the Bright Ideas Podcast.

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Digital Marketing Strategy: How to Develop a Content Marketing Strategy with Joe Pulizzi, Founder of the Content Marketing Institute

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joe-pulizzi

Content marketing is all the rage these days, but have you given thought to developing a strategy for your content?

Do you know how to create content that your audience will find valuable enough to share?

Do you know how to measure what is working with your content marketing?

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, I’m joined by Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute – a leading source for research, webinars, and white papers on the science of effective content marketing.

In today’s discussion, you are going to hear Joe and I talk about:

  • How to develop a content marketing strategy
  • How to create content your audience will find valuable
  • How to measure what is working
  • What a Chief Listening Officer is and why you need one
  • How to set up listening outposts so you can hear what your audience is saying about your brand
  • Joe’s 5 step framework for developing effective content
  • How curation can play a role in your content
  • How he built Content Marketing Institute into the leader that it is today
  • How he first started to monetize the site when it was just 6 months old
  • His annual conference
  • and so much more…

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Watch Now

Download and Listen Later

Enjoyed this Interview? Here’s How To Leave us a Positive Review on iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

Transcript

Trent
Dyrsmid: Hey there, Bright Idea Hunters, welcome to the Bright Ideas
Podcast. I’m your host Trent Dyrsmid. This is the podcast for business
owners and marketers who want to better understand how to use online
marketing and sales automation tactics to massively boost their business.
The way that we help you do that is we bring experts onto the show to share
with you their knowledge and what is working for them and that’s exactly
what we’re going to do here again today. I am very, very pleased to welcome
the poster boy for content marketing. The self appointed poster boy for
content marketing. The founder of The Content Marketing Institute, Joe
Pulizzi. I think I said that correctly.Joe
Pulizzi: That is right Trent. You got it.Trent: Alright Joe. Welcome to the show. It’s a real pleasure to have
you.Joe: Good to be here. Thanks for having me.Trent: All right. So I am sure there are a couple people in my
audience who may not have heard of you and may not have heard of the
Content Marketing Institute, so I just want to start it off with a little
bit about you and your background and why should they care about The
Content Marketing Institute?Joe: Sure. Content marketing is a new term to most but it’s an old term
for me. I’ve been kicking it around since about the year 2000, 2001. It’s a
whole idea that businesses today, to attract and retain customers, they
need to create valuable, compelling, and relevant content, similar to what
media companies have been doing for years. So that’s kind of what we do at
The Content Marketing Institute. We really preach that form of training and
education, mostly for Fortune 1000 companies. We have the largest event on
content marketing called Content Marketing World. It’s held every September
in Cleveland. We have a magazine called Chief Content Officer and like I
said, we do consulting for big brands that have lots of content and are
often confused about how to distribute that content for sales success.

Trent: Seems like a question a lot of people might be asking
themselves these days. So CMI, when you started it, was actually not even
named CMI. It was back in 2007 and I think in 2011, you sort of re-branded
and went in this, I don’t know if you would call it a new direction, but
I’ll let you answer. Why did you make that change?

Joe: The old name was called Junta 42 and we were actually an online
matching service where if a brand was looking for content, they needed to
create lots of content in whatever form it was, we would match them up with
agencies that could serve those needs. It was sort of like the match.com
for content marketing if you will. It was very successful. Over three years
we had over 1,000 matches and lots of happy customers but as an
entrepreneur, it wasn’t the great financial business model and made the
pivot in late 2009, early 2010, rebranded everything as Content Marketing
Institute. Then thankfully things just took off and the event was a real
big success in 2011 and the magazine and it just went forward from that
stand point. It all was at that same time where a lot of these bigger
brands were waking up and saying, ‘Oh my gosh. Get social media?’ But it
was about what goes into that social media and a lot of brands were
honestly confused about how to do that because they were talking a lot
about themselves and not talking about things that their customers cared
about.

Trent: Joe, do you have anything running on your computer that could
be consuming band-width? Any browsers open? Skype? Anything like that?

Joe: Yeah.

Trent: Can you turn all that stuff off?

Joe: Yup, yup. One second.

Trent: No problem.

Joe: Can you cut this out?

Trent: No. I don’t bother. I mean I can. But I don’t.

Joe: All right. Go ahead. I’m shutting things down as we speak.

Trent: All right. No problem. I mean if the pause is really long, I’d
chop it out. That’s extra work man. I’m trying to make this quality content
in the minimal amount of effort.

Joe: I’m with you man. All right. Here we go. Okay. There’s one down.
There’s two down. So hopefully that is a little bit better.

Trent: It is. So in this interview, I want to talk about two things.
First and foremost, I want to talk about content and content marketing and
all of the things so that the people who are listening to this can take
action after listening to this interview. There is also going to be some
people, I’m going to put myself in both camps actually, who are going to
want to know how did you build The Content Marketing Institute? How did you
make that successful? Because you’re an entrepreneur and I’m an
entrepreneur and there are lots of entrepreneurs listening to this. So
we’re going to get to that kind of in the second half. So, I guess the
first thing, so let’s say I’m a brand or whoever and I’m thinking, well
okay content marketing. I’m hearing this all the time and SEOs seem to be
getting a little bit pooh poohed these days. Where do I start? I guess I’ve
got to think of a strategy or something, right?

Joe: The biggest problem, Trent, every business out there is creating lots
of content. We did a research study, Content Marketing Institute with
marketing profs and basically year over year you find that 90% of companies
are doing content marketing. The problem is they’re not doing it very well
and they’ve got content all over the place. There are no goals behind it.
They have wishy-washy goals and what we’ve found is more than 90% of those
companies don’t actually have a content strategy which by the way scares
the crap out of me. Because you have a lot of companies out there, just
creating things with no real idea of what it’s supposed to do for the
business, which is scary.

But it also makes a lot of sense because at the end, I mean, Jay Baer
was the author of the Now Revolution, a good friend of mine. He says this
all the time and I love that he says it. All businesses today are actually
two businesses. You’re in the business that you’re in and you’re in the
publishing business. Well nobody told us that we were going to be in the
publishing business. It just happened because all those technology barriers
are gone. Consumer behavior has changed. Google has changed for that matter
and now what we know is we better create valuable, helpful content that
people share to, that link to, or you’re not going to be found. So it’s
really as simple as that.

I think if you look at, at least from the brands that we talked to,
they have three major goals when they come and talk to us. They say, ‘Joe,
I want to get found in Google. I’ve got to get found in search, ‘or ‘Joe,
I’ve got to drive online leads,’ or ‘Joe, how do I make social media work
for my business?’ I say, ‘Let’s take a step back and let’s figure out if
you have anything important to say to your target audience.’ Because we
have lots of stuff that we talk about, regarding to our products and
services. We don’t necessarily have that type of information in what I call
story form. Is it really helpful? Does it really position us as experts as
maybe the leading experts in our niche? So when our customers are ready to
buy, they buy from us. And how are we going to measure that in the first
place?

So I guess my recommendation is always take a step back and ask the
question: Why? Why do you have a Facebook account? Why are you on Twitter?
Why are you on Linked In? Why do you have a blog? Why do you do that
newsletter? Because most of the time when we talk to big billion dollar
companies, they don’t even have an answer for that. Ask anybody why they
are on Facebook and you’ll get a million answers and none of them will be a
really good answer for growing a business.

Trent: Yeah, that’s an important one. ‘We’re doing it because
everybody else is doing it. Isn’t that a good enough reason?’

Joe: ‘Joe, we had to have one.’ I said, ‘No you don’t. You don’t have to
have a blog. You don’t have to be on Facebook.’ Figure out why you’re on
those channels and I think you’ll think differently about the content that
you create. If you think about it, you customers, they don’t care about
you. They don’t care about your products. They don’t care about your
services. They care about themselves. So you have to create information
that helps them to care about you so you can win their hearts and win their
minds and you do that with the type of content that media companies have
been creating for years.

Trent: Okay, so you get your ‘why’ figured out. This is obviously the
foundation of your strategy. But what do you do after that?

Joe: Well once you have your ‘why’ and once you understand who your target
audience is, so really who is it? And for most businesses it’s multiple
people. But let’s just simplify it here. So yeah, exactly. So, let’s say
you are a small business. Let’s not think about it in the Petco, AT&T,
Verizon terms of big enterprise. Let’s just say that you are a million
dollar, couple million dollar business. You’ve got a couple employees.
Things are going along well. You probably have three or four buyers of that
product. Could be CEO level. Could be VP of Operations level. Could be
marketing. I don’t know. Depends on what you’re selling, right? Or let’s
say you’re a HVAC company. Maybe your core buyer is the mom, which it is.
It actually is if you are an HVAC company. Figure out who that core buyer
is because in a lot of cases you’re not going to have time to set up
separate content strategies. So let’s simplify it. Who is that main buyer?
Who is that reader if you will? And then hopefully get that whole why
figured out. I call it a ‘content marketing mission statement’. Then once
you figure that out, then you can look at what your channel strategy will
be. When I say channel strategy, that’s the blog, the Facebook, the
newsletter, those types of things.

Most companies start out with the channel. What we can do is we can
start off with the why to the who and then we can look at that channel and
figure out, okay, what are we going to put in these channels and what’s the
behavior that we want to see? Ask that question before you create that
content. I just talked to somebody today that has a blog. I said, ‘Why are
you doing the blog?’

‘Well, we wanted to have something to put out in social media.’ I
said, ‘Well how do you measure performance?’

‘Well, we’re not quite sure. We look at the referrals back to the
website.’ I said, ‘Figure out what the call to action is.’ Is it an email?
Maybe it’s an email subscription. Maybe it’s so you can own that database
which I think is, by the way, a great thing.

Trent: That’s for sure. That’s why I do this.

Joe: Exactly right. We can get into a whole conversation, Trent, about how
email is not dead, even though most people think it is. I think it’s the
most valuable connection we can make. More valuable than Facebook fan or
Twitter follower or anything like that. So I guess just simplify it. Really
think about how you can do good with your content. To who are you going to
create that content for?

What channels should you choose and less is more, mind you. You might
not need a Pinterest strategy folks. You might not need to be on Instagram
right now. Figure out what things you can do really well, the kind of
content you can be the best in the world at. At the end of the day, how are
you going to measure that performance and in a lot of cases for small
businesses, it’s actually having somebody sign up to get more information
from you so you can create that direct connection to them.

Trent: I like how you talked about the channel thing being more is
less. I think that one of the things that might make this overwhelming,
because I know what it’s like to be the small business owner of a two
million dollar business because I was that guy before this guy and you
don’t have any resources. You don’t have any time. You’re just like running
on this treadmill every day and some slick consultant says, ‘You need to
have yourself a content marketing strategy and get a Pinterest and a
LinkedIn, and a this and a that and a that, and a that, and a that.’ And he
rattles off six social networks and you’re going, ‘No. When am I going to
do that? When am I going to do that?’ So if you had to pick one outside of
your blog, because I think the blog is the most important. Do you have a
different opinion that differs than that?

Joe: No. No. I mean if you’re talking from a small business, I would look
at the blog as your magnet. That’s who you’re going to bring everything
into and then you have your social media outpost that you can use to bring
people into that blog.

Trent: Yeah. So I know what you mean. But I want to make sure my
listeners do. Please explain the difference between your ‘magnet’ and an
‘outpost’, because they have kind of different jobs don’t they?

Joe: Actually, they do. And I would start at it from this point. I talked
to, this is a couple months ago, but I remember it really well. It’s an
HVAC company and we were talking about, should they start a blog and why it
would make sense for them and they said, ‘No, we’re going to put all of our
content we put on Facebook and we link everything to Facebook and that’s
how we’re going to do our content strategy.’ I said, ‘That’s one way to do
it. That’s fine.’ But I just made the point to them. I said, ‘You do
realize that Facebook owns that content. All the links that go to that,
Facebook gets all the link authority with that Google would deem to that.
You’re actually helping Facebook a lot. All the people that like you on
your Facebook business page, that’s owned by Facebook too. So at the end of
the day, Facebook could just shut that down and you don’t own any of those
connections.’ I said, ‘Why would you give Facebook all that power?’

So it doesn’t have to be a blog. Trent, a blog is just a tool, right?
In some cases, it’s just a website, but it’s something that you own and
it’s something that you can easily publish content from. That’s the
simplest way to look at it. So why I like a blog is the fact that that’s
where your really great content can be and then let’s think of Facebook as
an outpost. Let’s say you create a really interesting, helpful piece of
content on your blog. Then what would an outpost be? Then you might share
that post on Twitter, to those people that follow you or those people that
follow certain hash tags, that can come back to your blog, or you could
share the image from your blog post on Facebook. Because Facebook is very
visual, and you might have a little, couple sentences about what is in that
helpful blog post and then that would link back to your Facebook page.

So that’s where, maybe to think about it is, yeah I think ‘magnet’ is
the best way to look at it because if you own that and everything else is
almost like you’re syndicating the content out so that people can then find
you. At the end of the day you’re at a place, your blog, where you can
actually do something about that person on your site and that could be, in
my case, for a small business, it would be ‘Sign up for more great
information.’ so that I can continue this conversation.

Trent: I did an interview last week with Marcus Sheridan. Are you
familiar with him?

Joe: I love Marcus. Absolutely.

Trent: Smart guy. And his comment was, ‘I realize that comments,’ on
his blog, ‘was not a business model.’ And I love that because it really
drove home the point of having the mailing list. I mean you can get all
this comment love on your blog. And he also said to me, it was either in
the interview or off camera, not a one of the people who ever hired him as
to come in as the sales line consultant, were one of the people that
commented. I found that exceptionally interesting.

Joe: Well here’s the dirty little secret. And this is my take and I would
probably agree with Marcus on this. I think engagement online is highly
overrated. Everybody talks about ‘Oh we’ve got to have engagement and oh,
we’re not having comments on our blogs.’ My former company that I owned and
sold a year ago was called Social Track. It was a blogging service for
small businesses. Most of our audience were HVAC repair men and installers.
I talked to a lot of them. They are like, ‘Joe, you’re helping us with all
these blogs and we’re not getting comments.’ I said, ‘Yeah, but you’re
getting people to sign up to get more information from you. You’re getting
people to actually call your phone number and you’re getting sales. Do you
really care if you get comments?’ No, you don’t care. They just feel like
they should get comments.
I think it’s great if you can get that kind of engagement on
commenting but I would agree with Marcus. I mean in a lot of cases that may
be a different buyer altogether. It could be somebody that is looking for
their own influence or strategy. A lot of people, if you’re answering their
questions, they may just go, get that detail, want that detail and need to
contact you or sign up for more information via email. So, I would really
look at the comment as a ‘user indicator’, I call it. It’s something that
could show performance but in most cases, I don’t think it tells much about
if somebody is going to buy or not.

Trent: No, I don’t think so either. My previous blog used to get a lot
of comments. Bright Ideas is growing faster than that blog. I get more
iTunes downloads than that blog. I get more people writing me an email to
rave about it but get almost no comments on Bright Ideas itself. I’m to the
point now where I’m like, ‘Well I don’t really care because it doesn’t seem
to matter because the other metrics are the ones that I’m more interested
in.’ And my list growth is faster than it used to be with the other one as
well.

Joe: There you go. Right there, right? Everybody should listen to that
again where you just say list growth. For a small business, list growth,
that is your own media channel and that is the one that you should look
over all the other stuff, the Facebook likes, the followers, all that
stuff. It’s the list growth is number one.

Trent: All right, so there are people who are listening to this.
They’ve got a small business. They are doing a couple million bucks or half
a million bucks. They are not blogging yet and they are going ‘Okay, okay.
I’m interested so far but I don’t know what to write about.’ What do they
do?

Joe: Talk to your customers. Well first of all, I find that very hard to
believe. And by the way, we get it all the time. Oh, I don’t have enough
content. I don’t have a good story. Think of it this way. We’re not telling
a story like once upon a time telling a story. We’re telling a story like
‘what are my customer’s pain points?’ What keeps them up at night and I
guarantee you have the answers to those questions. I’m sure you heard from
Marcus. I mean Marcus is king of writing down the questions of his
customers and frankly if you just talk to a couple of your customers and
write down their questions or talk to customer service or talk to your
employees and think about all the questions that you get, all the time,
related to your business, you would have more content ideas that you could
possibly handle. Most people just don’t do that, so I think we think of
‘Oh, I can’t talk about that product anymore.’

You’re right. You’ve got enough of that kind of content. You’ve got
tons of product content, tons of services content. Focus on what’s really
keeping your customers up at night, what really their pain points are, and
that’s the type of content we want to focus on. So if you don’t know, if
you honestly don’t know, talk to your customers. If you want to take a step
two, talk to your employees.

Trent: Yeah, I knew that was the answer you were going to give. I
loved how Marcus made it so incredibly simple. What are all the questions
that people have before they buy something? Okay, we’re going to create
content to answer every one of those questions and now his pool business
has a ton of leads coming in all the time. There is another kind of cool
little idea and I don’t remember who I got this from so I can’t attribute
this to the person, but it was pay attention to the other blogs in your
niche and see which articles are getting the most comments and the most
shares and the most tweets, and those are the topics that people care about
and then research and write your own version to express your opinion on
that topic.

Joe: That’s a great way to put it. We’ve used, I’ve used Google alerts
forever. If you’re tracking certain key words. Let me take it back to HVAC.
You might track air conditioning in your area and see what people are
talking about air conditioning, heating, global warming, those types of
topics. There are things that in the news. Let’s say the SAG Awards were on
last night. You’ve got the Oscars coming up. You could do things like that
but related to your business. Top lists are amazing. You can curate other
top blogs out there. So let’s say some of your even competitors have some
amazing content out there. You could do a roundup of different articles.
Believe it or not those types of things work and I think it’s all about
thinking about what is your content marketing mission.

Here’s a good one for small businesses. What’s INC magazines mission?
If you read INC magazine, you know that they are targeting small businesses
and entrepreneurs with very, very helpful pieces of content in different
forms, in order for small businesses to be more profitable. That is their
editorial mission. That is their content marketing mission. That’s what you
as a company need to get, where if you’re thinking about your customer,
what is that over-arching statement that is really going to help them take
the next step, as it relates to your business or your industry.

I think if you just wrote that down, that can be your guiding
principle for all of the other content that you create. Then you’ll say,
‘Well that piece of content that we want to create or that employee
suggested doesn’t fit because it doesn’t fit within our mission.’ At least
you have an overriding vision statement, so you know what steps you need to
take and not get confused and say ‘Oh we’re going to talk about this over
here.’ ‘No we’re not. It doesn’t fit in our mission.’

Trent: In other words, if you were to think about what is the top or
maybe top two or three problems that our prospective customers are trying
to solve? That’s the stuff they care about most. Like, for example, in the
marketing agency space I know that their top two problems are unpredictable
revenue and not enough leads. So, every interview that I do with marketing
agencies, I ask them always about those two things. What are you doing to
generate recurring revenue and what are you doing to cause growth to occur?
So if you keep those two things in mind, it’s awfully easy to keep yourself
focused. And there’s always more, especially if you’re reading other
people’s stuff, there’s always more ideas to be shared and share.

Joe: Well you bring up the marketing agency and I’ve worked with marketing
agencies for a long, long time and from a content marketing perspective I
can tell you the number one failure is the fact that it’s the lack of
focus. When they create content it is all over the place. And when I mean
all over the place, it’s all over the place industry wide because they’ll
say ‘Oh, we cover healthcare. We cover financial. We do manufacturing. We
do everything.’

‘No you don’t.’ Of course, you dabble in everything. But wouldn’t it
be more profitable to really focus on a core area? It’s the same thing for
content marketing and that’s why they’re not successful because they talk
about everything. The smaller you can get from a content niche stand point
the better and the more successful you would be. But most of us like to go
wide. ‘Oh we’re going to cover pet supplies.’

‘You are? Well isn’t the experts at pet supplies like Pet Smart and
Pet Co., they sort of have a corner on that market. Let’s figure out where
you can really be an expert’. And I would say I’m going to talk about pet
supplies for elderly Americans in Southeast Florida who like to travel in a
RV. And I’m talking that’s how specific we want to get.

That’s our buyer because then you’re just talking to that buyer and
then that’s where the opportunity is. So if you’re a small business, I
would really get niche and really take seriously the question where can you
be the leading expert in the world? When I started Junta 42 now Content
Marketing Institute, content marketing, I mean that was a whole new thing.
Nobody used that term at all and I said, ‘Yeah we can be the experts in
content marketing in the world if we focus on this’. If I was starting the
business today, I wouldn’t choose content marketing. Too broad.

Trent: Yeah. Sound strategy. So, one of the things I don’t think I did
very well when I was running my tech company that we talked about off air
was really honing in on who my specific customer was. And now I do so much
it’s even defined on my about page on Bright Ideas. There are basically two
people that I create content for. What are some tips that you would give to
someone who has not yet been through the process to define their avatar
because we’re all scared that we’ll get so focused but that we might lose
sales with these people over here. That what it used to be for me. I didn’t
want to get too focused because I thought then the other people won’t call
me but that’s kind of a dumb way to think about it.

Joe: Yup. And that’s how most people do because they’ll say well we don’t
want to do anything because if we focus on this audience we might lose
someone else and those people will still call. That’s not the issue.
Because I don’t know how you’re getting those anyways. They are coming in
through referrals, other ways, whatever. They will still come in. Focus on
where the bills get paid. Where, basically, and I would also say if you’re
a small business or an entrepreneur where your passion’s at? I mean that’s
really where we want to focus on. If you haven’t done it before, I like
looking at the very simple, like if you were thinking about an 8 1/2 x 11
sheet of paper. Get a picture of this person in your head. Who is that?
That’s Jeremy. Jeremy is an IT director. Jeremy goes out for coffee in the
morning. Jeremy’s got a girlfriend. Jeremy uses a smartphone 20% of the
time. Really, get a good feel for Jeremy and that’s who we’re writing to.
Why is it so important? Because it’s not going to be you just writing. You
might not even write the content of your small business or marketing agency
owner or whatever. You have other people writing that. What happens is
whoever is telling that story, they don’t have that buyer in front of them
and how are they supposed to tell a story if they don’t know who they are
writing to and that’s why when you outsource content, you’re usually not
happy with it because you’ve never told them exactly who you’re writing to.
Give them the canvas so they can actually paint the picture.

Trent: How do you know, Joe, that Jeremy is the right guy? Because
that was one of the things that I thought. How do you figure that out?

Joe: I think you do it, at first, by hypothesis. You know the business,
right? You’ve done your research. You’ve talked to your customers. I mean
if you have customers, prospects, you talk to them. If you put any kind of
a business planning document together, you know who you’re targeting right?
Here it is. I’ve done the surveys. I’ve done all the stuff that you know to
do. Then the best way to do it is you start creating content, you will get
feedback. When we talk about what the structure is of a content marketing
department, there is a role in there called the Chief Listening Officer.
That is often done by a social media manager in most companies. When
content goes out, two things can happen. You can get a piece of feedback
and you do something immediately with that feedback. ‘Oh, it’s got to go to
customer service. It’s got to go to product marketing. That’s got to go to
sales.’ That’s great, right? Your content is getting a reaction. You’re
going to send that out. You also might say, ‘Oh that has to go back to the
person that’s leading our content strategy because we need to adapt the
content strategy because of that feedback.’

I’ll give you an example. When we started Chief Content Officer
magazine and the kind of content we produced on Content Marketing
Institute.com, it was almost the identical target. But what we learned was
that the people that were enjoying the magazine were more strategic. These
were higher level people. These were directors. These were VPs. The people
who were enjoying our content online were the doers, the marketers, the
social media managers, the content managers, corporate journalists,
corporate editors, those types of people. Two very, very different people
but we had it all kind of meshed in one when we started. That was about
nine months of feedback that we took to get to that level. So I think you
start with your best guess. Don’t worry about it. You’re going to make
mistakes. Get that feedback and you’ll quickly learn, if you’re listening,
which you should be. Jim McDermott, a mentor of mine for many years. He
always said, ‘You want to set up listening posts as a good journalist
wherever you can. Set up listening posts for your current employees, for
customers out there, so that you can get a feel for what’s going on in the
marketplace so you can create better content.’

Trent: And can social media outposts be these listening posts or is
there something better?

Joe: Social media is obviously the easiest one to go after. If you’re not
listening on, let’s say, Twitter for sure, I mean just about every type of
person out there, at least to some extent, is on Twitter. So you can go out
and listen on Twitter. Listen on the hashtags. For B2B LinkedIn is
fantastic. You’ve got other places like Cora. If you don’t know any of
those then just use Google alerts. Set up your free Gmail account. Listen
using Google alerts but honestly, Trent, I love talking to people. I love
the good old fashioned, I call it the reader call and I’ve been publishing
for a long time. You actually call a reader and you talk to them. What do
they think of the magazine? What do you think of online? What are you
getting out of it? What are you not? We take all that together. Surveys are
fantastic as well. I mean online surveying tools are pretty much free now.
Use those as well.

Trent: Yeah, Survey Monkey, if you’ve never done that before is a
terrific one and it’s free to use. Alright. I think the only part of the
content, before I shift gears to talk about how you made CMI so successful
is the whole measurement aspects. You know, you’re doing this stuff and
you’ve got Google analytics and you’ve got Facebook insights but it’s kind
of all over the place. If someone, if they don’t know what to look for,
what are the things they should look for and how should they measure it?

Joe: I think the first thing is you’ve got to make sure you figure out
what your goal is because there is no one measurement. How do I measure
social media? I would say, ‘Well why are you on social media? What are you
doing?’ So, let’s say if your goal was, ‘Oh we want to retain our
customers’, well those measurement metrics are much different if you wanted
to create top of the funnel activity. So if it’s top of the funnel activity
that you’re after, I think what we already talked about was actually
getting people, things like where are we landing on our top search engine
keywords. Like, for example at CMI, we have a running list, a changing
list, of 50 keyword variations. I know where we are at in those at all
times. I know where our competitions at and I know where we are trending.
So that’s one way to measure it so we know how we’re bringing people in.

Social media shares are a very important one. Number one is List
Scrub. We track it every day. We want to see how we’re trending. Where are
they coming from? Which posts are getting more people to sign up and which
posts aren’t? Which contributors are doing better and which ones aren’t?
For my small business what we’ve looked at is we can track revenue much
more effectively once we have them in the database so that’s why the email
is critically important. Let’s say you’re going to do something more
traditionally, I mean this is online marketing we’re talking about.

But if you’re talking about retention, you might look at a newsletter
or a magazine going to customers. Well in that case, you’re going to show
measurement, you do an AB test. Hold some back. What’s somebody spending
that getting the newsletter versus somebody that is not getting the
newsletter? Those types of things. That’s bringing back year and years of,
you know, the AB tests and publishing with those types of things. I would
just first figure out what are you doing and then figure out what your
return on objective. I cannot stand ROI, to say return on investment. In
content marketing, what does that mean? I want to know what your return on
objective is. What are you trying to do and then we’ll figure out the
social metrics, the sharing metrics, the lead gen metrics or the sales
metrics that you can put against that objective.

Trent: I want to ask you one mildly technical question. This is for my
own selfish interest but I’m pretty sure other people will want to know the
answer. You said, which posts are causing the most opt in? So, you have got
an opt in box on your side bar which I am assuming is the same piece of
code no matter what post I’m looking at. Then down towards the bottom of
the post, you have another opt in box which, how I would do that, is I
would have used a plug in to put the same piece of code at the bottom of
every post so I wouldn’t necessarily know which post was the one that was
causing the most opt-ins to occur. How are you guys doing this so you’re
getting that data?

Joe: You can do it through Google analytics and setting up and I’m not the
Google analytics person so bear with me, but what is it called? Setting up
a funnel? Set up a funnel in there so you can track by posts, which ones
get conversions.

Trent: Do you have to do that for every single post? Do you have to
make a new funnel in analytics or is there a way to have that [inaudible
33:33]

Joe: I actually don’t know. I need to check on that. I don’t know how
we’re doing it. I can tell you that what I do know is I can tell how many
people sign up on the bottom versus the side versus here’s the number one
thing and I don’t know if you’ve been to your site a couple times and
you’ve seen a pop up?

If you’ve seen that pop-up that’s Ippity. Ippity is integrated within
Wordpress and that actually, our dirty little secret is, I cannot stand pop-
ups as a user. But I love them as the publisher because more than 50% of
our sign-ups come directly through that pop up.

Trent: Mine is even higher. I think I’m at 63% it is, by far.

Joe: It’s the dirty little secret of the business that we’re in that we
all cannot stand pop-ups, but they work.

Trent: Yeah, I’m able to track which location, the number, the
percentage, all that but if you can talk to your person after and wouldn’t
mind emailing me how to do that in analytics?

Joe: I will check on that, absolutely.

Trent: If it’s something I can republish on the post for the
listeners, I will do that as well.

Joe: Fantastic.

Trent: All right. I want to shift gears now and talk about the
building of the Content management or rather Marketing Institute. So, it
says you’ve got over 30,000 people on your list and you re-branded in late
2011?

Joe: ’10. May of 2010.

Trent: So May of 2010, so you’re two and a half years with this brand
name? Yeah?

Joe: Correct.

Trent: So, let’s kind of go back to your first six months. What kinds
of results did you get? Like how big did your list get within your first
six months and then what were some of the activities that you were using to
get traction?

Joe: The difference between what we were doing before and when we launched
the Content Marketing Institute is it’s a multi-author blog. So what we do
is we find contributors from the outside and every day, this is new, I have
the Saturday post. I used to have my own blog on a different platform. But
every Saturday is my blog but the other six days are contributors and there
is a very specific reason why we did that. Because we had our network. I
had my network. Employees had their networks but we wanted to reach our
contributors’ networks. So influencers in the industry because we wanted to
reach out as far as we could and get people talking about us and content
marketing and sharing our stuff that wasn’t being shared.

You have to do that through, I like it, but you don’t have to, but
the best way to do that in my opinion is through an influencer strategy and
we use these contributors. So what we do is we sign them up. We say ‘Hey,
would you like to contribute on our blog? Here’s our blog guidelines.’ They
submit the content. We have an editor on staff that edits that piece of
content like crazy because we want that contributor to look like a rock
star and then when that piece of content comes out, they do look like a
rock star. It’s fantastic. And you know what those people do? They share it
with their network. We don’t have anything attached to that network right
now but they get our content. They come back to our site. We can convert
them. They can come back the more they see Content Marketing Institute is
doing great things.

We’ve added over 150 contributors. So let’s say over the first six
months we had 30, 40 contributors. We knew really quickly that this was
going to work well because at the time I think our traffic. We just look at
traffic numbers. I think we were doing about maybe 15,000 to 20,000 unique
visitors every month. And now, I think the last time I checked, we were
over 150,000. That happened in a very short period of time just because of
the fact that we were getting that kind of reach that we weren’t normally
getting and that’s also because of the linking then. We got such
credibility with Google really fast because of all the inbound links that
we got. I love the model of the multi-author blog. I think that more
organizations should use it. I think if you’re a small business listening
to this, you should really take it and because of the fact that you’re
saying ‘Hey, we want to share as much great content about the industry as
possible and we’d like to share it on this platform’. It can really work
for a lot of companies.’

Trent: So when you were at that point and you didn’t have a big
following and you didn’t have a lot of traffic and you’re going out there
to these people and you’re saying hey, why don’t you write for free for my
blog because it’s going to benefit. What did that conversation look like?
Because I’m right there right now. I would love to have a lot of
contributors. If you’re listening to this and you want to contribute, get
in touch. trent@brightideas.co.

Joe: This didn’t just start when CMI launched. This started when I
launched the company in 2007. So before the rebrand. Basically, I call it
giving content gifts. So we would use the tools like Google alerts, like
Twitter, to find out well who are those influencers? The best question to
ask is where are my customers hanging out when they are not on my site?
Make a list of those. Those could be media companies. Could be bloggers.
Could be other influencers. Could be competitors. Make a list of those. And
then what you do is that becomes part of your content distribution
strategy, and I’ll give you an example.

So let’s take Twitter. Most people, for the most part, they share
their own content. Some things that are interesting but a lot of their
content is self serving. ‘Hey, we’re doing this, we’re doing that. We’re
great.’ What we did on Twitter and what I did specifically is I would take
that influencer list and you could start with 10 to 15 and I would
consistently share their content that was relevant to my audience, but I
would share their content. And you do this for months without doing
anything. Or most people go wrong when they go and say, ‘Hey would you
contribute to my blog or podcast?’ They don’t know you from Adam. What you
want to do is you want to keep sharing their stuff because when you go to
them in a month or two months, they are going to know you and they will say
yes because you’ve been sharing their content and they love you for it.
There is not anybody out there that would say ‘Stop sharing my stuff’.
Everybody gets the game. They know it. They love it. So you need to build
that rapport with them.

My good friend Andrew Davis who wrote a book called Brandscaping, he
coined this whole idea called ‘Social Media 411’. The whole idea is of
every six social media posts, one is your promotional post about your
product and service. So get that out of the way even though nobody will
probably read it. One is your piece of educational content or helpful
content on your site. And then four, that’s helpful content that you’re
sharing from other influencers. You’re letting them know you’re tagging
them on Twitter. Tagging them on Facebook so they know and that’s how
you’re building your network. We’ve done that and now we probably get about
four or five people that want to contribute a day. We can’t even handle all
the contributors. This has happened over a three year period. But I just
call it giving content gifts. The more you give, the more you will get, I
promise you it will work that way.

Trent: Please feel free to refer those people to my way.

Joe: I would be happy to Trent.

Trent: Okay. Thank you. All right, so you started to use this multi-
author model. You started to get traction quickly. Are you monetizing yet
in your first six months? Or are you just building?

Joe: When did we monetize? Yes. We did. We have a unique model that I
probably stole somewhere called The Benefactor Model. We called it Content
Marketing Institute. We wanted to be like an industry organization around
the concept of content marketing. Went to some companies that I already had
relationships with and sold the concept of what the institute was all about
and we had three or four companies basically fund us from the start about
this concept. If you scroll down to the bottom of Content Marketing
Institute.com, you’ll see ten benefactors there. I sold it as ‘Limited to
ten and you’d need to sign up now for X amount of money’. and right away,
actually before we launched the site we had already had money behind it. So
that’s a very good way to do it, if you can get it. Let’s say you can’t. So
basically that was our monetization to start with. It didn’t seriously. Go
ahead.

Trent: I wanted to ask what did that conversation look like? What was
in it for them? What did you say to them? What did you charge them?

Joe: Shared the vision with what we were trying to do. I could only use
the traffic that we had from the previous site. I said ‘Here is what the
vision is. This is going to be the leading educational platform, so a lot
of smoke and mirrors.’ Did the best we could. But what I promised them was
that they would have first right of refusal forever on that spot. I would
always limit it to ten. And that they would receive 10% of the inventory of
our, basically, square banner on the right side and on every page of the
site they would have a logo and link.

Trent: Okay, so….

Joe: In addition, if they wanted to, and we would have to go through
approval process but we would also let them blog once a month about
something that would interest our customers but it would have to be
approved by editorial. That was the program. That was the benefactor
program.

Trent: I see them down all along the bottom. Curada. Brand Point. PR
Newswire, etc. You mentioned that they get some other real estate as well?

Joe: There’s the banner on the right side. There are two things that will
go there. There could be a house ad or there could be one of our banners
from our benefactors. If there’s a square on the right side.

Trent: Right now I’m seeing, towards the top, so they attend our
upcoming event Content Marketing World Sydney. That’s a house ad I’m
assuming?

Joe: That’s a house ad. That’s a house ad.

Trent: In that space is where you’ll rotate through your other guy.
Your benefactors?

Joe: If you hit refresh a couple times and you should see that go to a
couple different, you’ll see a couple pop up from our benefactors.

Trent: The banner that’s to the left of that, the bigger one, is that
a paid? Do you just sell that to whomever? Or how does that one get filled?

Joe: That, technically, is always our own inventory that we’re selling.
That could be our white papers. They actually go to sponsored material that
could be our events, that could be our research projects.

Trent: And so these ten benefactors were people that kind of knew you
and had done business with you before? It wasn’t like you were making cold
connections to try and sell these people on this vision.

Joe: The first one. So let’s put it in perspective. The first couple I
knew. Then once we had some traction where I’d be able to sell, we sold all
of them in about six to eight months. I think all of them were sold. And
the longest time that there has been one of those available was about a
half an hour. We’ve got a waiting list for people to sign up for them.

Trent: What do people have to pay to be one of these ten?

Joe: It’s $25,000 a year to do that.

Trent: A year. Well that definitely helps.

Joe: What’s great about those is it’s reasonable, which is wonderful.
That’s a foot in the door to a lot of the other things that we do. So if
you look at those sponsors on there you will notice that a lot of those
sponsors are our sponsors for Content Marketing World. They advertise in
our magazine. But what happened first was that benefactor.

Trent: Okay. All right, so you started to monetize with them very
early on. What was next? An event? More content? Keep walking me through.

Joe: When we made the decision, when I said basically this old model is
not working. All entrepreneurs listening to this, the pivot happened,
right? And I said, ‘That’s it. We’re going to go this direction’ and I made
the decision that I’m going to give 100%. We’re going to go all in and I
said well, if we’re going to be the leading resource for content marketing,
we’ve got to have the leading event. We’ve got to have the leading
magazine. So at that same time, when ContentMarketingInstitute.com
launched, three months later, September we had already committed. We said
Content Marketing World 2011 is going to happen. So we announced it a year
in advance that we were going to do an event.

To be honest with you, the original plan was to get 100 or 150 people
there and we were blessed to have 650 show up. And we knew we were on to
something at that point. The same thing with the magazine. At first when we
launched the magazine in January of ’11, had to do the same thing with the
benefactor. We pre-sold. ‘Hey, it’s going to go to 20,000. It’s going to be
great. Yada yada.’ I had to call in a few favors here and there for people
to advertise. But, it worked out well from that standpoint. The magazine
came along in January. That was all the build up to the event which
happened in September of ’11. Then ever since then it’s been rolling. We’ve
been adding all kinds of wonderful things and then last year’s event got
over 1,000 people.

Trent: That’s fantastic. When you re-branded from and I don’t
remember, Junta 42?

Joe: Yeah, that’s okay. Junta 42. Nobody could remember it anyways. That’s
one of those things where you think. Here’s a little piece of advice for
people on this call. If you think you’re going to come up with the coolest
web 2.0 name. You know what? Sometimes boring is better. Honestly, Content
Marketing Institute, to me, is so boring but you know what? People don’t
have to ask what you do anymore. People know exactly what they do. At least
they get a good ball park idea when you say Content Marketing Institute.
Education and training around content marketing. Yes. Junta 42, I spent
more time explaining what we did and you know. You live and learn.

Trent: So you had a staff helping you right from the get-go? Because
you had built this other company and had people on board. Was there ever a
time when it was just you behind CMI?

Joe: If you’re familiar with Penton Media? Penton Media is the largest,
independent business media company in North America. I ran the custom media
division there. I left in March of 2007. I was open for business in April
of 2007 and it was just me. It was just me for quite a long time. Probably
about a year and then my wife came on board. We’re a complete 100% virtual
company. About ten full time people all over the world and we use about 30
or so additional contractors. But for the most part it was me just to
start.

Trent: I love the virtual model. I anticipate that I will have staff
with the software company I’m a co-founder of and even Bright Ideas as it
grows but I don’t want to have offices again.

Joe: Well why would you? Unless you actually have customers that have to
see you, like have to go see you every day. There is no reason. By the way,
ego got to me because I actually looked at office space. I’m like, ‘Oh, I’m
going into business for myself. I’ve got to find an office space.’ No you
don’t. You don’t have to. And the other thing is you don’t have to hire
people full time either. That’s a whole other thing. There’s a ton of
people out there that love the 30 hour flex time. They want to have some
things to do on the side. They already have benefits maybe through a spouse
or whatever and they are willing to work whenever you need them to work and
it has worked fantastic for us and we love the model.

Trent: How do you find all those people? Are you using the Freelancer
and Odesks of the world? Are they coming to you now?

Joe: Some of the people were people that I’ve worked with in the past. So,
a lot of people that I worked with at Penton that I knew. But our content
director, I had met her, I didn’t even meet her. I knew of her on Twitter
because I saw what she was sharing on Twitter. Took me to a couple of her
blog posts and then basically sent her an email, talked to her on the
phone. She was like our first major content hire and I didn’t meet her
until nine months after we hired her.

Trent: Wow. Nice.

Joe: For our industry, like if you’re a marketing agency, I look at their
social media platforms and I look at their blogging and that’s what we kind
of stick to. It’s a really good indicator of what they do.

Trent: Yeah, absolutely. Sadly, I am running into a time constraint
now. Which totally sucks because I want to keep going. So I am probably
going to be inviting you back again in the not too terribly distant future.
It has been absolutely a pleasure to have you on. I look forward to meeting
you in person at one point in the not too distant future because you know
I’m going to be at your next CMI event.

Joe: That would be great. Trent, it’s been a pleasure. If you ever need
anything let me know. I love talking about this stuff.

Trent: Yeah, no problem. Last question. If people want to get a hold
of you, what is the easiest way to do that?

Joe: Content Marketing Institute.com for the business, joepolizzi.com for
me. I’m @JuntaJoe on Twitter and Content Marketing World is September in
Cleveland.

Trent: Alright. Terrific. Joe, thank you so much for making some time
to be on the show and look forward to having you back.

Joe: Thanks Trent.

Trent: To get access to the show notes for today’s episode, head over
to Brightideas.co/36. And if you run a marketing agency and you’d like to
get access to the 2013 Bright Ideas Marketing Agency Industry Report, head
over to Brightideas.co/2013report. And finally if you’re looking for some
really smart traffic generations strategies head over to
brightideas.co/massivetraffic and enter your email address and you’ll be
given free access to the Bright Ideas massive traffic tool kit, which is a
compilation of all the very best traffic generation ideas that have been
shared with me by the guests on Bright Ideas. I’m Trent Dyrsmid, I’m your
host and this wraps up this episode.

If you enjoyed it, please head over to iTunes and leave a five star
rating along with your feedback comments. Thank you so much. We’ll see you
in another episode of the Bright Ideas podcast soon. Take care.

Recording: Thanks very much for listening to the Bright Ideas podcast.
Check us out on the web at brightideas.co.

About Joe Pulizzi

joe-pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is a leading author, speaker and strategist for content marketing. Joe is first and foremost a content marketing evangelist, and founded the Content Marketing Institute (a division of Z Squared Media, a 2012 Inc 500 Company), which includes the largest in-person content marketing event, Content Marketing World, as well as Chief Content Officer magazine, the leading magazine for content marketers. Joe is also co-author of  Get Content Get Customers (McGraw-Hill), recognized as THE handbook for content marketing, as well as Managing Content Marketing: The Real-World Guide for Creating Passionate Subscribers to Your Brand.

Awarded “Custom Media Innovator of the Year” by American Business Media, Voted Who’s Who in Media Business by BtoB Magazine, Folio: 40, and recognized as the Most Influential Content Strategist via Lavacon,  Joe travels around North America and Europe  talking to marketers and business owners about how they are indeed publishers, and what they need to do about it.

Joe writes one of the most popular content marketing blogs in the world and is overly passionate about the color orange.

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BI 027: How to Turn Your Blog into a $250,000 Business with Marcus Sheridan

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Originally, the ‘pool guy’ behind River Pools and Spas, Marcus has become well known for both his success as a inbound marketer (his pool company is a lead generation machine) as well as the guy behind the popular blog, The Sales Lion. Here’s a short summary of his achievements:

  • Published 3 self-help books in 2001, 2003, and 2006
  • Started my swimming pool company, River Pools and Spas in 2001
  • Pool company grew to be one of the largest of its kind in the world (due to inbound marketing efforts and our incredibly popular swimming pool blog)
  • Because of huge success teaching other pool professionals how to embrace inbound marketing, has become a very successful HubSpot Partner, training inbound marketers  and companies everywhere how to find success.
  • With an incredibly entertaining and educational style, Sheridan has become a highly sought after speaker for many marketing and business conferences globally.

Listen to the Audio

Our Chat Today

  • why content marketing is such a big deal and how you are nuts if you don’t have a strategy in place
  • how to turn your blog into the wikiepedia of your niche
  • why understanding the content saturation index for your niche is so important
  • how he built relationships with the key players in his niche
  • how he transformed his blog into a money making machine that now earns over $250K a year
  • how a 20 minute speech changed everything (and how he got the opportunity to speak at this event)
  • what he did in his speech to blow the roof off
  • what kind of clients he’s attracting
  • what his sales cycle looks like
  • how much they pay him
  • how to build the speaking business into your business and the 3 different ways you can do it
  • and so much more….

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Blog Talk Radio Interview, an Excerpt from My Book, plus My Wedding Invitation Video

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Happy Saturday!

Today’s post is going to be a bit unusual. In it, you are going to find:

  • My being interviewed
  • An excerpt from a book I’m writing
  • My wedding invitation video that got a lot of laughs

Hear Me Interviewed on Blog Talk Radio

On Friday afternoon, I was interviewed by Jim and Jennifer of the Blog Talk Radio Show, Freedom For All.

In this interview, they asked me about my background in business, how I managed to make the change from employee to entrepreneur, and what advice I had for others wishing to make the same change.  Listen in and hear us talk discuss:

  • How I launched my last business
  • How I am launching my current software startup
  • How I manage my time
  • How I recommend that first time entrepreneurs begin their first business (and it’s unusual advice)
  • Why most people never start and what to do about it
  • The attributes that I think make up a successful entrepreneur

Listen to internet radio with 1000 Breaths on Blog Talk Radio

An Excerpt from My Upcoming Book

Below is a some of the content of a book that I’m writing. As it pertains to the interview above, I thought I would share it. The book is going to be about content marketing and how it can propel your business to new levels. I hope to have it complete in 90 days. Wish me luck!

And now the excerpt…(the three passages below are from different sections of the book)

Excerpt #1: Who is the Book For?

This book is for entrepreneurs who want to get more customers, make more money, and build something of value. In particular, this book if for those of you aren’t exactly sure how to make this outcome a reality.

When it comes to business, like me, you all have one thing in common: you have to find customers and make sales to grow. If you can’t do that, you’re a dead duck. Succeed in this regard, and we are able to enjoy a lifestyle like none other.

For most of us, that is why we have chosen the life of an entrepreneur. Sure, some of you chose it for passion or craft, but, if we are being really honest, lets all admit that getting rich isn’t such a bad reason either, right?

In my 20+ years in business, I have come to realize that most business owners have one thing in common: they think that finding new customers is hard to do…and in most cases, they can back it up with years of evidence!

I understand how you feel. In fact, I used to be just like you.

I’d come to work each day thinking: how am I going to find my next customer?

The problem with asking yourself this questions is that it sets up the wrong frame of mind.

In my case, thinking this way caused me to immediately start thinking about prospecting tactics. Now, before I go any further, don’t think for a minute that I think prospecting is a bad thing – far from it – but I do think that the way that most of us prospect is not as efficient as it could be.

Rather than think about how to find customers, my goal for this book is to help you to shift your thinking to: how can I help customers find me?

While these two ideas aren’t that different; the meaning (and the activity) behind each one is radically different.

Prospecting, in the tradition sense, is hard. If you are using the phone to make cold calls, you are subjecting yourself to massive amounts of rejection each day, but even worse is that you are likely annoying the hell out of a lot of people.

Consider this; how would you feel is a doctor called you up and said, “Hello Mr. Johnson, my name is Dr Mark and I’d like to arrange a time for us to get together so that I can ask you a whole bunch of questions so that I can determine if you have any sickness that I can try and heal. Which is better for you, this Tuesday or next Thursday?”

Can you imagine ever receive a call like that? I can’t. (Yet, I’m loathed to admit, I have MADE thousands of calls that sounded just like that)

The key to modern prospecting is to realize that there are already thousands of people searching for what you do every day. Rather than expend considerable effort (and resources) so sift through the masses to find them, don’t you think it might be a whole lot easier to just answer when the call or reply when they email you?

Of course it would be! Just imagine how much more enjoyable your business would be to run if you simply had to respond to inquiries each day. Now that would be something!

Making this happen doesn’t have to cost millions (or even thousands) and in this book, I’m going to show you, step by step, exactly how I and others have made this happen in our businesses. Trust me when I tell you it’s not rocket science.

Once you finish reading this book, you are going to be equipped with the knowledge you need to make this very same thing happen in your business – and I don’t care what business you are in because the strategies, ideas, and tactics that are about to be shared with you work in virtually every business that I can think of.

Are you ready?

Excerpt #2: My Story

Back when I started my career in sales, the Internet didn’t exist. Back then, prospecting via the telephone worked exceptionally well and as a young stock broker, I made quite a bit of money by making cold calls.

Back then (1993) I was 23 years old. In my very first year in the business, I dialed the phone approximately 25,000 times and I earned $72,500. In other words, I earned $2.90 every time I dialed the phone.

Out of the 125 dials a day that I made, I would get through to about 30 people, and out of those 30 people, 10 would agree to receive my free report in the mail. Of those 10 people, 3 would take a meeting, and out of those 3, one would become a client.

For those of you old enough to remember, $72,500 back in 1993 was pretty good money, considering the average 3 bedroom house was about $225,000 in my neighborhood. (That same neighborhood today has an average price of about 3x what it was in 1993).

After about two years of this, I was totally burned out and I actually left the business for about 6 months. As you might guess, I had grown to hate cold calling. Not because of the rejection mind you. It was just so darn boring!

Luckily for me, I had stayed in touch with a mentor of mine. This guy was about 30 and making millions per year. Better still, he never made any cold calls. Instead, he spent a truckload of money on newspaper advertising and hosting huge seminars.

His formula was simple; buy 10 ads in every issue of the local paper, advertise a free report. Send the report and then never stop sending them a monthly newsletter. Hold regular seminars with well known speakers, and then watch the people pour in.

His marketing formula was awesome and it worked like a charm for the 3 years that I worked with him. I was making over $200,000 a year by 25 and he was making even more. The only problem with his model was that it cost a fortune to do; hence why most others weren’t doing it.

I eventually left the financial services industry to start my own business. The first one failed and cost me a good bit of money. The second one was started shoe string in 2001 and went on to be quite successful.

Now, you’d think that after working with a guy who was an inbound marketing master, that I’d have learned a think or two, right? Well, I did…but, unlike him, I didn’t have all the cash to ramp up the advertising in the way that he used to do it. (Plus, I doubt that kind of advertising would have worked in the IT services industry anyway).

So what did I do? I resorted to what I new best; cold calling.

Cold calls worked fine until about our 4th year and then the results from my activities took a massive nose dive. I was in uncharted waters. It was 2005.

Luckily for me, by then revenues had hit 7 figures and I had also figured out a way to have most of that revenue coming in on retainer contracts. Had I not, I think running my company would have been a LOT harder….and my company would have been worth a LOT less.

In 2008, I sold it for a seven figure sum and began to enjoy my first mini-retirement. I moved from Seattle to San Diego, grew my hair long, bought a surf board and set out to learn to surf.

Surfing changed my life…but not in the way you’d expect.

I never ended up becoming much of a surfer, but I did meet someone who had a profound impact the way I thought about business. Her name was Haley and she made her living online.

Shortly after learning what Haley was up to, I started building websites and started blogging. Within a year, I’d built up a six figure business that I could run out of my house that was extremely profitable.

For the first time in my life, I had become extremely successful at inbound marketing (as a result of my content) and since then, I’ve never looked back.

Now, before I go on, I want to confess one thing: while I was quite successful with that first business, it had one fatal flaw, it was completely dependent on getting free traffic from Google, and when Google released their Panda and Penguin updates, my revenue dropped by about 80%. Its for this reason, that I strong advice that you do not make SEO the sole focus of your traffic strategy. More on this later.

My point is this; if a guy who isn’t super technical can convert himself from cold calling to inbound/content marketing, then so can you. It’s just not that hard once you understand that process.

What are you waiting for? Why not start today?

Excerpt #3: What is Content Marketing?

At the time of this writing, two terms cross my screen almost daily: content marketing and inbound marketing[Change this. Inbound marketing cost $$ because it involves media buying. Content marketing doesn’t have to.]. For the purposes of this book, I’m going to use these terms interchangeably because, in my opinion, they mean pretty much the same thing.

To help you understand that they mean, let me tell you a story.

The Story of Dave’s Search for an IT Support Company

Meet Dave. Dave runs a small business and has 25 employees. Dave is looking for a new IT supplier for his company because the last one didn’t give him the service that he was looking for.

To begin his search for a new supplier, Dave asks a few of his friends for referrals and he also uses Google to do some searches.

The first thing that Dave does is to check the websites of a few of the firms whose name he was given. Most have pretty similar websites. They have an About Us page, and then a bunch of pages devoted to describing their products and services. Most of these pages sound about like this: We do this, that and the other thing. We are experts. We are certified. We have won this award and we were written up in their press here, here, and there. We are awesome. You should hire us.

Not particularly impressed, Dave decides to give Google a try. Why Google? Well, none of Dave’s friends (who gave him the referral) run a company like his (Dave sells torqued out bindle rotors) and as such, it didn’t seem to Dave that any of the other firms really understood his business – at least not that he could tell from their websites.

Here’s what Dave types into Google, “IT support for torqued out bindle rotor company”.

Much to Dave’s surprise, the very first search result takes him to a blog of a company that has written an article to address this exact problem. Nowhere in the article do they talk about themselves (or at least not very much). Instead, the article explores the problems that Dave’s type of company faces when it comes to IT support. Intrigued by what he read, Dave spends some more time on the company’s website, and then, before he leaves, he enters his email address to receive a copy of their free report titled, “5 Ways to Use IT to Increase Profits In the Torqued Out Bindle Rotor Industry”.

After downloading and reading their professional created report (ok, it was just made in word and was well written and edited), Dave is left with a feeling that this company might actually understand his particular set of problems. He plans to invest some time to study them more, but first, he has to go get his kids from soccer.

When Dave comes to work the next day, he’s greeted with an email from the company thanking him for downloading the report and then directing him to several of the most popular articles on their blog. Dave likes everything that he reads and is planning to investigate further just as soon as he gets through some of this other tasks.

Two days later, Dave receives another email that invites him to attend a webinar titled, “5 IT Mistakes to Avoid in the Torqued Out Bindle Rotor Industry”. Intrigued once again, Dave registers for the free webinar.

The next day Dave watches the webinar and is thoroughly impressed by what he learned. Not only did they not try to actually pitch him anything, but they did an extraordinary job of pointing out a few of the IT issues that Dave is likely to encounter as he continues to grow his company. They also offered to provide the webinar attendees with a free consulting session over Skype. Dave, having been thoroughly impressed with everything he’d read on the company blog, decided that signing up for the Skype call was a no brainer – but as he was in a rush to go pick his wife up, he didn’t have time.

The next day, dave received an email inviting him to select an appointment in the company’s calendar for the Skype interview. Dave clicked the link in the email and effortlessly booked himself a time for the Skype meeting.

A few days later, at the end of the Skype call, with all this remaining questions answered, Dave asked how much their monthly retainer fee was, what was included, and made a decision to hire them without even asking a proposal to be drafted.

Dave found just the supplier he needed, and the company landed a valuable new client. Everybody wins.

Let’s Analyze What Happened

As you can see from this story, content played a major role in Dave’s decision to become a customer. Let’s have a walk through the behind the scenes and examine how this ‘miracle’ took place.

First, it began with search. Dave had a problem that he knew he needed to solve, so, he went to the two most obvious places; his business friends, and Google.

Next, Dave spent time studying the websites of the companies he was referred to and was underwhelmed with what he found. All were just online brochures and did little to address his needs.

Dissatisfied with the referrals, Dave searched on Google and found a company whose website was literally the wikipedia for companies that provide IT support to the Torqued Out Bindle Rotor industry. Impressed with what he saw on the site, Dave made the decision to enter his email address to get the free report.

Here’s where the magic begins to happen…

When Dave entered his email address, not only did he receive a report he asked for, but he entered the top of this company’s automated sales funnel – though he wasn’t aware of this at the time.

Notice that I said “automated”. No one at the company had to manually respond to Dave’s email. This all happens on auto-pilot. We’re going to cover HOW this is done in far more detail later.

I should also point out that the free report that Dave downloaded provided very high quality content that would be of immense value to Dave regardless of whether he hired the company or not. If the company’s report had been garbage or fluff, it’s much less likely that Dave would have gone any further.

Next, Dave received an email inviting him to the webinar. Most important was the title of the webinar. When Dave read it, he felt as though he was going to receive a valuable education, as opposed to a sales pitch. People hate to be sold, but love to learn, and that is why having a headline like this is so important.

When Dave attended the webinar, the experience was exactly as he’d hoped. The host of the webinar was very professional and well prepared. The content that was shared with Dave was of immense value and helped him to fully understand the issues around the problem he was trying to solve. In fact, Dave also discovered a few new problems that he was likely to face in the relatively near future. At the end of the webinar, Dave felt as though he time was well spent and we keen to take another step.

Dave did have the intention to take the next step, but, for a lack of time, had to exit the webinar quickly. By the next morning, Dave had pretty much forgotten about the Skype offer and was back to business as usual.

Here’s where some more automation comes into play. Because the IT company was able to track who stayed to the end of the webinar, their follow up system dispatched a reminder email to everyone that stayed until the end, but didn’t sign up for the Skype call. People are busy and forgetful. This is human nature. So, to capture as many leads as possible, the design of the automated follow up takes this into account.

The next day, Dave received the reminder email and was able to easily book his time slot. He didn’t have to call anyone, or have any back and forth to arrange the time. Instead, he could simply choose from the available time slots and get back to work.

On the receiving end, the IT company’s system notified them that Dave had booked a time slot. The resulted in a task being assigned to the sales rep that would do the call with Dave in a few days. The task for the sales rep was to study Dave’s website and be ready with several intelligent questions about his business. Because this company really focused on Dave’s industry, the rep was also very well equipped to answer all of Dave’s questions.

When the call took place, Dave was already pre-disposed to buying. He’d read many of the company’s articles on their blog, he’d read their valuable report, he’d attended a valuable webinar, he’d seen several of their client testimonial videos and case studies, and he’d already seen the pricing on their website.

All that was left to do was ask a few simple questions and make a decision to proceed.

If your sales process doesn’t resemble what I’ve just described, don’t worry. Setting all this up isn’t as hard as you might think, and it’s all quite inexpensive to do. The best part is that once you’ve got your lead attraction system and nurturing process in place, growing your business will be far easier than you ever though.

What Do You Think?

Like I said at the top, this is all first draft stuff, so it may change or get completely eliminated from the book if that is what my editor decides. For now, I can publish to my heart’s content, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

I’m Getting Married!

A few weeks ago I proposed to my girlfriend (now fiance) Liz. I made her a youtube video and then sent her on a crazy scavenger hunt all over town before finally meeting me on the beach where we met.

I took one knee, and she said yes! (now that’s what I call an opt-in!)   <<— marketer’s joke.

As Liz and I both have similar tastes and sense of humour (hence why she said yes), I decided to make yet another video as the first part of the invitation for our guests. My friends all thought it was hilarious, so being as this post is going live on a Saturday, I thought I would share it with you. Hopefully you’ll enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it. (the funniest bits start about 1/3 in and last to the end).

Digital Marketing Strategy: Land More Clients and Make Your Firm 500% More Valuable with Mike Lieberman

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If you could get more of the right kind of traffic to your website, do you think you could increase revenue?

Do you struggle to figure out the best way to deploy your resources to get this traffic?

If so, you are not alone.

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, I’m joined by Mike Lieberman, co-founder and President of Square 2 Marketing – a highly successfully marketing agency focused on becoming the largest inbound marketing agency in the world.

When it comes to landing new clients, if you are still using the same strategies that you were using 5 years ago, you are probably not getting the results you could be.

In this interview, Mike and I talk at length about what is working for him (and his clients) when it comes to business development. Here’s just a few of the things you’ll hear when you listen to the interview:

  • the first, most important, and most often overlooked step in planning for growth
  • how to drive more traffic to your site
  • the three most important activities you need for growth
  • Mike’s dashboard for tracking the results of these activities
  • how content fits into his marketing strategy
  • the most important part of his content creation system
  • how to generate more retainer business (Mike’s is almost ALL retainer business!)
  • the service he delivers to his retainer clients
  • the #1 way to make your firm more valuable, and more fun to run

This was a killer interview and if you run an agency, you are going to LOVE it 🙂

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Watch Now

Download and Listen Later

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About Mike Lieberman

mike-lgCo-founder and President of Square 2 Marketing, Mike is passionate about helping entrepreneurs turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For over 10 years, Mike has been working hand in hand with business owners helping them create strategic marketing plans, compelling marketing messages, and innovative marketing tactics that drive revenue. More importantly, he is outspoken when challenging them to think differently so that their clients, customers, prospects, partners and friends spread the word about their businesses. Mike and his long-time friend Eric Keiles created Reality Marketing™ as a platform to teach entrepreneurs a new way to market their companies.

Thanks for Listening!

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Welcome to the Bright Ideas Community of Entrenpreneurs

My Trip to NMX Blogworld in Las Vegas

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triberr

Just over a week ago, I returned from my trip to Las Vegas where I attended the New Media Expo. This is an event that has been around for a long time and this was my first year attending it.

Below are some short on-the-spot interviews that with people or companies that I found interesting. I hope you find them helpful.

Triberr

By far, my favorite discovery was a company called Triberr.

Triberr is the creation of Dan Cristo and Dino Dogan and in the video below, you are going to hear Dino tell me why Triberr is worth paying attention to.

(apologies for the sound quality on all the videos. It was a very noisy environment)

I have to admit, that I think the Triberr concept is pretty terrific because it gives anyone (person or company) with a blog the power to easily accomplish the following:

  • Publish quality content
  • Distribute your content to other blogs
  • Increase traffic to your blog
  • Provide social proof

triberr

I’ve recently started to use Triberr right here on Bright Ideas because, after interviewing Mike Stelzner, I learned that he publishes content 6 days a week. He told me that in the early days of the Social Media Examiner, they tested all sorts of publishing variations and regardless of what they did, one thing was always clear; more content = more traffic.

Not really surprising, is it?

So, why don’t we all publish content every day? Because it’s a lot of work!

In my case, I’m working on a software startup, as well as creating a new WordPress plugin for local marketing consultants. With a workload like that, there is no way that I can publish content every day.

With Triberr and a couple of Tribemates, I’ll easily be able to publish as much high quality content as I want.

In case you are wondering, a tribemate is just someone who’s joined my tribe (in Triberr) and by doing so, assuming we each have the Triberr plugin installed, we are able to “reblog” each other’s content with the click of a button.

To see how it works, watch this short video below.

If you’d like to see an example of a recent reblog of someone else’s content here on Bright Ideas, click here. Notice that the post has proper attribution as well as comments from both Bright Ideas and the original author’s blog.

In case you haven’t already guess, not only can I reblog my tribemate’s content here, but they can also reblog my content on their blogs; all with the click of just one button.

For those of you who are wondering whether or note reblogging is considered duplicate content, let me assure you that it isn’t. The reason for that is because attribution exists. For a more detailed explanation of this, please read this post.

If you’d like to join my tribe, please go grab yourself a free account at Triberr and then search for a tribe called Professional B2B Marketers and Digital Agency Owners.

UStream

If you are looking for a way to stream live video on the web, uStream is the leader in the field. I haven’t tried this yet, but plan to at some point.

OutBrain

If you are looking for a very inexpensive way to buy traffic for your site, this is a video that you should watch. I was surprised at how cheap it was for clicks.

Brafton

If you need content for your site, then this video is one that you will want to watch.

What Do You Think?

Please share you thoughts in the comments below. If you have some tools and resources that you love, please let us know.

Digital Marketing Strategy: How to Increase Lead Conversion, Work Less, and Automate More: An Interview with Jay Baer

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Jay Baer

What if I told you that you would have a better chance of growing your revenue if you focused on getting fewer leads?

You’d think I was nuts, right?

Well, not so fast there grasshopper!

In today’s episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, I’m joined by Jay Baer of ConvinceandConvert.com to talk about his exact strategy for maximizing lead conversion (notice I didn’t say that we were going to talk about his exact strategy for getting the maximum number of leads).

In addition to the above, Jay and I also talk about:

  • how to spend less time working IN your business and more time working ON it
  • which automation tool Jay is using to do this (I use the same one)
  • a great example of content marketing with bricks and feathers
  • how to persuade more clients that going on retainer is a good idea for them (as well as you)
  • Jay’s favorite tools and resources for small agency owners
  • how to ensure your business is worth more when it comes time to sell it
  • what books he’s reading right now
  • and so much more

Don’t forget to leave a comment so Jay and myself get to hear what you think of the interview 🙂

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

In this episode, I interview Jay Baer, president of convinceandconvert.com.

Watch Now

Download and Listen Later

Enjoyed this Interview? Here’s How To Leave us a Positive Review on iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

Transcript

An Interview with Jay BaerT: Hey there Bright Idea hunters, thank you so much for joining me for the Bright Ideas podcast. I am your host, Trent Dyrsmid, and this is the podcast for business owners and marketers who wanna learn how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively boost their business.On the show with me today is Jay Baer from ConvinceandConvert.com. Jay, welcome to the show.Jay Baer: Thanks Trent, I appreciate that you have me on the show.T: No problem. It’s an honor to have you here. So for the folks in the audience who maybe don’t know about you yet, can you tell us who are you and what do you do?J: Sure. My name is Jay Baer. I am the president of the social media and content marketing accelerator firm Convince and Convert. We work with major corporations all across the world helping them understand the social media and content strategy. Then we also work with a number of different ad agencies, PR firms, marketing firms all across North America helping them kinda get in price and stuff and sell social and digital services. We have award winning blog at ConvinceandConvert.com, weekly podcast on social pros and a daily email newsletter called one social thing.

T: Alright so you’re audience and my audience is the same group of people and we wanna help them do the same thing. If you’re running an agency we wanna help you run a more successful agency. More clients, more profits, more revenue and a better lifestyle. So wtih that in mind in the study of agencies that I have done and they’re very similar to the business I was just talking to you about off camera that I used to run, big challenge how to get leads, leads, leads. Everybody wants more leads. So can you share with me what you’ve seen agencies have particular success with when it comes to lead generation?

J: Well I think actually I would debate the premise a little bit.

T: Sure.

J: I feel like agencies are, in many cases too focused on leads and not focused enough on conversion rate. I was in an agency at one point where we just went through the string finishing second over and over and over again, right? And you’re just sort of burning stuff time and burning resources at that kind of point. So I would challenge people and we do this with agencies and corporate clients all the time. We just say you know what, don’t worry as much about leads until you know that you’ve got the conversion process dialed and that you know that you are closing the maximum percentage of business that’s seriously you’ll never gonna get them all, obviously no one converts a 100% of their leads, but figure out whether it’s market automation or the nurturing or being smarter about content or how you interact with leads in the funnel. Spend time making sure that once you’ve spent the time and resources to create a lead that you’re actually closing them.

Setting that aside in terms of the lead generating vehicle I always feel like the best way to do that is demonstrate your expertise in some way but to do it in a, and I just have this conversation with my agency clients this morning, to do it in a focused specifc manner. So agency blogging for example, very popular now, it didn’t use to be but of course now almost every agency has some sort of blog or some sort of thought leadership program which ostensibly creates leads and many cases it doesn’t because the blog doesn’t really have sufficient call to action they didn’t do it.

But I find the biggest problem with most agency thought leadership program is that it’s about everything the agency knows. And if your thought leadership is about everything it is by definition about nothing. So even though your agency might actually offer 25 different services you really ought to pay attention to 3 or 4 that really makes sense that you really wanna go long on and create content, create thought leadership, create ebooks and blog posts and podcasts and videos about those topics because then you can actually get enough density of content and enough lead generating inbound action to adopt and make it work.

T: In other words find a niche and make sure that you go really really deep on that niche or topic whatever word you’d like to use.

J: Yeah and there’s really sort of X Y and Z axis on that potential niche so you can either have a geographical niche were all about Alabama or were all about Houston or whatever your story is. Or you can have a vertical niche or you can have a services niche and I think the best agencies that generate the most consistent stream of leads are those that apply all three of those contents. We’re the best agency at search engine optimization for health care in Texas. Now are you gonna have the most leads? No you’re not. But your lead conversion rate is going to be massively higher because you’re saying this is what we stand for, we are the best in the world at this one thing. And I think that’s a better approach.

T: I’m gonna guess that you have read Good to Great.

J: Yes absolutely.

T: Because this is the hedgehog strategy in the book.

J: Yap exactly.

T: Okay so for anyone who’s listening if you haven’t read that book yet it’s a really fantastic book. Now you mentioned something that is near and dear to my heart early in your answer. You talked about lead nurturing and automation. A whole another interview we could go down with that good one and maybe if the calendar permits we’ll come back to that. But can you give us a short answer for people who might not know what lead nurturing is and how would you automate lead nurturing?

J: I think the easiest way to conceptualize it is to say nobody becomes a customer of anything, of twizlers or an agency or a car or anything in between. Nobody buys anything until or unless the questions they have about that product or service have been satisfactorily answered. Period always. So what you need to do as a business owner of any kind of business and I think that’s even more acute in professional services is to say let’s walk it back and for somebody to higher agency what do they have to be satisfied with? Well they have to be satisfied with their expertise. They have to be satisfied with our deliverables. They have to be satisfied with our price. They have to be satisfied with the talent of our staff. They have to be satisfied with the way we do business. They have to be satisfied with the fact that we know things that apply to their industry and there’s probably 2 or 3 other things in that chain.

So at some point from the lead generation to signed deal process those questions have to answered. The way agencies have historically tried to do that Trent to say let’s get together in the conference room and we’ll have the whole conversation and we’ll kind of throw a bunch of things against the wall and we’ll tell you how great we are and hopefully we’ll convince you. You know, we’ll convince them in the conference room.

T: In other words, we’ll close you.

J: Yeah right we’ll close you over donut or whatever. Lead nurturing marketing automation says sure you’re gonna have that human element at some point but the human element is much farther down the consideration found in this classically kind of the case. What you do is when someone becomes a lead we know that you are interested in this particular agency service because of either information you provided in your lead form or what web pages you were looking at before you filled out that form and then we put you into a business rules governed sequence which then delivers to you information that answers some of those questions that need to be answered without me having to do it face to face.

So in my case we use infusion soft because of marketing automation software company that handles our email marketing and our follow up sequences. If somebody, I just put out a new ebook today and if somebody signs up for that ebook they’ll go into a special follow up sequence, they’ll get another email from us a week later with some different information. Then a week after that we’ll give another email with some other information then a week after that we’ll give another email. So we are leaving them down the consideration path of very strategically and very specifically because not everybody is ready to have a meeting in the conference room 2 seconds after they fill up the lead form which is usually what happens in an agency environment. Somebody says those are our contacts I’ll say call these guys right now get them in, let’s get a meeting set up. And in some cases people want dinner and movie first.

T: I’m an Infusion Soft user myself.

J: Oh great.

T: And I absolutely love it.

J: They have a conference next year. I’m looking forward to it.

T: Terrific. I’ll see you there. And I’ll tell you if I would have understood back when I was running my agency equivalent if I would have a tool like Infusion Soft and understood how much power it had I could have done a lot more. So for the folks again that are listening to this, if you haven’t checked out Infusion Soft yet go get yourself a demo, go sign up on a webinar. It is amazing. When people open those emails and they can click on links you can apply this thing called tags and all you’re really doing is segmenting and segmenting and segmenting and you can cause automated sequences to occur based upon links they click and things they do and all can run on auto pilot for you on the background.

Which segues into my very next question, is that many small and not just agency owners, Jay, but many small business owners they get so consumed with doing everything themselves that they spend all this time working in their business and no time spent working on their business. So with your clients, how do you get them, coz you can either have lots of control and not much growth or give up some control and get a lot more growth. How do you coach them through that process?

J: Yeah I’ve been through that process myself trying, I mean this is my 5th professional company that I had started. I’ve got $5 million agencies in a row from scratch and I read the e-myth years ago, right, which is where that premise comes from and I didn’t believe it at first. I mean it makes intuitive sense that you gotta kind of step away and let people blossom and I literally said you know what, I’m just ripping off the band aid. And I said I’m just gonna try it. I don’t believe it but I’m just gonna try it. And I just went into this massive empowerment phase like I don’t have to do everything and maybe it won’t be exactly how I would do it but it will be just as good as is so why and it was. And we experienced explosive growth as a result of giving up that kind of control and I have subsequently had it purposely done that I’d moved out of state and then a bunch other things that actually prohibit me now from having that kind of control and it’s been really really effective.

And I have agency clients that are really good in that principle and that sort of empowerment principle and working on their business instead of in it. And I have agencies that are not very good at it. It’s both sides. And what I find is it’s not so much about a particular thing you can do in the agency, it really is cultural. It really is about what kind of life do you wanna have as an agency principle and you find it in here to let it go. Coz you can read all the books you want but you gotta believe it. You have to believe inherently that the people you have hired are good enough to put your name out there even if you don’t actually work on that particular project. And some people can get that and other people just can’t. I mean there are people I know who have been trying to get there for 10 years and can’t. It’s not because they’re not smart, they just can’t get past it. They just can’t get past that sense of work. I wish I had a more specific example for you other than just ripping off the band aid as I didn’t say look I’m going to take 2 or 3 projects that I work on now and just stop working on.

And I think the easiest way to get there in theory is to do an audit of your activities as a principle to say okay. And a lot of agency owners don’t do this. They don’t really know how they spend their time. They think they do but they don’t really so a lot of times all I do is say okay let’s actually keep a time sheet for yourself and real strong audit of your involvement and then go back and say are the things that you’re doing things that you are uniquely qualified to do. And for me that’s always the filter. That’s how I try and run my businesses. I try and minimize doing things that I am not uniquely qualified to do. And if you sort of use that as a filter do I get involved, do I not get involved, that helps I think having that sort of light switch approach.

T: And that’s an approach that I’m trying to do here with Bright Ideas. I’m uniquely qualified to host the interview but somebody else can edit it, somebody else can create the post, somebody else can publish, review, share it on social networks. And if you’re listening to this and I talked to a guy yesterday, he was a one man agency, he was doing almost a $150,000 a year, and he said Trent, I’m klilling myself. I work, work, work all the time. So if you relate to that story but you can’t get wrap your mind around hiring a full time employee I really encourage you don’t hire a full time employee, go to Odesk, elance, freelance.

J: I run my services that way. We’re doing a million dollars this year and I’m the only employee. But everyone is 1099. This idea that you have to own a resource, lots stock and buy that resource has to sit in your office is an *inaudible. With the advances that we’ve made and in video conferencing like this and a sacred as communication is much more accepted than it used to be. You don’t have to have mediums of the same kind the way they used to. Things like base camp and other tools allow you to manage projects synchronously. All of those kind of advances that are partially technology and partially cultural in the way that this gets done really allow for partial ownership or resources in ways that was really crazy even 5 years ago.

T: And the really great thing about this and I’m sure that you already understand this and I do now but I didn’t before is when you can give up the shackles of a physical location and the shackles of employees that show up to that location and you embrace online marketing and lead nurturing and so that you don’t have to have that face to face meeting and you get leads coming to you, now you can live anywhere you wanna live. You can get clientsfrom anywhere you want them. And more likely they never want you to come and sit in the boardroom. They’re quite happy because they’ve consumed all of your thought leadership on their own schedule and then they contact you when they’re ready to go. You’re gonna charge a higher fee, you’re gonna work on your schedule and life just gets a whole lot better.

J: We actually won’t go to see clients generally speaking. That’s part of our deal. We’ve got people all over the country, if you need us to come sit in your conference room we’re probably not the right consultancy for you and we say that from the very first call. And now every once in a while we have to fly out and do some monster presentation but I don’t think we’ve ever seen any client more than once ever.

T: Yeah.

J: In 5 years.

T: But you and I, we’re not in the same room, we’re not in the same state. I don’t know how this conversation would be more enriched if we were sitting across the table from each other.

J: Yeah and I think a lot of it is expectation management. For people who are familiar with this kind of technology they’re like great. I don’t know very many people who have gotten involved into this kind of technology and then sit outside for me. I’m sure they exist I just don’t know many of those people. But for potential clients who haven’t done a lot of work like this that sort of expectation management it’s like it’s gonna be fine, trust me, you’re gonna love it. Because ultimately it’s more efficient for them too.

T: Absolutely it is. No commuting and so forth. Alright for this interview and just research in general I came across a hubspot report and it talked about some really pain points for agencies and one of them were unpredictable revenue and we’re gonna get to that in just a second. But before we get to that, for the folks that are listening to this who are also looking for really great campaign ideas that they can take to a client, can you talk about a recent client, could be one of your clients or a client of one of your agency clients, I don’t care who, but if you could think of something where the campaign was particularly successful and we’ll frame this with the content marketing mindset. Coz so many people are talking about content marketing these days and I know I’ve kinda put you on the spot because I didn’t give you more than one minute before our interview to think of this.

J: Oh that’s okay that’s easy. That I can just finish a whole new book about this topic not before last so not a problem. One of the things that we talk about in my company that I think will be useful to yours Trent is premise of bricks and feathers. So there’s 2 kinds of content. There are feathers which are like a feather. They are lightweight, they are a femural, they are disposable. Feathers are things like a blog posts or a facebook status update or a series of photos, things like that. They’re just kind of poof and they’re not gonna get printed out. They’re most likely not going to get printed out and taken to decision maker. They are top of the funnel kind of bait.

And then you have bricks. And bricks are like bricks. They’re heavier, they’re more tangible, they have to be crafted. There’s no brick tree. You have to make a brick. They have a shelf life and they can be picked up and carried and taken places up the decision making chain. They can be passed along to other people in the organization. So where we’re at in this point in the kind of content marketing renaissance I will say because it’s not new, we’ve been doing content marketing for a hundreds of years it’s just we decided to talk about it lately. Where we’re at in this renaissance is that almost everybody is doing feathers. So everybody’s got blog posts and sort of lightweight kind of content but not enough people are doing bricks like the kind of work that you do here with video show, ebooks and slide share and infographics, things that actually has some production value and some shelf life.

So I remember a post not too long ago about how an agency should balance bricks and feathers and I really believe that you’ve gotta invest in 4 or 6 kind of solid bricks a year as an agency thinks that that generate meaningful lead generation and pass along and then have a shelf life and then actually stand for something. Not just a blog post that tomorrow’s another blog and the day after that’s another blog post. But things that are really of high quality.

Soon the question becomes what’s that brick about. Well I’ll give you an example that we did in our own company. So I did a presentation, I do tons and tons of public speaking probably 75 a year and I did a presentation of the content marketing world conference last fall. And it was about how to measure content marketing. What are the metrics for content marketing. So I took that presentation which was in powerpoint and then I partnered with a content marketing institute who puts on that conferences on their popular blog about content marketing. Then we turned it into an ebook. And that ebook we put on slideshare and we’ve now generated hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of leads from people who clearly are interested in content marketing strategy which is what I do and content marketing metrics which is partially what we do because they have downloaded this particular ebook.

So then we took the brick which is the ebook and then created feathers around it. So we’ve got blog posts around it, we’ve got tweets around it, we have facebook updateds around it, we have other excerpts around it so it’s the center point of what we’re doing this quarter. And next quarter we’ll have something else and next quarter we’ll have something else.

T: Very interesting. Mike Stelzner talks about the same thing. If you may have read his book launched he calls it primary fuel and nuclear fuel.

J: Yes exactly.

T: And he uses something called the social media marketing industry report as one of his bricks. I’m working on one as well, the marketing agency industry report which I’ll talk to you about after the show.

J: Yeah research is a really good way to create bricks like that because it’s not terribly difficult to put that together. The other one I like I lot that I’ve just talked about this morning with somebody is rankings to say okay here’s the deal. Well normally a blog post can turn it into a brick by saying once a month we’re gonna publish whenever the top 40, like the one I used as an example this morning was a lady, a small agency owner, who publishes every month on her blog the top 40 I think it is convention and visitors bureaus participating on pinterest by number of followers. So ordinarily a blog post about cvb’s on pinterest is a feather but because she turned it into the top 40 rankings once a month it becomes a brick because people now want to pay attention to that and they’ve sent to their boss and now she can turn it into a pdf which then goes into some slideshare which spreads around. So that kind of ranking idea I think is really really easy to execute and almost any agency can find again with that xyz axis can find a place that they can sort of own the rankings if you will. You can give ap polls for whatever.

And the other one I would encourage people to think about from my brick’s perspective is just what you’re doing Trent, these interviews. Every agency in the world could have a great podcast if they just spend 1 hour thinking about it, right? Say everybody, interview your clients, interview people in your industry and it’s difficult to master but easy to do. And not nearly enough people are plugging along those lines of thinking yet.

T: And I gotta say I’m ambitious and lazy all at the same time and that’s why I do this interview format. I get a phenomenal feedback on these interviews and including post production I’m done in like less than 2 hours. I cannot write a really awesome 2500 word blog post in 2 hours. And edit it, put fun images, and do the research. I just can’t do it. Nor do I want to go and do a podcast where I simply talk for 45 minutes like an extended monologue. But the conversation, we’re all human beings we all know how to have conversations.

J: We use a software program I see you’re gonna ask about tools later but it’s alright I think I’ve blown your format.

T: No problem.

J: You can tell I do a podcast coz I’m used in trying to do a format. So on our podcast, social pros, where we interview somebody once a week who is the social media manager or content marketing manager for a big brand. So today we’re gonna interview Katrina Walter, she’s head of social media strategy worldwide for Intel. So every week we interview somebody. So we use speechpad.com.

T: Yap I use them too.

J: And it’s transcripts but not only do you have audio but now you’ve got the full written press and naturally I use speechpad for my book, for my new book. So we did 50 interviews for the book, did them all over the phone and then speechpad records those calls and give me the written transcript so I had a 100,000 words of book interviews fit in html where I just copy and paste in the manuscript. Made it a lot faster to write this book versus my first book.

T: Yeah. Now I actually have a mentor who’s guiding me through that process coz I’m doing the same thing for a book. He’s been doing this. His book is called marketing wizards, sorry market wizards. It’s about this hedgefund manager. And he talks a lot about the importance of editing those interviews prior to putting, coz a conversation like this isn’t necessary as interesting to read as it is to listen to. So did you have an editor go through and get rid of all the ums, yeah, buts and all that kind of stuff out of those transcripts?

J: I just took them out of the transcripts and clean out myself. So I read every interview and then bolded the actual passages that I thought made sense in the book narrative and then cleaned them up a little bit when I paste them in the manuscript. I use scrivener for book writing software which I love. It’s really amazing. And that was enormously helpful. It does automatically compiles it in the manuscript format and you can have multiiple windows open and has kind of like virtual sticky notes and things like that. It’s really excellent for organization. That’s scrivener.

T: Okay I’ll be checking that out.

J: That’s great. I really really wish I would have it with my first book. I don’t even know if it existed then but I wish I’d had it. It’s a lot easier this time.

T: How long did it take you to write this 2nd book?

J: Not very long because I had it all in my head and I mentioned that I do a lot of speaking. And so this book is basically the book version of the keynote presentation I’ve been doing for 2 or 3 months so I actually again using speechpad recorded myself giving that keynote presentation and transcribed it. So I used that as actually the back bone of the book and I put the book around the keynote speech. So between the interviews and again my researches which has helped me a lot with the interviews, between interviews and putting it all together probably took me 6 weeks.

T: That’s pretty good.

J: But I just turned in the first half to the publisher and then hopefully they won’t say we hate it and start over. We’ll go on them next week. The portfolio was published in it so we’ll see how it goes.

T: Oh I wish you the best of luck on it.

J: Thanks.

T: You mentioned the woman who does the top 40 list, do you know her blog url?

J: I’ll probably find it in one second. Do you edit this out when we’re doing searches?

T: No just send it to me. I don’t edit the show in the middle.

J: Hold on a second, I can do it right now. I just talked about it this morning.

T: Okay.

J: Yap it’s cvb’s on pinterest. Her blog is annehornyak.com.

T: Great.

J: And she’s at DG Morgan, still in that agency, social media and tourism consultant.

T: Okay. Alright so I promised a few minutes ago we’re gonna talk about this challenge of unpredictable and this was in a technology services space. This was a huge problem. And so I’m just gonna preface of my own story line.

J: That’s why I got out of the web design business right there. That exact reason.

T: Yap. If you don’t have recurring revenue in your business, you don’t have a business that somebody else is gonna want to buy.

J: Oh yeah and you have no ways and strategy.

T: Exactly. So in other words you’re leaving a ton of equity, in my case it was over a million dollars worth of equity that I created when I sold my business because I had $78,000 every single month that came in on the first day of every single month. And that was we didn’t have any products that we coded or anything like that. It was delivering services but it turned all the way to automate some of them by using tools but we just convinced our customers that it was a better deal for them to be on a retainer.

So in the agency space I know that this is a huge issue. I know lots of guys, gals out there, they’re web designers, they’re this, they’re that and they’re on the time and materials model, what advice Jay can you give them to help them, first of all they gotta make the transition in their own mind and then they can make the transition in their profit loss statement?

J: Yap. It’s difficult. You have to understand or believe that ultimately it’s about arbitrary. That ultimately the retainer model is going to benefit you just as much as about more than it will benefit the client. What I mean by that Trent is that the reason why some people don’t wanna do a retainer is they’re like what if it takes us 80 hours then we’re only getting paid for 40. Well you have to believe that you’re good enough business. That more often than not it’s gonna go the other way. And if your business isn’t good enough operationally then it won’t go your way more often than not. Then you probably shouldn’t go on retainer. You should really spend some time figuring out how come you can’t predict how long it’s gonna take you to deliver services. You know what I mean?

The agency model really only works if you can deliver services consistently, right? You can’t have purpose in what it requires you to deliver coz then you can’t get absolutely upside down on the retainer model. But assuming that you have a good sense of what it takes you to deliver and you can do that fairly consistently you have to realize that ultimately it’s gonna benefit you as much or more than the client from an economic stand point. Not just from a flatting of the revenue curve but also just from your yield. Coz ultimately when I say it’s about arbitrary it’s about you, it’s about what is the agency actually paid for an hour of time. That’s the whole model. And yes the retainer takes that out of the day that their conversation but ultimately you backed that out. So okay these retainers lump together compared to the number of people that retained and what are we paying those people and that is sort of how you sort of figure out your overall P&L.

The key is to make clients realize that it’s in their best interest. And the way you do that is to not say look if we spend, and this is how agencies typically say about retainers, we’re gonna put you on retainer because that way you know what your cost certainty is and I don’t know they just come up with other weird excuses. I think the best way to do it is to say look, especially if your agency is a little bit or a lot on the digital side of the aisle where higher level of experimentation less degree of certainty in terms of what you’re gonna do day to day, month to month coz new things come along all the time.

So the way we always insist to argue with is, and this is the line I give with every client in my previous digital agencies, I don’t know what’s gonna work for you but I know how to find out. I know exactly how to use testing and optimization to figure out what is the perfect digital marketing strategy for you and your business. But that takes time. And you don’t want to pay me by the hour to figure out what works coz if it takes us longer to figure out the magic formula for you it’s gonna be more expensive. So if we do this on retainer so that you’ll know what you’re gonna pay and we’ll know what we’re gonna get, the time that we spend to figure this out is at my expense not yours. So me being a great marketer is at my expense not yours. That’s how we used to give it and used to explain it.

And the other thing is really important on retainers coz all of our agency clients are on retainers as well is a lot time clients are reluctant to sign retainers coz they feel like it’s a prison cell. So our deal is look you’re on retainer but everybody’s a 30 day out so nobody has a contract. It’s like look here’s the deal, you’re gonna pay us every month come hell or high water but the second you’re not finding value, stop paying us. And it’s amazing when you put that out there how much that takes away people’s inate and natural fear of retainer business. If they’re not getting value stop paying us.

T: So one of the thought I wanna add to that for the folks in the audience, think of your portfolio clients like a portfolio of investments. The big huge stumbling block that you touched on was what if I do to many more hours if I don’t get enough retainer. Well that won’t happen if you get good at your systems and processes which Jay pointed out. You may have lots of work it bleeds over but there’ll be other months when you hardly have to do a thing for some other client in your portfolio so it’s about the yield on the overall portfolio not the yield on every single client you have in your portfolio.

J: That’s right. That’s why when people measure job cost profitability or even individual client profitability you’re kinda doing yourself a disservice mathematically. Yes you wanna pay a 10th to that but I would put much more stock in what’s the revenue per employee or what’s the yield for the entire organization as opposed to what’s the yield for this one client. Coz you’re exactly right that will lead you to say that we need to make sure that we did $42,000 over a month of work for these guys this month but we only got paid 18, that’s gotta stop. Well that only has to stop if that continues for a long time or if that’s happened more than once. So you gotta take a little bit of a mongrel term approach to these kinds of questions.

And in too many agencies, it can be agency owners think about client profitability in 30 day incurrence which is absolutely the wrong way to think about it. We look at it in 6 or 12 months and say okay a year end of this do we feel like we’re making money on these guys. If not we’ll go somewhere else but when we start thinking did we make money this month on this client no you can’t do it, you can’t run this like that. This is too variable of an industry.

T: And it’s not the way you’re selling to your clients coz you’re saying to your clients

J: We’re partners.

T: Correct.

J: We’re partners to the next 30 days and then we’ll see.

T: Yeah. Alright so that last answer pretty much boils down to this. Have a conversation with your customers that says I don’t know exactly what to do to make your perfect campaign but I know how to figure it out. Let me put that time risk on my shoulders and let me give you credit predictability and now we’re partners.

J: That’s right. And that approach very much works better if you agree with the client from the outset on what this success factor is gonna be. If you say look we’re gonna figure out the magic formula you have to agree on what the ingredients of measuring that formula are. Are we looking at leads, are we looking at sales, are we looking at, there’s obviously a number of different ways to measure marketing and that’s a different podcast for a different time but you need to agree with the client on what those measurements are out front.

T: And all of this is stuff you could be producing blog posts on, well in advance with your conversation with your client so that you’re actually nurturing, nurturing. Even your existing clients need to be nurtured to your current way of thinking in the way that you wanna run your business.

J: I would say that perhaps more so. In fact I’ve written about this with a link on my blog that agencies really should turn this upside down and try and create content and blog post more for their current clients and think about blogging and thought leadership as a client retention and client cross sell vehicle as opposed to a new lead generation.

T: Coz I think something that people forget and I probably was guilty of this, I have my customer but my competitors are prospecting my customer. So just coz they’re my customer right now doesn’t mean that I can stop pursuading them to continue to be my customer.

J: Or persuade them to buy something different from you. I can’t tell you how many times this happened and it continues to happen to me and I’m not very good at marketing automation to current clients and very few people are. We tend to do that through blogging in my company which is probably in the state but it happens all the time that current clients read something that I wrote in the blog and I say that I didn’t realize that you guys did that. Let’s talk about you doing that for us. So now you have a blog post that theoretically was written as a lead acquisition tool is actually a retention and cross sell tool.

T: And for anyone listening to this who thinks oh I’m not a good writer, could you have a conversation about your client with something that you did for them that worked well for them? Guess what? Now you have a podcast. You can do it on skype. You can do it on go to meeting as I do it right here. Like you could just do it on the phone and record it. Every conversation can become reusable content, feathers if you will, that really can benefit your business a long term. So if you’re not doing that now I think Jay and I are both gonna say you really need to be doing it.

J: Oh absolutely. And it’s funny you say about the telephy. I’ve worked with a lot of chief officer marketing types and things like that of big corporations and they go we don’t have time to blog. And I go okay if you have time to talk it on the phone for 3 minutes a week you do. You absolutely do have 3 minutes talking to the phone. So press this button talk into the phone, press another button and here’s a blog post while somebody claim to that. So that idea that you don’t have time to create content is 100% untrue. You just choose not to make time.

T: Correct. I couldn’t agree more. Alright so you stole my thunder a little bit on my tools and resources.

J: Oh sorry. I kind of wove it in more like organic. I got more. What do you want?

T: Alright favorite tools and resources, we’ve talked about infusion soft. You talked about scrivener, what else?

J: Scrivener for books. I’ve talked about speechpad for recording stuff. And I love buffer app. Buffer which is a great tool for sticking social media posts. So the content curation, a great way to create feathers. So every morning I read dozens and dozens of emails including Mike Stelzner’s and other people. I can find things I wanna tweet or facebook or linked in status update that day I use my buffer app where I just click click click and it time release capsule them all from today from about 2:00 3:00 5:00 etc. That’s a great tool. Love it.

T: Why use that instead of Hootsuite? I mean they both basically do the same thing. Is there a reason from one over the other.

J: I think buffer is easier to use and sort of purpose built for that. That’s all it does. It’s very specific to that circumstance.

T: Okay.

J: And has really nice kind of web post and the other software things like that. One of the things that agencies are interested in nowadays is finding other bloggers. So maybe you’re gonna do a blogger outreach campaign for your clients, things like that. Actually I’ll write a blog post tonight about these guys called group high. It’s grouphigh.com. Outstanding I think the best database blogs and bloggers available. It’s 5 grand a year which is a pretty affordable for agencies are gonna use it for a number of clients. And you can find bloggers by type, by city, by number of twitter followers, by number of instagram followers, by number of pinterest followers and then actually create a list of those bloggers that manage those relationships within the tools and send them emails and did we hear back from them and we’re gonna follow up. Very very nice business software.

T: Yeah and very cool. I haven’t heard that one before. So there’s my little nugget for this interview.

J: See there you go.

T: Thank you. Alright so we’re just about finished up here. Two more questions and then we’ll wrap. What are you most excited about these days in your business? Where’s the opportunities?

J: Really excited about the new book and which is all about truly helpful marketing. So what if your marketing was so useful that people would theoretically pay you for it. And there’s a lot of companies that are doing that and talks all about how to do that and how to really make your marketing a utility. Excited about that and there’s gonna be lots of conferences and things about that next year so that’s exciting.

And then we’re also doing a lot of work with corporate clients and I think agencies can really start to offer the systems service over time around employee activation in social media. So social is becoming de-centralized. It started off as a job, somebody is the social media person in the company and now it’s becoming a skill. It started as a job becoming a skill and that’s fairly typical in business. And so one of the things that we get involved with a lot for corporations is finding employees throughout the enterprise who are pre-disposed to using social media and training them, activating them to speak on the company’s behalf across the social network. So how do you train somebody your company to give a respond on twitter or facebook or write blog posts or just sort of broaden the basic social participation. I think that’s an area that agencies can really help their clients with as well. So we’re excited about that Trent as well.

T: Okay. What book or books are you reading right now?

J: What books am I reading? I have the Good Fortune I guess to get sent lots and lots of books from publishers who want me to review them which is fantastic. Hold on, I’ll be back, I’ll show you.

T: Amazing things will happen, okay.

J: I just got this book from my friend, C.C. Chapman. His new book Amazing Things Will Happen. All about how to live a happy life. I very much recommend this for all agency owners. C.C. has tremendous agency experience and you will become a better after reading this book.

T: I think I’m gonna put that one on my own reading list.

J: And I’m also reading a couple of other books around trust. Don Peppers and Rogers have a new book out about trust and how trust is sort of the key currency in business now. And Jonathan Salem Baskin also has another book also around trust. So there’s two great books out on the same time. Don Pepper’s and Rogers Baskin both around trust as a business currency which I think is an interesting trend to look forward.

T: Don Peppers and Rogers, Jonathan Salem Baskin?

J: Baskin like Robin. No relation I don’t think, that would be crazy. Pretty sure he’s not an ice cream scion but you never know.

T: Alright. Well Jay I wanna thank you for making some time for your first appearance here on the Bright Ideas podcast. I sure hope this will not be your last appearance on the show.

J: Hopefully there were bright ideas. Hopefully there were actually bright ideas. I’ll just see through with the comments.

T: I guess we’ll have to wait for the comments to find out.

J: That’s right.

T: Alright. Terrific thanks very much for being on the show Jay.

J: Thank you and I appreciate it. Take care.

T: If you wanna check out the show notes for my interview with Jay just go to BrightIdeas.co/16. Now I think I wanna very quickly tell you about is the massive traffic tool kit. If you’re looking to get more traffic to your website go to BrightIdeas.co/massivetraffic, enter your email and you will get instant access to the tool kit. So what is it? It is a compilation of all the very best ideas that have been shared with me by other expert guests here on Bright Ideas. And the really great part about the tool kit is you do not need to be an SEO guru to be able to make all this stuff happen for yourself. So just go to BrightIdeas.co/massive traffic, enter your details and you’ll get instant access.

So that wraps up this episode. I’m Trent Dyrsmid, your host. If you loved this episode please do me a favor. Head over to itunes, give it a 5 star rating and leave a comment. If you do Bright Ideas goes up in the itunes store and more people will discover the show and more people that discover the Bright Ideas podcasts the more entrepreneurs that we can help to massively boost their business. Thank you very much I will see you in the next episode.

About Jay Baer

Jay BaerJay Baer is a hype-free social media and content strategist, speaker, author and the President of Convince & Convert. Since 1994, he has worked with more than 700 companies on digital and social strategy, including 29 of the FORTUNE 500. As social and content accelerators, Convince and Convert helps tie social business to real business.

He is the co-author of the NOW Revolution, 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter and More Social (Wiley, 2011) a leading book on social business. Jay speaks to more than 75 groups each year about how social strategy is changing business forever. He is also an active angel investor investing in approximately four start ups a year.

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