Digital Marketing Strategy: Cliff Ravenscraft on How to Use a Podcast to Attract New Clients

Would you like to discover a way to more easily attract new clients, expand your professional network, and have a lot of fun in the process?

Sound too good to be true? It’s not.

Podcasting, if done correctly, can be an incredibly powerful tool for business development, networking, and positioning yourself as a thought leader (which is what content marketing is all about).

Consider this: in most any niche, you are competing with millions of other websites for attention. With a podcast, you are competing against only 200,000 podcasts in the entire iTunes store – most of which either suck, or aren’t updated regularly.

For the savvy marketer, this spells opportunity.

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, I’m joined by fellow podcast producer Cliff Ravenscraft, founder of Like me, Cliff is a marketer and avid podcaster. However, in Cliff’s case, his passion for and knowledge of podcasting is far beyond most, and that makes him an ideal guest to talk about a communications medium that we both love.

Listen to this episode to hear Cliff and I talk about:

  • how podcasting can be a very powerful business development tool
  • how to use podcasting to expand your professional network
  • how starting a podcast can help you to massively increase your reach and traffic to your site
  • why he started and how it changed his life
  • how his podcast earns him $20,000 to $50,000 a month
  • his biggest 3 Aha! moments from podcasting

Having now produced over 100 episodes myself, I cannot stress enough how much podcasting plays a role in my business. Thanks to the Bright Ideas podcast, my professional network is the best it has ever been. In just a few months, my show has gained a lot of traction in my niche, to the point where when I meet industry leaders at conferences, they say, “oh yeah, I’ve heard of you”. Trying to get this type of exposure by another means would be far more difficult, I can assure you.

Creating a podcast is incredibly easy and Cliff has put together a totally free guide which you can find at

He also has a coaching program that sells out every quarter and he’s been kind enough to provide my audience with a $100 discount. To take advantage of his offer, just go to and enter ‘Trent’ as the promo code. If you find that this course is more than you need, you may also want to check out two key courses that Cliff offers: WordPress for Podcasters and Inside the Studio: Equipment Setup and Podcast Workflow Tutorial. Both can be found at

Now that Apple has put the podcasting app onto the iPhone, listening to podcasts on the go has never been easier. Best of all, unlike consuming content in front of a computer, when your audience is driving, walking, working out, or training for their next marathon, they can listen to your show totally uninterrupted, and in this day of information overload, that is PRICELESS!

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.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

About Cliff Ravenscraft


In January 2008, after 11 years in the field, Cliff left his career in insurance to pursue his passion for podcasting full-time.

Today, Cliff is proud to work as a podcast producer and as a Podcasting and New Media consultant/coach. He has produced more than 2,800 individual episodes of more than 20 different shows, and is effectively sharing his life and ministering to tens of thousands of people around the world.

Learn more about Cliff at


How to Create Video

The following article is a guest post by By Alyce Currier, Content Strategist at Wistia.

Video can be an extremely valuable tool in your marketing arsenal. It’s better than plain text at creating a human connection, and is a great way to scale communication. Instead of giving 500 in person product demos, shoot one demo video that can exist as a permanent resource and save you hundreds of hours. Sounds pretty good, right?

It’s a common misconception that for video to be effective, it has to “go viral.”  The reality is, very few business videos will get that kind of following.  Instead, it’s generally better to invest your time in making video that will integrate well with your existing marketing strategy.  Here is a process that can work for any and every business and doesn’t require luck or a tweet from Ashton Kutcher.

  • Pre-production: Planning Your Video

    • Concepting
    • Scripting
    • Studio Space
  • Production/Post-production: Shooting Your Video

    • Hiring a Production Company
    • Creating Your Own Video
  • Video Marketing

    • Video as part of an Integrated Marketing Strategy
    • Video as an Iterative Process
    • Video SEO

Planning Your Video


The first step in creating a video is to figure out the concept for that video. We suggest trying to find one simple thing to focus on, especially if this is your first video. Don’t try to tell your company’s entire story. Instead, decide on a target audience and the very specific message you want to convey.  The idea here is that if you are successful with video marketing you are going to be making lots of video over time.  Because of this, none of your videos have to tell the entire story of your company.  Instead of 5 videos, tell or teach one thing and do it well.


Once you have a concept down, you can begin to flesh out a script. Write out everything you want to include to get your message across — then cut it like crazy. Most of our scripts at Wistia lose 25 to 50 percent of their content when we remove everything non-critical.

The ideal length of the video depends on both your specific audience and the complexity of the information you are trying to get across — but in almost all cases viewership is going to drop off over time.


For less information-dense videos, such as product launches, we generally aim to keep our videos under 90 seconds.  For our “learning content,” we tend to make videos that are three to five minutes.

When you’re scripting and crafting a voice, think about your target audience and what might appeal to them. Think about your company, too — are you naturally funny in a way that would work well in this video? Is your company’s voice more serious and businesslike? Try to strike a balance between authenticity and what’s appropriate for your audience.

We mentioned that aiming for virality tends to be a pipe dream, but you can learn a little something from the best business videos that have gone viral. Why were these videos so compelling? Was it a great joke, a well-woven story? While you shouldn’t try to craft a viral hit from the get-go, there’s something to be said for pondering why those videos achieved such success.

After you’ve written your script, take it to a “table read.” Call in the people who will be reading the script on-camera and do a run through. Better yet, do several run throughs! Find the tongue-twisters and either read them until your tongue is untied, or re-write the line altogether!  The goal here is to find the trouble spots and tweak the lines so they are more in-line with how the person on camera would speak in real life.

Studio Space

If you’re hiring someone to shoot your video, then maybe they’ll be providing studio space, but if you’re taking a DIY approach, not to worry. There are plenty of ways to work with whatever environment you’re using.

For offices where main areas might be noisy and distracting, we recommend using a quiet conference room and converting it to a video studio on the cheap.

  • Backdrop: Shooting against an off-white wall will look boring, so use a paper background. Buy a roll of seamless paper from a photography supply store. We like Savage Paper.
  • Lighting: Turn off the overhead lights and block out as much outside light as you can. You don’t need expensive studio lighting — three well-placed lights should do the trick. You can create your own DIY lighting kit for under $100.
  • Audio: Shooting in an empty room can create echo and reverb. You can use sound-dampening panels, or just bring in couches, couch cushions, or hang up some blankets in a pinch.

Wistia has more great information about converting an office to a video studio.

Shooting Your Video

Hiring a Production Company

If you have the budget for it and don’t have resources to dedicate internally, hiring a production company is a great idea. There are tons of great producers out there so you’re sure to encounter someone with a style you like.

When choosing a production company, Demoduck’s Andrew Follett suggests looking not only at budget, quality, and creativity, but also at cultural fit. Working with a company will be a more enjoyable experience if you’re on the same page and they’re excited about your project!

Creating Your Own Video

Not everyone can dedicate the resources to hire a production company or an in-house video producer, but the good news is, it is possible to create acceptable video internally if you’re just getting started. For the most simple, lo-fi approach, you can use an app like Screenr to capture a quick screencast, or shoot a video using your webcam.

Lighting, framing, and audio are more important than using the most fancy camera you can find. The most important thing is getting your message across, so don’t be afraid to use equipment as lo-fi as a smartphone to shoot your video.

Video Marketing

 Video as part of an integrated marketing strategy

It’s very easy to treat video as an isolated set of assets with very particular goals, when in reality, video might serve you better as a part of every step of your marketing process.  Examples of how to do this include:

  • Bring your product / service to life with demonstration videos
  • Use email marketing to share your video, and use video to spice up your email marketing.
  • Teach prospects with webinars and other content marketing videos.
  • Help customers use your product better with how-to videos, support videos, and product tours.
  • Put your company’s personality on display with company culture videos.

Video as an iterative process

Views aren’t the only metric that you can use to figure out how your video is doing, and in fact, other metrics can be much more useful for figuring out what’s working and what’s not with your videos.

You can get started with thinking beyond views by looking at engagement and play rate.

  • Engagement: How many people made it to the end of your video? When did viewers stop watching, and how could those sections be changed to keep them hooked? Did viewers rewatch certain sections? If they did, was it because they really liked them, or because they were confused and seeking clarification?
  • Play rate: How many people clicked play? You can improve play rate by using a more enticing thumbnail (we’ve anecdotally found thumbnails with people in them most effective overall), changing the location of your video on the page, or, in some scenarios, using autoplay (we only recommend doing this when the user has already completed an action that seems like it should play a video, like clicking a thumbnail in an email that has a play button on it).

Video analytics can help you refine your videos over time. Your first videos might not be perfect, but at least you’ll have data that you can use to get better and better!

Video SEO

Using video can be a great way to get your page ranked higher in organic, rather than paid, search results.

Why does Google give so much credit to video for SEO?

  • It’s harder to make
  • It’s more information dense
  • It’s less common than plain text pages

On its own, video is difficult for Google’s search robots to recognize and categorize, which is where video sitemaps come in.

While hosting videos on YouTube makes your videos more likely to appear in search results, the biggest disadvantage of YouTube for video SEO is that all the benefits go to their domain rather than yours. If you’re taking the time to make great content, why not get the benefits on your own website? Distilled has a great guide to setting up a video sitemap with different video hosts.

The basic steps of getting started with video SEO are:

  • Host your videos in a way that you control.
  • Create a video sitemap.
  • Add videos to your sitemap regularly.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, getting started with video doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking, and the benefits can be enormous. Get out there and shoot your first video, whether you’re using a smartphone or a Canon 5D!

Looking for your next Bright Idea? 

Click the green button on the right to learn more about a FREE service I offer to qualified entrepreneurs.


The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations with Nancy Duarte

Did you watch Steve Job’s 2007 iPhone launch presentation? It was the stuff of legend.

Sadly, when it comes to creating presentations, most people totally suck. They mash together a deck of slides full of bullet points and proceed to bore their audience to tears.

This is not the winning approach and if this sounds even remotely close to what you have done in the past, this interview is not to be missed…unless of course, you don’t mind giving lousy presentations.

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, I’m joined by one of the leading presentation experts of our time, Nancy Duarte, CEO of Duarte, a 110-employee firm that creates presentations for some of the world’s leading brands.

When you listen to this episode, you are going to hear Nancy share with me:

  • her most significant insights on how to create effective presentations that sell
  • how to incorporate a story into your presentation (and why you will fail if you don’t)
  • the #1 mistake that most people make when creating and delivering a presentation
  • an analysis of Steve Job’s 2007 iPhone launch presentation and why it worked so well
  • how to lay the groundwork for your next presentation
  • how to brainstorm and organize your ideas
  • how to ensure that you deliver a presentation that your audience will never forget
  • why having a STAR moment is so important

And so much more…Great content marketing is made so much better by great content delivery. Learn from an expert how to make your delivery stellar.

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.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

About Nancy Duarte

nancy-duarte-2Nancy Duarte is a communication expert who has been featured in Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Wired, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Economist, LA Times and on CNN. Her firm, Duarte, Inc., is the global leader behind some of the most influential visual messages in business and culture and has created more than a quarter of a million presentations. As a persuasion specialist, she cracked the code for effectively incorporating story patterns into business communications. Resonate, her second book, spent nearly a year on Amazon’s top 100 business book bestsellers list.

Duarte, Inc. is the largest design firm in Silicon Valley, the 5th largest woman-owned employer, and made the 2012 Silicon Valley’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies list. Nancy has won several prestigious awards for communications and entrepreneurship and was recently honored in Watermark’s “Women Who Have Made Their Mark 2011” ceremony. She has been a speaker at a number of Fortune 500 companies and counts many more among her firm’s clientele. She also speaks at business schools and teaches classes at Stanford University several times a year.

Nancy has 20 years of experience working with global companies and thought leaders, and she has influenced how the world perceives some of the most important brands and entities, including Apple, Cisco, Facebook, GE, Google, HP, TED, Twitter, and the World Bank. She is the author of two award-winning books. Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences identifies the hidden story structures inherent in great communication, and it spent more than 300 days on Amazon’s top 100 business book bestsellers list. Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations teaches readers to think visually and has been translated into eight languages. Her third book, released in the fall of 2012, is titled HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations, which gives readers the tools and confidence they need to master public speaking.

Nancy has three grown children who walk in their destiny and a husband who has loved her for over 30 years. She has two grand-dogs, Bear and Necessity, and a grand-frog named Hubert.


Lifecycle Marketing Guide for Small Business Owners

What’s the difference between businesses that thrive and those that seem to just survive? Successful businesses have a sales and marketing plan that brings in a constant stream of new prospects and maximizes the value of existing customers. This is done by understanding the principles of Lifecycle Marketing for Small Business.

So what is Lifecycle marketing? Well, the easiest way that I can think to explain it to you is to just show you the seven steps thriving businesses are using to grow, nurture and retain valuable customers.

Lifecycle Marketing

Lifecycle Marketing

The 7 Stages of Lifecycle Marketing

  1. Attract Traffic – use content like free reports, webinars, blog posts, podcasts, and videos to attract traffic to your website.
  2. Capture Leads – convert the traffic to your website into subscribers by giving them something for free as an incentive for them to give you their contact information via a web form.
  3. Nurture Prospects – provide your subscribers with an ongoing series of educational information that is automated, yet highly personalized.
  4. Convert Sales – turn your prospects into customers with eCommerce tools and a well defined marketing strategy.
  5. Deliver and Satisfy – Fulfill your orders on time, and then provide additional unexpected value that surprises and delights customers.
  6. Upsell Customers – Determine your longer-term strategy for ensuring that your customers continue to buy more of your products and services so that you can generate additional recurring revenue.
  7. Get Referrals – Encourage your customers to refer more customers by creating incentives.

These seven steps are at the core of every successful business. Without them in place, you have holes in your business and you are leaving money on the table.

Lifecycle Marketing is a concept that isn’t terribly new, per se; however, for most small businesses, the challenge of consistently executing this concept across their entire database of prospects and customers is one that is often elusive.

To help agencies and small business owners overcome this challenge, has published our very own Lifecycle Marketing Guide for Small Business Owners and it is our hope that the information you find in the accompanying sections of this guide proves invaluable to your business.

Section One: Attract Interest

What are you doing to let people know about your business? You can do this either online or off-line.

Off-line options would include traditional advertising such as print, radio, television, direct mail, and others. These options tend to me fairly expensive and make it much more difficult to track your results than the newer online methods that are proving so popular today.

Online options would include email marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), pay per click, blogging, social media and so much more. The reason that these methods have become so popular is because they work! Not only do they generally cost less (or are free), but with online methods, you can track every click, page view, video view, etc…

In aggregate, all this data is incredibly valuable because, armed with it, you are able to immediately assess whether or not what you are doing is getting the results you want. Plus, you are also able to run A/B tests, which are like GOLD for marketers.

If you are going to succeed in attracting interest, there are a few very basic things that you must have in place if you are to build your online marketing on a solid foundation. These things include:

  • A target audience
  • High quality, relevant content
  • A modern website to display that content
  • Website analytics

But the question I always ask is what are you doing to get people to consume your information or to come into your business or to look at your website?

Additional Resources

Section Two: Capture Leads

The next step in lifecycle marketing is capturing leads. Now that you have generated all this traffic to your business, it’s important that you capture contact information from the people that have visited your website, your brick-and-mortar store, etc.

Every time somebody visits your business and you don’t capture their contact information, it’s like fishing with a net that has a gigantic hole in it. The fish swim in the top of the net and swim right out the back of the net. It doesn’t make much sense, doesn’t it? You need to have easy way to capture this information.

Some of the best ways to capture leads is with

  • Online web forms
  • QR codes
  • Events
  • Networking activities
  • Walk-ins
  • Referrals
  • Call ins

Each one of these examples can be used to capture simple contact information for every person that visits your business.

When I talk about simple information, I am talking about something as simple as their first name and their email address.

Please remember that the more information you ask for, the less likelihood of people providing it. If you decide to ask for a phone number and a street address, people might be too uncomfortable to provide that information. By asking for something as simple as a first name and an email address, most everyone will do that.

Additional Resources

Section Three: Nurture Prospects

What do you traditionally do with the leads that you capture? I am assuming that most of you will call them or send them an email. If they don’t respond, you will call them again or send them another email. If they don’t respond again, you will probably call them again or send them another email.

Now, here’s the real question. What do you do next?

If you are like most small business people, you stop trying to contact the prospect and it ends up in the trash.

Do you realize how much business you potentially throw away every single day? Imagine the impact on your business if you could convert an extra 10% of the leads that go in the trash.

Have you ever wondered why it’s so important to nurture your prospects?

It’s because 81% of your sales happen after you make seven or more contacts to your prospects. Seven contacts! How many of you can honestly tell me you attempt to make seven or more contacts to your prospects.

Please don’t feel bad because 85% of the time, we stop after 1 to 2 contacts.

Have you ever wondered the cost of not making the additional 4 to 5 contacts to each of your prospects?

Additional Resources

Section Four: Convert Sales

The next step in lifecycle marketing is converting sales.

Most people want me to spend lots of time on this step because they want to learn lots of new ways to convert sales. However, I traditionally spend the least amount of time on this step. Why?

Because, if you are putting in the amount of effort necessary to attracting more traffic, capturing more leads and nurturing those leads, converting more sales become simple.

The same is true with offline selling. If you don’t do a good job determining that your prospect has a need, building trust and rapport, and then presenting a solution that solves their issue, there isn’t a “closing technique” on the planet that is going to help you.

With that said, I do have a few ideas on how you can convert more sales.

The easiest way to convert more sales is create better magnets and better education of your prospects. The more they know about your product or service before they buy, the greater likelihood of you converting the sale.

You also need to spend more time nurturing your prospects until they are ready to buy.

Always remember that not everybody is going to buy your product or service the first time they see it. Some people need a little bit of nurturing before they see that your product or service is the answer to all of their problems. This is why list segmentation is so incredibly important. You want to give people who are ready to buy now the opportunity to do so, while allowing those that need more time to be continually nurtured until they are ready.

I also recommend that proper target marketing will always convert more sales. The more clearly you know your market, the easier it is to find them and to sell to them.

However, the best way to convert more sales is to have better qualified prospects. If you know that every person you’re talking to needs your product or service or will directly benefit from your product or service, you will start converting more sales. It’s just that simple.

Additional Resources

Section Five: Deliver and Satisfy

The next step is deliver and satisfy. Many of you are so happy that your prospect has bought your product or service that you really don’t care how your product or service is delivered or how satisfied your customer will be. An attitude like this will kill any possibility for repeat sales or referrals. Let’s take a closer look at this step.

As you can see, this step is called deliver and satisfy. If all you had to do was deliver your product or service, this step would be no big deal. However, you also need to make sure you completely and totally satisfy your customer.

How do you do this? You need to identify what is your WOW!

Your wow is that something extra that separates you from your competitors. It’s that thing that makes people want to talk about your business. It falls into the category of under-promise and over deliver.

What can be your WOW? Make sure you deliver their product or service more quickly than they expected. If they ordered a quantity of something, include a little bit extra for free.

Right after you deliver their product or service, pick up the phone and call them to make sure they are 100% satisfied.

As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot to completely satisfy your customer.

Just remember that if your current customers are not completely satisfied with your product or service, the chances of them doing business with somebody else increases greatly.

Additional Resources

Section Six: Upsell Customers

The next step in lifecycle marketing is up selling your customers. This step focuses on the idea of selling more of your products or services to each one of your customers. Let me share with you an example.

If you go to a clothing store and buy a men’s suit, do they typically only sell you a men’s suit? Of course not. They try to sell you a tie, pocket square, belt, shoes, and more.

At the same clothing store, you attempt to buy a dress. Do they just sell you the dress?

Once again, of course not. They will try to sell you shoes, a purse, belt, a scarf and more accessories then you could possibly need.

The same goes with your product or service. Are you getting the maximum dollars added each of your customers. Are there things that you sell that your customers would like to buy after their initial purchase from you? Of course there are. All you have to do is ask them to buy from you.

Do you know which company is the world’s greatest at up selling?

That company is McDonald’s. Every time you buy something from them, they will typically say to you, “would you like fries with that?” Do you have any idea how many fries, soft drinks, apple pies, and more that McDonald’s sells just because they ask you?

It’s a very big number. If it wasn’t, do you really think they’d keep asking?

Additional Resources

Section Seven: Get Referrals

The last step in lifecycle marketing is, quite possibly, the most important step.

Take a look at your business. Are you bringing in the amount of referrals that you would like? Do you wish more people would think about referring your business to others? Ever wonder why you’re getting so few referrals?

One of the easiest ways to close more sales is by generating a constant flow of referrals in your business. Unfortunately, most small business owners don’t know how to generate this consistent flow.

Here at BrightIdeas, we have spent massive amounts of time and resources into creating what we like to refer to as our Advanced Referral Strategy. This strategy is extremely deep and complex and some of you might have trouble understanding it the first time you hear it. Before we share this strategy with you, we recommend that you grab a pen or pencil and a piece of paper to write down the details of this advanced referral strategy.

Are we ready? Here is the advanced referral strategy developed by BrightIdeas.


Yea…it’s really that simple…BUT…the key is not to ask for them in a way that make you and the person you are asking feel awkward.

Additional Resources

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Are You a Follow Up Failure?

What do you traditionally do with the leads that you capture? I am assuming that most of you will call them or send them an email. If they don’t respond, you will call them again or send them another email. If they don’t respond again, you will probably call them again or send them another email.

Now, here’s the real question. What do you do next? Because, if you are like most small business people, you stop trying to contact the prospect and it ends up in the trash. Do you realize how much business you potentially throw away every single day? Imagine the impact on your business if you could convert an extra 10% of the leads that go in the trash.

Have you ever wondered why it’s so important to nurture your prospects?

followupstats-1It’s because 81% of your sales happen after you make seven or more contacts to your prospects. Seven contacts! How many of you can honestly tell me you attempt to make seven or more contacts to your prospects.

Please don’t feel bad because 85% of the time, we stop after 1 to 2 contacts.

Have you ever wondered the cost of not making the additional 4 to 5 contacts to each of your prospects?

Here is a very good example that will help identify the cost of not nurturing.

Let’s say you do a campaign to 10,000 people. This could be by email, direct mail, etc. Out of those 10,000 people, 100 people say they are interested in your product or service. Out of those 100 people, 10 people end up buying your product or service.

I’m assuming many of you would be thrilled by closing 10% of the people that were interested in your product or service.

10customersThe question I always like to ask is: what happens to the other 90 responders? Most of them fall through the cracks, have zero follow-up, or will end up buying from your competitors.

In other words, most of these 90 responders will end up in the trash.

What if, on the other hand, you had a way to easily stay in touch with them? What if it was automated?

What if this system allowed you to convert 15, 20, or 25 people instead of just 10? How much of an impact do you think all that extra profit would have on your business?

25customersIt would be huge, wouldn’t it?

That’s what I’m talking about! If you aren’t systematizing the lead nurturing process, you could be leaving thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars of profit on the table…for someone else’s business to grab.

Now, that’s just not good business!

As you can see, the key to great nurturing is with AMAZING follow up. This is where so many business people drop the ball. They are great at making lots of contacts and connections but they lack the skills necessary to follow up properly.

This is why most business people need a specific campaign or path to follow to deliver the right follow up.

Three Basic Follow Up Campaigns

There are three basic follow up campaigns that will help most businesses.

  • New Lead Campaign – to be used when you capture a new lead and want to nurture them until they are ready to buy
  • New Customer Campaign – to be used after a customer purchases your product or service so you can work on repeat sales, up-sales and referrals
  • Long-Term Nurture Campaign – to be used for those people that aren’t really interested in your product or service but you still want to follow up with them over a period of time.

If you’re curious what one of these campaigns looks like, please take a look at the diagram below.

Screenshot from Infusionsoft's Campaign Builder

Screenshot from Infusionsoft’s Campaign Builder

This is a typical lifecycle marketing campaign. Starting on the left, you can see how this company plans on attracting traffic to their business. They plan on doing this through blogging, Facebook, their website and organic marketing.

They will be offering something free as their lead magnet.

They will then enter the customer into a new lead campaign that will send information about their product or service to educate the customer until they are ready to purchase.

From here, either the customer purchases the product or service online or they will be added to a long term nurture that will provide them consistent information until, sometime in the future, they will hopefully be ready to purchase a product or service.

Once they make the purchase online they are entered into a new customer campaign which will provide them with information to encourage repeat sales and to upsell them on other products and services.

As you can see, this campaign is a easy (and easy to replicate) follow up system. Best of all, we do all of this automatically!

What does this mean for small business owners?

It means you get to spend less time on worrying about your marketing and more time working on growing your business.

It means that emails, white papers, videos, etc. are sent out to the right people at the right time without you thinking about it.

It means that fewer of your leads will fall through the cracks and more of your prospects will become customers.

It means that you are generating the maximum amount of sales from each of your customers and generating the amount of referrals necessary to reach a higher level of success.

Doesn’t this sound like the kind of business you always dreamed of owning? With an automated follow up system like Infusionsoft, this can become your reality.

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Digital Marketing Strategy: Fueling Ad Agency New Business with Michael Gass

Do you run a marketing agency and want more new business?

Are you getting frustrated with outbound prospecting strategies that just aren’t working like they used to?

Would you like to create an inbound marketing system that provided you with a steady flow of new qualified leads?

If you answered yes to these questions, you are going to love the step by step new business development strategy that my guest and I talk about in interview.

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, I’m joined by Michael Gass, the man behind Fuel Lines, a blog that has been ranked among the top 100 marketing blogs in the world by Ad Age’s Power 150.

When you listen to this interview, you are going to hear Michael and I talk about:

  • the #1 mistake that 99% of agencies make when it comes to new business
  • why they make this mistake and a risk free way to avoid it
  • several examples of how Michael’s clients used his advice to land new accounts they otherwise never would have
  • how Michael has used his own advice to build his own firm (and he’s never made a single cold call to do it)
  • how social media plays a role in Michael’s strategy
  • the 5 steps that you need to take to get started
  • Michael’s favorite tool for building a large, targeted Twitter following in just 60 days
  • Michael’s favorite tool for scheduling his social media activities
  • how much time per day you should spending on social media
  • the specific activities you should be using social media for
  • how to effectively network online, so you can run your business from anywhere in the world you like

And so much more…

Be sure to check out many more of Michael’s Twitter strategies in his generous guest post.

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.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:


Dyrsmid: 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 better learn how to learn online
marketing and sales automation tactics to massively boost their business
and the way that we do that is we bring expert guests onto the show to
share with us precisely what is working for them in their businesses.And my guest today is a fellow by the name of Michael Gass. He is an
international new business consultant to advertising, digital media, and PR
agencies and since 2007, he has led in the use of social media and content
marketing strategies to make agency new business easier. He’s the founder
of Fuel Lines, which has been rated among the top 100 marketing blogs in
the world according to Ad Agencies Power 150.Michael, thank you so much for making some time to come here and be a
guest on the Bright Ideas Podcast.Michael
Gass: I’m glad to, Trent.Trent: So, for the folks have not yet heard of you, I’m sure you’ve
probably got a little bit better of an introduction than what I just
rattled off, so maybe you could just tell us a little bit about who you are
and what it is that you do.

Michael: I’ve been in business development my entire advertising career
and I had the bright idea of starting my own consultancy, but little did I
know that I was doing it on the verge of a great recession. Most agencies
that I worked with, there was a commonality of problems. They had a very
difficult time with positioning. Positioning, in my opinion is the
foundation of your business and they never used the tools that they
recommended their clients to use. It was almost as if promoting their
agency, they lost their marketing line [sounds like 02:10] and I had
always preached that they needed to have an identifiable target in a narrow
niche so that they could stand out among the competition.

So when I started my consultancy, I put into practice what I’d been
preaching and so if you look at my website, Fuel Lines, it’s very specific
for ‘ad agency and business development.’

Trent: Mm hmm.

Michael: And so when I started my consultancy, I had three kids in
college, my wife works for a large law firm as a comptroller, so she’s a
bean counter and my entrepreneurial spirit just didn’t mesh well with my
wife’s, so I was under a bit of pressure to generate new business quickly
but I had a few problems. My entire advertising career had only been spent
in two markets: Nashville, Tennessee and Birmingham, Alabama and outside
of that two-state area, those two markets, I really didn’t have much
awareness and so I was going to have to be able to build that quickly.

Then, I also live in a suburb of Birmingham, which, it’s called
Alabaster, Alabama, and I could only imagine that being on my business card
and how difficult it would be to build new business for myself with clients
like in New York and San Francisco and other more creative markets, but I
jumped into social media. I went back as if I were in grad school and put
in the nights and the weekends and there was really no mentor for me, but I
had a clear objective, a very clear target.

And I think it was my fourth client was on the west coast, in Costa
Mesa, California and I really saw the potential of social media, so I just
dedicated myself to it. Most agencies didn’t get into social media until
2010 and then when they jumped in, they literally jumped in, there was no
strategy, there was no plan, there was no target audience. The same
problems that they had offline, they continued to bring that with them
online and instead of really seeing the potential of social media, being
able to take their networking and referral for new business to a whole new
arena, most continue to be plagued with problems of generating any kind of
new business success.

Trent: So would it be fair to say that the success of your consultancy
is the byproduct of employing the strategies that you’re attempting to
teach your clients to implement?

Michael: It is, because I always put into practice and I refine it. I’ve
been able to do this one-on-one with about 135-plus agencies, not only in
the United States but also in the UK. I’ve been to London to work with
client groups there. I’m going to Hong Kong in September, just did
workshops across Canada back in the fall, but I’ve put into practice and
refined this system that agencies then can implement and get up to speed
pretty quickly.

Trent: So when did you start Fuel Lines?

Michael: Right at the end of 2007.

Trent: Okay.

Michael: And I think I’d written 50 blog posts and never gotten a
comment back and was wondering if anybody was even reading it. When I got
my first comment, I wanted to frame the thing, almost like your first
dollar bill.

Trent: Yeah.

Michael: And I continued to write and then I started using a number of
the other social media platforms to help propagate the material and also to
build a community. I have now probably on two Twitter accounts, Michael
Gass and Fuel Lines, over 104,000 Twitter followers, which generates more
traffic to my site than probably any other tool.

My site’s highly-optimized for search engine optimization. I was very
pragmatic with my SEO strategy that I felt like no matter what Google did
to the algorithms, they remain true to one purpose and that’s to help
people find what they’re looking for. So almost in every blog post that I
write, I had ad agency new business incorporated in the post title. That
identified the content with the audience and so the traffic that I generate
is just highly-targeted traffic and then the overall theme for my blog, you
know, is just naturally optimized for search, so I rank in that first
position with ‘ad agency new business’ in Google Search and I tend to
dominate the first three to four pages in Google Search.

And then my newsletter goes out to about 33,000 ad agency
professionals. I use Google+ I incorporate Facebook. It’s a blend of both
personal and professional, but it’s the place that people really get to
know me well. And usually, I’m a new business hunter from way back, so I
wasn’t afraid of cold calling. It didn’t really tie my stomach in knots or
anything like that, but social media’s so efficient that I don’t have to
chase new business nor does a client that’s properly positioned.

You’re positioned in a way to be strategically found with such an
appeal and certain calls to action that it creates that engagement with a
prospective client audience and the fuel for it, the beauty of it, the fuel
for all of it is ‘what enriches me professionally?’ And it’s my own
customized continuing education program.

Trent: So, help me to understand, there’s some things here that I want
to get straight so that the listeners really understand why this is going
to be such an important interview for them to listen to. You mentioned to
me in our pre-show discussion that there is a really big mistake that
virtually every agency you’ve ever run across makes. Then there’s a cascade
of errors that happen after that mistake. Can you talk about that first big
mistake that they’re making?

Michael: I think one of the biggest mistakes is that they’re trying to
lead with brick-and-mortar and they’re also trying to use social media for
promoting their credentials, capabilities, and case studies. All of those
things should reside on the website and the website is their on line
brochure. Most agencies that I work with, they’re in a perpetual state of
redesigning their website. It’s like they can’t quite ever get there. If
they’d just let it be that online brochure, what I prefer to do in social
media is lead with, like the agency principals, the owners of the agency
and create a presence to a very narrow niche audience, much narrower than
they’ve ever dreamed possible, and that we fish away from the boat. In
other words, we don’t incorporate the blog site into the branding of the

It allows us to have room to breathe and grow and to keep a much more
narrowed focus and it doesn’t create any complications. Most agencies, they
show their diversity as a form of strength but, to prospective clients,
it’s a weakness.

Trent: Yeah.

Michael: Because that’s the way all of them look, but when you create
this blog, you can create something very specific and very targeted. I’ve
got an agency in Louisville, Kentucky, as an example, they’ve had a long-
standing client Kroger they wanted to leverage their expertise in working
with them for such a long period of time, but they had to do it in a
similar category without, you know, hurting the relationship that they had
with Kroger and they also wanted to grow their creative because they placed
a lot of media on behalf of Kroger but a lot of the creative work had
fallen to other agencies.

So we created a blog around the two agency principals, Scott Kuhn,
who was the CEO, and Dave Carter, who’s a partner and also a creative
director, and we call it ‘’ and it’s all about creating
great grand openings, so it leveraged a good portion of their expertise to
multi-unit retailers.

Trent: Mm hmm.

Michael: The blog lives off-site and then it features the both of them
and sets them apart as these new store-starting gurus. That allows them to
work with clients even that have an agency of record but they want this
particular expertise.

Trent: Mm hmm.

Michael: And then, you know, we do connect back to the agency, but the
agency is more in the background. We want them to connect with Scott and
Dave first and they can actually go in even as consultants as a part of
their service line.

And, again, they can do that even if a client has an agency of
record. Many of those clients are really accustomed to hiring a consultant
to come in, and then it gets them out there, we can build awareness around
that blog very quickly. People want to work with other people that they
know, trust and like, so the media is all about people and Scott and Dave
won’t to appeal to everybody, but those that they have created an appeal
for, it’s a very strong appeal.

Trent: So, the big mistake, if I’m understanding this correctly, is
that agencies do not pick a specific, they don’t pick a narrow-enough niche
and the reason that they don’t do that is they’re scared that they’re going
to lose out, if they focus too much on, say, being the expert store-
starter, they’re going to lose out on the people that would want other
things that didn’t have to do with being a store-starter.

So you’re saying you can leave your agency or one approach is you can
leave your agency website, your ‘online brochure,’ to be the place where
you display all your case studies and it’s not so much focused on what
niche and then you go and start a separate property for the niche that you
really, really, really want to gain a lot of traction in. Am I
understanding that correctly?

Michael: Yes, that’s exactly it.

Trent: Is it–

Michael: And to give you an example, the very first client that I worked
with, an agency here in Birmingham called Holland + Holland, this is a very
typical agency. We’re sitting around the room and I’m asking how they’re
different from all the other agencies in town and they tell me, you know,
they have great creative. I tell them ‘Great creative is not a point of
differentiation; it’s an expectation.’ Then it’s like ‘Well, we’re
strategic,’ as if nobody else in Birmingham, no other agency is strategic.

And then it’s like ‘Well, we’re fun to work with, we’ve got great
chemistry.’ And I said, ‘So, I’m a company in the Midwest, I’m going to fly
over hundreds of other agencies that look and sound just like you? That
just doesn’t make sense.’ So we narrowed it down to the point that
Stephanie Holland, who was the president, also served as creative director
and I asked the question ‘How many other female creative directors are
there in Birmingham?’ And, at that time, there weren’t any.

So we started looking at that and doing a little bit of research and
we were amazed to discover that 97% of all creative directors in the
country are male and only 3% female. That was our ‘Ah-ha’ moment.

Trent: Mm hmm.

Michael: But we also learned that 85% of all brand purchases are made
primarily by women. We learned that they brought more product from Home
Depot and Lowe’s than did men. They bought more consumer electronics from
places like Radio Shack than men. Women bought more NBA and NFL apparel
than men did. Women bought more hamburgers than men.

And our education was that the women is the purchasing agent
primarily for the family. No, the problem we had, we were going to use this
in a positioning and Stephanie was very nervous about it because, through
her 25 years, she worked mostly with male advertisers and she did not like
working with women. And so we had a problem with how we were going to do
this without hurting our particular target group that she had success with
in the past, and utilize this positioning in a way that would be beneficial
and remain true to who she was.

So we came up with a blog and it’s called She-conomy, and you’ll
notice when you go to the URL that the target group is very specific:
it’s ‘A guy’s guide to marketing to women,’ so those male advertisers, and
Stephanie was in very early on. This agency had never been in a national
pitch in their 25-year history. We couldn’t even get the Birmingham News to
do a write-up on their anniversary.

Trent: Mm hmm.

Michael: It was like, ‘That’s really like no news’, but Stephanie’s been
written up by ‘Forbes’ twice, she’s been mentioned in the ‘Wall Street
Journal’, she’s been interviewed by NPR radio. She called me not too long
ago with some success after she’d been in three national pitches and the
positioning really put them on the map. You’d go to the website, there
wasn’t any hint on this narrowed positioning, but the blog site lived off-

When they wanted to look under the hood and see if their perception
matched up with Stephanie’s expertise, they’d then go to the website. But
when she called me back in January of last year, she said ‘You’ll never
guess where I am.’ And then she said ‘I’m in California. I’ve just been
hired as a consultant to work with Porsche.’

These are things that had never happened to that agency before. That
narrowed positioning helped put them on the map. Now, if she were to do the
same thing today, she’d be kind of late to the game, so it would be her
expertise in marketing to women maybe for high-end real estate or some
other niche. But she was in very early and now she’s willing to incorporate
a lot of what she learned and much more confident to be able to incorporate
that into the branding of the agency as a whole, even to the point of
renaming the agency ‘The She-conomy Agency.’

Trent: So why bother putting the blog off-site? I mean, it seems to me
like almost semantics whether it’s at or whether it’s at,
what is their URL, What’s the difference?

Michael: Well, agencies have a number of common problems. The narrowed
niche is one, so they’re afraid to be as narrow as they need to be by
incorporating it on the website, that they’re always in this perpetual
state of redesign. You can’t get anything done.

It’s like one of my early clients, it took them three months to
design the blog header. That’s typical. Agencies tend to over-create and
so, two, when a prospective client comes to the website, they’re so
accustomed to all the BS that comes from agencies.

I was talking to a client, someone on the client-side just last week
and they were telling me how many calls they get from agencies in a week
and almost all of the conversation in those calls are focused on the agency
rather than on them the client.

Trent: Really? Wow.

Michael: And so agencies have to learn you lead with benefits and the
conversation is totally changed. It’s not about you anymore, it’s all about
the prospective client. So when we create that blog, I mean, it is all
about the prospect and it’s creating valued content that helps them with
their challenges, that provides information that they need. The blog
becomes a repository of information and, you know, they keep coming back.

The website, you know, I try to keep the IT department and the
creatives out of this project when we first launch it, because they are
usually the ones that will slow the whole process down.

Trent: Now I get it, yeah.

Michael: And so we’ll create a freebie site, a site
initially and what I do is get them to write 30 posts in 30 days.

Trent: Mm hmm.

Michael: And we’re over here concentrating on the content, they’re
learning to write for web in an inverted pyramid style where the most
important information’s at the top, where they’re not talking about being,
you know, having won best of show at this year’s ADDYs. They’re really
creating valuable content and, in the meantime, the blog becomes then that
continuing education program to kind of keep them focused and get them to
where they need to be.

I assimilate information so much quicker when I’m writing and I can
articulate it much better. So my blog then becomes kind of my own
personalized university and I even get graded. I can go to the analytics
and review posts that I’ve written to see if it really was appealing or not
and my audience tells me what they’re interested in.

So this does so many things for agencies to make new business easier,
but if you’re trying to incorporate the website, I mean, from the get-go,
you’re going to get slowed down and agencies are so much, you know, they
tend to procrastinate. That’s why I do these 30 posts in 30 days and, to
give them that challenge, when we finish with the 30th post, they then have
their own personalized system for creating content.

Trent: Mm hmm. All right, let me cover off what we’ve gone through
here so far. So, your strategy starts with, first of all, picking a
narrowly-defined niche as opposed to being a generalist. So that you have
some way of truly differentiating yourself and then you’re saying ‘Okay, go
create an off-site blog so that your IT department and your creative
department don’t slow down the process,’ Put the personality and the
knowledge and the expertise of your founders of your agency on the blog,
and talk specifically about the issues that affect the client. Do not
promote, promote, promote; instead, educate, educate, educate. Have I
summarized what we’ve talked about so far?

Michael: Yes, exactly.

Trent: All right. What next? So now I’ve got this blog, I’ve got 30
blog posts on it. I don’t imagine I’m drowning in traffic at this point in
time and I don’t imagine–

Michael: No, and, actually, we’re not wanting traffic to come to the
site while the writing is going on and developing that base of content.
I’ve found that if we get these 30 posts up, then we have enough posts
there, the new audience isn’t going to know there’s only 30 posts there or
300, so the blog has an appearance of age to it.

Trent: Right.

Michael: We’ve got this statement so that once we get that 30th post, we
get a more realistic writing schedule up of one to two posts per week. In
the meantime, we’ve built up their Twitter following using an tool like
Tweet Adder which I can use to find, say, other agencies that are in this
same niche who have the same audience.

If they’ve got a Twitter account and they’re targeted, I could follow
everybody my competition follows and everybody that follows them. We can
usually build up a following of anywhere from 500 to 1,000 new followers
per month by creating this database and initiating those followings and 20%
to 30% of those we initiate a following to will follow back.

Trent: Mm hmm.

Michael: And that then is going to be one of the ways that we’re going
to jump-start traffic to the site. We also create an e-mail newsletter
that’s made up from the blog post and usually three or four posts per
newsletter, sending it out every other week, and we’ve created this
database of e-mail addresses that will also help jump-start the traffic to
the site, and then it’s highly-optimized as we repurpose content.

I’ve had posts in circulation that I write in such an evergreen way
that are still relevant, that I’ve got a media schedule for Twitter almost
like you’d have a media schedule for print and I can look at the analytics
and pull certain posts out that aren’t trending very well any longer or
revise those.

But I tend to post, repurposed content from my site around the clock,
seven days a week, almost 24 hours a day, but in addition to that, the
other sources that I’m finding, conversations that I have, and the personal
status in my Twitter account that makes it, you know, very robust.

Trent: Mm hmm.

Michael: Because it will jump-start traffic to the site, it will also
enhances search engine optimization and it will help to propel that blog
and its content in Google Search much, much faster. I actually have some
agencies that are SEO agencies that I work with and have carried them
through the same process.

We try to get everything done in that first 30 days. The next 30
days, we start jump-starting the traffic and then helping with the
engagement. As they learn many of these principles, they haven’t really
been using their social media platforms for new business and have a network
and a lot of the ones that I’m training, they’re Baby Boomers and feel like
they’ve kind of been left on the bench, but I tell them it’s real easy. All
you have to do is bring the way you network off-line online. That same
capability that you’ve developed in networking at events, at chamber
meetings is exactly how you would network online.

Trent: So in this next 60 days, then, it sounds like you’ve got people
really heavily focused on using Twitter, because you haven’t talked about
anything else yet, to continually tweet or link back to the content that is
on their site and then would be responsive to the interactions they get
from other humans on Twitter. Am I understanding that correctly?

Michael: Yes, but not just Twitter, also LinkedIn and Facebook and, you
know, but these are their personal accounts. These are not their agency
accounts that are using the agency logo that you don’t know who in the
world you’re talking to. This is that agency principal, their Facebook

When your mother wants to friend you on Facebook, you can’t turn mom
down. My mom’s 73 and I thought, you know, ‘This is going to mess up
everything’ because I thought in the beginning I would just keep everything
focused strictly for business. What I’ve found over time is to show the
personal side really makes that emotional connection and, over these six
years, I have yet to make a single cold call for any piece of new business,
for any speaking engagement, for any workshop that I’ve been enlisted to
do. And prospective clients, when they call me, they talk to me like they
know me because they do.

Trent: Absolutely they do.

Michael: And so I’m not going through the dating process. Usually when
they call, they want to know how much is the initial engagement and then
when we get started, so it’s like in business development you’ve died and
gone to heaven. The prospect actually engages when they’re ready and you’re
not wasting time chasing business and because you’re pricing that initial
meeting, it eliminates those that just want to meet with you to glean from
your thinking without ever paying you a dime.

Trent: Mm hmm. It’s so profound and something that I really want, and
that’s one of the reasons that I’m interviewing you and people like you. I
want new agencies, small agencies, independent consultants to understand is
all those questions that people ask before they hire you, you don’t need
to answer those one-on-one. By blogging and creating videos or doing
podcasts or putting your knowledge online so that people, your target
market, can come to consume it on their time, their dime, their schedule.
When they reach out to you, you’re right, they’re already sold, they
already know you’re an expert and the beauty is that you can automate the
vast majority of that, if you’re good with sales funnels and you use things
like Infusionsoft and so forth, you can really do a good job with

But that’ll probably be a topic for another discussion because I
don’t want to hijack this interview with my thoughts on marketing
automation funnels.

So when you did this for yourself, how long did it take you before
you got your first client?

Michael: It was just a matter of months because I was that disciplined
and focused and I had a narrow focus in the very beginning. I saw a listing
from the AAAA of the business development personnel that were out there and
it was like ‘How do I break into this group and how do I propel myself to
the top of this group and really build awareness?’ When I was in that, I
think, fourth client meeting in Costa Mesa, California, I was thinking
‘What would it have taken me to do this using the traditional methods?’

And so from the get-go, I’ve never sent out any direct mail, nothing
like that. I don’t use those interruptive-type tactics. I’ve learned to
create helpful information and, you know, it’s like when I speak to groups,
agencies know that I understand their culture. They educate me, and then I
know kind of where to zero in because they educate me. I mean, it’s the
best focus group you could possibly have and when you really think you
understand what’s appealing, a lot of times I found that I had no clue
until I really got into this and then this is just kind of a, you know, we
use ‘integrated’ a lot, but this is really a complete integrated program
that feeds me as well as feeds my clients.

And I guess it’s my curiosity. If I don’t understand something, to
me, that’s a blog post and I’m going to do the research and it’s going to
help me stay focused and I’m looking at like how to use Google+, say, for
ad agency new business and I’m thinking like that constantly and then as I
have success and I’m able to share in more detail the specific tactics to
use and because every platform’s different, you would not post with the
same frequency, say, on Facebook that you would with Twitter, you’d turn
your audience completely off. But if you’ve got a fairly large Twitter
following, and some hate this but it’s true. It’s like a broadcast channel
and it’s about reaching frequency and if I maintain a consistency like with
my post titles and somebody’s seen a post that I’ve published before that
they’ve read, they just skip over it, it’s no big deal, but a lot of times
they’re going to see content out there that they’ve never seen before.

And in the early days, you know, if you posted–I was told that if
you posted something once, you couldn’t post it twice, like in Twitter, and
I thought ‘How stupid is that? If I post this at 11 o’clock on Thursday,
how many in my audience has actually seen that post or would see that

Trent: Very few, and that’s why it’s okay to post again.

Michael: And, you know, but I have to continue to create new content, as
well, and things change and the model changes, but this provides me a
system that I change with it so I’m not caught flat-footed or behind and I
think I’m fully engaged with most of the tools that are out there. And if
it’s something that I see that’s trending higher like Pinterest, you know,
I started a Pinterest board very early on because agencies, they were very
inquisitive of me about what other agencies looked like. They’d love to do
what I do and visit all these other agency offices.

So I thought ‘Well, I’ll create a Pinterest board’ and so when I
would do these workshops and things, I would take pictures and then others
started sharing and it’s become a global thing to where I’ve had agencies
as far away as Spain that have had a photographer to take pictures just to
post things on that board. But I saw like in my reading, and I use an RSS
Reader, which is probably the best time management tip that I could leave
the audience, it focuses in my reading all in one location, but I can also
see as I’m looking through literally thousands of articles, studies and
post the things that tend to be trending.

So when I saw Pinterest being mentioned more often, that became a
post and then I started looking ‘Well, how then can we utilize Pinterest
for new business?’ I’ve got one agency now, they’ve actually created their
website using Pinterest, which I thought was a very cool idea because it
provides them a way to showcase their work and do that almost in real-time.

Trent: Yeah.

Michael: When most agencies, you know, it’s hard to get them to get
their work up and to keep their website fresh with new things that they’ve

Trent: So, with social media, you can speak to your audience and you
can speak with your audience and what I mean by that, ‘speaking to’ is when
you’re putting a link to some of your content that is maybe on your blog or
in some other place; ‘speaking with’ is when you’re actually having a chat,
conversation back-and-forth with a specific individual who may be in your
following or may have just come to your social media presence for the first

Do you have any rules of thumb for how much time, first of all, an
agency principal or anyone who’s in charge of new business at an agency
should spend on social media per day and then, of that time, how much time
should they focus on speaking to versus speaking with their audience?

Michael: The way I developed this program was to whittle it down to an
hour or an hour-and-a-half per day.

Trent: Okay.

Michael: because most agency principals were telling me that ‘I have
people lined up to my door when I come into the office. I cannot put
anything else on my plate.’ And I fully understood, but they have to be
convinced of the benefits of social media to rearrange their schedule. But
even in that rearrangement, there’s the real world of agency life. And so I
would tell them ‘this is the hour or hour-and-a-half that you need to spend
every day to keep you, professionally, where you need to be.’

Trent: Mm hmm.

Michael: And so the engagement part is really pretty easy. Because we
have so many tools that we can talk to a number of people almost
simultaneously and it looks like I live online, but I preach and teach that
we ought to develop our new business program that allows us to have a life
outside of advertising, and be able to spend quality time with friends and
family. I’m a big believer in that, so there are times that I unplug and
I’m not as engaged. But it’s very easy for me to come in and pick up where
I left off without any problems without spending an undue amount of time.

Trent: Mm hmm.

Michael: And then there are other ways that I can connect with larger
groups and be more efficient with my time, such as in the webinars or these
podcasts, and continue to provide real value. I reserve time. There’s a
number of people that I help that have called on me that I knew they
weren’t a prospect but, you know, you almost have to have a pastoral spirit
of being willing to help everybody in such a way. I mean, it’s kind of
paying it forward and then it pays you back.

Trent: Mm hmm. Are you familiar with Infusionsoft? Do you use it?

Michael: I don’t.

Trent: You don’t? Okay, what you’re talking about, I just really need
to address this point because this value or this idea of time is so
precious to all of us. I really just want to take a little tangent here
because I’m such a massive advocate of making sure that you use tools, in
this case, I’m going to speak about Infusionsoft, which I use, to really
save some time and maybe, Michael, this’ll be something you’re interested
in trying for yourself.

At Bright Ideas, you know, like most everyone with a website, I want
to collect an e-mail address. And so I offer a variety of different things
as an incentive for someone to give me an e-mail address, but the real
beauty of some of the tools like Infusionsoft, and I think this one does it
better than the others, which is why I use it, is you’re really able to
nurture your prospective customers and you can do it all on auto-pilot and
you can do it in such a way because you don’t want to talk to everybody the
same way. Not everyone who gives you an e-mail address is going to be
interested in the same things, has the same buying criteria, has the same
timeframe for buying.

And when you set up a really well-designed nurturing funnel in, like
I say, some marketing automation software, be it Infusionsoft or something
else, you can really let those people raise their hand all on their own,
and when I say ‘raise their hand,’ I mean metaphorically speaking, so that
your software, so that the experience they have going through your
nurturing funnel is almost completely unique to them based upon the forms
that they fill out and the links that they click and the pieces of content
that they consume and so forth.

So, again, I don’t want to go on for too long, but if you feel as
though you’d love to be able to put a level of automation into that pre-
sales, into that nurturing, I really encourage that you start to go and
take a study of marketing automation tools and, in particular, go and have
a look at Infusionsoft. Because I just came back from a conference over the
weekend and their success stories were just amazing, absolutely amazing.

Michael: And, you know, a thing with most agencies, like with my
practice, I can only handle so many clients, so it’s not like I need a mass
group and of course I’m not selling software, so it’s totally different as
to how that engagement operates and I’m giving attention to those
prospective clients.

And the same is true of many agencies. A lot of agencies I work with,
they need four or five good, qualified pieces of new business per year and
if it’s much beyond that, they wouldn’t really be able to handle it, but
this gives you a way to really work with those qualified candidates on a
more personal basis, to get them where they need to be and develop that
relationship, which I think is just very [inaudible 43:50] and there’s ways
to do that.

I know that Copyblogger and others, they got a good system of, like
with your additional landing pages and specific offers that carry those
prospective clients deeper into the engagement, with them, they have a lot
of that automated and I think all of that is excellent and great. I use
automated tools such as HootSuite Pro that allows me to maintain a good
engagement not only for me, but I can also help with my new clients to kind
of get their accounts where they need to be and to help them to grow but,
again, I can have so many conversations going on simultaneously that it
helps and [inaudible 44:47] social hub [sounds like 44:48] which helps
repurpose content back, through the TweetAdder program that I mentioned and
a number of tools that are out there that, you know, make the time
management in particular…

Trent: A lot easier.

Michael: …so much less than you’d think you’d need to spend. In the
beginning, I think they have to be educated and they have to have a sense
of how these various platforms operate and it’s hard to do that just with
theory alone, you’ve got to do it by engaging. Once they really understand
them, then they can utilize other tools that would simplify that engagement

Trent: All right, so let me summarize where I think we’ve come from
and where we’re at and then you can ask and let me know if I’m missing
anything. So, step number one is you really need to pick a very specific
niche, something that is narrow enough that you can really and truly have
some differentiating factors so that people are going to have a compelling
reason to want to choose you.

The next thing to do to gain traction is create an off-site blog and
then write 30 posts in 30 days and then start to use the social media
platforms that are out there to draw attention to the content that you’ve
created, as well as to engage the people that are coming to consume that

Is there anything else that we haven’t talked about yet that you feel
we should before we wrap up?

Michael: Well, to simplify it further, the outline that I use in the
positioning discussion with most agencies is just kind of looking backwards
and seeing how it works so well to facilitate a discussion to get that blog
where it needed to be. I would say start at They can always
export that information to a design site. You know, once creative have done
what they needed to do, but it’s a five-minute process, but let it live on, follow this outline to facilitate your own discussions, and
the first is identifying kind of that target audience.

You have to have it as clearly defined as if you went to a list
broker and you’ve given them the parameters to come up with a list. And if
you have a hard time articulating it to a list broker, you’re not clear
enough yet. So identify the target audience. The second is that descriptor
statement, it’s the subtitle of the blog. Which you only have so many
seconds to let somebody know that this is something for them and it needs
to be not very creative but very plain. Like ‘A Guy’s Guide to Marketing to
Women,’ ‘Fueling Ad Agency New Business’, something that’s specific which
states the purpose that connects the blog to the particular target group
and then something creative and clever for the title, that hopefully you
can also purchase the URL that would tie-in.

Then, the key words, these aren’t necessarily the most popular terms
but the ones that you can realistically put into every post title that
would identify, you know, the content and the audience. It could be even a
made-up word. We’re working with an agency in Toronto that came up with
‘Mosh-pit marketing,’ which is how to grow brands through music, so not
something that people might necessarily be searching for, but a term that
they could own like Cause branding [sounds like 48:44] was, maybe five or
six years ago that now they have conferences and there’s a lot of material
around cause branding that wasn’t even a definable term five or six years

But the key words in every post title. Then, come up with 12 to 14
categories and these are navigation categories for the reader to be able to
navigate the content, but it also guides the writing and it needs to be as
plain as like ‘Advertising marketing,’ ‘Social media marketing,’ ‘Public
relations’ ‘Media,’ ‘Point-of-purchase’. whatever is then specific to your
target group. But if you kind of do that with that outline and facilitate
that discussion, not get hung-up anywhere, it’s like, you can’t move an 18-
wheeler sitting still, but if you can get it to move just a mile or two an
hour, you can move the thing and that’s what I tell them in this. You can
always go back and make revisions, but you want to keep progressing.

Most of the time in that outline, I’ve been very surprised that
almost everybody nails it because they kind of know where they need to be,
They’ve just been afraid to step out and do it. Once they create this, say
if it didn’t work at all, they’ve not risked anything and they don’t
necessarily have to link from the website to the blog, as they’ve done from
the blog to the website.

Trent: Mm hmm.

Michael: So it really does eliminate a lot of risk and allows you to go
in and to have some success. I think agency principals, when they’ve had
success with a positioning, then they’re more adapted and ready to drive
that stake into the ground and declare this is who we are, and this is who
our best prospects are.

Trent: Terrific. Well, Michael, I want to thank you very much, oh, I’m
sorry wait a minute. I’ve got my lightning round questions to do, three
real quick questions and then we will wrap-up. What are you most excited
about for 2013?

Michael: The opportunities internationally. You know, from Alabaster,
Alabama to Hong Kong this year, it just amazes me at how far our reach can
be and I’m just now, I think, seeing more and more of that. And it’s so
exciting when you go to these other groups in completely other cultures and
you work with agencies and they’ve got the same problems and so that’s
really exciting for me, is the international community and I’m able to
converse with people as if they were next door to me here in Alabaster.

Trent: Mm hmm. Yeah, that’s pretty cool. What about your favorite
business book?

Michael: The one that was most helpful to me very early on was Tim
Williams’ book ‘Take a Stand for Your Brand’ and it got me thinking in a
completely different light and I just conducted a webinar for Tim just last
week and he’s been my mentor and it’s been very cool to be able to now work
with him. But on agency branding, that’s kind of like the Bible and if an
agency principal has not read the book, I would encourage them to do so.

Trent: Okay, and the easiest way for people to get in touch with you?
Just give one way, if you could, what is that one way?

Michael: If they can just remember, that’ll get them to
my blog site and then that has all the content, information, and ways to
connect with me on the various social media platforms and whatever is their
preferred platform of engagement and I’d be glad to follow-up with them.

Trent: All right, Michael, thank you so much for making time to come
here on the Bright Ideas Podcast and share your ideas on how ad agencies
should be building new business.

Michael: Trent, you just do such a great job with the interviews and I
think I’m always nervous when I’m on your end, but you’re always just so
cool and collected and you do such a great job and I appreciate you and the
resources that you provide.

Trent: Well, thank you very much for the kind words. It’s a lot of fun
to do and when I get feedback like what you’ve just given me, it just
motivates me to keep on doing more of it.

All right, to get the show notes from this episode, go to and when you do, I’ll include all the links we’ve talked
about plus some other valuable resources to help you grow your business.

And if you’re listening to this on the fly, please text ‘TRENT’ to
585858 and I will give you some very special information, as well, so that
you don’t have to wait till you get back to your computer to access
everything that you need.

All right, thanks very much and I’ll see you in the next episode.

About Michael Gass

mike-gass-caricatureMichael Gass is an international new business consultant to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies. Since 2007 he has led in the use of social media and content marketing strategies to make agency new business EASIER.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines, which has been rated among the top 100 marketing blogs in the world, according to Ad Age’s Power 150.  You can reach Michael at


How to Deal with Adversity with Ray Hilbert

As entrepreneurs, it’s a pretty regular part of our journey to have to deal with adversity. The problem is that sometimes, the challenges we face can leave us feeling totally overwhelmed, confused, and alone.

If we are to be successful when dark times like this appear, we need to quickly move past them – but how do we do it?

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, I’m joined by Ray Hilbert, co-author of the best selling business book, “The Janitor”. I read Ray’s book a few years ago and absolutely loved it, so when I had a chance to have Ray on the show, I couldn’t pass it up.

During the conversation that I had with Ray, you are going to hear us talk about:

  • how he nearly lost all his money and his marriage when things in one of his companies went really bad
  • how the period of adversity led him to make some pretty big realizations and what he did as a result
  • the new organization that he created and how this organization is helping over 700 other business owners to succeed
  • the six principles in his book
  • and so much more….

If you are experiencing a challenging time in your business or your life then Ray’s book, and this interview, are well worth checking out.

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.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

About Ray Hilbert

RayHilbertRay is the CEO and Co-Founder of TRUTH @ WORK, a not-for-profit ministry, founded in 1998, whose mission is to “change the way America works by bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to the marketplace.” Truth@Work specializes in helping Christian business owners and leaders build strong organizations and integrate their faith into the marketplace, through leadership and business development programs that are built on biblical principles and practices.

Ray is also a highly sought after speaker at churches and retreats across America, where for years he has challenged followers of Christ to integrate their faith in and through the marketplace on a daily basis.

He is also part of the speaking faculty for Orlando, Florida based “Man In the Mirror” ministry where he conducts seminars and retreats across the country.

Along with his close friend Todd Hopkins, Ray has co-authored a novel titled “The Janitor-How An Unexpected Friendship Transformed A CEO And His Company.” It has already become an international bestseller in South Korea, with over 350,000 copies sold and hit U.S. shelves in July 2007 through Thomas Nelson publishers. The book features the story of a young CEO mentored by a godly janitor who teaches the struggling young business executive the true definition of success and business.

You can learn more about Ray and contact him at


How to Become a (Very Prosperous) Strategic Storyteller with Bill Baker

Do you run a service business whose brand is brought to life through interaction with people?

Would you like to be able to communicate your company’s story via content marketing in a way that significantly enhances the experience of both your customers and your employees and differentiates you in a competitive marketplace – ultimately leading to a more prosperous business with happier employees?

If you’ve answered yes, then this interview is one that you need to hear – because if you skip this one, you just might miss out on one heck of a golden nugget at the 3/4 mark!

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, I’m joined by Bill Baker, founder of BB&Co – a strategic storytelling consulting firm. What is strategic storytelling, you ask?

Strategic Storytelling offers an inclusive, bottom-up approach to branding, taking into account a wide array of perspectives (executives, employees, customers, stakeholders, relevant thought leaders) and vantage points (past, present, future). It builds narrative around your brand, clarifying what distinguishes it, what drives it ideologically, how it comes to life experientially and the roles it plays in people’s lives. Ultimately, it reaches further than a tagline or mission statement could ever do on its own, making real something that is often intangible for people, helping them fully grasp the essence of your brand and how it comes to life at every level.

When you listen to the conversation that I have with Bill, you are going to learn:

  • why storytelling has become so incredibly popular
  • how strategic storytelling differs from regular storytelling, and how knowing the difference can significantly impact your results
  • the process (called Storyfinding) that Bill uses to help his client to uncover their unique story
  • how he used strategic storytelling to help his client positively impact their brand
  • how leaders can use storytelling to strengthen the effectiveness of their communications
  • how I plan to use what I learned in this interview to improve an upcoming talk that I’m giving

Admittedly, strategic storytelling is somewhat of a murky topic that will be a bit “touchy feely” for some. Those that know me well already know that with every interview that I record, I have the goal is delivering a concrete and actionable “golden nugget”, and, after a bit of a slow start (my fault), this interview really delivers, so make sure you carve out the time to listen to it during your next commute.

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.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

About Bill Baker

BillBakerBill Baker – the founder and principal of BB&Co – works with various companies and organizations all over the world to help them in their leadership development and training efforts. More specifically, Bill coaches managers and executives to help them understand how storytelling can enable them to be better communicators and, in the process, better leaders.

Whether a one-time event or an on-going part of a professional development program, Bill’s seminars and workshops can be custom-tailored to meet any organization’s needs. To find out more about storytelling could fit into your professional development programs, contact Bill directly at


Digital Marketing Strategy: Viveka von Rosen on How to Ignite Your Content Marketing with LinkedIn

As the host of Bright Ideas, I get to interview a lot of very successful people and every time I do I have one goal: to totally knock your socks off. I want the interview to be so good that you just can’t help but tell everyone you know about it.

Today’s interview with Viveka von Rosen on how to ignite your content marketing with LinkedIn is one such interview. It was so full of golden nuggets that I had to take two full pages of notes!

When you listen to this interview, you are going to learn:

  • how to prospect without EVER making another cold call again
  • how to develop a killer LinkedIn strategy so that it doesn’t turn into yet “another” social network that just sucks up your time
  • the #1 mistake to avoid when building your network (make this mistake and you can never recover from it)
  • 2 killer LinkedIn hacks that will allow you to connect with whoever you want without having a premium account
  • what I was doing wrong with my profile and how I fixed it
  • how to become a master with groups so that you exponentially increase your reach
  • how to find the keywords that you should be targeting, and then what to do (and what NOT to do) with them
  • how to create a ninja boolean search to find just the right prospects for your products
  • how to leverage LinkedIn signals to keep a watchful eye on what people are saying about you and your competition
  • how to ensure that your profile is configured for maximum benefit
  • and so much more!!

LinkedIn is a powerful business tool that you can use to make valuable connections for yourself and your company. Do not skip this 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.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:

About Viveka von Rosen

VivekavonRosenViveka von Rosen started using LinkedIn in 2006 when she saw a presentation on the opportunities of Business Networking with LinkedIn. Having doubled her own business with F2F networking, she saw the immense potential of a business online networking site.

Viveka is known internationally as the “LinkedIn Expert” and speaks to business owners, corporations, Legal Firms and associations on the benefits of marketing with social media, and in particular LinkedIn.

Author of  “LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour A Day” for John Wiley & Sons, she is also a regular source on LinkedIn for prestigious news outlets such as, and The Miami Herald.  She is the host of the biggest LinkedIn chat on Twitter: #LinkedInChat (Recently quoted by Mashable as one of the top 10 business blogs) and co-moderator of LinkedStrategies, the largest LinkedIn strategy group on LinkedIn.


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

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.

Listen Now

Leave some feedback:

Connect with Trent Dyrsmid:


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

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

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

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, 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 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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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, 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

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 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

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

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 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 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

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 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

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

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

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 And my email address,
my direct email address, is just 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 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 If you run a marketing agency and you want to get access
to the 2013 Marketing Agency Industry Report, go to And finally, if you’re looking for some traffic
generation strategies that actually work, go to 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