Are you struggling to generate leads for your company? Are you looking for a proven methodology for uncovering exactly what your target audience wants, and the words they use to describe it? Would you like to put lead generation on autopilot so you can focus all your time and energy on closing deals?

On the show with me today is John Whiting, a successful entrepreneur who for the last 12 years has focused all his energy at becoming an expert in the area of lead generation.

In John and I’s discussion today; we focused on answering four important questions:

  1. Why do most lead generation programs fail to produce the desired results?
  2. What can be done to fix this issue and speak in a way that resonates with your target audience?
  3. How do you quickly establish authority in your niche so that your target market wants to work with you?
  4. How do you drive traffic to your offer?

Watch the video above, read the transcript, or listen to the audio file below and benefit from the knowledge that John shares…and then leave a comment or question for him to answer.

Full Transcript

Trent:                  Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode of the Bright Ideas Podcast. As always, I’m your host Trent Dyrsmid and I’m here to help you discover how to be more successful in your business by sharing the stories of the most successful entrepreneurs that are in my circle of influence and I can otherwise talking to coming onto my show and more importantly when I get them here, my goal is to extract all the golden nuggets from their gray matter so that you can implement those actions in your business. Starting today on the show with me today who I’ll introduce in just a minute after our sponsor message is a fellow by the name of John Whiting who is one of my new favorite online friends. Before we introduce John, a quick message from our sponsor. Today’s episode is brought to you by Cloudways. Is your a website to slow?

Trent:                  Has your online business maybe outgrown your current hosting provider? If you have answered yes to either of these questions, it’s time to move over to Cloudways. A managed cloud hosting provider that is built specifically for online businesses from a hassle free launch to smooth server operations. Cloudways is your partner in scaling your business to greater success. Go to cloudways.com and use the promo code bright ideas and that’s all one word and I think you have to use it in all caps to sign up for a new Cloudways account and you’ll get a free $25 hosting credit. All right, John, we’ve paid the bills for this episode. It’s time to dig into the meat. Thank you so much for being here.

John:                   Awesome man. Thanks for having me. It’s been a, it’s been fun getting to know you.

Trent:                  Indeed it has and man, you’ve made me do a lot of work. Holy smokes. For the folks who maybe don’t know me that well, I’ve, I’ve gotten my business so systematized and so forth that I can run it any very minimal amount of time. However, thanks to the things that I’ve learned from John, all the things we’re going to be talking about in this episode for the last couple of weeks, I have been burning the midnight oil and even working on weekends, which for me is highly unusual. All to build more systems to generate more leads and obviously generate more revenue. And that is what we’re going to talk about. So John, let’s start with you in your own words. Who are you and what do you do?

John:                   overall I’m a guy who likes to help people. I’ve always gotten kind of a kick out, a knowing a little bit more maybe about how to solve problems and it makes me feel good to help people solve those problems. So if, uh, if, if you ask me to help you with something, usually I’m going to dive in and make sure we actually get the result, not just give you my 2 cents and I now just apply that to business. I built and sold a seven figure business in the last couple of years. I’ve helped over a thousand entrepreneurs, uh, build the authority, get more leads, scale their businesses, generate more revenue, and I’ve sold pretty much, I think, well, I’ve sold dozens and dozens of services and products ranging from kitchen knives to high ticket million dollar a year, janitorial services to marketing services to my own business. and, uh, I’ve learned a thing or two about human psychology and how to get people to do the things that you want them to do in this case, attract them as leads and ultimately close them as a customer or client into, into a business. So I’m, uh, I’m, I’m the helpful guy, but helpful in terms of just building a business that’s sustainable and, and follows proper business growth, sequence. So hopefully that was concise enough.

Trent:                  It was indeed. So I wanted to just hang out on your background for just a little bit. I know that you, uh, you were pretty much a rock star in the Cutco community, which I’m, and I’m, I’m curious, what did you do? Cause you, you talk in your stuff about how you, uh, worked with a couple of gurus or something like that. There’s this period of time in your past that, I don’t know, a whole bunch of boat, but it looks like you learned a lot of stuff during that period of time. Do you know what I’m referring to?

John:                   so starting from Cutco, I mean in that space, just I’ll give you a, I’ll give you just kind of a brief recap of kind of the sequence. So started selling Cutco when I was 18. And that point I just literally, they were a a hundred year old company. I was just plugged into the system. They figured it out over a hundred years. I just literally said what they told me to say and did what they tell them, told me to do. And I was the number four rep that year that I sold out of 45,000. Good work. Uh, but from there I kinda got on the whole, I need to find a mentor kick. And you know, that idea made a lot of sense to me. And, and then the last probably I guess 10 years or so, I’ve kind of followed a number of people and so much so that I moved to different States across the country to basically insert myself into their lives and businesses maybe sometimes, I don’t want to say quite against their will, but I was very decisive in my, uh, insertion, in into their, into their businesses just cause I wanted to learn and I was the guy that showed up to do whatever it took, even if it was, you know, a lot of times I didn’t get paid for a long time and uh, I just busted ass and learned as much as I could. And I assume that’s probably the time period you were referring to.

Trent:                  Yeah, I think so. Okay. So we’re going to talk a lot about lead generation in this episode because it is an issue for pretty much any human being who sells stuff in business to another human being. If you’re selling stuff to cats, maybe different. But let’s restrict our conversation to human.

John:                   Even if you are, even if you are psychology is psychology man, a cat’s not going to be attracted to anything except catnip probably or cat food.

Trent:                  That’s, and there isn’t an Alexa in there. Absolutely.

John:                   You want to attract a cat, you better show them what they want. So anyway, so it is applicable to even if you’re selling stuff to non-humans.

Trent:                  Okay, fair enough. Fun. And the joke, which hopefully the audience is getting, but uh, as we get through the interview, this will, uh, the joke will make more sense. Yeah. So let’s, how’d you get started in lead generation? Was it with your agency or were you doing something before that?

John:                   Oh, I, well, I mean, so just that question alone, going back to Cutco, right, you had to generate leads but it wasn’t, they didn’t call it lead gen and you were taught to build by referral. But even just, I mean, so literally the psychology, I didn’t realize that at the time cause I was just following the script that they told me that they didn’t tell you the whole psychology behind why they did worked. or why what they did worked. But honestly, like pretty much every I’ve sold for other companies as an outside contractor, I’ve never technically been employed. so I’ve always been an outside contractor and gotten paid a percentage of whatever I dragged in until I began my own business. And I guess technically that would be my own business as me as just the sole contractor, anyway. You gotta get people in and, I’ve always, you know, like every, most companies have no lead gen at all. And so as a contracted sales guy who’s doing the do whatever it takes to drag in meat, I’ve by necessity and by pure survival necessity had to learn how to generate people to talk to. And I’m now on year 12 that.

Trent:                  Yeah, I’ve been at that same journey myself for awhile now.

John:                   Yeah.

Trent:                  So let’s talk about your agency. when, when did you start at it? Cause I know you’ve sold it, but when did you start it? What did it do and let’s talk about some results.

John:                   Yeah. So, I started the agency kind of, I was, uh, I was part of a project that was pretty large. I’m under NDA, so I can’t really speak a whole lot of it, but it had a lot to do with, that’s kind of where I learned the social media lead gen, which is I think what you’re kind of referring to and just the online bells and whistles aspect of just getting people to do stuff. And, uh, we had remarkable results with a beta test of a new platform that we got 35 million video views and 3000 subscribers in a 10 day beta test. And I built and marketed that whole thing. And that was just because I raised my hand and said, I think I can probably figure this out. And I did. And from there people started asking me for help with their own businesses and, I kind of started doing everything under the sun.

John:                   I’ve, I’m because of that, you know, necessity of needing to generate my own leads and needing to do well. I’ve learned how to do my own graphic arts, my own website, building my, I do, I know how do literally everything in my business.And that has kind of helped me as, at least when I started the agency, I was doing everything like, yeah. And I initially just was doing them for additional case studies. It started with them into mine who was a nutritionist and literally built an entire funnel, ran ads and got her like, I don’t remember the exact statistic, but it was, like it was at least a hundred customers in about 60 days. It was something like that. It was, it was like, Oh, it was over a hundred. just by learning and applying what I had known fundamentally to be true.

John:                   And I was just like, all right mom, we’ll see what we can do. and from there I kind of piece mealed stuff for like six months and got a couple of clients that were paying me like 10 grand a month to do everything. And I essentially had like six jobs. And, I read a book that I recommend you read if you haven’t, if you’re listening to this called Built to Sell by John Warrillow.

Trent:                  He’s actually been on my show.

John:                   No shit. So that book by John, wonderfully written cause you was talking to an agency owner who did logo design, I believe in that book.

John:                   So that book I really took to heart and I knew I needed to narrow down, uh, what I was offering and so I just thought to myself, all right, what are these people actually really want at the end of the day. And leads was the biggest thing that I did some research and surveys and people just said I want more leads. so I kind of repositioned everything and offer guaranteed leads. and there was a couple of different methods that we use to do it for that specific agency. We had very little Facebook business at that time and it was only by request. but we had we use LinkedIn and email and mainly when somebody came in, it was less about, it’s less about the tactic that you use as it is about making sure that your position correctly so that even if we do connect on LinkedIn, I can have 48 million LinkedIn connections.

John:                   I don’t even know if I can go that high. I don’t think so. But let’s just say it did. And all in my messaging and, and my appearance was completely incoherent to people. I could have all these connections and all this audience, but if I confused him and made no sense to them, they’re gonna go the opposite direction. So with anything that we do or I’ve ever done in lead generation, I’ve learned over time that literally the businesses that we’ve, uh, that we worked with and we worked with in the agency, we had over 400 recurring customers. so, and that’s monthly, month over month. yes, there’s some fall off and whatever. But at the end of the day we worked with a lot of businesses. My point, and there were certain, obviously there’s always going to be, when you do 400 of anything, there’s going to be some people that absolutely are at the top 10% and then there’s all that all obviously always a bottom 10%.

John:                   So we studied the bottom 10 and we were like, why? Why are they in the bottom 10 and across the board? It’s a mess. It’s a positioning problem and a congruent C problem and a, an authority problem. Meaning when people go and check them out, whether they, and we did obviously a lot of loan LinkedIn and email, I send you an email and say I have this offer. You’re going to go and check out my website probably or my social first. And if that is congruent and supports what I said in my email, you might consider having a chat with us. Okay. So we’ve found that the companies that we worked with that had a wonderful presence online and great messaging and a very congruent, appearance and presence online, they crushed it. All they needed was a different outflow source. The ones that didn’t do so well.

John:                   We studied them. And just real quick, we began to see the pattern here and I was like, shit, there’s, there’s some prerequisites here. Like you can send literally millions of messages, make millions of cold calls, knock millions of doors and spend millions on ad spend. And if you, if your message when people go and check you out or ask others about you, either way, the way you’re communicated, uh, online, offline doesn’t matter. It has to be very clear. It has to be very concise and the call to action has to be very apparent. You can’t offer 40,000 different things with 1500 different calls to action and people are confused and have no idea what you do. They’re going to go the opposite direction. So from there it’s just that process has kind of evolved and you know, agency was a great learning ground and now I’m, I’m kind of taking that into, I want to really make an cause we’re, we’re not really, we were in about to offer a website redesign and all sorts of stuff like that.

John:                   It just logistically inside the company, it just didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Plus somebody offered to buy it and so I sold it. but now I’m really focused on making sure that people understand that they need to have congruent messaging. It has to be very clear in your target market’s language. And there obviously has to be other people, like for you, for example, our conversation, you’re doing this thing and you’re an inc 5,000 CEO and I’m like, I don’t see that anywhere when I look at you. And you’re like, dude, now, yeah, exactly right. But that’s like you got to put your best foot forward because you literally have two and a half seconds to have somebody’s attention. Let them know who you are, why they should care, and what they should do about it. And if it’s confusing it all, it just goes, it’s going to cut your conversion rate just that much more.

Trent:                  So you kind of answered the next question to a certain degree, but I want to go a little bit deeper into why most attempts at lead generation fail. Because the thing is, you know, we’ve all seen this and people are, I need more leads. I need more leads. I’m going to, who can I hire? Who’s going to hire to getting any more leads? And I’ve done it and I’ve wasted money on it. And I’m sure a lot of other people have. So why? Why is it that so many people in something that once you understand the formula is actually relatively simple, but so often people screw it up. Let you know. And I know you’ve just said, Hey, it’s a positioning and an authority issue, but that’s the what. Let’s talk more about the how. Like how the hell do you fix it?

John:                   Yeah. So how do you fix it? The short answer is just like we were talking about earlier with the cap, I knew we were going to come back to the cat. You got to find out what the cat wants and then that’s what you give to the cat. That’s the short answer. The problem is most entrepreneurs get so excited about their, what would a cat not want? Headphones. Who knows? Right? Capsular. Totally. If you show a cat headphones, they could give a shit. Right? Most entrepreneurs are soup and I only just, just on my desk, that’s the thing. So I’m, I’m seeing headphones. Cats don’t like headphones. And the reason I probably would know that is if I had 50,000 cats in front of me right now and I dangled headphones, none of them are going to come towards me. If I dangled catnip, they’re going to smell it and probably I’m going to get attacked by cats because they all want. Okay. That is a lesson in lead generation. You have to show people what they want in their own words with their own images that they connect with. So for example, going back to your example, when we chatted a couple of weeks ago and you said, let me show you what I’m doing and here’s how most entrepreneurs think and I want it kind of, is it okay if I use that as an example?

Trent:                  Uh, it’s part of my Amazon business and I’m pretty cagey about giving a brand names and that kind of thing. We can talk in theory, just not many specific names because my audience.

John:                   I’ll use a different example then. That’s fine. So I have a client of mine that came to me and said, Hey, asked me that exact question, how do I fix it? And I said, okay, what are you doing? He goes, I do lead generation for, personal injury attorneys. And so I said, okay, cool. Tell me, you know how you do it. He’s going, well we’ve got this thing called geo-fencing, which if you’re listening, you don’t know what geo-fencing is. It’s where it’s this technology where you can target like literally inside a room, with advertising. And so he was all excited, cause I’m sure he came across this opportunity where somebody sold to him on these, this technology and they said, you could start a business doing this, blah, blah blah. Which is probably like, that’s kind of the trend now. People are like, Hey, there’s this business opportunity to make a lot of money.

John:                   You do this thing with these people, but they’re missing this piece. So this guy bought into this and he goes, this makes total sense. I can target inside an room, for example, for a personal injury attorney. Usually people in emergency rooms are very, you know, Hertz or something and they might want to Sue somebody. And so whatever he was all stoked about this idea, which in theory, great you go, where are your audiences? Here’s the problem. The problem is when he goes to market to personal injury attorneys, his website, and by the way, your website is, gives a lot of insight into how you’re thinking through your business. Because business is communication. If you can’t communicate very well with messages, with like words, copy or imagery or video, you’re pretty much out of business. Like it’s all communication. So I can, I can see what’s important to somebody by just looking at the website, just to see how they’re thinking through their business.

John:                   And so I go to his website and the background is a picture of a rocket ship. And the message, uh, the headline says, uh, something about get geo-fencing for your business or it’s, it was something generic like that. And so, and then the, of course the button is book the proverbial discovery call. Now at this point, aside from making jokes about like, of course you’re going to need a discovery call because nobody knows what the hell you’re doing. But that’s really what, that’s really what happened. Like imagine you reach out to you, reach out to personal injury attorneys and they go and check you out. They’re not going to know what the hell a, why is the rocket ship relevant? What the hell is geo-fencing? I don’t know. I’m confused. This isn’t what I want. All I want is more clients. I’m out is how they think.

John:                   So I’m going to have seconds in two and a half seconds. They’re just like, nah, I don’t know. They scroll down to see if there’s anybody talking about anything else that might be irrelevant. Even they might not even scroll, which most people don’t. They just X out to something else. More important. That made more sense came along. And so that’s, that’s literally the time window you have. So instead of, and that’s what I said. Do you think that if you send a survey to a thousand personal injury attorneys and you said, Hey, what do you want? Do you think any of them would type the words, I want geo-fencing or I want a rocket ship. Do you think any of them would type those words? He goes, no. I said, so do you think if you show them the words geo-fencing and rocket ship that they’re, you’re gonna like, do you think this has anything to do with your lead generation?

John:                   He goes, Holy shit, you’re right. Like so all we need to do is just like we show the cats catnip to get them to come. We need to show your target market here. Whether it’s a personal injury attorney, doesn’t matter what you’re selling. You have to show people what they want to see. It’s just that simple. How do you fix it? If you’re, if you’re not attracting people, it means you’re not checking the boxes in people’s minds. People like to see a very clean, coherent message so that they’re not confused. They like to see imagery that supports that. Maybe not consciously, but subconsciously. Like for example, when you go to our website, yes, the company was called [inaudible] or if you’re watching a video, you can see me in the background here. We have a cool logo and shit, but that’s not why people were there.

John:                   People hired us because I’m on like, I’ve got content of me teaching lead gen, I’m on stage, I’ve got podcasts linked on our website. People are buying into me. I just so happened to have a company called digital kryptonite and team that works for me. They’re buying into me that just like when you go and work for Gary Vaynerchuk or if you go and work for Vayner X or Vayner media, you’re not there because it says Vayner X and it has a cool logo and a fucking rocket ship. You’re there because, because of Gary Vaynerchuk. Okay. And so that’s super important that most entrepreneurs a think they’re not relevant enough. Or B, think it takes like years to build up that kind of authority or perceived authority in the marketplace. And so they, they hide themselves from their own company. And so they put this Virginia Erik website out there that there’s no faces. There’s, they don’t, they’re not anywhere. Their story’s not there in the beginning, especially if you’re just getting started. Even if you’re not just getting started, people do business with you. And only until you’re probably at maybe this $10 million Mark, do you even sniff people doing business with your company because of your company’s reputation? Even then, your company’s reputation is based on your reputation. So you better be present. You better be when people check out, check you out, you better be there. And everybody misses the boat on that.

Trent:                  So that, that’s a great segue for me to interrupt with a question because for the folks who don’t have years of experience, they don’t have client testimonials or case studies. And I remember years ago when I started my first company being in exactly that boat and social media didn’t exist back then. So it wasn’t as easy as it is today. But you need, so we’ve talked about positioning get catnip for cats. Uh, no geo, no geo-fencing for lawyers. There are some very effective, easy to do ways to quickly build some authority. So just pick like one or two of them cause there’s a ton. And let’s run through that so that folks don’t get discouraged thinking, well now that’s great, but this isn’t gonna work for me until two years down.

John:                   Yeah, great question. So I’m going to go with the easiest one, but it’s also probably the hardest one for somebody to get themselves to do. And so it’s the easiest to do but harder to get, hardest to get yourself to do, especially if you’re in that position of newness. So most entrepreneurs have the thought in their head that people won’t do business with me because I’m new and therefore I either won’t show it, I won’t, I won’t let anybody else know that I’m new or they’ll completely BS their through it. And that’ll come up cross as true as well. So I’ve used this example a number of times, in, so let’s just, let’s just say you’re, you’re starting an agency or you’re trying to start an agency cause that’s the hot button thing to do right now, I guess. And you’re trying to market for restaurants.

John:                   Let me know who you think is going to win the business here. The guy who comes up and you uses the script that somebody who was the expert told them to use just the generic right out of the box. Say, here’s this opportunity. Here’s this script and you leverage, hopefully you can say, well, you know, let me try you as a example, or let me leverage these results. It’s over here that somebody else got, or the guy who has an actual purpose of why he’s doing restaurant marketing and it hopefully it’s beyond money, but let me like, here’s this riff. So you walk into a restaurant, you have no idea what you’re doing and say, look, mr owner, I appreciate your time. I’ve been, my family’s been in the restaurant business forever and I, what I really enjoy about it is the ability to facilitate a really wonderful experience for people.

John:                   And that just fills me, uh, okay to see people still about being, you know, enjoying a meal and some, you know, some beverages with their family and just bringing people together. And I out of just love for that have learned a skill that I’m new. I’ve started to apply it from my family’s restaurant or maybe I’ve not applied it at all. Let’s say that doesn’t exist. But I love bringing people together and it’s what drives me and I want to do more of it. And I’ve been coming to your restaurant like once a month for the last five years and I have to tell you, I look around and I see everybody having that experience and I absolutely love it and I absolutely know that with what I’ve learned, I can help you have, have people have more of that experience. Cause I also notice like on the weekends when you guys should be crushing it because your food’s awesome, your experience is awesome, your staff is awesome. But right now it seems as though, I mean if you could have more business on the weekends, wouldn’t you like that? Yeah, we’re a little bit slow. All right, cool. Well I want to help facilitate more of those family come together. Awesome moments for your business because it’s literally like what I want to do with my life and I was, I’d love the opportunity to potentially show you how we can do that. That’s going to sell a lot better, will it not?

Trent:                  Definitely because of the passion and the personality. And the human connection. Yeah, exactly. You’re probably not going to be able to, if you’ve never done any work with any restaurants and you meant you want to make that a really easy sale to make, don’t charge any money other than get them to pay for the ads.

John:                   So even so though, even so, the point is is that the, that, that reason for doing the business, whatever business that you’re in, you have to have and that you’ve seen in my program, you have to craft a backstory that sells. So like people will do business with you because of you. You ask me questions, I share with you a backstory. If you’re listening to me right now, you have slept lightly. If you’re still listening and you’ve listened to the whole thing, you probably have slightly more of an affinity for me or maybe you like me less, in which case you probably turned it off already, but you probably are like, Oh, I feel I have some similarities with John’s story. I resonate with that. If you don’t have a story and people can’t, don’t know things about you, you’re screwed because it’s that much harder to build a rapport.

John:                   It’s going to take that much longer in person. So online, what you need to be doing is sharing your story, sharing why you’re in business, why you started this thing. If you’re brand new, you’re going to have a lot easier time. If all you did was a selfie video on your iPhone, upload it to YouTube and embedded on your website of why you’re doing this business and why you want to serve these people to help some do this thing. And if you really mean it, it’s going to come across and you’re going to attract people who go like, you know what? I resonate with this dude or this woman and I’m like, I sincerely can feel that they care. That is missing from 99.9% of businesses these days. And I guarantee you that, like you and me, for example, like when you asked me a couple of weeks ago, you go, Hey, can you check out my stuff? I didn’t just give you a five minute thing I literally gave you like, cause cause I actually care, I gave you an entire free roasting session. It ended up being, but I’m like you can tell even though I’m Frank and I’m blunt, you can tell that I actually care about helping you get a result. Correct.

Trent:                  That is absolutely correct. You did give me a lot of time at the end of which by not that you ever asked, but I also then sent you a, a bunch of money because I realized how much you cared and how much knowledge you had that I wanted to tap into. And I’m also not the kind of guy who keeps asking for stuff for free.

John:                   Sure. And so both of those things like, but first, like I, I honestly had no plan, uh, aside from I’m going to help my dude, you know what I mean? Like there, there was nothing. Exactly. And so that is where you need to start. And especially if you’re new, you have to be present and people have to understand why you’re in business. Even if you’re doing the restaurant marketing thing and you don’t have a restaurant thing specifically, it can be for why do you want to grow a business to help whatever this, the A, B, and C why it is that you have communicate your real actual, authentic story. That’s what people like. That’s why if you’re still listening to me and you like me or you listen to Trent, you’re like Trent because you’ve gotten to know us for some degree of time and the more of that that you can stick them in, the more honest and real and raw and the behind the scenes and blah, blah, blah.

John:                   That is there, that begins to build a rapport without us actually ever talking. So that by the time you ever would were to talk to me or one of my team members or something like that, you’re already going to be like half ready to work with me in one way, shape, or form because I built that rapport by being real human being that you resonate with. And if you don’t, then we won’t work. You know?

Trent:                  That’s why I do a podcast.

John:                   Right? Exactly right. So that is, even if you don’t have to start a podcast, you don’t have to start a channel. Just literally if all you did was share, you have to share why you’re doing what you’re doing and like it has to be real and you can screw up. And like the first stuff that I did sucked, I still think half the stuff I do sucks.

John:                   Like it’s not, but I put it out there because people just see that, you know? Wow, he’s a real person. And that’s a lot of the feedback that we get, which is good because that’s my like I know that even like my bad stuff, like I still share it. Like just people need to know that like there’s humans and there’s humans that care and they need to do business with a human, not ABC company with a rock, good ship and geo-fencing. They need to know how much that guy on the other end actually gives a shit about. And why, why is he in this business, you know? And if, and if you’re in business by the way. Well, I don’t know. I just saw it as a cool opportunity to make money. You’re, it’s not going to win. It’s just not. So you have to decide, you have to like talk to yourself and realize why you’re in business in the first place and then communicate that story is the first thing that you need to do.

John:                   And if you’re not doing that, it won’t matter what the hell else I tell you cause you’re not. If your story is who I want to make money, then you’re not going to do what you need to do anyway. Because that’s not enough of a drive to get through all the bullshit times. And all this times we’re stuffing going, right? So that’s the first thing. So let me go second one.

Trent:                  Sure.

John:                   All right, so the second one, and again, this is for brand new people, right? This is for people that are, okay. So if you’re just starting out, you have no, you have no track record in whatever business that you’re in. You have people in your life. I assume that probably you think you’re kind of helpful and a good guy or a good woman. What you need to do. Imagine just imagine just starting out, you’re like, Hey, if you had a video on your website that said, Hey, I’m just starting out, but here’s why I’m doing it and here’s what I’m committed to and I want to crush it for you.

John:                   I’ve got these skills now and I just need to use them. And then you were so helpful to others in your life. Hopefully you are a helpful person because if you’re not a helpful person, you will not be successful anyway. So if everybody hates you and all you’re in it for the money is you. If, if that’s all you’re the only reason for being in business, then you better quit right now cause there’s nothing that I can tell you about how to run a Facebook ads. This is, it’s going to save your life. All right? So what you need to do is initially get other people on video just raving about you as an individual. So I realized that Del, yeah you’re going to come up with reasons why not to do it anyway. Help other people with stuff and just get them on video saying, you know what, John’s like the help, the most helpful guy.

John:                   He’ll stay there for hours. He’s way over delivers just whatever he does. He’s super helpful. I definitely definitely recommend working with John, so let me know if you had to finish that one thought. Okay, so even if even if you had, imagine if you had like a thousand people on video saying about how awesome of a person you were and then a video of you going, I’ve started this thing, you’re just, you’re going to have that much more of an edge over the guy who just shows a rocket ship with geo fencing that he’s not present at all. You’re, you now have a person with a whole bunch of social proof about how awesome and helpful he is backing them up and then hopefully you have learned some skills and geo-fencing so that you can deliver some resemblance of results for the personal injury attorney. Then you get the personal injury attorney going, you know what? All those thousand people, they were right. John delivered and here were all results and now you can start to, you know, replace the initial John’s awesome stuff with now John’s services, awesome stuff, and now you can begin to build the actual professional track record, but you got to build your personal track record first.

Trent:                  And all I wanted to say is for people who let their limiting beliefs get in the way, what John just explained is really easy to do. Go out to whatever business group you have in your community. Start going on lunches, getting to know people and say and look at, look at people’s LinkedIn profile. Most of them will suck. And then these people who you’ve now had lunch with, say, Hey, you know what? I want to do you a favor. Don’t want to charge you a dime for it. I’m willing to help you completely tune up your LinkedIn profile. If when I’m done, if you’re happy, I can hold up my little iPhone and you could just say what a great job I did. How hard is that to do?

John:                   Imagine if you had five that you just, if that’s all you did for the next 30 today’s a new guy and a day that’s all you did was just help people shift and get it on video. You’d have 300 people on video going, man, Trent is the best, most helpful guy. Definitely worked with them, and then you just slap that up on social media so that when people, you cold called somebody and said, Hey, this is Trent, I’m doing this thing. They’re like, I dunno. I’ve never heard of you. All right, we’ll just go to my website. You just see a hoard of embedded YouTube videos of people going out Trent’s awesome, Trent’s awesome. Trent’s awesome. They’re probably going to take the meeting.

Trent:                  Yup, massively going to help. Yeah. All right, let’s talk and we’re running out of time so we’re not going to be able to go into nearly as much detail on this last question. This is like been like a three question interview on this last point. That’s okay. Detail is good. So we’ve talked about what you need to do on your website to have the right positioning, the right words, the right pictures, the right authority, so that when people get there, they’re like, Oh, well yeah, I probably am more likely to do business with this person. There’s a lot, but you got to get them there and there is, we could do a full day discussion on traffic generation strategies. We’re not, we don’t have time for that. Let’s, first of all, maybe just at the high level, describe a couple of like just by name only a couple of the different activities that people could do if they don’t necessarily have budget for advertising yet. And then, and then I’ll, maybe we’ll pick one of those and go a little deeper into the weeds.

John:                   Yeah. So overall it looks at least here’s my strategy and what I recommend people follow. A lot of people want to jump straight into paid advertising and even if they have no money and they think that that’s going to be the thing I recommend in the beginning. If you have no money, you have time. So you’ve got to spend time if you can’t spend money. So one of the things that, I highly recommend that you do is find groups both online and offline. you can go based on who, where your target market hangs out. I don’t care if you’re selling donuts, pool services or marketing stuff, it doesn’t matter. There’s always, uh, an aggregation of where your folks hang out. And if it’s pool services, you’re probably local and there’s probably HOA meetings and shit that you can go to. And all your job is, is to insert yourself.

John:                   Whether it’s on, I’ll go real practical search Facebook groups that are around your subject. Join them. And that’s one thing and I’ll tell you what to do once you’re in them. LinkedIn groups around your subject, join them. Go to Reddit, R. E. D. D. I. T it’s the largest forum on the planet. It’s where people talk about shit in threads. That’s all it is. And join that. Those are the three top places I would start. And then there’s going to be people in there that are asking questions when we have, they have questions. That means they have problems. Luckily as entrepreneurs we solve problems. So if you insert yourself in the middle of your target market and begin solving problems, that’s all you do. And then actually you’re good at it and it gets them some sort of assemblance of a hope of a result. Initially you got to put a lot of effort and energy into it.

John:                   Like you go to a Reddit thread and you read that for example, we had a guy that booked a call with us, that said, I need, I have this herpes cure. And he goes, I can’t advertise. And he’s, and he’s gotten like legit, he’s got like a 6,000 person YouTube channel and he’s got like the [inaudible] and he doesn’t have problem with the authority. He just doesn’t know how to get more people in to his funnel. And he’s like, how can I, you can’t call out people with herpes on Facebook ads. You just can’t do it.

John:                   You can go to, I told him, here’s what you do. And he was in a really rough financial situation. It would have been unethical even if he did sign up, like I can’t have him spend his last. He had like, it was rough situation anyway, but here’s what I told him to do. I said go into a Reddit group, a Reddit forum of people that are asking what to do with about herpes and just start engaging in the conversation and do it until your thumbs bleed, eyes bleed, fingers bleed, just do it all day and help people to the fullest extent and help people. And you do that in Facebook groups. You do that in LinkedIn groups, you do that on Reddit threads or, or if you’re a local, go and find out if you, if there’s a homeowners association group and you do pool cleaning, what you do is you contact the owner or the manager of that homeowners association group and you say, Hey, I’ve noticed all of these problems with people with their pools that if they miss them, it’s going to cost them like 12 grand a year.

John:                   And I like, I’d like to do just for free, a little like public service announcement about these problems that I know people with pools have and I just like to do it for free at the next HOA meeting. So sweet. Go and do that and then Hey, if you’re, by the way, I’ll riff on that. If you’re going to go do that, have somebody pulled up your eyes, just hand him your iPhone and be like, would you mind recording this? And then just have them hit record or get a like a $4 tripod. Put your iPhone on it, put that on a desk and record your whole presentation. Now you have content you can put on social media and then share and if there’s pool groups or some shit, you can share that thing that you did as a piece of content and now is working without you.

John:                   But if you have no budget, literally just engage in the conversation where these people are and don’t ask for a God damn thing. All you have just help, help answer questions, help do like a video reply. Like in a Facebook group, somebody asks a question, Hey, how do I sleep better? And you just so happen to sell pillows. It’d be like, Hey, I had this problem too and here’s what I found and I, I started doing this thing and it really helped. And you have to keep this in mind though, cause if I blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, whatever it is that you know is going to be valuable to them and do it with no ask and then do that again and again and again hundreds of times a day. And you’ll naturally get people reaching out going like, Oh man, that was super helpful. How can I work with you further? Or what do you do? Or how can you help me further? They’re going to, they’re going to do that. So initially that’s what you have to do to get people going, man that’s awesome. Help me. I need more help. And then from there we can build on that. But that initially, like you’re going to have to spend time doing that.

Trent:                  So let me add to that, cause I’m the systems guy as as are you obviously, make some videos. When you, when you hang out in a niche, you’re going to, what you’re going to find out the five or six most common questions that are getting asked over and over again. Wouldn’t it be a good idea, John, to maybe record a video that answers each one of those questions and then you could delegate this task to your VA to look for questions that matched that and posted a video on your behalf. What wouldn’t that be a good idea?

John:                   Now we’re talking. Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s it’s next level. That’s when, when you’ve gotten the process down yourself, now you can start to delegate it. But yeah, absolutely. Dude, that’s the one I, my content strategy, which is like, it’s not even a strategy. It’s like what are the top 10 problems that your target market actively in their own words, if you were to say, Hey target market, type down your top 10 problems that they would type these things, literally answer those questions on video and post that. And then as a, as a short little thing. What you can do is if you have a post on a Facebook page, not your profile, but a Facebook page, literally you can boost the posts. You don’t even have to know how to run Facebook ads. You just hit the boost post button and you make sure and you select your targeting.

John:                   So if you do the pool services, by the way, you can select a 25 mile radius of your city and now you have this helpful cool video that’s only going to be shown to the people in a 25 mile radius. And you can, if there is an interest targeting called pool’s great, use it even if there is not. What Facebook’s algorithm is going to do is just show it to more people because you click the little button that says get more video views and it’s going to find out who’s going to engage with it more. And it’s just going to show it to more people who have freaking pools. And now all of a sudden you’re top of mind in somebody in your area. And if, and by the way, how it costs literally a penny per view. If you do that literally anywhere from one to 3 cents, if your video is absolutely awful, it’ll probably be 3 cents.

John:                   If it’s great, it’ll could be even better than a penny, but you can literally reach an entire city for like literally like 100 bucks. I mean like it’s, it’s outrageous the amount of reach that Facebook gives, video views, but literally that’s, it’s as easy as that. And then from there you’re going to get people if as long as your video’s helpful, that’s why you have to put all of your energy into it and like don’t have acid, make it really good and helpful and they go, man, I checked my pool. Like for example, if you know that there’s a thing in your, you’re a pool cleaner. I don’t know why this example is here, but I’m going to go with it. And you and you know, because your expertise says that most pools have this special crack that develops in these conditions, especially in this city. And most pool owners don’t know about it.

John:                   And most pool cup pool companies won’t tell them about it because they’d rather charge an extra a hundred dollars a month or whatever to fix that crack without actually telling you how to solve the problem to begin with. And it’s costing you $1,200 a year and here’s this thing that’s a really easy actually to solve and it’s going to save you $1,200 a year. Let’s just say that was a thing that existed. Make a video on it and promote it to your city. And now all of a sudden people know like Joey, the pool guy is like super helpful and he’s, you’ve already saved from $1,200 a year when they’re now going to two things. They’re second guessing their existing pool service because those assholes didn’t solve the problem and now who do you think they’re going to go with? Or at least reach out to? Joe inquire the guy who helped him with this big problem that they saw on the social media and that’s how it begins. And then you can build systems and processes around that and make it even better. But that’s the, that’s basically the framework is you need to be helpful to a lot of people and ultimately you will get a lot of business.

Trent:                  You pretty much just told the story of Marcus Sheridan. Do you know who that is? And I don’t. Yeah, he, he, I interviewed him on my show years ago. He’s been, he’s become a very successful guy. He started off river pools and spas spending 2 million bucks a year on ads to try and get a little business. And then the economy crashed and you couldn’t spend our two, it’s not about 2 million or 200 grand a year on ads and then the economy, yeah, the economy tanked and he couldn’t afford to do that anymore. So he just made a list of all the questions. Do you ever get asked? And then he started writing a blog post to answer every single one of those questions. And because his blog became ever larger with more relevant content, it got ranked well and a business took off and started his career. And now he’s a paid speaker and an author and on and on and on. It goes. So I was wondering if you are using pools because you had heard of Marcus. It was a.

John:                   No, actually I’m using pools because we just closed. We want our last or one of the last few, uh, clients that we onboarded, has a pool service in like New York or something.

Trent:                  Got it. Okay. Yeah. Well, my friend, we’re out of time. so we’re going to have to wrap it up here. I will tell you folks that, we’ve just barely scratched the surface of John’s knowledge in this area. I have learned an immense amount from John that I am implementing in my business. So there’s a lot of golden nuggets and, uh, if what he has said has been of interest to you, I would highly encourage you to check them out. John has been a pleasure to have you on the show. Thanks so much for making some time for people who want to know, but more about you. Where do they go?

John:                   Uh, yeah. So you can get a free, every sales that we use for our businesses, I am giving away for free at whitingsolutions.com. There’s also a free training on how to reverse engineer your entire business. and yeah, just go to Whitingsolutions.com. Follow me on Instagram of Whiting underscore John. I do daily mini lessons and yeah, that’s where to find me.

Trent:                  All right. Thanks so much for being on the show.

Questions Asked During the Interview

[01:38] Who are you and what do you do?
[03:40] Tell me about your background
[06:05] How did you get started in lead generation?
[07:39] When you started you own agency, how well did it work and what type of results did you get?
[14:46] Why do you think most lead generation programs fail?
[36:39] Give me an overview of how to drive traffic to your offer, even if you don’t have an ad budget

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Today’s Guest

John is the founder and CEO of Business Growth for Entrepreneurs. He has a passion for helping people live life on their terms and take control of their future.

After struggling to survive as a professional golfer on the mini-tours around the US, John developed an interest and hunger in business. He has numerous fascinating stories that lift people up, get them to take action, and help them realize they are not alone in the entrepreneurial journey.

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