Digital Marketing - Becoming Visible With John Lincoln
Voice searches, they're supposed to be 50% of, all searches, next, year which is a huge huge deal and so, we're seeing the typing, going down we're seeing the voice going up. You're. Listening to business lunch. With. Roland, Frasier. This. Is your seat at the table. Hey. Everybody Roland Frasier here, today, with my guest, on business lunch John Lincoln, John welcome to the show, hey everyone thanks so much for having me here excited, to be here today I am excited to and speaking of excitement you are your company, is called. Ignite. Visibility, ignite visibility. So I think that's a, fantastic. Topic, for us to talk about how, to get visible. Can. You tell us a little bit about the. Company now and and where you are in your entrepreneurial, journey now and then will maybe take a trip back down memory lane and see how you got here sure sure yes so it's been seven years now we're. A three time Inc 5000. Company and. You. Know we're a company really based on. Forecasting. And cost per acquisition so, most digital, marketing, channels. Out there in digital marketing agencies. They're, not really focused, on how much it cost to acquire, a customer from each channel and that's what we do we basically put, together projections. Show, how much it costs, and then show people how they can scale, whether it be Facebook Instagram. Google. I/o. Or really any channel even email marketing, for that matter so we're, up to 80 people now and it's just been a ton of fun and really, my favorite thing to do is sit down and plot a plan with a client, you know show them the plan where we want to go and then, meet three months later six months later have some success, you know some celebration. And. You. Know just build relationships, along along the way I really love to work with people who want to be number one in the space or who we can take to be number one in the space so I love working with premium. Clients, and that's, just a little bit about the company so so, the thing that I think is most amazing is you've done this without, a single, business challenge like no challenges. At all well I don't know if that's how. So. In. That pan that journey and and this company is how is it three years old seven, seven okay yeah so, in in that journey what would have some of the biggest, challenge has been that you that you face well I just think that you know with any business like with growth like that there's a lot that comes along with it like I didn't know how to set up you. Know basic accounting, stuff you know I didn't know how to you. Know hire, and, get people, in you know quickly for a training programming, and get them then, a hundred percent trained, up with all this digital marketing, you know knowledge that I've acquired and, other people have acquired you know I've been doing this for 16 years now get, that in their brain so that we've got the same quality, control but we've really learned from that and we've, created training. Programs, now you know we hire a head, you know we make sure that these people who. Come in are really the best and the brightest, but. I think any organization, you, know definitely, has you know some some challenges, here and there you, know no one that I learned really early on is you know making sure you have professional, copywriters. Copy. Editors rather on every piece of content that you put out there you know and and. Just trying to find ways to kind of WoW the client. And go, above and beyond and, not just you know doing mediocre, work but really best-in-class work, those, type of things really go a long way with with any type of agency so, right, now where did you start, what was the first. Entrepreneurial. Venture. That you had, okay. So I've had a lot of entrepreneurial. Ventures actually, a, lot, of different types of websites, and. I don't know that I want to go into all of them. The. First one yeah. So well, here's what I'll say the first thing that I did is I worked at this business magazine, in San Diego and I. Was somebody who worked from home and, I was an intern at, the Business Journal that it was is, San Diego magus okay and, work my way to the top there and really, just loved publishing. And while I was there you, know I started publishing you, know one article, a day and then, I went to three, articles today in the magazine, in the magazine get online and. Were you writing these or not so I I was writing them and then eventually I got a treaty, mothers. Who would help me out and. Basically. Before I knew I had five or six interns, we were publishing ten, different articles a day we, were sending out a daily newsletter and then, as a result of that we were able to take that magazine, to about 20,000, visitors a month in.
Three Months and so really it was there that I realized the power of, search engine optimization. The power of integrating, social media this was back in you, know 2005. And. And, really how you can do things that scale and get a really big return so that business magazine was great here in San Diego I'm from San Diego and, it really helped me develop a publishing, formula, that I've used to, this day so that was a really fun venture and I got to meet a lot of people interview. A lot of people and, just have a lot of fun so, that's that was a big part of the journey what, is the publishing formula, so. Here's the publishing formula, the, publishing formula, is basically, there's, a couple things one you can, cover, news write and you can get a good spike in traffic from, result of doing that or. You can write content, on specific, keywords, in your industry and, I love just trying to find what's the whole universe, of keywords what are the bottom. Funnel middle funnel top of funnel what's every single thing that your customer, would want to ask and then, writing articles, you know best articles, that you can on that and then promoting, them and by doing that consistently, maybe mixing, in a little bit of video, pushing. That video out on the video sites and then pushing the articles out everywhere that you can online, you're, gonna consistently. Grow your base and then as a result to that you're gonna grow your thought leadership and, people are gonna start following you you get them to subscribe to your social, then you just keep publishing, and scaling, and creating more content and it all comes back around so. That's basically the formula and, it works really really well as, you probably know as well you do a little bit of that I've seen a little bit now and content, wise that that a lot of people I think have a challenge with how, do they create content, so, how. Do you go about doing that on a consistent basis, do you do it for your clients, or are they doing it and then you're amplifying how's, the how's, that work so. There's. A couple things you can do one I love buzzsumo, that'll, show you the most popular content online SEM. Rush you can put in all of your top competitors, and see, what they've created and what they're ranking for reverse engineer a similar. Web you know you can do the same thing but. Basically you know you want to get on a cadence of creating, content really, on a weekly, and then eventually a daily, basis, and scaling, it out also. You want to keep an eye on your top 50, to 100 keywords that could potentially, convert and then you want to refresh those pages sometimes. Monthly, if they're really competitive and, then, if they're not that competitive, you kind of keep an eye on them and you can be refreshing, them on, like, every, six months or every year. Refreshing, meaning updating them refreshing, updating, you know one of the things that you that works really well is doing. FAQ, so putting fa Q's at the bottom of the content and then, marking that up with schema.org and, now with the way that Google is changing. Schema.org. Actually. Now in just the last couple weeks creates. Google actions if you don't know what a Google action is that's an app for the Google assistant, and the, Google assistant, is now on everybody's phone right so, there's you know hundreds, of millions if not billions of Android, devices out there in Chrome browsers, out there that all have the. Google assistant, built into it and now also have Google actions, in the Google actions, are filled in either. Creating. Them on your own or they're created, by schema.org, so. What, we like to do is we like to update, webpages, make, them an actual entity so, not around a keyword but around an entity, because that's how things have really changed in the last couple weeks there. Is something that came out called the Google Burt update, and the, Burt update, really looks at things now, instead, of keywords so now with any web page we're, looking at it as a thing marking. It up with schema.org as an entity and then having FA cues on that that are also mapped up marked, up with schema.org that, in turn will, create rich. Results, which will in turn work. For voice search and will be read back to people in the assistant, so, all this stuff is kind of coming together now, like schema.org, used. To be this thing that I would always say who cares about schema.org, I don't care about it it's a total waste of time you know but, now it's, the real deal so for the first time ever the web is coming together as, this inner connection.
With, Schema connecting. Things together and Google's really picking it up and then realizing, it and in. Addition to that. Amp is part of that as well so, what amp is now and what featured snippets are now are two ways that you can essentially, opt-in. To Google and give them your information and. That's a really, really big change so that's a little bit of a tangent on some of the newer technologies. But, essentially, now you, want to think about what's the technology. That allows you to to, opt into Google. Are you keeping all of your content up-to-date every single piece of content on the web is a liability, and. So keeping that up today and then also of course link building is part of that strategy as well is is, schema, have you found tools that help you work with that better. Because like if you just go to schema.org unless, it's changed yeah it's, fairly, difficult, for. The, non-technical, person, to do anything with it is pretty difficult yes so there's a lot of schema, generators. Online but, unfortunately. They only will create schema for maybe, like the top five things like reviews, or, FAQ. Or something like that so unfortunately rolling, you're gonna have to get your hands dirty and you're, gonna have to cut it up yourself if only, there was an agency or somebody that could do that stuff for you I know I wish I knew one oh well there's 80 people right outside this door right here who do do that it is, it is tricky it is a huge challenge it is something that people are going to be focusing. On and you know I think everybody kind of knows they need to do it but it's um it's where things are going we're developing this system right now we call it the no click, optimization. System and, what, it is is a system for amp a system for Google actions, a system for schema and tying, all those things together it's also a system, for creating featured snippets, and the goal is to get no clicks on any of your content yeah it's. To get exposure for your content, without, having to, get a click that's. That's what that's about but. But. Yes so all and, then and then there's these features snippets some of the features snippets create voice responses, some of them don't so it's kind of like this whole universe, and and then there's also the other side which is Alexa and then Siri and those are two different universes, so, so Alexi we're talking about skill creation, right yeah, so skill creation, for Alexa, is different, than than, the Google actions which I know that you're aware of but, it's something that ecommerce. Sites really. Care quite a bit about, then people who sell directly through Amazon with Amazon being tied to it and then each of these different areas have, their different integrations, and we can go into all that but I think you, know with Amazon, and with, Google and with with, Siri what, I always tell people is yes get involved, it's a little early but it's going to become really important, but just think about where your customer, is don't don't put in the time where your customers not otherwise it's a sunk cost essentially, what, do.
You Think is is serious, serious contender, it seems kind of abandoned, a bit by Apple, in terms of. Certainly. In terms of keeping up with the, Aqsa and Google, it, is so is Syria, contender. It it is not the. Biggest one by far is Alexa, and then you know you've got the Google home and Google home hub and then the Google assistant, now. Series, still there but it only matters, for certain types of people and businesses and what do you think those are I can't even imagine well, like, anything, in the App Store essentially. Is the main thing so if your whole business is built off of Apple or if it's built off of an Apple app then, you care much more about Syria, you'll be looking at Sirikit you'll be looking at series shortcuts, and integrating. More with that although it was the first assistant, I know that's it just seems like they squandered. Their and they're like the Yahoo now, right the Yahoo who lost, all the ground to Google right although I just read a thing this morning that said they're up 56%, in their services business so they're really, focused yeah and they're they're launching. Apple. TV plus so. That their that's gonna be a $5 a month subscription, service to compete with the other folks they've got four original series, they're focused on on. On that and despite. It was I think it said despite the fact that iPhone. Sales are waning a bit which makes sense because there's a fully installed base and I know people that have iPhone threes and fours and fives you know so yeah but not everybody is going to buy the new one and when there's a a. Blue. Ocean then. Yeah, your iPhone sales are gonna be crazy because people are like you know iPhones aren't slowing a, lot, of people have them and don't want the 11pro, versus the 11 or whatever right yeah but. But. They have really, with their services. And wearables, I think wearables were up 12% and services, are over 50 like 56%. Yeah you, know they're they're doing ok over, over at Apple but it does seem like they missed the opportunity a to have a device that, was dedicated which, I kind of get that because they they're they want you to use it in the phones and the iPads and things like that but home, devices, seem seem. Pretty important, yeah I mean for the record I'm not worried about Apple, at all I'm not shareholder. In their night in a very small way up on some stock but I mean the thing is is that so they do have a device, and they have the home pod is the, ugliest, littlest, weirdest, thing the thing that's funny you don't even know about it and you're a tech, genius, you know I and, all that and and, it's nobody, has it market share is is incredibly, incredibly small, every, single one of these has has. Some, type, of like. Every major assistant. Has some type of device there's also another, one called Cortana. Cortana. Integrated, with Alexa it just basically runs, off of Alexa, but, yeah so there is the home pod and. You know about you they they try to come back and take a crack at it when they circle back I can.
Only Imagine what the strategic planning looks like in that company of kidding right yeah, they. Can't do all the things I guess but. Amazon seems to it's like let's do health care and you know everything, else you can think up they're amazing, okay, so let's, since we kind of open that Pandora's, box let's talk a little bit about, what. Do you see for voice and those like, in terms of you're, an agency you represent tons of significant. Clients, how important, is voice in your. Strategic plan, for those folks going forward, to, you. Know to establish, a foothold of it's a pretty big especially, for local businesses, so voice searches, are three times more likely to, be local, and that's really really important, so anybody is a multi location, business which we represent, a ton of here it's, really really important you can directly integrate, with it you can build an action, for Google so if you say hey G. Right I won't say hey Google, because I don't want to, but. You can say talk to whoever, right so we actually built one if you're listening this podcast, right now go ahead and give it a try say hey G hey Google Talk, to ignite visibility and you can talk to the Google action, that we've created you'll be able to take a fun little quiz that. I threw together in like 20 minutes on how. What, type of SEO you are but. In addition to that you know void searches, they're supposed to be 50% of, all searches next, year which is a huge huge deal and so, we're seeing the typing, going down we're seeing the voice going up and they're very ill it seems like there's a very very, long tail so I always recommend people to check out answer the public, or they check out SEM, rush the question, area so that you can make things, that relate specifically, to that as. Far as questions and answers but, it's gonna be big it's it's about two years out from being, probably, like, 25, 30 percent of like the transaction.
Search Portfolio. And and and I think the reason why people, want a lot of news they want to infer a lot of informational, searches, they want a lot, of these things other than transactions. You cannot do transactions, in a Google action right now you. Can do a transaction. In Alexa, and so, that's gonna come in pretty soon but. Then I think the big thing is people are gonna want to interact with local businesses, directly through, this it's, gonna be a huge deal for my company, we're gonna have to set up all these different types of tracking that's a huge opportunity. For us right now with our analytics department but, I think it's and then you're gonna see the searches kind of go away in, general, for, the desktop and. Get smaller and, so, there's. A lot that that has to be said there and a lot has to be said for like attribution, and value so so, you, mentioned, before, when, we when we were starting the that, you've got and, I think you wrote a book on it right isn't your book about the channel yeah. That's the forecaster, method yeah it's my new book the forecaster, method it's not Amazon it's, not an Amazon yeah nice can you get it free anyplace by, going to one of your websites or anything no it's not free you got paid for it I put too much work into it maybe, maybe in a couple years the. Book is well worth the money I swear, if it does not improve, you. Know if it does not improve. Your. Ad spend in your conversions, and you don't make more money you send me an email I will give you a free copy let's dangle I will refund you let's see actually you've heard it here it's a guarantee, not even they will make a billion dollars from using that book backed, by your personal guarantees nice so. So. Can. You tease. Us with a bit of coolness. From the forecaster, method so, where, everything's going now is. Audiences basically, and so the idea is its audience, click-through, rate conversion, rate cost per acquisition ROI. Right that's how any online business model, works so for me like I'm being an MBA and just like always loving financials, and stuff like that you, know I really look at any online business as, a portfolio just like you would you know a stock portfolio every, single type of traffic so what the book teaches you to do look, at the traffic specifically.
How It hits the website your cost per acquisition and, then build out a business model with. Three to five sources, of traffic, so it's diversified, and you're not just dependent on one and then, if you want to go from you know 10 10 million. Dollars to a hundred million dollars you can literally build, a roadmap for investing, more in marketing in order to scale and, that's exactly what I've done here for ignite visibility, that's exactly what we've done for Tony Robbins over the last five years you know being our top client, here we've built this amazing, framework. Working with him and their amazing, team I don't take all the credit they're incredibly, talented over there my favorite people to work with but, we know exactly our. Cost per acquisition exact. Conversion rate exactly, what we need to do to turn the dials and scale with confidence, and these, big companies they don't realize, they can do that with the power of digital it is entirely, possible so. When we bring in a huge. Company that spends hundreds of millions of dollars on, advertising and, they're just used to saying okay here's you know 10 million for this this quarter for the first time ever we're able to give them accurate reporting. And accurate, scaling, and then, not only that but help them build the remarketing, audiences, help them tie everything together from top to bottom funnel, so the book is about specifically. How to do that how, other companies have done it how we set up the reporting, the framework, and I just I feel so proud. To have created, it and just be able to give it to people because it takes a lot of the guesswork out of it and it's gonna make it so people can't do other people, anymore in digital so that's you kind of feel my passion, around it that's that's where this one came from so, with the book I believe you'll be able to cut cost be, more confident, and scale, more correctly, will, you did your marketing so that's, great so yeah most, people that. Don't have any idea where they are and because I know a lot of people come to you kind of like the tax preparer it's like they here's, all my stuff in a shoebox make it go it's true, that happens they come to you they're like we got all this stuff what do we how do you recommend. That somebody approach, getting a handle, on they're out of control we don't know anything about our digital plan, so it's all Google Analytics for me or you know Omniture, Adobe, whatever you use but you know so I taught analytics, at UC San Diego for six years and I learned a lot there everything. Is there the whole story is, there if you, have an analytics, expert you can dive in you can figure out what's going right what's going wrong and then, from there you, can determine a baseline, so I know where you are now within 20 minutes or an hour just, by digging through I can, see where you are versus.
Your Competitors, there's. A report in Google Analytics called, the benchmark, report, and what it allows you to do is opt into it and then see where you stand versus, all your competitors so for example, if you, have zero percent of your sales from email marketing, you probably should have more like twenty to twenty five percent so based off of that we can see that that's not a saturated, channel and it doesn't have the contribution margin that it should have for your business if. I log in and I see you have no organic, traffic and the business has been around for a few years well that should be 30 or 40 percent of your online portfolio, if I log in there's no paid traffic that should be 20 percent or so if there's no social traffic, that should be ten to fifteen so you, know for every single channel, that goes organic. Direct, referral. Email. Affiliate. Display. And then social those are all the basic types of channels you want to be able to drill down know, the contribution, margin go a step down see all the different sources see the contribution margin by each source know, the conversion, rate for each one see how it's exactly, hitting the website know the conversion rate for the landing page and then based off of that you can build an entire model, and you can just scale, with confidence, so the main thing you need to do is you, know understand, where you should be and then, if you're not there just put in plant and place a plan to get there and it's, the most exciting, time to be a part of the internet because all the traffic's, there you could fire up some ads you could fire up a funnel you can be in business you know with confidence, you know it's there and all you have to do is buy it we know it's right how do I get it it's not like SEO. Used to be because when we started this it's like okay there's only one way to get traffic it's like basically, SEO and email right you know and so then you're like trying to get ranked, for six months and you would you know but it just it takes it would take time now you can get started right away as long as you have a good product market fit you know and a good business as well so I noticed, on the little scribbles, that you had on the board that you furbish. Ly erased the minute that I walked in the door. Then. It said really, don't don't, spend time on SEO or don't start with SEO or something like that yeah speak, to that a little bit because I know you do it so what was on the board was a video that I made on on our YouTube channel I make a free, videos there every couple weeks I just really enjoyed teaching and it was about I'm going, to market with a brand new website what is the YouTube channel so it's the Ignite visibility, University, YouTube channel okay but, basically if you got a brand new website you're getting started I didn't have ignite visibility, which has 200,000, visitors a month what would I do so. What, that was was the whole model to do it I said don't start with SEO in the video I say, start with SEO at the three month mark what I would highly recommend is, investing, in really good creative a nice easy funnel, going.
And Finding, some really good audiences, whether it's you know a Facebook. Group or an influencer, you know aspire IQ, or whether. You know you. Know you're looking at social, traffic or Google traffic but basically you, know what we do here is we scope out the amount of traffic and we just run it through that formula, and that's. Really the best way to go about doing it but what I don't want people to do is for a brand new website it, gets sold by a company to do SEO when they shouldn't be doing that if they don't have any traffic and if it just launched if it's historical, and the site's, been around for a couple of years and they got a few rankings, for. Sure but but not right away I just you, know I care a lot about people, you know getting a bang for their buck it's just a part of the business so and so the unique thing that you said that you one of the things that you focus on I'd like to drill down just a little bit more is the. The. Channel, the acquisition, by Channel and and those metrics. Can you share a little bit more about that so. The acquisition, by channel, is is, really and how is this different from the way most people do the. Acquisition, by channel, is. So. For google for example google has a variety of different audiences, right so google has their, general audiences, they, have their end market audiences, so people who are in market searching around for things they have their custom intent audience that's their their mid audience, right and that, midday audience is people who are searching for specific keywords lower funnel they're just about to convert and then they finally have their remarketing, audiences, and the audience's that you build off of your. Website so for, example if I have a thousand. People who go to my service page I can build an audience off of that if I have a thousand, people who converted, I can build an audience off of that if I if, I have people who go to all, the pages that have SEO mentioned, on them on my you know 2,000 page website I can build an audience off of that so so, what happens, is as Google is a channel, and that, channel is.
Basically One, that's comprised, of a variety of different audiences and so, if you understand, all the different audiences, the intricacies. Of that then, once they hit the website you know the individual, landing, pages and then you look at something like a behavior, report that. Goes into the. Funnel flow within. Google, you can really get a good picture of it so Google has something called, attribution. Modeling, and then attribution. Modeling is usually, based off a last click that's. Another really important, thing to look at is are you looking at just the last click or, are you looking at multiple, clicks and are. You looking at something also called a multi-channel, funnel, so, going a little bit deeper like you asked the multi-channel funnel, report is one of my favorite, reports, because it will show you all the different. Ways that, somebody has interacted, with your website before conversion, so I love diving into that one often, what we'll see for clients, is about. 30 40 percent of traffic has, two to three touch points, so, really, things are contributing, in a lot of different ways to it but, basically just on the channel level I mean for me I try not to make it too complicated and that was a somewhat, complicated explanation from it but I think some people will like it for, me what I love about it is you know we get in people they don't really understand, digital maybe, they kick butt at their business in general and we, can just bring clarity, to it you know it's like this is the source this is a conversion, is how much it costs, people. Want to know all the fancy digital stuff that I love they want to know just John how much am I paying how much am I getting and, that's that I like to be able to do that finally, now really, clearly. What about other. Channels, so I, know, that it's, really funny because we have a little bit of a debate about this recently is yeah yeah well there's just nothing you know it's not like there's a new Facebook or whatever but you have a company. Like tic toc yeah who has you, know a billion plus, installations. And depending. On who you talk to 800 million to a billion active, monthly users yeah, you've got whatsapp, and and all of the messaging. Things there there actually is a lot of new, or. At least a lot of may be underutilized stuff, what are your thoughts on those. Less, popular. Channels, than say Instagram, Facebook Google. YouTube, LinkedIn Twitter, so. I love push notifications, right now I've been really really hot on that we just got that set up on a bunch of different websites given. An application or a tool you like with alluding our own push, Nami is pretty good many chats good drift. Is good and then intercom, are good I've. Added, all those I would say that they're all really good one, thing that I'm really excited about with, with. Messenger, right now is so say you run a million, dollars a month, in facebook, ads you, could have messenger, be a call to action in, there, so instead, of you know just going to your website they can have messenger be the call to action within, messenger. You, can set up an automation sequence, so you know kind of cuts down on your customer service cost and the coolest thing I had a guy in here the other day to demo, for me and you, can actually say you're trying to sell a product you can do. Augmented. Reality within. Messenger. Oh yeah so that's pretty pretty, cool so you could upload a picture of yourself and then you could try on the, glasses you could try on you. Wouldn't do this but you could try it on lipstick, you can try on a shirt and that, to me is just like this whole nother level and and so that's exciting maybe somebody, just told me about that in ads is that in it is and ads too so there's something called okay so there's something called ad lingo, and AD lingo, is in the Display Network and, what it is is backed by Google it's an ad platform, where you can do chat actually, inside, of a display ad on a website and, it is so cool so that's all run off of something called dialogue, flow and, dialogue, flows that central, area that.
Can Run chat it can run ad lingo. And all of that exciting, stuff if people want to learn more about that kind of stuff where should, they go, so, if I've, written on all this so you can learn it for me if you want on the Ignite visibility, website but also these are Google products, generally. So if you just google. Them you'll, be able to find it through their documentation, as well if you want it to be a little bit more simple I try, to break it down a bit so so, so. That's messenger. What, about things like whatsapp, because I see I mean even it's, as as much, as I would like to not have a new thing, that I have to spend a lot of time on I'm getting more and more especially as we do international yeah, I guess so many whatsapp things happening now and I hear, a lot about whatsapp, marketing, and. I just recently saw that they have, they. Have stories or something on there as well because I just started playing, with that any thoughts about those so whatsapp, thanks. For, asking is really more outside, the US yeah so it's the largest, messaging. Platform, outside of the United States and people just use it like crazy so, if you're going international. It's definitely, something that you can do as far as a messaging, platform, what, I've heard, and we don't offer that as a service here, but it's it's, like Facebook Messenger and that people can get a little bit annoyed if you approach it the wrong way kind of like push notifications kind. Of like text messaging which I know you know quite a bit about so, just gotta be really careful with these newer ones because they, have the high open rates and, the high click-through rates because there's not a lot there but there's not a lot there because. People have it as this kind of personal connection right, now you know so it's just that. That's my view on it so I just saw Gary Vee, released, things saying that, text. Messaging, to him is is the. Biggest thing that's gonna be happening next, over. The next year or two and, and, it's that way, as well and, one of the things I think that he come in and I was like marketers, ruined basically, everything else so we have this text thing that, we feel pretty good about but. But. There are people increasingly. Seeming. To be willing to allow marketers. Into, their text have you had any experience. With that any thoughts with that text has the highest open rate out of all. The other platforms and you. Know with, 160. You know clients, that are here getting a lot of people who are asking, about that so, for our multi location, businesses, if people have an appointment for example we represent, like a very large collision. Repair, shop, they, text. Is they, love it yeah it is it is great for them anything, that's like spike service, based you, know it's. It's very very, important, on the customer service side this is for post. Customer. Owes. Costs transaction. Reminders. To kind of come dentists. Doctors, service. Things like that right correct, not not so much on the marketing side the. Marketing, side we have not seen, ton, of success with that but we actually did just do a, industry. Study on local businesses, and we saw that 20% of people prefer. To be contacted via. Text message so so, there is a pretty good margin there is, is there a marketing, opportunity there, though for those businesses or is it more just kind, of get the people coming in reminder. Convenience, kind of things let, me ask you a question if, I sent you a text message that said. Here's. My latest video, that just came out on text message marketing would. You like that no I would block you. So. That's that's my fear I mean I I am, kind. Of an aggressive marketer, because that's what we it's my whole is the whole business right so like I love trying new stuff but I just feel like that. Isn't. It's not a marketing, engine right now but, I but I know I'm not my market right and so, so. That's. Kind of my questions like have you have you seen anybody, doing. It successfully I know we've got Amanda. In war. Room yeah you, know who works, with the gore and they're big on it but I feel like Agora's hyper, aggressive and, they you know I just. Maybe. People want it I don't so, that that's kind of do you have any experience across, all your clients of anybody that's doing it other, than as a reminder II kind of thing I have, seen, a couple clients who are sending out promo, codes as text, messages and they have had large, unsubscribe. Rates and they have had very. Minimal success, and once you're like you're blocked you're blocked you're kind of done on text right I blocked you're blocked it's it's not something like if if I felt strong about it working as a marketing engine I would have our team doing it right now we're.
Keeping An eye on it right right now it's uh I really. Keep people keep people happy but I have seen so many commerce sites and. And I think it could work here an e-commerce site Black. Friday Cyber, Monday you got a big sale like you really got that thing you want to push and you've got the text you, know you could probably do it then if that's a good enough offer yeah yeah, yeah and I, don't know I mean, just out of fear I probably wouldn't do it like I don't even give my regular. My I have, my real email address and my one that, I subscribe to stuff on and I check the SUBSCRIBE one when I have time but, I don't want anybody, in my like I get pissed at people who, I deal with who automatically. Put, me like. Iiver, I have a business partner I'm not gonna say his name though business partner, it's a he I, have. A business partner who I email. With them and then I get stuff, sent, from there and I'm like don't. Put me on your tag, on the list I don't want marketing. Stuff and and so I've had to go to the do not mail you. Know it's like so now I can't communicate with you on that so why. Are you doing that or, what do you think about the harvest, everybody, that contacts you in any way and stick them on your email list whether they opt in or not so I used, to do stuff like that you. Know I've learned a lot over the years especially when I first started the business just being scrappy never. Now no way anymore, especially. With gdpr. And, these new california state laws that are coming out that's a big big deal so technically, it's illegal I believe, to do that in fact I know it has been so I think it probably was before to what so, that's actually a really great thing have, you found so a lot of people say I don't care about gdpr because I'm not outside, the United States does. That matter it. Matters yeah, so like so, okay so I can say that too right but but actually though we have customers, who are international, so maybe I couldn't but but, basically what, I think a lot of people don't realize is that you. Could, be in trouble for gdpr, without even realizing, it unless you're blocking, every, country except, for the US which I guarantee nobody's. Doing right nobody's taking the time to do it it's very very hard to do anyways yeah so so. Yeah everybody's, base, liable, I got, a little tip for you there there's. A lot of different tools actually. A couple of tips but one is sumo, sumo. Is a great, tool and what you can do is you can, there's also opt-in, monk. I believe but, you can detect everybody, who's outside of the US and then based off of that you can serve them and opt-in set, it up in just a second you don't have to worry about it but I bet about a lot of people listening to this have traffic coming in from outside the US and they're liable they don't even realize it yeah and I think there's probably a bunch of attorneys sitting around just salivating because of California, I think either just, Lannon or or or, is about to go into effect the new California, rules that are 2020. Is it 2020 yeah you're just right, around the corner even, as we speak yeah so and, do you have a an. Idea of what that is like just to share with people so the Calico legal advice here folks just opinions, yeah the California, laws actually. I wrote a blog post that goes over every single step of it it's kind of similar to gdpr, because. It's so new and because I'm not a lawyer well we can stay away from that one but you can read the blog and I recommend, you get a attorney, referral from roland for that. It's. On ignite visibility, if you google ignite visibility, you know California law. It'll, pop up but basically it's. Something that this is like this is a real one because every business in the US has, some footprint, in in California, with their website so. It's something that you need to jump on the ad a compliance, is is, really important, that's, an aspect of it so if your website's not 88 compliant, which means that that's, the Americans with Disabilities, Act yeah people who are visually impaired, can't. Basically. Access. A site so, check that out make, sure it is 88 compliance, there's some software, out there that will you click a button and makes the website ad a compliant, there's like three or four different options for that that's the cheap and easy way to do it without having to go through and update every title tag onto that site do gdpr as well so.
Would You if you were going to share with the people that are that are in the audience now listening. To this. People. Let's. Let's walk through some growth stages what, would you say. If. They, are thinking, about getting into business and just getting started, and. And and particularly from the agency, and entrepreneurial. Experience, that you've got, what's. The first thing - to. Make the business go in your opinion, okay, so I think the hardest, thing for, anybody getting started, especially. On an agency side is trying. To bring in clients, and work on clients at the same time right it's really really you get your client you work to bring them in then you get them then you work on them and you get to bring new ones in then that's done and then you just get you overwhelmed. It's like Gail it's right and that's why most agencies, never get over a couple people and then and then they just go away mmm like a lot of them feel like that how did you avoid that okay, a big part of that is my business partner Chris Kaufman, he's a attorney. You know he's, sales, and. He's a great operations, guy smart guy and so he let me work on the clients, do thought leadership handle, the marketing for ourselves and. Also I would be of course be involved in some sales but he would we business. Partner, it can go a long way yeah I'm a big big fan of part this is part of that you get along with really well yeah because you're going to be married to that, person. Forever did, you have you had any bad partnership, experiences. Um no. I've, only had one business, partner it's been Chris it's been seven years I have had tons of business fires and can't say I've ever had a bad experience yeah, it's a lot to go through with somebody so. Keep that in mind you know it's really got to be somebody or we're gonna be willing. To work with for a long time but get, a good partner, and the, partner should definitely have the skills that you don't and you need to be really really clear about what you're gonna be doing and your operating, agreement, you, know make sure you have some good advisors, who can kind of point you along the way and then the biggest thing that I would say for anybody is build, a business model before, you launch like really really put in the time like, how much are you, gonna invest in marketing what's, your what's your you. Know what are your projections look, like for scaling, what are you gonna be doing year 1 2 3 how, are you gonna reinvest, like all that stuff so many people come to me and they just want to launch a business and I launch a business but if you you, have to you really have to do that work beforehand, otherwise it's you, have no idea where you're trying to go so.
Now, You got past that first. Challenge. Of, getting. Work doing work with, the business partner what, was the next phase next, big challenge to get past hiring, people so, you, then, you got to decide what, okay, I know I need to hire some when am i ready when am I willing to give up some of my income and, then, what type of person I can hire am, I gonna hire a really, lower-level, person, who you, know is maybe you, know somebody who I can just kind of pass some work to and I can still keep doing everything or, do I want to hire somebody who's you know really, seasoned, and super expensive, and, it's gonna cut into all my margins, but it's gonna take the work off and that's a really, really hard decision either, answer so, what we did is we hired. Our first couple people we're mid-level. I think that was a pretty good decision so it wasn't like it wasn't somebody who was kind of brand who didn't know anything it wasn't somebody who is the best in the industry but we a lot of mid-level people, and. Kind, of let them grow in that that worked pretty well but I mean I got to tell you, seven. Years later in hindsight, is twenty-twenty, I. You know I think if I did it again, you know really. Great amazing, best people quickly, you, know you. Know you could you could probably grow, a little bit better and a little bit faster that way, so, something for anybody to consider but we've had success that way as well what do you have a hiring. Process like, do you, do. Assessments, or tests or anything like that to kind of see if people are compatible or a hundred percent yes so every, single person, has a test, that, they do you. Know they they interview, with with quite a few different people so every single department, has a test and, and. And that's that's that's pretty important, and I but I think you know the thing is is you don't want to hire for skills. Necessarily. That's important, what, I've found especially, on the agency, side in any type of fast-paced, business you want to hire for, their. Attitude and how smart they are because, if they've, got those two things they can probably learn anything pretty quickly and then they also the last thing I would say on hiring is make, sure the job aligns, with their life goals that's really, really important, because if you don't know where they want to go or if they've, if their life goal is to do something completely different how. Can they be a good long-term employee, for you so really figuring that out it's pretty important, so, it's just a good tip how do you assess, smartness. And attitude. You. Know maybe if you interview a lot of people for a while you know you start to to pick up on it a little bit I gotta tell you I, is. Really really important, for me it's, really important, for me like you, know certain schools, there's. There's a reason somebody gets into a Harvard and a reason somebody goes to like a community college and sometimes it's different there's outliers there's things that but, we, don't hire a bunch of people from Harvard or anything but right but a good school can make a big difference or, you, know how they performed, in the school that they were in and then just attitude.
Like Energy. Like I just love to work with people who are just pumped, up and they want to tackle things and get things done fast, and and, you know you really want you know scrappy, people, especially. When you're young you know who aren't a aren't, afraid to take on a challenge they, don't need the hand-holding you know they just kind of move forward that's pretty important, stuff do you use Colby, or disk or any, of those myers-briggs, kind of yeah you. Don't know what disc is disc is fantastic. We've done that here and, it. Was really good I'm a super strong di mm-hm, apparently. And then other. Things we've done is kind of kind of interesting you know what once we have employees in the door you know we do try to really do a lot of ongoing, training, so in the next six, weeks we actually have somebody coming in who's assessing, all the employee happiness here I'm helping, them plot a plan talking. Them about workplace, you know, happiness. You know managing, stress like, soft skills like all that stuff you know men are you do using any kind of employee sentiment, measuring, software or anything like that we are yeah so there, is a, plugin, for, slack. That's called office, vibe yeah yeah which. We've used quite a bit that's. Not currently running right now but we have have, used that quite a bit and that we do employee surveys, every quarter, and as, the organization, is grown now. There were 80 people and, hopefully, you know going on a hundred you. Know if we keep doing great work I, think that stuff's really important, because it's you know it's a community now and it's. A lot of people that I really care about and respect and we want to make sure they're happy mm-hmm so hiring was the second big thing is was there a third. So. Hirings, big and. Challenges. Wise that you faced and overcome injury yeah as far as any, other challenges. You, know managing. Where do you spend your time I. Think is really hard so you. Know you're split, through so many different things when you start a business you know where do you spend your time even now I struggle, with that you might struggle with I don't know maybe maybe you don't but I I think to myself like, if, I spend a hundred percent of my time on marketing, do I spend a hundred percent of my time on trying to grow accounts, and service accounts so I spent a hundred percent of my time with the top people right and so that's really really important, that you you in the way that I've done it is I try. To think about what's, gonna make the biggest impact on the business. Every. Single day that that's how I manage my time what's gonna make the biggest impact, on the business goals and that's that's how I use my internal, compass, and. And now I have that luxury of being able to go a couple different places before if you're working on ten accounts or something you your, nose is down a little bit more doing the work but. That's that's a challenge what, about capital. Capital. Oh. No no okay. Let's, talk about that so that's a huge huge thing cash. Flow nobody, knows how to start starts, a business knows how to manage cash flow right it's incredibly, stressful, we, started with fifteen thousand dollars in the bank that we saved right so I save you know ten krish, through and five you, know we're totally open about that stuff and and that was it and we didn't take money for six months so, we didn't take any money for six months we're working from home you. Know we're trying to build up the bank you know we're trying to manage cash flow we're trying to understand. How we're gonna work together and what our philosophy is gonna be there you. Know I had. Financial experience because my MBA was in finance and that was helpful but I would just say cash. Flows a big deal all right and, in in it what goes along with that as your marketing, as well so you, know I've always one, reason we've grown so much as I always scale marketing, as a percentage, of of. Total, revenue right and so, as cash flow goes up I scale marketing, to match that so is there a percentage that you like to maintain ten percent yeah so we can continue, to reinvest, ten percent in marketing, and it's scale it's a whole engine it's the whole model the, whole model is reinvest, ten percent. Continue. To do that that fuels growth you know you never really back off, unless you need to because of an operations issue but. Yes so but but yeah so that that's something that I think a lot of people should, really take a look at and that's why I talked about building the business model, first because. Cash flow is in their projections, or in their costs, are in their you, know all, the way down to the little stuff like you know how much is your domain cost, to, rent. A month you know so what. About. Compensation. In terms of equity, participation by, people in the company that are working as employees, so.
That's Something that a lot of businesses, think, about it's, not something that we are doing right now but, it's something that as. I've seen, as, you get bigger that becomes a much bigger aspect, so, it's. Something that you know we'll consider as, we grow but at the moment it's. Not something that's part of the equation okay would you be willing to just give me some equity just you, know for the heck of it probably I mean gosh are. You gonna do something with for that are you just gonna no I'm. Handsome. Now. That's. Great well thank you so much for taking the time to to, share everything with this is there anything before we close that I didn't, ask that you think that I should over, that would have benefited the. Listeners in a great wonderful. Way no. You know gosh we covered a lot of ground here today we covered voice search SEO paid, media audiences. We covered the business startup, and all that fun stuff you know I mean I the only other thing I would say is like if you really I don't know what stage Pete the listeners are but you if you're entrepreneurial. The, reason I love the Toni stuff so much is you know if you really align your passion, with your business it's it's super fun and I found out about his stuff you know when I was 25 robbins were talking about tony robbins when i was 25 and really enjoyed it and by going through that you know i kind of figured out that digital, marketing would be my thing and so so, before you start a business don't, just do it because like. You. Know you're gonna make some money make sure you're really gonna enjoy your life too but other, than that I would give a big shout out to roll and this is a really smart guy right here and so so, thanks for having me on role and I really appreciate it thank you and so I know we talked about different. Things throughout the podcast but for people who would like to get a hold of you maybe that would be interested in becoming a client or. Who would like information. What are the best ways to, to. Connect with you yeah, so ignite visibility, calm, if, you click on the awesome, content, tab you know we've we've got some really fun stuff going there you know as the app actually say awesome it says awesome content yeah. Yeah and. It, so you can check out SEO the movie it's a movie we made social, media marking the movie the books are there the blogs there and then there's a contact, button right there and I'd love to chat with anybody, you know digital is my passion I love to talk to anybody about it awesome, sweet thank you so much I really appreciate you taking time to be on the show thanks real appreciate, it. You.