If online business was a game of chess it would be the Queen (your execution is king FYI).
It's the one thing that can mean you will be able to make money even if you were selling dog crap in a bag. But do we spend enough time taking it seriously?
John Wall, from Marketing Over Coffee, joins the podcast to chat about:
- What are the best social media platforms in 2020 (and what are the best long term platforms)
- The 3 types of content that you can put out into the world
- Some sneaky tips for improving your marketing today
- And much more
Online Marketing Tips and Tricks
From Marketing Over Coffee
Make Time Online Podcast on iTunes - Online Entrepreneur Tips
Why John loves working from his home office.
How setting up a podcast has helped scale his business.
The three main types of content are audio, video and written. You can reuse all types of content into the other formats quite easily.
Full BLANK Podcast Transcript
John Wall 0:00
So that that’s a big thing, right? There’s, you really just have your three levels of content, right? You’ve got text, audio and video. And so you can make those and put them out over multiple channels. You don’t have to tie yourself down to a single channel. You know, that’s one thing that we always tell people to do is that work from the top and go down. So when you create videos, you can peel the audio off of that to make an audio programme or a podcast and you can transcribe that so that you’ve got text. So instead of just like making random stuff up, make your content and then hit it on all three of those channels.
Mike Beatty 0:33
Hey, guys, it’s Mike from make time online. And today we’re joined by John Wall, from marketing over coffee, podcast, and trust insights.
If you have any interest in marketing, or tech or any of that kind of stuff, then john is definitely the person to listen to, and find out a bit more about because he’s had a podcast now for over 14 years, called marketing over coffee is him and Christopher pen that run the podcast, but he just knows literally so much about marketing in general, which is the whole point of his business and everything that he does. This chat is just so good. We don’t just touch on one topic, we kind of probably through my fault because I just had so much that I wanted to ask him, but we kind of touch about social media trends, we talk about marketing campaigns, running ads, and we also hit a little bit on SEO, but also as well. I touched on their podcast as well and how it’s really helped them and their business grow into what it is today. So if any of that sounds like something that you’re interested in, definitely have a listen to this one because it’s just full of so much value. And as always, if you want to just if you’re in a rush and you just want to find out some of the time Top Tips from the episode skip the last few minutes and I’ll summarise the chat. Enjoy guys. So, john, can you tell me about a day or moment when you kind of realised the whole nine to five wasn’t for you?
John Wall 2:16
Yeah, that’s a great question because, for me the voyage from cubicle worker to entrepreneur is such a huge thing for me because I’m really not born or bred to be an entrepreneur. And this was something I realised so much later in life, that kind of everything that had been trained into me was the go to school, get the job, you know, do what the boss is telling you. And the whole system is built to track you like that. And it wasn’t until, you know, I had been through maybe four or five startups. And I was even okay with the other startups in making a tonne of money for other people. Like I thought that was just the way that was gonna work. But then there was a break as I got to the last two or three startups where I realised Wait a minute, these people don’t know what they’re doing. They’re just making this up. You know, it was one thing if I was, like part of the PayPal mafia, where, you know, those people had had two or three exits, and they were teaching people how to do the machine. But I was like, no way that I’m working for people who are just faking as they go. And I’m actually have a better idea of what the heck we should be doing. And so the big, the thing that made the difference was when you realise that it’s not about how hard you work, it’s how much risk you’re willing to take. That’s the that is the critical thing right there. Because everybody believes it’s about working hard, and it’s really not it’s how much risk are you willing to take? And so, yeah, so for me, it was reaching a point where I was so frustrated that my desire to do more outweighed the fear of breaking off because I, you know, fear has been my enemy. If, because I see people now that are smarter, that are not well, they’re not smarter, they’re actually less smart because they don’t see the risk in front of them. They’re oblivious to it, but they take more risk. And you know, those are The successful entrepreneurs that you see in their 20s people who are just don’t care about the rest of the world, they take a chance and they roll the dice.
Mike Beatty 4:07
It’s such an interesting way that you kind of said that I’ve heard like people say, obviously very similar things before. But it’s more the risk that you’re willing to take. I think that’s such an important aspect of it. Maybe people don’t always quite grasp, particularly like when they’re in their early like I say, I feel like sometimes younger people are more willing to just take a risk because they almost have like, less, less risk. So in some ways, you know, if you’ve got a family member or a spouse or something like that, then it’s like, okay, just do whatever, it doesn’t really matter. You haven’t got a job anyway. So just kind of roll the dice on that.
John Wall 4:45
Yeah. And that’s it. And so that is a critical thing. You’re really never better. It’s never a better time to take all that risk. Then very early in your career. Like you said, when you don’t have a family and you can just crash on people’s couches. You know, you don’t even need rent if you’ve got the stomach. for it. But yeah, unfortunately, I think, for us, at least in the States, I can say is that just life is too easy for a lot of young people, you know, you, you have a whole map laid out for you as far as school job to the next thing. And so you don’t have that fire because I’ve seen so many entrepreneurs that are incredibly successful and they’re very young. There are people who are. Yeah, Christopher Lochhead. I’ve known for years is a guy who, you know, he said, he knew that if he didn’t become an entrepreneur, he was going to be working at this nursing home, he was out for the rest of his life, like unless he sucked it up and rolled the dice and risked everything he was going to be trapped. Because he had nobody else that could take care of them. And so yeah, it’s just another thing that helped a whole lot with that is when you learn more about entrepreneurs and read their biographies and see what they do you find that there’s these people who have made millions and they lose all of it, they lose everything. And they do this two or three or four times even because they realise that it’s all about How much risk you can take and they’re not afraid to crash. And so then once you learn that, oh, somebody made a million and they completely, you know, ran it down to zero and somehow survived, it’s zero for another year long enough to get to the next thing. That’s the kind of stuff that gives you the, you know, the kind of will to give it a shot and to take away the fear and know that you want to take a chance.
Mike Beatty 6:21
Yeah, no, 100% I think, yeah, you’re so right. And the whole fact how I think that’s something that a lot of people miss, and it’s something that I always try and get across on this podcast is just the fact that quite often the people that I’m speaking to or whatever then then, it’s not like they just started this and they just went smoothly down this path and they were instant, you know, making seven figures a year or whatever it is. That doesn’t really just happen. In fact, in zero people that I’ve spoken to Has that happened, they’ve tried staff failed at things kind of had to work things out. So what was kind of like you’re in into this whole online marketing space and everything like that. How’d you kind of figure all that stuff out?
John Wall 7:03
Oh, yeah, that that goes way back. So after I graduated from University with a degree in economics, I went into the insurance industry for about five years. And during that time, that was just when computers and laptops for employees were taking off. And so I was fortunate enough to go to a company that was doing tech events. So we were doing events for Microsoft and Oracle, and, you know, a bunch of the other bigger tech events. And so it was fantastic. I went from kind of just doing this cookie cutter job to Okay, every six weeks, let’s crank out another event for a tech company. And so we get to learn about email and websites and SEO and search marketing. And and it was just always iterative, always moving because we had at the peak, we had about 80 different events that were running. So it was just this constant churn of of playing and adapting. And it was cool for me in that it was still early enough that we had both electronic and the old school stuff Like I was actually printing catalogues, we would drop like 250,000 conference brochures, you know, when the mail was getting ready to drop because that was still pulling at that time. Now it’s nobody does, you know, paper brochures anymore for anything because the money’s not in it and email is just more efficient. But uh, yeah, I kind of got to see a tonne of the whole marketing lifecycle lifecycle. And yeah, it was just a happened to be in the right place at the right time to get that experience.
Mike Beatty 8:26
Yeah, hundred percent. That’s, that’s pretty useful. But obviously, there’s so I really want to get your thoughts on, like the current best sort of social media trends and things like that, because there’s always like, the current thing isn’t there? You know, just just for an example like at the moment I know a few people that are constantly raving about Tick tock, you know, tick tock, tick tock there and you got to jump on Tick Tock and I mean, you just watch Gary Vee. You see that sort of stuff all the time and I just kind of want to get your opinion so obviously someone that is so into marketing Probably sees all these different ways that people do marketing as well. I just want to sort of, I’d love to hear if you’ve got any stories or examples of exactly that, like, what are the best kind of social media platform at the moment?
John Wall 9:14
Yeah, on the social side, I mean, it’s always moving. And I think everybody understands that when a new network pops on the scene, there’s this land grab, you know, you can go in there. And the first, you know, the first one or two people in your vertical that crack the code of what kind of content are these people looking for? If there’s a match between the content and the market, you know, there’s people that become rock stars, I mean, you get you look at like Chris Brogan, right he attacked early on Twitter. And now he has the three 400,000 followers and it’s just a continual business asset to him you know, he can always go back to that and get the traffic so yeah, it’s you know, can you jump into Tick Tock now and grab the land before you know there’s no more land left to grab or before you know, they pull a Facebook and throw Where you have to advertise to get access to the audience. There’s some weird things with tic tocs. I mean, one right out of the gate is just that it’s based in China. There’s a lot of us firms that it kind of baulked at that the fact that and the fact that it’s, the government does have access to that data, they want to grab it at any time. So privacy is kind of an issue. And then there’s, unfortunately, there’s shiny object syndrome with that, too. And that, you know, I mean, these are funny videos. It’s not like, this is the great way to, you know, to teach people how to do brain surgery or, you know, do very, you know, cutting edge things. This is kind of like, if you’ve got a neat thing to throw out there in 15 seconds, then yeah, you know, this is great, you can do it. As far as success with stuff, I haven’t seen any case studies of people that have said, you know, yeah, we did Tick Tock ads and you know, we totally blew it out of the water. Now, that doesn’t mean that it’s not happening somewhere. I just haven’t heard about it.But yeah, tick tock seems to be at the height of hype.
You know, what we always talk to everybody about marketing and marketing campaigns, is you really need to just find this stuff that’s working and continue to optimise it. You know, that’s, that’s the big thing. If you’ve already got programmes that are working to some degree, you really shouldn’t jump into another arena until you’ve found a point where you’ve maximised what you’ve already got. You know, like, if you’ve got your website, there’s no point to me messing around with Tick tock, if you don’t have you know, your own website and some videos on your own website working for you. Because you’re always going to own your own website, you’ve got SEO advantage that happens for years and brings in revenue at no cost. Whereas again, tick tock, you know, in six months, you know, the next thing could come along, or I could get throttled down with ads and you could, basically that that time is lost. There’s no way to get that time or money back.
Mike Beatty 11:51
Yeah, well, that’s the on that whole whole idea. I definitely want to go into a little bit more about like, how to maximise what you’ve already got, and you just sort of touched on Own Website and everything there. But I’d love to sort of get your opinion on the main sort of marketing strategies that you see is more like long term because tik tok, I think, lots of people talking about it. And I would probably like agree with you, I think eventually it’s kind of one of these short lived things, this time in five years, will it still be bringing people loads of traffic? Maybe, maybe not. But there’s a good chance that the same sort of style of videos will just move to another platform. And so that whole idea, I’m sure can still work in in the future. But what would you say is more like the stable long term like where do you need to have? Like you say maximising your own content? What platform should you be on? What what sort of things should you be doing to like make sure you are marketing efficiently basically.
John Wall 12:54
Right? Well, you just made a fantastic point about the video you know, the fact that Okay, so you make these videos for tik tok, but yeah, they can also go on YouTube and they can go on other platforms and whatever the next platform is. So that that’s a big thing, right? There’s, you really just have your three levels of content, right, you’ve got text, audio and video. And so you can make those and put them out over multiple channels, you don’t have to tie yourself down to a single channel. And, you know, that’s one thing that we always tell people to do is that work from the top and go down. So when you create videos, you can peel the audio off of that to make an audio programme or a podcast. And you can transcribe that so that you’ve got text. So instead of just like making random stuff up, you know, make your content and then hit it on all three of those channels. I mean, the ultimate goal is that you make one piece of content and it gets to go on every channel so that you can spread it out to the maximum amount. And then the other thing is, where do you want to focus on that content? What’s the purpose of it? And there’s really only two types of content that you can come up with. One is anything that generates awareness and so marketers get really excited about this. This is kind of any kind of stunning Or you make the cool video, you know, something that just gets passed around and your name is attached to it. So and those are fine, but that’s an endless treadmill, right? I mean, that’s like every week, you’ve got to come up with a fresh piece of content. And unfortunately, after maybe a month or two, odds are it’s pretty much dead. Like if it hasn’t hit, it’s gone forever. And that work is is, you know, has vanished. So the other thing to look at is how your customer interacts with you over the lifecycle of you know, their time being customer and create content that fits in to that whole path. And so you want to make some content so that they can find you and figure out what’s going on. But then you probably want to have some content that actually training them as far as either teaching them about what the product is or ways to use the product. And it because the the fantastic thing is any content that you come up with that plugs into that customer’s journey, you can actually make it more efficient for the customer to get through their, whether it’s faster or that they spend more as they go through it. That’s the kind of stuff that pays off for you for the rest of your business’s life. Right. I mean, if, if you’re, if you managed to come up with a video that prospect gets to watch, and that, you know, they kind of move from looking into the product to starting to ask about getting a demo, instead of having a sales guy, like make five calls over three weeks to make that happen. If you can create a video that makes that happen in three or four days, now you’ve cleaned up the, you know, the funnel for the rest of the life of your business, and you become more profitable, right when you’ve dropped that, and that’s just going to keep paying off. So an example what that is, we, when I was working at a software company, we had a bunch of white papers that, you know, we would spend two grand getting this white paper done and written up, but it would sit out there for seven years, it would pull out, you know, four or five leads a week, every week for years and years and years and years. And, you know, we hated it. We were tired of it. But it didn’t matter because it was brand new to the prospect that saw For the first time, and it did get them to say, Okay, this is what this is. And yeah, I want to learn more. And so that’s, you know, if you can get to content that’s just continually generating value for you, that’s where your marketing spend, you know, really up levels, as opposed to just trying to, you know, crank out the next cool thing every week.
Mike Beatty 16:17
Yeah, no, that’s very, very valid. And I guess white papers are pretty good for that as well, aren’t they? But this like, really boring? essay? Is No,
Unknown Speaker 16:25
John Wall 16:27
No, definitely not. And it’s changed too, you know, he kind of used to be years ago that a white paper would be like this 40 page document with a bunch of, you know, prove it. And now really, white papers tend to be like, you know, three or four pages and just a couple key features. And that’s just an understanding kind of who your prospects are and how they are, you know, there’s certain industries and verticals where people do want to read, you know, there’s certain CEOs that on Sunday want to sit down and read through some stuff, but you really have to kind of dig in and figure out who your customers are. Do they want to just watch a 22nd video would they rather read something with a rather listen to something, you really have to do the work to kind of get to know them to figure out what’s right
Mike Beatty 17:06
at the right time. Cool. So, just to kind of put this into context a little bit, most people probably be listening to this are going to be like, I don’t know, if you want to call them solopreneurs bloggers, you know, typically like a small business that like their own business owner, and they want to try and create something for themselves sort of thing. So there’s obviously like you said, the three main types of content text audio video, if this is someone listening to this, they might just be out at the moment, you know, probably not too far on lockdown or COVID and all that sort of stuff, but they probably could be out and about, and I think you’re right, okay, so what any text video audio, like you said, though, originally was kind of like maximise the, like what you’ve already got. So if it’s someone that is, so far, they’ve just kind of learned. They’re just writing so they went Got text, they’ve only got a blog post, you know, but they probably have got a bit of content out there might have 30 to 50 articles or something out there. What would you kind of recommend to them? What would be a good thing for them to actually focus on like today just make more? Or do they now I started thinking, Okay, let’s Can I repurpose content? Can I maybe make audio video? What would you recommend to them?
John Wall 18:25
Yeah, you can go in any of those directions and do the big thing is just pick one and do it. But to kind of give more specific action items to that. So one would be make sure that your website analytics are working for you. And so, you know, the majority of people we work with go with Google Analytics, just because it’s free, you can get up and running. And you want to set up some goals in there. So you’ve got checkpoints. As far as you know, most people usually have like a low ask like sign up for my newsletter or something, you know, something to get them engaged and just on the mailing list, and then maybe request a demo or request pricing or something or hit the shopping site, whatever. And so you want to have goal set up in Google Analytics. So you can see when people get to these checkpoints. And then the other thing is you want to set up the UTM codes, the referral codes, so that you have a link setup for Okay, so this is, you know, if we’re doing any advertising on this platform, this is the link that we use for the content. Because the that way we can look in Google Analytics and say that, okay, you know, we got 500 visitors to this page from that channel. So then you can start telling which channels are doing better for you, you know, where you’re getting the traffic from? Can I stop you there?
Mike Beatty 19:34
Because you’re afraid that someone’s actually spoken to me about this before? And I’ve got to be completely honest, I don’t even know what that means. UTM codes that as in, I think I have an idea that I’ve seen that sort of stuff on Google Analytics before. But I’m guessing if I’m thinking that, I’m guessing is probably going What was he talking about UTM codes. Can you like explain, like what that is and how you set that up on the website?
John Wall 19:56
Yeah, sure. Sure. So that’s all over in Google Analytics. You You have channels there and you’re able to in the URL, you can start naming different channels. So you can say that, you know, it’s a podcast. You know, the content is a podcast, it was advertised on Facebook. If you Google UTM builder, you can find a webpage where you would just type in the the fields you want. If you go through the Google Analytics, training, their free training, that can kind of teach you all that stuff. And then of course, we provide, you know, those services if you don’t just don’t even want to get involved with that. But once you’ve got those URLs built, that will when you look at the Google Analytics report, they will be sorted by those categories, right. And so just as you’re looking at number of visitors, it’ll say, you know, podcast blog, excuse me, podcast, blog, YouTube, whatever. And, and it does come out of the box. The configurations a little bit messy. So you might have to make some changes to that. Because they usually have paid ads listed as social and you want to do some corrections. But you don’t have to get too crazy with it. But even if it’s not, you know, configured 100% correctly, you are able to see that, okay, here’s all the social stuff. This is where you know how much traffic that’s broad. And that’s all you need to know to be actionable is like, what’s the number for that channel?
Mike Beatty 21:22
Right? Okay, so it kind of just shows you where your traffic is coming from. So Google Analytics still works like Google Analytics, but you can actually set up kind of like where the source source is coming from. Doesn’t Google Analytics kind of already do that a little bit as well, though, it shows you social referral, organic and things like that. But I guess you can be more specific with exactly where it’s coming from.
John Wall 21:50
Right, exactly. And the big one is to also have it cross with those goals. So you can say okay, we get this much traffic, but the big understanding is that oh, you know, other The 85 that came from Facebook, 10 of those signed up for the newsletter, and two of them have made it all the way through for a demo. And so that’s where you can really start to optimise. Because then you’ll look at the list and say, okay, you know, Facebook seems to be doing better than all the other channels. If we double our spend on Facebook, can we double the results. And so you go ahead and do that. And that’s really the levelling up of it. And what you’re gonna want to do is, instead of starting new programmes, you just keep doubling down until you finally hit a point where you’ll get diminishing returns, you know, you’ll reach a point where you can’t spend any more money, you’re getting all the traffic you’re gonna get. And then that’s the point where you start to say, Okay, well, let’s try another marketing programme over here. And you do that next programme and you look and you say, Okay, so here’s the acquisition cost for this new one. Does it beat the Facebook one? No, but it is going up in the right direction. So let’s keep spending money on that. And, you know, eventually you have hopefully five or six different channels that are all bringing in traffic and you’re always optimising and and keeping them going, but you know where the business is coming from.
Mike Beatty 22:59
Yeah. No, that makes that makes a lot more sense. So if I’m, when you’re actually starting, obviously, you want to focus on one, like you said, you want to try and get that to. Once you realise something’s working, you almost double down on that and scale it to whatever level was going to go to. Before you actually figure that one out, though, I’m guessing Well, I don’t know, I don’t know what the right answer is here. Would you recommend people sort of dabbling in different platforms? So you might have some Pinterest ads, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, you know, doing a little bit, almost like throwing stuff at the wall and just seeing what sticks? Or would you recommend just being like, nope, Facebook’s the best go with Facebook?
John Wall 23:42
Yeah, yeah, that’s a great question. Because one thing we have found is like, if you spread your money along 10 things you’re just gonna do marginally poor, probably on 10. And so there’s a whole bunch of stuff Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mayer’s did this book, traction and number of years back and I got into that in their research and the way you want to do it There’s about 19 different Well, we actually have 20 that we go with 20 different channels, you know, types of campaigns that you can do, and you want to pick three, you know, you just limit it to three, you do those three, you do a first pass of the three, and see if any of them are winners. And if you have a winner, then you keep dumping money on it. And so let’s say you do the first three, you get no winners, you just jump to a whole nother set fresher three. If you do the first three, you have one hit two losses, you keep the win. Maybe you keep one of the second ones if you liked it, and you swap in a third one. But you know, and then if you find you do make some money in all three of them, that’s fine, you stick with the three, but then that’s the big deal is that once you’ve got three you like you keep pouring money and keep working those because they normally all have a learning curve. You know, like with Facebook ads, you’ll tend to do maybe you do okay the first round, but then suddenly, you’ll learn more advanced bidding strategies you’ll learn, you know which times of the day work better than others and you’ll get more profitable as you go. So you definitely want to keep pushing on the channels that are working. And learn more about them. Because that’s a far better use of your time and resources than just rolling the dice on something you’ve never tried before.
Mike Beatty 25:08
Yeah, actually, on this exact point, someone did ask me this the other day, they sort of said, but I don’t really have anything that I’m selling. That isn’t I don’t have any products myself. And so why would I even consider doing like any kind of ad spend? Because I’m not sending them to a page which is gonna give me instant cash, I guess. And like, it makes it harder to track. What would you say to someone like that? Is that is there is there any point in doing it First of all, and kind of like what was your take on that?
John Wall 25:41
Yeah, what did they give you more information? I mean, what were they trying to do them? What is it that they actually sell?
Mike Beatty 25:45
Well, I think that’s that was the thing like they use more affiliate marketing is like, there that’s what that that’s how they make their income sort of thing. So it’s not their direct products, but they do have affiliates and things like that that are part of
John Wall 25:59
the They’re driving traffic. So those are always, you know, I mean, I hate to say, but a lot of those are just always race to the bottom, you know, I mean, you’re always competing, it’s everybody else is doing the same stuff. And you need to find a better way to drive traffic. But normally for those it is, it’s just most traffic wins. So yeah, definitely try ad spending, because if you can find offers and things that work that, you know, funnel more traffic into those affiliate programmes, you know, you’re going to take and get there ahead of everybody else and get the thing that’s just such a tough market though, because, you know, not only is everybody competing against you, but really your partner even kind of has an incentive to if you get too successful, they will want to try and figure out what you’re doing and back solve it. You know, that’s like the Amazon vendors, you know, all these people that would go they would just look at like the five most popular products and then cut their own deal direct with China to have you know, things made they make millions, but unfortunately, like three months in Amazon notices that Oh, hey, you’re doing this, we’re gonna take the deal to China. And you know, and suddenly that that Money vanishes. So, yeah, that that whole world is amazing as far as affiliate chasing and, and there’s I know, there’s folks that make, you know, six, seven figures, they make huge money on that stuff if you know what you’re doing. But yeah, you know, advertising can generate traffic and that’s it. So if you’re doing affiliate stuff, it’s definitely worth trying something, you know, you may find better ways, but it’s worth a shot. Cool. And
Mike Beatty 27:23
yeah, I mean, I think there’s, we could go down the whole ad spend route and everything but I would, I think you’ve kind of got so much experience that with your podcast and stuff like that, I just feel like you’ve got so much marketing. Like you’ve got a probably like a little insight into loads and loads of different things. So something that I saw briefly spoke to you about before we kind of got into the chat was a little bit about and you’ve mentioned it a couple of times, is that free SEO you know, if you’re putting out content that gets found on Google, I think it kind of just a lot of people understand that just makes sense. It’s almost like the most passive way to do marketing because You can kind of create content sits on Google, and it’s gonna keep bringing you traffic in for the foreseeable future, hopefully. So what would you kind of like recommend for people? Like, have you got any, like quick tips or quick wins for people that already have some content? And they might be getting a bit of traffic from Google? What would maybe be some of your advice to them?
John Wall 28:23
Yeah, you know, sooner or later, you’ll get to a point where you do want to buy a dedicated SEO tool, subscribe to something that’s going to give you some SEO insight. And the big win you can get with that is something that you’re able to put in all your competitors domains and see what content of theirs is doing. Well, that’s the the quickest and fastest way to really kind of ramp things up. Because we see this all the time you know, you look at your site, you’ll be able to see how the SEO vendor is spidering you so you’ll able to see which content of yours is the most popular in which Google likes the most and what’s coming to the top and a huge benefit is finding stuff that’s broken, you know, you may not realise that there’s pages that aren’t being spidered. because something’s wrong or whatever the reason that it can’t get to it. But then to be able to look at your top three competitors and say, Okay, these are my competitors, top five pages, what are what are these pages doing? And what are they doing right. And most of the time, it’s something that you can easily copy, you know, if it’s some kind of resource about the industry, or about a buying guide, or whatever, you can see what it’s doing, you can clone that content, make it better, upgrade it with, you know, more recent stuff and try and optimise it so that eventually you steal that traffic away from them, as well as Google. And even that constant refreshing of content is a big deal to you know, just making sure that the pages you’ve got all the links are good. And you take the time every six months to go in there. And you know, make sure that everything’s straight and refreshed. That will have Google come back and spider it again. And that gives you a chance to jump back up in the rankings because yeah, if you keep it pruned and keep doing it, right, it’s just an ongoing source of traffic. fact that you don’t have to pay for so it’s, it’s one of the best investments you can make.
Mike Beatty 30:04
Yeah. And you kind of briefly mentioned they’re using a tool, have you got any tools or any kind of like services or something like that, that you could recommend that people actually, you know, that kind of helps with SEO and improving your search traffic?
John Wall 30:22
Yeah, we’ve worked for years with h refs. HRF calm that’s they have done the best job of spidering the web, I mean, basically only Google churns through more content than they do as far as you know, scanning and what’s out there, but there’s a bunch of other tools out there sem rush and and a few other ones out there and so it’s just a matter of what works for you but they’re all pretty much the same and that you you know, you give it your site and it will come back with what it spidered and show you as far as which pages are hot and and things to work on. The better ones give you a list of like, okay, here’s the stuff you need to work on right away. You know what you’re gonna get the best bang for the buck for So yeah, h refs, as you know, they’ve been partners with us for years. So we don’t have much incentive to look elsewhere.
Mike Beatty 31:06
And we briefly touched on this before we hit record as well as the whole AI, artificial intelligence or something. And I mean, I don’t really know a whole deal about this. So I’d love to kind of get your take on how you kind of see this moving. Because I think, Well, I think everyone kind of knows, like, artificial intelligence and stuff is becoming more and more ingrained in our life, we’re even realising it or not. So how do you fight? How do you think that’s going to affect the future? and machine learning and things like that as well? What’s your take on that?
John Wall 31:42
Yeah, so that’s, you know, a bunch of the work that Christopher Penn has done. My partner at trust insights, is about artificial intelligence and machine learning. And so we’ve put a lot of effort into figuring out how this stuff can actually go into marketing campaigns and how it can measure and measurement is a big chunk of it. You know, the fact that we have more computing power than we’ve ever had before. This allows us to do things like, you know, grab 48,000 articles on whatever topic you want, and have the system come back and tell you like, okay, here’s the most common topics, here are the keywords you need to have, you know, doing that kind of analysis can really help you out as far as determining what to what to write, when to write it, and how good your own stuff is, you know, what are the topics that are really that come to the top in certain kinds of content? Yeah, we’ve done a bunch of work on this front, because it just really helps focus and get to the bottom of what’s going on, you know, we’ve never had this much computational power available to us at this price range. I mean, because really, artificial intelligence was coined in 1956. You know, this idea of AI has been around forever. But back then they were, it was all being done with the idea that Yeah, at some point, we will have the computational power to do this. And we’re just fortunate enough to be lucky enough to be alive now when we finally have the tools to make this stuff happen.
Mike Beatty 33:04
So why can you kind of explain what it Christopher pen? Isn’t it your Who? Is he on your podcast as well? Is that right?
John Wall 33:11
Yes, he’s so he’s co host of marketing over coffee with me. We’ve been doing that for over 12 years. And he was actually at shift PR, doing a lot of analysis of PR and advertising. And about two and a half years ago, he realised that, hey, we can do this analytic stuff for all marketing campaigns. And so he spun off and created his own firm with Katie robear, who was also at shift with and she’s actually the founder and CEO, but she was the one that convinced him to break off and get this going. Yeah. And so about a year into I had been doing so much stuff with marketing over coffee as far as, you know, generating interest and finding folks that are interested in analytics, that it just made sense to go work with those guys because the podcast is basically the number one driver of business for the firm for trust insights. So yeah, the like, for example, talking about h refs, like we’re a fan of them, because they actually can export all the data. And so we will run reports, dump all the data, and Chris will run it through, you know, machine learning algorithms to come up with insights as far as what needs to be done or how things are working. They even go beyond the tool. So yeah, so it’s kind of funny how all this stuff like the podcast and Chris and Katie’s analytics, and, you know, this has all come together to finally become trust insights.
Mike Beatty 34:28
That’s mad. That’s crazy. That’s happened, isn’t it? And yeah, well, the whole it’s kind of touched about touched on there, how the podcast is kind of what has given so much for the business as well. And can you kind of like explain because I think there’s something that’s still so maybe not talked about enough. And like, just even just recently, I’ve just been mentioning different things about you know, like, different stats and things how there’s, I think it’s like 600 million. blogs in the world and 30 million YouTube channels and there’s only just 1 million podcasts and things like that. There’s a lot of people that are still completely unaware of how podcasts actually make anyone money or a lot. Why do people do them? And so, just wondering if you could just share your take and experience
John Wall 35:17
on it? Yeah, well, you did you hit a great point. And that, you know, people say there’s a million podcasts or, you know, whatever that number is, but it’s still tiny compared to other forms of media. You know, there’s so because, yeah, so there’s that many out there. But there is, you know, there’s no SEO podcast about the Toledo, Ohio area, you know, like there’s still tiny little niches that are completely underserved. And that’s always been the magic of podcasting is that, you know, you can get content that is just focused right on the stuff that you’re interested in, and you can get it from, you know, the people that are right there. Like in the very early days, a huge thing was podcasts from the directors and producers of TV shows and movies. You know, there’s a certain brand, a fan that just Like wants to dig into a show or a movie as much as possible. So to be able to find out, you know how Battlestar Galactica was made, you know, to be able to get a podcast that talks for an hour about how an episode is put together, like that’s the kind of content you can’t find anywhere these days, you know, that really kind of super deep dive super niche. And so, yeah, for us, it was always about creating a community of people that are just interested in marketing and tech, you know, there’s just so much going on with marketing in tech. Every week. We’ve got stuff we can talk about on the podcast that’s changed since last week. And so over the years, we built an audience of folks that are just watching this space and interested. And so it’s became a great resource for us to just talk about what works and doesn’t work. I mean, that’s always kind of the joke is, you know, like your family never wants to hear about what you’ve got going on in marketing automation, right? I mean, it’s just the complete conversation killer. To be able to have people you can talk with about this stuff is Yeah, it’s it’s a wonderful thing and it really can help improve your life. workday, you know, make you more effective. Hmm,
Mike Beatty 37:02
ya know, 100%. And to be honest, that’s a big reason why I started this podcast as well as just I still don’t know, I’ve said this numerous times, I still don’t know anyone that does this sort of stuff in real life, you know, they’re just internet friends, you know, happy what sort of you messaged and stuff of that and maybe had a Skype call. But, you know, just everyone has just kind of been met through different connections and things like that. And so it’s a really hard thing. And like, sometimes it’s just like, I just all I want to talk about and no one else will talk to me because I don’t know anyone that is into this sort of stuff. So yeah, that’s for me. That was a huge thing.
John Wall 37:40
Yeah, no, that isn’t it. That’s that’s the the joy of the software is to be fortunate enough to be alive at this time where Yeah, you can work on the stuff that nobody has even in your company to you know, you’re working for a company is like, nobody else in the building understands exactly what you do. You know, a few of them at least understand the results. And they’re like, yeah, we need to pay to do this, but they don’t even know how or why it all works. So, yes, you’ll be able to talk to people where you can, you know, make jokes about segmenting lists or what went wrong with Excel yesterday, you know, the those are, it’s a very small group. But once you can finally find your tribe, it’s a wonderful thing. Hundred percent.
Mike Beatty 38:14
So, john, I’m just going to try and pick a date always ask a guest. The questions was the end of a podcast and it’s I didn’t really what were you doing before this then? Did you have a nine to five? Or did you have what was your? What was your normal day looking like before this?
John Wall 38:32
Yeah, you know, nine to five was pretty much up until 2010. You know, I had done like, come around 99 2000 was when I started doing internet startups. And so there was like a 1012 year stretch where I was going into the office and doing the marketing and demand Gen stuff. And then the last two kind of more regular gigs, were totally virtual, you know, things had moved to that point where I didn’t have to be in the office because these companies were small and trying to get off the ground. And they just realised that it was just better not to, you know, be paying 250 grand a year for some office space, you know, they could just like, let everybody have their most awesome home office. And, you know, we could go down to Mexico to party once a year for a company meeting. And that was still like way less money than buying a building. So yeah, the last two were just kind of like classic marketing roles, but out of a home office. And over time, the podcast kind of kept chewing up more and more of the outside of work time. And so then when finally, Chris decided to break off with Katie and start trusting sites, that’s when it at that point, I was working. We had a start up event here. Oh, that was event tech stuff, you know, badging and lead retrieval at trade shows. And that did was kind of coming up for about three or four years, but we weren’t able to get any venture funding for the advance space just was not exciting enough for anybody. And is still alive. But you know, now with everything going on right now with COVID, we had to shut the servers down just because there’s zero events, nothing’s happening at all. And so that and it may not bounce back. I don’t know, we’ll see. I mean, we do have events that are ready to go for when things turn back on. So, you know, things will come back at some point. But yeah, as of like, two years ago, once I got rolling with trust insights, it was like, Alright, yeah, this is where I need to be, especially because it was, you know, it’s kind of the classic marketing stuff. Plus, the podcast is right in there as a main part of the job. So it’s good. It’s part of my day job now. Cool. And
Mike Beatty 40:31
yeah, so Well, the question I want to ask then is, if you could, with all the knowledge, everything that you know, right now, if you could go back in time to a day, and you give yourself up to three pieces of advice doesn’t have to be three, it could just be one, so it might just be something. And just while you’re thinking about that, I want you to think of a really bad day. So this could be a day like a Monday morning that you would go into your normal job and you were just like, oh, man, this sucks. And you sort of get there You stepped in a puddle when you get there. And you know you get into work and you are there the future you and you can talk to yourself of everything that you know now what would be just like up to three pieces that pieces of advice you’d give to yourself?
John Wall 41:15
Oh, three pieces. Yeah, it kind of knowing what I know. Now, you know, of course, I always joke like the easy one with that is like, say something like hold Apple until 700. Yeah,
Mike Beatty 41:22
someone else has said that before.
John Wall 41:25
Is it? Yeah, like that’s the easy one, right? That would just solve everything. I could just dump all the money into it and go. So that’s an easy one. You know, unfortunately. I don’t know. I guess if I went back and gave myself advice, I would listen to it. But the problem was, I don’t know if it would have the same impact on my young self. You know, I had to go through some of the beatings to understand why I am here now. But I think you know, an easy one would be the take more risk. You know, don’t be afraid to take more chances and swinging for the fences and a big one would be to go back You know, to like around 2005 and just be like, Hey, if you’re not working on your own asset, you’re just making somebody else rich, you’re just working on somebody else’s dreams. Like you need to figure that out. Because Yeah, I was trapped into the illusion that the people above me knew exactly what they were doing. And that it was going to be kind of the classic journeyman apprentice thing that they would teach me how to find the magic. And then, you know, realise that no, people actually just making this all up as they go along. And that, you know, and there’s, there’s nothing, because I think that’s one thing that’s interesting for all the startups that I’ve worked with, there’s a very small number of people that I still work with from some of those previous startups. You know, like, I thought there would be a lot more of kind of, you know, and there has been some of that where you do get pulled from company to company to company by people who are successful. And so that’s a cool loop to get into. And if you can get into a strong loop like that, where there’s a track for you all the way to CEO, that’s a very cool thing. But yeah, just take more risk. That’s That’s it. That’s awesome advice.
Mike Beatty 43:03
It’s something that I wish that I had learned as well like you imagine getting that advice when you were sort of 16 or something and just build your own asset. And if you could just do that the whole time that you were an adult, but great advice. Anyway, thanks so much for coming on the show, john. I’ve really appreciated your time. And I could honestly just keep picking your brain all day. I know I could, because there’s so much knowledge that I could get But no, thank you so much.
John Wall 43:28
Oh, it’s my pleasure. Yeah. And hell, I’m glad to come back anytime. So if you want to kick more stuff around and be glad to do it.
Mike Beatty 43:37
So there you have it. JOHN wall certainly knows his stuff about marketing. And I’m just going to quickly summarise five of the key takeaways that I took from the podcast, which can hopefully help you as well. So number one is that the social media trends and different platforms such as Tick Tock at the moment, they quite often come and go and it’s sure like Tick Tock is probably Really right now forgetting, like traffic and eyes on you and awareness and things like that. But equally as he kind of spoke about is maybe not always the best platform for everyone. And it really does depend on kind of like what your brand your business what your focus is on. And that kind of leads on to number two, which is that there’s really only three types of content that you can ever produce, text, audio, and video. And so it’s up to you to kind of figure out, which is your main focus going to be on and eventually that probably, you will want to kind of like repurpose content and put it in all three formats, whether it’s gonna be text, audio video. Number three is that there’s really only two types of styles of content you kind of put out. One is like the awareness phase, the people that are interested in your niche and your brand in whatever your business is and Kind of you’re making them aware of what is going on. And then there’s to kind of more like the life cycle and teaching and helping to provide real value and develop what your customers sort of journey is going on. So those are the kind of like the main types of content that people can really put in any form of marketing. Number four is just we kind of dove into a little bit more about setting up goals and things using like Google Analytics, you shouldn’t just have Google Analytics running, you should always have kind of like a focus of where you want to get your customers, the users where you want to get them to, whether it’s a paste, for them to join up to a mailing list, whether it’s the shop, whether it’s a product, whether it’s a course whatever it is that you’re, if it’s a affiliate product or something like that, whatever is your goal, you must, this is something you can do right now. And it’s really not hard to do at all just literally go to Google Analytics and you Find the bit where it says goals, just google setting up goals on Google if you don’t know how to do it, because it really is very simple. And it will show you it will give you a real insight into not only how many people are achieving the goals that you want them to achieve, but where they are coming from. So he even spoke a little bit more about setting up like UTM codes and things like that. And so you can actually see where people have come from, whether it’s from Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, your blog, or podcast, and then you can actually start to figure out what is bringing you the most results. And then number five, is just what he would say to himself if he was to go back in time, take more risk, and work on something that you own and work on your own building your own asset. And I think that is something that I’ve learned as well over the years and I think it’s just something that at the end of the day is what everyone wants to achieve at some point in their life actually creating their own asset and something that’s going to help them in the future. And something that is theirs that they’ve built, basically. So if you do want to get in contact with john or find out a bit more about what he does, definitely check out his podcast marketing over coffee. And also check out trust insights.ai, which is his main website, and where you can find out all about their services, what they actually provide over there. I’m gonna stop rambling now. And I really do hope that you enjoyed this one, guys. Thanks for listening in to this episode of Make time online. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you don’t miss any future episodes. And please take a moment to write a review for our podcast in the App Store. keep changing for the better guys. Take care
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