#37 10,000 Emails. Panda Updates. A Listener Success Story. And A Clean Garage!

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We cover some serious Internet marketing ground in this episode including:

  1. James tells us how spending hours in his garage recently will enable him to create some high quality training products in the coming months.
  2. We talk about how Internet marketing principles apply directly to the marketing of any small business.
  3. We review a website – How To Be PreMed – that a listener, Medo Eldin from Harvard University, has gone and created all from what he’s learnt from previous episodes. He made over $100 in the first 24-hours.
  4. How James built an email database of over 10,000 prospects offline. If you’ve got an idea to add to James’s then please add it in the comments below.
  5. What Google’s most recent Panda update means for your business.
  6. Our view of Pinterest for business.

 

 Internet Marketing Products & Resources

Join the discussion on the Freedom Ocean Facebook.
Wealthification – James’s recent product launch – and what we refer to in this episode.
Have you seen the Freedom Ocean Internet Marketing Products page? Everything we recommend lives here.

Transcription:
 

TIM:   Welcome back, everyone, to another episode, In fact, Episode 37 of Freedom Ocean. I am one of your hosts, Timbo Reid, and over there is James Schramko. Hello, James!

JAMES:       Good day, Timbo! How are you?

TIM:   Very good, mate, and welcome back to—it’s been far too long in between dips in the ocean.

JAMES:       Why is that?

TIM:   Well, that’s an episode in itself, so let’s not even go there, except to say that you’ve been emailing me a lot and Skype-ing saying when are we recording? And we can blame Easter a little bit, but really that’s no excuse, I know, because you probably worked completely through Easter.

JAMES:       I did something extraordinary during Easter!

TIM:   Do you mean eggs-strordinary?

JAMES:       No, just extraordinary.

TIM:   Ah. Okay.

JAMES:       Easter bunny and Santa Claus and Jesus, they’re all the greatest frauds ever, but anyway—

TIM:   (laughs) Hello to all you Christians and chocolate eaters out there.

JAMES:       Yep! And so anyway, I went out to the garage, opened up my filing cabinet and I pulled out my handwritten notes from 1997 through to 2003, and I strained them into Evernote and then crumpled up the paper and threw them into the trailer.

TIM:   Alright.

JAMES:       And it took me quite a few hours, but I was reminded about the importance of getting really good information and implementing it, applying what you learn, and you get results. And I could see clearly that the stuff that I was doing when I was a manager and then a senior manager—

TIM:   When you had hair.

JAMES:       When I had hair and glasses, before I had eye surgery, yeah, I actually really did get tremendous value from the information that I sort out at the Tim e, so there was a lot of conferences, a lot of mp— I think there were cassettes back then. A lot of books that I read and I just took a lot of notes, you know, handwritten those notes, but reading through the notes, I could see, wow, I was so lucky to find that stuff earlier on in my career.  And a lot of the templates and documents are still as valid today as they were back then.

TIM:   What are we talking about? Are we talking about you’re a bit of addicted to self-help courses or is this business reading and workshops or stuff that you were doing at Mercedes? What is it?

JAMES:       All of the above. It was —

TIM:   All of the above.

JAMES:       It was mindset; it was business strategy improvement processes, negotiations, how to sell, a lot of the whole born rich course. There’s so many things that I found in there that I could see what clearly set the path for me for that sort of decade.

TIM:   You know when you were doing all that stuff between ’97 and 2003, were you just out there consuming it and then putting it aside or you’re out there consuming it and acting on it?

JAMES:       No, I was actually listening to the information, taking notes, and then implementing it immediately into my business. And I was primarily in sales and sales management roles and then general management roles. So learn more stuff and then implement, learn more and then implement, until it became habit and it’s just completely automatic now. A lot of the words that I use, I learned how to structure them way back then. A lot of the things that I think about stuff were formed back then; just the mindset the least that I took in. And I learned a lot about how we only ever perform to our predetermined belief system of what we think we can do, so it’s important to keep nudging that up a little bit.

TIM:   Now you clearly kept all this. You know I worked for this guy years ago who said, “Timmy, if it’s over 12 months old, throw it away.” And so my garage is much emptier than yours. Was it all beautifully, neatly packaged in timed, sequential order or did you have to burrow it?

JAMES:       No, they were in folders and they were labeled. In fact, they were labeled for the domain that I intended to put them in because probably 5 years ago, I went through all of my boxes of notes, and if you can imagine this, I see these very brightly colored pads , like yellow pads or pink or orange or green or blue. So whenever I got a book, I would actually handwrite the notes from the book and strain them down to about 10 pages. So these rainbow colored notepads and I actually got folders and I’ve set up these folders like SuperFastTraining and SuperFastSelling and SuperFast time Management. And I would actually pull the notes that relate to that topic and put it into the folder. So now what I’ve done is I’ve created an Evernote by topic, so it might be Sales Training or Recruitment or Selling or Negotiation and then I’ve just gone through my handwritten notes, I’ve pulled out the very best concepts, took some pictures of some diagrams, dragged them into Evernote and then it was really good just to crumple that paper up and throw it out. So I want to end up with nothing in my garage and just concentrated core notes in Evernote that will form the basis for information products and training material for my own team. And that’s how things like Traffic Grab got formed and Wealthification, they come through as Evernotes that get turned into modules using exactly the same things we’ve talked about in previous episodes and what you’ve been through as well.

TIM:   Yep! Yep! Wow, mate, so that was your Easter!

JAMES:       That was at least two days of my Easter and it was great. There was no customers and no staff. It was just me and my Mac Air and the filing cabinet and it felt really positive, it was like I was doing an advanced university degree in just a few days. It was such an enriching thing to do.

TIM:   I know you travel and go to the odd kind of Master Mind group overseas or you went to something recently, but how often would you go and see personal development training these days?

JAMES:       Very rarely. My most useful channel is just personal relationships, so in the last few weeks I’ve had really good Skype conversations with some of the people who I’ve deeply trust and who have great information. But it will be quite a brief conversations. I did manage to catch up with Noah Kagan and had a chat to him, which I recorded and I’ll be podcasting, too. And you know, really great conversation, it wasn’t just a one-way interview. It was really just a great discussion, we were asking each other questions and a few swear words and while he was eating breakfast, but that’s the type of conversation I’d rather have now. You don’t need to go to too many events and you don’t need to be in too many Master Minds, and in fact, my own Master Mind, I’m surrounded with 30-something people who are switched on and in different industries and it’s great to have meaningful conversations with them every single week. So I don’t have to go too far to find a good conversation.

TIM:   Well, it is about surrounding yourself with good people, and it’s one of the great lessons that I learned early on and it seems to work. And we are getting some emails, James. Before we get stuck into the heart of this episode, we’re going to talk about some of that information you pulled out of the garage, by the sounds of it. We touched on it last episode where we want to cover off building a list offline. So some ways of building a list offline. So we’re going to get to that in a minute. Was that stuff stuck in the garage or has that been on the whiteboard for a while, out of interest?

JAMES:       It’s actually sitting in a 6 terabyte machine that is the result of me doing this a few years ago. I scanned or photographed all of the documents that I’ve built up over decades worth running a business and I went and separated it into folders so I have them split into things like Marketing, Recruitment, Tracking Website, and stuff, and I’m able to dig down and find templates. And that’s one of the big secrets to success in business, is not trying to reinvent something from scratch every time. Just find something that works really well and just sort of evolve it, iterate it, move it into a different industry perhaps. But these templates have definitely been the foundation how I’ve built up my current team, how I’ve hired people, how I’ve trained people, how I’ve conducted my marketing, the same lifetime customer philosophy, they’re all from the same documents that I’ve evolved and evolved and evolved. My checklists, so to speak.

TIM:   Well, listen, before we get stuck into that, a couple of emails, because they’re fairly pertinent, they’re from people who’ve been applying some of the things that we’ve covered and are seeing some success from it, so those first 37 episodes have been of use, James, to some people. Here’s one from Loren Johnson. Loren is from — she’s the principal of an acting school in Perth. And she says, amongst other things, “I’d like to give a big thanks to yourself and Luke,” who’s my co-host on the other podcast I do, Small Business, Big Marketing, “And James and yourself at Freedom Ocean for all the tips and advice. We have built a very strong brand here in WA Acting Classes and knocking most of the plays out of the water because they are simply not prepared to adapt to new technology.” And she thanks us both for that for the information that we shared. In fact — I’ll just go a bit earlier in that email — she says she’s gone and split tested a niche business website that she’s created and launched a new product, and in 4 days was able to turn over $21,000 in sales. So I love that. And I love the comment about her competitors not being prepared to adapt to new technology. It’s a common theme I hear from small business owners.

JAMES:       Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I’ve done a fair bit of work with an acting school here in Sydney and they used to just run newspaper ads, probably 20 years ago, and the same ad worked all the time and never tested a different version of it. And probably 10 years ago, I worked with him with offline business techniques. We did things like sign right at the front window. He was worried that all of his equipment would be stolen, but it turned out that it generated so many leads because they were almost piled up in peak hour traffic out the front of his shop every single morning. That was actually overtook the need for any advertising whatsoever. And then just a year or so ago, he said, “You know what, all this old media stuff is just not working.” And he said, “We need to do some more web stuff.” He had a website but it was old, so we actually got him up on to Facebook and we’ve updated his site to WordPress and he’s been adding in articles and posts and all the things that we’ve talked about, and again he’s pulled his business into the profit zone just from adapting. So I think it’s a really valuable point. And I think the type of businesses that work will be quite broad.

TIM:   Absolutely! Absolutely! And we’ve been talking about that before. I mean, a lot of the principles we talked about here, while this is very much an internet marketing show, if you’re a small business owner or when you know a small business owner, then turn them onto this show because the principles apply broadly to business. And that’s why your Wealthification product, it’s a product that shows someone who’s in business or starting a business how to get the key pillars right. It’s not just about internet business.

JAMES:       Well, that’s the thing. Like when I was learning internet marketing, I was working in a retail store effectively and I applied all the things I’ve learnt into that retail store, built up an email database of about 10,000 emails from nothing, and then did things with that email database. I segmented marketing campaigns, tracking landing pages, putting videos that related to the exact email that we sent, running pay per click campaigns for targeted models, all exact same things. Now, Wealthification was actually me bringing the business infrastructure across the traditional internet marketers who really don’t know how to run a business. They just know tactics and they know tricks and they can’t really tie it all together into something useful.

TIM:   Absolutely! Mate, how’s this for an email? This is from Medo Eldin. And Medo appears going by his email address. He’s based at Harvard and this is a great one. Another example of one of our listeners applying some of the learnings. It’s a bit longer and he does give us a website to have a look at which he’s created and he’s now making money from as a result of Freedom Ocean. He says, “Hey, Tim and James! Well, if finally happened. I popped my internet marketing cherry!” And he’s created a website, which is HowToBePreMed.com. It’s now open for business. He said, “My first e-book, How To Get Into Medical School With A Low GPA went on sale yesterday and the results have been amazing.” He sold 3 books for 47 bucks, two e-books for 67 bucks, and an access to a community forum for 47 bucks within 48 hours. And he’s even attached his Nanacast report below. There’s proof! I love that! But he’s gone on to say, “I’ve been working on this project since last August when  I started listening to Freedom Ocean.” This is where it gets clever. He clearly didn’t have all the content himself, so he contacted a doctor that advises pre-meds on getting into medical school and pitched her on teaming up where she provides the content and he provides the marketing platform and they split everything 50-50 and are now business partners. “Everything in order to get to this point, I learned from Freedom Ocean. Seriously, I’ve probably listened to all episodes at least 4 times.” And he’s starting to talk the talk. He’s got WordPress and Amazon S3 and VBoards and Nanacast and PayPal and he’s rocking it. He uses all that stuff learned from Freedom Ocean and because of that, “I’m going to be able to make money online without lifting a finger.” I’m not sure that’s completely true. There’s work to be done. He’s done a fair bit of work already on the side. But he says, “It’s simply incredible. You never think it’s possible until it can actually happen.” Just having a look further the email. “Anyway, I remember in one of the episodes, you and James talked about critiquing one of your listener websites for the show,” yeah, probably the most uncomfortable episode I’ve done on FreedomOcean. “Well, I know there’s so much more that I have to learn and would love, love, love you guys to review my site on the show.” So why don’t we have a look at it, James? I know you’ve got it in front of you. It’s HowToBePreMed.com. And without going into too much detail, of course we do want to get into how to build a list offline, but he built quite a significant site here, hasn’t he?

JAMES:       Well, just having a quick browse. It’s page ranked 2, 370 pages indexed and it’s reasonably fresh the last time it was cached by Google. So yes, and it’s visually got plenty of things to attract the eye. I can see that it looks like a quality or authority site. There’s probably a few things that I would change about it, but I think Google would be happier with it. It’s got all the basic stuff that they’d be looking for and I think where I’d be aiming to enhance it a bit, I’d make it easier for people to give over an email address, because I can’t really find where I’m supposed to do that. And I’d work more on some social signals because I can see that it’s got one Facebook like and one Google + and 4 Twitters, but that’s not enough anymore. So get some more social element, get a nice, big, juicy opt-in happening, and that’s a good start. But gosh, it’s a work up start, there’s not really too much you need to change with this site. It’s even got some testimonials and some credentialized featured on badges.

TIM:   Would you go to CNN.com, USNews.com. It’s interesting, down below, he’s got a headline which is well below the fold. And the headline is, “How are you going to make yourself stand out among the 42,000 pre-meds applying to medical school this year?” To me, that’s your leading headline. He actually doesn’t have a headline above the fold on the homepage. So I’d be whacking that up top. And then I love the way—you mentioned earlier, he’s kind of ticked a few boxes of things Google are looking for. I’m assuming one of those would be some rich content and the audio that he’s got on the left hand side there.

JAMES:       They’re getting much better at figuring out rich content. But if it was human review, I can’t see any issue at all. They’re asking questions like would you feel dirty about telling Matt Cutts about this site, would you share it with your mother or your grandma if they were interested in this topic. And I’m sure this is a very well credentialized official-looking site. So I think it ticks a lot of the boxes. Of course, I’ve spent the last 2 weeks immersing myself in SEO and Google with all of the changes that they go through, so I’m looking at it from, you know, would Google be happy with it thing. But the thing that I think that lets the site down at the moment, which is good news, is just the conversion devices because I think that section that you’re talking about, even reading that, there’s actually no call to action whatsoever, so I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, I don’t know where to click, I’m not sure how I could buy this or join their email list.

TIM:   Yep! I agree! And in fact, if I go back and visit his email, the whole premise of it was how to get into medical school with a low GPA—I’m not sure what GPA stands for, but clearly it’s the credential or the score that you need to get into med school, and that’s just not coming through. But look, I reckon it’s fantastic. A big round of applause for getting up to this point and people are thinking of creating some information products and a site to sell them. And you can do a lot worse than HowToBePreMed.com. So James, that leads us on to what I’m looking forward to, which is how to build a list offline and it’s a great segue. We talked about it last show. I was at an event last night where I spoke at and I had a lady come up to me and her name was Fay. And she runs a floral arts school, right? She gives me a card, she says, “Tim, loved what you talked about.” Now, I didn’t ask Fay her age, James, but she wasn’t 30 and she wasn’t 50. She might have been a young 60, okay? So my point being she’s not necessarily in the demographic of an internet marketer, but she’s given me a business card. It says Free Brochure and Lesson. She’s got a website address. She said, “Tim, I’ve got 8,000 on my list after two years.” And she was so proud! I thought, wow, that’s impressive, you know? I’m sure there’s not a number of how many people you should have on a list after two years, but I know many people who have created the things, including myself, that haven’t got that many on a list after two years. So it’s a good time to talk about how to build a list because she’s done a lot of offline marketing, as well as offline. But how do you, mate? How do you build a list offline?

JAMES:       Yep! Well, I had the luxurious position of working as the General Manager in a Mercedes dealership. And part of that meant that I took over the website and all the marketing department. The only downside was that the owner of the business didn’t like to spend money at all. You could say that he probably still had his lunch money from when he was at school, some people remarked about him.

TIM:   Was he Scottish?

JAMES:       You know, I worked for a Scottish guy, and that’s another story altogether. No, this guy is really a nice guy, but just doesn’t love spending money. And that’s understandable because we weren’t making a lot of money when I started at the dealership. Was probably losing money. And we were making money when I finished and it was doing things like this. I needed to get our email list up and I had a little bit of help from the web developer. He was kind of interested in the things and I was talking to him about names squeezers and light boxes and stuff. And he wasn’t going to do that to the Mercedes Benz site. So I figured I’m going to go offline here and try to build up the email database offline so that we can actually migrate our customers and capture more information. Because the average database at a motor dealership, it has things like telephone numbers and it has things like addresses because you have to register cars and stuff, but back then, and we’re talking—I left there 4 years ago and I probably implemented this maybe 7 or 8 years ago. There wasn’t really a deep understanding of getting email addresses. In fact, I’m looking at the document that I’m about to talk about and it’s dated 2005. So this is 7 years ago. So it was quite innovative back then. So I recognized the need to get email addresses. And by the way, back then I started putting the website address on number plate frames. Now, an American listener listening to this is going to say whoop-de-doo. But the Australians, we’ll probably say, well you know, that is quite a long time ago, because we’ve been a little bit behind the curve with that, with the whole web marketing thing. So what I did is I got an A5 size flyer and I printed a beautiful picture of a Mercedes convertible and I had a big headline that says “Win A Weekend of Luxury in a Mercedes Benz.” And then it had a fill in the blanks for your chance to win and it had a Mercedes Benz with the two E’s missing. So it’s kind of a tough thing to guess. You had to fill in that E.

TIM:   Wow!

JAMES:       Now, there are different law around lotteries and prizes, so you have to be familiar with it. This is a guessing game. And then the second part was your details. We had the name, the address, and the email and the phone number and then we had a little check box and the check box said Please indicate if you do not wish to receive marketing communications. So it was an opt-out facility. This was well before we were up with the can spam act and all that sort of stuff. And then it had Entrants must be 18 years of age, and that was it. What we would do, each three months we would draw, the dealer principal would draw from a barrel a winner, we would take a picture of it, we would put it on our website, we would contact the winner,  we’d have them come in—

TIM:   Where’d you put the flyers? Where did you put the flyers?

JAMES:       I’ll get to that. But I just want to tell you the process. We would get a picture of the winner with the owner, we would hand out the keys, they’d drive a convertible that we had in our demonstration fleet for the weekend, and then they would bring it back. So they didn’t win a car but they won’t he use of a car. And that was just for a weekend. So the cost to us was almost nothing. It was just missing a car for two days. But we would take those pictures. We’d put them in our website, we’d issue a press release, we would put it in our newsletter, we’d build some excitement around it, and then we could take that out to various joint venture partners. So where did we put the flyer? Well the first thing I did was I got one of those two meter tall stands printed for about a thousand dollars. So it was a meter wide and 2 meters tall. So you can imagine it’s like 7 feet, something like that tall and it had the exact same thing “Win A Weekend of Luxury in a Mercedes Benz” and a picture of the car. And what we would do is we’d take that to the local street fair, we’d take it to the local hospital open day where all the doctors have lunch out in the front garden, we were basically trying to put it anywhere where our target customers were. We would offer the low complacement service that they could insert this flyer into their newsletter. And that’s called a piggyback flyer. So they’re already mailing out this thing and for no extra cost, they can give their members a chance of winning a weekend of luxury in a Mercedes Benz. So it’s something valuable that they could offer their people that cost them nothing that differentiated them from all of their competitors and it was really valuable to us because we were acquiring this database of very similar customers. And also we would partner up with the wine supplier, the music supplier, like Bang and Olufsen, with McCory Bank for their investment advisers, and we would host functions in the dealership and we’d have each of them contribute their thing. The music people would contribute the sound system, the wine people would supply cheese and wine, and the investment people would supply us prospects and we’d hold events in the showroom and we’d also get art and put it on the wall. And then we’d put that huge sign out and everyone that walked in the door, we would just squeeze them into that form. And then when we did open days, I could get over a thousand people through the showroom in two days and we would have that form there. So we were just loading it up and we ended up getting 10,000 email addresses just using this big banner and these A4 flyers that cost almost nothing to print and just dragging them around into our local area into like demographic groups that we could easily sort of target that were non-compete markets.

TIM:   One of the things you could add to that these days is a QR code where the actual signing up could be there and then instead of having to submit the flyer.

JAMES:       Yes, you probably could. So we used to actually have the flyer. And how’s this for…back then there was this thing called CamStudio. It was like a freeze screen capture software. It was like the cheap version of Screen Flow or Camtasia. And I actually made a little CamStudio video showing the receptionist how she could type the details of the form into our database. And I put that on the central server of the dealership. And this is 7 years ago. So 7 years ago, I had an automated training system, so we could just had the receptionist a thousand flyers after a successful weekend, show her the video and say please enter these into the database. And then what we would do every time we did a new campaign or a launch is we would include these new email addresses into the campaign and that just bolstered our sales. And by the end of the time, when I finished at that motor dealership, we were able to outsell any of our competing dealers, like three to one on a launch weekend because we had a big, strong database.

TIM:   Alright. So first one—well, there’s two here. There’s this run competitions and then promote those competitions through events and by also getting that information in front of like-minded communities. So that’s a big idea. There’s a little bit of expense in there. Mind you, those banners aren’t a thousand dollars anymore. They’re probably a couple of hundred dollars, but you’ve got to have somewhere to put them, so as you’re speaking what comes to mind, I mean, there’s a hell of a lot of expos out there these days. I mean, there’s small business expos, car expos, holiday expos, all that types of stuff, probably some guerilla marketing opportunities to get that kind of information out to a wider community. One idea that comes to mind is like using something like—

JAMES:       Shopping centers as well by the way.

TIM:   Well, shopping centers, yeah. But like you have Vista Print. Vista Print is so cheap! I mean the quality, I would argue is probably not there, but for this type of idea, if you were to—I think you can get 500 business cards printed for 5 bucks. And so imagine doing that and going and putting on, say, like a website or some competition details and then just putting them under the windscreen of cars—

JAMES:       If I was doing this now, I would have an iPad at the point of sale and just have people enter their details directly.

TIM:   Yep! Yep! Okay, what else you got?

JAMES:       Well, you know, that’s just one of the things we did to generate email addresses, but I think it was the easiest thing. Of course, we put it in the various departments of our business. We put it in our parts department, we put it in our service department and in our sales area, and it was basically just a silent email capture device that was offline. Ah, so when you say what else, you mean what else is going on in my world?

TIM:   Well, no. I was going to ask you if you’ve got any other additional ideas of generating email, building a list offline.

JAMES:       Well, the other thing we used to do, we used to get people to give us their database so that we can send them offers. Quite a lot of people would happily promote our offer to their list, so it’s really just like an offline affiliate program. But back then we would get a spreadsheet and we’d have to manually import them into our database.

TIM:   Yeah, yeah, yeah! Absolutely! Look, there’s many ways. One of the things that comes to mind is advertising, but then again, it’s actually a pretty expensive way of building a list. But you know, well we’re talking offline only, I was going to suggest Google Ad Words as a good way of getting them, but it’s more offline ideas we’re talking about at the moment.

JAMES:       Well, the other thing that you can do that’s sort of offline is you give gifts to the local newspaper and the local community radio stations that they can give away and you can have people enter by going to your website and then you can select the winner from there. And that works well. And you can get a free press release out of that. So I did that with driver training days. We would give them driver training tickets and we’d say give this away to someone who’s between 18 and 25. We want to promote safe driving with you and then do a write up about it and tell people how they could win the tickets and they’d give us the plug for the dealership and hopefully they come to our website and join our email list.

TIM:   Well, I reckon what we should do, James, is I’d love to see the comment section of the show notes for this show. They are filled with our listeners ideas of how they’ve gone about building an email list offline because I’m sure there are many, and so if they would just go over the show notes for Episode 37 of FreedomOcean, just add your ideas, put a link to your website, get a bit of back link love and we can see where that goes, eh?

JAMES:       That would be awesome!

TIM:   Awesome. Now mate, there’s been a fair bit of action and I don’t think you need to go into too much detail because people just need to go over the SEOPartner.com to see what Google have been doing in terms of these Panda updates. But do you want to just give a quick overview—I’m putting you on the spot here—but you’ve putting up a couple of videos lately, so I’m sure it’s fresh on your mind. And you know what, before you go into any detail on it, having watched those videos and having read a couple of press releases around this, it just comes back to creating good content regularly, doesn’t it?

JAMES:       Exactly right! It’s the same thing forever. In fact, today is a special day. I’ve just put up a video on my beloved TrafficGrab.com site saying that it’s closed and that I’m updating Traffic Grab to version 2, right? And that product has lasted more than a year and probably 90 percent of it is still just as effective as the day that I launched it, and that’s phenomenal with such a rapid moving industry. So I’m just going to re-do the product, but I’m also going to adjust some of the things that can help make it a better product and God, I’d love to tell you the stats around the email about the customers and the survey response, because this will just blow your mind.

TIM:   Well, I’d be interested because I thought your questionnaire was a bit long.

JAMES:       Well, interesting! Okay, so I’ve sent that out to around about 1,500 people. I’ve had a 74 percent open rate on that email. And I’ve so far got over 500 survey results.

TIM:   Yeah, well, that’s good.

JAMES:       500! And the survey result is getting the exact information. I want to know why they bought it because that helps me understand what problem I’m solving. I want to know how I can improve it because part of—so we’ve done the marketing part, but let’s talk about innovation, how do we make a better product? I want to know what results they got, because that’s like the proof elements and the customer is either forced to say, “Well, I never implemented,” or “I got an amazing result.” They’re the only two things that I’ve got. I haven’t had anyone say, from 500 people, I haven’t had a single person say, well, they implemented and didn’t get a result. It’s impossible. And then the final thing is can I publish your feedbacks. So I’m actually going to champion some of the best success stories in version 2 and there’s this huge amount of re-tweets and Facebook likes on that page. I just saw for the video that I put up. So that’s good enough in itself. But that whole survey process was phenomenal and I really got to say Google docs surveys are fantastic and they give you—

TIM:   Google Docs rocks!

JAMES:       They give you great data. I put a little thank you video on the exit now, so that’s nice, without any upsells or cross-sells or other links and it’s just a nice, little thank you, telling people that I appreciate it. If people want to see what I did on that video, even the uncomfortable pause, they could go to TrafficGrab.com/v2 and they could see the little thank you video that I made. I’m just as a sample. The whole point is, yeah, there’s nothing new, except that you’ve got to be quite conscious of what Google want and give it to them. It does sound extraordinarily simple. But you know how we spoke about it, I think it was the last episode, about me making more videos and just being more pro-active? Well, I’m putting out video news updates every week and I swear to God, I’m getting like a 90-something percent open rate on my newsletter of over 500 people and I get like 7 or 8 thank you’s or awesome or keep them up, this is great, and I’m really shocked! I thought is that really that interesting? But sure enough, when I look at news that I did like a week ago, I’ve got 39 likes and 12 G+’s and 20 tweets, and this is actually what Google want. They want social interaction on your site, so I’m posting these updates on my SEOPartnersite, in the news blog post section. If you go and look at the last bunch of news posts, you’ll see that they’ve got headlines, they have videos, they have summary and bullet points and links to resources, and that’s exactly what Google wants. So I’ll give you the checklist if you like. You ready?

TIM:   Go for it!

JAMES:       Right. So make sure that the content on your website is new, because the newer, the better. They’ve got ways to determine that. Make sure that your handwriting it and that it’s good and it actually reads well and that it’s spelled correctly, it’s not some garbled spun content. Make sure you’ve got sharing buttons like Google+, re-tweet, Facebook like. In fact, I put a Pinterest button on my internet marketing speed book and I’ve had 127 Pins on my Pinterest infographic. So I’ve got to tell you, as of yesterday, I’m into Pinterest. I’m all over it; I think I’ve figured it out.

TIM:   Well, it’s visual. You have to provide visual content—

JAMES:       I mean I’ve created some new Pin buckets. I’m uploading proof and people and all my own content and they go and share it. You could put a link to your sites, so that has to be a good thing. Okay, so next up, make sure that you are participating on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and pointing back to your site occasionally and sharing content. Put out news. You’ve never been able to control your own stories as well as you can now. You can issue press releases and Google are tuned to pick up your news stories better than ever before. Use a lot of videos. Use YouTube, put videos on your site, put sharing icons on your video, get it in front of other people. So when people like or share or tweet my video, it’s going in front of their audience. Deep link to the pages within your site. So all of these news posts I’m putting, people are linking straight to my news post, not to the homepage. No more than half your content should be coming to your homepage. People should be linking it all over your site. And with different words, different anchor text links. Pictures, use lots of pictures. I mean, if you wanted proof, look at Pinterest. It’s a picture-driven site. People love pictures. They share pictures. You’ve seen them float up in your Facebook timeline, those little pictures with words on them. Original pictures from your camera are awesome, infographics are amazing, use different places to get links to your site. Don’t just hit up one place. Anyone who’s using one place is probably been nailed with a warning. So it’s essential that you’re getting people linking to your site from many, many different places. And that’s about it. If you do those things, you’re going to be fine.

TIM:   Yeah, once again, as I said earlier, it’s not magic. And it’s just actually common sense.

JAMES:       But Timbo, people want magic. They’re seduced by the push button. Just an auto-posting blog that goes and gets the stuff and post it to their thing, it’s going to make a thousand pages and get them rich, it is not going to happen. So all I’ve done is just increase my content production and really focused on having share worthy content. That’s the goal. And it’s not even hard. I did a post today in about 30 seconds. All I did—and this is a bit cheeky—is I went to Google Web Masters YouTube channel, I got actually an embed code for a video that Google produced on how to do effective content, I posted it as a content ideas post on my SEO blog, I embedded the video, I just summarized it with like 7 or 8 bullet points of what’s in the video, and then posted it. And this was like 3 hours ago and I’ve already had 5 likes and 2 re-tweets. So I didn’t create anything except for queue rate. I went and found something useful to my target audience, embedded someone else’s video, and then summarized what was in the video with original text, and that will be picked up and indexed and offering value to my readers.

TIM:   Not hard.

JAMES:       It’s not hard. You just have to do it.

TIM:   Great, mate! Well, listen, we’re on the 40-minute mark, we’ve covered a lot. What I would suggest is for listeners, I’d love you to go to the show notes, guys, Episode 37, leave your idea about how you build an offline list. We might put those, we might actually put a link to the video you created, mate, on those Panda updates so people could see. That’s a great blog post and you’ve itemized those things and I reckon that’s for another episode of FreedomOcean.

JAMES:       Cool! And you know something, using a different location for all my videos?

TIM:   Wistia?

JAMES:       Yeah, but now when I’m filming them in all different parts and I—

TIM:   Ah, yeah, yeah, yeah!

JAMES:       I did find a snake but it wasn’t deadly enough, unfortunately. But I do have on my video, my SuperFastWebsite site; I got a video of me with a horse. Not in any weird position or anything, but just because it’s completely different and I’m sure there’s hardly anyone that’s selling websites that has a video of them in a paddock with a horse.

TIM:   Yeah, was the headline Jump to It?

JAMES:       I’m not doing puns or crazy stuff, but I just want people to stop and go huh? Grab their attention and engage them and I did like 4 videos yesterday and I’m just like a video production machine and you’ll be pleased to know that I did use a microphone yesterday. So I stepped the production values up one notch. It took 4 AA batteries to redeploy some of my equipment and it’s up and running, so the production values have gone up a tad. But I’m actually going to do videos every day.

TIM:   What you’re actually doing is adding personality to it. So the horse, the background of the trees, whatever you end up putting into that video, it’s just creating a personality and a time that makes it a little bit friendlier.

JAMES:       That’s interesting. I’m sure people will go, you know, I wonder where he is today; I wonder what he’s up to. And I know I do that with—if you’re predictable and boring, then no one’s going to look at it at all.

TIM:   Yeah, well, it’s just an added element that makes it interesting, gives people a reason to come back and also to talk about it. And I know you’ve got a gun club down the road from you, so I want you to slowly venture out of those 5 lush acres of bush land that you live in and I want to see you walking down the road, I want to see you waving to the neighbors in one video, and then I want you to finally make it to the gun club on gun day, please.

JAMES:       I’ve never even met a neighbor, so that will be a challenge. But you don’t want me to dress as a fried pigeon, do you? Because that would be a little bit silly.

TIM:   (laughs) Alright, mate! Well listen, thanks for another great episode and sharing. And listeners; our website is FreedomOcean.com. Go on and visit it. There’s a lot of goodies there for the taking and for the purchasing. Until next time, James, thank you and see you later!

JAMES:       See you, Timbo!

  • Thanks for another great episode guys. The main way I built a database of 15,000 customers in 5 years was with a birthday club. Every customer who walked through our door was asked if they would like to join our birthday club and get VIP specials and they would get birthday gifts from us. I was really strict with my staff on making sure they asked EVERYONE who came in. It was great because my average marketing campaigned brought back in 47% of those customers who we kept the relationship alive with, over and over again. We also ran similar competitions that James mentions in the podcast.

    • James

      Tracie that is an awesome idea!!!