#63 Features Of A High-Performing Website


Welcome back listener to Freedom Ocean. In this episode, James and Tim mix things up with a discussion on mashed potato, the benefits of sharing and commenting, simplicity, a compelling video and some words of marketing wisdom.


Topics in this podcast:

  • Better commenting features and its “SEO-able” advantages
  • When sharing and commenting are beneficial
  • Keeping things simpler
  • Leading people to what you want them to do
  • A powerful content tip from James
  • One listener has something to say



Most people have this limiting belief about marketing [Click To Tweet].
Perfection is achieved when there’s nothing left to take away [Click To Tweet].
Make it easier for customers to find what they want [Click To Tweet].


Internet Marketing Products & Resources

Here you’ll find Tim and James have some things to help your business become more powerful.





Tim:                 Welcome back listeners to the Freedom Ocean podcast. I am one of your hosts, Timbo Reid; and right there is Jimmy James Schramko. How are you buddy?

James:            I am good, and you’ve got a cold.

TIm:                 I have, I have got the Rod Stewart’s happening. Mate, one of the great quotes which is before we hit the record button, from your good self which somehow we will find an Internet marketing spin but you said, mashed.. mashed potato was surprisingly simple to cook. You’re expecting it to be pretty difficult?

James:            Well I didn’t know, so… I’ve been trying new dishes, and these days, I do the same when I want to try a new drink. I’ll just use the iPhone, and I’m sure a lot of people do this, and I type in what I want, and then the recipe comes up, and I follow it. But yeah, I’ve never cooked mashed potatoes before, and I found out it was extraordinarily easy to do.

Tim:                 But yeah… maybe listeners are rapt. This is just a combined sigh of relief but what part of the mashing did you think may have had a degree of difficulty?

James:            Well I didn’t know how long to cook it for. I just followed the instructions, like cut it into pieces, boil the water for 15 to 20 minutes, drain the water, mash it. I didn’t have a masher, but I’d softened them sufficiently to be able to use a wooden spoon.

Tim:                 Jimmy, you’re a simple man and that’s what we love about you. I’ll give you the learning here because I’ve just come back from Mackay, Queensland where I spoke to a wonderful group of business owners, small business owners as I often do every week somehow, somewhere. Most people have limiting, and I say business owners, have this limiting belief around the fact, and including me, around the fact that something in regard to the marketing of their business is actually going to be really difficult. And if we talk specifically about the kind I call the modern marketing techniques that you and I talk about. As soon as you say to someone, video marketing, or pay per click advertising or search engine optimization, you can see the eyes glaze over. When I actually, in my experience, when I actually get up the bottle to have a crack, they’re going… ahh, that wasn’t as hard as I thought.

James:            Well, I guess I’m used to expecting things to be difficult, and that has been a part of the reason I get stuff done, because I’m under no illusion that everything’s going to be easy. But that will be the topic of today’s podcast. We’ll be talking about how website owners can make their website easier for customers to use, because I’ve been going through a few redesigns lately with my websites and a lot of our customers’ sites, and there’s a lot of things that we’ve been sort of adjusting and changing that I think would be nice to pass on to listeners so they can see what’s happening behind the scenes. What do you think?

Tim:                 Yeah I know. Great mate. In fact It was one of the… in this keynote I got a couple of days ago. I shared some characteristics of a high performing website. So it would be good to… and there are lots of them, you know, but if we would have maybe focus on you know… I don’t know. How long have we got? We can go forever on this, you know. This is a full day workshop, Jimmy.

James:            Now you probably won’t plug it, but if someone wanted to book you for a keynote speaking engagement, how would they go about that?

Tim:                 Go to… well that’s a very good question. Thank you for that. Nice lead. Tim Reid, R-E-I-D dot com dot au is my speaker site and people can go and check out the topics that I cover and who I’ve spoken for and some testimonials and that type of stuff, or they can hit me up at tim@smallbusinessbigmarketing.com. I wasn’t expecting that plug.

James:            I know, but I’ll tell you why I mentioned that, because this podcast is a great podcast, and now our listeners love it, and we’ve got a listener comment later on, and it has to be good value for everybody involved, so there you go. I know you love your keynotes.

Tim:                 I do love my keynotes. Keynotes is a great… can I interrupt? There’s a great quote. I love my keynotes. I like public speaking for a couple of reasons: One is, I like to teach and share knowledge, that’s number one. And number two… it’s actually also a very good business model for me. I don’t like sitting down in front of the computer anymore for long periods of time. I love wandering around the stage. There’s also a great quote from Barry Humphries the famous… i don’t know. What is Barry Humphries… actor, thespian, just a…

James:            He is an advocate for the great Toyota Avalon, which I found out when I purchased one recently for a family member.

Tim:                 Right, it’s the car he’s driving in the video and all that. Wonderful actor. He says about being on stage, he says, “alone, at last.” And that’s exactly how I feel when I’m presenting, you know. The rest of the world disappears and you’re a hundred percent focused and present where I am, where I am at that point. So, anyway mate, I digress. Talk to me about high performing websites.

James:            Okay, so one of the things that I want to talk about here is a favorite quote of mine and perhaps we’ll get one of yours, but there’s this quote called, “Perfection is achieved not when there’s nothing more to add but when there’s nothing left to take away.” Something to that effect. And it’s from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry someone like that.

Tim:                 Oh, elocution and execution of our language…

James:            I Googled it, so bear with me. By the way, just on that Google thing, when you start making something like a Long Island iced

tea that’s when the little Google recipes really starting to kick in, because it gets a little more complex than mashed potatoes.

So, with our sites, we’ve been… and including Freedom Ocean, so we’ll probably use that as an example, one of the major changes we’ve made recently is changing over the commenting system. We were using the WordPress built-in comments system, and we’ve changed to what I probably call “discuss” and you probably call “discus.” I don’t even know what it’s supposed to be called.

Tim:                 D-I-S-Q-U-S. So…

James:            Yeah. So whatever that is.

Tim:                 Holy named. That’s what it is.

James:            Yes. So we’ve changed over to that system which .I’ll talk about why we did that. We did that because it makes it easier for the listener to make a comment. And mostly because people could just use their Facebook or their sign-on with something they’ve already verified, without having to put in their name, and their website, and then submit. So it requires less fields, it also has other advantages too. There are options that can allow it to share between other sites. I don’t use that one because it involves other sites sharing on mine. But it also has a related posts widget that pops up at the bottom of the comments, that steers people back into other parts of your website, so from a relevance and navigation point of view that’s cool. It also appears to be free. I haven’t been billed yet, so I don’t know if there’s a cost, but other things, it has an email subscribed to the feed, and it has an RSS feed. And from an SEO perspective, all of these comments are SEO-able, they’re searchable, they’re popping into the code on the page, so when the search engine’s looking at the site, they are looking at the comments, and now if it’s easy to comment and you get more comments, then you’re getting better SEO results. Plus it looks like someone’s actually interested in your site, so the more comments you get, the more active it is, the more your relevance is, the more the conversions should be. And another thing is you can moderate all of your sites from one control panel. So we’ve gone and put this on Freedom Ocean, and my other podcasts. The main one I tested it on first was SuperFastBusiness. And the first one I put it on had 43 comments. And that’s like off the Richter scale compared to normal. Now just a little extension, we’ve custom-coded our sites to show the comment bubble on the home page. It’s really important to let people know that there’s a discussion going on before they even have to dig into the post. Because if you go to the home page and you see 43 comments, that can really encourage more engagement. So from an overall website point of view, we want people to interact with our site, and we want it to be easy for them to make the comment, and we want it to be easy for us to moderate and manage those comments. So I was able to import all the old comments, with an importing wizard. I installed this myself; I didn’t have to get my team to do it.

Tim:                 Harder than mashed potato or easier?

James:            I’d say that it was slightly harder than mashed potato but easier than the Long Island tea.

Tim:                 Yeah right. OK, that’s a good range.

James:            I’d say it would be fine for our average listener to go to Disqus, create an account, add their website, go to their website, upload the plugin, install the… just mention the name of their site, and then import their comments and then it’s live. That’s what happened for me, and I did it three or four times and I was pretty satisfied that it was all good.

Tim:                 It’s interesting, podcasting and commenting. We’ve got… look I don’t know if there’s a magical number as to what you’ll get in terms of comments per show or another reason. But I feel that podcasting generally has poor conversion in terms of commenting because people are out and about. Generally, they’re walking the dog, they’re commuting, they’re in the car, they’re in bed listening to a podcast versus video. We generally enable the screen so you can be there immediately and comment.

James:            Well I think importantly, they’re listening to it on iTunes or Apple TV or Stitcher. So on our show, we’re generally getting about a dozen comments. They range between five and 19, and that’s good, these are the sticky fans (and I mean that in the nicest possible way). These are people who are interested.

Tim:                 Yes, and they’re also… they’re also Internet savvy. So, I’ve interviewed a guy recently on Small Business Big Marketing where I had a… he uses Facebook entirely as an employee recruitment tool. He has a physio business. He recruits physios around Victoria and he uses Facebook. The engagement, and its his only employment channel, the engagement is incredibly low. The comment… he’s also got a very strong blog in terms of a popular blog about workplace, having a great workplace. He’s got the 4th best workplace in Australia. Right about BRW Magazine. But he has a little feedback and it’s because his clients…which is prospective employees, physios are very introverted and they’re not inclined to like things. They’re not inclined to leave comments. But he still gets traction.

James:            Yeah, I’ve been looking at stuff like how many people share them, how many comment. Had a fascinating thing happen yesterday or the day before. On my other podcast, ThinkActGet, we published an episode called “Sex.” And it had the most downloads off the bat, like…

Tim:                 We’re human beings.

James:            Right, but not as many comments as normal. We normally get 17, 18. It was like three. So it depends on the topic.

Tim:                 Can I just cough into the microphone?

James:            Yeah, go for it. Have a little cough, get it all out.

Tim:                 Yeah well that’s basic. Sex sells.

James:            Yeah, but they listen. They won’t comment. So my main point is around that the comment power of the topic is how comfortable people are for other people to know that they’re commenting on this. So when we have a look at the shares, interestingly people will share it but not comment on it.

Tim:                 Yeah yeah yeah. Interesting.

James:            It’s like, “Oh, have a look at this over here, but I’m not going to put my opinion in on it.” But again, it’s slightly down on the shares. Putting these social widgets and the ability for people to comment is very important now. So a lot of our episodes, we’re getting up to 70 or 80 people sharing these episodes, and that means that when they push that button, it’s popping up on their Facebook wall and it’s helping other people find our information. So let’s just un-tech this and make it simple, because that’s the promise. If you have a website where you’re posting content to it fairly often, and it’s useful information, then have a go with a commenting system like Disqus, and put some sharing widgets on there. But if you have a product-only site or a sales page, or something where you’re not getting comments, I would consider not having the comments turned on at all, I would turn them off, especially on pages, if you have sales pages or comparison pages, because you want to steer people into the customer support. You don’t want people asking you support questions on your pages, you want people who are commenting and endorsing and really ramping up the social aspect of your site. So the blog system is really good for that.

Tim:                 It’s amazing, mate. I’m always… it still freaks me out how some big brands like getting this whole conversation thing on their sites. A couple of examples recently, one is my bank in Westpac went down, their site went down last week quite often, you know for days, I couldn’t do Internet banking. I was hitting them up on Twitter. We’re not getting a response and then another one, a magazine that I read in my newsstand is T3. You know T3, the gadget magazine out in the U.K.? Oh it’s exactly that. Full of high tech gadgetry and you would think that they’ve earned, they’ve got a podcast, and they’ve got a blog and there’s this stream of comments on their blog. Of which they haven’t answered. And it starts off people asking questions about a particular podcast episode or a particular blog post and then it just kind of drizzles in to, “Where are you?” you know. “WTF! Why aren’t you guys responding, you’re a high-tech brand. You can not respond on your sites.” So if you are going to put these plugins on your site, I suppose it’s pretty incumbent upon you. You, you’re the better responder than me for Freedom Ocean but we do respond.

James:            Yeah, and now I’ve got them in one place, it’s even easier. Even if you’re on other people’s blogs and they’re using Disqus, you can actually track your comments and other people’s comments like… it’s a management system for comments for people who are right into this stuff.

Okay, so other elements. Let’s talk about other things we can do. On most of my sites we have a Search box. I think this is really important. Make it easy for customers to find what they want. People who use the search box are more interested in something specific and if they can find it then that’s going to increase your conversions. So we built that in.

Tim:                 Yeah, they got to work. So often they don’t work. I’ve just tried that as is does work. I just did a search for something and it’s come up but sometimes those search boxes are pretty ordinary.

James:            Yeah, well these things can be powered by plugins, like there’s actual plugins that you can help boost the results from these, you can use a Google thing as well. Make sure it works.

Tim:                 Yeah Google have one. You got to pay for the Google one?

James:            I don’t think so, I’m not sure.

Tim:                 Because that may not be the best one. Because you’re basically using the Google search algorithm aren’t you? In your actual sites.

James:            Yeah, that’s right. And they’re pretty good at that. But put a search box. Yeah, our site’s quite a simple site. The other thing is, when you’re asking for opt-ins. These days, most of my sites I’m just asking for an email address. And we have a sort of a contrasting button. And it’s me-focused, because when people click that, they’re only thinking about themselves. So “send ME alerts.” I like to display that on every page.

The best place we’ve found is above the… you know just below the banner and above all the content. And you’ll see that that’s on most of my sites. And a lot of my sites use this little yellow thing popping up when you scroll down. That is a plugin called Dream Scroll Triggered Box, and it’s free, and it gets the most opt-ins of all. It’s an absolute killer. It really gets the opt-ins. Again, we’re using a contrasting button and just asking for a simple field and getting a little bit of a copy there, but the thinking around that one is that it only shows when you scroll far enough to see it.

Tim:                 This is a great Internet marketing play and we’ve talked about it a number of times. But gosh mate, it’s just a wonderful small business play if any… I don’t care if you’re locksmith or a vet. You know, having this ability to capture details is just a damn good play because it’s based on the premise that these sites are… they’re not even on Facebook. Those are people coming back to them everyday, every hour, they might come once or twice, check you out and never come back. So what a good idea to at least capture the contact details in order to have an ongoing conversation with them.

James:            Yeah, exactly. And you know, unless you’re a one-time business, which is a dangerous business to be in, build up the list.

Tim:                 What do you mean by one-time business?

James:            Well, I’m thinking stuff like weddings, funerals and solicitors, where typically someone’s coming to them when they have a specific thing and they might need it once in their lifetime. So, I gravitate towards recurring businesses. I like services that people continually need, I like coaching and stuff like that, even though it’s a little more work. You build that relationship and it’s just an ongoing relationship, over and over and over again, so there you go.

Tim:                 OK. Good one.

James:            Yes.

Tim:                 Give us two more, Jimmy.

James:            Alright, so another thing is just take away, just remove stuff. Remove superfluous stuff. On our sites, generally, and it’s not so much the case on Freedom Ocean, because it’s a more of a social site, but we’re not running widgets for Facebook, or social sites on our thing. I’m not putting links off to Google+, Facebook, Twitter. I will put a link to iTunes, for a podcast, but I’ve generally taken away things like RSS feeds. I’m not trying to get people away from the site, they’ve just got to the site. The point for most of my sites is for people to click on the product tab. So the product tab will always be heavily featured on my sites. Probably a better example of this would be SuperFastBusiness, because that is the masthead traffic site in my network and the purpose of that site is to drive people to something that they can actually buy. I either want an opt-in or a purchase, so why would I send them off to my Facebook? My goal at Facebook is to bring people back to my site, so they’d get stuck in this silly loop. So by just stripping away options, take away the RSS widget. If someone knows what RSS is, they’re already going to be able to find it. You take away the Facebook or the Twitter or the Google+ or the YouTube, because those places are to send people back to your site, in accordance with what I call “Own The Racecourse.” So there you go. On your site, just have the most wanted action clearly prominent, and make it easy for people to find it. So it should be what we call above the fold, it should be visible without having to scroll, and it should probably be on every page, so that the main place you can tell that I’ve been working on this is on my navigation. There’s a tendency for people to have way too many navigation links. Like all across the top, or like a thousand rollovers. Me, I’ve got like four things on mine. It’s Home, Products, About, and Contact. And then there’s Search. That’s it. Now people can find the products, that’s what I want them to do. They can find out more about me if they don’t know, but even on the home page there’s a picture of me and a description and a little bit of social proof and then they can click in to find out more, because people online like to know who they’re dealing with. And then the contact is for people who just haven’t found what they need but they still want to engage or to ask you if there’s something else.

Tim:                 The folds are interesting, mate. I’ve been in two minds and the more interesting WordPress themes come out the less I kind of think about the fold being really critical. The fold being at the bottom of your screen. It’s an old newspaper term, listeners, for where the newspaper was folded. Set it on the news agent’s desk or counter and the best headline was above the folds so it made you buy. But there’s some good WordPress themes that had these scroll downs that if you actually get your copy right and get your content right, that you can’t help but just continually scroll down and down and down. I like them. I’m not sure if they’re good for SEO. Have you got a point of view?

James:            Well it can and SEO might be the perfect goal anyway. Generally I’d focus on conversions and sales and SEO is a bonus if you can get that to work as well. Now a lot of the things I’m talking about are helping with SEO anyway. People commenting, people staying on your site and internally navigating with related posts and clicking through to your products. It really lowers the bounce rate. It increases time on site. If you compress your images and stuff then the site’s going to load quickly and absolutely get it on the fastest server you can. This was a site discovery. But we’ve been developing customer sites and we noticed when we go from our test server back to the customer site, that would go from one or two seconds to load up to 16, 17, 18, 19 seconds on these crappy resource and the customer’s saying, “Why is my site so slow now that you’ve finished it? When it was really fast enough for the draft?” And now we just offered server and hosting after that because it made sense.

So above the fold, below the fold, you know what’s most important is that the call to action is in the right place for where you need the call to action. I don’t really need somebody to scroll at the bottom of my page to click on the products tab. But maybe on the products tab I need to do more explaining before I ask them to go to the next step but maybe not. So I think that you…if you can have the most important thing that you need to happen above the fold, even if that’s only the best compelling headline that you can possibly come up with that leads to that creased pole or the slippery copyrights column, then that’s what has to be visible because you don’t get much of a chance when someone lands on the page. They’re making a quick decision about if this is the right page that they’re supposed to be on or not.

Tim:                 I think that call to action thing is so important. Again, many small business owners that I see don’t have a call to action on a page. They don’t ask themselves for every single page on their website, “What do I want people to do as a result of being on this page?” And that could be to share it, it could be a sign up, it could be to buy something, it could be pick the phone up and call. It’s like, what do you want people to do? And at what point is it the best time to ask them to do it? Is it the top? Sometimes I think having a call to action at the very top is a bit like walking into a room and networking and say, “Hey good day! Buy from me!” as opposed to, you know, a little bit of a foreplay, dear I say, before they’re asking for the sale. Yeah, call to action really really important to consider and to win a place.

James:            And please, when someone rings the phone, have someone answer it. Yeah like I’ve worked with customers and we get the site fine and then the phone just rings. Yeah they talk about large companies. So here’s my last tip, to make things simple. You don’t have to make your own content if you don’t want to. And I did a little experiment the other day. I was cruising Facebook and I saw a video on Facebook that really caught my attention. It was very compelling and even caused a little tear to come in the corner of my eye.

Tim:                 Really?

James:            I thought this is a good video! And just before I hit share…

Tim:                 Well, you’re not getting out of that easily enough, I’ll come back to it mate. Good, go.

James:            So just before I hit share, I thought, hang on a minute. Facebook is so damn clever. They’re making it easy for me to share this stuff. What I did is I searched for the video title on YouTube: found it, copied the YouTube URL, went to my site, made a post. I called it “Emotional Documentaries are Powerful Selling Tools.” I put a LeadPlayer version of the video in there so I put the YouTube video in my LeadPlayer plugin. I generated some code and I pasted this video on to my site and then I just put a couple of words around the video and then I hit publish. So now I’ve gone and got this original video from YouTube. Embedded it into my site and then I went to Facebook and shared my post. And now I have 79 shares, 43 comments, 12 tweets and 5 Google +s, this is linking back to my site and this is people commenting on my site and sharing their stories and then I emailed my customer list and a lot of people said that was great. But here’s the thing, who got the most comments on my site for a video that I didn’t even make? I didn’t film it, I didn’t produce it. I didn’t upload it. I just went to YouTube and copied the link and pasted it into my LeadPlayer.

Tim:                 And provided a commentary around.

James:            Very short. It was just like two paragraphs. And later the next day I woke up and read the commentary out, and turned that into a little podcast which was going to be one minute 43 in length. It’s very short.

Tim:                 Tell me about the LeadPlayer thing. Because LeadPlayer is a piece of software that embeds a sign-up form in your video, correct?

James:            Yes.

Tim:                 So why… have you embedded a sign-up form in someone else’s video?

James:            Yes.

Tim:                 Right. Is that code sharing?

James:            Yes, totally compliant with YouTube apparently so… it just gets… well, Clay Collins who owns the software has worked very closely with YouTube and it doesn’t cut anything off that they don’t want cut off. It just trims the player and make it look a lot smoother and neater.

Tim:                 So, you’re playing someone else’s video, you’re asking people to sign-up for something to your list. How did you smoothly kind of bring the two together?

James:            LeadPlayer, you just paste the YouTube…

Tim:                 Oh, no. I mean, a message point of view.

James:            It just pops up at the very end of the video. If you’d like free newsletter. And it’s not completely congruent but the main point is, I like the LeadPlayer just to strip out all the YouTube gunk. I don’t want to link people back to YouTube, so it removes a lot of their paraphernalia all around the edge and it just leaves the play button. And it still has a little YouTube watermark and a link to the YouTube. It’s not as obvious as normal.

Tim:                 How long did it all that take you?

James:            Two minutes. Two minutes to just go.

Tim:                 Really? You have a video, uploading it to… oh you just put the shared code in LeadPlayer?

James:            All I did… no,was saw a video on YouTube…

Tim:                 Facebook.

James:            Facebook that’s probably on Youtube. Found it. Copied the URL. Went to my blog. Put into LeadPlayer. I got the code then said new post. Write a headline. Paste and published it. About three minutes.

Tim:                 OK, now mate…

James:            Let’s say someone’s really slow. They might spend a half an hour.

Tim:                 They’ll get better.

James:            Finding a video on YouTube that is relevant to their audience that they could tell a story about and paste it onto their site. So the biggest point of all here, I want to make a huge emphasis on, is that, when you’re playing on Facebook, you’re playing their game. You’re putting your content up there. You’re sharing their… you know content that’s already there with other people that are already there. It doesn’t really help you in any way, shape or form. You need to go out, get content, and put it on your site or create the content. So most people on this show listen to me talking about publishing your own content, which is very easy to do these days I might add, but it’s even easier to take someone else’s and pop it on the page, which is what I did in this case. And it was a super successful experiment and I’ll probably blend in some content from other people and all I need to do to make that work is find a video on YouTube that allows embedding.

Tim:                 Do you think it would be, in terms of the split, I think always, it would be better to create your own content so you know, if we’re going to say, a split on someone’s blog if 80-20?

James:            It just depends how much you build your authority or your brand. But I will tell you this. I had someone join my mastermind immediately after watching this video. And that’s because they found it. Someone shared it and remembered me and had seen my stuff before and the powerful message in this particular post is strong. It allowed me to link to my mastermind and to make a common reference because this whole point of this post was about the best way to sell these days is to make stories and documentaries. Not to run flash just stupid ads that everyone’s sick of and hate. And I’ve got a documentary for my mastermind now instead of a sales video and that sells. You know, I’ve had six or seven people join me in the mastermind in a week because it’s very moving.

Tim:                 Yeah. How do people see that, Jimmy?

James:            Ah, they just go to SilverCircle.com. In fact, that site’s being re-designed now so when the listener goes to that site, they’ll see a very simple site. The less is more philosophy. This perfection where there’s nothing left to take away except the basic elements and it’s a nice, lean, clean site so you’ll see what I’m talking about there, and making it easier for people to know what they should be doing.

Tim:                 We said at the start, mate. You’re a simple man. So here’s your site reflecting it.

James:            That’s a real compliment. Thanks!

Tim:                 Absolutely! Well, we need to finish by, my understanding, what the hell is this video that made James Schramko cry?

James:            It’s a video made by Chevy. They sent out a documentary crew to film this guy who had tracked down the Chevy that his Dad used to own and then had to sell because he couldn’t afford it and then they tracked down for five years and across borders and everything, and found it. And then they got Dad down to the park. They wired him up with the mic and told him they were filming a family documentary and him swinging the kids on the swings and then they rolled the Chevy in behind him in the park, you know, with the big V8 and then he turns around and then he instantly recognized that it was his car and his sons had bought it for him. And he hops in and he adjusts the mirror and he’s just cruising and you know, it’s a very emotional video but it’s super clever of the car company to tie the brand emotion and it makes you think about your relationship with your parents and doing something nice for someone else. Just, such a powerful story. That’s why it got shared.

Tim:                 There’s two things there, they’re massive things. Maybe we finish on them and maybe talk about them in the next episode but emotion and story. And you know, it’s interesting that video came from Chevy, big brand, big budget, big copywriters, big agencies, all that type of stuff. So you know, they should do that. It is harder for the small guys, like us, to craft something that is emotional…

James:            Yeah, I don’t think it is though, Timbo.

Tim:                 Ah, mate. Really?

James:            See…

Tim:                 Well, can I just finish? I half agree with you, I mean I see it every now and then. There’s a wonderful crepe shop in Mossman and I have they told their emotional story on the back wall of their kitchen which is out in the main part of the restaurant or the cafe. They have this story on their menus and on their website. It’s about 200 words that explains why they have a crepe shop, it’s called Four Frogs. And it’s run by four French men and that is emotional so, they’ve done a similar thing. I mean it’s really engaging. You kind of can’t help but get involved. I don’t see a lot of that.

James:            No, it’s not because people are not aware of it. But when you say, company like Chevy’s a huge ad budget and you know, all this, I don’t think a lot of them would have been involved in this particular project. I think you can film this project with… you could film with your own camera and mic if you have to, but I could tell you, you could easily have this film for about 2,000 bucks. Two to three thousand dollars will get you a professional with a camera for half a day with the mic and then edit it and deliver it to you and that’s exactly what I do for my customers. I hire a documentary maker to go out there, craft an emotional story, film them, we end up with a two or three minute video, goes on the website, and it sells and that’s the new black. I’m telling you, this is where I’m going.

Tim:                 Oh mate, it’s actually the old black but we forget it. And with the introduction of content marketing and the ability to create content easily, there’s a lot of people out there just creating content and very rational content. And some of it’s great and some of it’s boring. Some of it shouldn’t be there but you know, emotional marketing is, I mean storytelling has been around for a long long time and it’s unbelievably powerful and we can do it. And it just caught up. I spoke to a guy maybe six weeks ago. I spoke at an event up in Sydney. He’s a financial adviser out of Hobart. He’s in video marketing and what he does is once every three months he lives at Tassie in Hobart and Tassie’s, things are a little bit cheapy down there. But he spends 4800 bucks for a day to hire a cameraman and sound guy and he produces 10 videos on that day that he drip-feeds across three months. And each of those videos have a really engaging story in itself. For example, he got a video where he talks about “Are you drowning in your self-managed superannuation fund requirements?” And he’s actually standing in his suit and gumboots in the river, right? And then he goes and talks about why or how you can avoid drowning. And then the last shot, is him standing next to a yacht that’s been beached, I mean, don’t know how he found it but don’t know how he found it but he said, “What I wish for you is that you don’t end up high and dry.” And that’s emotion! There’s a big idea in it and it’s emotional, you know. And again, we don’t see a lot of it but when we do, I think we all lean into that kind of stuff.

James:            Well, the main point is, is that this is the take away, for a couple of grand you can make your own documentary that sells your business. That’s really the main point and I think it’s the future. So, we didn’t start out with that topic but we ended up on it. This has been good. Hopefully we’ve simplified it and here’s the point, if you’ve got a nice, simple, easy website to run then it’s a nice canvass for you to pop up these stories. You don’t have to put a lot of content out. It just got to do good content, kind of like Freedom Ocean, right?

Tim:                 Absolutely… absolutely! Content’s king, Jimmy that’s excellent, mate. Now one of the things that…what we might do is finish up with the listener feedback that we got from Pete Zurcher. One of the things that Peter raises, he doesn’t actually raise, he says, “Oh I love what you guys do. It’s funny that I’ve never bought anything off you.” And likewise, we get that from a number of listeners, don’t we, over the course of the last year or two. People… we try to keep the sales pitch a bit low here although you can’t ask how I like contact me for keynotes. We both have a forum. You can get on to James’ forum. Where about? What’s the address?

James:            FastWebFormula.com

Tim:                 And you can get onto mine at smallbusinessbigmarketing.com. There you go, thought a bit more marketing love. You can join either or both. We should have a jewel package, mate. JV, but we don’t. So there’s a couple more places you can get more of us.

James:            Well that’s so inexpensive. They can easily be a member of both.

Tim:                 Correct. Correct. Now mate, so we’ll leave Pete Zurcher. It says, Melbourne fellow, or at least an Australian fellow, left us some nice feedbacks we got all on that. Jimmy, you go and have a body ripper, ripper day and go easy on that mashed potato, high carbs. So you know, you’ve been sipping on some kind of green liquid while we’ve been talking.

James:            No I have broccoli that was only just… it’s almost raw. It’s very crispy.

Tim:                 You are metrosexual. A metrosexual in the making. Love your work, mate. See you next time!

James:            Alright. See you.

Good Day, James and Timbo. Peter Zurcher here from Minor Detail. I’ve been a quiet listener since episode 1 of SBBM back in the day with Lukey and I’ve come across to the Freedom Ocean and I’m loving it. Hey the water is starting to get warmer for me with a move just today from Adelaide to Sydney. Just wanted to say a big thank you for fantastic podcast you guys produce.

You’ve both given away so much quality marketing advice for free. And now that I think about it, in fact so much so that I haven’t actually purchased anything from you.

Anyway guys, I’m helping my Dad sell at a big orchid show show here at St. Ives showgrounds until Sunday. James if you feel like taking the C63 for a spin then it’s a a really nice event. Timbo I know you’re from Melbourne but if you happen to be around Sydney this weekend then there’s one for you as well.

Anyway guys, keep up the great work. Love the conversations at the podcast, really learning a lot and I’ll catch you guys soon.




  1. Thanks James, love the homepage comments tip. We’ve also recently implemented Disqus – great commenting system

  2. India Alessandra says

    Awesome Podcast James & Tim! Some great new tools and such brilliant reminders of what we know, but don’t always implement. Got some work ahead of me. Kudos.

  3. Hi James and Tim. As we “Yanks” say, “You’re the man!” Awesome podcast and it came at a perfect time for me. I’ll tweet the hell out of this one. TTFN


  4. Fred Gillen says

    James, try adding a finely chopped onion to the mash, magic

  5. What’s the name of the plugin you are using that pops up as the user scrolls? I missed and am too lazy to relisten 😉

  6. coachingleaders says

    Hi guys, I recently installed Disqus on my blog as you recommend and it seems to do everything you’d want from a comment system. I notice you’ve gone for ordering your comments on here by ‘best’ rather than chronological order.

    I can see one sizeable ‘con’ to doing it that way – that it makes a long online discussion in comments pretty much unfollowable. So what are the ‘pros’ of ordering comments by ‘best’?

    • this may be the default setting? the comments are nested so I dont see why it is hard to follow. I have not noticed it yet.

      • coachingleaders says

        They are nested as long as the commenters use the ‘reply’ button on the comment they’re replying to. If it’s taking over an existing long comment discussion that didn’t have that facility (or where the commenters didn’t use it) it can get a bit confusing – but I see that the viewer could reorder them chronologically if they want anyway.

        Certainly not a problem on this site as the comment threads tend to be pretty short. I think this ordering is the default setting as you say.

        Thanks James – I was only asking as I wondered if there was a deep and meaningful reason you’d gone that way! No worries…

  7. Hey Guys,

    This is the first time I’ve listened to FO podcast…Cool – learned a lot!


    – You mention “opt-ins” with the Dreamgrow Scroll Triggered Box, but isn’t that just for WordPress registrations, or did you code it for Ontraport?

    – What about all the people who comment to engage AND get a back link?

    I currently use Comment Luv on CarolAmato.com, and am trying to see if I should change to Disqus…

    Thanks so much!

    – Carol Amato

    • Carol CommentLuv will attract spam from people looking for backlinks. Disqus will get you real comments and has moderation abilities. When people place a link it gets help up for moderation like your did. We generally remove links unless they are useful to the end customer. DreamGlow Scroll Triggered Box on this site is coded for OAP / Ontraport so it builds my email list.

      • Tremendous -Thanks! I have someone from Fiverr coding my plugin to link to my AWeber as I type. So cool!

        I’m going to take the HIGH road with Disqus, if I can save all comments that were previously made. Will research to learn about it.

        You’re a tremendous help, James – wish I met the criteria for SC… 😉

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