B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast
B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast

Episode 2082 · 4 months ago

Thought Leadership As Celebrity + Authority + Trust

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Dan Sanchez talks with Robin Robins who is the Founder and CEO of Big Red Media. The dive into Robins marketing methodology, show she defines thought leadership, and her unique approach to becoming an authority in your field. 

Yeah, welcome back to BTB Growth. I'm danSanchez with Sweet Fish Media and today I'm here with Robin Robins, who is thefounder and Ceo of Big Red Media. Robin, welcome to the show. Hey dan, how areyou? Thank you for having me. It's a privilege to have you on here. When Iasked Adam Woody, who is kind of like the thought leader or the person whohas the attention of lots of technology companies since a lot of tech foundersand cmos and VPs and marketing listen to this show. He you were the firstperson that he said. So I was excited to finally have you on the show sinceAdam recommended you someone who speaks directly to technology companies andhelping them with marketing challenges all the time. As you know, we are onthis deep dive. This journey into thought leadership, that where we'repicking apart the topic, we're looking at it as at its strength. We're lookingat its weaknesses where even having debates about this topic on whetherit's actually a thing or not. I know as you've done so much marketing that itprobably is a thing. It is while it is a bit of a buzzword, I'm excited tohear your thoughts, Robin on what a tech company specifically you do ontheir journey to becoming thought leaders in the space. But before we getthere, I want to hear your thoughts on if you feel like it's relevant at alltoday. Like what's what's your position on the term? Thought leader? Is it kindof a cringing term? Is it a real thing? Like where do you sit as far as wherethought leadership is? Well, I think the term is another sort of, you know,new, innovative way of labeling something, you know, I'm not I'm notfor it, I'm not against it. You know, it's just like with me and my mybusiness we practice and we teach direct response marketing well, directresponse has been around forever, right? It's not like not recently invented,but yet you have people like Seth Godin who came up with the term permissionmarketing, which is essentially a direct response or hubspot coming upwith inbound marketing, which is essentially direct response. Or youhave people talk about content marketing, which is essentially directresponse. So if you like the term thought leadership and that has meaningto you and you can define it then great. But to me, I think the goal and again,this is my opinion, but my goal and I think the goal of many people who starta business is not to necessarily become a thought leader. That's not the endgoal that may be uh to become one, helps you reach the ultimate goal,which is I have a growing, thriving, profitable, sustainable business. Um,and I think that's really what we, I think that's what most people want. Imean, that's what I would want. Um, I shouldn't say most people, I mean,again, I'm projecting, but, but so the term thought leadership, I think iswhat they're really trying to say, I believe is you want to become anauthoritative expert in a topic matter. So I mean, if that's kind of how Iinterpret it, so again, I'm, I don't use the term thought leader because Ido think it's a little cringe e at this point because it feels a little, youknow, like, hey, we're gonna be doing branding or, you know, all these sortof newer terms, but at the end of the day, people who come to me, thebusiness owners would come to me, they're all tech business owners. Theywant more customers, high paying customers that are profitable, thatthey want a sustainable business. They want to make money consistently buildstrength in their business, not just sales. And so that's what, that's whatwe do, and that's what I do. So when you say it would be fun to kind of seelike where it falls in the spectrum for you um direct response marketing as Iknow, it's kind of like on the other side from like your high level brandadvertising kind of marketing, right? Is that where you put? It's kind oflike, it's on the other side from it and then there's like many things thatkind of fallen between branding and direct response marketing. Yeah. Whenyou say direct response, you're you're...

...talking like the old school Lesterwonderman type of coming coming from direct sales, where it's like you findyour target audience, you approach them with an ad that tells them exactly likeit just cut straight to the point, right? We have this product that hasthese benefits to it. Yeah, I mean like people think that what you say, but youthink that it's like old school like you mentioned, but google is thebiggest direct response marketer in the world. I mean it's pay per click,that's that's what it is. I mean they provide free search and maps to get theaudience there. But essentially how they make their money is I have an adand it's based on a keyword you're searching on. So there's a targetmarket with a need and I pay when you click and that's direct response, it'sper action type marketing, so it's not necessarily old school, you know, Ithink that's the thing. People think that it's old and therefore it doesn'twork anymore. But over and over again, I can I can with with absolutecertainty tell you if your goal is to get a customer who's going to write youa check, then the fastest path to getting there is running inimplementing direct response marketing. And I know again these terms, you know,sales funnels, funnel hacking, I mean it's all that's all direct response,just a little more sophisticated way of explaining it. So yeah, so again, brandand I'm branding, I I don't think they're mutually exclusive because I'venever run a branding campaign in my life. However, I've done a lot ofdirect response marketing and by doing that, I have built a brand and kind oftying back into your thought leadership. A brand is uh and by the way, you don'treally control your brand, you can influence it, but your brand isestablished in the minds of your customers. Um but you know, it's beingknown for something, you know, it's it's that's what a brand is. And Ithink small business owners who have smaller budgets, we're not talkingabout, you know, Pepsi and we're not talking about Nike now, but you know,they spending money on pure branding exercises is usually very, verywasteful because to really, if you're going to do that kind of branding, youcan't run one ad. It's like you've got to run a lot ads in a lot of placesover and over again and it's extremely expensive to do. It does not guaranteesales. And you've got a still have some sort of direct response where peoplecan come and buy your software, your services, your product. Right? So again,I don't think they're they're mutually exclusive. I think you can do directresponse and reap the benefits of list building and building a pipeline oftomorrow's customers and getting customers today while simultaneouslybuilding your brand. Yeah, I absolutely agree with you in that direct responsemarketing is powerful. In fact, I think it happened a long time ago, but it'sbeen tried and true. Like it continues to be a fantastic method of marketing.I know I got my start marketing doing google adwords so and perry marshallwas kind of like my first marketing guru that I learned from because he wasa fantastic direct response marketer and it still is like the undercurrentof pretty much everything I do as a marketer, right? If you if you don'thave some kind of like thing action you want people to take and you haven'tgotten good at figuring out what baby steps you can do to get them there,then your market is probably gonna fall flat. Like you said, ads without a callto action of some kind is just not going to go anywhere. I mean, and it'smarket research because if I put an ad out for something, whether that's alead generation bait kind of thing, like a free report or a video or it's acoupon for to buy something when you put it out there, you instantly knowwhether or not it's working. You know, if people are really interested in thator not interested in that. So, direct response is very accountable, which iswhy a lot of agencies don't want to practice it because they quickly figureout, you know, I'm spend all this money and I'm not generating leads and salesand customers, you know, so that's why...

...a lot of agency shy away from itbecause it's far easier to do branding than it is to do direct response. Butit's it gives you instant feedback because if I, if I decide to host awebinar and I only get 1% of my audience registering I say only, butwhatever, if I get 1% responding, if I do another webinar and I get 10%responding and registering, I instantly know to my audience to my list.Whatever the topic was that got the 10% is clearly where their interest liesand I should put more focus on that and therefore should be writing articlesabout that, doing seminars about that, writing books about it, being a thoughtleader about it, because that's what, that's what direct response does. It'sthe customer votes with their pocketbook or they vote with theirattention, their clicks, their options. And so the other thing that directresponse gives you is that real market intelligence that is not biased by youropinion, by the opinion of your marketing gurus or whoever it is, um,not by the opinion of your staff or your spouse, not what you think willwork, not what you respond to, its what they respond to. And if you want to beyour again, use your term thought leader. If you want to be a thoughtleader, you know, step one is you got to figure out what is going to bringall the, you know, what milkshakes gonna bring all the boys to the yard.You know, you gotta, you gotta figure that out and that's what directresponse does. So to kind of come back to the question, if a tech founder cameto you and wanted to position themselves at the thought later, andmaybe that's the best thing for them. Maybe, maybe it's not, maybe there'sthings maybe they got, maybe let's just say they got the basics cover when itcomes to direct response. Um, but it's very tactical right now. They'rebidding on adwords um, when people find them and see their value prop than itworks out, but they want to be more well known in the industry, right? Yousometimes you hit a certain barrier where you're getting all the peoplethat are searching for the exact thing you do. But there's not a lot of peoplewho even are solution aware, but there's a lot of people who are problemaware of the thing the company addresses and they're just not exactlysearching for the solution yet. It happens a lot with tech because they'rebreaking into new industries and solving problems or solving problemsthat people don't even know their solutions for. What steps would yougive to a tech founder who then wants to head into this place called thoughtleadership marketing or to become authority in their industry? Yeah, Imean I've never had in my 20 years of doing this and working with techcompanies, I've never ever had a single customer come to me and say I want tobe a thought leader on this, like not once. So I don't think it's thelanguage of small business, you know, it might be the language of marketerswho are trying to sell the small business saying you need to be athought leader, right? Because every business owner that I've ever talked towork with, the goal is how do I get the maximum number of right fit customers?Just not all customers, but how do I get the right customers who want toengage with me, do business with me? And so, you know, to that end the firststep And this is tough for me, every, again, 20 years of working with wellover 10,000 firms. the single biggest challenge most have is they have tofigure out who their customer is first and they really are fuzzy about that.Like if you, if you press them a bit and you ask them, you know, tell me whoyour ideal customer is, Your slam Dunk one, they give you really big broadgeneral terms. Well like, well when they use terms like anybody who right,that's that's where I get nervous unless they put some additionalqualifiers on that, you know, so anybody who has between 10 and 100 pcs,anybody who's in this geographic area, anybody who's using this kind of tech,anybody who has this kind of problem. And so when you start using those terms,it's okay if you start there anybody who has this problem and has this thisthis this this in common. So I think first and foremost most people arereally fuzzy about who they're trying...

...to attract and until you know exactlywho's your, your sweet spot customer, the one who's the slam dunk the mostlikely to buy. The one you can do your best work for until your crystal clearon that. You're gonna be wasting a lot of time money and effort writingarticles, blog post google paper, like you name it and you're gonna beattracting a lot of people that you just gotta sift and sort through. So my,what I tell my clients is you've got to remove a lot of the haystack before youstart looking for needles and you gotta actually know that you want a needlefirst. Right? So that would be step one is you really got to get crystal clearon who that customer is. And then the second thing you've got to reallyunderstand is how they think, how they behave, what they value because you'reright. Most people are problem aware. They're not necessarily solution whereand the big second, big problem tech companies have is they're so in lovewith the technology and they're so geeked up about it. And I get itbecause we're all geeked up about our stuff. I'm geeked up about directresponse marketing. I mean, you know, so we're all geeked up about our stuff,but we forget that that's the customer, especially with tech, your averagebusiness owner is not very technically savvy. It's an area that is uh, sort ofambiguous to them. It's an area where they feel like they spend a lot anddon't see a lot of our oi for um, they see tech as a necessary evil. So, youknow, if you go into the average Ceo's office and you start telling them allabout the technical whiz bang awesomeness of your, whatever it isthat you're selling and you start g eking out to them, you're missing theboat because that's not what they think about. That's not what they care about.I mean, if you're, again, it goes back to knowing who your customer is. Ifyour customer is a small business owner, a big, it doesn't matter if yourcustomers, a business owner, they care about gaining new customers andgenerating revenue and profitability and they want to eliminate risk fromtheir business. They want a sustainable business, They want less headaches. Andso whatever it is, you're selling from the tech, you've got to package it as asolution to a problem that your ideal customer has. And then we've got toconvince them that why that solution versus all the other solutions thatthey could possibly want. Okay, so once you get clear on your customer, onceyou get clear on, here's the problem I solve. You know, then we have to startgetting into what are all the different ways. We can get somebody into thatfunnel, that marketing funnel where they, first of all notice us and thenthey start paying attention to us and then there's trust that's built andthen we get them to take action and more action. And so we, you know, wedraw them in that way. But again, until you're really clear on who thatcustomer is and what problems you solve specifically and you can articulate whysomebody should do business with you and by your thing, whatever the thingis, all this thought leadership is just activity that's going to get younowhere. Hey everybody Logan was sweet fish here. You probably already knowthat. We think you should start a podcast if you haven't already. Butwhat if you have and you're asking these kinds of questions, How much hasour podcast impacted revenue this year? How's our sales team actuallyleveraging the podcast content? If you can't answer these questions, you'reactually not alone. This is why cast it created the very first contentmarketing platform made specifically for B2B podcasting. Now you can moreeasily search and share your audio content while getting greatervisibility into the impact of your podcast. The marketing teams at driftterminus and here at sweet fish have started using casted to get more valueout of our podcast. And you probably can too, you can check out the productin action and casted dot us slash growth. That's C A S T E D dot us slashgrowth. All right, let's get back to...

...the show. It's not necessarily gettingyou nowhere because a big part of marketing is trust and expertise. Andeven in direct marketing you're just you're doing it in small waysthroughout your your landing pages and your conversion funnel. They tend tojust be smaller snippets of credibility building. It could be as simple as atestimonial or an endorsement of some kind or I don't know having yourselfwith a picture of somebody they would know and respect. You know on the onthe side of the page somewhere. Yeah. But again, let me just but again yousay it's not the way it is a waste of time because I'm telling you I've dealtwith 10,000 I. T. Business owners and they'll come to me and they'll say wellwe're tweeting and posting and writing articles and we're doing all this stuffand we're not getting any customers and so you know it's not that's the partthey overlook and then I press them well who is your customer? Are yourcustomers on facebook? Are they on twitter? Are they on youtube? Are theyyou know and when you're doing these things, are you if they're there whichit is Arguable whether they are or not, are they? They're looking for what yousell and then are you posting and creating content that is going to hookthem where they are, where their thoughts are. And it's like when youstart going down that path that's not what they're doing. So there's a lot ofactivity going on but there's no results coming in. So. Yeah I mean itis that is that is wasteful when you're just producing content to producecontent because uh, thought leadership going back to your, you know, of whenwe'll say that's being known for something, well that requires contentcreation and to do content, it's a big giant time suck. You've gotta, you know,writing articles and doing videos and creating webinars and getting pictureswith celebrities and all this. It's like, it's a lot of time to create it,you're competing with a lot of content online, you're competing with netflixand amazon, you know, at that point for attention. So this is a very, verydifficult game and it's easy to fall into just doing a lot of activity andnot getting any results. And again, it goes back to you got to know who yourcustomers, you gotta know what problems they have, what they're interested in,and then back into that with whatever it is that you sell. So how do youestablish credibility in your conversion funnels? Yeah, I mean, butbut again, if we can't we can't establishing credibility and trust isafter we've gotten their attention, if we can't get their attention, if wecan't get them to read the article, we can't get them to take action and wecan't continue that dialogue because they're not paying attention to us. Youcan't build trust. So you could be putting tons of articles out there. Butif nobody is looking at it, nobody is reading it, nobody's clicking. You'rejust doing a bunch of activity and getting nowhere fast for sure. And itdoesn't necessarily have to even be content out there. But how in theconversion funnels, are you establishing trust is they'rediscovering you and discovering that go, this is actually a solution that I'veseen for the first time. Maybe they clicked on a google Adwords ad or sawyou somewhere relevant where they had attention on it and now they're on yourwebsite. How are you building credibility? Well, I think there'sthere's a couple ways, I think the first thing is you have to be able toarticulate the problem they're having and how they feel about it even betterthan they can, because that creates instant report for an instant trust. SoI don't know if you ever had a chance to interview chris voss my he's a goodfriend of mine, he wrote the book, Never split the difference. It's abrilliant book. He's a he's a brilliant guy. He was a former FBI head of theFBI department that was for hostage negotiation for international hostages.Like so if you're an american and you got kidnapped overseas, it was chrisand his team that negotiated you to safety, right? And so he, in his wholebook it's you've got to be able to articulate whatever the proposition is.So that the person the prospect says...

...that's right, not your right, butthat's right meaning whatever you just said, however, you just articulated theproblem, the statement the whatever instantly I go, that's right. You know,and if like for example, if you watch news commentary, right? I mean the youknow, late rush Limbaugh laure you go and it doesn't matter whatever newsbroadcaster who has an opinion, who they're you know, delivering an opinionon the news, not just the news but which is almost all of them right? Butwhen they're doing that, when they make a statement, the recent people tune inis because they're making statements where the average person is going,that's right. And they want that person to be able to articulate why they feelthe way they do. And that creates follow people following them and tuningin and reading what they write because they want to hear that person's opinionabout something. And so, you know, when you know your audience again goes backto God know your customers when you can produce content that that the prospectgoes, that's right, you instantly get report okay. Um and and it can be notjust in articles. I mean, I just wrote about was give examples in ournewsletter every month. And there was a cleaning company that had this big fullpage ad in some sort of publication, local publication newspaper I picked up.And I mean, they spent for a full page ad and it was for a Mother's Day, addsbasically the add some kind of paraphrasing with something along thelines of, you know, don't spend your mother's Day. Uh, like we get it that,that was, I think it was something like we get it. You know, you're super busy,don't spend your mother's day clean and give yourself a break. But the picturethat they had was of a woman. Now she was, you could tell it was manufacturedbecause it was a woman in a sort of dress suit. She has a baby on her hipand she's got like her hand on like a spatula right now she's in the kitchen,there's nothing in the pan. The kitchen is pristine, like pristine and itsmodern looking and there's not like a single like toy on the floor. There'sno fingerprints on the, the refrigerator. There's no like spills onthe countertop or baby bottle stuff everywhere or dirty dishes piled up orthe groceries there. The person like it was pristine and instantly I said, youknow, they're trying to say, we get you moms, we know how it is because look,we have a picture of a mom with a baby on her hip and she's got like a spatulaand she's got her phone like a phone and it's like they got that part right?But they got the scene wrong. And so instantly I know whoever created thatat is not a mom because I'm a mom and my kitchen doesn't look like that,right? I know what a kitchen looks like when you have a baby or two kids, youknow, and you're, you know, so you know, whatever in always the first thing youdo to build report and trust is you have to be able to communicate to thatprospect on a level about their problems, their situation, theirbeliefs, their concerns what they aspire to, and it has to have aconnection and that's just so that's the first step. And again, that's a bigstep. A lot of people don't get that right. And then beyond that, as far asbuilding trust, by the way, I should also kind of point out, we have thisterm, we call the trifecta. So we we teach our clients, not just, it's notjust trust. You want to actually have celebrity authority and trust andthey're actually three different things and celebrity and authority when youget in those categories, they also established trust. Right? So anotherthing is to become a mini celebrity. Well, how do you become a minicelebrity? Well, you public speaking, writing books, getting on the news,being seen in, in in different venues with with key people, you know, all ofthat builds celebrity. Being an authority means you actually can speakto a particular topic with deep knowledge and expertise, not surfacelevel opinions. So if you really have...

...deep research knowledge information onstatistics on whatever it is that your topic is, you know that helps buildauthority as does publishing books and public speaking going back, you know,they all kind of blend together. Um and then there's trust and trust really isthis this confidence we have in a person's honesty and integrity andtheir moral character that they're going to do the right thing. All right.So you look at someone like uh not to get political, but you look at like adoctor Fauci. Now dr Fauci is a celebrity. He's on the news and hasbeen on the news for over a year now. I don't think there's an americanhousehold who doesn't know the name. So he is absolutely a celebrity. He is anauthority. I mean he has the credentials in the background to speakabout this virus and the infectious diseases. However, what he has is ahuge trust problem because he's backtracked on a couple of things. Hisemails have now come out and people are now not trusting him. So when you're,you know, so trust is also about consistency because that's where a lotof politicians get in trouble. Especially in this youtube video.Everything world, anything you ever utter on camera on a Youtube video onfacebook, on social media. You know, people in its forever recorded and ifyou constantly flip flop or you're not, you don't have very clear definitiveguidelines about what is good, What is what people should do any time you havegray fuzziness. See all those things destroy trust, lack of consistencydestroys trust. So, um and I'm not just talking about consistency in yourviewpoints, I'm talking about consistency and people seeing you. Soanother way of building trust is they've got to see a lot of you, theycan't just see you like post-1 article a month because that's not gonna buildenough consistency, right? So they've got a c in multiple media and they'vegot to see the same sort of content coming up over and over again. I meanif you're a magazine, you can't just publish once in a while, It's gotta beon schedule. If you're a news media, you've got to publish where you gottaput your video out on a certain schedule and that consistency in and ofitself builds trust. So just longevity, you know, or number of clients that youhave, if you have um you know, if you've been in business for a very longtime, although that alone won't build trust, it's just another check box. Umand that's, and I should say all this stuff is like a layering effect. Themore you have of this, the more trust you can build, right, so longevity,consistency. A lot of clients, the right type of clients, if you havecelebrity clients, all of those things build trust and you know, so, so again,celebrity authority and trust their three different things and you've gotto get them all, they all sort of support each other like a three leggedstool. Um and you want to have all this now, all of the, this the things I'mdescribing here are a lot of work. And so, you know, again, another problemwhere people get into is they creep into it do a little bit, you know, sothey want to be the thought leader on something, but like they don't publishall the time. They, you know, they don't, they're not consistent withvideos. I mean, it's like, so it's either, I mean, I think people have tounderstand the difficulty of the task to get to that point and, and it's it'sgonna be over a long term. I mean, I had a client the other day who was, youknow, his consulting, he's doing, he's been doing marketing for about a yearand he's, his cost per lead is still extremely high and he says to me, Ican't continue doing this, I can't afford it. I want to get my cost perlead more like what you're getting. Well, the problem is, Yeah, it took me20 years to build my list and authority and trust and credibility, right? Ittook me 20 years. He's in a year and he wants what I've got, it's like, welldude, I mean we have things we can do to accelerate it, but you know you yougot to be in this for The long game and you gotta put all the work in, youcan't and he wasn't, there was 20 things he wasn't doing, he was justdoing one thing. I mean I did 30, 50 things over 20 years and so again, Ithink people missed, they don't...

...understand the difficulty of the taskand you know, they kind of do it too timid and then they get frustrated andgive up and then they really get nowhere. So I know I'm a little bitwandering Dan, you're going to have to rein me in. It's been really good. Ithink, I think when you say authority, celebrity and trust, I'm like to methat equals thought leadership When you have when you're known for yourauthority and people trust you. Um and we both know like when people perceiveyou as that person in your industry that creates demand for you, whichmakes it much easier. It's like you have to do way less work on the directresponse marketing side to even get them into the pipeline and what theyget into the pipeline, they just shoot right through it because they're justlike you're just like, oh yeah, you should buy this and this and this andthey're just like, okay, okay yeah, whatever you say because they respectyou so much, they're willing to pay. They come to you with their kind ofwallets out already because they already trust and respect you. But likeyou said, it takes it takes a long time. It's kind of a long game plan that Ithink a lot of people can work on. But in the short term you can get a lotdone just having clear and concise marketing that targets a very specificperson with the specific problem and your solution does the best ataddressing that problem. And if you could just get clear with them and witha very concise, unique selling proposition, you can kind of get themin while you're building all that ah thought leadership while you'rebuilding the authority, the celebrity and the trust. Just just you know wecall it the cat trifecta. Smile mix right? You know what I mean? Becauseit's celebrity authority and trust. You know we call it the trifecta because Idon't want people me yelling at me. But uh but yeah again you have to realizethat they are three different, distinctly different things and you gotto work on all of them because you can have celebrity but not have authorityand trust. I mean there's a lot of celebrities we know that we would nottrust to watch our dog, you know what I mean? Like and they might have anauthority on anything and then there's a lot of people who have authority,they're very knowledgeable about their topic, but they don't have thecelebrity and they might not have the trust because they haven't really builtthat with the marketplace. So you got to think about all three of thosethings. They're three distinct things and you want to, you know when, whensomebody has all three going for him, that's when you really see somebodytake off. Like if you look at a Micro. So I had Micro speak at my event. Um,it's probably about 34 years ago and Micro has thousands and thousands ofpeople who follow him. He, his, I asked him one of the questions, I'm like sodescribe to me your business and he laughed, he really didn't answer. He,he kind of pulled it off to his, his manager who was there, we were havingdinner and his manager, you know, uh sort of answered it. But basically heis, I mean he's a celebrity endorsement, you know, because when he says fordtrucks are awesome and he's in their ads, people by four trucks becauseMicro has celebrity authority and trust with a very large audience and they,you know, and they and that carries a lot of wait. So if you really want agood example of that, then I would, I would submit to you someone like MikeRowe and you want to study and see what he's done. But you got to look back,you can't just see what he's doing today. You got to look at what he did.I mean he started out as a Q. V. C. Pitchman you know and gained his famethat way and learn how to sell and how to influence people and how to be goodon camera and how to engage people and you know from there you know as dirtyjobs and uh you know Micro works the foundation he's got I mean there's likeso many things he's done but if you want to see someone doing it reallyright. He's the guy to look at fantastic. I think I'll dig a littlebit more deeper into his stories. Of course I know him most of us do. He's abig name. You said a lot of the in the very beginning when I started talkingabout some of the work and things people can do in order to become athought leader. You talked about it being busy work or work that was notdriving profit. I think we can both agree that if you start with thoughtleadership type of work, then you're gonna be running around in circles fora while. The first thing any business...

...has to do is get really clear in theiraudience, have a clear like website with a strong value proposition thatessentially does good direct response marketing. It's kind of like the basisof the funnel. You have to be able to have your marketing do good sales first.Right. Well, I think well, yeah, I mean you have to have a viable businessfirst, you know, I mean because you can be uh you know a celebrity and wellknown and have a lot of viewers and and followers and everything else, but ifyou don't have something to sell them that they want to buy at a price pointthat they'll pay for and stay engaged in good customer service. So like, youknow, having a good business, a good viable businesses, just your I mean yougotta have it your entry into the game, right? And then once you have that,then you start doing the mark, you doing, you're doing marketing. It'sit's kind of the analogy I'll give is like it's sort of like like if I wasgoing to sell my house, I want to fix up the house first, I want to declutterit, repair, you know, any repaint, make it look fresh and new, maybe redecorate a bit. I wanted to look good before I start driving people to comelook at the house to buy it, you know, and so you want to make sure you have agood viable business model, something that people want to buy that they'reinterested in and that you can get customers consistently at a price pointwhere it's not gonna, you know, it's not going to undo you, right, so that'sthat's number one, you know, you know you gotta have that then you can saywell who is my customer and then how do I become the number one brand if youwant to use that, what's the number one go to person for this audience on thistopic, on this product, on this service, on this, in this area of expertise andto kind of wrap things up, what would you say are one or two things that ifyou haven't started doing that level of marketing to build that celebrity, thatauthority and that trust, what are some activities they can do that are likekind of have the most bang for your buck kind of activities. Well I thinkthat again the biggest thing is building a list of those prospects, youknow because um all social media, if you're paying paid ads and retargetingand all those things you've got again, you've got to know who your customer isand then you've got to start building that list, getting people to opt in tofollow two and and and and in various media because you know, linked in as adifferent group than facebook than as Youtube right? And again, knowing whoyour audience is and where are they? And then you start building the contentum and list to get people to opt in and want to follow you because without thatlist, I mean that with in any business, in any business, the single biggestasset you have is your customer list and the relationship you have with itperiod. That's it. If you've got a really good quality customer list andwe'll say prospect list if you will. And those people they trust you, theydo business with you. If you want to gin up sales, you just send an email tothe list or you just do a run a promotion. I'll say email. But I meanwe could do it on facebook link to whatever. Um you run a promotion toyour list and they buy in the responsive. So the number one thing Ithink people need to start doing is building that responsive list. Andagain every over 20 years when I'm doing this, that that's the singlebiggest neglected thing in most businesses because they don't value thecustomer or the name capture, they don't see that as an asset. So theydon't have a list. They've been in business for 30 years. And you say,well, do you have a list of unconverted leads and they don't have a list of,they don't have one and or you know, they'll, they have customers but theyhaven't been tracking customers. And so they they're like, yeah, well we havepeople who bought from us, But it was like, you know, they're inactive. Likethey haven't bought from us in five years or 10 years and what are youdoing with those people? Nothing. And so, you know, I think the one thingthat everybody needs to focus on is...

...building a list of those sweet spotprospects and then continually engaging it because you can't just build thislist and then forget about it. You know, your list is not a static asset. It'snot a static relationship. So you got to constantly be working onrelationship staying in front of them, providing them content. They findinteresting and useful or funny that they're going to open your emails aregonna watch your videos, right? You got to build that list and that communitybecause once you have that over time, it's the single biggest asset you havebecause it is, you know, again, if I need sales, if I want to promote a newbook, if I want to do anything, fill a seminar room, if I have a veryproductive, healthy list, then I can get, I can make that stuff happen. Butif I don't have that list then I'm struggling paying high dollar for Coldleads, cold traffic, trying to convert newbies to pay attention to follow me.And you know, it's kind of like trying to lose £20 the week before yourwedding. You know, good luck, right? You know, it's probably gonna involvesurgery and a lot of painful things, but if you take the time and you startbuilding this list and building the relationship with this this community,if you will of people, that's the I can't stress that enough. That is thenumber one thing. That I mean, that's why you want to be a thought leader. Imean what is the thought? It's a it's a person that people follow and want topay attention to. So um you don't want to just post stuff out there. The wholegoal is to build this list that you own, that you can control. Because even if Ihave that list, I can do direct mail, I can do telemarketing, I can uploadthese and make custom audiences on facebook, on linked in. I can doretargeting. I mean, there's a lot of stuff I can do if I have that list, butif I don't have that list, I can't do any of it. And the second thing againis it's not just building the list, but continually working and talking to andcommunicating with it so that you're always relevant guys. Let me tell you,that's a tough game to play because staying relevant, new and fresh wherepeople will follow you for a very long time is a tough, tough thing. I mean,I've been doing this for 20 years and I'm proud to say that I have customersthat are still customers of mine that I've had from 20 years ago, they'restill following me, they're still opted in there, still opening my emails,they're still coming to events, they're still coming to webinars. And that'sbecause I have to constantly keep new fresh relevant information and deliverit in a way that they always want to kind of stay engaged. You know, they,they're like, they might not follow everything and read everything, butthey stay connected because they know I'm a source for good information thatthey want and they need. And that's and that's really a big key. When you saylist, do you mean email list or do you mean audience on any particularplatform? No, I mean, well, I mean, it could be any particular platform, butyeah, I mean, I'm talking about a mailing list where you have physicaladdress, name of company, phone number, email address. Believe me, there's a,there's value in that, right? Like full contact profile, that, that's a listand its own media. It's your crm, essentially. But at the same time,those same people I've got on that list, I still try to get them to follow me onfacebook and linked in. And Youtube subscribe to my Youtube channel. Why?Because They might not get my email. I mean basically we all know email is adying medium and it will never go away. But I mean it's, I mean, you're luckyif so, okay, you have an email list. You're lucky if 20% opens it. So thatmeans that means 80% of those people never saw, never open, never looked at.So this, you might as well not have done anything. So that's why you wantto have multimedia. So if I have email, I can email them to the, I could postthe video on Youtube and my Youtube subscribers will see that. Then I goover to linkedin and I posted in that community of my, you know, my linkedinface, my linkedin group or you know,...

...posted in my feed and then I put it inmy facebook and I'm driving. So, you know, you want to have this multiplecommunity the same community obviously, but subscribed will say in various ways,and and again, you got to maintain it because if you don't post on a regularbasis, if you don't have relevant information, people tune out, they gottoo many other things going on there. Again, you're competing with netflix,you know, you're competing with a lot of very interesting people who havethat, that are far more entertaining than me than you, you know, and so ityou've really got to fight for that. Um and I think people have to understandthe difficulty of the task. Well, that's been amazing. I agree, growingan audience of some kind across of course, Omni Channel, doing it acrossmultiple mediums is the best. Usually have to start one way and kind of buildyour way from one thing to a second thing to a third thing and kind ofstart small and grow like building an audience. There's nothing there'snothing that can make up for that, no amount of posting to Forbes or otherplaces in using their audience. You have to build your own. Exactly right.Robin, thank you so much for joining me on the show today. This information hasbeen fantastic. Where can people go to learn more from you? Well, I think ifthere and uh if they're an I. T. Firm, if they're an MSP. Var I. T. Servicescompany that sells outsourced I. T. Support the best website for you guyswould be technology marketing toolkit dot com. That's that's my businessthat's focused just on marketing for MSP. S varsity service companies. Soit's technology marketing toolkit dot com. Now, Big Red Media is uh we areserving mostly people who want to sell to and through our community of the I.T. Providers right? So if you go you know big Red media. But another thingthey might find interesting is Big Red Virtual and that is our virtual eventplatform. Um that's our software as a service and again we we launched thatbecause last year in 2020 our big event got shut down three weeks prior to usum going live and that's an event that costs us roughly about 1.5 million toput on. And uh we triggered over a million dollars in refunds. It's justbecause we you know we couldn't do anything. We did end up going virtualwith it and it was a huge home run. And so we I really do think that virtualevents are going to be the I should say hybrid events because it's the inperson with a virtual component or pure virtual event. Fantastic. Thanks againfor joining me on GDP growth. Mhm. For the longest time I was askingpeople to leave a review of GDP growth in apple podcasts but I realized thatwas kind of stupid because leaving a review is way harder than just leavinga simple rating. So I'm changing my tune a bit instead of asking you toleave a review, I'm just gonna ask you to go to GDP growth in apple podcasts,scroll down until you see the ratings and reviews section and just tap thenumber of stars you want to give us no review necessary. Super easy. And Ipromise it will help us out a ton. If you want a copy of my book, contentbased networking just shoot me a text after you leave the rating and I'llsend one your way text me at 4074 and I know 33 to 8. Okay?.

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