Marketing Accountability: Midwest Mindset Transcript

Marketing Accountability Transcript

This is a written Transcription for the Midwest Mindset episode about Marketing Accountability: The Key to Success, from Season 2 Episode 14.

Listen to the full episode below, or click here to listen on your podcast platform of choice.

Marketing Accountability_ The Key to Success

Marketing Accountability: Full Written Transcript

MATT: Hello and welcome back to Midwest Mindset, the podcast that gives small business owners the big agency secrets to marketing. I’m Matt Tompkins of two Brothers Creative, where we believe every business deserves affordable and effective marketing. The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. Great companies have high cultures of accountability. When people feel accountable and included, work is more fun, it’s more productive and more profitable. And your marketing is no exception.

Accountability is the key to success in marketing, and when marketers are held accountable for their actions, they’re more likely to make decisions that are in the best interests of their company. This leads to increased sales, improve customer satisfaction, and a stronger brand overall. Accountability is not always easy, but it is essential for success in marketing.

Every overnight success story is 15 years in the making. That’s one of my favorite quotes, and I don’t even know who’s who it’s credited to anymore. I think Bezos tried to hijack the credibility of that quote at some point. It’s been said over and over again, but it’s so true. As entrepreneurs, business owners, we. We work hard. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re putting in the work. You know, we’re working these long hours, seven days a week. It’s stressful, high anxiety. But when it comes to the actual work that’s being done, unfortunately a reason many most businesses fail after just 3 to 5 years is because they didn’t put in the right work. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today. And today is all about accountability. It is all about having a plan and the follow through with that plan. We’re talking about it specifically in regards to your marketing. But really, this applies to your business as a whole. And Tracy Winkler is Well, you I mean, you have experience many years working in marketing and you are now a certified implementer, so you’re like a BFD, I think is what those that’s the acronym you should be using for yourself. Right?

TRACY: Oh, how funny. And and thank you, Matt, for having me on. And actually, it’s professional implementer. Oh, I am certified, but I’m a professional implementer. Just to set the, you know, set the record straight there.

MATT: My wife will say that I’m certified in other areas or certifiable. I think that’s the that’s the term she throws around with me.

TRACY: That’s a good one.

MATT: So when I when we look at like, what makes a successful business, it is the boring shit. It’s the things that nobody wants to do. It’s not you think about a success story in business and we think about the money and the the ego and all the credit and the the legitimacy and how we’re revered in our industry. You know, the wealth, the success, the cars. Those are the fun, sexy things. But what gets you to that point, that is the that’s really the part most people ignore or don’t want to think about. And it’s the boring shit, you know, it’s I sum it up as you have to be a professional business person. If you want to be a successful business person.

And professional just means having a plan following through with that plan and iOS, which I’ll let you explain because you can do a much better job. It’s something that we have started to self implement here over the last few years. You’re working with us here at Two Brothers Creative to take it the to the next stage. But it really is a it’s a it’s a it’s a roadmap for how to be a professional business person. So walk us through what actually is. Okay.

TRACY: Fantastic. And you did really well on that. So. Well. Thank you. Thank you. You know, like my job.

MATT: Because I’m a professional business person, that’s why.

TRACY: Now I get it. I get it. Okay. So basically, it is it’s tools and concepts that are great organizational system to put into place. So what happens? So the book there’s the book, Traction by Gino Wickman. So you’re familiar with that? Yeah, that is where it all started. That is where Gino Wickman, he’s been an entrepreneur for life, and he actually took and cobbled together concepts that have been around for years to create simple tools, simple meaning that they are really simple to use but not easy to do. And yes, it is not the fun shit that you get to do in the day to day, and we make people make it look like it’s way more than that.

But where the consistency really comes in is from the stuff that isn’t that isn’t sexy, right? And so those are the things that you have to once you lay them down and you lay them down in a format like we do with iOS, you we do give you that roadmap. So for those that are struggling with that, this is where we come in and make it easy.

MATT: And as I mentioned in the opening with marketing, marketing is treated differently than every other part of most businesses, and I’ve never really understood why that is, especially considering that marketing is literally the most important part of your business. And you could say, Well, what about the products services? Nobody’s going to know about your products or services or that your business exists unless you’re telling people. So word of mouth is marketing your grandma telling her friends at bingo night about your business. That’s marketing. And so the fact that we put marketing in this special category and we say, okay, we’re not going to hold it accountable, we’re not going to be metrics based, we’re not going to have key performing indicators, we’re not going to have any sort of goals. We’re just going to come up with a fun creative idea, throw it at the wall, hope it sticks.

That’s marketing. And that’s that’s the that is a horrible approach that is setting yourself up for failure more times than not. And so I’ve never understood that that separation when people ask me that, like what do you recommend for my marketing? What’s the the top tip? And I say, treat your marketing like any other part of your business. And that all starts with accountability. So what we’re talking about here today applies to your business, it applies to your marketing, it applies to every department of your business equally. This was fascinating, Tracy, because I wanted to I was curious, like what the top weaknesses for most business leaders are and all of these are are basically solved by by traction. So at the top of the list, the number one weakness for business leaders is holding people accountable.

TRACY: Absolutely it is. Yeah. Right. People, right seats. And it’s something that people get when they say holding them accountable. It’s either it’s you’re managing human energy. And so that is the biggest thing that’s happening. And so keeping them accountable takes that leader to be really thoughtful in what they’re doing. And we can kind of expound on that later. So you got you got a big list. Yeah.

MATT: Going holding people accountable is number one for the top weakness, followed by getting rid of underperformers which traction does. Because when you are a metrics based company, you’re able to see, okay, this isn’t I just really like Bob. He’s got a great personality. It’s is Bob delivering? Is Bob actually performing well?

TRACY: And can I expound on that? When you were talking marketing, it goes back to part of marketing is your true core values that you’re building out. And so the simple thing is hiring and firing for those core values and that all it takes part of your whole marketing strategy that you’re building.

MATT: I never done goal setting. I’d always looked at goal setting as this like, you know, wishy washy type thing. I’m like, I’m not going to be one of those people. And what I found, though, is that, I mean, you really can’t track any sort of progress or know if you’re doing something right or wrong, if you’re not setting goals and then measuring them. And so what I would suggest to you, if you’re if you’re just starting out and you’re like, listen, this seems daunting. I don’t know if I can do this. I’m barely keeping my head above water. Keep in mind two things.

One, simple steps. It’s a simple step by step thing. You don’t have to do the whole entire thing all at once. I mean, if you can hire an implementer like Tracy, that that’s fantastic. But if you can’t, but if you can’t read the book and then implement something as simple as this vision traction organizer and at least you can lay out, okay, what’s my one year, three year and ten year goals like where do I want to be? What I found is in I set my goals in October of 2020 was when I left, didn’t renew my radio contract. I said, I’m going to do this full time again. Give it a second, a second whirl. And I set these goals by the end of the year, I want to be here. And it was like or I set my annual goals and by the end of the year I had already hit my annual goals.

MATT: And I’m like, okay, wow. I’m really like under estimating here what I’m capable of. And then I was able to adjust, and then you start to see what’s actually possible. And that’s for a business owner, that’s a really it’s an incredibly motivating thing, but it also opens your eyes to like, okay, wow, like this could actually be something here. This is an actual company. It’s not just a hobby or some freelance work I’m doing on the side. So I think having having just taking the approach of like, I’m going to do one thing at a time, get that one thing down and then move on to the next and, you know, and then giving yourself some grace over time here, that’s we want to be so hard on ourselves as business owners. We don’t want to give ourselves any sort of grace.

You have to keep your focus on the long game, like see the forest through the trees, step back for a second and say, okay, yes, I’m barely keeping my head above water right now, but I don’t want to be this way forever because that’s how businesses fail. So if I’m thinking a year from now, two years from now, I don’t want to be treading water, then you need to put an hour a day or whatever that little amount of time you can spare towards this so that you can get to that point where you are not working in your business, you’re working on your business.

TRACY: You are saying it all, this is perfect.

MATT: I need to come with you and be your pitch person.

TRACY: Have you noticed? I haven’t. I didn’t have to speak much and I’m usually the one speaking a lot. So no. You know, since you’ve done that and that vision traction organizer that we’re going to talk about and setting those goals that also works for you personally. So as the business owner, you can use that same format for your own life and for your own family. So it works both ways.

So any of the business owners out here you can use it for and equate it to the business or you can equate it to your personal life and family as well. So we’ll keep it as simple as you want. So getting that goal and writing it down and having that plan so you can actually ten x what you’re doing because most people do this. It’s a Dan Sullivan thing right now. There’s a great book out and it’s it’s about ten Xingu or two. Xingu two Xingu is you’re basically not changing a lot of what you’re doing. You’re basically 80% of your tasks that you’re doing to get to your goal. It really doesn’t. You don’t have to change much, but to ten things, you really have to cut things out and make a difference. So basically when you’re planning, you get to make the choice, you know, when you’re planning this and where you want to be in your goals, in your one year, your three year and your ten year goals and.

MATT: You’re so spot on with. Especially the core values. Yeah, I was really surprised when I set my picked out my core values, and then I found, wow, these are like a direct reflection of my personal values. And then you start looking at the goals and things in your life that you want and the reasons why you want these things. Like, I want to make more money. Okay, Why? So I can have more experiences in my life with my family or friends or whatever it is that that drives you individually. And none of that is possible without, you know, having these these these kind of core elements, if you will, that that iOS provides. And when it comes to your marketing, you know, being accountable with your marketing is something that is seems a little, um, maybe it’s like this unattainable or kind of a gray area because I will tell you this as far as like do’s and don’ts for, for measuring your marketing.

And you could tell me from your experience working in marketing and with iOS here if this is accurate, but don’t focus on the wrong metrics. You know, you want to focus on things that actually matter and drive your business forward. So leads, qualified leads, sales. Yep. We get caught up a lot of the times, and I’ve seen this unfortunately from other marketing agencies where it’s easy to spin the analytics, you know, and they’ll be like, Oh, you’ve got a 10,000 views on your video, you’ve got a bunch of heart emojis, you got a bunch of likes, you got a bunch of shares. Well, what is that actually doing for your business though?

TRACY: You just nailed it right there. And so in every company is going to have a different metric. So and really, when we call it a scorecard, so KPIs, your scorecards, your metrics that you’re looking at every week, but it’s what is an action that’s going to move you forward. So every week when you’re measuring that and looking at that, it’s it’s not just your measurables that are lagging, but what is going to be the next step to get you where you want to go. So if you’re on an island, let’s say you and all the gentlemen here at two brothers, you guys are all on an island drinking libations.

MATT: Scary thought, dipping your to be trapped on an island with these.

TRACY: Guys and dipping your toes in the sand and you have your team back here and you have a sheet of paper that you can look at what’s happening, maybe how many prospect calls, how many leads have you got? You know, what is it that’s going to move the needle for you that, you know, you can stay on the island or that you have to get your rear end back here to take care of business. So those are some of the metrics that are simple that we’re measuring. Now. You as a marketing department or different departmental can have your own scorecard metrics that even go deeper because you are going to be measuring things at a different level than actually the whole leadership team, but still keeping it as simple as you can without overthinking it.

MATT: And you have with us, you have teams and so we use 92 IO, which is a great online platform that it works hand in hand with your your traction for your US. And so we’ll have, you know, we have our marketing team and we have our marketing team has, you know, we have daily huddles, we have our weekly level 10 or 10 meeting. And then you have your maybe operations, you have your leadership team is another big one for your company. And you know, early on you’re going to have a lot of people in all these different members of many different teams.

But it’s important to distinguish those teams because you’re right, you know, setting your marketing goals there, it’s going to align with your overall company goals, but your marketing goals are going to be different measurables and metrics than, say, your leadership team goals, right? I mean, so you want to like having different sets of goals is important and you’ll, you’ll find this as important for you as the owner of the business to make the business more profitable, your life less stressful, streamlining everything. But your employees are going to love having accountability too, because they know what they need to do. They know when they’re performing well. And it’s just it really is this like overwhelming sigh of relief from everybody individually to company wide. Like, okay, all right. We’re all on the same page now.

TRACY: So you said same page. So do you care if I unpack something so that they understand because we’ve been throwing out some terms like the L ten meeting and we’ve been throwing out scorecards. And so basically iOS has six key components. Okay, so it starts number one with Vision Visions at the top, the second components people, third components data, the fourth components issues, the fifth components process.

And the last component of all is traction. So vision without traction is hallucination. So seriously, right? So where I wanted to unpack that is we start up at the top with the vision where we ask the eight questions and we go into this vision traction organizer that we’re going to give the your listeners this actual tool so that they can use it. But the second tool that we use is shared by all. So first, when I’m working with clients, I’m working with the leadership team only and we go through in my core processes and what I take you through. We start with the 90 minute meeting. So that’s making sure that iOS is right for you. You like me and I like you. Yeah, obviously we determined we kind of like each other. You know, we you know, the verdict.

MATT: Is still out, but. You know, we’ll we’ll we’ll muscle through it. We’ll muscle through it. That’s right. Muscle through it.

TRACY: So then we start off with a focus day, and that’s about an eight hours of an high level working on the business. 30 days later, we’re going into a vision building day one, which is really taking the marketing and then vision building Day two is 30 days later. After that, it’s time for you to share by all. So you after the leadership team, we develop the accountability charts. We we put all this together.

Then you’re sharing it out with your teams and you were talking marketing teams then they’re starting to build the same thing after that. And then I work with you guys on a quarterly basis and then an annual basis. I’m not digging too deep in the business. I’m just keeping you accountable and running everything. So those are kind of the six key components and high level what we’re doing and where we start. So where we’re starting today is vision. Yeah. And people and.

MATT: With vision traction organizer here, which you can download for free. The link is in the show notes. Yep. It really is. It’s kind of just the, I don’t know, the first draft, if you will, of your, your traction of your entrepreneurial organizational system. So, you know, Tracy’s got one here. She just pulled out. And like your core values, what are your five core values?

TRACY: I mean, we answer eight questions. That’s what we do.

MATT: Yeah, that’s all it is.

TRACY: So we start off with core values. What are your core values? Okay, so you can have as little as three to up to seven at the max. What are your core values?

MATT: So our core values would be honesty, quality, collaboration, creativity and growth.

TRACY: Okay, so core focus, core focus. That is really what is the sweet spot. So really what is the reason and the core focus I want to talk about again, that is really simply put, that’s why you hire and fire people. That is what you stand for. That is what And if you had an employee, for instance, your core values and it’s like, did you align with them? Yeah. And if they don’t align with them, I mean, you know, that that shows a lot.

And the same thing with your customers as well. Those are the people you want to have fun. You want to, you know, you want to work with people that every day that you guys are doing something fun, making a difference out there and that people align. And if they don’t align, they will know because you’re either holding them back and there’s a better option for them. Right? We’re going to the next the ten year target now, ten years. Gosh, what the heck is ten years? Am I still going to be in the workforce? I don’t know.

MATT: All I can say here is dream big, like in traction in the book, he calls them, you know, big, hairy, audacious goals like Think Big because we do limit ourselves. We have this it’s like a scarcity mindset almost of like, oh, geez, I don’t know if I can say that I’m a $10 million annual revenue company or not. I don’t. This is for you. Like just dream big because dream big. I mean, I went through this early on with my mentor. She’s looking at this going, uh, why? This is a why are you limiting the potential growth of what this company can be? You know, and I just couldn’t wrap my head around it early on of, you know, this this actually could be that big of a success, you know, And so don’t limit yourself and and really just dream as big as is possible. Right. And that’s where it starts.

TRACY: It is. And now some people went 5 to 30 years. So whatever, you know, even though we have ten year but dream big and that’s where I was kind of going with the ten X thing because if you don’t set those goals that high because you might hit down at two X, but if you hit them at two x, where are you going? You’re way below. Yeah, right. So ten year target. Next thing we do is what you love. Marketing strategy we both used to do. I used to do a lot of strategy. So there’s a difference between a plan and a strategy. You can imagine that.

MATT: Yeah. So and this is we’ve talked a lot about this on the podcast, having a strategy, having a plan with processes and procedures, having a checklist to accomplish tasks along the journey of what that strategy is. These are seem like very simple things, but they are the most overlooked aspects of especially marketing, because we think marketing, like I said, we think is just this creative, fun idea. You come up with a name of a clever mascot and something funny and he’s got a catchphrase and I got a jingle and then boom, it’s a success story, right? That’s all marketing is.

Marketing is a science first. It is formula first and then creative. And that is that is hard for people to kind of wrap their heads around because it seems like it’s the it’s the funnest part of the whole company. Right. Coming up with silly, goofy ideas. But without a strategy, you don’t have anything, right?

TRACY: You’re doing the tactical things and everybody wants to do tactical first. So the strategy is big picture, and that’s actually putting a plan together, a plan to see where we’re going to go, that it matches your core values and that you can actually then put that plan together and then follow through on it and execute on it. Now, what we do with strategy, that’s pretty high level. So when what this sets it up for is really nice for marketing agencies, because when any marketing agencies have worked with the company that is run on iOS, they’re like, Oh my gosh, because they get it. So this is really top level. Like working with you then takes that marketing strategy to a deeper level and gets more. You bring on the tactical with the strategy or you’re able to do the tactical right.

So after we do the marketing strategy, we go into one year planning. Okay. Or excuse me, your three year picture, and then you go into your one year planning and then we start creating rocks or which are 90 day quarterly goals, 3 to 7 for the company. No more than that because, you know, it’s it’s hard to accomplish. And then later each person has their own rocks and then we create an issues list and issues. And that’s basically that’s throwing up every issue you’ve got.

MATT: And it’s not necessarily personal issues you have with people. It can’t be, but it’s like, okay, hey, our, our, our in intake system for new clients is flawed and here’s why. And like here’s you know, it’s figuring it’s problem solving, right?

TRACY: It is problem solving and critical thinking and also getting going deeper because sometimes some of the issues can be symptoms and you’ve got to keep digging, digging, digging for the root cause, which can smoke out a couple of different issues. The idea that what we when we’re working together and build more out and we’re not talking about that all today because we do not want to confuse them all, but on the issues list is basically we want to take those issues and we want to solve them for good.

And that’s either by giving them on a to do list for something weekly or on a rock for a quarterly goal, but making sure to get it off forever, not just that reoccurring issue that never goes away, that pain in the you know what that sticks with us. We want that gone.

MATT: All of this is like Big Sky view with a lot of things we covered here today. However, again, just to reiterate, it starts with the Vision Traction Organizer. So download the free PDF in the show notes. We also have Tracy’s contact information because you do a lot of consults and initial conversations with people that where there is no there’s no financial risk, you’re not on the hook and you can get a lot of valuable, very valuable information and resources suggestions from Tracy herself to help you move your business and your marketing forward. So Tracy, thanks so much for coming on as a professional implementer here on the show.

TRACY: Well, thank you. And I had a great time and help first. That’s what we do.

MATT: Thanks once again for joining us here today on Midwest Mindset. Don’t forget to download that free vision traction organizer. The link is in the show notes. We’ll see you on the next episode.

Midwest Mindset Transcript Season 2 Episode 13: AI Tools for Marketing

AI Tools for Marketing Transcript
Season 2 Episode 13

This is a written Transcription for the episode: AI Marketing Tools: What You Need for Your Business.

AI Marketing Tools_ What You Need for Your Business

Full Written Transcript of The Episode

MATT: If I was building a house, I could use a traditional hammer and nail, framing each wall by hand, pounding each nail into each individual board. Or I could use a pneumatic air gun. Now, this nail gun would streamline the process, building my house much faster with better quality, and allow me to do some cool, innovative things that I couldn’t do with a manual hammer and nail. However, that pneumatic air gun cannot build the house for me. Artificial intelligence is just the latest advancement in tools that you have in your arsenal.

Choosing not to use these tools is a mistake, but so is depending entirely on these new tools. In this episode, we’re going to break down how you should and should not be using AI with your marketing. Hello and welcome back to Midwest Mindset, the podcast that gives you the small business owner, the big agency Secrets to Marketing. I’m your host, Matt Tompkins, alongside my brother Ben, who’s here today. Hello.

The other brother. Finally. It’s about time there is another brother at two brothers Creative, where we believe that every business deserves affordable and effective marketing. I wanted to bring Ben on the podcast today because Ben is actually a robot and we’re talking about artificial intelligence today, so I’m.

BEN: Happy that you actually think I have intelligence that makes me happy.

MATT: It’s artificial, so. Oh, so yeah. So we’re talking about artificial intelligence today. Now there’s there’s traditionally been just one camp on this. It’s the end of the world. Yeah, right. Terminator two Judgment day. Ai is going to take over. It’s going to destroy mankind. But nobody talks about the other side, the benefits of AI taking over. Let’s be honest here. Human beings, we have not done a very good job of living over the millennia.

Right. Right. I mean, you look at the wars, the slaughters, the brutality, you look at pollution. There are so many things we could solve, so many problems we could solve. We’ve chosen not to do anything. So there is a flip side that could happen with AI, where I actually solves all these problems that human beings have created. Either way, it’s out of our hands. We have passed the point of no return. So AI is either going to it’s going to evolve to a place where I can write other AI like spawn itself and at that point better than humans. And then at that point it’s either going to be for good or bad. So we just got to enjoy the ride while we’re here, Right?

BEN: And you’re saying these are the benefits. That’s what you’re starting off with, So. Okay. I wanted to like it.

MATT: I wanted to terrify. Yes. Terrified people first.

BEN: Some good benefits.

MATT: Okay. So artificial intelligence can do some pretty incredible things. Point proven. Just this morning, a friend sent me this Instagram video and they took every conservative politician they had Donald Trump, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, and a whole slew of others. And they not only had I recreate, they did like facial recreation, like the deepfake deepfake of their face, but they put them in full drag and then recreated their voices saying all of these very supportive things about being in drag. It’s hilarious. We have the clip here for you.

Speaker3: Let’s make America glam again.

Speaker4: I’m the elephant in the room and I’m not afraid to sparkle.

BEN: They call it trickle-down fabulousness.

Speaker5: I believe in limited government, but unlimited glamour.

Speaker6: Don’t tread on me unless you’re wearing fabulous heels.

Speaker7: Gop stands for Glamour on Point.

Speaker8: I’m a fiscal conservative, but I’ll never skimp on style.

Speaker6: I’m here to cut taxes and sashay away.

Speaker9: Stars, stripes and stilettos. Now, that’s what I call liberty.

Speaker6: I’m here to filibuster with flair. Queen.

Speaker10: In God we trust. And in glam we must.

BEN: Good job, producer. Well done.

MATT: Now, if you’re listening to the podcast, you couldn’t see the hilarity. You can check it out. The link is in the show notes for you. Now, while that is hilarious marketing on the behalf of Brita Water Filter, put that out. Brita filter always on the cutting edge of their marketing. It is also, I guess, terrifying to those people featured in these videos. There are some real scary things. I could definitely do a lot of harm, but there are so many benefits too.

I mean, yes, there’s the extremes, but as a small business owner, you need to know what tools are available so that you can level the playing field. We don’t have these massive billion dollar budgets and we have to increase sales. We have to bring in new leads, qualified leads and sales. So today we’re going to give you some very practical things you can use AI tools for. I asked AI So everybody has their AI platform of choice. Mine is Brad. It’s Bard. Google has Bard and it’s their version of Chatgpt basically. And I call him Brad because Bard is a horrible name. It’s a great name.

BEN: Why? It means it means poet. Like Shakespeare was known as the Great Bard.

MATT: Sounds like barf. That’s what I think. So I asked Bard, I said, Hey, give me the benefits and the potential risks of AI. So here’s what the AI gave me. At least the AI was honest with us. I can help us solve complex problems that are beyond the capabilities of humans.

There are so many menial, tedious tasks that we do as small business owners. And I mean, I think everybody, every small business owner wants another 24 hours in the day. There’s just not enough time. So this is a way you can really streamline your process. And we’re going to get to some specifics on how to do that and how to use platforms here in this episode specifically for your marketing. But everything from accounting, reconciling your books, you know, doing your taxes, just I mean, all these things, organizing projects. I mean, there are AI platforms for like one is motion that I use that will reshuffle my schedule as the day goes on. And I’ll just tell it, Hey, here’s all the tasks I need to get done this week and it’ll fit it into my schedule so that I, being the, you know, knucklehead distraction.

MATT: King Over here, Don’t forget to get something done right. I can automate tasks. That’s another thing. Free up our time for more creative and productive activities. Ai can help us make better decisions, provides us with more information. It can do research insights, I mean social media, analytics and things like that. That can take a lot of time for us to go through and process as humans. I can do that for us. There are some potential risks. You know, I obviously can job displacement is probably a big one.

Ai is going to sound kind of harsh, but I feel like the jobs that are always displaced by the latest form of technology, like did you really like deserve that? Is it really a job worth keeping if a robot can place you? You know, I mean, and I don’t mean that as an insult at all to anybody. Most of these jobs that are going to be replaced are going to be like, you know, tax people, insurance people, lawyers, attorneys.

BEN: There goes our tax accountant, listener base.

MATT: I mean, but the same thing was said with automation in, you know, when we had robots on on the floor of factories and we had all had these industrial revolutions come and come and come again. If there’s one thing that human beings are best at, it’s adapting. So I, I, yes, I agree. It sucks with the job displacement that will happen in certain areas. But the artificial intelligence robots can’t replace human beings in the in the in the the area of being a human being can come close can pull from data points through history. But I just feel like that’s often this big drum that’s beated and I don’t know how much. How is that different than in the 1920s, 30s, 40s, 50s and so on. We’ve heard this over and over again. I could be used to create autonomous weapons that could kill without human intervention. Now we’re.

BEN: Talking.

MATT: I mean, aren’t humans doing this already though? I mean, we’ve created drones. I mean, how many people have human beings killed? This is like the argument of driverless cars versus human beings driving cars. There’s like one Tesla that gets totaled with a guy who is using the driverless feature longer than he should have been using. It gets totaled. It’s a sad, tragic story. And then everybody says, Oh my God, we can never have driverless cars.

How many people are killed in accidents by human beings in their cars every year? And then I could be used to manipulate people and spread disinformation. Now, I mentioned that video that we played at the front of this. It’s obviously it’s done. I think it works for marketing, even though it’s random that Britta put this out there. I mean, when I say Britta, I don’t think political.

BEN: Jerry You’re filtering out all the trash. Jerry.

MATT: There you go. They’re filtering out. Yeah, but I don’t think they didn’t really take a side. They made something that was just hilarious. It was such an exaggeration. Everybody knows that’s not really them. And so that’s what makes it funny. And it’s there’s so much irony and juxtaposition that it makes it hilarious and it works. But there are some real dangers. I mean, what happens when the next, you know, presidential election and you have deepfakes of a president saying something that he didn’t actually say. So those are the real risks that are out there. But do those really affect our day to day as business owners? I mean, other than global nuclear war.

BEN: Right. That’s you know, we’ll deal with that one.

MATT: We’ll deal with We dealt with that one in the 80s. All right. It was a movie about it and everything worked out. Got to have it play tic tac toe. You know, that’s the solution. So let’s get into the good. All right.

BEN: Because you’re really just winning me over with this whole conversation so far. Yeah.

MATT: So Ben is a creative person. He’s a great writer. He’s a teacher. He’s. I mean, not to humble brag, but he’s working on his mother here right now. Yeah. And so I don’t know.

BEN: What I’m going to do with it, but.

MATT: But you taught English. You taught creative writing. And, you know, when it comes to using AI for things that are in the creative realm, which is kind of where marketing marketing is, you know, formula plus creative, that’s where things get kind of murky. And so there are some good uses of AI specifically with your marketing that I want to hit on. You know, I can handle some of those tedious parts of putting things together within your marketing strategy, your plan, automating posting. I mean, everybody uses Hootsuite, you’re using AI, that’s all these are.

I mean, AI has been around forever. Ai is in your stoplights, it’s in your smartwatch, it’s in your phone. All it is is math. It’s just math that can learn and progress and get better over time. So that’s all that it is. So I think that this is the first good thing that I want to hit on today that people should use AI platforms and tools for because we spend too much time focusing on the formula and not enough time focusing on the message. And we’ve asked Jasper, which is an AI platform to write comedy jokes, and they are horrible. They are not remotely funny, right?

BEN: I also have a test for if you’re a good songwriter like Willie Nelson, if you say write me a song in the style of Willie Nelson and it sounds like the the songwriter that you’re trying to mimic, then that person is not a good songwriter. So if you type that into Bard or Jasper or Chatgpt.

Willie Nelson songs are really, really hard for AI to write because they’re very poetic. They have these very kind of abstract, poetic images. Typically, AI pulls just generic rhymes, A, B, B rhyme schemes, and they use certain words that are synonyms. So like for head, it would use the word dome for a head. But Willie Nelson would never use that word. But if you ask Chatgpt or AI to write a song in the style of like Luke Bryan, then it typically writes a song in the exact formula that Luke Bryan writes, because those songs are very formulated, very easy to write when it comes to poetry and creative writing. I don’t think that AI is anywhere close to being able to actually create something that a human can create. And I think it’s important to understand.

BEN: You have to categorize. We look at I like we look at socialism in the same way that everyone jumps to this idea of socialism. So bad dreams. But we have socialism in our lives every single day. We take advantage of socialist programs in our own government all the time, but we don’t even know about it When it comes to AI. We have to separate the social aspect of this doomsday scenario.

And then I think that’s a question that a lot of business owners would have, is how do you separate it? So you have this societal aspect of AI and how it affects relationships and us working with one another and communicating with one another. But then that’s different from how AI can benefit your business and how it can help a business. And I think clarifying that to business owners is something that needs to be done because right now when you hear AI, the first thing you think of are all those doomsday things that you just said. Yeah, and it’s important to separate those pretty immediately if you want to use it effectively. And there.

MATT: Are extremes. We see this with other marketing firms and agencies and individuals with business owners who they take the extreme position and say, I can do everything just as good as a human, therefore I’m going to have it do all of my stuff. So all of my social media posts, all of my copywriting for my ads, my Google ads, Facebook, Instagram ads, it’s going to write all the copy on my website. In fact, you know what? I’m just going to use a cheap AI platform to build my website in just a few minutes.

And that is that is an extreme in the business world. That is a major mistake to make. It is a huge mistake because it’s just like with the extremes socially. And these cultural discussions we have is at the end of the world or is it going to save mankind? Like those are extremes. That is an extreme In the business world. It’s a little bit smaller scale. You have to look at I like a tool because that’s what it is. It’s just a tool now. It is a very advanced tool, but you can do some incredible things if you’re using this tool correctly, if you’re just avoiding this tool because it’s scary, intimidating or for nostalgic reasons, there’s a lot of people who just I’m not going to let it help me with my writing or research like I’m going to do it all myself. Okay. Well, that’s just a that’s an equal mistake because now you’re letting your own ego get in the way of a tool that can help you create and write something better.

You know, the human still has to be involved in it. And that’s like the big thing. The next thing I wanted to hit on is why marketing is unique and marketing, creative writing songs, music. I mean, no offense to Luke Bryan. I know he listens to this podcast. He’s going to be crushed by your analysis. I’ve talked to him about it already. Yeah, he knows. Yeah. I mean, there are so many, only so many words you can rhyme with, you know, truck and dog, right? And country Road come up.

BEN: With a new country.

MATT: Song. Yeah. So the thing is, is marketing. Marketing boils down to feelings. Marketing is all about the feeling brain and not the thinking brain. We use the thinking brain after we’ve already made our decision based on the emotions. It’s all about an emotional connection. And I don’t care how much you want to argue, it’s about the facts. It’s just the facts, ma’am. It’s the specs.

You’re. You’re kidding yourself. You know, we use the facts to justify the emotional decision we’ve already made based on feelings. And so how this is a this is a bad area, a bad way to use AI. How can you expect AI to connect with and resonate with other humans, with your message, with your marketing, if it doesn’t know what feelings are, let alone how to feel them in the first place? If marketing is all about connecting on that emotional level and I cannot feel so, how does it know? That’s why it can’t write jokes. It doesn’t have a sense of humor.

All it can do is pull from things that it’s found online and say these are things that other people are saying are emotional or sensitive or comical, but it can’t connect in a genuine, real way. So if you are using AI ChatGPT, whatever your platform of choice is, then you’re having to do all your stuff. That’s a mistake. That is just a major mistake that you can make. Now look, in just a second here, I want to kind of go through a couple of ways business. Small business owners can use this platforms in very specific real ways as a tool. That’s smart, that’s a smart use of this new technology, I think.

BEN: Yeah, the growing pains of you just don’t know how to use it. Similarly with social media, and that’s a problem. I’m sure a lot of businesses are at risk for, especially businesses that maybe aren’t that savvy when it comes to technology is that there’s a tremendous opportunity for people to take advantage of businesses when it comes to things like AI, because it’s a surface level thing you can have, it can write you a very surface level. This looks like a great script or a great blog or a great whatever, but there is no depth to it.

And that’s where the human aspect comes into play. When you have those some businesses that just don’t understand that it’s easy for them to get taken advantage of and be manipulated by whoever’s using this AI. So I think that’s a big concern that I think a lot of businesses should have. And knowing that what they’re getting when they’re getting AI and knowing that it is, it’s not a one stop shop when it comes to whatever you’re having it create. The human aspect still has to be involved in the process.

MATT: And there are there are so many different ways to use and misuse tools. And like I said, AI is no different than any other tool. I mean, I could use I use the analogy in the beginning of this episode of a hammer versus a pneumatic air gun, a nail gun for framing a house. I mean, yeah, you could use a pneumatic air gun too much and it could cause issues. It’s not going to build the house for you. But to just overlook it is, is just I think it seems to me it’s more out of fear. Ego seems to be the reasons people aren’t using these tools. But like with any other tool, though, you need to research how to use the tool, you need to read the manual.

And I don’t think many business owners are. They’re just following what other people are saying on Twitter and social media channels, and they’re hearing this national discussion of Chatgpt is replacing everything and they don’t really know what it’s capable of. So I wanted to spend the last few minutes here in this episode literally walking you through a very specific example of how you as a small business owner can use AI platforms to level the playing field. Now we’re going to use the example of SEO because a lot of companies, SEO is one of those things. We’ve done episodes on this in the past. It’s it seems like it’s very complicated. It can get very complicated, but the basic premise is that you want to show up in Google searches for certain words.

MATT: If you’re a cupcake factory in Omaha and you’re selling cupcakes and you have a counter and deli or whatever, then you want to show up for searches that are related to your business locally especially. But if you’re a national vendor, then you. Want to rank for those specific keywords. So that’s really all it’s about. I mean, it is the power of the written language. It’s the power of words.

Just changing a couple of words can have a huge difference. So how can you use ChatGPT and barred Chatgpt and barred? Ah, I would say Chatgpt is more advanced than barred from what? At least from my personal experience. But if I’m going to side with any AI platform when it comes to SEO, I’m going to use Google’s because Google is what, 85% of the search engine market. So you want to do what Google tells you to do. And for those right now who have heard like, well, I’ve heard that Google’s suppressing AI, creating content, you’re right.

You have heard that they haven’t specifically told us how they I don’t know how I don’t really know how they are suppressing it. A lot of people have said that it’s just a bluff of we’re telling people we’re suppressing it. Other people, they’re telling us they’re suppressing like Chatgpt and others, and then they release their own AI platform, basically giving it a big endorsement for AI.

BEN: Oh, sneaky guys.

MATT: So a number of different maneuvers here by Google. I don’t think the way that they describe it, they don’t say I created content. The way to describe it is they are going to reward quality content. In other words, if your blog article or your website reads like a robot wrote it, that’s not going to be the best quality, right? And so that’s really what you need to focus on. Is this relevant to other people with SEO? And this is where using AI as a tool comes into play. Seo is all about getting picked up by the sensors, the AI in the algorithms for. I mean, really what you’re doing is like you’re writing content so that AI will see it and then place it in front of humans, right? So it’s like the AI on for search engines. It’s like a gatekeeper in a way. Um, the gate, it’s like.

BEN: Those big sphinxes and never ending story.

MATT: Yes, the topless ones.

BEN: The topless ones. Yes, exactly.

MATT: That always freaked me out that.

BEN: A picture of those on.

MATT: The screen? Yeah. Okay. Yeah. I don’t know if it can anymore. I don’t think we can get away. Oh, I wonder who pitched that idea in that movie. You know what we need on these giant sphinxes? Okay, let’s get back on point. All right, so we’re using Chatgpt as an example. You’re using Bard. You know, Jasper. There are others. So here’s how you can use it. So SEO. So you want your website to rank for content, you need to be putting out content.

Blogs are your super secret weapon highly effective. But let’s say you don’t have a lot of time to write these blogs. Okay, let’s say maybe if you’re doing a podcast, you want to take the transcript, you can just copy the transcript, paste it into Bard and say, Bard, this is called a prompt. You give it a prompt. You are now Matt Tompkins. You are an expert on content marketing. You own two brothers, Creative, a content marketing company and podcast production studio in Omaha, Nebraska.

BEN: Sounds like the beginning of a terrible sci fi movie.

MATT: It does. In Chatgpt and Bard. You can paste like, I want you to scan my website and consume all of the content on this website so that you have an understanding of my past writing style, who I am and what we do, and then say, you know, let me know when you’re ready. Now that prompt you create that once and just save it in a Google doc saved in a word, doc. And then every time you’re writing content for yourself, you start off your chat with that prompt. So that prompt you start off with, okay, put the prompt in.

Now it’s going to write as you. Now the more input, the more information you give it in that prompt, the more accurate it’s going to be related specifically to you. But then let’s say you take like this episode of this podcast, we could take the transcript from this, which is just just an AI is going to create a written transcript of every word we’ve said. And you paste that in a bar and say, I want you to summarize this transcript into an 800-word blog article, and we want to rank highly for SEO for the following keywords.

And those keywords would be artificial intelligence, AI artificial intelligence for marketing. Ai for marketing. Ai for content creation. Ai for content marketing. And you say go boom in seconds. It’s going to create the first draft and that is important. It is not the final draft, but it’s the first draft.

MATT: And it is based on unique content that we’ve created. So it has a human perspective, human insight, those feelings that that Chatgpt can’t emulate on its own. And it has that. But it’s going to just quickly structure this and lay this out. Now you can take that blog rough draft and you can use the blog writing SEO checklist that we have. You can download it for free today. The link is in the show notes and you just run through it.

You add your external links, your internal links, you add some photos, you just do the little things that you need to do, your H1 title tag, H2, your metadata, and you’re good. You have a blog article now that’s going to as long as it lives on the Internet for the rest of its life, it is going to pay off. It’s like real estate to your investment portfolio. It’s just going to keep on paying. And how much did it cost you? It cost you a few minutes, a few minutes of your time, a half hour, maybe. Most. I mean, I did this. I was. Just messing around with Bart. In two hours, I wrote 17 blog articles, 17 blog articles, and then I spent the next two hours going through. We used some website called Semrush and it has a writing assistant so we can really dial in the SEO, get a highest score as possible in four hours time.

MATT: We had I think eight of those 17 were ready to be posted ranked high and are currently ranking in searches right now. So I’m just saying as far as using it as a tool, it is a major mistake to just say, No, I’m not going to use it, I’m not going to learn about it. I’m just going to you know, if I ignore it, it’s going to go away. It’s a passing fad or whatever. All right. This isn’t my space. It’s going to be here forever. It has been here forever. So use the checklist we have in the show notes. If you have questions about AI, you have questions about your marketing. Obviously you can hit us up all the contact information in the show notes as well.

But I think the important lesson today would be the takeaways don’t go to the extremes. Don’t ignore the tools that are at your disposal right now because those tools I’m telling you, you get 20 blog articles up on your website. You’re going to start leveling the playing field in the area of SEO for your company, you know? And how much did it cost you? It cost you reading, learning and some time. I mean, that’s that’s really that is such a minimal investment for us to commit for a major, major reward that we could that we can reap the benefits from.

BEN: And I think separating the societal impact of AI and the future of AI and those initial growing pains that people will take advantage of it and people will abuse it. As we learn more and more about this, just like in any new age, but then separating that from the business side, you can’t because it’s such a dramatic issue and scary issue and fun issue to talk about. It’s easy to lump it in and just get scared and back away from it. But there is a clear separation from the benefits AI has on a business side and a marketing side, and then the benefits and disadvantages it presents to a society as a whole. They are they are separate things. So that’s important to keep in mind.

MATT: Yeah, it is. I mean, it’s hard to separate those two, but you have to think about what’s best for your business. I mean, if they came out with a new product, a new tool of any kind, they came out with a new mop and this mop is going to clean your forest floors. I mean, the new the little electric electric Roombas, the vacuums. I mean, would you say, you know, you know what? No, it’s that that Roomba may try and kill me and take over the planet someday. I’m just going to steer away from that that seen.

BEN: Some of these Roombas Matt Vicious.

MATT: Just you have to be you have to learn. You have to you have to evolve along with the technology. Otherwise, as a business owner, you’re just going to be missing out on major opportunities. And so we use AI as a tool, just like you should be using AI as a tool. Don’t over use it. You have to be smart and you have to kind of wait on a case by case basis. All right. Thanks once again for joining us today on Midwest Mindset. Don’t forget, in the show notes here, there is a link. You can download that checklist for writing the perfect SEO focused blog article. We’ll have more resources for you if you want. If you want to read up on AI in the show notes for you as well. And we’ll see you on the next episode.

Midwest Mindset Transcript Season 2 Episode 11: Street Marketing

Street Marketing Transcript
Season 2 Episode 11

This is a written Transcription for the episode: Street Marketing: The Old School Trick that Work

Hightower Reff Law on the Omaha Podcast

Full Written Transcript of The Episode

Matt Tompkins: What does street marketing look like today in the era of all things digital? Well, it turns out that the same basic principles to physical flyers, in-person events and networking apply just as much to today’s digital marketing as it did 20, 30 years ago.

In this episode of the podcast, we’re joined once again by Todd and Tyler Radio Empire Zone Mike Tyler, who shares the old school street marketing tactics that they used that you can utilize today to market your business online. Hello and welcome back to Midwest Mindset, the podcast that gives you the small business owner, the big Agency Secrets to Marketing.

I’m Matt Tompkins of two Brothers Creative, where we believe every business deserves affordable and effective marketing. I remember when my brother Ben and I, we played in a band. We were trying to be rock stars. Spoiler alert, it didn’t pan out. We did okay. You know, we played for a number of years around the Midwest here and every show, especially local shows here in Omaha.

I remember handing out I don’t know how many flyers we would make up these flyers and we would make up outrageous posters and even take out ads in the the local newspapers like Shout and The Reader. And we would have these flyers. We took so much pride in these posters and these flyers, and we would literally hand them out by the thousands. My girlfriend at the time, now wife Wendy, she worked at Cox Communications. She had access to a printer so she could just print endless amounts of flyers for us. And we would literally take these by the thousands by the thousand and go out and stick them in the under the windshield wiper of vehicles in every parking lot we could get access to.

Matt Tompkins: It was a old school street marketing tactic. And yes, we were the guys that annoyed you with things stuck underneath your windshield wiper when you came to your car the next day, that soggy wet flyer that because it had rained or snowed the night before. Those are old school street marketing tactics, and I think we’re all familiar with some form of street marketing. But it is interesting to look back at what worked. You know, that was just 15 years ago. It’s interesting to look back at 15 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago at these old school street marketing tactics for marketing, how they worked and what we can learn from them and actually apply directly to marketing your business today. A perfect example of this is the Todd and Tyler radio empire.

Now for those that don’t know, Todd and Tyler are Omaha Nebraska’s Howard Stern, right? They came here in the early 90s and they have since been the number one top ranked radio show in our market. They have dominated for decades. They’re in the Nebraska Broadcasting Association’s Hall of Fame, and they are now syndicated all over the country. When they first moved here, though, they had a daunting task. It was just as daunting of a task as you face with marketing your business, especially if it’s a new business. And that daunting task for Todd and Tyler was ingratiating themselves to a new city, brand new city, new listeners, new people. And they took things to new territories, new places that radio shows in Omaha hadn’t taken things to up to that point because we had to.

Mike Tyler: Do a lot of stuff to to be known. We were out every night, either either socially or for the station and meeting and greeting people and hanging out and being part of that situation. We were also younger. We could do that more often and still wake up early. But yeah, they got us here. They put us on TV, a couple commercials. They did, Uh, I know, I know that to get us known.

Matt Tompkins: I remember the one commercial we had the women talking and like, it was your voice, but it was other people talking. They did that.

Mike Tyler: I’ll tell you the funniest one. This is if somebody could find this out, they they try just ingratiate us right away with Omaha, even though we weren’t from here. And we’re going to be on the air the next day saying we weren’t from here. They put Todd in the Huskers shirt and they put me in a Creighton jersey, okay? And they had us on TV saying, Hey, join us Monday. I’m thinking I look back at that commercial. I said, What the hell? I just found out where Creighton was like a month ago. So but that was that still got us out there.

But then they started realizing when they can’t phony that stuff up and then they I think one of the best campaigns they did early on was about 96. Yeah, 96 or so. Our boss, Jim McKernan, at the time did this. He he put up a couple of billboards in town. And one of the billboards was was me and Todd as like, uh, first grade pictures, something like that. And on the billboard it said innocent or something like that. And then about two months later, they changed it and it showed us our high school senior photos, which are hilarious. And it said, uh, I forget what the word was something like going because the final one was disturbed and it was our pictures.

Now I said, now they’re disturbed. And it caused a lot of talk. And we were driving down the highway, you’d see it and it was just it just showed. Well, it just showed the progression of what people thought of us. So that helped a lot. Uh, marketing wise. They used to, they did the early stuff, the t shirts, but they’re so funny. People sent me all kinds of stuff. Now these photos and stuff about some of the other stuff we did. Urinal screens.

Matt Tompkins: Urinals is a good place to advertise. It was a great place to advertise. You’re right. You know, especially for your audience, if your target audience is dudes. I mean, bars in town.

Mike Tyler: Had your screens in all the time, you know, and pitched on you last night. Sorry, we’re not on the air. I can say that I’d say it on here anyway, but yeah, so the urinal screens were big. I think we made condoms at one point. The company did the condoms.

Matt Tompkins: I don’t know. I’d feel weird. I remember when I was starting out because I worked for a news talk station. My producer was my role there. And I remember I had a a woman emailed me a picture of herself, a very large woman, and she told me in the email that she they we had like our staff photos on the website that she would pull up my staff photo while her and her husband made love in their bedroom.

And I’m like 26 at the time. And I’m like, What? Like, I mean, probably like, you know, I’d be the the woman in the photo that she revealed. It was like, you know, okay, I’m sure she’s beautiful to somebody else, but not it was just kind of it was a lot it was like, you know, a lot a lot very older woman. And I’m like, that’s a little intense for me. I’m like, crazy. I’m like six months into my, you know, radio job here and you got this.

Mike Tyler: Old, hey, hey, Sonny.

Matt Tompkins: Before you even get to step one, two and three of the laws of marketing, the introduction to this book, if you will, is understanding this basic truth.

And that is that marketing is not about facts. It’s about feelings. And we did a whole episode about this facts versus feelings. We’ll put a link in the show notes for you to check it out if you haven’t listened to it yet. But we have to set aside the thinking brain. We have to set aside our thinking brain as hard as that is, and we have to understand and relate to the feeling brain of your customers because perception. Chin is everything.

Perception is all that marketing really is. Understanding who your target audience is is the first and the only way to understand what drives them emotionally.

And there are a lot of easy free ways that you can accomplish this from engaging on social media and Facebook groups or even just posting questions on Quora in the radio back in the day. And today they do these study groups where they actually get people in a room to find out what drives them emotionally.

Mike Tyler: It does work, too, because we have perceptual studies. Our company has perceptual studies all the time about the music or or me and Todd or the show, I should say the whole show together. And they’ll you’ll see, Well, we like this. We don’t like that, you know, So we’ll listen to that. And most of the time we know what what they might not like or what they did. It it filters you in and out. So but you’re right. With marketing, you have to market. I mean, there’s a whole business around it anyway. The whole world runs around marketing.

Matt Tompkins: When it comes to your marketing. If you’re starting out, try and identify two key components. First, who is your specific target market? Who is your ideal customer? That’s first. Number two, what are your unique qualities? In other words, why you why should they choose you and your business? This is why being authentic is so important. It’s so crucial to your marketing.

You want to be yourself and you don’t want to just do things to follow the trends. That’s being inauthentic. And we’ve seen this time and time again where companies will jump on a bandwagon in the moment and they’ll change their Facebook profile, a certain color or a flag, or they’ll represent something just to jump on what’s trending online. And we’ve also seen that backfire big time for a lot of companies.

Mike Tyler: There was a after 911, there was a lot of I think our company had America, America Rocks, billboards and stuff like that. And they which at the time I thought was probably shouldn’t have been done, but I wasn’t in charge. It was long 20 some years ago. And but at the time I said what? I said, Well, I don’t want our names on the billboard. But then I thought, we have one of our names in the billboard.

They’re always in the billboards with the with the z92. But then it didn’t there wasn’t a backlash. I think everybody was still rah rah about, but it wasn’t so much. I was afraid of it being jingoistic because we were all jingoistic. We were all USA, USA in 2001 when 9/11 happened. But it also I felt that way. I felt like a is it a piggyback? But it wasn’t a backlash. And I thought it could have been. Now nationally, it could have been, you know. Yeah. But there was so much of that at the time.

Matt Tompkins: In radio, we call them stunts, but a stunt is basically just a way to stand out and get people’s attention. In today’s digital landscape, where we are bombarded with thousands of ads every day, it has never been more important for you to stand out. You can call it a stunt. You can call it making the news. The bottom line is that you need to be discovered. And to be discovered, you have to first be seen.

Mike Tyler: We did a lot of street stuff back in the day. We’d send people out in the street a lot during the show. Beast, our original guy, the original producer back in the day, or Donny or people like we would send them out and do crazy stuff on the street corner. And that just caused a lot of I mean, it caused a lot of commotion. Sometimes we did it with our bosses at the time, our bosses. We didn’t get permission because we figured getting you were in radio, getting yelled at is better than getting permission.

Matt Tompkins: It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission. And that’s basically the.

Mike Tyler: 90s was asking for forgiveness for sure because we would do a lot of stuff. And even sometimes I remember one time somebody reminded me of something recently we did, uh, we took our producer beast and put a bunch of dollar bills or stuff all over his body, like tens and 20s and had them hang out on a just a less than desirable street corner. And just with the phone, I was like, Yeah, I’m thinking, you know what? And it caused some commotion. I got some press, but it was also like, Yeah, someone could have been killed.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah, we had that when we were doing the TV show Omaha Live and we did a bit. We went down to I can’t even remember what it was. The, the Cubs or Cubs, Chubbies or Chubby. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But it was down on, on, uh, I don’t remember what 16th Street it was in a neighborhood that was a Bloods neighborhood, a Bloods district. And we were doing a bit with some real they were former but real Crips gang members. Oh shit. The bit was that the we. I went out there to talk to them and found out that they’re actually they’re not this stereotype, these, you know, thugs. They’re actually really smart and really good at a lot of different things.

That was the whole premise of the bit. So and they they were on board. They thought it was hilarious. We’re doing this bit. And it literally at the end of it, they said they saw somebody drive by and they said, Oh, we better get out of here. I’m like, Oh, why? Like, because the they drove by once they drove by with the colors and they saw them, they’re going to come back around. And my friend Neil and I were sitting there going, Yeah, right. And we turn around and they’re gone. They just left. And we’re like, Oh, crap. So like we’re and sure enough that that suburb back around, back around. And it was, but it was weird too, because then like probably 3 or 4 years later, this video is up on YouTube and there’s this backlash from people who aren’t from. The community at all. Just, you know, angry over it. And it’s the same type of backlash I’m sure you saw with a bit like that where it’s like.

Mike Tyler: I’m glad there’s not I’m glad there’s actually not a lot of video. I mean, I’m glad we have a lot of the video. The phones had cameras everywhere in the 90s. Yeah, we probably there’d be backlash to this day about stuff we did back then because there’s no video evidence. We can talk about it, but it’s just no video evidence. And I think that’s made a big difference too.

But you got to push the envelope, too. I think, like you’re trying to get this to business. If you push the envelope to see where you can go. Now, we got in trouble with some of those events, uh, but and we pushed it. But we’re remembered for them. So if you’re not remembered and that helped us stay, you know, relevant. You’re right. And if we’d ever pushed, we could have faded away easily like zillion radio shows do.

Matt Tompkins: There is definitely a real risk of pushing that line too far to a point where you could put your business at risk. Having a strategy and a plan is the key ingredient here, because if you know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and how you’re executing it in any aspect of your marketing, whether it’s a stunt, whether it’s something to get attention or whether it’s a a full ad campaign, you can avoid the rushed out of the gate ideas they can easily blow up in your face.

Mike Tyler: Yeah, and my business and our business, we get hate email, we get threats mean so that’s been happening. It’s happened in as much it used to I should say that we still get some crap, but nothing major. But yeah, you got to worry what you’re talking about because you forget you’re just you’ve done radio long enough yourself. You’re just in a room, you’re just in a room and you forget that everybody, at least hopefully a lot of people are listening and you’re saying stuff like, I can’t believe I just said that. But you’re just sitting around with your friends talking and you forget it’s out everywhere. And sometimes you go, Oh, I shouldn’t have said that, or, or, well, that was kind of crazy. But, you know, it just it, to me, it’s just to get people to laugh.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah. Now, Todd and Tyler on Z92 here, the local radio station where they started off their radio empire, they prove out a fundamental rule of marketing and that is to be known for one thing. If you look at any radio station, any success story in general, it doesn’t matter what line of business or industry it’s in. But if we take a look at radio as an example, this holds true. Think of the most popular stations here in Omaha, Nebraska, where we’re at or in your market where you’re listening right now.

They are all known for one thing. Here we have a sports talk station, 1620, the Zone. They’re known for sports talk. We have 1110 kfab. Politics. You have Z92, Todd and Tyler. Todd and Tyler are z92. One thing and this is important for you and your business because everybody tries to be many different things, multiple things all at once. That is a recipe for failure. Everybody started out as being known for just one thing, and then you build from that would just.

Mike Tyler: We’d never go in and just do a whole nother thing. The show is what the show is. You you get what people tune in, they expect to hear certain things and that’s what you give them.

Matt Tompkins: And it’s like any, any successful anything, any any person or business started off by being known for one thing, right? You look at like McDonald’s, they were just burgers. Right. And they started or like Dr. Drew, he was the sex phone call guy. Right. And now he does a show where he talks to everybody. You know, a lot of times we have people we’re we’re, you know, producing and kind of developing their podcast. They said, well, I want to appeal to everybody. And how do you reach everybody?

You can. It’s impossible. You can’t you’re going to end up resonating deeply with nobody. And you want that deep connection. You want that. So target one person and that’s the same strategy with a business of I’m going to market to one person, I’m going to target one person. And when I win them over and they feel like I’m like, this business was created just for them, or in your case, the radio show, they will help you. They tell other people, Yeah, that’ll turn into.

Mike Tyler: Oh yeah, word of mouth is what made our show what it is, is that when you even though there were some advertising in the beginning, if somebody else in the office heard it, somebody driving around, somebody at the worksite heard the show, you got to listen to these guys.

And especially happened when we were starting to be syndicated because they had no idea where we were at, which show had no idea who we were. And we went on a big rock station down there to 95. It’s like the Z 92 of Wichita, and they had an old show we took over for her and it was like, Oh, these guys.

And we do the exact same thing over and over again and not live there. So we couldn’t go out and about and meet the community, but we had to be known for something. So we were we said stuff down there that got us in trouble because nobody was saying that stuff in Wichita, but they stuck with us because, well, our company owned it, first of all. But they also the ratings were good and they ended up being really, really good after the year. So you have to be who you are or nobody is going to care.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah. I mean, and it’s it’s harder to it. It’s easier to say that than it is to live that of like, yes, be true. You’re risky. It’s risk.

Mike Tyler: It’s risk because you know, you’ve started a business here and it’s a risk because you could get you could get all of a sudden, then you’re out of work.

Matt Tompkins: The risk is real. And as the great poet Taylor Swift once said, the haters gonna hate, But the truth is that they really shouldn’t have any bearing on your success or the decisions, the pivots that you make with your marketing. Because they are not your ideal customer. They are not who you are trying to help and serve through your business. To close things out. Mike shared a great comment from behind the scenes of the radio show that I think is so relative to you and your business today. It doesn’t matter how much you say it or want to believe it, your business is not for everyone. My business is not for everyone. There is no business that is for everyone. And realizing that simple truth is going to put you ahead of your competition tenfold.

Mike Tyler: Craig, Our old news guy Craig always had a great line, he said, and he was off the air. He said, Everybody can’t listen to you. Everybody can’t watch you. Nope, not. Not one, not one radio. Everybody doesn’t listen to one show. They don’t watch one TV show. So to please everybody, it’s not ever going to happen. I mean, no, nobody gets all the ratings people. People find other shows better or like they like it different. So you have to find your niche and hopefully grow that in any business, like you mentioned, business because everybody can’t use your business. Yeah, even the main businesses in this country have competition.

Matt Tompkins: Thanks again to Mike Tyler of the Todd and Tyler Radio empire for joining us here today on Midwest Mindset. The first episode he was on last season, our season one of the Omaha podcast. He actually helped us win that episode, won a national award for best podcast in the country. So I guess that means this episode is going to win too, right? Right. A girl Can Dream.

Thank you so much for joining us here today on the podcast. You can find more info on Mike Tyler in the show notes. The links are there for you to click also in the show notes if you need help with your marketing. If you’d like to get started for free, we have free resources for you. We will do a free marketing assessment of your business to find out where you stand, where your opportunity, strengths, weaknesses lie to help you market your own business.

The link to get started is also in the show notes. Thanks so much for joining us. We’ll see you in the next episode.

Midwest Mindset Transcript Season2 Episode12 Sales Funnel

Sales Funnel Transcript
Season 2 Episode 12

This is a written Transcription for the episode: A Sales Funnel to Build a Billion Dollar Business

content marketing strategy Matt on set

Full Written Transcript of The Episode

MATT: How do you build $1 billion business? Believe it or not, it all starts with something as small as a funnel. What is a sales funnel and just how can you implement a sales funnel that will scale your business beyond anything you thought possible? Well, today we find out.

On this episode, we’re joined by Jeff Cone of Coaching Elite Real Estate and host of the Team Building podcast. Not only is Jeff built $1 billion idea into a success story today, he’s going to show us how he did it. He started it all by starting a podcast and building a sales funnel around it. Hello and welcome back to Midwest Mindset, the podcast that gives you the small business owner, the big agency Secrets to Marketing. I’m Matt Tompkins of two Brothers Creative, where we believe every business deserves affordable and effective marketing that produces real results. Now, before we get started today, I would like to personally invite you to the team building Summit. It’s going on May 31st through June 2nd, right here in downtown Omaha.

The link is in the show notes and their website is the team building We’re going to hear Jeff talk more about this in detail on the episode. But it’s a two day summit on building successful teams. Yes, it has a focus on real estate, but this summit really applies to any small business owner.

MATT: I’m going to be speaking at the event on content marketing for today’s business. Our friend Gwen Aspen of Anawim. She’s going to be speaking there as well, along with several other local Omaha business entrepreneurs. And we’ll be setting up to record podcasts at our booth. We’ll be giving away several marketing prize packs valued at over $1,500 each, and the tickets are very affordable. A few are available now. Get your tickets in the link in the show notes and we’ll see you there. All right, let’s talk funnels. Sales funnels.

So you’d be surprised when you ask a business owner, what’s your sales funnel? The answers that you get, I remember asked this was recently. I said, So tell me about your sales funnel. What do you what do you do? What do you have? And they said, well, we have we do giveaways. You know, we have like free little car key holder things and some mugs and koozies. And then we get their email and we put them in and then we send them an email. And that’s the extent of it. Jeff You are a master of sales funnels. The funnel you’ve created with yours is how you should do it. And so what is a sales funnel? Let’s just start there. Yeah. So I think.

JEFF: Each business is going to have a different funnel depending on what they’re trying to accomplish. And so you really have to work backwards and ask yourself, what’s your goal? What do you want to accomplish? And then what’s the best way to get there. So we started this with our real estate company. As an individual real estate agent, I became obsessed with how am I going to find my next transaction? I got licensed when I was 22, 23 years old back in 2006 and had no idea where my first transaction was going to come from. I lived in a one bedroom apartment and was teaching people or helping people buy and sell residential real estate, which is pretty scary. And so the number one thing I did was went around and asked the top real estate agents in Nebraska what they would suggest I did to find my next client. And everyone said, Work your sphere of influence. Well, my sphere of influence was still in college. They weren’t buying and selling real estate. So then I went to their parents and said, Hey, look what I can offer. Can I practice my listing presentation? Can I practice my buyer presentation? And I tried to start perfecting the process of finding transactions.

JEFF: And this is back in zero six and everyone remembers 070809. The market started to go bad. And so you started having lots of inventory. I think we got up to 9000 houses in lots on the market, which is nine months of inventory.

Right now, there’s less than about two months of inventory in the Omaha metro. So I quickly knew that to be successful in real estate, I was going to need to define a funnel for residential real estate. Now of course, we apply this to our coaching organization, Elite Real Estate System. So for me, the funnel was me working the job of looking for transactions, placing those transactions in a client relationship management platform, and then having a process in which I would follow up with a lead opportunity depending upon how far out they told me in my first engagement with them on a phone call, email or text, how far out they’d be buying or selling a home. And so we’ve mastered the lead conversion process depending upon what their time frame looks like.

MATT: And your Team Builder podcast is a funnel that you’ve called it, the tip of the spear. And that is why, you know, podcasts in general are a really effective tool for any business because it is a I mean, really relatively inexpensive if not free way to create that awareness. And that’s really where you’re starting, right? I mean, your funnel can look like anything. It could be My funnel is I go to networking groups every week and that’s how I get the awareness out there. And you want to take people from awareness to interest or desire to making a decision and then actually taking the action that you want, which is selling them your product or service 100%.

JEFF: So my evolution was I kind of played with the funnel concept as an individual agent. Then we launched this big real estate team and then I exited selling real estate ten years ago. I still own a real estate company. Kw Keller Williams here in Nebraska. And I started focusing on teaching other people how to scale their real estate company and use funnels. And so to what you’re alluding to, we have the team building podcast, listen to the name. Even in and of itself, it’s not called the Real Estate Team Building podcast.

It’s team building because every organization across every industry has teams that need to be built. So if you go on to any podcast app and you search team building, we should come up first. It’s the team building podcast with Jeff Cohn. And to your point, it’s free. We allow people to access content on the podcast free of charge. That’s the first part of the funnel. That’s the to your point tip of the spear. And then when they come in and get something for free now. Now you want to capture their information. And the best way we found to capture information is to offer something else for free. As long as they go to a website or a landing page and then give you their contact information.

MATT: Yeah, I mean, it’s as simple as like an email if you want to quantify it or give it a monetary value, people value an email at about 10 to $20. So to give them for them to give you their email, you need to give them something of 10 or $20. And it could be simple. I mean, big secret here. But this here, this podcast that you’re listening to right now, it is the start of a funnel. This is awareness. We’re giving you very valuable tips and techniques on marketing every week. And then you hear me at the end of the episode saying, Hey, here’s a checklist to help you again. And it is another free thing. It is a thing of value that you get for free in exchange for your email list. So then we can start building a relationship.

JEFF: I actually know lots of people who host podcasts, as do you. You have hundreds of clients and I think the biggest mistake people make when they launch the podcast, and that is the tip of the spear or the greatest part of the funnel is they have no idea what they’re funneling. People to.

They have yet to determine exactly how they’ll monetize. They just know they want an audience and they have the ability to create impact and influence and provide value, but they don’t know how to monetize the value. I think people struggle a lot with that. So we actually launched the podcast organically with no intent to ever monetize because I was being hosted all of the success that our real estate team experienced from 2011 to 2018, we were the fastest growing real estate team in history, number one in the world at Berkshire Hathaway in 2018.

And so, of course I was on all these podcasts. The reason we started our own was because I didn’t like the questions that the hosts were asking me. And so I’m like, You know what? I’m just going to start my own podcast. Couldn’t be that hard, right? Matt And so we launched it in back in 2015, and quickly we started seeing that people wanted to come check out our office. Well, then what’s going to come next? We’re going to start hosting workshops at the office.

And then what did everyone want after they left the workshop? They wanted coaching and so the evolution was tip of the Spear as the podcast. It got people to come to the workshops. Of course, download something for free online, hopefully come to a workshop, and then after they come to the workshop, we upsell the group coaching. Now after group coaching, we upsell one on one coaching and now we have a new product we’re going to be unveiling at the end of the year, which is called Powered by where we ultimately partner with them and all of the different verticals in the real estate space, which is the real estate team, mortgage title, insurance, property management and investing.

MATT: And that’s that’s something we’re partnering with you as part of one of those pillars with your marketing and podcasting. And we’re going to be offering some coaching every week as well through the through and what you’re doing with your platform.

And then we’ll get to the I want to leave that to the end because it is kind of a big extra added thing of value as far as what’s happening here in May. And that’s when we’re going to kind of announce a lot of this with the details. You know, when you look at all the different tools that people have at their disposal, we have all of the it’s almost like there’s too many options to get awareness to get people in your funnel. And I think we skipped some of the basics. Like you said, people don’t know where they’re directing them and then this is a big one. I don’t know if you agree with this or not, but I tell people like you have to keep giving them something of true value, not just a thing you threw together because people do not care about your business. They don’t like you, care about your business because you have to. It’s your business. It’s your livelihood.

We have this assumption that I’m going to put this out there into the world and people are going to shop at my place or buy my product because I’m a local business or because I’m an XYZ business or a women owned business or whatever it might be. And we don’t step take a step back and think, Wait, did we skip step one? Do we actually have something of true value at every stage of this process that we’re offering?

JEFF: Yeah, I agree. So I think one of the things is if you are an influencer in any space, whatever your industry is, be willing to give it all away. You know, if there’s some type of proprietary secret that you can’t release, then of course that’s fine. But we’ve given everything away. And I liken it to a time my dad and I planted trees back in a neighborhood called Pacific Meadows 156th and Dodge. I was in fifth grade and there was a machine you could rent that was 500 bucks and it would dig a hole that was six feet down and three feet wide so that you could bury your tree. Or maybe it was three feet. But I’m embellishing a little bit because I’m a real estate agent. So my dad and I decided we’re going to dig the hole on our own. And it took us to my memory eight, ten hours of us with shovels digging this hole out.

What I’ve come to learn is if someone ever asks me to lunch and I sit down with them and they’ll say, How did you get to where you are today? You know, rhetorically, everyone think about that. What got you to where you are today? You’re going to scare a lot of people away. It’d be like asking Michael Jordan, How did you become the goat? Yeah, you know, what did you have to do to get there? Most people are going to say, No, no, thank you. So what I’ve started doing, when people would ask me, Hey, how can I get time with you? I want to go have a lunch. Depending on who the person is, I’ll suggest five books to read and five podcast episodes to listen to. And I’ll say, once you’re done reading the books and listening to the podcast, reach out to me. And it might be 25, 30 hours of work. No one ever does it. You’re qualified. Five podcasts.

MATT: You’re qualifying your leads.

JEFF: Yeah, absolutely. I’m not going to spend time with them if they’re not willing to invest in themselves. And it’s unfair for them to come to me for advice when I have 20,000 hours invested into this. And there won’t be any context to the advice that I’m going to give.

So back to answering your question, know your industry and then know what the people within your industry would. Want, for example, being in the real estate space. I know people want a strong listing presentation. I know they want a strong buyer presentation for over five years. Our team, which competes with other teams in our local market, has given away our listing presentation and our buyer presentation so our own competition could steal it. But most are too prideful to want to even use it, and they think that theirs is better so they don’t use it.

But we’ve made that available free of charge so that we can get people’s contact information. And so there’s lots of tangible giveaways like that that one could choose to come to offer. So like your Pod, the podcast, I had you on my podcast recently, I’m willing to teach anyone and everyone everything that we’ve done. It’s not rocket science. It’s simple, small and simple things consistently over long periods of time I had.

MATT: So he’s originally from Omaha, but he’s, he’s a, I don’t know, he does sales automation for big companies. He’s a big success. And I remember I pulled like 2 or 3 favors, 2 or 3 people to get like a zoom call with him because I wanted, you know, just some advice on sales marketing and just kind of where to take the company. And this was a couple of years ago, and he said, all right, read this book, read this book, read this book. And then, you know, you need to learn how to do build this website and do this and this and this. And I at the end of it, I remember I asked him, I said, Why are you giving me away, giving all of this valuable information to me? And he goes, Because I know you’re not going to use it. And I’m like, What? He’s like, Nobody ever uses it.

Nobody ever takes that and actually applies it. And I think that is a huge differentiator between successful entrepreneurs and those who are I don’t want to say playing the parks. I know they’re working hard, but it’s like they say they want to get to the next level, but they really aren’t willing to do the things that it takes to get there. And man, I read all the books and then I don’t know about 20 other books and then it just did long weekends.

MATT: My wife will tell you where I’m just nerding out on the couch going down these rabbit holes, learning how to do everything. Where she’s asking, Are you sure you’re okay? Like you haven’t left the basement in two weeks. But mean joking aside, but you have to commit. And I think I don’t know if that’s a resistance and a fear of failure or a fear of success. And we get stuck in this place with marketing. What I love about it and what I because we do the same thing. I’ll teach you how to do everything. I’ll give you our plan.

We’re going to lay out exactly what we do, our entire system at your conference coming up here so that people can take it and they can they it implement it. They can easily put that in place to market their business. What I love about marketing, though, is that it requires the long game. It requires this approach where it’s like, I’m not just going to lean on brute force sales. I’m going to actually develop a plan and a strategy that’s going to take time, and then it’ll take even more time for it to to see that that benefit, that ROI. But that’s really what a sales funnel is. I mean, really, it’s just a plan that you have to commit to and really think and plan out and execute well. Yep.

JEFF: And don’t be nervous that people are going to steal an idea and go run with it because like you just showed us, they’re not going to you use the word commit. And I have I don’t know where I heard it. So if someone knows where this comes from, let me know.

But it’s this idea of this father and son and the son and the father are having a conversation between contributing versus committing to something and they’re eating breakfast. And so there’s eggs on the plate and there’s bacon on the plate. And he said, Son, here’s the difference. The pig committed to your breakfast today, the chicken just contributed. And I think about people in business and a lot of us that work a job and we don’t own a business. We contribute a little bit every single day, but we’re not committing.

When you own your own business, you’re committing every single day you’re taking out debt to be able to fund your success. And so I think about what are we willing to give our audience? Are we committing to helping them become the best versions of themselves, or are we just contributing to them becoming the best version so people consume our content and that’s the tip of our spear.

JEFF: Our goal is to give them as much content as possible to do it on their own. But if they choose to partner with us, we’ve already filtered all the nonsense. We’ve already proven the concept and the model. We have the number one team in the world. We are now building mortgage companies and title companies and insurance companies and property management companies and investment companies. We’ve proven it. So yeah, you can go get the content. It’s out there. There’s shovels at Home Depot. You can go buy shovels and hammers, but wouldn’t you rather hire a company that’s already done it millions of times that can prove it and you can just partner with them? And so that’s the whole model and that’s the goal, is that someone comes into our world, they come to a workshop, they join our coaching, they get one on one coaching, and then eventually we partner literally in a joint venture.

MATT: Do you think since it’s a sales funnel and it’s in sales, sales and marketing, are there kind of, you know, they’re the, the two, the two if you’re a two engine plane, you got sales and marketing. That’s what’s driving your business. That’s what’s giving you thrust and lift and and getting you to where you want to go. Do you think with sales and marketing, they both have this I don’t know what to call it, a human factor of like where people think, Oh, this is a relationship thing. It involves creativity or some maybe undefined X factor qualities of the human experience. You know, like I connect with this person, it can’t be defined. Therefore, I think I can create and invent my own way of doing it. And that is that create a think like a degree of stubbornness, why people don’t want to put together a just a solidified step by step the words pride and.

JEFF: I can’t tell you how many people have chosen to leave our world. They would admit financially they make more in our world. They would admit they make more money in less time with less energy in our world. But they just want to do it on their own. They just want their own identity. They want their own twist. And the thing that’s interesting is you can still adopt someone’s model and have your own twist to it. Yeah. So I think a lot of it does come down to being stubborn, which is pride.

MATT: That’s the last thing I want to hit on here because real estate agents, realtors especially, and I’ve had this at conferences and the conversations and I know I think you and I talked about it briefly, but it is really hard not to focus on. I need that next sale and I need it now.

I don’t have it’s a scary thought to think long term and think I’m going to do something now that’s not going to pay off tomorrow. It’s going to pay off a year from now, you know? And even though even if you tell them, listen, these things you’re going to invest in now with the sales funnel that you’re putting together, when they do pay off, they’ll pay off forever in perpetuity. It’ll just keep paying off because you’ve invested in it. But yeah, you’re going to have to wait a longer it’s like real estate to your investment portfolio. So, you know, it just takes longer to pay off. But when it does, it never stops paying off. So this is the difference. What would you tell people that are still like, I just can’t I can’t take that risk.

JEFF: Yeah, this is the difference of owning a business versus owning a job. And we all the active role we are in. So I’m in an I’m in a podcast right now. This is a job for me. I’m not getting paid directly, but indirectly. There’s ways I can monetize this. But this would be my job because this is my active role right now. A business should exist without you being necessary. It should be able to grow and scale and generate more profit without you being necessary. And the interesting dichotomy is that the more you are not necessary, the more valuable your business becomes. So investing in a sales funnel and investing in your future six months out or six years out is investing in your business, putting time towards going out and acquiring a deal that’s going to pay you next month.

That’s simply your job and it’s okay to have both. We always should have both. But I think the strategy that I’ve implemented in my business and what I’ve seen highly successful individuals implement in theirs that makes the difference between you and me is that they’ve always replaced themselves and stepped into a higher income producing role. So they’ve continually fired themselves from their highest income producing role, replace themselves and leverage the role to someone else, and then went and looked for something to replace their time with that was going to generate more money and less time with less energy.

MATT: Bill to sell, even if you’re not going to sell. I mean, that’s the strategy you have. So I want to talk about the conference coming up here, because the summit is, I think what you’re going to be talking about, all of these things we talked about here today and more. I’m excited to speak and appreciate the opportunity to come there. So this is our fifth.

JEFF: Annual summit we’ve hosted in downtown Omaha, Nebraska. We’re at the Marriott Capital District. It’s going to be May 31st, is our welcome party. And then all day June 1st is going to be specific to team building. But a lot of this parallels into every industry. So it’s like think about culture specific to a team, real estate team that applies to any culture across any industry.

So most of the topics I think are evergreen depending upon independent of what industry you’re in. Then day two is going to be all about verticals. So we’re going to have you speak, of course, to the marketing element and podcasting and how to stay in front of your network.

And then we’re also going to have the CEO of Windsor. It’s coming down from Sioux Falls. He’s actually playing golf with Tim Tebow, the day before. He just told me this on a podcast earlier today. So I thought that was pretty impressive. We have a lot of VIP speakers. You can go out to our website, the team building to find out information about the event. Tickets are only $397. That includes the two full days the night before party. All of the food.

We have lunches and it’s just a really great time. So if you are in the Omaha area or close to it, we’d love to have you come out and check out the event.

MATT: And I know we have a lot of small to mid sized business owners here in Omaha that listen to this podcast. And so this is a great opportunity. I know our good friend of the show, Gwen Aspen, is going to be there speaking as well. There’s a lot of the types of leaders and that’s the thing I love about conferences and by the way, that’s a hell of a deal because we’ve been to a number of conferences around the country. That is a it’s a steal for what you’re going to get.

JEFF: Anyone that’s hosted conferences, it’s hundreds of thousands of dollars. And our goal is to break even. So with sponsorships, we’re able to break even. The ticket sale does not help us break.

MATT: Even if you are in Omaha, it is, honestly, I think, kind of stupid not to go because usually you have to travel somewhere and you have to put up the hotel and you got to plan and you got to figure out, you know, what you’re going to do with your kids and everything else. This is right here. It’s in your backyard.

JEFF: I would suggest a staycation. The Marriott Capital District is a gorgeous facility. I think it’s only been there for 5 or 6 years. It also has the Jay Gilbert Steakhouse attached to it. And then the new Brazilian restaurant that just launched a few months ago. I think it’s it’s not Texas de Brazil. It’s the other one, Fuego de Chao. No, it has not been to Brazil.

MATT: It’s incredible. I’ve been in fuego. That’s about it. It’s a Texas de Brazil.

JEFF: It’s incredible. So I’d suggest if you are going to come down, grab a room or two for a night or two. We do have a special rate. We make no profit on the rooms. Right now, they’re like 180 bucks at the Marriott. So you can just wake up, get dressed, come to the conference. It’s on the second floor. But those that special rate is only until May 10th. Yeah. So hopefully when this launches. You have already heard this.

MATT: Yeah, it will. It will. Yeah. So and I just encourage people to go because it’s mastermind events, it’s hearing from leaders speaking to people and then interacting with your peers who are, you know, struggling with the same problems. You are succeeding in different ways you may not be.

And it really is an opportunity. I mean, you and I met at. At a conference we did in Nashville, in Nashville. And so it is a opportunity to Bill, you talk about team building. This is team building on a we’re going to have your podcast, too. So we’ll be have that set up.

JEFF: So if you’re a business owner and you want to come, I think we’ll release an episode that has all the people that came and visited. The other thing about our events that’s unique, I say we’re not sellout events. What that means is all of the speakers are at all the after hours, they’re at the lunches.

You’re going to get to rub shoulders with all the speakers that come out and all of the subject matter experts. And like I said, we’re going to have people speaking to mortgage verticals, title insurance, property management. We got Brad Larsen, who’s a Gretna native. We’ve got an investor partner of mine, Clint Bartlett. He and I together have built over $25 Million book in the last five years, buying up Single family and multi in the Omaha area. Clint’s going to speak for 45 minutes and he’ll be there. So there’s a lot of value, a lot of contacts that you can make and we’d love to have you guys come. And if you want.

MATT: To rub my shoulders, I’ll throw that in for free. I mean, I’m a good shoulder rubber. That really sounds weird. Now in my head, I thought it was going to sound funny. It last time. Yeah. Okay, we’re out of time.

JEFF: Shoulder rubs. Okay.

MATT: We have the link in the show notes to get your tickets. Get your tickets now. And, Jeff, man, congratulations on the success you’ve built, not just in the real estate industry, but what you’re doing with the coaching and I think really is something special. And I’m really excited to see where that goes and we’re excited to roll out some new things. We’re going to hopefully contribute to that here soon at the conference. So thanks again, man. Thank you, Matt. Appreciate it. Thanks once again for joining us here on Midwest Mindset. Don’t forget the team building summit.

It’s going on May 31st through June 2nd, and the link is in the show notes so you can get your tickets now. Highly recommend attending this event. A It’s right here in downtown Omaha. It’s going to be a lot of fun, but so many great speakers and breakout sessions going to be happening there. I’ll be speaking there again about content marketing, how you can use a podcast to market your business. And Gwen Aspen, our friend Gwen Aspen going to be speaking there as well. So many other entrepreneurs and business insiders, business leaders from right here in Omaha and around the country are going to be at this summit. It’s a do not miss event.

So get your tickets now. The link is in the show notes.0

Thanks for joining us and we’ll see you on the next episode.

Midwest Mindset Transcript Season 1 Episode 11: Processes & Procedures

Processes  & Procedures Transcription
Season 1 Episode 11

This is a written Transcription for the episode: Making Processes  Procedures Sexy

Two Brothers Creative Content Marketing

Full Written Transcript of The Episode

Matt Tompkins: Hello and welcome back to the Omaha podcast, where Omaha’s most successful entrepreneurs help you grow your business. I’m your host, Matt Tompkins of Two Brothers Creative, and I want you to imagine that you’re lying on the operating room table. But there is no checklist for anyone to follow.

The doctors start operating before the anesthesia. No one is wearing gloves. Some people wash their hands, some people didn’t, and no one knows not to leave a sponge in your body before they stitch you up. If they do, it sounds pretty terrifying, doesn’t it? Well, that is what you’re doing with your business if you don’t have processes and procedures. And that’s all processes and procedures. Are there a checklist for everyone to follow? On this episode of the podcast, Gwen Aspen is here to show us how processes and procedures work, how they reduce stress, anxiety, they maintain the quality of your services and are really the only way that you can scale your business. Just like Gwen, who as CEO of Anna Swim, has taken their company from inception to being the fourth fastest growing private company in Nebraska in less than six years.

On this episode of the Omaha podcast, we will make processes and procedures the sexiest part of your business. Is the Omaha podcast where Omaha. Successful entrepreneurs help your business grow. There are a lot of really cool aspects of being an entrepreneur and owning a business. I mean, you can set your own hours, you can do what you love for a living. You can make as much money as the effort you put into it. Those are like the sexy things, right, about being a business owner. And then there is the perhaps like, least sexy part of being a business owner. But it just so happens to be the most important. And, you know, yes, I understand it feels boring because it kind of is boring, but it is crucial if you want to scale your business, if you want to grow your business. And so that’s what we’re going to talk about today with the processes and procedures.

Gwenn Aspen: Queen Oh.

Matt Tompkins: Shit.

Gwenn Aspen: I don’t know if I want that title. It’s like resident business nerd Gwen Aspen, but but I.

Matt Tompkins: Well, at least I’m not calling him by the inaccurate like, abbreviation because earlier I was like I was labeling him pee and pee because I was just tired of writing processes and procedures over and over again. So I’m like paps. So you could have been the queen of Pee and Peas and that would have sounded like something totally different. They’re called sops, though.

Gwenn Aspen: As SOP, standard operating procedures is the common term in business for the processes and procedures.

Matt Tompkins: So today we’re going to make processes, procedures sexy, Not again, because I don’t think they ever were, but we’re going to make them sexy. Now, a little backstory on Gwen. So Gwen is the CEO of an Aquarium LLC, which was just not too long ago recognized this is what, the fourth fastest growing company in Nebraska. And then what were you in the whole we’re.

Gwenn Aspen: 612 in the United States, privately owned companies based on the INC 5000 list.

Matt Tompkins: That is it’s it’s incredible on its own. But then when you know a little bit about you and Jeremy, who is the CFO, also your spouse, Jeremy Aspen of Anna Kim, it’s really incredible when you see how little time you’ve gone from idea inception to where you are with those those those kind of stats or awards or progress that you’re making.

Gwenn Aspen: Right? Well, I would say it’s really all about my team. Like the team is the one. It’s their award, but they’re the ones who started.

Matt Tompkins: It, you know? I mean, it’s that I mean, it’s choosing the right people. I mean, there are a lot of things that go into it. How But how many years ago did you actually officially start?

Gwenn Aspen: In 2016? I stayed in the Marriott at Regency, which is and I stayed in there for like three days and wrote the initial processes and procedures, what we’re talking about today. And I didn’t leave the room that to the point where I got a wellness check by the hotel because they’re like, Are you alive? Are you in a safe place, lady, because you are not leaving this hotel room? But yeah, it started with those processes and procedures in June of 2016.

Matt Tompkins: That’s I mean, that’s incredible. I mean, that that’s a short amount of time to get to where you are today with the success of Anna Kim and we get to work together. And I actually I feel like being introduced to you because I knew your husband just through working radio and he’s involved in politics and usually he’s wrong about everything and I’m right. And so it works out well. But no, I’m kidding. But I met you when you started doing your bootstrap podcast, which is all about being an entrepreneur and the things you can learn from your experiences. And I feel fortunate because it was total fluke that we happened to meet. But I’ve learned so much from you as far as processes and procedures and like how to do things that I think most business owners, myself included, have never even thought of it. You don’t even think about it, and then you don’t do it because you don’t know you need to do it and you fail and you feel like, Oh, it’s me, I’m a failure. My business failed. And then you, you know, do what most people would do, which I think is why most businesses fail in the first few years and just give up because you don’t know what to do.

Gwenn Aspen: Yeah, well, okay, so here’s the reason why processes and procedures are so important to me is I don’t know if I would classify it as an anxiety disorder, but I may or may not be a super anxious person. And I am a people pleaser. I want my clients to be like, so happy, right?

Like all the time. And having an unhappy client is just the bane of my existence. And the only way that you can give up control and really grow your business is to make sure that people are following the steps to make for a successful client experience. Right. And the only way to do that is to write them down, because people notoriously forget things. And it’s not that the people are dumb if they forget to get forget something. Even doctors need checklists. Even pilots need checklists. I mean, if you don’t have a checklist in an operating room, you could have the best surgery ever and then be left with a sponge inside your stomach. Right.

Matt Tompkins: So it’s I think I listen to that podcast. Is I Dr. Death?

Gwenn Aspen: I think that’s like a real problem it’s happened Or are they like, take the wrong arm off, right? I mean, they’re real legitimate problems. So. So processes and procedures. I learned early on that that was the solution to my anxiety. So I think you have to kind of because it is boring to create them. I mean, I’m not going to lie. I remember I did a personality test or like, how much do you like your job test while I was writing, like in a very intense process and procedure moment in my business and my job satisfaction was like the lowest it could be. But I knew that if I did that work up front, then I would have I would get to do the things that I actually like to do in my business because I could hand off the things I don’t like and have them go successfully without any fire drills.

And that motivated me in my time of weakness when I was Saturday and I’m like chained to my desk to get these done. And you don’t like that moment and your friends are having fun, or your kids want you to do something and you’re like, No, I’m going to do these processes and procedures because it will allow me to get to what my ultimate goal is.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah, I mean, I mean, let’s let’s backtrack to the beginning because you’re right. I mean, the saying of like working on your business instead of in your business, this is how you do it. I mean, you can’t grow, you can’t scale unless you can get other people to do what do the tasks and still maintain the quality of work that you’re you’re putting out there. So you grow and get more customers and clients. But let’s start at the beginning. So you mentioned checklists like let’s just the very basic starting point. What is a process and what is a procedure? What’s the difference between the two?

Gwenn Aspen: Sure. Okay. A process is a group of procedures. So you’ll have a sales process, you’ll have an accounts receivable process, so you’ll break down the big things of your business, a marketing process into groups. And so when you are writing them down, you want to kind of like nest them so, so that they all kind of go together. But different procedures can be done by different people. So you might divide it by people and this is why you can get into like a process procedure.

Matt Tompkins: Rabbit hole.

Gwenn Aspen: Rabbit hole very quickly.

Matt Tompkins: You don’t go back.

Gwenn Aspen: So when you design them, you do kind of want to be thoughtful before you start writing them down on how you’re going to nest them. And if the software you’re using has enough nesting features to get your outline of procedures written down correctly. And so, I mean, the classic example is going to the bar. Like if you wanted to tell a team how to go to the bar to get a drink, to get a beer, what are the steps that they’d have to take to leave your office to go get the beer and write those down? And it’s funny, if you’re like doing one of those like corporate exercises.

Matt Tompkins: That was me leaving the bar, flash the car going by.

Gwenn Aspen: You act like an idiot. Like, Oh, you didn’t write that I had to turn the car on and that. Anyway, so you want to make them detailed enough that someone can follow. But here’s the thing that most entrepreneurs struggle with is that you create a business. It’s literally your baby. You’ve put your blood, sweat and tears in this, and then you’re going to ask somebody that you don’t know that well, maybe you interviewed them for an hour, maybe a few hours, and you’re like, Here’s my baby, take care of it, and don’t screw up.

Matt Tompkins: Because I just as good a job as I do.

Gwenn Aspen: Right?

Matt Tompkins: That’s what we want.

Gwenn Aspen: People can’t do that. So they end up getting very stuck in not being able to delegate. But if you write good processes and procedures, you won’t get stuck there. And then and so it allows you to grow. So and then the training process. So let’s say the first person, let’s say your new IT business in the first person you hire is a total dud and it doesn’t work out. And now you have the business you were working, you’ve like have clients now you don’t have enough people, you’re freaking out and somehow you have to train someone very quickly to do the the job. Again, if you have a list of what that person did, you can cut that time that you’re training them in half in a third almost. I mean, I’ve gotten training down for some positions that was three months, originally down to two weeks because the training documents were so good. And it’s not because they were good on the front end.

Like a lot of this is is trial and error. But the real thing to make your business grow without like these huge peaks and valleys of success and failure, working normal hours and then having to work like 120 hours because somebody quit or whatever the case may be, to keep things steady is always be keeping up the processes and procedures because it’s one thing to create them, but it’s just like your closet. If you’re going to, you make your closet beautiful, you color code it, you put the hangers the same way, but then as soon as you make it pretty, you start just throwing things on the ground and like, not caring.

Matt Tompkins: I put all my clothes on the ground, but it’s just I think that’s just an issue with me.

Gwenn Aspen: No, it’s not. It’s like everything.

Matt Tompkins: But you’re right. I think you can start to like in the procedure, like you mentioned, is basically. A checklist. That’s what a simple way to describe it. You probably make checklists every day. I do. I make a checklist to do list. Here’s my to do list, and then I’ll write things down that I already finished that I could just cross it off because it feels so good to cross things off my list. But in all seriousness, yeah, if you’re doing something that you’re going to do again and again and again, it makes no sense to try and keep it all in your head. Just write it down. And I put this off and I’m a good example. I think of I think a lot of business owners. I was like, I’m, I have this. It’s all about me and like my unique skill sets. And so I can do this at this quality level and I’m just going to do it.

And if I’m not the one doing it, it just can’t get done. And it got to a point where I couldn’t manage all the workload myself, had to bring some somebody on and you know, how do I tell them? How do I get that? So there was a lot of frustration.

Gwenn Aspen: Like and how.

Matt Tompkins: Anxious.

Gwenn Aspen: And stressful was it in that moment in time?

Matt Tompkins: Yeah, you have mistakes and like a client calls you and says, Oh my, like you misspelled my name, How do you misspell my name? And it was, well, I didn’t clarify a procedure for that employee for checks and for things like that. So, you know, we want to get naturally, we want to blame the employee, but it’s really our fault. And we have to we have to, I think, accept that it is if somebody screws up at your company most I would assume most of the time it is related to something you have done or you have set in place or or something that you haven’t done. So so we talked about what the difference is between processes and procedures. Let’s talk about what types of improvements. When you put these processes and procedures in place, can business owners expect like what type of I mean, growth scale? I mean, are they are there limitations with doing it versus not doing it?

Gwenn Aspen: No. I mean, if you look at any super mature company, they all use processes and procedures and they have a quality control department that ensures they’re being used. I mean, every corporation that’s successful has this. So as a small company, you’re just doing the best practices. You’ve got to have this done.

The the key, though, is utilizing them. So so let’s say you write your processes and procedures and this is a real world. So probably the first time you write something, part of it’s not going to make sense or it’s not going to be perfect. You’re going to forget something that’s just the real world. So then you have an employee who who’s who’s doing the task, who you’ve said, okay, you’ve read these make sense. I’ve trained you, they still screw up. So you have to have some process in your company where that’s documented. Like the screw up is like, Hello, you screwed up, and then somebody at your company has to go, Hey, you screwed up.

Here’s the procedure. What step did you not understand? And go back to the procedure. Fix it if it doesn’t make sense, Retrain. And then and then say, okay, so now you. Now that you know the procedure, now that you’re trained on it, like I expect this to results from this procedure. And then if somebody can’t get it right, then you’re like, hey, we went over this. We went back to the procedure three times. You can read it to do the job. I don’t think you’re right for this job. So it also makes the management of people, which is a huge pain.

Matt Tompkins: Point, accountability.

Gwenn Aspen: The accountability and the management of people. So much easier. Like I like to be nice, I like to be liked to a fault. And so I don’t like giving that negative feedback. But if it’s just the facts, Jack, like, Hey, I wrote this down, this is how you follow it. This is the goal. You didn’t mean it. You didn’t do what I was you were supposed to do. Like it’s a self firing, really. They like self fired themselves.

Matt Tompkins: It works with employees, I feel like. I mean, would you say this is correct? You can’t really you’re going to hit a ceiling and you’re going to, I think, personally be unhappy, frustrated with your business at some point, perhaps to the point of failing if you don’t have processes and procedures in place, would you say that’s accurate?

Gwenn Aspen: Yes. And I think like whenever you start a business, if you’re brand new to this, you’re a new manager, right? You don’t know what you’re doing. Like we’re all just kind of flying by the seat of our pants when we’re starting new business. The first step is clarity. Processes and procedures provide clarity.

If you provide clarity to your employees on what the expectation is and how to do it, you’re like halfway there, right? And so if you start there and you’re really clear about what’s expected, you’re going to get better results and then you’re going to be able to sleep better at night, which is really, like I said, I guess I always go back to my anxiety.

The sleeping better, the lack of anxiety is what, when, when you can calmly look at your business and you feel like it’s under control, then you can truly be the visionary, which is why you started the company in the first place. And you can really make your dreams of why you’re doing all this hard stuff and working on weekends and all that that is required when you start a business, then you can see it really moving forward. But it starts with this boring, predictable, tedious process.

Matt Tompkins: And I would also add this to that as far as the benefits, because we’re talking a lot about when you have employees, when you’re growing and you’re scaling, let’s say. You are just an entrepreneur, a business owner, and it’s just you. And maybe it’s always going to be you.

I can tell you just from personal experience, this will help you immediately. So an example of this. So when we when we are creating a new podcast for one of our clients and we create this podcast, there’s like, I don’t know, 60, 50, 60 platforms you have to be on. There’s different sized graphics and artwork and all these different elements and things you need to know how to do. And so I was just going through it and I noticed like I was just going through it by memory. And then I noticed that there were times where, Oh shoot, I didn’t link up this thing,

I missed this thing. And so one day I said, All right, I have to do this. I might as well just write down every step that I do. And it instantly, like, relieved all the stress and frustration from doing that because I didn’t have to have that anxiety of am I forgetting something.

Gwenn Aspen: That mental.

Matt Tompkins: Load. And then I mean, I just updated this about a week ago because there was a few new resources I wanted to add for checking different feeds and things like that. So yeah, it’s like it’s turned into, I think, a 35 step process or procedure, but it is so helpful because I don’t have to remember it. I can just open it up. It has the links to where I need to go, which we’ll talk about the software and programs people can use in a second that have that as well. It’s just it’s extraordinary how quickly it will improve your personal life, whether you have employees or don’t.

Gwenn Aspen: And it’s not just the mental load, it’s also your personal efficiency. So obviously energy levels of a human being vary from day to night and week to week. And if you’re exhausted, been working like a dog, starting a business and it’s, you know, 11:00 at night, but you’ve got to get your accounting or invoicing done or whatever. If you have a list, it makes that project way easier. And also it prevents people from procrastinating because it’s so it can make you so anxious to do something that you hate doing. But if you have the list and it makes it that much easier, you’re going to invoice on the right day, which is something that creates sophistication and that your clients will appreciate. As an example, when you said you would do it and it will make you more professional immediately.

Matt Tompkins: This is is literally, I think, the secret ingredient. You know, when you talk about growing a business and building even. But we’re surprised sometimes we don’t feel bad. I guess what I’m saying, if you never thought of this and this is kind of like, wow, an aha moment, I need to do this. Because I remember Wendy had a woman that works with Wendy, was getting frustrated missing all these things.

And I just simply suggested to her, you should write down a list, a checklist, the start of every day, or better yet, do it the night before. So you get up, you’re ready to go. She started doing it and like a couple of weeks later, she was like, Oh my God, this is like transformed my day, just simply having a checklist. So imagine for just daily task, imagine what that could do when you apply it to your entire business. So let’s I want to help people with specifics here. The down and dirty. So first thing, how do you create a process or procedure?

Gwenn Aspen: So, I mean, I’ve always started my businesses without any loans. We’ve never been debt people. So I just start them on Google like you’ll want to maybe upgrade, but you can start it on a Google doc. I mean, with hyper, I.

Matt Tompkins: Still use those here. So yeah, yeah.

Gwenn Aspen: You don’t need to go crazy if you’re just getting started. So I’ve started all my businesses, processes and procedures on a Google doc. Now the nesting feature in Google isn’t as good, isn’t that good? And it gets cumbersome and you can’t do some of the fancier functions of some of the the other softwares. There’s like process st I use suite process, which for me was a price point that seemed manageable and did what I needed it to do.

Matt Tompkins: And one thing I would add that because suite process is what we’re implement, we’re putting our Google Docs in to suite process. One nice thing about these apps, I guess process probably does this too. You can download it on your phone and it has a it’s a literal thing.

You have to check the box when you’ve completed the steps. So even if you have people working remotely like we have video shoots and stuff like that, they still can pull it up on their phone and they see the list and the order and they have to select it. So if something goes wrong, you know, so there’s no excuse. It can go anywhere with you.

Gwenn Aspen: Yes, I like that functionality and it will like keep that particular list. Like for, for instance, suite process, you can start the procedure and it gives you a checklist and you close it and then you have a record of what the time it was done and the order of things were done and you have some record of what happened. The other good thing about those softwares is if someone changes it, then you have you can go back to the original. S

o one of the issues is the companies grow is that everyone in their mom thinks that they can just change a procedure and you go back and you’re like, That’s not what I wrote. And as an owner, there were reasons that you wrote certain things and sure, people didn’t like it or. They didn’t understand the reason behind it. So then they go change it, which is why as a business grows, I think sooner rather than later, quality control. Some element of quality control needs to be there. So you have one person who changes the procedures or there’s a process or procedure to change your procedures.

Matt Tompkins: That’s like that’s like total nerd dom right there. That’s like breaking the fourth wall, you know, high level geekdom there. I love it.

Gwenn Aspen: And that quality control process prevents your annual meeting from having the we call them rocks. But like your quarterly goal, the first one and most of my company is the first and January, we’re like, well, we have to redo our processes of procedures entirely this year because everybody screwed them up over the year. And so you don’t have that rework like Groundhog Day moment every year if you have some of that quality control involved.

Matt Tompkins: And I think to get started because it can, it does feel overwhelming and it is a little bit tedious and it is, you know, can be it’s not the exciting, sexy thing, but it is crucial to your happiness. It is crucial to de-stressing, which is a big issue, having anxiety and then growing your business, which is the end goal. But if you’re overwhelmed, just get started by simply step one. Start writing things down that you’re doing.

If you have a task that you do all the time, just write it down. Just write it down. In a word, doc, a Google doc on a pad of paper. But that’s the first step, you know, and chip away at it that way because I think we’re at that point now where we have all these procedures we’ve been putting together over the last three months or so in Google Docs and organizing them. And then the next step will be transferring that to a platform. And so if you look at it that way, it is manageable. I mean, this is how totally organize your business.

Gwenn Aspen: It really or or like let’s say you’re an entrepreneur and you just hate one particular task. Start with that task. Yeah, because then you can stop doing that. I mean, if you became an entrepreneur because you want to design your life, you want to design your work, think about what you hate doing, get rid of it, get it off your plate, and then you like your job more and you have more energy to keep being the visionary. So either start with the thing that you hate the most or the easiest thing to get off your plate so that you could grow your business. Or maybe not do.

Matt Tompkins: That or not do. Yeah. Just, you know, sell your business at some point, right?

Gwenn Aspen: Oh, and that’s the thing. If you want to sell your business, you literally it’s worth nothing unless you have processes and procedures. It’s worth nothing.

Matt Tompkins: I mean, it’s crucial to scaling it, selling it. You know, you should we’ll talk about the build to sell kind of strategy on the on the podcast here on another episode. But you should build a sell even if you’re never going to sell because it’s just a way to organize your business and structure it to make it the most efficient, the most profitable, and allow you, like you said, to do what you actually set out to do in the first place. Be the visionary, call the shots and control your schedule. All those things I mentioned early on.

Gwenn Aspen: Right. And just one other thing, Like if you’re a one person shop and you don’t really want employees, there’s still things that can happen. Like you get sick or, you know, in your business needs to run to get you through that moment. If you have everything written down, even if you don’t like having employees, you can at least get temp workers to do your job, keep you afloat while you do what you need to do to manage a crisis or a health issue. So if you are concerned about security or your livelihood and if you lay awake worrying about those things, this is another way that you can get better rest and.

Matt Tompkins: Know it is. I had that happen. I had that happen in my first year. I was out. I think it was a COVID. I got right at the beginning, beginning of some year, and it was I was out. I couldn’t go. I literally couldn’t go. And even though I felt fine, I couldn’t go. And so I was connecting remotely to the, you know, the studio, trying to walk, you know, this employee through this who didn’t really know what they were doing. And it had a huge impact on the end product. In product was kind of a disaster because it was just little things that that person didn’t know to do. And it, you know, essentially I’m first, you’re mad at them, but then when you no pun intended, you process that event, you realize, no, this is me not planning ahead. This was me not putting together my processes and procedures. So in the show notes, we’re going to include all of Gwen’s favorite processes and procedures website.

Gwenn Aspen: It’s going to be a really popular show.

Matt Tompkins: Back how Gwen was like Miss October and the Processes and Procedures magazine. It’s just, you know, and it only shows pictures of the processes, by the way. So. Yeah, but, but yeah, we’ll have that in the show notes so people can just click a link, they can check out Sweet Process, Process Street and then also that book traction you alluded to.

Gwenn Aspen: My God.

Matt Tompkins: Which we use as well. I mean, that’s a it’s a really I mean it’s probably the best tool for a business to implement as far as a strategy and organic. Zation and structure, including processes, procedures. We’ll have a link to that in the show notes as well. But Gwen, thank you so much for coming on and educating us, letting.

Gwenn Aspen: Me nerd out with you on your show. I appreciate it.

Matt Tompkins: That’s all we do here. We’re a bunch of nerds, so you’re welcome anytime. Thanks again for joining us here today on the Omaha podcast. Subscribe, subscribe, subscribe. I mean, really, you only have to subscribe once and then you’re good. You don’t have to do it three times, but subscribe so that you never miss an episode. And if you would like some of the helpful resources that we talked about in this episode about processes and procedures, we have links in the show notes, or you can reach out to us directly on the podcast. Also in the show notes, email contact information is there for you. Hot Pockets. Where? Omaha. Successful entrepreneurs help your business grow.

Midwest Mindset Transcript Season 1Episode 1: Leadership

Leadership Transcript
Season1: Episode1

This is a written Transcription for the episode: Is your leadership style working

Full Written Transcript of The Episode

Matt Tompkins: Hello and welcome to the premiere episode of the Omaha podcast, where Omaha’s most successful entrepreneurs help your business grow. I’m your host, Matt Tompkins of Two Brothers Creative. And on today’s episode, I want to ask you this question Is your leadership style actually working as a business owner?

You are in a leadership position and you have to make tough decisions, but you also have to ask yourself tough questions like, is your leadership style effective or is it as effective as it could be? Today, we’ll learn how to know what your leadership style is, whether or not it’s effective, and why your leadership style matters so much to the success of your business.

Joseph Kenney: Several years ago, we launched a greeting card company and we wanted to partner with a local and independent printing company. So we we heard about this guy, Larry Redding, owner of Print Code Graphics right here in Omaha, started in 1993. And from the moment we walked up the stairs, we knew something was different.

There it was. There was a big message center that said, Welcome, Joseph Kenny. And you knew at that moment it was going to be a different type of experience. And just a few minutes later, this older gentleman walks out and greets us and walks us around this incredible facility. But what what I was enamored with was Larry’s ability as he walked around this this massive print shop, one of the biggest in the Midwest, was his ability to connect with every person on a very personal level. And that’s sometimes it’s learned.

Sometimes it’s it’s something you’re born with. But whatever it was, Larry had it and it was impressionable. And people would stop the print machines or walk away from the print machines just to get some time with Larry. You know, Jim, Frank said he would call out their names one by one as people would walk by. They’d fist bump, handshake, even hug Larry. Now, Larry has to be in his early eighties. And he’s still doing it and he’s doing it the right way. So after I left, I took a look at the website and they talk about prosperity coming from being personal.

Prosperity comes from giving people the impression that they’re at home and it’s in everything that they do. So yeah, we ended up deciding to go with Larry because we felt like we were at home. Yes. On the technical side, they could do everything that we needed them to do as a as a greeting card company. But it went so far beyond that that we wanted a partner in business. And since then, I’ve gone back to the website and they talked about, if you want, a partner.

This is the company for you. I’ve referred every person I can to Larry and print graphics. And it was just yesterday I was handed a book and I looked on the back and it was print graphics. They printed the exact book that somebody handed off to me and I thought, there’s a reason that they partnered with this guy, Larry Redding. I think it does beg the question, what type of leadership style is best for all of us? So welcome to the Omaha podcast. I’m here with Christopher Slater, Matt Tomkins, and I am Joseph Kenney.

Matt Tompkins: So what is your leadership style? Why does it matter? Why is that important?

Christopher Slater: While I can only aspire to be a Larry. But, you know, I think that over the years and it’s now been, you know, really most of my adult life that I’ve been working, that I’ve been in management, starting when I was 19 years old, back in retail and was in management. But it was a 20 year career prior to the last ten years of really having the blessing of doing what I wanted to be when I grew up working, doing what we’re doing. For 20 years, though, I was in the Human Service field and had a business where we were open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, holidays. We never closed and we were working with stressed clientele, which which then translates to stressed staff members. And so you have to be connected to to your staff members, to your team members.

You have to know what they’re going through because how they behave and how they’re feeling affects the people that we’re serving. So I had to be really tuned into knowing what’s going on with them personally. What’s going on with them in the workplace is more than just a transactional leadership style. It really was getting in the trenches with them and having a mutual respect.

And that led to having people work alongside me for, for a decade or more in a field that’s a high turnover field. And so I think it’s more of that affiliate of personal like Larry and along with some coaching as well.

Matt Tompkins: So what do you think? Did you know that was your leadership style like in the moment? Did you recognize that or was that something that you had kind of maybe your upbringing or your career had kind of molded you into that type of a person or.

Christopher Slater: You know, I think I think it was by necessity, it really wasn’t something that developed over time. And it’s something that’s stuck with me today. I really enjoy the coaching aspect, being able to bring out the best in people and being able to work alongside Joe and work alongside you. We were just talking earlier about coaching. We’re asking for a little bit of coaching in our flagship episode here. So I think that’s that’s a critical component. But but I do think that it’s it’s it was learned over time, just naturally.

Matt Tompkins: I feel like there’s a throughline through a lot of what you’re going to hear on this podcast from us and from our guests. And that is that personal aspect. I mean, I’ve heard that from I think even my grandpa used to say, like, they’re not hiring the product, they’re not buying the product, they’re buying you. You know, they’re and I’ve seen that with and I know you have to with different businesses and leaders and entrepreneurs that we work with in the city of Omaha. And it’s it’s always about the person behind it. I mean, yeah, I have to back it up with what they’re doing. But people want that connection and they want to they want to feel like, I trust this person. And, you know, this fits and like you said, feels like it feels like home.

Joseph Kenney: I think that people, generally speaking, fall into two different camps. Either they really like what they just experience from the person that’s leading them or they don’t. And either way, you learn from that experience and in my case, personal experience with Larry and print co graphics, I walked away saying, I like how that felt dignity and respect for every person he touched. He doesn’t have to motivate them. They are motivated because they’ve been treated so well.

Matt Tompkins: I was watching it’s a great show on Disney and I remember as a kid who watched the behind the scenes VHS tape of how they made Star Wars. And this was back when I was editing with to kind of jerry rigged VCRs together. I don’t even know how I did that at like ten years old. But somehow my brother and I figured that out, and that was the beginning of of all this. But I was watching it as an adult.

I kind of redid this whole documentary series, so I’m watching it as an adult and it’s really cool to see they were doing just groundbreaking things that never been done in in movies and entertainment. And there was a great line from from George Lucas where he said he was asking, how do you get these people to just they lived there like they was there. It was like a fraternity house or sorority house, and they never left. And he said, you know, it’s amazing what you can get people to do with free beer and pizza.

And it stuck with me because when on a totally different level, I’m not putting myself on George Lucas’s level with, you know, the work we’ve done in any way. But it did it did relate, you know, close to home for me because when we used to do Omaha Live, my brother and I, we literally started with nothing and we had no budget.

Matt Tompkins: And I look back on that now and there was 20, 23 people that were showing up 15, 20 hours a week. Nobody was getting paid. It was just an all volunteer thing and not even realizing it. I think a lot of it is just kind of how you’re maybe brought up and taught to respect and and all those values that we have here in Omaha, Nebraska. But we would do that. You know, I would I would be willing to do the grunt work.

I would be willing to run a camera or hold a light. Or tear equipment down, and I’m willing to do what I’m asking you to do. And I think the other big thing is, aside from the free pizza and beer would be because we did do that, but would be the other thing would be making people, everybody that works there feel like they are invested in what you’re doing. I think that’s a really big takeaway.

If people feel like they are invested in your company, in your your venture and your goal, they’re going to put everything they have into it because it’s theirs. Now to it’s their goal to it aligns together.

Christopher Slater: And free beer and pizza is a staple and getting people to help you move.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah.

Christopher Slater: So that’s.

Matt Tompkins: That’s, that was almost the name of the podcast, actually. Free beer and pizza. I think somebody else is taking that.

Christopher Slater: That’s hot wings.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah. So what are some big, big through lines commonalities you’ve seen because you both have I mean more history working with entrepreneurs and successful business owners in Omaha than I do. I’ve seen this firsthand kind of the success you’ve had. And in partnering with these people, what have you seen as a commonality when it comes to leadership style, specifically that other business owners, other entrepreneurs right now could take away and apply to what they’re doing? It may be an earlier stage in their journey.

Joseph Kenney: Great leadership is actually science based. There’s a lot of data to support when even you go back to Larry, for example, Larry uses somebody’s name. Well, research would suggest that the word love is not the most important thing that you ever hear in your life. It’s your name. Matt Christopher. Larry. Peter.

When you hear that there is a spike of dopamine in your brain and great leaders have understood the value of connecting on that personal level. There is a direct correlation between successful leaders and how good the business is. Business successful business is 100% predicated on great leaders, bottom line. And yeah, we work with hundreds of businesses throughout the country and every time we walk in, it takes about 2 minutes with the owner, the entrepreneur, the small business owner, even the manager. It takes 2 minutes to assess how good of a business that really is.

Matt Tompkins: I mean, that’s true. I mean, you’ve probably seen that, too, Christopher. I mean, and you know, you said you’ve been kind of doing the dream job here for ten years, but even before that, I mean, I saw that. I mean, you see and you look up to those leaders that set those examples. And then the cool thing is you get to see that influence you and other people to eventually become good, effective leaders as well.

Christopher Slater: It’s it’s that leader being able to recognize their role as the leader and how important that is, just as Joe said, to use somebody’s name or to spend the time with people, you know, even going to a networking event, for example, and understanding what your role is. And that if there’s people that want to have a little bit of your time, give your time and and just being able to walk over and say hello to somebody and asking somebody some pointed questions about how they’re feeling that day or what challenges they may be undergoing, that that means a lot. That’s people are taking away a little bit of your time and that’s valuable.

Matt Tompkins: I know my wife Wendy makes she’s I mean hardcore into crafting and so it’s she loves making cards for people that’s a that’s a simple thing that goes a long way. I mean, you obviously know it’s a greeting card.

Joseph Kenney: Wendy is very good. Yeah, very good.

Matt Tompkins: Very crafty and very talented. You may see one coming up with our first guest on the podcast. She gets one maybe on camera. One won’t spoil anything, but. So she says, hey, all right. Yesterday she said, You need to get your Christmas list together. I’m like, my Christmas list, right?

She’s like, Yeah, all the people you want to send cards to, I’m like, Who do I want? Saying Cards are like, you know, with your company people you work with. I’m like, Oh yeah, okay. Yeah, man, I’m not thinking about Christmas yet in my mind, but I mean, it’s those little things though. I mean, what are some other little things that people can just implement? I know the cards work really well. Personalizing it, remembering and saying somebody’s name, as you mentioned, works really well. What are some other techniques?

Joseph Kenney: Yeah, I can tell you, I’ve I’ve hired over 1000 thousand people over the last 20 years. And as I’ve walked through cubicles, hallways, offices, I’ve never seen a commission check or a copy of a commission check hung up on the wall. But I’ll tell you, I can’t count the number of times where I’ve seen a card hung up that somebody said, Hey, really great job with this proposal. Nice work on this such and such project.

I think just taking the time to go that little extra step, just to remind somebody that you actually know who they are, that you can appreciate them. Just moments before we came on set, we learned something about somebody on set that I had no idea. He’s a brilliant painter. Had no idea. And for me, I’m like, gosh, how did I how did I miss that? And it reminds me that we have to continue to get to know people just a little bit better.

Matt Tompkins: A quick lesson along those lines. I’m not taking credit for this, but it does work and I’ve implemented it is just when you think of somebody, call them, text them, you know, I mean, communication is so easy, but we kind of take it for granted and we think, well, yeah, you know, maybe if you think about someone, they pop in your head, think of, you know, tell them, Hey, I was just thinking about you. I’ve done that with Aaron, who we do some work with here with, you know, he’s doing the 360 videography. And I remember one day I was just calling him, I said, Hey, I just want to call you.

He’s like, What’s going on? I’m like, Nothing. I just wanted to say, you know, you do a great job. You’re really good at what you do. And I appreciate the fact that we get to work together on these projects. And, I mean, it’s those little things that last forever. Lorne Michaels had a great line about his the TV channel, and he said, you know, my job is to make a 90 minute show that is amazing. Front to back. I just have to have one moment that people remember and love Monday when they’re at work. That’s that’s what makes a great show. And that’s we remember those those moments, you know, that’s really stands out.

Christopher Slater: I’ve even gone so far as to schedule those reach outs. I’m the oldest of four. I have three younger sisters and we don’t all connect as much as we would like to. But every Sunday at 8:00, it’s on my calendar and I get an alert and I send them all a text, just a group text that we stay on. And sometimes that’s the only communication we happen to have that week, but at least we have that communication.

Matt Tompkins: I mean, you could do that with so many with technology now. I mean, you can schedule emails, you can spend 30 minutes and just I’m going to send a few emails out to people just to say, hey, I appreciate you, you know, and that because it goes such a long way.

I mean, people are going to remember you. They’re going to want to continue to do business with you. And even even if it’s not now, I’ve seen it happen where it’s ten, 12, 15 years later, that one moment, that one thing you did for somebody is what they still remember. And that’s why they made this decision to help you. And you talk about a return on an investment when it’s genuine and you do it for the right reasons. I mean, it’s exponential possibilities that you can see down the line.

Christopher Slater: We need some more stationery, by the way, because I sent out 20 last week.

Matt Tompkins: Oh, no, I already I already told Wendy she’s making all of it. So she’s in the other room. They’re having a secret craft day, you know, just crafting away on all the podcast cards.

Joseph Kenney: I think it’s important to note that, you know, great leaders make make mistakes all the time. Earlier today, I admitted to Christopher that I blew it on something and I could certainly do a much better job on it. And it’s just, I think the constant pursuit that we can get better as leaders and business owners. It’s not a situation where we’re we’re plateaued. We don’t want to stay at the same level. We want to continue to improve and. And grow with the business to.

Matt Tompkins: I also know everybody is a leader in some sense. I mean, if somebody looks up to you, you are a leader of some kind. I mean, it could be you’re just an older sibling and you’re setting an example or you’re the manager at the local pizza joint and you have a bunch of young high school age kids who are very impressionable, that are working the values, what you put out that’s that’s going to be influenced on on them and it’ll carry on for how many years later. So I mean, always keeping that mind as no matter where you are in your career, you are in a position to influence, which means you’re in a leadership position.

Christopher Slater: And as Joe said, continuing to grow. Real leaders do continue to grow and real leaders don’t have all the answers. And and that’s hard to admit for a lot of people, but being able to reach out and find that continual coaching or that continue that continual development is is critical.

Matt Tompkins: And in our show notes here for you, we put together a bunch of helpful resources along these lines. So maybe you don’t know what your leadership style is. There is a site you can actually go. The link and information is in our show notes. You can go, you can find out what your style is and if it’s the right style for what you’re doing, is it effective in what you want to accomplish? And and then also there’s, I think, seven main different types of leadership styles. For the most part, people refer to.

We have that and some helpful tips for you there in the show notes here for the podcast. If you want to learn more about what your own leadership style is and about the other leadership styles you should know, check out our links in the show notes for today’s podcast. On the next episode of the Omaha podcast. We’re going to be joined by Omaha Mayor Gene Stothard, who will show us how leaders get shit done.

Midwest Mindset Transcript Season 1 Episode 13: Business Mistakes

Business Mistakes Transcript
Season 1 Episode 13

This is a written Transcription for the episode: The Marketing Mistakes Your Business Doesnt Have to Make

Full Written Transcript of The Episode

Matt Tompkins: Hello and welcome to the Omaha podcast, where Omaha’s most successful entrepreneurs help you grow your business. I’m your host, Matt Tompkins of Two Brothers Creative. And if you want to appear right here on this podcast, at the end of this episode, I’ll tell you how you can do just that.

So what is the biggest mistake you’ve made in business? Entrepreneurs don’t typically share all the failures and embarrassing mistakes, but the truth is that we have all made more than our fair share. On today’s episode, we’ll learn about the biggest marketing mistakes business owners make so that you can avoid making them too. Wendy Wiseman is the president and owner of Jason Company, a marketing consultant firm right here in Omaha. And she joins me to reveal the mistakes she’s seen businesses make, the simple ways to avoid making them, and the practical steps you can take today to maximize your marketing budget.

Today, we learn about the marketing mistakes you don’t have to make. Working in radio and broadcasting for so many years. I noticed there was this trend of how we framed our mindset. And I think one of the biggest mistakes we can make when it comes to marketing that’s all about relationships.

Matt Tompkins: It’s all about connection and relationship. Building with people is we make it about us and we make it about our needs as as business owners and entrepreneurs instead of about what the customer needs. And we really have to have this this mindset of people don’t care about your business, you care, we care.

But that’s because we have to care. It’s our it’s our livelihood. You we need to focus on what they care about, what drives your customer, and then how we can meet those needs and how we can help people with those problems that they are faced with. And working in that old school medium of radio, it’s kind of a little bit of an opposite approach to that. So it is a big shift in your mindset and I’m excited today to talk to you. Wendy here, Wendy Weisman with XYZ and Company about the biggest mistakes that small business owners can make and really how to avoid making those mistakes was shifting your mindset because you have a different approach and a similar approach is customer based at Zazen Company. Was that was there a moment where that shifted for you?

Wendy Wiseman: Well, luckily I’ve been in this business for a very long time. I’m old Matt, so I don’t remember that shift in time, But I would tell you I am. Yes. Thank you so much. One of the things that bothers me so much about some of the current spots I hear streaming or whatever is when people go OC take to read it differently and like the viewer understands the process of creating a commercial or being on air that’s self serving, that’s inside joke, that has nothing to do with what you’re trying to sell to me. So I just think that hits your example on the head.

Let’s just just stop, you know, don’t, don’t do that for me. But I think that so I grew up in the advertising business in San Francisco at a global ad agency when we had hired a planner from Scotland actually came and the whole idea of account planning was running across the nation where this account planner would do a lot of research, first primary and secondary and tertiary research to help the creative people, the writers, the art directors understand what that prospect wants to know, think and feel about the brand. And believe me, there was a lot of fighting back and forth.

The creatives thought they knew better, the planner thought she knew better. But it really was so fortunate to be 26 at the time and really understand that this is the way that is making things work in advertising. Big global agencies that we’re talking about Ford and Burger King and big national brands that are benefiting from what what does that person need to now think and feel about the brand for me to be successful? So it didn’t really matter what Ford wanted to say or Burger King wanted to say us what they needed to know and think and feel. So it’s a mindset for sure. Yeah, it’s a discipline for sure.

Matt Tompkins: It absolutely is. I mean, we even did this recently with two brothers where we’re going through our our sales and marketing strategy. What’s our approach? And we would have the challenge, as I think many businesses do. First is I don’t I don’t have a lot of money. So I have to be effective with this ad, which we’re going to provide you some some things you can do and things to avoid here in this episode to do that.

But, you know, the other thing that I ran into that I think a lot of other businesses run into as well is that we get into the weeds of explaining our product and all the benefits we think are amazing. And, you know, they are I mean, you know, it is great to be the best, but what you do, you want to strive for that, the quality. But does that really matter to the customer in that moment? Do they fully understand or do they comprehend that they’re hiring you because they trust your expertise and they need your your your experience and help with this because you’re good at what you do?

We need to focus maybe on the end result more and what this will do for the the the prospect for the client versus all the cool things we like. Well wait, this is 0.2% faster. And you know what the difference is in that on a on a Google search and like well yeah that matters but if they if that’s an easy way for to let the customer just tune out almost completely.

Wendy Wiseman: The best salespeople talk less and listen more. You know, they say to be a good salesperson, close your mouth, open your ears. And I think when we let the client, the prospect tell us what they’re looking for is usually to sell more product to make a mark in the world of a service. And you and I know we can both do that with our expertise, so why don’t we find out what their needs are and then just to be respectful to clients out there when they say what they want to do in terms of a tactic, we always say, well, let us let us maybe be the judge of that because we want to we really know how to reach that person. You want to reach with the message you do.

But sometimes it’s it’s a it’s hard not. To just give the grocery store to our prospective clients when they came in for a canopy’s. So let’s just be mindful of what’s the canopy’s and start there. They’ll understand all the bells and whistles we provide. After that, once we get in the door.

Matt Tompkins: It’s, Yeah, I’m hungry, I’m hungry now I want to eat and I don’t need a presentation on all of the ingredients and calories. I mean, I probably don’t want to know the ingredients. Most of the food I eat, to be honest with you.

Wendy Wiseman: But I read a great book. I had the opportunity to talk to us, an author of a great book called You Must Be Believed to Be Heard. And in our frontal cortex is where we’re believed. And so when we walk in the room, we have to get an immediate reaction and immediate camaraderie and respect to say, you know, here’s I’m relating to you, and that’s what somebody wants. They want to be related to. They want to be listened to, heard and understood. So if we get that connection as any business, any size business, then the rest will be heard. But let’s start first with that must be believed to be heard.

Matt Tompkins: It’s the I mean, this isn’t just with marketing or advertising. I suppose in politics and everything we see unfold today, marketing is a huge aspect of it. They follow a lot of the same principles of of marketing. But you’re right, when you start listing the facts and we wonder why aren’t people getting the facts?

This is the facts. This is the truth. It’s clear as day to see. That’s because we’re not presenting it to them in a way that human beings will ingest and process the facts. And so when we’re when we’re coaching podcast hosts here, it’s always about having a story to package that piece of information in. If I just list. Okay, here’s step one, here’s step two, Step three. It’s not going to be consumed or processed the same way. So let’s talk about some of the mistakes, because this is they’re easy to make.

And I don’t want anybody to feel bad because I will I will tell you, like I’ve made more mistakes than I think anybody in this room, at least if not the entire city of Omaha, just in general in my life. So mistakes happen. They are you learn from these setbacks and failures. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed about them. But here these are specifically for marketing. I mentioned the money. Like how much money do I really need to spend in in my marketing budget for a small business here in Omaha? Is that a is that a mistake? Kind of a first mistake you see a lot of small businesses make.

Wendy Wiseman: It often is mad and I can respect an entrepreneur’s budget. I’m an entrepreneur. I know it keeps them up at night and often it is paying your people, keeping the lights on, etc.. However, the one thing nobody has is time, and more and more we don’t have time. So if you think, Well, I won’t pay somebody to do that, I’ll just do it myself. You’re undervaluing yourself and your time and that should be considered in your budget.

What’s worth it for me to pay a partner to do this for me so I can get some traction and get off the ground? Excuse me? Off the ground. For years we’ve had people say, I can just do social media myself. I can just do the blog, I can just manage my website. And I just always say, with respect, you won’t. And so you can think you will if you want. Yeah, and they may actually even want to, but and they probably even can.

We both have a mutual friend and client who can, and she does it beautifully. However, where is her time going to be best spent? And that’s in growing the business and do other things. So while it’s hard to part with the dollar, I think it’s often worth it to let an expert let’s just use social media as that example. It may seem easy. It’s not. It’s a monetized business, Google, Facebook, etc. and they’re going to make you follow the algorithm of the moment to stay up and get traction and engagement on your brand. You can you right the message. Absolutely. Can you show a picture of your product? Sure thing. But can you master the art of the algorithm and be seen and have engagement?

No. And this is where you need to trust an expert to do it for. And with you.

Matt Tompkins: That’s 100% true. If you actually look at just the metrics to get into the facts, if you’re a kind of a data based person that says, Wow, show me the facts, well, your bottom line is impacted. I don’t have the exact number off off hand here, but with SEO and social media, there is a point and it’s usually with SEO of where you have recouped your expenses, your investment in hiring somebody, an expert to do it for you about six months in, as opposed to doing it yourself, and especially if you’re doing just, you know, paid SEO or AdWords and you’re not you’re not doing the organic SEO.

That really is where, as you mentioned, the algorithm, Google is really focusing in on rewarding that and punishing the artificial intelligence created content. So there is truth in that. It will affect your bottom line relatively soon too. I mean, six months is, you know, it’ll be March six months from now, so or spring at least. We’ll see if I survive another Nebraska winner. I don’t know yet, but.

Wendy Wiseman: You’ll do it. Yeah. So I think this is what you’re saying is you don’t have to be uber patient, but you have to be patient enough to let something get traction. And work, and that’s at least three to 4 to 5 months of seeing if it sticks. And entrepreneurs aren’t patient people, and they’re not patient when it comes to writing checks to others. But there are spaces and stages at which you should pay a professional to walk along that path with you.

Matt Tompkins: You shared with me a video and we have it in the show notes for this episode where you were talking made a lot of really great points. And one line you said, I don’t I think you credited somebody else.

Wendy Wiseman: Yes.

Matt Tompkins: But it stuck with me. And that is and that kind of leads to my next mistake, the common mistake that we want to avoid. And that is not basing your decisions on nostalgia, basing it on the present. And you had a line about keeping one foot in the present and one foot in the future. And nostalgia can really have a detrimental effect on the decisions we make. What worked when we were kids and what we loved when we were kids as far as advertising is not the same thing that works today with the current generation of kids.

Wendy Wiseman: It was Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, arguably one of the most successful CEOs who has embraced change his whole career there. And that’s why he is where he is. He’s gone on a gut of understanding what to buy, to take the company to the future, with a lot of board members saying, I don’t want to do that. And he just said, we’re going to do it with talk about Disney. You could harken to the past all day long with what Walt Disney did, but he decided to move forward and buying the properties he bought. And I would tell you, it’s not even about what happened when we were kids. Matt It’s pre-pandemic, and then in these last two years, all bets are off.

Everything has changed in human behavior and marketing, in markets and disruption. You have to be willing to change and listen to your customers, even your own employees, about what they know. I try to listen to the young ones on my staff as often as I can because I I’m old and I come from all tried and true standards that still work. But the way and the channels and the strategies should be different. So yeah, one one foot in the future for sure.

Matt Tompkins: And listening to people that’s you mentioned that with sales as a strength to listen and and you mentioned again here and I think that that’s an important thing to to focus in on. I know I talk way too much my my wife my other Wendy will tell you that’s very true.

You know, I come from radio where you’re supposed to talk all the time. So listening is it is a real strength for for you as an entrepreneur because you’re listening to your your potential, your prospects, your potential new customers, but listening to people around you, it’s not it is not a weakness or a fault to say, you know what, I have this set of beliefs or I have this background and experience that has led me to conclude this and then listen to somebody else and say, you know what, maybe they are right. Maybe I should consider it doesn’t mean you’re wrong. It just means you’re putting the best you’re arming yourself with the best tools at your disposal for again, for the best results for your client.

Wendy Wiseman: Right. So I have two comments on that. So one is, I was struck in my early career how our clients would talk about meeting with a competitor, you know, a pizza chain, a very popular pizza chain in Nebraska was meeting with another. And I thought, what you got in the same room with a competitor? And they frequently meet with one another. I think they’re so secure in their own idea. Yet they they’re not afraid to ask, what are you doing that’s working? And the other one isn’t afraid to ask it. It was shocking to me. But I think there’s always something to learn from everyone in your life, even competitors. And the other thing is, I’m going to just say this Your baby might be ugly.

Matt Tompkins: That was another line from your video.

Wendy Wiseman: That baby might be ugly. And I but and I borrowed that from this book that I on how to generate ideas I taught from this book when I taught at Creighton Copywriting. And that is that you can’t you have to work really hard on what your strategy, your business idea, you get your mission, your vision, your values, your creative, and then you have to share it with other people and not be afraid that other people might call your baby ugly.

So can you accept that your baby is ugly? No. But you could hear why they think that and make some changes to that. Might be smart. Maybe someone gives you this amazing insight that you just can’t possibly think when you’re so madly and deeply and passionately in love with your own idea. It’s okay to let others comment, take it or leave them, but ask all the time.

Matt Tompkins: We and that was part of our process too. I hadn’t really. I mean, I’m always open to listening to ideas and really is this this podcast the the basic formula of this podcast to help other entrepreneurs is surrounding them, surrounding our listener with mentors who can help reshape their approach through advice, through experience, through lessons learned failures, wins everything. Because that’s exactly what helped kind of turn my proverbial shit around where it was I had done. This before with our TV show for about four years, self employed.

And I did everything wrong. And I had I was surrounded by the wrong people and in every aspect of my life and changing that simple thing that the five people around you shape who you are. It is it’s not cliche to me if it’s true. It is true. And so listening to those people, especially that you respect, you know, is is huge, it will make a major difference in the outcome for yourself. And with that, I say that that was a listening to strangers that I didn’t even know who just were recommended. We had a guy, Sean Peterson he’s he’s from the area is in Arizona now and he automates sales for different big companies all over the country. And I reached out, I said, hey, you know, I have a couple of mutual friends we’ve met before. He’s been on some podcasts. Would you mind just if I did a Zoom call hour, half hour of your time? I just want to get some pick your brain, get some thoughts. And most people will say, yes, they will.

Wendy Wiseman: People do.

Matt Tompkins: And it was huge to get a different perspective because I was focusing on all these things that, like I said, we’re in the weeds. They weren’t what mattered most to our prospect, our ideal customer.

Wendy Wiseman: Entrepreneurs and trust. They’re kind of antithesis to one another. Entrepreneurs don’t trust others very much, but it is about finding someone whom you can trust. And I the more I’ve been doing that, the more successful I’ve become. I don’t bring someone to the table to not trust her. I have a business consultant and I think she’s really made a big difference in my life. I’ve decided I’m not going to spend this money in my valuable time if I’m not going to trust. So find the right partner, do your vetting and then listen and and do your best. By the way, you didn’t make a lot of mistakes on your TV show because I used to endure Saturday Night Live to watch your TV show at midnight.

Matt Tompkins: We’ve talked about that. Yeah. Which I appreciate. Yeah. It wasn’t so much the show itself. It was it was the business side of it behind the scenes. That’s where I, I didn’t even see myself as an entrepreneur. Honestly, at the time, I didn’t. I just thought, man, this is.

Wendy Wiseman: Yeah, you are a serial entrepreneur, I’m going to tell you that.

Matt Tompkins: But yeah, I looked at it completely different, made all the wrong. I didn’t have a schedule, I didn’t have a routine, I didn’t have discipline. I had no way to I didn’t even know what a budget was, let alone how to put one together. And it was just it was a train wreck and it led to impacting my personal life in some very now I would just say in detrimental ways, in ways that literally threaten my life with getting falling into being addicted to opioids and struggling with that. And then that the stress from the business fueled that. And, you know, addiction and substance abuse is a major issue with entrepreneurs and small business owners because it it is this way to emotionally numb from all the things that are happening, all the stress and anxiety that can be solved if you if you do the things that you need to do, like we’re talking about today.

Wendy Wiseman: Well, work addiction is the entrepreneur’s number one enemy because you just there’s burnout and there’s tunnel vision. If you’re just in it all the time, there’s resentment that nobody else is working 90 hours a week. It just doesn’t bode well for people. I think that I want to talk about mistakes. So Aaron Sorkin is a writer whom I’m admire, who I admire very much.

You know, he wrote The Social Network among some of the most amazing television shows. And he’s a huge baseball fan. And he said, you know, you don’t get into the Baseball Hall of Fame unless you’ve hit like one out of three pitches. Well, if you watch baseball, you know, that’s astounding. And you’re still just hitting one out of three. So there’s a lot of mistakes to be made among the vast majority of baseball players.

And mistake might be the wrong word. But look at anybody that’s achieved a lot of fame. I mean, Einstein and Abraham Lincoln, tons of mistakes along the way. What matters is your grit and your courage and that fire in your ability to keep going, believe in your idea, believe in yourself. If you have a trouble believing in yourself, find somebody else who believes in you till you believe it yourself. And then what you talked about is intention. So we can let life happen to us and we can roll along with a good idea. We can meditate every morning, or we can tell our staff what we intend, but it’s intentions and saying, Here’s where I want to be. What is your plan?

What money are you going to make in a quarter or the second quarter in two years? This five year plan stuff, I think that’s out the window since pandemic, to be honest with you. But what’s your short term goal? What are you going to accomplish and believe that you will get there and get the help you need to get there? Trust.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah. The act of affirmations is not just a thing that they say, Oh, this works. It’s the the mind, the power of the mind and positive thought. And what was that book in the nineties? The Secret.

Wendy Wiseman: Remember how that was Believe in the Secret.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah.

Wendy Wiseman: But you have to do the work.

Matt Tompkins: But it’s, it’s true. It is not. I mean yes there are those who can take advantage of it and it’s more of a show and it’s not it’s not a genuine thing that they’re practicing. I get that there’s that with everything in life. But it is. Very true. They did a scientific.

This was a scientific study where they took people who had severe body shame issues and they every morning they would get in front of the mirror and they would write down all the parts of the body that they loved, that they liked. And they did that every morning. And after 30 days, just 30 days, there had a complete 180 on how they perceived themselves, because what they found is that they were focusing on just the one thing that they didn’t like, but they really it wasn’t that they didn’t like it. It was just they were comparing it to other people and the avatars on on Instagram who aren’t real. It’s all filtered out and not real and not an accurate portrayal of how they look. Anyhow.

And I did that exercise and it is incredible how it can turn things around. It works the same in any aspect of your life. If you verbalize it, if you write it down, that’s even better. That is the first step in actually going for it and making the decisions to take that chance, take that risk to make your dream a reality.

Wendy Wiseman: Yeah. So. Arianna Huffington, who publishes The Huffington Post, she said get rid of the kick out that roommate in your head. So if you lived with a person who said out loud to you the things that we say to ourselves, we would kick them out, we would move out. We wouldn’t live with that person. So when you think about that, the image about what’s going on in your business.

So I have a mantra on my desk that says stop thinking about what can go wrong and think about what can go right, because it’s really easy to wring your hands as a business owner entrepreneur and go, Oh, building or this client’s unhappy. But you think, Nope, These positive mantras that determine your positive attitude and what you expect to happen really can, with intention, make your business successful. Every successful business person I know believed he or she could do it and had a path to getting there. And that’s why they are where they are.

Matt Tompkins: And that’s absolutely true. One last area is a mistake that I think befalls more of us entrepreneurs than we like to admit. I will admit fully I have been tricked. I have been conned.

I have fallen for the scam. Too many to list here in one episode. But it happens and it’s probably happened to you already. And it’s okay. You don’t have to admit it. You don’t have to post anything on on our Facebook group or our page or anything. I will just tell you you’re not alone in that. Every it happens to everybody. And I think that’s a mistake to watch out for, especially in ways that maybe you’re unfamiliar with. So, for example, you’re a small business, you have a limited budget for marketing, and you you know, you need social media. You heard this term SEO thrown around, but you’re not really sure what it means. It’s a Google search engine optimization or I don’t know, it sounds fancy.

That sounds complicated. Digital marketing. What’s the difference between that and the social media? The same and blogs and long tail keywords, short tail keywords. It gets overwhelming really fast. And so it’s easy for us as entrepreneurs. We’re creative, we’re passionate, we love what we do. It’s easy to let that blind us and have people take advantage of us, and that it does happen more than than you think.

And like I said, it’s probably happened to you already. So what are some things to watch out for when it comes to those companies that or individuals who who are are doing that, who are taking advantage or maybe they they know you don’t understand. So they’re going to just use that against you, tell you what you want to hear. How do you avoid getting scammed or tricked or conned however you want to describe it?

Wendy Wiseman: Well, it’s going to happen to your point. It probably already has. And so I always say to myself, what am I to learn from this? And I try to and you still don’t burn a bridge if somebody treated you poorly, especially in a smaller market. So you just get over it and thank that experience for teaching you a valuable lesson. So as with anything, if you’re going to buy a vehicle, a car, a home, you inspect it first, you walk through, you have it inspected, you ask for reviews, you understand what other people think of it.

You ask for real examples of how that service has worked for other people. And you ask if you may talk to their other clients and see what their experience is. Times three Give me a three best customers. I want to talk to you. Give me your three worst customers. So you know, you have to do your research. We can easily believe in other people because when we believe in ourselves, we just think no one’s going to hurt us. Because I’m an honest person. You’re an honest person.

Wendy Wiseman: I act with integrity. I assume other people are. I’m way shocked when I’m not. But I’ve learning. But you have to ask for examples. Real metrics, Proof in the pudding. If, say, social media, show me the posts that have performed the best and prove it to me. Not just a piece of paper pdf, but I want to see their site online. So that’s what I would do and and help them understand that this is about my hard earned money that I can pay my other people with or build my widget better with or I can give it to you. So what are you going to do to help me grow my business? And then don’t wait six months or a year to see what how it’s doing. Ask for weekly metrics and pay per click monthly metrics and social. Let me see how I’m doing. Be a little patient like we talked about before three, four or five six months, but expect to see real numbers and proof as you go along before you go down too far down a path where you’re being hoodwinked.

Matt Tompkins: If they can’t show it to you, if they can’t prove it to you, it doesn’t matter. Like you said, there is a time that with SEO it can take six months. With social media management, it can take some time. If you’re doing your general branding and you’re establishing your brand out of the gate, that does take time and patience. But that doesn’t mean they can’t show you examples of what they’ve done for other clients.

As you mentioned, that doesn’t mean they can’t give you updates on on the progress if they can’t explain it to you in a simple, direct and clear cut way, then I think that’s that’s a red flag, if you will, on its own. And red flags are one area I think I would recommend just from personal experience. Don’t ignore them. I mean doesn’t mean you have to act.

Don’t overreact, but don’t just brush it aside. Well, this person’s really nice. So. And they took me out for a free coffee and, you know, they wouldn’t do that if they were if this. But then you have these red flags and they don’t line up. They don’t add up, you know, so so pay attention to those things. But I think putting in the work, as you mentioned it, if you want to get the most out of what your you’re paying for for a service when it comes to marketing, it is going to require some degree of effort on your part.

Wendy Wiseman: Yeah, I mean, people with integrity who want to work with you aren’t afraid to give you their best customers to talk to. They’re not afraid of that at all. And they’re not afraid to provide a dashboard for you to see. Because, you know, my team, we’re the first ones to admit our mistakes. We’re the ones that call the client go, These keywords aren’t working or we did an a, B test of two social ads. This one isn’t working. We’re going to get rid of it and put another one in its place. We embrace our clients goals.

You can find people who will do that for and with you. We’re in it for our clients. When our clients business grows, our business grows. You’ll find people like that that want to be in the game with you. It’s not about back to the very beginning of this conversation. It’s not about growing my business. It’s about making a difference in the world of marketing and other businesses out there.

Matt Tompkins: And I’m glad you kind of you brought the whole this whole conversation back around seamlessly. So I appreciate that. Jason Company is you have brand new offices, which I know you’ve been doing a little humble bragging about, which is totally deserved. We’ve been doing the same here with ours. New offices there. I saw it at the stage where you’re just getting the boxes and everything moved in down there, right across from the what, the Cottonwood Cottonwood Hotel was the.

Wendy Wiseman: Kimpton Kimpton.

Matt Tompkins: Hotel there in, in the Blackstone district, their beautiful offices. And you have that focus, which I love, of prioritizing the customer and what they need and how you’re alleviating that, how you’re helping them and being fully transparent with that. So your reputation precedes you. But if somebody wants to enlist your services, how does that work as far as getting a consultation or a discovery call or a clarity call? I heard that was a new phrase, a new term. I kind of.

Wendy Wiseman: Like I saw that to.

Matt Tompkins: Clarity call. Give us the the quick one, two, three and how that works.

Wendy Wiseman: Well, my phone number is on our website, COCOM. And we love to talk with prospective clients about what they want to do to grow their business. And we do those clarity calls complimentary, of course. And, you know, we one of our conference rooms is called the Ocean, the deep Dive ocean Room. The deep ocean, because we just can’t possibly help market our client’s business without understanding it. And our clients say, I think you know our business as well as we do.

To which I reply, How could I possibly market your brand if I didn’t? Then I’m just giving you an ad to see if it sticks. So love to spend a good hour with prospects and understand what’s your business plan? What do you want to do? What’s your goal? What’s worked? What hasn’t worked? Why did you fire the last agency you worked with? Or who’s doing it now that they could really be doing something else to grow your business? So happy to talk with anybody any time and not afraid to have you talk to our best clients and those who don’t aren’t with us anymore. You can find out why. And the thing is, we have a lot of tenure with clients, so that’s a good sign.

Matt Tompkins: That’s that’s a that’s how you build that. That reputation is is over time. So you talked about, you know, maybe having the more mature experience on your end and with your all your staff and everybody, your team offering those different maybe younger perspectives. But it is that that experience, that tenure that really matters, you have to have that as part of your team. And we’ll put if you’re okay with it, we’ll put your have your phone number and your email and your I don’t know, are you on like Tinder or Bumble? You don’t need to put any of that in there too.

Wendy Wiseman: Well, sure. Social media. Yeah. Yeah. No, I don’t even know what you’re talking about. No, I’m just kidding.

Matt Tompkins: Dating sites. Yeah.

Wendy Wiseman: Oh, gosh.

Matt Tompkins: No, please. No, no. Okay, I’ll leave those out.

Wendy Wiseman: And I want to just. I want to add, the reason I brag about our office is because it was really a. Stake in the ground of courage. I’ll just brag about this to sign a lease at a physical building space in the post pandemic era where businesses are working from home. But that’s because I know clients like a cool hip space to come to. I think our employees really wanted that and so far so good. So I was really encouraged by that leap of faith and to make it a really fun, funky carpet office that I’d love to show off to anybody who wanted to meet with us there.

Matt Tompkins: Wendy, thanks so much for coming on the podcast today.

Wendy Wiseman: Thank you, Mat. Pleasure.

Matt Tompkins: How would you like to be featured on the Omaha podcast? We want to help promote your business by featuring it right here on our show. And while you’re here in our studio, we also will film and produce a short promotional video for you to take with you and use anywhere you want along with the video segment from your appearance on the Omaha podcast. All you have to do is be a subscriber of the podcast to enter to win at podcast winner dot com that’s podcast winner dot com.

We’ll draw a winner on November 21st. Now marketing your business can get very complicated for small business owners who don’t have the time, the budget or the personnel to hire big agencies for their marketing. But in reality it’s pretty simple. Your business must get new customers, but nobody knows who you are, so you have to engage with them where they are online through social media and digital marketing. But to do that, you need original content that your ideal customer will connect with. That’s what we do for businesses every day.

We leverage your podcast with video to create a mountain of original content for a SOCIAL’S website and SEO search engine optimization. It’s marketing prepared for every day of the week.

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Midwest Mindset Transcript Season 1 Episode 14: Businesses and Hip Hip

Businesses and Hip Hip
Transcript Season 1: Episode 14

This is a written Transcription for the episode: What Small Businesses can Learn From Hip Hip

Full Written Transcript of The Episode

Matt Tompkins: Hello and welcome to the Omaha podcast, where Omaha’s most successful entrepreneurs help your business grow. I’m your host, Matt Tompkins of Two Brothers Creative. And if you want to appear right here on the podcast at the end of this episode, I’ll tell you how you can do just that. So what can hip hop teach business owners? Becoming a success in the culture of hip hop requires every single quality of entrepreneurship drive, grit, determination, creativity, innovation, risk taking, vision, and a willingness to grind it out every day.

On this episode, we are joined by Omaha legend Houston Alexander, MMA Fighter, bareknuckle champion and founder of the Houston Alexander Foundation’s Culture Shock Tour. I just hope he doesn’t knock me out today. I’m also very fortunate to call Houston a close friend, although I’m pretty sure he will deny that if you ask him. But we are. We are. We’re very close. Houston has been at the forefront of hip hop culture for decades, from bowing to emceeing, deejaying and, of course, you know, knocking people out in the ring. In this episode, we’ll see what business owners need to learn from the ultimate entrepreneurs of hip hop. We’re joined now by Houston, Alexander Houston, the assassin. Alexander.

Houston Alexander: Why do you always call me the assassin?

Matt Tompkins: That’s your name. In the MMA, you have SeaWorld Bellator. He’s a bare knuckle fighter. I mean, you’re fighting. I won’t ask your age because I know you don’t ask a woman our race, but.

Houston Alexander: I don’t care.

Matt Tompkins: About you. What? Coming up on 50. You’re still knocking.

Houston Alexander: Lot. I am 50.

Matt Tompkins: 50 years old and he’s still knocking people out in the ring.

Houston Alexander: That’s because people don’t have the work ethic and work ethic. No, they don’t.

Matt Tompkins: I’m also scared. I’m going to be honest with you. Like I would be afraid to.

Houston Alexander: Why do you hang with you? Why do you have the 12:00 shot?

Matt Tompkins: Well, that’s you know, it’s deception. I got to fool people to think that I’m like a grizzly, tough guy. So, Houston, Alexander, we’ve known each other for, I don’t know, probably 15 years or so, maybe.

Houston Alexander: Even for a while.

Matt Tompkins: Good friend of mine. We’ve did the TV show Omaha Life Together and had a lot of fun with that. And I’ve had the privilege of working on some some cool projects for you with your Houston Alexander Foundation with the Culture Shock Tour.

Houston Alexander: And I know I learned a lot from you through radio.

Matt Tompkins: I’m sorry about that.

Houston Alexander: Sorry. You know, especially on the political side, because a lot of people don’t know that you know a lot about politics.

Matt Tompkins: I know that’s the other deception. People think I’m you know, I don’t know what I’m talking about. And then they hear me and then they’re like, what is he reading a script? What’s going on here? But yeah, you came on my my old news talk show for, you know, probably two or three times a week, which was pretty fun. But you are heavily involved and you have been your entire life in, I guess, hip hop culture in the black community here in Omaha, Nebraska.

Houston Alexander: Not even just again, the black community, just hip hop, the hip hop community.

Matt Tompkins: I mean, you started off back in the day from everything from, you know, B-Boy dancing to deejaying. You still DJ today, art, graffiti artist. You’re an incredible graffiti.

Houston Alexander: Artist and doing helping people help rappers out, you know, on my radio show. Yeah, that’s a little bit of everything.

Matt Tompkins: And you do the Culture Shock tour with your foundation specifically to go to schools.

Houston Alexander: And teach the kids about hip hop.

Matt Tompkins: Culture. Yeah, mostly in Omaha, but really everywhere you’re expanding your reach.

Houston Alexander: Well, we’re hoping to expand.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah, well, that’s what we were kind of helping you with. With doing a virtual tour. You good experience online. But I think it’s really cool because you’re focusing on on teaching kids the power of hip hop culture, how positive it is, how much of an influence it is truly had on literally every aspect of our lives.

Houston Alexander: Because because what is what has happened to the culture itself? You’ve had the culture go in a negative.

Matt Tompkins: Well, it’s portrayed in a negative light by, I think, the media and others. And, you know, some people want to monetize that and say, you know, this is what hip hop is. So I’m going to portray this character, you know, But I think what you’re doing is the direction it should be or the thing it should be recognized for.

And so we wanted to have you on here on the Omaha podcast today to talk about your experience in all those areas, because, you know, if you’re if you’re a business owner here, a local business owner in Omaha, you may be thinking, well, what can I learn? What can I take away from a hip hop artist or a graffiti artist or a B-Boy dancer or any of this, that hip hop culture? But actually you could take away a lot about is pretty. 12 years ago, Forbes had an article where they they listed the top ten ways to market and advertise your business. And number one on that list was market yourself like a band. And that’s what I want to talk about today, because you know firsthand better than anyone. I used to play in a band, so I kind of know. But the struggles of being having nothing, having no influence.

Houston Alexander: Zero.

Matt Tompkins: No money to buy ads or market, you got to get creative to market your business. Or if you’re a hip hop artist, that is your business. And so today I want to learn how to market a business like a hip hop artist. So and I include hip hop, I include the whole culture in that in that statement.

Houston Alexander: And it’s it’s weird. It’s weird to keep you. You hear you keep saying hip hop artists when and when hip hop is actually the culture.

Matt Tompkins: It is.

Houston Alexander: Yeah, it’s actually the culture. And people keep saying hip hop artists when you have to be more specific, like a rapper.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah, when I say hip hop artist, I include graffiti artists.

Houston Alexander: Dj So you’re including.

Matt Tompkins: The whole culture. Yeah. So walk us back to the beginning when you were starting out and what is, what are some of the most what are the I guess the, the common themes you saw with those who made it success made a success of themselves because believe it or not, in Omaha in the nineties, hip hop was huge. It was massive. You were driving five or 10,000 people to a show every single week. And so what led to their success that you can pinpoint when they started with nothing, didn’t have any recognition or money or any of the things we were mentioning there, and we’re then drawing 5 to 10000 people every week.

Houston Alexander: You know why? I think it was the I think we talked about this before work ethic. And I think with me, I’ve always had that that that work ethic to where I want it better and say I think and within within myself and I think within other people who are. Who are actually doing the actual act. You got to have the work ethic to want to want to get stuff done. That’s first. And I think watching all all that expand and all that, all that come up when I was coming up, especially in the in the culture itself, I watch people working their butts off, passing out flyers hand to hand. They were doing the word of mouth thing and I think it was actually touching people.

And I tell people this all the time, especially when I do shows and I see artists and I see people doing all the things I tell them, you have to start talking to people. So self promotion is the best promotion, you know, you got to got and I get this all the time with from coaches, you got to let it be. A lot of you have to let people know how great you are or want to be. So. So I think it was the work ethic and letting people know who you are.

Matt Tompkins: And I think too, with that, like referral marketing is the best form of marketing and that is just me referring you and vice versa. And we get caught up in with social media. I think we use it as a crutch instead of a tool. I remember when my wife, we actually met and she would literally follow us around in her car as my brother and I would put flyers in thousands and thousands of.

Houston Alexander: Exactly.

Matt Tompkins: Under the wipers on the on the windshield. And it maybe drew one or two people, you know, But we we put in that work. And I think today we think, well, I’ll just make a social media post or send out a mass email.

Houston Alexander: And think people are going to come.

Matt Tompkins: See you and nobody responds. Why is that? You know? Well, that’s because there’s no connection. There’s no you’re not building a relationship. So instead put in the work and send a direct message or email to that specific person. And it’s a lot of work to do that with thousands or hundreds of people, but that will pay off.

Houston Alexander: But I still think it’s face to face. Yeah. Is that it’s shaking hands and kissing babies. You know, that’s why politicians still do that. You know, that’s why you still got to go out and you have to meet the people. Because again, as an artist, as a business owner, you still have to go out and you have to meet people.

Matt Tompkins: So you start off with a dream, Right? And one of my favorite one of my favorite quotes is that a a goal without a plan is just a wish, right? So if you think you know.

Houston Alexander: From where you get that from, I.

Matt Tompkins: Mean, no, I remember Coach Tomlin, a senator, somebody I don’t know. But it’s a great quote that stuck with me. And and it’s true. I mean, I saw this in comedy and entertainment and I’m sure you’ve seen on it and can speak to it in the hip hop culture of. Yeah, a lot of people, everybody has a dream, but it’s those who are willing to actually put forth a plan to make that dream a reality. So what have you seen like in hip hop culture here in Omaha that translates to businesses as far as people actually treating this like a legit operation that we’re going to actually accomplish this?

Houston Alexander: Well, you start you start off with the dream, and I can base it kind of on what you’ve been doing. So you’ve been wanting to have this, you know, a great studio like this that we’re in right now. You start out you started your dream off with a small idea and now you’ve got a great studio. So but the same thing with an artist. You have a dream, but you’ve got to have a great support group.

That’s that’s number one. And so you I think you surrounded yourself with with a great support group, or if you’re an artist out there or a business owner, find a great support group of people that can help you because you know your dream need help. The dream needs help. So find a good support group. And I think with with myself, even though I was, I’m pretty self-sufficient. You got to have your your it’s a support group.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah that’s I think that’s 100% accurate And whether that’s your family friends and I also say like, have you seen yourself and other successful people in the hip hop culture community here in Omaha surround themselves like they say, like the five people you surround yourself with is surround yourself with or who you are going to become.

You’re kind of a manifestation of all those things. So if you like, and it’s true when I surrounded myself with negative influences, people who, you know, when I was going through my addiction, people who were abusing themselves and doing things that were not healthy, I found myself doing the same things. And now I surround myself with people like you and, you know, friends of mine, successful business people. But yeah, I mean, you’re the only one who probably can kick my butt. But yeah, but, but it’s true. I see that OC my circle of.

Houston Alexander: Influence has changed yourself.

Matt Tompkins: Do you see that? Have you seen that as well as well.

Houston Alexander: Absolutely, yeah. I’ve seen a lot of people who, you know, for instance, Terence Crawford, a good boxer, but I believe him coming up in the ranks of boxing here in Omaha. He had a great support group, a great support group of coaches, of family and friends. And that’s why he’s in the position that he’s in now. Because, again, you got you got to have that support group for whether it be hip hop, boxing, sports or businesses have a support group.

Matt Tompkins: So he talked about, you know, the work ethic. That’s a major component, the having the passion and having the. Hussle, Right. I mean, that’s such a great word.

Houston Alexander: I mean, you said that, but, you know, that’s a great word to bring up. Passion. Yeah. You don’t have passion for your dream then. You mean you’re not going you’re going to quit.

Matt Tompkins: Well, like and because you coach a lot of people, too. And when we coach people here, when we’re helping them develop their podcast and for two brothers creative and with 316 strategy group, I the one thing I tell them we can’t control is your passion. I can’t control how passionate you are, how bad you want it, right. I can’t control that. You know, we can give you all the right tools and help you in every way possible, but that’s the X factor. And that’s I mean, that’s the difference between, I think, a successful hip hop artist or a successful business. I mean, is are you going to have that passion? And it’s 24 seven, man, it’s.

Houston Alexander: Never off showing up. Yeah, it’s half the battle.

Matt Tompkins: Oh, it’s like 80%, man.

Houston Alexander: You know, because again, when we did the when we did Omaha Live have half, half of the, the show itself was just showing up.

Matt Tompkins: It is so it’s showing up. And it amazes me too, because I saw this in radio with when I managed our internship program for about eight years and I would see there was like two interns out of all the 40 interns we had come through, that actually stuck it out past two weeks and actually showed up. And guess what? Those two people ended up getting jobs in the industry. And, you know, I mean, you.

Houston Alexander: Probably could’ve done the same thing because of their passion.

Matt Tompkins: Well, yeah, you show up. I mean, I remember spending my friends would just make fun of me at the time because they’d be going out. I’m 23, 24 years old. They’re going out partying and going to the bars and clubs every Friday, Saturday night, and I’m up at the radio station, learn how to make stupid jingles and learn how to edit with Adobe Audition. And you know, I did the same thing with learning how to video edit. I mean, talk about the work you put in and you see can you see that in in the potential like that in somebody like I can see they’ve got that pass.

Houston Alexander: Well see well let’s switch our lanes to my mama for instance. I get a lot of people coming up to me man. All I want to be an MMA fighter, etc., etc.. And what I tell them is this and I want to train with you, Houston Alexander, and I tell them this.

Meet me at the gym at 630 in the morning. You know, I get oh, I’m just a little early. Like, well, then this this is what it takes to, to be, you know, and any type of mixed martial artist. I don’t I don’t care if you’re a wrestler or boxer, you you got to have some type of passion for what you’re doing. You just can’t watch TV and think you can just do something. You can try it, but where is your passion? And I tell people all the time, meet me at the gym at 630 and you usually have the time, or most of the time they don’t meet. Be there.

Matt Tompkins: And I’m glad.

Houston Alexander: You know.

Matt Tompkins: Passion. I’m glad you brought it up, MMA, because that’s kind of where I wanted to go next because we can use you segue way. Good job shop, right? Yeah.

Houston Alexander: Now just get us.

Matt Tompkins: Let’s use, let’s use you let’s use use an Alexander as a prime example of this. Talk about those those days when you didn’t want to get up. What drove you to get up. What did you focus on to get you through some I mean, to be doing this at 50, you don’t even look 50, by the way. I mean, you could easily pass to like 49, but I mean, you I mean, you’re still Jack, still in great shape. You’re still nine people out. It’s incredible. I mean, it really is. And so, you know, I think there’s something to some sort of secret to your success, if you will. What what was it that you focused on to get you keep you going.

Houston Alexander: Through all that? I think, you know, when I first started off in in May, I think it was the money. Yeah, well, money’s always a great motivator, but but let’s see. I’ve always been able to to wrestle in boxing and do it. I was always a physical guy as far as sports. So when, when I was introduced to MMA, that was easy because I was probably one of the best street fighters out there at the time. And when I got introduced to it, it was just my I already had the passion with hip hop. So all I did was just take that same passion for hip hop and just.

Matt Tompkins: Kind of rinse.

Houston Alexander: And repeat right over to man. So once I started getting paid for it and saw that I can get paid for it, that that made my passion and may made me more, more, want more. Yeah. So what did I do? I was already going to the gym already because I was I was, you know, dancing at the time. So I’d stayed in the gym and all all that hip hop switched over to MMA. And so that that’s where you get, that’s where you get my passion coming from.

Matt Tompkins: So it’s that determination. I think discipline is a key I’m hearing there from.

Houston Alexander: You know, you got to have that and you got to have discipline because then, you know, once you start getting into these these mixed martial arts, you got to have some type of discipline or you will get hurt. You know? And I think having discipline is another way to mentally get just so tough mentally for focus on on kind of being a good person.

Matt Tompkins: Well, I mean, discipline. That’s right. One area I struggle with, just like with I mean, just with health, physical fitness, a lot of people do. It’s like it’s creating those new healthy routines. And I’m a big I’m a big proponent of boundaries and routines. And that just means like, okay, I’m going to I’m going to set a boundary here. Like, this is my time off. This is what I’m working. And so I can’t flip flop those two. I can’t say I’m just going to I’m going to sleep in 2 hours, like, No, this is my time. I said I was going to be.

Houston Alexander: Are you finally saying to yourself, Yeah.

Matt Tompkins: I did. I did, you know? And then I set a boundary. I go, Hey, Houston, you can’t call me three in the morning anymore. I’m not going to go to the gym with you at five. But but it’s I think we think physical fitness with a lot of those routines, but it works in every part of your life.

Houston Alexander: And it’s weird to me that I mentioned that because I was just talking to a guy at the gym this morning and he was telling me how he he lives for being at the gym now because back then, you know, he he went from, you know, smoking and drinking heavily. And once he got once he started physically putting himself together, he just started to stop doing all that.

Matt Tompkins: Well, yeah. When you turn it, I think it was like it takes like 21 days or something like that to build a a healthy routine, right? To break a negative habit, like to quit smoking or to stop drinking or to create start something healthy. Because you’re right, once you get going with it, then it’s like the day you don’t go to the gym, you just don’t feel the same. You’re like, Man, I really miss that.

Houston Alexander: Remember when you said when you first started, you saying, I want to I want to go back to the gym. And so I think ever since then you’ve been going to the gym since then.

Matt Tompkins: One secret I would say here that with with building a new routine, like when you want to create a new one, that really helps. And I did this because I did, I lost about £45 and changed my nutrition and diet.

But going to the gym was tough and like, so I just started just going and psychologist back this stuff, you just go, Oh, we just go walk on the treadmill for 10 minutes, go home next day, do the same thing, and then maybe the next day I go and I listen weights and then eventually it builds up into a new healthy routine where it’s like second nature. I’m not even thinking about it. Right.

Houston Alexander: So true story. I think when Nike first came out with the the the ad, just do it and I saw it on TV. I’m like, that’s a stupid that does a stupid ad. And then then as I got the training people and I got to doing the doing routines like you’re saying you’re doing, I told this person, just do it. I’m like, Oh, oh man. And I just felt like an idiot after that, because that that has to be the best slogan ever for people to just do it. Just get up and do what no matter what it is. Yeah, just do it.

Matt Tompkins: Our old manager and they had to change this after HR got wind of it, but he had printed all these signs and put a ball all over the building and said, Hey, FDI and it’s dad for actually f ing do it. They changed that obviously because wait, what’s the f stand for?

But it’s true. It’s true. I mean, I know everybody has a good or maybe a great idea, but it’s the difference is who those people who actually try who actually actually show up and put in the work. Those are the ones who have a chance at succeeding. Right.

Houston Alexander: And so as it was weird, we’re talking about all these different things, but but it’s just really it’s real simple passion showing up and moving forward.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah, absolutely. So before we get some takeaways, your last thing I want to talk to you about is the maybe the big missteps that you’ve seen. You know, we talk we were talking earlier about using sports as an analogy. You know, Tom Brady isn’t the most talented quarterback to ever play the game, but it’s his work ethic. You know, LeBron James has the talent, but then he put in the work here, that work ethic and that discipline. And most of the time, it’s it’s not the most talented person that that gets the gig that finds success. Because if you have a lot of talent, it’s easy to become kind of lazy, use it as a crutch and not too much. So, you know, Michael Jordan is a great example.

Like he had the talent, but he put in the discipline to where every move and step down to the inch was perfected. So let’s talk about the missteps that you see, the missed opportunities where you see somebody who has some talent, but or maybe they have a dream or a goal. But these are some of the things you’ve seen that can derail that success.

Houston Alexander: You know what’s funny? A lot of people who have talent sometimes get lazy. A lot of people do. I who I know who are super, super talented or you might be super talented when you’re doing graphic designs, you might be super talented DJing or you might be super talented and radio. I see a lot of people who are so talented they get lazy. Yeah. So. So this is where you need to just get up off your butt and just do it. Yeah, it’s going, going back to that recurring thing or just throwing doing it. And I think that for me, I just, I just had to get up. Yeah. And I wanted better.

So these people have to want better. And if you’re, if you’re not wanting better, you know that’s good. That’s a that’s a mishap. Yeah. If you’re not wanting better for yourself, if you’re not wanting to get up in the morning or if you’re not wanting to, to, to have the work ethic to do it. Those are the things that I see a lot of people having missteps on.

Matt Tompkins: It’s all decisions and choices we’re making. You know, I mean, I know that like, okay, if I stay out late till midnight, I’m making a choice that I can’t get up as early tomorrow. You know, if I you know, if I want to improve on my craft, am I making the choice to not practice? I mean, with music, you know, the talented musicians, the songwriters they put in, they set a time, the hours a day, they’re dedicated to it.

Houston Alexander: How do you how do you invite these people to to move in that direction? How do you motivate them?

Matt Tompkins: I think part of that is just their own passion. Know that we can’t control but phrase. I think to kind of bring this all around full circle that isn’t a copyright infringement is when I like to say. And that is we’re doing it, we’re doing this.

Houston Alexander: We’re doing.

Matt Tompkins: It, we’re doing this. Okay, now you’re doing something.

Houston Alexander: Completely.

Matt Tompkins: Different than doing.

Houston Alexander: That’s a bad.

Matt Tompkins: You’re doing this. You’re doing something that’s totally different than what I’m doing, but we’re doing it together. And I think that’s what this podcast is and that’s what we hope it is for for, for people here in the Omaha community, the business owners and entrepreneurs, no matter what area, if that’s if your business is music or AMA or, you know, running a donut shop, that I’m going to end up frequently going frequenting way too often.

But the point is this is a place where we could all encourage and support each other to keep that keep that passion up, you know, because it is hard to just do it all yourself. And so like you mentioned, having a team, the support system, that’s what this is. This is the.

Houston Alexander: Sport. You have to be the head of the team. You have. You have to be that person to add to that. They’re looking, looking up to to move forward with.

Matt Tompkins: So let’s let’s wrap this up. What would you say is your top takeaways you would send out now to a an entrepreneur or a business owner right here in Omaha and what you would recommend to them to create their own success story.

Houston Alexander: Again, starting off, you got to you got to have a great support team. Okay, that’s starting off. But even before you even get to that, you’ve got to have the passion, you have to have the work ethic and you got to you get you got to want more than than what what you have. And and you just you just got to and I don’t want to use the the that.

Matt Tompkins: We’re doing this.

Houston Alexander: Oh, we’re doing this. There you go. Where you got to have that we’re doing this attitude and if you if you if you don’t have the attitude to get it done, you’re not going to be successful. You know, we are doing this like, you know, if we’ve if we wanted to go out and go film something, we’re doing this now. If I wanted to go out and do go to the gym, we’re done. We let’s go. Let’s not even think about it. Don’t think about it. Move forward.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah, It’s amazing how that can just naturally change how you react and perceive things. Because with the TV shows, like, you know, we had a couple of months before it started, one camera, four Lights, it was just me and Ben. My brother didn’t have a clue what we were going to do, but we said, Nope, we’re.

Houston Alexander: Doing this is doing it, doing this, Just.

Matt Tompkins: Figure it out. We’ll figure it out.

Houston Alexander: Figure it out on the.

Matt Tompkins: Way, you know? And sometimes you figure it out and it’s a success. Sometimes you don’t. And it’s a it’s a failure, failure, failure that you’re going to learn even more from than you would if it was a success story.

Houston Alexander: If you’re watching, it’s all.

Matt Tompkins: Part of the.

Houston Alexander: Path. Yeah. You know, watching this podcast, you can hear the passion in your voice. You can hear the passion in my voice, you know, to a certain degree, because, you know, we’re we’re not quitters. Don’t quit. And you just you just got to have that. We’re doing this. Yeah.

Matt Tompkins: Attitude. Yeah. Houston Alexander you can check him out at Houston Alexander Foundation dot org. That’s his foundation of course wins your radio show and you’re doing a podcast and some other stuff here in too.

Houston Alexander: I know we’re still working on the radio show because that’s in the works and then the podcast, we’re working on that. So there’s a lot of things that we’re working on as well. But again, we’re just doing it. Yeah. Anyway, we’re we’re.

Matt Tompkins: Just going to follow Houston, of course, on.

Houston Alexander: Facebook.

Matt Tompkins: Instagram, all the social channels. So we’ll put all that info and links for you in the show notes for this episode. And when’s your next fight?

Houston Alexander: I don’t know. No.

Matt Tompkins: I’m sure that’s coming up. Is it? I mean, because I.

Houston Alexander: Know, sir. No, we’re not. We’re not getting paid.

Matt Tompkins: Right? No, there there is a showdown.

Houston Alexander: I’m not doing that with parents either.

Matt Tompkins: Me either. Smart decision. See, you’ve learned. You’ve learned along the way.

Houston Alexander: And I said, Well, there’s.

Matt Tompkins: Something you don’t want to.

Houston Alexander: Know. But here’s the thing. And you said, like you said, I couldn’t say the other thing.

Matt Tompkins: He’s breaking out the wisdom.

Houston Alexander: I’m going to see that he’s he’s.

Matt Tompkins: Been doing this on me for, I think, like eight years now. Yeah. Blowing the.

Houston Alexander: Whistle like.

Matt Tompkins: That’s a classic dad joke. And just like said, they think it’s funnier than it actually is, but that’s all right. You know, we’ll we’ll go with it. All right. He used to take so much, man. Appreciate you coming in here, man.

Houston Alexander: Though.

Matt Tompkins: How would you like to be featured on the Omaha podcast? We want to help promote your business by featuring it right here on our show.

And while you’re here in our studio, we also will film and produce a short promotional video for you to take with you and use anywhere you want along with the video segment from your appearance on the Omaha podcast. All you have to do is be a subscriber of the podcast to enter to win at podcast winner. That’s podcast winner. Com We’ll draw a winner on November 21st.

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Midwest Mindset Transcript Season1 Episode 15: Marketing SEO

Marketing SEO Transcript
Season 1 Episode 15

This is a written Transcription for the episode: Here’s What Every Successful Omaha Entrepreneur Does.

Hightower Reff Law on the Omaha Podcast

Full Written Transcript of The Episode

Matt Tompkins: Hello and welcome to the Omaha podcast, where Omaha’s most successful entrepreneurs help you grow your business. I’m your host, Matt Tompkins of Two Brothers.

Creative people like to use a lot of terms in business like B2B, COB, CRM, ROI, BFD, which is my official position here at Two Brothers and CEO is a big one. It is crucial to the success of your business. If you’re not utilizing SEO, it’s like starting a business and not telling anyone you’re open. On today’s episode of the podcast, we’ll give you the simple no cost tips for your business to follow. When you should hire an expert and find out if you really can do your own SEO marketing. I want to paint a picture of what I think most small business owners go through and experience.

We start something and you have this idea now you have a storefront maybe, or a website, and eventually you get to the point pretty quickly that you you have to advertise, you have to market to bring in new customers. And so that’s a pretty overwhelming moment because I don’t think anybody really knows what they’re supposed to do. And so we default to that like nostalgia of, well, when I was a kid, all the ads I saw or heard were on radio and television.

Matt Tompkins: So we go to that or print and we completely ignore the reality that we’re in today, which is if you don’t exist online, you don’t exist, period. And I think a lot of people are in denial about that. I don’t need a website, but eventually it does become a problem if you ignore it.

Even putting together a not so great website can be worse than just not having one. I remember working in radio and I just thought there was no way to prove any of these ratings. You can’t see how many people actually heard your commercial, how many changed the channel because we all do that when the commercial spot blocks come on, We don’t hear an eight minute lineup of commercials. So how effective is it really?

And there was a stat once they said you have to hear a commercial on the radio 35 times just to recall any of the information in it. So the answer is online. But I think today, Joe and Christopher, you can really help. I think a lot of small businesses here in Omaha just giving the basics like what do you do specifically with SEO? That’s a term we throw around like SEO. What is it? What is it? What does it mean? What’s it stand for?

Christopher Slater: I’m just going to sit back and let the whizzer talk.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah, Yeah. Joe, Joe’s ready for this. Joe could do, like, a whole podcast just on SEO, I’m sure.

Joseph Kenney: Well, it’s important to just note that small businesses close at an alarming rate, and it’s not because they don’t have a great product or great service or a compelling selling, compelling value proposition.

They most certainly do. They closed for other reasons, and one of them is they don’t know how to go to market with their product or service, or maybe they know how to do it, but they don’t have the money to do it. And I think it’s important just to take a step back and just kind of assess the tools that you have available to yourself as a small business owner. And SEO is one of those tools. And somewhere along the way, SEO is has gotten a bad rap. You know, we got into this business nearly a decade ago and at the time it was considered to be snake oil because you didn’t understand what SEO meant. But it stands for search engine optimization flavor.

Christopher Slater: Is that what it is? For ten years I’ve been telling people it’s like super effective.

Matt Tompkins: It’s a really good salesman. He doesn’t need to know the product.

Joseph Kenney: He’s okay. I’ve long said that Christopher struggles to spell SEO. Yeah, so search engine optimization, in a nutshell, it is the manipulation or the organization of information so that Google can find that information and serve it up to those that want to find it.

Google wants to be known no longer as a search engine, but a knowledge engine. So as a small business owner, it’s important for you to be able to connect with those that are searching for your product or service. So if you are a barber in Midtown, you want to be able to connect with consumers that are searching for Barber near me. If you are a home builder, you want to be able to connect with people that are searching for either a custom builds or a home builder in the Omaha area. If you are a lawyer and I think we’ve all seen the I-80 lined with billboards, you want to be able to connect with the type of person that’s searching for the type of law that you practice. So if you are a DWI lawyer or a DUI lawyer, you want to be able to connect with them.

So what is SEO again, and how do you do SEO and can you do it yourself or do you have to pay a company? So search engine optimization is a way to organize content on your website or on properties that are outside of your website, like blogs, news articles that point to your website and support what you do.

Matt Tompkins: Your credibility.

Joseph Kenney: Credibility. Credibility is exactly right. Essentially, there is a credit score for your website and we call that domain authority. The scale is from 0 to 100. And that domain authority basically ranks like a credit, personal credit score ranks. How much of an authority you are on what you say you do. So if you are.

Christopher Slater: According to Google.

Joseph Kenney: Well, not according to Google, but according to the independent resources. So like the credit bureau, they are not. They are not the federal government. But there are independent credit bureaus that report on people’s credit. And sometimes there are small differences depending on the algorithm that they use to score your personal credit. So the same would be true for websites But Google does place a fair amount of weighting on the information that goes into how authoritative are you on a particular topic?

So if you are a sports massage therapist in Omaha, you have to convince Google, Yahoo, Bing and any other search engine that you are knowledgeable about sports, massage. And if you’re searching for customers in Omaha, you want that information to be very targeted. It doesn’t just happen. It’s you have to as a small business owner, you have to take a strategic approach. But if if I am selling cookies at a cookie shop,

I want to make sure that as many people know about my cookie shop as possible. And the easy thing to do is to try to reach out to a radio station, reach out to a billboard company, post an ad online. So you’re doing paid advertising, which is same search engine marketing. Maybe you do some flyers, you do the vowel pack. We’ve all we’ve all received the vowel pack, and what do we do with it when we get it?

Christopher Slater: It never makes it into my house.

Matt Tompkins: Or the worst is the is the. And this time of year to the the political mailers, the I was shocked to see how many tens of tens of thousands of dollars they spend. We’re talking 50, 60, $80,000 on these flyers. When has that ever changed your mind or influence how you think? I just don’t I wonder. I spread them all out on the kitchen, on the living room floor. They covered the whole whole living room. And I said, not one of these has an impact on me because there’s no trust. There’s no like you said, there’s nothing to substantiate what they’re saying about their opponent or themselves. So it does nothing.

Joseph Kenney: So as a small business owner, you have limited resources to get as much done as as possible and by as much done as possible, I mean limited resources to try to connect with as many people so that you can feel successful. You know, being successful in business is also how you feel. The more successful you feel, the more positive actions you’ll take towards being successful in other areas of your business.

So you want to try to get some of those early wins, and one of them is to make sure that somebody comes in off the streets and says, Hey, I found you on Google. Well, that doesn’t again, that doesn’t just happen. So if I’m a small business owner, how do I get started with SEO? The first thing I would do is read up on it. You aren’t going to learn this overnight. It’s taken us a decade to learn what we know now, and it’s ever changing. There’s been 3000 algorithm changes in the last 12 months.

We’ve had three really large algorithm changes just in the last three weeks, so it’s hard to keep up on it, but you can still take some really basic steps to be more successful and to have a chance at being found. So one you need need to have a website. We prefer to have websites built on WordPress. For the average small business, it’s a very stable platform to build your website on and it has very good SEO properties. It’s easy to nudge Google, Yahoo and Bing and let them know that, Hey, here’s our website. It’s about this.

The next step would be once you have a website to put good content in there, are you serving the customers well with the information you have? If you have a a pickleball website and you don’t have a lot of content about what pickleball is, then you’re not really making your case that you’re an expert.

Matt Tompkins: Wait, what’s pickleball?

Christopher Slater: We to go to the website.

Matt Tompkins: This a sport it’s like I could have been really good at pickleball had I known about it. You still.

Joseph Kenney: Can. And for those of you listening, Matt’s behind the times. Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America. Okay, so check it out. A little.

Christopher Slater: Known fact. You know why it’s called pickleball?

Joseph Kenney: Let’s hear it.

Christopher Slater: There we go. The people that invent it. So pickleball is like a it’s like a wiffle ball. It’s like a plastic ball. We are digressing, but.

Matt Tompkins: We’ll get we’ll get back to.

Christopher Slater: The people that invented that amount of the game. Pickleball It was their dogs. Ball Their dog’s name was Pickle.

Joseph Kenney: There we go.

Matt Tompkins: Is there pickleball? Because that is that might be a new one. We could do that. All right, let’s let’s continue. Joe, where were you?

Joseph Kenney: Yes. So it’s important to have really great information, content on your website, very specific to what you do. It lists the services very specifically. We want to have some geographical information that denotes where you’re doing your business. So if you’re a pickleball company in Omaha, Nebraska, you want to make sure that that’s noted on your website. And then you want to have recent and updated information along the way. And by recent, I mean Google is is awarding search traffic to those businesses that are supplying recent and authentic information about their business. So, again, if you’re a pickleball business, you want to create as many stories, articles, updates, press releases, news releases as possible.

So maybe you you open up a new Pickleball Court that’s newsworthy. You want to get that out on your website as quickly as possible, and then you want to make sure that it it is it is written from an original first person standpoint. Google is rewarding businesses for writing content that is not in the third person. Why? Because they feel like if it’s in the third person, it may not be real. It may not be authentic and may have been written by a software. And then certainly Google my business. It’s a social platform owned and operated by Google.

This is a real catalyst for change for small businesses. It’s how we’re found. Whether you have a juicery, a vegan restaurant, an HVAC company, a law firm, it’s how we’re found. It’s called the Google Business Profile. And there you can input pictures about your business, interior pictures, exterior pictures. You can add video. Google likes to see pictures about your business products, services when you’re at work. They also ask that you input what holidays are you taking off? What are your business hours? Right. It’s also the place that we can leave reviews for businesses, right? And Google rewards you for having that Google business profile there. And then I think all of us have had that opportunity where we’ve said chocolate shop near me, right? We’ve all used Siri to do something like that. Were you following.

Matt Tompkins: Me this morning and last night and yesterday morning? I may have a problem with chocolate? I don’t know.

Joseph Kenney: It seems like a basic request when we talk in to talk to Siri and we ask her for a suggestion and whether it be food or services or mechanic near me. Well, it’s a little known fact that those results are based off of an agreement with Yelp and Apple.

So unless you have a Yelp profile, unless you are cultivating Yelp reviews, you could be standing in the center of a chocolate shop, say chocolate shop near me, and they would send you across town to Papillion to a wonderful little chocolate shop there. And you’re frustrated as a chocolate shop owner in Omaha. So what gives? It’s that you aren’t playing the SEO game correctly. You didn’t use the free resources that are available to you as a small business owner to try to capture some of that traffic. I think business owners would be shocked at how much traffic is out there, how many people are looking for businesses just like yours. Remember what I said at the beginning of the podcast that businesses are closing at an alarming rate? That’s true. That’s fact. But I also said that there are very few that don’t have a great product, a great service or a compelling value proposition. They almost all do.

So why are they failing? Well, most of them are failing because they fail to connect with consumers that are already searching for them. We help hundreds of small businesses be successful.

We help them grow their businesses. But I would say about 60% of them, when they contact us for the first time, are struggling. They’re struggling to connect. Sure, they have the same challenges that other businesses do with staffing capital, human resources. Yes, yes, and yes, that’s that’s just part of doing business. But the not being able to connect with consumers that are searching for you, that’s actually easier than you might. Think. And you don’t just have to throw money at a billboard or to your point, Matt early, you don’t have to just spend it on radio spots and just wonder if it works or not.

Christopher Slater: A shotgun effect like that is not nearly as effective as snipers having your right in front of the person that is literally looking for what it is that you provide. And they may not know that you exist and you have to be able to show up in that search.

Matt Tompkins: I mean, to really a really basic, simple analogy, I think would be you’re at a party and they keep drawing names out of a hat and everybody around you is winning and you’re not. And that’s because you just didn’t put your name in the hat. You know, you’re not even in the game. You can’t win the game if you’re not in the game. And we actually have some episodes we’re going to be doing coming up about specifically why businesses fail and Google my business, because you’re right, that’s an excellent tool to have. And I think it is it is surprising how much I guess it’s not. It’s surprising. But then just look at how much you search on your phone or on Google.

Any time you have a question, you know, every time we’re watching TV at home and, you know, Wendy and I start arguing, when did this movie come out? Well, I don’t find out. 2 seconds. You know, it’s the same thing when we’re hungry, when we need anything, that’s just what we do. So to sit there and pretend like, well, I don’t I don’t even want to put myself on there. How do you expect to connect with those people? How do you expect to reach them? Right. Right.

Joseph Kenney: If you’re a small business owner and you think that you can’t compete against the franchises, the corporations, the online behemoths, you’re wrong. You absolutely can.

Time and time again. Time and time again. I’ll give you a good example. About five years ago, we had a young woman contact us and tell us that she was ready to leave the massage therapy school or clinic excuse me, the clinic that she worked at, she wanted to go off on her own, but she was scared, fearful, naturally. How is she going to compete against the massage? Envies the massage heights the companies with all those corporate dollars, how could she possibly compete against them? And we said, Well, let’s let’s take a look at what types of massages are you going to give? And she was specializing in sports, massage bodybuilders, athletes, very technical massage. Christopher Yeah, pretty much, yeah. For people just like Christopher and.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah, Are you blushing right now? Is blushing this guy, he’s blushing.

Joseph Kenney: But after after we have some fancy software, after running some basic, basic reports, basic SEO analysis, we discovered that those online behemoths and big corporations like massage heights and massage envy, they were missing the boat on the SEO side of the fence, that there were really unique opportunities for us to work with this massage therapy business and help them be ranked for the types of services that she offers. And now, five years later, her business is booming. She if you Google Sports Massage Omaha, she’s the number one listing that comes up. She’s booked months in advance. So as well as her other massage therapists booked months in advance.

And that’s all because of SEO. So again, if you’re a small business owner at home and whether you sling pizzas, whether you sell dog toys, cookies, whatever it might be, pickle balls, pickleball, right. Whether you string tennis rackets work on a car, HVAC, you build homes, you detail cars, whatever the business is that you’re in, give us a ring. You reach out to the show and ask us to to run a report. I think you’d be shocked.

Our reports will tell us how many people are searching for the services that you provide in the Omaha area. Our reports will tell us what your competition is doing and it will tell us how difficult it is to be ranked for those key words and phrases that are life changing, business changing. We get texts all the time. I never thought I’d make this much money, and more often than not, it’s because of the SEO services that we’ve provided to those businesses.

Matt Tompkins: I think, you know, so kind of I want to recap a little bit the basics and then ask there’s one last thing I want to talk about related to SEO. But you know, you have to have a website, you have to be there, utilize the free tools that you have, like Google my business and reach out because getting an SEO report doesn’t necessarily cost you anything. I mean, you can reach out, you can reach out to the show here, you know, you just want to find out and then you can make that decision. Which leads me into the last thing I wanted to talk to you about when, you know, unfortunately, you mentioned like snake oil earlier, unfortunately SEO or people in. As wasn’t was an SEO itself. They they took advantage of the fact that this it can be complicated that most people don’t really understand it or know a lot about it, and they can talk right over their heads. You know, I know we we have a client right now that was just frustrated. They didn’t know how much money they were spending.

They didn’t know what it stood for, what it means. And they said the reason we left is because that company is that every time we talk to them, which was hardly ever, they just talked over our heads, made us feel stupid. We’d get a monthly report that was way too long in a PDF that we we didn’t even know what this meant, all these abbreviations. So it is challenging to to know is this is this company I’m looking to hire legitimate or is this how much I should be paying? So maybe just give us some some tips on how to avoid going with the wrong decision or the wrong company or know that you you’re being taken advantage of aside from learning the fundamentals of SEO yourself.

Joseph Kenney: Yeah. Chances are that the average business owner isn’t going to want to invest their personal time into learning SEO. You know, as as digital strategists and business coaches, we believe business owners should work at their highest value. It’s taken us a dozen years to get to this point. So if you’re going to rely on a company to help you with SEO, it’s important that you find reputable companies that have a strong track record, proven business success, and they’re changing lives.

Yes, there are a lot of SEO companies that over the last decade have taken advantage of businesses. They use unethical practices. And in this digital age, as you can imagine, you can go on fiver and ask anyone to do just about anything for a business. So if you want to send 1000 quick reviews to Yelp, you can probably get that ordered. But that’s unethical. It’s not approved and it will bite the business in the long run. We hear those horror stories every week. It’s actually why we got into the business is because we are consulting with a small business. We came across a line item that was $700 a month at the time.

Joseph Kenney: This is nearly a dozen years ago, and the business couldn’t definitively tell us what that was for, whether or not it was making an impact on a business. It’s important to just just speak at the same level of your customer. So if somebody is meeting with us, it’s important for us to say, okay, let me spell it out to you. This is the key word. This is it’s important to you.

This is why we’re trying to help you be found, because there’s 3300 people this month that are searching for that particular keyword phrase in your targeted location of Omaha, Papillion, La Vista, Gretna, Bennington, wherever it might be. And if you were ranked in the top one, two or three on Google, you’re going to garner about 40% of the search traffic. If you can’t be found on the first page or second page, it’s not going to impact your business whatsoever. It would be really rare. Somebody I mean, just think about it. When was the last time you went to page two or three on Google to to investigate or research or find a business you want to trade with?

Christopher Slater: You just don’t. And it’s it’s not uncommon for us to run these reports and to do these baseline audits for people, which really for a business owner, it’s a really great exercise for them to be able to try to determine what their keywords even are, what do they want to be found. For many, in many cases, they haven’t even considered that or thought about it. So it’s a really good exercise for them as a business owner to understand what people are searching for or what they even want to be found for. And oftentimes we find that they’re not within the top 100 listings at all. They’re not even on the top ten page.

Joseph Kenney: Yeah, most yeah, most of the reports, let’s say if you’re selling ice cream most of the time, I would say the businesses that we run reports for are not found in the first ten or 12 pages of Google. Well, what’s the point? I mean, you want to be found, you want to connect, and then you read stories about these same businesses that they just couldn’t make it, that the business wasn’t there. They didn’t have the capital. No, it’s not that complicated. We just need to help you be found. We can even run a gap analysis report. So if you called up and or contacted the show and said, Hey, these are the two competitors that I go head to head with, we have the ability to run a gap analysis on those two competitors and your business. And we can come back with the report and tell you exactly where you are winning on Google, where you’re weak, where Competitor A has the edge, and where competitor B has the edge. And then we can lay out a strategy that in pretty short order starts to. Come together comes into focus very clearly and you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel where you’re like, Gosh, now I can get back to doing what I love to do in a business, which is spend time with your customers.

Matt Tompkins: And you mentioned with the audit. I mean, you did that recently for for someone for us, and we found out that they’re responding to reviews in a way that they weren’t thinking, hey, everybody’s going to see what I just wrote. And it doesn’t help the image of the business. It doesn’t leave a happy customer.

I want to mention this. We’re going to have links in the show notes for I mean, do you have some articles about SEO, maybe? Absolutely, yes. Okay. So we’re going to have a bunch of articles about what is SEO, the things you can do yourself to get started and get that basic understanding, and then also contact information to reach out. Of course, if you want the pros to help you out here with one of those SEO reports, I think it’s good to close on this because it’s kind of a cold water to the face moment. You mentioned the business is failing and I only had this on hand because we’re going to be doing an episode about why businesses fail. But apparently 33% of businesses fail in the first two years, 50% fall within the fail within the first five years, only 33% make it to ten years. And actually only 25%, 25% of new businesses will make it to 15 years or more.

Joseph Kenney: It doesn’t have to be that way, Matt.

Matt Tompkins: It does it because I guarantee you every single one of those businesses didn’t think they were going to be one of those businesses. We think, Oh, no, that’s not going to be me. And then we just don’t do those these things. We don’t know how to do them, so we just don’t do them and they will come back to bite you. I mean, sadly, it’s just a it’s like gravity. I mean, it’s just going to happen.

So again, thank you for your wisdom here today. Joe Joseph is he’s the wizard. He is the wizard. Like I’ll call him with like the nerdiest questions about, hey, I got a nerdy question for you, Joe. You got a minute about SEO? And he’s calling me back in, like, 2 seconds. Yeah. Yeah, Well, yeah. What do you got? Yeah, he loves to talk about it, and I love to talk to you about it to help you out.

Thanks for joining us here today on the Omaha podcast. Be sure to hit subscribe so you never miss an episode and we want to hear from you. Let us know what resources you need in upcoming episodes. So yeah, we can do something about it when you think you don’t. The Omaha podcast where Omaha. Successful entrepreneurs help your business grow.

Midwest Mindset Transcript Season 1 Episode 16: Successful Omaha Entrepreneurs

Successful Omaha Entrepreneurs Transcript Season 1 Episode 16

This is a written Transcription for the episode: Here’s What Every Successful Omaha Entrepreneur Does

Hightower Reff Law on the Omaha Podcast

Full Written Transcript of The Episode

Matt Tompkins: Hello and welcome to the Omaha podcast, where Omaha’s most successful entrepreneurs help you grow your business. I’m your host, Matt Tompkins of Two Brothers Creative. Are you doing the same things that other successful entrepreneurs in Omaha are doing? I know I’ve tried about everything. I’ve tried to emulate Omaha’s most successful entrepreneurs in many different ways, like wearing the same clothes, eating the same cereal. I even wore a tie once. Gross Never again. But all of that is just window dressing.

There are universal fundamentals for business. And then there are the unique ways in which Omaha entrepreneurs set themselves apart from the rest of the country, if not globally. Jeff Beals has watched and been a part of Omaha’s business community to not only see it all, but talk about it all on his radio show and podcast. Grow Omaha.

In this episode, Jeff reveals what Omaha successful entrepreneurs are doing so that you can do it too. Aside from wearing the same skinny jeans, which I now realize was. Bad idea. We’ve talked a lot about the things that people, customers, consumers can do to support specifically local businesses, small businesses right here in Omaha. Today, we’re going to talk about what businesses can do to support other businesses and the common thread, the keys to finding success and making it stick and thrive as you survive in this in this business climate today here in Omaha.

Who better to talk about that with? With us is the guy who’s been here for pretty much it. All right. I mean, you were here when like business as a concept was just incepted, I believe, right?

Jeff Beals: That’s right. I’ve been around a while, Matt.

Matt Tompkins: Jeff Beals. He is a international. International keynote speaker. I’ve never done international gigs. Only like the the the rodeo in the small town every now and then. But I know he’s an award winning author, sales strategist. And of course, we know each other from the radio show and podcast that you host Grow Omaha, which is kind of a staple now on 11 day CFIB. It’s what you say, 19 years.

Jeff Beals: It’ll be 19 years in January since we started.

Matt Tompkins: I think like Mister Mechanic who and the only reason I know this, it’s not like I’m a I mean, I am a fanboy, but I used to produce the morning show line up Saturday mornings. I think my shift was 5 a.m. to noon. That’s where we first met.

Jeff Beals: Yep.

Matt Tompkins: And I had to edit Paul Harvey when he was still when he was still alive. That’s how long this was ago. But I think our career is based in radio at Kfwb started almost the same time, which is kind of a cool origin story we just discovered.

Jeff Beals: Yeah, it is. I mean, we were there. You were just getting started in your career and we were just getting started doing radio. And when we started doing Graham Omaha, we saw it as initially as a six month marketing experiment. We had no idea that, that it would take off the way it did. And certainly it was a good marketing tool, but it also became missionary because we were interested in building up the city and in creating confidence among people in Omaha. And it did all that.

Matt Tompkins: You I mean, Grow Omaha is, I would say, a resource that I would recommend any entrepreneur business owner here in Omaha. And I’m sure the content is relevant to people outside of Omaha. But you were the first I think you were ahead of the curve before podcasting was a thing, before creating content for your business. Original content was a necessity, you know, let alone people thinking about it.

You were doing that before everybody else. And, you know, back in the day there was just radio and television. Today, there are a lot of options. And you’re, I know, kind of moving out into those arenas where you have moved out of those arenas as well. So I know you’ve done this with the strategy work, you’ve done with with companies, with businesses. My first question I would ask you and this is primarily just for me to know so that I can kind of bank it away to help myself be selfish. How do you stay ahead of the curve? Like, how do you do those things before anybody else does?

Jeff Beals: Well, that’s a good question. I think you always have to you always have to have your creative mind working, you know, to give you an idea. Yeah, Grom has started before podcasts were created, but I stole the idea for Omaha, believe it or not, from one of my favorite TV shows when I was a little kid in the seventies. Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah, Yeah.

Jeff Beals: Wild Kingdom was a great show. It was on every weekend. I watched it with my grandparents and it had nothing to do with Mutual of Omaha, but everyone knew that Mutual of Omaha made it possible. And that’s kind of what we were going to do with Grow Omaha. We wanted to create something that had content that stood on its own merit, but yet would be associated with our company, whatever it was at the time when we were doing that. So so I think you can find innovation by studying the past and and you think to yourself, okay, what was innovative ten years ago, 20 years ago, 100 years ago? Okay, translate that to the current times. How can I use that historical knowledge in this environment right now to find something that’s going to be future focused?

Matt Tompkins: I think that that’s a great point. I mean, that common thread, there are things that just work. And so when people look there today, there are so many options. I got to be on Facebook and Instagram and and now Tik Tok. And I don’t understand, like, how is any of this relevant to selling donuts or whatever it is you might be doing with your business. And you look at the common thread. What made radio great was it was personality based. It was it was very focused with its content to a specific area, a region, a city. And that’s the same thing that makes podcasts great. You know, that’s the same thing that makes great original content. I don’t think it necessarily matters the form in which you’re making that content, as long as it’s good and it carries your brand along with it, right?

Jeff Beals: Yeah, absolutely. Radio is very much a niche business these days and podcasting is far more niched than that.

Matt Tompkins: And there’s riches in the niches because that’s what my wife says all the time. Be specific with who you’re targeting a business. Should do the same legwork that we do at podcasting that I’m a radio guy too. At heart. That’s where I started my first 12 years at there at the I heard media there. I heard media today. It was Clear Channel back then. It’s the same thing, though. We say, what’s who is your target listener? You know, who is your ideal listener is how we kind of phrase it. A business should do that same thing. Who is your ideal customer if you don’t know specifically who you’re helping or who your product or service is for? A how are you going to find them? And then when you do, how are you going to actually deliver what they need?

Jeff Beals: Yeah, I think I think any time you’re writing a piece of content, if you’re speaking on a podcast and my situation hosting the radio show, if you don’t have the image even down to a face of of who you’re talking to, who you’re trying to reach, you’re probably not going to be successful because then you’re going to be too much like an old fashioned broadcaster. And like you said, the riches are in the niches now.

Matt Tompkins: That yeah, I mean, if you’re listening to something in podcast for this way and the host says, Hey, everybody around the world, well, I’m not everybody around the world, I’m just me. And I’m listening in my headphones while I’m running on my treadmill. Okay, Well, he’s speaking to everyone, not me. Right? And that’s what you want to avoid. And as a business strategy, that’s very important, too. I mean, that’s very effective. You, Eric Johnson actually is the one who showed, you know, Ben and I, when we started, he walked us through that target listener profile. Eric is still there at iHeart Media and he’s a great coach. He coaches his podcasters as well. And you have to give them literally a name an age. How many kids do they have? What is their salary, their income?

How many cars do they have? What TV shows do they watch? What movies do they like? You have to know their interests and dial it in. Even more specific than that, I think to to really resonate. That’s what it’s all about, resonating deeply with people, you know, for your podcast or your business. So we’re talking about different commonalities and themes today because you have been involved, I think, as an entrepreneur, as a strategist, speaking, obviously hosting Grow Omaha, what are I want to know what the key threads are that you see that connect all of the success stories which that there are a lot of that come out of Omaha. I mean, what what connects the the local small business owner? It’s the same thing they’re doing that made Warren Buffett successful on a bigger scale.

Jeff Beals: Mm hmm. Well, I think in general, to be successful in business, you have to, like we already talked about, know exactly who your target audience is. You have to know exactly what it is that you do to serve them. And then I think the other two words that I always talk about in Grow Omaha with my partners, and when I talk to people in my my sales training capacity that I do as another business are value and trust the two most important words. And when it comes to value, you have to know exactly what it is that your client and prospective client values without any assumption or ambiguity. And that’s a real easy statement to make. And it sounds kind of simple, but it’s very difficult. It is to do that.

Matt Tompkins: We kind of get in our own way, I think. And maybe I don’t know if this is accurate in your experiences, but we think about what we want as a business owner. That may not be the same thing as what your customer wants. You know, you have to think about them before.

Jeff Beals: Yourself in our expertise colors that I mean, Matt, you’re an expert when it comes to media, podcasting, audiovisual productions, content creation, you’re an expert at that sort of thing. And the people you work with are, of course, not as big of an expert at that. Otherwise, why would they use you? And so a person who’s really successful is able to get past his own expertise and instead have that empathy to see the world through the client’s eyes and understand what they truly value.

And then I mentioned trust. If you do that, it’s easy to establish trust. And then, of course, your job is to keep bolstering and strengthening that trust over time. So so in general, those things I just said right there, in my opinion, are the true foundational keys to success in business.

Matt Tompkins: I think that is 100% accurate at Trust is a big one. I mean, we talk about, you know, you say trust, and people don’t think of trust necessarily when you think of watching a TV commercial or an ad campaign. I think that’s what has made grow Omaha as successful as it is for your listeners and with your podcast and your other endeavors, it’s a way to build trust. And you know, you do that through different forms of media, but people want to do business with others they know like and trust. They have to trust you.

So if I watch this Geico commercial on television or I watch this, you know, a local I mentioned the donut shop. I don’t know why donuts are on my mind all the time, but you know, I want to trust them. It’s you’re buying the person more than you’re buying the product, I think, most of the time. So trust is absolutely crucial for businesses here in Omaha. Locally here, what are the techniques outside of hosting their own podcast or radio show that you’ve seen work to build that trust?

Jeff Beals: Well, I think. The things that build trust, first of all, are consistency and predictability. So if I’m consistent with the way I treat my clients, if I’m consistent with the way I treat my coworkers and partners and employees and this sort of thing, I’m worthy of trust. If my behavior is predictable over a period of time, I’m worthy of trust. In this day and age, the faster you communicate with someone and the more responsive you are.

People seem to think that you’re trustworthy. So if I’m if I’m that typical person in 2022 who’s really bad at getting back to people that actually can erode trust a little bit. Yeah. And then if you look at in the media perspective, going back to Omaha with being consistent and predictable, we try to on every radio show have similar behavior, similar format. We try to be pretty balanced. I mean, sure, sometimes maybe personal opinions or political opinions might sneak out a little bit, but that’s not our intention.

Matt Tompkins: That’s what we love about I mean, your personality is that you’re authentic, right?

Jeff Beals: Right. Yeah. I try to be authentic. And and in all of our digital media work that we do and grow Omaha, we try to establish a track record of consistency and predictability so that people trust us and they can see us as a media source that’s not out to persuade someone to some sort of agenda, but rather give them God honest news that is valuable to them. And hopefully we pray in an entertaining format.

Matt Tompkins: I mean, that is that there’s so many layers to like what makes someone trustworthy or makes someone trust you. I would say even things, and I think there’s a lot of local businesses. I’m I would throw myself in this category that has missed the mark or could improve on this. Things like your website. I mean if you don’t look trustworthy at first glance or if you know, yeah, it’s quick and easy to respond all the time on all these different platforms and you think, Well, I can just do this, I can do a Facebook commercial on my phone or my nephew will do it. Well, you have that. You have one opportunity to make that first impression, to build that trust.

And it is really hard to build trust when you have lost that, when you’ve totally missed that opportunity or worse than that, you’ve made a bad impression. So turning someone who doesn’t trust you into someone who does trust you is much more challenging than someone who doesn’t know whether they can trust you. And then you go from there, right?

Jeff Beals: Yeah. And Matt, that’s where credibility and trust kind of collide, you know that you use the example of the website. How you look is a credibility factor, and then credibility helps make trust more possible. So, for instance, if we’re if we’re dealing with a client that has been with us for 20 years and the credibility things really not all that relevant anymore, but if we’re dealing with a prospective client or a brand new client and there’s something out there before that you’ve built that trust that damages your credibility. Your odds of getting trust down the road are not all that good.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah, And that’s that’s I mean, that’s a good point. When you talk about like grow Omaha, I think that’s it. Or podcasting or, or having like an influencer, you know, you have there’s a lot of brands, a lot of local companies here that I’m aware of that have built that trust and become really popular outside of Omaha, even through Instagram and things like that.

Building that trust, though, it is, it takes time. It really does. And you want that quick fix. You want that quick. I need sales today, but you think it’s it’s better to do it right and invest in the long term play for like you mentioned a client you’ve had for 20 years have that then just a quick boost in sales but missing those long term opportunities.

Jeff Beals: Yeah, I don’t think you ever want to violate any of your principles for short term gain. And trust, of course, ought to be one of a company’s principles. But there’s nothing that says that a company can’t work on establishing a trusting culture, a trusted reputation over the course of years while still not actively prospecting in the beginning. Right. Because, you know, like one of the things I teach is as a sales consultant trainer is is how to start to establish some level of trust.

At the moment I call you as a stranger on the telephone. We have to do that. I mean, you don’t get enough business in most businesses if you’re not calling people who’ve never heard of you and trying to convert them into clients. But there are some things that you can do right on the front end that can start to establish that trust.

Matt Tompkins: Like cold calling, as it’s called. It’s called that for a reason, and it’s very challenging to do. I remember I dreaded every year as a Boy Scout having to sell popcorn. I mean.

Jeff Beals: The.

Matt Tompkins: Raffles. Yes. I mean, even I mean, I made it up to life, Scout. My dad was an Eagle Scout. He still rubs it in my face to this day, but I would hate that even calling my grandma, I felt like this is I didn’t see it as that. That’s how I perceived sales, I should say. Today I see a totally different today. I see it as relationship. You’re investing in relationships because people tell me now, they’re like, Wow, you’d be really good at sales.

And I I’ve done all the tests online where you figure out, like, who are you and are you this or that, or you’re your strengths challenge and you find out where you belong in an organization. And I would be a great salesperson, but I think back to Boy Scouts and I’m like, No, I’m terrible at sales. When I look at it from a relationship perspective, though, you’re what you’re talking about is in line with that. I’ve built trust there first, and then we do business with each other, you know, And I think figuring out ways to to build that trust, I mean, there’s going golfing together is a good old school example, I guess a traditional example. What are some other techniques you’ve seen when you’re coaching people on sales that work to build that kind of instant trust? And I don’t know if this is applicable just to Omaha or or more generalized, but either way, it works for businesses right here.

Jeff Beals: Yeah. And we can talk about what’s unique about Omaha in a moment, but in general, the quickest way that you start to build trust is by focusing on that other word I said earlier of value. And so let’s say I am going to be prospecting. You, you and I have never met and I want to get you to become my client.

The typical person is going to call you up and say hi and ask to pick your brain for a 30 minute meeting or they’re going to throw up a bunch of features and benefits about their company and product on you, which is going to want to make you run off of that phone as fast as you possibly can. If you want to build a trusting relationship and in the short run have more success in converting people into your clients, I’m going to study you. I’m going to figure out what your problems and challenges and goals likely are. I’m going to hit that sort of stuff before I even mentioned a single feature or benefit about my business.

Matt Tompkins: It’s a it’s a I don’t know. It’s one of the key words people like to throw around a lot today, but it’s true. What is your pain point? Yeah, Where are you hurting? That I can.

Jeff Beals: Help. I want to give you a free value before I even ask you to work with me. And then all of a sudden you’re more. You still may tell me to go to hell and jump in a lake. Right? And that happens in business.

Matt Tompkins: That was one time I told you that. I don’t know why you have to bring that up. It’s a.

Jeff Beals: Little.

Matt Tompkins: Skittish. Yeah, I mean, that’s. That’s very true. I mean, you know, my brother and I, we spent a lot of time, you know, working in radio and broadcasting. So transitioning to doing this now with kind of our own space and and helping clients, customer people own businesses, entrepreneurs do a podcast, do video content, etc.. It’s a natural transition because a lot of these people we’ve worked with over the years, anyhow, we’ve built that trust. It’s not a big leap to doing this. And would you say that that’s for somebody who is an entrepreneur listening right now and they have that idea. They’re scared as hell to like take that leap of faith.

Would you say, you know, if you know what you love to do and you want to do that and make money doing it? Like find a way to do that, like a version of that that leads into is that a good way to build into that success, building those relationships?

Jeff Beals: That’s exactly what I’ve done. I’ve always I’ve believed in a couple of things. One, you should pursue your passions and always enjoy your work. I know it’s a cliché when people say, I look forward to getting up and going to work in the morning. Most days I do, actually. So. So I think that’s really important. And the other thing is yeah, ease into things that you want to do if you have a little bit of that entrepreneurial fear. I have two businesses, but yet I still work as a W-2 employee for an I and Dodge. Now it’s kind of this special arrangement I have with a company. It’s kind of a de facto part time, but I make sure I still provide a lot of value there. And I do it because I thoroughly enjoy it. I also get some health insurance, which doesn’t hurt.

Matt Tompkins: Either, right? Yeah, not bad. Yeah.

Jeff Beals: But I thoroughly enjoy it. I don’t need to to keep doing that job job. And you might even be able to make the argument that I might be hurting myself financially by staying in a job job. But I like it. It gives me some sort of grounding. I like the people I use my colleagues at the real estate company as guinea pigs. And so, yes, you can you can ease into things. And and the other thing is you’re trying to figure out, okay, if I’m going to do two or three different things instead of one, how can I set it up? So those two things benefit each other or those three things benefit one another so that everyone wins? Because of my work and my entrepreneurial effort.

Matt Tompkins: I mean, that I mean, I’m, I think I did a lot of this, the things I did right. And trust me, there are a lot of things I did wrong. Right? We all we all have.

And I’ve learned a lot from those failures. I wouldn’t change them, you know, because they have defined who I become, who I am today, and I’m still failing and learning the only way to grow. I look I look back, though, and there’s a lot of things I did just by accident that I didn’t know was an effective strategy. So what I’m hearing from you today, a lot of, you know, building that trust, knowing your core values is a great place to start finding a way into a field so that you can do that, grow to that. If you’re worried about taking that that leap by yourself. And we did that. I can tell. I can tell you. I’m proof of that right here. I stayed in radio, I think a year and a half, just working a couple of hours a morning. It was part time. I had to get up at 5 a.m. or 430 in the morning, go do a couple of hours of morning radio.

Matt Tompkins: I think I was making like 1250 an hour. It was not, you know, financially, it was not like why I was doing it. But it kept me, I guess, in the business. I mean, I love doing radio. I loved it for over 17 years. So it’s not that I didn’t love it. I did it though, because when I asked clients, Why did you choose me? Or what is it about working with me that you appreciate the most? It wasn’t the equipment, it wasn’t the gear.

While all of that is expected, you have to deliver on it. What they said was, It’s your experience. Like you’ve been there, you’ve done it, you’re doing it. And so when you’re telling me you’re helping me learn what to do, I know I can trust that. I know that you have that credibility. Another thing that you alluded to here today, So I think that’s a that’s a really smart move. Maybe people steer away from it because it isn’t as financially lucrative right away. But staying keeping keeping your your foot in the industry somehow, Right.

Jeff Beals: Well, yeah. And it’s a differentiating factor for you. I mean, you talked about people don’t hire you for the equipment that’s in your studio that’s expected. That’s foundational. And if you focus too much on that, you’re just a commodity. You’re just another damned content.

Matt Tompkins: When somebody comes along with better equipment, they’re going to hire them.

Jeff Beals: Someone’s going to have better equipment. No matter how great your equipment is, you’re not always going to have the most up to date stuff. Location not so relevant.

Track record helps, but not so relevant. The thing that really matters that that makes you not just another production studio or another content creator. Is that something special? The way that you’re able to take what it is that really matters or or what the client truly values and match that up with your capabilities to create that product which makes them love you and appreciate you, and hence the trust. That’s the differentiating factor. And if I’m going to hire someone, especially for something like this, this is more of a commitment, right? It takes some time. It’s it’s more expensive than buying that kind of Boy Scout popcorn. Yeah. I want someone that’s going to take me that to that that that place that’s above and further beyond what the commoditized version of this provides.

Matt Tompkins: Me and especially today at that point is driven home even more than ever before with access to a global workforce, a global economy where, you know, you’re a sales strategist. I could do a quick Google search and the number of just pages, not even just individual links of strategists I could hire to improve my sales. It was probably endless. You know, I mean, there’s probably millions out there that are going to be a lot that are the cheapest.

But I want to hire someone who is going to be the most effective for me, you know, And you have to have you think about what your needs are with those pain points that we talked about.

So I think that’s really important. And these are really great lessons that in Omaha business can implement today, tomorrow, referral marketing. That’s a fancy way to say relationship building. It’s building that friendship, building that trust. I think the most effective things in business, you can tell me if you agree or not, are free. They don’t cost anything. They just take effort and time. Commitment.

Jeff Beals: Yeah, and discipline. Discipline. But I couldn’t agree with you more.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah. By the way, my grandma did pay for this studio too, so when I’m stuck. Yeah, I know.

Jeff Beals: It’s sweet of her to do that.

Matt Tompkins: So let’s talk about the opportunities that Omaha business owners and entrepreneurial entrepreneurs have specifically here in Omaha. Sure. We’ve talked about the common thread that connects them all these keys to finding success, thriving and surviving. What is it about Omaha that is unique in the opportunities entrepreneurs and business owners have today?

Jeff Beals: I love that question. Omaha is my hometown. I’m proud of the place and and want to see it continue to go to grow and do well. And it is special that it is unique in a lot of ways. I would first say, though, that in most ways, doing business in Omaha is absolutely in no way different than anywhere else. Right? So I think in most of the stuff you do, it’s the same everywhere you go. And I have clients all over the world and I know that.

But there are a couple of things that make Omaha unique. And one of those is this sense of moral obligation, social obligation that people have because the culture has instilled it, not because some external authority has demanded it. And so in Omaha, we see businesses a little more interested in the community than in a lot of other cities. Networking might be a little more important here than it is in other cities. And leaders and successful people and the institutions that they run are a little to a lot more committed to the community. I give some of the credit for that.

Jeff Beals: To the late Peter Kiewit, Peter Kiewit died in 1979, but in the time that he was running. Kiewit. In the sixties and seventies, he had this expectation that executives at his company would be very community oriented. And it’s my understanding that he pushed a lot of other executives to make their companies that way. And I think that has in part created a little bit of that corporate ethic that Omaha has on the big company level, and that is kind of evolved or worked its way down to smaller companies like yours and mine.

So I think he gets some credit for that. The other thing is that I think you take that that Midwestern work ethic that is here and you mix it with that kind of that conservative financial approach, but also a willingness to take that calculated risk that probably grows out of our agrarian heritage that we have here in Omaha. And then you throw in this other factor. There’s a lot of wealth. People here tend to be wealthy from the very, very wealthy thanks to people like Warren Buffett. And and I already.

Matt Tompkins: Mentioned not.

Jeff Beals: Quit.

Matt Tompkins: On me yet. Yes, yes, yes. He is a coach, I can tell.

Jeff Beals: So there’s a lot of that wealth there that has stayed loyal to Omaha. And then at the not so dramatic level, people like you and me have more wealth a lot of times than people do in the other cities because the business community is strong. There’s a work ethic here and our cost of living is a little bit lower.

You put all of that into this VAT, right? And the result is a place where the business community tends to be a little more profitable than other places and a little more generous in giving than other places. And that creates a fun place for you and I to live and work.

Matt Tompkins: And unemployment is low here. I mean, there’s a lot of investment from the city and state government. I know the taxes are maybe higher. People complain about that.

But I think that overall, like 99% of the situation here is pretty pretty good as far as an opportunity that you can make the most of. And we talked about referral marketing and relationship building and that common thread I mentioned at the very beginning in the front end of our conversation here, how can businesses help other businesses?

I think we have to we reframe it. If you don’t think this way already, it’s just what you said though, and that is your business grows when you support other businesses. And that’s why our startup community is out of. We’re literally in the middle of the country here and we have a really thriving startup community here. And I think that’s because of that attitude, that approach.

Jeff Beals: Yeah, our startup community is doing great even though we don’t have a highly developed traditional venture capital infrastructure like some places on the coast too. Yeah, in some ways it doesn’t necessarily matter because the other parts of this business community here are so supportive of those startups. You build the relationship before you need it. Relationships are an investment and I think people in this area get that maybe more than people in your typical.

Matt Tompkins: Area, Silicon Valley, or wherever you think of when you think startups.

Jeff Beals: Yeah, right, exactly. We don’t need as highly of an advanced venture capital infrastructure here because we build relationships before we need them. Because business owners here take pride in helping out another business owner, even though ostensibly they don’t get anything for it.

Matt Tompkins: Yeah, and you’re right. You can get funding, you can get those venture capitalists. They’re thinking globally, so you don’t need them to live here in Omaha. That’s probably why I think a lot of people when we say, Hey, come to Omaha, do business here, and they’re from communities that don’t do this, These things that we’re talking about here, they don’t get it. It feels weird. Like what? What is the value to being in Omaha, Nebraska?

Well, it’s this and it is it is the number one value. I would place it over financial value any day of the week. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So, Jeff, I’m sure give me your, your, your, your, your social handles And you said give me your handles. That sounds kind of weird. Where can we find you on the socials and your website for booking you to speak, hiring you as a sales strategist and all the different, the the great ways that you’re helping local businesses here in our community.

Jeff Beals: Sure. So in my sales training and consulting life, just go to Jeff Beals and my Facebook and LinkedIn is kind of geared toward that here locally. As the co founder and owner of Grow Omaha, the website is Grow Omaha.

Matt Tompkins: Which is a great name. That was like before I was when like cool website names were still available. Yeah, now somebody squats on him. So I want like a cool name. I got to pay like ten grand, which isn’t going to happen. So you were ahead of the curve on that one as well.

Jeff Beals: So we were lucky to get that name back in the early 2000s.

Matt Tompkins: And you’ve done that. You’ve helped Omaha grow. I know. I appreciate that. Getting to know you early on in my radio career to learning all these things, valuable lessons today.

And I appreciate you coming on the podcast. We have to have you back on because I know there’s like a million other things. You your wisdom is endless as far as how we can help small businesses and entrepreneurs just like me thrive and succeed, thrive and survive right here in our community.

Jeff Beals: So thank you. I appreciate those compliments and. I appreciate you including me on the program.

Matt Tompkins: Absolutely. Thanks. Thanks for joining us here today on the Omaha podcast. Be sure to hit subscribe so you never miss an episode and we want to hear from you. Let us know what resources you need in upcoming episodes. So yeah, we can do something about it when you think You know.

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