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122. The ROI of Building Hassle-Free Websites for Your Zero to Ten Journey with Sean Rosensteel

by Brett Trainor
September 28th 2021

Is your website not generating enough ROI despite all the money and effort that you’ve poured into it? You might have fallen to the trap of conventional marketing strategies that no longer... More

Welcome back to another episode of the Bdb 0 to 10 podcast where we focus on helping Bdb businesses grow from 0 to 10 million. This is the show for ceo startup founders, business owners and folks thinking about starting a business podcast is the intersection of strategy, tactics trends and even a little inspiration. But it's all focused on the 0 to 10 growth journey. And by the way we just found out we are now a top 5% international podcast. So thank you, thank you, thank you for for all the support in this episode we're talking website. So have you invested a lot in your website but it's still not driving enough traffic and leads? Have you not invested in your website up seeing a lot of small businesses versus maybe startups? And the websites are not very functional. So either way this is the episode for you today. I have Sean Rosen Steel digital marketing guru, but he really focuses on building very high performing, I'm gonna say low cost but value websites and he helps you cut through the crap of what works what doesn't work and what you should be thinking about with not only your digital, your website, but some of your social and your pay traffic.

We get into S. C. O. We get into a little bit about paid. So basically all things digital, which as you have probably found out in your own business that this is the core of basically all B two B right now is the digital aspect, you can't replace the human conversation but unless you have a good digital foundation, you're gonna have a hard time scaling your business. So anyway, I think you're really going to enjoy this episode. I took a number of notes. We got into the conversation about Wordpress versus squarespace and a couple of other websites. So I think it's the key to always be learning. But again, what I appreciate about Sean and his approach is it's really cutting through the clutter and saying, hey, this is how you can build a strong and growing website. So anyway, take a listen, enjoy. You also make sure you check out the show notes and everything else that we talked about with, john will share links and everything on the website and if you do listen to this podcast, which you're listening right now, I would really, really appreciate it if you would follow on Itunes, I guess that subscribe on Itunes or follow on Spotify.

It really helps us continue to grow and reach new audiences. So appreciate it. But now let's get on to the interview. Mm Mhm. Hey, good morning Sean, Welcome back to the podcast. Hey, thanks for having me write good to be here with you. It's great. I've been looking forward to this conversation over 120 episodes now, which is hard to believe. We haven't spent a ton of time on the digital aspect of the business. Have had some inbound marketing. I've had some folks talking about branding which are all important, but not really the fundamental of the website and you know why I think that's the backbone of the company, but before we dig into our conversation, I want to share with the audience a little bit about your background and what you're working on today and then we'll we'll dig in. Yeah, I appreciate that. So my wife and I actually founded Savvy Pro Web, which is a boutique company that builds hassle free websites for business owners as well as entrepreneurs.

And it's been quite a journey as you can imagine over the past decade or more with so much change and evolution in the digital space. We sort of look at it like, you know, w w w for us stands for a wild wild West because there's really no hard and fast rules and just like every business is a snowflake. We look at every digital marketing strategy as a snowflake because there's so many different types of businesses out there and so many different strategies that you can deploy. It really depends on what makes the most sense for the business itself. It's been a really fun journey. It's very challenging. We typically recommend looking at marketing like trial and air. I mean that's how we look at it is like you don't know what you don't know until you try something. So we always say it's very important to have a very limited budget, you know, when you're going into we call it the digital casino, you know, at times feels like all the agencies and vendors and freelancers and advertising companies are like, you know, dealers behind the table, you know, before walking in, you better have a game plan, you better set.

You know, your your budget as far as how much money can we afford to lose? Your should this strategy not work. And you really need that unbiased guide to help you navigate the territory, so to speak. And you know, for one business that might be blackjack, that makes the most sense for the next business. It might be, you know, roulette for the next business and might be crabs. I mean all businesses and strategies are different. You really need to figure out which one makes the most sense for you as a company based on your history. You know, we're believers and success leaves clues. There's a lot of businesses that we talk with and we decide together that digital is not the right play here. At times, digital doesn't make the most sense for a lot of businesses. Um, so it's just really all depends on what your objectives are, what has worked for you in the past. And you know, how can we kind of bridge that gap and create a strategy. That makes sense. Yeah, I think it's still, I mean, no, digital is no longer right optional. Great. It's the cost of doing business. The pandemic kind of helps slam the door on any of that other a few Not to your point online offline, you're still going to be very important what that mixes for your business.

But you know the way I kind of look at it is you know when you have sales And you know go to market with your sales, it's really 1-1, right? A sales wrap their head to and hand combat if you like that that those analogies, but you know, are they really bringing new business and 1 to 1 ratio? But for the opportunity for many small businesses, all businesses, but mostly small business scale is how do you get the one too many? Right? If you can crack the code to one too many, then you can get some really good momentum in your business. And I just see and I would love your perspective that one, you don't have to pelt spend $1 million dollars on a website, but you do need to have a website right at this day and age you have to because people are searching for you. So I'm long winded build up to this. This question is I think there's there's always been a lot of noise. Right? I do, I spend $50,000 on my website or do I just need a social media platform and maybe help demystify it for some of our small business owners or startup owners of you know, what is it?

Good? Foundational back Boehner footprint to kind of start that journey. Yeah, boy, so it's a great question. My dad, growing up always taught me that complexity was the enemy of success. He just drilled that into my brain and I think it's very easy for us, especially as entrepreneurs, those of us listening who are like true visionaries, they've got 100 ideas a minute, 99 aren't so good. It's that one that will take you to the moon, right? But I think we can get carried away with like what we want our digital presence to accomplish for us and without getting into too much tech talk here because I think that that, that's from from what I've heard from our clients, like one of those unique things that we can bring is we bridge the gap. There are these tech companies, we're all immersed in their world of technology and they talk about all these acronyms and code words that business owners and entrepreneurs don't understand, frankly, I don't understand half it either. I don't need to, I'm a business owner, I'm an entrepreneur and you know, these business owners and entrepreneurs, they talk about their business, they talk about their goals, they talk about their struggles And it's typically the same 23, 23, 24 struggles.

You know, all businesses kind of struggle with the same growth issues and obstacles and all these things and they hit ceilings on multiple levels and oftentimes they want their website or their digital presence to assist them with offense in some way. Usually it's like, hey, we want our website, we no longer want an online brochure that worked for phase one, but phase two, we want this to be a lead generation machine and then they go out and they talked to these tech companies and these tech companies just frankly overwhelmed them with all sorts because they're so, they're so close to what they do and a lot of them are so good at what they do. There's this big communication gap that's, it seems impossible to bridge at times. I think what was prescribed in the past, like a lot of us are familiar with the platform called Wordpress and again, I don't want to get into too much, too much tech talk on this conversation, but Wordpress used to be like the go to platform for for everybody, not just businesses.

I mean everyone was using it back in, I think it was 2013, 2014 I had the privilege of being invited into right for Forbes dot com on their entrepreneurial column and I was laughing because I was logging into a client's website on Wordpress and I was logging in a Forbes dot com with millions of visitors a month and it looked the same. So interesting and I'm like something's weird here because my client has like 250 visitors a month, right? We're prescribing this radically robust solution, which we, we, we were trained to believe was a great thing. But unfortunately it come what comes with that robustness and all that complexity is a lot of maintenance and a lot of vulnerability as far as security and getting hacked and it requires a lot of patches and updates and that costs money to maintain over the long run. So a lot of these agencies are charging hundreds of dollars a month to host a small business website that really should be on a $10 on toasting planet. Doesn't really need all that horsepower under the hood.

Right. But we always tell our clients that, hey, you know, Wordpress while all the agencies are prescribing this, it's really a win for them. But it's at the cost of you over time because there are better platforms today, at least in my view after doing this for so many years. In my view, there are much better platforms available today for the small business owner, for the entrepreneur who is really looking to have a lead generation machine as a website or even an online brochures a website. They don't need to incur all the costs of Wordpress and we like to keep things simple. Going back to what my dad taught me growing up, it's just, we have a very less is more mentality you have a no tech for text sake mentality. Oftentimes I find technology actually gets in the way of achieving the outcome. But the business owners looking for. We, we talked about word process like this 1978 Mercedes Benz E class diesel that leaks oil all over your garage floor. It's gonna need a lot of love and a lot of care and it's going to cost you a lot of money because you need that specialized mechanic for the next few years.

Right? So we always recommend square space. We're big fans of square space and that for, you know, 10, 12 bucks a month. You get, you know, award winning design that you can manipulate however you want to fit your brand, you get guaranteed up time hosting, reliability, bank level security all under one roof, so to speak, at a very affordable cost moving forward. And what's nice is we all know that we hire vendors and fire vendors. You know, sometimes it's like a revolving door because we can't find good help. What's nice about Squarespace is literally any agency or freelancer, Even your nephew can manage your website once it's built on squarespace and it really empowers our clients to take the control back in house and we say, hey, if you can edit a word document, you can edit a squarespace website. It's very easy to do and you maintain control, Save those costs moving forward in the event, you need to do any updates or maintenance to it. It's like driving a brand new Tesla coil changes are non existent. So there are much better technology solutions available today that I don't feel like enough agencies and in vendors are really talking about because frankly it's, it's not a win for them.

They're going to lose a lot of recurring revenue over time if they start talking about these alternative solutions. No, it makes perfect sense. And I think, right, as we were going through the marketing automation craze, right of which again, we may be touched on a little bit later, but you know, you got these small businesses that were buying, you know, marcato right on top of the line and you just didn't need it. Right? So we even pull that back to the small business. Right? I think where and what the website does? It's really your, your, your story right. When you're, you're not around right? Or it's the first chance anybody has to see what you're doing. I still see and I'm not an expert, the number of web states that lead with features and benefits, right? And the clutter and I even know my website needs to be de cluttered and simplified because I do have a lot going on. But right. It's really trying to answer the question your customers have of how you solve it, right?

How do you solve their problem and can they figure that out quickly by looking at your site? If it doesn't fit again, way oversimplifying this, but if it's not there, right, the baseline is be able to tell your story and then, You know, I think you're approaches, Hey, tell the story 1st build it. So it's findable, right? So somebody's looking, they can find it. But then to optimize it for for lead generation and I love that do not overcomplicated. You really don't Right. It's just looking for answers. That's right. That's right. No, I love what you're saying. So let's take the market, for example, or maybe even better yet, let's take the salesforce. Yeah, Okay, for example, I can't tell you how many clients I have that have invested tens of thousands of dollars in the salesforce, uh, implementation and they don't use it. And I think the misconception about, I don't care if it's a website platform or if it's a market, a marketing automation software or a sales for some sort of a crm. I think the misconception is that the software itself is going to solve the pain is going to solve the problem.

And I think what people underestimate is it's not about the software, it's about what you put into it. Yeah. If you invest in South Forest without being prepared to put into, you know, the crm, all the ingredients that makes it work and makes it valuable and makes you realize that investment, that return on your investment, it's just this big, overwhelming software that at some point in time you need to get on or just cancel it right to your point a minute ago, your website is no different, Your website is an empty shell and what matters is what you put into it, what you put on that website. And I think so many businesses make this mistake of you talking about themselves so they have a website and it's like, you know, all they do is talk about their business, how great it is, their services. These are the words we want here are the testimonials we have here are all of our accolades, we've been in business since, you know, well Our history starts out in 1973. When are you know the forefathers did these things?

And you know, everyone is coming to our websites saying how can you help me solve my problem? You know, do you do you do you see me? Do you hear me? Do you understand me? So there's a there's a really big missing ingredient that I see in 99.9% of the websites that I visit day today and that's called empathy. I I if I could just boil it down and simplify it, it's empathy. Do you get me? Do you understand my problem? And do you have the competency and the experience to solve it? And we've talked before about the book called building a story brand Donald Miller's book and I would highly recommend that book to anybody listening if you haven't read it already, positioning and marketing and messaging is so complicated for us business owners and us entrepreneurs because we're so close to it, you know, it's like for us to really dial in and refine and now our marketing message, our elevator pitch, you know, whatever we want to call it, our tagline, it's like trying to read the label of a bottle from inside the bottle. It's so hard because of our perspective, we're so close That book changed everything for us, you know, four or five years ago when we first got our hands on it, I've given out over 100 copies of the book, traction.

We've talked about traction before I've probably given out building a story brand is the second most given out book by us to friends, to clients, to family. It's such a wake up call and it's so simple to put together a marketing message that works. There's seven points in the framework and all you have to do is just answer the seven questions and you sit back and it's all on one page and you're like, wow, and it's all in the language of your ideal prospects or your ideal clients and you're putting them into your story as the hero, as Don Miller says and you're positioning yourself the business as the guide along their journey. You're like the Obi wan and your customer is the luke Skywalker, right? Yeah. Um so it's it's a brilliant way of just reframing how we can be more effective with our marketing and what we do is we always start there with our clients. We start with their positioning because for many years we were building these beautifully elegant websites for our clients and people were coming and going.

It was there was, it was like a leaky bucket. I was like, wow, why can't we get more visitors to book calls with our clients? Why can't we get more visitors to schedule those appointments or, or call their phone number? And it was because we were putting our clients before the visitors were putting the client first and we were saying, look at us, you know, we do these things. We've been around for this many years. We've earned all these certifications and accolades. Well, the visitors sitting on a site like, who cares if you're hearing this for the first time on this podcast, it may ruin your website browsing experience going forward because like the next website you go to, it's going to be all about them and you're like, you know, what about me? You know, I woke up this morning as the hero to win the day for myself. How are you going to plug into my story, right? And when a visitor comes in, you're positioning your business is a hero there thinking, wait a minute, something's wrong and maybe it's even like this unconscious conflict for them, but they're like, well, there can only be one of us heroes in today's story and it's mine.

So I just think Donald Donald Miller has done such a nice job in that book of conveying the biggest problem and how that's costing so many businesses, you know, some businesses, tens of millions of dollars a year when they're making a mistake or if you're a small business, even even staying in business, right? It's not even cost it. Just if you can't get people to understand. I mean, and I heard from the entrepreneurs not too long ago that said, yeah, I can, my product works just about with any industry, right? It's when it's a really good idea called generic, but it does translate very well into different industries. Different sized companies is like all I need to do is get in front of playing, I can sell it. I'm like perfect. And that's good. If you want to keep going one by one by one by one, but if you want to get that one too many that that web site and what you're doing digitally is going to have to tell that story for you in order to get more people coming in. So. Right. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. I think back to the point that we're talking about, I mean, we see this all the time where these business owners invest tens of thousands of dollars in these beautifully elegant websites that may win some design awards, but they're missing those key ingredients And they're not affecting the outcome that they wanted, which for us nine times out of 10 is going to be generate more leads.

So yeah, it's a shame that and you need to come prepared, you need to have all that message ready and make sure that it, that it resonates. And I think just a quick example of this and it's, it's simple, it's so easy bread, it doesn't have to be insider language and super complex. I mean a really simple example is when we book an appointment when appointment gets booked to, to talk to us through our website or if I get a referral or whatever else, the first sound bite out of my mouth is hey Mr or mrs business owner, I'd bet you'd rather be getting a root canal than talk to another web site, a company like ours and all that does, is it like immediately puts them at ease, they're like, oh, you get where I'm coming from, oh, you understand that I'm busy and this is like my 19th priority, very low on my list today. You're going to respect my time like, oh, you get who I am. So that story brand framework helps us as business owners to just simply come up and define and clarify some of these little sound bites, some of these little nuggets and when you introduce some of those little nuggets into your headline and into some of the copy on your website, even introducing some of the imagery, it really has an impact on how effective your website can be.

Uh, we're working with someone right now who says the biggest issue is like kicking the can down the road and this gentleman is like, that's what I always tell the people I'm speaking with prospects are like, hey, you can continue kicking the can down the road and he said, and they always come back and say, yeah, I feel like I've been procrastinating. I've been kicking the can down the road for years. So what do we do? We put that on the website, You know, stop kicking the can down the road and start insert the value proposition. And then there's a little illustration of a person kicking the can down the road. So once you clarify some of those little golden nuggets throughout your missing strategy, there's only seven of them in the story brand framework. Once you define those, all of a sudden, you've got a real good guidelines for how you should create your website and what headlines and copies should be used. It's really a roadmap and that's how we use it. We believe in it so much that we have invested in getting certified with them, right? Because we just see it working so well. Yeah, it's so important. I think I've got a copy of it here. Yeah, there it is with all your sticky notes and it's the only way to read it, man, if you're going to read, you might as well take the time to figure out what's in there and maybe we can go back to a little bit of a tactical because, you know, it's interesting what you said about Wordpress because I think I fell into that trap of a Wordpress because it's all about S Ceo and you know, your blog and content and Wordpress is the best for that and you know, shame on me for not testing that or challenging that.

So just curious because again that and maybe that's what Wordpress is messaging is, man, you want to be found, it's all about the content of the blog and you know, there's nobody better but my understand based on our conversation so far is there's other ways to do that and still achieve the same goal without the complexity. Because you're right Wordpress, I've got those Wordpress sites, I can update text, but if I had to do anything else, I've got to bring in a developer developer to help me do that. And to your point of kicking the can down the road. I'm like, man, I know I need to update this. I know I need to update this, but I get to sit down and think about how I wanted me. So You're 100% spot on and I fall into that same category of right? It's this first thing people see. So it should be, you know, simple, smooth tell the story. So I know I kind of wrapped around my my tactical question on S. C. O. Writing content on Wordpress versus others. So maybe share your your thoughts on that.

Yeah 22 responses come to mind. One I think is at the surface and the other one I think it's to the root of your challenge. So on the surface S. C. O. Features at this stage are just permission to play. Whether you look at Wordpress, squarespace. Wix weebly go Daddy. I mean yada yada yada, all these companies that essentially are doing the same thing. Every company at this stage offers S. E. O. Capabilities. They all allow you to edit your titles and your keywords and descriptions on every page. I mean honestly it's permission to play. Like if if if a web company didn't offer those they couldn't compete. It's almost like ssl right? It's almost like you know security these days like you better have it. So most companies offer that that is a feature that is just a commodity frankly at this point so you can control your S Ceo on squarespace the same way you can control and Wordpress in any of these other sites there is one, it may be Wicks and this this could have changed but but long ago Wicks was Flash based.

Oh really? Yeah I know that's it. No, no. Yeah that posed a big problem obviously because Flash I believe Flash has been You know I think that's obsolete now but when it wasn't obsolete and when it was still widely being used, these flash-based websites were one pages that there were one page versus 10 pages and your website. I look at the number of pages why blogging is such a popular and widely recommended strategy. I look at the amount of web pages you have as like fishing lines out the back of the boat. If you got trolling the ocean, you're gonna catch a hell of a lot more fish with 100 lines in the water versus one. And when those Flash based websites were around, I think weeks offered them at one point, they probably don't anymore. But you know, you had all these pages consolidated into one page and it was, it was detrimental to your S. E. O. Right? So in my experience, in my perspective, I wouldn't be too concerned about like is one platform better than the next when it comes to S E.

O. Because I think they all basically do the same thing that in my mind 2021 is permission to play. But I think the root of the issue in my mind, based on your question is is S. E. O. A conducive strategy for us or for me and S. E. O. In my mind is like running a marathon. S. E. O takes a lot of time. It can cost a lot of money, agencies get rich offering S. E. O. Services. I rarely see it actually pan out. We rarely recommend it if and when we do we have a partner who like, we don't believe in it. So we don't necessarily do that any longer because we there were many years were like, this is no longer working, this is no longer working at what point in time we're going to take this off our offering list because it doesn't pan out. And the last thing we want to do is have a client invest money with us. We do all the work and then you're left with an empty bag. Like that's just not. We're very sensitive to that. We also guarantee everything that we do.

So S. C. O. Became so risky for us and for our clients that we said, you know what, we're just going to find a partner who we believe is honest and charges a decent fee that that's manageable. And so but when I look at S Ceo is running a marathon, so here's what's unfortunate, let's say a business like yours, you build a website. We typically our clients are out the door with a brand new website that's hassle free and performs really well In 2-4 weeks. Like there's no reason website should take six months anymore unless you're doing wordpress and all the customers. Yeah. Or e commerce of course. But I mean in the B two B founder space. I would imagine most times you're talking about generating leads, scheduling, appointments, book and calls, things of that nature. right? So there's no reason those types of websites should take six months. If you're doing wordpress, there's a lot of complexity. There's a lot of custom coding that's gonna break later. That's where it gets complicated because it's just this constant upkeep that goes on forever.

Which is why we're like super space because they plan on that. They're hosting millions of websites that have publicly traded company now. So they've got investors to answer for, they're very reliable. What happens with S. E. O. Bread is you invest money in a website, time and money your website's done. You're really excited about it. Then the S. C. O. And then you kick in and S. C. O. Campaign. Well we can't control google and anyone that tells you Google's recipe like oh I know how google ranks websites, I know what they're looking for. We can optimize it. So google loves you. Well they're lying to your face because google's algorithm is like the KFC recipe. None of us. Actually, no, I mean if we're being honest, he's actually seen it. So let's say you invest in S Ceo and the company who does this is going to tell you this could take three months. This could take six months. This could take nine months. This could take 12 months stu is a long term strategy. That's why I say it's like a marathon? So what's unfortunate and we've seen this, you invest money, the website, you're all excited to get out the door.

Well without data, we can't understand if the website works or not. We need to know how many people came to the website and how many people did the action you wanted them to do. Maybe it's a book a call. Maybe its download your 10 costly mistakes. PDF for white paper. Maybe it's registered for a webinar. I don't know what it is, but whatever it is without data, we can't make educated informed decisions to make improvements. So you do this website, you launch it 69, 12 months later down the road. You're sdo is actually working. If you're lucky, it's actually working and you're bringing in a ton of people from the search engines. That's also assuming that you believe The best place to attract people is from Google Search. But we're just making that assumption right. If all those things are true 12 months down the road, you're getting, you're finally getting the data you need after most likely spending tens of thousands of dollars. And what you might realize is that all the website isn't as effective as we thought. The website needs some edits the website needs some updates because this is too expensive.

We can't continue down this path because our website doesn't work. So that's gonna, that takes tens of thousands of dollars and I think more importantly, a year's worth of wasted time. What I would much rather see his people investing in paid advertising if you're a company that believes that google is the place for you to get found. Why not invest in google ads and get the data you're looking for in one day or in one hour for a small cost. You know pay 25 cents a click, $2.50 a click whatever it is. Get 100 data points in an afternoon and have that valuable data that you need to make in order to have educated informed decisions on what you need to do to your website to make it better get it in a day or two or a week. Or maybe you're a company that believes that facebook is where you you know where your ideal clients are hanging out. Great run some faith maybe it's linked in it's going to cost you a little more Lincoln and a little more expensive in general but go to linkedin and within a day or two or a week spend a few $100 get that data.

What I don't like Brett is I see so many companies invest tens of thousands of dollars in S. C. O. And 369 12 months down the road. Best case scenario it's working and oh guess what google makes a change to their algorithm. So now all that groundwork you've laid down and all that time and money you have invested that goes away it goes out the door because someone at google edited their algorithm and now they look at other things. Yeah. So sc. Oh yeah, you just seem to be very certain that S. E. O. Is the right play. You need to be certain that people coming in blind off the search engines is the right play. Like we like the 80 20 rule and we'd even say it's 90 10. Let's look in your past and let's see where your best clients are coming from and let's pour gasoline on that fire versus just you know, roll the dice over here on this brand new thing called S. E. O. And hope that people from google are the right fit. So as long as you're certain that google is the best place to get found for cold visitors called audiences who have never heard you before.

I mean if that's the case your website better be really dialed in in really sticky and really clarified messaging and something on there that these people really want so you can capture their information. Yeah. It's risky. It's interesting. I think some folks would debate you on the value or the the ceo strategy and maybe I look at it again, you and I thought maybe the reason we get along is we like to keep things simple, right? And the way I look at it with sc or content is don't do it to game the algorithm right? Or because you think that's what keyword is, It's really about If you can put value added content on your site that's helping your customers solve their problems or tell stories of how these problems have been solved, provide the free tools. You know, that's one thing I've learned over time is given much of it as a way as you can because people are still going to come back and find you and ask for that help the D. I. Y. There's always going to be D. I. Y.

But so I think that's the rule I'm trying to follow is if I'm going to put content out there, it's helping my customers solve a problem or share some insights and I agree with you not to try to figure out what the algorithm is. So you rank higher because I think over time you're right, if you start to again focus on that customer problem and they're going to start to find you. I agree with you and I love what you're saying. And if there's an agency out there that would argue what I'm referring to. I would challenge them to show me their results Because I've worked with so many clients who have 250 blog posts that they've worked tirelessly on over the past five years and you look into their analytics and those posts are bringing in zero traffic. Nobody they're not getting found. So there's a right way and a wrong way to content publishing. But but here's where my argument lies. S Ceo is almost like a complimentary benefit to publishing content.

I would much rather see a business owner. You know? Again, depending on where it all depends, this is all dependent upon where they find their, you know, where the ponds of stock fish for your business. So let's say that I'm a business owner and I want to get into blogging and let's say that my pond is linked in and readers of Forbes dot com and ink and entrepreneur and all these, you know, that's where my clients are. What I would recommend and encourage them to do is to draft like you said, I love that content that's highly valuable. They're giving away perspective. I mean, most clients hire us for perspective if we have a service based business, right? But give everything you can away at as much value as you possibly can. But your tier one publication channels should be Forbes dot com go become a contributor where a million eyeballs are every month. Go publish on your linkedin portfolio, right? Go publish on linkedin.

Go public, go become a contributor for ink and entrepreneur or whatever your industry trade publications are. Go do that. It's called contributing. Go do that where there's already a lot of eyeballs because we're most likely there aren't a lot of eyeballs is on your little website, maybe a couple 1000 but use S. E. O. As like a complementary strategy because if you're going to take the time to do all that content and that also presupposes breath that writing is your strong suit your podcast. Could do podcasts. Most of our clients they like to talk. So we record our discovery call. You know we get everything from what they say to us. We don't send them a 10 page questionnaire and expect them to type it out that's going to frustrate them. But depends on like what's your modality of what's your preference for communication And if it's writing great but maximized your output and maximize the impact of your output by finding those areas where your fish are already swarming right and then you have the content so great.

Now take it back and put it on your little blog in the hope that over time your S. E. O. Will improve. And over time people searching for these specific keywords will find your article. But I just I see people leading with that and I see people's expectations set as We're going to start writing once a week on our blog. We get all this all these visitors to our website and then they do that and then their blog page has nothing but this 1500 word article with no calls to action in it with no action. So you know you're reading all through it and there's no sub headlines or anything for people to skim it and find what they need. And so again there's a right way and a wrong way to do it, if you're gonna invest the time to write, find the publications that will have you on their site, their platform if you're a talker. Find the podcast. Percent yeah. Find the podcast like need to be founder, get on these podcasts and then also grab a transcription of that conversation and then take it over here. Transcribe it and publish that post on Forbes or on linkedin or on your blog.

You know like there's, we all have different what I would call content consumption preferences. Right? It's a mouthful. But a lot of us listen to podcasts. A lot of us read articles, a lot of us watch youtube. You know, you can, once you have the content made, you can take it and spread it into all these different modalities. Right? Yeah. With without a doubt and I know we're running low on time but I can't that I want to circle back to what you talked about what some of the paid and I think the misconception or the things you used to be able to get away with with paid was highly transactional right? By now type of thing. But where at least I've seen some success and I'd love to get your perspective is if you're doing this outreach paid outreach to folks that probably don't know you, it's better to introduce yourself or provide some of that value add for that introduction to start getting, you know folks to come visit your white blood, segregate to know you to spend the time. So when you say paid ads, are you going straight to Hebei now or you paid ads more of, hey, how do I connect and show and introduce myself or my company to you and how we solve problems in me, You know, we can be the guy, do your hero back to the Yeah, the rich fair.

Yeah. It's such a great question bret. I mean how far down the rabbit hole do you want to go? So if you can imagine this and I'd, I'd encourage anyone listening to just write this, you know, jot this down. But like our process has three boxes or three phases and we almost look at them as rites of passage. So in the first phase or first box you have a word called positioning. You know, how strong are you positioned in the marketplace And that has everything to do with your messaging strategy and has everything to do with your website itself. So how well is your company positioned in the marketplace? Once you can check that box, that's a were 89, 10 out of 10. They're, we're confident in our positioning the next box is called performance. So that's all about how well are we performing in the marketplace. So is our website performing well. Are we generating leads, both on the level of booking calls but also on the level of their downloading a guide? They're downloading a checklist. The registering from webinar, you know, whatever it is that you're giving away for free to educate and inform and empower your audience.

How well are we performing digitally? That third box? And again, it's almost like a rite of passage you have to earn. It is promotion, so where and how well are we promoting our company online? So you've got first checkbox, first gate, you need to make it through, is positioning second one performance. Now you've built a strong foundation in a very effective house. Now you can start inviting the company over for dinner party through promotions. So to answer your question, nine times out of 10, what we would recommend doing is promoting whatever it is you're offering on your website, we're not we're not promoting book a call, we're not promoting schedule an appointment, we're not promoting, do business with us right up front. If you're an e commerce business, of course you're promoting your products, $9 free shipping, We're not talking about that here, We're talking about B2B0 to 10 million service based companies at times some products share, But probably more expensive transactions than a $9 widget is my assumption.

So as long as that's fair You're promoting the offer, you have the 10 costly mistakes business owners make as it pertains to selling their companies or, you know, five reasons you're completely screwing up your hiring process or three reasons your people are turning over every 90 days, you know, you're promoting some sort of a, what would you call it lead generator, for lack of a doctor or some, some empowering piece of education that's going to inform your audience on your website. So you're, you're promoting that, So you're paying $25 to $55 on linkedin. You know, I think this is more expensive, but you're promoting that piece of content to relevant audiences. So once that's done and when people opt in or they download that, are they registered for a webinar? Whatever it might be that you're offering based on who your clients are. You're now getting into the automation space right now. You're following up with some emails, basically repeating the same content you repeated in the pdf for the webinar.

You know, all marketing and styles is a an exercise of repetition. So you really want to make sure that you're really repeating some of those big points you want them to remember. And then at the end of the rainbow 246 weeks later, whatever makes the most sense, you're inviting them to book that call. So it's kind of like a, hey, let's go on a few first dates or like on a first date, 2nd and 30 before I'm going to ask you to marry me, sort of a strategy. And what's nice is for your visitors, it doesn't involve them giving you their credit card information, social security number and date of birth name and email. You start, you start high level with the least amount of friction. So that's what's nice. And if you really want to get advanced, what we see working for a lot of clients as let's say you pay for 100 people to come on your site and to look at that guy that you've built And let's say that 90 out of 100 breath don't opt into the guide. So you've paid for 100 people to come. Only 10 people downloaded it and got into your contact database and entered your automation communication thing.

Right? So you have a 10% conversion rate But there's 90 people who you paid for and you didn't collect their contact information. Well what your website did do is store a cookie on their machine. What we want to do with those people who didn't take the action we wanted is we want to retarget them. Right? So now we have a pool, whether it's on google or facebook, I mean most ad campaigns will do this for you. We have a retargeting audience in place that we are now going to reposition that offer to, we're also going to probably position our book a call scheduled call, you know the end of the rainbow so to speak. We want to position both of those things. One is a reminder that hey, this is still here for you. We noticed you didn't download it or we noticed you didn't register for our upcoming webinar there, you know, there's still spots left sort of a thing. But the other one is probably going to be scheduled call, Let us solve your paint. Yeah. Again you have this, You want those 10 people, right? I mean, I think you want To 10 people, but we're trying to maximize your investment By re targeting those 90 people that didn't do what we wanted them to do it right.

Or at least keep them longer tail. Right? So when they are ready you there now, where do they know where to find you? Just a gentle reminder that hey, we're here when you're ready to go into this problem, our philosophy is, you shouldn't even be playing that game if you're positioning isn't 100 a 10 out of 10. And if your performance is in a 10 out of 10, like you have to earn the right to play that game because once you're confident in your websites ability to perform its a mathematical certainty, you're going to get what you want under your promotional activities and all we care about is return on investment, right? As business owners, entrepreneurs like what's my roo I hear. So when you have a strong foundation with the right clear messaging that really resonates with your audience and you're doing it through empathy, you're putting them first. They know that you're, you're only agenda is to help them achieve. There's, I mean when you get to that point on your website, you will be converting leads, certainty now And so you know, maybe 1-3% of your visitors are booking call and then another 4-10% of those visitors are actually downloading your guide, registering for your webinar.

So now I've got a healthy conversion rate going on now, it's a matter of well let's put some gas on here, let's add some more traffic into the top of this funnel that we built and let's, you know, let's go, let's generate leads, let's scale. So that's very exciting when you can get there, but you have to lay the right pieces in the right order to do it. So if you take care of your positioning, if you're confident your performance, it's a matter of time before you flip the switch on, your promotion and you can actually start seeing results and again, most importantly, a return on that investment. Yeah, no, it makes perfect sense. And a couple couple of quick follow ups on it because I know we're really short on time. I really like the analogy and I took some liberties with its right, you're designing the house, which is your positioning and differentiation right? You're building the house to make sure it's performing right, that you're doing it and you wouldn't invite the guests to see the blueprint or the construction, you're going to invite them when it's done and you know it's ready. So really like that and I mean I'll give you full credit for it, but I'm sure about that.

I like that. Like I think you just came up with that, but you're absolutely right. So look at the website is curb appeal, right? We want to bring this people, let's say we're selling our house. The website itself, that's curb appeal. Like you don't want to give people they're looking for what's wrong, think about the buying journey, the customer journey programmed to find what's wrong in our environment. First of all, just human nature. Second of all is we're always skeptical. You know that's gonna cost too much. I don't know if I have time for the, you know, we're going in there with a half stacked deck. So the website is curb appeal because just like when you're selling a house, when people pull up and they're walking in, you don't want to give them any doubt. You don't want to give them any excuse to start doubting the quality of this house, right? We haven't finished the basement yet or the kitchen appliances right? The flowers are hanging out of their flower pot in there dead and all of a sudden oh they must not care for their house just because of flour is dead. We're going to assume that the h back hasn't been maintained. You know what I mean? We're going, we worry and our brains spiral out.

So websites curve appeal as far as performance that lead generator that to me is like getting cooking and preparing the meal and setting the table. We want to make sure that this house is comfortable for the company coming over, right? And then promoting is, you know, actually sending out the dinner invitations and collecting the RSVPs and making the night a magical evening. Yeah, right. That's all the promotion is getting the people into the house. So what's an insane to me brat is so many companies because I think there's so much opportunity and sizzle and excitement. We don't even think about the house. We don't think about the preparation. We don't even think about the curb appeal. We just pay the hot dog man on the corner to waive his arrow saying, come on in when the cash register doesn't even work yet, right? Like we were excited to just like bring more traffic to our website and market market market and advertise, advertise, advertise when we're actually not ready and it's like inviting a bunch of people or for dinner, they come and they're like, well we've all been there where we go over dinner like 5 30 we've got kids and they're like, oh yeah, so dinner will be ready around 7 30 you're like, wait what?

My kids go to bed at 7 30 I'm Hungry. It's 5:30 little going to eat, you know, I don't want drinks. I want to, I want food. Yeah we pay facebook, we pay Lincoln, we pay google, we pay these agencies and we're not even set up for it yet. And then we wonder why the whole thing went wrong. We blew $510 $25,000 on a marketing campaign. All these people came to all these eyeballs came to our site and as quick as they came they left. Yeah. And you lost that chance. Right? Usually I only want one chance and if you have time for one more question, I want to dig into that that prospect and get your perspective. So the way I've been thinking about it lately, again growing up in the B two B. Space right yet the marketing automation database. You have the crm, then you have the E. R. P. Which is a customer master. The way I've been kind of positioning or thinking about it lately. There's one database, one database and there's only two types of leads, right? There's somebody that's your targeting that can buy from you at some point in the future. Right? It's your customer ideal profile that can buy at some point and then there's the person that same person that's now in by now mode.

Right? For whatever reason the pain point reached a third and threshold they're ready. You know what Industry will tell you that's 3% at any given time of your ideal buyers are in by now mode. That's it man. Everything else is noise And if you can to your point start to promote and send more people into that pool of hey, these are my ideal customers and we're gonna keep hitting them until they are ready and that makes it much easier to flow through the system. Versus, I mean some people still have two or three databases and I just, I don't know, maybe I'm probably oversimplifying it. But I think that conceptually am I, am I on the right path with this or is there more complexity to it that I'm missing? No, I mean because I'm a less is more person and I'm built to keep it simple even though sometimes my instinct is to make it complicated. That's something I work on. It's a discipline that I practice. But no, I think you're spot. I think 5, 10 years ago it was really, it was kind of the thing to do to grab all these things and integrate all of them and like, well now what we see is like, well shit integration breaks down.

Yeah. Like what happens when we are generating, you know 100 leads a week and these integrations are breaking down well there's a lot of maintenance and upkeep and what happened and where did the contact go? And so no, I think you're right. I think it's simplifying all the technology is very appealing to a lot of people including myself and I think we tend to like when, when I was listening to what came to mind recently was we're working with a client and we don't use project management software. Most of our clients use their email like they don't think about it. So we we used to use a project management software many years ago and then what we started appreciating was that, wow we're asking our client to register for yet another account on some site that managed another log in username, another password to learn a whole. Like this is very inconvenient to them and we're actually adding friction to our to our process and we're adding friction to their experience of working with us.

I have a client who wants to use, you know what we want you in our project management software, we want you in our google docs account. So like rather than just attaching a pdf and sending it to me now, you know, we're logging into a project management system were unfamiliar with and we're having to go to a google docs account that isn't ours and hunt and peck and find I think we've all been programmed to use as much technology as possible because again we all believe without challenging it, that technology makes things easier, automation makes things automated. I was like yeah it can be but you still need to put the stuff in there or if you're automating a bad process, it's still a bad process. It's very bad process. So you know there's no silver bullet or magic bullet for the like you still have to get your hands dirty and do the work, you still have to build the process and challenge the process. Absolutely right. You put automation and now you're treating a symptom, you think automation, it's not the process is broken, Right?

It's 12 faster now before. Exactly, exactly. So yeah, I mean that that's it's really interesting what you said and we kind of went through this ourselves so we found, and I won't mention what it is, but we found a really need alternative to doc you sign. And it also does proposals. So like it's so cool, we can see when people are viewing the proposals, we can, you know, see when they sign it, you can take payments right here. And what I realized was like the proposal process for us went from about 10 minutes, about an hour and a half because of all this cool time, interesting. A and it's like this is crazy, like that's all cool and sounds great, but what is that doing to again providing a frictionless experience for our clients. It actually causes a lot of bottlenecks and there's a lot of problems with that and frankly it takes us longer to use and this is just a small little checklist step in the overall sales process, It's going to cost us money, right? So friction and costing money.

Yeah, double what I what I love bread is when you go out and you look for those new solutions to make things better and then you come back after doing your due diligence. You realize wow, what we're doing right now is really good. It kind of validates at times it will validate what you're already doing and then you might even see some blind spots and what you're already doing thanks to the journey you took, you come back and go, you know what we're going to stay put. However, there's a few little levers we can pull to really dial the crank this down, dial it in and make it even better than it was before. But I'm going I'm sitting up here is the businesses are going well, wait a minute, this is a good recommendation. But now we're asking the business owner to go to this third party site, we're asking them to do all these jump through these loops and hoops and do all this stuff and yeah, while we have visibility into it, what does that do for like are we gonna actually is that actionable data? It really isn't. Is it improving anything you experience? Probably not. Yeah. Whereas before we're just attaching Wikipedia and it's like why are we questioning that that, that never caused a complaint that never didn't work and frankly it's what I'm used to and I think a lot of our clients used to just here's email and let me open the pdf in the email versus asked them to open their internet browser, click the link go off now they're in a foreign site.

And so I think it's important when we look into new software back to your initial point to make sure that it's actually adding value for us as a company, but it's also adding value of course for our clients. So, and and is it actually going to cause more heartburn than good? Right. Yeah. Now I think it's a, it's a great way to close this. This episode is hey, you start with the customer. You can't go wrong I think experience and work backwards. This is not your process. It's their process and how differently if that's so well sean thank you very much for the time we'll have to have you back Absolutely for a part two on this because I think I only got to about half of what I wanted to cover with you. But I know we covered quite a quite a bit today, but I am going to ask you what is the closing question, what is one thing that you would highly recommend? It could be professional, personal, you know what kind of top of mind for you right now, let's see. Uh well professionally we'll touch upon that. I recently invested in strategic culture, which I'm very excited about it and investigating that for many, many years I bought a book called unique ability and it comes with a workbook and what's awesome about it Brett is as a business owner I can get tied down by a lot of the different moving parts of the business and it's usually my fault.

What usually I shouldn't be involved with certain things but I just feel like I need to be at time. So what's cool about this unique ability, I'll call it a program, I mean it's really more than a book but it helps you identify what you're great at and what you love to do. You know what's your sweet spot so to speak. And it takes inventory of all your existing activities throughout your week, both professionally and personally and then what it does is it helps you carve out a game plan like over the next year to start really delegating and elevating to those unique abilities that we each, you know, each and every one of us has. And what's nice is when you're operating in your unique ability, that's a dan Sullivan strategic coach term of course. But when you're operating in your unique ability, you know that's like a flow state time stands still. You love your work or time flies. Time can also fly right? But it really was a wake up call for me because I'm spending probably half of my week involved with activities that are probably hindering and suffocating our own growth more than helping it.

And I think we as entrepreneurs, as business owners like we all need that check in with ourselves at times. So I'm kind of just on, I'm about in the red zone now to finishing that program. But over the last few months as I look at my 2022 as it pertains to my company, that's a really big wake up call for me and it really helps relays some groundwork to say, okay, you know, what's the plan where I can elevate to where I belong in this company and stop hindering so many of the processes in the I'll definitely check it out. I'm always looking for any way to help. And we'll obviously linked to it in the in the show notes as well. So lastly sean if people want to learn more about you, connect with you, what's the best place for them to find you. Yeah, thanks. It's just our website savvy pro web dot com as A V V Y P R O W E B dot com. And you can obviously go there, see what we're all about. You can kind of see our own process and you know, we practice what we preach so you can look at our own messaging strategy and if that's something that relates to you, you know, you can certainly book a car, we'd love to help you out and provide you with that.

I think that unbiased guidance, right, that we're all looking for when it comes to digital and especially digital marketing websites, etcetera, awesome. Said well link that in the show notes as well, so people don't have to write that down if they didn't and we'll make it super easy for them to find you. I appreciate it. Well, thank you Brett for this opportunity. It's always Awesome to be on the podcast and congratulations. 122 episodes, my friend, wow and thank you. It's been a labor of love now. It's, I really enjoy it. I mean, I I tell people that, you know, and again, I probably could do a better job promoting and all of it, but just the, to your point on learning man, just the experience in getting to talk to folks like you, you know, I had a call last night with somebody in Australia that's doing some really interesting thing. Never in my dreams would have been able to connect with them or have a, you know, an hour long conversation about exactly what we're doing. So yeah, I don't know, maybe it's keeping me young, but I appreciate the comments And I commend you on your follow through.

I don't think I would have been able to get to episode four. Yeah, well honestly, the hardest one was hitting record on the first one and then it just keeps going. So, and again, I get to talk to folks like you and we keep learning and you know, I said, I appreciate your time. Sean this probably could have been a joe Rogan esque episode where we could have gone three hours so we'll we'll bite this into, we'll carry on the conversation. You know, the next time we get together here in the near future, I look forward to it. Thanks, brad. Have a great rest of your day, mm.

122. The ROI of Building Hassle-Free Websites for Your Zero to Ten Journey with Sean Rosensteel
122. The ROI of Building Hassle-Free Websites for Your Zero to Ten Journey with Sean Rosensteel
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