Judith: Actually, I’ve got two, and I’m going to try and squeeze in both, and the first one is a challenge for you, and the second is a question, and the first one, I’ll tell you why it’s going to be challenging for you. I want you to speak in the answer at half the speed you normally do. I want you to forget about three quarters of everything you know about internet marketing, and I want you to go right back to the beginning, and I think that marketing is something we’ll talk about over and over and over again this year because it’s what clients struggle with. I’ve got newbie clients, little people in their first business year, and you said something quite dismissive before Christmas, and I agreed with you, and I think we might want to review that today. What we said was if somebody cannot be bothered to spend 100 quid on online dah, dah, dah then I don’t want to work with them. Actually, you are right but let’s go back before that.
These are complete newbies, and they’ve got some botched together website on half… Their blog’s on Blogger, and they’ve made their own website on something called Weebly, or Mr Site, or…
Judith: … something. The first thing… Yeah. The first thing I say to them is, of course, you are going to have to move to WordPress, and that second question is, so prepare your answer but half the speed normally, and none of your massive internet marketing expertise. The first question they say to me is, “Why have I got to move my site to WordPress?” And I don’t know the answer. I just say, “Well, you’ve got to because all the experts say,” but that’s not good enough. Why must we be on WordPress? Keep it simple Nicola and talk slowly.
Nicola: The first thing, and to be honest, I’m going to contradict myself a little bit here. The first thing is you can’t build a business on someone else’s real estate. You need to have your business on your own domain name with your own hosting, so that you’ve largely got control of it, and nobody could take it away from you.
Judith: Let’s just stop there for a moment, because you used a slight amount of jargon and I really want to de-jargon-ise all of this. I understand what you mean by real estate, and you know, either you called it your own hosting and the other thing you did, your own domain name. When you say domain name, you mean JudithMorgan.com, NicolaCairncross.com. Their URL. What’s another word?
Nicola: The confusing for real newbies is that your domain name is hosted somewhere as well. For example, I could go to 123-reg and buy a domain name. 123-reg is hosting my domain name, and then I need hosting for my website. In order to get WordPress, which is a bit of software that sits on a bit of hosting. Here’s the analogy. You’ve got a road with traffic going past it. Those are all the people on the Internet. You’ve got a little sign, imagine an American prairie, and there’s a road going through the American prairie with lorries, and cars, all that stuff on it, and then you’ve got a little host besides the road that says JudithMorgan.com. That little post and sign can point anywhere. It can point to any of the bits of land around.
Judith: It’ll point to a little plot that I own, will it?
Nicola: Yes, and the little plot that you own, the little bit of land you own is your hosting for your website; because your little sign post is hosted where the sign post is.
Judith: I know the answers to these questions but I want you to explain them proper. The question, why WordPress? What’s the matter with Mr Site, and Weebly, and Wix.
Nicola: Because you don’t own it. It’s like renting a property versus buying a property. You are renting a house on a bit of real estate that someone else owns, and they’ve got…
Judith: What’s wrong with that?
Nicola: Because they’ve got lots and lots of terms and conditions that nobody ever reads, and if you do anything like sell stuff from your site, or recommend other people’s products as an affiliate, or whatever, you are quite likely to be in contravention of their terms and conditions, and they could shut you down.
Judith: I think that’s another thing as well, correct me if I’m wrong. When we used to do it in the olden days on Typepad, and when people are doing it on things like Blogger, am I right in saying that the larger half, the larger part of any traffic benefits accrues to Blogger and Typepad in return for them giving me … Renting me the real estate?
Nicola: Yeah, and actually, own your content, if you’ve got anything on Instagram, or Pinterest, or Blogger, in the terms and conditions, you’re signing over the ownership of your content. That is unlikely to ever be an issue, but for example, with … I believe in a benign universe, but who knows what will happen in the future. The other thing is of course, Blogger, it’s specifically against their terms and conditions to use your site for commercial purposes.
Judith: That’s a good one. I think there’s other reasons as well, aren’t there? Proactive reasons for choosing WordPress.
Nicola: Now we get into the house. The house that’s on your bit of land. You could use lots of different houses but the framework of the house, the wooden frame, or the metal frame is WordPress, and then on that metal or wooden frame, you can … And it’s very robust WordPress, and lots of …
Judith: Sorry. Sorry, one more distinction. It’s not just WordPress, it’s WordPress.org as opposed to WordPress.com because WordPress.com is another…
Nicola: WordPress.com is another way of going and renting a website or something that is real estate. WordPress.org is where you can download a bit of software except you don’t need to do this now because you are hosting. Once you buy your bit of real estate, your people who you buy real estate on will put up a framework for you using WordPress, and the framework is very robust, lots of builders know how to work on it, millions of them all over the world. You are not held to one little builder who says, “We can’t do that, and I want to charge you a fortune to do it.” There are millions of builders out there who could work with the framework that’s called WordPress.
The next step is to get a skin on your house – so to get the walls, and the roof, and the door, and what it looks like, and that’s the theme, and there are millions of themes that have been created by people that you could use on your WordPress framework, and then there’re the things that make it work. The thing that makes the door open automatically, the thing that makes the garage door go up, the thing that makes the window go opaque at night time, the things that make the prettiness of it. That’s the plugins.
Judith: Any other benefits of WordPress?
Nicola: It’s very, very search engine friendly so you are much more likely to get some of that traffic from the road looking at your house, visiting your house, and buying things that are in your house that you offer for sale. I thought that was quite a good analogy in the spur of the moment
Judith: Yeah, a very good analogy. Yes, it is. I’ve always been saying, you know, “I don’t know really, but you’ve just got to because all the experts do”, and that’s not really a very convincing argument. I had a feeling that it had some rather good inbuilt SEO but it’s not inbuilt particularly. It’s just SEO friendly is what you are saying.
Nicola: I’ll tell you why it’s SEO friendly. It’s because the code for WordPress before that we were all using lots … In fact, we were all using Typepad quite happily but we still had little HTML websites, which were a bit like brochures online. We had like – imagine you go to a beauty salon, and they give you one of their brochures. We had things that were like brochures online, but then we started connecting them to our things we were creating our content called blogs, and then connecting our blogs back to our little brochures. That gave our brochures more kick, and got more traffic, but we still couldn’t do much to our brochures unless we knew how to change them.
Judith: Good. Good. You are reminding me of something else I wanted to say in this context, which is a handful of people I work with, these newbies, have their blog in a separate place to their website, of course, missing the entire point, which is we want all the traffic that comes to blog to be on the website.
Nicola: If you link up your blog wherever it is to your website, and vice versa, to the outside eye… To the outside eye it can look very similar. It’s almost like the visitor doesn’t realise that they are going from …
Judith: We want them in the same place really. We want the blog on the house on the prairie.
Nicola: We do, because otherwise all the content you are creating is not adding to the importance of your own house. It’s like having a house on a bit of land you own yourself, and then doing all the selling activity, all the stuff that’s going to bring the traffic in over at Mr. Blog’s down the road property, and all the property, and it’s adding to the importance of Mr. Blog’s property, not yours.
Judith: I have a feeling we might return to this topic. It’s enough for today because I’ve got a second thing I want to talk to you about in challenge of the week.
Nicola: All right.
Judith: Quite a lot of my younger clients, so they would be in their thirties, have a different idea about business than I’ve had historically. I might change my mind about this, and I think you’ll probably say that to a certain extent I already have, but there are a lot of young people, star profiles, who would like ideally to make a business out of who they are, the life they are having, and their own creativity. People who for instance – there’s a lot of precedent for this – people who go out and do something heroic, write a book about it, draw a tribe around themselves, and then sell from that platform; or people who go on adventures, and people who… I don’t know really. People who through living their lives, and telling their world about it online, draw a tribe to themselves, and then they can sell something to that tribe. Do you know what I’m saying?
Nicola: I do. My daughter is obsessed with a YouTube channel called “It’s Judy’s Life”. Quite close to your name Judith, which is this young, upwardly mobile, fascinating couple in, I think San Diego, or somewhere like that, and they started doing daily emails about their life, and their … They juice a lot. They live healthily, and they have opinions on things, and they got married, and they had two babies, and they’ve got… I’m not joking, millions of followers.
Judith: Sorry, Nicola, here’s the question then. Can you make a business out of who you are?
Nicola: Yes, if you’ve got eyeballs you can sell stuff, and then you’ve got control of a lot of eyeballs, you are in a very powerful position. Think of Stephen Fry. When he started his book publishing career he didn’t have many followers, and now he’s one of the most followed people on Twitter. Do you think that gives him a lot of clout when it comes to negotiating his book deal? I think it probably does.
Judith: He had celebrity before that. Imagine you are Judy in, I don’t know. Where did you say Judy is?
Nicola: San Diego, let’s say.
Judith: You start writing. You can’t ordain this, can you? You start writing about yourself, and the majority of the world thinks, who could give a flying…?
Nicola: Its’ videos.
Videos are – the YouTube vehicle, and the Instagram vehicle – seems to be much, much more conducive to this than the written word.
Judith: You’ve said something really useful there. If I had starry clients who want to make a business out of their lives, they should be using YouTube and Instagram.
Nicola: Yeah, as well as having a blog because again, otherwise you are building a business on someone else’s real estate, but the idea is to get people to come from your YouTube channel, and from your Instagram account to your blog, which is where they can sign up. But now, I’ll back track a little bit because what I didn’t say in the other section was about LeadPages. There are tools now like LeadPages that I am increasingly relying on. And what happens if they stop working?
All my opt-in pages would go down instantly. It would not be a good thing. But having said that, I’d still have the real estate, and people would still come to my website. I could just create the opt-in pages another way. You’ve always got to try and get your traffic to come from the place where you are generating the interest to your house on the prairie, where you can get their contact details in case the things that generate the interest fall over, or go away, or disappear overnight. Somehow there’s something about the internet now, let’s call it web 3, or 3.0, it’s very visual. Pinterest – another example.
Judith: Yes, I know.
Nicola: Pinterest, Instagram. I heard about this girl who’d got something like 7-1/2 million followers on Instagram because she was following her own progress of trying to lose weight, and she’s very fit looking now, but she wasn’t in the beginning. She was so clueless about the internet she didn’t even realise she had that many followers. Now she’s got her own weight loss program, her own exercise program, you know, somebody picked it up and… Actually, that’s a huge opportunity online now. If you could and find someone on Facebook who’s got a monster following, and lots people in the alternative, personal development, woo-woo kind of space have got millions of genuine followers, you can do a joint venture with them to help them monetise that audience, if you know what you are doing. That’s a great way of doing it. I can’t because I’m a star profile, star creative. I’m only interested in my own stuff really.
Judith: Actually, interestingly those two challenges of the week did tie together rather nicely because, I think – two things really; one is these people who’ve created these massive followings online, you can’t ordain it. You can’t set up this narrative of that yourself and necessarily expect anybody to be interested. If, coincidentally, they do, and you build a large following, yes, you’ve made a business out of who you are; but even if you do that, and you are doing it on YouTube and Instagram, you’ve got to bring them to your blog, which has got to be on the WordPress site. They’ve got to opt-in so you own them, and actually something else you just said there – Twitter… Stephen Fry doesn’t own his followers then, does he?
Nicola: No, he doesn’t but he’s very, very good. If you go to his website, which is very beautiful, and hosted on his own website, his domain, and it’s on WordPress, he’s got a lot of reasons for you to give him your name and email. I very rarely get an email from Stephen Fry, but he could email me if he wanted to because I’ve given him my details.
Judith: Yes, marvellous.
Nicola: There’s something else there. Hang on a second. Come back. If you understand that people are on the internet to be entertained, or to do something useful, what we are talking about here is the entertaining factor – entertainment. I mean, when I sit in for the evening with my kids, unless we are specifically watching a film, and I make them turn their phones off, they are multitasking, and being entertained by their phones as well as the television. They are not used to just having… My son sometimes I see him, and they come around, and it’s very quiet in the living, and I think, “What’s going on in there?” “Nothing mom, I’m just watching YouTube,” and then he’s got his headphones in so he can hear what I say but he’s listening to something on YouTube, and he’s not disturbing anyone He’s got his headphone in but the telly isn’t on.
Judith: Good. What you are reminding me of is how much because I’ve never read one, you might have done, how much all the Harry Potter books entertain children. Either they read them, or it was read to them, or they plugged their ears into the audio version for long car journeys, and things like that. Actually, this has been around – this thing about being entertained in a different way has been around for about 10 years now.
Nicola: It has, and I watched a fascinating thing about podcasts yesterday. They said – I thought about sending it to you but it’s a little bit dry on the statistics front, but I thought you won’t watch that – it was something along the lines of they were trying to compare the behaviour of podcast listeners with the people who listen to AMF and radio in America. What they found was that podcast listeners are… Some of the people are listening up to five hours a day, but it’s a very dedicated listening. It’s very loyal to certain shows listening. Podcasting again, it’s either learning something useful, or being entertained, and being entertained in places where nothing could entertain you before.
You can watch TV on your treadmill if you go to the gym. You can’t watch the TV when you are out walking the dog. What could you do when you are out walking the dog? You can listen to podcasts, or the radio if you’ve got a gadget that will let you do that, but the other thing is you know, you are not always connected to the internet when you are out walking the dog, but you can listen to podcasts if you’ve downloaded them in advance. People want to be entertained.
Judith: I want to return to this broad topic over and over and over, because what’s really interesting is that you are moving away from pure digital only communication with people, and you are going into more human interaction with VIP days. I thought I’d never hear that from you. You are changing, and we are all changing. Marketing changes all the time, and I think some of my clients who are frustrated with the lack of results from their marketing, we need to look at refreshing new marketing opportunities of people all the time in the hope of finding one that they’ll love, and it’ll be the breakthrough for them.
Nicola: Yeah, we talked about connection before Christmas, didn’t we? I think the fact that I’m now living on my own, although I do see a lot of people. Yesterday it was like Piccadilly Circus in here. There were teens trolling through the house, but I think that I want to get out more. I want to do more speaking. I’ve already been invited to a couple of events. I want to go to theatre. I want to make the effort to go to things, seeing people… I just set up the next Master Mind meeting, and I like the organised connection opportunities that I’m getting, and then I come home, and I’m nice and quiet at home again.
Judith: What I’m thinking now, and this is my last thought I want to make in this section because I know we’ll need to move on, but I’m thinking that we might have a think, off podcasts, about what little experiment we could do alongside it to demonstrate sexy new marketing ideas. I’ll have a think about that and… Here’s something that would be fun like a little pilot because I think that all my new clients they want their businesses to take off like a rocket. It doesn’t always work like that. For some people it does but for the majority it doesn’t. There’s a lot of long slog with marketing at the beginning. You know there’s some resistance to marketing but actually I think it can be fun. Let’s look at the different roots to market so that we can inspire people to find one that works for them.
Nicola: Yeah, do you remember the book “Get Clients Now” by C.J. Hayden? I think it had about 30 different ways that you could market yourself, but she said pick a maximum of two or three, have a go at them, pick the ones you think you are going to enjoy the most because only if you are enjoying them will you actually do them, and see… Go hell for leather at those two or three.
Judith: That’s what I always say to them, but I think that so … If she wrote that book today, those 30 choices would be different from the ones she offered us a decade ago, do you not agree? We should look at some of the latest ones and explore those a bit. I think where these two challenges cross over is that I’m saying to my clients with all of these ideas, and who want to run businesses around themselves, you need to focus on one thing. You need to get known for one thing. You need to be the tribe in your one thing, and they are going, “I don’t want to do marketing. I just want to live my life and have money follow,” and they are not as mutually exclusive as they might have been a while back.
Nicola: There’s something around that that whole thing, “I want it to be easy.” There’s quite a lot of this, “I want to live my life, and have the money follow”, and quite a lot of the gurus that I’m following at the moment are saying things like, “Where did this expectation come from? Is it…?”
Judith: I know.
Nicola: Why do people feel that they deserve to…?
Judith: Well, Nicola. I feel like the real bad guy when I say no. I say, no. I apologise all the time. I say, “I’m so sorry. I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but that’s not my role to you,” and what I don’t want to do is impose on women half my age my possibly slightly outmoded world-view that it’s only hard work that brings results. It’s not. Judy’s results didn’t come from hard work. They came from fun, sharing about how to do it.
Nicola: Hang on a minute though. Judy’s life is the couple. Back when they started that YouTube channel, it was not so easy to record, edit, and make good a video, and get it online, and then disseminate it on the internet. It wasn’t as easy as it is now, that’s for sure.
Judith: I think that’s my point. What is easy now? What would be fun now? What’s working now? I think if we can point to a handful of examples of fun, light, entertaining – to use your word, I think it’s the marketing word that puts people off. It’s like, “It sounds like such a slog,” and to be fair, quite a lot of my clients put themselves through slog, and it doesn’t work necessarily.
Judith: I remember coaching people forever to get them to even… It took a year. I’m sure you can remember some Money Gym clients – it took a year to get a blog even to – website even – to the point where they could write a blog post.
Judith: I can, yes. I can. I do. I do.
Nicola: Perhaps let’s call it “finding your audience” rather that “marketing”, because unless you find a pool of people who’ve got a need that you can fulfil, and they are willing to exchange their energy/ money in terms of, you know, for your energy/ effort/ product, whatever, but think back to Gary V. The first time I ever heard about Gary Vaynerchuk was in 2006 when I was listening to a Rich Schefren podcast – god knows, I didn’t know it was a podcast then – listening to some audio, and he was interviewing Gary V who was very in-your-face American. Look him up, Gary Vaynerchuk. He’s awesome, and he was putting a video a day on his YouTube channel called Wine Library TV. He was still working for his parents wine shop in New Jersey at the time, and he wasn’t in the internet marketing space at all. He was just trying to help his parents get their wine shop going better, and he just put a little video of a wine tasting session, and he’s a big fan of the New York Jets, and he used to put the New York Jets helmet on the side, and he used that as his spittoon.
He always had somebody off camera that he spoke to, but you never saw the person off camera. It was just very entertaining, but he was teaching ordinary people about wine, and he did a video a day without fail. He had to do two. You’ve talked about this when you are a blogging. It’s about consistency, and commitment, and being entertaining, and uniquely yourself. You don’t have to be anyone apart from you, but people find us funny, Judith. I’ve got no idea why. We are just being ourselves.
It’s not easy, but if you can pick something you really enjoy you are much more likely to do it. I really enjoy entertaining these podcasts. Most people hate that.
Judith: I agree with you. It is about – I know that my clients will do the M jobs that they like, and not the ones they don’t, but even some of them who are diligent don’t get results, and I want to find ways. There is a lot of competition but the competition doesn’t stick at it. And I was sending out a newsletter to 25 people in the beginning, and that grew to 8,500 over three years because every booming week, no matter come hell or high water, I said that e-zine email, and at the bottom of that e-zine was a please share this, and if you’ve received this from a friend click this link to subscribe.
Judith: Do you know what I think Nicola? I think that three years is the period of time, and if I said that to anybody now, they’d just wither.
Nicola: They’d give up. Give up immediately.
Judith: Not give up, but everybody needs to earn money from their self-employment now.
Nicola: Yeah, we’ve both been there on various occasions.
Judith: We have. We have.
Nicola: Coming back to the – if your clients wouldn’t mind – bring those challenges. Obviously, we don’t say who they are. If you’ve got a client who is doing the diligent thing on the marketing and it isn’t working, I’d love to have a crack at trying to suggest some other ideas for them.
Judith: All right.
Nicola: Get their permission, and bring it to the pool.