How Not to Suck at Live Video

Here’s the problem with LIVE VIDEO, which yes is a huge opportunity for those who use it well:

Most live Facebook videos I see make me say, “Ah, well that’s why you’re not on real TV…”

Be careful that, with your broadcast, you’re not saying to everyone, “My narcissism makes me believe that OF COURSE you will want to watch me now that I can broadcast to anyone! Why? Because it’s ME!!!”

And make sure you pay attention to how long people watch- video retention time is the most important metric and the biggest reality check. People DO NOT watch your entire videos.

Here’s the problem with live video:

  • Most people are not interesting enough, or
  • Trained on being on camera, or
  • Have any on camera experience.
  • And if they don’t care whether they’re interesting, then they’ll never fix any of that.

Yes, you’ll easily get a small number of people with a ton of time on their hands who love you who will watch, but if you want to reach more than say 5,000 or 10,000 people, you need to heed this…

There’s actually a whole industry for quality video- two in fact- TV and movies. And if you hadn’t noticed, it’s not easy to succeed in them.

The whole local news anchor trying to become a national news anchor thing… it’s tough.

Moving to L.A. and struggling to get into the movie business. The struggle is real. It’s hard. A lot of people never make it.

Why? Because even people who get on air or get into movies don’t all succeed.

Why? Because you have to be extremely likeable and talented to rise to the top.

The fact that you can broadcast is not some magical thing.

You still have to be interesting.

More interesting than the video of people snuggling with elephants that’s below you in the newsfeed, more interesting than the trending news about the new movie trailer that I want to watch.

This is why I think edited video is better than live video: edited video is shorter and quicker and it respects the viewer’s time and attention. It cuts from one shot to another every few seconds. It’s interesting.

If you do live video…

  • Do something that grabs attention, on purpose.
  • Re-grab attention every 30 seconds, on purpose.
  • Deliver value and tell them what that value is and why they should care and what it will help them with.
  • Continues to deliver value and make sure they know what it is every minute.
  • Be a pretty charismatic individual.
  • Try adding sexy people, funny people or explosions.

One of the few compliments I’ll give Gary V is that he is very attention-grabbing.

But not everyone naturally is.

If you’re not an extrovert from New Jersey who’s constantly dropping F-bombs (which is not only inappropriate for most of us, but I agree with Seinfeld: it’s cheating), you’d better be interesting in some other way.

So:

  • Why should I watch?
  • Why are you interesting?
  • Why is what you’re saying valuable?
  • How are you entertaining?
  • Are you making eye contact?
  • Are you smiling?
  • Are you likeable?
  • Are you engaging?

Be honest with yourself (your best friends won’t be, because a lot of times people think being supportive means being positive even when that means lying).

If you aren’t getting big engagement and views, you might need to make some changes.

  • Try improv
  • Try stand up comedy
  • Try toastmasters

All three of those will make you better.

Everyone starts somewhere, and you can get better.

The point is, realize where you really are at, and work at getting better!

NEW BLOG POST: Why “NEW” is Killing Your Business

HEY.

Words sell.

Some words grab your attention so hard they give you whiplash.

LOOK.

Certain words wipe your memory of what you were working on before. They reprioritize everything else. They take precedence.

NEW.

The ironic thing is: if you want profits, you need something old and proven.

But old is not sexy.

Profits should be sexy but they’re not. Cash is sexy, I guess.

NEW.

But somehow a new feature, a new platform, a new book, a new course hijacks your brain and kills everything else you were working on before.

NEW.

For example, email marketing and google ads have produced high ROI for 10 years.

CASH.

Great, right? They should get a lot of attention and people should do those things, right?

But how much TV air-time are email marketing and Google ads getting?

(zero)

Social is newer and cooler.

SNAPCHAT.

WOW!!!!!!!

So having been in the Internet marketing game since 2004 (doing SEO since 1999), I’ve seen a lot of…

  • new platforms
  • new features
  • new courses
  • new books
  • new tactics
  • new strategies
  • new techniques
  • new gurus
  • new conferences
  • new cetera…

And one thing I know for sure- the gurus and blogs that focus on NEW win.

It’s maddening- because I look for and create and teach repeatable systems that will efficiently deliver you results (like actual profits).

CASH.

Meantime, some people who focus on the bleeding edge get more attention and deliver little to no results.

Why would you listen to people who aren’t getting you results?

What is happening?

NEW is hijacking your brain.

Listen, I get it…

It makes sense that you should pay attention to NEW.

Because of Fear of Missing Out.

You’re afraid.

You don’t want to miss out on the latest greatest new powerful thing. You don’t want to miss any big new dangers.

It makes sense that we look at NEW.

I get it.

BUT it’s very inefficient, and it’s wasting a lot of your time and money.

If you are ADHD-pulled to every NEW thing, and you don’t FOCUS, you will not get as far.

  • You will get less done.
  • You will do things that get less results.
  • Your business will not go as far.

You could lose.

BUT IT’S FUN!!! IT’S REVOLUTIONARY!!! THIS IS THE FUTURE!!!

Really? Like Foursquare was the future? And Facebook tabs? And Meerkat? And Ello?

And shall I list 17 other failures people thought were the FUTURE?

NEW could kill your business…

Especially if your competitors are focusing on high-ROI tasks and you are not.

OLD is not good.

OLD is bad.

Except when OLD is proven and dependable and repeatable.

OLD is the NEW NEW.

That doesn’t make any sense.

But it should.

Do something OLD. It’s probably more proven and profitable.

Wouldn’t that be NEW, if everybody did OLD, proven, repeatable, profitable things, instead of NEW, fun, low-result, inefficient things?

So do something proven.

It’s probably not super NEW.

But it’s probably KINDA NEW, if it’s powerful.

If it’s too OLD it won’t work anymore or it will be so competitive it’ll be hard to succeed.

So do something KINDA NEW.

Like Facebook advertising, a Facebook Audit, or Social Marketing Profit System ;-)

Another good example would be webinars. They’re not new. They’re old. But they’re proven.

TONS of people have made money with webinars.

Has anybody made money with Blab or Facebook Live? Maybe one person? Who?

But hundreds if not thousands of people have made money using platforms like GoToWebinar.

GoToWebinar is old and boring. But it makes people money. Maybe you have to do webinars in a new way to keep it fresh, but webinars are proven.

So do something old in a new way!

This Is Why Your Facebook Ad Spend Is Being Wasted

Are you running Facebook ads and sending traffic to your website or e-commerce store or squeeze pages but not getting leads or sales or newsletter signups?

If your Facebook ads aren’t getting leads or sales, the real problem may be very, very simple.

It’s tempting to think:

  • “Facebook ads don’t work!”
  • “People don’t like what I’m offering!”
  • “I’m horrible at ads!”

It might be much simpler than that.

If you don’t create website conversion ads, AND set up conversion tracking properly, you may get a ton of traffic and no conversions.

Every Facebook ad has one goal, and only does a good job at that goal. (This GOAL is actually set at the campaign level, by the way)

  • A boosted post gets likes comments and shares. Sometimes it will get you some expensive link clicks ($1-2 CPC) Maybe one of those people will convert but it will be very expensive.
  • A website traffic ad simply gets you traffic. There’s no guarantee that these people will convert.
  • A video view ad gets you video views… same deal as with boosted posts, if you get clicks and conversions, they’ll be expensive. And by the way, you can create website conversion ads with videos in them… so if you want conversions, don’t choose the “get video views” objective.

The first thing you need to do is go to either Ad Manager or Power Editor and create the right ad for the job.

If your goal is leads or sales, you have to choose INCREASE CONVERSIONS ON YOUR WEBSITE.

But that’s not all. If you don’t set up conversion tracking, your ad will still function like a website traffic ad, getting you a bunch of looky-loos who do nothing of value on your website.

So you have to go to the PIXEL section of Ad Manager, put that pixel on every page of your website, and then set up your conversions. There are two types of conversion tracking these days, and we find that Custom Conversions are more reliable. We’ve had a couple of clients where the Standard Events conversions did not track accurately.

Setting up this tracking can be nerdy and frustrating, and you need to check the conversions to make sure they’re active and the pixel dashboard to make sure those conversion URL’s are showing up BEFORE you run your ads, or you will waste a ton of money.

There are many other reasons why Facebook ads don’t work… the wrong placements, the wrong targeting, bad copywriting… but if you don’t START with website conversion ads and conversion tracking, none of the rest of that matters.

To learn more about this and everything about how to get better Facebook ad results, get into my course: The Facebook Leads and Sales Machine.

Or, hire our agency to do it for you!

Why Likable Ads Cost 10x Less on Facebook

Facebook lowers your ad price the more people LIKE it.

You get 10x the exposure from likable ads compared to unlikable ads.

Why? Facebook charges you less for likable ads because they need to keep their users. Unlikable ads could make users leave Facebook.

Here’s a dog post that reached a million people for $400.

Why a dog? People LIKE dogs.

You can make the dog (and other likable things) relevant to your business. I’ll show you how.

In high school, kids hang out with the unlikable kid if he’s rich. He has to pay people for attention. But they’ll buy the cool kid lunch even if he’s poor if they LIKE him.

You may already know how to do great sales messages for your company. But people don’t always LIKE pure sales messages.

And if you take my Facebook ads course, I can show you IN DETAIL how to make your sales messages more likable, so you can get 10x the exposure!

Facebook Users Share Posts That Go Viral

The 6 Types of Facebook Posts That Go Viral

Want more shares of your Facebook posts? Then you need to create more Facebook posts that go viral.

Want to get people to share your idea for you?

Want to reach the people you can’t reach yet- without even paying for it?

“Let’s make it go viral!”: It’s the executive order that marketers dread, because it’s so much easier said than done.

But the research shows us what kinds of Facebook posts get shared, and which kinds of posts they don’t share…

What People DON’T Share Is…

  • (Selfish) stuff about your company that doesn’t help them. Beware of PR and press releases that the CEO cares, that even the media might care about, but your average customer does NOT care about. You need things that make your best customer say, “Awesome!” Something that’s cool or helps them. Stop focusing on your company and focus on the customer. Try to think the way they think. Very few companies do this well. So when you do, you get big rewards in the form of sales and profits.
  • (Offensive) stuff that’s inappropriate or edgy or weird. Remember, if they hit “share” it goes to anyone they’ve connected to- their grandma, their boss, their employees, their mom, their kids… so a lot of people are only going to share PG to PG-13 items at most. The only exceptions are when your audience is defined by their edginess.
  • (Obscure) stuff that few people know about or like. Again, if most of their friends won’t even know what this thing IS, they probably won’t share it. They’ll know that their interest in it is weird. Like if you like the bands Rush or Yes, chances are, most of your connections don’t. If your business is all about that weird interest, go for it, but if it’s not central to your business, and it’s an odd post topic, it probably won’t get shared.

The 6 Types of Posts People Share:

This is a diagram I created based on my analysis of Agorapulse’s thousands of Facebook pages and post data back in 2012-2013. We saw it work right away and since then we’ve continually proven that these principles work for 100’s of companies. And in every Social Audit we’ve done for any company, their most shared posts are always one of these six types.

Viral Facebook post for a cruise giveaway
Viral Facebook post for a cruise giveaway

#1 Posts That GIVE Go Viral

When you give, people not only want to reciprocate (you’ve read Cialdini’s Influence, right?), they also want to give the same to others.

So when you offer discounts and deals and run contests, you may see those get shared, and you may also want to make sure your contests are set up to reward people for sharing.

You can incentivize virality (give them a carrot to get them to share) with a variety of contest platforms.

#2 Posts That ADVISE Go Viral

This is another type of giving, but from an information and insight perspective.

When you give tips and how to’s that help people overcome obstacles and get closer to their goals and dreams, they get shared.

You increase your chances of getting shares when those tips and how to’s look super high quality.

So if it’s a video, give it some production value. If it’s a blog post, write a good title, make it scannable, readable, and use great images.

I would recommend infographics if Facebook is a big part of your distribution plan, because infographics are not very compatible with Facebook:

  • Facebook images are smaller and horizontal compared to typically gigantic and vertical infographics.
  • Infographics won’t pass the 20% text rule (put a 5×5 grid over your image, and you can’t have text in more than 5 of the squares), so they’ll never approve an ad to support it, so it will get very limited reach.
  • Instead, take the chunks of info you want to get across, and post them one at a time.
Viral Facebook post that warns
Viral Facebook post that warns

#3 Posts That WARN Go Viral

This often comes into play for news services, for example TV news.

But it can also apply if you know something about your industry.

For example, I could write a post like “WARNING: Facebook Ad Costs Are So Low in 2020 That You’re Crazy Not to Run Them!” and talk about how

  • Since many companies stopped doing Facebook ads during the COVID crisis…
  • Ad CPM’s dropped, and even with lower click through rates (lower demand due to financial issues)…
  • Cost per click is still lower than ever.
  • But it’s still important to learn to resonate with your audience by knowing what they like, because
  • When you resonate, that increases your click-through rates, and
  • CPC goes down even further.

So that’s how you tie one of the viral post types in with your sales message- I would then be selling Facebook ad services. And yes, ninja trainees, I just sold it in this blog post too! ;-)

Viral Facebook post that amuses
Viral Facebook post that amuses

#4 Posts That AMUSE Go Viral

Humor. Almost everybody loves it. The problem is: how do you do it in business? To do humor well in business, you have to:

  • Be relatable- it has to be based in a common experience of your audience
  • Make sure you don’t offend anyone (or not too much)
  • For extra credit, make a marketing or sales point with it that gets people closer to buying

And because of the not offending and not being edgy thing, it may actually not be that funny compared to what you’d see on Comedy Central. But that’s ok. Corporate humor that doesn’t make everybody uncomfortable and is in fact hilarious at a conference may only warrant a chuckle from you alone at your desk. You don’t have to be Chris Rock or Dave Chappelle. In fact, if you try to be, you’ll probably offend somebody, and you won’t get shares- and even if you do, it could hurt your company’s image.

Now this is different for every company- it has to fit your brand, your culture, and your legal department. Some companies are younger and smaller and are OK with taking more risks, and they benefit from them. That’s great. Just make sure the level of edginess you choose fits your company.

Viral Facebook post that inspires
Viral Facebook post that inspires

#5 Posts That INSPIRE Go Viral

People tend to agree with positive, inspirational messages. They “like” them. And they share them because of

  • The positive post made them feel good and they want their friends to feel good, too. I think this is probably the biggest part of the motivation.
  • They think the positive post will make them look good. “Wow, Brian is really wise for sharing that Facebook post.” I don’t know that we really ever think that consciously, because it sounds stupid when you voice it out loud, but the “looking good to others” factor does play a part.
Viral Facebook post that amazes
Viral Facebook post that amazes

#6 Posts That AMAZE Go Viral

We may not have created the Internet to see amazing monasteries in the clouds or puppy videos or 8 year old kids playing incredibly difficult guitar pieces or skateboarders falling on their faces… but it is amazing how much amazing we can now spread.

The Internet connects us in a way that allows us to share more amazing things with more people than ever before.

In the past, it was just through TV shows (That’s Incredible! and Ripley’s Believe It or Not and America’s Funniest Home Videos), and people had to mail VHS tapes to these shows, or the TV shows had to have people traveling the globe to find them- but now so many people have smartphones, we can capture tons of things and the collective human race can judge and make each thing viral or not.

And all of that stuff is right there for you to find with Google and BuzzSumo and PostPlanner… because no matter how many people have shared it, a lot of this amazing stuff has not been seen by most people. It’s not only proven viral- it’s still new to many. Especially the stuff that was on sites like Ebaums World before Facebook. Sometimes you’ll see something go viral on Facebook and discover it happened four years ago…

So those are the 6 types of posts that go viral!

How to Make Your Revenue Go Viral

The goal here is not just engagement, though- but also to tie it into your sales and marketing messages.

Engagement is great, because every brand needs attention, but if you want extra credit and better ROI, make sure you’re also thinking about your customer’s pains and problems and your services’ and products’ benefits.

Tie it in and connect the dots. Give them a call to action related to your brand. Put a link in the text (and some utm parameters to track it well in Google Analytics) so that they can go somewhere to take an action meaningful to your bottom line.

context-driven sales vs. self-centered sales

You’ve already pressed their buttons and stimulated their emotions- so channel that into a transaction with your company- or at least make the courteous suggestion that they might considering doing that…

Then it won’t just be your engagement going viral- your revenue can go viral, too!

3 Reasons New Websites Fail at Launch

We’ve done lead gen for dozens of companies in the last five years, mainly via Facebook ads (although we provide other services like AdWords and landing page and funnel creation, but Facebook is both hot and indispensable).

We also provide feedback when they run into conversion issues…. because, of course, if their site isn’t converting at a minimum level, our ads don’t look like they’re doing very well. That’s how we get low cost new site users and registrations.

Do you want more new users, and a lower cost per user?

We’ve seen some common obstacles and mistakes companies make…

The 3 Biggest Reasons New Sites Fail at Launch

Do you want to create a site that customers really want to use?

The biggest failures we see are when creators:

  1. Aren’t solving customers’ real pain points
    (Mistake: “This is what we THINK their problems are.” Stop thinking and start asking.)
  2. Didn’t create something customers really want
    (Mistake: “They SHOULD want this, right?” I don’t know. You don’t know. Find out.)
  3. Require new behavior that people may not comply with
    (Mistake: “This is cool and NEW, so people will go through hell to get it, right?” But new things are unproven)…

…and thus you may get low conversion rates, which means high cost per user acquisition, or no conversions, which is very disturbing.

Do you want to avoid those mistakes?

How NOT to Build a PIG

Marketing and advertising, at worst, is lipstick on a pig.

How to avoid building a pig: start with what customers need and want.

Survey before building using tools like surveymonkey combined with Facebook ads to your ideal target audience.

Isn’t knowing better than guessing?

Find out what they REALLY want- not what you THINK they want.

Test Your First 100 Visitors

Do you want to know how well you’re actually doing?

Make sure your website is converting from the start. Track mercilessly.

Can’t you just grow virally or for free on social media? Not every niche or product is super-shareable, so sometimes you still need advertising to get your first users in and learn from them.

Do you want to pay only for the customers who are the best fit?

Advertising ensures you’re reaching the right people. Organic social media is a crapshoot. Who knows who you’ll get. Maybe people who don’t need your site.

Do you want to grow fast and make your users super-happy?

The companies that thrive are the ones that evolve quickly based on analytics and user feedback.

Use tools like hotjar to watch what real users do and where they run into trouble.

You can also use their poll to implement the Ask question process on your website.

Do You Have a Conversion Problem?

A conversion is when you get a user to do something:

  • Register
  • Opt-in
  • Buy

It’s what you want them to do.

You must be able to see your conversion rates.

Do you want to accelerate your success and lower your costs?

Users should convert at at least 10-40% for free services, and at least 1-2% for paid ones.

  • If you’re over those benchmarks, you’re on track. Then great marketing can accelerate your success.
  • If you’re below them, something is wrong: targeting, user experience, product concept, copywriting, etc.

Do you want to avoid wasting money?

Make sure you have Google Analytics goals set up, and you’re tracking properly with Facebook, AdWords and other conversion code. These need to be tested so you are 100% sure they’re accurate as early as possible, ideally BEFORE you pay for ad traffic.

Do you want to be able to KNOW WHAT users DO on your site?

Program your website so that every page has its own URL, or you’ll have trouble tracking user actions. For some reasons a lot of programmers like to make things happen without the URL changing, but this creates tracking problems. You won’t be able to get the info you need to find out what’s wrong or get better results.

GA behaviors don’t lead to as good reporting as GA goals. You want to be able to map goals back to traffic source, landing page and more.

Do you want to know the best webpage to send them to, so you can get the lowest cost per new user?

One of my favorite custom reports in GA maps landing page (the first page they came to on the site when they visited) to conversion rate. That way I know what the best first page is to send people to with ads:

Split Testing Is NO LONGER Optional

Do you want to learn WHAT makes customers DO what you want them to DO?

Custom website programming causes a lot of tracking and improvement obstacles. One of them is the inability to split-test.

You need to be able to test multiple versions of your opt-in or registration pages. This is no longer optional.

Creating only one version of a user registration form and not being able to improve its conversion rate is a vulnerability for your business and increases the cost of customer acquisition.

Split-testing…

  • Increases conversion rates,
  • Lowers customer acquisition costs
  • Teaches you what they respond to and what they don’t.

You can get better results throughout your company by applying those learnings:

  • To your ads
  • To your product development plans
  • To how you write emails
  • To your customer service FAQs
  • To your intro videos, etc.

The best market research is the data that shows you what your actual customers respond to or don’t.

This is the most valuable info you can get about them- what will make them take action.

That’s why landing page optimization tools like LeadPages and ClickFunnels and Unbounce are doing so well right now.

(I actually split test the titles of my blog posts, too, even this post!)

Want to create an awesome site AND get lots of new users affordably?

Some people go so far as to say the website is dead… but you and I know many companies want to create something new and unique- my recommendation is to think modularly:

  1. Let your website do what it specializes in, but
  2. Plug in a landing page tool + email marketing service to get customers into your SaaS.

If need be, create a data-bridge program to pull customers from the email service into your database. (Or… feel free to program your entire own split-testing platform- But that would be a ton more work.)

The upshot is:

  • Don’t reinvent the wheel.
  • Don’t use a crappy wheel that doesn’t function just because you programmed it.
  • Don’t build a car that doesn’t have wheels (in this analogy, split-testing is a wheel).

Use industry best practices and plug into the services that are already out there.

Make sense?

RANT + PODCAST: “Do Whatever It Takes”

This is a blog post that began as a podcast- feel free to listen instead, or listen AND read along below.

Today, I want to talk to you about something I think is really important for success for business and something we see all the time with marketing.

You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get better results, and to avoid your competitors eating your lunch, or your entire industry being disrupted!

Companies run into a lot of different obstacles. Sometimes, companies hire us because they just need help with something they can’t do, like we’ll do Facebook ads for them, and they can’t do it, and we can get them the results. Other times, they just have a problem, and they don’t know what it is.

Sometimes, we have really complicated clients who have a ton of problems.

Sometimes, they have reputation problems. And, sometimes, we can do certain things.

We’ve got a client who has a big reputation problem. We can do certain things for them, but they also have some issues with customer service. The level of customer service is not high enough. They set expectations for customers they can’t possibly meet. They’re not really clear how to describe what they are compared to other companies.

There’s a lot of issues that have, so, when you start trying to market to solve some of these problems you discover, some of them you can solve, and some of them are internal company problems.

You’ve got to give them feedback, and I wonder if they think they think it’s weird…

  • “The marketing guy’s telling us to improve our customer service!”
  • “The marketing guy’s telling us we don’t know what our company is about!”
  • “The marketing guy is saying that it’s not okay that our IT people are telling us that something is impossible!”

…and that last one is the one that gets me the maddest. Because right now, everything is internet-based. Everything is programming-based. Everything is computer-based.

And it’s a gigantic opportunity, it’s been a gigantic shift in our economy and in business, and the world is completely changed. I mean the new thing with Amazon, you’re seeing those buttons where you get a Tide detergent button you put in your kitchen, and, when you’re running out of Tide, you would just push the button, and it orders it through Amazon. It shows up to your house 2 days later.

Very dangerous. You don’t want to have that for candy with you if you’ve got kids in the house, right? :-)

Technology is everywhere, and so many companies have come out of nowhere, like Uber using smartphones to disrupt the entire transportation industry, not just taxis but they’re going to be competing with FedEx and DHL and UPS.

They’re running the Uber Eats thing in Houston as a test, delivering food. I wouldn’t be surprised if they start delivering groceries and either Amazon or Uber disrupts the whole grocery business.

You always see, anywhere that technology can improve convenience, new companies win and old companies lose. Companies like BlockBuster go out of business because of Netflix. The list is super long. Borders went out of business. Not only did Borders send traffic to Amazon rather than having a web store, which is just idiotic, but they didn’t adapt like Barnes & Noble did. Barnes & Noble copied the Kindle, created the Nook for an e-reader, right? And so Barnes & Noble has survived. They’re profitable. Borders went away.

Now, my point about this is is that, if your company, and we hear this sometimes, has an IT department or programmers who are saying, “This can’t be done,” or, “We can’t do it,” or they’re just slow or they’re just stubborn or they’re just difficult.

I grew up a geek. I’ve programmed some. I’ve hung around programmers. I know programmers. And I understand. They’re different, and they’re great. I love programmers. They’re different, so sometimes they struggle a little bit with some of the social things that other people in your company don’t struggle with, and sometimes they have different priorities, and sometimes they’re hard to deal with. Sometimes they’re difficult.

But the thing is I think you have to be willing to go nuclear on your programmers and say, “Look, you guys are problem solvers. You have to be willing to solve these problems. I’m not interested in you saying you can’t solve this problem. Don’t tell me you can’t do it. I don’t ever want to hear that. Solve the problem or you’re fired.” It needs to be that simple.

If you don’t have a culture of programmers and IT people that will solve problems quickly and see themselves as quick problem solvers… the overall topic I want to talk about today is willing to do whatever it takes, because there’s a lot of disruption, and there’s a lot of change, and there’s a lot of opportunity.

Millennials get it. They’ve grown up in a time where everything has changed frequently.

A new business can come out of nowhere and they no longer use the old business, whereas people who are over 50 will have stayed loyal to a company or business model for 10 or 20 years or whatever. That may seem weird to them, and, basically, you may take your customers or business model or advantage in the industry for granted. You ignore problems, assuming you can.

Another younger, faster, more agile, more motivated company comes along with programmers who do want to solve the problem you’re ignoring- and suddenly it’s too late for you.

The biggest enemy for companies that are going to get disrupted is an internal culture of laziness and procrastination and just barely good enough instead of ambition.

You really need hungry people, because there are so many start-ups, and many of them fail, but a few of them completely disrupt industries, and that’s the problem, right?

You have to be willing to do whatever it takes.

We see this on other levels too. When we work with clients sometimes, some of our clients are still getting used to the whole fact that we can test a whole bunch of different messages with customers, and we can test a whole bunch of different images. They’re so used to the old marketing paradigm of, “Let’s decide what the ad and the marketing images and all that stuff are before we put it out.” They decided on the basis of personal preference, like, “I just feel like this is good.” They’re accustomed to making these decisions on, very little knowledge about the customer.

Often, they think they know the customer better than they actually do. Often, the data we as their digital marketers come up with about the customer when we run a bunch of different ads is surprising to them. We learn about the customer. And there are some great tools, Facebook Audience Insights, with their data partners and all the information we have from all those retail loyalty programs, gives us net worth and income, and shopping behavior info, and all these things that we can learn about your customers, especially if we upload your email list and we profile those people or we profile the emails of your buyers versus those who don’t buy. That’s gigantic, and we learn a ton about your audience, then we learn more when we run all those different ads.

If your internal culture is not willing to do whatever it takes, they’re not willing to let go of their preferences about messages, they’re not willing to let the customer tell you which ones they prefer. 

Instead of having an internal counsel at your company that decides what messages should go out… Yes, you need legal, yes, you have to have brand parameters, but I’ve seen companies make a lot of arbitrary decisions that are above and beyond those things. Creative decisions that don’t have anything to do with their branding.

The thing is, if you do that, if we’re just doing it with guesses and with, “It’s my opinion,” what the data tells me from having run, 10-15 years now of ad tests and experiments is that, even when you have the data on your customers, EVERYONE’S guesses about what your customers are going to like are often wrong.

Being personally attached to your ideas is a liability in digital marketing. It’s a huge liability. It’s why some companies are losing at marketing.

There are some great books out now, the Freakonomics books, the Daniel Kahneman… books out there about the biases that we experience. We have great science now about basically the ways in which our perception is often wrong. The ways in which we fool ourselves, the ways in which our ego basically screws up our chances of success.

So when we get so attached to our own opinions, or when your company has a system that allows that… The way around it, I love this whole digital marketing laboratory approach, because the older thing was you’d have like a boss who has a great marketing idea, and, if you have a marketing director who isn’t that strong of a personality, then they’re always getting bulldozed by the boss who has a marketing idea, which may be good or bad and often may be bad.

They’re not trained in marketing, and, when you’re a CEO, you’re basically getting told you’re awesome all the time, so anybody that’s in that situation starts to believe it, whether they are awesome or not, right? So you’re putting out these marketing ideas thinking that they’re awesome because you’re awesome, and, if they’re not working and especially if you’re not tracking, you don’t really know if they’re working.

But, in a digital marketing laboratory, where we can see where each ad, “Does this ad get us leads?” “Does this ad get us sales?” Then you can tell, right? The boss can have an idea, the marketing director can have an idea, the marketing assistant, the marketing interns, they can have ad ideas, and we can see which ones work the best. Now, that’s a democratic situation where we get to see what works.

If you’re still attached to your ego there… Then, when your ad doesn’t work, you feel bad, you feel ashamed, you feel like you lost, you feel like you’re a bad person, you feel like something bad is going to happen, but that’s not what we’re doing. We’re not trying to prove we’re good people by having good guesses. That’s not what we’re doing.

We’re trying to put enough ideas out there to let customers choose the best one so that we have a better chance of succeeding.

Because the fact is like there is a research study that showed that, after 10 years or more, marketing experts do not get better at guessing which creative ad marketing message or image is going to work the best. They don’t get better at it.

You don’t get better at it. What you can get better at it is being disciplined about the process of putting out more ideas. And, yeah, you don’t want to put out stupid ideas. I think you get better at finding some best practices, but there’s often things that break the rules. A lot of people I know, including myself, who’ve run conversion optimization on landing pages find that, when you put a video on the landing page, it doesn’t convert as well as when you just have an image, which is counterintuitive, and there’s a lot of counterintuitive stuff in digital marketing. That’s why you have to test.

All the people who are going by their gut are going to fail on the counterintuitive stuff. All the people who are testing are going to find a counterintuitive thing that works awesome and the super-performing outliers, and they’re going to find the things that work super duper well that you wouldn’t have found if you didn’t have an open mind and you didn’t test a lot of stuff.

The companies that aren’t willing to do whatever it takes… They aren’t willing to put aside their ego, they aren’t willing to make their program solve problems, they aren’t willing to test a lot of ideas, they aren’t willing to go with the analytics instead of opinion, those companies are going to lose.

It’s simple as that. They’re not going to get as good of results. They’re not going to have as big a profit margin. Their spend is not going to be as efficient. So they’re not going to do as good.

For a public traded company as well, you can only go so far on all that cash. There are plenty of companies that are huge that fail. And that get bought up. And there are plenty of troubled companies that get acquired, disassembled, et cetera by better companies. Being big is not good enough. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes.

That’s what I wanted to say today. It is kind of a rant.

I’m amazed that people don’t do it, but I think that, for me, it comes from just a insatiable desire to get results for whatever I do.

And I do that in comedy, I want to get laughs, and I do it in business, I want to get clients, leads, and sales, and whatever results they want. But I go with the data, and, when the data tells you what’s working and what’s not, that’s when you have to make the change, right? It just doesn’t make sense to me when you’re not willing to go whatever direction the data, which really is what the customers are telling you through the data, which direction to go.

If you’re not willing to go the direction the customers are telling you to go, well, you’re missing a gigantic component of business. You’re in business to satisfy the customer so they will part with their money, and you’re there to satisfy them to make them happy so they’ll continue to give you their money, and everyone will be happy. The data tells you what to do to do that. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to create and sustain that relationship.

That’s it. I’m going to go to Las Vegas and talk in the Amazing.com Conference. It’s like 4 days with a thousand customers who have bought courses from Amazing.com, which I call them the Mercedes-Benz of course creation. Udemy I call the Wal-Mart of course creation. Nothing against Udemy instructors, et cetera, Udemy’s got a lot of great stuff, and they’ve been doing great things for a long time, but Amazing.com takes it to another level. They’ve got an instructional design person on staff. They treat instructors like really well. They flew me out to Austin to film parts of the videos.

I’m creating a course called Social Marketing Profit System. It’s got 4 and a half hours of video, 25 videos on the basics of Facebook marketing advertising strategy, how to not choose the wrong strategies, because, again, this is a counter-intuitive thing. A lot of people, the first things they choose to do are actually not the most effective ones, and everybody’s making the same mistakes instead of getting a little bit of training and avoiding that heartache, avoiding losing that money, right? Save some money, save some heartache.

Some people do their own things, and then they conclude that Facebook marketing or advertising doesn’t work. Well, that’s just dumb. You didn’t get any training. It’s a very complicated system. There’s a big learning curve, so, just like anything that’s complicated, you need to get some education before you try, or you’re likely to fail.

And then there’s a whole bunch of stuff on how to get better likes and shares and comments on your Facebook posts and a ton of information about Facebook advertising, how to get better results. We’ve got all kinds of results. I mean one of the big things that’s different about me from other Facebook marketing instructors is I’ve worked with a ton of real companies getting them real results, leads, and sales. I don’t just go out and teach people to be social media consultants. I don’t just run retreats where we talk about personal growth.

I love personal growth, but I work in the real business world helping real companies get profits and leads and sales and stuff, right? And I’ve done that with all sizes of businesses: small business, medium, Fortune 500, all over the world, talked to all kinds of different audiences. I know what works and doesn’t work for real businesses. The first people that got profits from Facebook marketing in 2011 were students of mine, we’ve been succeeding like that for 4 years.

I used to hate to bang my own drum, but, right now, I hate to see people go get training that doesn’t come from that kind of experience. I was talking about data. We’ve got a ton of data from companies showing what does and doesn’t work for business to consumer and business to business marketing on Facebook. It’s the most powerful platform in the world. I think it’s the most powerful marketing platform ever. I could go on and on about it, and often do.

I love Google, and Google’s important, and you’ve got to do Google ads if they’re profitable for you to a degree, but then you’re going to get limited sales volume. So, after that, if you want to expand, reach more people who are potential consumers, convince those people to buy, Facebook’s the most affordable way to do that. And they just put out new stats: 1.55 billion people on Facebook. I’ve spoken in a bunch of different countries, and, in most countries, at least 50 percent of the population is using Facebook.

It’s super viable, and the ads are super affordable. You just need to know how to do it right. If you use the system that I teach, you’re going to cut your ad cost by 50 to 90 percent, and that means your spend is going to go twice as far to ten times as far, okay? So you’re spending maybe 500 bucks a month? Maybe you’re going to end up getting 5,000 bucks worth of advertising out of it. Or, if you’re spending 1,000 bucks, you’re going to get 2,000 to 10,000 dollars of value out of it because you’re probably doing some things wrong right now.

For example, if you’re trying to get people to go to your website by putting a link in a post on a Facebook page and then you’re boosting that post, your cost-per-click for that link is probably a dollar or two or more. That’s ten times higher than it needs to be because you’re using the wrong kind of ad, right? You need to be using a website conversion ad or a website traffic ad from within the Facebook ad manager or Power Editor.

Little mistakes like that, there are a ton of them, and I’m going to share those with the 1,500 people at the Amazing.com Summit. That’s going to be exciting. I’ll be in Las Vegas for 4 days, and I’m going to be doing a lot of webinars to promote this thing, this course. It’s going to be a big push for me. It’s going to be good, because I’ve done a lot of webinars for other companies, some of them had paid me, some I’ve done it for exposure, but I haven’t done it for myself because I never had the right product, and now I’m with a company where we’ve got a great product, and I think it’s the right time. I think it’s time to tell people, “Look, you’ve got to demand results from Facebook. You can do it. This is the system.” So I’m going to promote the heck out of that.

I hope that was all helpful to you guys. If you have any questions, you can always contact me through the contact form on this site. We do a ton of different types of services for people and companies as well, and you can check those out there.

That’s it. I’m running out of steam, and I got to get ready to get on the plane, so I hope you guys are doing well and your business is doing well and your family is well. I wish you guys all the best.

How NOT to Connect with Influencers on Facebook

I get a ton of Facebook friend requests. I already have more than 99,000 public followers and 3,500 friends. There’s a 5,000 friend limit, so I can’t friend everybody, and there are dozens of people from around the world that request my friendship per day. I’ve already written about this in The Biggest Networking Mistake Everyone is Making on Facebook… subsequent to that I did get one personal message explaining why someone wanted to connect with me, but it really didn’t do a great job of explaining why I should connect to them. I didn’t want to be a jerk about it with my answer but I also didn’t want to ignore it, so here was my answer:

Hey I don’t want to ignore your message- I’m going to be completely transparent- the key questions you to answer for somebody like me are:

  • “What do you want from me?”
  • “Why do you want my Facebook friendship?”
  • “What do you have to offer me?”
  • “Why do you need Facebook friendship to do that?”

So far you told me you’re in social media and inbound marketing which is awesome but there are thousands of people in that- and actually there are probably 50,000-100,000 of them internationally and since I can only have 5,000 facebook friends, I can’t connect with everyone who requests me on Facebook, so to be honest you have to do a better job of standing out and connecting- which is a great marketing lesson and networking lesson- what do you and I have in common and how can you evoke emotions around that in your message? You could use graph search to figure that out- I tell you that so you could apply it to networking with not just me but other influencers too.

It’s much more effective to friend someone on Facebook AFTER interacting with them somehow- in message comments or private messages or on the phone or LinkedIn or some other social network or in person… the absolute best way is when you know you’ve made an emotional connection already- you talked about your kids or pets or you shared a joke or a hobby. Then a Facebook connection makes sense. Sometimes people will connect without that, just on a business basis, but there’s a chance they won’t.

But to be  stranger and completely unknown and friend request without a message- you’re going to get ignored. If you do message an influencer, make sure you answer the questions above.

Russell Brunson: Attractive Character & Seinfeld Emails [Video Interview, StoryDNA]

Kathy Klotz-Guest and I interviewed Russell not only because he’s probably the best online direct marketer I know, not only because ClickFunnels is a killer platform for getting online results, but because in his new book DotComSecrets, he talks about a couple great storytelling concepts, the Attractive Character, and the Seinfeld Daily Emails.

Robert Rose from Content Marketing Institute [Video Interview, StoryDNA] with Kathy Klotz-Guest

Kathy Klotz-Guest and I interview Robert Rose, the Chief Strategist for the Content Marketing Institute. He has a background in the entertainment biz, then the whole Silicon Valley startup thang… with an emphasis on great storytelling as a competitive advantage. AND… Robert is the author of The Seventh Era of Marketing.