Rob Cairns CEO and Chief Creator of Amazing Ideas at Stunning Digital Marketing
How are you today? Today on the SDM interview show, I’m joined by my good friend, Todd Jones. And what Todd and I are going to talk about is you start off with an intro that includes a little bit of classic wrestling talk. Somehow we talk about cats and pets a little bit in it all. But really, the focus of this chat is copywriting. And the concerns with copywriting and talks business. Just a quick little programming note, about five minutes from the end, there’s an appearance by Unfortunately, my dog’s Ruby person and Cooper decided they had to make boisterous noise during the recording of this podcast, so please bear with it, and continue to listen, and we’ll talk to you all soon. Without further ado, my interview with Todd Jones. Okay, All righty here, we’re here with my friend Todd Jones. Gonna have an interesting chat today. We’re gonna talk a little bit about what he does copywriting and a little bit of this and a little bit of that. How are you?
Well, I’m still trying to determine that but I think I’m doing pretty good so far.
Yeah, I hear you on that one. You guys are rainy and we have snow. So if you want to get bored, come to Toronto. See some snow ski away. You know, I don’t see any cats in the vicinity today. are they hiding there?
Well, we’re in what the vendor refers to as my cave, my office and in town. So no, she’s at the house and I’m at the cave. So
we might actually get into a podcast recording without dogs barking and cats because
I was watching a Tuesday tutorial a couple weeks ago, or maybe it was a anyways this week, I think. And Joanna’s cats started me out and join a week or cat started me out in the middle of the podcast. everybody’s like, Oh, look, there’s a kitty. And she was anointed to get me out and like, let the cat alone let the cat meow. Anyway.
So tell me a little bit about yourself and what you do and what you’re working on and what you like to do?
I’m from Arkansas, which is a small rural state in Arkansas. Best known for Bill Clinton, I reckon. And just kind of grew up loving things about the South. You know, not everything but like pro wrestling, actually, is good storytelling, right? So when Ric Flair had his 70th birthday Monday night, and they turned it into a story to set up a WrestleMania showdown. So I like pro wrestling and I like I don’t know if you’ve ever seen or heard dirt track racing with late model cars and that kind of stuff. Watch them
on TV and my racing fans. Yeah,
yeah. So dirt track racing, you know, and in Arkansas in the in the US is a, you know, your Friday, Saturday night warriors really, you know, it hasn’t run the garage down the road. And so, my hometown is kind of a sort of a little bit of a mecca for dirt track racing in the States. Mark Martin from my hometown. My dad announced at he was a public address announcer at the racetrack when I was a kid and did in a couple places. And so we went to see watch a lot of dirt track racing and kind of grew up liking that. It gives there’s a little bit of storytelling into my background, and like my grandpa, both grunt balls, were telling stories about something and my dad was to use old stories and even I guess my brother telling stories, and so it was kind of a storytelling group and and i don’t know that any of us ever made money that way but we also stories of sometimes so it kind of like that and you know, like that snow once in a while, but we don’t get it very much in Arkansas. So I don’t know. I’ll probably take you some more things up. that tell you more about myself as I go, but
that’s okay I get the dirt track racing. I’m a racing fan but more NASCAR and Formula One and Indy cars these days and wrestling I can appreciate a it’s funny because I miss the old days of the NWA and the Mid Atlantic and all of that stuff. I really do. Having grown up on that Toronto was an NWA city. Yeah.
You know, one of our main cable channels growing up was Georgia, TBS, and outdoor gym chip wrestling watched a lot of that reflects on Sholay. Right, yeah. Gordon solie from the Peach State of Georgia is so off. Yep. Born he was a legend. And so you know, you had you had Ric Flair, the early days of Ted DiBiase, before he was ever moved on, man. Tommy rich, Jerry Lawler lower Memphis. And Yep, yep. And the young kid that came over at one point that turned into steam and steam all time favorite wrestler. And so you know, didn’t turn into WCW yet, and Vader, Lex Luger.
And then the WWF kind of now the WWE kind of screwed up the whole mess.
And well, you know, you still have Impact Wrestling. Jared started and he’s gone from now.
as a consultant,
actually back evacuees back at WWE, I don’t know what his relationship is with TNA or impact, but he’s going to go into Hall of Fame this year. So he’s made some appearances in the last few months wrestling with Elias and that kind of stuff. So, you know, Jared was a part of that staying wasn’t part of that. At one time, they had a lot of great superstars. Remember, the Old Main Event mafia, I guess was one of the grandest factions the wrestling of all time. So you know, those guys of course, Samoa, Joe is now in WWE, and he should, in my opinion, should be a champion. At some point, it really just kind of held him back and I think he’s a deserving guy to be champion, but hard to win over those WWE guys for the the old impact guys, but AJ Styles has done it. So maybe, maybe some Mojo will be. I think the one thing WWE is missing some of his factions, we haven’t had a whole lot of those. And so maybe in the future, we’ll we’ll see some more factors pop up
as it’s true. I really interesting note, just to mention impact Wrestling’s head offices now in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Is that right?
Yeah, if you do a wiki search, and it moved about a year ago, I think so it’s,
and then Cody Rhodes has started up a wrestling group. And after he was called, they’re running as well. So, of course, his dad is one of the best ever. Yeah, no question
and Ring of Honor. Of course, if you decide to go that route, they do shows in Toronto, I like them.
Okay. Yeah. I’ve never seen a Ring of Honor. I think I caught some on TV one time, which is very rare. And then of course, you had the Japanese one, which actually AJ Styles was at one point and future time. Yeah. schinsky. And some of those guys came over from that. I think the women have the best potential for factions we got they got some right now with the right spot, and some of those, and a lot of people, there’s a lot of rumors going around for horse, women will come together again. And that would really be cool, but they’re on different brands. So it would really be cool to see the four horsemen come together maybe another rebel faction. And I don’t know, I don’t know just I wish they let me write WrestleMania though. They have not done much with that this year. JOHN c needs to come out last year every week begging somebody to wrestle him and finally got his five minute match with Undertaker. But I do I am intrigued by the whole Battista Triple H thing that is intriguing that I my interest. And so that would be interesting. But But there it is. They haven’t really written anything yet for WrestleMania. But you know, you know if I had a job, that that would be fun. That outside of anything else I do. He would be to write wrestle script wrestling scripts. I would absolutely love that. I don’t know I’m not even doing free just to watch play out.
One of my favorite wrestling stories is back in the day. Growing up in Montreal, Montreal had an independent by the name of international rent, and it was the territorial stuff and the way the independence promotions worked as they’ve had local stars, inviting people from outside the territory to pop up to local stars. So it was a three month feud that was running around between the Russo brothers who became very big and WWF, WWE at one time, and a group by the name of the fabulous freebirds.
If you were all over Michael
Hayes and company, they were all over the province. So they go to have this final match. And in those days, first of all, they didn’t acknowledge that wrestling was entertainment and only entertainment, which we all know. And the other thing they did was they didn’t they use us to use a lot of fake blood capsules that define Oh, yeah, final match was so bad that the province of Quebec at the time would not allow a cage match in the province. So they had to take this group and move it to Sudbury Ontario. filmed it in Sudbury. And then when they showed the match on TV Two weeks later, they had to exit out. Jimmy, Jimmy garden, Garvin tear, because at the time him and Ronnie had white hair And anyway, the fake blood was all over the place.
Oh, yeah. So Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair both cut their head a lot. Yeah, they had blonde hair.
Yes. No question.
It would turn their head red. Oh, no, it’s just kind of a pink or whatever. Yeah. And you can see some of the older wrestlers. You don’t see it so much today with the newer guys, but their heads will have all these scars from all the blades that cut, there was no fake back then I just took a little blade slice it. So yeah, it would be a fun job to have. I never really thought about that. So just now mean, I’ve kind of thought about it, but not really intentionally. That would be a fun job. And just to write, because I can do so many things, which some some guys from high school were chatting about on Facebook today. And I was like, and I’d bring jack swagger back. And because we’re talking about the how the WWE the US title has lost a lot of Yeah, yeah. And I said I was reading Jack’s wrestler, he’s in the WWE in UFC or whatever now. And you know, he’s got to try it. But and they never really liked how to use them. At the end anyway, I’d bring jack swagger back. And I’d had him take the title office schinsky Nakamura and WrestleMania with a big dub with a big USA deal. And, you know, have done the battle for the rest of you. I mean, you know, stuff like that. A lot of fun. But hey, Oh, well.
Yeah, gotta have fun. So, one of the things that you and I both do is, we’re both entrepreneurs. So
you become an entrepreneur? And when did that kind of start in your life?
Well, I did not grow up, be wanting to be an entrepreneur that wasn’t really my high school dream or anything like that. So I think, you know, a lot of people have a similar story, you know, but I had a lot of health issues and kind of sidetracked a career development. And, you know, I found myself at 40 years old trying to get a job and not get one making more than 10 bucks an hour, and I add these skills to build websites. Now, granted, website development is changing rapidly that time. But, you know, 2012, I think I jumped into Oh, he had been doing it as a side deal, you know, all this time. And I jumped into it full time, started doing that, and kind of got into online marketing, inbound marketing kind of bait, because, you know, just building website is really not enough to have a career unless you’re working for an agency or something like that. And so I started looking for edges and advantages and realized that, you know, you can, you know, a business needs to build up generate leads, and that kind of stuff, and content was the way to do it. We were talking earlier about how you could just almost throw up a blog post and get traffic and, you know, now it’s a little bit harder, but I went down that road, and every time I was working with somebody, I was the one that wrote the blog posts. No, I didn’t. I wasn’t great at it. I was pretty good at it. I was obviously better than the people around me and and I just kept going that path. I decided, you know, that’s what I should be doing. And kind of went into copywriting. Well, copywriting and I have this article at copyright about copywriting. Learning copywriting. copywriting is really just a umbrella term. So it’s interesting when somebody talks about copywriting, so you have different aspects of copywriting. You have the old direct response copywriting which is still exists. I have a friend of copywriter friend who builds printed new newsletters for companies, it’s basically a copywriting deal. But you still have the direct response because people still send out mail, targeted mail and that kind of stuff. And then you have the conversion copywriting, which is more in the technological or the online world, which uses a lot of direct response principles actually to, to do that, then you have the more content based copywriting people writing articles, blogs, that kind of thing. And I just started diving into copywriting a little bit more, what that meant and learning more about email copywriting, landing page homepage copywriting realize that people do really not a very good job with the about page on their website, most likely, the second most visited page, unless you’ve got some great blog posts, is likely to be the second most visited page on your website. And people treat it very flippantly. And they can do a better job of that. So you know, just kind of went through that and then realize, hey, my tribe of people like you, Robert, you know, people who are helping small businesses with their business use websites, and everything goes with it. And that’s my tribe. That’s, that’s people I work with, and started building content for them, like some of the templates I’ve come out with over the last year or so. And trying to help out and, you know, hopefully, at some point, build a course or two to help with that as well. So there’s only one of me.
Yeah, and I understand, I understand that. I mean, the hardest part, when there’s only one a year and you want to grow your business, as sooner or later, you’ve got to kind of take it and say, Okay, do I hire somebody? And I think you see me make some rumbles lately of how I’ve taken on a VA for and I white label, a lot of the stuff I do now, just because there’s only one of me, and I’ve got it, I’ve got a mix of big clients and small clients. So you know, it’s like, what do you do with your time kind of thing? And yeah, no, so what’s the one thing that people really miss or mess up when they’re trying to do copywriting besides the about page?
Well, I’m gonna say to finally give you two things, but but the first probably, if there’s a primary thing I would say, is not knowing what their target audience is. With, I see it a lot with freelance professionals, they, they they write blog posts or blog that are seemingly for other people like them, rather than their target audience. Unless that ends up being their target audience. I have seen that work as well. But, you know, if you’re, you’re talking to artists, as a small business, or a certain kind of, you know, business, but you’re writing like you’re a web developer, and you’re writing, you know, you’re writing tutorials on how to, you know, install Sumo to to get, you know, you’re doing it for other people like you. That’s not your target audience. That’s a big now, doesn’t mean you can’t do that Aeroplan, it’s done a great job. She’s got her business website, which is for her target audience. And then she’s got her personal domain name domain website, which is targeting other people that she teaches how to do better job being a WordPress developer, or website developer. So that’s a good example of being able to navigate that if you don’t ever intend on doing courses or selling stuff to other people, then there’s no reason really to write unless that’s just what you want to do. You know, we’re talking about Brendan Hufford earlier Brennan says sometimes you have things in your head you just got to get it out and that’s okay. Yeah.
Shout out to Brendan like really he’s probably the most down Earth SEO guy I know and probably the most helpful I see I SEO person I know and you probably concur with that and you know
Yeah, he probably gets tired of me sending him messages and beat to them but but but but I’m but I’m paying for some of that now. So
I think the biggest problem though, is you see it a lot really with the not with just blog posts but also with your copy on your your static pages is not writing to your target audience. Second thing, it’s really like a maybe even a one beat is not having a good unique value proposition. Yes, in order to have a good unique value proposition you have to know your target audiences. Both fan and but and I’m not necessarily an expert at that but I have been studying and looking at a lot and so when I look at when I do homepage review, I look at the title of that homepage at the top, the in the hero area and the That, right there says my little tip for you, I guess is that it should come from your unique value proposition. And oftentimes I don’t, in fact, people are trying to be clever there rather than clear. Yeah. And so Joanna Wiebe, my virtual copywriting mentor says, you know, be clear, not clever, so and not repeat that mantra all the time. In fact, the vendor said it to me.
He says that a lot. And and I think, you know, it’s interesting, we talk on these two things, I think, the first thing that people can do, but knowing your target audience, it’s the same thing as trying to work out what we call as a customer avatar, and sort of sit down and work out what your ideal customer is. And then and go after that ideal customer now, it’s really hard. If your business is split the way mine is, right, I have two sections. So I actually have to target audiences, depending if it’s a major company, or a smaller company, what kind of customer and I’ve looked at people that have come to me and they’ll say, this is a budget or this one might come for now. I know personally, I’ll say but you’re not really my target customers. So no, thank you. And I made choices like that where I’ve just yeah.
Now and we’ve talked about abs are not shared an article on a couple different Facebook groups the other day about psychographics
guys thought it was really good.
So yeah, and Sarah piece and wrote that assume Oh, and she you know, and I don’t know if I’d go with everything she said, but fantastic article, I didn’t like study it closely. But what I want to do is get to people’s mind, when we’re, when we’re doing an avatar and I like to use the word avatar, I actually did an article about this main WP A while back now use avatar, that’s key where people are the reach. And that’s what people understand. But when you do your avatar, don’t base it on demographics based on psychographics. Yes, so I don’t want to go into that in this thing. But psychographics has to do more with the attitudes and emotions and pain points and stuff like that, rather than what age someone is, or what gender or what, you know, ethnic because truth is you get a you know, you may be let’s take, I’m just gonna throw out Sarah Dunn, for example, is a does SEO for wedding photographers and wedding professionals in general, well hurt the demographics, that’s gonna be all over the map, but they’re all gonna have the same issues that Sara would choose to meet. So, you know, if you now I think if you’re a large b2c, then there may be some something to be said about demographics. Also, like I run a new site, it’s not really it’s more of a story, hopper local lifestyle blog in town, I do patients demographics to point because I want to know that, hey, we got actually have more men than ladies reading this site, which kind of surprises me we have more people at this age group? Because at some point, you know, advertisers sponsors not want to know about information. But as far as like, a B to B, or, you know, smaller scale business, and I think you really want to pay attention to the psychographics versus the demographics. No,
no question. I think, I think you’re absolutely right on the money I think you just got to do and I think a lot of it around customers is the more people miss the base, when are telling stories or writing, they don’t tell people the why the why you need something, there’s a really good book called, I’m just trying to remember to start with why. And it basically means tell the customer why they need somebody, right? Right to the customer, not all the fluff that we we do so for example, a story they use in the book is Creative Labs came out with the first mp3 player, and they said, Oh, we have an mp3 player that will hold five gigs of music, I think, something like that. Then Apple came out with the iPod and said, but I can give you 1000 songs, put it in your pocket, listen to for 16 hours. There’s the why. And that has to work in your copywriting quite frankly.
Yeah, that’s actually a difference between features and benefits. So the benefits taps into the psychographics really well but but it’s there’s nothing wrong with starting with the features. And so the first company you mentioned could have absolutely started with that. But But you know, two gigs or whatever this is, this will allow you to carry father song with you. And you don’t have to have a radio station, all you have to have is our little mp3 player, blah, blah. They didn’t say anything Apple did Apple, you know, they did it. They Apple’s been one of the best selling the benefits over the features for years. And so anybody can do that. And if you know as you know, sometimes we have trouble just figuring out what the benefits are. We’ll start with the features, what are your features and then then act take each particular feature and ask so what That’s a little trick that we’ve learned in the top right field. So what and keep doing that till you find the the why if you were to use the Why so? So we have a dynamic website made the WordPress Why is that important? Well, we have it so that you can update the website anytime you want. You know? So there’s the benefit of having a one benefit of having a WordPress website
out there’s many others that that’s another discussion for another day. So one of the things that you and I have talked about both on Facebook and offline and several things was recently you came up with this really amazing weeknight, which actually, I thought was really good. I think I’ve said that just several times on the better ones I’ve seen. How did you come up with that? What was it about just for people listening? And how,
about a month ago? Some guys, I ran into some guys, and they were aliens, they took me up their ship, and took me back to their planet. And they drilled into it No kidding. I had to have some kind of cool story tell you, right.
Yes. Your storytelling? Yeah.
You know, a while back, I had, I had this fleeting thought, you know, in fact, I had been I was doing websites like what was a great time for me to think about, you know, what are the different things I had to come up with in terms of content. And I thought this would be an excellent checklist ideal for developers who are trying to pull content from their from, from the customer who maybe they haven’t hired probably have it, most likely have higher thoughts rather. But and I can remember all the projects I’ve dealt with where it was a it was a pain, you know, and then you got tools out there, you know, James roses, got content snare, and a tool is a tool. And it’s only as good as the instructions you can give the client. So I had started listening and frankly, deleted, it somehow didn’t get into anything to say. And then it came back up a few weeks ago. And I had had to pull it out of my head what I’ve written down. And I showed it to I don’t know how and the college started some Calvin decent that he sees named Carl from the admin bar, he started to slow question about checklists or some kind I said, You know, I thought about doing a checklist for this. He goes, you do it and I’ll design it. Okay.
What he thought if he just made it as well, you know, checklists, you can always add, you can always find something, but
he said he designed he said, I just asked you to share it in the admin bar first. Sure, no problem. So, you know, it’s just little things that you maybe you hadn’t thought of. And it was because I was doing an actual project, it gave me the opportunity to sit inside and think about it a little bit. And you know, one thing that’s gotten more important than last year, because of the GDPR, that what they call
it the your idea of hand privacy is giving the mess from hell.
Exactly. But nevertheless, what that’s done is most companies are paying attention to privacy. And things I can remember when I was at the agency, we were working on a website. And so what about privacy and my supervisor? At the time, he said, Well, he said, we do that on e commerce site. So for selling something, don’t worry about it on on a regular site. Okay. Things have changed a little bit since then. Right? So now we’re thinking, even if we’re not required to do it, even if we don’t think we’re gonna have European customers, it’s just a good idea. Right? So now people are starting to have privacy, your terms or conditions are both in or whatever. So that’s one of the things I added to the checklist, because that is something that especially if you’re selling something, you know, and but WordPress is even built in its core, a way to generate that pretty easily, you know, if you’re, if it’s not complex, and so little things like that. One thing I noticed when I would do a project, even if we had a copywriter, you know, filling in the settings page on our WordPress site, you have the name of the company or the name of the website, you called it. And then you have a tagline here. And most people don’t fill that in most people.
I know. I think I put that in the checklist. I
sure hope I did. But that’s a little thing that we never even, you know, talk to our client about. Even when we had a member of our team to copywriting that was not done. I don’t know how many times I just made something up They didn’t have a tagline or anything like that I just made something up. Because and so you know, and really don’t leave that to some developer just making it up. You know, you want to have something there. And I saw a copywriters website the other day yesterday, maybe where it was, obviously she hadn’t anything in the tagline. And so, you know, that’s why I come up with a checklist. Also, when you do a page, you typically have a spot for the meta description. I’m not gonna worry so much about keywords. But the meta description is pretty important, because that’s what’s in the search, the search engine result, whatever that’s called the end.
Yeah, search engine result page. And so little things like that I added to that list, and also gave a little bit of a formula for building out homepage, a little bit of formula, building out your about page in there. And Kyle did designed did a great job, he did actually send it right over to me, and I had to throw up a landing page, which is pretty simple. And then
let’s talk about the landing page for a second isn’t, you know, it’s funny, because I see a lot of landing pages, I’ve taken landing page courses, I’ve designed landing pages. And I think one of the biggest things with landing pages people do is they have too much going on. And like the whole design of the landing page in your case is to get somebody to opt in to get that checklist. You don’t want to give people five options and say, do this, do this and do this, right.
So you have a couple different kinds of landing pages. With a with a lead magnet is very erotic, you’re just trying to do one thing. And so you don’t want to overcomplicate it. And I did add a little bit of pain down there. A little couple paragraphs and, and that’s all I did. As far as that goes, there is a there’s a great landing page course free, easy to go through by unbounce. I highly recommend going through it the copywriting section is actually written by joanna weed. So I go back to that a lot. And I’ve come up with stuff, you have a landing page that intends to sell something, well, you need more than what I put on the checklist. You need to have some stuff social proof is important. But this being a content checklist. And because I was trying to throw it up real quick, I decided to keep it pretty simple. I think, you know, I’ve asked myself what made this one so much more successful than any other lead magnet I’ve ever done. And I think in some ways, it’s the right. the right piece of content at the right time for the right people. But I had been in some of these Facebook groups building connections, maybe a little bit of credibility, the last two or three years. So it was kind of like, what if somebody nobody knew. So I got this checklist. Nobody care. But you know, here’s this guy that he gives out feedback about copywriting and content. And he’s been on the admin bar, and he’s been on the vendors. Test and I’ve been on you know, other stuff and people begin to know, a little bit of credibility. Okay, so talk with this as probably pretty good. Oh, and by the way Caldas on it. So it’s really good design. And, and well. And so all I can say is I think it’s just a perfect storm. Some of the other stuff I’ve had hasn’t done as well. But this one is, I haven’t. In fact, this page is not linked on any other page on the site. You can’t find it on the blog, you can’t find on the homepage or the about page, I just haven’t even had a chance to implement those pages. So everything I’ve gotten has been from social media on this and most of them from those Facebook groups. Because I’ve posted on Twitter and LinkedIn, I don’t know, maybe one or two people will probably have come from those places. But the vast majority of it come from the admin bar or the industry. I don’t know how many places I’ve shared, honestly. But I’m pretty sure most of those come from those two groups. And so it’s just a matter of the right people the right time for the right piece of content. I also but I think building the relationship over the last couple of years people even if they don’t know me personally, but know about me, I think that is probably the magic sauce on this particular lead man.
No, no question. I think marketing as a whole is all about conversations and relationships and people say All you can just mark it, I think where you do the best, personally is the conversations you have in relationships you have. And I looked at, you know, even the people I work with, and frankly, at the end of the day, some of these are three, four or five year relationships, and it’s just being known, being helpful. Because you’re, you’re quite helpful with suggestions. I know. Depending on what I’m working on in several Facebook groups, I tend to throw my two cents in as much around just to help people. And there’s no real motive except trying to help people solve their problem. And
we’re all in it together.
Yeah. Yeah. And I and I mean, you can, there’s number of ways you can go, you know, and you and you just got to keep going at it. I mean, it’s just a way of marketing. What tip would you give somebody if they wanted to build a weeknight? Real easy suggestion for having been through the process?
I mean, the lead bet itself needs to look good. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. And you can get a designer, you might have a friend or, or somebody who can help you with domain. I mean, cow, I don’t, I’m sure that I’ll help Calvin Rhodes, or something, or maybe already have he just offered do they finally get called it probably would have gotten better do it. Because they’re better than me. But I would use Canva. If it was me, now, the whole 3d, I’ve always struggled with that the 3d cover image thing that they do. I’ve always struggled with that. But and I’ve always either use something online, or the vendor or counsel may set it for me. But I think the biggest thing about a lead magnet, there’s a couple things I’d say. When you know your audience, you know who they are. And you know what your pain points are, you know, what can what can help them now, you may try five or 10 things that can help them but may not be the right thing. I’ve put out a lot of lead magnets over the years, I get home a simpler about page thing, I’ve got several, and I’m probably gonna go back and build a page for all of them, where you can download, because then, you know, put them put them all together, because I kind of scattered. But um, I would say, when you have an idea of something that could help me It could be a content upgrade, because we’ll have a blog post, yep. Build a lead magnet. And, you know, automate, you know, when I say automate, you know, use an opt in form, use the one by the guys that asked her I can’t think what’s called on now, but sumos, good. OptinMonster, whatever you want to use, something like that will allow you to do deliverability you can deliver with whatever email software you use, I’m using MailChimp, pretty easy to do with MailChimp. So none of that is, you know, I don’t make it complicated. For one because you’re giving it away, right? Nothing wrong with giving really good content for free, but don’t make the process complicated. So you have tools at your disposal, many of them for free, or are pretty inexpensive price. I mean, Sumo, you can install for free. You know, so OptinMonster is free. But as long as you’re connected to your email software, but make sure it’s professionally designed. Keep trying something that meets a need for your audience. One of them will probably work again on the backside of it has nothing to do the actual lead magnet is building that relationship. Right. So whether your general LinkedIn or Facebook group or a Slack channel or whatever, building that relationship over a period of time offering that help, you know, it’s a Kim has a Kindle, our favorite, favorite, favorite California girl. She has a saying about content that it builds. What does she call that? I want to say equity but content is your building. Compound interest, I think and when you’re helping people in these groups, you’re building compound interest interest whether whether you’re doing a podcast like you do, or a facebook live like you do at times, or helping somebody in a Facebook group or I see people I’ve seen James boas from Oklahoma do this. Like somebody had a question about how to do something I fired up my loom and made a tutorial real quick.
That a lot,
actually, that is compound interest for a while. And then on the backside of that I just put out this lead man, well, this is the guy who fired up loom and showed me how to do something, I’m gonna pay attention to what he said, this is the guy who, who had me on his podcast, I’m gonna listen to what he had said, this is the person I’m saying, guy, a lot of
guy. It’s a generic term. But I agree. I mean, I’ve walked into, and I walked into a networking event in Toronto last week. And I’ve told the story a couple times, and somebody said to me, who I didn’t know, I know you from somewhere? Well, and they said, Oh, yeah, you do you do Facebook Lives on a regular basis on your Facebook page. That’s where I know you from. And so it’s about getting known. It’s about being helpful. I mean, what do you do a lead magnet that solves a problem? What do you do what I do, I like to jump on Facebook and throw a tip out there every couple of days and say, here’s how we help your business. Here’s how you look after your health, here’s how you do something, you become known for that.
Yeah. And then when you put out something really valuable that somebody can tap into, I saw that when you when you put out something real valuable that somebody can tap into whether it’s a course like Jim has done or the vendor, or more whoever, Brendon man, you know, you’ve built a compound interest or compound. Whatever the compound interest, only thing I can think of
right now, but it’s a great, it’s
a great word. I
mean, what I get a lot is because I don’t offer a course right now is people come to me and say you’ve shown up five great tips. I understand it. I don’t have time to do it. Just do it for me here. Yeah, well, there you go. And that and that works, too. And I and everybody thinks if you actually take the public, they will not by don’t do it themselves. Well, guess what, folks? If you’re a small business owner, I have a couple philosophies. One is, if you’re not good at doing it, pay somebody to do it. If you don’t like doing it, pay somebody to do it. If it takes you too much time to pay somebody do it and concentrate on what makes you money.
Yeah, there’s a couple kinds of people, right, you have two people who can afford and will use someone to do it. Because they can’t do it. It’s not in your wheelhouse, whatever, he has a do it yourselfer. And, and that’s fine. I mean, I spent a lot of my business being a do it yourselfer, because I didn’t have money to pay somebody to do it. But in some of those people won’t help you, you won’t come back, but some of them will, you know, they can either their business might grow, they may need you or they may have a connection, you can use your services, you know, it never returns void. Right. So, it’s
so true. And I mean, that’s the other value. When business owners like yourself and myself get involved in our communities, we do stuff, we get out to events. I mean, one of the one of the things I’m most proud of over the years, I’ve done this, I’m involved with Toronto Police in a number of initiatives. And one of them is what’s called the Ontario police Memorial. And what we do, the first Sunday of May is we honor all fallen officers in the previous year in Ontario at the memorial wall. And we’ve been live streaming that event for I guess we’re going on about 12 years of live streaming and we’ve been through it all, Google Hangouts, this that the other thing, we now have a professional team that does the live stream, which is nice, it takes me out of it and I can concentrate with the people I work with on doing the social media for the event and not being a jack of all trades. But then on the other hand, I love the live streaming aspect of it and it’s just a way to grow and make contacts and meet people and and so on. And by the way, you know live streaming anybody wants to learn this list and follow our good friend Ross brand he’s another guy is invaluable in my life right
now. Ross is fantastic. He’s got the the best voice for live streaming that there is. I run a taco local lifestyle blog. town and so it does require me to be involved in community like what you’re saying and in different ways. And yeah, already somebody. I know you, aren’t you, Todd Jones. I’ll be like, it depends on what you think about Todd Jones. You like him then? Yeah, that’s me if you don’t like the other guy. But yeah, you tend to get people to know who you are from what you do. I’ve tried not to be front and center for Conway saying, I’ve tried to let the brand be front and center and, and the people be front and center. But inevitably people you know, they meet me and learn about comedy scene and that’s part of how you make that grow to the outside of the putting a bunch of money into it. You don’t The only other way to do is organically is to go out and meet people. So I went to an event the other night met a lot of people probably earned some more, you know, viewers. So, anyway,
there we go. Anybody that doesn’t know, Todd Scott Katz and I have three dogs that just seem to invade every time I do a podcast. So sorry, folks, that’s just the way it goes in this house, you know. But yeah, I would agree with you. Being involved in your local community is
really important. It’s something
I’ve prided myself on for years, I’ve been very active in the city of Toronto, and I thank you, to you the lifestyle block. I think it’s really
yeah, I think, for tech, especially tech, entrepreneurs, the people who run web, build businesses and that kind of thing, I would like to see more of them to get into doing hyperlocal sites because I think for one, I think in the future, very near future, we’re gonna, those are gonna become sources of news. As, as we see, newspapers close up shop, unfortunately, but so I follow a guy in Frisco, Texas named Scott Ellis, he’s a Genesis developer, just a good guy. When I got started, I he helped me out of bodies, Genesis theme to get started and mana a model lock lot of what comes after what they do, and not to the point that he is, he is a he also does podcasts and videos, because he his wife do that fantastic job. And Frisco is one of the fastest growing seasons country. And there’s a lot of stuff and you know, if I could be a fourth of what lifestyle Frisco is, I would not be thrilled. But we have seen a tick and in emails, and that’s kind of the currency of choice for me. About this time last year, we’re around 30. on our list in our sent, we sent out 307 emails yesterday for the email list. So that’s pretty good growth. Sometimes you think, boy, we’re just not growing that fast. And then you look and go, Wow, 10 times in about a year. I can live with that. So yeah, I don’t know that I’ll have 10 times the next year. But maybe so I’m trying to work on a campaign now. So that will grow the list. And I just keep doing it. And we sign up somebody almost every week, or every other week anyway, and just trying to get people on the list. And you start I’m starting to get to the point, we’re starting to get to the point where businesses are taking notice. And they want to be involved. And and that’s when you can start thinking about maybe getting sponsorships or something like that to begin bankrolling some stuff, where I’m not spending all the money. Right now, guess what? You will pay something to people for writing articles. But anyway, I’ve got this young lady who helps me, we have a lot one of the largest universities in town, and she does a fantastic job, we put together a ultimate guide of events each month and job with that takes a lot of pressure off me. And she also helps with pretty much spirits to Thursday, you know, so it’s been a really cool partnership. I’m just thrilled that she I don’t know how long she’ll stay with me. But she’s been there part of that for since October and September, really, and just exciting and like to bring on some more people. Anyway, it’s a good thing to do. And I think anybody who’s in this kind of line of work worrying, I think Jason Vance is doing some of that as well.
I know. If I try and do some of that I put some dates where I give my time. And I just think it’s really important to give back and be part of it and be involved. And, you know, I’ve taken the approach. I used to sit on a lot of community boards, and now I’ve taken the approach I’m so busy that I’d rather just do behind the scenes work. I don’t want to make decisions anymore. I don’t want to be the guy that say yes or no, I’ve been on I’ve had all kinds of roles and their druthers. I basically say somebody wants to help and you know, I’ll do a couple of years where I’ll say, okay, beyond some regular ones I do, I’ll say I’d be glad to give you some help for you know, some important causes. And I think the only thing I really insist on is my gogo being down on the bottom somewhere. And that’s that’s about it. As we talk business, and we both run online businesses, what is some besides WordPress, because everybody says WordPress during this space, what are some of your favorite tools they use to run your business Well,
I think about one that’s pretty indispensable for me currently. And that’s wave apps. I’ve used that to do my invoicing for several years now, not being someone who uses the the big names and so forth and never got into that and I’m not a very good accountant Actually, I’m a terrible accountant but but it does allow me to do the invoicing and at least keep track of what I’m doing which is helpful I still you know, I’ll use the numbers to help me file my taxes in April every year but it does track it keeps up with it. I mean, it’s hard to argue with it doesn’t cost me anything. And they’ve been they have been pretty responsive pretty much whenever I’ve had an issue so that’s that’s one obviously I use WordPress when I started realizing I need to build themes or build landing pages for myself or clients or whatever I decided I don’t really build them anymore I’ll build for myself but am I building for a client unless you know I like the guy or the person real well but I got really into Beaver Builder and I was using lead pages at the time which is the good product is a SAS it’s a they didn’t even do a really good job of the integrate to your WordPress site but it is a 30 bucks a month or whatever price is and even with paying the year the license term Beaver Builder you’re saving money and so I want to be your builder and then I started to use an Astra to work with that which is a theme that’s allowing you
to really great theme for Beaver Builder and for
Elementor how I was gonna say and
Yeah, so Sue Shea Anam they they built that they’re really forward thinking when they built that added article, a q&a article with him last year, but they built it specifically to work with page builders, I saw what was going to happen. did a fantastic job getting in on that. And so now you know what you see. I see a lot of people use an Astra or generatepress or ocean WP, which is great. All those are fantastic for starter themes. They all have premium features and, and work really well with page builders and made and when Gutenberg has come along, and I think we’ve yet to see what you can do Gutenberg on our blog posts. That’s the thing that I’m excited about. I hadn’t had a chance to really do anything with it yet. And I’m seriously wondering if I needed to take Joker bosses or course on learning Gutenberg, because it might help me out a lot. But anyway, it’s uh, those are that’s kind of my stacking siteground for my hosting. All that works pretty well. MailChimp for my mailing, for writing, you know, you asked me in your free show questions about tools. And by the way on the resources, I have a page or I have a blog post a copy slide about if you’re interested in getting started some places to go but they’re not really I look back over that yesterday and it’s it’s good, but not specific on some stuff. So I may go back and do a tool page like the vendor setting up he’s
actually done a really good job. I would I was gonna write a couple tool pages and I made a decision I’m just gonna wait two years. I’m done. Right there. Yeah,
well, he I got some stuff that I think that and he’s encouraged me to so I think I probably will. But I’m the tools I’m writing. I pretty much use Google Docs. For everything I was using air story. They sunset that unfortunately, the copy Augustine did that was a really good. Actually, Brendan even talked about it, liking it, the researcher is supposed to still be around although last time I tried to use it didn’t work, right. So I don’t know, if that’s not working. It’s a it’s a Chrome extension if it if it is working, right. That’s a fantastic little tool because you can snip quote, or make a note and stick it right into your document and it was really cool but so basically use Google documents to write my articles and I will use a model window so I use notepad for distraction free writing. So whenever I’m writing a block of the article or text under a point A lot of times I’ll go to the notepad and write that it keeps the temptation to bold or italicize or anything like that away from me because it didn’t have that those things in there. Now might put a little block and say like this is a quote or whatever for myself but you know, I don’t have I can’t bold or italicized or doing deductions or something like that. I do all that formatting after I’ve dropped it into good Drive and then do more formatting
maybe different when are dropping in the WordPress that’s why I need to do a good article where I can use Gutenberg more thoroughly. I look forward to trying to do that. I haven’t done it yet. So and then Grammarly use that a lot to
go after I’m really
yeah grammerly The thing about Grammarly, is it while you are grammatically accurate, sometimes what you want to do copywriting is actually break the rules. Yeah, so you just have to ignore Grammarly. Another tool, especially when I’m doing web copy for pages is a hummingbird app. Yes, honey, Hibbing Hemingway app. Hummingbird Hemingway app is a good app to use, especially your to make sure that you’re not talking too complex. So, you know, I don’t know. And I use Canva for a lot of images. I use pixels for a lot of stock free photos, royalty free, whatever. So that’s pretty much what I live off right now.
So yeah, that’s a that’s a really good toolbox. I mean, I think, I think as I say, and probably heard me say is find the tools that works for you, I use many of those as well. Get to know them well, and then just kind of build off that. I mean, everybody’s a little different. I’m not a I’m not a big fan of tool fights, as I call them are to Coke and Pepsi battle, right? Like, just get used to the tools, work them really well. And, and, and do a good job.
I do. I’m starting to get better at building checklists for things in Google spreadsheet. And that’s becoming important. Like I was working, I am working on a website copy review for someone right now. And in and beta as the first one. I’ve kind of had to develop my process as I go. And one of the things I’ve done is build a checklist that I can use, and I’m still getting there. But those are things that and I’ve seen other copywriters do things you know, we talked about Joe flex a little bit, and Joel’s got some spreadsheets, tough stuff for customer voice of customer research that I’m trying to get better at. So there you know, but Google’s the bomb, Google Documents is the bomb, just hard to beat.
I kinda I kind of work in combination of office 365. And Google Docs, depending on what I’m doing. The rule of thumb for me is if something is shared with a client, it’s almost always a Google Doc. If not, it’s probably almost always an office Doc, with some exceptions. But I would agree with you like the Google ecosystem, despite all the privacy issues, and everything else, is still probably the easiest ecosystem to manage for emails, email hosting for all kinds of stuff.
I love Trello.
I don’t do a whole lot of project management. But that’s pretty much where I do it from.
man, when they actually like, because I am a list maker, I can open my my notepad and build a list of things I want to do in this project, copy and paste it into Trello. Either do cards, yes, I’m actually build the cards, or you can go into one card and use the checklist feature. All you got to do is copy and paste it and it just populates. It’s so cool.
I actually run all my projects with three Trello boards to Yeah, you do in progress and done. And literally, and I just move stuff across and it says stuff. And I put notes in it and say especially, you know one thing we all lose sight of his or her own business development, right? We’re so busy chasing clients, we’re so busy dealing with customers calls things like what we’re doing now. And then at the end of the day, it’s what were those five things I was going to do to improve my website, what was the three things I was going to do to improve my video, I put all that stuff in Trello. And to me for managing projects. Trello is my godsend, and I keep it simple. I come from a project management background. I have never found a project management tool that I like, especially not Microsoft Project, it’s not happening. I mean, and I just think Trello is it’s either Trello or Asana who and Asana and our own struggles. So it’s, it’s choose one of the two as far as I’m concerned. But
yeah, I mean, the top is up playbuzz Asana I really liked it as well very similar and, you know, just a little bit more complex, a little bit more robust. But, I mean, but yeah, I plan my like main WP I’m doing the two blog posts a week form which is awesome. lot, but that’s how I keep up with it. I mean, sometimes it gets a little behind, but I’ve got, you know, I can, I can at least at least I can put topics in there and look forward to okay. This is what I’m thinking about for this particular post. So, yeah Trello is challenges works for me. So me too,
and you know, I had to I had actually given up on it for a long time. Until I’ll go back there to our friend Kim Doyle did a video about I guess it’s got to be four or five months ago now. She was playing with with Trello and I said why am I not looking at this again? And you know,
I watched the Joanna we’d Plan A autoresponder series using Trello. Yeah. Do you believe that so you can do anything thread Trello can they you know, it automatically connects with Google Drive, you can drop a Google Drive link in there and, and they have extensions that are if you want to pay for on the Amiga, you can do pretty much anything you want. in there, for sure. So true.
So they’re taught to spin great. If somebody wants to get ahold do want to talk about copywriting wants to hire you how’s the best way to get ahold via your website? And these questions?
Coffee flight.com is the website. You can email me at Todd at coffee flight.com. I’m on Twitter a lot. And t Jones have had that for 10 years or whatever. And Facebook, I think Totti Jones dotnet is the thing or ever I have both a Tati Jones Facebook page and a copy flat Facebook page. And and I’m in and most of the big Facebook groups for WordPress people. So some are more active than others. I’m, I’m active in Kim’s group, defenders group, the admin bar,
neutral ones. Yeah,
those groups are pretty much my favorite ones, I have one to call them commenters. I haven’t really talked much about that. I think the commenters Are you know, there’s a stereotype of what the entrepreneur is, you know, and I think Hollywood is perpetuated that. And you and I know that most entrepreneurs are not like that, you know, some wanted to be out there, some didn’t. But a lot everybody would trust fund babies that have money to start with most and you know, I think about when I was a kid that the guy ran the garage down the street, off near the barber was an entrepreneur, the electrician, the plumber, you know, it is it’s kind of a funny thing, that they’re uncommon entrepreneurs, but really, we know they are actually the common entrepreneurs, but but I’m still trying to figure out what that means to be an uncommon or but I think that most of us are and so we just go in there and I’ll share some face, I’ll share some content coffee stuff, and and we’d have fun. And you know, I probably should do more with it. But I’m actually amazed that we’re a little over 100 people. We got a few in the last few weeks when people sign up for the email list and, and so I probably don’t do as good of a job with that as as I could. But I feel like I’m building a job and in My turn is something different down the road. But
anyway, that’s your Barton. Thanks. Thanks a lot for joining me and you have a wonderful day, sir. Thank you,
man. Have a good one.
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