Gene Lewis Podcast
[00:00:00] Gene: So, you know, worked in the, uh, you know, food industry, light desert industry live. There'll be four or five of us sitting around a table in an r and d lab tasting product.
[00:00:08] I really like that. Okay, let's go with it. Well, how much of that you, Joe, are you going to actually buy? Mm. Hardly any. So we're taking your opinion in evaluation and projecting that onto the market. So it's just kind like what you said. Yeah. A lot of times a business owner, they have extreme expertise in their area, so they tend to view their audience like they view their product or service, which you've really gotta flip that around.
[00:00:37] How, what problem does that audience you're going after have that you can then position your product or service to. Yeah, but you nailed it so much of time. I have all this knowledge and expertise. I just need to tell these people about it and then they'll do business with me. But it's, it's just not the way it works
[00:00:57] Mickey: at all./
[00:00:58] Most business owners and entrepreneurs are secretly sick of hustling, and if you are too, you're in the right place. Welcome to the Hustle Less Profit More podcast with me, Mickey Anderson, where we're revolutionizing success because you should have it all. Business success lasting. Freedom and fulfillment.
[00:01:22] Join me on this quest to uncover the keys to defining and achieving success on our terms so we can all hustle less and profit more.
[00:01:32] Mickey: /
[00:01:32] one of the things we hear all the time about growing a business, You need to do email marketing. You need to do social media marketing, you need to do video marketing. You need an email list. And we're given all of these tactics and pieces to marketing without an overall strategy.
[00:01:49] And Gene, I know you and I vibe so much on building that foundational strategy for a business before digging into the little platforms and pieces.
[00:01:59] Gene: I, I cut my teeth. I kind of grew up in the consumer packaged goods industry. Consumer package goods are the things you go into a supermarket or store or something, that's what you see advertising on. That's the consumer package. and that world is grow or die. If you are not growing a business in that world, they will bring a new group in there to grow that business.
[00:02:21] Absolutely grow or die. So you learn very quickly in there that you need to learn how to think strategically. And strategy is nothing more than choice. And when you're in the marketing world, that's around what customers am I going to go after? What value am I gonna provide? Where am I going to show up?
[00:02:44] Where do they show up in terms of media they consume? So these are all just things you're thinking through. So you can build a plan that will then go be successful. And that sounds a very simplistic overview of it. You really have to deep dive into all those, but you learn very quickly. You better understand those things before you leap into advertising sales funnel marketing type.
[00:03:10] Because they're gonna be very inefficient and not effective, and you also have in that world budget responsibility. So if I am not delivering what I'm supposed to do within that budget, again, it's a very unpleasant work environment. So it was really, you know, out of necessity to learn how to think strategically before leaping into action that may or may not work.
[00:03:32] Mickey: Yeah, you. Especially in the small business world, we hear, uh, a lot of people will create a product or a service and then try and find a market to sell it to. Yes. But I love that you talked about understanding your audience and delivering value first before creating and refining a product.
[00:03:50] Gene: Yeah. There's a term, you know, I've got a little gray on the temple, so it's interesting. Terminology has changed over the 30 years or so. I've been in the marketing world, we just used to call it deep dive on our target audience. Now it's terms like buyer persona, customer avatars, all these terms. But it's the same thing.
[00:04:07] So a lot of times when you're dealing with a small business owner, they'll say one of two things, My product or service really can fit almost everyone. Big red flag immediately there. Because even if that's basically true, if you're talking to almost everyone, you're talking to, no one.
[00:04:22] Cause they're just not. And then the other thing is they'll have just kind of a brief description. I'm a landscape company, so we go toward more, rural neighborhoods. That's good. But in both of those senses, as much detail as you can dig down into lifestyles, attitudes, media, they consume, things they may talk about, people who influence.
[00:04:46] The deeper you can go on there starts to really be fascinating for really how it starts shaping how you can talk about them. Let me give you a quick example. Uh, I was mentioning to you in another conversation, I was working with a gentleman who has a line of fitness summit and he has on his website for the everyday.
[00:05:07] The more we started going through his messaging and his. He said a lot about how people are intimidated by supplements. They don't have the knowledge. They're kind of scared if they go into a real power gym to ask anybody. The more he talks, he's really positioned himself around the average fitness minded individual.
[00:05:27] Not really someone who sees meself is necessarily an athlete, but just that right there. Digging deeper into attitudes, mindset. Of your target can really have a dramatic effect on how you talk to them. And then again, where you show up. So now where's my social media efforts gonna be? Where's my email efforts gonna be?
[00:05:51] What's my content gonna be just based on seemingly, a subtle difference like that can make a big difference. So as much as you can possibly know about that buy or target, the better off.
[00:06:02] Mickey: You and I both have a history in, in the fitness world as fellow CrossFitters. And one of something that you mentioned there was the gentleman said the everyday athlete, and I've seen this a lot in the fitness industry, specifically where the ideology or beliefs of the business owner that everyone should be able to be an athlete.
[00:06:22] You know, their philosophical beliefs end up in their marketing and there's a disconnect between their. Their knowledge and the actual experience and beliefs of the audience. And so I, I'd love to talk a little bit more about that, about how we can find a balance between the business owner's beliefs and philosophies and reason why they're in business, but matching that with what the audience actually needs to.
[00:06:50] Gene: That's you, you just nailed it. And as a class example, I can go back to my consumer package. Good days. And you would be surprised at some of the multimillion dollar decisions that get made with zero data. So, you know, worked in the, uh, you know, food industry, light desert industry live. There'll be four or five of us sitting around a table in an r and d lab tasting product.
[00:07:10] I really like that. Okay, let's go with it. Well, how much of that you, Joe, are you going to actually buy? Mm. Hardly any. So we're taking your opinion in evaluation and projecting that onto the market. So it's just kind like what you said. Yeah. A lot of times a business owner, they have extreme expertise in their area, so they tend to view their audience like they view their product or service, which you've really gotta flip that around.
[00:07:39] How, what problem does that audience you're going after have that you can then position your product or service to. Yeah, but you nailed it so much of time. I have all this knowledge and expertise. I just need to tell these people about it and then they'll do business with me. But it's, it's just not the way it works
[00:07:59] Mickey: at all.
[00:07:59] So yeah, it's the curse of knowledge, right?
[00:08:02] Gene: of knowledge and the great in the fitness industry, you know, I'm a fire breather. I'm all into this, so these people are gonna be attracted to it. And just the opposite happens. A lot of tell you, I'm 10 by it, put off by it. I don't want to be part of that. I'm looking for something more inclusive.
[00:08:16] Mm-hmm. . And that's, Terminology we used with the gentleman with the supplement line is, you know, the average fitness minded individual that's more inclusive than those who are seeing themselves with an athlete and trying to improve their athleticism. And again, how that very tactically comes to light is he wanted to be for this everyday fitness minded person is really in this struggle.
[00:08:38] But in his website, had pictures of very buff, very in shape, very athletic looking. So you got a huge disconnect there between what you want your messaging be and then how it's showing up and how you're showing up.
[00:08:51] Mickey: Yeah. It's a fine balance between highlighting that, um, aspirational identity of your client, where they envision or would love to be, versus what's actually gonna influence to them to buy, how much of it they need to hear and see, and how much they need to.
[00:09:07] With the message, and I think this is a great segue because you as a messaging expert, work within a very specific framework. We're both really familiar with the story brand framework, and so I'd love to dig in a little bit more about how we can use the simple story framework to influence the way that we market.
[00:09:26] Gene: Yeah. And the thing that was great about StoryBrand, and I always tell people, you know, I came to that framework and philosophy after 20 plus years in marketing, as the other person said, with really sparkly, you know, high end type marketing. Uh, and so I knew how to do messaging, but this was just so transformative for me.
[00:09:47] Cause of the way it starts to get you to think. Your customer first, and then that leads right into, you know, StoryBrand starts with the hero, as you know. So now let me go learn all I can about that hero, even before I necessarily start down the path of the framework, doing a detailed, really detailed buyer persona or customer avatar.
[00:10:08] Let me learn all I can about them, and then what their problems are. Really, really talk about their problem and what they want and how that problem is keeping them from getting what they. And then as you know, that right there is starting to enter them into a story. And you can see it with advertising that you yourself consume or someone, there can be just a blanket of noise and then you hear something and you hear it through that noise because it's talking directly to you.
[00:10:38] It's talking about a problem you have is talking about it, understands what you want. Then it gets your attention. You can always use the terminology to lean in cuz they just invited you kind of to the story that's about. I want the story to be about me. You're great. I love you, but I want the story to be about me
[00:10:54] So that's, you know, that's what our consumers are. They want the story to be about them. So when we make the story about them, then they start paying attention. And I know you've seen the data, It's anywhere between five and 10,000 messages. We're exposed to every, So people who think, you know, I can just start talking about my product or service and grow my.
[00:11:16] now you've gotta break through that noise. You've gotta break through that clutter and storytelling is an extremely effective device for you.
[00:11:24] Mickey: Yeah, and the one thing I love, especially about the beginning of the framework, the problem identification, is it's kind of a filter that you can put your products and services through to say, does this actually solve their problem?
[00:11:37] If no, I have a product or service issue that I need to. Things need to change, but if it does actually solve the problem, okay, now I can move forward in the story and start to show them what life will look like after that transformation.
[00:11:53] Gene: Miss. That's the only reason the word you use that really anyone ever engages with you is they're looking for a transformative outcome.
[00:12:01] Email on simple things, toothpaste, you're looking for why you want that transformation. Uh, so that's very key. And it, it's also interesting to people who always, you just wanna talk about themselves. Themselves. And once you start nailing, do you solve this problem and just say yes, then really say it. Well, I'm not sure.
[00:12:19] Well, do you solve it? Yeah. Then say, Don't be bashful then if you really solve that problem, it can help them get what they want. You in the story brand vernacular. You're now, you can be their guy. So be bold about that when you're sure you did that, when you're sure you can solve that problem that you know they have cuz you did your fire for song.
[00:12:39] Mickey: Yeah. I don't know if you've ever been in a sales situation like this where the salesperson, uh, you could tell they were nervous and unsure and insecure. Yes. And that immediately, like as a consumer, you feel that you're like, This person doesn't know if they can help me, I'm not going to buy from them.
[00:12:55] And that absolutely comes through in your messaging too. If you're not confident, , that you can solve this person's problem.
[00:13:02] Gene: But yeah. Yeah. I don't, I don't wanna just say that, but why? I mean, if you can step out there and own it and I've had people, you know, I'm going through it with 'em. That sounds so just arrogant.
[00:13:13] You know? Not if you really can. Not. If you really can. Cuz that's what they're looking for. Just to your point. If you're kind of hemming him quite about it, then I may look elsewhere for, But you know, to that point though, if you, you better than follow through customer. With solving that problem and making sure you provide that transformation for them.
[00:13:32] If not, it's a one and done customer and you want.
[00:13:35] Mickey: Yeah. Well, one of the things I love about the framework that you work within is you talked about arrogance versus confidence. And I think in the messaging framework of StoryBrand, they give you a great way to make sure that you don't come off arrogant, but you come off confident in the way that you present yourself as the guide.
[00:13:50] And so there's two parts to, to presenting yourself, the business as the guide to your consumer. Do you wanna talk a little bit about those two?
[00:13:58] Gene: Sure. Yeah, that's a great point. Um, the one that really can resonate with people, I have an aerospace client I work with of all things aerospace, know nothing about the industry, you know, and a hundred percent left brain type industry.
[00:14:14] And through the conversations with this client, he's becoming to understand more and more that even in that industry, they're making emotional decisions. Most decisions we make on product services are. West and where you can really help be, make an emotional connection is empathy. Mm. That's the characteristic of a guide is when they can express sincere empathy.
[00:14:38] Either they themselves have gone through this journey or they've worked with others and help them that have gone through that journey so they understand empathy. I can feel what you feel. Sympathy. I can help you. I underst. Now when you can do that, it, it raises the level of, you know, that word sincerity when you're talking to that person because they can identify with me.
[00:15:03] You've been where I've been, you understand what I'm going through as well. So now I start to develop a little bit of trust. I, I know you, you're, you've talked about my problems and what I want, kind of understand me. So I'm starting to like you. Empathy really starts them to help to trust. First kind of three steps of that customer journey, then you put the authority on top of there.
[00:15:28] Well, what's the proof I have that I can really start to trust you? That you can do what you say you're gonna do? Yeah. When you combine those two things, empathy and then authority, the actual physical proof that you can do it, you start really positioning your brand as the guide that can help them solve the problem and get what they want.
[00:15:45] But that empathy's a really key element of that. Cause most decisions we make, even though we, we claim. Are not rational decisions to the degree that they're emotional decisions with a rational component to 'em. We, we tend to be emotional beings and make emotional decisions.
[00:16:01] Mickey: Yeah. Well that's the thing about humans, and that's the thing about marketing, really, we, I, I say it all the time, uh, marketing is human to human communication, right?
[00:16:09] There's a medium, of course, but, but it's human. As humans, like, we can't turn off the.
[00:16:17] They influence us regardless. And that's typically the first filter that we go through when we're making decisions is an emotional filter. And then we start to rationalize and make decisions based off data and analytics. But it's always emotion first. Now, one of the things I love about working through the authority part, aside from obviously being able to demonstrate your and position you in the market as an authority figure, is for many business owners who start off feeling insecure and they don't wanna be pushy, once you identify the pieces, Information that give them authority.
[00:16:48] You nail down why what they do works or how they've done it time after time, they get a lot more confident talking about how they can solve people's problems. And I, I love that. But once, once we've positioned the business owner as the guide, what's the next step? How do we get the consumer to begin to consider and take.
[00:17:08] Gene: Yeah, and this is one of my favorite parts of the working through this framework is wanna give 'em a plan. And it's amazing sometimes the struggle, you know, in getting someone to think through how to give 'em a plan and why you need to give them plan. But you've now positioned yourself as the guide, so you have to lead them.
[00:17:28] And I'm gonna lead you by showing you a simple three to four step plan for how you can engage so that you say, Oh, now I've got. It's, I know like, and trust. Now I'm getting ready to try because you're showing me the path to solve my problem and get what I want. So that's where the next step is, like that three step, three step or four step plan.
[00:17:51] And I always use real estate as an example. How many steps are there in buying a home? And there's 50 to 60 steps you gotta go through and you're all intimidated, but you've come to know and like, and starting to trust the specific realtor. And then they give you say, you know, the next thing we're gonna do is we're gonna look at the MLS listings and narrow down, use some uh, properties you like.
[00:18:13] Then we are going to book some showings. Then we're gonna purchase the right one and get you on your dream. If this boom boom, you know, my business is, we're gonna have a discovery call and talk about your problems and issues you have with your business. We're gonna develop a customized marketing plan that's gonna work for.
[00:18:33] Then we're going to implement that and get the leads and conversions You need to pick the business you wants, so you get the, Yeah.
[00:18:42] Mickey: The thing I love about that is because, as you mentioned, there are so many steps to most things. And when we have, the business owner has the curse of knowledge. We know all the steps there are.
[00:18:53] Sometimes we think it's important to tell the customer all of the steps they need to be informed, but that's actually wrong because we're just overwhelming them with information they don't need to know. As long as we know the steps, they just need to know the general direction upon which they're going and what the outcome's.
[00:19:11] Gene: Yeah. And when we start getting into a lot of detail on steps, the plans, they've become a little bit confused or intimidated. Mm-hmm. or this is gonna be a lot harder than I thought and they start getting nervous and potentially back out of the process with you. And you know, this may be coming across as this big complex thing, but you can just see it in messaging.
[00:19:30] And on the three to four step plan is literally something you can take and put on your website. You can put it in social media again, just to kind of lead that. Because you position yourself as the guide and you have the expertise to help them to get what they want. And it, it can be very, very powerful.
[00:19:47] It's one of the favorite things I like walking through, cuz a lot of times people haven't really thought about that. They, they think that the outcome they're looking for, the conversion action to use the digital marketing term is, Well, really you want that first step in the plan. That's what you wanna do.
[00:20:02] Cuz now I've got them engaging with me. I can demonstrate my expertise, give them this second and third step. So when I start thinking about my marketing and communication, I, I really need to get that action, that first step of the plan, get them to do that. Cause that's generally the call to action as well.
[00:20:19] Then I can move them up the ladder to final sale and getting what I want. Then a repeat, you know, Then ultimately an advocate. Fan, you kind of, you know, I gotta get the sale. I gotta get the sale. I know you want the first step in the plant. That's really what you want your marketing communication to be focusing on.
[00:20:36] Mickey: Yeah. Don't jump the gun, don't, we don't propose on the first date. Yeah, exactly. So we've given them the plan. We've told them what the next step is. There's more to this though. It doesn't end there. What's, what's the next step in this? .
[00:20:53] Gene: Yeah. The next step is that call to action. So just directly call to action.
[00:20:57] Most, a lot of times that is the first step of the plan. Book a conversation. I worked with a, uh, individual who had an in-home helper type business where they were doing senior daycare and what have you. You know, it was book a listening section. We just want to talk to you are, fill out this assessment, you know, that that's really what you want to call 'em to action to do and be bold in the call to action.
[00:21:20] What do you really want them to? I always ask people on our website, What do you want visitors who come to that website to do? What do you want 'em to do? And that's, you know, a lot of times be your call to action. Mm-hmm. . And then the other thing we want to do there is, let's say I come to your website or I've seen you on social media, I kind of like where you're going, but I'm not ready to engage.
[00:21:39] We wanna provide them something of value so that we can start in a relationship with them. We call that in the Story RAM Act or the transitional call to action, but it is an asset that we can give someone of real. In exchange for contact information, uh, you go back through this exercise and you've listed all these problems.
[00:21:59] They have Find one in there that you can solve for free through a download of some kind of asset. It can be a PDF download, it can be video series. There's all kind of different ways it can manifest and stuff, so that there again, again, it starts helping you build that trust so that when they are ready to buy, you're gonna become the natural choice.
[00:22:21] Uh, and, and that's just a lot of ways to further demonstrate expertise in whatever that transitional call to action is. Again, we were talking earlier about a, a gentleman with a line of fitness supplements who had started his journey. He was a hundred pounds overweight and he lost that weight, uh, and eventually went on to compete in body building competition.
[00:22:41] Those we were talking your down low needs to be. How Kyle did it, I mean, was Kyle, that's your down one so somebody can get. They can see the journey you went through, which also goes back to that empathy thing, and that's gonna build a lot of credibility and trust for you so that when they are ready to buy, you're gonna be the supplement liability.
[00:23:00] So something like that, that solves a problem they have that you can provide is a great way to get them into your brand so you can start nurturing.
[00:23:09] Mickey: So one of the questions I get all the time, and I'm sure you get it too, and I wanna get your take on how to respond to this, is, um, someone will say, But I don't wanna give stuff away for free because it devalues my services and they're not gonna buy from me.
[00:23:21] How would you respond to that?
[00:23:23] Gene: Yeah, that's always, and I thought, I thought those same things too in the past. I think it really has to go back into, or do you really want to be a guy? And then what are your ultimate financial goals? That ultimate financial goal really. If I look at it, a, uh, somebody who will refer me a rating fan advocate.
[00:23:42] So to do that, I'm gonna have to show them that they can trust me and want to do business with you. So give away till it hurts, because that's how you know you're really giving some value there. And if you have enough confidence in what you're doing, which you should, if we've gone through this process, you should have a high degree of confidence that they're gonna come back and want.
[00:24:08] Uh, I think it's Alan did. And the one page marketing plan shows it can be a 20 step process for how many times they engage with something for your brand before they actually buy and then repeat, become a customer of yours. So you want to, you want to make sure that it is really something of value, but you also wanna make sure that it's not everything so that they do want to come back and.
[00:24:33] So I think if you just kind of use that framework to help you think through it. What is something really about, and I always like to do it when we're doing the framework, we've listed several problems they had. Let's find one that we can do something on a transitional download. Let's give away a free offer that can solve that one.
[00:24:51] Cuz then again, it's gonna raise their confidence so that you can solve their. Yeah, not an easy thing. You know, you're dealing with your, you know, you're dealing with your baby, you don't want to give it away, but mm-hmm. , it works. Absolutely works.
[00:25:04] Mickey: Yeah. And I find the question often comes from people who are still struggling to get those first few sales, or they don't have consistent sales, and so it's really hard to think about the second, third, and fourth transaction when they haven't even really consistently beginning the first, and so it can, it can sting a little bit more when you're giving away free value because you're not seeing that.
[00:25:25] But, but we have to remember that this stuff takes time. , there's no silver
[00:25:29] Gene: bullet. Right. And it's putting yourself in the place, your customer. Yeah. And when they are then a customer, they don't necessarily wanna just go all in on somebody. They wanna learn and test the waters that whole try phase at the buyer.
[00:25:41] I'm just kind of trying it here before I wanna make the step into, you know, buying. And so you gotta help people make that, you know, leap from, let me test a little bit. Free trial. You see that all the time. Those are great downloads. Mm-hmm. . And then let me move into, you know, Okay, now I will buy and then hopefully repeat and hopefully refer.
[00:26:03] Mickey: Yeah. So once we've got them either to download the asset or maybe book that call, uh, what's the next step in the framework? Uh, I, I know that there's a little bit more we need to dig into before this whole thing ends. Yeah.
[00:26:17] Gene: There's two things you want to talk about in your communi. When you're looking at the story that you've invited them into one, what does success look like?
[00:26:26] What is the outcome you've sought, uh, that you're gonna experience when you deal with my product or service? So you want to show that what is that outcome? Uh, you know, back to a fitness, uh, analogy here, it's not necessarily a great looking fit body. It can be a group shot. You've got some community here of other people doing the same thing.
[00:26:47] There's your. I'm, I'm, I'm partnered in a tribe that understands me. So you wanna show that what does success look like? What is that outcome? And, and that term outcome is so key in the package goods world. We were talking a lot of times about features and benefits, and these are products. You go in a store by most services and even products.
[00:27:09] Today, you really need to be talking about outcomes. What is the positive experience they have after using this product? And then you wanna show that visually, websites, social media, whatever. And then the other is what failure are they avoiding by doing business? You? What are the stakes? What's at stake here?
[00:27:27] And I had a friend, I've worked with some who's a chiropractor, but he also has a technology he uses called TH Theology. That's a breast cancer screening. It doesn't replace a mammogram. It works along with it, but. Stakes he puts on his website is one in five mammograms are misdiagnoses. So that's the stakes he doesn't beat over the head with or anything.
[00:27:56] So you do this, it just enhances that ability to catch it and catch it other. So that's what's at stake. So a lot of people don't really think about that. If someone doesn't engage with you, what's the negative experience that they continue to be? I like to use mine as, you're still gonna be in this chaotic realm of your business doing random acts of marketing and, and not really being successful with your marketing. That's what's at stake. We work together, We're gonna give you a plan that'll work, but you really need to be able to talk about success and then what's at stake and that failure that they're avoiding.
[00:28:28] Mickey: Yeah. I find a lot of people avoid the, the stakes because they, they fear being manipulative or too negative. Yeah, yeah. But it's a fine balance between showing people what success looks like with just a little dose. You know Right. What's at stake? It's not about throwing manipulative pain points on every aspect of your marketing.
[00:28:49] Gene: Yeah. And you don't wanna be overly negative cuz you gonna turn people off. But you know, there is something at stake here that we want to point out that we can help you avoid. That's what you're doing. You're helping them. Avoid them again, is their guide. You're gonna help 'em avoid that.
[00:29:03] Mickey: Yeah. So I wanna talk about execution because obviously there's, there's a big gap most of the time for entrepreneurs and startups.
[00:29:10] We learn, we consume, we take in all sorts of new things, but do we actually do anything with it depends. So when it comes to taking this framework, the seven part framework, that's a lot of pieces. Do we have to use all seven parts all the time? What does it look like to take your story and execute it into your.
[00:29:30] Gene: Now that, that's a great comment. You know, I, I'll give the framework 100% credit for this. A social media content account. You can take that framework and just each segment of it, start thinking of the channel you wanna be on, Facebook, Twitter, whatever. And the topic. It can be just around the problem. You know, and we didn't go into a lot of detail, but in the problem discussion we have, you have the external, internal, and philosophical that you can have content around each of those things.
[00:29:56] Just in of. You're not using it all, You know you're just taking that. But it's a great way to do a social media content strategy. This is breaking that framework down and what are the topics and channels I should be on? The other thing I really like to do for people or encourage them to do is as soon as you have this messaging guide in place, we do what's called a brand script, which is a kind of a paragraph summary of it.
[00:30:19] But then from that, the next phase I like people to do is build you a selling presentation. Take what you did. Framework and build a sales presentation that starts with the person, who they are, what they want, what their problem is, your product or service as a solution, why they should trust and just lay that out in a sales presentation cuz it really helps reinforce what you just did and gives people that way to then go start talking about that.
[00:30:48] And then the other thing that can come out of it that's so powerful. Experience yourself is that whole one liner. Mm. You know, which is the answer to the question, What do you, uh, and it's that problem, solution, outcome. And that's something I've found. People just, they, it opens their eyes. It's transformative to them.
[00:31:07] They really love that after they've gone through the framework, just when somebody asks them what they do, they don't start their, Well, I've been in business for 15 years, we've got seven. When that, when that person tunes out, they start with, you know, Well, you know, you've experienced this problem. Here's how we solve it, and here's what you get.
[00:31:25] It really turns that conversation on its head. That's just kind of three quick ways to use it, but you can use pieces of it in all your marketing communications, and you should, because it stays consistent when you.
[00:31:36] Mickey: Yeah. You know, it's funny because I've, I've met a lot of people who start with the one-liner.
[00:31:40] They're like, I gotta nail my one-liner. But they haven't done the due diligence of really working through the story, refining the story. And I'll, I'll tell you, the one-liner a lot of times, at least in my experience, gets tweaked. It's never like a one and done .
[00:31:54] Gene: Oh, sure. Oh sure. Yeah. All you should, I mean, I've tweaked mine and I've been, you know, in guide for over a year.
[00:32:01] It should be tweaked all the time and you can tweak it for different audience. Mm-hmm. . I was talking to a client yesterday on, they got a keynote coming up at a trade show, and should they be showing screenshots of the software they're selling or other things? You know, it's classic consultant, you know, it depends who's in the audience.
[00:32:22] What problem do they have? Now you want to tailor your presentation to make sure you're talking to the problem they have. So in this example, you're talking to CEOs and heads of. They don't really care about the screenshots on the software. You know, you're helping them get product deliveries on time.
[00:32:39] You're saving them a lot of money, fixing a problem of things being late. That's the problem. That's what you wanna talk about. Uh, so yeah, a lot of those things you can tweak that one line around, uh, depending on who your audience is at times as well. Cause we didn't really go into that on buyer persona.
[00:32:54] A lot of people say, Well, I can have multiple customers. Yes, you need a buyer persona. Deep dive for each of. And then you need to make sure you're tailoring communication to each of those audiences. Don't have a one size fits all. Cause that's when you start getting lost and annoyed. But people get nervous.
[00:33:14] You know, I, I can have multiple customers, and you just make sure you understand each of them in depth and that your messaging talks to each, again. If you're all things to all people, you're, you're just nothing. You're lost in. .
[00:33:28] Mickey: Yeah, I'd love to talk a little bit more about that. In particular, how, because you and I both know, a website can only have so many pages, and it really only has one home page.
[00:33:38] And if you have a company that has multiple buyer personas and they're trying to find a way to execute each buyer persona on a website because everyone's landing in the same place, how do we reconcile that and make sure that we're speaking to the problems of each of these people on our homepage?
[00:33:56] Gene: Yeah, that's a good question.
[00:33:58] Not, not an easy answer. What a lot of times I tell people, financial advisor, when you take a financial advisor, um, most of the ones I've talked to or deal with or come across say the same thing. They help you with your retirement portfolio and that type thing, and they have one just in conversation. He goes, You know what?
[00:34:17] I'd like to work with young families who have just got married and they're starting out and we want to get 'em going on the right. Dude, talk about that. Every time you have an opportunity to speak, still doesn't do it. So it's a long way to answer your question. Start with the one like that and tailor your communications.
[00:34:35] Now, what happens when that person has a good experience? They tell people outside of that core target. So you get business outside of that. Mm-hmm. . But I would really start with a messaging around your best buyer. As one way to get at what you're talking about and really focus it around that. Build a reputation, become known for that.
[00:34:57] They're gonna tell others. You get outside of that. The other way is through on your website, very tactically, is just tabs. Links, you know, pros, go here home, you know, users go here so that you can kind of tailor messaging. It was interesting, again, back to the, the fitness person we were, he has two primary.
[00:35:17] They have a little different value proposition. We were able to kind of come through of the main problem it's solving and have a kind of a three step process in messaging there. But then you can go to the product page and go into more deeper. The whole thing is, you know, is you just don't want to confuse 'em and you don't want to be so general and homogeneous that it's just meaning.
[00:35:37] But I really like people to focus on a target audience, become known for that. They're gonna have a good. And they're gonna refer people to you outside of that course. It's not something to fear, it's something that's really gonna help you when you narrow down that niche and really become known for that.
[00:35:56] But it's amazing. You know, my business, I'll have a niche and I still just get business outside of that when I'm not necessarily seeking. It's just the other people hear it. They start paying attention to it, they can identify with it. It's not exclusionary, it's just. Inclusive for who you are specifically talking about it.
[00:36:16] Here's how do you normally answer that when somebody comes to you with that? Not
[00:36:21] Mickey: just years. Yeah. Well there's two sides. I love that. And you know what, that the topic that we're talking about right now, um, it's been kind of coined. There's a company in the fitness world called Two Brain Business and they do marketing and business consulting for primarily CrossFit gyms, and they call it affiliate marketing.
[00:36:35] And, uh, or affinity marketing, not affiliate affinity marketing. And it's really looking at it like a tree. And you have your client who is the core, and then friends and family, colleagues, their colleagues, and you slowly branch out from the lowest hanging fruit essentially. Uh, and I, I love using that analogy because it's so underused and the conversations and the way that.
[00:36:59] Sales process goes with those people is different. They're not just gonna go to your website, they're gonna have a conversation with a person about their experience, and then they're gonna come directly to you. And so it's less about the messaging on your homepage for those people, it's more about the direct communication and how you can express how that that's gonna work for them.
[00:37:18] The other side to it for sure is, is individual landing. When you get more into the weeds of your marketing, you're able to target with whether it's paid advertising or content, or strategic partnerships, specific messaging to that art audience, and promote a landing page with the messaging for that audience in particular.
[00:37:35] And you have multiples of those if necessary, that you can work with. But what I love to do on a homepage is really just look for a. Like a, a line across all of them that that aligns their core problem. And try and combine that if possible on the homepage. That's not always possible, but when it is, it can make life really, really
[00:37:54] Gene: easy.
[00:37:55] But those are great examples too though. All of that, if you'll go through the messaging development process first. Mm-hmm. , then go to that, you're just way better off. And you know, we use that step in the customer journey to now you've reached the point where, We're referring you again, I'll go back to the financial planner example.
[00:38:13] You know, everyone does retirement. Part of Phillip Lows. They have a very difficult time referring you for that. But if you said you're the financial planner for the young married couple starting out, I'm out at dinner with two or three people and their son's getting married. Hey, I know who you need to talk to from a financial point.
[00:38:30] Yep. Because you become known for that. And then you know their parents. Retirement portfolio work, You don't, you don't know. But if you'll walk through that process first where you've identified that person, the young couple starting out as my hero and what their problem is, then I can take, to your point and with point I was making with different pages on your website or landing pages and do other messaging for other targets versus just this, again, generic kind of homogenous message that just doesn't resonate, falls dead and gets lost in those five to 10,000 messages, we.
[00:39:03] Mickey: Yeah. Well, and you know, there's a core word that's really shown up through this entire conversation. It's, it's been the theme and it's messaging and, uh, business owners a lot of times hear messaging and then copywriting and the two can get really confused and, and they both have a place for sure. Yes.
[00:39:18] But as you mentioned, messaging always comes first. , you gotta know the point before you can get fancy with your grammar and come up with the great, you know, taglines and whatnot. You gotta understand the point. Um, so when you're looking at messaging compared to copywriting, and specifically for those small business owners doing their own copy, maybe at the beginning, writing their own messaging, do you have any key points on, for someone who feels like they're not a great writer to get better at the messaging part so the copy doesn't matter as much.
[00:39:49] Gene: Uh, that's, that's a great question. Um, I found out I was a better copywriter than I thought I would've cause I edited a ton of it for 20 plus years, but never really positioned myself as a copywriter. Once I became a story, story brand certified guy, I started going through that process. I can write for the good copy copying out.
[00:40:08] That's, and you know, someone who wants to do their own emails or wants to do their own landing pages, whatever, go through that strategic framework. And it becomes much easier, much, much easier. You have the content you need versus I wake up this morning, I gotta get this LinkedIn post out. What am I gonna do today?
[00:40:27] And start trying to come up with something like that. When you walk through that thought process, being able to, then that's messaging. It's the strategic part of it, who the customer is problem solving. Then copywriting is, now how do I take that and put it in an email, put it in a social post. Yes, it's, it's fascinating how much easier it is to do once I have this kind of strategic thought process in place.
[00:40:54] Marketing plans another one. You know, a lot of people think, well, marketing plans, it's huge, you know, thing. I've got all these pages and tabs. You know, your marketing plan is basically who that buyer is. My buyer persona, what my messaging is, and then how do I go show up? Where they show up? Is it these, you know, that's your marketing point.
[00:41:12] It doesn't have to be this overly aous, you know, process. But you've gotta have those steps in place. So many people jump to the tactical end of it and you know it doesn't work and they don't understand why. Uh, so if you're, to answer your question is really do that messaging strategy first, then you can go and write things that make much more sense after you.
[00:41:34] Mickey: Yeah, that's such good advice. You know, uh, I, I do copywriting for a lot of trade show events and there's multiple writers involved and lots of people who are executing it. At the beginning, you're like, How are all of these people going to keep the same voice, keep the same message? And what we do is we create, we call it the copy platform.
[00:41:54] And so it's typically a two to three page document, but it has that messaging strategy, that outline of the story, essentially the key component. Written out and everyone pulls from that core document, regardless of where it's going, we always start there and just naturally and easily, it keeps us all consistent and on message and on point, and there's very rarely any issues when it comes to the copy working and being consistent across all the platforms, so that that's exactly what we do when it comes to big teams and events.
[00:42:26] So I, I love that you.
[00:42:28] Gene: That's, it is fascinating how much better they work. And it seems obvious, but you know, a lot of people, they, they don't know how to think through that. Mm-hmm. , that's why the framework so well. Uh, but then once you do that, just like you're saying, it becomes so much easier to stay on point and stay on strategy.
[00:42:42] And then again, strategy again is nothing but euphemism for choice. So if we're gonna start breaking away from that, we need to have a conversation. It doesn't mean it's wrong, but have we changed our buyer persona going after. Have we changed the problem we're solving? Have we made a tweak in there? We need to have a conversation to make sure then that we align that.
[00:43:06] That is all that strategic thinking is, is when I start making changes in those that I talk through. The implications both positive and negative, that that may have, and again, the financial planner example, if I'm just being very generic and I'm going through this, it could have a negative implication.
[00:43:22] But if I wanted to shift from, you know, young married couples to someone wanting a second. So now I got, I gotta shift in there. I'm gonna shift my messaging. Uh, that's, that's strategic thinking is just thinking through the implications, both positive and negative of that when you make changes in your strategy.
[00:43:39] Mickey: Yeah. And you know, I, I think it brings up a really good point because a lot of business owners who are trying to market, they're starting off, they don't necessarily have a plan. They haven't worked with anyone before. They, they're, they just either run a service or created a product that they love. What they typically do, at least what I've seen, is they'll start off just trying to post on social media and then send out an email and send these scattered tactics and pieces out.
[00:44:05] So I think really the, the core message of today's conversation is don't do that , build your framework. Build that foundational message first, and pull from that, splinter that off, and post that every.
[00:44:19] Gene: Yeah, and I'm part of the networking groups. You probably are too. You know, you can tell the ones in there who have thought through that.
[00:44:25] And then the ones that just, you know, we have, you know, we have a guarantee in this area. We've been in business 20 years, whatever, and they're not really talking about the problems they saw, the pain points they're addressing, the games they're creating, that sort of thing. When you work through messaging strategy, you have so much more rich content to be talking about that again, bites people into story and makes them want to.
[00:44:46] Mickey: Yeah. You know, the last thing I wanna chat about really briefly, we touched on it earlier, but I think it's a, it's a great kind of point to close up with, is that sales presentation that you mentioned. So I've worked with a lot of people who are very hesitant to create a sales presentation. I'll never use it.
[00:44:58] There's no point. People don't like PowerPoints, but we make it anyways because they don't have a choice in the matter. And then they use it all the time. They pull it out and show slides, or they're talking to someone, or they get invited to speak and it just helps. So, Much so when we're creating that sales presentation, believe me, whether you think you need one or not, you need one.
[00:45:17] But when we're creating it, do you have any points or tips on what we can do to just optimize it and make sure that that framework makes sense in a presentation? .
[00:45:27] Gene: Yeah. A couple examples. There was one, and it was interesting you mentioned PowerPoint. We were having a conversation about that not too long ago, and I was almost embarrassed, you know, is it okay if I still use PowerPoint?
[00:45:36] amazing. I have a negative connotation, but it's still a very, very useful tool that I use it all the time. Mm-hmm. , uh, I'm, anything I'm doing like that and I've had three fairly recent conversations on that. You wanna be as Provo provocative as you can with your message. You particularly on that first slide, and I know Donald Miller story, bringing guys talk.
[00:45:56] Now don't even necessarily when you're presenting, start saying, you know, I'm Gene Lewis. You know, I'm glad to be here today. Thank you for taking the time. Just get right into the problem so you can start having them leaning in. But one example is the young lady who has the in-home care business, We're having a conversation around who her target is.
[00:46:15] And she starts talking about the sandwich generation. I said, Well, that's interesting. What does that mean? I hadn't heard that. You know, you're the age where you have kids, family obligations, and your parents are aging, and now you have to take care of that too. She was kind of in this sandwich presentation sandwich situation.
[00:46:30] Well, she was doing a presentation in our networking group the next day. I said, Is that in your presentation? She said, No. I said, Well, it is. And her first slide, I had her, when her first slide come up there, it was just a big sandwich, . So now we've got this in-home care person up here talking about senior care and her first slide's a sandwich.
[00:46:48] What is that about? Yes. So they started leaning in. And then the other one, I'm talking to, this software company who does scheduling, uh, software for manufacturing, highly complex, manufactured a lot of short runs, high mix. Um, and they talk about solving the late problem, which is. But how do you quantify that?
[00:47:08] So maybe the first slide you have is a hundred million dollars and that's just what, It's on the slide. And that's the amount of money lost to, to products and serve products being late in the manufacturing environment. So now you get, okay, a hundred million dollars, you've got Melean into that. So whatever you can take that problem and really make something provocative on that first slide.
[00:47:29] That's the way I really like to use that framework. And then you start going into the rest of framework of. I understand that problem. It's keeping you from getting what you want. Here's, you know, we felt it too. You just start kind of following the general same kind of outcome, but really trying to make that first slide as much of a hook and, but not a random hook, a hook based on that messaging strategy.
[00:47:53] Other thing I was talking about this, um, company with, they want to, they want to have something they give away at trade shows, you know, and, and what the people take away. And they were talking about the thing that goes on the back of your phone. Or you know, a USB port thing. I said, Wouldn't it be great if you had something around scheduling or not being late?
[00:48:11] What can you do that reinforces your messaging? I just think get people to think about that always in any interaction you have. How can you kind of reinforce what you said your core messaging? Yeah. A long winded answering questions.
[00:48:26] Mickey: Oh, I love it. I love it. And I love the creativity when it comes to, um, gifts or, um, giveaways or even just those like little marketing collateral that we give the pens and stuff like that instead of going the traditional route.
[00:48:38] Like be creative and be remembered. Cause everyone's gonna remember the sandwich lady, right? If she had magnets of a sandwich. No, no , no, no.
[00:48:45] Gene: But I told these people know, and I don't know what it is, you know, but maybe it's one of the alarm clocks that shines a thing on the ceiling, you know? So you're not gonna be late.
[00:48:53] You're not gonna be late cuz you're gonna wake up and see it. Well, your orders aren't gonna be late when you deal with us. It's so now you've got a premium that connects what you're talking about versus just band as your logo on it that they put on their desk. If the other pins. Yeah.
[00:49:06] Mickey: And never remember or look at. if you could give one piece of advice, so the entrepreneurs, startups who are listening today, if they're gonna leave and do one first thing after listening to this episode, what would you like them to do?
[00:49:21] Gene: Other than talking to you before they start their business. I, what I would really like them to do is, yeah, take a step back and just think of who their customer is very in depth. Uh, if they're asking themselves the questions, should they be on Instagram or something? Just put that aside for a minute. Who really is your customer?
[00:49:41] And then start thinking about what they want, what promise? Start thinking through the journey that person's going. So that you can position yourself as the guy to help you solve the problem. Just that, just step back and think for a minute before you leap into tactics and strategy leads, tactics. Um, and so many people, they, in small business, they hear the word strategy.
[00:50:02] I haven't had somebody counsel me this one time. You don't know what strategy is. It's nothing more than shorts. You're choosing who your buyer is. You're choosing what problem you're gonna solve for them. You're choosing how you are going to show up and you wanna show up where they're gonna show up. So, Think a little bit, take a step back and really focus on who that bow is and what problem you're solving for them.
[00:50:23] Mickey: Yeah. I love when people ask me, because I, I refer to myself as a strategist. I'll say, We deal with the what and the why and the tactics is the how , which is, is very much the same thing. Uh, for our listeners who wanna get in touch with you wanna learn more about you and connect with you online, where can they find.
[00:50:43] Gene: Uh, LinkedIn's a great place to find Gene Lewis and Power Strategies on LinkedIn out there pretty much every day. Website and power strat.com. You can download a marketing and take a marketing assessment there. I have a marketing plan checklist you can kind of look at there. Those are two places I kind of hang out the most.
[00:51:00] Um, and then also you can always just book a call with me via the website we have, We have a free conversation just kick around your. What problem are you dealing with? You can always kinda leave there with maybe a couple ideas on how you can go help make your business work a little better.
[00:51:14] Mickey: Awesome. All right, everyone, head on over.
[00:51:17] Make sure to take that marketing assessment. It's gonna be invaluable to you. If you're interested in refining your message and creating a strategy, head on over to Gene Lewis's website. I'll link it in the description below. Gene, thank you so much for your time today.