Mickey Anderson 00:00
All right, I get really giddy when I get other marketers on the podcast with me because we top shop. We had lots of fun. But also, one of the great things is when you get marketers from different areas of marketing together, no matter what we end up creating some brilliant, some knowledge bombs are dropped. And we challenge each other, which is really fun. And so I am a conversion optimization specialist. So point of sale, right? I get people to do the things we want them to do to click but our guest today Alex is a lead generation specialist and really a marketing guru, I want to say. He wrote the book on lead generation. He's here to help me with the front end of the marketing, how do we get the right people, the right eyes on our business? So Alex, thank you so much for being here today.
Alex Oliveira 00:40
Thanks for having me here. I definitely am ready to geek out on some marketing of all kinds.
Mickey Anderson 00:46
Now, can you tell us a little bit about how you got into lead gen in the first place? I mean, marketing is such a huge, huge industry with so many paths. So what led you to lead gen and where you are now?
Alex Oliveira 00:57
Yeah, it's accidental. I mean, back in 2002, my wife, my wife now, we've been together for 23 years, but we were in college in Orlando, and moved down South Florida. I took over a family business; spent a few years there. And I really found that in business, running a business, my strong, like core competency was marketing. And I just kept developing that, right Going into lead gen for construction, lead gen for attorneys. And the more I got into it, I love the entrepreneurial world, launching new businesses but I also really gravitated towards, instead of like the typical CEO, just working on the marketing, I had a lot of fun doing that. And I thought and you know, every business that I launched from that point on, so that's 21 years, it's always been marketing, right? For me, the thing that got me to go from zero to 500 to a million and then continuously grow. So marketing was always the thing. And I you know, here I am, 20 years later, still excited every day to learn about marketing and teach marketing. And you and I were chatting before on the podcast here, like why other marketers don't try new things, right? And so I'm always open to learning new and different ways and different disciplines, or different markets to see how they do it in different countries. So cool. And yeah, so I've been in that world, but it really wasn't until, like 2009, that I dedicated my whole time to marketing. And that was by, it was more than necessity. Our business crashed with the 2008-2009 financial crisis, right? And so at that time, I said, you know, let me get out and just go work for another company for a couple of years, I did that; we had our first child. And then I said to my wife, now, I gotta run my own ship, you know? So that's when I started Prediq, and Prediq has been around since 2011. And we've been working with small businesses medium, but also big brands, which just makes it fun. I've never been agnostic to just one vertical or size of company or location. If you have a challenge, and you think we're the right team for you, I'm game I'm gonna do it, I'll work will integrate with the team. So yeah, that's my story with marketing.
Mickey Anderson 03:10
I love that. And you know, it's such a great example, we hear the what is it, the riches are in the niches. I'm Canadian, so we say niche, but everyone you need to niche down, you need to pick your target audience, and it needs to be a tiny little vertical of specificity. And I love hearing people who don't do that and still succeed, because I think it opens up our minds to possibility, right, like you said, try different things. And I think that's just a great example.
Alex Oliveira 03:35
But your point is, you're on point with that it is true, right? If I were raising seed capital in Silicon Valley, like that's what they want to hear, right? They want you to be like super focused, whether you're doing you know, digital marketing, or lead gen for dentist, or lawyers, or whatever the case is, like super focused, even within law, like a specific type of law. I've never gotten excited about doing the same thing over and over and over again, because it doesn't excite me now, I understand why it's exciting for other people. And to a certain extent, I and I've heard this from marketers that have worked with me, it's really challenging to work on projects for new verticals, new business models that we haven't worked on before. So a lot of people don't like that. They find that it's just you're making work harder. And I kind of understand that. But that's sort of I think how I lead my life, I usually pick the harder trail. And if and if it's not working for me, so I'll be the first one to say I've been in verticals or have worked with certain business models that I found, it's not for me. So you know, the next time you get a lead for that you say I'm not the right fit for you. So, you know, explore.
Mickey Anderson 04:45
I think one of, there's two things that I kind of want to dissect there in terms of marketing in particular, you know, the industry is huge, and it can feel super overwhelming for a lot of people right? Oh my goodness, there's so many pieces to marketing. And so sometimes the safe or safer feeling is okay, I'll just pick one really specific thing. But the other side of it is regardless of what area of marketing you choose, it's constantly changing. Technology is fast; business moves quickly. I mean, look at what the pandemic did. Like it is always changing. And so regardless of who you are, and what you prefer, stuff's gonna change it used to.
Alex Oliveira 05:21
Yeah, you know, you and I were talking about the analogies earlier with cars and whatnot. And it's sort of like a car. My dad was a mechanic and a welder, right? So my grandpa was a gunsmith. So naturally, he gravitated towards welding and then…
Mickey Anderson 05:34
How are you not a cowboy?
Alex Oliveira 05:35
I know. Not at all. I do like meat. And but that's it. That doesn't sound right. No, no. But, you know, His thing was, whether it was a truck, helicopter, a car, or motorcycle or a boat, he wanted to know how to work on the engines. And not only the engine itself, let's say your transmission, particular part. But go beyond that and learn the electrical, right? So you got to learn the electrical, that's a whole different beast. What makes the car run, right? Like he didn't want to do body work and any of the others that like the other moving parts, but I feel like marketing is the same. So it's, it's this like big puzzle. And there's a picture. And if you say, well, I'm just going to focus on SEO, that's great. And that's going to work in a bigger size company or team. But the minute you get out of that company or team, and you can't depend on all the other moving parts, you're going to scratch your head, and you can't like Google this stuff, right? Like you have to know it. And so I see the value of both like, I don't have expertise in most areas of marketing, but I do depend on people for that as a team. But I'm always interested to learn what you know, if I don't know about conversion, optimization, well, what's new, what's new, and attribution, what software can help me measure better for the client, you know, and I think it is challenging. So for those, like first stage entrepreneurs in those first four or five years, it's hard, because the things that make business run like sales and building your team and managing your finances, they definitely take the front seat, and then sort of all these other disciplines and channels and marketing. You feel like, listen, as long as I can get some, some generate some leads, drive some traffic, the rest, we're just going to, you know, kind of try to find the answers along the way. And I get that because you can't, you're just not going to find the resources, both money and time when you're at that level. But the beauty of it, right Mickey? Is that we're at a time in the world right now, where there are so many people who are willing to work as a contractor. As a freelancer qualified, I'm not I'm not talking about a $5 gig on Fiverr. I'm talking about really qualified people who…it's worth paying them what they're worth for their advice, so consult with them, it might save you a ton of money in the long run.
Mickey Anderson 07:55
You know, I worked as a paralegal before my time in marketing for a short while. And it reminds me a lot about those situations where like, yes, a one hour call with a lawyer is expensive, but it can save you 10s of 1000s of dollars down the run just by taking that moment to with a professional to make sure you got your ducks in a row. And I think in marketing and in business, a lot of times we're cost evasive. We want to minimize expenses as much as possible and put things off. But at the same time, had you invested even a small amount in working with somebody who knows what they're doing at the beginning, you probably wouldn't have to redo things so many times and start from scratch.
Alex Oliveira 08:31
Yeah, absolutely. And you know, of course, you have to allocate a certain amount of the budget, both the time that your team is going to spend creating and executing, but also the capital that's invested into it in testing. And you know, I mean, I'm kind of getting to the end of what we're going to talk about later. But I think it's important to talk about it in the beginning about testing. Because if you go with that mindset that like look, this is going to be a, you know, maybe 80% of the budget is to do you know, strategy systems that work. And maybe 10 20% Depends on the comfort level of the CEO or the CFO, we're going to test we're going to try podcasting. We're going to try live streaming on Amazon for our for our, you know, e commerce channels. And I definitely come across a lot of companies who don't want to talk about testing at all. Just, let's do what's proven. And I'm like, well, that's great, but the discoveries that are made in these new channels that explode, like TikTok, I'm not a TikTok expert, we do lead gen on TikTok for clients, but if they really need someone to like take their TikTok channel to the next level, that's not us. So we can set some paid lead ad campaigns there and drive traffic and leads, but if you need like a whole TikTok management, you know of your of your brand, that's not us. And you know, we can talk about testing, and a lot of brands do but few actually take the steps to do it, right? So I get it, it's hard because you can't be everything to everyone.
Mickey Anderson 10:04
I love that I think it's a great kind of starting off point, even though it's a little bit towards the end, I think a lot of entrepreneurs at the beginning don't give themselves enough time and the test. And they don't actually collect data, they're like, Well, I'm gonna test this out. But they said zero objectives, they, you know, select no data information and just make assumptions. So for example, TikTok, right? Oh, I'm gonna invest a bunch of time and TikTok, it's a new platform, I'm really excited. I'm gonna try and grow my business. And so they start posting on TikTok, and there's no revenue, and there's no revenue, what is actually happening there? Is it the TikTok, is it the you, is it the content? Like what's happening? And I think when it comes to testing, if you take anything away from today, make sure that you're measuring things and the appropriate things, so you can actually get data from your tests.
Alex Oliveira 10:50
Yeah, yeah. And I think, you know, let's be honest, I mean, even as marketers, I'll, I'll say that there have been times that I've picked the wrong horse, so to speak, the wrong campaign. And so you keep doing it, you keep doing like what, you know, rinse, repeat, and you keep doing it until you hit the one that's at least gonna give you that, that rate that is acceptable to everyone. And then sometimes you hit one that was just sort of throwing spaghetti at the wall, and it becomes the campaign or the headline, or the image or whatever, that drove the most clicks and most leads. So you know, again, it kind of gets back to why you test because if you just go with what you know, like think about branding for a second because I think so many brands strategist with good reason want you to like stick to a, you know, brand guide, and you can only do this and that and this out, we talk we're formal wear this for that, right? And it's like you miss out, you miss out. Like, I worked with Morgan Stanley and after years of working with them and driving traffic, actually, the leads they were looking for were leads to drive attendees to their workshops, which typically was at a steakhouse, right? Because you can't really do much else in financial industry. Most of your listeners, I'm sure know. But hey, if they get to the steak house, and they can do the presentation, they know they're gonna hook three, four new clients, the thing was, is being that type of, you know, formal Corporation, like, the it was a box, they would send ideas over to them, you know, here's our ideation discovery, boom, boom. We use design thinking methodology. So it's not like we're pulling this stuff out of our hat. No, no, no, we can't do that. Can't use this, we can't say that. And a lot of it wasn't, wasn't compliance related, or like they weren't, we're not violating any laws. It was just, it doesn't go with our brand. It doesn't do this; it doesn't do that. That used to annoy me a lot still annoys me today. But I do understand the client is the client. And, you know, I can't make someone do something they don't want to do. And if they're not willing to try, that's okay. You know, but they're going to miss out, somebody else is going to try something else. And it's going to, it's going to click with the user and stand out. Because if we see the same thing in our feeds online, whether it's, you're doing a search on one of the search engines, or you're on, you know, social media. If everyone is doing the same thing, like how does that really make you stand out? Right?
Mickey Anderson 13:12
Yeah, just noise. I love that you use that example of the brand guide, because I think it's a great word guide. Right? It's not a rule that you have to stick with and I think most of marketing, right, we say there are rules, but really, there are no rules. There are guidelines, there are things that have worked, and there are things that haven't, and you have the option to make decisions and play. And I think activity is really important.
Alex Oliveira 13:35
I'm the first one to say early on, when I thought I knew more than I know now. I used to, you know, look at the data and go, “Look, your call to action button needs to be orange or, or green? Or oh, how dare you put a pink button”. Like, listen, if you want to put it, you know, if you want to do the pink button, let's do the pink button. But early on, I also had the standards, the systems, my system, and I would follow the step, you know, lead gen 360, which I still do to a certain extent, but I'm more flexible on it because it has to fit the brand. And if a client says, look, I get that email marketing is awesome and you guys are great at list management and blah, blah, blah, we're not going to do email, just not gonna do it. We don't care. It's like, okay, so I've got to find other channels, they don't want to do email, even if you show them that the competitor is winning, getting market share doing email, I still have clients who say, Well, that's good for them. And I have to respect that I do. You know.
Mickey Anderson 14:30
I, you know, one of the things that you've talked about before is the focus on customer experience and how that will keep clients longer and get them to spend more, right? And I think this is a good example that regardless of what industry you're in customer service and customer experience are a part of it, right? We might know what's going to work or what's not going to work for the most part, but if the customer doesn't want to do it and they're not happy, like it's “Oh, that's it”.
Alex Oliveira 14:51
That's right. And I think we can, as marketers, so now switching from your listeners who are the entrepreneurs to any of the marketers who are listening or when you work with marketers. You know, push them to really discriminate on your customer’s experience. So you hire an agency or hire a consultant, you say, “Great, I'm bringing you in, because you're going to hold our feet to the fire”. So ask your marketer or your agency to secret shop you at different times of the day, the week, the month for, you know, at least a few weeks before you even get to discovery and do a proposal and all that. And if they're willing to do that. And ask them to paint that journey for you what happens what but both the digital and the communication piece of it, right? And so we've done that with a lot of clients, where we'll take a software like CallRail and start to listen to calls. No, we're not, we're not a call center. But I can hire people on contract for each project and say, “Okay, here's the parameters, I need you to listen to every call, I need you to score them”. There's all these scoring models in those these dashboards, and then give me back some feedback and we're going to rate the customer service the wait time, the keywords, right? We can listen to certain keywords. We're going to take all that data and say, Okay, before we even talk about leads, or content, or all the things that you want to do to grow, here's what's happening right now. We secret shop you, because we told you. And so, do you think that your customer experience is great, or average? Or what do you think? Yeah, almost always. It's like, yeah, there's room for improvement. So let's improve that first. The funny thing is Mickey, as most companies will say, “I don't have time for that”. I literally admire anyone because I need more traffic, more leads, and we pass, we just pass. We say okay, well, you know, if you don't want to improve your customer service, customer experience, which sucks. You have people who are saying the wrong things. I mean, I wouldn't buy from you just to be honest. So no, we can't help you. Because if I sit, if I if we design a beast of a lead gen machine for you and your phone's ringing, you're getting tons of leads, and what are we doing? We're making the problem worse. That's what we're doing. And then you're still gonna fire me, by the way. Because you will.
Mickey Anderson 17:10
Biggest high five right now. I'm like, Yeah, we're so on the same page. I so agree. You know, for anyone listening, the thoughts inside of your marketing team, or your agency or consultant’s head usually are in line with this. Right? Okay, great, we're getting you more leads, but what are you doing with them? Right? How are you treating these people? Why can't you keep customers longer? And it all usually comes down to customer experience. I'd love to tie this into lead gen, because I think for me, at least it feels like I've had many experiences as a customer and consumer, right? Going through the funnel, that top of funnel experience that usually feels very robotic, very cold. And then customer experience isn't necessarily where I personally would like it to be. Is it possible to create a lead gen machine that actually delivers great customer experience?
Alex Oliveira 14:51
Yes, with the right company, with the right resources. Absolutely. But I will say it's to do it automate for smaller companies, it's challenging. It's cost prohibitive. All the different systems and you know, software that is available, even at like the starter level, when you build that marketing and tech stack, you're out 10s of thousands to do it properly. So, I'm not saying you can't do it with a small team or to solopreneurs, which happened to be most small businesses, solopreneurs. So you can build this stack that has all these systems and tools, but you're not going to do what a fortune 500 company does, right? There was a recent report study that I read that said that in the top Fortune 500 companies in the United States, pull from more than 1000. If we talk to even, let's say, a business with a couple 100 employees, maybe they're pulling from 20-30 different data sources and putting it together, but 1000 data sources? Experience, this one, that one, government, they're buying lists, they're crunching numbers, they have data scientists. So, I think that it's interesting to our conversation to note that while there are more options and more channels for us to explore as businesses, the truth is the same system has created an inequality that has to be noted. And most people don't want to talk about it, because it's like, Oh, you must be a liberal. You're gonna talk about inequality, Alex, and it's like, no, no, I'm just being honest, like great, capitalism. Big companies can do this, small companies can't. So they have tools. It's kind of like kind of like Ukraine and Russia right now. Right? I mean, it's just a fact. Right? So how can I go try to compete with an agency that you know, does a billion in revenue? I can't it's not just People, it's just the truth is the tool. So I think like we started talking about chat GPT a little bit too. Same thing there, you think like the fortune 500 companies, what they're going to do with chat GPT absolutely will eliminate jobs and take them to the next level. But for the small guys, sorry, you may be able to create a thank you note or, or a blog post or, you know, something simple a checklist, a guide, those things are cool, you know? But you're not going to have the same of capital to do what the big guys do. So there is an inequality. And so, this ties into what your question about doing the lead gen top of funnel. If I'm talking to a small business, who doesn't have a sales team of like, 10-15. You got to do this old school. You got to design this whole journey, like on paper, step by step, and then record every action, every time you go through it with clients, and then take the time to ask them the questions, which I know is very hard. Most clients don't want us to do this. They said, well, reviews and testimonials are okay. We say no, no, no, we do a real survey on the phone and typically asking four or five questions. But at the end of that survey, we typically do 70-75 respondents. We have a good idea of what's working what's not, and how we can better and sometimes it's just one little step, right? One little step, or two or three, and you start to optimize that way. So, for small businesses, you it's more of a manual process and I think that hiring a consultant to help you is going to be the best way than an agency. I think if you hire an agency, you're gonna get just more leads, more traffic, which might not help you,
Mickey Anderson 21:34
I love that I it's so exactly the way that I look at it. And I think, as we grow to like these strategies will shift and change. What you did to get your first you know, 10 clients isn't same thing for your next 100 clients or 1000 clients, right? Your business will evolve. But depending on where you're at right now, you have to make smart decisions for the now. That's it. When we're thinking of creating our own lead gen systems, and you know, I've spoken to so many clients about this, because I typically work in the organic marketing, right? We don't do a ton of paid. And usually, when we're talking about lead gen, it's, well, I just I need more eyes, I need more eyes, because the eyes that I have on my business just aren't converting, right? I can't get enough clients. So I just need more and more more. But, qualifying your leads along the way is really important, making sure that it's the right eyes, and they're the right consumers in alignment with your products and services. That's a big part of it. Can you walk us through how maybe the small business owner who's starting off with the somewhat manual process and make sure that they're getting the right people to find out about their business to discover them?
Alex Oliveira 24:41
Yeah, absolutely. And I think that's a great way to distinguish that whether you're doing paid or organic, in that. You know, if you start creating content, using chat, GPT. You start to create, you're like, “Yeah, I'm gonna create 1000 pages”, then boom my SEO and my traffic is just gonna go crazy. All right, I don't know, maybe that happens, though. For real. Like that happens. Even in affiliate marketing, that happens for certain clients. We scale the traffic, and then you find out that it's actually not the right traffic. Because those were the customers, let's say that we're shopping at Walmart, or Amazon. And they're not going to stay loyal, what they're looking for is free shipping, you know, 50% off coupon, whatever, whatever. And so you have to decide what customer you want to target. And I think that that's that really gets at your question is understanding your target audience. at a level that most of us are uncomfortable putting in that much time to create those personas, and understand what those pain points are their challenges, how do I fix this? Because it is, like you said, a little bit of a guessing game if you're in the first 10-15-20 clients. But beyond that, if you take the time to ask your clients like what their you know, interests behaviors are, you're, you know, you don't have to go buy a ton of data, or become a data scientist. I mean, you could talk to people. So I think for the small business owner, the only way to do it is to have your eyes and ears on the street. Talk, ask your salespeople, your customer service people to ask questions, and understand are you really, you know, are you solving the problems that they came to you for? Because I, once you to understand that then going out to create opportunities for traffic, whether it's you know, through doing paid or organic with lead magnets, it'll give you a better it'll give you a better path, at least like a view of what works and what doesn't. Now, of course, if you're just starting out, it just gets back to a lot of testing. And it's been my experience that even when you try to emulate what the competitors doing with all the different spy software's that exists today, it never works the same way because one company could have a total you know, a different brand or, or the way they tell the story is emotional. Maybe they have a lot of videos. Maybe the CEO is charismatic, maybe they come from an industry where they had a lot of connections and contacts. So all those things matter, you know. And then recently I met a CEO of a vitamin company where their strategy was to spend zero on ads, do very little content. And I'm like, wait what? Their thing was partnerships, right? Partnerships, strategic partnerships, not even with like influencers? And what would you call them, ambassadors. Which is what we think of typically online, right? You go get a bunch of bloggers and, and TikTokers, whatnot. No, this was like a very old school guerilla marketing. You know, they show up at events, and then they partner with people, and their product fits right with the other offerings, it was just a great way now what they were willing to do, because they had a higher margin. So that matters, too, right? Because your show is all about more profit. So if you if you don't have a profitable product or service, this doesn't work for you. But if you have a high margin there, they were able to give up more on the revenue share, and thereby acquire more clients. And so, but you know, now, three years into it, as they've acquired, I want to say 20,000 plus, not 20,000 clients, but more than 20,000 reviews for their product, okay? And they use Trustpilot I think so, you know, third party legit. Now they're at the point where they're going to their next iteration is still not paid, is all referral, just working on referral, right? Just and so I just thought that that was such a cool, all their competitors are spending a ton of money and paid a ton of money on organic and content. Those things matter. But they chose to go a completely different route to build a, you know, they understood their target audience, I should I should say that, right? Like they understood that their target audience were very educated. They were typically on Quora, or Reddit. They understood that they cared about the probiotics and where it came from, like very high level, long form content. And typically, the people that shopped or buy these products are going to these pharma markets, or these like one off independent vitamin stores. So, they would show up at a vitamin store and do a little presentation demo site. Oh, my God, this is great. All right. And there's still millions of clients out there that don't know of their product that are like their target customer and their competitors, while they happen to be there as well. It's not what those customers want. So yeah, I think you know, get to know your customer.
Mickey Anderson 27:32
That's a great example, that company in particular, of walking through that customer journey, step by step. Really understanding how the customer is interacting, where they're interacting, what their expectations are. And I think to understanding your customer and the potential for loyalty, right? That that customer lifetime value is really important. And in an industry like that, with a customer like that, you know, once you get them, they're probably going to stay. And so, you can see a huge leveraging point there, right? Where they can keep their customers longer, keep them buying more, and then push referrals. Like that's just genius. I love that example.
Alex Oliveira 28:05
You know, again, I'll give you another example. Last week, I had a call a contractor out in Washington. So, I get on a phone call with my business guy, and this man, he's the CEO of the company says, Look, we're in like 15,000 zip codes here and though in the West, and we do you know, flooring remodel whatnot, and we're looking for leads. And I kind of went through the same process that we do. And it just kept coming back to me. No, no, we just want leads, don't worry about customer service and customer experience. Like, you're not the right fit for us, you know. So, I'm sure he'll succeed, he'll find success. But the churn rate is going to be so high, that he'll never be able to penetrate because he's leaving so much on the table, because he's not willing to make the experience better overall. And I know it's hard. So, listen, even though I have that level of standard, I often reflect on our own companies, And I look at it and on any given day, Mickey, I can find discrepancies in the process. So hey, I'm preaching to the choir here because it's gonna happen, right? It, whether you're a big brand, or a small boutique brand, that's not supposed to be, you know, dropping the ball on anything, it's going to happen. So, but you have to be willing to improve that. And I do believe that if you improve that customers will stay with you the long haul and give you those referrals. And I think that when it comes to optimization, and the theme of your show, you know. Less hustle; more profit. Like, that's how you do it. And then you can talk about let's scale the lead gen, you know?
Mickey Anderson 29:43
I love that and I think that it really shows to you know, your customer. And it's not just about the customer who's gonna buy more, always, right? Like that's an important part you need. You need an economic buyer. But you also need a buyer who's going to align with your values with your business with you, especially if you're a solopreneur right. You don't want to work with people who aren't fun. Who don't meet your needs. And so it's just another reason to really invest that time and understanding your customer and who they are as well as who you are and what you stand for.
Alex Oliveira 30:06
For sure, yeah. You don't want to. No, of course, every business owners, I did it many times in the first two years, you take everything, whatever comes your way. You're like, okay, yeah, new product line. Yeah, we do that too. Sure. But at some point, you have to stop being everything to everyone. I do get excited as I was talking, you know. We were talking earlier about different verticals, industries, I do get excited when I get a crazy call, you know, from I don't know, Germany, and some brand is a, you know, vitamin water. They want to choose us. But because it came from a referral, or some company in Japan, who does medical equipment, you know. What, but I, but I get excited about that. Because if they really have a challenge that I can solve, then that I know it's a fit, right? And it's not always leads, it's typically, you know, let's fix all of this first, and then you're ready for more leads to feed into your sales teams. And along the way, also, what many of these companies find is that they don't have alignment between their sales and their marketing. And so I usually have these little three diet Venn diagram, you know. It's like, marketing, sales and customer experience those three, so they get really aligned in the same place. You have these conversations with teams, and you go, Oh, that's crazy. Everybody's marching to a different beat in a different direction. No wonder, imagine how that customer feels. And then if I throw in like payments, which this is big in healthcare, so payments, and I, as a consumer experience this all the time, Mickey right? I'll call to talk to the health insurance about our kids plans, whatnot. And it's like customer service feels one way marketing feels another. Sales definitely feels a different way. And then, and then comes like payment, and it's like so dry. And you don't feel like, you don't feel the love, right? It's just like, hey, give us the money. Goodbye. You get a thank you email, maybe a text. Actually, I just had a text from a vendor. A text, you know, it'd be really cool if you picked up the phone and call me and you said, Hey, no, no really.
Mickey Anderson 32:10
It's so true. Oh my god, what a difference that would be right? How would that stand out in your mind as somebody called to say thank you.
Alex Oliveira 32:16
I'm not kidding. Here. Look, so 2:05. And you can see here it says Geico, right? So Geico. Geico. So your payment of $226.55 for the policy, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, will be billed to the credit card blah blah. Okay, text STOP to end the text. Okay, cool. I asked for no. Right. So I asked for the notification. So thank you. So thank you. But at what point in the policy are you gonna call to speak to me? I know when it's renewal time. So where's the alignment between customer service working backwards to sales to marketing? Everybody's like, oblivious. So it's, it's hard. And so here's a company Geico, right? owned by Berkshire Hathaway, they're huge. I'm sorry, Warren Buffett, your company sucks. I go with you. Because you're the lowest rate, flat out, I don't have loyalty, what loyalty I'll shop you again in six months. And if you happen to be the lowest, that's why I go with, I mean, progressively, you know, commercials are cool, or State Farm or whatever agency, but at the end of the day, there are certain services in our life that that are so transactional, and I don't think we should accept that. And especially if you're a small business owner, you have the opportunity to actually design an amazing customer experience. So…
Mickey Anderson 33:44
I love it. I anytime we talk about marketing, I love There's this quote Ryan Deiss, from digital marketer has, and it's like marketing is human to human communication, right. And it's human problems with human solutions. And I think that's really what it comes down to. Are you treating people like their people or like their transactions? And whether it's the tone, whether it's using their name in the text? Right, how it started with? Hi, Alex. Right? Even something as simple as that can make a huge impact.
Alex Oliveira 34:08
Absolutely. Yeah, I think, you know, some companies are doing well depends on their divisions. I don't, I don't like to just point out the mistakes or the challenges. On a monthly basis, I write down the experiences I have with different companies or vendors that I work with. And I always like to give those experiences. We don't have enough time in his podcast. But perhaps another time, I have a bunch of examples of like, a, you know, a two-person company that's changing my water heater. Whoa, amazing, like through the roof, like you would have thought you're shopping at Tiffany's, a water heater. But you know, the owner has this idea of everything. And so he also doesn't depend on leads as much because his referral rate is just like, through the roof, and he can do a couple million dollars a year with a small crew because his work is above the rest. Meanwhile, the competitors are spending like ten grand a month to get clicks and their customer service experience sucks, or their payment process or whatever. So, I think the advice that we can give the listeners here is, you know, leads are great, but you first have to make sure that you understand the cut. Who the customer is. The process, obviously talked to a conversion expert, it's different for every industry. You know, I struggle with attribution, and conversion and a lot of those things because it gets so in the weeds, and it's so scientific, it's hard to do, you know?
Mickey Anderson 35:35
You know, but I think that that order of operations, right, and if you're a business and you're feeling kind of maybe a little defeated, because you don't have the budget to invest a ton in lead generation. You don't have time cameras to put up pay per click. And really, I think the starting point for you is okay, well, how can you outdo every one of your component, competitors in terms of customer experience, generate that month over month sustainable revenue. Those referrals, so that you can grow? And then invest in leads? Like, that's the order of operations, I think?
Alex Oliveira 36:05
Yeah. And you know, what's, I think the good news for the businesses who are still at the stage where they're not happy with the, their growth, or the number of customers that are coming in every day, the good news is, you're still at the point where you can design an amazing system. I'll give you an example. Two years ago, I said, you know what, I'm gonna launch a bunch of courses, because I really think that I can help a lot of these first stage entrepreneurs, business owners, and even marketers, right. And so I, the first one that I did, was to pair up with a book and I got a lot of pushback from marketers. Friends of mine in the industry. I said, Can you give me your feedback? And they were like, Oh, my God, it's too long. Alex, you crazy five hours? What is the matter with you? Don't you know that a course should be no more than an hour? I'm like, I'm not. But I know my customer. I'm not building this course. For someone who just kind of wants like, I'm not it's not for a TikTok or once. Yeah, right. I mean, I am not on TikTok, often, but when I am I look at it. And I go, there's these people who give advice, like even financial advice, or legal you are in the legal industry is like, what? Why would I listen to you? First of all, you have no. Like, I don't care that you have 10 million followers, that's good for your mother. Like, you have 10 million followers, but you have no credentials, I'm gonna listen to you, because you did some freaking probably you use chat GPT? To get an answer to whatever, no. I'm not gonna listen to you. So I'm that guy. So if you are marketing to me, yeah, I would, I would take a five, six hour course to learn something that I really think is important for my career or my company, right? To that point, I probably if I would have made that course into one hour. So this is me trying to know my product, know my audience, and then build a product around that. So, if I would have made that course into one hour, I tested it on our website, and as well as doing a private to associations. And then I added it to Udemy. So, I tested on three different total different traffic sources, right. And on Udemy. It's like it's taken forever, for the course to grow. But I stuck with it. It you know, it's a six hour course. So you could take it over the course of a month, two, three, whatever. And now, after having done enough optimization, enough webinars enough, like AMA's, and Q and A's and whatnot, the support is there. People are telling people, and I remember when I was selling, like two courses a month, and then, you know, and oh, by the way, the price point was ridiculous. That I admit, by the way, pricing is so important. I'm not an expert in pricing. So let me just preface by saying that I priced it at 199. Right, $199, that’s… I was like, I'm not gonna sell this for less. It's my audience. And long story short, it's 19.99 today, right? But it took me a while to find a sweet spot. I mean, listen, I put probably 60 hours to build that course, over the course of a few months plus my staff. That's it. Once it's built, it's there. It's there. It's just the support here and there. So I think I was being a little bit greedy, in that I was like, I can't give all that great content way. Like anyways, but I get students now on a daily basis. I just had one sign up last night from Japan, and I get it and it's good. And by the way, here's where sometimes it's good to not listen to advice. The advice that I was given by most of my friends and marketers and even core specialists was like, Don't do it. No one will ever finish your course. Guess what most of my students finish the course within two, three weeks. And sometimes I see them finish it in like a day and I'm like, wow. So, I'm just giving an example of like, that whole thing was built by, with the idea of marketers and everybody was a little bit wrong between the pricing, the audience and whatnot. So you know, just you got to do your research and it's taken a while. So the other thing, the one last thing I'll say on that is that have patience, you know. Have patience and again, this is someone who's not very patient speaking about being patient. So it's kind of funny to listen to myself. But yeah, so I have to be patient, it's like, it's okay, that in the first year, it's only going to sell like, you know, a couple 100 courses, then this. So it's cool, you know, so just take time, but what I've been able to do along that time with my team has optimized the entire customer experience, and there's still so much more to be done. Like, I didn't do Q and A's and support for like, the whole month of December and up until like, last week. Yeah, you had some people who complain, but you know, most of the competitors who are doing courses, sometimes they take like a month to get back to you. We're getting back to people on a daily basis. But it's not a business for me. So, you know, I'm doing as much as I can there.
Mickey Anderson 40:50
What a great example, I think like the patience part is one of the hardest things for most of us. We all want results yesterday, and we want it to be perfect. But a lot of times it takes 10 times longer than we think it should. And that's okay. A good timeline are you really on? Right? We set these arbitrary deadlines and timelines for things when in reality, like sometimes it just takes longer?
Alex Oliveira 41:09
It does. And, you know, I'd love to get your take on, you know, because you're, you're in that world of optimizing the whole funnel, I'm sure down a conversion more. But like how, in terms of like, the algorithms, and I'm specifically talking about organic, because I always wonder, you know, we do some SEO and whatnot. But we're not experts in that area of SEO to generate leads. That's not what we do. How, for a small business owner, what tool do you recommend? Because, you know, I always recommend like Google Analytics and a few others, but like, what's your favorite tool for like a small business owner
Mickey Anderson 40:50
You know, Google Analytics, Google Search Console are kind of the two main ones that I've worked with. But I also use a few different ones, depending on the client and what they're doing. Because we do content campaigns. So content is always tied to a service. And we're looking at the stages of awareness your customers going through, right, so from unaware, they have no idea who you are, what do they need to know at that point? What can you provide for them to move them to a place where, okay, they know they know their problem? And then from their problem, how do we get them solution aware? And then aware about your product and service, right? And what are they needed each one of those stages. And so content is created with that process in mind, and each of those steps. And ideally, we want to start with own channels. So like your website, blog is a great place to start evergreen you own it, you can then turn it into videos, which you can have on your website, and you can also send out by email, right? That process works really great for a sequence of an email, right? To get people to buy your product. It works really great for upsells, too, right? After the point of sale. And so it's all again, it comes back to knowing your customer, what they need to know and when, and what are the questions or problems that they're facing in that moment. So for our customers problem aware, for example, they know, okay, I need leads, I don't have enough. I get it, but I don't know who to go for leads or what the best solution is at that point, we got to answer that question. Okay, here are the options on the market. Here's what works for most people, here's what doesn't, and here's where you should start. And then okay, now I need clarity on which one of these options is going to be best for me. So we do comparisons, okay, so and so versus so and so. And you just keep moving people throughout that process. And then the goal is to be, because this is evergreen content too, right? The goal is to repurpose, rinse and repeat. Post it on social, send people and direct them to your website, get them to consume it on your email list and get them to the point of sale.
Alex Oliveira 43:36
Yeah, I think it's, it's all for that small business owner, it's all just so much work, that I feel like you sometimes you can't just hire an agency to do it, you really need a director level, CMO level, there's a lot of fractional CMO services out there. I'm not sure that most small business owners need that. There's a lot of solutions out there, right? Marketing coaches this that, you know, there's everybody's selling you some snake oil, for lack of a better word. But I think it's taking the time, like when you were just talking about that how you guys are looking at every like touch point, I was just thinking about a one of our clients. It's actually a partnership that we have. And we moved them from WooCommerce. They had WooCommerce, but built on WordPress. And it took a while to convince them to move over to Shopify, you know. And they were really dependent on Amazon sales, which we kept trying to convince them like you can't depend on Amazon. You can depend on Amazon like it's great. You gotten to a million with Amazon and then you're gonna go right backwards, because that's how it works. And thankfully, they listened to us. And we went out and we built a an amazing website with a team that we hired on Upwork. Actually, I lied. This wasn't an Upwork it was actually on Shopify developers, their developer marketplace. Wow. And we lucked out because I've built 1000s of sites over the years. Most of them are like, ah, pulling your hair. But this one, we just had such a great team, they really understood what the vision was. And the website got done in like two months, which was, we thought it's going to take like six months, it took like two months. And anyways, all the tools that are in the Shopify and all the apps that exist there for shopping cart abandonment, and all the stuff that we need, I needed that customer to go to a tool or a CMS like Shopify, for that reason. Because they're going to do a lot of what they do in house for the foreseeable future. And if the tools are not user friendly, it makes it hard. So like for them, they felt like Google Analytics Search Console, all of that was not that it was hard, but they just couldn't connect it all together, even using, what did we use? It's the it's in the Google marketing platform. Oh, boy, it's they changed the name recently.
Mickey Anderson 46:00
Okay, that's Google, my business profile has changed. Everything, Google's changed.
Alex Oliveira 46:04
Yeah, everything is changing. But it's the one that pulls your data from all it's on their marketing platform.
Mickey Anderson 46:10
Alex Oliveira 46:11
Not Tag Manager. It's the other product. Oh, gosh, now you're gonna have to…
Mickey Anderson 46:15
No, no, I'm just gonna open it up and be like, where we're at. What are we talking? It's okay. Google ads. Google My Business.
Alex Oliveira 46:23
It used to be called Data Studio. That's what it was.
Mickey Anderson 46:24
Yeah. Okay. It's in. Yeah.
Alex Oliveira 46:27
Looker. It's called Looker studio. Now, there we go. So, you build all these dashboards for them and thinking like, “Hey, be easier for you to optimize?” No. But now that they're on Shopify? Again, I'm not selling Shopify. But I'm just saying, if you have an entrepreneur who's listening here, and they do e-commerce, it's been my experience that the environment of Shopify, for that small business makes it easier to do everything, the email, the just everything, you know.
Mickey Anderson 46:55
Yeah, you can get it all in one. I mean, why pay for eight different platforms, if you can, if you can get away with one that's all inclusive. It's always going to be easier. Like I'm old school, I use a Google spreadsheet tracking metrics into Google spreadsheet. And it's not many, like I know, my key KPIs, so I'm not too worried. And for most businesses, they don't need a ton of data, they just need to know what the right data is and where to get it. And if you can do that, from the outset, you're going to be better than most.
Alex Oliveira 47:25
Yeah, yeah. It's true.
Mickey Anderson 47:29
Awesome. Well, Alex, let's talk about the book briefly. Because I know, you know, that people are gonna want to learn more about you, what you do, and how they can get more. So let's talk about that.
Alex Oliveira 47:37
Yeah, I mean, the book was like one of those things where I had like three different book ideas. And I chose the more technical ones. So this is not to, you know, put to inspire you and do all this stuff. It's like very technical. Like, if you want to learn lead gen and systems. And the cool thing about the book is that if you want to jump around, because you maybe are lacking in affiliate, and you want to understand all the different marketplaces and how publisher versus advertiser works, you can just go to that section. So, it's not a book that you have to say, read from page one to 350 is a lot of pages. I also got pushback from a lot of people like What the hell's wrong with you, that's way too long. You need like 150 pages. And I'm like, listen, I'm gonna do the way I know, that has worked for me, because when I've generated 24 million leads for, you know, over the last 12 years for brands like Ford, Allstate, and many others. Like, I have my system, and there's a million other systems that are amazing out there. So let's just start there. Not saying mine is the right one. I'm just saying it's one across many verticals. And so I present that in the book, and I present some case studies. And then I present some, like, very, like101, very like entry level things that I'm always surprised with some marketers that they might go. What? I don't know about that. Like, you know, even a little tool, like, I'm gonna send, you know, subject line tester. Yeah, you know, listen, at some point, I didn't know about that. Where I just talked to another marketer the other day, actually, a couple of days ago, who said “Huh, I didn't know Google is not displaying pages anymore. page one, page two, page three and organic”. So again, because we all have our lives, and you're not going to keep up with everything. So, I tried to present the things that are I feel like it's gonna be evergreen and foundational, and, you know, try to stay away from the, you know, the trend of the moment. So yeah, so I built the book on that it pairs with the courses, and a few other things, but I've had really good feedback. And for anybody thinking about doing a book, here's the thing, I first hired a ghost writer, and it did not work out. Actually, I had two, the first one was horrible. The second one was a good friend of mine who was actually an SEO copywriter, pretty good. Got me to about you know, I did the first like, 20,000 words. Then we got to about 30,000 words, but then the kind of book went in different directions. And I said, “Oh, gosh, I'm gonna do the rest of this myself”. And, and I did and then before, you know, I had like, 70,000 words, and I had to go backwards a little bit, but it was my own words. So I'm not big on doing ghostwriting, depending on the subject matter. If anyone is looking to do a book. And then the second thing was that the strategy was, you know, you do the launch. It's a book that I give to all my clients. And I try to use that as a tool to educate their teams. So it works out. But I also sell it on Amazon, which doesn't do much. But what I do do, I just got a like 1-2-3, like five boxes with a couple 100 books, and I print them from amazon for like, I don't know, $5 and change. And so it's just such a great tool that I think that for those consultants, service providers, coaches, like it's a tool that can really help your clients. And that's what I was looking for. I wasn't thinking that I'm going to sell a million copies at all. It's a tool that I've been meaning to do for like 10 years. And so it's been it's been a good experience all around. I definitely put more time into it than I thought I would. But I'm really proud of it. And I think it's helping people.
Mickey Anderson 51:03
I think that speaks a little bit to like what we were talking about before to like your own words, they're different than something an AI generated tool is going to come up with, right? And yes, those are great tools to use. But nothing is really as good as coming from you. And as a small business owner, you're busy, we get it. But there are some things that you just have to do. That's it.
Alex Oliveira 51:21
That's it. And the title of the book was so funny. I'll tell you a quick story here. So the title of the book for those who don't know is If You Build it, Will They Come? So it's a question, right? If you build it, will they come the golden path to lead generation success for your business. A long subtitle there, but if you build it will they come? It's that so many of us, entrepreneurs, creators, inventors, we create these things, products, services, and so many of their great products and services out there. They never get discovered Mickey because they don't have the right masterminds on the team of the…. You know, I think of companies like Airbnb and all these other great companies that are out there. If you didn't have the right people in marketing specifically. Sure, that CEO is visionary, I get that. But you have to had a really good. Look, there have been brands that have come out of like the graveyard because they brought in an amazing marketing team. You know, I think Dunkin Donuts here in the US is like one of them. They're Dunkin now, but I think back to like 20 years ago, it was like a little donut shop. And they rebranded and really came back strong to give Starbucks a real, you know, sort of run for it. And so the bottom line is like you're an entrepreneur, you think your product is great, wonderful. But if you build it, they're not going to come. You need the Mickey's and Alex’s is of the world. It doesn't have to be us.
Mickey Anderson 52:42
It could be a team right there.
Alex Oliveira 52:45
Yeah, they're not going to come I'm sorry. And then the funny part of the story is, so I did all of that for the book. And I told my team, I can't take time out of your days to do this with me, right? So, I got to do this on my own. And when the book was done, I did some stuff for the launch. And I go through the whole list the plan, but most of it, I didn't end up doing it. And it didn't like hit me until after a few months that if you build it, they they're not going to come. So they built this stupid book called if you build it, will they come and nobody was coming in, honestly. So here, here's me telling you the irony of the title. And I committed like the worst offense. And I'm giving people that advice. Oh man. I was like, what? This is crazy, like I can't. So, anyway, so I really made a commitment. I'm like, okay, every month I'm going to ship out 1000 copies, here's how I'm going to do it. Boom, boom, boom, not going to depend on Amazon. This is how I'm going to do it. Boom, boom, boom. So anyways, so it can happen to any of us.
Mickey Anderson 53:43
We all gotta take our own advice. Oh my gosh, it's so true. Amazing. Well, Alex, thank you so much for your time, your expertise. I've had a wonderful time I learned a ton and I'm sure the audience has too. For those who want to get a hold of you and learn more about you and your services. Where can they find you online?
Alex Oliveira 53:58
Well, all the free stuff is on dadprinter.co. So that's where I give you free courses free everything so go to dadprinter.co and if you like what you see there, then you'll probably find your way to predict which is our lead gen agency. So but it's been great talking to you. And again, I hope that your listeners spend time listening. Because I listened to some of the other episodes Mickey and like everything else. There's millions of podcasts out there, but I know that you're taking your time to bring really good people on here, but also have these great conversations and so I appreciate it and yeah, I look forward to seeing your growth.
Mickey Anderson 54:35
Thank you so much. I so appreciate it everyone. This has been a wonderful conversation. Thank you, Alex.