When was the last time you looked at your website homepage through the eyes of your audience?
Don't look and see if it says what YOU want. Does the content resonate with the person you want to purchase your product or service?
Do you clearly identify the problem you solve and explain how you can help them? Are you writing for your audience?
This is only ONE piece of what Patty K and I discuss in this episode of Imperfect Marketing. There are a ton of great tidbits inside this podcast that you will want to take note of, so be sure to listen near your favorite notepad or computer!
Did you learn something new about writing for your audience? Let me know, I'd love to hear from you!
Looking for ideas for your social media? I have a great free guide that provides 30 days of items you can post.
Get it here.
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of Imperfect Marketing!
While other kids were playing baseball or pretended to be superheroes, Patty made up advertisements and memorized commercials. Her business mission is to help smart people share their wisdom to the world and her business model: She's more than a consultant, less than an agency.
She, like me, believes that effective marketing lives at the intersection of strategy, communication, and technology. One of my favorite things in her resume is that she is a certified Duct Tape marketing consultant and is part of a worldwide network of marketing professionals who advocate for strategy and communication over the trend of the day.
Love that! I'm personally a huge fan of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. I'll be sure to link it in the show notes. I was just recently binge listening on a recent trip that I took, I had to keep pausing the podcast to take notes with the sound bites that I planned to reuse from some of his guests.
And Patty's also written a book, The YOU-Shaped Business: Authentic Marketing for Self-Employed Professionals, which I also love because I work a lot with solopreneurs.
So, welcome, Patty. Thanks so much for joining me!
Thank you, Kendra. I'm excited to be here!
So you do a lot of marketing for trusted advisors, right? And that's a big piece about relationship building and that's, that's a core piece of what you work on for your customers and clients.
Why don't you tell me a little bit more about that?
Absolutely. So trusted advisors, they're typically, they might call themselves a coach or consultant. The advisors that I work with are business to business kinds of people, and generally speaking, they work with a small number of clients over a long period of time. I have clients that have worked with their clients for like 10 years.
So the goal with developing a trusted advisor kind of a business is that you develop that trust. It's a personal relationship. I interview my client's clients and they often tell me that that's what they value most, is that they've got somebody to talk to. It's a sounding board, somebody that they can be vulnerable with.
So there's that, there's that trust building side, and then there's the advisory side, which is, you know, easier advice worth listening to. So it's those two things that go into a trusted advisory business.
And then, when I work with my clients, I support them on developing, content marketing words and strategy that it's, you know, it's kind of like it's up to them to build the trust in terms of the personal relationship, whereas I can help them, package up their expertise and their advice in a way that meets up with what their clients are looking for.
Very cool! So talk to me a little bit more about words and strategy. How do you reflect the words in your client's voices since you, clearly, you have several different clients that all have different voices and wanna share their information differently. I know that's one of your, one of your skills, creating content in their voice.
How do you go about doing that?
Interviews. Interviews is my, kind of my secret to all of this. So when I begin a client engagement, I, well, first of all, I start with an extensive interview of the client and basically we get on a call for 90 minutes or two hours and I just ask some questions and they talk.
And at some point during that interview, they'll say, "It feels like I'm babbling, is this useful?"
And I'm like, "Yes, yes it is!"
Because I wanna know how they talk. I want to know what kind of words and phrases that they use. I wanna know kind of what their personality is. And I gather all that information from our conversations and from interviewing. So that's a big piece of it.
And I then, you know, I have this constant running filter in my head where it's like, "Oh, that would be a good sound bite. They've repeated this phrase four times. This is something that, that I can bring back."
And I'm asking them questions to solicit, you know, what's their point of view, what's their perspective on this, what's their opinion, what's something that they're taking a stand for that might be contrary to what other experts are taking a stand for.
So these are the kinds of things that I'm listening for. What makes them different, what makes them unique, what's compelling? It really helps that I am fascinated, by the topics of business and communication and leadership.
So it's like an intellectual playground for me, to ask these questions and learn more about what they do and how they do it. And then to compare and contrast, because my other clients have similar kinds of businesses, but often at different angles or perspectives.
So, there's a lot of that, you know, asking questions and listening and taking notes. So I interview them, then, I interview their clients.
So I get them to hook me up with 10, ideally 10 clients, at least five. And then I have interviews with them and I ask them, like, you know, one of my questions is, what are three words that you would use to describe my client?
To get kind of a sense of their, you know, their brand personality. What do you like best? You know, what kind of results did you have? What kind of problems did you have?
And basically, the clients tell me what the marketing messages need to be. Okay, so tell me what the problems were, what the results that they wanted were, what they were looking for. And that stuff informs like the copywriting and kind of a content plan for what we're gonna talk about.
So that's my, that's my secret.
I love that. I think you get so much out of interviews and I think people downplay that way too much nowadays. Like when I'm working on defining a target audience or a target market, or a dream client for a client, I'm like, You need to call them and ask them these questions.
And here's 17 questions that you need to get answers for, because they're gonna share other things with you and you're gonna get more insights into what they need and why they work with you. And there's just so much more to having a conversation than just doing a survey and asking things through email.
The problem with asking people things through email or written, is that they edit themselves. So if I were to ask, like, if my clients filled in a questionnaire, I would not get what I'm looking for because they would get what they think they should say versus what they actually say.
Which is also why I interview the clients, rather than asking my client to interview the clients. Because when I ask my clients, and this is part of what I teach though, as we go along so quickly, every time you get in your initial sales conversation, you're asking about what hurts.
Write down what they say, send me that information. What are they actually complaining about in their words? And clients will paraphrase it, they will correct it.
Um, they'll go, "Yeah, they said this, but, oh, that's, you know, they're expressing it in negative terms."
And as a coach, we always talk about things in the positive. So they'll kind of pull the punch out of the information because they're not really saying what the client said. They're saying what they believe the client should have said that kind of a thing.
Yeah, no, I get that. It's very tricky. And I do like that you take ownership of those interviews, cuz I think that that's really important.
I have a client working on a current project and they're working, they're down to sentences and really saying what's gonna resonate with the audience. But I don't think anybody's had a conversation with one of their targets or clients about that. I mean, they've had numerous conversations with their clients, but again, they're editing it.
So I think that that's really powerful and I love the three words you'd use to describe. So because you get a lot out of that, you're gonna get a lot more out of that than some of the open ended questions.
Yeah, absolutely. And then of course, you know, after I've interviewed 10 clients, we see the patterns emerge. You know, the words win and we can categorize it, and then we can come up with, "okay, these five words describe your brand. This is what your, what your clients say about you."
So now we've got guidance. It's like, we're gonna create a website that matches these words,
And these words are what your clients use. Not some words you came up with and put on a wall because you decided this is what you wanted it to be, even though you're not. So that's very cool. I love your approach to that.
Now, content marketing is very important to you and a key part of your business. It's a key part of my business, and I'm a big fan. I love, I consider myself a content marketing coach because everything goes back to content marketing, especially when you're trying to build some trust online.
What tactics are you using? You're using mostly the old standby of the blog, are you working in other formats?
Talk to me about what you're working on for your clients and what methods you're using media you're using.
My approach with the content is that, is thought leadership kind of marketing. So, a lot of times when people talk about content marketing, they're talking about, either hiring a content mill to write some stuff, or SEO optimized content, or now it's AI generated content and it's basically how can I get as many words as possible so I can put it on the site to hopefully trick the Google algorithm into showing my site the search results kind of thing. So there's that kind of content marketing, which is not what I do.
And then there's thought leadership marketing, which is more about educating, providing perspective and point of view and, useful, helpful, content that's meant to build a relationship.
So one of the things that, you know, when I think about marketing and the stages of the customer journey is sometimes people have this expectation that like you do marketing, then you do sales, then you get to start the trusted advisor relationship kind of piece of it.
Whereas my perspective is, let's just start the trusted advisor relationship right at the beginning. So you don't have to be a different person in your marketing and in your sales it's just like, start off helping people.
So that's the kind of content, you know, I tell my clients, it's like, if it's something that you feel like maybe you should be paid for, then that's gonna be great content. Because if they could do it themselves, they're not gonna hire you to come in and work with them.
So, so we start with that. So, and the other thing is, my clients are busy. They've got clients, they've got lots of stuff on the go. So I'm looking for what is an efficient way to create this content. So one of the things I love to do with clients is have them develop, like a presentation.
They go, you know, we could call it a webinar, but a presentation that they would deliver to teach their audience something specific related to their business. Then we record the webinar and sometimes we do this as a webinar and we actually invite people and see if we can get some people to show up for it.
Sometimes we record this, I get on a call like this and, you know, I'm the audience and I smile and I nod and they deliver their webinar, which creates like a long video that we can chop up into pieces to create shorter videos.
And then I can use the content that they've taught to develop a weekly blog post, an article. So we get some video, we get an article. The article typically for my clients is something they'll publish on LinkedIn and is something they'll put on the blog.
And then I pull out snips of that to create social media posts, which is like, you know, just kind of atomizing their content basically, you know, a quote that they said, or, you know, three tips or one tip or something like that. And create a bunch of like social media images that are all just sharing their helpful advice and their perspective.
So from one interactive, they deliver content thing, we get a month's worth of worth of content in multiple formats. And that helps, you know, helps me get their voice, helps draw out their content. And of course we make it, you know, they usually enjoy doing it too. Cause they get to talk about their expertise. And especially for my clients that are comfortable delivering presentations, it's just a, you know, they don't have to do a lot of prep for it.
A bit of an outline, and I'll help them with the outline. I'll be like, "Okay, here's how we're gonna structure it. This is what I wanna know."
It's like, what are the symptoms that are showing up for people? How do they know they have the problem? What are the things they'd rather have instead? What's an example or a case study that you can share in working with client what, you know, what's kind of like the high level, How To's, what are some common mistakes that they make?
Like I provide the prompts. And then they can just speak to it. And sometimes we just do it by an interview. Just, I'm gonna ask questions, you talk, and then I'll pull that interview together, and create the content from there.
That's great. There's so much in that, what you just shared. So the first thing I wanna start with is, yeah, some people are just trying to trick the algorithm. I am with you.
That is not a content strategy because Google is smarter than all of us. It's my belief that Google is smarter than all of us. And then you talked about like that AI content writing. So I did a test and tested one of the AI content systems and there was some good stuff in there, gave me some good ideas. But that's all it does is give you ideas.
And Google has determined that AI written content is not, I think they said like they're labeling that part of spam or something like that. Like they're not identifying it as good content. So you gotta be really careful with AI generated content nowadays.
So the other thing that you were talking about is the thought leadership content. And I love that because I work with so many business to business organizations and it's all about providing that value. Nobody complains about the amount of information they give away because again, everybody's busy.
If they could do what you do, they would, there's only so much they can stitch together from watching Google and YouTube videos. So there's a lot of value out there that you can provide and your knowledge will help so many people.
And then they start to build that know, like, and trust factor where they wanna call you and then they really know, like, and trust you. So I think that that's huge.
And then I love what you're talking about leveraging content. So you end up with, you know, a video, a webinar that you can post online. You've got a case study, you've got blog posts that are broken off and maybe go a little bit deeper on some of the deeper tangents that they cover. That's huge.
I think that a lot of people struggle with leveraging content. What advice would you give to someone that is trying to leverage their content in more ways?
For each method that you, you know, for each way that you wanna share your content. So let's say you want to post on LinkedIn, you wanna get published in some publication or even paid to have something published there. You wanna put stuff out on social media, wanna send your weekly newsletter.
It's, you can think of that as a list of, oh, there's 10 pieces of content that I have to create. Or it's like, no, there's one piece of content that I have to create and then I repurpose it for each one of those things.
So it's like, I tell my clients, it's like, we're gonna send an email out every week and we're gonna do a blog post every week. And they're gonna be the same thing.
You know, the email's gonna be a friendly kind of chatty introduction to "Here's what I wrote on my blog this week, check it out! And by the way, whenever you're ready, here's some ways we can work together."
And it's just like, it's that drip reminder, here's some value, here's a reminder that I'm here whenever you need me. And it's just, that goes out on the email and the blog post. So it's not two different pieces of content. It's one.
And same as the social media. It's like if you put the effort into creating a, you know, one good long piece of content, like a webinar or presentation, and I'm not saying it has to be an hour, it might be 20 minutes, right?
But 20 minutes of good solid presentation with some really good content and that can be your content for the month that, you know, you can pull everything out of there. And you can get transcripts.
Like you can take that recording and you can get transcript, you can, you know, you zoom is beautiful these days. Like it separates out an audio, the video, the screen share, the presenter. Like you can get multiple videos just from doing stuff on Zoom.
And then you can get the transcript and you can actually pull out some of the content. It can guide you depending on how succinct and practiced you are delivering. Sometimes it's hard to work from a transcript, but at least you've got all the words there and you've got something to start with.
And you can send that to a freelancer and have them clean it up. So there's lots of ways to use that same piece of content. But it's helpful if you think about one big good piece of content and then make all the other content from that. And that they don't all have to be different. In fact, it's really good to be repetitive.
Yeah. Cuz I was recently working with a client on a letter to their donors, a year end giving letter. And it's very similar to last year's. Nobody's gonna remember that, they're gonna have to see it for like seven or 10 years in a row before maybe they start to remember some, you know, key pieces of it.
And it's not exactly the same, but it's 90% and because it's still the same issues that they're solving and struggling with, you know, we're just bombarded by so many messages. Just because you're tired of it doesn't mean anybody else is because they didn't see it all.
They didn't see it all. You see, we're familiar with our own stuff. But you know, it, it's like I remind my clients sometimes it's like your client is kind of the star of their own movie. And it's like everything that they, like, they're very self-centered and their life and their business and all that.
It's all about them. And you are this like tiny weeny, little bit player. Like even if they're a client, you play this teeny tiny little role in in their business. And when you're marketing and you haven't even developed that client relation, you're even a smaller tier, teeny tiny, they're not paying that much attention.
They're not, they might not be reading that email every week. It's great if they do, but they're gonna dip in when they're able to. Or when, you know, the subject matter attracts their attention or whatever, but they're definitely, they're not even reading everything. Nevermind remembering everything that you've put out there.
Right. So for sure you can recycle stuff. And that's another thing I do with my clients too. So it's like, okay, let's pull up some stuff from three years ago. It's good. Let's put a fresh spin on it and republish it.
Well I think that that's so important. It makes things so much more efficient. The information is still good and there's tons of people that haven't seen it, don't remember it.
I remember I was talking on a podcast episode earlier when we were talking about Ubersuggest and I was like, "Huh, I haven't used Ubersuggest in a while."
I'm like, I was just on a phone call. That would've been a really good tool to remind people I needed a reminder about a marketing tool because it's not one that I use every day. So you, you're never, ever tired. I don't think of the messages, especially if it's valuable. I think that that's, that's so important and I love that perspective and I like pulling older content, putting a new spin on it.
There's probably some things that you wrote about in 2020, which feels like 40 years ago now, that you wrote about in 2020. And it probably has a little bit of a covid spin. Well now you can move it into today's terms because a lot of those principles that are valuable still hold true.
So let's talk a little bit about email marketing. Cuz I am a huge, huge, huge fan and advocate of email marketing. I even have an email marketing online course where I help people. I would say my email marketing is bringing in close to 90% of my business.
And the reason why is because—I should say 90% of my new business—people are joining my list because of referrals, because of a download that they wanted to get. I'm building that know, like, and trust factor and I'm staying top of mind.
They may not have been ready to pull the trigger when they joined my email list, but they'll write in my email or they'll reply to my newsletter and say, "Hey, I'm not, you know, I've been seeing your name and just kept in mind and you know, so now I'm ready to move forward. Can we do this?"
And I'm like, "Why, yes, we can!"
So I think it's just so powerful. So you encourage most of your clients to do weekly emails. Are there any that do other cadences or?
Yeah, I mean, when I say I encourage my clients to do weekly emails, I do the weekly email for them. So it's a little easier to say, "Yeah, this is what we're doing, You don't have to do it. You know, it's like you talk I write."
And yes, I've had clients who are like, "No, I don't wanna send it out every week. Let's do, every second week."
I've got one client that is like, "only once a month. That's all I wanna do."
And I'm like, "don't recommend, but okay."
Okay. Yeah. But again, it's all about top of mind and being in the right place at the right time. They're not reading all of your emails, they're only reading the ones that they're finding relevant to them.
Yeah. And it's, the top of mind thing is- so important, because it's their timing not yours. And, it's said, I got a client that really struggles with this idea that, you know, they might not be ready today. And you know, you're not gonna convince and convert and persuade somebody to sign up for a trusted advisory relationship right now, right now, cuz that's what you want.
It's when the timing is right for them, that's when they're going to be be ready and they may come across you before they're ready. In fact, it's most likely that they are, that they're in that, you know, it's, when I do my interviews, like they, people tell me this.
It's like they may have spent, weeks or months doing some research. It may have been on their mind that maybe they should get some help for a year before they actually decide to move forward with it.
But in the meantime, they're checking out to see, you know, what are some of these coaches and consultants offering. They might be reading some books on the subject.
They may sign up for some blogs and some newsletters and they're, you know, they're a little more tuned in. They're paying attention and it's like, you're not gonna sell them today, but you can get them to download your ebook and to get on your list.
And then you can continue to send them little drips of content. And then on the day that they're ready, they will remember that you exist and look at that. There's an email and then they can respond to it.
And they're gonna remember how much value you gave them along the way, how much you taught them about the topic, how much maybe you even created a band-aid so that they could delay hiring you for a little bit, you know, depending on their situation and their business. But yeah, it's so powerful.
It's not just for getting new clients, right? It's like there's also value to when you send it out to your current clients that you're reminding them that you know your stuff. You're reminding them that you're available for referrals.
And for past clients, you know, I've had clients who are like, Oh, you know, got a client that came back, they were gone for a year and then they came back and, and it's like, then I go and look at an active campaign and like, oh, well that's interesting because cuz they came back because they responded to the last email that we sent. It's like they opened it and they clicked. And we reminded them to come back just through this regular piece of marketing.
So it's not just for new people, it's also for the people that are already in our network. Or in another case just a supporter or referral partner can take that email and forward it and send it to somebody else saying, "Hey, you gotta read this."
Cause they're like, Oh look, we got, you know, 22 opens on this particular email. That's interesting. They must have forwarded it. Right.
So, Well, and that's, that's important too, because when you're looking at referral partners, again, it's about staying top of mind. You never know what's gonna cross their desk next, who's gonna have a situation where they get a call.
I just got an email from a friend of mine who I talked to every single week. It might be, you know, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, we're friends we're accountability partners and she just sent me an email saying, "Hey, do you have anybody that you recommend? I'm applying for a grant. I need some dollar numbers to put in here."
I'm like, "Okay, here's a couple of questions and I'll get it."
But she, I stay top of mind when she needs help like that because we have that touch point. And she gets my emails and stuff too, so we get each other's emails. That's part of our accountability piece.
But it's really key and really important I think to stress that consistency, that consistency drives business and will help you grow. What do you talk to your clients about when it comes to consistency?
I mean, I know luckily you're doing the heavy lifting for them, but what do you think about about consistency when it's coming to their role?
That's an interesting question. A lot of the responsibility for the consistency and the marketing falls on me. And then I download it to robots, so like, you know, daily social media posts and stuff like that.
So, it's like I'm providing the consistency in their content. And really what that does is it frees them up to be with their clients. It's really, you know, there it is. It's kind of, it's a partnership between me and my clients. And it's like, my role is to get their consistent content out there.
And their role is to continue to develop the relationships, and to do things, depending on what stage they're at in their business. Some of my clients are very mature, kind of a business model, and it's just, they work with their clients and they do great work and that's their job is to continue to serve their clients.
Whereas the ones that are in earlier days and they need to get more clients, it's like, okay, you need to go out and start building some relationships. Like you gotta network, you gotta speak, you've got to connect with people one on one, have some conversations. It's like you can't expect that posting stuff to social media is going to bring you clients.
What? Social media's not magic?!?!
Oh man, social media's so not magic! But you know, it's like, but it's awesome. Like, social media. Like some people see it as like, "Oh, social media, social media is a thing."
Or social media as a marketing tactic.
I don't see it that way. Social media has kind of two sides to it. It's a publishing platform. It's an advertising platform.
Like it's a way to put your message out there and to get it in front of people. That's the role I take on when I work with my clients is I publish stuff to social media. I'm not having conversations with people or engaging or anything. I'm just publishing your thought leadership content to social media.
The other side of social media is, you can look at it as the world's largest networking event. That's your job. It is to go out there and find some people, get in touch, you know, connect with people on LinkedIn, have conversations with them, engage with the content that they're putting out, do some commenting. It's like, you gotta be the human being that shows up in that relationship.
Like, that's your job.
No, and I agree with that because I talk to people all the time and they're like, "Well, I don't wanna do anything on social media."
I'm like, "Okay, then don't, What else are you gonna do though?"
Because we have to figure out where that is. And it doesn't have to be social media. And I do a lot of curated content posts so that if someone goes to check out their social media, that they see that they're real, because I think you need a website.
And now social media, back in the nineties, you needed a website and they're like, "Oh, good, you're real."
You know, now it's, you know, you need social media. "Okay, they're real."
But yeah, I mean I know people that get a ton of business outta LinkedIn, but they're curating those relationships themselves. I can't answer a question like that.
I can't say how awesome this blog on quiet quitting is that one of your networking contacts wrote for you. Because despite all the research that I do for my clients, I don't necessarily know their perspective 100% on all of that. And they need to share that.
I think that that's hugely insightful. Cause I think if you're gonna do social media well, you need to be involved in doing social media. You can't just outsource it and expect it to be done well.
And I work with a lot of, I'm in a couple of groups on Facebook where I hear a lot of the social media consultants or freelancers and things like that, they're like, "Oh yes, if the client wants to do their own social media too, then I won't work with them."
And I'm like, "But how do you know everything that's going on?"
I consider what I do baseline content for their social media. Then what they do is they take it up a notch. I love that you agree with that.
What do you, when you're looking at planning for social media and stuff, do you help, do you, since you're using it as a publishing platform, do you identify pillars?
Is that some of the stuff that comes out of those initial interviews that you create for your clients so that you know when you're posting and what angles you're posting about, et cetera?
Yeah. The first project I do with my clients is always about messaging. And it's about basically mapping out how they help their ideal client get from where they are now to where they wanna go, what the obstacles are in the way, what are the, you know, the little results that they want. And kind of mapping out that whole picture.
Often in a picture like, you know, like a visual model of what it is that they do. And then that provides kind of the umbrella for everything that we do.
So with one of my clients, we are actually like webinaring and blogging a book. It's like, here's the table of contents and here's what we're gonna do. Each chapter is gonna be a webinar, then we're gonna blog on that. And then at the end of the year, we're gonna have all of the basic content for the book.
You're gonna need to edit it, you're gonna need to build in some additional, you know, material to kind of all edit together. But, but we've actually created this overarching project for a year or 18 months worth of content marketing.
So we always know what we're doing every month. We know we're moving on to the next chapter and this is how we're gonna do that.
So I like to work from that and it's kind of like, one of my clients described it as a playground and she's like, "If it's not in my model, it's not in my playground."
So it has to be in the playground. And if it's in the playground, then I write about it. So you can, you know, jump around from different places in the model to give you some things to write about or you can take it kind of sequentially. We're gonna go from from A to Z.
Now, I think that that's great. I think getting, again, that interview that you do at the beginning fuels so much stuff and taking that time. I think a lot of people discount that time in the beginning. And I think it's just so important because it really sets the tone for everything else.
Yeah. And you know, it's how I work, right? Like this is, you know, this is kind of my business model really matches my client's business models in a lot of ways. It's like I work with a small number of clients over a long period of time, and as we work together, I become more valuable to them because the more I talk to them, you know.
I've got one client I've been working with for years. It like I can think like him, it's like I could go on social media and respond in his voice because I know his voice. We've been meeting every week. I've been asking him questions. I've interviewed probably 50 of his clients right now, right? Like, I have all of that. And I invest in that relationship.
What I do isn't gonna work for somebody who has a business model where they're, you know, supporting a whole lot more clients or they're, you know, doing like a small, you know, amount of work for them or something like that. So like part of it has to match up with what kind of business you want.
Yeah. I'm much more successful with like, high touch businesses that are selling B2B because that's, I think that that is such an underserved market that we serve. There's a ton of people that say they do it and don't and they don't, or they, they don't do it well.
And I think we have just so many opportunities to truly help them and make a difference. And I love to make a difference! I mean, that's why I do what I do.
So let's talk a little bit about client centric or client centered websites and personalized email funnels. Cause I know that that's a big service that you offer and it's a big passion point of mine.
I do like this, like StoryBrand. I don't know if you follow StoryBrand at all, but I love it because they always talk about do not make people think and speak to them. I think that that's just a big piece of the foundation, of what everybody has to have built. It's not about you, it's what's in it for me as the reader and the visitor.
So talk to me a little bit more about your trusted advisor marketing machines.
Yeah. So client centered is everything I like. Your clients will tell you how to market to them. So my perspective is like to see your entire business actually through the eyes of your client.
And when you put together a website, it's not about you, it's about your client and it's about what they're looking for, right? So when I've, you know, based on the client client clients' interviews that I've done over the years, I've determined that, you know, there's a handful of things that clients are looking for when they come to your website.
The first thing they wanna know is, "Can you help me?"
Like, it seems pretty obvious, right? But thing number one when they visit your website is, can you help me?
Like, "can you help me solve my problem?"
Or "can you help me get what I want?" Cause they're not gonna spend another second on your website until they know that.
Yeah. So I want everybody that's listening to this podcast right now to pause the podcast and pull up the homepage of your website. Are you telling them the problem that you solve or what you can solve?
Are you talking to THEM with that headline, sub-headline. Maybe a short paragraph and the buttons do, does that first section speak to your client or does it talk about you?
Because if it talks about you, you need to redo it right now. Okay. So then you can hit play again. All right.
Exactly. Just. Exactly, exactly. So, it's about that, right?
It's about, and it's about, from my perspective, it's about the problem or the result, right? Like it's about that. It's not about, you know, people get hung up and stuck on things that don't matter.
It's not about naming the specific demographic group that they're in, cuz people can spin themselves into circles around that when they work with more than one, you know, type of target market or whatever.
And it's like, I don't go there like unless it's relevant. I'm more interested in what is the problem or what is the solution? You know, what do they want, how you can help 'em.
That's thing number one. And then the second piece of that, like if you wanna talk about, you know, who those people are, it's about, you know, where's the chemistry, where's the matching values, matching perspective, more like kind of psychographic attributes.
That's kind of the second layer, right? So, when people come to your website, they wanna know, can you help me?
Okay, great, I see that you can help me now. I'm gonna settle in for a bit. I'm willing to look for stuff.
Cause if you make them think and make 'em dig for it, and you use language, they don't understand, they're gone. It's like people don't have a lot of patience, right?
So you gotta make it clear. And that comes from using their language. Like it's not what you think they want, it's what they said they want.
And they will say that, they will tell you that in those initial conversations you have, that discovery calls sales conversation that you have and you ask them, "Where does it hurt? What's going on? What are you looking for? Tell me about your situation."
They will spill and you write down what they say and you put it back on your website. And then the next person that comes along with that same set of problems that you solve so well will see them on the website. So that's where you get that.
I think one of the things to note on that, that, that you really brought in that I just wanna jump in here and point it out, cause I think it's so important, is sales doesn't start with saying something. It starts with hearing something.
Nothing that you said in that train said what I do or like what you do, you asked questions because the sales process or whatever it is, your sales piece of your business does not start with you saying something.
It starts with you hearing something. That was in my podcast, I heard that line. I'm like, "I'm writing that down and stealing that!"
But it's true. And that's exactly what you're saying is it doesn't start with you saying something, it starts with you hearing something. So you need to listen.
Yep. And then you present that back and it's kind of like, if you think about your website, it's kind of holding that sales conversation for you in some ways, right?
You're having to guess in some ways as to what they're thinking and then you gather that information in your sales conversations or interviews, so that you can kind of fill in their part and then you play yours.
So the first thing they wanna know is, can you help me? Right? And then from there, depending on who they are, they might wanna know, "Well who else have you helped like me?"
So they wanna see some testimonials of people that look like them. Like I don't mean literally, like visibly look like them, but have a similar kind of a problem, that you help them overcome.
So testimonials on your website, but testimonials that are about what you do for people, not about how great you are.
A lot of times we like, when we ask clients for testimonials will get something that's like, "Oh, Kendra is amazing. She is like totally awesome and she is the best thing. You should hire her."
And people think that that is a great testimonial.
Just so you know, Kendra is awesome, and amazing, and you should hire her just saying.
There you go! The great testimonial is gonna be like, "Man, when I came to Kendra, it's like I had no idea what to do with my marketing and I was frustrated and stuck and confused and I didn't know how to explain what I did. And nothing I did worked. And wow, she works some amazing magic and now my marketing is all set and it's great and I don't have to worry about it. And I've got clients flying through the door!"
That's a good testimonial, right? Cause it, it kind of shows up before and after kind of a view.
And you get those by asking questions.
Just saying, "Please send me a testimonial!" Cause if you say, send me a testimonial, you get "Kendra's awesome and amazing."
But if you say, "Hey, I'd love to get a testimonial from you, would you mind answering these three questions?"
It gives them a focus and a framework. And then you're gonna have somebody like Patty rewrite it for you and tweak it, send it back to them for approval. That way they don't have to wordsmith and they don't have to feel like they're too time invested and they still get approval and you know, it's not like you're taking their concepts and changing them.
You're just making the three questions flow. But there's so much power in that.
Absolutely! Absolutely. And it makes it easier for them too.
Lots of times people will say they'll give you a testimonial, but then they don't know what to say and they get stuck and they put it off. And it's not that they've changed their mind about giving a testimonial, it's just like, it's hard for them to do that.
And they don't want, you know, they don't know what to say. But when you ask them questions, you provide a little bit of a frame for them to, make it easier,
It's the same with reference letters and things like that. Like someone asks me for a reference, I'm like, "Yes, I'll be happy to do that. Please draft something and I'll take a look at it!"
And if you have like questions, you can put question marks. But that's when it comes down to is giving people the easiest way to deliver. We're all busy, everybody's busy.
I think that that's huge. I think that that's, there's just so much power in that. And I think one of the biggest things I'm getting out of my conversation with you that I think people really need to think about is ask questions.
And ask questions. Listen to the answers. You know, but we know we were talking about, you know, how do you create like a client centered kind of a website, or client centered marketing?
And it starts there like you say with asking questions and then listening. But it's also kind of keeping in mind, it's like, don't make people think and don't make 'em work. It's like how can you make it easier for them?
Like asking them questions in the testimonial makes it easier, even easier is getting on a call with me and I ask them the questions and they talk and then I write it. It's like, "how can I make this easier for the client? How can I make it more personal?"
You know, so yeah. And in terms of the website, right? They wanna know, "can you help me? Can you give me some examples?"
And then they wanna know what you do, but they don't really wanna know what you do. They wanna know what you do for THEM. Like, they wanna know how it works.
Like, it's kinda like, "okay, so you said you can help me get from where I am now to where I wanna go. How does that work?"
So in my world, it's like we present like, you know, StoryBrand, love StoryBrand, present a plan, you're the trusted advisor. Here's my plan. This, you know, this is the map of the territory.
I've been there before with other people. I'm gonna guide you through it. And these are the landmarks, these are the steps, this is the process. In order to do this, you need to have these things in place.
And then the key with this, like in presenting your services to make each one of those steps or each one of those things, they need to do sound like something off a, like a Christmas Wishlist, not something that sounds like it's gonna be an onerous huge amount of work.
Many of my clients, business coaches, right, they're really big on developing standard operating procedures for your business, documenting everything that people do in the business and creating this resource, right?
And depending on the coach and their approach, this might be a year long process of developing thick binders. Nobody wants to do this work. It sounds terrible and onerous.
So you can present it as, "oh, one of the things we will do is standard operating procedures. We'll create these big binders and you're gonna do a lot of work!" And that does not sound appealing.
OR you can frame it up as you know, "what you need is you need a system that all your employees can follow so that they do the work well the first time. So you don't have to do a lot of management. So that training goes faster and customer services improved."
And like you talk about what they're gonna get out of it as part of this is what we're gonna do is we're gonna create this thing so that all of these wonderful things happen and all of a sudden you've got something where they're like, "Yeah, I really like that." Versus "I'm not sure I wanna do that."
Yes, I am creating standard operating procedures in my business and they have saved me so much time...After I invested a ton of time in them. But they're key to what you need to do to move your business forward. And, but yeah, nobody wants to sign up to do them. Like,
Every time I think about, oh, it's time to look to see if I need another SOP. And it's like, ugh, they're not fun.
It's not fun.
And a lot of times we're excited about our work and we're excited about, you know, the process of doing the work cause that's what we do. But clients are less excited about that and they, and you know, I often tell my clients it's like, nobody's excited about coaching with you for a year.
Nobody's excited about sessions and homework and, you know, or watching hours of video or anything like that. Nobody wants that. If they could get the result with a pill, they take the pill every time.
So selling all of like, you know, people say, "Oh, you know, you need to sell the value. And it's like the value is about all the time and all of the effort and all the stuff we're gonna do" and more and more and more.
And it's like from your evaluating that from the client's perspective, they're like, "that's a lot of time and a lot of work and I don't want to do any of that."
So it's kind like, okay, how can you minimize the work for the client? How can you present the upside of what they want versus diving into kind of how it's done. Um, you know.
Yeah. Nobody needs to know how the sausage is made.
But I do. I, okay, so Patty and I just, for all of you listeners out there, thank you for listening and tuning in. We are very similar in most of our beliefs, I actually was like worried how long this was gonna go.
Cause I'm gonna be like, "yes, I agree. Yes, I agree."
I'm like, how do you ask a question about something you agree with? But it's, we are so in sync on this. I think that it's really important. It's marketing fundamentals. I mean that's what's important.
You're building a base of quality that will build that trusted advisor relationship digitally and then in person. And I think that, I think that you nail it. So that is awesome! So thank you for all of that.
So there's two questions that I ask everybody that I wanna jump into. The first one is, since this show is called Imperfect Marketing, cuz marketing is not perfect, as I'm sure you've experienced over the years, what's been your biggest lesson learned either in your marketing or marketing for your clients?
People buy what they want, not what they need.
I love that!
This is a trap that I fell into early on. I would go to a networking event and I'd listen to everybody give their introduction to talk about their business. And I'd go, "Oh, these people need me, but they didn't want me."
So it's, and a lot of us who were in that advice teaching kind of a business, it's really easy to look and see how many people actually need us. And we, and easy to make an assumption that if we, that we can persuade them or to convince them or something.
But they, you know, just cuz they need it doesn't mean that they want it. And you're far, far, far better served by figuring out what they want and selling them that.
And I think, I think that that's key. So one of the things that I've used as an example numerous times is I took a course by Jamie Trull, her financial fitness formula and she kicks it off, or she used to kick it off. I don't know if she still does with a webinar about tax saving strategies at the beginning of the year.
Because everybody wants to save money on taxes, but really what they need is to increase their profitability. And so she spends time telling you about how to save money on taxes and then she mathematically shows you how that really doesn't matter. I mean, yes, do responsible things and minimize your tax liability where you can, but it's really about your profitability.
And even though you pay more in taxes, you still take more home. So stop like, you know, handcuffing herself. And so she really does this to try and shift people from understanding what it is that they want to do to what it is that they need to do.
But yeah, nobody's gonna buy a course on increasing their profitability cause that's not what it's about. But they wanna save money on taxes, like it's going outta style. So yeah, I think that that's, that's huge. That's huge. That's so valuable.
Yeah. And that's a great example of, you know, kind of offering what they want and then selling them what they need.
There's a lot of magic in that.
There's a lot of magic in that. Yes. The magic of marketing. Not AI content.
Okay, so the last question that I ask everybody is, if you had a superpower, what would it be and why?
My superpower, is the ability to take a client's, "blah, blah blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah" about their business and kind of pull, distill the essence outta that and develop succinct marketing messages. You know, that would be what I would call my superpower is that ability.
And that is, I think, a very special superpower because not everybody has that. A lot of people say they have it, but not a lot of people actually have it. So I think that that's really important to think about.
I know that when I talk to people all the time, I'm like, "okay, this is my marketing belief. Are you good with it?"
Cuz if you're not, then we're not the right fit and we need to send you someplace else because it comes down to fit. And then being able to again, take what they give you and bring it down to short, succinct sentences that are gonna resonate with their target audience. And that is just so powerful.
And I'm very jealous because I do it, but I don't think I do it as well as you, cuz I've been through your website and I saw your testimonials and I think that that's amazing and that's an awesome superpower to have.
So thank you so much. Thank you, Patty, for all of your time and all of your advice. This is chock-full of things in it.
I would love to hear what you listeners want to do for, your first thing out of all of these tidbits that she's given because again, there's so much actionable information.
What she shared, I really want you to take a look at your homepage, take a look at the content. Are you selling people what they want or what they need?
Because if you're selling what they need, they're probably not buying. And I think it's really important, again, to ask those questions, to use the words that your clients are using and that your target audience is using because that, speaking to them where they're at is just so powerful.
And I really appreciate everything that you shared with us today and I hope you all tune into another episode of Imperfect Marketing.
Thank you and have a great day!