It’s All About the Strategy: Digital Marketing
One of the biggest mistakes businesses and entrepreneurs make is not having a strategy or plan in place for their digital marketing. Today, we are chatting with Lenny Richardson who shares his experience in the digital marketing world to help you be more effective online.
Nick (00:00): Hey guys, before we get into this episode, I have a huge favor to ask you. If you haven't done so already, please head over to iTunes or wherever you listen to the podcast and leave a rating and review these ratings and reviews means so much in terms of growing the podcast. So if you've enjoyed the podcast so far, you can make a real positive impact on the growth of the show in just a matter of a few seconds. So head over to your podcast, listening app of choice, which if you're listening to it, now you should already be on and head over and leave a review. If you're new to the Nine-Five Podcast, Welcome, I'm glad to have you here. I hope this can be a great resource for you to learn more about entrepreneurship and ultimately help you grow your own business. Let's get right into the episode.
Nick (00:46): So one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs and business owners make when trying to build their online presence is failing to develop a real solid strategy and plan before diving into the online space. That is where people like today's guests come into play this week. I'm chatting with Lenny Richardson who runs a digital marketing agency, where he helps business owners and entrepreneurs develop and implement their digital marketing strategies. This includes managing social media, email marketing, and advertising among a slew of other things him and his agency does. So in this episode, we talk about common mistakes People make early on when developing or in their lack of developing a digital marketing strategy and ways you can improve upon your own strategy. So without further ado, let's dive right into this episode with Lenny.
Nick (01:33): This isn't the Nine-Five Podcast and I'm your host Nick Nalbach. Where we get into the minds of entrepreneurs and people just like you. So you can start, build and grow your own online business.
Nick (01:51): Ok welcome to the Nine-Five Podcast and I am sitting here with Lenny Richardson and he is here to talk to us about digital marketing, Lenny, welcome to the Nine-Five Podcast.
Lenny (02:02): Thank you so much, Nick, for having me on the podcast. I appreciate you letting me take some time and talk about stuff.
Nick (02:08): Absolutely. As I've started this podcast and started interviewing people, it's really interesting, the type of people that you can meet, especially on social media. And that's, that's where a lot of guests that I've had featured on this show came from, and that's exactly where we met. We met on Instagram. I think you actually reached out to me and we just kinda got to chat and then it's crazy how it can all kind of come together like that.
Lenny (02:31): Yeah, absolutely. I, in a weird way, I feel like social media kind of it's, it's strange. You can see someone on social media and end up knowing more about them. I feel like, and sort of build a better bond with them more than in real life. Often, at least that's my experience.
Nick (02:46): Yeah. I mean, a lot of the really good relationships that I've had in the business realm have really come from social media more than anything.
Lenny (02:53): Yes. Yeah. I agree. Yeah. Same way on my end. It truly makes no sense, but I'm, I'm not complaining.
Nick (03:00): Yeah, no, the social media has opened up the world for connection and I absolutely love it. So I guess right away, why don't you give the listeners a little bit of an idea of who you are and what it is you actually do?
Lenny (03:12): This is always the, uh, the hard part.
Lenny (03:15): Well, as you said, my name is Lenny. Um, I live in Northern Virginia right now in Leesburg. I own a digital marketing and ad agency. And I also do real estate residential real estate in Virginia. I've been doing, I guess, digital marketing for quite a while at this point, probably been about seven years or so at least seven years or so. And yeah, that's pretty much the cliff notes version of myself.
Nick (03:42): So was real estate or something kind of picked up on the back. End of that was digital marketing kind of where you kind of rooted at to begin with.
Lenny (03:49): Yeah. So as far as me getting into real estate, um, that sort of came. So, I mean, I guess without getting too, too deep into my whole life story after sort of after college by original goal was to be an attorney, a lawyer. And I was going to go to Georgetown, which is why I live in Virginia. Now Georgetown's in DC and literally moved down here at the very last minute, decided not to do it, didn't have a job or anything. And, uh, some roommates or some people I, that I knew from, I went to Penn state. Some people that I knew from Penn state that had already been living down here for about two years or so, they graduated much earlier than I did. They said, if you want, you could just live with us for a bit, find a job down here and we'll all split the rent.
Lenny (04:29): Did that sort of at that time thought about real estate investing. And as I started to read about real estate investing and look into it, I realized that I knew nothing about real estate at all, and it's very complicated. So I became an agent because I figured if I become a real estate agent, I can kind of work myself, sort of do the entrepreneurial thing, make money on the side and eventually use the money from being an agent to become a real estate investor. Little did I know that being a real estate agent is also very difficult and requires a lot of skills and the kind of sales arena as well as the marketing arena. So that's it, wasn't the first time I did marketing at all digital marketing, but it was definitely, I would say real estate is kind of what made me get deep into it out of necessity
Nick (05:13): With the digital marketing side of things. Are you, do you have like a website where you're helping others with digital marketing or are you doing like consulting or how does that kind of play into what you're doing?
Lenny (05:24): Um, so as far as the the agency, we help businesses with their, with their marketing overall. I know a lot of people sort of have social quote unquote social media marketing agencies. And, uh, and I do like them. Some of them I've seen a really good, I don't like to call what we have that just because I feel like to the, how do I put it to the average consumer who might hear social media marketing agency, at least from conversations I've had, they typically seem to think it's just posting on social media and to some extent that's, that is what it is. But I think they, the overall strategy that goes behind it and the overall value of posting on social media and things like that. So we kind of, I just call it a digital marketing agency and it's, we sort of, for whoever chooses to hire us, we do their copy, their email marketing, social media.
Lenny (06:11): That's something that we do as well. Depends on the platform. We don't really do LinkedIn or anything like that, but Facebook and Instagram, of course. Um, and we try to make it more about the strategy involved. Cause some businesses might do very well on say Instagram, depending on their target demographic, but other businesses actually, I just spoke to one, a few days ago, he had a photography business and real estate and he sort of targeting seasoned real estate agents. And of course photography is great for Instagram, but I suggested he go after people on Facebook more so with Facebook ads, mostly because real estate agents tend to be a lot older, usually above the age of 35 forties and fifties. And people in that age group tend to be on Facebook. So it's a very long answer. I apologize.
Nick (06:53): No, no, that all makes sense. I mean, so you companies literally they'll come to you and then you kind of help guide them with their digital marketing strategy. Not even so much as like, okay, post this post here, you help dDevelop a strategy with them.
Lenny (07:08): Yes. And we do it for them as well, but we try to really focus on that strategy just because some people, if you just say we'll post for you, to me, it's so vague. Like you can post 50 different things on say Instagram, but the things you post might not lead to followers, or even if it does lead the followers, it might not lead to engaged followers. So all of those things, at least to me kind of require different strategies that we kind of help them with figure out what they want. And then we do it for them.
Nick (07:36): Yeah. I think it's very common for, I guess people, once they start getting into social media, it's everyone puts such a emphasis on the follower count and that becomes everyone's goal where it's like, okay, I'm going to buy followers. And I'm going to try to get as much people like drive up that follower count, even though it could potentially lead to no visitors to their site, no potential leads like nothing. It's like, okay, well your numbers cool. But where's the ROI?
Lenny (08:02): Exactly, exactly. That's, that's what it is right there. People look at the, uh, the followers. I think it's, it's a vanity metric, in my opinion, at least it looks nice. But if you have a business and you have say, you know, some businesses might have a hundred thousand followers and you look at their likes and their comments and there's like one like one comment, not literally, but you know, it's very low relative to what their follower count is. You're sitting there scratching your head, wondering where'd you guys go wrong.
Nick (08:28): So, okay. That's kind of, that's kind of cool. Cause I, I didn't know. You guys were involved very heavily with the strategy like that. That's that's really cool. What, what do you think is very common? Like when you bring in new clients, where do you, where do you start? I guess?
Lenny (08:43): So would we like to start with, is first, this is where it gets a little bit tougher because a lot of businesses, at least that we've come across, don't do what I'm about to say. We like to start with what is target demographic? So like I mentioned with the, a photographer we spoke to recently, or at least I spoke to earlier this week, a lot of businesses might say, I just want leads or I just want, you know, maybe they're just looking for followers in general or they're looking for A, B and C, whatever the metric is, they're looking for it. We want to figure out why is it going to be ROI positive? And then once we figure out why they want it, is it going to be ROI positive? How do they go about getting it? So for example, if you're like me personally, when I, for me for real estate, my target demographic is first-time home buyers.
Lenny (09:25): And I cautiously say this just because there's fair housing laws as a real estate agent, it gets tricky. But this is me disclaiming that this is not to be targeting specific ages for legal reasons. It's typically for me, say, for example, first time home buyers, which generally falls in the right now millennial age group. So probably people around 25, 26, 27 to maybe mid thirties. And so like that, for example, that strategy, if you're targeting them is a lot different than if you're targeting. I don't know someone who is selling their house or somebody who's refinancing or someone who's an empty nester, but that's kind of where we start with all businesses. We try to figure out who they're looking for and then kind of reverse engineer the process to how do we find them in the most efficient and fast.
Nick (10:08): Okay. So then I got a follow up for you on that because I've dabbled with a couple of other businesses aside from like the podcast Nine-Five To Freedom, that whole brand, um, something we've very much struggled with is defining what that demographic is, what that target market is. What are some, I guess, tips or strategies that people could use to implement that they could essentially come to their target market or pinpoint where that's at
Lenny (10:37): To make sure I understand what you're asking. You're, you're asking, I guess, that target demographic, whatever they want to find, how do they sort of figure out what they're looking for? If that made sense?
Nick (10:48): I think so. I think we're on the same page. So basically where we were at with our business, we were trying to get the word out. It's something kind of unique. There's not a lot of companies out there, like what we're trying to do. So we thought, okay, well we'll run a bunch of Facebook ads because we're going to be able to reach a large amount of people and we can try to kind of narrow it down, but I'm sure, you know, running Facebook ads without a very specific market or audience in mind is like pissing money away. And that I feel like is what we've kind of been doing. So I guess I'm curious, how do you define what that audience looks like?
Lenny (11:26): So I would say, I mean, Main thing, I think the main thing, and it's not, it's a kind of weird, it's somewhat of a weird way to look at it. But to me, this makes sense, first figure out who do you most want to work with? So if you, it is applies for any business, like say for example, you're a millennial and you don't get along that well, or at least you don't see eye to eye on certain issues with someone who say 55, you might want to exclude them from your target demographic. And it also be the case that whatever it is that you are trying to sell or whatever your services are, it's not to say that it's not valuable. That group might not see the value in it. So for example, if you're just offering to say, run someone's Instagram, you might want to target and say, you know, I'm 27.
Lenny (12:07): I, it might be better for me to target someone who's in their twenties or maybe early thirties because they understand the value or at least they hopefully can understand it. Or at least you can inform them on the value of an Instagram account, but someone who might be 70, who also has a business, but no, no social media at all, you could try to persuade them or get them to see the value of say Instagram, but it'll be a tough time. And you also have to consider that even if you do convince them, you still have to work with them and give them results. And if I, you know, it depends on the person, it depends on the relationship between the two people, but say, you know, for me, at least if I'm working with someone who's in their seventies or eighties, they might not listen to me mostly just because I'm younger than them.
Lenny (12:47): And they might discount, you know, any experience I have or at least in their mind that I claim to have. I mean, plus, you know, if you're someone in their twenties, you probably like working with people in their twenties, same way. If you're someone who's in their fifties, you probably like working with someone in their fifties. If you're a female, you probably like working with other females, et cetera. So I would say first figure out who you want to have as a client, because that's going to make the relationship that much better initially. Um, and then sort of narrow it down based on what you're actually offering. Just because what you're offering might make sense to certain groups. It might not make sense to other groups.
Nick (13:22): Okay. If a company comes to you and they're, I guess that's the first step you guys kind of identify what that market looks like, who that audience is. Do you run tests? Like, are you constantly testing stuff on Facebook and Instagram? Or I guess, how do you narrow down? I know we've we tried starting really broadened kind of like trying to weed out. Okay, well that didn't work. Let's try this and try to get routed down to where we're like very specific. You guys do anything like that with the clients you guys bring in.
Lenny (13:52): So we just try to figure out what's working in general and sort of replicate that while also adding that person's brand or not that person, if they are a brand, but that company's brand to our efforts, if that'll make sense.
Nick (14:05): So, so you're looking at other people in the industry that are doing it.
Lenny (14:09): Yes.
Nick (14:09): And kind of trying to go with what's already working in a sense.
Lenny (14:14): Yeah, exactly. I mean, the reason why too, this is my personal philosophy. I'm not saying I'm right. I've tried to be so different to the point where I almost feel like I'm reinventing the wheel. And I found that it doesn't, at least for me, it doesn't work that well. And it, maybe it could have, if I did it longer, but it makes to me, it makes a little bit more sense to, um, sort of whatever people are doing, sort of replicate it, but add your own splash of personality or brand or your own personal touch to it. Like don't necessarily steal, but be willing to copy just a little bit.
Nick (14:48): Well, definitely. I mean, if something's already working, it's not broke. Don't fix it. That's basically what it comes down to.
Lenny (14:54): Exactly. Yeah. I know I'm a good book for the audience that they haven't read it yet. I recommend it. It's called there's a few of them. I'm sure I remember this one, this specific book is it's a Traffic Secrets by Russell Brunson. And, uh, he has a whole, the whole book is great. He has a whole chapter about the different, every chapter is about a different social media platform. And, uh, he has one in particular about Instagram and, uh, I had already been doing this, but it was, it was validating to see him mentioned this. And he says that he sort of just follows, I think, like 50 or a 100 of the top people in his industry. And he basically, whatever they do, which is pretty much going to be like Gary V it's always, I feel like Gary B kind of leads that digital marketing niche, at least for the moment him and probably the big three are like Grant Cardone and Tai Lopez kinda. But he's been a little bit quiet lately, but
Nick (15:43): I was following him for awhile and I haven't seen him post anything in a while.
Lenny (15:46): He's been buying up businesses, man, like famous, like popular businesses. It's insane. He just bought a Pier One Imports, uh, like linens and things. He bought a lot of these like big ones for like, not that much money.
Nick (16:00): Wow man. What it would be to have that kind of money. Yeah.
Lenny (16:05): You know, it's, it's crazy. Cause uh, there was another, and this is actually one thing I, I, I wanted to sorry about that. One thing I wanted to talk about, um, kind of later on to the podcast, um, for anyone listening, I think to me it's a really good tip, but it's very under estimated and sort of a side note. I guess this one guy I sort of met him in California a while back earlier this year he's been going around buying he one thing. He recommends people, if you have a lot of capital, which I do not, but he recommends people in times like this sort of, when people are kind of panicking, businesses are going out of business, he's going around and he's buying lists from companies like their email lists. And a lot of these big businesses don't understand the value of them.
Lenny (16:47): And they're saying, you know, why do you want our list? And he's like, well, you know, I want them and I'll, I'm making up a number, but he'll say like, I'll buy them for like $5,000 when the company is a multimillion dollar company. And they'll say, sure, why not? We don't need them and we need the money, so let's do it. And so he kind of says, you know, you buy the list. Cause a lot of people would think the whole, I think for digital marketing specifically, and I think this applies to all marketing, but at least specifically for digital marketing, the follow-up I think is the most valuable part of virtually any business, just staying top of mind. And the email list is kind of what lets people stay top of mind, but.
Nick (17:20): 100%
Lenny (17:21): Yeah. So like even Tai, Tai Lopez, I, I thought he was doing this and he, he put up a post think on Facebook maybe a few days ago.
Lenny (17:30): And I remember showing it to my dad, cause it basically said exactly what I thought he was doing. He's buying these old companies that have, you know, that are really popular. So they have branding already built in. They have, you know, hundreds of thousands, millions of people that have been buying from them for decades at this point. So they're, you know, qualified, uh, customers that know the brand he's going in and I'm not saying pennies on the dollar cause it's, um, it's a lot of money that he's paying I'm sure. But you know, for essentially a discount he's going in and buying the company, he just bought the brand and he bought the list and he can now not only sell to that list, whatever it is that, you know, say Pier One, whatever Pier One's selling, he could potentially cross sell them and maybe get them hooked on a different company that he owns and get them to buy that stuff where he can put his products in those businesses like Pier One and Linens and Things and all that. So I don't know, to me it's a really valuable asset in a business, the list, but it's very undervalued.
Nick (18:25): I completely agree with you. That is genius for one. I wish I had the capital to do something like that because that, that is really smart. But email marketing is actually something that I'm starting to get heavily involved in. Um, I've put it off just because I, I figured, okay, well I'll get the email list when I get the followers or I get the email list once I start actually building up the credibility and I've kind of changed my tune to where now I, I almost think I'm going to use like the means to bring people on my email list as my source of credibility.
Lenny (19:00): Yeah. I think that's a good strategy. I mean, if you get them on the list, if you can get them on the list to me, that means that they already, at the very least think you have some credibility. And I mean, once they're on the list, at that point, you can just, I don't know exactly what your specific strategy would be, but whatever it is you're offering them or whatever it is you're providing to them. There'll be able to see it more frequently and that'll keep you top of mind and that'll be, that will build the credibility more. I think the longterm followups with email marketing,
Nick (19:29): That's kind of what my mindset is going into this. Everyone always, I guess, not everyone because a lot of people still don't see the value in the list, but I hear it a lot. The money is in the list.
Lenny (19:40): Yes. Yeah.
Nick (19:42): And as I was doing research into email marketing and kind of putting together my action plan and strategy for how I was going to do all this, I was reading some crazy stats and it said that email marketing and accounts for 4400% ROI on average, like across all industries, which means for every dollar you put in, you get 44 back,
Lenny (20:03): Which is insane.
Nick (20:05): That's outrageous.
Lenny (20:06): That's an insane ROI.
Nick (20:07): I Wish I could find, oh man, because they compared email marketing to, Oh, it was engagement rate. So they talked about engagements with email marketing and I'm, as I'm talking, I'm seeing if I can pull this up here, they were talking about email marketing and the engagement rates for emails across all industries is the open rates is 22.8, 6% with a click through rate of 3.7%, which okay. It might sound like it's not that great, but, but when you look at the overall engagement rate for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, the average across all three of those major platforms is 0.6%.
Lenny (20:49): Yeah. Yeah. People underestimate email and uh, as a side note, not to make it too complicated too, for anyone listening, um, email, when like, as far as the list goes, email is a way to use the list. I know some people, I don't personally do this. Um, so I can't say how effective it is, but I've heard from people it's very effective. Some people that I follow and know they have begun to use Facebook list. So they use messenger to build up a list. And I'm guessing that they're kind of using Facebook ads to build the list or something like that. Or I've seen some people redirect people from Instagram to Facebook, Facebook messenger, and then they use sort of bots to kind of automate the followup process, which is a me personally, I would say bots are kind of a weird do. Use them sparingly, I guess is kind of the, my thing, but, um, yeah. To not deviate too far, if anyone listening lists are good for email and messenger or other platforms too, you can go to list virtually anywhere. I guess
Nick (21:43): Last, last note, I'm going to make about the list before we jump ship to another section of the podcast or a different topic. But I think with the email list, you have the ability to get more personalized with your audience. And the main reason that I'm heading towards the email marketing route, trying to build up that list is you own your list. If you build up a following of how many thousands of followers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, whatever it is, they could take that away from you to tomorrow. They can take away from you right now.
Lenny (22:15): Yeah. Totally.
Nick (22:16): Your email list doesn't go anywhere. You keep that.
Lenny (22:19): Yeah. No, I absolutely agree with that. I it's another thing I think people don't really consider on these platforms, but definitely worth investing into getting that list and making sure it's not solely on one platform that you don't own.
Lenny (22:30): A hundred percent. Okay. So I'm going to shift gears here a little bit. Obviously we're going to stay on the digital marketing route, but I'm curious. So you were talking about the services that you offer. People, you go into the email marketing, the social, you help with the copy. Do you guys deal at all with SEO or are you primarily on platform building the strategy?
Lenny (22:51): We do minimally I'll say, and it depends on the business as a whole, like we focus heavily on gyms. So gyms do need good SEO just because people, you know, it's a local, unless you do it, some kind of different type of one mind type training program where it doesn't matter where you're located. Um, but yeah, before I, I tend to make my answers too long, I guess, but, uh, yeah, short answer is yes, we do do SEO. The people we at least be trying to focus on. We want them to use it. It's nicer to have a digital media presence. First of all. And it's nicer when whatever you're selling is digital. So if you were say, you know, like a doctor's office, we don't do that kind of stuff just because the person has to come to a brick and mortar building, which you know, is, we can see from present times has its own disadvantages. And that was a weird example of course, but yeah, digital is a little bit nicer in my opinion.
Nick (23:42): I got you. I want to talk about the ads a little bit again. Sorry. I'm jumping back and forth here. Where have you seen the most success in running ads? Like what platform tends to do better for you or is it, I know we were kind of talking demographic specific, but do you tend to sway for one platform over the other based on the demographic or do you try to push ads out across multiple platforms?
Lenny (24:06): So I think Facebook, I would say is the, uh, probably the best platform I would say primarily, just because you can also retarget, it's easier to retarget people that visit your website or target super specific people who have an audience similar to what you have it cool thing with Facebook at least. And I'm not sure if you can do some Google, I've actually, I'm not that familiar with Google ads to be honest. So I stay out of that territory. But, um, with Facebook ads, you can, you can basically spy on your competition and see their ads and see which ones do well. So that's a good feature. As far as I've tried Instagram ads. I don't like running them just because I'm not that well versed in them yet. It's tough for me, at least for me, I'm not saying they don't, they don't work. I'm just saying for me and kind of what we do, I haven't seen any, I would say if you're trying to grow a following, they're advantageous. I haven't tried with any other purposes really, so I don't push them.
Nick (24:58): Yeah. So, okay then I guess, what are your thoughts on influencer marketing as opposed to ads?
Lenny (25:05): I think it's great. I mean, I think if you can make a good deal, it's probably better ROI because it's more direct and it's, there's social proof involved in it. I think Facebook ads can be very costly in general and it's very easy for stuff to go wrong. Like you can have a really good picture and maybe a good headline, but the actual copy itself might not be great. I know today, literally just today I was kind of, we're doing some internal ads or working on some and I was kind of reviewing some of the copy and I was spying on other businesses ads to see what's working and what's not working. And this one ad I forget what company it is, their link wasn't working. So that's, I don't know. So stuff like that, it can be an issue the ad was great too, by the way.
Lenny (25:45): And their whole ad leads to AI, a link that takes you to a landing page and the landing page has a Calendly link, you know, which I'm assuming they'll use to kind of call you and close you. I think it looked like a good process, but I go to click on the County link to see like what their copy might be. And there's no, the link doesn't work. So they just wasted however much money it costs, you know, to get me to see it and then click for nothing. Cause they can't convert me cause I can't click the link. Yeah. Like Facebook ads can have a hit or miss depending on how deep people want to get into it. But I think influencer marketing is great because I guess it depends on the strategy overall, but do you have that social proof element? You can convert people. I think a lot easier assuming the price is worthwhile,
Nick (26:26): Right. Yeah. That's for anybody listening. Um, if you're not quite familiar with influencer marketing, it's definitely becoming a big thing or it has become a pretty big thing in which you can pay influencers to basically promote your posts. Or maybe you can explain a little bit better, but I know for Instagram you can create a post, send this influencer, your picture and the copy that you want included with it and you pay them to basically publish that post and that puts you in front of their audience. So if they have a very well engaged audience, then there's a good chance that you can start bringing some of their audience over onto your following.
Lenny (27:05): Yes. Yeah, that's exactly it. Um, I would, for anyone listening to, I would say one of the prime, one of the prime examples of influencer marketing, I would say it's probably Bang Energy. I would say what they basically, at least what I understand their main marketing tactic to be is influencer marketing. And for anyone that is not familiar with that company, it's an energy drink company. And basically what they do is they get very attractive women to do videos with them drinking or holding their cans of Bang Energy. And from what I hear, they get paid a decent amount. It's not like a ton, but I'm sure it works out well for Bang Energy because if a attractive female has say a hundred thousand followers and they pay her a couple thousand, you know, maybe like 40 or 50,000 a year to do five videos a week for a whole year holding their bottle or their cans, that's probably gonna be pretty good ROI on their part. I mean, they're still doing it. So I imagine it can't be bad ROI or else they wouldn't have so many girls doing it. Um, I can't say that I haven't bought a few cans of a bank energy, even though I don't like the way they taste, just because you get curious to know if they're that good. Could you see it so much? So I guess it works.
Nick (28:13): That's another thing that I've been curious about trying. I don't right now, I don't have any paid products to offer, so I'm kind of holding off on that, but I think it is a very good opportunity if you're not trying to get too involved with the ads, but still want to try to, I guess, grow your audience or get in front of other people's audiences. You can get in front of some very small, I guess not small, but like micro influencers that maybe they don't have millions of followers, but maybe a couple of thousand followers that might be a great opportunity for you to get in front of thousands of people when you otherwise might not be able to with your current audience. So I definitely think it's a good, a good opportunity and something to definitely look into and that when you look at the micro influencers, I don't think the price to get on those pages as nearly as high as if you were to try to get on probably the influencers, like what Bang is working with. They're probably paying way more than what something I would pay.
Lenny (29:05): Yeah, no. Yeah, totally. And what's as a side note too, I don't know how true this is now that you reminded me of something I read recently, there's a, a good book. I just recently read. It's called, it's called Just Advertising by David Ogilvy. And he has a whole chapter about using celebrities to market for you, which I guess now we can call that influencer marketing, but so he sort of suggested that celebrities don't work that well mostly and it kind of it for the, I finished reading it a few days ago, so it's been sticking with me for the past couple of days. He said it doesn't work as well. It's just because the celebrities name tends to overshadow the product. And so you might see, I don't know, I'm trying to think of celebrities
Nick (29:48): Like LeBron James,
Lenny (29:51): Like you might see LeBron James in a commercial and you like LeBron James, but you don't pay any attention to the product just because, you know, you're focused on one intention to live. So I didn't know that I don't, I don't know how true that if that holds up as well right now, I did see a commercial, I think yesterday with Jason Derulo in it, the singer and I have no idea what he was selling. So maybe it does hold a little bit true. I just remember Jason Derulo is on it, but I know like Dwayne Johnson, the rock also does Under Armor. And I totally always think about Dwayne Johnson when I see Under Armor. So maybe it depends specifically on, but I also liked the gym and I like working out. So I was already familiar with under armor. So I don't know, there might be a balance of picking the right celebrity or in this case, picking the right influencer specifically for certain brands, maybe getting them to say or do certain things.
Lenny (30:38): But I do agree with you about the, uh, the micro-influencer thing. I think to some extent the micro influencer might be more valuable than if you, even if you did have the money to get a big influencer, just because I feel like people might know like say, if you could afford like Logan Paul, pretty popular YouTuber. I sense people might go, uh, Logan Paul doesn't want to use that product. He doesn't really care about it. He's just doing it for money. But if you can get someone who's famous, say maybe a small town, or I don't know, in a college campus who's known by the college. They probably won't want that much money or they won't need it. I shouldn't say they won't negotiate too high, but they are trusted by their friends. So whatever they like or push more people might be willing to believe that people might not be so willing to Logan Paul,.
Nick (31:21): There's a service out there right now where people can record videos. Cameo, have you seen cameo? So you go on there. A lot of celebrities will like, I guess, put their services on cameo and you pay that celebrity or whoever it is to either do just a short video or maybe wish somebody happy birthday. And I don't know, there are a bunch of sports athletes like football players or something like that. And they'll go on there and they'll like, wish a friend happy birthday or leave a special message for somebody. I think Bo Jackson did when he left a, a message for like a 14 year old or a 15 year old coming into high school. He's like, Hey man, go crush your dreams. Like motivational deal from Bo Jackson. Really cool.
Lenny (32:00): That's pretty cool. Yeah.
Nick (32:01): But I think people are also starting to use that as a platform to try to like get almost like a quote unquote celebrity endorsement. They'll actually give the celebrity what to say, like, Hey, check out this product. It's super cool. I love it. And the person's getting paid to do it. The celebrity is so they're like, okay, well go try out this new product that I really like.
Nick (32:23): So it's funny. You mentioned that because, um, you remind me of an ad I saw recently on, uh, on Facebook and it was a, I think it's cause I'm looking up. Cause we focus on gyms so much. He was a, I don't remember. I know they were fitness related, but they had an endorsement from Kevin O'Leary from Shark Tank.
Lenny (32:40): And it didn't, it granted it did get me to stop and watch the whole thing. But it was a little bit weird because like I looked at their business page and like all of their social media and it was all virtually nonexistent. So no blogs, no, the website wasn't that great. Which is I don't judge people on websites always too much depending on the business, but it didn't look like a real, really good website at all. No, no social media, no Instagram at all, which is weird. And their Facebook, I know followers are virtually no followers. I think I had like 30 followers,
Nick (33:09): But yet they have an endorsement from Kevin O'Leary.
Lenny (33:11): but they had an endorsement from Kevin O'Leary. Yeah. And I was like, how do they get this endorsement? It doesn't seem like they're doing any. I mean, maybe they are.
Nick (33:17): I don't know, but I don't know. So maybe they used Cameo. You said it's called yeah. Cameo C A M E O. And I'll for anybody that wants to check it out. I'll put that in the show notes as well. But actually I just pulled it up here and I looked, Kevin O'Leary is on it. Wow. Okay. And I was on it a few months back. Someone had pointed it out to me, so I was checking it out and I want to say he had a rate in there where it was like, if you wanted him to promote a business. So that very well could have been what happened. He's not cheap by any means. And here it says $1,200,
Lenny (33:53): $1200 for Kevin O'Leary?
Nick (33:55): And I don't even know exactly what he will do.
Lenny (33:58): That is. So, I mean, it is a lot, but for Kevin O'Leary, that doesn't sound like a terrible amount.
Nick (34:04): If you get an endorsement from Kevin O'Leary,.
Lenny (34:06): That's interesting. I, you know what I'm curious to know for that company. I might look them up again and see if I can find them again. I haven't seen their ads lately, but if I do get their ads, I might have to do some digging and see if their follower counter, if anything, it looks better. And if it's gone up, I wonder if it's going to be any, any legal, maybe issues that come up in the future with Cameo, allowing celebrities to endorse potentially like fraudulent products.
Nick (34:30): It's almost like false advertising.
Lenny (34:31): Uh, yeah. That's, that's interesting. I didn't know. I'm going to look that up. I never heard about that.
Nick (34:36): Anybody who is interested in influencer marketing, or maybe you want to just try to dive into it a little bit. There is a website that I've been looking at lately, it's called influence.co. and basically you can go onto this platform and search for specific topics or basically find influencers in your industry. And it'll actually tell you how many followers they get, what their engagements like. Um, if you want to actually promote your content on that influencer's Instagram page or whatever it is, I think you can negotiate with the influencers through influence.co, but it's got a huge database and you can search pretty much anybody in that platform. So definitely check that out. I'll put a link to that on the show notes as well. So if you're interested, it's there. Okay. Now I wanted to talk to you a little bit about video content. I see on Instagram, you're posting a lot of video content and it is something that I've been trying very hard to get into this podcast has definitely boosted confidence in that realm. But I'm curious, how long ago did you start the video content? And is that something that you kind of recommend to all of your clients?
Lenny (35:47): So I do recommend it to all clients and anyone listening to this, I think for a few different reasons, video is probably the best thing to do. And I'll get into that in a second, I guess. But, um, yeah, I've been doing videos, I guess, for about a year and a half, two years at this point, I would say trying to do more videos in a shorter timeframe as time goes on. But yeah, as far as doing videos, I think everyone should include videos in their strategy. Mostly because I think video is good, personal branding. It's good branding for the person or for the business. And I think people, especially now, I think people buy more so from people than from a corporation, if that all. Yeah. And I mean, I think video is the best way to convey the individual personal brand or, you know, say like Amazon has Jeff Bezos, but w I L I, you might, I don't know who any of the other people that work for Amazon are. I don't know the CEO's, I don't know any of them, but essentially makes people know who you are and by extension to know what your business or anything that you sell or do, if you don't sell anything, whatever you do, it helps, you know, what that all is.
Nick (36:50): I think it definitely with video content, you're able to get your personality out there better. You can kind of relate to you as a person, which makes it a lot easier to buy from you when you're kind of on the same level.
Lenny (37:02): Yes. Yeah. There was a, um, there's actually, it's funny, there's a guy. Um, and we were, we were kind of talking about this a little before. Um, the episode, there's a, there's an influencer in my, he lives in Northern Virginia. He's about maybe two cities over. I'm good friends with him. He had me on his podcast a while back and he is just, I met him from social media. I would see his videos and it was funny. Cause the videos he posted, he used to be an influencer in what was it? He was in the, I forget exactly what he did, but he was an influencer for, I think the army. It was very specific, very niche, I guess, position. I don't know the army very well, so I can't describe it too well. Um, but he was basically an influencer in that niche sort of ebook on Amazon.
Lenny (37:43): I think he was like number one for awhile in that category, it was very small category, but it was still really cool. And it's all his stuff. I thought he was just an interesting guy and I'm out at the bars one day. I see him walk in with his girlfriend and I was with my buddy. I was like, I think that's his name is Andre. I was like, I think that's Andre, you're pretty sure it's him. Let me go talk to him. I went up and talked to him and I was like, dude, I see you. I watched your like Instagram and like your YouTube channel and stuff like that. Like you're killing it man. And he was super nice. Uh, we, at that point exchanged phone numbers and we were still friends to this day. But the overall point I think is our social media, I think can help you bond with people, even if they're not in your super close vicinity and build that connection.
Nick (38:19): That's pretty awesome. You went to recognize him, had he not been putting videos out?
Lenny (38:22): Yeah, I mean he would have just been, you know, he would have just been another guy. There's probably more people at the bar makes you wonder who else is possibly famous or something
Nick (38:33): Or at least micro influencer.
Lenny (38:36): But like, you know, had I not had I not seen his videos? I wouldn't have, you know, most likely I wouldn't have said anything to him cause he would've just been another person at the bar.
Nick (38:44): Yeah. And then on top of that, I mean really every social media platform is pushing video content so hard and you see how big TikTok went and then Instagram try to jump into that a little bit with their Reels.
Lenny (38:58): I'll be honest. I don't really like them, but um, I'll use them, but I don't know. I'm just,
Nick (39:06): Have you been using TikTok at all or are you?
Lenny (39:08): I, I think I made like three or four videos on TikTok the reason why I just didn't like it. TikTok and Reels is it's a little bit too short for me. Most of the stuff I put out tends to be not super long, but I would say relative to especially TikTok probably about five to 15 minutes. So that it's really hard to condense that into, I think what is, what is, I don't know how long reels are maybe about.
Nick (39:31): 15 seconds.
Lenny (39:32): 15 seconds. Yeah. Very hard to condense 15 minutes into 15 seconds
Nick (39:38): That's were I was struggling. I was fine with TikTok cause there you can get it's either I think 15 seconds, 30 seconds or a minute if I'm not mistaken. So that's actually where I started kind of getting into the video content and what kind of helped build up the confidence for me to even do this podcast. So I have a little bit more sympathy with TikTok or I resonate with TikTok a little bit better because it kind of helped me. I knew I had to get my point out. I had less than a minute to do it. And it was like, there's no BS, there's no fluff in the middle. It's like bang, bang, bang. Here are the points and videos done and you don't have to invest a lot of time into like a huge long, 15, 20 minute video, worry about the editing, do all that. Like you can just pump out small bite sized pieces of content, but now Reels with 15 seconds. I mean, you can't can't really share that much information, 15 seconds.
Lenny (40:26): That is a talent to be able to do content. Like I just, I'm not good at it.
Nick (40:30): And I was so when I was doing TikTok it and I, I haven't put a video out on TikTok basically since I started the podcast, I was doing a really hard for a couple of weeks and I was putting out like two to four videos on TikTok a day. And they're typically just like tips for like social media tips or blogging tips. It was just stuff around my personal brand. And I mean, it, it was tough kind of getting the timing down the cadence of everything, but it, because it was so quick, I didn't have time to think. And that was my biggest issue when I was trying to get into recording videos, is that what hit record and had just forget everything that I was going to talk about. Cause I knew it was going to be long. I knew it was going to be, have to be elaborate and with TikTok I didn't really have that option. It was like, okay, I have a minute to get all this information out, go. So it was less thinking and more doing.
Lenny (41:18): Yeah. Yeah. I don't know. That's that's that's tough. That's difficult.
Nick (41:23): What would be a couple common mistakes that you see people make when they are getting into digital marketing?
Lenny (41:31): I would say so. I would say there's a short-term and long-term common mistake. Um, I would say short term, one of the biggest things is not being attention grabbing and sort of say you're on social media, maybe posting things that only you want to post, but not responding to what other people want to see you post. If that makes sense at all. And not to say that you should go like extremely out of your way to post, you know, just what your audience wants, but I'll say a good example. There's a YouTube channel I love called, uh, Dashie Dashie Games, love the dude recommend them. Um,
Nick (42:06): What is it?
Lenny (42:06): It's a Dashie Games. Dashie like running kind of, um, he's a YouTube gamer. He I've noticed that he responds very well to his audience because he'll play horror games. I mean, he does polls a lot.
Lenny (42:20): That's how much he responds to them, but he'll do maybe in a week he usually shoots it. He does a video usually every day and on Saturdays too. Usually during the week, he'll probably do about five different types of videos and the one that gets the least amount of positive feedback. He'll just never do that again. Or at least not do it for like a month or two. And the ones that do the most like significantly, well he'll block out a whole day to consistently do that one type of video. So for him, it's a, he does a lot of horror games cause horror games, people like to watch people get scared and laugh. Um, and for him in particular, a lot of people like watching them play Mario games, especially a Mario Maker. So for the past, like two, I think it's been two years.
Lenny (43:01): He always blocks out a whole day and he usually does about an hour and a half, uh, maybe about 45 minutes, 45 minutes, like an hour of just Mario Maker. And he does that every single week. You look forward to it. You always like it, you know, and use the viewer always like it. And he's a good example of someone who just adapts to what his audience wants. It gives them more of it. Um, sometimes on social media, at least in particular, in digital marketing in general, people give tips or information or posts that their audience just doesn't care about, which is fine to some degree. But I think it's a little bit better to kind of meet in the middle. Maybe do some stuff that you like combined with what they like. Um, so that'd be the more short term thing I would say long-term. And this is a little bit more technical, um, is really it's back to those lists. It's really just building up the list because the list is just so valuable, but that's a very long-term process that takes time different strategies in itself.
Nick (43:47): No, I agree. The point you made about kind of not posting what you want posting for yourself versus posting for your audience. I mean that I think is very common for people to do, but in reality, the, the market and the, your audience is going to tell you which direction you need to go in order to be successful. They're going to tell you what you want. You really want to be successful. You got to take that feedback and that energy and put it into something where your audience is going to jive with it. I know, especially starting from scratch, starting from the bottom, you don't get as much of that feedback because you're kind of on an Island. You're kind of by yourself at the beginning. So as soon as you're able to start getting that feedback, it kind of creates a loop where, okay, now you've got a little of a feedback. Now you can try to go implement that and I can get feedback on that and then implement off of that. And what you were talking about with that Dashie Games, where he goes and puts out polls. That's excellent because now he's actually, he's straight up asking, what do you guys want? And they're telling him, and then he goes and capitalizes on it, which is probably why he's grown, such an amazing following.
Lenny (44:51): Yes. Yeah. He's, he's pretty big on, he's got, he's definitely got over a million subscribers, which is, I would say for YouTube, no small feat at all. And it's been growing a lot. He's been growing a lot for the past few years. So definitely not an easy thing to accomplish, especially nowadays with the algorithms.
Nick (45:10): I want to get into YouTube, but I, I think I'd frustrate myself. I'm going to like a lot of these podcasts episodes, everything they're going to go on YouTube, but I'm gonna, I'm going to need to do some serious thinking as far as putting together an actual strategy for being successful on the platform. So we covered mistakes now, what are three ways? People can start implementing digital marketing to improve their business.
Lenny (45:38): I would say it's three specific tips and I've been sort of pushing these three things just because I think they work well, but they're really simple. First thing I would say, find a good, you could find several, but at least one find at least one lead generation method. And usually in digital marketing, they refer to them as lead magnets. It's just a way to get people who are interested in your potential product or service to essentially get them to more or less buy into you and get them on your list, which is, as we've mentioned a few times, um, sort of the, the golden nugget of your business, it's sort of the key to your business growing and sustaining itself. But, um, and for anyone listening to, I know some people I've met overthink the lead magnet, the lead magnet is literally it could be anything, anything, and everything.
Lenny (46:25): The only qualification is that it needs to be interesting to your potential audience. So yeah, that'd be the first one second one, build the list, use a, they call it a CRM and digital marketing. Um, the acronym, different websites give you different definitions, basically client relationship management system. Um, and it can easily just be an Excel sheet. Excel sheet can be a little bit hard to manage after awhile though, but yeah, once you had the lead magnet, anyone that download your lead magnet, usually with their email address, put all of them into a list and that would be the second step, sort of the second tip, put them in the list in the CRM. And then the third step would be to follow up with them consistently. And if you have a product or service that is where you'll get that extra, additional revenue into your business. So I would say those are the main three that made three tips for people in digital.
Nick (47:12): Perfect. Thank you for anybody. And I think it's kind of the same concept that you were talking about the CRM. So you're using that as a way to kind of manage the leads that you're gaining or the subscribers are getting, right?
Lenny (47:26): Yeah.
Nick (47:27): So a lot of people I, that might be listening to this, they, they're probably more familiar with the email service providers, um, ESP, such as MailChimp ConvertKit, um, I've used MailerLite, aWeber, all those. So I think that's kind of serves a very similar function to what you're talking about here, correct?
Lenny (47:44): Yeah, exactly. That's those all, I believe have CRMs built into them, but yeah, it doesn't need to be too complicated. Just any place that stores the emails and let you follow up with emails of your own afterwards. Um, and I'm pretty sure they all do that. I know we use MailChimp in our, in our company. Um, and I know like HubSpot is pretty good HubSpot. I think it can be a bit complicated cause there's so many different variables that they try to get you to fill out, but it's a good option cause it's free.
Nick (48:12): HubSpot was one, I looked into it, but there was so much involved with it that I just shut it down. Okay. And now what would be one final piece of advice that you would like to leave with the listeners?
Lenny (48:26): I'm a big guy when it comes to strategy. I know I probably sound like a broken record except I mentioned a few times, but I just tend to, I tend to see that sometimes there's no strategy involved when even like a brand or a small business or sometimes even with like bigger businesses, I've heard of it's like, what were they planning? Why were they doing it this way? It doesn't make too much sense. Yeah. I would say the strategy makes the most sense on reason why I say that is because, and you, you might, you may have heard this. I feel like some people it's becoming popular. Um, have you, do you know what the, uh, I'm going to mispronounce it? The Pareto Pareto principle is?
Nick (49:01): Oh yeah. The 80/20 rule.
Lenny (49:03): Yes, yes. Yeah. A lot of people I feel like are doing sort of that 80%, that only leads to the 20% results.
Lenny (49:11): But if you have a good strategy and you're tracking things and you're being meticulous about it. Overall, I think you want to figure out what that 20% is. And just double down on that because that'll save everyone a lot of time, a lot of effort, probably a lot of stress. So that's kind of why I like pushing strategy because especially if you're just starting out or you have a small business or just a brand, you know, it might not make the most sense to, and this is a mistake I made, like say for example, be on every single platform and try to post unique content for all, for like LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, you know, whatever you might find out that like, I know TikTok. And I don't know if it's the same right now, just because of issues I've heard going on with China TikTok and all that stuff.
Lenny (49:53): Um, but, um, I know that TikTok had a lot of insane organic reach and it could have been a good strategy for a lot of people. If you just wanted to get a big following and maybe leverage that to get them on other platforms, it could have been a good strategy to post four or five or six times on TikTok all day. I know a dude who he posted on ticktock a lot and he got a million followers in like two months, which is insane. Cause you can't get that. And they like, you really can't get that anywhere else. And it made me very sad cause I missed out. But um, yeah. So like, say for example, if your followers, your goal, TikTok, might've been the platform. I would say maybe if more longevity is your goal, maybe Instagram. Cause you know, it seems like Zuckerberg can just buy whatever he wants or at the very least steal and copy it.
Nick (50:40): Well, all right, man. Um, I just want to wrap up here before we go. I want to give you a chance to share any kind of links. Where can people find you on a website or social media links? Um, where would you like people to go to reach out to you
Lenny (50:54): The best place? If anyone wants to get in touch with me personally is I'm going to spell it cause no one can ever, whenever I say it, no one can ever spell it. Understandably. Um, my Instagram is @LeviticusRich and it's L E V I T I C U S R I C H. Um, that's usually where I'm at and I, for anyone that's interested to, I have an ebook, it's just a free book and it kind of goes over the three things I mentioned earlier and it gets a little bit more detail, but if they're interested in that, it's just affinityagency.co/free-ebook. And that's it.
Nick (51:31): Sweet. Awesome. Yeah. If anybody listening wants to get that ebook, make sure you go check out affinityagency.co/free-ebook.
Nick (51:45): I'll put the link to that in the show notes. So make sure you go hop on over to the show notes to get that link and get the ebook that Lenny created. Awesome. Well, man, I want to thank you for coming on the show. I had a blast chatting with you and I don't know. I thought we had, I thought we had some pretty good digital marketing conversation. I enjoyed it.
Lenny (52:05): Absolutely. Thank you for having me on.
Nick (52:07): Okay. That is it for the interview with Lenny Richardson. Once again, you can find him over on Instagram @LeviticusRich and don't forget to snag and check out his free ebook over at affinityagency.co/free-ebook. The ebook is called 3 Ways to keep Your business from Dying. So make sure you head over there and snag that. All the links of this episode, including the link to Lenny's free ebook can be found over in the show notes on my website.
Nick (52:37): The link for the show notes to this episode can be found over at Ninefivepodcast.com/episode9. And just remember nine five is all spelled out that's N I N E F I V E podcast.com/episode9 as in the number 9. Okay guys. So we are heading into a holiday weekend and I will actually be taking the week off next week, which means there will not be an episode next Wednesday. My wife and I are actually going to use this time to get away for a little bit and actually celebrate our two year wedding anniversary. That's coming up. So next week there will be no new episode. Don't worry though. After next week it will be business as usual. And I'm thinking I'll probably have to try to come up with something great for the big return. Something to make it special. And not only that, but it's going to be episode number 10.
Nick (53:30): So that'll be episode 10 of the Nine-Five Podcast, which is so weird to say it's so weird that we have any episodes of the Nine-five Podcast. So that is just awesome. So all right guys, that's it for me. Thanks for tuning in. And don't forget to rate and review the podcast on your listening app of choice if you haven't done so already, which you guys are all awesome. So I'm sure you did that at the beginning of the episode when I originally asked, but if you hadn't, here's another reminder for you. Alright guys, I'll catch you back up in the next two weeks. When we hit episode 10.
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Do you have a plan for growing your business online?
If you aren’t logging online with a strategy in place, you could be making a huge mistake.
One of the biggest things businesses and entrepreneurs fail to do is develop a real plan before showing up online.
Without a clear strategy and objective, it becomes very difficult for you to make a single sale, much less be successful online.
Biggest Mistakes People Make In Digital Marketing
1. Not Listening to Your Audience: In many cases, where you start, is not where you’ll end up. What I mean by that is, you may get into business with a plan, but in most situations, your business will take a crazy turn (if you’re listening to your audience).
It is absolutely crucial (especially for new businesses) to listen to the feedback you get from your audience. The market will tell you which direction you need to go.
2. Not Building an Email List: This is the #1 regret most businesses have; not starting their email list earlier.
I have preached about it before, and I’m taking a hard turn towards email marketing as of late. As we mention in the podcast, on average, email marketing accounts for 4,400% ROI on average. That means for every $1 you invest in email marketing, you get $44 back.
If you haven’t started building your email list yet, there are tons of resources out there that can help you do this, and I will be putting out a ton of content as I learn and continue to grow. Make sure you keep checking back on the Nine-Five Blog.
Links & Resources
Note: Some of the links listed below may be affiliate links. This means I will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you choose to purchase through them.
- Hit up Lenny on Instagram
- Don’t forget to download Lenny’s free e-book: 3 Ways to Keep Your Business from Dying
- You can get the book Lenny mentioned: Traffic Secrets by Russel Brunson
- You can find Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
- If you’re interested in looking more into influencer marketing, influence.co is a good place to start
- Want to impress your friends with a celebrity shoutout? You can check out Cameo
- Check out Dashie Games on YouTube and see the kinds of videos he creates to engage his audience
- Here is a link to Hubspot CRM if you are in need of a new CRM
- I personally use ConvertKit for my email marketing and absolutely love it. If you are interested in checking it out, you can get started for free
- If you haven’t already heard about the 80/20 rule or Pareto’s Principle, this is a good resource
- If you haven’t done this already, you can leave a review of the Nine-Five Podcast over on iTunes
I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Nine-Five Podcast. As always, I want to thank you for listening!
Don’t forget about our goal! We want to try to get more iTunes reviews than last week – this week we had zero 🙁
If you enjoyed this episode, please head over to iTunes and leave a review. Your reviews are what help get this podcast in front of more people!
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