Facing uncertainty can be challenging – being a business owner facing uncertainty is tougher.
Red Direction helps you [fast track and] grow your business – authentically, pragmatically, and resiliently.
Starting the conversation:
Committing time to look at a bigger picture is not easy, yet the awareness that emerges from strategic initiatives allows you to say “yes” to more of the right things that will help you navigate the urgent and important. To stay aligned to your longer term goals.
In this episode, you will hear about how the result of breaking something (that was actually working) was necessary to grow; what to do with the doubt that is always present; and the importance of knowing what and when to share decisions to guide your team well. Jess Dewell talks with Andy Buyting, Founder & CEO at Tulip Media Group, about doing things differently in your business.
Seemingly urgent items in the day-to-day can easily fill up more than the amount of available time you have. To know what is really urgent, having a cadence of dedicated time is what helped Andy Buyting, Founder & CEO of Tulip Media Group, to recognize it was time to make a large pivot in his business.
Host: Jess Dewell
Guest: Andy Buyting
What You Will Hear:
When a pivot point appears, what do you do?
What happens when there is a gap between your vision and the current results?
Commit to a quarterly strategic intensive that includes what is possible 5 years from now.
The first step is to confirm it is time to pivot.
Do what is right, which isn’t always easy.
Automate what you can, like your sales process, to dial into the cost of customer acquisition and client profitability.
Doubt will always be present, so bring your courage.
Be willing to break something that is working well to pursue something great; limits can be used as fuel.
Digital marketing has underutilized elements.
Additionally, for the Fast Track Your Business Today Uncut conversation:
Your sales process is an element of your business development.
Know each part of your sales process.
Uncover what sales steps you can leverage, including digital marketing, and break up the work.
Increase production by honoring the importance of each step of the sales process and the related skills.
Become better at sharing the right information at the right time with your team.
It is a skill to keep your mouth closed and listen more.
It’s your responsibility to know what to do and when to do it.
It is BOLD to keep seeking ways to do things differently at every stage of business.
Welcome. This is the Bold Business Podcast. Your business has many directions it can travel. The one true direction of your company creates the journey for you to move toward a new, exciting level. We call this the Red Direction. In today's program, we delve into one idea. The idea will support you as you work on ever-present situations, including how to stay competitive in a changing market, how to break through the business plateau, and how to anticipate the changing expectations of your stakeholders. Jess Dewell is your guide. Jess brings you a 20-year track record of business excellence, where strategy and operations overlap. Your Path comes from consistently working from the special place. Your unique True North. Now, here's Jess.
Jess Dewell 00:51
Hello, and welcome to the Bold Business Podcast. I'm so excited today to be sharing with you some fantastic information, we might be talking about things like letting go of everything you know about anything and starting over. We might even talk about the importance or the creativity or the opportunity that comes from stopping and doing things differently. And here's the deal. What if you had to pivot when there was no reason to actually pivot? We might talk about that today, too. So with all that in mind, I want you to stay tuned for a couple of announcements. First, today, we're going to be talking to Andy, I'm going to introduce you to him in just a moment. What I want to make sure that we're talking about first though is if you're finding this somewhere on the web, it's incredibly important that you get to the place where you can have Andy's conversation and all of our podcast programs delivered directly to you. So go to Red direction.com. And choose your preferred listening platform and get your little sign-up like follow whatever it's called on the platform you're using, checked-done so that we can keep delivering this great content directly to your podcast player. Now, the other thing I want to let you know is this podcast is something that has a super special benefit. All of the people that we're talking about have been in situations like you or I have will be facing situations again, like what you're going through, so you never know what you're going to get in this leadership conversation. The piece that I want to leave you with though is having that information just in time is imperative. That's how this program, the Bold Business Podcast is structured. And for those of you who want more who want the behind-the-scenes who want the uncut, who want that little bit of extra, we have a program for you called Fast Track Your Business today. Also at Red direction.com, go on over there and check it out if you're interested. Okay, I didn't want to say all that I wanted to just jump to this, you know how I am I like to just get to where the meat of everything is. It's all meat, by the way, because we need reminders yet. Andy is going to be here to share some things. Andy here is going to be talking about leadership, his journey and the things that he has faced and overcome. And let me just tell you a little bit more about Andy biting. He's a leader in content marketing and has thought leadership around his concept of integrated content strategies. This particular area has not only served him and his company, it is something that he models and demonstrates to his clients as well. See, you know why he's here now. Then, all this journey started in 2007. And he has been writing and creating content and writing art. He's an author, and integrating all of the content that he has been creating. He is using strategies that are customized or that get results. This get results. Results has allowed him to establish himself in not only content marketing, but also how it impacts your brand's positioning. Okay, I can't I can't talk anymore. You've got lots of things that I can say right now. But I don't want to tell that about you. I want to get people there like they already know. You're cool. Andy, welcome.
Andy Buyting 04:28
Thank you. I'm glad to be here. I'm excited.
Jess Dewell 04:33
For me, it's Monday as we record I know it's not Monday in the week, but it feels it is a Monday for me. Did you, did you work yesterday?
Andy Buyting 04:42
I did not work yesterday.
Jess Dewell 04:45
Good. I'm impressed with you. Was it a see here in the US? It was a holiday, right? We remembered Memorial Day. Did you observe that or did you have a different reason to take the day off?
Andy Buyting 04:58
Well in Canada where I'm Located, we don't have Memorial Day, but we do have a spring holiday. It actually happens a week before yours. So okay, I had that last week. And that's Victoria Day. So we celebrate the Queen's birthday. Yeah, in Canada.
Jess Dewell 05:13
Very nice. That's what I thought. And I knew they were close together. Yeah. And we have to have a little bit of trivia here and there. Because in this integrated worldwide society, sometimes they're like, where did he go? Where did just go? Well, we're here. We're just celebrating our own holidays and remembering what we are remembering. Do you have cake on the Queen's Birthday? Celebrating?
Andy Buyting 05:36
Good? We don't, but that absolutely. My kids would be all over that,
Jess Dewell 05:41
Right? I know, I know. Oh, well let you know what it makes me think. Because when we make those little things, whether it's in life, whether it's in our business, whether it's with our relationships, when we have that kind of a cadence, we never know. And those are often overlooked Andy, and I know, that's something that you have dug into specifically around sales and selling, and being able to create effective marketing strategies. So I know we're gonna hear a lot about all of that. But I really want to get us started with this concept of, of change, right? Change happens fast. And for you, it happened before COVID. It happened at a time when nobody else was purposefully pivoting if you will. So I wanted to I want to hear and I want you to share, what are the elements that made you realize a pivot and by the way, people, you know, when I use the word pivot, I mean, big change. This is what Andy's talking about. We're not talking about little adjustment pivots, we're talking about big the real deal. Okay, so how did you know you needed a pivot?
Andy Buyting 06:47
Andy, we knew we needed a pivot, because, you know, I'm a big believer in deliberate growth in a company. We do scaling up methodology for how we set our vision or strategy and execute on that strategy. And, you know, it really came to a, we get to a point where if we were going to hit our strategy, and if we were truly committed to what we call a painted picture, we needed to do something differently, because we weren't getting there fast enough with our current mode of doing business or current strategy or current growth strategy. So we knew we needed to change things. And it wasn't because things were not successful. You know, things were growing, but they weren't growing at the rate we needed them to, in order for us to meet our vision.
Jess Dewell 07:44
Are you one of those people? That's like, we might be a little too comfortable here. Let's stir the pot. Always. I heard it in your words. It's not that we weren't growing. It's not that we weren't having success. So okay, so you were growing, you were having success. And yet, you recognized because of the way that you are managing your business and guiding your team forward.
Andy Buyting 08:09
Something was afoot? Yeah, something wasn't working as well as we wanted it to.
Jess Dewell 08:17
Right. Yeah. So and what information do you use that allowed you to go? Hmm, we got to look a little closer, there might be something to pay attention to here.
Andy Buyting 08:30
So one thing you mentioned, Jesse, in the inner introduction was, it was sometimes you need to hear something at the right time for you to take action, right? And, you know, I'm sure your listeners appreciate the different content, different ideas that come forward because you never know when you need to hear something in your life. And for me, so it was, it was, it was a couple of things. It was one recognizing in a meeting that we had regular quarterly cadence to our planning process. And it was in a quarterly meeting where we discussed that, you know, that are we're not going to achieve our vision, we're not going to achieve our painted picture, if we don't do something drastically different. And we recognize that so something we knew it wasn't, it wasn't we were not going to get to where we want to go with the current strategy that we had. And it was at that moment that I heard somebody tell their story of what they did inside their company, a good friend of mine. And it was the right message to hear at that moment in time because I left thinking, Oh, my goodness like this is we've got to look at that concept. And it might have fallen on deaf ears. If I heard it six months before or a year before. It might, it might have fallen on deaf ears. But it was the message I needed to hear at that moment. And that was the inspiration to do the change but the purpose for the change the motivator From the change was the fact that we, we knew we had to change. Because we yeah, we weren't on track to hit her, hit her painted picture. And we're totally dedicated to that.
You were listening to the Bold Business Podcast. We will return to the show soon. But first, I want to take a moment and give you a peek into what additional services and solutions you could access to Fast Track Your Business. This program was created to develop your capacity on demand by sharing insights, tips, as well as lessons learned by business leaders, unedited and uncut. And we don't just stop there. There are three additional benefits to help you reach your growth goals. You will also have unlimited access to one, hearing tips and insights to develop yourself as a leader to get better results more often. Two, experiencing viewpoints from many different business leaders. Three, receiving frameworks to build core competencies and to more effectively focus on business growth and leadership. Altogether, The Fast Track Your Business program will allow you to face uncertainty, anytime, anywhere. You can access what will become your most versatile tool in your toolkit by going to FastTrackYou BusinessToday.com. Now back to Jess.
Jess Dewell 11:16
Tulip Media Group has been around for a long time. And so I want people I want you to know that this is a this is a business that is continuously led and guided with intentional intent, I'm gonna say intention, there was no word to come after intentionally. It was just with intention. And so what are we doing? When that is happening? We're always looking for the next we're always recognizing where we are. And you're hearing me talk about this. So I want to think about this Andy, then because you're saying, Hey, I got this thing that we do on a quarterly basis. And we're not we've painted this picture, yet the results that we're seeing on and we're checking in quarterly, yet the results we see quarterly aren't matching up. And we're going to have to do an Indiana Jones if you will to make this possibly happen. And, um, that's not easy. It's not easy to acknowledge, it's not easy to do. So what are the structures in your system and in your company that allowed you that system, if you will, that allowed you to be able to be like, it doesn't matter, we know, we have the courage because?
Andy Buyting 12:27
Well, it's the, it's the rhythm in the discipline that we follow, following the scaling up methodologies that allow that, you know, we gather for strategic thinking every quarter. And part of that whole process is we had a at the time it was a, I think we were year one into our five-year painted picture. And we use a painted picture methodology where on one page we have painted in great in a fair amount of detail. What the company looks like, feels like acts like in five years, it's, it's Britain in present tone and present, present tone, five years from now or three years from now, whatever you decide ours was five-year painted picture. We were year one into it. And we recognize that, you know, in order for us to hit that five year paint a picture, one of the key metrics, of course, was the company revenues, and we were not growing fast enough to get there. And we knew we had to do things differently if we were it was either reset our goals because you know, we're growing successfully. Do we reset our goals? Or if we are fully committed to the painted picture? Do we recognize that something drastic needs to change? And we chose the latter?
Jess Dewell 13:38
Yeah. Yeah. Well, actually, both would be really hard, wouldn't they?
Andy Buyting 13:45
And both are reasonable for some people. Right?
Jess Dewell 13:49
Absolutely. There. And that's actually what I wanted to bring up. I'm like, Oh, wow, when you give both of those choices, neither are easy. And you're right. Both are right. And so you chose the one path. And when you decided, okay, so then there's the, there's the awareness, there's there getting it together, there's the knowing it's here, what is the decision to be made choosing that path? Now you have some concept of where the start line is, but then where do you at? Where do you actually start with that end? You know, what was your next step after you made that decision?
Andy Buyting 14:22
Well with us, as I alluded to, it was, it was a friend of mine in a share his story in the opening chapter of the book, Patti Condon in Denver, and it was his story. And, you know, if I, if I can take a minute to share it like he, he got up in front of a group, a cohort that I belong to, and he wants to just share a story where he had, he has high-end home renovations in Denver, Minneapolis and Chicago. And the way that they grew their business were they had sales teams in all three regions and they Would you know, leads would come in from marketing, the sales team would follow up with them would connect with them, they bring those people in to talk to the designer, where they would be talking about design and color and trim colors and all the styles and so on. They said they get excited about their project, and then it would go back to the sales team and the sales team would either close or they wouldn't. And then we start with the contract. And he, he shared a story where he did three, once a year, he does a three-day planning session. Day one is with the sales team. Day two is with all the production team admin team. And then day three is with everybody. And at the end of day one, he said you'll we were not hitting our sales objectives. And as soon as he said that, I'm like, my ears perked up because we weren't hitting our sales objectives either. And he said, you know, after our first day with the sales team, we recognize that, you know, it wasn't working, and not the sales team were bad people at all. It just wasn't working. The process wasn't working. And the sales team blamed marketing or blamed, you know, people were blaming each other. And he said, after that first day, he said, I was just tired. I was tired of running the business the same way expecting different results. Again, ears perked up. Right. So he said, he said, I talked to my partner. And I said, I'm willing to bet the company on this strategy. And that is, I want to actually eliminate the entire sales team.
Andy Buyting 16:25
And we thought, Wow, that's a big bold move. And they did that literally that night. Or the next morning, I guess they made the decision that night. They, they did it that morning before the planning session started with the production people. And then they brought the production people in and said, Here's what we did. Here's our reasons why. And here's the strategy going forward. And, of course, everyone else in the company was nervous was, you know, fearful for this massive change. And he's in production. People were saying, well, we're not salespeople. And he said, You don't need to be, be a designer. You know, when people come in asking for home renovations, if they talk to you first, they're actually going to get excited, because you're going to talk to them about design about, you know, the color colors of the countertop, or the trim and the types of countertop and all this type of stuff. And he said, you do that, get them excited, because they're the one you are the ones that they want to talk to anyway, they don't want to talk to a salesperson, they want to talk to somebody, it's a doozy, ASIC, about design and about renovations and about making a beautiful home. So you talk to them. And they say, well, we can't close sales, we're not salespeople. He said, it's very simple. When they're done when they're excited. Here's your line, just say we would love to get started on this. And that's it. And don't say anything. And once they say yeah, then get them signed the contract. And we'll work it into the schedule. And it was interesting, the group were shocked that Patti had done this. And they said, Okay, what were the results? And he said, would you guess that our sales went up by 12%. This spring. And so again, the right message at the right time, it haunted me. It haunted me really justly. So I talked with my two main partners. And I said, you know, because they were in the room, actually, they were all part of the same group. And I said, we immediately left that talk actually in the we all saw each other out. We did you just hear what he just said, like, we should think about that in. Yeah, we put this plan together. And three months later, we decided to do the same thing. Ah, that's our that. Yeah. So that, that, that was our story. So it was, it was a decision. I went in it and I remember clear as day and it was an afternoon. And I was really nervous because we're a close-knit team. And you know, we I love each and every one of them. You know, one of them in particular was became a really good friend over the years. We knew each other on a personal level as well, families knew each other that type of thing. But it was the right thing to do for the company. And I could not let what I preach to other business owners all the time, you know, is you need to, you need to do what's right, you need to do what's right for the company, you need to do what was right for the people. And we had a sales team. You know, we had seven people with a sales manager and sales team. You know, working the phones every day logging hundreds of phone calls, working hundreds of era yeah over I think it was 170 some odd leads in Salesforce with you know, several dozen opportunities. And we were doing all of this and getting I would say you know, mediocre results. Okay. So we knew we something had changed. So I walked in that afternoon after I talked it through with my two main partners to the, you know, at great lengths, and we walked in and I did the same thing. One by one, I talked with them, let them know, you're wonderful people, we just it's a company strategic decision. And, you know, we had made the decision, decision was final, it came as a shock to everyone. And then I gathered everyone else in the company together explained what we had done, and had a very similar conversation to what Patti had in Denver. And it was interesting because we were just going into our next planning session. And when we did that, you know, we talked it all through and at the time, I had, you know, I call it, I want to pivot to an automated cell, non-automated sales process. That's what I called a time. And we just hired a young student intern in a marketing intern, Co-Op student. And he was, he was the right person at the right time to because he believed anything was possible, and, you know, believed it, anything was possible. He just was not afraid to fail and try new things. And when I explained what, what, what I done, they understood, we went into planning session. And it was interesting, because we talked about, okay, what's our sales target for the next quarter? I said, I think we should keep it the same. My right-hand person begging her fist off at Davis, she said, Do not set us up for failure. And this is not right. I said, No, we can do this, we can figure this out. And interestingly enough, 90 days later, the last week, we hit our sales target for the first time in about a year and a half with no salespeople.
Jess Dewell 21:34
Wow. So I want to go back one step. Because when you were like, Let's grow, let's repeat this. So this was big growth for a period of time, and then you're going to repeat that growth a second time in a row.
Andy Buyting 21:51
We were well, and that's the that's the trajectory we were on. And we were on the sales team and so on. But what when we really analyze the numbers, you know, at the beginning, we, we really analyze the numbers, we figured out that our cost of acquisition was way too expensive. It was not sustainable. We were growing, but we are funding, you know, the, not a huge company. And at the time, you know, this, the Salesforce was 40% of the company was 40% of the employees. So we could not sustain and we could not grow based on a cost of acquisition at the time. Right? We could grow, but it would not have been profitable. Exactly. You know, it was one of these situations we were we were methodically growing, we were holding our own, but I was tired of having such huge costs associated with it, managing a sales team is not for everyone. And, and it especially when we just weren't, we're seeing results, just not the results of justified that champion salespeople.
Jess Dewell 22:55
So when you made this shift, and you said, okay, and you and your sales team was removed from the organizational chart at tulip media, what? And you hit your sales goals for the first time in? You said 18 months, but 18 months? Yeah, about 18 months. And first off, you knew it was possible because you heard somebody else had done something like this. So that was good, right? So it's still really scary. I don't want to I don't want to take that away. I just want to be like, Well, cool. Somebody else has done this. So we ought to be able to figure this out to love that. And then when you were in the middle of it, and you're talking about this, my question becomes, well, how, how quickly did you first second guess your decision?
Andy Buyting 23:48
As I was doing it, right?
Jess Dewell 23:51
Okay, so you didn't even get all the words out of your mouth and you're like, do I really? Am I really up for this? Can we really make this happen? Okay, yeah, yes. You know, that doubt starts. Okay.
Andy Buyting 24:01
Yeah. And I think that's, you know, what I've heard the doubt heard this many times. I'll probably butcher the saying a little bit. But, you know, courage is not being not afraid. Courage, just being afraid, being fearful. And doing it anyway doing it, because you know, it's the right thing to do. Yeah, it was me through and through. I guess I was walking into that, for the first, for the first real person I was meeting and actually met the guy I was really close to first because I was like, I've got to get this one done. And I owe it to him to let him know, first of everybody. And it. You know, as I was walking into that boardroom, I was thinking, Hmm, not too late to back out, but at the same time, that's one shoulder right? Yeah. And then the other side saying that, you know, yeah, you're committed you, you, you've committed to doing this change. You got to see it through.
Jess Dewell 24:55
We're going to talk more about that in a minute. I want to pivot. Oh, I don't even like that word and I used if I want to shift direction, I got to change that hoof because this would be a tie. It's not even an adjustment. It's a, let's explore this hole over here. So really, that's not what that is at all. So as we explore this thing that popped up for me, I'm listening to the story, I'm listening to the fact that you and your leadership team, you already had said that you were tight-knit, there's a lot of trust that has to go in this. For them. What were the, what were the key pieces that allowed them to go? I see what Andy's talking about. I can, I can, I can put my best, you know, I can put my wagon here to steal.
Andy Buyting 25:40
Yeah. Yeah. So at the end of the day, I, you know, I think I'm a firm believer that in any organization, the leader, it's more important to be respected and trusted than it is to be liked. We do all like each other, I do want to make that clear. But you know, it's not you, it's not being wanting to be liked is not what drives my actions. So wanting to be trust that I need, as a leader, I need to have the team have trust in me, I need to have the team respect me. Otherwise, you don't have anything, you know, you don't have a, you know, they need to trust that what I'm doing is in everyone's best interest. So when I explained it afterwards because that's the whole thing if you do any kind of move like this, or take any actions like this, and even if a leader, let somebody go on the team that is well-liked on the team, you know, it, you need to think through, okay, you need to take the action, and then you need to instill the trust, you need to communicate immediately, the messaging has to come from you, for the rest of the team, because you're in the way I put it out, it's in 2019, when we did this pivot, we had the courage to blow up what was good in the pursuit of something great. But it doesn't come without collateral damage. When you blast, something good. There's damage all around you. And you need to be able to put that together as quickly as you can and as effectively as you can and move forward. So for us, you know, it is collateral damage, because there were many strong relationships there. And so when as soon as I did that, I gathered the team together, and I explained to them what, what I done that it was an overnight decision. Now, this is something we've always had extremely transparent culture. Now, this is something I chose not to share with the team for obvious reasons because you know, it needed, it is not that I wanted to keep it a secret from everybody. It's I did not want to burden them with the responsibility of knowing this was going to happen. Yep, it was not fair for me to make this really tough decision and burden other people with this knowledge. So that's what I explained. I said, my myself and my two main partners, we didn't do this alone. The other two, this was after weeks of debate and discussion, it was carefully thought out. But I recognize that it's coming at a shock to everybody here. And it's tough. And it's really hard news, right? It's hard for me hard. Even though I'm the one who took the action. It was hard, because I had, like I said, really strong relationships there as did others. And I said, this is really hard for you guys because we're losing part of our family here. And it's tough. And I get it, and it's hard. And I and I get it if you're a little bit mad at the decision right now. But I need you to trust me that this is right. This is what we need to do for the company. And they, they trusted me they know that at the end of the day, they trusted my judgment trusted my decision and that of my partners. And they were all in they said okay, this is tough. And many of them. Remember, we were walking out and somebody said, can I still be friends with Kelly today? Absolutely. I'll help you too. They'll help you do like, yeah, absolutely. These are great, great, amazing people. It's not a decision based on them, how they did their job or how they who they are as people at all. It's just it was the wrong strategy for us. And so they, they, they appreciated the candidness they appreciated the openness. And they knew I was hurting because you know, I tell people when I recount the story, I said, you know with, with a couple of them. I think I cried more than they did.
Jess Dewell 29:44
Right? Oh, I tell him you know, and I'm glad that you said that because we actually you know I have an total side tangent. Really important though. Somewhere along the line in the fourth and fifth grade. What ends up happening Is it become it becomes very clear what emotions are allowed to be shown and what aren't. And sometimes they are the way you present in the world as masculine or feminine or male or female, not necessarily who you are. And it's so important today to recognize tears matter. Pain matters, showing somebody that they're not alone in pain matters. And that is a vulnerability factor that we do often overlook. So I'm, I'm glad that that's part of your story, Andy not because it was not because I'm like, Ooh, let's exploit that. But because it's a don't forget, as we get older, as we gain more experience, we're going our emotions might be stronger, they're definitely going to be deeper and welcoming all of that, and their expression to the conversation is, is what connects us as we move forward. Yeah.
Andy Buyting 31:02
Sometimes doing the hardest things. Sometimes doing the right things out of care and love and so on, are often the hardest things. Yes. When you think, children, you know, I hold my children very much accountable. And sometimes I don't want to because I know it's not gonna be a pleasant conversation, as I'm sure you can relate, but you do it because you love the person you care for them. The same thing with your team. And what I truly believe as well is that everybody can become an, a performer somewhere. And the situation as we had it, which I took full responsibility for it because I designed the business model, is that the way we were structured, I just did not see how any of them could become an, a performer. Working for Tula media, the business just it did not work. It just did. The parts did not work together. As I once believed, you know, I realized over time that this is just not working, and nobody's going to flourish here. Right. And it's unfair to them.
Jess Dewell 32:03
Which is also unfair to you. Can we be real about that, too?
Andy Buyting 32:07
Yeah, absolutely. And one thing I'll just plug in there quickly is the one that I was really close to I remember about a year later, he emailed me out of the blue because I hadn't talked to him in a while. And I understand they're mad in the, in the beginning. But yeah, he emailed me and he said, I owe you a drink. He said, my new job, I'm loving it. I'm doing I'm far more successful. And which I'm so excited for. Yeah, so excited. And he never had a not pulled the trigger that day, he never would have landed in that other job where he can really flourish. And loves every day, and I couldn't be happier for him.
Jess Dewell 32:43
Oh, see, that is so fantastic. So when we talk about this, and I want to switch gears, because we're coming to the end of this part of our program, and I have to say you did this with content. Your new design was around content.
Andy Buyting 33:01
Yeah, it was around digital marketing. So content was a big component of it. Yes. Okay.
Jess Dewell 33:06
What else was in your digital marketing? strategy.
Andy Buyting 33:11
So when we, when we talk about digital marketing, we look at it in three components. Oh, the where we start is getting the house in order, which is the content and the messaging that goes into a client's website. So we do, we became store brand certified. So we do story branding of the website, where we get at what make websites really functional for people with a call to actions. And then we feed people into the website through content marketing, for SEO, and through paid marketing, marketing. Okay, so that's how that's the strategy we use for ourselves and what we use for all of our client partners
Jess Dewell 33:50
Right? That's great. Well, that's not easy either. Can we be real about that? We, it's funny, because even though technology allows us to have this conversation, and it's not even on the telephone, you could just see each other, which is also really nice. It would be really cool if we could be in the same studio, but I have to tell you, some of the coolest people I've met are not in my geographical driving distance. And I think that that's important to really recognize too and leverage technology. And then there's this weird place where we get in our own way about, well, if it's online, it's got to have this or it's supposed to look like that. Or bla-bla-bla-bla-bla, and yeah, yeah, I'll bet you're totally saying, Hey, you're probably right. Yeah, it could be so much better.
Andy Buyting 34:39
And getting that understanding, like we often say, you know, most our client partners their, their villain, their, their biggest challenge is not necessarily their competitors. We used to think that we used to have narrative around. It's like Google is a villain because marketing online it can be so complicated that most people Don't know where to start.
Jess Dewell 35:01
Right? Exactly. Oh, and where do you tell them to start? Is it with their message? Is it just No, not even changing anything online? But just being like, is this actually really clear? Is it saying what I want to say?
Andy Buyting 35:14
So I think the most on under-recognized Whoo, yeah, have any digital marketing strategy because every, every digital marketer out there will say, you know, all will work will get more traffic to your website will get more leads to your website will get more Facebook likes or LinkedIn connections, whatever it might be. Right. And the way I put it is that I honestly, Petula Media Group, I do not care how much website traffic we get, I don't care how many Facebook likes we have, or how many people are following us on LinkedIn. What I care about is how many times is our phone ring? How many people fill out a contact form requesting more information? And how many times how many people book meetings in our calendar, wanting to learn more about what we do, that's what I care about. It's the marketing qualified leads MQLs. That's what we care about. So the most overlooked part of digital marketing is actually what gets people to take action. Yeah, everybody will talk about, oh, we have the best, you know, paid advertising strategy to get more traffic to your website, or we can increase your traffic through great content, we all of these different ways through social media, marketing, outreach, through influencers, all that stuff is great. But a customer, all those customers need to take some form of action. And it starts on your website. Now. And that's the most over-overlooked component of all digital marketing. Because it doesn't matter if there's 1000, or 10,000, or 100,000 visitors to your website every month. If none of them are converting, it doesn't matter. Right. So that's where we start. And the metaphor that I use is I said, if you're opening up a retail store, you know, you're going to set up the store, set up the shelves, you'll stock merchandise, you know, you're going to train the staff, you're going to sweep off the front doorstep. And then when you're ready, you're going to start inviting people in when you're ready, when, when the store is set up so that people can buy, then you will start to ,to invite people in but most digital marketers look at it the other way. They start inviting people in. And then they lose them on their own website. Right. All the time. So we spend a lot of time yeah, we spend a lot of time on the website.
Jess Dewell 37:42
Yeah, start. Very good. Oh, see, okay. So not only is there depth in the process, there is courage in a way to think differently that Andy is bringing to this conversation. So for those of you just listening and stopping by great, we're glad to have you. We can't wait until we see you next time. For those of you that are part of the Fast Track Your Business, you know where to go over to your TrueNorth dashboards so you can get the rest of this conversation.
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