Why You Should be Focusing on Your List and NOT Your Following With Jeb Blann

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Why You Should be Focusing on Your List and NOT Your Following With Jeb Blann

Transcription of Episode

[00:00:00] Ryan: Hey, this is Ryan Chapman with the Fix Your Funnel interview series. I'm really privileged to have a good friend of mine. Jeb Blann. Jeb, welcome. Jeb's from a Savage Beast Marketing. I love that name. Thanks for coming on today.

Ryan: Now this is going to be a controversial episode because we're going to be talking about some stuff that I think a lot of people aren't, you know, it ruffles the conventional feathers, so to speak. Because we're gonna be talking about what people take for granted and, what we want a question, right? Which is what is actually the best way to communicate with people today in 2020? I think this was a totally different discussion. When did you get started first in marketing automation or marketing in terms of communication, stuff like that? It's been a while. Huh?

Jeb: It has been, I actually got my start about 24 years ago. I was working...

Ryan: So for 24 years [00:01:00] ago... we're '96?

Jeb: Yeah.

Ryan: So that's like the Internet's really starting. There's maybe like a hundred thousand people on it.

strong>Jeb: Well, it was really starting to build steam and people were starting to get told, like you have to have a website, you have to have a website. It's your...

Ryan: Were you getting America online discs or CDs at that point?

Jeb: I believe that they were still floppies. I think that that's about when they switched over to CDs. And there was all sorts of players that just don't aren't big players anymore. I mean, everybody was running compact computers. Yeah. You know, it was a different time and we were so excited when the internet hit 14.4 bot speed. You know, it was a, we were starting to see some fun things with T1 lines and add some wireless services and stuff, but it was really kind of a jumbled back then.

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. So different from [00:02:00] today. I remember when Star Wars Episode One came out and I, my son who's now like 23, you know, he was like six months old. And we were like, Oh, there's a trailer online. And it took four hours to download the trailer, you know, it's a minute and a half. But it took four hours to download the trailer. That was like the speed of internet.

Jeb: It was crazy. And so it was happening as is that you had this big dichotomy world. We want to put all this stuff on the web, but the more you put on it, I mean, website speeds are still a thing, but not nearly like they were and then as soon as everybody figured out they could get higher speeds, which back then would be, you know, 256 whatever it was. And they started messing around with Flash and that slowed the whole thing down again. It was really a crazy time, but what's amazing me is that we started, you know, through the nineties, we're really starting to [00:03:00] develop our web presence and people still feel that way. They still kind of start with that position. Now they still feel like. Like, Oh, you know, this has been the way for 25 years have to get a website up. I have to put everything up on the web.

Ryan: You know if we go back 50 years, that was the equivalent of, okay, you're starting a business. You got to get your yellow page. Yeah. And you know what I mean? Really, that's what the website was replacing was the yellow pages. It was a place where you can have that advertisement for your business, that people can look you up and find you. And that's how it was done back then.

Jeb: Yeah, it was, and we were using metakeywords mattered a lot more.

Ryan: Your SEO is critical because they had these new things called search engines. If you didn't get found on them, I remember that. Oh, what is it's? I think it's still around. It's like MOD or something like that. There, there was a group and if you didn't submit your website to that [00:04:00] group, Nobody was going to find you at all.

Jeb: Oh yeah. Oh goodness. It is actually still around.

Ryan: Yeah. I saw it the other day. So, that's where most of your people that were the gurus of internet marketing started.

Jeb: It is.

Ryan: And if they didn't start there, they're like a second generation from that person who started there. Right? There's lots of up and coming people that have brilliant ideas and are doing great things. But a lot of them were trained by somebody who was like a "you", you know? That was a dinosaur in the beginning, so to speak, you know, creating webpages or whatever. And that was like the thing to do.

Jeb: One of the things I benefited from back then really in that, that helps now is that, I had worked for years as a professional photographer and of course I go back far enough to have learned on film in the dark room. And so I was still a working professional photographer when digital came out and that [00:05:00] transition was amazingly difficult. Because the problem was is that film photographers were looking at all these digital photographers and going like, yeah, What's going on, you know, they're building these huge businesses, they're eating our lunch, you know, because of quality, etc. Yeah, and I think we're actually going for something similar now is that we have a whole bunch of people that are kind of in, I guess my age group, maybe even a little older. But they learned that there are these certain steps you had to take to build an online presence. And it was usually predicated on business that was based in brick and mortar. Whether it was out of their house or in the actual storefront. And now we're watching this thing called influencers happen or thought leadership. And those folks aren't necessarily having to take all those same steps. They're, they're skipping a lot of them and just kind of plowing ahead.

Ryan: Lets explicitly state what some of those steps are because [00:06:00] I was having a discussion with Darcy, from Dan Kennedy's organization, and she was talking about, you know, they're doing trainings, talking about marketing and some of these fundamentals, like, okay, do you have something to offer that is like a first step for people to take towards getting to know your company better. Which I think is, I think that fundamental stays. You know, is having some sort of offer to get contact information. I think that's still a thing, even though there's a lot of people that are skipping that entirely, I think we'll, during this, this discussion, we will talk about why that's still important thing, but we're not going to keep everything that we used to do. But you know, one of the things she said is then we've got to get them a website, a landing page, and they got to do these things. And these are huge technical hurdles. For many people. Yeah, I mean, it's something you and I maybe, we don't even think twice about, but for many people, like I get this reality check when I'm like talking to my wife and she's doing some stuff and she's like, Oh, [00:07:00] okay. I need a website. And like, I'm like, Oh, well then just throw one up. She's like, what are you talking about? I need you to build it. I'm like, Oh gosh, let me see if I get around to it. You know, but it is a huge hurdle for many people to do this, but the question is. You know, is that even necessary? And let's not answer that one yet. Let's just put the website to the side and say, okay, website is a traditional thing. You got to have a website. I think it goes without saying that most internet marketing people say, Oh, you gotta have a website. We're going to question and destroy that one in just a second. What's the next thing that everybody says you got to have?

Jeb: Well, I think they think about branding. You know, they have to have some sort of branding. And what's interesting to me is that branding traditionally has always meant things like logo, appearance, color imagery, you know, that sort of thing. Branding has been turned completely on its head now, it's a completely different animal. Now [00:08:00] logos are an afterthought. If they're even necessary at all, we can get into that later, too. But when I think about what we used to take businesses through it was like, okay, define your business. What's your brands. And now we need to get you online. And then of course later starting about really 20 years ago now, we start talking about these things. Like we didn't call them social media back then we called it Web 2.0 It was like your blog. And maybe your MySpace page back then, or Yahoo user groups or whatever. And so there was like this definite process to get them find-able online and to help them use the web for their marketing and connection.

Ryan: And then you had things like, I remember when I first started doing some email stuff for me, I was probably late to the game and stuff, but in 2006 it was actually a software that I ran on my computer. That sent the emails out to the group. And then I discovered like One Shopping [00:09:00] Cart. And then there was Mail Champ would come onto the scene and they started getting these CRMs or email services that you could collect email addresses into. And then you could send out broadcast or campaigns of emails to people.

Jeb: And people went enough is enough.

Ryan: You know, what's interesting is, you know, I really got into the scene in that time, 2006, 2007. And we did a ton with email at the time. But if I were to compare the volume of email sent, then to today, it's like a fraction. Like a small fraction of how much email, because also, there weren't as many people online, you had about 300,000-a million people on mine worldwide, or so back in 2006, because it was just computers. How many computers did you have to get on? Or maybe it's more than that. Maybe it's like 300 million. Sorry. That was, I [00:10:00] sounded like Biden there for a second, but I'm like, there's probably like 300 million people, 400 million people on the internet in 2006.

Jeb: And I think is, I think as a social media thing kind of took hold. They became a means of connection and they actually helped build the internet that we see now. There was the attraction.

Ryan: I see two things that happen almost simultaneously. It was the advent of the smartphone. So that's born when Apple introduces the iPhone and then quickly on its tales the android comes out. And then you, you have at the same time, these social networks start getting momentum, Twitter, FaceBook, and in an effort to grow their monthly average users, they start actually expanding the internet to your point. And pushing it with smartphones to the whole world, [00:11:00] basically.

Jeb: It's a fight for attention that's based on the platform. You know, Facebook wants their are billions of users. Everybody wants to have that sort of attention because attention is how they grow their networks and increase their revenue. It's attention. It's an attention play. And they will do whatever they think is necessary to protect that attention.

Ryan: So, and I guess this is kind of the fundamental point we're going to be building off of, which is that the landscape of the internet and marketing online has changed dramatically from 20 years ago.

Jeb: Yes.

Ryan: But most of the rules that guide people's, okay this is what you got to do, which is reinforced by software. Okay. So we go look at CRMs marketing automation platforms. You would be hard pressed to find one that isn't email centric. In some, to the point where you can't create a contact without an email like that, those are your Active [00:12:00] Campaigns. Your Drips, like their contact IDs are actually associated to an email address. Infusionsoft is a little more different because it's more of a CRM. So you could create a contact with just a phone number or an address. And you can then add an email after the fact, so they kind of have that difference, but most of them, the primary way that you communicate is through email. And that kind of is an artifact of course becuase email was before the internet, right?

Jeb: Yeah, because, we had email accounts. Gosh, I can remember having an email account at NAU in like 1992 or 1993. Schools were big into it because they figured out they could use it, communicate with their students. And so we have these really kind of obnoxious looking, very MSBoss looking interfaces for email and chat. And it just kind of all built off of that. And so that's, that's the world [00:13:00] that people like me kind of start to grow up through, you know, as college age and at the time, that's the baseline for everybody that was born in the mid eighties and later is email is just the fact of life. Then what inevitably happened is as more and more email, email volume increases every year. Everybody who says email's dead is kind of fooling themselves. But more and more of it's just not getting seen as a percentage.

Ryan: I am not a huge fan of email, but I'll never say that it's dead because it's still has a place in the market, but the competition is getting overwhelming.

Jeb: It's amazing. It's amazing. How much email I get in a day. And how much that goes into the junk folder.

Ryan: Yeah, that reminds me of, I was working with one of our partners and yeah, they were trying to get an API added for another software that was part of their offering. And he had emailed the guy three times. Yeah, the guy that said, yeah, let's get together. And [00:14:00] he emailed him three times trying to confirm that connection and get a time scheduled. And he goes, the guy's just not responding. I think he's blowing me off. I said, well, do you have his mobile phone number? He goes, yeah, I go well text him. Yeah, just like that they connected, we had the meeting and it was fine, but the guy goes, Oh, I'm so sorry. We get like 300 emails a day in that inbox. And I didn't even notice it. That's the, the level of competition you're talking about. I know there are some people that will claim like 50, 60% engagement with email, but they are exceptional and it's probably a very tight group where they've got great rapport with their list. For most businesses, 5% is pretty typical. 20% is phenomenal. That's been my experience with email.

Jeb: I get pretty excited when an Opt-In list hits like 30% or above that's when we're hitting, you know just the right spot.

Ryan: If we're playing with money, right? If I gave you a hundred, hundred dollar bills and I said, okay, give me [00:15:00] 70 of those. I'm going to burn them. And you go what? This is terrible! That's essentially what we're celebrating, when we get 30%, we're saying 70% of the people that raised their hand said, Hey, contact me about this are never seeing our message. And we go, wow, it's actually a miracle. It is a miracle that we can even have success at all when we're only connecting with, you know, somewhere between five and 30% of the people who say I'm interested in what you're talking and about.

Jeb: Crazy. Isn't it funny how those low numbers are what's hitting us now. Like you know, we're basically seeing 11 to 13% engagement on Facebook pages now. You know, a lot of the...

Ryan: Now you're opening up kind of the influencer, the network discussion. Talk about that.

Jeb: Well, I think the influencers, we just use that as kind of a broad term. Sometimes influencers have a thousand followers and sometimes they, obviously they have millions. But to me, an influencer is somebody who's [00:16:00] basically has built a following based on what they're doing on the platform, not so much what they're doing in everyday life. Sometimes it's through story, sometimes it's through, you know, Charlie D'Amelio or whatever her name is. She dances and has 85 million followers on Tik Tok, and sometimes it's things like people sharing tips and things like that. But influencer to me is just anybody who has built or is building a following based on what they're doing specifically on that platform.

Ryan: Yeah. And then, so let's talk about the platform. So people are clear on what we mean when we say a platform, because I think typically when we say influencer, people think of, you know, these people that are getting a following by doing silly stuff or stuff where like, Oh, okay, whatever. And we're talking about Instagram usually, or Tik Tok, right? Those are the kinds of the places we're thinking, but you can, you could have a following on YouTube. I know plenty of examples that have they're, non-existent basically [00:17:00] on all the other networks, but they have a huge following on YouTube. Twitter. It's interesting to find them too, because they'll be just in one place where they've really built up the following. And they're all almost unknown on the other ones. You know Twitter. Now here's some ones that people don't think about, but these are also networks that people become, quote, unquote, influencers on... Google Maps, a local business becomes an influencer on Google Maps because they generate reviews on there. They get their business the attention, right? Like I was talking to my brother this morning, he said, Oh, I had to go to a chiropractor. I haven't gone to one since I moved. And so I said, well, let me, let me guess what you did. You went to Google Maps, you looked at the nearest ones, and then you looked at the reviews and you ended up choosing the one with the best reviews. That is an influencer on Google Maps. We don't think of it that way, but that's essentially the same thing. Yelp is another network that people don't think about where someone's an influencer. They've got good reviews. Their job is to network there, but what's the, what's [00:18:00] the common thread with all of these Jeb. That's kind of scary that people... well if you get, if you get a following Jeb, don't you get excited?

Jeb: Oh yeah, of course.

Ryan: If you, if anyone gets a following, you get super excited and you start not thinking about what's going on. You just are like, dude, people are following me. People are influenced by what I say and do. That's kind of exciting.

Jeb: Well, I think that some... a story was reminded me of a few days ago. Back in the MySpace realm, there was a really popular influencer. I think her name was Tilatequila, tequila, or something like that and she had millions of followers on MySpace. The reason why most people haven't heard of her or consider her today is that was the entirety of her following was on MySpace. So when MySpace went essentially out of style, she lost her entire following. And people moved on to other platforms and she did not follow. And so as a result, I mean, I heard a story [00:19:00] where now she's essentially begging for money where she was making quite a good living on MySpace before, because everything was controlled and owned by that one entity and in the MySpace case, you know, they just kind of lost it. You know, Facebook came on board and a lot of things happened. There are quite a few people like her that didn't adapt to the new, to new platforms. And more importantly, we're reliant on those platforms for the entirety of their business. They didn't have any other platform to work with. They really, they didn't own anything. The irony is, is that they would say things like, Oh, I have millions of followers. It's like, no, your, your profile actually has the followers, your profile on that platform has to follow the followers.

Ryan: Over the years I've seen people build up huge followings on YouTube and then for one reason or another, whether it's legitimate or not, have their YouTube channel shutdown. And [00:20:00] overnight they go from having an amazing business. Maybe they're monetized, maybe they're not. And overnight it can just get shut down. So this is, this is the problem with building followings on networks. Now it's good. I wouldn't actually advise anybody not to do it. If you're building a following. Fantastic. And that could be a Facebook group that could be a Facebook page. It could be, there's a lot of different places. You don't always have to own the whole thing to be an influencer on that. I know people that are huge influencers in groups they have nothing to do with, in terms of ownership or control and they benefit wildly from that situation. The problem is though, you're not in control of that network. And so you're like, well, here's an interesting case now. I'm not going to get into the politics of it, but there's that lady that owned that hair salon that, you know, we had a politician come into and then that [00:21:00] video was shared and then people destroyed her Yelp profile, just destroyed it. Right? Because they didn't agree with the politics of the situation. And there's been several of those over the last four years, as politics has become more divided and stuff, somebody, you know, in business makes a political statement and the other side just destroys one of the profiles of all these networks, which was what they relied upon for the health and strength of their business. And because they have no other connection to the people now, they've, they've lost all their options. And so...

Jeb: I know somebody that actually had a, a really good Facebook thing going. And she got a little controversial in what she was sharing. But Facebook was the backbone of how she was making a quarter of a million dollars a year. And she had a good living coming off of using her Facebook groups. And back in February, they were deleted because she allowed some real controversial [00:22:00] things to come in. And, you know, people don't seem to realize that and you see this all over, where those platforms, they have their own rules and they can enforce those rules with impunity. Sometimes they make sense. Sometimes they don't, but remember they're after attention to their platform, they have no interest in maintaining anything on that platform they feel is damaging to the overall attention. It was awful when that happened, she basically has to start completely over.

Ryan: It doesn't even have to be your fault necessarily. It could be somebody else that comments or posts, something that is, you know, offensive to the platform. And they've just decided to associate you with it. And you're gone for that too. So it's not like it's something you can just prevent by not stepping in certain areas. I've seen people for all sorts of reasons, be removed from these networks. And the bottom line is you just don't have that control. I know a guy that had a wildly popular YouTube channel [00:23:00] millions and millions of subscribers on it. And just like that 10 years of video content removed overnight.

Jeb: Wow.

Ryan: Basically deleted him from the internet, so to speak. And so what the whole point to all this is that you have to build your own network, so to speak, even if it's on the back of another one. And I actually warned that one guy, I was like, now you're pretty interesting, but I can see where you could get somebody upset because you're just talking about logic and reason and stuff. You're probably gonna, at some point offend somebody, you should probably start building your own network. And they're like, yeah, yeah. And they're kind of casual about it. Two years later, they're gone. And so this is, this is a real thing to be aware of. Now, if you're not an influencer, maybe you just have a local business and that local business, you know, you've built up reviews on Google or on Yelp. Those are still networks. You have to be aware of that. I was just talking to [00:24:00] Jeb about a partner that we had just in February of 2020, started working with restaurants, you know, to help them build their own network, you know, start collecting phone numbers of the people that were dining in the restaurant so that they would have a way to communicate with other businesses February of 2020. I mean, the timing couldn't have been worse because one month later that partner had no business to do because all these local restaurants were shut down. And it was too late. It was too late. So they had, they relied upon a network and they could not communicate effectively through those networks with the individuals who had been relying upon their business, the people just would assume other shut down and had, they collected their own network, they could have sent a text out to all of their customers saying, Hey, we have transitioned. We're doing this to keep things safe, whatever. And you know, they could have posted a video on social media, push people to the video, explaining here's what we're doing. Here's how we're doing it. [00:25:00] You know, you can still order online. You can call us or text us to order whatever you know, that that would have allowed them to them potentially survive those six months that we've seen. Well, I think it's something like 60% of small businesses on Yelp that shut down because of COVID are not getting back up.

Jeb: It was, it was a decimation and fields like dentistry, chiropractic, you know, a lot of them lost 95% of their business with the snap of a finger.

Ryan: Down to the network. Right? Did you have your own network? Did you Communicate with your clients, customers, patients, clients, yeah. And so my argument I was making with Jeb and Jeb's, like, we need to talk about this and Jeb, you go ahead and share your insights and thoughts on this. And you can disagree with me entirely if you think I'm off base, that would make a more interesting effect. But my whole argument is that if you're under a million dollars in annual revenue that you can get by, on social media and your own [00:26:00] list. You don't need a website. I don't even think you need to collect email addresses. This is just me though. I would collect them just because, but I wouldn't even necessarily use them. That's that's how I am. So bullish on the power of connecting one-to-one through text messaging and the tools that are available out there to allow this to happen. That if I were starting a new company, I would set up a Facebook page, right? Maybe I'd get an Instagram and these are simply destinations that can host my video content and my quote, unquote blog posts. I wouldn't even mess around with a website cause that's not even required anymore. And then I would, I would have a text keyword phone number, call to action. And that's what I would run with. That's it. And the tools are so much simpler. Like I don't have to have any technical person, like, I have a very technical person job. I write [00:27:00] software and stuff. Right? So obviously I could do all that stuff. But if I were taking anybody that was like, Hey, I got a business. I know that they can text. I know that they can call. I know that they have a phone cause 4 billion people have smartphones in the world right now. And so if they have those three things. Well, they can have a social network on their phone. They don't even have to have a laptop. They can record a video on their phone, post it to their, their social media as their place. If they wanted to go YouTube, that's fine, go post the video to YouTube, send people directly to YouTube. You can write quite a bit in the, in the description. You know what I mean? And I don't have to have a, a web form. I might have an order form, but I could use Stripe for that. I could use PayPal. You know what I mean? I'm just saying, I think I could go until I got to a million dollars in annual revenue, just with those three tools.

Jeb: I think that position is, is right [00:28:00] and maybe a little bit off, so...

Ryan: Good fight with it!

Jeb: So one of the things is that a lot of it will depend on what sort of, what sort of business you have. I think for a local service provider. They still will have to maintain something of a web presence.

Ryan: Tell me why, becuase I would debate that might not even be accurate... because I've got, if I'm local I've got my Google places. I can establish my hours there. I mean, the number one search engine for local businesses, actually not Google it's Google Maps. And number two is, is Apple Maps. And number three is Yelp. That's my argument. So my contention is that you could just be on those networks....

Jeb: I think that what you're missing respectfully in terms of a local service provider is a lot of their organic reach on the, on those platforms do rely on what their web presence is. [00:29:00] It's not, it's not everything I don't want to make it sound like it's not possible. And you know, a lot of people, I think the days of these five figure websites, I mean, it's funny because the first website I was involved with actually costs $120,000 to build. And that was back in the nineties. But these $10,000 or even $3,000 websites, I think those are becoming largely passe. But a lot of what happens...

Ryan: What are you seeing a Wix or something like that?

Jeb: No, Wix is still really ugly coding in my opinion. But like, let's just take a simple, like elementary built WordPress site. But the problem is, is that a lot of what happens on Google maps in particular and Apple maps is kind of joining in though they used more of a Yahoo type whole, is that what happens online matters. Now, interestingly enough, I think we're going to get to the point where the website matters less and less [00:30:00] because we've seen a flip in how much, what happens on the net about your business influences the placement and that organic reach, versus what you have in your website used to be. It was like, Well, it was a hundred percent, then it became 90, 64. And now it looks like it's about 35% what's on your website versus what's going on about your business. And so that's 65% has power and social signals is powerful stuff. So if you have a really active business and things like that, but do you remember, do you remember when you said this was a hundred percent correct? Remember when you said that you had to have certain things to kind of prove that you're in business. You know, and the website is still one of those things that helps prove to those sites that, that you're in business. However, I'll say, if you're not a local service company, Something that has local ties or whatever, where those positions [00:31:00] matter, I'll agree with you completely, that a website might be not nearly as necessary.

Ryan: Well, you definitely have to have a domain name for modern email marketing.

Jeb: You have to have a domain name.

Ryan: You have to have at least that, I would say. Having a real built-out website or even a blog or anything like that is I think in the past.

Jeb: I think that's history, or coming quickly, where, you know, actually I think the blog piece is becoming... What, what these search engines want to see his activity. So the blog is kind of the tool that a lot of people have used for activity. However, a lot of the numbers we're seeing right now is that your response on a social media network matters a lot more than whether or not you post to the blog. So, as an example, if you post that, if you post an article or video or whatever, that's been [00:32:00] properly formatted on Facebook, Twitter, even Tik Tok's getting into the game, you know, and certainly LinkedIn is one of those things that's kind of coming back up. Any activity shares, likes comments, that sort of thing is a lot stronger than simply having a blog and posting an article. So I think that, I think that it's coming to where even local businesses won't won't need something like a website or a minor web presence. But the other thing to consider is is that the website, if you're relying, I think we're coming back around the same thing, if you're relying on the website for your business. We're seeing, I mean, when the internet use exploded in March, we saw a lot of website downtime increase, you know, things happen to websites. They break, you know, they, they might be on a platform like a Wix. Everybody thinks Wix is super strong. Well, Wix could [00:33:00] get bought out, go under, I mean, you're kind of stuck in the same sort of weird spot and just the act of having a website, I think as your core business philosophy. I think that's completely gone. But I think there's still, that need particularly in local service.

Ryan: Interesting. You know, when I have, I've worked with a number of people that were experts in reputation. What they've told me is that what's really critical are a phone number and that phone number needs to be the same everywhere. You don't want to see different phone numbers for different places for the business. If you are local, an address needs to be consistent across the board. Pictures. Pictures are a huge deal. If you don't have pictures, they got nothing to show. So they're not, I'm going to be pushing to the top. Some descriptions and then finally getting into reviews. Videos. If you got videos, that's [00:34:00] great. Anything, that kind of fills in all those areas on their app that they're going to show. So you get your hours in there, you get in your days of operation, these kinds of things, you got to fill out the profile so that when they show it, they don't look like they're empty. Yeah, and that's really the thing. So, but you know, having a website on there or not, you know, I still don't know how big of a deal it plays in 2020.

Jeb: A lot of it depends on your competitive environment. So if you have, if you have competitors, again, this is going on a local service, local product sales, that sort of thing. If you have competitors are checking all the boxes. You absolutely need to check all the boxes to compete. If you have a situation where, you know, like, I'm dealing with this with a client, actually over in Oklahoma city where his competition has really checked [00:35:00] every box, they have website, all the profiles built out, you know, all those sort of things. It's we're, we're in a fallout war to get him seen and we're having great success by making sure we've checked all the boxes, things like images on the profile, adding products and services to the profile. This is all talking about Google. And you know, we're starting to see some movement versus a local business that I, that I've been, he's been a client of mine now for eight or nine years, that guy we've checked in my opinion about half the boxes and he excels in local search. Because this competition is kind of old school. They're not really adapting to new place.

Ryan: It's like the story of, if you're in the forest with the bear, you just need to be faster than the other guy. So that's, your argument is saying the website is only necessary really, if that's what's needed to be faster than the other guy.

Jeb: Yeah. If that's a box you have to check, you know, a lot of what we do is, is based on [00:36:00] strategy, based on competition. I'm starting to work with another local guy. He's actually a restaurant and he's really good at communicating for all the local foodie groups and things like that. But one of the things that that was discovered is, is that some of those things have so much noise that ironically he'd never really developed his own list. So he was really good with the websites kind of rudimentary and things like that. He's got a fantastic reputation, but getting the word out, he's still having to work for these groups. Well, what's happened is, is that when all of a sudden all the restaurants are going, and we needed to get involved with the groups. Now there's so much more noise. He didn't have the reach and he doesn't own his own group.

Ryan: This is the really important thing that people have to really focus in on is that even if you're doing good at leveraging networks, groups, whatever the case may be, you can't assume that's always going to be the case. And [00:37:00] that is the real lesson I hope people take from this conversation is if you've done something right, that's great. I'm really proud of you for doing it right. Don't assume it's always going to be there. Because if there's one thing that I've observed over my short time in business, is that nothing stays the same. MySpace was a huge deal. It was the only deal for a period of time and now it doesn't exist in any meaningful way. You know, Facebook is huge, but it's even starting to see a decline. Instagram is growing rapidly, but it won't always be there either. You know, there, there will be a time, believe it or not, where some of these companies will disappear entirely. There will be some missteps, some shakeup, and there will be companies that will disappear entirely. When you go back to the early days of the telecoms in the United States, there was a time when there was a monopoly. There was one company and, and there [00:38:00] probably was nothing on their radar that said, Hey, this is going to change. And then government came in and broke it all up. And so you look at companies like Facebook and Google and you know, you'd go, Oh man, these guys seem to own everything on the block. That was the exact same place you found the Bell Company when it got broken up by the government. And this was same for oil when oil was new with Rockefeller. So this is not like something that's never happened before. So things are guaranteed to change. And even if, if they don't change in a short enough time period, to influence you, in the meantime, you have people that can arbitrarily remove you. And the, the fact that the people who make those decisions are not people that you would want to have those decisions in their hands. If you meet the people who are making these decisions on removing people from networks, you would go, this is a kid like with no experience with anything. And they've got my livelihood in their hands. That's exactly what's going on. And [00:39:00] so you don't want to be left at, at their whim. And so the way you do that is you have to start building your own list of communication directly with your prospects and customers with your network.

Jeb: And to go back to your point, that list is more important than your website, your social media presence. That's actually your asset. And you get to function with that asset. See the asset for these social networks is attention. Google's asset is they want, they want to stay at the top of the heat for search. So that means they make decisions on what happens. And we've seen major updates to the Google search matrix basically upended, removed years of work in SEO. We've seen that happen before.

Ryan: Over and over again. Because I think before Facebook came on the scene, SEO was the thing. Everybody was, I mean, if Google made a change to AdWords, if Google made a [00:40:00] change to the algorithm, it could make and break people. I remember in those days, up until about 2008, everybody was hanging with bated breath on what was Google going to do next?

Jeb: And I remember, I remember talking to clients about this, I'd say, look, you have to understand that Google does not care. If you sell anything on their platform, they don't care. At the end of the day, they're looking to answer the question of the search the best way possible. And if that means removing your site from their search, that's what that means. If that means putting somebody else over on top of you, that's what means. Google wants to answer questions. It's all they care about. Facebook wants to attract attention. Every social media picks on Facebook, but Twitter, all the social media giants, or even small networks, they care about the attention of the people that are on it. They don't care about [00:41:00] selling Susie Q's, you know, bagels out of Facebook. They care that Susie Q's bagels actually cause an attention problem for their platform.

Ryan: And they will crush Susie Q in a heartbeat. And they won't think twice about it.

Jeb: Without a moment's thought. And it's, they've removed huge influencers from Facebook and it's just a sign that they're trying to create their own brand of attention. And so, so we have to get back to your point about list building that list just becomes more and more valuable. And one thing that we've seen is that even small lists can still serve you greatly, as long as they're people that have actually purposely engaged with you, even small lists of a few hundred, you know, can, can actually make a big difference to a lot of small businesses.

Ryan: Well, I remember an article about an artist needs a thousand fans. I don't know if you've ever seen this [00:42:00] article. Basically their premise was that if you're an artist like a musician, the likelihood of you making it big is extremely small, extremely small. However, if you could build a list of a thousand fans, you could survive on your art. You could, you could thrive on your art. And when they talked about it they're saying, you know, if a thousand fans each gave you a thousand dollars, right, that's a million. So if you could get people that were that passionate about your art, whatever it was. That they would spend that much. You're at a million dollars now that's fine. Maybe I only need 200,000 to live on. Okay. Well that's the way easier. Right? We've got to get them to spend $200 in some form with us. You know, that's a thousand people and I've seen,you know, I've started a couple of multimillion dollar businesses and I will tell you that we never had over a couple thousand people as [00:43:00] current customers in any way. If you have a couple thousand, somewhere between a thousand and a couple thousand customers, you can create a multimillion dollar business and you're going to love it. They're going to love you. You can create excellent service experience for them, and it is just a joy, but at the center of all of that is you have to have that direct connection with those individuals.

Jeb: Isn't it funny how now it's almost the thing that's coming to mind when you were talking was that there are a lot of highly successful businesses out there brick and mortar that do very well on a thousand to 2000 customers. They do fantastically well.

Ryan: And they can last for decades.

Jeb: They can last for decades on that. I think the place where people get confused is that when they have, you know, 50,000 followers on Facebook, they're actually not their customers. Yeah, they are Facebook's customers. [00:44:00] They are watching you and you can leverage, you can do some things with that. It's not to say they don't have any value.

Ryan: I think people would be really disappointed if they actually saw the exposure. We talked about email. And that's kind of disappointing, you know, obviously I'm a huge fan of texting because I know it's going to be seen. And the engagement is much higher as well, especially if your message is appropriate for the, I've got a new course out where I talk about all of that. But in that, you know, I really go into it and hammer that you got to get your messaging right. And you have to follow the rules of the medium, but I'm really, really big on texting, even over email, because even an email, there are blacklists that will blacklist your name. And then you've got to fight with people who have, you have no recourse over that they will release you off of that list. You know, you're totally at their call. And, you know, in texting, we do have some similar things, but I can tell you being [00:45:00] very familiar with email and very familiar texting, texting is much more forgiving if you follow the rules, than email will ever be. Yeah. Email is only going to get worse. I mean, and texting eventually we'll get too, but if you follow a few rules, which are pretty simple to follow, you will be fine with texting for a long time. And this phone number thing stays unique with people. Like, I don't know about you Jeb, but I have my phone number. I've had it. I've moved. It's not changing. My mobile phone number is probably the most consistent piece of contact information you'll ever have with me. And that's pretty true for most people are, some people will change the number on the fly, but they probably have some reasons for that bill collectors, you know, and so on. But for most people, they're going to keep that mobile phone number way more than they're going to keep an email address and it's not going to change. They're not going to have a junk text, you know, [00:46:00] cell phone number at some point. I really believe it's the most reliable point of contact that you can establish with a person. If you're going to build a network, that's what I would build it on. I would ask email, cause it doesn't hurt you anything, okay.

Jeb: It requires more disciplines, texting does, I think because you do have a more... you have something of a limited attention span. I think you have to be more careful about how much you're texting. It has more discipline attached to it. To your point about email. I have a client who has 2,500 email addresses from actual clients of his. A third of them don't ever reach an inbox because one of the ISPs has decided they don't like the platform he's on. Like there's literally nothing. I've, I've gone to war. There's nothing that this client's done.

Ryan: Totally out of your control.

Jeb: Totally out of control and the ISP who, by the way, it's nearly impossible to get in touch with [00:47:00] is just basically like, yeah so what. I mean, they don't care that their emails aren't going through because my client is not really their client on the same level. But it's a third of his lists actually never sees a single email from him because the ISP has made a decision. Now take that and now we use a texting platform that marries nicely with his overall management system. Those texts, they always go through, you know, it's, it's been something that he's careful with the strategy. He doesn't text people all the time. In fact, that I think he could probably go with a little bit more, but it's more of that direct communication. But the thing is, is that he still owns that list. So even if the texting platform, because in his line of work, those things kind of come and go. In his line of work, even if that goes away, it's still his list.

Ryan: And the likelihood of that phone number being [00:48:00] good 10 years in the future is much higher than the likelihood of those email addresses still being good 10 years later.

Jeb: My first cell number was with a cell phone company that hasn't existed for 24 years. You know, the last time I changed my phone number was in 2004. And it's been through three companies since, I mean, you know, it's something that stays the same where people, lots of times, especially if they use like their work emails and things like that. You know sometimes they lose that. My own mother, her ISP went under. So she lost her email address. I mean, those things change frequently, or now you're subject to like, if you're using Gmail, they start doing those tabs. And how many of our emails were going into promotions now? You know, it's become a real issue, whereas the texting is really just one of those direct, direct to consumer, direct to client, direct relationship sort of [00:49:00] situations.

Ryan: Yeah. And what's interesting about texting is there's so much conflict between the major players that it stabilizes it. Not everybody's getting on board and going in different directions and that stabilizes it. Cause it has to stay congruent throughout all of the carrier networks and the clients. And the clients now are Android and iPhone. And if you think those two are ever going to do the same thing, you got another thing coming, you know what I mean? They can't agree on some core things. So like there could be major advancements in texting, which would be cool. There's lots of benefits that come from it. I just don't see it happening in the next few years simply because of who's who are the players that have to get on the same page.

Jeb: So one of the things that we've also seen now that I feel like, I feel like when some of those larger influencers suddenly got ruck from the record, so to speak when they lost networks. [00:50:00] Some of the larger influencers they've started utilizing, texting to acquire their own list. You know, they, they're using these platforms and I think there's this, you know, something that we spoke of a little bit a while back, there's, there's this feeling of an accessibility to some of the tools that a larger player might use. And I think that they're neglecting that there are smaller tools that are reasonable, like the ones you provide, where you can still have that same effect you know, just because. You don't have a millions of followers justify it really high expense doesn't mean you have to be out of the game. You can really...

Ryan: I think that's beautiful part is anybody, literally anybody can play in the game. Like I know we have on one of our platforms, a lot of people that are doing direct sales, I call those baby entrepreneurs. You know, they don't actually operate the full business, but they're selling and they're getting a little taste of what it's like to start a business. They're thriving in that kind of situation where they're building their own little network, [00:51:00] primarily texting, that are primarily receiving text messages as their method for lead generation and communication. And they're doing exceptionally well, even through the whole COVID thing when all this cause these were a lot of people that normally sold in person and suddenly the change to online, but because they had developed their network before, they were able to make those transitions. Which is the other thing that's really important is you know, that life is going to change on you. Are you prepared to shift with it? That has a large amount to do with your, your kind of stickability, your ability to stay in the marketplace.

Jeb: As people are doing more and more with things like webinars, Facebook lives. YouTube lives and things like that. The quickest response that we can get to people, I mean is just , it's just the better off we are and the more we can bring them into this fold and build that relationship, that's where the power really comes in. So you're, you're building that, that relationship and that [00:52:00] connection with the people that are responding to you in a really intentional way. And we started seeing some of that, like back when keywords first came up with newer texting and we started seeing where. You know, speakers, like if somebody was speaking in a group, then in person, of course, you know, with say a few hundred people, they could add people to their networks quite easily. And I could easily see where depending on the type of business they are, you know, they could, they could forego some of the more traditional marketing methods and just rely on building their lists, taking care of their list. It's a lot of stuff we used to hear with email marketing, but now that email's just harder to punch through some of those barriers. Using a tool like texting has an immense amount of power.

Ryan: And so that gets kind of to my, I guess, the central part of my argument, which I understand is controversial. And I appreciate you, you know, kind of fighting back against it versus just rolling over, which I would expect someone who's name [00:53:00] of their businesses, Savage Beast. But the central core of it is there are so many places to be, so many things to do, that a smart business owner has to actually pick their battles because they can't possibly be effective in all of the fronts. In a, in a battle if you're on 10 different fronts, you're losing because you you'll never have enough resources to effectively put them equally on all fronts. So if you can isolate your battle down to one front or two fronts, that's where you're going to get your best results is when you can actually focus your efforts in those. And so that's, that's why my contention is that. Now I'll close on this, this is a very interesting one. Obama started recently capturing cell phone numbers using the existing networks that he has. So, the person that shared this with me was on Twitter, followed him on Twitter. [00:54:00] Now, you know, we all know that the, the social networks and tech industry generally leans left anyway. So is Obama really at a threat of being removed from any network? I would say highly unlikely, but he doesn't own the network, you know? And so for whatever reason, he had made this move right now. And so, and maybe it's just for the whole party that he's part of. And so taking all politics out of it, you look at this move, he's moving to collect cell phone numbers from people who have admiration for and follow him. So he has influence over and he's collecting their cell phone numbers. He's making them feel heard. By having them communicate with his network. I think that he'll have a team of people that are responding in order to really solidify the connection. Cause it's not going to be Obama sitting with a cell phone, responding to millions of people.

Jeb: No.

Ryan: So he's going to have a bunch of interns working for him, [00:55:00] or, you know, political operatives, responding to those people, but essentially sinking in or making that connection with people over the cell phone network, which I thought was very fascinating considering I mean, of all the people I would think he'd be the last one that would be cut off of any of the social networks. And yet his advisors at least are seeing the wisdom in him creating a personal connection on his own network where he has those mobile phone numbers available to him, independent of what anybody else might want to say or do.

Jeb: I think that one of the things that we have with social media to credit social media is that we have an unlimited opportunity to share our stories and our solutions with people. And if we start looking at that as really the top of our funnel...

Ryan: Instead of the end...

Jeb: Instead of the end, I think that we can have some really compelling wins and start going like, okay, so we have this [00:56:00] audience, like some networks are really, they're kind of a desert for information. If you go on LinkedIn, you're likely to see posts that are several weeks old, at least several days old, a huge network on LinkedIn. I'm here to tell you that the first coup- after the first page or so I'm looking at stuff two or three weeks old. We can use these social networks at the top and then use it to capture and actually create our lists. We have to get out of the mindset that social media is our list. It's our exposure, perhaps, but it's not our list. And so you can build. And I, and I do agree with you to a point you can build a compelling business building lists through social media, you know, I encourage people use multiple channels. But if you look at it like this like this how I'm attracting my audiences is how I'm attracting my list. Then you use the list as any good as any good marker would, you know, to do a lot of content share, loud, valuable solution, share. [00:57:00] You know, maybe ask, have a call to action at the end or something, you know, but really share valuable things that people look forward to and just nurture and take care of that list. I'd say a list that was 10% the size of your social media following is more valuable than the social media following. So using in that social media platform, be it Tik Tok, Facebook, Twitter. You know, or anything else, as like that top and consistently funneling people into your own list is going to be the key. And the exciting thing is just how accessible that plan is.

Ryan: Yeah. I mean, you can do it with no money. If you have money, you can accelerate. Okay. So we're drawing to the end cause we've had a good discussion, but I want to kind of sum up everything I've heard from you and what I'm thinking into an action plan that people could actually take. So what I would say is this, and I want you to add to it as your closing argument, but what I would say is this, identify what network you [00:58:00] are good on. Cause you're not going to be good on all of them. And if I had to go look at influencers, that are very successful. They're usually only on one, but you might have two that you know, that you're really good on. That's fine. Find up to three. I wouldn't go more than three is my recommendation, the find those networks that you're good on where your people are and where you can connect with them and focus on connection on social media. I mean, it's in the name, "social" focus on connection. Now that connection happens through delivery of value and also engagement. So, okay, go ahead and do that and then invite them to enter into your private network. Through a text call to action. That's what I would do. So if I'm providing videos, I'd say, Hey, if you want to get more insight into this, go ahead and text. Like my call to action is LEARN to (949) 835-5300. And you'll get my book, The Messaging Connection. And so that's kind of the one that I always will throw out there, but have that keyword and phone [00:59:00] number call to action that you incorporate into all those social media posts, videos, whatever it is is, Hey, if you want to get on the inside, this is what you do. Then you give special information to people that are on the inside. So, Hey, I didn't post this into the public area. This is an unlisted video I want to share with you. If you're like on a YouTube thing, that's the way you could leverage that. Say I just recorded a special video where I kind of go more in depth into what I talked about earlier today. So if you want to get that insight, go there, you start feeding them that way. And then you do call to actions to actually spend money with you to become an actual customer. That is the, the approach that I take and that I would recommend people take is build up that inside network with your external network, your, your social network. And, you know, you don't have to be like, to your point, Jeb, you don't have to be popular with even like thousands of people. I've seen people create really valuable companies [01:00:00] to your point with a thousand.

Jeb: yeah. And I think that you look at these things is. Increasing the value. So it's part of your value ladder. You have like your base of information you're giving out that should still have value. It still should be complete. But your next step up just requires more and encourages more and more connection as you go through that value ladder to eventually get to those, to those sales and shares of sales and, and it's, it's one of those things where, you know, we need to step away from this idea that. The entirety of your system is reliant on some platform and something you don't own. And so, so you have to make that offer attractive enough. You know, you do a book offer. Sometimes those offers can be things like, you know, they can be about anything books. They can be special videos, they can be infographics or tips or tricks or whatever. You just need to add enough [01:01:00] value to get them closer into your network because the goal is you're a lot better off with a hundred raving fans than you are with 10,000 followers. You just are. And I think that if you view it, if you view social media as like that first rung in your ladder or the top of that funnel. And then you just try to draw people in closer and closer with better connection and actually using social media to its finest points, which are that interaction. You have a winning game plan for developing into. Almost a limitless number of niches and across the board with using those people, that relationship with those people to provide better service and usually better service is rewarded with more business.

Ryan: Excellent. I think that's a great place to close. Thank you so much, Jeb. What's the best way for people to get ahold of you?

Jeb: The best way to get ahold of me now is to text the word poke, like we've used poke in Facebook and such [01:02:00] the word "poke" P O K E to (928) 440-9096. That's the best way to get ahold of me and the best way to find out where I'm at in social media and things like that.

Ryan: Say that number, that phone number one more time. I think they got the word poke.

Jeb: It's texting poke two (928) 440-9096.

Ryan: Awesome. It warms my heart when somebody has the texting call to action. If you guys have questions about anything that we talked about here, and you want to ask me those questions, you can just text me at (760) 621-8199. And we'll be happy to answer those questions that had came up for you. And I think people could just probably text you directly at that number as well, right?

Jeb: Yep. Yep. They can text straight to that number as well.

Ryan: Yeah. Hopefully this has caused you to think a little bit differently. I think that's probably the most valuable thing you can do in business is to think a little bit differently. That's where your real breakthroughs will come from. And I really [01:03:00] appreciate you making time to be with this Jeb. Hope you have a great day.

Jeb: Thank you, Ryan.

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