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  • 1. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 1 of 29 EPISODE #50: JASON FALLS In episode 50 of "The Entrepreneurs Radio Show: Diamonds in Your Own Backyard,‖ Travis and Sandra are going to be chatting with Jason Falls--not Jason Falls the North Carolina county commissioner, but Jason Falls the founder of Social Media Explore, CafePress vice president, and one of the authors of ―No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing.‖ This brilliant digital strategist tells us how, through the five whys, each person can get to the bottom of what it is other people want. Listen in and experience Jason‘s fresh, sincere and authentic take on the world of marketing. Jason Falls – Building relationships that grow your business Travis: Hey, it's Travis Lane Jenkins. Welcome to… Sandra: Wait a minute, Travis. This is Sandra Champlain. I‘m back. I‘m back from the racetrack, and I‘m back on our show. Travis: Guess who we‘ve got with us? I‘m so used to doing the show without you that I just jumped on and started going. So listen… Sandra: I know. Well, I appreciate you holding down the fort, and I also appreciate the high-quality interviews you‘ve done. Oh, my goodness. The difference that you‘ve made and really great people that you‘ve had on, so kudos to you, Travis. Travis: Good stuff. Thank you. Lots of great people. Sandra: But I‘m back. Travis: So let‘s segue into the show. What do you say? Sandra: I‘d love to. Travis: All right.
  • 2. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 2 of 29 Sandra: Today‘s show, ladies and gentlemen, we‘re talking about something that we hear a lot about, and that‘s social marketing--social media marketing, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. You got to be out there to make a sale and get more customers, right? Travis: You got to be on all of them, right? Sandra: You got to be on all those and then all the other ones. But we have a guest today who is a genius at actually creating strategies that not only gets you on social media, but that--you actually get the sale. You get increased revenue, build great relationships with customers. Travis: Right, right. Now of course she‘s talking about Jason Falls. Jason talks about what a digital strategist is on a deeper level. Then he also tells us about the ‗five whys‘ that get you down to the real bottom of things. Then, also, he shares a brilliant way to reach the influential people in your market. So lots of great things to cover. I wanted to cover a couple of other quick things before we get going also. Is that okay, Sandra? Sandra: Perfect. Travis: So I want to remind you to be to be sure and stay with us until the very end if you can. I‘d like to share some inspiration with you, and I‘ll also reveal who I‘m going to connect you within the next episode. One quick reminder: if you enjoy this free podcast that we create for you, Sandra and I would really appreciate it if you‘d go to diyob.com --so that‘s short for diamondsinyourownbackyard.com--diyob.com, click on the iTunes icon, and then post a comment and rate the show. This would help us reach, instruct and inspire more great entrepreneurs like yourself with each and every guest that we bring on. Right, Sandra? Sandra: Yes. In addition, on our website, diyob.com, not only add your comments, but if you have questions for us--I mean, we have this huge network. You‘re now part of a network of a ton of entrepreneurs. If you have a question about your business or what you‘ve got going on, feel free to post that, too. We‘re here to help you. Travis: Great point. Also, once you--if you decide to opt in, you‘ll get both mine and Sandra‘s contact information for all of our social media platforms are right there, and you can connect with us personally.
  • 3. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 3 of 29 Now for our friends that just started listening to the Entrepreneurs Radio Show: every interview that we do is basically a conversation between four people: myself, Sandra, you, and of course our guest. Even though we‘re talking with some of the brightest, high-level entrepreneurs and brilliant thought leaders around, this is still just as if we‘re sitting at a table with each other, having a casual conversation. Everyone that we're talking with has found success doing what it is they teach, and they want to help you by sharing what they've discovered. Normally, the only way to get this level of personal access to so many high-level entrepreneurs beyond having your own show is to join a high-level Mastermind, go to the seminars, events, and build those relationships over years and spend an absolute fortune in the process. Right, Sandra? Sandra: Yes. Travis: We know this from personal experience, each of us, individually. Now with this podcast, this platform, we get to share these great people with you to fast-forward your success and your connections that grow your business. Our guest today is Jason Falls. Jason is the founder and chief instigator at Social Media Explorer. However, our conversation really could go any direction today because Jason is also known as one of the leading thinkers in digital marketing, social media, public relations and communications or the communication industry. So hang on, it‘s going to be lots of fun. As always, there‘s going to be lots of value for helping you take your business to that next level. So without further ado, welcome to the show, Jason. Sandra: Hi, Jason. Jason:Hi. Thanks for having me. Hey. Thanks for having me. I‘m glad to be here. Travis: We know you‘re very busy, so thanks for taking time out to your schedule. Before we jump in to a lot of the things that you teach and talk about, would you mind sharing some of the back- story of how you got to where you‘re at today? Jason:Sure. I was a public relations guy for quite some time, and so I cut my teeth on Internet and digital marketing, working basically in the world of college athletics where… And I worked in a couple of different small institutions where if we were going to have a web presence, I was going to have to build
  • 4. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 4 of 29 it myself. That paralleled with this personal interest in blogging and writing and finding a place online for my own personal interests. So for about 10 years or so, I learned and cut my teeth on digital marketing and social media by just being a practitioner for my own purpose as a public relations professional and then also as a blogger myself. When I made a transition from that sort of niche area of public relations and college athletics and got out into mainstream marketing and advertising, I looked around the ad agency where I was at the time in the mid-2000s and said, ―Hey, why aren‘t we talking to our clients about blogging and social media and social networking?‖ Nobody at the agency really knew what I was talking about, but the CEO at the time and chief operating officer at the time, who is now the CEO of that agency in Louisville, both said to me, ―If you can sell it, you can do it. Figure it out; come up with smart ideas for our clients. Let‘s see where it takes you.‖ I caught the wave at the right time and started recommending social media and digital marketing ideas to some fairly large brands, and the snowball started rolling down the mountain. I‘ve been up on top of it, kicking my feet ever since. Travis: Nice. Sandra: When was this roughly when you first started getting involved? Jason:This was 2005, 2006. Now I started blogging personally and exploring social networks for myself—1997 was my first blog--1997, 1998. So I traced my blogging history back to the late ‗90s. Certainly, I was not the first person to do anything really. I was an early adapter, I think, but I started really working with social media marketing for clients and building strategies for them in about 2006 or so. Travis: You really cut your teeth on working for an agency, if you will? Jason:Yes, yes. I was at Doe-Anderson, which is a really nice advertising agency here in Louisville. They are probably best known for being the agency of record for Maker‘s Mark Bourbon for about 45 years of so. Travis: Okay. Jason:Those types of relationships don‘t typically last that long, so they do fantastic work. It‘s a great agency, and it was a fun experience working there.
  • 5. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 5 of 29 Travis: Cool. When you made that transition into your own thing, working for yourself, how long did it take for you to find success? Or had you started this while you have a full-time job and just kind of ramped in to that success, and that‘s what led you to become an entrepreneur? Jason:Well, the entrepreneur thing was a combination of a bunch of different things. I was focused on… At the agency, after being there for a few years, I was leading the digital interactive department. I was managing developers and I was managing projects. I‘m doing much of new business pitches, but I wasn‘t doing what I was really good at, which was social and digital strategy. I really wanted to get back to that. So the decision to leave the agency world and go into independent consulting, which then later turned into a boutique agency, was really based on the fact that I wanted to focus on my strengths and not be inundated in more of a bureaucratic setup in the agency that I was at, so just a professional directional preference. I experienced success right away, but I don‘t think it‘s because I have any special powers or magic charms. I think it was because I had established myself in reputations, being someone who was smart about social media. I did it since 2009, which was right at the height of, especially big brands, wanting to grab hold of social media marketing and do something with it. So the day that I left Doe-Anderson, I had probably about four clients in cue, ready to go. I was very, very blessed and fortunate in the middle of a crazy economy and a recession to be able to walk away from a little bit of job security and whatnot into a situation where there was a lot of uncertainty, and then all of a sudden I had a handful of clients right off the bat--not to say that being an entrepreneur and starting my own business for the first time--I‘d never been an entrepreneur before, never started a business myself--not to say that there weren‘t challenges, that I wasn‘t scared, that I had a clue of what I was doing, because I really didn‘t. Travis: Right. Jason:But I was just very fortunate to be in the right industry at the right time to let--I didn‘t have to worry about where I was going get food on the table for my kids the next month. So that was good. Travis: It sounds to me like a big part of what made the transition maybe a little smoother for you is just having a great reputation within the industry. Jason:Yes, I think that probably had a lot to do with it. I mean, the early works that I did at Doe- Anderson, Maker‘s Mark was a case-study-type material. I was being invited to speak at conferences. I had established a name for myself. I would not have been able, I don‘t think, to jump away from Doe-
  • 6. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 6 of 29 Anderson the way I did had I not had a little bit of a reputation online and a footprint as a guy who might know what he‘s doing in the space. You got to remember, in 2009, and even today, really, there‘s not a whole lot of ways to understand and build confidence in the people online who purport to be experts in social media because social media has only been around--social media marketing really has only been around for about eight or ten years. Anybody claiming any sort of level of expertise there is probably full of it because it‘s an ever- changing and ever-evolving field, and it‘s so young. So to have a reputation as someone who might know what they‘re doing in this regard--it was really advantageous for me and, again, I was at the right place at the right time and didn‘t screw it up. Travis: Right, right. I think some of that--your success probably goes to understanding things on a deeper level. I don‘t want to dominate this conversation because I want Sandra to be able to jump in on this also, but I want to share one perspective. Now in watching the constant evolution of so many things social media, a lot of the people who had put out training programs have to completely throw away old videos, make new. It‘s a constant evolutionary cycle, just like you said. About the only way to win some company‘s confidence is to understand connection, psychology, and everything on a much deeper level, so that you can be several moves ahead of a trend. Is that a fair statement? Jason:Yes, absolutely. I think--if you go back to the most effective marketers in any business, whether they were on the agency side or on the brand side or they were just CEOs, barons of industry who had a knack for marketing themselves, like Richard Branson or someone like that, anytime you look at how they make decisions, successful marketers almost always base their decisions on the psychology of the customer, understanding how a customer is intuitive about what they buy and where they buy and who they take recommendations from. If you can get into that customer psyche and understand--I hate to use probably an overused term--but understand that consumer insight that makes that particular audience click and purchase and be loyal to your product--you tap in to that and you can pave your way in this world as an entrepreneur, as a business owner. Now the problem with that is that‘s tough. There are brands out there that have been trying to do it for decades and still haven‘t hit on it. You can be successful without hitting that unique consumer insight, but once you do, oh, boy, things will come a lot easier. Travis: Right, right. What percentage of businesses… I have my own opinion here. What percentage of business do you think do get and don‘t get it? If you just… Completely unscientific.
  • 7. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 7 of 29 Jason:If I have to anecdotally guess in terms of--I‘ll break it down a couple of ways. Businesses that get that customer psychology is really the thing they need to focus on, you‘re probably looking at about 40% of businesses who probably understand that, and only about 10% of businesses actually are successful in figuring it out. Travis: Right. Jason:In terms of digital marketing and social media, I think the numbers are worse. I think it‘s like 80% of businesses don‘t get it and don‘t understand digital and social and how they complement and supplement your business, and of the 20% or so that do, probably only 2 or 3% are actually really taking off with it. But, again, keep in mind that my qualification is: Do they get it? Do they understand it? Are they leveraging it successfully? I think there‘s a lot of people out there who are leveraging it successfully in some regard without really understanding it because if you‘re a big brand and you‘ve got a lot of traffic coming to your website, you will generate revenue from your website. But are they optimizing that, making sure that the consumer experience online is such that they can go from a million dollars in revenue to 20 million dollars in revenue just from web traffic? Most businesses are probably not doing that. Travis: Right, right. Well, probably, in my excitement to introduce you, I probably didn‘t introduce myself and Sandra properly. Because I‘m more analytical and, of course, I care about the heart and word, the backstory and things and--a lot of things. I come out from a business analytical standpoint. Sandra is very heart-centered, so I know that one of the great things about us being a co-host is we ask questions from a different angle. So, Sandra, what‘s some of your question that you want to jump in before we talk about some of the other things that Jason wants to share with us? Sandra: Sure, there‘s two things. First is for myself and for some others. Can you just define what digital strategy means? Jason: Sure, absolutely. When I think of digital strategy--I mean, obviously, it‘s going to be centered around your website or some sort of online hub of activity, but digital strategy can also incorporate your website, your social channels, e-mail marketing, mobile marketing, anything that really touches the digital and social world that has some sort of touch point probably on the Internet, although there are certainly some aspects of digital marketing that are offline-based with digital signage and whatnot. But I
  • 8. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 8 of 29 really focus digital strategy on figuring out a way to leverage online Internet connections with customers to drive business. Sandra: Got you. Thank you for clarifying that. The second thing is I‘ve been checking out your website: jasonfalls.com. I don‘t know if I can put my finger on it, but there‘s something that‘s new, that‘s different, that just seems… Travis and I talk a lot about when you know, like and trust somebody, you can more tend to purchase from them. There‘s something about your presence, through your sense of humor, through your information that it‘s like I get that you‘re somebody who really cares. Could you just speak a little bit about like what fuels you to be in this industry, what fuels you to be making a difference in this niche with people? Jason:Yes, I‘m glad you asked that question because I think when you--it‘s getting to that consumer insight, right? Sandra: Yes. Jason:Boiling down there--what makes somebody tick? I‘m from a small town in Eastern Kentucky. The town that I grew up in is called Pikeville, Kentucky. It‘s about 7,000 people. I grew up in this small town where--in small town rural America, you may know that when you‘re a kid there, there‘s this sort of informal social caste system, right? You‘ve got poor folks and you‘ve got rich folks and you got that murky middle. I was in the murky middle. I was never really cool, but it wasn‘t really like I‘m outside. I was a tweener. I was always raised by my mother and my grandmother to understand and believe that everybody is treated equal; everybody deserves a fair shake, et cetera, et cetera. So what I saw when I grew up in this little social caste system, because I was in the murky middle and not in the upper-class upper crust, was that I was eliminated from a lot of social opportunity. I wasn‘t invited to certain parties. Sandra: Right. Jason:I wasn‘t cool enough to get the pretty girl to go to prom with me and all that stuff. While these are insignificant, very superficial, psychological dings on someone‘s ego when they‘re growing up, it laid a foundation for my attitude toward the world and toward business, which is when I look at a business that deals with their customers, whether it‘s a small business or whether it‘s a huge conglomerate, I look at it and say, ―Your customers are real people, and they have feelings, and emotions, and you cannot treat them like a target audience. You have to treat them like these lovely people who support you in what you do.‖ When I see businesses that aren‘t doing that, whether it‘s offline through lack of customer service or whether it‘s online through ignoring what people are saying about them on the Internet, it really just makes me mad. So that‘s what drives me. I am looking at this
  • 9. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 9 of 29 almost from a social equality standpoint. I want to democratize how businesses deal with their customers because I think that that represents both the business and the customers better. That‘s the motivating factor that keeps me hooked in this industry. Travis: I like that. I think it‘s also the casual nature. Tell me if you agree with this, Sandra. We‘re telling you all about you, Jason. I find a lot of what you‘ve written or at least what I‘ve read as to be casual and straightforward, and I see a lot of people speaking in very proper English, although I suspect that it‘s not the way that they normally speak and so it makes it easier to feel like I‘m having a normal, regular conversation with you. Do you feel like that‘s a fair depiction of who you are and what you were after when you write? Jason:Yes, absolutely. I‘m a very normal, average, approachable guy. When you get into my non- marketing writing--because on my personal blog, I have just silly stories about my kids and stuff like that--you really start to see some layers peeled back. I can be a little raw. I‘ve got a weird sense of humor and whatnot. I‘m sure there are some people who would dive into that and think, ―This guy‘s a jerk. I‘m not reading this anymore.‖ That‘s fine, too. I‘ve always been of the opinion, in terms of my writing and in terms of how I approach the clients that I‘ve worked with in the past, my hope is that everybody understands that the world is not an in some game. As a person, as a writer, as a friend, but also as a business, whether it‘s my business or a client that I‘m working with, we don‘t have to have every single person be our customer. We don‘t have to have every single person to like us. What we have to have is enough customers, enough people to like us and get along with us, to sustain the comfort level that we want to live in, the revenue levels that we need to produce for our business, et cetera, et cetera. Fortunately, the world is a big enough place that even huge companies, multimillion-dollar companies, can target just a small segment of the world and be very successful. In this sort of competitive landscape of business that we are in in this day and age, I think we have too many marketers and too many entrepreneurs who think, ―I have to go out there and get every single customer. I have to hate my competition. I have to isolate them from my customers so that there‘s no interference. I have to be conniving to make sure that they don‘t steal customers away from me. I‘ve got to watch my back, so that doesn‘t happen.‖ I don‘t think that‘s true. Travis: Right. Jason:When you see a lot of people, like for instance--I‘ll give you a great example. Jay Baer, who runs a --which is a fantastic digital marketing agency in social media strategic consultancy is a really
  • 10. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 10 of 29 good friend of mine. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana. He‘s another fellow, sort of social media blogger, speaker of ---. My book competes against his books. My clients--we have pitched the same clients. We‘re competitive against each other in the digital marketing social media space. If he gets booked for a keynote at a really cool conference, that means I didn‘t get booked for a keynote at a really cool conference. We are competitors, but Jay is one of my best friends in the world. I love the guy to death, and I‘ve recommended clients and referred clients to him because we weren‘t the right fit. I‘ve recommended speaking gigs to him and ‗whatnot‘ because I was either booked or I thought he would be a really good fit for that audience. We use the term ―coopetition.‖ We‘re competitors, but we cooperate with one another because we know there‘s plenty of fish in the sea for us. We don‘t have to have that ‗in some game‘ mentality. While varying degrees of truth to that depending upon your market, your industry, et cetera, et cetera, from a business perspective, I think that in general we could probably all get along better and still be successful across the board. Travis: Right. I like the abundance. I found--Sandra and I have talked about this quite a bit. People either are a fountain or a drain, and so it‘s best to try and surround yourself with people that come from that abundance mindset. There‘s tons of business out there. There‘s absolutely no reason for you to be competitive with someone that you like and respect, right? Jason:Absolutely. I would say that in the world that I‘m in now, which includes both the Social Media Explorer perspective--then also I‘m now an adviser to Social Media Explorer. I‘ve stepped away from a day-to-day basis. I‘m in CafePress as their vice president for digital strategy--I looked at the online retail, the print-on-demand space, and I see a lot of people out there who are doing some really cool things, and I respect the hell out of our competitors and what they‘re doing. It was jumping on some noncompetitive and some other types of sites that do product displays and whatnot. I was on Fancy the other day checking it out and just thought, ―Wow! This is a really cool experience. They‘ve done a really cool job here.‖ I love the fact that we can be successful, and they can be successful, and our other competitors can be successful. I love the fact that Jay Baer can go out and kill it. I love the fact that CC Chapman and a lot of other contemporaries in the digital marketing space can go out and kill it, and I can, too. I think it‘s a much less troubled world if you stop worrying about the competition. Just take care of you. Take care of you and your customers, your communities, your audience in your business. I think everything has a tendency to work out in the end. I‘m sure there‘s CEOs in some big companies out there who think I‘m full of crap, but that‘s fine.
  • 11. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 11 of 29 Sandra: We don‘t worry about them. Jason, we pride ourselves in giving really good tips and strategies from our guests to our listeners. It really is an environment that people take what they hear today and they actually put things into practice in their life. From all your speaking and all the people that you‘ve coached, is there some basic things that you can give our listeners right now to maybe make a shift in some area that they don‘t know that they‘re lacking in? Where would you start someone? Jason:Well, I mean, I think--specifically with regards to digital marketing, I think the one thing that people--the one mistake that a lot of businesses, entrepreneurs, small businesses, especially, make when they dive into the digital marketing space is they don‘t have that strategic approach. They don‘t look at it as a strategic business channel that can drive revenue, et cetera, et cetera. I‘ve had someone tell me before, ―Okay, I want to get a Facebook page. Can you help me?‖ I‘m like, ―Well, yes, I can help you. Let‘s take a couple of steps back and let me ask you this question: why do you want a Facebook page? ―Well, because everybody is on Facebook.‖ Okay, that‘s --Facebook page. What would you do with it? Why do you want to use this Facebook page? Typically, I have like the five whys rule because if you ask someone why they want to do something five times, you‘ll typically get pretty damn close to the real answers as to why they… Sandra: Got you. Jason:Say, I‘m on Facebook page. Why? ―Because everybody‘s on Facebook.‖ Why? ―Because that‘s where people are communicating.‖ So why do you want to be there? ―Well, because I want to communicate them, too.‖ Why do you want to communicate with them? ―Because if I communicate with them, maybe they‘ll buy things from me.‖ Aha! Maybe they‘ll buy things from you. You want to be there to drive revenue. That‘s why. So let‘s get rid of all --stuff and say, ―I‘m going to create a Facebook page, and the reason I‘m going to create is because I want to drive revenue.‖ Then start --how. How do I do that? Well, you‘ve got to build good content that engages people, that attracts them to that page, or to be able to offer exclusive deals and promotions they can‘t get anywhere else. That -- and you‘ve got to make sure that it‘s easy for them to turn that offer to a purchase so that you can drive revenue and so on and so forth. So ask why five times, then start asking how, because that‘s pretty much going to give you an easier map to get where you want to go. Travis: I like it. I‘m looking at one of your books, the ―No Bullshit Social Media.‖
  • 12. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 12 of 29 Sandra: That‘s very clear. Travis: Yes, that‘s kind of to the point. So what is--can you lead me down that path? What does that mean? I know what it means, but can you give me some clarity on what you‘re talking about inside? Jason: Sure. So the premise of the book really started with this idea that social media was all about joining the conversation and engaging with your customers. We make a little fun of people who have that social media purist attitude, although we are social… Eric Deckers, my co-author, and I certainly are also social media purists. We believe those things. But we like to call the people who believe those things, and only those things without looking at the second half of the equation, as social media hippies and tree huggers. Those are the people who will say, ―All you have to do to be successful in social media is join the conversation and whole hands with your customers around the campfire and sing ―Kumbayah,‖ they stop talking there. Our attitude is if you are adding the word ―marketing‖ to the phrase ―social media,‖ you‘re talking about business, and you‘d better be able to talk about revenue, cost, and customer satisfaction, and business metrics and business drivers. So therefore you can‘t stop at joining the conversation. You‘ve got to take it further and say, ―We‘ve got to measure it. We‘ve got to use it strategically. We‘ve got to know how much we‘re putting in, how much we‘re getting out, et cetera.‖ So ―No Bullshit Social Media‖ is approaching social media from a strategic standpoint and using it as a business driver. The book is really a how-to guide on understanding what social media offers you in terms of business programs, customer service, research and development, sales and leads, et cetera, et cetera. Understanding what it offers—decide what you wanted to do for your business and then mapping that out strategically so you can be successful. Travis: Is it specific to one or two platforms, or is there… Is it centric to any platforms at all? Jason:No, not at all. I mean, social media, in my opinion, encompasses basically anything that is a communications mechanism on-, or some instances, offline, where you not only talk to your audience and your audience talks to you, but you can actually see your audience talking to each other and that audience can see you talking to other customers. That could be in a public forum offline. It could be the YMCA, the Northeast YMCA in Louisville, Kentucky, my hometown, has a feedback mechanism that is literally a corkboard bulletin board with 3x5 note cards in the hallway. If you see something we need to know about, pin it up here. So everybody walking by that board can see customer concerns and
  • 13. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 13 of 29 complaints. Then in the next day, there‘s a nice typed printed response from the YMCA on the board. That‘s social media, even though it has nothing to do with the Internet. So social media touches anything where there is an open platform that includes you and your customers. Instead of a monologue, like advertising, where the company blasts some message out to a lot of people, or a dialogue where the company sends a message out to an audience and that audience member might send the message back to the company, I call it a social media multilog, where you can see all people talking and you can see them talking to each other and so on and so forth. Travis: Well, that definitely makes sense. I‘m involved in a lot of social media activity on Facebook and it‘s just--staying involved with all the conversations is not scalable. How does a business owner--most business owners are already so busy running their business, managing the people, managing the staff, all of those other things. How can a business owner scale social media like that? Jason:Sure, that‘s a great question. It‘s going to vary, depending on a lot of different things. Scaling the conversation, I think, depends upon the value you‘re getting at out of the channel. That‘s why Nichole Kelly, the CEO of Social Media Explorer, my business partner, and I have long advocated for apples-to-apples measurement in the digital marketing space. So what we encourage our clients to do at Social Media Explorer and what I encourage anybody to do is look at what you‘re spending per channel, and then find an apples-to-apples comparison for that to social media. Now, fortunately, there are tools out there that are free for business owners to use, like Google analytics. They can help you understand, ―Hey, this much traffic is coming from Facebook, from Twitter, from blogs, from search engine marketing, from pay-per-click, et cetera, et cetera.‖ Then if you have some sort of revenue mechanism or lead-generation mechanism on your website, you can Google Analytics that and program it so that it will say, ―You got this much traffic from Twitter, and that resulted in this much revenue.‖ Then you can start to look at an apples-to-apples comparison of cost-per-click, cost-per-customer acquisition, cost-per-site visitor, et cetera, et cetera, across social media and break that down by individual channel. You can also look at it from the same cost metrics you probably are tracking for direct mail, advertising, public relations, et cetera, et cetera. Then you can look across the board and say, ―You know what, I have a higher conversion rate, and my money and time is more efficiently spent if I spend it on, let‘s say, e-mail marketing versus direct or social media versus advertising, or flip it and say advertising versus social media.‖ Now you know where to spend your time. Now you know where to spend your money and your concentration. You probably don‘t want to ignore those other channels, but you might find these efficiencies are in things other than social media, so you
  • 14. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 14 of 29 don‘t need to scale and spend as much time there. Beyond reputation management and making sure that people aren‘t just talking bad about you online, some businesses may not need the scale social to the point to where they have the staff and so on and so forth. Travis: Can you grow a brand organically through social media very quickly without a pay-per- click-type budget, or is it just a slow boat to China, or is that a ―it depends‖ type of question also? Jason:The only way that you can build a brand online or offline without spending a lot of money is if you create a product or service that is just insatiable, that people cannot do without, that they see it, experience it, and they go, ―Oh, my god. I have to have that.‖ Even those brands that come along, the ones that are supremely successful are the ones that have a huge advertising budget, some sort of brand awareness behind them. Nobody thought that if Apple didn‘t advertise it and didn‘t build up a lot of anticipation for it. But you look at other brands like the Blendtec blender and you look at--even going back to the old rack, right? None of those cool gadgets or inventions ever would have made the light of day had they not had some money behind them for advertising or promotion. Same is true in social media. Unless you have something that is just incredible, an incredible experience that doesn‘t exist, you‘re going to have to support it with some sorts of ad spin, some sort of marketing and promotions budget, to get in front of the right people. There‘s fashionable ways to get it in front of the right people using social media--if you do influence or outreach and get it in front of the absolute right person at the absolute right time, and they write about it on their blog and they talk about at a speaking event or something, all of a sudden you get a little bit of lift. Now you‘ve got some momentum. But there are brands that are built online through basically nothing but a social media every day, but they‘re not going to go fast and not going to drive five, six figures in revenue without some sort of financial support behind it, unless it‘s a crazy insatiable product. Travis: Right. Now can a smaller company afford a strategist, or is this like just a big-company- type thing? Jason:That‘s a really good question. I mean, I think, there‘s probably plenty of smart social media thinkers out there that aren‘t incredibly expensive, that have a decent hourly rate, just like you would hire a public relations consultant in a local market or something like that. The ones that you hear about and see about online that have the big popular blogs and whatnot, sure, they‘re going to charge a lot of money because they have a huge audience. They have a lot of demand and not enough supply. They‘re going to charge several-hundred-dollars-an-hour hourly rates, whereas if you find someone in your local community, who‘s like a PR person who also knows social, you can probably get the people under 85 bucks an hour or something like that, I would think, depending upon the market.
  • 15. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 15 of 29 In a medium-sized market like a Louisville or a Raleigh-Durham or Kansas City, you can probably find a good public relations consultant for 75- 80 bucks an hour. That same person in Chicago, New York, LA is going to be 150-200 dollars an hour. So the market prices change obviously. But small businesses --- if they want someone who knows what they‘re doing, who has social media pedigree, they‘re probably going to need a few thousand dollars a month to invest in someone who can really spend some time with them and help them get up and run. Travis: Right, right. Hey, I‘m wondering--I‘m thinking about maybe… Let me pause this and let me dial you back because the single-face-type thing is getting so bad that I don‘t want it to affect the quality. What you‘re saying is super valuable to everybody, so let me… Do you guys mind if I hang up and dial you back real quick? Sandra: No, not at all. Jason:No problem. Travis: Yes, okay, great. Hold on. (there is a pause…37:53 – 38:08) Jason:Hello. Travis: Hello. Sandra: Hello. Travis: That‘s much better. Jason:It sounds like we‘re here. Sandra: Party of three. Okay. Travis: Yes, yes, that‘s strange. I can‘t explain that, but I‘ve noticed that in the past before. You‘re just saying so many great things, Jason that I don‘t want that to be anything to take it away from what you‘re sharing with us.
  • 16. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 16 of 29 Jason:Well, thank you. Travis: Okay, let‘s get back on the …. Jason:So I think it‘s hard for traditionally trained marketers to understand that sometimes people don‘t want to buy things. Sometimes they are perfectly happy sitting there, like they‘re sitting at a cocktail hour or a networking event and turn to you and saying, ―Hey, how are you doing? What do you do?‖ That would be your first opportunity to plant the seeds of marketing. ―Well, I‘m the vice president of digital strategy at CafePress. What do you do?‖ ―Well, I work in a bank. Well, tell me about CafePress?‖ Okay. Here‘s your second chance to market, right? But you don‘t go at it with, ―Let me sell you this, let me sell you that. You go at it with just being informational and conversational. If you see that everybody in the group is talking about Saint Patrick‘s Day, you talk about Saint Patrick‘s Day. If you see everybody in the group is talking about baseball season coming up in spring training, you talk about baseball. I like to use the analogy: if you‘re to walk into at chamber of commerce networking event or a rotary club or some sort of other social environment, and there are business people there--it‘s a business networking thing--you don‘t walk in the room with a megaphone screaming, ―Sundae, sundae, sundae!‖ People roughly my size would pick you up and escort you from the room. What you do is you go in and you migrate around the room listening to other conversations--listening being the key. That‘s the first behavior, right? You listen to other conversations until you find one that sounds like something you would want to participate in. Assuming you don‘t know anybody, you approach that circle of people, they recognize you, they open up the circle a little bit, welcome you into it, and at the first available opportunity, they say, ―Oh, hi. I‘m Jim. What‘s your name?‖ Then you introduce yourself to them. You just sit and listen and participate in the conversation, and then eventually you get to the point of, ‗What you do for a living? What do you sell?‖ ―You know what; I‘m looking for somebody to put new shingles on my roof. What a coincidence. Give me a business card.‖ Bang! Now you‘ve got a lead, right? It‘s a slow burn because you‘re building relationships. It‘s not a, ―Here‘s my coupon. Here‘s my deal. Buy my stuff, buy my stuff, buy my stuff.‖ You can use social media channels that way, and depending upon the product or service you have, a certain number of people will use it that way. They‘ll say, ‖Ooh, a coupon. I‘ll take it.‖ They buy from you, and you‘ve made a successful social media sale. But there‘s only going to be a limited number of people, a certain percentage of the audience, that‘s going to respond to that. There‘s a much higher percentage of people who respond to you just being a genuine conversation point for them, someone who contributes value to their online space. Then, yes, by the
  • 17. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 17 of 29 way, also, that person will throw out a coupon every now and then, so maybe I‘ll buy from them when I‘m ready to buy whatever it is they sell. Sandra: Awesome. Travis: Yes, it seems to me like we‘re going back to more of a personal-recommendation-type society, if you will. What you‘re describing is the old one-step marketing, ―Hi, I‘m XYZ. Job quality is number one. Here‘s our number. Call us.‖ That used to work for years and years. It‘s just gotten to where at much less effective. Building relationships is really the new way to really dominate your marketing, especially if you can do it an authentic way by educating, by caring, by helping. Then you can leverage that, your experience, your knowledge, all of those things together, to have a paradigm shift. That‘s what I hear you saying as well. Jason: Yes, absolutely. I mean, it‘s not rocket surgery when you think about it. Yes, I did say that intentionally--rocket surgery. Travis: Mixing. Jason:Speaking of rocket surgery when you think about it. We know how to communicate with other human beings. We know how to build relationships and be social and build trust over time. It‘s just putting in that context of, ―I‘m doing this, either for my business or as a business,‖ that makes it awkward. Also there‘s that deviled marketer sitting on your shoulders saying, ―Sell, sell, sell, sell.‖ So you‘ve got to tune out that guy out or that gal out and say, ―Look, we‘re going to sell, but we‘re going to sell to people who want to buy from us.‖ That makes everything copacetic in the end because it‘s a win for you; it‘s a win for them. When they want to buy and they trust and they automatically turn to you because of this relationship building and say, ―Okay, I‘m ready to buy that new mattress and box spring set. I‘m ready to buy that new Volkswagen Jetta. I‘m ready to buy that new insurance policy. I‘m ready to switch banks.‖ You‘re the person that‘s on the other end of that equation. It‘s because of the relationship. That‘s a much more valuable customer. Someone who‘s going to cut a coupon out of the Sunday paper. Travis: I think that‘s a big part of why there‘s so much opportunity right now. It may sound crazy that I‘m saying there‘s a lot of opportunity right now when the economy is down, but for several years, and I was guilty of it, to--is I just ran a n large budget of advertising and sold people stuff and I could completely run my business from behind the curtain. That‘s really not much of a possibility anymore, or at least it seems like to me. Where I think the opportunity is coming in is the Internet has completely or is in the process of annihilating the middleman. So many people are buying direct to the consumer, and
  • 18. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 18 of 29 they really want to buy--I may not be saying this exactly proper, but hopefully I‘m conveying my point: a lot of people want to know who they‘re buying from and get a feel for them on a deeper level. That‘s why I think there‘s so much opportunity amongst a really tough time. Does that make sense? Jason:Yes, it does. There are couple of things that I would respond to that with. First of all, I think you‘re right. I think for whatever reason--think about why social media came about. Think about the late ‗90s, early 2000s. You had the dot-com bust and all these developers and programmers and computer Internet people, where they had to move back into Mom‘s basement and play Doom or whatever. They looked around and say, ―Hey, man. We want to continue to have jobs on the Internet; we‘ve got to make the Internet easier to get to. We got to make it easier for people to use.‖ So you started seeing tools like blogger.com and forums and message boards that were much more intuitive started to emerge. Then you had social networks, where any random person could log in and have a little page and put up their picture, and put up more pictures, and connect with people that they might also know. None of that existed before about 2000, right? Social networks back in the day were just form of message board communities. So once the dot-com bust happened and those developers and programmers and engineers said, ―Hey, we got to make the Internet easier to access,‖ you started to see a channel of mainstream people coming back to the Internet because their media environment was uncontrollable. You think about the late ‗90s, early 2000s. The do-not-call list came out. People wanted to control their telephones. The CAN-SPAM Act came out. People wanted to control their e-mail inboxes. You had satellite radio emerge. People wanted to not hear ads on the radio. You had DirecTV and all these satellite television options come out. People wanted to get away from the traditional advertising thing and radio--TiVo came out and DVRs came out. People were trying to run away from marketing. They were trying to run away from the Arthur Andersens and all the big corporate scandals that were going on there in the late ‗90s, early 2000s. People didn‘t trust big companies, and they wanted to control their media environment. They were trying to get away from it. So social media happened because at the same time, the barrier to entry to get online and find other people just like you to have conversations with that we‘re not about advertising, et cetera, et cetera, became much easier, right? Travis: Yes. Jason:That‘s why social media emerged. You‘re right. I think because of that, the aftereffect of that whole era of migration to the online world is that people have a much heightened sense of trust factor in who they buy from. That‘s why you see people will buy from places like Etsy, where they are buying
  • 19. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 19 of 29 from an independent artist, arts and crafts person, rather than going to a big retailer like a Target or a Walmart. You‘re starting to see those pockets emerged. Now I will say that, but I will also say that that‘s not always the case because the biggest--I think one of the biggest retailers in the world, if not the biggest retailer in the world, is still Amazon. Amazon is a big damn company. It‘s not a mom-and-pop shop. Travis: Right. Jason:So what you have to understand is mainstream folks, while many of them may prefer to buy local, shop local, buy from arts and crafts people, buy from the Etsys and the eBays of the world, the majority of people still go to Amazon if they want to buy books or stuff. They still go to Target or Walmart if they want to buy stuff on discounts. They still go to JCPenney when they want clothes. They still to go to Sears when they want whatever Sears sells, et cetera, et cetera, right? Mainstream consumers still have this condition to go to certain places when they want certain things. Because of the sheer size and volume and scope of the number of people that are on the Internet, you can still build a business that has no face, that has no name, that has no personality, and makes a ton, of money, as long as you‘re able to A: put the advertising dollars behind it and in front of those people, and B: you have a product or service that other people that can‘t get elsewhere. Travis: Great point. For some perspective, I want to do like a case point in something that illustrates to the business owners. Because people that listen to this show, for the most part, are entrepreneurs that really want to take their business to the next level, and I like to take a real case study, and so in this situation, I‘ll be selfish and we‘ll talk about the show. In that way, we can illustrate it on how they would use it in a business. One of the things Sandra and I realized is connecting with brilliant high-level people that really know their stuff is not easy, and it‘s not cheap. One of the reasons why we created the show is we‘re passionate about moving the entrepreneurial cause as many steps forward as possible. I feel like entrepreneurs are the critical element to our society. So with this show, when we bring people like you, all of our entrepreneurs that don‘t have the time, money and effort to join Masterminds, to spend 30,000, 50,000 dollars a year, they get to listen to all of these great advice. There‘s really not too many other places that you can get it in a way that is quality and helps. Do you agree with that, Jason, for the most part?
  • 20. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 20 of 29 Jason:Absolutely. Yes, I think there‘s--shows like yours and other resources online are helping arm an entire generation of entrepreneurs and small business owners with an incredible amount of intelligence. Think about what you would‘ve had to have done 20 years ago to start your business and grow it to a half-a-million-dollar business. Travis: Right. Jason:You‘re talking 10-15 years of just busting your butt and you just got an incredible product which can carry you. If you‘re just starting a restaurant, and it‘s just another restaurant and you‘re not really distinguishing yourself, it takes you a long time to get there. Now you‘ve got incredible resources online where you can get really smart really fast. Travis: And you get to speak with people. I built businesses to 70 million dollars. I would‘ve loved to have spoke with someone and let them give me some advice on what I need to do to build my business--not just me, people like you, and all the other great guests. We have a lot of people that are raving fans. What‘s the best way to use this to reach more… What‘s the best way to use social media to reach more entrepreneurs? Because we‘re passionate about getting people like you out to them so that they can grow their business. What‘s the strategy there? Jason:Yes, I mean, it‘s the same marketing problem that everybody faces with their product: how do I get it in front of people to consume it? Travis: Right. Jason:The answer varies, but I think in this case you got to go where the entrepreneurs are. You‘ve got a--this podcast, if this is what you‘re trying to market and promote in front of them, as an example, you‘ve got to get this in front of entrepreneurs. So I‘m thinking you‘ve got to be involved with some of the venture capital and startup blogs out there, the TechCrunches in the world. You need to be in front of that audience. You can do that a couple of different ways. You can pitch content to them. You can become a guest offer for them if you‘re a qualified expert in some field. You can offer them some sort of partnership deal to be a sponsor so that they actually take your podcast and put it on their show. You can advertise on those websites, et cetera. Also being involved in events, conferences and ‗whatnot‘ where startup entrepreneur folks are going to go.
  • 21. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 21 of 29 Another thing that I‘d like to do when I‘m trying to do outreach for clients is I say, ―Okay, let‘s say you‘re trying to reach…― Let‘s use a different example. Let‘s say you‘re trying to reach a really, really influential fashion blogger, and you‘ve got a new line of shoes that you‘re trying to--as a startup, you‘re trying to get some equity and whatnot under that brand and some buzz going online. Well, you could look at the top fashion bloggers in the world and say, ―Man, if I get them to talk about me, that‘ll be great,‖ but you could spend two years trying to get their attention, right? What you ought to do is maybe look at who those fashion bloggers are linking to and talking about and chatting with on Twitter and whatnot—here‘s another powerful thing you can do with social media--find out who they are influenced by because maybe those people aren‘t as influential and maybe those are a little more accessible, right? I like to use the example in the technology world. I think most people in the tech world know Robert Scoble. He is the Rackspace for Microsoft blogger, the Scobleizer. He‘s got a huge online following. He reviews technology startups and whatnot. Very smart, very good guy. But he‘s really hard to get to because everybody and their brother that has a technology startup wants to get in front of Robert Scoble. His inbox is just crammed full. It‘s just hard to get through to him. Travis: Right. Jason:However, I was trying to reach Robert with a couple of things a few years ago. I noticed that, fairly consistently, Robert likes to link to and talk about and with on Twitter and Facebook or what not a gentleman by the name of Louis Gray. Louis Gray is a technology blogger as well, not nearly as well- known at the time and probably not now, even though he has a really nice job with Google Mail, but Louis didn‘t have as big of a footprint as Robert did. But I knew that Robert read Louis‘ blog, so I pitched Louis. In the end, Robert saw whatever it was that we were--the tool that we were trying to get in front of him. I don‘t recall now if he wrote about it. I don‘t think he did, but at the same time because… If you want to grade people this way, you get your A-list targets and your B-list targets. If your B-list targets are the people that A-list targets are reading, you probably have a better chance at getting at those A-list targets. I know that when I run into Robert at some conference months after that, I said, ―Hey, did you ever get a chance to look at X?‖ whatever it was. He said, ―Yes, I remember that. They did this and that.‖ He was at least familiar with it, so he could talk about it. So while we didn‘t get a big blog post, a big splash from him, we got through to him, which was cool. Travis: Well, so you did exactly what I was anticipating you to do--is you reverse-engineered the problem. That‘s what I wanted to illustrate here for everybody that‘s listening--is reverse engineer your problem. Think about it. Just like you said, if you can‘t get to that guy, go one or two steps out. That strategy applies in multiple of ways of reverse engineering what you‘re trying to achieve.
  • 22. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 22 of 29 Jason:Great. Travis: Jason, the subtitle of the show is ―Diamonds in Your Own Backyard.‖ It really comes from the story of acres and acres of diamonds to where a lot of times we mistake opportunity as failure, or sometimes it requires failure, serious failure, to find what we‘re really meant for. Was there any turning point as an entrepreneur for you that you would consider the diamond in your backyard? Jason:Wow, golly that really is a good question. So somebody who I aspire to be like or… I just want to make sure I get the question. Travis: Well, in your journey as an entrepreneur, was there a turning point that just completely-- maybe a paradigm shift is a great way, whether it‘s a failure, whether it‘s an ‗A-ha‘ moment, or whatever it was that shifted you from low gear to high gear. Jason:Yes, that‘s a good question. I think there‘s a couple of a different point that I would throw out there. There was a paradigm shift for me, a very big paradigm shift for me. When I was out on my own-- actually, no, I‘m sorry. This is before I left the agency. I was having a conversation with--it wasn‘t even a client. It‘s someone that we were pitching. The agency had gone to pitch this particular business on a full-scale ad campaign, and digital marketing and social media was a part of it. We were having lunch in the conference room of this business, and I was talking to the chief marketing officer of this company. We have already done a lot of our presentation and the CMO turn to me and says, ―You know, I really liked what you had to say about social media and e-mail marketing and digital marketing and mobile and everything. I think your points were really good. But I just can‘t spend money on that stuff unless I know how much money I‘m going to get out of it.‖ While that seems like a very common thread, logical thing to consider, that was really the first time--and this was very early on when I was pitching strategies on social media--that was the first time that it… That was the ‗Aha‘ moment for me where I thought I cannot be successful unless I can connect Twitter and Facebook and YouTube and blogging to revenue. If I can‘t figure that piece out, I‘m down. I got to go sell cars or whatever. So then I started really rethinking how I thought about social media. There‘s a actually a video of me interviewing KDPaine, who‘s a public relations measurement queen guru from 2008. It‘s a video and a blog post. It‘s on Social Media Explorer. It used to be the top-ranking entry on Google for ―What is the ROI of social media?‖ Now ever since then, the world has like exploded around that topic. I wasn‘t the right person at all to write about it, but because it had a video and got a lot of playback then--and I interviewed KDPaine, and the conclusion that I came to in that blog post was: you can‘t measure the ROI of social media because what you‘re trying to do is put a numeric value on human relationships, which I don‘t think is possible.
  • 23. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 23 of 29 While I do still to this day simply cannot put numerical value on human relationship, my stance has changed because you can measure the ROI of your social channels. You can use Google Analytics to know how much money you‘re getting from Twitter, how much money you‘re getting from your blog, Facebook, et cetera. You can measure an ROI with regard to what you‘re using in the social media world. So if you just frame the question a little differently, my position completely flips around 180 degrees. That ‗Aha‘ moment for me was what led to ―No Bullshit Social Media,‖ the book. It‘s what led to me going from this guy who gets invited to speak on a panel every now and then to being keynotes at conferences. That was the one sort of turning point for me that said, ―Okay, now this guy is starting to make sense over here. Let‘s hire him.‖ Travis: Nice. So that shift ultimately led to even you becoming an entrepreneur? Jason: Yes, absolutely. I mean, Social Media Explorer was founded upon that core principal of: We need to develop digital strategies that make sense for businesses, not that make sense for the touchy-feely ―Kumbaya‖ circle. Travis: Right. Jason:So that‘s how the consultancy started. Within a year of starting the consultancy, I launched the book project. I wrote the book. Then within another year, I found Nichole Kelly, who was singing the same tune from a different angle on measurement and return of investment. We partnered together, and Social Media Explorer went to a one-man shop to a small boutique agency that‘s still successful and thriving today. Travis: Nice. Sandra: Wow. Jason, I want to just really acknowledge you for the difference that you make because I couldn‘t put my finger on it right when we first started the show, but by the end I‘ve got it loud and clear: the difference that you are based on a lot of other people I‘ve seen and read and heard from is you‘re the real deal. You‘re authentic. You‘re somebody I can relate to human to human. And you care. Your sense of humor is in there. You care about people. I think just a good lesson for all of us in the social media realm: people… We spend a lot of time on our own, by ourselves. To be in social media, you feel like you‘re included in something. So you provide that, and there‘s this sense of caring. I think for myself as an entrepreneur, whether I‘m selling my book or my other business, if I can take the direction off of trying to sell my product and simply just replace it with caring for an individual--because that‘s what all we got, is groups of individuals--then I think the natural marketing and the natural thing
  • 24. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 24 of 29 might come out of that. So just an acknowledgment to you for being real, regular, caring and making a difference with people. Thank you. Jason:Well, thank you. Thank you for that. There‘s a flipside to that, too, though, especially when you work at a big enterprise company. Of course, I‘m at CafePress now. When you have a disgruntled customer--I mean, obviously, we‘re a huge company. We do thousands of orders a day, so you‘re always going to have… A small portion of that is going to have some problems; customers are not going to be satisfied. Then of course that‘s where it trickles over on to our Facebook page and whatnot. So I see customers who are upset. I want so bad to stop and help every single one of them individually because I know I probably can, but there‘s no way to scale that. One person can‘t do all that, which is why we have a great customer service team. We have mechanisms in place to handle that. It‘s tough because I go to our Facebook page just wanting to see what kind of interactions we‘re getting to see, the positive stuff, and then I get mired in the negative, so I‘m like, ―Man, we could fix this. Let‘s do this,‖ but we‘ve got other people to do that, so I need to force myself to stay out of the way. Travis: Hey, Jason, let‘s segue in to the lightning round, if you‘re ready. Jason: Okay, I‘m ready. Sandra: You‘re funny. Travis: Now listen, before we do this, I‘m thinking about creating the Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Speedos. If I do, I‘m going to send you a pair. Jason:I have never put on a pair of Speedos in my life. Travis: Well, you know, so if you do a really good job here, Jason, who knows, I may send you a pair. Sandra: They could be diamond studded, Travis. That‘s awesome. Travis: That‘s right. What you do with them, Jason, is completely up to you. Jason:I promise you this: I will at least hold them up to the camera and take a picture of them. I don‘t know if I‘ll put them on. Travis: Okay, okay, all right.
  • 25. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 25 of 29 Jason:People would go nuts in Speedo, anyway. Travis: Okay, so what book or program made an impact on you related to business that you‘d recommend, and why? Jason: The book would probably be ―Brand Hijack‖ by Alex Wipperfurth, one of the first books I read that really tapped into this sort of word-of-mouth marketing power of crowds. It talked about Red Bull and how they started that brand, very grass roots word of mouth. It talked about Hush Puppies and a couple of other brands that have seen resurgences because of word of mouth and sort of organic growth of marketing messages through communities, not from marketing channels from a company. It really dives into the psyche of how you get to a product or a brand in the mindset, top of mind, for a group of people that can potentially magnify and expand that. It‘s called ―Brand Hijack‖ by Alex Wipperfurth. It came out probably in 2004, 2005 and it‘s still extremely relevant, and my copy is dog- eared like crazy. Travis: Nice. I‘ve never heard of that, so I‘m excited to add that to my read list. What‘s one of your favorite tools or pieces of technology that you‘ve recently discovered, if any, that you would recommend to other business owners, and why? Jason:I think the one thing that stands out--and I‘m going to expand recently because I‘ve had mine for about a year and a half now. Square, which is a squareup.com. It‘s basically the little credit card reader that you can plug into your iPhone or your iPad and run credit card transactions, basically, out of your pocket. I‘ve seen several coffee shops here in Louisville have foregone the traditional 8-9% credit card fee machines to run Square app transactions on their iPads as checkout-registration places in retail shops. To go from 9% transaction fees to I think it‘s 2.75 saves business owners‘ money. It makes the retail transaction simpler, and it puts the power in the hands of the people who can run their credit card right there, send themselves a receipt electronically. It‘s very green friendly, et cetera, et cetera. I just think it‘s a brilliant idea, and you‘re starting to see other iterations of the Square hardware and software from PayPal and a couple of other places that are doing those tablet and smart phone transaction stations. I just think that‘s real disruptor to the retail world than the credit card companies. They‘ve got to be nervous as hell about that. Travis: Yes, and those guys have been needing an attitude adjustment anyways. Do you have to have the physical card? Can you key in the information if necessary?
  • 26. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 26 of 29 Jason:Yes, you can key in the information. You can swipe the card. If it doesn‘t work, you can key in the information. Travis: Okay, good. Jason:Person can have the receipt e-mailed or texted to them. Travis: Nice. Jason:You can figure out to find it on site if you needed a printed receipt. Travis:Yes, yes, cool. Okay, what famous quote, and it really doesn‘t have to be famous, but what quote would best summarize your belief or your attitude in business? Jason:Wow. There‘s a couple that I like, but I think one that‘s extremely appropriate to our conversation today is Hugh MacLeod from Gapingvoid, who is a cartoonist artist who--you probably would recognize his work from around the Interwebs. He did a card one time that said, ―If you talk to people the way advertising talks to people, they‘d punch you in the face.‖ Look, people, customs, consumers--they are not target audiences. They are human beings with emotions and whatnot. If you talk to them the way advertising talks to them or, to whittle it down to even in another microcosm, if you talk to people the way press releases are written or the way legal documents are written, people would just punch you in the face because it‘s just doesn‘t make sense. So I love that quote because what social media is about for me and my marketing business is help businesses communicate with their customers in more effective ways, so it‘s not talking to them like they‘re advertisement. Travis: All right. I like it. Brenda: Perfect. Yes. Travis: What do you dream of? Jason: I dream of baseball. I love baseball. I just want to sit on a… In an ideal world--which this will never happen--I would like to sit in a hammock, five feet from the beach for all morning, and then about 1 o‘clock, I‘d get up and walk next door to major league baseball stadium and watch my Pittsburgh
  • 27. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 27 of 29 Pirates play, and then go and sit in my hammock in the evening and sip margaritas. That would be my ideal world. Travis: Cool answer. Hey, before--I have a couple of other things that I want to do to wrap up the show. Can you hang out with us for a couple of more minutes? Yes, okay. Great. What‘s the best way for people to connect with you, Jason? Jason: Well, jasonfalls.com is a really nice hub where you can find links to all my stuff, whether they be the books; socialmediaexplorer.com, which is an industry blog; fallsofftherocker.com, which is my personal blog where I write about everything but marketing. It‘s got links to all my social channels as well, but I‘m Jason Falls.com that‘s everything. There is a county commissioner in North Carolina who hates me because he also is Jason Falls and I own the first five pages of Google, but he‘ll get over it. End of Interview Travis: Sandra, you want to add anything? Sandra: No, I think it‘s great. Just for our listener, some of the sound cut in and out on my side, but just go to DIYOB for ―Diamonds in Your Own Backyard,‖ and our full episode with Jason is there with all of his links and all the different places so you don‘t have to remember them. Just go right to our website and get them there. Travis: Yes, don‘t wreck yourself. I know a lot of you are driving with us in your ear or on your radios. So just go to diyob.com, enter your names, and then we‘ll send you the ―2013 Business Owner‘s Guide to a Profitable Million-Dollar Business.‖ That‘s the guide that you‘ll get when you opt in. Now of course you can go to the show notes, where you‘ll basically get a feel of Jason‘s background, as well as all of the links that Sandra is talking about. The guide that we‘re going to send you is a candid behind-the- scenes look at what you need to know to grow your business to incredible levels of success. What I tell you in this guide is critical to success that no one is really talking about, many of these issues, because, I guess, ultimately it's not in their best interest financially. In the guide, we‘ll cover things like the 5 trends that are affecting your business due to the Internet, 5 things that you should know before hiring anyone to handle your marketing, 6 marketing rip-offs, and just a lot of other key things that I‘ve discovered over the years in growing my business. Also, when you opt in, you‘ll become part of the Authentic Entrepreneur Nation, which is really just a network of people, tools and resources that you can trust to grow your business.
  • 28. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 28 of 29 Today, I want to close the show with a quote from Robert H. Schuller. The quote reads: ―Problems are not stop signs. They’re guidelines.” This is Travis Lane Jenkins signing off for now. You want to say bye, Sandra? Sandra: Bye, Sandra. No! Go to our website and check out our interview with Jason here. Leave us your comments. We‘d love to hear from you and keep in touch. Thank you for being here. Travis: Yes. I want to remind you that what you‘re contributing as an entrepreneur and a leader really does matter no matter where you‘re at in your journey, so keep it up. To your incredible success, may you inspire those around you to go after their dreams, too. Take care. Sandra: Bye-bye.
  • 29. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs that Grow Your Business Copyright © 2012, 2013 The Entrepreneur‘s Radio Show Page 29 of 29 How We Can Help You We know that finding someone that you can trust online today is hard and that so many ―so called gurus‖ are self-‐appointed and have never really even done what they teach you to do. That‘s exactly why we created the Double Your Profits Business Accelerator. This is an exclusive offer for our fans at a fraction of its normal cost. Here's what to expect. We'll Schedule a 'One on One' private session, where we'll take the time to dive deep into your business and tell you what is missing, so that you can have your best year ever! We'll do this by performing a S.W.O.T. Analysis. This tells us your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats within your business. This will be an eye opener for YOU, for several reasons, however some of the most common reasons are. As the 'Business Owner' it‘s difficult to see the big picture of your own business because you‘re in the middle of a daily management. And you are too emotionally involved to completely impartial. This is a common problem for EVERY business owner. It doesn‘t matter if you are a one-man army, or an army of 150, the problem is still the same. Travis Lane Jenkins Business Mentor-Turn Around Specialist Radio Host of The Entrepreneurs Radio Show “Conversations with Self-made Millionaires and High-level Entrepreneurs That Grow Your Business"