Note: This transcript was auto-generated
Jennifer Yip, Amr The Internet Guy
Online with Amr the internet guy stream it today on your favourite podcast platforms. This podcast focuses on entrepreneurs and business owners helping them become more successful and conducting their business on the web without being stuck with technology, getting a headache, pulling their hairs out or buying expensive software. Hello, everyone, and welcome to a new episode of online! My guest today is a business coach and we are discussing startup success. So we’re not pretty much discussing just the online part of the business, but the business success as a whole, and the things that many business owners overlook, that could be crucial to their success or otherwise, them not succeeding. So without further ado, let’s get it.
Hey guys, welcome to another episode of online today. I have Jennifer Yep, with me. Hi, Jennifer. Hi. Nice to see you again. How’s it going? Good. Thank you. How are you? Oh, good. Thank you. Are you enjoying the weather? it Yeah, it’s nice. It’s nice that it’s not too hot. But it’s still like hot enough. But you still feel the summer? Yeah. And it’s not raining?
So could you please introduce yourself and tell the audience what you do?
Yeah, so my name is Jennifer. Yep, I am a business consultant and a marketing coach and an entrepreneur coach. So the facets of my business is I coach on new or aspiring entrepreneurs and how to go down the entrepreneur path, how to level up their business, say they have a business that they are already doing, what are their pain points and adjusting them and how to get that to the next level. And I also do a lot of marketing consulting. So whether it has to do with website or SEO, or whether that has to do with doing a marketing strategy or social media strategy, or, you know, basic graphic design. So I kind of have a holistic view of what a business person needs.
Nice. So like, there’s a lot that you’re doing all at the same time. So yeah. How do you think like, from your experience, what happens with like, let’s say, I don’t want to say a startup, but I think most of the problems will be faced by people just starting out or changing. Maybe they have another business, and they’re trying to change and get into something new. So what do you see, like the most common problem that either people are aware of, and they want to fix? Or sometimes they’re not even aware of it? And then they need the coach to, you know, raise that awareness?
Yeah, I think what a lot of people do is they kind of do things in the wrong order. So they think they have, you know, a good business plan, or they think they have a good product or service. And then they want to jump straight to marketing. But there’s a lot of things like foundationally, that I find a lot of business owners are missing, like, do you have the right licenses? Do you have the right business partner? Do you have the right website, and like all of those things need are a lot of time missing? And they just want to go straight from Okay, I have a product or service and I want to sell and how do I sell, but there’s a lot of foundational parts of their business that they’re missing. And do
like one of the things that I learned also, and I think I learned that later in life. But the your ideal customer like you know it because in general, I think and that’s almost everybody, you think more about the product without trying to figure out who this product is for first. And then you go and try and push this on everyone? Of course, that doesn’t work. So is that something that you see a lot?
Yeah. So I think when it comes to your ideal customer, there’s two facets to that there is the ideal customer, and that is the reality of who your actual customer base is. So you can a lot of marketers will give me this, like, Who is your persona of your right customer? Who do you want to target and I think having that in mind is really good. So to kind of flesh out your ideas on who you want to reach, what are your ideal audiences and all that. But sometimes with business owners, what they don’t realize is that their actual customer isn’t who they exactly want to target. And I think that’s a hard pill for a lot of business owners and entrepreneurs to swallow. Because who was actually buying their product isn’t the person that they want to be buying their product. So they really need to take a look at that and shift their business models. Because when you start your business, who your ideal client is or who who’s buying your product from day one may not be the person who’s buying your product in five years from now. So you have to be adaptable with your business and your business model. Always have a plan in place and change your product and change your service. If your ideal customer isn’t who you’re looking for, or whoever is actually buying your product. isn’t what you had originally thought.
I liked that part because when you say change your product change service. Because as your business, so as your business grows, and as you pick up more customers, you should always have a conversation with them as well. It’s not like in this day and age, you know, the price comes to those are engaged. And if you’re not, I mean, when I started out, for example, I had absolutely no clue who my ideal customer was, basically, was anyone who needs a website, right? And exactly, the whole world needs a website. But as you go, and it’s, it’s really hard, especially in my industry, it’s really hard to niche. I mean, yeah, I know, some of my colleagues have niched, and they are, some are just doing dentists, some are just doing plumbers, some are just doing financial advisors, whatever, because they get to speak the lingo, they get to know more about the industry. Yeah. And I like to stay open. But in the beginning, it was quite hard, you know, who is actually my customer, but after a couple of years, from the existing customers, and from having a conversation with them, let alone like they do give me referrals. And that’s a great thing. But I understand at what point like because many people try to do, for example, many entrepreneurs, they want to do their website themselves, which is okay, that’s fine, you know, when you’re starting out, and you’re new, and you don’t have a budget, and that’s fine. But there’s one point when everybody gets stuck. So my mission was to figure out at what point people will get stuck. So that becomes a new offering. So maybe I’m not offering, you know, a full design of your website or building it on your behalf. Maybe I’m just offering you some support some technical support for the for the parks, that are really hard. They’re like kind of back end, and not visual design. And that has opened new doors for me to the point that some of my customers now are other web designers, because there are things that they don’t want to do. They don’t like doing they can, but they don’t want to spend time doing it, but rather focus on something, you know, they enjoy more, and leave the boring back end to me, which is good, because it’s not boring to me. So I think that goes for every business. When you like, let’s say, if you meet somebody like a new entrepreneur, somewhere on a networking event, yeah. How can you tell if this person needs help? Like, what? What are the signs? Kind of, you know, how can you tell? And how can they know that they need to help us? Because sometimes people need help, but just don’t know it?
Yeah, and I think that’s a part of a big part of why I do coaching is you kind of don’t know what you don’t know. So when I meet someone new, and especially if it’s in a business setting in maybe a network setting, for example, you know, they come to me, and they tell me about their business. And I’ll just ask them, like, very high level, like qualifying questions. And when I noticed that they stumble, or if they can’t give me an answer, then that’s when I kind of know, okay, like, so this person, there isn’t, it’s an opportunity for me to help them. And I’m not saying that in an opportunistic way. Like, everyone needs to be a client, but it’s like, have you thought this through? Or what about this your business, because I think, in general, I’m kind of a very curious person. So when I meet people, no matter if it’s in a personal setting, or a business setting, I kind of want to get to know what they do. And you know, what they love what they’re passionate about. And if we happen to be talking about business, you know, I want to know more about their business. And I want to know, their journey and how they got there. And why are they selling this product or service? So I just have a high level conversation. And then I myself can identify gaps, and then I kind of probe them like, oh, have you thought about this? Or what about this? Or what about this aspect of your business? And if I see gaps, and I offer my services, but not in a pushy way, it’s more like, you know, I would love to work with you. Let’s take this offline. Let’s have a meeting and see how maybe we could be a great fit and work together or maybe not.
Yeah. What’s your kind of Chief question?
Chief question. I think it’s like, what makes you passionate about your business? And why are you doing it? Because you know, I get that, you know, everyone starts a business for different reasons. Maybe you’re passionate about wood making, for example. And that’s, and you have a really great artisan ship with that. So that’s why you love doing it. So I think it’s more about finding the people, what they’re doing, and what is their purpose and what is a real why starting a business or venture.
So I’m going to turn it around and ask you that question. Yeah, why are you doing what you’re doing?
Yeah, so I get that question a lot. And I, my story’s a little bit interesting because I kind of fell into entrepreneurship. Like I didn’t come out at some time, my career and I was like, I want to be an entrepreneur. So I think it’s just People were asking me, you know, can you do? Can you do writing? Like, do you do any sort of writing? So I started writing articles for people, because that’s something I’m really strong at. And then it came to Oh, like, I love this article that you wrote, can you do web design? And like, can you do graphic design started with content first?
Yeah, I started with content. And I started with everything that I know, and what’s familiar to me. And then as I grew my business, I started talking to people, and then just more and more services that they needed from a marketing standpoint, like I have all those skills. And that’s kind of how it was born. And the reason why I do what I do is because I love working with entrepreneurs, I love working with people who, you know, maybe the nine to five didn’t work out for them. Or maybe they’re like a side, hustler is what you call, and they do this, whatever their business is along the side of doing their day job, and they want to break out. So for me, it’s about having other people meeting other people and having their goals and dreams accomplished. And if I can help in that sense, from a business solutions, or a marketing point of view, then that’s exactly why I do it. Because I get that satisfaction of, you know, I help them get to where they want to be, or I help them, it’s not about me, it’s about like, who I eat. And I actually do really care about the entrepreneurs and clients that I have, and I want to see them succeed.
So when you say, You fell into it, what happened? Like Where were you? What were you doing? And then how did you actually think you know what, I can do this on my own, like, you know, not as a part of a corporate team or whatever.
Yeah, so I did have facets in my career where I was part of a corporate team. So people call upon me for, you know, like, I need someone to help me write this, or I need someone to do my website, but it’s having like my friends in my network, asking me knowing that I have the skills to help them. But I think for me, it was about what is the one thing in life you can really rely on, and that is yourself. So that is why I do the solopreneur thing, like of course, I have a roster of freelancers that I call upon, if I need additional help. But for me, it’s like, I can really only rely on myself. So what can I do? To get myself to the next level? And that’s me, depending on myself and my skills, knowing what my skills are? And how can I bring that to help other people?
That’s good. I mean, I, I feel sometimes what happens is people are not really giving marketing as per se, the importance that it deserves. And, like you’ve got two groups, one group who oversimplifies things and don’t really think that marketing is important. Yeah. And then you’ve got another group who think marketing is important. But again, they kind of oversimplify it only into SEO. Yeah, and I’m not, not trying to say that SEO is not important. But SEO on its own, doesn’t really help you like I am, this is something I always tell people, even though I’m not a marketing coach, but I’m just talking from personal experience, like 90% of my business personally comes from referrals. Right? I haven’t had one single case of a client who just came just by, you know, googling something related to what I do, right. But having said that, every single person who you meet every single person who learns about you or your business somewhere, like you know, if somebody is watching this podcast, and then they decide, hey, let’s check this guy out, they will come and visit the website. So it is important to have your, your SEO intact, and your keywords, well thought and everything because it does help. But I feel that people sometimes understand that the wrong way. Like they think I’m going to just sit back, relax, do not think I’m not posting I’m not engaged. I’m not, you know, updating anything, I’m not writing content. I’m just buying an SEO service here or there or putting ads out or whatever. And that alone would just bring clients. And I feel like I don’t know, it’s a skewed version of online marketing. Because there are so many pieces of that puzzle. It’s not just SEO, and I wanted to ask you about content specifically because in my opinion, it’s very important. Yeah, do you? I mean, of course, you dry it for your client. But do you get a lot of clients who want to advance online but they hate writing? Like they just don’t want to have anything to do with it?
Yeah, I get a lot of that. Not everyone strong suit is writing and I do understand that that just happens to be one of my strong suits. And probably that’s where my business kind of started from was because that’s a skill that I do have But I think what another misconception about marketing is that marketing to a lot of people equals social media. So when people meet me, they’re like, Oh, so you’re just on Twitter and Facebook and an Instagram all day. And I was like, Well, no, I that is a facet of what I do. However, that’s not the end all be all with marketing. And I think the part of marketing that people really don’t understand is the branding aspect. So I’m like a brand, like a niche brander, and I went to a different city moved to a different city. And that’s why I was introduced to that. So I think that’s a facet that a lot of people don’t understand. Because you have to kind of paint a picture around your product or service. So say you’re selling like chairs, for example. But you have to paint a picture of why someone would want this chair. And I think that’s where a lot of people fall short is that they don’t present their product or service in a desirable situation, and paint a picture and narrative around their story. And so that’s where content comes in. And that’s where branding comes in. And you can’t achieve that just by posting pictures of said chair, for example, on your social media and forget
it like, yeah, Instagram full of chairs, like Yeah,
And you, like, you mentioned social media, and this is a port, that’s also there’s a lot going on social media. And I mean, it does work, but for it to work. There’s some ground rules there. In, in my opinion, like, I think, as you rightfully mentioned it, it’s the story around what you do. It’s very important, like people need to know, like your major, your chief question, which is, what’s your passion, why you’re doing what you’re doing. And sometimes people do not share this information. Like, you know, what, why you’re doing what you’re doing. But if you’re not sharing this with the world, then you won’t get as much traction, because people can’t really connect with you. And you know, when you say a brand, some people think that a brand is a sorry, is a company. Yeah. And it’s okay, your company can be a brand, of course, like, you know, Nike, or Coca Cola or whatever. But in general, when you’re a small business owner, you are part of your brand. If you’re not the brand, like your, for example, your brand is you right, like your website is
Jennifer. Yeah, like I am the faces brand. Yeah,
right. Yeah. So it’s the same thing. Versus for example, for me, a skilled human talents is not my name, right? Yeah. But, you know, there’s, there’s a reason behind that. Sure. But I am like, when you go to the website, I’m there like, you know, I tell a little bit of the story, why I’m why I’m doing what I’m doing. So it’s not, it’s not just human talents, and it’s kind of a dry, core pretty, and you don’t know who’s behind it, or who can you contact because people do business with people, not with companies, like even if you’re a bigger company, when, when I used to work in the corporate world, it was relationship management, like if you want to know somebody in that company, because when you need something you want to know who to call, you don’t want to call a call center and wait forever. So what’s the best thing for a small business owner just to get out there, you know, whether it’s online or offline, like what’s the kind of what’s the best piece of advice, we can give owners of small businesses in order to get their marketing, right.
I think it’s about knowing that when you’re trying and when you’re starting out, that you will probably fail and understand that and when you come in, and you bring like a business coach, like myself, or like an entrepreneur, coach, or you bring in a consultant in your service, they’re not trying to hurt you as an individual, because that’s what a lot of my clients have that issue with is that they think their product or service is the best thing and like, and that’s great, and I’m willing to work with them on their product or service. However, like I’m here to try to get your business to the next level, I’m not trying to attack you personally. And a lot of people are very married to their product, for example, and they’re like, well, I don’t want to change my products. I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do that. So you have to be really open and receptive to feedback from not only someone like me, who’s a coach, but your audience as well. You know, listen to the feedback, you know, talk to the people in your network, listen to them what they say about your product or service, because that’s really going to get you to the next level. If you’re trying to, you know, make a profit and do sales, but if you’re just trying to get your product out there and you’re okay with what it is, then that’s okay. But you have to understand that you might not grow to your potential or where you want to be because you’re really stuck in your way. So I think the best advice is be receptive about how other people view your product or service and be willing to take that advice, and maybe tweak a couple things here and there, and just to try and test and if it doesn’t work, that’s okay. Try new tactics. So I think that’s probably my best advice.
Thank you. So it’s like, really is like going back to the top, sorry. So the basics of marketing, you know, like when I studied marketing in university, that’s a long time ago. It was we were talking about the four piece, right. And then I think, what happened with the rise of technology and marketing becoming digital, people forgot marketing and focused on technology instead of focusing on marketing. So they would spend most of their time learning new software, for example, or learning how to create landing pages or learning how to create a funnel, you know, which is good, like, it’s fine. I’m not saying don’t learn, by all means if you wanted to, but don’t forget why you’re doing it. Like these are tools. Like, if I’m building a house, for example, I can just go buy bricks, and sand and wood, and buy some tools, and then decide I’m going to build the house without learning how to build the house. So it’s not about having the tools and, and maybe being great with using tools, it’s also learning the stuff first, where you will use the tools and when we say like the four Ps like, Okay, let me see if I can remember you probably correct me now. I think it was people product promotion and price. I can’t remember the right order. Yeah, yeah. But so what is the marketing did is it gave you easier access to people. Because in the past, you have to go and advertise on TV, or newspapers or whatever. And you don’t really know beyond the numbers they give you. So they tell you, hey, this newspaper goes to 200,000 houses, right? But you don’t know how many of these 200,000 may be interested in your product. You don’t even have. Sometimes you have the demographics, but you don’t have much information with social media, like people voluntarily, including us give this information away to the to Facebook and Google and whatever, like they know so much about us. And if you’re a marketer, trying to reach out to the people now you can target better. That’s what technology did. But you still have to know the people. So you still have to look after this P. The second one, which you rightfully, you know, touched on as well. Your product, like it shouldn’t be something that you said, what you’re worried you’re married, married to your product, right? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that’s like a Catholic marriage, like, oh, cannot break that bond. Right? You shouldn’t be married to your product, right? You, you should be married to your partner, but not your product. Right? You should always be willing to change the things. I mean, it’s harder if your product is a physical product, because you’re not going to go and manufacture something else. For sure, yeah. But in the service world, it’s flexible, like you can do any change even overnight, if you’re open to it. And I think I could be one of the people who sometimes would resist being coached. Because, like, you’re an expert in your field, and it’s hard for you, as a person to listen to a coach was telling you, you need to change here, you need to change there. You got to think in it. So there might be I don’t know, what can we do to get over this resistance? Like what? Is there something is there? Like, I’m not asking you, of course to give some secrets of your trade, but in general, like how do you get over that resistance because I think it will be there. Especially you know, age wise, if somebody is a little bit older, like me, who have years and years of experience in their field. It’s really hard to get in and try to get it changed unless they’re motivated. So like, I feel like for me, for example, unless I can see the end goal. Like if I’m able to see the end goal, like the light at the end of the tunnel. I get motivated to go that way and I’m gonna be full power. Like, let’s go, right yeah, but if I don’t see those little bits and pieces, those little steps, our resistance because I don’t know where they’re leading to
write. So I think it’s about if you’re doing if you are trying to go down that path or hiring a coach hiring someone like me, I think it’s about like the people part like you’d I mentioned like the connection like, so you have to make sure you have a good connection with that person, and that they’re willing to listen and learn. And on top of that, I think a lot of business owners, let’s go back to your example about the house is that they have a house, but they want to furnish the house, like all they want to do is make it look pretty. And all they want to do is buy all the things to go inside the house, but not thinking about, is this the right house for me? So yeah, a metaphor like, is this the right business? For me? Is this the right path that I’m going on, they just want the aesthetics of having a business and the statics of I am a business owner, but they haven’t quite thought it through on the foundation of their product or service or company, right? So when I meet people, and they’re really resistant, they’re like, you know, you know, I understand marketing, I know how to do social media, I know how to post on Instagram. So why would I hire you? And it’s like, yes, you might know how to post on Instagram. But there’s so much behind that, you know, there’s a strategy involved, that’s behind social media. If you’re doing ads, for example, because we’re talking about digital marketing, you know, if your ad, for example, doesn’t go to a certain landing page, or if it just goes to your general website, you know, I had that as a pain point with my clients. And it’s like, what is the intention behind that. And so I think that’s what a lot of people don’t understand is that there’s a lot of strategy that goes behind being an entrepreneur, and there’s a lot of strategy that goes behind, you know, any sort of marketing. So if you are resistant, then that means like, are you not invested in seeing growth for your company, and if that’s okay, if that’s where you’re okay with it, you don’t want to take it to the next level, then we don’t have to have that conversation. But if you’re willing, and you want to grow your product, or service and your business, then you have to be receptive to, you know, thinking about new ideas and being uncomfortable with growth as well.
And you might be a great entrepreneur, and you might be very accomplished already. But if you’re thinking about growth, sometimes what got you here will not take you there. So it’s like a new journey needs, you know, a new style of thinking. And it’s easier when the person who needs help knows that they need help to get there, you know, that the next part of that business journey, and it might be a little bit more difficult when people are stuck in a point. And they’re just not sure where to go from here, like exactly the deaf grown up to the maximum that they can go to with the current strategy. And now they need the new strategy for you know, I don’t want to even say growth is even scaling. Right? You know, like I, I used to be able or not to be able, I used to do everything myself, everything in my business. Yeah. And before you realize it, you’re overworked, you’re burning out, you’re not having any fun, you’re not spending time with your family, you’re like, your life is miserable. Like you’re working twice as hard as working for someone else. And making half the money. Yeah, because it’s just, you know, it’s not sustainable this way. Even if you’re a superhero, it’s still, you know, you do this, okay, you do this grind and hustle to a certain extent, especially when you’re starting up. But if you don’t have a strategy, how to get yourself out of it, you’re going to continue down this path, and it’s gonna take a toll on you, especially on your health and your mental health, for sure. So I learned that the best thing to do for myself was ask for help. Whether coaching, whether figuring out what in my business, you know, can be done, like what kind of outsource can outsource, for example, for me can outsource web design, can outsource graphic design can outsource, like, even web designers do outsource, we don’t do everything ourselves. Like, I hate graphics. It’s like, I can do them. And I have the skill. But I’m such a perfect perfectionist, that a logo, I could spend five hours just tweaking get here and there. And that’s not sustainable. Like, as enjoyable as it might be to have the perfect image. Like if you’re going to spend that much time per image, and you have a website that has 100 of them, you’re never going to finish it. So better to just outsource that part completely. And you know, things like you’ve mentioned, things that people don’t see, like when you say a house, that’s a perfect example because I say the same thing with websites. There’s so much underneath. They don’t see you just looking at the design you’re looking at aesthetics and colors and images on a page. But you don’t know how this page is Powered, how it comes to you how things should be optimized to in order, for example, in order for this page to load, and to load quickly enough, so people don’t get bored and leave. Yeah, so it’s not just about what your eyes see, there’s a lot that happens below the surface, that you would need the professional like if unless you are a professional in that domain. And it’s the same thing with social media, for example, it’s not just about posting, you know, soiling, social media, with everything, everything that you do everything that you do for your business, and everything that you do, as a person. It’s about, What’s your goal of that? Like, kind of, why are you on that specific network? Let it like, be it, Instagram, or Facebook, or Snapchat or tik tok, or YouTube or whatever? Like, there’s always a new one. But like, why are you there? Are you that? Are you there to enjoy yourself? Because these are different than we always mix between? What’s personal and what’s business? For sure. Yeah. And it’s good to a certain extent, because you’re building these relationships with real people, right? Who may, at some point become ambassadors for you that maybe they’re not becoming clients. But hey, you know, do you know somebody who does x? Oh, yeah, Jennifer, like, you know, like, she’s a good friend of mine. I like how she thinks, and I like, you know, how she conducts her business, and she’s invested in your success. And I think you guys will be a good fit, why don’t you give her a call? Right. So that’s from being engaged in social media, reminding people that you do exist. But that’s a goal right? on its own some people that just get there no goal, it’s endless.
Absolutely, yeah. And I think with the social media thing, what’s interesting is that, if you take the example of the house, you need to have a foundation for your house in order to build the house. So you need a foundation for your social media in order to grow your audience. So a lot of people will just post, but they don’t post within 10. So I think where I come in with a lot of people’s businesses is the strategy behind it. So maybe you have four buckets that you always want to talk about, you always want to you know, showcase the new product that’s coming. You want to showcase how it’s made, you want to showcase, you know, where it comes from, or like whatever. So you have to really be intentional with what you’re posting, and have, you know, high level buckets of, I would say examples of, or themes that you want to highlight for your business. And a lot of people fall short with that, because they think just showing my pair of sunglasses on the ground in the grass, and then I’m going to show it, you know, on the beach, or I’m going to show it on a window. So it’s like, well, that’s not serving a purpose. You know, you have to be purposeful, and with your posting, and have your audience connect to that, because a lot of people they look at the analytics are like, Oh, you know, like, this isn’t doing all my social media is not doing well. I’m not getting followers. I’m not getting likes, but it’s like what’s important to you, as an individual, as a business owner? Do you want to just be super popular and have all the likes? That’s great. But do you want to make sales? Because I think to me, that translates? Yeah, exactly. Like you want to be able to convert into sales at the end of the day to be a successful entrepreneur.
I think it’s like it’s way better to have 10 followers who are interested in what you do, then 1000 followers or have nothing to do with you.
Yeah, exactly. And you know what, a lot of those social media accounts, they just buy their followers $50 $200. And so when you look at someone who has like 30k followers, or the organic followers, or the people who just pay and their thoughts just to beef up, you know, their page, and I think that’s where people get lost is that they’re like, Oh, well, I don’t have as many likes as this business, or I don’t have as many likes as this person. But it’s like, well, what’s important to you is the wrong metric. Yeah,
hey, I’ve got I you just like, this is funny on unrelated but yesterday, I was watching Shark Tank on TV, right? Yeah. And there were a couple of guys, their pitch wasn’t that good. They kind of didn’t have a proper plan of how they manage or how they want to manage to grow their business. Yeah, they’re like an okay product, like it’s a niche product. But and the thing is, they kept on repeating the same thing to the point as I, as the viewer, wanted some of the sharks to punish them for what they’re saying, because they kept on saying, Oh, we’ve got 4.7 million followers on Instagram, and we’ve got a video that’s gone viral. Okay, great. How are you capitalizing on that? They have no clue. Like literally no clue. They made of a good video that went viral because it was funny or whatever. Yeah, but it doesn’t really translate into any sales like I think they have Did the company at $3 million or something like this, but they had $19,000 in sales, right? And they’re just trying to convince somebody to give them money, just because they have 5 million followers or 4.7, or whatever. And it’s like, Yo, dude, like, you know, these followers are not dollars.
Now. You’re like an influencer person. And that’s your job, then that makes sense. And then if you’re leveraging
this, yeah, for promoting some other product, but yeah. So this is this is great, Jen, because it’s, you know, it’s the wrong metric. Like the same thing with SEO. traffic. Yes, we do want to bring traffic to the website, right? Yeah. But traffic alone is a wrong metric. Because they this could be bouncing, like, if you’re bringing 100,000 visitors to your website. And your bounce rate is 80%. Literally 80,000 of that 100,000 didn’t spend more than five seconds on you didn’t see anything. They didn’t even wait for the page to load properly.
Yeah, they don’t click around. They didn’t look at your products or anything. Yeah, for sure. And I think a lot of people don’t realize that that’s the problem is, you know, I have this great website. I spent all this money. It’s like, Okay, great. Things look nice. But yeah, internality Well, it works people exactly does it work
does work like you, you’re inviting. Basically traffic is like inviting people to your house, right? You wouldn’t invite people to come for dinner. If you had no chairs, you didn’t cook, and you have no food to cook, right? That’s like think about it this way. So if you have a website, and you want to bring traffic to the website, you need to do some groundwork first, before bringing the traffic because if you bring it and it bounces, guess what? Those people aren’t coming back. Yeah. And if they
agree, yeah. And if I’m hungry, I come to your office, like there’s nothing to eat.
I’m going somewhere else. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s funny. Yesterday, I was doing a presentation. And somebody on that presentation said something very interesting. She had a food company that she sold during COVID. But she was on the Canadian version of shark tank, the Dragon’s Den. Right, right. Okay. And then she said, The day we went on Dragon’s Den, of course, because that’s like a lot of publicity. Yeah, their website crashed. Right? as many people were coming in. And I said, Do you know why your website crashed? And she said, Yes, it was the hosting, the hosting couldn’t keep up. And that that was a great revelation. Because I always tell people, your infrastructure, your foundation is mega important. You can’t, I mean, she didn’t have like a really, really bad hosting, it was okay. But there was no anticipation that this will happen. Like if we suddenly have a surge of traffic, are we able to handle this, you know, and that’s a conversation they have to have with your techie. You know, what kind of hosting, like I’m working, for example, with a studio. And I know that they’re going to be selling images, digital images, and videos online. Yeah. Now, I know that storage, you could easily because you’re selling videos. So once you start uploading more, you could easily run out of storage. So that’s a conversation I had to have. So that we can plan for a proper hosting that’s dynamic, there’s not going to, you know, stop access to the website until we buy an upgrade. Yeah, so kind of, Hey, you know, if those resources are being stretched, my hosting company knows that I have a range from zero to 100 gigabytes, they’re not going to stop access, you know, at some point, just because they want to make 10 extra dollars a month, like, you know, be my partner, like be, we’re helping each other out. I’m using your hosting service, so that I can have my service, you know, where I sell stuff to the public.
Yeah, and these are the things that business owners don’t think about. They don’t think about their website, they don’t think about, you know, how much things are gonna cost them and they just, I have this thing and I’m just gonna run with, you have all those dreams, but it’s like, well, this is maybe where you need help in a certain department.
You always want to go for the less cost, right? Like we all do it. We all look out. For sure, three, four proposals. And I don’t blame anyone I do it as well when I’m looking for a service. But also find out a little bit more about the background of the person. You know, if you can like I will happily some He asked me, because this is the funny part like, I’ve never been asked this before. As a business owner, we’ve done that when I was working in the corporate world with connect to clients, like an existing client, with a prospect client so that the prospect client can ask the existing one, you know, how did we overcome the challenges? And what is it like to work with us. And that’s important. And most of the time now, like in the web design, where people look at your portfolio, your portfolio can only give a little bit of the story, and probably just give them the visual aspect of how good a website that we designed, looked. Right. But they don’t have what was the challenges? What were we trying to do, because there’s a lot of the, you know, working not some bolts behind the scene that I cannot capture in a, in a portfolio. It’s just something to make things look good. So people come check us out, right? Yeah, yeah. Well, I’d love it. If somebody asked me, is it okay? If you give me like, almost like the referrals, that when you’re applying for a job, they want to call your referees? I would gladly you know, connect you with one of my existing clients, and so that you could, you know, have maybe a 10 minute, a quick 10 minute call just to see what it’s like to feel what it’s like to, you know, work with me. Yeah. And this is something I encourage everyone to do. Lakers, you know, if your clients become your ambassadors, that’s the best thing.
Exactly. And I think even if you’re a professional, even if you’re really good at websites, or whatever your profession is, like, always be receptive to someone else who could help you and someone else that could give you advice. Maybe don’t take unsolicited advice. However, it’s always good to meet new people and see, you know, what else out there because I don’t know everything, and I don’t like the professionals that do come and think they do at all, and like, they can’t do it all. I’m a professional, I know everything so up, because that’s, that’s a myth, right? You can’t know everything. 100%. So
like, everything, maybe you know, but you don’t like doing it.
Yeah. And that’s fine. And that’s where you find, you know, alternative ways and you outsource and you, you hire people. But that is a skill of growth in your business is when you have that ability to introduce other people and have them help you out. Because that means you have the budget, and you have the revenue to grow your business. Right.
Perfect. And I wanted to ask you something about content again, like I’m going to circle back because it’s very important. Yeah, one of the biggest problems web designers face is clients who want to create a new website, but they don’t have content, right? And sometimes, no matter what you do, it’s hard to get them motivated to write content. And I always say, you know what, like, okay, let’s put this on hold for a little while, because you need to think about what’s going to go on your website, before thinking of the website. Sometimes, it’s even before registering your domain name. But there’s the other side of content, which is, you’re already there, you’re already successful. You have existing clients, you have a mailing list, or a newsletter, right? And I’m a culprit of that I used to have a newsletter, I think I sent it for eight months, it was just a monthly one. And then I stopped because I got too busy. Yeah, what can we do for people who are like me in there? Like, is that something that you could do? Like, maybe take over their monthly newsletter? And, you know, write it for them? They just really quickly approve or give you some, you know, changes that they want to do. But
yeah, for sure. So something I do with my content, when I’m writing someone’s content, or planning someone else’s strategy out is, there’s like two facets to it. Like, do you want me to do the whole thing? And I can, and that’s fine. But I think I prefer to work with the people who, okay, I will leave at least give you some bullet points on things I want. Yeah. And then I will happily take that over. And we can make tweaks here and there, you know, I can help them with their newsletter, or help them write blogs or articles or help them with their social media posts. So yeah, for sure, but I think you really need to have well thought out content. And you can’t just put content for the sake of putting out content. There needs to be intention behind it. And I think that’s where a lot of that’s the reason
I stopped. Because like, Well, I have basically had two problems. I put everyone in one pot. Yeah. And they’re not really they’re so different, because my clients, some of them are fellow web designers. Some of them are business owners who are not techies. And you can’t communicate with both at the same time. Because the web designers, they want things related to their business, and things that probably they wouldn’t see somewhere else. Yeah. So like it has to be kind of like industry news or, you know, something that’s coming up that may affect their business that they may not be aware of Like there’s a change in technology or, or a change a shift in, in consumers, I don’t know, interest somehow. And the other group, they’re probably more interested in how to grow a business, it’s not tech. So you can just keep sending about, Hey, you know, there’s a virus circulating around, or hackers are becoming smarter these days. And here’s your best security defense that doesn’t really work with, you know, the average business owner, it might work with the techie business owner, so, so I’ve decided, hey, you know, what, I just paused for a little while split and niche and make, you know, smaller groups, so I don’t have to send 200 emails, maybe I’m sending 10. But they’re very targeted, and then the next month, maybe, but I found it like, it’s all going on in my brain. And it’s almost like, if I can give a brain dump to somebody who can work along these lines and produce that content for me. And usually, like, I don’t want a big, you know, what I mean, like a big page, could be like a couple of paragraphs. And because I want it to be interesting, and I want people to come back, like, come back for more. And that’s the whole idea, give them more value. I’m not trying to promote like, and this is a another thing that we felt we have fell into it in the past, and people are still falling for it, using the newsletter to promote your business. It’s not, that’s not I think, in my opinion, does know what newsletters are for?
No, I think there’s a facet of that. But I also think it’s like what you said, you have to have different lists for different types of content. And when you’re thinking about the content for a specific subgroup or specific, like email list of people, you have to bring value, and you have to be that industry expert, for them to want to come back to you. And not only just to buy your products, but to continue reading your newsletter exactly, right.
And these people already know you like they’re on your list, they know you, they either bought something or downloaded a free resource or you know that your friends or people you met in the networking, there’s no point promoting your business to them, they already know. So you have to just nurture them, give them more value so that they can go and talk about you in their circles. And that’s part of how you grow. It’s an important thing, I think, like content is king. And we can’t, you know, we can’t say enough about that. And I feel that everyone needs help with their content. And everyone needs help with their strategy. And, you know, I know like many people got grants from the government nowadays, and they’re embarking on either building a new e commerce website, or advertising online. And one piece of advice from me is that if you’re advertising online, a speak to like a marketing consultant, or coach, who can not design the ad as in the visuals of the ad, but talk to you about what goes on the ad. The visuals are not a problem, graphics and stuff. This is easy. The hard part is the impact of your message is like what? Because like you only have so much I think I don’t know how many characters but you only have a few characters 30 I think sometimes in Google, but you got three lines of 30 or something like that. Yeah, you just have a very limited place to have your impact. And, you know, agencies, many agencies, I’m not saying all of them, but many agencies that just want your money, they don’t care. Like you know, they don’t they care about getting you on the retainer, which is nothing bad about it. Like every, you know, every company is allowed to conduct their business, whichever way that they see fit. But I’m saying is just the general interest is retainer how much media spend, you have, like, How much money do you want to spend on media, and then they make their money. Google makes the money or Facebook makes the money. And nobody cares about whether you made your money or not.
Yeah, and I think it has to do with attention span as well. Going back to the social media part or the messaging part. It’s like Gen Zed has a five second attention span, but millennials or anyone older, has 15 seconds. So if you really need to have the right words, have the right intention, have the right message behind what you’re trying to do in order to capture that audience. And if you don’t, you’re just going to miss out on opportunities. You can spend all the money on the world on great graphics, you can hire photographer to, you know, have pretty things. You can do a videographer, and maybe that’ll catch someone’s attention, but there’s no intent behind your message. That’s where you’re gonna fall short, unfortunately.
Just I’m saying yeah, go speak with someone before you Go on that spending spree, it will save you a lot of money. You know, buying ads, Google is going to make its money anyway, people click, or you know, people see your ad or whatever you’re paying, it doesn’t matter if your ad appears on somebody’s YouTube channel, you know, and it lasts for more than X amount of seconds, you’re paying, you’re paying just for ad view, not even clicks. Yeah. So it’s okay to do that. If you, if you have a well thought of, you know, strategy that maximizes on that spend, so that you get a, you know, for every dollar you spend, you get three or four or five or 10, or whatever dollars in return. So you get an ROI. And that’s really key. Because, as I was saying, I’m not I’m not slandering, you know, digital marketing agencies who work on the retainer, like they have the right, do that, because that’s the only way to do it. But spend a little bit of time researching and figuring out why you want to do and what do you want them to help you with. And then if you’re getting that money, you know, that return on your investment for every $1, you spend, you get 10, you’re not going to stop, you’re not going to want to stop. So everyone, everybody wins, they get the retainer, you get your sales, everyone is happy. The other piece of advice is I think you, you went through it, and we went through it as we were talking earlier. Where are you sending that traffic? It’s mega import? And right, yeah, no, not. And I’m gonna repeat this, again, do not send traffic to a homepage. That doesn’t work.
No, but a lot of business owners don’t know that. And they don’t feel that marketing is sometimes important. And I get that, right, like you want to, you want to save money, you want to try to do it yourself. But if it’s not working, then maybe you need to try a different strategy. And maybe you need to hire someone, some kind of consultant, you don’t have to go down the agency route. Because that can be quite expensive, like I have worked in agencies before. So I know how it works. Not everyone has $100,000, minimum to spend. But if you spent a little bit you’re investing in yourself, and you’re investing in your business, so it’s about looking at your budget, allocating that accordingly, and seeing where you’re going to get your best return on investment.
I love that advice, Jen. I mean, because there are some aspects of advertising that you can do, it’s easy to learn, that you can do yourself. But you may need a little help with some of the stuff that you don’t understand, which is good. So, you know, if people have somebody like you to help them, whereby you give them like, I don’t know, a checklist to follow, and then maybe have some calls together to work on the messaging part and maybe show them how to put everything in the right place, then they probably don’t need to go and spend so much money on retainers, at least if they’re starting out. And if it’s their own money, and you know, they want to maximize the impact of that message.
Yeah, exactly. So like, I’m not a mechanic, but I can you know, change my windshield wiper fluid, I can probably change my blades, but I’m not gonna, okay, maybe I could change my tires if I really tried, but I’m not gonna do all the other things, you know. So there are aspects of marketing and in your business that you should take on yourself, and you should be willing to learn, because that’s how you’re going to learn how business works. But there are other aspects that Yeah, you know what, maybe you do need a little bit of help. And, you know, if it’s not me, it’s someone else. But you just need to find that right individual to understand what your pain points are for your business.
Yeah, I mean, you do need the professionals for some things. Exactly. And it like it doesn’t again, it doesn’t have to be you doesn’t have to be me. Yeah, but you do need somebody. Like I keep saying that, for example, about website updates and upgrades and stuff like that, like, why are you wasting your time? Learning tech, when take is not your business? You’re learning tech for your business? Wouldn’t you rather spend this time with your family, or hiking or on the beach? or talking to your customers or presenting to somebody? Like, rather than actually trying to master WordPress, I mean, by all means, if you are going to be a WordPress expert, and you’re going to be building hundreds of sites, yeah, do it. But if you’re a business owner, who’s selling chairs, but yeah, example, why do you want to be a WordPress expert like you spend easily 100 hours or more of your time when you can be spending these 100 hours doing something that you like more?
Yeah, and I think there’s that or over glorification of like the hustle or like, if you’re not hustling car, if you’re not working 100 100 hours a week, sorry. Yeah, you’re not being a good entrepreneur. But the reason why a lot of people become entrepreneurs is so you can have that free time. You have that flexibility to spend time with whoever you want to and do the things that you want. To do so, don’t get so bogged down on like, I need to be in this hustle mindset because that’s the wrong mindset to be in.
I this, I mean, I’m gonna blame coaches as well, because some of the sales coaches, they, they make you feel so worthless. Yeah, for example, if you’re not doing 50 calls a day or week or whatever, like, maybe calling people is not your thing, maybe cold calling doesn’t work for you, or doesn’t work at all or whatever, like, don’t feel ashamed to say, I don’t like doing that, like, this is not something that I want to do. Right? And, and if not, everybody needs cold whatever, like, you know, there are some industries and some services, that cold calling will not work. Because if the service isn’t clear enough, there’s no point telling people, hey, do you want whatever, if you have to educate your market first, it’s not gonna work. They’re not educated and already, so don’t feel ashamed that, hey, I don’t want to work 100 hours a week, like I got into this because I wanted some free time. And I wanted to spend this free time doing x, even if that free time is working on yourself, like, you do need some time to grow as a person as well. Like, yeah,
cuz the burnout is real. And I think that a lot of entrepreneurs are not ready for that. And they don’t realize it until it’s too late. So you know, if you are embarking down this path of, you know, doing your own business, and you know, starting your own thing, that’s great, but make sure you don’t forget about yourself and like, take care of yourself too. Because if you are the sole solopreneur, and you are running your business by yourself, if you’re down and out, you might not have someone else’s backup. So really, it’s important to invest in yourself as an individual, like you’d mentioned earlier on in our call, and your mental health, physical health, all those things are really important, because while the grind is important, too, if you’re not your optimal self, then your business is gonna fail eventually, indeed, your businesses
you exactly. And this can have a toll even on your personal life as well. Like if you’re unhappy with business, you probably got to take some of it back home. And you don’t want to do that. So it’s a good message today, my parting message would be seek help. You know, it’s not, it’s okay to seek help. It’s not a taboo, it’s not bad. And it certainly doesn’t make you any less of an entrepreneur. When you say, hey, I need help, I do need now you can be very successful and still need help like that you’re not less successful, you will actually be more successful. When you realize that you don’t have to hold all the strings in your hands.
No, get help and get help from the right people. And make sure you surround yourself with the people who are really rooting for you to succeed and really invested in your business and how you’re going to grow for sure.
I love that, Jen. Any last parting advice here.
Um, I think the last parting advice I would give to any like entrepreneur, or someone starting out is, don’t just fall into that trap of like, Okay, I’m going to quit my job today. And I’m going to start tomorrow, it’s like, have a plan in place have a strategy in place. And if you need to work full time and do your business on the side, then do that. Don’t just fall into that narrative of like, I quit my day job and like, this is great, and I’m gonna succeed because I think that’s like an or glorification of a lot of like coaches do is like, just do it. Just like cut the cord. Just do what you want. And that’s great advice. But you have to have intention behind everything you do.
I love that. I absolutely love that. Because some people sometimes get bad advice, and it doesn’t work for them, and they feel left. You know, they’re stranded somewhere because somebody told them, Hey, you know, if you’re really serious about this, you got to quit your job now work on it full time. And then you need to understand, especially if you’re starting a new business, it will take time to get you know, to get you financially to where you want, or to where you are with your current job. And if it depends, like if you live with your parents, and you don’t pay rent and like you want to take the plunge, do it. But if you have a family, you have a partner or you have kids or whatever,
you have high expenses, mortgages, all those things. Yeah. In a consideration.
I’m not saying don’t be a business owner or an entrepreneur, but have it as a side hustle. And you know, think about how can you maximize the utilization of your time to get help where you need help so at least you can focus your few hours that you work on this on the weekend and after work can be you know, spent wisely on your clients and on you know, honing your skill and making your product and service better. Rather than, you know, wasting it in I don’t know in my example is wasting it learning tech when you don’t need to. Exactly there’s no shortage of techies
yeah exactly so invest in the right things do it when you’re ready and no one says it’s an overnight success you know it takes is a journey and you know your entrepreneurial journey will probably change from this year to next year to the next five years. But as long as you’re dedicated to your journey and you’re dedicated to your product or service, then that’s when you’re going to be successful is when you can grow in like small ways for sure. There’s no magic bullet No there isn’t but let me know if you find it because maybe we can work out a deal.
The on demand button get rich quick bang. make money while you sleep. Oh, really? That easier?
Yeah, money grows on trees. Let me plant that tree now. That’s why
dollars are green American dollars. We’re actually Canadians are Yeah, the 20 is green, isn’t it? $20 is green. Thank you very much, Jen. Jennifer. Jen. I don’t know which name do you like more?
Either is fine. If you’re gonna call me Jen. I prefer it was spelt with two ends. But either fine, Jen Jennifer, it all works.
I appreciate you being here and spending time with me today.
Thank you for inviting me on your podcast. I had a great conversation with you. Thank you Have a great day. You as well.