Ryan Deiss has been called one of the world’s leading digital marketers by Shark Tank star, Daymond John. He’s a best-selling author, speaker, and founder of multiple companies. His entrepreneurial endeavors began while he was a college student at the University of Texas at Austin, launching his first very first website from his freshman dorm room. Fast forward to the present day, Ryan’s the Founder and CEO of DigitalMarketer.com. He’s the creator of the “Customer Value Optimization” methodology and his company, DigitalMarketer, is the leading provider of digital marketing training and certifications. The DM community has over 15,000 paid members and over a half a million subscribers.
What’s Digital Marketer’s mission? To double the size of 10 thousand businesses by 2020.
Ryan is also the founder and host of the Traffic & Conversion Summit, the largest digital marketing conversion conference in North America.
I had the pleasure of meeting Ryan ad the Digital Marketer Down Under Summit in 2018 and am delighted to have hosted him on the Productive Insights Podcast.
Digital Marketer’s mission statement is to double the size of 10,000 businesses by 2020.
Why create a mission statement? How does it help?
A mission statement helps create a tangible common goal which all your team members can rally around. It helps to set the direction of your business and enables you to lead your team with purpose.
It means you can hire better team members for a specific purpose with a specific focus.
Ryan explains that two ways to offer more value to your customers are via speed and automation.
For example, a business coach helps his clients achieve profitability faster. He can also potentially help you do it with less work than you would put in doing it yourself because he’s already traveled down a few paths that didn’t work and can tell you not to waste your time pursuing those options.
So in that sense coaching can offer a form of speed and automation for business owners.
Another example could be expedited shipping. You get your customers their products faster (albeit for a higher shipping fee)
Ash Roy 0:00
Welcome, everyone. Today's guest is Ryan deiss and I met him recently as a digital marketer down on the conference. He's been referred to as one of the world's leading digital marketers by Shark Tank Star daymond. John's is a best selling author, a speaker and a founder of multiple companies. His entrepreneurial journey began in his dorm room when he launched his very first website as a freshman. Ryan is the founder and CEO of digital marketer.com. And he's the creator of the customer value optimization methodology. His company is a leading provider of digital marketing, training and certifications. His community has over 15,000 paid members, and over half a million subscribers. His company isn't on a mission to double the size of 10,000 businesses by 2020. And we'll be talking about this in a minute. Ron is also the founder and the host of the traffic and conversion summit, which is the largest digital marketing conference in North America. He shared the stage with top business leaders and celebrities like William Shatner, Gary Vaynerchuk, Tim Ferriss, daymond, john and Dave Ramsey, to name a few. Most importantly, he's a dad of four children, and a very happy husband to Emily, to whom he gives all the credit for everything he's ever done. So I'm delighted to welcome Ryan deiss to the productive insights podcast. Welcome, Brian.
Ryan Deiss 1:21
Thank you. That was a that was definitely a long bio, who we need to we need to shorten that and tighten that up a little bit, huh?
Ash Roy 1:28
Yes, we probably do. Yes. No way that anybody? So Ryan, welcome to the productive insights podcast, it was really a pleasure to meet you at Digital Marketer down on the and we had some brief but interesting conversations, I would love to start by talking about digital marketers mission, which is to double the size of 10,000 businesses by 2020. That's a pretty bold mission. So can you talk to us about that? How did this mission come to be? And why did you decide to launch this mission?
Ryan Deiss 1:56
Sure. So let me be clear, it sounds very altruistic now. And it is at the time, though, you know, we first kind of set this mission, which was about four years ago, the business was really just starting to take off digital marketing in particular, was just starting to take off. And for the first time, I felt like I had a little breathing room, I felt like, Ah, you know, you're an entrepreneur, you work and you battle, your mission is just to make payroll and put food on your table and stuff like that. And we were finally there. And then right about the time, I'm starting to go and breathe a little bit, I get some of my team members come to me and they say, you know, why are we doing this? What's our mission? What's our goal? What's our bigger purpose. And I remember at the time thinking, we're doing this so that we can both eat food. And so really, the way that I thought about it, and approached mission is that that's something that big dumb companies do, to kind of, you know, give some purpose to some, you know, the fact that they're just kind of a big dump company, I didn't see a lot of value, like, you know, the purpose of business is to generate revenue and, you know, make money through stakeholders. I knew enough i was i was had enough emotional intelligence, I guess, at the time to realize that that was not a good answer, to give to these young team members who really didn't care about what we're doing. And so I said, You know what, I don't have a good answer. So let me think about it. And I really did I thought about it for a while, I said, What is our mission? Why are we doing this because it has to be about more than just that our I'm going to get bored too. And I thought about it, I gave it a, you know, good solid week. And I remember sort of out of the blue, I received an email from one of our customers, longtime member, and he said, You know, I just wanted to thank you. And because of digital marketer, my business has doubled not once but twice this year, and enclose the screenshot of the shopping cart showing here's a word at the beginning of the year, you know, here's where we are today. And I remember thinking it was in the moment, I said, Wow, that's I said, that's great, because I know what that means to me as a business owner. Now, I know that means not necessarily more personal wealth. But I know that it means that we can do more with that we can serve more people through the company, it also means we can hire more, you know, we can pay better, we can offer more benefits. So it affects so many people that the the trickle down impact of a successful, small to medium sized business is really felt throughout the whole world economies. And that's kind of what hit me. I said, This is what we do at digital marketer. We help businesses grow, we help businesses double, because if they double, they can hire twice as many people they can, you know, do twice as much good. So that's what we need to be about. And remember, the first time I said is like, I think our mission is to double small businesses. And and I saw people's eyes light up, they said, Yeah, that's great. So the question was just how many and by when, and, you know, we started with 1000. And as people said, that wasn't bold enough. And so we bumped it up to 10,000. gave ourselves five years to do it. In that time we've collected you know, people who've said, Hey, we, you know, we've doubled what we still need to figure out and a big campaign that we're going to be pushing as we move into next year and into kind of the final years of this particular mission. There's really one of documentation, getting people to self report and say, Yeah, I was one of them. And so we're really excited about about that mission and planning to kick it off. traffic and conversion summit. So it's gonna be it's real fun. But yeah, it came from a simple request from from a very sincere team member. And and I believe that it's the reason that digital marketer is successful today because at the end of the day, we are a mission driven company.
Ash Roy 5:13
Well, you know, some very valuable insights came to me as you were talking about that one of which was engaging your employees around something that is tangible. I shouldn't say employees really engaging your team around something that is tangible and time bound. I think I did a case study when I did my MBA, it was I think it was called the Sears Roebuck case study, or maybe it was a different company, we have what's called the employee profit chain, I think. And the idea is that if you have happy employees, and engaged employees, you have a more engaged company. And I think by rallying people around a specific time bound goal and a tangible goal, it really does help to create that agency and urgency towards that goal. So kudos to you for taking on such a big hairy goal, I can appreciate that it's quite intimidating in some ways to be able to put it out into the world. And then now you've got to figure out, it's sort of like a building the runway, as the plane is about to land, you just got to figure out how to document people's doubling of their business. And it's not something that's going to be completely obvious or easy to do. But that's entrepreneurship, isn't it? It's,
Ryan Deiss 6:24
and that was why we gave ourselves as much time as we did. I wasn't super concerned about about doing it. I mean, I like to believe we've we've helped way more than 10 10,000 businesses, the issue is how do you measure it? And how do you how do you get that out there, but I knew one thing, and one thing that was very clear to me, if we did not put a time, if we did not put a number, then it was just going to be, you know, it was just gonna be marketing, we're just gonna be PR, it's gonna be just like, oh, let's let's make ourselves, you know, feel good, and pat ourselves on the back, and it was gonna ultimately be meaningless. We may not succeed in our mission, we may come up a little bit short, we may do that, that that could happen. And we accept that we set the mission, and I accept it today, we may come up short. But I know that we will achieve far more because we set it this would have had we not even if we wind up failing, and I think that, you know, impacts a lot of missions, a lot of goals in life.
Ash Roy 7:14
Yes. What's that phrase shoot for the sun and land and the stars or something like that? Yeah.
Ryan Deiss 7:18
I mean, it's, I think shoot for the stars to make to Mars, maybe? I don't know. But yeah, it's true, right. And sometimes you got to face the reality that, that, hey, maybe when you set a goal, you know, you're gonna fail. But so often, this happens in life, right? Success looks a whole lot like failure, especially in the short game.
Ash Roy 7:32
And I think an important piece of that is, if you do fail, then just own it and move on. I don't think there's a lot of hype around about failing fast, and so on. I think failing for the sake of failing is, in my opinion, silly. But if you really aim for something, and you fail, and you learn from it, then yeah, sure. I think that's a very good piece of instructional content, at the very least, and for your audience, and very powerful even for you if you learn from it.
Ryan Deiss 8:03
Yeah, I mean, you got to ask yourself, what assumptions did we make the turned out not to be true? What try that wound up not working. But I think you also need to look and say, you know, what would have happened? Had we never set this goal? And yeah, it's our president here, Richard lender, and digital marketer, he was the first one to really ask that question of us, because we have set company goals. Most You know, a lot of we hit a lot of we don't. But when you ask the question, What if we had not set this goal? Sometimes the answer you come to is like, we would have gone a really bad place or, you know, would have been that. And so there is power to setting difficult goals, difficult goals. I think a lot of times people don't set tough goals. They don't they don't set a big a big mission, because they're afraid of what will happen if they don't hit it. accept that as a possible reality, right? I mean, if you're not willing to accept it, then then you're either delusional or you're sandbagging. So accept it as a reality and acknowledge that when you get to the end, win, lose or draw, you're gonna learn from it, you're going to be better from it if you set the right kind of goals and if you stuck to it.
Ash Roy 9:00
And if you have a learning process built into that, if you reflect on it and say, in the instance where you don't succeed, you say, Well, why didn't we succeed, as you said, what assumptions did we make that were not valid? Or where did we not focus enough of our efforts or whatever it is that you can learn from it? I think that's very valuable. Richard is a very switched on guy, I had a long chat with him actually, at the DMV. And he's got a lot of great ideas. He was telling me the story about how he left his first job about half a day after he started and I just thought that was so awesome. I mean, he went on to follow his dreams. I did something similar. It took me 15 years to leave the corporate world But either way, I think it's a great thing to follow your dreams and really go for it. Okay, Ryan. So you're an expert at creating conversion funnels. And I've, I'm proud to say I've done a bunch of the digital marketer courses, one of which was the conversion funnel mastery course. And in your course you talk about one of the core things around business growth hacks. There is this formula, which is leads times customers times margin times frequency of purchase equals growth potential. Can you expand on that for our listeners, and how that helps them to grow their business?
Ryan Deiss 10:12
These are kind of the levers as marketers and growth professionals that we can pull. And a lot of times, marketers are salespeople, they'll look at in terms of the funnel or in terms of a sales pipeline, and they'll look at, you know, leads and prospects and opportunity and close one close loss. And all that's very, very helpful. I'm not I'm not saying that that doesn't work that you should throw that away. We look at that as well. But I think when it comes to to looking at growth holistically, you got to acknowledge that yes, that lead flow matters, right, the number of leads that you have coming through that that absolutely matters. And that's a lever that we can pull the number of customers that you're able to generate, right, obviously, that matters. That's a lever that we can pull. But what a lot of folks don't realize is that margin is also a lever, especially if you're a cash flow business, if you're an unfunded company, because the more margin that you're making, the faster you recover those acquisition costs, the faster you can dump them into the top. Now, I've had some experience in retail, right? And in the retail space, it's all about inventory turn, right? How quickly can we turn our inventory, you look at it at companies I know in the states like Costco, tiny, tiny, thin, thin, thin margins, but they turn their inventory. So often they make money. So that's where frequency comes in. So a lot of people don't think in terms of frequency, as as being a growth lever. So if we look at leads, if we look at customers, those are two that everybody just assumes, and then you add in margin. So can we increase our margins through upsells, and cross sells? And then you increase frequency, right? Can we increase the frequency of purchase by maybe changing the model to more of a subscription model, but through through follow up marketing, you know, again, upsells, cross sells these four factors combined, if they are thought out in the context of a conversion funnel, and not just read customer, you know, opportunity, and how are they moving through. But looking at the business as a whole, I found that that is the best way to grow a company is thinking about your margins, thinking about your frequency of purchase. Yes, thinking about leads and customers. That's everybody goes first, I need more leads. If only we had more. leads, right? No more leads like your bucket is so leaky. If we were to dump more, you just waste more. Right? Let's increase the frequent. Let's get the people we got to come back. Yeah, yeah, let's get the people we're getting to spend more or margin, right? Yes, let's get and then yes, let's get the leads to buy more frequently. And then then let's just get more leads. But the biggest thing about this is you want to optimize that direction, want to optimize backwards, so start with increasing frequency, then look to increase margin, then look to increase the number of customers, which by the way, at that point is often very few things, a lot of times that you can do to increase the lead to customer because most of us if you're a marketer, you're already pretty good at that stuff. Any changes, tweets you're gonna make, you're going to have diminishing returns. And the secret to getting more leads, guess what, you know, what it is more times than not advertise more, increase your budget. And so people say, Ah, you know, I just think we just need more leads, okay, buy more ads, advertise more pay higher power commissions, you know, do more than to generate referrals, give gifts and put more effort into, and custom marketers, I can't afford to. Okay, the reason you can't afford to, is cuz your margins aren't good enough, you're not getting enough frequency of purchase. So more times on sale more leads is the margin frequency problem.
Ash Roy 13:34
Right. And, you know, to your point, I can't afford to, I would also say, maybe you can't not afford to, because the opportunity cost of not advertising could mean that you're missing out on customers and profit that you could be earning right now.
Ryan Deiss 13:50
Sometimes you just don't have the cash, right? Sometimes you just don't have the money. Right? And and I've seen this before, where somebody says, oh, we're already spending, you know, $100,000 a month in advertising, we can't afford to spend more, because they'll say I want twice as many leads. How are you spending on on, you know, advertising each month? 100,000? Spend 200,000. Right? Oh, it's not that simple? I know, it's not that simple. But the answer is, you know, the reason you're saying that you can is because you can't afford it. So that doesn't mean you have to go out there and get more leads, it means you need to solve some of the economics of your business that exists within your conversion funnel itself.
Ash Roy 14:26
Right. So you're pointing to profit here. Is that right? When you say economics, I think what you're saying to me is, if you focus on increasing your margin, or getting more transactions with existing customers, or look into your existing database, assuming you have customers, then that's a way to generate more profit, which in turn will allow you to advertise more and get more leads. Is that what you mean?
Ryan Deiss 14:49
Yeah, I mean, obviously, when it comes to increasing margin, there's, there's lots of things you can do. I'm a marketer, and a sales salesperson. So I don't get much into operational efficiency, but I do my own company. I just don't Don't talk about it as much. It's not in our marketing certifications. But yeah, I mean, obviously, you should go in. And you should make sure you're not spending money in places that you shouldn't be spending money on, you should do an audit of your spending and your finances and make sure those things, you know, are in line because most businesses, you know, their issue isn't that they're not making enough sales that they're spending too dang much money, like, frankly, most humans, right, they're spending more than they make. So that notwithstanding, the simplest way for companies to increase their margins, is to get more money out of the customers that are getting now that can mean increasing prices. I have yet it's scary to do. But we have yet to increase prices, you know, 10 15%, and see sales decreased 10 15%, there's always more price elasticity in your market, in your product than you think. And if you're saying there's no way I can do it, then that simply means you're not adding enough value. So figure out ways to add more value. So what could that look like that could look like introducing another level. So at digital marketer, for years, we had lab lab was one level, and it was a 38 US dollars a month, right, but run 40 USD a month last year, we increase the price to 50. Guess what saw no change in conversion. So no change in anything should have done that forever ago probably should have done it from the beginning. Right. So that was a simple way, then what we did is we added two additional levels, we had a level that was 95. And a level is 295. a month, again, USD. So now what did we do to get that extra money, we just had to figure out ways to add more value to the people already serving. And they elected, I'm happy to give you more because I want that more. So that was increasing margin, we have to spend any additional money to get those people we already had them. The price of acquisition had already been incurred. It was cost, we already had generally the team to do it. Coming up with additional pricing tiers is another way to increase your margin coming up with additional back end products and services partnering with others if you can't do it yourself to do that, but just sell more stuff. And I don't mean selling more stuff, because you just want more money selling more stuff, because they almost certainly have more challenges that need to be solved that you're not currently solving on guarantee your business is not serving every single challenge that your customers can ever have. There's more out there. Yeah. So do the work, figure out things that you can do. And they will pay for that, you know, it'll it'll show up. And that can increase margin that can increase frequency of purchase.
Ash Roy 17:23
Another good example was yesterday, I was talking to a client who was looking for a podcast editing service, and which is some one of the things that we offer as a business. And in addition to the editing, I offered to add on coaching as a package option. And that was a useful way to increase my margin. As long as it made sense to me in terms of my time, it was worth my additional time, I was able to significantly increase the value of the product I offered. So I think it all comes down to being able to look at other options as you said, packaging, and so on. And I really like your point, we as a society are a bit obsessed with leads, or at least as a marketing community, or business committee are obsessed with leads, I think, if you can look at ways to increase the frequency of purchase, as you said, through subscriptions, or increase your customer frequency of purchase, or increase the margins that really helps add to your profitability. A common friend James Schramko, talks a lot about this. He's very passionate about subscription models. And I think there is something to be said, for that. We've seen a lot of large corporates like Apple moving into the subscription model, with the Apple Music and so on great food for thought. If you're listening, definitely look at not just increasing leads, but also thinking of ways to increase the number of transactions you have with your customer each month or year or week. And how you can offer more value.
Ryan Deiss 18:51
Yeah, two things speed and automation. Okay, what nobody wants, when it comes to upsells or, you know, back in offers and things like that. Nobody wants to be sold something that's that one. Everybody hates bait and switch. Right. So the idea of you wanted your car to come with wheels, you know, the wheels are extra, right? It's just dishonest, right? So no bait and switch by hopefully that goes without saying. But also people will do they'll say, you know, can you just bought this car? Would you also like, you know, to do a vacation package like that has nothing to do with it be really clear on what is it that my audience wants? Why are they buying my thing? And so divorce your product or service from the thing that they ultimately want? They're buying your thing? Because it's going to take them where they want to go?
Ash Roy 19:40
Yes, the benefit doesn't give them yeah,
Ryan Deiss 19:42
they're buying because they want that end result. So get clear in your mind on what that end result is and then say, what are some other ways that I can get them to that end result faster, and with less work? That's what I mean by speed and automation faster and less and less with less work. So when you offer coaching, what you're basically saying is okay, you want to podcasts The reason you want a podcast is because you want some additional awareness. Right? Well, you know, there can be some things that are hard to do for your business you want to get get your brand out there, right? Maybe that certain result, a podcast is going to help. But with some additional coaching, I can help you get that result faster. Yes, let's work because I've been there. I've done that, right. So that's what you're offering coaching is a form of speed automation, it might just be charging for expedited shipping, right? Don't overthink this stuff, I'm going to charge more to get it to them faster. But if you can put it in those two categories speed and automation faster and with less work, then you're going to find that the you know the upsell ideas come to you. And you're going to find that you have people to increase those margins.
Ash Roy 20:38
And you know, a couple of tools thing that will be very useful if you listen to Episode 140 with Andre chaperon. He's a master of automation as far as content is concerned, which I think is also an important piece of being able to dig down deeper into your customers problems and the end result that they want to get to. And then in Episode 26, I think I spoke to Ryan Levesque, who's got the asked methodology nailed down quite well and really helps you to understand your customer through an incremental questioning process, a lot of which can be done via email or via quizzes on your website. Those are two useful episodes, I would recommend you check out. Okay, Ryan, you talk about the five aspects of the conversion funnel, and you use a fantastic dating analogy. And I would love for our audience to hear this because it's something that's so relatable, but so valuable and at the DMD you, you also touched on those 12 aspects of intimacy notes, which I thought was Desmond Morris, sorry, yes, there's been more than Morris's intimacy. I thought that was fantastic. So if you want to touch on that as well, please do because that really humanizes the concept so nicely.
Ryan Deiss 21:50
Yeah, I mean, so the idea that the five step conversion funnel is essentially lead magnet, right, which I think everybody knows that is offering something of value to generate a lead. Then you have a tripwire, which is a very low ticket offer designed to just get a micro commitment, right? It's not the big sale, then you have the core offer, the main thing you want to sell, then this profit maximizers that we were talking about the speed and automation profit maximizers to increase margin, increased frequency purchase, and then return path. Right. So how do you do follow ups to increase? Like I said, frequency of purchase and lead the customer conversion rate. So, those are kind of the five steps. And really, I've always looked at it Yeah, like, like a relationship is sales marketing. At the end of the day, it is a relationship, it may not be a romantic one. But the way that most people approach online marketing in particular, is they they're effectively proposing marriage on a first date people show up at the website, there's the offer, buyer don't write I mean, that's like walking, walking into a bar. And, you know, telling people Hey, nice to meet you. My name is Ryan, you know, my parents are in for the weekend. I'd love for you to meet him. You seem nice. They're really encouraging you to get married. And you're single. What do you say? Right? I mean, that's what that's what we're doing it we're wondering, like, why does this not work? Is this a bit creepy? It's super creepy. It's not only that any healthy human relationship works right? healthy. And that's what we do. And we try
Ash Roy 23:10
to sell right we go, Hey, nice to meet you
Ryan Deiss 23:12
want to buy my stuff? buy my stuff. You know, I mean, sometimes, like, I hate to go back to my place to get freaky, right. And this is how it works. Like, if you do this in real personal relationship, you're gonna get slapped, slapped, at least I hope you will. And yet, that's what we do. But because it's done online, and because it's, you know, it's sales and marketing. It's not a relationship. We think it's okay, but it's not because it's a relationship. So I've always approached this and say, if I'm meeting somebody for the first time, what I'm gonna do, what am I gonna do? I'm gonna go to him and say, you know, Hey, my name is Ryan, can I get you a drink? Right? We're gonna go first. Right? Can I buy you a drink? Can you know, do you got to do something to justify that person saying hi, and talking to you, right? You're going to give value in advance. That's what we're doing with lead magnets. Right? And we're going to try to get their number so that we have the ability to follow up, right? That's that first step, that lead magnet stage. Then if we get that wrong and saying great, I'm going to you know, can cool next week, you want to go with me? No, no, that's weird. Too much too soon, right? It might even be too soon to say, hey, let's go grab dinner sometime. Can I pick you up at your house? Right? I'm thinking, I'm not gonna tell you why I live. I don't know you. Right. So what do we say, hey, this has been fun. It's been really great talking to you. I'd love to meet you grab coffee at some point. Right. So this idea of a tripwire that's meeting up for coffee. It's the smallest tiniest little commitment. So this is a $7 purchase a loss leader which has been around in business for a long time. If somebody attends a webinar, right, and they're giving up some of their time. That's like a tripwire type offering that's that rise to the level this entry point offer of getting coffee. So we're looking for that offer is a little bit of money, or a little bit of time, because those are the two ways that people show commitment. They show commitment with their wallets and they show commitment with their calendar. That's the first The first date and once that happens once they that tripwire occurs, that's when the relationship changes. They're now a customer. Now it's appropriate to go for that core offer. Now it's appropriate to say, Hey, this is really fun. I really enjoyed grabbing coffee, would you want to go out and go grab dinner sometime? I'd love to pick you up, you know? Yeah, sure, that'd be nice. They know you're not a total frickin weirdo. Right? You at least haven't been twice in a row. It's a good start. And then hopefully dinner turns into more dates and more dates. Right now we're getting into the frequency type thing, recurring orders, right? This this type of stuff, the relationship begins to ascend with the profit maximizers so that we are the parents and meeting the friends, you know, maybe moving in together that type of thing. And then eventually you're down on one knee proposing marriage. Right? And that's, that's kind of what we're looking at. So I think if we can ask ourselves, when we're building our sales and marketing campaigns, would this be weird in the context of a romantic human relationship? And if the answer is yes, it'd be too much too soon. But guess what, it's creepy to do it in sales and marketing to. And that's probably why it isn't working. If you find as you architect, a sales funnel, or conversion funnel, if you're like, I'm not going to get time up to this point. In this point. They're getting stuck, it probably means you're asking too much at that stage. And you split it up, ask for a little bit less, nurture them through that relationship. Be a little bit patient. Don't be so dang creepy. But yeah, that's that's how we think about it.
Ash Roy 26:24
Another good way to think about it is to ask yourself, How do I facilitate a purchase for the customer, rather than trying to make a sale, there's a subtle but important difference because people don't like to be sold to the people do like to buy. So if we as business owners, think of ways to minimize the friction for the customer to choose to access our product, or service, and make it as comfortable for them as possible. That would be a great way to go about doing it. So when you go to the girl at the bar, and you ask her if she would like to buy a drink, you're offering her comfort and decency, you're giving her a little bit of space to either say yes or no. And I think that space allows her to feel comfortable. So it's not this claustrophobic, like, have a drink. Come home with me.
Ryan Deiss 27:18
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Here, you're taking take. And I think it also goes to the type of marketing that we do, right? If you're marketing to people, and you have no way of knowing if they actually want or need what it is that you're selling. That's like showing up at a party and just asking random women even if they have wedding rings on if you could buy him a dream. That's freaking weird, right? But if instead, if you show up at a place where you know, single people are, right, so how are you doing your targeting? If while you're if the type of thing you're asking, Hey, can I buy you a drink? Probably a good chance that somebody if she's already in a committed relationship? No thanks. Right, to where the lead magnet that you're offering, that initial thing is designed to get the people who are interested in what you're offering, they may not be interested in you, by the way, yes, it's very possible that somebody is in fact interested in being in a romantic, committed relationship, they're just not interested in being in a romantic committed relationship right with you. Right. So there's no way of knowing if somebody just because they're in the market interested in what you're selling, if they necessarily want to buy it from you. It may be they want to buy it from somebody else. But you at least want to make sure that they're at least open to the idea that they at least have the problem that your solution solves. And the way that we figure that out is by going first. The way that we figure that out is by offering little chunks of content that people can raise your hand say, Oh, I want that. I want that. And when you say if they want those things, and they're probably interested in what I have to offer, then it's okay to say, seems like you want this thing because you might have this problem. If that's the case. Here's the thing. I got four Do you want it? Now? They can still say No, that's okay. Don't follow them. That's pretty creepy. Again, they said no, no means now. But there's a good chance you can say yes.
Ash Roy 29:00
Yeah, so the analogy here is don't go offering drinks to people at an event where there are married couples, go to a singles bar, where you know, they have a problem. The problem in that case being they want to meet somebody and offer a drink to the right target audience, whether they want to have a drink that you offer them or not, is a different discussion altogether. So they may be your target market, but they may not be a good fit for you. However, go to the right target market. I think that's what you're saying. Yeah. At least give at least start there. You know, don't be a digital homewrecker. I love it. That's a sound bite right there. Don't be a digital homewrecker. Okay. That actually segues quite nicely into the next thing I want to talk about which is creating a good offer that your market wants to buy. So the goal of marketing is, as you say, not only to offer something your market really wants, but to articulate it in terms of the desired end result. And this talks to the importance of benefits. Results versus features. So how does a business owner go about getting crystal clear on formulating an offer that their audience really wants? I clearly one of the things is go and start talking to the right people, as you said, so go to the singles bar, if you want to meet somebody and offer them the right people that product. That's step one. But then the next step is what how to position the offer.
Ryan Deiss 30:25
So copywriting offer creation, articulating that really comes down to one having one skill set in particular, and that is being able to being able to speak to the before in the after. Okay, right. So, so the before is, where is your prop? Where's your prospect today? What is their before state, right? They need to be in a book in a less desirable before state, or they're going to have no desirable leading desire to lead that state. But most content person on planet Earth is not gonna buy anything from you. They're happy. They're good, right? Try selling a cheeseburger to somebody who just ate a cheeseburger. Right? They love cheeseburgers. You know, they do cuz they just ate it. But guess what? They're not in the less desirable before state. They're in the more desirable after state. And they're in the post data, I just ate a freaking cheeseburger. And I'm happy about it. That was delicious. Right? So we need to meet people who are in that before state now, finding them where they are, that's when we get into target targeting our markets and things like that. But really, before we get to that, we need to define what is the before state. And the simplest way I found to define the before state is to look at it in in four ways. First is have Okay, how, what do they have that they wish they didn't have? Or what Don't they have that they wish they did? Right? I mean, so that's its basis, that basic thing, right? So somebody who's sick, they have an illness, they have a virus, they wish they didn't write somebody who is thirsty. They wish they had water, but they don't. Right. So have is the most basic level, right? That is we're talking features and benefits here. The next level, kind of where we look at it is what's their emotional state. Okay, okay. So how do they feel? So have feels so asking him? What is their emotional state before? Are they frustrated? Are they angry? Are they depressed? Are they upset, being able to clearly articulate? What is their emotional state before? And then, you know, when we get to the after, what's the emotional state after? Okay, so right now we're looking at the board before so have feel now average day. Can you describe what a day in the life is like before you enter into their world? marketers have been hearing for years that we need to get better at telling stories. The question is, what kind of story do we tell? Tell a story about your customer? Right? So if I'm a lawncare, let's say I own a landscaping company, I want to sell lawn lawn care services. I'm not going to talk about you know what, what am I be is like, okay, so right now you have weeds and you wish you didn't have weeds, right? Right now you have, you know, a brown grass and you wish you had bright green grass, right? everybody's saying that right now you're you're tired. you're frustrated and annoyed. You have to wake up on, you know, Saturday mornings to mow the lawn when you'd rather sleep that Okay, that's getting somewhere. But now if I could tell the story about it, right, if I can say, you know what, it's like, you wake up Saturday morning, you didn't wake up, you wanted to wake up you you woke up cuz your alarm went off. Now why is your alarm going off on a Saturday day when you should get sleep in a day when you should be able to rest because you need to mow the lawn. And you know, if you don't get up and you don't get on it first thing in the morning, it's going to be scorching hot, you're going to lose your entire day, it's going to be awful. So there you are. You're mowing the lawn. You go into the garage, you're trying to get the damn thing started, but it won't start why want to start because there's no gas. You go to lift up the gas tank, it's empty tonight, you got to drive to the gas station, you're filling up the gas tank with oil that your car smells like gas or gasoline spilling all over the place. You go you gas the thing up. And here it is. It's 11 o'clock. And you're only just now getting into your Saturday is gone. Right? I feel like the pain already, man. Anybody who's ever mowed a lawn is going to have that experience. So now if I if I own a lawn care company, I'm not selling less weeds, and more green grass like everybody else. I'm selling you your Saturday back. Yeah, right. I'm selling you your Saturday. So we talk about an offer and articulating that offer. Right? This is where it's going to come from the next level. Have I mentioned that before? So have a feel. average day gets this narrative? Yep, the fourth is status. If you can change someone's status, if you can alter their status and their state in the world, then they're just gonna throw their money at you, I think was Napoleon Bonaparte said I've made the most wonderful discovery. Men will fight long, hard even die for a bit of colored ribbon. Right? That's all about status changing, right? This idea that you can change someone's status. We desperately want to be better versions of ourselves? Now you may say I was a landscaper, how can I change somebody's status? I'm going to speak to the fact that, hey, while your neighbor is, you know, mowing his grass, like he's a common surf, you know, who's having to toil the land, you're going to be the king of your castle.
Ash Roy 35:18
I remember setting this in the digital marketer course. And I have a question actually about that. Yeah. Is it that we are so obsessed with status? Is it because of the picking oddest thing that, you know, we want to be one up on our other people in society? Is that what it is?
Ryan Deiss 35:33
Well, I think I think this gets, you know, it gets pretty deep into the human condition. But I think, I think in general, human beings just want to matter. You know, we want to matter, I do think we have a lot of misplaced identity, especially in Western cultures. But But yeah, I mean, we do want to matter, we want to believe that we're important, you know, I think we we realize at some point in our life, that we're probably going to die. Right? And and we get a little bit annoyed by that. So we want to, you know, we want to know that while we're here that we matter. And we'd like to have some aspect of this live on, I think that's where status comes from. And yeah, it does get into, you know, I'm sure you get it, if you talk to a psychologist, you get one answer. If you talk to a behavioral, an evolutionary biologist would probably explain it by saying, Well, this was had to do with procreation. And if you look at the animal kingdom, right, it's the the alpha, that doesn't just get, you know, the best alpha gets all the alpha male gets all the women, right, and gets to basically impregnate all of them, no matter what field of study that you look at. Yeah, they're all going to come to the same conclusion. And that's that status matters. Status matters to survival. And so I think it's bred into us whether whether you believe that it's, you know, evolutionary biology kind of thing, whether you just believe that, hey, we're kind of messed up. That is the reality, we all crave status. And that's why have the four status is the most powerful, right? That is the most powerful. Second is can you tell somebody a story about themselves. That's why average day matters a lot. 30 speaking with emotion, so being able to write copy into and to project offers in such a way that, that they speak emotionally, and then and then the third is half, right? Right now you don't have this afterwards, you're gonna have it in that great, you know, right now, you're eating cereal every single morning, and you're eating with a fork. And that's frustrating because the milk seeping through, and it's not really working. When you have this spoon, though, you're gonna eat cereal like a champ, right? That's how it's good, it needs to be there. But if we can contrast now, so you should document this and you really should, you should grid it out, make a four by two grid. Yeah. And on the left hand side, put, you know, have feel average day status, and the before state, then on the right hand side, but have feel average day status, the after state. And then ask yourself, can my product can my service transport people from this less desirable before state that I've just documented over here to this more desirable after state that I've documented over here? And if the answer is yes, then you have a reason to exist, you need to market like heck, because you make a difference in the world. Now what we want to do in terms of articulating that offer is simply want to speak to that. And usually it goes kind of something like this. Hey, do you hate it when insert after? Well, at Acme Incorporated, we did too. And that's why we created the super widget 5000. When you have the super widget 5000. Insert before you'll know how to insert after. So it's basically saying, Don't you hate it when this happens? Ie before. When you have insert product service, you will have this after. And just learning to speak to that. Stop talking about your products, I'm talking about your service, speak to the shift that your product or service can deliver from the less desirable before to the more desirable after. If you can do that and people start paying attention to your offer will convert. They won't even know what it does half the time.
Ash Roy 38:51
This actually talks to something that I learned from john Mora who has spoken in Episode Three. And he talks a lot about understanding your audience and developing empathy. And this is a great way to develop empathy to look at this model. So if you're listening, I would recommend highly that you take Ryan's advice. And assuming that you're not driving, you map this out on a piece of paper and think about what your target audience has fields, what the area looks like, and their status before they consume your product. And then those same things after they consume a product. Another good tool is to use an empathy map, which Brian Clark talked about an episode 116 and then I actually explained that quite comprehensively in Episode 117. So empathy mapping is also another good way to really understand what your target audiences thinking feeling saying and doing, and then how they do those things with your product. Now, I want to respect your time and I know that you've got to head off soon. So I normally have a quite a detailed action section but I am going to just touch on a few key action points and then you can ask add anything else you think we're good? We're good. Let's do it. Okay, cool. All right, we started off talking about the importance of having a mission. If you have a business, and particularly if you have employees, I recommend you have some kind of a tangible mission that you can rally around and your team can rally around, which is time bound, and which is measurable. If you can't measure it, you can't improve it. Now, you may not succeed at the mission. But the important thing here is not about succeeding or not succeeding, it's about learning from it, even if you do succeed, and documenting those learnings that you had along the way. The next thing we talked about was conversion funnels. And the formula which was leads times customers times margin times frequency of purchase, which equals to your growth potential. Now, a lot of us as business owners are obsessed with leads. The key here is to understand that if you can improve the frequency with which your existing customers buy from you, or if you can improve your margins by offering extra value, or even by testing, increasing your prices, you might actually find that your price is less elastic than you initially thought. In other words, you can increase the price without necessarily losing a whole ton of customers. If you increase your price by 15%, and you don't lose 15% of your customers, you're heading in the right direction. So there's always a good opportunity to do a bit of testing around that. I think the key takeaway there is don't get obsessed with leads look at other factors as well. Then we talked about the conversion funnel in terms of the dating analogy. And the big takeaway there for me was, don't go and ask somebody to marry you at the first interaction you have with them. It's about creating a process that is comfortable for your audience, as just as you would be decent and incremental in your approach to meeting a girl or guy at a bar. And you wouldn't go and ask them to marry you, when you first meet them, you offer them a drink first, and you give them a bit of space to interact and to be volitional in the transaction for them to choose to be part of that journey. So you're kind of facilitating the buyer journey, rather than trying to make a sale. And just by changing that mental paradigm from saying, I'm trying to make a sale, to saying I'm trying to facilitate a purchase might be a useful way to help you be less aggressive as a salesperson, but yet more understanding and empathetic to your audience. Then we talked about offers. And we talked about why it's important to create an offer that solves a problem. And that doesn't just talk about features, but meeting your customer where they are. I remember talking to Joe pulizzi, in Episode 75. And I really liked what he said there. He said, it's about meeting your customer where they are on their journey. And the way you express that to me, Ryan was you said, think about your before and after state of your audience. So what do they have? What do they feel? What's the average day look like? And what's the status before they consume your product? And what's that going to be after they consume your product? And then you articulate your offer in that context? So rather than saying, Hey, would you like Les Brown grass on your lawn? You're saying, Would you like your Saturday back so that we take care of your lawn mowing services, you can have a nice looking lawn, and you can look good in society without having to lose your Saturdays, which you can then use doing something else. So here you're selling them this Saturday back, that's the benefit the result? Rather than saying, Would you like a green alone, which doesn't really translate into value as much for them where they are on their journey? That was the essence of the key points we've touched on? Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Ryan Deiss 43:47
Yeah, I mean, so one of the one of the things we talked about, obviously, that before and after grid, if you will take the time to do it. That is that's the first step before we ever write copy thinking in terms of speed and automation, I would add, I would absolutely add add that as well. So what's the speed automation upsell where you can that you can offer that doesn't offer a different after state, but it gets into that after faster and with less work.
Ash Roy 44:11
And so this is where short cuts and cheat sheets are really useful. And they can be really good quality lead magnets that you're talking about. Yeah,
Ryan Deiss 44:18
yeah, I mean, so before, really the before and after can be done I'm sorry, the speed and the idea speed automation can be used on the front to acquire leads, and then on the back once somebody is already bought, right, so anytime you offer some type of a shortcut, people are going to get excited about that. Because we if we if there's something we want, and we're clear that we want it, we want it now. Right? Yeah, that's you said before you know people don't people don't like to be sold but they want to buy. Yes, that's that's us, right human beings. We want everything on our terms we walk into into a retail shop and somebody says, hey can help you with anything. We're like no just looking. But 30 seconds later, we can decide that we need help. Now we're angry that that person isn't right here, we just said the way, right? That is the human experience. We're highly irrational and incredibly selfish. If you can identify that this is what someone wants and get them to identify that they want that the easiest thing in the world to sell them is some speed automation version of it. So that's the only thing I would add to your list.
Ash Roy 45:17
Fantastic tip. That is really, really good. I got to remember that. Okay, what books do you recommend Ryan? And which ones have had the biggest impact on you?
Ryan Deiss 45:28
Yeah, so I'll just say I love books, books. To me, a lot of people ask him Who am I mentors and, you know, rattle off names, and like, how do you know that person or that thought that person was dead? It's because books have been, you know, my my biggest mentor. So I'll give you three biggies that I have that I recommend everybody read. But there is a comprehensive list, if you will, Google top 100 or 101 books, every marketer should read digital marketer, we recently did a blog post a digital marketer, because I got so many times, you know, what books do you recommend? Like, it's hard to narrow down. So here's 100 of them. So there is that blog post, it's out there, maybe you can link to in the show notes or something. But I will tell you three of them that I go back to time and time and time again. The first is called ready fire aim by Michael Masterson to pen name for Mark Ford. But ready fire aim is just wanted, and it kind of tracks if you're an entrepreneur, and you want a book that's going to be valuable to you throughout all the different stages of your entrepreneurial journey. It's such a good book, I go back to it again and again and again, to say, Okay, I'm at this stage, what are the challenges that I that I'm dealing with? What do I really need to focus on? and What don't I need to focus on? So ready fire aim is one, the goal by Eliyahu goldratt. This is actually a book about manufacturing efficiency. It's a book about Theory of Constraints. It's
Ash Roy 46:46
saying I know this book called The Theory of Constraints, but I haven't heard about the goal.
Ryan Deiss 46:51
So the goal, I don't know if it came before or after the goal kind of introduced Theory of Constraints to the world. It's written in a narrative format. You know, it's a long book, but it's, you know, it's a good read. I really like the audio book, by the way. But the idea of the goal is, is really just looking at a system looking at a process and saying, Where are the bottlenecks? Where are things getting stuck, because I believe that as a marketer, your primary job is to look at the entire customer journey, and ask yourself, where are they getting stuck? That's a bottleneck. And then to realize that as soon as you fix that, as soon as you get the flow, the customer throughput figured out, as soon as you solve for that one thing, guess what a bottleneck is going to be created somewhere else, and you fix that wanting to move somewhere else. So that the life of the marketer is simply if we're going to look at the customer journey, it's just an assembly line, right? We've got less than, you know, people in less desirable before states, they're going to go through our customer factory, we're going to spit them out the other end, you know, happier, better human being as a result of going through doing business with us going through our customer factory, right? your entire life is optimizing each stage in that. So the better you can get at identifying these in the stages in our, you know, in our assembly line in our in our factory, and then getting clear on Okay, this is where bottlenecks are happening. This is really getting stuck, clean up, you're never done. You're always making the whole system more functional. But that book is really what taught that lesson to me. So I recommend that marketers read it even though it's not a marketing book. And then finally, the Wizard of ads. The Wizard ads. Okay. Yes, word of ads is a great book. It was written in the 90s. And I believe maybe early 2000s. But I believe it is more relevant today in terms of how do we market it Adelaide has a lot of radio analogies, but I believe that, that radio advertising, more closely mirrors digital advertising today than any other medium in the past has everything. You would consume radio ads, it's short spots, you're hearing it while you're distracted driving, looking at other things. That's the social experience experience, right? People scanning through Facebook, just like they're zooming down the road, something catches their eye and radio, you want to catch their ear. And Roy Williams, who's the author of the book, who is one of my mentors, not just mentorship through books, but but a friend and a mentor. He's a brilliant thinker when it when it comes to marketing. And so ready, fire aim, the goal and the Wizard of ads. I think if you read those three books, you're gonna be smarter than the vast majority of marketers out there. Then he was, you know, start tackling the other 100 plus books that we have on that blog.
Ash Roy 49:16
Okay, well, that's great tips. Thank you. Now I'm we're gonna post as you said, all those links in the show notes of this episode, which is going to be published at productive insights, comm forward slash 170. And, most importantly, how do our listeners find out more about you, Ryan? And is there anything else you'd like to add?
Ryan Deiss 49:36
Sure, I mean, I just say Digital Marketer comm is our site hopefully you stumble across that when you're going to look at that blog I showed you before but you know, if you if you love podcasts, check out the digital marketer podcast, check out our perpetual traffic podcast. So we've got some good marketing stuff to listen to to supplement the productive insights podcast as well.
Ash Roy 49:55
Okay, cool. Awesome. Yes, I will definitely link to those and I highly recommend. Listen Think digital marketing content, it's great. I've also done about six or seven of their courses. I got 98% of the copywriting, which I really enjoyed. Thank you. So I highly recommend you guys go and check out a lot of the courses because they are really good value. There's a lot of information in them. They're not easy to get through, but you really do get a good education, so I highly recommend it. Alright, well Ryan, thank you so much for being on the show. It was great to have you and hopefully I'll have you back again soon.
Ryan Deiss 50:27
It was wonderful to be here. Thank you so much for having me.