We’ve all been taught to go to school, go to college, get a good job, save money, and then retire and live on what you’ve managed to save. That doesn’t sound very promising, doesn’t it? Even worse is starting a business out of college or while having a 9 to 5 job, and finding yourself working 60-80 hours per week! Matt Wolfe and Joe Fier got out of that cycle nearly ten years ago. They are the founders of Evergreen Profits, a company that specializes in content marketing strategies for established businesses. In this episode, they share some content marketing hacks and the secrets to creating evergreen profits because, after all, your business should provide you with income streams, not a job.
Some topics that were discussed include:
To learn more about Matt Wolfe & Joe Fier and some content marketing hacks, visit https://evergreenprofits.com/.
Matt Wolfe is a father, a husband, and an online entrepreneur. He loves building online businesses, blogging, and, most importantly, he loves helping people build successful businesses and blogs. He loves these things so much that he created a business around teaching people how to blog, he created a podcast that helps guide people down the right paths in business, and he has created several blogs that share his entrepreneurial journey.
Joe Fier advises businesses on marketing strategy and sales conversion to increase revenues and create long-term selling assets. He has run a marketing and tech consulting company and full-scale content marketing agency. Joe is also a huge coffee lover and is so addicted to his daily “Cup o’ Joe” (no pun intended) that he once traveled with his espresso machine on a road trip to Chicago and back!
Matt and Joe are the founders of Evergreenprofits.com.
I've got a couple of buddies of mine on the show and these are two of the brightest marketers out there. They're here in San Diego and we share a lot of commonalities between each other.
I'd like to introduce you to Matt Wolfe and Joe Fier from Evergreen Profits. I will encourage you to subscribe to the show if you like this, if you're not already a subscriber and let me know what you think.
At any time you want to reach me, you can send an email to AskBrad@BaconWrappedBusiness.com. That being said, let's get to it.
Our guests, I do not have an official bio, but I will tell you what I know about them. Matt and Joe are here in San Diego and they are brilliant strategists when it comes to marketing, especially digital marketing online, offer creation, traffic conversion, you name it.
They're a jack-of-all-trades, much like myself and they know a lot about a lot. That's one of the reasons I wanted to have them on my show, especially I was on their show and we hit it off and shared a lot of cool stuff that's working.
They are famous for some of their astounding and ninja tactics that work to help you grow your business in a multitude of ways and they’re like me, always searching out new cool ideas and sharing it with their fans on their podcast as well, which is The Hustle and Flowchart.
Welcome to the show. You are just a few miles away, but we're thinking about doing this in person and we should do some shows. I think the three of us could have our own show and do some guests three-way action. That would be entertaining.
That's always our conversations. I was like, “Why don't we just record everything Gary Vee style?”
The hard part about interviewing you is what exactly should we talk about because there are many directions we can go.
A couple of the directions I want to set up for my audience and for you is number one, you've revamped your entire business model and we'll talk about the two-pronged barbell approach to the business model as well as some of the stuff that's working now.
You've got a lot of fun ninja tactics and you guys have done some from closing consulting clients with Facebook messaging and doing some cool unique SEO strategies.
I think I first started paying attention to you guys when you talked about content marketing and ways to do that it doesn't drive you crazy because content marketing is one of those things.
It's super important, but it such a mountain to climb when you're like, “What do I do now?” That's the direction that I want to go and that being said, especially for my audience, we may not get to any of those places.
Give me a background about how you got started in the business, how you met and bring us up to a speed of where we're at right now because you guys didn't start doing this months ago.
No, we've been doing online marketing since about 2007. It's been about eleven years that we've been doing this. In 2007, we started by blogging.
We had a blog called How I Will Be Rich, very similar to Ramit Sethi’s blog, I Will Teach You To Be Rich, but it was all about personal finance and very similar niche to what Ramit teaches. It’s all about how to build your wealth and investments.
I was a Finance major in college at the time. I was studying a lot of personal finance, reading balance sheets and income statements and stuff like that, so we talked about that on the blog.
We started making little trickles of money from AdSense and selling links and advertising on the site and went, “Let's do this in a different niche.”
We built another blog about health and fitness called Be Healthy and Relax, which is still alive to this day and still generates revenue for us. That one we built in probably 2008, a year after we started the other one. We started making money with that one.
At that point, I think Joe and I split pass for awhile. The blogs were still running, but I went and decided I'm going to teach this. I love this blogging.
I'm making good money, but I feel like I can make even more money if I teach how I'm doing this. I went and created a course called The WordPress Classroom and taught how to set up your WordPress blog, how to drive traffic, how to put content on there, what plugins to put on it and all that stuff.
I ran that for a couple of years. I had a partner named Bradley Will come in and say, “I love what you're doing. I've got a product in a similar niche. Maybe we should merge.” We merged my product with his product called Free Blog Factory at the time and created LearnToBlog.com.
We had learned to blog ramp that up and eventually I sold that to Brad. He bought me out of that company.
It was around that time that Joe and I reconnected and said, “Let's start teaching the stuff that we've done over the last few years.” While I was off doing that, Joe was off doing his things.
Our podcast name describes exactly like how our personalities are. I was always more of the hustler. I work with a lot of clients, had a whole animation video agency where we help people create VSLs, video sales letters, promo videos for a lot of startup companies in Silicon Valley and around the world.
The city of Istanbul hired me for something at one time. I'm like, “That's weird.” I did a lot of that through outsourcing. I never animated anything, but I always had a good time talking with people like you, Brad.
Closing deals, getting creative with stuff and created, that's seven years. That's what I did until we reemerged again for the fifteenth time it feels like. Our careers went like this.
You guys are like an on and off again light switch relationship.
We reconvened maybe two years ago and started up an agency because I like getting in the weeds. I like doing the technical, building the sites and doing the SEO traffic. That's my wheelhouse. I love that stuff.
Joe was a sales guy. He liked to go out and get clients. We said, “Let's start an agency. I'll go out and get sales. Matt, you go make the thing for people.”
Joe was going to go out and sell it. I was going to go out and build it. We did that for a few years.
We got sick of dealing with clients in that capacity. We got sick of the, “The website looks great, but can you move the image three pixels up? That logo is not big enough.” We got sick of it.
What we got sick of was that stupid clients not following through because we started to learn, “We've got to cherry-pick these clients who we're working with,” but the bigger thing was we capped out on our earning potential.
We do good work and we've had equity deals, but a lot of these were a newer agency so we had to prove ourselves. We're getting paid a lot on the retainer every month, but we were like, “We're making them great results and we hit a ceiling.”
That was a big mindset shift for us. We had a few clients that were paying us somewhere around $5,000 a month on retainer to just build for them and consistently create content for them.
We realized we can do a lot to make their business grow and no matter what, we're always going to be stuck at this $5,000 retainer. What we decided to do instead was, “Let's do the exact same stuff we're doing for these clients, but let's do it and promote affiliate products instead.”
We went and started building out websites, content blogs and things like that to do the exact same thing we were doing as an agency but instead of helping the agency make money, we were promoting affiliate products. That made the income skyrocket.
As soon as we saw the affiliate income coming in from the same stuff we were doing, we went and fired all of our clients and said, “We're done doing agency work.” Everybody goes away.
It was a good day.
I have a consulting company and I have clients and I have client partners. I've never wanted to build a big agency for a lot of those same reasons.
The interesting thing about agency work, especially just consulting for fees, is if the client doesn't do what you tell them to do. You can do some stuff for them but a lot of times they need to provide something as well.
If they don't do what you tell them to do, they don't make money. They're paying you a fee and you look an expense to them and they blame you.
Sometimes they take the blame, but they quit and they lose a client. You lose a client and an income source because they didn't do what they were supposed to do.
If they do what you're supposed to do, they make a lot of money and your percentage of that goes way down because if you are charging $5,000 a month, if you do something that makes them $50,000 a month, you made 10%. If that made them $100,000 you made 5%.
The affiliate world that we work in, most affiliates payout between on the low end 30%, on the high end 75%, but the average is probably around 40% or 50%. We can help some of these affiliates skyrocket their traffic, make a lot of money and take a 50% cut for ourselves.
That’s how we looked at this. Percentage of that business or those sales, that's bigger bank for our buck. We're on bosses at the end of the day. We're working with people, affiliate partners that we know and trust typically. That's who we work.
I love how on some of the affiliate products that you have done, you've said, “Your site looks good. Your webinars and everything else, we think we can sell it better.”
You create your own landing page and this is not for anybody's following affiliate marketing, this is not total rocket science, but the way you guys have done it as high quality is we're going to presale of this our own way the way that we would do it if we owned it.
You’re still going to get the sales, but we get to now test a lot more things without having to be in your backend messing with your website.
Doing customer service or dealing with refunds, chargebacks and all that.
You still get refunds on affiliate products, but we don't have to go back and forth with the customer that's in somebody else's plate. That was a big mindset shift for us. There's also that element of it's easy to fire a client.
If an affiliate product is not working out for us or the product creator isn't treating us right or paying us fast enough, we're going to move on to something else. We don’t have to talk to them, we just stopped doing it. There was that element.
What we also decided to do around the same time we switched into the affiliate was we created a print newsletter called the EGP letter, the Evergreen Profits letter.
That was a monthly newsletter. It was $99 a month and we essentially just taught the various tactics that we were using to build up these affiliate sites and to do the stuff we did in our agency every month.
We ran that newsletter for about thirteen months and then we decided, “We're going to turn off this income stream.”
We grew that to where we had about 300 subscribers and we decided one day, “We don't want to sell this information. We don't want to be marketers that are selling marketing information to people, to marketers.”
We didn't want to be in that world anymore. We said, “Let's turn off this newsletter and let's completely teach this for free.”
We'll probably get a bigger bank for our buck. We'll get more traffic to our website and we'll get more people who will respect our philosophies and tactics because we're casting a bigger net of who gets to see this. We turned that off and replaced it with consulting.
That teed me up for a great question, what is that consulting?
Before that, I want to talk about that whole bloodbath thing. You alluded to that and I think on our podcast we were talking about it. Tim Ferris had this article on his blog.
He said, “If you're a product owner selling a product within $20 to $100, you're in the bloodbath zone.” That's where the majority of people are trying to compete on price.
For any product, usually the bottom of the barrel of customers, not saying all of them but a lot of them, you're going to get a lot of refunds, chargebacks, excuses and customer service. It's super high maintenance and higher ad costs.
You can't profit as easily. We're all in the game of profiting easier at least and scaling. We deliberately decided, “Let's get out of the middle zone and we'll play on the far edges.”
Let's go free, which is a tough place to be in but if you're backed by affiliate revenue, we looked at 80% of our business was the income coming from affiliate revenue, not our EGP letter, not all these other products that we were selling.
We're good at selling affiliate stuff so we're like, “That's writing on the wall, the 80/20 rule. Let's focus on the affiliate stuff.”
That's free, but then the far end is very ultra expensive or at least higher-priced, starting usually around $4,000, $5,000 for high-end art, high touch consulting.
Be it road mapping sessions together virtually maybe in person, events that we're holding in San Diego and beyond. That's what we're all doing on that higher-end spectrum.
You mentioned that this barbell, we don't operate anywhere in the middle. We don't have any products that are $1 to even $500 or $1,000. The cheapest product to sell now is at a minimum of $2,000.
We put out a ton for free or you can pay us for that extra hand-holding. We don't operate anywhere in the middle anymore.
Those who know me, that's exactly how I've been operating and my podcast is my method for putting out the content, whether it's my own or whether it's sharing, stuff that you guys are sharing. People ask me all the time, “Where can I buy your course?” I was like, “I don't have a course.”Let's be honest. We're all in the game of profit. Click To Tweet
I do not want to just create a course. I do not want to support a $100, $200 course, but I work with clients at a very high level, very deeply ingrained in their business, whether I'm consulting them, purchasing them or partnering with them or something like that.
That's the exact same area that I like to work in as well. I think when you made that shift, there was probably a good degree of relief off your shoulders because it is different when you have to produce content that you know people have paid for.
At any moment if you slip up on your content, they're going to cancel on you because that happened to me. I've got several things that I paid for monthly.
I got one newsletter from somebody else and I was like, “It's not as good as last month.” I started to rethink like, “Maybe I could use that $97 a month. Maybe I'll cancel it.”
I know that mindset of a customer and I'm not a pain in the ass customer, but I was immediately thrown into that scenario. I think that's probably taken a lot of stress off your back.
I will qualify it with saying that a subscription newsletter that you physically mail to somebody’s house has some of the best retention rates we've ever seen. I don't want to deter people if they love to create content. That I think is a brilliant business model.
We looked at the 80/20 of things and most of our money came from affiliate stuff or selling high ticket consulting type stuff. That was an extra thing in the mix that probably took up 70% plus of our time but generated less than 20% of our revenue.
It's the opposite of the 80/20 rule. You're doing the 80 that produces the 20 and it's like, “What am I doing here?” Speaking of that, I think I heard about this strategy from Dan Kennedy originally.
This was one of the best ways to market, especially if you're doing any direct mail or physical newsletter. He says, “Find your customers and you can rent lists, mailing lists, etc.”
This is expensive, but if you know who it is and he says, “Start sending them your big newsletter and it's not a sales letter. It is quite literally a newsletter. Start sending it to them and do it two or three times. Put a price on there up top, this $97 a month newsletter,” or whatever it is.
They just started getting it. If it's your target market, they're going to be confused but they're going to be interested.
He goes, “After maybe two or three issues, you could send them, ‘These were free. If you'd like to continue your subscription, call here or you put a phone number on there.’”
A lot of times people will call and go, “What is this? I didn't order it.” It's like, “Did you like it? Do you want it?” I thought that was brilliant. Granted, that takes some capital.
The very first issue we did something, not on probably the scale that Dan Kennedy does, but we literally sent our newsletter to people that we saw as large influencers in our niche.
We’re hoping that some of them would go and be like, “I got this thing in the mail from Matt and Joe. This thing is phenomenal,” and post on Instagram or something and we did.
We got a few people to go and do that. A few influencers in the internet marketing niche went and post about the newsletter and talked about how cool it was.
That's great, especially you sending it out to the influencers and blow them away with that stuff. Doing those things and go the extra mile to make a lot. It's highly leveraged activities.
Speaking of that, we've known enough about your boring story. Let's get into some of the bacon bits, the sizzling hot business ideas in it.
You talked a little bit about being everywhere. You've got a whole model for omnipresent. You're all over the place.
I want to talk first about that strategy. Tell me how it works, how you employed it and what's involved with it because it's a powerful strategy.
We stole this concept totally from Scott Oldford.
That's why I use the word omnipresent because he talks a lot.
He said something, I don't know which podcast it was. It may even be, I think he was on your podcast, but he mentioned to somebody at some point that he considers his business like herpes. Once you get it, you never get rid of it.
Once you've seen him, he's everywhere. That’s been our philosophy. If you check out our blog at Evergreen Profits and you view one piece of content, you can't get rid of us from that point on.
The magic of retargeting.
Magic of retargeting. We're going to hit you with Google display network ads. We're going to hit you with YouTube retargeting ads, Facebook retargeting ads.
We're going to try and get you on our list so we can email you. We're trying to get you on our chatbot through Facebook so we can send you Facebook Messenger messages. Pretty much once you lead on our site, you're now on our retarget list to see us everywhere.
What's your strategy on the YouTube retargeting?
The YouTube retargeting we're doing with some of our affiliate sites right now. We don't have one set up right now for Evergreen Profits but if you were to go to our ThriveCart sales page, you all of a sudden start seeing it.
If you are reading this, GetThriveCart.com is one of their affiliate pages where they describe the benefits of ThriveCart.
You can not only see the way that Matt and Joe are doing some of their affiliate marketing, which is a great way to learn, but you can also learn about ThriveCart reserve card.
Now that you've been to GetThriveCart, you're going to see a YouTube video where we're giving you a walkthrough of the various templates and themes that are available on ThriveCart.
You're going to start seeing one of two ads from us on Facebook. We have an ad that goes to you if you've landed on the page and browsed away and we have a different ad that goes to you if you've made it to the checkout cart.
The checkout is where it gets funky. This was a harebrained idea we just wanted to test, but this is where ManyChat and chatbots. It was all the rage at T&C.
We were like, “How do we use this creatively? Why don't we use it like retargeting ads so we know they landed on the money page or checkout page?”
Let's drop a Facebook retargeting pixel and follow them with an ad on Facebook that says, “Do you have any questions? We saw you're about to pull the trigger on this. Click this button and start a message with us.”
They took the ad on Facebook. The little messenger pops up and they started a discussion with our support lady who helps us close sales of ThriveCart.
We pay her 10% so she's doing our support, but at the same time cutting her a little check on each commission she closes.
You're going to get retargeted on YouTube. You're going to see those two Facebook ads, depending on how far you got into the ThriveCart funnel. You’re going to see Google display network ads.
You’ll be visiting random blogs and websites here and all of a sudden start seeing banners for ThriveCart. We do a very similar process with our own blog. If you view our own content, the only part we haven't rolled in yet is YouTube ads with that.
With our own Evergreen Profits blog, if you do land there, you are going to see Google display network ads and various Facebook ads from us. Every new podcast release, you're going to get a retarget about, “This new episode just went live, check it out.”
You're going to start seeing us everywhere by visiting one of our two sites and it's not that expensive too because you're only targeting the people that hit your site.
We're not going after a mass scale of a million people at a time. At any given time, there are 20 or 30,000 people in that target audience and that's it.
The other thing is it doesn't take a lot of techs to set up either or maintenance.
You’ll need to know the basic and you can hire people to do this. You need to know the basics of Google display, YouTube, Facebook, email once they're on there. Chatbots are something I've been having a lot of fun with.
You can get so now with ManyChat. It's free or it's $10 a month. Every person should be using that.
I noticed that some of the things that I started off with ManyChat and did a $10 a month subscription for it because I wanted the ability to trigger it with a comment, that's now free.
Go in there and then go to the growth tools because I was using this. I think I can maybe cancel some of my premium connections there. I don't need it because I don't need the Jason version. I don't need this.
When people start messaging us, one of the first things we ask is, “Can we get your email address so if we can’t get back to you quick enough, we'll make sure to email you?” Now, we just added you to our ManyChat list as well.
I did that when ManyChat sent out the email saying Zapier is set up. I went in there and noticed it and I set that exact same thing up automatically.
The strategy used for one of my clients was, “I've got this cool thing. Would you like it?” They comment on the Facebook ad and it triggers the ManyChat and says, “You said you wanted that.”
Anybody who knows about ManyChat and the way it works and chatbots, you have to get there to respond to something you don't want to give them a link because that subscribes them to your chatbot. It's like, “I'll send it to you. What's your email?”
Now I've got him on both and I love that. It was quite game-changing. Not only that, you guys may have realized this, not only the ability to pull them in, if they take an action, if they buy the product, if they go and opt in to something.
I've got them, now I want to segment them out of my ManyChat general broadcast list. I know we're getting down into the weeds on some of the technical stuff.
For people who haven't done chatbots and ManyChat, you can contact Joe and Matt or contact me and we'll probably charge you a lot of money that we have worked for you.
If you want to start, get ManyChat, the free version. Dick around in the growth tools area because just looking at those growth tools, you're like, “I could do so much.”
Another thing, we kick off with a ThriveCart for instance. We put exit intent chatbot messages. When people are trying to leave, there goes a ManyChat popup. There's a live chat window on the bottom right. You can't get rid of us.
It was funny, we were talking to somebody who helps manage our ads and she went and looked on her site. She's like, “You're getting me everywhere now.” When you land on one of the sites, literally a little old chatbot pops up, which our support lady manages.
When you try to leave, it's like, “Don't leave. Did you have questions about ThriveCart before you bought?” A little ManyChat popup pops up. Once you leave, now you see the YouTube videos, the Google display, Facebook. We're just everywhere now.
That's been the method and some of the biggest feedback we've gotten from people is, “You guys are everywhere now.”
It gives that perception of, “We've built this massive brand and everybody knows about us. It looks like we're spending $1 million on advertising per month to anybody who lands on our site,” but that's not reality.
That was one of the things that you mentioned, Scott Oldford. That's one of his whole things is you don't necessarily need to get your message out to every single person, to as many people as possible but go after the most targeted people but be like herpes.
It's all about effective messaging.
I think what we should do is give them the PDF, it's a roadmap thing. It shows a high level of what we're talking about and how we’re herpes of the internet.
We've also made a series of videos about how we set up ManyChat. It's a course that we used to sell, but we stopped selling info products. We do have a mini video course. It's a two-hour course all about ManyChat.
Another thing we like to do on our blog is we've been trying to make unique opt ins for pretty much every piece of content now. Depending on what content you land on, you might see a different opt in. We've just skyrocketed our opt in rates from our blog by doing that.
Those content upgrades are a lot of people call them. What’s your secret on creating, because that can be like, “I’ve got to create a new piece of content for everything?” What are some of your hacks for doing those?
There are a couple of things that we do for podcast episodes. Simply giving away the transcripts is an easy one. A lot of people surprisingly opt in for the transcripts of podcasts.
I started doing that early on and I stopped because I didn't get as many people opting in as I thought. Every time I did one it was like $60. Not to sound too cheap, but I was like, “It's not working and I don't know if people are reading through them,” but I stopped it.Being visible in all social media platforms gives the perception that you’ve built a massive brand. Click To Tweet
This is what I found. I found that the more technical discussions tend to get a much better opt in rate than the ones where we're talking more like mindset type stuff.
A lot of our podcasts are about walking people through a process, so we get a guest on and we say, “What step by step process can you walk our audience through?” Those processes get opted in for well with the transcripts.
When we are having a general conversation and there's a lot of philosophy and mindset type stuff, we don't tend to get a lot of opt ins on that.
I think the type of content makes a difference as well. The other thing that we do that seems to work well is we use a tool called Designrr by Paul Clifford, which you're familiar with.
I don't use it, but do you like it?
We do. You plug in a URL to a blog post and it will spit out a PDF version of that blog post. It's nice, clean looking.
A lot of times if we've got nothing better, we'll say download it. This is the wording we use, “Download a printable PDF version.” For some reason, people like to print out the blog posts and read them away from a computer as well, so adding in the terminology downloadable PDF seems to work the best.
Let me share one that I've done on this side and with Facebook Messenger bots and ads. I've shared this with you guys before but I'll share it with the audience. I did a content-rich Facebook ad, not only a video, but a thousand-word article and a very semi-technical too, on Facebook ad.
The thing is a Facebook ad or a Facebook post is a very inconvenient way to consume something and especially if you like it, Facebook gives you the ability to save it, but it's inconvenient.
What I've done is I've taken a very technical blog post as an ad and then I said, “I know this is long. If you'd like a printable PDF of this, leave a comment below and let me know and I'll send it to you.”
They leave a comment and the chatbot fires up. You don't have to use a chatbot, you can send them to a page that is an opt in page to download what they read.
A lot of people think that you have to get their email before you give them the bribe, but if you give it to them in a more convenient form that they want like that, it works on the ads too.
I got 400 comments with a very little ad spend, which is almost 400 opt ins as well. It’s realizing that you don't have to create something new if you put it in a different modality.
We've got so many different opt ins and we're experimenting with what works. Our actual best converting one right now is a digital download of ours.
We've got this book, Evergreen Wisdom, and we offer a PDF free digital download. That’s one of our opt ins, we have a few default downloads. If we don't have anything better for it, we'll throw one of our default ones at the post.
Another one is we have Ten Tools. It's our marketing stack. Most of these are affiliate links, not all of them, but they are legitimately all the tools we use.
We break it down for ten plus days, here's the tool, here’s how we use it, how you can use it. Some cool hacks, get it if you want. It’s very actionable email sequence. I think it's fifteen days long.
On day one, you get a list of all the tools and then day by day after that for the next. We give them some bonus tools after ten days.
We send them an email every single day with a description of how we use each one of these tools. Day one, you get the whole list and then every day you get a deeper dive into each individual tool.
Ninja trick, we started this out and it's already going well but if you think you can optimize each one of those pages now because each one of those tools has its own page, like ThriveCart for instance.
He put a separate retargeting pixel there to start following around with ads specific to that product now or maybe that pain that it's trying to solve.
You could do that with that Designrr, Drip, email, all that stuff. If you go bazonkers, start at a high level, test the whole thing and then start dialing in and that's how we built this pretty sweet little system here.
I think that's brilliant. I want to switch over to content marketing because I know that this is where I first started seeing some of the content you are putting out.
I know you've got this still out there like how to create content fast, especially if you're not the expert or whatever. What are some of your best strategies on good, consistent content marketing?
One of my favorite ways to create good in-depth content is, are you familiar with Jobs.ProBlogger.com? The Pro Blogger jobs board, if you go there, it used to be $50 but they bumped it up to $70.
You can post a job listing there saying, “I'm looking for a content writer on X topic,” and you'll get a hundred emails from different bloggers, writers that will all want to write for your blog.
Immediately, within 24 hours. You'll go to bed that night, you'll wake up, your inbox will have 75 to 100 emails in there from content writers and little examples of content pieces they've written.
We'll go and do that once every six months or so. I'll take all the names that come through, put them in a spreadsheet. I'm a super big spreadsheet nerd, I put all these names, all these emails.
Have you used Airtable yet?
I have not used Airtable yet.
It will change your life.
We'll put all these names and emails into a Google Sheet and then their price, the turnaround time. After they've written from us, I give them a rating on a scale of one to ten based on how good they think they are. I'll put this all into a spreadsheet so we know who to come back to over time.
You'll have them write a piece for you.
Not all of them. I'll weed people out pretty quickly. You do all the same old tricks you do when hiring people like, “In your response to me, make sure you use this keyword in your email when you reply to me and make sure you send me three examples of your work.”
Anybody who doesn't follow the instructions to the letter, get rid of them immediately. That's already a red flag and as our friend Dan Ryan says, “Red flags never travel alone.”
You see one red flag, that's enough red flags. If they didn't follow every instruction on that, get rid of them and just work with the people that followed your instructions.
What we'd like to do is get very inexpensive writers, maybe not always English as their first language, always written in the US. We’ll give them our concept and they'll write it up for us. They might write a 3,000-word in-depth article for us for $40.
We'll take that article and that's our rough draft. We'll use that as our starting point and then either myself or Joe or Patty, our support lady, will go in and revamp it in our voice but we're not starting from scratch. We're not starting from a blank page.
That's our favorite way to write long form content is to get it inexpensively written to start with. That's the rough draft. All we're doing at that point is coming in, being an editor and adding our own voice into it, adding some images to it, and then we take over that manual work from that point.
That brings up a strategy that I learned from Richard Lindner, one of the head guys over at DigitalMarketer. He was sharing this with me and he used this with a lot of stuff.
The context was around copywriting and it was his 10/80/10 rule and we're all familiar with the 80/20 rule. Can you do 20% and get 80% of the results?
This is similar, but he said, “I'll do the first 10%. If it's a piece of copy, I'll think of a few headlines, the hook, the angle and what the offer is. I'm going to give you the basic structural where I want this to go.”
They'll hire a copywriter to do 80% of the work, but then you give it back to him to finish up the final 10%.
It's when I started thinking like that and with that framework, it made a big difference and I've started to use that in my business as well. Not as much as I need to, I need to do that more. This year is a big focus for 2018 for me for a better delegation.
I think because we get guilty of the same thing as this doing too much and we're like, “We're capable. We want it done now.” We have this idea and maybe it's Monday, “We should get this done by Friday.”
I know what it comes down to is some forethought, some planning, plan the next month, two, three or the whole year, but get specific on maybe the quarter and be like, “What are your goals?”
What kind of content is going to fit inside that whole roadmap there that you want to achieve? Let's delegate some because let's be honest, that's the only way to do it.
That's another big secret to the success of our content is we usually spend one day a year where we map out our content plan for the entire year.
We did this. We’re doing this again. We're recording this. We're doing this for the year of 2018 where we're going to lock ourselves in a room and map out our entire roadmap.
We traveled to San Francisco and got a co-working space up there, got a private whiteboard and mapped it all out just to get out of our normal environment, our normal space and to be somewhere else with no distractions out of our normal bubble that we're in.
We’re going up to Encinitas this time, but we're doing it where we map out our whole year and that helps. There's no question about what contents are coming up.
I'll be able to tell you this blog post is going live. We get that granular with it once we map it out. That's another big trick.
How about podcasts, will you talk about that whole thing?
Before I go there, I want to give you another tactic for written content. Are you familiar with FancyHands.com?
I am. I used to subscribe. I canceled my subscription because I had 400 rollovers to ask on, so I wasn't using them.
With Fancy Hands, we hired them to do a lot of research for us. We have a blog post that’s all about the top 25 mobile apps that you can use to make money with.
Things like Uber, Lyft and Task Rabbit. There's one called Gigwalk. All these mobile apps that you can use to make a little bit of side income, we have that blog post.
We went and hired somebody on Fancy Hands to go do all the research and Fancy Hands, their lowest plan is $29 a month.
I had no clue that was something they can do. How much is it?
It’s $29 a month. That gets you five tasks a month. Bigger articles that are going to say like, “We need you to use more task credits,” I think that one costs two task credits, but they went and they researched the 25 mobile apps that you can use.
They gave us the name of the app. They gave us the URL of the app. They gave us a quick three-sentence description of what the app did.
I think they linked us to an image, like a screenshot of the app logo and that was all within our $29 a month. I use two tasks on it and we got a list of 25 mobile apps that you can make money with the LinkedIn description and everything.
What we did was we hired a writer from that point to take that list of 25 things and just turn it into a cohesive article that you can read.
It takes planning because that took two weeks to complete that one article.
If we wanted that done tomorrow, we would have been like chat but forethought a little bit of work from other people because Fancy Hands probably did 60% of the work I would say. The writers still had to do a good amount.
That's always been the hardest part for me is to take one step back so you can take two steps forward, which is like slow down to speed up the idea because I like being in momentum. Moving at the seat of my pants so much and sometimes if I'm not in that state, I'm either faster or stop.
Moving slowly is hard for me and it's almost like being in when you're in a traffic jam on the freeway and it's moving five miles an hour. I'm the type of person who I will take an off-ramp and go, “It might take me twice as long to get there, but at least I'm moving at 30, 40 miles an hour.”
I’m identical. We had this good conversation because we did our big podcasts chunk and we'll get into how we do our podcasting super-fast if you want.
I think it's a trait in most entrepreneurs is you love that startup phase that starts things up. “Let's brainstorm, let's go and throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and see what sticks.”
When it comes to maintenance, the systems and the day-to-day grind, it's like, “You got a little bit of board, maybe it's time to sell the business.” Get out of there and focus on something else.Provide your content in the most convenient way possible. You don't have to create something new, just put it in a different modality. Click To Tweet
Our sweet spot is coming up with the ideas for the business, building the businesses, creating systems to make sure the businesses keep going. Once that system's there and the business is running itself, we get bored quickly.
That's when we start thinking, “Should we sell this business? Should we wrap up this business? What should we do next?” We completely outsource it so somebody else is running it.
I feel the exact same way and I think a lot of the audience do as well. A little bit more on the podcast because I've got some very personal selfish reasons. Learn a little bit about podcast efficiency and how you guys are doing it.
With podcasting, we literally podcast out of this room if you're watching the video. It's not like a crazy studio or anything yet.
It's on my vision board. I do have a podcast studio on my vision board.
The fact of the matter is it's not required. I know, Brad, you don't have some crazy fancy studio. It’s cool. I have a handheld microphone. It's $100. It’s nice.
The whole thing is podcast can be daunting. If you're not consistent with it, you see a lot of drops off in your listeners. We're all guilty, we've all been there.
If you batch record, which we do, we do one day per month. We’ll batch record everybody for the entire month that one day. Our energy hasn't dropped off at that last call. It's been good.
That's only four episodes for the month?
It's four to five and we'll do it all that day. It gets dropped live every Wednesday of every month and we've been doing this for a year now and it works.
We have an outsource guy, a podcast editor. He does the podcast editing, show notes, all that stuff. Matt drops it into a Dropbox. He has a procedure list and literally follows fifteen lines and publishes that sucker every Wednesday. We make sure it looks good.
I wrote in a Google doc a process that he needs to follow. I think it's about fifteen steps. What we do is we record, and in the end, we get an audio file.
I take that audio file, put it in Dropbox and then our editor literally just goes through the fifteen steps on that doc and we do nothing else at that point.
He's going to put it on Libsyn, the podcast hosting. He's going to build our show notes and he's going to do any editing that needs to be done on the podcast. Everything is out of our hands from that point.
We spend one day a month recording four to five episodes and then putting him in Dropbox. Joe even will tell me like, “I didn't even realize that podcast was live yet.” I'll be like, “That podcast went live a couple of weeks ago.” The podcast just happens after that.
We forget we even have one because it’s like one day a month.
What are you doing for the promotion aspect of it? You have a list and you have the social media things that you can post to and say, “I released it. Here's my list.” Do you do anything else as far as promoting the podcast?
All of our content marketing is all on a Trello board. Every time a piece of content goes live, I'm moving it along the board for what steps happen next.
We did make a blog post about our whole content marketing, like a promotional strategy that we do once it goes live. There's a blog post with a YouTube video that explains all that.
It's a hefty video. It's a 25-minute video that shows the whole process. Essentially, we mail our list every time a new blog post goes live.
We have a Facebook community that's a fairly active community. We promote it in that community. We put the podcast on our Facebook fan page and we boost the post. We always boost it to friends and fans and friends of fans is the best target we found so far.
We've tested a ton of targets and that's the one that gets the most engagement. The most clicks for whatever reason is the one that Facebook puts on there by default, which is fans and friends of fans. We boost that. We’d boost it $10 a week. There's always a podcast in circulation.
We use a tool, Repurpose.io. It automatically takes the audio, puts it on YouTube so it goes to YouTube.
We use PushCrew, which is a push for browser push notifications. Every time a new episode goes live, it's fed by our RSS feed and the new episode goes live out to the PushCrew. Surprisingly, PushCrew is our number five largest traffic source.
I was just going to ask you that because I've had mixed results with it.
It’s amazing. For us, it's in our top five. Our number one traffic source is our email list. Number two is Google SEO. Number three is Facebook ads. Number four I think was Instagram. Number five is PushCrew.
We haven't done a thing on Instagram. I don’t know why Instagram is in our list of traffic source.
What do you mean?
We have an Instagram account with images, but we haven't posted a new image in four months.
How is that doing so well?
We had no clue.
That's what we're figuring out. That’s one of our great mystery.
What's your Instagram account name?
That's Evergreen Profits, Instagram.com/EvergreenProfits.
We've been digging into the numbers so much lately in the last month since doing the shift over. We're all about platform building, getting more traffic inputs and then we're like, “What is Instagram doing on this top list?”
I'm going to be throwing out every single thing we do if that podcast goes live. We use MeetEdgar only on Twitter. We don't use MeetEdgar on Facebook because we find when we use tools like that, they get zero engagement on Facebook but on Twitter, it still works.
What MeetEdgar does is it posts your post on Twitter and then it refreshes the post every so often so you have a big library of posts. Once or twice a day, it posts something to Twitter for you but it will continually recycle posts.
Old podcasts that we recorded six, seven, eight, nine months ago still get tweeted out from time to time using MeetEdgar.
We use Steemit which is a new platform on the blog chain. We use Steemit to write a blog post around every podcast episode and we embed the YouTube video so that YouTube video goes on Steemit.
We always put a little byline that says this was originally posted here and link back to the show notes. I SEO out of it using Yoast SEO. We always SEO it for the guest's name.
We had a guest on our podcast. This was back in the beginning, probably nine months ago, named Christine McDannell which is a mutual acquaintance.
She was mentioned by Richard Branson on Richard Branson's Virgin blog because she went and donated $100,000 to his charity.
When Richard Branson mentioned her on his blog, the search for her name skyrocketed in Google and we were sitting right there in the number one spot for Christine McDannell. Our podcast overnight saw a spike of 300 downloads because people searched for Christine's name.
We're in the habit of every single podcast, we're trying to SEO out of our guests’ name. Anybody goes and searches that person's name, we're what you find for them.
You’ve got to think people's names are usually pretty low.
Unless they're famous or something.
Richard Branson, for sure.
There's probably more to the podcast but let's be honest, that's going to give you more.
A lot of this stuff is either automated systems, things like PushCrew and MeetEdgar and stuff like that. YouTube, it automatically happens. We don't think about it. We just set it up once and that's rolling every time we make a new post.
A handful of things I do manually or we have it outsourced and somebody else does manually, like the reposting it to Steemit. I don't have anything automatically post to Facebook anymore.
I used to have it whenever a new post went live, it would automatically post to our group. It would automatically post to our page. No engagement.
When I go and post it manually, I copy and paste to LinkedIn and write a little thing around it. For whatever reason, it gets ten times the engagement as if an automated tool was posting for me.
We stopped using any API source into Facebook because we found that's when it doesn't work.
I don't think I'm using any of those as well. Come to think of it, I think I did in the very beginning, but I stopped for probably a lot of the same reasons.
You have to create a nice calendar that's why we run everything. Without a calendar, we would've failed this whole podcast, the content, all this stuff until we finally sat down and were like, “We need a content calendar, a process.” The Trello thing has been a game-changer.
David Sinick, he runs at PaleoHacks. He's an SEO badass. He runs this massive content company and that was swiped from him and we optimized it or tweaked it to ourselves.
What are some of the nuts you are trying to crack in your business whether it's people you're trying to meet, a strategy you're trying to master or somebody you're trying to hire or fire or money you're trying to raise? Is there anything there that's like, “If we can figure this out, things will be better?”
This is something we were having a discussion on and this might get into a deep conversation here. There's this concept that we have of like the North Star Project and I've never heard anybody else call it.
That is something that we've been calling it internally, but you look at someone like Gary Vaynerchuk. His big goal is to own the New York Jets one day.
I have a better one. How about Elon Musk? He wants to make a freaking Mars colony.
I'm trying to use multiple examples. Bill Gates, he wants to eradicate polio off the face of the earth. Our problem is we don't have that North Star main project that we're aiming for.
We just have our business that’s running every day. It's making us money, but we don't have that North Star big vision thing that we're trying to point our business toward. That this is why we do it all right.
Other than right now, it's supporting our families and paying for our houses and stuff like that. We are trying to figure out what that North Star is for our business.
To be honest, you’ve got to think about it. I've been watching a mix of Elon Musk and Casey Neistat videos in the morning while I have breakfast. It's a little bit of crazy, a little bit of genius and you decide who's who.
The whole thing is Elon said something like, “Typical people, we wake up and we're solving problems like small little problems. It doesn't matter. I have this task list and I'm going about my day, commute in traffic every day.”
Not super stoked to wake up every single day to solve that task list. Let's build a freaking task list or whatever roadmap to get to this point where you're like every day, “I'm going to figure something out that's massive.”
I've literally dealt with the same frustration as well because it's also not something you can fake. You can't fake this passionate moonshot project like, “I want to put somebody on Mars.” I don't. I can tell myself that until I'm blue in the face but it doesn't mean that it means anything.
It’s trying to find that big motivating, that North Star, but that you know you deeply care about because you know that it's going to be hard. What is that thing that forces you to go through the hurdles?
It opens up all these existentialism questions between us where we start having these discussions of like, “Why are we doing this?” We're getting up every day, we're building this stuff and we're making money.
You hit a point in your career where you make enough money to pay the bills. You can pretty much, for the most part, buy anything you want. We could all probably get any car we wanted. We live in freaking San Diego.Doing a podcast can be daunting. If you're not consistent with it, you'll see a drop in your listeners. Click To Tweet
You can especially get one if you want an Audi R8. I know somebody that has.
You get to this point where it's like, “The bills are paid. I could do what I want. I can travel. I can create experiences. What's the point of continuing to create more money? What's the point of building upon it? Why are we doing this day in and day out?”
I think the answer to that question is you have some North Star that you're always going towards. What happens when Gary Vaynerchuk finally buys the Jets? I almost guarantee he's going to fall into a deep depression because he's shot for this thing his entire life and now that he's got it, now what?
We were talking about what astronauts, whoever walks on the moon, it's this effect. It's, “What now? What do I do now?”
There's a legitimate thing that they call the moonwalk effect or something like that where pretty much every astronaut that's ever walked on the moon came back and then fell into a deep depression for a long time.
Once you've walked on the moon, what else is there? What else can you accomplish in your life that's bigger than that?
I've thought a lot about this too. There's one thing like having North Star where it's a singular North Star that's like, “I want to put people on Mars. I want to do this,” and then if you accomplish it, what now, versus realizing that you do need to reset your goals.
Maybe you have multiple North Stars out there that drive you. My client, Jesse Itzler, sets huge goals. He's the author of a book called Living With a SEAL, if you haven't heard about it, but billionaire and serial multiple entrepreneur. He talks about this a lot.
In reference to the NBA, because he owns the Atlanta Hawks, he says, “One of the issues of a lot of basketball players, I go in high school and college, they have this dream of making the NBA. They make the NBA and they forget to reset their goals.”
He goes, “Do you know who doesn't? Lebron, Kobe, Jordan and Curry. All the people who are the best of the best, they realize that, ‘I'm in the NBA. The next North Star is I want to be the MVP. I want to ring and I want all this other stuff.’”
It's remembering to reset those goals as a big thing. I have a hard time doing that dream big because I do not get motivated by having the biggest house, the most cars.
I don't get motivated the same way Grant Cardone gets motivated by having more. Do I want it? Yes. Is there that deep visceral motivation that's going to make me walk through fire to get it? Quite honestly, no.
I was thinking about this because it's been in my head like, “How do you get to that point? How do you figure out your North Star?” I don’t know a good answer. Maybe you have some ideas.
Mind dumping everything on a piece of paper at least gets ideas of tangible things. You might be like, “I want a freaking yacht.” Put it on the paper. “I want a helicopter,” sounds big and bad but at the same time, we know people who have that. Not out of touch.
Those are the types of things that once you get there, you're like, “I’ve been there, done that.”
What are your ideas?
First of all also along these lines, just to interject for all my readers, we were talking about how a lot of the episodes that get the most feedback are the ones that talk about mindset and business. Here we are talking. Everybody's tuned out already on all the other stuff.
The funny thing is you ask what nut we have to crack and I think most of them that are in our business that we have to crack is not related to anything technical in the mental stuff.
Number one, I've always hated this question. What would you do if money was no object? Money is an object. It literally is an object and most of us cannot even fathom because number one, if all of this came into millions and millions of dollars.
Let's just say we exit our company and we have $20 million, $50 million, $100 million. Each one of us is going to travel party and have a bunch of fun until it gets boring. All of us, I don't care who you are unless you've got your North Star.
We're going to do that for a little while because that's ultimately blowing off all this pent up steam. I don't think any of us know what it's like to have money no object.
Money no object is a very big thing. It's now you've wanted to focus on being significant rather than being like, “I've used this concept before.”
Would I rather be successfully significant in my life? That significance is the thing. I want to be significant to myself, to my family and to the people who look up to me and two of them.
The thing is I've tried to break it down like this. I take a look at the life I'm living now, I call this life. What am I currently doing or it's not too far out of my realm like marketing, consulting, eCom business, etc.?
How could that get better? That's one version. I start to think, “What would I do if that part is over? Maybe it's due to an exit, maybe I couldn't do it anymore, but it's off the table. What would I do?”
It might have something to do with making an impact or it might have something to do with something more fun, fulfilling and enjoyable.
It's not necessarily this deep humanity-based thing but I think, “What would I do if that life was over so I literally couldn't consult another marketing thing, I couldn't start another eCom business,” or whatever?
The third one is, “What would I do if money or image was no concern?” I don't have an answer to this.
This is something I'm working on but by bridging that gap between where on my current reality and what would I do if money was no concern.
I put money or image as well because a lot of us would maybe be Casey Neistat doing crazy YouTube videos, but now we're worried, “What would people think in my business?”
What if money or image was no concern, but I have sandwiched in between. The third one, I've found that it allows me to think much more literally like, “Maybe I'd make movies, maybe I’d do this or whatever.”
The bigger part is I have a hard time thinking about a goal in terms of my role for humanity. It annoys out of me when I see these. A lot of entrepreneurs and gurus who go, “I want to create a million millionaires. I want to impact a million people.”
I feel it's a cop-out.
I agree because I know some people that we know together collectively. I'm like, “It sounds great on paper. It sounds great on your website as a vision for the company but is that motivating you?”
Half the time, I feel that vision is part of their marketing tactic.
That's how I feel as well. I personally, I would rather know that I've helped five people turn their lives around and had impacts on them than I've inspired five million people with my podcast.
I'd much rather know that the five people that I've worked with have had dramatically different lives because that will ripple out.
That's bigger leverage points and maybe this comes back full circle to both of our business models, which is very similar to why we are not trying to sell products to the masses.
Why we're trying to go much deeper work, roll our sleeves up and work for hand-in-hand with some real game-changers.
Why I like to invite people for a VIP day to spend eight to ten hours with me, sometimes more in a room with a whiteboard and we just go deep to figure out how can we change your world. That's the stuff that motivates me but as far as North stars go, shoot.
Maybe that's leading to a North Star is helping people go deep, but maybe it's qualifying, which people or businesses or nonprofits, whatever.
Maybe there is something they're working on that you can help them then go deep. It could be humanity. It could be making people rich or it could be cool cars. Who knows?
We did an interview with somebody on our podcast who in his career has put on these massive concerts in New York. He's had Jay-Z, The Rolling Stones, Foo Fighters and all these people.
He's gotten them on stage and put on these events that had 60,000 people at it and all of it was for charity. With this charity that he helped build, they raised $1.2 billion to help alleviate world poverty.
What he realized after doing this for years that he was much more fulfilled by working with people individually and seeing the impact on a one-on-one basis with a much smaller group of people because it's almost an MLM scheme for good.
If I can change somebody's mindset to help better the world and that person can change two people's mindsets to help better the world.
He started to look at his business more on that level on, “If I can help a handful of people change their mindset and change their game to help better the world, those people will each go out and help a handful of people.”
You have a giant pyramid scheme of everybody out there bettering the world. He felt that that was much more impactful than putting on these events that literally raise $1.2 billion for his charity.
I've read a thousand books in my life I’m guessing. I've read hundreds of books, I know that and listen to a lot of podcasts, watch a lot of motivational YouTube videos and met a lot of people briefly or whatever, who've inspired me in one way or another.
There have been few books like non-personal interactions. There's been so few that I can count them on one hand that has changed the trajectory of my life.
It is so rare for somebody putting out content, even Gary Vee and he's inspiring. I've had mentors, I've had personal coaches, mentors, etc. who have said one thing or they spend an hour with me and gave me one magical insight that was custom for me.
It completely changed the course of my career and my life. I look at it like that. I'd much rather be that person and go deep and walk laser rather than a floodlight. Interesting nuts you guys got the crack.
The biggest one that's been on his mind. I'm sure we've got plenty of other nuts that didn't come out right.
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GetThriveCart.com had pretty much the best place to see everything in action. It’s a cool case study, I'll call it.
Gentlemen, thank you for joining me and for anybody still with us on this marathon episode, which has been chock-full of awesome. I will not apologize to anybody for how long and great this has been.
There are a lot of chunks out here that can be split up. It's good micro-content, which I love when we're able to do.
Subscribe to the show and tell your friends, tag me, tag the boys here in social media when you share this. I didn't say if, I said when you share this on social, let us know.
If you have questions, concerns, ideas or if you are up against a nut you're trying to crack and you don't know how to get unstuck, shoot me an email, AskBrad@BaconWrappedBusiness.com.
There is a better than average chance I will not hit delete, but I will read it and reply to you. I do appreciate all of my audience and if there's anything I can do to help you, please let me know. Gentlemen, we’ve got to get a beer sometime soon. We are close and let's make it happen.
Thank you. This has been fun.
See you on the next episizzle.
Matt Wolfe is a father, a husband, and an online entrepreneur. He loves building online businesses, blogging, and, most importantly, he loves helping people build successful businesses and blogs. He loves these things so much that he created a business around teaching people how to blog, he created a podcast that helps guide people down the right paths in business, and he has created several blogs that share his entrepreneurial journey.
Joe Fier advises businesses on marketing strategy and sales conversion to increase revenues and create long-term selling assets. He has run a marketing and tech consulting company and full-scale content marketing agency. Joe is also a huge coffee lover and is so addicted to his daily “Cup o’ Joe” (no pun intended) that he once travelled with his espresso machine on a road trip to Chicago and back!
Matt and Joe are the founders of Evergreenprofits.com.
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