PreneurCast is a business podcast. Each week, author and marketer Pete Williams and digital media producer Dom Goucher discuss entrepreneurship, business, internet marketing and productivity.
Pete and Dom discuss branding, and Pete explains why branding and brand awareness should be a by-product of the content or service you provide, rather than the focus of your marketing efforts, and that you should market your content or service not your brand.
Pete and Dom discusses why branding should not be the focus of your marketing
Action Step: Look at your current marketing, and make sure that the focus is a call to action regarding your products or services, and that you talk about the benefits of your products or services as a reason to take action.
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Branding Is a By-Product
Pete Williams: Welcome to this week’s edition of PreneurCast. I’m Pete Williams; and as always, by my side is the Ren to my Stimpy, the Pebbles to my Bamm-Bamm, Dom Goucher.
Dom Goucher: There was a brief moment there where I really thought I was going to get to be the Spot to your Hong Kong Phooey.
Pete: I thought I’d leave that one to you because everyone’s been tweeting that to you this morning.
Dom: I got some support for that. I’d like to think the fans out there, the listeners, for their support to the ‘Spot to the Hong Kong Phooey’ thing. But yeah, Ren to Stimpy, Pebbles to Bamm-Bamm. It’s really going downhill again.
Pete: Alright, well, it’s better than Jay to my Silent Bob which I was going to start with,
Dom: Hey, hey. Oh no, I’ll go with that, Jay to the Silent Bob.
Pete: So, how’s everything been? Another crazy week in the world of PreneurCast and all things Dom Goucher? Been to London and the UK, is that right? You’ve been traveling?
Dom: Yeah, I barely stood still over the weekend. I’ve been through various parts of the UK, London and London, went up to the Derbyshire area and then back down to London, and then back here all in the space of a few days, just whistled by with a brief bit of snow in between.
Pete: Fantastic, fantastic.
Dom: Yeah, we cover all weather types in this show.
Pete: Hang on; we’ve got a rule not to talk about the weather, man.
Dom: You got one in the other week, shut up.
Pete: So this week is all about branding, and brands.
Dom: Yes, I’m interested in the topic of branding. Its reared its head a few times over the last couple of months as I’ve shifted what I’m doing away from the pure business of the media production that I’m known for, and becoming a little bit more of a person in my own right through things like the 7 Levers Mastermind and other projects that we’re working on. You’ve mentioned a couple of times just offhand that you have a couple of thoughts on branding, and they’re not particularly positive; so I’m interested.
Pete: Well, we can definitely delve deep into that and I’ll do the soapbox rant-type thing that we occasionally do here on PreneurCast. We can definitely delve into that today.
Dom: And you do it so well. Before we kick off into that one, I’d like to give a shout-out and thanks to our two show sponsors, the first one of which is Read It For Me, the excellent book summary service; and we’ve had Steve on a couple of shows ago talking about how he does the book reviews himself. It’s a fantastic episode in its own right, but we love Read It For Me.
It’s a great way to preview and review, and learn a bit about popular business and personal development books with some fantastic multimedia resources inside their membership area. And if you go to ReadItFor.Me/PreneurCast, you’ll get a special deal on a membership at Read It For Me. And it’s well worth a check-out anyway.
If you go to that page, there’s a little video that Pete and I put together showing you what’s inside the membership area. Give it a go; it’s a great way to find out about books, especially if you’re a bit time-poor and you want to be a bit more efficient leveraging your time, then you can cover an awful lot of topics and publications just going through Steve’s reviews. So that’s a great one.
Pete: Absolutely. And it’s a free trial too. You get a bit of a free trial with a discount coupon when you decide to subscribe, and everyone loves to subscribe to the service once they test it out because it’s amazing.
Dom: Indeed, and thanks to Steve and the team over at Read It For Me for sponsoring this week’s show.
Pete: Absolutely. Alright, let me walk and step out onto the soapbox. Let’s go.
Dom: Little creaking sound there.
Pete: Now, before we delve into this I want to get your context on all of this because you’re the person who instigated it as you alluded to earlier in this episode. Where do you want to go? Where do you want to take this? What’s your idea in terms of the show topic? Because branding’s a big, big rabbit hole.
Dom: It is. My personal angle on this is actually personal branding; supporting and being consistent with a personal brand, and this is a bit of an esoteric one, but whether or not you can be the brand. This may not be the thing that offends you so much, but one of the things that pops up from time to time is you have people and you have brands. And some people are brands and some people are people. A lot of it, a lot of people really simplified this form just having their Twitter handles or domain names, and they’re known for those.
For example, David Sparks – we talked about the Mac Power Users podcast a few weeks ago, and David Sparks in and of himself is not really anything. But if you say MacSparky to a Mac person, everybody knows MacSparky. He’s the guy who does the Mac Power Users podcasts, and that’s his Twitter handle and that’s his domain; and that’s how he gets his message out there through the MacSparky brand. It kind of focuses people on who he is and what he’s about.
Whereas, on the other end of the scale, if you take Ed Dale’s recent incarnation – most recent incarnation, EdDale.com, that’s Ed and everything about Ed. It’s marketing-centric, but Ed is Ed; Ed is Ed Dale. Previously – and he’s moved away from it now, he used to be Tubby Nerd. And I’m not sure that was the kind of brand that he really wanted to get stabilized out there. But Ed is Ed, and Ed covers an awful lot of things within the umbrella of who Ed Dale is.
But let’s say starting from nowhere, as I would put myself by comparison to such a shining light as you, I was just interested on your thoughts on whether or not you should be trying to be a brand as a person and also as a company for some of the listeners out there who are more than solo entrepreneurs, who run companies and other bigger enterprises. Whether the brand is the be all and end all. Whether it’s a good goal.
Pete: OK, this is a very deep rabbit hole with lots of tunnels coming off it. Yes and no is probably the answers. I think there are a couple of things you’ve touched on there. As a person you have to be known as coming. You have to be known as ______ Guy. A good friend of mine – well not a good friend, but a friend of mine, Scott Ginsberg has written a number of books around this. He’s The Nametag Guy. He actually wears a nametag every single day and has done so for some three thousand and odd hundred days now, or maybe even more.
Every day he wears a nametag ‘Hi My Name is Scott’ to the point where he actually got it tattooed on his chest, an actual nametag. It’s quite funny. But Scott Ginsberg writes a lot about personal branding and stuff like that; so we might actually try and get him on the show one day to discuss it too, which should be pretty cool. But I think you need to be known for something, and that – if I say Tony Robbins, who’s Tony Robbins?
Dom: I immediately think this really huge guy. But yeah, personal development.
Pete: Lance Armstrong?
Pete: And Cancer?
Dom: That shouldn’t define you, Peter. You know that, don’t you?
Pete: No, but that’s what he’s known for. That’s what he’s known for. If we go into the little internet marketing community, you’ve got Jeff Walker; he’s a Product Launch guy. You’ve got Andy Jenkins, video guy. You have to be known for something so you can be differentiated. If you try and be all things to all people like any business, it’s not going to work.
You can’t do all things to all people. Look at a lot of the department stores these days. They’re not working as well as they used to, particularly in this day and age, because they’re trying to be all things to all people. You’re a lot better off being boutique and be known for being a market leader around that particular topic you’re getting know for. Does that make sense?
Dom: Absolutely. Yeah, that’s a good baseline.
Pete: So that’s the starting point. I think you do have to be known for something; and this is a conversation that Rob Somerville, Ed Dale’s right-hand man, and I have had quite a bit over the last couple years about even trying to work out my own positioning. And it’s probably not relevant to this podcast too much, but I think that’s really, really important. Because a brand as such, in terms of the word ‘brand’ in its own right, is basically who you are or it’s what you stand for.
As I said, it’s how you’re defined and differentiated. But you did touch on something else in that little introduction-type segment that you just spoke about. You talked about, should I be doing branding or should someone be doing branding? And I think, and this is where you’re talking about things like Twitter handles and what else you’re known for online, that branding as an exercise in its own right is like a form of advertising where you actually are just out there getting exposure for your brand.
It’s like buying billboards on the side of the highway and putting up the McDonald’s logo and nothing else on the billboard. To me, that’s an absolute waste of money, it’s a missed opportunity. Branding in terms of actively going out there to advertise your brand and build your brand should realistically be more of a by-product of the direct response marketing that you should be doing to build your brand. You would never want to do brand advertising; you want to be doing direct response advertising around a brand. That means branding is a by-product.
Dom: Now, that speaks directly back to the Preneur Hierarchy that we talked about a few shows ago, where at the top of the pyramid, that brand awareness advertising that you just talked about, is widely spray-and-pray advertising.
Pete: Absolutely. It’s immeasurable, it’s untrackable; it’s just a wasted opportunity where you could have a direct response result from the marketing you’re doing. And if you look at David Sparks and take that as an example – of course, when you actually register a domain name, you either register it in your personal name or as MacSparky; and then it’s just logical from a direct response consistency perspective to use the same brand being MacSparky as your Twitter handle, as your Facebook label, as all these labels and usernames.
That just makes sense from a marketing perspective because it makes it easier for your customers to find you on different platforms. So I would say you do that for a consistency and partly a direct marketing reason, not for doing it for the whole branding-side of things; that is a side benefit. That is the bonus. But you do want to have that consistency through all your marketing because that just helps build the response.
Because as soon as someone has a relationship with you, if we go back to that Preneur Hierarchy, the easiest people to sell to are the people at the bottom of the Hierarchy who have dealt with you before. If they’ve dealt with you before and they know you as Tony Robbins or MacSparky, or whoever it may be, if they see you in a different platform, that consistency and that pre-trust comes with you.
If you look at what Google+ is doing these days, you will see that obviously throughout Google search results, they’re actually doing this authorship thing to help encourage click-through rates and get people better experience on the search results. What they’re actually doing is putting the author’s little icon and photo and stuff on search results. I was doing a bit of an egotistical search like we all do the other day for marketing podcasts, which is a term we’re trying to rate PreneurCast for.
And we’re, I think, on the second page right now and moving up; and next to that is actually a little photo of me, because I’ve been linked with the authorship of the podcast, and that helps that consistent brand. It’s the same image that I use across all my platforms online to actually build that consistency around. I’m not doing that for a branding perspective, I’m doing that to actually keep the brand consistent through my marketing. Can you see that distinction? Does that make sense?
Dom: I can, and it’s actually a really interesting distinction, because I don’t think a lot of the people think about it that way. There definitely are the two sides to what I was talking about, and I’m glad that you picked them out and separated them. There is that identity, brand identity, yeah? Where, as you said, the consistency – if somebody comes and finds you through one channel, it’s easy to find you on another channel because you have a consistent brand identity.
That, I think, is obvious to a lot of people – not obvious, but it’s important to a lot of people and I think it’s the easiest thing to get a grasp on. But that second side of it, where, as you say, branding should be, brand promotion should be a by-product of what you do. It’s almost speaking to the market leadership concept. That for example, David Sparks, let’s just carry on with that for a while, and the MacSparky brand as it were; he doesn’t jump up and down, wear MacSparky t-shirts and the rest of that.
The name MacSparky has been associated with the great work that David Sparks does in the Mac Power Users podcast and in the blog post that he makes, and even the books that he writes. He’s become a market leader, and so that label has been associated with that entity; and I think that’s really – if I was to progress, as you say, it’s not really for this stuff, for this podcast; but if I was going this way, that’s what I would want to have happen.
I would want somebody to be able to attribute that label to what I do, to what I’ve done, to the material that I produce, to the content that I produce that I put out there. I wouldn’t want somebody to go, “Oh, yeah. No, I remember that because I saw some guy wearing a t-shirt, or it was a billboard, or whatever.” It’s a little roundabout, but it does come back to the market leadership thing. That if you do good work and you put out good content and you are a good source of information in your market, you become known. So your brand awareness grows as a by-product of the work that you do. Is that kind of what you’re saying?
Pete: Almost. I think there’s a slight distinction there. There’s no question you have to put out good work. Anybody who wants to put out crap is just kidding themselves that they’re going to be successful. But it’s not just about putting out good content, or good products, or good services; they still have to actually market it. It’s not about the product, it’s about the marketing. But it’s not about the branding. So you have to put out good content first and foremost, but then you have to do marketing.
And even if people say that putting out good content will not sell itself, that’s still marketing by actually encouraging that first tweet; encouraging that first follower; or at the bottom of your blog post, giving people the call-to-action to actually respond with a comment; that is part of marketing. That’s marketing and selling the engagement, which then obviously creates this social media wave that everyone is talking about at the moment.
But you still have to do the marketing side of things; and it’s not about the branding, it’s about the direct response marketing and having a call-to-action at the end of a blog post saying, “Hey, tell me about your experience with this topic I just wrote about,” is a call-to-action. That is a direct response marketing element that you have just put in your blog post. So you’ve got to have the good content to get people to get to the end of the article to read that, but that’s still a call-to-action which is a direct response marketing contact.
Having the retweet buttons on your blog post is a direct response action, so you still have to have those actions in place to get to that tipping point that Malcolm Gladwell talks about before you get the sneezes and the people, or the flu, or whatever he’s talking about to actually spread the virus that is your high-quality content, or your high-quality product, or the great service that you are offering down at the local truck stop. You still have to actually encourage that conversation.
Dom: Yeah, I appreciate the more detailed explanation of that. As you say, you can’t just publish great content and then expect: A) people to find it and B) people to talk about it and to help you grow that brand. With this definition, your little soapbox if you’re still up on it, I’m just trying to be clear in my mind. It’s, as you say, not about the brand, it’s not about the product.
So over-branding things for example is, I think, and I’m just trying to get a handle on a good example here that we can put out of how not to do this, and something that I came across the other day was the exact opposite which was under-branding or a complete lack of marketing. A client, a local client here that I’m working with, bringing all of the new-world marketing techniques to a small fishing village in Spain is a very interesting opportunity.
Pete: People who want to buy umbrellas to keep out of the sun?
Dom: I wish it were that easy. I came across this catalogue of services – printed document, yes. We’re in the age of print over here. I came across a catalogue of services. They paid to have it produced, and they paid to have it printed and whatever; and they were quite proud of this. I picked up this document and I looked at the front cover. It clearly states it’s a catalogue of services.
Pretty picture of a market-relevant photograph on the front cover; and I flicked through a few pages, and I flicked to the back page, and buried in the bottom-corner of the back page was the name of the company. And even smaller than the name of the company was the contact details of the company. Throughout the document, there were no actual calls-to-action. There was barely a mention of the website on the back page or any other means of contacting.
There certainly wasn’t a suggestion that people who had waded through this marketing material should do anything with it, like, heaven offend, call the company. And at the end of the day, as I said, the actual company providing the services, their lifeblood was people calling them, booking lessons as it were, in this particular market. The company name just really wasn’t evident on the document. So you could go the other way with this.
Pete: Well, see, my issue with that little tale that you just shared is more about the lack of calls-to-action than the lack of company name. The company name fundamentally, it’s irrelevant. It’s not about the product, or the business name in my opinion; it’s about making clear, concise, effective communication about the benefits someone’s going to derive from experiencing this service; and then throughout the document, having ample opportunities for that person to respond whether it be a phone number, a physical address, a website address, whatever it might be.
That’s what needs to happen. Having the company name and logo in the bottom right-hand corner of the last page, in my opinion, is not a bad thing. If you’ve got strong headlines, good graphics, engaging copy with calls-to-action, I’m 100% fine with that. If it’s a direct-response medium, they’re probably not going to know necessarily who you are anyway. If you’re reaching that third level of the Hierarchy, you’re not talking to past customers and you’re not talking to people who are actually already in your funnel, you’re communicating to searchers, people going out there actively searching for a solution to the problem that you solve.
They’re probably not going to have an experience with your brand historically anyway. So it doesn’t matter about your brand because they’re not going to be making the initial decision whether they should communicate and hop into your funnel based on your name and your logo. They’re going to be making that decision based on the headline, the copy, the experience, the pitch you make. So that’s got to be the focus.
If you’re in an industry where people are buying stuff in a long purchase cycle where they need to get referrals, they need to actually search around, look around; then your name is important because they might go and start searching for that and talking to people about, how did you experience Acme Inc. when you did this historically? But if it’s simply a direct response-type purchase, like I’m going to figure out whose sunbed am I going to hire on the beach of Spain, that is not going to be a brand-related purchase.
That is going to be an outcome-related purchase, and brand is irrelevant at that point. To give you a bit of an example, when we started the telco company we, didn’t have a brand. And obviously, we very much built that national telecommunications company off the back of AdWords. That was the key driver for us. People went to Google with a problem which was, ‘need a damn phone system,’ and then they found us because we were ranking number one for SEO and AdWords and all that sort of stuff, had very compelling copy, huge range, great prices, all that good stuff.
Our logo was on the side, but no one knew who we were, and that didn’t stop us to grow. So it wasn’t about the brand, it was about the product and service we could offer. That’s my big angle on the issue with the experience you just gave, it’s not the logo, the logo can be in the bottom right-hand corner of the last page. To me, if everything else is compelling enough, that’s a secondary consideration.
Dom: Really, really good. Really good take on what I put forward there; and I do understand that. That’s really what I was looking for from you with this little soapbox piece, a clear example. So thankfully, you made one out of what I gave you. The scary thing about that document was the absolute lack of any attribute that we’ve talked about. I wasn’t per se complaining that the logo was so small or anything particularly like that, it was that there’s no real way of identifying.
The name and contact details are your last best hope for contact. If you don’t do anything else with your document, if there’s no real call-to-action, if there’s nothing else, then somebody being able to at least identify your company name and contact you via a phone number…
Pete: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Why would you have a marketing piece that doesn’t have a call-to-action in it?
Dom: I just described one to you.
Pete: Yes, I understand that, and I see what you’re saying. My issue with that is you’re saying your issue is the call-to-action or the phone number is the last chance you’ve got. That should be the sole purpose of the damn marketing piece. If you’re doing any marketing that doesn’t have a clear call-to-action in it, stop it right now. Anybody who’s listening – I know you’re not doing this Dom, but I’m ranting, lecturing the listeners right now.
This can be the action point for this week: Take a moment and just digest all the marketing pieces that you’re doing right now; whether it be a website, a brochure, a business car, a flyer, whatever it might be, your vehicles that you might have for your service team. If they don’t have calls-to-action on them, you’re doing branding; you’re not doing marketing or direct response marketing which is what builds businesses.
Any piece of material out there with some information and your logo without a clear definitive identifiable call-to-action is not direct response marketing. You’re doing branding. And hopefully, people have realized by now that branding should be a by-product of the direct response marketing, because the key is hook, pitch, call-to-action, branding – in that order.
That’s what your marketing piece should be. If you can’t fit the branding element onto your marketing piece because it’s taken up with a hook, i.e. headline, pitch, the main elements with the pros and the solutions you offer, call-to-action, and there’s no room on the rest of that DL flyer or A4 print, then leave it off. Don’t worry about that. Yes, you missed the opportunity to brand as a by-product, but that’s OK because it was a free bonus anyway you would have got. It doesn’t need to be there.
Dom: See, that’s better. That’s the Pete that I know and love way up there on his soapbox. That was a proper rant.
Pete: I was trying to be conservative. I don’t want to offend listeners; we love them all. I don’t want to offend them and make them run away crying.
Dom: OK, fair enough. The interesting and last part of this story about this document though was actually that they’d given over the space on this back cover to branding, but it wasn’t for them and their primary product or brand. It was actually for a new product that they were trying to build awareness for.
And so the entire catalogue of services was actually overshadowed by this huge, big, awareness activity. There was nothing else about it, there was nothing else to it. There was a quarter or a half-page logo of this offshoot nonprofit thing that they were doing, this activity that they were undertaking. It was another marketing activity that they’d undertaken that they were trying to get airtime for, so they printed it on the back of this catalog.
I mean, I realize that we don’t want to offend people and we don’t want people to run off crying; but seriously, folks, listen to what Pete said. It’s not about the branding, or it is – it’s hook, pitch, call-to-action. And I’m sorry; but if you can’t get your big shiny logo on there, oh well.
Pete: As big as my ego is, I’ve learned to get it out of the way. And that’s what everyone needs to do.
Dom: That’s another very good thing, because I think that’s a big problem for people. We see this. You and I do little website reviews for clients and things; and we do exactly do these assessments, these quick triages that we suggest as we did in our action point. You look at what you’re doing, your website, and certainly landing pages on your website should have one job.
Work out what that job is. If you’re sending AdWords traffic to a page and that page has more than one call-to-action on it or is overloaded with branding information, it’s not focused; it needs tidying up.
Pete: Yeah, absolutely.
Dom: If somebody clicks on an AdWords ad, that’s predominantly not going to be about your branding. It may be about someone else’s brand. You might have advertised that you sell a particular product, like your telco company stocks certain equipment and your headsets company stocks certain brands of equipment. They may have an identifier with somebody else’s plan; but they certainly haven’t identified with yours when they go there, have they?
Pete: No, not at all. Most people don’t, and to a certain extent, I don’t want to go too deep into this. But we have a number of websites, obviously, printing various elements and business units. And most of them are just keyword-driven URLs, it’s not even a branded URL. So they’re definitely not clicking through because of a brand, they’re clicking through because the ad communicates an easy solution to the problem they’re searching for.
Dom: That’s it. Your ad and that short number of characters, that’s your hook.
Dom: There’s no space for branding, or awareness, or marketing of that kind. It’s all hook.
Pete: Yeah, absolutely. And this just kind of relates to this, and it’s probably going to reiterate some of the stuff we’ve already spoken about today. But I was thinking, digesting this whole thing that you brought up in the last week’s episode about today’s topic, and a friend of ours, Tim Reed from Small Business Big Marketing and other fantastic podcasts by some Australians that I think everyone should listen to; it’s a great show where they promote on a weekly basis, just interviews with various business owners of how they’ve succeeded at what they do.
When he consults with clients, the first thing he really tries to distill and get them to try and understand is – let me try and get this right, it’s work out what you’re going to say before you work out where to put it. And I guess you can apply that statement to what we’re talking to today. It’s important to work out what you’re going to say. This is your marketing message. What do you stand for? What do you want to be known for? What solutions do you offer?
And then once you get that right, then you can work out the best place to actually put it on and put it out there to get the response you need. So it’s all about figuring out what your brand is and who you are and what you stand for, and how you want to communicate that. Now he’s talking generally when he says more about, “OK, what sort of flavor do you want the language to be for your brand?”
And that’s OK to have and think about building your brand that way in terms of, do you want to be known as a clean-cut accountant who’s all about the numbers and very formal, or you’re wanting to be a very fun, cool shoe store down the road that’s all about engagement and fun and things like that? That’ll dictate the marketing messages and the language you use in your marketing.
That makes sense because, again, that fits back to who you want to be known for and what you want to be known for. That’s a part of being brand-aware or brand-conscious. But going out there and just sticking your logo on billboards and banners and on the side of your van is completely wasted. If you’re Australian and you’ve got a work van, and all you’ve got on there is your logo or your business name, that’s branding and it’s a complete waste in opportunity.
You should be putting on there the benefits you do, the guarantee you give, the phone number, the website people can respond to when they see your truck parked on the sidewalk at the front of the fence that you’re creating and constructing for the homeowner. People can see the workmanship and they go, “Oh, look, there’s the van. I’ll call and actually book that person for a quote as well.” That’s what Tim talks about when he says work out what you’re going to say before you work out where to put it, and I think that’s a relevant thing to add into the conversation today.
Dom: Yeah, I do like the point. And just to bring it all back together for a second, as you say, it’s OK. In fact it’s important to understand what you stand for, to have a clear idea what your message is, what your values are, and that’s part of your brand values, that’s part of the definition of your brand. And we’re not against that, and nothing that we’ve said is again that, it’s important.
People need to know, as you said, I think this is a really good thing to just emphasize: In this market, in this day and age, you or your company need to be known for something, and you need to be almost niche in what it is that you’re known for. Be – I loved that word, you said, ‘be boutique’ about it. Be specific about what you do and don’t do. So that you can become known and people can focus on that.
But in terms of getting the message out there, very few people –- and I hate to break this to the bigger brands and the bigger business, but very few people focus on a brand when they’re looking for something, because they may not know about the brand that they’re looking for. What they’re looking for, as you said in the last thing you said, was they’re looking for the solution to a problem. And if you can communicate that, you’ve solved that problem, they don’t care what your company is called. They don’t care what color your logo is. They don’t care about any of that stuff that people spend so much time and effort on.
What they care about is do you solve their problem, and can you solve their problem anytime soon? And so your job is, as you said, back to the point you made, is about the hook. Can you create a hook, as you said on the side of the van, don’t spend the whole side of your van with the logo and your name; tell them what you do. Boiler servicing. You write ‘boiler servicing’ in big letters on the side of your van, and ‘Call me for a quote,’ which is your call-to-action. I imagine that your call rate will probably go up quite significantly, and specifically for people that want their boiler servicing.
Pete: Absolutely. Absolutely, That’s exactly what we’re trying to communicate today, so I think we’ve put a nice little bow on it, haven’t we?
Dom: And well inside time, sir. I think now is a good opportunity though to just take a little second to talk about the second sponsor. He says being all corporate, I’m going quite corporate, aren’t I? I think I’m going to have to stop this.
Pete: Definitely with the sponsors, yes.
Dom: Yeah. Really, I swear, there’s no script.
Pete: I feel like I should be putting on a smoking jacket and getting a cigar out for this section.
Dom: There isn’t even a mind map on the screen in front of me. We’re that freeform this week. I’m going to borrow a machine. But our second sponsor, we’re very grateful to Audible, the audiobook company. We regularly either talk about books that we’ve read, or we recommend books that we’ve read, or we suggest you go and read a bit more in depth on a topic. And to find out what’s out there and get an awareness of it and maybe even an expert overview; at the beginning of the podcast, we recommended our other sponsor, Read It For Me.
It is a great way to get some coverage and just really get an awareness of the books and publications. But if you actually want to consume the whole book and you want to do it in a very efficient way, then Audible.com is fantastic because you can download pretty much any book, certainly the majority of the ones we’ve talked about. You can download a book from Audible.com onto your portable audio-playing device – no favoritism on this podcast – iPhone, iPod, iPad.
And you can listen to it at normal speed, or as we recommend, at 2-speed – get double the work done. We have an offer from Audible Audiobooks. And if you go to AudibleTrial.com/PreneurCast, you’ll get access to a free trial of the Audible service, and also a coupon to download any book from their service to give it a try. And we do both use Audible.com, both Pete and I; we both recommend it. It’s a great way to consume books while possibly you’re doing something else like driving, or if you’re Pete, exercising.
Pete: Absolutely, I’ve been using their service for a couple of years; I’ve found it absolutely fantastic. I love the audiobook stuff. I’ve been doing it since I was in high school, and it’s probably the cause of my enthusiastic fast-paced speaking style. I listen to so many books at 2-speed, so I blame the education for my fast talking.
Dom: That’s an interesting thing to blame education for. Most people blame it for other things.
Pete: That justification helps me sleep at night.
Dom: Yeah, you sell it any way you can. I would just like to point out actually about the sponsors, because it’s a relatively new thing. I’d just like to emphasize, these sponsors, there’s two things that make these two sponsors stand out. The first one, and it’s very, very important, both Pete and I use these services. And we don’t use them because they’re sponsoring the podcast; we’ve been users of the service for some time. Certainly in the case of Audible.com, and Pete was involved with Read It For Me for some time before it became a sponsor for the show.
And secondly, both these companies are providing some form of discount or coupon or other thing to PreneurCast listeners. So it’s not that these companies are funding us and therefore we’re talking about them, which is fairly often the meaning of the word sponsor; but actually you the listeners are getting something out of this, as well as we can wholeheartedly recommend these services. And we’d like to continue like that, with our sponsors. We’d like to be able to say that we use the services, and that our listeners can get something out of it as well.
Pete: Well put. So, in terms of getting something out of this for the listeners, what is the action point for this week? We spoke about people taking a moment to look at all the various marketing mediums they currently have in their business – be it a website, a brochure, a business card, a corporate van, street signage, anywhere that people interact with your marketing messages; and actually getting a feel for – are they, do they, should they have a direct response call-to-action as part of the message?
If they don’t, put an action plan in place to actually make that happen. You’ll see a very easy instant spike in inquiries and traffic and leads to your business, because you’re just tweaking what you’re already doing. You need that little bit of leverage extra out of what you’re already doing, and I guess that’s the key action point for today.
Dom: Absolutely. And remember that the significant order of things that people follow is there should be a hook, there should be a pitch, and there should be a call-to-action. And if you can fit it on, there should be some branding. But definitely check that out, and in next week’s show, Pete, what do you think?
Pete: Well, something that you and I were discussing that would make a fantastic episode is talking about marketing assets. Now, this is an extension of a presentation that a friend of ours gave, Eugene Ware, who is the genius behind Noble Samurai, the software company that makes some fantastic marketing applications for online businesses. He did a presentation in London, maybe almost two years ago now, made it 18 months ago. Two years ago, I think, it would have been…
Dom: Yeah, yeah.
Pete: At a conference that I spoke at and that you were at. He spoke about marketing assets, and it was such a fantastic presentation. The message and the distinctions that he made is definitely worth a read, or writing and sharing and discussing on the show because it’s interesting when you actually sit down and think about what are all the assets you have in your business that relate to marketing. Most people, when they think about assets for their business, they’re thinking about the trucks, the tools, the computers, the building, physical accounting-based assets.
But if we look at this from a marketing perspective, we’re going to discuss what are all the assets you have in your marketing that you can grow, that you can have a consistent ROI on. So make sure you check out next week’s show because I’m super excited. I’m going to revisit Eugene’s presentation. I’m going to actually try and have a chat to Eugene about it to see what are the distinctions he’s developed internally off the back of that presentation in the 18 months. And we’ll repurpose it and share it all to everyone on next week’s PreneurCast episode.
Dom: Yeah, I’m really looking forward to it myself as well. It was one of the standout presentations of that particular conference because it was about business and marketing; and for me, it gave a new perspective. I’ve had – as you say, 18 months to apply some of the things that Eugene talked about, and had a little bit of a think about it. So I think we can both put our own spin on that material. It’s going to be an interesting show.
Pete: Looking forward to it. See you next week, Dom. And for all you listeners, hope to see you on Twitter, @preneur for me. @dgoucher, what is it Dom? I keep forgetting.
Dom: We need to sort that branding out, don’t we? It’s @dgoucher.
Pete: @dgoucher for you. PreneurMedia.tv is the home of the podcast, so you can get all the show notes, the transcripts, the links. There’s also Facebook comments on there, so you can leave questions and feedback for the show. But when it comes to feedback, as we always ask, if you do enjoy the show, please help us out and say thank you by leaving a comment on your local iTunes Store.
Bit of a rating and a comment always helps us continue our rankings, which gets more listeners, which in turn makes this a lot more fun to do as well. So, big thanks to everyone so far. Continue to chat with us online through social media, as they say. Until next week, see you guys!
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http://ReadItFor.Me/preneurcast – ReadItForMe creates multi-media summaries of popular business and personal development books. Visit our link for a 14-day trial and a PreneurCast listener 10% discount on their membership fees.
http://audibletrial.com/preneurcast – Audible has a huge library of audio books of all types. Visit our link for a 14-day trial and PreneurCast listener coupon for a free audio book.
These previous episodes are talked about in today’s show. Go back and listen, if you missed them, over at http://preneurmedia.tv.
PreneurCast Episode 37 – Pete and Dom discuss the Preneur Hierarchy
The Mac Power Users Podcast – David Sparks and Katie Floyd’s excellent Mac-centric podcast
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