Does the thought of running ads and doing paid marketing make you feel sleazy or give you an uneasy feeling? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, running ads and doing paid marketing is something I don’t personally have much experience in and never had the desire to do much of.

However, I understand there is a lot of value to running paid ads, whether on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Google, etc. In fact, multiple people I know in the ad world have repeatedly said that the big benefit is that you can target and CHOOSE who will see your services to help grow your business instead of relying on word of mouth and referrals which you never know when, where or how many are going to come.

To help us understand ads and how to get the biggest ROI from them, I’ve brought in founder and CEO of (one of the fastest growing marketing consulting agencies in the U.S.) Erik Huberman, who shares his insight on what’s working well with ads and perhaps more importantly, what’s NOT working in 2021.

P.S. Erik and I don’t necessarily see eye to eye on all the topics we discuss which not only reflects our different personalities, but also where we are in life. However it is really useful to hear from someone who doesn’t share your exact line of thinking on certain topics so I hope you’re able to take the thoughts and opinions from both sides and see what works best for you and your business!

Enjoy 🙂

In this episode:

03:57 – Greeting to Erik
06:49 – 2021 landscape
10:40 – Luxury of organic
12:27 – Niche focus
14:25 – Thoughts on video
15:21 – Multiple communication
18:31 – Articulating
20:37 – Customers advertising
21:21 – Initial attention
22:45 – Crazy stunt
25:13 – SM and YouTube
27:17 – Boosting
29:05 – Email & SMS thoughts
31:20 – Why Erik podcasts
35:30 – Best platform
37:46 – Knowing audience
40:35 – Context receiving
42:31 – Don’t spread too thin
43:11 – Don’t dabble
44:58 – Erik’s info
45:32 – Website importance
47:04 – Giving advice

Episode sponsored by Josh’s Maintenance Plan Course

Connect with Erik:

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #117 Full Transcription

Josh 0:00 
Hey, everybody, and welcome into the podcast. This is Episode 117. And in this one, we’re going to talk about something that I’m not personally too savvy on. And that is ads, we’re gonna take a look. And we’re going to kind of take a deep dive into what is working with ads and what is not working with ads here in 2021. and beyond. And my guest in this interview is somebody who is very well qualified for this talk. And it’s one reason I wanted to bring somebody in, who knows what the heck they’re talking about with ads. Because again, it’s not something that I do much myself. In fact, I have very, very little experience with ads, and none in my web design agency years and very little with what I do with Josh Hall co with my courses and stuff.

Josh 0:57 
So wanted to bring in somebody who knows a lot about this, this is Erik Huberman. He is the founder and CEO of Hawke Media, which is one of the fastest growing marketing consulting agencies in the US. So they’ve actually worked with brands like Verizon, Red Bull, among others. And they have at this point, over 150 employees across multiple locations all over the US. So needless to say, he’s got a lot of experience with building an agency all around ads. And what was interesting about this topic, is that, because I didn’t really know too much about ads, it’s more of a broad spectrum about what is working, what is not, and then also how to attract the right type of attention, which really, it was actually originally we were going to talk about attracting the right attention. But what I discovered that Erik and I did in this conversation is really take kind of a broad approach to ads in general, we talk about video versus blogging, versus the type of different ads that you can do on Facebook versus LinkedIn, and Instagram. And what we really get into which I found super fascinating was, where your audience is, and how to attract them, depending on what platform you’re on, which is something that I’m really working at right now.

Josh 2:12 
Now, I do want to say, Erik, and I don’t necessarily agree and see eye to eye on every thing that we talked about in this interview. And one thing I’ll point out right now that I still stand very firmly on is personal videos. Erik, as you’ll find out is not a fan of personal videos. He’s also somebody who is quite busy, and is running a very big growing agency. So it’s a little bit different than me who has more of a lifestyle approach with working, you know, fairly low hours and having a family. So I love personal videos, Eric, not so much. And you’ll hear why. And I actually found was really interesting, I think it’s great to talk with somebody who has maybe not opposing views, but different views on stuff. So I actually found this chat to be very enlightening. And I think you will too, particularly if you’re interested in diving into more marketing and ads

Josh 2:56 
Now, for those of you who are terrified of marketing, and doing ads look kinda like me. Luckily, in web design, while I do encourage you think about this, because you can definitely control more of your customer base with ads. One thing you can really do to avoid having to spend a lot on ads is to have a maintenance plan. So you can get those lovely two words called recurring income. And if you don’t have that, if you’re thinking about starting a maintenance plan and the hosting plan for your clients, you don’t know where to start. I would love to help you out with that you can join my website maintenance plan course, today, which is open for you right now. It’s helped hundreds of students all over the world. I’ll put a link in the show notes to that one. But you can check that out. I would love to help you start a maintenance plan of your own. So you don’t have to just rely on ads. But I do recommend you think about it and consider it and you’re going to hear how, why. And how to go about it here in this episode with my man Erik Huberman. So here we go. Let’s talk ads.

Josh 3:57 
Erik, welcome to the show. It’s a pleasure to have you on man.

Erik 4:00 
Yeah, thank you for having me.

Josh 4:02 
I’d love to start out if you can let my audience know where you’re based out of and what you do. I actually let me rephrase the question for you because you’re the CEO of Hawke media. But what is your company do? So we love what you do?

Erik 4:17 
So currently, based out of Santa Monica, though, when about July, we did a vote and said do you guys want to ever go back to an office and 84% of our team said no. So we went from being about 90% in LA and offices in New York, Boston and Baltimore as well, to now about 50% in LA and people in 24 plus different states around the country. And seven months it’s been so we’re everywhere. But I am currently in LA I just spent a month in Utah and I’m spending another month after this month in Mexico. So we’re jumping around because our whole business is virtual now taking advantage of it making it a good thing.

Josh 4:54 
Oh, absolutely. That’s the beauty about whether it’s web design or digital media or anything. That is the beauty now.

Erik 5:00 
Yeah, no, I mean, our clients have always been remote, now remote for each other, and we figured it out so it’s gone really well. Um, yeah, in terms of what we do. So Hawke media is basically an outsourced CMO and marketing team to companies. So we go into brands, identify the holes in their marketing team or strategy, and then we’ll spin up different experts all Alec Carton, months, months, so it could be an email marketer or web designer, Facebook marketer, Google marketer, etc. And the idea is we can go in and do what they need what’s needed, and then be super nimble and flexible along the way, so can spin up and down as needed to. So our mission is accessibility to great marketing for everyone. The idea being a lot of companies have a very hard time identifying great marketers, great talent, great agencies, and we wanted to make it super easy and flexible to get really good talent and good people working on your company.

Josh 5:47 
Awesome. Well, and I know we’re gonna dive into this idea of attention and how to get it in a very ADD, attention deficit type of world, which again, as I mentioned before, we went live, very, very timely topic, particularly for my audience of web designers and entrepreneurs. So I’d love to start the conversation off here, Erik, with what you because I want to hear about the landscape. Because I know you’re in a lot of different channels, and a lot of different markets. And most of my students just for your reference are going to focus on Facebook, probably a little bit of LinkedIn, a little bit of Instagram, depending. And then I’m a big proponent, I’ve seen the power of two things for me that really have helped grow my business, podcasting, and blogging, those have been the biggest for me. So I would love to just kick us off with where the landscape is right now, in 2021, this interview will come out springtime 2021. Where are some of the most powerful channels that is there? I know it might depend on the the industry? And maybe that’s a broad question. But yeah, what have you seen have just been some of the most powerful channels that people have rolled with.

Erik 6:49 
So I think that’s going to be what changes in 2021 is the idea that there is a powerful or a couple powerful channels, I think, what’s going to happen now, when we actually start with why. So in 2020, with COVID, consumer purchases went from 13%, online to 30. And just Q2 of 2020, it subsided a little bit, but not much. And so with that, all of the big CPG, automotive etc brands, everyone is realizing that online isn’t just it already passed, I think it was 2018, when the majority of ad spend went online versus traditional for the first time. Now it’s like traditional is getting less and less valuable, and digital is becoming the thing, the problem that that has is for any small medium business trying to compete. It’s all in a bidding system. And as these big CPG companies and giant brands jump in, they can’t compete on a price point, because those big companies have so much distribution, so much lifetime value, that they can spend a lot more on acquiring customers. And so to compete, you have to become much better at the full funnel win this year, I think we’re gonna see a pretty large rise in advertising costs and customer acquisition costs.

Erik 8:01 
So finding ways to both decrease your, your sorry, increase your conversion rate, increase your lifetime value becomes the main focus. And that’s always been a big focus of ours. But I think now more than ever, it’s now not just going to make your company better, it’s going to make your company actually survive or not. And so what that means what I mean by that is doing things like email marketing SMS, which is where we’ve placed a big bet, in terms of we have a venture side too, we will do a lot of investing. So we’ve been on a company called PostScript, and doing a ton of other using tools, as well as chatbots referral programs, everything to again, increase your conversion rate, increase your lifetime value off, the advertising you’re doing becomes super important.

Erik 8:39 
I still believe Facebook and Google are the best places to digitally advertise super iterative. They’re bad products are really great. Which one you should spend more on really is where it depends on your industry, your type of business. But um, I see tik tok being the next up and comer. We were the first official agency partner to tick tock. I think that because of the way, and this would be a lot deeper conversation, but the way that the platform works, is you’re just sitting there scrolling through random videos. And if they can get their targeting right on their ad platform so that you can target the right people, it’s a perfect time to hit someone say, hey, check this out. Same that’s why Facebook and Instagram are so valuable. Whereas Twitter had struggled and YouTube has struggled and Snapchat has struggled on ads. They haven’t because of the way that nature of the platform is used.

Josh 9:24 
Gotcha. So that’s a good, that’s a good overlay of the land for like the ad based side of things. What about organic content? Because I don’t do ads myself. It’s something I might look into eventually. But I built my entire business organically, mostly through organic tutorials through YouTube and my podcast. How does that stack up against ads? I mean, I’m fascinated by how ads and organic can work in conjunction and how they kind of compete with each other. So what do you think about that? Is it I mean, obviously, there’s going to be a lot of different ways to go about things organically versus…

Eric 9:57 
So a couple of clarifying questions. When did you start doing YouTube?

Josh 10:02 
I started doing that in 2017, the end of 2016.

Eric 10:04 
We weren’t like a first adopter. And how long did it take you before it really started to pick up.

Josh 10:11 
It was probably about six months. Now, I don’t know how how much you know about me, Erik, but my niche is pretty small. So I teach particular my YouTube I teach web designers a lot of tips and tricks and now have this web design show on my YouTube channel, but it’s mainly for web designers using WordPress. And then there’s a smaller niche than that, which is the Divi Theme by Elegant Themes. So that’s my primary audience. So it’s kind of a niche within niche, which is where I got some power. And where I got some, some good authority.

Erik 10:40 
And I would say, but six months of the example like, organic can work really well, it just takes time. And a lot of people don’t have that luxury. So like you waited six months, which by the way, is really fast. That was, that’s great. So you did a good job there. And we’re able to hit something that people want to see. Some companies take years to grow organically, or they can throw some money at it and in you jumpstart it, because it’s not like those if you do a good job, it’s not like those customers go away. So it’s not like you have to keep doing it. A lot of times it can just be a jumpstart to get you the base, you need to get going. So

Josh 11:12 
That’s a good point.

Erik 11:13 
That’s why like I spend money on paid ads, etc. And we you know, have a big team that manages a lot of paid ads hundreds of companies is it’s not that those companies don’t have a good product, that there’s not word of mouth, that there’s not other ways it can get business, it’s that the only one way you can control directly your growth is really paid ads, because organic, you’re at the mercy of word of mouth, you’re at the mercy of the algorithms of those platforms, you’re at the mercy of a lot of other things. So when you want to control your destiny, that’s where paid ads come in. That being said, there are some incredible brands that have grown organically.

Josh 11:41 
Well, that’s a really good point you make I have heard that that you you have just much more control, like you just said with the ad REL. Whereas I find organic, just like you said referral is I’ve heard it kind of related to like rain, you know, it’s gonna rain eventually. But you don’t necessarily know when it’s gonna rain. So organic is a different approach. And I should say to just for some context, my organic growth, I was running my own web design agency on the side. So I didn’t have a need for my brand to blow up really quickly. But again, for me, it was honing on a certain niche that really helped. And I think what is that the focus that you would encourage people to have if they’re doing both with ads and organic content? Is it focusing on a certain niche or trying to find the best type of people for the biggest ROI? What are your thoughts on that?

Erik 12:27 
I don’t think you always need to focus on a niche, but I think the niche needs to be redefined. That doesn’t mean like what you just said about like, it wasn’t it works for some people, but it’s not necessary. Meaning like what you just said about focusing on a single theme on it from a specific designer for WordPress, like that’s very niche. You could do every type of web platform out there for companies, but focus on an industry or you could do every type of web platform for any industry, but you’re going to focus on a certain market segment or whatever it is. Having a focus i think is important. Having a mission having a differentiator, having something that resonates is really important. But like our differentiator, our is our mission, which is accessibility to great marketing for everyone, which by nature means we’re not niched down into any specific niche. Sure What we are is month to month Docker, we’re differentiated in a different way than saying, we’re experts in automotive, which I actually think in a marketing standpoint is a mistake, because I think then you’re just the marketing needs to be creative needs to be innovative. And when you’re doing the same industry over and over again, you just run the same playbook there, none of them are gonna be differentiated, they’re all gonna work the same, they’re not gonna get any real attention. So back to the attention thing.

Josh 13:37 
Yeah, that’s a good point. So as far as attention, we’re, we’re in a society now, no matter where we are, I mean, I’ve got students from all over the world, it doesn’t matter. You’ve got an attention span of about two seconds. So I’d love to ask you and pick your brain since you’ve seen a lot of different types of ads across a lot of different platforms. What are some things that work well? I know video is more important than ever. I’m a big proponent for all of my students to be doing short videos, whether it’s on social media or or engaging videos to chat with people who have purchased, you know, their their products, or a lot of times we’re doing proposals or videos, excuse me on proposals to walk people through, it’s just adds up some more big element, would you back that up and say in video is more important than ever? And then on top of that, what are some other ideas that have kind of helped initial conversions on all these different platforms?

Erik 14:25 
So it’s funny because I believe more personalization, is more burden than ever. Some people love the video. I hate it. Because I don’t have the time. I don’t have time to like, click your video and watch it like I’m on the phone 10 hours a day. Plus, I don’t have time to listen to your video, which means you send that to me. I’ll get to it in the next week. Maybe or by the time a week passes. It’ll be like yeah, I’m done. I don’t want to deal with this. And so for me emails better. Text is better way because I can do it. I can multitask. I can deal with your email while I’m on a call or while I’m doing something else. And video I have to listen to it. Which by the way, my biggest pet peeve which is not a fair pet peeve. voice memo display do not send me a voice message like I hate it. It’s like now you expect me to like, take a minute or two to listen to this versus just texting me with just text me like, I don’t need to hear your voice. And so that by the way, that’s me other people like it.

Josh 15:14 
I don’t like to back you up, I don’t like the tet the voice messaging, I don’t like that either. I’d much rather than just text it out or send me a video one of those two.

Erik 15:21 
Exactly. And so I that that part is. That’s what why I say that is, I think doing multiple things, you know, like, trying different things to different people and having different sources is important in any type of marketing or sales, where it’s like different people gonna respond to different messages, different forms of communication, different ways of doing things, and you need to try to customize it, or have everything firing, because if you send me a voice message, and then a text, I’m just gonna ignore the voice message, but I’ll read the text. So now you’ve tried both, maybe I like one or the other. And you’ve now got me and so the idea to me is like it, I really do have a view on marketing in general like this, do it all, do everything you can double down and then keep adding to it. As your company grows, you can afford more resources, do more and more, because a lot of people will like change things out and like try Facebook and then go to Google or try voice messaging and then trade tax, like why not do both? Why not do it all? And you know, reach the people that it reaches people are different in unique and different ways? Because not everybody books their calendar like I do.

Josh 16:23 
Yeah, well, that’s an interesting point, I wanted to hit on with the video thing, because you and I differ in that because I love videos. If one of my students sends me a video, I love it. But we’re we’re a little bit different. As far as our schedules go, I have a little more time to dedicate to that where I think you’re interesting, Erik, because you’re probably like a lot of my web design. Students, clients, they’re busy. They’ve got a lot of stuff going on. So videos, I guess what I would say for those type of people is like you just said have both maybe have the video, would you echo that have the video but then also have it written out in case they don’t watch the video at least summarized?

Erik 16:57 
Yeah, I think that that can work. Because then then I don’t feel obligated to watch your video. Like it’s almost to me. And again, it’s just because of the way I run my schedule. To me, it’s almost, it’s slightly insulting, like, oh, you’re trying to sell me something. So now I need to take the time to watch a three minute video like, no, that’s not gonna happen, versus like, you sent me a quick text. Like, I don’t even think of that as an obligation. I’m like, yeah, sure, I’ll read it. And so it makes it a lot easier for me. If the video is sitting there, I still will skip over it. But that’s fine.

Josh 17:25 
Well, that’s interesting, because I, it’s interesting to hear your approach, because for the web design clients, a lot of my students have and I have for years video blew them away. And it might just be the difference in industries, you’re working with a lot of savvy folks to where, like an auto mechanic like you just talked about, if they’re going to talk with five different web designers, and one of the web designers sends them a video, they’ll probably look at that. And I know this from experience, or like, wow, you took the time to actually send me a video, it might also depend on the location too. I’m in Columbus, Ohio, a lot of people here want to work with people they know like and trust locally. So that personal element, like you’re talking about, particularly in video was huge for those local blue collar type of businesses. So that’s, that’s an interesting point, though, because there are people who are really busy and might not want to sit through that, which is where brevity and keeping things short and concise is huge. So what from an ad perspective when it comes to this attention? What’s the importance there? I mean, I imagine that’s a big, big thing. Now as you can’t you don’t want to post a 20 minute video on Facebook, no one’s gonna watch that. What what are your thoughts on that? As far as keeping things concise? And then to the right medium?

Erik 18:31 
So cut well, to further on the advertising side. It’s really just articulating, articulating what you do in a way that your attention very, very, very fast. You said two seconds. I mean, it’s probably right. So you know, if it’s a video, the first two seconds of the video have to be super compelling. Again, it’s not to close the deal. It’s to get their attention so that they want to stick around. And people miss that. We talked about the one sentence, what’s something like how can you both explain your value and your differentiator in a sentence that at least gets people intrigued or in more in the right people? And I think people are really bad at that. For the most part. I think people don’t articulate what they do very well. You know, a lot of times you get the similes where the Uber for x where the Airbnb for y, which that’s okay, that’s a start. But really, like explore the problem of saying Uber for x, it’s like, oh, see your bro culture that eats people and like screws over their drivers. But you’re doing that for bicycles, like different people. And I say that because different people have different connotations of the brand. So when you do that, it’s dangerous. So really figuring out your, your sort of one sentence. And the reason that’s so important when you articulate. So ours is where your outsourced CMO and marketing team.

Erik 19:42 
That’s it. Got it so and then. Oh, interesting. So you guys have like CMOS that work with companies and then have like a marketing team, like how does that work? That’s all I need. I don’t need them to be like, I understand your entire business now. It’s just like, I made sure I get it. And if it’s a CEO or another marketing person goes, wait, let me let me hear About that, that’s what I want. The reason that’s important is if I keep going with where your outsourced CMO marketing team or outsourced cmo marketing team, when that person goes and talks to another person and goes, Oh, in that person’s going, I need marketing help. They go, Oh, you should talk talk media. They’re like an outsourced like cmo marketing team thing, which is how they re articulate, but they know what to say. So you feel comfortable saying, Yeah,

Josh 20:21 
You know what? I liked that, Eric, I hadn’t thought about that. But that’s probably a good advertising. One on One type exercise is for everyone to say if one of your best clients referred you, and they could only refer you in one sentence, what would it be? What would they say? That’s probably a good way to think about it like that?

Erik 20:37 
Exactly. And I always tell people, yeah, if you know, anyone that needs marketing help send it to me. They’re like, Oh, well, should they be what size? And what? There’s no, no, I’ll deal with that. If they need marketing help, send them to me, like that’s it and you keep it super simple. And that has been our biggest revenue driver from the beginning is referrals. By far, word of mouth will always be the biggest driver for businesses, you can’t afford to buy all your customers, you need word of mouth. And so you have to enable word of mouth. And so you talk about attention. Well, if someone that if a person sitting there talking to you about someone else, you have their attention. That’s how that works. So that part’s super important.

Erik 21:12 
So then to get that initial attention, is where you have to get a little more creative on the advertising content side and do things that grab their grab the right person’s attention, I think it’s not hard to interrupt someone, like you have every avenue in the world to put something in front of someone these days. But you can, you’ll end up driving a bunch of the wrong customer if you don’t do it in the right way. So how you do it is less important about like, grab attention, you know, people love to do these, like Shock Value kind of emails, or advertisements that like, Yeah, you got my attention, and then I open it up, and it’s like, this has nothing to do with me. Now I hate you. So it’s, it’s really about like, focusing on what people need. And again, I think, even though you have a short, just attention span, that more means get to the point, then be, you know, over over the top with how you’re doing it. And one of my favorite little small anecdotes I got was from I ran a company with a guy that was a former president of Disney records guy named Mark Jaffe. And we were talking about Lady Gaga at the time, who it was like height of Lady Gaga his career. And he looked at me and said, you know, if you start your career screaming as loud as you can, where do you go from there? You can’t scream any louder. So and the idea was, she was being so over the top with her meat dress and all that, that she can’t go like, she’s going as crazy as she can. What’s next? And then, as we all see, nothing. I mean, she got the acting job and things like that. And she made enough money. Don’t get me wrong, but like her music career hasn’t gotten any bigger than it was in 2009.

Josh 22:43 
Yeah, that’s a good point.

Eric 22:45 
And so same kind of thing with a brand like you can try to do they’re like over the top crazy stunt. But if that’s then you attract that customer that’s looking for the over the top crazy stunt. Good luck with the next one,

Josh 22:56 
Right? Yeah, yeah. Cuz then if you get land one, you’re gonna attract more like that, too. I know what well, well said, Eric, I think that’s a really, really valuable point, particularly now, because I’ve seen so many people, whether it’s web designers, or entrepreneurs, or just businesses in general, dive right into the hell and the type of ads they should do. But you’re hitting the nail on the head with the idea of, it’s more important to know who the heck you want as a customer. Because not only can you decipher what type of platforms you need to go after, but that will absolutely cater the type of media, you’re going to put out whether it’s ads or organic content. I know. For me, one of the biggest ways.

Josh 23:34 
So I started doing courses in 2018, when I launched my first course, which was on a website maintenance plan, how to create it. My family, we just went through the NICU with my first daughter for 56 days, we were in the newborn intensive care. And it was a very trying experience. But my maintenance plan helped get us through that. And I didn’t use that as like a sales approached in a slimy way. But I was just very open about my journey. And a lot of my audience followed me and I said, Listen, guys, this thing, like was a game changer for my family. And I want to help you build this as well. So it worked. But a lot of my audience were family people and doing the same kind of thing. So it’s definitely a key point to know your audience. And to know how to focus that

Josh 24:17 
Now Okay, so we know our audience, we know what we should say and a sensor to to to get their attention. But here’s the next point or is the next part. Where do we put this message out? And I would like to ask you, four different avenues here, charities, Facebook, YouTube, and then email and podcasting because you have experienced at all and you’re doing podcasts yourself. Let’s start with the social media, which I don’t know, I guess YouTube wouldn’t be considered social media but Facebook and YouTube, particularly for repurposing content. Let’s say one of my students wants to do some authority type videos on anything about web design and they want to do something on Facebook versus something on YouTube. What do you what are your thoughts on the length of videos and what are your thoughts? On the type of content that should be on each, because I’ve heard, I’ve talked with a lot of different people, particularly about YouTube, and it’s interesting to see what’s working, I know what’s worked for me, but I’d love to hear from you. You know, if somebody’s thinking about those two channels, what would you recommend?

Erik 25:13 
So YouTube, I’m seeing longer and longer content, deep dives work better and better, okay. People are looking for, you know, complex, interesting, engaging content. So it doesn’t need to be quick fire, YouTube, second biggest search engine on the planet. Like, it’s, it’s a great place for organic content. So that’s why it made sense that you’ve had success with it. And if you’re creating tutorials, and those kind of videos, that’s where people go, like, how do I do this? Well, I’m just gonna go to YouTube and figure it out. Like that is a common practice now. And if you can actually be in a niche that’s not oversaturated with a bunch of other videos, you can get some attention for the specific things you’re an expert at. And so I would say YouTube all day, because Facebook, I’m actually not a big fan of Facebook, organically. I think if you’re gonna run ads, Facebook’s incredible. But their ads are how they make money, they don’t want it to be that powerful organic. And so you know, YouTube can’t afford their content is that content is what keeps people on it, versus Facebook’s a lot more bite sized content. So they’re not really incenting.

Erik 26:10 
Facebook, you get enough people following up people are friends with enough people that they’re not really worried about filling your newsfeed, whereas YouTube wants to keep filling more and more videos the way they do it. So I think for organic content like that, you’re way better off going to YouTube. And then on the contrary, if you’re going to advertise, you’re way better off going on Facebook, because the ad platform on Facebook is much more powerful. And it’s not as interruptive if you get an ad on Facebook, it’s just in your newsfeed, you can scroll right past it, if you want it, it’s not a big deal. YouTube, ads are annoying. You know that pre roll ad where people are trying to watch a video and you’re going to show them yours. It’s a great way to just piss people off and make them hate your brand. Like I still like YouTube, I think just makes a lot of money because of the amount of usage on it. But like, it’s not a great marketing platform. And maybe I’ll get there. It’s great for organic marketing, but for paid not great.

Josh 27:00 
Yeah, that’s a really good point. I’ve heard the same thing. I had some folks who are deep into the Facebook ad side of thing and they said the same thing. Facebook doesn’t want to promote organic stuff. They want that. What about the difference between boosting and actually creating an ad through ad center? What are your thoughts on this.

Eric 27:17 
Boosting is a great way to get like unsavoury marketers just gonna blow some money. Like, we there’s just no reason to do that. That I mean, unless you’re just, you know, not trying to get a good return on your span. And you’re just like, whatever. Which happens, by the way, you just want to, like, throw some traffic behind an ad. But like,

Josh 27:32 
Yeah, the I’m not saying I would ever boost a post. No, no, no, I’m just getting Yeah, cuz that’s what like I when I got into it, I, I didn’t really know the difference. I always thought boosting was an ad. And then it dawned on me, and then I realized, Oh, crap, it’s actually something completely different.

Erik 27:45 
You’re not picking your targeting, you’re not getting into the weeds, you’re not using all the buttons, all the details of the platform. So it’s again, it’s like the layman to just throw some ad dollars buying something versus to actually leverage all the powerful tools that the ad platform has to get the best return on that boost. So that’s the problem. And so you can do it. It’s a shortcut. It’s a shortcut to make less return off of it.

Josh 28:04 
So if you do something for like, say a case study, let’s say I released a podcast episode, and I have a little snippet. If I boost that for 10 bucks that week, just to get more people. Is that worth it for 10 bucks? Or would it almost be better just to have it go out organically?

Eric 28:20 
I would Well, two things. One, and this is where there’s no confirmation on it. But I’ve heard that if you boost something lately, it takes away all the organic reach because they want you to spend money to get to be really careful with accounts when you start boosting. Because then the great you’ll spend money on this. We’re not going to give you anything organically because you’ll spend. So

Josh 28:37 
Gotcha. Okay, well, that’s interesting. All right, give you something to think about email on podcasting. This is much more my style. As you can probably tell already, I like to talk I like to get into stuff in detail. So podcasting suits me really well. Before we get into that, though, I want to talk about email, because this has been the biggest conversion tool for me, as somebody who’s seen a lot of different ads, and you’re working with a lot of different companies. Where’s the emphasis on email? And what have you seen work? Well, on email?

Eric 29:05 
Yeah, email I’ve been doing this for over a decade is as effective as it ever was not more, not less, just the same, which it’s been about 25% of, you know, revenue for e commerce brands for the past decade. Like it’s a big channel. It’s and as you said, it drives conversion. It drives engagement, it drives, it’s an owned channels, you’re not worried about someone else’s algorithm. Maybe Gmail changes the inbox, so what about and that throws you off, but like, there’s ways to work with that. Email Marketing is hyper, hyper powerful. And so yeah, I’m a big proponent of email. I think it’s still a great channel and I am similar to what I talked about before, I think SMS SMS is about 10 times as effective as email. It’s crazy how much better it is, but it’s similar to what I said before it do both. Like you don’t need to do one or the other. And, and so other than that, there’s not really anything that has come to, you know, sort of claim the belt hits the nail is really the best conversion tool, the best engagement tool, the best lifetime value tool out there.

Josh 29:59 
Yeah. Now with the idea of, of sending something to both an email campaign could look way different than an SMS. So, do you have a lot of different strategies? Let’s say you have a big AOL sales email that you really work through. And really, you know, worked on the nitty gritty with the content for the SMS side, would you just kind of take the pain points or just the outline of it? Or do I guess the question is, how do you multipurpose content that’s a big email versus a text

Eric 30:26 
I don’t. It’s a completely different channel, I look at text is more like a proactive customer service, we do engage in every communication tool, not just sending a blast. So the way I would do that is a check in like, hope you’ve been well, I just wanted to shoot you a text just published our great new piece of content. We sent it out in the email, too, but you can check it out at this link.

Josh 30:48 
Okay. Very cool. That’s good to know. Yeah. I don’t really have too many students doing that. But I have seen it work for some people. So it’s, yeah, seems like it’s getting more, much more personal. It’s on the phone. Yeah. And it’s true. You said it. I mean, that’s probably like the most surefire way to get in front of somebody is a text over anything I would imagine. I can’t imagine anything getting right to somebody, you know, more than a text. Let’s talk about podcast, man. You know, my thoughts on it already. But for you, why, why a podcast and how’s that worked for you?

Erik 31:20 
So I’ve taken a very different approach to my podcast. And I think a lot of people do. I,I don’t do it to build an audience. And I think like, I will, inherently but I’m doing it to connect with the person on the other end of the night, like I’m the people I’m interviewing, like this, the my motivation for my podcast was I have all these amazing people that I have contact with, that I see around that we talk once in a while. But I’ve never been able to sit down and talk to some of these amazing people for 45 minutes, an hour, whatever it is. And they probably have a really good stories of how they got where they are. And so I’m going to do something I want to know about their origin stories, I actually want to I want to connect with these people. And you know, maybe it turns into something more, who knows. But either way, it’d be really cool to get some of these amazing people I’ve been able to connect with to like, hear more of their story. And I bet other people would be interested too, which is why it’s not a phone call.

Erik 32:08 
Also, it’s not a phone call. Because if I call someone or email, someone say, hey, let’s get out on the phone for 45 minutes. So you can tell me your wife’s story. They’d be like, yeah, go yourself, right? If I say, hey, you want to come on my podcast and tell your origin story? The answer has been Yes. And so the guests I’ve had are incredible. And it’s, it’s really because I think that the term podcast pushes it a little bit. And then you get to connect with these amazing people. And I do believe that over time, this is going to pick up a lot of steam because of the type of guests we’ve been able to get. But the original launch wasn’t anything crazy. Because podcasts are noisy space right now. It’s not really like, I don’t believe that my podcasts end up being like the biggest driver for my business by any means. Sorry.

Josh 32:49 
Oh, you’re fine. Well, that’s an interesting take on it. Because I I feel Yeah, that’s almost one of the main reasons I did as well, because I already had an audience. So I didn’t start my podcast to build an audience. I did it to two things to do exactly what you said to meet people and kind of bring my tribe together that because I met all these amazing people, my gosh, there were times where I’d have a conversation with with somebody and like, man, why didn’t we record that that was so good, we should have like somebody else needs to hear this, I wanted to do that. And then I want to engage my students. And what’s been really interesting, and I don’t know if you’ve seen this as well, maybe not with your business directly, but with some of your clients. So I have a YouTube channel. My two biggest things are my YouTube channel and my podcast. The podcast has brought in business minded people. My YouTube channel brings in web designers wanting to learn web design, and Divi tricks. So it’s been really interesting, the majority of my core sales now, probably, like, I’d say, confidently 75% or more comes from my podcast, because they’re into it that way. It’s built that that likeability and trust with my audience and then listening to me, every week over and over. And it’s been huge man. It’s been a huge converter. And I think, would you echo that if somebody wants to start a podcast it was it should be in conjunction with some of these other methods as well. Depending on the industry,

Eric 34:09 
It depends. I mean, I have a friend named Jordan Harbinger that is a top 10 podcast, that’s his business. So you don’t have to have it in conjunction with anything else. You can just, you know, run a podcast with Lewis house, another guy that like, that’s the main thing, then he created other things in conjunction, but you can go straight for the podcast. And I mean, Joe Rogan, by the way they exist. If you want to be a podcaster, you can be a podcaster. It’s hard. It’s more and more competitive. But you can do that. It’s really in what I’ve seen, it’s really about the guests and the consistency.

Josh 34:41 
Yeah, that’s a good point. And it really does open doors like I don’t know if you saw this yesterday. I just really well at the time of recording this. I just launched my 100th episode, and it was with Pat Flynn, world class entrepreneur and I would never have got a chance to chat with him one on one if I didn’t have a podcast. So it really does open up a lot of different doors and it can be really great. So Very cool, but it’s all about the the attention. I like the I like the approach you have with attention being just that getting the attention not necessarily making the sale right away. You mentioned consistency frequency, with ads across all platforms. How important is that? I mean, are all these platforms? I would imagine? And I’m not an ad guy. So I don’t know. I would imagine, they would probably favor people who invest more and do it more often. Have you seen that work for ads? The more you do it, the better it gets kind of thing.

Erik 35:30 
No, some people are just not not going to be good at it. It’s kind of like, if the more I played football, I’m not going to be any better. I’m just not a natural born football player. So like, No, I do well, you listen, you get better, but you don’t necessarily get good. I guess is the point. So yeah, I’m trying, you know, practice improves, generally. But that doesn’t mean you’re you’re starting at a well, baseline might not be the thing, like you have to be there is a natural ability and natural talent, or I guess, maybe it’s unnatural. But there’s some type of upbringing, etc. that gets people to a point where it’s like, they’re going to be probably pretty decent at this stuff. But I think was in practice can make you better. But I also believe, like, focus on what you’re good on good at, I think a lot of people because of the ease of accessibility to Facebook as a platform, we’ll jump in and, you know, say like, oh, I’ll just run my own ads. And it’s usually a really big mistake.

Josh 36:22 
Yeah, that makes sense. I mean, honestly, if you’re terrible at something, you do it over and over, you might get a little bit better. But you do have to do a lot of work to really make it work. And I think for ad platforms, like I think about the the podcast, for example, if I did a terrible job at the podcast, I could do it over and over. But I’m not going to grow my audience if it’s really bad. Whereas if it gets better and better, it’s going to it’s going to get more organic reach. And I was just curious about that with ads, because obviously, ads are going to favorite people who know the platform and do it well. But I was curious about those people who do it? Well, if some of these platforms do favor them? Because, you know, if they realize, Oh, this person spends a lot of their any algorithms that track that? Do you know of? Or? Or is it pretty? Is it pretty even for everyone to as long as they do it? Well, to get a good reach when it comes to ads

Erik 37:09 
Reach pretty even, it’s pretty, it’s it’s more your click through rate, your conversion rate, and all the other things that go into it, again, the fallacy is that you can just go run Facebook ads, and that’ll drive revenue. If you’re not doing email, SMS, a great website, all the funnel stuff, you’re gonna lose, you’re gonna, you’re gonna, it’s lose, because it’s based on a bidding system, you’re competing with everyone else spending money on that platform, not competing with companies like yourself, I’m not talking about your competitors. Like on Facebook, you’re targeting women between 35 and 42 in metropolitan areas that have an average income of over $150,000 a year just as a target sense.

Erik 37:46 
Okay, oh, and that are active, great, you and every activewear brand and every workout machine and every smoothie shop, and it’s not your competitors in the sense that they make the same product as you, it’s anyone re trying to reach that same audience we talked about, you know, this Attention Deficit world, they’re the everyone you’re trying to reach out to, is going to reach that by a billion people. And so if you’re not doing a great job on creative and on on that targeting too, because you’ve got to target the right person that actually is going to be interested. If you’re a, you know, pie company, and you’re targeting active, you know, and you’re not healthy at all, and you’re targeting health minded people, probably a bad move. And it that’s a simple one. But there’s a lot of companies that confuse their brand identity with their target market, you know, their brand is we perfect example. shoedazzle you know, their spokesperson originally was Kim Kardashian. And they stood for that la style, you know, fashion East stylist, like, you know, in the know kind of person, that that was their brand identity, their customer, their most concentrated customer was in late 40s African American woman from the south. And the reason for that is apparently their product along with their brand positioning, resonated with that customer than the most as an aspiration. That’s just how it works. And so people confuse that where they go well on this and my company stands for this I’m gonna target other people like it. People buy things because of aspiration. So if you’re still let’s say again, you’re Kim Kardashian, you’re standing for the fashionista in LA. Well, if I’m already in LA fashionista I’m not gonna give a shit because you’re not going to help me do anything. I’m already there. I’m already know a fashion Easter Why do I need your company? So it’s all the people that wish they were LA fashionistas there are going to be read that’s going to resonate with and that’s marketing, you know, marketing one on one, so to speak, but it’s what a lot of people miss when it comes to this targeting stuff.

Josh 39:33 
Again, honing in on that idea and point of knowing your audience and making sure your message is in front the right people because you’ve said it earlier, Eric, you could get attention but if it’s the wrong person, what’s what’s the value there.

Erik 39:44 
It’s not working again, it’s not just knowing it’s knowing understanding that your brand identity and your audience are different because that’s where I think a lot of founders have problems is not getting the difference. And it really takes explaining it. Yeah. Because we hear it we hear from our own clients like that’s not my customer. customers. So it’s like, no, that’s your brand identity your customer is not that we’re targeting your customer, because that’s what we do we analyze your customer base and figure out other people like them.

Josh 40:09 
Are there some practical tips on how to figure out where your customers are as far as what platforms they’re on? I mean, I know there’s, there’s, for me personally, as a web designer, there’s a lot of ways to go about that with SEO, data release related research. But for you guys from ads, like, I mean, there’s the common sense approach, like if you’re going to have a women’s brand, Instagram, and some of these others might be good, but for me, web designers are not on Instagram much. They’re on Facebook, primarily some on LinkedIn.

Erik 40:35 
And I appreciate you saying it, but a huge fallacy. I don’t know what the daily usage is on Instagram, but I’m guessing it’s around a billion people. Everyone’s on Instagram, everyone’s on Facebook. There, people try to generalize that it’s it’s it comes from a good place, which is like, I want to say old school because it’s like you’re talking decades and calling it old school, but basically big, big creative agencies, big agencies, they looked at where their audience was traditionally, like, my audience is watching Bravo, not Spike TV, whatever it is. That’s how they used to think about it. Now Google, Facebook, Instagram, everyone’s on there. I’m like, millennials, Gen Z, do you got next baby boomers, whatever, like when men, women, everything, they’re all on those platforms. And so the issue isn’t trying to find where your audience isn’t picking that platform anymore. It’s the context in which they’re receiving. Yeah,

Josh 41:22 
Yeah. And you know what? Hey, look, I appreciate you calling me out on that. Because that’s an interesting point. What’s interesting about that is Yeah, I mean, practically, I know, everyone’s on Instagram. But they, I guess what I probably should have said there is the usage is different when they’re on there versus when they’re on Facebook, because when they’re on Facebook, particularly in the Divi community, in WordPress community, people are highly engaged on Facebook or Facebook groups, they’re helping, whereas Instagram, it’s personal time. Now, I definitely agree, I’m sure there’s a lot, that would probably take a different type of approach from an app perspective. So so that makes sense.

Erik 41:54 
So good, very visual. So if you’re trying to attract web designers, and you’re showing really incredibly, as quick video of an incredibly designed and syntax, or a parallax, you know, new theme that you’re watching, Instagram would be a good place to put that. But you have to exactly change the type of creative you’re doing based on what you just said.

Josh 42:11 
And that’s a good point, because I really think about that. But just because it’s the same type of person, we are different on the different types of platforms, we’re on a different mindset on YouTube than you are on Facebook versus Instagram. So I guess that’s a really good way to kind of figure out what kind of content you’re going to do on each, which, again, goes back to attention, and also what type of attention you have on those types.

Eric 42:31 
You just brought up something else, which is also don’t spread yourself too thin, because it is it does take a lot of detail to do these things, right? And may make sense to just do YouTube for a while until you can ramp up enough to have help to go through these other platforms and not try to do everything lightly. But go deep on one scan make sense in terms of the awareness side of things?

Josh 42:50 
Well, and I’m glad you said that, because like you and me, I think are wired a little differently, just with our type of personality. I don’t want to do too much. So I feel like you could probably handle 10 different things that wants to be fine. For me. Focusing on podcast, YouTube, little bit of Facebook has been fine. So one reason I haven’t done for Instagram is just I’m just like, I just don’t know if I have the bandwidth, right?

Erik 43:11 
It’s funny. I’ve had this recent, you know, and it’s a whole side tangent, but I think it’s a good example. Have you seen NFT’s these new a crypto art pieces? It’s like taking blockchain and crypto and creating art out of it. And they’re going crazy. Like Blau the DJ just sold one for like three and a half million dollars and they’re What do we like crypto art when they’re stupid? Well, things, people are making a ton of money. A bunch of my very seasoned intelligent friends told me to jump into it. I started looking into it and like to buy these like little pixelated heads right now called crypto punks. It’s like 40 grand, okay, and I’m like, could it and they’re all convinced it’s going to millions? And the answer is maybe it is I miss Bitcoin, I got told to buy bitcoin at eight bucks a coin base, put 10 grand into it back in 2012. Oops. Anyways, the point being, I also can’t spend the time to learn enough about this to be able to have an edge, I have plenty of investment avenues that I’d make good money, and I’m gonna stick to what I’m doing. Because there’s no like, I don’t have a reason to get out of that right now. These are all so you end up chasing shiny objects in investing. And when I look at marketing, investing very similar in the way you look at a portfolio strategy, etc. And so sometimes it’s like, if you’re not gonna have the time to really go deep into it. Don’t dabble. dabble is where you just lose money. So I just don’t don’t go there.

Josh 44:24 
Well, I have one final question for you. But that was the perfect segue to, you know, bring attention to your type of agency. And that’s what I’ve realized. I don’t have the bandwidth to do everything. So I’m going to hire people who are really good at what they do at to help out so you guys are really good at ads. You have a pulse on all this kind of stuff. So where would you like my audience to go to find out more about you, Eric, and potentially their collaborate with you or I’m sure a lot of my web designers have clients and they’re not handling this stuff. They don’t want to add a blitz. Look, social media strategy is a lot different than just ads in general too. So where where would you like my audience to go to find more about you and potentially hit you up?

Erik 44:58 
Yeah, we love partnering with a web agency, so feel free to reach out. For me, it’s just at our slasher kuperman on every social channel. And if you want to just jump into Hawke Media, just Hawke if you need help on marketing, that’s easy, as well as if you want to partner up, we have a really robust partnership ecosystem and, and programs, so happy to look at partnerships.

Josh 45:17 
Cool. We’ll have everything linked in the show notes. So last question for you a little bit ago, you mentioned that adds anything attention related is just one piece of the puzzle. And shocker, as a web designer, I’m gonna ask you about the importance of websites nowadays. Where do you stand on that,

Erik 45:32 
It’s incredibly important. So I mean, that’s where they actually convert. So the, we’re actually coming out with a book later this year called the hawk method. And it’s how we look at marketing. And I alluded to this a little bit, but we looked at it in three categories, and kind of three pillars, awareness, nurturing, and trust, awareness being How do I get new attention to my brand that no one’s ever seen it usually advertising, PR, those kind of things. nurturing are all the things you do between when they first become aware of you in the actually convert website, big part of nurturing, because that’s where I’m actually going to land where I’m going to assess how you know, your brand. It’s also trust, you can have testimonials, case studies, press, all these things that help build that trust and 75% of people won’t buy from a company they don’t inherently trust. So if you don’t do a good job there, they’re just gonna wait. So super important to have that set up. So that it’s in you have to have it be very focused, like, what’s the like websites that are like, I see what people build websites that are like business cards, or it’s like, this is who we are. It’s a brochure. That’s, that’s pointless. It’s got to be a funnel, it’s got to have a purpose. What are you trying to get out of that website? And usually, it’s a conversion or a lead or something along those lines, and be very focused on that. And then, yeah, websites critical site speed alone can help change the dynamic in our company significantly. Yeah. Drop, what their conversions dropped 8x, they had 8x less conversions, because they screwed up their site, and it was loading improperly. So

Josh 46:55 
Well good stuff there. Do you? Do you guys get clients who have terrible websites, but want to spend a lot with you? And if that happens, what do you say? Like Will you take on a company like that?

Erik 47:04 
Well, we do have a web team, too. But the answer is no, we won’t. We don’t want to market shady websites, we do everything we can to avoid that. Sometimes we do. They say we don’t care. This is what we want to do. It’s you or someone else. And we’ll be like, Alright, we’ll try it. But we’re going to be very clear on what we expect. We’ve also been proven wrong. I’ve bad websites come in that I thought were complete crap, and they convert like crazy. So we also try not to be a gatekeeper. That’s a big part of it. But we do try to give advice there.

Josh 47:27 
Yeah. Well, I know digital marketing agencies that have taken people and they didn’t have a website, which is just, yeah, it’s wild. So I appreciate that you guys are stand up about the entire process.

Eric 47:36 
We’re month to month, we’ll just get fired in a month when the ads don’t perform. It’s not a good thing for us. So yeah,

Josh 47:42 
yeah. Awesome, Erik, man, thanks for your time. I know you’re a busy dude. But this was a fun chat very outside of my realm of expertise. So I learned a lot hope you had fun, man.

Erik 47:50 
Yeah, no. Had a great time. Thank you for having me.

Josh 47:52 
Awesome. Cheers.


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