Developing your marketing strategy, with Juliana Weiss-Roessler

Developing your marketing strategy, with Juliana Weiss-Roessler

What is marketing?

[00:00:00] Steve: Hello there, dear listener. I am Steve.

[00:00:08] Tyler: I'm Tyler and welcome to another episode of It's Not About The Money. The podcast where we help you gain the clarity you need to run a successful small business.

[00:00:18] Steve: has a financial coaching practice. I run a tax business. Both of us are small business owners like you. And this podcast is our exploration of entrepreneurship. One episode at a time.

[00:00:29] Tyler: And today is another episode in our series that we're calling the Many Hats of an Entrepreneur, where we cover business functions that every business has, but where you as the owner may or may not be an expert. Things like marketing, IT, sales, and finance. And today we're very excited to welcome a marketing expert to the podcast.

[00:00:49] Steve: Juliana Weiss-Roesslerr is the founder of WR Digital Marketing, a women run agency in Austin, Texas. She's worked with over 150 organizations [00:01:00] to develop marketing strategies, that consistently attract and convert leads.

And that process includes four steps. Plan, implement, measure, repeat. I'm sure we'll talk about that today. In addition to her professional work, Juliana volunteers with Girl Scouts, enjoys macro insect photography. That's interesting. And treasures time with her husband and kids. Juliana is also a speaker, educator, and author of the upcoming book, "Well Rooted Marketing: Creating a strategy that grows with your business."

Welcome Juliana.

[00:01:30] Juliana: Thanks for having me, I'm excited to be here.

[00:01:33] Steve: You and I have met, uh, in the local networking groups around here. Uh, and I've taken a marketing class from you, uh, and been to several of your presentations as well. So I'm excited to kind of share some of that with our audience on the podcast.

[00:01:49] Juliana: I love this, I love this podcast segment too, because I feel like that's, as a small business owner, there's so many different things that you have to become an expert in, and we're not necessarily [00:02:00] naturals at a lot of those things.

Um, so I just love that you guys are tackling that head on.

[00:02:06] Tyler: Yeah. And I have to say marketing specifically for me, I'm like maybe a year and a half into this project of, of having this small, very small business that I've been working on and marketing is like one of the biggest mysteries to me because I don't have a background in it and it's like, seems super important because where do clients come from?

And so now that we've got you here as an expert in this topic, I kind of wanted to start with the basics. Like, you know, for someone like me or someone like Steve, who's just getting started, like, how would you define marketing? I know that's kind of a basic question, but I'd really be interested to get your take on that.

And then how does that compare or overlap with sales? Ooh.

[00:02:45] Juliana: So, we define marketing as the ongoing process of creating a reliable system to bring in and convert leads. That's kind of a long sentence there, but basically it's, it's not something that's going to happen overnight, right? Things are going to change, so it's something you've got to stay on top of for your [00:03:00] business.

And it's, it's that process, right? We're looking at it from start to finish, you know, how people become aware of our business all the way to people actually making that purchase and then purchasing from us again or referring us out to people., yeah. And that's, sales is a piece of that. And typically when we're talking about true sales, what that is, is people in that convert, the consideration stage.

So they're already aware of our business, right? They have some additional questions. They maybe need a little bit more of a relationship with us, um, to, in order to that, for them to move on to that. conversion stage, right? But a lot of sales reps out there are also being asked to be part of that awareness stage as well.

They're going out there and networking and doing events and things like that. So it's kind of important too if you're in the sales space to understand where you fit and where how your activities fit in to those different stages of marketing.

[00:03:49] Tyler: That's so interesting. You mentioned a system and process in your definition there. Um, Steve and I like processes and systems quite a [00:04:00] bit,

[00:04:00] Juliana: Me too!

[00:04:00] Tyler: but yeah, so that piqued my interest, of course. So, um, and you know, something that stuck out, something else that stuck out to me there was this concept of like a journey, I guess, from someone who doesn't have any idea that your company or services exist.

All the way to becoming a paying customer. And that sounds a lot more, uh, robust or involved than just saying like buying some Facebook ads.

[00:04:24] Juliana: Yes, exactly. So a lot of people think of, a lot of people also confuse marketing and advertising, right? So buying some Facebook ads, that's advertising. Marketing means thinking through if you should even buy those Facebook ads in the first place. Um, so it's really about thinking through everything from, um, I'll talk a little bit about the process part of it first, right?

Um, so we plan. We make a plan for what we think we're gonna, what we think is gonna work. And a lot of organizations right now are skipping that stage. And that's a huge mistake because if we don't take the time to think it through, then we're much more likely to waste a ton of money, right? We're just a little time and [00:05:00] effort.

Then the next step is to implement the plan. Now, now we've got an idea of what might work, we have to test it out. But it's a test. I mean, with marketing, there is no guarantee of anything when you, when you give things a go. And that's why we need to do this next step, which is measurement. So if we're not measuring what we're doing, then we're not making sure that it's actually functioning and bringing in revenue.

A lot of people are spending a lot of time on marketing efforts that actually aren't functioning for their business and bringing in You know, bringing in actual paying customers. Sometimes they're, they're more focused on things like likes and follows and things like that, but it's like, who cares if that's not bringing in the money?

So then we go back again, right? It's a process. We go back and plan. Now that we've measured, we have more information than we did the last time we did this planning. And so we can make a plan again. So either we're going to go, that really worked. Let's double down on it, or that, I think this could work if we change this or that, or let's scrap that all together.

That's not working at all. So you definitely need to give it enough time in that implement stage to, to to work because marketing doesn't happen overnight, but it's really important that you at least, what we recommend is every three months to look back at [00:06:00] whatever marketing channel you're doing and make sure that you at least see signs that it's going to work because at that point it's had enough, enough of an opportunity for you to be starting to see those signs, but you don't want to make that decision too quick either because it, again, it takes time.

Business strategy -> Brand strategy -> Marketing strategy

[00:06:13] Tyler: I might be one of those people that did not have a plan. I'm not going to lie. So, no, I love that. That's, that, that's really, so my background is in operations, uh, and like process improvement type stuff. So when you're, when you talk about, you know, creating a plan, implementing it, measuring it, and then going back and adjusting, that's like, yeah, exactly.

That, that really resonated with me. That's cool. It's kind of, you know, it opens the door for more evidence based, Decision making, it sounds like.

[00:06:44] Juliana: yes, and there's a very specific way that you want to build out that plan to, um, You want to make sure first that you've got a business strategy in place, which is really just getting clear on what you're doing, who you're serving, and then what's your differentiator. So that's something [00:07:00] we see a lot of small businesses struggle with because they're still kind of figuring that stuff out.

And that's kind of normal in the beginning, figuring out like what, who you are, what you want to be, what you want to offer. But if you're changing that a lot, then it's going to be really hard. to get your message across, right? Um, if you don't know what your business is. So then that second stage is going to be that brand strategy, which is how you communicate what your business is.

So you can't have a brand strategy if you're not clear on what your business is. So often when we're working with clients, we'll say, let's first look at this and make some tough decisions here about, who we're targeting, who we're not targeting, what we are doing, what we're not doing, and really look at how we fit into all the other options that these people have, so that we're actually clearly communicating why they should pick us over those other people.

Then you're going to move into that brand strategy where you're clarifying that message. Then you're going to move into that marketing strategy where we're figuring out, okay, now we know who we're targeting, we know what we're doing, we know what we need to communicate to them, but how do we make sure that they move through [00:08:00] that marketing funnel, that marketing journey.

Depending on how you want to talk about it.

[00:08:03] Tyler: Wow. Uh, so here's a question for you. When does the business strategy ever change as a result of information that's learned throughout this marketing plan? Because, you know, I, I like the idea of, you know, picking who you're going to serve and what you're going to offer upfront so that you can build a strategy around that, that makes a lot of sense to me, but also if you're brand new, maybe you don't, to your point, you don't, you don't really know, so you kind of got to pick something and start, I

[00:08:29] Juliana: Exactly. Yes. Oh, and definitely, definitely. Sometimes you just find that that it lands with a particular group or a certain offer that you have is doing better than the rest of them or is more profitable and it just makes sense to shift that way. I'd say for like the first three years of a business's operation, it's that business strategy piece that you're, you know, Kind of figuring out, you know, and really defining this is who we are, this is what we do best, this is who we want to be, this is who's connecting with us.

[00:08:57] Tyler: Well, I don't know about you, Steve, but that makes me feel a [00:09:00] lot better.

[00:09:00] Steve: Uh, it does. Yeah, Hearing three years is, uh, okay.

[00:09:04] Tyler: I've got, I've got I've got some time


[00:09:05] Steve: Just started.

I've just got time still to figure it out. I love this idea of, um, like forming hypotheses and then testing them both on the business strategy piece, but then also on the actual tactics of marketing and kind of seeing what resonates, what, what do you enjoy doing?

What will customers pay you for? Like all of that. And it's an iterative process. I like

[00:09:27] Juliana: And eventually, I mean, deciding the people you're not working with or what you're not doing is a lot of, you, you do do it and you're like, I don't want to do that again.

[00:09:35] Steve: Uh huh.

[00:09:36] Juliana: Or I always tell people too, like, you want to make sure you add on that who not to, who you're not targeting, like jerks, you know, um, and figuring out how to identify them and people that, that are, uh, that are just not the right fit for your business is invaluable, but it's definitely a process to figure that out for yourself.

It's not immediate.

[00:09:55] Steve: That's a really powerful question. When I took your marketing course last year, it was, who do you [00:10:00] not serve? And I had a few ideas jump to mind immediately. And then since then, I've had a couple of like potential clients come along that did fit in that bill.

And I was like, no, I, and now I kind of, validated, yes, my initial instinct was correct. I don't want to do that kind of work, but I can refer you to somebody else that is good at that.

[00:10:18] Juliana: Yes, I had that, I had that happen with another client. He told me the same thing, that a business opportunity came his way, and he was like, and I wasn't sure whether to take it, and then I thought back to that activity, and I was like, oh, yep, it's in my not, it's not in my yes, and he made the decision based on that.

[00:10:34] Tyler: It sounds like it could be a hard decision sometimes, but also, you know, getting burned a few times probably helps you gain strength for the next time you find yourself in that situation.

[00:10:46] Juliana: Yeah, because if you're trying to be everything for everyone, you're not going to be good at everything for everyone. So, but in the beginning, you're kind of like, I just want to take all the business that's coming at me, and you're, you're reluctant to turn things away, and that's also normal. [00:11:00] And as you get more successful, you're more comfortable saying, no, thank you.

[00:11:04] Steve: hmm. Yeah, for sure.

Social media

[00:11:08] Steve: Do you want to talk about advertising? How do, how does one decide where or if to advertise? Is this one of those hypotheses where you, like, you think that channel might be successful? Let's try it out. We'll allocate some money for it and test it for a while.

[00:11:21] Juliana: Yes, definitely. And that's part of the marketing strategy piece too. Like, um, when we're thinking about marketing strategies, we're going to talk about Who are we targeting? And then we're going to go, okay, how can we best reach those people? Um, and I like to use as an example, my mother in law. So, if you're trying to reach my mother in law with a Facebook ad, that's not going to happen.

That's just not going to happen. If you have an advertisement on NCIS, you're going to get her attention, right? So, it's, it's really about taking the time beforehand to think through like, okay, where are these people? What kind of media is going to get their attention? Um, you know, is it going to require an in person interaction?

Is an ad going to do it? So [00:12:00] it's really taking the time to think that through before you start anything.

[00:12:05] Steve: Oh, I like that. And it's not just advertising. It could be that my target customers are going to be at this kind of networking event. And so I'm going to go there or they, they would come to this sort of a seminar. If I put that seminar on, they would come to that.

[00:12:18] Juliana: Yes, exactly. Yeah, for some businesses, running traditional ads just Doesn't make sense. You know, we're running social media ads at all doesn't make sense. Because that's just not where people are You know looking for their services, where they would consider their services. You're not in that mindset. So Yeah

[00:12:34] Tyler: You know, one of the things I've kind of been intrigued by is this concept of a trade off between putting in time or money for exposure for your business, whether that's, and when I think of social media often when I hear that, right? Cause it's like, you would either pay for ads or you could feed the algorithm, post 50 times a day, whatever, you know, make videos, all that kind of stuff.

And it seems like both could work again. What I'm [00:13:00] going back to, if that's where your people are,

[00:13:03] Juliana: If

[00:13:03] Tyler: uh, if that's where your people

[00:13:05] Juliana: yeah, and the social media is making it harder and harder for that organic piece to actually work out for you. So when I first started in this business, if I posted something on a social media page, like a Facebook page, then, and we had followers, those followers were much more likely to see it than they are today.

Um, at this point it's something like 2%. If you post something on your Facebook page, 2 percent of your followers are going to see it. And the amount of time and effort you've put into creating that, um, uh, treadmill. You know, like you're on this constant treadmill of creating this content.

The amount of time and effort you're sinking into that, and it's like, The algorithm is only going to let 2 percent of the people see it. So, often my clients come to us stressed out about social media and I've, I've even asked them, you know, have, has any of those people actually converted? And they go, no.

And I'm like, then why are we stressed out about that? It's just, it's going to be creating a lot of content, but that's not where the people are, where they're making decisions. Um, so I'd say that's, [00:14:00] in my opinion, the number one misconception about digital marketing is the idea that you need to be doing, getting on that content.

treadmill, and um, constantly producing. Hamster wheel, that's what I wanted to say. Hamster

[00:14:12] Tyler: Hamster wheel. That's

[00:14:12] Juliana: I have that image of the hamster going, but nothing's coming out of this, you know.

[00:14:18] Steve: That's really interesting. I didn't realize the numbers were that low for social media.

[00:14:22] Juliana: Two percent. That's Facebook. So that's Facebook page versus your Facebook profile. So if you're going to post, posting on your profile, you're much more, you're much more likely for your friends and family to actually see it. I don't remember the stats on that. Um, but, and Instagram does a little better at ten percent, but if you look at the amount of time and effort it gets to build your audience to the point.

Where enough people are going to be seeing it for it to convert for a small business usually doesn't make sense.

[00:14:47] Tyler: Yeah. Well, you know, this is one of the things I ran into very early on, probably because there's a lot of, um, echo chambers, I guess, on social media about this, like there are, you know, I first stepped into [00:15:00] Twitter personally, and there were a lot of accounts you could follow about how to get leads, how to do marketing.

And then, but it was very like circular, if that makes sense. You know, where the people that were marketing to me as a small business owner were also kind of in my same exact position. Maybe a few steps ahead and it was just it was kind of this weird vortex it felt like right and so I kind of tried that for a while.

I got into SEO You know blogging type stuff for and you know that didn't not work I should say for the particular niche that I've been. But I find myself Or I found myself asking, like, is this what I want to be doing, spending most of my time on, or do I want to be spending my time, most of my time coaching people, which is what I'm doing for my business.

And I, I think I've answered that question. I want to spend more of my time coaching people than creating content, but I haven't, I haven't quite resolved, you know, what to do about that question per se. So anyway, kind of interesting.

[00:15:56] Juliana: Yeah, I mean, I, I would say [00:16:00] what we tell clients to do too is to look at where did your last customers come in? Like where did your last three to five customers come in? What relationships or what activities brought them in? Because that's probably the stuff you need to be doing more of. Um, so I would say start there before you get too stressed out about the Twitter or whatever.

Unless you know that that stuff has panned out for you. But um, search engine optimization is lovely because it's an investment. That pays for a long time and it's free basically as opposed to paying for those search ads. So it is, it is for small businesses. It's one of the things that I do recommend taking more seriously.

That being said, there's a lot of people out there selling SEO when it's really just adding some meta tags on the back end.

And so it's, it's more about producing quality content like this, right? Quality content that people want. to listen to or want to read, um, because that's what Google really wants. So if you're producing that, it's in the long run, you're going to have success with search engine optimization.

Marketing channels

[00:16:58] Tyler: Yeah. So [00:17:00] we've mentioned a few of these so far, but I'm wondering if it might be interesting to, for you to give us kind of a high level overview of the different types of marketing channels that are maybe most common for small businesses. And then, you know, it depends, like it obviously is going to depend on the business and the potential customers where they live and things, but I'm also curious if there are some that you, for your business have come to prefer or anything like that.

[00:17:24] Juliana: Yeah. Uh, for me, um, speaking engagements are big. Um, cause, cause it's a, it's a, an in person networking type activity, right, where I'm making relationships with people, but I am forming a relationship with. You know, 50 people at once or 20 people at once or 100 people at once, depending on the size of the audience.

Um, so there's usually a couple people in the room that want to continue that relationship later and there's usually people in that room that want to give me their email address so I can convince them to hire me later. Um, so for me that has been really successful. That's something I advocate for a lot of our B2B clients is [00:18:00] if we can get you there in front, if you're finding that networking is bringing in a lot of leads, Then this is another channel to consider because it's networking on sort of a heightened scale.

Um, for a lot of people though, that's terrifying. Which I get, and to those people I would say Toastmasters. I was terrified to talk in front of people before I did Toastmasters for a year. Um, and every week that year I got up in front of that group of people and I spoke. And now at this point I, I love, love getting up in front of a group of people and talking.

I'm a ham. I just. I just think it's so much fun, and I wouldn't have been able to get there without Toastmasters. So I would say don't rule that out if that's something that right now you're like, Ah, I would suck at that. You know, you never know. You might surprise yourself. But businesses in general, SEO is for many of our clients, the search traffic, people are looking for your services online by typing in whatever it is you do.

So if you can capture them and not have to pay to capture that search, why wouldn't you [00:19:00] want to do that? Um, but it does take a commitment of time before it starts to pay off and that can be stressful. And you can be worried that you're not paying for something of value. And so I'd say the biggest thing is to check that vendor, to talk to their other clients, and not be purchasing any of these like sort of 200 a month, go daddy, we'll do SEO for you.

Like that, all of that stuff is worthless because if Doing, paying that 200, right? You're all competing and doing the exact same thing. Um, SEO is a big one. And email. So we were talking about how, right? When you sent, put up Facebook post, 2 percent of the people are going to see that, right?

When you send out an email, 98 percent of the people are going to get the chance to see that subject line and your name. So even if they don't click it, and they don't actually read the email, that's a much better use of your time to be sending out emails regularly than to be posting on social media regularly.

Yeah, the ROI there is just much [00:20:00] higher because you don't have to quite get on that hamster wheel of content creation. You can do shorter things, um, you can do it not as frequently as you have to do on social media in order to gather that audience, and you have so much more control with those email addresses.

There's nobody, there's no gateway there except spam filters, right? So those are my top, I think, my top three channels.

[00:20:20] Tyler: speaking engagements, email, SEO.

[00:20:24] Juliana: Yeah, those are probably my top three for small businesses. For over, you know, overall, there are some businesses that Ads make a lot of sense. There are some businesses that, you know, playing around on social media does make some sense. Um, but those three are typically the ones that produce a pretty nice ROI in the long run.

[00:20:42] Tyler: Great. I'm taking lots of notes, mental and otherwise here. So thanks for coming on so I could ask you all these questions.

[00:20:52] Juliana: Oh my gosh, ask away. I love talking about this stuff. Yeah,

[00:20:56] Tyler: I've, you know, what I've found again, I am the [00:21:00] opposite of an expert in this. I've just been kind of dabbling in a lot of this, but I found, so I did the SEO efforts I told you about that started bringing some traffic and my goal there was to get the, that traffic to convert into an email list so that in theory I could contact people so they could get to know me basically.

[00:21:17] Juliana: that is a wonderful strategy. Because basically you're continuing that relationship, right? You can also use those email addresses to follow them around the internet with ads. Um, you can use that to just contact them directly, right? And just say, hey, how's it going? I saw you signed up for my email list.

So yeah, getting those email addresses is hugely valuable for small businesses.

[00:21:36] Tyler: Yeah, sorry. I'm, I'm trying, I'm trying not to make this about all about me. So yeah.

[00:21:43] Juliana: small businesses talking about their challenges because other small businesses have the exact same problems.

Stages of the marketing strategy: awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty

[00:21:49] Steve: So, these are really great suggestions for uh, channels? Marketing channels. How do you fit those [00:22:00] into a marketing plan? Exactly. Like what, what does that process look like?

[00:22:04] Juliana: I think it strikes me as like a marketing strategy, right? Yeah,

because for, at least for us, marketing plan is more about the schedule of getting things done, um, once you've formulated that marketing strategy. Um, yes. So, let's talk about the stages of a marketing strategy. So that first stage is awareness, right?

Where people know that you exist. They can't hire you if they don't know that you exist. It's just not possible, right? The next stage is the consideration phase where they have to think. Do I want to hire you? Do I need your services? You know, considering your business, right? Pretty straightforward.

Um, the next stage is conversion. Where they actually sign up to make a sale, or they subscribe to your services. And then that final piece, which is a really valuable piece to invest in, is the loyalty stage. And that's where you're getting people to purchase again. You're getting people to subscribe, right, as opposed to just making the purchase once.

Or you're getting them to refer you to [00:23:00] other clients. So some things like, for instance, somebody buys a house. They're not going to need to buy a house regularly for you. They can't subscribe, right, to house sales. But they can be telling their friends about you. So thinking about how you can make use of the people that went through that, those three stages, in order to grow your business, because those people are going to be the people that are, They already know, like, and trust you, right?

So they're going to be either the easiest people to convert or the easiest people to have out there as being advocates for you talking about why you should, you know, purchase their services or hire this person.

[00:23:35] Steve: Could you give us an example of what that might look like with, uh,

I don't know if you want to pick like one particular channel or, or,

[00:23:43] Juliana: Yeah,

[00:23:44] Steve: A customer type or something.

[00:23:46] Juliana: Honestly, this is what Tyler said earlier, right? That he was talking about SEO, right? He had people coming in through search, so that's the awareness channel. Then he wants to gather their email address, because he knows if he gets their email address, that he can give them [00:24:00] time to consider his offer, right?

Consideration. He can better educate them on what he's offering, and honestly, he can just stay top of mind, so when he's ready, when they're ready to hire that kind of service, he's the first person that pops into their head. So that's the consideration stage. Um, then the conversion stage is about making that as easy as possible for someone to go from the decision to hire you to actually hiring you.

Um, so a lot of companies make the mistake of having a really long form. Like for instance, if you were doing as a financial consultant, right, if you gave them a huge form or you were asking them for all sorts of information that you need, probably pretty early on in the process, they're much less likely to hit that final purchase button, and they may either, oh, come back to it later when I have time, and then they don't, or they may say, forget it, I don't want to provide this information right now, I'm going to move on to the next person.

So that conversion stage is just about making it super easy for people. And then the loyalty phase Honestly, that [00:25:00] email thing is a really wonderful way to hit both the consideration and the loyalty because you're providing value, hopefully through the content, and you're reminding people, even if they're done using your services, that you exist regularly.

So that's kind of a really simple way to think through those four stages.

[00:25:16] Steve: Okay. Thanks. That's really helpful. And I've been telling Tyler that I need to get my email list going for, I don't know, months now.

[00:25:24] Tyler: I wasn't going to bring it up,

[00:25:26] Steve: I might actually go do it now.

[00:25:28] Tyler: I wasn't going to bring it up. I didn't want you to be embarrassed,

[00:25:30] Juliana: like, honestly, these, these, these podcast episodes, you send these podcast episodes, right? So I, that's the other thing too for small businesses is like, make use of what you already have before you start creating new stuff. So a lot of clients are ready to create, cause it's fun, it's kind of fun to create stuff, but it's like, if I already have a library of content or things that I can just kind of quickly update, use that first, cause it's just going to be higher ROI for you, right?

[00:25:55] Steve: Yeah. Okay, good. I have my action [00:26:00] items.

How to get started with a limited budget

[00:26:00] Tyler: So I kind of, I'd be interested to hear about kind of the progression of what the, the maturity of a marketing program might look for a one person business starting with, you know, Like kind of my story, I started on Twitter and I've progressed a little bit since then. But you know, at what point does it make sense to do it, do these things yourself, to hire a consultant, or maybe even like outsource some of these things, um, as you're trying to grow your business?

[00:26:29] Juliana: I, I honestly think that depends on, so much on the business owner too. Because like, for example, for me, the financial aspects of my business, I hate looking at it. So that's something that I need to outsource first, right? It's not a natural thing for me. So that marketing piece, obviously, though, I, we have the skill set internally.

So I'd say that it depends on the business owner. I'm talking about those hats we're all juggling to figure out which hat you need to hand off first. I mean, I really think that comes down to the business [00:27:00] owner's strengths or the team that they have surrounding them as well, you know, if there are people on your team that can get you started, but that being said, in the beginning, most small businesses, they're DIYing it, right?

Because we don't have a budget. If you're fortunate enough to have investors or something like that, then I say, you know, hire someone right from the start to help you figure out, get clear on that business strategy, not with the marketing expert. Hopefully you talk to a business coach. Um, locally here in Texas, there's PeopleFund.

That is, they provide, uh, free business coaching, they're a non profit lender, but they have an education section. So that's something that I highly recommend. all of our clients take advantage of. But throughout the country, um, there are small business development centers. And if you contact your local small business development center, this is a government provided, you know, um, resource, then they can connect you to free educational resources and free people who want to help you figure out the business strategy piece, right?

So take the time to figure that [00:28:00] out first before you start marketing anything, because otherwise you might be wasting a lot of time. And then, if you have a budget, don't blow it all on your logo for the branding. Um, I cannot tell you the number of people who their, their marketing strategy, like I had somebody, uh, like about a year and a half ago who really wanted to work with me, but said I blew all my, my marketing budget on, in his case, a beautiful website.

But that left him with zero dollars to try to get people to go to that website. Again, because that part of it is fun, the creation process. I like to talk about how creativity is awesome in marketing, but it's also dangerous because you need to make sure that that creativity has a purpose. Otherwise, it's, you know, you're just creating a bunch of stuff that looks pretty to you and maybe your five friends that have seen it.

So don't blow it all on that logo. You can always, Update anything you create in the beginning later and have a professional look at it, right? So if you have a limited budget, you know, go on, [00:29:00] make use of Canva, make use of the DIY website builders. So something like a Squarespace, Wix are ones that we like.

Stay away from GoDaddy. It makes So more like the Squarespace, Wix are the two that I typically recommend to people who, you know, are starting out with small budgets. And then when you can afford more robust help, you can get that, like I said, logo redone by somebody who knows what they're doing. Um, you can get a WordPress site is what I recommend.

And I'm talking about WordPress as the content management system, not, the free blogging platform. So, WordPress the CMS is, is powering a ton of major websites out there, including the White House, which I think is kind of fun. The White House's website is on WordPress. Um, so a lot of people kind of associate with the blogging platform.

I'm like, no. Um, and the reason I recommend that is because it will grow with your business. So if you create a really simple WordPress site that has a professional creates the bones of it for you and you kind of run with it from [00:30:00] there, then, you know, five years down the line, you need to do something more robust on that website.

You won't have to blow it all up. You can just build on top of it. Um, but you want to ask for Elementor Builder because that'll make it easy for you to go in there and make changes.

You NEED a website

[00:30:14] Tyler: And the website, it sounds like it's a place for people to go. A place to send people.

[00:30:17] Juliana: Yes. Oh, and you need a website. There are some people who think that they don't, but I'm like, um, I can share a story about that.

[00:30:26] Tyler: I would love to hear that.

[00:30:27] Juliana: okay, okay, then I will share the story. Um, so, a couple years ago, there was a major hailstorm on my street. And, you know, we knew we were going to have some major roof damage, and we knew we'd have to look for a roofer, and I cannot tell you how much we hate having to go through, you know, Yelp or wherever to search for somebody who's reputable, to find somebody who's reasonably prized, all that kind of stuff.

So our neighbor across the way, who's like friends with everyone on our block, called Called us over and said, oh, my friend is a roofer [00:31:00] and he's wonderful and you should hire him. And she gave me his contact information and I went over to the Internet, plugged in that information and found nothing on this dude.

No website, no social media profile, no information. And so we were like, well, I can't hire someone that I can't verify anything about him, right? Um, and then I noticed that no one else on our street, when those roofing signs start coming up, has hired this guy either. Um, even though I'm sure that that neighbor, because she's friends with everyone, recommended him to everyone on the street.

So I, I, if that guy had had a website, for people to just very quickly verify details about him, saying he's licensed or whatever things you need to know about roofers, right? Um, he probably would have won the business of a huge portion of my street because we all love her, but because we cannot verify the information, nobody did.

Um, and there are stats on this, it's not just like my neighborhood is suddenly snotty about it. I mean, I can't remember what the number is, but it's, it's something like, you know, 75 [00:32:00] percent of people will check a website first before they visit a business or, you know, they, they rely on being able to check the professionalism of someone on the internet before they make a purchase.

Um, it's just something we've grown accustomed to. So even if you have a simple one page site that just has your basic information up there, it's gonna Um, and if you don't have it up, it's hurting you in ways that you just aren't even aware of, you know.

[00:32:24] Steve: that totally makes sense to me. I, and even to the level of like, your email is coming from daybreaktax. com or something instead of,

[00:32:33] Juliana: Gmail or Yahoo. Yahoo.

[00:32:35] Steve: stevethetaxguyatgmail. com, you

[00:32:37] Juliana: Yeah, yes, yes. Definitely. It's those little tiny things that just makes it seem like, oh, this is a professional.

[00:32:43] Steve: Yeah.

[00:32:45] Tyler: We had a vendor at work recently email us from a Hotmail address. And that made me wonder

[00:32:52] Juliana: Yes.

[00:32:53] Tyler: things,

[00:32:54] Juliana: Yes.

[00:32:54] Tyler: like, is this person real? Yes.

[00:32:58] Juliana: Oh, 100%. [00:33:00] I always laugh when I see the Yahoo, and I'm like, why are you on Yahoo?

[00:33:04] Steve: Is that still a thing?

A, aol. com.

[00:33:07] Juliana: AOL, yeah, actually I had a boss way back when that still had AOL. com, and I was like, I didn't even, is that around? Actually, I'm curious now. I mean, I'm assuming it is in some capacity.

It's so crazy, because at one point it was the whole internet.

[00:33:19] Steve: It, yeah.

[00:33:20] Tyler: Yeah. Yeah.

What are you buying when you hire marketing help?

[00:33:22] Tyler: So let's say, uh, you decide that you want to outsource marketing for your business because it's not a core competency and you have some budget. That'd be amazing. Um, what's like the price range for this kind of service and what is included in that typically?

[00:33:39] Juliana: So, I'll tell you that there's the gamut, right? So, if you want to hire someone from, you know, a foreign country, they can charge you 5 an hour to do some stuff, right? Um, you can find, you know, high school students that are willing to help you out, right. So there's definitely a lower price point. Um, the price point's gonna get higher, [00:34:00] the more the person's helping you with the strategy piece.

So, in the beginning, those people, you're outsourcing something to a high school student because they can go on Can you don't know how to use Canva. They know how to go on Canva and create a thing. Right? But they have absolutely no idea if that thing This is going to help you produce results. So, if you're hiring, some high school student, to create that stuff for you on Canva, then you need to make sure you're providing that strategy piece, because otherwise it's going to be a waste of your time and money .

Um, so then as you go further up the line, right, there's going to be more help with that strategy piece. Um, as you're paying a little bit more, you're going to get people who know how to use Just make that one part functional. So for example, um, if you hire somebody who's a Google ads specialist, right, they know how Google ads work.

And that's great because that stuff changes all the time. You want someone that's going to help you with that, that tactic, right? But you need to know if that tactic makes sense to do in the first place, because that person's going to tell you. Yes, you should be on Google ads, right? Because that's what they [00:35:00] do.

So then there's a company like my company where we're providing every support for the whole thing, right? Where there's marketing strategy, we're figuring out what's the plan, what's going to work, how are we going to test this? How are we going to look back and make sure that this is working? Then we actually help you get It done, and then we help you with that measurement piece and we're continually going through that process. So that, we start at two thousand a month. Um, I know there are companies that are more expensive, maybe companies a little bit less expensive, but that's pretty much I'd say the middle of the road for getting that type of support.

I'd also say that you can also find people that will just help you with that strategy piece. So if you're somebody who's like, I can handle the Canva, I'm a web developer, I know how to do this stuff, then you can find, for instance, like, a marketing coach or a marketing consultant that can just come and help you figure out what's working, what's not working.

What do you think is going to work? Those kinds of things. So there's many different options out there. I'd say the most important thing is understanding what you're purchasing. If you're purchasing someone to help you with a tactic and making sure that tactic [00:36:00] works, are you purchasing someone to create content for you?

Are you purchasing someone who's helping you from, you know, soup to nuts, from the whole thing and is going to hold your hand the whole way? Or are you help, someone's going to help you get it done? There's so many options out there. It's about finding what's the best fit for your business. Yes.

[00:36:16] Tyler: You know, I really appreciate that. Uh, differentiation and the comment that you said, you know, be aware of what you're buying because as someone who is brand new to this year and a half ago, I did not know what I was buying. I saw a lot of information out there and you could have shown me 10 different services that were all doing different parts of marketing and told me, Hey, hire this service to, and this is your marketing.

[00:36:41] Juliana: Yes.

[00:36:41] Tyler: Right. And I would've, I wouldn't have known any better, honestly. So yeah,

[00:36:46] Juliana: And they all have their own. It's nothing wrong with that, right? If somebody does web development, they're going to tell you this, you need to make your website perfect. And that's the thing you need to do. Um, and a lot of times too, they're become an expert so much in that one space [00:37:00] that they can be promoting things in there without really thinking about how it's impacting The broader picture for your marketing and the actual results.

Um, so that's, I see that a lot with clients where they kind of, not clients, but when I look at clients and we look at their past marketing efforts that they have gone down one road and haven't found success because all the pieces of the strategy aren't working together, if that makes sense.

[00:37:23] Tyler: it does.

I'm learning, I'm learning a lot too. Like I, I think I, like for me personally, this is, this conversation is making me want to revisit my past thinking about marketing and make sure that I actually have a coherent strategy around it. You know, I, like I said, I've tried a lot of different things. I've iterated, I've done experiments,

kind of like you're saying, but but I don't know that I've done it within like an overarching framework, you know, of a strategy.

So I'm going to have to revisit that.

[00:37:52] Juliana: And I would say for most small businesses the best way To do that is to go backwards, which sounds weird, but to go, let's look at the [00:38:00] last few clients I had. How did they come in? What, what, how did they have touch points with me? And that's because you have, you're so small that you don't have a ton of metrics, right, that you can really look at.

You don't have 5, 000 people coming to your website and you can't really run a successful A B test on things because you're not getting enough volume for the scientific result to be accurate. So looking backwards is a really great way because you know that one path. Worked for one person. So if it worked for one person, it's likely to work for someone else.

And if you see those patterns too, you can see, well these two people came to me from this, so then I need to be focusing more on that. Um, that's a really wonderful way to do it.

[00:38:38] Tyler: Yeah, I

[00:38:39] Steve: that's great advice.

[00:38:40] Tyler: based on that advice, what I think I want to do is go back and look at all the people who have hired me. And like you said, work backwards. How did they get to me? You know, what do the clients that had the most success with me have in common?

[00:38:55] Juliana: Yes.

[00:38:55] Tyler: Were there any that I wouldn't work with again?

You know, maybe it [00:39:00] wasn't a good fit. Like you said, I have been fortunate enough not to run into any jerks, but, but there are

[00:39:05] Juliana: I'm like, that's gonna happen

to you then at some point,

[00:39:07] Tyler: are some that are harder that require way more effort than, than others to get even less of a result, honestly, sometimes, right?

[00:39:16] Juliana: Oh, yes, definitely. Sometimes I feel like the ones that are more of a time suck. It's, it's, I think that's part of it is just that you spend so much time extracting information from them or that you don't have the brain space to, it slows the whole process down, I guess. Yes, that makes sense for finances too.

[00:39:33] Steve: Mm hmm.

[00:39:35] Juliana: Oh, I will say too, um, This is probably a little too advanced for me to suggest for small businesses, but I'm going to say it anyway. Um, in case somebody loves Google Analytics, there is a wonderful report on there called the Path, I want to say it's the Path Report, where you can have it choose an endpoint.

You tell it to look at an endpoint, so your contact page. And then you can have it show you which pages that [00:40:00] person went to beforehand. So you can actually see the person who landed on my contact page, they visited my team page beforehand, and they arrived on the main homepage URL. So you can kind of see, if you look at your traffic overall, right, you won't necessarily know which of those people actually ended up on the contact page.

And in an ideal world, you want to know who actually converted on that contact page, but at least you can know who ended up on that contact page, what pages did they visit beforehand. Um, that's kind of a cool report that I love.

[00:40:30] Tyler: Another way to work backwards.

[00:40:31] Juliana: Yes, yeah, that's true.

[00:40:34] Steve: Well, Juliana, do you have any resources you would like to share with that we could put in the show notes or point people to your website? I know you have a lot of great worksheets.

[00:40:44] Juliana: I've got a zillion worksheets. I'm a fan of the worksheets. Um, so I've got, if you go to WRdigitalmarketing. com slash SMB, so small, mid sized business, SMB, there's a spot where you can just insert your, put in your email address and you'll get a whole ton of, [00:41:00] of worksheets that I've developed through working with PeopleFund locally, and through speaking engagements I've done for SCORE.

Um, so you can find all those resources there. And I also regularly update those resources when I create something new or I figure out that something seems to be working better for clients. I'll update things there as well.

[00:41:19] Steve: Fantastic.

[00:41:20] Tyler: I will be doing that

[00:41:21] Steve: That will be great. Well, and I'll put that link in the show notes as well.

Closing thoughts

[00:41:26] Steve: Is there anything that you wish we had asked you that we didn't?

[00:41:33] Juliana: Oh yeah, there's one thing, that's not really a question, but something that I like to make sure, um, Small business owners know. When you are going to select a web designer or a web developer, um, you're going to find that there are offers out there that are like 100 a month, we'll create a website for you and do all the things.

Um, beware of those offers, only because what those offers are, are they're holding your [00:42:00] website hostage, so you will be paying that 100 a month forever. Um, even if you end up deciding that their customer support sucks, right, which a lot of times it does, because once they've got you, they know they've got you.

Um, and they won't let you make edits to the backend yourself, and there's lots of different things that go into that. So, good news is there's one really, really easy way to tell if you're working with what I consider a reputable web developer or web designer, is that they will give you, Access to your host and your domain registrar, as well as a CMS, your content management system.

So sometimes the login for your host and domain registrar are going to be the same. So a lot, a lot of people use GoDaddy. It's gonna be the same. I don't like GoDaddy. I recommend Namecheap if you're not already in bed with GoDaddy. But, basically, if your developer won't give you those things, then you are only renting your website and you do not own it.

Um, so make sure you do get that information from that person. Make sure you put it somewhere safe, so that if you decide you want to move on or bring that in house, that even if you don't know what the hell [00:43:00] a domain registrar is or a host is, that you've got it to hand off to the next person who does.

Um, so I'd say just make sure you have those three things, um, when you're designing your website.

[00:43:11] Steve: Okay. That's good to know that those are out there.

[00:43:14] Juliana: That's my, that's my big, I was trying to think, what are my bugaboos? I'm like social media thing, the site host, you know.

[00:43:20] Steve: Mm hmm.

[00:43:22] Juliana: Yeah, I don't like GoDaddy.

[00:43:24] Tyler: I've never hosted with them. Thank goodness, I guess.

[00:43:26] Juliana: Yeah, they're just, their customer service is terrible. So, um, you know, if something goes wrong with your website, it's very difficult to deal with them. Whereas with Namecheap, for example, which is what we use, like we've had clients have issues and they're like, They pop on and, you know, half hour later the site's back up again, um, and I don't have the same confidence I can do that with GoDaddy, and I like to be able to take care of clients issues quickly.

[00:43:50] Steve: Yeah, for sure.

[00:43:52] Juliana: So I'll say that as a small business owner, it's, it's super stressful throughout this whole process. There's a lot of ups and [00:44:00] downs, so I like to remind people to surround themselves with good people because that helps make it like, and I don't just mean like your, your team, you know, people you hire, but also people like, you know, you guys, right?

Like you have each other to rely on, um, because that makes it so much easier and it makes those lows, you know, you start to realize that they're kind of normal. So that's something super important. And also remember to have fun with it, because you know, we're really lucky to be able to try to do this thing on our own and, and you're creating something new and, and it's fun.

And I think sometimes, It's easy to get, it's easy to get bogged down by the challenges of it, that it's just important to remember that, you know, it's, it's a privilege that we get to be out here and trying to do this thing on our own and creating something new and positive in the world. So I think that's probably my parting thought for small businesses.

[00:44:49] Steve: Oh, I love that

[00:44:50] Tyler: Oh, I love that.

[00:44:51] Steve: It is, it is fun. It's in a, you know, kind of an experiment, uh, an adventure

Let's see if this is gonna work.[00:45:00]

[00:45:00] Juliana: Yeah, and it's, it's amazing because the more business owners I talk to, the more, the struggles are the same across industries. So if you're feeling like a failure in some area, it's likely that that's totally normal.

[00:45:13] Steve: Yeah.

[00:45:13] Juliana: You'll talk to someone else and be like, Oh, you went through this and you overcame it?

Okay, thank God. I'm fine. You know, um, yeah, that support system makes such a difference.

[00:45:22] Tyler: Well, great. I think that's a great place to leave off.

[00:45:25] Juliana: Okay, well, great. Thank you so much for having me. This was great. It's a lot of fun. I like talking about this stuff.

[00:45:29] Steve: Well, thank you for joining us.

[00:45:31] Tyler: Yeah, we really appreciate it.

[00:45:33] Steve: Juliana Weiss-Roessler is the founder of WR Digital Marketing. Uh, you can find her at WRdigitalmarketing. com or where else should people go to find you?

[00:45:44] Juliana: Oh, that's perfect. Go to my website. That's the best place to find information

about us.

[00:45:48] Steve: Perfect. And we will see you all, our listeners, on another episode of It's Not About The Money.

Creators and Guests

Steve Nay
Steve Nay
Strategic tax advisor for solopreneurs. Enrolled Agent; Owner of Daybreak Tax LLC
Tyler Smith
Tyler Smith
Financial coach for working professionals
Developing your marketing strategy, with Juliana Weiss-Roessler
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