Get more results from your marketing efforts with less investment of money and time.
Get more results from your marketing efforts with less investment of money and time.
Alex Oliveira has spent the last 15 years helping nonprofits, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies advance their brands by building and executing interactive marketing campaigns.
He invests time & energy into multiple passions including helping businesses set and reach goals; educating, training, and mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs; and sharing knowledge and wisdom from successful businesspeople around the world on his podcast.
Alex and his wife homeschool their four children and have incorporated many educational trips around the U.S. as part of their curriculum. He recently authored his first book.
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Trying to understand what channels work in your industry and your vertical is like, super important because where I see people make the mistake with Legion, Wade is just saying I just need to be everywhere. Therefore I'm going to take my budget and I'm going to divvy it up and I'm going to let the marketer tell me where to put it. But I mean, look, do some homework, understand where the competitors are, where the customers are, and then how you're serving them. Because if you're not not doing a good job, that's what we need to fix first.
Welcome to the Three Day Weekend Entrepreneur Podcast, where we help you create the personal and professional life you most desire, impact more people and make more money in less time. Do what you do best so you can create the life you want outside of work and better enjoy your family, your friends, and your life. Go to threedayweeknclub.com to join our community for free. Welcome, everybody. I'm excited to have Alex Oliveira here today to talk about your lead gen strategy and how it's the key to unlocking business growth. Thanks so much for being here today, Ox.
Thanks for having me, Wade.
Absolutely, man. Alex has spent the last 15 years helping nonprofit, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies advance their brands by building and executing interactive marketing campaigns. He's got a lot of passion. You can see the Brazilian shirt there. Very important. He invested his time and energy into multiple passions, including helping businesses set and reach their goals, educating, training, and mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs and sharing knowledge and wisdom from successful business people around the world. On his podcast, Alex and his wife home schooled their four children and have incorporated many educational trips around the US. As a part of the curriculum. And he recently authored his first book. He's awesome. I love his energy. Thanks so much for being here, man. So grateful to have you here.
Yeah. No, I'm excited. I mean, we've been talking for quite a while. I obviously follow your podcast, your work, and we have a lot of common themes around our entrepreneurial journey, so absolutely.
Thanks, man. So share a little bit, if you don't mind. When I spoke with you, what was so impressive to me is how many things you're doing that you're balancing. Family, kids, you tell me. I think your kids, what, three, six, nine and twelve? Just to cover all parts of the clock, all, you know, ever, just like clockwork.
I never thought of that until you.
Oh, yeah, three, 6912. And then, so, you know, then there'll be 15 and 18 and 21. He's not sure when he's going to stop. Tell us a little bit about your story and how you got started integrating something. Because, again, we'll put it this way a lot of people I talk to when I hear lead gen, it's very often a very left brain, mathematical mechanic, passionless, conversation. When they talk to me about it and when I spoke to you, there's just so much more to it that you have going on with it. But again, I think it incorporates with your journey. So share a little bit about your story, if you don't mind.
No, absolutely. I mean, if I go back to when I met my wife in college, as we were talking about earlier, came from Brazil in 88 as a kid. So I was raised right here in South Florida, went to middle school, high school here, then college in Orlando, met my wife. We moved back down to South Florida. I took over my mom's business that she had been in business for, like, 20 years, textile industry. But it wasn't really my passion. Right. So then I went off on my own and started a construction company with one of my uncles. That was my first real partnership. That worked out for a little bit, but we had different visions, and it's fine. But I learned along the way that, look, partnerships are great, but you got to crawl, walk, and run. So these days, when I take on partnerships, I make sure that it's not just like, let's do it, let's go. Which, in a way, a lot of the clients that I bring on Wade, are partners. They are a lot that way, right? Whether it's an employee or a client, I look at it that way just to make sure that I'm the right fit for them.
And in Legion, it's a lot the same. When you're trying to create a funnel and you're trying to create content and you're trying to promote and offer your product or service, it's really targeting the right people. Like, if you get everything else right, target the wrong people, you're probably going to get leads, and your salespeople are going to say, hey, you know what? These leads are no good. There's no quality. But that's because if you're targeting a guy looking for water heaters and you're trying to sell a car, it doesn't make sense. Or life insurance, but you're selling auto insurance, that's also not going to make sense. So there's a lot of that. And from 2005 to 2009, going back now, I had the construction business, and I found out very early on that the secret to my success wasn't to be the best contractor, was just to get a lot of leads and have a sales team out there selling these renovation projects. Well, we grew. We grew. We got into the real estate market as well. It made sense to buy homes and flip them. And then in 2009, everything crashed and burned, and I really had to start over again, which to me, wasn't a big deal at the time.
I didn't have kids yet, so it was just me and my wife. And we said, okay, let's start over. Went work for a few companies, and then I started predict, which is the company I own now. So I've been in business since July of 2011, and I've been helping companies generate more leads ever since.
Awesome, thank you. So I know my experience with leads I think is common for a lot of people is when it works. I feel ecstatic about it and I almost forget those moments when it doesn't work. I remember the heck out of that. It's not fun. And usually when I go back with a little more objectiveness, I can look back and say, oh, okay, that was a mismatch, or I was moving too quick, or my copy stunk. And I find it difficult to get, at least at times, to get into that mindset of really understanding what's that person looking for and how to communicate for them in a way that they're going to connect with. How do you start the process with somebody? How do you start somebody just starting to understand even how they do this? Because again, I guess there's so much to lead gen, or at least it feels like there is. So it feels overwhelming to people. And then they sort of say, well, I'll just try some cost per click ads and it becomes a sort of random process as opposed to something that's intentional. So how do you get it started in a way that's likely to succeed?
Well, I start working backwards with the end user in mind. So let's only talk about the customer. Like marketing is all the way here. You got to go marketing, sales, customer service, repeat business. So let's start with the repeat business. What makes those customers come back? And then we have to find those common themes. So working backwards, I'm going to pull holes. We're going to test on a regular basis in the first few months how your customer journey is working. So we're going to secret shop you, are going to let you know that we're secret shopping you, but really understand what you're doing well and what you're not doing so well. And you're likely going to find that you are doing things in respects to like, legion that is not working for a specific reason. It may be the speed to contact. So if I secret shop your competitors and I find out that on average your competitor targeting that same customer, the same prospect, if they're following up in ten minutes or 20 minutes or whatever it is, and then you're following up in an hour because that's just what you think, it should work that way.
Listen, I've had business owners come to me, even mid size companies, and say, well, that's our strategy. We don't try to project an image that we are so desperate for your business. So when leads come in, we have an automation. An email goes out an hour later, then we follow up. And I'm like, listen, well, every research shows that speed to contact is like one of the most crucial pieces of following up with leads. So if I'm working backwards, let's talk about that first. And if you're not doing a great job with that, you got to find out with your customers what the expectation is. So let's do a market research. You could use survey monkey. You could use Google. Surveys typically pay anywhere from ten to paid survey and create a, a survey that's going to tell you what what that target audience, what their expectation is. Like, auto insurance is instantaneously. You couldn't sell auto insurance if you weren't connected to a real time quoting system. Today, I couldn't go on your website and be like, okay, Wade, I'd like to find out the rate of car insurance. And then you're like, yeah, I'll let you know tomorrow.
No, I need to know, like, now. And that's the same for many products and services out there. So if you work backwards, understanding the customer experience will lead us to know what's working, what's not working. And then we can go to the other side of marketing and say, what kind of traffic do you really need? Is it email traffic? Is it paid traffic? Does social media traffic even work for your sector, for your vertical? Because it may not. It may be great for awareness and branding, but not for conversion. And so I think that's where the mismatch is that there are so many options that we have as business owners to promote our business. I had a question yesterday in the audience. The guy said, look, I haven't done direct mail or print in like, 15 years, but I've been hearing from some people lately that direct mail is back. And I said, Look, I hear that too, and I have clients who do direct mail and traditional medium right, mass media. But it depends on the industry. Like, if you're an attorney, a law firm, sure you're going to do billboards, you're going to do print.
If you're a dentist, print soul work, okay? But there are certain sectors that print is just not going to work because someone is trying to solve their problem right now. Insurance, it could work, but that's more on the branding side for the big carriers, not the local agent. Real estate, it can work, but that's more to let people know that there are open houses. So trying to understand what channels work in your industry and your vertical is like, super important because where I see people make the mistake with Legion, Wade is just saying, I just need to be everywhere. Therefore I'm going to take my budget and I'm going to divvy it up and I'm going to let the marketer tell me where to put it. But I mean, look, do some homework, understand where the competitors are, where the customers are, and then how you're serving them. Because if you're not doing a good job, that's what we need to fix first.
There's so much that I want to unpack so first of all, the difference between branding and lead gen, I think that's something that you and I know as podcast hosts. Podcasts, at least in my experience, can be really good at branding, really good at here's who I am, here's what I do, here's how I can serve you, I'm going to provide content for you. But if I need to sell something the next 4 hours, a podcast isn't going to do it for me. Or at least I'm not at that scale. There are some guys and gals that are at such scale, but they could still probably do something better that's more timely. Because again, that's not the nature of sort of the media or the form. And then you have what people think social media can or cannot do. So let's go drilling down to something, if you don't mind. So let's take that person and I'm going to say financial, professional, let's say insurance. In fact, this will leave me a good comparing contrast. Let's take even the insurance agent versus the real estate agent. You might say, wait, they're both agents, they're both professionals, same strategy, right?
How would those work as far as even just social media versus direct leads versus LinkedIn versus how would each of those perhaps at least be more likely to work? And what would be some of the misconceptions around the social media where you say, yeah, that's just not going to get it done.
Sure. So there are many objectives that you can choose in any social media platform. If you go to LinkedIn and you want it to generate leads, LinkedIn lead generation is going to fall in the conversion column of the objective. Whereas with Facebook they put lead generation in the consideration column, which you're going wait a minute, consideration. That's a little bit too close to awareness. That's at the top of the funnel still, maybe middle of the funnel, bottom of the funnel, where someone is now convinced that they've seen the brand, they like the offer call to action, they went to the website. I think LinkedIn is doing a better job in that way, but obviously it's a little bit more costly there. TikTok is doing a fair job as well with lead generation. But you really have to understand first with leads how you handle them. Wait, I just keep coming back to that because even if I compare the real estate agent to the insurance agent in real estate, the marketplaces are going to win in that arena, right? The Zillow, the Trulias, because we've seen enough commercials and branding efforts on those big platforms to convince us that I'm better off just going to the platform to a marketplace that matches sellers to buyers than going to Google and then saying local real estate agent near me.
So the real estate agents have a real tough time with that. What works for real estate agents in particular in Facebook are groups. So they're groups but you could spend a lot of time doing that in sort of like the podcast, just creating awareness, entertaining people. Here's a list of what to do, not to do. Here's a checklist. But are you really attracting buyers or sellers to the homes and matching them? So for real estate, it's one of those that the platforms have a leg up in the market. Now, for insurance, actually, can I jump.
In with you on that real quick?
So what I took from that, and please correct me if I'm wrong on this or simplify this, what I kind of just took from that is, well, in real estate, ultimately the product is not a commodity, even though it might feel like that specific house. So I don't really care about the Realtor. I'm shopping for the house. And so, no offense, not that I don't care about the Realtor, and I know Realtors provide value. This is not a knock on Realtors. No, but the perception by a lot of people is that the Realtor is a detail. Now, you don't realize that until you have a bad situation with a Realtor, you realize that the Realtor is not a detail. But ultimately still, if I'm looking for a house in such and such area, I don't really care how good this other retail or this Realtor is in a different area because I'm looking for that area. So you're saying in that case, that in a lot of ways that because the product is so relevant, the actual deliverable, that it really sort of dilutes the ability of the individual to be able to influence that, and thus the platform is stronger than Zillow.
Yeah. And of course, they give you all the information, data that you want to see right in real time. Now, what most consumers don't know is that it's inflated oftentimes anywhere from one to two out of five listings are not even available anymore. So it looks like there's this big inventory and you're there wasting your time saving and doing this, doing that. And in fact, if you would have gone to a trusted Realtor, they would have helped you save time. Now, the problem with that is that Realtor is going to be as competitive on the commission. So it's different for everyone. So my example in real estate is about now, three years ago, I sold one of our homes in South Florida because we weren't going there down there as often. And I went to the Realtor and I said, look, I can create my own landing page and drive my own traffic because I know the audience, who the audience is, right? If somebody's trying to buy a townhome, I know what type of family, where they're coming from. And I said, so I could do my own marketing campaign. Why would I have you go spend five, six, $7,000 to sell this town home when I can do that?
So let's negotiate on your commission and I'll do the marketing on my end. Then as those leads come in, your only job is to take them to the house, show it to them, and close the deal at the highest price. Now, most people can't do that, right? They're not going to go hire a marketer and a Realtor to do a real estate transaction. But I think your point is right on it's that with a home, it's such a different experience for the buyer or the seller that your journey typically starts on one of these big platforms like Realtor.com. They do so much marketing and then there's a little friction between them and the Realtors. To the Realtors, they depend on reviews. And if they don't have reviews, it's kind of like podcast. Like if you can't get reviews to your podcast, it's not going to get listened to. So it's tough, I think. Look in insurance way, we've talked about this before, you and I, where Google and Bing had tried to get into selling insurance on their platform like travel and all the other services, and they failed at it because the carriers, they have all the money in the world.
So they can push the brand and help the brokerages much better than you can. So for insurance agents, I find it really challenging to build your own Legion program unless you are willing to build volume. And to do volume, you have to have bigger budgets.
Yeah. What I found, at least in my experience in that particular world, is certainly if you're with a large company with a good reputation and they have sort of mass campaigns going on and you do your local campaign, then it seems there's some synergy that goes on there. So now you've got the brand and you capitalize on that. As opposed to some of my friends that have independent insurance agencies where the brand is their last name or the name of their agency that they've created, that's unique. And the feedback they've given me is no way for me to generate leads. It has to be reputation. How we take care of clients, some LinkedIn, definitely LinkedIn, person to person, local stuff. But local stuff, local events, because any of the larger stuff we just kind of get drowned in. Well, who are you? And kind of why do we care?
I want to ask you to go into something. This is one of the I want to call it hot at topics, but it's kind of hot topic. What is social media good for from a marketing standpoint? What is it not good for? And then how do you know if it's probably going to be good for you without us listing every single industry? What does it look like when it's probably ineffective, effective? And then is it branding? Is it lead gen? How does that play out for people?
Sure. I would first start with talking to your clients. So if you have 1000 or 10,000, however many clients you have is just asking the question like, look, are you on any of these platforms? Because we want to be where you're at. If it's easier for you to communicate with us, a messenger, WhatsApp direct message, we want to be there for you. So should we be there? So that's not a marketing thing, that's a communication thing, right? Are you there? And you're probably going to find out, depending on the industry, that as much as 60% of the people are going to say, actually no, I'm not there. And hey, wait, if I want to talk to you about the transaction or product or service I'm buying from you, I'm going to call you or I'm going to get on your website, not on social media. So then that's going to kind of lead you to think, whoa, how much should I spend on marketing then? If the people are not there to communicate, if a communicate is different, that's nurturing the relationship that I believe should still happen off the social platforms. And you can't help it with reviews and things like that.
There's definitely going to be those people who are on social media every day that they're going to want to communicate with you. But those are one off that's not most people in any industry. Even if you take lifestyle brands or musicians, for example, athletes mostly, they don't communicate with their audience on social media. If they're trying to sell something, right? If they're trying to sell something, they have different ways of marketing. And typically they want to market direct and bring you to their website. Not to social media. Social media, again for conversations. But yeah, I mean, that's the first thing you'd want to find out. And then you want to look at your competitors and take a good look to see if you run a campaign and you're measuring it, is there a way for you to track to see what's working, what's not? So even if you run a campaign today on Facebook, facebook cost, facebook Instagram, a fraction of the cost on Google. So pay per click. So we could take real estate. Real estate in Florida, let's say Realtor near me in Florida is about $18. Cost per click on Google ending on Facebook it's like a dollar.
So I'll try Facebook. If I haven't done either, I'm going to try Facebook because they're the lowest cost for you to test. So I'll do a nice campaign call to action, probably a video, not static image. Send someone to my landing page. Fantastic. And let's say my budget is $1,000. So I'm going to generate 1000 clicks. I'm going to make sure I can track it. And after that, 1000 clicks, month after month, what I want to know is, is it generating leads? So I got to make sure I have call tracking a number that is specific to that. I got to make sure I have analytics on my website. And yes, you can track that. And if at the end of your test, three months, six months, you could say, hey, look, for six grand on Facebook as opposed to Google, it would have been like 50 grand. For six grand, I've generated ten leads, and of the ten leads, I closed one deal. Does that make sense for you? If you closed one lead, the cost per acquisition is going to be six grand? It could be, if you're a realtor, maybe not an insurance agent, because that policy might only gross you $500.
So, again, it comes back to the numbers. But you can't be doing promoting your brand on social media, spending time creating content just for the sake of saying, we're here because it's so noisy and it's really hard for you to gain the attention from people for more than a second unless you're doing something obscene or spending a boatload of money on ads. So that's the route that I would go.
Way awesome. Thank you. I think there's so much to that the math of the legion. I think people forget that when you look at digital channels, how would a person decide which should come first for them? How should they come up with that?
Yeah, sure, research. So tools like SEMrush, tools like Moz, keyword, IO, answer the public. There are so many tools out there to tell you where is your audience? So when people are looking for your product or service, are they mostly on Bing? Is it Facebook? Is it Google? Where are they? YouTube. If you're selling courses, a virtual product, most people go to YouTube first because they want to see that visual. They want to see what the course is about. So if I were selling courses, I would go hard on Google and I give little teasers, little trailers, and I can get those clicks at maybe two to $0.05 cost per view and drive that traffic to my course, whether I'm selling a new to me or teachable or wherever. But understanding where your audience is at is the first thing you need to do. And all of those social platforms, including Google to Pay platforms, they have the data. Now, what I will say about the data is it's not always accurate. It's not always accurate. I mean, you could go to a city that has, let's say, 500,000 people, and Google might tell you that there's like a million people looking for that keyword.
So how is that possible if it's a city? Maybe that there isn't as many tourists. So it's a little bit deceiving. So I would ask you to talk to your customers before you spend any money on Legion marketing. Talk to your customers and ask them back to that communication conversation. It's like, look, we're trying to figure out how we can grow, and you're a customer, you could help us, and they're going to be willing to help you. So ask that question, where are you? You might find out that most of your audience is on Twitter. We see this often with people who just say, you know what, Twitter? I'm not going to do Twitter. Twitter is for politics and this and that and the other. And then they do some research and find out that, wow, Twitter is actually pretty good for them for conversion. So it's really doing your research. But the tools that I mentioned, those tools are free. You can look for what keywords and where and what's the volume, and then you got to pick one, because you can't do them all. So I'd say quarterly, pick one channel that you haven't been in, and if you have enough reason to believe that people are there, run that ad.
Run the ad, and then just be ready to follow up. But again, going back to the beginning is, let's see how your funnel is like if you don't even have a good workflow to automate the process, which most small businesses don't wade that's just the truth. Even though the tools like Zoho MailChimp and all the other automation email software tools that are out there offer, like, most people are not using it. They're just not. Someone clicks contact us or get a quote, that's where it stops. Maybe I get an email that says, thank you. We'll follow up in 24 hours, and it dies there. You and I had even talked about some past clients of mine who in the legal industry said, oh, we follow up with potential clients for ten days. That's it. And I said, oh, my God, you're leaving, like no joke. 50, 60% of the money on the table. It's called lead nurturing, and you don't nurture a lead for ten days. If you want to build a relationship, it needs to go out a year, two years. I've seen contractors weighed in, the construction industry, roofing companies that close deals, that they nurtured a lead for two years.
Think about it. If you're a roofing company and you nurture that lead, and someone comes two years later from the initial click or awareness that they saw, two years later, they come back and go, I'm ready to spend 2030 grand on a roof. Of course, it makes sense for you to nurture that lead, right?
Absolutely. You've hit on something that I've always been wary of as an entrepreneur over taxing my audience's patience. So let's talk about lead nurturing versus, let's say, the stocking, the stalking, the desperation, or even just that sense of, for example, as podcast hosts, some people will send out, hey, here's a new episode every week. Now, I'm not against that. I'm not for it. I think it depends how you do it. But if all the email says is, here's a new podcast episode, well, wait, I already either subscribed or I didn't. I've made that decision a while ago. I'm going to subscribe on the platform. More likely I'm not going to specifically wait for your email to tell me what to do and so on. One extreme, and I've done it a couple of ways. I've done it where I just send an email when I feel I have something useful to say, but then it's too discontinuous. So it might be a month or two or three. It's almost like I'm feeling like I have to say I discovered the cure to something in order to feel like I sent him an email, which is almost so intensive, wait, you got to provide so much value versus, hey, just checking in, seeing what's up, providing something of simple value.
And again, I know this is such a generalization, but just in general people's patience level, what's a good frequency. And is it that thing of that you just kind of provide one thing or you just connect on one thing and then every once in a while and of course, Gary V talks about it, which you and I have heard, but he had his book. Jab, jab, jab. Right. Hook or hook, whatever it is. How would you say if a person is trying to figure out what's a good rhythm where for the most part, they're not going to isolate the majority? Obviously, there's people on either end that want either lots of communication or none. The ones who want none, I'm not sure why they subscribed in the first place, but how would you say is a good place to start to where you'd say, okay, look, if you're not even doing this, you're not even in the game. Wait, if you're not even posting or sending the people who sign up for your email, if you're not sending once, whatever, however frequent period of time, you're not even in the game, what does that look like to get started?
And then how do you decide how frequent and how deep to go from there?
Oh, this is such a great question because I think you have to understand your competitors and also your customers. So if you have a product where your customers may buy from your competitors so I'm thinking of like your local oil change place or a tire kingdom or something like that, where you have some loyalty there. Maybe you have a credit card from the store, but you're really looking for a deal or for the ladies, right? And mostly for the ladies with lifestyle cosmetic brands like Sephora versus Alta. Right? So if it's a product where people are buying it week in, week out, month in, month out, the frequency is going to be two, three, four times a week. Why? Because they're always trying to make you aware of one of their thousand SKUs and hey, we have a new deal. A new deal. And then and what you're probably going to see with those brands, ecommerce brands, is that they bit like dog food and all those, like Chewy is that they build rewards programs because they want to let you know that when I have a new deal, I'm going to let you know.
Plus I'm going to give you content that is going to entertain and educate you. So the frequency is going to be two or three times a week for shopping, for restaurants especially. So people get these text messages. They're like, oh wow, there's a new deal or a happy hour. They're really happy to get that email. But that's for the lifestyle brands, the personal brands. Whereas like B to B, if you're selling a service kind of like the podcast, I mean, what you're selling here is really good content, information that is helpful to business owners. What you're going to likely see if you gave people the option Wade, if you ask them here, subscribe for updates, and then you give them three, four dropdown menus that said weekly, monthly, quarterly, you're probably going to see most people will say monthly. They're happy to get one, one update from you, regardless if the update has 20 pieces of information in it. Right now, the next thing that you have to really address, aside from giving people options and understanding what industry you're in and how your competitors do it, because that's going to give you a good indication.
Aside from those two things, the most important one is segmenting. So now once you have that information, you understand what the competitors are doing, you understand what kind of options your customers want, then it's actually saying, let me segment that list because you know what, behavior is everything. I could have an avatar, a persona for Wade that says, okay, people with these sorts of interests and behaviors, they're very high C, right? People who are like really detailed and they're avid readers and they love information. Maybe they do want to get my newsletter every week. And actually they may not even read it if it's too short. With just a little short update, they might read it if it's this long drawn out thing. Whereas then I might have another audience here of younger millennials gen Z who are like, listen, email at me every week if you have a good deal and videos. And I know that the other emailers are saying, oh no, don't put images and videos in your email. It should just always be copy, copy, copy. Well, that's not necessarily true. If you go and you survey the younger crowds, they just really want videos and pictures and audio versus a bunch of long form copy that is just trying to sell you something.
So let's say I have multiple types of newsletters for my podcast, for the book courses, for predict, and in all those cases, I try to segment the audiences. And some of the lists are small. I may have a list of like a couple hundred of high level executives who I know are going to be interested in me talking about things related to HR. Okay, great. Give them a good piece of information. Or maybe it's accounting. Great. It has nothing to do with marketing. I'm just trying to be helpful. Whereas with the podcast actually in my newsletter for the podcast once a month, I only put the guest once a month on the newsletter. So it's not the same thing over and over, like, here's another guest, and here's another guest, and here's another guest. I try to talk to the audience and say, like, what are the topics that you guys want to learn about and then how often do you want it? But the important thing is to segment it. If you're starting out, the first thing you're going to want to segment is the click through rate. So if I sent out an email blast to 1000 people and my click through rate was 10%, which is pretty high, but let's say it was 100 people, click through to the link, that's going to be my first segment.
I may call those my super users. The content for them is going to be different and the frequency different. Then I'll go back to the ones who open. Let's say I had a 40% open rate, so now it's 400. Now the 400 I'm going to segment different, and then the other 600 who hasn't opened the email for like two, three, four cycles, get them out, they don't want to be there. You're wasting your time. You're better off having a smaller list of subscribers. But I think you can learn a lot when you're segmenting the lists. And I would say go to Infogroup is one of the many companies that do data, and you could do data appending. X Verify is another one that I like. So X Verify, what they'll do is they'll validate the email. I think it's about $0.05 if you buy in bulk, but also append the information. So I'd say, you know what? I've got the first name, last name, email. I'd like to add phone number, city, profession, whatever questions and criteria you think is important to you. And then you start to break up that list to make the content really customized for these segments, you will see that your open rate and click through rate will go up.
And then I think it leads you to answer that question, how frequent should I do it? But I think it really depends on your industry.
Awesome. Thank you. I really love that concept of letting go of the people that aren't clicking. I know sometimes we get so into wanting the larger list as opposed to the responsive list. And again, it could be ten bajillion people if that's even a number that don't want to buy your stuff but happen to have opted in once so that you can say it is somewhere to party. Yes, well, you know, my list is blah, blah, blah, blah, as opposed to the people that are actually going to help you. And then of course, the open rates and all the other things that the email companies looked for to validate whether or not you're delivering good stuff and whether or not you start getting flagged to spam. If you have more and more people are going to be more likely to say, oh, I don't even remember who you were, and then end up marketing you spam and lead to other problems down the road. Where would you find if I'm looking for somebody and I say, look, okay, Alex, this all sounds great, but see, I'm a coach or I sell insurance or I'm a realtor please, you're making my brain explode.
Just little. Where can I hire people? Because you see everything from online at X dollars per hour to huge agencies. How can a person who's, let's say, a smaller business owner, a solopreneur, a couple of people with a budget of, let's say, $5,000 a year for advertising, or even, like, 250 to 500 a month, where are some of the places that they can get started so that they're not spending time trying to learn this when they should probably be doing what they do and making their money and getting somebody involved that perhaps can help them.
Well, that's such a good question. I think every business, even the large businesses who might have an agency of record and they're working with 2030 other vendors, as far as, like, marketing goes, those marketing teams, they have to decide. It's no different than the small business owners who are saying, look, I don't have the budget for a full time person plus an agency because honestly, the best outcomes come from that when you have a full time team, whether it's one person or more, working in marketing. So a marketing director level person that has at least seven or eight years experience with a great track record, that person is going to cost you $75,000 a year, bare minimum, if they didn't come from like some big brand, let's say. Otherwise you're going to be paying six figures. But let's say you find that one director, that director is a strategy person, right? Almost like sea level. So they're going to ask you to not only have a budget for the ads, but a budget so that they can go hire all the minions, all the Alexes in the world. So you're like, wait a minute, so I got to hire a person, I got to have a budget for ads and a budget for an agency to do all the work?
Well, that's not going to work. So that's the case for most small businesses and solopreneur. So where I would start is either on LinkedIn, LinkedIn Pro Finder is a great way to find some great marketers who are retired. They've come from big brands, they've done big things, which, by the way, isn't always necessarily the best thing because if somebody worked doing ads at Nike doesn't mean they're going to know how to work with the small company because they're not going to have the same types of strategies that work for a small company. So you've got to be aware of these things. And then the next thing I do is maybe go to Upwork. There's no better place than Upwork to find the help that in any area, specifically marketing and sales, that you might be able to hire a creative person to come up with the copy and the ads, a designer, a marketing person who understands email, and you could build yourself a nice little team. And of course, you got to create that budget. What can you afford? Is it $1,000 a month? $5,000. I like the transparency of the platform upwork, of how much business they've done, how much it is, and they've democratized this sort of talent, whereas you have like, the fibers of the world, but it's kind of like very low level.
Whereas Upwork you can get some really great talent there. And then of course, your last option would be to just straight out hire an agency. And I have articles which I'll give you the links and you can put it on your podcast. Wade of if you're hiring an agency, I don't care if it's a ten person agency or 1000 person agency, here are the questions to ask. There's a lot of questions you have to ask, and here's what you can expect to pay. This way you don't waste your time. You don't waste your time. If you're like, listen, these agencies, bare minimum, they're going to ask you to get in bed with them for 60 grand a year. And you're like, oh, my budget is 20. Forget about it. And then I think one last thing to talk about, Wade here is kind of on the back end of your question in hiring people and whatnot is really deciding on your marketing budget? Consider that Peloton in 2020 spent $477,000,000 in marketing. That was a third of total revenue. Their revenue was about, I think, one and a half billion dollars. So think about it.
Half a billion dollars spent on marketing. They brought in one and a half billion dollars. Salesforce for years spent up to 50% of revenue on marketing to grow as big as they did. Look, that might be insane to some business owners. What I was told in business school or in some training that I should never exceed 10%. Well, that's not necessarily true. It depends on how you want to scale, and it depends on if you're ecommerce or B to B or B to C. So get really clear on your budget. Get really clear on whether you want to hire an agency, a freelancer or someone in house. They all have advantages and disadvantages.
All right, awesome. Thank you. And then probably the most important thing, I think, or to a certain degree, and you made a reference to it, is I remember being told this, and I've, to my peril, violated this rule twice unintentionally, that I can think of. I've probably violated it more times, but where I started driving traffic, and I didn't yet have a good sales flow, a good conversion. And so it was almost like buying bad real estate. Like, okay, well, give me more. I was like, no, no, you don't buy more when you have bad real estate or bad stocks, you do less. How can a person make sure that their customer journey is ready? Or what should they be doing first before they start turning on the faucet? Or at least even trying to turn on the faucet because some people are so focused on, what can I get a bunch of leads? And then like, yeah, I got a bunch of leads. Oh, wait, my thing is not converting. How can they get that in the right order?
That's such a great question. That might be the most important question in this whole podcast, because if the whole customer experience there's too much friction at different points, there's no doubt that it's not going to work. Wade. You and I. Okay? Like, we're all consumers of B to B products or B to C. Every day we wade up and we go buy something, unfortunately, because all these damn marketers are marketing stuff to us, right? Everybody's trying to get in your pocket. Tell my son that. Everybody's trying to get in your pocket every day from when you wake up to go to sleep, you get, like, 300 different companies trying to yank that money out of your pocket. So I say these damn marketers, right? But it is. And some of them are timely, right? You may need a dentist or a mechanic or a lawyer, and that person just happens to advertise to you at the right time because you were searching. But I think when you're thinking about the budgets and understanding the team, the next thing is really understanding is your workflow ready. And there's no better way to do that than to secret shop yourself.
Or have a family member or a friend, someone that can be unbiased. Go through the whole workflow. Don't ask mom. She's going to tell you it's great. Ask someone who's really critical. Find the person who's, like, everything is not that good. Everything is a three star for them. And tell them, like, look, you know what? I sell friend. Go through the process. Call us, fill out the form, see how long it takes, and go through the whole transaction and tell me what you think. And record that in a diary. And then do it over and over and over, and that's like real market research, and you come back. Like I said, you're going to find out that there's plenty that you can improve upon. Use a software like Call Rail where you can record your calls and then listen to them. Have someone on your team who's going to be called quality assurance for 20% of their time and say, look, is the message consistent? Are we delivering on our promise? And then of course, on the digital side, yes. Take notes. Hey, we tested our website and takes 5 seconds to load. That means that half the people are leaving, they're bouncing.
So we need to improve that. We got to talk to the web developer because we're losing customers. We turn on the faucet for leads. People are getting to the website, but it's taking 5 seconds on a Firefox browser, that's a technical thing, but it can be fixed. The email workflow, it's weak. It's a thank you message. And that's it like the law firm, I told you, and we follow up for ten days. When in fact, I mean, think about the auto industry. It's reported by several I'm trying to think of the name of the Chrome. It's Chrome. It's a software that that powers many of the dealership websites. That's called something else now, but their research year after year show that new car buyers, new car buyers are not ready to buy the car for 90 days after the point that they started to research. So if they start researching today for a new car, 50% of those car shoppers will not buy a car for 90 days. So let's say that your Nurturing in workflow works for 20 or 30 days. You're going to miss out on that business. So you really have to understand it.
There's no better way to do it than just a secret shop yourself and give yourself a grade every month. Actually, yesterday I did this exercise Wade, with this class of business. I said, go to Google, and everyone who's listening here can do this. It's very easy. I asked the question, do you guys know your analytics? Nobody knows it. They're embarrassed, oh my God, I don't know my analytics. So first of all, get to know your analytics. How many people come to your website, what pages they're visiting for, how long, which convert. Like, you need to know that as well as you know your financial statements. Because if you know those numbers, you're going to know how many leads are going to be coming in. So there's a direct line between that and revenue. Right? But I said, what I want you guys to do is tell me, how many pages do you guys think you have on your website? Now, of course, everybody raises their hands, oh, I know my website has 20 pages or 30 pages or 50 pages. I said okay. Cool. So let's do that. Go to Google, type in, in the Google search button bar, site so site colon and then your URL.
That's it. Site, colon, URL, Google is going to give you now, you could use the other tools like SEMrush, but this is a simple manual way of doing it. Google is going to give you the number of pages that are indexed on their search engine, the number of pages from your website. And yes, everyone was wrong. Even one lady who has a barber shop, I kid you're not. One lady who has a barber shop, she says, Well, I've got about 30 pages. Well, guess what? She actually had additional pages that had nothing to do with the barber shop. She had an old page about her previous business, gelato. She had a gelato store. And so imagine if and this page is public because she hadn't done an inventory or an audit for her web. So it comes back to your question. Wade about, let me turn on the faucet for leads, when in fact my digital inventory is all over the place. So for her, it was like she's going, oh, my God, I didn't know this was up. I need to get this page down right away because if someone lands on this page, they're going to go, what?
Barbershop gelato? What does one thing have to do with another? I may leave and say, I don't know what's going on here, but clearly this is not the place where I'm going to do business with. So that's what I would do.
Awesome. Thank you. There's so much you've shared. And when a lot of people talk about the numbers of how many entrepreneurs fail and sometimes feel like it's impossible, my understanding is I've gotten older is there's just quite a lot of boxes that need to be checked. Like when you mentioned the secret shopping, I'm going to do that. I'm so scared. I'm always scared because I know some of the things and in my case, as a solopreneur who uses outside help and is grateful to be able to do that, as opposed to years ago when I had to have employees that were full time and whatnot. But I'm like, I'll get back to that. And I'll sometimes see them and I'll see a link that's broken website. I was going to get back to that. Oh, I didn't get back to that.
To your point, no one is perfect. Like, we know websites like Instagram that's their whole business go down for two, three, four, 5 hours. These things happen. It doesn't make you a bad business owner. I mean, actually, last week I was on a podcast and when I got on those said, hey, I was just on your website and it was broken. Well, I immediately called my web developer and I said, look into this. What happened to be an update on one of the plugins broke the entire website. So for like 2 hours, our website was down. And you'd be like, Alex, you're your marketing technologist. That shouldn't happen to you. No, we're not immune to this. This happens to everyone. It's just you've got to continuously optimize. And that's really what it is, continuous optimization of every area of your business.
Thank you. So what we're going to do is we're going to definitely share the links. I know Alex made reference to a few things and we'll put all of those in the links in the show notes on the website. So thank you, Alex, for sharing. There so much if people want to learn more about you, your book, your work. And again, we'll put these links in here, but where can they find you?
Yeah, dot premiere, dot co, you know, my my new thing that I've been saying, because my social media channels, I'll just be honest, I'm very hands off. I have my team doing it and I'm not really there. So if you want to message me directly, I'm looking at the messages that come in through the website solopreneur.com. And then, of course, predict IO is for companies who really want to do the Big Legion campaigns. But if you contact me, it's Solopreneur Co. And I say this because often I hear on podcast and I even used to do this myself, I say, oh, find me on LinkedIn. You can connect here and there. But think about it, Wade, it's really bad for your own brand when you're sending people to this platform where there's a bunch of other people not only competing with you, but they're competing for eyeballs. So for a while now, I've been saying, if you want to connect with me, just come directly to my website solopreneur Co. Don't go to LinkedIn, don't go here and there. We'll do that eventually. So that's just a little marketing tip. Send people to your website.
No friction there. It's just you and that end user.
Yeah. Not people. Also searched godly marketer. Godly lead gen person. Godly three day weekend coach. Oh, I thought I wanted to talk to Wade here's, this other person over here with ten times. Yeah. And I forgot to mention, definitely your podcast dad Premier. I love what you're doing with that. Share a little bit, if you don't mind, about that, and where people can find that.
Well, sure. I can't wait to put out the episode that I had with you, Wade, so hopefully when you share that with your audience, they'll get exposed to the other side of Wade. He did wear the floral shirt on my podfest as well, and so here he is today wearing it as well. No, but yeah. Wade, you are a ball and I think your type of guest that is not only an entrepreneur, but passionate about finding a way that you can gain more time to spend with your family and doing the things that you love, that's what the podfest is about. I really try to most of it is entrepreneurial topics and topics about business and Legion and obviously coaching and leadership. I love all those things. I can't get enough of it. And I think, like you, what I found with the podcast, and especially during the pandemic, is that it has been like a saving grace of building friendships and relationships with people that you know you're just going to be connected with long term. So, look, man, if the podcast never gets to be number one or million of listeners, that's okay.
My 3000 or so active listeners, I'm really happy with that. I get feedback from them, oh, I like this episode or that episode. It's enough for me to know that I'm making a difference in somebody else's life. So, yeah, come check it out and we have good topics there. Later this year, I'm going to really shift gears more towards a lot of the parenting stuff and peel back a little bit what we do with the RV and home school with the kids and security stuff that all parents who have teenage kids are worried about. Right. So we'll be tackling some of those topics soon.
That's awesome. And also the book that people can check on your website, we'll make sure that we have the link for that as well.
Thank you so much, Wade.
Yeah, thank you so much for joining us. For those of you all listening, Alps is a real deal. He's on a very similar definitely has different knowledge base than I do on a lot of things and knows a lot of things that I know almost sadly not too much about, but definitely looking to create a life that's awesome for our families, help people make an impact. And so I think you'll enjoy if you check, got his podcast as well. So, as always, I thank you for listening. I look forward to helping you impact more people and make more money in less time doing what you do best so you can better enjoy your family, your friends and your life. Thanks for listening.
Dad/ Entrepreneur/ Author/ Podcaster
As a transformative leader of multiple successful companies, Brazilian-born and South Florida-raised Alex F. Oliveira has spent the last 15 years helping nonprofits, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies advance their brands by building and executing interactive marketing campaigns. With diverse professional passions including helping businesses set and reach goals; educating, training and mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs; and sharing knowledge and wisdom from successful business people around the world on his podcast, Alex has created a name for himself as a well-respected entrepreneur and digital marketer.
Alex and his wife homeschool their four children, and have incorporated many educational trips around the U.S. as part of their curriculum. He recently authored his first book. He currently serves on multiple nonprofit boards and is passionate about issues such as immigration, education, technology and inclusion. He lives on the Space Coast of Florida with his wife and four children.