We’ve done a lot with Tim Fitzpatrick lately and there’s a reason (plus 4 free downloads the help your business). So many businesses are missing marketing messaging fundamentals and that is his specialty. In addition to him being on Bowties and business discussing how to Make Your Marketing Investments Work Tim K appeared on his show to discuss Aligning sales and marketing. TK of course also did a summary of the episode (say it with me NERD!) and included the full video interview as well.
Show Transcript from Making Your Marketing Investments Work
Tim Fitzpatrick 0:00
The first place you need to start is with the one of the first fundamentals we talked about, which is your target market. Okay, and within your target market, you need to know who your ideal clients are, who are the 123 client types or personas that you want to attract.
Tim Kubiak 0:26
That was our guest for today, Tim Fitzpatrick, and we’re gonna hear a lot more from them. As we talk about making sure your marketing and investments work for your small business, a little bit of background on Tim, he’s an entrepreneur and business owner. His expertise is marketing and business growth. 20 plus years of entrepreneurial experience, he’s got a passion for developing and growing businesses. That passion served him well and operating and managing wholesale distribution company he co own for nine years, I come from that space. That’s a tough business. If you still have passion, when you come out of it, it’s really an amazing thing. The company actually grew on an average of 60% a year and they were acquired in 2005. Since then, he’s had failures and successes that have been valuable learning experiences. He started realtor marketing in 2013, has been helping small business owners and entrepreneurs eliminate the confusion of marketing, using an amazingly simple plan so they can grow.
Most people overcomplicate their marketing, it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s some bonus material today, and the links are in the show notes. But it’s realtor marketing.com slash bow ties dash business and reality Oh is RIALTO Mar k e t i n g dot.com. So definitely check it out. He’s got some free stuff out there for our listeners. And with that, let’s get into the show. So as I mentioned in the intro, today, we’re going to talk about marketing for small businesses. So with that, Tim, welcome to the show, Tim, thanks for having me, man. I’m super excited to be here. You know, Tim squared first time I’ve done this on the show, so it’s a little weird for me to
so they don’t confuse us. Can you give us a little bit of background on yourself and your company and the kind of things you do? And we’ll dive into the questions from there.
Tim Fitzpatrick 2:12
Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, I got my entrepreneurial journey started, right after I got out of college and got involved in a wholesale distribution company, became a partner in that company. And we built that for a little over 10 years grew about 60% a year. And then we sold it
worked for them for another three, got out of that got into real estate. And boy, I went from a high to a low was a huge learning experience for me, I did not like it. I was in that for about three years, you know, it really put me outside of my comfort zone, which was a very good thing. But I was just not enjoying what I was doing day to day. And that’s when I decided to shift gears into what I’m doing now with reality marketing and real marketing. You know, we help small businesses, entrepreneurs eliminate the confusion of marketing, by focusing on the fundamentals first. And then we get involved and help them put in place and manage a marketing plan, a simple one that they can use to grow. So we get involved in a number of different services, you know, marketing, coaching, consulting, and then digital marketing like website design, SEO, social media, content, you know, marketing, paid advertising, that kind of stuff. So that’s, that’s, that’s my journey in a nutshell. So first question I have is, how do you define a small business? Everybody defines it differently. Yeah, you know, for me, um, I would say it’s typically that business that is, you know, below 15 million in annual revenue. You know, and it’s certainly can go a lot smaller, right, you might just be doing hundred thousand couple hundred thousand in revenue. But, you know, in that range on up to about 15 million, for me, is what I would typically consider a small business. You know, a lot of the clients we work with are more on the service side than on the product side. You know, so coaches, consultants, professional service providers, like CPAs, or attorneys.
And then home service businesses, so contractors, remodelers, you know, electricians, those types of folks.
Tim Kubiak 4:24
And you’re based out of Colorado, but you do work with people all over, right? Correct.
Tim Fitzpatrick 4:28
Yeah. all over the US. Yeah, it doesn’t really matter where they are.
Tim Kubiak 4:34
let’s start with, you know, one of the things is where to small businesses go off the rails and their marketing.
Tim Fitzpatrick 4:47
They skip the fundamentals. Right. I told you, our huge focus is on the fundamentals first. You know, there’s a quote from Michael Jordan and he said, Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise I don’t care what discipline it is the fundamentals in that discipline, were the same 50 years ago, and they will be the same 50 years from now, if you skip the fundamentals, you’re building a house without a foundation, which may last for a while, but it’s not going to work effectively long term. You know, and that is where I see most businesses falling short with their marketing is they get tactical immediately, you know, so I need to be on social media, or I need to have my website up, or I need to do SEO, or whatever it may be. They jump into the tactics before they really get into the strategy before they figure out a strategy. And the strategy elements are, those are the fundamentals, and you can’t skip those without hitting roadblocks down the road.
Tim Kubiak 5:52
So I’m assuming most people come to you, they’ve already have some marketing spend, maybe they don’t have the results they hope for maybe they don’t have any results at all. What does where do you typically? What’s the first conversation look like? If I you know, I’m a small business owner, I’ve got terrible marketing, I wouldn’t get it. Right. I work off a referral basis. So you know, I’m coming to you. And, you know, what’s the conversation?
Tim Fitzpatrick 6:18
That initial conversation is really figuring out? You know, where are you where your business currently is, you know, what have you been doing? And then where do you want to take it? And what are the roadblocks that that you’re having, and then we can start to make some recommendations from there. But it is so important to understand where you currently are. Because without that, you can’t figure out what you need to do to get to where you want to be. It’s just like a GPS, right? If I need to go to the Denver International Airport, my GPS first needs to know where I’m starting from, it’s no different with your marketing, we need to know what have you done? What do you already have in place, so that we can then look at, okay, well, what’s working from that and what’s not, and then we can start to fill in the gaps with the fundamentals and the tactics that need to happen to help get you where you want to go.
Does that make sense?
Tim Kubiak 7:18
It does make sense. So, you know, I’m gonna, you know, so many people are out there talking about, you know, you got to advertise on Facebook, you got to do pay per click on Google, you’ve got you’ve got to be on Instagram. And there’s not a big market for Instagram influencers in both eyes, apparently. So just about there. Um, right, and things like that. And is this the average CPA or the average contractor? How much does that online matter today, versus more traditional forms of marketing and advertising?
Tim Fitzpatrick 7:52
I think, especially with what is going on with this pandemic, your online presence is more important now than it ever has been. I think it was important before. But I think it’s super important now. Because, you know, people are going online, even if you’re even if your business is 100% referral, they’re still going to your website to look at your business in most cases. And you know, and so, yes, for most of the clients that we work with referral is a large portion of their business. But they are coming to us because they have reached a point where referrals either are capping out, or they’re not consistent enough, and they need to balance that lead flow with other marketing channels, because if you’re, if you work 100% off referral, I think you are, your marketing is like riding a unicycle. If that tire goes flat, you got problem. If you have multiple channels, bringing in leads, all of a sudden, you’re riding a Three Wheeler, or you’re riding a four wheeler, and if one of those tires goes flat, you can still get to where you want to be, you know, and so even if a lot of your marketing is offline, it is still driving people back to your website to check you out. They are looking at what your website looks like, what kind of messaging do you have? Oh, cool. I see they’re on social media. Let me go check out their social pages. What are they doing there? If they go to your social pages, and they see the last time you posted was eight months ago? That’s not a good reflection, right? It’s not looking good. They may go look at your Google reviews. How many reviews do you have? What are people saying? And how your reviews look compared to your competitors? They’re all doing that stuff. And frankly, they can do that in a matter of five minutes. And so even if you are working off referral, you may be losing leads and not even knowing it. Because somebody says Oh, yeah, hey, you need to talk to Tim. Go check out his website. Here’s his contact info you don’t know about it. They go on your online presence and like I don’t know. I don’t like what I see. Let me go reach out to somebody else. So I’m biased. But I believe that is really, really important to have a good online presence.
Tim Kubiak 10:11
So what’s the first impression? Is it you know? So I’ve got a tech background. So I’ll ask the nerdy question. Is it design? Is it the first set of content they read? Is it load time on a web page? If somebody is hitting a small business’s website? What’s the expectation?
Tim Fitzpatrick 10:28
Yeah, I think, well, they certainly want to have a simple consistent experience. But I think your what you say, you know, and how you say it, your messaging is the most important thing I would, I would rather have a website that doesn’t look as great from a design perspective, but has great messaging. Compared to a website that looks great from design, but doesn’t say anything. The first one is going to convert much, much better than the second.
Tim Kubiak 11:00
So talk about conversion, because if you’re not living in the online world, you hear it, right. But I’m guessing My guess is the average business owner doesn’t understand the concept of online conversion.
Tim Fitzpatrick 11:12
So I mean, conversion in a simple form is just how many people are coming in visiting your website, for example. And then how many of those people take a specific action that you want them to take? You know, so if, let’s say, for every 10 visitors that come to my site, I want them to schedule a free consultation. And we’re just going to use easy numbers here. Let’s say every 10 I want one, right? That’s a 10% conversion, you know, or if I had for every 10, that came, I wanted three consults scheduled, that’s a 30%. conversion, you know, so that’s what we’re talking about when we’re talking about conversion, but you, you first have to understand how many people are coming. And then the second thing is, you have to have a goal that you actually want them to take, you know, you have to have the numbers first to be able to determine what the conversion is. So, yeah, that’s where that’s what you’re looking at.
Tim Kubiak 12:15
So so if you look, how do you help people generate leads that you know, that are going to convert for them beyond the online action?
Tim Fitzpatrick 12:26
The first place you need to start is with the one of the first fundamentals we talked about, which is your target market. Okay, and within your target market, you need to know who your ideal clients are? Who are the 123 client types or personas that you want to attract? You know, and you need to understand. First, who are you going to serve? Right? So who are those 123? groups? How are you going to serve them? And for most existing businesses, the place I love to start is just asking a few simple questions. One, who do you love working with? Because you know, what the how’d you get into business for if you don’t want to work with people that you love doing business with? To Who do you do the best work for? How do you do great work for? And who are your most profitable customers? Those are three great places to start. And if you look at that, look at your customer base, ask those questions and start to put those people down on paper. And then look at them. What what demographics do those people have? What what psychographics? Do they have the psychographics are really important, you know, so what are their goals? What do they want to accomplish? What what fears do they have? What problems do they have that they’re trying to solve that you can, that you can help solve. And typically, when you do that, these, these 123 groups start to come to the surface from that larger group. And that’s how you can then look at, okay, cool. I’ve got this ideal client group, and I’ve got this ideal client group, then you know, who you’re trying to attract. But the problem is, if you try to attract, like, if I try to attract every small business owner, okay, I may be able to attract them, it’s hard because you’re trying to attract everybody. And when you try to attract everybody, some of those leads come in, and they’re just not a good fit for you. But if you’ve boiled it down to I do my best work, and I want to work with these 123 client types. And then my marketing is focused on attracting those people. When those people come to my website, I am naturally going to have higher quality leads. And I’m going to naturally convert more of those leads because I know what their problems are. I know how to speak to them. And I know that I do great work for them. I’m going to get great results for them. So that’s the first place you have to start. You know, most the time People are suffering from conversion issues. A lot of times it boils back down to the target market. If your target market stout, and then there are certainly other things that you may need to look at, but your target market I think is a great place to start. Because if you don’t know who you’re trying to reach, it’s it’s hard to reach anybody.
Tim Kubiak 15:18
Yet, for folks listening, as we mentioned in the intro, before we started the conversation, if you go to realtor marketing.com, slash photos, dash business, you’ve got some resources there. So can you tell people a little bit more about what they’re going to find there? Because this is just for listeners of the show?
Tim Fitzpatrick 15:35
Yeah, absolutely. So I, you know, I just put together some, some free resources, that dig a little bit deeper into the marketing fundamentals, you know, I touched on target market, messaging is another really, really strong fundamental that you got to have in place, you know, you’ve got to have clear, consistent engaging messaging for your marketing to work well and work consistently. So there’s some information there on that. And then, you know, having a plan, you’ve got to have a marketing plan, if you don’t have a plan, you’re just kind of throwing spaghetti up against the wall hoping some of it sticks. And that’s just no way to see consistent repeatable results. So just put together some some support materials and some resources there that’ll help get people started with that.
Tim Kubiak 16:21
How much have you had to help clients alter messaging with what’s going on in their in the world?
Tim Fitzpatrick 16:29
You know, interestingly enough, a lot of our customers have not had to shift their messaging all that much. Because they’re, you know, their customers still have the same problem, they still want the same type of solution. You know, I did, I saw a number of businesses shift their messaging through this, but a lot of that was really more a shift, because the, the products or the services that they were offering had to shift as a result of some of the constraints from the pandemic. But there are a lot of businesses that, you know, the business didn’t really change at all. You know, I mean, our business didn’t change much I was, you know, I’ve worked remote for years. I’m used to doing zoom calls with people, it’s all been remote. So, you know, our messaging didn’t really need to change all that much. And a lot of our customers didn’t need to change all that much either, you know, before the pandemic hit, if somebody needed their house painted? Well, that’s not a whole lot different now. If, if they need their house paint, it’s the same thing. Right? Yeah. Or if it’s a CPA, it’s the same thing they need, you know, business and accounting Tax Help. You know, I don’t know, maybe it’s a little bit different if they’re in a different situation now. But most of our customers didn’t have to shift their messaging from that. If that makes sense.
Tim Kubiak 17:50
It does. And that, you know, it’s interesting. I’ve watched buying processes shift in my eyes, but I’ve not seen a whole lot of message shift. You know, other than I’ve seen some people who didn’t have supply chain issues bragging about it. Yeah, yeah. Right. I’ve got x and instead of 12 months, you can have it nine weeks, kind of
Tim Fitzpatrick 18:11
Tim Kubiak 18:14
So how do you increase profits, and customers and not throw money down the drain? You know, so many times. And I love that our conversation before we started, the real conversation was about measurement. So yeah. How do you how do you measure as a business owner? How do you help people make sure they’re getting a return on what they’re spending?
Tim Fitzpatrick 18:38
The so the first thing that you need to look at if you want to increase profits and customers, in my mind is coming back to that messaging fundamental. You’ve got to have clear, engaging messaging that is consistent. If you want to convert more prospects to customers, where a lot of businesses fall short, is their messaging, either focuses on them and not their customer, which our customers don’t care about us. They care about what we can do for them. How can we help them solve a problem to get from where they are to where they want to be. And to we make it hard for people to understand what we do and what we have to offer. And our attention spans are so short at this point, if we land on a website, and we don’t understand quickly, we’re moving on, we have all kinds of other choices. So you got to have that messaging in place first. And when you have that messaging in place, and it speaks to your ideal client, right? It’s almost like you have been in their head and you know them better than they know themselves. You the marketing that you do at that point, whether it’s paid advertising or social media. All of your messaging is going to come from that work that you do. In the beginning, and if it is strong, and people feel like oh my god, they know exactly what I’m going through, everything you do is going to be better. That’s how you save. That’s how you increase profits, because you’re gonna do more conversions, you save money, because you’re not flushing money down the toilet, on marketing tactics, hoping that they’re going to work, things just work better, because you have that fundamental in place. You know, and so when we look at store at messaging, we use a storytelling framework, where you’re inviting your customer into a story where they are the hero in your business as the guide. Because if you think about most stories, the guide is the one that has strength, credibility, the guide has already solved the hero’s problem, the hero’s coming to the guide going, Oh, my God, I have no idea what to do. Here’s my problem, you’ve been here helped me get out of this. And that guide, says, yep, here’s the plan, here’s what you need to do. Go do it so that you can avoid failure and reach success. And that’s what we’re doing. And it when you have a framework that you can follow, all you’re doing is just inviting people into that story. And every time you create a message, you go back to that framework, and pull your messaging from there. And that helps make your messaging consistent. Because in marketing, we talked about the marketing rule of seven, you know, somebody has to see your business, your brand, your message at least seven times for it to register. Well, if every time they see you, you’re saying something different. It’s never going to register, you know, or they’re going to be wondering what you do, they need to see that same message over and over and over again. And at one at some point it clicks. So that’s where you got to start is with your messaging.
Tim Kubiak 21:49
So with the messaging, how do you? How do you help people take it from what they think the customer wants to hear to what actually resonates?
Tim Fitzpatrick 21:59
It’s really about asking them questions and guiding them through the process. So the framework itself, you know, if you think about most stories, you have a hero, they have a problem. They meet a guide, that gives them a plan, calls them to action, so they avoid failure, and they reach success. So we take those seven elements, we highly recommend that they interview clients, we can interview clients for them if they want us to do that. But we interview clients to ask very pointed questions, you know, what, why did you choose to do business with us? You know, what problem Did you have that we helped you solve? What benefits? Have you seen in working with us? You know, what makes us different from our competitors? Those types of questions help give us insight as to what we need to say in our messaging. A lot of times business owners have a pretty good understanding of the market that they serve. But sometimes we are we can’t see the forest through the trees, because we’re so in our business. And sometimes we have a very difficult time, you know, formulating a message that really is going to resonate. And oftentimes, our customers can tell us what we need to say exactly. So when we talk to our customers gather that information, then we can sit down and guide them through this process and go, okay, hey, we gathered some information, the character in the story, your customer, what do they want? What do they want as it relates to what you do? And they look at the information they gather, and they go, Okay, yeah, cool. These are the things that they say they want. Okay, great. Now we have to pick which one of these wants do you think is the greatest, the strongest poll, that’s going to resonate with most of your customers. And then that’s what we choose. And so we guide them through each one of these phases, make these choices based on the information that we’ve gathered. And then that framework. Anytime I need to write a sales flyer, or write an email, or write a sales message, I can pull from those different elements. It’s not that you’re going to use all those elements every time. But think of it like chords on a guitar, right? If I had seven chords to play on a guitar, I could create a lot of different songs is that every chord? No, it’s not. Same thing here. I’ve got you know, we use a playbook we have 11 elements on the play, because we add a few additional parts from the story into that. But I’ve got 11 chords that I can use. I can create a lot of different messages from those 11 elements. But what it does is it creates consistency over time. It’s clear because I know exactly I got the information for my customers. Right so I’m just taking what they’ve told me putting it into a form that’s clear and easy to understand. And then I just run with it.
Tim Kubiak 25:01
So let’s go back to the CPA example. And then marketing that customer, right. And one of the things we work with our clients a lot on is who’s involved in the buying process? Who’s the approver? Who’s the decision maker, etc. When you’re looking at it from a marketing perspective, maybe your marketing to the controller and the business owner. And you know, maybe there’s another role in there. If I’m a CPA, yeah. How do you keep the consistency of your messaging, but appeal to those different roles, if you will, in the process?
Tim Fitzpatrick 25:33
Yeah, you’ve got, oftentimes, if you have very distinct ideal clients, you may actually create separate messaging for each of those separate clients. Okay. But oftentimes, it’s still you can still create an overall message that is specific enough to that target market in general. And then as you guide them to different places on your website that are more specific to the controller or the or the business owner, then your messaging can dive even deeper and get more specific. Does that make sense?
Tim Kubiak 26:13
It does, it does make sense?
Tim Fitzpatrick 26:14
Right? You know, because you have to your overall message you You do have to make some choices. Right? You know, I mean, for our business, I mean, we have distinct ideal client personas that I mentioned in the beginning. But you know, in general, they still all have pretty similar problems. They want to grow their business. They know they need marketing, but they’re not quite sure how to do it. They’re not quite sure what the next step is. So can we get more detailed in our messaging, as we as they go further down the customer journey, and they get ready to buy? Yeah, we can. But initially, we have to craft craft a message that’s gonna resonate with that group, that overall group, and then we can get more specific if we need to.
Unknown Speaker 27:02
Tim Kubiak 27:05
how do you know where to focus? How do you how do you pick a starting point?
Tim Fitzpatrick 27:12
That’s where the plan comes in. Right? Yeah. If you’re, if you fail to plan you’re planning to fail, I think it was Benjamin Franklin said that. The way I look at marketing plans, is a 90 day sprint. Our businesses are changing too fast, especially with this pandemic. You know, I mean, if I, if I had spent thousands of dollars on a one year 12 month marketing plan in January, I might as well just flush that money down the toilet. 90 Day sprints allow you to focus for 90 days, look at what worked, and then wash, rinse and repeat, you make course corrections along the way. And so, you know, when we look at it, it’s a six step plan. Okay? One is you got to have a general idea of who the target market is. Okay, too, you got to have a goal. What’s my goal for the next 90 days? I want to bring, I want to sign on five new clients by September 30. Okay, that’s a very clear, simple, specific goal. Now, it’s an outcome based goal. So I need to be careful, because I may take all the actions I need to, or I think I need to get there. But there are things beyond my control that may impact that covid, right, is a perfect example. So but so don’t get too caught up in that goal. But you do have to have an idea of where your what your goals are, where you want to go to, okay, then you’ve got to know what your marketing budget and resources are. That’s going to determine how much you can focus on right. If I have $5,000 a month to spend, I can hire somebody, I can do a bunch. If it’s just me. And I’ve got $250 and eight hours of time a week. That’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. But that’s going to limit what I can focus on. Right. So I’ve got to know where what I have to work with. And then from there, you need to look at what your current marketing plan is. A lot of people may say, I don’t have a plan. That’s okay. All you’re going to do here is just jot down some ideas of what you’ve been doing. And we look at eight different channels. One is strategy, right? So strategy is your target market and your messaging. If you don’t have that dialed in, that’s the first thing you need to do. Okay. Then you’ve got your website. You have content. You’ve got SEO or search engine optimization. You’ve got social media. You have email marketing, paid advertising, so like Google ads, Facebook ads, and then offline marketing. So my networking I’m maybe I’m doing speaking maybe I’m doing direct mail, you know, or print advertising that type of stuff. All you want to do in this step in this fourth step is just write down, what have I done? Do I have a website? Do I have any social media profiles? What am I doing in each of those respective channels? And then in the fifth step, you’re going to outline what am I going, what I’m going to focus on for the next 90 days, depending on what you’re doing and where you’re at, you may only focus on one or two of those channels, that’s okay. At least you are completing things and taking steps in a forward direction. And then the sixth thing you need to look at is what metrics Am I going to track? Don’t get don’t get in the weeds, but you have to have an idea of Hey, the things that I’m doing, are they working? Or are they not? And then at the end of those 90 days,
you look at what what you did, what did you accomplish,
and then you wash, rinse and repeat. But you got to start somewhere. And for most of the people that we deal with, you got to have your target market, you got to have good messaging, and then you got to get your website dialed in. From there, what you choose to focus on may vary, you know, depending on what your goals are, what your budget is, you know, there are a lot of different ways to successfully market your business. You know, but there are a lot of tried and true channels that work consistently for most businesses as well.
Tim Kubiak 31:31
So you talk about direct mail, I read a ton of books on it. I ran some online retailers, his side businesses years ago, right? Yeah, it really was almost a direct mail type of thing, right? You could drive all the traffic and world pay per click and maybe targeted right? Maybe you bettered it, bid it correctly. Maybe you lost your shirt. Yeah, depending on the day, right? What about when you’re driving people to a website, and the action is an offline? Call me do this, do that call me for a quote to paint your house, whatever it is, just how do you get that measurement there? How do you bring the two together?
Tim Fitzpatrick 32:08
There’s multiple ways you can do that. One is called tracking. So there’s call tracking software out there that allows you to use a specific number for a specific, you know, marketing campaign. So you might with direct mail, you might put a very specific number on that direct mail piece. And every time somebody calls that number, it is tracked, and your call tracking software says Yep, you got five calls from XYZ campaign. It Good one, you know, call rail is a really popular one for this. Phone wagon is another one that I’m aware of as well. But that call tracking software exists. And if you really want to track offline stuff to figure in, or even online, we use it for online for, you know, for Google ads, specific ads have specific numbers of you know, what’s working. So you can use call tracking like that, um, you can use, like, if it’s direct mail, and maybe you don’t want maybe, maybe for whatever reasons, you’ll want them to call, maybe you wanted to go online to fill out a form, you could use a specific URL and track it that way. Right. So you could use a tracking URL, sends them to a specific page. But every time somebody accesses that page through that specific URL, it’s tracked. So those are really pretty simple ways to track not only what you’re doing online, but some of the offline stuff you’re doing, and how well that’s working. Because if you don’t at least track some basic metrics, you’re never going to know what what’s working and what’s not. And, you know, if you don’t have that information, you can’t make those small course corrections that it’s not huge course corrections, it’s, I’m gonna, you know, I’m gonna turn the ship, you know, 10 degrees here. Okay, cool. We turned 10 degrees into this, this is working better, but it’s still not great. We’re gonna turn another 10 degrees, those little changes over time is what makes all the difference because your results just start building and building and building upon each other.
Tim Kubiak 34:23
So one of the things you cover on your website that really caught my attention, and I think a lot of people go wrong with this is you talk about attracting local leads. Right, you know, and I’ll use a non marketing example somebody puts out a job, you know, and the jobs in Austin, Texas, and they get resumes from people in Boston and Seattle and everything else, right, who are just applying? Yeah, how do you how do you help your clients and how should small businesses be looking at? Here’s my service radius right is 30 miles from my office or whatever it is right in a metro area. How do you target that with an online approach?
Tim Fitzpatrick 35:04
There are multiple ways you can do that. I mean, obviously, what you’re talking about, Tim first comes back to target market, right? knowing exactly who you’re trying to attract. But then from there, I mean, you can, you can actually, you can be direct about it, you can just say, Hey, we work with people in these areas, right? So that when people do if people do happen to come to your website, they know, right, you’re telling them you’re being upfront about it, you know, with, with Google My Business, you can put in surface areas, you know, your Google My Business pages, if I do a name search. So if somebody searches for realtime marketing on Google, my Google, my business page shows up on the right hand side of the search window, that’s your Google My Business Page. Most local businesses have them, if they do not, they should set them up because they’re free. And it is a big ranking factor for local ranking. But you can you can communicate that in what you’re doing. If you’re doing Google ads, let’s say you’re doing paid ads to generate local leads, you can target people from a specific geographic area, you know, Google Ads allows you to do that. If you’re doing Facebook ads, you can target people in a specific geographic area so that people outside of your service area aren’t going to see your ads. Right, that’s an that’s a, it’s a waste of money. Why attract somebody that’s 50 miles away, when you only people service service people within a 30 mile radius. With paid ads online, you have the ability to do that, in most cases. You know, outside of that, it’s also let’s say you’re going to create content, if you create content, to try to attract people from a local radius, you would start to bring in local terms into that content. Denver CPA, you know, or Denver, Metro accountant, you know, whatever that may be, you can start to bring in some local terms into the content that you produce into the content on your website, to try and help attract people from those specific areas. You know, just because you do that doesn’t mean that you’re always going to attract people in those areas. Right, just because your marketing is targeted towards one to three ideal client types, doesn’t mean that other people aren’t going to come to you. Right. But at least you can then pick and choose who you’re going to do business with, if they’re not a good fit, you can tell people they’re not a good fit, but your marketing is not actively trying to attract those people.
Does that help? It does?
Tim Kubiak 37:47
It does. Right. And And a big part of it is weeding out the bad fits to your point.
Tim Fitzpatrick 37:53
Yeah, you um, well, that comes back to knowing your, your ideal clients. I mean, I think we’ve all been in that position where, especially when we’re just getting started, and we’re like, my customers, anybody with a heartbeat that is breathing that has money. Um, and we’ve all made that mistake before where we work with those people. And then we find out that’s how we start to find out, oh, man, I don’t want to work with that type of client again. I mean, you know, either it wasn’t a fun process, or maybe we didn’t do good work for them. You know, and if you don’t do good work for people, why serve them, you know, because you’re not going to get referrals, they’re not going to be good long term clients, you know, you’ve got to have that threshold. And that check was where you can kind of look at an after you have a conversation with somebody go, you know what, we’re not a good fit for you. You know, let me connect you with somebody that is, but I want the best for you. And we won’t do the best work for you because you’re not a good fit. That’s totally okay to say, yeah,
Tim Kubiak 38:53
so your website’s a great set of resources, you have your own podcast, you know, if somebody is thinking of hearing this, you know, reading the write up thinking about looking at their marketing, what should they do? Where should they start with you.
Tim Fitzpatrick 39:07
They can go to that link, that you talked about realtime marketing.com forward slash bow ties dash business, or they could just go to our homepage, you know, reality marketing. So it’s ri a ltot marketing.com. And there’s a get a free consult button. That’s the best place to start. It’s how we start with every client. We just kind of have that initial conversation, we learn more about you, what you’re doing, what you hope to accomplish, and the roadblocks you have and then we can give you some ideas of you know where to focus next.
Tim Kubiak 39:37
So was there anything I didn’t ask you about fundamentals that I should have, maybe something I’m missing?
Tim Fitzpatrick 39:42
No, we talked about it, you know, I like to call them marketing fundamentals, the marketing strategy trilogy, your target market, your messaging, and your plan. If you have those things dialed in, you have a firm foundation that you can then start to build from nice
Tim Kubiak 40:00
And anything else? I mean, you know, you work with, obviously, all kinds of small businesses. Is there anything else obvious that people may be, you know, should ask but don’t
Tim Fitzpatrick 40:14
Ah, I would say not necessarily asked. But I would say more of a viewpoint. It is so important to see marketing as an investment and not an expense. If we, if we view something as an expense, especially in downturns like some people are going through huge downturns right now, what are they looking at cutting, they’re looking at cutting expenses. But without marketing, you get the best product and service in the world. But if you don’t have marketing, bringing in leads, bringing in potential new customers, none of it matters. It is so important. And look, I don’t care if you invest with me or not. If you do not view marketing is an investment that you’re it’s like money in your 401k every month, if you don’t do that your business is always going to have these cycles. But if you do it consistently, you follow your plan, you make those course corrections, you will, over time start to generate consistent and predictable lead flow that you convert well, and your business will grow. So I guess I would say that’s a marketing frame of mind that I think is really, really important.
Tim Kubiak 41:24
Is there a percentage of revenues, percentage of profit, that’s sort of a rule of thumb to invest back into businesses?
Tim Fitzpatrick 41:31
You know, it depends on what you read, what I typically see is somewhere between five to 10% of revenue, should be invested back into marketing. But that’s not a hard and fast rule, right. Because, you know, obviously, businesses that have much higher profit margins, you know, can afford to do more ones that have much lower profit, profit margins may not be able to do nearly that much. So, you know, I think you got to look at where you’re at, and what you can afford initially to do, and get started. But here’s the thing, if your marketing is working, you should be getting a return on that investment. Right. So it shouldn’t be costing you It should be making you money. And if you can invest $1 in and get $2 back, why would you not want to keep investing dollars?
Tim Kubiak 42:22
Yeah, I agree. So I’m gonna take you off of marketing for a minute. Right? You started your career in wholesale, what do you miss about wholesale?
Tim Fitzpatrick 42:32
Oh, man, it was, um,
I missed a lot of things about it. It was fun. It was the first business that I was really involved in. It was very dynamic. And it was changing. So we were selling consumer electronics I got in, you know, a couple years before flat panel televisions came out. And so there was so much going on in the business. And when I got involved, a 50 inch flat panel was was $15,000 at retail. Now 50 inches, what $700 or something and it’s cracked,
Tim Kubiak 43:06
you say you buy middle mid range? Yeah, for Costco for about 700 bucks.
Tim Fitzpatrick 43:10
Yeah, the price compression has been crazy. But it was just, it was exciting. It was fun. We were growing very quickly. And I was learning, right? I just I’m one of those people where I, I always want to be learning never stop. And I learned something new every day doing that. And that’s what kept me motivated, kept me excited. And so it was fun. You know, I was in that business, also with some friends and some family. And so it was, it was really nice to work with people that were close to me. And be able to actually get along and make things work. Right. So it was that that’s what I miss about it. Some of that camaraderie. But, you know, marketing keeps me focused, because it’s I’m always learning, you’re never on top of everything. And it’s very dynamic. So there’s a lot of similarities. And that’s why I got into marketing in the first place.
Tim Kubiak 44:07
And what do you read these days?
Tim Fitzpatrick 44:10
Gosh, that’s a great question, Tim. Now, I’m not reading a lot right now because my schedule is a little a little hectic. I’ve got a couple kids at home. But when I do read, I typically read nonfiction books, you know, business books, marketing books. Trying to remember one of the one of the last books that I read that was really good, was called essentialism. I think it was essential ism, the simple art of doing less or something like that. I can’t remember who wrote it. But fantastic book about just how important it is to figure out what the most important things are in your life. And focus on those because those are the things that are going to move the needle. Those are the things that are going to have the greatest impact. fact, you have to have the ability to discern what’s essential and what’s not and cut out what’s not.
Tim Kubiak 45:07
Yeah, in there, there is a lot of noise out there.
Tim Fitzpatrick 45:11
So much everywhere. There’s noise.
Tim Kubiak 45:14
Yeah, I was talking to somebody in Europe the other day, and they actually leave their smartphone in their car when they go into meetings. Early, I thought, I thought it was great. I’m just like, that’s fantastic. I, you know, I had
Tim Fitzpatrick 45:29
somebody I think I heard on a podcast A while back, and they were talking about how, if you’re going to sit down to do focused work, you need to put your phone away like you can’t, it can’t even be in your peripheral vision, if it’s in your peripheral vision while you’re trying to work. It it’s a distraction, subconsciously, it is still a distraction. So it’s like, you know, turn it off, put it on silent airplane mode, whatever it is, and put it away. And just focus and do your best work.
Tim Kubiak 45:58
Yeah. And there’s been a ton of studies on how addictive the apps are developed to be so we look, you know, how many likes they get who posted what, who said, What about who? Yeah, in my case, what lunatics posting on the subdivision neighborhood page, right? Is my Mayor doing something crazy? Yeah, yeah. So
Tim Fitzpatrick 46:20
yeah, it’s, uh, yeah, focus. That’s what’s gonna keep us moving forward.
Tim Kubiak 46:25
So, we talked about your podcast, let’s wrap with this. If I want to get to know you better, what’s two or three episodes, somebody should go listen to?
Tim Fitzpatrick 46:38
Oh, man. Um, one of the last episodes that I just did was with a gentleman by the name of Steven Crawford, who works from McAfee productivity solutions. That was a really good episode about you know, he works with business owners, entrepreneurs on, you know, just getting more out of the time that you have, you know, we all time is finite, it’s the only resource we can’t really replenish. And he made he had some awesome tips in there about productivity, that were super, super helpful. I’m trying to remember one of the other ones that I just recently did. I had another one recently about podcasting with a woman by the name Margo event. I think podcasting is I mean, it’s, it has been, it’s becoming more and more popular. There’s a lot of people that are doing it. But there’s a reason they’re doing it. It’s a great way to connect with people. You can generate leads, you meet new people, even if you don’t want to start your own podcast guest podcasting spots is a great way to get out. Talk to people meet people. So that’s a really good episode to start as well.
Tim Kubiak 47:45
That’s Yeah, you know what, it’s funny. Every day people ask you, you do you plan to monetize your podcast? You get that question?
Tim Fitzpatrick 47:53
I haven’t. And at this point, I, I have no plans to I mean, I you know, if it, if it gets to a point where it makes sense to do that, then yeah, maybe I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. But I am really doing it to put out great content that is going to add value to my target market. Because that helps build credibility for for me and my business. And I do it to meet people. You know, because those people that I meet, I never know where those relationships are going to go. So that’s why I do it. I just, I do it every week. And honestly, I don’t look at the numbers all that much. From a podcasting standpoint, that may sound funny coming from somebody in marketing, but I’ve had so many people say to me, hey, if I had looked at my podcast stats for the first year or two that I was doing it, I would have quit. And, you know, that’s the other thing about marketing gotta realize, it’s not a magic bullet. It’s, it’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint. You’ve got to be invested in these things. And you have to do them consistently over and over again, and they will start to work. But you can’t do it and go wow, yeah, I tried marketing for a month it didn’t work.
Tim Kubiak 49:05
Yeah. You know, in that two year ramp for that year ramp on the podcasting stats is an interesting thing. The other thing, it’s like marketing, you never know what’s really going to hit, write it out, do an episode that I think is fantastic, and it won’t be popular. And then three months later, it comes out of nowhere. And I’m right. And I’m like you I’m for me, this is about meeting people like you having quality conversations and adding value. You know,
Tim Fitzpatrick 49:34
it’ll pay dividends down the road as you consistently do it. But you know, I mean, if you think about it, even if you made one key business relationship from podcasting in one year, it would most likely be worth the time you spent on it.
Tim Kubiak 49:51
Absolutely. And the other thing I think people that don’t do it don’t realize is the barrier to entry is really low. Right
Tim Fitzpatrick 49:58
now. It’s not difficult.
Tim Kubiak 50:00
It’s a couple hundred bucks for the year and a microphone and you’re done.
Tim Fitzpatrick 50:04
That’s it. I mean, I honestly we put our podcasts together, I do a Facebook Live, I do a Facebook Live, I record it. And then I repurpose it. So we’ve got a Facebook Live, which by the way live video. Facebook loves live video. LinkedIn loves live video, it’s a great way to get content out there. But it’s also a great way to get content, you can repurpose. We turn that into a YouTube video, we turn it into a podcast, we transcribe it. And then we put all of that in a blog post on our website. So we just drive people back to that blog post. And however you want to consume it, you consume it, if you want to watch it, listen, read it, it’s all there. It’s done. And then what we actually have just started doing is we take sound bites from those videos, and create small short form videos that we remark it on social media. So you can get tons of mileage from video content. It’s a great way to get content.
Tim Kubiak 51:04
You know what? For anybody who had questions and doubts, there’s a guy who knows his stuff. Because he just gave you the secret to marketing right there.
Tim Fitzpatrick 51:17
Yeah, it’s a great way to save time, that’s for sure.
Tim Kubiak 51:20
Yeah, in the repurposing content is just unbelievable. So, Tim, thanks. Thanks for being on. I’ve really enjoyed the conversation. I’ve got some selfish questions answered. So that’s good. Do and it’s all good.
Tim Fitzpatrick 51:32
Yeah, yeah. I really appreciate it. Tim. I enjoyed the conversation. I appreciate you having me. Pleasure.