Tim Fitzpatrick set a simple mission when he created his mobile marketing company, Rialto Marketing, in 2012: helping service businesses simplify marketing so they can grow with less stress. And he speaks from 20+ years of experience when he says, “People over-complicate marketing.” You don’t need a 20-page plan that’s irrelevant in three months, you need simplified marketing solutions.
Tim shares his outline of a six-step, 90-day marketing plan — and only 90 days — because, “You need a marketing plan that’s simple and that you can make course-corrections to along the way.” In other words you need simplified marketing solutions. And after 90 days? Look at what worked and what didn’t, make adjustments, and start over.
Rise Grind Repeat Podcast
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Hosted by Dustin Trout
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| Rise Grind Repeat 090 |
I find so many business owners are just battling information overload when it comes to marketing. There’s so many different channels, there’s tons of different tactics, and they just feel overwhelmed. And when they’re overwhelmed, they forget to plan. But if you don’t have a plan, you’re not going to have consistent long term success. And so that’s why the fundamentals are just so important. And like you said, people skip them, because they’re not cool. And they’re not sexy. It’s not, you know, the latest greatest channel, it’s not TikTok, it’s not Clubhouse, or whatever it is.
On today’s episode of Rise, Grind, Repeat, we talked to Tim from Rialto Marketing, we talk about why businesses need to do a better job of getting back to the fundamentals, digital marketing, dive right in. So Tim, thank you so much for joining us on another episode of Rise, Grind, Repeat. I’m excited. We could talk to a lot of entrepreneurs, small business owners, but not often do we get to talk to other marketing agencies, and kind of as we were talking before this, I’m more excited about what we’re gonna kind of talk about pick, pick your brain on, really going back to the fundamentals. I think in today’s digital world, people overcomplicate strategy and what needs to be done, and I think going, going back to those fundamentals is something that I think a lot of people need to revisit. But before we start nerding out, I’d love to kind of hear your background. How did you get started on your entrepreneurial journey?
Yeah, so absolutely. And thanks for having me, Dustin, I’m super excited to dig into this. You know, my entrepreneurial journey, I would say is, I wasn’t I wasn’t one of those, you know, kids that was, you know, selling baseball cards and had a lemonade stand. And I was making a bunch of money as a kid. The only thing I cared about when I was a kid was having fun getting out riding my bike and playing with my friends. When I, when I was just about to graduate from college, you know, I still had no idea what I wanted to do, you know, I was a math major figured, hey, this is gonna be massive used all over the place, super important skill to have. I graduated. And I was like, Man, what the hell? What am I gonna do? And my dad had been an entrepreneur for a long time. And he had a couple different businesses, one of those businesses was a wholesale distribution company. And he had started about a year or two before I graduated, there was no full time employees, he was using employees from his other related company, to, you know, for both companies, and I got out and I said, You know, I said, Hey, I don’t know what the hell I’m gonna do. Let me work with you. Why don’t I help you, I can help it within the distribution company. You don’t have to worry about it, it’ll give me some opportunities to kind of figure out what I want to do. Well, three months later, I was hooked. I’m like, I don’t want to go anywhere. You know, are you gonna will you will you keep me. And so I am. I just grew into that, you know, my, my dad was running his other company, I was managing the distribution company. From a day to day basis, I was the first full time employee. And it went from there, I became a partner with multiple partners in that business. We grew about 60% a year for over 10 years. And then we sold it, you know, so I started, it was an amazing experience, I learned a ton, I soaked up information like a sponge. And, you know, I was the first full time employee, by the time we sold it. We had, you know, 20 plus employees, we had three different locations. It was a huge, huge learning experience for me. And then after we got bought, I worked for that company for another three years, moved out to Colorado with that with the company. And about a year after that. It was 2009. I got laid off, we got bought by a public company. We all know what happened in 2008. They started freaking out. And they were like, Oh my god, they closed 30% of the branch locations we had across the country. And I got laid off. So you know, fortunately, I was in a position where I was like, you know, I can take some time to kind of figure out what I want to do. And I decided to get into residential real estate. I’ve always been interested in real estate, and figured, hey, I don’t know if this is what I want to do long term, but I can learn it and start to invest in real estate, as well. You know, fast forward, you know, to two and a half years later, I was like, I this is not for me, I do not like this. I’m getting out of bed every day dreading it. And what’s the point? You know, if we’re not enjoying what we’re doing, especially as entrepreneurs, why are we doing it? And so I shifted gears and that’s when I started realtime marketing. And that’s what I’m doing still today. But you know, it wasn’t a straight path. The entrepreneurial journey never is it was more of us, you know, scribble on a page, but it’s brought me to where I am today. I’m thankful for the for the successes. In the failures, you know, you learn from both.
Yeah, no. And I mean, interesting time in 2009 to get into the real estate or after the big crash. But I mean, I’m sure that I’m sure that there’s a huge supply and demand. So I’m sure a lot of realtors left because they’re like, well, if home prices are coming down, I don’t, I don’t want to be in this this industry. And I’m sure that that led to a lot of opportunity on your end.
There was a, there’s I always felt like there’s opportunity in every market. And at that point, in real estate, there was a ton of people that were about to go into foreclosure. So I actually am and I was outside of my comfort zone every day I was door knocking people that were in foreclosure. And sometimes they’d answer sometimes they wouldn’t, you know, and if they answered, I talked to him, and I was trying to help him out of foreclosure. And so I was doing a lot of short sale business where, you know, we were trying to get approval from the bank to allow the homeowner sell the house for less than it was worth. So, you know, it was, I learned a ton doing it. But I just, I just did not enjoy it. I was working way too hard for the amount of money that I was making. And I said, Man, I have to do something different. You know, somebody asked me the other day, what I didn’t like about it. And I said, Look, I when I was in wholesale distribution I was so we were selling consumer electronics, we were selling home theater equipment, you know, distributed audio, it’s like, I go to a party to talk to somebody and I they’d asked what I did, and I told them, they’d be like, Oh, my God, that’s so cool. Tell me Tell me more about that. When you’re a realtor, you go to a party, like a realtor, and they like I want to shift and go to another conversation. So I don’t know, it’s a great, it’s a great field for a lot of people, it just was not a good fit for me. And so I had to shift gears.
Yeah. And so how did you go from distribution to a realtor to opening a marketing agency? Where did Where did marketing gonna play into this whole
journey? So I, when I was looking at shifting gears from real estate, I took some time and I said, What What was it that I liked so much about being in distribution, it was, it was dynamic, it was constantly changing. So it kept me on my toes, the clients that we were working with, we were helping them grow their business. And as a result, our business grew from that. And so there were a lot of similarities to that, and marketing. And when I initially got involved in marketing, we were actually only focused on mobile applications. So we were selling mobile apps, mobile apps were super hot at the time. And we were focused on helping small businesses, but a lot of our business was also in the K 12 education space. And so, you know, we were helping them communicate with, with their, their students, their parents, you know, if you try to get information from most school websites on your phone, it’s an absolute disaster doesn’t work. So I saw a lot of opportunity there. And that’s why I you know, I shifted gears and got got into that. But you know, I’m not doing that today. Our business has shifted again. So yeah, interesting, right.
No, I mean, like you mentioned before, I mean, it’s just a zigzag. I mean, there’s no straight line to entrepreneurship, and even more so when it once again to the agency life, it’s literally no days that say no hours, the same and its main deal and client relationships in a new business executing and fulfilling jobs. I mean, it is a lot, a lot of hats to wear. in it. I love to get more into kind of what the business is now what you guys do, but quick question you mentioned, you know, majored in math? No, being on the website looks like you guys do a lot of digital. How much has math played into data data analysis? Looking at the number side?
Yeah, yeah, having that analytical side is incredibly helpful from a marketing perspective when you can, because I can drill into the data and understand the data and interpret it. Ironically, though, man, I write so much now, you know, cuz there’s just there is so much. So, you know, don’t let the fact that I was a fairly good student. And although I was good at math, I was still pretty decent at writing in English, has helped me a ton. Because, you know, I write so much now from a content perspective with all the stuff that we do so, but the math definitely helps from from an analytical side of it.
Yeah, no, no, love it. And I can’t wait to dig into the content side. But before we get too deep, would love to know you kind of mentioned it, but what is the name of the company? And what is it that specifically you guys do?
Yes, so the name of our company is Rialto Marketing. And we we help service businesses simplify marketing so they can grow with less stress. And we do that by creating and implementing a plan so that you can communicate the right message to the right people. That’s what marketing is all about. So we focus on the fundamentals First, get it laying that foundation, and then some of our clients will just take the plans and run with it. Others need additional help. So when the coach and make sure that they’re getting the outsize, they need, or we may implement for them and actually do it for them. And so we get involved in, you know, in all the various digital marketing channels that are that are out there from an implementation standpoint, but it’s a mix of coaching and then done for you work. Gotcha.
No, I love it. Because I mean, I equate it to marketing is just nothing but having conversations, I think before it was just walking around the microphone yelling at everyone, we’re now I mean, how targeted we can get and the type of content we can make them in the the cost of trading content has come down greatly, you know, over the last 10-30 years, whatever that may be. But now we have the opportunity to isolate different personas, different audience segments, and come up with content that speaks specifically to them and have more of a one to one conversation, rather than one to many. And I agree, I think laying the foundation is is often overlooked. Everyone just tries to get to market, let’s get some ads, ads going, let’s do some cool videos. But when it comes to that foundation, I mean, knowing that you’re so big on that, how do you define what that foundation really is?
Yeah. So the way I look at it is I call it the marketing strategy trilogy. One, you got to know who your target market is, you know, who are your ideal clients? How are you going to serve those people to you have to have clear, engaging messaging to that target market. And three, you have to have a plan, you know, the plan you start with is not going to be the plan that you’re going to end with. But it’s so many I find so many business owners are just battling information overload when it comes to marketing. There’s so many different channels, there’s tons of different tactics, and they just feel overwhelmed. And when they’re overwhelmed, they can’t create a plan. But if you don’t have a plan, you’re not going to have consistent long term success. And so that’s why the fundamentals, they’re just so important. And like you said, people skip them, because they’re not cool. They’re not sexy, it’s not, you know, the latest greatest channel, it’s not TikTok, it’s not Clubhouse, or whatever it is. But you have to have those because if you don’t, you’re gonna waste time you’re gonna waste money, you’re gonna throw tactics against a wall like spaghetti hoping it sticks. And inevitably it doesn’t. And so that’s why I just I love the strategy side of marketing, because it’s so important.
Yep. No, I couldn’t agree. I mean, no, no, what, it’s very hard to find successful people that didn’t have a plan of attack milestones along the way, how you’re going to get there, and being strategic with it. I mean, if you’re talking about growing your business, I think more people should should lean on these fundamentals and really identify what is the strategy. I mean, it’s everyone wants to grow, but yet not put in the work to do the things that allow that growth. And I couldn’t agree more. It’s it’s really, again, having that conversation. So I mean, for those businesses are like, Okay, I got I got teenagers, I have single parents, those are my audiences. Now. Let’s go. Is there anything in between there? How do you come up with that, that communication plan, and whatnot for each of the I guess, audiences that you want to target?
Yeah, I think the first thing that’s important to look at is, how do I, how do I identify who those ideal clients are? And with, with existing businesses, the easiest place to start from, from my perspective, is to ask three questions. One is who you enjoy working with? Okay? What’s the point in doing business with all kinds of people that you don’t like your days are going to be so painful, it’s not even funny. 2, who are your most profitable clients? And we’re not going to stay in business, if we’re if we’re working for clients that we aren’t making money on? And three, could we do our best work for a group of customers existing or past customers that you can answer positively to all three of those questions. That’s where you start to look for your ideal clients. Because they’re going to be profitable, you do great work, which means you’re going to get referrals, they’re going to be super happy, your retention is going to be better. So you take that group, and then you can start to dig into the demographics of the people in that group. And you can start to look at the psychographics, which is psychographics, I think are just as important, if not more important, what are their attitudes? What are their feelings? And what goals do they want to achieve? The psychographics or what get people to buy? You know, and that’s how the psychographics will help you create the mark your marketing messaging. But if you look at the psychographics, and the demographics of that larger group, inevitably, what typically happens is one to three groups kind of surfaced from that. Those are your ideal client types. And most businesses don’t have more than three ideal client types. I think If you try to focus on more, it’s going to be really difficult. And a lot of people their their, their roadblock to this is well, if I niche down on on one ideal client type, it’s going to limit my business. That’s not the case at all. What it does is it helps focus your marketing efforts, because we’re not saying those are the only people you’re going to do business with. We’re just saying those are the only people you’re going to focus your marketing efforts towards. Because you can’t, if you try to reach everybody, you’re just gonna fall flat, you know, and you’re gonna waste a lot of money. But when you understand those 1-3, ideal client types you’re trying to reach, it becomes so much easier to start to identify, where do these people congregate? How can I get in front of these people? And when you can determine where they are, right? Now you know, where they are? Now you can figure out what, what message I need to get in front of those people in those different channels. And it’s just become your marketing becomes so much easier. But when people say I’m trying to, you know, I work with entrepreneurs, Well, great. I mean, they’re, they’re everywhere, you know, and so the more you can dig down, the easier it’s going to be,
I mean, how much of this comes, what comes out of it is identifying those pain points and those different, I guess, personas, audiences, whatever they may be, whether it’s vertical job title, whatever it may be, how much of that comes out? And how much does that kind of fuel the content because to me, it’s sure you could do try and do business with everyone. But if you’re not specifically speaking to any type of pain point, you can’t bring bring a value that are a solution to that pain point, and really capture their attention and get them to go Alright, well, I do have that problem. And it’s been annoying for the last 6-12 months. If you can solve it, I’d love to talk. And that creates that that that time to chat. And then once it gets going, I mean, so how much of the the pain points come out of this? And do you guys focus on that, and really tie features benefits to that?
Yes. So once you understand who your ideal clients are, right, and then you can start to move into the messaging side of it. And with messaging, what we really want to do when when I say messaging, I’m talking about how you communicate what you do, and the value that you provide, it’s essential, if you can’t clearly do that, you’re you’re not going to convert prospects, into customers, and your message is going to fall flat. And but you can’t create your marketing message until you understand who your ideal clients are, you know, you just set it if I don’t know, if I’m trying to reach everyone, every entrepreneur doesn’t have the same problem, right. But when you can deep, dig deeper, and get more specific, it’s becomes much easier to get inside your customers head, you know, what you really want to do is enter the conversation that they’re having in their head about what you do. And when you can do that, then you can start to identify, hey, what’s this main problem they’re dealing with? You know, what are the what are the consequences of this problem, that they’re that they’re just continuing to experience? And how can I come in and offer them a solution? And what are the benefits of any gonna be when they work with me? Oh, we it all starts with your target market, then you can start to get into your messaging and from a messaging standpoint, we’ve we storebrand Are you familiar story, right? I am not.
Story brand was company that was founded by Donald Miller and he he basically took the hero’s journey, the hero’s journey is a common storytelling framework. And he tweaked it a little bit. And he’s popularized this, this storytelling framework that you can use to create your marketing message. And when I first got exposed to it, I, you know, somebody was talking to me about it, I got a little bit more in depth with it. And I was like, Oh, my God, this is so this is great. This is so easy to understand. And 1000s of businesses have used this framework to create clear, engaging messaging. And it’s, I think, anytime you can use frameworks or systems within your business, your likelihood of success is going to be much higher. And that’s why I love this framework. But the framework basically just says, look, every story has a character, that character has a problem. And immediate guide to guide gives them a plan that gives them CTA so they can avoid failure and reach success. And so what we do is we take that and we apply it to our business where our customers are the hero and we are the guide because our customers aren’t looking for another hero right heroes. If you think about stories, heroes got problems, man, they they have a problem that they’re trying to figure out and they don’t know how to solve it and they meet this guy that’s like, hey, I’ve been there, done that. Here’s what you need to do. So we want to position our company as the guide that knows exactly hey, these are the three steps or four steps, whatever may be that you need to take to get from where you currently are, to where you want to be. So, let’s let’s look at an example. Point to the original Point Break. Okay is one of my favorite movies. Don’t follow me for a man. You know, Keanu Reeves, he’s a green FBI agent. And problem. There’s a band of bank robbers in Southern California called the ex presidents. The guide in the story is his partner, Gary Busey, who’s a seasoned FBI agent. He’s been there, he’s done that he knows what the hell’s going on. So the the, the, the plan is, he says, look, I think that the ex presidents are surfers. So you need to learn how to surf. That’s the call to action, you need to learn how to surf. And I think you’re gonna come across this, this group of buddies, and hopefully you’ll infiltrate them so that we can avoid failure, which is they ride off into the sunset. And we reach success, which is we catch them and they go away to jail, right? So all we do is we take that same framework, and we apply it to our business. You know, so our customers as the as the character in the story, what do they want as it relates to what we do? The problem in the problem, we bring in the villain in the story, and we talk about three levels of problems as well, the external, the internal and the philosophical problem, you know, so, for marketing, right? The, for me, the villain is information overload, right? Our customers are battling information overload. What, what’s the external problem? There’s a lot of them, but I, it all really boils down to, they don’t have a plan. Okay, how is that making them feel the internal problem is they’re just feeling overwhelmed. But the philosophical problem, the thing that’s right versus wrong in the story, is, marketing shouldn’t be difficult. It is for a lot of people, but it shouldn’t be that way. And so from there, we then, you know, how do you establish yourself as the guy guys have empathy, and they have authority and credibility. So we simply inject empathetic statements, we understand what it’s like, to struggle with your marketing, you know, we understand what it’s like to battle information overload, authority, testimonials, certifications, awards, you’ve won clients you’ve worked with those all help position you as the guide. And then from there, you just keep working through it, you know, what’s the plan? For us? It’s, you know, those three simple steps, right, it’s, you know, it’s get a free consultation, and get the right plan and grow your business with less stress. Right? Are there a ton of things that you and I both do as marketers? Yeah, there’s all kinds of other things. But Do people really care? In the beginning, we need to keep it clear and simple. And then from there, would we inject? What are the failure elements? if they if they don’t work with us? What consequences will they continue to deal with, and then success, we need to paint that picture of success. And so, you know, we, we use the framework. And when you once you have the framework in place, every time you need to create a marketing message, you go back to the framework, you’re not reinventing the wheel, you’re just pulling each element is like a Lincoln log. And you just pull the Lincoln log out. And you can build a little house with various elements, but you don’t need to use every one of them every time. But you know exactly what you’re going to save, because you’re going back to the same resource each and every time.
I love that. I think that’s a that’s definitely a different perspective on the hero’s journey. And I think it’s easier to digest and understand. That being said, I’ve always, I’ve always thought that a lot of you know, creative or anything that goes to market, people kind of flip flop the hero and the guide, I guess where I guess, for instance, it’s most like for a marketing agency, marketing agencies want to come out as the character and then let the client be the guide rather than the other way around, where, hey, we’re not the hero in the the overall creative. We’re the guy trying to make you the hero and position the potential client is the hero. And that’s kind of what I see. Is that kind of a similar, I guess, oversight, or is there something else that I guess there are big missed opportunities whenever people can kind of try and create this framework?
When the biggest mistake that most businesses make is they don’t focus on how they can help their customers, right? Our customers don’t care about us. They only care about the fact can we solve their problem or not. And when you use most businesses end up positioning themselves as the hero like you said, and our customers don’t want that. And when you use the framework, and it eliminates that mistake, it eliminates you positioning yourself as the hero and not the guide. And that’s one of the reasons why I love it so much, it takes that one big mistake out of the picture. It also eliminates one of the other big mistakes, which people make it difficult for them to understand what you actually do. And we, we are so impatient at this point, if I land on somebody’s website, and I see that information right at the top, and I read it, and I’m like, What do these people do, I’m not going to take the time, I’m going to go back to the search results and click on the next listing. So we have, we don’t want to be cute and clever with our marketing message, we want to be clear. And using this framework makes it so much easier for you to do that.
This is great. And I mean, it’s now that we kind of know who we’d want to be talking to we have this framework created, we have our messaging nailed down. Really the next step is alright, how do I get this to those people? Is it Facebook ads, Google ads, email, I mean, I think there is a distribution overload in the different channels and and there’s something new every week. And so for those that are just, you know, I have everything but and I’m trying all these different channels, I’m not really seeing any wins, I guess, how do you guys go about choosing the right channels for your clients that that’s really going to drive those business results that they’re looking for?
So from a planning perspective, we use and we recommend a 90 day plan. Okay. You mentioned before its people overcomplicate marketing people overcomplicate a lot of things. Yeah. But with marketing, you know, last year, right, we’re in this pandemic, if you would spend 1000s, out multiple 1000s of dollars, on a one or two year marketing plan, that’s 20 pages in in January of last year, you would have burned it come March in most of us would have. And frankly, 20 page is too complicated. It goes into the top of a district. Our marketing is evolving very quickly, because our businesses are evolving quickly. And so we have to use a marketing plan. That’s simple. And we have the ability to make course corrections along the way. So here’s how I look at I look at marketing in 90 day sprints. So there’s six steps to this 90 day marketing plan. One, you need to outline who your target market is. So even if you just have a paragraph of your one to three ideal client types, it’s better than having nothing, okay, to What’s your goal, what’s my goal for the next 90 days, it needs to be specific, it needs to be measurable, it’s going to be time bound, because it’s a 90 day plan. But that that 90 day goal is going to be obviously something that’s going to help support and push me closer to my one year goal, or my three year goal, whatever it may be. And then the third part is, what are the what’s my budget? How much money do I have to invest in my marketing? And what are the resources that I have from a staffing perspective? Because your staff is going to help you and he’s going to tell you how much time do these people have to help us execute and implement our marketing. If we don’t know what our budget and our time resources are? We may choose to bite off way more than we can chew and not implement anything. Right? So we have to know where that is. Then the fourth step is what’s our current marketing plan? Now, when I say that, I realized that a lot of people may not even have an existing plan. Okay. But here’s the thing. There, the way I look at it, there are eight main marketing channels, you have strategy or those fundamentals right. So your target market in your messaging, you have your website, you have content, you have SEO, social media, and you have email marketing, and paid ads. So Google, Facebook ads, those types of things. And then offline marketing. Those are the main channels. So in this current marketing plan, just write down what are you currently doing or what have you done that’s already in place in each of those channels. Don’t overthink it, just write it down on paper. All we’re doing here is identifying where we’re starting from, you can’t create a plan to get to where you want to be until you know where you’re starting from, right. It’s like your GPS, I can’t plug it in to go to the Denver International Airport until I first let it know where the hell I’m starting from. That’s the whole point in this fourth section, then in the fifth section, is, what am I going to do in the next 90 days in each of those channels. Now, if I don’t know who my target market is, and I don’t have good messaging the next 90 days, that’s what I’m going to do. Okay, you got to focus on that first, then for most people, your website is the most important marketing asset you have. So after the fundamentals, you got to make sure that your website is right. And then from there, you can just expand down depending on how much money I have, and the resources I have. I might focus on multiple channels or I might only focus on one of those channels. That’s okay. Then the sixth thing is, what metrics Am I going to track? Don’t overthink this, as a math major, I can get down into the weeds, and really keep those high level statistics that are going to help you determine whether the actions that you’re taking are having an impact. And then at the end of the 90 days, you just look at what worked, what didn’t make your updates to the plan, wash, rinse and repeat. That’s it. And one of the things, we I put some free resources together for your audience. And I’ll give you the link so that they have access to it. But what are the template for the messaging that we use the template for the 90 day plan we use is there. I also have in there what we call our marketing evolution index checklist, which looks at those various marketing channels in Phase One, two, and three. So it gives you can have a framework and a checklist to look at. Okay, I’m just beginning what what elements Do I need to have on my website to make sure I’m getting it right? Check, check, check, check. Okay, cool. Now I can move on to the second phase of my website. But it gives people kind of a guidepost or a roadmap to follow to kind of hone in on okay, I’ve done these things. What haven’t I done? And where should I focus my marketing efforts? Next?
No, I I absolutely love that. That is very well said. The big thing that I you know, the biggest takeaway I see from there, and I think, I think something a lot of people struggle with is that goal part? It’s like, Oh, I want a lot of sales. But and I’m huge on, you know, those SMART goals, something that you can track? That’s, but I don’t think it should be revenue driven. I think, to me, it should be more focused on what are the different metrics that are going to lead to that revenue, whether it’s lead its people reach whatever it may be? So I mean, whenever it comes to building out those, I guess, goals or outcomes, desired outcomes. How do you guys help companies figure those out?
Yeah, so I think this is a really important distinction. So that overall marketing goal is what I call an outcome based goal. Right. So like you said, I mean, some A lot of times, it may mean it could be revenue, it could be the number of clients that they want to bring on. Or whatever that is, I think it’s important to, to remember that with an outcome based goal, you can do everything that’s in your plan. And there may be things beyond your control that impact your ability to hit that goal. So maybe I wanted to double my business in the first quarter of last year and COVID hit and everything blew up, right. I could have done everything in my plan that I could have, I could have been getting results, but I didn’t hit my goal, because it wasn’t there were things beyond my control. So all outcome based goals are like that. But you have to have a general idea of where you’re going. Right. And so I like to have that overall goal there. But then I like to focus my efforts on the actions that I’m going to take to help me get to that goal. Because the outcome, I can control the actions I take, I cannot control some of the things that are going to allow me to hit that goal. But to help clients identify what that goal is, is really just digging down digging deeper into what are their longer term objectives. And then breaking down, you know, if you, where do you want to be in five years, what do you want to be in one year, frankly, you know, when I look at, like, 5-10 year goals, I mean, honestly, that’s a pie in the sky stuff. There’s too many things be too many things can happen between now and then. But having a general idea of Okay, in in five years, I want to be here and be able to kind of break down Okay, well, in a perfect world, if I’m going to get there, what needs to happen, what kinds of things are going to be in place at that point in time for me to to have reached that goal? And then you can start to work backwards to think, Okay, well, in one year, I’m gonna have to be here. And if I want to be on track to hit that goal, and then Okay, well, great. Well, if you want to be there in one year, in the next, at the end of the next three months, where do you need to be to get closer to that one year goals? So it’s really just a matter of breaking things down into smaller bite sized chunks to get to that, that that goal that you need to focus on for the next 90 days?
Yeah, and I think more times than not everyone, just so because things are so complicated and tender spans are so short, it’s it’s only looking at, you know, 30-90 day goals and not not not trying to reverse engineer it. It’s like, Where do I want to be in three years? If that’s where I want to be? What What is it going to take to get there? And is there a clear path? Is that even doable, based on the resources that we have, and, and whatnot. And I think, again, that is just a big step that’s missed and you get, get a lot a lot of companies that you know, great messaging, great get to market and all that but don’t really have a clear sense of what their goals are. And then as you get 90 days in, it’s like, well, we don’t know if we did good or bad, so we didn’t really know what the benchmark was to determine success or not. So love everything there. And I think, you know, the thing that I love that you mentioned is, you know, three year goals, five years goals there, I mean, kind of pie in the sky. But another thing is the 12 month plan 20 pages, it’s just gonna sit there, how much time and energy goes into planning that out? I, you know, I’m a I’m a big believer that I think a lot of companies spend too much time trying to perfect before getting to market and letting the market kind of help optimize and pivot in real time. You know, knowing that you’re big on planning, what is that fine balance between not planning too much and not getting to market but also having some sort of solid plan?
Yeah, you were, as you were saying that this quote came to mind and it’s implement now and perfect as you go. And with, with marketing, along with a lot of other things, nothing’s ever going to be perfect. And, you know, you and I both know, this look, marketing, it’s changing all the time. But there are frameworks, we have past experience, we have systems that are in place that we know have worked in the past. And so you know, we use those over and over again, but there are always little nuances. And so we’ve got a measure what’s happening or what and then so that we can then determine what’s working what’s not, and make those small course corrections along the way. So it’s, you know, it’s, that’s why I love this 90 day plan so much. It prevents you from over complicating things, because there Look, it’s there’s six sections here. I mean, even if you even if you write a lot, this is not going to be more than two or three pages. So it helps prevent you from overthinking things, just put the stuff down on paper, and start to execute. And as you start to execute, and the metrics that you’re measuring, are going to start to tell you whether the actions you’re taking are having an impact. It also eliminates distraction. Right. as entrepreneurs as business owners, it’s so worth. We have these grand plans, and it’s so easy to get distracted, especially with marketing and so if you don’t have a plan, and next week, some influencer saying oh my god, you gotta be on TikTok. This is it is blowing up and we’re generating tons of leads. And if you don’t have a plan, you’re like a squirrel chasing a nut. You just go right after it. But if you have that plan in place, it allows you to be disciplined enough to go you know what it is TikTok on my plan for the next 90 days. No, it is not. I’m not going to forget about it. Maybe I’ll just put it on my my tickler file, and I’ve got it on a list that I may want to look at it later. But it’s not going to distract me right now for the next 90 days. That’s where the huge benefit comes in with a plan. Yeah, no, I
couldn’t agree more. And I think it is sticking to that plan. I think that it’s tough for entrepreneurs, because it’s the next shiny thing can pop up. And it’s like, well, they’re doing great. If I don’t do it. Now I’m gonna miss out on the opportunity. But I mean, the opportunities not gonna leave in 90 days. So I think I love that framework, the mean, and if it does leave in 90 days, it probably wasn’t that big of an opportunity to begin with.
It wasn’t. Yeah, these things move fast. But I don’t think things move that fast. Like you missed the podcasting window in 90 days.
Exactly. Exactly. And I mean, I I’m loving all this, I love your approach, I love the way you think about things, just from from start to getting things into market and having that plan of attack of how that strategy is going to evolve. I love it. If you had any examples of how you kind of deployed this type of framework for a client or something that was extremely fun to work on, where you might have had some maybe some pushback or didn’t get a belief in this type of system. Whenever you guys deployed it, what what those numbers look like what the data look like after?
Yeah. Sure, oftentimes, it’s not uncommon to get a lot of pushback from clients, because most of most clients want immediate results. And, and frankly, I think a lot of marketers don’t have done we’ve basically set ourselves up, right? Because there’s a lot of marketers to promise the world and then don’t deliver it. My approach is always look, I’m just going to tell it to you straight. And if I believe you have unrealistic expectations, then I’m going to tell you, and you’re probably not a good fit for us because I want to work with you long term. And if you expect me to, you know, double your leads in the next month or two, I’m probably not a good fit. But what I my approach is just to is basically to have a similar conversation to what we’ve just had, you know, which is, here’s the fundamentals. Here’s why we focus on these first. And at the end of that conversation, most people get it, they realize you know what, I’m gonna have to invest in this. It’s going to take a little bit of time, but taking you know a couple months now is going to pay so many more dividends down the road rather than jumping into tactics immediately, and, you know, just wasting time and money, because we’re gonna have to come back to the fundamentals at some point. So, you know, we have a client right now commercial cleaning client, um, and in the beginning, we worked with them on their, their messaging, we put their website together, and then we put, we put a general plan together for them to some of their plan, we’re, we’re working on them with some of them, we’re not, but you know, their business and try to remember the exact numbers don’t don’t hold me to this. But you know, we’re doing paid ads for them. They’re doing some email marketing stuff, they’re doing some cold outreach, but their business has grown like 60% in the last year. Wow. And you know, now, some of that, you know, could be because of some of the things that are happening with COVID. But it’s not all and they’re generating consistent leads each month, and they’re converting a number of those leads into new customers. One of the big things that I talked to him about probably a month ago, was because we were seeing their cost per lead, go up with Google ads. And I was getting a little bit concerned that it wasn’t profitable for them. And so I talked to him and he said yet, dude, he said, Are there at their average, their their monthly average revenue from a client has gone up more than five times? Wow. So so they’re, they’re getting better clients, higher paying clients that are doing more recurring work. And so you know, I mean, I went into that conversation going, man, I don’t know if Google Ads is going to be a good thing for them long term, we may have to shift funds somewhere else. And for me, Look, I’m channel or tactic agnostic. I don’t really care. I just want them to get results. And if things are changing in there, and that’s not working anymore, then we need to shift coming out of that conversation. I was like, Okay, cool. Well, yeah, man, if your your average lifetime, or your average, your lifetime value is that high? This is still very profitable. So cool. Let’s keep running with it. So that’s a high level example. Does that help?
Oh, yeah, yeah, no. Isn’t it funny how some of those meetings will happen? You go in, kind of on the defense, and we know, we’re not defense. But you know, we need to make some pivots when you do this. And Austin’s like, no, it’s working great. And then some meetings and going going, Oh, I can’t wait to present these numbers. It’s like, those are okay.
It’s funny, you say that, because I, with clients, I always try to take the approach of I would rather head things off to pass, if I see things aren’t going in the right direction. Then wait for the client to ask about it. You know, and so I just told them, you know, it just we had been telling them, it’s like, hey, um, because their Google ads were working, awesome for months. And then all of a sudden, things start to get spotty, these things would work, okay, for a week, then they would change and just kind of flip flop, and it was just up and down. And, you know, I said, Man, if I was him, I would be looking at this going, man, our cost per lead is going all over the place. And so I just said, Look, we need to jump on the phone chat about this, because I have some ideas. I want to run it by you. And, you know, so I had a proactive conversation ended up being a really good conversation. You know, I don’t know, you just can’t be afraid of what they’re gonna say. You just need to tell them and the other pain is for vice. Right? Yeah. But it’s their business. And they’re in it day to day. So we we have to create these, this plan with them. It’s the way I look at as a partnership. It’s not just us telling them. You know, yeah, when we think they’re making decisions that aren’t going to be good long term, as a consultant, we need to communicate that but a lot of times clients have, you know, great insight and visibility that we don’t have.
Yep. Now, I couldn’t agree more. And, you know, continuing on the whole planning, what does it look like for the next 90 days for you and your company? What’s kind of your guys’s radar?
Yeah, so our focus for the next 90 days, from a tactic and channel standpoint, relies on relies on two different things. One is paid ads. So we’re testing out some paid Facebook ads to you know, try and we’ve got a funnel, a few funnels in place, we want to start driving some traffic to that and testing some things. And the second thing is, has to do with building a more robust peripheral and strategic partner network. So we’ve got a lot of our Other things that we have in place that we continue to do, we’re producing a lot of content. I think we’re doing a pretty good job on social were consistent with our email marketing. These are some other channels that we really need to get in and and start generating leads from those channels, in addition to the ones that were already generating leads from.
Yeah, no, that’s awesome. I think kind of similar paths of what we’re what we’re going down as well. This has been great, a lot of insight. And as we kind of kind of wrap up, I’d love to love to kind of hear I mean, for the entrepreneur brand, that I mean, they’re they’re kind of picking up some traction, they kind of understand who their audiences kind of what they want to say. But it’s just confusing. They’re overwhelmed with next steps and getting getting to market I mean, what’s the single biggest piece of advice you’d have for them on on getting over that and just getting to market?
Yeah, getting over that. So really touches on what we’ve already talked about, right? Make sure that you’re not skipping the fundamentals that we’ve talked about, if you need help, the Help is there, right? There’s people like you and I. But here’s what I’m going to tell you. I think one of the best things that you can do as a business owner, especially if you’re not quite sure about your message, your target market, interview your existing clients. And one of the tip one of the I have a customer insights survey in the free resources that you can give your listeners that shows them, it’s got a list of questions that you can ask because oftentimes, as business owners, we have such a hard time articulating our value, because we can’t see the forest through the trees. But you sit down, have a 10-15 minute conversation with eight to 10 of your existing or past customers. And oftentimes they can articulate your value, how they benefited from working with you why they chose to work with you so much better than you can yourself. You I guarantee you take that information. And you can use it to immediately improve what you’re currently doing. If you if you don’t feel comfortable doing that, look at your online reviews, online reviews are a wealth of information about what you’re doing well, and what you’re not. If you don’t have a lot of customers, go look at your competitors online reviews, you’ll find out what’s important to their clients, because their clients are probably yours. So,
ya know that that last piece was good. I mean, I think there’s a lot of people that I mean, especially just starting out that don’t have those reviews, and you say, Well, I don’t have client, I don’t have much that I can ask. And so I think looking at competition and see what the reviews are, I think what what generates that five star, what did they do to get that five star on the other end? What do they do to kind of not do so great and get that one star? But I think it helps you figure out what the values are of the consumers and in that segment?
Yeah, well, we have the the internet, we’ve got forums, we have Facebook groups, we have LinkedIn groups. We have social media, there’s so many places you can go to do research on your your your various target markets and ideal clients.
That’s cool. No, I can’t wait to I’ll definitely follow you on social I can’t wait to watch you guys grow with me. I love love the strategy. Love the mindset. Think everything that you’re doing is what we’re trying to do as well. And I have no doubt that you’re doing nothing but great stuff for your clients. And so I really appreciate the time.
Hey, thanks for having me. Dustin’s been spent a lot of fun and I appreciate the conversation.
Cool. Well, we’ll chat soon. Take care. Thank you.
Where To Find Tim Fitzpatrick
LinkedIn: Tim Fitzpatrick
On the previous episode of RGR, Dustin talked to President and CEO of CULT Artisan Beverage Company Hans Shatz.