19 Jul July 19, 2019 – Motiliti Dr. Joe Schaefer and Project Happiness Randy Taran
Conversion rates is everyone’s blind spot. To double your leads, you have to double your traffic or work once on your website and work on the conversion rate.
Dr. Joe Schaefer is the founder of Motiliti Inc. He is a master strategist and problem solver in the realm of digital marketing and web-based sales models. Dr. Joe is an actual published neuroscience researcher with a Ph.D. from the University of Texas. He was awarded young researcher of the year in his particular field of the neural basis of gender based behaviors. He is a life-long science nerd and opt-ed out on a life in academics to become an innovator in the exploding world of internet marketing in the late 1990s. Dr. Joe is also known to thousands of Kung Fu and Tai Chi students nationwide as Master Joe, a 7th-degree black belt master instructor. He has trained since 1984 and since 1987 has started and operated over 10 full-time martial art schools. Out of his thousands of personal students, over 500 people have reached black belt level directly under his teaching. In his marketing agency, Dr. Joe has personally worked with over 500 business owners in the digital marketing realm. He has helped owners with their search engine marketing since 2002 and founded the Motiliti agency of Motiliti.com in 2008.
Randy Taran – Founder and CEO of Project Happiness and Author of Emotional Advantage: Embracing All Your Feelings to Create a Life You Love
Pursue gratitude and then you will be a happier person. Gratitude will increase your happiness by 25% according to research.
Randy Taran is the Founder and CEO of the global organization, Project Happiness. With a loyal following of 2.5 million people, she has been covered in O magazine, NPR, and HuffPost. As the producer of an award-winning documentary on the nature of happiness, she facilitated interviews with George Lucas, Richard Gere, and neuroscientist Richard Davidson. Her bestselling book on happiness became the basis for curriculum in over 120 countries worldwide. She has worked with First Ladies, Ministers of Education, and major thought leaders. For nearly a decade, she has served as a board member of the Dalai Lama Foundation and is on the board of the United Nations-sanctioned International Day of Happiness. Randy, a master in NLP, is a sought-after international speaker on the topics of happiness habits, preventative wellness, and emotional resilience.
Highlights from Joe’s Interview
When you’re running scientists, you go pretty deep on a question, right? And the questions that I worked on don’t have that much to do with marketing, but the scientific way that you think, and the way you approach problem solving and look at data helps me every day at my agency. So I just reached the point where I wanted to be more of a fan of science, rather than actually sitting at a bench 12 hours a day doing science. Marketing was much more interesting. Plus, I had already started building up my martial arts school, and had a few hundred students by the time I got my PhD. So it was a choice of whether I wanted to go to science or become an entrepreneur and just stay with my own business. And so I learned a lot of my marketing lessons with my own money right there in my own business. That’s a good teacher.
I had a knack for looking in the right direction, sniffing out where things might be going with research, then asking the correct question, and moving quickly to adjust my experiments and get a lot of data. So in a couple years, I got just about all the data I needed to get my doctorate, and just glided along as I built up my schools. I don’t know if I got lucky, or I was born to do it, but it just happened that way.
Marketing in the early 90s is a lot different than it is now. If you didn’t have a lot of money to invest on the front side, it was difficult to reach your target audience. Now, none of that’s true. Now we can go into Facebook and reach a very select audience or run a pay per click ad, set it for $10 a day, build it organically, and use those profits to build a back end. That’s much different than back then. So I think a lot of my mistakes at that point were understanding and trying to bootstrap it to the extreme. But the mental limitations of just not believing that I could build something of any size right.
I remember at one point, just driving back to Indiana–I live in Austin, Texas–driving to Indiana to see my parents over the holiday break. And just having this idea, “Why am I sitting around counting one little student at a time and getting excited? I might have three new students next month. What’s to stop me from having the biggest school in our entire system?” And I realized the only thing stopping me was the idea that I couldn’t have the biggest school. And from that point on somehow just the energy shifted. And I just started adding people right and left.
Trust me, I don’t own The Secret, and I don’t really subscribe to that, but it’s just about the truth. When I came back from that trip, I said, “From now on, I’m going to have x amount every time I sign people up.” And I started having that amount every time, although I didn’t run any new ads. I didn’t put out any new flyers, I don’t know, a little bit mystical. It was outside my neurophysiology world. I remember in the late 90s, one of my students said, “Hey, I’m going to build a website for you.” And we bought our first domain in 1996. He said, “We’re going to build a website for the school.” And I said, “What’s that?” And he said, “Oh, well, trust me, you’re going to have so many people come in here.” And I said, “This guy’s a blowhard, there’s no way that’s going to have any kind of impact.” So we were the first ones in the city to have things like websites and such, because I always drew on talent, my students to build these things.
Here in Austin, they had a pretty large tech drop off around 2001 and all the years following that until maybe 2010, or a little bit later. So there’s a lot of layoffs, Dell computers, which basically built Austin in many ways. Dell had huge, massive layoffs. And probably 50% of my students were Dell employees, because my school, my main school’s right there in the heart of the Dell campus. So there was a big drop off. And because I’ve been doing digital marketing, taking every seminar, taking every class, reading every book, doing my own marketing very successfully, I had business owners start to approach me to ask me to help them with their marketing. I enjoyed that; I enjoyed the hunt of it, and the problem solving. A lot of these business owners approached me and they had issues with their digital marketing, or they’re developing their marketing message or their website. And I really enjoyed the hunt of that process, the problem solving just like it was back in science again, and it pleased that part of my brain, I believe, so I continue to encourage that activity, people to come to me.
Eventually I talked to one of the parents of one of my kung fu students. He was sitting in the bleachers, reading Tim Ferriss’ Four Hour Workweek book, and told me he was starting a new company that was a marketing company. He asked if I would take care of the digital marketing parts of his for his clients. And within about six months, we had formed a company together. It became my day job, and asaching kung fu was my night job.
I’m not a fan of Four Hour Workweek, but he was reading it, and I had heard of it. It was very popular at the time. So I just struck up a conversation. I think from the very beginning, when I read the martial art part of it, how he learned to win these competitions by stretching the rules in any way you could… I saw that as a pretty deplorable. There was nothing to be proud of. But I was destined to not like the book, just from the martial arts stories that he told in there.
I think working four hours a week is an unrealistic expectation to insert in anybody’s brain. In fact, this is one of the reasons why martial arts goes so well with my marketing agency. I see people come into my school all the time, they walk in the door, and they know better than the fact or better than to hope that they’re going to be competent, or some kind of a master in a matter of months. We both know it’s going to take a decade, or years at least. And so they have that perspective, and they know there’s going to be setbacks, it’s going to be slow growth, they’re gonna have to work hard. But I see a lot of business owners come up with an idea, and six months down the road, they haven’t reached their dream, and they just go back to the drawing board, completely quit, try something different. If they were a martial arts student, I would tell him to suck it up, because they’re only a blue belt right now, and they want black belt goals. They’re going to have to put in their time and pay their dues.
What I enjoy doing most with clients is strategic level thinking. Like I said, with thinking in terms of belts, if someone comes to me, and they’re saying, “Let’s do SEO,” and they don’t have a good marketing message, they don’t know who they are, they don’t know who their client is. That’s maybe a brown belt technique to do SEO, but we got to start back at white belt with that client. Let’s figure out who you are, let’s redesign your website so it converts visitors into leads. So I like to work at a strategic level. Now, when it’s time to do SEO, it’s time to do pay per click. I’ve been doing that for 15 years, I’ve been doing AdWords, pay public management since they first started in 2002. Our agency does that for clients, but a lot of other agencies do too. But what we do particularly different is the strategic kind of step by step growth, giving them an actual path and guiding them down that path. There’s probably 100 different digital marketing tactics out there. About 95 of them will be flushing money down the drain, and probably not accomplish anything for you, except put a lot of money in somebody’s pocket who sold it to you. Discovering which are the five that you should be doing, that has the best ROI for you, I feel that’s the most impactful work I could do for somebody.
It depends on the industry. If you have a product that’s kind of new to the market, and no one’s searching for it, how can SEO do anything for you? If no one’s searching for that, then Google can’t really offer anything for you. You’ve got to push your message out there through other channels, through Facebook, through social media. I’ve got some really big chains, customers have big chains of brick and mortar stores, and put a lot of money into traditional advertising, radio, TV. They don’t mind spending a lot of money putting out a banner ad campaign just to get their branding message out there. But that’s not for the normal, small business owner. So it’s the goals kind of the industry, what their budget is, all those things help determine that.
Accomplished companies get fixated on a tactic. They listened to the marketplace, we really got to start doing social media, I guess I’ve got to start blogging, they’ll get really hooked on some thing they’ve read or heard about, and they’ll get single-minded and keep trying to get somebody to help them do that, even though that’s not necessarily the correct next step for them. Very rarely do they come in, and they are fairly advanced for the size of the company, though it says they’ve had the money to pay someone to help them develop their message, develop their branding, and have a decent website with a path and a goal in itself.
Measuring the amount of suck of the site is the difficult part, right? Because you hand it off to your friend or your wife, you hand it off to your office mate and say, “What’s this look like?” And you look, “It looks nice.” They have no way of measuring what will make a website perform. I’m in the middle of trying to get a website built with somebody who’s kind of a friend. And I told him to go exactly to this other websites that I’ve built, and make it look like that, and he keeps wanting to make it about art. Well, my website, I wanted to copy convert leads at 15%. So 15 of every hundred people becomes an email lead on that site. But he’s not interested in that. He wants to build an artful, beautiful website, and that’s the last thing you should be worried about.
Conversion rates is everybody’s blind spot, because here’s the thing, if you have 100 people come to your website, and five of them become an email lead out of your site, you got a 5% conversion rate. Now, if you wanted to get 10 leads instead of five, that means you got to go by 200 visitors to your site, 200 clicks or whatever, just to get double the lead, you have to get paid for double the traffic. Or you could do work once on your website, and work on the conversion path, your website, what the button says, what the offer is, what the headline is, what the images are, you could try to optimize all those and get 10 leads for the exact same amount of money you’re already spending. The more media you’re putting out there as TV or radio or whatever, the more impact this has, because they all come into this better built funnel that has no leaks into this bucket that catches the water.
So that would be, if I would advise anybody listening here the most impactful thing they could do right now, is go open up their browser, open up five different tabs, go to their main five competitors, open a sixth tab with their website, and then bounce between all of them. Ask the question, “Do you know that your website outdoes all these other ones hands down? Or is it just like a ‘me too’ site” And it’s pretty disturbing. If you compare yourself that way, you’ll find that there’s no good reason for anybody to take action in your website.
When someone comes to your website, hit what they want in their heart of hearts, that’s what you have to offer them to get the lead. In my martial art website, everybody wants the same thing. They see pictures, “Oh, look there, people are happy, they’re punching or kicking. This is what I want to do.” There’s only one question left on their mind. How much is the quid pro quo? I’m going to give you the full rates in five seconds. You give me your information. Some people even put comments on that. I hate having to give you my information, but they gave it to me anyway. And I usually use those comments as a filter. I’m probably not going to call this person, they sound pretty content.
Well, I’ll just share my website address motiliti.com. We will usually offer out some type of an analysis or audit of a website. That’s a free, get to know you, get to know me meeting online on the phone or zoom call or what have you. Even if we don’t ever do business together, it’s usually a pretty amazing experience for the business owner, because they learned things they’ve never learned about websites even in that free meeting. Sometimes we ask, “What do you want people to do on your website?” And they can’t even answer that question. So the free call alone is often worth an amazing amount of work for them.