Ep072: Victor Thomas

Welcome to the More Cheese, Less Whiskers podcast and today we're talking with Victor Thomas.

Victor owns a web development firm in San Francisco. They have lots of great capabilities and have built a nice business helping other businesses with their online presence.

If you're providing a service that’s project based, where you're doing work one time and getting paid one time, there's always the opportunity to think about how can you deploy those opportunities, those resources in a way that will yield recurring revenue.

We had a really great conversation about leveraging his effort, about selecting target markets that you can scale and which direction Victor could potentially go in.


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Transcript - More Cheese Less Whiskers 072

Dean: Victor Thomas.

Victor: Dean Jackson. Hello there.

Dean: How are you, sir?

Victor: I am doing fantastic. How are you?

Dean: I am wonderful. You heard those words. This call is being recorded.

Victor: Yes, sir, absolutely. I'm excited.

Dean: Yeah, I can't wait. I've been looking forward to this. So, can you kind of set the stage for us here? Tell a little bit about what you got going on and where we can jump off and start hatching some evil schemes for you.

Victor: Yeah, absolutely. Okay, so I own a website design business. We specialize in designing and developing custom Word Press websites for small and medium sized businesses. That's about as narrow of a target market as I have unfortunately, so I think that's probably one of the issues here.

Dean: Okay.

Victor: And so, yeah, I've been in business for about seven years. I have a team of three designers and four developers in the Philippines who are wonderful and they do all the design and development work. I work as kind of the head of marketing, as well as the kind of sole point of contact with the client, project management, that kind of thing. What I really want to do is expand and hire someone in the US as a project manager to take on that role, and the challenge I've been having is, is I get all my traffic from Google. We've been doing that well. If you Google 'San Francisco Web Design' or 'Hire a Web Designer,' we're the number one result. So that's great.

But the problem is, is that I've never gotten paid traffic to work. So, if I hire someone else, it's not going to change what Google gives me in terms of traffic. So that's been kind of a bit of a pain point. One thing that we do really well is that, thanks to you I was listening to the 'I Love Marketing' podcast about five years ago and you were talking about having the mafia offer, and I was like man, I got to have a mafia offer. What's my mafia offer?

Dean: Right.

Victor: Yeah, so finally it struck me, and I was like, "Oh, I got it." And so my mafia offer is we'll design a free custom mockup of your new website before you sign or pay for anything. And if you like it, we'll work together, and if not, you know, no hard feelings, no further obligations. And so-

Dean: Nice.

Victor: Yeah. When we did that, you know, it just kind of doubled the business overnight and I have you to thank for that, Dean, so I just wanted to say thank you now. But yeah, so that's been a great tool. We're really ... I think what I do well is I'm really good at lead conversion. Once I get a lead, I can convert that person into customer through that free mock up offer process, and we have good traffic through SEO. Where we're weak is I don't have a very good lead magnet. In fact, I kind of don't have any lead magnet.

The way it works is like if you come to the site, the primary offer is the free mock up offer. The secondary offer is like there's a little at the top navigation says, "Pricing." If you click on it, it's a pop up, and it asks you for your email and then it will give you our pricing after you enter our email. Which is I think kind of like a weak lead magnet. But in any case-

Dean: It's interesting that that ... You know, the funny thing you say about the pricing is, I've used pricing as an opt-in on lots of different websites because no matter what it's often the most clicked on thing. So we've done it with the health clubs, with fitness studios where the pricing guide is the number one thing. Better than any traditional lead magnet that somebody would put on their page. So the pricing guide, even if you were to expand a little bit on it, and turn it into a PDF that walks people through where the opportunities are to sort of build the price or save on the price or something kind of breaks that down would be an interesting ... A price planner or a budgeting planner or those kind of things. Where you've got potentially some situations that you may be able to help people get the result they want for less than another with some off the rack plugins as opposed to developing something that's going to do 10% different than what a standardized plugin could do. Or something, you know?

Victor: Yeah, I definitely thought about that, yeah.

Dean: And themes. I mean, you know, it's kind of like ... I don't know what you do, but certainly if somebody were to choose a theme or the pre-design that would save them some money as well. So that's an interesting thing. But that may not be the direction you want to go in. What types of businesses do you primarily work with? I'm trying to get a sense of what your projects look like, yeah.

Victor: That's kind of the problem. So we do kind of everyone. And so I've listened to all of your work. I've really tried to narrow in on a single target market, and that's been a bit of a challenge. So, we'll do lawyers, law firms. We'll do wedding photographers, furniture makers, restaurants, B2B SAAS companies, real estate management companies, real estate agents, preachers, biotech companies, product manufacturing, window cleaning-

Dean: So you do whatever comes in the door.

Victor: Catch as catch can. Yes.

Dean: And all custom work.

Victor: 100% custom. We never use pre-made templates. The way I like to explain what we do is like we don't make the best website in the world, but we do make the best $5,000 website in the world, right? We're kind of in that-

Dean: Okay, there you go.

Victor: Yeah, so it's kind of in that middle of, you know, you can't maybe pay $50,000 to an agency, but you get almost exactly the same work for a tenth or whatever of the cost. That kind of thing.

Dean: Right. Okay, then that's what I was going to ask next, is, what's the price range of the project?

Victor: $5,000 to $20,000 with the average being around $7,500.

Dean: Okay.

Victor: So, yeah. But that brings in another issue of like, I'd really like to scale. I'd like to hire a project manager. So there's the issue of like I really probably would only trust the project manager with the $5,000 ones to start, you know, as opposed to the bigger business to business SAAS companies that are really intense. I probably need to continue working with them for now, that kind of thing.

Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Victor: So, yeah.

Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative). How long does it take you, typically to do a $7,500 website? How long is the project? What does it involve?

Victor: That's another problem too. I mean I would guess, and this is a pure guess, like three months is the average time from start to finish. But sometimes they take a year. Sometimes they do it in a week. It just really depends on who I'm talking to, who I'm working with.

Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Victor: They all want it in a hurry. There's almost like an inverse correlation to how much of in a hurry they are to how long the project will take. Because they never ... Those are the people who don't have their act together, for some reason?

Dean: Gotcha.

Victor: But, yeah. It's kind of all over the place.

Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And then what do you think is your advantage that you have? Is it the efficiency of doing off shore, and-

Victor: Yes. Yeah, I think so-

Dean: And managing the project there, so ... mm-hmm (affirmative).

Victor: I think it's because my team is in the Philippines. They do really good work. It's just as good as anything that you could get here. Because of that I can do things for a much more affordable price than a big time agency. But it's definitely a step way above just getting someone to put in like a Word Press template and maybe customize it a little bit. You get a lot more there. It's kind of a nice mid-range.

Dean: Yeah.

Victor: It's affordable, but really good. So that's-

Dean: Yeah. So what's the scope? Like how many ... Would you measure it in terms of how many pages or the functionalities, or what?

Victor: So it's the total number of pages, total number of page templates, which are unique page designs, and then rounds of revision. So for a $5,000 site, we're talking about 10 to 15 pages, three unique page templates with four rounds of revision per page template.

Dean: Okay. And so you're basically ... you've been doing it long enough that you look at those parameters and you're able to spec out the kind of scope of the project and then add your margin on, and that's how you ... Is it a fixed price type of thing, or does it evolve?

Victor: Yeah, we always do fixed price. It's just like 50% up front. 50% at project completion. We also are very clear, like, you know, we don't do shopping cart websites. We don't do apps, or mobile apps, or giant websites. We kind of have a set parameter.

Dean: It's so funny because I record two episodes of More Cheese, Less Whiskers today.

Victor: Okay.

Dean: And every other Friday basically, I do 10:00 and noon.

Victor: Okay.

Dean: The gentleman I was talking to today, this morning, is an app developer it's a very interesting ... there's a lot of similarities in the vibe here of the conversations, and it's going to be-

Victor: Oh cool, okay.

Dean: Interesting for people to hear them kind of in proximity to each other. But I'll ask you kind of the same question that I asked Greg. I said, "What would be kind of a dream come true for you? What is it that you want to do?" I didn't ask him this way, but if I asked you right now, if you just stopped taking on new projects presumably then you're free three months from now, basically, right?

Victor: Sure.

Dean: The projects you have would be three months out, and I say 'free' meaning that would be the end of the projects you have on the go, right? Because they're all kind of that-

Victor: Yeah.

Dean: Completed. So you need to continue to find new people.

Victor: Oh I sure do, Dean. I've got two small kids and a wife who doesn't work and private school payments and all kinds of stuff so, yeah.

Dean: Yeah, right. Okay, got it. So when you look at that, what kind of velocity do you need right now to keep all the engines going that you need to bring on how many websites a month, or how do you measure that? What's your metric?

Victor: I mean, I measure it in kind of gross income type thing.

Dean: Okay.

Victor: My first year in business seven years ago, I made like $36,000. This year we're going to break half a million, so that's ... I want to keep going from there.

Dean: Yeah, right. Okay.

Victor: Yeah.

Dean: But now, you know, the engine that you built that can have the capacity for half a million is that requires now to continue to generate new business at that level-

Victor: Yes.

Dean: To support that machine. Right? Is everybody salaried, or-

Victor: Yeah.

Dean: Contractors. Yeah. So you've got-

Victor: They're all salaried employees.

Dean: So you've got a fixed.

Victor: Exactly.

Dean: Fixed overhead cost. What's the capacity that you have? Are you running at ... is half a million 100% of capacity or are you running at 50% or 80%?

Victor: It's probably like 150% of my capacity and then close to 90 to 100% of the designer and developers capacity.

Dean: Okay. So where do you see that going? If you could wave a magic wand here, and we could create anything for you, what would be a dream come true for you? What do you see happening here?

Victor: I think the biggest challenge with that is I have a few different things that I want, and I'm not sure which one that I want. I've been thinking about this call and I totally have thought about it. So, number one, get paid traffic to work, right? Be able to buy a new lead and a new customer. For some reason that's been a mystery to me, and I think that that would be a big deal because then I could scale and hire someone else and predictably generate new business. That would be a big relief and great.

Dean: Okay, let me push that pause button there for a second.

Victor: Okay, sure.

Dean: How much would you be able to cheerfully pay for a $5,000 website job delivered to you? Have you worked that into your pricing?

Victor: A little bit. So I do referral fees. So people sometimes send me business. I'm happy to give them a 10% referral fee on whatever they bring me. So, $500 bucks for a $5,000 website or whatever. Yeah, I'm happy to do that. Anything beyond that, maybe not as happy.

Dean: Right. Okay. And do you have anything at all like that now? You know when you say your SEO stuff, is that driving most of your-

Victor: All of it.

Dean: Okay, it drives all of it. So that's a precarious situation to be in.

Victor: Oh yes-

Dean: Right.

Victor: I have a hard time sleeping at night sometimes, sure.

Dean: Okay, okay.

Victor: That it will all go away, yeah.

Dean: All right, gotcha. Yeah. You get one more Panda update or whatever and everything-

Victor: Exactly.

Dean: You're out of business.

Victor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dean: Okay, so yeah, you really need to figure that out. But the good news is what's your conversion rate when you do get new clients? You said that you've got a great ... like, we'll build your mock up for free idea, which is fantastic. So, yeah, how many prospects does it take you to get a new client?

Victor: Yeah. So, that's a good question. I have the numbers kind of broken down into cohorts. Like, month by month, and here's how many leads I got. Here's how many calls. Here's how many proposals, questionnaires, and the money. But I don't have it as an overall number in front of me.

Dean: Okay, because that's really a factor. That conversion engine that you have is really going to help determine how much you can afford to bring a visitor, which is ultimately what you'll be able to do with paid traffic, right? That's all you're able to do is deliver it to your site where they'll opt-in and then you'll put them through your conversion process there. So that will determine ... If it takes you 10 inquiries to get a new client, that's different than if it takes 100 to get a new one. You can afford to pay much less for them. Okay?

Victor: Yeah. That's a good point.

Dean: You'd be happy to pay $500 or $750 if it's a $5,000 to $7,500 site.

Victor: Yup.

Dean: So you're happy to pay 10%. What were you going to say after that when we pushed the pause button? You said that's your first kind of model, paid traffic if you get that.

Victor: Paid traffic. Related to that is choosing the single target market, right? And within that I have like two specific questions, which is how do I do that? Like, just choose the market. But then also, how do I do it logistically in the sense am I repositioning the whole business towards that market? Do I create a separate entity? Or is it just like, hey, I have the construction company's guide to redesigning your website lead magnet and then they get it, and now we're back on Thomas Digital and kind of everything else is the same. Like, how that works, but that's my second question.

Dean: Okay.

Victor: Yup. Then third lead magnet-

Dean: The good news is-

Victor: Okay, go ahead.

Dean: You can do anything. The good news is you can do anything. Yeah, there's no rules. So what was your third thing?

Victor: Any kind of good lead magnet. Should I write a book?

Dean: Well that's going to be determined by who we select for the target market and ultimately what you're going to be able to do for them. That's how we then craft the very best lead magnet to set up the conversation that leads to the next thing.

Victor: Exactly.

Dean: The next step, right? So yeah, it's all a factor of determining who the target audience is and what we're going to do for them. Which is, at this stage, all about what's the dream come true for you? Because three months from now, you don't have any ongoing obligations, right? Like you've got an engine. You've got a capability. You've got a team and a unique way of working together that you could steer in any direction. And you've got the opportunity that literally three months from now you are, I say free, but if you didn't take on any new people you're literally out of business too, right? So you get to create anything that you want. Yeah, there we go. Okay.

Victor: So it's actually my bullet number for that I was going to say, which was become a thought leader or become an expert at something related to obviously website design, marketing, whatever. So the dream come true scenario is, you know you have your moneymaking websites, right? So the dream would be I don't have to make custom websites for people. I'm an expert in some industry. I'm the thought leader. I've got a marketing system, and I'm selling you a marketing system, which happens to have a website. Maybe I've got templates for them, but I've got a whole system. It's a fixed price, and I don't have to manage your project, and it's a real business and it's scalable, and it's not like me creating a unique snowflake for everyone. That would be my dream come true scenario, and I have paid traffic working for it too. That would be, oh my gosh, that would be the best thing in the world.

Dean: Perfect. Okay, so now we're getting somewhere.

Victor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dean: In the Breakthrough DNA book that I explain all the eight Profit Activators. One of the things that I talk about in there is a website called, WeShootBottles.com. And they are a commercial photographer, and all they do, apparently is shoot bottles. So when you go to their website, weshootbottles.com, it's a beautiful website and completely focused on everything to do with bottles.

So they've got all these great sample images of great looking bottles. Then if you've got a packaged good that comes in a bottle, it would just make total sense that you would go with these guys rather than go with a broadly based commercial photographer, right?

Victor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dean: Who just happens to list bottles in one of the capabilities or the things that they can shoot. So when you look at it, it's that specialized, but very cleverly they also have a website called weshootcans.com, which shows nothing but cans. So the great thing about that is all the back office stuff, the delivery of that, is ... I don't know for sure, but I'm almost certain that there's no difference in the camera that they shoot the bottles with versus the cans. I'm pretty certain that the lighting would be the same, and the white backgrounds, and the software-

Victor: The photographer himself.

Dean: And the studio, and the photographer. That all of that stuff is the same, but the outcome that they're completely focused on is the only outcome that a bottle based product provider is focused on, which is,are you going to make my bottles look good? And a canned-based provider is only interesting in are you going to make my cans look great? And if everything surrounding it appears like it's just that, it makes a big difference. We're in a situation now where there's so much opportunity to micro specialize.

I was just reading today. There's a company in New York and Chicago, and there's this new thing that they're calling "ghost restaurants," which is pretty interesting. There's an article about it in the Chicago Tribune.

Victor: Okay.

Dean: Yeah. Nine restaurants, one kitchen, no dining room. Virtual restaurants open for online deliver. So there's a new trend in cities where restaurants are opening up one kitchen. They're creating several consumer-facing brands.

Victor: Sure.

Dean: Like restaurant brands.

Victor: Mr. Chow's, Luigi's, whatever.

Dean: Partnering with Grub Hub and they don't actually have a restaurant where you can go and eat. They only exist on Grub Hub. So they create these brands, they have the menus, but they're cooking all of it in the same kitchen. The same back office, right? But they're appealing to whatever the consumer wants. So I wonder ... You know, if I think about your situation, I think about your back office, right, your capabilities as the kitchen. That you can create anything, that you've got that opportunity to potentially have nine brands that all operate with the same kitchen and the same cooks.

Victor: Yup.

Dean: Right? So you could, if we take that ... even if take it completely one to one. What if you had a website that only makes bottle-based websites? I mean it seems crazy, but if that's the thing ... if it works for the photographer, it's the same potential thing for the website, you know?

Victor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dean: It's pretty ... There's so many ways that you could go with that, but I would always encourage you to look for how can you create something that has monthly recurring revenue, you know?

Victor: Yup.

Dean: Where instead of project based stuff because the only way to scale a project-based business is by continuing to scale it bigger and bigger. Which if you're staffing it with employees requires that you continue to produce at that increased level, you know?

Victor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dean: But if you were take the resources, to take that model, what I recommend to Greg the app developer is taking this mindset of doing a one for one model. Like where you do one project for a client, and then you develop one for you. That your intention is to syndicate it. And there's lots of opportunities to find and provide syndicated websites, you know? Where local providers could get a specific website that's made just for-

Victor: Very exclusive.

Dean: Yeah. Very exclusive and industry exclusive, you know?

Victor: Yeah.

Dean: If you had a café, you know, the classic café website where it's got all of the components that a café would need, or a massage therapist, or anybody who's running a local type of business.

Victor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dean: That could be a model, the way I do the real estate websites, you know?

Victor: Yeah. Have you heard of the Agent Evolution, I think it is, dot-com? Website?

Dean: Yeah, they're one that's another ... I mean, there's lots of them now.

Victor: Right, especially real estate. Very crowded in real estate.

Dean: Yeah, I mean I've been doing that ... I started that in 1999.

Victor: Wow.

Dean: Yeah, but it's really interesting. I've been doing that business nonstop for those 17 years and every year I have an annual event with all of our realtors for that, and that ... Two years ago, I had the event and it was amazing, but we did a count on the people ... Yeah, we still have six of the first 10 websites that we did are still with us. Yeah.

Victor: What? Wow.

Dean: Yeah, so you look at that and ... you know, I look at that model, and you realize okay that's a stable, long-term recurring business.

Victor: Yeah. Yeah, that's what I want.

Dean: You've got the opportunity to do that, you know? You've got the opportunity to set it up that way. Just because I look at that ... I have a company called 90-Minute Books, and we help entrepreneurs write books. And that business is more like what you're talking about, right? That business is a business that is project based because we take somebody through a project to create their book, but then we need more people to do books. So that requires a recurring system to continue to get new people who want to do books. But we've got a whole infrastructure and team to support that we have to do so many books just to keep that engine running. And the profit comes in the being above that, right?

Victor: Yup, yup. No that's-

Dean: It's not a one to one profit ratio because your baseline infrastructure requires certain revenue levels.

Victor: Okay so my question then is do you have a process or what have you for identifying a target market. You know, if there's so many options to choose from, what criteria should I be using to choose?

Dean: Yeah, sure. So when you look at it, what do you know? You know? I think if you look at ... Do you have the capability to build replicatable websites that-

Victor: Oh yeah.

Dean: Right, so, you know, you look at the different things where what may be an opportunity is something like emerging franchises. You know? Where if you were to go to and start to hang out with some of the franchise developers that get to a point where they may have whatever number makes sense. Maybe they have 20 plus units and they're on their way that you could create a duplicatable website model for them to use with all of their franchisees. And you, what will be a dream come true for them is that you provide the website that stays true to their brand guidelines and is also really works on a lead generation model for them. If you have that capability, you know, to take not only the tool but the intelligence of how to turn the tool into a result.

Victor: Sure.

Dean: That could be a nice recurring revenue model where you grow with that franchisor. That you're completely maintaining their digital footprint on the web, you know?

Victor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dean: That's one possibility.

Victor: Gotcha.

Dean: Or you create, or find people who are niche marketers who work with lawyers or work with psychiatrists or counselors or coaches or massage therapists, or whatever, dentists. And you create that capability for them to offer to their clients that they're giving business advice and marketing advice to, but they don't have the capability to provide that actual, technical web tools.

Victor: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Gotcha.

Dean: And there's an opportunity there. That's what I've done. I mean, I've partnered with my partners who do all the ... I don't have any technical aptitude, but I partner with people who are able to provide that seamless capability for me. That I have the front-facing relationship and they're providing the behind the screen functions and capability of it, which you can do.

Victor: Yup.

Dean: You know? That's kind of an interesting thing that you've got the capability to partner with people to really provide that kind of seamless thing. There's a great book that I read maybe 20 years ago now called The Discipline of Market Leaders.

Victor: Okay.

Dean: And it was based on, I think Bain Consulting did it, but they identified three types of businesses, three types of positioning. And one is a product leader where you can lead by being the innovative, cutting edge blazing the trail kind of thing. Word Press would be one of those types of things. That they are the product leader in content management, the easy to build websites.

Victor: Right. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dean: Then there's another level is operational excellence where companies like Wal Mart where the promise is the lowest possible price. That demands operational efficiencies that completely focus on driving the price down. And then there are companies that are customer-intimate companies where they completely partner seamlessly with a company to provide a service or a capability for them that is sort of indistinguishable from the actual company itself. If you think of ... There's a lot of hospital management companies that manage the administration of hospital. Or hotel groups, or you think of UPS and their relationship with Amazon where they're completely integrated in providing those tools for companies.

So you start to think about that can lead you in a direction of taking that context and thinking, well how does that apply to me? Right? So if you wanted to be a customer-intimate type of company, you would focus on finding people like franchisors or like niche marketers, or companies that you would provide a seamless capability for them to be able to offer websites to their franchisees or their members, or their students or whatever.

Victor: Gotcha. Okay, yeah. I had not considered that, so that's interesting.

Dean: I mean it's one way, right? And knowing that you've already got that kind of model built in that they can do that and get 10% of the revenue. Or, mark it up. Essentially buy that capability from you at wholesale or whatever and mark up the cost of it or ... you know that it's seamless. That they don't know ... kind of an agency model, I guess, right?

Victor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dean: That's pretty popular in web development. Do you do that kind of work right or is it all end user consumers?

Victor: 99% of the time I'm talking directly to the customer. Every once in a while I've worked for another agency and been the web person, but that's not usually how I do it.

Dean: Okay.

Victor: But what about ... you know, I've been in business for seven years. I have this portfolio. I have all this work that I've already done. How can I choose within the types of work that I've done already to identify a niche from there?

Dean: That was going to be next question I ask you.

Victor: Okay, perfect.

Dean: Of all the work you've done so far, what's the one that would kind of fit the model that you're looking at here?

Victor: Yeah. I mean, so it depends who we're talk ... I think the most profitable of all the companies we've worked with is just B2B SAAS companies, which are those bigger ones. I don't think that would probably fit within the kind of model we're talking about here with recurring revenue because they're big-type companies.

Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Victor: I love construction companies because they're easy to work with and they're just easy clients and they're not a hassle. But I like them for that respect. I used to be a real estate agent so I kind of understand their psychology and I can definitely speak to their needs.

Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Victor: But they're kind of not great clients for custom stuff because they're not a lot of money and stuff like that. So, they would work well for the scalable, templated model for sure with marketing solutions, but they're not as high end of what I'm typically doing with that.

Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Victor: So I work with a lot of private equity type companies, financial services. They're kind of not super easy to work with. They're pretty intense, but they have money. I've worked with biotech companies. That's my biggest challenge. I just don't know which one I should do or focus on.

Dean: It ultimately comes down to picking one, you know?

Victor: Yeah, that's true.

Dean: Yeah it's like what's going to get you to that goal. What I would like to see for you is that right now 100% of your revenue comes from project-based work, which would-

Victor: Well, 80%. I get 10% maintenance clients and 10% ongoing stuff, but yes.

Dean: Okay. There you go.

Victor: Most of it.

Dean: Yeah. That would be a really interesting thing to start to think about. Could you create a template? Could you create a syndicatable website for a specific niche. And the price is going to really be determined by the value of what you're going to be able to create, you know?

Victor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dean: So you either look at creating an individual opportunity for a local business to provide stuff, to provide websites for them that they pay a monthly fee for. Or providing the result of the leads for them, you know? Part of it is like, are you more interested in and vested in the technical build of the websites themselves or the result that you can create by using the websites, you know? Where would you rate your capabilities as an organization?

Victor: Yeah, so that's been a bit of a challenge too. So I love marketing, right. Just like you, I love marketing. That's my thing. I love thinking about it. What's interesting is that's not what people pay me for. A lot of these small businesses that come to me, it's really not even the primary concern that they have. They just want to have a better looking site because they're embarrassed or their competitor got a site, or something like that.

Dean: Right.

Victor: But yeah, no I would love to have, and I think I would do okay at having results-oriented sites of like, hey we'll actually get you more leads or more traffic or whatever.

Dean: Right.

Victor: So I like that part of it, and I'm not technically ... you know, that's not my thing.

Dean: That's part of it. You know? When you kind of look at what that opportunity is. If you can crack the code and create a website that can really partner with somebody that you drive paid traffic to your website that outputs ready to go prospects for their business, that would be a real win, you know?

Victor: Yup.

Dean: It's kind of thinking through what's ultimately going to have to happen, and what do people really want? I mean, we're really getting to a point where everything is push buttonizable, you know?

Victor: Yeah.

Dean: You think about what's involved in ... I look at things like Uber as an example. You know? That anywhere in the world, I can basically summon a car to my feet in three to five minutes, get in, go where I'm going and get out. That push-button ease type of thing is really what we have the opportunity for, you know? So thinking that through as being an interface, you know? Where an end used can come and say, "I want this." Wouldn't you love to have situation, because that's what we're really talking about, where you could go and put $500 in the vending machine and deliver yourself somebody who wants a $5,000 website.

Victor: That would be amazing.

Dean: That's what we're looking for, right?

Victor: Sure.

Dean: So that's kind of the thing that you're focused on here, you know? Like even for your own thing there's lots of people who would love that. And if really it came down to it, you'd probably pay six or seven hundred dollars for that same person, right?

Victor: Yup.

Dean: I mean, if that's all you had to do.

Victor: Right.

Dean: If you could do it with certainty.

Victor: Yeah.

Dean: If every time you put in $700 you got a-

Victor: Where you could work it out-

Dean: $5,000 website.

Victor: Yeah.

Dean: Yeah, you'd work around with that, right?

Victor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dean: Because you have a known various. And that's really what the ... you know, when you look at the paid traffic, that's why it's so attractive is that you can say, "I'm willing to pay $2.00 per click for somebody who's typing in these words," kind of thing. You know? And so when you look at it ... even if in your local area you were to create almost like that ghost kitchen type of idea of you take San Francisco, for example. If you take that local area and you've got a local bias in that you're saying web developer San Francisco or whatever-

Victor: Right.

Dean: Your keyword was. But what if it was like that you had the nine niches like the We Shoot Bottles equivalent where if it was websites for massage therapists if you came up number one. Or websites for financial advisors you came up number one. Or whatever their particular niche description is. There'd be far less competition that way than just web developer because that's what everybody's just ... they're just thinking about themselves, right? That somebody's looking for because they can help anybody.

Victor: Right.

Dean: But what is the We Shoot Bottles equivalent for you, right?

Victor: Right.

Dean: What are the most searched words? Do you have access to keyword research tools and-

Victor: Sure.

Dean: Things that show you what the most common way to fill out the words websites for and then what comes after that?

Victor: Yeah, I mean Google Keyword Planner and SpyFu and stuff like that, sure.

Dean: Yeah. So that kind of an interesting thing you know if you took the ... I wonder what the most common one would be. You know, if it was websites for, what, would be an interesting thing. And then the lead magnet, it becomes easier, right?

Victor: Right.

Dean: Where now you've got the website ideas for whatever business that is, you know? That it becomes an idea guide for them.

Victor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dean: That is compelling. It's not about you and a developer, but it's about identifying the invisible prospect who's looking to build a website. The first thing that they're doing is getting ideas too, you know? That would be compelling for them. So you're not trying to convince them-

Victor: Can I ask you a question? When it comes to going back to that led magnet idea, or just paid traffic, and this is probably a rhetorical question, but when paying for traffic either through Google AdWords or Facebook, it's always to a lead magnet, right? It's never to just a free mock up or something like that. It's-

Dean: A free mock up is a little further down the line, right?

Victor: Right.

Dean: I would rather ... because that's when people are moving forward. Your free mock up is a great ... I would call that a Profit Activator Four offer.

Victor: Okay.

Dean: Right? Like that's something that would ... once you're educating and motivating people, the next step might be the free mock up, right?

Victor: Okay.

Dean: So the Profit Activator two is where the lead magnet comes in and that is really about turning an invisible prospect into a visible prospect. Okay, we want to get the invisible person who's going to Google and typing in "Websites for," whatever they fill in the blank, right? Websites for financial advisors or websites for lawyers, or law firm websites, or all those things if you niche-ify it, you know?

Victor: Right.

Dean: That now they see the 2017 Law Firm Website Idea Guide, you know? Or that it's the Top Ten Law Firm Websites. You've researched and you show what the lay of the land is for law firms. Like what's cutting edge kind of thing. That would be compelling for people, right?

Victor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dean: If that's where they're starting, they want to get a sense of well, what are successful law firms doing? What's winning right now in the law firm field, kind of thing? That's going to now get somebody, whoever asks for that, has indicated to you ... Now they've gone from being an invisible prospect to a visible prospect because they asked for the idea guide for law firm websites. You know? That's clunky, but you would wordsmith this. But that's the essence of what it is that we're offering.

Now you know that they are a law firm or considering building a law firm website, and now you know who they are because they've left their name and their email. So you've fulfilled that with a guide, but now you get to engage in dialogue with them.

Victor: Right.

Dean: And you get to lead now, to the next step, which might be ... You know, you can check out their existing website. You can engage in a one word, or I mean a nine word email type of dialogue with them to find out are they willing to engage in the dialogue? Are they friendly and cooperative? Do they know what they want?

Victor: Okay.

Dean: Do they know when they want it and would they like us to help them? And if they were, then the next thing is well, we can do a total mock up for you of what the website might look like absolutely free, complete with a price. You could use that ... In real estate we use the pinpoint price analysis where you could do a pinpoint price. This is the price. No surprises, no add-ons. You're removing all the friction that somebody might have in getting bait and switched into a low price quote, but then, oh you want the buttons to be actually active, so that when you click on them ... That's $150 each per button. Button activation fee there. You know? And then all of a sudden what was the $2,500 website turns into the $5,000 website, you know?

Victor: Sure. Yup. Okay.

Dean: And it's a friction-filled experience, you know? So you've got that opportunity to do that. Once somebody ... you know, you just focus on the cheese in the lead magnet, which is the ideas and the best practices, and the things that are the winning websites now. I would do a word palate to come up what are the right words that you would use to describe that, but then you have the great title for. Then you do ... I would along with that deliver a book that describes the whole process. So now it's like you're educating and motivating them. So you compel them with what they want, you educate them with what they need so that they know what to do.

So on the real estate side, we offer a free November 2017 report on Winter Haven lakefront house prices, but then when we send the report we also send a book called, How To Sell Your House For Top Dollar Fast.

Victor: Hmm.

Dean: And we're bundling, we're assuming that the reason that they want the ideas or the report or the data, the info is because they're planning on building a website.

Victor: Right.

Dean: Or that they're planning on selling their home. So we deliver the information that they wanted, but also take them by the hand and lead them, we assume, that they are five star prospects. We want to treat everybody like they're five star prospects until they prove that they aren't.

Victor: Okay, gotcha. One quick question. When you have that lead magnet, let's say on paid traffic, that it's just the all cheese offer. They enter their email, they hit submit. Once they hit submit, on the thank you page do you hit them with an offer that says, "Hey, you got this. Do you want a free mock up?" Or do you really hold off and wait on that one?

Dean: I imagine that the way that you would do that is I like to imagine your opt-in page as a portal to your office.

Victor: I can see that.

Dean: Imagine, when somebody opts in, that they're magically transported and your office door opens up and they stick their head in and say, "Hey, I'm here about the website ideas for lawyers?"

Victor: Okay.

Dean: And you imagine what would that interaction be like? What would be the conversation that you have with them? If they really were to show up at your office and spend some time doing this. I often sit in my comfy chair in my office here and I'll just stare out the window, and I'll imagine that interaction for an hour.

Victor: Wow.

Dean: And just play that out. Like what's on their mind?

Victor: Yeah.

Dean: How would that go? If I'm patiently seeking to understand them, you know?

Victor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dean: What would be the questions? What are they thinking? What's on their mind? What do I know that they probably want to know, right?

Victor: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dean: There's probably some questions that they have that I know they're going to want to know. How much is it, how long does it take, can you do this? Can I do that? These are the kind of questions that they would probably have, but then there's also probably questions that you know that they should be asking that they don't even know to ask.

Victor: Ohh, good. Yes. That's great.

Dean: This is where you get to educate them, right?

Victor: Yeah.

Dean: You now get to answer the obvious that they do have, but you get to steer the conversation with the questions that they should be asking.

Victor: Should be asking. That's great. That's great.

Dean: And then you end it with, "Here's what to do next. Here's what I suggest."

Victor: Okay. That's good. That's great. Well you've given me a lot to think about, Dean. I really appreciate it.

Dean: It's all very exciting.

Victor: It is all very exciting.

Dean: What's your summary? How would you describe ... What did you hear today?

Victor: That I really have to start with Profit Activator #1 and just make a decision on a single-target market, and think of it more in terms of I'm building a platform that I can then duplicate onto other target markets. And really kind of focus on a way to do that, to get recurring revenue, to kind of have a more predictable system. To know what my lead acquisition, how much, what's my conversion rate so I can know what I could reasonably pay for a lead because otherwise I'll need to know that number. So, you know, if it's $500 to get a lead ... yeah, to pay for the lead, how many leads do I need to get to that I know it's going to convert based on what I've done.

Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Victor: Yeah, those are the main ones I think, so-

Dean: That's awesome.

Victor: Yeah.

Dean: Initially, you know, you can go out and find them individually. Spend the $500 yourself and try and find people. Like if you could do that and get ... The thing about niche markets are that you can identify people by industry code. You can get a list of any particular type of business and that opens up the possibility when you have visible prospects or suspects is that you could even send postcards to them offering that guide to the best performing law firm websites or the 2017 Yearbook of the cutting edge for law firm websites.

Victor: And when you send the postcard out like that, is it then they're going to a link that's on their postcard and requesting it there? Is it pre-recorded?

Dean: Yup.

Victor: Message, or what are we doing?

Dean: Either way. Either way. The action that we use for print now is go to this URL. You know? Thelawyerideabook.com or guide.com or whatever the ... weshootbottles.com.

Victor: Gotcha.

Dean: And it's just a simple thing. Like if you go to 90minutebooks.com, the only thing there is the picture of the book and the headline and you leave your name and your email address. It would exactly the same thing. You would do a postcard version of that. You title the lead magnet the right way so that that's compelling to somebody for what they want. Then when they go to the landing page, the only thing they see is the opportunity to leave their name and their email address.

Victor: Right.

Dean: Or their full contact information. You could even do that in a two-step kind of way. And that you now have visible prospect. You've got somebody who's left their name and email. So you could send out and test it. You can send out 1000 postcards to law firms. You can pick whatever the size of the firm based on revenue or number of lawyers, or whatever. All that data is available. You can get anything you want now. And send it right to them. Whatever happens. Maybe you get 20 or 30 lawyers to raise their hand.

Victor: Hmm. Yeah.

Dean: Now you're engaged in that dialogue with them, you know? Or you do that same thing. You do a Facebook campaign to that target audience. Whatever targeting is available on Facebook by industry.

Victor: Yes. Yeah. You ever use Linkedin ads before for direct response, out of curiosity?

Dean: Linkedin ads? Is that what you said?

Victor: Yeah.

Dean: No I have not.

Victor: Okay. Me neither. I've always been curious. So, okay.

Dean: Yeah. It could be, certainly, that's a great spot to find industry-specific things, you know?

Victor: Yeah.

Dean: Business to business things, which is what you're looking for.

Victor: Absolutely.

Dean: I love it.

Victor: Awesome.

Dean: Well it's been fun.

Victor: Yeah, no I really appreciate it, Dean. Thank you so much. This has been awesome.

Dean: Thanks, Victor. I'll keep in touch.

Victor: All right, thanks Dean.

Dean: Okay, thanks.

Victor: All right, bye.

Dean: Bye.

And there we have it. Another great episode. I really enjoyed that conversation. I think Victor's got some amazing opportunities here. It gets back to selecting a single target market. You get to see where the need is for your business. If you'd like to continue this conversation, you can go to morecheeselesswhiskers.com. You can download a copy of the More Cheese, Less Whiskers book and be a guest on the podcast. Just click on the "Be A Guest" link. If you'd like to see where the big opportunities are in your business, go to profitactivatorscore.com and try out our Profit Activator Scorecard. I look forward to talking to you on future podcast. Have a great week.