Getting Traffic and Converting Clients (with Tim Brownson)
In EPISODE 11, Tim Brownson tells us how he builds traffic for his hugely successful websites and how he harnesses that traffic to get coaching clients. Tim’s also a pretty funny, down to earth guy. Enjoy the show!
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Read the transcript of Getting Traffic and Converting Clients (with Tim Brownson) Here
Benay: Welcome to another episode of Coach Pep Talk, the podcast for people who run their own coaching businesses. Each week I talk to an expert who shares wisdom that helps us be better coaches and better coaching business owners. This week I’ve got Tim Brownson on the line and he is going to tell us how you can get your coaching website to gain more traffic and convert that traffic into clients. So see you on the other side.
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Benay: I feel honored to be talking to Tim Brownson today who is the founder of two very successful websites including A Daring Adventure, which is a personal development site geared at helping get people unstuck and also the founder of Coach the Life Coach, which is a specialist program that helps new and soon to be life coaches work with as many paying clients as possible while honing in on their coaching skills. Tim has 10 years of life coaching experience, has had his work seen by over 3 million people across the globe, is the author of nine books and over fifteen hundred self-development articles. So let’s hear what Tim has to say about Coach websites.
Benay: Hello Tim and welcome to the show.
Tim: Thank you, Benay. I’m delighted to be here.
Benay: I’m delighted that you’re here also. Okay, so we are going to talk about websites that convert. I thought it would be kind of cool to start out with your very first website and telling us a little bit of a story and an evolution compared to where you are now with your website.
Tim: Oh dear, ok. My first website was about 12 or 13 years ago. Anybody that knows anything about researching websites can click on Wayback machine and see a site from different, it will take snapshots of sites, and you can go and see my first website. It’s horrible. So my logo slash icon slash I don’t know what more you’d call it, was a cartoon turtle with a strap of dynamite, or a stick dynamite strapped to its back, and it was a gif so it loaded on the side and goes from, and I’m cringing as I say this, goes from top to bottom can move across, yeah from bottom to top and it was pretty horrible. I had no clue about what size, you know I used to sell websites before went into coaching. I really didn’t understand about conversion or anything. I just thought it looked really cool. People liked it. I’m not sure it brought me any clients. That was like 12 years ago. That’s 2005, late 2004 whatever. And I stuck with that for probably 2-3 years then I realized, it was a slow dawning realization that this is horrible. Also, I didn’t in those days, there was no WordPress, and I didn’t have a blog and it was a flat HTML site. So anybody could go on WaybackMachine.com, go pull up my site and you’ll probably have a little laugh about it.
Benay: I can’t imagine an animated turtle gif with dynamite and how that’s related to um…
Tim: At the time it seemed like a great idea! I remember, at the time I was working in a place called ScoreThor. This is honestly true, anybody… You know we just had a conversation before, me and Benay beforehand and I got a text and it was a designer who is a client of mine and he said I have this great idea for a design, and I said oh what is it? And he said its a turtle and I said…
Benay: Yeah, Bring it on.
Tim: Yeah Bring it on turtle!
Benay: Well I guess, Tim let’s fast forward a bit and then you’ve decided, something you know struck you that maybe we could improve this and what happens next?
Tim: I moved to the U.S. and basically, I got like about two clients at the time. And I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t know anything about online marketing at the time. And basically I just typed into Google, SEO, search engine optimization, and wandered, and the guy who came back, he wasn’t number one, I think he was number 2, I then hired him to do my SEO, and he went then to turn my site. And he did a fairly good job. It didn’t end very well, my relationship with him because I didn’t realize how much stuff he was outsourcing. This is one of the things with coaches, is you don’t to know everything about your business, about SEO, about online marketing, social media, etc. But you need to know enough that you can question the people that you’re hiring. I hired this guy thinking, oh he’s really good, not realized at the time or until like two years later really, that he really wasn’t very good, you know he was just using other people. And that site, for anyone that knows, it was a PHP site, and it was fairly good. It was kind of like just the next step onto to getting a proper professional site. It did okay, and I did okay, really by and large because I started a massive guest posting strategy and basically hitting every blog that I could guest post and getting my name out to as many people as possible. So it was more you know sometimes you succeed in spite of yourself or in spite of the circumstances. Because if my first five or six of coaching I succeeded in spite of what I got going rather than because of it.
Benay: Gotcha. Okay So let’s fast forward to now.
Tim: Well the website now actually, the website now probably needs an update because it’s about three years old. The problem with sites these days is that the technology is moving so quickly and, yeah one of the major factors in Google’s algorithm in terms of ranking sites back 200 but one of the major one is speed the site loads, and mines fairly slow now and that’s because we’ve added so many things to it over time that now generally tend to be built in. So you know like say, the site looks fairly modern, but the backend of it really its a fairly dated site. You know three years in internet time is a long time. So it looks good and I get a lot of compliments for it. I’ve got a fantastic designer, I would never ever design a website myself, but from a technical standpoint, it could definitely be improved in terms of helping me rank on Google. I still rank highly for certain search terms, but it could do better.
Benay: Okay so let’s talk about how is your site converting now? Is it actually generating clients for you now?
Tim: Yeah very much so yeah. I’m at the moment I’m sort of dealing with the amount of inquiries and that’s because I’ve done a lot of work on long tail keywords, so looking for certain search terms that I could rank for. So previously, back up about 5 or 6 years, I really just focused on the term Life Coach, rankings of the term Life Coach Office and three times I hit the first page of Google. Technically speaking this isn’t really associated because everybody sees different results based on geography social media connections etc, etc. Well back then that most definitely wasn’t when I hit the first page of Google they just within 24 hours that caused a spike in inquiries. It was ridiculous. You know, from the second page to the first page, it’s just night and day. Just there really absolutely is no comparison in terms of the amount of inquiries and inbound traffic etc. So now I don’t really focus on the term Life Coach Office, because it’s so competitive. There’s probably 5 places on the front page. You’re never going to get past Wikipedia for Life Coach, I’m never going to get past any major news organizations. So why folks are probably going to get past lifecoach.com which is a website I pretty much brutalize on every meaningful metric apart from domain name in relevancy. So now I focus more on certain terms, long tail keywords, and then try to convert traffic when I get it there and that’s the one thing that most coaches don’t understand. Is really hard to convert traffic or not necessarily how to convert, but what you should be doing with the traffic when it gets there. Most people think It you should be getting them to hiring us. So.
Benay: Okay I do want to talk about that conversion path because a lot of my listeners will know some of this language will be very they’ll be comfortable with, but some of the terms we are using might be a little bit new. So can you just in really brief terms explain what a long tail keyword is for somebody who is new to the whole search engine optimization space?
Tim: Yes sure. So anybody that’s listened to this just go and type in self-development for kids into Google. I’m probably going to be number one for that because I wrote a blog post call Self-Development for Kids a few years ago and that is a long tail keyword. So a keyword normally is one word or maybe two words, so life coach is a keyword and then you get into long tail which is really three and four. You don’t really want to go to 5, its only 3 and 4. So if you do a search, put in life coach and scroll right down to the bottom and then Google gives you different search terms like, have you thought about this; you know, what life coach is, they are long tail keywords. So Google is all about relevance. So if you can write posts that meet… It is highly relevant to them. So you put it in Self Development for Kids, Google trots off and does a few million searches, scrolling on all these pages. And its, oh hang on a minute, there’s this guy here who wrote a post called Self Development for Kids. I’m going to bring this back to the into the results. It’s something that brings a lot of traffic, and it brings me a lot of inquiries. Suddenly for me, I don’t coach kids, yeah but at the time I did, And now I don’t, so it was a strategy and now I just don’t really want to work with anyone under 30 unless you’re a life coach. So a long tail keyword is basically thinking, so let’s suppose that you are a life coach in Sydney for example you know, life coach Sydney would be a long tail keyword, so you maybe attack that because the competition for life coach is fierce, but the competition for life coach Syndey suddenly drops off a cliff. It’s nothing like a competition so you have the opportunity using long tail keywords and then optimizing the post properly to then compete for that. And it’s kind of like a shortcut because there are only 10 people that can be on the first page for Google for the term Life Coach, or 10 sites. But, when you start to use long tail keywords, you might want to go Life Coach Syndey, you might want to go Life Coach Australia, or you know, so when it comes to life coach, my training business, we target all sorts of long tail keywords, like life coach earnings, or Life Coach websites, things like that, so you can use start to draw in traffic onto different terms, where it’s not quite as competitive as it will be just for the term life coach, because that’s just, like I said its a fool’s errand going after that for most life coaches.
Benay: What we’ve been looking at really now for the website is attracting traffic to the website and it sounds like one of the most recent or effective strategies you’re using right now search engine optimization, specifically around long tail keywords. Before we leave that whole space of attracting traffic, are there, what other kind of traffic generating things do you do? And if you could just give us a list and then we’ll go in and we’ll talk about the whole conversion process.
Tim: Okay. I think you know, well that’s definitely my main approach is sort of long tail keywords. But after that, social media is second but, the thing is social media is most people… But really after that I struggle to name anything that I use, I mean we do use Coach, life coach, we do use Facebook ads, but I wouldn’t recommend…the thing with Facebook ads is, and when we get to conversion we’ll talk about this, but can’t really sell on Facebook if really wants to be for like or list building or whatever. And the same goes for social media. So 95 percent of the Life Coaches I see using social media badly. And I’ve had a life coach say to me, well I do what you do, and I’m like, well don’t, don’t do what I do. Because I talk about politics, I talk about religion, you know I make jokes. I swear a lot, but that’s my brand, that’s who I am. And for most life coaches that’s not going to work. I recently bought the domain, theangrylifecoach.com because I’m angry all the time. No, my life’s great, it’s fantastic, I’m angry for other people and I kind of like speaking out. But that’s gonna turn off 95 percent of people. So I know who I’m talking to, I know who my market place is. Most life coaches uploading quotes to Pinterest or Facebook have been a problem. You know, way back when, five, six years ago before Pinterest really exploded and now everybody’s doing it, and it doesn’t work, don’t do it. I mean if you want to do it for the fun like I do, so I use Twitter for fun, I use Pinterest for fun, but it doesn’t work. It’s not gonna bring you, clients, there’s just too many people doing it, its just such crowded space. And one of the big problems, you know one of the big errors I see life coaches making is.. I’m gonna take a step back about 20 years, I used to own a record store and we started doing second-hand vinyl and just records in general, and people would come in and say, uh how much will you give us for this? And I would say, I’ll give you five pounds or whatever and they would say, well it’s worth 20 pounds. And I would say well how do you know? And they would say, well I saw it in record collector. And I’d go, what you saw was how much was sold for, what you didn’t know is how much was paid for it. It’s not worth that, and basically what life coaches see is what all the people are doing, but they don’t really know how it works and they become like lemmings. Like okay, I’ve gotta do motivational quotes. You know, seriously, is that going to separate you from the competition? That’s what life coaches have to do now, they’ve got to separate themselves from the competition because if you don’t, then there’s like 10,000 coaches, hundred thousand coaches, just like you and there’s no reason for people to hire you. So it’s just stick in, motivational quotes, you know, it’s just not gonna work. You know it’s about conversion, Benay. It’s about, if you can’t convert that person then it becomes a hobby, something they enjoy, that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s not a sustaining business.
Benay: Yeah, what I’ve heard in this discussion is that you’re using social media, but you’re using it actually in a way that’s fun and an expression of your personality. So it’s kind of like an add on to your brand as opposed to I don’t know anything sort of bigger than that. You’re just enjoying it. Is that, have I interpreted that right?
Tim: Yeah, I think you have. Social media is so many different platforms, it’s moving so quickly. Yeah when I’m training coaches, I’ll say just focus on one or two. Do one or two well. Otherwise, you’re gonna do 6 or seven, you know you can do Twitter, you can do LinkedIn and Facebook and Youtube delete them Facebook and YouTube and Snapchat and Instagram, you know there’s just so many. And Pinterest and Google+ and what have ya. You’re just gonna spread yourselves so think, you’re just gonna nothing well. So you’re better in nailing one, finding where your niches hang out and really going to town in that because you know, then you’ll start to build up yourself as an authority on that site, or on that platform rather. Whereas most coaches just like think they’ve got to be on everyone. Yeah. I have never posted to Instagram for example, in my life. I don’t post to YouTube anymore, I used to. And I’ve had some posts that have had you know 20000 views and what have you, but its just very difficult. A very difficult platform to convert.
Benay: Well let’s switch gears now because we’ve talked about this, we’ve been talking a lot about how do you get traffic to your website in the first place, but actually a successful website is a website that converts a stranger into a customer. So how does that work?
Tim: Well first of all you know, I sort of alluded to this before, what most life coaches make the mistake of doing is thinking that their home page, or whatever the landing page is where their driving traffic to, that the point of that is to create clients. It’s absolutely not. The point of your home page is to get people on your list. People on you know, it is incredibly difficult to sell, you know we’re not selling Snickers bar here. We’re not selling an impulse buy. You’re looking for people to invest, you know several hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. So try and get them to hire you from just landing on your website is just ridiculous. You’re not gonna do it. What you should be doing is trying to build a relationship with them. Get them on to your newsletter list and then, so for example, when people sign up for my newsletter they get 4 free ebooks, but they’re scheduled to go out in weekly intervals so that I have a chance while, before you’ve got all the books, I can start to build the relationship. I send out a newsletter they’re gonna see and I can try and add value. It’s just stupid to try…you know I’ve mentioned before, Facebook Ads, so we’re selling coach, life coach training. We don’t try and sell it on Facebook Ads, you can’t do it. We do, we list them, we get people onto our list, we want to show them that we know what we’re talking about. We want to add value. We want to build up a relationship because coach is a very close working relationship. And if you can’t build that with somebody, then their not gonna hire you. Nobody hires a coach they don’t like. You might buy from someone you don’t like, like a car salesman or whatever, but you don’t work with someone one on one, you know on a medium, short, medium, long term relationship or whatever with someone you don’t like. And that’s what your list allows you to do. So it’s kind of adding as much value as you can and so really there are two things that every home page needs for life coaching in my opinion. The first is what’s in it for me. So it’s a big salesman, so I spent like 20 years in sales, it’s like if you can’t clearly initiate what’s in it for the person on your website, so my website is all about get unstuck, get unstuck, get unstuck; now that’s not really a niche. In fact, it’s not a niche at all. It speaks to certain people that are stuck, so I say that I am the coach that can help you get unstuck. So the first thing is what’s in it for me. And the second thing is a call to action, a single call to action. There’s nothing wrong with putting your phone number on your website, in case you do get someone that is ready to hire. Yeah definitely do that. But, most people aren’t. So really it’s like, I’m a potential customer on your website, what you want me to do? And that’s the call to action, that’s the get my newsletter here, and get my eCourse, or get my, you know whatever the bribe is to get people on the list. These days, if you haven’t got a bribe then your dead…
Benay: You’re out of luck. Yeah. So let’s just, for the people who haven’t seen your website yet, what is your freebie, your carrot to get them to join your e-mail list? What are you giving away?
Tim: So I have two websites. So for A Daring Adventure, it’s my personal coaching and that is the 4 free ebooks. I actually give people five and then send a bonus one out and say thanks for sticking with me so long, here’s a bonus ebook. And their all full-length books, I’ve written 9 books and it’s not like a four-page report which three pages is saying, you know what you really should hire me. There is none of that at all.
Benay: Real value.
Tim: Yeah, so it’s like try and create, yeah, create value, so people think, well okay, this guy knows what he’s talking about hopefully. With Coach the Life Coach, it’s different, Benay, because we give different bribes out, its a lot more technical. We use a system called Active Campaign for Coach the Life Coach, and depending on what page somebody lands on they may get offered, they’ll always get offered a bribe, and everybody uses this phrase, it sounds a bit tacky now that I think about it, but everyone calls it a bribe, but they will get a different bribe that is relevant to the page they’re on. So if they’ve landed on a page where we’ve written a post about branding, it will be “Get your 7 tips on how to brand your business” or whatever it is, you know. Carl, my partner, does most of the back end stuff for that to be quite honest with ya. So it is relevant, whereas with A Daring Adventure, its a lot more generic, because most people that go to A Daring Adventure, they just want general self-development. And most people that go to Coach the Life Coach want specific advice on growing their coaching business or being a better coach. So we have to make it more targeted.
Benay: Yeah. Okay so you’ve got these two sites, one is a little bit more sophisticated because it’s got lots of freebies, or bribes, or whatever you want to call them. And then A Daring Adventure has just the one simple one because it’s a more personal development centered website. And then once somebody opts into that list, it’s sounding like your team has set up a whole series of email, l automated e-mails, or auto-responders in your chosen system, you’re using Active Campaign, for Coach the Life Coach, and what are you using for A Daring Adventure?
Benay: And you’re using Aweber. Yeah, I used, I’ve used both of those too, love both of them. So you’ve got this whole chain of emails that just automatically goes out without you having to do any work?
Tim: Correct. Sometimes I’ll get emails back from people that obviously they thought I sat and responded to them, so I just cut about 3000 people out of my list, people who hadn’t opened an email for a couple of years and opening emails or whatever. But I’ve still got about 7000 people on my list and people send me emails and say, oh thanks very much and respond that they really appreciate it, and I’m like I have no idea…
Benay: Isn’t that great? I get those too, and it’s really nice and I always write back to them though. I always say thank you.
Tim: Oh I do, I write back.
Benay: But I think that means that you’ve really, um, when somebody writes back to an automated e-mail that you’ve sent out that, that means that you’ve really nailed that email. Ok, walk us through the process then. They’re on this automated chain of things, they might get more freebies in that e-mail chain, but then you’re taking them through a story, through dialogue, you’re building that relationship, you’re building rapport. How are you leading into a sale? How does that all work?
Tim: A Daring Adventure is probably not the best example. So let me just back up and explain what I mean by that. So with A Daring Adventure, probably for about the last four or five years, I’m pretty much full all the time with clients. I don’t really do any more selling to my list, I just send them free stuff. And every now and then I may say, okay its the holidays, its Christmas, I’m gonna do a coaching or whatever, and that’s pretty much it. Coach the Life Coach is a lot different.
Benay: I don’t want to jump to Coach the Life Coach yet. So what I’ve just heard you say is that you’re actually is that you’re full with clients, right? So you don’t need to do much for A Daring Adventure? Did I hear that right?
Tim: Yeah. I’m very hands off of my lists. I don’t like pushing them. I don’t do joint ventures with people unless I know the product and really like it or I know the person and I’m fully 100% behind it, so yeah I’m really really defensive of my list. Not defensive, what’s the word…protective.
Benay: Protective, yeah.
Tim: Yeah, so when people say to me, Tim I’ve got this great offer, you can make this amount of money, my immediate response is I just don’t care. I don’t care. If you’d have kicked off by saying, your readers are gonna love it because of this, then I’m like, ok, alright if they’re gonna really enjoy it. It’s not really about money but I understand for most coaches that’s not the case. So for most coaches, they want to convert people into clients. So I’ve gotta use Coach the Life Coach because I’ve never really done the process with A Daring Adventure because it’s been so long since I’ve been struggling for clients. But with Coach the Life Coach, you then go through a launch process of like, you know building up and… One of the things that a lot of coaches find, and I did too with A Daring Adventure, are you really have to hammer your list. You have to. So we just, we’ve just done our most, we’ve just done two courses on Coach the Life Coach, a client acquisition course, which finished yesterday, that ones done. And we’ve got next fall, Coach the Life Coach course, and we hit the lists probably five times in a week, saying and you know its ending, the early birds and what have you. And I’m like, every time we send out, oh no, we are gonna get people unsubscribing. But the reality is that anybody that unsubscribes because you’re telling them about an offer you’re running, is never gonna buy from you anyway.
Tim: It’s just an ego thing. So you kind of have to do it. Yeah, I’ve had people say, oh I’m glad he sent that last one. You know with the current course we were running, there were only like 12 places on it, and with the early bird, we sold 11 of them, of which 4 came in the last four or five hours. When we said, okay we are closing the early bird cart now, which we have done. If you want it, you have to get on my phone to me now or call my partner and we got four people just right up against the deadline.
Benay: People need reminders. I had I just ran my first Easter promotion, over the Easter long weekend, and yeah I made more sales on that second, I only sent out two emails because I was like the same thing, cringing like I don’t want to hammer my list. I don’t want to annoy them. But, yeah you made, I made more money cause people are really grateful to get reminded like, oh gosh this is closing and I’ve got this a great opportunity. So you’re actually doing them a service. But sometimes its…
Tim: Exactly! So if you go in and I was writing a blog post about a couple months ago, whatever, and I wanted to make a joke about men’s underwear and I can’t remember why now, whatever, and I was reminded, and I’m not sure they’re even available in Australia, but I was reminded there was a company called Tommy John. So I went in and typed Tommy John into Google because I wasn’t 100% sure how it was spelled. I wanted to spell it right. For the next two weeks, I was bombarded with adverts for Tommy John any time I went anywhere, I was like look I don’t want any men’s underwear. Okay? But there’s been stuff like that and its the best example. I’ve got a Mac, I have no DVD drive, and I wanted a SuperDrive. I went looking for SuperDrives and I was bombarded with adverts for about three weeks and I just thought, you know what, I’ll just buy it so I don’t have to look at these ads anymore.
Benay: Ah, it worked!
Tim: I mean I kind of wanted to. But if you don’t do that, it’s just like you’ve not delivered a duty of care to them. I basically, well you don’t want it, well how do you know? People will tell you if you don’t want something. So I’m on a list, I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, for Authority Hacker, which was possibly the best site on SEO and basically authority websites. So I subscribe to the site and I get backed up with emails, and I just delete them. It’s just a click, oh it’s just a sales email, I’ll delete it. But you know what actually, this is a podcast, I want to listen to it. So if you deliver quality information 70% of the time and people get pissy with you because you try to sell to them and earn your money back and create a business sustainable, it’s not sustainable to just keep giving, giving, giving, unless you’re already wealthy. It’s just not sustainable, you can’t run a business like that.
Benay: So with you’re with your e-mails, part of them are giving, and then there is a percentage where you actually are running a promotion or sharing about a new product and training. What what is the percentage for you? Just roughly?
Tim: Probably about that, 70 percent. That’s a good question. I’ve never actually sat down and worked that out, but I guess 70/30, maybe 80/20. I probably do like 3, maybe 4 launches a year, so it can be intense for a short period of time and there’s nothing for about 2-3 months. It’s just sending out information or what have you. No more than 70/30. That’s just the worst that it would ever be. 70% sending something free, 30% sending something I’m trying to sell. Or more like 80/20 or something.
Benay: So I just want to come back to the conversion process and because I think a couple of people you know are probably taking some notes and trying to get the steps up. So they’ve put a freebie on their site, they’ve got somebody onto their list, they’ve got this lovely sequence of free stuff and rapport building emails that automatically go out to somebody once they sign up for their list, and it sounded to me like you actually will dip in and send some current email as well on top of that automated sequence. Have I interpreted that correctly?
Tim: Yeah, you have. I mean I don’t actually plan, I don’t… Once you sort of get a list of any size, so maybe over 250 people you can’t really then plan, the people coming onto your list just have to slot into the processes that makes sense. So because some of this, do you know, oh I don’t want to send them a newsletter out, it would just get too complex. Yeah so I get people you know there is never a day goes by where I don’t get you to know between five and 10 people sign up to my list or whatever. So then just fit them in there and yeah getting emails from your autoresponder every week or so, and they will just be champs on when they get an actual newsletter from me. I do not stop. I’m not sure how you could do that.
Benay: It just becomes almost too overwhelming, I find personally. I know some marketers actually do, and they say the more complicated you’re behind the systems is the better and the more money you’re going to make. But I’m just can’t get that. I’m like, I don’t care, it makes my life shitty.
Tim: Yeah, you’re right. You know, I’m like whatever. I mean, I’m sure there are ways, I’ve never even stopped to think about it, to be honest with you, but I’m sure there are. You know, so you use the Active Campaign, which is complicated, but you know Infusionsoft for example then takes it to another level where there’s all sorts more functionality. You know you can do pretty much whatever you want.
Benay: And you’re paying for it too. Okay, so…
Benay: Your autoresponder series you say you send them a weekly e-mail, is it, how many weeks do you do that?
Tim: Four, so they get, no five they get actually. They don’t know about that 5th one. So they get, no it will be four. They get one when they join, they’ll get an ebook straight away and then I’ll say in the box for that, you’ll get the next one next week, just to try to keep them on the list. Because I want to keep them on the list long enough where they know for certain you’re going to get a newsletter off me, and hopefully… to be honest with you probably if somebody joins my list when I’m in the middle of a launch sequence, which doesn’t really happen, but I guess it could eventually, which could lead to a lack…it is what it is. And the end of the day, I used to get all fretful and say, ah I’ve had 10 people unsubscribe after that newsletter. You know I’ve had newsletters go out where I’ve lost you know 100 subscribers. It’s a sight.
Benay: It’s okay. It’s just feedback. I think it’s really important for the coaches listening to the show to hear that too. Is that every time I send an email I get a percentage that unsubscribes and it’s just normal. People get bored and maybe they’re like this isn’t for me and that’s actually good because you don’t want to be spamming them or sending them emails they don’t want.
Tim: Yeah, of course, of course.
Benay: Okay so five weeks worth of emails and then you send a newsletter every month is that correct?
Tim: No, I send a newsletter when I think of something interesting to say.
Benay: That’s something I wanted to pick your brains about because you know some people feel like they have to write every day, or they have to write every week, or they have to write every month.
Tim: Follow Jonathan Fields. He’s a marketing guy, Jonathan Fields. He’s a really, really, good guy even wrote a fantastic book called Career Renegade which is probably way out of date now, because it was about social media back in 2009,2010. Super smart guy. Really, really nice guy. And he has a blog and I guest posted for him a couple of times, and I got to know him very well, and he had a blog and he probably had, I’m guessing, he probably had like 50,000 subscribers. And he ran an experiment, he didn’t post for about 3 1/2 weeks, and then he wrote a blog post about it, he had one person contact him and say why haven’t you posted, out of 50,000, I mean people don’t care. By in large, they don’t notice. It’s kind of like nobody is sitting there thinking, where is Tim Brownson’s email? They don’t give a crap about Tim Brownson’s email. Unless they read one and think oh well this was useful. But, then it’s not me, it just a useful email, you know? I think the whole consistency thing maybe 10 years ago, yeah probably. Now it’s just people have got so many, so many resources that are pulling on their time. People don’t care. So I think you know so with posting, so moving away from newsletters and going back to blog posts, for example, you know, yeah, you’re much better going for quality, in-depth posts that people are gonna want to link to, and high-quality content that you are taking a Seth Godin approach, and by the way Seth Godin’s brilliant, but nobody can replicate what he does because he’s Seth Godin, he’s fantastic. If you don’t know him, his surname is G-O-D-I-N. And he’s great, he’s fantastic, he’s a genius at what he does. But, a lot of his content is what Google terms thin content or skinny content. In other words, If I’m knocking out blog posts, 300-400 words, it’s not even gonna get indexed on Google, there’s just no value to them other than in and of themselves that people may be reading them. So yeah I think coaches are much better concentrating on 2500 word posts and it’s gonna absolutely kill it on this topic. The newsletters a little bit different, so split the difference then. Newsletters, yeah you can definitely bang it out, 300-word newsletter and it can have impact, but posts are the things that bring in the traffic to your blog, you know. A newsletter isn’t gonna bring in any traffic to your website of any consequence. Whereas a great blog post can bring, I’ve had 4 blog posts that brought in over half a million unique visitors each year. One of those is just about a million now. So they can bring, you’re never going to get that from newsletters, there’s only the people that are on your list, plus maybe a handful of people that forward it on. So you know it’s important to understand the difference between the two.
Benay: Okay we kind of need to wrap it up, we’ve been talking forever. I’ve really enjoyed a lot of the nuggets that have come out today, but I just want to know before we do wrap up, Tim, if there is one piece of advice you could give to the coaches that are listening to this episode, you know actionable piece of information they could take away, what what would that be for you?
Tim: I think you would be, don’t get wrapped up in what other coaches do. You know, people see, I’ve been asked loads of times, is the coaching market saturated? Yes! It’s saturated. And it’s saturated with mediocrity. So it’s people that are going to do something different, not because other coaches did it. So my advice would be, learn online marketing. And then separate yourself from all the coaches that cant be asked to learn it themselves.
Benay: Love it! Especially the bit about don’t get wrapped up in what others are doing because you gotta stand out. It is really competitive and I’m starting to see all these blog posts coming out from some of the big coaches that are just saying online courses and coaching programs are just not selling as well anymore and so that the trend seems to really be changing with this.
Tim: Yeah well we just had our two best launches ever. So that would be how I respond to it. It is the reason why it’s not selling as well as before because they’re doing exactly what we were doing 10 years ago now. So it can be done, you just gotta be a bit smart about it.
Benay: Yeah. And be yourself I think and really embrace and be confidently yourself. Thank you so much for being on the show today, Tim! It was just delightful to talk with you!
Tim: Thank you, I really enjoyed it. It’s delightful to talk with you too!