Today’s episode of the podcast is an interview with Rich Brooks who is a digital marketing expert, author, podcast host, and public speaker who helps entrepreneurs and business owners reach more of their ideal customers online. We talk all about how to stand out and find out what is remarkable about your business.
KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST
- You don’t have to post on every single social media platform – quality over quantity!
- Public speaking is really important for business owners and can have a huge positive impact on your business.
- The ability to stand up on stage and present is really important and great for your visibility.
- It is really hard to market your business if there is nothing remarkable about it!
- 4 lenses – find, focus, fashion and frame. Use them to get a better understanding of your business.
- Remarkability is in the eye of the beholder – the people you wish to serve
- Find – why do people choose you? Look at your reviews, feedback and look at everything you are already doing. What are you doing differently to your competitors?
- Is there a smaller audience you could serve? You could tailor one of your products to different industries – this helps you to understand their needs even further.
- If you want to become remarkable – one way to do this is to niche down.
- Retaining your clients is so much more important than always gaining new ones.
- Spend more time and attention on your current client base and they won’t go anywhere!
- Fashion – creating something intrinsic to your offering that is in line with your vision, mission and values.
- Frame – reframe the conversation so people appreciate what you are doing is remarkable.
- Once you have figured out your remarkability – you need to get this message out to your audience in a consistent way. Identify who will care about it and speak to them.
THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO REMEMBER ABOVE ALL ELSE…
Find what it is that makes you different and get that out there!
HIGHLIGHTS YOU SIMPLY CAN’T MISS
- An introduction to Rich 05:09
- Public speaking for business 10:50
- The remarkability formula 15:57
- How to find your remarkability 21:07
- Do I have to niche? 29:45
- How to market your remarkability 38:45
CHECK RICH OUT:
Hello and welcome to this week's episode of the podcast. How are you doing? So I've got an interview this week and I just want to like dive straight in. I just thinking, have I got anything else to tell you before I get going?
No, I don't think it's like any bulletins. Any news, anybody want to share on a thing? No, we can crack on. So this week I am interviewing the very lovely. And I know, I say everyone's lovely, but you really is Rich Brooks. Now I was originally on Rich's podcast. You know, when you just hit it off with someone like straight away that when he talks about coming on mine, I was like, yeah, absolutely.
A hundred percent. He is very smart. He's been in marketing for some crazy amount of years and he really knows what he's talking about. And him and I are very similar on some of our thoughts and opinions. And it's just really nice to have a conversation with someone who, who is so in line with what I teach and how I want to be, and that sort of thing.
And it is nice when I speak to someone when I don't know anything. Cause then I get to learn brand new things and I did learn stuff from Rich. It's just really nice when someone is like really on your level. So it was great fun, and he's a very, uh, charming and funny guy. I think you're really going to like him.
Okay. So I just pause, not that you do, because obviously you just hear the stream of normalness to get Rich's bio so I could read it to you. And I'm already laughing to myself because this is what I mean. That is quite funny. Quite funny. No, he's very funny. Rich has written his bio on his website and I'm reading it. So it said Rich started b1 communications–now flyte new media–in his living room in 1997. His design skill, project management, and the ability to understand the most basic accounting concepts have required him to hire much smarter and more talented people than himself.
Regardless, Rich seems to think a lot of himself, he calls himself an “Internet Marketing Expert.” Apparently, he likes to talk about himself in the third person as well. Like if that doesn't give you an idea of like you know, this episode and how funny he is. I don't know what does. Going to continue in this bio cause it's very funny. Rich loves to hear the sound of his own voice.
So you can often hear him speaking in front of both local and national audiences on web design and internet marketing. He founded The Agents of Change Podcast, which is the one I went on at the weekly internet radio show where he interviews marketing experts from around the world. He also started The Agents of Change Digital Marketing Conference, an annual conference that takes place in Portland, Maine and is streamed worldwide.
Rich is also the “tech expert” on 207. I don't know what that means. Oh, hang on an evening news program. And on the NBC affiliates here in Maine, he creates most of the content here at flyte contributing to our web marketing blog, our YouTube channel and Facebook business page.
He is an Expert Blogger at FastCompany.com and contributes regularly to Social Media Examiner, the world’s second most popular blogs on social media. Rich's also active in social media and you can follow him on Twitter friend him on Facebook or can get LinkedIn with him and you'll find a dozen other sites as well. He welcomes your questions and looks forward to discussing your website. Honestly, that is funny, man.
He, this just sums up like what he was like. He was so much fun to interview. That I just don't think I've got anything else to say. I probably should tell you what we talk about. We talk about how to make you stand out in your business and how to find what's remarkable about your business. So I'm just going to leave it to him to explain the rest. Here's the lovely, Rich.
Okay. It's my absolute pleasure today to welcome to the podcast Rich Brooks. Rich, how are you doing?
Rich: Teresa, I'm doing great today. I've been looking forward to this conversation all day.
Teresa: And what time is it Rich? So is it like nine o'clock in the morning?
Rich: No, no, no. It's 12:30. I've had two meals already today.
Teresa: I love it. Well, you're actually my last podcast of the day. So I've had a day of interviewing and I thought I'd saved the best for the last.
Rich: Excellent. Appreciate it, kind words.
Teresa: My pleasure. So Rich, I'm really excited for today. We've already had a couple of chats already, which is lovely and it was good fun. So I'm excited that my audience gets to hear from you. And I always start off the same way, which is probably very dull for my audience, but we'll do it anyway.
Rich: Exciting for me.
Teresa: Exactly. It's all new for you. So it's fine. Can you introduce yourself and tell us how you got to do what you're doing now?
Rich: Sure. My name is Rich Brooks. And for the last 24 years, I've been the founder and president of Flyte New Media. We're a digital agency located in Portland, Maine, which is kind of the top right corner of the United States.
We do web design. Uh, we do development. We do search engine optimization, social media, email marketing, just about everything under the sun when it comes to digital. I also run a podcast and a conference under the brand Agents Of Change when there's not a global pandemic, we have an annual conference here in Portland, Maine, and then I do a weekly podcast that you've been a guest on and we'll come back again because we had so much fun doing it.
And those are kind of the big professional things going on in my life and happy to answer any other questions you might have about that.
Teresa: Love it. So, first off, I just need to address 24 years, like in the same company. You're doing all right then I guess.
Rich: Yeah, you can see it in my face. Right. Those 24 years just carved in there, like a scar.
Yeah, no, it's, I, I honestly thought that I'd have maybe two years when I first started this gig running my own business. I thought that either programmers would learn how to design or designers would learn how to program. And that would be the end of my job. And then I go find something else. I really just wanted to kind of do my own thing for a couple of years.
And then here we are, 24 years later. Because I discovered you can hire people who are much more talented and focused than you are. And so that's where I find myself that I have surrounded myself by some very talented driven by, and I'm happy to say ethical people who work here at Flyte.
Teresa: So I've been in marketing 16 ish years.
And the world that I've seen in marketing has changed beyond almost recognition. You know, 24 years ago, it would have been a case of like, what's a website. Do I need a website? That's surely.
Rich: Yeah, there were definitely early on. I'd have to convince people. And to be honest, one of my first paying clients was my dad.
And you know, he's like, he's a psychologist and he's a well-known psychologist. He travels all over the world. He's written a lot of books, but he's like, what is the psychology? This was back when he was still seeing patients. What does the psychologist need for with a website I'm like, ‘Dad just it's either that you are going to move home because everyone want it.'
So he said ‘Absolutely Rich. I totally believe in you here's some money build me a website.' which actually led to a bunch of jobs after that. But yeah, back then the customer journey was not online as we like to say. So the idea of having a website was kind of a strange thing. And then once I started, I just found it really fascinating.
I was doing sales for medical supply company at the time. And when my boss wasn't looking, I just figured out how to build a website. And I, the company was called Ultra Care Services. I found the guy who owned ultracare.com. I asked him if I could buy the domain off of him, he actually worked for like some giant corporation, like Procter and Gamble here in the States.
And he was like, ‘Yeah, we're not using it.' And he just gave it to me. And so I built a site, I showed it to him and my boss was so happy. He took me off the road, put me in the office and that was pretty close to the end of my time there. Cause I didn't want to be in the office, but, uh, but yeah, so that's kinda how I got started.
It was a lot of trying to convince people that this was going to be a big thing and turned out to us.
Teresa: Yeah. And then, because, like I said, I remember having some of the conversations of why people need a website and then the whole conversation of what's this social media thing. And why do I need that? Like, you know, just basically has everything news come in.
You've probably had to battle with people to convince them why it's worth them putting that time and effort into it.
Rich: Sometimes. Absolutely. I mean, I was definitely an early adopter for social media. I just happened to be lucky that I got involved with some people who are big bloggers at the time. They got me to speak at an event called the BlogWorld out in Vegas.
And from going to that, I started, people were talking about Twitter and Facebook and I couldn't even understand or fathom how that had anything to do with business. But I paid attention. I came home, I started trying things. And then all of a sudden I was giving presentations on how do you use Twitter for business?
How do you social media for business? And there was a, there was, you know, the, the foreigners in their businesses said like, this seems important. And so I started working with them and then time grow on. And then everybody's, you know, doing social media, everybody's doing email marketing, everybody's got a blog or a podcast.
What have you, these days, actually, more of my conversations are like, you know what, maybe you don't need a big presence on Facebook. You're a B2B company. You're selling to a very segmented group. They're not on Facebook for business. So let's find you a better solution. So these days I feel almost like a curator of digital marketing on what's really? Where is your audience hanging out? Where can you perform well? How are you going to generate leads and sales? And let's develop a plan around that. So it's definitely shifted.
Teresa: It's almost come full circle. Hasn't it? Back to. Like everyone had to do it. Now actually, no, not so much because there's so much out there.
Rich: Now it's definitely more quality over quantity, where there was a time when it's just the more blog posts you put out, the more emails you put out, the more successful you'll be. And now if you remember, when they used to tell us, you had to post to Facebook five times a day. I'm like, holy cow, what bad advice that turned out to be.
Teresa: Like what absolute trash would have been put it out.
Rich: Right. Well, there were less people then. So five posts a day. You probably could get some good visibility with that, but that's just not the case anymore.
Teresa: I'm interested. How much do you think your early speaking career had a benefit to your business? Like do you credit?
Rich: 1 million %
Rich: For a few reasons. One is, I really do think that public speaking is one of the most important skills in entrepreneur. And I wasn't always comfortable standing in front of the stage now or standing on a stage now I love it. And I can not. I've actually got my first in-person speaking event coming up the beginning of next month and I could not be more excited.
Yeah, it's awesome. But I think that that's one of those unheralded, but critical skills that entrepreneurs should learn. And yes, you can do stuff on zoom and zoom will never go away. Or some version of zoom will never go away. But the, the ability to stand up on stage and present is critically important.
And for me personally, like I remember when the guys who were on this blogging group with me said, ‘Oh, who wants to speak at Vegas?' And I'm like, ‘Who am I to speak at Vegas?' In Vegas to a group of bloggers. Like I run a tiny little shop with three employees. I have nothing to share, but I decided to roll the dice. I went out there and quite honestly, I sucked.
It was not, I was forced to do the topic.
Teresa: Someone recorded that?
Rich: Probably. Oh, maybe not back then, but yeah was like I was forced to do a topic I knew nothing about. I did it. It was mildly okay. And probably the saving graces friends of mine there put me on a blogging panel because they, somebody had dropped out. That actually was great. And then they asked me back the next year and I started kind of pushing for the topics I was comfortable doing.
And it really just got my name out there. It also connected me with people. And when I started doing my own conference here in Portland, Maine, I made all these people. I got these really big names to come to a State. They had never been to a tiny little place in America, or at least from a population standpoint.
And so all of those things were critically important to the growth of my company. And these days, and I'm sure you do this too. You take a look at well, where is my business coming from? Where are the leads coming from? And our biggest and best projects right now, almost all of them either listen to the podcast or more likely saw me speak, or it came from somebody who saw me speak.
So it's always comes back to that, getting up on stage, even though we're a digital agency, you would think that inbound would be our bread and butter, but because it's so competitive, We've actually found that where we go and there's less competition and we can have more intelligent conversations with our ideal customers. That's where we get this.
Teresa: I think you're right. I think over lockdown don't get me wrong. I've done a lot of online stuff. Lots of conferences and some conferences. The one I did was stringed something like 104 countries and translated into some obscene amount of languages and was out something like 500,000 people.
Now, this got any chance I could have that in an in-person event, but actually one thing I've really noticed is my visibility has really reduced as, as people are getting more tired with the online world. There's people who like I've done all the millions of online conferences, and I am desperate for the in-person stuff again, to start bringing that back.
And also that you said that you know, when we were on your phone, cause we were talking about Amy Poterfield and the only reason I have a relationship with her is because I met her in person and because we had coffee together and then we have mutual friends and like that stuff is so important for building those relationships.
Hence why she was one of the first guests on my podcast like that I couldn't have got, if it hadn't been for being out there and speaking and, and the same with Pat Flynn, I spoke on the same stage as him. Hence, why he was able to come onto the podcast. So I think you're right. I think for me, it's a big business thing and I feel like not I'm suffering at the moment, but I feel like it's definitely had an impact, that I haven't been able to go out there and do it like you. I just flippin love it.
Rich: Right. Well, and it's funny because both Amy and I, both Amy and Pat, I got to know because live events, it was Jaime Masters who was in our group with Pat and I met Jaime flying for me. And one of the only other digital marketers I knew in May, and we just happened to end up on the same flight going to BlogWorld in New York.
And she's like, ‘Oh, I'm going to meet a friend of mine. Do you want to meet him?' A very young Pat Flynn, he's still pretty young compared to me. And then Amy Porterfield was working for Mike Stelzner as social media examiner. I was writing for them. We met up at BlogWorld. They had a big breakfast and Amy and I just hit it off, like fireworks from the first time we talked.
So both those people, also, both those people are amazing, awesome people. So they're just two people, but yeah.
Teresa: We just hangout with the loveliest people, obviously it's very lovely. And that's why.
Rich: Yes. Well, you're a really lovely. I'll give you that. I can't speak for myself.
Teresa: Can we just like book in a call every couple of weeks? I feel like we need this now.
Rich: I'm really enjoying it. Right. Are we even recording it? Cause it just doesn't feel like a podcast. It just feels like we're having coffee.
Teresa: I know. Like that's what they used to like, literally there's no polishing of this, honestly it's hilarious. Anyway, I bought you in here so let's talk some very specific, but we went down this route, which I knew we would cause I just like talking to you. So you have something called the Remarkability Formula, and I want you to explain it to me. And then we'll go onto like why that's necessary and how that helps you with stuff. So what is that first?
Rich: So the whole idea here, I want to say, like, I've been using the word remarkable and remarkability the last couple of years internally at Flyte.
Just talk to me about who we want to be. And so the word was kind of percolating around for a while. And I noticed that a lot of people struggle with their marketing. You know, obviously our entire business is helping companies reach their ideal customers. And a lot of times it's because they don't really have anything that interesting about their company.
And so it's really hard to market a company where there's nothing. We're talking about nothing remarkable about them. And what I found is these days, everybody knows how to run, not everybody, but there's enough people out there who know how to run Facebook ads. There's enough people out there who knows, know how to run SEO.
So the things that were differentiators for me, 10, 15 years ago are now basically like it's like saying in a resume ‘I know how to use Microsoft Word and Excel.' Yes. You and every other human being on the planet. Like, there's nothing that compelling about that. So if you want in today's world of digital marketing to stand out, it can't be just because you understand how to target people on Facebook.
Like that is not enough. You need to be able to stand out. Otherwise, like we were talking about earlier, it uses blur into the background, right? So that's, that was the start of it. And I know that the idea of being remarkable is not a new topic in business. There is the blue ocean strategy. There's the unique selling proposition.
There is Seth Godin's Purple Cow. What I wanted to do is try and understand what makes a company remarkable. And then is there a pathway that any business owner, any entrepreneur or any marketer could take themselves through this process and figure out what makes them remarkable. And at the end of the day, it's not just so you can like, you know, puff out your chest and say, ‘Hey, I'm remarkable.'
But the end goal is that when you do this work, And it is work, but if you do this work, you find that you start attracting the right type of client and pushing away the wrong type of client. And for any of us who have been in business more than a month, we know with the wrong type of client feels like also to build up these almost insurmountable barriers to competition.
And then finally, also that once you've done this, it makes your, your marketing so much easier and effective. And so this work is what ultimately leads to those goals. So as I was kind of developing out this thought pattern, and then I also happen to take a course, a heroic public speaking by Michael and Amy Port, who I saw speak at social media marketing world also.
Working on a new presentation, it became what is now I'm calling the Remarkability Formula and there were four lenses that I've been starting to take people through to help them uncover what makes them remarkable. And I'm happy to go through that, that the four lenses by name are Find, Focus, Fashion, and Frame.
And so it's just a process of kind of using those four lenses to look at your company and get a better understanding of what really does or could make you remarkable.
Teresa: Yeah. I think like it's a bit like everything when it gets started, like the first that you build websites, like, wow, is the best do people who really got hold of social media, like, wow, amazing.
But now we are in a world that is saturated with content and businesses. And there, you know, especially in the online world, there are so many people who do one thing, like you said, it's nothing is remarkable about going ‘I do online business.' like loads of people do it. And trying to find that way that you can step out or that way that you can say ‘I am a bit different.' which actually I find really interesting, especially if you're a personal brand.
How does that differ from go in, check me out. I am amazing. Like is that, what that is, but just in a different way?
Rich: I mean, obviously it could devolve into some sort of narcissism. I would say that. In fact, somewhere in the presentation, it's it says like remarkability is like beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
So just because you think something about you is remarkable. If nobody else agrees, it's not remarkable. Move on, find the next thing. So this is really about finding what makes you remarkable, but in the eyes of the people you wish to serve, and that's really the important thing. So I appreciate you bringing up that point because it is an important one.
Teresa: Yeah. And it's, you know, it's, it's generally when I used to market for other people, which I did for most of my life up until about seven years ago. And I did my own business, but you know, when I used to market for other people, it's easy. Like. Even if you have marketing for personal brands, it's still easy because you can look at them and really objectively go ‘Yeah, you're amazing at this.'
But when you're doing it for yourself, it's like ‘Check me out. I'm pretty awesome.' It's like that scene in Anchorman. Have you seen Anchorman? I'm pretty important. I've got many leather bound books. Like, you know, he thinks he's something special. It's very funny. Which is it. So tell me through the, like, if you would take me through trying to find my own remarkability talk me through the four steps if that's okay. And kind of.
Rich: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So, and I'll give you some examples that I've discovered and along the way as well. So Find is where I like to start, because it it's already part of your DNA. You're already doing something that's remarkable. And what I say is, if you've been in business for any length of time, there's probably a reason why people are choosing you.
And so what is their reason? And you can start by serving some of your clients, depending on the type of business you are. Looking online reviews. You might also want to take a look at some of the reviews of your competition to kind of see like how you might be different from them as well. But it's about something you're already doing.
And a couple, just a quick example. When I moved into my house, my first house we moved in and it was in dire need of a paint shop. And so. The feeling I had was if we hire somebody they're going to be here for a week and they're going to, you know, a couple of guys painting and it's going to be a disaster zone basically works on for weekend.
One guy we talked to said, ‘Oh I can have it done in two days.' It's really fantastic. And the guy shows up with like four trucks and 20 guys, and they jump out of the trucks and they set up all the things and they paint the entire house in a day. They might've been singing sea shanties while they did it, but I might just be misremembering that, and then they came back two days later and did the whole thing again.
And as you can imagine, that was pretty remarkable. It was just the way they did it. And no one else was doing it. And I don't know what it's like outside the US but right now in the US you can't even find anybody to hire. So there's no way there's a big barrier to competition there in the way that they deliver their services.
It wasn't that they painted better, or their prices were higher or lower. It's just they deliver in such a way all of my neighbors took notice, you know? So that's just one of those things. So that's something that is intrinsically remarkable to wait the way they did it. And if you have a product, your product, like if you are apple and you're selling the apple watch.
Okay, well, that's pretty amazing watch. It may not be the only watch out there, but it is pretty amazing. So it's things like that. What are you already doing? And I ask people, take a look at your price. Now you're, I'm not saying that you should have the lowest price. That's terrible decision. Although sometimes it might work, but I'm, I'm talking about going to the extremes.
So, you know, some examples that, you know, I've come up with is here in the States. We had Columbia record house back when I was growing up. 11 albums for a penny, right? So that's pretty remarkable. And you only have to buy one album at full price and you know, all this that's something that got people's attention or Grey Goose Vodka.
That was always going to be a premium brand because of the, you know, how they source all their material. But instead of going up against other premium brands, they more than doubled the price and call themselves super premium. And suddenly everybody who had money to spare and those who didn't suddenly had to have Grey Goose Vodka proudly displayed on their bar.
So this was just, you know, another example of how you can go to extremes or come up with some other things. So you look at the pricing, you look at the people, like you mentioned like a solopreneur like yourself. You're amazing. You know, I know obviously you have this very professional crush on you, but the bottom line is like, there's just something about you and there's something about Amy and Pat as well, that just you're drawn to them.
So it may be that you or somebody on your team is a thought leader, or you've just got that person on your team who everybody loves them. Everybody feels good around them. And it's not a matter of like, they took some customer service. There's just something about them that's like that. So maybe it's pricing, maybe it's people, maybe it's delivery, but there's something intrinsic in your business hopefully already that you can start to write down that list of what makes me remarkable.
Teresa: Yeah. Yeah. And I think you're so right. Like I think when people think about the, the differentiator. I love the fact that you've called it the remarkable thing, because when people think about differentiates, but think about price or they think about, you know, some extra benefit or something, but they don't think about, well, what is just the difference?
And like you said, for you getting that, those people to come paint the house the main concern for you and what drew your attention to them was the speed in which they could do it, you know? And that in itself is their differentiators. The thing that's making them you know, want to be picked by people, isn't it?
Teresa: So let's talk about like, one thing that you talked about is, how niching down can like uncover the thing that you're remarkable about. Is that an active process of I'm going to niche or is it a process of, I think I'm really good over here. So I'm going to do more of that.
Rich: I think it could be either way.
So it could be that you've already, and I'm going to call it niche. I know you're pronouncing it much more fancy than me, very bougie of you, but.
Teresa: We put it on.
Rich: Right, when I talk about niching down, I talk about like, is there a smaller audience you could serve? Is there a smaller geographic, you know, if you're a delivery service, you know, maybe you only deliver to a sort of just the other day when I move into my new house, a lot of house moving, storing stuff. I called up and I, you know, I looked online and I found a, this really affordable oil delivery company and I called them up and they're like, we don't deliver to your area. We only deliver to this. And I'm like, I'm like one street over. Couldn't convince them.
But the bottom line is I bet you, this guy has done the math and he's figured out I can be the best and the cheapest, but only if I stick within these roads. And as soon as I go out of there, I can't offer the same prices and my prices go up and then I'm like everybody else. So it's, you know, sometimes it's about serving a smaller audience and.
It can even be about pretending to serve a certain audience sometimes. Like this is a kind of strange example, but I, you know, for years I've been doing a presentation called the bare essentials of digital marketing. Well, when I go back on stage, I'm going to do the bare essentials of digital marketing for hospitality, because I'm speaking to a hospitality group.
I could go do the same one and do it for travel. I could do the same one, do it for health care. 95% of the content stays the same, but 5% in the slide images, those are going to change. So it might be that even if you don't feel comfortable only going after a smaller audience, you could do it for a few.
But the other thing is, as you focus in on one industry or one type of person, you want to serve, you become so good at understanding their needs in a way that no one else can compete. And sometimes these are legitimate and sometimes are perceived. I remember years ago, somebody telling me a story of a CPA, an accountant who had this business for years with this one company and out of the blue, they, they fired him.
They let him go. And he's like, ‘Well why?' They said, ‘Well, we were just pitched by this other company. And they focus on family owned businesses.' Well, the bottom line is he also focused on family owned businesses, but not exclusively. And he didn't promote it. He probably did just as good a job, if not better.
Cause he'd been working with this, but they just heard that this other company focused entirely on family owned businesses. So they must know everything there is to know and so they changed. They changed accountants. So sometimes it's about perception, but sometimes it's about you get so good at doing this one thing that everything else, um, falls away in that, and that's just what you become known for.
And then that attracts people who are, I was talking to a guy yesterday who does a lot of things in bathroom remodeling, but he's really known for the work in the shower. I'm like, well, why don't we just focus on the shower stuff? I'm sure you'll get other business because of that. But I want you to be known as the guy who knows more about, you know, installing new showers in any human being on the planet. And so that's how he can focus.
Teresa: Yeah. And the beauty of the world we're in now is, so I used to speak a lot for estate agents, real estate, and I did webinars for this company. That's huge in the UK that has basically all the estate agents part of them. I spoke at their national conference. I had clients who were estate agents.
And the beauty of where we are now is I could set up a whole thing that's targeted just to them to show them that I know what I'm talking about with them, without then disturbing the rest of my, my stuff. You know, it's not like I suddenly have to change my website and change my branding and change everything to attract them.
I can set up something and market only to them or how the funnel or the process just for them. So if you're downloading a lead magnet, that's like marketing tips for estate agents, then everything after that is just going to be applicable to them. So I've got a couple of questions first off. Do you think you have to niche and then have you got a niche in your agency?
Rich: Two tough questions. So the first question, right, the first question is about, does one have to niche down? And the answer is, well, no, of course you don't have to do anything, but if you're looking to become remarkable, one of the ways that you can really become remarkable is by niching down where I am the number one shower uh, sales person in the entire Midwest, right? Like those are the kinds of things. The other thing to keep in mind when it comes to niching is that, uh, people pay more for specialists than they do for generalists.
And when I was doing my research into this presentation, uh, and I think it was 2017, the average, uh, primary care physician general doctor that most Americans go to made a $247,000 a year on average, of course, most of that probably goes to, it goes to practice insurance, but regardless, that's what they make. That is some good money, $247,000 a year, except that specialists who know less than they do, because they're only focusing average 399. So almost 150,000 or over $150,000 more a year by being able to help less people.
But there, once you need that specialist, if you blow out your knee and you need a knee specialist, you don't, you're going for the guy or the woman who is done like 12 knees this month. So people are always willing to pay for experts and whether they're real experts or perceived experts. So that's a big thing.
So niching down had so many additional benefits and I would strongly recommend niche down until it hurts. You'll always end up getting business from outside of that niche, but by really figuring out who you're selling to is going to be one of the most important focusing experiences and, and exercises in your business.
So a focus is not necessarily to your second question. It's, it's funny that you say that because for years we've been all over the map with our clientele. And right before, like at the beginning of 2020, I said, this is a year we niched down. We're going to figure out what we do best. And we're going to go after that.
And then COVID hit. And the last one we had, right? Well, we had clients, so we had this, one of our favorite small clients was a doggy daycare. They had to shut their doors temporarily, thankfully they're back in business, but they had to shut their doors immediately because who needs a doggy daycare when you can't go to work and you can't go on vacation, right.
On the other end of the spectrum. And we also had some tourism websites and they basically had to suspend all their ad spend. On the other end of the spectrum we had a mail order seed company. Their biggest issue is they couldn't keep up with demand because everybody wanted to start growing their own food. And then we also picked up this knitting company and during COVID everybody picks up a hobby.
So you'll have all the people who are already knitting and then all the people who are like, what am I going to do? I can't stare at the zoom screen my entire life. And so they blew up as well. So it turned out that not having a niche for this was better for us. That being said, we tend to focus more on, I'd say 90% of our business is more lead gen sites, as opposed to e-commerce sites.
I have a competitor who I absolutely adore and respect here in town. And all she does is e-commerce sites. So if it's a tricky e-commerce site, I'll probably recommend her. And if she gets something that's more of a lead gen site, she's been known to kick it over to me. So. That's another benefit. If you have a good relationship with your competitors and everybody knows what they're best at, and everybody stays in their lane, you actually ended up getting even more business.
Teresa: Yeah. I don't know about you with it, like, because I don't have a niche, right and I fought with this many times, and then I come to the conclusion that my personality and the people I attract is part of my niche. However, from a marketer's point of view, I love the fact of, like you just said, one you're talking doggy daycare, then you're talking knitting then you're talking seeds like that for me, keeps me alive and excited.
Rich: Indeed, 100%. And that's how I am too. And I love stealing idea, ideas that worked or didn't work with the doggy daycare and bringing them over to a real estate company and just repurposing them. So that's a strength. So, and I guess an important thing to mention here is some of the things like becoming the most expensive or becoming the cheapest or, or becoming the fastest.
Maybe good or bad business decisions. Ultimately you have to figure that out. The exercise is about trying to uncover or create that remarkability in your business so that you can stand out and attract the right type of people. There may be things that you decide this just isn't what I can lean into for you.
You can't lean into focus. Although I would say it's like, you're talking to an audiences looking to be online entrepreneurs. So that is a niche. It's a broad niche in our universe. But to be honest, if you look at the global universe, it's still kind of niche, so.
Teresa: Yeah. Yeah. I think. There's lots of people who go through this, who don't want to do that because they're nervous and they're scared that if they suddenly cut half their audience, because they wouldn't do this, but I think it has to come down to, in fact, I've just have this perfect example in my membership, where I had a lovely lady in there who has a membership that is to do with like, it's actually called ditch the diet, which isn't the right name for it, because what it is she loves food and she wants to eat well, but she wants to eat healthily.
So, you know, she will have everything in moderation and it's all about balance. And it's also about what is in the food you're eating. So it's not just about eating low carb, low carb, low calorie. It's about, we need this and she's a naturopath and nutritionist and she's very smart. And she started enjoying doing more like women's health and going into perimenopause and menopause.
And it was like, I think I want to go down this road and the minute she changed and swapped everything over the sale of her product got easier. The focus of her stuff got easier and suddenly, and I said to her because what was interesting. So she's my nutritionist. I've used it to like do loads of stuff and supplements and all this sort of thing.
And I have access to her membership because I was a one-to-one client and it was coming to an end. And she said to me like, ‘You know, do you want to stay on?' And I thought to myself, no, I'm all right, actually. Cause I think, you know, the cooking thing and whatever. And then she said, we talked about her changing it.
And I went ‘That makes me want to stay more.' Like the fact that you're now looking at more weirdly, you're getting more specific about who you're treating, but you're looking at a broader thing around that person that makes me want to stay more. And it makes me feel like I can say to other people I know, ‘Oh you want to join this, cause this is really good for this.'
So the fear of. Like suddenly going down that thing has just made everything so much clearer for her. And now why she's remarkable because she doesn't just talk about health and food and wellness. She specifically talks about this particular area, which are just right.
Rich: Yeah, no, I think that's critically important.
And you know, sometimes it's about brand expansions and she's doing a little bit of that because you said she's talking about more things, which is talking about to a narrower audience. And obviously, you know, as long as there's enough people in that audience, that's great because then you do need to find new things to sell to them over time or new ideas or whatever it is.
I love this company in the States called Sundays. They basically send you lawn care stuff and you apply yourself with your host. And I noticed that they're now marketing to me. You talking about like, would you be interested if we got into bushes and into trees and into, you know, landscaping and you know, so they're trying to figure out, we've got these people who love to do it yourself, lifestyle.
They want to improve their lawn. What else can we sell to them? But they're looking for those homeowners that don't want to hire an expensive service, but one in all natural lawn. So again niching down, but then looking for additional services they could offer to them as well.
Teresa: Yeah, really good. Cause they've already got them.
They've already got those customers. So again, if she's targeting that audience, she's already got those people. So identifying other areas in their life that she can support them with is just great. Isn't it?
Rich: Marketers always make the mistake of thinking of getting excited about bringing on new customers and clients. But the money is in retaining. So it's not as sexy, but it's so much more important than, and that's one of the things that I talked to my team all the time about. It's like, ‘I'll go out and get the jobs, but it's your job to keep the clients.' And, and everybody needs to figure out that balance for themselves, but like spend way more time, way more attention on serving your current client base.
And they're never going to go anywhere.
Teresa: Yeah. Yeah. So final question, because I'm conscious of our time and you've been very generous with your time. Let's say we've worked out what makes us remarkable and the thing, how do we then use that in our marketing? How do we then, like, how does it translate? Is it a post? Is it a blog? Is a, I'm being very facetious with my suggestions, but like, how would you say that translate into your marketing?
Rich: Well, I think once you figured it out, and I know we don't have time to go deep into fashion, which is basically about creating something extrinsic to your offering, but isn't a lot is in alignment with your mission and vision and values or frame, which is basically similar to find you probably already doing it, but you need to reframe the conversation.
So people appreciate what you're doing is remarkable. So when you've done all that, and you figured out you've piled on all the remarkable things you can, so you really create this. Then I think some of the first things is getting that message out in a consistent way to your audience. And again, a lot of this is about that niching down and really identifying who would care about this, who cares about you being the fastest or the cheapest or the most expensive, or the one that everybody loves, or the one that is really just for outsiders, whatever it is, you know, that's who you speak to.
Once you figured that out then your targeting of ads and your messaging just becomes so much easier. And that's really what it is. So it's not like overnight you're gonna do it, but your ads are going to be better targeted as you start to write your content or record your content, depending on how you build your content platform up.
You're going to be speaking more specifically to that audience. You might even go and get rid of some of the old blog posts or podcasts or videos that don't really speak to that audience anymore. And you just really narrowly focus. And that tends to be the way that works really well, but it's about finding what it is that makes you different and then leaning into that.
And then it's just, you know, any marketer knows how to put up a social media post or advertise on Facebook or write a blog post. So it's just about getting that messaging out there as much as possible and understanding the customer and the customer journey and, and all this stuff that we hopefully all know how to do on already.
Teresa: Yeah, fingers crossed. We try anyway until someone says we're doing it wrong. Rich, it's been so fun to talk to you. Like I said, I think we should definitely have like a once a month just like, you know, chat. I think that's definitely something we need to look in.
Rich: That's great!
Teresa: Thank you so, so much, obviously I will link up to everything in the show notes, but where's your favorite place to hang out that people can come and find you?
These days, as far as social media goes, it's easiest to get in touch with me on LinkedIn. I know that sounds super boring, but I'm just tired of politics and I'm tired of people congratulating their children for graduating kindergarten. So, but the bottom line is wherever you guys are hanging out. I am the Rich Brooks on every single major platform.
So it's easy enough to find me. And if you like podcasts, check out The Agents Of Change Podcast too.
They have the best guests, not that I'm biased at all. Rich thank you so much. It's been so lovely to chat to you.
Teresa: There we go. That was the lovely Rich Brooks. I'd just been like scanning through the episode again, just to like remind myself what we talked about and, and it just made me laugh so much.
He is a genuinely funny guy. Um, I really liked what he was saying about first off, trying to find that thing that is remarkable to you, but also to make sure it's remarkable to your audience, because if you think like, yeah, this is the thing people are coming to me for. And I actually, it's not. And that great example he gave of the people painting his house, that the thing that he needed was the speed.
Now, some people that isn't going to be the thing, some people are going to want it to be long and arduous, so they know they've done the most perfect job or whatever. I think for me, if you can take anything away from this is going back to your audience and saying, why did you come to me? Why specifically did you buy from me?
Because I think that's the only way you're going to find out what they think is remarkable about you. So, anyway, I love that episode. He was such good fun. I am on The Agents Of Change Podcast. So obviously I will link up to everything in the show notes. So if you want to go and check my episode out over there, then please do. But otherwise I will see you next week for a solo episode. Have a very lovely week.