Simon De Brito is our guest on the 318th episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast. Simon is a Marketing Automation Specialist who creates inbound marketing strategies in order to turn prospects into customers. Not only does this episode give you the inside scoop on inbound marketing but just how different buyers are in different parts of the world.
Tune into the episode to find out:
- What is inbound marketing and what does a Marketing Automation Specialist even do?
- How the different stages of awareness helps create conversion-worthy content.
- What’s the difference between B2B and B2C buyers?
- Why you can’t just throw content out for the sake of content.
- Scoring systems – what are they and what does it do for business?
- What mistakes are marketers making in their inbound marketing efforts?
- Which free tools translate for smaller businesses?
- SEO – does YOUR business need it?
- Why you need to STOP solving everyone’s problems.
- How to save time, stretch your content, and drive more eyes on your content.
- The future of inbound marketing.
- Marketing differences between Europe and the U.S.
- How understanding cultural differences will give you an edge in your marketing efforts.
Check out the episode below.
The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:
Rob Marsh: Let’s talk a little bit about marketing automation. So as copywriters, we have the opportunity to work with a lot of different tools. Often we simply take care of the copy and then we hand over a copy document and let the client worry about getting into the right tools, whether that’s their email service provider or an automated social media content posting tool, or maybe even something more robust like Marketo or HubSpot. But other copywriters are taking the time to learn the ins and outs of these kinds of tools in order to bring greater expertise and strategic thinking to the table for their clients. They’re solving even bigger problems, which can be a pretty compelling competitive advantage. Our guest for today’s episode of the Copywriter Club podcast is marketing automation specialist Simon De Brito, and he shared a bit about how mastering these tools can make you a better marketer, whether you do it for your clients or for your own business. But before we get to the interview with Simon, let me first introduce my guest host for the day. He’s been on the podcast as an interview guest himself several different times. He’s been a guest host once before, and he’s the person who introduced me to Goo Goo Clusters and started my summer downfall with sugar. It’s Justin Blackman. Hey, Justin.
Justin Blackman: I will happily take the blame for the Goo Goo Clusters. They are amazing. That was my favorite part of the Nashville event. Literally, that was the first thing I thought of when you guys said that you were going there.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, Goo Goo Clusters, I ate three bags of them. I’m glad they don’t sell them here. At least you have to really go looking for them. And yeah, it knocked me off of my no-sugar bandwagon, which I’m back on. No Goo Goo Clusters on the desk today. But yeah, they’re either the very most delicious thing in the world or the most evil thing in the world, or maybe both.
Justin Blackman: I’m sure that there’s a marketing lesson in there about scarcity and urgency of, “Oh, I’m going down the airplane. I need to get one more bag because I’m not going to be able to get it anywhere else.” Yeah, it’s amazing. Every now and again, I’m here in Georgia. Every now and again, I’ll stumble on a gas station near the border by Tennessee that will have it in Georgia and it’ll feel like contraband. It’s like I can’t tell anyone about it and I’m just going to buy them all and hoard it and get really fat and love it.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, that’s my problem. That’s what I did and they’re delicious. But enough about Goo Goo Clusters. Before we jump into our interview, Simon, we do need to remind everybody, this podcast is sponsored by the Copywriter Accelerator. That’s the program that will help you lay the foundation for a successful business. Whether you’ve been doing this copywriting thing for a while, maybe you’re rethinking your brand or changing your niche, or even if you’re just starting out, it’s a bit like earning a copywriting business degree. It covers everything that you need to know from figuring out your X factor to creating packages that your clients want to purchase, as well as things like pricing and nicheing and finding and managing clients and so much more. We’re opening the doors for new members very soon. So to make sure that you are on the notification list, go to thecopywriteraccelerator.com and just drop in your email there, and we will let you know. Justin, you were in, I think, the very first accelerator we ever ran.
Justin Blackman: I was, yeah. I was in the beta round, and that’s when Kira held the gun to my head and made me write 10,000 headlines.
Rob Marsh: So lots of good things can come from the accelerator. I mean, I didn’t intend to talk about this, but in some ways, it launched your business and you into the copywriting world.
Justin Blackman: Not in some ways, in every way. Highly recommend it; big fan of that one. I actually still use some of the templates from there.
Rob Marsh: So lots of really cool stuff there. We’ll be telling you more about it, but make sure you hear about it by going to thecopywriteraccelerator.com and get on the waitlist. Okay, so let’s get to our interview with Simon.
Kira Hug: How did you end up as a marketing automation specialist?
Simon De Brito: Yeah, so I started working in the US close to 10 years ago in a small startup company with around 20 people. And my goal there was to just recreate the whole marketing department. What I found most effective way was to create an inbound strategy. And inbound strategies, what you do is you create a lot of content so people can find you and then you can convert them with this content and then start nurturing them. So I start sending them more content to qualify them and send them to your sales team. So really using content as a key of the lead generation process. And so I started driving to really going into automation nurturing programs, which led me to my second job in a bigger company, but just really on the digital marketing side. Again, implementing an automation process and inbound process, creating all the workflows, the nurturing, really basing everything on content, content that brings value to the prospects. And now to my third company. We have a marketing department, we have a digital department, and in this department, I just focus on automating nurturing programs and helping generate leads and making sure they go to the right person and receive the right content.
Rob Marsh: So Simon, I’m curious, a lot of our listeners are copywriters, but some of them may be thinking, “Oh, maybe the copywriting thing or the content thing isn’t quite right.” I’d actually like to get on the marketing side. What advice could you give somebody who wants a career path like the one that you just outlined, what kinds of things could they be doing in order to connect with marketers and really figure that kind of a career path out?
Simon De Brito: Thinking about me, my main idea was, on the marketing side, thinking about conversion and thinking about how do I bring value to the person I’m trying to sell to? I’m not here to just spam people to just send just a lot of emails or things like that. So, it’s really thinking about, how do I bring value to the people? The value came with great content that’s really aligned to the persona that I’m going to talk to. And then from there, it’s just really pulling the thread on this and just keep creating more and more content and realizing how I’ve created one great piece of content, what’s the next big piece of content that can be very useful for my audience? Then what’s the third one? And then you just start creating a workflow of a suite of emails or a path that people can go down to and really better understand your product, your solution, and how you can fix their problem. So yeah, it’s really natural in a sense.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, it feels like it flowed for you. In addition to content writing though, are there other skills that they should be thinking about adding? Do they need to know a certain set of tools or do they need to dive more into strategy? Or is it just to get better at content, get better at solving the problems and it all serendipitously comes together?
Simon De Brito: There are a lot of tools that will help you create your workflows, for example. So a workflow is when someone enters through one door and what type of content you send after and send after, because you don’t want to be… So for example, if we’re talking about tools, but imagine for an emailing program, you have to set up your email program every week or every two weeks or every month. That can become very time-consuming. What you want is something automated. So you set it one time, you set your five emails automated, and once a person enters through one content, they receive the next five pieces of content. So you can learn about automation tools. Mailchimp has one, HubSpot has one. I’m a big fan of HubSpot because you can really track conversions, KPIs and create very good sequences of emails.
Kira Hug: Yeah. And I definitely want to talk about the tools that you use, but first can you just talk a little bit more about what you do today in your current role, just to give us a better idea of what that looks like? So maybe you can give us an example. I mean, you don’t have to walk us through an entire day, but just give us a couple of examples of how you spend your time. Are you working directly with clients? Are you focused on automations and managing a team? What does that look like?
Simon De Brito: So right now, I’m in a scale-up company in Europe wanting to be really number one in the e-commerce sector. So a very fast-paced, very ambitious company, a large marketing team with different departments like product department, content department that creates just all the content, the blog articles, and then a digital team and a campaign activation team. So for example, the content team is going to create all the content, the blog article, the white papers. They’re going to say to the campaign team and the campaign team is like, “Okay, so I need to activate this market.” We’re in Europe, so maybe it’s going to be a campaign to the French market or the UK market. What’s the best tactic to do this and what are the nurturing programs that we can do, once they convert, to activate them? So my role is to get to that point. Okay, we have the first conversion through this piece of content. What happens next? What’s the second email? What’s the third email? What time do I send this lead to the sales team? Once you say to the sales team, what keeps going on in the background so we can keep nurturing them, teach them about our solution. So it’s all this automation program. It’s in between the marketing and the sales team and really making sure that the technology is following and it’s really happening.
Rob Marsh: So as you think about your role and what you do, and obviously it starts with content, it starts with something that’s compelling. So I’m curious, how do you figure out what content is needed, and beyond that, how do you avoid just this slurry of terrible content out there that fills up all of our feeds and Google searches, and how do you create content that rises to the top, meets that need? Walk us through that process. Because I think personally, I’m not interested in creating bad content. I want to create great content, I want to be at the top, but it’s hard. In fact, it’s exceptionally hard.
Simon De Brito: Absolutely, absolutely. And I don’t have the magical recipe for great content, but I think to me and to the team I work with, we start with three persona, identifying a persona and identifying where the persona is in the sales cycle. The sales cycle, there is three steps. This awareness where people are really trying to really just starting to understand that they have a problem, then there is consideration. They’re starting to really, “Okay, I have a problem now what can I do to fix this? Is there a solution out there that can help me fix this?” And then there is the decision part. “I want to make a decision. I want to purchase a solution to help me fix this problem. What’s the best product?”
So one phase, persona. The second is this awareness, consideration, decision. Based on that, you can create your content. For example, someone who has a problem with tracking their conversions on the program, you’re just going to have the first awareness content is like, “Okay, do you know how to track your leads? Do you know how to convert?” That’s something that’s going to start to interest you and start you asking, “Okay, yeah, no, actually I don’t know how to convert to speeds.” Second piece of content that’s going to help you be like, “Okay, well this is a solution that we’ve implemented for this and this customer, for example, you can learn more. Here’s how we do it with our product.” And the third one is really case studies, demos, et cetera, et cetera. So it’s really basing it on the persona, what problem you’re going to solve.
Kira Hug: What is the ideal pace of this content and the workflow that you typically create to move people from awareness to consideration to decision? I guess it could depend on how many factors, but what do you think about that?
Simon De Brito: It will depend on the manufacturer indeed, the industry, the type of product that you’re trying to sell. If you are in B2C, so business to consumers, you want to go a little faster because people tend to make more fast decisions when buying products. I mean, yeah, compared to B2B, business to business, where it is going to take a longer time, longer sales cycle, sometimes it’s two to three months depending on how much the solution you’re going to buy. If you’re going to spend $100,000 on the solution for example, you’re not going to make that decision in two days. So you expect a long sales cycle. In general still, I like the nurturing program or the workflow program to be around one email a week, basically in general as a general rule to just keep in the mind of the person and not expand them too much.
You just want to really be respectful of people’s time and you want to provide value so you can’t just be emailing them three times a day, it could be a little annoying for the person. Then the second one also, you can use intent to trigger those workflows at the right time. For example, if someone comes back to your website, maybe not right away, you can send an email, but the next day or something like that because they’ve thought about you, so maybe it could be a good time soon after to keep following up and keep having this conversation with the person.
Rob Marsh: Let’s talk about some of the kinds of content that you might be sending. So if we’re talking about a weekly cadence, or maybe it’s twice a week or whatever you think your audience needs to hear, are you just sending email messages? Are you attaching case studies or white papers? Are you linking to blog posts? What does that look like? And maybe even could you step us through an example of what you might build out for a particular client?
Simon De Brito: Yeah, that’s a very good question, and something that I even talked about too. There is, if you do it right, a scoring system in place. A scoring system is, for example, someone doesn’t know the resource, the first time you’re going to give them, for example, one point. If you send a second email and they open your email, one point is not going to be easy. Let’s say a resource is 10 points. They open your email, you want to give one point to the email because it’s an action, it’s not as valuable as a resource download, but it’s here in action, so the scoring is going higher and higher. If you link to another piece of content and then download that piece of content, then you add another 10 points. Now that’s 21 points. You keep sending emails, they don’t open, they don’t open, but the third email, fourth email, they open and you ask them to take a demo with you, demo check bot for the salespersons, that’s going to be 50 points.
And when they reach a certain point, now it’s time to send it to the salesperson. And as far as content, we are really trying to take them through the sales cycle. So if they come in the awareness, we’re going to try to send blog articles, we’re going to try to send market studies, things that are pretty generic about the market, the trends. Then when they get into the consideration phase, we’re going to send guides, things about that that can talk a little bit more about the product. Maybe a webinar there could be a good example too because it’s going to be a little more advanced in the sales process. They’re really trying to understand the solution or fix their pain points. And then the third one, the last one’s going to be really success stories with customers that you’ve had. You’re trying to really reassure them that your product is good, that you’ve had successful customers that have been working with you. So it’s more the reassurance step at this point.
Kira Hug: Can you talk more about the scoring system? I’ve heard about scoring systems, but it still feels, I don’t know, it’s just disconnected from what I do. So what is your team looking at? Are they reviewing it daily, weekly to see, “Okay, these people hit 100 points, we’ve got to send them an email right now.” How does it work on the backend?
Simon De Brito: On the backend, everything is automated. Everything’s automated. I mentioned HubSpot earlier, so I use HubSpot for example. There’s other ones like Marketo for really large teams, but there are a lot of tools that are going to do the system which is automated. So I have workflows in place. So I have on one hand the scoring system. So for example, they download a resource, it’s 20 points. Another resource, another 20 points, and then a contact form is 100. When they reach a hundred, I have an email that’s being sent automatically to the sales team saying, “Hey, this person has reached 100 points, please call them.” For example, I use 100 points exactly in my things. For example, I give right away a hundred points to a contact form or a demo form, that allows me to make sure that all the contacts in the demo are sent straight to the sales team and all the content I know I need to nurture them until they reach this many points.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, I mean you mentioned a couple of tools, Marketo and HubSpot, those are almost enterprise-level, they’re pretty expensive. There are some other tools, Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign, Ontraport, they’re less expensive, maybe a few hundred dollars to maybe $1,000 a month depending on size of a list. They also allow point scoring, and we should probably mention this isn’t the thing that somebody can do out of their Gmail box. To do this manually in an Excel spreadsheet or whatever, probably not going to work. So it does take some sophisticated tools, but it seems like this is a skill set that a lot of copywriters could add to and basically provide this incredibly valuable service to their clients who, if they’re bringing in lots and lots of leads, they don’t know which leads are valuable, which ones are more value or hot or cold. And just adding this to a skill set feels really valuable. If you were adding somebody to your team, is that the skill that you’re looking for, somebody who understands this level of sophistication as far as putting together marketing programs? Or is it less important than other things?
Simon De Brito: It depends on what role you’re hiring. If you’re looking at someone that really just wants to write content, it depends on the size of your team also. If you want someone that just writes great content that really understands the logic because there’s a real art between creating the right content to the right person and being able to touch an audience. That’s very, very complicated to do I feel like, because maybe I’m a little bit more on the technical side, but understanding what happens behind the content creation to me is super, super important. You’re not creating content just to create content just to pass time. You’re creating content because there’s an end goal, and in a business usually, it’s to have that conversion. If you don’t have that conversion in the first strike, just because it was a cold awareness type of content, you need to understand what it takes to bring them to the next level and turn a cold lead into a hard lead. So I wouldn’t necessarily look for someone that has the skill set, but someone that really understands a sales process and the marketing process and why we’re creating content for, and how it ties into the pipeline pretty much.
Kira Hug: Yeah. And I guess this might be a question for both of you, but if I want to start offering this to my clients where I’m writing the content, writing the email copy, and I also am now handling the backend, all the automations, in order for me to improve that skill set, what is the best way to approach that? Because there are so many different platforms. So there’s HubSpot or do I go smaller? Is there one tool that if I master that tool, I can pretty much figure out all the other ones?
Simon De Brito: I think the basic thing to me in nurturing is to understand the nurturing aspect. What’s a workflow? To me, that’s the number one skill set. You can do that with something as simple as I think Mailchimp has, and I think a lot of people have Mailchimp because it’s easy, you’re trying to build your list and you’re starting to send some emails. So I think Mailchimp, for example, is a nurturing marketing automation program where you can start creating sequences, workflows. So really understanding just how a workflow works. You create one great piece of content that you know is going to attract a lot of people, great. What’s happening behind them? How are you going to differentiate the people that just maybe were students or tech people versus the people that won’t want to actually take an action on your content?
And for that you could create workflows. For example, they don’t know this piece of content, you send three or four different emails and you see that at the end, $1,000 people downloaded the content, but 20 opened the last email or just like that. Maybe the 20 is something you need to look into because they’ve been following your process, they’ve been keeping opening your emails so they have an interest in your product or something that you’re offering. So even without the scoring for example, that could be one thing that could help you tell that someone’s interested in your product.
Rob Marsh: So we were talking a little bit about this before we started recording, Simon, and I want to come back to this idea. One of the struggles that content writers have is they can’t always attach the work that they do to an actual cell. And in part, not entirely, but in part because of that, they often charge less than copywriters who are writing sales pages, sales emails and can basically say, “Hey, this page created X number of sales and X number of dollars, therefore my work is worth this.” How do you track and attach value to content so that if you create a new piece or your team creates a new piece, you know that is contributing to a sale. Or maybe conversely, it’s not getting any interest at all, and so now you know you need to create something different.
Simon De Brito: Yeah, it’s again, back to your tech stack, really the tools that you’re going to use. And the best way to do this, try to find a way to really integrate the entire marketing to sales pipeline. So we’re going to use, for example, a software for marketing, a software for sales like a CRM. And both are tied together and they’re sending information back and forth so I know exactly when someone downloads a piece of content. If it turns into a cell six months later, I’m able to track that because I have this connection between the two systems. And a lot of these systems run on email addresses. So a contact, most of the time, almost always, is an email address.
So if you can see that you have this many people that downloaded the content based on this email address and you have this many people that had a sale, there is often a way to connect the two together because the email address is the key element that you’re going to find in both tech stack in both systems. So yeah, you’re able to do it, which is much easier than we were talking about earlier than when we’re just running on Google Analytics for example. All those tools that have a lot of data, but for very good reasons, they are anonymous and so you’re not able to track a conversion all the way to the end. So these automation platforms, these marketing tools and the sales tools really help you to connect the two together.
Kira Hug: So to go back to the workflow, what are some mistakes that we could easily make, maybe mistakes that you’ve made or your team has made that we should try to avoid?
Simon De Brito: That’s a good question. Lots of mistakes.
Rob Marsh: Let’s talk about all of them.
Simon De Brito: I don’t know if we have time. No, it’s really always a learning process. What is a big one? Or not necessarily a big one, but just the main one could be not thinking about connecting all your assets. And so you have people downloading one asset, but they don’t fall into your workflow. That could be a big one that you have thought about connecting one of the assets. You have all your nurturing programs, but you forget about another one or a third one, and those guys don’t receive your nurturing programs. And so they’re sleeping, they’re dormant, nobody touches them. You thought you had it already, but you forget to connect that one because you’ve done it for once. And that’s where it becomes complicated depending on the program you have. But if you have something automated and something manual, you’re always creating new content.
So technically you always have to maybe adjust the first list or the entry gate, let’s say, to your nurturing program. So that could be a pitfall. Another one also is to not update enough or often enough your workflow. Maybe if your workflow is talking about something that was created in 2019 with data from 2019, maybe that’s not relevant enough anymore to your audience. So regularly, I don’t say every day or every week or we’re trying to do something that’s automated. So that can last a long term, but maybe every six months or something like that, maybe try to just go back and look at your workflow and say, “Okay, is this still relevant? Should I get this content? Is there new content that I’ve created that is better than the one I’ve used?” And then the last one, I guess it’s not analyzing the KPIs. For example, you have one email that opens at 20, 30%, which is pretty good. And you have one that opens at 5% and then the third one opens again at 20, 30%. Maybe you need to look at the one at 5%. Is the content not good? Is your title not good? Is there something that you need to change? So that would be the main ones, I guess.
Rob Marsh: Okay, Justin, so let’s go ahead and touch on just a few of the things that Simon has been talking about. First of all, what stood out to you in the first half of this conversation?
Justin Blackman: I used to work in content marketing and not everybody has the same approach as Simon. A lot of times it’s like, all right, what are people going to want to read about? What can we do to bring clients to us? What can we do for us? How do we find people? What I love about Simon’s approach is, how can we create the most value? And he’s constantly looking for providing answers for people and he’s not teasing them. We’ve all gotten books, which are just a pitch in disguise. He’s not about that. He’s about providing value and demonstrating what they can do for clients rather than just teasing answers that are, “Click here for more.” He’s not talking about gating content. He’s talking about what does a client actually need, What does a customer need? How can we be of most service to them?
Rob Marsh: Yeah, I agree. I mean, he’s not creating content to create content. There’s that higher purpose. And I know we’re going to get to this a bit later, it’s starting with that persona of the client, but the real thing is that problem, the problem that they need to have solved. And I think obviously we know, most copywriters, that’s where we start with that problem. And then we need to jump in with the solution and then all of the social proof and all the things that we will add in. But oftentimes, clients start marketing from the, “Okay, I need to get my course out there. I need to get my vitamin supplement out there. People need to hear about this.” And so it’s all about them as opposed to the other way around. Yeah, it’s good that you picked up on that because I think that’s maybe the number one thing that we should start copywriting with is, “Hey, what’s the actual problem we’re solving, as opposed to what’s the thing we’re selling?”
Justin Blackman: And he’s got some great information about the stages of awareness. I mean, we’re copywriters, so we know all about that. That’s what we talk about. That’s what we preach. What’s nice is that I think by providing more value, he’s able to create more content based on each individual stage and it just creates a whole world of resources for him. And there’s just fantastic value that’s not about what I can pitch, but what does my customer need? I really like that approach.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, I agree. We also talked a bit about what makes good content and I’m going to throw this at you, Justin, because you write some killer emails. I love some of the messaging that you do. When you’re writing content, where do you start? What are you thinking about? Is it just whatever happens to be on TV that day, or how are you making sure that the content you create connects?
Justin Blackman: Well, I’ve always got an overarching theme about brand voice or about writing with style and doing things a little bit differently and having it work. Sometimes it doesn’t, but I’ll talk about that too. But usually I’ll just get inspired by something that I see on TV or something that I’ve read or something funny. And I’ll just sleep on it for a little bit and then I’ll just start writing. I don’t always know where it’s going. Very often the first half of my emails get cut, they just wind up being just fluff because I don’t really know where it comes from. And then I’ll write something and it’ll connect and be like, “Ah, all right, here’s the lesson, here’s the real meat.” And then from there, it’s editing and tying it in a little bit. So the way that my content comes, it’s a little bit organic and a lot of editing.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. And when you were writing for clients, I know you don’t do that much anymore, but when you were doing that, was it the exact same process or were you starting from a place, like what Simon was talking about, “Okay, what is the thing that I can help them with today?”
Justin Blackman: I think it was a little different. When I was writing for clients, I knew what I had to hit. There were certain beats that needed to be in it, and I laid those out in a framework and then I filled in the gaps in between. Nowadays it’s just free flow and I use unconscious competence to let the work shape itself. When it’s B2B or B2C, it’s definitely more deliberate. And I think that it’s important to mention certain things. You can’t just go willy-nilly, you have to hit certain things. There are benchmarks for the content, there’s a flow, maybe there’s external links that get brought in. So I believe in that world, it has to be pretty deliberate.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, your process I think is quite a bit like mine. I’ll start with an idea and just start writing. And oftentimes, I’ll have to rewrite my intro three or four times. I’m like, “Wait, that’s not going anywhere. Let’s back up.” That kind of a thing. But it’s always with the idea that we’re going to be talking about something helpful at the end. Usually when I’m writing for the copywriter club, it’s one of the programs or something that we can do there. But it’s not just selling the program, it’s got to teach something. It’s got to share something because most of the people who are reading aren’t going to join the program today, but it still needs to teach something or offer some value. I hate that you got to give value, offer value. That’s such a trite phrase now. But there’s truth to it. If all you do is promote, promote, promote, you can burn out your list, turn people off. So you’ve got to be doing something positive or valuable before you even get to the turn or have the right to send the next email, which might pitch.
Justin Blackman: Yeah, I mean luckily, we’re in a world where we get to have a little bit more of our personality into it, and sometimes the value that you deliver is strictly entertainment. And that can be okay. In Simon’s world, it’s got to convert. So I think the way that he measures things is more deliberate and more tangible and definitely more strategic as he’s demonstrated and talked about. So maybe it’s not as fun, but the fact that you can track it directly to sales is really an amazing value that he brings.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, agreed. We also talked a little bit about scoring systems. Some of the tools that he mentioned have scoring systems or allow you to assign different points or values to things that your customers, your email readers, whatever are doing. And this is something that gets used a lot in enterprise situations. You may have literally thousands of leads coming in a month and you’ve got to be able to differentiate between those that are not that interested versus those that are interested. And so as Simon was describing, somebody opens an email, you give them a point or maybe five points, if they download and read a case study, maybe they get another 10 points. If they’re on a sales call at some point, maybe they get 50 points. And as you start to filter your client list by the number of points, it can start to tell you, okay, who are the people who are engaging, not just with your content, but with your business, with your brand? Who might be most likely to purchase something?
You can start to look at purchasers and the points that they have and start to see, okay, we know that if somebody joins this program, they did these five things first and funnels around those five things. Or you can look back and say, “Who are the other customers on our list who have done these five things that this might be a fit for?” So there’s all kinds of things that you can do with scoring systems. I think a lot of copywriters, because again, we focus on copy and not necessarily automation tools, we skip the opportunity to learn about some of this stuff or to be able to contribute to our client’s success with these kinds of things. I know, Justin, you’ve had some experience with some scoring systems, not necessarily from the building them standpoint, but from using the scores and seeing how that works in some of the businesses you’ve worked at. What was that like?
Justin Blackman: Yeah, sure. When I worked at the hotel company, we had 14 different brands and we had loyalty programs. So we were literally able to see people’s scores based on how many points they had in their accounts. So there were the people that were above and beyond the 80/20 rule that the 80% of revenue is coming from 20 people. That holds true. It was that way for sure. And we were able to custom create the content for them. Sometimes we would literally send them one off emails written directly to them if they were high enough value because we understood the true value that they had. But also like Simon, not all scoring is weighted the same. Certain pieces of content are going to be far more valuable than other pieces. So it’s not just like if you open five emails, but if you click emails and you get more points, but if you click a specific email, you get double the amount of points. So I think what Simon does is really smart that he weighs it, so when a certain action happens, you get brought to the sales team and there are ways to jump the line and get involved in that. I was not involved in the weighting of the scores. I would love to know the science behind that to know exactly who’s ready to buy based on their actions rather than just guessing.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. I mean, it’s a skill and I think this is one place where a lot of copywriters could contribute more to their customer’s businesses. In fact, I mean, we could get to the point where we could actually help some of our customers who are using systems like ActiveCampaign, Infusionsoft, or Ontraport. They all allow some level of scoring and many of our clients have access to those tools, but they’re not using the scoring because they’re just using it to send out a bunch of emails. So there may be some strategic opportunities for the right copywriters to build some real serious products, valuable products that they can offer their clients just around lead scoring.
Justin Blackman: Yeah, I mean, there’s so much there. Coming from a marketing background, ad agencies, we’re always talking about how many impressions an ad got. I mean, that could be if you have a billboard in New York City in Times Square, it’s millions per day, per week, I don’t know the exact math. But the fact is they’re counting people that are walking by it, never looking up. So that doesn’t really count for anything, but it’s a great number and it looks really good on a resume or a report to a client. What the scoring does is it actually shows you the real message, what’s actually happening, and there’s so much value in that.
Rob Marsh: Absolutely. So as we’re talking about this, we were talking a little bit about the value of content and sometimes some content is more valuable than others. And I actually asked Simon about this in the interview about tracking the value of content because like I said to him, sales content is pretty easy. It’s like you click on the sales page, you buy the product, there’s almost a one to one click ratio there. But blog posts, case studies, white papers, all of that stuff, that’s that top of funnel content, sometimes is really difficult to tie to the next step or steps after that. Some of the tools that we were talking about can actually do that, the HubSpots, the Marketos of the world, but most of us aren’t using those tools. I’ve got thoughts about how we track the value of content. What do you do in your business? How do you know when something hits when it doesn’t hit, Justin?
Justin Blackman: Very often I don’t. What’s funny is I’ve got some emails that I wrote months ago and I got a couple of responses like, “Oh, this is a great email. I really enjoyed that one,” and that’s it. It didn’t get clicks. Some of my emails don’t even have CTAs on it. But then I get some sales later on and I’ll reach out to the person. I was like, “Hey, just curious. What made you decide that now is the right time?” And they’re like, “Oh, it was actually that email that I got from you three months ago that made me know that I wanted to buy this. I was just waiting for the right time.” And that’s when I like, “Okay, now I’m going to put that in my welcome sequence.” I don’t have a great method for this. I really, really wish that I did. I love that Simon has it. I wish I had it for my business. It seems really scary and overwhelming to try to implement, but the fact is, I don’t have this stuff and I wish I did.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, I mean, there’s definitely ways to get back into it. And it takes a lot of data to do it, but if you know, say, the number of visitors to a website or the number of people who are getting to a particular asset, and then you also know at the end of the funnel how many are closing, you can start to back into that stuff. But it does take a lot of data and I think that’s why some of these tools are really important to get to know or if you’ve got access to them to use them. And while we’re talking about tools, one last thing before we’ll go back to the interview. There are so many out there, I just started making a short list. They’re the enterprise level, do everything tools like HubSpot, Marketo, there are email service providers that go a little deeper and provide some customer management and lead management like ActiveCampaign and Infusionsoft and Ontraport.
Then there’s the next step down email service providers that don’t really do that stuff, but they might manage your list, ConvertKit, Mailchimp, help you with things like landing pages and sign up forms. There’s presentation tools like Zoom and Webinar Jam, and there’s probably 30 different webinar tools that people use. There are page builders, LeadPages, Unbounce, ClickFunnels, there are process management tools, ClickUp and Dubsado and the like. There are sales tools and pitching tools like close.com and reply.io. Content posting tools like Buffer, Tailwind, the list goes on and on and on. And because of that, there’s an opportunity, I think, if we master some of these tools to set ourselves aside as being really different. This is part of the X-factor.
If you are the copywriter who does a particular industry and you bring several things from your background to the table, but you also master three or four tools and maybe thanks to a tool like Zapier, you can string them all together, you literally can help your clients build new businesses. And again, showing up as that strategic partner because you’re doing that, it’s not just, “Hey, let me write some emails for you and that’s $1,000, please.” But you may have been able to create a business in which you own a share or you’re collecting a part of the revenue because you’re literally building a revenue stream for your clients. So definitely worth thinking about looking into for anybody who’s thinking, “I’d like to grow my skill set.”
Justin Blackman: Yeah, it’s the difference between being able to write a good Facebook ad and being able to manage a good Facebook ad, knowing the backend, the targeting, all of that stuff, knowing the additional information and having those skills makes you tremendously more valuable and you’re no longer just a copywriter.
Rob Marsh: And it improves the writing side too, because you start to get that feedback, you start to see, “Oh, this copy works, this copy doesn’t, this idea works. I need to be more persuasive. I need to do something to catch attention.” It squares the circle.
Justin Blackman: Let’s get back into the interview with Simon to find out how these strategies can be translated to small businesses.
Rob Marsh: Simon, as I hear you talk about this, a lot of this stuff makes sense at the enterprise level, especially when we’re talking about having a CRM, like maybe Salesforce, connecting to a marketing tool like HubSpot. There’s a lot of expense there. Is there a way to take this strategy and make it work for small businesses that only have a few thousand dollars a year to invest in this kind of marketing program? Or is it really limited to those with big budgets?
Simon De Brito: No, no, no. There is definitely a way. There are a lot of tools, a lot of tools that are free. So I just implemented a big marketing software, but before I arrived they were the team that I had, they were running on a lot of tools that were connected to each other. And then you have tools to connect everything together. So for example, just to name one, because I don’t have any other in mind, but Zapier, for example, is going to connect your website to maybe your Mailchimp to maybe something else. And with this, you can really find free or very cheaply build your own tech stack, which would take up time to connect everything together. But once everything is connected, it’s something that can really last in time and that can be almost zero budget. When I started in the first company, I really had almost zero budget on the marketing and it’s very, very interesting and that’s where you’re going to learn a lot about how everything is connected, how everything works, and it’s very valuable things to learn at that time.
Kira Hug: Maybe I missed this, but when you’re starting the workflow and you have your first piece of content to cover the awareness stage, are you running ads to that blog post? Are your clients sending an email to their list to promote that first blog post? Or what is the best practice there?
Simon De Brito: In the awareness phase? It’s very interesting that it’s a lot of different tactics that you can use. So we’re talking about prospects that don’t know you at all, that are not in your marketing list, that you’ve never talked to. And that’s where again, content is key, in my opinion is SEO. It’s really finding what content is looked after and how you can raise it in the search engine so your content really answers your personalized needs and it’s going to provide value when they read that actual article. So to me, we’re talking about $0 investment, time consuming, but $0 is SEO.
SEO is key. Then you have social media. Social media is very important depending on your audience. There’s a lot of social media, lots of options available. Me, among the B2B markets, so it’s more LinkedIn, but if you’re more talking about fashion or something like that and creating content for the fashion, maybe you want to try Instagram. For a young crowd, maybe the content you’re going to create is going to be videos, 30 seconds videos. This is the type of content. So yeah, really finding your niche, understanding your persona, understanding where your persona is, creating the content for your persona. That’s going to be key. And if you have some budget, you can get into ads. But ads are quite expensive. So with no budget, I would not necessarily recommend the ads. I tried it, failed. I would not recommend it.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, it can be very expensive. So you mentioned persona is key. I have some thoughts about personas. I don’t always love them because I’ve had some experiences with big companies getting them drastically wrong and I’m not sure that they’re always great, but that actually is my question. How do you ensure that that persona that you’re targeting is actually the customer that will respond to or needs to buy the thing that ultimately you’re selling at the end of the list? What does it take to create a great persona?
Simon De Brito: It takes a lot of things, a lot of teamwork. At the company I’m working at currently, I’m not in charge of creating the persona. We have the CMO and the product team that really understand the product and understand really what is the people that use the platform, really understand how they use it, really understand what they achieve, what are the pain points that they achieve with them. But generally, it’s trying to think, with the skill sets you have, if you’re talking about sets, try to rethink what is the main pain point. Something that really takes people time and that you can do faster or better. That to me is one of the keys to creating a good persona. If you are on a small enterprise or just a content creator, it’s like, okay, what type of content can you create? Can you do it faster and better?
Rob Marsh: So it sounds like you’re talking about, at least in part, the need that they have, this problem that they have and really connecting that to your offer. And again, I don’t love personas, so I haven’t spent a lot of time doing them, but obviously you’re going to have demographic information and what are the things going on in their lives as well. But that strikes me as one of the problems with personas is that it becomes really easy to drill in on one particular kind of client or one person and their problems and miss this wide range of other things that are going on in the lives of, say, 80% of the other customers as you create a persona.
Simon De Brito: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And that’s the problem with most companies or people. We think that we can solve every type of problem with our offers, and technically we can solve 10, 20 types of problems. But the general rule, what’s important is to keep focus because we don’t have an extended amount of time. So it’s trying to keep focus on two or three key personas that are going to represent, let’s say, 80% of your audience. If you can have 80% of your audience, really focus it on three types of personas and then create these contents based on these personas.
And what we use a lot is the needs, the pain point, and then it’s going to be, okay, revenue, for example. What type of revenue, not of person, but of a company. Are you going after large accounts, medium accounts, small businesses or small people? Could be the same on B2C. If you’re sending product to B2C, are you targeting luxury items or just common goods or something even lower? So that’s a key, I think, aspect that you need to really think about. But you have to be generic with personas, you can be too specific. And with generic, of course, you lose some aspect of it.
Kira Hug: I’m curious if you have any advice on repurposing content, if you’ve supported a team or worked through this and if you have any tips for this.
Simon De Brito: Yeah, absolutely. To me, repurposing is when you start with a large piece, let’s say a white paper, something like that. Something that you’ve really taken a lot of time or a long article that you’ve created and then you turn it into different forms of content. So to me, the best way is to take that article, the blog article, turn it into a webinar, why not, turn it into 10 minute videos explaining each paragraph pretty much of your content. So with one piece of content, you can easily create 20, 30 other contents that are going to be super powerful and that are going to bring back to your main content trying to trigger that conversion as well. To me, it’s like you have one big piece of content. Say you have a white paper, that is going to be your conversion, and then you create 10, 20 other small options, small types of contents, different formats. Video could be one, social media posts and infographic, something like that, that is going to bring back to your main contact into trying to drive that conversion.
Rob Marsh: And when we think about repurposing content, should we be doing it for every single piece? So let’s say we have a big piece of content that we create once a week or maybe once a month. And I guess that’s really my question: how often do you need to do that? Is it a once a week thing? Is it once a month? With all of the time that goes into creating one big piece of content, obviously you don’t want to waste that. And then what is the cadence for releasing that stuff? Do you put it all out into the world at the same time on social media via email, whatever, in order to drive a lot of traffic back before the next one? Or do you drip it out over several weeks? What does that look like?
Simon De Brito: Yeah, I would drip it out in general. It really depends again on the business, the industry, et cetera. But I’m more a fan of having one targeted campaign for a month or two really around this piece of content and really trying to really explain it to your audience, showing all the other aspects that you can provide value through this type of content. There’s another way you can see it as well, and we’re almost getting back to the persona or to the need, at least, the person. But if they are interested in this particular piece of content, then maybe they could be interested in another piece of content. So for these people who have seen this, maybe you have some retargeting campaign or an emailing nurturing program in place and you can send them something else, something else that could be interesting for them. So you’ve created this one great piece of content about sports, basketball. You’re a sports writer, you write about basketball, you write about baseball, you write about football. You’ve created this great piece of content about basketball, you can divide it into very different pieces, but you’re going to create something else about basketball in another month.
Maybe you can just make sure that these audience that downloaded your first piece of content about basketball is going to receive that content, then it’s going to receive all your mentoring program. You’re going to make sure that you target this audience on your social media as well, and they’re going to receive all your other pieces of content and the small pieces as well.
Kira Hug: I wonder how you keep up to date on all of this. I mean, other than actively working in your company, working with clients, but where do you go to learn and to stay up to date on the changing technology and what’s happening in marketing? What are some go-to resources and places you go?
Simon De Brito: At the moment, I’m really big on LinkedIn, actually following really key people that are very active on LinkedIn and that post very, very interesting subjects. So I find a few people that are really talking about marketing automation at the moment, and every day they’re posting amazing content on this and it’s very, very interesting. And they often tag other types of people. So I keep pulling these people and every day I have a feed of things that are super interesting on the topics.
Kira Hug: Anyone you’d recommend that we start to follow? I mean, we can start to follow you on LinkedIn to see who you follow.
Simon De Brito: Yes, absolutely. Elena Verna is very interesting in my opinion, in everything she’s posting at the moment. And I would have to follow up on the other names, I don’t have them at the moment, sorry.
Rob Marsh: All right. So I’m quickly typing in her name on LinkedIn to see if I can find her. But in the meantime, okay, so I know a lot of our listeners are copywriters, content writers working for themselves, maybe working for small businesses, and some of the stuff that we’ve talked about, I hinted at it earlier, it feels big. So I’m curious, if I’m just starting out or if I’m thinking, “Okay, I want to do more content marketing for my own business, whether I’m a content creator or copywriter, or maybe I’m trying to help a small business that is one of my clients get started with content marketing.” What is the bare minimum that they should be doing in order to have an impact? So I mean, I realize the bare minimum could be to write a blog post every month, but that might not be enough to actually move the needle for the business. So how much do they really need to do in order to start having an impact? And by impact, I think I mean attracting leads and potential clients.
Simon De Brito: It’s free about finding out where your audience is. For example, your audience could very well be on Instagram and you’d want to post a video once, twice a week, for example, to really educate them, and talk about the topics that you’re really interested about. If you are more on the business side and you have a business solution, or if your content people are working with small businesses, you want to restart with creating a blog, I think would be the bare minimum. Because a blog, you can really talk about a lot of different topics outside of the business part, topics that people will start typing into Google. And so for your SEO, that’s going to be really fantastic.
And then the third minimums, start creating lists and be able to have I’d say a newsletter, but something like maybe an email amounts to just make sure that you keep in touch with all your hard work of generating the leads. You don’t want people to forget about you. You’ve done the hard work, you’ve created a great piece of content, people have downloaded it, now you need to make sure that you have this list of contacts and that you can keep sending them some information that’s valuable to them. So that’d be a very good basic and very easy to put into action, I think.
Kira Hug: All right. This is maybe a big question, but what do you think the future of inbound marketing looks like? Where does this all go? Where does the technology continue to move? What do you see happening in the near future?
Simon De Brito: Good question. Big question indeed. Inbound marketing, I think with the technology improving and I think it’s going to be easier and easier to really understand the people we’re selling to and we can affect more and more personalized versus… Marketing started as big billboards or big ads in the journal, something very generic. You didn’t know who you really were targeting. You had an idea of your audience but you didn’t really know. You were running ads on the radio, running ads on TV. I mean, maybe some people are going to be interested, but it’s almost a little bit by luck. The more and more we advance in technology, good or bad, we’re going to know a little bit more about the people and we’re going to be able to talk to them in a way that really matters to them and to what they need. So that’s where I see inbound technology going to be more and more personalized for the better and for the worst.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, I mean, the better and worse, we could probably do a whole podcast on the implications of that. We’ve been focused on content marketing strategies, all that stuff. But I’m curious, Simon, what does a typical day for you look like in your work and what happens before work and after work?
Simon De Brito: Before and after work, it’s a lot about the family. The family, my wife, my kid, trying to do sports, keeping healthy. And during work, my main thing is really at the moment to support all the teams along the marketing department, the sales department. So really try to help them achieve their goals. As far as other content teams try to give them the tools to make the right decision about the right content to create, “Okay, in the past few months, here are the contents that really worked for you.” Here’s the channels that they really worked on. Be it via emailing, it worked a lot. You had a lot of conversion via emailing or via Google ads. There were a lot of conversions. So we try to support them, give them that information. For the campaign, it’s really how to create the best lists, create the best emails. We try to help them have the campaigns again that are going to convert the most, that are going to be the most interesting, the most valuable to the potential customers. And then the digital team, same thing, it’s trying to talk with that team and try to make sure they know, the same thing, what content really worked on which network. So it’s a lot of spending some time with each team to really help them make the most of the technology we have on our hands.
Kira Hug: You’ve worked as a marketer in a US-based company and also now in France. What are some differences you notice working within marketing teams in both countries?
Simon De Brito: Within the marketing teams, I mean, the main difference in general working in Europe and in the US is going to be the culture. The culture is very different in Europe. In the US, you have a huge market. It’s pretty homogenous. You can pretty much do your marketing always in English. The population is pretty much the same. When you’re marketing in Europe, you might have to target the French audience who are a certain way and the Spanish audience, Spanish people who are going to be a different way. Italian, German. I have a very good quick example about a sales leader at the company I work at right now. He was talking about just the sales aspect, but that gives you an idea. He goes to the Italian market, and in Italy to really close the sales, you have to talk with the person for hours and hours and hours.
You go to the restaurant with them, you talk, you talk, you talk, you just talk all the time. He goes to a German meeting, he has a 30-minute presentation. He talks, he talks, he talks because he’s used to it the Italian way. And five minutes before the German team says, “Okay, you have five minutes, you’ve still been talking, what’s your point?” It’s a very different way. It’s very different. And in the way to create your content, to do your marketing is going to be very different because the people expect different things. And if you want to market in Europe, you have to change the language. So you have to do your content in French, your content in Spanish. That’s something we struggle a lot at the company I’m working at the moment. But the content was created in all the different languages, in Italian, in Spanish, in German. So it takes much more effort, I think, to market, to create content for the European market.
Rob Marsh: Are you German or Italian? Are you talking, talking, talking or getting to the point?
Simon De Brito: Depends on the audience. I’m a chameleon.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, I don’t know which one’s best or-
Kira Hug: I’d rather get to the point usually.
Rob Marsh: I think I probably get to the point too. Simon, this has been fascinating just talking about all these processes and how it all comes together. If you could go back and just ask yourself or give yourself some advice when you were just starting out, what would you tell yourself to help you make progress faster or to maybe do something a little bit better to get to where you are today?
Simon De Brito: That’s a good question. I was fortunate enough to start in small teams and I think it was really the best way to start because when you’re in a small team or when you are a one-person operation, you just have to do everything by yourself. So you have to create the content by yourself, you have to do the design by yourself, you have to create the emailing by yourself, the social media post by yourself. So my best advice honestly is to start by yourself. Do everything by yourself. Because the moment you join a team, you really understand what their needs are. And at the moment, I’m working with the content team. I know what they want, the information that they’re missing because I’ve been there, I’ve created content that I didn’t know who was converting. And so I know the frustration behind that. I’ve run the ads so I can talk to my ad manager and then I’ve created an ad campaign that failed. So I know what you’re looking for and I know how to help you with this. So I think the best way is to start small, having to do a little of everything. You are going to learn a lot and you are also going to find what you’re very good at in the process. So I’d say start small.
Kira Hug: Yeah, that’s great advice. And if anyone listening to this episode wants to connect with you or maybe learn more about what type of work you’re doing or even the company where you’re currently working, where can they go to find you?
Simon De Brito: On LinkedIn? I don’t have a website anymore. I used to, but LinkedIn is a way to go nowadays. So Simon De Brito on LinkedIn and I’ll be happy to answer.
Kira Hug: Okay, great. We will link to your LinkedIn and we also will gather the list of marketing specialists that you follow because I want to follow everyone you’re following. Okay, great.
Simon De Brito: I’ll share that. Yeah.
Kira Hug: We really appreciate your time, Simon, and you sharing so much about your side of the marketing world. It’s been really fascinating, so thank you.
Rob Marsh: That’s the end of our interview with Simon De Brito. Before we wrap, let’s just talk about a couple of other things that stood out. One thing that I definitely want to hit on, I know I mentioned this to Simon and then I started talking about how personas can be really tricky, but let’s talk a little bit about what it takes to create a good persona or whether it’s even worth it to create a persona. And I got opinions, I know you’ve got opinions too.
Justin Blackman: My opinions are very similar to yours. I’ve been in businesses where marketing teams have hired agencies to create personas, and on paper they look great and it was fun and the marketing team’s like, “Oh, now we know everything about our client.” And as a writer I was like, “We still need to do something about this.” And very often it’s like, “Cool, we’re already doing this, we’re already writing for this person.” Knowing what they’re going to have for dinner on Sunday doesn’t really help me. There was extra value, some of it was pretty generalized, sometimes stereotyped, some of it made me feel a little gross. So I do like that there are certain advantages to, say, Facebook ad tracking and you can get very targeted with that. But to me, the personas really felt very generalized and they felt icky. I didn’t really like them.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, I’m not really a fan. I shared this with you before we started recording, and I think I’ve talked about this one or two other places, but when I was working for Hewlett Packard, they made an acquisition of a company that had built their entire product line around a particular persona. Let’s say that they called her Emily because that’s what they called her and everything was written to, created for Emily. And they did this for 5, 6, 7 years. And then finally got around to doing a marketing audit of the user base and they found that Emily was only maybe 30% of the entire user base that they had and that even some of the most profitable customers were not any part of that persona. They had to find their own ways into the business. They were solving their problems with their products but there’s no messaging for them.
And yeah, I know personas can work, I know there are a lot of people who really like personas, but for me, I agree with Simon, it’s so much better when you start with problems that you solve as opposed to people that you are solving the problems for. Talking about the need cases, the use cases, and figuring out how your product fits into their lives as opposed to starting with the person, the thing they drive or where they shop or how many kids they have. Let’s talk about the problems we solve.
Justin Blackman: Yeah, agreed. I mean, we’ve got voice of customer research, we know all about that. As writers, we dive into the people’s specifics and we want some tangible details that we can write about. We want to properly agitate using the right words and the right phrases and something that’s true to their lives. Personas, to me, some of the ones I’ve seen is they talk about what type of clothes they wear. That doesn’t necessarily agitate the problems that I’m writing to. And maybe it can be too to you or to someone else. I just find them too general to be very useful.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, that’s my take too. Now having said all that, I’m sure we’re going to get a pitch from somebody who loves personas and wants to come and defend them, and I would welcome that discussion any day. So we’ll see what we say about them in the future.
Justin Blackman: I’ll tune into it. I love to be proven wrong.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, let’s do it. What else stood out to you, Justin?
Justin Blackman: I loved how he talked about being able to repurpose content by taking a blog article and making it into a webinar or 10 short videos or social posts. There was a great line I heard about content marketing. It’s when something hits, don’t do more like it, do more with it. And Simon talks to that. He talks about repurposing it in multiple different ways across multiple different channels. And then having that pattern, that cadence, that schedule that he has to really create entire content calendars that just seems so much easier and less foreboding when you know that you have to just write one piece and then chunk it up and then you have a month worth of content. That’s so much less intimidating than knowing that you have to create 90 pieces for the month.
Rob Marsh: As I was relistening to this interview, it reminded me, I sent out an email yesterday, so I took that content and reposted it on LinkedIn and I got a bunch of responses from people yesterday in email and I’ve seen a few responses on LinkedIn so far this morning and none of them are the same. It’s a different group of people. Some of them may still be on the list, but maybe they didn’t open it, maybe they didn’t see it or whatever. And so even just porting the exact same content. You know who’s really good at this is Esai Arasi, she’s taught about this in the Think Tank and in the Copywriter Underground, this is basically what she’s built her business doing is you take that one piece of content and you figure out how to talk about it everywhere and anywhere. And yeah, it’s nice of Simon to remind us that, “Hey, it’s not one and done. There’s lots of ways to communicate.” So I guess the next step is how do I take that LinkedIn article and turn it into a Twitter thread or maybe a webinar? We’ll see.
Justin Blackman: And what’s funny is that you’ve got guys like Chris Orizkowski does this between emails and Twitter. He’ll say, “Hey, I just wrote an entire thread about client acquisition and you can go to it right here. And then if you repost it, I’m going to send you a second link.” So he brings his email people to Twitter and then he gets people to engage with the post and then he sends them something to the DM. So he makes the points of contact, now has three points of contact with him and he’s providing more value along the way. Eddie Slater and Dave Harlan are two people that do this really well with email and LinkedIn where they’ll talk about something, turn an email into a LinkedIn post, and email will also drive into the LinkedIn post to create engagement and increase its reach that way. That’s basically what Simon’s doing, just on a B2B scale.
Rob Marsh: Yeah. And what you’re talking about when you start pushing your list to LinkedIn, especially if you do it within the first hour of posting, and I believe it also works with Instagram, Facebook, whatever. You do that within the first hour, you get that rush of traffic and then the algorithms, of course, start showing it to everybody because they think, “Oh, this is great content. So many people are engaging with it.” There are some really cool ways to, for lack of a better word, manipulate the algorithm to do the work for you. So it’s definitely worth-
Justin Blackman: It’s to persuade the algorithm. We’re anti-manipulation around here, Rob.
Rob Marsh: There you go. There you go. Another thing we talked about with Simon, asked him just what’s the bare minimum content effort that we should be doing? Simon recommended we should be writing on our blogs, which I’ve got some thoughts around, we should also be doing SEO and writing on your blog is part of that, and then you should manage a list. And I do agree. Your own website, making sure that that’s showing up. Managing your email list is definitely step number one. I’m not 100% convinced that blogs are where we should be sharing our content. I mean of course, yes, share your content on your blog, but most of our blogs, our personal blogs, copywriting sites don’t get a lot of traffic.
Maybe your mom checks it out a couple of times a month. There might be two or three people who find you on search, whatever. Maybe you write some content that for some reason, it pops up in the search engines and so it shows up. But for the most part, posting content on your blog is not going to get you traffic. It will get you an SEO benefit, but it’s not getting you the same traffic that posting content where other people are already gathering like LinkedIn or Instagram. It’s not just limited to social media, of course. There are other places where people gather, but going where the audience is what I would also share. That would be the missing piece at that bare minimum content effort that we should be doing.
Justin Blackman: Yeah, I agree. The social posting, that’s fishing where the fish are, which is great. There are people I’ve seen that start to create blog posts out of their weekly emails, which is great because sometimes on those social posts, you can be like, “Hey, for more like this, click here,” and that’ll bring you to your site, which is where they can enroll in weekly emails or whatever it is, or just read more of your content. And every now and again, you do strike gold with that content that the person that just wants to binge all of your content at once and then sometimes winds up buying right there. So there is value in the blog, but I agree, people aren’t going to your site to search for the blogs very often. It’s not always a high-value piece of content, but I think the people who are engaging with your blog are the high value of customers. So it works both ways.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, I didn’t mean to minimize the blog that much. Of course, if you are really conscientious about your blog, over the course of two or three years, you could actually create a site where people do show up to learn the stuff. But that’s definitely not the beginner stage, it’s when you’ve put a lot of work and time and effort into the content that you’re sharing.
Justin Blackman: For sure. And also when you hit more of that later stage, you’re speaking with more authority and it’s less just like, “Hey, I’m going to try something and see what it works.” I did that. We talked earlier about the headline project. Those were daily blogs. It was 100 daily blog posts that I made. People weren’t going to the site to read it. It’s now evergreen content and it does pretty well for me. But as I was doing that, the people that it would attract were not always the right audience. They were people that were just trying to learn too and they weren’t the clients. The clients were looking for someone with more proven expertise and more authority that knew what they were doing rather than figuring it out. So being able to post now when I talk about brand voice and talk about examples that I’ve seen and being able to speak to it from a stronger place, that brings in the right person. That’s the authority content that really sets you apart.
Rob Marsh: And as you’re just mentioning there, trying new things is maybe the last thing that I would point out that Simon shared with us is to get better, you’ve got to do this yourself. You’ve got to do it for your own website. So if you want to learn marketing automation or you want to learn how to figure out the content engine for your clients, the best place to start is with your own business. Yeah, start with your blog or start with your own list. Start to see what works, make mistakes, figure it out, learn from them, look at the data, connect up Zapier and a couple of other things in your own site, see how that works. But jumping in and trying these tools, and there are free tools out there as Simon mentioned as well, so they don’t all have to be paid, but you need to fail, you need to try a lot of things before you get better and create the level of expertise that clients are looking for.
Justin Blackman: Yeah, it sets you apart so much and a lot of these things, they seem really scary and they’re things that you can put off for months, but then when you get into it, you’re usually like, “Oh, this really isn’t so bad. I just got to click a couple of things and then I’m good to go.” So it’s most likely the thing that you’re holding back from is going to be easier than you thought.
Rob Marsh: Yeah, a lot easier. And that might even include having Rob and Kira do TikTok dances someday. Who knows?
Justin Blackman: I’ll sign up for that.
Rob Marsh: We want to thank Simon De Brito for joining us on the podcast today. If you want to connect with him, you can find him on LinkedIn and we’ll link to his LinkedIn bio in the show notes. If you have been listening to this episode or Justin and I just riffing and you want more Copywriter Club podcasts in your life, check out episode number 242 with Jared MacDonald. We talked a bit about marketing automation with him. And he gave a great presentation at TCCNIRL where he talked a lot about tools in using tools in his business and how we can do that as well. So you can look for that content at the Copywriter Club. Also maybe check out episode number 183 with Meg Casebolt. She talked all about SEO, which Simon talked a bit about today, and episode number 256 with John Mulry about solving marketing problems. Those are all great episodes. Finally, don’t forget to join the wait list for the accelerator so that you hear all of the details when we open the program back up. There will be an early bird and an early bird pricing, so make sure you get on that waitlist and you can find the link to that at thecopywriteraccelerator.com or in the show notes for today’s episode.
Justin Blackman: And that’s the end of this episode of The Copywriter Club podcast. The intro music was composed by copywriter and songwriter Addison Rice. The outro was composed by copywriter and songwriter David Butner. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard, please visit Apple Podcast to leave your review of the show. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.