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Our Favorite 3 Methods For Creating Awareness | The Client Acquisition Series

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“I need more clients”.
That's the #1 problem our community has in every single poll we run.
The issue with getting clients is that no matter how good you are at what you do, you will never be able to get enough clients if no one knows you exist.
That's why we wanted to dedicate an entire episode to discussing our favorite 3 methods for building awareness and growing your business.
Creatives have to learn this stuff if they ever want to get out of the “feast or famine” lifestyle.

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • How to make an offer so good people feel stupid saying no
  • How to harness three of the six different lead sources
  • The thousand true fans model
  • How you can advertise for free
  • Why an email list is crucial to more and more freelancers
  • The importance of cleaning your mailing list

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[00:00:00] Welcome back to another episode of the six figure creative podcast. I am your host Brian Hood. I'm here with my favorite Jewish substitute cohost right now. Mr. Mark Eckerd. Hey dude. How are you?

Oh, Hey. Um, Before we kind of get into any of this really funny I'm gonna embarrass Brian for a second. We spent like a good solid while troubleshooting your headphone situation because he was just so determined to not wear over the ear headphones. Cause he was looking like princess Leia. I was really excited to have like a star wars theme episode.

If you've listened to this podcast for awhile, I've had these same cheap, just garbage $20 earbud headphones plugged into my thing. But like.

I was having an issue with my headphone Jack on my main thing. I don't want to get into audio talk here, but it's just a short cable. So it like pulls up my ear. If you're watching this on YouTube, it's kind of annoying, but I do.

I literally looked like Prentice late. You know what? I'll put them on.

Yes. Thank you. Thank you.

this is for our YouTube audience. If I

put this over my

haters, look how bad this looks,

man. This is awful.

[00:01:00] Brian, I am your father.

I've never worn over the head at your phones in any episode of all times. So that would have been a


it looked great. I wish I wish he still wore it and we didn't troubleshoot any of this because then I could have just, you know, rags on you the whole time. That'd been


I'm gonna change the subject cause our audience doesn't care about

speaking of star wars,

Speaking of star wars,

we're on our client acquisition series, which has nothing to do with client acquisition. today we've got a really good episode plant out. At least we'll see how it actually comes out. I don't know if it's going to be a good episode yet listeners cause we haven't made it yet, but I promise you, you we're going to try our best.

We have a really good topic planned here from really good sources actually you and I, both mark have read the book. Called hundred million dollar offers by Alex, her mosey. You've read it, right?

Yeah, it's

awesome. it's amazing.

It's an amazing book. Like it is. It's such an interesting guy. , he's not, everyone's tastes, I'll say that he is an acquired taste for some people.

I like his approach to business, but I wholeheartedly recommend that book to any of our listeners, a hundred million dollar offers. And the reason being is [00:02:00] as freelancers, as creatives, as anyone offering any sort of service, honestly, If we don't have a good offer, meaning the thing we are offering to people, if that's not the best it can possibly be, then we're missing out on so many sales, so many clients, so much potential work, like everything as a freelancer hinges on our offer, which is like marketing jargon offers like a very marketing focused term.

I don't really like it, but really does tie into to create us because we are offering some sort of creative service to other people or product in some cases, because we do have e-commerce people listen to this podcast, but the a hundred million dollar offers book is I think the tagline is something like how to make an offer.

So good people feel stupid saying no. If you were to look at your business right now, like it's likely that is not the case. People, people will not feel stupid saying no to you. Cause there's 10 other people that you could go hire to do the exact same thing. The exact same way, if not better. So that book is, are, are like six-figure creative salute, recommendation, go buy that book right now.

Alex Moz doesn't care that we exist. So we're not getting any kickback for this.

The books like 99 [00:03:00] cents. He's not going to get a sale from us anyway.

Yeah, sure. Well, actually I bought their like $20 hardcover.


cause I want the actual hardcover. It's like, it's like a textbook size. It's huge. It's thin, there's a lot of animations and like little doodles and stuff in it to really get the points home.

But actually the topic for today is from that book. And the reason I wanted to tuck up this topic is because although your offer is a huge part of client acquisition, amazingly, like it is probably the hinge of it. Maybe we will talk about that on our next episode in this

series, mark is we'll just have a whole episode about your offer.

But once you get beyond that, Getting awareness for your offer is a huge part. We've talked about this a little bit in the past here and there. last episode in this series, we actually talked about attracting people to you being attractive to your ideal client. The one before that, in this series, we talked about actually closing clients, which is a huge part of clinic position to sales.

This is more of the, how do we get eyeballs on us to know that we exist. And in the book, a hundred million dollar offers, he actually gives six client sources. thought of one extra one that's not in here, which is networking that he doesn't really have in there, but that's because he only does things that are [00:04:00] scalable.

And as freelancers, we don't always have to do things that are scalable. So.

Yeah. I also think sometimes like in more creative industries, a lot of times you work with your friends, which, you know, if you're in a different industry, you know, a lot of times you're kind of just working with complete random people and you don't end up becoming like best buds and that's, would kind of think that a little bit. That's why networking is usually a big deal.


So we're going to talk through maybe not all six of these client sources actually the better way of looking at is six ways to create awareness for yourself. Like how do you become known from unknown to known? at let you know what these six are, but we're going to kind of, we're actually going to talk through our thoughts on a few of these at least because I don't actually, if I'm looking at the six right now, 1, 2, 3, 4, and a half, like four I've really focused on and made at least a hundred grand on each of these four in my lifetime, if not multiple six figures, maybe, maybe even seven figures on one of these alone.

But if I made at least a hundred grand off of four of these six sources, one of those client referrals being hard to track. So there's probably more on that [00:05:00] than I could actually track, but let's talk through these six really quick. And then we'll dive into these mark, just, just talk through the six really quick, just so people have a rundown of what, some of the things that we talked about.

Okay, cool. So we're gonna go through all six and this is from highest cost to lowest cost to make any of this happen. So the first is paid media. The second is outbound. The third is earned media. The fourth is partners. The fifth is owned media and the sixth is client referrals.


And if all of that sounded confusing to you other than what paid media is and client referrals, those are probably the only two that most people even understand how that would work as a freelancer. We're going to talk through these. where do you want to start with this mark? I feel like paid media is where I want to go because I've spent so much on paid ads and our audience is probably the least likely to do this.

So I don't know if we should go there first,

I don't want to like bounce around too much, but we always talk about you know, posting organic content, so why don't we start with earned media because that's actually really inspired a lot of my paid media lately.

Yeah. Let's start there. Okay. So earned media, for those who don't know, earned media is [00:06:00] essentially media that you've earned eyeballs that you've earned. It's you've created some sort of content. It's usually content marketing. You've created something that is so valuable that it draws people to you.

So content marketing, this podcast is a form of earned media posting on social media is a form of earned media. Cause you're getting people to follow you and engage with your content. YouTube channel is a form of earned media. A blog is a form of earned media. SEO is earned media. All of it is depending on what your talent levels are, depending on where your skill set is, depending on what you prefer as a human being, some of these may be more viable for you than others.

Like for example, I don't, I don't play the urn. I don't play the social media game. Like that's not a thing that I play. I do pay a person to do our tech talk that's but that's the extent of our social media strategy. But I do heavily invest into podcasting because. I can talk. I can, I can talk. I have no problem talking.

I'll talk all day long. Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, but not everyone is that way. So you've got to find which one it is that actually works well for you. So for, for you, mark, it's been a big thing for me has been social media and I think our audience, most freelancers, that's probably the first taste of earned media they'll ever have [00:07:00] as is social media.

Yeah. So earned media is kind of interesting. Cause everybody just talks about social media and everybody just thinks it's your channels, right? Like that's basically it, or it's a blog or whatever, but it can come in a lot of different forms. for instance, what I'm doing right now for, you know, my personal stuff and that pitch is we're posting on Instagram reels every single day.

basically the reason why we do that is frankly, that's where a lot of our audience lives and that's just the platform that I really understand.

Okay. Boomer.

Funny story is I made a Tik TOK like two years ago. And I, I posted like some random production video this little kid just posts.

Okay. Boomer. And I was like, this. I'm out of here.

Which is so funny. Cause like if you'd been on two years ago and continued on and just posted the stuff you're posting on, Instagram reels, you'd have like so many more followers and like such a bigger following, but you let that little, kid who called you a boomer ruin your social media experience,

Oh, it was dumb. It was dumb. Yeah. No, no, no, no. Like I definitely look back and I'm like, I was dumb, but whatever, I don't care. It's [00:08:00] fine. You'll learn.

looking from our audience perspective because some people, they avoid earned media because they don't want to be judged. So you little like little outgoing mark. Who's not afraid of anything. Went on Tik TOK posted one thing, got called a boomer and then ran off with his tail between his


Think about people listening right now. Like how do we get past the fear of getting rejected by a complete stranger on the internet like

Yeah. So it was kind of funny. Now I really don't give a like I'm posting every single day and I'd say like every single post has like, at least a couple, what you would call haters. I just like genuinely don't give a anymore. It's kind of funny. I think people like really get upset with it, but I think what it really came down to is two years ago when I was posting a lot of that stuff.

Just being a little bit vulnerable here, bro. I was less confident with my product, like what my offer was. And now I really know exactly what we're doing, like what I'm doing, and I'm very confident with the value that we can give. So I think that's why I really don't care.

Cause if anybody says anything, I'm like, we've paid out a [00:09:00] million dollars to producers. Like Talk to me. It's like, whatever.

Well, actually, this, this goes back to that book recommendation we have at the top of the episode where we talked about a hundred million dollar offers. One of the coolest things about creating an offer that people feel stupid saying no to is that you gain confidence in that you realize that like you can actually add value to people and you, at this point have not been doing all you possibly could be doing to add as much value as possible.

And I think that book does a really good job of helping you come up with the tools and ideas. You need to create something that is more valuable to your ideal client, so that you can show your best face to the public because you have so much confidence in yourself. That's why, I mean, the offer trickles down to everything now.

it's definitely that, I think also, I think it's just normal to, you know, be a little bit nervous being in front of everybody that you don't really know. Like, I don't really care about like public speaking or like I've always played in bands, so I don't really care about performing, but for some reason, I, I kind of just gave a little bit more of a because actually really [00:10:00] don't know, dude.

I think it just came down to the offer, but once I just started posting a bunch, like it just like, didn't matter because I knew exactly what I was doing. And again, yeah, you're right. It came down to the offer, but once you just continuously do it, it's just, you start not caring. It's fine. It's fine. It helps out some people you're good.

So now I post every single day on Instagram reels and then we repost on Tik TOK and YouTube shorts, and we're going to start getting into long form content know, podcasts, YouTube sort of stuff.

It's actually, it's interesting. You said that back in episode 201 with Peggy Dean, which episodes called how creatives can shamelessly and tastefully self promote. shared a story on there. The first time I ever attempted to do earned media was on Facebook lives.

It's actually the most terrifying thing possible.

I was, so nervous and I was using a tool called OBS. You can go back and listen to the episode. and there was like so much dead space at the beginning because they didn't realize it was streaming live before it actually went live. Anyways, all that to say, I was terrified the first time I did it and I just kept doing it over and over and over and over again.

And [00:11:00] now like going live on any platform, it doesn't bug me anymore. I'm immune to it. So that's what comes with repetition is the words mean less to us. someone could go online and hate me right? now and say like, Brian doesn't know what the hell he's talking about is stupid. And I'd be like, you know what that's your opinion.

I'm going to keep doing what I do.

and just kind of finish that thought off.

There's a quote it's actually hanging on my wife's wall in her office behind me is If you want to avoid criticism, then say nothing and do nothing. That's basically it that's the only way to avoid criticism.

Something that happened, which was really interesting. Okay. So here's an, a big thing with earned media is, I don't think it's like this any more but years ago.

In the music industry, if you were posting stuff that was like helping people or whatever, and it was kind of like earlier stuff, it's like, we didn't really have like you and I didn't really have other people kind of doing this sort of stuff. We would look at like HubSpot or read old advertising books was no, nuanced understanding for us to do this tastefully.

If that makes any sense, there was a lot of like, you know, big [00:12:00] billboard ads sort of thing. And it's like, how do we turn that to how we want to come across. I remember like years ago I was posting very regularly and somebody, reached out to me. And he was basically like, you know, the industry is essentially never going to with you because you come across too accessible.

You're too nice, blah, blah, blah. And like, it didn't really make any sense at the time because like, he wasn't even self-employed, I didn't take any of that criticism, but it's like, I look back that same person reached out to me years later and I was like asking for advice, you know?

So I think the thing is you kind of just have to stay with the process and like, don't be scared to help everybody and just, you know, serve your crew. You don't have to be the biggest, you just have to have a crew,

mind goes to the thousand true fans by Kevin Kelly that like, at this point, internet histories, like most famous referenced blog post, probably in the self-help world personal development world. Yeah. we don't have to have massive followings.

We just have to have loyal followings of some sort. And, as creatives is freelancers specifically, like it matters even less than we have [00:13:00] large followings, but we have to be consistent with it. And that's actually one of the hardest parts about earned media is it's a long game. It is

very much planting crops,

And it never goes away.

Yeah, they take a lot of time to tend the fields, to like nurture them, to fertilize them, to like tow, to pull out the weeds, you know, like there's a lot of metaphors that go along with earned media, but it just, It's a long game. And like, man, this is episode 202 of our podcasts or something. I don't know. yeah.

Two oh two hundred

and three actually.

I still don't know your name. I'm kidding.

it's been a long time. Like this has been a lot of work. Like this has been a ton of work, but it's been totally worth it. That's the thing is it's like you have to be consistent and persistent add value over the long term to do earned media.

And that's, that's just as true on social media as it is on a podcast, as it is on a YouTube channel or any other medium that you're trying to build an earned media following on it's a long game. And if you don't have the patience for it, don't even start the journey.

here's the interesting bit is if you are first starting your business and [00:14:00] you, are like scavenging, like you just really need to get a sale for something. The reason why a lot of people cut out on earned media and they will just go to ads immediately or something like that is because it's not working quick enough, but it compounds and once it starts compounding.

Not only do you get more sales from organic, from earned media, but also your paid ads become cheaper as well.

I wanted to go to paid media and next, because like, to me paid media, doesn't work without an earned media to back it up. So we need to talk about that. But before we get into that, I do want to mention that the compounding effect that you're talking about is really true on podcasts.

Like we probably average around a hundred downloads a month on our long backlog of episodes. so that just means. 200 episodes that are backlog. Obviously the more recent ones get a lot more per month because they're more recent, but like something from like episode a hundred probably gets a hundred episodes or a hundred downloads this month, but that's for that's for 200 episodes.

So that's 20,000 downloads a month on our [00:15:00] podcast, just from our backlog, not counting the people that are listening to our new stuff week to week to week. So like that stuff compounds. Cause when we have, we have a thousand episodes, that means that's a hundred thousand dollars a month that I just get passively because I've worked up to it over time.

So that is what you mean by the compounding effect. And it's the same on YouTube. Although YouTube has a discovery engine that podcasting doesn't really have, except now with podcasts, Spotify is attempting to be kind of the discovery engine cause they're recommending podcasts to you based on your interest and demographics, which is cool, but it hasn't really moved the needle a ton for many podcasts yet, but YouTube is the place where you can actually be discovered and be recommended on the homepage and stuff like that. So, social media is the same Tik. TOK has a discovery engine, but the backlog is kind of dead.

I think this was a big lesson that I learned is, something timeline-based or is it search engine based? So for instance, Instagram and Tech-Talk,

And Twitter. Remember Twitter,

Yeah. You're not going to see a lot of activity on stuff from a year ago. Like did, [00:16:00] when was the last time you got alike or a comment on something that was a year ago

that creepy person who's like stalking you. And they, they like bomb you. Or they go back like six years in like, like 20 photos. And you're like,

oh, that feels, that feels invasive.

right. So the thing is with Instagram, TechTalk, YouTube shorts, Twitter. It's very easy to put out content every single day, but that content is, you know, it's a flash in the pan. Now long form content, YouTube podcasts, stuff like that. It's a lot more difficult to make, you know, before we started doing this podcast today, we talked for, you know, a half hour half of it was him not being princess Leia anymore and figuring out audio, but the other half was talking to.

Yeah, what the hell should we talk about today? Let's let's make a good episode. And so it takes a lot more time. We had a schedule this out. but that's why this podcast is really good.

so when we put this out, people will listen to this a year from now. Because it's search engine base, you know, you can look up, you can [00:17:00] search in Spotify or apple. You can search on YouTube

Yeah, and

we try to make our episode titles somewhat keyword friendly. I don't necessarily go after specific keywords each episode, but putting the word client acquisition in every episode in the series will probably help our SEO and tell Google, like, Hey, we need to show this content for somebody looking for this sort of stuff.

Another thing I want to mention before we move on to the next source of clients or traffic or leads or whatever you want to call, this an important concept.

something you sparked my brain, something you said and apologies. If anyone can hear the rain, it's like storming in my house right now. So if you hear weird background noises from that, but here's, here's something that's really important. You pointed out how hard it is to produce this podcast, but we it's a priority for me every single week to do at least one episode now.

and we're trying to get back ahead on everything and like, get this thing just humming along, but it's a priority for me for so many other people, freelancers, I'm looking at you is content creation, marketing, anything that has to do with actually getting clients is on the back burner. we wouldn't be our little creative selves.

You want to go out there and [00:18:00] like do the fun stuff. But we avoid all these things that like are actually what it takes to run a business. That's why the sign behind me says it takes more than passion. those other things that you don't want to do are what actually move the needle in your business.

So if you were going to do earned media, paid media, outbound, anything to get clients, to get traffic, to get awareness for yourself, you have to prioritize that. Just like it's your, your core business, because if you don't have clients Right.

This stuff matters. If you're, if you're booked up a hundred percent with your perfect client, just from referrals, ignore it.

Just turn shingles in this podcast. Or at least not this, this series, otherwise this stuff matters and you've got to prioritize it.

kind of to go with prioritization I said kind of something like this on a previous episode, but it should never be hunting season. It should just be harvesting season. You should always be planting seeds because when you need to, get your crop or farm, but whatever you need food, Hey, it's ready for you.

Everybody's ready to buy what typically happens in the freelance world. When I was, only producing, this was something that [00:19:00] I struggled with early on. And everybody has, is you kind of play leapfrog. You have a bunch of clients and it's taking up all of your time. You don't do any marketing. And then the projects end and you're like, oh my God, I need more clients.

So then you do marketing and then you just post a bunch of stuff and then you get more clients. And if the cycle continues and when that happens, you don't have enough money to get a team and you don't have enough time to focus on everything. So it really comes about prioritization. And how can I do both of these things at the same time?

So the end of the day, you need to make it simple and be able to kind of document yourself. It shouldn't be fancy. It's going to be fancy. You can't do it. Simple scales, fancy fails.

And to add to that that's why freelancers have the feast or famine cycle is they plant a lot of crops? They eat, they get fat and mother eating and getting fat. They're not planning the next battle, the next crops. So then they're in famine mode, wishing they had food and the cycle continues.

So let's move on to the next media type or the next way of getting clients or awareness is [00:20:00] really kind of the theme of this episode. That's paid media before you turn it off for free skip this. This is really important this is an area that so many people either over-complicate, or they don't have the right strategy for, and it's worth, at least talking about, and your strategy might be different than mine mark.

So maybe we can, we can swap notes here, but huge on what Alex Moz talks about in his book or somewhere I've heard him talking about it allows and just podcast as well as something called client financed acquisition. This is the key to all ad spend everywhere. And this is what I've done for years and how I've spent, profitably spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on paid advertising.

And this is a wonderful secret that not many people seem to know, but that is, if you understand. All the pieces of the puzzle for paid advertising, which is a lot, is beyond the scope of most freelancers, which is why most freelancers struggle. This, you have to be a good copywriter. You have to have a good preferably, a good backlog of content to nurture people.

Long-term, that's why this podcast is so effective for us is like people fall into the world from ads and then they get stuck because they love the content on this podcast. And they built a relationship with [00:21:00] on the show, that kind of stuff, but they have to be good at copywriting. Some sort of creative, if you're using Facebook ads or some sort of interruptive advertising you have to have a good understanding of like what you're doing once you get the lead.

So follow up automation, all these things. I'm not going to necessarily cover that, but I want to talk about client finance acquisition, because if you can nail all those pieces of the puzzle, this part is amazing. So here's how a client finance acquisition works most people. And I'm not saying, not saying to do this straight off the bat, but most people have a credit card.

this is in a nutshell. I have a chase ink. This is

Let's bring out the cars, bro. Come on. Let's go.

I have a chase ink business preferred card on this card. I don't know what the credit limit is. It's, it's something pretty damn high. the wonderful thing about that specific card is it's three points per dollar spent on ads. So That's what's paid for our honeymoon.

That's awesome.

Yeah, it's amazing.

So with that credit card, I can spend up to whatever the credit limit is. I don't know what it is. Tens of thousands in a month. And I have the entire month to recoup that ad spend [00:22:00] before I have to shell out any of my own actual money. happens is if you have a really good Dallin funnel that you've tested first, you can start to scale up ad spend in a way that says this.

If I spend a thousand dollars this week on paid ads, what do I make off of that? Those leads that I get in those. 30 days because I have 30 days to monetize those leads. If I get more than a thousand dollars back, I've just acquired a customer for free or at a profit and paid off my credit card before I ever get charged.

So I actually used the credit cards, money to finance client acquisition for my business or my businesses, because I have multiple ones at this point, your, your beautiful dogs behind you. Mark's uh, what's the dog's name.

guys just jumping on the cash.

She's a wonderful dog. I just met her today. So that's the beauty of client finance acquisition is you are setting your business up in a way that you are getting leads and monetizing those leads in 30 days before you ever have to pay a cent out of pocket.

And it's a wonderful thing and that's, that's all I've ever done. I've never had to pay out of pocket for ads. So like I'm not actually paying for [00:23:00] ads. I am using other people's money to bring me clients. That's essentially how.

I had to learn this years ago when I first started that pitch. There's a thing called like floating capital or floating funds. It's the same exact thing is, okay, why am I gonna use my own debit card? When if I pay this down within a month, I don't pay any interest.

And if I know that number one, there's enough people that are going to buy. And then I have which will be our next topic, owned media. I have an email automation or something that over 30 days is like, you want to, you want to do this? You want to do this? Or, Hey, here's an incentive to do this place here.

That plays all right, bye. And so if you can do that within 30 days, you don't spend anything out of pocket and you're really just like borrowing from the bank. you got to do the math, you really gotta do the math.

Cause I've seen a lot of people try to do this. I used to do this model where I would put clients on subscription. It was like a mid ticket or high



came [00:24:00] on our podcast years ago to talk about that, actually,

Yeah. It was a great business model and I still suggest doing it.

for anyone who is curious about that episode to have your clients on a recurring retainer episode 68 using Instagram marketing to build recurring income with mark Eckert

Yeah, that was my, that was my intro into uh, this just vortex of fame that you've given me.

That was back in 2019, actually

February, 2019.

Yeah, it's not that long ago. It

It really isn't. Yeah.

but, um, I think that the hard thing with paid ads I'm guilty of this.

Like, honestly, dude, like, I, it, I got really lucky with an ad that just really fucking took off it made me a lot of money,

I was so scared to edit it at that point or add anything else. Cause I thought I was going to screw it up. You sometimes get beginner luck and you're so scared to do anything that once it starts not doing well, you're just like, I don't really know if this is profitable.

That's what happened to me. And so I really had to start learning a lot about ads and [00:25:00] any time you run ads, you pay to learn, and that can be a very painful thing. You don't know exactly what to do. There's not a course you're taking, or you don't have somebody that can kind of give you a little bit of insight.


So I've joined a few courses and programs for that. And I, I'll say the two resources are the main resource for me. It was perpetual traffic podcast. If you're trying to get into paid advertising go through like the first 10 episodes of that entire thing, and then kind of skip around because some of it's outdated or whatever, but let me back this up, because this is an important note also is the good thing about paid ads is you're not endlessly turning out content Think about this on paid ads, you can have one great ad that's converting at a high level that you could spend depending on your market size. You could spend hundreds of thousands on without ever having to change out.

Oh, we ran the same ad for a year and a half. It was so profitable. It was.

In social media, you can't do that. You have to continually put out content. That's that's one of the reasons I've never done social media is I know that I can spend one good afternoon brainstorming, really good ad hooks and creatives and ideas, launch them all [00:26:00] and let Facebook determine who the winner is.

And then I'm done for awhile. Like I can just let that run and I can tweak if I want to, but once I have a reasonable return on ad spend, within 30 days, I move on to other things cause there's bigger and better things to work on in my business. So paid media amazing for those of you who want the ability to just turn on a traffic source and then cut it off and you no longer need it.

But the problem is when you cut it off, or if you let an ad creative die out, that is no longer working where it just trickles off and is no longer profitable. Then you're feast or famine mode. You've got to go back to the drawing board and launch a new funnel, a new creative, a new offer, something.

I will say this, regarding paid media and earned media because I. Building my business off of paid media for a while. And I stopped doing earned media. I didn't really post much at all. I was just like, yo, my ads working. Hell yeah. But I found is I think the best situation is to do both.

And this is why this is what I've learned recently. you know, you can talk about [00:27:00] like how platforms constantly change and blah, blah, blah. But I think at the end of the day, earned media decreases your cost of acquisition, because it gives you the ability to build a relation with somebody over time, in different ways.

Whereas ads they're really, unless you're just a maniac with ads, you're not going to run a thousand different pieces of content necessarily. and you shouldn't, you know, cause you'd waste so much money. But earned media, you can post all these different things. And what I've noticed recently for me at least.

It's kind of me a B testing. It's like me testing a bunch of different ads. because every ad is essentially inorganic piece and people overcomplicate Facebook, as all you're doing is you are paying to build your own algorithm. That's it you're doing earned media and you're just posting something, the algorithm decides who it's going to get in front that's it.

But a paid, you know, paid ad is you pay for the luxury of telling Instagram, [00:28:00] Facebook. Tech-Talk whomever of how you want the algorithm to work for you and how many people you want it to get in front of that's the power, but you can only do that. If you already have something that's kind of working.

Cause it all comes down to the ad.

Well, here's the other added benefit of paid media that no one talks about I've never seen to. And we talked about this this is so helpful for me is when I'm running ads, you have something called statistical significance. That means that there are enough eyeballs that have seen this thing.

And. Uh, Split test has shown that version a is better than version B. I can so quickly test. I can get thousands or tens of thousands of impressions in days, to Tell me.

which one is more attracted to my ideal client.

When I know this definitively I can roll it out through the rest of my business, new headlines my mainland landing pages. How I talk about our position, my messaging in some way, shape or form, it speeds up learning so much so that all other areas of your business are more effective now.

we've talked about this as freelancers, we may have the most appealing offer in the world. But if we Explain it to people in a way that's attractive, meaning your messaging is on [00:29:00] point, then it doesn't matter how good your offer is.

So if we take that to now paid media and we try a bunch of different angles, call it little miniature elevator pitches, and we see which one's the most attractive to people. According to a massive scale of testing. Now, anyone I ever talked to any landing page that I create to warm traffic, I don't have the test anymore.

I know that statistically proven to be the best way to communicate that.

what I also realized too, and it kind of goes back to the start of the conversation. It all comes back to the offer I have had in the past the biggest issue on how to communicate what my offer was, not for production necessarily with my freelance clients, but for that pitch and some other things that I've had, and you might run into, like, you don't know how to explain exactly the value you provide.

And if you can't explain that, if you can't communicate it, then you're going to have problems. It all stems to the offer. I think Brian, the reason why you over the vast majority of people that [00:30:00] I know are so great at just communicating, this is the one thing it does forget everything else. You know, this works, it's not the sexiest thing, but it just works.

And that's what makes it sexy, you know? And you've just done a really, really good job of. Good communication. you used to send me like copywriting courses I think that's how you knew I was serious is because I was like, I was like five years old at the time, wherever the hell, you know, pre beard.

and you were like, Hey, buy this course. It was like one of the first conversations you had. And I think it was like $400. I probably had like 400, $5 in my bank account and I, I called you and I was like, okay, I bought it. And I think you were like, okay, sick. Okay. That was like me proving to you. It's like, all right, bro.

That means I can hit you up again.

But a people pleaser and what a people pleaser

No, it was one of the best courses I ever tried. Anyway. Sorry, I'm getting off, off topic,

but it all comes down to the offer.

here's the problem with this, man. It doesn't all come down to anything. And I, and [00:31:00] if I ever say that I'm probably overstating it. Like, honestly, all of this stuff plays together, like paid media. Amazing, really hard to make it work. If you don't have some sort of earned media, some sort of consent, consensual content.

Sure. That's the way of saying it. Continuous content.

If you don't have some sort of continuous content coming out over time to nurture people. Cause like, if you listen to our last episode in this client acquisition series, I call it the 3% role. So this number varies all over the place, but only like one to 3% of people are ready to buy right now.

The other chunk like 15, 20% of people are in consideration phase and The other 80% aren't in any remote interest to buying right now. So that content over time is what keeps people interested in. What you have to offer builds. Trust builds credibility until they're ready to buy. So that's why this stuff paste all comes together and moving into our third.

And probably the last one we'll talk about, honestly, in this episode, because it's going along today. The third of these six clients sources are traffic sources for your, for your business is owned media. And this is another area where [00:32:00] these all work in a wonderful, wonderful circle or flywheel own media is essentially an email list.

You heard me talk about it with Peggy Dean, couple episodes back we talked about her mailing list. She has 75,000 people on our mailing list and it is far and above more valuable to her than her Instagram following.

and she actually grew most of that list using Another thing on this list, which is partners, which we're not going to get into today, that's beyond the scope

of this conversation. Let's talk about owned media now because um, this one I'm big on, I've been talking about forever.

Like the freelance market is sleeping on this. they're not woke yet, but building a mailing list is all part of this. And this all goes together, paid media to build a list, earned media, to nurture the list. Owned media to then sell to the list. And when we talk about like, if you're going to have earned media, podcast, a YouTube channel.

If you don't have an email list to let that audience know when new content comes out, you can't rely on YouTube subscriptions. You can't rely on the Instagram algorithm. You can't rely on the podcast feed. You have to have an owned media source, like a mailing [00:33:00] list to control. Who sees what, when they see it.

kind of want to bring this back to a couple episodes ago when we were talking about dating. Imagine going on a date, it went well, and then you just never hit them up again.

in the relationship. This is getting, this is getting the number.

you got the number and then you ghosted them

weird. just having an email list doesn't really mean anything.

You have to use it

and there's a lot of different ways to use it. Like you can have, you can, it should have, if you're building a mailing list through especially paid ads, but earned media as well. Like we have on this podcast, you've probably heard ads from me that I've created pushing you to certain things, whether it's a lead magnet, whether it's a direct to a product that I offer like our software that we have or whatever with own media, you can automate a lot of the followup, but that doesn't have to be the only way of doing it. You can also do manual followup with people. Cause I'll take segments of my email list all the time and manually email them. When I have something that I'm like something especially higher costs, like a freelance service that I can afford to mail out.

One-to-one where I don't have to have it at scale like software companies where you're like paying 20 bucks, 30 bucks a month, whatever. It's hard [00:34:00] to do, personalized one-to-one outreach. It's just not very profitable, but for services in a freelance world where you're offering something for them, Possibly thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars, you can get off of the automated world onto the manual world.

But the own media is the way to keep top of mind when you put out content every single week with your podcast or YouTube channel, or you an email out about your social media content. Cause that's a little weird,


for a blog you could do something like that though. How big is your list?

How much do you bench?

My bench?

has really weak man

ask me I'm on a squad. That's the, that's the good


so we just pruned it. Which that's a whole other topic, basically. If people aren't responding, get rid of them it's less than 10,000. I think it's over 9,000 somewhere

in between there.

Over 9,000. That was a

dragon buzzy reference there.

it used to be like around 13,000 or so. But sometimes people will stop responding and you want to make sure that there's good open rates all the time, because you don't want Google or Yahoo or whatever the hell people are using to be like, oh, this isn't worth it because you always want to show up in priority.

If you show up in. Social or something like that, [00:35:00] people aren't going to open it. people aren't opening it and then continue not to open it, we built out an email funnel that basically kind of says like, do you still want this essentially And then that happens like four or five times, and if they still don't open it, they're just removed.

Yeah. So we do the same thing with our mailing list and I love how you're like trying to qualify. We're just cleaning. I just want to like 9,000, but like,

Yeah. But you have like 500 billion dude. So like, I look like, I'm like the young pup bro.

it's fine. We give it time. Yeah. How old are you now?

Yeah, I've got almost a decade on you, dude. So when you're 35,

I already have some gray hairs, bro. I'm talking.

let me, let me back this up. Cause like audience listening right now, you don't need tens of thousands. You need, you need thousands with a freelance offer. If you're really targeted who you're talking to and is very specific and you hone in on the pain points of what they're struggling with and offer different ways of helping you get valuable content that builds your credibility and builds trust and makes them want to give you something because of the reciprocity effect, you don't have to have thousands of people on a mailing list.

but no matter how big your list is, You want to do exactly what mark said there. If [00:36:00] they're not opening emails, you can either manually unsubscribe them. most mailing lists things we'll sh we'll have a way to clean lists for people that aren't actively engaged or you can build out complex convoluted.

Automations is just probably what mark did to have like what's called like a uh, resuscitation series where you're trying to get a big chunk of people who haven't opened an email in six months to finally open an email. And if they don't, you actually just remove them from your list either way.

It's just called list hygiene.

You want to have a very active list?

You want to wash your list?

wash it. I don't know about you, but like 50% of my email list has opened or clicked on a link in the last 30 days.

So valuable

for me and also like on when I'm running paid ads, Hi, monetize profitably in 30 days, but more than half of our sales come from the 30 day plus

period. And this is something I really wish I would've known earlier on like when the heyday of Facebook marketing, where it was even cheaper to run ads, where if I didn't know these numbers better, I would have spent so much more on [00:37:00] ads because like, think about this.

Like, if you have a, vending machine sitting in your, in your apartment lobby or near your house on the corner and you put in a dollar to that vending machine and it spits out $2 to you, what are you going to do next? Are you

gonna do it again? You're gonna do it again and again and again until it no longer stop spitting out $2 bills.

there's a lot of people think that, you know, if you're a freelancer, it's just like clients, you're just talking about the work or whatever. But I was working with just artists at the time. Now we work with producers too, but like I was just working with artists.

And so I would come out with eBooks, like lead magnets of like running your own PR and stuff like that. And what I would do is if they were a client of mine and they paid me if they were on my list for a certain amount of time, they had like opened certain amount of stuff. They had, you know, we had done a certain amount of songs, whatever.

I actually gave them a free remix and I would pay one of my buddies. Who's just a great remix producer. And that was like always a bonus. So like, people were just constantly stoked and then they would want to work with me more. and this would happen like a year, a year and a half out.

Like, so you gotta be patient. Something I heard today [00:38:00] is Alex or Moz. He was like talking about the one who can have the longest timeline or something like that. I'm sure you heard like that quote basically the one who can have the longest. Timeline to success. Like the one who can be the most patient.

It's like the marshmallow analogy, the kid who waits for one marshmallow or in five minutes, he can get two marshmallows. The one that can wait the longest for two marshmallows typically is going to be the most successful.

So basically what you're saying, mark, if I'm understanding, which is, it was a super interesting study by the way, the marshmallow study. I don't remember who it was.

It was like Harvard or somebody, one of those big Princeton or somebody to just study. they gave kids the chance that you could have one marshmallow. We'll leave the room. If you don't eat this marshmallow, we'll give you another marshmallow is five minutes and they actually follow these kids for like 20 years afterwards.

the kids who actually waited for the person to come back and earn their two marshmallows where I don't know what the, what the metrics were, but they were more successful than the kids who ate their damn marshmallow. And didn't wait for the second marshmallow. So using patients using time as an ally and seven enemy is a huge part of this.

[00:39:00] And the Email list.

is, is part of that as well, because let's just pretend you're using paid ads. And let's pretend that you're running ads on the front end client financed acquisition. as a freelancer, like we also have to think through like, obviously want to be profitable in the first 30 days because we're offering services.

And so like we can't spend all of our money on ads or else we make nothing, but on the backend we gotta think of what's client worth to us lifetime as well, and good fortune media, my podcast agency, a client in the first 30 days may not be worth that much, but on the backend, it's worth a ton because you have somebody paying thousands per month for podcast production services over a year or two, that gets into the tens of thousands of dollars.

so if you have a mailing list, it allows you to wait and follow up with them for a long amount of time to where they can eventually pay you. And that just picks up all the leads that It's the not low hanging fruit. it's the very high up fruit that takes forever to get To To get to, I don't know, it was a kind of a analogy, but

We're out of steam.

The podcast is good. Enjoy it. You got the message

yeah. So on the next episode of the client acquisition series. We'll [00:40:00] schedule after this mark, we'll talk about creating an offer. That's so good that people feel stupid saying no to you. And if you want to get a head, start on that, It's probably gonna be a couple of weeks from now.

Cause I have some interviews lined up between now and then go buy a hundred million dollar offers by Alex or mosey. Which is a crazy story. He had no publisher. He had no advertising, no launch nothing. And it's like a bestselling book.

It's the number one bestseller advertising book on Amazon for 10 months straight.

Yeah, it's crazy. It is. Cause It's a great book. So go buy the book, get a head start. And then we'll talk about how it applies to you as freelancers, because Alex Moz has got a hundred million dollar business. So like,

he's different than us. He's a different, he's a different level than us, but that doesn't mean we can't learn from him.

And I love I'm so excited. This is why we shifted from six figure on studio to six-figure creative is that we get to take these other things from these other industries and bring them to creatives. it's so fun. It's so fun to take like things from industries that make no sense ever coming into our world.

That works so well in our world. If we, take the time to apply them. And so the next episode of this series creating your irresistible offer, whatever how you want to call it will be I think, [00:41:00] a treat for people.

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