Today we’re going to be talking to Seth Greene, an investor who cut his teeth on direct response marketing and has now become a best-selling author as he teaches others what he knows. He built a business with clever lead generation, trusting his staff through dedicated systems and finding clever ways to reach clients. Seth is very enthusiastic when it comes to business and is going to tell us the importance of getting the right approach, the value of split testing and why listening can be a great sales tool. All in all, this episode is a great one for anyone who wants to understand the marketing side when they invest in property.
Topics discussed in this episode:
The importance of networking
How the right mentor can add value to your career and business
The shortcuts to networking the property market in 2020
How to level up your industry contact list
What made Seth leave 9-5 behind
Why he went from making 300 cold calls a day to only taking inbound calls
The importance of marketing diversity when you invest in real estate
The advantages of direct mail
The value in surveying nonresponders
Taking a positive attitude towards your mistakes
How paid ads can increase your reach
The value of split testing on social media
Defying norms for a competitive advantage
How your systems become your business
The value of listening in the context of sales
Ideas to start a lead magnet
How to get that initial email right
INTRODUCTION: Diversity leads to stability. If I’ve only got one source of leads and everybody gets on a do-not-call list, I’m screwed.
PAUL DOCAMPO: All right. This is Seth Greene from the SharkPreneur show, and I got him on this show today and I’m really excited about it because he is a co-owner of the SharkPreneur with Kevin Harrington. We’re going to talk about different aspects of his business, entrepreneurship, marketing, and how we can tie that in for a real estate investor because he has some tips for that. So welcome to the show, Kevin. I really appreciate you being on here. I mean…
SETH GREENE: (0:00:36.8) Uh, thanks. Seth.
SG: Yes, I was going to say. (laughing) I know we look alike, but he’s a little older than I am. Well, thank you very much. I’m really excited to be here and share with your audience.
PDC: Awesome. I appreciate that. You started your entrepreneur life pretty early into college. Your story is amazing. I recommend everybody checking that out and checking out his story about how he started college and his failure in the playwright industry, right, in college?
SG: Musical theatre. Correct.
PDC: Musical theatre. Then you met Dan Kennedy and Dave Dee and that kind of started you into your business. How did you even get into contact with David Dee because I think that networking is so important for real estate investors, and you have a lot of advice about networking. What can you share about networking and how you even gain contact with these top players in the industry.
SG: (0:01:30.4) Sure. All right. So Dave Dee..I was 21 maybe. It was like 20 years ago, more than that. I was a magician, part time, as a hobby. Did a couple kids’ birthday parties here and there to make a few extra bucks to buy tricks. And I was a struggling financial advisor at the time. I was a college planner, helping families cut the cost of college in half, not saving money FOR college but saving money ON college.
My branch manager at the Fortune 500 financial firm I worked for had given me a book where he told me all my clients were going to come from my whole career. I said, “This is awesome. I’m young. I’m dumb. I’m going to be rich. I’m going to buy a Ferrari. Give me the book,” and it was the phone book. Some of your people aren’t old enough to remember what a phone book is, but it was literally the Yellow Pages and he said, “They’re all in there. Go get ‘em.” So I didn’t know any better. I was making 300 cold calls a day, interrupting strangers, asking for money, getting hung up on, and I was not happy.
I was reading a magic trade journal. Magicians have trade journals just like everybody else, and there was a full-page ad for a marketing course by Dave Dee. I didn’t know who he was, but the headline got my attention. It said Make an Executive-Level Income Working Part-Time as a Magician. So I borrowed the money from my parents because I was cold calling so I had no money to buy the course. I applied what I learned to my magic business. I became the busiest, most expensive magician in Buffalo, New York where I lived. So it worked really well.
One of the bonuses that came with the course was a critique call with Dave. So I got on my critique call, and I said, “It’s working great! I’m thrilled! Would this work in my real job as a financial advisor?” and he said, “Yes.”
I said, “Awesome! Where’d ya learn it?” and he said the two words that changed my life. He said, “Dan Kennedy.”
So I said, “Awesome! How do I talk to Dan?”
He said, “You don’t.” He said, “You can buy some books, buy some courses, buy some products, come to some events. Unless you join a mastermind, you’re not going to talk to him.”
I’m like, “Fine! You just put a big, red flag..I’m a bull..you just threw the..I got to get through it.”
So I did buy books. I did buy products. I did get more courses with the money from my magic shows that I was making, and then I got to be on a group conference call. It was promoting whatever his latest book was at the time. I had really fast fingers when they said press *1 to ask a question. I was like number three, so I got to ask my question.
He said, “Well, we should really talk offline about that.” So I did a consultation with Dan, and at the very end of it he basically said, “Write me a six-figure check, and I’ll change your life.” I mean, his pitch was way better than that. It took hours, but I mean, you get the..that was the end result. It was write me a big check and I’ll change your life.
So I went home to my wife. In that year..a couple years had gone by before that happened. I had gotten married. We bought our first house, had our first baby, and she’d quit her job to be a stay-at-home mom while I was cold calling for a living. So a little stressful year. Happy stress but stress. Then I had to go home and say, “Honey, I have to go borrow more than our mortgage on our house to go hire this guy Dan,” and she said, “No.” Thirty days later I asked her every single day, and my ask got more intense. Her rebuttals got more profane until on day 31 she caved and said, “You better pray this beep works,” which it did.
I was the 6,700th ranked advisor at that firm. I was in last place. In two years of working with Dan, I was in the top 30 nationwide for opening new accounts, and that was competing against guys who had been building their practices twice as long as I had even been alive. So it got me written about in a lot of trade journals.
My phone started ringing off the hook with advisors going, “How do I do that?” I said, “Dan, what do I do?” and he said, “You start a marketing company and do it for them.” So that was MarketDominationLLC.com, which I started 13 years ago. It started out as me and one advisor I let hire me to see if it would work, and now we’ve served almost 3,000 clients in 62 different industries in every time zone on the planet, and we have an awesome team of 35 people who work here.
(0:05:34.3) Now, you asked a question about networking, so I’m actually going to answer that part now. So how I got to Dave was I spent money, and a lot of marketing gurus, a lot of course creators, they will throw in bonus certificates for critique calls and analysis and stuff like that as a bonus to make the course look more valuable. Nobody ever cashes them in. Dave said I was only one of like two people that entire year who actually did the critique call, and when I had been in a mastermind led by Alex Mandossian of MarketingOnline.com for four or five years now with some..I mean, Ryan Deiss from DigitalMarketer is in that mastermind. It’s a huge..it’s like 30 people..30-50. There are some serious players in that room, and Alex said..Ryan and I both bought the same course many, many years ago. It was like Marketing With Postcards, and he said the only two people who ever did critique calls were me and Ryan Deiss. I’m like I’m in pretty good company because Ryan has like a $100 million company. So that’s one way to get in.
I think if you’re not buying their courses, if they’re selling a course, it’s a lot easier now than it was when I started. When I started, there was no social media. There was no Facebook. Email was barely a thing. So I think it’s easier now to get to people. I think posting on their walls, on their pages, writing positive reviews, commenting is a great way to show up in front of somebody over and over and over again so they know who you are and you’re adding value to the community.
(0:07:08.5) My number one strategy now for getting in front of high-level, impossible-to-reach people is interviewing them for a podcast. I started that when I had no audience whatsoever, and my original interviews were done on FreeConferenceCall.com. They sounded awful, and we had no production quality whatsoever. You could literally hear the, “Hey, nice to meet you, Mr. Jones. Thanks for doing this.” I didn’t know to edit those out. I didn’t know to have an intro and music and any of that stuff. Now, obviously, I co-host a show with Kevin from Shark Tank, and we were the number six rated show last year to listen to, so we’ve grown a lot.
But I get asked all the time, if you had to start over with $100 and a laptop, what would you do? I would pick a niche. I would build a list from Google or LinkedIn of the top like 25 influencers in that space. I would reach out via email to interview them for a podcast, and then I would find what the biggest problem in that space was and ask them how they were solving it or how they would solve it. I’d create a product out of that interview series, like a summit or a book or a course of what I learned. Use that to build a list and gain influence in the niche, borrow the credibility of those 25 people, and then take off from there.
PDC: Awesome. And where would you think you’d be if you never did pay that..you said it was a six-figure check to Dan Kennedy. I’m assuming you didn’t have that.
SG: I did not have..I borrowed it. I did not have one percent of that money to pay Dan Kennedy.
PDC: Okay. So where would you be if you didn’t pay that right now?
SG: (0:08:36.9) Okay, so part of me thinks I would still be cold calling for a living, interrupting strangers as just a financial advisor instead of a serial entrepreneur owning four companies. I think I would probably still be doing magic professionally. I would have applied the stuff that Dave Dee taught me to my financial services business so hopefully it would still be successful, but I don’t think I would be anywhere close to where we are now.
PDC: And that was a W-2 job, am I..or were you…
SG: It was 100 percent commission.
PDC: One hundred percent commission. Did you leave immediately after you opened up Marketing Domination LLC?
SG: (0:09:16.7) Yeah. So I left October 23, 2007, because October 23rd was my brother’s birthday. I just happened to pick ‘07 as the year we did it. I left and started my own financial planning firm, leaving the Fortune 500 company and the marketing firm the same day because the Fortune 500 company wouldn’t let me do all of the marketing I wanted to do on the financial planning side. They had tentatively let me do the marketing firm, but that was when I was charging a couple hundred bucks a month and didn’t have very many clients. I could see the writing on the wall that, as we were growing, they were going to have a problem with it because they had a sales prevention department. And I also saw the writing on the wall that there were rumors we were going to get bought out by a bank because it was the subprime bubble burst, and I didn’t want to stick around. There’s no way a bank would’ve let me get away with half the stuff I wanted to do, so I left and started both companies on the same day.
PDC: Cold calling is big in real estate as far as the operators who are out there looking for the motivated sellers. So how many cold calls were you making before talking to Dan Kennedy and then after?
SG: (0:10:23.1) Okay, before talking to Dan, I made 300 a day, which your guys who are calling FSBOs and stuff like that can totally relate to. I’ve done some marketing in the real estate education space for some of the household name gurus selling courses, coaches, mastermind programs, so I know a little bit to be dangerous. So yeah, I was making 300 dials myself. We didn’t have virtual assistants back then making cold calls for us. It was all me. Since then, zero. After this marketing I learned from Dan started working, I only took inbound calls, which was the dream he sold me. It was you’ll stop cold calling and people will call you and want what you’ve got. I said, “Oh my god! That would change my life!” So then he said, “Okay, write me a really big check.” So I went from 300 a day to zero.
PDC: So do you not then recommend with your clients..you take clients from Marketing Domination LLC, right? Is that the main..okay, so any client, any industry that comes in, do you try to get them off of cold calling?
SG: (0:11:16.3) Absolutely! Because they’re hiring us to generate the leads for them. They’re hiring us to drive traffic or whichever of the services we offer. They’re hiring us to grow their business so that they can run it. So if they were cold calling, I would say as soon as our results beat yours, you should stop. Don’t quit until it’s working better. I had one client who had a course he was selling, and it was all driven by radio ads. I said, “We’re gonna replace your radio ads, but don’t stop the radio ads until we beat their results because the revenue won’t be there.” He did not listen. Thirty days in he says, “I can’t pay my bill to you. My credit card bounced.” I’m like, “Why?” “Well, I stopped spending any money on radio ads, and I haven’t made any money,” and I said, “We told you to take 90 days to build what you need. It’s a whole thing. I told you not to stop anything.” So don’t quit the cold calling until you have something better, but obviously our goal is to be that something better.
PDC: So it’s not so much the channel..you don’t have like some secret channel that people..you’re trying to replace this type of one-channel mentality. So what are you replacing it with? Are you replacing it with different layers of marketing, and what is it exactly that you might be doing with a client?
SG: (0:12:28.2) It completely depends. So yes, we’re trying to replace one channel because diversity leads to stability. If I’ve only got one source of leads and everybody gets on a do-not-call list, I’m screwed. I went through that cold calling. The do-not-call list originally came out when I was smiling and dialing, and all of a sudden I couldn’t call half the people on the list anymore. So I would say, yes, our goal is to get you into multi-channel. What channels are going to depend on the target market. So that informs every decision as to where we’re going to market. So you might be..depending on the base you’re going after, direct mail might be the best for you. We’re doing some real estate-motivated lead generation right now on Facebook. Or maybe it’s LinkedIn or YouTube. It just depends on what your target market is.
PDC: And so does..I mean, I guess money would be a big factor for real estate investors, wholesalers. The reason why people start wholesaling is because they have no money. So I guess the…
SG: Plus they’re not buying the house, fixing it up themselves, and flipping it. They’re flipping the deal to somebody else.
PDC: Right, right, right. So that’s all contingent on marketing. So they’re trying to find easy, cheap ways to market, cold calling…
SG: They’re out there doing rabbit signs and everything else.
PDC: Right, yeah. Text messaging which is real cheap, although they’re doing it illegally I think from…
SG: Technically you can’t spam people.
PDC: Right, right. So somebody who has absolutely no money, you can’t really help them anyways, right? What’s some of the aspects you can add if you’re giving free advice to a real estate investor with no money trying to reach out to motivated sellers?
SG: (0:13:58.8) Okay, so first of all, nobody takes free advice. If they pay, they pay attention. Given that disclaimer, you have no money and you need to generate motivated sellers, so if I’m telling you not to cold call or you want something better than cold calling and you’ve got no money, I would say your cheapest best bet is direct mail because if you made a list of FSBOs (for sale by owner) that you were cold calling anyway, you presumably have their addresses. So you could take a hundred of those people and literally spend $50 on stamps and mail them. You could probably fit four pages in a #10 envelope before the postage cost goes up. You could probably actually mail more than that. So let’s pretend you’re super cheap, and you’re sending a letter that’s front and back one page. You spent $50. You’ve got to buy paper, envelopes, and ink. I’m presuming you have a printer. But you can spend $50 and send it to a hundred people. You get a couple. You get one deal. I mean, obviously, your ROI is infinite.
PDC: Yeah, I don’t want to dive too much into the marketing thing because there’s a ton of advice right there, and I think the biggest thing that real estate investors need to realize is the list is the most important part of marketing. So it doesn’t really matter on the channel. But I’m interested to know, on your progression, if you had a lot of time struggling, it took you years to get to where you’re at right now. If we’re just right out the gate, you immediately..I mean, we saw success in your firm, but what about afterwards and even before that?
SG: (0:15:31.2) Okay. So I’m not sure if I completely understand the question, but I’ll answer what I think you asked. My first direct mail campaign was a complete flop. So the first one I did with Dan..the first thing I did bombed. It was a long form, multi-page seminar invitation. Financial advisors are taught to sell..instead of one to one, get 30-50 baby boomers with money in a room, feed them a free dinner, and try and sell them something. So I wrote a Dan Kennedy-inspired, long form seminar invitation, and it bombed. He said, “I could tell you why it bombed, but you’ll learn the lesson if you physically call people who didn’t respond, get on the phone, and ask them if they remember getting it and why they didn’t respond.”
I said, “You want just tell me?”
“No, I’m not going to feed it to you.” Okay. He’s like, “Here’s a marketing lesson. Survey the nonresponders.”
So I started cold calling people who got the invitation, and the headline I think I had written was like 9 Biggest Retirement Mistakes, something like that. Every single answer I got as to why they didn’t respond and who remembered it was exactly the same, and the response was, “Son, nine biggest retirement mistakes? I probably made 11. What do I need to come to your workshop for?”
I said, “Dan, that’s what I got,” and he said, “Change your headline. I’m going to add three words, and it’s going to work this time.”
I said, “Awesome! What are the three words?”
He said, “Change it to How to Avoid the 9 Biggest Retirement Planning Mistakes.”
I changed the headline. We didn’t change anything else. We mailed it all over again. I had a full house.
SG: So my first attempt doing it myself with a little bit of guidance..he was like, “I want you to write your first one to see how well you can write and learn my copywriting techniques”..failed. It was an easy fix. Has every single campaign been a hit along the way? No, absolutely not. But we fail faster. We fail cheaper. We fail smarter. I try and make new mistakes and not make the same one over and over and over again. So yeah, there are ups and downs. It’s a roller coaster no matter what, but the bumps get smaller. You even it out more. You learn and improve along the way so that any mistakes you do make are smaller than when you don’t know anything.
PDC: Hey real quick, I want you to introduce you to my free daily newsletter where I give out free daily tips to real estate investing strategies, marketing, and sales techniques to keep you, the part-time investor, moving forward every day. So head on over to RealEstateAudios.com, and you’ll get a free report along with that free daily newsletter.
Your success with your firm was a combination of rolling out a direct mail campaign and then tweaking it by surveying. That was plainly what you did. I mean, it was nothing too sexy. No ninja tactics, no…
SG: (0:18:19.9) There weren’t any back then. It was print ads in magazines and newspapers and direct mail. There was no..we didn’t even have a website.
PDC: So today, being that technology has expanded, is that now a lot more inside of your firm right now, are you doing a lot more technology-based marketing?
SG: Absolutely. Most of it’s online. We do drive traffic online via direct mail, but I would say at least 80 percent of the traffic we generate comes from social whether it’s Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google, display ads, native ads. I’d say 80 percent of our traffic is online.
PDC: All paid ads.
SG: All paid.
PDC: Is there a lot of frontend work as far as the organic reach goes?
SG: We’re not organic experts. I cannot help you get found on the first page of Google. That’s not our sweet spot. That algorithm changes faster than Facebook’s, and I don’t pretend to be an expert in it. Plus you can’t control it whereas I could literally buy ads from Facebook or Google today, punch in my credit card, and have traffic tomorrow, and depending on how much traffic I buy..there’s lot of traffic stores..I could find out in days, hours, or a very short period of time if I had a winning idea or not. If I were testing that the old-fashioned way in direct mail, it might take weeks to run a bunch of different..I mean, I can run 250 split tests in Facebook ads in a week or two. In direct mail, that would either require a massive budget or it would take months and months and months to execute.
PDC: For the real estate investor in my audience here, the common critique for doing Google ads is, “Hey, I have like three or four ads up there. They’re all for homebuyers, and how it operates is, whoever gets that first click and whoever answers the phone immediately is going to get that deal or that seller.” Is that true, or can you defy that norm a little bit by adding some other layer to your business?
SG: (0:20:17.2) I would hope you defied it because if you do what everybody else is doing you’ll get the same results everybody else gets, and if you’re all fighting it out..so that’s my issue with Google search ads is that it’s a bloody red ocean, right? You’re competing..if the search term you’re bidding on is the same search term as everybody else, then you’re also going to be competing against a real estate brokerage like ReMax or Hunt or whoever depending on your area, Coldwell Banker, Prudential. They may have bottomless budgets that they can afford to waste on stupid ads whereas we can’t. We have to make things work. So I would rather not show up where everybody else is. I would rather show up in a competitive vacuum in a marketplace I can own, which is going to require a lot more thought and expertise to pull off than to just show up on a Google search term of buy a house with no money down or something.
PDC: Right, right. So you mentioned defy norms. That’s a Dan Kennedy thing, defy the norms. So what are some things that you defy norms in your own business and maybe we can talk about how to apply that into real estate?
SG: (0:21:19.7) I have pretty much fired myself from actually serving clients. I have a great team that is doing that for us now. Normally in the marketing world, you’re supposed to be deeply, intimately involved with every single step of the process. I’ve built a business that I think works better than that. I have built systems that tell my employees and team members what to do every day for what client and make sure they do it right that I don’t have to run. It’s allowed for better results. It’s allowed for faster scale. It’s allowed for less stress. So I think I’ve defied the norms in both of those areas. And I’ve created services for our own business that didn’t exist in the marketplace that then we’re the only ones offering to the point where we now have competitors who copy what we do and then try and figure it out and then sell it to other people. I’m flattered by the competition, but obviously we do our best to stay ahead of the curve and be the ones who are inventing as opposed to copying.
PDC: So you’re defying the norms by the structure of your business. So what’s the normal structure of the business? It’s just a one-man show in that industry?
SG: (0:22:32.2) Well, it depends. So there are a million so-called people who take a digital marketer course, hang up a shingle in their parent’s basement, and say I’m a marketer. They go to BNI, and they say, “I can build you a website. I can build you a funnel. I can run Facebook ads.” We come across them all the time, and they don’t know anything or they don’t know what they don’t know. Joe in his basement who has five clients and is 27 and is making a respectable living as a 27-year-old living at home and managing $10 grand a month in Facebook ads versus we’ve generated 30 million prospects. Obviously we’re going to know stuff he doesn’t. I think there are a lot of want-to-be internet marketers versus there are fewer real companies doing it. I think that’s one way we have defied the norms in the structure I think. There are a lot of firms that do one thing. So, hey, we only do Facebook ads, or we only do YouTube. There are a lot of firms that outsource. Hey, hire us, and we’ll hire a team in the Philippines to do the work.So I think the fact that we have multiple disciplines under one roof. They all speak English. They all work here. All of those are some of our differentiating factors.
PDC: Okay. So you have a lot of different steps, and I’m in that same boat where I’m putting on all these hats. Going along this way, did you learn all these hats first? You mastered them first until you finally can create a system to outsource that or hire somebody in?
SG: (0:24:01.3) Yes until I learned better. I originally thought I had to know it all myself so I could teach it. That was a painful lesson until I realized I could hire someone who had a skillset I didn’t have and then have them build out the system so that they and others could follow the same process.
PDC: Hire them in as a W-2 employee into your business or just a freelancer?
SG: We’ve done both. We’ve had them as W-2. We’ve had them as 1099. But you’re going to create a process so that, if you ever leave or if we max out your hours, somebody else can follow along and do the work.
PDC: I think that’s a big struggle. I think that’s a harder thing to accomplish when you’re creating a business is how to do all these little things. I have the mindset of trying to do everything, learn it, and then create SOPs and send that out to somebody else.
We can have a separate conversation about that. There’s an app for that. I mean, it’s not really an app, but there’s a solution to that. At least it worked in my business, and then we started licensing that program to others. So we could certainly have a conversation about that.
PDC: Interesting. Let’s circle back to real estate investing. I didn’t know that you’re just doing digital marketing then. That’s what your firm does for others is…
SG: (0:25:20.2) We do what we do. Digital marketing. We do direct mail. We have a separate podcast production company and a separate publishing company. So we’ve got an array of services under one roof.
PDC: Okay, so let’s circle back to digital marketing. Digital marketing is getting big for real estate investors, although the niche is tiny. The niche is so small. What are some avenues you would have the motivated buyer trying to get for-sale-by-owners, trying to find probate leads, because the niche is very small. It’s a needle in a haystack you’re trying to find. It’s a $20,000-deal needle in a haystack. So what channels would you recommend for somebody getting into this business of digital marketing to find sellers?
SG: That’s an awesome question. So we’re currently doing a pilot program for a small group of real estate investors right now. They’re not wholesaling. They’re doing lease options. So they want motivated sellers as well. Right now, we’re doing a beta test of Facebook ads is what we’re running for them, driving to a lead magnet, getting them into a funnel, getting them on the phone, getting them to fill out an application, qualify to a phone call, to a scheduled appointment. So we’re doing that.
I would test..we talked about direct mail. Depending on where you’re getting the information, cold email might work, but technically I didn’t say that because you can’t just randomly email people. Then I would look for leverage. I bet you there might be other professionals who see those people. So if you could build a network..like we have a strategic podcast program that builds you a whole bunch of affiliates out there promoting what you do in a local market. So maybe that’s the attorneys, maybe it’s the real estate agents, maybe it’s the mortgage brokers, home inspectors, whoever that real estate mafia is that would see motivated sellers. So maybe it’s the realtor that has a listing that she can’t sell that is now going, “Oh, they’re going to fire me in a month because I haven’t gotten any traction on their house. I should send it to Paul because he can get it taken care of.” That might work. I haven’t had anybody try that yet, but it might work. And then..I mean, I personally sold..we moved into the house we have now seven years ago. I sold our house before that with a Facebook ad.
PDC: Really? Okay.
SG: I ran Facebook ads to a list to register for our open house. My realtor had no clue what I was doing and said, “Oh my god! There’s a line out the door. I just put it on MLS. I don’t understand,” and I said, “Well, we marketed the house.” And we had a bidding war, which in western New York back then was not normal, and we sold for over asking which wasn’t normal back then because our real estate market was cold seven years ago. So there’s lots of ways to play it.
PDC: Go back to the networking thing because I think that’s..leveraging the local area is highly powerful. How do you..I think that when I started that was a big obstacle. Like how do I..I’m getting in front of this attorney. He’s a professional. He can sniff out anybody who doesn’t have any experience or any fakes out there. So a newbie coming in, he can be of value, but he needed to have the mindset of it. So somebody coming in, how do you build the confidence? What can you do with no experience but approach attorneys and professionals to pass on deals to you?
SG: (0:28:41.6) I would start a podcast. I would interview them for a show, so it’s not about you. You’re not trying to sell them anything. It’s all about them. So half an hour to an hour, most likely half an hour, letting them talk about themselves. Then they will love you for it because when is the last time someone ate it up when they talked about the law for half an hour and how they got started? So I would start there. It would cost you next to nothing unless of course we did all the work for you and then we’d charge you well for it because it’s a lot of manual labor. But if you had time but no money, it would work. You could do it yourself. So I would start with a podcast. I would interview them and do a, I don’t know, Western New York State podcast or whatever you call it, and then by interviewing those people, they will love you for the mini exposure, even if you have zero. We got our first client from my podcast..I mean, when I started it, I had 15 episodes on FreeConferenceCall.com. Zoom didn’t exist all those years ago. We did it..I mean, I had like seven listeners and one of them became a client. The other six I think were related to me. So if you wanted to build a sphere of influence of local professionals who might see the deals you want, I would start with a show.
PDC: That’s amazing! I have not heard that yet. That’s an amazing tip. I’m new to doing podcasting. I’ve done it since this whole year, but it has been a key to a license to approach people I would never be able to come up and approach with. That’s amazing. So do you think that following up with this sphere of influence..you’ve named your top 25 like we talked about in the beginning of the show. Following up with these attorneys, these professionals, these other real estate agents, would that be key to all of this as well?
SG: (0:30:28.1) Yeah. The way our process works is after the show airs there are social media posts for them to post about the show. We turn it into a blog post so there’s a blog post written about them. We turn it into a physical bookstore book, so then there’s a book that they’re in that they’re promoting and handing out to their clients to tell them about it. Then we host a monthly..right now because of Covid it’s virtual, but a monthly networking group just for the people on the show, the show guests. And then of course you’re the only real estate investor on that call every month so all that business is going to come to you.
PDC: Speaking of a book,there’s less than a handful of people that I’ve met that are actually writing a book that is for the motivated seller. Have you seen that in this industry? This would be defying the norms. Do you think this would be a good approach to becoming the expert leader in your market area?
SG: (0:31:20.7) Yeah, it would be totally different because, if you think about it, all those Google ads you talked about where whoever is the first person to call them back or whatever wins. What if instead of running the I’ll buy your house ad, it’s get a free copy of this book on how to sell your house for top dollar without a realtor. That’s a sexy lead magnet.
PDC: Or 20 Ways Investors Are Scamming You, right?
SG: Yeah, you could do that too. Absolutely. Either of those would work.
PDC: That’s the Joe Polish Method, right? Kind of be the spokesman against all the frauds out there.
SG: Yes, absolutely! That is..Joe is in that mastermind group with me. I’ve known him for a lot of years. I was in Genius Network before it was $25K, before it..when it was still Piranha. So yes, the old consumer awareness advocate absolutely works.
PDC: Right. Yeah, yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Well, I think that’s..I mean, there’s probably a lot of stuff we can pick your brain about marketing. The whole point is defying the norms, and you know what? I talk to a lot of people about that, and they’re afraid to defy the norms because nobody else is doing it.
SG: (0:32:26.2) That’s the point. That’s why it would work.
PDC: Exactly. They want a result to text blasting, to scrubbing a list and getting..just random cold blasts generating a small percentage but, hey, it’s cheap. It’s pennies.
SG: Yeah, I have a real estate investor. I did a consultation with him the other day, and he’s doing..he at least had a niche in that he was going after veterans because he was one. So he was like let a veteran buy your home, and he was sending postcards. And he was like, “I do these, but they don’t work. But I keep doing them.”
And he was like, “I send out a thousand, and I haven’t gotten a deal, and I sent it out a couple times,” and I said, “Well, can you only do deals in your local market?”
“Well, no, of course not.”
I said, “Okay, so let’s build a Facebook fan page for veterans, build up a fanbase, get 10,000 veterans following you, and then run an ad to the veterans, which would be probably cheaper than a postcard. Instead of just going after the low-hanging fruit, show up every day as an authority in that space, and the ones that are ready will come to you.”
He couldn’t get his head around it. I even offered to do the marketing. I said, “If you’ll do the deal, I’ll do the marketing. Just cover the cost. I’ll do it almost for free if you’ll give me a cut of every deal.” You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.
PDC: (laughing) Do you think that..the quote “lead magnet” in this business is always call for a cash offer, call for an instant cash offer. People kind of play around with “get a cash offer in five minutes” or whatever. Is there anything you could think of that could be a different and motivational lead magnet they can use.
SG: (0:34:10.6) Yeah, absolutely! If everyone is doing it, how effective is it, right? They’re all offering the same thing. How do you stand out as a red ocean, not blue? So I would say a free report, a free consumer awareness guide, free video, free checklist, free cheatsheet. Any of those would probably work.
PDC: You’ve just got to think outside the box a little bit.
SG: Especially in the “call now,” the issue is they know they’re going to get sold something. They’re afraid that some high-pressure dude is going to try to sell them “give me your house right now” or whatever it is. I would say the people who are actually going to call are probably really, really motivated or desperate, and I would say the majority of those people probably won’t call and you need something gentler to warm them up. You got to date ‘em before you take ‘em home, right?
PDC: Right, right, right. Now, that’s another thing. Instead of the “call now,” you can get their email. That is a common critique I hear is, oh, email marketing doesn’t work in this business. You guys do a lot of email marketing, right? As am I. If they’re not getting attention, they’re obviously doing something wrong. My guess is they’re not giving value-based emails. In your experience with email marketing, what are some do’s and don’ts and how can we apply it to here?
SG: (0:35:24.4) Sure. It depends on your definition of email marketing. If we’re talking about email follow-up like we drove the lead to request something and then we’re dripping on them, obviously we’ve got to provide them with valuable content that establishes us as an authority who is trustworthy.
If you’re talking about outbound email marketing to try and drive them there in the first place, then you’re talking about you got a list from somewhere and you’re marketing to them. Then the most important thing you have to deal with is you’re From email address. Do you land in promotions? Do you land in spam, or do you make it to the inbox in the first place? Then your subject line which is going to determine whether or not your email gets opened.
So I would say most important would be the domain you’re sending from. Don’t do [email protected]. It should be [email protected], .webuyhouses or whatever. The subject line for those emails..I would run a lot of split tests to come up with a subject line that gets people to open it because, again, they’re strangers at this point in that example.
PDC: Right. Now, is the email provider as important as the kind of content you’re sending out? In doing everything you mentioned there, does a good email provider really matter, or are all of them kind of the same type of…
SG: (0:36:40.3) It absolutely matters because, if you’re sending from yahoo.com…
PDC: I meant like Aweber versus Mailchimp…
SG: Ah, do those matter. Okay. Each one of those has their strengths and weaknesses, and they all..you can check whatever the deliverability rates are. We’ve used them all, but we certainly haven’t memorized it so I don’t know. Are some better than others? Yes. Is there going to be a ginormous difference. I have no idea. We haven’t actually tested it. I haven’t had a client go, “Buy an Aweber account, a Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and an Infusion. Let’s run the same email from all four places.” That would be a pure split test. You would really find out, but we’ve never done it. So I would say you’d focus more on the subject line, getting it open then buying four accounts at four different places to see which one works the best.
PDC: What matters most is obviously the subject line, writing a good grabber, and the content inside of it. They have to keep reading it. They have to keep coming back to it.
SG: (0:37:33.8) Yeah, they have to get it open, and then you have to get it actually read. So you can’t send a subject line that says “Sex,” and then they open it and now it’s buy life insurance, right? That doesn’t exactly work.
PDC: Right, right, right. All right, Seth. I appreciate you being on the show, man. I really do. Thanks for bringing your tips, everything that you use in your digital marketing LLC. How can people reach you if they want to use your service?
SG: Yeah, absolutely. Go to MarketDominationLLC.com. There’s a couple-minute sizzle reel there that tells them more about us and then fill out the form next to it and we’ll give any of your listeners a 15-minute consultation where nothing will be sold. You’ll tell us what your biggest problem, biggest challenge, biggest opportunity is, and we’ll solve it in 15 minutes.
PDC: Awesome! Thank you, man.
SG: Thanks for having me.
PDC: All right. That’s a wrap, and I hope you enjoyed it. If you did, please go ahead and subscribe to it on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, or whatever you use. It really helps me keep producing these. Just search for the Deals Today Podcast in your podcast directory, podcast app. If you’re not on my daily email newsletter and you want to be and you want to receive the free 40 Ways to Find a Deal seminar, go ahead and go to RealEstateAudios.com/flipping. Again, that’s RealEstateAudios.com/flipping.