Building the like, know and trust factor with your clients and customers is an important part of business. In the digital age, it takes longer to build trust and is easier to break it.
In the first episode of The Digital Approach Podcast, we talk with Russell Cummings, the founder of Shifft, who is a business management consultant with over 36 years of experience in business.
We take a deep look at what it takes to build trust and authority in the digital space and create authentically to grow the relationships with your customers. This will help you build a strong foundation of trust to keep your customers with you longer.
Find out more about Russ: www.shifft.com.au
Get great free resources: https://www.shifft.com.au/free-resources/
Join the The Digital Approach Podcast Community: https://bit.ly/3jL3O7Y
I don't know if it's more important to build trust now, but I think it's harder now in this digital age, I was talking to a client in Canada a little while ago, and he was saying, there is some research that shows that it takes 10 times longer to build trust online than it does face-to-face so you've really got to take the time to invest properly. And I think the thing with trust is, it's not very hard to break that if you've got a long cycle of building trust, it's not very hard to do something wrong in that process and undo all your good work.
Welcome to the digital approach podcast. This show is brought to you by a Orion Media Group, with the goal to help you, an inspired business owner, remove the overwhelm from marketing in the online world, through success stories and practical strategies from entrepreneurs that have done it. There's plenty to come in this episode, so let's get into it. I'm your host Ryan Fowler. And in today's episode, we're joined by Russell Cummings, the founder of shifft with two F's. Russ, as he is affectionately known has been working as a management consultant and business coach for over 36 years. Now, in my case, that's my lifetime and a bit of experience. He's worked with an extensive range of family and privately owned business clients, covering a wide wide range of industries, including defence, export, food production, agriculture, professional services, and many more. He's also the coach to the coaches working with over 70 business advisors across Australia and New Zealand. Now, Russell has a particular expertise in strategic planning, business coaching and business leader development. To add a further feather to his cap. Russ is incredible at building relationships with his clients and networks. Having worked with some clients for over a decade. And this brings us to today's topic, building trust and authority in the digital space. So Russ, thank you so much for being on the show to come on and share some of your expertise with us.
Good to be here, Ryan. It's really nice to be here, man. Thanks. Thanks for having me on,
I can't really think of anyone better to deliver on this topic. Having worked with you in the past, and it's an incredibly important one to share and connect with customers, clients, and audience, and how business owners are able to do that. Now you and I have worked together for a little while and you are my business coach. So I did just want to share that with you, the listeners and say, Russ is my business coach. He's also a good friend and he is brilliant. So Russ, first off, could you just share a little bit about your journey? Yeah, absolutely. No pressure there at all. Could you just share a bit about your journey and what you've been on and started? What got you started in the business development and strategy field or
Right. I've got a degree in agriculture. So I finished a university and got an honors degree in basically Merino sheep and wool and genetics. When I startedI did a little bit of work for the university, realized one of the a research officer and got a job as a farm management consultant, which I really enjoyed it. Didn't take me too long to work out that I wasn't very good at what you spray the crops with and dredge the sheep with, but I had a real head for the strategy and the planning side of things. And I started to, to introduce my farmer clients in those days to mainstream sort of business planning tools and stuff, and and, and built some expertise in that. And then I started getting referrals outside of agriculture and agribusiness into food processing and those sorts of areas.
And I still do a fair bit of work in that space. And, and I guess along the way, I've worked with corporates, I've worked with defense, I've worked with a whole range of industries, but I really like family business and the privately owned businesses. I like the, like the people, I like the connection. I like the rapid decision-making all those sorts of things. And so that's probably for the last, you know, nearly 20 years now, I've just specialized in working with those groups. And for me, I guess the challenge was that I found that that's, that I was early on in my career. I was going in and fixing issues in people's businesses. But, but often we were, we were planning to renovate that we were fixing things and it was like planning to renovate the house, but the kitchen was on fire, but we were renovating the bathroom.
You know what I mean? And I found there was no overarching strategy or anything to what people were doing, which was then, which would then determine what actions we take and what problems we fixed and things that I've found. We were fixing too many problems that, that weren't the priority that needed to be fixed upfront. And once we got a bit more strategic about things and we started working on the stuff that really mattered. And for me, it's all about implementation because it's for people who don't implement, what's the point of doing a plan if we don't implement it. Right. So many people do that. And I got sick of doing that. I got paid to do so many plans. I would come back and people had never touched again. And for me that was, that was a sin almost. So it was a waste of my time, their money, everything, you know, and I just said, okay, so what I'm going to do, I really want to work with people who we develop clear strategies that, that differentiate us in the marketplace because so many businesses are just copycat businesses, right?
They, they look, smell, feel, act exactly like the competition. The only thing that sets them apart is the name and the logo. So, so what do we do differently there? And then how we make sure that we implement that, you know, those were the things, things for me. So I worked much more closely with my clients to make sure that we're actually asking the hard questions, getting to think about things and then making sure we implement it because implementation is really hard. Cause we're all busy, we've all got other priorities, you know, and this is stuff that overlays the day to day. So that's, that's how I got started 36 years ago. It's a very long time, isn't it? Absolutely. I keep telling people I started when I was four, but it's not true.
Yeah. That would certainly make you a very impressive prodigy in businesses you started when you were four. Exactly. in doing a little bit of research before the interview I came across a comment that you made about your family and how they received a bit of bad advice. Is that what sort of triggered that initial work of wanting to work with family businesses? Because, you know, going from agriculture to business strategy is quite a leap in itself. But I just wanted to get an idea of what sort of triggered that initial seed idea of God.
I didn't get into consulting to do that, but it was a motivator for me to continue doing it if you know what I mean? So my, my parents had a business that that got into some financial stress and I realized that had, I had some more experience and some more help that I really could have helped my father. He was basically just got really lousy advice. He didn't get any advice, actually. They just sent him, you know, his account, just set him up with a company and let him go. And just told him how to do some basic books. And, and he was really good. He grew sales by four times for that business, but wasn't profitable. And then there was a downturn in the, in the industry and and and I just, you know, it all could have been prevented with, with some really good advice and stuff. And I think that that intrinsically has motivated me to, to really want to do the best for my clients and to probably help with small business rather than big business and corporate. Definitely. Yeah. But it wasn't the catalyst that got me started, but it's the catalyst that keeps me going, I think. Yeah.
I think that was quite an important little bit to add in there just to show that you are sort of a caring person to, you know, help, help those businesses, especially family businesses in that way. And build those relationships with people.
But I think anybody that's in the, in professional services is isn't is, I mean, you often don't get in it for the money. I mean, you can make it, you can make a great living doing it, but, but a lot of the time it's about you want to help people and you want to make a difference. Yeah, I think lots of people are in it for the right reasons. You know, not, not everybody, but there's a whole group of people that are there for the right reason.
Yeah, absolutely, absolutely agree with that. So you and I have worked together, like I mentioned before, and the thing that I found in working with you is the simple, straightforward, proactive strategy advice and asking the right questions when they're needed without sort of going off in different directions or tangents and, and really sort of keeping that focused, clear picture. So over that 36 years or, or more that you've been in business, you've obviously seen a lot that when it comes to marketing strategies, techniques and tactics, could you share what marketers and business owners have done in the past that has actually motivated them to build that trust with customers and how that was done previously, compared to what it is now. And we'll get into what it is now a little bit after
There's question. I think it's really important to remember, and you've heard me say this a number of times that people buy from people. And, and I don't think that's changed. It's still there and was still relevant a long time ago. So, you know, traditionally we did lots of did lots of networking and, you know, drinks and dinners and, you know, all that sort of stuff about building relationships yeah, lots of coffees and all that sort of stuff. And I think that was a chance for you to be able to, to demonstrate authenticity, you know, to, to, to build those relationships. People, you know, can connect really easily across, across the table and get a sense of people. You know, you use all your senses when, when you're in a face-to-face meeting with somebody. So I found a lot of the previous marketing stuff, you know, has been around has been around building relationships.
And, you know, I mean, I do spent spend on my business on more, still comes from referrals. Right. And I find that happens in most businesses, irrespective of how much marketing you do of any sort, you know? And so, so, you know, building what building referral partnerships is, is really important. The other thing, you know, we, we used to do lots of, sort of direct mail advertising and TV advertising and radio and all that sort of stuff. And they were hellishly expensive. Right. So they were, you know it was nothing to, you know, my clients to spend a hundred thousand dollars a year on TV advertising for a small business. You know what I mean? And so we had to get a massive return out of that. You know, I think you should be aiming for a 10 times return on some of this stuff.
So we need to be getting a million dollars worth of extra business out of it, you know, in order to justify it. And and, and yeah, we did. But it was, you know, it was expensive and you had to have the courage to step up. So all those sorts of things are really important. I think it's, if you think about marketing and what it's really about building trust. Yeah. And, and trust is about there's some work done by a guy called green and, and Mesa, and it's about an called a trust equation. And you know, and I've talked about this, you know, you've got to build credibility, you got to build reliability, and you've got to have that intimacy, that deep understanding, you know, you've got to prove you understand people and you, and you can connect with them that builds trust with people.
And, and it's like an equation they're on the top there, the numerator of that equation on the denominator you've got, then self-interest right. Or self orientation. And, and it's the thing that can really pull you apart. So if you, if you're really oriented to yourself in every engagement, then you don't build trust. Right. People see through that, that's typical, you know, stereotypical used car salesman stuff. They're just there to sell you a car. They don't really care about you and the quality of the car. They just want to sell you a car, any old car, they don't care, you know, and that's that, and that's that trust equation. We all know people that the minute they start talking, you know, they're trying to sell you something well that diminishes the trust straight away. But if you find somebody whose bread add value and, and, and do that, then you, then you build trust. Right. You know? And so, so you can be, have all the track record you like, you can be delivered what you say on have a deep understanding of your clients. And then if you still approach it from a perspective of how much money can I, can I gather out of these people then you, that people see through that straightaway.
Yeah, definitely. And that kind of reminds me of that quote from Zig Ziglar's has stopped selling start helping. Yeah, exactly,
And I think that's probably a good way to sort of embody that. Exactly. Everything that goes around that as well.
Yeah. I'm sorry. I missed that last piece,
Everything that goes around sort of, you know, that quote and, and being able to build trust authentically with people.
Yeah. Yeah. It did. You know, and, and I remember seeing lots of stuff, you know, in the, particularly around the eighties and the nineties of, you know, guys would, you know, show how successful I were by getting them to know, sitting draped across a Ferrari or, you know, sitting casually with our hunting dogs in the back of the Bentleys sort of stuff. And it was just laughable. Right. And then you look back at it now and it's, it's, it's laughable, but people still do that sort of stuff. Right. And, and, and they think it's about demonstrating. I mean, maybe it works in markets like the U S and stuff, which are, which have a different approach to that sort of thing than we do in Australia. But that sort of marketing doesn't get much cut through on Australia referee.
No, I definitely know. They rent usually rented Ferrari's and Lamborghini's on that.
That's right. Bought it from a mate, you know, something. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's right.
So my friend made this main thing was successful.
Yeah. That's all right. You know, and a lot of that, you know, just because you own a Ferrari doesn't mean you you ex actually, because you have a Ferrari doesn't mean you own it, so
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So now that we're sort of not in that magazine space of the eighties anymore, representing ourselves on a Ferrari in the digital space, what are some of the ways and why is it so important to build that trust even more so now than it was back then?
I don't know if it's more important to build trust now, but I think it's harder now in this digital age you know, I was talking to a client in Canada that a little while ago, and he was saying, this is some research has shown that it takes 10 times longer to build trust online than it does. Face-To-Face so, so that's an interesting statistic. So you really got to take the time to invest properly. And I think the thing with trust is it, it's not very hard to break that if you've got a long cycle of building trust, it's not very, it's not very hard to do something wrong in that process and, and undo all your good work. So for me, that's a, that's a bit, a bit of a challenge because, you know, don't forget, yeah. People still buy from people.
And I think we forget about that in the digital world, you know, and it's all about being real and being authentic, you know? I, I think I, what I like is that Seth Godin's book purple cow, which is written nearly 20 years ago now, I think it is 20 years ago now, you know, it's a fantastic book. I still, I've got four copies on my shelf here now, given all the way still, because it's still relevant. Right. But, but it's, for those of you who haven't read it, he says, premises, you know, you're driving on the road and all of those black and white cows in the paddock and you come around a corner and there's a purple cow and it really stands out. Right. So you want your business to be a purple cow. Which makes, it just makes perfect sense. But I think too many businesses now are, have gone the route of being purple cows. So, so to be a black and white cow now almost stands out, you know what I mean, to go back to more
Out of all the unique ones, it makes you stand out yourself.
And to me, that's about authenticity, right? So it's about being authentic and being, being true to yourself and and being real. And I think it's really easy in the digital world to, to come across as really polished and professional and all those sort of things in your videos, but too much. So you'll come across as fake, not real, it looks like it's all rehearsed and scripted and all that sort of stuff. To me, that's it, that's a danger. And that you look to, you know, you can look too good, you know, and you look at guys like, you know, Gary Vaynerchuk and those sorts of guys who have been enormous successful just by being there themselves. Right. You know, he's abrasive and annoying, but he is who he is. Right. You know? And and I just, I think that that's one of the real challenges in, in, you know, in the digital age is just to do that. You know, so you've got to think about content, what content are you providing that shows the real, you, you know, how are you engaging with people and how do you do that from a sense of your own personal values? Right. So, so, you know, if you're going to connect with people, you got to got to connect with them at a, at a, at a real level.
Yeah. That's really great. And I love this theme. That's sort of starting to develop in creating authenticity yeah. And showing that and bringing that authenticity through. And it's great that that sort of that theme is starting to show up. And I know that that's something that you do very well. You're very sort of down to earth. And now that we are in the digital age with so many different platforms, there's a couple of just common ones. I want to run through that. You know, many of the business owners listening to this would probably be using, and I always recommended to use, and especially now, but going through, I just want to find a few different ways of how you can actually bring that theme of authenticity through, on these different platforms. So could you share a little bit about social media and how sharing authentically on that is going to help the help a business? Yeah.
Okay. So I mean, social media is the thing that everybody, you have to be on, you know, you have to be on Facebook or Instagram or whatever. I mean, first things, firstly, you know, is that where your target market resides, if you're really clear with your marketing and really directed at your marketing then, then, and is that what you talk at market resides and do they go there looking for your products and services? You know, I I've talked to my clients and they've said, they're not on Facebook looking for business coaches. Right. They might, you might JAG the odd client from doing that, but largely they're the clients that I'm talking to and targeting and not there. Right. So I said to him, where did I said, LinkedIn, that's where we go. So, so, you know, just be mindful. Everybody tells you, you have to be on these things, but, but be really strategic about it and go where your target market is and where they hang out and where they're looking for the, for the sort of service that you offer is the first thing.
And I guess with social media, one of the things I find is that there are too many look at me posts, right? So I, I, I, I, I go on to various social media platforms and look around and often looking for research for my clients and things. And I'll find that, that lot of the competition putting up saying, look at us, we're here today. We're fantastic. You know, I'm doing this today. Look at my I'm brilliant. You know, we've just won this contract, we've done all that. That's all fine to do some of that, but there's just some people it's just, that's all it is. Right. It's just self promotion. And for me, that's like, it's like asking somebody to marry you on the first date. Right. So, so there's, there's, there's too much self-promotion and too much look at me stuff which social media encourages rather than, than that sort of building a relationship first before you try and sell.
Right. And the number of people that contact me on LinkedIn and their very first communication is, do you want to buy my product or my service? I consist crazy. Right. It's just, if there's a lot of them. Yeah. It's just like, I'm just, and a lot of them are LinkedIn professionals telling me how to sell on LinkedIn. Right. That's it, that's their job. And I'm going, this is the way you approach it, then I'm not interested. Yeah. you know maybe they are successful and then maybe I'll be successful in doing some of that sort of stuff. You know, I'm sure, you know, there are, but I think in any relationship, you've got to earn the right to sell to somebody, you know, and that's probably the big mistake that I find people make on social media. You know, the other thing to remember with social media, it's a, it's a passive medium, right.
So, so you know, if I haven't logged on to social media for two weeks and I've missed all the great stuff you've put up there. So, so there's, there's a propensity for people to, I think put the frequency is too high. You know, some people, you know, I've seen some gurus a while ago saying you should be posting eight times a day on social media. I get it in some ways, but the resources required to do that are quite phenomenal. And yeah, that makes a lot of content, a lot of content, a lot of stuff going on. And you've got to think about the quality of the stuff you're putting out. It's a great danger with social media that we, that we focus on volume over quantity. Right. volume over quality. Sorry. And, you know, cause, cause you, you know, you just think about, everybody wants, likes, likes don't mean anything it's business. It's how much business you get out of that matters. Right. How many, you know, you're better off to have five people who really value what you've done in 500 likes, you know,
And there's one, there's a a phrase that I really like, which is vanity metrics. Yeah, exactly. Likes and impressions and that sort of stuff on social media are vanity metrics.
Totally. Yeah, totally. You know, and that's, that's that, that that, you know, it's one of the great challenges of social media is that becomes, that stuff becomes addictive. Right. so people go, oh, I've got 5,000, like some of the things, but how much business you get over, I didn't get any. And most of those are friends and fools and family. It would just clicking on it, you know, our client families.
And that's a good little bit there,
You know, and, and most of those, you know that happens and I do it with a client. They were paid a lot of money to media consultant to push their business into Facebook. Our clients were all corporate. I didn't know where on Facebook for, and when we, when we looked at the number of hits, they were getting, we went through who they were and only there were only two potential clients out of about 400 hits. The rest were all people who weren't potential clients for us at all and never going to be a client, you know? And so it's a lot of wasted effort, but there was that vanity metric. Yeah. I really liked that. So that's the big challenge with social media. We get caught up measuring the wrong things, measure things that don't matter. Yeah. The number of connections we've got, you know, so what you got, you know, 8,000 connections. So what, yeah, yeah. You don't have any real connection with those people. How many of those people do you have a deep connection with? Yeah. That's
And social media. I like, I love the fact of talking to the right person and the target market and your avatar at the place that they're at. So choosing the platform based on, on where your audience is actually hanging out and being online so that you can interact and sort of build that audience. But the way that I see social media and you might agree with this is as an awareness piece. So social media can create that awareness and connect with a person, but it's not really the place to push a lot of sales depending on your product or service as well.
Yeah. Yeah. I T I tend to agree that, I mean, I might sound negative about social media, I think done well. It, it, it can be a fantastic resource. Right. and and so for me, that's about, you know, it's about value. What value are you adding in that, in that, in the exchange. And therefore it's easy to just get caught up in, in just posting and doing posting and posting and posting without really thinking about who is the target market. What's the message we want to get across to them. How can we add value to them? You know, how can we build a deeper relationship with these people? We're just always on at the time, we're just, it's more about quantity than is about quantity, quality. And therefore, I think that, that that knocks us around in terms of results. Definitely.
Yeah. And so the message I kind of got from that is purposeful and authentic content to actually connect with the person you're trying to talk to.
Yeah, totally. Yeah. Really targeted to really want that target market to be really tall.
Now, one of the things that social media can help to do through advertising or different platforms is with building email lists and email marketing, which is kind of our, a good segue onto our next topic. So moving into email marketing, how are people building that trust and authenticity through email and CRMs and email lists and that sort of side of things before, or instead of social media?
Well, I think it's like all these things are companions or I don't think, I don't think marketing there's one thing that just really works and that there will be lots of different things that work for different businesses, but normally it's a combined strategy, right? That works works the best abuse. You connect with people in different ways. So email marketing for me is, and social media, to some extent it's about branding, right? So there's a it's about reinforcing your brand. So there's something that I talk about a lot with my clients is a program called a 90 day contact program. And that's about this being structured in a lot of, in, in your communication, with different, with different groups and segments. And it's probably the most critical thing you can do in business, right. And my experience. So not the most critical, but if you're going to, when you get marketing, it's a critical component of that, of that marketing.
And what it's built on is the fact that we can only keep so many things in our brain. I think it's, it's on a particular topic or, or issue it's sort of three plus or minus. If you're average, if you're a genius, you know, it's, it's nine plus or minus some low, low like that. And after 90 days, our Bryant are, if it hasn't been refreshed every 90 days, our brain just starts to forget things. And what happens is it will just completely forget about people and you probably, this has happened to you. You know, you you've always bought something from somebody. And then for some reason, bizarre reason you go and buy it from a competitor. Simply because they've just slipped out of your brain. You know what I mean? And, and therefore I see the social media, I see email marketing, the hope of these things as a method of, of just reinforcing your brand.
You know, and typically I've, I've had a situation where, you know after sending out some emails and stuff, I'll get a number of responses back from, from people. And often they'll ring up and say, Hey, I want to talk to you about this. And I go fantastic. And they said, you have just got your your, your, or your you're an email from you and you go, fantastic. Did you read it? They go, oh, no, but I just want to talk to you about this. Right. So they're not, it's not about them reading all my content and, and that's and being, I guess heavily, you know, engaged in my content. I've written so brilliantly that they've picked up the phone. It's more that it's reminded them that I exist. I is that thing with rice, I better give him a call.
Yeah. So I think we overlook the, that those sorts of elements with a lot of the marketing that we do. And for me, emails are a critical one. So all the gurus that, that if you watch, they all talk about how, how email is really important component of a balanced marketing program. So you, you look a little bit like, like you were saying before you, you know, they talk about nurturing people on social media, but converting them through via email and web pages, you know, and, and all this stuff has got to drag you back to your website, you know, which is where you do the selling, right. It's where you, where your landing pages are. It's where you conversion pages are all that sort of stuff. Very hard to convert directly from social media.
Yeah, absolutely. Like I know that I've, I've run a lot of Facebook ad campaigns in the past. And I, I completely understand what your, what your coming from in that, where it's converting from social media just needs that extra little step. So landing pages and sales pages, and getting people onto email lists is certainly a great way of building, building that side of it. And that kind of leads into content marketing then, because social media and emails are a great way to distribute your content. But what about the actual content that you produce in that content marketing side of it?
Yeah. I mean, it's absolutely critical, right? Cause it's, it's part of the, you know, we're talking about authenticity, that's part of you demonstrating your capability, right. And, and when I look at, at lots of people's websites, there's lots of look at me, look at me stuff. We're really good. Trust us, we're doctors, but there's very little demonstration of capability. Right? So they, so I often see that we, we don't take the time to demonstrate capability. We say, we're really good at something, you know, I'm really good at this. And I do this everything else, but, but demonstrating it. So demonstrate it with real world, not case study, you can use case studies if you like, but show how you, you know, five tips for being here for creating great video content. You know, that sort of stuff is what you want, what you want. You know, if you go to my website, there's 50 webinars there, there's probably a hundred videos, all that sort of stuff.
That's all of that credibility building that demonstrating capability. Right. And, and it does, I guess, content for me, you know, I guess it it's, I guess it's really important because you gotta be, you gotta be careful that, that, that you don't do too much selling with the content. Right. So they talk about a four to one ratio you know, four pieces of value, add content to one selling piece, you know, and sometimes in some markets that could even be too much. So you want to be, you know, you want to, it's about earning the right to sell, right? So you want to add lots of value before you, before you, you then try and try and sell people on something. So it's about that earning that sort of ripe, and you gotta be careful that we don't, that you don't get caught up with your content marketing and everything's got a call to action, and everything's a special deal on all that sort of stuff.
And people just turn off really quickly. Right. So, you know and there's, I find that that content marketing is good, but you do need to be genuine in what you're doing in terms of adding value. And it's not all about, you know, all about sales and all that sort of stuff, because people see through you and it reduces the trust equation. Right. you know, and the other thing is people now you're going to be really careful. So, so giving content away for free is a good idea. And I'm not suggesting that you have to give everything you, you do away for free. Some of your IP needs to be kept for you, but you need to demonstrate your capability. Th the great danger is that, that when you've got people, you know, they have to sign up for everything and, and all that sort of stuff.
They see it as a trap, right? So they see it as a, that, that we're all sales, Fen, galleys. And as soon as they, as soon as the way they, you know, the typical one is, you know, sign up, sign up now for a 20 minute conversation or whatever people assume that w that you, they won't be able to resist. Right. And they're going to end up with a service they don't want, or a product they don't want, and a set of steak knives on top of it. Because they were such good. They were so good at sales. I just might be able to Skype. Right. The other thing that I think is we're just gonna, you're gonna lock them into this non-stop spam system where whether it'll just happen. And that happened to me recently, you know, through a client, I signed up to something that they were part of.
And there are third party in it. And the primary party in that, in that thing, no spam in non-stop like, it was just ridiculous. I was a guy I would've got about a hundred emails in a minute. It felt like a hundred wasn't, but I was getting at least one or two emails a day. For two weeks, I was getting phone calls from them. It was just like, I was just going, you gotta be kidding me now. Maybe that's too much, maybe that's profitable for them, but it turned me off straight away. So, you know, I mean, you've got to check you or your metrics and your business and stuff, and work out what works for you. And a lot of that high pressure stuff works, but a lot of those people also have very high turnover in, in, in their client base. Right. So they've got to keep a big sales machine running to keep the work coming through, you know what I mean, rather than building deep, long relationships. So you gotta think about your business and what your business model is about and how, how it works. But yeah, I think it
Comes back to people buying from people. Yeah, exactly.
Exactly. One of the things you just mentioned is that high turnover rate, and this is, I think this is probably quite an important piece to sort of expand on in that when you build that trust and authenticity in the front end, that it can actually be rewarded in the backend to keep that flow going guide the systems you build and continually be able to help the customer, the client on an individual level at where they're at.
Yeah, totally. And I think part of that comes back to your strategy, right? So, so it comes back to your strategy of the product or your service that, that you offer and, and thinking about it from the client's journey and where, and where you fit into the client journey and how you can help them. But also how can you build meaningful long-term relationships with them? Now, if you're selling a product, a widget or something, then that might not be there, but, but often you want them to be a repeat buyer of that product or related products, or, you know, maintenance or services that go with it, you know, savvy sort of people have a product service offer, you know you know, that sort of stuff, you know, you, you buy your car, you get free servicing, all that sort of stuff. Everybody knows it's not free, but, but it's you know, it locks you into that dealership for other things, you know, you bought your tires there and other things that aren't covered by the service or go get picked up.
So, you know, it comes back to me around strategy about being really clear in terms of, of what's your longterm offer look like. And I find I've gotta be honest. I find too many people have an unsustainable business model in that they will put, you know, I was talking to somebody a little while ago. Lady's got a great a great service, but it's a, it's a small $700 service that they sell after sale over and over again. There's no continuity in that. She spends as much time selling that service as I will selling a $25,000 a year coaching package that might go for a minimum of four or five years. I mean, I'll have, I've had clients, I've got client, many clients over a decade, as you said, you know, my longest serving clients 18 years, we talk every week. Wow. You know, and, and, and, and so for me, you know, that that lifetime value of a client is the thing you've got to think about.
So how do we, how do we build that longevity into those relationships? Because, you know, you can't spend all that time having to do that selling and all that sort of stuff, and still be profitable, right. You just, the the heads of it, you know, the machine required to churn and our business through at 700 bucks, if a hit is massive. So you've got to think about what sort of longer term relationships can we build with clients so that we're not constantly selling to them that once we've locked in, we've got to deliver, I've got to continue delivering, you've got to keep adding value. You've got to keep improving the value exchange. It's all exchange of value. They give you money in return for products and services, right? So there's gotta be a value exchange there. But it's about thinking that through, I think the important part of it and people often just don't think it through, they don't think about the long-term. They don't think about the lifetime value of a customer, you know?
Yeah. And that's a, that's a great thought process to have, and probably going into more of like the business model side here at the moment. And I'm sure that that's probably, there's probably a whole nother episode in that. You'll I know that you've helped me a lot sort of guide that strategy and where the business goes. But if a listener right now is listening to this episode and thinking, oh my God, I have not built trust. I've not built authority with my customers on the front end. I'm not providing an experience on the backend. And I do have that customer churn going through what is one thing that they could do right now to start building or rebuilding that level of trust
For me. Just one thing, you know, I find it really hard to go with one thing, but if there's one thing I think at the moment, I would be just doing simple value add videos, right. So, so I would be using videos, a very digestible medium for people it's short, sharp, digestible. You know, if you think about having product that's, that is a really good colleague of mine. James Atkins came up with this model that is diet is digestible adds value and, and supports your competitive advantage. Right? So you think about those three things, short, sharp video content is fantastic for those three things, you know, and I think I would be doing a lot more video content, but, but not look at me, look at me, video content, video content that's around adding, adding value, demonstrating capability, those sorts of things. I find that's the thing that most people don't do. Yeah. They don't explain what they do very well. And, and for me, videos are really good opportunity for people to test drive you. Right?
Yep. Yeah. Yeah.
I get to experience a little bit differently in a service industry in particular. But even a product, right. You know, I, I ride motorbikes. That's where I'm, you know, I met, I met your dad was riding motorbikes and eventually you and, and you know, and I, and I look at lots of reviews for motorbike products and all that sort of stuff because and the good authentic reviews are from guys who aren't paid. You know, they're not, they're not selling the product, they're actually just reviewing it and, and that sort of stuff, well, that's really authentic stuff. So you're getting the real, the real stuff. Right. So, so demonstrate that capability I think is really important. Yeah. That's what I do. Definitely. Yeah. That's where I'd start anyway. Hmm.
Yeah. That will be an in a later episode on video strategy and working with video and, and different types. So make sure you subscribe if you aren't listening. So there's a nice little plug for the podcast. But to finish this off, I'd like to get you to share three strategies with people so they can start with creating those short little authentic, real videos. Yep. And could you share a few more strategies on what they could then do to build on that once they start getting a little bit more momentum?
Okay. I mean the three things I think of and the 90 day contact program that I talked about it for me, it's one of those things that I think is non-negotiable with, with most of my clients, I'm saying that you just need to do this. I've seen it be really successful in so many businesses. And it's just about being a consistent, structured approach to you, your communication and relationship building with your clients. And there's a, I've got a whole there's a free download on, on, on my website where you can go and download the contract, how to do a 90 day con contact program. So I'm sure that that link will be in the show notes for that. So, absolutely. So it's, it's probably the number one thing I say you must do. Right. Cause it's the, it's the strategy that sits behind a whole heap of this communication stuff.
Right. So that's, that's important. I guess I would use video as a marketing tool, but also use it as a communication tool with your clients, you know, with your customers and that sort of stuff. So, so there's some great tools out there that enable you to do that. You know, I use [inaudible], but there's loom and some others I can't think of, but there's lots of video tools that are lay there. Just take a quick snapshot video and send it off to people for the marketing purposes. So, you know I you know, I was really impressed. I signed up to bond Euro and I get a, a, a custom video for me and talked about my name and my business and everything in it from the owner of the of the company saying, thanks for signing up and really fantastic. And it took him 20 seconds, but very clever. Right. Yeah.
And created a customer experience with their own experience. Yeah. That's cool. Yeah.
Yeah. It's really cool. I thought, wow, that's pretty cool. You know? So, so doing that sort of stuff I think is really important. And I've just used more videos. So I do video proposals. I do all sorts of stuff with video. Right. And it's, it's cut. It's nothing to say. It's not cutting edge, but it's next level for most people. Right. So most people get a written proposal from me. They get a video proposal as well. Which has me talking through the elements of it, so that, so they, you know, we can talk about that stuff down the track if you want. Yeah.
And just on that note is I was going for a tender one day and Russ helped me with it. And I put together the, you know, the package and the proposal and all that sort of stuff. And it was, it was well documented. And then Russell just said, do a video proposal. I said, okay, sure. I'll do that. So recorded the screen, did the voiceover, and that actually helped to win that tender, which has been worth a good amount of income coming through over a couple of year period. So that video proposal idea is certainly a very, very strong one. If you do have to pitch for anything.
Yeah. That's my secret weapon. I've got to say I've won hundreds of thousands of dollars with a work with it and
It's not so secret now. It's not
So secret now. Okay. So maybe we have to shut the podcast down before it all gets in. Yeah. So, you know, I just think more video of everything, right? Communicating with clients, you have marketing yourself, outbound stuff, but also also you know, thinking about how you can build it into your processes and systems, communicating with your team, all that sort of stuff. Right. Really important. And the third piece is I think it's, it's, it's, it's just, my tip is really defined your target market have a really clear view of that customer avatar, because so many people launch into marketing and promotion without, well, then walk into promotion, right. They don't do marketing. Marketing's about target market, product pricing, all that sort of stuff before we get to promotion. Right. So, so most people don't start their promotion just by sending stuff out.
Right. We, we, and upright with a pulse and a wallet is not a target market. Right. So, so, you know, yeah. That's what people do. IMO. Everybody's a client for me. No, they're not right. So, so who are the real segments? So the people that make the real money are the people who can really niche themselves down and you don't have to get super tight, but be really focused on the sort of the sort of client that you want to work with. And I guess people get caught up with it going, oh, well, I can't, there's no industry specific. It's not about industry. It's, it can be about the qualities of that client, the type of the client, their age, their, you know, their mental state, all that sort of stuff, you know, where they are in their life. You know, there's a whole heap of things that define your target market rather than just, you know, basic industry demographic stuff.
So it's about characteristics and things that you want to look at, you know, and for me that's about, and Donnie finding those things, then finding out thinking about their, what are their frustrations and their fears, what do they wants in their aspirations? You know, and being really clear around that. So you, so you then can target your marketing really well. And I know you do a great job of that and you know, but most people do a really poor job of it. You know, they just go, oh, everybody's a client. Or, you know
In a way that goes your target market, it's everyone. No,
That can't be right. Yeah. Yeah.
Yeah. And one of the, obviously the word around sort of the, the thoughts and fears and needs and wants and all that sort of stuff would be psychographics, which is quite a scary word to a lot of people. And one of the common objections that I hear with this is whoa. If I target my marketing to one person, then I'm going to miss out on all these other people. And whether you agree with this next statement or not, is it we'll, we'll sort of walk them through, but if you target the right market and you're, and you're talking to that avatar, it's not just going to attract that one person. It will also attract the people around that person. So like hangs with like, so if you get to the right person, they then to talk to the right person for you, and then that can help build that word of mouth. That referral and word of mouth is obviously one of the biggest ways of building trust.
I think, I think you're right, because everybody says, oh, you better have a target on those. I'll miss them. I'll miss them. Right. But my experience is you, you, what happens is if you don't target market well, it's like going fishing with the wrong bait, right? You'll, you'll hook just enough fish through the I or the gills or whatever along the way to make you think that you're being successful. But you know, if you go out with, with, with the right bait, you, you, you could have, I'm not fishermen, so I'm making up stuff here, but right. I
Probably wouldn't win again,
Fishing competition, apologies in advance all fishermen out there or Fisher people. So you know, but that, that whole, whole thing of, you know, if you go fishing with the right bait, then you'll, then you'll catch more of the species that you want, but you also catch other species. Right. Other sorts of fish around who actually liked that stuff, but they're not really your target market. And that's why, that's what I find, you know? And that for me, yeah, that's, that's important, you know, that stuff comes right. Yeah. So, you know I still attract people outside the target market on looking for, because they, what I talk about, it still resonates with a lot of those people. Yeah. But, but you, I think, unless you get your target market, right. Your messaging is just wrong. Anyhow. It's just way too broad and you don't get the right messages across and therefore it doesn't resonate with anybody. Yeah,
Absolutely. Couldn't agree more. That's,
That's a challenge.
Yep. So Russ, we are at the end of our recording, and I just want to say, thank you so much for being on the show and sharing your knowledge and expertise with us and everyone listening. I know that there's going to be a lot of gems that have come out of that. And I just need to try and work out which bit to highlight at the beginning of the show.
Thanks for having me on that. It's been a pleasure. Really enjoyed it. Yeah,
Absolutely. And the 90 day contact program link that you mentioned, I will put that down in the show notes as well. And Russ, where could people find out a bit more about you just in general?
So they can look me up on LinkedIn. So I've got a LinkedIn profile or go scout, go to my website, which is though the W's shift with two F's dot com that are you. So S H I double F t.com that I use lots of resources there. If you go to the free resources, you'll see all the stuff I'm talking about, about capability building a demonstration. So there's videos and webinars and free downloads. And I've got a marketing course here. I've got a whole heap of stuff there. It's all free. And yeah, and if I can be of any help to anybody at any time, just reach out to me, really happy to, to assist. And my, you know, just add some value to people. That's what
You are an absolute wealth of knowledge and your website has plenty of content there. So if you need to learn a bit more about all of this side of stuff, then it is worth going, checking it out. We will put the link in the show notes. So thanks again, Ruff and we'll catch up soon. Thanks, Ron. Cheers. That brings us to the end of today's episode. I really hope you've got some great value from it. If you're not subscribed yet, be sure to do so where you get your podcasts as an inspired business owner, you can join the digital approach podcast community for free over on Facebook. Just click the link in the show notes. It's a growing community, and I'd love for you to be a part of it. If you'd like to find out more about what I do and grow your business with video, head over to a orionmedia.group and book a free 20 minute info call. Thanks for listening, and I'll catch you on the next episode of the digital approach podcast.