Derek: I did. So I got to tell you, you’re going to laugh. I think podcasting, straight up is one of the dumbest things in the world if you’re not going to take it seriously. However, if you do take podcasting seriously, and you actually want your podcast to be, like, one of the best podcasts in the world, you want to take it seriously, I think podcasting allows you to do something that nothing else allows you to do. And what is that?
It allows you to create content that you upload to say let’s say iTunes or whatever, but as you get bigger and you build an audience, you can have your podcast syndicated. Now if you can get your podcast syndicated, like, a radio station or many radio stations, what does that really mean, syndicated? That means a radio station is going to pay you to air your content to their listeners. They’re going to pay you to build your brand for you.
James: I love it.
Derek: You see that’s why I’m going back into podcasting.
James: Yeah. The part I like is that you state the customer’s question out loud for them and then answer it. You got such a style there.
Derek: Yeah. Let’s just talk about that for a second. I know it kind of like sound self-serving, but a lot of people here who have listeners for, they are in the business of building their own business. So I say this because that’s like the benefit to the listeners. But now the benefit to the listeners of my podcast, that’s the other benefit of the podcast is the fact that we live in a very mobile world.
People are travelling to work, people are going to the gym. Right now, when people are at the gym, I don’t have any way to communicate with those people. You’re not going to read an article while you’re at the gym. You’re going to pop on a podcast for 40 minutes while you workout.
Now I have the opportunity to give people more content that they love while they’re at the gym or driving to work or going for a walk. This, I was unable to reach those people until you have a podcast that you’ll release every week. But the business side was the syndication.
James: Yeah, I think if someone has a good message and they believe in it, they should be podcasting with a real show and certainly, in my case it’s been phenomenal. It’s by far in a way the best traffic source for my business because of the accessibility. And I’m pleased to see you’ve re-started that and also I think you just hit number one in the business category.
Derek: Yeah! So I hit number 1 in business for a couple of days. There’s no way I would be able to keep that because the guy who has number 1 is syndicated across like hundreds upon hundreds of radio stations.
James: Right. That’s the Dave Ramsey show?
Derek: Yeah. So he’s there syndicated and let me tell you, I want to be syndicated.
Using Paid Traffic
James: Well that’s good. You know my audience are super familiar with podcasting and the reason’s why, but I think you’ve really added some dimension there with the syndication part because that’s not something I think we’ve discussed on this show before. Do you also do paid traffic?
Derek: I do. I do a lot of Facebook traffic. I do remarketing like retargeting, where you have your ads follow people around on the Internet, which is usually I do that through the Google Adwords.
Derek: I’ve also experimented with buying one-off ads on random websites that I think might convert. And I’m going to be going more into paid traffic over the next six months. But mainly Facebook has been my target.
Blog That Converts
James: Right. Yeah. It seems that it’s a pretty popular format and of course you sell courses. And do you think that’s the best way to monetize a blog/video/podcast show, is to have courses? I don’t think you put sponsored ads on your surrounds and stuff like some people’s monetization. I had John Lee Dumas on here and he sells advertising on his show and we were talking about how much more he can make if he had his own courses and stuff.
Derek: Yeah, I don’t believe in advertising. I don’t know if you know this; did you know that before Social Triggers I ran a celebrity gossip website?
James: I did know that just because I’ve heard you talking about it. I have actually purchased your course which is, it is Blogging That Converts or something?
Derek: It’s Blog That Converts, yeah.
James: Blog That Converts. So, I did purchase that because of the material. But I knew that you, you’re good at this discussion marketing or the comments. You get a lot of comments. You get talked about and I think that’s where the value might be for our listeners.
Derek: Yeah so what’s interesting is just back on that is before what I’m doing now, I basically had a celebrity gossip site. In that celebrity gossip world, you live and die by two things: one thing is how much traffic you can generate. The best way to generate traffic in that industry, you can’t buy it because the traffic isn’t really worth that much money.
So you can’t buy it, but you have to get people to talk about you for free. It’s the only way to get traffic in that industry essentially. So that’s the first thing.
The second thing is you live and die by how much money advertisers are willing to pay you. I’ve discovered that ad rates have plummeted over the last six years or so because impressions are unlimited on the Internet essentially. So ad rates plummeted and I found out what in that celebrity gossip world, I wasn’t in control of how much revenue I can bring in to my company.
I was always at the mercy of the ad rates. So I hate advertising because I never want to be at the mercy of some ad buyer for some other company. You know what I mean?
James: Ah, totally. I’m on the same page. You know I’ve stopped my affiliate program at the end of last year. I decided to… I did your course. I did some conversion work on my site and I really decided to start earning my listenership.
I mean you’ve heard about me from several people now and that’s the long-term goal, is to be remarkable in an industry where a lot of people are just pimping stuff as an affiliate, or they’re doing the sponsored ad thing which is really kind of selling. It’s selling out part of your real estate because you don’t know what to do with it in a way.
Popularizing The Feature Box
James: Now I like to promote my own products and services from my own website. I’ve got the entire end-to-end system, a lot like Steve Jobs had with his own ecosystem. That’s the ideal for me and I think you are very, very strong and that’s a great contribution you’ve made to the market and you also, I think popularized this opt-in box on the top of every single website.
Derek: Yeah. The feature box is what I called it.
James: The feature box.
Derek: It’s so funny that no one did that before. I mean, I talk matter of factly about stuff, when I can talk matter of factly about stuff right?
Derek: And I can say that the feature box will increase your list size. If you don’t have a feature box on your website, and you’re trying to use your website to convert, I think you’re a m****. Because it just converts so well. I had this one friend of mine, that I told him to put a feature box on his site for six months, he didn’t listen to me. Then one day he emails, he goes, “Derek, I got to say I’m sorry.”
I was like, “Why do you say you’re sorry?” He said, “Well, for not listening to you for six months, I finally put the feature box on my blog and I’m getting like 700 opt-ins a day now.” And I was like, “Don’t apologize to me. Go look in the mirror and apologize to yourself! It didn’t hurt me.”
James: Yeah. Well, yeah, you know it’s one of those things you might not have been the first person to do it but you’re certainly the one to give it some priority and talk about everywhere and get associated with it which is one of the things you teach in your course. I thought that was fascinating.
James: It’s kind a lot like what I’ve done with my OwnTheRacecourse, is put forward this idea that you want to control all of your asset because that’s a huge mistake I see people making. They’re putting out as much content as you or I but they’re putting it all on Facebook or YouTube and not even having a website which I think is just crazy. I mean you can’t put the feature box if you don’t even have the website.
All About Attire
James: So, let’s just talk… interesting you and I have done something that I think the listeners would get some value from. I started changing what I was wearing a little bit for my audience after getting some comments about attire. And I noticed you’ve gone through, certainly from some of the older videos I’ve seen and then now the videos with the stethoscope which I think you call a tie.
I joke with you because you don’t do it up which I don’t understand but tell me about why you’ve gone through this change in style? Is this to get syndicated?
Derek: Did I tell you that I tested my clothes? Did I ever tell you about this? I might have talked about it in a video. I don’t know if I ever published this video yet or not.
But I tested my clothing. I went to conferences where I showed up wearing a T-shirt and jeans and sneakers, right? And I kind of gauged the audience. I showed up to another conference wearing a suit, wearing a T-shirt and sneakers. Tested the audience.
I tried a full on suit with a button down and a tie. I tested the audience. And I tried a suit without a tie, with dress shoes. I basically tested the audience.
And then I discovered that when I wore T-shirt and jeans and sneakers, people looked at me and they were like, this guy is kind of smart but he’s like a young punk. Because I’m there. I’m definitely in my late 20s and people would look at me as, this guy’s loud, a little bit obnoxious and brash. He’s a punk but I kind of like this stuff a little bit.
When I wore the suit with the button down, the frame of mind people had was completely different. It was more like, this guy’s a professional and he’s going to say what he means with authority. Look at him. So I actually saw people change the way they talk to me based on how I dressed. When that happens, I decided to start talking to a stylist.
I hired a stylist, I asked him some questions about this and they told me and I quote, “Derek, you’re already loud, brash and obnoxious. If you show up in a T-shirt and jeans, yeah, that fits you but it’s kind of expected. However if you show up in a suit and you’re the same way, it creates this contrast that makes you a little bit more memorable.” That’s what they told me.
So they first wanted me to start wearing ties all the time. And I was like, oh my God! I hate ties. You call them the stethoscope, I call ties like a little animal on my back trying to pull me off my feet. That’s what I think a tie is; it’s like choking me down.
So I was like, I don’t want to wear the ties, I think that’s a little too buttoned up for me. So he said, here’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to have a tie but we’re not going to pull it up all the way. You’re going to leave the top button open and in your videos, I want you to roll up your sleeves.
That way you’re going to have this look that you’re being professional but not so tight and buttoned up about it. You know what I mean? That was the reason why I went that clothing wrap.
James: Gotcha. I think… I mean this is interesting for you because you’ll pick up more of an Australian audience from this. Certainly with private schools, with corporate. I came from a corporate like Mercedes-Benz arena and to have your tie down, we used to call that half mast, then it was considered very sloppy and unprofessional.
For me, when I see that, I don’t get it. If you’re going to go with the tie, you wear it properly or don’t wear it at all. And that could also be something to do with the English heritage here but also I’ve been through the same styling exercise. Not with the stylist but by putting trial by audience where they… we had a big debate and I did a test on my video.
I actually did one video in a T-shirt and hoodie, unshaven and then in the other half of that video, I shaved and had a nice shirt and my audience said, this is the outcome, if they didn’t know me, they thought I was scruffy and then when I start talking, they started to feel that what I was talking about was sensible and then they were OK. Once they knew me, it didn’t matter anymore what I wear, they just want the content and it’s great.
Curating Old Content
James: But when I look back at some of my older videos, I see now why they thought I was a bit scruffy or whatever. And that sort of leads me to this next question, do you ever go back and prune some of your old content or wished that you could reshoot it or do you curate it yourself?
Derek: What do you mean?
James: Do you ever go back and delete old videos or update them and you know, lift the whole brand value?
Derek: Yes. So there are some videos that I actually unlisted on my YouTube channel or whatever, but I don’t recommend people delete videos. There’s no reason to really delete them. But I do understand why they do it. People kind of like to see the evolvement of what you’re doing as well.
A lot of people think that they need to show off this great, perfect persona online so people don’t judge them but you’ll find that if people see improvement, they’ll actually identify with the improvement more than being completely perfect.
James: Well I guess it shows in there you are just a normal person after all.
Derek: Yeah. Absolutely!
James: And especially in your words, brash, loud, then they might want to also see that humility of the journey because it would work in your favour.
Biggest Mistake: Joining Corporate America
James: OK, so, what’s… we’ve got a feel for what you’re doing, got a feel for where you came from, and you’ve even shared with some of the stuff of what you’re going to be doing in the future as well. What do you think is the biggest mistake you’ve ever made would be that you would not do if you went back?