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Balancing Creativity and Data in Digital Marketing

In conversation with Mike Koehler

In this episode of E-Coffee with Experts, Matt Fraser interviews Mike Koehler, founder of Smirk New Media, a leading digital marketing agency. They discuss the changing landscape of the industry, the importance of data and collaboration, measuring success with metrics, integrating departments, data-driven decision-making, consistent messaging, and essential qualities for success in digital marketing.

Watch the episode now for some profound insights!

Balancing creativity and data in digital marketing involves combining artistic innovation with data-driven insights for effective campaigns.

Mike Koehler
Founder of Smirk New Media

Hello everyone. Welcome to this episode of E-Coffee with Experts. I’m your host, Matt Fraser, and on today’s show, I have a very special guest with me, Mike Koehler. Mike is the founder and chief strategist of Smirk New Media, a full-service digital marketing agency based in Oklahoma City. With over 20 years of experience in journalism and public relations, Mike specializes in social media strategy, multimedia storytelling, and content marketing.

He is certified in LinkedIn’s learning conversion copywriting program, and his expertise has helped numerous clients achieve their digital marketing goals. When he is not crafting impactful stories for his clients or working on projects you can find him spending holy time with his family and working his way through the top 1000 movies of all time.

Mike, thanks so much for being here. Welcome to the show.

Absolutely. I appreciate it.

Hey, Mike. My signature question is developed over time and, it’s this how would your university students, your university professors describe you as a student?

I tried to get through college as quickly as I could. I had a Desi that was back when I wanted, was gonna be a journalist and had a real passion for writing. And so I was spending a lot of time working at the newspaper in the city I was in and going out and writing stories and getting practical experience.

I didn’t feel too fired up about going to class at college. There were some classes I went to two or three times for the whole semester just to get through them.

For some people, I never went to college or university and I would’ve been bored.

I’ve now learned that I just, do so much better learning outside of the classroom or, outside of on my own. I watch LinkedIn, like you, I take advantage of LinkedIn learning and I watch the videos on there. I try to at least every day for half an hour, just to keep myself sharp.

My journalism classes in the evening from 5 o’clock until midnight, I was working in the actual newsroom at the newspaper in town. But during the day, I was taking classes from somebody who hadn’t been in an actual newsroom for 10 or 15 years, and I couldn’t put those things in my head, so I turned into a little bit of a smart alec in class.

because I knew what was happening in the real world. And everybody talked about these great college experiences they had. But I’d already met my wife in high school. We were still dating. I was like, the faster I could get to the finish line, the better for me in college.

Do you think that just outta curiosity, overrated like some people, like for instance what I’m getting at I don’t think Google requires you to have a university degree anymore to apply for a job? Like I think the education, not that we should I don’t wanna go down a different trail, but it just seems the education system needs to pivot big time. Especially with online learning.

Somebody who hires people now that was 30 years ago when it was like. The next natural step for any kid was to go to college and get a degree but now as somebody who hires. We’re looking for somebody and there’s a ton of these students coming out who have managed accounts before, who have managed the marketing for their parent’s company or have managed accounts for the company that they’re interning with or whatever.

I could care less about what your GPA is or what your degree is in, but if you’ve managed an ad budget each month and you know how to report metrics and you know how to write, that’s usually the most significant thing. I don’t care about your degree, and we’re hiring people like that who have a ton more practical experience and a hard look at what they’re doing.

So if someone wanted to start and they don’t have any experience, what would you suggest they do like for instance, work for free for someone, take those courses on LinkedIn learning, get some experience no matter what way shape, or form.

There’s enough certification stuff happening through Google or through Facebook and Meta or all of the content that’s on LinkedIn that you can get a ton of certifications. But I would look at when I taught a class for a couple of semesters at a college and I was telling the kids to our final project was to go and, create a real strategy for a real brand.

And so I was ENC encouraging them to go to nonprofits. I would much rather a kid work free for a nonprofit or for a cause that they’re passionate about. Then work for free for an actual business. Because I don’t want to be teaching businesses that they can get work for free.

But many of those kids would then go find those or find the business in their neighbourhood, or again that mom and dad, mom was in an accountant but had no presence. And so do all that real work and get that built up and then build the case, you know what class is good for is theory and overview and things like that. But class I’ve always said books and classes can never keep up with the pace of change that’s happening in our business.

And that’s the thing like it’s online courses that are the way by linked LinkedIn learning is always.

They’re always re-recording courses. And, heck you can get more outta YouTube than anything else. I went to school and took a diploma in web media design and it was useless. You absolute total waste of money. I learned more from a $500 course from a guy who was teaching me how to launch an agency out of Dallas.

Then I did from the entire ridiculous amount of money I spent on my education. It is a big regret of mine.

You think about something like SEO. If somebody has, if somebody didn’t pay attention for two months, then the SEO advice they’re giving to somebody is out of date.

I have to confess, I haven’t touched a Facebook ad or Google ad in over two years, and so I know I’m outdated already. Be just like starting from scratch. So can you tell us about your background and how you got into the field of digital marketing? Like you went in for journalism and next thing you’re, you have this agency, how did that full story unfold?

I started in journalism and I desired to write as much as I could. And I gravitated first to covering sports because when you’re 16 years old and you wanna write. They’ll give you a few bucks to go cover a football game or a basketball game.

That’s how I broke in that way and that was just a great way to learn how to interview people, learn to write on deadline, all of that. And so I started at a smaller paper in my college town and then bounced around a few places and eventually ended up here in Oklahoma City in 2000 working for the state’s largest newspaper there and, As that was happening, I became the guy who was figuring out what was going on in the internet also.

And started to put the pieces together in terms of what digital tools were out there that helped us tell stories better, helped us supplement what we are doing in print. And so just the idea of the web gave us this bottomless well of content that we could put in there how we could supplement with audio and video.

And eventually live streaming and eventually social media. We just started innovating all of these ways to tell different stories. And this was in 2004, five and six when all of this stuff was in its infancy and we were trying to put square pegs in the round holes.

But eventually, at least you were doing that was working and got us some attention, and turned my head in terms of it broke down the barriers between the content the journalism, and the reader for a long for a hundred years or 500 years. It had been a very big gap between What was being created and the feedback from the people who were reading were we giving them what they wanted or were we giving them what we thought was best for them?

And that became the debate in our newsroom it was the hamburger versus broccoli. People want hamburgers, but for some reason, we felt compelled to keep feeding them broccoli because we knew what was good for them. As soon as we were able to see the metrics of what stories online people were looking at.

It changed everything. And so at the same time, I was reading the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins where the great book talks about the seriousness of how you should take data. And so we started comparing online story hits and single copy sales of the newspaper.

And to me, that was my agenda to start pushing doing things differently and leading with the web. Long story short, eventually I went from just doing that for the sports department to doing that for the entire newspaper like your travel of eventually they’re giving you more and more responsibility.

And, then about 2007, 2008, I started going around the country and talking about the innovations that we were doing. But at the same time, the entire industry was Being affected by Craigslist, and being affected by the web and shrinking. So 2009 I decided to leave and go work in an agency so I could learn what agency life was about because I was starting to interact with a lot of those people. And then in 2010, I started Smirk just by myself. I bought a laptop from a pawn shop and went to Starbucks, sat down and said, Hey, I got company today.

Did you incorporate it first or did you just It was a laptop and get started?

I paid $50 to register my LLC with the state. And then I sat there and I sent an email to all the people that I had started to know from the online community in town. And said, Hey, I’m starting this, anybody, if you know anybody who I could help, let me know. And we were the first, it was me at first, but SMIRK was the agency in Oklahoma City.

That was first strictly focused on digital marketing. And so Pioneer City, other traditional ad agencies, but all we did was digital from day one, and we’ve grown since then.

Can we talk about just one thing I’ve always wanted to know from your pers like somebody like yourself avoid I think like, right now, In Canada, the newspapers are subsidized by the government, which is not a good thing, and I won’t get into politics, but the point I’m trying to make and ask is like the newspapers, I was at a WordPress conference one time and the lady was talking how the newspapers were in trouble and how maybe that what they did at the time, like the full spread car ads that maybe they never worked in the first place.

And they’re struggling and I’m like but you guys owned the classified ads like you could have been Craigslist, you could have been eBay classifieds. We have something up here called Kijiji that is similar to eBay. It doesn’t exist anywhere else. It’s not even used in Vancouver which is another part of Canada because Craigslist is more popular there.

But the point I’m trying to make is that newspapers could have started. They could have transitioned their customer base from print to digital. They could have been ones, they could have started a classified ads website. But now I’m on the outside looking in and I’ve only heard hearsay.

It’s like people say in the newspapers, turn their noses. The hardest thing for people to do is change and embrace change. And yet in digital marketing, we always have to be changing, so do you think that like the newspapers, why did they not do that?

They made several huge mistakes. One was being they everyone put the paywall up too late. If you think back to 2000 the late 2000s, everybody was putting their content up for free.

Every article was up for free. There was no obligation for the reader to pay anything at that point. And so you created an expectation in the readership that, content will always be free to me. There was a disconnect there when they could have gone some sort of payment from the very get-go to get access to the content.

The other thing was part of the problem I was dealing with which was there were ingrained people who insisted that what people were interested in should have no bearing on the type of content we were creating. It was and that’s where sort of the generation older than me is very stuck on the public service, what I call capital J journalism, which is the very serious business serious.

Part of journalism, reporting on politics and, process and all of that stuff. And the other big problem, there was a very solid brick wall between the people who created content and the people who made money for the company. The people who sold advertising, the people who made the money for the company never interacted with the people creating content and the people creating content had no business sense at all in terms of we talked about monetization now, which is an easy thing to talk about but back then if you were to talk about monetization with people who were on the editorial side of things it was sacrilegious to talk about how we sponsored content. We started talking about sponsored content in 2008, and it was forbidden to even think about what we’re gonna tell an advertiser and ask them to specifically pay for the content in a specific subject area.

You’ve had people with no business sense trying to save a business and having no idea how to create revenue.

Because in my thought process the printed newspaper was a forgive me if I’m out to lunch, but a kind of like a break a why did I just lose the word?

It was a breakeven offer. Like in my day you paid 25 cents for the paper. Now you pay a buck 50. I used to deliver the paper. But you’re getting the people to read their newspaper even at break-even to see the ads.

And if they had just transitioned that to instead of getting people to reading the content for free, not only see the ads but also like why can’t you sell classifieds online and monetize it that way? You mean to tell me that the newspapers couldn’t have made it, I’m not saying you’re saying this by the way, I’m saying Sure.

Hypothetically like you that person that they couldn’t have made money from, if they’d started eBay classifieds or, in each division of the city that they wouldn’t be making they wouldn’t have any problems with money. And then starting a web design division and starting a marketing division, a digital market like needs newspaper now.

Newspapers up here doing it like there’s a very national newspaper up here doing it, trying to do it anyway, and positioning themselves as if they’ve been doing it 20 years. And I’m like, you guys are full of crap.

They’re all trying to do everybody’s 15 years late. The other thing was they were so reluctant to give up on the print product.

And the print product as you said is a loss. You, especially on delivery like my newspaper in Oklahoma City delivered delivered print product newspapers to every part of the state, and we figured one day that it would be cheaper. If we bought an iPad for every subscriber, a hundred thousand subscribers and then the next day just stopped physically delivering the newspaper. Because every time those trucks rolled out, that was money being burned. And there was just a reluctance to do to make that huge jump. If you think if they did that 10 years ago, invested in that, and went all digital with their ad sales, they are catching up because the capital outlay for that would’ve been one time.

What lessons do you think we can learn from that? I think in one don’t resist change.

What we’ve, what I learned, the biggest lesson I learned from that is let the metrics tell you what to do.

Now in advertising and marketing our creative agencies fall in love with their creativity and who are creating campaigns and creating content pieces that make them.

It doesn’t convert but boy is it clever, and that’s the problem. It’s the same problem, The Madison Avenue types. I know you’re going to your client and saying, Hey, look at this I got all these statues with this cool ad that I made, but then the client where are my sales?

We try to be relentless, we don’t fall in love with our content. If the metrics are telling us that something is bad we just stop doing content like that. You give the people what they want. It’s an amazing concept but give the audience what they want and they’ll watch it.

And if you want to be more high-minded than that start a nonprofit or do something, else where revenue is, you don’t have to worry about revenue.

You were talking about metrics. So what metrics do you use then to measure how important is data, obviously you think it’s very important. What is your methodology, if you will of using metrics to measure the, I know that sounds like a, maybe a generic question if you want me to frame it up a little bit here I will.

We’re not trying to be complicated about any of these things. We’re working with the client and letting the client dictate that as part of as we’re building out their strategy. If a client says, Hey, I want more leads, then leads are gonna be the top line of what we’re measuring ourselves against.

Part of that is though, telling explaining to the client if that’s your most important metric, then we need to be involved in everything from the first click to the transaction.

So we integrate ourselves into the sales process or a lot of times we’re helping them.

Build out that customer journey all the way through. It’s changed in our business too, where I don’t care anymore about the number of likes we don’t care about the vanity metrics don’t matter anymore.

What matters is conversion, what matters to us is the cost per conversion too because we wanna be stewards of that money, what matters is traffic to the site all of these basic things matter. We’re not trying to get any more complicated than that, but it’s as simple as just asking the client, what do you want to happen? And our job is to make their business successful.

The dealership, they didn’t know, I couldn’t ask them that question because they didn’t know. So I had to set up, we have what you call SRP Search Result Pages, and VDP Vehicle Detail Pages. So I set up goals for being able to view how many were new and used because those were separate things.

And used VRP or SRP, how many new and used there were for both of those things. So those four different metrics as well as time on site. Then I was doing a month-on-year-over-year comparison. Just to gauge that, hey, we’re getting lots of traffic and then I set up conversions for phone calls.

My four conversions were phone calls, chat sessions, leads obviously like web conversions, and sms because we were doing SMS, and if those things were happening I knew that what I was doing was working because I had the sales team telling me that what I was doing wasn’t working. I’ll never forget the time the manager came in and said to me, the general sales manager came to me and said, Matt, what you’re doing isn’t working?

Why not? How do you, what that’s interesting. What makes you say that? And I had access, I was a super admin on the CRM, and I got access to all the data. And I even was using UTM attributions to see, I mean I went so far as to set up custom dimensions so that they could see which vehicle on a year, make and model, and VIN was more popular.

But the point I’m trying to make is the data is so important as you’ve said, but the sales department came and said what you’re doing isn’t working that’s interesting, what makes you say that? We’re not selling any cars. So then I began the process of showing them showing the general manager I’m doing my job.

The sales department isn’t and they shut up as soon as I brought data. And I think that’s important to use data even to show clients. But because and here’s the thing which is my lead to this question, how important is collaboration with other departments? For instance, you talked about if they want leads, you gotta be involved in every area of the process from the first click, from the ad writing, the landing copy, from everything. And how important is it to collaborate with the other departments with such as sales and customer service? In the success of a digital marketing strategy from your experience?

I mean we have to the burden is on us to explain to them how our end of the equation is working. Because like you said a lot of people, even now in 2023 aren’t quite understanding how our end works but they understand. They understand the equivalent of the phone ringing when a lead comes in through a landing page they need to convert that lead as they carry that last mile, but they can talk to us about what are the qualifying questions, what’s that? What that audience looks like so we can target the right way?

We always it’s getting down to the basics, but at some point, we’re always pulling out of them. How do you talk about your business regardless of the platform or media that we’re using? You need to help us. You need to tell us how you talk to people.

And how then we can convert that into the messaging that we do. The other thing, the other big piece of our work that we do which has a different metric is we do a ton of customer service on social media where we’re answering customer questions. And that’s about sentiment, but it’s also about all of the data that we can pull just from those monitoring and those conversations, and then we can take that again to the client as actionable data that they can use to see how people are reacting to a different product, see how people, where there are areas of concern with customer service at the store level.

So we’re swimming in this data all the time, but we think to us the conversations and the reactions that people are having on social especially are just there to be scooped up and inform us to make what we do better.

How do you ensure your client’s messaging is consistent across all digital channels when you’re doing that?

We drill down on defining messaging and voice from the very get-go. We do a pretty thorough audit of everything that they’re doing in their marketing and advertising when we start with someone. So we know where all the interactions are with customers.

And we never post an ad or post any piece of content before that’s all been very refined and proved and, all of that. And so, that way our team know, everyone on our team who touches that knows what the messaging is, and the client knows too. Because sometimes you’ll have a rogue client now and then who you’re working on this very tight campaign and they’re still posting on their own, so depending on how big.

Can you share a recent campaign that you’re particularly proud of and why if at all possible?

We did get out to vote campaign last year. Not to get political, but we worked with the League of Women Voters, which is a non-profit that encourages people to get out to vote. We’re targeting the 18 to 35 age range. And trying to get them get them to the ballot box and get them participating.

And came up with some bold messaging there and worked with some influencers there as well which we’re doing more of the end. We were doing it just for our state, but some other states saw what we were doing and adopted some of our language and some of the work that we had done.

I would’ve loved for it to be at the end of the day it’s still that you’re still depending on the person to get up and go. And so we moved the needle, but not as much as we would’ve liked to. But it was a real sort of 360 incorporating some public relations and some earned media, but also a lot of social and a lot of work with the influencers too. So that was over most of last year.

How do you balance creativity with data-driven insights in your work?

The way we do it’s a collaborative effort on our team what we try to do is have a lot of people have a nice creative core of our team and a nice data nerd part of our team but also getting those people together to collaborate.

And as we do with every campaign, We bring in the entire team and everybody’s pitching ideas from their sort of point of view, and we’re deliberately building the team to be very diverse in what they’re good at. And that way you get all those voices at the table and you’re able to make sure that they’re checking against one another.

So our creative team is checking against sort of the SEO ad team. You have to have both of those, or you fall into the trap of something that’s very well designed but doesn’t have a lot of effectiveness like I was saying before or is too boring for people to click on.

And what qualities do you think are essential for success in the field of digital marketing? What qualities do you look for when you’re hiring people?

At the core of it, writing is at the heart of everything we do.

Understanding how words play against each other whether you’re copywriting, putting an SEO plan together, or making a social post. We always start from there. Someone has to write and understand. I was in a literature major, I wasn’t a journalism major.

So my deal would’ve been understanding the tone and the rhythm and those parts of copy and content from there, that’s how you write things that get a click, or hook people in. So we start with a writing test. We look at personality, we do some personality testing with people just to make sure.

Can you share some of those in case, some other agency owners want to like those specific personality tests?

We work with a group here in Oklahoma City called Giant Partners, and they’ve developed what they call the Five Voices which is similar to Myers-Briggs sort of testing.

There are creatives, and I’m a pioneer which is like big ideas. But with much detail. My partner is a guardian means she makes sure that my ideas get executed, and then we have creative people, and so on.

But I can provide the links to that because those are great and, We make sure that there’s a balance then of all those voices coming in. If we’re hiring for a new spot, we know what personality type works best with that works. An SEO person is different from a web designer. But we also make sure that there’s a balance on the team as well, where we don’t have too many of the same people.

There is just a golden nugget to have to know that information to make those business decisions based on that information to me is just such a value.

It changed, it radically changed a lot of what we do. For instance, when we have meetings now we go in the order. For instance, I’m a pioneer which means I’m loud and I put, and I think my ideas are the best and all of these terrible qualities. But what used to happen is I would go first in a meeting, a brainstorming session. I would come up and share my brilliant idea, and then I would get very much feedback or a mirror very much interaction from the rest of the team.

That’s because some of those voices are more passive and some of those voices are more agreeable. And so nobody wanted to tell me that they had a better idea than me. So now, after we did all of this testing and stuff, I go last and everybody else goes first. And so now we have 20 ideas instead of my one and everybody else being quiet.

Do you have to go through an agency to take or an organ, like can you take like a Myers-Briggs test? Are there any tests you can take online that are that you can pay for that are of value?

I can there are some links that I can give to these guys that do the work for us.

And then they have training and stuff like that, but there’s a lot of stuff out there. It’s just a matter of being, implementing it looking at how not just I see a lot of places that will just put a little sign on somebody’s door, but you have to train yourself about, the way I talk to this person is different than the way I talk to this other person.

Just because of how people receive criticism or give feedback and all of that.

How valuable has it been for you to learn what your personality type is?

It’s been humbling. But it’s also been it’s helped us grow when we started to implement this in a period of growth that honestly, I as the owner was having a hard time trying to do too much to the point.

I had to step back a little bit and so I, Allie Kerik, who was employee number one, ended up making her a partner in the business because she was so great at operations way a billion times better than I was. And so that was a big decision for the company, but also, She went I went to focus on business development and strategy and she went to running the day-to-day and it made everything so much better at every level, just because the way my personality is, not detail is not day to day math granular detail.

But she has a plan, checklists, and all of these things to know that clients are getting everything they want. And then from that we created a ton of better processes for the way we do things and enabled even more growth to keep going.

People just need to be honest about who they are and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Especially if someone I’m sure there’s a lot of folks out here like you, and who just start their own thing and think, I thought of this so obviously everything all my ideas are gonna work.

The more you can multiply yourself or the more that you can hire to make up for your weaknesses the better it’s gonna be.

Someone who, I’ve read a lot of books, John Maxwell, he’s a leadership expert. He says it takes dream teamwork to make the dream work. I always try and keep that in mind.

So how do you balance your role as an entrepreneur with your personal life and interests outside of work? I know a lot of entrepreneurs who struggle with that.

I think that’s the outflow of what we were just talking about which is having these hard lines in my head of this is not only something that I’m not great at doing but I shouldn’t even need to worry about it. I need to know to trust the delegation to the rest of the team and trust that I’m able to know that I’m not living or dying by every deal we close or deal we lose for a while where I was every measurement of self-worth was based on the ledger of the business. So I had to get outta that I had to let go of Compe being competitive and being mad at everyone who started a new agency because that was happening every few months.

So, it was letting go of a lot of things and giving valuing the time I had with my family and valuing the time I had where I was just doing things that I enjoyed and doing a lot of talk about self-care. It’s a cliche now but that’s what it is.

Taking better care of my mental health, taking better care of my physical health. I turned 50 last year, so everything these days is about self-examination.

I hear you. I’m not that far behind you, and hell when I turned 40, for me 30 was the hardest.

In my head, I’m still 22, so my wife thinks I’m a big kid too.

It’s all meaningless numbers now but It became about the business as a separate thing. You’re not the business thing that sits over here. We talk about it and its deal.

Hey, looking ahead what do you think are some of the biggest challenges in opportunities that you see on the horizon for entrepreneurs and small business owners in the digital marketing space?

I think AI has thrown a lot of my predictions out the window a little bit. I think we’re gonna have to fight with people who are gonna knee-jerk react to the idea that I can just tell it to write 20 Facebook posts and it’ll do it.

It’s gotta we have to lean into the strategy that understanding strategies that work and understanding that it’s not a commodity but letting people who are gonna commoditize it, keep doing that. There are some people some businesses are just gonna say, I’m just gonna use this tool and I don’t have to hire anybody.

I think there’s still value and there’s gonna be continued value in the sort of influencer relationships. I hate to say influencer because I think there’s value in there are the smaller niches of people. I think locally it’s much more valuable to get local influencers in local markets than it is to get paid a million dollars to Kim Kardashian or whatever. I think there’s still long-tail work that can be done. And I think telling the story, the one thing the AI is not gonna be able to do as effectively is to tell the stories.

Of these brands on a very personal level. It’s like I guess you can ask the AI about a time to write an anecdote about the time my business changed somebody’s life. But that can’t be done as well as sitting down across the table from someone who’s either affected by a brand or has real loyalty to it, or the small business owner who built his business into something.

Big and great that empathy piece and even the empathy piece on the soc on the customer service as well, they still can’t be regulated and so my feeling is Until the AI understands sarcasm, I feel like I have job stability. And until Google Maps can figure out what a parking lot is, I still have job stability.

It’s gonna disrupt the industry. And it’s interesting, I see it as a tool like for instance, a plumber can go in there and he can say, grant me 20. So I have a friend who’s a home inspector and he doesn’t have a lot of money and he’s just starting.

And he can’t afford, he can’t afford to hire an agency. He just can’t. He needs to grow the business to the point where he can or, bring someone who is a marketing professional on as an equity partner, or wait until he makes enough money. But he knows how to use his tools to inspect a home.

And I don’t know how to use those tools. And as a marketer, there are things I’ve done with ChatGPT that I don’t think he can ever think of because he’s not sure. He’s not necessarily a marketer sure. It’s whether you know how to use the tool or not. Or another thing is I got a friend who’s a coder.

Like they’re saying the people that are using AI or ChatGPT the most are the senior level programmers for coding, not the junior level people. And they’re using it and they’re able to see the. They’re able to make the corrections and able to increase their output and make the corrections and the changes because they’re so seasoned that they know what to do. Now, I’m not about to go start doing that because I have no idea how to code.

It’s eliminating some tedious steps, but still allowing us, the way I’ve used it is to write some email copy, write a bullet list so that I can turn it to slides, things like that.

But then I have the editing and knowledge at the end to say this is good, or this is garbage. It can still spit out garbage. If you don’t understand the difference between quality and garbage, then there’s still a gatekeeper function there for a real human.

Bill Glazer, I noticed you took the copywriting course on conversion copywriting on LinkedIn Learning, Bill Glazer. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with who he is. He was Dan Kennedy’s business partner at one time and he wrote a book called Outrageous Advertising That Works and multi-step marketing, outrageous multi-step marketing campaigns that work are outrageously successful.

But he said and wrote $7 million sales letters. So seven sales letters have generated a million dollars in revenue. And he didn’t know Lty split about copywriting when he first started. He learned everything he knew from Dan and then implemented it. And other notable people can thank Dan for their success.

Ryan Deice, Perry Marshall, Joe Polish, and so on. And the point I’m trying to make is that Bill Glazer one time said something so powerful. I just wanna know what your thoughts are on it because I learned it. I did what he said and now I’m not an expert in it. I’m not a world-famous expert on it.

But he said the number one skill that every entrepreneur in small business owner should learn is the art of copywriting. He said you should either learn it, even if you’re not going to write it. Learn enough about it so that you can recognize bad copy from good copy. If you’re gonna get, if you’re gonna be getting people to write copy for you so that you can recognize if it’s good or, not.

And do you think that’s a critical skill to learn to even just to know a little bit about copywriting or enough to recognize it?

I think what’s important for any business owner is the ability to articulate. What we always tell them is you need to be able to articulate how you know, what you know, and what you do.

And that becomes the core of everything that your message comes off. I think it’s the other side of the coin where you can tell where that copywriting doesn’t resonate with what you’ve decided. The core way you explain your business to people.

And so if it’s so far off true, it’s about understanding. It’s cheesy to say the soul of your messaging, but that’s what it is. Because of all of those things, you can have two plumbers who and, these people are notorious for what I do is boring, but if you dig down a couple of levels, and that’s where my journalism eating is why do you do this? You did wake up and decide to be a plumber. There’s still a story there and that story needs to, maybe not explicitly, but needs to be the foundation of how you’re messaging out to your audience.

Thank you so much for being here. It’s been an absolute pleasure talking to you. How can our listeners connect with you online if they choose to do so?

Our agency is called Smirk New Media. There’s no other smirk new media in the whole wide world. So we’re on all the socials there.

And all my socials are MKOKC especially on Twitter, and on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Alright, we’ll make sure to put that information in the show notes. It’s been an absolute pleasure having you here. Thank you so much for being on the show.

I appreciate it, Matt. Thanks a lot.

Thank you.



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