#529 Interview with Billy Gene of Billy Gene is Marketing | Podcast
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Video Transcript
speakerChris Burres·00:20

Hi and welcome to the SEO podcast.  Unknown secrets of internet marketing.  My name is Chris verse. One of the owners of EWR digital, 

speakerMatt Bertram·00:27

And my name is Matt Bertram. I’m the lead strategist here at EWR digital. 

speakerChris Burres·00:30

We have an amazing podcast for you today.  We don’t have guests very often, and this is an amazing guest.  You guys stay tuned.  You’re going to really enjoy it.  We want to talk a little bit first we’re sponsored by H ref.  So we’ve got to do our due diligence and our due diligence says, well, let me get the script here on the right place.  Says H refs webmasters tools is a powerful and free tool.  Age has created WT for website owners who can’t yet afford a marketing budget for a professional SEO tool, but need organic traffic to their website.  Almost 300,000 people signed up for the AWC the last year, since the product released, all of them use almost half of age rep’s product functionality for free Matt. 

speakerChris Burres·01:20

I think we’re getting a little feedback from yours.  Maybe turn your sound down seriously at $0.  Not even a credit card is required to sign up.  That’s always a, a plus tech radars said that AWC makes SEO more accessible to others.  It’s an amazing tool.  We use it in our office and are proud to be sponsored by them. 

speakerMatt Bertram·01:41

I would just say for free.  All right.  Check it out. A trust, AWT.  All right. 

speakerChris Burres·01:52

All right.  So let’s jump right into it.  We’re not going to do any more of our formalities.  We want to jump into this today.  We have none other than Billy Jean, and we’re going to say Billy Jean is marketing in case like that whole tie doesn’t.  If the, just the name, Billy Jean doesn’t resonate with you.  I bumped into Billy Jean at affiliate Southwest and Las Vegas was able to have a great conversation with him and was like, Hey, like let’s hook up on the podcast.  This is going to be a lot of fun, but my team and really Matt exposed me to you. 

speakerChris Burres·02:27

Even before that, Matt, why don’t you talk a little bit about how we first encountered, and by the way, this won’t surprise you, but how we first encountered Billy Jean? 

speakerMatt Bertram·02:35

Yeah, I’ll say so let me set it up.  So, you know, we got, you know, a team of like seven people crammed into a space, literally like working on tables and like TV trays, and like, we’re just like making it happen.  Okay.  And we’re all sitting around, you know, and we’re doing Facebook, we’re doing Google, we’re SEO, we’re doing whatever.  And then all of a sudden, okay, you know what, 2017, the Wolf on wall street, right?  Parody like paid, advertise the Wolf of Paul.  Well, paid advertising comes on and everybody like is like, what the heck is going on?  Everybody crowds around and like watches this video.  And like, it just blew everybody’s minds. 

speakerMatt Bertram·03:25

And like, from there on out, like, you know, like it was just Billy Jean, Billy Jean.  And like, that was when, at least for me and my team, you like really came onto the scene and it was, I mean, it was awesome.  So we are excited to have you, I know a lot of teams watching, so why don’t. 

speakerChris Burres·03:45

You talk a little bit about that? 

speakerBilly Gene·03:46

I got it.  I got to say, thank you for having me.  Let me, let me say thank you for having me.  And I appreciate the intro and the opportunity.  Like you say, you guys don’t have many guests on this, so you’re not, I don’t take that lightly and I’ll make sure that we spent some hot fire also too, in regards to the Wolf video.  I’m glad you guys found it in signing.  Cause people either love it or hate those s**t.  And that’s what that is. 

speakerMatt Bertram·04:11

Well, I mean, tell, tell me a little bit about like, you know, I’ve heard a little bit about your backstory, you know, and, you know, be willing to share whatever you like, but I I’m curious, like, you know, where were you at in your life?  And when you were like, I’m going to like do this, you know what I mean?  And was that like the first, really big city?  Cause you’ve had a couple others.  Right.  You know, you have like the James Bond type video, you know, you’ve done some other like big videos, but I’m just kinda curious what was going on with you, like right around that time.  And how did that change. 

speakerBilly Gene·04:42

When I decided to be stupid enough to do a parody of that?  Oh, I mean, you know, get into the industry.  What was going on in this digital marketer?  I lived in my parents’ house.  What was going on is I was embarrassed.  I mean like, no, one’s excited.  Like you go out, you meet people and people ask that question.  Oh, where do you live?  Oh, who do you live with?  You know, there’s this couple that cool, you know, say, so like, you know, my drive came from getting out of the situation.  There was no like change the world, like impact all this stuff.  Like there is present today.  I’ll keep it 100, like in the beginning.  Absolutely not. 

speakerBilly Gene·05:19

How could I be thinking about the world when I was trying to figure out how to survive myself?  That was a challenge for me. I couldn’t think of anything else.  But then how do you know, fast forward, how to crazy ideas like that happen is I love to study.  I love to study.  And in regards to me, I was educating people on entrepreneurship.  So what is the most mainstream messages that was out there?  And it was the Wolf of wall street, and we don’t really get too many movies about entrepreneurship.  You know, you’ve got like a major blockbuster, like pursuit of happiness and I’ve done some things in that nature, but the Wolf was like the biggest. 

speakerBilly Gene·05:53

And so as opposed to me trying to garner or fabricate attention, it was like, yo, it’s already here.  Let me just do our own version.  And then it just became a thing.  Matter of fact, when I walked into the office and I told the team, I have this idea, like we’re going to do this and modify and dah, dah, everyone was like that.  Wow, that sounds stupid.  But like, nobody was filling it, but I just had a gut.  And then, you know, me, myself, Paul, and the video team, we just went to work and just, we did it all in like four days. 

speakerMatt Bertram·06:21

Well, you know, and what I would say about that is like that like idea you had to fully commit to it and fully get in character.  Right?  Like if you, like, you couldn’t do that. 

speakerBilly Gene·06:34

I had to remember lines.  Yeah. 

speakerMatt Bertram·06:37

Well, I, it was, it was just because it, like, I think it just showcased like who you were and what you were about.  And like, it just opened everybody up to you because to do something like that, you just had to fully commit.  And like, if it was half done, you know, I, you know, like, I don’t think it would have had like the impact, but do you just like, I mean, you just were like, boom, and like, we’d never heard of you before not being like, who is this dude?  And like comes out of nowhere.  Like I am the man, like, look at this. 

speakerBilly Gene·07:11

Oh, you know, it’s passive like to work, or it’s not. 

speakerChris Burres·07:15

Literally, while you were given the keynote at affiliate Southwest, I was taking some pictures and sending them back to the team.  And they’re like, is that Billie Jean?  And like, yeah.  Yeah.  That’s Billy Jane.  That is really awesome.  Got to ask this.  Was that your, is that been your most successful video and right.  You could define that a couple of different ways or, you know, there’s a lot of people say, Hey, is it the simple cell phone video?  That’s a little bit better.  Cause it’s real, or the high production value that you put into that talk to us a little bit about what’s been the most successful for you. 

speakerBilly Gene·07:49

Yeah.  I think you nailed it right with someone.  How do you define success?  But I think the way that, you know, for the sake of this podcast and just life in this case, it didn’t make money or did it not paying these bills will be bawling because of it or not.  And for the Wolf, yes, it was very successful financially.  I don’t know.  The damn thing was probably saying like 50 million times, something like that and probably, you know, generated some kind of multiple seven figures.  I, you know, I look at it as an asset.  Right.  You know, most people you say, what are you investing into?  A lot of people will say, I’m investing in the real estate. 

speakerBilly Gene·08:21

You know, I invest into video content because it’s not, it doesn’t take as much money to get into that game.  Took me a couple of days. And I’ve been, I still use that video today.  Like there’s still funnels, we’ll incorporate it in just like people still use real estate as they, you know, our profit producing, you know, asset.  Right.  Like, same.  So to me that whole thing is, it’s just a better investment of realist.  I’m gonna sign no paperwork, no contracts, no messy stuff.  I ain’t worried about it going down.  Matter of fact, if it doesn’t work, I just turn it off.  You know what I mean?  There’s no risk there.  I’m going s**t.  I launched the first half of that question, Chris. 

speakerChris Burres·08:56

So, which was, so what has, so how valuable that was it.  Right.  Awesome.  And then talk a little bit about how that’s such high production value and maybe there’s a risk reward.  Right?  I think a lot of people are intimidated by video because they think it has to be perfect and that can get expensive or just even seems expensive.  And then like talk about, Hey, just crank out something on a cell phone, 

speakerBilly Gene·09:21

Almost always profitable in regards to lowest cost per Lee, lowest cost per sale.  It’s almost always the ones where it’s either a cell phone or a single cam, like one bird almost all like even today, like that Wolf one, it was good.  It was good because you know, it made cells, but that’s more of a brand play, right?  Like here we are, you know, five years later.  And we’re talking about that view.  That was for the brand quote unquote, to be remembered.  But for the money, it’s like the combination.  Right.  And I would say 90% of our ads are here or a single cam. 

speakerBilly Gene·09:53

And just talking to the camera simple as that, you know, but I, I do think you need to mix in like the big productions every now and then just to be remembered. 

speakerMatt Bertram·10:02

No, I, I mean, we probably about two and a half years ago, were just seeing, you know, Facebook live was being big.  YouTube live has become big.  And were just seeing like the data on videos and we actually started on video production team to do that.  And then were mixing it in with like the video testimonials with the phone, right.  Like are just the most powerful, because they’re genuine, they’re honest.  The real, you don’t have that big production.  But yeah, I think the brand play makes a lot of sense because like, if you’re putting together about us video, like in, you’re a bigger company, you need that production component to it. 

speakerMatt Bertram·10:39

You don’t want that on the phone, but you want the genuine responses to be, you know, completely genuine, you know, the days like three to one on most. Right.  As far as like engagement and that sort of thing.  But yeah, I mean that, I think that at least it, at least in my mind that put you on the map as far as like a brand play and then anything else you put out there was enough attention to like, look at what you were doing.  Right.  Like the different kind of funnels.  And, you know, when he came out with the little, you know, poker chip, right.  And one of my team members brought that in and we’re like looking at your funnels. 

speakerMatt Bertram·11:15

I mean, so it was, I mean, I think that anchored right, the, the brand, I think you’re doing like a band thing, like you were doing a band thing.  Right.  You know, and that was cool.  And like massage empathy.  So yeah, I think I liked the wow factor. Right.  And certainly the entertainment, like when people listen to you and like, get to know you, like, you’re hilarious.  Right.  And like, you gotta be able to, you gotta keep their attention.  Right.  Like, can you maybe speak to a little bit of that as far as how, like, how important that is?  I mean, when you’re copywriting, right? 

speakerMatt Bertram·11:53

Like just when copywriting, like, if you can’t get past the headlines, you’re never going to get into the meat of the article.  That’s where like the time has to be spent to like grab them, you know, and these from what I’ve seen on. 

speakerBilly Gene·12:04

Yeah.  And entertain, educate, execute.  But I think there’s another angle that I kind of want to throw in there too.  Why we go so hard on video and just this whole style and the word is competition.  Like, I am very aware that we are not the only marketers in the world.  There’s a lot of extremely intelligent, you know what I mean?  Like that are fantastic and do an awesome job.  And anything that goes with a funnel is, look, you can put something out there and you can probably wait about 60 minutes before somebody else’s testing what you do.  And especially, even writing copy.  Everybody thinks that’s the golden ticket.  The problem with copy is you can copy and paste.  The second she put a drain out. 

speakerBilly Gene·12:45

If it’s just words that are protecting you, virtually anyone can do it in the fastest time ever.  The videos are moat.  The video is, are, yeah.  Like how in the world are you going to copy that Wolf parody?  How are you going to copy the body language and the structure of dah, dah, like, you know, that is all a moat so that the competition can’t do it.  You know what I mean?  So that’s kind of like, for me, when I think of brand, it’s like, how can we create something that nobody else can touch?  And the truth is every part processes replicatable, but the content that creativity that’s a lot harder to do. 

speakerChris Burres·13:21

When I think also with you in the video, right, as the face of the company, as the face of the video and, you know, we kind of touched on a little bit of authenticity and that’s one of the things that Matt and I really enjoy about this podcast is because we get on, we’ve got like a zero edit policy, right.  One because, you know, probably better than us editing as a black hole of time, like Eight hours and good.  I’ve got 30 seconds ready.  Let’s move on to the next 30 seconds.  Right.  And so we got a zero edit policy and that authenticity really comes through and people make that connection because it really is a lot more about the connection. 

speakerChris Burres·14:01

Now you said something at affiliate Southwest, actually it was up on the board.  And basically you’re saying you smile by selling them crack.  Now tell me about your personal history with crack. 

speakerBilly Gene·14:17

Well, personal history.  I’ve never touched crack sore, but yes.  And my presentation, like, that’s a great example of like, you know, my real job is I’m an educator and t-shirt my passion is that I want to educate people who feel like they don’t got a shot.  You know, that happens to be a lot of minority communities at times.  And me being a black man, that’s very important.  And so whenever I’m presenting in a video or whatever, I obsessed 90% of the video or the presentation about how am I going to make people laugh and smile, and like, not be able to turn their head the whole time.  Then I go into the content.  The content part is easy.  Like the actual teaching thing, it’s actually making somebody care about it. 

speakerBilly Gene·15:00

So when I even come into a stage like affiliate summit west, I look at this bigger role and I see who’s speaking, et cetera. And you know, maybe sometimes figure out what they’ve done in the past.  And I try and figure out what’s everyone going to do perfect.  I’m going to do the exact f*****g opposite.  Yeah.  Right.  Like, you know, so if I’m going to speaker, I’m like, Hey, a lot of people are coming up here.  They’re talking about innovation.  They’re going to use these sides.  Great.  I’m going to double down on sites.  You know what I mean?  And then in addition to that, it’s okay, I’m going to present something and teach them.  But what are the, like, I’ll spend more times on my jokes.  Yeah. 

speakerBilly Gene·15:31

They’re open to receive, you know, so my whole segment there was about like, everybody’s getting so freaking surgical about conversions and clicking this button and this split test and blah, blah.  I’m like the only thing that you need to split test is does your sales page make people laugh or not? 

speakerMatt Bertram·15:49

And it. 

speakerBilly Gene·15:49

Sounds so I’ll go ahead and map. 

speakerMatt Bertram·15:50

No, just one of the things that, that I have heard you say is like the number one thing, like in funnels and Chris is by the way, running a ton of funnels.  Okay.  For another business is the offer, right?  Like that’s like all the surgical stuff that you’re talking about, you know, AB test the button, color, all this, like these are all marginal things.  Like, you really want to test something, test the offer.  I think it was another pocket.  You’re talking about a client.  I did like pink boxing gloves or, 

speakerBilly Gene·16:20

Yeah, exactly.  And it just killed it for him.  Like, you know, the gym space.  Hello, competitive.  Everyone has a two week trial who cares, but they’re like, we’re going to give you free boxing gloves on they’re pink. What’s this like, because most of the time when we miss them cost per liter sell and we’re like turning off a campaign, it’s because we need a $10 cost per lead.  And it’s 30.  Like you need a 300% increase in performance.  You cannot get that from a freaking change of a color or like a little tweak.  It has to be, if you want a 300% change, you need to do something 300% different.  I tell my team all the time, like literally, if it sounds anything, like it’s not going to work.