Join Matt and Chris for another thrilling episode of the Best SEO Podcast.
Adam: Alright, welcome to another fun-filled episode of Marketing to Niche Podcast: Episode #3.
Matt: Alright! Whoo!
Adam: We do have a special guest–
Chris: So wait, I feel like–
Adam: Oh sorry.
Chris: I feel like this is the first one I’ve been on and this is number 3.
Adam: That’s why I was calling you a very special guest.
Chris: Alright I like it, things happening without me. That’s how things eventually need to work.
Adam: Of course Aaron’s not here, those of you who have tuned in to the first two episodes will notice you won’t hear his voice, but we do have Chris.
Matt: And we’re rotating different people in and out, so this is just kind of a free flowing format.
Adam: Exactly. So today’s episode we’re focusing on actually the history of internet marketing.
Chris: The history of internet marketing, I like it.
Adam: And it’s kind of a special episode as well because we are going to interview Chris. I know there’s so many people out there that want to know more about Chris, what makes him tick, what he’s done, how he’s taken eWebResults and made it this massive company.
Adam: So let me– go ahead, tell us a little bit about yourself. You know, family background, companies, everything.
Chris: From the beginning?
Adam: From the beginning of time.
Matt: All the way up to bobblehead.
Chris: Alright, all the way up to bobblehead, and we’ve had the bobbleheads over there. So I started my first company in 1991, that company is SES Research, it’s a carbon nanomaterial manufacturing business. I was still in college when I started it and that business is still up and running. I think we’ll probably touch on it maybe a little bit later in kind of this conversation.
That business, because it’s a research– a business that serves research market, it’s really small, right? So the market that’s available is small. And looking for additional opportunities, I bumped into a business partner. Incredibly talented at graphic design, incredibly talented with computers. I’m a programmer by nature. And so we said, “Hey, let’s get together and start e-WebStyle,” at the time. An interesting story about that, I’ll add that on in a second.
And so we started e-WebStyle and I guess the interesting story is, okay first thing you got to make a website, right? You’re now going to start marketing to people: make a website. And my business partner who was also involved is also one of the business partners in e-WebStyle, Robert, we said, “Hey the website’s up, go check it out.” and the next day he came back to us and said, “I can’t find it.” and I’m like, “Okay, well that’s a problem.” And it turns out we had the domain name e-WebStyle.com and that was what we were going with because e-WebStyle without the dash was not available.
And I know that we had mentioned to him that there was a dash at some point. And the fact that even after mentioning it to him that he couldn’t find it meant we had to get the domain without the dash, and so we got that. That’s a whole other interesting story, how we ended up getting in that and probably shouldn’t be told actually on camera.
Adam: And you started e-WebStyle in 1999?
Chris: In 1999. So I always joke like: Al Gore invented the internet and then we started e-WebStyle. That’s how that goes. So we’re delivering websites, really good websites. And we had people who were intersected– it turned out, it seemed like everybody we gave a website to either the day we gave it to them or exactly 30 days later, they came back to us and said, “Hey, thanks for the website, this great website. How do I get it on the first page of Google?”
And I actually had some pet projects in competitive industries and so knew the process. Mostly what I knew about the process was that it’s incredibly time-consuming, and it’s actually gotten more time-consuming, more involved, more complicated, and there’s more competition now than there was back then.
So we really kind of stayed away in the early days – because it was just me and Javier – we stayed away from SEO, but kind of understood– if you understand business that residual income is a smart decision for your business. So how do you make residual income, a smart decision for us, also a smart decision for customers? And the way you do that is by delivering value. So if you ask somebody what is the ROI of having a website, is there an answer? Like is there answer?
Matt: It depends, right? That’s the answer.
Chris: Right, it depends. Well it’s kind of like a business card. If you ask somebody, “Hey, your business cards cost $150, what’s the ROI on your business card?”
Adam: Do you even get money off of business cards?
Matt: Well if you land a client.
Adam: Yeah, true.
Matt: Like you just don’t know, it’s so arbit– well not arbitrary but it’s so–
Chris: Nefarious, right? Like you just do– nefarious has an evil connotation. It’s just unknown, right? It may be if you don’t have those business cards you never get any business, right? With a website is, maybe I don’t close. I think I heard you guys on the phone right now. A guy didn’t even have a website for a long time, doesn’t include it in his email thread. So people, there are some people who can do business without websites, but most need them and it’s a credibility piece.
Matt: Yes, yes.
Chris: Switch the gears a little bit and turn that into: okay, now we’re driving traffic to that website, and now we’re responsible for making sure that traffic actually converts into costumers, and you’ve got a fee per month, and it can be traced to specific customers per month.
Chris: Now you’ve got a traceable ROI, right? We believe that marketing is not an expense, it’s an investment, right? And the way you invest is with internet marketing.
Matt: Well you know, I’m getting a lot of conversations with clients– a little bit bigger clients that we’re competing against like PR firms, right? And so we’re talking about billboards, we’re talking about radio ads, we’re talking about magazine spreads. And the thing that I keep going back to is: internet marketing can be trapped, you can pivot, you can change direction on what you need. Like if you’re going to do a radio, do like Spotify or Pandora where you can target your customers. But that’s the real advantage, not just can you interact with customers now online. You can now target and see what happens with those marketing dollars.
Matt: So you really can be a lot more effective and change on the fly if you see things going a different way with like AB testing and stuff.
Chris: Yeah, it’s a traceable ROI, right?
Chris: And there’s nothing more traceable than internet marketing. So we had customers asking for internet marketing for SEO. You know really they asked for, “How do I get on the first page of Google?” that’s SEO, right? Search Engine Optimization. So a couple years down the road, we ended up hiring our first kind of internet marketer, first search engine optimizer and now off we are, we’re doing Search Engine Optimization. And then in 2009, you know? We started the podcast, the SEO Podcast: Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing. And I was an important part of e-WebStyle history.
Matt: How many episodes are we at?
Chris: We’re on episode–
Adam: 428 will be today.
Chris: 428 episodes, so what is that? 224 hours+ of content.
Chris: More than 2 million downloads. It’s a–
Matt: We’re at like 3– well we’ve been totaling it up, right? What’s–?
Adam: Like 3.7 million.
Chris: 3.7 million?
Adam: That’s across like all platforms.
Matt: Not just iTunes.
Adam: Not just iTunes. So I don’t even think you can say we’re the most popular on iTunes. We are the most popular–
Chris: Internet marketing podcast.
Adam: Internet marketing podcast.
Chris: In the known universe.
Adam: Yes. Yeah.
Chris: In the known universe. So yeah, so that podcast was an important day. And then I would say another important day was when we decided to change the name to eWebResults. So I believe in self development, I believe in constantly pushing the team to be better. And everybody here believes in that.
So I have a business coach, and one day the business coach was like, “I think you need to change your name,” right? We were e-WebStyle at the time. And I was like, “Okay, well what do you think it needs to be changed to?” And he was like, “eWebResults, because I keep talking to my customers–” who ultimately become our customers and they’re like, “Hey, they’re focused on results, they deliver results. It’s PPC results, it’s search engine optimization results, it’s website results, and their name is e-WebStyle.” He was like, “You need to be eWebResults.” And it’s one of those you know– if somebody says, “Hey change your business name,” right? The guards go up, the shields up, abort, like fight. And it didn’t really last that long, I was like, “Yeah no, that’s a good decision.” So now we are eWebResults.
Adam: Alright, so we’ve got a background, we talked about the podcast – which I want to know some more about the podcast later on. You’ve touched on some great things that you’ve done, what are your like greatest success? Like you know, top two, three, whatever.
Chris: So by far the podcast. That’s one of greatest ones. If you read a book by Jim Collins, from Good to Great he talks about I think it’s the 30-Mile March and that’s in the context of going through Antarctica. There are days when you could do a lot more than 30 and there are days in Antarctica where 30 is a struggle. And so if you just set this pace and you just keep hitting 30 over and over and over again, and delivering over and over again, it’s easier one day and maybe two days. And then it’s really hard the next day but you end up with a good balance. And it’s the people, it’s the explorers who push too hard too fast and then not hard enough when they need to. And so I really believe that our podcast is our 30-Mile March.
It took a complete year, 12 months before we got our fist phone call from the podcast.
Chris: Right? And so that was obviously some commitment goes there. And we’ve talked kind of regularly about that podcast and the value it actually brings to our team irrespective of the leads that come from it, right? So now it’s our biggest lead generator. It’s probably about 40% of our business comes through our podcast. Thank you people who sign up and connect with us.
Adam: And not only that too, like as an eWebResults team member, to me like if I need like– man I’m learning something new, I can go back to the podcast and you know, and listen to the two experts here and I’m like, “Oh okay, wow.”
Chris: That’s how you do it.
Adam: “That’s how you do it.”
Adam: Like it’s always– it’s a history document that’s always going to be there, that I have or anyone else has to go back and say, “Hey, I wonder,” and they search this. And of course you know they’re all searchable so it’s great. Even before Matt, but it’s still– it’s great that there’s all this information out there for people to search.
Matt: Absolutely, yeah.
Chris: Yeah. So the value of the podcast is the resource that it generates. A lot of– you have a book that just came out.
Adam: Let’s show them.
Chris: It’s right there. Show that book. That’s Build Your Brand Mania, it’s awesome. And one of the things that it talks about is you need to become a recognized expert in your field, right? And you know this enough to write a book about it. I know this from reading some bits and pieces here and like, “Okay, that makes sense,” but the question is one: how do you become an expert in your industry? And then two: how do you show it? Right? Because I fundamentally believe it’s not that hard to become an expert. I mean you need to read a ton. This guy reads more than anybody I’ve ever met, Matt. You got to read a ton, and then I really believe the expertise sinks in when you teach, right?
Adam: Oh yeah.
Chris: And so this podcast is really about sinking in the expertise that we have by teaching others what we know. So really that’s how we kind of define being– that’s how we become the expert. And now how do you share it with other people? So let’s just say your environment was: we’ve done some training at the Small Business Association here in Houston.
Chris: And if that’s your environment, yes you can share that but it might not be as powerful as: hey, the way you know we’re experts – and we can share this – is we have an internationally recognized podcast. We are internationally recognized experts at search engine optimization because of our podcast. So it really kind of folds together and it’s the method, it’s the podium from which we teach and also the sign or the badge that we wear as being internet marketing experts.
Matt: Well I feel like the podcast keeps us up to date, right?
Adam: Oh yeah.
Matt: Like we’re always reading new articles, trying to decide what we’re going talk about on the podcast. So we’re always reading through the news and we know what’s going on. We see where the market trends are happening.
Matt: And I’m seeing updates all the time. Google, Facebook, they keep changing stuff, and if you’re not on top of it or you have someone that’s feeding you that information, you’re going to get left behind.I mean every time you log into something new, like you log into–
Chris: It’s changed, yeah.
Matt: Google Hangouts is Google Voice. You look at Google AdWords they changed their format.
Adam: Oh, the other day I was like, “What just happened to this?”
Chris: GDPR, right?
Matt: Yeah, GDPR. Yeah!
Chris: It’s a massive, massive change. So yeah, and we’ll read anywhere between 5 and 10 articles before we even hone in on the articles that we’re actually going to discuss in the podcast. So yes, the expertise is even deeper than what’s–
Adam: Or even write our own. I mean that’s– yeah.
Matt: I mean yeah, we’re starting to do a lot of like guest posting, you know? And that’s another way to create authority to somebody else’s traffic, right?
Matt: And it’s mutually beneficial.
Matt: And so there’s a lot of ways to create yourself as an authority. [00:13:56] [Indiscernible]
Chris: So yeah, I think that the greatest success really is the podcast and the value that it brings both to the company and to internet marketers in general.
Adam: Oh yeah.
Adam: So we talked about your greatest success. What is the one– and you may not have any failures, but what’s the one–
Chris: We all do, let’s be realistic.
Adam: What’s your one failure that stands out the most and would you go back and change it?
Chris: So because you kind of thankfully prepped me for this, and I was trying to think of failures. I’ve had other businesses–
Matt: I wasn’t prepped for this question.
Chris: So why don’t you take it? So I’ve had a number of businesses, and as I look at those businesses I’ve closed some. I can think of one where I was actually selling radar jammers, right? So for police radars.
Matt: I didn’t know that.
Chris: You guys didn’t know this. So for police radar, right? So the radar detector you have in your car, there are things called radar jammers. And we were selling them, not for long. It was probably six months or something, and really what caused us to stop selling them is I actually hooked up with a cop and we did a test and it didn’t really seem to work. And at that point I’m like, “Okay, I’m no longer comfortable doing this.”
Of course the manufacturer has all these, “Well, if you were speeding up,” and like all these reasons why it didn’t work in that context but I was like, “No, I think this is– I’m a little uncomfortable with this.” It’s not necessarily a failure because we actually did make our investment back, right? So everything that we put into that business worked, but it was time spent on something not valuable.
Chris: I’ll say like within the context of e-WebStyle and eWebResults, there have been some failures and things that I would absolutely change. And I think one of them is we recognized at one point in the company that we were spending too much time on each customer, right? We weren’t actually tracing the employee time close enough – or at all and therefore not close enough – to understand where was our time going? Who was getting the attention? And how much attention were they getting? And so we ended up in a situation where it as hard, very hard for us to be profitable because we were continually overdelivering to our customers. Now I’d much rather be in an overdelivery standpoint, right? But if the company isn’t making money because that piece isn’t being managed properly, then we’re not going to be able to– you can’t overdeliver to a customer for too long if you’re broke and out of business.
So I would say definitely getting on that was a mistake, not really tracking that time and then getting on to where we are tracking time is important.
Matt: And we’re actually– we have something called Time Doctor, shout out to Time Doctor, for tracking time.
Adam: Yeah, it’s great.
Chris: And by great he means annoyingly good at keeping me on task.
Matt: Well I’m waiting for those RPGs, like where you basically build a character based on experience on different clients you work.
Matt: Yeah like the gamification of the time tracking.
Chris: Time entry, yeah.
Matt: And I feel like–
Chris: That would be a game changer?
Matt: Yeah! I like it!
Chris: Yeah I think that’s a– yeah, in fact I literally just sent an article this morning to one of our customers. They were looking at gamifying their training program, and so I saw an article in the process of reviewing for the podcast that was about gamification and forwarded it.
Matt: Very cool
Adam: Alright. So we talked about why you started eWebResults, e-WebStyle, kind of in your background. We learned a little bit about the history of eWebResults, the podcast, all that. So what interested you though– I don’t think this question really came out as: what interested you in internet marketing?
Chris: Right. So that’s interesting. I can say– so I started the first company in 1999, I was still in college. And I studied mechanical engineering, actually. So I didn’t study marketing or anything even on the creative side of things. And I felt inside – even before I got out of college – that there probably wasn’t a business in the city of Houston that I couldn’t go in, bill a decent amount, and deliver more value to that company than I was doing, right? But I’m a 19 year old kid, so how was that going to work? And I think– I tell that because it relates to how interested from a very early age I was at helping businesses, at being able to contribute to a business at a high level, right?
It turns out there’s a lot of serendipity in eWebResults, because at the time I bumped into Javier, he’s one of the co-founders of the company, still one of the owners of the company. And I bumped into Javier, he’s an incredibly talented graphic artist, really good on computers in general. And I had programming experience from the engineering days, I’m like, “Let’s get together–” and like I said, SES research, good company, working, but a small market, so let’s start this company.
Matt: Well, that’s one of the things too that we don’t ever talk about. We have a whole like IT side, infrastructure side of the business where we service clients 24/7. We have servers going, we do hosting, there’s a lot of other things that we offer even though we spearhead it with the internet marketing.
Chris: With the internet marketing, yeah. And that’s an interesting story, how do we even get into internet marketing– I mean into IT, is we had customers who would like call us up and say, “Do you guys do IT?” And we’re like, “Well no, not really, but what do you need?” And they’re like, “Well I need a printer set up.” And we’re like, “Well we did that yesterday for ourselves,” and then we would just start billing that. So yeah, we definitely do IT. And I think you guys might have some appreciation for how that IT background comes really–
Chris: Like when we start having these email delivery problems, and when we start having like– we’re migrating one customer from one place to the other. I counted like just this week, we’ve got a customer who’s working with another internet marketing agency who’s come back to us because they’re hosting with us, and their internet marketing agency is asking us to do stuff that they should know how to do.
Chris: Right? And we do just because of that kind of IT background. So yeah, IT is an important–
Matt: Well even when we launched our own website this week.
Chris: Yeah, yeah.
Matt: Knowing that we had the background and skills to do that where we’re not going to lose search rankings, the website it’s not going to go down.
Matt: We transferred somebody else to us too, where the other–
Chris: Oh yeah.
Matt: I mean like you know.
Chris: So this is yeah, dirty pool. They decided to stop using a company that was burning them basically, right? Like that might be a reasonable way to describe it. They shifted, so they say, “Hey, we’re going to start using this other company,” and mysteriously their website goes down, right? And so we get it up in 24 hours.
Adam: And that’s what’s cool, is when you tell people we are all in-house. We literally are all in-house.
Adam: When you see Javi walk out of here with a big cable thing of fiber wire, you’re like, “Oh wow, this is–”
Chris: He’s going go to do IT. He’s going to go install cables at a location.
Matt: We don’t know how many more questions I’m starting to get that. Like, where’s your team at? Who’s based there?
Matt: And I’m like, we’re all in-house. All the expertise are here.
Matt: And that makes a huge difference for a lot of clients.
Chris: Well I think it goes back to– so we can talk about the industry in general a little bit. I think even when you started, my story was more about hey– when we talk to new prospects about 80% of them have been burned by one company, right?
Matt: Yeah, yeah.
Chris: And that’s just no longer true. Like it’s just not true. When we talk to people now about 90% have been burned by two or more companies, right?
Matt: Yeah, yeah.
Chris: It’s just really bad. And so some of that is the outsource companies. So they’re trying to do it on the cheap and it doesn’t work. And so like, “Hey, I’m going to work with you guys, where is your team?” Right? “And how is your team?” And I believe in full disclosure and full honesty. We have employees, so these are not outsource people, these are employees in other countries. So Venezuela is one and Bulgaria is another, but they’re employees. Like they get–
Matt: They’ve been here longer than me, yeah.
Adam: And you can text them day or night any time, and they are on it.
Chris: So I don’t even consider that like an outsource, it’s taking advantage and passing that onto the customer – that financial – by offshoring it, but they are employees.
Adam: Alright, so I want to dive a little bit deeper into the podcast.
Adam: You talked about kind of why you started it, but like I feel like there’s still some more you can talk about the podcast. Like I know that you’re giving away like so much.
Chris: Everything basically, yeah.
Adam: Yeah, everything.
Chris: Okay, two stories. One just because it’s kind of cool. So it’s taking years, so we’re talking what? 2009 to 2018, so 9 years and I finally met somebody who knew me from the podcast, out in public, right?
Adam: Yeah, that was recently!
Chris: That was recently, right? So I have met up with podcast listeners, right? Punch in the face to Dean Calhoun. Punch in the face is a good thing by the way. I have actually intentionally met podcast listeners, but this was when I was sitting there. My wife and I were talking, we’re at an event and two people at the event came up and he was like, “Do I know you? Like how do I know you?” And I was like, “Well I do have a podcast.” “That’s how I know you!” And I was like, “Really?” So that’s kind of cool.
And then we get the call every now and then where people are like, “Hey, I feel like I’m talking to a celebrity because I’ve been listening to the podcast so long.” That’s kind of the fun side of it.
Yeah, we give a lot of information away on a podcast. So much so – and I’m really kind of proud of this – we’ve got a podcast listener, his name is Manny, he’s actually a customer of ours. And we had him on. He’s so far the only podcast listener that came on to actually give a testimonial and he talked about how he took his traffic, I think it was in the hundreds of visits per month to the thousands and tens of thousands of visits per month, listening to the podcast and implementing the stuff that we said on the podcast.
Matt: Well I think that that’s something really important too. A lot of companies that are out there, they’re very hard to get a hold of.
Matt: Okay? It’s very limited access to try to get your voice heard if you’re a client, and we’re really geared towards an educational company, and so people call us and get on the phone with us and we do these Monthly Results Calls, you know, the MRCs. And they have time with us, and we explain things, and we teach things.
Chris: And they understand things.
Matt: And they understand. And I think that that’s one of the biggest selling points or differentiating points for us versus other agencies, is we really go above and beyond on the education part and teach them. Bringing on an new client, actually talked to us and said, “Hey, I’ll set everything up and then we’ll do like a profit plan or like a coaching session, and I’ll teach you how to use it. And then you know, you run with it and come back if you need anything else.” And he’s like, “Well, how are you guys going to make any money?” You know? And I was like, “Well, we really would just want to help a lot of people,” and we manage a lot of bigger clients, and we really do this as kind of a giveback to the community, and we’re coming out a number of like different information-based products and stuff like that, because we are education oriented.
Chris: Focused, yeah.
Matt: And I think that that– gosh I’ve heard that over and over again, in-house team and then like you actually take the time to explain stuff to me.
Chris: So just to talk– like our process starts with a 15 sometimes 30 minute call, it goes into the kind of profit plan that you talked about. It’s $499, it’s risk free, 100% refundable. I will personally refund your money if you don’t get value out of that. And I can say that because I don’t have to worry about it. Like everyone who calls in and participates in that first 15 to 30-minute call, like they’re giving us reviews about how much valuable information they got from that first call.
Chris: Let alone if they move into the profit plan.
Matt: A lot of people are like– we usually go like 30-40 minutes sometimes with these clients that just call in, and we’re like, “Hey, we got to keep going but we need to–” and we’ve done that a few times like, hey–
Chris: There’s more value to give but we’ve got to–
Matt: Yeah, exactly.
Chris: It takes time and you know times is money.
Adam: And even talking about like example, like this morning the guy that we moved his website, taken over– he called, he was a little upset about not being able to find something, and rather than just saying, “Oh here it is, send it to them,” we sat down, we talked on the phone, we walked him step by step, “Hey if this ever happens again, here’s where you can find it. Don’t ever worry about it, it’s not–” [00:27:27] [Indiscernible]
Chris: By the way it was leads for the customer.
Chris: So no wonder he was so concerned about it, yeah.
Adam: But it’s like being able to take the time out and hearing his voice when he called at 8:45 this morning and talking to him, and sending that Chris. And then at 11:00 when he called, and he was still in panic and by the end of that phone call he was calm, he was like, “Oh hey, yeah. Let me send you this other stuff, bla bla bla.” Like it’s great that we have that relationship with a client because now they know, “Oh wow, they’re here for me.”
Chris: They do know we’re here for them.
Matt: We’re in their corner, you know? We’re in their corner.
Adam: We get it. We know, you know?
Chris: If we lose leads we freak out too, yeah.
Matt: And if you want to talk about this a little bit, Chris, I know you don’t want to push it too much, but you have a very successful e-commerce business.
Chris: Yeah, so e-commerce can be challenging, right? And I’m going to describe why sometimes it’s challenging when an e-commerce lead comes in. So e-commerce often fits into really two desperate categories. One is like it’s a hobby and they want to grow it, and they tend not to have kind of the revenue to invest in it, or they’ve figured out the magic sauce and they’re off and running, and we can help. We can absolutely do it, we may end up more in the consulting role. But there is this space in between where we can help companies grow.
So my original company is carbon SES Research, it’s a carbon nanomaterial manufacturing company, ended up in the supplement market because of one of the products that we have. And so eWebResults has helped SES Research go from a half million dollar a year business to a $2.5 million a year on online revenue sales, right? And those are through the kind of processes that we already know and implement regularly of proper remarketing, proper Abandon Cart followup. Marketing and display marketing in the right places, good search engine optimization, good conversion optimization on the website. So yeah, we’ve got that capability. And again, it takes a broad base of skills–
Matt: It does.
Chris: To be able to do well in any e-commerce environment. And those e-commerce can be the environments where people know what they’re looking for and are looking for it, and we just need to do better than the competition, or those environments where people maybe don’t know that they’re looking for your product. Don’t know you exist, don’t know that they necessarily need your specific solution. We can help both of those, right?
Chris: So yeah. Those are some of the more challenging ones and we get excited about those.
Adam: So, since we’re on subject and I’m sure because you’re going to get a lot of questions on this one, hopefully. Why do you trust eWeb to do the marketing for SES?
Chris: It’s a good question. So SES, yeah went from– frankly mostly because it’s gone from half a million a year to $2 million, obviously I’m kind of spot checking everything, and it’s a great place for us to actually test out– to put some new employees, to give them opportunities to work in this environment because I’m overseeing it personally because I’m vested in the other company– I mean in SES Research, yeah. So the reason that I trust eWeb is because I know what our capabilities are, like I know that we deliver for our customers, right? And so it’s one of the things that I just believe, if you’re not willing to put your money where your mouth is, then maybe your mouth should be somewhere else? Right? So we’re absolutely putting– I’m going to tell you that SES is one of the biggest or is the biggest customer of eWebResults because of how much effort eWebResults is putting towards SES and getting compensated for. So yeah, I’m willing to put my money – My Money – into eWeb to buy the marketing that eWeb delivers. So yeah, absolutely.
Adam: Alright. So looking back to when you started eWebResults, what piece of advice would– if you had a time to change, you could get in there, and go back, and talk to younger Chris back in 1999 and say, “Hey, do this.” Is there some advice that you would give him?
Chris: Yeah. Well, and I hadn’t even talked about this. One piece of advice would be to find Matt faster.
Adam: And by stalking Google.
Chris: Because Matt has joined us and really spearheaded a lot of things, a lot of capabilities inside of the company. Hopped into the podcast and delivered on that, and also written a book.
Adam: Build Your Brand Mania.
Chris: Build Your Brand Mania. While helping us to achieve more and focus on the right things. And so yeah, if I could back I would want to find Matt faster. I would also– because I mentioned one of the potential flaws or biggest failures is not keeping track of time. I would want to keep track of time from day 1, right? So even as it’s Javier and I literally in my office in my house, like we should have been keeping track of time there. We actually had conversations that we knew that was what we should be doing, but really enforce it in ourselves so that then as the company grows it becomes part of the culture.
Matt: There’s a couple guys out of England that called in that wanted us to do some white labeling for them, and they were selling websites under $500, under $1000 and you know, that was my advice to them. Really look at how long it’s taking you to build the website and what you’re promising because you might be over promising and to deliver at that level, you might lose money.
Matt: And so I think it’s really, really important in the ready, fire, aim, is that what it is?
Matt: Find one product that you can do over and over and over again until you scale it, right?
Chris: And scale that product. And to think when you end up– when you see people are making websites for $500-$1000, you know, if you’re in your pajamas in your home office, you could that. And if you’re not really keeping track of your time and not valuing your time enough– it’s important for business owners not– you know, we advice our customers regularly: don’t compete on price, right? Because I love this phrase: you should never compete on price because there will always be somebody willing to go out of business faster than you.
Adam: That’s like the army. No chief is better.
Chris: Yeah, you’ve got to be careful about that.
Adam: No, you do. And the time thing too, I’ve never really been tracked on time until I got here. Because it wasn’t a big thing in the army. I mean there were deadlines–
Chris: They knew what you were doing but–
Adam: Yeah. So it’s like, oh hey– and being a broadcaster. Like when I shot video I had two hours to shoot it, edit it, and get it up on the web. And the reason being on that is because then it becomes a history document, it’s not news, you know it’s not evergreen, it turns into– you know, it’s not breaking news. And so using Time Doctor here – shout out to Time Doctor again – but it really helps me. And I think that I still have a lot to learn on it because it’s new for me. But it is such a great tool because then I can look down there and I can see, “Oh wow, I’ve spent way too much time.”
Chris: That was lot longer than I thought it was.
Matt: It always seems to take longer than you think. Like any time you’re doing anything it’s like, “Oh it’s just going to be a snap of my fingers.”
Chris: Yeah, I’ll pop off like a 3-minute email.
Matt: Yeah, yeah.
Chris: 15-20 minutes later you’re like, okay send.
Adam: And I was worried too because I’m like waiting for the day for Chris to come in and say, “I see that you were looking at social media for three hours.” But no, I mean it’s great.
Matt: And you need to do four.
Adam: Because it helps me, like if I’m writing a blog, I want to be able to write a blog in two hours. And I want like with the research and everything because most people are three hours, so let me do two. You know, let me figure out– because then I can use that hour for something else more valuable within the day. Because really that’s what it comes down to, if only there was another hour in the day.
Matt: I wish always.
Chris: Well, and that goes back to delivering– yes, we have kind of ingrained in our culture to overdeliver and over communicate with the customers, right? But if you do that to the detriment of the hours that you’re billing for that customer, you just won’t be able to do it forever, like it’s going to stop.
Matt: And here’s the point. I think a lot of people come to us after they’ve gone to multiple different people that were cheaper, okay? And they’re like, “Wow y’all are so expensive.” Well, we do it right.
Matt: Right? And it’s expensive to do it right, you know?
Chris: Yeah, you’ve got to have the expertise and you’ve got to spend the right time. I can say like the market price for PPC right now, like bare minimum is too low.
Matt: Oh yeah.
Chris: You cannot manage a PPC account for $200 a month.
Chris: You can’t spend the time. Even if you’re $50 an hour, that’s only 4 hours a month that you’re spending on that campaign. That’s tight, right? So you need to know it’s a time thing, it takes time.
Chris: And the more expertise you’re going to get applied to it, the more expensive the time is.
Matt: Yeah, you’re looking at the wrong numbers. You look at how much money you’re going to make if we can get the leads down and all that, and run the math that way than going, “Oh well, this is going to cost me X,” you know?
Chris: So a business owner who’s kind of focused on their own bottom line could look at it this way, right? So if I hire this company, and they’re 20%– let’s say half the cost of this other company. Yes, I might save 50%, but in this industry you typically give three to six months to anybody, right? If you’re giving them three or six and it doesn’t work, you’ve lost three to six months of additional revenue.
Manny just chimed in, he said his traffic went from 200 visits per month to 100,000 visits per month.
Chris: What’s the lead generation? What’s the revenue? And if you don’t make that happen in those three to six months, the biggest expense isn’t even what you’re paying them or us–
Matt: It’s the opportunity cost.
Chris: It’s the value that you could’ve generated for your business, yeah.
Matt: Adam? Did I get you sick there?
Adam: No, water went down the wrong throat pipe, yup.
Matt: No, I think the opportunity cost is really what you want to look at, and that’s what you need to figure out when you’re going into it. And also in PPC people are like, “Hey, like I want to spend $200 bucks a month.”
Matt: And it’s like, there’s certain thresholds– no I mean, there’s certain thresholds for different things that you want to do. And so a lot of times people come to us and they’re like, “I want this,” or “I want that,” and the reason we started doing the profit plan is because it’s basically like an hour or two of consulting on the front end to come up with the right strategy.
Adam: Right, right.
Matt: I was actually on the phone with a guy today that was in a profit plan, and he came in with a bunch of different ideas of like what direction that he wants to go. Ultimately when he left the call he was going, “I got to figure out what I want to do.”
Matt: Because we were trying to help formulate this strategy, and we were kind of showing him where the pitfalls were and where the successes could be, and we gave him a better idea so he doesn’t go down this rabbit hole and then lose a bunch of money and time.
Chris: Time, yeah.
Matt: And then have nothing to show for it. And so it’s really, really important to come up with what that strategy is, find out where you want to go and then work backwards from that angle, and that’s what we help you do.
Chris: Yeah, and that’s part of that– we call it From Problems to Profits. What problems are you having and what profits are you missing out on? So yeah.
Adam: Well ah–
Chris: Good you got your voice, or most of it.
Adam: I was going to ask you if there was anything else you’d like to add, but I think we’ve covered.
Matt: I feel like I’ve gotten to know you better through this process, yeah.
Chris: Didn’t know that I was a radar jammar salesman.
Matt: No, I didn’t know that.
Adam: No, I didn’t know a lot of this stuff.
Adam: And I just think everything’s great and now our listeners are going to have a better idea, and you know like the big thing too is like showing that you trust eWebResults with your other company that you started in ‘91, so it’s even older than eWeb.
Matt: That’s the best thing you could have. If you’re starting an e-commerce business, to have an internet marketing company that you own or that you can put your resources to. I mean really that’s– a lot of our strategy is we’re managing some bigger clients, we’re helping people out and then we’re using the internet marketing experience we have to start other businesses and make more revenue streams.
Chris: And we’ll see more with infoproducts, you’re going to see more with a lot. The book being kind of the–
Chris: I don’t know, almost the tipping point of the product side of things.
Adam: Well alright, that wraps up another episode of Marketing to Niches Podcast.
Matt: I like it.
Adam: Number #3. Next week–
Chris: I still don’t know how you made two and I’m not on them.
Adam: Next week maybe Chris will be here.
Matt: You were in Russia!
Adam: Yeah, and then the other one you were on a phone call.
Adam: No, thanks again for letting us sit down and interview you, and find out the history of internet marketing from your standpoint.
Matt: We’ll have to do another one and dive into your other company about e-commerce. I think probably people have an interest in that.
Adam: Yeah. No, I mean with this podcast, that’s what’s great is we can go into different niches. So we can look at plumbing, you can look at real estate.
Chris: Yeah, yeah.
Adam: Selling C60, SES Research.
Adam: Shameless plug, sorry.
Chris: Thank you, I’ll pay you later.
Adam: But anyways, that wraps up our episode.
Matt: Alright, thank you. Bye bye.
Adam: Thank you, bye bye.