Content Marketing for 2021 - Harrison Baron

content marketing May 15, 2021
Mark Struczewski, Harrison Baron

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher

Harrison Baron is the owner of Growth Generators, a content marketing agency. He's also the host of The Brutally Honest podcast. His personal brand is helping soon-to-be new entrepreneurs.

Mark Struczewski
He's the owner of growth generators, a content marketing agency. He's also the host of the brutally honest podcast Harrison Baron. Welcome back to the show.

Harrison Baron
Hey, Mark. Thanks for having me, man.

Mark Struczewski
Harrison was on episode 514 back on March 3, 2020. And he did such a great job. I wanted to have him back because this guy knows how to get you seen on the internet. Harrison, welcome back.

Harrison Baron
Hey Mark, thanks for having me, man. I'm excited to be back. It's been dude, I've been following your stuff, man. It's, it's wild, you are killing it?

Mark Struczewski
Well, I want to thank you for giving me a very solid piece of advice that I want the listener to understand. Normally, what I used to do with podcast episodes with guests, I would just have their bio there. And that was it and a little link for their episode. And you told me hey, listen, you need to have more content on every episode because every episode of the podcast is a blog post. And so you introduced me to a company called otter.ai, which is not a sponsor of the show. And for 100 bucks, I get like 6000 minutes of transcription a month, and they're about 90% accurate. So now with every guest episode I have, I've got the whole transcript. And you told me that that's gonna make a world of difference.

Harrison Baron
Yeah, man. Yeah, it's just you know what it's it's Google. Google can read Google, you know, they could listen, but they're definitely not up to that point just yet. And it'll just, it's the more content that you could put up, the better, the better, it's just going to do for you, the more people that are going to be able to see it, the more Google is going to be able to say, hey, come check out this guy. And, and that's kind of how the flow works.

Mark Struczewski
And not only that, but some people would like to listen to that episode, but some people would rather read because they can skim through all the good parts, right?

Harrison Baron
Yeah, yeah. I mean, you could always use the Ctrl F, and it'll get you right to where you need to be, which is always, always a benefit, for sure. And, you know, it's just, you know, something. And the other thing, too, is, somebody might have heard or listen to the podcast. But now they're going to go back and find that one section, right? And, quite honestly, who wants to go and like read, right old transcription of a podcast? So I mean, the benefits are just so many.

Mark Struczewski
So let's talk about growth strategy. I mean, everyone wants to know what the one thing is to get found and be the next Tony Robbins, or Oprah Winfrey, of course, I am highly confident you're gonna tell us there's not just one thing, correct?

Harrison Baron
No, there's not. There's, there's definitely not at all. There's, it's a lot. And I think what a lot of people don't really realize is, you know, or at least what I see in my world, right? So I own a digital marketing agency, and people just have this idea in their mind that, hey, if I start a website, I'm just gonna get popular immediately, right? Or are I'm gonna make sales and 99% of the time,. that is never the case. So what people don't realize is like, hey, just because you have a website, doesn't mean people are gonna come buy from you, it doesn't mean that people are going to be attracted to your website, right? You just set up a store in the middle of the woods and creating content, right, and I preach content creation and preach content creation. And it's scary how few people actually take me up on the advice that I give them for whatever reason, because, and I shouldn't say for whatever reason, because you don't know what you don't know, right? And you're just taking some random guys, you know, word to say like, hey, go make a bunch of new content. And that's a lot of work. Right. And like, nobody wants to, I shouldn't say nobody wants to go do that. But it's not easy stuff. And that takes time.

Mark Struczewski
I love that line, a store in the middle of the woods. I want the listener to understand that because when I hung my markstruczewski.com shingle out in January 2011. I really thought, Hey, I'm here, here comes the billions and trillions of dollars. And just because I build it, they won't come. Which is what you just said.

Harrison Baron
Yeah, a lot of people really, really struggle. struggle with that. And which is, which is totally fine. You don't know what you don't know. Right? Like so a lot of people go into this whole process, and they're like, I'm Insta famous. And the funny part is, is and I don't quite understand why they think this because you're on a different platform. I know that you're on Kajabi but for most people, they're not. They're on Wix, they're on Webflow. They're on Squarespace. They're on WordPress, right. The barrier to entry on all of these platforms is between $3.15 or $20 per month. So if you, I don't know where the connection went wrong, but if you think that you're gonna get make millions of dollars on a $15 a month website, I'm not hating on a $15 month website, the $15 month website is fine. But if you think your $15 is gonna make you millions in return, I don't know where your thought process is going from there.

Mark Struczewski
That's a very valid point. And it was a big change when I left WordPress in May of 2019 to go to Kajabi. First I was doing monthly and the cheap plan, I think, is $139 a month, I could be wrong. And then I went up to the growth plan, which you get all kinds of automation, also the really cool stuff, which is $199 a month unless you pay for a year in advance, which is $1900. But I can tell you, since day one on Kajabi, number one I take my business more seriously; the more money you're willing to put in the infrastructure, which at the end line is going to serve your customers and your prospects better, the more serious you are, you're gonna spend $3 a $3 a month for a website, how serious are you? If you are spending $200 a month, you're probably a little more serious. Plus the infrastructure really matters. If someone comes to your website and your membership site, and all of a sudden they can't log in or they're getting a 404 error. Well, they may never come back, they may ask for a refund and go someplace else.

Harrison Baron
That is so true. It's actually pretty funny, I don't think people obsess enough over the customer experience, especially on a website like Kajabi. So for me, I'm sure everybody listening to kind of knows what Kajabi is at this point. But Kajabi is an LMS system learning management system with a website builder involved and kind of really, they kind of built this all-in-one solution. And it's pretty good for what it does. But you know what, there are so many areas of the website and the back end that people could get lost. They have a bad customer experience. It's just, there's so much, you know, at least on a smaller website, maybe not on Okay, maybe not on Kajabi. And maybe it's Wix, WordPress, Squarespace, one of those other platforms, you might only have four or five pages, which is fine, you know, but and it's and it's much easier to maintain. But the bigger the website gets, you really have to obsess over the customer experience. And not only the customer experience, but the visitor experience. If your visitor experience isn't phenomenal. Why would they want to give you their contact information?

Mark Struczewski
Very good point. I want to talk to you about home pages. Because when I first created my website, I think, you know, back in 2011, I think I did what most people do, you put everything but the kitchen sink on your homepage. Now I'm more of a minimalist, because I realize the more things that you're asking people to look at and click, it's less chance of them doing something. It's like the old cereal aisle, I'm old enough to remember when the cereal aisle had maybe two shelves, maybe half the aisle. Now it's on both sides all the way down. And so talk to us about if you tell your clients to go toward the minimalist approach? Give them just a few things to look at? Or are you throw everything on the website kind of guy?

Harrison Baron
Yeah, so it's actually funny, you mentioned this, I actually just made a video about this. So I'll so I'm doing something similar to what you're doing maybe not 100%, maybe not 365 podcasts in 365 days, but I'm doing 120 YouTube videos, and 120 days, what a lot of people don't realize is like when they're building their website. And I see this all the time is just like you said, right, everything but the kitchen sink. And the funny part is, is if you go to like, multi-billion-dollar slash trillion-dollar companies, they're pretty simple. Like if you go to, like, I had a customer and they were like, hey, I want the best eCommerce site. And I was like, Alright, cool. Like, just give me some examples of what you like. And they're like, okay, and then they sent me like Nike's website, and believe it or not, Nike's website is really simple. Like it is freakishly simple. As far as like, what you can do. There's, there's not really I mean, there's a lot of information on there. But it's really not overwhelming. And I think a lot of people get mixed up with like, let me just, especially the homepage, the homepage, for whatever reason seems to be the dumping ground, for most people to the homepage should just be an overview of your website, a handful of call to actions. And that's it. And each call to action should be somewhat the same. When you have a call to action that's download the checklist and check out my free course and get on my email list and go do this and jump through hoops and go fly a plane. It becomes too much for people. And the other thing too is nobody goes to your homepage. Like if it is the most visited page on your website it is by mistake. And the reason why is because if you're doing content marketing correctly, even if you're doing more correctly, for the most part, they're not landing on your homepage, they should almost never land on your homepage. Because your homepage isn't a sales page. They're coming in from a blog post, they're coming in through a YouTube video, they're coming in through a Facebook ad or Google ad, and all of those, those inlets should be pointing to a certain spot. So if they land on your blog page, they should then be able to get a checklist that relates to the blog, if they're planning on, you know, if they're coming from an ad, it should be a landing page, specifically designed for that Facebook ad. And I think that's really where people get far away from the core of it. The homepage is just a simple overview of your company, what you guys do how you guys are helping maybe a couple of products so people can see.

Mark Struczewski
Now, what's interesting is every blog post, every podcast episode I do becomes a blog post. So when I promote this episode on LinkedIn, I do not send them to markstruczewski.com, I send them to markstruczewski.com/blog/slug (whatever the slug is going to this episode). So they will go directly to your blog post. But more than that, one of the things I really like about Kajabi is I'm on their new Encore theme. And at the end of the blog posts, I do have my email opt-in, because I know people are not going to the homepage and go How do I sign up for his email newsletter, they scroll to the bottom and go, here's an email, I get five, five productivity tips right now, boom, it's all right there because they're not going to poke around. Now, if they're really interested. They may. But they're coming there because I promoted your episode. That's why they're coming there. They're not coming here to find out about my coaching, or my email list I talked about Harrison, promoted your episode. That's why they're going to the page. And I agree with you, you need to make the most out of that opportunity. Because you have to assume they're not going to click anywhere else.

Harrison Baron
Yeah, yeah, I mean, you got one shot to get it right or mostly, and look, there's, there's always going to be something that happens. But for the most part, if you can get that mainly dialed in with the email capture with giving out tips driving traffic there. That's, that's 99% of the battle, right? The follow-up marketing, the weekly email or the daily email, whatever you choose to send, or maybe it's every other day email that provides value, those are there. They're definitely important. But the hardest part, the hardest part is getting that person's contact information that if you once you do, the chances of success go up significantly as far as sales.

Mark Struczewski
Now I want to talk to you about email marketing because you and I have a mutual friend and Angel Hill, she's my coach. And one of the things we are talking about is how email marketing seems to be not as vibrant as it used to be. I think people are subscribing to too many email newsletters, you're not like me, I get like six or seven emails a day. I'm really a militant when it comes to my email. So we were talking the other day about how you know, people were not engaging on email doesn't matter the list. And so I told her I was trying a new experiment. I don't like doing this because it's often out of my control. But I created a telegram channel, which only has about 11 or 12 people on it right now. But I get more engagement from those people because the messages are going right to their phones. They don't have to open up the email app and go find my message and read it reply. What are your thoughts about the state of email marketing? Do you think it's, it's becoming to the point where it's becoming oversaturated because people signed up for way too many emails.

Harrison Baron
So it's a double-edged sword. And I say double-edged sword because email marketing is the cheapest way to get in front of people. People don't want to be on email lists, if the value isn't there. There needs to be constant value, it can't be and it should never be pitch after pitch after pitch after pitch. And I think that's really where a lot of people kind of lose sight of how important email marketing is they lose sight of how important their customer interactions are. And they stop thinking about I shouldn't say customers but subscriber interactions. And a lot of people are so focused on money, money, money that they lose sight of the person who's reading their emails. And it's a skill that just like running every day, right you have to do it all the time and you have to get used to just writing really good value-driven emails. And a lot of times, I would say only one out of every four or five should, there should ever be a pitch in there. And but you can get creative, you can send out an email blast that talks about maybe a little story or life story that you went through, that leads them to a blog post or YouTube video, and then in the YouTube video, you can then promote a product, they that may assist their, their, their needs at that moment. And that's where I think that it becomes really successful. But if you're just hounding people with sell yourself sell, yes, people subscribe to way too many things, people also need to be a little more aware of what they're subscribing to. But, you know, I think that if somebody subscribes to something they should hear from you at least once a week, Hey, what's going on what's been changing, they're interested in what you have to know, especially if you can figure out where they subscribed, so on, you know, if it's on an early blog post that you stop caring about, or if it's something that you're actively working on on a regular basis, then that's two very different things to because they may be heavily interested in one thing versus another.

Mark Struczewski
You know, that's a really good point. And I know Kajabi has that part where you can say sign up for my email newsletter, but you can't put a different opt-in, as far as I know, on every blog post, because then I could use automation to tag it. That'd be really cool to say, yeah, these three people subscribe because they went to Harrison's blog post on my website. So but I know they're making inroads on that. And so what do you think about the telegram broadcast channel, when it comes right to your phone? What are your thoughts on that?

Harrison Baron
I think cell phones and cell phone technology is great. I think that it's we're still a ways away from being from it being normal to just be on your phone with a company all the time. But there was a study done and people on Twitter and people get angry if you know, Nike support doesn't answer a Nike tweet within an hour. It's actually pretty funny. I was just looking at software and it allows you to video FaceTime with somebody through your website, if they have questions. I think that, like even text messaging, text message marketing, I think it's still in the early birthplace of it. But I think on the flip side of things, not only is it on the early birthplace of it, but it's also not what everybody's used to just yet. And people are slowly getting used to it. I think, weirdly enough, I think that phone marketing is probably the I shouldn't say probably is the future. But you just got to be careful, it's valid. It has to be value-driven. It can't be sell, sell, sell, sell, sell.

Mark Struczewski
Yeah, I started getting these text messages from people I don't even know, I don't know how they got my phone number, just pitching me things. And what I do is I blocked the number immediately. I mean, I have I don't even know who you are, because they didn't tell me they say, here's their hook line, and they say go to this URL, because you can only have so many characters. I'm like, I'm not going to click that link. I don't know who you are. And I wonder how effective this is. Or they're just throwing the money after the servers? Because I don't know who you are. And I get a text message out of the blue. I'm not I'm just gonna delete it. I'm not gonna do anything with it, because we haven't built that relationship yet.

Harrison Baron
Yeah, yeah. It's, it's something you got to be really sensitive with. It's something that you really have to, it takes a while to dial in. It's not cheap to do the marketing on it, because you have to pay for texts. But look to each their own. I mean, for some people, it's great for other people, you know, I'm a content creator at the end of the day, it's for me, it's all about how much content can I make? And how much value can I provide? And that will be the key driver for me in my business. And will I send text messages up maybe isn't something that I really want to do. For my agency, it works. People respond to texts, being able to have a text message come from my phone to their phone, and then instead of me going to 100 different people to blast it out. It is a million times easier to send a broadcast text message out for people that might need help. Yeah, no doubt about it. But these people already know who I am. But if I would never do it to a cold person, because just like you said, they're going to get turned off and it's going to be an utter failure.

Mark Struczewski
Let's talk a minute about lead magnets. lead magnets are the thing that you give in exchange for their email name and email list. Now over the years, as you and I have been students of this space, we've gone from white papers, to free email courses to videos to checklists right now on March 15. of March. Hello, Mark... May 15, 2015...2015. Good grief Harrison May 15, 2021. Where are you seeing what are the most effective lead magnets today?

Harrison Baron
Honestly, all of them, but it's not. It's not the lead magnet that's effective. And I think this is where a lot of people get a murky view of it, right? Like, they're like, I'm gonna make the best. It could be a checklist, white sheet, worksheet video. I mean, it really could be, it could be anything. I think where people with a great divide is is your ability to sell it. And that's the difference. Because, you know, if I say, hey, come download the 10 tips that are gonna help you get more traffic to your website, right? That doesn't sound appetizing, right? Nobody cares about that. But if I say, hey, come check out the best 10 tips that are going to help drive 1000s if not hundreds of 1000s of clicks to your website while you're sleeping or walking your dog every single day. Click the link below. Right. It's just how you frame it. It's the exact same worksheet, but it's how you frame it. That is so critical. And it's not just sprucing it up to make the sale of getting somebody to download it. There's the flip side of it to have, it's got to deliver on what you taught what you said. And if you want to talk about a fast way to lose a customer, give them have a terrible kind of, I'll call build up and then have a terrible worksheet. They're going to unsubscribe from your email list immediately. If but if you deliver a mouthwatering couple silver bullets about what you're what they're gonna get and the benefits of following it, you deliver a kick-butt worksheet, and they and it's actionable or a checklist or video. That person is going to be a subscriber for a long time. I get it.

Mark Struczewski
Huh, that's so important. I originally heard Dean Graziosi say it's all about the hook. The hook is what you just said, that first sentence or that first question to get people to stop scrolling just for a microsecond. And what happens is everyone has the content, everybody gets the content. That's the easy part. But in order for people to get to the content, you got to stop. People are endlessly scrolling on all kinds of social media sites. They're busy, there are all kinds of distractions and going on, you got to come up with one line that's going to get them to slam the brakes on and go, Wow, what's the thing? Okay, garrison, but they're not concerned about you. They're concerned about the question is asked that got them to stop.

Harrison Baron
Yeah, yeah, that's exactly right. your content is, is the driver to your lead magnet. And that lead magnet, you know, I'm working with a copywriter right now. And he is killer. And it's taken him. I already wrote the copy. And it was decent. It's been a weekend change, just to get the copy for a landing page, right. And this is the same if you're not going through this process, and if you're not overly obsessing over the copy of what people will get you've lost. And it doesn't matter how you frame it. And you could say, hey, come check out this, this, you know, worksheet or whatever it is, it needs to be so mouthwatering. And this is revision number four or five we're on and zoom an hour-long Zoom call. But that's what it takes to be so good.

Mark Struczewski
And that's the difference between incredible click-through rates, unsubscribe rates, and versus the bottom of the barrel. Maybe somebody will hit the subscribe button. One example I really love is I love Tony Robbins. And he's right now doing this Own your future challenge. Massively powerfully value-added home sales page is unlimited power weekend virtual. I mean, this guy probably doesn't have to do all this stuff. But he does. This is Tony Robbins. He has copywriters that have to use your words mouthwatering copy. So he's got to do it. Why would we think that we can just say, enter? Fine. join my email list. Who cares? Do people need to know what's in it for them? Everyone's favorite radio station is Wiifm this has been around since the earth was created. What's in it for me? They don't care about your newsletter. They don't care if you're Harrison and Mark they don't care. They're caring about what am I going to get as a result of signing up for your email or joining your membership or buying your course. And I think that's the disconnect, I know is a big disconnect for me for years. I was literally thinking, Well, I'm Mr. productivity, and people like to questions, who cares? And so what? What's in it for me?

Harrison Baron
Yeah, I think I think a lot of people kind of really don't think about, you know, it comes back to the customer experience, right? Like, if you're not obsessing over your customer experience, you are, you're losing by, by a lot. I mean, I mean, it's not, we're not talking about like, a little bit of loss. Here, we're talking about how you're talking about massive separations in, in the amount of customers that you can potentially have. And I think that, you know, and it really depends on every product, and every service to if your product and service is really nothing, I don't say anything spectacular. But if, if you're not taking it seriously, why should a customer take it seriously, you should be overly obsessive, over every single aspect, or every single interaction that your customer is going to have with, with you with what you do with literally everything in that entire, they visit your website to they're going to take out their credit card and give you money.

Mark Struczewski
That is so important. People don't think about that. Think of you when you go buy something like when I signed up for UPW I mean, I was impressed. I mean, I was already sold through my coach Angel. But the page, I mean, you can go there and look at Tony's stuff, or Dean Graziosi's stuff. I mean, there are massive websites out there that are doing very well. And you don't have to pay them money to learn how to copy. Just go read your stuff and ask yourself, How do I feel when I read this content. And that's the same feeling like you just said, You want people to salivate when they come to your website, when they come to your sales page, when they come to your email opt in. You want them say oh my god if I don't get this, whatever this is, I'm a loser. I'm a schmuck. You want them to feel like that. But I think most people just phone it in. They don't care about the customer experience. But if they're not feeling welcome, they're not feeling like oh my gosh, I gotta have this, then they're going to leave and they're never going to come back.

Harrison Baron
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, you really, it's just, it's, it's so important. I cannot stress it enough. And look, there's there's tools, right. So if you're not good at writing copy, and you don't want to go hire a copywriter who could potentially cost 1000s of dollars write it, then you have to look for alternative methods of doing that. I love Appsumo. I have several videos on appsumo. And Appsumo is just a software marketplace that you could go buy software. And there are there's dozens and dozens and dozens of companies on there that offer some level of, of AI driven copy. And that like I mean, even for my It's kind of crazy, right? Like, if you're not good at something, and I just say appsumo, because they offer a lot of lifetime deals for a set price, which is who wants to spend money every month. But there is, even if you want to spend money every month, there are copies without AI, there is conversion, not AI, there's all of these other software's out there that will help you write your copy. So there's no reason to have really bad copy, there should only be decent or good copy and incredible mouthwatering copy. And that's really it. There's no way you know, at this point, my opinion, especially if you're hiring, let's just say somebody hires by company, right? Like we go do that for people that is and I'm not trying to give a shameless plug. But like you're paying a professional that's what you should expect. If you're going to do it yourself, you have to get creative. And that is why you may or may not want to hire somebody, but knowing what you might be missing out on is probably 99% of the battle.

Mark Struczewski
And correct me if I'm wrong. If we take the step and we really go make awesome content, we're probably going to be the outlier. We're probably going to be the right Aaron because probably most websites have boring copy my right.

Harrison Baron
Yeah, I mean, it's just, it's so bad. And it like I said, it really depends. If you're an eCommerce store, and you are selling clothes, it's definitely a little more difficult to have good copy in there. It's just people don't look, you know. And the other thing too, is look at what other hugely successful businesses are doing. And I know this is not your entire audience and coaches. But if it's eCommerce, right, if you're selling shoes, go check out Nike, go check out all of these other shoe companies, right maybe it's American Eagle. Go read their website and I think a lot of people forget that there's somebody already doing it That's way better than they are. So if you are a software company what kind of software you're making go find another software company and see the copy that they're using if you are a coach that helps with productivity go see other go see what other productivity goes up if you know or for me, if I'm helping people with SEO go see what other SEO agencies or companies are doing right like these, are all these are all massive massive divides in what people don't realize and a lot of people just sit down and they say hey, you know what, I'm gonna just give it my best shot why these companies have trill they've spent trillions of dollars on marketing at this point. I mean, trillions Why would you try to go create something on a $100 budget? It literally makes no sense to me right like go copy the greats if you're going to make a cell phone, go copy Apple, go copy, Motorola, maybe that maybe not Motorola, but go copy Samsung, right? So many people just try to reinvent the wheel. It's not worth it, you can't compete with these people. There's the social network is a great video, a great movie on how Facebook and Google and a lot of these companies they have, they might have 25 or 50 designers working on one page on the app to make sure it is as good and visually appealing as pump 25. And they're all making $200,000 a year, you're not going to compete with a quarter mil or a million-dollar budget. It's just not going to happen.

Mark Struczewski
I wrote down on my notes here to go study Tony Robbins, quote, copy because I'm a coach. I want to be the next Tony Robbins. And so to your point, I should be studying the way his copy is because his people are my people. So that's going to be on my to-do list. So an incredible episode. So why don't you said you gave yourself a shameless plug. This is the opportunity where you can tell us where you can go to find out more about you, because obviously you pass muster because you're on the show for the second time. Where can we go to find out more about you and what you're doing in the world?

Harrison Baron
Yeah, so my personal brand harrisonbaron.com. I'm currently I'm actually in the process I'll be releasing my SEO course in the next couple days. And at least for people to subscribe and sign up and get ready for that which I'm really really excited about. And I'm doing several iterations of it for a bunch of main platforms but the mining entrepreneur Harrison Barron on YouTube and then if you guys are you know, for anyone that wants to come to take a look at my agency, it's growth dash generators.com. And that's really it. I haven't been podcasting much. But it is the brutally honest podcast, I'd like to get back into it once COVID subsides, people are a little nervous to still meet in person Talk, talk in person for an hour, or an hour and a half.

Mark Struczewski
Not me. I have no problem with that. But then again, you don't live in Houston, Texas, so I'm sure you're not going to pay for my air flight up there and put me in a hotel.

Harrison Baron
Not yet. Once it makes money. I would love to fly people up. I think that'd be really fun.

Mark Struczewski
Harrison, thank you so much. It's always a thrill to have you on the show, sir.

Harrison Baron
Hey, thank you very much more for having me. Thank you.

 

His website

Get Productivity Tips That I Only Share With Email Subscribers

Become a Mark Struczewski Insider and get the top 5 productivity tips for free!

I hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.