In today’s show, James is joined by Ezra Firestone, who believes that now is the right time to get started in e-commerce. He explains how he uses Channels to deliver diverse traffic to his sites and shares the secret to consistently achieving 60% return traffic.
Ezra Firestone is the man behind SmartMarketer.com, a master of e-commerce traffic and owner of several e-commerce businesses.
- Colorful history of e-commerce
- Dynamics of e-commerce now
- Building relationships with clients
- The successful e-commerce site set up
- The desirable content format for your site.
- Regular communication is a must
- SEO, Adwords for E-commerce
- The role of social media in e-commerce traffic
- The essentials of Podcasting
Show / Hide Transcript
This is the Traffic Jam podcast episode #3. Thank you so much for listening in, my name is James Reynolds and I’m here each week along with my special guest to give you as much information and inspiration as possible to get your website traffic cranking.
Now talking of special guest I’ve got a very hippie dippy master of e-commerce on the show today and that is Ezra Firestone. Ezra is kind of like the New York yogi of traffic, he’s such a cool guy and a very interesting character and we’ll be discussing on today’s show how to leverage on multiple traffic channels to drive a huge abundance of traffic to an e-commerce store. Stay tuned for that.
And of course, coming up a little later in the show we’ve got this week’s news in traffic plus the one minute traffic tip.
So without further ado, let’s dive into this week’s feature podcast with Ezra Firestone.
James: Welcome to the call my special guest for today, Ezra Firestone.
Ezra: James, thanks so much for having me on the show man, I really appreciate it.
James: Now before we get stuck right into the meat and potatoes as the guys at lifestyle business podcast would say, let’s paint a little bit of a picture for our listeners of who Ezra Firestone is. Now apart from eating 20 bananas a day and a little bit of a yoga fanatic, tell us a little bit about your background and what makes you tick Ezra?
Ezra: Oh, man did you catch that episode already? I don’t know where that came from! We just recorded that last night! But I’m a bit of a strange dude. I’m really, really in for this marketing stuff. I quite enjoy the science and the psychology and systems behind what makes things work, what makes the body perform at its highest level, what makes the business perform at its highest level and I spend a lot of times putting attention on that, that’s what I’m interested in, and I grew up I a hippie commune, got a background with some pretty far out viewpoints on lifestyle and viewpoints on mindset and business and I really enjoy talking about that stuff and I appreciate about having me on.
James: Alright, this is going to be a little bit of fun today so tell us about your business activities, I know you’ve got one thing that you’re a little bit focused on which is your smart marketer website, and you’ve also got an e-commerce store as well, which I’d really like to focus on today because really the topic of conversion I want to discuss with you is all about e-commerce traffic. First of all, give us an overview of a little of those and things that you’ve got in play right now.
Ezra: Sure. Let’s roll with those. So Smart Marketing is my information hub; it’s where I share my research where I share with the community what I’m up to in business. I’m talking about everything from traffic, to conversion, to e-commerce, info products, all that different stuff I’m doing I share in a free video blog just like I’m publishing what I’m up to and you know at the beginning of this year I was kind of looking around for another business project and I considered doing another business store because that’s my background and that’s what I do and I have a network of e-commerce stores and the one that you’re alluding to that I’m focusing on is a company called Boom by Cindy Joseph. The first e-commerce store that I’m a part of that is not a drop ship store. So it’s not a store where I’m retailing another manufacturer’s products and they’re warehousing those products and shipping them for me. We are actually manufacturing these products, warehousing them ourselves and shipping them out. So it’s a different from an e-commerce sort of model, it’s more of a real asset; it’s a step above drop shipping as far as ownership of the product line. So I have e-commerce stores and I’ve got my smart marketing blog and boombycindyjoseph.com is really the main focus for me as far as e-commerce goes, and it’s even a bit different than other e-commerce that I have been doing before because standard e-commerce when people think about it think about the sort of the big box store with a thousand skews and that’s a different model than what boom is about.
James: Got it! Now let’s focus on it a little bit for now because I think e-commerce is a very hot topic of conversation and everyone seems to be jumping on board with it and having a little bit of research what I like to do for these interviews. Some of the numbers that I was looking at is just absolutely mind blowing and I’ll share some of them with you: e-commerce, last year 2012, surpassed $200 billion which I thought is flabbergasting. The third report of last year, PayPal recorded revenue per second of $4500. The numbers are absolutely mind blowing and it’s obviously changing fast. What are some of the big changes that are happening in on and how it’s actually done right now.
Ezra: Here’s what’s going on: e-commerce got really popular 10 years ago. And then in our community of marketers and entrepreneurs, it kind of fell from grace; people sort of stopped having interest in it and were more interested in publishing e-books and selling information products and information service businesses. Those were sort of the hot and popular business models to get started in, so we have sort of these stages of entrepreneurs got started in the online marketing world and when I got started e-commerce was what was hot. And then a few years went by and this whole info product and affiliate marketing and CPA and all that stuff was hot, and now we are seeing resurgence from the entrepreneur interest level- so what entrepreneur was interested in what e-commerce and what is going on is: e-commerce is now the technology adoption curve, we’ve sort of crossed the chasm, there’s a book called “Crossing the Chasm” that I recommend that people read. But there’s sort of gotten to the point where people are now comfortable, it societally okay for people to purchase products online. You know, ten years ago you couldn’t convince people to buy something with a credit card online. It just wasn’t as widely accepted and so we’ve gotten in a place where everyone is doing it and the statistics is that for the last ten years, quarter over quarter, e-commerce has grown and right now if you look at total retail sales, only 8% of them are done online. And that number is just going to go up, up, up and this year, say something crazy happened, China, what’s happening is that other countries are sort of picking up on e-commerce and internet sales of physical products, and the equivalent to the Chinese valentine’s day, whatever that holiday is, they did $3 Billion gross domestic product in a single day and just to give you context, in America, on Black Friday, we did a billion, and China’s like only 2% of their total sales are done online. So it’s exploding in all other countries, to those just starting out, it is the time. You’re not too late, it’s not too late to get in the market, it’s like right now is the time to get into the e-commerce business because 10- 15 years from now, it’s going to be just enormous! Teri Lynn likes to say it, he’s the guy from buildmyonlinestore.com; they say that the internet is at its infancy or e-commerce is a baby; it’s so small compared to where it’s going and we are sort of lucky enough to be at the forefront of this movement, we’re the pioneers and it’s just a really cool time to be involved with e-commerce.
James: So we’re kind of just reached or close to reaching that tipping point where it has just become an acceptable way to actually buy stuff. Again, I’ve read some stuff on this; it’s what I really like to do when researching on stuff like this, something like 70% of people know or think that they can get a better deal online than they can do on their high street store so they are actively looking to make purchases online whereas before they might have been a little skeptical about it. Is it not really kind of adoption that we’ve got to the tipping point of?
Ezra: People are going to Best Buy to look at the product and look at it in person, and then from the store, in Best buy, they just purchase it online in Amazon at a cheaper price. So they are using big bucks store as way to just see the products. So what’s happening is that these stores are closing down their big retail locations, only housing a few other products like the bigger stores are now starting to recognize that they need to change their model and that filling warehouses with products that fill the country is not necessarily the best model anymore. So now these bigger brands are sort of starting to adopt e-commerce retail. If you go out right now in New York city, I’d say about 20% of the stores that sell products and stuff have the ability for you to purchase online, while you’re in there having an online component and I’m going to go ahead and make a prediction and say that within the next 5 years, 60% of all these stores will have the ability for you to shop online and the ability to buy the product online and then pick it up. Retails stores are going to start embracing e-commerce. They just have to.
James: Yeah absolutely. I guess it goes further than this; it goes almost through these virtual stores you see nowadays. I saw a great video clip I think it was the other day that was this sort of virtual touch points that was in a train station I think and people just kind of scan past, hit a few buttons and a few hours later their products would turn up at their doorstep without having really to go out there to get them. The development of this stuff is absolutely mind blowing.
Ezra: It is! I can’t sleep at night sleeping about it sometimes. I’m that excited about where things are. So I guess the question is: how can people leverage this? How can they take advantage, what’s available to them? What channels are available to small e-commerce owners who are just starting on this? What sort of in for them from a traffic standpoint?
James: Well of course you are leveraging this yourself. Tell us a little bit about Boom by Cindy Joseph, because I sort of want to use it as a case study in our conversation today. What is boombycindyjoseph, what is the website like, and what guys do you sell?
Ezra: boombycindyjoseph is a line of pro age cosmetics. In America, in Europe and in Australia, pretty much everywhere, the way that societal value works is that men are valued for their production so as we make more money and as we get older, we get more social power. While women on the other hand are valued for youth and beauty and that stems back to a hundred years ago when women really were valued on society in their childbearing years and so as women get older and the youth goes away, society sort of cast them aside, and ignores them and gives them more power and in America we have the baby boomer generation and 79 million baby boomers, have of which are women, and they are all having this experience collectively of their skin wrinkling, and their hair turning gray and their bodies aging on the outside, faster than they are on the inside and society is treating them differently as a result and they don’t like it. And though every product line out there, everything that is anti-wrinkle, you know, you’re wrong the way you are now. Our messaging behind our products is: you are fine the way you are, you are beautiful, you are the right age, the right size, the right shape and you shouldn’t be taking stuff to cover yourself up. Yeah you can use cosmetics to celebrate yourself and celebrate who you are. And so when Cindy and I started this company, I came to Cindy and said, hey you should- Cindy’s a genius, let’s throw that out for once, but she’s also an amazing person. She was a makeup artist for 25 years, and she then was asked to begin modeling. The day that she cut off her last bit of dyed hair at the age of 49, she became a supermodel on some billboards in Times Square and all that stuff and she sort of became the face of this generation of baby boomer women and when we first had the discussion of should we create a product line around this it was like, the world does not need another tube of lipstick, so it’s not really about the product – and of course our products are organic, and they’re handmade and they’re amazing and all that stuff. It’s more about the messaging and it was the right time, and we’re talking about e-commerce, which we’re at the right time, it was the right time for this message. This group of people- nobody was giving this group of people reality on the viewpoint that they were right, and that they were fine and that they were good. So it was the right time for this message to this community which is why it’s working so well, the timing was just impeccable. I don’t know if it was just a rant or…
James: No that was spot on Ezra, and I agree with you, we don’t need another stick of lipstick. I want to look at the mechanics of how the store or the retail model works. First question for you is: do you guys just purely retail online or do you have any sort of form of offline component for the boom?
Ezra: You know we’re in a couple spas and a couple stores here and there throughout the country and we’ve been on HSN, which is the Home Shopping Network and we’re looking at the channel of television network to retail these products. 95% of our sales are done through the website, and that’s deliberate. When you want to start looking at selling products to channels like Costco and Wal-Mart, these are sort of the bigger box retail stores, the margins that they take- it’s not a very good model from a profit margin standpoint, when you want a model and you want to build a brand and you’ve got a bunch of money and you don’t mind losing money on the front end because what they do is they realize, the exposure that they’re giving you, they realize what it’s going to your brand to be on the shelf of Wal-Mart. Not that we really want to be on the shelf of Wal-Mart honestly, but they make it expensive you don’t get a profit from that that experience, you do make a profit, and the thing about these products is better than it’s like, if you’re just sitting on a shelf of Wal-Mart and someone walks by, there is no information about your product, they’re not necessarily going to take your product, they’re really just going to be engaged with it. This is the thing that I think business owners, our whole business is based around: building a community, building a relationship with our customers and engaging them so that they become a customer each and every month, and that we have repeat sales. So we’re not just focused on driving traffic, and we’re not just focused turning that into customers. What we’re most focused on is once we have a customer, creating a relationship with them, and providing relevant and useful content and information that’s relevant to the problem and conversations that they’re having so that they are interested in engaging with us for the long haul. If you’re in a spa, or if you’re on a small grocery store and the owner or the employees of that store take the time to educate people who come in about your product line, now it’s worth being in those places because what’s happening is you’re actually having somebody talk to people about it and it’s not just having the product sit on the shelf somewhere.
James: Got it. And all this stuff really is interesting to me looking at the actual website itself because to kind of naked eyes, it isn’t what you would consider to be a typical e-commerce store. I mean for instance, you go look at it and you don’t lead with the products. I think the first item in the navigation is in fact your blogs section; the site index has about 250 pages, only I guess about half a dozen are product pages. You’ve just got a content monster there that builds up the story about who Cindy and the message behind the products. I’m hearing now this is actually intentional and this is not an accident and it should work out that way. Is this a strategy that you see now as being the new way to do e-commerce?
Ezra: I think definitely. I think it’s the only way that you can survive in our social economy. I think that the day and the age of the faceless e-commerce store which is what I used to build when I first built one, it was just a store with a bunch of products on it. It’s got no message behind it, no face behind it, nothing, no value behind the products themselves. I think the key now to building an e-commerce store – if you want to build asset, if you want to build a brand and be around for the long haul, you need to figure out ways that you can add value to your marketplace beyond the products that you’re selling and this could go like informational guides about those products, educational content, your viewpoints because the thing is, people like products, let’s take in example our products, we have a very specific community of people who purchase our products but we are not talking to them about our products very often. In fact, we very rarely talk about our products; we talk more to them about the conversations and topics that are more relevant to their lives- menopause, gray hair, and wrinkling skin and all that stuff that is relevant to our community, so no matter what your product line is, you can have a look on who is the community of people who are engaged on this product line. Like take you and I for example, we’re in the marketing and entrepreneurial community so we talk to people about mindset and things that you would not necessarily consider to be 100% relevant to marketing but they are because it’s a whole person beyond just the product that they’re interested in. I think it’s absolutely key and intentional and deliberate and it’s how we’re differentiating ourselves and its working really well because when we do talk about our products, when we do make offers, people take us up online because we have a relationship with them, because they trust us because we are engaging with them on a consistent basis.
James: Excellent! Let’s talk a little bit about some of the ways in which you’re building this community. What are some of the mechanics in play in terms of the content on the content that you are putting out and where you are actually putting that stuff?
Ezra: Sure, it’s really, really simple actually. Here’s the thing about community, in order to build a relationship with someone. You need consistent interaction, you need consistent relating. You have to do things on a regular basis like if you want to make a really good friend with someone, schedule a weekly date for you guys to do stuff together like a friend of mine, we go and we train Muai Thai kickboxing once a week; one of my best friends, I love this guys because I see him all the time. We’re relating over something, we have common goals and the way that you build relationships with other people is by interacting with them on a regular basis so with regard to building a community, it all starts with one piece of content on some kind of scheduled basis like what you are doing through your podcast. You’re putting on your podcast once a week; we are putting on a video once a week. We create a video, it’s a video where it’s Cindy, she’s talking- it’s really simple, no frills, no production video, no music, just Cindy, in front of the camera looking about life and talking about whatever is of interest to the community. Then we take that video, we post it out to all the different channels and I’ll talk to you about channels because it’s very, very important on a traffic standpoint when we get to e-commerce. Each business model has channels that it can occupy, has channels that it can leverage to generate traffic; if you think about, this is what Google is doing with universal search, so Google figured out a couple of years ago now that different groups of people prefer to consume media in different format; some people like to listen to mp3, some people like to watch video, some people like to read text and so in their search results page they give in query, they have all these media formats and also they understand the queries based on user intent so they understand whether or not someone is searching for information so if it’s an information query, Google will display blogs and news websites and press releases and videos right? And if they’re searching for an e-commerce product or if they’re searching with commercial intent query, you’ll get a display of shopping centers on images and so they understand these different channels and these different media formats based on these query and they display that so we take our piece of content and we syndicate it to all the different channels people are hanging out. People are hanging out on Google right? So we optimize it and upload it to YouTube so that it ranks in Google. People are hanging out on YouTube and watching videos there. People on Facebook engage with us there, and there’s people in Twitter and people on Pinterest, there’s people on iTunes listening to Podcast and consuming media in this format. So when you understand all this different media channels, you can take one piece of content and you can set it up so that it’s relevant for that channel and they’re extracting the audio on your video and then on iTunes, having your video transcribed and posting it on your blog, uploading your video on YouTube on posting it on Facebook. So we syndicate that piece of content out to all the different channels and then we boost it by running advertising into that content and running search engine optimization into that content so that it ranks in Google so that we’re running ads to it in Facebook so that we sort of ensure and I think there’s no community out there right now in the world that I can’t get in front of and it’s a little bit scary when I think about it because it used to be that the bigger brands that the bigger companies, the government had control over the messaging and the only medium was television, and radio and newspaper. Those were the mediums of consumption for information but now with Facebook and the internet, anybody can spread a message and it’s really scary when you think about that because there’s people out there influencing mass groups of people through this medium and we’re doing the same thing, we’re just influencing them with the goal of bettering their lives but not everyone is doing that so it puts of an interesting time that we’re in again back to this time.
James: Perhaps we’ll go on and talk about that in a short while because I know with regard to podcasting especially you, you’ve been getting some fantastic results there and you’ve been able to outrank big, burly, large sort of businesses who you think would control that space, so we’ll come on to that topic of conversation as you’ll get in a short while but let’s look at the specifics of preparing content and promoting it using different modalities, and I know you and I will be well aligned on perhaps how we do it so in the case of Cindy Joseph, what do you do first? You create a video, and then what are the other parts and processes are involved for a typical process each week for that site?
Ezra: Sure, let’s take the content creation for Boom, video gets created, we edit that video and throw a bumper on to it; write a little branding biz, do a little music, a little logo on the front and the back. We take that video, we post it on to our blog, we have that video transcribed through a service called speechpad.com, and we post that transcription to our blog. We take that video; we upload it to our Facebook and post it out to our community there. We share it on Twitter, we share it on Google+, we share it on LinkedIn so anyone who’s following us on all of those mediums can see it. We extract the audio from that video and upload it to iTunes through a podcast. The podcast has actually not been launched we’ve got a huge bank of episodes waiting to go because it was one of the later additions. I just recently got into podcasting so I’m just learning the new syndication method and so I’m getting my old content to put it out in that channel. We pin it over to Pinterest so our followers can see it, and then we set up Facebook ads and then we run those ads. We actually take our video and we upload the video to Facebook itself. We upload the video files right to Facebook so people can watch the videos right in Facebook, not a link to a YouTube video, and we do this because it gets a lot more engagement and the cost per click is much cheaper when we’re running ads through the videos that are running through Facebook rather than when we’re running traffic straight to a YouTube link through our blog post page. We have a custom image created and we make that the thumbnail on our YouTube channel and then we do some press releases and some SEO to promote that video and that blog post in the search engine. And that’s really it. It’s just one piece of content; it’s transcribed and uploaded and syndicated and spread and advertised. The syndication of the content is the simple part; the hard part is the message match. So consistently having messaging that having your people that the easiest way to create that is to trust your own viewpoints on the community on the topics that are relevant to the community and then talk about them, speak from your viewpoint on what’s going on, people want to know what you think, what your brand thinks about these products, about these topics, and as controversial as it might be, like our podcast, this new podcast that I’m going with Schramko, thinkactget.com is a really cool and controversial and far out strange podcast about lifestyle and marketing and business but it’s what we believe and we’re really enjoying it. And because it’s authentic and it’s truthful and its coming from our viewpoint people like it. I think that the key here is not trying to reel things out or create extra stuff but to really just speak from your viewpoints on the marketplace, if you have a business, if you’re selling a certain kind of product, you have viewpoints on this. It’s actually really, really a simple model.
James: Excellent! Good! Well I like to talk about some kind of traffic numbers and the result in this exercise in respect to boombycindyjoseph. I guess in that site, you’ve got to be building up a strong brand now and a real good following. What percentage of your traffic is kind of repeat and return traffic and what percentage are traffic to the site?
Ezra: 65% of our sales are return visits; so someone who have visited us sometime in the last month. 58% of our traffic is direct; either someone typed in our URL, they typed in our brand name, or they go directly to our website. And the other thing about branding if you open up a store, having a presence, and having people know about you and having recognition and visibility for your brand; you fortify yourself from Google rankings, you fortify yourself from your adwords account slapped because people are actually like if we lost all of our rankings, if we lost our advertising account, it doesn’t matter because half our traffic is coming from people specifically for us. The key is for traffic to be diverting right? So you want to make it with this community building model but you don’t want not to be doing remarketing and retargeting, you don’t want to not be doing Google adwords, Facebook ads, and Amazon ads, then LinkedIn whatever you are using to advertise on. And the thing is take on at a time, get one, get your search engine optimization campaign down and running, optimizing and going well and then move on to setting up your paid advertising campaign. I am a big proponent of paid advertising I know we are talking about organic, and social and all that stuff but how are we boosting this content that we are putting out there, are we actually getting it out in front of people? We’re buying that; we’re paying for Facebook ads and this content go out in front of all the women in America, it’s not just like it’s happening for us for free. And the cool thing about buying visibility is that if people- if you’ve got something good, you only need to buy that visibility only once because they’ll come, they’ll hop on, they’ll like your Facebook page, they’ll hop on your email list and then you’ve got a customer for life.
James: Wow you’ve got that pretty damn tight by the sound of it and if 60% of your traffic is sort of typed in or brand searched sort of traffic, people obviously know about that brand and are looking out for that brand. Once you say you get people into the system, they’re there. They’re obviously becoming..
Ezra: Sorry to interrupt, I think that the key is, with your business model that you have some reason, like if for example, you’ve got this bar stool store, people will only buy bar stools once. They don’t really come back and buy more bar stools so the question on the table is: what other things can we offer? What other product lines are complementary? Maybe pub tables maybe lamps, who knows, but some other offers so that these customers that we’ve generated on the work that we’ve done to create a customer doesn’t go to waste; it’s not a one and done type of deal. That’s why services are so good because when you’re selling services, it’s a subscription model. When they’re getting benefits and subscription from your services, they’ll come back. And the cool thing about a cosmetic or skin care business is that this is stuff that’s consumable, people consume it and then they want it again.
James: Excellent! Now we’ve spoken about the traffic source in play, we’re doing search traffic; we’ve got different paid traffic as in Facebook and Google or wherever, what about social traffic? What’s effective on the social arena?
Ezra: Sure, I just want to throw in another traffic channel for e-commerce, another traffic source and that is channels. Google Shopping, price grabber, The Find, Bing, Amazon, e-bay, you have these channels on the physical products space where people are actively going and looking for products and so for people who are doing the multiple item e-commerce store models, channels are a huge, huge opportunity. And again the easiest way to get your products out on a channel is to run advertising so you upload those products to Amazon or Price Grabber maybe or whatever it is and every single one of these channels allows you to buy advertising within that channel and promote your items within their channel. People are searching on Amazon; you’ve got Amazon product ads from external websites. You’ve can set up an advertising campaign in Amazon and run what’s called external product ads. Basically when someone’s looking at a dog bed if they look down the page underneath the review section that’s gonna say products from external website, you can list your products there. You can upload your products in to Amazon, run ad directly to your products in Amazon. So you can run ads in these channels and those are often the sources of revenue in terms of conversion and profitability because people are actually specifically looking for products better than a Google search and it’s even better than Google Adwords because they’re actively engaged in the search for a product on a more intense level than just searching for it in Google.
James: Good, last week I had on the show a guy called Jason Miles who is the author of Pinterest Power, he’s actually got a small online e-commerce store that’s sells patterns for dolls and dolls clothing, he was of course topic of conversation; with Pinterest he’s got really gotten good results with Pinterest. How’s your Pinterest as a channel for for boombycindyandjoseph?
Ezra: You know, it’s a decent channel, we post stuff out there and we see sales coming in from Pinterest, people are pinning our stuff but it’s not something – in fact, I’m going to listen to that podcast because it’s not a channel that I really have much attention on or done much with. We see sales coming in from it, which is cool, we’re not seeing significant results in Pinterest which I think is probably just because we don’t have significant amount of attention on this channel.
James: Alright, what else in the social area, because I know you guys are tapping into Facebook, you already mentioned you’re doing Facebook ads.
Ezra: I think Facebook is the social channel. The thing about social is, how do you define social? Is social when someone buys your product and opens up the box and may see a coupon code in there and they give it to their friend and they say hey you check out his product line? Is social when people are at a dinner talking about, you know – is social defined to the online world on the social media channels? I don’t think so, I think social is people relating about your product and recommending them to one another and that we do better than anyone because we have a message because when you’ve got a message, when you have a topic of conversation that is just beyond your product itself, and the product relate to it, that’s when you’re really doing social. As far as social channels go, Facebook is our channel. Yeah we’re on Twitter, yeah we’re on LinkedIn, yeah we’re on Google+ but people don’t come together the way they come together on Facebook on any other social channel out there on my experience so I think if you’re going to focus only on just one, Facebook is the channel.
James: Cool, well let’s kind of bring it towards a close now but I don’t want to do that until we’ve touched a little bit on podcasting cause I’m indeed getting very excited about it and you are too with your new podcast Think Act Get. Tell us more about the podcast, I have been enjoying it but tell us more about the results you’ve been getting.
Ezra: So let’s just talk about podcasting as a channel, iTunes right? I think the reason why podcasting is such a fantastic channel is because people listening to podcasts, everyone listening to this podcast. You’re really smart people, you’re actually, you know, when you look at the demographics of podcast listeners, they’re more highly educated, and you know these people own apple devices, just on average, an apple customer is a higher value subscriber than just someone who randomly finds your blog on Twitter or whatever. And that’s not to make any judgment or that kind of stuff, it’s just like when you look at the hard facts based on who’s consuming what forms of media, these groups of people are really good people to be engaged with because these are people who are actively engaged in self growth. They’re consuming information that is either entertaining for them or educational for them. And for that the podcasting channel is fantastic. Earlier in e-commerce, nobody was doing these things. There’s nobody out there any market you can throw a podcast and it’s the easiest thing to do in the world. Just get a plugin called blueberry, you record your audio, you upload it with an image and you’re done. It’s really, really simple to put up a podcast. The key to having a successful podcast is again having people engage with it and come back and listen to it and download it and our podcast Think Act Get is a little bit out there, it’s a really, really fun podcast. The press release behind is: What you think determines how you act and, how you act, and how you act determines how you get. And so it’s covering life in business and it’s really, really fun because we’re exploring your mind and it affects the results that you see in your life. And what you think and what you do actually has a result on your universe and what you create in the world and it’s a really fun podcast, we started out in the self-help section of iTunes and we very quickly got up to #7 in Australia iTunes and #3 in America, whatever. Well we beat out Oprah in self-help which was really, really fun and kind of cool and then we move over to the business and we got to the #1 in Australian iTunes and the #6 spot in US iTunes in the Business, and Marketing section for a while there and now I think we’re sitting at #14 or something but it’s really cool and people are actually liking it and it’s just a fun way – obviously, as you can tell I like to talk, you know James likes to talk and it’s a really cool and fun podcast. And yeah, I am very excited about podcasting as a channel.
James: So are we going to be seeing the Ezra Firestone chat show ousting Oprah on the TV coming up? That would we be absolutely awesome!
Ezra: I’ve got another podcast actually, the smart marketer podcast, my blog’s smartmarketer.com. I’m starting a podcast which actually I’m going to interview you on though, you know, anyway you’ll probably send that out to people whom you know.
James: Excellent! Good stuff. Should we just mention all those sites then as good places to connect with you as thinkgetact.com and smartmarketer.com?
Ezra: Yes. Come, say hi, let me know what you’re up to, I would love to hear from you. If there’s a way I can be of service, let me know. One of the things that I really like doing is- this is what I’m passionate about, is talking to other business owners and entrepreneurs who are in to the same stuff that I’m into, about what’s going on with them and where you are in your business and what business you’re having and how your viewpoints differ from mine and I’m like that’s the fun stuff, that’s the good stuff, it’s what I enjoy, so please come by and say hi and let’s engage.
James: I’m sure we’ll have a few people listening in right now who’ll fit that profile so head on over and connect with Ezra. Thanks buddy! It’s been a lot of fun today and I look forward to catching up with you again on your show and hope to catch you soon!
Ezra: Thanks James! I appreciate it man.
This week’s news in traffic: well it’s been a busy 7 days in social media this week, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook all releasing announcements. Let’s start off with LinkedIn; we’ll they’ve just come up with tips on how to better manage your LinkedIn company page, so if that’s an area of responsibility for you, go and check out their recommendations over on the LinkedIn blog. They’ve also announced this week that their endorsements feature has reached a total of 1 billion endorsements across profiles. And I’ve also noted that since adding endorsements that recommendations in LinkedIn have also increased. If you’ve not taken of endorsements, it’s probably a good time to get your LinkedIn profile moving up a gear or two.
Google+, we’ll they made some updates to their profiles which now feature a much bigger cover image and some easier ways to go and edit your profile. They should already be live on your own accounts so if you want to check those out go to plus.google.com/new to your own profile or if you want to check out mine because I have already updated my cover image, go to circlejames.com and you’ll be redirected to my Google+ page. Of course, while you’re over there, make sure to connect with me as well.
And finally, in news coming out of Facebook, they’ve made some updates to their news feed which now features bigger images in the stories that are shown in there and the opportunity for you to select the type of feed that you view from your own profile. So go check those out over at Facebook, I think they’re slowly integrating them over the profiles in the coming weeks. It may not be available for you yet but it will be coming soon.
I’ve got to give a bit of a whoop out at this stage because after a couple episodes in to Traffic Jam we’ve got our first 5-star iTunes review and it’s from Alice in Cambridge, England who said, love the first two episodes on Traffic Jam. Anyone responsible for marketing their business should tune in to the show. Looking forward to seeing how the show develops. Well thank you Alice, we have some big guests lined up on Twitter, LinkedIn, Media Vice and much more coming up in the next few weeks. Keep on listening in; I know you’re going to love what we’ve got coming in for you.
If you’ve got a comment or a question that you’d like me to answer on the show or perhaps even a suggestion on the types of topics that you would like covered on forthcoming episodes, head on over to trafficjamcast.com and also remember we’ve still got open our competition from last week which was to win a signed copy of Jason Miles’s Pinterest Power book and that’s going to go to the best comment or question on last week’s show so again head on over to the site and submit your comments and question beneath last week’s episode to be in with the chance of winning that book.
The one minute traffic tip this week is a really sneaky invisible stalking strategy that’s called Google Remarketing. It’s the ability to tag people who have visited your site and then served them up advertising by the Google adwords display network as they browse around the internet. Now my good friend Mike Rows describe this as having invisible email list and essentially it is because you’ll have all of these prospects who have sometimes paid interest in your products and services that you can tap in to anytime in the future with a message that’s timely and relevant to them.
Now what are some of the opportunities? Well you can serve up a set of advertising to people who have visited your page with a second chance or discounted offer to try to get them over online and make a purchase. You could also send seasonal promotions to people who already know about you. For instance you got a January sale or a summer discount. Send promotions to people via Google display advertising. They already know about your company and they’re very likely to convert. We’re getting some great results with Google remarketing ourselves and in fact we do offer it as a service over at clickjam.com so shameless plug: If you’d like to know more about Google Remarketing then hit us over at clickjam.com and we can get you stalking your prospects on the internet right away.
Ok so that rounds up another episode of Traffic Jam. If you’ve enjoyed this episode please do head on over to iTunes and leave us a review I really would appreciate that. Playing us out this week is another classic track, this time from the year 1992 from a band who actually just reformed last year and I was lucky enough to hear them a couple of times, both of which were phenomenal sets. The track is Pennies from Heaven and the band is Inner City.
- The Lifestyle Business Podcast with Dan Andrew and Ian Norris
- ClickJam Pay-Per-Click Management Agency
- Jason Miles – Author of Pinterest Power
- SEO Sherpa Search Engine Optimisation Agency
- Terry Lin of BuildMyOnlineStore
THIS WEEK IN TRAFFIC
- LinkedIn endorsements
- Google+ updated profiles
- Facebook news feed changes
ONE MINUTE TRAFFIC TIP
- Sneaky Stalker Strategy – Get Google Re-marketing here
THE TRAFFIC JAM
Pennies from Heaven by Inner City