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Ask An Expert: James Hipkin Digital Marketing For Online Entrepreneurs-Ep: 104
Episode 10431st July 2022 • She Coaches Coaches • Candy Motzek
00:00:00 00:20:55

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Join me as I speak with James Hipkin. Since 2010, he has built his clients’ businesses with digital marketing. Today, James is passionate about websites and helping the rest of us understand online marketing. His customers value his jargon-free, common-sense approach. “James explains the ins and outs of digital marketing in ways that make sense.”

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Ask An Expert: James Hipkin Digital Marketing For Online Entrepreneurs

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Candy Motzek:

Hey welcome to she coaches coaches, I'm your host Candy Motzek. And I'm going to help you find the clarity, confidence and courage to become the coach that you are meant to be. If you're a new coach, or if you've always wanted to be a life coach, then this is the place for you. We're going to talk all about mindset and strategies and how to because step by step only works when you have the clarity, courage and confidence to take action. Let's get started. Hi, everyone, and welcome to this episode of she coaches coaches. This is another one of these special episodes that I'm doing, where I'm interviewing a guest that I met out of the blue at an event called podapalooza. Now, let me tell you a little bit about him. His name is James Hipkin. And he has an over 40 year career working in marketing and advertising at a high level. Since 2010. He has built his clients businesses via digital marketing. He is an accomplished forward thinking marketing professional. And he has got a laundry list of clients, including Nestle and Toyota, Wells Fargo, Apple, and all of these clients appreciate his practical, no nonsense approach. His stories are always valuable and entertaining, his humor is infectious. And he has a good natured approach to marketing. And it's done in a way that is fun and practical. But he doesn't lose track about what's important. So let me welcome James to the episode today. I'm so glad you're here, James.

James Hipkin:

Oh, candy, it's my pleasure, my complete pleasure.

Candy Motzek:

So we were talking earlier, and you know, the audience is new coaches. And, you know, generally these are people who have had success in their careers. And now they're moving into this new venture. And it's this transition between being an employee and being an entrepreneur. And with all of your knowledge, let's talk a little bit about the marketing approach. And I think you've got some really interesting things to add.

James Hipkin:

Yeah, the, the mistake that I see being made, or the opportunity that a new coach has to embrace, is changing their mindset. And from what I describe as inside out thinking, and shifting that mindset to be more outside in thinking. And what I mean by that is, inside out thinking is where you present, you talk about yourself, you present, all the wonderful things that you have done. Outside in thinking is where you really embrace and deeply understand the problems that your best prospect have. And then when you take that outside in approach, you end up very naturally and comfortably without getting all plaid jacket about it. Drawing people through a sales process that doesn't feel like a sales process. It feels like a normal and natural journey that they're taking to achieve the solution to the problem that they have. That shift in mindset at work, not wanting to under sell it. But that is the most important thing that you can do to be successful at marketing. It's a simple idea. But I'm telling you I see over and over and over again. People aren't doing it. And I'll give you an example. I had a customer who came to us he was a New York State Senator. He wasn't reelected. He was a lawyer. So he put out his shingle to be a lobbyist. And he wasn't getting a lot of traction. And he came to us to have his website redone. And I of course, started the conversation by not talking about the website just catches people off guard I will tell you because I honest to God the websites the least important piece, it is very important but it is not nearly as important is understanding who his best prospects were in that outside in journey and I said, Craig, all of your content on your current website is inside out. You are talking about yourself and he responded, Well, that's who they're hiring, they're hiring me. I said, Yes, I understand. That's the end goal. But that's you've gone straight from Hi, my name is to your place or mind. And it doesn't work like that. Not in the real world. And so you need to understand the problem that these folks are trying to solve. And then use your credentials and capabilities as reasons to believe that you can actually solve the problem.

Candy Motzek:

That Schiff asked to build that trust,

James Hipkin:

build that trust, follow the journey. So I always recommend that folks start with an old expression that an old ad guy, David Ogilvy, and no, I'm not old enough, I never worked with him. He said, the essence of strategy is sacrifice. So you need to start eliminating things. So you need to really look at who is my prime prospect? Who is my best customer, then you need to look very carefully at who they are demographically. And then, what are their attitudes? You know, the people will sometimes say psychedelic psychographically. And that's kind of, you know, $10 word. But really, it's about their attitudes, how do they think about things? Are they skeptical? Are they open minded? You know? And, of course, there's all kinds of people with all kinds of things. That's the where the essence of strategy is sacrifice comes in, you've got to eliminate some things. Who are they demographically? Who are they attitudinally? And then what is their pain? What is the problem that the burning problem that they're trying to solve? And then what is the gain, that they will gain get from working with you? And the order of things that I've just described is really important. The demographics help you understand what marketing and media channels you're going to want to use? Where are they? So if they're over 40, and and have college education, you're not going to get them with Tiktok? Sorry, not gonna happen?

Candy Motzek:

Not yet, maybe sometime in the future, but not right now. I just can I just rewind to something that you didn't actually say, but I think is inherent here is that you're looking at that best prospect, that dream client? And in doing this research? And in doing this, you're making the decisions to say No, exactly the people who are not them. So you're actually that's part of this sacrifices that you're saying yes to your people, right, and helping them and understanding them and their problems. And at the same time saying, not you, we're not that other person,

James Hipkin:

right. And that has implications all down through the stream. So once you've defined who that customer that customer avatar is, or customer personas, it has a couple of different names, but the concept is the same. Demographics, attitudes, what's their pain? And then what's the gain that they'll get from working with you, that can really help inform you in terms of the next steps. Now, the next piece you want to understand is, what's the customer journey. And the reality is a customer who doesn't have a need, all the marketing in the world is not going to change that. So don't tilt at windmills. Right? Recognize that, you know, bunches of people, you are not even a.in their horizon, because they just don't have a need. But when they have a need, it's not an it's not an off on state. Their interest in the category changes from no interest to Ha, I have a problem here. And if their interest starts to rise, it looks like a bell curve. And as they're going up that first side, they go into the consideration phase, they're starting to consider that a they have a problem and B they need to think about how to solve this problem. Then as their interest rises even further, the pain they're experiencing becomes more acute. They go into the prospecting phase. So that prospecting phase is when they're okay, I need to make a choice here. Right, they can choose from one or two or three different options that I've found in the consideration phase. Now this this whole process can happen very rapidly. It can happen very slowly, but it always happens. And then the first purchase happens and that's at the top of the bell curve. But I use the bell curve analogy because it's both accurate and it's sent says something, interest doesn't vanish once that purchase is made.

Candy Motzek:

That's interesting. And that's not something that I considered like what you were talking about before I was like, Okay, I understand this, I understand this, I understand this. But talk more about this interest doesn't vanish once that first purchases made,

James Hipkin:

right. And it's, there's an interesting concept here, the first purchase is not the most important purchase. It's the second purchase. Because if you can get somebody to buy from you twice, the chances that they'll buy from you a third time or exponentially improved. And you want to take advantage of that heightened interest, immediately post purchase, to reinforce that they've made a good decision to reinforce that you value their business to build what I call relationship equity. And that's the value that goes beyond functional and transactional benefits. they've purchased something from you that solves their immediate problem, it's the pain in game equation. But if you do nothing else, then you're just a product with a name. If you're going to become a brand, and you're going to start to build a relationship with this customer, then that you need to take advantage of the second half of the bell curve. And use that time to maximize your potential to build a relationship. You're laughing.

Candy Motzek:

Yeah, so I've got a question for you. Because I know that lots of people in the digital space think of this as, you know, part of a funnel where they make the first sale and then offer the next the next thing, and I'm thinking of it slightly differently, because coaching is a relationship business. There's no doubt about it. And a lot of people that I work with, in my business specifically, work on referrals. Sure, no. And so it's this, how, you know, so maybe the actual time is slightly longer than some of the digital marketers that we may see out there in the world. But there is still that same, there's still that same principle that he's described.

James Hipkin:

Yeah, that marketing funnel is what draws people into that first sale. The sales funnel is what builds the relationship and maximizes the average order value. And they're, they're not the same thing. I hear people interchange them all the time, they are not the same thing. And they are on other opposite sides of the interest curve. And you start to put them in that context. And the marketing funnel is a strategic idea, not an executional idea. There are executional tools you can use to manifest marketing funnels. But you need to understand what the strategy is the sales funnel is a strategic idea that has an ultimate goal of obviously making increasing the average order size, but also building that relationship. And if you don't have both pieces of that, then you're missing a big opportunity. Now, obviously, sales funnels have executional tools too. But that's not the point. It's, you can use any tools, you want to build a statue, but you still have to have the idea of what the statute is going to be.

Candy Motzek:

It makes me just my thoughts for the listeners is that as you're listening to this episode, take a minute and sketch this out. So that you can actually draw that bell curve. And then those zones that James has described, write them on that bell curve, like give yourself a visual representation of what's being described here. Because then you're going to have a much easier time creating at least the beginning of this strategy to make it work. What do you think, James?

James Hipkin:

Exactly, right. I mean, it's, it's important that that your decisions are made relative to this strategy. And, you know, test it, make sure it's working, etc, etc. But you still if you've if you're just like making decisions, and you're just trying out stuff you know, there's no, there's no connection. And that can the power comes from the connection. I like to say that, you know, digital marketing tactics executed in isolation or expensive noise. And that's led me to this idea. Another simple idea that I call the Hub and Spoke strategy. Is that okay, that's awesome, James. That's one under full theory, and you know, my, I can wrap my brain around that, that's cool. How do I execute it? And the way I like to think about this, and the way I like to describe this to people is think about it, like the center of your digital marketing strategy is your website. That's what the most important digital asset that you own. But the website unto itself, extracts its value, and generates value for your customers and for your business, by virtue of the things that are connected to it. And that's, those are the spokes, the spokes are your digital marketing channels and tactics that you're using to push content out from the website and draw people back into the website. And then the rim that holds it all together, is your content and messaging strategy. And that content and messaging strategy needs to be developed within the context of the customer avatar, and their journey. So that's the blue that holds it all together and turns, you know, the disparate bits and pieces connects them together, to create the most fundamental invention in mankind's history. Right the wheel. And it's the power comes from the connections not from the piece parts.

Candy Motzek:

Right? And when your connection, sorry, the connections and the whole as it develops, I love this and very thankful for your, for your guidance. But start with your who, who is the person? What are the demographics? What are their attitudes, right? What's their pain? What do they need solved? What is the game, that's the place that you start? Yes. And then before you start creating a freebie, or creating a sales funnel, or designing your website, you want that whole spoke, hub and wheel planned before you start doing anything.

James Hipkin:

Right. And the journey, understand journey, the journey that that your best prospect is going to go through, you want to support that journey.

Candy Motzek:

Now, James, it's just about time for us to wrap up. And you've covered so much. Do you have a final parting thought? For today?

James Hipkin:

Yeah, I think so. Again, it's missed a mistake I see frequently. Don't try to boil the damned ocean. Yeah, you know, with when you understand your customers, and you really, you know, go through this discipline that we've just described, pick a couple of things, and do them well. And then figure out how you can do them even better. Don't try to grab every shiny new thing that flies by your radar screen, outside in, think about where your customers are, how they want to interact with you. And, you know, and don't get distracted and don't try to do too many things, because you'll end up not doing any of them very well. I had a customer who came to us, he sells a very specific kind of orchid, not orchids in general, not house plants in general, a very specific kind of orchid. And I had this conversation with him. And he and his wife focused in on organic social media because their audience was older. So they can do get great traction with Facebook. And his email list. Well, at the end of his first year with the new website and the using this hub and spoke strategy idea, and the things that we've talked about, he was able to double his business in one year. Yeah, I mean, and then subsequently year, he tripled it. And he just he's still just doing this two things, be doing them really well. But he's just doing those two things. He'll he'll get engagement on a Facebook post into the hundreds of likes and comments and shares, but a

Candy Motzek:

great success story.

James Hipkin:

And he's not he's not trying to boil the ocean. He's just doing a couple of things. And his email list is growing and he works it and he you know, treats people well. You know, we've got simple little automations in place. None of this stuff is particularly hard, but when somebody buys something, he sends them an email it says thank you, you know, and provides a link to an article on on how to care for that particular Get her version of the orchid. So he builds creates value beyond the functional and transactional benefits of the what he's selling.

Candy Motzek:

That is a great example. Thank you so much. This has been a really valuable conversation. And I've learned a lot. And I know my listeners will learn a lot. And they'll listen to this episode over and over and over. And if they're taking action, grab that piece of paper, grab your pen and start to sketch these things out and draw these different things for your business and your clients. So James, how can people find you if they'd like to have a further conversation like to learn more about you?

James Hipkin:

Well, if you thought this is interesting, and one of the points that I've made in this is my business, the website is the hub. It's the most important digital asset that you own. And most websites are not up to the task. The simple reality is that the average website visitor has an attention span that's shorter than a goldfish. Now the whole goldfish has a nine second attention span is a myth, but doesn't really matter. As a business owner, you should be so lucky. You've got six seconds or less to engage to use the ideas that I've expressed today to engage somebody who gets to your website. So I have I offer a free six seconds or less website audit, that you can sign up for go to six seconds, or less.com. And you can schedule some time on my calendar, and we can talk about your website, we can talk about the Hub and Spoke strategy. We can talk about customer avatars, we can talk about the journey. Because all of these pieces are interconnected. But the center of your digital universe is the website. And having a website that's crafted against this these principles is really important. And everything most other digital channels are rented land. So you gotta be careful. The website you own, right. I'd love to help six seconds or less.com. That's awesome.