with Tim Reid

BLUE FROG MARKETING — PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH TIM REID

I have got a Tim Reid with me this morning who is a marketing guru and a great friend for many years, Tim welcome.

Goodness me, it is an absolute pleasure.

Thanks for coming along buddy and sharing a few tips about marketing for our listeners.

Thank me at the end.

I will. I guess the first place to start is if anyone hasn’t heard about you is to just tell us about your experience and how you got in to this gig of marketing in the first place.

Always a dangerous question because you are asking me to talk about myself, how long have we got?

Plenty of time.

I have been marketing all my life, Uni, Australia’s big agency Clemengers for 10 years. I left to cleanse my soul in a charity in a marketing position over at Reach with a famous old AFL Player, Jimmy Stynes, marketing manager at Flight Centre. I have done all the corporate stuff for probably a couple of decades. Finally, finally, found the courage to escape the cubical and start my own business, which was essentially a marketing consultancy called the Ideas Guide and that was about 9 years ago. But what happened was is that I started a podcast called the ‘Small Business Big Marketing Show’ and that was sort of a way of expressing my marketing opinions to small businesses but also it was a marketing channel for my consultancy, but the podcast became quite popular relatively quickly and I stopped consulting, and the podcast lead to other things, speaking and a variety of other things. My passion, as much as I have got corporate marketing background, my passion is for the small business owner because they are under the pump and I found every something my days of corporate, every time I spoke to a small business owner and gave them a little bit of a marketing advice or a tip here or there. A, they were appreciative and B, they implement it and there were no meetings in between, so I was like this is cool. Then I needed to figure out how do I do that and how do I make a living from it, whilst having that impact and today that is exactly what I do, and I love it.

Obviously over that time you have spoken to 1,000, not only inspirational business owners but also people that give tips to business owners as well. I know from our research lots of business owners are confused about marketing, they go ‘I don’t really know what it means? And what I should do?’ so either they jump from one to another trying stuff, or they don’t do anything. In your experience what are the key themes that these businesses owners sort of…?

It does freak them a lot out. I think generally the smart business owner and even half smart business owner realises that marketing it important. The really smart ones see it as an investment. The ones who doubt it see it as an expense and they listen to their accountant ‘that expense column and do as little of it as you can’, you know. Great marketing is the life blood of the business. There seems to be at least three limiting beliefs that a business owner has around marketing which stops them from what I say, ‘cranking out great marketing’, Lack of time, lack money, lack of knowledge. They are all limiting beliefs because my view is that in this modern marketing is that, time is precious I get it, but a lot of this stuff doesn’t take as long as they think it does, the modern marketing caper. It certainly is not as expensive as they think it is, you and I both come from a corporate background, we know, we have seen how expensive things can be. It isn’t the case anymore, look at us we are producing a radio, audio program. That is incredible. 10 years ago this would have cost thousands and now it is costing zit, and a lack of knowledge. They think it is complicated because a lot of, whether it be social media or whatever you are talking about comes with its own language so it kind of freaks a few people out. I think all those things are exactly that and my wish out of all that and even out of our chat today is that I want all business owners to do marketing as a hobby. It sounds a little but weird but when something is a hobby you find some time to do it, you can’t wait to do it and you are happy to throw a bit of dough at it, so all of the sudden… and I am the ‘Small Business Big Marketing Show’ I have interviewed, as of today 384 successful small business owners and there are a number things that links them, but one thing that links them is that they all respect and enjoy marketing. None of them have used the word hobby but that is how it comes across.

I think it is a nice way of putting it because I like to see the joy in business owners faces and also their bank account to an extent when they actually get something right. They get very excited about it when it is their own business but they are held back. I think that is a great way of putting that limiting belief that I am not going to be able to find a way do this or it is too hard or where is my next customer coming from or whatever.

We will probably get to it over the course of this discussion, but there are so many ways of embracing marketing in your business that doesn’t require you the business owner to necessarily do it all. A business like Blue Frog you can get a business like them, you guys to look after the marketing of a small business, you can outsource it overseas, you can go into websites and find people to do individual tasks. You don’t need to be on the tools in order to create great marketing, but at the same time to any business owner listening I would absolutely encouraging them to carve out some time in the diary, like right now block out 2 hours on a Thursday morning or three hours on a Friday afternoon when you just want to wind down. You have got to make time for it.

I think that is a great point to make in the checklist for this program for business owners we actually have part of the check list that says, “make a time in your diary” and we keep repeating this, whether we are talking about strategy or managing money, or cash flow, or being the quality manager in the business. A small business tends to have a lot of hats and what we say is that you really need to schedule a time for each of those hats and marketing is certainly one of those things, otherwise you are stuck in the day to day handling of the bits and pieces that come in to your business and you are not thinking about what is next week or next month or next year.

That is right and it does amaze me and I guess you and I are biased in that we see the power of marketing, but again people that are listening have carved out time in their diary for the accountant and for employing new staff members and for doing all of that other stuff, but is there that block of time for marketing? Often not and they should be, it should be fun, you don’t have to do it by yourself, you can get an accountability group, you can get a group of likeminded business owners to come and share what they are doing and have a bit of a mastermind. There is a whole lot of different ways of doing it, but do it.

What differs between a small business, thinking about marketing, and a big business? Now you mentioned having a conversation and something gets implemented straight away with no meetings in between, which is kind of fun because I used to hate those meetings too.

What is about a meeting that has to go for an hour?

I have no idea.

It is ridiculous. 10 minute meetings, stand up, go for a walk around the block and just get stuff done.

Where do they start? What would you say was the first step for a business owner sitting there going ‘I haven’t done anything really in relation to marketing. What do I do first?’

Just to your first point about small versus big, I don’t think there is any difference outside the number 0’s at the end of the budget. You know as well as I do the fundamental principles of marketing apply no matter what size the business. That is why I left the corporate side and everything I know I have learnt from corporate. I can just go and apply it to small business owners now. Where they start? My answer is going to be different to your answer.

That is fine.

I know it is and you are the marketing plan guy and full respect to that. My ADD doesn’t allow for that, and I also I think that sometimes I just see to many documents sit on shelves and gather dust. My view is, my wish is again is I want marketing to become a hobby for those listening and I just want them to start. There are a lot of different ways and I think there is some fundamental like theoretical stuff like who are you talk to, basic marketing principal, get your message right first before you worry about where to put it. I have had a lot of business owners come to me and say, ‘I am going to get on Twitter’ I am going to get a website’ ‘I am going to start a networking strategy’ and that is cool but ‘what are you going to say on Twitter?’ or ‘What are you going to say when you arrive at that network?’ ‘Have you got your pitch right’ and all that. Message is hard or it is harder because it feels like it is more creative. It isn’t that hard. I mean at the end of the day talking benefits, not features, be synced, be engaging, don’t rabbit on whether you are talking about copy for a website page or slides, a deck of slide for a sales presentation or a chattered networking event, be precise, be passionate about your business, but get clear on who you are talking to. For me I have this person called Daz front and centre of my mind and he is my ideal client, so when I am producing a podcast episode, or I am speaking from stage at a conference, I always have Daz front and centre and there are certain things about Daz as I said my ideal client. He has this innate respect for marketing. He listens and applies to what I say but comes back and says either ‘that was unreal Timbo can we do more of that’ or ‘that didn’t work’ so I tried something just a little bit different. I didn’t give up. I am willing to try new things. I am always talking to him and he is just an imaginary figure but when I sit down to write copy or a new key note, or even speaking now. I am speaking to that Daz guy because it personalises it and I love the definition of marketing which is, marketing is what you do when you can’t go and see someone. If you kind of think what does that mean? It means that in an ideal world we would get up off our chairs and go out in to the world and meet go and have coffee with people with prospects and people have business with us and you just chat and find out their problems, but time is imminent right so we can’t do that, but it doesn’t mean we still can’t be personal about in the way you go about marketing.

As if you were having that conversation with someone?

Totally, because too many businesses when it does come time to write the marketing copy, the brochure, speaking at a networking event we start to find our marketing voice and we start to find these big words and allocate everything within an inch of its life. It is like stop, people buy from people, be yourself and whatever your thing is people are embracing you for that so don’t try and vanillarise it, be you. Particularly as a small business owner as a one man show or one women show you just be yourself because that will be in a crowded market place one of the few points of difference that you can truly own.

I really love that concept particularly for a small business because in some of the world that we are operating in at the moment there is a lot of talk about robots and artificial intelligence and that taking away people jobs and allowing big businesses to offer a cheaper product or service in a particular market, but really it is that being yourself, human contact that the business owner won’t ever lose because a big business can’t be genuine and it can’t be human. You and I probably have these conversations with the legal department in a lot of these companies that take our marketing voice and then turn it is to a marketing/legal voice, whereas a small business owner can just be themselves. Talk in the language that is right for them.

That is what is exciting and you see as businesses grow this becomes this becomes more challenging for the business owner and founders to part the personality and values, but the good ones get it right. What happens is, as you establish the personality of your business and what to stands for it will by default attract people who are attracted to that type of personality, that type of business. I will sign a corporate example here, but when Virgin Blue came to town all those years ago I remember speaking to Martin Daley who was the guy responsible for bringing the brand out here and he said ‘we don’t have to spend a dollar on advertising because the brand is so strong people know what is stands for, it is an airline and a lot of people won’t work for airlines, but putting that aside we are just attracting the right type of people because we are putting the effort in to what the brand stands for and it is really clear. We are not getting duffers that are applying who aren’t going to fit in to our brand’. Again, I sometimes hesitate to quote corporate example because it feels like the small business owner can’t aspire to that, but they can. I think we can learn a lot from the big guys, both good and bad.

I think personality from the good ones, Richard Branson also is a good guy coming out with personality for his brand. But again, personality is almost a reflection of the humanity the brand is genuine, they tend to attract reasonably genuine people that are a bit fun and interested in life, and even in their new advertising they are talking about this looking up or being the uplifting people. It does represent the brand. I think you can learn that in a small business and probably the only thing you are going to have compared to a big competitor is humanity and the willingness to help a customer. Probably a good segway to talk a little your concept about helpful marketing and that is kind of the subject of your book, right? You talk about your book called ‘the boomerang effect’ that people will come back to someone that helps them.

They will help someone that helps them, the more effort you put into marketing it will turn in to multiples. The boomerang effect is about what happens when you are incredibly helpful in the marketing, which if found in my business. If you are helpful, if you identify the problems that your clients and prospects have and answer them and provide solutions for them you are ahead of the game already. Other amazing things happen in marketing, you will get more customers, more enquires and more leads. For me and that happen to me, but the boomerang effect in my business alone all of the sudden I developed a public speaking business that became quarter what I did, I got more sponsors on my podcast, now my show is on virgin airlines. Virgin airlines domestically and internationally, I have a radio show the Macquarie network, these are all things that are absolutely a direct line relationship from being helpful in my marketing to all these other things happening. Back to helpful marketing as a concept for a small business owner is that I think we struggle a lot to go ‘what am I going to say in my marketing’ outside some fancy sales copy or whatever. ‘what am I going to say’ and again it just comes back being help. Also someone has to be the most helpful in the industry and it may as well be you. If you want a place to start and this is being quite literal here Hunter, but it is like go and create a knowledge centre on your website on the assumption you have got a website. If you haven’t then get one and have a knowledge centre. It is a bit like an FAQ section but basically all you are doing is going and identifying every single question you have ever been asked by a client or a prospect and you will very quickly get to 50–100, quite easily. Don’t judge these questions, don’t go ‘that is a bit of a… everyone knows the answer to that’. You might, but others don’t. Ask you staff, ask your suppliers, ask as many as people you can. Get that list of questions going and then answer each and every one of them. One page per question and answer, not a whole long list of questions and answers like a typical FQ page has. What is beautiful about this is a, it is really helpful. Hoes it play out commercially in your marketing to get more business? Well when a customer rings and has a particular question you can answer that question but then you can go ‘hey, listen. Can I send you a link to a page of my website that goes into greater detail’ and you might have created a video or a piece of audio, or and infographic or some longer copy and you have answered it. That is good, that is one on one marketing. The other thing is Google love it, it is a great search engine for optimisation because Google have all these bucket… We will go back a step. You are who Google says you are, important marketing thing there. Biggest search engine in the world, when someone is searching for to buy something generally we are going to ask a friend or we are going to ask Google. Google have all these buckets at head office, billions of them and each bucket is a search. How much does it cost to employ a marketing agency is a bucket a Google, for example. In that bucket is every single page on the internet that response to that question and the better responses go to the top of the bucket, page one. You do this and again you are helping Google index your business. You have got 100 questions in your knowledge centre and that is a 100 opportunities for Google to index your business. That is a very simple way of being helpful, but it is just a great mindset to have. No matter what you do in your customer service, in pre and post purchase, giving your staff permission to be insanely helpful. Think of Zappo’s that great book by Tony Shay from Zappo’s delivering happiness. That was all about giving his staff permission to be insanely happy, to the point where they had a $200.00 budget where if a customer rang up and said, “Can you deliver me a pizza?” you would get a pizza delivered which is kind of silly but it is an extreme example of giving staff to be helpful.

I think if you put, this is my view point listening to you talking about it. The view point is that you can actually put a dollar figure on helpfulness because reverse is also true and I think that any of us that have dealt with, let me take a step a back. Most small businesses compete against the behemoth or a massive competitor in most markets these days but there is not too many markets where we were able to operate without having competition even from other small businesses, but a lot of us have a big agency, or a big supermarket, or a big something competing against us and how tough is it to get service from a Telco or someone these days? It is tough isn’t is, because you ring up and it might go through multiple number on the phone but when you get someone it might not be actually someone that can help and it is just time. Whereas a small business it is like you ring and they go ‘yes, no worries. I will sort it out’. I got something done for my car this morning at a local dealer and they didn’t have one of the bits that they promised that will be there today so the guy said to me “Don’t worry. You are local so tomorrow so I am going to come to the office, pick the car up, take it back”. This thing is like a $12 part so it is not like they are going to make any money to put that thing on. He is going to pick the car up take it to their dealership, drop it back to me because I had a full day of meetings here and I couldn’t do it and then I am away. Pretty impressive piece of work…

A, it is helpful but B, there is this other concept. The bigger discussion here is how does the business owner listen differentiate him or herself, so helpful is a major strategy. The other part of that is the customer experience which you have just sited but any business should sit down and map from the moment and it is literally along, it can be a linear timeline. It is not necessarily linear but let’s just visualise it like that. One at the far end on the left of this timeline is the moment a customer or prospect comes in to contact with your business and at the far right at the end other end is the last time they have anything to do with your business, and everything in between is the pre, during and post part of the transaction. You can literally map that as an experience and go, the first time someone comes in to the shop we will go up to them and explain just what they can find here. I will give you a better example, there is an electrician franchise out of NSW and they have a 21 step customer mantra and this is literally the customer experience that everything single sparky in this franchise must deliver to every single customer they come in to contact with. I won’t go through al 21 steps but for example but arrive 5 minutes early, not 15 minutes early because that rude, 10 minutes late is rude, but 5 minutes early is the sweet spot. Park out the front and don’t walk across the grass of the persons house, use the path or the driveway. There is like step 17 is whilst you are in the home doing the job look for something electrical that needs fixing like a light bulb is out, replace it on your way out and say “Hey, listen I fixed the light bulb in the den. No charge, just wanted to let you know”. These are all little moment which add up to something that is unforgettable, sharable and you have got a customer for life.

Awesome, I love that concept of unforgettable because that is again money in the bank. Tim Reid, thank you very much for being a guest on the show. Before you go tell people a little bit about your podcast and where they can download it and listen to it.

It is called the ‘Small Business Big Marketing Show’ it is on all podcast catches, iTunes and it just got listed on Spotify last week which is kind of cool because they have just taken on podcasts and they are hand q rating. They have literally got people listening and going ‘we will do that’. All podcast catches in the android store as well and on all virgin airlines out of Australia and around Australia. Go and subscribe go and have a listen. Between your show and my show you quite seriously and I stay as humbly I can there are some pretty good resources there. That is the amazing thing about the modern world that we live in. One thing that links all successful business owners is that they never stop learning so well done to those listening right now, but keep listening. Go and subscribe to the ‘Small Business Big Marketing Show’ go to smallbusinessbigmarketing.com where you can find the entire archive for 380 plus episodes, but my book the boomerang effect and if you want to book me to speak it would no greater pleasure. Maybe me and you could do a tag team.

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Passionate about writing, business, cooking, photography, music. Aiming to be a renaissance guy.