Doing Digitals Right
Almost every business and brand has a website and social media—and they should! However, it is few that are using them right. Often times, businesses get caught-up in competition, content dumping, and meaningless stats. With these mistakes, they fail to fully tap into the potential of websites and social media.
So, a few weeks ago, our CEO, Stacy Jones, decided to chat with a professional who knows them best. In this blog, Hollywood Branded learns how to turn your website and socials into effective tools from Wayne Mullins, who is the CEO and Founder of Ugly Mug Marketing.
A Little More About Wayne
Wayne is the Founder and CEO of Ugly Mug Marketing, an agency that helps entrepreneurs drive results through marketing, branding, social media, and website design. Over the last 12 years, Wayne has worked with clients across 90 different industries and through his blogs, books, and training programs, he has helped over a quarter of a million entrepreneurs, annually. Because of his success, CEO's, Silicon Valley startups, and best-selling authors of the New York Times frequently turn to Wayne for advice and insights.
Interview Transcript Highlights
Question: What I'd like to do is start off by you sharing what got you to here today? How are you leading a marketing agency that has such a generalized focus but really specialized within the digital space?
Answer: Sure, absolutely. So the journey actually began just out of college. When I left, I wanted to go and sell, so I got a job selling advertising. I sold billboards for a national company. After about three years of that job, I started looking at my paycheck and looking at the amount of money I was making, that I was bringing in from the company and this terrible idea occurred to me. What if I actually did something for myself? What if I actually took my sales ability and went out and sold something for myself?
So that was the idea. I sat down to really figure out what skills, what products, what do I have that I could actually sell? And Stacy, the list was short. It was one thing and that was lawn care. I knew how to cut grass. So much to the dismay of my parents, I left a wonderful corporate sales job making really good money to start at zero, cutting grass.
And for those not familiar with Louisiana, Louisiana summers are not the most pleasurable places to work outside. A little hot, a little warm, a little humid. So over the course of that next three-year period, I took that company from zero and grew it to a very large size and sold the company. But it was during the course of that growth over that three-year period, that a lot of the clients for the lawn company, a lot of my friends started coming to me and asking for advice. They were asking, "How are you growing? How are you scaling? What are you doing to take your company from zero to where it is today?" And it was really out of those initial conversations, Stacy, that Ugly Mug Marketing would eventually be born.
Question: When companies are coming to you, what are some of the mistakes that they make along the way?
Answer: Sure. I would say the number one mistake is that they buy into what we would call vanity metrics. So in the marketing world, lots of metrics get thrown around such as impression, reach, visitors, bounce rate. What we know to be true in our heart is that oftentimes, these metrics are nothing more than vanity metrics if they are not tied to something more.
In other words, if we have a website that gets a hundred thousand visitors, is that a good thing or a bad thing? It sounds great. If your website today is getting 10,000 and we tell you, "We've got this other client who's getting a 100,000," you think, wow, that's 10X. That's amazing. That's phenomenal. But the reality is, the people could be staying on that site for two seconds and bouncing off the site. The reality is we could be sending the wrong traffic to the site. I mean, there's all these other things.
And so I think that we have to be very careful about getting wrapped up into all of these, as we would call, vanity metrics without really understanding what is the end that we are after? And so for the bulk of our clients they're for profit. And so the end result that they are after is more money in the bank account, right?
And we then have to figure out what metrics matter most and are more indicative? In other words, they lead the way, they showed the way to the end result, to the money in the bank account. And those metrics become the lead metrics. The money in the bank account becomes a lag metric. And only if those lead metrics are putting money into that lag metric, do the front-end lead metrics even matter for us.
Question: What are some of the other mistakes that happen along the way? What is another issue that people typically have with websites?
Answer: Yeah. Another metric specifically with websites that I would say is that they build their website based on what a competitor has done. So I'm going to tell you right now, we build a lot of custom websites. And the number one reason that people call us wanting a new website, they don't initially say this but in conversation we find this out, is because a competitor of theirs just got a new website.
And so the other mistake would simply be that, it's playing the "me-too" game, right. It's like, oh well, competitor over here is in this publication or is doing this on social, so "me too, we've got to be doing that."
And so that "me-too" game comes from, I believe, another mistake that we make and that is the confusion of actions versus assets. And so what I mean by that is when we look around at our competitors and we see competitor A is posting on their Facebook page three times a day, we say, "Okay, well they're successful. Their page looks great. They have decent engagement, so we need to post three times a day."
Yeah, we've got to one-up them. If you can't beat us, we're going to show them. So what we then do is we start copying, right? We play the "me-too" game, but what we fail to look at would be what are the actual assets? What is the asset that that person is actually building? And so when we identify the underlying asset, which in their case may be a responsive audience on Facebook, we may choose to play the game differently based on our skills and our abilities based on that asset.
Question: In regards to social media, what are some of the other areas that people make just normal mistakes in?
Answer: Sure. I would say the biggest mistake, Stacy, that people make when it comes to social media is they're under the illusion that they're actually doing social media. I would argue that the vast majority of people aren't actually doing social media, instead, what they're doing is digital media. So the difference between the two is that digital media means you show up on whatever platform it is with a megaphone. You treat the platform as a billboard, a place to put up all your signs, all your things that you're trying to tell the world or tell your audience. The flip side of that is social media, and social media means a dialogue, an interaction, or two-way communication. So digital is about a megaphone, show up and throw up and then social is about dialogue, it's a telephone.
And so where I think so many people make mistakes is they come to whatever social media platform, and they start showing up and throwing up. They're putting their message up there and then they're complaining that there's no interactions. There's no likes, there's no comments, there's no shares, there's no dialogue.
Question: How do you design content that is going to engage a person?
Answer: The very first thing that I would say would be creating and crafting that customer avatar. Building out what your ideal customer looks like. What scares them? What are their desires? What are their fears? Where do they shop? What kind of car do they drive? Kids, no kids? All of those things that we intuitively know.
We often believe that we know our customers, but until we actually take the time to actually put that down in writing or put it on the computer screen, it forces our brain to interact with that information, differently. And so I would challenge anyone listening to begin with that. Don't just say, "Yeah, like I understand my audience. I know my audience." But literally sit down and go through it. I'm sure if you Google search for custom avatar sheets or exercise, you can really dive into who they are.
And what I would say is that when you truly know your customer avatar, you will be able to write a page from their own personal journal...because you know them so well. That is how well we should know our customers. That is how well we should know the people that we're going after in our marketing campaigns. We should know the things that keep them up at night. We should know their fears, their desires, all of those things.
Check Out The Podcast!
Wayne has so much great information from his experience in web design and social media. Check out the podcast below to learn more about how to turn them into effective marketing tools!
Every week we have a marketing professional on our show to share their tips, tricks and lessons learned from their professional experience. Check out some of our other podcast blogs from earlier this year:
- Better Your Brand By Building Your Visuals: The Importance of Great Graphics
- Finding Your Brand Archetype: Tips To Becoming A Better Entrepreneur
- Making The Most Of Marketing Automation: How To Leverage Salesforce and HubSpot
- The Secrets To Successful Brand Partnerships
- Why Company Swag Should Be Purposeful And Practical
Every week we release a new podcast featuring guest's with so much knowledge about marketing, you don't want to miss one! How can you make sure you don't miss an episode? Click below to subscribe!