E39: Let’s Get Real About Bro Marketers, Lead Capture, and What it Really Takes to Make Six Figures in 30 Days Online with Kronda Adair

Oct 15, 2020

 

Is your website holding you back?

In this week’s episode, we talk with web developer and digital marketer Kronda Adair about what many websites are missing when it comes to effective marketing.

It’s more than just the wrong fonts or bad pop-ups. You must approach website design and content with a full understanding of your audience. Otherwise, your website is going to come up short.

 

“Me-centered” marketing isn’t sustainable.

As Kronda reminds us, “Business is really about building relationships.” People buy products and services from businesses they like, know, and trust. How do you build that relationship?

Kronda gives us some concrete tips, like:

  • Avoid tiny, hard-to-read fonts,
  • Don’t put testimonials in sliders, and
  • Consider turning off pop-ups for mobile.

 

But we also discuss the mindset we need to #DoBetterDigital. What value are we offering our audience? Would we use these tactics if we were speaking in person? Kronda reminds us,

“Just because you’ve received bad marketing doesn’t mean can’t give good marketing.”

When you lead with a service mentality, your audience responds - with their wallets as well as their loyalty.

 

Listen now.

 

In episode 39 of Small Stage, Big Impact we discuss:

 

  • [8:58] How to determine if your website is working for you (or if it’s just pretty)

  • [13:06] The secret to good marketing with a compelling lead magnet

  • [19:30] How to be effective with your lead capture without being annoying

  • [26:00] Why you should avoid “me-centered” language and how to fix it

  • [33:08] Why you should be wary of “web guys” when choosing a web developer

  • [38:51] The importance of understanding who you’re selling to

  • [40:27] How to co-create with your audience with transparency and integrity

  • [49:50] The key to effective marketing that many business owners are missing

  • [56:28] What it REALLY takes to make six figures in 30 days

 

Resources mentioned by Kronda and Renia in the episode:

 

 


 

Share your thoughts… I’d love to hear from you!

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Small Stage, Big Impact is hosted by Renia Carsillo (that's me!). I am hardcore passionate and committed to bringing the systems and strategies that give big brands an unfair advantage to local businesses. For that reason, I created the Local Rock Star Intensive, where I help local business owners use their small stage to have a BIG impact. Thank you for being here and reading this far!

 


 

Transcripts from the Proven Website Tips for Effective Digital Marketing episode:

 

To download a PDF of the transcripts click here.

 

Renia: 

Hey Kronda, thank you for being with us today. I'm so excited to be doing this with you today. Tell us a little bit about how you got here.

 

Kronda: 

Oh man, how I got here? Well, I was gonna make a bad joke, I'm not gonna do that. Okay.

 

Renia: 

You can make bad jokes here.

 

Kronda:

No, I was gonna go back to the you know, the stork and then... Anyway, how did I get here? Okay, so speaking in a professional context, how I got here is, you know, I wasn't one of those people that was like, I'm gonna be this when I grow up. In fact I hated that question, I always hated the like, "Where are you gonna be in 10 years?" Because I had no idea. And so I just kind of, you know, I went to school for a while, I had some jobs for a while and I was working at a little tiny little startup marketing company as a project manager and I had a meeting with our freelance developer.

And when he left, I had this light bulb moment that he was probably making, you know, a lot more money than I was, and that he got to work wherever he wanted and he didn't have to deal with my boss and so I literally went back to my desk and started looking up the local community college, how do I become a developer? I mean, at the time I didn't know what CSS was. I had actually asked one of our developers and he tried to explain it to me, and I was like, yeah no it's not.

 

Renia: 

Okay, so you're probably gonna have to tell most of our audience what CSS is just to clarify.

 

Kronda: 

Yeah so, CSS stands for cascading style sheets, and it's basically the programming language that makes the web look like the web. Like it controls the presentation of websites that you visit visit and other things. And yeah, so I didn't start out with this you know, sort of techie background, but I just decided that's what I wanted to do.

And so I went back to school and eventually got my degree and worked for you know a bro filled tech company for a couple of years and got fired for culture fit, that's in quotes culture fit,

 

Renia:

Wait, wait, you actually got fired for culture fit?

 

Kronda:

Yeah, that's a legend

 

Renia:

Oh, damn.

 

Kronda:

That's like, he actually said those words and I was like, wow. You're just gonna say that out loud? Okay. And I always went into it with the goal of working for myself and so when that happened, that was November, 2012, I was like, cool. I was mad for like 15 minutes, and then I was like, oh okay great. Like now I go out on my own. And so I did that starting in January of 2013. And you know, I started out making $500 web WordPress sites like you do. And then I progressed into trying to figure out how to make sites that actually help a business.

 

Renia:

Wait a $500 WordPress site doesn't help a business? What do you mean, Kronda?

 

Kronda:

Anyone who's figured out how to make that happen, definitely let us know. But, yeah. So then I started studying marketing and then I raised my website prices, and then I got fed up with trying to do projects for business owners who had no idea how to market their business and would not let me help them because they're like "Just make the website." So then I stopped doing projects altogether in 2019, and I just went into coaching.

So, I decided to coach mission driven service based business owners about content marketing. And that went well in terms of the way clients showed up, it went well in terms of the results they were getting, it didn't go well in terms of me being able to pay my bills, just because I didn't have enough clients, you know, it's like, I didn't do the sort of smooth you know faded of like, "Oh, let me keep doing projects to make money while..."

I was like, I was done. And I was just like record scratch, you know, complete pivot. And so it was painful, 2019 was financially painful. But I just kept at it and then towards the end of the year, my coaching clients who now understood why I was talking to them about the tech that I was talking about, like here's why I use these tools, and they were like, "Oh, so my Squarespace site "isn't gonna let me do all these cool things "that you just taught me." Or my Wix site or my free MailChimp or whatever. And so then I got kind of sucked back into doing projects for people who at least trusted my opinions about it.

And so rather than go back into like doing custom proposals and things like that, I just created a program that is retainer based where it's like everything that I teach people to do, we will do it for you and it's an ongoing relationship. So those are the two things that I do now, I coach service based business owners on content marketing and teach them how to build a brand voice and connect with their audience because I believe if you try to outsource that before you actually do it yourself, it's just gonna end in tragedy.

 

Renia:

Yes, agreed.

 

Kronda:

And then I have a done for you side where I will help them take the strategies that they've learned and execute them.

 

Renia:

I love that so much. I feel like we have had sort of similar journeys in that respect where like I tried to be like, oh, I'm not gonna do projects anymore, I'm only gonna coach people. But then I was getting pissed off at the people that were doing their projects.

 

Kronda:

Yes, it's control. Like don't come to me with your shitty website and your janky you know, a Weber or whatever it is. And it'd be like, help me. I'm like, nope, we got to start over. So I try to catch them before.

 

Renia:

Fair enough. So I think the first question I'd love to ask you 'cause I know everyone is sitting here probably listening to this thinking, well, how do I know if I've got a shitty website? So what are some of the things that people need to think of right off the bat of it, is my website really working for me?

 

Kronda:

Well, one of the really easy ways is do you have lead capture? Like, can people come to your website and use that as a door as a starting point to actually engage with you further? So that's the number one thing. Like, that's what I figured out in the early days of why this website isn't really doing anything 'cause people might be looking at it, but how would you know, right? And how do you know, business is really about building relationships and how do you do that if all people can do is go to your website and look at some stuff and leave.

So that would be the first thing. And then there's all kinds of ways and levels to answer that question but you know on a technical level, is it easy for people to navigate and find the information they need? Like, do you have the information they need on the website? I think we go... So a lot of people go into web projects with this like, "Oh, I need this page and this page "and this page." And it's like these boxes they're checking without actually thinking about the people who are gonna come there and what they want those people to do and what those people might need.

And so being really like audience focused or customer focused and that is one of the hardest things even for me, when it's your own thing you just have this blindness because you're so familiar. And so you won't even see, you like, so case in point I went on to a website and they had a great YouTube video testimonial but it was inside of a slider that was auto sliding. So it's like oh, I wanna watch this video. Oh, it's gone. And then it's still playing in the background, right? But it's behind the slider.

 

Renia:

Oh, that's super weird. I could go on a hour long podcast rant about my problems with sliders to begin with, but

 

Kronda:

Well yeah, that's a whole episode in itself. So there's your first, right? You have a slider, there's your first problem. Or like, even if it's a text testimonial, and I'm actually trying to read it and oh, it's gone. So just like there's the usability standpoint. Like, can people actually take in the information that they wanna take in. Then there's the, you know there's a usability standpoint from the company side. Like, can you actually use this thing for marketing? If you need to create a landing page, can you do that?

If you need to go in, you know if you're up at 3:00 AM and you're like ooh, I see a typo. I wanna go in and change it. Like, can you do that? Or do you have to wait a week for your developer to get back to you? Or if you try to do it, will you break something? You know, there's this whole thing about like websites that are really pretty and just really crap under the hood and hard to use. So those are like some of the red flags.

 

Renia:

Okay. We have to unpack these because I have so many things that we can talk about here. The first thing I have to say is yes, please key in y'all to what Kronda just said. If you cannot use your own website in a 2020 world, there's problems. Like there's no reason why your developers should have to do everything for you.

 

Kronda:

Correct. Yeah, that's a big one.

 

Renia:

It's great if you have a great one who does but they should not have to.

 

Kronda:

Right. And I actually have an article from 2014 about this phenomenon and I named it, The Underhaul, like websites pretty on the outside crap on the inside. You just need someone to come scrape out the insides and replace it with something that's actually usable, for a business owner who may or may not be super technical.

 

Renia:

Yeah. I love that. This audience has heard me say it unless it's their first time here, many times before that all you have to do is look at Amazon to know that ugly websites sell but pretty websites don't always sell.

 

Kronda:

Exactly. Yeah craigslist21 I mean, come on.

 

Renia:

Yes. I'd also like to unpack with you here this idea of lead capture, because I think there's a lot of layers to lead capture that business owners so often think about. And there's this issue of a lot of people feel gross about it because it's done in gross ways a lot of the time, so let's talk about lead capture Kronda.

 

Kronda:

It means refer on the lead capture. Okay, so I talked to a lot of people who really have a lot of issues with email marketing in general, right? So when we talk about lead capture, we're talking about, you go to someone's website, usually they offer you something, right? In exchange for your email address, and then you get onto their list, right? Or maybe they just have the sign up for my newsletter and you get onto their list.

Many of the people that I talked to who they have a lot of mindset issues around this they don't like marketing you know like all of these different things. And a lot of times it's because they've experienced really bad marketing. And I just wanna say to you that just because you have received bad marketing doesn't mean you have to give back bad marketing.

You know, like if you're not having orgasms, it doesn't mean other people aren't having fabulous orgasms on the daily. Like you can change the scenario you are in charge. And really to me, what good marketing looks like is exchanging value. Like the whole point of, you know, getting that email address and starting that related... It doesn't even have to be email.

This could be, you know, people who are following you on social. Although, you know, don't build your whole business around social media. But there's lots of different ways to connect and the key to me is are you giving value? So case in point, I had a client who... She has a new program. She was very hesitant to like, send that initial email to her people saying like, oh, I have this new thing. She sat on it for two weeks, finally did it. And then a few days later it was like, okay, when should I email them again?

I'm like well, first of all, the energy of that question is a very salesy energy. It's a very like oh, I need clients. Like how soon can I talk about this again because nobody responded. And you have to switch to a serving mentality, which is I know I have something that's really gonna help people. And I know that I know this client, I know this program. I know it's gonna be amazing for whoever gets into it. And that is the energy that you have to lead with.

So I'm like go, you know, go do your 10 by 10 or a five by five which is an exercise that I give people, where they can come up with a lot of content ideas. Like in a very short period of time. And then go figure out like, how can I serve these people through email? How can I serve them through you know, video?

How can I show you, like in writing, they say show don't tell, right? So in marketing, show people how you can help them with your free content or your low cost content. And then I don't have any issues with like, oh, how many emails do I send? Because the mentality I'm coming from is I wake up and I'm like oh, my people need to hear this today. Right?

 

Renia:

Yes

 

Kronda:

And it's usually based on a conversation I had within the last couple of days where I'm like, this week my people are gonna hear about, you know, charging, raising their prices and charging appropriately. And not giving, not because something is expensive because I had a strategy call with someone who was like, she was onboard. And you know, I was like, this is where I think you are. This is how I can help you. She's onboard, onboard, onboard. And then I tell her the price and she's like, oh well, I can't do that. And then it's like game over.

And I'm like, if that is the thing that's gonna stop you then you're dead in the water. Like you're not gonna make it in business because it's just another obstacle. It's just another problem to solve. You don't have the money for something you want? Go sell some stuff and get the money. So that's where my content comes from. And that's where my energy comes from when I'm you know, communicating with people, be it my Facebook group or my email.

So, to bring it back around to lead capture. Your people are out there, they've got problems, solve one of their problems, you know, make something that can solve a little piece of one of their problems and offer it to them. And make sure that it's actually related to your core offer, I mean, because this is another thing that happens. People are like oh, I'm supposed to have a lead magnet. So lemme make something. And it has nothing to do with what you're actually selling. 

 

Renia:

Let's break down some of those pieces too, because I wanna like... I am the nerd that gets super granular on stuff. So I think, people getting really bad emails is a big barrier. And I'm really glad that you addressed that because we've gotten a lot of bad emails. But I think most of us have gotten an email that was like exactly the right thing, at the time we needed it.

Or we get emails from someone that we really love their content. And we feel like they're talking to us. Every time we get an email from them. That is like service at its highest level to me. Like giving someone exactly what they need in that moment. So email if you're approaching it, like you said, kinda from a place of service can be really beautiful, because it's a more intimate way to connect with someone than through a social media post.

 

Kronda:

Yes, exactly. And I get replies all the time. It's like... Well, when I first started, I would get people who said, "Oh, I thought that was just to me."

 

Renia:

Yeah

 

Kronda:

Like, they didn't realize it was like, you know a mass email, which is a good sign. And then, you know I get replies that are like, Oh, you know, just this thing, this just one thing that you said was so valuable. Or just this thing that you said, you know, helped me have a mind set shift. Or just watching your journey is so inspiring. Like I get you know, feedback like that all the time.

 

Renia:

That's beautiful. I love that. And I used to get... I used to do these Tuesday messages and for a while after I stopped doing them, I would get emails. Like I didn't get your Tuesday email today. When are you sending your Tuesday?

 

Kronda:

That's always great, when they miss you. That's so good.

 

Renia:

So, then the other thing I wanted to point out on lead capture here is there's some nuts and bolts issues that happen for people with the way their website captures leads. For example, if you have a popup box that doesn't disengage easily on a mobile device, or if it's popping, if there's 15 things popping up, you know, overtop each other and really bothering someone when they're trying to consume your content. So like can you talk about a way to actually do lead capture on your website that both works and isn't really invasive.

 

Kronda:

Super annoying, yeah. So, I try not to get too nerdy into the tech get. but I will say that

 

Renia:

Oh yeah, this is a nerdy place, get used to me.

 

Kronda:

Oh, okay all right, all right, cool. Let's go there then. So the too that I use is the company that I use for these tools is called Thrive Themes and they make an entire suite of marketing focused plugins for WordPress. And so, that's what I use to build landing pages and they have a lead capture plugin. So the kinds of things that you can do, and I'm not saying that this is the only tool that can do that but the kinds of things that are built into that are, you can decide if you have a lead capture form, you can really easily say don't show this on mobile, and then you can make a mobile version. S

o maybe you do have the pop-up on desktop and maybe you have just a little top bar on mobile, or maybe you don't show it on mobile at all, so that's one example. You can have specific forms show or not show based on where people came from. So if you have a subscriber who clicks through a link to your blog post, and let's say you have a form, you know a lead capture form in your sidebar that's like, get this lead magnet.

Well, because they clicked that link and they're on your list you can make a smart link that knows oh, this is already a subscriber and you can change that form to say something totally different because you know this person's already on my list I don't need to bug them to get on my list. So maybe it's like hey, welcome back here is a free resource for you that doesn't require opt in, right? So context, just keeping context in mind and using the tools available to create the experience based on the context that you're aware of.

 

Renia:

I love that so much context is so important and one of the tools that I still love for mobile forms if you want to DIY this some of this in a really easy way is get your... This comes from a professor of user experience at the University of Florida just to give credit where credit is due, but I'm not gonna use her name because I didn't ask for permission.

She takes her students and she ties pens or pencils around their fingers with surgical tape to hold them at kind of a crooked angle and make them a little bit longer to simulate what it's like to use a website or use an app with arthritis or without full use of your hands. And then she asks you to use a website and the thing that you see almost always is that pop-ups are the biggest problem.

Whether it's a pop-up ad or a pop-up form because there's usually a tiny X in the top corner to get rid of it or a line at the bottom to get rid of it. It's almost impossible to hit if you don't have full mobility in your hands.

 

Kronda:

Yeah, that's a really good point.

 

Renia:

So what Kronda is talking about here of changing out your mobile version to a banner, it's both better for experience for everyone, but also essential for experience to someone who doesn't have 100% mobility in their hands for whatever reason. So a lot of these things that we're talking to you about doing for user experience are both like, the right thing to do for everyone and really critical for people of varying abilities. So I just wanted to point that out because like, this thing was such a great thing I feel like for everyone, but also has a really utilitarian use for people with mobility issues.

 

Kronda:

Yeah well, and while we're on the subject of accessibility I'll just bring up one of my huge pet peeves which is just tiny fonts.

 

Renia:

Mm-hmm, yes.

 

Kronda:

You know, I'm pushing 50, I'm gonna be 50 in eight months and I'm like if I am sitting at my desk at a reasonable distance from my laptop and I have to squint to read your texts, like why? Or I messaged a friend and I was like, this is a really pretty website, but I can't actually even read your headers because the font is so scripty and curvy and pretty. And I'm like, let's remember why we're here. You're trying to convey information, let's make sure that the information can actually be accessed.

 

Renia:

This is one of Renia's rules of digital marketing, no scripts fonts. I'm just like full stop, no scripty fonts.

 

Kronda:

Yeah, now I agree.

 

Renia:

If you want them, hire someone else

 

Kronda:

Right? Yeah, lines in the sand. I have many.

 

Renia:

So other things that come up around that for that type of thing for you a lot, what do you see on a website that just makes you cringe?

 

Kronda:

Oh man. Okay so, tiny fonts, we talked about bad pop-ups, sliders just... I mean, just avoid, just don't. If you're not sure just don't. Oh, the other one that we haven't talked about is just like me centered language. And once you understand this and internalize it, it's very easy to spot within seconds when you are visiting the web. But you go to a site and it's like, hey, welcome to our site you know and here's all about us and here's all the awards we've won and here... It's just like, And here's all the media we've been featured in. And nothing about why I came there, which is probably to solve a problem or purchase something. And so your website is really about your users, even your about page it's only sort of about you and it's really about how do you help people. That's what a good about page does. So, you know it's just one of those things that I've internalized and so I can spot it really quickly and I can spot it really quickly in emails and any communication when you're just like me, me, me, me, me, me, me. So go look at your website now with that lens.

 

Renia:

Okay, so I love this, let's talk about this a little bit more because I've been on a little bit of a hot button with my client. I work with a lot of women in the personal development you know, coaching, healing space where their websites, because that's how some expert taught them to do them are all them all the time. It's like beautiful pictures of them on the beach and them feeding children and them like dancing in moon dust, you know

 

Kronda:

Yes

 

Renia:

Why is that not the right approach?

 

Kronda:

Because it's all about... Okay, the number one thing that everyone cares about the most is themselves, right? That's how your website ends up like that, right? But if you want people to actually pay you and become your clients, you have to be all about them because that's what they're thinking about. They're thinking about themselves, they're thinking about their problem, they're thinking about their you know, mindset limitations, like whatever it is you help with they're thinking about themselves.

And so you have to show them that you understand their problem sometimes better than they understand it. And so I'll give you a concrete example of this that we already talked about was like The Underhaul, right? The crappy website underneath that looks great. And so you could as a non-technical business owner who doesn't know anything about that, you could go out and you could do your best due diligence to hire a developer or a designer to make this website for you.

And they give it to you and it looks good , so you think, great we're good. And you're actually not good because then you just start trying to use it and you find out you're not good and you spent all this money, right? So, you know my mission is to educate people about that phenomenon. So when you go to the article, it's not like, let me show you how much I know about websites. It's like, let me show you this thing that you really need to be aware of so that you know if I got to you in time, you can avoid it. And if I didn't, you can at least know what's going on and how to fix it, which is usually to start over, unfortunately.

 

Renia:

Yes

 

Kronda:

Well like that's... You know all of my content comes from that lens of like... And it's usually 'cause I'm ranting or pissed off about... I see people doing things and I'm like, okay well, you're not gonna listen to me, but I can save somebody else, so let me go write about this or let me go make a video about this. And that's really kind of the genesis of all my content is, how can I help people? And so you have to develop that lens. And I posted on my Facebook profile the other day.

I don't even know why this thought came to me, but I said, "I turn business owners into thirst traps." And you're all about inbound, I know. That is the heart of inbound is it becomes so valuable like in your service to people that they're like, "Okay, I know I need you." Even if it's not the right time. Like I have people... Bashir Hajjar is always saying you know, "I wanna be on their bucket list, or their vision board, "or their credit card bill." Like that's it.

You know so like there's people out there that have told me like, "Oh yeah now, I'm gonna hire you." Like either they're collecting their coins or it's not the right time or whatever it is. And so that wasn't always the case, right? There was a long time of me being out here, just doing these things really consistently and showing up really consistently to where now I have... I just know that there's people in the pipeline.

And I actually got someone on my calendar the other day who was like, "I've been circling your program for months "just obsessing over the testimonials "from your introverted clients." 'Cause that was you know a lot of people are like, "Oh, I need to do this, but how do I put myself out there?" And I'm like, nope, introverts can do it too. I have receipts. There's people out there watching you, and how are you showing up for them, not just you know to make yourself look good.

 

Renia:

Yeah, I love that because I think that a lot of what you get in internet marketing and digital marketing training courses is kind of cults of personality. So if you're in the... A lot of people come into this space, first through people like Marie Forleo and Amy Porterfield and people like that, who not to knock them, but they are really personality cults. They're very driven by a fame thing around that person. And that's not the best way for most of us to build a business.

 

Kronda:

And a lot of people don't wanna be famous. Let's be honest, you know. Like, they cringe at the thought of... I've had people... You know when people wanna work with me, they go and they get on my calendar and they fill out a little application just so I can learn some more about what they're experiencing and what they want help with. And I had someone say like, "Well, I'm just really afraid that I'm gonna have to show up on the internet. Like I don't wanna be known.

I don't wanna be seen, which you know, to some extent you or your company have to be seen and known and like grow an audience, but it doesn't have to be this fame thing. That's different from being known because a lot of people know you or you're internet famous versus being known because you have solved the problem that you solve so much that people know like, oh, when I'm ready to solve this problem, I'm gonna go to this person.

 

Renia:

I love that. That's a red flag for me actually, if somebody comes to me and wants to work with me because they want more notoriety, that is... Seriously, I had one of these calls the other day where someone's like, I wanna speak at all these big, huge places, like Davos and places like that. And I'm like but why? And they're like, "Because I deserve to." That's a problem. You're not in the right place. I can't help you with that.

 

Kronda:

Yeah I get the opposite where I get people who I'm trying to figure out... Like I'll ask them about their revenue goals. "Well, I'm not really motivated by money." I'm like well, but you like to eat, right? And you have rent to pay. You know and so they're so impact focused that we have to get at it through this other channel of like, okay, this thing lights you up, but that thing costs money so let's figure out how much money it's gonna cost for you to do this thing you wanna do.

 

Renia:

That's perfect. One of the things that I'd love to talk with you about because you've been in... And just so everybody knows, I asked Kronda for permission to do this. But I did not just throw this on her. But you and I have been in this space for a long enough time that sometimes I feel like a dinosaur. I've been in this space since 2008. You said that you were working as a developer in 2012. And we are both not white, 25 year old dudes.

 

Kronda:

It's true.

 

Renia:

In case you can't tell from our voices. I feel like 90 of the business owners that I have worked with though have had at least one website built by a 25 year old white dude.

 

Kronda:

The web guy.

 

Renia:

Why is that... A web guy. We'll just call them web guys.

 

Kronda:

Web guy.

 

Renia:

Why should you be wary of web guys?

 

Kronda:

Oh my goodness, I love that you asked this. Okay so, the problem that I have found is that a lot of really great developers got that way because they really love code. They really love coding. Nothing wrong with that, right? But you cannot expect your web developer to be your marketer. And this is something my mentor, Chris Davis talks about all the time. And so, if you have a business and you are building a website for marketing purposes, then you have to keep your eye on the prize. And your web developer, who really just wants to use the latest JavaScript framework, doesn't give a fuck about your marketing.

 

Renia:

Yes

 

Kronda:

25-year-old the web guys don't give a fuck about your marketing. I have yet to meet one. If that unicorn is out there like by all means, call us out. You have to get someone who understands the purpose and the result. This is about results, right? What is the end result you want? Is it a pretty website? Cool, go get the web guy. He can probably make you a pretty website.

But if your end result is to have a marketing tool that helps you grow your business, then you need someone in charge of that project who understands how to get you that result. And that is really, that's my unfair advantage is that, I went and I learned the code, and I can build the websites. It's so much easier now than it used to be. but my focus is what is the purpose of this?

Like how is this gonna grow your business? How are we gonna market? What's the strategy? That is why I stopped doing websites for almost a year is because you know people were coming in and they weren't clear on their strategy, and I would find that out like you know mid project and then try to help. And then they'd be like, "Just build the website." And I just got sick of it. You know I try to do everything in the way that I work with clients now holistically, and that's why I just have two programs.

Like those are the containers that I work in because it gives me a way to address the holistic. So, if you come to me and you want to engage on a done for you level, where we're actually building tech and connecting and doing automations and stuff. The first step of that is marketing intensive, where we spend the significant amount of time, just digging into like, what's going on with your business right now? What's your customer journey? What's our strategy?

 

Renia:

Yeah

 

Kronda:

I build that and I give that to you, and I map it out for you, and then we can talk about doing some stuff. And, the result of that is that now, with clients who've been with me a while, we can do things really quickly. I had a client who came to me in one of our weekly meetings and was like, "I created a new product "and it was part of a challenge we were in. "We were doing like a make 10K and 10 days challenge.

And so her thing was a massage box. Like has cups in it, has bath salts, like has all these cool things, and so she's like, "Okay, I'm doing this thing, "and also my birthday's coming, "so I want to do like a birthday discount push." And so we built out the whole backend for that, meaning like what happens after you buy? You get the confirmation email, how do you get access to the information you need?

All that stuff, we built it out in two days. And we could do that, because we had spent the year working together, building her foundation, making sure her website was solid and easy to use, making sure she had the right suite of tools that were all connected. Then you can move really fast. But the foundation building has to happen first, and web guys don't do that.

 

Renia:

I love that so much. So, we're much the same. Like, when someone comes to work with us, there's a six to 10 depending on the size of the company, a six to 10 week onboarding process. That like, if they're not willing to do that, and it's, you know, strategy design, persona development, content audit, all that stuff, if they're not willing to do that part we're not gonna work together. And it's because of what you're saying. I've built websites on the opposite of you though. I built websites because I had to. Like, we have to build websites. I don't actually ever want to.

 

Kronda:

I actually don't want to either.

 

Renia:

All I want to do is the strategy and the SEO work.

 

Kronda:

Yeah, and that's the part I like too. I mean, I have a team that does the actual building. But yeah, if I felt like there was a resource out there, where I could send somebody and say like, go get your website done and then we'll manage it. Like, I would do it. But there's very, very few people that I trust to do something, yeah.

 

Renia:

Yeah exactly, you're a 100% right. And I'd like to give everyone a cheat code, because I've been seeing a lot of this lately. If you meet with a web company and they show you as a part of their like, sales pitch or whatever, the Easter egg on a website that they've built, that's a dead giveaway that they don't have the right priorities.

 

Kronda:

Yes, I love that. I love that cheat code.

 

Renia:

I keep seeing that lately, and they're like, "Look at this cool thing we put in this website."

 

Kronda:

No

 

Renia:

No

 

Kronda:

I love that. I'm not even exposed to those pitches anymore, so, that is brilliant, I love it.

 

Renia:

Yes. So the other thing is talk to me a little bit about the importance of your web team. Not just your developer, but the people writing your content, helping set up your automations, things like that, understanding who you're selling to.

 

Kronda:

Well, I mean, that's everything. It's literally everything like, you know, when people have problems coming up with content or they have problems coming up with their marketing, all those things, it's usually that they don't really know their audience well enough. I would say that is 80 to 90% of the battle is that if you really know and understand your audience and what they're struggling with and that you have the solution and how that solution helps them, it's so easy to come up with content. And that's, you know when people come into my program, that's the first thing we work on is Offer, Audience, and Messaging.

Like, those are the three basics. If you don't have those, like, no amount of technology, and automation and fanciness like, is gonna help you. And I'm always saying like, if you can't sell it with a Google Doc and a PayPal button, then you probably shouldn't create it. Right? You have to be able to communicate the value and validate it via someone actually paying you money before you should be building it. And I say that as someone who you know, I built a mammoth, I built a mammoth course, you know, teaching people how to DIY their websites. And like, nobody wants that, right?

But I was like, this is gonna be great. It wasn't great. It's a great asset now, like you know, I have these lessons to teach my clients like, hey, go set up your domain, you know. So yeah, I lost track of the... I went down the rabbit hole there and--

 

Renia:

No, that's good. So, I want to ask you, kind of a follow up to that. So you said, "If you can't sell it with PayPal button "and a Google Doc, you maybe shouldn't create it." But I also think there's this tension point between a lot of online marketing people being like, "Sell, sell, sell, sell, sell and then you can create it after you've sold it." So, talk a little more about what you mean when you're saying, "You should be able to sell it." Like, people should want the thing.

 

Kronda:

Yeah, so I'll give you the example from my program. You know, I went into coaching and that was my thing, and that was my jam. And I was just gonna do that and never make a website again. And then I saw that my clients were struggling, right? And they were struggling with a problem that I knew how to solve. So it's like okay, well, let me help you with that.

But I also knew that I didn't want to go down the path where I was back to okay, let me you know, you come to me with a set of what you think you need, right? And then I create a proposal to answer that. Like, I knew I didn't wanna go back there. And so, I just spent some time and I literally created a Google Doc and I was like, these are all the things I've seen y'all struggling with. And this is what I've created to address it.

So, my program's called Insourced. You know, all the things that I tell people to use or teach people about. So WordPress, Email Marketing, you know, ActiveCampaign, Thrive Themes, the tools, the marketing tools that I mentioned. MemberVault, which is another great tool that I use. Like, all of those things, I was like, We will manage all of those things for you. We will maintain your website.

You can send us requests to, you know, to have us put up blog posts, or you can send us a request to send your marketing emails every week. All you have to do is come up with the content and send it to us. And I was like, and then, so once I did that, I did my draft and I literally sent it to my clients. And I'm like, tell me what you think about this and give me all your questions. And so they commented on the Google Doc, you know, we talked in our coaching calls.

And they had some really great valid questions, or they were confused about this, that and the other. And I just kept editing until they were like, "Yup, this is amazing." And then I was like, great, who wants it? So it's not that you know, the reason people say that all the time is because you don't wanna spend. You know I probably spent on the behemoth course that I made. If I had paid myself, it was probably like 20 to $25,000 worth of effort. Over three months, for a thing that I really didn't sell to that many people.

 

Renia:

Right

 

Kronda:

So yeah. Yeah, it's like we've all been there. So when people say that, like that's what they're trying to help you avoid, is spending all that effort and time and money, making something that nobody wants. So there's a way to you know, you should be able to communicate the value enough, that people will say, "Yes, I want this." And maybe you know, maybe they're not selling the whole thing. Maybe you're saying, great, put a deposit on this. And you know, it'll be ready in a month.

Like, that's what they, that's what they did with the massage box, which the folks you should see this on video. You know, like let's see, there we go. And so I have, I'm gonna do an unboxing video. So I haven't even opened it yet. But you know, we've created this in late July, early August and sold a bunch of them. And then it took her a while like source all the materials and you know, get everything together and get the artwork and the packaging. And so people are gonna start getting their boxes. And in the meantime you know, they've been getting email updates.

They've been getting bonus videos about how to do popping or how to manage pain with ear acupressure. You know, like we're, we're keeping people engaged. Well and you know, this isn't new right? This is Kickstarter, this is Indiegogo. Like it's not new. So that's the spirit of it. And it's not like, oh, let me see how much money I can get from people, you know, without actually creating anything. It's like, no, let me validate this idea before I outlay all this effort.

 

Renia:

So I'm glad you said it that way. Because I think that there are so many out there who are just bullshit marketing things that started from a good place and then got really, really wrong. Like this idea that people will teach you to like sell your business and then create it after everyone's bought, it's probably a bad idea. But if you think of yourself as co-creative with your customers and you're transparent about that's what's happening, right? You're not gonna get your box next next Monday. It's gonna be a little while, right? Not selling it and then telling them it's gonna be two months.

 

Renia:

Right yeah, exactly, exactly.

 

Kronda:

This co-creative idea is a way especially for a lot of companies without all the resources for R and D. To create new things and fund creating new things while still staying in integrity. I have another really great example of this actually. From MemberVault which is... They're a company that does, it's a place where you can host your free and paid content.

It's sort of you can think of it as a course platform. And I just, it's run by a married couple and they have a small team now. And it just, you know, in addition to making great software the way that they run their company is so amazing. And so one of the things they did was they created lifetime you know, lifetime deals basically. And they were really transparent.

They were like, "Hey, we really wanna upgrade the design, "and we want to hire a really great designer "and that costs a lot of money. "So, you know, we're gonna offer a hundred "of these lifetime packages to like "basically internally fund this effort." And they just continue to do that, to be super transparent about, you know, hey, we're doing this and this is why. And they're just so connected to their audience. And so transparent. And I got an email today actually from Aaron.

And it was like, "Hey, you know that mini course, a" template that I was talking to you about "and validating last month? "It's gonna happen and here's where I'm at. "And here's when this will be ready. "And here's when this part will be ready." And it just, it's such a great example. Like everything they do is such a great example of what you're talking about.

 

Renia:

That's very cool. So I think thinking about when we're talking about doing these marketing things that are really important in a way that isn't gross. Whether it's your email marketing, whether it's your lead magnet, whether it's your how you create and sell your programs. It's thinking about what experience would you want to have, if you were the one on the other side of it, right?

 

Kronda:

Yeah

 

Renia:

Like would I wanna get this email? Would I want this pop up at this moment? You know?

 

Kronda:

Yeah, although I will say one caveat to that is that a lot of people when we're talking about email marketing they're like, "I hate getting email". And it's like, okay cool. Like you are not your market. So I think there's definitely some wisdom in that. But also if you know that you have that difference from your market, then that's not always a reliable gauge. Another one that I use is, would you do this in person? Because one of the you know, how I describe what I do is I teach people how to be people online. Because I work with a lot of folks too.

Especially now since COVID, have been forced to go online, right? So they've been, they've been relying on referrals. They've been re relying on meetups and speaking and all these in person things. And they don't know how to translate their passion and their energy into the online space.

And you know, I know that people don't know how to be people online from the DMs that I get. Like I will accept a friend request and the very first thing will be like the pitch, you know just a hard fast ball into the DMs and I'm like, so if we ran into each other on a street corner, would you say this? And I will, I've asked people that and they're like, "No." I'm like, then why on earth?

Sometimes if I'm feeling mellow, I'll be like, do you wanna come into my group and like learn better? And I had a couple people accept and I don't know, hopefully they're learning better but yeah, it's like, would you do this in person? If you were standing there, and that's also a good measuring.

 

Renia:

Yeah I love that so much. And we've been talking, you know, when this episode airs, it'll be two weeks before yours, we talked to an expert on accessibility for your digital content. And so that's been really heavy on my mind lately because this is an area where I am trying to do better. And I think using that same line that you are saying there, like, how would you behave in person? What would you want available to people out in the real world, is a really good thing to hold close when you're thinking about your digital footprint. Because this kind of is the real world now for a lot of people, right?

 

Kronda:

Well, yeah, that's true. It's exactly true, yeah. It's like, this is all we got, for a lot of time.

 

Renia:

Yeah

 

Kronda:

It's been an interesting transition for people, for sure.

 

Renia:

Definitely. So, Kronda is there anything else that you feel like people really need to know when they're thinking about their website and their customer journey in the context of this conversation?

 

Kronda:

I think the thing that I see missing the most from business owners is that it takes time, you have to actually step back and you have to think about, you have to think about where are people, like what's their mindset when they encounter you? And again, my mentor, Chris Davis, has a great episode on his podcast about contextual calls to action, right? So not just thinking about what do I want someone to do, but where do they come from?

Like where are they in their journey when I'm talking to them about this? How did they get to this page? What do I want them to do next? What's their mindset when they're getting the first email ever for me versus someone who's been on my list for six months, you know, it's really gonna serve you well if you just think through, and it's top of mind for me, cause I just went through this with a client yesterday, where we're like okay, what are the say the top six things that folks are struggling with when they encounter you?

Literally her people they're people are searching the web for these answers. I'm like, so what are the top six things? And then we went through and kind of said, okay, what's the bullet point that we want to convey? What's the mindset shift that we want them to have from this email and really like take them on that journey. And if you cultivate that mindset throughout your marketing, where you're really thinking about like, where are people? Where am I trying to get them to go? And how are we helping them? I think that's the overarching takeaway I think if you take that away from this episode, it'll just serve you in whatever other microcosm you're dealing with whether it's email, whether it's a webpage or if you keep that lens in mind, it'll serve you well.

 

Renia:

I love that. And we'll link to that episode and it makes me want to share with you, so what we create with our retainer clients is we play Buyer's Journey Bingo. And it comes from a concept from J. Bar that I have found to be true, that almost every company has five personas, five phases of the buyer's journey, five questions to answer to move from each phase

 

Kronda:

Oh, I love it.

 

Renia:

So we have a bingo board for each client and every campaign we're trying to make a bingo through the buyer's journey bingo.

 

Kronda:

Oh my God, I love it, I love it.

 

Renia:

So if you do that though, at the resource level of most of our clients, it takes a good year to build out a really solid buyer's journey for one persona. Like it'S and it's ever evolving and there's always more to do, but like a good, solid structural journey, it takes about a year because we don't have a million dollar marketing, at least none of my clients have a million dollar marketing budget.

 

Kronda:

Yeah, but you know, as long as you're getting results, right, you can continue to build. And this is a lot of clients come to me and they're really, this is one of my red flags, they really think the website is gonna solve all their problems. And I just went through this where someone came to me and I used to do these one day websites, you know, just to kind of get people up and running and so I sold her one of those, and then when we went to start, it became really clear that I'm like, oh, you don't have your offer audience messaging down.

 

Renia:

Yes

 

Kronda:

And I was like, Oh no, you need bootcamp. And we had to pivot, so it's like, you have to have those foundational things in place. And the other thing I'll say is just, this is like a philosophy and a sort of how I run my business and also the name of my upcoming podcast is begin as you mean to go on.

 

Renia:

Oh, I like it.

 

Kronda:

And by that, you know it's like, I see people all the time in groups and they're like, "What's a free tool that does X?" Or what's, you know, if you're coming at your business from a mentality of like, "How can we do this the easiest?" Then you're not gonna have great results. And so begin as you mean to go on is really a philosophy about making decisions, not just about what do I need right now, but what's my business, what do I want my business to be like two years from now, three years from now, five years from now.

And making the decision from that place, like from the place of growth and vision and expectation and not from the place of fear. oh, I can't afford that software. Or you know, like not that place from the place of like oh yeah, I'm definitely gonna have you know a thousand subscribers, you know three months from now. So, let me get the software that's gonna allow me to facilitate that and make the best use of that.

 

Renia:

Yeah, I love that. And so if people are listening to this podcast for a while have heard me say that around here, sustainability is sexy. Like that is,

 

Kronda:

Oh yeah.

 

Renia:

We're all about sustainability. I would much rather see people move slower and lay better foundations.

 

Kronda:

Yes, which will give you better results in the end.

 

Renia:

Absolutely.

 

Kronda:

And I'm proof of that. Like I recently, you know I recently went from kind of like the struggle bus honestly, to just really, really doing well. So, I did July and August, I did 90 K in 60 days which is like unheard of before in my business. And it's really the foundation. It's 'cause I've been showing up and doing the things that I talk about for many, many, many years and because I look like this right, because I'm not a 25 year old white dude it takes that much more time. And you know, this whole thing about people of color and women having to like work five or 10 times harder like it's not theoretical. Like that's what it means.

 

Renia:

Right

 

Kronda:

It took seven and a half years for me to get to a place of business where I'm like Oh, okay yes. Now I have the resources to hire help which I've needed for years but didn't have, right? Just so under resourced, a lot of women who hire me are doing it with their disaster loans from the government because of Covid, you know? So, it just, really brings in the stark reality of what that means to be under resourced, what it means to take five, 10 times longer. But you will still get there if you don't quit.

 

Renia:

Yes

 

Kronda:

So, so yeah, be in for the long haul.

 

Renia:

So, congratulations by the way.

 

Kronda:

Thank you

 

Renia:

That is a wonderful milestone to hit. And I'm glad that you said that, that it's you know seven and a half years to get there because that is definitely one of the fights that I am trying to have right now is million dollars in 30 days and all that garbage is not real.

 

Kronda:

No

 

Renia:

It is not real.

 

Kronda:

And I wrote a giant retrospective about like okay yeah, it's cool and sexy to say you know, like that 10 K challenge I mentioned, I made 20 K in 10 days and five of those days I was on vacation, right? So, that sounds really great, but I'm like let me tell you what it actually took to get to that place. Because I loathe when it's like these overnight success and results and it's like no, I suffer.

And I'm constantly talking to my clients about like this is what I had to go through to get where you see you know, where I can write content effortlessly and where people just show up in my inbox and they want, you know, they want me to be on their podcast or they want, you know, like that did not happen in 30 days. It didn't happen in a year.

 

Renia:

Yes

 

Kronda:

It didn't happen in two years. So, you have to be in for the long haul.

 

Renia:

Yes, exactly. I've had two experiences in my 11 years in this industry where I have been on teams, been a part of the team that created an eight figure 24 hours. And that eight figure 24 hours took our team 14 to 16 months to produce and took the company, you know, 8, 9, 10 years of staging and getting things ready and things like that before we produced that. And when you unpack these companies that have, even the ones that show you the numbers, right, Oh, I did this lodge, there's always that behind, you know, all the building behind for years to get there. Is there a unicorn out there that's done you know seven figure that shows up and

 

Renia:

Shows up and does, I'm sure there's one or two.

 

Kronda:

Potato Salad guy

 

Renia:

Yeah, you have as good a chance of winning the lottery.

 

Kronda:

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And that's why, that's what I love about working with clients in a coaching relationship is because I feel like most of my job is just to remind them like you're in a process and you have to trust the process. And one of my clients posted in our group yesterday you know, someone came into our sign up for meetup and then bought everything in her store, like all the products in her store.

And she was like, "Talking to people really works!" It was just like, you know, laughing emoji. But also like, I totally understand because when you're in the beginning of the process, it's like you're fanning this tiny little flame made of you know, engagement from one person in a sale from another person and a like on your post from another person. And you're just catching up all these things and building on it. And in the beginning it's like, "Nobody loves me." And it's like, no, you've got engagement they're like training them to see it and nurture it. And I love it.

 

Renia:

Yes, I love that too. I love the beautiful package that you've put together of digital strategy and coaching. I feel like that's always something I'm tryna do in my work as well. And so, I just love to see it out in the world and I am grateful that you are doing it

 

Kronda:

Me too. And it took me a long time to find my sweet spot. You know, it's like it's a long journey from 500 other websites to you know figuring out like what's actually the way that I can serve people and make impact but totally worth it, totally worth it.

 

Renia:

Absolutely it is.

 

Kronda:

I'm having I'm having more fun than my business now than ever before and I'm building a team is just making that even better, like I have amazing people on my team so that's just so good.

 

Renia:

That's awesome. So Kronda will link to everything in the show notes that we've talked about, but where can people find you out on the interwebs?

 

Kronda:

On the interwebs you can find me at all the places Karvel Digital so Karveldigital.com, Karvel Digital on Instagram, Facebook. We've got a free Facebook group that's service CEOs that we can link to and if you wanna get on the waiting list to get early notification on my podcast that's coming up you can go to Karveldigital.comm/podcast.

 

Renia:

Awesome thank you so much.

 

Kronda:

Thanks for having me this was awesome.

 

Renia:

This was fun!