Gary Leland Show Episode 6
This week I interview social media marketing guru Paul Colligan. Why do I always enjoy talking with Paul? Because I learn something every time I talk to him. Paul is an expert marketer, and a social media expert. – Produced By Gary Leland
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Gary: You are one of the smartest guys I know when it comes to marketing with social media. Every time I talk to you, I come out with ideas. Before we get going, I know your website is paulcolligan.com, but let’s talk about what you’re into before we get into the interview.
Paul: I have always been about helping the little guy expand his reach through the leveraging of tech. It has a lot of flavors associated with it. I started off in web design and was on the Internet before the web started. I actually had a conversation with my wife one night and I said, “Hey, there is this thing called the web and I think it’s going to be big, but it’s going to mean we are going to spend $8 more a month on our internet dial up account. Is that in the budget?” This was in 1994. I started helping “ma and pa” build websites, to e-commerce helping ma and pa implement affiliate programs, to helping ma and pa do podcasting, helping ma and pa do YouTube and social media. People say that I’m all over the place, but I’m not; I’m helping people to expand their reach by leveraging tech, that’s me.
Gary: This show is about helping people sell stuff, physical products. Do you have a tip we can start out with?
Paul: Well first of all, God bless you. A lot of people forget on the Internet that there is a whole world of physical. What you want to do is make the transition as easy as possible. This is why I love podcasting, because the transition is so easy. After they hit the subscribe button, the new episodes are sent straight to your device. Transition is easy. When you sell things online, you want to make it ridiculously easy. Here are some examples. A lot of people have Facebook sites that say, “Visit my site to buy something”; well there are stores that you can put into Facebook. I have heard it said that every day people are leaving the Internet for Facebook. It’s a bit of a joke, but my wife has an email account with 5,000 emails on it that she is terrified to look at, but will go on Facebook every morning to see what her friends are up to. That’s the majority of the world. For you and I, this is our business, this is our life, but for the average person, they are on Facebook all of the time, so why not make it possible to buy on Facebook? A lot of people don’t realize this, but inside of YouTube, there is the ability to click to buy right on YouTube if you partner with the right e-commerce platform!
Gary: Now that sounds interesting, let’s talk about that really quickly. I have been seeing numbers lately about how huge it is and the value of it compared to other things. Everyone knows it is the second biggest search engine there is. That to me is the number 1 place to start with stuff. How do you buy straight from YouTube?
Paul: Let’s take that assumption that YouTube is the second biggest search engine. Let’s do the math: Who do you think is the number 1 search engine?
Paul: And you think the number 2 search engine is?
Gary: I think its YouTube.
Paul: Tell me this: have you even seen YouTube results inside of Google?
Paul: Have you ever seen Google results inside of YouTube?
Paul: Who is the number 1 search engine, Gary?
Gary: I guess that is a good way to look at it!
Paul: The amazing thing is that it is so much easier to market on YouTube than it is to market on the regular web because not as many people are doing videos. You put a video optimized to your product, to your audience and YouTube has a thing called “annotations”. What these are, are the little pop-ups in the video. One of the options inside of annotations is that you can link it to a video, a playlist, a channel, a Google page, a subscribe button; but you can also link to a fundraising project like crowd sourcing. You can also link to associated websites, i.e. your website. Now you can say, “to buy now click here” and link that annotation to that specific item on your website. The last option is merch. One of them is Shopify. You can link directly to your Shopify page from your YouTube video!
Gary: I use Shopify! That is mind-boggling. I had no idea Shopify was involved with YouTube’s merch. That’s amazing to me. Now let’s go into Facebook, doing the store in Facebook. Tell me about that.
Paul: Shopify has Facebook plug ins.
Gary: Are you kidding me? For Facebook? I had no idea. Do you know much about Shopify?
Paul: I know a little bit.
Gary: Shopify is like Louisville Slugger, the baseball bat company. Louisville Slugger does not run their own website, they use Shopify. So when someone goes to Louisville Slugger’s website to buy a bat, it goes into the Shopify system; Shopify takes their money, they think they are buying from Louisville Slugger, but Shopify is handling all of the behind the scenes work. Shopify puts this on their website and says, “okay everyone in the country who has a Shopify account and carries Louisville Slugger bats in stock, if you have this bat tell us you have it”. Then whoever is closest to the customer gets the order.
Paul: Actually that’s a different system.
Gary: That’s Shopify. I do it every day.
Paul: That might be an extension inside of Shopify that I am not familiar with.
Gary: That’s the only Shopify website, that’s the only core I know. We do about $500 to $600 a day on Shopify.
Paul: Shopify is also an independent shopping cart system. You can build your own store on there for about $10 a month.
Gary: Okay then we are talking about two different things with the same name. Oh never mind, I’m talking about Shopatron, my mistake. Okay so Shopify, I have a Shopify store, because I have been building a store on every platform. So I can take that Shopify store and put it on Facebook and YouTube?
Paul: These stores are dirt-cheap and they have the integration to take credit card numbers, not that PayPal nonsense, but true swipe integration. So you can build the store, build the credit card integration, build things directly and you are good to go.
Gary: It is so easy to do; I built mine on my phone on Easter Sunday while we were at a bar! I sat there and built the whole thing on my phone and when I got back to the office I only spent about 30 minutes tweaking everything. So I can put that Shopify on pages, but can I also put it on personal pages and groups?
Paul: I don’t see why not, I can’t see why you wouldn’t be able to.
Gary: Well that’s a great deal, so I’m covered there too. So people can come right to your site and buy those products, right there. You don’t have to send them anywhere else.
Paul: Let’s go back to this whole thing about not causing a problem on the way. We are recording this the week of the big “celebrity nude” scandal and a lot of people right now are thinking about privacy and what secure and what isn’t. I definitely wouldn’t doubt that people are wondering about their credit card information being safe. What I think a lot of people forget to do, and we can go back to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest on this, but give an 800 number for your store. That way if they want to order something, they can call for it.
Gary: I quite using my 800 numbers, I just got rid of it.
Paul: Gary, if people are going to call and buy stuff, let them! One of my prime rules is that if someone wants to try to pay you, let them.
Gary: I need to get into that frame of mind because I got to the point that I didn’t want people to call me. I guess that’s terrible when I don’t want someone to call me to buy something. I guess you’re right; I have the wrong frame of mind there. I need to have a more positive outlook on people calling me.
Paul: Those phone numbers in Facebook are hyperlinks. So if someone is looking on your page, they can click the link and call you right from their phone.
Gary: Here is an example: I post a video every morning and I have a Woo Commerce store. I put the video on my Facebook page, so you’re saying I should put the phone number on there. When they see that on their phone and decide they want to buy it, they can click the number and call me right away to buy it. I have had the wrong attitude about that.
Paul: Let’s face it: if you were going to sell one product a day, and you had a full time person sitting by the phone all day, it is not necessarily the best use of your money. But this could change a lot of things. It doesn’t necessarily have to call a full time sales person. You can use of the number redirecting services, or Google Voice, or it can even go to you if you’re a small business owner and you can act like the sales department.
Gary: We just have whomever is standing near a phone will pick it up and take the order. So I have definitely had the wrong attitude on that. I think that may be the most valuable thing you have told me today, that the phone number is a hyperlink.
Paul: If you like that one, you’ll love this. So IOS 8 is coming out in a couple of months and phone numbers in a podcast will now be hyperlinked. That podcast app on IOS 8 is an app that you can’t delete.
Gary: So for my softball product review show, now everyone who listens to it can just touch the number to call me and buy one or more of those products. Looks like I need to get back into the phone business! Is the 800 number totally necessary, Paul? Because people are getting free long distance on their phones these days.
Paul: “Necessary” depends on who your audience is. 800 numbers, to me, make you feel bigger than you are. Portland’s area code is 503. So if I see 503 pop up on my phone, I know it is a Portland company, which isn’t necessarily good or bad, I just know it’s a Portland company. An 800 number does not say where you are located.
Gary: See I have always thought that because there is 800 or 888, mine as 817 can look like a toll free number.
Paul: Make sure you put “call us toll free at”. We get so excited about the tech and the toys that we simply forget that our customers are human beings. We need to make it easy to buy what you are trying to sell.
Gary: See and I haven’t been doing that. I have been trying to make it easy on me, which has made it harder on them.
Paul: Which I understand, and there are times when you have to do that. But if you want to play the game big, then you have to play the game big. You look at everyone who is winning right now: why is Amazon winning? Amazon is winning because of Amazon Prime, which is making it easier for me to order from Amazon, than it is from the store down the street. All that the store from down the street needs to do is make it easier than Amazon and they will win. This is where we have to go and what we have to do. It’s not a Twitter strategy; it’s a sales strategy that is marketed on Twitter. It’s not a Facebook or a YouTube strategy; it’s a sales strategy that is marketed on all of these things. You want to reflect a process of customer-centric sales and marketing that makes everyone feel like you are the kind of person they want to deal with.
Gary: Making more revenues by making it easier to do business with them surely doesn’t hurt either.
Paul: Exactly! The thing is, I have zero loyalty for Amazon. Yesterday, I bought a new Mac Pro, one of those $3000 computers that I will start doing some streaming on, so I got a high end Mac Pro. So I was in the Apple Store and that store annoys me. They have 6 people at the front and they are all waiting for me. I tell them I want a Mac Pro and they tell me I have to see a specialist. All I want them to do is go pick the box off of the shelf and charge me my money so I can go home. They finally get a pro to me, the guy comes out and says, “we don’t sell a lot of these”. I am the business manager, can I please get your email so I can follow up with you to make sure all of your business needs are met?” I went from entering the Apple Store frustrated to leaving saying, “I have a guy at the store”. If I call your store Softball Junk, and you treat me right, I now have a guy. Heaven forbid you follow up and thank me for ordering and even offer me a coupon for next time! What people want is a “guy” or “gal”.
Gary: They want a contact; they want to feel special.
Paul: Exactly. Run the type of business where your customers are special. If there are no margins to how your customers can’t be special be careful. The book on this one is “Lynchpin” by Seth Goden. You have to differentiate yourself or it’s over.
Gary: You have given me a lot of information and I’m trying to absorb it because normally, I learn something here, but you have been teaching me a lot. Like I said at the beginning of the show, I learn something from you every time we talk. I could talk to you forever and still learn something every time. Let’s go back to Facebook. Is there anything else on Facebook, tools like that? I think that Facebook is the place to be, personally. I know a lot of people give it a hard time, but I am on it 24/7 working and making money. So that’s my social media of choice.
Paul: It’s so funny because people have the funniest attitudes about Facebook. They will talk about having 1,000 followers but only reach 200 of them on a post, or something like that. Yet, they will go to a Chamber of Commerce meeting where 3 people show up. It’s a simple concept, but go where your people are. Here is the thing, if you are listening to this show, your people are on Facebook. It’s just the demographics of the situation; 1/6th of the population is on Facebook right now. Your audience is there, and if not then their spouse or kids are. I had a friend who bought into a terrible franchise. It was wretched and almost scam like in it’s approach. One of the deals was that you were not allowed to make a website because that’s what your marketing dollars went to, but when we read the contracts, we realized you can make a Facebook page. What we did was we just did Facebook scanning for the area, and just by targeting Facebook to their audience, they were able to sell the franchise 18 months later at a profit. Facebook is where your audience is; go where your audience is! Right now if you look at the raw numbers right now, YouTube is bigger than Facebook. So your audience is on YouTube, your audience is on Facebook, so go there; then make it easy, don’t make it hard. You’ve been on the web long enough, Gary, so you will remember when we had these website where you had to click a button to enter your website? If I’m here, let’s get to work. On Facebook, they will say “click here to see something interesting”. Why don’t you just show me something interesting, don’t tease and taunt me! There is a famous writer by the name Ann Lamot, she wrote “Bird by Bird”, which is considered to be the quintessential book on writing books by writers. She is an older gal, absolutely fabulous, one of my favorites in the entire world. The funny part is that she is a writer and the assumption is that writers have blogs. Well she doesn’t have a blog! She writes on Facebook and it always blows me away how well she is doing. She has 255,000 followers. Her most recent post has 49,137 shares, 61,000 likes, and 3,933 comments.
Gary: Wow those are some numbers!
Paul: I show these numbers to the top social media people in the world and they freak out. Ann’s secret is not Facebook trickery, or hackery, or a plug in – Ann just knows that that is where her audience is! Ann knows that if she posted on her page that she wrote a blog post and here is the link to read it, that most people won’t. But they are on Facebook! You’re on Facebook, I’m on Facebook for business reasons, and our wives are on Facebook because the Internet is annoying, yet people say they don’t want to put their business on Facebook, its ridiculous!
Gary: Let me give you a scenario of something I am doing here. When I make my videos every day on an item I am selling and people come to the site, see the video, can buy it in my shopping cart there, then I just post an image on my Facebook post with a link to go watch the video on my site.
Paul: Why? Why not just put the video on there?
Gary: That’s what I’m asking, should I just put the video on there? If I just put my YouTube video on there, will the annotation work on Facebook?
Gary: So, I can put that on there, they watch the video, they don’t have to go somewhere else, then they click on the annotation and can get on the page and buy it.
Gary: That sounds like the way I should be doing it and I am really messing that up aren’t I?
Gary: Okay, well that’s amazing.
Paul: Are you having fun?
Gary: I am, I always have fun when I am learning something so valuable. So give me some more scoop on something else. I am like a kid here asking for a glass of milk, give me a cookie.
Paul: this should change the game for anyone who is not going down this path. About 6 or 7 years ago, I was at an event and I was speaking to a guy who had a natural pesticide product and he had a video and we were talking about sales with videos. His bandwidth bill for his video was about $15,000 per month. I asked him, “what if you move to YouTube, what would happen”. And do you know what happened?
Gary: He made an extra $15,000 a month?
Paul: Exactly! Nothing changed, but he got an extra $15,000 a month back.
Gary: He probably picked up some extra sales, I would think.
Paul: Yes, but this simple, calming approach. Ann is a writer and instead of blogging and plug ins and SEO and all of these nerdy things, she said that everyone is on Facebook, so why don’t I start writing there? This is where we need to start thinking and where we need to start going. This is just as much for physical product as it is for anything else. There is a chef at a restaurant, who every day while he prepped the special of the day, he took a quick video of it and put it on Facebook using his phone. Let’s say you really love German food. Who wouldn’t want to watch a 30 second video every day showing how to make some sort of German meal? Of course if you have just seen 24 videos over the last 24 days from your favorite German restaurant and you are going to take your wife out for dinner, you’re going to go to that place because you know who the chef is and you know what he cooks. People are going to ask what camera did he use, or what tripod did he use, or what editing equipment does he have? He doesn’t! He used his phone, he clicked record and he clicked publish, because that is what his audience needed.
Gary: And that is all it takes. Do you use Facebook at all to market?
Paul: Yeah, I totally use Facebook to market.
Gary: What is your page, not your personal page, but the one that you market?
Paul: Let me give you a little tip, this is one that I do and I recommend that everyone do this. I don’t want to market Facebook because Facebook is already doing a fine job marketing Facebook. My Facebook page is PaulColligan.com/Facebook. Guess where my YouTube page is, Gary?
Gary: I already know!
Paul: PaulColligan.com/YouTube, Twitter is PaulColligan.com/Twitter, Instagram is PaulColligan.com/Instagram. I recommend that everyone do this because that’s the marketing. Were you around in the days of City Search?
Gary: Yes I remember City Search.
Paul: One of the biggest scams in the world. I would walk into a store, who would pay City Search good money to get a sign that says “find us on City Search” where all of their competitors were. Don’t market anyone else but you. Paul, where do I find you on Facebook? PaulColligan.com/Facebook.
Gary: It sure makes it easy. If anyone wants to find you and they get the system down, then they will see if you are on Twitter.
Paul: It’s funny because after I joined Pinterest, a guy was looking for me with those URL’s and he couldn’t find me because I had forgotten to do it. He actually reached out to me on Facebook and I fixed it right away.
Gary: Well I am going to get that done tomorrow, too. See, I learn so much!
Paul: About 22 months ago I stopped blogging because I realized it’s very arrogant to tell someone to come to my blog. Why should you come to my blog? What am I doing for you? I started putting everything on my social sites. My blog now is merely my favorite social postings; I put nothing new on my blog at all. I post to Facebook and my audience reads it. Does all of my audience read it? No. Does the audience that care read it? Yes.
Gary: I just liked your page. I was already on your personal page, but I hadn’t liked that page yet.
Paul: That is where I put the stuff and it works great for me. I have sold $1000 products on my Facebook page.
Gary: You have your podcast on here and this looks like a better page to have your podcast on than on your Word Press page.
Paul: We did a whole episode of The Podcast Report on if you need a web page any more. Think about it; give me a big media name, someone huge in the media.
Gary: Pat Flynn.
Paul: Not in the nerd space, like someone that CNN is going to talk about.
Gary: Maybe Obama.
Paul: Okay, Obama. He doesn’t want you to go to WhiteHouse.com. He wants you to read about him at CNN.com and buy his book on Amazon.
Gary: He sure will in 3 years! I guess Bill Clinton would be a better example then.
Paul: The fact of the matter is, they are media stars. Lady Gaga doesn’t want you to go to LadyGaga.com. She wants you to go to iTunes to buy her music, to YouTube to watch her videos, sign up for Twitter to get her updates, and to interact on Facebook with the Gaga Nation, or whatever she calls her fan base. The real big stars don’t have web sites. The big stars are ubiquitous, they are everywhere.
Gary: I like your idea of using the domain names that way because right now I ask people to go to Facebook.com/FastpitchTV. I sure like the way it sounds the other way around!
Paul: Yeah you are marketing Facebook that way, don’t market Facebook. Facebook is doing a fine job of marketing Facebook.
Gary: How are the books doing?
Paul: It’s great! Let me tell you this, my YouTube strategies book, has knocked off 4 different competitors who tried to call their books the same thing. The books are lead generators and the books sell better and better things. The checks from Amazon are great. I always tell people that if someone sends you a check, cash it.
Gary: How are the books lead generators? I think I know, but I think this would be a good topic.
Paul: For example, the YouTube Strategies 2014 book says that YouTube changes all of the time. If you want to be updated for the rest of the year on any changes that happen, register your book.
Gary: So people are just sending you their email addresses left and right?
Paul: Yup. What is the difference between Amazon and Google?
Gary: The difference between Amazon and Google? Google is almost $200 more a share?
Paul: Google is a search engine for people who want free information. Amazon is a search engine for people who are willing to pay for it.
Gary: That is a very good and very true point.
Paul: Where would you rather be? Here is the best part: on any given day, I have the top book on YouTube, Podcasting, and Multicast marketing.
Gary: I know on your Podcasting strategies, and this is a great strategy, you had a live show of people asking questions about podcasting, you answered them, and you took all of that content and made a book out of them. Did you do the same on the other three books?
Paul: Yes basically, but on the YouTube strategies books, I did a live training event that I charged for, so I financed the whole book by charging for the session.
Gary: I’m going to have to get on there and buy those because they are all 4 topics I am interested in.
Paul: Here is a story about selling physical goods. I was asked to speak at an event and typically I do the deal where I sell something and I split the take with the guy who held the event. This particular one was one where I got a pretty nice speaking fee and the organizer asked if I could give a copy of the book to everyone in the house. I own all of the books, not a publishing house, so I can get them for $2 a copy if I want and he knew that. He was paying me enough of a fee that I felt he was hinting to bring 300 copies of the book. At the end of the phone conversation he asked if he should buy the copies on Amazon before the event and I make $6 a book. So I made an extra $1,800 by having a book. When you do an event like that, if he were to hand out a sheet asking for your email address that would be cheesy. Now if they buy a book that asks for the email address it was loved and appreciated.
Gary: How many pages is one of these books?
Paul: 100 to 110 pages.
Gary: How much do you retail the book for?
Paul: I am trying different things, but typically $14.99.
Gary: I have a book the same size, my first book, its $14.95. I just brought them in for $2 and change each.
Paul: Create Space?
Gary: Yes. The back page of mine has all of my websites for more information.
Paul: Do you track how much you get from those?
Gary: No, I don’t.
Paul: You should track those, put in redirects. Put trackers, you want to find out.
Gary: I really don’t track anything but the money.
Paul: A good thing to track!
Gary: I do track our discount codes and see how many are being used. I do need to get into more tracking though. I just wanted to know if I was on the right track there.
Paul: I used to work at a very high-end consulting firm, a place where they laugh at the concept of casual Friday, you don’t bring in outside food so the office doesn’t smell kind of place. We had these business cards that were ornate and beautiful, I think they even had gold foil on them. I think they were $1.80 each and we were told to give them out when it made sense but to not throw them in fishbowls to win a free lunch. 12 years ago I was paying $1.80 for a business card and now I am paying $2.12 per unit for my book, which is a much better business card.
Gary: That is a better business card! Did you do the Podcasting Bible on Create Space?
Paul: That was a long time ago, I used Morgan J Publishing, they were an entrepreneurial publisher, it was fun. I really liked the guys.
Gary: I remember when you gave me copy of that and I thought it was really cool because you were giving out books.
Paul: So all the way back to Ann Lemot. This woman is one of the most respected writers in the whole world and people come to her and she is brilliant, charming, and lovely. I went to an evening with Ann Lemot and they did a Q&A at the end. Someone asked her if she knew now what she knew then what would she do differently and she said self-publish. She wanted to own her own stuff. If she is saying to own her own stuff, we all should. That YouTube book I spent maybe 40 hours on, and that’s every element of every part of it. That book has made me several times as much as a book I did on Front Page that took me 3 months to make. What is your book about?
Gary: The Complete Book of Training Drills.
Paul: I have a challenge for you my friend. I want you to buy 1,000 copies of your book, put a coupon with a tracker code in each book, and I want you to put a copy of your book in the next 1,000 orders that go out of your place. If I ordered a bat from you and you put a copy of the book in my order, I would owe you. Who would not want to order from you again? The feeling they would have for you, the reciprocity that would result in. People would post to Instagram, “look what I just got with this new bat”!
Gary: Ok I’m going to try that with my Woo Commerce site because I am really trying to build that in particular. Would it be okay to have a little slip attached to the book saying “thanks for buying, here’ s a coupon for next time”?
Paul: Yes, absolutely.
Gary: Thanks so much, Paul for talking to us today. I learned way more than I thought I would today.
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