Content Marketing with Action Coach and Photography Enthusiast Ben Fewtrell
In this episode we are excited to have an interview with Sydney based business coach that started from making his passion and hobbies into online businesses that are now making him millions of dollars. This man is no less than Action Coach’s Ben Fewtrell.
Specifically, in this episode, we talk about how he built successful businesses and the challenges he overcame as he utilised content marketing to achieve his business goals. You will learn the strategies and methods that Ben used, as well as the few things he gave up to achieve better business outcomes.
If you are starting your business, then let Ben and Liza guide you on how to start with where you are truly passionate about. All of this and many more that will surely inspire you to just be the best to grow and thrive with your business.
In this interview:
00:22 – Getting to Know Ben Fewtrell
01:02 – How Ben Starts Businesses from his Hobbies
03:03 – Focusing on the Things You Love to Do
04:07 – Content Marketing Offline?
04:49 – Producing Quality Content Online vs Telemarketing
05:34 – Courage of Transition from an Already Successful Marketing Method to an Unfamiliar Method for Better Business Outcomes
06:39 – Understanding the Content Marketing Strategy Ben used for Action Coach
11:02 – Vimeo Banned Ben’s Content Marketing Videos – Why? What Ben Used as an Alternative?
13:05 – Disadvantage of Putting Your Video Contents Directly to Video Hosting Sites. What should be done first instead?
16:27 – Visual Photography Content with an Audio Podcast – How Ben Pulled It Off?
21:17 – Value of Building Trust and Relationship with People
21:58 –Multiple Business Handling, Time Management and Productivity
28:25 – Importance of Setting Up Your Website to be Traffic Ready before Publishing ongoing Content
31:03 – What is Bounce Rate and how it Impacts your Business?
32:26 – Setting up Lead Capture
35:51 – Disadvantage of trying to be everywhere
36:06 – Start with what you’re Most Comfortable with
Liza: Ben, welcome to the show.
Ben Fewtrell: My pleasure, it’s so good to be here.
Liza: I have been super excited, you know, with our episode today.
Ben Fewtrell: Awesome.
Liza: Because I know what you’re doing is smashing, what we have been helping with our clients with, so just really good to hear someone putting it into practice.
Ben Fewtrell: Yeah, well, that’s great. I’m glad you’re excited, me too.
Liza: Awesome, so well, maybe we can start off with getting you to share with our listeners a bit yourself. I know you run multiple businesses, yeah, so tell us about your, Ben.
An Overview of How Ben Started
Ben Fewtrell: Yeah, I guess worked out pretty early in life that the one thing I didn’t want to do is be an employee and so that’s lead me to being in business for myself. And I have probably the one thing that most entrepreneurs have is this shiny object syndrome which is a fly towards every shiny light, and which is sometimes a good thing and not a good thing. So I mean that I’ve ended up with multiple businesses because I seemed to do to everything even my hobbies into a business. So a lot of business started from hobbies.
Liza: Well, if you started as hobby which means you enjoyed doing those things and now you’re monetising it.
Turning One’s Hobby to a Profitable Business
Ben Fewtrell: Yes, so my main business is Action Coach and we run the world’s number business coaching firm for Action Coach here in Australia and New Zealand and have been doing, no, I’ve been in that for 13 years and that’s sort of my day job if you like, I’m the CEO of that and then the other things that I do are all based around photography and photography is something that I was being involved with for a long time and has been my passion.
And I started a blog about 4 years ago where I was just sharing photos and the ideas was, you know, with digital photography I found that no one was ever getting the same old photos. In the old days we get a film finished and we take it, we get it developed and they sort of bore everybody by taken them through the shots that you got.
And in the digitalized it doesn’t happen, you sort of put them on your computer, you might share a couple on Facebook but that’s pretty much where it stops. And I thought, you know, I was following another photographer who blog a photo everyday and then he was doing it from a business point of view, but to me I just thought what a great idea. I’m going to do the same thing.
So I just setup a free WordPress blog and started sharing a photo a day and then I started to get people sort of subscribing to the blog. And then they started asking me questions about photography, and so I set up a Facebook page and then I’ve got about 7 and a half, I think 8,000 followers on Facebook. And I setup a Google Plus page and got several thousand followers. So it just slowly evolved.
And then I thought, well now I have to, you know, I’m getting all these questions. So then I started Youtube channels to answer these questions and then I started a photography podcast. And so it was just all sort of stand off of that and turned into a business and now it gives me a passive income. So it’s good.
Liza: Wow, very, very nice. And I’m sure a lot of our listeners who listen to this can relate to it. A lot of our listeners are business owners. So there’s always wonderful things going, so yeah, I’m sure they can definitely relate in a way, you know, what you’re doing, doing quite a few different things and succeeding with it.
Ben Fewtrell: Yeah, and I think I love doing a lot of things too. I don’t watch, well, hardly ever watch television. I don’t want to say I don’t watch any, but I very rarely watch television. And so my entertainment of an evening is actually blogging or creating content.
Liza: I so relate to what you’re saying. There’s a guy, I listened to him, he said it’s better to be producer than a consumer.
Ben Fewtrell: Oh, that’s a great saying. I love that.
Liza: Yeah, so there you go. So well, welcome to the show.
Ben Fewtrell: Awesome, thank you so much for having me.
Liza: And yeah, thanks for sharing a bit about yourself.
Ben Frewtrell’s Endeavor before Diving into Content Marketing
Liza: So I’m going to go straight into it because like I said you’ve got a few businesses and you’re doing awesome things from a content marketing standpoint and I want to talk about that. But before going into the content marketing side, maybe you can share with us what were your doing before doing content marketing? What other types of marketing were you doing?
Ben Fewtrell: So with the coaching business, the business coaching business probably that’s a place to start because the other businesses have always been, there were content marketing before there were businesses if you like.
Ben Fewtrell: But the business coaching business, we relied heavily on seminars and on telemarketing. And I think, you know, I got asked before, you started content marketing now. And I go, no, no, I was always content marketing, it was just offline. And I think that’s where people get a bit confused. So the last sort of niche I build up is business and it’s a multi-million dollar organization off of doing seminars.
And even to this day I still do a seminar pretty much every single week. And a seminar is just content, but delivered live. And what I realized thought was towards the end of last year it was we had this huge, I forward in telemarketers, it has cost me about probably 20, $25,000 a month to run that team. And it was a lot of work. And I thought if I put that money into other things, like creating good quality content online rather than annoying people, cause that’s what telemarketing does, let’s face it.
Rather than getting complaints because we continually ringing people and harassing them, how about we make people come to us? And so that’s the changing point. It was only December last year that … I made that decision around November, December I pulled the trigger and I had a team of unhappy telemarketers, I said to them, unfortunately I’m shutting the division down and it was just before Christmas. And I said, I mean, what am I supposed to do with my business? I mean, I’ve got to make the decisions and got to make the hard calls on thumb.
But I’m really, really glad I did, because this year we’re seeing a huge increase in the traffic to our website. But that was primarily what we did, was seminars.
Courage of Transition from an Already Successful Marketing to an Unfamiliar Method for Better Business Outcomes
Liza: Well, it takes a lot of I think courage to make a decision like that because you obviously got a team of people and then also when you’re doing something that kind of working in the past, maybe not to the level that you would like, but what did they say, you deal with the stuff that you know than the ones that you don’t. And it’s that sense of familiarity rather than trying something new. So taking that courage to go for kind of the unknown in your scenario, that is a lot of courage to do it.
Ben Fewtrell: Yeah, it was a big jump for me. I had to think very carefully about it because it is what had made me millions of dollars up until that point. Telemarketing was one just one aspect, we also used email marketing, and we used the newspaper advertising which stopped working, we’ve tried flyers. There was a lot of other things that we’d also use, but telemarketing, when I think of it, it probably brought in 50% of our business.
Ben Fewtrell: So yeah, to turn that off and then redirect all of that funding into content marketing was a huge, huge step.
Understanding the Content Marketing Strategy Ben used for Action Coach
Liza: Wow, okay. So take me through, you know, your process in terms of your content marketing for the Action Coach business, what do you do?
Ben Fewtrell: So the first thing I did was I made a decision that I needed to dominate the space of business education. And I think it’s a really, unfortunately, in this country, and I think in most countries, there’s not a lot of places for business owners to go to get education, besides going and doing like an MBA or university degree, which takes years of your life and stacks of money and I thought what could I do that would provide small business owner startups and the people that are not in the position where they’re going to do an MBA to give them little, just quick, easy, bite size lessons how to grow their business.
And so I had been familiar with Youtube and I’ve used Youtube myself to consume information, so I thought I’m going to start really pumping content ad on a Youtube channel, and so I had a goal of creating a 150 videos this year and I think we’re up to about a 130 or something like that.
Liza: Very nice, well done.
Ben Fewtrell: So we’re getting there. I don’t know if they’re all up online, we had … and I’ll talk about that too. We had a small recap with Vimeo this week where they ban their entire account. I made a lot of those videos in different places online, 300 videos. So you got to be careful where you put your content as well and who you transfer with it.
Liza: Yes, yeah, we can talk about that a bit later, yes.
Ben Fewtrell: Yeah, we’ll come back to that because it’s a bit off topic. But certainly, I decided that was a good place to start. And then I thought, okay, well now that I’m recording all of this great content in video format, there’s a bunch of people that don’t go to Youtube that would like to consume this in another way, and so I thought I’m going to get every video transcribed and reformat it so it makes it readable and make a blog post out of it.
And so all of a sudden this once a day in the studio every few weeks where I pump out a stack of videos became blog posts as well for our website. And the byproduct of that of course was then our ranking started to go through the roof. So if you Google business coaching from anywhere in Australia we’re on the first page several times.
Ben Fewtrell: And that’s a direct result. And when we looked at that graph for our organic traffic from January through the now, it’s a very stiff line, the amount of organic visitors we get to our site. And I’m talking going from hundreds to thousands. Because now we’ve got this regular content happening, Google thinks we’re fantastic.
Ben Fewtrell: And it’s quality content. It gets shared, it gets commented on and I don’t do any keyword research. And I know that’s probably against the ground of a lot of people. I don’t do any keyword research. All I do is listen to my customers and if I hear a customer say I’m not sure how to put a marketing plan together, well, now that’s the video I’m going to do, or that’s the podcast that I’m going to do. Because that was the next thing I’m backed on, it was after doing the videos and then turning those into blogs.
I listen to Small Business Big Marketing with Tim Reid. And he had one of my mates down in Vermont talking about business coaching and the bad taste that lives in your mouth. So I emailed Tim said, hey, mate, would you mind if I could come on the show and sort of just talk about the people’s feeling about business coaching, and after a quick chat Tim said, I think it would be great. Let’s get you on the house.
And it reminded me of about 2007 I actually started a podcast, did 8 episodes and then the thing called pod failing, which is where you just sort of don’t do anymore. And it was because it was very difficult back then and I didn’t really understand the benefit of it back then. I wish I’d kept going cause imagine how big my show would be now.
But it re-sparked and reignited my love for podcasting. And so I thought, you know what? I’m going to start a podcast as well because it’s another great way to get stuff out there and I think the world is become on demand, you know, you only got to look how we watch television these days. My wife does everything on demand; she buys movies online and downloads them. She records TV shows and fast forward through the ads. Everyone wants to watch it when it’s right for them.
And so like podcast, I think it’s going to replace radio in the future and I thought I got to get on on that as well. So that was the next stage of content marketing.
So we started with the videos, turn those into blogs, then we podcast. Now I’m getting those transcribed. And they’re going up actually in our members’ only area on our website.
Liza: Very nice.
Ben Fewtrell: It’s a very value add for them.
Vimeo Banned Ben’s Content Marketing Videos – Why? What Ben Used as an Alternative?
Liza: Cool, so I want to ask you, you raised some really good point about what happened with the Vimeo account. Do you mind to go into a little bit more about that?
Ben Fewtrell: Sure, yeah, we’re not exactly sure why we got banned.
Liza: What kind of content were you putting out there, Ben?
Ben Fewtrell: I keep my clothes at all times. That’s okay.
Liza: While you are podcasting.
Ben Fewtrell: We just got banned and they said that it was because that it was against their policies, and the only thing we can see in their policy is that they may have not liked is that they’ve got things on there about get rich quick schemes and things like that, which is not us.
But I think an automated robot scanning the videos maybe could have picked that out, because we do talk about increasing your profits and making more money and working less hours. And now they’re all the things that business owners want to do, so in all of our videos, in our marketing that’s typically what I tell people about. But we’re not a get rich quick company. We tell people it’s at least 12 months, you know.
So the bad thing with companies like Vimeo is it’s very difficult to contact anybody and, you know, I mean, it’s our fault. We knew they had these terms and conditions, but we weren’t clear on exactly what the rules were, so I think at some point it was probably going to happen.
And there are other hosting companies where they don’t have strict rules. So Youtube is one, we don’t use Youtube for that stuff. These are our private videos we were hosting on landing pages, etcetera, or in the membership area. But there’s Wistia, which is a fantastic platform.
Liza: Yeah, we use Wistia.
Ben Fewtrell: Yeah, and there’s pretty much no rules as to what content you can put on there. You own the content. Because then they’re not publicly broadcasting it anyway.
Liza: No, well, because it’s a paid platform, that’s why.
Ben Fewtrell: Yeah, but it’s also a platform that’s not publicly available, whereas Vimeo is like Youtube, you can search through videos and they’re publicly available and I guess they have to protect themselves. As where Wistia you can’t just go and search for your videos. And so I think it was a good lesson there to us to make sure that the platform we’re using as we do our content is a secure platform that’s going to be there long term.
What to Do Before Posting Your Video Contents on Video Hosting Sites?
Liza: Yeah, for sure. So I was curious when you make those videos do you upload directly to places like Vimeo and Youtube? Or would you get those and then embed it into your site but you always have your own hard copies.
Ben Fewtrell: Yeah, we have our own hard copies which is really important because when something like that happens you need to have a backup of everything, so we always have our hard copy. And that’s one of the challenges if you are using something like Camtasia for example to make content and you’re just doing the share direct to Youtube, you’ve got to make sure you save your project or you’re going to lose the video. So I always said to anybody that ask me about content creation, export your video on the hard drive then upload it wherever.
Ben Fewtrell: And what we were doing was we were uploading Vimeo, and just using Vimeo as a hosting company. And then we were embedding their videos into our membership site in particular without any … because we had a premium account, a private account, we didn’t have to have any logos or anything on there. So it just looked like it was, you know, you got on the page it was just a video, and Wistia does the same thing, it’s just that we’ve only just started using Wistia and we didn’t see a need to swap, but all of a sudden there’s an urgency.
Liza: Well, you know, you brought up a really good point. Like one of my mentors who’s a great internet marketer, James Schramko. He talks about this idea of owning a Racecourse, is that you put all your content onto your site and you push it out rather than putting contents on other people’s properties. Because when situation like this happens it’s beyond your control.
And other good example is for example I’m posting on Facebook or uploading photos directly on Facebook, right? And same thing, what happens if you build this massive following and they decide they don’t like something you’ve done and switch you off, right, whereas if you put the content on your site, then you push it up to Facebook. If they switch it off, you still got your own content and you bring traffic back.
So yeah, so I’m sorry to hear what happened, but this is a perfect example of why you build your own content, put it on your site, ideally a WordPress site and then you push it out there.
Ben Fewtrell: It’s like people tell you to back up your computer and you go, that will never happen to me. I will never lose all my stuff. So yes again, it was a valuable lesson, lucky we had every video on a hard drive anyway. And some of them needed updating anyway, so it’s forced me now to go, you know what? I’ll just redo a couple of those videos on landing pages cause we’ve got new, you know, new messages now in the content and they’re getting a bit old.
You know sometimes there’s good that comes from this and we know now not to use Vimeo. And I always said anybody that they’re doing content creation, do not use Vimeo. And if you’ve got a Vimeo, again I’m sorry. Because you just don’t know. Like we’ve got no idea why they banned us, we’re not spruiking anything in a bad way, we got no obscenities on, nothing. It boggles my mind why they banned us. It really does. But the worst thing is we got no warning and you just can’t ring anybody.
Liza: Yes, I know and that is the case with actually a lot of these major platforms that people are used to. We actually went through the same thing not in terms of our platforms get shut, but it’s like to revisit, so we’ve just launched a new website, we gone through our old content, well our previous content and we just go, this is a bit outdated now, so time to refresh as well, so good opportunity for you to create more.
Ben Fewtrell: Absolutely is.
Visual Photography Content in an Audio Podcast – How Ben Pulled It Off?
Liza: So it’s awesome to hear what content marketing has done for you and your traffic sources and for your Action Coach one. The other one that I’m really intrigued, this I know with your photography business where photography is so visual and yet you’ve built this podcast up which is audio. So take me through that, what was your thinking behind that?
Ben Fewtrell: Yeah, so that podcast is the Photowalk Guys and so if anybody wants to go and listen to that podcast, then they can.
Liza: What’s it called again?
Ben Fewtrell: The Photowalk Guys.
Ben Fewtrell: And the way it started was years ago I decided because I had this following on Facebook and people would message me all the time saying, hey, Ben, can I come and take photos with you. Now I don’t want to sound like anti-social, but I actually really like taking photos on my own. It’s one of those few times when I’m very, very peaceful. Just on my own, at sunrise, there’s not many people around and I’ll just relax and I’ll just take some photos.
So typically I’m not a big fan of having to drag someone along that’s going to ask me a million questions about every little button in their camera, cause that’s what they want to do, right, and not that I don’t enjoy doing that, it’s just not at that point in time.
So I thought, you know, I do love teaching people. I start running these photowalks, and so I started photowalks and advertising the event on Facebook and people would come and join me and we’d go on this walk. And I really wouldn’t seriously take photos, I would show them how to use their cameras and take photos, all free. 100% free. And this is how you can use content as a way to build your audience.
What happened was on the very first one I sort of meeting with a guy who’s Rob Potter and he said, hey, if you want to do this together next time. I’ve got a website with a bunch of people as well, why don’t we do this together? And so it’s built from there. You know our biggest photowalks, we’ve had up to a hundred people join us.
Ben Fewtrell: Yeah, with their cameras. And we got a final one on the 13th of December I don’t know when this guys too will be published, but on the 13th of December this year, it’s a Christmas one, but we run them on a regular basis and anybody, even if it’s just with a smartphone can come along, we don’t care, anyone.
We thought, okay, well how do we, you know, what else can we do from a content point of view? So we said, let’s start a podcast together, because we get on great and we have a good synergy together. So it’s a bit of an Aussie-Larrikin podcast if you like. We have a good laugh, and we tell lot of bad dead jokes, we get guess on from different disciplines and photography, so the last we interviewed a wedding photography the other day, we had a motosport photographer on there, so we get, I mean review equipment.
And so the fact that it’s not visual doesn’t matter. And as you know you’re a fan of podcast as I am, people get to consume this content on the go. And what surprise me is that it is gaining popularity faster than my business show, and my business show has been going for much longer.
But I think the fact that it’s entertaining, there’s 2 presenters, we get guest in, and the content is really, really quality content. And that we just got a lot of people joining us and on the business show I really have to ask for reviews on iTunes, because I like to get the iTunes rankings up and make sure we’re getting reviews.
With the photography, it just happens. People who’s just online, they’re just living reviews. And to get unsolicited reviews means we’re doing something right then.
Liza: Yeah, I mean, with your personality I can hear that. And I think because with photography it’s like a hobby, it’s like your passion, so then people voluntarily want to learn more of this stuff for enjoyment. So yeah, I mean, I can see why you know that podcast grows faster than the business one which is a little bit more serious.
Ben Fewtrell: Yeah, which is interest because the Photowalk Guys doesn’t sell anything either.
Liza: Oh, okay.
Ben Fewtrell: So we don’t sell anything, we’re never going to monetize it. The whole thing is going to be completely free forever. We are looking for a sponsor for the show because we want to upsell some of the post production. We’re doing it for monthly and our audiences are saying we want it weekly. And we’re going, well, we love doing it, but we don’t love doing all the other work.
So if we can get a sponsor together we’ll do it weekly and we’ll pay other people to do the show notes and the post production because there’s a fairly bit of work that goes into. But what it does do is it feeds our other businesses. My mate Rob owns a business called Photography Hotspots.
Ben Fewtrell: And that’s a website where people can look up photo locations around Australia and I’ve got a website which is Onthreelegs.com which has tutorials on them, but most of them free, but it does have affiliate links on them. That’s how people repay me for the content that I give them. They can buy different software and etcetera and I get a passive income from there.
And I’ve just launched another website which is Ozlensrental.com.au which is a lens and rental camera organization and already I’m getting rentals and all the names of the people that are renting from me are familiar. So what this tells me there are people that I’ve met on Photowalks or that know me through my photography network. And it’s just the power of it, isn’t it? Because they already know who I am, they felt confident in dealing with me.
Value of Building Trust and Relationship with People
Liza: Yeah, exactly because you’ve built relationship, and I found that once you built relationship with people and you’re providing value then they’re going to go, I want to buy from you. Yeah, and I’ve get this saying that you give so much value to your prospect that they can’t help but want to do business with you.
Ben Fewtrell: Yeah, and I think it’s changed, hasn’t it? We’re not selling anymore; we’re hoping people would buy from us.
Liza: Yeah, you give before you take. It’s a shift now, isn’t it?
Ben Fewtrell: Yeah.
Liza: Yeah, awesome. So you’ve got this photography podcast and then from there you are then driving, you’re building relationship, you’re building authority and then you are driving traffic to your other related businesses and monetizing it that way.
Ben Fewtrell: Yes, yeah.
Liza: Nice, okay, cool.
Multiple Business Handlng, Time Management and Productivity
Liza: So now I’m going to go into a bit more on a process side because you’re creating multiple content for multiple businesses and plus you got to run your different businesses as well. How do you schedule? You know, because people listening to this go, man, it sounds like a lot of work. How do I do this, you know? So tell us what schedule have you got in place? How do you make it all fit?
Ben Fewtrell: Okay, so I’m quite lucky in the fact that I’ve got a virtual assistant, so my virtual assistant is amazing and her name is MJ. So I would share that to MJ and MJ does a lot of scheduling in my podcast interviews. So what I do with the podcast is we look for people that have got authority in their area of expertise and MJ shoots invites out to them pretty much every week, she’ll send a few out. And if I come across somebody who I think I want on my podcast I will shoot MJ an email and say, hey, see if you can get person on the podcast.
So all I have to do with the podcast which is great is turn the microphone and take the phone call or the Skype call and ask a few questions. It’s nice and simple. And I just have set times of the week that I do that, and I’ve got about probably 2 months in advance recorded. So it allows me if I have a little break, then my audience is not going to miss out. Because I think one of the keys with podcast in particular is that consistent delivery of the content.
With the videos I just lock myself away in the studio a day at a time and I’ll smash out sometimes 30 videos. And then I’ll just give them to one of my team members, he edits them, top and tiles them, so puts the intro and the outro which is just moving graphic. And then uploads them, spent like every 3 a week I think he puts up on the Youtube channel and on the website. So he’s scheduling all of that.
So the business coaching side of things, luckily for me happens because I’ve got a team of people and the business can afford that. So even with the podcast I have somebody do the show notes for me. I still do the editing of the audio and preparation of the audio myself, but I’ve got a background of that and I actually enjoy it. And so I tell people in business, do the stuff you love doing.
And I can turn a 1 hour podcast episode, or more than an hour, I can turn that around in 2 hours. So I record it, I record the intro, the outro, do the post production and upload it, 2 hours done. So it’s very easy for me with my background in audio and experience in it, like I said I enjoy it.
The photography side is a whole different kettle of fish because we don’t have the funds to go investing in staff. And I haven’t quite got there yet either. So I do get some help with writers, with transcribers. So one of my little secrets is I bought a Zoom H2N which is a digital audio recorder and I bought a little lapel mic. And when I’m driving in the car I’ve got a little 20 minute commute to the office. I will record a blog post.
Ben Fewtrell: That’s my dirty little secret. And then I’ll upload that to Dropbox and the transcriber will then transcribe it for me, and then I will go through it and add images and I will post it on my photography blog. Like I said I’ll do that of an evening, so whilst my family is watching television, I’ll sit in my study and I will craft a blog post. And sometimes that blog post could be about a photo I’ve taken, it could be about a bit of equipment that I bought. It could be question that I got from somebody, but that’s how I’ve been creating that content.
That’s takes me a little bit more time, officially recently I’ve shifted gears in the post that I’m doing. I used to do a post everyday with a photo and a bit of a description there to that photo, now I’m doing a post a week, but it’s sort of 800 words instead of 300 words. Lots of images, sometimes tests of equipment, just much more substantial.
Liza: Yeah, it’s like a big pillar post.
Ben Fewtrell: Yeah, so that’s what I’m doing every week now, it a big pillar post cause I found it most popular and I found that my audience is getting the best benefit out of that.
Liza: Yeah, I found that once you built your audience and they really like you, then they want to get real quality substance. And so doing short 300 words is quite shallow when you can go deeper into it. And they go, this is really good.
Be an Authority by Producing Quality Content
Ben Fewtrell: And I find it gets shared a lot more as well. So this morning for example, I did one, I released a post this week on a lens that I bought and tested it, and it was a Fuji lens, well Fuji Film Australia shared it this morning.
Ben Fewtrell: So when you’ve got Fuji Film Australia sharing your review on their product, you know you’re the authority. You know you’re being seen as the authority even by the manufacturer.
Liza: Yes, well done.
Ben Fewtrell: Yeah, and that happens regularly for me with these pillar posts.
Liza: Then do you hashtag these posts or, you’d tweet it, well, like how do they pick it out?
Ben Fewtrell: Well, what actually happened was on Google Plus I had another guy that I’m connected to bought the same camera and I put a comment in there saying you’re going to love this thing. I’ve got it and it’s an awesome camera. And then I put another post underneath cause he was asking something about lens. So I said, I just did a review on this lens and then I actually … Fuji Film is quite proactive on Google Plus, they had already congratulated him on joining the Fuji Film family.
So I just plusted them on my comment to say, by the way, I did this review, and then I said, great to see you on here Fuji Film. And Fuji Film have obviously gone to look at who I am and what I’m doing and then shared my review which is kind of cool.
Liza: Nice, awesome. Yeah, so for the listeners if they’re creating the content sometimes is, you know, being conscious of what authority can you link it with so that they can pick it up. Obviously it needs to relate to them and it needs to be relevant. Yeah, and then if you get like supplies and companies like that that can pick it up and share it, that’s massive.
Ben Fewtrell: Yeah, I saw straight away they liked me on Twitter, shared it on Twitter for me, shared it on Google Plus, they shared it on Facebook, they’ve shared it everywhere. So my website traffic will go through the roof because the link goes all the way back to my website.
And of course in my site there is an email opt-in for an ebook on 10 Tips to Better Photo. So what’s going to happen to my email database, it’s going to grow.
Ben Fewtrell: And then you got them all and respond to the series of my weekly newsletter. So it all starts to…
Getting Every Aspects of your Website in Order before Actually Publishing Content
Liza: Yeah, come by, actually you brought up a really good point. What other things that, you know, we show with our customer is before you even go into content and pushing content out there to drive traffic back to your site, it’s important to get your, it’s kind of like get your house in order, right? So like what you talk about having the lead magnets and lead capture.
So before you did all this content market stuff, what did you guys do in your business to get your house in order? Was it always in order or you had to clean it up to a certain to get ready for the traffic?
Ben Fewtrell: So the action coach business definitely wasn’t, our website was a very old style website which I sort of call a brochure website, where people can come and look at stuff but they can’t interact, and these days that’s boring. So we decided, we had the decision about a year and a half, maybe 2 years ago now, a couple of years ago now that we’d use WordPress and interestingly a lot of big corporations are going that way now, and I’m talking big corporation.
And so I thought let’s go with WordPress and the reason I liked WordPress was because it was so flexible and it allowed us to blog on a regular basis because blogs I think in the old days, I don’t want to say the old days. You know, before all this only stuff got really popular, blogs were a bit of a thing that, you know, some retiree did at home just to pass the time.
Now it’s a really important part of business strategy. And so you know, I wanted something with a blog and it was I think a the beginning of this year that I got the team to switch the blog to the home page.
Ben Fewtrell: So our home page is completely dynamic. Every time a visitor hits our website, they see different content. And that’s being powerful, and we get you know, our hits are going up in the hundreds where people are like, and a lot of those are return visitors. So we know they’re enjoying the content. Of course we pushed a lot of them back there, so when I share stuff on social media, everything’s got a link back to the website.
But it means that when people get there they’re not going, ahhh, it’s just the same old thing. So when you talk about getting the house in order, I think setting up a website that’s not a boring catalog style. It’s very important.
Liza: And is a shift in mindset as well, very often people on the website, on the homepage is all about us and all the services that we offer.
Ben Fewtrell: You know, we, we, we…
Liza: We, we, we, we everywhere.
Ben Fewtrell: Boring ass, boring ass.
Liza: Exactly, whereas in here the focus is we want to consistently give you new valuable information to help you achieve what you want to achieve. Take your time, check them out, and if you want to know what we’ve got to offer here at the other pages.
Ben Fewtrell: I mean, you want to engage, I mean, whoever lands in your website, you want them to become engaged, don’t you?
How Bounce Rate Impacts your Business?
Ben Fewtrell: And if they just see stuff about you, they’re going to move quickly, and that’s a call bounce rate, and Google looks at that. So if you’re bounce rate is … So let’s talk in layman’s term. If this amount of seconds someone spends on your site is less than 30 seconds, Google just won’t even rank you.
Ben Fewtrell: So if they can see that people on your website for more than 30 seconds and they’re looking at other pages, or they’re playing embedded videos or they’re making comments, Google says, oh, this is a valuable resource.
Liza: People like it. Yeah, and especially then you start putting multimedia content like video and podcast where it will take people longer than 30 seconds to consume you’re content, that is going to help your on-site visitor duration and then that has a positive SEO implication, so it all interlink.
Ben Fewtrell: Yeah, absolutely, yeah. And you mentioned authority before as well, and I think that’s also something that has increased through the roof this year is that, you know, I noticed people turn up to my events and almost they stargaze, oh, it’s you, I’ve watched so many videos or I’ve heard you on the podcast. And they’re asking for autographs, and so I’m like, okay. I mean I’ve written a book and I know, but autographs, wow. I’m flattered.
Liza: Can you do a selfie with me?
Ben Fewtrell: That happens.
Ben Fewtrell: They want photos with me.
Ben Fewtrell: So that proves to me that it is giving me that authority in that place.
Setting up Lead Capture
Ben Fewtrell: Yeah, so that was the other thing that we didn’t do very well, and so in fact we had no where on our site where someone get in their details unless they wanted to book an appointment or go through the Contact Us page. And so we straight away, well, now okay, now we got WordPress, we need a sidebar with an offer. And we’re still not happy with the response we’re getting, so I’m changing it after Christmas. So people might want to go back and have another look.
I’ve got a thing called the … I can’t remember what we’re calling now, the 3 Minutes something, I can’t remember. But it’s going to be less than 3 minutes lesson on how to increase the number of customers, number of sales, and the profit you’re making in your business. And it’s the 3 Minute Money something. I can’t remember now, but it’s some clever name.
But the whole idea of what we look was people want to consume things quickly. And that will be an opt-in on the front-page. But right now we’ve got things like, we have a lot of ebooks and guides, checklists.
Liza: Okay, less popular you feel with those one at the moment?
Ben Fewtrell: They’re working, people would definitely want them. So for example we have a guide which is the 6 Mistakes Business Owners are Making When Using Social Media, hugely popular. I think we’ve got one up there at the moment this month about selling to different personality types. And you might see different ones because we split test.
But you know, you got to have something, you’ve got to have something because if you don’t get the email address, and we get about 2 and a half thousand email addresses a month new into our database. And we might get a hundred unsubscribers a month. And you know, I think it means, I don’t know where I learn it, but it’s a saying that there are herds that you keep.
You market to your people till the others unsubscribe, so one of the 3 things is going to happen and you just go to be okay with that, that people are going to unsubscribe because the content is not relevant for them. And I see people getting offset about unsubscribers, well, they’re deselecting themselves.
Liza: Yeah, you’re not wasting your time, and they’re time.
Ben Fewtrell: Correct. And I think that’s beautiful, so and then the people that you want that are sticking around, you give them great value, awesome value.
Liza: When the time is right for them, then they will hopefully buy from you.
Ben Fewtrell: But if you would drive hit the traffic to your website and not getting their email addresses, then you’re never going to be able to give them awesome value because they’re going to move on, they may get distracted, a lot of people are busy.
Liza: Yeah, that’s very common, isn’t it? For most websites is not having that lead capture.
Ben Fewtrell: Yeah, big mistake.
Liza: Yeah, so it’s about … and that’s exactly what we do for our clients is getting the house in order, moving it to WordPress, if they do blogs, put it to the home page, have the lead magnets, then start creating content and driving traffic to your site, cause at least then things can happen there. Yeah, so awesome to hear that you know you’re practicing what we teach.
Ben Fewtrell: Awesome, yeah, thank you. I think we’ve still got room for improving but we’re getting there.
Liza: There’s always room for improvement for everyone, cool. Awesome, so you know so what you’re sharing with the content that you’re creating, getting you know your different websites in order for lead capture, you know it’s driving your businesses in the right direction.
Ben Fewtrell: Yes.
Liza: Awesome, cool. So for the people who are listening, if they get inspired and excited with this podcast and they go, well, I want to get started. How would you recommend for them to take that first step.
Ben Fewtrell: So I think the number one lesson I can give anybody, cause a lot of people do ask me, and you know, I’m a great believer, I don’t know if you follow Pat Flynn at all’s Markets and Income.
Liza: Of course.
Disadvantage of Trying to be Everywhere
Ben Fewtrell: But he’s got this saying which is be everywhere. And I don’t think it’s his saying, I think he got it from somewhere else. And I think that’s a real, a bad piece of advice, be everywhere. Because to be everywhere it takes a lot of work and you get overwhelmed real fast.
And I guess you want to be everywhere eventually, but I think you’ve got to work out what you’re most comfortable with first. So if you’re a great writer and you love writing, start blogging. And don’t get too hang up on keywords or how many likes you’re getting or how many views. Just really think about what your customers want. So for example you go through the day and you hear questions from your customers or from your team or regular issues popping up, just write down those topics and then once a week spend 3 or 4 hours, maybe a whole day putting a really good blog post together.
Now if you’re comfortable with video, then do a video, go to video first. Do the exact same thing but do it with video. Instead of writing it, film it. If you’re not comfortable with either of those but you love to talk then start a podcast. So you just got to pick what you’re comfortable with first.
Ben Fewtrell: And that will be your first protocol. And don’t get confused with all the social media, because they’re just platforms to get your message out there. But you have, you know, you’ve got a huge amount of knowledge in your head, every business owner does, every business person does, I think everybody does that other people don’t know. So start downloading that in the format that works for you.
I’m not a great writer. I can write well, but I don’t’ like sitting down to write for too long, so it takes me a long time to do a blog post. Although I really am proud of myself when I knock one out of the park, right? So I enjoy that part of it. For me, I love audio. It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s effective it can be consumed anywhere and I can get it transcribed.
Liza: Yup, all fantastic. So it sounds like the advice is follow your passion, do a modality that you’re comfortable with one step at a time.
Ben Fewtrell: Yeah, and I would say for anybody if you’re not doing any content creation, just pick one and just stick to it for 3 months. Don’t even get distracted by I think I’ll do a podcast now if you’re doing videos or if you’re doing blog post going now I’m jump into videos. Just get real good at one thing and then in 3 months time add the next one, and then 3 months later add the next one. And by the end of the year you have 4 really good platforms that you’re sending content out on.
Ben Fewtrell: And if you’re doing audio or video it’s easy to do the written because you can get it transcribed. But if you’re doing the other way around it’s more difficult.
Liza: Yeah, for sure, cool, awesome. Well, Ben. Thank you so much.
Ben Fewtrell: It’s my pleasure.
Liza: Yeah, so for the listeners who wants to learn more about you and interested of your businesses, where should they go?
Ben Fewtrell: Well, I’ve got so many places where they could find me. If they’re interested in photography I suggest they get Onthreelegs.com and they can spell three or it can be the number 3, I don’t mind. And so if they’re on that side of the fence then shoot over there. If you’re creative, Onthreelegs.com and that will direct you to all my other photography projects.
Ben Fewtrell: If you’re more on the business side of the fence, hit to Actioncoachanz.com. And that’s my business sort of coaching business and training business. And that will sort of plug you into all the content to do with business growth.
Liza: Awesome, fantastic. Well, thank you once again. You have shared a lot of golden nuggets today and what you’re doing and the success that you are achieving, so really appreciate you being so generous and sharing with us.
Ben Fewtrell: My pleasure.
Ben Fewtrell: Thanks for having.
Liza: Thank you. Cheers.
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