On this episode of Straight Facqts, we’re talking to Michael Buzinski, president and CEO of Buzzworthy Integrated Marketing, on how to grow service-based companies, how to get people to your website and convert them into customers, and how being authentic to yourself is only going to improve the quality of your business. Let’s get into it.
And we’re going to start in when Michael was talking about how he used to own a music studio, one of his first businesses. How he was able to grow it out and get him into the service industry that he is in today.
After I stopped being in working bands, I wanted to become a songwriter because I studied the Motown era and stuff like that. Wait a second, so there’s this whole other realm of people who make a living just writing songs, right?
I was never good enough to be a session player. Those guys make good money, and all they do is just show up to a studio, play whatever needs to be played for about six hours a day, and then they go home. Then they practice for a couple more hours, and then they got the rest of their day. Done, right?
That’s a pretty cool life. It’s a gig life, but it is what it is.
“You can write one song and you could retire off of it.”
But I wanted to be that songwriter, where I could write jingles and stuff like that. I ended up writing a few jingles through my studio for local businesses and whatnot and that was pretty cool.
But man, that’s even harder to make money. Because you can write one song and you could retire off of it.
There’s some people, the guy who wrote the jingle that they use for “Friends” still makes money off of that song. Probably pays their rent or their mortgage or whatever they have.
It’s amazing how royalties work.
“It’s like you just have to know your frequencies and there’s a couple other things that you need to understand and then just have a good ear for it.”
But once you’ve done that, once you understand the song structure, producing live musicians, it’s easy. It’s like you just have to know your frequencies and there’s a couple other things that you need to understand and then just have a good ear for it.
Then the hard part is getting the musicians to actually play it well. I would actually help musicians prepare for their studio time.
I’ve had a drummer who never played doing metronome. I’m like, “You got to go play to a metronome for another month before you come in here.”
And they’re like, “Well, why is that?” I’m like, “Unless you guys play it perfectly together every time, I’m not going to be able to edit anything. I’m just going to be able to mix it. That’s it.” “Oh. Well, why is that?”And like, “Well, here, why don’t you play a couple bars.” “Then now play a couple bars again and let me show you how those don’t match up.”
“My whole mission was to alleviate that horrible experience I had for other musicians.”
I mean, I did a lot of fixing from a lot of bands, but I had a really bad experience, and so, my whole mission was to alleviate that horrible experience I had for other musicians.
When I was in a recording studio, I had really bad studio engineers that just didn’t give a crap. They were just there to collect the money and run their equipment, right?
They really didn’t care about the songs, and so, I got vested into that.
“He couldn’t find another studio that gave him the sound I gave him.”
But I got to record a couple of Sony artists and some guys who went on do a couple cool things, nobody knows or anything like that, but for me it was fun.
One guy, he moved to England and he was a Blues artist. Oh man, that was fun, and he actually flew his band back from England to record in my studio in Anchorage, Alaska because he couldn’t find another studio that gave him the sound I gave him.
The slack key guitarist who taught Willie Nelson how to play guitar, that slack key guitar, he recorded in my studio. He said it was one of the best studios he’s ever been in, and it was this little rinky-dink office building that I built the whole thing in.
We built the sound room inside, it was a floating room inside the building.
“It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.”
I didn’t even tell the landlord that I was building it, I just built it. It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.
What are they going to do, make me take it out? And so, we had this drum room, and then everybody recorded in the control room. I had these blue lenses over all the lights and all the walls were blue, and so, it was this a nice big blue room, and the glass between the two, the whole nine yards.
And so, he was fun. It was a Hawaiian artist, and his nephew was the Sony artist, and so, I got to work with them for about a month, and man, one of my favorite albums I ever recorded.
Very cool. Did you just stumble on good aesthetics? Did you know about the aesthetics beforehand or how did you know what?
That was just my vision. Obviously, I love blue. It was part of my colors. Blue and silver were my company colors. I just kind of went with it.
In the main room when we walked in, all the walls were light gray with some cherry desks and stuff like that. Faux cherry, it wasn’t anything special.
Literally, I had gotten to a divorce, took all the money from selling the house and then all the equipment that I collected, mixing live music on the weekends and nights, moonlighting while I was in the Air Force.
All the money that I made from that, I bought equipment as I saw it, just used equipment. Built out a little personal studio for a while, worked with a couple guys just to kind of get the feel for it, the whole nine yards, and then I built it all out.
It was crazy. I borrowed like five grand from my dad to finish up what I needed, and then it was $0 from the service, and I had to go make the money. I had to pay rent there which was two and a half times what I was paying rent in my apartment that I lived in at the time.
Oh, And I’m making a connection because is that also how you got launched in the service-based businesses?
What happened was about. . . So really quick I realized that I wasn’t going to make enough money just recording, and most studios, and this is one of the things that didn’t do really well was do a business plan.
I was learning as I was going and I realized that, most studios have contracts with doing other things other than the bands themselves, especially in a small market like Anchorage. Okay? But I was the best low-cost option in the entire state.
That was where I was, and that was fine, but that meant I had to work a lot to make money. I was like $55 an hour and the good, the really nice studios were 110 to $120 an hour. It was half of what the competition was doing and I was taking the time to do it.
“I quickly pivoted into media production for small businesses because I had graphic design background from when I was in a band.”
That was great until the price of home studios came down about $2,400. They could buy a whole studio in their house, and for the rappers, that was perfect.
They’re like, “Why would I pay you once to rap whenever you’re available, or I could just buy this and we can do as many songs as we want, throughout the night, whenever we want, smoke the weed and all that other stuff you won’t let us do in the studio?” Blah blah, right? Boom, done.
So, I quickly pivoted into media production for small businesses because I had graphic design background from when I was in a band.
“My previous marketing experience kind of crept into my conversations with business owners, and that’s when the whole marketing part of it came in.”
I was the guy who did all of our posters and all the other stuff that goes with that, so I had all that experience, and I had a guy that I just had in the phone book calling people saying, “Hey, who does your business cards? Who does your business cards?” and we had this whole thing that we started subsidizing.
And so, as that grew into websites and printing and all these other things, we had this full stacked production house, and then over time, my previous marketing experience kind of crept into my conversations with business owners, and that’s when the whole marketing part of it came in.
It was like I was giving that away for free to get them in the door to do all the production when I should have been charging for that service.
“The prestige is nice to say you have it, but if you have results, people buy that. They don’t necessarily buy a bunch of awards.”
And so, eventually it turned into a creative agency, and that’s where all the marketing awards and all the other stuff that are back behind me here came from.
We were an award-winning production house, award-winning creative agency or an award-winning, yeah. I don’t even try for those. Those are like when my employees are like, “Hey, we should go for this award.” I’m like, “If you want to do it, that’s fine.”
I’m like more results, less prestige. The prestige is nice to say you have it, but if you have results, people buy that. They don’t necessarily buy a bunch of awards.
Or clients don’t keep you if you lose 50% and you have a really nice award.
Right. No, I totally agree. And then back in the day I was actually anti-awards.
It wasn’t until I had a large team and there’s all these kids that came out of college and they’re building up their resumes and those awards helped them get to the next level, and I get that.
We ended up doing a lot of that as a creative agency, but that’s why I broke the company up because it became just another creative agency. And I wanted to break that mold because we were always on the bleeding edge of the digital realm.
“I think that agencies still struggle with what digital marketing actually is about, and especially social media.”
I was the one that other agencies were sending their people to my seminars on digital marketing to learn what we were doing because I was like, “Wait a second, we can do it this way, da, da, da, da, da.”
But we were doing it for small to medium-sized businesses. They were doing it for enterprise, medium to enterprise, and it doesn’t scale that way.
I think that agencies still struggle with what digital marketing actually is about, and especially social media, which is what we’re going to talk about today.
And social media is I think a completely different place even from like a year or two ago.
Oh, it’s consistently changing. But the funny thing is this, you have these people who watch people like Gary Vee and Grant Cardone and you name them. We all know them, and they’re like, “This is what you do with social media.” Gary Vee will tell you to be 135 pieces of media a day.
And I’m like, “Who has time to run a business and do that much media?” These guys are quantity over quality, and they’ll tell you that and that’s fine, and that’s one way of doing it.
But for a small to medium-size enterprise, what are you trying to prove with that? None of your clients are so glued to your brand that they want to consume that much. So, why create that much?
“Create a couple of things to keep you top of mind.”
Why not just create a couple of things to keep you top of mind throughout the week, week over week versus day over day, hour over hour, and that’s a huge distinction between enterprise level, those A-listers, and the rest of us.
The local dentist doesn’t need to be a social media phenom. That doesn’t sell cleanings, right?
Trustworthiness, dependability, quality, those things sell cleanings, right?
Family values and all the other things that go on, honesty, those are the things. And, so if we just utilize social media for that at the SMB level, we win because we buy back a lot of wasted time that people are telling us we need to spend in social media.
Which gives us more time to focus on our craft and be better dentists, better consultants, better marketers, whatever it is that you do.
Definitely. I think that’s a good tie-in too about the rule of 26, where you should be able to best tie in your efforts if you are actually looking to be able to scale your business.
To be able to tie in, Michael, the rule of 26, if you wanted to give us an elevator pitch as well and then we can be able to do a dive into that.
The rule of 26, not an elevator pitch, but I’ll give you a synopsis of the rule of 26.
Michael Buzinski: “I created it to really synthesize down to the lowest common denominator the metrics that actually count.”
I will show the book so people know there is a book.
The rule of 26 is a shortcut to website marketing strategy, and basically I created it to really synthesize down to the lowest common denominator the metrics that actually count. Because when we talk about social media, even search marketing and advertising and earned media, all of these have what we call vanity metrics.
If you went to like HubSpot, there’s over a hundred metrics you can measure through HubSpot. In Shopify, there’s 78. Who cares?
“There is only one metric and it’s not even revenue. It’s net profit.”
Because as a business owner, there is only one metric and it’s not even revenue. It’s net profit because revenue is also a vanity metric.
So, I looked at what are the three KPIs or the key performance indicators that actually move that revenue needle, right? Because as a marketer, I can’t tell you how to run a profitable business because that’s your job. If I help you get the revenue, then it’s your job to hold onto as much of that revenue as possible. That’s your job, right?
Okay, so let’s build that revenue, and the three KPIs are traffic, conversion rate, and your average revenue per client.
“Our most profitable clients are usually the most pleasant and likable clients.”
And so, when we look at the average revenue per client first, we are actually looking at who are we serving right now that is the most profitable. We actually find out that our most profitable clients are usually the most pleasant and likable clients.
They’re the ones we smile at when they come through the door. When we see their email address in our inbox, we don’t cringe. When we see them on our caller ID, we answer that damn phone, right?
Those people right there, and so, if we can then take that and synthesize what they want and how they want to be talked to, because those people, there’s a stream of people just like them.
And so, let’s find out what they’re looking for, what are their pain points, what do they tune into when they are looking for services that you provide.
Now, we translate that into what your website talks about and we only talk to those types of people. We are filtering out the people who do not connect with that type of message, and then from there we go find out where they’re hiding on the internet and bring that traffic specifically to that website.
“You’re getting more profitable clients, you’re talking to less unprofitable prospects, and you’re closing more deals because you’re only attracting the people that you can serve the best.”
We are only trying to attract the people we want to talk to, we’re talking to the people we want to talk to so that we can serve the people we want to serve, and the rule of 26 helps all of those.
Now, you’re getting more profitable clients, you’re talking to less unprofitable prospects, and you’re closing more deals because you’re only attracting the people that you can serve the best.
Awesome. And that’s good how you’re able to simplify it because there are so many different metrics, and one of the things I’ll talk to clients about, and it’s really difficult for them to even be able to quantify how much value to put in each metrics.
It’s very confusing. They’re so much stuck in the mud that nothing’s really being moved because they’re not looking at it from a 10,000-foot level and seeing the progress or if there is progress or how to be able to evaluate that progress.
Right. And the thing is, what we are told the metrics that are important are not always the ones that actually move people through the sales process or what we would call the sales funnel, right?
Because you have the awareness, interest, and then you’re doing your research on who, right?
Another way to looking at it is people who don’t know they have a problem or they have a symptom and they don’t know what that problem is, so they’re in this research mode. Then, they understand, ‘Oh I have a problem and this is it, right?” Okay, now I’m looking for a solution. They have a solution but they don’t know how to do it, but they understand the solution.
“They’re looking for people who have that solution, and then from there, they find people they like, trust, and know because they got to be aware of you, they got to like you, and trust you.”
They’re looking for people who have that solution, and then from there, they find people they like, trust, and know because they got to be aware of you, they got to like you, and trust you. That’s when they convert into a client, and so, that’s the sales funnel there.
And so, a lot of people play up way up here in the awareness area, and they just, they don’t have a way to then bring those people into the funnel.
“What’s your LTV, your lifetime value for each of those? If it’s not a lot of money, that’s a lot of wasted time.”
They’re out on the rim, and they spend all this time and energy entertaining them there instead of hey, the 5% of these people who are actually ready to buy right now, because that’s about what it is, we need to pull them in and let the rest of them just sit there in the ether.
That’s fine because when we come back out there, there’s going to be another round of 5% that’ll be ready. Okay, then we’ll pull those in.
So, if you’re only talking to those people rather than trying to entertain all the other people so that you hopefully keep in good standing with them, top of mind awareness, if you will, what’s your sales cycle, a year? You’re going to entertain people for a year.
Well, what’s your LTV, your lifetime value for each of those? If it’s not a lot of money, that’s a lot of wasted time.
It all really comes down to effort versus how valuable the client is going to actually be.
Yeah. And there’s people who are saying, “Hey, my lifetime value is like 250 bucks.” I’m like, “All right, so are you spending $250 to get them? Are you losing money every time you bring on a new client?”
Because a lot of people don’t realize how much money it actually takes to get their clients.
Going on that and splitting it up to three, I imagine one of the areas that you see a lot of difficulty with clients is just even getting beyond the awareness and getting people to your websites.
See, I find it easier because I know how to get people to websites but I don’t do it through social media.
They see a lot of people think that social media is where you sell. I’ve literally had people ask me, “Do I need a website?” And I’m like, “What do you mean, do you need?” “Well, there’s the Facebook page, and there’s the Google page, and I got my Instagram page, and I’ve got my LinkedIn page, and my Twitter feed,” and all these other things.
I’m like, “Yeah, that’s great. Social media, not sales media.” This is where you’re finding people as they are, what are you as a personality, not what are you as a product. Every expert will tell you if you’re always selling on your social media, you will drive away your audience, period, end of story, right?
“People will go to your social media to find out who you are, to see if they like and trust you, but they’re going to your website to see if you have the solutions they’re looking for.”
But this is the thing, people will go to your social media to find out who you are, to see if they like and trust you, but they’re going to your website to see if you have the solutions they’re looking for. 68% of all transactions start with a search query.
That means they’re going to a search engine before they ever go to social media. 68% of them, two-thirds. Those people have intent, right? They’re either looking for information or they’re looking to do a transaction or they have a commercial intent where they want to engage.
The transactional folks, that’s great. If you’ve got an e-commerce site, you’re going to focus on the transactional searches because they’re much further down.
“They’re going to click on your social media links and they’re going to go over there and see if they like you because if they don’t like you, they’re just not going to do business with you.”
Informational searches are way up high in that funnel. Commercial intent is way low for high ticket. So, if you can rank for key words that people are using when they’re ready to buy your services but they don’t know who you are and they don’t know who they want to do business with, that’s where they’re going to go. And so, the top three are the people they’re usually going to buy from.
But before they buy from you, they’re going to click on your social media links and they’re going to go over there and see if they like you because if they don’t like you, they’re just not going to do business with you.
Who wants to do business with people they don’t like, right?
“They’re going to get all their information that they need as whether you can serve them through your website, but then the conversion comes from when they look at what you’re doing in social media.”
Especially in this day and age when we have so many choices. Back in the day, you didn’t have the internet. It was whoever was the closest. You went down to the store that had the service you were looking for, and if you were in a small town, there might be one person, and that was it, right?
But now we have a lot of choices, and so that’s what social media is all about is to show who you are as a company’s personality, right?
And so, they’re going to get all their information that they need as whether you can serve them through your website. But then, the conversion comes from when they look at what you’re doing in social media to see if they want to give you their money.
Let me know if I’m oversimplifying this, is social media then a conversion tool?
I think so. That’s my philosophy.
There are people who disagree with me, and there’s a lot of people who make a lot of money just on social media and that’s great. But as a service-based business, which is where I focus my time, not so much, right?
Your authority building and all that good stuff that you’re talking about there can grab awareness. But guess what? Even if you grab that awareness through your social media, guess where they’re going?
They’re going to your website to see what you’re all about. That’s where the rubber meets the road, okay? And if that website’s not talking to them and their problems and you don’t have the solution to those, you’re going to lose.
Now, there’s some people who shortcut that where they social sell and they just keep you right there and that’s fine, but those are very short relationships.
“You’re going to talk to these people in some way or fashion at least five times before they give you your money.”
If you’re a long-term relationship business, you need to court them, right?
You’re going to talk to these people in some way or fashion at least five times before they give you your money, and it might not be directly with you, it could be talking through your website, as they read your content. They might go to a blog, social media or they might even comment on some of the stuff that you have to say and then see what you say back. They might DM you and just ask a couple questions, and it might not be you responding, but it’s your company, so they’re talking to you.
“You have to make sure all of that is synchronous because that inconsistency is where people go.”
All of those counts, and so, you have to make sure all of that is synchronous because that inconsistency is where people go, “Ooh, something’s wrong,” and then their lizard brain goes, “Got to go. There’s a threat, not friendly. Got to go,” and they don’t even know why.
It’s just something subconscious. You were incongruent. So, there’s something wrong here because there’s so much snake oil out there.
Marketing is no exception.
There’s a lot of people who tell you, “Hell, shoot, man, all you got to do is be on LinkedIn. You can get all the stuff you want.” Yeah, and you’re going to spend a lot of time doing it.
“Most service-based businesses devalue their time. It’s the one irreplaceable commodity.”
Most service-based businesses devalue their time. It’s the one irreplaceable commodity that they will spend just willy-nilly.
And I’m like, “Wait a second, how much do you bill an hour? Are you at a hundred dollars an hour? Are you $500 an hour?” If you’re $500 an hour, even a hundred dollars an hour, you’re spending time more than maybe 15, 20 minutes connecting with people, truly connecting with people a day.
Anything more than that, I don’t know. I’d have to see what your business model looks like, but I don’t think that there’s any more reason to be there.
I don’t spend that much time on it and it’s in my business. Maybe 20 minutes on LinkedIn, maybe 10 minutes on Instagram, and then Facebook, I don’t spend any time on that. I tell people to go to my Instagram if they’re that type of person. But if they’re B2B, they’re on LinkedIn. That’s where they’re doing their stuff.
I imagine that there’s a good chunk of early business owners who will spend way too much time on Instagram just liking other people’s photos thinking that that will provide them value in six months.
Following people. I’m going to follow all these people hoping they follow me back.
Yeah, the like for like. If that’s still in your strategy, it is time to reevaluate your efforts.
I would agree with that statement 100%.
For service-based businesses, and if SEO is one of the more better returns on your efforts, what type of effort should service owners be putting into that?
Making their own content, making things that are good for local SEO? Should they be posting blogs to be able to generate that interest? Should they be posting those blogs and using them on social? Where does their effort shift right now?
They may be wasting time, how can they make it more valuable?
Michael Buzinski: “It all depends on your industry.”
If you’re a dentist, do you think people are reading blogs about dentistry? Now, if you’re a specialist in dentistry, say you’re an oral surgeon that deals with, tongue cancer? All right, now you want to be an authority.
But if you’re a family doctor, there’s a very little content that you really need to put out there to rank for that locally. Now, it becomes more about the local SEO and what are you doing in your Google Maps ranking because there’s three pieces to a search engine results page.
You have your ads at the top, maps, and then what I call your search results, your rankings, okay? Once somebody’s looking for a dentist, they’re not going and reading their blogs.
“They might go to their social media to see what they’re all about in the community because local marketing is about community.”
They’re going to go to the maps, they’re going to go to their website, see what they’re all about. They might go to their social media to see what they’re all about in the community because local marketing is about community. Then, they’ll come back to the website, see if they’ve got a special for first cleaning, and boom, right?
Nice thing is that if you do a good job in that arena, you get that first appointment, that family of say four are going to be with you between four and eight years. All that effort is lifetime value and it’s very good, right? Not a lot of blogging there though.
It’s good content on your site and good SEO. There’s tactical SEO, or technical SEO, sorry, for local. There’s what we call citations, being in directories, back links back to your website and being part of your associations and all the things that make you trustworthy, both to Google and to the users.
“It’s no good for you to be an expert of everything because then you just blend in with everybody. You have to find your niche, what you do.”
When we talk about consultants or financial services or anything like that, now you’re talking content marketing, authority, marketing, and you need to be specific about what you’re good at.
It’s no good for you to be an expert of everything because then you just blend in with everybody. You have to find your niche, what you do.
I was just talking somebody the other day and they were talking about one of their friends who’s a realtor and she struggled through real estate for a decade, and during the recession of 2008, she took a really big hit. Then after that she had worked with a couple of divorced couples.
She realized it didn’t matter what the economy was looking at or was looking like. There’s 50% of the population getting divorced at some point in time. 50% of us are getting a divorce.
“There’s three transactions for every divorce that you serve.”
That means no matter what the economy is, there’s divorces happening, and when there’s a divorce happening, that means that a house needs to be sold and two more houses usually need to be bought. There’s three transactions for every divorce that you serve.
So, she started and she was really good at consoling and being kind of mediator between the two so that the transactions could happen, all these kinds of stuff. She just ended up being a really good servant to those type of people.
“It’s her perfect client because she usually gets three transactions out of every deal, and she helps people move on, get to the next stage in their life which is bigger than money.”
The more she focused on that, the more successful she was, and when things got tight and she thought she needed to expand back out because there was that next recession in her early teens, she went like this and it hurt her. But then she finally went back and went through the rest of that recession, and now that’s all she does.
If you’re not getting a divorce, she doesn’t care.
She just refers to somebody else because she’s really good at that and she’s very passionate about it.
It’s her perfect client because she usually gets three transactions out of every deal, and she helps people move on, get to the next stage in their life which is bigger than money.
And that is the real personal connection. I imagine that she gets great referrals.
She gets the best referrals because half of their friends on both sides are in need of services.
That also speaks to when you really niche down, you also are going to increase the likelihood that you’re going to give a referral.
I’m trying to do that quick math right now, but it almost makes sense in almost anything.
If you find blue water, people are going to be more likely to give you a cup of more water because they have people who are in similar trends or people who are dealing with similar problems.
Right. You hang out with people who are like you.
If you start serving people that you like, they’re going to continue to be interacting with people like them.
They’re going to say, “Hey, this person really…” And they’re going to ask for their advice. “Hey, you just went through a divorce. Who did you use to get rid of the house?” “Oh I used so-and-so. She was awesome,” because you can get the whole testimonial, and the same thing with the husband and his buddies. They’re going to be the same way. That’s great.
For her, it’s a multiplication because one client equals three transactions while those two other transactions, guess what? They got two new clients. They’re separated, right? So one client becomes two clients, and those multiply, multiply, multiply. For her that’s great.
“There are other industries that can happen, and you don’t have to use other people’s tragedy to find success, but look at the hard pieces.”
And there are other industries that can happen, and you don’t have to use other people’s tragedy to find success, but look at the hard pieces.
I have another client who works with travel for people with disabilities.
Travel agents don’t niche down to that. He specifically likes to work with veterans with disabilities, amputees, wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, all that stuff, right?
Man, we talked about some strategies for him to talk about something that doesn’t get talked about enough.
“It’s not just about the money. It’s about the satisfaction of helping people be independent regardless of their abilities, and that right there makes him the richest man I know.”
I’m like, “There’s all these opportunities for you to talk about this and serve people doing this.” And that right there by itself will explode his business because most of his competitors won’t want to deal with that because there’s too many details, but he’s passionate about helping those types of people.
Therefore, they will be opportunity for him because it’s not just about the money. It’s about the satisfaction of helping people be independent regardless of their abilities, and that right there makes him the richest man I know.
Not necessarily rich in monetary which they very well could be, but rich in the soul.
Michael Buzinski:”When I reorganized my business, I stopped looking at the revenue as my driving force and my mission is to help other entrepreneurs avoid entrepreneur poverty.”
Yes, a hundred percent. I mean, for me, when I reorganized my business, I stopped looking at the revenue as my driving force and my mission is to help other entrepreneurs avoid entrepreneur poverty that I suffered to for 13 years.
When I opened my recording studio, I didn’t want people to suffer like I did as a working musician, going into studios with engineers who didn’t care about them.
“If you can follow your passion and you’re really good at fulfilling that passion through helping other people, you will always be rich, regardless of what your bank account looks like.”
That’s always been my guiding light is where there’s the passion, because if you can follow your passion and you’re really good at fulfilling that passion through helping other people, you will always be rich, regardless of what your bank account looks like.
That is true. And also, if you are not rich at a particular moment, you are going to be more inspired to pursue what is true.
A hundred percent.
And more likely to be able to push through. So, when you are monetarily rich, you have the character to go with it.
Oh, a hundred percent. Well, and you have a more enjoyable life. Those who pursue riches of monetary value by itself in a vacuum and up are very alone within their own skin because they have no purpose, and the human soul needs purpose, and that’s why when you see this, I mean, B Corps, they are companies of purpose.
Purpose over profits is technically what a B Corp is, right? Why is that?
“Because people are now looking at purpose.”
Because people are now looking at purpose. When they spend their money, they want their money not only to give them enjoyment of whatever they’re buying, but also see an impact somewhere else.
Why do you think you see people talk about 5% of our sales will go to saving the jungles in blah, blah, blah. Why? Because the people who buy from them want that impact.
If you find that purpose within you, you don’t have to give money away. You just have the purpose of when I serve people, I over deliver. I under promise, I am a servant leader, I am here to serve.
I happen to make a good living doing that, but that’s only because I, like Zig Ziglar says, help enough people get what they want to I’ll always get anything I want.
And if you do that in your social media, you will see your engagement explode, your tribe will be true to you, and when you have that, no matter what happens in the world, they’re going to support you.
Would you say that one of your good jobs is to find out what people’s specialties are?
Say if a dentist comes to you and they don’t know what’s special about them, they think that they’re bland.
If they think they are bland and they are bland, I imagine it is going to be much more difficult for you to help them grow if they don’t know what’s special about themselves.
Michael Buzinski: “Everybody has a reason they’re where they’re at. Their story makes them unique.”
Everybody has a reason they’re where they’re at. Their story makes them unique. And just that in itself is a launching point into what makes them special.
It’s not hard for me because I’ve done it so many times, right? I know what questions to ask, and it’s hard when you’re looking from the inside out because if you’re humble, you don’t see yourself as special.
I have a really great wife who helps me understand and what makes me special, right? I’m aware of what I’m good at, and I just think that’s because I’ve done it enough times, but she’s like, “No, no, no, but you have these qualities,” stuff like that, whatever she tells me. A dentist has the same thing.
“Your 1% or your one degree of difference is what makes you special.”
The thing is this, your 1% or your one degree of difference is what makes you special. It’s not that you’re revolutionizing that dentistry, but I have one family or family dentistry that I serve that they’re just family dentists.
They’ll do things, other things like in this line, like that, but when they were focused on all of the things, they weren’t as successful when they just were looking to help the kiddos.
What did the kiddos come with? Parents. They enjoyed the time with the kids and made heroes of the kids. They had fun with the kids, and that really shone through in the service, and the parents told other parents about that experience because kids don’t like to go to the dentist for one reason, it’s scary.
“You just have to show all of those little idiosyncrasies of your 1% or your one degree of differences, and those add up really quick.”
A dentist that makes you feel special, that’s awesome, especially if you’re not specifically a pediatric dentist. Now you’re saving your family from multiple trips. Awesome news is you become very special.
You just have to show all of those little idiosyncrasies of your 1% or your one degree of differences, and those add up really quick.
Yeah, actually one of my favorite stories about dentists, I guess you can tie this into marketing. Do you know why they give candy to kids after they’re done at the dentist?
That job security?
That is a good one. There are layers to everything. That is definitely a layer, but it’s the last thing that the kid remembers. They have a positive memory.
That makes sense.
They have a positive memory of going to the dentist.
Yeah. I wish my father-in-law would remember that. He won’t go to the dentist. He has teeth falling out of his mouth and he won’t go to dentist. It’s like what? He had a bad experience as a child.
The candy lesson, that didn’t work on him.
Oh man, yeah, you got to do some crazy trickery, like give him a lifetime supply of his favorite dessert or something like that.
Michael Buzinski: “You can either solve people’s problems or help them attain their dreams.”
I’m telling you. No, yeah. It’s weird, I tell people, it’s like as a service provider you only can do two things. You can either solve people’s problems or help them attain their dreams.
That’s the only two things a service business does. Yeah, and people are going to come to you once the pain is great, so great they can’t stand anymore.
My father-in-law’s situation, there’ll be a time where that pain overcomes his fear and that’s when he’ll come.
And ultimately we all want to be lazy and do absolutely nothing.
But there is a degree of pain that everybody gets to where they’re like, “I need to go today.”
A great example could be with your “I need new brakes.” There will come a screeching sound that you’ll hear that you will stop everything you’ll do. You may even cancel some meetings just to get your brakes fixed that day.
Exactly, yes. Or the grinding of the rotors together. It’s like the squeak I can handle, the grinding, oh my gosh.
I’m sure most of us in our teen years, if you were driving, you had a high tolerance for that because your parents are not going to give you money.
You had to work for that cash to fix those brakes.
I remember, actually I think I swapped out my own brake pads the first time I needed a brake job. That was the most nerve-wracking process because my friend was helping me, because my dad wasn’t mechanically inclined. We never did any greasy wrench stuff when I was a child, we lived on a farm, we dealt with farm things.
And so, my car up on jacks and we’re pulling things apart and then one of the springs suddenly ping. I’m like, “Oh no, one, where did that spring go, go find the spring, and then two, where did that spring go back into this because I don’t know where it came from.”
Or number three, “Do I really need that spring?” Which is a terrible question.
You do see those videos where somebody put something back together and there’s extra pieces, you’re like, “Hmm, do I tear it all back apart and see if we actually do need this?”
Is it like my IKEA furniture? Do I not need every bolt into my coffee table?
I think I remember the first time I put one of those things together, and you end up with, because they literally do come with one extra of everything, and you’re like, they don’t tell you that though in the instructions.
You’re like, “I missed something.” And I’m dyslexic. When I put things together I can get halfway through and then I have to take it apart and then put it back together to get it all.
I’ll mess up one step, I’ll do it out of order somehow every single time. That’s just the way. It’s like this takes 15 minutes. Okay, I will put 25 minutes on the clock then go because I have to do half of this over again at some point.
“Nine times out of 10, what they have left in their hand are the keystones to their success.”
But yeah, it’s funny because when we talk about social media, that’s kind of what we are looking at when we listen to gurus.
They give us all these pieces and then we throw it all in there thinking we understand where everything goes, and then they have these pieces here going “Where do these go?” and nine times out of 10, what they have left in their hand are the keystones to their success.
They just have no idea because they were listening to a surface level explanation of all of the details it takes to put together something as complex as a successful social media campaign.
That is very true. What you may be doing may be working, but it may not work for six months too, and you were after three months like, “I’ve given up because I’m not seeing that progress,” but you don’t see it from a holistic viewpoint.
Michael Buzinski: “It takes a year to do something really well. “
Gary Vee actually says something I do agree with. I don’t agree with him a lot, but one of the things I do agree with him is that what you’re doing today will come to fruition for you in a year, anything worth doing, over time.
It takes a year to do something really well. Okay?
If you look at overnight success, they’ll tell you 10 years, and I agree with that.
“What you’ve been doing for the last 10 years is ramping you up to the breaking point, the tipping point, if you will, to success.”
What you’ve been doing for the last 10 years is ramping you up to the breaking point, the tipping point, if you will, to success. There is no such thing as, oh I just started this three months ago.
Well, I should say 99.99% of the time, there is no such thing as doing something for a couple of months and then all of a sudden become an overnight success.
It doesn’t exist. And the unicorns that do and try to tell you that that’s all you have to do are lying to you. It was blind luck 99% of that time, right? The 0.001s of the world don’t know enough to tell you what it meant or what it took to do what they did because they kind of just tripped into it.
Yeah, and I would even argue that 1% that do make it within that short time span, they are more likely to fail because they had it so easy that they didn’t build the processes or a strong foundation to actually continue that success.
I would say that there are gurus out there who haven’t done anything significant for the last 10 years. They have ridden the wave of success they had 10 years ago and talking about the same thing that helped them 10 years ago. They’re now irrelevant but just haven’t accepted it.
I know a couple of those.
I saw a guy on stage last week, I was down at TNC, and they had a panel of folks in the digital marketing world that everybody would agree is amazing.
One of them literally admitted on stage that he doesn’t do anything different. He’s just doing the things he’d done in the past over and over again which is fine until it doesn’t work.
“So, as long as your tribe values what you’re selling, you’ll always have an audience that’ll buy from you.”
But for him, he had built a tribe over time that still believes in him and still believes whatever he’s selling is worth something.
So, as long as your tribe values what you’re selling, you’ll always have an audience that’ll buy from you.
They built up that foundation.
Right. But that’s where people don’t realize when they seem like, all you have to do is post like twice a week. It’s like, well, how many people are following you? I got 30,000 people following me.
Well if you do that twice a week and you get 2% of 30,000 people, that’s a lot of people you’re going to get.
If there are 2,000 people, that means that 20, 40 people are going to see you. That’s not a lot of people. It’s just not because you’re not going to see the same 2% every time you post.
A lot of people talk about organic growth. It’s like we’re talking tens of hundreds of thousands of people that have to be following you for that machine to really work.
“Only one in a million actually make any money in music, and only one in a few million technically make money from the social media.”
Even when you talk about YouTube, it’s when you get to a million views that things start clicking, a million. You know how hard that is? I don’t even know what the statistic is about, what percentage of videos get over a million views, but I bet you it’s minuscule, like point and a lot of zeros and a one. It’s like being a Rockstar.
I’m going to bring this full circle for you. Only one in a million actually make any money in music, and only one in a few million technically make money from the social media.
I actually, having done some work in the music industry. I can tell you that the amount of people who are profitable with their social media in music is even lower than that.
Unless if they’re doing influencer stuff, but direct profit that they’re doing, unless if you are Lady Gaga, you’re probably not making money.
Right. I mean, you have influencers, but influencers are still one in a million.
If you really look at how many people are on social media and you go, “Okay, how many of them are actually trying to make a name for themselves versus just simple social media user?” like most of us.
Even then, I would probably say one in a million that are actually making any significant income from any other efforts. Whether it be royalties from affiliations or direct from what they are selling, all that good stuff.
That would be an interesting breakout of the amount of people that have 50,000 followers, the amount of people that have a hundred thousand followers, the percentage of people that have a million followers.
Yeah, I would say it’s less than 0.05, 0.5% people who have more than a million followers.
I’m just going to look it up here.
Actually I would say less than 0.5% have a million followers. Maybe like 0.1%, 0.2%.
1 million social media followers, let me see if it comes up. Well, 69% of American adults engage in social media.
Let’s see, more than half of the amateur creators, 30 million social media creators. So, how many influencers you know are making money?
Not a lot. Even if you said there was a thousand that you knew of that were making good money, and you took 1,000 and divide that by 30 million, one more zero, 0.00003%. Almost as many zeros to the right because there aren’t at the left.
Which is if you are at that position, you’re doing well. But the likelihood that you are going to get there is very, very little.
Remember. Oh, go ahead.
Oh, terrible analogy, well not terrible. If you were the best player, and you felt like when you were a kid, you were on top of the world. Then you start playing All Stars and you realize man, there is a bigger world out there.
Well, let’s take it back to music. You have people who are one-hit wonders right? You have one-hit wonders that they have one post that goes viral and they never go viral again.
They think they’re going to quit their job and this is going to be the thing. Then six months later they’re broke because it doesn’t pay as much as people think it does the first time through.
“It’s the consistency that you get, and it’s then the sponsors that you get because you are consistent.”
It’s the consistency that you get, and it’s then the sponsors that you get because you are consistent, right?
The problem is, once an influencer actually gets to making money, a lot of them sell out to sponsorship. Then they become commercialized. And, once they become commercialized, they’re not authentic anymore.
When they’re not authentic, they lose their traction. Then they go and just fade off into the sunset again, and they probably have a job within another year of that.
I got a little twist for you because what you’re basically saying is they’re devaluing themselves because they’re getting into sponsorships.
And we’re at a point where I’m seeing a lot more influencers with UGC content where like almost any influencer will get bought for like X amount of dollars.
What’s happening then is are we seeing influencers in a whole being devalued because the advertising world or the marketing dollars is getting in there? So, maybe in three to five years that value is going to be really pulled down?
Michael Buzinski: “The thing that made them an influencer is authenticity.”
It depends on the influencer and what they value, right? The thing that made them an influencer is authenticity.
Joe Rogan, okay, do you ever hear him really? He doesn’t have ads on his show, right? Why? He doesn’t sell out and has his own stuff that he’ll talk about and he’ll talk about you. As far as having guests on that he doesn’t know personally doesn’t happen.
He has to want to talk to you personally to even get on his show, let alone sponsor anything. Most of his sponsors are things that he has personally invested in. That’s it, right?
That’s why he continues to be good because it’s him. Spotify paid him enough money or he doesn’t need any sponsors, right? He found his true value. He is the one in a billion that can do that.
“If you’re looking to be an influencer, you’re going to have to find ways to garner revenue without selling out or without losing the authenticity that got you to the point where you are considered an influencer because we all are influencers.”
If you’re looking to be an influencer, you’re going to have to find ways to garner revenue without selling out or without losing the authenticity that got you to the point where you are considered an influencer because we all are influencers. Don’t get me wrong.
Even if you only have a hundred followers, if a hundred people follow you and do what you say or appreciate what you say or appreciate what you do, you are an influencer. You’re just a micro-influencer, okay? Maybe at that point at a hundred you might be a microscopic influencer but you’re still an influencer, right?
That word influencer is loosely held by a lot of people. Profitable influencers have hundreds of thousands of people following them. It’s not 50,000. Not a hundred thousand. It’s hundreds of thousands, and that’s where if you bring it into the music world, people that have seven figures of followers are like your regional musicians.
They’re doing these small circuits and their gigs pay them just enough to keep it interesting. The one in a million out of those that are actually making the big dollars, very few of us will ever be there.
Yeah. But that still does not mean if you are following your true heart that you should look to become that of what your north star is guiding you to.
I would totally agree with that. Like I said, I think that goes back to if you are staying authentic. As long as you are authentic to yourself, you’re doing it right. If you’re doing it for the money, you’re starting off on the wrong foot.
Don’t start with money in mind. This kind of goes back to what we’re talking about in business. If you start with the money in mind, regardless of what you’ve got, you’ll always be empty.
“If you start with a mission, purpose, authenticity, and passion in mind, that’s when you’ll always be rich regardless of how much money you make.”
But If you start with a mission, purpose, authenticity, and passion in mind, that’s when you’ll always be rich regardless of how much money you make.
I know people who don’t make any money of their spare time. Because they have a full-time job, they spend all their spare time poured into their social media or their podcast. Whatever it is, they’re out there spreading their word and they make $0. But guess what? They wouldn’t trade it for anything.
That is what they enjoy spending time doing, and that’s okay. It’s okay not to make money. Just enjoy it.
But if it becomes unenjoyable, stop doing it. Go do something else. It’s not worth it. Life is too short.
And the money will come if you’re good at what you do, eventually.
Eventually. Yeah, like I said, it’s about 10 years. It’s going to take you at least a year to really get good at doing anything brand-new, right?
A lot of people are like, “It’s not that hard to be a podcaster.” I started a year ago when I launched my first book, and I was not a very good podcast guest.
” That was a younger version of me.”
87 shows later, I’m getting the grasp of it. Then there’s still things I can do better. If we’re always striving to do better, eventually you will get whatever you’re looking to get out of what you’re doing.
Not all master mechanics want to be mechanics professionally. Not all musicians want to be professional musicians.
I don’t want to be a professional musician anymore. I don’t want to be on the road like that anymore. That was a younger version of me.
Social media people are like, “Buzz, why don’t you do more videos?” Because I don’t want to be glued to my phone all the time. I’d rather do this and just talk to Gabe here for a few. Then have a bunch of people listening to our conversations because this is me.
“I will stick with what I feel good with, that I can stay authentic with.”
I’m a conversationalist, right? I’m not an evangelist, like get up on a stage.
If I can’t see the audience, it’s really hard for me to connect with the message. That’s not authentic to me so I don’t do it a lot. I haven’t found a way to do that authentically yet so I don’t do it.
The day I do, you’ll start seeing me on YouTube and Reels. And I will have found a way that feels good to me. But until then, I will stick with what I feel good with, that I can stay authentic with. I really do appreciate our conversation today, Gabe.
Definitely. Michael, if people are looking to be able to find their business and grow their business as well for service-based, or really for anybody going over the strategies that we talked about, where’s a good place that they can find you and learn more?
So, if you’re interested in the Rule of 26, the book, you go to ruleof26.com. If you’re interested in learning more about what Buzzworthy Integrated Marketing, my firm, does, you go to buzzworthy.biz.
Awesome. Well, Michael, it was a great conversation. I love how deep that we went and definitely learned quite a few things, and thank you so much.
Thanks so much, Gabe.
Thanks for listening to our podcast on growing service-based companies with Michael Buzinski!
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