Hi, and welcome to the 91 Day Success podcast.
I appreciate you joining us today. Today it is my privilege to have with me Gino Quiroz, as we talk about all things marketing and web design. I have known Gino for goodness, probably five or six years, although I believe today is the first time we’ve ever actually had a conversation. Gina and I met online through a number of groups similar in.
He is amazing man, and I’m really looking forward to hearing his story today. Gino, to get things started, can you give us the 32nd elevator pitch about who is Gino and, what do you do? Yeah, My name’s Gino Quiroz and I’m based out of Monterey, California. And I have a small web design agency.
We do digital marketing, seo, maintenance on websites, hosting. I personally still get hands on with all the work. It’s a passion and love of mine, all things. And I get to do it for a living. And so that’s where I’m at today. It’s awesome. And, over the years you have taught me a lot especially earlier in my career when we were both working on the, Divvy platform and you became one of the leading experts there.
In fact, I think you still are one of the leading experts when it comes to divvy and how to do that. And so grateful for all the things that you taught. Back in the day. From, my perspective, I’m grateful to say that I no longer have to do a lot of the development. That’s not my strength. I’m I’m the sales marketing guy and I like that better.
But boy, it was amazing what what divvy brought to the table back in the day to WordPress. And the, probably the first, in my mind, really user-friendly visual drag and drop editor and the opportunities that it provided. Is it not that most of our guests will probably care, but total curiosity, is that still the platform you, do most of your development on Gino?
Yes, it is. I figured that’s something we, we could talk about too in, in the conversation of what that looks like. But yeah, still primarily used divvy only used divvy and I’ve decided to niche out and business is built around that particular platform. Fantastic. Fantastic. That certainly makes a, ton of sense.
As I mentioned, Gino, you and I obviously have, known each other online for many years, but can you tell us a little bit about your journey in, getting into web design and marketing and that, and what, motivated you? How did God lead you down this path and how’d you get to where you’re today?
Yeah, Excellent question and sure. I’ll try to sum it all up for you here. I’ve always been into design, art, graphic design, drawing since I was younger. High school, just really got into drawing and what attracted me to the internet is I started to learn how to use tools, graphic design tools.
The web was just taken off and there were tools out there that made it somewhat user friendly for somebody who didn’t know programming or code to go in and build some websites. And so in my early, my late teen years, I was experimenting with building websites just so I can put my artwork up for the world to see.
Sure. That’s really what got me into it. And in time I just fell in love with the the tools that were available at the time. We’re talking to like Microsoft Front Page and Dream Weaver, these web building tools that wrote the code for you and you got to visually see what you were. And in my early twenties in my, career leaned towards sales and marketing.
That was the direction where my early twenties career life was taking me. But on the side, I was building websites and started my own little business back in the late nineties called really outta controlled designs, r o c designs. And that was my, dream. My vision was to build websites for a.
And, but that always remained a side hobby for most of my career. So I got into sales and marketing. That ended up being a real strength of mine. And then I got into ministry full-time and left the business world to go into full-time ministry for many years. Again, still building websites for the churches, for the ministries and all that.
On the side, making a little bit of money here and there, but not enough to go full-time. But it was something I always wanted to do, even. And and I always wanted to start my own business. That’s just was a passion of mine. I wanted to be my own boss. And and then in 20, I think it was 2007 or no, 2012, Is what I made the job to go full-time.
I, I had been doing it as a hobby long enough to build up some clients and I was doing some accounting and some other things so that I can leave the full-time workplace to work from home full-time to give me more flexibility. So I had some accounting jobs, some administrative remote jobs, couple of different things so that I can work from home and invest time in building the web agency and building that.
And so now I’m doing it full-time and I’ve been doing it for several years now. So I’ve, I don’t know what the mark is. The year is if you, make it past four years or whatever, then you’re officially legit or something like that. Things are going now and it’s got a reputation.
The businesses has a reputation and. That’s sweet. And I get to be my own boss. Finally. That’s an awesome story. I appreciate it. And you’re definitely legit. You’ve, definitely been long enough for that. I yeah, just some of the things that, that you have the expertise that you shared and, that there’s no question in my mind about that.
One of the things I love talking about with other people involved in the web design space is changes that have happened over the year. And you talked a little bit about in the old, days I, don’t know if you’re old enough to remember, but I think you mentioned front page Yeah. And things like that, that came out really early on.
Obviously we’ve seen a lot of changes in, in different things and tools in particular. What do you see happening in the next maybe 18 to 36 months? What if you had a crystal ball, and I know that neither of us do, but hypothetically, if you’re looking down, what type of changes do you see coming down and how do you think that’s gonna impact in particular, the business clients that we work with?
Gino? O obviously the big talk these days is AI and some of the tools that are coming. And honestly I, didn’t think it would have much of an impact too quickly here, but we’re seeing it is adapting really fast, really quickly. And I think one of the most impactful changes that we’re gonna see is small business owners agencies, freelancers like me, utilizing that tool setting the benchmark for how, that tool’s gonna be used.
Obviously software platforms are gonna be integrating it into everyth. So being aware of it as a business owner. Cuz remember it’s just anything else, not any, everybody’s gonna be proficient at using it. It’s just like a page builder, like divvy. It’s a great tool, user friendly, but a majority of the people aren’t gonna get in there and learn it to build their own website.
So it’s gonna be the same with ai. And I believe now’s the time to understand it, know what it can do for your business, how it can help, how to use it appropriately. How to use it, what’s the right word? With, good conscience and clarity and understanding of what it is and what it is not, and so I think that’s gonna be the major change. The other thing we’re gonna see, and I’m seeing already I, would imagine, I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this, is a lot of those businesses that survive through Covid but realize the importance of being seen online are finally stepping up their.
I’ve got more inquiries about SEO and getting found on Google than ever before because now that people are recovering, they realize people relied on the internet. And as a local president of the Chamber of Commerce here at My town, one of the, what I witnesses, the people that they didn’t have an online presence.
The restaurants, the mom and pop shops, they’re the ones that folded up first. Because it was the people that were posting their schedules. I live in California, so we had some severe shutdowns in 20 Oh yeah. And stuff. So the, people who didn’t make it were the ones that didn’t have a presence. The ones who did make it had help from the local chambers and other people who were online.
And so I think a lot of people realize that now more than ever before. And with AI coming on the scene, that’s gonna get harder to get found. A lot of those old SEO tips that are running. That whole game’s gonna change. And so I think there’s gonna be a more of an awareness for SEO and digital marketing services.
So as a digital marketer like us, I would say be ready for that. Use those tools. As a small business owner, I would say partner up with people who are familiar with this, people like you and me. Because it is gonna be important, even if you’re like a small gardening service provider or a local restaurant or barbers. You’re gonna want to be found online. You never know what changes this next season could bring. And then come election year in a couple of years, we all know that everything goes crazy in this country come election year. So be ready for it and take what we’ve learned in these last couple years and implement it and utilize it.
No I, think I agree with you 110% on both factors. I remember when Divvy first came out and, again there were all the, people going, oh my goodness, this is the end to freelance web design. And nobody’s ever gonna need to hire a web designer again, because anybody can get in and create a decent looking website.
And that’ll lead into one of my next questions, but before I get. I think what we saw is exactly what you’re talking about with AI now, which is, yes, it’s a great tool, it’s a wonderful tool, but you still need to know how to use the tool for it to be effective, and it allowed us to create better websites faster, more efficiently.
Give our customers the ability to do things that maybe they hadn’t done before. That’s right. But they, still didn’t really want to become experts at it. They didn’t, that wasn’t their thing. And I really see the same thing as you mentioned with ai. We just had a staff meeting. We were talking about how and when to use it, and we talked about the importance of prompting the, type of question that you ask.
And I’m not trying to be funny, but really makes all the world a difference in the response that you get. It does, and it’s just amazing. It’s also amazing that and I’m talking about chat sheet. Bt in particular right now is how it learns. And you could prompt and then you could tell it to expand on that prompt and then expand on that prompt.
Then put together a sentence based on this prompt, this, prompt this response, and it learns. And you keep that channel going and pretty soon it’s understanding what you’re where, you’re going with. And but it really is about the prompts. It’s about knowing how to phrase the questions.
Yep. What questions to ask, what tones to ask it in. And having it teach itself. I’ve been, one little thing I’ve been doing is really teaching it about divvy and posting lot of questions and going in there and keeping that channel going to see how much scouring we can get it to do, sure, sure.
Yeah, it’s about learning the tool and trying to understand it. And the other thing I totally agree with, we have seen a huge increase in businesses that want to, especially businesses that are working in local areas that businesses are now, it’s Hey, I’ve gotta get my local SEO game down. What we’re seeing, and I don’t know about you in California, but in, in Michigan where we’re at, in a lot of the states that we work in, there’s two or three big cities unlike California where you’ve got a bunch of them.
And here in Michigan as an example, everybody focused on. Detroit and they focused on Grand Rapids being the second biggest city and maybe Lansing and a few others. But that was really it. When it came to location based search, they’re like, Hey and everybody in West Michigan searches for Grand Rapids.
Everybody around Detroit searches for Detroit. So that was good enough. And now we’re finding out that, as when it comes to search, especially on mobile, most people either aren’t asking for a location, in which case Google’s figuring out where they’re physically located Exactly. And showing close by or they’re asking near.
What’s the best pizza near me? In which case, again, Google’s looking at their literal physical location and saying what’s near to them. So we’re really seeing that on the local SEO where businesses are finally going, like you mentioned, especially restaurants and that. Yeah. Boy, if I don’t have the ability to pop up when somebody says what’s the best burger or Chinese, or pizza or anything nobody’s gonna.
That’s correct. So yeah, we’ve seen a huge, difference there and I, don’t think that’s gonna change anytime soon. It just, it’s been interesting to see how that is, the market has changed there because again, everybody used to in our area wanna be known for Grand Rapids because it didn’t matter if you were within an hour Grand Rapids and you ranked well for Grand Rapids plumber, you were gonna do great.
Yeah. Now that’s not the case because that only works in Grand Rapids and we’ve got in just in our county in 97 different municipalities and those matter when people are located in this, those areas and not necessarily in the main city. Yeah. Yeah. And I, believe that we’re gonna see more of it, and I think this is a good thing.
I believe it’s a good thing because I’ve been working on a lot more landing pages really as we’ve been expressing that thing with our clients, the. To reach the more localized regions for a couple of reasons. One, it’s lower hanging fruit, right? If you can absolutely be more specific, you have a better chance of ranking number one.
So when people do ask those questions near me, or not putting a location, Google automatically figures it out. So I think that’s absolutely the way to go. I’ve been encouraging that as well, especially for local service. Yeah, any local service providers you gotta be targeting more local. And then that’s, there comes the need for landing pages.
I just recently, this last week, my latest article I’m doing a guide on understanding landing pages. Cause I’ve been talking about this with all my clients. So one of the things I like to do, and I was thinking we, we talked about blogging and how I built the business, but would love to with the, whenever I have a topic that I find myself explaining to my clients a lot on the.
Understanding I, then okay that’s, blog material right there. Absolutely. So I just did that. The importance of having one for each city or each local area is gonna be crucial for you to be able to rank in various locations and not just the big city. So I’m seeing that too. We’re gonna see more of it.
Yeah, I’m trying to indicate your clients as best as possible on the benefits. And it’s interesting because it brings with it unique, complex complexity. I think that’s the word I want to use, because we can’t just put the same page out there 97 times for 97 different cities. Yeah. Google doesn’t wanna see that.
And so it brings with it a whole nother set of. Things that, again, going back to where we started, it’s why I believe in every industry businesses hire professionals because they don’t want to be professionals in that area. And I think that’s the same in the web design and development space.
Again, they’re hiring people that know what. What’s there? That actually brings up one of my next questions, and from your perspective, Gino, I’m sure you look at a lot of websites just like we do. What are some of the common mistakes that you see businesses are still making nowadays or maybe new mistakes that they’re making that just are really impacting their ability?
To either be found or to make a connection with a customer, or even more importantly, in, in that conversion where that customer ultimately fills out a form or calls them or asks for a quote or whatever the case could be. What mistakes do you see that are, still real common and, maybe even surprising to you?
I would say not so much surprising, but I would say probably the, biggest issue I come across is content. It is. Understanding the target audience and having the language to reach the target audience. And yes. So a lot of people may know who their target audience, but they’ve not they don’t understand the importance of, how we tailor the words and content one for Google to, find us and for those particular target audience.
But being able to convey that, I think so many people are just quick. Put up brochure type content. And when I say content, for those listening, just the text on your homepage, right? Just the paragraphs that are on there. They don’t and, I think the problem in our industry is not enough web designers unless you’re somebody who’s knows marketing.
If you’re just a developer or designer, you just go to Wix or Squarespace or Weebley. You won’t get a lot of that benefit or expertise or knowledge. You’re just gonna get a, nice looking. Yeah. So it’s important that even if you decide to save a few bucks and go with a, designer who’s really low cost or Johnny’s nephew or whatever yep.
You’re, missing out and, maybe you’ll get found for a few search terms, but people just don’t realize that you really gotta tell a story and then there are certain rules that are pretty common to keep readers engaged and how do you keep them engaged? If you’re just talking about yourself and you’re not reaching them and letting them know that they’ve come to the right place, and so you, gotta really know your target audience.
Convey that into messaging, the wording and the images. Keep your page long enough to keep people on the site. Interesting enough to keep people on the. Then the biggest thing is, blog. I’m just gonna say, I’m gonna, I’m gonna hammer this in because it’s part of my 90 day plan. We’re gonna talk about part of how I built my business, and it’s really part of where, how I become the consultant that I become today is through the blog.
And so I would say people don’t realize the importance of putting content out there and becoming that presence. I, couldn’t agree with you more. It’s been something we’ve been preaching for the last certainly 10 years or more since everybody on this has heard me already preach about it.
Let me ask you to, jump on and, maybe they’ll listen to to an expert because you’re, the proverbial guy that got off the plane and is the expert here. Talk to the audience a little bit about. Why they shouldn’t be scared of blogging. I think that’s where it first starts.
Everybody gets scared and why it’s so important. And then if you got time, maybe a couple tips on, like you just mentioned already if, I answer a question a couple times on the phone, it’s time to write a blog post. I agree with that entirely. What can you, how can you help encourage the audience in that area?
Cuz I agree it’s so important. Awesome, I think the best way I could do that is by. How that happened for me, because it may not seem like it right now. I’m smiling, I’m talking, I’m comfortable with this. I’ve done a few podcasts, but I’m really sh an introvert. That’s why I love web designing, having my own business, working for my own office.
I’m an introvert and but this is this is grown this part of me. And, so going back to the start of blog I had, I’m not a writer and I don’t have, I didn’t think I had anything to. And and the thought of blogging. Just what do I have to say? I have nothing to say.
That’s totally how I felt. And, but what was happening was I found myself helping other people using a particular tool the divvy tool. And to a point, even before Divvy, actually just working with WordPress teams, I was going in and helping people, troubleshooting, asking questions in the support forums.
I got invited to be a guest blogger on one of our colleagues, Eileen Loaner again, at the time she started that first divvy group. She asked if I would consider do no guest blog on her blog. And I was hesitant. I didn’t know what to do. And she said, just do something about divvy. So I did, and I cause I, I helped her with the website.
She liked a certain. So I did that, and then I did a couple I, think I tried blogging a couple articles like how to save Money on Accounting or some, basic business tips. No readers, no views, no traffic on my side or nothing. But I did something for divvy, like how to add a contact form in the footer, something simple like that.
And it just blew up. It blew up. It had tons of comments and it was being shared in the Facebook group that was growing at the. So I did another one for her and it took off. People were loving it. So I did one for myself on my own book and it took off. And so thus began my journey. After trying many voices, different topics, I found that, hey, if I could, I don’t have to have a voice.
I just do a simple, this is how you do this. This is how you do that, step by step tutorials. And it took off. And because I had a group of people in a community online that were. That stuff started to spread and what happened? The more I did it, the more traffic I got, the more business I ended up getting.
While most people would say at the time, Gina, you’re giving away all your secrets. Cause at the time you didn’t see a lot of this stuff. So ab absolutely any other theme. And every time I learned something new that set aside, set apart one of my websites for my clients, I. And then you’d, and it just really, what that did for me as, as much as I was giving away everything I learned, as soon as I learned it, that’s what helped me establish me as an authority in the industry.
That ended up, what ended up happening is instead of getting clients, cuz none of my clients cared about any of this stuff. They, cared. Yeah. But other agencies and freelancers started calling me saying, Hey, will I build the sites for their. When I became, what I never thought I would be is a white label agency partner who builds sites for other agencies because they like the tool, they use the tool cuz they can maintain the website for their clients, but they just need a professional to build it.
Professionally for them the right way. And that’s how the blogging took off for me. So I didn’t do any marketing, I didn’t do any local stuff. It really all came out of the blog and still to this day, I don’t do any money on, marketing. It’s all from the blog and the authority that it generated for me and presence in fact, I learned all my SEL from the blog.
I didn’t learn SEL first. I just blogged and then realized, whoa, this works, this doesn’t work. Then I learned why later on? Yeah. Oh yeah, absolutely. And that’s what you and me sharing with our clients now is that experience. So that was the big thing, building community, being generous with my.
And how does this apply to other industries? Sure. I think that’s the part of your question. And I would say this, and this is what I share with my clients. Blogging could be just about anything cuz the main thing is putting out fresh content. One for Google. Two, giving a reason to invite people back to your site.
Why should they come back to your site? Just cuz you have a pretty site. They don’t need to see what you do several times a month they don’t care. But if you have a reason for them to come back to your site and that’s where, topics, it can be anything from news about your business.
It can be news about your c. It could be other businesses, it could be tips, it could be tutorials, it could be lawn care maintenance tips. It could be haircut tips, it could be air duct tips techniques, tools, resources, products, favorite products. You’d name it. Anything that you have a conversation with your customers about.
That’s a great topic for your. So if you’re not sure what to write about, just stop and take note of the conversations you have in your brick and mortar storefront, or when you’re out servicing your clients and you have some conversations about something that you’re doing. Write those down, make a note on your iPad and say, how can I expand on that conversation?
I just had to help other clients. And then what you do is you, find out if your clients are on either on Facebook or LinkedIn, depending on your industry, and share those instead of posting directly to Facebook create an article. An announcement could be a short one paragraph, it could be an elaborate.
A comprehensive guide, but then you share that on social media on a regular basis, and then when somebody comes across it, they’re invited and they want to come to your site. They’re not bombarded, they’re invited. And that’s probably the best way to get started is just to figure out what conversations you’re having with your clients and write some of those up.
And don’t be afraid to give away the secrets because at the end of the. The person who’s given more information that sounds more experienced they’re most likely to get that call. I’ve learned. Oh, and I couldn’t agree with you more. It we, started building Valor Circle 13 years ago by literally I struck a deal with a local real estate agent that had a training room and I would go in and train his team how to use social media cuz they didn’t know and exchange.
He let me use the conference room twice a month to hold free seminars. And that was before we even thought about webinars or anything like that. And again, same thing you, we talk about. Blogging, we’d talked about what to do about the importance of having your phone number on a website and, all kinds of different little things that people didn’t even think about.
And you’re right. If I had 20 people show up for one of those seminars, which was probably average for me back then, 16 of ’em never would do business with us. That was okay. I, that, that was part of the cost of admission, the. Heard what we had to say and said, wow, that you, I trust you now because you obviously know what you’re talking about and I don’t want to do this on my own.
So they then would hire us to do it, and it was pretty much about 10 to 20% of every audience would come up to us and say, we want to talk to you. And we see the same thing now with Blogg. Yeah, like you mentioned, it’s so effective to create credibility. In fact, one of my recent pushes has been, because again, I always hear like you do, I don’t know what to talk about.
Yeah. A friend of mine down in, in Kentucky, his name’s Matt Pla, he runs America’s Best Restaurants. He recommends to his clients, and I thought it was great advice, talk about what’s going on in your community. If you are a local business, you wanna reach people in your community. Talk about the la local High school football.
Yeah. Or basketball or softball game. When, they have signing day and, one or two of those high school kids is signing to go to college, talk about it, show up, take a picture, put it on your blog. It has nothing to do with your business, but it does have to do with things that your audience, the people you want to sell to, are probably interested in.
And when you do that consistently and you keep that relevant content, like you mentioned maybe the, I remember the blog post you wrote by, the accountant, by the way. It was good that I, remember when you wrote that actually, because I remember thinking, this is interesting. Why is he talking about accounting?
And I got it because, It’s something that probably like you, we’ve ran into so many small businesses that they go what about this? And I’m like, you really need an attorney for that, or you need an accountant for that? And they’re like I don’t have one. And I’m like you should have called them before you called me.
So yeah. No that’s, awesome. I love it. How about I, I’ll admit I’m, really hot on video and I think video is critical. Tell me your perspective, Gino. We’ve not talked about that. What’s your perspective on video? And using that for blogging and content sharing and things like that.
It’s excellent. It is. It’s, not something I’m doing a lot of now, although it’s always kind of things to do this year. Oh yeah. I got that list too. Yeah. So like for example, I know that there’s two different audiences for my tutorials. There’s those, who love the visual, love the video, and it’s great for seo, especially if you’re putting it on.
Cause YouTube and Google obviously are one and the same and they get preference to the content that’s already indexed on their system. So that’s beneficial. But I found The reason I stuck with the step-by-step, I really should have a video and a step-by-step really would be That’d be killer.
Yeah, that would be, that’d be great. But I, stick with the step-by-step because like even be with some of my stuff that’s a bit technical sometimes you just want to jump to where you have the question cuz you’ve made it so far on your own and I hate looking for it on video. Did I miss it?
Whereas I can scroll down and see, okay, there’s the step I. So I’d like the visual and be able to just quickly go down to the spot I need. And I’ve learned that from some of my favorite learning blogs. And that would be like a WP beginner, WordPress beginner. I love the blog. Super helpful all the time.
They give you, and it’s pretty consistent they give you how to do it this way for free, then how to do it using a premium version and everything step by step. And so I love that I can jump right to what I. But it’s important. Video is important and I emphasize that with my clients as well. I do have some videos still.
I, I got several on there from the path I need to do new ones. A podcast like this are great. They really help. Also get your face out there when people they, wanna see your face and you’re like me. You don’t want your face to be seen. That’s why originally I had a cartoon character and not a character of me.
I remember that. Yeah. Many, years. And, I bringing ’em back and he’s cool you get more comfortable cause people wanna see your face and if they see your face and they can see you smile, they see your personality again, you have a better chance of them connecting cuz they’ve already connected with.
So I, used to have introduction videos on my About Us page. It’s outdated, I haven’t updated it, but having a video just describing who you are, what you’re gonna do with them, really goes a long way in building that relationship before you even meet. No I, think that’s really good advice.
And I, agree with you though, in what you’re doing with the how-tos. I hadn’t thought of it, but you’re right. When I’m looking for, I’m stuck and I know there’s I’m partway through. You’re right. I don’t wanna watch a video because I can’t figure out where they’re talking about the part I want.
I do like a written blog at that point that I can go skim and. Oh, here’s where I’m at and then I can zone in on that. You’re, absolutely right. I think for that type of content, blogging still is superior for that because it is easier for the user at that point. Gino, one of the questions I know I get all the time, and I’d love your perspective on business owners, go, okay, I’ve got a website.
I don’t really know what it’s doing for me, but I’ve got one. What are two or three things that I should make sure that, I’m doing to be successful or to make the most out of the website? I know every developer and designer’s got different perspectives, but you, like me, have a bit of a marketing background and so you look at it from a marketer’s perspective at least more than just the pure developers do.
As of that, based on your experience, if you had to give a business owner a checklist of three to five things to check on their website to say, okay, are you doing pretty good or do you need some. What might those be? And I, didn’t give you any warning, so sorry to drop this one on you just off the top of your head, what might those three to five things be that you’d say, Hey, check these things out first.
Okay, so the first thing I would do before even going there is really determine what the client wants. The website to do, first of all. And what I mean by that is obviously grow my business, make more money, get me more customers. Let’s start with the practical stuff. Do you want people to call you? Do you want them to email you or do you want them to sign up?
That’s the first question you need to ask. So in my case, I don’t want them to call me. I want them to fill out a form and gimme some information. So I gotta build some trust for them to do that and some desire. So I have strategies, like every service has a contact form and a landing page set up for each service because I want them to get to the end of that service page and co either contact me or go to another service that they’re looking for.
I have contact forms all over. I don’t have my phone number all over. And I make it very easy for people to contact me via e, via email, via contact forms through the website. Whereas on the other hand, if you’re looking for a call, you have that phone number blasted everywhere. Give them a reason to call you.
That’s your call to action. So basically, what is your primary call to action? And is your call to action clear and visible and. So that would be number one. Absolutely. Your call to action. What do you want them to do? You’re gonna have multiple. The second one and, I like these because these are practical things that you could put into place because the growing your business and customer is gonna take time.
Sto, right? That’s, gonna be number three. So the first one is your call to action, understanding what you want them to do. The second thing, Overhead. What are you spending time on with customers that you don’t wanna be spending time on or is repetitive? I mentioned earlier if I’ve had a conversation about a certain topic with clients more than three or four times, it’s time for it to go on the website as a blog article.
So have it worked for you? Have it answered questions? I know some people, some businesses, if you sell cars, get ’em on the phone. You know ’em here because you need to talk to them. So that’s what you do is you get ’em there, give ’em reason to. But if you have those kinds of things that you don’t want to be answering the questions like I get, we get e inquiries all the time.
How much does it cost to build a five page website? You know that’s a long conversation. Absolutely. It depends. Yeah. So what I try to do is eliminate. The questions by answering as many questions as possible on my website. Again, another reason for a blog, you don’t have to have an FAQ page, just a well thought out blog with answers to frequently asked questions.
And then every time new one comes up. And, here’s what you gotta remember too about that blog, is once you create that blog, that’s a little full-time marketing agent who’s gonna work for you 24 7 from here on. So every time you create a new blog post, you’ve hired a new marketing agent. Every time you have, you got a couple hundred marketing agents working out there on Google full-time for you.
Then you go back, check on them, make sure they’re working well, change some keywords, give ’em a tune up, send ’em back out to work for you. That’s, a whole nother topic, but I love it. Great analogy. Yeah. And then the last piece is SEO are you doing anything about it?
You know what it. Are you, do you know what H tags are? What are your headers? What are your keywords? And is each page assigned a particular targeted keyword? Are you aiming for something on that page? Utilize that about us page. Utilizes that team page to, For something that you’re going to get traffic to.
Does that make sense? So, those are probably the three things I would say. If, your website’s not working or you think it could be working better, every website could be working better, right? Is your call to action clear? And, what is that call to action have? Define that. And of course the seo and then the getting the overhead out of the.
By answering questions and using that’s twofold right there. One that’s less time on the phone or you could just send somebody an article. I have people telling me, Hey, all my emails are going to my spam and Gmail, so I wrote an article. Right now it’s my number one article and it’s just super simple.
And it’s every time I get my, report from Google, it tells me that one and the other one. Cheapest markets to shop at when I used to have guest bloggers come in and do it. Oh, cool. And did a shop homeschooling Bump, did a shopping comparison between markets and it’s still my number two performing blog post.
And you just never know which one’s gonna hit. You, look at that blog, have your call to action and start and have an SEO. G great ideas. So here’s something that I get all the time and, I’d love to get your perspective. I’m, a huge SEO nut. In fact, if I had to probably only do one thing, that’s one of the things that would get my interest really quickly.
But I know clients never understand that SEO is not an event. It’s a process. Yes. Everybody’s but I paid you last week for seo, and why am I not ranking number one today? What, how do you help customers underst. SEO is a tremendous investment, but just like an investment, it doesn’t I’ll use the example if I want milk and I buy, a calf, I’ve gotta raise that calf up and that calf’s gotta grow up, and then they’ve gotta get pregnant and have their own calf before I’m gonna have milk, but, That’s one way I can get milk or I can go to the grocery store.
And SEO is similar. There’s a lot of different ways to, but it takes some time. How do you help your customers understand knowing that you do a lot of seo, that it is not something that happens overnight? Yeah. And one of the things that they have to understand and I try to help them understand is that there are.
Hundreds of thousands of people out there working full-time to keep their websites number one or to get to number one. And there are probably another a hundred developers out there vi probably thousands of developers vying for my spot on Google search results. And they are, I bring up my name sometimes and I see people doing paid ads for Qure Premier just so that they can get up when they search for my site.
You have to realize that the competition is fierce for that first page on Google, and it’s changing and evolving. And as soon as you get to number one, you have everybody else looking at what you’ve done to be number one, so that they can be better than you and add more content or more keywords, or be more relevant, or have more back leagues.
So you have to be monitoring your status and seeing where you stand, keeping an eye on who’s trying to creep up on you using great SEO strategies and it’s a. Google’s always for good reasons. Google’s always changing how they rank and why they rank because there are people trying to, always trying to put their stuff, number one, whether it’s relevant or not.
So Google’s doing us a favor in a sense, by trying to keep things relevant to the query that we’re asking without us getting a bunch of spammy junk stuff that rank well. So that means you gotta have smart people that are looking at it and understand it. That can change things around, make adjust.
I just put out an article re recently on how updating old blog content you could go back and look at some of your well performing ones, beef them up a little bit because maybe it needs a few more keywords added or a few more barriers, how to go back and improve it. And so constantly looking to improve it or taking what’s working and how to make it work even better so that it’s ranking number one.
But it’s an ongoing thing. It’s just like car mainten. It’s an ongoing thing. Absolutely. Yeah. If you wanna improve performance or house maintenance, if you want to, if you want your AC to work better you’re probably gonna have to do an upgrade here. You gotta keep an eye on the wood, the paint everything.
And that’s what SEO is really. And if you if, you want to remained found on Google, That’s the key. If you’re a business that doesn’t care to be found. Because here at Monterey we have a lot of old bunny, they call it like Pacific Grove Carmel, these businesses that were pre these restaurants and, hotels that, sure the internet do just fine.
But I just recently did a big estate in Carmel that there’s a lot of different estates out there that people could go Airbnb at, rent and stay at. And even then they’re realizing. These other large are starting to come in and invest money, these chain stuff like that. And so now they’re losing business and so now they’re jumping on the bandwagon.
So you’ll have those that have, I’ve been doing just fine without this. But the time will come, the time will come. Absolutely. People’s, it’s just like the Highway 68, right? It was, business was fine, but once they put in the highway, There’s no more highway there’s no more No.
Can change everything. Change everything. Yeah. And that’s what we’re, entering into that season right now, too. No, I agree with you. So anybody listening that isn’t caring about seo, just know that that’s gonna hurt you if you wait too much longer to start investing in it. Yeah. I, always tell clients that it’s like planting a tree.
The best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago, 20 years ago. Exactly. Exactly. The next best time to start plant one is today. And if, you haven’t started an SEO strategy, the best time was 10 years ago, and if you didn’t, you missed it. Okay. But the next best time is today. And, to get started now no, that’s great.
Gino I, so appreciate you sharing all that. As one of the things I love to ask guests on the podcast, because as we look forward we’ve all got our own opinions, but interest rates are going up and, people are talking about layoffs and there’s a lot of people with a little nervous and they’re trying to say, what might my options look like?
And some of those guys are looking to maybe start a new business or maybe expand on what they have and. There’s a book that was put out a couple years ago by Russell Brunson from ClickFunnels called 30 Days, and he asked a bunch of people that had been very successful with his sales funnels. If you had to start over and had 30 days, what would you do?
I didn’t think 30 days was really realistic, so I asked if a little bit more constrained. But if you had a thousand dollars you had your house, you had your laptop, you got your phone, you have all your knowledge, but you lose your network. And all you’ve got is a thousand bucks. What do you do in the first 91 days to build a successful business?
What would you do, Gino, in a situation like that? Great question and, I love it. And before I ch jump into the practical stuff, I will say this you, entered into this question talking about the potential economic Yep. The kind of tightening of the belt maybe for a little bit longer, and maybe things even getting a little bit tighter.
I would say this right now is the time for every business owner to stop, take a. And consider the work-life balance that the stress of the last few years put on us. I’ve seen as the president of the Chamber of Commerce, I’ve seen a lot of business owners just fatigue out and sure. It’s been a, it’s been a heavy year.
I personally made major changes. I went from freelancer to consultant to marketplace to agency, to large team agency. Back down the consulted freelancer again because I had to make those changes, but now I’m making more money than I was making then and, can’t because I can think clear again. So that’s the first thing I would say is anybody listening as a business owner, it’s been stressful.
So that’s gonna be so important for the longevity of your business. It’s. These last couple years have taken their toll. So I would do this in my first 30 days. I would focus on investing. I know we only have a thousand dollars to work with. So if you have everything taken away and you’re a plumber, that’s not gonna get you very far.
Right in tools. True, But I would start with getting the necessary tools that you need. And it’s like for any of the younger generation that are familiar with Minecraft, that game software, that game that our kids play. A great analogy, right? You start off with a, wooden pick, right? That’s all you can afford.
That’s all you got is cuz all you can do is chop down the tree. But as soon as possible, you wanna upgrade to stone as soon as possible. You wanna upgrade the iron, then the diamond, and then you become more efficient, more productive. So I’ve always been. Get the tools you can afford at the time.
And so I got a laptop already, but my already, I’m looking for a PC and a couple monitors cause that’s gonna make me more efficient at building websites and doing what I do. So whatever your tools are, take some of that thousand dollars. Make sure you have the right tools. I got a laptop, I was blessed, I was lucky to be given a laptop so I could do some research and stuff.
But if I’m gonna really be cranking. Websites, I’m gonna need that. And then the software for me, the tools for me would be, the software would be the, if I’m going to, let’s just say I’m gonna start a new web design business, the whole new network, whatever. I’m gonna get the tools, figure out what niche I’m gonna do and begin jumping in.
Let’s just say Cava, for example. Let’s just say I’m changing careers and I’m gonna just be a graphic designer, start a whole new business, whole new clientele. I’m going to invest not only in Photoshop and some of those other tools that I need, but maybe some of the modern tools like. That I can train people on something that people are using that’s gonna be popular and, so that way I’m not.
Building a business with this tool, but then I can train other people with these tools and resources because part of growing that business is building a network of people in your industry that will eventually come back to bless you if you treat them right and you don’t push them out. You don’t be competitive and don’t step on a bunch of toes.
So getting the right tools first, 30 days, get those and start building a website. Cause I tell you what, you can get out there and hand out flyers and, print. Posters and all that stuff, but people are gonna go to see if you’re legit online. So get that website built. If you have to invest then you invest that thousand dollars into getting something started.
Even if it’s just a one page presence, contact form, phone number. So as long as you’re getting your domain name out there so you can. Being indexed by Google and then add to it. If you can’t afford somebody, just have a one page website. Start blogging. That’s a great way to start.
Save some money. Just start blogging now so that when people do come to your website, when you get into the next. Six, the next 30 days, which is, I’m gonna say, is going out and talking to people. You have something for them to go look at. Don’t just go talk to people without something to look at. See your services.
Now brochure might be applicable, but make sure you have a website on there for them to go look to learn more about you. That website is gonna represent you. And if it’s just you starting a business, I have to tell you that it’s gonna be based on your per personality, your character, your experience.
So you have to sell your. Yeah, absolutely. Maybe, it’s at the name of the company’s Monterey Premier, not Gino Ketos, but still I’m selling myself at the end of the day if it’s just me. So build that website so that you can begin, start thinking about keyword strategies, what you wanna rank for, who your audience is, put all that stuff together.
It’ll help you know who to go out and talk to. Which is what I get into in the third month to start building relationships. Go do a couple pro bono jobs. So whatever kind of work you are, if you’re a service provider, get some testimonials, get some client work in, even if you got to do it for free because as I always used to say, I never charge my clients for on the job learning.
So if it took me 20 hours to do a project, or 80 hours, that should have been 20 hours, but I was learning on the job hey, I was learning on the job and so I’m not gonna charge them. So go out and do some pro bono work and consider it investment. That money you would’ve made went into your experience and network building.
So it’s not a loss, and people say, oh, don’t go do nothing for free. When you’re starting out. Get up there and do something for free. Work your butt off hustle. Talk to people. Pick up some churches. Do some websites for them, some ministries, some nonprofits, pro bono work. Get some testimonials, maybe some videos.
Social proof social media, get on social media right away. Again, it’s a no-cost thing. I’m trying to give you no-cost things here to save that a thousand dollars till you start getting that return. So, get in that. Do some meetups meetups of popular apps. So find up meetups in your industry or that you want those people to be your customers and attend and start giving back.
If, you’re restarting, you have some experience, you have some knowledge to share, begin sharing. Do Chamber of Commerce events hold some learn at lunch where you’re for free, you’re giving free seminars on a topic of your industry. Like you were saying, that was excellent advice. What you were doing at the very beginning, having those webinars and you got 20% came up to you and approached you.
Do that. That’s the, that’s what you do. So those are the main things is really for me. And I it’s funny you say that because I basically bootstrapped my business with less than that. That’s because I go know website I made the decision. I was gonna do this. I went out and got the fictitious business name, got the name, got the domain, and in a week built my first built Monterey Premiere and I just started blogging.
And I had some other I was already known in the divvy community cuz of my tutorials on my other website. But again, I, there was no investment there other than really the hardware and the soft. Everything else, you can pretty much get out and do what the exception of some events cost money to attend.
But if you’re the one providing the seminar or the lessons it’s all that costs you is time. And that’s right. Now that’s, The best thing you have going for you when you only have a thousand dollars to start with, especially if you live in Wonder, California, that won’t get you too far.
I, was gonna say, it’s probably not fair. That goes a little further in Michigan than California. You’re right. But great advice though, Gino, and I think you, really hit it spot on. It’s, get out there and. I want to talk about real quickly as we wrap up on the, pro bono work.
We did the exact same thing when we got started. When nobody knows who you are and, you don’t have any testimonials and you need a couple of them, go find, like you said, find a nonprofit, find a church, find a ministry. There’s so many great organizations out there that don’t have budgets, and they need help.
They need a website, they need some help with marketing. Go help ’em and just ask, Hey, if you’re happy when we’re done, will you give me a testimonial? And they all will. And they also all have boards of directors. Yes. And those directors are generally business people. Not always, but generally. And they’re, if you do well, Ask for an introduction to the board, and you never know.
You might just pick up a couple jobs that way because you became known to them in a way they hadn’t, never heard of you before. So great advice. I really appreciate that. Right on. Right on. So obviously if people are interested in reaching out to you, You work with clients, I know across the United States, it doesn’t matter where they’re located.
We’re gonna go ahead and put your website on here, Monterey Premiere or whatever other sites you want. But Gino if they’re in the car right now and they’re listening, or maybe they’re not a spot, they can write anything down if they want to get ahold of you, what’s the best way if you go to your website and fill out the contact form or what’s the best way for them to get started?
Yes, the best way would be to head on over to monterey premier.com and And there’s a contact form. Take a look at which service in particular you’re interested in. As you mentioned before, I’d focus really on Divvy website, so a lot of the clients that come to me are usually already using it.
They know what it is, and they’re, building sites for other people or they’re freelancing. Like you may be in, in one aspect of the digital marketing industry, but would prefer. Have somebody else build the actual websites and Sure. And it just really comes down to, that’s my core passion.
And so if I’m gonna do anything more than anything else, it’s gonna be building websites. So yeah, come on over to monterey premier.com and then you can find all the information you need. Including my phone number if you want to gimme a call. I don’t not take phone calls. I just don’t have it real obvious.
I get it. I get it. But contract us paid for that. And it’s coming from somebody in the industry. Let me tell you that. Gino’s one of the few other developers in the entire US that I would trust to work on my site. He’s, a great guy. He’s got great skills and he’ll always lead you the right.
Over all the years that Gino and I have communicated online, there’s been so many opportunities when Gino could have directed one way or the other, and he’s always watching out for your best interests. And I think making that decision as though he were sitting in your chair. If you’ve got a need like that and you’re not already working with us, work with Gino.
He’s fantastic. He really is. So with that, I want to thank everybody for, watching today for joining us on the 91 Day Success podcast. We love you, business owners and entrepreneurs. We love sharing stories. And if you know someone that has got a great story like Gino, feel free to introduce us.
Maybe we can get them on the podcast as well. With that, everyone, make it a great day and we’ll see you on the other. All right, Mike, I think we’re ready. Gino, you’re a natural at this, man. That was so good, so easy. I appreciate you so much. You’re.