Welcome to the Adventure, Grasshopper!
Nov. 11, 2022

πŸ“ Epic Engagement Adventure: Engage Your Audience Using Your Website with James Hipkin

Do you know what the five principles of Relationship Marketing are? How can they help you in establishing AND maintaining a good relationship with your customers?
James Hipkin is here to tell you all about it!


My friend, James Hipkin has since 2010, built his clients’ businesses with digital marketing. James is passionate about websites and helping the rest of us understand online marketing. His customers value his jargon-free, common-sense approach. In this episode, James explains the ins and outs of digital marketing in ways that make sense!  Plus he's a website person who answers his own phone. Who doesn't love that?

Complimentary website audit from James: Six Ways to Engage Website Visitors in Six Seconds or Less https://sixsecondsorless.com

Want to connect? Me too.  Join the We Kick Bot community - full of people just like you who want to make it rain without selling their souls. 

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Transcript

Interview with James Hipkin

RJ Redden: Hold on to your goggles. It's time for the epic engagement adventure.

Greetings, grasshoppers. Welcome to another addition of the Epic Engagement Adventure today. Today I've brought in James Hipkin. I met James probably a while ago at a networking thing. He stood out to me immediately. This is a person who knows the real value of relationships. This is a person who knows about engagement and my friends, in case you're looking for it, he's a website designer who answers his own phone.

Mr. James. Hey. Hello, So glad to have you on the show today.

James Hipkin: Hey, I, rj I'm so happy to be here. I'm so looking forward to this conversation.

RJ Redden: Beautiful. Well, will you give us, give us a little bit about yourself. Who are you, what do you do? What's it all for?

James Hipkin: Well, it's, I, I've had an interesting checkered past.

Um, it's been quite a journey. Um, I, I will do the brief Reader's Digest version of it, but, um, I started out in college doing a, a math and chemistry degree, like the work hated the people, but I was also a musician and I switched after my first year and I graduated with a bachelor of music, with a minor in math, just may seem like an odd combination, but...

RJ Redden: Those were the days of the liberal arts degrees.

James Hipkin: Well, liberal arts degree is still pretty powerful and still pretty important. Um, but what it prepared me for was a career in marketing and advertising because when you think about it, marketing and advertising is a very linear process. You do this and then you do this, and you do this, and you talk about funnels and it's all very logical and we've got these steps, but just like music, if you play the notes exactly as written, it's boring.

You need to bring a lateral perspective to the notes in order to make it beautiful. And that's what is differentiates a marketer who just goes through the written steps versus a marketer who really, really generates marketing that doesn't put people off, isn't slimy, and actually works really well.

RJ Redden: Uh, I love that.

I love that bringing the lateral perspective in, because it's not about following a formula, it's about adjusting.

James Hipkin: It's about understanding the formula and then interpreting the formula based on what your customers are looking for and what your business is looking for. Yeah. And keeping that teeter-totter in balance.

Is so, so important, and it is so often missing. Things are one sided, and that's when people, you know, they go, Ooh, marketing. Ooh, sales don't like that.

RJ Redden: Mm, Defense defenses come up.

James Hipkin: You know, nobody wants to be sold, but people want to have their problem solved. That shift in mindset is really important.

There's a couple of commonly used words that I'm trying to, I have my little soapbox all by myself. I am trying to get people to stop saying, call to action and stop saying, sales call. Just stop alltogether. And what I want you to say instead is pathway and enrollment conversation. Yeah. Effectively, they're the same things, but the shift in mindset is really important because call to action and sales call are what I call inside out marketing.

Yeah, They're coming from the business and you are shouting at your customers. You're telling them what you want them to do, whereas pathway and enrollment conversation, you're not telling them what to do, you're giving them a pathway to follow. You're not in a sales conversation. You're treating the event like it's the next logical step in their journey to a solution.

Like I said, effectively they're the same things, but the mindset shift really important. And it really makes a difference. It makes a difference in terms of how you're crafting your, your marketing, whatever channels you're using, and it makes a difference in how you craft the website. And I'll talk to you about that in more detail in a second.

And it makes a difference in how you generate a powerful relationship with customers. In the back in my day, I done a lot of loyalty research, loyalty work. I was at a meeting and we had just, you know, sponsored a large research study to understand why customers were disloyal. This was in the long distance category, uh, long distance telecommunications, and the researcher who specialized in loyalty research, that's what he did. His whole company, that's what they did for corporations. He stood up and in his preamble, he said something very important. He said 90% of loyalty problems can be traced to a flawed sales process.

RJ Redden: Wow. 90%. That's amazing.

James Hipkin: Loyalty problems can be traced to a flawed sales process. And that really impacted me and it really got me thinking about a lot of things in a different way.

And it was that meeting and, and the work I was doing. Led to the development of the five relationship marketing principles, which we'll talk about a little bit more about later in the, in the conversation. But they are also the underpinning foundation points behind what makes a website effective. Yeah, and you'll also notice when I'm talking about websites, I don't talk so much about design or, or it and that's a common mistake is that people think a website is, is a design exercise, and of course design is part of it. Sure, yeah. But when I do website audits, when I audit people's websites, the most common thing I see, or I don't see, the most common thing I see is an absence of strategy. It's checkboxism.

RJ Redden: Tell me about checkboxism.

James Hipkin: I'm a business owner and I got a list of things that I'm supposed to have and a website's on that list. So I gave my nephew a call cuz he can do websites and he made a website or I signed up for one of the web, it's a Wicks or Squarespace and I made a website and you know check that box.

And the reality is that digital marketing tactics in isolation, all of them, any digital marketing tactics in isolation are expensive noise. The power comes from the connections and the connection is created by the strategy, and the connection is created by understanding who your audience is demographically what are their attitudes. What is the pain they are suffering, the problem they're trying to solve? And what is the gain that they get by working with you? Yeah. Having that picture very, very clear. And then the next step, cuz a lot of people will say, Yes, I have a customer avatar. And I'm like, Great, show it to me. And then they have to start digging and...

RJ Redden: Yeah. That's the worst.

James Hipkin: Right? And then they eventually find it and we look at it and it's not good. But what's even more important or equally important to the customer avatar is mapping the customer journey. Yes. Understanding what their customer's mindset is, what the customer's thinking about from the point of view of you're not even a dot on their horizon.

Right? Yeah. Through to something happened in their life. Well, what would that be? What could happen in their life? Do you know? And then that raises up, Oh, I guess I, I better start thinking about this. I've gotta figure this out. I've gotta solve this problem. Consideration. I've gotta, And that, that's a whole set of information that's needed in the consideration phase.

And then once they've gone through the consideration phase and the problem has become more pressing, they go into prospecting. In prospecting, different information is needed. Presented in a different way, and then you get to the first purchase. And something I rec, I, I, I emphasize with people is that first enrollment conversation is not the most important.

It's the second one. Because if you can get them to buy from you twice, the chances they'll buy from you a third time improve immeasurably.

RJ Redden: Well, and that fixes what you were talking about before with that flawed sales process.

James Hipkin: Exactly. That ties, There's method to my madness.

RJ Redden: I never would've guessed.

James Hipkin: Just it. It all ties together. And we're still talking about websites. Yeah. But we barely mentioned websites. And the reason for that is that the website is there when somebody gets to your website, they've probably gotten there because they've heard about you through some means or other, right? Organic social media.

They heard you speaking at a networking event. They, their friend told referrals in all their different forms and formats, right? So they've gotten to the website. So when they get to the website, the reality is remember the, you've heard the story about a goldfish has an attention span of nine seconds.

Yeah, it, it's a myth. It's not true. But as a business owner, you should be so lucky you have six, like six seconds or less to engage a website visitor. And the six seconds doesn't start when the page appears. It starts when the page is asked for. Ah, So if you've taken four and a half seconds to get your page to appear, that's a problem.

RJ Redden: That is, uh, you know, I've heard that explained to me a lot, but never quite as elegantly as you did just there, uh, that it really, your website visit doesn't start when the page appears. It starts when they click the link.

James Hipkin: That's right. Wow. And, but, and that's a good example of. Outside in thinking versus inside out thinking. Inside out thinking is, well, the page is there now they have to, now, now the, the timer starts outside in thinking, following the journey of the customer. It starts when that link is clicked. Yeah. Okay, so we've got the page loaded. The next step is, am I in the right place? Mm. Okay, now you nod your head and lots of people nod their head and, but think about it for a second cuz I, I'll ask the question cuz I'll see a, a webpage and there'll be a beautiful, fancy, probably expensive logo in the upper left end corner.

And I, I'll say, okay, how are people finding you? Are they looking for ABC widget? Or are they looking for Joe Schmo, right, or Betty Green, or are they looking for your name? And I'll get kind of sheepish Squi squirming and, well, I think probably they're looking for my name. Don't see your name here anywhere.

Because in you want them, you want people to have the, Am I in the right place? Yep. Needs, needs to be like instantaneous. I was looking for this, I found this. Then they'll move on. But if they're, they arrive in a webpage and suddenly you've got them thinking about, am I in the right place? What is it I'm looking for exactly? Et cetera, et cetera. You're using up valuable time and they're not engaged in the thing that you really want them to be paying attention to.

RJ Redden: Right. There's still, there's still to some extent kind of waiting, you know? Right. They're, they're waiting for that feeling of safety. Yes. I've landed in the right spot.

James Hipkin: Security. Yeah. And that needs to be instantaneous in a check mark, because if it isn't, you're using up your six seconds. And it's also both page load speed and am I in the right these are trust events.

RJ Redden: Yes. Yes. They're building trust events.

James Hipkin: They're building trust events. People don't think about it that way, but this is outside in thinking versus inside out thinking.

You're thinking about it from the point of view of your customer. Mm-hmm. , these are trust events. The next thing you want to do is prominently, clearly, proudly, don't talk about yourself.

Lead with their problem. Because just like with interpersonal conversations, if you stand and meet a person for the first time and start instantaneously telling them how wonderful you are, how effective is that? It's just not. It's just not. And yet websites do it all the time. Yeah. Lead with a headline that shows that you understand their problem.

If we go back to the customer avatar, demographics allow you to, What media channels should I be putting my emphasis in? If your audience is over 40 and they're professionals, don't waste time in TikTok, right? I got nothing against TikTok. It's an awesome channel, but it's not about you. It's where is your audience.

Attitudinally, Are they insecure or are they secure? Are they confident in their, their point of view? Are they well educated and and opinionated and you know, all these attitudinal things. This helps you understand how to talk to them. Yeah. And then what's their pain? That's where you're in your hero section of the homepage of the website.

You want to be going after that pain so that you can engage them by being, making it very clear you understand their problem.

Okay? Then you wanna put up some trust events and that can be: companies you've worked with, if they're recognizable, doesn't have to be the Great American novel. Just simple logos are are fine because the purpose of it structurally and from a communication point of view is to just reassure your visitor that you are a credible person.

Yeah. Right. So that the solution that you are offering to their problem that you've clearly described is believable. Testimonials, another very effective way to do this, but 12 testimonials in a carousel is a waste of time.

RJ Redden: God, please stop doing that world. Yes, please.

James Hipkin: Please stop doing that. One testimonial.

Ideally a video testimonial that I, that is impactful and that focuses on the problem that this person's got solved by working with your business. That's all you because it, you're, Look at the structure of what I'm talking about. It's there to support and provide reasons to believe that you are a viable solution.

Yeah. Then you want to make their pathway clear. One of my other soap boxes here is I want people to stop saying Call to action. Yeah. Call to action is inside out marketing. Call to action is the business telling the customer what it is they want the customer to do. People don't want to be told what to do.

No, but if you start thinking in terms of pathway, you want to introduce pathways for your audience, effectively, it's the same thing, but the mindset shift is very important. And it's very significant because in any audience, You are going to have two or three subgroups in your audience that are quite distinct.

You know, for example, I did some work with a retired movie director, Hollywood movie director who was retired but bored, and he wanted to do some courses to help teach people to draw on his experience, right? And when we got talking about it, we identified that he really had three audiences. There were young directors, which is what he was, was a director who were trying to learn from him.

There were writers who were trying to write scripts that were, would work better, and then there were actors. Okay. It's all about how do we make a movie. Those audiences are very distinct. Demographically, attitudinally, their pain is distinct and their gain is distinct. So if you start breaking your audience up into those kinds of, of sub segments and you create two or three pathways, you've got problems, solution, reasons to believe, and then a pathway that calls out to this person, if you're an aspiring director, We've got X number, you know, a sentence or two, and a button that says, you know, to learn more, click here.

I'll give you another example. Um, uh, a coach, um, a professional public speaker, she's a paid keynote speaker. People pay her like a good amount of money to come and, and speak at their events. She's very good at it. But when we started, her website was a disaster. When we started digging into who her audience was and the avatars of these sub segments.

She really had three audiences. There were event organizers who were looking to hire a keynote speaker because they were charged with making this event happen for this corporation. And you know, that's a very distinct demographic, very distinct attitudes. The problem is very distinct. The solution is very distinct.

And then there were corporate HR directors. An entirely different group of people. Yeah. And the corporate HR directors would hire her to come into their organization and teach the executives how to be better communicators. It's still about public speaking. Yeah. But the audience is very different and very distinct.

Then there was a third group, which was mostly female executives who'd risen in the ranks, suddenly found themselves on stages and didn't know what to do. Right. Okay. Wow. Three, same business problem. Three very distinct audiences. So when we shifted the, the website around and, and created these pathways and called out these audiences, right?

That's outside in thinking, that's supporting the journey that your customer is on versus inside out thinking, which is look at your website and do you see it on the homepage? I'd have this service and I have this service and I have this. . Right. That's inside out speaking. You're shouting at them.

They don't want to be shouted at. No. Now, if they pick a pathway, two very important and very profound things have happened. Yeah. They've told you exactly who they are and they've given you permission to tell them more. Yeah. What a gift. What a gift because now the page that they l, the landing page at the other side of this called this pathway, you know who you're talking to and you know how to position your services and your offer in a, and you know what language to use, you know how to talk to them.

And then you get them into the next stage, which is another thing I'm trying to get people to stop saying, Don't say sales call. Start calling it an enrollment conversation. A sales call is inside out marketing. It's you're shouting to people, This is what I want to do with to you to. An enrollment conversation is I want to just bring you along through the next step of your journey, which is to start taking advantage of all that I have to offer.

It's exactly the same thing effectively, but it's an entirely different mindset and that shift. And that supporting of the journey draws the right people in for the right reasons. Do you remember what I said before? 90% of loyalty problems can be traced to a flawed sales process. So then the last thing and the six ways to Engage website visitors in six seconds or less is please, please, please make the content easy to consume.

Yes, Contrast is your friend. Please don't put white type on top of an image background.

RJ Redden: Oh my gosh. Oh, holy mo .

James Hipkin: Right. Please use hierarchy in your type. Your main headline is bigger than your secondary headlines, and your tertiary headlines are smaller than your secondary headlines. Newspapers are printed in columns for a reason.

Yeah. Short line lengths are easier to read. Lines that go all the way across the page. The webpage that are white on a background image.

You don't want people working on that. You don't want people struggling to, to, to find out what you're trying to say to them. You want to make the content easy to consume. You wanna use visuals to support the content. Another common mistake, I see designers don't think about this cuz they're just interested in like balance and, and beautiful design.

Most people are right handed. Most people, if you look at eye tracking studies, they scan from the upper left hand corner to the lower right hand corner, the least eye tracked spot on a webpage is the lower left hand corner. And where do I see the pathway, the button, the lower left hand corner cuz they've got a beautiful picture on the right hand side.

They've got a bunch of words on the left hand side, and then they've got lift down in the lower left hand corner. They've got this, please click here please. And, and that's not how people consume a page. Another trick, and now that I tell you about this trick, you'll start to see it. Yeah. On professional e-commerce pages, especially when they've got the budget to do photo shoots, you'll notice the models aren't looking out.

The models are looking over because the models are looking at where the headline is and people, when they see, they instinctively look where the image is looking.

RJ Redden: Interesting. They've had not thought of that.

James Hipkin: Another ex, another example, uh, I've done quite a, quite a bit of work with public speakers. Um, you classic speakers website, right?

Picture of the speaker on a stage speaking right. Understand the journey that your prime prospect is on. If they didn't think you were a competent speaker, they wouldn't be at your website. That's not the problem they're trying to solve. A much better image in the hero section of a speaker website will be a shot from over the right hand shoulder with maybe a profile vision and a view of an audience that's leaning forward, that's engaged, that's smiling.

Because the problem that the event organizer is trying to solve is, can I hire this person with confidence and I know they're gonna do a good job? And how do they define a good job? By the reaction of the audience. Yeah. Right? Yeah. So you want images to support your message and support the journey that your customer is on.

And that that's a, I mean, every, every speaker in your audience is probably gonna go back to their website and go, Oh God, for that. But it's a good example of, and this, this idea, this principle applies to many, many situations, but create content on the webpages that may, that's easy to consume, that people don't have to figure out where am I supposed to go? Oh, what am I supposed to look at next?

RJ Redden: Because here, here's the truth that you and I both know, and that's that people aren't judging you by your website. They are judging you by every other website they've seen for 20 years, right? And most of those have been bad, right? So they're gonna come to your website hoping, hoping that you'll give them some sign posts on where they need to go next.

James Hipkin: Or take it to a next level. You don't want people judging the website because the website is supporting the journey that they're on.

They're not even thinking about the website. Like great cinematic music. Yeah. They're thinking about the message that they're receiving. Mm-hmm and how that message is. Yeah. This is what I've been looking. Yeah, let me go through to here and let's see what else they have to say. And then it's like, Oh yeah, oh yeah.

You know, Oh yeah, that's what I've been, Yep, yep, yep, yep. Now how do I get in touch with these people? Then you're gonna have an enrollment conversation. It's not gonna a sales call. You're gonna have an enrollment conversation because you're, you're, you're just the next logical step on the journey towards a solution that your customer is on.

RJ Redden: And it really is, It's about that presentation and it's about the, the major, you know, the first commandment, uh, of building anything digitally. Uh, especially a website. Know the audience.

James Hipkin: Yeah. It all begins and ends with the audience. Yeah. That an effective website is a utility. It creates value for the visitors and it creates value for the business. And keeping that teeter-totter in balance is super important. And it's often not in balance.

RJ Redden: No, you know. No, I mean, it's that, that checkbox that you were talking about with people. Just, I gotta get this thing off my list. Yep. And they treat it like an online resume basically. Right. This is all, everything about me.

Uh, that's great. However, that is not what people are looking for. And if you can lead them in a way that, I love what you said at the end there, that or that last thing that you said. It really, you don't want them judging your website at all. It doesn't, your website doesn't need to factor into their decisions.

It needs to provide a space, right? Where they're getting the information they need to take a step forward on the path that's.

James Hipkin: Right when they need it. And these are all, this is about building no, like, and trust because you're, you're communicating clearly. It, it's not, you know, Hi, my name is James. Your place or mine.

Yeah, yeah. No, don't do that. Don't do. Please didn't work when I was a lot younger. It's not gonna work for you either. There you go. You know, there you go. Might work in the movies, but in real life, not so much. You, I mean, I, another story from my checkered past, um, we brought the executive team up from a large client that we were working with and we were doing lots and lots of work with them, and the creative director put up on the boardroom wall examples of all the things that we've done for them over the past couple of years, it was all pinned up to the boardroom wall and she turned to the executives in the marketing department and said, Okay, do see the problem? And they're all like, Uh, I don't even know. Is there a problem? It all looks great. And then she took a ribbon with two pins in it, and she went up and stuck that ribbon across a spot on the boardroom wall.

She turned to them and she said, Now, do you see the problem?

And they're like, Um, no. Still don't see the problem. And she said, All the material to the left of the ribbon is our acquisition marketing. All the material to the right of the ribbon is customer communication. It all looks and sounds the same. Oh, we're treating our customers like we've never met them before. Yeah. That's not how you build a relationship.

You treat your customers like they're giving you value and you are giving them value. You're treating your customers like there is a relationship, and that's again, where the relationship marketing principles came from, was this idea, you know, the 90% of loyalty problems can be traced to a flawed sales process.

So when you think about the five relationship marketing principles, number one, attract the right customers for the right reason. And that's what we've been talking about a lot in this conversation that we've been having. Number two, the most crucial time is the beginning. Yeah. That's why I said the most important sale is not the first sale.

It's the second sale. Because their interest looks like a bell curve. Yep. Just because, and the purchases at the top of the bell curve doesn't mean their interest is dissapeared. They're looking for confirmation that you value their business. They're looking for confirmation, uh, that you're, that you're not just another number.

Yeah. They're also very sensitive to what the competition is saying at that point because they're at heightened awareness of, of what's going on in this marketplace. The third principle is in established relationships continually reinforce the reasons to buy. Don't take people for granted. Yeah. You know, develop a lazy river market email marketing plan where you're not selling crap.

Yeah. Where you're just sharing information, sharing knowledge, telling customers how to use things better. Telling customers about, you know, other, how other people are doing things, what's going on in the marketplace. I mean, there's all kinds of things you can talk about. But you do not want to be taking them for granted.

No. The next thing is good customers expect to be rewarded. And you'll note my choice of words. I didn't say bribed. I said rewarded. There you go. This isn't about discounts necessarily. It's about giving them special access. It's about, again, the email sequence. You know, I'm. Wow. They just, they told me about this new product that's coming out like ahead of everyone else.

They're giving me a chance to beta test this new product. Right. Well, that's, that's practical for the business's point of view, but it's also reinforcing from their, they're acknowledging that I'm an important customer to them because trust me, your best customers know that their best customer. Do you know who your best customers are?

Right, Right. And the fifth relationship marketing principle is the second most important time is when the relationship is at risk. Stuff's gonna go wrong. None of us are perfect. Well, my wife is perfect, but there you go. The rest of us, not so much. Right?

We have it on record. James? Yes. .

I tell her this all the time, Doesn't do any good, but I do tell her this all the time.

Um, maybe why we've been married so long, but who knows? Um, so when the relationship is at risk, please don't toss people to automated response. And let me, let me throw another distinction out here. The reality, I'm gonna get a little Orwell in here. Mm-hmm all customers are equal, but some customers are more equal than others, right?

Mm-hmm. , I actually, I posted this and I think it was today on LinkedIn. I'm not, I don't remember, but in every category there is a small percentage of the category users who generate the majority of the category sales. Sure. It, it's the Pareto principle. 80 20, 20% of consumers are generating 80% of sales in the cough drop category or the chewing gum category or the automotive category, or you name it.

The specific numbers are probably gonna be different, but the concept is valid. Those best customers are heavy users. They have a heavy need for the product, which means they are very knowledgeable. They're very knowledgeable about your product, they're very knowledgeable about your customer's Provo product.

Don't talk to them like they've never heard of you before. Yeah, Right, Right. And these relationship marketing principles, when I say that the fifth relationship marketing principles, the second most important time is when the relationship is at risk, be aware that this doesn't apply to everybody. There's a whole bunch of your customers that you're not making money on and you're not ever gonna make money on because they just, and, and all the marketing in the world is not gonna change somebody's need state. Yeah. You wanna know who your best customers are because they are worth saving.

You know that loyalty program that I was describing before where that that line came from about loyal 90% of loyalty problems, we put the program in place, took about a year to set up and get running smoothly, but over the subsequent four years, we were generating a 20% revenue growth year over year for four straight years.

Hm. And that, and during that same time period, the brand did not change their market share one one bit. We were getting, we were targeting the best customers. We were keeping them on the books for longer. We were, they were less expensive to service. They were more likely to pay full price because they recognized the value proposition.

They were much more likely to buy other products and services from the company because they were aware of the marketing because they thought positively about the brand, and they were much more likely to advocate for the company, which brought in more customers through referral. Right. I think about five ways that a loyal customer generates revenue.

In your business, do you have a plan?

And the key point of intersection between your customers and your business is the website, and most of them are terrible. Yeah.

RJ Redden: Yeah. And that's the, that's the thing is that people's expectations lower. Uh, but when you run across something that really has been designed, built with the user path in mind it's astounding how beautiful it is. Oh, yeah,

James Hipkin: Yeah. Oh yeah. Because it's, and it just supports what they're, what, what the customer's on and it generates value for the right reasons.

RJ Redden: Well, and and they're not, they're not even necessarily thinking, Oh my gosh, this website is fabulous. No, they're, they're thinking you are fabulous.

Mm. . Yes. You get the credit. It's awesome. Um, well, I mean, we could probably go on for hours here, James. Uh, but, uh, you had talked to my wife. Yeah, there you go. I do wanna, I, I wanna put, uh, the link for your gift in here. Can you tell us a little. About, uh, the, uh, six seconds or less.com. Yes.

James Hipkin: Uh, if you are interested in having me audit your website and having a conversation with me around these kinds of strategic ideas, go to six seconds or less.com, and on that landing page, you'll be able to book some time on my calendar.

And I would be happy to dialogue and, and talk to you. Just be forewarned. We'll spend the first half of the conversation not talking about the website at all, which surprises people. It's a website audit. Why aren't we talking about the website? We're gonna spend the time talking about who your best customer is.

Yeah. And what's the journey that they're on, because without that context, assessing the quality of the website, meaningless.

RJ Redden: Truth. It just, it boils down to that so often. Know the audience. Well, uh, everybody take advantage of this, uh, six seconds or less.com, uh, for my podcast listeners. That is, it is so worth it.

You know, people have changed so much in the past couple of years. Mm-hmm. , your clients have changed potentially over and over again. The rate of change is massive. Now, why wouldn't it be worth it? Especially if there's, there's not a charge involved. To just have an objective pair of eyes, take a look. And, and tell you, uh, what's going on there and tell you, you know, how, how honed in this is to your people.

Uh, you know, an objective set of eyes. I've often needed it in my business. Uh, I have been so grateful to have friends who provide that. Go get that from James, uh, because he's offering it to us here. And, uh, I will tell you, the man is a wealth of knowledge. In case you hadn't guessed from the past 40 minutes, the man is a wealth of knowledge.

Uh, so any, any final words for us? Any final words of wisdom? James?

James Hipkin: I I think the last thought I'd leave with you is digital marketing is very confusing. There's all kinds of stuff swirling around. There's all kinds of things and new things and shiny things and things flying by. Don't boil the ocean. Pick one or two things and do them really well, and when you think you're doing them really well, figure out how to do them better.

There's too much fracturing going on. Yeah. Because remember all your, the purpose of your marketing is to, uh, again, this is marketing Funnel 1 0 1, attract the right people into the process. Build no like and trust through the mid funnel and then bring them across into your world through an enrollment conversation, and your website is key to that.

But the underpinning of a successful website is that strategic understanding of the journey, and none of that suggests that you should be using 15 different digital marketing channel. Thanks, Zach. Right. Find the another colloquialism here. The key to successful gardening water the flowers and prune the weeds.

RJ Redden: There you go.

James Hipkin: It's the same in digital marketing. Figure out what's working. Do more of that.

RJ Redden: Right. I mean, and, and as someone who has listened to an awful lot of digital marketers over the years, Woo. Um, are we trying to complicate this? Um, I would say, I mean, my, my only addition to that is when you're finding your one or two things to do, make sure they're super aligned with your personality.

Uh, and how you like to work. If you are not a numbers person, you know, uh, maybe, maybe getting into a huge paid ad campaign isn't gonna be your thing. Uh, so make sure that you are choosing tools that really align with who you are, what you provide, and how you wanna serve, right?

James Hipkin: And, and that speaks to authenticity. And trust me, consumers are smart. They can spot an inauthentic offer from a mile away.

RJ Redden: Oh, I also call it a pitch slap. Yeah. Um, because that's what it feels like. Yeah. Uh, . Yeah. Uh, well I can't thank you enough, uh, for coming and providing value. So much value to the audience about how to engage people with a website.

Uh, I think most of us forget about those things. We build one every five, 10 years and go, Okay, it's up now. What? Yep. Uh, it's evolving my friends.

James Hipkin: Right. As your business has evolved, as your, you built your website three years ago, is your business the same today? Is your knowledge the same today as it was three years ago?

Have you changed your website in the past three years?

RJ Redden: Those are the questions, my friends, that he'll answer on the six seconds or less.com. Uh, meanwhile we're gonna have to, we're gonna have to wrap, Uh, we're gonna have to say bye from now. Uh, and, uh, gosh, it's, uh, It's been a great week here at the Black Belt Bot Cave.

Uh, and, uh, I'm so happy to have y'all as audience members, uh, do take, do take James up on his offer. We'll be back next week with another fabulous guest and another amazing engagement story. Don't forget, all Power Networking is going on next week, uh, next week Wednesday. Uh, and. We'll, we'll shoot the link to y'all.

Uh, it's all gonna be on LinkedIn and we're gonna have a really great event, Uh, a lot of really super awesome people there, so be sure to come to that totally free. Totally awesome, uh, totally a great use of your time. And, uh, that's it. That's it from us. Uh, thanks again, James. Can't thank you enough for hanging out with us today.

James Hipkin: Thank you so much. It's been wonderful fun.

RJ Redden: All right, but friends, we'll see you later.

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James Hipkin

Since 2010, James Hipkin has built his clients’ businesses with digital marketing. Today, James is passionate about websites and helping the rest of us understand online marketing. His customers value his jargon-free, common-sense approach. β€œJames explains the ins and outs of digital marketing in ways that make sense.”