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The Clientside Podcast

The Golden Toilet with Steve Brown

The Clientside Podcast

45 min Steve Brown

In this episode of the Clientside Podcast Andrew speaks with StoryBrand certified fellow agency owner Steve Brown.

We discuss Steve's book - The Golden Toilet: Stop Flushing Your Marketing Budget into Your Website and Build a System That Grows Your Business. Steve highlights four crucial components that make up what he has called the business growth stack. They are marketing automation, campaigns, sales automation and clear messaging.

We discuss websites and the importance of understanding your real aim before re-building yours. Most people have an expectation of what their website will do for their business, however getting the messaging correct first is key. Steve refers to this as HEO, human experience optimisation. In this increasingly virtual, digital world we are living in, having some human connection is critical.

Steve compares a website to a toilet, everyone needs one, but is it what makes a house a home?

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Andrew:
Hi there, welcome back to the Clientside, you're tuning in to episode 21 of our podcast with me, Andrew Armitage, and this is the show for business owners, entrepreneurs and marketers who are seeking to improve their brand, their marketing and their growth.

Andrew:
I'm also the founder of a digital agency called A Digital, where we work with companies to help them put digital processes and tools at the heart of their business. Now, I hope you well, I hope you've been able to enjoy something of the summer as well. Maybe you've had a break or been away. Hopefully you've at least had a change of scene. I'm just recently back from a week in North Wales and it's been wonderful. Beaches, walks by the sea. It's been great. So I feel really recharged. It's going to be a challenging time ahead, of course, as we start and go back to work. But yeah, that break was definitely long overdue. So feel a lot better for that and know I really appreciate you taking the time to tune into today's show. I've got a guest on today as well, but I going to come on to that in just a moment, because before we get to him, I wanted to let you know about a little project I've been working on for a few months now, which is the release of my first book. I'm in the final stages of writing the script, and will be sending that away to the publishers hopefully before the end of the month. The book will be called Going the Distance, and that's going to be all about planning your next website. So all the bits and pieces, all the planning stages that needs to go into thinking and understanding how you can use that website and get the most out of it. So I'll talk a little bit more about that in a future episode. But if you are interested to learn more, then head across to gothedistance.website and sign up to be notified and maybe even have the chance to download the first few chapters for free. So check that out, gothedistance.website and hopefully first book will be published early 2021.

Andrew:
So on to today's guest, who is Steve Brown. He is the founder of the agency ROI Online. They're a marketing agency in Amarillo, Texas. Cue music. ROI Online are also a certified story brand agency. And in fact, they were the first agency become story brand certified. And I'm a big fan of Donald Miller if you've not come across him and his book and his online programs under the story brand umbrella then do look them up. But of course not before you've listened to the rest of this podcast and checked out today's guest's own book, because the title alone is intriguing enough, Steve decided that the world didn't need another dry book about marketing. So his book is called The Golden Toilet, Stop Flushing Your Marketing Budget into Your Website and Build a System That Grows Your Business. Welcome to the Clientside podcast Steve.

Steve:
I'm so excited to be here, Andrew, and actually talk to someone who has read my book and owns an agency as well, so I'm looking forward to this.

Andrew:
Yeah, me too. Now, I want to talk a little bit about your book, but before we get into that, just tell me a little bit about yourself, your background and how you came to do what you do, how you got into the position of running an agency.

Steve:
Yeah. So, you know, in my professional career, I always ended up in a sales position or a business development position for a handful of companies over the years. And, you know, I'm a little older. And so when, when websites were starting to be like a thing that most companies were starting to embrace and getting a website set up. And I was the one that would take the initiative to go and upgrade the website a little bit because I was recognising that it was actually a nice sales support tool.

Andrew:
Right.

Steve:
Right. And so back then, it was like, cold calls, you need to go out and do so many cold calls and report on who you called on and what the outcomes were, etc. But anyone that's done that knows that, you know, out of ten cold calls, you're only going to close probably one, assuming you're, you're good at what you do. But what I realised when I would go and upgrade the website a little bit, that I would get enquiries from the website and I would be closing two out of three enquiries. And it started to be like, so I started to focus more on it. My last position before I started my agency happened to be at the web design firm that I went to and helped me upgrade two of the previous companies I worked. So here I found myself on the other side of the coin and I recognised this common theme of every business owner that would come in. And they were looking at it and going, you know, I don't have the words and they wouldn't say this. But this is ultimately is like in those foreign films where you see the subtitles under, underneath, they were saying, hey, I have an expectation that this needs to grow the value of my business, but I don't know what to ask for. And so that's where. We would kind of OK, we'll get your website redone, but I realized I needed to start my own agency so that I could do it the way that I felt best. And so that's that's why I started ROI online. And just to convey the name was just to go. Look, I understand that you have an expectation that the investment of time and energy, your money needs to move the needle somehow. And that's why.

Andrew:
Yeah, it's fairly similar to me in some respects. I was I was sort of feeling a bit disenfranchised, working in a, in a very sales driven agency. I'm not sure you'd call it an agency. It was very much a sales company. And they were, mentioning no names, of course, but they were very much pushing websites onto people and they were buying them, but they were just not getting anything that went with it. And in fact, they probably didn't really understand what they were buying in some cases. And in fact, that was the shortest job I had. And it was soon after that that that I set up on my own thinking there's got to be a better way. There's more to it than just selling a website because it's the current big thing. And we're going back 10 plus years now, probably 15 years or so. So it was still fairly new. It hadn't matured anywhere near like we have now, of course. And yeah, I just felt I felt people were actually being misSsold. You know, they were being sold this dream, this promise that they were then going to get this thing. And of course, it's not a physical thing, but now what do I do with it? What comes next? You know, I've got this thing I've just spent and it wasn't big money back in those days. It might only have been sort of three, 500 pounds, even sometimes up to a thousand pounds. But nevertheless, it was an investment and had been a promise made to them. And they got this thing and it's like, well, I've got it. I don't know what to do with it. I don't know how to use it and how to maximize the benefits from it. And yeah, that's that's really sort of the back story to how I became an agency owner as well, thinking there's got to be a better way. These people, you know, they're making that investment. They've got to be able to understand how they can then use it. And there's more to it than just building something and sort of slapping them the back and saying good luck with it.

Steve:
Here you go. See you later. Yeah. Yeah. I felt conflicted because they would they would trust me, that I'm helping them get what they want and be handed off to the back room and disappear. And then they would look to me when it was going down in flames and I was like, I'm not in charge of those guys. And I felt really bad. So that's why I stepped out and started my own.

Andrew:
Yeah. Sounds quite similar type of organisation really. Let's move on to the book a little bit then, because I love the introduction. I mean, even just in the, in the introduction, you tell a story about high school speech and the toilet paper comes out and you've lost your words. I mean, that sets the tone for the rest of the book. So it sort of committed you to to writing or at least has some sort of future connection to a toilet, whatever that was. And, you know, what is the golden toilet? What on earth is it and how the heck does it relate to websites?

Steve:
So, you know, you'll recognise this. Folks come to you, business owners come to you, entrepreneurs, authors, whatever they come to you and they they have this expectation that they need a website and they have this expectation that's going to do something. But it's all about the website and what they're missing. What I realized is that if the website is effective, you're here, someone's filling out a form. There's a contact record coming into the organisation, into the business. Where does it go after that? What's the plan to follow up and support that sales process? Right. But it was like everybody is being called every day and being told that that person says, I can get your website to the top of the search. And so they're being programmed by society that they need to post social media posts, that their website needs to be some search, for example top, and they need to upgrade their website. But it was hard to reframe the expectation of this investment that it's actually a legitimate business process like hiring or invoicing or collections. And so one day it just hit me, you know. To be persuasive, you need to stop someone's brain and introduce a refrain. And so one day I said it and I said, you know, on your website, it's just the toilet, OK? And you can hear the tyres screeching on the pavement. A toilet? Yes. It's like you wouldn't buy a house if it didn't have a toilet. You wouldn't you wouldn't work in an office if it didn't have one. But when people come over to your house, you where do you hang out? In the kitchen. By the pool. The fireplace. The dining room, and the toilets just this nice hidden thing over here, but it's not what makes the house a home, right?

Andrew:
It's the utility that everybody needs, but no one really pays a lot of attention until it's needed.

Steve:
And so if your focus is on the wrong thing, then you're missing out the higher value of all the other systems that make it a home. And so I thought about what's the most absurd, iconic image of wasted money. And it's a golden toilet. Rock stars have those, Saudi kings. Cartel, people they have that and it's just the big.

Andrew:
The ultimate indulgence.

Andrew:
It is.

Andrew:
Golden throne.

Steve:
But yet the folks that you and I work with, that we want to serve, they hate wasting money. And so that was my way of kind of reframing the expectation of this this one piece of a bigger, comprehensive system that grows your business.

Andrew:
I think it's a fantastic analogy and obviously it makes a great title for the book. But let's just rewind it, because you said something a moment ago about what society is framed. Are you essentially saying that we've all got a little bit of imposter syndrome about our websites. We're all thinking, oh, my gosh, my website's not optimised for search engines. Oh, the it's missing this piece of functionality that someone's told me that I need or I've read this thing somewhere and it says I should be doing this. Is that fundamentally what you're what you're sort of the point you're trying to make, that people are thinking, oh, my gosh, I've got to do all of these things. And yet they're skipping over those crucial fundamental basics that actually put a system in place underneath it all.

Steve:
Totally. So Andrew, you know this, you're in this industry and so everybody is wanting to write a book or they're promoting some new, sexy technology, technology application that supports whatever we're doing, like chat bots or A.I. or all these things. And so I fell into that a little bit, you know, and and what I realised I was failing my customers because the assumption was, the fundamentals were in place. But the truth is, in most cases, they are not. And when I realised, hey, there's an opportunity here because it's just assumed, people come to you and you go, I need this and I need this, and you can fall into the trap. And you were saying it like the firm that you worked for. I won't say they're malicious because what do they want to do, make their potential customer happy? So they're going to give them what they want, but it's not exactly what they need.

Andrew:
It's not challenging that request, is it? Not challenge they want.

Steve:
No, but it's like the rookie mistake, so to speak. But if you join the military, they're not going to hand you a sniper rifle and say, here you go, buddy, go learn to be in sniper. They're going to run you to boot camp. Yeah. And that's what I realised was there was an opportunity here to serve my I believe the heroes of our time are these entrepreneurs that actually risk everything to bring us services and products that improve our lives, create jobs for the people that work for them. But they're risking everything, their family's future and their legacy on putting it out there. And I think it's incumbent upon us to serve them right and make sure they get the fundamentals. So, I wanted to reframe that conversation. And basically, it's what you should do in the first 30. I mean, the first 90, 120 days anyway, with any client, you probably kind of do a version of it. But I wanted to package it. I wanted it to be delivered, because it's a great opportunity to align with them. Yeah, yeah. It's a great opportunity to empower them by going here. You need to first of all, we're going to get our messaging clear. We're going to, how is that messaging and the technology of our day marketing automation? We're going to make sure that honors your sales process and with some other technology, some CRM. And we should think about strategic campaigns and the sexy things that we want to do.

Andrew:
Hmm. And these are the things that, like you say, they fundamentally make a difference. And I think once you start talking about them, you've you go beyond sort of the visual things, the nice shiny things that people can see, people soon realize. Actually, yes, this is the place that I need to to be spending my time thinking about it is it makes sense that I'm going through these things before going into sort of a redesign or sort of putting a new logo on whatever it might be.

Steve:
Totally. And they need that. And and really, you know, that subtitle of that foreign movie, when when they come to you. So when you think about the folks that we work with they're people that make things change to adapt to their vision of the future. So what are they doing? They're coming, and then trying to drive the best they can because they're an entrepreneur. And that's OK. Right. But we need to go. Right. I'm going to set you up for success and we're going to avoid some pitfalls, but we're going to get our fundamentals in place. And they really appreciate that.

Andrew:
Yeah, because there's there's a good example. Again, fairly early on in the book where you I forget the name of the person who was in your your studio. You sat in front of, having a conversation. And she was with the technical person who piped up, that's all great. But what about the SEO? It's almost like they missed the whole point of what you were saying because, OK, SEO it's a thing. And I get the feeling that you don't exactly put it on a pedestal. In fact, you've got something else that you call HEO, which might be something we come back to in a bit.

Andrew:
But but yeah, fundamentally, it's all well and good being able to bring loads of people to the website. But if you don't, then have those essential processes and flows, an understanding of what sits behind it, then you're probably going to be losing some of those leads or you're going to potentially even worse, you're actually creating a wrong impression because you're unable to handle them and you drop the ball here and there as well.

Steve:
Totally, you'd be sending them to your competitor.

Andrew:
Yeah, yeah.

Steve:
You know where that kind of snuck in to me. So I found myself divorced the second time a while back. And so I had to, I had to venture into online dating. So imagine if you set up a profile on an online dating profile. It's much like a Google Places listing for a business. What do put, in your location, your height, your weight, your your body style, or what is it that you enjoy? You know, all those things. So you those are called SEO terms, their search engine optimisation terms or hashtags, so that you show up in a particular search that your target prospects would put into a search engine and then have this list of potential candidates. Right. But the other thing you have to do is you have to put pictures of yourself. You have to write a little bit about yourself. Right. And so I'm a guy. I'm a guy. So I put pictures in there, guy pictures. Maybe I was wearing some fishing pants that zip off and whatever, and they're a little baggy, but they were clothes I thought were cool. And so, so my you know, I wasn't really getting my what was it really getting pinged that crazily right. And so a couple of weeks later, I get this message from my ex and she says Steve you need to change the pictures that you have on your profile, and she sent me the pictures I should put on there, and it really hit me at that point is that that we can do all these things to make our website show up in some search. But most if we're putting the things that appealed to us and not our target market, the people that we're wanting to search, they're going to swipe left. And so that was like a really epiphany for me. But that's where all that comes from.

Andrew:
So, yeah, no, again, you know, it makes perfect sense. And it comes into some of the messaging as well that you talk about. And no doubt you'll have taken from the story brand program on the certification that you've got, that that messaging is is so important. And it's it's not that superficial level. It's actually getting down to the crux of what is it you do? And again, in the book, you say, well, you're not an agency owner. You're not. And I can't remember the other titles that you gave, you are you and you do these things, you might you might provide those services through your business or some other front. But actually you are you and this is what you bring to that table and emphasize that, you know, the problem that somebody has the need that they have and then how you can then help them on the way to solutions, to solving that need and that problem. And you gave the example with your tumble dryer, I think it was where quite appropriate. You seem to be selling the toilet as you are going through that process. But it sounded like that that companies got an absolutely bang on because you were able to go from identifying, alright, hey, someone who understands the problem, they understand the situation I'm in. And hey, look, there's a flow that takes me right through from from the start point through to getting the solution. And the thing arrives in the post. And you managed to overcome the fears that I think it was your wife or your partner at the time who had about the thing bursting up in flames and boom, the problem was solved and it was dead easy for you to go through that process.

Steve:
So easy. You know, the biggest challenge that I believe we have as leaders and as agency owners or teachers and parents or whatever is to communicate clearly the vision that's in our head. It's clear in our head. And even though we think we told someone several times, it's ,it's shockingly unclear in there's well, whose fault is it? That's our communication challenge, right? It's our fault. And the beautiful thing about the story brand, framework that Donald Miller puts out in his book, it's an excellent book, building a story brand. Is that, our brains were designed a long time ago to really appreciate a story. That's how we communicated and before writing ever existed and so, but I say our our world has changed, but our brains remain the same. So the challenge for us as leaders is to communicate clearly to the human brain. And story is the way to do that. In the story brand, building a story brand book really lays out an easy framework to follow to really up your, your communications success and your messaging and your emails and your, you' just talking in stories. And and so that's the number one level lever that you can really lean on. It gives you a competitive advantage. And it's super easy because marketing is broken because of marketing positions the brand as the hero. Regardless of the story of the prospect that wants to participate. So so your prospects, your customers, they naturally live in their stories as heroes. And so to be able to communicate with your brand, I understand you. You're safe here. And I've got a solution to a challenge that you're wanting to overcome. And I'm happy to help you get there.

Steve:
Yeah, that's the essence of it. It seems so simple.

Andrew:
Yeah, right. Yeah. And of course, even the more important at the moment with, not specifically at the moment, but as we go through year on year, people's attention span gets shorter and shorter. There's more noise coming from all these different places. That clarity and communication is absolutely fundamental because that, that back button, the left swipe, it's so easy to just reach out to, isn't it?

Steve:
Yes. You think about it. You hear everyone say it's an attention economy. This is what you're saying is like when you and I wake up, there's a limited number of units of attention span available for that day. OK, and so you remember the time you went to the fair or you went to some carnival and you're going down the midway. You remember how nosy it was. Remember that you've got the ferris wheel, blinking lights and balloons and people are talking and music and all these things going on are bombarding your brain for attention because they they want you to come give them a ticket and get on that ride, right. Yeah. And so remember, though, you saw that foot long corn dog and you walked over there and gave him a ticket. And then when that corn dog came out of that window and you're looking at that corn dog and about to put mustard on it, all that sound went away. And so not only did it get your attention, it got your focus, OK? And so really, we're in a focused economy and we're competing against highly, they're just weaponised attention grabbers and focus commander's, Instagram, spouses, children, dogs, all these things they're weaponised in. And and that's what we're competing against. So the way to really relate and connect is via story and that it just works. And why it works is because we have a, I call it a body guard, the old part of our brain, the one that we share with lobsters and dogs. I mean, we can, we don't share a language, but we can recognise language. Right. And we communicate without words. And that part of the brain doesn't process language or text. And yet no decisions is made. No decision is signed until that body guard signs off on it. Well, text is like using those old modems, those fourteen forty modems, that's text, burning lots of calories, but story, images, just like when I was sitting on the toilet and I saw that lady's hand connect that thing to them, the hose and stick it in, there immediately. I knew what it was.

Andrew:
It all fits into place doesn't it.

Steve:
Yes. And that was like fiber optic communication, in a split second. That's what's going on with that bodyguard. And that's why it's so impactful to weave that in everything you do.

Andrew:
Yeah, well, story is one of the earliest sort of encounters that we have with with different situations and scenarios aren't they, as kids we read storybooks. You know, my kids are seven and nine. We read storybooks and they're still going through that process of storybooks. And that as a story brand, the program and Donald Miller has said, they follow that common format. You can see the common format, the hero, the guy, the villain and all the rest of it. So so, yeah, it makes it a lot easier for those certain features and characters within the story to sort of fit into a place in our minds.

Andrew:
Let's move on a little bit from stories and let's talk about the four crucial components that you have in your book. You've got four parts that you that you've called the business growth stack. Now you've got marketing automation in there. You've got campaigns and you've touched on campaigns a little bit already, sales automation and clear messaging. Now, we've talked plenty about clear messaging. Just talk a little bit about marketing, automation and sales automation. Why are they different? What part of the journey that customers are going through warrants those to be two different elements in your in your growth stack.

Steve:
Yeah, so the challenge for us to convey to the entrepreneurs that we want to serve is that the four components are a little bit different. You got the conceptual application of messaging, but it has to live somewhere. And it's just the technology of the day. These principles, the technology of the day and why I say that is like a thousand years ago there was a technology used to communicate with this clear messaging, paper or stone tablets, whatever okay. So marketing automation happens to be the technology right now. So here's the thing. All of your potential customers are being trained by great brands that already have this done, so they go, they go to Starbucks app, they order that, they walk up and then they just walk in the store, grab it and walk out. That's a super nice customer experience. If they come in and interact with your brand and it's frustrating and clunky, they can't help it. That repels them. So marketing automation provides a nice, safe way for that bodyguard to sign off on this person, to spend a little time, evaluate what you have to offer and to get you more focus. So imagine, you've clicked on something on Instagram, gone to someone's website and got sucked in for 30 minutes, because it felt good. There was exactly what you found. You knew where to go next. You spent the time and you found the stuff that you were looking for. Conversely, you done that and gone somewhere and just been really frustrated. You've just left immediately.

Andrew:
You know, when you're going to go back to then at that point.

Steve:
Yeah, you're going to go back to where you felt at home. It felt safe. So marketing automation allows for that investigation and makes that process feel good. It's a little bitty robots serving you, making things easy. So when remember that time you got excited about a product or service and you made your decision? This is what I'm going to do when you go in and then you talk to the human and they're just jerks. It was totally opposite of what you experienced, you left emotionally upset, you most likely you went to Yelp and wrote about it. Why is that? Because it was not congruent with your expectations. You, make yourself vulnerable to go in and expose yourself, your name, your face. You probably took the kid with you. And then, so your bodyguard said you're not safe here. So sales automation. CRM, is that one to one communications instead of one to many, like marketing automation and that messaging baked into their feels congruent. Your people are speaking the same words as you. They are the ones that represent you mostly. So that's a great way to win in the sales process. And then strategic campaigns. We always see those everywhere. But what's missing is all that back work. So I call it like below the iceberg, on the top of the iceberg that we see, we all see websites and social media, some ads or something but below it's where all the winning happens and most people don't have their act together there.

Andrew:
Yeah, sure. And as we said earlier, if you if you don't have that that match and that sort of end to end experience, that is positive because the customer journey is so fragmented now, isn't it? You might be you might be on the toilet looking at Instagram. Let's keep the theme running through the book, through the through the podcast. You might then be on a bus traveling into work. You might then have been asked a question. You might then randomly have this thought, oh, I've just remembered. Does that product do that? So, so they sort of touch points are happening in all sorts of different scenarios, under all sorts of different conditions. Your bandwidth might not be great, your battery might be running down. There might be a lot of noise in the background. You might not want someone to see what you're looking at on screen. There's all of these different things that come into the equation. And as a as a brand, you've got to be on point to each one of those different interactions haven't you?

Steve:
That's why really nailing your message and baking it into your platform all through any touch that branding style guide needs to reflect the same. It needs to compliment when you mostly when we say clear messaging, we all think text, but we need to think, we need to think HEO. And that's why I call it HEO, human experience optimisation as opposed to SEO. SEO is just we know it's bad. It's manipulating. HEO is like wanting to relate. Here's the other thing that's wrong with marketing. And I think it's where it got off track, is when the word consumer entered the marketing vocabulary, it made the humans on the other side with families and names and dogs, or dreams and needs. It changed them into a faceless, nameless entity that basically is like cattle with credit cards, what can we do to figure out how to get swipe their credit card? That's where I believe marketing really got off on it. When we design our marketing message or experiences, we're not thinking of the humans on the other side. And our bodyguards can feel it innately and yeah.

Andrew:
Yeah, so we've got to get, cut through that, haven't we? With that clarity, the clear messaging, the consistency as you go through all those different points and feel safe, feel the element of safety as you're going through and get to the stage, right. I'm in a safe pair of hands here, this is the person, this is the company I'm going to trust with my hundred dollars or whatever it might be at that particular point in time.

Steve:
Totally, I'm trying to think of a good example, let's say that mom wakes up, has got to get her kids ready for whatever the usual challenge of getting the kids, produced and out the door and the toilet is stopped up and overflowing. That is a big, that's a big hurdle in her day. Right. And so what is she going to do? Sit down at the computer and go plumber near me? No, she's going to remember one of her friends that said this guy was so great. He just showed up, made it easy. I was able to get my kids ready and not worry about what was going on over there instead of the guys showing up. So today I'm going to put my boots on and then I'm going to use this or five twenty one to to keeping on the theme of the toilet.

Andrew:
You've got a problem. It needs fixing. It's as simple as that, isn't it? How quick and quick and how easy does it become to have that problem dealt with? Because as you're going out the door. You've got one child who's lost the shoes, the others lost the coat and what have you. You just can't cope with it. You just need, I just need the job doing.

Steve:
I need someone who's got my back, that understands I've got a higher responsibility here. Don't worry about that, Mom. I got this. It'll be clean. You'll be back in operation. It'll be like I wasn't here. What is that saying? That says, I understand you. I have a family, too. I'm like you. I'm a human. That's the beauty of story. Or that's by really understanding what they're wanting to do. They don't care about your truck or the front of your building or the things in there. They just they just need you to help me make my day go easier.

Andrew:
And that's again, that's the simplicity in the messaging is, can often be lost because actually, you know, I think people get imposter syndrome over, over their messaging. They look around on other people's websites and, oh, they're doing all these other things and they've got that fancy studio or they've got this particular facility or service that they can do. And when people are asked to tell me about what you do, all of a sudden we think we have to, we think we've got to jazz it up a little bit sometimes that way. And we start, oh, we solve problems for brands. Well, no, we've already we've already lost people at that point. Yeah, we've. Well, what is the problem that you solve. Oh, we make it easy for people to manage their content on the websites. All of a sudden we've got down to the problem that actually drives people, you know, with the thing that they've got and it becomes problematic for them to use, problematic to do, or they then don't get the value out of it and they get frustrated. But actually, if we take that pain away, we can solve that. All of a sudden, we've got we've got a smoother, smoother journey for people.

Steve:
Yeah, the best way to think about that is like, if you were at a party or you, you met a buddy at the pub and you go sit down and just in the course of conversation and you can just go like I just help business owners, really get their act together online, and avoid all the pitfalls, them redoing your website and stuff. And they'll go they get it. OK, instead of going, well, we're, we're the number one SEO agents.

Andrew:
Yeah, right.

Steve:
Right. And you lose them. And that's the beauty. That's the competitive advantage. That's the lever. The biggest lever is just to go, draw a little picture in your head, what you do.

Andrew:
Yeah. Yeah. Well, we are sort of coming up on time. We are sort of in the midst of a global pandemic. There's obviously been a shift to more digital. There'll be lots of businesses, particularly at the smaller end, thinking, you know, what can I do online to sort of pivot, if that word hasn't been overused enough already. But how can I, how can I start and step up my game now when it comes to online? Where should people start? Because the answer is you've said in your book is not just to go and get your website redesigned, but there's obviously sort of a series of different places that people could look. The website, it's not a tick box exercise is it? It's something that people have to make work. And sometimes you got to live with bits that you might not feel 100 percent comfortable about. But actually, if you're skipping over some of the important steps just to fix something because you don't like it, when your audience probably don't really realise that it's something you don't like, where should people really start now at this point and sort of put their focus?

Steve:
So here's here's the awesome opportunity for all these folks, because everyone's in a similar boat. So imagine all the effort and deliberate intention that you put into your physical location. It's obvious when you're open, it's obvious where they're supposed to park even painted lines in the parking lot. When they walk into your location, it's obvious when they go next, where they order and where they pick up the order, where they sit down. That's so the same thing needs to be in place in your virtual representation. So naturally, there are companies that can do that. But I really encourage you to read this book because the whole intent of the book is to give you the language expectations that give you the diagrams to put you in charge so that you're in the driver's seat and you get more of what you want and avoid those hiccups. Getting your online platform, your online presence really set up for success. Of course we do it. We run people through 120 day classes, it's called the quick start. It's like I don't know if you're familiar with the show fixer upper, but we're the Chip and Joanna Gaines of remodelling, your online house, so to speak, and getting it all in order so you can walk in and enjoy life. But if you're in a place where you can't afford that, we have what we call a QuickStart Academy and that's where you show up and in ten weeks, our team will teach you, how to do what we do and we'll look over your shoulder and give you some feedback that will empower you to be in the driver's seat. This is a great time. I know, it's, we all wish that maybe it didn't happen, but it's an opportunity to leapfrog over something maybe you've been avoiding or dragging your feet about. This is the future. It's only going to be more and more relevant. So why not just get your house in order now?

Andrew:
Yeah, necessity being the mother of invention and all of that.

Steve:
Totally,but it's a competitive advantage.

Andrew:
Absolutely. Great, Steve. Well, we're out of time. I've really enjoyed talking with you. And, you know, some really sound advice that you have given there. Obviously, there's the book, The Golden Toilet, Stop Flushing Your Marketing Budget into Your Website and Build a System That Grows Your Business. Where can people find out a little bit more about you online? Obviously, the book is available on Amazon. It's also available on Kindle. But if people wanted to look up ROI online or find you on social platforms, where would they go?

Andrew:
Yeah, so the agency is ROIonline.com. Also, the book has a website, thegoldentoilet.com. There are some free resources there. You'll need to trade your email address to have access to them, but they're more interactive and colourised version of what would be in the book. Also my podcast, the ROI online podcast. I'm on LinkedIn, that's probably the best place to find me. Now, the name Steve Brown. There's two or three of us in the world, maybe two or three thousand of us. But it's Steve Brown ROI Online. Hit me up there, message me and I'm happy to direct you whatever resources that you'd love to find.

Andrew:
Great. Well, thanks again for joining me on the Clientside podcast this afternoon. Steve, great to have you on the show. Really appreciate your time.

Steve:
Hey, I love being here. You're a great host, Andrew, and I appreciate it very much.

Andrew:
So there we have it. Thank you, Steve. I don't think I ever thought when we started this podcast series, we'd have quite so many references to toilets. But I love this line from Steve's book. A website itself is necessary, but not in the way most of us think, it's necessary in the same way that we all need somewhere to go do our business. It's less about the look and more about an effective experience, if you catch my drift. And I completely do. I couldn't agree more. I think so often websites have been seen as a tick box exercises, out with the old, in with the new. We've got to be more sustainable with the time and effort that we put into websites. And we've got to really refocus in terms of how we use websites to get the most out of them. Yes, OK, SEO is important, but I love the HEO concept that Steve talked about, the human experience optimisation. And it is, it's all about human connection. We live in this really, virtual digital world, perhaps even more so since lock down. But that human connection has never been more critical and never been more important to get it right. That is where success can be achieved when you have a great website. So do check out Steve on all these social profiles. Definitely. Look at the book, The Golden Toilet: Stop Flushing your Marketing Budget into your Website and Build a System That Grows Your Business. It is systems that grow businesses. Processes go into those systems. The website is really just a front to support those systems and introduce people into them. So I really enjoyed the show. Thanks Steve for taking the time to join us on the Clientside and I look forward to seeing you on the next show, which should be coming from the brand new studio that we have at A Digital. We've just fitted it out. We've got some nice soundproofing, some new kit. So hopefully that's going to impact on the sound quality that comes through on the podcast. I hope you can join me then.

Andrew:
Thank you again for checking out today's episode on the Clientside podcast. I really hope you found a useful conversation with some actionable steps that you can apply in your business, if you can spare just a few minutes of your time then please do look us up on Apple podcast. Search for the Clientside podcast by A Digital and leave us a five star rating. And if you can leave us a quick review, I'd love to hear your feedback and would really appreciate your support. If you're interested in learning more about A Digital and how we might be able to work together, head across to our website at adigital.agency and complete our online scorecard so you can benchmark your own digital performance. You'll get a free personalised report sent you by email. And I can learn more about you and your business and the particular challenges you're facing. We can then follow this up with a free call to map out your priorities, either on the phone or over Zoom with absolutely no obligation. Thank you so much, everybody. I'm really grateful for you tuning in. If you have any comments about this episode or any previous episodes of the Clientside podcast and drop me a line to Andrew@adigital.co.uk or head across to our website adigital.agency/clientside.

Andrew:
See you on the next show. Cheers.

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When we say clear messaging, we all think text, but we need to think, we need to think HEO. And that's why I call it HEO, human experience optimisation as opposed to SEO.

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