Ryan Deiss is the Founder and CEO of DigitalMarketer.com, a leading provider of digital marketing training and certifications which has a community of over 15,000 paid members and over half a million subscribers. He is also the Founder of Traffic and Conversion Summit, the largest digital marketing event in North America.
Ryan is one of the Principals/Founders of War Room Mastermind, which is a great way for business owners to meet their counterparts involved in digital marketing and to learn what’s working for their businesses. He is also the Founder and CEO of Recess.io, an internal marketing software that aims to fix the way that teams communicate with each other.
Ryan is also a sought after speaker who has shared the stage with top business leaders and celebrities like William Shatner, Gary Vaynerchuk, Tim Ferris, Daymond John, and Dave Ramsey.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- How Ryan Deiss finds great ideas to implement for his business
- The importance of having and knowing key customers in creating the right products for your desired market
- Ryan talks about the pivot points his company went through and how he made a breakthrough
- The role Intellectual Property in Ryan’s businesses and how it has helped in boosting efficiency through compartmentalization
- Ryan recalls his early days in ecommerce
- Why you need to be clear on the problem you’re solving and who you’re solving it for when launching a new product
- Ryan’s take on why a marketing message should have a personal and empathetic tone that resonates with client needs
- Ryan talks about starting and growing the Traffic and Conversion Summit
- How transparency has led to the growth and success of Digital Marketer
- Where to learn more about Ryan Deiss and Digital Marketer
In this episode…
How do you set the tone of your marketing campaign? Do you lay out point by point the things that you can do for your potential clients? Or do you let them know that your product is the solution to that thing that keeps them awake at night? According to Ryan Deiss, giving your marketing a tone that’s personal, empathetic, yet solution-driven is the key to make customers choose you over other companies.
Ryan is the founder of DigitalMarketer.com and he knows how to scratch the itch of your niche which then starts the building blocks of your business’ growth and success.
In this episode of Innovations & Breakthroughs, Rich Goldstein talks to Ryan about the keys to his success as an entrepreneur and a digital marketer. They talk about how Intellectual Property has helped him in growing Ryan business, the importance of knowing the key customers in your niche, and what it takes to be an outstanding digital marketer in today’s competitive online space. Stay tuned.
Resources Mentioned in this episode:
- Goldstein Patent Law
- Rich Goldstein’s book: The ABA Consumer Guide to Obtaining a Patent
- Ryan Deiss’ website
- Digital Marketer
- Digital Marketer Newsletter
- Traffic and Conversion Summit
- War Room Mastermind
- Recess – Ryan’s internal communication software
- Ryan Deiss on Twitter
- Ryan Deiss on LinkedIn
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by Goldstein Patent Law, a firm that helps protect inventors’ ideas and products. They have advised and obtained patents for thousands of companies over the past 25 years. So if you’re a company that has a software, product, or design you want protected, you can go to https://goldsteinpatentlaw.com/. They have amazing free resources for learning more about the patent process.
You can email their team at email@example.com to explore if it’s a match to work together. Rich Goldstein has also written a book for the American Bar Association that explains in plain English how patents work, which is called ‘The ABA Consumer Guide to Obtaining a Patent.’
Welcome to innovations and breakthroughs with your host Rich Goldstein, talking about the evolutionary, the revolutionary, the inspiration and the perspiration and those aha moments that change everything. And now here’s your host, rich Goldstein, rich
Here, host of the innovations and breakthroughs podcast, where I feature top leaders and the path they took to create change. This episode is brought to you by my company, Goldstein patent law, where we help you protect your ideas and products. We’ve advised and obtained patents for thousands of companies over the past 25 years. So if you’re a company that has software or product or design that you want to protect it, go to Goldstein patent law.com, where there are amazing free resources for learning about the patent process and email my team at Wellcome at Goldstein PC to explore if it’s a match to work together, you can also check out my book that I wrote for the American bar association that explains in plain English, how patents work it’s called the ABA consumer guide to obtaining a patent I have for you today. Ryan dice, Ryan is the founder and CEO of digital marketer.com and the founder of traffic and conversion summits, the largest digital marketing event in North America.
I’ve been going to traffic and conversion every single year for years. And in fact, I often say that TNC was my gateway drug for digital marketing. And Ryan is the one who introduced us all and got us all talking about things like lead magnets and tripwire offers. They got us to look beyond a core offer and look for the profit maximizer. And in fact that Ryan’s introduced in popularity as many of the digital selling strategies that modern companies now take for granted. And I don’t know if it’s been said before, but I’d like to say that he’s the godfather of visual marketing, or I don’t know, maybe he prefers the Elvis of digital marketing or Michael Jackson. I don’t know. Ryan, what do you prefer to think? Trying not Michael Jackson these days? Um, yeah, we’ll go, we’ll go with the Elvis. We’ll go. The cool. And, but young elements, not like bloated, not bloated Elvis, no like younger and hip gyrating, not bloated Vegas Elvis.
Exactly. Right. Exactly. Yeah. Perfect. Awesome. Thanks so much for being here, Ryan. It’s great. Great to be here. Good to get to connect and, uh, you know, outside of our normal, uh, hanging out time at work and meetings and things like that. So exactly. And then that’s another thing that Ryan is one of the main, the principals or founders of war room mastermind, which has been a group that, that I’ve been a part of for the past four years and, uh, really just, uh, a great way to meet other, um, business owners that are involved in, uh, digital marketing and to really learn what’s working for all the people. And, and so Ryan’s been facilitating that, founded that and, um, and among other things, I mean, so many companies in so many different things, uh, that, that you’ve created Ryan. And, and so I just want to, um, learn from you and share with the audience, some of your past experiences with launching new products. And, um, and I wonder with all the different things you’ve created, um, I know that there are many more that we’ve never seen. And so how do you find the right ideas and how do you pick from all these different brainstorms, the right ideas?
It’s a good question. Cause I have launched, uh, and at one time I counted and it was well over 70 different business entities that we have, you know, launched or scaled up, um, over the last, you know, almost 20 years. I mean, so, um, um, while, you know, you may look at me and go, gosh, that guy so young, uh, no, I’m just kidding, but it’s, uh, it, it, it’s one of those things I’ve been doing this for basically my entire life, um, and, and have launched a lot of different, you know, a lot of different businesses over the years. And many of them successful the vast majority of them, you know, not, uh, either a total failure or, you know, worse, they kind of hung around there for awhile where you thought maybe they were going to make it. And they, you know, and they just didn’t.
And the realization that I’ve kind of made over the years is when I just was blindly looking for opportunities. When I was doing research, trying to figure out what do people want to buy? Those are the things that never, that have never really panned out for me, all that. Well, I’m just being completely transparent. Like if I was just being purely market driven, where’s the market, where’s the trend I’ve never, and I’m not saying that it’s necessarily a bad, you know, a bad thing. I know people who that’s all they do, they look for the trends and they hop on it. That’s never really worked all that well for me. Um, what has worked for me is scratching my own itch. What has worked for me is seeking to alleviate a pain that I was feeling or one degree of separation removed, seeking to alleviate the pain or a frustration that somebody that I knew really, really well was experiencing.
But I’ve just found that it’s difficult for me to, um, hone in on, uh, that, that, that pain and that frustration, if I’m not personally feeling it, or if I’m not directly connected to someone who is no amount of keyword research or market research or survey data or any of that has really made me all that, all that effective and in those things. So that’s, I guess that would kind of be my first bit of advice is, um, for most of us that are out there, you need to start with your own with your own pain or the pain of people that, you know, really, really, really well.
Typically it’s always been things that you related to personally, you personally related to the need. And I think for a lot of inventors, that’s, that’s, what’s behind what they came up with. They had some type of personal pain, some type of need, which they then found the solution for, and then imagine that other might have that same need. And so it sounds like that’s the root of it for you. It’s kind of like a gut of what matters to you might be what matters to other people as well.
It’s the root of the launch. Now, once you get a brand out there and a product out there, um, and you have customers, you can then, you know, w what’s tough is when you launch that business, now, you kind of stopped being your own customer pretty quickly, because you’re now in a business. So whatever pain that you had before, if your product work, then you’ve generally solved it. And you’re now in the business. Now, now a whole new set of problems is being created, um, as a result of having this successful, um, already at least moderately successful business. And that’s when you really have to get to know your customers. So I said like, I’m either scratching my own itch or it’s somebody that I know really, really well. Part of the reason that we have, you know, we’re in mastermind is four years, uh, four times a year, we get together and we hear the pain that other business owners are experiencing.
Um, when, when, when I’ve been in other, you know, as you will know, I’ve been in a number of different consumer markets, whether it was in the survival and preparedness space or in the arts and craft space, you know, in those spaces, there always needed to be a key customer or, uh, or, you know, three or four key customers that I knew really, really, really well. And I mean, like new, well, I had to basically be friends with them, right? Not that I, that was the only reason I was friends with them, but if I didn’t know him incredibly well, if I wasn’t spending a lot of time with them, then I was going to miss. I wasn’t going to build stuff that, that really mattered to them. Cause I firmly believe you’re only ever selling two things. You’re either selling transformation, meaning you’re transforming somebody from a less desirable for state to a more desirable after.
So in other words, you’re solving a problem, right? So you’re either selling the solution to a problem or you’re selling identity reinforcement and identity reinforcement. That’s when you’re thinking about luxury goods and things like that. And nobody ever bought a Rolex watch cause they just didn’t know what time it was. Um, I’m primarily in the business of selling solutions to problems. I’ve never really done a lot in the luxury space. I know a lot of people have, but that’s not really my bread and butter. If you’re in the luxury space, you know, it’s a bit different. Some of what I say may or may not specifically apply. Um, so what we’re talking about here, but if you’re going to be in that solution of I create products and services that solve problems, you’ve got to be filling the problem. Or, you know, I think about like Marie grunge music.
Yes. I mean, so it was this whole genre of music where everybody’s coming out of Seattle, where it rains all the time and they’re super angsty. And a lot of these bands, um, kind of had issues because they came out with their first album and now they’re rich. Well, there’s nothing to really be angsty about. And so it was difficult for them to write songs. I think a lot of, um, inventors entrepreneurs, business owners, they struggle with the same thing where they had a problem and it was real and they felt it and they, they passionately pursued the solution and it worked for them. And so they passionately sold it to others. And now that they don’t have that anymore, they lose that voice of the customer. Um, and so that’s the thing that you can never really let go of.
Absolutely. So it’s very interesting in what you’re saying, what I’m hearing actually, is that everything you’ve been doing, everything you’ve been selling has been in the nature of a breakthrough, even selling people, breakthroughs like you are, um, having, um, all of these challenges in getting your product out there in the world. So here’s a pathway towards you kind of finally breaking through and doing that. You’re having trouble with training your people in digital marketing concepts. So he, the breakthrough, this training program that we have that allows you to now train all your people, bring them up to speed. So it sounds like, um, as opposed to, you said the other side of it, which is identity reinforcement, you’ve been selling breakthroughs, like, and, and, uh, yeah.
Yeah, I would, I think that’s, I think that’s another good way to characterize it and I’m not saying by the way that one is necessarily better, you know, Oh, we’re spending another, um, and there’s a lot of e-commerce and direct to consumer brands where, you know, really, they’re not, they’re not truly selling, uh, you know, solving a giant problem. Like they are selling more of a luxury kind of, you know, kind of thing. Um, and, but even in that, right, you’ve got to know, you’ve got to know your people. Like why, why do they want that? You know, that particular, why do they want that? But I think about like movement watches, right? A very well-known, you know, popular, um, watch company that was launched by a couple of guys on, on Shopify. And they wound up selling to Mavado for, you know, an absolute fortune, but they knew their, their buyer, you know, they knew their person wanted to have this. They wanted to be seen as unique and trendy, but didn’t want to spend a lot of money to get it right. So they came up with these very cool designs. It’s just, it’s hard. I think it’s hard to go out there and whether you’re selling a breakthrough identity reinforcement, I think it’s hard to do it if you’re not, the customer never have been. Or if you’re not at least just right there, arm-in-arm with the customer, who’s stealing that.
Exactly. And, and, um, I mean, in that sense, let’s talk about pivots a little bit where, um, and those are kind of breakthroughs that, that you’ve had in your company itself. And I’ve seen you many times before do a Mia culpa where you’re up there saying, we thought that this is what you wanted and we were wrong. And so now this is what we’re going to do, but then there’s like that pivot point, it’s very interesting where it’s like, um, we will go on the longest certain path. And then we realized, Oh, this is the wrong path. And then now the breakthrough is we’ve we figured it out.
So yeah, it happened to us very recently. Um, so we decided that what the world needed was a better learning management solution. Like what teams and companies needed was this was, uh, was a better learning management solution. We had benefited obviously from training, uh, and we had a number of people who, you know, companies large and small that have benefited from the trainings that we sold them. And so we’re like, okay, we’re selling content really well, but we need to get into the software business, right? Because software is more valuable. Then that’s important. Nobody was actually asking us for a better learning management solution. What people were asking us for was better content to train their teams, but the solution through which the content was delivered, nobody actually cared. But what we wanted to do is we want it to be in the software market.
So we decided that that was a better opportunity. So we went and built this, you know, we went and built this, this tool and it was a great tool. And still we were excited to use, it’s a tool that, you know, some of the other people who, you know, had this issue, um, you know, that were really committed to training. They were excited to use it as well, but we just, weren’t getting a lot of attraction from the people we thought we would get traction from. And the reason being they’re like, yeah, we don’t really care about that. We just want the content right now. We were fortunate that there was this one little feature in the tool that we kind of added as just a throw in. It’s like, I’d be nice to have this, but this one little feature that made it easier for teams to kind of communicate, um, in a way that that was sort of across between email and Slack.
Uh, but it was a way for teams to communicate managers, to be able to communicate with their teams and, you know, and vice versa that, that, that little piece that wasn’t even built into the original scope, that little piece actually was getting more traction than anything else in the, in the product. And so we said, well, you know, the market doesn’t really seem to want this, but I know a big problem that we have is I’m not communicating effectively to my team. Like, as we’ve grown, you know, we were doing weekly, all hands meetings, but not everybody can be there. And as we were more distributed that wasn’t working. And so, you know, we tried to disseminate information other ways. So I switched to just sending out an email newsletter every week to kind of help with the communication. And so here I was, again, trying to scratch my own niche in this way.
We built this other little tool that was kind of in the same vein. So we were like, why don’t we just get in? Why don’t we just focus on internal marketing? And so we’ve got a new, uh, software that we’re launching called recess or recess.io. If anybody wants to check it out, recess.io, we call it recess. Cause that’s, you know, recess was your favorite part of the day when you’re in school. Right. Um, that is an internal marketing and internal communications tool that we built one the scratch, our own itch. Cause we knew like we wanted a better way to communicate with our team. Yep. MailChimp and other email solutions are fine, but there, there was one designed for internal teams paired that our own kind of need with also looking at what people were actually using in this other product where we weren’t getting a tremendous amount of traction. And now we already have more users just in the beta pre-launch for this new product that we did after marketing the previous product for over a year. And that’s just the power of, you know, not deciding that, Oh, I want to be in this business because the, because the market is huge and therefore I want to be in it. You have to listen to the customers and yourself, you got them. And that was a pivot, you know, to, to your previous thing.
Yeah, absolutely. And it’s funny when you say scratching your own itch, I keep hearing scratching your own niche, which is kind of it, right. It’s better than one of the same.
I think that’s where you got to get to, you know, you got to get to scratching your own itch and then once you built the niche, then you, then you made me extraction. It’s done. Although I’ll tell you that analogy is going to break down and get a little pervy after a while.
Yeah. After a while, like maybe we should just leave it right here.
Yeah. We’ll leave it right there. So,
Um, let’s talk about the role that IP has played in the growth of your business and as you’ve acquired other businesses as well.
Yeah. I mean for, I didn’t learn the benefit of IP protection early on in my career. And I watched as kind of formulas and concepts that we had developed. Um, but really hadn’t protected. They just started getting talked about and taught and there, and nothing ever was associated, came back to anything that, that we were teaching. So you mentioned it like lead magnets, trip wires, like these were all vernacular and vocabulary that
Everyone basically at this time,
And now I know it’s just not there. Right. And so I made sure when we came up with our customer value journey framework and digital marketer, we made sure like, we’re going to protect this. Um, and not just, you know, look, I, it’s not like I want to protect it because like it’s mine and you can’t have it kind of thing. I don’t actually care so much about that. It’s more just about where is the value within a company? So we knew for example, that intellectual property has value because we recently sold, you know, you mentioned traffic and conversion summit as you well know, we sold that event. Now we sold that event, but we still retained a significant chunk of it. We still do all the programming for the event. We still effectively run the event. Right. So if we are still basically running the event, the buyer didn’t get any employees.
Right. What did they get? They essentially, they didn’t get any like past revenue or anything like that. Right. What did they get? They just got intellectual property. They got the name, all the Goodwill that’s associated, you know, with, you know, with that. And they got, they got the email, you know, list the customer list, all this stuff is just, you know, IP. And we were able to sell that for a lot. You know, I don’t, we’re not allowed to, to, uh, to disclose the amount, but it was an incredibly high, multiple, and you know, a lot of tens of millions of dollars. And that’s, that’s kind of what they got and we still get the benefit of the platform and all the other stuff, you know, all the other things that come along with that, like that’s a good deal. And that really taught us okay.
IP matters. It has value. So I want to make sure that, you know, as we begin to populize customer value journey and these other things, as we license other consultants and agencies to teach our models, we want to make sure that only our licensed certified partners are allowed to do that. That gives more value in the program. You know, previously we couldn’t, we couldn’t charge a lot for that license because what were they really getting access to that they couldn’t get just reading our blog posts. Um, so we’ve benefited in a lot of ways from understanding, uh, which, you know, obviously a lot of this has come from conversations and help that we’ve gotten from you, but we’ve benefited a lot from, uh, from understanding good intellectual property protection and practices.
Yeah, that’s awesome. And, and I think what it’s meant is you’ve been able to compartmentalize certain things and, and hold on to, so, I mean, you have digital marketer and you’ve created different products and, and also events like, like, um, um, you know, like traffic and conversion and war room, but, but because you own the IP, you were able to take one portion of it, compartmentalize it, sell that, and continue with all the projects without, uh, without having to basically sell the company to someone in order to benefit from, um, from one portion of what you’ve created.
Yeah. And that’s a great point, right? We were structured in such a way that we could sell just the IP, but maintain the operating company. Right. So, you know, we think about it as selling the eggs, not the goose. Right. And, um, and so for us, being able to, to kind of maintain the goose that lays the golden eggs is really, really, really important. So the eggs of the intellectual property, that’s what we’re going to sell off. Uh, but we’re still going to kind of maintain that, that egg factory.
Yeah, exactly. And just even one portion of, of the IP. So there’s other IP, there’s other products, but, but basically is a way to segregate. I mean, kind of like, I think years ago you had decided to break the company into a number of different companies, like a separate company for events and that spun off into its own thing. And, um, and so you able to compartmentalize digital marketer to an extent into a bunch of different companies that work together and each of them can acquire their own customers and, and have their own, um, you know, customer value experience. But, um, but each of them could, could have their own business going on, but, but now with intellectual property, you’re able to do that very easily and neatly in terms of different products, you don’t have to carve out a whole different company in order to create some IP around the certain product, which then can be licensed to a certain segment of your customers or sold to a certain, um, acquiring entity or what have you.
Yeah, I’ll give you a quick example. Um, you mentioned our events team. So originally our event, our event management team, the team that runs all of our events, they were just employees of digital marketer. Um, but what we realized is if we’re ever going to sell off any of these, you know, if we want to solve an event or, you know, whatever, and also just kind of internally, it was a bit messy because we have more room. Um, we had multiple events and, and the same event management team was, was running it all. So we’re like, it’s not really fair to have digital marketer cover a hundred percent of that. So let’s spin it out and make our event management team let’s make it their own company, their own event management company. And let’s have our different internal entities actually have a contract with this event management company to, to render services, to, you know, to this group.
And, and yeah, I, you know, at first, you know, like why the extra complexity, why the extra reporting saying, aren’t you just moving money from one pocket to another well you are. But that additional clarity that you get is helpful all by itself. But the other thing that happened is when we sold traffic and conversion summit, we were able to maintain that same contract with our event management company. So we sold the event and normally employees would have gone along with it. So we would have lost access to that team, just hugely valuable. It would have been really difficult to replace me. You not great, you know, Deanna and Carrie and Carol, and like that, that whole group are, we didn’t, we wouldn’t want to replace them, but in addition to not having to replace them now they’re essentially having them in this company is being supplemented by another company. So it’s the best of all worlds. And again, that was because of understanding good, uh, good legal structures. Good, good, uh, IP structure.
Yeah. That’s amazing. Um, and, uh, uh, and it’s a great example for people innovating about how you can grow a business. You can kind of think outside of the box to use a cliche, but, um, but basically you can be creative in how you structure things that allow for you to grow, allow for you even to be acquired and keep a lot of the momentum of what you’ve created and then continue creating from there. And, um, uh, so I’m wondering what advice you would give to people that are innovating and seeking to launch products into the world. Um, I mean, one thing we didn’t talk about is that, um, at the very beginning you started out in e-commerce like e-commerce websites was really how you cut your teeth with marketing, isn’t it?
Oh, yeah, yeah. I mean, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve sold everything, you know, we’ve sold a lot of different stuff, uh, online, whether it’s, uh, you know, digital products, so, you know, information publishing software, but also a lot of physical products, a lot of e-commerce stores and things like that over, over the years. So, yeah, it’s, um, that’s definitely something that I’ve been, that I’ve been doing since. I mean, I made my first sale online in 1999, so that gives anybody a timeline.
What type of product where you’re selling
The very first product I ever sold online was an ebook on how to make your own baby food, believe it or not. And, uh, it’s cause I was, I was able to acquire, uh, I was able to acquire this e-book, uh, I was actually, I was a web designer at the time. It was my freshman year of college. I was a web designer and my first and really only client was a lactation consultant. So a woman who helps, uh, nursing moms figure out kind of the breastfeeding process, which by the way, I’ve got four kids now, I think it’s, I think it’s great. But as a 19 year old, single guy was awkward building a website, uh, with like breast pumps and breast pads and stuff like that on it. But, um, she or her husband lost her job. That was kind of when that, you know, you think back in 99, 2000, that was when we sort of had the first.com bubble burst, you know, a little recessionary dip.
A lot of people, you know, went through some hard times. Uh, she wasn’t able to pay any for the website, but she’s like, I wrote this ebook on how to make your own baby food here. You can take it. And I was like, I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know if this is really going to, uh, yeah, exactly. Well, and so back then there was no competition. And so back then it was just, no, nobody else was selling anything on the market yet people were searching for it. So I won then by default, I won because I showed up and nobody else did. And so I repeated that process again and again and again with a lot of different products, but then something funny happened, it stopped working because people who really knew and understood the market came into these different markets that I was in and they kicked my butt.
And so that’s why I say like, you know, my first bit of advice that I would give to anybody who’s looking at launching something new is be really, really clear on the problem that you’re solving and who you’re solving it for. And if you have not personally felt that problem, uh, and you’re not actively engaged in, you know, relational conversation with somebody who is, and then you’re probably just building a business because you want to be in business. And I don’t know if that’s good enough today. There’s so much competition out there. I just, I don’t know if it’s good enough. I mean, maybe, maybe tactically, you’re a great marketer and you’re, you’re good at generating traffic really inexpensively, but I gotta tell you, somebody’s gonna come along at some point and they’re gonna be able to mimic the tactics that you’re doing, but they’re going to do it in a way where they’re, they’re just more knowledgeable about the market.
They’re going to speak to them. The messaging is going to be so much more powerful than any messaging that you’re going to put out. Um, we have, uh, we have the, there there’s a war room. I’m not going to name names. Um, but this is somebody who has definitely been in a lot of different businesses, a lot of different e-commerce companies. And primarily it’s just looking at stuff that he thinks is cool, that he can import fairly inexpensively from China and got lucky on some and had a lot of had a lot of strikeouts. Well, this person was really, really into golf and, um, his biggest breakthrough happened when he found this product and he personally got excited about it. And you just read, I’m a golfer too. So, I mean, I read the copy on this website and I’m like, this is great. Like I want this and it’s clear that, you know, the market.
So I would just say, make sure number one, that you’re crystal clear on the problem that you’re solving and who you’re solving it for, what is the job that, that product or service being hired to do. And who’s it being who is, who really wants it, who has that, that really significant need. Um, and, and then I would just say like, stay market centric, don’t just chase trends or fads because gosh, every single marketing loophole that I’ve ever seen has closed quickly. Um, I remember when search engine optimization was easy. I remember when pay-per-click Google ad words was five and 10 cents a click and you can arbitrage clicks. Lots of people doing that. I remember when, when Facebook first came out and an ad costs for nothing, there’s been a lot of people in e-commerce and direct to consumer who’ve benefited from kind of B uh, the acceleration of, uh, of Instagram ads.
And, and those were really inexpensive for awhile and they don’t know a world, uh, they’re learning it now, but they don’t really know a world where, gosh, what if ad costs double, you know, can, can they make, can they still make it work? If you’re, if you’re, if you’re market-centric and you’re building a list, it can to really serve a market, then a trigger, a hacking can go away and you’ll feel it you’ll feel it, but you’ll always have a reason to exist. And I think that’s the biggest tip that I would give to anybody who’s getting started fall in love with your market. Don’t fall in love with your product.
Hmm. Yeah, absolutely. That’s great advice. And, and it sounds like what you’re saying too, is that when you are, um, in it like that, then the messaging can come from the heart. It’s not something that you have to try and create from templates. It’s like, well, what is their pain and what is their, you actually can feel it. Then you can, can, your messaging will be that much more powerful because it’s coming from personal experience.
You don’t have to be world-class copywriter. You don’t have to hire an alias copywriter. Um, everything you do will work better, your ads will perform better. I mean, it just, every everything works better. Um, and th there’s just no replacement. There’s no replacement for that. What big companies have to do is do things like focus groups and how research departments and all these other things, because they’re, they’re so separated. They’re so far apart from, from their customer. Um, if you just try to stay your customer for as long as you can, um, then you’ll never have to do that, but you do have to recognize when you stop being your customer, right. You gotta realize if you’re the nineties grunge band and you just hit a big, and now you’re rich. You have to recognize that and figure out how are you going to tap into that anx that got us here? Or do we need to change style a little bit?
So, um, let’s talk about traffic and conversion. So this is going to be the biggest traffic conversion, advert 10,000 people.
Yeah. That’s another Arnold Schwartzenegger, we’ve got Marcus Limonus from the profit. He’ll be coming out. Um, plus a lot of just phenomenally great tactical marketers that are going to be out talking about, um, marketing stuff. So it it’s one of those events, you know, my, uh, business partner, uh, Perry and I kind of started this event, uh, over 10 years ago, just on a whim, like let’s, let’s put together an event and talk about all the cool stuff we’re doing in marketing and see if anybody shows up and a lot of people did. And so we did it again and you know, now a decade later, uh, it is kind of the definitive event for digital marketers and, um, and it’s been fun to see the event grow. It’s also just been fun. Again, the growth of the event, I think, has more to do with the growth of digital marketing as a profession than it really does with, because we’d be like, Oh, what did you do that made it, you know, that, that made it so successful.
It’s like, you know, first we did it for 10 years. You know, most people don’t do it that long. You know, we lost money the first, like four years, but we still kept doing it for some reason. But, um, so we had a nice long runway, but, um, but the big thing is, is as our market began to shift, right, because originally it was just entrepreneurs and startup people, people who wanted to launch an internet business, we watched it shift and we, we saw digital marketing shift from being this thing, excuse me, that somebody would do to launch, you know, to get a business out there and more traditional businesses realizing, okay, we need to figure this digital marketing stuff out too. So the growth of the event has less to do with us being great marketers, which I like to think we’re pretty good, but it really has more to do with just the expansion of the market as a whole and, and digital marketing, just really becoming marketing. You know, there’s almost no marketing without, without digital. So it’s, it’s great. We’ll have everything from, you know, the, the person who’s, who just launched a Shopify store and they’ve got a cool gadget they found, and they’re really excited about to, you know, a director of marketing for a fortune 500 company. It’s a very eclectic mix, but everybody’s there to, to get tactical there’s we don’t, we don’t deal in theory or any of that crap. Um, it’s just, here’s stuff that works. Go give it a shot.
Yeah, absolutely. And I think, I think part of what the, of the success of it too, has been the transparency of digital marketer that you guys have gone through many different, um, stages or evolutions of your business model. Like, um, along with digital marketer, it’s like kind of like, it was a point at which you were selling programs and then you were selling like done for you funnels, um, at traffic and conversion. And then you’re like, well, we don’t want, we don’t want to do that. That’s not working very well. Now we’re gonna move towards training. And like, you kind of evolve your business model and at each stage of it, you were transparent about it. And like you were talking about onstage of how, like we were doing this last year and that didn’t give us the results we wanted. So now we’re doing this. And I think, um, it’s, it’s almost unheard of for the way that your business model changed. Um, and yet the audience has remained loyal. And I think it’s because of the transparency that you pretty much brought everyone along with your journey, the whole, the whole way
That’s, what’s defined this business from the get-go, you know, we, I never set out to build digital marketer. Um, digital marketer.com was actually created. We had done, it was created on the third day of the third traffic and conversion summit. Um, I never thought of the teaching and the talking about marketing as being a business. I had companies that I ran, we had to learn digital marketing and figure how to grow those businesses. And then just, I kind of maintained this email list where somebody, you know, anytime I figured something out about digital marketing, I would email the email list. And if, and if I figured out something new and cool, I, I, I would build trainings to train our internal team and to figure it out myself. I would sell those to this list to help generate some additional revenue to fund, you know, the other ventures.
But it was always just this little side project that we, that we did that ballooned into this massive, um, business. Not because, you know, we were strategic in saying like, Oh, we want to go into that into that market. All we were ever doing was figuring out what worked for us. And I think the reason that people enjoyed it and the reason that people followed us is we talked about the areas where we screwed up too, because I didn’t mind, I didn’t care. I’m like, yeah, we tried this and it failed miserably, you know? And I think people appreciate that. And we still do that to this day. It’s like, here’s the dumb, all the dumb stuff we did, but it didn’t work. Maybe it’ll work for you, didn’t work for us. Uh, and then we also share the things that the do work. That’s what we’ve always been about.
And I think had, I tried to position myself as I’m a marketing expert that I would have, I wouldn’t, I maybe wouldn’t have wanted to do that. I might’ve let my ego get in the way, cause I don’t want people to know that I make mistakes, but I always saw myself as a business owner. I saw myself as a creator. So I saw the scripts that we had on the marketing side. It’s just being a part of the creative process. So I never minded that it happened, uh, because my identity didn’t arrest him being a perfect marketer who never screwed anything up. Um, but I think it also speaks to just what people want and how is trust built. And, um, I wish I could say I’m meant to do it from the beginning, but uh, I’m glad it worked out the way that it did.
Yup. As am I. And uh, I’m glad to be going back to traffic and conversion again, which is going to be March 31st, April 1st and second.
That’s correct. Right. Yeah. Back in, we’re in San Diego, San Diego, where we’ve been the last, you know, San Diego has been a great host city for the past seven years and we’re excited to go back. Uh, this year we’ll be in the convention center for the first time. We’ve absolutely broken every single hotel in and around that convention center, the fire Marshall will no longer allow us back in any of these hotels at the size that we’re at. So we were able to work out a deal with the city of San Diego to get, get into the convention center. I’m excited to see it’ll definitely be a different, a little bit of a different field, but I’m really excited to get everything under one roof. Not ha not have stuff spread out all over the place. Um, it should be great. It should be really good experience and just provide a nice place for people to hang out and be comfortable. And you know, the convention center shouldn’t run out of toilet paper like the host hotels did last year.
People want to learn more about you. I guess they can go to Ryan dice.com
Or digital marketer.com. I mean, that’s, you know, Ryan deiss.com is a site that I put up. Cause people kept asking me, you know, what my homepage was. And I had somebody else put up a fake website that, you know, was, I basically had to build it. So I could, uh, again, protecting my own IP, right. Somebody else put up a fake website and under my name and they were selling affiliate offers, you know, leveraging my name and likeness on it. So had to get them shut down and then realized that it was still lingering out there. So I got Ryan dice, just push him off the first page. But yeah, Ryan dice.com is, is there, but really, I mean, you know, if you want actual content, that’ll be helpful to your business in life, uh, go to digital marketer.com, um, and, uh, sign up for our newsletter.
We, we put out a really good newsletter every Monday that, uh, is definitely worth, worth. Clarence was macing your inbox for, um, yeah. Ryan Deiss, like, um, and, uh, also if you want to follow me on Twitter, twitter.com/ryan dice, R Y a N D E I S S a that’s actually me posting stuff. Facebook is my team just being totally transparent. Twitter’s me. I like the brevity. Cool, awesome. And, you know, I mean, maybe it’s a little late to be mentioning this, but you just mentioned the newsletter. Um, funny, um, bombshell that Ryan recently dropped as the fact that email newsletters are back. So, um, so for a while back like, Oh man, the newsletter doesn’t work anymore. Let’s not bother with the newsletter. Let’s try this other shiny object with this. And so a recent event, you know, Ryan announced that that email newsletters are back and if you want to create it, and if you want to see how to do them, then, then um, then you could join digital marketers, email newsletter, um, in order to see how they’re done well.
And, um, is there, uh, a short path toward getting that sign up? I know you had a QR code up at one of the events, but is there a easy to remember link? Yeah. I mean, if you go to, if you go to digital marketer.com, you should be able to navigate there, but also just digital marketer.com forward slash insider. Uh, cause our, our newsletter is called the DM insider newsletter. So digital marketer.com forward slash insider will take you straight to the newsletter signup. And, uh, we’ve got 20 or 30 free gifts and reports and things like that. We don’t really even advertise that you’ll get when you sign up. So yeah, check it out. Definitely totally free. And that’s a great way to see how newsletters, email newsletters are done in 2020. Right. So sign up for that newsletter. Thanks so much for being here, Ryan Rich, thanks so much for having me man, and keep up, keep up the good work, uh, helping, you know, lazy marketers and entrepreneurs like myself, who sometimes forget that, uh, that they need to protect their, uh, their assets. And they need to focus on that every bit as they need to focus on selling them. So thanks for the work that you’re doing to get the word out about them.
Okay. My pleasure. See you all next time. Thanks for listening to innovations and breakthroughs with your host. Rich Goldstein. Be sure to click, subscribe, check us out on the firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see you next time.