Episode 153 | Paul Mackiewicz | Military Millionaire

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Paul Mackiewicz on The Military Millionaire Podcast

00:00 - 05:00

David:

What's up Military Millionaires! I'm your host today, David Pere. And I'm here with Paul Mackiewics, who is a digital marketing, I guess, expert would be probably the best word there. He's an entrepreneur, Army veteran who's built a pretty cool digital marketing platform. And we were talking about the dashboard beforehand. And it's actually right in line with what I was looking to do with some stuff.

So really cool to be able to bring on somebody who's not necessarily the real estate side of things and more the business side of things because I am enjoying those conversations and digital marketing, I think is something that no matter what you're doing in this world, right, it is so important to have a digital presence and digital reviews and digital content and, and everything else. And I think that's honestly, probably more important in a lot of aspects for business than almost anything else. Because if you're not in front of your end user, then your business is going to really struggle.

So anyway, Paul, thanks for joining us today, brother!

Intro:

Welcome to the Military Millionaire podcast where we teach servicemembers, veterans and their families how to build wealth through personal finance, entrepreneurship and real estate investing. I'm your host, David Pere. And together with my co host, Alex Felice. We're here to be your no BS guides along the most important mission you'll ever embark on your finances.

Sponsor:

What's up guys, today I want to give you a quick shout out from our sponsor, me, and the no BS Guide to Military Life.

So I just wanted to touch on this real quick because I don't mention this book enough. And I'm not necessarily trying to sell it to you. You can go download the book for free on my website, there'll be a pop up that shows up and says Hey, join our email list and get the book for free PDF, boom!

You can also order the hardcopy. I'm a fan of how the hardcover came out. I think it came out really nice, and the softcover but this book was written for anybody, a military veteran who wants to learn about how to build wealth using military benefits and military just opportunities to your advantage. But I will say that it was definitely written with the idea of somebody who is just joining the military. And it kind of goes chronologically through what I think would most benefit you from learning at an early age like your Thrift Savings Plan all the way up through VA loan building wealth with real estate and then personal finance, entrepreneurship, personal development, growth journaling goals. In transitioning out of the military, right. This is everything I learned while I was deciding whether to stay in go reserves, get out, I went reserves. And so this book is written with you in mind. It's not a sales brochure. It's an actual 250-260 page book that is here to help you as a service member or veteran. Learn how to build wealth.

So go check it out. You can download it for free or go to Amazon or go to frommilitarytomillionaire.com/book. I hope it helps let me know.

Paul:

Yeah, super pumped to be here.

David:

Yeah, so why don't you give a little bit of background as far as how you got into the marketing sphere?

Paul:

Yeah, I've got one of those awesome, just crazy meandering career stories. So basically, I did my time in the army. I did my three years, got out and moved to Atlanta, mostly because I'm originally from Buffalo, New York. And the last thing I want to do is go back up to the northeast and deal with cold weather and all that.

So when I went to Atlanta, I picked up golf a lot when I was in the military. My sergeant was a big golfer and we both ended up on, you know, some broke dick PT because of some surgery that we had right around the same time. And so we were playing a lot of speed golf. So we'd all line up, we take our balls, you grab three clubs, you know your three woods, your seven iron and a putter. Y'all rip your drives, and it wasn't how many strokes took you to get in it was how fast you played. And so amazing PT absolutely loved it. I realized that I was quite skilled, like I'd always played around a little bit. So I got to Atlanta and I became a golf pro. And I did that for about two years. It was great. It was the best job in the world and I just couldn't make any money doing it.

So you know, unless you're playing on Sundays, you know, it's a tough profession. So I was given lessons. They were running Junior camps, teaching old ladies how to play, you know, fun stuff like that is great. But eventually got back into the business world. I worked with Dick's Sporting Goods for a long time. So I was in the retail side and after that, I was playing golf with a guy . A common thing with my career is playing golf with a guy and he was opening up a new business which was indoor golf simulators, driving range, bar, restaurant, kind of like this big entertainment center. And he needs some business experience to run it. So he brought me in, and it was great. It's my first time stepping into entrepreneurship here. Figuring out digital marketing, you know, how do you fill a bar? How do you get people to join your golf leagues? How do you, you know, what, what type of things can you do to differentiate yourself from all these other locations and, and build a business that way, and we're very successful, you know, we nearly doubled the size of his business in about a year.

05:00 - 10:00

Paul:

So it was all through, you know, digital marketing efforts and you know, streamlining some areas of the business and, and I loved it. That's what my education was in entrepreneurship, organizational management and marketing management. So I actually was getting to utilize some of those things getting out of the retail side, I did that for a few years. And that was back when I moved to New York and decided, you know, I'm done with this cold, I was ready to decent for myself.

So I loaded up and moved to New Mexico. And I was playing golf, match up with this guy. Yeah, he had this idea for a scooter rental company. And I was like, That's a great idea. So I invested some money, and we bought about 25 scooters. And I opened five locations throughout New Mexico and I would show up, little pop ups and throw my scooters out there, you know, and so at that time, I was getting these like 50cc scooters. So a little bit more like best besides not quite not like the little, you know, bird scooters. So a little bit more robust. But the reason that New Mexico was perfect for us, is because the scooter laws they're very lacks. So you know, I could rent them to just about anybody, buy a scooter for 450 bucks, rent it out for 80 bucks a day, you know, I was making profit in two weeks.

So a really cool business model. And I did that for a while but uh, you know, that's kind of.. I like to think those are kinda like my dark days, like I was off there just doing it by myself just hustling, figuring it out. And I always wanted to live in New York City. Growing up in Buffalo, you know, that's kind of the city to us that in Toronto.

So I got a job opportunity to go and work with a digital marketing startup in New York, and I was probably like 15 to 20. Somewhere in there. As far as hires in the office. And a year and a half later, you know, we had over 200 people in that office, and, you know, an explosion of a company, it was called Main Street Hub. And what they did was reputation management and social media management for small brick and mortar businesses. So in that I was the golf guy, you know, I had all these golf courses, that I was managing the..

David:

There’s definitely a theme here.

Paul:

Yes, there's definitely a theme here. So if anybody, it's one of the nice parts. So I mean, I incorporate that into what we do now. I know, I just had a client hit his one year anniversary, send him a sleeve of golf balls and a gift card to the Los Angeles local courses. And, you know, it gives me a reason to go out and hang out with them and play some golf and, you know, find those aspects and those passions to incorporate into your, into your entrepreneur journey, ethics, real important.

David:

Yeah.

Paul:

So getting to New York, I was a really solid sales guy. And I was doing trade shows about, like, 30 a year, I was traveling all around and selling online presence management, social media management, all these different businesses. And there's mostly at restaurants for me golf courses, you know, I want to, we found our niche, I had one friend who she loved scuba. And so she would like working with all these scuba centers and things like that. So it was a cool business, because all these businesses were coming to this realization of like, okay, I have to be online, like I have to be doing something. And so you know, finding those pain points in those needs. As far as online awareness of a business, you know, it was perfect timing for all that.

That company eventually got sold to GoDaddy. And yeah, so both those CEOs, and founders did very well for themselves. But I went to Miami, my girlfriend at the time and now my wife got a job offer down there. Had my New York experience was ready for some beach life. So I went to Miami and I started working with a digital marketing company down there that focused on higher end clients website development and SEO. So their largest vertical was attorneys, which makes sense, you know, lots of competition your website is very important, because when you're an attorney, you know, your brand is you, you know, you know, it's your name on a law firm. So I started getting a little bit more of a full scope of what it means to be a successful business marketing online, you know, seeing SEO social reputation, business listings website, you know, getting into the paid ads. So I was getting this big picture, but I was basically seeing in the market that there weren't any companies that were really fulfilling that big picture. You know, you had SEO companies or you had website development companies, social media management companies, or were expecting businesses in house to somehow find the time to do You know, 7,8,9 different aspects of managing an online presence by themselves and, you know, on top of running their business on top of, you know, keeping the books on top of like, how do you do that, as a business owner, and now become this? Yeah, this incredibly huge part of running a business is like, you know, what's your Facebook, you know, if you're not posting on Facebook, you know why what's going to happen?

10:00 - 15:00

Paul:

So in coming out here to Los Angeles a few years ago, with that company that I was with in Miami, I opened up their West Coast office, and I was serving as the VP of client success. And so I was basically, for the most part, like eating shit all day for the bad work that they would do, which was fine. I mean, I volunteered for that job. I said, you know, we have some holes in our business here, we really need to clean up. And so I eventually got poached and had other marketing companies say, Hey, we love what you're doing, come over here and work with us. And it's from a past relationship that I had. I was with them for about a year and then said, you know, this is bullshit, I'm tired of making money for other companies. I think it's, you know, I had that entrepreneurial bug between, you know, seeing the business in Buffalo, and my scooter company in New Mexico, and knew that, hey, you know, I can put together something that satisfies a lot of needs for these business owners doing a much more cost efficient way, with all these companies having all of these different people like having to have your website person, talk to your SEO person and your social person to figure out what your blog guy is writing and being able to pull that together, you know, I wanted to build a cohesive business that was able to handle all of those different aspects and track everything from a singular hub. And so that's really where hashtag smart started, was, like, let's find a smarter way to do this. To be more efficient, to be more streamlined, and to get better benefits in the end, because it's more of a synergistic relationship between all these different aspects, your online presence, as opposed to, you know, piecing something together and having like a Frankenstein, you know, online experience for your clients that, you know, just doesn't have continuity across the board.

So, that's our big claim to fame. And I survey my clients every month and ask them, like, what's your favorite part of what we do? And they're like, Dude, you just you make this organize, you make this easy, you make this, instead of being this kind of vague, I need to be on social media thing, like you show me why my blog matters to my social and why that, you know, impacts my SEO and how this all works together.

And then we come in at various price points, you know, we have some clients that are like, Hey, do everything for me, build me the site. And those, those are awesome, because, you know, we're able to kind of make everything work together. And then I have some clients that just say, you know, what, just just organize this for me, like, let me use your dashboard as kind of my hub. And you know, I want to do it, you know, I want to be the person reflecting our business online. And it works really well that way. Like those clients are also awesome, because you know, now they're organized and they're able to control all of these different messages that are going on online about them in an efficient and timely manner, that's not adding 20 hours to their to-do list for the month that's only adding like one or two.

So I think that that's the biggest part. Like my entrepreneurial journey is like pulling all these different pieces from these different experiences that I've had kind of bringing it all together and then finding ways to provide value at the end.

David:

Yep, golf, golf, golf, and then digital marketing.

You're the guy, you're the reason that people say networking on the golf course is where it's at.

Paul:

You know, I've always just been like a decent golfer, like, I wish I was better. I wish I got to play more. But at the end of the day, like I loved, I loved to play. So how would I build a career that also allows me to, you know, get out on a course all the time, because there's nothing better than being on a golf course you're out in nature. It's beautiful. You know, you're drinking beers you're hanging out like is there a bad aspect to engaging on some business out on a course.

David:

I'm pretty terrible at golf but I make a wonderful drink like a drunk golf carter. So you know, I'm, I'm phenomenal as the driver. I just, you know, if you see me ramp in the golf cart, don't worry about it. No, I enjoy golf. I've definitely thought about taking lessons here. And the last little bit so I'm thinking about, I need some kind of a hobby in my life. And I'm like, yeah, it might be a good one to learn. I don't know. So yeah, I totally get it.

But dude, that's so that's a cool story. And I like that you. You did exactly like you said, you just kind of bounced around trying to figure out exactly what it was you wanted to be and where you wanted to go. And, and then you know, you found it right. So you did all I had all the experience and finally said hey, why don't I Why don't I do this on my own? I'm gonna build my own thing. And as we've talked about before, I think digital marketing is, like, incredibly important. I mean, the entire reason that anybody knows I exist is through content, right? So If it was, in fact, I was on a podcast yesterday, I recorded the podcasts. And he asked, okay, if you kind of like the undercover billionaire, he was like, if you got dropped off with a car, a phone and 100 bucks, like, how would you figure it out? And I gave kind of two answers, but one of one of those and the first one was essentially, I would take like, 48 hours with that phone and make as many Tiktok and Instagram reels as humanly possible. Because once you get a platform, you can do anything. That's crazy.

15:00 - 20:00

Paul:

Yeah, and to answer that question, myself, I would sit there, I would Google, a personal injury attorney near me, I'd look at the one that had the shittiest reviews, and, you know, I knew was losing business online. And I would go knock on their door and say, like, okay, let's fix this, because I'm always looking at the return because that's, that's the important thing, right? Like, you know, it doesn't matter if you're posting 50 times on social media, if you're not generating revenue from that activity, then it's all worthless anyway.

And so, when I'm always working backwards with a client, like, there's actually a tire company I was just meeting with yesterday. And he's like, you know, we really don't have any money for social media ads, or for, you know, PPC ads. And I said, Okay, I totally get that, you know, how many tires? Does somebody usually get four tires for parts repaired or replaced? Or is it two? Like, oh, it's, it's almost always four. I'm like, okay, great. What's your cost on four tires? It's like, how about 195 bucks, is what the client pays us, we operate on about a 50% margin. I'm like, okay, so if we do quick math, every new client that you get, is about a $300 profit for you. Like that makes sense, right? Like numbers wise things like, yeah, so and do they come once? Or do they come twice, three times, like, what's your loyalty, like, oh, we always see him again. So I'd say at least two, maybe three times of client, like great, so we could ballpark pretty accurately, that acquiring one new customer for you generates about $600 of profit in your pocket. And I was like, so if we look at Google PPC right now, if your ad is seen by 100 people, and only 10% of those people actually contact you in some way. And of those 10% or 10% of people that contact you 1% or one of those 10 people becomes a client, you know, you would have to have a cost per click less than $6 per click. And that would be profitable for you, as of right now average for us tires in Buffalo, New York, is 75 cents per click, which means this can be very profitable for you long term, but it's all about working backwards and looking at that ROI and kind of building that story for them.

For attorneys, it's super easy. I mean, most of my attorneys, and that's one of the reasons why I work with attorneys and doctors generally, is because their price point is so much higher, like, you know, signing one car accident is, you know, $10,000 in their pocket. And so it's really easy to kind of work numbers backwards and build landing pages that are converting at, you know, at least 30% rate. And then, you know, I even talk to their intake people and say like, Okay, you got 10 calls, how many of those people are now clients, you know, two months later, and you know, figure out those numbers for him.

That's the fun part of digital for me is like showing people the possibilities, like this guy said, we can't afford any PPC ads. And I said, you know, you give me 300 bucks and PPC ads, I can generate you $1,200 in profit, like not just $1,200 in business, like over dollars of profit based off of your, you know, average closing numbers and things like that. But that's where it gets fun. I mean, and so many business owners are kind of locked into this, like, oh, I can't spend money on advertising or, you know, I'm afraid of digital because I don't know what I'm doing with it. And so when you kind of like, pieced it together, it makes a lot more sense.

David:

It's the scary part of business where you throw money into the world and you fundamentally like, you know, it's probably gonna come back, but it's, it's been nerve racking. Yeah. So we were at that point, right now, we owned a hotel, and we finally got all the rooms renovated. And they'd had no, no website, no SEO when we bought it. So we got the website built and SEOs everything live as of yesterday. And so you know, we're basically starting from scratch, which is good, because it means we can do whatever we want with it. But now we're like, Okay, we're gonna run ads. And one of the guys, there's three of us in the group, and one of the guys is like, Ooh, you know, we're not really profitable right now. I don't know, like, can we afford to run ads, and the other guy, basically something by thought up and he's like, if $1 brings in $3, that I'm gonna throw a million dollars at this son of a bitch until he's bringing us money. You know, like, that's pretty much where I'm at is like it works. You know, it takes tweaking, it takes time. It takes knowledge. It takes, you know, all of that. But nobody would be running ads on Google. If it did not pay them more to run those ads on Google.

20:00 - 25:00

Paul:

100%.

And I also kind of, I like to build things backwards. Because if I have an end goal in place, I can, you know, build out a strategy for it. One of the big things that I run into in like my initial conversations with businesses is and we saw that This the explode over COVID Because so many people are making more buying decisions online, my business is actually tripled in size, about to quadruple in size in this year alone.

David:

Wow!

Paul:

And one of the big reasons is because, you know, when COVID hit, everyone was home, how are they making those buying decisions? You know, there was no foot traffic, there is no oh, you know, my friend told me to check you out, you know, there were no backyard barbecues, for me to say like, who's your lawyer, you know, my wife got in a car accident, I don't know who to go to like, all of that was going on online. And so. So with that, the first thing I always come in and do is like, let's see how you look versus your competitors. If so many of these businesses are never even considered like, Am I answering reviews on Yelp? You know, am I pushing positive people to Yelp? You know, I'm not always a huge fan of Yelp. But here's the thing, like, if you have an iPhone, just hold it up, say, Hey, Siri, find me a grocery store in the area, find me a dentist in the area. Find me a chiropractor in the area, all that data is pulled from TripAdvisor and Yelp. So Apple doesn't have their own review management system. So where are they going to pull some sort of quantitative numbers like how I rank these businesses? And the fact that Apple piggybacks off Yelp, immediately make Yelp this incredibly important tool, regardless of what you think about it.

Google has their own system, you know, Google Maps, Google, home, all those things, minds listening to me here. But you know, and voice search, I mean, Voice Search is getting more and more popular, it's grown, you know, exponentially over the last, you know, two years and even COVID exacerbated that. So, you know, you have to make sure that you got those, those kind of pieces in place first, you know, if you look, if you're a 1.5 on Google, or Yelp or anything, don't run ads, all you're doing is you're you're promoting, hey, look at us, you know, and then they get there, they look at you, and then they go, Oh, the guy across the street is twice as better as you so thanks for your advertising dollars now sending me over there. So building out that strategy, like, first, make sure you look good, you know, make sure you have great images up, you know, Google business listings, you know, you can list all your products and services, right on there, and then have those links go directly to that product page or that service page, you know, contact phone numbers everywhere, where it's got to be your social media. So you know, at least look good. Do you have any followers or anybody doing anything, you know, show some activity, make sure that your, your, you know, graphics look solid. So there's some continuity in the page. And I'm not like getting to it and looking like it's, you know, a solo operation of somebody taking selfies in the mirror. And, you know, that's not going to make me make that decision.

So, yes, ads are amazing. And they're very important, everything along those lines, but you know, first, you know, clean yourself up, I'd say, you know, go get some professional photos done, you know, answer some reviews. I mean, it blows my mind that so many businesses just refuse to answer their reviews.

David:

Yeah.

Paul:

You know, if somebody came up to you in person, and was like, Hey, you were amazing. Thank you for that service. You know, I had a great experience. Would you just like, turn around and walk away? Yeah. Right. It's like, I'm like now. So not only are you doing it that way, but it's basically like you're doing it on stage in front of 10,000 people. Because, you know, digitally, that's basically what you're doing. Like, you know, and even with a negative review. So you see, somebody jumps on and says, You suck, you know, you, you had a horrible experience. Would you just allow that person to say that to you, and then allow 10,000 people to look at them and just watch you not respond? Like, chances are, you know, chances are screw that guy, you're probably not getting them back. Yeah, maybe you are, you know, maybe you can rectify that situation. And, and you should always try as a business owner, but at least answer it, you know, acknowledge it, say, hey, you know, we're so sorry, you had that experience, you know, that's not us, you know, we want to make this right, give us you know, contact us. You know, whatever phone number, shoot us an email at whatever we want to know about your situation. We want to fix this. Because, yeah, that person's probably gone. But the next 10,000 people that are going to read this review, you've just reformed the entire narrative around like, this is a super shitty business to, oh, this is a business actually cares what people say about them. And they value their customers. And, you know, I now have a completely different emotional response to that review. And so businesses just leave that stuff out there and like hoping that, you know, magically, it doesn't impact your business. Like it's insane to me. And the real rough ones here. I'll just tell you one quick story here. Some of these businesses are maybe more like a traditional business or have some history in an area or they've been around a long time. And they've been getting dragged through the mud on Yelp or on Google for 10-15 years now and they've never even claimed it, never looked at it, never like just buried their head in the sand on it. I've had so many of those businesses coming to us in the last few months, specifically, because now they're like, hey, you know, come, come help us run some digital ads. And I look on Yelp. And I'm like, Well, you've got 200 reviews on Yelp and you're two stars. So before you do anything, like, that's not going to fix itself overnight, do you realize how many five star reviews you need to get to offset 200 reviews with a two star like, you need 500 reviews to fix that, like, so if there's anything I could tell a business now is like, pay attention to it now, because one, you don't want to put yourself in that position long term, two, if you're a business that's in that position, you are not going to fix that real quick, like you, you're going to have to put some serious effort into repairing that the the analogy I use a lot of times is you're basically a 500 pound man who just went well, I'm having some heart issues. Like maybe I shouldn't eat those bonbons. Although you know, all those, like, you're gonna have to go to the gym for a long, long time, and change your diet and fix all these things about you.

25:00 - 30:00

Paul:

So go into that knowing like, you're probably gonna have to spend some money, you're probably gonna have to put in some work, you're gonna have to do something. Because if there's zero chance that that is what's good with you do not use a double negative here, there's zero chance that is not not going to impact your business. you know, in a negative way.

David:

Absolutely.

Paul:

Yeah. And so, so just helping business owners kind of realize these things, and, you know, quantify some, some reasonable solutions that are efficient, and, you know, timely, it's what I love doing, it's really, really fun to have a business owner and talk to him, you know, two, three months after I've worked with them, they'd be like, wow, like, I didn't know it could have this big impact on my business. That's really where a lot of the personal, you know, satisfaction and that I get from just doing what I do. And I enjoy it. It's fun talking to business owners all day, on their passions out, you know, getting them to, to think about who they are as a business. And the last thing that I've kind of touched on with this, this point is what you do online, doesn't have to be some like, fake bullshitty, like, Avatar of yourself, like, be authentically you.

One of the questions I love asking people is, you know, like, if you could be a celebrity online, if your online persona was a celebrity, who would it be? Because that gives me a real great image of like, okay, cool like this, you know, that guy's funnier. The best one I was, like, a few weeks ago, I was like, I'd love to be like Paul Rudd online, I want to be kind of funny, kind of quirky, kind of, no, I'm like, yo, I work with it. Like, I can make some memes that, you know, would be Paul Rudd approved, I can come up with some concepts and some imagery around things like that, or some, some, you know, content that, you know, can can lead people to be engaged in, like kind of give you that Paul Rudd, even with with like, one of my doctors, his social media is get little stagnant. So you can always say, I do this, you know, I have good reviews I like, you can only say that so many times. And so, I drag stuff out of them. That's, that's one of the most fun parts about what I do in my meetings is like, what do you like? Like, not not only what differentiates you from that other business? Or, you know, what are your value propositions? But what do you like, and this guy, after, you know, a good 20 minutes of being like, Yeah, I know, you like being a doctor. That's great. I know, you like helping people. That's great. Like, all doctors do. What do you like? And he's like, Well, I like Star Trek. I'm like, awesome! I can work with Star Trek. Like, I like Doctor Who. I'm like, fantastic! I was like, How about Harry Potter? Like, what else can I run with? Like, ticket? And so like, I drag that out of them. And it's amazing though, because now we do a Harry Potter meme. And this guy gets twice as many likes and he's like, Oh, now I get it. Like now..

David:

It resonates with me.

Paul:

Yeah, that's my job to make you look likeable. And people like Harry Potter man, and it's okay for you to like Harry Potter. And it's okay for you to tell the world that you like Harry Potter.

David:

Like you’re the worst doctor because you like witches, witches and magic.

Paul:

Yeah!

David:

It's one of my favorite things about my brand, like the whole Military Millionaire thing. It's gonna make me sound like a prick. But I love the fact that like, because it's all service members. I can be brutally honest. And I can say things like, you know, I can say things that most businesses would be like, Oh, we'd never say that online. Like, I had a post at one point on Instagram. That was literally just like, something to the effect of like, you know, suck it the fuck up. And it was like, nobody cares about all this other crap. Like, just go do it. And it got, you know, really good feedback. And I'm like, Yeah, I love the fact that I can post random stuff like that. And people are like, Oh, this is awesome. Whereas like, you know, if I was a dentist that couldn't Oh, your tooth hurts. Could be..

30:00 - 35:00

Paul:

Here's the thing, you could

David:

If it's done the right way, right?

Paul:

Yeah. And if and if you, yeah, if you frame it the right way, if you find a way to take that message and be like, Hey, don't Oh, I would actually probably spin it the other way. I'd be like, you don't have, we know you're tough, bro. We know you take MMA classes. We know you go into the gym. It's alright. You're two thirds. Give us a call. Like you don't have to be that tough.

David:

We won't tell your friends.

Paul:

Yeah. And we'll tell your friends your little bitch, but just come on in. Yeah, we'll even give you the you know, the laughing gas too. So you don't feel the pain. Like it's okay. Like, but you could play that. I mean, run with that people love that stuff. You know? I like Marvel. I like Marvel movies. I like Star Wars movies. We post about that all the time. And it's not because like, I'm expecting some attorney out there to be like, oh, you know what I like the X-Men too like, it's because that's who we are, like, be authentically you. There's no problem with being you. And it's really sad to me through some businesses that are just so afraid that we live in this super fear based society, like someone's gonna cancel me or somebody is gonna, you know, leave me a negative comment. Like, you know, many negative comments, I get, like, hundreds. And I know the easy answers like, don't care, but we all do care. So I know.

David:

I troll back sometimes it's too hard not to. I'm like, Oh, I'm going for it. My buddies, like, why do you let them get to you? I'm like, I don't, it just feels really good. Like, every now and then I just like drag it through the mud.

Paul:

Yeah, yeah. I like asking people questions that I know that they just don't have the answer to a lot of times with it. Like, so. And I don't necessarily do it for my clients, I do it more on our own media, but it's, we live in a very rigid society right now, where you're, if you're not A, you're B, you know, where there's no nuance there's, you know, people don't don't kind of like have those conversations. So one of my big things is, personally, just having nuanced conversations and understanding that things are not black and white, the whole world is generally some layer of gray in there.

And, you know, people when they're super, you know, hold to those convictions or they want to say like, oh, you know, even answering reviews. There's a lot of people that are like, Well, no, I don't do it. Because you know, I don't want it to turn into a pissing contest online. Like, you can answer a review without doing that, you know.

David:

I don't know that I've ever had, I was gonna say, nobody's ever responded. I respond to reviews all the time. And I've never had anybody like, they already got it out of their system.

Paul:

Yeah!

And that's, I mean, what is the negative to responding to a review and pointing out your side? I love it when business owners are proactive about it. There's a bar in New York City that is this super shit dive bar. And that's it is what it is and knows what it is. It's aware of what it is. And there's this woman that goes on there. And she likes to post this review, like the floors were sticky, and the drinks were too heavy and blah blah and he's like, do you not know where you were? And like, we had a band at the name of the band was like fucked up kitties or something like that. It's like you're, you're at a dive bar was super, like our specials are PBR. Like, why are you, why are you concerned about yourself? Like, you're getting the full layman yawn here, like you're coming for a wild night with your friends with a sticky floor. And PBR is like that's like..

David:

It's like going to Dick's restaurant and bitching that they were mean to you?

Paul:

Yeah, exactly!

David:

Like, bro, you're a dunce cap that said fat ass. What do you expect?

Paul:

And what's nice though, is now any other future person that goes to that business now has a more clear image of the experience that they're going to have. And if they want that awesome, like come to it, if you don't want that, then don't go there. Like it's, it's silly to me that so many people feel like they are entitled to their opinion being right. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. Everybody should not you know, we shouldn't be trying to silence anybody, like have an opinion, but it doesn't necessarily mean your opinions right? And, and I love it when business owners are proactive in that way. I always say my grandfather was a super cool world war two vet. Like he was a tanker in world war two. Like he's an awesome dude. And he was the guy that actually got me playing golf when I was younger. But I still remember this one thing that he always said to me, and I don't remember why he really said it to me or what the situation was leading up to it. But he said, you know, you aren't what people say about you, you are your reaction to what people say about you, you know, and it rings so true. And it's it's really forgotten in today's culture a lot of times you know, people identify as this that or the other but really like the think of you know, who you are and then from a marketing standpoint, it's once you're comfortable with like who you are, it's so much easier to broadcast that online and you know, and to just be authentically you and unapologetically you and you know, if you get some shit comments, you get some comments like who cares but being comfortable with yourself not only as a person, but as a business, I think really is kind of what's separating a lot of these businesses out there that are like too afraid to, to get too active online. And it's very interesting to watch because the writing is on the wall, like the businesses that are allowing themselves to be comfortable and allowing themselves to stretch outside that box a little bit are seeing more success and seeing more business come from utilizing these different online sources.

35:00 - 40:00

David:

Absolutely.

Alright. I think we, we kind of already touched on it, but we didn't use the buzzword. So you want to talk to me a little bit about the zero moment of truth?

Paul:

Yeah, so Zema is, its concept that's been out for a while now. But Google pointed probably like 10-12 years ago now. But the traditional marketing model, which, like I'm classically educated in marketing, so my degrees are in all this stuff. So but you know, a lot of that stuff is also yeah, straight out the window at this point, so.

But the classic marketing model was always like a three step process, there's like awareness, you know, I see your commercial. I now know of you as a business, I like using laundry detergent, or, you know, breakfast cereal, those, like great examples, I see a commercial.

Now the second moment of truth is really, you know, I'm at the store, I'm looking at the counters, I'm seeing, you know, these different boxes of cereal. And I remember that ad, I grab that one, great, like, I've made that buying decision. And then, the third moment is my experience, like, Oh, it worked awesome. It didn't work awesome. These cocoa puffs suck, you know, whatever it is, like, you now have an opinion of the product or service. And that's going to impact whether you are a repeat business, or if you're going to refer them out. And that's generally how businesses have always looked at marketing.

And now, with the introduction of technology, the easy access of information, you know, we all have computers, right in our pockets now. And our ability to see other people's input on a business is literally at your fingertips. And so this zero moment of truth is now not only awareness of a business, because awareness kind of comes in two ways. Now, you know, it could be advertising, so whether it's like a flyer, traditional advertising, or it could be through generic search. So like, you know, I google something, and I become aware of something, become aware of business. And then obviously, ads, like the traditional digital version of that traditional ad to be like, your Instagram ads, or, you know, social media ads, display ads, things like that.

So now, we still have this, like, awareness step. But before now I go, and I make that decision, like, I'm gonna buy this laundry detergent, I'm probably gonna, you know, go to Amazon and read 15 reviews about it. And there's, if you're anything like me, I always like to read the negative ones first. So I can be like, Okay, well, who's shitting all over this? And why? And is that going to impact my buying decision, then I'll read a few of the positive ones. And then, you know, make a decision, whether those are valid or fake or, you know, you know, where I kind of gauged that input. And that happens for all businesses.

If you're an attorney, say out there and you're running PPC ads, and you're a 1.5, or like a two on Yelp or Google, like you're literally flushing money down the drain, because I'm going to see your ad, I'm going to click on it. If it's not taking me to like a really nice landing page that has only your five star reviews on it and, you know, cross your fingers that I didn't, you know, go back out and look at your reviews anywhere. Because chances are, I'm going to see your business, see your ad, I'm going to Google you, I'm going to see a map pop up. And on that map, it says two stars, and right down the street from you, there's another guy and click on his and this is three and a half stars. And I'm like, Okay, well, I'm gonna go to this guy, because obviously, this guy's got a better reputation. And especially if I actually read through some of the negative reviews, and I don't see anybody responding to them. And I don't see any engagement from the business, like, generally at that point, I'm going to assume as a business, you don't give a shit about your clients or, you know, I'm not gonna have a good experience with you.

And so the zero moment of truth is really controlling that, that emotional response that impression people have of the business from that research step now that we have this easy access to information. So that's really what my specialty is, is making businesses look great online. And then transitioning that into you know, how to generate more awareness for that business. Because if you don't look good, then generating awareness is not necessarily a good thing, because you might be paying ads directly to send them to your competitor. And that kind of piggyback right in with our dashboard that we developed and we released about two years ago now and we've also just released a multi location version of it, which has been really awesome. Especially for somebody like retail shops, they need to track you know, reviews by location you know, this, this store up here is, you know, four and a half star this serves three and a half star why like, what are the reviews telling us you know, we built some word clouds I could see you know, maybe Joe over here in the in the footwear department has gotten five negative reviews and that's dragging everything down the entire start should probably go have that conversation with Joe.

40:00 - 45:00

Paul:

So we built this dashboard that truly pulls your entire online presence into a single hub. So you can manage your social media in a similar way to how Buffer or HootSuite works, where you have a calendar, you can schedule it out, we get some cool partnerships with Pixabay. For images with tener, for gifts, we also built in an RSS feed input tool. So say, say your law firm, you can track any news story that comes out about whatever like maybe your family law, maybe there's a big family law case or something in a different state or somewhere in your state, you can just click on it, make a comment on that. And then you know, you didn't have to come up with some cool concept that day, you're just kind of commenting on a story. And so we kind of built these RSS feeds with it. And then it also tracks all of your business listings, because you'd be surprised how many businesses have wrong phone numbers, wrong hours, wrong. keywords wrong websites. I mean, it's insane to me how incorrect a lot of the information is for businesses out there.

David:

You'll appreciate this, so we have the small town right, like 3200 people. So we own the only hotel in town, it's 40 units. And then there's two motels, right and one one is a full motel with like 8,10, 12 units. And the other is we bought it as an apartment. And the city was like, Hey, you got to this was zoned as a motel you gotta turn it back into a motel we're like, okay, cool. So we take it over. And the you know how finicky it is to get the stupid google verification postcard?

Paul:

Yeah.

David:

So it kept going to like tenants or whatever, like I could not get it in the hands of my actual management. And I couldn't you can't change the address or anything. So for like three months, we're running this hotel until we finally get it in front of the right person and get into like, crack the safe for like three months. We're running the stupid hotel and, and our motel and Google when you click on open and buffalo, Missouri, Google says permanently closed. And I'm like, like, Nah, come on. Yeah, you know, finally we got into it. Now we got it up to, you know, three and a half, four stars and climb in and whatever. And it has hours and phone numbers. But like for a solid three months, we're like, we got a new signup. And we're trying to get people into here.

Paul:

I can only imagine foot foot traffic for the hotel. Probably isn't that good.

David:

No, this wasn't even on the Strip. There was like, we got no one, nobody visited. But it’s fixed now.

Paul:

Yeah, that stuff is a pain. And I mean, I deal with Google business listings. That's literally day one. So for us, it's like, get these things claimed. Get them, you know, great images. Let's make you look. Because if there was, like one piece of advice, like if a business owner had 15 minutes, and they're like, I have to do the most impactful thing for my business in 15 minutes, it would be to claim your Google and Yelp page and clean them up. Be sure the business information is correct. And you got a few images if you can do that, like one thing. You're at least not shooting yourself in the foot.

David:

Good proactives.

Paul:

Yes. Good pictures! Yeah.

Pay for a photographer.

David:

Yeah, absolutely.

Paul:

Although, I mean, I will say this, I have a Samsung S 21 plus, there's along those lines a profile, like taking pictures like an attorney. Like if I need something real quick for a website. Works pretty awesome. Like, you can do some pretty awesome stuff. So you'd be surprised that you can get away with phones now.

David:

Yeah.

It's just weird when you get into, like, if you're doing real estate, because you need a wide angle lens if you want to actually make everything look decent, right? And the right lighting and like we took over this hotel and the pictures that were on it were like, Well, for one I had to go into Google and there were like 15 photos that I went into Google and was like, please take this off my it's like some dude cooking a steak on a frying pan in the hotel and I'm like that it was like photo number two? And like, please, please get rid of that like it doesn't it? It doesn't even show the kitchen, it just shows the frying pan. Like, there were like three of them. Like the same guy had three pictures of a steak and it wasn't even like not even a steak quartzite worthy of photos you know?

Paul:

Yeah, it's pretty mind blowing the business is just like oh, you know, whatever is out there is fine. Like are you sure like that's that is the first impression people are having your business is literally whatever image Bob visited you five years ago decided to throw out there I think that they're like the people that like Google and Yelp probably have a fun time like deciding what that cover images business doesn't come in there and say hey, this is the cover image this is that image like put them in this order. I mean, you know they got to have a little fun with it or something like that and like let's find the most ridiculous.
David:

Picture of the bathroom like check out the hotel and the home photos of the toilet.

Paul:

Yeah, yeah, that's usually like somebody's getting ready to go out. It's like a selfie picture and that's like on your business page is like…

45:00 - 50:00

David:

Yeah, we're in this case, it's a hotel, you know, two generations ago before it was updated, and you're like, a hotel doesn't look like that anymore, which honestly is good for us. But, but it did, it shows that it does. So.

Paul:

yeah, it's really, really crazy.

That is truly like we are digital creatures. Now all these decisions we make are online. And I mean, I can't tell you the number of times I've walked into a law firm and been like, Wow, this place is super cool. It's like, they've got this industrial field. And there's like, cool artwork in this. Like, I'm like, you know, did you guys have a designer? Like, oh, yeah, we had like a professional designer come in, and they did this entire interior. So it feels like a cool office. I'm like, there's not a single picture of this place online. You guys have the coolest law firm office I've ever seen. And there's not a single picture online.

That's the fun part about the internet. It was like you can do all this cool stuff now and kind of broadcast stuff out there. But I guess I'll give you my contact information.

David:

I was gonna say my the one the one question I was gonna ask was that you had like, what would be the most impactful thing? And you just answered it with the Google My Business page and Yelp pages, so I think that's huge.

What, uh, obviously, your contact info, but then do you have any resources that you would recommend either on your site or books that you would recommend for anyone who's looking to improve that zero moment of truth and or online presence in general?

Paul:

That's a great question!

Google released a book about Zema. It's about 10 years ago. Still very applicable today. And it's totally free to download, you just hop online and type Google Zema. And the very first thing that comes up is a lot of the resources that they have on it. Obviously, I'm a little partial, my website has tons of blogs, and tons of cool stuff. I talk about Zema a lot. I do a lot of podcasts. So if you like, more of that audio content and kind of concepts to go through, and you can deal with listening to me swear, and I talk about funny stories. I do do a lot of podcasts. And then one of one of the best things that I think businesses can do. And it might be because I'm more kind of like a hands-on learner, and I think is take the top 10 ideas that you have of what you would want someone to Google that would be a perfect candidate for your business. And just look at the other businesses, you know, look, look at the ones that are on top and SEO and especially on top in the maps. It's, it's, it's not like a secret on how to get up there. Like you have to have good content, you have to have a nice functioning website. It has to be mobile friendly, you know, you have to get lots of reviews and answer reviews and put lots of pictures up. It's a matter of doing the work. But if you actually go in there, and you say like, Okay, why is this guy, you know, on top of Google, why is he on? You know, what are they doing that I'm not doing you know, it's not, there's not some magic bullet, it's limited, you got to put in some work, and you gotta do it.

So that that probably would be the biggest resource I would say above anything, is just be aware, like, be a little a little cognizant of, you know, what your competitors are doing and what you're doing and those differences.

Pay attention.

David:

I like this.

And I'm gonna throw out one quick blurb. And then obviously, I want to, I want you to plug your website again, and your contact info.

If you made it all the way through this, and you're thinking like, wow, this is great, but I'm a real estate investor. I don't know how this applies. Well, I'll tell you that I for my home buying LLC, I 100% have a Google my business with reviews and a website and page and everything that you can think of because you will not rank on Google, comparatively if you don't have like, you know, so as a real estate agent, investor, lender, whatever, this is still king. So just wanna make sure you guys all know it's applicable.

Paul:

Yeah, and I'll speak to that actually real quick too, because I've worked with some realtors in the past and some of like the independent ones, and or, you know, they're associated with Coldwell Banker or, you know, some of the bigger companies out there.

Having a personal website for it is great. Like, it's a nice business card, you could, you know, list some of the properties that you're representing or some of the properties that you're working on, if you're thinking about SEO, but very, very difficult. I mean, Zillow, you know, the color banker sites, the realtor ones are century 21 sites that realtor.com Like, you're never going to rank above them.

So thinking from like an SEO content side, you're not gonna be in that conversation where I would really put most of your focus on is being relatable and being engaging on social media because that's really the only the only place where you're on the same level as all those other businesses like they can't outpost you, they can't out facetime you they can't, like that's where you can separate yourself in the realtor business, I've literally turned down SEO for realtors before feeling like it is pointless, you can pay me two grand a month, I will never get to page one like, I'm sorry, like, just as it is. And I, you know, I want to be very frank about it.

50:00 - 52:48

Paul:

But you can get lots of interviews, and you can be super active on social and you know, a lot of business people are comfortable with that. But if you're going into the realtor realty world, you better get comfortable with it. Because there's very, very little as far as outside areas, you're not going to outspend them in paid ads, and you're not going to outrank them in SEO.

David:

Yeah, focus on the personal brand.

Paul:

Yep.

Yeah, that's, that's the biggest thing that I would push on that.

And as far as getting to contact me, Zema expert, is that will take you right to kind of the Zema section of our website. There's a form on there, you can fill it out, we have our dashboard, we have a free two week trial, that you're more than welcome to try it out. And we put it at a price point where it's very reasonable for small businesses. That was one of my big things, as I was building this was like, How do I keep something that's, you know, very cost efficient. So we offer our dashboard for only 150 bucks a month.

So for businesses to be able to manage their entire online presence from a single hub, it's a really, really good value. And we have a lot of clients that just do that. They just use our dashboard, then we have some clients that we do everything for.

There's also a spot on there to send me your information or book a time to speak with me, if you want me to kind of dig into your business. I have my sales team going there. We provide these snapshot reports, which is cool, because it kind of grades you in your industry versus the other businesses out there. It's a great starting point for saying like, okay, cool. So like my business listings aren't horrible, but my restock, like you at least kind of can get some actionable insights.

And so there's an opportunity to sign up just to get a free snapshot report. And then you can always follow us on social media, we're pretty active on our social media. It is #smartmarketing, on Instagram. If you just search #smartmarketing will come up just about everywhere. And in most cases, you actually have to write out a hashtag as you know, like our Instagram handle. We can't use the paths anymore.

David:

That's funny.

Paul:

Yeah. And in our traditional website is #-smart.com.

David:

Easy.

Cool, by the way. Hey, Paul, I really appreciate you coming on the show today. This has been fun. I enjoy talking about this stuff. I'm not an expert by any means. But I enjoy dabbling and learning. So it's been good.

I appreciate it.

Paul:

Yeah, man. It was a great time. I really appreciate you having me on and we'll talk again soon.

End:

Thank you for listening to another episode about my journey from military to millionaire. If you liked it, be sure to visit frommilitarytomillionaire.com/podcast to subscribe to future podcasts. While you're there. We'd love for you to rate the show. Give us a review on iTunes. Now get out there and take action.

Paul Mackiewicz quote about SEO

Episode: 153

Paul Mackiewicz

Join your host David Pere in this episode with guest Paul Mackiewicz as he simplifies the concept of ZMOT: Zero Moment of Truth and how digital marketing works on putting you at the forefront of your end-users.

To understand how the digital age changed marketing, Paul highlights how the pandemic amplified everyone at home making their buying decisions for every need and want. But, with easy access to online information, is your business showing up in a good light?

In this episode, Paul talks about his entry to digital marketing, the immense online effect terrible reviews can have on your business, the three stages of ZMOT and how this integrates to our present generation, and so much more.

About Paul Mackiewicz:

Paul’s favorite part of what he does is speaking with a client after 3-4 months and hearing the excitement in their voice as they tell him success stories after success stories. Paul gives them 3-5 strategies for free, they can do right away that will start generating more business from their online profiles. As their business grows and they see what #Smart is capable of, the relationship takes off.

#Smart is the culmination of a decade-plus worth of experience in Digital Marketing, Website Design, SEO, Social Media, Reputation Management, and eBranding. They specialize in systematizing digital marketing operations and maximizing the efficiency in which businesses manage their online presence.

 

Sponsor* The No B.S. Guide to Military Life

https://www.frommilitarytomillionaire.com/book/

 

Outline of the episode:

  • [03:00] From playing pro golf to running a golf entertainment center
  • [05:29] Investing in a scooter rental company
  • [10:24] Paul Mackiewicz – meeting the entrepreneurial bug
  • [14:52] Once you get a platform, you can do anything!
  • [19:54] The relevance of your business brand online
  • [24:39] Don’t ever overlook your businesses’ reviews online, good or bad.
  • [31:34] The world is not black or white
  • [35:34] Paul Mackiewicz – on ZMOT
  • [41:04] David Pere – the experience of running a hotel and dealing with Google Business
  • [47:07] The ways to put yourself out there are no secret…

 

Resources:

Website:              https://www.hashtag-smart.com/

LinkedIn:             https://www.linkedin.com/company/hashtagsmart/

Instagram:          https://www.instagram.com/hashtagsmartmarketing/

 

See what Hashtag-Smart Marketing can do for your business:

https://www.hashtag-smart.com/service

 

Follow The Military Millionaire Podcast’s journey on:

Website:              https://www.frommilitarytomillionaire.com/

YouTube:             https://www.youtube.com/c/Frommilitarytomillionaire/

Facebook:           https://www.facebook.com/groups/1735593999901619/

Instagram:          https://www.instagram.com/frommilitarytomillionaire/

 

Grab your book copy of The No B.S. Guide to Military Life – How to Build Wealth, Get Promoted, and Achieve Greatness, Book by David Pere:

https://www.amazon.com/B-S-Guide-Military-Life-greatness/dp/1736753010

 

Zero to One: Real Estate Investing for Beginners:

https://military-millionaire-academy.teachable.com/p/from-zero-to-one-real-estate-investing-101

 

*Sponsor* The No B.S. Guide to Military Life

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My name is David Pere, I am an active duty Marine, and have realized that service members and the working class use the phrase “I don’t get paid enough” entirely too often. The reality is that most often our financial situation is self-inflicted. After having success with real estate investing, I started From Military to Millionaire to teach personal finance and real estate investing to service members and the working class. As a result, I have helped many of my readers increase their savings gap, and increase their chances of achieving financial freedom! – Click here to SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/2Q3EvfE to the channel for more awesome videos!

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David is an active duty Marine, who devotes his free time to helping service members, veterans, and their families learn how to build wealth through real estate investing, entrepreneurship, and personal finance!

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