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blogging

Episode 71: How to Start 'Edutaining' Your Leads Through Blogs w/ Mike Foti

Spencer Powell | Jan 14, 2020 10:20:29 AM | Blogging

Writing and editing may not be fun for everyone. Not to mention, there is a lot more than just that that goes into blogging. But increasing traffic to your website is fun, and so is building trust with leads before you even speak with them. When you're a home builder or remodeler, this is what blogging is all about.

What Blogging Can Do for Your Contractor Business

Mike Foti, an industry veteran who preaches the benefits of blogging, runs four blogs. (He describes himself as a "glutton for punishment".) But these blogs put in work, he says, attracting more traffic than his main website (about 4 times as much!).

In this episode, Mike describes how he got started blogging and how it has impacted his business. He also answers questions about choosing blog topics, how he found the time to start a contractor blog, common mistakes to avoid, and creating a blog strategy.

Learn all about it here on Builder Funnel Radio.

 

 

 

  • :40 Episode Overview
  • 1:26 How Mike got started in the industry
  • 2:48 Why Mike Started Blogging
  • 5:45 Building credibility through "edutaining" content
  • 8:19 How long does it take for a blog to have positive impact?
  • 11:09 How many blogs is enough?
  • 13:54 How much time does blogging take?
  • 16:13 The impact blogging has for contractors
  • 20:59 How your skills can be applied to blogging, and why it doesn't have to just be a blog
  • 25:54 The mistakes you will make when you start blogging
  • 29:57 Contractor blog content topics
  • 34:23 Finding the time for blogging
  • 36:42 Getting in touch with Mike
  • 37:41 Fast Five
  • 41:05 Spencer's takeaways

 

Resources

 

Bonus: Learn More About CRM 

Schedule a Free Hubspot Demo with Spencer to learn more about using data to track ROI in our favorite analytics tool:

 
Schedule a Free Demo with Spencer
 
 

 

Full Episode Transcription

Note: this podcast was transcribed automatically and may contain minor grammatical errors and missed words.

 

Spencer 0:08
Welcome to Builder Funnel Radio. Here you'll learn about how to grow your home building remodeling or contracting business. If you're not growing, you're moving backwards. So we want you to always be in growth mode. This podcast has really turned into a movement and community of people who want to grow personally and professionally. Here we bring you some of the best marketing sales and business minds in the industry so you can elevate your business. All right, let's dive into the show. Hey guys, welcome back to Builder Funnel Radio. This is Episode 71 with Mike Foti and today we dive into the world of blogging. Now that may not sound super sexy or exciting to a lot of you but I think after this episode it will. Blogging has been one of the biggest factors in our growth here at Builder Funnel and also Mike's growth at his company. He's been blogging for about 10 years now. So we dive into a lot of specifics around how to come up with titles, where to find the time to blog, what to do if you're not a writer, and how to still get all of this accomplished. So I think you're really going to get a lot of tactical good information out of today's conversation. And so sit back and we will dive right into the episode. Hey, Mike, thanks for joining me today. Absolutely excited to have you on the program.

Mike 1:30
Yeah, I'm excited as well.

Spencer 1:32
We're going to talk about blogging, which is something that I get excited about, and I don't often find a whole bunch of other people that are excited about it. So I know it's had a big impact on your business, and we're going to get into that but maybe kick us off with how you got into the construction world to begin with.

Mike 1:50
Sure. As I mentioned you on the phone, Spencer, I'm an SOB. Now what that doesn't mean what you may think it means. I'm a son of the boss. My dad originally was in a commercial union Mason contractor, so I got into construction, working for my dad and his masonry business. And after I got out of college for a few years and worked for a corporation, I had approached my dad, he was looking to sell his business, and I approached him about buying it. And he offered me the opportunity to come in and buy half of it and floated me alone by half from him. And so that's how I got into construction. The construction world in particular was a glass block business at that point.

Spencer 2:30
Okay, gotcha. Yeah. And I feel like that's pretty common in this industry. You know, a lot of family businesses, you know, they get passed down and, and I know, kind of as we transition over into talking about our main topic for today, a blogging that's actually changed your business and kind of changed some of the trajectory and what you're doing there. Can you share with our audience a little bit about, you know, maybe why you started blogging, but then as you went on that journey, like what started to happen?

Mike 2:57
The reason I started blogging is probably the same reason a lot of other people start blogging is somebody tells them Hey, dude, you ought to blog. So my digital marketing company a number of years ago felt that blogging would add more content to our site and help to bring us traffic. And so not knowing really a lot about blogging, I said, okay, well, I guess we'll try it. So I started blogging. And I would say, for the first couple of years, we've been been blogging for close to 10 years now, for the first couple of years. I can't tell you that I really spent a lot of time going into the analytics and really evaluating it. But as time went on, the blog grew and grew. And probably, I'd say about four or five years ago, the blog actually started generating more traffic than a website and today, our largest blog, we get about 100,000 people a month on it, and our second one is about 20,000. Our third one's about 4,000. There's actually a fourth one that I started so I'm kind of a glutton for punishment. Blogs today generate most of our leads and drives it back to the site. We tried to do some things to get people to respond and join email lists, etc.

Spencer 4:09
So, yeah, and so I guess why did you end up starting these multiple blogs. You kind of had this first blog that you started with, but what prompted you to start the second one or the third one? And now a fourth?

Mike 4:22
Sure. Yeah. The each blog is separate the first blog, which is called Newson, the block is really originally it was geared at we had only a glass block business, that's where the block came into, but it actually has evolved way far from there. We mostly are in the bathroom, remodeling business today. So that blog is geared to consumers and it's geared to consumers, mostly they're interested in bathroom remodeling, a little bit of windows and some unique glass products. The second blog I started is in the home organization business. So I've got a division that does closets and garage cabinetry and entryway and that one focused on those people and consumers again, the third blog, which is called innovate builders blog is I've got a business where we wholesale around the country, laminate, ground free shower tub wall panels. And this blog is geared to providing input and insight to Remodeling Contractors mostly. And then the last blog, which is the newest of them, we also sell those wall panels to multi unit projects. And so I've created a blog where it's geared really to might be apartment owners, or people building in off site factories, modular homes, etc. So each blog has a different audience. And that's really the reason that it's not just, let's say one blog, but it's actually four blogs with different content geared to different people.

Spencer 5:44
Yeah, make make sense. And I guess for those listening, you know, what's the overall strategy here? Why should we be spending all our time writing articles and posts into a blog? You know, it sounds like a lot of work.

Mike 5:58
You know, I'd love to tell people It is a lot of work. But I'd be lying. It is a lot of work, however, the opportunity to educate, and then set up leads and credibility. I mean, I think what people will see what a blog is, after you blog for a while and you have people on your email list, you'll have people who literally a few years later will contact you and say, you know, they'll, they'll think you're the man or the woman, you know, that they have to talk to and, you know, the reality is, are we smarter than everybody else? The answer is absolutely not alive. Wish I could say that, but you really can't. So it builds your expertise up. It also builds a relationship with people, you know, for people who read my blog. What I hope they would do is say hey, is he just as wacky dude as blog is he isn't real life. And so a blog as you get going can really be the personality not just providing education, but also Let's call it either entertainment or edutainment, right, you're going to really educate people set up your expertise, but also they build a connection with you. And I think most people think of bloggers that they like to, you know, read or podcasters like you that they like to listen to. Usually they've got a little personality and they like that person. So not only educate, but also go a little bit of a relationship along the way.

Spencer 7:25
Yeah, I think you made some good points in there. And I mean, one is that it is more of that long term strategy. You mentioned the example of somebody that maybe starts reading, and then three years later, they're like, Oh, yeah, of course, I'm going to buy from you because I've been getting all this good information, and it builds trust and credibility in it. It elevates you and in their mind, you know, so we talked about more of the marketing lingo in terms you know, they're, they have that perception of you as the expert. And to your point, you know, you probably know all the same information that your competitor does, but you're sharing it so now you're the expert and nobody else's

Mike 8:00
Absolutely right now, you know, you, hopefully you you learn a few things along the way. And you, you think about how to package them up and deliver them to people. But yeah, do we know any great deep dark secrets? Probably not. You know, I love writing some, probably not. Yeah,

Spencer 8:18
yeah. No, I think that's that's good. And so I guess going back to the beginning a little bit, how long was it until you really felt like you started to feel the impact the positive impact from your blogging efforts?

Mike 8:32
You know, to me, it really was with the digital marketing company that I was working with started providing me with monthly reports where I looked at the numbers because I would tell you, in the beginning, we didn't even have a monthly report that we looked at from our, you know, from our marketing company, and so, I was kind of oblivious to it. You know, they told me to do it, I'm doing it. probably getting better at it, but I wouldn't say that I was really focused in on exactly what it was doing for me, but then As I started seeing those numbers, and I started seeing the blog gaining versus the web, and then I saw eventually, I'd say about four or five years ago where the, the blog was beating my website. And now, on one of my sites, that takes about four to five times, my blog traffic to my website is four to five times bigger. And on another site, it's it's probably about seven or eight times bigger. So the blog, you know, if you think of it, it actually makes sense, because most people are going to be, especially in remodeling, they're going to look for education, and before they're actually ready to buy. So if, if we can provide that education, then we're going to get more people to interact with us when they're actually closer to having somebody come out to the home or, you know, or get an estimate or that type of thing.

Spencer 9:51
Yeah, yeah, I think that's a good point. I mean, there's really there's so many more people at the top of the funnel researching than there are ready to make a decision. Today and so you're really just trying to pull those people in and help them along that journey, whether it's a one month journey or a four year journey, you know, but if you're part of that journey, then you're going to have a really good chance to get into business when right when right everything is right,

Mike 10:15
you know, exactly as, as I'm sure you know, with all the inbound marketing stuff that you do. The reality is, I'd say probably 98% of people that visit our website for the first time are not ready to buy anything, they're, they're kicking the tire. So if we can give them a way to give them some info when they're kicking that tire and to get them you know, give them something free, right, a call to action of some sort, lead magnet, whatever you want to call it, to get them interested and into the funnel of getting more information from us. We are in their consciousness for the 123 however many years they're kicking the tire on a project, you know, whereas maybe somebody else had to pay per click they brought to the site, they spent the money and if That person is ready to buy now, they've actually wasted that money that pay per click money because they're not coming back. And they may never even remember who that company is when they are ready to buy.

Spencer 11:10
Yeah, I could. I couldn't agree more. And so let's talk about volume a little bit. How often are you blogging now? And then maybe just for context, like, what was the most you ever blogged in a single month?

Mike 11:23
Yeah. I would say I probably average Seven, six to eight articles a month. Now, my post have gotten longer today. I would say they probably averaged 1500 to 2000 words. In the beginning, they were probably 300 words. And with blogging, a lot of people can look at that and say, there's there's no doggone way Mike I'm going to write something for 1500 words. And you know, I would tell them, you know, the, you know, a lot of people have listened to Jim Jim Rome, the sports sports pot guy and, you know, he used to have a saying have a take, don't suck I would tell anybody getting into blogging to have a take and be okay sucking in the beginning. Because the reality is, none of us are excellent. It's a new skill. So it's, you're not going to write 1500 words, they're not going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. I mean, I'm, you know, I'm on a learning journey. And I'm sure I'm going to continue to learn right? In blogging. So I would tell people, you know, while we might sell 60 times, I could never do that. Don't worry about doing that, you know, just get started try to have consistency. And or if you're not comfortable writing, of course, they could get with, you know, companies like yours that will do the right forum. It doesn't. It doesn't have to be in my case, I am the blogger, I am the writer. But there's other things that they don't do as part of our leading our blog, but you don't have to do it all.

Spencer 12:52
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I know, you know, that was the old model those kind of shorter articles, you know, 200 to 400 words. are sometimes 500. And, you know, when we first started blogging, it was, you know, four times a month, and then we went to eight, then we went to 12, there was a point where we were at about 20 to 25 blogs a month. And it was just insanity, you know, and then we saw the shift towards more longer form, really in depth kind of guides or, you know, discussions on a topic. And so we've definitely down shifted from that volume, and are sitting somewhere in the similar range to you because you're really trying to create these kind of authority pieces, But to your point, you know, you have to get started you have to get started somewhere. And either if you're going to be the one writing, like just pick a consistency you can stick to whether that's a couple of times a month, or whatever it is, or you can have somebody else to kind of assist with that. And you can be the the topic, person and idea person. Let's say somebody you know, is going to take this on themselves, and they're saying Okay, I'm gonna I'm going to write the content, I'm going to be like Mike here and do this. How much time, you know, does a single post take or how much time investment should somebody kind of commit to if they really want to see some results?

Mike 14:14
Right. And the first thing I'll tell people is when they look at blogging, they think of the the writing of the blog as the whole thing, unfortunately, is that is absolutely positively not the only thing it's the beginning of it. So yes, you know, you have to have an idea and you have to write, but you've then got to edit you've got to upload it you've got to find good images with it. You've got to spin it out on social media, you got to push it to your you know, your email list. So while blogs the front end, and in my company today, that's what I do. I do. I come up with the topic, I write the articles I edit them and and i upload them then I turn it over to my marketing manager well named Michelle. It is great job for us. And she then takes the imagery that I've given her and formats it into the blog post. And then she spins out crazy images through things like Canva to then get those images out on social media and drive traffic back to our site. And then we've got a guy named john who's our digital marketing guy in Maine and he takes those any any send them out to our email list every week. So the The first thing you asked me about time, the writing, I would say for me for a post is probably the writing itself is probably an hour and a half or so. The editing which I hate editing, eight editing, the editing might be another hour messing around with it, and then I might upload it that might take me 30 minutes. So I would guess I probably average having three hours allocated to a blog post on myself on the let's call it the front end of the process.

Spencer 15:54
Yeah, and that's and that's a significant time investment and especially if you're shooting for one to two a week, you know You're almost spending a day a week or 20, you know, 20% of your, your week on blogging. And so obviously, you feel like that is a good use of your time. And you seen that, I guess. How have you seen that in terms of like lead flow impacting your business? I mean, I know you talked about some traffic numbers earlier, but what has that done for actual, you know, business results?

Mike 16:25
From an analytic standpoint, we, we track goals and goals aren't necessarily in home estimates, right? That that's probably the let's say the ultimate goals in home estimate close. But goals to us can be things like email sign up, it could be a download of a guide. It could be somebody asking for free samples that are laminate wall panel business, any of those things. Today, in our innovate building solutions site we get anywhere depending on the month and there's definitely some seasonality ranges between, let's say, 1000 1400 goal achievements per month, and it's running probably about 50 60%, higher than last year. So what's neat about blogs is they can continue to deliver results. And you can continue to make them better. Unlike let's say, back in the old days in school, let's say you put a blog post up and you look back and you say, Ah, that's crummy. You know, that's a give that thing a C minus at best. Well, what's cool about a blog is and let's say it's driving some traffic, but you know, it's not that great. You can go back in and unlike a term paper where you got the C minus, you can go back in and revise it. So add new content and new images, or what we did earlier this year is we started spinning in video into the blog post. And so we saw, you know, blogs that maybe people were spending three minutes on the time and those blog posts went up about a minute and a half. So again, we basically get more content when People get to it for their, for their time and, and hopefully even build more expertise.

Spencer 18:05
Yeah, I'm glad you mentioned that example because that's something that we do as well. We call it historical blog optimization. But you go back, you say, Man, we have these old posts like the the bones of it were good, or the idea or the concept was good, but man, this really just didn't turn out the way we wanted it. Like you said, you can go back and improve it, maybe refresh it, maybe you talked about 2010 bathroom design trends, it's like, oh, that's a little outdated. Let's bring it up to date for 2020 and, and refresh it. And to your point as well, you know, I always compare that to something like a print ad or billboard or direct mail you you pay, you get your your message out into the world. And then if you want to get your message out there, again, you have to pay again, whereas if you write the blog post, it's out there forever. And so it really becomes this compounding asset. It's like a stock portfolio in a way you know, you've got all these blogs. And they start just pulling in traffic and kind of paying these dividends to you in the form of goal conversions or leads or email, signups and all these different, you know, metrics.

Mike 19:09
Yeah, exactly. You know, people say Google loves new content. And I think that's a little bit of actually of a misnomer. Google likes content. That is that is deemed to be credible, because there's a lot of activity on it. So in a lot of cases, some of the old blog posts do better, especially when you update them because they, they have street cred with Google. Right? You know, there's there can be comments on links back to it. It's seen as an authority piece, even though I may write something today and say, Oh, this piece I wrote today is actually way better than that one. But maybe that's the one driving the traffic just because it has more more street cred with Google.

Spencer 19:52
Yeah, you're exactly right. We've seen that it's like they want the credibility. They like the freshness, but if you can do both, but Taking that old post and making it new again, you kind of get the best of both worlds.

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Jumping back to the time commitment. So somebody's going, Okay, maybe I'm going to start slow. I'm going to write two blogs a month or four blogs. And I've got a budget about three hours, you know, a month or per post, I guess. How would you tell someone to think through? Should I insource blogging? Should I outsource? Should it be a combination? I know you kind of you take a slice of it, but there's the promotion of it and the formatting and some of these other pieces. So I guess everybody's in a different situation. But is there kind of a good way to just think through? How do I get this accomplished in the most efficient way possible?

Mike 21:36
Yeah, I think you you got to look and be realistic with yourself, you know, what is it that I can do and I can do well, I, you know, I don't mind writing, although I wouldn't necessarily say I would look years ago and say I was a writer melzar business business guy who somebody said, Hey, you ought to write another Okay, whatever. I'll give it I'll give it a whirl. Now I feel much more comfortable writing but I would tell somebody to first look at, you know, what do you do? Well, so it doesn't have to be a blog. I think today, the challenge is we need to have credible content out there in the universe. Otherwise, we're going to pay the man I'm going to call the man, Mr. Google or Mr. Zuckerberg, we have to pay the man. Pay the man more money because our competitors also can crank out their credit card and pay the man. So if somebody is a really good speaker, right, they might want a podcast or somebody really good, got a good personality, maybe they want to get into video, right? So you whatever the content format is, I think that's the key is to get out there and do it. Now. In blogging in particular, you know, the actual writing portion. If you hate to write in, you know, your, your 10th grade English teacher still has a dartboard with your picture on it in the you know, inner inner classroom, maybe writing it isn't the answer. Well, what you can do is you go People, you know, you don't go find, you know, a writer, or you don't necessarily find a quote unquote, kid that is good with the Internet, what you really need is a human being, or a company that both has somebody that can write effectively for you and understands how to lead generate internet. So, you know, to me, it's, you need both skills, you need the writing skill, and the writing to me, is certainly better if it has personality. So if writing is boring, I mean, let's face it, you know, we're in the remodeling business, you know, it's, it's a lot of dust it but it is sexy, and that when you look back at a bathroom that's done and you say, Wow, that is really cool. And that's easy to maintain their it can be sexy, but the writing has to have some some personality to add some flavor to it. So if somebody says, Hey, I hate Right then don't write, it doesn't mean you can't have a blog, though. It just means you need to find a company that can write it for you. Or if you think, Hey, we're really good with social media, well, you can take that person's writing and spin it out yourself and, and do the distribution side of it. So I think, look at what you do, or or a member of your team can do well, and let them go ahead. And I know on my end, I used to do the writing, I used to distribute it. I used to do the whole thing. Then I gave Michelle are now our marketing manager. She wasn't at the time, the job to do social media, and she started doing some of the social media and putting these things together. And then one day I look as a dog on a shell, that looks like way better than what I did. So, you know, you may give that you give somebody an opportunity and they give an opportunity. Wow, they really can do a great job. And, you know, now you've got a better process because they're better at a facet of it than you are. So what do you do? Well, what do you not do? Well If you're not good at it, you know, outsource it, there's just find the right partner.

Spencer 25:04
That's Yeah. Yeah, I think that's good advice. And I mean, to your point to, there's so many mediums today, so blogging, podcast video, if you feel like you've got to strengthen one of those areas, make that your default. And you can repurpose that content, you know, you can take a podcast and transcribe it and do a little summary of it. And so maybe if you're good at just talking off the cuff on a topic, flow that to somebody like you said, a writer and they can just listen to it and then turn it into the the copy piece that you need for, you know, Google to index that and, and have it help your website. So yeah, good points there. Let's talk mistakes. So mistakes that you've made along the way, you've been blogging for quite a while, I would say probably more than most remodeling companies or building companies, anybody in this space, what are some things that you goofed up on along the way and you would tell people Hey avoid the

Mike 26:02
first thing I tell people is do not go to the first post of my site because they're good. I haven't told them down I guess I've left them out there as guilty until until you see him But anyway, the first thing I would tell you is boring blog titles. The reality is a blog post it's kind of like an article in the newspaper or or you've got to have something that draws somebody in. So if the title is boring, then people might not be drawn into it. So definitely have a title the other would be breaking up the content. You know, most of us skim we don't read. And so seven secrets to the myth behind ugly shower tub wall panels, right. So something that has blocks is information. So when somebody is looking at it, then kind of glancing over. The other thing is is pictures, pictures and more pictures. Most of them You know, we want to look at the pretty pictures. And then we might read. So the title brings us in, we might glance and say, oh, wow, that looks kind of cool. Then they might read a little more. So pictures now on the pictures themselves. Now I'm going to get glow geeky with it right here, you know, using things like all tags, basically, there's tags, or information that describe the picture, which then can also be indexed by Google. You know, here's a bathroom in you know, Cleveland heights Ohio, with a grub free shower tub wall panel right now I've got a nice picture and I've got some, some SEO stuff that people do an image search, I might have a better shot, if they lived in that town of finding that image. So putting the images in there and then the other is distribute the daylights out of it, the reality. You and I and probably the people listening to podcasts are not going viral. It is probably not going to happen. Even though you My blogs have done well, I don't have to go in the grocery store and where, you know, sunglasses. Nobody knows who I am. So what that means is that we've got to distribute this stuff. So it's not going to just like, grow legs in in magic, it's going to happen. It hasn't happened for me, maybe I'm not good enough, but probably that's not going to be the case. So what I would tell people is, the distribution side of this is very important. You can't just post it once. On Facebook. You can't just post it once on Instagram or whatever the social networks you think your customers are living on. You've got a you've got to repost it and push it out there. So there's a few mistakes I could probably go on and on about.

I'll stop there.

Spencer 28:44
Yeah, those are good ones then and we've got a resource. We got an SEO checklist that will put in the show notes that covers some of the things that you talked about where you said you're kind of geek out on but they're super important, like the old text and renaming your image files and, you know, if you're going to do it, you might as well do it. All the way and get the most value out of it. And I really want to second your point on promotion because yeah, a lot of us think that finishing the post and hitting publish, we're like, you like I'm at the finish line like I made it. But that's really the beginning. Now this post is alive. And now we need to get it out to the world. So I love that point there. And yeah, I mean, send us your email lists, suddenly everyone that's on your email list, you just added some value into their life, you know, you just sent some traffic to it and, and you kind of talked about some more nuanced pieces to earlier where you send some traffic to it. And then you notice people are spending more time on it. That means they're getting value out of it. Google likes that they like that people are spending more time and then that helps it move up in the rankings. But you've kind of got to push all this promotion at it to help kick it up in the search engines. It's not just going to you know, fly up to the top so I think the points you hit on there were really good. Let's talk topics because I know that's something That's probably scaring a few people are going, they're going, gosh, she's writing six to eight times a month, like how do you think of 50 ideas in a year or you know, 60, or whatever it works out to? You know, where do you come up with your topic ideas? You already talked about having a catchy title, but then also, just thinking of an idea doesn't mean it's going to perform. So how do you come up with ideas that are actually going to do well?

Mike 30:24
Yeah, well, I mean, one thing that I do is I plagiarize. Okay, that wasn't supposed to say you have to cut that out. No, I don't really place right. But what I do is I read about people who blog about blogging. And so you know, they'll, they'll have they might have a catchy title, like one of my better performing post is the 10 commandments of Bathroom Remodeling success or something like that. And, and I read some post it was like the 10 commandments of blogging success. I'm like, oh 10 commands. Oh, that might be good. Let's catch that to what I do. Right? So one way to do that it's not really played rescue just, you know, borrowing right or borrowing from another industry and spinning it into our our own world. Another place, certainly to get topics is what your customers are asking you about. So, you know, they have questions, whether it's on a sales call or a phone call, what do they want to know? What are they puzzled about? What don't they understand? Those are all certainly good blog topics. Another way to get good blog topics is weird jobs. So if you're doing a job and it's like, it's a, it's odd, right, it's not your normal situation. writing about that job is a great thing. Going back to that customer song, getting pictures of it, you know, asking them obviously, if you could share that and then asking them to spend that post out on theirs, on their social channels. So when you write about your customer, right They're the star of the show. Then you get you send that blog post to them, you say, hey, if you would, if you like it, you know, please share it with your friends now. They're promoting you to their friends. So now sudden, you've got, you know, social proof, and you're not promoting you, they're promoting you. Now, the other thing I'll mention regarding that is, most a lot of times you read blog post and people are writing it. And you could tell they're pushing their stuff. So the key is really providing information. Now, are you trying to sell your stuff? Yes, you are. However you really trying to do it in the educational, edgy edutainment format where you're trying to you're going to spin your stuff in as solutions but you're not going to seem like oh, you have to buy the widget for my company. Oh, did I mentioned the name of my company x, y, z Co. You know, you're going to people are going to see it won't take a rocket scientist to see through that stuff. And not tonight. off, because I don't think this is do just pitching stuff. So I think the key really is, What Does somebody want to learn? What are your What is your customer want to learn? What are they puzzled about? right about that stuff and feel free to spend your spend your stuff into it. But do it in a way that is not, you know, so like, Oh, you have to buy my stuff because nobody will want to buy your stuff.

Spencer 33:24
Yeah, yeah. Excellent points and going back to plagiarizing. I think it's good advice. because really what you're after is, you know, a model, a model that's worked for somebody else. And as marketers, I've always heard that, you know, look at the magazines like Cosmo or people or you know, if you just go to the grocery and look at their headlines for their articles or on that, you know, they're basically right on the front cover, you know, and you you read those and suddenly and then just apply that to our industry and it's the same concept, but just to give give Somebody a few more, you know, ideas there. But yeah, I mean, really, if you got a boring title, like you mentioned earlier, nobody's gonna gonna get to it or they're not gonna be interested when they see it on Facebook. They're gonna Okay, there's just some very I mean, he really got to stand out to be picked out of a Facebook feed, and you know, somebody wants to click away. So that's great advice. And, Mike, I've got a few final questions for you. But is there anything else on the subject of blogging that you feel like you You want to leave people with?

Mike 34:30
Well, one of the things I think people always ask is, where do you find the time to blog? So I think that's a great challenge, right? So for me, most of my blogging, quite frankly, I'd love to help you. It was easy, but I work. I probably work harder than most people. Most of my blogging is done where most people are sleeping at four o'clock on a Saturday morning, they would find me blogging, actually and they would my work flows my blogging because I do the laundry at the same time so I get brownie points from my wife for doing laundry while I'm blogging but I still purpose I'm a person. So if you're a morning person I'd recommend you get up early earlier than you would normally when you're not you don't have a bunch of distractions because you cannot do this in the middle of your workday or at least I can't editing I can but in general I write when people are not around and so I would tell people as far as when to do that, I would look at what you know when a winter you know some people are night people well then maybe in the evening after the kids are put to bed, maybe the time to do it for me it's in the morning. I've got brainpower my wife until at the end of the night at all I think about is you know my my ice cream and want to read about sports. That's about it. So

Spencer 35:53
yeah, no, that's good advice. You really have to time block it and put it somewhere on the calendar it it will never be the time priority. I mean, unless you love writing, which probably most of us it's not are at the top of our list. So yeah, that's great advice. And and I'm glad you mentioned that, like, sometimes maybe you can't afford to hire somebody to write your blogs, like, get up earlier, stay up later, you know, you're trying to grow your business and it takes some extra effort. And, you know, I remember the same thing when I was in the early years of getting stuff going. I mean, a lot of times like during the day, you're kind of keeping everything moving. And then it was like, all right, from six to nine. I'm working on other stuff like this, you know, where you're cranking away, and you did it early morning, and some people are going to be night owls just go with your personality. So I think that's that's great advice. So before I get to my last round of questions here, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more? Or what's the

Mike 36:50
best place to find you online? That sort of thing? Oh, sure. I mean, it's two different places. You know, if they're in the LinkedIn which which I am it's just Mike fodi, am i ke and then fo Ci and I'm LinkedIn or certainly email me Mike F at innovate building solutions. com So it's kind of long, Mike effort innovate building solutions. com are probably the two best ways to to get me in. And I love to help people so it's you know, I'm not in, let's say the business like, like you are, but you know, I love to help people with this stuff because I know it's it's a bit of a process. It's not something you're going to master in a day. I'm still trying to figure it out. I'm getting a little better each day and, and I'm sure I'll be better tomorrow than I am today. Yeah,

Spencer 37:35
yeah, that's awesome. And we'll make sure to put your LinkedIn and your email in the show notes so people can get those easily. So now for our last section here, we call it the Fast Five I'm going to hit you with five kind of rapid fire questions and just say whatever comes to mind.

First question is what's your favorite business book and why?

Mike 37:57
Good to Great because I feel that There's a lot of lessons about humility and leadership. And I guess I always think that I'm always inspired by people who do a great job, but are all full of themselves.

Spencer 38:11
Cool. Cool. Yeah, that's a good one. All right. So most inspirational person in your life, who would that be?

Mike 38:20
Oh, boy, that's a great. It's a great question. Maybe it's my wife. She's very loving, very caring, like way, way smart, smarter than I am. So I'd say she's a very inspirational person in that she really cares for people. And I wish I could be this good as for with things like that.

Spencer 38:40
Very cool. Yeah. That sounds similar to my wife as well. Yeah, so we married Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, for sure. So Alright, next question is if you could have one superpower, what would that be?

Mike 38:54
Wow. will maybe be the power to do a better job today. delegating and not work so hard. I don't know. That's a great superpower. But delegate veteran delegating, I think would be helpful for me

Spencer 39:07
better at delegating. That's a good one. Yeah. All right. Describe yourself in three words.

Mike 39:15
Okay, I'm a whack job. I don't that's might not be three words. I, you know, I'm kind of a time's a wacky personality. And I think the older I get, the more I want to be less serious. So, you know, having fun and laughing and joking around, you know, if you if you can't joke around, you probably aren't gonna like being around me. So it's a wacky, maybe it's a one word. It's just wacky.

Spencer 39:38
Hey, that works. I like it. You got to have fun, right?

All right. Final question is if you could leave our listeners with one piece of advice. What would that be?

Mike 39:50
I would say probably in business, it's just to follow your your heart. What do you know? What do you love to do? What are you good at? You know, and just pursue that. I mean, blogging isn't for everybody, right? But you know, digital marketing, I think in this case almost needs to be for everybody who's in remodeling if they want to have a business so but within that there's a lot of areas that we can focus in on and whether you know, whether it's blogging, or it's like said podcasting or videos, you know, pick, pick a content, format, that platform that makes sense to you, and really try to learn and grow in it. And, and have some fun with it because people are looking for authenticity today. So it's not about being perfect. I'm certainly not I'm sure you know, you're not just about you know, trying to get a little better each day and let it roll. Just get get a little better and let it roll.

Spencer 40:42
I love it. Yeah, that's great advice. And, and my thanks so much for joining me today. I got a lot out of this one. And I think our listeners did as well.

Mike 40:51
Excellent. Hey, thanks so much was honored to be on the program and pleasure to connect with you on the on the phone. I look forward to actually meeting you face to face

Spencer 41:00
Yeah, we're going to be beaten up pretty soon. So thanks again, Mike. All right, have a great day.

Hey, guys, I hope you enjoyed that episode with Mike Foti, like I said at the beginning, there's a lot of tactical information in there on how to get your blogging accomplished. And some of those numbers, I don't know if you caught those, but blog getting 100,000 visits, 20,000 visits a month. Those are big, big numbers. And it doesn't happen right away happens over time. But you can really start elevating your company as a thought leader. So I've got a couple of takeaways for you, I know you're on the go, you're driving around, you're at the gym. And so there's a lot of information in here, but we'll try to pull out a few things that you can work on right away. I would say, first of all, if you're not blogging, think about committing to blogging and really take that seriously if you are blogging, but maybe you haven't been super consistent or you need to get more out of your efforts, then figure out what the schedule is going to be. And I think that's takeaway number one is What are you going to commit to in terms of frequency? Is it once a week or is it a couple of times a month, I would recommend two to four is a great place to start in terms of monthly frequency for your blogging efforts. And then start to develop a list of topics, we'll put some resources in the show notes, we've been blogging for about a decade for builders, remodelers and the construction space. So we've got a slew of topics that you can choose from. And so that'll be a good starting place for you. We've probably got about three to five years worth of topics for you. So I'll try to remove that pain from you. But then commit to a scheduled say, hey, all right, January, we're going to blog about these two or three or four topics, February these topics and then start executing. And so takeaway number two is figure out, are you going to be the writer? Is somebody on your team going to be the writer or do you need to find somebody outside the company, those are really your three options. And so figuring out what you're going to do and how you're going to get it accomplished is really that next step. And so once you've done that, then that allows you to stay committed to the process and the strategy. And then the final takeaway is understand that this is a long term investment. But it truly is an investment. Because when you publish a blog, that blog lives on forever, so that posts, we have posts that go back, you know, to 2010 2011 2012, they're still sending us traffic, they're still sending us leads today. And like Mike said, you can go back and improve those. So, understand that you're playing a long game here. Most of us as business owners, we're not enough just to, you know, be in business for one or two or three years. So stay committed, continue to improve and you'll never have those like long 1500 word post 2000 word posts. If you don't ever get started with something you build up to that. So those are the few takeaways I've got for you today. I encourage you to commit to a blogging strategy. It's a very, very powerful structure. Gee, and good luck. We'll put some resources in the show notes.

And we will see you next time on Builder Funnel Radio.

Thanks again for listening everybody. And as a quick reminder text radio to 3777 for some free goodies as a thank you for listening to the show. And if you got some value from today's episode, I just asked that you leave us a quick review on iTunes. It really helps us spread the word and grow this awesome community of people who are working to improve their lives and their business. Thanks again and we'll see you next time on Builder Funnel Radio.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

 

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