Stacy sits down with Naresh Vissa, Founder & CEO of Krish Media & Marketing, to discuss the benefits of direct marketing and the tools you need to establish a digital footprint.
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Stacy Jones: 00:00
- Welcome to Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them. I’m Stacy Jones, the founder of Influencer Marketing and Branded Content agency, Hollywood Branded. This podcast provides brand marketeers a learning platform for topics, first to share their insights and knowledge, on topics which make a direct impact on your business today.
Stacy Jones: 00:16
- While it is impossible to be well verse on every topic and strategy that can improve bottom line results, my goal is to help you avoid making costly mistakes of time, energy or money whether you’re doing a DYI approach or hiring an expert to help. Let’s begin today’s discussion.
Naresh Vissa: 00:30
- Welcome to Marketing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them. Here’s your host, Stacy Jones.
Stacy Jones: 00:36
- I’m so happy to be here with you all today. I want to give a very warm welcome to Naresh Vissa from Krish Media & Marketing, whose joining us to discuss his experience and working in digital marketing.
Stacy Jones: 00:47
- Naresh is the founder and CEO of Krish Media & Marketing, a full service online in digital media and marketing consultancy and agency. He has worked with CNN Radio, JP Morgan Chase, EverBank, The Institute for Energy Research, Houston Rockets, Houston Astros, The American Junior Golf Association, Agora Financial, Agora Publishing, and Stansberry Research, and TradeStops. He’s a #1 bestselling author of ‘Fifty Shades of Marketing: Whip Your Business Into Shape & Dominate Your Competition,’ ‘Podcastnomics: The Book Of Podcasting … To Make You Millions’, ‘The New Pr: 21st Century Public Relations Strategies & Resources… to Reach Millions’, and ‘Trumpbook: How Digital Liberals Silenced a Nation Into Making America Hate Again’.
Stacy Jones: 01:29
- He’s been featured on USA Today, Yahoo, Bloomberg, MSNBC, Huntington Post, Business Week, MSN Money, Business Insider, India Today, and other domestic and international media outlets.
Stacy Jones: 01:41
- Today, we’re going to talk about the benefits of direct marketing, why marketing’s not a social media, or word of mouth, what qualified leads really are. We’ll learn what’s worked from his experience and what maybe could be avoided if you’re doing this yourself and not working with an agency to help you along the way and where other brands are missing the mark.
Stacy Jones: 01:58
- Naresh, welcome.
Naresh Vissa: 01:59
- Wow. Great introduction. It’s a pleasure to be on and I’m looking forward to talking about marketing, one of my favorite topics.
Stacy Jones: 02:06
- Well, it’s one of my favorite topics too and I’m so happy to have you here today. Can you tell us a little bit more about you, how long you’ve been doing what you do and more about your background and how you got to where you are today?
Naresh Vissa: 02:19
- I think I’m born marketer. I think that’s one of the best ways to describe me, even though I didn’t study marketing per se in college or in graduate school. I’ve always had an interest in marketing and it’s kind of been in me or in my blood and I think that’s really important when it comes to marketing. I don’t think its something that you can learn in school and that’s partly why I don’t have the degree in marketing, even though I have two different business degrees don’t really a focus in marketing but my background I started out in media and journalism, that’s TV, radio, print, newspaper, magazine, etc., both on paper, in front of the camera, and also behind the scene as a producer, director, editor etc., and that’s actually marketing as well.
Naresh Vissa: 03:14
- Media is tied into marketing. That’s why my company is called Krish Media & Marketing. And because media is kind of ties into the marketing funnel as either public relations. I wrote that book, ‘Trumpbook’ which you brought up earlier in the introduction, because President Trump did a tremendous job of using media to market his campaign.
Naresh Vissa: 03:38
- So anyway, working in media and journalism, that got my foot into the door when it came to the online and digital marketplace because I was a journalist during kind of that convergence when all the media turned into new media and the online marketplace or online publishing was just writing about the rising the BuzzFeeds, the Business Insiders, etc., were startups, just little bitty companies back then. So I was able to see that convergence between old media and new media and also learn most importantly that the technical aspects of some of basic media and marketing fundamentals like how to use WordPress, social media, what’s a hash tag? How to use Twitter. How to use Facebook, etc.
Naresh Vissa: 04:29
- So as a reporter, back then I had to learn all those things and today as a reporter, you certainly have to learn all those things. But I also got interested in finance and worked on Wall Street for a little bit. Worked for a value fund as an equities’ analyst and when I went to graduate school to combine my background in media and in finance, I was contacted by the largest, probably one of the largest financial marketing companies in the world. They found me on LinkedIn and we can get into that dot topic later about how you can utilize LinkedIn as a marketing tool.
Naresh Vissa: 05:03
- But they found me on LinkedIn. This was back probably eight or nine years ago before again … before LinkedIn was what it is today. There were a lot fewer users on there. Got contacted on LinkedIn and they ended up hiring me while I was in graduate school. I was a consultant to manage a project and then I ended up taking over that project full time and it was while I was working full time that I really, really learned the online and digital E-commerce marketplace. That’s where I really, really learned the nitty gritty of how to make money online through marketing.
Naresh Vissa: 05:41
- So left … got some great experience at that company and within that industry, and Krish Media & Marketing six years ago. It was not Krish Media & Marketing back then. I didn’t know I would still be in this business six years later. At the time I just thought let’s just give it a shot and see where it takes me. So I’m talking to you today, six years later, Krish Media & Marketing is not just a marketing agency, but we’re really more of a technology company than just … and that happens to also offer marketing services as really the bulk of its services.
Naresh Vissa: 06:23
- But we’re a technology agency that does pretty much everything on the front end from soup to nuts, from building a website, design, development to search engine optimization, lead generation and online special events, podcast production, E-book publishing, you name it. We’re really your one stop shop for online and digital needs. And that’s where we are six years later with nearly 20 clients. 2018 was our best year revenue wise. Yet, 2017 was the best until 2018 beat it. So hopefully 2019 will beat 2018. So growth has been good. Business has been coming in and its gotten me involved in a lot of other areas as well.
Stacy Jones: 07:09
- Well I knew that when I was reading your bio and learning a little bit more about you, that I was absolutely intrigued in having you on. Just alone, besides all these other fantastic things about you, on how good you are at naming books. I mean you have come up with fantastic book titles.
Naresh Vissa: 07:27
- So that is a topic of marketing that we offer as a service, Krish Media & Marketing, it’s called copywriting and marketeers know what copywriting is. But non-marketers have no clue what copy is or what copywriting is. They get confused with copywriting that you and I are talking about with like the copyright at the bottom a legal document. Copywriting is essentially advertising text, it’s the words that you see that get you to buy something. So in the case of the titles of my books, that’s just I guess, your words not mine, but I guess that’s just good copywriting.
Naresh Vissa: 08:08
- And copywriting is essentially one of the most important fundamental elements of marketing. It’s the ability to strike people’s emotions and to really catch people’s attention ’cause you have to in marketing. You have to stand out from the competition. If you’re a billboard on a freeway, there’s so many billboards out on the freeway how is the driver going to … remember you’re a billboard. Well they’re going to remember it based on what they see, whether it’s a picture or whether it’s some words, that’s what sells.
Naresh Vissa: 08:43
- And ’50 Shades of Marketing’, one of my books has a couple of chapters devoted to copywriting and words, emotional words that really strike people’s attention. And my book ‘Trumpbook’ goes into copywriting as well, because President Trump does, whether he knows it or not or he’s doing it intentionally or not, does a really good job of using the right words to either get under people’s skin or to get people to like him more and to rally people behind him. And that’s the type of language that you want to use in marketing.
Naresh Vissa: 09:22
- If you’re just going to write something vanilla, well, how are you any different from the next person in line?
Stacy Jones: 09:30
- Sure. Well you definitely do not write vanilla. So congratulations on that. So a minute ago, you were talking about old media versus new media and when we think of new media, a lot of times that’s more so digital which is why you’re on this podcast today. Do you think new media or digital marketing is more important than the old standards?
Naresh Vissa: 09:56
- Well, this is really a no brainer. Absolutely and all businesses, all industries need to go digital. There was 21st or was it … there was 20th century … there’s essentially 20th century businesses, not even 20th century marketing but 20th century businesses and even brick and mortar businesses that think that they’re 20th century businesses, let’s say like restaurants, dry cleaners, laundromats etc., they need to have this 21st century mentality in running those physical businesses. It’s not just tech businesses per se that need to adapt to the 21st century. Let me give you an example of that.
Naresh Vissa: 10:39
- There’s, and this was one of many examples that I’ve seen, so a restaurant locally where I live in Tampa Bay, they … I mean they’re a restaurant. They serve food. They have waiters. They have chefs. So you would say, okay that’s kind of a 20th century business. Well, the restaurant was started by some IT professionals who wanted to leave their IT jobs ’cause they loved cooking and they just love the restaurant business, and they love the food industry.
Naresh Vissa: 11:11
- So they started this restaurant who had a background in IT and before the restaurant even opened, they had at least I want to say 30 Yelp reviews. I don’t know how they got them. I don’t know what the … if those are real or fake or whatever but the bottom line is I knew it because I know the owner and I was able to look up the restaurant before they even opened and they had something like at least 30 Yelp reviews all four or five stars and they had not even opened.
Naresh Vissa: 11:42
- Well, two months later when the restaurant was opened and in business, I remember a group of friends, we’re trying to decide where to go to dinner and I recommended this place and a couple of people took out their cell phones and said, “I’ve never heard of it but let me look it up.” So they looked it up and what did they see? They see that they had 4.7, 4.8, 4.9 stars out of 5 stars on Yelp. And they said, “Oh wow, this place has at least 100 reviews and 4.8 stars. This looks amazing.” So we ended up eating there.
Naresh Vissa: 12:19
- Well, that is an example of how a 20th century business model adapted to 21st century business and marketing in order to grow their business. And there are so many examples like that where you might think, “Oh, I’m just a laundromat or I’m just a convenient store. Nothing’s changed in the last 40 years, 50 years. It’s all run the same.’ And I’m here to tell you, no. That’s why I wrote ’50 Shades of Marketing’.
Naresh Vissa: 12:53
- Every business needs to adapt to the 20th century. You need to go digital. You need to promote yourself online. That’s where … just look at how much people are looking at their phones nowadays. They’re looking at their phones for everything whether it’s navigation, getting somewhere, or buying airline tickets. I mean I would say most of our lives now, for better or for worse, are outsourced to the online and digital marketplace. So that means if you are brick and mortar, if you are any business, you need to make sure that you are … that you leave an online and digital footprint because it will only help your business. It will not hurt it.
Naresh Vissa: 13:36
- There are some things that can do to hurt it such as bad reviews, bad reputation, and we offer that service in Krish Media & Marketing, Online Reputation Management. But overall, it can only help you and help you grow your business and if you don’t do this, you will get left behind.
Stacy Jones: 13:53
- So for two questions actually, for one, was the restaurant worth the 4.7, 4.8?
Naresh Vissa: 13:59
- Yes. I think it’s one of the best restaurants here in the area. So absolutely.
Stacy Jones: 14:04
- Okay. So they were not actually lying. They were getting real reviews, and they were able to support it. So that’s important, too. So if someone’s listening, I didn’t write it up before I opened a business. I’m going to get all of my other friends to give me raving reviews. You actually have to be able to stand up and support that once you do open.
Naresh Vissa: 14:21
- Well I will say, it’s a little … and I’ve seen this a lot, I think Yelp’s been cutting down on it. I’m sure they have, that’s what I’ve read. But I’m pretty sure this establishment … and there’re many establishments that have done the same thing where they have all these reviews before opening and in this situation that I told you, this example, it turns out that the food was … is really awesome. I go there all the time. I love it. I recommend it to people. But essentially what they did, even if they were fake reviews, they created that kind of that hype and they left that digital footprint. And if for whatever reason, if there was bad food, well the free market would have definitely taken care of those reviews and that people would have been posted one star reviews and two star reviews saying that the food was really bad.
Naresh Vissa: 15:13
- But it essentially gave them that leg up, that jump start to put their business up on Yelp and get featured on Yelp and for people when they search them, to be like, “Oh wow, 4.7 stars. I want to go eat at this place.” So I’m not telling people to do dishonest things like that, I’m just saying that this company led by two former IT guys, they understood online and digital footprint despite being a restaurant. And that’s why they’ve essentially come into the market and they put other … they put their competitors out of business. They just came and they’re doing it right, whether it’s online digitally.
Naresh Vissa: 15:53
- And there’s several other establishments that I know of, they’re essentially marketers who started pharmacies or restaurants or bars or clubs or whatever you name it on the physical side, and they’ve done extremely well simply because they get online and digital. And if you get online and digital, you will definitely steal market share and industries, right, and it really in most industries that are still stuck in the 20th century way of doing things.
Stacy Jones: 16:24
- Well so with a brand, a company, an agency, what ever it might be who might be more mired back in the days of traditional advertising, moving in to digital it doesn’t mean that you’re just taking what your currently doing that works up in print and moving it into an online platform, what are the things that brand needs to accompany … needs to keep in mind as they’re making a foray, what are the first steps that they need to be doing and considering before they’re embracing all things digital?
Naresh Vissa: 16:59
- Well, the first thing a company needs to understand is who is their client. Are they a B2B business or are they a B2C business? And most businesses who are probably listening to this podcast, are B2C businesses. So they have a customer who is their client or their … the customer is the person who makes the business money and so with that being said, I think more businesses need to understand before going digital what can I do to improve the customer experience or to engage with the customers digitally. I’m not saying physically why I have to take customers out to lunch just to get them to keep coming back to my restaurant.
Naresh Vissa: 17:44
- Well, what we’ve identified or really what I identified many years ago, is email marketing is the most effective tool in online and digital. And so what I mean by email marketing is some many of these brick and mortar businesses or businesses in general, even websites, they claim that they have all these customers and they claim that they have all these visits and clicks and uniques to their sites but then when you ask them, “Well, do you know who those people are? Can you show me some proof outside of Google Analytics that those are actually people of value and they’re not just coming in that go to the bathroom or just one time customers?” And so the best way you can quantify that is by capturing names and email addresses, really email addresses even more than names.
Naresh Vissa: 18:37
- And so once you capture email addresses, and this is a way you can digitize their business, now you have a communications tool to reach out to those individuals and you can reach out to them about coupons that you have, special newsletters, whatever it is, and I can tell you, I’m a loyal customer to various establishments simply because I’m on their email list. I’m on PF Chang’s email list. I’m on other pizza places and restaurants, shops, stores, their email lists and that’s how they keep in touch with me whether it’s the email list or the app. I download their app and they send me notifications to my app but they’ve done is they’ve capture my information so that they can keep that open line of communication and when they send me something, like buy one get one free pizza or buy one get one free … buy one entrée get one free, I act on that. I get it delivered to my inbox and I say, “Oh, this is pretty cool. I’m hungry today. Let’s go eat at X.”
Naresh Vissa: 19:47
- These are just examples that I’m sharing about the importance of capturing your traffic, and capturing your customer base and then engaging with them so that you can build a long lasting relationship to sustain your business over the long haul.
Stacy Jones: 20:04
- And what are some of the ways you suggest in capturing email addresses ’cause you know obviously not every business when you go into like a restaurant, you’re not just saying, “Here’s my email. Sign me up for dinner.” So how do you suggest businesses go about that?
Naresh Vissa: 20:17
- Well it depends on the line of business. You can … Every establishment is different. So what my own business is, we capture email … since we’re online businesses, E-commerce businesses, we capture email addresses through the simple, “Enter your email address to subscribe to our monthly newsletter.” Or “Subscribe toward our daily e-letter.” Or “Special report: Seven Ways to Make More Money in 2019. Enter your email address below to download your special report.” That’s how we … those are examples of how we do it for yourselves and clients. When it comes to these physical businesses, ways that they can do it is if you get 50% off your next bill if you enter your email address and what you can do is actually have a paper … like on the receipt, you could say something like that or attach some kind of flyer to the receipt that says, “Enter your email address to get 50% off your next meal or a free pizza on your birthday.” Or something like that.
Naresh Vissa: 21:31
- I think that’s the best way to … Essentially what you want to do is giveaway something of value that doesn’t cost your company anything out of pocket. So by out of pocket I mean, you don’t actually have to go buy something. If you’re a lawyer, well if you offer one hour of your time which is $300 to $1000 value, well that’s something you can certainly offer and you’re not paying anything out of pocket or from your bank account. It’s just an hour of your time. If you’re a restaurant and you say, “50% off your next bill”, well again you’re not paying anything out of pocket because that’s essentially money that’s coming in that would not have been there had that coupon or that offer not been available.
Naresh Vissa: 22:24
- So as a business, you need to kind of figure out what it is that you want to give away. And on the digital side, it’s pretty easy because when you’re giving away E-books, audio books, free reports, promo-codes, those are all digital so there’s really no overhead. So as a business, you need to kind of figure out what to give away.
Stacy Jones: 22:48
- Perfect. And beyond email marketing, what is another digital tactic that you strongly suggest?
Naresh Vissa: 22:57
- Well, I want to first start basic and then I’ll get a little more complex. But you’ll be surprised at … we were talking about 20th century businesses, old school businesses, and you’ll be surprised at how many of them don’t even have a website.
Stacy Jones: 23:16
- So I want to just interrupt you and say, no, no, no. I’m not surprised because people come to us for Influence for Campaigns and they don’t have a website and they don’t have social pages at all on any platform. And I’m like, “No, you have step one and step two to do first before you actually can do Influence for Marketing. You need actually a digital footprint.”
Naresh Vissa: 23:37
- Yeah, yeah. And they don’t … I mean, they don’t even have like a listing online to where you can type in their name or their company name and find a phone number to call. And first off, no one’s even going to be able to find them online. You have to know what they’re name is or their company name is and type it in Google. The entire point of really online marketing is discovery for people to find you somehow. So in my case, a lot of our clients have found either me or my company, obviously through referral and that’s old school and a lot these people who don’t have websites say, “Oh, I get it through referral of my clients. They talk to each and that’s how I get my business.”
Naresh Vissa: 24:22
- But the bulk of the business that’s come our way, has been very strong, search engine optimization meaning people are have typed in … I brought up earlier how I got my first really full time job out of graduate school because a company just typed in some words, some keywords into LinkedIn and then my profile popped up. I was like one of three people who popped up. And the same applies to Google. If somebody’s going to type in wedding photographer in Fairfax Virginia, well, hopefully if you’re a wedding photographer in Fairfax Virginia your website or your name is going to pop up because if it’s not, then you’re missing out on a lot of business.
Naresh Vissa: 25:10
- And I can tell you, I just got married a month ago and the bulk of our vendors are people who I just went online, typed in some keywords. I was able to look at reviews on websites like The Knot and WeddingWire and [DigMasters 00:25:25]. I looked at reviews and then I picked people according to that.
Stacy Jones: 25:30
- That’s great.
Naresh Vissa: 25:31
- No referrals. No. I just got in front of my computer and a few hours later. I was done. Negotiations were done. Emails were done back and forth, done. And that’s the way more and more people are doing things. So on the website side, you definitely need a website for search engine optimization. But in my case, the most beneficial part of my website is, it gives people a place to go to, so they can find out more information, and they don’t have to call me or email me ask me, “What do you do again? Do you do this? Do you do that?” I can just coming on this podcast, www.krishmediamarketing.com, K-R-I-S-H MediaMarketing.com and boom your listeners can just go to the website and see everything that my company does. We don’t need to get into the nitty gritty of everything that every single offering and service that we have on the podcast, it’s just they can visit on the site themselves.
Naresh Vissa: 26:27
- And even in person, when I meet people, or if I’m introduced to a referral via email, krishmediamarketing.com. Check out the link, that’s everything that we do, if you have any questions, shoot us a note. So it gives people a place to which just find out more information and to followup. I’ve seen that as the biggest benefit but having a website adds credibility to you and your business. I know people who have not hired vendors because they didn’t have a website, and they just thought this person doesn’t have it together, or the business doesn’t have it together, they’re not up-to-date on the 21st century. And I’ve seen that happen before.
Naresh Vissa: 27:10
- So it’s super cheap to make a website. Its worth the investment. It costs let’s say about $500 to get up and running and then after that, let’s say $100 a year to keep it running. And just having a website and having a contact section on the website so people know where you are, how to contact you, your phone number, your email. That’s really the most important stuff right there, having the website, and the contact stuff. Those are the two most important items on the website.
Naresh Vissa: 27:42
- And so, I just want to trust that because it’s sounds so simple but I know so many lawyers, accountants, and physical brick and mortar businesses who still don’t have a website, and they don’t understand that it … It’s almost like being on a dating site, like a dating site or a dating app and not having any pictures.
Stacy Jones: 28:06
Naresh Vissa: 28:07
- In the dating … the data shows that whether your a guy or a girl, you have no pictures, but you have a profile, your drop off in match rate is significant. I mean it’s crazy how significant it is, and it makes sense because it just looks like spam.
Stacy Jones: 28:24
- Yeah, they’re going to think that your unattractive and not professional and all sorts of different things along those lines as a business if you don’t have that presence.
Naresh Vissa: 28:36
- Yeah. Yep and as a business, it’s the same way. It’s unprofessional, and it’s just … you don’t have … Basically, your competitors, well they do have websites. They do have email addresses and websites and they’re on Yelp. And so the customers because they have that open flow of communication even though they may not know it, just by having a website you’re communicating with the world. Just having that open flow of communication goes a really, really long way and exposes you to the world. It can only help your business like I said earlier, not hurt it.
Stacy Jones: 29:12
- Right, because really what it’s doing is taking away the risk for the person whose looking and exploring working with you, going to your location, because now they a little bit of insight, and they feel more comfortable and like they know you.
Naresh Vissa: 29:26
- Exactly. Yep. You’re absolutely right. So I think we’ve talked about that. It’s sounds so basic but its so incredibly important, so important.
Stacy Jones: 29:37
- Well and then it also goes with modernization. So if you’re a business, and you have an old website, and you haven’t kept it up-to-date, and brought in a look and a feel of 2019, and you’re still looking like you might be 2000, that’s a problem too, because you’re going to turn off the younger generation.
Naresh Vissa: 29:55
- Well, let me talk about that a little bit ’cause it brings up a good topic. And I want to say that know your brand. So if your brand is like Apple, high quality, great design, great user experience, you obviously don’t want a website looking like it was built in the 1990s on Microsoft Word. Whereas, if your … and I think this is actually pretty, pretty clever but if you look Spirit Airlines for example, probably the cheapest like lowest class, scummiest airline out there, but you look at their website, and it’s a very cheap, scummy looking site, and find it kind of funny because I know that they did that on purpose because it’s hard to build a site like that. They’re a relatively new airline. They’ve only been around for 10 years and its actually kind of hard to … You’re not going to find templates to build a site like that.
Naresh Vissa: 30:57
- Even the case of Berkshire Hathaway, which is the most expensive stock in the world, you go to their website, and you look at it and it’s like … this looks like it was built by an eight year old. And it’s simply because even though they’re the most expensive stock in the world, they’re brand is such that, that how they’re looking for safe and cheap investments. And they’re not … their clientele is completely different. And hey can easily shell out $500 to rebuild their site if they wanted to. But they have no interest in doing that. They’re okay with it.
Naresh Vissa: 31:31
- And so I was actually looking at furniture the other day, like some furniture sites, and I wanted kind of like these discounted wholesale furniture warehouses. I was trying to find those places, and the websites are incredibly important for these wholesale. And how is anyone going to find them. You have to be able to find them either through Craig’s List or through Google and I found them … That’s how I found them through Craig’s List and through Google. And I actually found one site ’cause I’m trying to find discounted like good cheap furniture and when I went through some of the websites, there was one website I came across, and it said, “Everything 70 to 80% off, liquidation sale”, all this good stuff. But the website looked way too nice for this type of a brand, you know, the brand of like liquidation, 70 to 80% off sales. I mean to me I felt like I was looking at like an Ashley Furniture, or a much more upscale furniture site.
Naresh Vissa: 32:38
- And so like the brand didn’t really match up with the design. The design was just too nice, too upscale, too modern looking, whereas the other ones, which were kind of amateur, that’s actually what I was looking for because I want 70 to 80% off the furniture. And so I just felt more comfortable looking at those and saying, “Well, if I go visit this furniture store, I think I’m going to get a better deal here simply because their website just makes me feel that way.” Whereas the other one, just a little too upscale a site and I’m just looking for the cheapest items … I basically got it rid of it from my prospective furniture shops.
Naresh Vissa: 33:21
- So the point that I’m making here is, know your brand. If your brand is selling cheap furniture, well, make sure your design whether it’s your logo, or site matches up with that brand. If your brand is Apple style, high class, beautiful décor, beautiful ambience then match it up to that.
Stacy Jones: 33:46
- And so after the website, right, and possibly before we get to email marketing, what’s the next digital tactic that someone really needs to consider and implement?
Naresh Vissa: 33:57
- Well, you brought up some of it and social media, having a presence on social media is important. I’m not saying go out and buy a bunch of Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn inventory and start running Pay Per Click ads, I’m not saying that at all. All I’m saying is having a presence on all these places, whether its YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, even some of these review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, if your business is relevant to them.
Naresh Vissa: 34:29
- If you’re a physician, a doctor places like Zocdoc and WebMD and Rate My Doc, I think that’s still around. But anyway, you get what I’m saying. If you’re a lawyer, places like AVVO, I think it’s called Avvo, you want to have presences on all these different social sites, these discussion boards, review sites, social media sites, social networking, you just want to be there. It takes only a few minutes to set up profiles, upload all your art work and descriptions and so essentially copy and paste it across the board, but just getting up there, you have no idea how many people are going to find you and if you end up being a popular person or a popular place, your people, your customers will do the marketing for you by writing good things about you, sharing it on their social media, etc.
Naresh Vissa: 35:28
- But on top of that, it helps you with search engine optimization. So on all these places you need to fill out, going back to the example like Fairfax Wedding Decorator, if you were to … with search engine optimization, now all of a sudden, because you put your address on Facebook and Yelp and TripAdvisor and all these places, it’s going to help when people type in Fairfax Wedding Decorator, and your Facebook page comes up, your website comes up, your Yelp, your TripAdvisor, whatever, those come up it’s only going to help you. So getting on all those platforms, I think is like a very low cost, say it cost you next to nothing if not nothing, just to get on there. That would be this. I can think that I do after building the website.
Stacy Jones: 36:20
- Okay. So you built the website. You built social platforms and they will come. Right? That’s the idea. So what happens if the negative comes? You mentioned earlier that you do online reputation management and so what happens if somehow someone vendetta against you and they’re using now all your digital platforms to be negative or maybe you just had a bad customer experience, and you’re getting some bad responds, in that regards what does someone need to do?
Naresh Vissa: 36:50
- Well first off, before I answer that question I think one caveat or one misnomer is, “Oh, build a website, get on the social media, and they will come.” There’s a lot more of that goes into it. Obviously you need to have a good product, you need to do a little more marketing, which my book ’50 Shades of Marketing’ goes over, so that you can drive traffic and get more traffic. But these are just the fundamental things that you need to do in order to begin the process of getting people to come.
Naresh Vissa: 37:22
- Now if you have what I call trolls out there, who are bad-mouthing you, writing bad reviews, and you’ll be surprised, a lot of these trolls are not your customers. They’re competitors. They’re people who are in your industry, and they’re just bad-mouthing … I mean, I’ve seen it happen with me. We handle it for our clients. So couple of things. Number one is I think and this goes … this ties a little bit into public relations as well, where the new PR which is online PR, a lot of it, you can just ignore. If someone writes a bad review, well big deal. If you’re going out giving something away of value and getting 99 out of 100 of your reviews are good reviews and you get one bad review, well that’s a good thing. In fact those bad reviews, you need them so I’m happy when I get one star reviews for my books or whatnot because they’re real and it shows a nice contrast to having a lot of four star reviews or five star reviews.
Naresh Vissa: 38:27
- Now in some cases, trolls can get really, really, really bad. And this is … I don’t think it’s relevant to your audience or to our listeners, but I’ll say there’s the rare case where someone might have a troll whether its an ex-anything, ex-partner, domestic partner, business partner, a customer, an angry customer, and they can actually make your life, personally and professionally, a living hell. And we’re dealing with that with some of our clients right now and some of it is … I mean goes beyond online and digital. It can become a legal issue if they’re violating privacy laws, if they are libeling or slandering you, it goes beyond what online and digital can do.
Naresh Vissa: 39:22
- All I can say that is in our case, we have an array of clientele who yeah, they have bad things written about them. And it happens in business, whether it’s … They might have done something wrong a long time ago, 30, 40 years ago and they’re changed people, or some troll is writing stuff about them on a blog site, or the media caught wind of somebody at their company who did something bad and because of that this executive was named in some kind of affidavit. And so we offer what are called Online Reputation Management Services, which essentially tried to bury the bad stuff while pushing up the good stuff. That’s the best way to put it.
Naresh Vissa: 40:08
- But Online Reputation Management is becoming a major issue … a major issue and I think as we move forward as more people get online and digital and more businesses go digital, this is going to continue to be one of the pitfalls and look I wish I could tell you that going digital and being online is utopia and greatest but when you have a bunch of pros, you’re also going to have a few cons as well. And this is one of those cons.
Stacy Jones: 40:38
- Now and unfortunately, I know this all too well because we hired a lead gen freelancer and after four day when she actually did not do any lead gen, we did not continue her service and she became a troll. And spammed everything that she could think of including setting up review sites that we never belonged to, to do it. So I think it may surprise you that it may actually impact more of our audience that you can even realize because its definitely happening to people.
Naresh Vissa: 41:08
- Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. You’re right, and it’s tough when its happening to you there are a lot of crazy people out there. But you have to fight back and like I said sometimes it goes beyond the online and digital realm and you might have to get lawyers involved. So that’s how handle these situations and like I said, we have so many clients who have these issues, and we try our best to solve the problems without having to get the lawyers involved.
Stacy Jones: 41:40
- And I think that if companies do what you first said, you know and really go out solicit and actually start building a positive reputation, it helps honor when trolls happen so that you don’t have a blank slate that trolls are attacking you on so you just look really bad no matter what you do.
Naresh Vissa: 41:58
- Yep. Absolutely. And that, you really hit the nail and that is start working on this now so that when something bad does happen you already have a bunch of good stuff written about you and a bunch of good stuff about you online. And so don’t wait for something bad ’cause the bulk of our clients that’s what’s happened. They haven’t done anything online and digital and then something bad about them comes up and then they come to us. It’s kind of like our health and most people they don’t do anything about their health. They don’t exercise. They don’t eat right and then something bad happens and then they say, “Oh, I need to get on this med or start exercising or change my diet.” Might as well start before and try to prevent it in the first place.
Stacy Jones: 42:44
- 100% agree on that. Any other digital topics that you wanted to cover today on our call?
Naresh Vissa: 42:51
- Well the last topic that I want to quickly go over is the direct marketing and direct marketing is just business that directly or a business had directly connects a consumer. So how it connects is up to the business. We’ve talked about some of these channels so historically in the 20th century it was channels like Snail Mail, Qpons, Telemarketing, and today’s ecosystem it’s more email content marketing like writing a blog or a podcast, search engine optimization, social media, Pay-Per-Click, those are some of the more modern tools for direct marketing.
Naresh Vissa: 43:31
- But the biggest takeaway that I want people to have with direct marketing is you want to directly connect with your consumer. So we talked earlier about build a website, create social media, and they will come which I said, not entirely true but it’s really the base and the foundation that you want before starting to run your campaigns but what I brought up earlier like email marketing, there outside of you, actually captured names and you can directly connect to those end users.
Naresh Vissa: 44:04
- With the click of one email, boom, you can send them a message to millions of people in the case of President Trump for example, ’cause that’s how big his base is. He’s worked hard to collect all those names and if he wants to get a message out, he can just send out a Tweet and it becomes a front page of the New York Times or Headline News for CNN or Fox or whatever. If he sends out an email, lets say he’s soliciting funds like fundraising, raising money, well within hours he can see tens of thousands of dollars being poured in and that’s what I mean by direct marketing.
Naresh Vissa: 44:49
- I think these politicians nowadays, President Obama was the first one to utilize direct marketing but nowadays you look at the politicians and they’re just prime examples of direct marketing and that’s going directly to the consumer and telling them to do something, telling them to vote, telling them to donate and you can apply those principles to your own business and so you need to just think about that full cycle of how am I going to find those people? How am I going to connect with those people? How am I going to capture their email addresses or their phone numbers or their … yeah, their cell numbers to text them? What am I going to send them that’s goin to be of value? How am I going to keep them engaged? This is all part of the direct marketing funnel that I think every business owner should think about.
Stacy Jones: 45:43
- Which really isn’t a new marketing tactic because direct response has been around for eons of decades, and it just more modernized now with using all of the digital channels.
Naresh Vissa: 45:53
- Exactly. So the game is still the same, the players have changed slightly but the principles and the game are still the same. Absolutely.
Stacy Jones: 46:01
- So talking about direct response what would you like to call out today and have our listeners do?
Naresh Vissa: 46:09
- Well, first off, visit my website, my personal website nareshvissa.com. N-A-R-E-S-H V-I-S-S-A, first name and last name, nareshvissa.com. Get on my mailing list. It’s free and then once you get on, just send me a note through my contact portal, say, “I heard you on the podcast.” Your pick. All my books are on there on the website or you can go to Amazon and just type in my name and tell me which book you want and I’ll send you a free copy of my book. ’50 Shades of Marketing’ I think will be most beneficial to this audience and to your listeners. But all my books, I’ll make them available. Just let me know what you want and I’ll be glad to send it over to you.
Stacy Jones: 46:55
- That’s a fantastic gift. Thank you for doing that for everyone.
Naresh Vissa: 47:00
- Yep, absolutely. My pleasure.
Stacy Jones: 47:01
- Well, I was so happy to have you on today. I’ve learned a lot and I have a feeling I’m going to be chatting with you some more about Online Reputation Management. But thank you for coming on and chatting with all of our listeners today.
Naresh Vissa: 47:13
- It’s been a pleasure. I really enjoyed the discussion.
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