Master Your Finances Kurt Baker with Larry Bailin – Transcript

Written by on December 29, 2022

0:00:00.2 ANNOUNCER: The financial views and opinions expressed by the host and guests on this program do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of 1077 The Bronc, Rider University, or Certified Wealth Management and Investment. The material discussed is not designed to provide the listeners with individual financial, legal, or tax advice.
0:00:25.8 ANNOUNCER: It’s time to grow your bank as 1077 The Bronc presents Master Your Finances with Kurt Baker, a Certified Financial Planner Professional with Certified Wealth Management and Investment. Kurt and his team of financial guests will help you turn those singles into seas of green and plan your financial future accordingly. Now, here is your money managing host for the hour, Kurt Baker.
0:00:48.7 Kurt Baker: Do you want to know how to leverage marketing to gain a significant advantage over your competition? Are you aware that digital and traditional marketing are often not coordinated properly to maximize the return on your investment? Larry Bailin, a successful entrepreneur, award-winning CEO, and dubbed one of the top minds in the business by Yahoo’s marketing team and founder of one of the first digital marketing firms in New Jersey, has an innovative approach to maximizing your marketing and increase your success. Larry will show you the steps he took from humble beginnings to a thought leader in marketing. It’s quite an honor to have you here, Larry, ’cause I know I’ve heard your story before and we’re going to share it today. But welcome aboard. Thanks for coming.
0:01:31.2 Larry Bailin: Well, thanks. It’s equally as much of an honor to be here.
0:01:34.3 Kurt Baker: Yeah, I just, you wanna tell us a little bit, ’cause you were really there literally at the beginning with Plymouth Rock. You stepped ashore and you were like, all right, what do we got here? We’ll do this, and…
0:01:45.4 Larry Bailin: I don’t know that I came over on the Mayflower, but I was born…
0:01:46.4 Kurt Baker: The digital Mayflower.
0:01:47.5 Larry Bailin: Yeah, the digital Mayflower. There were many docks in Newark, New Jersey, where I grew up but yeah. So the very beginning days, I remember it was back in 1994. A friend of mine had given me an AOL floppy disk.
0:02:07.7 Kurt Baker: There were many of those. I recall.
0:02:08.1 Larry Bailin: They used to mail them to your house, but not even back then they didn’t. It wasn’t there yet. Then they became CDs after that. I’m an artist, I can… Drawing, painting, sculpting, and then I taught myself graphic design and a friend of mine gave me that AOL floppy disk, and I put it in my… I had a terrible hand-me-down old Mac pizza box computer. And I remember I lived in a one bedroom apartment. I unplugged my phone and I plugged my computer in to the phone line and I put in this floppy disk.
0:02:49.6 Kurt Baker: ‘Cause we only had one line back then. Did you forget? It was a big deal back then.
0:02:49.7 Larry Bailin: I only have one line. There’s no reason to have two lines, right? It was one. It was just one. And it was… This predates handheld cell phones, like mobile devices. Cell phones were in cars at that point. Or maybe bags on your shoulder.
0:03:03.7 Kurt Baker: Transportable. Right?
0:03:03.7 Larry Bailin: Transportable, yeah, at best. And they were very expensive. So I connected to the internet, and I was instantly kind of taken to a land that I have just never seen before, a land of opportunity, so to speak. I guess kind of back to that Mayflower thing.
0:03:23.1 Kurt Baker: Yeah, it’s true.
0:03:23.2 Larry Bailin: Where what I knew about computers was not very much, but I knew that if you’re going to see a picture on the screen, it had to be on the hard drive of the computer. So now I’m on some sort of a website, and I remember very vividly looking at a picture coming in very slowly, line by line by line, over my phone line. It was a green wingback chair. And once this chair loaded, I just remember being taken aback and literally leaning back and looking at this and said, that came from my phone line, from I have no idea where. That’s not on my computer. That’s out in the ether somewhere. And just light bulbs started going off and ideas started popping. I was working in the audio video industry. I had read a high school… I never went to college. It kind of wasn’t in the cards for me. So I’m an entrepreneur, not necessarily by choice, but actually I’m an entrepreneur by circumstance, I guess. So I was in the audio video industry doing sales and management of just an audio video store, home audio, car audio, that type of thing. And in the morning after I had spent half the night going through the entire internet, which you could go through in half the night, like the entire internet.
0:04:41.5 Kurt Baker: Right. Really. It was out there.
0:04:45.1 Larry Bailin: I called up my friend. I said, hey, listen, these website things that I saw, if I design one, can you put it wherever websites go? And he said, yeah. He goes, if you design it, I’ll put it somewhere so people can see it.
0:04:56.2 Kurt Baker: It’s awesome having a friend like that back then.
0:04:56.8 Larry Bailin: It’s great. So I went to my boss and I said, hey, I want to build a website. The answer is always back then was, what’s a website? And then when I explained to him, the second answer is always, well, how much is it going to cost? And then I said nothing. And then the third answer is yes. So we built it. And inadvertently, we built the first audio video website in the world. That and $2 will get me a cup of coffee. And the minute it hit the internet, the phones in the store just did not stop ringing. And the interesting thing was that we’re in New Jersey. I grew up in New Jersey.
0:05:33.3 Larry Bailin: Like I said, I grew up in Newark, in Irvington. And I’m very used to being able to get anything I want in 10 minutes. You know, there’s if you wanted to go…
0:05:42.6 Kurt Baker: Yeah, kind of a J&R Audio and these place you just go around the street, right?
0:05:45.4 Larry Bailin: Right? Well, J&R and the Wiz, and they’re all next to each other.
0:05:46.2 Kurt Baker: Everything right there.
0:05:47.5 Larry Bailin: They’re all next to each other. Everything’s right there. You can get anything you want. I think we’re spoiled that way. Because all the phone calls that were coming in from the website were people in Iowa, in Mississippi, in these states that you have to travel two hours to find something akin to a Best Buy. So we listed all of our inventory on the site that was old, older than a year. Anything that had at least a quarter inch of dust on it went on there in a list. And every day hand trucks of equipment were leaving the door through UPS. And that’s when this light bulb… That’s when the kind of entrepreneur in me really came to life. So again, as I said earlier, I’m an entrepreneur by necessity, in my instance. But this is when really the entrepreneur just exploded.
0:06:44.7 Larry Bailin: That’s when I feel I really became an entrepreneur. So I started a business with my friend that gave me the disc and a couple of other people. We put our whole life savings into this company. I think it was about five of us. I think we were able to muster up about $4000. We set up a server. We came up with a name, set up a name for the company. And we started going out. I started selling websites and marketing for those websites.
0:07:09.8 Kurt Baker: So how did that go initially? Because I remember those days where it’s like, well, I don’t wanna be on the web. I’m in the Yellow Pages. I have a phone number and I’ve got this great ad. And hook… Nobody goes there.
0:07:24.0 Larry Bailin: So you know what? You know what? It’s a lesson in entrepreneurship. Winston Churchill said that good and great are seldom the same person. And I truly believe that. And great marketers… You can be a good marketer. But in order to truly be a great marketer, you have to understand sales. Because in all candor, there’s only one reason to do marketing. It’s to sell something. So marketing, even branding, even something as classified as branding, and I’m kind of making air quotes, because that term is used too much, creating awareness. I don’t believe should tactically compete with winning new business. Those things should work together. So I learned everything I could about sales. I also… At the moment I became an entrepreneur, this newly minted entrepreneur, I had to educate myself on everything I could find about the internet and everything I could find about sales and persuasion and understanding how all those things work together.
0:08:28.0 Larry Bailin: And this was a… I had to educate people. This is a newly founded industry. It wasn’t even an industry. There were only probably five, six people in the country doing this. There happened to be one in New Jersey. But I had to understand how to go and sell this very technical thing. Because at that time, there were no books on how to get listed in Google, because there was no Google. There was one search engine in the world, it was called AltaVista. And their claim to fame is that it’s the number one search engine for librarians. Why that mattered, I still have no idea. Because it was the only search engine in the world, so who was number two? That being said, it’s very technical and people don’t understand it. So the secret was really being able to explain this in a way that people understood. Kind of boiling it down to, again, sales. Why this is important. Why it’s important to get on board with this now. Why set the stake in hard ground. What will come of it in the future. And really kind of selling that dream, which did come true. So I was the salesperson and we had other people that were technical people.
0:09:41.3 Larry Bailin: And we did pretty well. I mean, we went to small businesses and kind of got them on board and built first websites for a lot of companies throughout New Jersey, small companies, small businesses. Figured out how algorithms work in the search engine, so they showed up number one. And again, even though there wasn’t a lot of competition, there still was back… Even back then, there were 10 spots on page one. If there were 11 people doing it, you didn’t want to be the 11th. You wanted to be in the top 10 and at the top. So we learned how that worked. And we combined this into this digital marketing thing. About three years later, I would say in ’98, there was like… As I mentioned, there was one other company doing this in New Jersey. And so when someone did want a website, what happened and they made… They’d find us and they find this other company. And they call us both. And since I was so good at selling this thing, I could, I’ll always outsold the other company. So I’d always win.
0:10:47.9 Larry Bailin: Got a call from the CEO of the other company. Wanted to get together for dinner. And this is another lesson. Actually my company, we had hit a brick wall. As I mentioned, I was very new at being an entrepreneur. So all the lessons, and not going to school, not having gone to college to learn how to do some of these things, just general business structure, we would hit these brick walls that I didn’t know how to get around. I didn’t know how to get past. So we were about to disband the company. We were going, we said, listen, we’re arguing.
0:11:28.7 Kurt Baker: Oh, you guys, you’re… Okay. Interesting.
0:11:28.8 Larry Bailin: My original company, we were going to shut down because we were all equal partners. That’s a big mistake. Nobody can make a decision.
0:11:38.2 Kurt Baker: Oh yeah. No decision maker. Sounds like a band to me.
0:11:39.9 Larry Bailin: It sounds like a band, right? It’s a band. Right. And I was the lead singer. So without me, there were no sales and we were arguing all the time and there was other things and we were making money, but not a lot of money. And we were all actually doing this part time and I wanted to do it full time, but not necessarily with the people I was doing it with. So I went to a dinner with this gentleman, the CEO of this other company who is a venture capital guy. And what he did was he said, have you ever thought about… Would you think about selling your company? Now, being the consummate salesperson, you don’t, you think… And this is a lesson in life and entrepreneurship is you think before you speak. You know, one of my favorite books is Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. It’s not an easy read, but it’s well worth the read. It really teaches you to think about the outcome that’s going to come from the words that come out of your mouth before you say them. I said, you know what, things are going great. You know, we’re growing, we get along really well. We’re really pushing forward. We’re going to grow this thing. You know, I don’t know. Now again, this is off the heels of having a conversation of I’m done with you guys. I can’t work with you anymore, all of that.
0:12:50.0 Larry Bailin: So, and he asked if we would entertain an offer. I said, yes. He sent us an offer. My partners were like, listen, maybe we should keep this thing. I said, I’m going with this guy. He clearly wants me. I’m going to go with this guy. I’m going to learn how to really do this. And for three years… So they acquired us. I worked for them for three years. That was the contract. They ended up getting acquired for some technology they invented. And that’s when I started my current company, which is Single Throw Marketing.
0:13:22.4 Kurt Baker: We’re definitely getting in that. We have to take a quick break. That’s an awesome story. We’ll come right back. We’ll see how you started single throw. This is Master Your Finances and we’ll be right back.
0:13:40.1 ANNOUNCER: Yeah, you’ve got loads of money, but it’s all about how you manage it. Let’s get back to learning how to grow your green with Kurt Baker of Certified Wealth Management and Investment only on Master Your Finances.
0:13:46.0 Kurt Baker: Welcome back. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. I’m here with Larry Bailin, and you had an interesting story where you’re on the cutting edge of when the internet was just first starting along and people didn’t really understand like what a website was or marketing on the internet and the internet, you could literally go through the whole thing. It’s not that many people are on it yet. Started the business ’cause Mr. Entrepreneur there, you sold some stereos that were kind of getting a little aged, let’s say, and people out in Iowa were like, that’s fantastic. I can’t find anything like this. For them, that was brand new. So Mr. Entrepreneur, and then you decided, hey, sell the company and let’s start Single Throw. So pick it up from there, sir.
0:14:18.4 Larry Bailin: Yeah. So Single Throw Marketing started out with two people, my business partner and myself. And he was the financial guy, meaning he handled the finances, and I handled the kind of thought leadership, growth of the company and sales. And we bootstrapped this company. We both put in an equal amount of money. Again, neither one of us had a lot of money at the time. So we put in what we had and just rolled our sleeves up, put our hands in the dirt and just went out and started meeting and greeting. Now the interesting thing was we were starting an internet marketing company, now called the digital marketing company, back then the internet marketing company, off the heels of the dot com bubble burst. Most businesses didn’t want to hear about internet anymore. They thought it was over.
0:15:11.3 Kurt Baker: After 2000, we were done?
0:15:12.8 Larry Bailin: That’s what they thought. It’s over. All this craziness is done. But I’m like, this is not done. I actually started the company as an SEO company, search engine optimization company. I believe that that was the most important thing at the time. Google was in full effect. There were a lot of search engines. Yahoo was still a big player. And if you didn’t show up, no one knew who you were. No one found you. And they found a competitor. So there was a lot of reasons that that needed to be a thing. And we were one of probably five SEO companies in the country. I still know all the other owners of those other four firms. And we were definitely the first in the tri-state area here in New Jersey. But we had another hurdle to get over. We were moving into our first office in New Jersey on September 11, 2001.
0:16:04.6 Kurt Baker: Oh, goodness.
0:16:07.3 Larry Bailin: Yeah. In the morning, we’re moving boxes up the stairs. And the old tenant had a tiny little office, probably about the size of the studio.
0:16:11.8 Larry Bailin: And there was a little old TV, and we just put it on for background noise. And I’m watching this unfold out of nowhere. And then I put the box down, and I’m staring at the TV. And I sit down and kind of in shock, growing up 10 minutes outside of the city. Once the shock of what was happening subsided, I’m like, this is the end of this company. There’s no way to survive this. We’re already kind of not in a position of strength. But this is a lesson in entrepreneurship. It was a matter of, you know what? We got to roll up our sleeves. We got to go much harder, much faster, do double the amount of work, and get ourselves out there, because the world is not going to stop. And we have to just push forward. Yes, it’s going to be harder. Yes, people aren’t going to want to have discussions about business and growth in business. We still have to have those discussions. So we started to go to Chamber of Commerce meetings. Any meeting where businesses were congregating, anything, no matter where they were, we were there, four, five a day in some cases.
0:17:21.6 Kurt Baker: Wow, [0:17:23.1] ____.
0:17:23.2 Larry Bailin: And all day, at night. And we just kept telling the story, telling the story, telling the story. And that paid dividends. That started to get us. People were interested, and they wanted to hear more. And again, once the shock of that time period started to subside a bit, those conversations started to happen more freely. So we built up this kind of surplus of people that wanted to have conversations.
0:17:51.9 Kurt Baker: To me, that sounds like leadership, because when there’s any adversity in the market, you’re out there actually telling people how to help themselves before anybody else is really like… Everybody’s still kind of… We tend to consolidate, right? I mean, people tend to pull back when you have adversity happening. But you actually stepped out and said, hey, there’s some opportunity here, and here’s what we need to do next.
0:18:10.7 Larry Bailin: Yeah, it is interesting you use the word adversity. And through all the adversity in our 21 years in business, we’ve come shot out of a cannon out of the other side of adversity, which is typically what it does. If you dig in, and you push forward, and you push through, you come out the other side so much better, so much stronger, with so much gusto.
0:18:30.0 Larry Bailin: And adversity is also a mindset, getting past adversity is a mindset. I actually just did an interview. So in 2007… Oh sorry in 2007, I wrote a book about marketing, and it became a bestseller and ever since then, I’ve been a paid keynote speaker, so I get hired to speak about marketing, about customer behavior, and I get to also interview a bunch of people. And this week, I interviewed Mike Tyson, and it was a very interesting interview, because we talked about adversity, so you brought up adversity. And his philosophy on that, of how do you get past adversity, was very similar to my philosophy when we were hit with all this adversity in the very beginning days of our company, was that you have to… He says, “You have to believe that you are a god, that you are unbeatable, that no one is going to come and take this from you, that you will stomp them to the ground, that this is your thing, and no one will get in your way and take this from you.” And that, that really summed… I mean, it kind of gave me chills a little bit I kind of saw the old Mike Tyson.
0:19:43.8 Larry Bailin: He’s become very humble and a little bit different but this, he became that guy in an instant, and it was about adversity and getting past adversity is not allowing adversity to win, how dare adversity try to take this from me? I will crush it to its knees. And that is what being an entrepreneur is. Entrepreneurship, I’ve learned many times over, is not for the faint of heart.
0:20:12.2 Kurt Baker: Oh, definitely not.
0:20:13.5 Larry Bailin: It’s definitely not. I mean, even at this stage, even 20 plus years in, you still run into these things that are new things, and you have to figure out ways around them but it is incredibly satisfying to get past that adversity. Entrepreneurship is an amazing thing. It’s been a wonderful thing for me, growing myself professionally and it’s how I, you know, it’s how I pay my bills and feed my family, but it’s… It is something, you have to have that mindset of, I can beat anything that comes in front of me. Anything that is in my way, I will get past it.
0:20:55.5 Kurt Baker: I have to agree 100% because it’s very hard to see around the corner. Sometimes you got to step out and go around that corner and just say, alright, here it is, let’s deal with it.
0:21:00.9 Larry Bailin: You’d really never know what’s coming around that corner to hit you, right?
0:21:05.2 Kurt Baker: You can guess, and you can anticipate, and you can plan but once you turn the corner, you’re like, you never know for sure what’s going to be there.
0:21:12.9 Larry Bailin: Well, and that’s a big thing, too. One of the things, as again, an entrepreneur, singer, I’ve read a lot of things. Andy Grove, the CEO of Intel wrote a book called Only the Paranoid Survive, and it’s a fantastic book, and it fit within my personality growing up in New Jersey. I’m a very paranoid person by default. And paranoia is about thinking about what could happen and being prepared for multiple outcomes. Even as early as yesterday, I was in New York. We were doing a year in review with one of our clients and my team… We were with… I was with my team, a few people from my team, and we prepped for that meeting incessantly. I mean, we went over every possible thing we were going to say, every objection that could be said about the thing that we were going to say. We were so wildly prepared for 100 objections and what the answers to those objections would be. And maybe two objections came up but we were so… It was probably one of the best meetings I’ve seen my team ever execute because it’s probably the one they were the most prepared to win.
0:22:23.9 Kurt Baker: Oh, it’s amazing. It’s amazing.
0:22:26.9 Larry Bailin: Yeah, if you’re prepared, you get a level of confidence that is euphoric. It really almost kind of float, again, like nothing is going to stop me. And that’s what kind of Andy Grove was talking about, is thinking about all the… Being prepared for all the things that could happen and having that plan for those things, knowing that 90% of them will never happen. But when that 10% happens or that one thing happens, you were so wildly prepared for it, it does not… You don’t even blink when you blow through it.
0:23:04.7 Kurt Baker: Right. So that’s like success when preparedness meets opportunity, right? So you were prepared.
0:23:07.2 Larry Bailin: Absolutely. Yeah, that’s very well said yeah.
0:23:08.8 Kurt Baker: Well, that’s amazing ’cause… And I think the other thing this actually helps you with is it helps guard… The paranoia aspect helps you guard against your disruptors that are out there, ’cause you guys were like the leader, right? You’re the guy running, the head of the race, so there’s obviously others that are nipping at your heels.
0:23:21.9 Larry Bailin: A lot. Yeah, all the time. And they vary, they vary from small to large and everything in between and, you know… We’d like to say… One of the ways that my company wins is we’re pretty bold at this point. We say bold things, we do bold things. We’ll tell clients if we sound like everyone else, then just don’t hire us. But if we sound different, if we’re saying something new, we’re saying something unique, you really have to hire us, like there’s no choice at that point because we are… You’re doing… It’s different wins. Doing the same thing over and over again does not win. Marketing is, you can throw a rock out this window, you’ll hit someone that knows about digital marketing, someone that’s a social media expert, someone that’s a future fledgling influencer. It’s not new anymore. The secret to it is how it is used, from a marketing perspective. It’s marrying that marketing and sales together that creates something explosive when you’re trying to market the thing that you do, the services, the wares, the products, whatever. It doesn’t really matter what it is. There is a whole bunch of things we can talk about, about how to explode marketing when you look at it from the right perspective.
0:24:37.7 Kurt Baker: That’s fantastic. We’re going to take another break, and when we come back, we’ll talk about how to explode your marketing. You’re listening to Master Your Finances.
0:24:43.9 ANNOUNCER: We’re not just doing this for money we’re doing it for a shitload of money. If you want to learn how to make and manage that kind of money, turn the volume up as we get back to Master Your Finances with Kurt Baker of Certified Wealth Management and Investment.
0:25:00.3 Kurt Baker: Welcome back you’re listening to Master Your Finances. I’m here with Larry Bailin, and we’re now going to learn about exploding your marketing. I love that term, let’s explode.
0:25:10.3 Larry Bailin: Yeah, it’s a good term actually.
0:25:10.4 Kurt Baker: I like that.
0:25:14.6 Larry Bailin: I’m going to start using it. I think this might be the first time I’ve said it. So it’s you have to identify those little nuggets and use them, maximize them. So yeah, exploding marketing in a very competitive space, it’s not what it was 10 years ago, 15 years ago. We are bombarded with messages. The average person is bombarded with over 2000 marketing messages every day. And if you think that’s a lot, count how many there are when you leave this building, count how many there are just walking down the street.
0:25:48.9 Kurt Baker: True.
0:25:49.0 Larry Bailin: On my drive here, which is a 30 minute drive, I tend to count marketing messages.
0:25:50.8 Kurt Baker: Oh interesting.
0:25:52.8 Larry Bailin: And there were over 100 in a 30-minute period.
0:25:54.4 Kurt Baker: Wow.
0:26:00.6 Larry Bailin: So it’s noisy, it’s a very noisy world, and you really need to do something that gets you noticed, disrupted, change the conversation to go your way. And the way I found to do that, and I mentioned becoming a student of sales. Sales and marketing have to be synonymous. There is one reason that you do marketing and that is to create revenue. My company has something that we tell every client, we’re under no illusion as to why we exist. It is not to get you to show up in Google, it is not to get you likes, it is not to build a website, it is not to give you a pretty billboard, it’s to make you money. You give us a dollar and we’re supposed to turn that into more dollars. That’s it, period, end of story. That’s marketing’s job. And if it’s not doing that, you’re doing it wrong. The great thing about digital is it’s no longer the underdog, especially since lockdowns and COVID. There’s nothing out there but a digital consumer. Everyone’s a digital consumer. People are two-screen television watchers. Most people watch TV with their phone in their hand. And when they see something of interest, they’re Googling it.
0:27:15.8 Kurt Baker: Oh sure, that’s true.
0:27:24.3 Larry Bailin: They’re looking for it, they’re engaged instantaneously. So all of that means that we have to figure out more ways to touch people in the right way and only touch the right people. The days of… In my opinion, where marketing has changed and gotten better is in the targeting of it. I like to talk about the mathematics of the perfect customer. Before you do any marketing, you have to understand who you’re marketing to. And the mathematics of the perfect customer is let’s say that’s a… It’s formulaic. So you look at who your perfect customer is, maybe your Goldilocks, or the center of the bull’s eye, and start to think about what makes them that perfect customer, What is the arithmetic there? What’s the formula? Are they male, female, certain age, live in a certain area, household income, like to do these things? What’s that formula? And most businesses have more than one formula.
0:28:46.3 Larry Bailin: They have multiple clients, so what are all the formulas? Once you understand that, now we know who we need to engage with. Now you need to understand, in order for marketing to be explosive, you need to understand, and this is the secret sauce, this is the piece that if you don’t sprinkle it in, it fails, how do you persuade them? So there are laws of persuasion, there’s a law of reciprocity and social proof, scarcity, all of these things that come into play when you’re trying to persuade someone to do a thing. So when you’re on Amazon and it says there’s only six left, that’s the law of scarcity. That’s the law… That’s a persuasion element called scarcity.
0:29:03.2 Larry Bailin: When you see star ratings, that’s social proof. There’s all these things. So you have to understand which of these persuasion elements come into play for that formula, and how do you sprinkle them in. And now, you have to be the consummate salesperson you have to say, why does someone buy the thing I offer? Why do they say yes? That has to become part of the message, and equally as important, and we ask every client this, why do they say no? Because when you know these two things, you’re in a perfect position to create marketing, graphically, textual, video to persuade that person to do the thing you want them to do, to create what I call sales activity. Marketing needs to create sales activity. We have to… If we’re marketing for one of my clients, let’s say it’s either B2B or B2C or healthcare or auto or whatever industry it is, we’re pretty industry agnostic, we have to prove that marketing worked, we have to prove that something happened because we’re doing marketing. We have to prove that there’s a return on investment. We use data to close loops and say, okay, this customer bought this, it cost X to get that customer, this is what you sold it for, you made X amount of dollars.
0:30:23.9 Larry Bailin: All that has to come into play, but if we’re not connecting with the right people at the right time because we don’t have the right formula or we don’t understand the value propositions of the thing that you’re selling, we created the wrong ads or we’re pushing at the wrong time, the whole thing falls apart. Anybody can do marketing, air quote marketing, but not everybody can persuade someone. The persuasion element is that good versus great. Good marketers can get you found, great marketers can get you chosen. That’s the biggest difference, and those things cannot live autonomously. They have to be together. Getting found and getting chosen and not knowing… A lot of people we speak to, we ask how their marketing is working, they’re like, “Well, we think it’s working.” We’re like, what do you mean you think it’s working? Well then it’s not working…
0:31:19.3 Kurt Baker: Shouldn’t there be data behind it, especially with digital, right?
0:31:21.1 Larry Bailin: It’s almost 2023 out there.
0:31:23.8 Kurt Baker: That’s true.
0:31:27.4 Larry Bailin: We can measure a billboard’s effectiveness, a drive-by billboard’s effectiveness. The fact that a business owner in this day and age would say I think or I don’t know is silly. It’s a massive failure. We know that you immediately have the wrong marketing company, immediately. Immediately it’s just wrong. Because it’s our job as marketers, as great marketers, to prove that the thing we’re doing is moving businesses forward because if it’s not, we need to know that. If we’re doing something wrong, we don’t want to keep doing something wrong. So you course correct, you change, and that’s the beauty of digital in this day and age. Again, even with traditional versus digital, traditional marketing is more classified, it’s television and radio and billboards and things of that nature, but honestly, digital, traditional, they’re one thing now. It’s just marketing. There’s no digital or traditional. It’s just marketing. It’s all measurable.
0:32:23.6 Kurt Baker: So I had a couple of questions. So how do you measure those that said no? ‘Cause if they’re gone, how do we figure that out? Just kinda of a global way, how do I know that they rejected me, they didn’t sell, I didn’t tell them anything, or why they abandoned me, so to speak?
0:32:41.1 Larry Bailin: Sure. Well, there’s two things if they didn’t click on you and you didn’t get the chance to… If they didn’t click on you, they’re not interested in you, or you have the wrong verbiage, you have the wrong persuasion elements. So you can look at how many people are searching for the thing that you do. If you’re not getting what you believe is enough people clicking, you probably don’t have the right verbiage, you don’t have the right message, you don’t have the right persuasion. So you can modify that and see if you can get more. In some cases, you could be… I always think about this scene in Indiana Jones where it’s Indiana Jones, and I forget the other gentleman’s name, but it’s a buddy of his, very boisterous guy, and they start hugging each other and looking at each other very excited when they find out that the Nazis are digging in the wrong place, they’re like, they’re digging in the wrong place, and they’re so excited. It’s an opportunity. So a lot of times, people are just digging in the wrong place. The easiest way to tell is if you’re… Let’s take Google, for example.
0:33:45.5 Larry Bailin: Only 4% of people go to page two of Google. That doesn’t mean only a few people go to page two of Google. What that really means is that 96% of the time, Google gets page one correct. So if there’s nobody on page one that looks like you when you’re doing a search, you show up for a thing, and you’re happy you show up for that thing, but you’re the only one on that whole page that looks like you, you’re digging in the wrong place.
0:34:04.7 Larry Bailin: You probably shouldn’t be there. But if everybody looks like you when you’re not there, that’s a problem that needs to be solve. Now, let’s say someone clicks and then makes contact, there’s ways to pull that data, there’s ways to… It’s called closed loop analytics. We can do things nowadays where you have a CRM system or even a spreadsheet, and you say, okay, this person called, spoke to them on this, sending them a proposal, closed… We didn’t close them or we did close them, became a client, didn’t become a client. We still know if they’re the right fit or not, and analyzing that helps us go back and get more people that are the right fit, and then we can say, well, why did they say no? Now, is that…
0:34:44.7 Larry Bailin: That could be not a marketing problem to solve, it’s a sales problem to solve. But typically, it’s marketing and sales working together, and they say, you know what? Even though they said no, it’s just because we lost to another competitor. We don’t win them all, like we win one out of four or whatever it is. It’s still a good fit. It’s still a good… So it’s analyzing the quality that comes from marketing and reacting appropriately, modifying, course correcting, changing, and we say this a lot, like how do we get one more? One more, one more. That’s what marketing is. Marketing is never sitting back, resting on your laurels with your fingers crossed and hoping it works. It’s continuously turning the knobs, pulling the levers, pushing the buttons, pulling back, pushing forward, and trying to get one more, one more, one more of the right person.
0:35:33.9 Kurt Baker: So why don’t you speak to the ones that the marketing companies go out there and they advertise, well, we’re going to give you so many leads and so many of this, so many of that? I want you to speak to that for a minute ’cause I know I’ll probably…
0:35:48.9 Larry Bailin: Sure. Yeah.
0:35:49.4 Kurt Baker: Just speak to that technique to get clients. Yeah. Well, we’ll do that when we get back here just a minute. We’re going to take a break. You’re listening to Master Your Finances.
0:36:00.9 ANNOUNCER: Do you want to prevent this from happening to you? And it’s gone it’s all gone. Listen closely as we now return to Master Your Finances with Kurt Baker of Certified Wealth Management and Investment.
0:36:04.7 Kurt Baker: Welcome back. You’re listening to Master Your Finances again. This is Kurt Baker with Larry Bailin, and I wanted you to speak a little bit to the firms… ’cause I get this all the time in my business, like, oh, we’re going to get you all these leads and I’m like… Go ahead. You speak to that.
0:36:18.5 Larry Bailin: Most of the time when you get those, these are people that don’t know you, don’t know your business, you’re just a list that was purchased and it’s emailed to you, and it’s not even borderline, it’s spam. Why would you ever buy anything from someone that spams you? If they’re spamming you, they’re hoping that they send out 100,000 of these things and maybe one person says yes. They sell them something, it doesn’t work, and it’s such a low price usually that you’re not going to fight it, you’re just not going to do it again. So if they’re not asking you… The first question is who are your customers? Why do they buy from you? What’s return on investment look like? Those types of questions. I hate to say non-marketing questions because to me they’re marketing questions, but they’re questions about your customers, they’re questions about the return on investment, they’re questions about the outcome, not the output.
0:37:13.0 Larry Bailin: So that’s the biggest thing, and I say that to people all the time when I speak, if your marketing companies are not asking you or having discussions about what the outcome is supposed to be and they’re just talking about output, like leads are output, getting found is output, getting chosen is outcome. Those two things have to work together. So most of those things, 99% will not work and some of them will even get you in trouble. So it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. If you really do understand marketing, you understand that almost anything can be a target and targetable. I mean, even right now, my company does a tremendous amount of work with companies because of the labor shortage. We do recruitment now because someone asked us to, someone said, hey, we’re having a lot of trouble getting nurses, we’re having a lot of trouble getting engineers. And we started thinking about it and said, you know what, that’s just another target to us. That’s just another formula. Again, the mathematics of the perfect customer and now it’s the mathematics of the perfect employee. What does that look like? Where do they live? If you think about marketing in general, it is still about persuading someone to do a thing.
0:38:26.5 Larry Bailin: So marketing, if you get it right and if you think about it from the perspective of I need someone that looks like this to do a thing, then you can target anyone for anything. That’s the beauty of digital. You can target people. It’s scary to a lot of people. A lot of people think Google’s listening to me and Alexa’s listening to me.
0:38:47.6 Kurt Baker: It feels that way sometimes.
0:38:48.1 Larry Bailin: Oh, it does feel that way. And I’m not saying that they’re not. I mean, they all deny it. They all say that you’re not. But there’s so much data out there they actually can predict. You know I’d like to say it’s predictive analytics.
0:39:00.7 Kurt Baker: Yeah, I’ve seen that. It’s scary.
0:39:00.8 Larry Bailin: They typically will know what you’re going to do.
0:39:02.4 Kurt Baker: They look at my friends and figure out what I do.
0:39:05.7 Larry Bailin: They look at what… So here’s what they do. They look at your friends. They look at who you are. They look at where you go. They look at where you eat. Anywhere you bring your phone is trackable. All the things you do on social are trackable. And it creates this formula, and I like to say that even though your mom tells you probably quite a bit that you’re special, we’re not. There’s a lot of people out there that look just like you, do the same thing that you do and kind of are your mathematical formula.
0:39:30.8 Larry Bailin: The same formula that they are, you are, and there’s probably hundreds of thousands if not millions of people that have the exact same formula you do. And Google knows what they’re doing. So Google can start to predict what you’re going to do because you’re two steps behind a whole bunch of other people that look just like you that did that thing.
0:39:47.8 Kurt Baker: So if I send them a letter will they send me my next year’s plan before I know?
0:39:50.3 Larry Bailin: It would be great. It would be great. Yeah.
0:39:52.0 Kurt Baker: They can let me know what I’m going to do next year.
0:39:53.1 Larry Bailin: It’s almost like a crystal ball. It’s like going to a medium on the boardwalk.
0:39:57.6 Kurt Baker: There you go.
0:39:58.9 Larry Bailin: But yeah, so even targeting on an employee level, if you get the right marketing and if you get the right marketing mindset, you can drive a tremendous amount of applicants to you, the right applicants, that will convert into employees because, again, it’s still getting found, getting chosen and for a fraction of what recruitment costs. Because it’s not about everything else. What marketing used to be was about volume. It was about as much as we can, as far and wide as we can.
0:40:31.1 Larry Bailin: It’s not that anymore. It’s as narrow as we can, as focused as we can, hit the right targets. You had mentioned to me earlier on a break that your customers are a fraction of a percent. So that formula, so going far and wide wouldn’t make any sense. But even a fraction of a percent are a lot of people. And if it’s a high ROI, high return on investment, we figure out how many we need to make marketing pay for itself. And really that’s explosive marketing, is when you can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that marketing dollars spent paid for marketing and these customers that you received were born of marketing efforts. Without a shadow of a doubt, you’ve exploded your marketing and you’re well on your way to insanely explosive growth.
0:41:21.5 Kurt Baker: Right. So another area we talked about on this briefly was LinkedIn. I know because that’s where I was getting some of these blanket things like, oh, I’m going to solve your problem. I go, that’s not even my problem. How are you going to solve something that you don’t even know what my problem is? So to speak. They send these things out blindly, which I immediately delete them.
0:41:37.8 Kurt Baker: I mean, it’s rare I get one that’s actually targeted to me, that actually knows something about me and sends me a message because they actually know something about me. So what are your thoughts about how LinkedIn is being used today? Because they’ve opened that up quite a bit as far as how they can reach us with InMail and all this other stuff.
0:41:52.6 Larry Bailin: Yeah, I mean, and it’s getting crazy. This isn’t a knock on LinkedIn. LinkedIn was bought by Microsoft years ago, and it’s still a good platform. It’s still a great platform, not even a good platform. The InMail is a little insane. My inbox is fairly useless on LinkedIn, so much so I don’t even need to set up notifications for it anymore. It’s just I check it when I check it. And then 90% of what’s in there I delete, and sometimes there’s somebody I know, like you said, or someone that’s doing a really good job at selling and maybe not even using InMail, but it’s a person. If my name is in bold and everything else isn’t in bold or they use the R-E colon when I never sent them an email, they’re not replying to me, it’s just spam. It just gets blocked out. But the great thing about LinkedIn, and this ties back to the recruitment part, the data in LinkedIn is spectacular.
0:42:41.7 Kurt Baker: It’s awesome, yeah. That’s for sure.
0:42:42.0 Larry Bailin: Everyone keeps their LinkedIn profiles wildly clean, wildly up to date. They are the digital resume. We look at a lot of resumes and almost every resume we get has a URL to go to their LinkedIn page. They want you to go to their LinkedIn page. They want you to see people that endorse them and the things that they do. The great thing about that, from a marketer’s perspective, that gets me kind of salivating. There’s so much information there, especially from that recruitment perspective. And because it’s owned by Microsoft, I can take that data and use it anywhere anyone uses Microsoft, whether it’s MSN, or Outlook, or any Microsoft property, anything Microsoft touches, which is a lot. I can push ads to people based on their LinkedIn data, based on where they went to school, what their majors are, when they’re graduating, what their current job title is, who they work for, if you want to target people and try to conquest them from competitors, which we do.
0:43:43.1 Larry Bailin: There’s so much information there. Right down to even how much people like you.
0:43:51.5 Kurt Baker: Oh, oh.
0:43:51.9 Larry Bailin: So does this person have a lot of endorsements, not a lot of endorsements? Are they good at what they do, not good at what they do? Again, these are little nuances. And for some clients, they’re like, we don’t care. We want the person with that job title. We want the person that works for that company. We want the person in this geography, the person that’s about to graduate with this degree. All that information is amazingly clean, probably the best business-to-business data on the planet right now. Again, as a marketer, as a salesperson… Actually, I don’t even care what my title is. I’m a professional persuader. That’s my job. I professionally persuade people to do things. And if you look at yourself as that professional persuader, everything becomes an opportunity. Everything becomes an opportunity for another touch, for another piece of data to gather something and then do something with that data once you’ve gathered it.
0:44:43.7 Kurt Baker: Wow, that’s incredible. Okay. So what are the kind of things we should be doing today? Because now that we’re coming back and you mentioned the employment thing is an issue. I think… From at least my perspective, I think generally we’ve gotten kind of back on track, so to speak. I’m seeing, even though we’ve got some recessionary things, inflation and things are going on. But I think basically things are moving along. So what are your thoughts from a marketing perspective, like where the focus should be right now if I’m a company or an individual, whatever the case may be?
0:45:09.2 Larry Bailin: If I’m a company right now, I feel we have to get the basics. What we typically see is a lot of companies aren’t targeting what I would call bottom of funnel. There’s people out there that they put maybe a little too much focus on things that it will be top of funnel. So if we break a sales funnel down into three pieces, you have the top is curious. People are curious about the things you do. The middle is working. Okay, I’m going to do this more than likely, but I don’t know with who. And then the bottom is ready. I’m ready to buy. I have a credit card in hand. I’m ready to, or a check or I’m ready to append or sign a contract no matter what your service is.
0:45:50.0 Larry Bailin: Most companies are not prepared for the ready. They’re still focused on the old funnel model that uses gravity to pull people down from the top. It’s very expensive to do. And in the digital world, the funnel is on its end. There’s no gravity. People move back and forth, flow front to back very freely. One little click on something would lead to the top of the funnel back down to the bottom. Bottom of funnel focus is critical. People that say, I need you. I need you now. I need the thing that you do. And I’m going to Google and I’m typing this thing in is so important because if you’re not there, it’s going to be, well, Okay, we’re not there. So what? Yeah, but if they’re not finding you, who are they finding? Because you’re now letting a competitor take that customer, just letting them have it. You might as well be sending them a check. So focusing on Google, focusing on bottom of the funnel things, social media is great. It’s important. Personally, it’s the least important of the important things. And so somebody can buy your services with likes, it’s not as important as people that say, I need this now.
0:46:54.0 Larry Bailin: And when I need a thing now, I don’t run to Instagram. When I need a… Instagram influences me when I’m there. But when I need something now, I run to Google. Getting that right, I can’t stress enough, is insanely critical.
0:47:06.1 Kurt Baker: Well, that’s awesome. Any final thoughts before we leave for today? Even just a recap.
0:47:11.3 Larry Bailin: Everybody read Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. I mean, it’s an old one. It’s an 80-year-old book that teaches you how to have success in a digital world. It’s pretty amazing. But the last thoughts are, keep in mind, get found, get chosen. Those two things have to work synonymously for marketing to explode.
0:47:30.4 Kurt Baker: Oh, fantastic. Thank you, Larry. Appreciate you having on. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. Have a great day.
0:47:39.5 ANNOUNCER: That’s all for today’s episode of Master Your Finances. Missed Kurt Baker’s biggest money managing tip or even a full episode? Head on over to or Look for Master Your Finances on Anchor, Spotify, or anywhere you get your podcasts. We’ll see you next time only on 1077 The Bronc.

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