- Watch the Replay!
11-10-2020 Making Money Doing Better Client Reporting with Brandy Lawson
November 10, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CST
Watch the replay of Digital Marketing Kitchen Chef Cory Miller with Brandy Lawson to talk about how she’s leveraged great client reporting to build her business and make her clients delighted.
Everyone is welcome. Please share the link with your friends and colleagues.
Machine Transcript: Making More Money Using Customer Reports with Brandy Lawson
Cory Miller 00:02
Everyone, welcome back to another Digital Marketing Kitchen webinar and I’ve got my friend Brandy Lawson from FieryFX. Did I say that right?
Brandy Lawson 00:10
You said it absolutely right.
Cory Miller 00:12
I can put your name in FieryFX.com. And this I was trying to think back Brandy. I think this webinar is about five years over date because overdue because I remember you and I met at press nomics a thing. Mm hm. And you were like, Cory, this thing called Google Data Studio. And I was like, that sounds awesome. Finally, how do you deal with it and everything? We’re five years late to this, but I’m finally getting around to that conversation. I didn’t forget.
Brandy Lawson 00:45
All good. I know you’ve had a couple things going on. Since then.
Cory Miller 00:50
Well, I remember you’re doing some cool things back then. And now you’re doing even cooler things. Now. Can you give us a little background about Faria effects and your work? In digital marketing?
Brandy Lawson 01:02
Yes, yes. So um, I, it’s going to be nine years that I’ve had my business coming up in February, which seems insane. But my business started when I got locked out of my job at the world’s largest domain registrar. And it was kind of unexpected, and, but it was it was the catalyst for everything to come. So I worked in product management, as a product director, and I thought I would get another job. And less than a week later, somebody’s like, hey, I’ve got this WordPress site I think you can help me with so my business was born, it would take me several months before I caught caught on. Um, and through the years, I’ve kind of struggled like At first I was sort of positioning me as a Chief Technology Officer. And then we did like websites. And then we leaned into the word agency, because people understand that. And I finally, when I was, when my friend was like, pushing me to do a podcast, I finally have a framework where I can talk about all the things we do, because I’m like, Oh, we help businesses with what I’m calling the four simple machines. A business, like these are four areas where you apply force, and it gets magnified exponentially. And they are websites, analytics, smart business, and technology. So yes, we’re still an agency and I love marketing. Um, but when we work with people, I can’t like, I couldn’t I almost stopped building websites altogether. Because I hate doing stuff that doesn’t get results. And the ugly truth is, no business owner knows what they need from a website. They just don’t.
Cory Miller 02:43
Oh gosh. You’re so right. I’m sure there’s people here listening that are like, yo, that work nice.
Brandy Lawson 02:50
Bless their little hearts, they just don’t know what they need. And I think a lot of well meaning people try to work with clients who don’t know what they need, on the, the end of just taking direction. And I was like, finally I, I found a place and that gave me the permission to go back up and go, No, no, no, we don’t build a house without a plan. Because the Dr. Seuss house that you’ve got right now with a staircase in the middle of the living room where you’re trying to throw a party, this isn’t working. Oh, that’s so true.
Cory Miller 03:26
You nailed it. Like I’m taking notes. And I hope everybody else is taking notes for me, because you’re giving us some gold. Like, you know, part of this is that conversation with clients and back and forth. I just love hearing you talk because it’s like, what I want to heard? Well, the first thing I heard was businesses and evolution.
Brandy Lawson 03:43
Oh, yes. Yes.
Cory Miller 03:46
Like I think you were tech girl back. Yeah, I met you rated at different Brandy. But that’s how it all starts. You know, my former company. We didn’t really sell a lot of things. But we’re held I themes. So I get businesses evolution. But I wanted to I wanted to hit on something you just said websites. So you said this. And I want to get the nuance here. That I totally agree with your websites. Most of us don’t know, even you know, even in marketing, right? Don’t really know how to use and leverage a website properly. But you said something, I don’t know if you’re mean to go there, but about getting results on websites.
Brandy Lawson 04:27
Cory Miller 04:28
So can you unpack that for me?
Brandy Lawson 04:30
Yes. So when, when I start to talk to a potential client, the first thing I say is so what role does your website play in business? You would not hire an employee without a job description. So why in the world would you even invest in a website without knowing what it’s supposed to do for your business? And love it, too. You know, there’s a lot of information out in the world about how to create websites. There’s not a lot of information out in the world about how to define what your website supposed to be doing in your business? And I am of the belief that websites are assets. But it cannot be an asset unless it has a defined role that you’re investing in it to that defined role and that you’re measuring it. Is it doing its job because if it doesn’t have a job, we cannot measure it. We don’t know its role. Also, websites are like they can be so many things. They are not just sales and marketing. The most powerful websites are some a bit operations a bit customer service. It’s hilarious that some of the people in more traditional industries like construction are like, we don’t need a website. But man, we can’t find anybody to work for us. I’m like, huh? Yeah, because websites are pretty tools.
Cory Miller 05:48
Yeah, good point.
Brandy Lawson 05:50
So the role of the website needs to be clearly defined, so that every other decisions can be made, so that you know the proper amount to invest in it. Because someone’s like, well, how much should I spend on the website? I’m like, I don’t know. Is it a receptionist? Or salesperson? Or is it replacing an entire operations team like, what it’s supposed to be doing? Because you cannot decide how much to spend on it until you know what it’s supposed to be doing?
Cory Miller 06:16
I love that and saying that it should have a job description is should have an intention role to for so many years, Brandi and I love WordPress, because it’s empowered us to use our websites more easily. But I felt like websites should do something for the for the person or the organization on the other side, you put it way more eloquently. But I love that approach when we’re talking to clients is what’s the role? And I’m sure well, I’m gonna guess for a second you tell me from right or wrong? Most go? I’m not really fully sure you got a little bit of a guide and lead and say, well, you’re in construction, and I’m hearing these things. You say you only need your By the way, I have a friend that’s in construction. I actually, Oh, God, you know, this thing? I manage a site. Right? And that was the same way. Yes. I don’t want SEO. I don’t want any of that. I want my pitchers on the you know, and now I got a retort for him. So
Brandy Lawson 07:11
yeah, cuz, again, the pain point. So you’re absolutely right. But so most business owners haven’t had the opportunity to think about this. Well, one. That’s not the question that’s been posed to them in any marketing, or sales, or course or any other anything that has influenced their thinking to this point. It’s all been how and not why. So go to get them to stop and go. But why?
Cory Miller 07:43
Brandy Lawson 07:45
is different. And so no, most of them don’t have an answer at this, which is why when I do I do interviews like this, and I create content going, give your website, a job description, and so that, but I think this is also part of the role of the provider. And this gives me like on another soapbox about working with experts, that our clients probably don’t know the answers to most of the questions, we need them to answer for us. And so there’s, there’s no service provider in the world. That’s all that successful. That isn’t also part coach.
Cory Miller 08:19
Oh, you’re right. You’re right on. This is synchronicity right here because I was just reading this post, but then solving your Strategic Coach, I love what he does. I was in coach for a year. And he said coaching is going to be the number one industry in the next 30 years. I think it’s going to be a hot if it already isn’t, as a skill set.
Brandy Lawson 08:41
Yes, hundred percent. Because the other thing I learned about building websites in the early days was that it doesn’t didn’t matter if I handed this person, the ultimate tool of the website if they weren’t willing and ready to use it. And that had nothing to do with my service providing. But it also like I’m not fulfilled, if my thing doesn’t get used to the purpose it was built for. Right. So I part of my job, I think, in being a service provider, is to help that person become the version that can then go use the thing that we’re building together.
Cory Miller 09:20
Hmm, that’s good. That’s thinking higher level than most, you know, is coming up and say, how does the customer the client need to transform? And then it makes your efforts I love that Brandy.
Brandy Lawson 09:33
Yeah. Cuz it’s just, it is the most rewarding part of my work. But it’s also no one’s looking for a business coach when they’re building a website, but you cannot, especially if you are at a point where you’ve changed enough and your site hasn’t caught up and now you really need something different. Creating that something different and being ready to use that something different is is a whole thing. In and of itself, you can’t just be like, Here you go, here’s your very expensive asset and some training, because the the tactical training doesn’t always necessarily change what’s between the ears?
Cory Miller 10:14
Oh, no. And also telling somebody, here’s your go to WP admin.
Brandy Lawson 10:17
Cory Miller 10:19
Like that. That’s not something most, you know, like you said in the construction example, they’re dealing with, you know, drawings and stuff. They’re not like in front of a computer necessarily. I work with a lot of therapists and same thing. Oh, it’s like, What? How do I do that? And, and so I think you’re getting that this question I saw, and I think it was a Harvard Business Review or something a long time ago. Who do you want your customers to become?
Brandy Lawson 10:43
Cory Miller 10:45
I think you’re also you’re adding the big nuances is, who do they need to become? Yeah, like to take advantage of, you know, very love, you’re starting with why here, the website should have a job description. help coach them to that, but at the end, they also have to know how to drive the car to web.
Brandy Lawson 11:04
Yes. You know, right. And feel confident. The other I think not a talked about, but maybe not in the right way is the confidence. They need to feel confident in their ability to use this thing to the end game. Because if they don’t, I we’ve all had clients where they just won’t do the thing, whatever the thing is, they just avoid it to the nth degree like this. It’s not hard. Why can’t you do this? We said at the end, they blow a deadline, what? Well, it’s not that they don’t want to, it’s that there’s something as a business owner, myself, as a human being myself, there’s something that is stopping them. And if we lack the skill set to be able to help intervene there, then we lose a client or the rest of like, it’s all down downside. But if we can recognize it, not only do we have to help them version themselves and become, but become ready to use it, but they have to build the confidence. Mm hmm. Because it wasn’t until I was very competent, in what we were providing that I was able to have some of these conversations with clients or potential clients. And one of the more controversial conversations I have very early is I during the course of the you know, the consult or the interview, I will go, and at no point during our work together, will I ever ask you if you like it? And they’re like, what, why? That, and some of them are like, and then I go on to explain, because we have goals, and we have objectives, and we have things that we’re going to do together and they’re not for you. Your opinion doesn’t belong here. Hmm. Therefore, your perspective and and your prospective clients and people who are going to hire you. They’re not for you. And they’re like…
Cory Miller 12:50
Oh, well, just like, we love this comparison here to a job, you know, you’re hiring for a role in your company, you want that you want to find some as best you can objective measures to see if it’s that person performing. So why not with your website? And I love that you’ve taken out some the Do you like it? Totally subjective. Totally not anchored in objectives and goals?
Brandy Lawson 13:14
Cory Miller 13:15
But the, you know, measuring and we’re going to get to this in a second everybody. By the way, I just didn’t intend to come here. But I should have known. Brandy is so awesome. She has so much to say. And I thank you. By the way, I meant to say that again. Thanks for coming on today and donating your time and experience and expertise showed up so. But that goes into having a job description. Here’s how we’re going to measure what we want it to do. So then we have these measurable results. I don’t want to circumvent this curse. It’s because it’s so good. But I do want to get into Yeah, reporting kind of reporting. So maybe we’ll have some time to segue back here. Because cool this is this is gonna have to be like multiple things. We’re gonna have to have multiple times we’re just come back and talk with Brandy and see what new things she’s threw at us with. So okay, so then you’ve had this conversation, hey, it should do something for you. It should have results. It should be geared for not just you but your clients. That’s the or the stakeholders that need to use your site.
Brandy Lawson 14:17
Cory Miller 14:18
Okay, now, you transition do you set the stage upfront for the analytics to and say, like, part of my process is doing this because I don’t want to share stuff that I know you and my wife Lindsay talked about recently, but I know you said like, next level gears just reporting. You said sent to them and either Twitter or LinkedIn messages. Sounds like that was gold. You know what I’m talking about?
Brandy Lawson 14:43
Oh, Yeah. Yes. 100%. So to kind of make our segue here. So yeah, I have that conversation early, to set the path for analytics and metrics to be very clear that what we’re doing is going to be driven by measuring and getting data And we do. We do a lot of reporting, and the mindset that I set up with my clients and that I’ve actually started trying to get other agencies to adopt is that reporting our is not a report card. This isn’t did we pass or fail? reporting is a diagnostics tool? It’s where we get really curious about what’s working, why it’s working, and what’s not working on why it’s not working. It’s not a pass or fail. It is a Oh, okay, what’s going on now? What can we learn? What How can we use it? What else can we know about what’s happening to better inform the work that we’re doing?
Cory Miller 15:39
Okay. I think you said, correct me. I think you said it’s not a report card is a treasure map.
Brandy Lawson 15:44
Yes. It’s a treasure map. Yes.
Cory Miller 15:47
That’s where I was like, that’s what we got to talk about.
Brandy Lawson 15:50
Yes. We also the the recently I listened to a podcast episode of Armchair Expert, are you familiar with that one? Dax Shepard?
Cory Miller 16:01
Brandy Lawson 16:02
He had Dr. Jud, Dr. Jud is the website. So I remember that much. Dr. Jud, who’s a behavioral like he he is a neuroscientist and understands people behavior. And one of the things he said was that when sports teams get behind, so you’re losing, and it’s halftime, the ones who recover are the ones who stay curious, like the emotion that they experienced at this point is not defeat, or in its curiosity, what can we do better? How can we go about this differently? And that curiosity is an open kind of emotion. So when I thought about reporting, like, there’s two distinct kind of emotions that count, like if it’s as a report card, then I’m like, I don’t know, did we passed do we feel like is good? But if it’s a treasure map, yeah, I’m curious. Oh, where does this go? How can it… now? It’s an interesting problem. Oh, Anne Marie, it’s an armchair expert with Dax Shepard. It’s the Dr. Jud one. It’s a couple months old. But Dr. Jud, that emotion of being curious. Emotion of like, Oh, it’s a treasure map? What can we find? What is here? Oh, let’s follow the path. Where does this lead? Um, I think that just, it’s so much more joyful.
Cory Miller 17:28
I was just talking to my coach earlier this morning, Brandy. And I was like, entrepreneurship, I, when I talk to people about a plan on many of my projects, I don’t have this well fleshed out 15 slide deck, or business plan, or anything like that. It’s, it’s Today, we’re gonna wake up and figure it out, you know, and I love because it’s so parallel to what you just said to so parallel to the way I think about business, too. It’s just, it’s an exploration. But what we have so much, you know, advantage over our ancestors is we have the web, we have this data that like, you can send an email. You can see real time stats over here, you can if all of this is hooked up, and the systems pick up, you can see that it’s a beautiful I call it a video game. It’s the best video game ever played. And video game geek, you know. But that, I love that because staying open, staying curious and following the data. And I hope you guys or gals are all listening began taking note of this about you can talk to clients to. One grounded in results from the beginning is going to be so much better. And now we’re into the analysis part. And the treasure hunt. Yes. Okay. So that’s okay, so what’s next after that? You’ve kind of told them why you need the treasure map?
Brandy Lawson 18:52
Yeah. So we, um, we have what’s been interesting about the time of the pandemic, is that great companies still want to market but they want to market smarter. They want to do less trial and error. And analytics and reporting is the answer to that. So our reporting service, which we are calling insight Pro, has actually been taking off with not only individual clients, but also agencies who don’t want to solve this problem, because this is sort of a very particular problem to solve it. It requires some technical, it requires some non-technical getting into the metrics. So yes, so great. You your your, your website has a job. How do we measure that? And people get all like, squishy. We’re like, so let’s set up some metrics. We would like me, like, Okay, well, well, what if we just how do we know if this is working?
Cory Miller 19:49
Brandy Lawson 19:50
And when we can ask different questions like that, then people again get curious and open as opposed to Oh, no, not metrics Not, not things that I don’t think I like. Like, no, but just how do we know if this is working? What are the things that happen if this is working? And then we also talk a little bit about leading and lagging indicators. So say yes, we know if it’s working, if you got Marcel’s cool, there’s also a lot of things that we don’t control and a lot of things that aren’t on the website in that process. So that would be a lagging indicator. What are leading indicators? So not just eyeballs, but actions are you are people reading more than 50% of the blog posts that you sent out? are like, there’s lots of other indicators that we can look for to see if this is working. We set those up. And we look at those and we use those to guide our treasure map.
Cory Miller 20:43
What’s success? When you’re talking about? How do we know if it’s working? What are the key metrics that you look for? And that’s a broad question, you know, because I know you’ve got all types of different clients. But when you get to this stage, what are the key things you think about? So we mentioned kind of blog posts, and…
Brandy Lawson 21:03
Well, it really goes back to the intention of the site. So we have a client who has three opt ins on our homepage, I’m like, do we really need three? Well, let’s find out. Like, let’s find out which ones are working. She does kind of have three segments. So now those are aligned to the three segments so that we’re getting the people into the right path for them, which works well. But it really depends on the intention of the website. If it’s for leads, then we better be looking for markers for leads, which is traffic, which is clicks, which is opt ins. It the one I talked about with the blog consumption, it’s a travel blog. So we’re Yes, people subscribe, but that’s not necessarily the thing. We were trying to get people to consume the content. Are they reading the blog post? How much of the blog posts are they reading? Which ones are they reading?
Brandy Lawson 21:55
So you know, metrics around those types of things. And then I was thinking about, you know, some of our other service providers, they have interest forums, or contact forms that that were, like we’re measuring not only like, are we getting those? Are they real bounce of thing. And then where they’re coming from? Because great, we have people doing what we want them to do. Where are they coming from? I have had one client, who had a really unique setup for his store, where he was jumping systems. And so we had to do a lot of hoop jumping to be tracking because we needed to know if we have a transaction complete on an e commerce site, where those people come from, that’s a really important information to know so that we can go oh, this, sometimes it’s surprising, sometimes it’s very predictable, where where people are coming from that are completing. But if they’re completing the action, we need to go back to that fishing hole. We need to know where they came from.
Cory Miller 23:00
Absolutely. So I imagine you’re flying in all kinds of stuff. Are you using Google Data Studio?
Brandy Lawson 23:09
Yes. So um, so. And also, it’s a very interesting time for analytics, because Google Analytics just introduced Google Analytics 4 which is their – we track all the things from all the places – which is interesting, but it’s, for our purposes, it’s just not mature enough yet, some of the events that we want to track. So it’s like, that’s cool and interesting, we’re not ready to go, Bing, Microsoft has just introduced their analytics piece. So it used to be Google Analytics was the really the only true, full free game in town. That’s also changing. But we still use Google Analytics, and then we use Google Data Studio for the reporting the visualization side. Because with Data Studio, you can literally create anything you want.
Brandy Lawson 24:01
But for us, is being able to title things so that a mere mortal can consume this information. Yeah, right. We don’t have to call it bounce rate, we can call it percent of people who left the site after viewing one page. And I don’t have to keep reading, explaining bounce rate, because I don’t understand what that means. Also, you can construct, like the branding, the visual, it just is much more approachable, right? I think. And when it comes to reports where people like, Al, you know, the more we can do to make them pleasurable to look at and the more we can do to really paint the charger map. So for some, you know, we’ve got the goals set on the first page, and then sometimes analysis, but sometimes it kind of maps through, like, where those people came from, and what is it we can do all of those things in data Data Studio, which is so much more approachable than what we were stuck with previously with Google Analytics or there’s lots of other Great paid visualizations out there, I can’t think of any off the top of my head.
Brandy Lawson 25:05
But like, this comes back to my technology piece of use what works well for you, some people, if you have lots of non Google data sources, you can hook them up in Data Studio, it takes a little bit more Dev, or there’s like paid connectors. So that may not like Data Studio may not be a great answer for you. If you’ve got a lot of non Google stuff going on. You might want something else. But if it’s all primarily, Search Console, Google Analytics… If it’s primarily Google with some Google Sheets thrown in data studios is phenomenal.
Cory Miller 25:42
Gotcha. Yeah, that was my next question is, you know, like, let’s say you’re wanting to measure, you know, I guess you can do email signups from forms and stuff. So you don’t need to actually get like a MailChimp or console.
Brandy Lawson 25:54
So we have, um, there’s a, there’s connectors for MailChimp. So we brought, we bring in MailChimp data for some clients, Facebook, Instagram. Pinterest is still kind of iffy on the connectors. But if you’re somebody capable, or you have the capabilities of writing connectors, you can legitimately Connect just about anything, also. So let’s just say we’ve got gravity form set up that’s sort of unique, and we’re trying to capture even information out of that gravity form, you can write that to a Google Sheet and pull that into Data Studio.
Cory Miller 26:31
I was about to say, cuz I’ve looked around Google Data Studio, and I saw that you can populate with spreadsheet. And then there now, okay, so back to, for each client, is it? Do you use a template and customize a little bit of it for them, or have a bespoke type, though.
Brandy Lawson 26:48
Yeah. So at this point, I’ve got a master template, which as basically everything. And then we have when we have a new client Come on, we copy that we added in the data sources, we customize it a bit. So it is starts with the template. But then there are usually we try to make sure that that front page, the first page of the report is really attractive, is really interesting is much like invokes the curiosity for the client. Because we want them to be consuming this day that you don’t get to the treasure without looking at the math.
Cory Miller 27:25
Yeah, I you know, I’m curious how your experiences gone with clients, like it’s one thing, you know, you said a client up, let’s say, what, just Google Analytics, and that’s just a sledgehammer with a kitchen sink. And it’s everything. You know, I’ve used it for a very long time. And still, I’m like, I can’t find things very easily, you know. But Sorry, I got distracted and looked at one of the chats here. But I totally lost my train of thought. I’m sorry, Brandy.
Brandy Lawson 27:56
It’s all right, you were talking about you, you give a client Google Analytics, and it’s like, so much, too much.
Cory Miller 28:02
Yes. Yes. It’s Oh, I’m sorry. So you call your service Insight Pro, which I love. Because it’s one thing, you know, business owner, you get a P&L, your, your accountant gives you this table thing, and they love it. They think it’s the most gorgeous thing in the world, because it’s just data. And you’re like, this is just a bunch of numbers with lines. Right? To me, it feels like because, again, they’re they don’t know, as much as we the guys, the coaches. Yep. I think that insight piece is really, really, really vital. Because, you know, looking at data, like, I have a client, they have a treatment center in Boulder, Addiction Treatment Center. And I like their analytics and looks different from my, you know, other data I’ve looked at, but I start peeking in and I want them to know, like, one of the discovery discoveries we made was their mobile traffic is really, really high. Right? Yes. But their site sucks for mobile.
Brandy Lawson 29:05
Right! Yes. That’s always one of the first things and so the question from Amy was how often do we send reports to clients monthly, we do monthly reports for clients. But to that point is we had a marina client come to us through someone else. And they’re so it’s very seasonal, even here in Arizona, that is extremely seasonal business. And, like 80 plus percent of their traffic was out of mobile. Yeah, it wasn’t responsive. It wasn’t just like, what are you doing with your life?
Cory Miller 29:42
Well you’re thinking about their customers. They’re in their truck car. You know, like they’re on vacation in the sense and so, exactly, that totally makes sense. But you see data and you see it objectively and go, Okay, we have a problem.
Brandy Lawson 30:00
Yes, and so what we’ve come to now is when we onboard a client, the first time they get a report, I also do a loom video that talks them through the report. Like, right, here’s what this is, here’s what this is, here’s what you can expect. Here’s Avila. Um, and so and first from some higher tiers will also do like a half hour question to answer session after that to kind of like get, again, getting them engaged. And then for, like, we have three tiers of reporting on higher tiers, once a once a quarter, I’ll go through and do illume analysis, talking through the report, pulling out pieces here and there. Um, and then for all clients, what’s great about Data Studio is that you can just change the timeframe on the report.
Brandy Lawson 30:53
So it’s set to default for monthly. But at the beginning of the year, I set it to last year, and I do a loom video, and I talk through Well, this is what happened last year, this is what we can see in the things that happen, and yada yada, yada. And I and I do that for all the clients once a year, so that they kind of have a recap, as they’re looking. I mean, it’s a little late for planning, but it can in being involved with what they’re doing going forward. And they can kind of see the wrap up of what happened during the year of results of things that they did or didn’t do. We can talk about the climate of what was going on, because I think context also matters for that type of thing.
Cory Miller 31:36
Absolutely. So this should have been first one of the first questions I asked you, though, so what all services do you provide? So what if they say we need, you know, you go, your SEO sucks.
Brandy Lawson 31:52
No one’s finding you, there’s absolutely no traffic to your website.
Cory Miller 31:54
Yeah. So do you do full service? Or do you go? Yes, you have ancillary services to that help out?
Brandy Lawson 32:01
Well, I’ve, um, I stole this from somebody. And I really should figure out who it was I saw this terminology from but we have an Avengers style agency,
Cory Miller 32:09
I like it.
Brandy Lawson 32:09
… in that we bring together all the superheroes. So we have many other agencies that we work with that are specialists in in particular places. And the client can either go work directly with them, or at the point the clients want to work with us. They, they want less, like, great, you understand that you know what we’re looking for, you just go do the thing. And we’re very transparent that I’m not trying to hire all the people, because about the time they’re only working on my clients stuff, I think they lose some of their expertise. So we go out and find agencies that are doing particular things, bring them together, and then we offer those services to our clients as they needed, need them.
Cory Miller 32:48
Gotcha. So your core suite of services, what is FieryFX do?
Brandy Lawson 32:53
Our core suite of services is Insight Pro, we at this point, we’re kind of leading with reporting, because it’s like, great, you want me to do something? Well, what’s going on? Yeah, Ignition is our marketing strategy service. So that’s our like, full service, big blueprint. That’s basically you hire us as the architect of the house, and we do the blueprint together. And then on the backside of that, we can help with the implementation. So websites, social, all the channels, but we really leave with insight pro or Ignition.
Brandy Lawson 33:30
And then I do have a couple, like VIP day type services that we’re doing. Because the technology piece, some people they’ve been like, okay, nothing is talking to each other, or we’re spending too much time copying and pasting, I was like, Ah, don’t do that. Um, so I’ve got a, what I’m calling a smart business tune up, that I do, where it’s, we walk through all the systems, I asked them questions in a very particular way to get them curious and not afraid. And then we can help with advising on that smart systems tune up. Because when clients work with us, back to our force, simple machines of a business. When clients work with us, I’m like, Great if I get you more business, I don’t want to damage your brand. If you can’t actually services clients if your systems are broken if the rest of this isn’t gonna work. I’m not doing you any favors.
Cory Miller 34:31
Just making it worse. Yeah. This is a great problem to have, by the way.
Brandy Lawson 34:37
It is a great problem to have, but it can go south in a very real and meaningful way. So, we like to look and make sure everything’s working well. Most of our time, our Ignition is not just necessarily the marketing, but we look at their sales process. We look at the delivery process, we basically look at everything, because most of the time we need to change or adjust Their sales process to make the marketing work better.
Cory Miller 35:04
Yeah. My partner Jeff is dealing with it right now that you know, same thing paused the marketing because they weren’t found they weren’t following through with the leads that came in. Yeah, that’s like, you’re just one waste of money and probably frustrating to other people.
Brandy Lawson 35:21
Well, and I don’t, I think that the damage, the potential damage to the brand shouldn’t also be understated. Because reputation, you know what people think of you how they interacted with you and what they’re going to tell other people about you as all to do with, with how they’re, they’re treated. And if they never heard back or you didn’t have the bandwidth to follow up? It’s not going to go out.
Cory Miller 35:43
Yeah. So in this process too when you’re at the front, starting stage and saying, What’s the job description of your website, that’s where you might pull in one of your vendors? Well, we probably need, you know, paid ads, or…
Brandy Lawson 36:00
Yes. So, my zone of genius is really the, the seeing the big picture and being able to articulate for people what that looks like. So I’m on the architect. And when we’re starting out, if we start with Insight Pro, we get like three months of data, we do a check in, and then we kind of make a plan for what needs to happen. When we start with the Ignition, that’s, that’s me, guiding the creation of the blueprint, and getting really clear about what needs to happen and how it needs to happen. The other thing I think it’s important to help clients with is prioritization. And the idea of good, better best. Because if you hand them this thing, and they’re totally overwhelmed, nothing gets done. Right? So but if we hand them this thing and go, okay, there’s a lot here, here’s where you start. here’s, here’s the highest return on investment, here’s where you build the rest of the cash to go after and do these things. I think that gives them more confidence. Because, as business owners, I don’t know about you, but my sort of default is, there’s no way it’s gonna happen. I can’t do it.
Brandy Lawson 37:12
But if somebody comes to me with this a lot with here’s where we’re gonna start, and then I’m like, oh, okay, well, that feels achievable. I will eat the elephant, one bite at a time, we’ll do good, better rest. So that’s the other thing about when we deliver this information to clients, and when we are working with clients is helping them not be overwhelmed. Helping them prioritize what’s really important, like if we have these three goals, what’s the most important one, which is the one we should go after first, so that we can create success, which builds confidence for them, because the other thing that they’re also coming to us with is baggage from bad experiences.
Cory Miller 37:56
So if you start with a lot of clients with Insight Pro, they already assumes they have a website?
Brandy Lawson 38:02
Yes, we don’t typically build first websites.
Cory Miller 38:06
Gotcha. So you’re going in installing the analytics and getting some of those reporting things done? And then you’re letting it go for about three months, not let it go. But you know, starting? Yeah, gathering data for three months. And the purpose, like, do you talk about that at the beginning? Or they just come and say, Hey, I just want Insight Pro or…?
Brandy Lawson 38:26
Oh, no, we talked about we talked about that because, again, results oriented, you’re coming to us not just to get another email in your inbox with a report. Because at this point, we’re like, No, actually, here’s a link to a Google Drive with all of your reports, please put this in a calendar invite. And check in like do review this with your team. Let’s see, once a month, don’t link, it’s not languishing your inbox. So we talk about like, what we do as a means to an end. What is the big picture goal? What do you want to do? And some of them come with? I don’t know, this just sucks and it’s not working, okay. You need to back up, and maybe do a power hour or look and see if they might be ready to do an Ignition to get clarity, so that we can start to chip away at those goals and put the pieces in place.
Cory Miller 39:18
So you obviously have found again, like on that figuring it out thing that this works. It builds up to I don’t know how much your Ignition is, but it’s involving you and you’re laying out a grand strategy. That seems like way higher price point.
Brandy Lawson 39:33
Yes so Ignition is a $10,000 strategy service. And it’s intentionally priced at that point price point because I want clients engaged. Like they, they want to want they want to, they want to be invested to the point they want to do something with this information. But it’s also designed for our clients who are at this point. We’ve got too many things going on because it only takes three hours of their time, like one once a week for three weeks an hour interview, I’m like, you don’t there’s no homework. There’s no forums, there’s no you just show up willing, that’s all I need from you show up. And like, it’s, it’s not right for everybody. But for our clients at the point that they’re ready for us that they’re like, Oh, I don’t have to do any homework. Oh, thank God. I can’t with one more thing.
Cory Miller 40:28
Yeah. So it start with Insight Pro. And that’s about three months or so. Yeah, get some data, and then you come back and check in with them and then evaluate next steps.
Brandy Lawson 40:40
Yes. then evaluate. Okay. All right. So now we have a picture of who’s coming, what’s happening? what’s working, what’s not working? Like? Go through a little treasure map. Okay, so is this aligned or not aligned with what you are expecting from your website? Because at that point, it may be like, oh, nothing’s aligning, well, we better go do a deeper dive on why people aren’t doing the thing that they want them what you want them to do, or, well, this is working, but there’s not enough traffic. Okay? How do we drive more traffic? Or okay, now we have a really good lay of the land. You already know your website’s outdated, but now we know how to update it without destroying what might be working, or we know really clearly what’s not working. And he’s definitely changed.
Cory Miller 41:29
It’s good. Abel has that was my main question for Brandy. What format does she like best for training, getting clients where they need to be as business owners so they’re comfortable with and they sound sounds like you use live video.
Brandy Lawson 41:42
So we do a bit of combination. And it kind of depends on if the clients got team. But we’ve started putting together user guides for our clients. So it’s a Google Doc that has links to their stuff, it has links to videos, so we do like trainings. But I’ll try to make the trainings. Real succinct. Typically there’ll be an, like a handoff, where we’ve got a zoom going on like this, and I walk you through and that’s recorded. That’s like the big thing. But then we try to make sure that there’s, if they especially if they have a team, and they want to be able to delegate small things to that team, that there’s small bite sized loom videos, and that those are laid out in a Google Doc. So it’s very referenceable.
Brandy Lawson 42:30
Also, for us, like we have internal client user guides, and external client user guides, but getting that information in an organized fashion for them. because nobody’s gonna like after the first thing, unless they’re doing it daily, we just don’t retain it, human beings. So putting it in a referenceable format, and then making sure if they’ve got an integrator, or a online business manager, or someone who’s sort of in charge of the details, that we’ve trained that person as well, that’s definitely the key to success. But I like Google Docs, because they can be linked, they can be organized, they can be updated, you can collaborate, they sort of check all the boxes for that best version of client communication with lots of videos.
Cory Miller 43:19
So sorry, I took a detour came back so and by the way, if you all have questions for Brandy, please post those in chat or the Q&A window and I’ll pull those up and ask those of Brandy so far been awesome stuff got a whole page here of notes. So marketing strategy Ignition, your Insight Pro, is there something in between?
Brandy Lawson 43:42
I’m sort of project work is in between. So like when we get Insight Pro. There are some clients that will do project work, but we really actually want to start them with Insight Pro so that we have a basis of knowledge for operation. And then there’s project work that’s like all around uh, we’ve been recently working with a client here who had she decided to change the name of her her company. And she had a crap ton of SEO juice built up. I was like, okay, yes, let’s be really careful about how we do this. Um, so we we consulted with her and then and executed on that project with her so yeah, there’s between the Insight Pro and the Ignition there’s, there’s project work, but those are those are really usually the two entry points. I do have a Power Hour. When clients come in, they’re less like do a brain dump. schedule the Power Hour, send it to me, I’ll make us an agenda and we’ll just like get through it. It’s because that’s, that’s usually an easy part consulting part to do things. Many people will have just stuff they’re like, I don’t know anything. Can it just standing in their way? Like, get brain dump it? I’ll send us an agenda. We’ll power through it. And that’s usually a good how it is to work with us. And that, again, builds the confidence.
Cory Miller 45:16
Abel says follows a great idea of recording the zoom caught handoff, can start doing that.
Brandy Lawson 45:21
Cory Miller 45:23
And I love the zoom video or loom videos, to some commentary. Like, as I was thinking and talking to Lindsey, and she runs a service called Content Journey, she sends reports once a month to and I know you to talk recently. And, you know, I was like, Hey, what are the top three insights you got from looking at this because you see things that they’re not going to see or even take her time to dive in. But the loom video is like, I think that’s a personal connection point to without having to schedule a call.
Brandy Lawson 45:57
Yes, yeah. And for me, I’m just the way I’m built. I hate writing documentation. Like, there’s almost not enough money for me to go write it, I’ll type it all out and put in screenshot, like, I don’t, I can’t, I know, it’s important, and I don’t want to, but with bloom, I can just turn on the video and work through things and Yammer away and I can convey what I need to convey. And yes, it’s I think it has the bonus of being a personal touch point. But just the, again, context. So I can be pointing at things and the talking about them. And then the client goes, Oh, okay, now I understand. And it can be done. asynchronous. It doesn’t require us to schedule a zoom call, it can be done asynchronous. And this also referenceable love it.
Cory Miller 46:53
Okay, Art has a question. Looks like you were typing the answer. How you filter things? Love it.
Brandy Lawson 47:00
We can answer it live. Because I was like, oh, how do I type this. Um, so Art says Brandy, have a contract with agencies defining whatever you would call client ownership. Um, I typically, when we work with other agencies, I will do an NDA just for mutual protection, because they’ll have access to client information. But then on the onset, we just kind of agree who belongs to the client. And most of the agencies that I work with, actually prefer that I own the client relationship rather than they, because they just, I found…
Cory Miller 47:35
They just want to deliver the work.
Brandy Lawson 47:37
Yeah, technicians don’t actually want to deal with the clients, they just want to deliver the work. And so they’re delighted that I can, but we haven’t ran into a problem. And I, I tried to be real upfront, so that, like, there’s no hiding any, anything that’s going on, like, the client knows, there’s another agency delivering the SEO, and these are their names, and I will reference I will talk about them. And if any point that they wanted to go directly, probably could. But at this point, the client really likes working with me. And the agency really doesn’t want to work with clients, they just want to deliver the work. And I think the other piece that’s also a value is that I intrinsically value what the agency does. They don’t have to teach me to value what they do. Whereas when they go to try to work with the client, they’re trying to teach the client to value what they do, because the client doesn’t intrinsically value that. So I think, for the agencies, we work with it, it works out very nicely. And we haven’t had that problem.
Cory Miller 48:41
Well, they said, Well, listen, this webinar interview, because I think it’s brilliant, where you’ve done which is you’re, you’re starting with tying it and anchoring it to data, and the whys from the beginning of the process. And there is the education along the way. You know, it feels like Brandy, like people come to you and, or any of us, right, and they’re thinking in their head, they want a result. You know, like I hired an illustrator a couple of months ago, and I was in my head thinking what I wanted, but translating that is a different story. Yeah, and I love your approach that you started with. Intention, purpose, tied to, to data subjects, objective stuff, not subjective things as best as possible,
Brandy Lawson 49:27
as best as we can. Yeah. And then also being very, um, like things really changed when I would articulate. I’m not going to ask you if you like it, like when I could try to take the subjective out. I’m retraining the client, because for better or for worse, bless everyone’s heart before they get…
Cory Miller 49:52
That’s the Oklahoma church, lady, Asterix
Brandy Lawson 49:55
Yeah, bless their heart before they get to me, everyone else didn’t know better, and trained them to want to like it. Yeah. And I think that’s, I think that is sort of the downfall of a lot of our industry. Yeah, is people don’t have other tools. And so they go to the opinion of the client, because if the client likes it, then everybody’s happy-ish. And then, also, sometimes, I think what happens most of the times we have very well intentioned people who take on too much, who can’t manage what’s going on and then can’t have hard, hard conversations with the clients. Then everything else goes poop.
Cory Miller 50:41
That is so so true. By the way I use, I didn’t mean just church lady church churchgoer to hear no, yeah, I do that, again. It absolves me from any trash talk I did.
Brandy Lawson 50:56
Yes, definitely Abel tapping into your inner therapists with my eye. Because at the end of the day, we’re all human beings. Yeah. And being human is very messy.
Cory Miller 51:08
Yeah, Abel says his wife is a counselor, and he finds himself tapping into my inner therapists with clients as much as depth skills. Absolutely. And a lot of the coach formal coaching training is off of positive psychology. I went to coaching school about a year and a half ago. But I love combining those two. And what I’m hearing a lot is who do it this brilliance of who do you want your customers to become? And then anchor in everything from the beginning as you go. So it’s all about data, taking that point? What was the point you go? You know, in reflection, I know it’s easier to see things. But at some point, you said, it made the difference just by saying, I’m not going to tell you up, do you like I’m not going to ask you do you know…
Brandy Lawson 51:54
I know I very clearly remember that turning point because I, my skill set is not in design, like I know good design, I don’t do design. So I rely on technical stuff, I can do the rest. But I rely on other people for design. And so then when it came to presenting design to the client, I was always my least competent. And so I had a second project sort of spin out of control when I went to do the design review with the client. And I went back to this community that I’d found of other people in the business. And I’m like, What is why is this keep happening? And they reminded me that I’m the expert, and I need the lead. And that leading means telling them why it works and not asking for their opinion. I was like, Oh, right. That’s right.
Brandy Lawson 52:48
So it took practice, also, Pia Silva, I saw her speak. And she was she had this great analogy about driving on this at the edge of the cliff, like she, they were driving on the edge of this cliff, this road that has like no guardrail. It’s on this edge of this cliff. It’s very scary. And she was driving very erratically. And her husband’s like, What is wrong with you? She’s like, I just, I feel I’m very nervous. I don’t know where we’re going. She’s like, that’s how my clients feel. When they’re in the process. I was like, Oh, right. Because if I don’t stay in the driver’s seat, they think they need to drive and they don’t know where the hell we’re going.
Cory Miller 53:25
Hmmm that’s a good point.
Brandy Lawson 53:26
So things become very, very erratic. So anytime things start to go off the rails, I’m like, oh, where am I not leading? Where? Where am I failing to show up as a leader in this project, and the clients thinking they need to do the thing. They’re terrified.
Cory Miller 53:41
That’s when you’re, and this is a pet peeve of mine, by the way, is when you don’t keep your clients updated. You don’t communicate, you think about on the other side, I signed up for software service this morning, I didn’t get they said, okay, you check your email, never got it. And I’m like, you know, it’s that basic of a thing. But client communication, oh my gosh, people just want to know, like, where you’re going, what you’re up to, so they’re not guessing. And you just hit on a point there. I think, by the way, that was worth the entire time, although there’s like 15 of those. That, you know, really thinking through the process, how you can make it better for the client as there is empathy, you know, thinking about them traveling on the side of a mountain, that kind of thing. That’s so true. So true. And then the absence of that good leadership, people, clients, and often entrepreneurs, I’m sure that you work with, we go, Okay, I’m going to have to step in to do that. I’m going to add this conversation.
Brandy Lawson 54:42
Yes, yeah, there’s a whole other hour where we can talk about my whole like working with experts, and where I’m at with clients and what they need to do and experts and what they need to do and just identify like being able to have the Emotional Intelligence to be like, wait, wait, wait, what’s the what’s actually going on here? Because really when things start to run off the rails, if I go back to where am I not leaving? Things go? Much better?
Cory Miller 55:11
Yes, yes. Because they’re coming to you to do something to get something done. And when you kind of take control, I think there’s probably, you know, a spectrum here, but when you’re leading the guiding the conversation, and they know, they feel like their needs are met, I think does so good.
Brandy Lawson 55:30
Yes, yeah. Because I had one of the my clients that I adore. During her. Some of the things we’ve talked about, were really brought home during we did a brand update for her. And it was a very emotional journey for her because she’d had this brand for so long. It had been it had built her company, there was a lot of just emotional attachment to it. So then when we gave her like, the thing that would hit all the mark, she was like, this is great, but I can’t use it.
Cory Miller 56:04
Brandy Lawson 56:05
so so just being able to lead her through that process. Now, unfortunately, it’s like, she’s a she’s an aware enough human being that she could, like, go, Okay, this is a emotional response. And this, but also, when you’re working with business owners and entrepreneurs, you it’s not separate from the person the business isn’t, you cannot completely separate it from the person. So we really had to work through that emotional piece with her. We made a couple concessions. And she also was like, I get it. I know that this. This does all the things. But I, I need a bridge.
Cory Miller 56:41
Brandy Lawson 56:42
So we bridged a little bit for her, but through very clear conversations that I wasn’t just capitulating to she didn’t like it. No, we talked very clearly through the adjustments we were making, why we were making the adjustments and how this is going to be working out. Never. And at one point, she’s like, what do you like? And I’m like, my opinion doesn’t want here either. We are doing this to the end results.
Cory Miller 57:11
Emery, asked a question. And in just a second. We’re getting out of time here and are so much appreciate your time. So after the question, I want to ask you, Brandy, where we can find you Twitter, online, all the stuff you’re doing. Okay. She says this, do you only do digital reporting? Or do you do the overall health of the business like as in any kind of financial data or like CFO type thing?
Brandy Lawson 57:33
So at this point, we’re not pulling in financial data beyond like, if it’s eCommerce will report on like eCommerce revenue and things like that. We don’t have like a full picture. I think that’s intriguing. But also our clients are our type of clients probably aren’t quite ready, or have that data readily available for us at this point. But it would be very intriguing to be able to do that.
Cory Miller 58:00
Question, Emery that, Brandy, thanks so much. We’re at the top of the hour. And I want to be careful of your time I appreciate you doing coming to the Digital Marketing Kitchen and sharing about client reporting and your perspectives more. So I think the language if people are listening have really taken notes. Like I was like, you got this language. And you proved it when your client says Do you like it? You’re like, I’m not the client. Like that’s the best test. So well done.
Brandy Lawson 58:28
You can find me at FieryFX.com. And this week, I just launched my podcast called ‘Leverage Your Spark’, which is the first three episodes are up, but it’s a five minutes episode every week where we talk through the four simple machines of business, and then end with a call to action so that people can be implementing changes in their business.
Cory Miller 58:50
Oh, gosh, we’re gonna have to do part two. Gonna have to talk about that. Can they find that from the FieryFX.com site?
Brandy Lawson 58:57
You can you can. Oh, and it’s on all of the regular podcast outlets. So search Spotify iTunes for leverage, or spark or Brandy Lawson. And you can find it.
Cory Miller 59:07
Rock on. Thank you so much. Brandy Lawson my friend. Go be sure and say thanks to her. I’ve got your Twitter address. I can put it in there
Brandy Lawson 59:15
Oh, yeah, it’s the Twitter’s TheFieryfx. Every other social handle is just FieryFX.
Cory Miller 59:22
Okay, I’ll put this on here. So you can say thanks to her on Twitter. There we go.
Brandy Lawson 59:26
Awesome. Thank you Cory. It was such a pleasure.
Brandy Lawson 59:29
Thank you. It’s only five years overdue. But we’re gonna get the next one on. Art says love your energy and language. Thanks so much. And Oh,
Brandy Lawson 59:39
Thanks for all the questions that makes it super fun, guys.
Cory Miller 59:42
Yeah. Thanks, Brandy. Have a great day.
Brandy Lawson 59:44