Marketing has evolved over the years, advancing along with the latest technology. It is vital in every business as marketing is what primarily drives sales. More and more businesses has become irrelevant not because their technology, product, or services are irrelevant but because they’re not being found or doing well online. Jordan Steen, the founder of Cereal Entrepreneur Academy, shares his expertise in the field of digital marketing. Jordan gives us a glimpse of how marketing was being done when he first started getting into the digital marketing space in 2008. He shares the three-step marketing that works for different styles of business, and why it’s important to market in the right places to the right people.
Listen to the podcast here:
Download the audio file here.
Understanding Digital Marketing with Jordan Steen
I have a special guest, Jordan Steen. Jordan, how are you?
What’s going on, Nathan? I’m happy to be on here. I’m glad you asked me to come on. I’m excited to talk to people about some marketing.
We’re talking all about marketing. Jordan has an awesome company called Cereal Entrepreneur. You can check out his YouTube channel and his Facebook group. Why don’t you tell us a little bit more about you and how you got into the marketing space?
Just so you know, it is cereal like the food. I know it’s not politically correct, but we like to have fun at my channel. That’s what it’s all about. If you’re not having fun with your business, what’s the point? I have been in marketing for a long time, since about 2008. In 2007 was when I first started getting into the digital space. If you know anything about digital marketing, that’s before Facebook had a business manager. That’s before Instagram even existed. This was still a new concept. I was building Facebook business pages for businesses using a personal Facebook profile. It all started from there.
I started getting more and more interested. As Facebook released its business platform, I got into that. Platforms like Mailchimp were coming out, Wix and Weebly where you could learn at least basic web development. I started getting into all of the different areas of digital marketing. I was offered a job before I even graduated from college. I dropped out of college after five years of going to college with a dual major. I could have easily graduated, but I just decided to take that job because it was such a great opportunity. They were training me a ton on digital marketing. I was working with one of the largest marketing agencies in the US. The second largest media company, they’re called Gannett. If you aren’t familiar with them, they own things like Cars.com, USA Today, and stuff like that.
They paid for a ton of extra training for me and I got to learn even more about digital marketing. It came to the point where I wasn’t being promoted fast enough and I was doing too much of the management level stuff. I was like, “I’m just going to go do it myself then since you don’t want to pay me to do it.” That’s what happened. We started this whole brand a few years ago with Cereal Entrepreneur and we’re super excited with where we’re going. We have already gathered almost 1,000 students in our marketing courses teaching them. We have several students. I had a student call me. She’s working on a $1.8 million deal for her agency.
It’s amazing to see what people can do when they really take the time to learn and do it right.
This girl is 24. She dropped out of college as a bio major. She did what I did. She was a bio major though. She had no experience with marketing. She took the course and now is working on a $1.8 million deal. It’s amazing to see what people can do when they take the time to learn and do it right. That’s a little bit about me. I’m excited to bring you some extra cool value. I have got something a little special I’m going to talk to you about a little later, but that’s pretty much it.
This is one of the reasons why I love working with you whether you’re trying to start a marketing agency or trying to grow your business with marketing or you’re trying to quit your job like you did. You become a marketing freelancer and be self-employed and start your business that way. It all ties together getting that freedom and that flexibility. Let’s talk a little bit about marketing in 2019 because every year it changes new and new stuff is coming out. What do you see working in 2019 that maybe didn’t work in 2018 and what’s not working that maybe has worked in the past?
The biggest thing that people have to realize is that if you’re not online truly, you need to get there. More and more businesses are going to become irrelevant. It’s not because of the fact that their technology or their product or services are irrelevant, it’s because they’re not being found. The reason they’re not being found is because they’re not doing well online. People need to start taking this shift seriously. People still spend so much money on print, radio, billboards and TV. You don’t even realize how much more you could get by putting all of this online. That’s the biggest thing, then understanding that you can’t just go out there. When people do decide to make the decision to start working on their online campaign, they make two big mistakes.
Number one, they don’t give it enough time to develop. They have never marketed online before and then they expect to get on there and then a month, they want $10,000 in profit coming in from that campaign. That doesn’t happen anywhere. It’s not realistic. Understanding that it’s going to take time to build, so give it time to flesh out. You can’t put it in one month and say, “It didn’t work, so we’re going to give it up.” The other thing is making sure that you understand where you need to be marketing for your business. If you’re not marketing in the right places to the right people, then it doesn’t matter how much you spend online. Understanding where your customers begin their journey, follow through with their journey, then complete their journey is the importance of everything that you do with your business. If you don’t understand the customers, you’re not going to sell products. The only way to understand them is to completely understand the start to finish of the buying process.
If you want to take your business online, let’s say you want to go on social media, it can be incredibly overwhelming. You got Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, yet all these different avenues, is there a certain strategy? Do you recommend being everywhere? Do you start and then expand? Are there certain channels you should go after first? Does it depend on your business? Can you touch upon that a little bit?
I like to look at it in two different ways. Number one, if you have a business that’s a professional-style business like your services, attorneys, doctors, contractors, what I recommend for you is that with social, you have to understand that you should probably use it more as a remarketing platform. With a criminal attorney, for example, you’re not going to want to run cold traffic ads on Facebook and Instagram. Why? I’m not sitting on Facebook and Instagram scrolling through looking for an attorney, especially a criminal attorney. The only time I’m probably looking for that criminal attorney would be when I’m in trouble. That’s the only time I’m going to look. It’s an as needed service. I don’t need it unless I need it.
Stop marketing cold traffic on Facebook when you don’t need to. You should be using Facebook for a criminal attorney, especially as a remarketing tool. People who have already visited your website or interacted with your Facebook page or even visited landing pages or lead magnets. Those are the people you want to engage with remarketing ads. Cold traffic ads are just a waste of budget. The only thing you would want to do for cold traffic with a criminal attorney, and this is only if they have a big enough budget, would be branding-style ads. Building awareness of the brand in the local market. That’s the best way that’s going to be effective. It’s truly understanding the platform, but also understanding how the customers engage with that platform. If you don’t, it’s not going to matter how much money you spend, you won’t convert.
Let’s say you’re in eCommerce, you’re selling some product or overall service, then that cold marketing would make a lot more sense.
That was part two that I was going to get into. Part one is the professional-style business. Part two is more of an entertainment or pleasure-style business. This is all with relation to the content because the content is what drives the marketing. With pleasure or entertainment-style business, we look at things like salons, restaurants and personal trainers. Why? Because their content is engaging no matter whether you need that service or not. Watching someone do a workout that you have never seen before, it’s going to be interesting. Seeing cool video of food that you have never tried before is going to be interesting to you. Cold traffic with those types of businesses works a lot better. Whereas again, a professional-style business isn’t going to necessarily work the same.
Let’s dive right into the training. I feel like we have touched upon a little bit of it. Let’s do it.
It’s a principle and a strategy I call Three Step Marketing. Step one is going to be all about driving cold traffic. This is the awareness stage. Step two is if you’re probably already familiar with the sales funnel, it’s consideration. Step three is going to be conversion. This is your sales funnel, but at each stage, you should be doing a specific type of marketing. Let me stress, this works well with small to medium local businesses, which a lot of you as marketing agency owners or people working with other businesses on marketing campaigns. Since the majority of businesses are small and medium-sized local businesses, that’s who you’re working with. With that style of business, you want to keep in mind what type of business are they? Are they a professional-style product or service or are they more pleasure entertainment-style business? That’s going to have a part in what you should run at each level.
What I recommend though for the awareness stage is focusing on SEO and PPC. SEO means driving organic traffic, getting free traffic from Google. Pay-per-click is that paid traffic from Google. Why is this important? Because you have to understand that if you’re in your local area, what’s the first thing you do when you want to find anything in your local area? You go to Google and you search for it every single time. You don’t go to Facebook to find a criminal attorney. You don’t get to Facebook to find a general contractor. You go to Google first. You go to Bing, Yahoo! or something like that. That’s why this is an important first step. If you’re focusing on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube to drive cold traffic, YouTube might work because that’s more SEO-driven. It’s a social platform and you have to be great at video content. In general, most local businesses, you should focus on SEO and pay-per-click. It’s super simple.
If you’re not online, you need to get there.
With the pleasure entertainment-style business, this is where sometimes social comes into play. Sometimes social can be used for cold traffic. I would recommend using it more with those businesses that are in that pleasure and entertainment-style category. After you start driving cold traffic using these strategies, you want to start remarketing. That’s this consideration phase where they’re considering your business, sending them testimonials, information about your product or service, authority ads, showing them awards you have received or whatever. This is where Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, also email marketing come into play. Email is not a cold traffic generator. It should never be used in this stage. It actually can’t be used. I don’t even know how you would get someone to use email in cold traffic. That wouldn’t make sense. Email is only a remarketing tool. If we’re only considering mostly those professional small and medium-style businesses, Facebook and Instagram are great for remarketing.
YouTube is the same. You can put remarketing ads and this is a space that not enough business owners in the local market are involved in. YouTube ads are an untapped market that you can get very cheap views on very easily, but nobody’s using it because they are scared to use it or they don’t know how to use it when it’s the same thing as pay-per-click. It’s the exact same as you use Google Ad words to run YouTube campaigns. If you already have a pay-per-click manager or you know how to run pay-per-click ads, you’re set up to run on YouTube. You should be considering this in your strategy for sure. Step two is all about consideration and remarketing. These are the primary remarketing platforms. Understanding that as far as the next part in your sales funnel is going to be important.
Then finally, conversion, which this all comes down to having an awesome website or a killer landing page. Landing page, lead magnet and the same thing. Why do you have to have that? Because ultimately when someone is going to sign up for an appointment or if they’re going to call in, if they’re going to do anything, they have to convert. Just to understand, conversion is not always necessarily someone buying something. Conversion could be generating a lead. It depends on what your job is as the marketer. If for an example, we’re setting up appointments for a doctor, your job is just to get people to call in and set the appointment. Whether they sell them when that person comes in or not is completely on them. Conversion is not necessarily always a sale, just understand that sometimes it is generating a lead. That could be a conversion.
Whatever you’re trying to do, whether that landing page is trying to get them to fill out that form to set the appointment or if the website is trying to get them to buy something or even the same thing, there are a lot of forms to get to that appointment. It needs to be a great website. It needs to be engaging. It needs to have call to actions that are going to make me want to do it. It needs to have this theory I call site layering. Site layering is something where you start with your information and value. Then you give your authority pitch. Then you show some testimonials, some social proof, then you repeat that process over and over again. Understanding how to build a proper website that’s going to make people convert. That is essentially Three Step Marketing. It’s not any more complicated than that. It’s about understanding which businesses use which strategy and what’s going to work best for the business that I’m working with right now.
It makes a lot of sense because you’ll get a client that is approaching it wrong where they don’t know where that issue is. Maybe they’re getting lots of leads, but those aren’t turning into clients. You need to focus on, “That two and three, how do we improve it?” Maybe they’re not getting enough leads, but their website is beautiful, “Let’s spend a lot more effort on one and two.” It’s very important to understand that before you’re like, “Should I hire someone for PPC? Should I hire someone for SEO?” What are some other common mistakes that you see when it comes to marketing?
One of the biggest misunderstandings and mistakes is the fact that people think that they’re just going to be able to spend $100 on Facebook ads per month and that’s all they need to spend. In most cases, no. I’ll put it to you like this. Whenever I work or go to a client, because I run an agency as well, with our agency, whenever we go to pitch a proposal to a client, we never pitch them anything less than $1,000 for an ad budget for one platform. If they want to market on Facebook, you need $1,000. Do you want to market on Instagram too? You need $2,000. The reason why is because you almost have to have at least $1,000 and you need to do it over a period of at least a minimum of three to six months to be able to see those results.
If you haven’t done this before, you have to collect data. Facebook works off of data. That’s it. If you don’t have the data, you’re not going to get the best result. You’re going to have other competitors out there that have been spending for the past two years and have tons of data to work with. That’s why their Facebook ads are killing it and generating leads and sales for them. Understand that you have to commit to the budget and the timeframe it’s going to take to build that up. Most people try to go in and they say, “We’re going to start with $100.”
If you’re running the ads yourself and you feel comfortable running Facebook ads and you’re the business owner and you’re also running your own Facebook ads, the minimum you need then is probably going to be about $500 to $750. Then you don’t have to worry about a management fee. It depends, but the biggest thing you have to understand is you have to be willing to spend. If you’re not willing to spend for a consistent amount of three to six months and a decent amount of money each month on each platform, I wouldn’t recommend it because it’s going to be a waste of money.
I appreciate you coming on. Where can people find more? If people want to be a student of yours, how can they do it?
What I’m going to do is I’m going to send a link. t’s for a free marketing agency training. It goes into all kinds of stuff like pricing, what services to offer, understanding digital marketing and everything like that. Also, if you want to follow us, we release four videos every single week. We do live training once a week, then three regularly scheduled training videos every single week on my YouTube channel. All you have to do is go over to YouTube and type in Cereal Entrepreneur. You can check out all of my training there and that will be a great place for you to start. If you have any questions from there, just leave us a comment on my YouTube channel and we’ll try to get you as much help as we possibly can.
Thanks so much for being on.
Thanks, Nathan, for having me. You guys have a good one.
- Cereal Entrepreneur
- YouTube channel – Cereal Entrepreneur
- Facebook group – Cereal Entrepreneur
About Jordan Steen
Cereal Entrepreneur, AKA, Jordan Steen has been an entrepreneur his entire life…and we mean that quite literally. Jordan started his first business when he was only 11 years old selling candy out of his locker at school. Making about $1,000 per month, Jordan knew then and there that he would be an entrepreneur for life.
This eventually turned into Jordan becoming one of the early pioneers for Social Media Marketing and Ads campaigns. In 2008 Jordan started running social media marketing campaigns on Facebook for businesses before the platform even had an advertising platform.
Then in 2013 Jordan took a job in the corporate world with Gannett ($4 Billion/year media company) learning even more about Digital Marketing and running a marketing agency. He received about $200,000 in marketing and sales training and used this training plus other trainings (worth $10,000+) he has purchased as the foundation for starting Cereal Entrepreneur Academy.
After he left Gannett Jordan found that there was a HUGE need for training in the marketing space. He noticed that there were several “gurus” teaching people how to start an agency and was able to determine that there was a lot of missing information that’s necessary for someone to start an agency properly. After finding that there was a definite need for quality training Jordan decided to start a YouTube channel and release free trainings.
After only 3 months of running the channel for free he reached out to his audience and they were begging for a full course that would actually give them the value and information they needed to really make a change in their lives. A little over a year later, and here we are with one of the most helpful, resource-rich, and practical Digital Marketing courses for someone wanting to learn Digital Marketing and how to build a business online.