You are listening to the Taps and Tees Show, weekly conversations for people passionate about marketing, golf and craft beer. Marty is the cofounder of Bad Rhino, an award-winning digital marketing agency helping golf and craft beer brands get real results in social media marketing. Here is your host, Marty McDonald. [00:21.7]
Marty: All right, everybody to another episode of Taps and Tees. I know I keep teasing this and I know things keep rolling in this whole switch up here in 2020. And we've been interviewing people that I know, like and trust, which is always key. And I always like to introduce anybody that's listening to this podcast or reading our stuff online, whether it's through Taps and Tees or Bad Rhino. And you're introduced to people that know their stuff. Like I brought on a host of people that I know and a piece of people I've known for years. Some people I've just met through masterminds and things like that. And the gentlemen I'm going to bring on next here in a second or two is great at cornhole, you know, playing that. Or if you call it like, you know, our coach there would call, it would be Bago whatever bags, but most people know as cornhole. I think we won both sections. That's, you know, up for debate. I'm going to say that we won, but apparently, maybe we didn't. But we had a lot of fun. [01:15.0]
We were out in Colorado and doing some things, but over the past six months or so, I've gotten to know him in calls and replays of calls and he got to hang out with him out in Colorado with a group of other, other people and that I know and trust and they know their stuff. And I just want to introduce you to people that know what they're doing in their space may not quite fit, but if you're running a brewery or you're running anything, that's golf related, selling products online, running your facility and things like that, there's certain aspects of a digital marketing plan you need to be aware of. And those are the people I brought on, you know, video, sales, SEO pieces. And this is another gentleman that not only knows websites, but him and his partner started a great company called Array Digital and they're down in Virginia. And the best part about it is learning how people start in this, this wild world of marketing. And he was a crushing it doing civil engineering and then said, you know what? I'm going to start doing web design on nights, weekends, which sounds very familiar to me cause that's how I got started. [02:16.0]
And he went up starting his own agency called iD Web, right? Building websites, you know, dozens, hundreds of them. I think they did well over 500 of them. And with all the problems that they solve with the clients, they noticed a little pattern. You know, the clients hire you to build the perfect digital project part product, right. And take that project and bring it into a creation of living thing that ultimately would then turn it into a thriving business, right? That's the whole idea. And the whole concept of starting off with a great web design. But as field of dreams taught us, you know, if they build it, they will come well, ehh…not exactly true. You know, you have to nurture things through and you have to be able to bring people to that site. And in order to help their customers, you know, they started offering services and search engine optimization, social media, content marketing, and all sorts of stuff to drive traffic. And that's the key. You can build things and they make, they may look great. And then you're sitting there with an empty storefront and you're like, what exactly is going on? And Kevin and his partner at Array Digital, that's what they do. And I'm going to let him kind of take it from here and introduce himself a little bit further. So Kevin, are you there? [03:23.0]
Kevin: I'm here. Thanks for having me, Marty.
Marty: All right. Always got to double check these days, make sure the connection's gone, right?
Kevin: I'm still here. I was going to go a walk away, but I figured I'd stay here and hang out.
Marty: Stay here and listen to me, talk about you, right?
Kevin: And by the way, we crush it at cornhole. And I, we, I think we got, you know, we, we won and then they said, Hey you guys should win again in order to actually win. So
Marty: All right. I’m gonna
Kevin: We're gonna put it out there.
Marty: I think I'm just gonna put that under protest. But I think we know who won. I mean the first day we pretty much crushed everybody. And the second day we had one, we hit one hot team that came out of nowhere, but you know, we'll, we'll take it as it is, but Kevin fill everybody else in, you know, a little bit more than what I alluded to there about, Array Digital and your partner, Erik and all that. And we'll take it from there. [04:13.7]
Kevin: Yeah. So like you said, I, I kind of started doing websites and design actually earlier than, than when I worked for a company, I kind of did it all the way back in sixth grade. And but it's never really thought it was a career path until later. And so I always had websites for, you know, for fun or projects or hobbies and eventually, you know, met the right people and met other business owners and entrepreneurs that kind of got me lit to, Hey, I can go off on my own and do this as a, as an actual business. So that's kinda how it started for me. It started with building websites. I always liked to draw and design things.
Kevin: And so, yeah, just like you said, yeah, you build a nice website or even like software or a mobile app or, or another product like that. And then the product's done and the client's done paying you and then they go off on their own. [05:13.0]
And then what I really got tired of is not only, you know, that they weren't successful in growing their business beyond that because we had no control, but that also I wanted our products to be known and shown and talked about. And sometimes we'd build stuff that didn't even go live to public because they didn't raise enough investment money or, you know, they just didn't follow through with the project or whatever it may be. So, or they went out of business, whatever it may be. So, and we put our blood, sweat and tears into everything we did. So we, we kind of saw, Hey, we need to solve this problem. And we need to do more marketing advertising. And, and basically not only is that recurring revenue, which is long-term it allows us to take our products into the marketplace and have these companies be successful. So we kind of made that turn and put a lot of effort into that and that's when we started Array Digital. My business partners, Eric Olson, he, Marty and myself are all part of a mastermind, which has been great. A lot of other agency owners that's where me and Marty dominated cornhole and just left no survivors. Let's just go with that Marty, sounds better, right? [06:31.2]
Marty: It does.
Kevin: So, Yeah. So Array Digital, we're based in Chesapeake, Virginia, we service clients around the country, but a majority of ours are local to us. And we specialize in social media website, SEO and advertising.
Marty: Cool. No, it's always interesting. I think let's just start off with, you know, the SEO piece, right?
Marty: And that's one common question that I've gotten in 10 years and running an agency is, well, we want to be optimized for search, which okay, that's great. Some of it, especially 10 years ago, just like everything else in digital has changed dramatically. And a lot of misconceptions out there about what SEO entails and how it works for you. So what's one of the common issues or challenges that clients come to you that you have to fix. But then the second part of that question is, you know, Hey, is this overnight type fix, you know, with SEO, like how long and, and stuff like that. Cause I think that question is something that I get and I've gotten through people on the list that cause this podcast quite often. [07:39.5]
Kevin: Yeah. I get that question. Well, anytime we're talking to a potential customer or existing customer, or pretty much anybody that owns a business that just, you know, they just generally want to know, even if, if they get the same answer and then they'll ask someone else the same question, you know, cause they just, maybe they want a different answer, but it's like, so yeah, it's something that I talk about quite often. And and actually yesterday it was just a side note. I have a new sales guy that started last week. And so every evening I'm doing some training with him on really what we do and how we do it so that he can be efficient at telling that to our customers or our prospects. And so he's a little green on SEO for sure. So I just went through a spiel with him last night. And so, so really with SEO, there's a lot about it, that is that remains, content is still very important and there's some things that, again, haven't really changed. [08:42.2]
Backlinks are important, citation meaning your name, address, and phone number across the internet, that being up-to-date and cleaned up with backlinks is important. But there's one thing that I see, the most common that really is something we can fix more quickly. And then also just to kind of get to the note of a time timeframe we've actually seen where just to kind of break this, I don't know if it's a myth or not, but we've actually ranked now depends on what you're ranking for. Right? So if you're trying to rank nationally for a very strong keyword, this is not an overnight thing. It's something that could take a long time. It can take years, but if you're a local localized business, maybe like a brewery, if you're not, if you're trying to get more, local consumers to come in, or if you have kind of an area you serve locally is definitely a lot easier. So that's, that's something you can obtain, but if it's a national keyword and it's a very popular competitive space. [09:44.6]
Kevin: Then it can take a long time. At the same time that we have seen where we've ranked, you know, we've ranked pages or sites within just a few days or a day sometimes depending on what the search term is. So it can happen quickly depending on how you know, what the search terms are and, and things like that. But it's not always in a stick. So it's a constant battle to stay up. You might move up to third and then drop back to the fourth and the fifth. So there's a constant work to, to build that up and maintain it, cause.
Kevin: People make changes all the time. But one of the things back to like one of the things that I see the most problems with is you can do backlinks, you can do content, you can do off page tactics all day long. A lot of the problems I see is the websites themselves, not really mobile optimized.
Marty: Hmm…hmm. [10:36.0]
Kevin: So they might be mobile, but they're not really optimized. You can run tests, people have tools out there for like test my site, the page speed.
Kevin: Yeah, I see sites that load and like 10 plus seconds. We had a client, we just saw him, we're trying to get the new site up, but its 14 seconds.
Kevin: So even if you're running Google ads, you know, the bounce rate is through the roof because no one's going to stick around. And most of their traffic is mobile.
Kevin: So same with SEO. Your website has to be healthy. It has to be fast. It has to be user-friendly. And then what's the point of driving traffic. So say if you had a, you're just crushing it and you're the top and you just have a terrible website, your conversions are going to go down. The amount of clients you can get, or customers is going to be greatly decreased. So by really having a maintain website, that's checked often and polished up and always running fast should be a priority for everybody. Because if you're going to spend a ton of money and effort into SEO or ads or anything else, you're running them to a place that's not that's not being efficient for you. [11:41.9]
Kevin: So for me, it's, you know, there's a lot of factors that affect SEO, that the website is a massive part of that. So whether it's speed, errors, if it gets malware, the experience itself, the content on the page, the structure of the content, all that stuff, all has to be done right, so.
Marty: Yeah, I think a lot of those things are what people, you know, gloss over and they don't really explain to their clients. I think site speed is, I mean, I don't know if it's number one, but it's gotta be close to the top. Especially on, on mobile, we see it all the time where, you know, start running traffic and you're like, did you add a plugin? Or did somebody do something because.
Kevin: Usually a plugin.
Marty: Your conversion rate is dropping. Yeah. It's usually a plugin without doing it properly. You know, somebody just slammed something in there and that can really impact that because people do. I mean, I've seen it live, you know, where somebody is like, Oh, I'm going to find a restaurant, even a lawyer or, you know, something that they need right away. And I've seen them just sit there and go, okay, this guy, the site's not here. The number of, I just go to the next one or they're like, Oh, this one looks good. They hit it. And it doesn't load fast enough. They're onto the next one in less than five seconds. And sometimes even less than three seconds, like people have no patience for that whatsoever. [13:00.0]
Marty: And I think that's one of the keys that Kevin said is, you know, in working with a lot of breweries and golf facilities, you know, sometimes you don't need the most complex website and you go with something that's, you know, lower cost, which is perfectly fine. Just make sure that it's on a proper hosting. You know, I've seen $500 websites on $300 a month hosting convert better than anything else, you know, like I have.
Marty: But it also depends on the industry. It depends on everything else, but it loads fast and it gives the person that's looking for that information right away. Not really an SEO topic there, but just letting people know like that is a huge difference. If you're working off the, you know, $10, no offense to GoDaddy, I'm just using this as a, you know, an example here. But if you're going to have the $10 a month GoDaddy one, and it's not probably not loading fast enough and you need to know that and people don't explain that enough. [13:54.3]
And you know, Kevin went through and you know, sometimes people glaze over on this. They just, you know, they don't want to hear this part. And what Kevin just went through is very important about all those facets of SEO and how you can “quickly” do something that will give you some Google love and some search love on there where it's just your website, starting there and making sure it's optimized for everything, making sure it runs fast, especially on mobile. You will see, you know, it's not going to be dramatic if you don't have everything else set up, but you will see a little bit uptake of people staying on your site, longer, doing some other things. And depending on what type of business you can start measuring those metrics. I think the other thing I wanted to ask you too, Kevin is, you know, when you start somewhere with, with any client, it doesn't matter where they are. You know, what is like that one question about SEO that you wish everybody just knew, that you didn't have the answer yet again? [14:50.6]
Kevin: Well, I, I guess the, the one thing let's see, well for one, you know, it's always nice if a client knows that it's an investment, it's not an overnight success or it's not, Hey, I want one for one. I want to put a dollar in and get a dollar back it's so it's nice when the client's educated enough to say, Hey, I know SEO is very important. I know it's going to take time. Let's put together a plan for the long-term that's going to get us where we want to get and then build, you know, basically build a foundation and it's basically reinvested in their business. It's going to, it's going to build equity over time.
Kevin: So the people that want the quick fix or the, uh what's the secret, that would get me number one overnight, umm, it just doesn't exist and, umm, its harder to, you know, I guess tell them what it really takes. So it's, it's, I wish they all knew that. Yeah, it takes a lot of time.
Marty: Yup. [15:48.5]
Kevin: It it's, it's something that is constantly has to be worked on because we would, Google can change something and.
Kevin: You know we have to figure out what they changed and then rank could drop. And then you have to build back up or make changes to come back. So everyone should say, if I own a business, like I need a business card and I need a website. Well, SEO should be part of every single business, regardless of what you do. I think about resale of your business, what's your domains worth. All those things, play a part, not just in today and converting new customers, but also in the value of your business long-term.
Kevin: So you can literally sell your website that says, Oh yeah, we get a hundred leads a day through our website because we've, we've invested in SEO.
Kevin: Versus guy number two. Let's just say it's a golf place has been like, yeah, we, we haven't done any of that stuff. We just have walk in, we don't have a website. We don't even care about that stuff. Umm…so who are you going to buy?
Kevin: So it's an asset. [16:52.2]
Marty: Yeah. I think that is one thing that is not stressed enough out there. I try and say very similar things. When we talk about SEO, we don't do SEO. We have partners that will do SEO for us, but you know, I know a lot about it. I used to do it way back when, umm…when I first became a thing, I guess, you know, that's what it feels like most of my marketing career is like I started in websites in 2002 and I started doing SEO and paid traffic around 2003. And it's like all these random things. And you know, it's changed so much since it started. But the point that Kevin just made again is its part of your overall digital values I’d like to say, and it can be an evaluation for your business if you're looking to sell it down the road. And it's something that really shouldn't be ignored. It doesn't mean that like, Hey, I'm running paid traffic. I don't really want SEO. That's okay. But make sure you have the built and it's updated and at least monitored, I would recommend twice a year, but you could probably get away with it once a year, if it's not your main focus of driving traffic. [17:59.5]
But I do firmly believe that if you have a website and you're in a professional environment, you want to look good. Having those things in there at the right structure can help a lot of things on like accidental searches. I don't know how many clients, when we start running paid traffic and we start doing social media or some other, you know, sources of traffic. They're like, yeah, somebody called and they just “found us” like, how did that happen? And I'm like, well, you know, your site's set up properly. You have, you know, you have some things in there for SEO and it has been updated and I'm like, Google will reward you a little bit. Like this is not a catch all here, this next statement, but Google will reward you a little bit, if you're paying, you know, a couple of bucks and next thing you know, somebody puts in a search term and it may not be your ad, but it might be an article on your blog that I've heard that happen so many times where somebody is like, yeah, I was doing an in-depth search and they gave a long tail keyword and bang, it showed up. And so like those long tail things, and if you don't know what a long tail keyword is, is just not like looking for, you know, if you typed in a restaurant, it would be like, you know, restaurant sushi with a, an acoustic band on Friday nights, that would be like a long tail keyword. [19:14.1]
Kevin: Messed up.
Marty: Sounds really weird about it, you know? Yeah. Let's rank for that. Right. I'm sure we could do that. That some people will search for and if you're set up properly, those things pop up and that can lead the business. Now I wouldn't recommend that for a restaurant, but for certain things, I definitely would say, you have to have it as part of your overall strategy, even if it's not your main source of leads or sales. The next thing you know, that Kevin mentioned that I want to ask him about is, you know, getting started with somebody and realizing its not overnight so real quick, I don't want to spend too much time. Cause I don't want to get too technical Kevin, but somebody comes to you and they say, all right, Kevin, we think we have an idea of what we want and you know, what's the timeframe on getting us kind of a foundation. And then how long should we really put into this, where we start to see some, some movement, you know, some rankings movement, let's put it that way because everyone wants to be number one.
Marty: But there's a method to this to do it right. And make it stick most importantly. [20:15.3]
Kevin: Sure. Yes. So obviously, you know, we worked with clients all different types and we come on when they come on, really it's an evaluation of the strategy. So if it's a local based client, meaning they have, they have local clients, right or customers. So say an HVAC company they're usually going to have a city or a few cities that they serve and that's it. So that'd be more a local SEO, which you really need to look at, you know, are you selling locally or are you trying to rank nationally? There's definitely a big difference. And so that's the first thing to know is, am I going for national or I'm just worried about a local market. If it's a local market, definitely a lot different and it can be a different budget for that versus nationally. It also depends and then there's extra things, but think about two, like what, what industry you're in. [21:11.1]
So if you are a personal injury lawyer, you're probably going to spend a lot more than if you're a two-truck HVAC company. Now HVAC is pretty competitive, but not as competitive as personal injury. So when you have the large law firms just doing everything that they can and they, they really value SEO, then you have to play with them. So that means you have to put more effort, more energy, and have a better plan. So, so it really, it's kind of looking at, you know, what is your business, where's your market? And once you know what that is, of course, and it's, it's easier to kind of give a little bit more of a timeline and what they can expect. So let's just say, let's just say HVAC, HVAC Company, right? HVAC. They come to us and they say, Hey, we need to rank better organically. We want SEO, what can you offer? What do you guys guarantee and how long it's gonna take? My answer would probably be something like first off we do competitive research. We'd say, here's your competitors. Here's who's ranking now. [22:14.7]
Kevin: Here's how much traffic they get and what their SEO is valued at, based on Google ads. So in other words, Marty, if I was number one for say, you know, brewery in Philly, right.
Kevin: How much would it, how much would it cost me to get the same amount of clicks is that that search term is getting me if.
Kevin: I bought them through Google ads. And so then you get an evaluation of how much that's worth.
Kevin: So if I'm, if I'm number one on brewery, every time in Philly, then all right, I get, you know, 3000 clicks a month, 3000 clicks a month for the word brewery in Philly would cost me X. So now I know how much it's worth, right? And so now we don't charge clients based on that.
Kevin: But now it gives us an idea.
Marty: But just to clarify what Kevin is saying is, you find the search term, you want to rank for it, there's tools out there that can show you how much it would cost to pay, to be up top for that. And then that's how you're starting the evaluation for what you need to do to get A rank and B what it's actually worth, Correct?
Kevin: Exactly. [23:21.2]
Hey, if you're enjoying what you're hearing on the show and want more, head on over to TapsAndTees.info and get our free report with game-changing tips and strategies straight to your inbox. Just enter your info and stop being stuck with no marketing plan. [23:34.3]
Kevin: So that way we can least see the competitors, how challenging is going to be and kind of what they've been up to. So we can kind of see, all right, this one company is going to be really hard to beat. And so that might allow us to say, all right, well, we're going to need to put a lot of content out. So it's going to cost you, you know, here's three different ideas that would, you know, if you want to just kind of do foundational, it's going to be this much per month. And for us as say it's a 1000 bucks a month, if you want to get a little bit more serious and put out more content, more backlinks and grow, you know, grow this faster than, let's say 2000 a month or more. If you want to be dominating and competitive with these other people, then it's, it goes up from there, it could be three, four or five grand. It depends on how much effort and team members that would be put into it. So in that case, you know, we report, if we're doing something like this, we would track and report every other week really. And what we're looking for is movement within the first couple of weeks to a month and we track that consistently. So we'll set KPIs if you're using someone for SEO set KPIs, and you know, if you're ranked number 99, what's it going to take to get to 80? [24:49.5]
Kevin: And honestly, once you're on the home, the front page, that's when you really start to get the activity, but you're just trying to work your way there. So it's, again, it might take six months to 10, 12 months. I usually don't sign on clients unless they do 12 months at the least six months. We don't do anything less than that because it does take time.
Kevin: And you got to prove the results. So we'd say, Hey, you know, you were not on their first a hundred pages of Google. Now you're on page 20. This is working, you know, so it's going to take X amount of months, we should be getting on the first page and then we start working our way up that first page.
Kevin: And then you try to get on the first page for more than one. Marty, you mentioned blogs, so say you read the article and now you're, you have your website, your.com and then you have an article that's also on the front page. And then maybe you get more than one article on the first page. Ummm…you're just starting to dominate that.
Marty: Yep. [25:46.9]
Kevin: The other thing is your Google, my business; you can rank in the map listings and the three-pack.
Kevin: You get Google ads. So you can really be on the homepage. What I tell every client we have, we want to just dominate and be every single place. If your budget will allow you to just do that, so.
Marty: Yep. Yeah. Yeah and it's always interesting. I appreciate you walking through there and we're going to get off technical stuff and go into some, some interesting stuff here, but.
Kevin: Fun stuff.
Marty: I think it, yeah, no, I think it's important. I mean, if you're listening this and you go through here and you saw, Hey, this is a conversation about SEO and the title here, I think is important because like Kevin just walked you through, it is vitally important, no matter what type of business you're in, right? Like that's the process, you know, and the reason I'm doing these interviews, you know, during this, you know, pandemic and kind of moving things, you know, forward is a lot of people are searching for this stuff right now, no pun intended for SEO, right? [26:42.3]
But a lot of people are searching for this stuff cause they want to invest in marketing or a lot of companies, both large and small. They got either their business from events and events aren't going on or they're virtual now. So they're creating content to get out there to kind of simulate the best way they can about some of the things that they would talk about from stage and other areas like that and doing virtual webinars and virtual events and a variety of other things. So pushing content out there now, there's definitely a page strategies that, you know, certain things that you should do my opinion, but the underlying thing in search is to be optimized so that you can move up the rankings. And it does take time just because if you create it, like we said earlier, doesn't mean Google is just going to go, Oh, that is really nice article with some really nice images, we'll put that number one. There's a whole methodology to it and how you're actually ranking and things like that and the structure is important and it's best, you know, Kevin said it great. You know, it doesn't work with anybody less than six months at a minimum. I mean like six months is hard nowadays depending on what you're ranking for, for sure. But if you're going to make. [27:51.7]
Kevin: You should have movement, but
Marty: You should definitely movement. Yeah. I mean, you can have movement after three months. I mean, that's going to be at least that you can show, Hey, this is working. It's not going to be too significant depending on the site. But then at the same time, like at six months, you'd be like, all right, we got some movement here and this is where we need to work towards. And then you start working towards those things towards the year. Now the ancillary benefits of that and is that you'll start to get more traffic as they start to move up. 20 pages is probably a little deep, but you know, a lot of people will jump in if it's a very specific news specific topic. Like we mentioned, you know, lawyers, like they can have a very specific topic and as that's moving up, some people will search deep for that because they want multiple opinions. And that works in a variety of business. So you start to see traffic and some interests, you know, sooner rather than later, but it is, you know, it's a process, but it's well worth it because once you start getting there, you can start to see the payoff. And a lot of that, a lot of times, once you start hitting SEO, whatever you want to call it, success magic, Hey, we're finally there. We arrived on page one, you see a dramatic increase in everything and that's always the fun stuff. [29:04.8]
Kevin: Yeah, absolutely. And I just got, yeah add to what you were saying. There's there's side effects, which are positive. Yeah. More, more search traffic and visitors all across the board, right. So say if you're writing articles and adding content, yeah you're going to get those people that, that look deep and there’s and people that reach out and say, Hey, thanks for that article I found on your website. Or, you know, you'll, you'll start to get that kind of result based on what you're doing. And yeah, it just, I always think it's like a fishing net. Like, you know, you're just, you're casting a wider net, so you're starting to collect more people on certain, very niche topics and it gives your overall site more SEO juice, but you're also just going to get people on those individual articles and they happen to be on your website, Google likes more traffic. So it kind of gives you again, a positive side effect and the article itself could lead to a potential customer or, or something like that as well. [30:05.8]
So, and yeah, when people are digging deep and really trying to learn a lot before they do anything, if you have the answer and you gave them the best guidance and they said, Hey, I just don't want to do this myself. Maybe it was a helpful how to, or whatever maybe
Kevin: And they know what I'm saying, Hey, you know what, I'm just gonna hire this, this company that told me what to do in the first place. So yeah, it's got a lot of positive side effects and it's just, it just builds and builds and builds.
Marty: Cool. So I know you said like you started building websites early on in life, but what made you get it just out of engineering and then like really starting building your first agency there? [30:43.8]
Kevin: Well, so I was actually, I was on my way to become a professional. I wasn't a professional engineer at the time.
Kevin: I was doing drafting. I was really doing I was, it was in land development and a civil engineer.
Kevin: Engineering firm. And so I was designing out properties for Harris Teeter and Walmarts and stuff like that. But I worked under engineers doing the grading, all the plans, site plans, stuff like that, which I liked, but I'm a very chatty person. I like to be creative. And so with civil engineering or planning is, it's not very creative. It's almost like it's the opposite. It's, it's gotta be very practical and is what it is. There's not really a lot of ways to do things, so.
Kevin: I just.
Marty: When you're building stuff, I would hope everything would be like, you know, step one, step two, step three is on.
Kevin: Yeah, yeah, it’s like.
Marty: On something. [31:36.1]
Kevin: It's like, Hey for this to work on this piece of property, it has to be this like, this is it. Here's the plan. You know, I liked all that, but I didn't like being stuck in a cubicle. I like to be out talking to people. I wanted to be on site doing stuff. So I just, for one that was starting to eat away at me and just being stuck and Hey, just bill as many hours as you can, that's all we want you to do. And so I just, my natural tendencies are to design things. So I started creating the extra stuff or designing stuff within the firm or doing stuff that I like to do.
Kevin: And a lot of people in the firm really liked that, but it wasn't really what I could build to or what I was being paid for.
Kevin: So I ended up joining, oddly enough, I ended up joining like a board, like a, a group of, it was like a technology group and it was outside of the company, had nothing to do with the company. And I'm not sure why I even joined to be honest with you.
Marty: Hmm…hmm. [32:33.3]
Kevin: But I was immediately surrounded by a bunch of people that either worked for big tech companies or that were entrepreneurs. And that just like almost overnight kind of made me wake up and say, Hey, wait a minute, look at what this guy's doing. Or I just met the president of this massive, huge tech company. And I'm sitting in the room talking to him. And, and so I was just sheltered from that for a while because I was at this other firm. And so I just enjoyed it. And so I got involved, I joined the board and then I basically was encouraged to, to basically pursue doing this on my own. So through that group, I was able to get jobs and get projects, to build websites to where I made enough to cover my expenses for the month.
Kevin: And then I literally just cold Turkey quit with no savings or nothing just I'm out. So no business plan, no savings, just.
Marty: No, nothing. Just go
Kevin: Just quit. And you know, just, I didn't really know what I was going to do, except I was going to do this for a living. So that was it. [33:38.2]
Marty: No that's good. I mean, I've told my story a bunch of times on this podcast. I'll tell you, I'll tell you mine quick, when we finish up, but we're right here in the middle, or almost the end of going to the tail end of October and the whole COVID-19 craziness like tell me a little bit about how you guys adapted and you know, what you have going on because of that or what you saw on your own business?
Kevin: Yeah, yeah. So so right away, it was actually funny. We were hosting a huge event that we put a lot of energy into. It was Erik and I, and it was called State of Digital Marketing Address. And it was gonna, it was downtown Norfolk, Virginia. We had sold like 250 tickets and it's basically like almost like the, you know I guess a city address or like a economic update, but it was a digital marketing address. And so we actually had some of the biggest sponsors of companies around our area behind it. We had, again, 250 tickets, I think sold. And we were a few days before everything shut down. And so first off about 150 people showed up. So we lost about a hundred people the next evening, literally the place that we had it like shut down. So we are really re close on on that. [34:53.5]
It was a successful event, but that kinda hit us real quick. Right after that, we had, we lost about 30 grand a month in revenue overnight with some retail clients that we had. So that was what hit us the most right up front. We were lucky though, to replace that, oddly enough, with all new clients, pretty much within a couple of weeks or a month. So we were surprised by that. And then since then we pretty much maintain our you know, our monthly recurring revenue and we've grown it since then. So we're happy and thankful for that. And we have a lot of clients that stuck with us as well. And we only had a few that really just couldn't continue to do anything. And so for us, it was kind of hunker down make sure we over communicate with our clients and we we've done pretty well. So we've actually I would say we've, we've done very well and we've hired, hired six people since COVID. [35:52.2]
Marty: Nice. Yeah.
Kevin: So we've been doing pretty good there, but yeah, a lot of things with our clients and how we talk about things, also our industries that we serve we were kind of teetering on, you know, exactly what segments we wanted to kind of fall into. And, you know, this kind of is good timing for us because we were able to sell into some that were fairly protected.
Kevin: So for us, it was a big lessons learned and we hope it will start to go away and settle down and not get any worse. But we we've weathered it pretty well so far and just ready, ready for it to be over.
Marty: I think everybody is.
Kevin: Yeah. For everybody, you know.
Marty: Yeah. So as we close this out, I mean, I know you drink some beer, but I know you're also a bourbon fan too. So do you have a, you have a favorite beer at the moment or something that you ever had that always stands out to you?
Kevin: Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, drank beer, not as often as I like to sip on some bourbon, I love, love different bourbons and trying those out as far as beers concerned when it's cold enough out. And it's not quite there yet. But I'll, I like a coffee stout or like a milk stout. [37:02.0]
Marty: There you go.
Kevin: So a devil's backbone has a good.
Marty: Yeah they do.
Kevin: Coffee Stout ending and devil's baboons, you know, based here in Virginia, not too far from me. So yeah, I would say that I like a good stout if it's nice and cold out and nice and crisp out.
Marty: Nice. Yeah. I don't know if we ever got a chance to talk, but do you play golf or do you just kind of hack around or
Kevin: I am the best golf player you ever seen.
Marty: There you go.
Kevin: Just kidding. No. So I do enjoy golf. I started out this year. It was like, all right, man, this year I'm going to play more than ever.
Kevin: And obviously with COVID hit a lot of the golf courses here were kind of just, they weren't sure what to do. A couple of were open, but we actually found that, Hey, there's some that are open and doing fine. You just get your own cart instead of getting a cart with a buddy.
Marty: Yep. [37:53.1]
Kevin: And so I started going like every Sunday for like a couple of weeks with a buddy of mine. And at that time, this was early on. So this is like an April, probably. So it was like no one was doing anything. And, so it was really nice to get out there and play and hit, but I, somewhere along the line, I just, that kind of, we didn't continue that. So I only went a few times this year and.
Kevin: So I would say this I'm not great. I'm not terrible. I enjoy it once I get into a rhythm and I get, definitely get better. Of course, if I, if I get to play, but I would say I was a play, let's say a dozen times a year, a few tournaments.
Kevin: And charities and just have fun.
Marty: There you go. I mean, that's what it's all about is just having fun.
Marty: That's for sure. I mean, I do have some people that are really good when I talk to them. It's like a little bit different, you know, and it’s like.
Kevin: I definitely I'm not gonna to talk about like my shot and like scratch golf and stuff like that. But I've had a lot of fun experiences of golf. I got married in Mexico, which is interesting.
Kevin: I had a 30, 33 people go to Mexico for our wedding.
Marty: Nice. [38:59.8]
Kevin: So I had all the guys, we went to a golf course there in Mexico and played the day of the wedding.
Kevin: Almost didn't make it back in time.
Marty: There you go.
Kevin: A lot of fun experience there. One guy like killed, a accidentally hit a goose or something with a golf. It's like a line drive just like nailed this bird.
Kevin: On the golf course.
Marty: I’ve actually seen that happen before.
Kevin: Right, so.
Marty: That's probably happened a lot more than we know.
Kevin: And another guy got, stepped on a fire ant hill.
Kevin: While he was about to swing.
Marty: That'll that'll wake you up.
Kevin: Oh yeah. So no, we had plenty of tequila, so we were fine. A lot of good memories with golf, not a lot of tournaments, a lot of fun times. [39:44.0]
Marty: Good. Yeah and that's exactly, you know, why I like to when, keep those conversations going. You know, I had to switch, switch gears with the podcast a little bit just for the short term. And I still like to keep that in there because everybody has common themes, you know? And some people drink, some people don't, some people play golf, some people don't, that's all, all good, but it's always like, always interesting to hear people that, you know, like you play 8-12 times a year and you know, it's always different experience, but everybody has different memories. You know, you all, you'll never forget, not only because you were getting married, but also that somebody, you know, hit a bird on a line drive, like you're not going to forget that. So its always interesting to hear, but Kevin tell everybody where they can find you online. [40:25.8]
Kevin: Yeah, I guess I hang out most on LinkedIn actually.
Kevin: So if you go to LinkedIn and search for Kevin Daisey, that's D A I S E Y, make sure you don’t forget the E you can find me there. If you messaged me, I'll, I'll respond and.
Kevin: I’d be the best.
Marty: Yeah, no it sounds great. And you know, a lot of this stuff early on, you know, for everybody that's making it this far in the podcast and what Kevin outlined, you know, it's meticulous with SEO, you know, there's no way to really like, kind of like, you know, sex it up for lack of better term. It's a boring, dry type of thing. It's methodical, but it does work and you should have a plan in your business. And those are the types of people that I'm bringing on that I know can articulate that well, whether you hire them or using somebody else, this is education. One should be able to learn whether you're working with, whatever agency you're working with, just so that, you know, because there's a lot of, I don't want to say bad information, but a lot of hyped up information is a better way to put it. [41:26.3]
And what Kevin, like outlined early on in this is super important for your business. So go back and listen to it, especially if you're like redoing your website or updating your website or including an SEO plan or even a paid plan. It should be something that you start off and build that foundation. And if you don't have the money or you don't have the resources necessarily to invest in it right away. If you get the foundation built, you know, now in 2020, this was much different five, six, seven, 10 years ago. But if you have the foundation built, now, it's going to last you a little while and you can come back to it. So just make sure you keep it in mind. And I'd like to thank Kevin for coming on and we're going to see you real soon next week. We're gonna have some other interesting folks on here. Still gonna stick with the marketing theme and then all those beer and golf episodes you're going to see the light of day. So thanks for listening. And we'll see you on the next episode. [42:16.4]
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