Chasing Financial Freedom

The Secrets to Building a Successful Business: Insights from Serial Entrepreneur Darrell Evans

March 29, 2023 Ryan DeMent Season 5 Episode 13
The Secrets to Building a Successful Business: Insights from Serial Entrepreneur Darrell Evans
Chasing Financial Freedom
More Info
Chasing Financial Freedom
The Secrets to Building a Successful Business: Insights from Serial Entrepreneur Darrell Evans
Mar 29, 2023 Season 5 Episode 13
Ryan DeMent

Send us a Text Message.

Join host Ryan DeMent on the Chasing Financial Freedom Podcast as he interviews serial entrepreneur and investor Darrell Evans on the secrets to building a successful business. In this episode, Darrell shares his wealth of knowledge and expertise on internet marketing, business growth strategies, and more. As the co-founder of Yokel Local internet marketing and CEO of Mindshift Business Academy, Darrell has helped numerous businesses achieve real results. This episode is a must-listen if you're an entrepreneur looking to take your business to the next level. Don't miss out on the chance to learn from one of the best in the game.

Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Support the Show.

Thanks for Listening! Follow us on Tik Tok Facebook and Instagram

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

Join host Ryan DeMent on the Chasing Financial Freedom Podcast as he interviews serial entrepreneur and investor Darrell Evans on the secrets to building a successful business. In this episode, Darrell shares his wealth of knowledge and expertise on internet marketing, business growth strategies, and more. As the co-founder of Yokel Local internet marketing and CEO of Mindshift Business Academy, Darrell has helped numerous businesses achieve real results. This episode is a must-listen if you're an entrepreneur looking to take your business to the next level. Don't miss out on the chance to learn from one of the best in the game.

Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Support the Show.

Thanks for Listening! Follow us on Tik Tok Facebook and Instagram

The Secrets to Building a Successful Business: Insights from Serial Entrepreneur Darrell Evans

[00:00:00] Ryan: Hey guys, Ryan DeMent from Chasing Financial Freedom Podcast. I hope you guys are having a wonderful day today. On the podcast we have Darrell Evans, and Darrell is a serial entrepreneur and investor.

With a proven track record of helping companies like yours achieve real results. He's the co-founder of Yoko Local internet marketing. We'll have to talk about that. I love that. I love that name. And he's the CEO of Mindshift Business Academy. Sir, welcome into the show and thank you for coming on, Ryan.

[00:00:30] Darrell: Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here with you. You're 

[00:00:32] Ryan: more than welcome. So before we dive into, what you're doing, just a little bit of your background and who you are, and then we'll get into some rabbit holes like I to do. 

[00:00:42] Darrell: I love it. I love it. Yeah. I'll keep the background story short.

Born and raised here in Las Vegas, Nevada started my entrepreneurial journey when I was in college at the age of 20. And it just felt natural for me to be curious about entrepreneurship. I was working full-time at a restaurant called Taco Bell. Here in the United States is a pretty popular college kid spot.

But I found myself as the restaurant general manager also at the age of 20. So I had this early adoption into the world of p and l, top of. Sales process all the way through management, training, education, all that bit. My, my career desire at the time was to be an electrical engineer, and of course then I'm bit by this business bug by my first business, which really was more of a side hustle.

Ryan, to be honest, it was me selling sportswear outta the chunk of my car. But when you compare e-commerce today to what I was doing, I was actually sending a physical check. To people who had goods instead of today's world of drop shipping . So anyway, fast forward to 96. I finished my degree in finance thinking I'm gonna go work on Wall Street, but I had a son at the time and thought that might not be the best path of travel.

Entered the world of financial services. Fast forward to 2000 transitioned back into the real estate world and accept this time into the mortgage lending career, which is where I actually found the internet marketing world, which was around 2000. So I had a run in the mortgage and real estate industry for 12 years there.

And, but along that way is when I cut my teeth at digital marketing e email marketing. In 2003, we started our first website, 2004 lead generation division in 2005, YouTube 2007. We just dove right in because I just started seeing a transition in consumer behavior and obviously adoption of technology led us up to.

Inevitable crash in 2008 in the real estate lending industry. I started looking around noticing at how I was acquiring business and where everyone else was still doing it the old traditional way. And I said, huh, I think this is gonna be a thing for a while, so let's see if we can help some people do it the way I'm doing it.

So I started doing some consulting, et cetera, and I met my business partner, my, who's now my former business partner, but I, my then business partner. We met each other. We had some conversations, and over the next couple years, we just started to start Yoko Local, which was also still in the heart of the recession at that time, 2000 late 2010.

And since then we spent the last 12 years or so helping small to mid-size companies really accelerate revenue growth online from small businesses to local businesses to international companies, some e-commerce, some SaaS, but mostly professional service companies. Who have traditionally built their businesses offline.

And so that's been a big joy to come in and work with people who are really good at what they do. But for some reason, this digital thing is a little bit outside of their wheelhouse. And so that's who we partner with and that's, that brings us to where we are today. Mine Shift Business Academy is my personal mission to go back and help 95% of most small businesses who never make a million dollars in a year.


[00:03:29] Ryan: awesome. But I have to go back all the way to the. Oh local. No. Local born, raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. There's you guys are like gold. 

[00:03:39] Darrell: You're rare. . Yes, sir. So it's interesting. So I know of far more people that were born and raised here than when I go travel and I make statements like that.

Yeah. On the outside looking in it, it appears that no one really was born here. That everybody was transplanted here in some way, shape or form. . But yeah, we actually grew up here. We had, parks and, movie theaters and bowling alleys, just like every major city, anywhere else on the planet schools and, we had a good time.

Skating rinks, all the things, right? We don't all live on this trip. No. 

[00:04:05] Ryan: I lived in Vegas if a little pre-call, we had, back in the day, I lived in Vegas for almost 15 years, so I know it very well. Oh, okay. It's very rare to have somebody or meet somebody that's born and raised in Las Vegas.

It's just it's an anomaly. It's just one of those things. But anyhow with what you're doing for market, . What really spurred this on, I understand that you started at Taco Bell, you got yourself worked through management and went through all that process, but what really drove you inside to say, that's where I was gonna go, or that's what I wanna do?

[00:04:35] Darrell: Yeah. Actually, Brian my first start in entrepreneurship, of course, when you start a business, the first thing and the major thing that matters is customer acquisition. , right? So I started, I learned the sales side of the business because remember at that time I'm selling t-shirts and sweatshirts and hats and hoodies at a swap.

Amongst hundreds of other vendors, right? So I've gotta figure out how to sell my product. First thing I thought about when I think about marketing is I look back then I wouldn't, I don't know if I put that much thought into it, but here's all, I told myself, I should carry the most popular teams. whether I liked them or not, right?

Because why? I knew there'd be demand right now, I happened to grow up on the west coast. I grew up in Vegas, so we didn't have sports the way we do today. So I was a Lakers, Dodgers Rams fan. But I didn't wanna get caught up in my own feelings, so I carried at that time, Pittsburgh Steelers, this is back in 90.

1990. I know that dates me a bit, but 19 nine, I carried the Cowboys, though I couldn't stand them. I carried , the Steelers, the cowgirls the, I carried the I carried San Francisco, all the popular teams. Fast forward, though, I learned sales in the real estate industry.

I learned all the traditional real estate approaches from cold calling to door knocking. And that was how the real estate in industry and still largely today, is still being taught. Literally, I just had someone knock on my door for real estate in 2023, and I'm thinking, really? Are you freaking kidding me right now?

Wow. But there's actually, they're not the only one. Solar is knocking on doors today. There's industries that are they're still caught up in the old age. I cut the market, I cut the sales chop with what I call interruption marketing, and I just didn't love it. I could I do it? Yeah.

I was successful. Sure. But I didn't love it. Similarly, I did the same thing in the financial services world, which I called into my ideal customer and had to convince them to take a meeting, and I just started asking what a, what? Turns out to be a question that I go back to all the time, and that is there's gotta be a better way.

So when I started asking that question, I ended up meeting a guy named Mark. , who at the time was one of the top real estate agents in the state of Nevada. I think he was ranked number two, and I noticed something about his business that he was doing something completely different than everybody else. He was doing something called what I would learn to be direct response consumer marketing, which was he was inviting people to, if we look at the modern day of digital today, he was doing before.

it was common to have a landing page. With a lead magnet on it. He was doing it back in the direct marketing days, except he was using direct mail and newspaper ads and classified ads. So I started studying that. I came across all the big names that you probably could think of, and I said, I'm gonna build my business that way because instead of me trying to push my way into someone's door or someone's house, I could actually invite them.

To step towards me as long as I had a compelling reason for them to do so I remember one of my very first ads I ran was a newspaper classified ad. I think it cost me a dollar a word. And you had to put a minimum of 20 words in the ad. So that's how we get, that's how we had to price ads back then.

Was a dollar a word. and the ad had said something similar to buy a house with no money down, call for a free special report. And it was an automated 800 line, so I didn't have to pick up the phone every time somebody called. So it was an automated line, very much like an email, landing page, email sequence.

Then back then, believe it or not, Ryan, it was a fax machine on the other side. . So that was the bug. That was the bug. Fast forward to, oh, When I saw online stuff take over and I was like, oh, okay, great. So now this is just direct response online, and that was where it really kicked off for me. 

[00:08:10] Ryan: It's amazing how technology has changed our lives.

You might, you probably don't know, but I'm probably older than you. I just don't look like it. But I, all the things you're talking about, I was around, I graduated college in 95, so it's 

[00:08:23] Darrell: I graduated in 96, so we're right in the same neighborhood. 

[00:08:25] Ryan: Same neighborhood. It's all the same things.

And I can still remember dial up aol, as it's yesterday. I'm like, my gosh, yes. 

[00:08:32] Darrell: I still have my first, I still have my first Yahoo account from 1998. Wow. Yeah. Wow. It was, it's my junk account, which is where I sign up for any offer that I don't wanna be bothered with, but it's there. . 

[00:08:45] Ryan: Wow. I have a good friend that still has an AOL email address, and I'm like, you gotta be kidding me.

Yes. It's it is what it is. What it is. As technology's progressed and you're starting to see a shift in how that plays out. Where does that take you? And how does that take you down to your path of where you're at today? And we'll start walking in that general direction.

[00:09:06] Darrell: Yeah. Obviously it, the pivot for me the inflection point for me was I enjoyed the mortgage industry immensely. More importantly the relationships. And but what I saw was an opportunity, first of all for a different lifestyle that I wanted for me and my family. Working with a business coach starting in 2005 at a higher level cuz I, we had 106 originators in the company processing division and I had worked into a place I'd never been in before, so I needed some assistance on, in the way I thought.

And so we did a 25 year life plan, which is still, to me, one of the most impactful things I've ever done in my life. And it didn't lea, it didn't have the mortgage industry in it in the 20 in that longer term picture. I didn't know what was gonna change, but I knew that the design of my life, I didn't see the mortgage industry being that vehicle.

That being said, when the inflection point came for the internet, I was like, huh, so you're telling me I can work with customers all over the. I can literally, if I need to go fly and work with them all over the world, and because of the power of the internet, I'll be connected. I'll be able to actually work from a mobile device.

I could see that being the real life picture. And I've got three kids on my side. We've got two on my wife's side and two of my kids live in another state. And at that time, We were separated. Obviously at that time, the mortgage industry, you couldn't go do work in another state. And I'm like, I can't do that because being with my kids is that important, like having the travel flexibility and freedom and all that.

So I'm like, yeah, find something else to do. . And so that's what brought us into this digital space today. And as you said, technology is changing the digital space a mile a minute. Of course, with the most recent explosion of chat G p t, which has got us re, really reimagining now, what that's gonna mean in the world of AI and how it affects everything we do in the world of marketing.

[00:10:56] Ryan: You know what's funny is go to the chat g b t really quick. It is not the first early adoption of AI technologies. There's some other platforms out there, even though they own the backbone of the system. I get that. But what you, what they, I should say that, how should I say this Correctly?

what is produced at a chat G B T from quality, a quality perspective is pretty much zero in my book because I'm an early adopter of four other platforms and they all are superior to what Chat, PT Chat G B T does. Yeah, and it's funny to see this because you can put the exact same thing into all four platform.

And you get four different answers and they've all read up to the same point other than one. And I'm not trying to plug them. actually has a chat service. Yeah. That is read up to current days internet. Yeah. So you can literally ask 'em what's going on today in the world of real estate investing and they will bring you up.

Current trends for today, they're the only one that's up to date. But chat, G B T. It just doesn't give you a lot of data. It's a false narrative at times. And I'm not talking about, and we're not talking political left right, or anything. I'm just talking about business cuz I, I'll use it to write with I use it to do blog posting ideas.

I use it to generate topics for podcast intros, whatever the case is. , it's used very well for, I'm using in it very well for myself. Yep. But it just doesn't seem to give us the, or at least give me the same information I can get from other platforms. And I'm not trying to bash it, I just, it's just a, no, I think it's a personal experience.

[00:12:33] Darrell: Yeah, no. So I think it's fair. So I got invited to copy AI beta. I was in Jasper Beta, so I'm with you on some of these other platforms. Oh, you 

[00:12:40] Ryan: were on Jasper. I go back to past Jasper when it was called oh my God. Oh, 

[00:12:45] Darrell: it was called Jarvis. Jarvis, yes. I go back, I didn't start when it was Jarvis, but my business, my former business partner who he's the first one who suggested we start with Jasper, and I'm with you like, I don't have a I don't want to call any one of them.

Great. Because at the same time, no, there are 50, 60 other platforms that are doing all sorts of things. The way I see it is G to me, G P T, the underlying technology, which again, I'm no AI specialist. I'm no AI expert. I'm literally learning it in the moment, day by day. What I'm understanding it is it.

It's a utility by which you can then build yes, pawn for the use case that matters for your, your world. And so in a, in an agency environment, which is of course one of my businesses, the time it takes to research certain core things on Google. Can now be sped up in moments so for the utility of it.

And that for me is what Jasper wasn't built to do. It wasn't what copy AI was built to do. I will agree with you that I've had mixed, I can do the same tasks in all three of them. Let's say we're writing for lack of a better phrase, a sales email. Not that I prefer to do it that way. , but they do spit out different pitches, video scripts.

They all spit out something slightly different. But I think the key is, and as you probably know, the speed of adoption and adoption is how do you figure out what it does best for you in your world? Because as entrepreneurs, our job is to make sure we're not spending more money in places we shouldn't be.

And so that's a, I just got done with a call with my team kickoff this morning. and we were three months into chat, G P t playing with it and so forth, a year and something on chat, Jasper and copy plus other ones. And I just simply said today to ignore the the speed at which things are changing could put your career at peril.

Because the things that we do with our hands, , you think about who's being replaced or potentially could be replaced right now with all of these tools, any of these tools, video editors, content writers, blog post writers, creative writers, graphic designers. I'm not saying Dolly is there yet, but there are so many.

Guess who's not gonna be replaced? The people who work with their hands. Correct. They, I don't see chat. G p t going to mo No, no lawns anytime soon. fixing air conditioning anytime soon, . Exactly right. But here's the reality. I got a lot of law firm clients and it's a real threat. Sure.

, these do it yourself forms have been out, but now it's almost taken to the next level. Don't get the form so you can fill in the blank yourself. You can literally again, we're not playing, I'm not playing lawyer here. . But when you look at some part of the population who will want to take DIY to the next level, that's what it'll be.

There will always be a group of people who recognize the risk in doing so. But anyway, it's good conversation for the time that we're in and we'll see where it goes. 

[00:15:38] Ryan: How is that affecting your business? , 

[00:15:40] Darrell: I, we, I hate to say this cuz I'm such a big believer in employing people and it's one of the biggest joys I have as an entrepreneur.

But at the same time, I'm a fiduciary of capital and therefore when I looked at what chap G p t potentially could do, in addition to what some of the other tools could do, we literally put outsourcing some of our writing components completely on hold. To really test our model internally using chat G P T, along with the others.

And immediately we've experienced some cost savings because we haven't had to use some of our outside contractors. I've gone to a couple of the contractors and said, Hey, are you playing with this and figuring out how you're gonna modify your business practice because you're charging for this many hours of work and we know now that it doesn't, three or four of those hours of the eight hours it took you to write that blog post are now gone.

How are you adjusting what that's been one thing. And then the other side of it is we're taking a more forward approach to being a mouthpiece for AI and the adoption in our businesses because we also don't want our clients to think, oh, just because Chad g p t is out, you understand strategy. Just because Chad g p t is out, you understand how to run conversion opt.

You don't ha, chat. G P T can't do that. Correct. So we're doing what's a Stanford University, doctor? Doctor? I can't even pronounce his name. J I a n g, . He Jung. Dr. Jung, I think is, yeah, he made a comment about the fact that great chat, G P T and AI can take it from one plus, but humans take it from zero to one.

. So that's what we are spending our time on and unfortunately we're strategic agencies, so I think our zero to one work will stay. It's where we're gonna get AI and some other technology to take over one plus, or to assist with one plus. As he would put it. 

[00:17:24] Ryan: So this is a di a little digression in question, but it's specific to AI and your agency and so forth, is, are you familiar with workflows on

[00:17:34] Darrell: No, we are not, we're not actually in it that much to know about that, but I'd be curious to know. Okay, so 

[00:17:40] Ryan: it's, I don't know enough about it. I'm just getting access to it now. So it's all a p i based, and you basically set up an API call and you start working on a, some type of flow. Let's say you're trying, and it connects to your your crm.

And it's, let's say you're trying to cold-call, cold email, realtor. Let's just stick with real estate and you want a specific series to be put out. The AI in the workflow will then create a series of five to seven emails for you based upon X amount of inputs. And that input could be someone's bio off of LinkedIn or their website or whatever the case is, that you have that input and then it starts drawing in other.

Realtors or people in that group and then now you can start building a series of emails off it or it could be text messages. There's a lot of different things you can do. I'm just getting into it and it looks, I'll say from the outside it's slick, but it takes a lot of effort and like you said, yeah, the A, your agency is not gonna be replaced.

It's this gonna make your life easier and be able to generate, I think you guys are gonna be able to do more work with Yeah, ai. , but it doesn't replace the thought process of us human beings up top, like you said, taking it to zero to one, but I think it humans still take it past one. Yes. Even though they say, chat G B T can, pass the bar exam and can pass a medical exam and so forth.

But there's so many other nuances that a human has that chat, G B T or AI will never have. Yeah. That we can plug into 

[00:19:09] Darrell: all. Yeah, so Ryan, this weekend I put it to the test. So we have an account, one of our accounts, we have an ad account, a ad agency is what we primarily do Today. We do SEO of course, but Google Ads is one of our primary offerings, our primary products that we offer.

So we have a an account, current day account. Just been with us about 60 something days, maybe going on 80, 90 days. Small account, really small account, which is tough to begin with. When you step into the world of Google, you're in the law firm arena, so it's even more tough, but everybody's gotta start somewhere.

And so I put in the, I put in all I was basically seeing if Chat g p T could help us optimize this campaign. So at this point, we're getting impressions, we're getting clicks at a decent rate. We're missing on conversions. at the level that we should be. We are at $212 per lead. We should be around a buck 25.

So we're pacing, a hundred percent higher than what we should be. But again, we don't have enough data because the auction, we're getting kicked out of the auction cuz the budget's so low. And I literally walked through it as the campaign manager saying, trying to get chat g p t to give me some answers.

It couldn't problem solve this case, so therefore that's where the human comes in. Could it have written some of the headlines? Sure. Could have written some of the descriptions that are 90 characters or less. Sure. Could it have talked to me about the keywords? Sure. Could it have done that faster than I could have?

Absolutely. But it can't solve for growth. It can't solve for conversion optimization once the game has started. And that's what I, to your point, we still are there for one plus, how does 

[00:20:41] Ryan: when all this is all playing out and you guys are bringing on new clients or you're out prospecting, how does that conversation play out?

Does AI come up at all? And how do you guys No, not at all. 

[00:20:51] Darrell: Not today. Not today. It hasn't come up. I did a class a couple of weeks ago and I invited our entire database. I'm actually doing another one in another two weeks. We are gonna talk about it with our clients, because here's the reality, 95% of small business.

92 to 93. Let me back off a couple percentage points. In the United States, speaking strictly United States, not elsewhere around the world, are companies that are generally not suited to hire my agency. Why? Because they don't have enough, cash flow. They're under a million dollars in revenue, we're not a thousand dollars a month agency, $2,000 a month agency. We're a marketing team that comes in and becomes your department. We just don't, we're just not on staff. So we're a department and we build an engine. We're not a freelancer. We're not outsourcers. We just don't do two blog posts for you.

That's not what we do. We're a growth engine. So that being said how can we get this to help those smaller. take some of the things in house that they would ordinarily think, oh, I need to outsource that to them. We're gonna, we say no to some of those things, but now how can we empower them to use tools like Chad, g p t?

One of my clients is a dentist in the Midwest, and he is so forward with technology that he's already been playing with it a mile a minute, and I got his thoughts about it on Friday. And he said, so here's a guy who knows how to run his own Facebook ads to a degree, knows how to run Google ads to a degree, knows how to run blog posts, write blog posts.

He's a writer, he's a speaker. He runs a ce outside of his practice. He's a CE educator, so he's a very smart guy. Yet. He's I just wanna understand it, and then I wanna make sure that I get the pros to execute it. So that's who our best client is. But we think everybody should be caught up to speed because competition is real and whoever gets to the, I don't like to always say, if you're not first, you're last.

I've heard that cliche. Early bird gets the worm. I, I do believe that's true. And so there's a ripe opportunity for those that want to pay attention. And again, let's be clear about another thing. Let me state for the record, I don't think this is all good. There , there's as much bad, that can come out of this, that can go good.

And we're we'll see how that plays out. But for those of us that are do-gooders, in the world, I think it's our, it's an obligation for us to do good as fast as we can with this this new technology. And at the speed of change that we're currently in. I wish I could have invented the autonomous car.

I didn't. But if I can reinvent the modern marketing agency using ai, I owe it to my team. I owe it to my customers, I owe it to the shareholders in the company, I owe it to my family. That's where I feel like I'm here in this space right now. And that's kinda the way I'm thinking. , 

[00:23:27] Ryan: do you think there's a specific industry that's gonna be impacted the most by ai?

[00:23:32] Darrell: I think we've talked about a few of them. I think if you are a technician, if you're a technician in the world of marketing, in the world of creative, from a writing standpoint, if you used to charge $5,000 for an email sequence or a landing page copy. I think you're in trouble in the world of marketing right now.

It doesn't mean you still can't charge those dollars. I just think there's gonna be a min, a diminishing return. I think that I think it's gonna be hard to say, and I hate to say anything with a blanket statement, but I do believe technical, I think. technician jobs that don't require strategic thinking.

So the question is do you do anything from zero to one? , if you don't do anything from zero to one, you're at risk. If your brain power up here doesn't happen from zero to one example, I can only, again, speak quickly to my agency if the work you're being assigned didn't involve your thinking.

Only you're doing. , you are in trouble. You just are, right? I didn't wanna believe that it could write copy as good as me, but it can. I didn't wanna believe that. I just didn't. I've been writing copies since I was in my mid twenties when I met this gentleman in the direct response space. I didn't wanna believe it.

So where we make the most money is in how we strategically build and optimize campaigns, right? Whether that's seo, whether that's analytics, or sorry, whether that's. On Google, Facebook, social media, optimizing around growth metrics on the website and I've yet to figure out how chat GB chat G B T can do it, but I'm sure it's not too far away.

So if you do technical work that someone assigned to you after they did the thinking, I think you're in trouble. . 

[00:25:17] Ryan: What about the industries that you think it's going to help and promote? One in is near and dear to our hearts probably is real estate. I don't maybe this is just a blanket statement again on my part, but I don't see a lot of realtors using a lot of technology.

I'm seeing. And this is funny, is on Facebook, I'll click on ads just so I can get into the motion and let them serve me up more. Right now I'm in Mortgage Broker serve up, as I call it, and every single mortgage broker that's out there pitching that, oh, we'll get you approved or whatever.

You go to their Facebook, their, excuse me, their Facebook site or webs or their page, they haven't posted in almost a year, 18 months. They have five people following 'em. I'm like, think. How do you think that cold ad is gonna work for you if you're not actively out pursuing it and it's like you have chat g p t that's free, that you could be using some of it to at least get your business going.

But then gentlemen, like you, can help them also over a period of time. Because right now mortgage brokers and realtors are struggling and now they're too late to adapt and overcome. So what do they. . Yeah. They're gonna sit there and do nothing. Or do you say, okay, I gotta change my 

[00:26:29] Darrell: business.

Yeah. So you know, me, I got a unique perspective of that industry. It was a combined 17 total years that I was licensed in real estate and then 12 years in the mortgage industry. Here, Ryan, as funny as it may sound, in the last 12 years that our agency, we've worked with a total of five. Companies in that space.

Wow. Which is just counterintuitive to what I would've thought when I left the space. I would've figured that would've been 30 or 40% of our market. . And here's the problem, that industry still believes in. Referral marketing largely. , they still believe in. Building your business by referral.

That's fine. I don't disagree that referrals are the highest ROI activity you're gonna get. The problem is it's not predictable, it's not reliable. And so they still live there and then they always want something to convert today, and which is ironic because. There is never a reason for a transaction to close today.

You, if you meet a buyer who needs to buy today, if you're a realtor or a lender , and you're working on the purchase side, that transaction could be three months, six months, 12 months. It, so it's really interesting that the conversations that we had and I've had several, even with a firm that had three I don't even wanna get into the metrics, but.

I, I will simplify with the word shortsightedness. . Like shortsightedness, meaning when I got a, when I was in the mortgage industry, when I started in real estate, or sorry, when I was in the mortgage industry and I started with email in 2003. , I knew for a fact that everyone who came into my world was not, Didn't have to buy that day.

They didn't have to refinance anything that day. They just didn't. I accepted that to be true. The reason I started with email was because I realized that I needed to be relevant and top of mind when they were ready, and that came from my days in sales, understanding that it doesn't matter what I've got to say today.

They could be the right buyer with the right budget. They could have a need, but until, unless they're. Was aligned. It doesn't matter what the rates are today, it doesn't matter what the house is price is today, it's their decision. So I just said I'll take the long game and stay at top of mind. So I built, my first campaign was 53 emails.

So if you came into my world in 2003, you would hear from me for 53 weeks before I disappeared. 53 and I can't get people to write six dag gum emails today. . Aren't you emailing them too much? What are you talking about? You don't know. And there's a study that I there was a study that I got presented back in my coaching in that during that season, and it said that 50, I'm gonna paraphrase if I can remember, 55% of all the people that somehow enter your world of interest.

 Will in fact buy the thing they inquired about, whether from you or someone else over the next three to 18 months. 55%. So here's the problem with the way, not just realtors, not just lenders, but the way the vast majority of small business owners think. And by the way, I've got, I've, we've worked with 365 clients, agency clients, not to mention over a thousand.

so I'm not making numbers up. These are real data points. The vast majority of people, if it doesn't make them money today, they discount it. . And so for me, once I understood that, by the way, I got a degree in finance, so I got a degree with the thought that I was gonna go work on Wall Street and be a portfolio manager.

So I had to think about building. Things that would grow over time, which means some assets may go up today, some assets may not. There may be some decline. So I had to think long term, so I brought that into the marketing world. But a lot of small business owners, they live in feast or of famine, and unfortunately if they approach marketing from a feast or famine, did I put in a dollar?

Did I get two back? They will beed because the vast majority of the money that, by the way, that was an ode to Kevin O'Leary, skid . I love Kevin o' . I like that. I love the way he kinda articulates and elongates a phrase. Because the vast majority of your money Ryan is made in lifetime value, not in acquisition of customer.

you never make the most money on acquisition. You make the least amount of money in acquisition. In fact, it's if you can afford to, you'll lose money in acquisition. So you're gonna make up money in lifetime value. So I just believed it, stuck with it. And it doesn't mean we don't try to make money in acquisition.

Let me be clear, but. . I see that being the big plague of why industries that are resistant to going all in on. And you speak to realtors and lenders? , they fail to just go in on building a personal brand online. They just fail to do that. . 

[00:31:10] Ryan: It's agree. And it's amazing. I even reach out to some of these lenders and realtors, especially here in the Arizona market, as it, it's starting, we, we've already started seeing the downward spiral here, and we're gonna probably lose 20 or 30%, which is fine.

I It's part of the cycle. We shouldn't have gained 40% on the upside either, but whatever. But there's opportunities, but there's ways we can reinvent ourselves, whether we're a realtor or lender, whatever the case. Technology helps us get there and being able to understand that the marketing cycle and the marketing aspects that you have to be consistent and persistent will pay off over time, but like you said, three to 18 months.

and you writing that many emails. That's ungodly to be honest. That one is cool, but two, I've never heard anybody have that long of a series. So just to, for comparison for myself, that has been helped with ai. I have two cold email series that go out today, one to realtors, one to loan originators, and there're a series of 20 email.

and they go out every five to seven days, depending on their action. If they click on the link and wanna download, the freeware and stuff like that, it then goes through a whole process and then there's some text messaging that goes in there and so forth. Yeah. But you'd be amazed how many of those individuals.

We'll say I, I'll get like I sent out some text messages of the weekend. I had one lender come back and say, you're damn persistent. You've emailed me five times and I'm thinking I'm going to email you more than that. 

[00:32:38] Darrell: Email you 200 times until . 

[00:32:39] Ryan: Yeah. But I guess I this circles back to your agency and so forth and talk about your experience in both of those.

And we can go to other, other worlds and so forth, but how can small business owners, cuz that's what we're really focused on in, in entrepreneurs. , how do we better ourselves in this space? How do we make ourselves viable? Grow ourselves above a million dollars, in revenue and start performing in that aspect and not giving up, after the first or second time that we touch somebody.

[00:33:06] Darrell: Yeah. So this speaks now to the work that we do in the world of mind shift, right? So I think the short answer to that question is we have to accept the facts that things aren't the way we did 'em five years, 10 years, and see I'm not the one who made this quote up Gary Vaynerchuck did, and he said, it doesn't matter whether you care or like technology.

Technology's undefeated. Yeah, it's very true. And too many small business owners are living in yesterday, and I just as mu look, I'm in the digital marketing space. One of the spaces I'm in is the digital marketing. Facebook can change things today. Instagram can change things. Look, Instagram last year said they were gonna go all in on video.

They just now announced they're going back to video. Photo. TikTok came out and pushed everybody into short form video. My agency don't offer Shortform video. Google can change the algorithm every day, twice a day. They say they do it 500 times a year. I live in a state of change. So the problem is most of us hate change.

Yeah. So the first thing is how do we adopt all this? Just accept the facts that state change is a constant. Let go of our old ideas. What got us here may not get us there. That's step one. Step two is to recognize, this is the thing I'm always coaching people on is it's okay if you're not, if you didn't start five years ago or two years ago, or last year, it's okay that you didn't start chat G P T in December and you just heard about it today on Ryan's podcast.

start. Start where you are. Do what you can with what you have, but you've gotta get the information. And I'll tell you, Ryan, my big thing for digital, I wanted to relieve myself of problems. That's why I use technology. Why did I write 53 emails? . It wasn't cuz I thought I should write a 53 email sequence.

It was because there were that many questions that my ideal customer would ask me along the journey to finish a transaction. So I sat down and I still teach this exercise today in the academy. If you sit down for an hour and just write down every question you ever answer in your process, whatever that process is, that is the seat of your email sequence.

, see people get caught up with sequences thinking they're trying to sell so, No I approach it as your job is to be helpful. What could you write in this email that will help your ideal person go a little further in their understanding of what it is they wanna accomplish? So if you approach it from a help, like I always say, I've never sold anything in my life.

I've helped people enough until they decided it was time to buy, and then when they decided it was time to buy, I'd ask 'em if they wanna do it. because if they didn't, that was a choice. But I had to ask cause my family requires me to ask. Cuz I only get paid if I help . Of course. 

[00:35:46] Ryan: So that's it. But that, and I guess when you say you have never sold anything in your life.

I totally agree. There's a brand that I follow and I'm very into it. Donald Miller story brand and telling that hero The hero story. Yeah. Yeah. When I found him five years ago, six years ago. It changed my marketing and what we're doing and how we do it. And it's amazing how many people and this will be short, how many people I digressed into something else, how many people actually reach out to me on pod match where we met, where it's all about me.

And it's not about what's the benefit of you coming onto my. and being able to, help my audience some type of problem they have that you have a solution for. And when you get that, I, when you become fluid in that and understand how to present that to clients and customers or potential customers, your marketing goes to a whole nother level and now your acquisition starts changing.

A hundred 

[00:36:40] Darrell: percent. A hundred percent. I think that, Gary V gets a lot of credit for Right. Left, left hook. Yep. Or jab, left hook, whatever it was. Listen he wrote a bestseller on it. It's all great. Listen, that's been my business model since I got out of college.

Think about it. I've never, as an entrepreneur, I don't get paid in anything unless I deliver a result. I pay, I only get paid when I deliver a result, not just to execute some things. I've had that perspective for so long. So the question then is, if I only get paid when the client gets a result, and by the way, as a business owner, I only get paid if I can generate results, not only for my clients, but then I can build a, you know what I'm saying?

So it's a perspective. I'm there to. up until the point where they get a result, and if and when they get the result, I get to benefit from that because of my whatever involvement, engagement, level of expertise, or whatever the case is. So I've always approached it that way. And I remember this one guy named Richard, who's since passed away, rest in peace passed away through Covid and he'd come to our seminars for a while cuz we were an agency, but we also ran seminars and did a coaching program and all of that.

Because again, 95% of most small businesses are not ready to hire an agency. So we wanted to teach them the right thing to do. And our blueprint is pretty public. . So we don't , there's nothing hidden about Facebook. There's nothing hidden. It's just our strategy. If you want our recipe for how you do it, come into my world and I'll teach it to you and then you can do it on your own.

But he came up to me after one of the events and he said something to me. Mind you, he's probably paid $2,500 to work with us through these seminars and these coaching programs. No, no money at all. And he says, Darrell, I just don't get it. Like I leave these events, I leave your stuff. Not me personally, it was our team and all that, but he says, I don't get it.

You guys, how do you make money? When you give away stuff, like you just give away and you give away and you give away, and I took some of his calls personally and he was just floored that I would take his call, even though he wasn't in a retainer relationship or anything. After the coaching program, I said, Richard, my job's to help you until you're ready to hire somebody like that, like us.

I said, if that day ever crosses your level of business, I wanna make sure you have no choice but to hire. , whether that's a year from now or five years from now. Since then, he passed away. Which again, never, we never got to work together. But that's just what I do. It costs me nothing to share something with someone that'll help them, because I realize the vast majority of my clients are not DI wires.

. So I just want them to understand. The other thing about small business to your earlier question is they have to admit they don't understand. They say it in the four levels of consciousness. I think in the world of psychology, you don't know what you don't know.

Then you know that you don't know conscious competence. Then you know that you don't know, or sorry, you know that you don't know what you don't know. I'm getting it all mixed up, Ryan, but the point is we have to admit, we have to get to the place of conscious, incompetent. , which is, I recognize that I need to do it, but I recognize that I don't got a effing clue.

Yeah. And I need to go find the professional to do it. See when we need brain surgery or we need back surgery, we do, we wouldn't dare open up the kitchen sink or open up the kitchen drawer, get a knife and think we're gonna do surgery on ourselves. No way. But people discount. Marketing. They discount sales, they discount structure, they discount systems and processes and routines, and they think they can go find it on a YouTube video and get it done.

Knock yourself out. But I don't see any channels where the doctor's teaching you how to do surgery on yourself. So until business owners start elevating the importance of marketing and customer acquisition, and those two run hand in hand. , that's the other area. I think if you're a marketer and you're not close to the customer acquisition line, I think to your point earlier, I think that's another deadline for you because all that fluffy creative stuff is going by the wayside.

Not to say it's not worth anything. But unless you're creating Superbowl commercials, Canva, did you see what just happened with Canva lately? Oh 

[00:40:54] Ryan: my, geez. What happened? I didn't I haven't I'm a Canva subscriber. I don't know. Oh, they 

[00:40:59] Darrell: just had Canva Create, which is their annual event. They just rolled out 10 new AI tools built in the Canva that are gonna riv Adobe.

Really? Some of the things that you would go to Adobe for the Adobe suite, which I'm not a creative in that world. The things that you would do. Creating gradients and all sorts of things that you would do. And you could only do up until this point, unless you were really, pretty much, a de graphic designer are now coming into the world of Canva.

And then of course they're rolling in ai. There's a summary video. I can send it to you if you want to include it in a link for yourself or your team or, yeah, it's amazing. That'd be great. It's amazing. 

[00:41:32] Ryan: I think it's on the Canva dashboard that I have. I saw something about it and they said, oh, you need to attend, whatever.

But I just, I got busy. But their AI that they have in there, their rider is not too bad. It has some, yeah, some nuances. And then they also have an AI for images. And it, eh it's, okay. 

[00:41:48] Darrell: So remember it's all gonna get. Oh yeah, it all 

[00:41:51] Ryan: gets better. It is what I mean. You use each of the tools, like we said earlier, you use each of the tools for different nuances or things that you do.

You just have to find what works for you. But people, if any, if you guys take away anything else, out of all this, is AI's not gonna replace you. Just like we spoke about zero to one and beyond, it still takes a human being to do That. Doesn't mean you can't have the AI do some of the thought process for you, but you've gotta take it the rest of the way for it to work cuz people think, let me just put a couple words into chat.

G P T. And it's gonna pop out this wonderful blog for me that's gonna rank on Google tomorrow. And I'm gonna, I'm gonna get millions of views and in traffic. No, it doesn't work that way. Doesn't work that way yet. No, it doesn't. It does not. And I'm realistic. I'm a small business owner. And I get it.

It's just it's just crazy what AI is doing. And it's cool, don't get me wrong, but it also sets up false somewhat of a false. for? For people. Like how the internet did when it first came out with video and Oh, you put out one video and I'm gonna be an overnight viral sensation.

Yeah. And go viral and have a million views and be a rich person. Doesn't work that way either. 

[00:42:56] Darrell: Yeah. Yeah. But I don't think that's your customer nor mine. So that's the other side of it, right? No so I think our customers are smart. I think our customers are intuitive. I think that they're forward thinking.

and I think they're gonna get it. And I think my position is let's get them aware of what's going on so we can remove any confus. , because I live in the world of clarity and confidence. Capability. . Those are my three Cs. So if you come into my world, my job is to help you get clear, help you get confident, and help you with the capability to get to the goal.

That's my only job. How it shows up in what in the work that we do is my gift. But if you're not clear, we can't work together. If you're not confident, we're gonna reach that goal. We're not gonna work. And if we can't prove the capability to get you over the chasm from where you are to where you want to go.

On whatever the time span is. So those are, that's how I try to approach it. And so for me, I don't want the questions coming up where it just throws our team off track. So I'd rather approach it, discuss it, help them get clear on it, let them know we're in the forefront of it and trying to be, and use it in their best interest.

But it's definitely what you said too, which is that false narrative in a way, people are gonna think it's easier than it is . As with anything . So about our hu, something about our human psychology. We don't wanna do the. Yeah. 

[00:44:08] Ryan: Oh gosh. We could have a whole nother podcast on that and talk about that.

I have a can of worms, . Yeah, you did. And we're coming to the end here. So before we wrap everything up, where is the best place everyone can get ahold of you? 

[00:44:19] Darrell: The absolute best place is daryl, and from there it's just my personal brand website, which is there you can find the agency, my podcast come into my free workshops, which we do every month.

So we're there to be, that's the center gate right now. So Daryl and that'll get you connected on social anywhere. You might wanna peruse a little further. . 

[00:44:40] Ryan: Thank you sir for coming on. It's been a great conversation, but even better yet a different perspective for small business owners.

To hear from a marketing guy that has the small. Owners in mind, but also has realistic expectations for them too. 

[00:44:57] Darrell: That's right. Yeah. Ryan pleasure being here. Thanks for hosting. Great conversation. And I had no idea what direction it was gonna go in, but I hope hopefully it landed some of these topics landed for your listeners.

[00:45:07] Ryan: It's, that's just what we do here. Rabbit holes. It's just go down 'em and see where it takes us. 

[00:45:12] Darrell: I love it. Thank you sir. Thanks for having me.