In this episode, we explore the five pillars of inbound marketing. We are joined by Danielle LaFleur. She is the founder of Easy as Pie Design and has over 25 years of experience in this subject.
Is your marketing screaming, "me, me, me!!" If so, sister... you're doing it all wrong. In this episode, you will learn how to develop authentic marketing that is focused on the customer instead of you. You being you is important, but remember the customer is always wondering, "what's in it for me?"
Danielle provides five steps to guide our customer's journey as the hero. Get ready to attract the right target audience through your honest representation and genuine voice. This is the third installment of our Stepping Into Your Authenticity series on the podcast.
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Text Danielle for freebies, tips/tricks & all the fun things: Text: #PIE to +1 (425) 403-7559
For more info, see complete show notes: https://www.getthebalanceright.net/blog/episode85
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Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Danielle LaFleur, welcome to Get the Balance Right podcast!”
Danielle La'Fleur: “Thank you, I’m so excited to be here!”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Now, unless we show the video for this people, can't see how fabulous you look. You've got the jewels. Are those rhinestones? What are those?”
Danielle La'Fleur: “They're total fake rhinestones, Amazon like costume jewelry.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “It's beautiful though.Who cares if it's diamonds or fake stuff who cares? Nobody cares about it looking fabulous. And you've got the hair and the makeup. You just look great. Oh my God."
Danielle La'Fleur: “Like I was telling you earlier, I showered, so I feel like I'm super prepared.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Danielle, I discovered you through LinkedIn or whatever, and you knew some people that I knew, whatever, but like what we do, we like find somebody on the internet.
I did a little Nancy drew on you. And it turns out you have like all these cool things going on. Like Mike McKella was like pumpkin plan and fix this next. And then you're a marketer and you got StoryBrand and then six Sigma Lean. And, wow, like where did all this stuff come from? What is your background?”
Danielle La'Fleur: “You know what, it's, that's a great question. I just love to learn. Like I have a really hard time being stagnant. That's why I do what I do. So I designed websites cause I want to do something different. And so I love college. I love learning. I love growing. I don't actually care about the end, like little piece of paper.
I just want to know more things. And so that's where it comes from. I get, no, I'm not gonna say get bored, but I'm fascinated by learning something else and growing. So that's where it all kind of comes from. It's just this constant process of, “ooh, what can I learn now?”. I'm literally in two classes right now, so I love learning. I love it.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Well, that's very cool. Well, I'm sort of in the same boat. So some people might say that that's like a shiny object syndrome, but I don't really think it's shiny object. I think of it more like I've just love to learn. And so that's like a new thing to learn and like. Maybe it's a piece of software, maybe it's a book, maybe it's a certificate. I love that you are a lifelong learner.
You mentioned designing websites. So you have a company that's got the most adorable name, Easy as Pie Design. That is adorable.”
Danielle La'Fleur: “Thank you. When we started, I kid you not, this name started with two glasses of wine and like three scoops of ice cream with a girlfriend. And that's how we came about the name. I was going through a really hard time. I was over at my girlfriend's house. I'm probably like, “whoo”. You know, those moments, right? And so we were talking and she was talking about how great she did at a conference. And she said she had a Facebook page. And I'm like, well, she owns a couple businesses, very, very lucrative businesses.
And I said, “well, what are you, how much traffic do you get online?”. And she's like, “oh, I don't even have a website”. And I'm like, “wait, you-” and we talked about her marks. She wanted to increase her market growth in the county from 28% to 32%. And I was like, “well, people are going to come from your website, like that's an avenue to try to take over”. And she's like, “it has to be easy, like it has to be easy as pie”. And I was like, “ooh that's it!”.
We did her website that night, got her up and running and two months she hit her target.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Wow. Yeah. You got to have a website. I mean, you know, you can't just rely on social media because we know that they go down, then you're kind of screwed.
So Easy as Pie. Okay. So pie, I love pie. That's probably one of my favorite desserts, but it's not easy to make. I don't even know where this term easiest pie comes from. Do you know where it comes from?”
Danielle La'Fleur: “I think it's some kind of country thing. I don't know where it comes from either. I have no idea. I just know that it seems to be, everybody knows it like, oh, it's easy to spot. It's just easy to remember.
I don't, you don't have to figure out how to spell anything, you know? Simple, all that other kind of stuff. As far as where the saying came from, that is a good question. And that feels like a blog post to me. I think that sounds like an inbound marketing thing I got to go write. So I have no clue. I have no idea, probably somewhere like a middle, middle ages Europe or something. So, yeah.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Yeah. Yes. At some point in time, when pie was easy to make and probably like, “let them eat cake”, like, it was like all about this like batter or dough or something. Yeah. So I got an inquisitive mind, I have to ask, what is your favorite slice of pie?”
Danielle La'Fleur: "I love boysenberry, but I love all pie. No lie. Like if it has carbs in it, I'm in like, so any kind of pie I will eat all the pie. It doesn't matter."
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “I love strawberry rhubarb pie, it’s so good.
Let's get onto the actual topic, so you have so many things going on that I just absolutely love. I mean, I could ask you about, StoryBrand, Lean, like so many things
But I'm doing this series on authenticity. When we think of authenticity and our brand, we think about like the, me as the business owner kind of like showing the world my authenticity. But really they don’t care that much about that. What they want to know is how do you solve my problems and how do we work that authenticity in there? You had some great ideas.”
Danielle La'Fleur: “So the authenticity and the personal, like personal branding and authenticity and all these kind of key words that are coming out, and some of them are overused as we've talked before. And some of them aren’t. And trying to find out replacement words.
But at the end of the day, authenticity is being settled in who you are so you don't have to show. You literally speak the truth. And so that is really what I feel like authentic. When it comes to authenticity, that's really, really important, especially when it comes into your marketing. And there's so many different ways to show your authority and your authenticity in your marketing, where it's not about you.
There are literally five key components, five key pillar content pieces that people can write that will help with that authenticity. And so a lot of that comes into pricing. Like this morning I did a live on LinkedIn about pricing and how to design the website page for pricing to create that trust with you and your potential client.
So cost and pricing is a big way to build authenticity because you're being authentic. "Hey, here's our pricing and this is the value that you get out of that”.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “ Let’s talk about that before we go into the other ones. This is a big one for me, pricing. I work with a lot of females. They undervalue themselves. They feel like they can't price right. There's that like, “ah, I don't feel comfortable about pricing”.
So there's that weird dichotomy of like they're being authentic in the fact that they don't feel like they want to charge what they're worth, but they should be charging what they're worth. Sometimes it's like money mindset, and we kind of just have to dig down in there.
Let's just broaden this topic a little bit more because with the pricing. So can you expand on that, about being authentic with pricing.”
Danielle La'Fleur: “I think being authentic with pricing is one of it is that mindset 100%, there is a mindset issue that you're going to have to, and you have to understand that money flows. It's an energy.
And I don't know how you feel about that, but it's an energy it flows to and from, and you have to get right with that energy. You have to be able to say, “I accept that this is my worth, and I reject what's not my worth”. And also you have to understand that there's a logistic, a realism to it. Like, I feel like I'm worth this, but I have to build up to showcase that I'm worth this.
So maybe part of your pricing strategy is after every third client, my pricing goes up 25%. Or maybe your thing is every quarter, my pricing goes up to an X percent until I get to the right spot. So you have to figure out where that flow is for you. Some people can't jump from a hundred to 5,000. That's a big jump, but you can go 1000 or 1500 to 2000 to 2,500. You can make smaller leaps as you need it.
When it comes to your inbound marketing, if you are given the space, if you allow yourself the space to say, why you charge what you charge. All of the components that come into this on why this price is this way, your experience, and then the industry, and then how it's all gonna work for you. And at the end of the day, the value that your client gets.
If I charge you a thousand dollars, I want you to have $3,000 worth of value. I want there to be an ROI on that. That's the point of that pricing conversation. It's not that thousand dollars is the investment to the payback at the end of the day.
If I say, “Heather, if you invest $2,000 with me monthly on inbound marketing, but I say, you're probably get about $8,000 of inquiries coming in for that two grand”. That's a good ROI at the end of the day, right? So it's having that conversation about why your pricing is what it is and the value that your clients get at the end of it.
So you're, there don't feel like they're being gouged for that two grand. They're seeing the possibility of what they can have if they invest.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Okay, it’s getting over that fear of imposter syndrome and all that kind of stuff as well. So to be authentic, you need to really look at your value and then have a true representation of it in your pricing. And if you'd feel uncomfortable, like you said, you can punch it up as you go.
Okay, so that's great. So you said like five pillars. What's the next one?”
Danielle La'Fleur: “I would say good. One is problems or issues. These are all very uncomfortable for a lot of people talk about, no lie. They'll be like, it's like a problem. But we also don't want to talk about issues with our products.
So why is this product maybe not the right fit for you? And what you're doing that is one you’re weeding people out, but that builds trust because they're going into like, “Hey, this is a great product. It does these 80% things, but this 20%, it's not the be all end all for you. And it might not be a good fit”.
And so being able to talk and bring that authenticity into the problems between your product and maybe your competitors as well. And when somebody should go to your competitor. And when they should come to you is a really great conversation.
It sets you up as an authority because you're not lying. So that immediately puts you up at the top of the ranks, you know, and being authentic. Two, people immediately trust you when you're truthful.
Like, hey, like I work in WordPress. I love it. Is it the best solution for every single person out there? Absolutely not. And you should know why you should know when you use WordPress and when you don't use WordPress, who Kajabi is for, who Squarespace is for, who Wix is for, who WordPress is, who Bootstrap is for.
You need to know, so you can make an informed decision. And what I found and what a lot of other people find is that people end up coming to them because they already know upfront what they can't do, and they're okay with that.
So talking about the issues of your solution is actually a really great authenticity way to create trust with you and your potential client.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “I like this idea is people when they come to me, oftentimes I'm like, “you know, I'm not the right fit for what you're looking for”, and I find them another CPA that that's their wheelhouse and whatever area that is. Maybe that person might work with me again in the future or not, but I help somebody else out and it kind of all circles around to me.
Here’s the thing, make sure that you're sort of attracting the right prospects so that you do have an offer that matches that. What are some ways that we can do that with our authenticity so that we are attracting the right type of prospects, rather than having to go through a lot of different prospects to find that one?”
Danielle La'Fleur: “I think part of that is again, when we talk about that personal brand kind of thing, just that connection point, right? Your personal brand is very colorful. It's happy, it’s outgoing. It's go lucky. It's for creatives, with people who don't like numbers. And you're like, I love numbers and you're creative on top of it, so we have a connection point, right?
And so a part of that attracting your ideal target client sometimes, and just hear me out on this one, sometimes your ideal client is a future you. Sometimes we have to start thinking about the future you is your next client. Because you need to elevate yourself up into your next level of client.
And so a lot of times when people think about who their ideal client is, I say, look at the psycho demographics first. Find out what those people, how do they act? How do they buy, how do they make decisions? Are they quick starts or are they researchers or whatever it happens to be.
But also who do you want to be around? Who do you want to surround yourself with? Who is going to elevate you? Those are your ideal clients. It's not somebody who's right, exactly where you are, it’s where you're going. And start looking for them and start writing for the future you. Literally push yourself up or lift yourself up to the next level of who you're going to be as you grow.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “When you, I do that, it's almost like you're putting that out in the universe, like I'm at this level. And then you start attracting those people. It’s like law of attraction.
I like that. Okay. When I went to design school, one of the things they said was, “you always dress the part of the job that you want to be”. So if you're just an assistant, you dress like a vice-president or whatever.”
Danielle La'Fleur: “I feel like we've moved past that because thank goodness we're allowed to like have tattoos and all these other kinds of things, but it's the inner side of you. Become who you are, like grow, like when you're talking about learning earlier.
It's about growing, it’s about developing in yourself and making sure your clients, you want to be around your clients, who do you want to be around? And who's going to elevate you and support you and refer you? When it comes to your marketing and branding, that’s who you want to speak to. You want to speak to your ideal client and the psycho demographics first, then secondary is income level, all those other things that we all know: income level, female, male location, all those other kinds of.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “ If you are speaking at that level that you want to be, is there some inauthenticity of it or are you embodying this other you, and then it comes out on authentic? I mean, we don't want it to just come up fake, you know?”
Danielle La'Fleur: “No, no you don't want to be fake, it still has to be you, right? So it still has to be who you are. And who you are is not this outside exterior, right?
We all know that the outside is not truly who we are that Japanese have that saying, there's that saying… Like there's the three faces, right? There's the faces that you show public, there’s the face that you show your close friends and family, and then there's your face at home.
And you're at home as your authentic face. That's who you are authentically. That's who you're focusing on. So when you're doing that, you're like, okay, so for me, who do I want to be? I want to be, um, calmer. I want to have more peace. I want more space in my life. I want to be able to listen better. Right? So these are key things on my end that I like to work on.
So when I'm looking for people, I look for, okay, how calm is this person? They can have energy, but how centered are they with who they are? How comfortable are they with boundaries? How easy is it for them to say, “no, I don't want this, yes, I do want that”? Is there word what they say? Do they take action on?
Right? So these are the things I'm looking for that has nothing to do with. Personality or the color of somebodies hair or, you know, whatever it happens to be, that's who they are as a person. They know what they want. And that's what you need to become, I think a little bit deeper. And you just bring that out in your marketing, right?
And you speak with authority on your pricing. You speak on authority with the pros and cons, just speaking from authority on these topics."
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “I love this idea. Okay. This is really great. A couple of those in the pillars. What’s the third one?”
Danielle La'Fleur: “The third one is really going deeper into that comparison. So the first part is that, problems like these are the issues with our product, kind of thing.
The second is going to be the comparison, me versus somebody else. So for me, it'd be like WordPress versus Kajabi, which I did do a big old, long blog post about. When do you use Kajabi? And when do you use WordPress? Like when do you make this decision? Where's that price point that you need to make? And is this a good choice for your business?
So literally going in and comparing, going to your competitors and doing a real comparison pros, cons, goods, bads, the whole. Not as a pitch for you, but as a no filter nonsense kind of breakdown of the competition and their good side as well. What's really good about this is because when you do these things, you talk about competition, it works SEO in your favor because you're giving back links to domain authority and it works for you. Google loves these things. They love these topics. They reward you for doing these.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Okay so we look at our competitors and if we're looking at what makes us unique and different, like you said, it's not just the outer, you could be, whatever else that you offer. Looking at your competitors, this seems like something we did in business school, but people don't think about doing it actually in their business. So you compare it and then are we looking for weaknesses in them? Are we looking for ways that we could service a marketplace differently than they are, or, or different target? What would be what we're looking for?"
Danielle La'Fleur: “So that is a great question. All of it. And you can do multiple pieces. Like literally this isn't just five and done break this up into a whole bunch of different things. Like just repeat this process for a different part of that niche.
So for instance, when I talk about my comparison between WordPress and Kajabi, WordPress can do Kajabi things, Kajabi can do WordPress thing. So it feels like an equal player field. But at the end of the day, Kajabi makes some things that is much easier for the DIYer. Right? And so the pricing goes up, no lie, for Kajabi, but as a DIYer, it's pretty good fit. The second thing, if you want to do the same things on Kajabi on WordPress, unless you're really good at, it’s not a DIY solution, right?
So it comes down to, well, I want to grow, and now we're at a point of our cost break where I can invest more into this because I want more customization and I no longer want to have this on my plate because my zone of genius is not developing websites and managing this. My zone of genius is coaching or doing finances or whatever it happens to be.
You want to get rid of stuff to grow. You want to be able to do your $10,000 task instead of your $100 tasks. You know, that saying like? Okay. So you don't want to keep doing this small thing. So Kajabi is great if you're at specific place in your business, or you're only going to stay in a specific - not everybody wants to be a multi-millionaire, I hate to break it to you.
Not everybody's like big goals is to make millions of dollars. There's a lot of people that says, I just want to study six figures and this works for me. And it's a great solution. No lie, it's a great solution. There's nothing wrong with it. That's how I kind of approached it for that specific article.
So it's not downplaying or belittling or saying they suck or anything like that. Not a negative. It's just like, “hey, based off my 30 years of experience, this is why people move”. Because they're at this point in the business, they want to grow up to four or $500,000 a year or whatever it happens to be.
And they know they're limited and they’re ready to take that next leap in their business, so they're moving over to a new platform and they view it as an investment. Other people are like, “I know I'm going to go that direction in the very beginning, I don't want to mess with it, we’re going to go here”.
Or vice versa, people go to WordPress and they’re like, “oh crap, you know, I should have gone with Kajabi". You know, I don't want to lose clients because of that?”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “It sounds like if you have an offer, that is, for instance, I'm a CPA, like there's other CPAs, maybe finding a different something different that I can offer that would fill a void that this other one is not offering maybe based on price point or something like that. So it's not like apples and apples, now it’s like apples and tangerines or something.”
Danielle La'Fleur: “Yes, apples and shoes. Like it could be completely different. There's doesn't have to be even a fruit. Like a lot of times people are like, “I didn't even know that was a thing I could do”. And you're like, “yeah”. Because nobody talks about it and you can be the person that brings it up to the forefront and stuff like that.
But even if it's apples to apples, the fact that you're honest about it helps with authenticity and builds that trust. That's the point you're building trust and being authentic with what you offer and what the industry says. And that's the point of building that trust. When you start doing these tactics, it shows inbound marketing, 81% higher trust value by doing these topics than other topics.
Trust goes skyrockets, skyrockets up, by just following these five pillars.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Wow, okay. So let's go on to the next one then. What's the next one?"
Danielle La'Fleur: “The very next one is best of. And the key thing, best of lists, like the best website designs, the best CPAs, the best blah, blah, blah, whatever the best of whatever it is. And then here's what’s really good: don't include yourself in that best of list.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Oh, so you're talking about like, if I do a blog post?
Danielle La'Fleur: “These are the best CPAs for people in Hawaii. It's a best of list, and this sounds really counter intuitive. So this is, what I love about this one, is because it goes against the grain of protecting ourselves. It really does because we want to protect our bubble and make sure that we are the best of the best.
But what happens when you do the best of the best, it immediately builds trust with you and your competitors. Oh, okay. And you're looking to get those referral basis back in because all tides rise and this is about overcoming that mindset of scarcity.
So if I want to do the best, like if I did the best website designers or something like that, I know people that I would pull up, I'd be like, you know, Sarah does a great job doing websites, if you are in this area, and this is your style, you know, so-and-so does a great job for a therapist or whatever happens.
Another person who does a great website for, you know, non-profits and stuff like that, right? So finding the best of, the best of lists are great. And if you want to do a best, if you want to practice this and not actually do it in your field, but a complimentary field is where people usually start.
So whatever's you talk about the pumpkin plan, people that are your supporters. So if we're in photography, and I'm a photographer. Then my supporters are going to be like wedding locations or something like that. Best wedding locations or something, right? So think about the people that give you, for me, it would be like CPAs, right?
So I would say, “here's the best CPAs on the market”, right. Because they're a good referral service for me. So best of lists, top 10 lists, they’re fabulous. People love them because then they, one, it shows that, you know what you're talking about, you know, the field, you know, what's going on out there and it gives you tons of SEO because you're back linking to other authority figures. It's going to ping to their website. And then it's going to ping back to you as well. And it shoots up your domain authority.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Now you've referenced blogs and all that a few times now.
So for those that are out there that have like a creative type business or their coach, coach seems like they have things to blog about. If they are a creative, maybe they can, like, you're talking about maybe something that aligns with that. But, would you say that blogging is one of the most important things for a website then to keep it up?”
Danielle La'Fleur: “Yeah for inbound marketing, absolutely. If you're not doing blogging, you have to do something that has content on it.
You can call it articles. You can talk, talk at new pages or whatever happens to be. It's kind of like where we're talking about doing things on Facebook or Instagram. If the platform goes down, so sorry, sad note. But blogging is content you want. And you can repurpose that into newsletters. You can repurpose that into an ebook. You can repurpose that into a course.
There's tons of content that you own and SEO works on, just like compound interest. The longer it's out there, the better it does. It's better to do it, like I have people coming to me from things that I did years ago, because it's had time to stay inside the marketplace and stay on Google for a long period of time.
So it's better to have a blog post, just sit don't delete them. I'm going to say never, ever, ever delete your blog. People do this and like, oh my God. You can archive it, but don't delete it, like let it shine. So that is your best. That's the cheapest, no lie. It's the cheapest thing you can possibly do to help your SEO and to help your inbound marketing across the board.
And you can, again, what's beautiful about it is nowadays. You can have a post, like, let's say you did a post in 2020, and there's been an update to some kind of IRS Cody thing, right? You can add an update and reboost your SEO. So you've got the old going and the new at one targeted location. And that leapfrogs you up on your SEO again.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “So you would actually just update that original blog page then rather than making a new one?”
Danielle La'Fleur: “Or you can do both. Why not do both? Like it's linked back, like there's so many things you can do, but blogging is not dead. And if anything, it’s just gotten boring, People got bored with it, but it's definitely, I highly encourage everybody to do it. And just stick to the schedule, once a month, if you want to, I don't care.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Oh, what do you think of this idea? Somebody had told me this the other day, that you could incorporate video on your blog page to keep people on the blog page longer.”
Danielle La'Fleur: “I love video. Yeah, put the video on there, that's great. Do a pictures, video, the whole kit caboodle, add it all and then add it again.
I'm good with that. I don't always have time to watch videos, so I like both. There are times when I want videos, so I can run around and do things around the house and just have the video playing. And then there's other times where I'm multitasking, I can’t listen to the video or something like that. But or I'm like on the plane and I can't watch the video, so I need to read it. But I love video, videos are great. Especially if you like doing videos.
So just add videos, you can do B roll. We have actors come in and do a three-minute spiel about the blog post in video form for them.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Really? Oh, that's interesting.”
Danielle La'Fleur: “You don't even have to do it. You can literally hire another company to take care of that for you.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Wow, okay. But the blog page, should the title of the article be in the blog page url?”
Danielle La'Fleur: “Yes. As a matter of fact, your keyword, you want your keywords to be in that blog type. I'm a big fan of long tail keywords. You really want your keywords in that blog title. And I love who, how, when, where, what, why, top 10 titles. Right? And you basically think of your title as how people are searching online.
At the end of the day, how do I, what is the cost of, how much does this cost? Why should I get this? What's the difference between blah and blah?
The name of your title should also be your keyword, as well. So it's called a long tail keyword. “How do I, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah?”, is your long tail keyword. Like make the title, your URL, that title. It it's an, almost like a non-negotiable at this point.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Wow, okay. So now I think we're on to number five. So what is number five?”
Danielle La'Fleur: “Okay. Reviews! Reviews, reviews, reviews. Review products that you utilize. Like if I was going to do it, like I might review Click Up, cause I use Click Up a lot. So I would do a blog post about Click Up, I would do reviews about Click Up.
Or if a client was coming to me and they said, “well, should I use Vimeo or YouTube?”, I could do a review. Pros and cons of these two things, why I like this one versus that one. How many times do you search: what should I choose? Right? How many times do you go look for like this versus that, this versus that, this versus that? They’re fabulous.
And again, it's an authority figure. You're saying that you are the authority on this topic cause you can give these reviews, these pro/cons. And make it long, do 2,500 words, like really go deep into this review. And those are great authority, figures, and authenticity figures as well. Being able to look at those numbers, look at the review and saying like, “man, this person really knows, they know how the pricing works, they knew who the competitors are, they have it nailed down about what sub-products we should add, that I add woo commerce, or should I do Squarespace or something like that".
Being able to show that you have knowledge in this area and multiple areas within your niche, definitely increases your authority and definitely gives you an authenticity that's not about you, it's about them. And helping them create the best product or service or whatever it is that you're, you're helping.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “This is a great idea. Let's just say for instance, like I use different types of accounting software, or I use different types of payroll software. So it could be like something that's that I'm using like comparison, like QuickBooks versus Wave or something like that.
But I wouldn't be necessarily doing an article about like riding the bus versus taking your bike to work, kind of thing?”
Danielle La'Fleur: “Unless it’s part of your business? No.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Okay. So we want to stay within the wheelhouse of what we're talking about?”
Danielle La'Fleur: “Exactly. You still have to be within what you do, right? Um, still stay with it. And that's a good question. That's a really good question.
Um yeah, still stay within what you do, but I would love an article like that because at the end of the day, I don't care. Cause if I'm hiring you, I don't really give a rats bloody, whatever it is, that you just tell me.
But I like the fact that you know, because that makes me feel like I can trust you better because you've put, thought into saying, “Hey, this, this, this, this, and this, this is what I kind of prefer, but it's okay to do X, Y, Z, if you're in this silo”.
And then at the end of the day, guess what? I don't care. I'm still hiring you. But it gives me a level of trust because you obviously know what you're talking about. I don't know what I'm talking about. I don't know anything about money or numbers or whatever, so I'm going to go trust Heather, right?
Because you obviously knows something and here’s, it's the same psychology of when people go, they sign up for the freebie, they download the freebie and they feel like they've done something, but they never bloody open up the freebie. Right? You know, that phenomenon? It's the same psychology of these.
It's the same thing. I feel good, and I feel like I did something. I feel like I trust the person that I got the freebie from. I didn't take any action whatsoever. I have done so many trainings, blog posts, articles, eBooks about how to design a website, not one of, nobody's ever come to me and said, “that was the best article in the world, I went and did it”. Every single time, people are like, “I don't want to do this, you do this”. I literally lay it all out there for them.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “So I could even have, I have an article about how to keep your books and they'll be like: “nah, I'd rather you just do them for me”?”
Danielle La'Fleur: “Because people want to know that you're not hiding something from us. That's what we're looking for. You're not being secretive about anything. You're being real and authentic and open and honest.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Yeah. And there has that sort of abundance kind of mindset as well. So you're not being stingy with your knowledge. You touched on the whole downloadable thing. We all have to have these downloadable PDFs so that people will give us their email address.
So what are your suggestions? What do you think about those? I mean, are they so like overdone, checklists and all those, but what, what is the ones that you recommend people even do?”
Danielle La'Fleur: “I love them. And yes, overdone don't care, I still love them. It's just like the buy now button works for a reason. It works for a reason.
I do, it as a matter of fact, my downloadable is literally a PDF on how to design your website because I'm like, “here you go, here’s your 10 steps via website convert. Here. It is freebie for you”. That's my freebie downloadable. And so I like them. People like them. I don't think they've been played out.
I do however, think that you should utilize, if you are doing it, utilize it into a medium where you can continue that conversation with your target clients.
So I want to give you an example for me. And this doesn't mean that's for everybody, a lot of people talk about email lists, right? Grow your email list, grow your email list, grow your email list. Right? I hate email. I don't want to email people. I don't want to be emailed. I don't like email. Right? And so for me, it was a huge struggle. Because I knew as a marketer, and as somebody who says, “own your content” I needed the email list. But I hated my emails. So what did I do? I went to text message marketing. So my freebie is through text messaging.
I would rather text somebody. I would rather send them a gift. I would rather send them a link through text messaging any day of the week. We have a company line for marketing, for text messaging that my whole staff has access to. And that's what we switched over. We switched from email marketing to text messaging.
It works better for our business. So my thing is making sure what those downloadables are. Work with how you work, right? If you don't like email marketing, then maybe you need to find a different solution for that freebie download.
And then for the emails, now they just go on LinkedIn. So now they're just not my emails that went out weekly. Guess what? Now they're going on LinkedIn. You want to read them? You go on LinkedIn.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Wow, so I like this idea of the text messaging. I was thinking about doing something like this in some ways it feels a little bit impersonal, but I mean, when you send a newsletter out to everybody, it's kind of impersonal anyways.
Sometimes it seems less intrusive getting a text message, then like a long email. It's like, “oh, I don't want to read that”. So do you find people that just sort of delete it or they want to be unsubscribed or what's the negative side?”
Danielle La'Fleur: “So I think the negative side is knowing how often to text people and keeping to your pattern.
So I've made mistakes where I've texted too often. So being able to say like, “okay, we're only going to text on specific days”, like Tuesdays and Fridays or whatever it happens to be, to understand where that's coming from. And so not bombarding people with texts is really, really, really important and letting them know in the end, the heads up.
Like if you joined my text messaging, cause I have like, you know, you send #PIE to my number and it automatically puts you know, you're in my contact list. But you know, you're just in like a, you get my cell phone number, I know yours and we can text back and forth. But understanding that this is not just for casual conversations, like there's going to be marketing pieces that come out of this.
But you are also going to be the first people that I tap saying, “hey, I'm thinking about doing this product, do you guys want in on it before I launch?”. It also is going to be the place like, hey my God, like I'm going to send a picture of a sunset because it's beautiful. Or my cat who's high on catnip.
Like, you know, as part of that personal brand. I can personally do branding on text messaging, way better than email, any day shape or form. I can be more me, more authentically me on text messaging. I can't be too much more authentically me. I can't spam people 14 times a day on text. So understanding the medium is important.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Wow, and do you have any kind of platform that you recommend to do that?”
Danielle La'Fleur: “There are so many platforms out there. I looked at a lot of them. It was like Super Phone and like so many others, I ended up going to Community. So I love Community. I use Community, they’re my favorite. It’s because they don't nickel and dime me.
I can't handle like, “oh, it's 3 cents this way and 2 cents that way”, I don't know. It's too many cents. I can't manage it. I'd rather have a flat fee and then features with each one of those flat fees. So I love Community. It's what all the pop stars are using and all the other Mel Robbins and all those other kinds of things.
And the backend of it is fabulous. Like it really is super, super easy to utilize and work with. They've really done a great job on the UI, the UX and implementation, and I love it. So that's what I use. But I know a couple of other people that use SuperPhone and they love it as well, because it's more cost affordable, um, when you're just starting out.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Okay, yeah, because some of them, I looked down and it was just like, yeah, like you were saying, it's like, it's 5 cents this way. And then this one and I'm like, oh my God. So it just seemed like just too much to deal with."
Danielle La'Fleur: “Yeah. But then at the end of the day, I, if I pay a hundred dollars a month, I don't want that 5 cents. But if I only had like 15 people on my list, maybe 5 cents is worth it. Cause then I'm only paying like five bucks a month. That’s a huge difference in costs. So you have to be aware.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Awesome. Well, so I could talk to you all day about this kind of stuff. So we're, we're talking about being authentic. We're not like putting our face and everything, I guess it could be part of the brand, but we need to like really talk about who we are serving and what we can do for them and give them value.”
Danielle La'Fleur: “I would definitely say value, and the value is really important and building trust. At the end of the day, we want to build trust. Right? We talk about that a lot. And how do we build trust? Is by being honest. And how do we be honest? Is by creating content that's honestly presented. And it's not fluffed up with what we think are what you know, like, “oh, it's all about me, or it's all about my great product”.
It's being authentic with that content. It's being authentic with what you bring to the table and humble and servant attitude. Being real at the end of the day and not being showy for the sake of showy, but being who you are as you are and welcoming people into your, into your sphere. It's literally, it's not mastery, just being open and honest the end of the day.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “If you're not a good writer, you're not, maybe you're too busy to write all these blog posts, do you recommend just finding a copywriter that can get your voice? Or how do you, what would you do?”
Danielle La'Fleur: “That's what we do. I'm not a writer. I have writers on staff. I'm never going to write anything.
I thought I'd be a trashy romance novelist, but that never ever happened because apparently I can't write worth bumpkins. Right? And so I do the core, then my writers refine every. Yeah, hire out, hire out hire out. And I'm a big believer in the fastest, the first thing you need to do is outsource. Like, if you want to grow, you got to get rid of those $5, $10, a hundred dollar tasks.
That is the way you grow, right? At the end of the day it’s not doing everything yourself. So when you're at that point, definitely hire like writers. And for us, like we specialize, our writing is very, there’s different types of writing, right? So there's conversion copywriting, there’s story brand writing, there's sales copywriting, there’s SEO style of writing.
There's massive amounts of different, right? There's micro, micro targeted writing. Right? So micro writers write. So they literally just write the, conversion copy for like buttons and navigation. So there's literally an entire, people who do writing only for that specific type of thing, it's called micro writers.
Growing business, so there's so many different writers. What we focus on is story brand and SEO. And then third conversion for our launch, for our clients that do long sales pages and stuff like that. But SEO and story brand in bell marketing framework. Because we want, if we're going to write something, we want it to be SEO on target.
Like why waste the time if you're not going to make it SEO? And then story brand is 100% about being real and authentic. And inbound marketing is all about being honest and open. So we focus on that and that's what we write our content for, for our clients. And we find a special league, I have different types of writers, so I know when I'm talking to somebody, I'm like, “oh, this is your personality, I know somebody that identifies with that personality. We're going to have them do your content writing for you”. Not every writer goes to every single one of our clients. So it is important to find somebody that can speak to who you area and that you trust? Absolutely.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Okay, so this is good to know. Don't feel the pressure that you have to do all these blog posts for yourself. You can hire this out.
I do want to ask you about StoryBrand because I've read Donald Miller's books and I love this whole idea of the guide and the hero.
And for those people that aren’t aware of this, can you just kind of tell them in a nutshell what that is and how we can use our authenticity within that?”
Danielle La'Fleur: “Anybody who is really good with design and really good at marketing knew this before there was ever a term for it. This is just straight out like people who know their crap know how to do this before the term ever came out.
And at the end of the day, the story brand is about the client. It is about the client. It is not about you. Your only thing in this whole process is called the guide, right? And he kind of does it like a star wars thing where you're, you are not Luke, you are, you're not Luke. You're Yoda. You're the guy, you're the person has been there, done that. And you are the person that's counseling and coaching the other person. Right?
And we get so caught up doing our websites and we get so caught up during our marketing, talking about ourselves, and that is not how this works. And so your job in the StoryBrand is to identify what their actual problem is, who the external problem is, the internal problem is. Who’s the bad guy, you know, in their in their story? Like who's like stopping them from growing? And then what do they get on the internal, psychological side? What big wins do they get?
Right, so if you're buying like a Tesla car, you know, the external is like, “I own a Tesla car, it’s very pretty and buttony”, right? And the internal is kind of like, “oh, I made it”, right? But the other side of that is, okay, so we're green. So I'm a green, like, that's something, that's a part of my value system. I want to be green or something. So, and the person stopping you from buying a Tesla is going to be, you know, your aunt Sue, who says that you should always buy a Ford, I don't know whatever happens to be.
So you kind of have to figure out what the problem is. And then you're going to guide them through an emotional authority. So you're going to have empathy. You're going to have empathy for them. So you understand where they're coming from. And you're going to be an authority figure that helps them have faith in themselves that they can take action to do the next step.
You are not taking the action. They are taking the action and you are guiding them through. That’s StoryBrand in the most simplistic nutshell I could possibly kind of figure out.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “That was really great. I was wondering how you're going to define that in such a quick amount of time, but you did it.
And so you work with your clients to do this as well, right?”
Danielle La'Fleur: “We do stuff like this. This is what any designer knows you do this first one, that website, and you do this next on the website and you talk about the pain point, and then you talk about what's missing.
This is just a marketing template. Like the StoryBrand is a marketing phrase, but everybody, like no lie, I know lots of great designers that do this and they never have the thing without a StoryBrand at all.
It's simplicity, authenticity, empathy, and then really making, doing calls to action, take action, do things. And what's in it for them? If they take the action and what they're going to lose, if they don't take the action, that’s it at the end of the day. And we just walk through. What the point is when you're working with a client, you have to work with them, so they understand. They have to wrap their heads around like, “oh, it's not about me”, because I get it a lot. I want it, like for me, my, if I went and talked about my story, about how easy it's probably came into being, that's all you need to know. Ice cream wine, that tells me like who I am middle of the night, Easy as Pie we're done.
Right? You don't need to know 14 years of workup into this and all these other things. You just need to know that I like sweet things in wine. That's it.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “That's so funny. All right, so people can work with you that way. Tell us what other services that you provide and how people can get a, a hold of you.”
Danielle La'Fleur: “Well, we're a website design firms. So that's literally where we start. Full, full service website design firm. If you go to my website, easiest, probably designed literally on the front page. It says, “if your business is bringing in this much income, this is the right product plan for you. If you’re bring in this much income, then this is the direction that you go, and if you're bringing this income, this is the direction you go”.
So we're a full service website, design and marketing firm, which means we handle the whole gamut. Right? So I have staff here of like 20 people or so, so we handle the whole gamut. But a lot of times people think that, “oh, you're too expensive”, or I don't know.
I'm literally like we have one side of the business called My Slice of Pie. That is for the smaller businesses that are starting out, but they know they're going to grow. And so we have curated StoryBrand designs on there and curated inbound marketing templates on there and stuff like that, that they can utilize. All the way up to the gamut, to the companies that are making a hundred thousand dollars a month. Right? So, has this huge gamut.
To get in touch with me? easyaspiedesign.com. Literally just schedule a call. It's really easy. I think I sent you my phone number. I hope it will be in the show notes, but you can just hashtag like send the #PIE to me, to my cell phone number. I'm going to say it so it will be in the transcript. So it's (425)-403-7559, just #PIE to me, and then you'll get that PDF.
And then that's a great way to contact me either as well. Like I said, don't email me, just send me a text message.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “That's very cool. Yeah, I don't usually give out people's phone numbers, but in this case I will.
Awesome. Well, thank you so much! This has been really fun. I loved picking your brain.”
Danielle La'Fleur: “This was a lot of fun. Thank you so much for having me on Heather. I appreciate it!”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Yeah. Thank you so much.”