Search Interviews:

Jason Ciment 10:50

Now, if we have another minute, I’ll share with you one last slide from here, which is sort of relevant. It’s not a strategy. This is why do most SEO efforts hit a fault line or brick wall. I thought this was more of a discussion point that we may follow at a later time. But your audience may like to see this because for example, I’m running a survey on LinkedIn, no clear SEO plan is to clear winner of the reasons why people are not succeeding at SEO. It’s not because they’re being outspent by competitors. It’s not because it’s not even because they think they don’t have the right content. It’s they simply don’t have a clear plan to follow. And so that’s the biggest suggestion I can give that is, is Seo plans are sort of like diets. If you find a plan that makes sense to you, when you actually follow it, you’re gonna see the rankings unless it’s a bad plan. But

Jeremy Weisz 11:43

you know, we could go down the diet route, at some point, but I won’t, I won’t take us off. And Jason, I know you have to hop off. But, uh, but thanks for hopping in and sharing your expertise. And what I want to do is, you know, like I was saying in the beginning, I didn’t come up with the task value versus impact value, and you actually showing the benefits. Bruce, I’d love for you to maybe explain that a little bit further on what that means. And and we can talk through it a little bit.

Bruce La Fetra 12:15

Absolutely. So most, and I work with a lot of professionals, but you can think about this in terms of products as well. Most people think in terms of task based value is what I call test base value. And that’s what you do people say, you know, Jeremy, what you do you do podcasts. I often use the example of lawyer that drafts a contract. There’s no value in the contract, even though they’ll talk to us about how great they are in their experience. But there’s, it’s a piece of paper, where the value comes is what the client can do with that contract, they’re able to enter some new business, they’re able to form a partnership, they’re able to it’s a sales contract, they get revenue in more consistently and faster. That’s impact on the client. So it’s not what you do. It’s what the client can do because of what you do. And that’s the impact based value. If you speak in impact based value, as opposed to task based AI. Now you’re starting to think the way your clients think because they don’t think about what you do. They think about the impact is on their business. Now most of us, you know most of the world goes and talks to task based value. So the client has to translate the impact on their business into what you do. And there’s a chance for loss. Why have the chance for loss or misunderstanding? Why not just go straight to where the client is and speak their language? Life is easier. It’s better to

Jeremy Weisz 13:36

I love it. And you had a specific client. That was a law firm. Can you tell me a little about what happened there?

Bruce La Fetra 13:44

Yeah, I was I was actually think about that. I thought I was thinking about a consulting firm, but I like even better for the the example. Okay. Yeah. So so in this case, there were four principles. I got just as a very technical engineering consulting firm, and they were taking over from the founder. And they thought, wow, if we’re going to be partners, we won’t have partner income, my principal income. So they said, We need to grow the firm. But then they said, We all have PhDs, how are we? Where do we even start, and they had great relationships with their clients. But they didn’t know how to get more of them. And they had a small firm that they wanted to maintain the culture. They didn’t want to just grow wantonly. They wanted to grow with more of the clients that they have. So they could maintain this very high margin, very nice business that they had this wanting to be bigger. So by going up and interviewing their clients, in essence, reverse engineering, the best client relationships they have, instead of asking them, what do you think, why did people come to you? Let’s go talk to the clients. Let’s go to the source. And we found their true differentiator, which is that they actually understood how their clients their work supports their clients decision process. They do a lot of litigation support. So they’re How does the insurance company think about do we litigate? Do we settle where do we settle And so they’re there, what they do is create a big report with lots of science in it. But the impact is the insurance company’s assets. They’re storing the insurance company’s assets, do we settle? Do we do we litigate, they’ve done this intuitively, they had no idea what they actually did what by reverse engineering the processes we brought to the surface. And so by picking, like, their clients are now able to see the difference between what they do and the impact that they create for their clients. And by focusing on the impact, they’re able to attract more of their best clients.

Jeremy Weisz 15:32

It’s a lot of times, you know, it’s really hard, when you’re too close to it to really identify what’s unique about you like, so I feel like when you ask people’s best clients, they it’s probably very clear to them, I imagine. And when you do a deep dive, it becomes even clearer to the company. Design companies are kind of blind to it just because they’re doing their everyday thing. And they don’t, it doesn’t stick out to them of what their what’s unique about them or

Bruce La Fetra 16:00

what it’s more than that there’s two factors. One is that how they live expertise and the past that they do that’s really important for delivering for clients. That’s how you deliver the great results. But that’s not necessarily why clients select you. And so to be able to separate Why are people hiring you versus how do you deliver on that higher promise is, is important. The other thing about unique is, as you get into consumer products, unique in the ideal in b2b professional services kinds of things software. So it’s a little bit different space, but you don’t have to be as unique, as everyone says you have to be. Because if you can align your thinking with the way the client thinks, once they have confidence that you understand how they’re thinking, and that that’s how you are aligning your goals. That’s what trust gets established. And once you have trust, then you just need to be able to do the job. And from that standpoint, and so you say, well, there’s nothing unique about that, except that none of your competitors are doing this. So you’re standing out by highlighting what you how you create value, as opposed as you’re the you’re the surfboard, you know, writing lawyer of nobody cares about that so much differentiation out there in marketing is made up to because it matters to the vendor, not the buyer. Puts noise.

Jeremy Weisz 17:25

Yeah. So Bruce, like so you know, basically, you’re doing a deep dive you find these differentiations some of the, you know, the USPS of this company and what how they’re delivering value to their clients. And you you come up with this end result? How does it translate? How did the companies use it? But

Bruce La Fetra 17:45

great question. So I’m a purely strategic place. So I create a foundation, a strategic marketing map. And then that creates a Think of it as a starting line at the 50 yard line when Jason or Karl or a marketing agency comes in and does their thing, as opposed to trying to guess and figure out what what are the things that really drive people to that this, this business, a lot of times you’ll have an agency will say, well, we do 10 things for everyone in your industry, you have to do all those 10 things. Well, what after my work with them, and they’re thinking like their clients, they realize that for our clients, there’s only two of those things. Maybe it’s different for other companies, we don’t care about other companies. But for us, these two are what drive the vast majority of our clients to select us. And so now the the tactical, whether it’s the website, whether it’s animations, whether it’s your general branding, now is starting at the 50 yard line or further in terms of being able to create impact. So I don’t do any of that stuff. I just make it better. Hmm.

Jeremy Weisz 18:52

But you make recommendations on that?

Bruce La Fetra 18:54

Oh, absolutely. I tried to work with people that that want to want to make the client successful, as opposed to merely you know, show people how creative they are. Once be creative, but you got to have results at the end of day. That’s why Jason is wonderful, because, you know, Jason focuses so much on results.

Jeremy Weisz 19:11

I guess I have a question then Karl, I want to do a deep dive because I’m really interested in how you take this course with with clients also, which is kind of cool. But, you know, I know you do a deep dive with clients right to come to this. What’s one question that people are missing out on, they may not be thinking about or asking their clients to, to step in the direction of finding out their differentiator and their benefit to their clients? Um, I mean, I was asking Bruce, just a kid. Yeah, Bruce. What Well, what’s the one question that you think his companies are missing out on by not even asking their clients and I know there’s probably hundreds of questions when you do this deep dive, what’s one that sticks out to you? That is just like a must ask to start to get to that conclusion of what is the differentiation?

Bruce La Fetra 20:12

So I want to know why a particular client, and then I talked about only their best clients don’t care about their average clients or their poor clients, but the ones that they would clone if they could, why do those clients choose that firm? Not? Why do generic clients choose firms like this? But why to their best clients choose their firm? And most companies just don’t know. They go back to what we have lots of experience, or we’ve been around longer, and that’s rarely the case. And if they can talk about price, you know, they’re off base.

Jeremy Weisz 20:46

What was an answer that? Was there any answers in your career that surprised you? When you went to the client? And you said, Why did you choose this company in it? It shock you at this point? Maybe you’re not shocked by anything, but maybe at the time? What was the shocking answer you got?

Bruce La Fetra 21:02

Well, it’s not so much shocking. For me, it’s often surprising for my content, remember, these are their best clients. It’s always it’s almost always good news. I never come with bad news, like, Oh, you do this totally wrong. It’s Yes, this this is what creates value. And frequently, particularly among professionals. It’s about expertise. It’s credentials. It’s, you know, we’ve got 25 years of experience, well, you know, what, their clients don’t actually care about their 25 years of experience, the clients care that, hey, you understand our business? And you helped us figure out what questions to ask. When we were looking on our own and all there were like people throwing answers, I guess you actually helped us navigate through this thicket. And that’s a huge wake up call for a company that thinks about expertise. And they promote expertise. They talk to, you know, agencies, and they brand them as experts. And that’s not that’s how they deliver. But that’s not why they get hired.

Jeremy Weisz 21:55

Were some examples of what people said. I’m wondering if there’s something random like, oh, like you mentioned, the surfboard, oh, you know, they knew my industry. And they also serve for something ran, I don’t know, what are some some maybe common or not so common answers that you’ve you’ve gotten,

Bruce La Fetra 22:14

it’s usually around some some way of phrasing that they, they understand me and my situation. And so the magic words, I always tell people to listen for a Karl service lots of times, is if a prospect says you get me or words to that effect, you’ve hit paydirt. Because now you’re in a position of trust, they understand that you understand what they’re trying to accomplish. And now, now it’s time to demonstrate the trust. Now, it’s to say, Hey, I can actually do this. And so it’s a short road from there was a lot of people take that as a buying sign, and then they don’t know why they’re gonna get chosen. So they throw 100 things onto the pile, which overwhelms the prospect and the buying process slows down or stops or just, you know, complete the ends. And they wonder what happened. We’re so close. It’s like they screwed it up.

Jeremy Weisz 23:07

Huh. I love it. Yeah, thanks for sharing that Bruce. And then so Karl, for you, when we think of this task value versus impact value, or, you know, we were also discussing kind of inward thinking versus outward thinking, what are your thoughts on that?

Karl Pontau 23:25

First of all, we have a new website coming up, as we’re launching things to take this old one down. pains me to look at it, this is what we’re having the only thing launching soon, I’m really excited about it, when it comes to you. So when it comes to basically the past value versus impact value, I mean, the does actually mean animation at the beginning of this year talking about how people are really investing in the animation itself, and not even really, in the story, the animation is telling. They’re really investing in the results the story has on their audience. So it really is a requirement to know who they’re trying to communicate with who their best clients are, who their best employees are, who their best investors are, whoever they’re trying to communicate with, and what’s going to what sort of story is going to get the response they want from those, that group of people and and not resonate with people they don’t want to connect with. And so really, I can’t emphasize enough, how important is that companies work with Bruce or someone like Bruce, basically figure that stuff out first, because it really makes everything else a lot easier. And when we’re working with clients, what we use often start with asking you first, okay, what are you trying to accomplish what you’re trying to reach, work backwards from there to where they are, to figure out what the right message and story is. Because if you don’t know what the goals are and who you’re trying to attract and get the attention of, it’s really not worth saying anything.

Jeremy Weisz 25:01

Yeah. And you had someone that you’d worked with, I’d love to have you walk through a scenario. So people can kind of get a sense of that displaying the, like we said tasks waivers impact value in the benefits to your clients, you would accompany that. innovex.

Karl Pontau 25:20

Yeah. So we worked with a company called innnovex. They’re a well funded startup that makes next generation lithium ion battery technology. And they were spending like 45 minutes of an hour long meeting trying to explain to other battery engineers that they had solved this problem with using material called silicon anode, which was great for batteries Normally, the problem is that, as batteries expand and contract, the material separates, and so you only get like, 10 charges before the battery’s dead.

Jeremy Weisz 25:52

pain point like, battery life on anything, people are like, yeah, like, I just want to be longer. Yeah. So, Bruce, if you interviewed Apple, they’d be like, yeah, how do we improve the iPhone battery life now.

Karl Pontau 26:06

So but nobody says they changed the internal structure of the battery, so they can use this material. And so by solving that problem, their batteries produce almost twice as much energy and last 30% longer, you can use pretty much the same production processes, existing batteries with a few dropping changes. And so we created this animation that explained it really concisely in like two minutes. And we helped them revise their script, because they had like the most important information kind of buried halfway through and no one’s gonna watch halfway through the animation to get what they really care about. So we put the most important things right at the beginning. And they love it like two weeks after adding it to the homepage of their website, they announced they were acquiring a publicly traded company, and the valuation after the merger is supposed to be like 1.1 3 billion. And so we’re really excited to work with them more often a big event they have coming up this month, I think, and just telling the right story to the right audience can really have a huge impact on the business, whereas the animation itself is not that important, but it’s the response. And the result, the animation generates that there really, is gonna help them propel their business forward.

Jeremy Weisz 27:15

Yeah, I think anyone thinking about curl like, well, one, how can you find a more elegant way to actually display the benefits and what you do. And also saving time, like, for going from 45 minutes to two minutes, and they don’t even need to take the two minutes, because it’s in a video for animation format. So it’s not just a more elegant way of doing it. But it also is a better way. Because even if there’s too many animations, it doesn’t explain, like, you’ll get to what the source of the pain and the benefit is, it doesn’t even matter. Right? So you really need to pluck out that gem, like you said, it’s buried in the middle. You need to have someone to pluck out what that gem is, and then just shine it up and show it to people I guess. Right?

Bruce La Fetra 28:04

Yeah. And to go ahead, Bruce horn on this one a little bit. Because there’s, there’s an aspect of this, I mean, it’s a it’s an amazing animation, that really is just beautiful. But one of the things that he did was really get to the story. And it’s not just explaining the technology, but it makes the technology credible, because there’s a little bit of profile change. And the engineers by you know, it’s okay, it’s great technology, but are we going to re engineer our product to take this this new battery? That’s a big risk. And by being able to show how it was similar and very credible. Um, that was the hidden audiences as I understood it, you know, when Karl walked me through it the first time.

Karl Pontau 28:45

Yeah, I mean, part of the rear. Adjusting the script, again, is kind of knowing what the what your audience is going to care about. Because a lot of people write about things, they care about what they’re what they’ve kind of sell to themselves, they think about what’s important to them, but really, it helps to know what the audience cares about and what’s really going to get them emotionally excited about it. Because I got a lot of people one of the big problems even with like, a lot of problems people have is they put too much kind of like the statistics and, and dry information into their messaging and their stories. And really a great reading, I often open a lot of presentations that I give with this question basically, in the next five seconds, think of your favorite statistic. Okay, now the next five seconds think your favorite story. And you probably have trouble picking just one story in five seconds to narrow down all the ones all the puzzles that pop in here that you love. This thing of we have one that’s your favorite is hard and five seconds, whereas fast you can even think of one that you care about at all, or even remember in five seconds. So companies especially if they’re doing something like consider it even as like a somewhat dry topic like a battery engineer sort of message or Something that’s really technical and like people wouldn’t want to read about like insurance documents. But if you have an animation, you can tell the right story with red emotional elements to it. And they’re good characters people can empathize with and get people’s emotions involved. And not only will they watch the entire animation and enjoy the experience, but then they’re much more likely to remember and act on the information in a favorable way. Because you presented it in something that made it fun to learn about and just and it’s much more impactful to the decision making parts of our brains. I mean, it’s something that is fascinating and all really important for any company. That’s basically any company does not actually do what their business does. They’re in the business of selling what their business does someone else need to convince people that what we do is important. And so if you’re trying to inspire action, and people and are using some sort of emotional messaging, you’re missing out, because as much as we like to think of ourselves as thinking beings that feel we are very much feeling beings that occasionally think. And there’s a lot of science behind, but Karl says, rules of thumb. There’s a whole great, there’s a great book that I highly recommend. People read called Predictably Irrational.

Jeremy Weisz 31:13

So one of my favorite authors named Daniel Ariely. Yeah, yeah. all at one time a year, because it’s so it’s such a profound book predictably irrational, and boy, yeah.

Karl Pontau 31:27

And then when you’re looking at it, like, I wouldn’t do that, and he likes to like, recognize your situation, like, Oh, I’m totally doing it now. And it’s like, even though we don’t behave rationally, and it’s the emotion that controls the decision making, it’s still predictable behaviors, you can build systems around it. And so it’s one of the things we really bring to our clients project is telling the stories with the right sort of emotional elements that are going to do have the highest chance of getting the response that a client wants from their audience. And it’s not something that is gonna throw together a story and or any sort of message and get an expect those sorts of results. And so it’s something that really, the value of what we do is, is coming from that story first perspective, and from the client, or the audience first perspective and knowing, hey, we want them to respond with this sort of response. What sort of story what what do they care about? And and what do we need to communicate to get that response with the story? And then what’s the best medium to tell that story? Oftentimes, we recommend animation, but sometimes it’s maybe not animation, we can just help them with, like website copy or some other story development, I can help them get the sort of results they’re looking for. You know,

Jeremy Weisz 32:39

Bruce, I want in a second, I’d love to hear your one of your favorite resources or books. But to piggyback off of that, Karl, you know, I’m wondering if you have a favorite story from predictably irrational. And you know, when we think of our favorite movie, our favorite book, our favorite comedian, we always think of what was our favorite part or story of that particular, you know, book or movie, and one in particular, irrational? I can’t again, if you asked me to cite a quote from it, or something, or statistics, I just know I’m gonna remember it. But I do remember. There was a scenario where he talks about again, it’s predictably irrational, like, are you more scared of for a child’s guns? Or pool? Right? And he talks about, well, if someone has a gun in the home, it’s just scarier for some people. And but he’s like, we’re not scared of pools, but pools. I forgot what the stat was. I can’t remember to your point. Karl pools kill, let’s say, whatever five times more kids than guns do. And then there was another one that are you more scared of a shark? Or a deer? Right? And listen, if you ask me that question, I’m like, Listen, I I hear the jaws theme music of them the deep end of of a swimming pool. Okay, there’s no rational like, I look at the drain as I could a shark come up through that drain. Like No, but am I scared of a deer? Like No, but I forgot what the stat was to your point. X number of times people die from a deer because you hit the cut your car. You hit the deer in your car, and then people die in that accident from hitting a deer. So I don’t know if there’s any stories that stick out for you. Go ahead.

Karl Pontau 34:27

I’m gonna cut you off there. There’s there’s a couple examples of how to deal with pricing. And how just like the difference of those one a scenario they had like a Hershey’s kiss and like a like a chocolate truffles fancier. They’re selling Hershey’s Kisses for like five cents and the truffles are like 25 cents. And that’s when they kind of got the control like how many people bought liver kind of different amounts of each one. And they kept like lowering the price by a penny. But like the difference between four cents and five cents for a Hershey Kiss, no one really no one really cared and then like For the trouble again, it was like dropping by like five cents. It wasn’t much. The minute you and people buy like more of the fancier one, even those are more expensive because one of the nicer thing, the minute the Hershey’s Kiss dropped from one cent to free, nobody touched the more expensive one even those nicer, free. That’s the way our brains work. Free makes people’s like, they get super excited for it. And so like they’re willing, they were willing to forego, like the the amazing deal, like the chocolate

Jeremy Weisz 35:27

could go from $1 to 25 cents. And you’re saying, well now the truffles five cents and people still didn’t buy it? Yeah,

Karl Pontau 35:34

it was a great deal on the truffle no one paid attention because it was free, like a similar way of the way that free and impacts behavior. And like it all has to do with like the money and Max our decision making is there are two examples. One was, say your, like your car is a flat tire in your garage, you’re basically on the front yard of your house, trying to fix the flat tire. Your neighbor walks by it’s pre COVID seem to be close to each other whatever. Hey, let me fix this tire on my car, my car, my tires flat, your neighbor, if you’re in good standing and you know each other well, public, sure I’ll spend half an hour 45 minutes an hour fixing you’re helping you fix your tire. Because we’re neighbors and yeah, I want to help you out because I were friends and like we went to the barbecue last summer. All those stuff. same person, same scenario, basically, Hey, can you help me fix my tire for $3 they’ll be insulted. Logically, you know, you’re going three more dollars for something we’re gonna do for free, because there’s money involved and nothing about their time as like a monetary sense. And then suddenly, they’re no insulted because they seem like you seem like you’re not valuing their time enough, even though logically, they would have done it for free. Another similar thing was giving away like, before a sports game like they could either like you could buy, like a single Starburst, like a penny. Or people would buy like a ton of them. Because there’s money of other ways to buy a bunch for themselves or buy like 10 15. When you give away for free people take one or two because I want to leave some for other people. There’s like a social contract involved when there’s no money. But once money enters the fray, so many people’s decision making is swayed by people more selfish. And when there’s money involved. Like, all that stuff is absolutely fascinating. And you might be laceless and going, I would never do that. Yes, you want. It’s how your brains are wired. You can’t it’s funny, you say that

Bruce La Fetra 37:29

reference, you know, the reference for what the value is the value reference.

Karl Pontau 37:33

Yeah. And so and it’s something that I mean, you can even if you’re aware of it, you feel like you thought you’d have to fight that sort of urge or like the propensity to behave that way. You can override this view or whatever, but most people aren’t really thinking about it. And so it really helps the know, of how the brain works in this sort of way, when you’re creating marketing messages. Or, also when you’re hearing marketing messages, you’re helping him less swayed by some of the things marketers do to persuade people. But it’s, it’s one of the things even when you’re aware of it, you can’t stop your brain from behaving this way, you can only try and adapt to it.

Jeremy Weisz 38:15

I love it. Um, Bruce, take us home with maybe a favorite resource book and any any comments?

Bruce La Fetra 38:24

So a couple things. favorite favorite book? recent times is Bill Cates Radical Relevance, what is Radical Relevance. And so the point is that if you are radically if you are extremely relevant to your clients, everything’s easier. And it’s very much along the lines of thinking, like you’re thinking like your best clients. If you think like your clients, you’re going to talk about what’s important to them, you’re going to see things the way they see it, you’re express things the way they do, they’re gonna see you as relevant. So at the beginning of the pandemic, people talk about, oh, you know, how do I get heard above the noise, everyone’s you know, everyone’s businesses down there shouting louder. It’s like, you can’t scream above the crowd, but you want to be as relevant and if you are relevant, people will seek you out. You know, look, another step from the storytelling from a couple minutes ago with with Karl, but how important stories are I heard the presentation, I don’t know the original source, but it makes sense is that they did a study and stories alone, and stories plus data, stories outperformed the stories plus data. That’s how powerful they are. And so if you can think like your clients, you’re going to be telling stories that are relevant to them. And those are going to be extremely powerful. And your competitors are going to be talking about just statistics or money. And that’s even worse. That’s how you can have a lawyer that people complain about the hourly rate or how much of animation costs Karl your animation that’s that’s expensive if you tie it to We’re going to help your engineers so that their customers understand this technology is is viable. The company now becomes more worth more. Whatever they spent in Karl’s is your animation is is trivial. Yeah. And if they think about it in those those terms, the dollars, the same dollars are there, but they’re they’re viewed entirely differently. And that’s when I talk about you having clients that will pay you more with a bigger smile on their face, because it is worth more to them. They’re seeing the right value. proxy.

Jeremy Weisz 40:36

Awesome. Thank you both. I want to point people towards your websites and I know for Bruce, people can go to Eastwood sa East with strategies is that the best place or then other places online? Okay. Yeah, like Yeah, not any any place these and Karl for you, is it,

Karl Pontau 41:05

it’ll be that still works now, but it redirects to the old the new site launching in the next couple of days. So I’m really excited to have that going in. on that will be the domain

Jeremy Weisz 41:18 check it out. And for more episodes of the podcast, you can check out And check out some of the episodes. Actually, a couple weeks ago we did five types of content you should be created creating now and I just want to thank you both for joining me. Thanks, everyone.