Hey brand builder, Rory Vaden here. Thank you so much for tuning in to listen to this interview. We are so excited to bring you this information and wanted to let you know that, Hey, there’s no sales pitch coming. From anything that we do with this is all our value add to you and the community. However, if you are somebody who is looking for specific strategies on how to build and monetize your personal brand, we would love to talk to you and we offer a free call to everyone that’s interested in getting to know us and is willing to give us a chance to get to know them and share a little bit about what we do. So if you’re interested in taking us up on a free strategy call, you can do that at brand builders, group.com/summit. Call brand builders, group.com/summit. Call talk to you soon on with the show.
I’m excited to introduce you to a new friend of mine, Eric Siu, because we are going to level up our strategy and conversation as it relates to digital marketing and traffic which is also going to tie into his new book that is coming out called, or just came out called leveling up how to master the game of life. But I started actually following Eric Sue because he’s the co-host of marketing school of the marketing school podcast which he co-hosts with Neil Patel, who we had on a few weeks ago. They have over 30 million downloads to date. It’s a super practical, very short episodes. And these guys are the real deal when it comes to the technicalities and the high level strategy for true digital marketing. And so they’re one of the, one of the people that one of the groups that I look to to learn from, but separate of being the podcast host, Eric is also the CEO of a content intelligence software, which we’ll talk some about what that means called click flow, which basically helps you grow your organic traffic and does a lot of reporting and analysis for you and, you know, makes you look like a genius.
Some of you listening, it would be more for someone on your team to be managing that, but he also owns an ad agency that is called single grain. And they’ve worked with companies like Amazon and Airbnb and Salesforce and Uber, just to help them acquire more customers. We’re going to talk about that today, how to drive traffic quickly. And the reason that we were able to get them on the show is because he has a book that just came out called leveling up how to master the game of life, which are more of a, some of his philosophies about how he’s grown his reputation and his, his businesses, and just success in general, which will be fun. So we’ll dive into that as well. But anyways, Eric, Sue, welcome to the show.
Thanks for the intro Rory. Great to be here.
Yeah, man. So you know, before we talk about the book, I guess the number one issue, I think that a lot of our clients are having, right? So if you’re a personal brand, we help them get clear on their positioning. We help them, you know, get the right words in place. They build their funnels, they launch their sites. And then at some point, once you have all your ducks in a row, traffic is just like this, this is the issue, right. Is how do I get more people coming to the page, which I know is a complex issue. And there’s a lot of answers to it, but I guess that’s what I want to start with is just going, if I have built a funnel, like you’ve got, you are about to launch your funnel for your book, right? And so you, we were going to build this funnel and then the question is going to go, how do I get a lot of traffic there quickly? And of course there’s organic strategies, there’s paid strategies. How do I know which one to do? Should I do both? Like you know, can you just kind of like high level address that question? How do I drive a lot of traffic quickly?
Yeah. I, I think what we’ll, we’ll tailor to this kind of, to the, the, the book is one, just to kind of simplify how you might think about this, this strategizing this. And so for the book, what I’m looking for is where are my people hanging out? So for me, I know that I have at least two audiences right now. One is the gamers that are looking to do more, make a bigger impact on the world or those that are just lost. It really, the book is for my 13 year old self. Cause I played a lot of games growing up now. Also I used to fight with my parents a lot too. So it’s all for the parents that have kids that play games, right. And they want their, they want the best for their kids. They don’t think this gaming is the future.
Right. So now I know, okay, if I’m targeting parents, where are they hanging out? I know there’s different coalitions, different organizations. There’s sometimes even groups of parents that, that are actually supporting their e-sports kids. And so I’m going to where the attention is, right? So it might be forums. It might be, you know, different Facebook groups and things like that. I’m looking for where the attention is now that’s on the parenting side. I can obviously hit the Facebooks, the Googles of the world, but that to me is kind of table stakes. Right? Everyone knows about those channels now. And the other side what’s more interesting is actually the gamer side of things. So, okay. I, on the gamer side, a lot of these people are hanging out on Twitch. They’re hanging out on YouTube, they’re following people on Instagram. Their heroes are really these YouTubers or these streamers.
And so I know a lot of the attention is over there. Can I bought a, buy a sponsorship slot from these influencers, these gaming influencers, they don’t necessarily need to be the mega influencers, like a Ninja with millions and millions of followers. They could have, you know, 50,000, you know, a couple hundred thousand followers. That’s a micro-influencer. So I can go try to reach out to a couple of these, right. I can use a tool like a mighty scout. So that’s the word mighty and the worst scalp.com. And I can find a lot of these people is just by typing in certain keywords. And then I can make a list of outreach people just like I would with an email list. Right. So again, what I’m looking for first principles here, where’s my, like, where are my people hanging out? Okay. That’s the audience? And then how do I get a good price for getting these campaigns going?
And how do I get a good tested testing price? Right. So that’s how I would do it for this campaign. But again, I think it’s, it’s really important to think about, okay. It could be in some cases where whatever you’re promoting there might be a lot of email lists out there where you can buy, you know, you can buy different blasts or maybe everything is done through, you know, a lot of, a lot of your niche. They’re all hanging out with on you know, these other websites, all the traffic there’s communities are on other websites, which have strong SEL. So the answer is, it depends, but you have to think about first again, where are your people hanging out and how do I get the best price?
Yeah. So I love that. And so if I were to that’s cool, I’ve not heard of mighty scout.com. I’ve not actually heard of that tool. So that’s that’s cool. I would summarize that part of it as, as basically influencer marketing and brand deals, right. Which is, this is an emerging area, like you said. Okay. One thing is to go to, you know, Facebook business manager to Google ads and just dump some money into the machine and pick an audience, which is, you know, a game that has been going on for years. And it’s probably one, we need to learn how to play. But the influencer game is, feels very interesting to me because it feels like just the dynamics are different because you’re not dealing with like this big, huge company you’re dealing with an individual person, a small team and put money directly in their pocket.
So how much is this, do you think is the future? Because I know that, I mean, both for yourself, your clients, your agency, you guys are, you’re no stranger to running paid traffic campaigns. Are you seeing that influencer marketing? And when I say influencer marketing, I mean, actually I go into mighty scout looking someone up and then paying them and putting money in their pocket for them to do a post. Are you seeing it as effective as part of the future? And cost-wise, how are you seeing that compare to like dumping money into the Facebook machine?
Yeah. So we have, we actually have an agency that helps us on that side. Right. So I’ll tell you what they do. I mean, what they do is they will reach out to maybe 300 influencers in a month, right. These are micro influencers. And what they’ll do is they’ll have them do a story post, right. So they might, you know, show the book next to them and they might talk about how it’s been an amazing book and then tell people to swipe up, to go to leveling up.com or whatever. And so, you know, we just started working with them, right. So it’s too early for me to say, talk about the results, but naturally it just makes sense. Cause I know that’s where my audience hangs out. Don’t get me wrong. We’re we’re starting up the F the, the, the ad stuff again.
And it’s, it’s, the targeting is very simple. Like we can hit parents that have kids with a certain age. Right. So all that to say is you know, if you don’t, if you haven’t done it before you could work with an agency, or you could just get a mighty scout account for yourself, reach out to a couple of people, do a test, maybe your budget’s $500 or a thousand dollars, or so give a test, do a test and see how you perform, look at the numbers. Cause your mileage may vary. Right. but what we’ve seen in the past with, with other people when they run these types of campaigns, so this has be anecdotally because I don’t have my own data yet. Is that it’s a lot more cost efficient cost effective versus running
Ads. Yeah. I mean, it kind of feels that way to me. Right. Let’s go. And like, if I put in a thousand bucks in your pocket, that’s feels like to the average person, even if you have 50,000 followers, I mean, a thousand bucks is real money. You know, if you talk about 2000 or 3000 or 5,000, it’s like, that’s nothing on Facebook or Google. Like you can’t even get them to answer an email back for 5,000 bucks, but to a real person and go, yeah. Especially if I’m on, you know, social media all day, like I may not have just because someone has 50,000 followers doesn’t mean they’re a billionaire. Like a lot of them have audiences, but they don’t have a lot of money and it feels like you can just go directly to them. So that’ll be interesting to see how that works specifically. So, so you actually are working with a different agency just for the influencer piece for your book. Correct?
Right. And there’s a lot of these influencer agencies popping up. So I think you can probably get a pretty good price working with these agencies right now. Cause they’re, they’re they’re up and coming, so yeah.
Yeah. fascinating. So then separate from influencer marketing just to touch for a second. Cause you also said for your, for, for the book launch of leveling up, you’re also kind of doing traditional Facebook. Are you doing Facebook and Google stuff? Yeah.
So it’s primarily Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Those are the ones that were starting up because to your point, we just got the book funnel going.
So now, and, and in your case you’re doing a free plus shipping thing, which, you know, our audience very, very familiar with. So you got basically add two free plus shipping to then the thank you page as an upsell or something
Sells and one down sell. Yeah.
Okay. Now it’s, it’s interesting. So you’re not using Google and just to kind of like point out the point that out for a second, you know, the obvious about Google is it’s kind of like an ad need a tool. So is, is the reason you’re not using Google because it’s like, there’s not a, there’s not a specific term that you would target, right?
Yeah. I mean, to your point, so you’re saying demand generation versus demand fulfillment, I think you know, w with Google search specifically, you’re fulfilling demand and the demand isn’t really there right now. But you know, when you’re generating demand through a video, like YouTube makes a lot of sense. Instagram makes a lot of sense. Facebook makes a lot of sense and it, it just those channels are you just throw up a video and then you know, you’re, you’re, you’re good to go. So that’s not to say we won’t turn on Google display ads later. Also, there’s, there’s an element of of, of focus in the beginning, we know these channels are going to work and that’s what we Excel at. So let’s do that first. It’s our, it’s our bread and butter.
Yeah. Well, and it seems like Google display ads. I mean, that seems to make sense because it’s just, once you have them pixeled from your side or whatever, you’re going to follow them around. I mean, that makes a lot of sense, but so to, to look at YouTube really quickly this is another area that I feel like YouTube is kind of still the wild West in terms of advertising. That there’s a lot you can do on with YouTube ads that I feel like there’s a lot of specificity that people don’t realize when it comes to running ads on YouTube. So it is, is there anything you’ve been looking at, whether it’s for you, for the book, for your clients related to YouTube ads that you feel like we should know about?
Yeah. I mean, I, I remember there was there’s one company where you know, we, we, we bet the entire fate of the company on YouTube ads and you know, it was, it was an online web design and programming kind of online school and you know, bet the entire company on YouTube ads. And it worked out because all the people that are on YouTube are hanging out there, we get into your point, we can target very specific keywords, like learn, HTML, learn Java, script, that type of stuff. And you know, we, we went from acquiring, you know, 200 new users a month to about that jumped to 500, then a thousand, then 3000 and then 6,000 a month. And so, you know, that company, it worked out, it was able to raise their series B and then you know, they’re doing very well today.
And so I think YouTube is very scalable because, well, one thing is you can target very specific keywords. You can also retarget people that have seen certain videos or retarded people that hit certain sections of your website. And so you have it’s, it’s more complex than Facebook ads or Instagram ads, but the complexity is worth it because it’s also like it filters out the people that are serious versus the people that aren’t serious. So you can target specific channels too, but I, I prefer to go for keywords because with keywords you gave, like, I know people that target just the keyword money and you know, they, they have programs that are selling, you know, 36 to $40 million a year.
So, wow. Now, just to now, even though you’re saying you don’t go after channels, that is an interesting feature. I think that a lot of people don’t know about YouTube is when you, that you’re saying you can run an ad where your ads display on in front of all the videos on a specific channel, which is very targeting. You can,
I can do that. That’s one thing you can do. You can use a tool like tube sift.com S I F t.com. And you know, the other thing that’s interesting is you can actually target based on what people search in Google search, right? So if they, if they type in like brand builder if they specifically typed in that you can actually target those people with YouTube, right.
That’s later based on what they search on Google. Yes. You’re. And you’re saying that you can do that natively in the YouTube ad manager. Yup. Yeah. That’s pretty, that’s nuts. I mean, that’s, that’s, that’s incredible. But you’re, and that’s more of what you’re doing. I mean, you’re targeting keywords, so it’s, it’s more like well, when you say you’re targeting,
So when I’m saying I’m targeting keywords, so what we’re just talking about right now with search to YouTube right now, what I’m talking about. So if people go into Google search, just to clarify the last thing, if they’re typing in brand builder, then when they go to YouTube later, they’ll get served an ad, right. That’s, that’s the first example now, but that’s the, you know, that’s the retargeting lists. It’s not RLSA, I forgot what it’s called. Exactly. But it’s tied to search intent right now. What I’m talking about when I’m running YouTube ads is we’re targeting keywords, but we’re targeting from a from a display standpoint. Right. So there’s certain keywords that we can target. It’s almost similar to Google display, right? You’re, you’re looking for, it’s scanning for certain keywords on the page. And then if those keywords are showing, then the video will pop up. Right. so if it’s showing them the description or the tag or the title or whatever, then the video
Got it. So it’s reading kind of like the tags of the video, the title of the video what was the other one? You said the description, the description. Yeah.
It could even be like, you know, the transcripts are all you know, generated now. Right. It can even put me pulling from transcripts.
Well, so, and then you’re saying you basically is going to recommend your video next on those pages, like up in the, whatever the upper right. And
The best format to use is you have the, the pre-rolls and the mid roll. So the pre-roll videos, those are the ones that come before the video, the mid rolls are obviously in the middle. And then there’s a, post-roll we’ve seen the in-stream ads, right? Those are the ones that get in the middle of a stream. Right. The first two are the ones that
Interesting. So not, not so much like the next video to watch or whatever, but right. In the middle of the video. Right. That’s amazing. And then I think you can, you can even target on YouTube, us specific video, right. To say, I want to run my ad on this individual video. That’s crazy. All right, well, so I love this man. I mean, this is, so it mean it is leveling up, like to me, that, you know, is going this, some of this is just like, so Ninja, it kind of blows my mind. And you know, I think for a lot of personal brands, in many ways, we’re behind the game. I mean, you work with SAS companies, right? I mean, that’s like a core part of what you’re doing is your team is like growing revenue for recurring revenue, for like marketing SAS companies.
So it’s very, very sophisticated. And I, and I think for personal brands to break through the noise, we have to level up, like we have to, we have to get our minds and our teams and our strategy upgraded to the level of which like a marketing SAS company would perform. So question for you, why write a book on mastering the game of life, which is kind of like success habits. It seems like the obvious thing would have just to, you know, done a book on like Eric Sue’s like master techniques for, for driving ads and marketing. But yes, I’m just curious, where did the, why the leveling up book and how did that come into the picture?
Yeah, I mean, you know, I played a lot of games growing up from ages eight to 22, and the way I look at life is it’s just a puzzle. And you know, I’m just trying to love a lot, 1% better every single day. And when you look at life that way it’s a game that never ends then, you know, it only ends when you die. Right. And you just, so you just keep playing, it’s not a zero sum game. It’s not, you know, it’s not like football or basketball where one person has to win. And so if you look at it from that lens, life becomes a lot more fun. And so, you know, it’s, to me, it’s the book I wish I had when I was, you know, when I was a gamer at 13 years old. And you know, a lot of the power ups I talk about in the book, like in life, you’re going around collecting power-ups right.
You’re whether it’s you’re training, you’re learning to fast, you’re, you’re improving your sleep. All these things are powering you up. And so those parts, I think a lot of people listening to this podcast are like, yeah, we get that Eric, like, yeah, that that’s great, but that’s, this is also for, you know, my younger self, right. Or the parents that want their kids to kind of you know, look beyond gaming. Right. Cause again, for me, I look at business very much as a game. Like if I’m trying to deal, do a deal or buy a company. Okay. How do I make it a scenario where one plus one equals five. So do they have other assets besides you know, kind of what they currently have? How strong is their executive team, right. How can I make it super good? And then now I need to think about the terms of the deal too.
And so there’s, there’s puzzles within the puzzles there that I need to solve and how do I recruit the best person? Okay. How do we work out? How do we incentivize that person to? So it’s like, there’s all these dynamics at play here. And you know, we’re all just playing a game, but I think it’s, it’s demotivating to think that, you know, the game is going to end at a certain point or you need to kind of you know, someone needs to lose, but if it’s just like, I’m trying to get better every, you know, 1% better every single day. It makes sense. Now the answer to your question around, why not do a marketing book? That’s the easy route, right? Like to me, I, I feel like it’s inevitable. If I just keep doing what I’m doing, long-term like, it doesn’t matter the money will be there.
Right? I don’t need to worry about that. What I need to worry about more. So is what’s more higher impact to me. If there’s four forms of leverage, you have code capital, labor and media Lape or sorry, media is, is, is one of the ultimate forms of, of leverage. And I get to build a moat around me. And so if there are 3 billion gamers in the world or 3 billion people in the world that have played games, well, if I can latch on and I can show them, I have this intersection right now where I played games, and now I’m playing the ultimate game of business. I’m going to have an unfair advantage around building a community. And I think community is very defensible. And so I’m going to build that. And I, I think that’s going to be infinitely more valuable than me doing a book right now on marketing, which is everyone does that th th the, the it will become outdated very quickly. And sure. I might make maybe a couple million dollars or so. That’s great, but I get to have a much bigger impact from leveling up and the money is that that’s a scorekeeper, but that’s not what really matters. Long-Term so it’s, it’s what has a bigger long-term impact me doing the marketing book or leveling up?
Yeah. Well, it’s interesting too, because it’s like it seems very consistent that you reach a level of success or just, and just like, just even say money where it’s like another dollar isn’t gonna like, change your satisfaction or joy that much, but the idea of, you know, writing something that you care about leaving behind, you know, philosophies that you want, you know, that, that it’s like the impact factor really does become the driving force to do something like this. It sounds like that’s part of what you’re saying. It’s fun.
And I mean, like, you know, I’m very grateful what, you know, we have a marketing audience with marketing school, the blogs and all that stuff. Like, you know, we have a foothold in SAS as well, and it’s like, okay, well, what else can we play? It’s the same thing with business. It’s like, okay. You know, we’re able to turn the agency around and then it’s like, okay, we have our software company. And then we have all the other stuff too. And now it’s like, okay, what else can we do? Right. Oh, can we go buy other companies now? Right. So it’s just like, there’s levels within business too. You can, you can have a job. Totally fine. You can start freelancing and then you can start your own thing and you can just keep getting stronger and stronger. And you decide if you want to go to the next level or not, it’s just, you don’t get to go to the next level, unless you beat the current one.
Aha. Which I think is super relevant. I mean, that’s even just like when I’m thinking about paid traffic, you know, and I’m saying our audience really, I should be saying me as I feel like we’ve, we’ve gotten to where we are by just, you know, mastering organic traffic. We’ve done book launches, we’ve done speaking, we’ve done PR. And it’s like for us to get to the next level, it’s like, we have to learn paid and we have to master it. And that’s kind of like the level that’s right in front of me. And that’s part of why I was really drawn to you guys. You rattled something off a few minutes ago that there’s no way I can just let rush past this. You said the four, you called this the four types of leverage. What did, what did you call it? As you said, code capital, labor in and media. What, what did you call those? Yeah.
So there’s four forms of leverage. And this comes from the vol rocket and he’s a billionaire and created angel list. And you know, this has stuck with me because if you think about the, the oldest form of leverage you have is labor. So you hire people to do things, right. Even if they could do it, 70, 80% of your capacity, you’re gaining leverage. Cause you, you free up your time. So that’s obvious to all of us, I think. And then, so you have labor and then you can hire programmers. So that’s code, right? They can write code for you where you can make money in your sleep. So you’re getting even more leveraged now. Right? So if you think of leverage, it’s like a Seesaw maybe, right? That’s like one form of leverage. If you put more weight on one side, obviously the other side goes up.
So you have code and then we talked about labor, a capital, right? You have to have capital. So maybe when you start working somewhere, you start saving all the money and then you could go invest in and hire people. Right. And then they can write code for you. Now media is something like, I think we all know, because we’re talking about on the brand builders podcast right now we know the audience of building or the power of building a brand. I think you can build a brand. You can have a website, you can have a big email list. Those are all forms of kind of media leverage. I think the ultimate form of leverage is having community because you Rory talking right now, people, maybe you might speak at a conference. Everyone might be looking at you, that’s building an audience. But I think when you build a community and everyone’s interacting with each other, the community, it kind of it’s, it’s, it’s, self-sustaining at a certain point and it just continues. And there’s a lot of, you know, entrepreneurial communities I’m in like, like YPO or EO. And I love those because it’s just, you have like-minded people just hanging out and talking shop with each other. So
I realize you’re in, are you guys, are you any or YPO? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So we don’t. We have, yeah, we don’t have a YPO chapter in Nashville. We only have EO. So we’re we’re in, at technically my wife is the CEO of brand builders, so she’s the one that’s in it. But I was in the first, the first couple of years, but yeah, and we, you know, we got engaged at a YPO event speaking at a YPO event. So that’s a great community, but anyways, to what, to what you’re saying, you’re saying when people start interacting with each other, it becomes self-sustaining. And so that’s why you’re saying it’s a form of leverage where it’s like building an audience is more like media. Yeah. But building a community you’re delineating that.
Yeah. You’re taking it a step further. So to me, community is a level up from the audiences. And so I, I think they’re, they’re, they’re both important.
Yeah. The, the code one is interesting. So in my Ted talk, so I have I did a Ted talk called how to multiply time. And one of the things probably the most retweeted from my Ted talk and this is my second book was called procrastinate on purpose. It was based on, this is, I said, this line automation is to your time, what compounding interest is to your money. And as you’re talking this out, it’s occurring to me that basically code and automation are really kind of closely related. And we talk about eliminate automate, delegate procrastinate and concentrate. That’s basically the outline of the Ted talk. And the, and the book and code is basically automate. Labor is basically delegate. You know, what we do at brand builders group is really around media capital is an interesting one too, because you’re, it’s kind of like where your money is making money instead of your, your time.
But the community one is interesting that one’s rocking my mind here a little bit. Like I’ve not thought about community as clearly. And I, I think this is super powerful, what you’re saying, like, even before we started talking, y’all, didn’t hear this cause it wasn’t on the recording, but our community of personal brands is growing so big. They’re needing stuff that we can’t provide. And so we’re having to go crap. We need to go get agencies and vendor partners and people that we can partner with to go, Hey, you know, this client needs help with executing this thing. And it’s, it’s funny cause it’s like the community is taking on a life of itself. And I don’t really think about that as a, as a form of leverage, but so that’s the fifth form of leverage you’re adding to it. There were four, but Eric’s, Eric has added a fifth one.
Yeah. I mean, I would still lump it into intermediate, but you know, fair enough. I’ll, I’ll call it a fifth one on this pocket.
Well that’s awesome, man. I think this, the mindset of leveling up and just like you’re saying, there’s so many parallels here of just, you know, the power ups and you keep going and it’s, it’s, you’re not playing against like another person necessarily where someone has to lose. It’s just like getting better and better. You can’t, you can’t get to the next level until you conquer this one. There’s, there’s a, there’s a lot of parallels there between gaming and you know, and businesses. So it’s really cool. So where do you want people to go? You know, we’ll, we’ll obviously put links to your sites and stuff, but where do you want them to go to learn about the leveling up books since that’s kind of like your main focus right now?
Yeah, I mean, simple enough. They can go to leveling up.com
Go to leveling up.com, you know, and I would just say like, listen, if you are going to go check out, like if these, the concept of the, the four forms now forms of leverage is interesting to you, or if, you know, you learn something about YouTube ads just now, or if you realized that Hey, there’s a couple of tools, like tube sift that I could check out that I didn’t know about or mighty scout. Like if one of any, one of those ideas is easily worth hundreds, if not thousands or tens of thousands of dollars go spend the 20 bucks to support Eric on his book. Because I, I, that’s why I asked him here because I was just like, I mean, these guys dropped so many little nuggets that they speed through that are worth. I mean, I think this, this, this idea of these, these different types of leverage is so super valuable. So anyways, leveling up.com, check it out. If you’re not listening to the marketing school podcast him and Neil will blow your mind. I mean, I can’t keep up with half. The stuff they’re doing is so good. And so so solid, but anyways, Eric, thanks for being here. Thanks for sharing some nuggets, man. And we wish you the best. Thanks for having me, Rory