Getting the Messages Right From The Start
Welcome to Reservations? Yes, I know you’re used to having Andrew next to me, but he’s in Australia. I am actually in Kentucky or Ohio. I’m not sure. I’m in one of those bays. I think I’m in Kentucky right at the moment. And one of the guys who is with me, his name is Josh Wheeler. He is a genius when it comes to messaging and we’re going to dive into that, but first of all, thanks for joining us. Tell us a little bit about who you are, what you do, and kind of what’s your background is.
Awesome. Well, my name is Josh Wheeler. I grew up in a family business and so I have a lot of experience that was OJT for example, you know, we just put it out there. It’s not the university and all that stuff. It’s been real-world application type things that we do. Where I’m at now is that we, we help companies with marketing much like with what Jeff does, but I have a tendency to focus on the political realm because honestly, we want to try to make our communities better.
And how do we make our communities better? Listen, I am all for a small government as possible. However, some of that is necessary. So in order to make what is needed work well, you need to have the right people in place that starts with the messaging and making sure that they’re telling their story in a way that resonates with people.
Let us be strategic about what we put out
Well, this is what intrigued me yesterday we spoke and this is why we’re doing this today is you talked about getting the message right from the beginning. I think so many times as business owners and stop me if I’m wrong. Remember, this is the interactive program is we’re so busy, it sounds good so we put it out there and then all of a sudden we get ramifications from comments and whatnot. You have a different approach, don’t you? I mean, it’s like, it’s all about the messenger, but you do something before the message ever, ever goes live. Can you kind of give us a little walkthrough on that?
And so I start from the foundation that there’s two typical mistakes that most people make within the marketing and whenever I say marketing, it’s simply just trying to educate people whether your politics or your business, you’re still marketing yourself. I mean you know there’s a slight difference between sales and marketing because one is pushing and one is kind of attracting as far as that goes. So the first thing that I do is I’ll take a step and also what are the things that resonate with these particular people.
Anyway, long story short of it is we’re very much more strategic about what we put out. The marketing mistakes we cover is the first you need to not be using what we call piecemeal marketing, which is essentially a political candidate, business, whatever. Most people say the radio people determine what you say on the radio and the TV people that are in what you sell on TV and so forth. Web Designer is the one who decides what is said online and we want to take that out.
It starts with consistency
You need to make sure that you determine what the message is and then facilitate and say, this is what needs to be said. The second thing is, wait let’s stop for a second. Sure. So what you’re saying is if I, if we put out a certain brand message, it needs to be consistent on all channels. 100%. Why is that? I mean, I know that, but let’s share exactly from your background. Why is that so important?
So it’s important because number one, I would take a step back just a little bit is that when you are marketing and everybody likes trackable marketing, that’s fantastic and you should be doing as much as trackers what you want to, but good marketing is synergistic. In a way that if you ask somebody, where did you hear about me at? The best answer is I really don’t remember. I just know that you were in there, so that’s a good answer. Yes. Wow. Okay. You were just there. You were everywhere. Everywhere that I was looking that’s where you were.
I really don’t remember where I heard about you first. Because that’s consistent message across the board and we’ll talk about this before we get off as far as how you can actually take the first steps in changing your message. But it starts with that consistency throughout the process. No matter what you’re doing. So is that we’re talking about not just, not just the actual text message, but are we talking about colors and images and things of that nature or are you talking about really the verbal or the written message?
Your reputation is your brand
It is communication. Okay. So it could be written, it could be, again, what we’re doing, video wise, I’ll be on it. If you have a lot of local businesses, this will go against a lot of things with branding and those kinds of things. Those are important because you want to look professional, but in the day if you’re a local business, your reputation is your brand. Gotcha. Whenever you’re looking either online or getting referrals, we’re saying, hey, where should we go to eat tonight? Okay, it’s going to be important for, you know, that’s your reputation. Or sorry, that’s your brand, right?
So that’s the takeaway. Number one and this is like fire folks. If you’re not, if you missed any, that makes sure you rewind it and go back. Because if you make this first mistake and your piecemeal out there, you’re like a buffet. We don’t know if we like shrimp or we like chicken. We want you to be the same all the way across the board, right? You know me, I always talk about food at some point. So the next thing, the next big mistake to do is what Josh.
So the next, the next mistake, and if I say this is 1A and 1B, but people use platitude. Now, if you don’t know what a platitude is, you can look up the definition for the official. But wait I’m in Kentucky and I’m a kid from West Texas. Help me out. What’s a platitude?
A platitude is words and phrases people use that they use in a way that it’s supposed to be good and important, but it really means nothing. I’ll give you a couple examples. If I said that I was in business since 1975, who else can say that? Well, there’s always going to be somebody who’s been in business since 1974, right? So it’s really not that important how long you’ve been in business unless you specify. We’ll talk about that here in a second. Best service, highest quality, gets the job done right the first time. I mean, take a look through the yellow pages.
You’ll see this over and over and over and over or take a look at ad words again. You’ll see it over and over and over. We’re local. We’re open 24/7. I mean if you’re in an industry that is like that and there are some industries, have certain phrases and everybody uses. You know, you get into the heating and cooling aspect of it. Satisfaction guaranteed. I saw this Josh because my background is golf. I have been a golfer for 40 years even though I look like I’m half that age. Um, it was always one of those things when we interview golf professionals that say what makes your golf course unique? And would say, well, you can always get a key time here.
Our golf course is always in good shape and you can play a forest. And I said, Whoa, time out. That should be an expectation, right? Yes. That’s, that should be like normal. What is, what sets you apart? Is that kind of the same thing here?
Cross out and write in
So that we can’t be compared against specifying why that is important the golf course down the street? Yes, absolutely. Okay. I get it and I’ll give you three evaluations. And it makes me think, that’s called a platitude. That’s like a three syllable word from a guy from west Texas. Cool. It’s pretty fantastic. I love it. Okay, so we’ll give you three. I will give you three evaluations that you can use to eliminate this. We use about 12 evaluations whenever I’m doing stuff, but I’ll give you the top three. The number one is cross out write and test. If you have something and write out what you’re going to say, if I can write, just cross out your name and add your competitor’s name in and everything is still valid. Probably not the thing to use, right? So that’s number one. Cross out write and test.
Number two, who else can say that? If I’m looking at it now you might think, one’s pretty close to the other and it might be, but it is something that is slightly different whenever you start looking and evaluating all those things are. So, but the first one is used. You call it, cross out and write in. So as an example, let’s go back to that. Let’s say a restaurant, you know, here at XYZ restaurant, we make sure you have the best service. Yes. So it can be for any restaurant so that like we shouldn’t take that completely out. Yes. Because that’s a knockout because I can compare it and over overdone.
Specify why that is important
You know, and it’s interesting because one of the things, one of the quick fixes that you can have with these things outside of the evaluations is you can go in and maybe you’ve been in business since 1975. Have you say that it really is irrelevant unless you specify why that is important. Yeah. Like what do you mean by that? So if I say I’ve got the highest quality or anybody’s going to say that it’s going to sound exactly the same as what your competitors, I have the highest quality and then you specify what you mean by highest quality. Whereas everybody else uses, let’s say Angus beef for their burgers. We use Colby and Colby is dah dah dah. And here are the benefits to that thing.
You have to be able to specify that. What that means though is that honestly, all this filler stuff that you’ve been putting in, sometimes you’re going to have to eliminate that because it gives you time to specify. But whenever you specify those individual points is going to have a much greater effect, especially if it’s important and it’s a hot button topic.
So now I’ll give you an example since we’re talking about restaurants, you know, all the craze here lately is like, you know, we want organic, we want clean eats and we want all that stuff right? Farm to table, right? So, if you have farm to table like most people will think of organic is one thing. So everybody has just started using the word organic. Now farm to table to me is organic. So farm to table is an entirely different thing that you can specify very easy to say, listen, we actually raise it and we make it, you know all that stuff.
Have the messaging right to start
An example is Dickey’s barbecue we had yesterday. Yes. And I had noticed on some of their material they specify that like our pork is this and they listen and they were specific about how they’re fine things were. So even for me, I go and I looked to see what, you know, Dickie’s, I think of Dickie’s barbecue doing things excellently. So they’re corporate people. Kudos. They’re part of our chain as far as what we do business with the people that are like you and myself, that we actually serve a sticky barbecue and help them with their marketing information. So that’s kind of cool. Absolutely.
So some of this stuff has to come from the, you know, that’s your root foundation and then we can take that and then expand the message. It is a lot of marketing. And then that’s probably the thing that I do is say, well, most of the time we had to start getting the messaging correct to start with. If we don’t get the messaging right to start with everything else that we do, I don’t care if it’s Facebook ads or digital online, offline billboards, that doesn’t make any difference. We don’t have the messaging right to start with, it’s going, you know, your marketing dollars, it will probably still work from an awareness standpoint, but I don’t know about you but I can’t pay my mortgage with awareness and I don’t think that I can expect you to do the same.
Josh, okay. So let me just kind of recap. So first of all, forget the platitudes and if you’re going to, you need to do the cross out and uh, and, and see if you can replace it with somebody else. That is one of your competitors. Have it, is you need to change it and then be very specific about what you do. Like you, if I said hey, we have the best service because our average server has been with us for 15 years, something of that nature. So that kind of knocks out those other people that.
So we hear that all the time. The combined experience, like we have 193 years of combined experiences. Like what does that mean? So what we actually, that’s, I’ll tell you, I don’t normally talk about this one, but actually, this is, this is the, uh, one of our evaluations that is the most fun one. It was like, what do you? If you tell me something that I was like, well, what do you do? What in the world? Why does that even matter? Um, and then go three levels deep. That’s the last thing. That’s the last one in our, I’m starting to jam things. That’s a bonus. I love it.
Cut the platitude
So it is one of those things that before we ever get to the public, we need to make sure we do some of these things. Absolutely. Now you said there are, how many that you use? 13. We’ve got 12 evaluations that we send through to cut the platitudes out because if you go through the more filters that you can run things through, the better off the that you would be in actually, this isn’t something that I would normally share out into the general public, but because he charges thousands of dollars and he’s been in business for decades. No, I’m just kidding. Yeah. He’s just a kid.
Um, but what I’ll do is we’ll put a PDF together and I’ll send it over to you so you can take it and you can get some extra help there. That’s great. Well, Josh, first of all, I want to thank you so much for being on Reservations. This is a real treat. I really appreciate it. Do us a favor before you leave, because this is something that you are an expert at–Messaging. How can people get in touch with you?
Change the level of your effectiveness on your marketing
Well, there’s a couple of different ways you can reach out on my Facebook page. It is at facebook.com/joshwheeler.me. I know that’s fancy, isn’t it? Um, you can also shoot me a text message. I actually respond to lot, do text me at 740-237-3036, that is not actually my real number. It is my real number. But oh by the way, if you guys want to new messaging by text messaging like that, go to Google and get a Google number because I can love that. You can control that. But we might text messages or reach out on Facebook. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and you know, as a favor to Jeff, you have to do that.
Great. So do me a favor, just look below. You’ll see the link for the PDF if you like that, let us know. Because so many times when you put a message out there and I challenge you now just to open up the local newspaper and see where some of these things show up. Just do the cross out and replace and see how many places are failing at that. And it’s not branding them, setting them apart. So that alone could change the level of your effectiveness on your marketing. I just want to say thank you. My name is Jeff Harrison, along with Josh Wheeler. We’re in somewhere where I think they made the movie deliverance somewhere neither. I heard a banjo playing on the way in. So I want to say thank you for joining us. We’ll catch you again next time on Reservations.