As they say, “Content is King,” and the King of Content is Tom Jelneck. This week Jordan and Tom sit down to discuss what it takes to stand out in a crowded marketplace. If you’re looking for some new thoughts or advice on marketing your company, you’ll appreciate the discussion between Tom and Jordan.
You may want your message to reach everyone, but as Tom and Jordan discuss it, they’ll change your mind. Your product isn’t for everyone. It’s for those who need or want it.
As the owner and CEO of On Target Digital Marketing, Tom and his team help others with their marketing efforts. Whether it’s building a website, knocking it out of the park with SEO, or coming up with an overall strategy to wow your clients, On Target can help. Their strength is working with owners and marketing teams that want to make a difference and really grow their business through understanding and proper goal setting.
Other companies will take on clients no matter what, just to get their money and sell them a pre-packaged system. On Target believes that approach doesn’t help their clients or themselves. If you want a company you can count on to find the clients that actually want your business or product, then On Target is someone you should look into working with.
And if you haven’t heard, Tom is launching his very own Coffee brand. Pure Grind coffee was made for purists who know their coffee and appreciate the best. People who give a damn about what they’re putting in their cups. People who are Coffee People.
Episode 14: Content Marketing Expert Tom Jelneck of On Target Digital Marketing – Full Transcript
Tom Jelneck 0:00
What’s your story? You know, what’s that backstory look like? And the word storytelling is thrown around a lot now on the internet. But at the core of every company, there’s someone or a team that put in the blood, sweat and tears,
Picture a real world, where costs are down and customers are clamoring at your door you’re listening to. Let’s Get Up To Business from Jordan Law. Our interviews with business owners, service providers and area experts can teach you how to create a world of success and profitability. If you’re looking for an attorney to assist in your business formation, employment agreements, or other legal business needs. Contact Jordan Law at 407-906-5529. You can also reach us on the web at jordanlawfl.com. Jordan Law, we protect you and your business.
Jordan Ostroff 1:12
Hello, and welcome to Let’s get up to business with Jordan law. Joining me today is Tom Jelneck from on target digital marketing. Thanks for coming in. Tom.
Tom Jelneck 1:19
Thanks for having me.
Jordan Ostroff 1:20
Can you please introduce yourself to our listeners?
Tom Jelneck 1:22
Sure. So my name is Tom, you got that? Right. It’s Tom Jelneck. I’ve owned on target digital marketing for 14 years now this month. Weird background, I actually studied to be Catholic priest with a whole bunch of monks in a cornfield. And they actually had a building over them. But so check that out for a bit in my life and decided that wasn’t my calling. But while I was there, I learned a lot about writing composition, communications. And when I graduated, I started to pursue a career in marketing with a couple agencies and, and stuff along the way. So my background is really in composition, content creation. And then when I opened my business, it was how am I going to help other businesses grow?
Jordan Ostroff 2:07
So for the writing English, Latin, Aramaic?
Tom Jelneck 2:10
Yeah, all the above? No. So English. I got a minor in philosophy and communications. But yeah, my, my forte is creative writing in English. Gotcha.
Jordan Ostroff 2:20
Okay. So if any of our listeners are listening, they know they need to talk to somebody, they need help with their marketing stuff, what’s the best way for them to get in contact with you.
Tom Jelneck 2:29
So you can find me at ontargetdigitalmarketing.com, and our agency is a full service digital marketing firm. So we, you know, obviously create websites, do all the pay per click stuff, the social media, but, you know, our prime bread and butter is content creation. So that may be content creating, you know, blog posts, it could be podcasts, which we produce. And really, that’s our focus for all of our clients is words first. So before we draw a website, before we run a pay-per-click campaign, we really try to get to the core of someone’s business and understand the essence and kind of the why they do what they do.
Jordan Ostroff 3:08
You know, it’s interesting, when I do a lot of consulting for other lawyers, I always try to start with them on what Who’s your ideal client. And so you know, everything else falls out from there. So it’s nice. Sounds like you guys have a similar perspective.
Tom Jelneck 3:19
So one of my favorite expressions that I that I tell people is everyone is not your client. Because I get so many people that come to me that say, well, Tom, I could sell this product to anybody, I could sell my legal services to anybody, everyone’s our customer. And I, I think that’s one of the biggest mistakes I see companies make is they don’t niche down, right? And they don’t, you know, even though you could service everyone, can you really do it effectively. So it’s really finding a niche and a sweet spot where you can really hone in on what that person looks like, how they act online, you know, what’s their favorite color, but really, niche to me is a really critical, you know, strategy online.
Jordan Ostroff 4:00
So walk me through what you all do with a potential client from day one to try and figure out what that niche is going to be for them.
Tom Jelneck 4:06
So when people call us, they typically, a lot of times, I’ll get I need a website, or, hey, my website needs to be redesigned. And I heard about you guys, blah, blah, blah. So that’s fine. And we always talk about Yes, we understand you need a new website. But our first thing is discovery. So I’ll ask somebody a question like, Why do you do what you do? And it’ll blow their mind? You know, it’s like, what what gets you up in the morning is questions like that. I don’t really just dig into what’s your favorite website? You know, what do you want to see on your website? I want to get to know them. What drives them? what makes them tick? And then I’ll ask questions about their customers, you know, great experiences they’ve had with customers, really to try to get to the core or the essence of who this company is. So our first phase is always discovery. And then we create a document that’s basically like a SWOT analysis or, or digital marketing roadmap, we call it before we even, you know, drop pixel.
Jordan Ostroff 5:07
So I won’t have you call anybody out by name. But during that conversation, you ever get answers that are so bad that you’re like, this is not the client for me?
Tom Jelneck 5:14
You know? Yeah, so I’ve gotten really good at figuring out who we don’t want to work with. And that may sound arrogant. But you know, when you’ve done it for so long, I can tell in a heartbeat, for example, we get a phone call, that’s a lead, and I get on the phone with them, or one of our sales reps. If the first question out of their mouth is how much for our website, I could tell you 100%, that deals never going to go through, it’s never going to work. It’s people that find the value and understand that marketing is so much more than just a website, it’s so much more than that piece of content. It’s, it’s really, it’s words first, it’s how do you, you know, connect with an audience on a human level, with, with language, you know, that that people can simply understand, and it’s not gobbledygook and nonsense.
Jordan Ostroff 6:02
So then who is your Who is your ideal client? What gets you up in the morning? I mean, what do you what gets you to do this.
Tom Jelneck 6:08
So first things first, I love to win. I hate to lose.
Jordan Ostroff 6:13
That’s why you’re not a lawyer.
Tom Jelneck 6:16
So I, I absolutely love to women, I love our clients to win. So, you know, when we look for an ideal client, and we’re kind of sizing them up, just like they’re sizing us up, I’m looking to see if they have a marketing director, or a marketing team, because our sweet spot is really to work with that marketing team to enhance what they can already do. Here’s a great example. You may have one person on your marketing team, well, they can’t really create content, run social media ads, build a website, check out analytics and understand it in depth, it’s really hard to find one person that can actually do all of these things well, and effectively. So we kind of size up a company to say, if you’ve got a marketing director, marketing team, On Target can help enhance that marketing team, like I want them, I want to build them up to look like a rock star. So if it’s producing a podcast, maybe it’s, you know, creating a couple pieces of content every single month, that’s going to help build the brand. That’s really kind of our sweet spots with it’s a larger small business, if that makes sense. And in pretty much a small medium business. So we’re kind of in that sweet spot in that range right there.
Jordan Ostroff 7:25
So it’s interesting. So we look for kind of fractional General Counsel work. So these businesses that don’t aren’t large enough to necessarily have a full time in house lawyer, but are large enough that they get enough oversight. So it seems like we’re looking for very similar, you know, size type things. So then walk me through, you know, Alright, so we’ve got the who walk me through the how and the what to figure out how to phrase things for them, who they’re targeting, where you want to go with it, what’s going to be the most effective.
Tom Jelneck 7:53
So I think it’s really like one of my talents and gifts is word smithing. So I love to look at a client’s about section on their website, and nine times out of 10. When I read it, it’s it’s mechanical, right? And especially I’m not picking on, you know, the legal profession. But a lot of times what you guys have to write has to be very precise, right?
Jordan Ostroff 8:12
You can pick on lawyers it’s totally fine.
Tom Jelneck 8:14
Well, I think just a lot of it tends to be like, really corporate. So people really want when they visit a website, they want to, I love it to be conversational. So kind of our first phasing and what are the you know, what’s the messaging on these banners going to look like? What about the copy in the actual intro paragraphs? We humanize it. So we really try to isolate who the target client is and then just speak to them like, like a normal human being. And as elementary as that sounds? Not a lot of companies do that? Well.
Jordan Ostroff 8:46
So let me guess the average lawyer. So you’re going on, it’s them in front of a bunch of books,
Tom Jelneck 8:50
Jordan Ostroff 8:50
They talk about the clerkship they had in law school, where they went to law school, how long they went to law school for? Yeah, now I, I hear you, it’s interesting. You know, we go, we go to law school to learn how to be a lawyer. And then to be a successful lawyer, you have to learn how to speak like a normal human again.
Tom Jelneck 9:07
Yeah. And I do see it on, you know, but I see it on CPAs I see it on a lot of the, you know, the more professional services, it’s the ones that really speak a human language, and I pick on IT companies a lot, they have this tendency to teach IT people about IT, and you’re like, but these it, people already understand what the hell you do, you don’t really need to break it down, and talk to them, like, they don’t know what they’re talking about. So, you know, isolating your audience and understanding exactly what makes them tick, what they need to hear what they need to read. That’s really, honestly, it’s a huge part of our battle. And once we’ve got that down, then we’ll go into building a design comp for website. And then we’ll go from there. So it’s, it’s we we try to bring in the company’s personality. What makes you guys tick? Are you are you a little bit more conservative? Maybe you’re more fun. For example, your social media you guys do is great.
Jordan Ostroff 10:02
Tom Jelneck 10:02
And I engage with him.
Jordan Ostroff 10:03
I didn’t pay Tom to say that?
Tom Jelneck 10:04
No, you didn’t. And honestly, I engage with it almost daily, because I think you’re doing something different than every other attorney in town. And to me, that is gold. And, you know, I refer to Seth Godin is purple cow, he wrote this amazing book about marketing. And really, the best way to stand out in your field is to be the purple cow amongst a sea of brown cows. And if you take that philosophy and attach it to a website, or attach it to your social media, anything you write for a blog, it’s always always always got to stand out, or why else would you bother to be online?
Jordan Ostroff 10:40
So it’s funny, you mentioned were the only purple cow, my mark of success is that now I’ve seen multiple other firms that have now copied our social media that that was, you know, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.
Tom Jelneck 10:50
Jordan Ostroff 10:51
But our whole thing was, I mean, that was designed for my ideal client, you know, my ideal client is that UCF student who gets in trouble at a fraternal party is that, you know, young kid picking up the first their first criminal charge ever is that person getting a car accident, who’s for the most part, you know, younger, and, and it’s going to vibe with our look a lot more, you know, we don’t want that person who’s looking for a stuffy, you know, seven year old lawyer to come in with all white hair, wearing a suit the full time we want somebody who’s okay with us wearing, you know, Polo and shorts.
Tom Jelneck 11:22
Sure, and it’s knowing your audience. And I think a lot of companies Believe it or not, don’t know their audience, and then they come out, they speak to themselves, right. And that’s something I see a lot too is you write the language, not you. But a lot of companies will write the language, they understand that that’s, you know, that that’s relevant to them, but it’s not relevant to their audience. So really, our job as marketers is to always dig deep into who these people are that you’re trying to attract.
Jordan Ostroff 11:50
So can you give me some specific examples along those lines for some of our listeners that like, you know, for us, the biggest thing is, we’ll talk about having been a state attorney and people like, Oh, we don’t know what that means. But a former prosecutor, you know, that’s what resonates? Like, what sort of things are you finding are the worst industry jargon, or that doesn’t convey the right message to the ideal client?
Tom Jelneck 12:09
So we work with a couple cable companies, and you know, people who provide, whether it’s internet etc, video. Actually, WAN stuff like that some geek stuff, we find that these cable companies, and they’re finally just starting to come around. They’re hated, right? So if you’re in an industry, that’s a lie, now they are hated. So one of the challenges with them is, why do we keep writing such technical stuff, you don’t need to write technical stuff to consumers at home, they don’t really care how that sausage is made. They just really want to know that you’re going to frickin show up. And their internets going to work when they get home. And when their kids fire up their Nintendo Switch, and the Samsung Smart TV is on, all of this stuff is working. That’s all they care about. So I do find that a lot of the technical, you know, the, it takes service providers, like I mentioned earlier, they do tend to be very stuck in their own phrasing. And I call it gobbledygook. Because it’s, it’s corporate-y nonsense. You know, they’ve got they got to run everything through their lawyer. And I think a great litmus test is, if you have to run everything through your lawyer, is the copy going to suck?
Jordan Ostroff 13:21
Well, unless where your lawyer
Tom Jelneck 13:22
Jordan Ostroff 13:23
it’ll be very different than what you know. But it’s interesting. You mentioned that because, you know, I’m sitting here thinking about it, you know, you have the AT&T commercials, and they’re in the at&t store, they’re going through this. And then you’ve got like the YouTube Live TV commercial. And it’s like, the 10 most watched YouTube videos of people, you know, jumping through flaming hoops, and cat videos and everything, but it’s a totally different target audience, or at least they’re definitely appealing to a different audience.
Tom Jelneck 13:47
Yeah. And I think, again, what this really comes down to is, well, we know our own language, well, that’s cool that you know, your own language, but you’ve got to know the language of the people that are going to visit your website. So I don’t care what industry it is, if you don’t put yourself often their shoes first. It’s game over.
Jordan Ostroff 14:03
So how do you help? I guess, how do you help that business find? Or how do you help convey where they fall in that spectrum? I mean, you know, you’ve got the Walmart, you’ve got the Target, you got the Bloomingdale’s, you know, what things are you considering when it comes to where that person is going to fall?
Tom Jelneck 14:18
That’s a great question. So, to me, it’s all about, you know, as a founder of the organization, for example, What’s your story? You know, what’s that backstory look like? The word storytelling is thrown around a lot now on the internet. But at the core of every company, there’s someone or team that put in the blood, sweat, and tears, you know, that worked out of their garage, like, like, like Steve Jobs, right? that built this amazing Empire. And I think, if you can get the business owner or the marketing team or whoever it is to tell the story about the organization, you know, what makes Jordan Law tick? What, what at the very core drives you guys is it? Is it? is it helping more UCF students, you know, get rid of awkward police report, whatever it is, like, what is it that drives you. And then once I can get to the core, that, then I can understand what kind of language I need to represent you as so it’s, it’s getting to the essence, or I like the word ethos of an organization, Every company has its own feel, like On Target, for example, is very vibrant. We have a lot of orange in the office, it’s very clean. It’s not corporate. But my team, what makes us tick is they all love to win for the customers as well. So that’s kind of our thing, right? So but every company’s got their thing. And it’s kind of it’s up to us as marketers to uncover that. We’re not going to tell you what your thing is, we’re going to pull it out of you, and then represent your organization, you know, properly and with sincerity. So, you know, you always hear inside reality outside reality. They’ve got a match. So another one of my job’s is to make that happen.
Jordan Ostroff 16:07
Alright, so I’m going to, I’m going to make an assumption here. When you’re talking to that business owner, you’re asking them for, you know, what sets them apart? I’m assuming some people are going to say they’re cheap, the, you know, price something along those lines, right?
Tom Jelneck 16:20
Yes, that happens.
Jordan Ostroff 16:21
And do you try and talk them out of that?
Tom Jelneck 16:24
I do. I think if you’re selling on price, you’re doing it wrong. And, you know, very candidly, I’ve had salespeople work for on target, that I have kind of beaten over their head, do not ever sell on price. That’s not who we are, you know, price wise on target isn’t the cheapest in town by any stroke, we’re obviously we’re also not the most expensive, but I don’t sell on that, like I sell on my expertise. I sell on my wisdom, I sell on our, our reputation. But more importantly, I sell on providing you a solution that’s actually going to move the needle. I’ve got to know what that needle is. And go that route. But yeah, I’ve told I’ve told several customers, one in particular was selling cell phone cases. And he called in. And I really ticked this guy off. And I wasn’t trying to but I really did he he had this low cost cell phone case that he wanted to go compete against all of these more expensive cases. So he calls he calls and he says, you know, I’ve got budget? Don’t you worry about that. I’m like, Well, okay, we’ll talk about that soon. I said, But tell me about your product. Well, it’s a very inexpensive cell phone case. I said, Okay, well, it’s it’s going to take thousands and thousands of dollars probably a day to make it to make a ding. What do you mean, I go, you’re going up against otter box, you’re going up against, you know, Pelican some of the or that’s a, I think that’s a grid of derivative of outer box. But like some of these more expensive cases, like spec, you know, it’s a $60 $70 $80 case, yours is five bucks. If the leads going to cost $12 to generate, you’re going to be in the hole real quick. Therefore, I’m going to lose and you’re going to lose. So selling on price is honestly never, in my humble opinion, the right way to go. It’s got to be the value that you bring, it’s going to be the difference you’re going to make in someone’s life. I know that sounds a little pie in the sky.
Jordan Ostroff 18:18
Tom Jelneck 18:18
but it’s reality,
Jordan Ostroff 18:20
like you’re speaking my language here, because somebody can come out and make that same cell phone case for $4 and 99 cents, and you’ve lost your leg to stand on.
Tom Jelneck 18:27
Yeah, hundred percent.
Jordan Ostroff 18:28
So how do you? How do you get somebody who’s in that position to realize, you know, value over price to realize, you know, white glove service? Or those just forget it, you know, it’s
Tom Jelneck 18:41
Sometimes sometimes you never will. Okay? And and I’ll tell you this, the people that come to me and ask for a very specific service, honestly, usually the ones that I don’t win, and it’s because they’re so tunnel focused on, I’ve got to be number one in Google. I’m like, Okay, well, first and foremost, I’m never going to promise I’m going to get you there, right. I don’t believe that anyone can promise that.
Jordan Ostroff 19:05
I mean, I get seven emails a day, or somebody can promise but those aren’t real.
Tom Jelneck 19:08
Not at all. No. And I get them to, which is hilarious. But the real thing here is, you know, I try to tell people comprehensive marketing plan. And my philosophy. Google did this awesome study a couple years back, where there it was self serving, by the way, but they realized that consumers today, visit 22 places or are influenced by 22 places before they buy anything, including a choo, choo, train, a rocket engine, sneakers, restaurants, etc. And if you think about the way you shop, as a consumer today, you do consult or are influenced by so many places, before you make a buying decision. You know, no one walks into a restaurant anymore. without, you know, looking it up on Yelp or checking a couple reviews or reading up on it on Facebook, we don’t even cold call in a restaurant. So if you take that marketing approach, and you look at everyone who comes to me as a consumer, or as a prospect, I’ve got to get your message heard or seen in front of 22 different places before I can get someone to buy. So that means your websites one, your blog could be another, your podcast is certainly a third touch your Facebook channel, LinkedIn, etc, etc. So I’ve got to kind of create this palette of how am I going to get your message out and seen and heard in all the right places. So anyone who comes to me with just one service, honestly, they’re not going to win, which means I’m not going to win, which means I don’t want the business.
Jordan Ostroff 20:40
So really, you want somebody who’s got core principles, and then you can run wild from there.
Tom Jelneck 20:46
Absolutely. So it’s usually a well established company. And I’m not I’m not trying to be snobby here, I just, I’ve been there done that. So you know, On Targets grown from working with the, you know, the, the one man and truck to companies that have basically resources to to really invest in marketing and content and, and, and high quality?
Jordan Ostroff 21:09
Well, also, I mean, from, from my perspective, as a, as a firm, we’ve changed so much, you know, in those first six months, that first year, the third 18 months, you don’t necessarily know what’s going to be you know, the end result. And then at the four year mark, the five year mark, the six year mark, you know, you’ve got a lot more of an understanding of your own product to help somebody else sell it.
Tom Jelneck 21:28
Yeah, in my world, my world changes every single day. So there’s a new product, there’s a new, you know, it’s remarketing. It’s the latest and greatest, you know, and it’s video marketing. It’s this, that and the other thing. So I staying on top of tactics is important. And I and I really try to explain that to people. Facebook is a tactic, right? Do you guys know how to do Facebook ads? Yeah, I’m on. Anybody can do a Facebook ad. But those are tactics, those are just places. The real core is the messaging and the wording and the, you know, reaching a human on a human level, and getting your marketing to connect. We’ll put them where they need to be. And yes, we know how to use all these platforms. But people get really fixated on the platform, and don’t look at the Why isn’t this working? what’s not working? Because the messaging sucks, or you look Mickey Mouse or your unique, you know, value proposition isn’t unique whatsoever. So I see all that stuff a lot.
Jordan Ostroff 22:26
And so what, like, how much of it is a back and forth? How much of it is you you know, kind of swing them in a certain way depends upon the client I don’t know.
Tom Jelneck 22:36
So probably like in your world, everything we do is about being different. It’s the pitch, right? So when I sit them down, I’m not talking about websites, right? I’m not talking about Facebook, I’m talking about how to reach consumers. And when you start talking a different language than every other web design company in this town, and there’s hundreds of them now. You speak a different language, it connects with their brain, and they’re like, Oh, yeah, I just want to connect with consumers on a different in a different way. And yes, On Target knows how to do that. And, and then we’ll get into specifics. But like I don’t dig into, well, you need a WordPress website with 42 pages, and I don’t get in the weeds. I just really try to get into I see your messaging, tell me who you’re trying to reach? And let’s drill down on that. Do I get pushback? seldom? Do I have people walk away? seldom? And I don’t say that again to be cocky or arrogant. It’s just, it’s it’s going after the right audience.
Jordan Ostroff 23:38
So in that moment, what are the biggest mistakes that you’re seeing out of small business owners?
Tom Jelneck 23:46
Well, honestly, shiny object syndrome is probably the biggest one. I’ve worked with a lot of doctors, and I don’t work with a lot of doctors anymore. So doctors, unfortunately are very well. Fortunately, they’re very, very busy, and have very minimal time to be interrupted. But a lot of people will manage to come into a doctor’s office and interrupt them with marketing shiny objects. You know, Dr. X, you need these videos, or Dr. X, you know, email marketing is the way to go. And I specialize in that. So a lot of times they just chase the shiny object, and they don’t stick to it. So all of those tactics and things, yes, they can work. But it needs to be bigger than it needs to be a bigger approach needs to be, again words first, how are we going to craft this message? So I see, I see a lot of doctors chase shiny objects. I’ve seen attorneys chase shiny objects as well. But I think I think that people who realize that not everything is always about lead gen as well. So a lot of companies online also realize that they need to brand and they need to be recognizable. There’s a site development company we’re working with right now and they get it. They understand that, you know, when you’re selling $150 – $300,000 project, your website may not be the first place that people go to fill out a contact form and say, I need that, you know, I need that $400,000 site development. It’s it’s relationship, right. So it’s building relationships. And basically solidifying those relationships with with content and being present in certain places. So I think that people that really get that and understand that succeed greater than the ones who chase shiny objects all day.
Jordan Ostroff 25:34
So all right, then let me let me devil’s advocate here,
Tom Jelneck 25:37
Jordan Ostroff 25:38
to go for it. So you know, obviously you don’t want to jump ship too quickly. You don’t want to change course, you don’t want to you know, change horses midstream, whatever. But how does that business owner know, what’s not working and is risk and is worth still trying and what’s not working? And it’s time to actually get off and try something different?
Tom Jelneck 25:56
That’s a great question. So anytime we set up ad campaigns for anyone, we AB test it. So you know, we’re going to put a completely different set of messaging here, then we’re going to put here and then we measure and pay attention to whether or not that’s working. So my litmus test, you know, we’re running ads, for example, for two weeks, and I’m not seeing any hits. I’m not seeing any, no one’s filling up that contact form. I’m going to mix it up. So I pay attention to that for the customer. How long should they give it? If your ads are being seen and clicked on, and you’ve got a click through rate that’s decent, you’re reaching them with the right keywords, and nothing’s happening. There’s something broken on the other end. So you know, I do encourage people, you do need to mix it up. Me personally, I stay on top of our ads for On Target, religiously, and I drive my team nuts, but I’m like, Hey, listen, spend two, three weeks, I’ve blown through $500. Nothing more, this didn’t work.
Jordan Ostroff 26:58
So basically, it’s your job to, in essence, you want them to trust you for you to decide when it’s time to switch on when it’s time to let it right.
Tom Jelneck 27:07
Absolutely, absolutely. And I’ll tell them that to their face. It’s like you do your business-y thing, right? You go do Dr. stuff, let us do marketing stuff. And if we realize marketing is is is not exact science, right? So I’ve written ads that I thought were freaking brilliant. And it’s crickets, and I’m like, damn it, that was really good stuff. I was really proud of that. But it’s just didn’t connect. So it is mixing it up. But you got to know in your gut when it is time to mix it up. We certainly don’t want our clients burning through cash with with zero result. So we stay on top of it. But yes, you’re right. We build trust. So they trust On Target, because we know we got it. And if I notice it’s not working on my team notices, it’s going to get mixed up. And we’ll call them and tell them that.
Jordan Ostroff 27:53
And so then what’s the what steps are you taking to build that trust? I mean, are you are you telling? Are you giving them expectations that beginning that, you know, really six months is the time to reassess a lot of this stuff or?
Tom Jelneck 28:07
Yeah, that’s I love that question. So there’s two parts to that. And this is a little bit of this going to sound a little bit bragging. But one of the things that’s worked exceptionally well for me, is building myself up as a thought leader. So I’ve been fortunate enough to be on television, including today on Channel 13, like 400 times, so every single time I get on to be an expert about marketing or anything cybersecurity or digital, I get a video. So, you know, I they’re all on my website. But that builds a ton of confidence in the people that come in the door, because they know I know my stuff, right? So I’ve taken a lot of time to build my own thought leadership. So that when you come to me, you already know, this is Tom, he knows his stuff. And my team is the same way. So how do I build that trust, I build it by being very truthful about how this is going to work, how it’s not going to work. One of the things you said was manage expectations, it has taken me 14 years to figure out how to do that really, really well. So if you come in my office with you know, Tom, our search just really isn’t working that well. I want to be number one, what’s the first thing I’m going to tell you? I can’t promise you you’re going to be number one, either. And I want you to know why. Because there’s a million companies trying to get other companies to be number one. There’s a million attorneys there’s and so there’s a lot of fish in the sea
Jordan Ostroff 29:34
change their algorithm. And then
Tom Jelneck 29:37
every time I buy that, and yeah, so but I’ve heard every single objection, there probably is I’ve heard every concern. So I’ll come out and just lay all the cards on the table. And I’ll just be like, Listen, this isn’t going to work overnight. You know, content, marketing and thought leadership takes time, obviously. And it’s done by repetition. And it’s just done by putting yourself out there. It works for me. And what I’m living proof that you know that this content marketing stuff works. And I practice what I preach,
Jordan Ostroff 30:09
Well it’s funny, you mentioned that and not to take anything away from you. But I I’ve had that I’ve had a client and I can’t go into too much detail. But I had, they didn’t believe me when I said it, but they believe me when I showed them where I wrote it on the internet on my own website. as Abraham Lincoln said, if it’s on the internet, it must be true
Tom Jelneck 30:26
Jordan Ostroff 30:28
Yeah, and it’s just, it’s interesting to me, you know, I love I love the law, from the standpoint of, I’ve got a pretty good idea what’s going to happen at the end of the case, you know, we might be talking about $100,000 difference, we might be talking about an extra three months probation, but we’ve got a pretty good idea as to what’s going on with the marketing stuff. And with with any, it’s truly creative, it’s truly art. It’s truly, you know, throwing stuff on a canvas and having a general idea of what’s going to work. But then kind of seeing what resonates with people.
Tom Jelneck 30:56
100%. And it’s honestly the core of Mark, whether it’s TV ads, phone book marketing, isn’t it all about creating or touching someone on a human level, like you, one of our objectives is to is to invoke an emotion out of somebody, like if I can do that, and I can get you emotionally attached to something you just read, or saw or visually saw on a website that I win, because you paid attention. And you know, the people that the companies that are out there just churning out websites for $399. And got it makes my skin crawl because it’s all you’re doing is creating stuff, you just spewing up digital stuff. And to me, the real difference is, how can I create your target consumer on a human level, in multiple places, with a very similar message.
Jordan Ostroff 31:50
I like that that’s that really, that really sums it up. And it’s always so funny to me. Because the standpoint you know, like you mentioned earlier, you write what you think’s really good content and doesn’t work for anybody, you know, you come up with a logo that you really like, but if nobody else likes it, it doesn’t matter. You know, there’s so many things we’re like, where it’s I want to be proud of put my name on it. But with marketing, it’s like, I want everybody else to be proud that my name is on it to come in. And it gives you you know, totally different mindset than a lot of the than then running a business really.
Tom Jelneck 32:16
So I have. It’s funny, I have two beautiful daughters. And they’re both very bright, thank God, they got it from their mother. But mom was out at night. And it was me and the girls at dinner. And I made them watch. Actually, my oldest was complaining about a group project. And if when you remember in school, there’s always that one kid on a group project that kind of slacks and let everybody else do their work.
Jordan Ostroff 32:40
That was me. I was really smart like that, you know if it came to it, but yeah,
Tom Jelneck 32:45
but you were also smart enough to know that everyone else would do the work. So
Jordan Ostroff 32:48
well. Yeah, you got to pick the right group, right? Definitely.
Tom Jelneck 32:51
So Malia, my oldest, was complaining about how horrible this project to turn out and she. And I was like, hold on. I showed my kids a TED talk on our TV through my smartphone, and I shot it through the, you know, group Google Chromecast. And I made them watch a Seth Godin. TED Talk about being remarkable and standing out. And then, you know, my oldest daughter says to me, you know what, I don’t want to put my name on this project. If it’s not amazing, and it’s not remarkable, and that really taught me a great lesson to hear from my own daughter, but it gives me goosebumps. And it’s like, the word remarkable to me, is kind of like a lens that I look at with every bit of anything we creat at On Target. Is it worthy of being shared? Is it remarkable? So my team now I always tell them Aaliyah story. And I got to make sure that they’re proud to put their name on any single thing that comes out of our office, that could be a podcast, you know, it could be a piece of content, it could be a banner image. Are you proud to put your name on it? And is this worthy of being shared? And I think, you know, at the end of the day, that’s what that’s what it’s, that’s what’s doing it right to the customer. It’s like, you we’ve got your back, like, we really believe and feel strongly that we’re a partner. We’re not a vendor.
Jordan Ostroff 34:16
So you mentioned remarkable for me, it’s the word incredible. And from my standpoint, because literally incredible means not credible, not believable, not honest. But we have totally changed it into this thing that is too good to believe that is so good that you don’t believe it, instead of just being not believable. And I think that the best, the best marketing job was whoever got incredible to have the normal day, meaning that it has now.
Tom Jelneck 34:40
That’s that’s a great word, too.
Jordan Ostroff 34:42
So what other I guess what other big issues are you seeing from business owners? Or when should a business owner thing? I’ve got to sit down with a marketing company just in case or just to make sure keep us going?
Tom Jelneck 34:57
Well, I think the biggest problem is usually budget. I think a lot of businesses don’t budget enough money towards marketing. And I’ve been there I mean, seat of the pants, what are we going to do? We’re not getting enough leads, how do we do it? And they don’t budget, an appropriate budget for marketing. So I had somebody tell me what’s 20% should be your marketing budget, oh, my God, 20% of revenues. decent chunk of change, be putting towards marketing. But I, but I think, I think really, the biggest challenge small business owners face is how do you stand out and be remarkable. If you can nail that down first, before you go to any company to talk to them about websites, and whatever. And if you understand how you can change a customer’s view or prospects view of your company by being remarkable or standing out. And that could be your customer service. You know, you may have the best customer service on the planet. And the world needs to know about that. What is it sweet spot about your business? And once you know that, and can celebrate that, bring that to a marketing company and say, listen, we are the best damn company at doing X, I want you to tell my story.
Jordan Ostroff 36:12
So I like it. So your first step is that real, full, honest, internal decision of, you know, why should somebody pick me? Or what sets me apart? Or why am I worthy of this?
Tom Jelneck 36:23
Every single time somebody comes to me air conditioning company? Okay, you know how many air conditioning companies are in Orlando? Tell me what makes you different? Like, why would Tom myself pick up the phone and call you to come to my house? Tell me the answer to that. And you’d be amazed when you get people to start talking about that. You know, that owner will break down, you know, there was this lady, it was late on a Friday night. She’s 80 years old, our team went above and beyond got, those are the kinds of stories that we want to tell on their behalf. Not the we have the best damn wrenches all of our trucks have nice thousand parts on them. That’s great. So does everyone else’s,
Jordan Ostroff 37:03
According to this award that we pay $300 right when
Tom Jelneck 37:06
JD Power has named us well. Okay, and I know how that game works too.
Jordan Ostroff 37:12
Interesting. Alright, so I like it. What, what else do our listeners need to know? I mean, we’ve covered quite a bit here, but a lot of it, I really love that it goes back to that internal mindset,
Tom Jelneck 37:22
Its internal mindset in its words. And it’s, it’s, it’s been very consistent. So the biggest question I get is, how often should I be posting on social media? There is overdoing it. Right? So if you’re posting something every minute, you’re going to annoy the bejesus out of people. What you need to do is figure out how to be different, how to be that purple cow, like we talked about how to be remarkable, just like you guys are doing with your social media, you highlight some of the craziest Florida laws, and are not laws, but like criminals. That happened every single day
Jordan Ostroff 37:56
Tom Jelneck 37:57
Alleged, thank you. And I realized Florida has a pretty deep well for that. So
Jordan Ostroff 38:01
That we do
Tom Jelneck 38:03
So but you know, taking taking that angle and being doing something different than your competition right across the street. That’s really the core of marketing today is, you know, a million websites just hit the planet today just hit the digital world. How is yours going to be any different than anyone elses? And like I said before, why bother if you’re not going to be?
Jordan Ostroff 38:26
So it’s interesting, you mentioned that because you know, when when Mark are our marketing director, ramped up our posting, I was afraid that there were people who would stop following us or you know, ditch the website. And going into, we had four people, four more people who liked the page, then who followed it. And now we have three more people who liked the page, then follow it. So either one of those people completely dropped us, or they reconsidered and follow the page. And I was like, that’s a good.
Tom Jelneck 38:52
Jordan Ostroff 38:53
Yeah. Now, we’re that much closer. So I can only imagine though, if you pull some of these giant companies, I mean, they might have million people who like Coke, you might have 900,000 of them who don’t follow it. So
Tom Jelneck 39:04
Yeah, and I think, you know, people don’t want to buy from slackers, people don’t really want to buy from people who are, you know, sleazy or not experienced? And, and I think one of the things that I really try to impose upon business owners is, Listen, you’re one of the best damn people on the planet to do this. Right? You’re really good at what you do. Why don’t we build a tribe around you. And you’re the thought leader, right? You lead a tribe of people whose oh my gosh, you know, Tom is the best damn digital market on the planet, whatever. But you’ve got to build that trust and that thought leadership. And that’s something that we really feel strongly about. So when we create blog content, when we create social media content, it’s about aligning you and your company, as true experts in what you do. And that’s what people ultimately want. They don’t want to call, you know, the discount law firm down the street, if you know, Acme law firm, they want to call the company that they feel very strongly is going to win their case or protect them.
Jordan Ostroff 40:05
It’s always interesting to me, because I can tell the mark of success of an attorney by what they complain about. And so every attorney that complains about, you know, the random signs on the side of the road for $99 divorces, or Legal Zoom or whatnot, I’m like, you’re completely the wrong pond, you know, the person who’s going to go do that I don’t want them as a client, because they’re going to be so upset that I’m $2,000, when it’s, you know, $300 bucks on Legal Zoom.
Tom Jelneck 40:27
And what’s that difference? Like, that’s the thing you really got to exploit what’s the difference between me and that $99 sign, and you know, that, that’s what you have to, you know, preach from the mountaintops to your prospects is, listen, we’re not going to drop the ball, we’ve got your best interests in mind all the time, we’re here to win for you. And relax, that that kind of messaging puts people at ease, and they will spend the money to get it done, right? In most cases, and to your point, you don’t want the ones that just want to throw $100 bill at it,
Jordan Ostroff 40:58
Right. And then you know, then it’s the, oh, I want $100 rebate or getting a bar complaint or this or that the other it’s just not they, but you have to get in, you have to be you have to believe in what you’re selling enough to be okay with that and to get you in the position where you’re okay, turning down the money, right.
Tom Jelneck 41:14
And we recently had a, we had a lead just two or three weeks ago, and it’s just gentleman referbs high end guitars, and it really cool business and does a pretty awesome job at what he does, and pretty remarkable. However, he needed a couple of website updates done his old website person and moved on. And my salesperson kept coming to me with this project this job. And I’m like, I’m not really interested in this. Why not? I was like, Well, for one thing, it’s hard for me to make money on this. Anybody can update a WordPress website, you can get a Fiverr you can find some, some, you know, find your teenage son who knows how to do it, you know, whatever it is. And I just wasn’t interested in the business. Well, he sells high end stuff, like, good, but I don’t want to be doing that for living. That’s not how we want On Target to be perceived in the marketplace. And, you know, finally he bugged me about it so much to give a quote, and I, I got 12 hours of time to update a website at $175 an hour. Okay, why did I do that? Because I didn’t really want that business. I didn’t want that business, because that’s all that guy wanted. Right? And he was just obsessed about, is it really going to take two hours to backup this website? Well, you know what, dude, I might, yeah, right, by the time we get into it, and so I think the point there was, you’ve really got to know what you’re selling, why you want to sell it and who you don’t want to sell to. he’s a he’s an awesome person. And I’m not picking on it. I’m just saying that’s not our sweet spot.
Jordan Ostroff 42:48
But like you talked about, there’s so many other firms, there’s so many other marketing companies, there’s so many others that would be desperate for anything.
Tom Jelneck 42:55
Yeah. And there’s a place for that, you know, there’s a company that makes sell it, you know, do WordPress backups and restorations and whatever. And yes, we know how to do it. And yes, we do it every day. But we were doing it with clients on an ongoing basis. That’s your bigger picture.
Jordan Ostroff 43:10
Alright, so we’ve got somebody who’s listening to this podcast, you know, they know they need the help, can you give us the contact info again?
Tom Jelneck 43:16
Sure, you can find me at ontargetdigitalmarketing.com. And, you know, obviously, there’s contact info on that website as well. We’d love for people to come to us and see us at our place, I will always come see you wherever you’re at. But we’d love for you to experience kind of our space and understand what we bring to the value that my team brings to the table.
Jordan Ostroff 43:39
And before we end, what are some recommendations for people to I know, you talked about Seth Godin, and quite a bit books, people should be reading blogs they can should follow to kind of get in this mindset of how to how to set themselves apart of the marketplace, how to be a thought leader how to do those things.
Tom Jelneck 43:56
Certainly, I would start with Simon Sinek. One of my favorites. He wrote a book I want to say about two years ago called Start with the Why. And I think most companies today really obsess about what they do. If you start obsessing about why you do it, it changes everything. So I would definitely start with that book. And there’s also YouTube videos about that, etc. One of my favorite podcasts that I listened to, it’s a little bit more on the entrepreneur side. Great for small business owners. It’s called How I Built This with Guy Roz, and it’s an NPR podcast, but you can find it on iTunes, Google Play Stitcher, etc. But How I Built This takes entrepreneurs who built something from nothing, and kind of highlights the struggle, I find it really inspiring as a fellow business owner to to understand how people crushed it, you know, people who made the Dyson vacuum cleaner to the people who made popcorn, all kinds of really cool stories. So I would definitely tuned into that. I target web solutions are ontargetdigitalmarketing.com also has a button called insights. And our team puts together a lot of great content marketing tips there as well. But certainly the Simon Sinek guy Start with the Why is a really good, really good start to understanding how to connect with human beings.
Jordan Ostroff 45:15
All right. All right. So then let’s, let’s wrap this up with a question we ask of everybody.
Tom Jelneck 45:20
Jordan Ostroff 45:20
And I’ll give you the same pitch we give everyone else Mark and edit out in the dead time, take whatever you need. If somebody gets nothing else from this podcast, what’s the one thing you want to make sure that they take from this? What’s the one thing you want to every business owner to know?
Tom Jelneck 45:36
The internet is not some magical place that’s going to transform your business unless you create stuff that is truly remarkable, and inspires people.
Jordan Ostroff 45:46
All right. I like it. That’s the you know, I think everybody’s not necessarily looking for that get rich quick scheme, but looking for that. Get the potential to get rich quick. I don’t know the the quick fix the easy answer.
Tom Jelneck 45:59
And you know what it happens sometimes, but it really doesn’t. Most of the time, it is all about what you put into it. And it’s all about, you know, connecting with people on a human level. And like I said earlier, a lot of the things online, they’re just tactics, but what the real core of it is, is is connecting with other human beings.
Jordan Ostroff 46:18
All right, thank you so much for joining us today.
Tom Jelneck 46:20
Thanks for having us. This was a lot of fun.
You’ve been listening to let’s get up to business from Jordan Law. We hope you’ve enjoyed the podcast and would consider sharing the show. We would also love an honest five star review through iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or whatever pod catcher you use. If you are interested in being a guest on the podcast, please contact Producer Mark through email at Mark@jordanlawfl.com. Use this subject line podcast guest in your email. Thank you. We look forward to speaking to you again soon.
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