Is Your Website a Golden Toilet?

Have you been flushing your money into your website with no results? 

Steve Brown is the founder and CEO of ROI Online and the author of, “The Golden Toilet – Stop Flushing Your Marketing Budget into Your Website and Build a System That Grows Your Business.”  

Steve is an expert sales leader and is certified in HubSpot’s Sales Software. He is fully versed in the StoryBrand philosophy, having completed three workshops, the copywriter certification and the online coursework. He has also received his certification in Primal Branding through Thinktopia. Steve is an alumnus of the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Program at Babson College. The program offers leaders of high-growth small businesses the opportunity to receive quality, practical education and business support.

You can learn more about Steve at the links below:

  • Purchase Steve’s Book, “The Golden Toilet” = CLICK HERE
  • Get a FREE strategy session with ROI Online = CLICK HERE
  • Listen to Steve’s Podcast, ROI Online = CLICK HERE

If you are ready to talk about franchising your business you can schedule your free, no-obligation, franchise consultation online at: https://bigskyfranchiseteam.com/ or by calling Big Sky Franchise Team at: 855-824-4759.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team:

You’ve worked hard to build your business, and now it’s time to grow. Welcome to the ‎Multiply Your Success podcast. I’m your host, Tom DuFore, CEO of Big Sky Franchise Team and a serial entrepreneur. And as we get started on today’s episode, we want to talk about your marketing and what are you doing to grow your business in 2021? As we’re coming out of 2020, I’m sure you’re ready to move forward and to be planning ahead. To start looking forward, what are you doing for your marketing? And I wonder, have you created a golden toilet with your website?

              And our guest today, Steve Brown, is actually the author of The Golden Toilet. And it’s called The Golden Toilet: Stop Flushing Your Marketing Budget into Your Website and Build a System That Grows Your Business. And I was so excited to have him on our podcast as a guest, because his methodology and system talks about how your website is only one very small piece of the marketing picture. And we’ve all been convinced as a business owner, I know I have, let me rephrase, at least I have. I can’t speak that for you, but at least I’ve been duped by some marketing or graphic design people that say, “You’ve got to do this to your website or do this ROI or SEO thing.” And here I am messing up all the acronyms.

              And the idea is that Steve has a system that works and I wanted to interview him for you to get some information from his expertise on it. And Steve, in addition to being the author of the book The Golden Toilet, and there’s a link in our show notes, and it’s available anywhere online, Amazon and available on audible.com and a lot of other places. Steve is the founder and CEO of ROI Online. You can check out his company, they specialize in branding, marketing, sales and lead funnels, landing pages, all different kinds of things, but tying all of this together. And that’s why we wanted him here. He’s a StoryBrand Certified Guide. He’s a Primal Branding certified. He is HubSpot inbound marketing certified. I mean, he has the credentials of the what’s happening now in marketing and lead generation. With that being said, we’re going to go ahead and jump right into my interview with Steve Brown.

Steve Brown, ROI Online:

Hey Tom, thanks for having me. I’m really proud to be here. Steve Brown, I’m the author of The Golden Toilet: Stop Flushing Your Marketing Budget into Your Website. I’m also the host of the ROI Online Podcast, and I’m the CEO of my agency, ROI Online an Internet Marketing Agency.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team:

Well, thank you so much for being here. And I have read your book. I shouldn’t say read, I don’t really read. I do almost everything audio books. I listened all the way through and I’ve got… I think I’m about five or six hours into our relationship building here, based off of the last tail end of your book with the podcast interviews on there, a few hours in. And so, I really appreciate this whole idea of The Golden Toilet. For our listeners that haven’t listened to your book or read it yet, talk a little bit about this idea of The Golden Toilet.

Steve Brown, ROI Online:

Yeah. I realized that we’re going into our ninth year and I’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs and they each have this common request when they show up. They’re like, “Steve, I think we need to redo our website. I think we need to do some social media. We’re supposed to show up on some searches, but can you help us out?” And what I realized over time is I needed to reframe their expectations. And you’ve heard the old saying that you need to tell someone something seven times before they really hear it. Well, the way to shortcut that, and imagine in a sales call, you can’t tell someone really seven times without feeling really awkward or redundant. And so, my solution to it was to reframe by getting their brains to just stop and lean in and go, “What did you just say?”

              And my solution was, “Tom, look, your website is just a toilet.” But you could hear their brain, the tires skidding on the pavement of their little brains and be, “What did you say?” And that means they stopped thinking about anything else and they go, “What?” And I’m going, “Look, you wouldn’t work in an office if it didn’t have one. You wouldn’t build a house without a restroom. But when people come over to your house, where do you hang out? You hang out in the kitchen, at the fireplace, or in the backyard around the swimming pool. So, I wanted you to think of your website is just an important piece of a bigger overall system.” A golden toilet, everybody knows it. It’s a universal iconic image of absurd, wasted money. And yet, we have this guilt feeling about all this wasted money we put into this online presence.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team:

Yeah. And in your book, and in reading some of the blogs in different information you’ve published, I know I’m guilty of this. And I’m sure our listeners, who are tuning in, I’m going to claim my own guilt first in saying, “Well, I have to have this beautiful website.” And I don’t even know why. I want it to look beautiful, or I’ve been convinced I can have an ugly website, but if have these amazing SEO services that it doesn’t matter. I can have this really ugly website, but I’ve got this awesome SEO and all these clicks and links and it starts getting into the jargon and tech talk and so on. Talk a little bit about that aspect as well.

Steve Brown, ROI Online:

Yeah. We’re humans and here’s the problem. First of all, if you are approaching this challenge, this is a universal business challenge. Every business must embrace, especially now, if anything this year has taught us is like, we need to have our act together online, right? And so, we’re really convinced now if we weren’t before. But they’re still humans on the other side of this, and they’re going to come to your website. And in just a second, and in just a split second, they’re going to go, “I’m hanging around longer or I’m out of here.” And so, you can try to manipulate the search engines and trick people into landing on your ugly website. But still, the human brain’s in charge, and it will leave without mercy. We’ve all gone to those websites where, “Nah, not for me.” And we’re gone. We have no remorse and that’s happening everyday. So, that’s the wrong way to look at it. And this website, it’s important, but it’s like, we need to quickly convey that we understand you, that you’re safe here and here’s what you need to do next.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team:

Well. And one of the things to dive into that a little bit deeper that I took away that I’d like to talk about is this human experience. You’d talked about… Take away the SEO and factor in this human experience into your process. And you’re talking a little bit about that. So, talk about… In the book, you give this framework how the website interplays between the SEO, and the pay-per-click, and a sales funnel, and a marketing funnel, and all these things that we hear are buzz words, especially as a business owner. You hear it, you all know just enough to know that you know, but don’t really know anything about it. Maybe talk about each of those components and how these all interlink can play together.

Steve Brown, ROI Online:

Yeah. Really, what I learned over all these projects that we’d worked with these great, smart entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs, they’re courageous and they’re just going to figure it out no matter how messy it gets, they’re going to be successful. And we would work with them and they would come in and say, “Steve, we need to do this, we need to do this.” Well, we do that and we’re good at it. But later, I would figure out is like, “Why are we having a disconnect here?” Because we’ve been doing all these great things. From what I was assuming was we understood the fundamentals and the fundamentals were all in place and we were building upon those fundamentals, but it wasn’t true. And so, later on, they would come to me and, “Steve, I just don’t think it’s working.” And I’d realized that one of the fundamentals weren’t in place, that we hadn’t satisfied that.

              And so, that’s where the essence of this book comes up. But you have to have four things. You have to have clear messaging. Bottom line, when a human… It’s not B2C, it’s not B2B, it’s H2H, human to human. It’s the way it’s always been, and it’s the way it always will be. Whether it’s a digital, virtual experience, in-person experience, whatever the future experiences are, VR, whatever, it’s still H2H, that will never change. And so, your messaging, your brain desires, craves communication that honors the rules of story. And so, we have to get that first. And there’s a process, it’s called StoryBrand. And there’s a great book, Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller, and once I learned it, my agency embraced it. We were the original agency certified by StoryBrand and we’ve implemented it. It’s just powerful. You have to have that in place, number one. That’s just the way it has to be.

              Second, that beautiful story-based content needs to live somewhere. It needs to be baked into the technology of the day. And right now, that technology is called marketing automation. It’s also called sales automation. We have to have those two things in place. We need to take that great content, putting it into marketing automation. Marketing automation is the Amazon experience that we’ve all grown to appreciate. Hey, welcome back, Tom. Last time you bought shoes. Here’s other people who really found the shoe strings really nice. We’re all familiar, we know that. Well, that’s a version of marketing automation, okay? Then it has to be baked into your sales process, your sales automation. And we’ve all gone and we researched something and got really excited about it. Here’s the solution, I’m going to run over there and get it. And we go into the store and they act like we’re an idiot. And we get really emotionally upset. And we leave because it wasn’t congruent, whatever we had bought into in the marketing process, wasn’t in play in the sales process. That upset us so much, we even consider writing a bad review on Yelp.

              And the reason we feel that way is because it wasn’t what we expected. And so, that’s why I say that it has to be baked into your sales automation. Once you get those in place, now we’ve got a system setup, now we can focus on running whether it be Google ads or Facebook ads or blog posts. Now we have an idea of like, we can apply a strategic intention about our marketing processes now, because we know where we want people to go. When they see our ad, when they see a blog and they click on it, we know it’s going to go to this landing page, they’re going to see this valuable lead generating offer, or PDF, or whatever it is. And then, they can drop, they’re going to trade their contact information, they drop into the marketing automation follow-up, and that’s the essence of the fundamentals you need to have in place.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team:

Well, it sounds very simple. It sounds very simple, you explained that very well. Just curious, for someone who is looking for a place to start, and you give a broad range in the book and on your website, you give a lot of resources for someone who’s just starting all the way up to maybe someone who thinks they’re very experienced in it. Talk about where someone could start to gather some information. What’s a great way for them to start learning about this and discovering these processes?

Steve Brown, ROI Online:

Well, first of all, obviously my book is a great place. And the reason I wrote it, and you would expect me to say this, but the reason I wrote it was because I realized that the two sides, the marketing agency and the business entrepreneur, they were saying the same words, but they were seeing different monsters on the other side. Even though they were saying tomato or marketing, and the agency, we’re giving marketing, that was two very different things. And so, my book is a beautiful place to start where you can get on the same page with the same words. Have a clear expectation of what marketing is, what branding is, what sales is, what positioning that’s right? And then, also see the same system you’re building. We’re building something virtual, but how nice to have a schematic that we can point to and get oriented and start to team up. Instead of being these two opposing sides that are arguing and fussing and fighting.

              And if we can do that, then we can set proper expectations. And I just helped you avoid a lot of frustration, a lot of wasted money, and a lot of wasted time. Obviously, the StoryBrand, they have these great workshops. You can take a StoryBrand workshop and really get a good start on your messaging. There’s all these great StoryBrand guides. Obviously, we’re StoryBrand guide ourselves. And we’ve been doing this for a while, but you can read a lot of excellent books. Marketing to Mindstates by Will Leach, beautiful book that helps you understand how to dial your messaging in to connect with people in a state of mind they’re in when they’re evaluating your product. We have a little academy. We can come teach you to how to do it yourself, or obviously you can hire us to help us get all your ducks in a row.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team:

Well, thank you for that. That’s great. Look, for our audience, everything from just reading something or listening to Steve’s podcast, and diving deeper into this subject, all the way on up to engaging with his firm, or an organization, or experts in this arena, I think a valid point that I took out of the book here is that… and to reemphasize what you’re saying here is the marketing is it all needs to flow together. From the messaging on the website, that whole experience that you were talking about from the messaging to the marketing funnel, the sales funnel, the sales people, all of these pieces need to be in collaboration together. And they seem to be the silos or islands off there with nothing connecting them. They’re just out there and they’re looking off in the distance saying, “I see you over there. Nice to see you.” I think that’s really great.

              And you’re a great resource to start and a great place to begin someone’s journey going down that direction. And anyone who’s listening in thinking, “Boy, my marketing hasn’t been working.” Or, “I spent a whole lot of money in hiring this design agency to help me out. And they were supposed to do something and it didn’t work.” There’s a good chance that probably some of these links were never connected to begin with. Well, great. Well, Steve, I’d love to get into a couple of questions we like to ask every guest and to learn from your experience. And this idea of misses, makes and multipliers. We like to start with the miss. It’s always a little messy, but we always find that you sometimes learn more from those misses than the makes. So, would you mind sharing a miss or two that maybe you had along the way. And what you learned from it?

Steve Brown, ROI Online:

Yeah. I think that running my business where one miss that I had was I expected that the folks that worked for you see the same thing. Even though you talk about it, it’s not clear in their mind. And so, one of my misses was not… One of the biggest challenges we have as leaders that we… it’s a struggle to get what’s in our head out in clear so that everybody understands. One of the things that I felt that I had really failed on was the clarity of the direction of ROI Online. And so, one of the ways that I resolved that, there’s a great book called Vivid Vision by Cameron Herold. And it helps you draw out an actual picture of what your company looks like in three years from now. And so, it’s a great way to draw the picture and get it in everyone’s head. But more importantly, you’re getting it out of your head and that’s a beautiful exercise. That’s a big, expensive miss for me, but it’s something that how would you know if you didn’t go through that exercise, right?

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team:

That’s right. Yeah, absolutely. And I’m sure a lot of our audience here can relate to that challenge. It’s hard sometimes to take that vision out of your mind and communicate that to your staff and to your team that’s helping support the business to grow. Well, let’s turn it the other way around. Let’s talk about a make, that’s more fun to talk about anyway, but let’s talk about a make or two that came along the way that you saw and how you did it?

Steve Brown, ROI Online:

I realized… And I talk about it some in my book, but I realized that we have this desire to take good care of our clients and really help them grow and grow the value of their business with the services that we provide. But we were unclear about all that we could do. And so, one of the things I feel was a really smart move was we backed up, we distilled down our essence. And those fundamentals that I talked about in the book, we created a process where we’re just going to get our fundamentals right in the first four months. And we call it the QuickStart, and it has been huge.

              It’s created clients that love what we do. It’s created employees that are successful, and aligned, and fulfilled. And it’s just been a beautiful thing that whether those clients continue on with this or not, they now have a beautiful foundation that they can scale and stack on top of. And so, it’s just was probably one of the best things we ever did was to pull back, get our fundamentals in place, package it, put a name on it, and to have an actual structured process.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team:

Interesting. That’s a really, really… Well, the QuickStart sounds interesting. And I’m interested in the QuickStart. So, we’ll have to connect offline to learn a little bit more about what’s involved with that. And Steve, let’s talk about the idea of multipliers. The name of the show’s ‎Multiply Your Success. And we’ve had past guests give personal multipliers they’ve used, business multipliers. Is there anything that comes to mind that you could share with our audience?

Steve Brown, ROI Online:

I think there’s point in your journey as a leader of an organization or a company, and you start, you figure out you got something good, you start to dial it in and you get everything fine tune, and you can rest and coast. Or you could actually require some to grow a little bit more, and I think that’s where you start to evolve into you need to start positioning yourself as a thought leader, whether it be a podcast like you’re doing, Tom, whether it’s where you start to write a book or deliver something that really shows and shares your expertise and your perspectives that you generated over paying your dues. This is a way that you can start to help many more people even though they may never be your customer, even though they may never be a client, you have now just impacted a lot more people than just individuals that you touch on a day-to-day basis.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team:

Interesting. Well, I appreciate that. And looking at benefiting, and helping, and supporting as many people as possible. And knowing that some of them will hire you, most of them probably won’t that end up getting touched that read the book or listen to your podcast. But enough of them will and will refer and you become that thought leader, that’s brilliant. I appreciate that. Well, Steve, the last question that we ask every guest is what does success mean to you?

Steve Brown, ROI Online:

Success means that creating an environment. We get a job and we want to be happy in our job or whatever, but at some point, if you can get more in control and create an environment to where you can be fulfilled, you get to focus on the things that really bring you energy and that you’re in your best zone. And so, if you can start to drive a little bit or create a place where you can be impactful either as a leader or as really good at what you do, but you start to dial in your unique perspective and value, I call that success. It’s a place that you can be fulfilled delivering what you were designed for.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team:

Well, thank you. I really appreciate that. It’s a great perspective. I really liked that. And Steve, as we wrap things up here, is there anything that you were hoping to get out or share with the audience that you haven’t had a chance to share?

Steve Brown, ROI Online:

No. I think the folks that are listening are like, they’re competent and they’re going to achieve, they’re listening and learning. But I think one thing we need to realize that we default think that there’s a silver bullet to things, but there is not, that’s a fallacy. But there is a system that you can design that will help you be more impactful. And so, I think, if we’re more open to looking for the patterns or the systems that we can apply, that’s more realistic expectation.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team:

Yeah. That’s a great point. Looking for that silver bullet, the fountain of youth, whatever it might be. I know sometimes you get when you’re stuck thinking, envisioning things, you have this picture-perfect thing happening in your mind, and it never ends up going that way.

Steve Brown, ROI Online:

No, there’s a lot more to it, but it’s okay, you can do it. But I think you need to set your expectations to look for a system and apply a system, and it’s usually more comprehensive. It takes a little more talent, but that’s why those things make you more competitive. They give you a competitive advantage when you can apply that philosophy or that mindset.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team:

Well, and Steve, as we wrap things up here, how can people get ahold of you and get in touch with you if they’re interested in learning more?

Steve Brown, ROI Online:

Yeah. The website, of course, is roionline.com. You can go there and schedule a time. The book, you can find the book on Amazon, it’s on Audible, it’s on Kindle. The Golden Toilet: Stop Flushing Your Marketing Budget into Your Website and Build a System That Grows Your Business. And then, of course, the podcast, the ROI Online Podcast, it’s on Apple, Spotify, all the places that you would find a podcast, listen in and reach out. LinkedIn, of course, Steve Brown or ROI Online. Message me on LinkedIn and I’ll help you find the resources that you’re looking for.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team:

Great. Well, thank you so much. We’ll be sure to include links in all the show notes and everything for you as well. And I really appreciate you being here. Thank you.

Steve Brown, ROI Online:

Tom, thanks for having me. You’re a great host.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team:

Well, Steve, thank you again so much for being here. What a fantastic interview. Your book is wonderful. And by the way, if you haven’t read Steve’s book, please do so. The Golden Toilet is absolutely fantastic. It’s a quick read and I know you’ll get some great, great pieces of information out of it. Let’s jump into today’s three key takeaways. The first key takeaway that Steve said was to get your messaging clear. Get your messaging clear. And he talked about working with a firm like his, using the StoryBrand methodology. We’re very familiar with this system. This is a process that we use internally for our company and one that we think very highly of as well. Part of the reason we were excited to have Steve on the podcast.

              Number two, create a simple and easy way for your customers or clients to get started. What is an easy and simple way for them to get started with you? It could be something simple like maybe a free download off of your website. Or just an initial get started promotional offer that gets them building a relationship with you. And number three, which was at the tail end of the interview, when Steve said there is not a silver bullet, there’s no silver bullet that’s magic way to success. But you can create a system to get there. You can create a system to get there, and that’s what he and his company do. So, obviously, he’s going to talk about that. But I really think it’s worth noting that all of these different elements of your marketing all play together to create that winning solution for growing your business.

              And now it’s time for today’s win-win. Today’s win-win comes right from Steve when he said, “No matter what is popular or happening in marketing, you’re doing business human to human. You’re doing business with people.” As he said, you can get clicks to your website or get people go into a landing page or whatever it might be. But if they don’t see something, if their brain doesn’t immediately click with you, they’re gone. They’re somewhere else. So. Never lose sight of the fact that you’re doing business with a human being on the other end of the line, website, virtual event, however you’re connecting with them in today’s world. And so, that’s our episode today, folks. Thanks for tuning in, stay tuned next week for our end of the year. We have some really exciting recaps from the podcast this season as we close out 2020 and start looking forward to 2021.

    

Posted in
big-sky-franchise-team-logo-alpharetta--182

Multiply Your Success®

Franchise Your Business