Episode 3 - Aaron Agius
(Director & Founder of Louder Online)

On this episode of Digital Mountaineers, host George Mackenzie speaks with Aaron Agius Managing Director & Founder of Louder Online, a global digital marketing agency.

ABOUT THE GUEST

Aaron Agius has been featured by The Huffington Post, Forbes, HubSpot, Inc., Content Marketing Institute, Entrepreneur and the Sydney Morning Herald. In 2019 he released his first book titled Faster Smarter Louder which became an Amazon bestseller.

ABOUT THE HOST

George Mackenzie is a Digital Marketing Strategist who has worked with brands like Little Caesars, Airtasker, Inspirations Paints & Taylors Wines. He is the producer of Digital Mountaineers and an avid lover of podcasting, audio & film tech and heavy metal music.

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Time Stamps

  • 00:01:32
    COVID-19 Check in
  • 00:02:45
    Challenges and advice for working with remote teams across the globe
  • 00:05:41
    Louder Online’s approach to team structure in a global setup
  • 00:07:48
    Maintaining a high standard in remote teams
  • 00:11:18
    Advantages to letting employees have side hustles and bringing expertise in house
  • 00:12:20
    Sticking to best practices for SEO from era to era
  • 00:15:45
    How to speak to a client about SEO vs Performance Marketing
  • 00:23:45
    How to approach writing for large publications
  • 00:25:38
    Key pieces of advice for writing and publishing blog content and personal branding
  • 00:31:00
    Processes for repurposing and distributing content
  • 00:34:17
    Talking about Aaron’s book Faster Smarter Louder
  • 00:38:00
    Reflecting on writing his first book and what’s next?
  • 00:41:05
    Final thoughts

Transcript

George: Hi, Aaron, welcome to the podcast. It's great to have you here.

Aaron: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

George: So Aaron, I think I think starting every podcast asking our guests How is the team at louder online and you know Coronavirus and everything. It's been a wild time. You guys all good and just a general check in.

Aaron: We were all good within a fully distributed team since 13 years ago now so it hasn't affected the way that we work. Other than the flow on effect of businesses that were sort of shutting down and that kind of thing as a flow on effect in terms of clients, changing budgets or pausing things, and at the same time, I had a bunch of others come on board that will work. Now's our time to market. So it was just a bit of a shake up and upheaval, but nothing that that was too badly.

George: Okay. That's great to hear. That's great to hear. And I think that's a great place to start is, you know, louder online. You started it in 2008, I believe. And is that correct?

Aaron: Yeah. 2008.

George: So I'm sure you've seen a lot of changes along the way. But that initial decision to start remotely, could you talk about that because you guys were pretty ahead of the curve there.

Aaron: Yeah, I was completely for selfish reasons. We actually didn't start the agency with the idea that we're going to become an agency. So we started doing affiliate marketing, and we didn't have consulting with Never work. Besides, we didn't do anything other than move traffic from one place to another and liked it that way. But then we had, you know, friends, businesses, friends who had businesses that say to us, if you can do that, surely, you know, teach me or I'll pay you to do it from my website. And so we started with small business and made our way up to the biggest companies in the world. But in doing that, initially, we wanted because when we're doing affiliate marketing, we could just keep travelling, well no one's timezone. It didn't really matter. There's no clients, so to speak. And we just wanted to continue that so and we wanted to enjoy the whole sort of arbitrage play of earning a strong currency and spending on a cheaper currency but still highly skilled staff. So that we explored from the beginning how to, you know, have teams offshore in different places and it was a bit of a roller coaster To start with, but a steep learning curve that we are very thankful that we did from Day one.

George: Yeah, I think a lot of people are getting to grips with this remote working thing like date dot I know my parents are and friends who have businesses you know, this isn't something top of mind but in digital marketing you know we've been pretty, pretty accustomed to this what what are some of those challenges that you encountered with all those remote teams and if someone were listening to this podcast were to, you know, be moving into this direction? And what are some of those key bits of advice you would give them?

Aaron: Look, initially, we we went straight to India years ago like we as highly skilled cheap labour in India. We went there and we've got a whole lot of I can do that I can do the task, and then it just come back complete mess and the first learning curve there was that's not my fault and our folders it was theirs because they weren't giving proper briefings. No sort of video work walkthrough is examples of what it was when it was done. check ins Like every now and then as to make sure that we're on the right page before over investing in things. So we went through a really big learning curve there. And then we will, you know, we'll still have the opinion Oh, yeah, we think it's, it's a culture in India later we found out it's not. And we went to the Philippines. And so yeah, we've had teams in the Philippines for ages as well. And we learned there are cultural issues there too, in terms of, we'd have, we'd have our staff there that would take the task. So they knew how to do it. And we, we believe that and they explained it back to us all of that, and I disappear off the face of the earth, and you'd never hear from them again. And we couldn't they wouldn't answer coals. I've gone on Skype, email, all sorts of things, and you just had no clue what was going on. So what we did there was we ended up putting, we ended up having a couple of key staff, one in particular, named Val that was just brilliant. And we used to say, Well, I don't get why that happens. And basically we put her in a managerial position there. And she ended up managing the teams and they never just disappeared from her because the same culture and she sort of bridge that gap for us. One of the things we then learned off the back of that was that we had to take into account cultural differences. We had 14 managers in place, we have to have a trusted individual or trusted individuals in management positions in those in different countries, which eventually led us to going back through uploads and over to India for a lot of the work that we do there, which has turned out brilliant now because of what we learn and of having the right managerial team in place. And then, I mean, now we've got teams in Eastern Europe, Asia, India, Australia, the US were everywhere.

George: Yeah, you guys certainly are and in your core offices, I believe USA, Australia, Singapore.

Aaron: Depends how you want to interpret that. There's no Central Office, we have 80% of our clients are US based. And then Australia is the next biggest, but pretty much on every continent as well. So there's no central anything.

George: Yeah, okay. Well, that's that was something I wanted to touch on with this podcast, and I thought was an interesting angle to pick your brains on was something you've touched upon there was, you know, cultural differences and ways of, you know, ways of tailoring things for different countries. So, you know, you've got a client in the US, you've got clients all over the world, you know, having teams remotely working on messaging for different regions of the world. You know, that's quite a task, because everywhere kind of speaks a little bit different or requires a little tweak here and there, you know, how do you manage that from, you know, not only the internal operation side of things, but also tailoring it for your clients?

Aaron: Yeah, we do it by understanding what tasks we can and can't get done in different places in different countries as different skills certs and that kind of thing. So we operate different to a lot of other agencies where like, I know agencies that will have an account manager that looks after a bunch of accounts and working with the account manager is a tech person or a dev or whatever, and they're on the same accounts. And those people basically handle the work back and forth on the delivery. We've done things really different in that our front of house people are our most expensive, highly skilled, qualified people that know the ins and outs of all of it. So what happens is, there's only one person that needs to attend those those meetings and to translate things to explain why things can and can't work to consult, to do all of that and then to organise the implementation of the work through our teams in different places. You know, we've we tried originally getting content done in three places and it was a nightmare and not something that I ever want to go back to because it's just not worth it. Like it's the fuel for every marketing channel. needs to be brilliant. So we handle that and expensive places, we know that we can do data crunching and numbers and text off in places that don't have to be able to communicate with the client. Right? So, yeah, we move things in the right areas, we structured our team differently. And that's made the difference.

George: So yeah, putting emphasis on the right areas where the skill set is, I think what's interesting is, you know, within this model, you have you, you're tapping into experts all across the world, you know, niche experts, but then internally, you've chosen to have an account manager who is like a sort of essential unit who can take technical tasks can have that customer service angle, you know, that's a really, really interesting approach there. I know you've touched on a little bit but it has that been a challenge getting those people up to task.

Aaron: You know, like you said, it's very different. Lot of the account managers dumped with dozens of accounts at different agencies, the cheapest staff that they have the junior account managers, and they're expected to front face all of this. And it just never sat well with me. So we put expensive people in place or hard to find, but we hired entrepreneurs specifically. And I could tell you almost all well, you know, highest, highest well paid high skilled staff members are all doing their own side hustle. At the same time. They're all taking their own clients here and there doing their bit of work, building their own websites, all that kind of thing. And that made a huge difference to us. Because a lot of people a lot of people would shy away from that and say, No, you know, your employees work here, you work on this kind of thing only and give me your full attention. We were the opposite. I feel like we built loyalty with our team members by supporting and encouraging and training them to do those kind of things. They they're working on their own little businesses on the side and realising How hard it is to get a client and how much it hurts to lose a client. And it makes them a lot more loyal, and makes them work harder for our clients. To make sure they earn them, they don't lose them all of that kind of thing. So,

George: Yeah, that was a different approach as well and one that we're really happy that we did. So give me that extra bit of rope, where, you know, the metallic I the thing I think of as Metallica, you know, they didn't let the basis go off and do his side bands. So they kicked him out. You know, it's like, but letting the team go out and do their things, exercise those different muscles and, and bits of creativity that actually promotes more loyalty.

Aaron: Yeah. And because it never like it was never like they're doing it on our time. For me, it's always been, you gotta look out to these customers, you know, the work that needs to be done, and you got to do it to an extremely high level. I don't care how many hours you're spending, I don't care what you want to do on the side as long as we can reach you when we need it. You're on And around during proper business hours or you contactable, you can work on your own thing on weekends after hours, if you need a half day here or there, that's fine sort of sorted that out, as long as we're getting what we need as a priority, and then we'll help you out. And we've helped out plenty.

George: Yeah, that's great to hear. And I think it's a very modern approach. So, let's, let's talk a little bit more about, you know, some of the expertise you're in because I know you're sort of from a bit of an SEO background. Back in the day, you know, this, this, this is changed so rapidly from, you know, probably let's take it from 2008. You know, it's it's evolved. It's changed massively, you know, where do you see SEO going or what are the major sort of trends you're, you're thinking about internally at ladder online.

Aaron: I used to chase the trends and And try to be I guess the next best thing and what's coming and all of that. But what I found out after years and years of doing it is that it doesn't matter what changes the core of it all remains the same that you're providing value through content, you entertaining or educating and insights technically sound. So it's indexable you providing the right content, so people are linking to it, and you can get your own links. Use that SEO is always going to be that Yeah, they'll put an emphasis on page load times, which is in technical anyway, or they'll put an emphasis on dampening anchor text ratios and all this kind of stuff. Just don't overthink it is this thing that we've always gone with, make sure all the cool things are in place and a lot of that other stuff is just noise. Having said that, that's like that's a client base stuff. You know, I'm I'm got my own little websites here and they're happy to push the boundaries, try new things, all of that. Those are our like test beds and Test areas, we figure out what works here and there. But usually, something that works really well is temporary anyway. So, you know, we we push the boundaries and take lessons from that and use them in the right way on different clients sites.

George: So again, I mean going back to the arrangement you have with the employees and yourself, you know, having these side hustles and parallel projects going along to experiment with, you know, is that is that that folding back into your client work, you know, have you noticed when you brought those things in, did you notice that tip the needle a little bit?

Aaron: Yeah, I mean, there's there's a lot of group chats going back and forth with people saying I just noticed this after the last algorithm on this side And for these reasons and you know, people's our wallets done different there. You know, why, what, why do you think it's working the way it is, and, and there's a lot of good group sharing in different ways. So yeah, I think that that's been valuable as well. Yep.

George: So, in terms of, you know, in the broader level of content marketing as well video blogs, podcasts that we're doing right now, you know, I think it's really being accelerated by COVID people I'm seeing twitch live streams everywhere you know, the nature of content is is evolving and changing what what what are your sort of top line insights or thoughts about this sort of acceleration we're getting going on here and and how is it affecting you know, your clients or your thought process on this digital landscape?

Aaron: I there's always room for more content and the right content and especially on the right channels like it so the answer to that is it depends it depends on the channel depends on what you're doing already level of competition what everyone else is doing. If you look at it, broadly, any any network or any any platform, you know LinkedIn, for example, Is is low on content in certain ways or certain types of content is going to provide a huge amount of organic reach for a period of time until the amount of content fills up and and that that balance comes back and then I switch into well you want more awareness go into paid that I see that happening but that's that depends on again competition, mountain of content, all of that. And the reality is that most of the sites that we deal with I can the vast majority of sites that we come across they write about their product their service and they think they're doing content marketing, I don't know distribution. It's still that that way it doesn't how we go you know, be some of the biggest companies in the world is still doing the exact same thing. So even just getting them onto the right path of Hey, let's create content about the industry. Let's educate or entertain, not write about your product and why everyone should be using it because the best thing in the world so Doing that sort of shift. There's still not not enough people doing that. And during that shift for clients is impactful for them as well. So there's a lot of runway and a lot of different ways. I don't think there's going to be too much content anyway.

George: Yeah, so that's a really interesting for the blue chip, the big guys is still doing the really mundane, boring content marketing, but even though content marketing has been around for years and years and years, we still keep you know, you still coming into those kind of clients? What are your sort of how do you approach that? You know, like, obviously, it depends and, and it vote industry to industry, but, you know, what are your sort of initial takeaways in that kind of scenario or initial recommendations, I should say, depends on what they've come to us for.

Aaron: So I'll give you an example of a particularly challenging industry and that's when any business comes to us and they've grown through off the back of performance marketing, and they're doing a lot of ads and making a A lot of money, but they're like, Okay, well, then we stopped at other businesses did, we need some organic traffic, we want some content marketing on our brand to grow all of that kind of thing. And they come to us with the right reasons. And it's a hard slog, because they used to put $1 in getting three out. And this is all organic stuff and having to convince them of capital value, increase brand increase long term growth, free organic traffic moving forward. Whereas they want to measure everything really fiercely when there's nothing to measure typically in the beginning. That's challenging that that's one that we face, often. On the on the other side of things or even the bigger businesses who who are just used to writing about their, their product all the time. Again, because of the way our business has marketed itself over the years. People come to us typically through inbound. They're already looking for what we have, they're already prepared. sold and pre educated. So it's not like having to convince them to go down SEO and content marketing route they, they asked for that specific thing. So that makes it a bit different, I guess their channel acquisition for us influence things as well. So there's a few there's a few interesting threads coming off that but I think the first, the first thing to bring to the table is changing the way of thinking for your clients, you know, in that scenario where their data crunches, you know, what's the CPA, you know, hey, this is organic stuff, how do you what are those conversations and how do you sort of perform or change their way of thinking? And only some do get changed. Others just say, well, forecasts, show me some forecast documents and that's exhausting in itself. Like we have built out some really detailed forecast documents that will let's say one client wants to do 100 blog posts a month, or we're pitching them 100 blog posts a month answering 100 different questions big amount of content. Each piece of content targeting a group of keywords, let's just assign one keyword to that particular blog post. We're then looking at potential search volume, current rankings seasonality expected increase in rankings, traffic, click through rates on the front page of Google once it hits there, when they're likely to hit like, really complicated stuff and big spreadsheets and everything else. But there's, there's just so many, like what ifs that go into that intangibles. Yeah. And the reality is that we often get people say, well, that's great. Like you, you're saying that we're going to rank for 100 different things over here. But we want to rank for this one head term that matters to the business as well as another education piece. I get it. That's the vanity keyword. That's the thing that's going to drive the business but it doesn't 80% your traffic is going to come through long tail like adults, every other website. We got to make those longtail requirements and Just sometimes you banging your head against the wall, and it can be really frustrating. And then they'll say, well not just spend all your time ranking us for those keywords you like, with your budget, that's gonna take eight months to rank for one keyword, and you're gonna see no return on investment all the way there. Is that what you're happy with. And then they sit there and say, Oh, I'm not happy with that. I want to go down another channel. It can be exhausting. And my my preferred path, the most successful one that I've seen is you don't measure anything for the first three months other than all the lead indicators, like are we delivering the content volumes? We said we were on time and is the engagement working and all of that is being published? Are these things being fixed? Okay, cool. You're seeing index posts are you seeing now they're moving up in the rankings, even though they're not getting traffic, then traffic and so basically, we set like a three month benchmark to say our and now put some, some metrics in place now that we know what happens when we create X amount of content. And now that we actually Have conversions and leads and everything else that we can say. Or I will just, if that's how much you're getting with this traffic will tax the traffic and get 10 extra conversions. It's really hard to do with no data. And just guesswork and that's that's often an uphill battle.

George: So that first three months is definitely about sort of more of a project management like getting the housekeeping in order getting the benchmarks in check. And then from there, you're proceeding into mobile optimization like heavy optimization, publishing content, longtail keywords,

Aaron: The reality is that even even within a three month engagement, a client that is going to be doing 100 posts a month, that's month one, you got to be doing all the technical stuff anyway, right? All infrastructure, setting things up, you know, page load times and speed and conversion stuff, content strategy, Id generation technical analysis, Google Analytics set up and config like this loads that goes into that first month. second month, you can start producing that content, but it's going to take weeks to be producing 100 pieces of content. So stuffs not going to get published to almost the end of the second month. And then when it is published, it's going to get indexed, but it's not going to do anything to get links to it, that's going to take you a month to get the volume of links, you need to 200 posts. So it's not till end of month three, that you're actually got links and links to content content live, and a technical infrastructure that's indexable that Google likes. So trying to convince people that of how long that takes and that you're not going to see anything that you can benchmark until then it is often a struggle, but that's the reality of that kind of work and that kind of volume of work.

George: Yeah, it seems like very, very practical advice. So let's move into some, you know, he talks a lot about some really great stuff with working with clients and also internal team structure. You know, you've been published in sorry, where's my list here, HubSpot Search Engine Journal Entrepreneur Magazine social media today. There's two questions I want to ask around this. But the first one is, you know, how do you approach building a piece of a great piece of content? And let's just call it in the digital marketing space. Let's, let's not, you know, we could talk about every industry has a million different ways you can approach it, but working with these kind of publications, what's your general thought process? Or do they come to you with a topic? How does that whole negotiation take place?

Aaron: That can be really broad, because that was how it was initially, and then what it's sort of grown into overtime. Initially, it was that I build relationships with editors, journalists, and publishers. And yeah, they'd agree to allow me to publish content on the site. I'd pitch it based on the kind of content that I could see was getting traffic engagement, socially, all that kind of stuff that was of interest to their audience, and I pitched that idea and then build out the content and According to the updated information, what I think was going to work really well for that audience over 12 years or something of doing it, it's gone from Yeah, some I still contribute to or I pitch to some, a lot of times people are asking me to contribute or content you'll see is like an interview like this posted somewhere, or, or whatever it is, it's this big web that grows over time of of a mix of interviews, guest contributions, columns, features, all sorts of different things. So it's kind of hard to answer that one as of now.

George: Yeah, makes sense. Makes sense. But if it let's say, let's say somebody were who maybe has established a bit of a career wants to get into this kind of thing and get that sort of thought leadership, personal brand going in, what are some of the key pieces of advice that you would you would give in terms of like this blog, let's let's concentrate on this sort of blog content aspect of it.

Aaron: So Thinking that you'll be able to go out and publish for Forbes and entrepreneur straight off the bat because it takes a while to get there. I mean, it's worth it when you do but it'll, it'll take time together, you got to do the stick with the whole idea of trading up the chain, right, like started the publications that you do have access to that you can realistically publish to get some good posts live on those use those as credibility to be able to kick for bigger and bigger publications. That's what I'd recommend. And even those first ones, you've got to have content somewhere IE your own website that you can leverage to say, hey, look, I've created some good stuff over here. I'd love to contribute to your your posts that your publication. The training of the thing works, remember to do it consistently over a long period and it adds up like it sounds like I'm bragging but I'm like evidence of it working is where you can search my name in the first 20 pages of Google every single result is something that we've done over The last bunch of years and it's like compound interest adds a snowball effect that keeps going and going. And that forms that weight of web of credibility so that when we're pitching a client or someone's reaching out to us, we don't have to prove who we are or why we're competitive for a million dollar contract. They found us through stuff that we've created over the years and that does the pre selling for us and that's that's a real Lego.

George: So the personal brand and and whatnot has definitely helped, you know, reduce sales cycles, you know, reduce time on instant energy spent in sales, like as you said, they come in pre qualified, they come and pre educated, you know, this this is this always been kind of an overall strategy you've had or is it just kind of fallen into place.

Aaron: It was always your overall strategy and it was born out of frustration of we were pitching for $60,000 contracts. For example, and We knew that we could do the work. We were doing the work amazingly. But we had no brand, no personal brand, no company brand, and the guys beating us simply had a name for themselves. But we knew we could do the work better. And that annoyed me. And it just came down to Okay, you got to start somewhere. And so we just started investing in a brand started publishing content and speaking on stage and writing books, and all sorts of different things. And that's where it legitimately was, like 90% of the reason the difference between losing $60,000 contracts and winning million dollar contracts was people seeing our brand and coming in pre sold and not having to prove yourself or educate people prior to the conversation about the work.

George: So what are some of the key areas of focus for your personal brand? You know, you mentioned your book, which I'd like to talk about, you know, we've got obviously the content marketing and blog content you've been publishing. Can you talk about a little bit about the Ico The system of content you put out or how you approach personal branding in 2020. for yourself,

Aaron: I mean, it's largely still the same thing. I haven't really changed what we're doing. Well, okay, now that's a lie. So what? We're still creating content in the same ways. I mean, we've added some podcasts, which is great. We're some interviews like this, that we're doing as an interviewer as well as the interviewee.

George: There's a cop which one's harder. I don't know.

Aaron: Thank you. trying to think of questions on Yeah, off the cuff is tricky sometimes, but I don't mind interviewing someone where they're just, like, flat and giving no responses and you just burning through your questions and six and a half minutes. That's exhausting. Yeah. But we haven't done that to me today. We Yeah, so creating a whole lot more content, one of the things that we're doing different to what we've always done was that I've always loved the idea of a paid lead funnel for our agency clients, turn the tap on, you know, how much it costs for a lead, how much it costs to close a client, and so on. The reality is that the clients that we target the funded startups through the enterprise, they don't see an ad on Facebook, and then sign up for a million dollar contract. It's just not how it works, right? They need to sign you in numerous places got multiple touch points on you and your brand, feel like they found you read you in Forbes or feature in Fortune Magazine, all that kind of stuff. And then come through and make the inquiry and so I always want to find that never found it. But I sat there 18 months ago thinking Well, why don't we just get more leverage more mileage out of the stuff that we're doing? And that wasn't necessarily say create more content? It was that I was breaking the, you know, the golden rule of content marketing or creating content weren't doing much to distribute it in any way, shape or form. So we've since changed that up. And we've got a whole process that happens and content going out everywhere. So the good thing is that we've got 1500 pieces of content created over a decade that we're able to reuse, repurpose, redistribute, send around socially, we're able to spend a lot of the time on the distribution now and seeing the results that comes from that, which again, is hard to measure because it's largely on the awareness stage of people seeing us and getting one of those touch points is not necessarily they're gonna convert with that piece of content. So but

George: Yeah, it's working for the purposes that we had in mind. You see, are you guys sort of what because what we're doing with this podcast, as you know, we've got the main podcast and we're breaking it up into little YouTube clips Joe Rogan style and then little 45 seconds for LinkedIn and Facebook is out that repurposing or that recontextualization for the native platforms Is that something you're seeing is like what you guys are doing in a major trend and an emphasis that you're putting towards your clients, not towards our clients, which is ourselves. That's what we're doing.

Aaron: We're also going the other way. So we got a lot of written content, those guest posts, so it transcribed but not transcribing. We're recording those audio putting them on our podcast and repurposing a podcast episode. So a video like this, you know, within stripping the audio out putting it on a podcast, we're transcribing it using as a blog post. We're doing stills, images, short videos, all kinds of different things. And it goes in numerous places with a lot of a lot of systems and processes behind that whole thing. Which is really good. Like I said, we were sticking to the same amount of content that we're creating, just getting we've got a lot of backlog for years. There's a lot of stuff that we can do with it, which is really good.

George: Yeah. And it's fantastic to hear the republic thing I'm really into that, could you touch upon a little bit about that process with the distribution without giving away your golden secrets?

Aaron: No. Golden secrets. It's, it's a combination of so I have one full time team member that manages at all. But they in terms of managing and they're doing the work of many, many people, it was all done manually. There's a combination of like web services that we use to help with some of this. There's automation tools like Zapier, that aren't distributing the content, they're moving content and from one place to another for us to action and edit and use, not just here's a social share that goes there for this piece and so on. Because I don't enjoy that. That's that's not cool. What else there's so there's this full time staff services. automation, syndication, and then scheduling tools off the bottom of that, that make sure they go to the right places and right accounts at the right time.

George: Awesome. Love it. Love it. Love it. So let's talk about your book that you mentioned before, faster, smarter louder, which you wrote with john Clancy if that's correct. Could you talk a little bit about what what made you came up with this idea, you know, another digital marketing book, you know, what, what's going to make this one difference and the overall approach in the process of putting together a book because Am I right in saying this is the first book you've been involved with?

Aaron: It is, and I think the, the answer to that is to start at the beginning, which is what is the purpose of the book and understanding the purpose you then can can answer that clearly, we will Is it was never to sell a million books or, or anything like that was never to get a financial ROI for the time invested directly through book sales. It was just one more thing in terms of the credibility indicator and the implied credibility and authority through having that it was something I always wanted to do as well. You know, growing up as a published author, in fact, a best selling author because we, our launch went really well. And we did we achieve that goal. So someone called them in the cardinal sin, I should have turned to the Maya. So yeah, we achieve that goal pretty quickly. And so we're really happy with that. But it just added to added to everything else that we were doing so that you get on stage or introduce a bestselling author, and it's there's all that interestingly It's hot. It was a really hard process for me, because I got so sick of reading the book again and again and again. Yeah, the amount of times you have to read it for editing and changes is absolutely exhausting. Especially if there's two of you that wrote it, because then you both have to read and wait for the other one. And it's a tiring process. But in the end, you just, like just publish, I just want to live just have a book. What's really cool though, was that the amount of people that have reached out to us from places around the world where I was just not expecting it, right, we had someone from Barbados reach out, and they want to connect and talk about how the books changing their lives. And so Wow, that's, that's really cool was, you know, to have that kind of impact. I spoke with someone recently that I was looking at using their service and they said, What a small world I literally just finished your book yesterday. Wow. That's insane. So those are the people that are reaching out imagine all those that aren't saying anything like it's a cool feeling to have that Rose not expected.

George: Yeah, most certainly and 1000 congratulations. But I think you're you're maybe dumbing it down a little bit because, you know, it sounds like hey, I do a book, you know, I publish a book and things go well, you've got to have value and those people are getting value out of that book. You know, you've put a lot of time and effort and thought into it. Can you talk about managing the chicken or the egg? I imagine like who's writing Who? sections like was that was that tough managing having to author on it? Okay, cool.

Aaron: You're right, I am dumbing it down. A lot of time, energy and effort went into it. But what happens as well is that you realise that you could write a book on so many things when you sit down to write it. A book on digital marketing so broad, like I could have written a book that thick on just SEO, just technical SEO or brand or so you you're often worried that you didn't go deep enough in any of those areas. And this is just my first time Book. I'll do it in the next book. Oh, next one, just be about that one topic. So in the end, that's a fee, I hope that people got enough value out of it. And it turns out that they did you forget that to be an expert in anything, you only need to know more than the people that you're talking to. So at that particular time to be perceived as an expert. So the reality is that people just starting out that would have been thinking, wow, like that. That's exactly what I needed right now. And so that was really cool in terms of being able to speak to who was writing what particular part that was a challenge for us because we've got different skill sets. And we like, we broke the book up into the practical and tactical how to do this part and how to do that from what that looks like and all sorts of stuff. But another big, really important piece was the human psychology aspect and the behavioural psychology and people forgetting the people sitting behind a computer are real. People you're not just doing marketing some machines and and and so that was the time that john, so focused on everything that she was doing. And I think the combination of those really played well together to make a good book and interesting read that people could relate to. Yeah, well, I mean, that's, you know, you're looking at these click through rates and numbers and whatnot. It's just like, it's just another impression. But yeah, that's a real person behind that. I think that's that's a something that digital marketers and books don't really talk about that much.

Aaron: Yeah, it's it's often forgotten about but like I said, they probably have the same challenge that I did, how much can you put in to a book? I found them by the end of the book, I had so much more to write in so many different ways and not sure if I have the energy to do. It spurred on a passion to do something else or is sort of just rummaging around in the back of the mind right now. It just might make me Feel unfinished they may or may not feel the book was enough but it was enough for the people starting out and not deep enough into certain areas that I'd like to work on deeper in. So it's like when you're sitting there going I just had a whole lot more to add. You know, it's a difference between going into a going into a speaking at a conference and you speak to people who are just getting into marketing or just getting into online and you're asking and answering fairly basic questions, versus like a really challenging room about technical ideas and that kind of thing. You go out have one Thank you. Oh, it was cool. I'm glad I got it done. I had a lot more. That's how I feel.

George: Yeah, completely completely. So if someone you know, I think I think the the the sentiment here is like the expertise aspect, let's say somebody does have expertise in something. It's it's getting a little bit off topic from digital marketing. That's okay. Yeah, they want to start a book or this you know, it's part of the personal branding stuff. makes complete sense. What would you say is the best way to start thinking about a book planning? It's, you know, or maybe even for the next one, what did you learn from the first time through that you're gonna, maybe that's a better way to phrase it, what would you implement? Next time,

Aaron: I'd actually say make sure you don't start with a book. Like it's just not. It's not going to help you as if you've got, like, if if you look at what we do the company brand, my personal brand, you can see a lot of stuff and a lot of places and a book. If you just could see a book and nothing else, it doesn't give as much value. It doesn't help you in as many ways as you as humans going to. So make sure you've built another foundation and stuff underneath it before you get to it. That way, you know how to like even how to write. It's a lot of writing and a lot of different places that we've done over the years. So you'll learn to write you learn to speak to the audience in the right way you learn what they're interested in, and how to put it together, right. And then when you're ready for a book Use us a company like scribe that can help you put the book together. If you're worried about it the first time through and there's a lot of hand holding that can happen with those guys that makes it quite easy for you, in theory can take a lot of time, but it can still make it easier than if you're doing it on your own.

George: Yeah, I mean that that makes complete sense that that book is just the cherry on top in the sort of the ecosystem of content. Aaron, listen, it's an absolute pleasure picking your brains. Is there anything you'd like the audience to know? Maybe a way they can pick up your book or anything that's coming up for louder online in the future?

Aaron: Yeah, look happy to happy to connect with anyone. Feel free to find me on LinkedIn or louder online. Search for my name. If I'm doing my job, you should be able to find me. Happy to connect but if you if you want to check out the book, it's all over Amazon. So feel free to search for that.

George: And that's faster, smarter. allowed to go check it out guys. I'm certainly going to be having a read Aaron. It's been fantastic. All the best and we'll speak soon.

Aaron: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it. Cheers. Bye.