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What We Talk About

The more you learn about marketing, the more complicated it becomes. Funnels with 832 steps. If/then rules that practically break your automation. And stress… ohhh, the stress.

Today’s guest, Tim Fitzpatrick, talks about how you can simplify your marketing in ways that doesn’t reduce your success… in fact, it will allow you to be more successful than even the most complicated marketing funnel will allow.


Fake Famous – Watch the trailer for the movie Tim mentioned here.

Click Here to Get Tim’s Marketing Evolution Index Checklist and All The Other Goodies!

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Our transcript hasn't been proofed, so there will probably be some errors. Sorry about that!

Alyson Lex 0:01
I've been in the marketing game for a relatively long time longer than I'm willing to admit, which would give my age. But the one thing that I've seen a lot of is crazy, complicated, multi step, upsell down, sell all of this funnels and snazzy things that feel completely overwhelming. Leave a lot of room for error and moving parts. And as we're going to talk to Tim Fitzpatrick today, from Rio alto marketing about, they may not always be the best move for you and your business. So, Tim, thank you for being here with us today to talk about simplicity, and how it makes sense in your business.

Tim Fitzpatrick 0:50
Absolutely. I'm super excited to be here. So thanks for having me, Alyson and Jenny.

Alyson Lex 0:55
What unnecessary complications with their marketing? Do you see entrepreneurs make? I've got a list? I know Jenny has a list. But let's hear yours.

Tim Fitzpatrick 1:04
Yeah, absolutely. So we can we can compare notes here. I so three come to mind. The first one is, so many people skip the fundamentals of marketing, when I when I look at the fundamentals, I call them the marketing strategy trilogy, you have to understand your target market, you got to have great messaging to that target market, and you have to have a plan that you're going to work. They're not sexy, they're not cool. It's not, you know, the latest and greatest marketing tactic. But without them, you're building a house without a foundation. And we all know that that's never gonna work long term. And so when we skip those fundamentals, we we inevitably overcomplicate what we're doing, because look, the fundamentals, they're simple, you know, they're not they don't change, they're the same in any discipline. But if we don't have them in place, we're going to run into problems, and it's going to complicate things down the road. So that's the first thing I see. The second thing I see is people try to do too much at once. There's all these different marketing channels, you know, I've done my website, and I've got my social media, my content, my email, my paid ads, the list goes on and on. And they feel like they've got to be everywhere. Well, when we bite off more than we can chew, we don't do anything well. And again, that over complicates things for us. The third thing I see is kind of a double sided coin, here, it's you've got one, I either don't track what I'm doing, when I don't track what I'm doing. I have no idea what's working and what's not. And I can't make course corrections to continue to get better and better results. The flip side of that is I track too much. Oh my gosh, I've got how many visitors come to my website? what keywords? Am I ranking for? What's my email, open rate? How many followers do I have on social media? Guess what? None of that stuff matters? What matters is how many leads Am I getting? And how many leads? Do I convert to customers? That's it. So those are three big ones that I see. Are those on your list?

Jennie Wright 3:12
Over lists? Yeah.

Alyson Lex 3:15
The tracking thing, actually, so not tracking enough was on my list. But I didn't think about tracking too much. Because I love luck. I will take every excuse in the book for a good spreadsheet. So I love data. And but I didn't think about how sometimes you get overwhelmed by that data and you then can't figure out what's what, because you have too much.

Tim Fitzpatrick 3:41
Yeah, look, I was a math major. I love the numbers. But so many of the numbers from a marketing standpoint are just vanity metrics. You don't mean how many Instagram influencers are out there that have 10s of 1000s of followers, and they're not doing any business? You know, it's like, Who

Alyson Lex 3:58
cares? It's it's funny. We were before we hit record, we were talking about Katie Brinkley, and she shared a story about and she might have shared this with you. She shared a story with I forget if it was on our podcast or not, but that there was somebody who was had like hundreds of 1000s of followers and in order to get a deal needed to sell 36 t shirts, and could not.

Jennie Wright 4:25
And a lot of those may have been bots too. Right? If you guys haven't already. You got to watch that movie. Fake famous. Yeah. Let me tell you, I opener. But yeah, if you can't sell 36 shirts, and you've got over 100,000 followers. That's a problem. That's a problem. And I'm not good at math. But even I know that's a problem. Yeah, I even I can do the really simple arithmetic on down. Like that's my arithmetic right there.

Tim Fitzpatrick 4:53
Yeah, that's not good. You're so much better off with 1000 true and gauged followers then you are with 100,000 or a million that don't care.

Jennie Wright 5:04
100%. And, but why do we think like this? Why do we overcomplicate things? Why does Alyson need to build 60 spreadsheets for one thing and drive me through the roof? Okay, why do we do this? Why do we overcomplicate it? Do we do it thinking that, by complicating it, we're going to be more successful?

Tim Fitzpatrick 5:22
I think there are multiple reasons why this happens. The first one, I think, really has to do with information overload. I think there's so many people that are battling information overload when it comes to marketing, we just start to feel overwhelmed. You know, again, I touched on it, there's all these different channels, there's all these marketing experts and gurus saying, you know, the newest one, Alyson you mentioned, you know, hey, we got a, you know, we got to be on clubhouse, and we got to have a Facebook page, and we got to, you know, have a podcast and bla bla bla bla bla, well, when we're battling that information overload, and we feel overwhelmed, we just, um, we don't even know what the hell to do. It's like, what is the next step? And inevitably, what happens is people start just taking action. Let me throw spaghetti up against a wall and see what sticks. And then again, coming back to these metrics, right, something sticks, and they have no idea why the hell it worked, or, you know what they did? That was right. And that it's just, we get lost. Right. So I think that's one, too. I think it is so easy to overcomplicate things, right. Leonardo da Vinci said simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Okay? That doesn't mean that it is easy to make things simple, it is so much harder to make things complex. And, you know, we were talking before you know about, well, my email marketing, right, I have all these different things that I can do with my email marketing, I can set up automated email sequences, and they can be spread out by a day or two weeks. And if somebody clicks the link, they go down another path. And then if they don't, they go to this other path, and then all of a sudden, it's like, it just keeps branching and branching and branching. What's really easy to do that it's easy to set that up. But then we've just made it really complex. And if it's not working, or it breaks somewhere, it's that much harder to troubleshoot and figure out what the hell's going wrong with this thing? Why is this breaking?

Jennie Wright 7:27
Oh, that's me. That's just me. I'm the one that people come in and say, my big, huge automation just broke? Where do I find the error? And I just look at it and say, we're putting it in a dumpster?

Tim Fitzpatrick 7:39
Yeah, I think I feel like oh, my gosh, these features are here. I need to use these. Well, no, you don't. I mean, you know, it goes back to like the CRM, the customer relationship management system I use, man, it's not overly complex, but you know what, it has every single thing that I need in there. And that's it. You know, I have an FJ cruiser. Okay. I tell people, it has everything I need. And nothing. I don't know. Man, I don't have GPS in there. I, you know, I don't have all these cool, heated seats and all this other stuff. Would it be nice to have some of those things? Maybe. But you know what, Everything I need is in there. That's all you need.

Jennie Wright 8:24
It's a utility vehicle. It's perfect.

Tim Fitzpatrick 8:26
That's it. It's a utility vehicle, right? So we just we need the basics, and the fundamentals that are going to help us execute. And yeah, as we start to get more sophisticated, maybe we are going to branch off and do some of these things. But man, that's not the place to start.

Jennie Wright 8:44
It isn't, and I like this because Allison and I are big. And I was joking earlier when saying that Ellison does 60 spreadsheets. It's more like he didn't know I was just trying to be nice. But when it comes to things like email marketing, Alison and I are huge, huge fans of activecampaign because it has exactly what we need. But it's not so you know, it's not got all the bells and whistles that we don't I really don't need all the extra features and things like that, that are going to make things more complicated. Do I enjoy making automations? Absolutely, with rules and all the pretty stuff, but we don't over complicate it. Because there is the opportunity, the more complicated you get, the more opportunity for things to happen for things to break and then finding it becomes a bit of a challenge, right? You can do these things quite simply. And I think I think I am really enjoying the conversation and the content that you're bringing up because it speaks to keeping things lean, which is what my mentor taught me keeping things very lean and succinct and niched in and finding your you know, your ideal client and 1000 very good followers is better than 100,000 of not so nice and followers. So I completely believe in that. I love that

Tim Fitzpatrick 9:59
you Yeah, you know the other thing too, when we think about complexity, complexity just adds stress. Right? We're we're creating our own problems when we make things complex.

Alyson Lex 10:14
I mean, yeah, Mic drop, we could just end that episode. Right? That's great. Thank you for being here. Right? So we know that we want to be distressed. But let's talk about what it means to uncomplicate or simplify. Other than just do the opposite of everything we just talked about.

Tim Fitzpatrick 10:34
Yes. Yeah, I, so again, to me, we're having this conversation, because I like to keep things as simple as possible. So first off, if you've skipped the fundamentals, with marketing, if you don't really understand who your target market is, you know, how you're going to serve those people. You need to start there, because everything from a marketing perspective revolves around your target market. You know, people say, Well, God, where do I need to go to market? Well, who's your target market? Where do they congregate? You know, where are they online? Who do they follow? What groups? Are they a part of, you know, where are they offline? If you can't answer those questions, you have no idea where to go to put your message in front of the right people. So you have to start with your target market. Then from there, you got to go to that next fundamental, what am I? How am I going to communicate the value that I provide to this market and communicate the difference? You know, what are the benefits of working with me? What problems do I solve? You have to know how to say that, right? Because if you skip that, Oh, great. I don't know what the hell I'm going to say. But I'm going to go on social media and start posting stuff. Well, you're wasting time. So you gotta go back to that. And then the third thing is you got to have a plan. Most people don't have a plan. And, you know, it's no wonder when you're battling information overload that you don't have a plan. But you gotta have a plan. Because the plan is what's going to help you identify when and what you're going to execute. And it eliminates all this distraction. So that next week, when Alyson tells me I got to get on clubhouse, if it's not in my plan. I'm not saying I'm not going to do it. But I'm going to put it on my my list of things to consider. But for the next 90 days, it's not in my plan. I'm not I can't do that. So it keeps you focused. That's where you have to start if you want to simplify things. Now, the second thing I would say, is when you start to get tactical, right, when you put together your website, or you start getting involved in social media, you need to use simple proven systems and frameworks. When you implement, because otherwise, it's so easy to get out there and overcomplicate things, right. So some people may say, Well, where are these words, man, they're all over the place, right? We don't have to reinvent things. We just have to know how to go out and find those systems and frameworks and then look at them go, yeah, you know what this makes sense. I can do this. And then do it. Right, we don't need to reinvent the wheel when we get tactical when we reinvent the wheel. That's what adds complexity when we actually execute.

Jennie Wright 13:21
That makes a lot of sense. I really like the idea of having a framework and having a plan. Allison and I talked about having a plan, we did an entire episode on planning. And we love to have a plan, which I think is good. How do we sort of, you know, how do we sort of make that happen for ourselves? How are we going to make this a thing? Is it just a habit that we create? Is it? Do you need somebody lording over us and telling us to do it? How are we going to make this a thing?

Tim Fitzpatrick 13:47
You know, I think it depends on what type of person you are. But I still believe that no matter what type of person you aren't, everything has to start with a plan, whether you're creating the plan, or somebody creating the plan for you, and they're going to execute it for you. You have to start with the plan. When I look at planning, and it'll be interesting to get your feedback on this to see how you guys handle it. Because everybody approaches planning differently. You have to find the plan that works for you. But the plan that we use and recommend is a 90 day marketing plan. Our businesses are evolving too fast, the market is evolving too fast, you can put together a one year marketing plan. Well, you know, if you did that last January, in March, when the pandemic hit, you would have burned it, or most of us would have burned it. So we just wasted time. You know, we don't need a 1020 page marketing plan. We need a single, you know, one or two sheet sheets, that's it. 90 days is long enough to see results. But it's not so long that we can't adjust and make course corrections along the way. So what I do what I recommend, and by the way, well I'll give you Got some resources for this so that your audience can just they can take this stuff and run with it. Okay, but six steps in this plan? Who's your target market? Right? Who are your 123 ideal clients types, at the very least have a paragraph on who your one to three ideal client types are to What's your goal for the next 90 days? specific and measurable? I want to bring on three new clients in the next 90 days. What's my marketing budget? And what are my resources? How much time do I have with myself or staff, that's going to help you outline how much you can take on so that you don't bite off more than you can chew and get overwhelmed. The fourth thing we need to do is we need to outline what are we currently doing? I know we may not have a plan, but what are we currently doing, because that helps us outline where we're starting from it gives us a baseline. Then in the fourth step, we're going to outline what we're going to do in the next 90 days. Okay, meet if we have if we don't know our target market, and we don't have good messaging, that's the first place we need to start. And then we can start to get more tactical with these other marketing channels. And then the last thing we need to track is what metrics are we going to track? The metrics help us understand whether the actions we're taking are actually working and having an impact. And then at the end of those 90 days, we what worked? What didn't, we adjust what we're going to focus on for the next 90 days, and we wash, rinse and repeat. That's it. So one of the things that is one of the tools that is in the resources that I'll give you is called the marketing evolution index checklist. That checklist gives you an idea of Hey, at Phase One, two, and three in the various marketing channels that are out there, what do I need to have in place? Because a lot of people say, Well, hey, in my 90 day marketing plan, how do I know what the hell I need to focus on? The Evolution index checklist will help them do that.

Alyson Lex 17:02
I am furiously taking notes over here. And we will put the link to our resource or that resource in our show notes Comm. Of course, we'll have you tell us where to get it in a minute. But I do have one question.

Tim Fitzpatrick 17:15

Alyson Lex 17:17
I am currently planning a virtual event. Okay. And it is more than 90 days out. Because the planning takes longer than 90 days. So how do you handle that situation when you have in the before times a big live event? Or a virtual event or something that just takes longer to plan but it doesn't fit in that 90 day window?

Tim Fitzpatrick 17:40
Yeah, I wouldn't. Don't get too into the weeds on that. It's still something that you're going to focus on in the next 90 days. So I would have it in the plan. And in the plan, all you're gonna list are what are the things that you need to focus on in the next 90 days to make progress towards that? because not everything we do is going to have a 90 day time limit, right? All we're outlining in our 90 day plan is what are we going to focus on in the next 90 days to get us closer to that if it's a longer goal, what's going to help us get to that longer goal.

Alyson Lex 18:17
Awesome. Now I don't feel so bad for planning so far had

Tim Fitzpatrick 18:21
some books, some things you have to plan, right. And we look we you know, we have your goals. You know, some some people have 510 year goals. I tend to think five and 10 year goals. I mean, man, that's a crapshoot. I mean, there's too many things beyond our control. That impacts that. But I do think having a general idea of where you're headed is really important. And then you know, you've got a one year goal, we're in our 90 day plan, that goal is a goal that is going to help us get one step closer to that longer term goal.

Alyson Lex 18:53
I love that. It does. It allows us that flexibility to shift and I don't like the pivot word. It got overused lately. But yeah, just for change, or be creative or adapt to new opportunities, new circumstances and new challenges, which I think is really cool. And now I want to find out where to get this marketing evolution index checklist that you promised us in the resources because that's awesome. And I need that in my life. So how can we get that and find out more about you in real time marketing?

Tim Fitzpatrick 19:24
Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate that. So just go to our website, which is reality, that's ri a Oto and then forward slash System to THRIVE. And I'll give you guys that link. So you can pop it in there. They don't even have to opt in to get this stuff. Okay, the links are there. There's a link to the marketing plan some of the fundamental stuff that we talked about the evolution index checklist. If they go through this stuff, and they're like, I'm still I'm still a little overwhelmed. I need some outside eyes. to really break through this. All they have to do is just click Get a free console, which is on that page. And I'll talk to him for 15 minutes and help him break through that. Okay.

Alyson Lex 20:06
Okay, so I just went to that page first to make sure I typed the link in right it is System to THRIVE, not the number two. Either way, we're gonna link to that in our show notes on our website. But if you want an example of what to do, right, check this out because it is customized to the people on this podcast. That is so cool. And why are we doing this? It's awesome. It says welcome System to THRIVE listener, like how cool is that?

Tim Fitzpatrick 20:39
There you go.

Okay, so I'll tell you something else. That's kind of funny. It is not uncommon for me to type in the name of a podcast that we have been on, and the show notes pop up in the search results, even though it's nobody searched for that specific episode, they show up in the show notes in the search results off the top. So it's a fun little trick.

Alyson Lex 21:07
Yeah, I'm swiping this idea, you'll see that these two are everything we do see.

Jennie Wright 21:14
Oh, this has been fun. Tim, this has been really, really good. I like the resources. I think that between you, myself and Alyson we have a similar view on keeping things lean and keeping your marketing really easy to do. We don't need to overcomplicate this, we don't need to get all crazy with it. Even if we have the resources to do so doesn't mean we have to write, I think it's an important way to look at it. And it's also going to de stress. You don't have to have the upsell the down sell the 30 million different things all the automations and stuff, just keeping it simple is good. I like having myself, I like to have one upsell, I like to have two automations, two tags. And just keep it all like pretty simple. That's that's where my brain sits in its happy place. But having said that, everybody should go and grab the marketing evolution index checklist. Elsa and I were both just there, like we were saying, and we're super impressed. So go and grab that 10 This has been fabulous having you on we really appreciate your time. And if you haven't already, go check out Tim. And then also make sure that you're subscribed to the podcast. Because if you're not subscribed, you're going to miss episodes like the one we just did with Tim, and also our other great experts who we get to feature on Tuesdays, Allison, and I get our own episode together on Thursdays. And we do a quick tip all by her lonesome on Monday. So check those out as well. And if you like what you're hearing, or even if you don't really like what you're hearing, we would love to actually get an honest review. So go ahead and leave us a review. Let us know what you're thinking of the podcast. And we'd love to hear back. And please don't forget, we have resources available to you as well go to System to check out the fact that we have an incredible content generator that's actually right on the homepage, you can check out and we have some resources under our resource page. So there's a lot there for you to find and a lot for you to discover. And we hope that you enjoy this episode with our amazing guest and Tim Fitzpatrick. We're so excited that you've been here. Thank you so much.

Tim Fitzpatrick 23:07
Thank you.

Jennie Wright 23:08
Awesome. All right, and we will talk to you all soon. And we'll be back again answering another big question.



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