Speaker 1: 00:00:01 On this episode of EDGE of the Web.

Talia Wolf: 00:00:04 When I started doing conversion optimization I spent a lot of time thinking about how to optimize a page. I changed call to action buttons, I changed headlines, I changed images, and it was really moving elements on the page and changing different things and trying to figure out what was going to work. The more I did it, the less I got the results that I wanted and I realized there was a missing piece.

Speaker 1: 00:00:29 Your weekly digital marketing trends with industry trend-setting guests. You’re watching EDGE of the Web, winners of Best Podcast from the Content Marketing Institute for 2017. Here at Seymour, and EDGE of the Web Radio.com. Now, here’s your host Erin Sparks.

Erin Sparks: 00:00:51 All right, hey! This is episode 335 of EDGE of the Web. 336? It is 336. Jacob corrected me, 336. On EDGE of the Web I’m Erin Sparks, thanks for joining me. We are interviewing key influencers in marketing, digital marketing explicitly, all around the world. We unpack key concepts in digital marketing so we can slow down and talk about it a little bit and understand everything that’s happening in that topic with this fast-moving world in digital marketing. 

Be sure to check out all the recent videos and shows over at EDGE of the Web Radio.com, that’s EDGE of the Web Radio.com. We’re unpacking everything over there, the audio’s over there, the transcripts are over there, interviews and the show notes are over there as well. So, EDGE of the Web Radio.com. 

If you’re new to the show, welcome. We certainly appreciate you joining us. Let’s unpack and show you around the course of events for this show is that every Monday, we’re going live on YouTube with our show. And that is a live stream where you can join us and be able to ask questions of our guests real time. Then take our show over to EDGE of the Web where we are actually broadcasting our audio files into iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Player FM, Spotify, and a slew of others. And if we’re not where you’re listening to your podcast, let us know. We’ll certainly get our RSS feed over there. Along with that, we’re also broadcasting out a good deal of content regarding the transcripts of the show, show notes, and what have you over at EDGE of the Web Radio.com.

So if you miss something, if we go too fast or if you want to find out a little bit more about what we talked about, go over to the show’s site and you’ll have it all there. It’s a cornucopia of the show notes and information. All right! So, EDGE of the Web is actually brought to you by Site Strategics. Our title sponsor of the show, the pioneers in the agile digital marketing focus, their core specialties are technical SEO, SCM, social media marketing, conversion rate optimization, which we’re about to talk about today as well as omnichannel. So we’re focused on agile marketing, which is basically results-based digital marketing that you steer by as opposed to “Set It and Forget It” content and marketing, which you shouldn’t be doing at any point in time. 

So, if you want to have a second penny on how you’re doing in your digital marketing space, we’ll provide you a free consultation. Free of charge, an hour consultation. We’ll talk to you, around the world, if you are there. If you want to give us a call at 877-SEOFORWEB or 877-736-4932. You can give us a shout right there, or just find us online. You can look us up at… 

And yeah, I think agile digital marketing and agile search engine optimization, we’ve got a few of those to keep terms around there. So jump over there and give us a shout, we’ll be happy to talk to you about your digital marketing success. 

Okay, I’m going to swing around and if we’ve got the camera open, there’s Jacob! Say hi, Jacob.

Jacob Mann: 00:03:50 Hello, good morning.

Erin Sparks: 00:03:51 Good morning.

Jacob Mann: 00:03:51 Afternoon.

Erin Sparks: 00:03:52 Good afternoon!

Jacob Mann: 00:03:52 And evening, depending on where you’re watching us. How’s it going?

Erin Sparks: 00:03:56 It’s going great, how about yourself?

Jacob Mann: 00:03:56 Yeah, not too bad. 

Erin Sparks: 00:03:57 Oh?

Jacob Mann: 00:03:58 Yeah.

Erin Sparks: 00:03:58 Had a good weekend?

Jacob Mann: 00:03:59 Yeah, Friday I got out of here as quick as I could because we had to go see Jurassic World Live Tour, which is pretty cool. A lot of fun there, and then we left from that show and went to Santa Claus, Indiana for the weekend and got in at midnight, local time. Which was also when we found out that the cabin we were staying in did not come with linens, and there’s nothing open at midnight.

Erin Sparks: 00:04:23 Didn’t you have another problem with a holiday world down there a while back?

Jacob Mann: 00:04:27 There was, yeah. That’s okay, that’s on us. 

Erin Sparks: 00:04:30 It’s a great place, it’s a great-

Jacob Mann: 00:04:30 Their website says “no linens, bring your own linens.” We just didn’t see that. So, that’s okay, we cranked up the heat, told the kids “sleep in your coats tonight,” and we went to a Dollar General in the morning and bought blankets and… They had pillows. I think a lack of pillows would’ve probably been the worst part. 

Erin Sparks: 00:04:47 Absolutely.

Jacob Mann: 00:04:47 But they had pillows, so.

Erin Sparks: 00:04:49 You go all over the place, man.

Jacob Mann: 00:04:50 Yeah, we really do.

Erin Sparks: 00:04:52 So what’s Christmas like in the man’s household there. 

Jacob Mann: 00:04:57 Well, we have an upside-down Christmas tree, which we don’t have yet this year, but we get that every year. So that’s a tradition from my father-in-law. So, it’s decorated, there’s present on the ceiling-

Erin Sparks: 00:05:07 Stapled to the ceiling.

Jacob Mann: 00:05:08 Yeah, yeah. He actually has a train that can run around his tree on the ceiling. That’s apparently a strongly-modified engine, because it’s magnets and it’s not easy to move a train that’s magnetized to the ceiling.

Erin Sparks: 00:05:21 That’s a bit of a first.

Jacob Mann: 00:05:22 But we’ll get there one day, but yeah. So we’re normally at home for that…

Erin Sparks: 00:05:27 Very cool, very cool.

Jacob Mann: 00:05:28 Get to wake up at 6:30, I’m sure.

Erin Sparks: 00:05:31 (laughing) Well, we do want to wish all the best to all of our listeners in this holiday season and hey, you let us know if you want us to jump in and talk a little bit about your holidays. Give us a shout back over on social, as well as, we want to know how digital markers celebrate this season of merriment, you know? We really do. So give us your weirdest, well, within reason, your weirdest digital marketing season greetings and celebrations.

Jacob Mann: 00:06:01 Yeah, I was going to say, I’m not checking those emails. 

Erin Sparks: 00:06:02 (laughing) All right, some quick edge notes of upcoming guests. We’ve got Robert Rose coming on here on December 16th as well as Kim Scott, she’s returning to the show, I think on the 23rd. We’re also getting ready for the 2020 lineup of show. So if you’re interested in being part of our digital marketing show or would like to have us interview someone that you would like to unpack and learn a little bit more about what they do, let us know. Give us a shout over at Info at EDGE of the Web Radio.com and let us know who you would like us to speak to next. Make sure that you set reminders up on YouTube to get notified when we’re live with those shows.

Our guest for the show who has been patiently waiting as we needlessly banter at the beginning of the show (laughing), Talia Wolf! She is a return guest. Talia, how are you doing tonight?

Talia Wolf: 00:06:54 Hi!

Erin Sparks: 00:06:54 Hi! So, you’re across the pond right now, are you not?

Talia Wolf: 00:06:59 I am far, far across the pond. We don’t celebrate Christmas over here.

Erin Sparks: 00:07:04 So where are you right now?

Talia Wolf: 00:07:06 I am outside Tel Aviv in Israel. 

Erin Sparks: 00:07:09 That’s right, so what’s your season like right now for Hanukkah season and all the things that you go through?

Talia Wolf: 00:07:16 You know, Hanukkah’s a let down. It’s just not like Christmas. I was trying to get my husband to go visit all my family in London just so I could be there for Christmas, but it just didn’t work out with his job and stuff. And I was like, “ugh, have to go next year.” But there’s just no real Christmas here, so.

Erin Sparks: 00:07:40 Well, obviously. And the Lent thing, talking about those Hanukkah gifts. I mean, you’ve got 12, right? No, no, I’m sorry, that was the 12 Days of Christmas. How many presents do you have for Hanukkah? My god.

Talia Wolf: 00:07:51 So, think about as if your iPhone was down to 3% on your battery and it suddenly lasted for like a week. That’s Hanukkah, just with oil.

Erin Sparks: 00:08:03 Okay, we do not condone-

Jacob Mann: 00:08:04 I like that a lot, I like that modern twist.

Erin Sparks: 00:08:07 It is a modern twist, but we don’t condone putting your iPhone in oil. Just stay away from that (laughing). All right, so Talia’s the founder of GetUplift and you we with us three years ago, almost three years ago to the month. You’ve been busy, what have you been doing?

Talia Wolf: 00:08:24 What have I been doing? Having kids (laughing). 

Erin Sparks: 00:08:31 So evidently she has been busy (laughing).

Talia Wolf: 00:08:33 I have been. So, yeah, what have I been doing? Well, I’ve been doing conversion optimization consulting for companies, doing conversion optimization projects for different brands and businesses, and we also launched two online training programs. So, it’s been very busy and we’re having the time of our lives. It’s a ton of fun, and I’m learning so much in the process. It’s cool.

Erin Sparks: 00:08:58 That’s fantastic, yeah. You’ve been speaking a heck of a lot, and we certainly want to dive into some of the things that you’ve been teaching here regularly. We also appreciate our continued sponsor of the show, Ahrefs. That’s Ahrefs, great tool for analyzing your competitive landscape and understanding how your competitors are getting traffic from Google and why. Can see their pages, their content that send them the most search traffic, and be able to deconstruct the exact key words and then put together your own battle plan of how you’re going to challenge them out of the marketplace. So check out Ahrefs’ tools today. There’s some great tools of link intercept and content explore and keyword explore and they give you a really good snapshot of how to built a strong SEO campaign. Go over to Ahrefs.com today and start a free trial today and tell them that the EDGE sent you as well. We love that data over here, and we swim in this great data each and every day over at Site Strategics.Let’s move on to this week’s featured guest on the show.

Speaker 1: 00:10:03 Now it’s time for EDGE of the Web featured interview with Talia Wolf, founder and Chief Optimizer at GetUplift.

Erin Sparks: 00:10:14 Talia is the Chief Optimizer. That’s a hell of a title, that’s a pretty cool title, I’ve got to say. Talia has been on our show before, back in January 2017. We welcome her back to the show. For our listeners we want to introduce her again. Talia is the founder of GetUplift, the CRO consultancy and training space for top brands, where top brands turn to if they want to optimize their funnels and their websites and create experiences that customers love, and using customer-centric methods like emotional targeting strategies and in-depth data. So we actually wanted to swing her back around because you can’t get enough of conversion-rate optimization and conversion optimization. We talk long about search engine optimization, but it’s all about the destination. 

If you’re not giving the users what they need, when they need it, then you’re going to be experiencing high bounce rates and low yield on your landing pages. So Talia, she’s actually been on several stages, hundreds of stages such as Google, [inaudible 00:11:19] , Call To Action Conference, SearchLove, and the like. So she’s an incredible speaker, and we wanted to bring her back around. So Talia, thanks so much for joining us again.

Talia Wolf: 00:11:27 Thank you so much for having me, and that was an amazing intro, thank you.

Erin Sparks: 00:11:31 Well, you’re welcome. We certainly enjoyed our conversation last time you were on the show. In fact, I think we went into a Harry Potter space for about 20-25 minutes on the show last time.

Talia Wolf: 00:11:43 Terrible. 

Erin Sparks: 00:11:44 I know! So we’re going to tee up Star Wars now. So, you’ve been watching the Mandalorian, right? 

Talia Wolf: 00:11:49 I have, yes. As I said, I’m on episode three though, I haven’t seen the last two yet. 

Erin Sparks: 00:11:54 I tell you what, we won’t spoil it for you, but what about baby Yoda? I tell you what, there’s so much about baby Yoda out there and it’s not even Yoda, right?

Talia Wolf: 00:12:04 And you know the merch is all ready, you can preorder it and it’s only coming out in May 2020, and you better believe it that I’m preordering it.

Erin Sparks: 00:12:11 (laughing) No, it’s good stuff, man. Disney, they’re rolling with the franchise. Do you already have your seats for the next Star Wars movie coming up?

Talia Wolf: 00:12:25 Of course, that’s insulting!

Erin Sparks: 00:12:28 You’re absolutely right, that is. We just have to make sure we get our foundational geek prepared before we go any further. We certainly enjoyed our conversation last time. You’ve been in the speaker circles for a while here, continually talking about conversion rate optimization and continually connecting with marketers to understand the emotional journey. But first and foremost, tell us about your backstory and how you got to your role at UpLift and your journey into conversion optimization, if you would.

Talia Wolf: 00:13:00 Sure. I started marketing years ago. I worked in social media company, and I was essentially helping run campaigns and all sorts of different campaigns for my clients. Doing stuff on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and stuff like that, but I really did take a lot of interested into the results. Back then, what people cared about was likes and engagement, but I kept asking my clients like, “hey, are you seeing any sales, any leads, what’s going on?” No one really had many answers and also, even if they did have answers, there wasn’t a lot of data around what was happening, how things were happening, and what was going on. And what I wanted to do was make that connection and also try and think about how I can optimize this journey for people. So what was happening is that I started optimizing things without even knowing that that’s what I was doing. So I was changing ads, I was changing the landing page.

I was kind of doing it on a whim like, “oh, this looks like a good idea.” Changed things, read some articles, read some best practices. There was two blogs back then about optimization, everything was about driving traffic to your website. But I felt like there was something bigger… and working on the asset that you already have. So if you have a website, if you have a landing page, how can you make it better for people that land on it? And as I read, I realized that there is a whole thing, a whole entire industry that is just about optimization. Mind you, back then there were three companies that did conversion optimization in the entire world. Now there’s like three hundred.

But back then, it was just three. I think it was Pep, it was [inaudible 00:15:05] and Andrei Morris in Germany. Fantastic guys, the more I read about them, the more I got to know the business. I was really interested in it, and I decided to open my own agency. At one point we were 15 people, so we were running conversion optimization projects and services for companies for about five years. I built a methodology for optimization because, as I mentioned before, I started guessing and I didn’t really know what I was doing. So over the time, I built my entire methodology, which you started talking about before. It’s really based heavily on psychology, consumer psychology, persuasion, emotion, and data analysis. Sold the agency and started GetUplift, which is more of a consultancy and training for conversion optimization. 

So we have all sorts of different trainings for people to learn how to find the motions of their prospects and find your value composition and how to actually optimize your websites and your funnels using emotion. We also have a new bootcamp, which really cool. It’s called Fix My Funnel Bootcamp, we literally just launched it a couple of days ago. It’s going to be a live nine day with me where you plan, create, and launch a funnel in nine days. So it’s going to be interesting.

Erin Sparks: 00:16:36 Yeah, we’re going to have links on that in the show notes, but when does that start again?

Talia Wolf: 00:16:44 We’re open for enrollment right now. It starts January 6th and it runs to January 14th. With live sessions and everything to kick you off into the right direction in 2020.

Erin Sparks: 00:16:57 Very cool, very cool. What we’ve been circling around here, and we really appreciate that backstory is what you’re finding, and the training that you’re offering. You’re helping marketers get to even understand their audience. And that’s really key because we’re trained as marketers in a particular manner about landing pages from a rationalization standpoint, or we think that decisions come from that level of evidence comparison. That’s not the case, is it?

Talia Wolf: 00:17:36 No, so. Here’s the thing. I mentioned before that I was playing the guessing game. So when I started doing conversion optimization I spent a lot of time thinking about how to optimize a page. So I change call to action buttons, I change headlines, I change images. And it was really moving elements on the page and changing different things and trying to figure out what was going to work. And the more I did it, the less I got the results that I wanted, and realized there was a missing piece. And I looked to conversion optimization as a whole and asked myself, “so what is the issue here?” And the issue was that it was quite easy to find the problem. So, knowing what needs to be fixed. Is it the landing page, is it the pricing page, is it the email sequence. Okay, figuring that out is great, but how do you figure out what needs fixing? As in, what changes can you make that will actually drive a result? 

And over the time, what I realized is that, conversion optimization isn’t about changing elements on the page, it’s about solving people’s problems. So if you can understand the raw, real challenge that people are facing. Your prospects every day. What’s keeping them up at night, what’s stopping them from achieving those goals that they want in anything. Which B to B, B to C, anything. If you can understand that, if you can identify that, then you can be able to solve their problem. You’ll know what problem to solve and you’ll know how to show it to them on the page.

So once you identify those emotions, and it’s always down to emotions because emotions navigate all our decisions in life. Every decision we make in life is based on emotion. And this is not me just saying this, this is scientists that have been saying this for dozens and dozens of years, that without emotion, we cannot make decisions at all. So when you realize the emotions that are motivating your prospects. What is motivating… and it’s never one emotion. It can be all sorts of different emotions together, but when you identify them it’s so much easier to choose the right copy, the right design, the right visuals, the right colors that you’re using on the page. Everything becomes simple because you know what feeling people need to get when they land on your page.

Erin Sparks: 00:19:54 So it’s almost like an emotional style guide from a parallel or a brand guideline. And marketers are wired for that, they understand what type of design and what type of on-brand off-brand type of messaging they’ve constructed. But whenever you force them into understanding the emotions of their customers, there’s a new discipline that we’re just not prepared yet to actually engage in. Really passing by all the quick tweaks that you can do to the web… for the most part conversion optimization has been in the realm of A-B testing and changing a button here, moving a couple pictures back and forth, trying to reduce the number of fields on a form. Those things are far less impactful than actually connecting to your consumer on that emotional wavelength, and there’s got to be a discipline to be able to discover that and that’s what you help teach on a regular basis, right?

Talia Wolf: 00:20:59 Yeah, at the end of the day, there’s a race to machine learning, and AI, and automating everything. But the problem is that even if you have the best machines in world, you still need someone to write that copy and you still need that copy to resonate with people. You still need design that makes people feel something towards your brand. Because at the end of the day, you only have three seconds to convince someone to give you a change. People tab jumping, that’s kind of my favorite saying now. When you’re looking on Google, I have an Apple, I have a Mac, so I’ll press Command and I’ll open a bunch of tabs. I don’t know if this is how you do, this is how I search for things. So you open a bunch of tabs and then you tab jump. You look at something for two seconds, “nah, not going to work.” Three seconds, “not going to work.” And that’s what you do until something catches your eye like, “hm, this is interesting.” And you start reading. 

That moment where you say, “oh, this is interesting,” it isn’t because, “wow, this company has the best price,” or, “wow, this company has these amazing features.” It’s because they’ve somehow made you feel like, “oh, I think this company gets me. They understand me, and I should give them a chance and I should read more.” You only have those three seconds, if you haven’t grabbed their attention by that, they’re gone. They’ve tab jumped to your competitor. And that’s why that emotion is so important, because people are navigated by their emotions. And we need to be too, because you’re trying to get people to admire you or you’re trying to impress your colleagues or your managers or if you have got a lot depending on you. If you want to feel better about yourself and your self esteem, if you want to feel loved, if you want to feel part of a community.

Whatever it is, there’s always an emotion that’s steering you towards a decision. Granted, afterwards of course I’m going to need all the features and the pricing and I’m going to start evaluating you in that part. But at this point of the funnel, the beginning of the funnel, where it really matters, you have to use emotion to bridge that gap, connect with them, and say “hey, I might be the solution you’re looking for, because I understand you, I know what motivates you, I know what aids you, I know how terrible you’re feeling everyday with this issue. And I can be the one to solve it for you.”

Erin Sparks: 00:23:21 So, what you’re talking about is Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs when it goes down to marketing. It’s that pain, it’s that discomfort-to-comfort standpoint, and you’re meeting them wherever they are in their level of discomfort. But on top of it, you’re also having to deliver such a message, or, actually, having to connect with them almost on a subconscious level with that three-second window. So you can’t hit them with everything at once, you really have to have a level of subtext and lightly connecting with them, understanding where they are in their pain points, right?

Talia Wolf: 00:23:59 Yeah, definitely. People go through different stages of awareness, that’s what I like to call it. And it’s not mine, obviously. So, there’s five different stages of awareness. The Unaware, the Pain Aware, Solution Aware, Product Aware, and Most Aware. Essentially, when you understand where people are in that customer journey, it’s easier for you because you know what your next stage should be and where to move them to. But the idea at the end of the day is that what you need to do is to get to know your prospects. 

And I’m not talking about age, geographical location, or gender. I’m talking about the actual person behind the screen, because that’s what they are. It’s not an ATM machine, it’s a person, and every person that comes to your website is trying to solve a problem. And it’s your job to solve that problem. If you haven’t solved the problem, they’re gone. So you don’t just want to create a nice landing page, you don’t want to create a nice email sequence.

You want to create something that’s specific to your customer, something that will resonate with them, that they can relate to. And you want to build a relationship with this person. You don’t just want them to buy one time. You want a relationship, you want this person to turn into your advocate that’s going to be hooraying and cheering for you and getting more people to come to you. So it all starts with that emotion, and it doesn’t just start, it continues throughout the customer journey. But that first time when they meet you and they see you, you have to connect with them and you have to show them that you get them, you understand their emotions and where this whole thing starts and move them through that funnel.

Erin Sparks: 00:25:34 That’s one of the most important pivot points that a marketer can experience in their lifetime is understanding that it’s not about putting against a unique differentiator of one product as opposed to another product. That’s further down the funnel, they got to be able to connect. And there has to be a discipline of how to understand their clients, consumers. Or if you’re marketing directly in your own organization, how to understand your customers that are looking for your services. It’s just not about the product. It’s not even about the company that’s delivering that product. The customers couldn’t care less, they’ve got an issue they’re trying to resolve, and that’s your levels of awareness. Whether they even know they’ve got a problem to solve. So can you briefly give us a bit of a description of each of those different stages, starting with the unaware customer?

Talia Wolf: 00:26:28 Yes, of course. So, the unaware person is normally someone who is completely unaware that they have a problem. This may happen to starter companies. So, they’re trying to revolutionize something, and they’re trying to solve a problem that many people may not know they even had. Specifically, you’ll see this specific stage of awareness addressed in Facebook ads, or in search. Sometimes on a landing page, but the idea is what you want to do in this stage of awareness is essentially bring that pain to their awareness and say “hey, you have an issue doing this.” So if you’re working in a big company, a distributed company all over the world and you have a problem communicating with people… basically what unaware means is that you’re not really aware that the reason you have so many issues in the company is because there’s a communication problem. So you’re not able to bridge the gap.

So your goal is to say to someone, “hey, do you know that you have an issue?” Because people are in all different time zones, they’re all over the world. There’s something wrong that needs to be fixed, and that’s the only thing you need to do. And that’s the great thing about stages of awareness, is once you know where people are, the only job you need to do is to move them to the next stage. So once someone is unaware, all you have to do is make them aware. 

Now, once they’re aware of the pain and they’re walking around thinking, “oh, okay. I have some pain, but I have an issue that needs solving, but I don’t think there’s any solution out there. So I’m just living with this pain. I have an issue, I’ve got distributed teams all over the world, oh well, it sucks.” That’s basically you walking around, and then suddenly you get a message. And this could be in an email, or it could be in an ad, or it could be in a landing page saying, “do you know that there’s solutions out there? There’s solutions, there’s services, there’s products you could be using. There’s also cool things that you could do with your team.” And then you get into this solution-aware stage. Solution aware people are people that are actually actively reading, researching, and trying to find a solution to their problem. They’re just not sure what that would be. 

Is it in the form of a consultant, is it in the form of self-education? Is it in the form of taking a course? Maybe it’s purchasing some software. So, they’re essentially in that discovery phase where they’re trying to figure out what the right solution would be for them. And next you have-

Erin Sparks: 00:28:51 And if I could pause, they also have different content consumption layers as well. We don’t want to get into it, but these different stages have different types of content that they’re going after, right?

Talia Wolf: 00:29:04 Right, of course. So, some people it’s more about reading blog posts, and trying to figure out the guides. So maybe I’m reading about how to do this myself. So, “what kind of meetings can I run with a distributed team?” And they’re reading about that. Other people are looking on a website and trying to figure out “what are the best softwares that you can use to solve this problem?” So every person’s looking for different things, but they’re in the act of trying to figure out what would work best for them.

Then you have the product-aware, and the product-aware is someone who is aware of your product. That means that they have searched all over and they’ve arrived on your website, your blog, your pricing page, your landing page, they’ve seen your ads, they’re aware of you. But they’re not necessarily convinced that you are the right solution for them, and this is actually the first time where you start talking about yourself. Everything before that is just about the customer. It’s all about their pain, their needs, their solutions, how we can help them, how we can enhance them, make them feel the better version of themselves. 

Once they get to product aware, what you want to do is move them to the most aware. Which, most aware people are people that are ready to convert, you just have to give them the right call to action button. But to move people to the most-aware, that’s when you start talking about your features, and your pricing, and the different individual sets that differentiate you from your competitor. But still in the lens of a customer-centric solution. Which means these features that we have aren’t just cool because, “hey, we have AI,” or “hey, we have thousands of templates.” It’s about the solution. 

“We have thousands of templates that will reduce the time it takes you to make decisions. We have a product that will help you do it according to channels, so you don’t have to search for things.” Or “this is topic based.” So you differentiate yourself and you talk about those different features that you have for your product by making it about their value. And then you get to most aware and you convert them, hopefully.

Erin Sparks: 00:31:20 Well, that’s the logical pattern there. And again, this is absolutely where all marketing should be. Be able to meet consumers where they are in that journey and also have the discipline to understand where they are, and you speak a lot about the lack of awareness in the company or firm even knowing what consumers, or how they’re expressing their pain. Matching those pain points, the company still has to discover those pain points. Because there’s so many times the company just writes about itself, writes about its product, and expects that they’re meeting those needs when they’re so far off. You can’t move enough things on the page to be able to try to convert if you’re pointing the wrong direction. Talk to us about the discipline about getting to understand one’s customers to a degree that can actually translate into actionable on content in a structure on their website. Give us an understanding of how they even learn.

Talia Wolf: 00:32:26 All right, so we actually talked about this a lot last time, when I was on here. About the… no, no, it’s good. Because this is the center of our [inaudible 00:32:38]. I’d say, rough number, made-up statistic. 99% of companies make it about themselves. They talk about themselves, their product, their features, how cool they are, they’re number one, they’re whatever. So it’s all about me, me me. So I challenge you guy, if you’re listening to this now, or later in a recording, go to your website, look at the website. How many times does the name of your company appear on the page? How many times do you talk about yourself? That is really important, because many times, this is the go-to, the number one X for this industry is it’s always about us. And what you want to do is essentially push that conversation away from you to them.

And the only way to do that is to do in-depth customer research. That means actually talking to people. I know, sounds terrible. Oh no. Seriously, if I was in a room now, and I do this every time I get onstage, thousands of marketers, “how many of you have done a customer survey in the past six months?” Maybe, maybe 10%. Maybe. This isn’t because people are lazy, and it’s not because people don’t want to run surveys. It’s because the survey’s that they’ve been running are meaningless. Because asking people, “what did you think of our website?” Or, “why did you convert today?” Not the questions you want to be asking. In order to reach deep and get into the… and essentially what we really want to do is figure out why people are buying from us. 

If we can isolate that emotion and that decision, what is the tipping point? Why do they need our solution? And again, when people buy, let’s say, insurance policy. They’re not buying a piece of paper, they’re buying piece of mind. When people buying a T-shirt, they’re not buying a piece of clothing, they’re buying self-esteem. And that’s what we’re trying to figure out. So, what is the reason for this decision? What are they trying to be? What is that better version of themself? And to get to those deep answers, you need to do customer surveys, customer interviews, you need to do user testing. There’s so many things you can do, but… oh, and competitor research. There’s awesome things you can do there. But the easiest thing that you can do right now is put a survey on your website for your visitors and send a survey to your existing clients or customers.

And the questions you want to be asking aren’t, “what do you think of our website? What is our favorite feature?” All these question about yourself. What you want to be asking them about, is about them. For example, one of my favorite questions that I love to ask people is, “before you used this solution, what were you doing? How were you solving this problem?” Now, it’s not going to be competitors. It’s not going to be named of competitors, it’s going to be, “oh, we solved it by spreadsheets. Oh, we solved it with an intern. Oh, we did not solve this issue, we couldn’t find any way to solve it.” Or, “I bought a ton of different products and none of it worked because x, y, and z.” So you’re going to get deeper into what people were trying beforehand.

And these are your clients you’re reaching out to, your customers you’re reaching our. Before they bought from you, they bought from someone else, or they tried different things. When you know what they’ve tried, you can reflect that back to them on your page. “We know that you’ve tried 1, 2, 3, and 4, and they haven’t worked, have they? Here’s a different approach.” So, you can reflect the things that you’re learning from the survey back to them. Or another question you can ask, “if you couldn’t use our product anymore, tomorrow, what would you miss the most?” Not what feature.

Erin Sparks: 00:36:35 That’s amazing. Yeah, that content right there is amazing. Because you find out so much more that you didn’t even anticipate. 

Talia Wolf: 00:36:41 No, no, it’s fine. I mean, when you say, “okay, you can’t use this anymore, from tomorrow. What are you going to miss the most?” Companies are sure they’re going to say, “oh, this feature, that feature.” I can hands down tell you, I’ve done this, I’ve asked this in literally dozens of companies and it’s never the features. It’s always the value the people get. “Oh, I’m going to miss the fact that now I have to do hours and hours of work.” Or, “I’m going to miss the fact that I can communicate so quickly with my family.” Or whatever. These questions are super important. Or, for example, “what was happening at that moment, at that day, that led you to look for our website, for our solution?” What was happening in your life at that moment that led you to it.

And it’s not about, “Oh, why did you choose us?” This is, “what was going on in your life that moment that led you to our website?” What happened, that you said, “Oh, can’t deal with this anymore. I have to look for a solution.” These are all tipping points, these are all very important questions you can ask and get phenomenal answers. And the great thing about it is that it’s voice of the customer. Which means that once you get all these replies, you don’t need to make up a word of copy. All that copy is sitting in a spreadsheet, and you can use that. And later, what you can also do, which is amazing, is you can find out what the biggest objections are.

What were the biggest things that held people back from converting? That people don’t want to convert to you because they were worried about, I don’t know, maybe support. They were worried about doing it by themselves. You find these out and then you go back to these clients and you say, “I remember that you had an issue. You were really worried about the support, why? And how are you feeling about it now?” And that is a testimonial that you use on your website. So when you start to get into your customer’s mind, into that prospect’s mind and figure out, “okay, these are the things that were challenging them. These are the things they would miss the most. These are the things they can’t live without. This is the biggest value that they see from the product. Now let’s reflect that back on the page.” 

So all you have to do is talk to people. That’s it, it sounds outrageous. I know, terrible.

Erin Sparks: 00:39:04 But it is. It’s so simple but is also the core of any type of relationship. You just can’t talk about yourself. And you were mentioning before about content that has the company name so much, it’s so pervasive in the content, nobody in the real world, in your personal life, do you want to hang out with that is talking about themselves so much. So you really have to guide how you market in the same vein as how you want to have relationships. And nobody wants to be pushed into something. You want to be asked how you’re feeling, you want somebody to empathize with you. 

And what you’re talking about is an exercise to not only be able to find empathy, but also be able to have such channels of information. It’s almost like manna from heaven, that would have its destination back to the website, back to your social media, back to your ad campaigns. Anything and everything that is matching that consumer’s pain points and how they express what they’re going through in their regular lives. All of the sudden, now you have an entire gallery of information to be able to offer up to anybody who is in any stage of awareness, right?

Talia Wolf: 00:40:19 Exactly. At the end of the day, the better you know your consumer, the better you know your prospects, the better experience you can offer. And the better experience you offer, the more likely people are to convert too. And that’s the biggest thing, and that’s one of the things I always talk about with my clients or my students. Is that, when you create a funnel that speaks to people’s emotions, when you create a funnel that’s about them. Their desired outcomes, their value, you are essentially creating a client for life, and you’re also helping them achieve their goals. Is helping you achieve your own. And it’s all about that. It’s just about making it about them. And that’s the number 1 rule in emotional targeting methodology that I developed. Is that it’s not about you, you’re not the hero of the story, they are. And if you step back and you look at your funnels right now and your website, and you ask yourself, “is this about me? Am I solving people’s problems or is it about me? How many times am I using ‘us’, ‘we’, our logo, our company name?” 

How much are we talking about ourselves and how much are we talking about them? And do we really know who the customer is behind the screen? For more than just a behavior. These are the questions you should be asking yourself. 

Erin Sparks: 00:41:40 Do you have some sort of evaluation or some sort of checklist that you can provide our audience that, as stark as it possibly could be from an answer standpoint, be able to go through a self-evaluation to give an understanding of how far they maybe are off-bubble from reaching their consumers?

Talia Wolf: 00:42:00 Yeah, definitely. On our website, we had a series of workshops that we did lately with specific step-by-step actions of how to become more customer-centric. And I also taught a lot of different templates, frameworks, and formulas for how to infuse emotion into your existing website. Because, to be honest, yes, I’ve worked with many clients and I’ve doubled and tripled their conversions. But not everyone has the budgets to work with consultants and companies like ours. So what you want to be able to do is use existing formulas, and sometimes you don’t even have money to redesign, right? I mean, you’re not going to have the time and you have to get a campaign up right now, today, tomorrow. You don’t have the time to start redesigning everything, testing everything. So we created a ton of different formulas for infusing and inserting emotion into call to action buttons, your bullet points, your headlines and visuals and stuff like that. So, on the website you can find a ton of these different resources.

We have many different checklists and guides and we have the list of 50 different cognitive biases and psychological triggers that are in fact in people. So there really is quite a lot of information.

Erin Sparks: 00:43:15 That is amazing. Yeah, absolutely. So we certainly want our listeners to go check out… well, we implore you to go check out GetUplift. I do have one question though. As soon as you get out of the space of moving widgets on a page conversion into emotional connection and emotional content latticing of sorts. Creating content in different spaces of your website that meet those awareness needs. Objective, testing those particular messages gets a little more grey. As opposed to a red or blue button over here, they’re more powerful, they’re more valuable, but how do you set up the new realm of testing emotional connection of awareness? And how do you put together that level of testing methodology into that next stage of conversion optimization? Tracking with me there?

Talia Wolf: 00:44:14 Yeah. I mean, the best way to explain it is that when you’re testing a blue versus red button, you may get an uplift, but it stops there. And it usually declines quite quickly. You don’t really learn anything from it, so when you’re testing a strategy versus an element, you get a lot more out of it. For example, if you identify that there’s two or three different emotions that people need to feel on the page when they land on it, you can change your headlines, your copy in the entire page, your visuals, the colors, everything. And you can test that, the original versus the new variation. It may be an entire new redesign, and it may be just a new paragraph on the page. But you’re testing two different murals, essentially. 

And what you want to see is that there’s an interest in there. You want to put heat maps on it, you want to do some user testing. You want to see how people are responding to this new variation of it and, most importantly, when you get the results you want to dig deeper into identifying, “okay, did this work? Did it not? Could it do better?” And so you start optimizing on that within the different elements. Now you can start changing the different call to action buttons or the different headlines that you want to change. 

And you can always create more and more, but the idea is that many companies, or most companies in the world don’t have the traffic to do A-B testing. We’re not all… millions and millions of traffic coming to our website every day or every month. So, you want to create a standard, where people come to your website and can get what they’re looking for and can get a solution. So you don’t have to completely redesign something, but maybe even just adding that copy-in content to your page that makes it about them and their value is going to help you in increasing your conversions.And, of course, supplying an experience for your customers that people love.

Erin Sparks: 00:46:09 It’s time to schluff off the self-centric content and really get to understand your consumer’s goals. I was just wondering, as soon as you get into that messaging, you may actually have the right message, but the wrong visual that connects that message. So, all of the sudden now, you have a couple other things to juggle because, if you’re testing the different messages outright and you’re screwing it up on delivery, for one, with shape or form. Then a marketer that’s not well-versed in this execution might actually push away from the table completely, going, “well all right, I just didn’t hit it.” You got to have patience, you got to let it steep a little bit, simmer a little bit. And then, if you have a series of five different visuals, of a couple if you’re selling some sort of widget for… or some sort of diamond bracelet or something like that. You’re changing out different emotional feeling there. You’ve got to be able to first get to what those stages of awareness are and then just not stick with one graphic, but change that out based on that strategy, correct?

Talia Wolf: 00:47:21 Yeah, right. And you can also test it in other ways. You can try it in a Facebook group, you can try reaching out to existing clients and say like, “hey, here’s this new variation we’re working on, how do you feel about it?” You can bring in people before you go live, you can also use five-second tests to see how people react to it, which is fantastic. There’s many different ways where you can validate it before going live. And if you don’t want to use this specific strategy on a landing page that’s getting a lot of traffic, maybe you want to do it via an email? Maybe you want to send an email out, see how people respond to that. I mean, there’s various different ways you can do it. Testing it on a landing page is probably the best, but it also depends on what you’re actually working on, what you’re trying to improve. And where in the funnel that is. 

Erin Sparks: 00:48:12 I love the idea of testing out new marketing efforts to your existing customer base. They’re the loyalists, and they’re also going to give you the most honest truth as well. If you actually bring them into the fold of your company’s offerings and products and solutions and say, “hey, we appreciate your business. Does this connect to where you were in your journey before you met us?” What a great thing to do from the leveraging of an asset. You don’t even want to consider your consumer as an asset. But in that degree, this is probably the best mirror back to you of whether or not you’re in the right space or not. That’s a fantastic idea. Talia, (laughing) we always do this. There’s so much we can talk about, and we certainly appreciate your invested focus on the customer’s journey because, although it’s been talked about, and it’s sometimes a buzzword, you guys doing a deep dive training people on how to actually discover that. Because that’s the critical thing is that, a lot of marketers don’t know where to start in this process. Would you agree with that?

Talia Wolf: 00:49:23 Yeah, definitely. And I think people are a bit timid about doing that, but it’s marketing 101. And to be honest, it’s business 101. Because when you know your prospect’s emotions, when you understand your clients on a deeper level, everything in your business is optimized, not just your funnels. Your customer service is optimized, your sales process gets better, even the delivery of your product and the way you build new things and you ship, new features, everything that you do. It really is so important to put that focus and become more customer-centric. And it isn’t as hard as it seems. You don’t have to have huge budgets and you don’t have to spend a ton of money on tests and on redesigns and whatnot. You just have to reach out to people, talk to them, and ask them the right questions. 

Erin Sparks: 00:50:16 Beautiful. Well, we always wrap up our episode asking a couple quick questions of our guests. What really bugs you about your industry right now? Could you be so kind.

Talia Wolf: 00:50:28 I think you’ve spoken to me enough to know that so much bugs me. 

Erin Sparks: 00:50:33 (laughing) You’re not bereft of issues, right? 

Talia Wolf: 00:50:45 I’m going to say that the repeating theme of “shorten everything.” Shorten your coffee, shorten your pages, no one reads. People, read. We’re not illiterate. If you give us a reason, we will read. And that’s part of the making it about me, and not about yourself. So, anyone who talks about, “less words, use less!” Whatever, I’m kind of [inaudible 00:51:14]. 

Erin Sparks: 00:51:14 No, I’d agree with you. And that’s the thing, is that first instance you’re talking about, being able to emotionally connect. But as soon as you do, as soon as you’ve got that relationship starting, they’re going to read pervasively. They’re going to dig in there, and you need to have that copy, you need to have that content to be able to not only make your own position known as a company, but you need to be able to connect with them at those additional stages. Brevity, I’m sorry. You’re absolutely right. You need to deliver content when it’s appropriate. Conversely, what excites you about your industry?

Talia Wolf: 00:51:55 Well, I do feel like there’s a lot more people talking about customer-centric marketing. I feel like there is a lot more customer research being done. I don’t know if it’s the right one to be doing, but I feel like there is a surge in people and in businesses that are more interested in doing the right kind of customer research, and open to it. So, I hope it keeps rising. 

Erin Sparks: 00:52:23 Absolutely. You have been a… I’m just thinking, three years back, you’re literally talking about the same thing. Emotionally connecting to the customer base and you’re right. We’re seeing it more, but the discipline of how to get there and how to understand, and creating that emotional connection content-guide. That’s a discipline that you are certainly in the space of training and teaching companies on how to do that. And that is the Wild West almost. It’s still out there, in uncharted lands, and we certainly hope that in next five years that companies have that as a regular process in their organization. Not only for sales, not only for marketing, but also customer service, internalizing everything. Anyway! We do want to let our listeners know that Talia has a unique skill, she took a jump-

Talia Wolf: 00:52:23 I do?

Erin Sparks: 00:53:21 Yeah! She took a jump about seven years ago, literally out of a plane. And we can certainly parallel that with a useful analogy here. If you want to take a jump into emotional connection with your audience, do that. Because literally, Talia has jumped over a thousand times out of perfectly good airplanes! 

Talia Wolf: 00:53:44 It’s for fun.

Erin Sparks: 00:53:45 I’m sure it’s enjoyable. It sounds exhilarating. It sounds like a panic attack just waiting to happen. How did you wrestle that fear down so you’re now in the competitive space of sky jumping?

Talia Wolf: 00:53:57 You know, I love it. I just love it. I am so scared and petrified of flying in planes. I hate planes, which is the weirdest thing. But I started out, I did one jump for a very irrational, stupid reason. I was trying to impress a guy who married someone else. But I jumped out of a plane for him.

Erin Sparks: 00:54:25 I bet she hasn’t.

Talia Wolf: 00:54:27 Because (laughing) no, she has not! Because emotion. But I just kept doing it, I loved it. I loved every moment, and it is calm and serene and focused and it’s incredible. And I urge everyone to try it. It’s incredible. 

Jacob Mann: 00:54:47 I’ve done it twice.

Erin Sparks: 00:54:47 Have you, Jacob?

Jacob Mann: 00:54:48 Yeah. Now I’m feeling like I need to do it again. It’s been 18 years.

Erin Sparks: 00:54:54 Gets the blood pumping, that’s for darn sure, doesn’t it?

Jacob Mann: 00:54:55 Yeah, that was a long time ago. 

Erin Sparks: 00:54:58 Well, Talia’s competitive. How do you compete in skydiving?

Talia Wolf: 00:55:02 Well, I have to say that I haven’t done it in a very long time because babies. But when I did, it depends on the type of skydiving that you’re doing and the different points, but you get different points on different sequences that you do in the air. Working with a group, working on your own with a camera rolling, a camera man. You have judges on the ground that watch the videos of what you did, and you can now also compete in a wind tunnel. So that’s indoor skydiving. 

Erin Sparks: 00:55:32 Oh, that’s takes all the fun out of it, doesn’t it? 

Talia Wolf: 00:55:35 It’s still fun. 

Erin Sparks: 00:55:36 I’m sure it is.

Talia Wolf: 00:55:36 It’s still a ton of fun.

Jacob Mann: 00:55:38 It takes the danger out of it.

Erin Sparks: 00:55:39 It takes the danger out of it, but that’s part of it, isn’t it? You know what’s not dangerous? Jumping into that nine-day live bootcamp that’s open for enrollment until December 31st for just $397. We want to get that URL in the show notes, that’s GetUplift.co/fix-my-funnel. We certainly recommend doing that and how to actually build your funnels from the ground up. That’s a pretty cool thing that literally, someone’s going to be able to have that product in their own hands after that series of sessions. Pretty cool gig. 

Jacob Mann: 00:56:18 Did you like that segue? That was pretty fun.

Talia Wolf: 00:56:20 Yeah. I’m probably going to pass out after these nine days. I don’t know what I was thinking, because it’s essentially me helping a bunch of marketers build a funnel from scratch or optimize one that they already have, and is so much hands-on stuff that I feel like I’m going to have to take two weeks off after this. Because I have no idea how I’m going-

Erin Sparks: 00:56:41 So are you going to be helping [crosstalk 00:56:41] So how many seats are available for this bootcamp? 

Talia Wolf: 00:56:45 We’re keeping it, right now, for about 150 people. But we are actually getting so many requests I don’t know if we’re going to be able… I can’t say no to people, I’m the worst at it, by the way. I really am. I’ve got a big team on this and we’re going to be working, because we’re doing office hours twice a day to support time zones all over. We’ve got live sessions coming in, and we also have video training sessions that we’re sending over every day. Plus worksheets and cheat sheets. So I’m equipping everyone with all the things they need, so they watch the 10 minute training, do the homework, and then jump in in Slack. Because we’re also doing accountability partners. So it’s essentially just like a-

Erin Sparks: 00:56:45 Wow.

Talia Wolf: 00:57:30 Yeah, It’s going to be crazy. I don’t know what I was thinking. 

Erin Sparks: 00:57:34 Was wanting to help people, that’s what you were wanting to do. Well, we certainly recommend doing that. Again, we’ll have it in the show notes. And it’s open until December 31st, but I guarantee if it goes well, there will be another bootcamp in 2020, right?

Talia Wolf: 00:57:46 Mm, yeah. Probably for a thousand dollars and at the end of the year. (laughing)

Erin Sparks: 00:57:53 (laughing) All right. We certainly want our listeners to follow Talia on Twitter. TaliaGw, Facebook is a Facebook group We Optimize. LinkedIn TaliaGw and Instagram TaliaGw. Talia, we certainly appreciate you coming back on the show, and it’s great to be able to talk to you again. We certainly want to champion what you’re doing and keep up the good work in getting us marketers over the line to actually start asking the right questions, not moving red buttons and green buttons around. Can you give our digital audience, our digital marketing audience, some final thoughts about how to get started in discovering the customer’s goals and optimizing that funnel. Final thought there?

Talia Wolf: 00:58:37 The only thing I’d say is just, speak to your customers. Do customer research in terms of surveys, interviews, do some competitor research. Not competitor research in terms of what your competitor’s products look like, or their pricing. Look at the reviews they’re getting, the testimonials that they’re getting. What people are saying about them and try and figure out what are the biggest pains that people are experiencing. What are the biggest advantages that people are mentioning and how you can leverage those in your business. You don’t have to have a ton of clients and a ton of customers in order to get started. Just speak to people, and just go a little deeper.

Erin Sparks: 00:59:18 There we go. Well thanks so much for your time today, Talia, and thanks for joining us this late. Late time tonight, we really appreciate it and hopefully you’ll come back around and talk to us again soon.

Talia Wolf: 00:59:30 Yeah, thanks for having me.

Erin Sparks: 00:59:30 All right, take care and happy Star Wars Day coming up. What is it going to be, December 21st? 21st or 25th? You don’t know Jacob? Oh, come on.

Jacob Mann: 00:59:38 I’m terrible with dates, I have no idea.

Erin Sparks: 00:59:40 Well take care of yourself. Well, do you know?

Talia Wolf: 00:59:40 20th.

Erin Sparks: 00:59:44 The 20th! That’s right. That’s right, I’m going with the 20th.

Jacob Mann: 00:59:47 You got it wrong.

Erin Sparks: 00:59:47 No, I know when I’m going. Because we weren’t able get all the seats we wanted to, so we’re going on the 21st. So no spoilers, okay? All right, thanks so much, we’ll talk to you soon. 

Talia Wolf: 00:59:57 Bye.

Erin Sparks: 00:59:57 Bye, so please don’t forget to like and subscribe to EDGE of the Web on YouTube, and if you’re really feeling up to it today and like what we’re doing, drop us a quick review on iTunes as well, it certainly does help us get some consumer feedback on our side of the big coin. Be sure to check out all the musty videos over at EDGE of the Web Raio.com as well as transcripts and show notes and so much more over there. EDGE of the Web Radio.com do not forget to sign up for our newsletter. Fail to mention, text number 228-28 the word edge, you can join right there. Not while you’re driving, by the way. Or go over to the EDGE of the Web Radio.com and join the newsletter right there. All right, we’ll be talking to you next week as we interview Robert Rose. Do not be a piece of cyber driftwood. Talk to you later.