Content is an amazing marketing channel that few agencies really take advantage of. In fact, today’s guest Tim Brown was at a conference where the audience were asked “Who gets leads from their website.” Only a few people raised their hand.
In this interview you’ll learn how Tim has been able to acquire a consistent flow of clients through content – specifically articles and LinkedIn video.
- How to find topics to write about
- Understanding your niche & empathy
- Tips for creating short LinkedIn videos
- Getting your content found
- A couple of awesome SEO tips
Resources mentioned in the episode
- Developing a tone of voice for your brand
Connect with Tim
Tim Brown owns Hook Agency, a boutique digital agency out of Minneapolis, Minnesota that specializes in combining visual design and SEO for small businesses and construction companies. Hook Agency loves helping companies better represent themselves online with their professional web design services and get them more traffic and business with SEO.
James Rose: Hello and welcome back to Agency Highway. This is episode 56 and we are speaking with Tim Brown from Hook Agency and we're going to be digging into content for agencies and how content marketing can drive obviously traffic as well as new clients because that's more important. That's the main thing. Yeah. Tim. So thank you for joining me.
Tim Brown: Hey, thanks for having me. Appreciate it.
James Rose: This is such a great topic and I just realized yet again, I said the same thing I say all the time. The content content is awesome topic because, like it is my number one strategy right now with Content Snare to try and attract agencies. So we write content for agencies to try and get them in. I mean, that's what this podcast is, right? It's a content marketing piece to get our target client in. And I know with agencies, I see so many questions about like writing content. People just don't know what to write. So this is, this, I can see there's going to be a lot of actionable stuff in here. So let's start with a little bit about Hook Agency and you, because I can see you've done some pretty awesome stuff like with your content marketing.
Tim Brown: Thank you so much man. And yeah, I think it's interesting. I was just at a conference this past Friday and somebody was up and speaking and it was an agency guy talking to a bunch of other agencies and he's like, and how many of you actually get clients from your website. He's essentially saying most of our clients come from referrals. So how many of you guys get your clients from your website? And then very few people or almost no one raised their hand, from your website. And I was like, what? Because we get a lot of clients from our website and we actually get quite a few leads at least from our actual content pieces cause we just embed forms in our content, especially when it's doing well. We just are like, all right, you've read a bunch of content, would you like a free consultation? We lower the bar a lot because, you know, our sales guy wants stuff to do, so
James Rose: Yeah. And I would say that's pretty normal. Like that no one is really getting leads from the website. I mean we didn't when we had an agency, unless we started ranking for some agencies specific terms, but, like everyone talks about referrals as their main channel, which
Tim Brown: yeah, I love [inaudible] you should get better with them, but if you're not getting some from your site, to me that's a weakness, you know?
James Rose: Yeah. Well, and it's also less predictable. That's a big part of referrals is it's like, it kind of always worked out for us. We'd be sitting there like, Oh God, like I haven't had a referral in a while and we've got some blank space coming up in their schedule. I hope we can fill it and then it would just magically happen. And we'd end up with a referral and like, I felt like we were skating on thin ice all the time, relying on referrals. So, I mean, all my other businesses, I've always been so heavy on content. So that's why I really am looking forward to hearing what you've got to say and how and how does this work.
Tim Brown: Yeah. Let me just kind of give you a little backstory. I originally didn't realize there was anything else to search engine optimization besides content. Many, many years ago, and I started blogging just from the very beginning, seven years ago did my first blog post was very me focused. It was like, yeah, this is my specialty and aren't you interested? And then I slowly grew into content a little bit, realized no one cares about me. It needs to be absolutely about them. It's all something for them. And I started to kind of grow in that way. I realized that really comprehensive content was a way to get people in. And I had not yet figured out how to do comprehensive content that actually sold business. I just would do comprehensive content on something that was interesting to me. Like back in the day I did like I would on my, it was a designer's website cause I wasn't yet an agency. I was just a designer and I would do something on like hand lettering and I would do a giant guide and that giant guide would get like 250 people to in a day. So I have figured out how to get traffic but not yet. That's not going to sell me anything cause I don't actually sell hand lettering. I just was interested
James Rose: Man. Just quickly on that like giant guide thing. That's the same way I think with content too. And I mean a lot of people are starting to realize this and a lot of people are talking about this now, but there was a real push awhile ago to make sure you're doing a blog post every week and all this kinds of stuff. And like to me, unless you've got a big team behind you, you can't do a giant guide every week. Like it's just too much, it's just too much in it. But if you spend a lot of time on a really good piece of content that ranks well for various things, which I'm sure we'll get into. Then, that one blog post will be way more effective than 10 like shitty pieces of content that you just put together for the sake of putting stuff together.
Tim Brown: Agreed. And, you know, if you're just starting on this, maybe a good rhythm might be like three kind of more regular size blog posts and one really comprehensive guide a month or something like that where you've got like you want to have a rhythm though, you want to have a pretty good idea about what you're going to be doing every month. And so the progression kept going where I realized, links were really important for SEO at some point along this journey it started to get more traffic for things that actually brought in leads on a regular basis and at a certain point I niched, or we niched into construction and contractors a little bit more heavily. And honestly, I think that that's where more of like the leads started to come because like from content, otherwise we had our geographical targeting like Minneapolis, Minnesota terms and stuff like that.
Tim Brown: Anything around here. And there's enough volume of business that Minneapolis web design and like Minneapolis SEO and things like that created business. But I think once you start to niche your content, so we were putting out content about like contractors and how to attract good talent in the contractor space, how to do better bids, how to name your company, how to do PPC ads and SEO for your contractor. But you know what I mean. And like other ways to get leads for your contractor business. So we talked about home advisor, we talked about hows, we talked about these websites that serve that niche and the drawbacks to not owning your marketing and things like that. So we started to really chew on the niche thing. So the first,
James Rose: Yeah, well, it's gonna make it so much easier to come up with content ideas too. Because if I think about like a generalist agency, it's like, what are we going to write about? Like how to choose a web designer or something, you know, like that's no one, no one wants to read that.
Tim Brown: You can write that post like five times like it gets.
James Rose: Yeah. And it's like, if I'm going to read how to choose a web designer from an agency will from a web designer, you know, that seems a little less so. So like if you're just writing helpful content for your target audience, I mean, that's like, there's so many things, especially if you're so many things you can help them with, especially if these are the clients you're working with the day in, day out, and you know what they, what kid of things they are doing.
Tim Brown: Exactly. And I just got back from hanging out with an ideal client of ours who's a roofer and I just at the end of the thing, I sold him a couple of, I up-sold them a couple of things. We're doing SEO for him and we're going to do some email marketing and some PPC for them. So you know, we're the sales.
Tim Brown: I basically asked them at the end, I was like, hey guys, if there's any other questions you have about marketing in general, just don't, don't hesitate to just ask. I will take it as a personal research opportunity and to go and look for things. So like they're like, hey, what's the ROI on Radio Advertising for contractors? Hey, what's the ROI on direct mail for contractors. These are things that I normally think of myself to be honest, but that's something they're thinking about day in and day out. So another point that I have is just complete empathy for your ideal customer and really asking on a regular basis, asking, Hey, what would you want me to do a little bit of research on? I'm going to be researching something. I got to write my blog posts this week. So I might as well research something that you would be interested in because you are my favorite. You're one of my favorite clients and I want to attract more people like you and I say that kind of stuff to them. You know what I mean? I don't mind them knowing they're the exact kind of client that we want to continue to get more of.
James Rose: Yeah, absolutely. I've had that a few times actually. Like asking your audience, asking your clients, yeah. For basically questions and just compiling a list of the questions that you do get, Like a lot of people talk about that, you know, like, what are the questions you get from clients all the time? Write those into blog posts or even podcasts and this kind of stuff, like short form podcasts. But I really liked that idea of prompting them. Yeah. This is something I've done a little bit in my Facebook group. Like try it for exactly this reason for podcast topics. Right. But you just made me realize that I can totally do this in better and different ways that I'm going to add to my, took a note. I'm going to go and make sure I'm asking agencies about stuff that I can roll.
Tim Brown: And we have like, you know, we have a lot of different kinds of clients. Contractors being one of them the best. I'm kind of niches that we've got right now. But I talked to our sales guy and I've kind of given him, you know, I've somewhat new for me to have a separate sales guy for me. I was the guy running the sales up to six, 700 k and then now he's going to bring us to a million and beyond or whatever. I want him to feel free to commission content from me as a subject matter expert. Might not on all subject an expert or expert on everything, but I'm willing to learn and I'm willing to kind of dive in and write content. I think that no matter what kind of business, your clients are in or you're in like I know that you serving agencies, but for them talking to their clients, it's telling them to ask the sales guy to commission content or to come up with these questions like that. They get often in the sales process. Because that's literally the best content ideas that you can get or directly from the sales person who's dealing with that prospect. That's just not there yet. But they had a blog posts in front of them and they had a LinkedIn video in front of them that explained it in a minute. Explain the sticking point in a minute. Then there's opportunity to help these people out to deal with these objections.
James Rose: I'd love to dig into that LinkedIn video things. I know you mentioned that earlier, but first I just wanted to really emphasize a point that you said there that like you might not be an expert but you can research and I think that's crucial. Right? Cause this holds me back on content quite a bit where I'm reading about content governance at the moment and I'm like, what the fuck is content governance? You know, like this is like a, I know it's like this enterprisey term. Yeah. And so I've started learning about it and reading about it. The only reason I discovered it is because I've seen it used in some like content strategy. So look, I cant even tell, but I read about it and I'm like, oh, okay. Like the concepts seem pretty simple, but I don't think I'd write a blog post on it yet, but my point is I know a lot more about it now.
James Rose: And you can totally write content by, bringing together other like research. Like this is like what we did at university, right? It's like, right as an engineer. So that'd be like, write some piece and it's like on bridges. I'm like, I don't know Jack all about bridges. I don't know if Americans say Jack all. I know nothing about bridges, but you'd have to learn and you like reading textbooks, writing summaries, and providing like you're actually writing something that could be useful to someone that knows nothing about bridges. You know, just by summarizing the other stuff.
Tim Brown: Absolutely. And I think you've got to give yourself permission to try to get better at summarizing and to get better at curating content. And the other thing is I have a podcast for contractors, and I don't know everything. So isn't that awkward? No, but I do know somethings which are, you know, I know how to, you know, I know things around management, I know things around marketing and I know things around sales. And then there's this other half of it, which is like the bidding process and there's some things related to their hiring and things that I don't know, Admin side. So I have a guest, like a recurring guest that I bring on, that has done that, that was, has been part of a construction administration, you know, organization before as a consultant. And so he comes in and I pay him to be part of this podcast and to kind of fill in that gap because I have empathy for this audience and I want them to get better. And I think that need, pretending I knew about bidding or you know, change orders in construction would be a really bad idea. So, you know, even even just, you know, reading a blog post and summarize it, summarizing it at this point probably wouldn't count because these guys are, you know, they're seriously, it's hurting, it's hurting their organization. And so they need to have somebody that really some real,
James Rose: but yeah. I do go out an summarize.
Tim Brown: No, I do that too though. I'm not, I'm not real quick on that. I'm just saying like at a certain point there is this other thing too where it's like we can bring in an expert
James Rose: Well experience, right? That's the big thing. Yeah. So, but I think you can, I get the point I was trying to make is that you don't need to be an expert to create good content. Like I think that would hold a lot of people back. You can, you can learn a lot from research and then bring your own experience into that topic as well. Like I'm not just saying like summarize five blog posts and write them as your own. But you know, you can bring your own experience to it as well. And you were talking there about having like you don't know everything about contractors, like,why do you think this podcast exists? Right. I interview guests because like I haven't taken on an agency client in probably probably six months. We have like one single client that we do a lot of work for with new projects. But, I am like, I worry that I'm going to lose touch. So that's why I bring people on. And I've had this like idea in the back of my mind for a long time where I just want to team up with an agency as if like, it's like my agency but not, and I just work on like the strategy and stuff behind it. They have like a little buddy agency or something that I can get involved with just so that I can still keep helping people with agency life.
Tim Brown: Huge. Cause I think, yeah, I've, I've said it a couple of times, but like to me that empathy for your, in your case it's Content Snare, it's like having empathy for those people that need that. I've listened some of your other podcasts, and I appreciated the fact that you, I mean I know as an agency that that's a huge problem. The getting the content from, and I know that that's where the idea originated for you as I'm talking to agencies and you probably experienced it yourself. I'm like, that's a horrible experience to not have the content and to, so are we allowed to talk about Content Snare and how it works?
James Rose: Uh, yeah, sure.
Tim Brown: What is the, how does it get content better from, from clients?
James Rose: So, I feel like we should, we should do this at the end. Yeah. Just cause I don't want to disjoint, no, you're right on. Same thing, right? Like I'd love to talk about Content Snare all day.
Tim Brown: I want to, I have one pretty nuclear or more important point that I want to get to here. So let me go into that. So I think, you know, we're talking about it with Radio ROI and direct mail ROI, but I think to me, to really get where you're going with content, they'll actually convert for you. It'll actually bring in new clients. I think it's important to ask what else that these people, your ideal customers, what are they solving their problems with? Right now. So a lot of our ideal customers are solving the problem of more leads for their, you know, service based business with HomeAdvisor and these, these things that are essentially a giant marketing arm for them. And what else are they doing and how can they use that alternative solutions. So being the one providing the information about that. So I actually did a podcast about how to use HomeAdvisor to get more leads even though I don't want them to use HomeAdvisor.
Tim Brown: You know, what else could you do if you've decided to go away from HomeAdvisor? You know what I mean? So, but if you talk about those things that they're currently using to solve their problem. And then pivoted a little bit to say you also might want to own your brand and ultimately own that experience. It allows you to kind of pivot it. And I know that everyone doesn't subcontractor, so it's the empathy, it's understanding your audience and it's understanding how they're currently solving that problem. And you know, at that point, if you do content that's really about that, like for instance, getting leads through HomeAdvisor, getting leads through Houser, whatever your niche is and how they're currently solving that problem, you can actually add a form to the end of that blog posts and people will actually fill it out because it's just the intent and it's right at that point where they're actually trying to solve their problem. And Yeah.
James Rose: I love that because like the fact that it's tools that they're already using or trying to. Like things they're already using to solve their problem. That is like a quote right there, like the best kind of stuff to write about. And because as soon as you were saying it, I'm like, that's the perfect opportunity to have like even several call to actions throughout that to be like, you know, there are options for yeah. Right. And cause that's some of our most successful blog posts. Like I've got one about creating website design questionnaires, right? Don't get information from clients when you're first bringing on a client. Kind of like a brief. And I know there's a lot of information for a client to fill out there. So, sometimes they will stop in the middle, you know, like it's just too, so I interject these little bits in there, saying stuff like, you can fix this process if it's too much for your clients, you'll actually get more people through if you set this up as a form that they can come through multiple times with automatic email reminders and you can set this up with Content Snare.
James Rose: So I have that kind of natural ones where it's in the content. I have like boxes that stand out and of course like a call to action at the end.
Tim Brown: That's important to say. It's like these call to actions can be different visually. They can be kind of wrapped with some kind of containers. So they called out or
James Rose: Yeah, like one is literally in the content as if it's part of the blog post. One's like a giant yellow box and one is an opt in form, you know, so they're all very different
Tim Brown: And I think that, you know, it is important in certain ways to not sell within the content. Like that's my strategy, at least. I don't within the content you don't want it to be like this kind of sneaky thing. That's why I like to actually call it out separately and visually so that it's like this content is good, it's going to help you solve your problem, but ultimately you might need something a little stronger. So I yeah, I can help you with that.
James Rose: Thanks for calling me out on that because um, what I didn't really emphasize there is that the stuff in the content when it's actually part of the content, it's not like super salesy. I hate sleazy sales stuff. It's like, yeah, when it's like content veiled as sales, totally no. That's why the other main two are called out. But I also, I will mention it like casually in the content. Not like you should go buy this now, buy this now. Like NLP sort of crap, like I not doing any of that. It's literally just like, like con like Content Snare is something that can help with this next sentence.
Tim Brown: Yeah. And every, you know, maybe this is common for a lot of people, but every single page, any website needs a call to action at the end of the page. You know, content is a topic about content. So content, we're normally talking about text and maybe some images, but I am like so gung-ho on video and it's to me that a lot of agencies, even really smart, sexy, savvy agencies are just not even touching on video. They're just over here, kinds la-di-da, you know, we're just going to keep on blogging when they themselves are consuming a lot of the information they consume on a regular basis through video, they enjoy it more. They like watching videos on LinkedIn, they like watching, you know, whatever. So, I mean, we put a three to four videos a week right now, two or three blog posts, and we do a Facebook live as part of one of those.
Tim Brown: And then we're a lot more focused on LinkedIn obviously because you know, our clients are businesses. But to me there's a lot of opportunity on LinkedIn just because there's an arbitrage. The algorithm on LinkedIn is kind of, open for manipulation at this point just because it's advanced and you know, I even throw it in our Slack for our company and be like, all right, heck, the algorithm, you know, everyone like this. And I was at this thing on Friday and every agency that I talked to, maybe not every agency, a lot of them came up and were like, what are you doing? I'm like, like I see your stuff like constantly. And ultimately I know that my competitors are not the ones that I need to impress, but my goal was essentially to scare the shit out of our competing agencies. And ultimately I think we scared the shit out of them because I want them to think like ultimately if they're seeing it, other clients are seeing it too on LinkedIn.
James Rose: Just on the video thing.
James Rose: I know a lot of smart people who are making video their main thing at the moment and linkedin and youtube seem to be where they're focusing. Like I know people that have been doing a lot of the Facebook thing and a lot of the Instagram thing and they're all moving away from it to those two platforms. Even guys that had been previously successful with them obviously because, well, sorry, not obviously I assume because their reach is dropping. And I mean we're all seeing the effects of the algorithm and how hard it is to get noticed now. So it doesn't surprise me. Instagram for us has just been like, I like it or you're like, whoa and stuff like that. But like sitting there doing B to B content is just, no one cared.
James Rose: I spent maybe an hour the other day, just trying to work out if Instagram is something I should be revisiting. Yeah. And I was looking at loads of different hashtags for business accounts, right. For Web designers or digital agencies or like UX and like and just so many different things and just would click on random posts and see what the engagement was like and how many followers they had versus the engagement at every single one of them. Sorry, just like two were just bots. It was all just bot,, no engagement, tons of followers. The only ones that had engagements were like personal brand type ones where it was like if I, if I'm not, I mean this is gonna sound dodgy, but honestly the only two I found that had engagement were like our fairly attractive designer lady who had loads of photos of herself.
Tim Brown: Hey, you got to work it if you've got it. I mean that don't take that for granted if you got it. Because it is an opportunity. And I mean, like I will say on the other hand that Instagram stories, when we have something funny to share, like it's just I have low, I have low expectations for it. Do you know what I mean? Like I don't expect it to do that much. So I do use Instagram stories to engage the people that we know and are kind of part of our community, but I don't expect a ton from it. And I've tried everything. I'm not like too proud. So I've done automation, I've done all kinds of different things. I've tried everything and I don't judge it. I'm just a really pragmatic person. So I don't necessarily like, I've tried like auto liker things or whatever. And ultimately that's, yeah, it's just very hard to maintain and ultimately the algorithm catches up to you, but you got to use what you can well at works. And that's why I'm on LinkedIn and that's why I'm pushing video hard. And
James Rose: So let's talk about that. Instead of talking about things that, that was fine.
Tim Brown: Well, sometimes is it's helping people not waste their time.
James Rose: True that true. But let's talk about LinkedIn and what is working for you.
Tim Brown: Yes sir. We've had a lot of luck with that. I do one minute videos that's, that's ultimately,
James Rose: Yeah, I've heard this a little bit actually. I've heard a few people mentioned that
Tim Brown: I do the like little progress bar at the bottom, like Gary Vee, I don't know if you follow him and then, and then like the captions at the bottom, that kind of goes, so if you're taking a shit, you can still consume my content easily and then a little spicy headline at the top. So I do the whole square thing. I make consume. And to me that's part of empathy.
James Rose: Wait, just quickly progress bars. Is it like a video play bar that's at the bottom?
Tim Brown: It looks like you can tell where you're at on the video and how it's about to be done. You know what I mean?
James Rose: That is so amazing. I've never seen that. I've not even noticed it. And the reason I love that is because that's targeted at me. I've noticed that even if I'm watching a video that I'm enjoying watching, I'll still click it to bring up the bar to see how much is left.
Tim Brown: Value in one minute or two minutes. Cause ultimately that's all I got and I shouldn't be here in the first place. I shouldn't be wasting time right now on social media. So if you're going to give me something of value, give it to me quick.
James Rose: This is like, yeah, this is exactly squashing that sort of thing. I remember this is a funny topic. It's like the false, the time constraint, like giving, if you want to talk to someone who's busy, this is going to sound super dodgy, but I know this is like, and I learned this from my days when I was in the space of teaching guys how to get better with girls. Yeah, that's a long time ago now. I'm engaged now, probably 12 years. But I'm like a time constraint is such a
Tim Brown: Every once in a while. Just did you ever just once in awhile, just tell them. So you're gonna want to look like me.
James Rose: Wow. No, no. To those listening and not watching, James is a handsome fellow. Well thank you. But I'm going to call bullshit on that because I definitely think my looks has been, any part of I'm punching way above my weight with my lady. But anyway, I just found time constraints were like if someone's a bit awkward about talking to you or something, you can say like, I can't, I can't stay long or whatever. And it really relaxes people. And I feel like that's the same principle at work. There on that little bar down the bottom, how do you add that? Is that easy to add to the video
Tim Brown: (Inaubdible) Premiere. And ultimately all you'll be doing is moving a rectangle like this along the screen. So it's all, it's really,
James Rose: ah, Gotcha.
Tim Brown: But yeah, I mean I'm okay with Premiere, Premiere Pro is an Adobe product and ultimately there's not, there's a lot of very simple video editing things out there and you don't necessarily have to use one or the other, but just having kind of some empathy for the people watching it. And I mean like if people are listening to this and the next it's, it's a, sorry, how long does it take for you to publish your podcast?
James Rose: I Dunno, this is probably gonna be out at the start of July.
Tim Brown: Okay. So still working. This is probably going to still work for the, I don't know how long this is going to work for. This is probably not an evergreen piece of content, but at three, five months, I'm guessing they're not going to fix this algorithm. And like ultimately like if you, if you spend some time on video on LinkedIn, you can probably leverage this. It's awesome for agencies in my opinion. And it's ultimately intimidating a share of our competitors and we're already getting like leads from it and stuff like that.
James Rose: Is this, are you talking about the fact that you're just getting a bunch of people to learn to like it?
Tim Brown: No, I'm just talking about using LinkedIn and actually basically creating short form video content for LinkedIn. That's actually good.
James Rose: Well see, I don't see that as a hacky trick.
Tim Brown: Well like you know what I mean? Like the algorithm is ultimately giving disproportionate amount of value on those videos on LinkedIn. So when I say hack I just mean like it's real good there right now. Like, I don't know if you ever did Facebook like seven years ago or eight years ago I was doing it for a restaurant. This is how I got into marketing and like we were able to just do kind of crazy amounts of engagement on a Facebook page just by doing like slightly like cheeky, mildly sexual like food content and like, and it's really fun and we had a good time and I was like, you know, on the serving staff there and stuff like that. So I'll let you know. This is before I got fully into agency life. And that time was an unusual time for Facebook's algorithm cause they fixed it. So pages don't get that kind of love as much anymore. And I think LinkedIn is going through a sweet spot right now for people that really put a lot of effort there.
James Rose: Yeah. But I mean helpful video is never going to be like a hacky thing. You're like, sure you can get extra reach with it now. And I'm sure at some point it will slow down. I mean if everyone jumps on it, it'll slow down. That's how it always, yeah.
Tim Brown: I think I'm, I don't give it a year. I don't think it's going to be the same next year.
James Rose: Yeah. But, but even then, like when people are seeing you regularly on video and if you're actually helping them so they stop and watch it, it's never going to be a bad thing. It's the same as like a podcast. Right. If people have us in their ears, they feel like they know us better. It's just a thing like all podcasts I listened to. I remember when I met Lee Jackson for the first time. I think I'd spoken to him like twice, but I felt, oh, he's the guy from Agency Trailblazers. If you guys don't listen to that podcast, go and check out Agency Trailblazer. It's an awesome podcast. But you know, I'd been listening to him for ages and it was just like felt like we were friends and I was like, man, I've spoken to this guy like probably twice yet. I feel like we're friends. So, having that familiarity from audio is crazy. I can only imagine video is like 10 times.
Tim Brown: Exactly. And you kinda, you know, look into the camera and make that connection. Pretend like there's an ideal customer on the other side of the camera. Talk to them. Don't make, I'm not making content for my competitors even though I like to scare them. I am made for ideal customers. I'm pretending there's an ideal customer on the other side of the camera and the evergreen pieces of this, like you said, being the content that's useful, being there, getting that familiarity. I think the other thing is, oh, excuse me, my mic is being weird. I think the other thing is spending a lot of time on distribution and not just the content. So the way you kind of remix the content, put it out there, spending the time there because just, you know, the old, create it and they will come thing. Obviously that doesn't work.
James Rose: Yeah. Well and that is perfect cause I'd like to talk about that if you don't mind. Because I actually had a note to talk about getting the content, but those questions we were writing questions before. Like how you getting this stuff found, you know, is through sharing. Is this through SEO? Where do you go?
Tim Brown: Most of it is through SEO. So doubling down on what works. So when we start to see some organic traffic happening, we go back and revisit those posts and we double the content on those posts. So you spending, sorry, what's that?
James Rose: Sorry. We had a little, we had a little connection hiccup there, but are you spending time on like specifically on SEO for these posts when they go live. Are you doing link building and this kind of stuff?
Tim Brown: I think I let things kind of shake out a little bit. Just like on Facebook I like to see a little bit of organic engagement before I spend some Facebook ad money. Like I like to see that it works. Like it's connecting with at least a couple people organically. And the same goes for like where we spend our effort. I think on the, on the SEO side, cause the links if you buy them, they're expensive. If you go and guest post and write, they're expensive if you do, you know what I mean? It's time intensive. So I like to see what kind of shakes out. I create a lot of content. I think the best keyword research and finding out which keywords are going to work is writing a lot and then seeing what ranks and then whether it's a, I mean, not everyone has time for this, but you know, I really like it. So I think part of it is enjoying writing and enjoying researching and then seeing what works and then I double down. And then I'll go try guest posts and get links back to it or whatever.
James Rose: Yep. Yeah, so this is kind of pretty similar to the way I operate. So I think it's important to say that you'd need at least a little bit of SEO basics here just for the post itself. To know how to, you know, making sure it's got to H1 and all that sort of stuff. I don't want to dig into this now. We've got plenty of other talks on this. If you go search for I think Pete Everett, on Agencyhighway.com. We had a big chat about SEO.
Tim Brown: Exactly. I did listen to that one too, so, oh nice cause that wasn't that long.
James Rose: Yeah of course. And I mean, but what I was getting to here is that if you have a strong domain, like you've done a lot of work on SEO in the past and you're building good content and getting links and over time building a strong domain, you'll find you naturally start ranking for stuff. Especially these questions that you're getting from clients that may not be served elsewhere on Google. If no one else has been really serving all these questions, you're going to be one of only a few results and this will be very easy for you to start ranking. And that like what you said there, then that's my might be when I go revisit them, add some more content, make it more robust, try to target some other similar keywords in the same posts. Start building links to it and then that one post will go gangbusters. And then then that's when I might start re wording the content to put calls to action in and that sort of stuff.
Tim Brown: Exactly, exactly. And I think that the old school thought was like must have content as much as you possibly can. Put out all these 500 word blog posts. And, and now to me, we already talked about at the beginning, but it's about that comprehensive content. And once you know, it is a topic that people, that there is demand for really making a really comprehensive guide about it. And it's like, it's so much easier if you're niched and it's so much easier if you're specializing in a particular area of digital marketing so that you can, you can offer this like actual domain authority, this specific knowledge that it's hard to get at unless you're doing it on a day to day basis. But yeah, distribution is so important. Doubling down on what works in a lot more time when those big comprehensive guides in landing pages, you know, don't sleep on making landing pages for specific sub-services that you're trying to offer. And, you know, I think spending more time on linking for those and, and tweaking those and doing on page SEO for those. There's a lot of fun things you can do. I mean Search Engine Optimization is fun. I do it on my, I do it on my Friday nights. All are out partying. I'm a Nerd, I'm back at home, I'm doing on page SEO and ultimately I love it.
James Rose: That's awesome man. Like I am definitely not working on Friday nights, but Tuesday is my SEO day. Yeah. And it's one of my favorite things to do as well. Like I love digging into SCM rush and h refs. Like I feel like I'm doing work and I'm doing scrolling around. Yeah. It's weird.
Tim Brown: It does get distracting sometimes for sure. But yeah, A refs, I sit in there or H refs, sitting there and looking at like what, what's new that I'm ranking for and like I like looking at competitors.
James Rose: Yeah, looking at competitors to see what they didn't ranking for. Anyway. I think we're pretty close to being able to wrap up here. But there is one thing I wanted to talk about. This was a note. We briefly mentioned earlier about the future of content marketing for agencies. Cause obviously the blogging stuff like the article stuff's awesome. You talked about LinkedIn but you weren't sure this is going to be like a long term thing. What is the future?
Tim Brown: Video is definitely the future. It's, it's if you get into it quick right now and go hard on it, there's a lot of, to me that's arbitrage. Like you have an opportunity to get a disproportionate amount of attention. So the truth is it's just attention and content has been good enough to capture attention, like written content, excuse me. Now video will become standard and audio is obviously huge, but it's having empathy free up your audience. How do they want to consume this content? If it's audio, like I love audio, I love audio. That's why I liked doing the podcast. I like getting other people's podcasts. I like, but I also love consuming videos. So maybe just note where you're consuming video or where you're consuming content and just be, it'd be like, oh, maybe that's not the ideal customer. My ideal customer might want this as well.
Tim Brown: You know, the future of each year to me is it gets more comprehensive. It gets, you know, it has to necessarily has to get tighter on subject matter expertise. I read through Google's whole hundred and 40 page Google quality evaluators guidelines and their whole thing is on expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness and particularly in the medical niches and the financial niches, but it's going to spread outward from there and demonstrating expertise. So that's why I said we get clients from our content right away in this podcast. I want you to know that it, and ultimately don't listen to people who can't demonstrate that expertise in that authoritativeness because it's going to get, you know, it's the same for you. Make sure, you know, in the beginning of your posts, you're talking very quickly about some results that you've gotten from this type of thing, but demonstrating that authoritativeness and trustworthiness and expertise is going to be more important in the future just because Google's quality evaluated guidelines.
Tim Brown: They do that manually with humans, but they're going to start to do, they're going to try to find ways to make that algorithm. And I don't think it really is algorithmic yet. I don't think that they can figure that out from just on page SEO signals yet. But in the meantime, figure out ways to kind of indicate trustworthiness and track record at the beginning of your content at the beginning of your videos even cause humans work that way as well. We know there's a lot of bullshit artists out there, so you kinda got to say, hey, this is something that's worked and this is how, you know, and ultimately it's, it's just going to get harder. It's going to get harder because there's just a content clut on the Internet right now. There's so much content you, and I don't want to waste our time on reading something from a guy who's started this agency six months ago. Right? Like, so ultimately, if we're reading a piece of content, we just tell me like some results that you've gotten first and then i'll listen or whatever.
James Rose: Yeah. Let's start with proof. Yeah. That's like a, Yep. Awesome. So what do you do for agencies?
Tim Brown: For agencies? I do absolutely nothing for agents.
James Rose: Oh, okay. But you said you like might , get clients out of this podcast.
Tim Brown: I'm on this podcast for, just, I don't know. I love talking
James Rose: Links. SEO. Yeah.
Tim Brown: Yeah. I'm also just, I'm here to be part of the community. I'm in this, non-profit board for search engine marketing in my state and I don't, I don't really like get ever get clients out of that, but I am part of the community and I learn from people like you and yeah. And I learned from other people that have been around this world. So that's always good.
James Rose: Well, cheers Tim and I really appreciate the contribution. And just on that though, like I was joking about links. I mean, that is an option if you, when I was talking about building up your domain as an authoritative domain. Just so you can get other things. Ranking links from podcasts are some of the best, because I interviewed an SEO guy a while back. I was Phil Singleton and he told me that pretty much all he does for SEO and how it's going podcasts, because it's like what, 40 minutes of his time to jump on a call and just give value. Just stuff he knows about already and he'll get a link from it from that site. And I've noticed every time I go on a podcast, I end up getting syndicated on like random podcast host things and others, syndication networks and links come in from everywhere because they will come into AH refs that's how I see them. Yeah.
Tim Brown: And like, so that's one big move. And let's just, I like that we're ending with links even though this is about content. Another big move is to do today today and sign up for HARO or Help A Reporter Out. Oh yeah. My God, this is, we got like 30 or 40 links. So if you just Google like using SEO or using Haro for SEO. I think my medium post comes up, but I like links. I like list all these domains and it's crazy that domains that we got out off HARO. I did 360. I did one a day. Not I guess not every day, but I did 365 HARO things and in 365 days. So reporters go on there to get subject matter expertise. There's expertise and there's other bloggers and stuff that use it. But it's a, yeah, you're allowed on links that way too. So awesome. We ended up
James Rose: Hell yeah that's a hell of a good tip to end up on it. I was actually looking for like another fairly simple strategy I could add and I already knew about this stuff but I just completely forgot about it.
Tim Brown: It's 10 minutes a day. And so Iwould, I think of close rate cause we have, you know, sales but. I think I got like three out of every 10. So just understand there is some failure rate, but it's ultimately these, the domains skew a little higher. Domain authority, domain authority matters for the links, and ultimately it's almost good that you don't have control over what they're linking back to you with. Cause it's another thing I always get obsessed with if I'm building links in a more natural way, which of course do,
James Rose: Yeah, absolutely. I could talk about SEO all day. So I'm going to have to stop us right now cause we've probably, there's a lot of stuff we've covered today. I'm just looking at my notes here and the like, yeah. There's so much actionable stuff for you. So thank you so much for sharing.
Tim Brown: Absolutely man. And thank you for having me on the podcast.
James Rose: Where can people go to find out more about you if they do want to check it out?
Tim Brown: Check my stuff out on Tim Brown of Hook Agency on Linkedin if you want to see what I'm doing with those videos. Cause I honestly think it would be smart to do that for any agency. Tim Brown. Okay. Agency like them all help me. Yeah, and Hook Agency all over social, hookagency.com. Check out our blog. We're pretty, intense on there and you know, steal all of our keywords Munchkin.
James Rose: Oh, awesome. And of course, I will link both of these up, Tim Brown's profile and Hook Agency, and that will all be in the show notes at agencyhighway.com/56 – five, six. Yeah. Tim, thanks so much, man. This has been awesome.
Tim Brown: Yes, sir. Appreciate it.