057 — Kristin Zhivago Has Spent Decades Helping Business Scale Their Revenue

In this episode, Christina chats with Kristin about why it's important for clients to be educated about the digital marketing services they are buying.

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hey busy business people I am here today with another entrepreneur taking action Kristen Zhivago maybe I said that right this time she has spent decades helping establish businesses grow their revenue and I'm getting the scoop today on how she does it

[Music] okay so Kristen digital marketing is obviously very complicated right so why do you think it's important for clients to be educated about the digital marketing services that they want to buy and implement okay you froze for a minute on my side but it's great it's fine I got the question

the things I've noticed I've started the agency in 2017 after spending as you said decades helping CEOs and entrepreneurs grow their companies as a revenue coach and what I saw the reason I started the agency is because everybody had these wonderfully established businesses but they just were like deer in the headlights when it came to SEO and social and and SEO in particular is difficult because um Google does a lot of things they have 200 criteria they check you on and and they change the algorithm something like four to eight times a day uh but they don't tell you what they're doing because they don't want somebody to game the system so it's tough and there's a lot of little nuances to it so you have to do it right but people were just they were hiring vendors who weren't giving them information liked to keep them in the dark especially the online ads people that for some reason they were sort of like I'm in my cave leave me alone I'll let you know when I need your help and we just don't do that everything is open transparent we explain things I want them to learn what they're doing because you can't manage what you don't understand so I have one of my most popular articles on my blog on my website is how websites are constructed so people really understand the difference between a URL and a domain and and that you have to be hosted in two places we get a lot of clients even in well-established companies and they don't know where their site's hosted they don't know how to get into the back end of their WordPress that's not good that's your company as far as the world is concerned so we really do spend a lot of time making sure clients understand first we make sure we understand and we're managing it properly and then we help clients understand it that's really important I mean it's like your your website is your Virtual Office I mean it's like you need to take care of it and secure it with the same level that you would and in-person office yeah like I know I've ran into that I don't know how many times where uh they'll have someone that worked on their site years ago and they still have administrative access to the website or they are the primary administrator and the client doesn't even have a login exactly that's not good that's right and other even had uh to go to court and testify and try to explain to like a 200 year old judge what it is to own different assets because they had an employee that had been let go and that employee had registered everything the domain names the website logins the social media accounts it was using all of their own yeah yeah that's not good I was trying to explain the guy's like well why don't you just give it back like it's not it's not that's not that simple yeah you don't have the secret code you can't get in yeah place whether attorney brought me in to try and explain how the internet works it was yeah we got a real problem with that the generation gap I've been doing tech for I don't know 40 years I mean I got fascinated with it years and years ago and I was actually the first woman to sell machine shop tools in the United States as far as I know and I learned a really big lesson there they just gave me a catalog and I was wearing a mini skirt and they said you know go for it and I got to this one old shop and this big Foreman came out this old guy and and all the people shut down the machines all the guys came out to see what I was doing there and the old guy said okay all right you're selling machine shop tools tell me how this drill bit is better than the one I'm using now I didn't have an answer for him I just had a catalog you know I was so embarrassed I mean you know I was a senior in high school and I was really embarrassed and I walked out to my car and I thought I'm gonna learn everything I can about tech and selling and I've been doing that ever since it's the right thing to do you have to understand Tech now yeah yeah well I mean I don't think it's necessarily A generational thing either I meet young people all the time I mean it's like I know more about technology than my kids do so I think we're about to see a younger generation that actually is less inclined I mean they're 17 and 19. and I think the interesting thing that I've seen is it's like I'm in that in between generation we didn't grow up with technology in high school I'm 38 so we grew up with it a little bit in college and more as like an adult with kids and that kind of thing cell phone smart technology started coming out but I didn't grow up with it so the ability to not have to go to the library and just hit Google and learn things was like yes this is amazing but now like my 17 and 19 year old no interest like they it's like well there's no point in looking that up it's available if I want to later so I will later if it's relevant then but I'm not going to repeat it yeah they're stopping learning because they figured they can look it up even while they're on the phone with somebody they can just quickly Google it and say oh yeah yeah I understand that like old debates when you'd be watching TV or whatever or a movie and you're like I've seen that guy somewhere in something and you know you do still have like 15 20 minutes of the family debating and trying to think it all at night you just Google it and it's like oh yeah he was in this movie and this movie and this yeah yeah and it's like yeah of course I mean like it's just it's interesting it's a very interesting phenomenon which is kind of a Sidetrack but it just goes to show how much you really need to pay attention to when it comes yeah well if you're in business and you're using it I mean you can't do business without the internet now in fact it's not just having a website it's also that your whole business runs on the cloud our whole business runs on the cloud and if you don't know how to manage all of those resources and understand the particulars and like you said you know having access to your own site and not having just one person do all that you're you're you're really in trouble and you don't know it I mean they're saying now that it's going to be a similar thing you know like back when we used to have to convince people that they even needed to have a website we're having another round of that with the metaverse now where it's like if you haven't like claimed your metaverse space that you're going to be in the same as a business owner that didn't have a website and that's going to happen within the next year like technology is just evolving yep I agree with you yeah I worry even like even events and stuff like that like we're hosting our first metaverse event on August the 8th and we plan on doing that again every like six to eight weeks with different speakers and it's in gather town which is a little bit easier to use than like Facebook's metaverse but still I mean it's you have to dip your toe in and get used to that kind of Technology I mean even this recording on podcasts it's like this is different you're right so I think that is amazing now I know something else is like most people love the you mentioned being a sales coach so I'm going to kind of transition here most people love the services they do but they really hate selling things to people so like do you have some tips to help people you know close customers without having to be all salesy and pitchy actually customers are totally turned off to salesy and pitchy that that's that went out the window I don't know 10 years ago I mean nobody loved it anyway before nobody wanted to be sold to it feels very manipulative and and degrading um but it got worse when the internet really came to full force and you could um spend 60 80 percent of it gets get 60 to 80 percent of your questions answered I was one of the first people to to say that publicly in a speech in in Denmark that I was giving to a big Sales Group um you get you get those questions answered and then you just have a few specific questions and we're talking about high scrutiny products right now in Services um but even for the smaller ones I mean and and uh what's shocking to me is how poor a job people do of answering questions so and you see that all the time in Amazon you go there and you're reading the reviews and everything and then you still have a very specific question and it's even something that the manufacturer absolutely should have told you like how big is it outside and inside or or how what's it going to fit into whatever uh and you see those questions answered by other customers because the manufacturer didn't do it so selling is not selling anymore selling is this it's understanding the mindset of the customer when they set out to buy that's more important than personas anything else that you can look at and I Define the mindset I call it mindset driven marketing I Define the mindset as their desires their concerns and their questions so they have very specific needs things that they absolutely have to have and then they have concerns because they've been burned before or they got another version of it and they were so disappointed or whatever so they have concerns and then they have very specific questions if you know those things because you've interviewed your customers which I talk about in my book which is called roadmap to revenue how to sell the way your customers want to buy if you just interview five to seven customers who have already bought from you and I do this for all my clients before I start any work for them and ask them open-ended questions what do you think of our product how is the experience if you were the CEO of the company tomorrow what's the first thing you would fix what trends do you see in the market right now what are your biggest challenges you know what did you have in mind what problem you're trying to solve when you bought this you get this data it's really good data and again it's just a few customers five to seven of a given type and we actually transcribe these conversations word for word and then we break them up into categories so that they're Anonymous and I can promise that to the person I'm interviewing right up front so they speak freely this is all outlined by the way Point by Point all the instructions are in chapter three of my book so you interview them and then you know your customers and you know what they want from you and then you put that at the top of your website and you have it in everything you do that becomes your brand and speaking of branding I'll add one more thing and this famous quote from me that is branding is the promise that you make your brand is the promise that you keep and your brand is always a conditional statement they're real good at this but they're not as good at that and you have to know what those two things are because you can then put the real good at this part at the top of your website and they're not so good at that it's the thing that you fix in the background and make it better and better until you can actually promote it so you can learn all of this stuff I was talking to a potential client the other day and he was kind of a financial guy and he was worried that he didn't understand selling but he was reading my book between our conversations um we talked in the few weeks later we talked again and he said it's all logical it's like yeah if you understand the customer and we're trying to do then and you try to give it to them well guess what you don't have to sell anything you just put it out there and they'll go yeah that's me okay she understands what I want fine good I want this one that's it yeah well I mean even answering questions I know is a big one like uh one of the things I hear all the time is should I list my pricing on my website because that's one of the biggest questions that every single client has is like price and timeline every time yeah anything you can do to give them some kind of representation of your price is a good thing if you can I think we're moving into I mean not just that they don't want to be sold to but that there's so much competition now I mean you can hire companies from all over the world at different price ranges and stuff there's so much competition there's so much information it's so easy to shop around that I think we're also hitting something where it's like being more direct wins I mean it's not just you know sales pitches and things like that but it's like hey let me educate you on kind of what we can help with or requiring a phone call before you'll give them any questions or answer emails I've encountered that a lot more here lately and it's so annoying I'll be like I can't find the answer on the website so I'm like but I'm really interested I'm just gonna send them an email and I'm gonna ask and then they're like well we could answer that but we'd love to get on a call with you and I'm like no just answer the damn question yeah I agree and and people don't like getting on the phone if they can avoid it I mean they'd much rather use chat and every site should have chat I mean that's just a normal thing now so you need to somehow set it up so they can chat with you even if it's nine to five and you leave a message rest of the time because they don't really trust the the contact form on your website because people a lot of people don't get back to people on those you kind of have to be I mean we've even started moving the contact form down into the footer because like all you get from the contact form is Spam yes so we have like a a different form that's like book a discovery call or something those lines where it's like you know you're getting on a call with a human to talk about buying a thing like that's the intention yeah of that form and that's helped a lot with with Spam and like bad requests but then another tool I really love is video ask so if you can't man a like chat around the clock or even nine to five or whatever then it puts that little thing in the bottom where you can make a personal video and you can be like you know hey do you have a question about something and you know you start by waving so that down in the corner it shows that little preview so you like pop up and you're like hi do you have a question about anything what can I help you with today and then they can respond through video audio or text so that has worked really well we usually get quite a few requests off of that same thing for any clients we've implemented it before and you actually respond so like one of the things I think that is really bad is like the chat messages things where it acts like oh I'm gonna get to talk to a real person and then it's a boss that's frustrating and then you're like you can't do that you can't fool people and expect them to trust you it doesn't work you've already broken the promise you've already ruined the trust you know so you have to earn their trust or even the ones where it's like it acts like a live thing for half a minute and then it's like we don't have any operators available right now please yeah okay

yeah so it's like I love having live chat but only if you actually are live or you're very transparent that hey we're only live during these hours exactly like what you just said like man at nine to five be clear about that say what's going to happen outside of that so it's like if I don't want to do the form I can come back tomorrow at nine and be able to actually talk to a human yeah so I think that is like really important well I know we're kind of getting up on our time and I had one more question I really wanted to ask like why do you think it is difficult for most companies especially established businesses to gain traction with digital marketing and actually get sales there's a couple of excuse me common mistakes that people make the first mistake is that they don't talk to their customers so I don't care what channel you use and your websites included or your sales page or anything if you don't know what the customer wants you won't be able to sell to them successfully you'll just be doing more marketing blah blah and we've all seen marketing blah blah doesn't apply to us and we just scroll past it we're like okay fine fine you don't get me okay I'm out of here and I'm never coming back because I'm I'm on a quest I'm gonna find it and and one of the articles I wrote recently was the whole SEO search mentality which makes you think that you're going to be able to find it if you just keep looking and modifying your search term so you assume that what you want is out there and you just can't find it so that's the competition too because that means that they come they see you if you don't immediately address their stuff they just say I'm out of here gone so that's a big problem another problem is they go to one channel they go to one expert and that one expert SEO or social or online ads or whatever they say okay we'll do all of this for you and you know your revenue is going to go up and everything's gonna be beautiful and a year later or however long their patience holds out nothing has moved there are no if we don't our whole we live our whole team lives for leads that's what we do we our goal is to get qualified leads into your company and if you're not getting qualified leads then your digital marketing is failing it could be the channel it could be the message it could be a lot of things but you just have to say if you don't give it give it a good three months if it doesn't work but one channel by itself never works as well as being available in several other places or even running ads for people who are done to your site for example that's a good thing to do another mistake people make is they don't follow up like you said earlier on the qualified leads If there really is somebody in that buying mode at that minute you gotta jump on it and you can raise your revenues massively by doing that and you don't have to sell them they don't want to be sold you just say how can I help that's it how can I help and they'll say well I'm looking for this and that and now you're in a conversation and you're answering their questions if you can do it for them great if you can't great you know that's that's how sales real sales get started and get completed I mean there was so much power and a lot of those things that you said I mean it was especially the qualified leads and I feel like that's something most people don't really understand is it's like you're not just trying to get like more website traffic and more time on page and more social engagement all that kind of stuff like those things are okay to keep an eye on but even just leads like I can't tell you how many people I know that go to marketing agencies and they're like yeah they've generated me 100 leads in the last month and I'm like okay but how many of those leads close conversions how many of those might close in the next like six months or nine months or it's like because that's one thing you missed too it's like 100 leads came in this month and 10 of them closed but there may be 20 or 30 more that if you nurture them for two or three more months so it's like you really have to have a you know a metric for qualified leads these are good people we can work them in so I mean you may end up with a hundred leads and 80 of those be qualified but only 10 bought so it's like if you're not paying attention to that metrics I think that is really important so I know that just kind of slipped by right there and I wanted to make sure people call it no that's good and it conversions to me it's it's okay I said we live for leads but they better be qualified and they better close and we do everything we can we even give our clients a special dashboard where they can go in anytime and see how many people you know the leads what's closed and so on we work on that with clients it's a joint effort because we have to know from them which one of these things closed um it's it's really important to say which one of these converted and then that's your Revenue then you have your Roi you return on your investment very important to follow that all the way through

and a lot of clients don't realize that that's something they have to do they actually have to work with their marketing agency to provide that kind of feedback like doesn't matter how fancy the tools are there's only so far you can see in that you know life cycle of the lead and it's like once you hand them off to the company and you're like hey they're ready for you you can't just not get any feedback on that and I think like there's so many people that miss that because they just don't want to put the time into it but that's the whole thing what's the point what is the point without doing that and then you learn from those leads yep okay these are the ones that closed and these were the situations and we talked to the sales people are doing it and by the way our most successful client replaced his sales people with customer service people so all they do is get on the phone and make it easy for the customer to buy they answer questions they don't push they're not on a quota they're not trying to get another sale this month so they can get up to the higher level and all that junk that gets in the way of just treating people like human being giving them what they want oh that is so powerful yeah I love that so much so if somebody's listening and they're like yeah I'm probably making a bunch of those mistakes and yeah digital marketing is really hard who do you like to work with and kind of how do you help uh we like to work with people that are established they've got a good product or service they have good people most companies have good people in my experience uh and good processes so they're they're established companies doing a good job and they just need help in this area they need to close work sales we love it when things happen like we have a company in in California that their biggest problem was cash flow because they didn't have enough business and within a month or two their biggest problem was meeting the debate that's what we look for all the time I'm trying to find that hockey stick for all of our customers my husband always talked about that you know that hockey stick Revenue growth so that's that's really what we look for

well that's a good way to think about that hockey stick so where can someone find you like what uh web address social I'm assuming yeah pretty much I mean you can just go to Google and type in Christ in Chicago and everything comes up um my website our website ishivagopartners.com and um and by the way I've built I call the company partners because all of the people who work in the company are experts in their area and we partner with the clients to raise their revenue that's what it's all about my book roadmap to revenue is on Amazon uh you can buy it there um that's pretty much it I'm obviously on social all the time and you know my blog articles are very helpful if you want to learn about marketing that's a good place to go and I have a lot of podcasts that I've done

I know I just grabbed a copy of your book yesterday so I'm waiting on Amazon to bring it to me in the next day or two yeah and I should say and I'll make sure I have like links anywhere around this video too so people can get to it I should say one thing about the book uh I knew it was going to be available in Kindle and Audible and all of that but I will say that there are some pretty complicated charts or diagrams not diagrams but they're sort of a spreadsheet kind of thing that says here's the high scrutiny sale here's the low scrutiny sale here's the buying process for these types of sales and it's really helpful to to look at those and they're best done in the print version I hate to say it as technical as I am so it's just better to get it in the print version all right guys yep always get the print versions of everything for that exact reason that it's like the really good people have resources in there that you need to be able to look at so I always get the print version and then from there I can go and get the other versions if I want um and a lot of them will have like resource pages and stuff as well so it's like go to like book.com forward slash the resources and you can get you know like some of those tools and things so it's important to look for those as well so but this has been absolutely amazing I'll make sure that all of your links are in there you've had so many great tips I've read a few of your blog articles you're absolutely right people should go and read some of those they're amazing and thank you so much you're welcome I appreciate it

all right well until next time guys make sure you head over to ETA today.zone to learn more from experts like Kristen that can help you build a business that enables your lifestyle instead of taking over your life until next time [Music] thank you [Music]

Christina Hooper

Christina's on a mission to make business FUN while empowering you to shape thriving ventures. Over the past 16 years, she's had the privilege of helping hundreds of visionaries achieve remarkable transformations.

She bring a unique approach that combines strategic clarity with a touch of creativity. You have the opportunity to leverage her extensive experience in business design to unlock new levels of success and fulfillment. It's time to embark on this adventure and conquer challenges, unlock your potential, and make your entrepreneurial journey a fulfilling and enjoyable one.


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