It's Not About the Bacon with Brian Basilico | Ted Prodromou

It’s Not About the Bacon with Brian Basilico

Brian Basilico is a internationally recognized, award winning author and speaker (and a self professed geek).  He’s the founder and president of B2b Interactive Marketing Inc., an award winning marketing consulting and production company in Aurora, Illinois. B2b helps companies and non-profits market their products and services through the effective use of online tools including: websites, blogs, eMail, social networking, Google, S.E.O., YouTube, and more.

Brian’s career spans over 30 years. Since his first production company in 1979, he’s produced thousands of projects for hundreds of companies, ranging from solopreneur to Fortune 100. Brian combines years of marketing experience with technical expertise, to build online campaigns that continue to produce measurable results.  As a musician, technician, programmer, producer, and consultant, he has built a reputation for creativity, innovation, and translating “geek” into English. Brian is also an adjunct professor, trainer, speaker, and author of many marketing and social networking blogs and articles.

 

Transcription:

Ted:                           Welcome everybody. It's Ted Prodromou, and it's Social Selling TV. And today's guest is Brian Basilico, Author of The Bacon System.

Brian:                       The Bacon System.

Ted:                           We met on Facebook, like we've met so many people. He's one of my favorite Facebook friends cause he just has fun, and he just puts a lot of entertaining stuff out there. When your day is really going bad you just find Brian's posts and it cheers you up. So, welcome Brian.

Brian:                       Hey Ted, thanks for having me, man.

Ted:                           Sure. Your book came out, what, about a year ago now?

Brian:                       Yeah, it came out July 1st.

Ted:                           Okay.

Brian:                       Yeah, so it's a little under a year, but you know, still going strong.

Ted:                           Okay. So tell us a little about your background and what you're up to these days.

Brian:                       Sure. Well, my background: I've been in technology since I came out of the womb. I mean literally, I just have loved tech. I always just loved building things. I've been a musician. I started my first business at 18. I started a recording studio in my dad's basement. Went to work for AT&T, did video production for them. Started out just wiring cables, and then learned how to shoot, learned how to edit and then produce. Opened up a commercial recording studio where we did radio commercials, TV shows, all that kinda stuff. Sold that company to a production company where I did CD-ROM's, website development. Left there to go to Arthur Andersen. We all know what happened there with Enron, and then worked in an ad agency and did a lot of google advertising and stuff like that, and then opened up my company. It's hard to believe it's 17 years, 2001.

Ted:                           Holy cow!

Brian:                       Yeah, 16, 17 years. So when I started this business, I was doing business card CD's. Remember those

Ted:                           Yeah, yeah.

Brian:                       The little, you know. So I was putting videos on these little business card CD's and selling them to sales people, and it was great until of course now CD players don't come with computers anymore. So, you know, over the course of the years I've had to evolve. So like you, you know, you were in the IP space. I mean, I got into social media in 2004. I was one of the first thousand people on LinkedIn. I've been on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, SnapChat, Instagram, all that kinda stuff. And that's really been my thing. But the biggest shift in my business is really becoming a strategist. It's really helping people come up with a strategy on how to use all this stuff through content marketing and things like that. So that's really kinda the bulk. And then The Bacon System is really just laying out that strategy step by step. I call it a 12 step program for people that have tried everything and failed. So that's what the book is about, is laying out everything that they need to know in order to be successful using online marketing and social media.

Ted:                           And I actually took your book on vacation last summer and read it.

Brian:                       Oh, thank you!

Ted:                           And it's actually really good.

Brian:                       Thank you, thank you.

Ted:                           I was the nerd on the beach reading The Bacon System.

Brian:                       That's good. Why didn't you take a selfie? I love seeing Bacon on the beach.

Ted:                           But tell us about the Bacon thing, you gotta get that out of the way.

Brian:                       Oh sure. Okay. So the Bacon thing, it started out I was giving a speech at LA in a, um, it was called the Craft and Hobby Association, with a couple of my long term clients who used to work for Ben Franklin Crafts. You remember Ben Franklin Stores?

Ted:                           Oh God, yeah.

Brian:                       Oh yeah. So they worked for them. They were the marketing department. They now do retail advising, and they invited me out to LA to speak at this conference. And Georganne pulls up her phone and she's says, “Okay, giving a speech, CHA, LA, 2012, hashtag bacon.” And she says, “I'm gonna have 10 new followers by the time that we're done.” And I said, “What's with the bacon?” I had no idea. She was completely wrong. She had 20 new followers.

So, I network a lot locally like you do, you know, it's going to like 20 networking meetings a month. And most of them were breakfast meetings. So what I do is I take out my cellphone and I go up to everybody, and I take a picture of their bacon, and I put it up on Facebook. And my friends started going, “Dude, do you have a prepaid plan with your cardiologist? Cause you're gonna die.” And what they didn't realize is it was “OPB”. It was other people's bacon. I ate oatmeal, you know. But it just started to explode. I mean all of a sudden on Facebook, almost every single day somebody posts a picture of something of bacon. Yesterday, it was corn on the cob wrapped in bacon. Can you imagine how good that's gonna be? But people are sending recipes and pictures, and it just exploded. So it really turned into a brand.

So the first book that I wrote, it's called It's Not About You, It's About Bacon: Relationship Marketing In A Social Media World. When I first started writing it, I was doing a how-to book on social media. I got to chapter three, the whole book was obsolete. It was dead in the water, cause it's like everything changed. I mean just like LinkedIn with the new interface. It's like, “Where's my buttons, man? I can't find 'em.” And so I restarted the book as a why-to on doing online marketing and social media and using things that I learned way back when I was 15 working in a shoe store, and how we used to relate to customers. And all those techniques still work today. The platform is different, right? I mean it's no different, it's just the tools that we're using.

And actually the original title of the book, It's Not About You, It's About Relationship Marketing In A Social Media World. In a meeting with a client, you know, we're sitting down in a coffee shop and I showed her the book, and she looks at it and goes, “No.” She says, “It's not about you, it's about bacon.” And I went, “Oh my God. You are so right.” And that's where the Bacon thing started. Since then, it's become an acronym. Bacon stands for Building Authentic Connections Online Networking. And so that is how I've used that to build the brand of Bacon. So everything I do is all around that Bacon. And everybody looks at the book cover, and the guy who designed both books … So this right here that you see, I know it's pretty hard to see, but he actually went into his kitchen and made bacon, and then put this in Photoshop and then wrapped real bacon and made that logo.

Ted:                           Oh my God.

Brian:                       Oh yeah. And then I have another book called Bacon Bits, where he did the same thing. Chopped up bacon, made Bacon Bits out of bacon bits, and yeah. But it's been a great branding strategy. People love it and people hate it, cause every time they eat bacon they think of me. And they don't want that. But, you know-[crosstalk 00:06:54]

Ted:                           But for you, it's great.

Brian:                       It is, yeah. It's great. That's the whole point. And that's what the whole book is about, is how do you brand yourself. How do you find your bacon. You know, you, the LinkedIn guy. I mean you think LinkedIn, you think Ted. Okay? With bacon, you think about me. But then people start thinking about that online strategy. I'm starting to meld that in so people understand that the bacon means creating a great online strategy.

Ted:                           And the way you created your brand by accident, literally, I talk to my clients to and say, “You need to have a brand. You need say how you're different.” There's like millions of coaches out there. There's a lot of authors and speakers, but why are you different?

Brian:                       Right. Cause I'm better.

Ted:                           Think bacon, everybody on Facebook knows who Mr. Bacon is.

Brian:                       That's correct, yup. So that's worked really well, and it's really propelled my brand a lot faster, too.

Ted:                           Yeah. I love your idea of focusing on the strategy because marketing and selling don't really change that much. But getting the vehicle, getting your word out is changing faster than ever now.

Brian:                       Exactly. Yeah. And the tools, like we said, I mean LinkedIn. I've been watching your videos on all the stuff you've been going through. I just literally got the new interface probably a week ago and I'm going through it going, “Okay, where's this, where's this? That's not there. How do I find contact? Oh, it's on the right-hand side now, it's not underneath.” It's like all the things that are missing, like posting to groups, and tagging, and all of that stuff, it drives people crazy. Because they want things to stay the same. I remember when Facebook changed its interface for the first time. People were screaming. I mean, it was like the riots that we've had recently.

Ted:                           Yes.

Brian:                       You know, it's like, “What are you doing to my Facebook, man?” [crosstalk 00:08:47] But it's gonna change, right?

Ted:                           Yeah. Do you use SnapChat at all?

Brian:                       Oh yeah. Yep.

Ted:                           And how is that- [crosstalk 00:08:56]

Brian:                       Unfortunately I did not buy stock. I should have bought stock.

Ted:                           Yep.

Brian:                       28 billion dollars, man. That's amazing.

Ted:                           And do they have any revenue? No, not yet.

Brian:                       Not yet, no. No, but they'll figure out how to monetize it. I mean look, LinkedIn's done a good job with it, Facebook's done a good job with it. Twitter's still kinda, you know, trying.

Ted:                           Yeah, I was watching Joel Comm when he was going through the SnapChat learning, and he was sharing all this, and it's like, these stories are pretty cool that brands are putting out there. I actually like that.

Brian:                       Oh yeah. Yeah, and I've seen him speak a number of times, and some of the stories that he's been able to create are incredible.

Ted:                           Yeah.

Brian:                       He's very creative, and knows how to use that stuff. And Snapchat great. I mean, kids love SnapChat. So like anything else, one of the first questions in The Bacon System book, and in everything I do with my clients, is who's your perfect avatar? And it used to be, most people will say, “Well people that are breathing and have a wallet.” Right?

Ted:                           Yeah.

Brian:                       But that's not a perfect avatar. Your perfect avatar generally is you. It's who you are. And I look at my perfect avatar, and I call it the three-pete. They first have to have a purpose, they've gotta have some kind of goal they're trying to achieve. They've gotta have a passion, meaning they want to learn, they wanna engage. They wanna get involved. They don't want to just like, “I want to hand a check to somebody and have them do it.” Cause that's not passion. You know, they're not into it. They just wanna get it done. And then the third one is a pocket book. They gotta have some money, right? Cause otherwise they're not a great client.

Ted:                           Right.

Brian:                       So, you know, if I can identify that passion, that purpose, and that pocket book, then those become great clients for me. And what I try to do is extract that out of my clients. Who are your perfect clients? And then once you figure out who your perfect client is, then the second question is where are they hanging out, you know?

Ted:                           Right.

Brian:                       I mean it could be your perfect client maybe wants a paper newsletter sent to them every single month.

Ted:                           Yeah.

Brian:                       That stuff is still there. They could be on LinkedIn, they could be on SnapChat, they could be on Instagram, I mean they could be anywhere.

Ted:                           Yeah, if you're targeting 18 to 34 year olds, Facebook probably isn't the place to go anymore. They're over on SnapChat.

Brian:                       Exactly, yeah. Kids are leaving Facebook in droves cause their moms are all on there.

Ted:                           Yep, my kids have moved off of Facebook and now they're on Instagram and SnapChat, is where they hang out.

Brian:                       Yep. And Twitter. They still hang out on Twitter. You know- [crosstalk 00:11:24]

Ted:                           No, my kids never did Twitter.

Brian:                       Really? See, my kids do, and they're in their 30's. So they do Twitter.

Ted:                           Yeah, mine are in their late 20's, so.

Brian:                       Okay. They're younger.

Ted:                           There's a different generation there. A couple years.

Brian:                       Exactly. Yeah, yeah. They're Gen Z.

Ted:                           So when you start working with a client, you get their avatar, and then you find out where this audience is, then what's next?

Brian:                       Yeah, well, we find out where the audience is and then we start to look at their message. What is it they're trying to say? An example is I'm working with a company right now that has a machine that helps people with knee replacements. Okay. So somebody gets a knee replacement, this machine, I can only show you like this. Most people have a hard time moving their knee, and this machine will actually take it and bend it down and put it back up. And they have to use this for 30 days to get full range of motion. So you sit down and you look at it, and their website is total technical. You know, it's what you'd expect. “You get 325 degrees of total action and blah blah.” It's all this other stuff. And all the person wants to know … Their audience is 65 years old. 60, 70, you know. That's the average age.

Ted:                           Yeah.

Brian:                       They're probably looking for, you know. They may be on Facebook. They might be on LinkedIn, it's hard to say where they're gonna be hanging out, but the bottom line is what they want to know is, “How do I get back to the lifestyle where I can actually walk my dog and go play golf?” So it's changing it from really understanding who the audience is and then matching the message to the audience and what they want to know. What problem does it solve.

Ted:                           Right.

Brian:                       That's the key thing. And then bring in the right people, whether it's designers, writers, what have you, to match that message and the visuals and the website. And then, the third part is then you take that content, and let me break down the Bacon System in a very simple way. There's three major sections to it. The first one is called marketing trifecta. I mean, you read the book, right?

Ted:                           Yeah.

Brian:                       So the marketing trifecta is having a killer website, and that means a website that matches your audience's expectations, answers their questions, gets them where they want to be, and gets them to do what you want them to do. Fill out a form, pick up a phone, do whatever it is. Second thing is Analytics. Are you measuring what's happening on the website, what is drawing traffic in, where are they entering, where are they exiting? Are they following through in getting to your contact form? Are they filling out a request for a phone call, are they doing that stuff. So, third thing is Content Marketing. Creating content on your website, so that when you're creating that content it's gonna draw people back into the website, and now you can measure it. And you have the website sitting there, so all three of those things work in concert. That's why I call it the marketing trifecta.

The second piece to the puzzle is content creation. You gotta create some content. So now you understand, they've got incredible videos. They've done a great job with videos. They need to create some targeted blog posts so that they get a little bit more Google love, because Google will index that. So those are the kind of things that they've gotta do. You can do videos, you can do audio, I do a podcast every single week. You're doing video right now, which is great content, you know. So where's your audience and where are they gonna pay attention? And one of the things that I do is I do a monocast on Monday, which is me talking in the podcast, and then I do a blog post which is literally just transcribed from the monocast. So I don't even have to write a blog. I send it to Rev and it's done like that. And then I do expert interviews, like I interviewed you for LinkedIn. And so then I've got these three pieces of content that are sitting out there. Some people will listen, some people will read. And then I send out an email every Thursday with, “Here's the free content that I'm offering every single day.” So that's a system.

So I've got this great content. The third part is content delivery. And content delivery happens with that email. It's three simple buttons. Here's the two podcasts, here's the blog, here's a link to presentations or webinars that I'm doing, and that's it. Very simple, and the number of people that unsubscribe to that are one or two a week, or something like that. People stick with it cause it's not obtrusive. You know, if they want to listen, they want to listen. Or they want to read, they want to read. Second thing-[crosstalk 00:15:48]

Ted:                           So how many hours a week does that take you to do that process right there?

Brian:                       The whole thing probably takes me about four to six hours a week.

Ted:                           Okay.

Brian:                       Yeah, it's not a lot. Because I do use a lot of virtual assistants to help me. Like my blog is proofed by a virtual assistant, the email marketing is done by a virtual assistant. She's in England. So, you know. I have people that help me book guests, so I've got different virtual assistants that really help me save about 20 hours [inaudible 00:16:18].

Ted:                           Yeah. Don't do it yourself. Get help.

Brian:                       Yeah, get help. Absolutely get help. And see, since I owned a recording studio, I love it. You know, this is my passion. So I love being on a mic, I love editing audio, it's just something that I love to do. So I keep that in house, cause it's like that's my fun time.

Ted:                           Right.

Brian:                       Some people would call it work. For me, it's like, “Dude check this out, this is cool.” So then the third part of delivering the content: I look at social media number one, any social media, as a relationship building tool first, a content delivery platform second, and then a sales tool third. And I think that if people approach that in that order, they're gonna be a heck of a lot more successful in what they do. And I know you subscribe to that big time. It's all about building the relationships on LinkedIn, providing great content to people, and then there's gonna be some kind of connection at some point where maybe they'll purchase from you or recommend you, do something like that.

Ted:                           Closing the sale is a lot easier when you nurture 'em with all that expertise over the years [crosstalk 00:17:17].

Brian:                       Right. But most people don't have the patience for that. They want to use the old thing, they want to cold call. “I just want to cold call 'em and see if they're a hot lead, and get in their face and sell 'em.”

Ted:                           It's funny you mention that, because I have two clients right now. I'm teaching 'em LinkedIn and we're getting 'em great leads. I even got one guy, I got him an interview with the CEO of Logitech.

Brian:                       Wow!

Ted:                           So we got an appointment with him, and he doesn't do any marketing. I'm like, “You need to do marketing! We need to do marketing!”

Brian:                       Right, right!

Ted:                           He goes, “No no, I cold called. We got three sales people, we're just cold calling.”

Brian:                       Oh yeah. Well that's cause that's what they've been taught. They're so into that mode. It's really hard to change people, from the process of building a relationship first, providing some content, and then generating that call. Cause now they know I can trust you a little bit. They know your face, they know your content, they know your name. They know you know what you're talking about. I think that's uber important.

Ted:                           It's part of the bedding process. You can tell when people are faking it in videos and their content.

Brian:                       Yeah. Absolutely. So that's the whole system in a nutshell. I mean there's more, obviously there's some additional pieces to it. But that unto itself is what I work with my clients. You know, we set up all the tools that they need. I teach them or get them somebody to create the content, cause a lot of the time we'll use virtual assistants to do that for them.

Ted:                           Right.

Brian:                       And then the final piece is we set up the delivery platform. And most of the ones that I work with will meet once a month to go over their analytics, talk about how it's working, talk about strategy. The things that's gonna help them really get their arms around it so they can start to see the return on investment. Cause that's ultimately what we want. If you're gonna spend any of this time, any of this money, you gotta be able to prove that it's making money back.

Ted:                           Right.

Brian:                       And that's the key, right?

Ted:                           I think that your consistency is really important, too. I mean, you know every week what your routine's gonna be, and every Thursday that email is gonna go out, and people expect that. They look forward to that. [crosstalk 00:19:25]

Brian:                       Exactly. Yep. And you talked about the stuff I put on Facebook, you know, if you want a laugh. I do a quote of the day in the morning and a caption contest at night. You know, and those two things, that consistency every morning, every night seven days a week. Everybody asks me, “Where do you get those pictures?” You want to know where I get those pictures? From people who like the caption contest. They send them to me. So-

Ted:                           There you go.

Brian:                       I don't even have to go looking for pictures. They send them to me in a direct message, I put them in a folder and say, “Tonight I feel like posting this one.” And all I do is type in, “Tonight's caption contest,” grab the picture, and in less than 10 seconds I am complete, and the thing runs itself.

Ted:                           You're getting a lot of interaction with those. It's great.

Brian:                       Huge amount. And then the nice thing about that is that engagement actually is rewarded inside of Facebook because the more people comment, like, and share, then when I post, “I've got a blog post, I've got a podcast,” people start to see that stuff more because of all the engagement that's happening just from those two fun things I do every single day.

Ted:                           Right. That's great, great tips.

Brian:                       Thank you.

Ted:                           So what else? What's one more thing people need to do to be successful?

Brian:                       Well, you mentioned consistency. You mentioned relationships. I think probably the most important thing that people have to do is they have to be willing to continue to learn and grow. And not get frustrated, because this stuff changes all the time. I mean even for somebody like you, and somebody like me, that has been using social media for years, you know, it's frustrating to get in there and say, “Where did this go?” And then you've gotta go research it and say, “Oh, you can get that now if you buy sales navigator. You can still get that functionality, but you can't get it for free. Okay, I see what they're doing.” But they don't tell you. That's the biggest problem with a lot of this stuff. They don't tell you, “Hey, sales navigator now contains these functions that used to be part of the free service.” Right? Nobody's telling anybody that. Except you.

Ted:                           And we gotta dig and find it.

Brian:                       Yeah. And that's it. You gotta dig in and find that stuff. So you have to have some patience with this. You have to have some consistency with it. But you've gotta be willing to continue to learn and grow yourself because it's going to evolve. The foundations, the principles are never going to change. The same marketing techniques we used in the shoe store in my very first job, is we used to collect names, and then we'd have little metal plates printed out. And then we had this machine where we'd run postcards, and we'd stick in a stack of plates and we'd run the postcards through and we mailed those things out. That's an email list. It just happened to be on postcards. So the principles never change. What changes are the tactics, and the techniques of using social media is part of that tactic, right?

Ted:                           Yep.

Brian:                       So that's what I think people have to do.

Ted:                           Yeah, people do business with people they know, like, and trust. That'll never change.

Brian:                       Exactly.

Ted:                           It's like we're getting those old sales letters from 1900, that still- [crosstalk 00:22:35]

Brian:                       Oh yeah. They absolutely do. I mean people like David Ogilvy, some of the masters of writing sales copy, that stuff has never changed. Long tail sales copy, you see those sales pages, the lead pages that are like 15 miles long.

Ted:                           Right.

Brian:                       Most people hate them, but if you're interested in it, they read 'em. It works. I mean a great headline works, you know. Writing great sales copy that's customer focused works. All of those principles are the same. The difference is we're putting it in email and lead pages and click funnels, and that's the only difference. But the principles never change.

Ted:                           Right. So kinda to recap, it's really get clear on who you're selling to, your ideal customer, be really clear on what their biggest problems are so you can solve that problem-

Brian:                       Right.

Ted:                           And consistently get content in front of their eyes.

Brian:                       And make sure you understand where they're hanging out. And the easiest- [crosstalk 00:23:36]

Ted:                           And where they're hanging out.

Brian:                       And the easiest way to do that? Ask them.

Ted:                           Yeah.

Brian:                       You got costumers that you're working with right now. They're your perfect customers. Go ask them, “Where are you spending your time?” You know, somebody that you're already working with, you just say, “Are you spending time on LinkedIn, are you spending time on Twitter?” Maybe these people are reading the Wall Street Journal and that's where they're spending their time. Maybe you buy a banner ad in there.

Ted:                           Right.

Brian:                       You find out where they're hanging, and buy a banner ad and say, “Hey, I can teach you how to get more customers today.” It might not be super cheap, but the quality of leads may be incredible. You just gotta figure that stuff out.

Ted:                           Yeah. Like that knee thing. If you put that in AARP magazine, they're gonna see that.

Brian:                       Yeah.

Ted:                           Cause they read the old fashioned magazines.

Brian:                       Exactly, yeah. I thought you said “art” instead of “AARP.”

Ted:                           “AARP,” yeah.

Brian:                       Like, “Art magazine, yes. Watch the knee go up and down.”

Ted:                           Video

Brian:                       No, AARP. Yeah, that's a perfect example. AARP magazine would be a perfect place for that. Sure.

Ted:                           I'm sure you get AARP magazine, right?

Brian:                       No, I haven't. They keep sending me. I haven't subscribed yet.

Ted:                           Neither have I.

Brian:                       I don't want to do it yet. I'm just waiting. I hit 65, maybe. But no, not yet.

Ted:                           I'm not ready.

Brian:                       I'm over the point, as soon as you're 50th birthday, man, they are nailing you with that every single week, right?

Ted:                           See? That's targeted marketing.

Brian:                       I know. The tote bag does look interesting, though. I might like to get that free tote bag.

Ted:                           Yeah, really. When I'm 65 I'll think about it.

Brian:                       There you go. [crosstalk 00:25:04]

Ted:                           So how do people get ahold of you?

Brian:                       Well the best way is just search “Brian Basilico.” B-R-I-A-N B-A-S-I-L-I-C-O. It's like a basilica, you know, church, with an “o” at the end. So Brian Basilico. Search “bacon,” “bacon podcast,” “bacon coach,” you'll find me there. But if you search “Brian Basilico,” you'll find me on LinkedIn and everything else, and I've got links everywhere. All interchangeable.

Ted:                           Cool. Hey thanks, this has been fun.

Brian:                       Yeah, it always is, man. I love talking to you. It's a blast. I appreciate it.

Ted:                           Okay, well have a great weekend.

Brian:                       You too, man. Take care, Ted.

Ted:                           See yeah.

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Ted:                           Welcome everybody. It's Ted Prodromou, and it's Social Selling TV. And today's guest is Brian Basilico, Author of The Bacon System.

Brian:                       The Bacon System.

Ted:                           We met on Facebook, like we've met so many people. He's one of my favorite Facebook friends cause he just has fun, and he just puts a lot of entertaining stuff out there. When your day is really going bad you just find Brian's posts and it cheers you up. So, welcome Brian.

Brian:                       Hey Ted, thanks for having me, man.

Ted:                           Sure. Your book came out, what, about a year ago now?

Brian:                       Yeah, it came out July 1st.

Ted:                           Okay.

Brian:                       Yeah, so it's a little under a year, but you know, still going strong.

Ted:                           Okay. So tell us a little about your background and what you're up to these days.

Brian:                       Sure. Well, my background: I've been in technology since I came out of the womb. I mean literally, I just have loved tech. I always just loved building things. I've been a musician. I started my first business at 18. I started a recording studio in my dad's basement. Went to work for AT&T, did video production for them. Started out just wiring cables, and then learned how to shoot, learned how to edit and then produce. Opened up a commercial recording studio where we did radio commercials, TV shows, all that kinda stuff. Sold that company to a production company where I did CD-ROM's, website development. Left there to go to Arthur Andersen. We all know what happened there with Enron, and then worked in an ad agency and did a lot of google advertising and stuff like that, and then opened up my company. It's hard to believe it's 17 years, 2001.

Ted:                           Holy cow!

Brian:                       Yeah, 16, 17 years. So when I started this business, I was doing business card CD's. Remember those

Ted:                           Yeah, yeah.

Brian:                       The little, you know. So I was putting videos on these little business card CD's and selling them to sales people, and it was great until of course now CD players don't come with computers anymore. So, you know, over the course of the years I've had to evolve. So like you, you know, you were in the IP space. I mean, I got into social media in 2004. I was one of the first thousand people on LinkedIn. I've been on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, SnapChat, Instagram, all that kinda stuff. And that's really been my thing. But the biggest shift in my business is really becoming a strategist. It's really helping people come up with a strategy on how to use all this stuff through content marketing and things like that. So that's really kinda the bulk. And then The Bacon System is really just laying out that strategy step by step. I call it a 12 step program for people that have tried everything and failed. So that's what the book is about, is laying out everything that they need to know in order to be successful using online marketing and social media.

Ted:                           And I actually took your book on vacation last summer and read it.

Brian:                       Oh, thank you!

Ted:                           And it's actually really good.

Brian:                       Thank you, thank you.

Ted:                           I was the nerd on the beach reading The Bacon System.

Brian:                       That's good. Why didn't you take a selfie? I love seeing Bacon on the beach.

Ted:                           But tell us about the Bacon thing, you gotta get that out of the way.

Brian:                       Oh sure. Okay. So the Bacon thing, it started out I was giving a speech at LA in a, um, it was called the Craft and Hobby Association, with a couple of my long term clients who used to work for Ben Franklin Crafts. You remember Ben Franklin Stores?

Ted:                           Oh God, yeah.

Brian:                       Oh yeah. So they worked for them. They were the marketing department. They now do retail advising, and they invited me out to LA to speak at this conference. And Georganne pulls up her phone and she's says, “Okay, giving a speech, CHA, LA, 2012, hashtag bacon.” And she says, “I'm gonna have 10 new followers by the time that we're done.” And I said, “What's with the bacon?” I had no idea. She was completely wrong. She had 20 new followers.

So, I network a lot locally like you do, you know, it's going to like 20 networking meetings a month. And most of them were breakfast meetings. So what I do is I take out my cellphone and I go up to everybody, and I take a picture of their bacon, and I put it up on Facebook. And my friends started going, “Dude, do you have a prepaid plan with your cardiologist? Cause you're gonna die.” And what they didn't realize is it was “OPB”. It was other people's bacon. I ate oatmeal, you know. But it just started to explode. I mean all of a sudden on Facebook, almost every single day somebody posts a picture of something of bacon. Yesterday, it was corn on the cob wrapped in bacon. Can you imagine how good that's gonna be? But people are sending recipes and pictures, and it just exploded. So it really turned into a brand.

So the first book that I wrote, it's called It's Not About You, It's About Bacon: Relationship Marketing In A Social Media World. When I first started writing it, I was doing a how-to book on social media. I got to chapter three, the whole book was obsolete. It was dead in the water, cause it's like everything changed. I mean just like LinkedIn with the new interface. It's like, “Where's my buttons, man? I can't find 'em.” And so I restarted the book as a why-to on doing online marketing and social media and using things that I learned way back when I was 15 working in a shoe store, and how we used to relate to customers. And all those techniques still work today. The platform is different, right? I mean it's no different, it's just the tools that we're using.

And actually the original title of the book, It's Not About You, It's About Relationship Marketing In A Social Media World. In a meeting with a client, you know, we're sitting down in a coffee shop and I showed her the book, and she looks at it and goes, “No.” She says, “It's not about you, it's about bacon.” And I went, “Oh my God. You are so right.” And that's where the Bacon thing started. Since then, it's become an acronym. Bacon stands for Building Authentic Connections Online Networking. And so that is how I've used that to build the brand of Bacon. So everything I do is all around that Bacon. And everybody looks at the book cover, and the guy who designed both books … So this right here that you see, I know it's pretty hard to see, but he actually went into his kitchen and made bacon, and then put this in Photoshop and then wrapped real bacon and made that logo.

Ted:                           Oh my God.

Brian:                       Oh yeah. And then I have another book called Bacon Bits, where he did the same thing. Chopped up bacon, made Bacon Bits out of bacon bits, and yeah. But it's been a great branding strategy. People love it and people hate it, cause every time they eat bacon they think of me. And they don't want that. But, you know-[crosstalk 00:06:54]

Ted:                           But for you, it's great.

Brian:                       It is, yeah. It's great. That's the whole point. And that's what the whole book is about, is how do you brand yourself. How do you find your bacon. You know, you, the LinkedIn guy. I mean you think LinkedIn, you think Ted. Okay? With bacon, you think about me. But then people start thinking about that online strategy. I'm starting to meld that in so people understand that the bacon means creating a great online strategy.

Ted:                           And the way you created your brand by accident, literally, I talk to my clients to and say, “You need to have a brand. You need say how you're different.” There's like millions of coaches out there. There's a lot of authors and speakers, but why are you different?

Brian:                       Right. Cause I'm better.

Ted:                           Think bacon, everybody on Facebook knows who Mr. Bacon is.

Brian:                       That's correct, yup. So that's worked really well, and it's really propelled my brand a lot faster, too.

Ted:                           Yeah. I love your idea of focusing on the strategy because marketing and selling don't really change that much. But getting the vehicle, getting your word out is changing faster than ever now.

Brian:                       Exactly. Yeah. And the tools, like we said, I mean LinkedIn. I've been watching your videos on all the stuff you've been going through. I just literally got the new interface probably a week ago and I'm going through it going, “Okay, where's this, where's this? That's not there. How do I find contact? Oh, it's on the right-hand side now, it's not underneath.” It's like all the things that are missing, like posting to groups, and tagging, and all of that stuff, it drives people crazy. Because they want things to stay the same. I remember when Facebook changed its interface for the first time. People were screaming. I mean, it was like the riots that we've had recently.

Ted:                           Yes.

Brian:                       You know, it's like, “What are you doing to my Facebook, man?” [crosstalk 00:08:47] But it's gonna change, right?

Ted:                           Yeah. Do you use SnapChat at all?

Brian:                       Oh yeah. Yep.

Ted:                           And how is that- [crosstalk 00:08:56]

Brian:                       Unfortunately I did not buy stock. I should have bought stock.

Ted:                           Yep.

Brian:                       28 billion dollars, man. That's amazing.

Ted:                           And do they have any revenue? No, not yet.

Brian:                       Not yet, no. No, but they'll figure out how to monetize it. I mean look, LinkedIn's done a good job with it, Facebook's done a good job with it. Twitter's still kinda, you know, trying.

Ted:                           Yeah, I was watching Joel Comm when he was going through the SnapChat learning, and he was sharing all this, and it's like, these stories are pretty cool that brands are putting out there. I actually like that.

Brian:                       Oh yeah. Yeah, and I've seen him speak a number of times, and some of the stories that he's been able to create are incredible.

Ted:                           Yeah.

Brian:                       He's very creative, and knows how to use that stuff. And Snapchat great. I mean, kids love SnapChat. So like anything else, one of the first questions in The Bacon System book, and in everything I do with my clients, is who's your perfect avatar? And it used to be, most people will say, “Well people that are breathing and have a wallet.” Right?

Ted:                           Yeah.

Brian:                       But that's not a perfect avatar. Your perfect avatar generally is you. It's who you are. And I look at my perfect avatar, and I call it the three-pete. They first have to have a purpose, they've gotta have some kind of goal they're trying to achieve. They've gotta have a passion, meaning they want to learn, they wanna engage. They wanna get involved. They don't want to just like, “I want to hand a check to somebody and have them do it.” Cause that's not passion. You know, they're not into it. They just wanna get it done. And then the third one is a pocket book. They gotta have some money, right? Cause otherwise they're not a great client.

Ted:                           Right.

Brian:                       So, you know, if I can identify that passion, that purpose, and that pocket book, then those become great clients for me. And what I try to do is extract that out of my clients. Who are your perfect clients? And then once you figure out who your perfect client is, then the second question is where are they hanging out, you know?

Ted:                           Right.

Brian:                       I mean it could be your perfect client maybe wants a paper newsletter sent to them every single month.

Ted:                           Yeah.

Brian:                       That stuff is still there. They could be on LinkedIn, they could be on SnapChat, they could be on Instagram, I mean they could be anywhere.

Ted:                           Yeah, if you're targeting 18 to 34 year olds, Facebook probably isn't the place to go anymore. They're over on SnapChat.

Brian:                       Exactly, yeah. Kids are leaving Facebook in droves cause their moms are all on there.

Ted:                           Yep, my kids have moved off of Facebook and now they're on Instagram and SnapChat, is where they hang out.

Brian:                       Yep. And Twitter. They still hang out on Twitter. You know- [crosstalk 00:11:24]

Ted:                           No, my kids never did Twitter.

Brian:                       Really? See, my kids do, and they're in their 30's. So they do Twitter.

Ted:                           Yeah, mine are in their late 20's, so.

Brian:                       Okay. They're younger.

Ted:                           There's a different generation there. A couple years.

Brian:                       Exactly. Yeah, yeah. They're Gen Z.

Ted:                           So when you start working with a client, you get their avatar, and then you find out where this audience is, then what's next?

Brian:                       Yeah, well, we find out where the audience is and then we start to look at their message. What is it they're trying to say? An example is I'm working with a company right now that has a machine that helps people with knee replacements. Okay. So somebody gets a knee replacement, this machine, I can only show you like this. Most people have a hard time moving their knee, and this machine will actually take it and bend it down and put it back up. And they have to use this for 30 days to get full range of motion. So you sit down and you look at it, and their website is total technical. You know, it's what you'd expect. “You get 325 degrees of total action and blah blah.” It's all this other stuff. And all the person wants to know … Their audience is 65 years old. 60, 70, you know. That's the average age.

Ted:                           Yeah.

Brian:                       They're probably looking for, you know. They may be on Facebook. They might be on LinkedIn, it's hard to say where they're gonna be hanging out, but the bottom line is what they want to know is, “How do I get back to the lifestyle where I can actually walk my dog and go play golf?” So it's changing it from really understanding who the audience is and then matching the message to the audience and what they want to know. What problem does it solve.

Ted:                           Right.

Brian:                       That's the key thing. And then bring in the right people, whether it's designers, writers, what have you, to match that message and the visuals and the website. And then, the third part is then you take that content, and let me break down the Bacon System in a very simple way. There's three major sections to it. The first one is called marketing trifecta. I mean, you read the book, right?

Ted:                           Yeah.

Brian:                       So the marketing trifecta is having a killer website, and that means a website that matches your audience's expectations, answers their questions, gets them where they want to be, and gets them to do what you want them to do. Fill out a form, pick up a phone, do whatever it is. Second thing is Analytics. Are you measuring what's happening on the website, what is drawing traffic in, where are they entering, where are they exiting? Are they following through in getting to your contact form? Are they filling out a request for a phone call, are they doing that stuff. So, third thing is Content Marketing. Creating content on your website, so that when you're creating that content it's gonna draw people back into the website, and now you can measure it. And you have the website sitting there, so all three of those things work in concert. That's why I call it the marketing trifecta.

The second piece to the puzzle is content creation. You gotta create some content. So now you understand, they've got incredible videos. They've done a great job with videos. They need to create some targeted blog posts so that they get a little bit more Google love, because Google will index that. So those are the kind of things that they've gotta do. You can do videos, you can do audio, I do a podcast every single week. You're doing video right now, which is great content, you know. So where's your audience and where are they gonna pay attention? And one of the things that I do is I do a monocast on Monday, which is me talking in the podcast, and then I do a blog post which is literally just transcribed from the monocast. So I don't even have to write a blog. I send it to Rev and it's done like that. And then I do expert interviews, like I interviewed you for LinkedIn. And so then I've got these three pieces of content that are sitting out there. Some people will listen, some people will read. And then I send out an email every Thursday with, “Here's the free content that I'm offering every single day.” So that's a system.

So I've got this great content. The third part is content delivery. And content delivery happens with that email. It's three simple buttons. Here's the two podcasts, here's the blog, here's a link to presentations or webinars that I'm doing, and that's it. Very simple, and the number of people that unsubscribe to that are one or two a week, or something like that. People stick with it cause it's not obtrusive. You know, if they want to listen, they want to listen. Or they want to read, they want to read. Second thing-[crosstalk 00:15:48]

Ted:                           So how many hours a week does that take you to do that process right there?

Brian:                       The whole thing probably takes me about four to six hours a week.

Ted:                           Okay.

Brian:                       Yeah, it's not a lot. Because I do use a lot of virtual assistants to help me. Like my blog is proofed by a virtual assistant, the email marketing is done by a virtual assistant. She's in England. So, you know. I have people that help me book guests, so I've got different virtual assistants that really help me save about 20 hours [inaudible 00:16:18].

Ted:                           Yeah. Don't do it yourself. Get help.

Brian:                       Yeah, get help. Absolutely get help. And see, since I owned a recording studio, I love it. You know, this is my passion. So I love being on a mic, I love editing audio, it's just something that I love to do. So I keep that in house, cause it's like that's my fun time.

Ted:                           Right.

Brian:                       Some people would call it work. For me, it's like, “Dude check this out, this is cool.” So then the third part of delivering the content: I look at social media number one, any social media, as a relationship building tool first, a content delivery platform second, and then a sales tool third. And I think that if people approach that in that order, they're gonna be a heck of a lot more successful in what they do. And I know you subscribe to that big time. It's all about building the relationships on LinkedIn, providing great content to people, and then there's gonna be some kind of connection at some point where maybe they'll purchase from you or recommend you, do something like that.

Ted:                           Closing the sale is a lot easier when you nurture 'em with all that expertise over the years [crosstalk 00:17:17].

Brian:                       Right. But most people don't have the patience for that. They want to use the old thing, they want to cold call. “I just want to cold call 'em and see if they're a hot lead, and get in their face and sell 'em.”

Ted:                           It's funny you mention that, because I have two clients right now. I'm teaching 'em LinkedIn and we're getting 'em great leads. I even got one guy, I got him an interview with the CEO of Logitech.

Brian:                       Wow!

Ted:                           So we got an appointment with him, and he doesn't do any marketing. I'm like, “You need to do marketing! We need to do marketing!”

Brian:                       Right, right!

Ted:                           He goes, “No no, I cold called. We got three sales people, we're just cold calling.”

Brian:                       Oh yeah. Well that's cause that's what they've been taught. They're so into that mode. It's really hard to change people, from the process of building a relationship first, providing some content, and then generating that call. Cause now they know I can trust you a little bit. They know your face, they know your content, they know your name. They know you know what you're talking about. I think that's uber important.

Ted:                           It's part of the bedding process. You can tell when people are faking it in videos and their content.

Brian:                       Yeah. Absolutely. So that's the whole system in a nutshell. I mean there's more, obviously there's some additional pieces to it. But that unto itself is what I work with my clients. You know, we set up all the tools that they need. I teach them or get them somebody to create the content, cause a lot of the time we'll use virtual assistants to do that for them.

Ted:                           Right.

Brian:                       And then the final piece is we set up the delivery platform. And most of the ones that I work with will meet once a month to go over their analytics, talk about how it's working, talk about strategy. The things that's gonna help them really get their arms around it so they can start to see the return on investment. Cause that's ultimately what we want. If you're gonna spend any of this time, any of this money, you gotta be able to prove that it's making money back.

Ted:                           Right.

Brian:                       And that's the key, right?

Ted:                           I think that your consistency is really important, too. I mean, you know every week what your routine's gonna be, and every Thursday that email is gonna go out, and people expect that. They look forward to that. [crosstalk 00:19:25]

Brian:                       Exactly. Yep. And you talked about the stuff I put on Facebook, you know, if you want a laugh. I do a quote of the day in the morning and a caption contest at night. You know, and those two things, that consistency every morning, every night seven days a week. Everybody asks me, “Where do you get those pictures?” You want to know where I get those pictures? From people who like the caption contest. They send them to me. So-

Ted:                           There you go.

Brian:                       I don't even have to go looking for pictures. They send them to me in a direct message, I put them in a folder and say, “Tonight I feel like posting this one.” And all I do is type in, “Tonight's caption contest,” grab the picture, and in less than 10 seconds I am complete, and the thing runs itself.

Ted:                           You're getting a lot of interaction with those. It's great.

Brian:                       Huge amount. And then the nice thing about that is that engagement actually is rewarded inside of Facebook because the more people comment, like, and share, then when I post, “I've got a blog post, I've got a podcast,” people start to see that stuff more because of all the engagement that's happening just from those two fun things I do every single day.

Ted:                           Right. That's great, great tips.

Brian:                       Thank you.

Ted:                           So what else? What's one more thing people need to do to be successful?

Brian:                       Well, you mentioned consistency. You mentioned relationships. I think probably the most important thing that people have to do is they have to be willing to continue to learn and grow. And not get frustrated, because this stuff changes all the time. I mean even for somebody like you, and somebody like me, that has been using social media for years, you know, it's frustrating to get in there and say, “Where did this go?” And then you've gotta go research it and say, “Oh, you can get that now if you buy sales navigator. You can still get that functionality, but you can't get it for free. Okay, I see what they're doing.” But they don't tell you. That's the biggest problem with a lot of this stuff. They don't tell you, “Hey, sales navigator now contains these functions that used to be part of the free service.” Right? Nobody's telling anybody that. Except you.

Ted:                           And we gotta dig and find it.

Brian:                       Yeah. And that's it. You gotta dig in and find that stuff. So you have to have some patience with this. You have to have some consistency with it. But you've gotta be willing to continue to learn and grow yourself because it's going to evolve. The foundations, the principles are never going to change. The same marketing techniques we used in the shoe store in my very first job, is we used to collect names, and then we'd have little metal plates printed out. And then we had this machine where we'd run postcards, and we'd stick in a stack of plates and we'd run the postcards through and we mailed those things out. That's an email list. It just happened to be on postcards. So the principles never change. What changes are the tactics, and the techniques of using social media is part of that tactic, right?

Ted:                           Yep.

Brian:                       So that's what I think people have to do.

Ted:                           Yeah, people do business with people they know, like, and trust. That'll never change.

Brian:                       Exactly.

Ted:                           It's like we're getting those old sales letters from 1900, that still- [crosstalk 00:22:35]

Brian:                       Oh yeah. They absolutely do. I mean people like David Ogilvy, some of the masters of writing sales copy, that stuff has never changed. Long tail sales copy, you see those sales pages, the lead pages that are like 15 miles long.

Ted:                           Right.

Brian:                       Most people hate them, but if you're interested in it, they read 'em. It works. I mean a great headline works, you know. Writing great sales copy that's customer focused works. All of those principles are the same. The difference is we're putting it in email and lead pages and click funnels, and that's the only difference. But the principles never change.

Ted:                           Right. So kinda to recap, it's really get clear on who you're selling to, your ideal customer, be really clear on what their biggest problems are so you can solve that problem-

Brian:                       Right.

Ted:                           And consistently get content in front of their eyes.

Brian:                       And make sure you understand where they're hanging out. And the easiest- [crosstalk 00:23:36]

Ted:                           And where they're hanging out.

Brian:                       And the easiest way to do that? Ask them.

Ted:                           Yeah.

Brian:                       You got costumers that you're working with right now. They're your perfect customers. Go ask them, “Where are you spending your time?” You know, somebody that you're already working with, you just say, “Are you spending time on LinkedIn, are you spending time on Twitter?” Maybe these people are reading the Wall Street Journal and that's where they're spending their time. Maybe you buy a banner ad in there.

Ted:                           Right.

Brian:                       You find out where they're hanging, and buy a banner ad and say, “Hey, I can teach you how to get more customers today.” It might not be super cheap, but the quality of leads may be incredible. You just gotta figure that stuff out.

Ted:                           Yeah. Like that knee thing. If you put that in AARP magazine, they're gonna see that.

Brian:                       Yeah.

Ted:                           Cause they read the old fashioned magazines.

Brian:                       Exactly, yeah. I thought you said “art” instead of “AARP.”

Ted:                           “AARP,” yeah.

Brian:                       Like, “Art magazine, yes. Watch the knee go up and down.”

Ted:                           Video

Brian:                       No, AARP. Yeah, that's a perfect example. AARP magazine would be a perfect place for that. Sure.

Ted:                           I'm sure you get AARP magazine, right?

Brian:                       No, I haven't. They keep sending me. I haven't subscribed yet.

Ted:                           Neither have I.

Brian:                       I don't want to do it yet. I'm just waiting. I hit 65, maybe. But no, not yet.

Ted:                           I'm not ready.

Brian:                       I'm over the point, as soon as you're 50th birthday, man, they are nailing you with that every single week, right?

Ted:                           See? That's targeted marketing.

Brian:                       I know. The tote bag does look interesting, though. I might like to get that free tote bag.

Ted:                           Yeah, really. When I'm 65 I'll think about it.

Brian:                       There you go. [crosstalk 00:25:04]

Ted:                           So how do people get ahold of you?

Brian:                       Well the best way is just search “Brian Basilico.” B-R-I-A-N B-A-S-I-L-I-C-O. It's like a basilica, you know, church, with an “o” at the end. So Brian Basilico. Search “bacon,” “bacon podcast,” “bacon coach,” you'll find me there. But if you search “Brian Basilico,” you'll find me on LinkedIn and everything else, and I've got links everywhere. All interchangeable.

Ted:                           Cool. Hey thanks, this has been fun.

Brian:                       Yeah, it always is, man. I love talking to you. It's a blast. I appreciate it.

Ted:                           Okay, well have a great weekend.

Brian:                       You too, man. Take care, Ted.

Ted:                           See yeah.

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About the Author Ted Prodromou

Would you like me to help you? I'm the #1 best-selling author of Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business and Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business. People call me America's Leading LinkedIn Coach. I'm the founder of Search Marketing Simplified, LLC, a full service online marketing agency. The SMS team designs and implements advanced LinkedIn and social media lead-generation strategies for small to medium-sized businesses. SMS will set up and manage your marketing funnels using organic, social and paid traffic. Did you know I've been working with the internet since 1991, long before Al Gore invented it?

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