Mike Pereira: Welcome back to Mike and Troy’s TopMarketingStrategies Podcast. I’m Mike Pereira.
Troy Broussard: And this is Troy Broussard. I can’t get away from him. I’m stuck here.
Mike: We’re always stuck together.
Troy: So this week, we continue our series on the Top 10 Digital Marketing Strategies of 2012/13 and beyond. Last week, we were talking about guest blog posting for traffic, links, and building relationships and all the benefits that it has. The previous week, if you didn’t check out that episode, we were talking about how to use fresh and consistent content in your marketing campaigns for building your presence online as well.
This week, we’re going to dive into a whole different topic and it’s something that most people probably don’t even associate as a marketing tactic. But we’re going to talk about site performance and we’re going to get into security just a bit as well, but mostly site performance and how that can actually be employed as a marketing strategy. So Mike, what are your thoughts on site performance and why are we even covering this as a marketing strategy?
Mike: Well, I’m going to add a word to that – site performance and speed – because speed is actually the whole reason we’re doing site performance to some extent.
Troy: Yeah, there are a couple of main benefits, but let’s start in with the benefits. Clearly, if we’re going to be focusing on the performance and speed of our site, there are some main objectives that we have. Primarily, one of the things that people don’t realize is that it is a ranking factor in the Google algorithm.
Mike: And it’s been one for a couple of years now if I remember correctly. I think it was in 2011 or maybe even in 2010 when they added that to the algorithm, or at least, told us that they added it to it. But it is a ranking factor with Google.
Troy: So clearly, the goal of Google is to give the best possible user experience to its searchers and visitors, and if your site performs well, then it’s only natural that it will boost your rankings. How much? No one can say. Who knows? It’s one of 200 factors they track, but we do know that we have seen improvements in rankings off of making no other changes but boosting site performance. So it’s clearly a factor, and it clearly has a benefit for your user experience as well, which is really the other benefit, right Mike?
Mike: Yeah, and we also know that we’ve lost rankings due to site performance. We’ve had sites where coders had made mistakes and we actually saw our rankings degrade due to mistakes they made, whether it be us coming and putting up a bunch of HTTP errors or just pages that were missing or URLs that were reallocated.
Troy: We saw some real performance hits when we had one coder that accidentally deleted 14 domains all at once. We saw quite a performance hit on that. [laughs]
Mike: Yeah, for some reason, traffic stopped. [laughs]
Troy: Be careful with your outsourcers, especially when you’re on a shared account or if you’re on an account that has multiple domains hosted under one FTP account.
Mike: While we have seen some ranking improvements from our site performance, historically, we’ve actually seen more rankings being lost due to poor performance. So that’s how we know that it definitely does make an impact.
Troy: Right. So it’s almost like it has more of a negative impact than a positive impact. In other words, you’re not necessarily going to get huge gains in rankings by improving your performance, but you could lose quite a bit of rankings with having bad performance.
Mike: Yeah, and it’s like most things. People tend to notice the negative versus the positive. If you move up one spot, you may not notice it so much. If you drop ten spots, you’re going to notice that a lot more.
Troy: Yeah, absolutely. Common human nature. Now, when we’re talking about site speed and performance, what is a good metric? What is a good, fast, quick site? What does a user expect for page load times?
Mike: I don’t know. Typically, you’re going to go for something 3 seconds or less. We strive for one to two seconds, and for metrics that I’ve seen and numbers that I’ve read, the typical user will go to a site and will expect to see a load within two to three seconds. If they don’t, they’ll either hit the back button or start looking somewhere else, or maybe go to the next SERP in line of their Google search. So we shoot for one to two seconds.
Troy: Yeah, absolutely. There’s quite a bit of research that says you really have a 3 second window of opportunity to make a strong impression with new users. Now, I emphasize new users because people that know you, your site, that are engaged with you already, are subscribers to your podcast or blog or regularly visit through your list or email. Clearly, they’re going to have more patience than your average new user.
But for new users, you have a very limited window of time to make that new impression. And even if you’ve got a very high quality site but it takes 15 seconds to load the homepage, you’re going to get some people that wait around for that, but you’re going to get a significant percentage of people that click away. That is going to dramatically impact your bounce rate, time on site, average clicks per user, and all of those statistics that are commonly referred to as user engagement statistics that you can measure in Google Analytics, GetClicky, or whatever software that you use for that tracking. But you’re clearly going to see those statistics change dramatically when you have a fast site versus a sluggish site.
Mike: And what you’re also going to notice is that you won’t know the people that you’re missing a lot of the times, because if you’re site takes 10 to 15 seconds or longer to load, you’re analytics code hasn’t even loaded yet. You won’t even know that somebody came to your site, waited seven seconds, and then hit the back button because your analytics code didn’t load until eight or nine seconds. There are people there that you lost or were never even aware of.
That being said, that’s one of the biggest increases that you’ll notice in your traffic when you go through the exercise of increasing the performance of your site through many of the tactics that we’ll discuss here is that you’re actually getting more users and more traffic. And it may not necessarily be because you’re ranking higher or your rankings have changed, it could actually be that you’re getting the same amount of traffic that you’ve gotten before, it’s just now that you’re getting your users and they’re not leaving. That’s a big part of it.
Troy: Right. What we’re talking about here is improving your user experience, which is really our second major benefit for why you want to focus on your site’s speed and performance as a marketing tactic. Because you’re not only getting the increased rankings through Google, you’re also increasing your user experience. Those metrics are very easy to track. When we’ve gone through different case studies, we’ve gotten upgraded and changed our posting environment and the things we’re going to talk about in this podcast, we’ve seen very noticeable changes of 10, 12 and 15 percent type changes in those user engagement metrics as a direct result of the site speed and performance. So clearly, they have an impact.
Mike: Yeah, exactly. Some of those numbers were significant. We’ve seen five percent increases, and while that doesn’t seem like a lot, over the course of time, that actually is a pretty significant increase in traffic and people on your site.
Troy: Yeah. In one of our cases, we saw a 12 percent increase. That’s a huge increase for just making one little tweak to your site or a one-time fixed expense invested in software installation or configuration that repays itself monthly from there out. So it’s definitely worth pursuing.
So let’s talk about some of the drawbacks from dealing with all of the site performance and speed stuff. What are some of the drawbacks of this Mike?
Mike: One of the drawbacks about going to this is that just seems like something really technical. When you start talking to people about increasing the speed on their site and doing any kind of performance enhancements to it, you start thinking words like CDN, caching, minifying and all these things. It just sounds really technical…
Troy: That’s because it is. [laughs] Yeah, this just gets into a scary techno mumbo jumbo speak.
Mike: Exactly. And it starts to scare people off is what it really comes down to.
Troy: We’re going to talk about some tactics about how to combat that, deal with just what you need to deal with and leave all the nerd stuff to the nerds. We try to get rid of that as much as possible. This is practical advice.
Mike: I’m just going to leave that if we’re going to be putting down nerds.
Troy: [laughs] So some of the other stuff that is kind of frustrating when you start dealing with the improvements of speed and performance is that there are just so many little pieces that have to be integrated. It’s not about one thing that you change and all of a sudden, everything is magically better overnight. One thing can have a big impact, but there’s a lot of little pieces that work hand in hand, so the type of hosting provider you have, or the type of hosting plan you have are big factors. But then there’s other factors like Mike had mentioned like CDN, S3 and other types of caching environments.
We’re not going to go into a whole bunch of details on those but Mike, let’s just give a quick explanation of the basics of what CDN, S3 and caching are all about. Because those are three topics we’re going to be talking about a lot today.
Mike: Sure. CDN, first and foremost, stands for Content Delivery Network, and what that does in a nutshell is take some of the static components of your website and distributes it out throughout the internet to various servers throughout the network and when people go to your site and click on something, they’re going to get the content delivered to them from a server that is closer to their location. By content, I mean stuff like images and just other static elements to your site. This speeds it up because you’re not waiting for something to come from across the pond from another country or something to that extent.
Troy: Yeah, so just to rephrase that, it means if you’re physically located in Los Angeles and there’s a time or latency that it takes to send an image to your server. If that data is coming from Switzerland, then it’s going to be a lot slower than if the data is coming from Burbank. What you’re going to find with CDN is that they have all these servers geographically located throughout the world and you’re going to be getting served your images, that data, and that static content from a server that’s geographically closest to you.
Troy: So what’s the difference then between CDN and S3? Let’s throw that out to the crowd? Anybody? Please buzz in if you have a response. [laughs]
Mike: S3 is actually an Amazon product and that’s just storage on the Amazon servers. While Amazon has a very fast network, they’re not going to be placing content in any specific location that’s closer to you. So yes, S3 is very good and fast storage, but it’s not doing the whole geographical thing.
Troy: And a lot of people think that when they optimize their site for speed and performance that they put all of their MP3s on S3 for example. Honestly, the best thing to do is put that content onto a CDN, not an S3 server, because CDN is going to give you geographically closest locations and is the fastest network of those out there. S3 is a single location. S3 is really good for storing your backups and archives.
An example of a service that uses S3 that’s wildly popular is DropBox. DropBox actually uses its own S3 storage internally and it’s just a wrapper for that. But with S3, when you want to update one file, you save that file and it’s updated in one location, and that works really fine just like on your hard drive. You update a file and you save it.
With CDN, it doesn’t work that way because when you publish a file out to the CDN, it has to get distributed out to all of those different geographical servers all over the world. In fact, it can take a few hours for it to propagate through that network. So CDN is not good when you’re actually updating those files frequently. That’s why we say it’s designed for static content.
Mike: Exactly. We’ve seen it ourselves. We’re making site updates and making changes, then we’ll refresh the site and it won’t necessarily see the change. We actually have to turn off these things to make changes sometimes because of the propagation delay.
Troy: Okay, so we’ve talked about CDN and S3. Let’s talk about caching for a minute as well because we’ve used that word a lot and a lot of our viewers may not understand what caching means. Mike, you want to explain that a little bit?
Mike: Probably the best way of explaining caching is to give you an example. For instance, when you go to a website, your browser will cache something. So if you go to our website at TopMarketingStrategies.com, you’ll see our logo up there. If you visit our site a second time, it’ll load a lot faster because your browser actually cached it. It kept a local copy of that on your computer so that it doesn’t have to go out and re-download that again.
Troy: Not the whole site we’re talking about here, but like the image for the header that has our logo in the header for example. That header logo file is going to be sitting on your local computer.
Mike: Right, and images, static items, and the type of stuff that goes out to CDNs. Again, not only are you using CDNs, you’re using local caching as well. Servers have more sophisticated versions of caching, not to get technical about things that even I don’t understand to be honest with you. But when we go to a good host, they do a lot of caching in the foreground also, so a lot of the static information gets served up from places without having to go out and grab everything all over again.
Troy: In a nutshell, that’s really all you need to know about CDN, S3 and caching to understand the benefits and how they impact performance.
Mike: And a little bit of witchcraft.
Troy: And a little bit of witchcraft and some nerdspeak along the way.
Mike: Yes, lots of nerdspeak. You know, what happens there with this stuff is you can actually hire somebody to do this, which is going to cost you a lot of money, or you can do these things yourself.
Troy: Which can take you a lot of time. [laughs]
Mike: Which will cost you a lot of time.
Troy: And it might lead to a lot of frustration and broken windows as you throw things across the house, so it might be cheaper to hire somebody.
Mike: And it also might actually cost you a lot of money because you might take your site down if you don’t know what you’re doing. We’ve been guilty of making mistakes. Not us. The other people.
Troy: Of course.
Mike: But everybody makes some mistakes and you take your site down by accident and that’s going to cost you money as well. Then you start kicking yourself and wondering why I didn’t pay somebody to do it.
Troy: One of the big ways that you can improve your site speed and performance, one of the easiest things that you can do – and it’s not trivial – is selecting the proper type of hosting for your site. That’s probably one of the biggest moves that you can make. Let’s talk about hosting options for a second, what we’ve done, and what they are.
Let’s talk about the hosting options that you have. There are shared accounts or shared hosting. These are the plans that you see from three, four, five or six bucks a month type stuff. It’s really cheap and super inexpensive and it’s a shared environment, so you’re sharing your IP with other websites. There are pluses and minuses to that, mostly minuses. The only plus is that it’s cheap, everything else is a minus. [laughs]
Mike: You’re not just sharing an IP, you’re sharing a server, bandwidth, and pretty much everything. Remember, you get what you pay for. You pay cheap, you get cheap in return.
Troy: Yeah, it’s fine for when you’re getting started, but once you start to monetize your site, you want to move to the next level up, and our recommendation when you go to the next level is to move into a VPS type environment. Now, a VPS – another jargon keyword there – stands for virtual private server. All that means is that you’re getting more bandwidth and performance without having to have a dedicated box or computer that only you use. You’re still sharing the CPU cycles and the bandwidth, but you’re getting a more dedicated resource.
Mike: They’re allocating pieces to you is what it comes down to. If you think about it, they’re taking a server and they’re slicing it up. In a shared environment, they’re taking a server and putting a bunch of people on there and you’re just sharing it. In a VPS, they’re taking a server and putting so many people on it, and then blocking off pieces off for you so you do have allocated portions of the CPU, memory, space, and bandwidth and everything. Theoretically, they make it look like something dedicated for you, but you are still in a shared environment.
Troy: Right. And another option that is similar to that but is really different is cloud-based hosting. Cloud is really different because it’s designed to be much more dynamic than a VPS environment. A VPS environment, as I said, even though it’s virtual like Mike just pointed out, you do have a dedicated amount of resources allocated to you. Cloud-based hosting allows you to be much more flexible and dynamic for allocating resources.
Cloud hosting is really good if you’re doing like a big marketing campaign and you go onto television spots with it or something, and they’re going to have to ramp up traffic really fast, then they can allocate that in real time with cloud-based solutions.
Mike: Yeah, it’s very similar actually to the VPS and they call it the cloud-based hosting, but we’ve used it in the past…
Troy: Because it’s a cool buzzword. [laughs]
Mike: It is, and cloud is what everybody talks about now is what it comes down to.
Troy: It’s much easier to draw a nice little pretty icon of a cloud than it is to VPS. It just doesn’t translate.
Mike: We’ve used the cloud servers in the past for paid traffic funnels because they turn them up on a dime and you don’t have to worry about your host turning your hosting off, because we’ve done that before. We actually had paid traffic campaigns go into a VPS and the host turned it off because we were driving too much traffic.
Troy: For the bandwidth, yeah. We exceeded our bandwidth and they just shut it down and here we are paying thousands of dollars for a five thousand dollar traffic campaign and boom, they just cut you off. There are definitely pluses and minuses. Another option is a dedicated and managed environment. They’re similar, so let’s talk a little bit about the differences between a dedicated and a managed.
Dedicated is really an older school philosophy. There’s not a lot of dedicated servers nowadays. You can still get it, but…
Mike: You can still get it. We actually still have one we use for our SEO hosting. But yeah, moving forward, I wouldn’t get any dedicated servers now because I would just get a VPS or something else to that extent. But dedicated is really giving you a box in essence. You’re getting a computer handed to you that is solely to you. In some cases, they’re giving it to you and you actually have to manage it all yourself. Now some do have managed dedicated servers, which are a whole other story, but for the cheaper dedicated servers, you have to care of that stuff yourself. So you have to be a little bit technical.
Troy: Not a little bit. Quite a bit. You have to be comfortable with root level access administration, and some of these will require you to set up your own Netscape webservers and everything on them. When you go dedicated, if you don’t have a dedicated admin resource then I wouldn’t even consider it without going managed dedicated server.
When it comes to a managed dedicated, you’re leasing two things: the equipment for the dedicated service, but also employees, assistance and support to manage that solution for you. They handle your backups, new software installs, whatever their terms of agreement and services contract specifies, but they are providing managed services for you on top of the dedicated server environment.
Mike: And lastly, not to confuse the two, there is just managed hosting like a service like WPEngine, which we’re using a lot where they actually give you a slice of bandwidth, space and everything, and they manage everything for you. That’s really the best of all worlds because you get everything you want and you get a managed service behind it as well. Everybody’s taking care of security and backups for you. You don’t have to worry about anything, really.
Troy: Yeah, it’s really the Lexus of service because you don’t have to deal with any of it. They’re handling the hardware and the service all integrated.
Troy: When it comes to site speed and performance, another thing that dovetails with that is the security on your site. The reason we want to talk about this is because it is really a ranking factor as well. If you have a site that is infected with malware for example, then your rankings are going to suffer within Google. In fact, they may de-index your entire site based on that malware because your site poses a security risk. They do not want to send their trusted visitors off to your site that’s infected. So it’s really a trust factor, but it also is a ranking factor, right Mike?
Mike: Yeah. For me, it’s why I prefer a managed type of solution for hosting, because they’ll handle the security for you and all that stuff. We have other sites on various forms of hosting – just a few weeks ago, somebody hacked into one of our sites and changed our robots.txt, which really screwed up that site. We’ve had people go into our site and infiltrate them with malware.
Troy: And on those other sites that are not in a managed environment, we end up having to purchase an extra security software. Something like Sucuri is what we use a lot. That’s S-U-C-U-R-I – Sucuri. I always want to call it Securi like “secure” but it’s not.
Mike: That’s what I call it. [laughs]
Troy: It’s very good software, but it’s not needed if you’re in a managed environment like WPEngine.
Mike: And again, it’s not only the money that it costs you. It’s the time and you wind up spending hours playing with something as stupid as a robot.txt.
Troy: Yeah, absolutely. Before we close this segment out, let’s just talk briefly about what we do, Mike, because I think people look at us to say what makes the most sense and let’s just talk about how we’ve kind of progressed through our hosting and where we used it for hosting plans for ourselves.
Mike: Yeah, we’ve gone through all the variations of hosting that we’ve discussed here and we still use at least three or four of the ones we discussed here, but right now, anything we’re going ahead with is a WordPress site, and we’re using managed WordPress hosting for that. We’re using WPEngine more specifically for the vast majority of our WordPress sites at this point. That’s really for the sake of having a managed environment where somebody handles the backups, security, they have the staging environment, they are WordPress specialists. The performance is there, CDN, and just everything is embodied for one price. It’s not the cheapest form of hosting, but it’s definitely the best form of hosting for us.
Troy: Yeah, not only the best, but the speed is really fast. We were really impressed. We went from eight and nine second page load times down to one and two second page load times when we switched over to WPEngine. So the performance is really good.
Lastly, yes, it’s a little more expensive than the other things out there, but what you’ve got to understand is when you start adding up how much you would pay an admin to do stuff, a dedicated resource that can do that, hosting with CDN and S3, as well as your security software, and then the time, honestly, I think it really is a pretty cheap solution when you add all of that stuff in. Most people look at it as how much am I paying for my hosting. It’s not $5 a month. I think the cheapest plan is $30 a month, but the reality is, you’re going to save a lot of time with a lot of the headaches you don’t have to deal with. That’s what we enjoy about WPEngine.
Now, it doesn’t make sense for everything. It doesn’t make sense when you’re first starting out and you don’t have a budget you can operate it in. If you’re really bootstrapping out there and just getting started, then just go ahead with a simple shared plan, right Mike?
Mike: Yeah, absolutely. A shared plan and look to upgrade. Incremental steps. You can go from shared to VPS to managed. It really depends on what you can afford to put onto your site.
Troy: So, we still use some of these other plans. Why would we use VPS instead of WPEngine? One of the reasons is that WPEngine only works with WordPress sites. So if you’re doing a site that has an integrated shopping cart, has an ecommerce platform, that is not a WordPress type site, then you may not be able to use something like WPEngine.
Another reason is that WPEngine has to certify the different plugins and things that they run. And they’re pretty flexible. We’ve had very few of them that haven’t been certified and haven’t been accepted, but there are some plugins that you’re prohibited from using in the WPEngine environment, so for some things, the VPS is a better option because of its flexibility. Do you have anything to add to that Mike? I don’t think we have a case where we’re using a dedicated server at this point, are we?
Mike: We have a dedicated server for SEO.
Troy: Oh, there I go and step on my tongue. [laughs]
Mike: But I wouldn’t use it for anything else. It’s just something we’re doing for multiple IPs and one server for a blog network.
Troy: Yeah, okay. There it is. In general, if you’re just starting out, start with shared hosting and go cheap. As you can afford to invest more of your profits back into your business, then probably migrate into a VPS or to WPEngine if you’re a WordPress dedicated site. If you are WordPress-only and want the best performance, the least hassle, and the least management, then WPEngine is the way to go.
Troy: All right.
Mike: Oh and one final note. If they’re looking for more information, we do have posts on our site at TopMarketingStrategies.com exploring CDN and a lot of these performance enhancements for speed.
Troy: Yeah, absolutely. Check out the What Is category on TopMarketingStrategies.com. You’ll see a whole bunch of posts on these different technologies and terminology. It’s kind of an internet marketer’s dictionary, so to speak, so it’s got a lot of jargon defined for you. Anytime, if you hear Mike and I get into nerdspeak or technospeak, just reach out and virtually slap us [laughs], or go to the What Is category on TopMarketingStrategies.com. Another thing is we’ve got a real good post up there on how to optimize a WordPress site for speed and security so take a look at that.
Pick the Brain
Troy: Today’s question comes in from Joe in Sunnyvale, and Joe is asking about using Fiverr.com – F-I-V-E-R-R.com, Fiverr.com – and whether we recommend that for various SEO gigs you see up there all the time. He says he sees it mentioned in forums and stuff like that all the time, people recommending it. Well I’ve got my take, but Mike, what’s your take? Go ahead.
Mike: I say, don’t use Fiverr for SEO. Well, to some extent, we’ve used it and we’ve played around with it and tested it. I didn’t see a lot of value in it, but there are some segments of it that I suppose you could use. Some people swear by it, but I would do it for tiered linkbuilding if I was going to do it, but I would not do any Fiverr gigs to my main money site, I’ll tell you that much.
Troy: What Mike means when he says tiered linkbuilding is if you have your primary site, which is fitnessonline.com, and you have some other sites that point to it – maybe you have a WordPress blog on WordPress.com or some other blog or something like that and it’s pointing back to your main site – you could use tiered links going to that second tier of sites, those other ancillary sites. But we really wouldn’t recommend anything like because it’s high risk to your main money site.
There’s just been so much crazy stuff going on with Google’s SEO this past year and their algorithm changes that when you look at Fiverr, the name itself says it all. It’s five bucks. How much care and concern do these people have for your site. You’ve got a site that’s making a hundred dollars a month, five thousand dollars a month, ten thousand dollars a month. How much do you think those people, for five bucks, really give a rip about what they’re doing to your site and whether it’s going to help you or just trash it?
Mike: Right, they’re certainly not going to be careful.
Troy: They’re not going to be careful.
Mike: And they’re certainly not going to do anything the right way and take anything down if you need them to take something down. It’s just bad all around.
Troy: Don’t get me the wrong way here. I’m actually a big fan of Fiverr. I actually like Fiverr for a lot of things, but I don’t really like them for SEO. I like them for graphics and design. When I’m doing templates for Keynote for example, I’ll go out and find three or four gigs and buy them all for five bucks, and I kind of treat it as a crowdsourcing.
Most people go to Fiverr and think I’m only going to spend five bucks and I may get a logo and it’s perfect. I don’t really have that expectation. I don’t really have that expectation. I have this expectation that I’m spending five bucks, it’s going to be the cheapest thing I can possibly get. [laughs] So my expectation with Fiverr is actually to go out and instead of spend five bucks, I’ll spend $25 and I’ll go out and buy five gigs from five different designers and give them all the same instruction and see which one I like, and I really don’t care if I don’t use the other four because it’s only $25 for a logo creation instead of going to 99designs and paying 200 or something for some library that 50 other people have the same copy of.
Mike: And it’s probably the same people.
Troy: [laughs] Same people, right. I do like Fiverr. I use them in a lot of stuff. Mike does as well, but when it comes to SEO, I think that it’s very risky unless you’re using them on tiered sites. That would be our answer.
There are a couple of things you could do that aren’t risky like document sharing distributions or something like that where you send them a PDF file and they distribute it out to a whole bunch of document sharing sites for you. That’s low risk basic marketing so that would be okay, but in general, we don’t recommend it.
Random Thought From Mike
Mike: My random thought of the day is to try to keep healthy. We’re so focused on business, discussing business, making money and websites and all this stuff, and nobody actually talks about the health factors behind it. You have to make time to take walks, eat healthy, exercise and do all of these things. I’ve gone through some challenges over the last year or year and a half because I spend so much time focused on staring at your laptop, doing work, staying up late at night and not sleeping properly. You start falling into a pattern of neglecting yourself instead of taking care of yourself. In fact, when our business is focused on us being Mike and Troy, we’re actually the most important facet of the business and if we’re not taking care of ourselves then there is no business when something happens to us.
So my goal for 2013 has been to not only focus on the business, but take a lot more time and focus on myself and during the day, proactively get up and take walks around the neighborhood, make sure I exercise every day, try to be a lot more prudent about what I’m eating and staying healthy and just things of that nature. It’s just really hard when you own a business to disconnect sometimes.
Troy: When the office is right down the hall, you walk by it all day long.
Mike: Exactly. When you’re office is at home, that means you’re never actually leaving the office, so you’re literally working 24/7. When I do walk out of the office, I have the funk, and it never stops, and it follows you everywhere.
Troy: Yeah, one of the good things that you can do, and Mike and I have actually been doing this, is associate triggers that connect or trigger the activity you want. For example, Mike and I rarely actually get on the phone together. Usually it’s over Skype or email back and forth, and although we’re both here locally within a few miles of each other, we don’t really spend that much time on the phone. But when we do a phone call now, either one of us will suggest it and we’ll both go for a walk and we’ll take a walk while we’re talking on the phone.
Mike: And breathing heavy at the same time.
Troy: And breathing heavy at the same time, yeah, that’s a blooper reel. [laughs] We don’t need to go there, but it’s kind of like Pavlov’s dogs. We hear phone call and it’s like okay, let’s take a walk. Phone call? Take a walk! Phone call? Take a walk!
Mike: And it works!
Troy: It works! Pavlov’s dogs, they learned pretty well.
Mike: Instant movement.
Troy: Anyway, find an activity that you need to do and associate a trigger to it so that you connect two things and begin to do that. I know that I frequently wake up in the middle of the night with an idea of something for the business, and I will literally get up at two o’clock in the morning or 3am and run to the computer and type it in because it just kind of comes to me. But I can’t ever recall waking up at 3am and thinking I need to eat more salad. [laughs] Yeah, get back to health is a good thing for sure.
Random Thought From Troy
Troy: My random thought of the day is just to not to take yourself or your business too seriously. Inject a little fun into your business, routine and marketing and it goes a long ways. It goes a long ways for keeping your life in balance and making things a bit more fun and doing something you enjoy.
What I’m getting at here is Mike and I have had a lot of fun doing this podcast. We get together and it’s a chance to get together, shoot the breeze, have lunch out, hang out for a little bit, throw some stuff together, do a little bit of a podcast, a whole lot of everything else, and a whole lot on the editing side because for every minute of this podcast, there’s like seven minutes of bloopers and comedy going on in the back scenes. But it’s still fun and it’s a good, engaging way of interacting and it’s been a neat experiment for us.
So my goal in 2013 is to embark in three things that I personally really enjoy and see as the three most beneficial marketing environments for 2013 for growth. That is YouTube, number one, so we’re going to be doing a lot with our YouTube channel in the near future, Amazon and doing some Kindle books and some fun stuff there, I enjoy writing, and podcasting. Those are the three outlets for me that I enjoy doing, but they’re also business drivers. So my random thought is just about find something that you really enjoy, almost a hobby level way of injecting into your business and make part of your business more fun.
Mike: Not to mention, when we get together, we get to go have lunch and charge it to the business.
Troy: [laughs] That’s always a good thing.
Mike: All right. This is a wrap for this week’s episode. I’m Mike Pereira.
Troy: Troy Broussard.
Mike: Signing out from sunny Orlando, Florida.
Troy: We’ll see you next week where we torture you some more.