Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Episode 109: Digital Marketing with Kevin Urrutia

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Digital Marketing with Kevin Urrutia

We talk with Kevin Urrutia, Founder of Voy Media and Author of Digital Marketing Made Easy, about Digital Marketing and its impact on startups and small businesses. We delve into his early influences, his transition from programming to digital marketing, and the tools he uses for his current ventures.


The episode touches on the following key topics and ideas:


1:28 Benefits of working from home

7:16 Kevin's career beginnings and early influences

12:16 Remembering Web 2.0

15:12 Slack and the power of marketing

16:36 Mint.com and Zaarly: Kevin's introduction to marketing

17:43 Differences between digital and regular marketing

21:54 "It's better to have a small monopoly than an airline."

22:51 Search engine optimization (SEO)

32:00 Maid Sailors, Kevin's cleaning business

38:21 Launch27 Maid Service Software

39:07 Customer Management System (CRM)

42:14 Google My Business

44:12 Yelp and other sources of traffic

46:09 Zapier 

50:02 What is a flywheel?

57:34 Kevin's advice for founders and marketers

1:01:12 The Juicero story

1:03:36 Measuring ROI and marginalization factors

1:07:02 Ahrefs.com, Kevin's favorite marketing tool

1:09:53 BuiltWith

1:10:12 Google Keyword Planner, differences with Google Trends

1:13:20 Voy Media, Kevin's digital marketing agency

1:18:19 Kevin's book, Digital Marketing Made Easy


List of resources mentioned in this episode:


Digital Marketing Made Easy: A-Z Growth Strategies and Key Concepts of Digital Marketing

https://amzn.to/3sGcxLf

Book by Kevin Urrutia and Wilson Lin


To anyone who wants a copy of this book, you can email Kevin  at kevin@voymedia.com  


HTML for Dummies

https://amzn.to/3m6hgn0

Book by Ed Tittel and Stephen J. James


Zero to One

https://amzn.to/39vRnrr

Book by Blake Masters and Peter Thiel


Google Keyword Planner

https://ads.google.com/home/tools/keyword-planner/


Google My Business

https://www.google.com/business/


Ahrefs

https://ahrefs.com/


Zapier

https://zapier.com/


Launch27

https://www.launch27.com/


Kevin’s ventures:


Voy Media:

https://voymedia.com/


Maid Sailors

https://maidsailors.com/



Transcript:

Programming Throwdown Episode 109 - Digital Marketing with Kevin Urrutia

Patrick Wheeler: Programming Throwdown Episode 109, Digital Marketing with Kevin Urrutia. Take it away, Jason. 

[00:00:22] Jason Gauci: Hey everybody. So we're coming off the heels of our first duo episode in a long time. We've had a lot of really amazing interviews, and we took a little break to do a show, just the two of us, but we have an absolutely phenomenal guest on, and I wanted to get Kevin on the show and get this episode out to folks because it's something that is so important.

[00:00:45] Ultimately, when we, you know, build software, most of us, you know, we were building it for other people. I mean, even if you're making a compiler, you know, you're, you're, you have an audience in mind. And so how do we sort of reach that audience? How do we learn more about what we want to build? You know, marketing and digital marketing is a huge part of that whole experience.

[00:01:05] And we have Kevin Urrutia on, who is the Founder of Voy Media, who's going to teach us all about, you know, marketing and digital marketing and the ins and outs of it. So thanks for being on the show, Kevin. 

[00:01:15] Kevin Urrutia: Hey guys, thanks for having me. Super excited to be here. 

[00:01:18] Jason Gauci: Cool. So we kind of ask everyone, or at least in the past year, how they're holding up with COVID and how, how their sort of job has changed with the lockdown and everything.

[00:01:28] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. So it's... funny enough, yesterday was our company's one year anniversary of working from home. So it's been, yeah, it's been one year since... it's funny, because I was like, so I have a cleaning company too here in New York City. And we're like, Oh, Whoa, crazy. It's been a year. And then I was like, Oh yeah, it's been a year for my other company too, because we have like a shared office in New York City that we do for my cleaning company, and then the marketing company with Voy Media, right. 

[00:01:51] But yeah, it's been a year. It's kind of crazy because I was in the office, I guess last week, doing recording for a course that we're coming out with for marketing. And it's like weird going into the office and I'm like, wow, it's crazy. I used to come here every single day. I was like, why, why would, why did I do that?

[00:02:07] Because now it's so much easier to just like wake up and go to your, like, office space and inside your room to do the work. So I, I love it. It's so much better. I think so. 

[00:02:16] Jason Gauci: Yeah. I feel the same way. You know, the only thing that I think about is, you know, would I want to come to the office like, once a month or once a week or something like that. That's really the only thing that I kind of mull back and forth, because yeah, going into the office every day makes zero sense. Now that we've seen, you know, another way of doing it. 

[00:02:36] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. And that's the thing too. And that's why I think this working from home thing is great. And at least for me, it's funny because I used to work home all the time because my background is programming, computer science. I used to do like remote stuff all the time. It was only until I started doing like more corporate jobs. That's when I started doing like, Oh, you have to be in the office. 

[00:02:54] So it's, it's funny because now I'm like, Oh yeah, like, this is so great. This is why I loved doing programming before, when I was like, because I could just work for my, my apartment and then do jobs for other people without ever seeing them, or even meeting them. It's just like talk over the phone or through email. 

[00:03:08] So I think at least for me, I think it's great because you guys probably know like, these big companies are always, were like, no, you need to be in the office all the time, or else you're never gonna do anything or getting work done.

[00:03:18] I'm like, people that don't do any work, it doesn't matter where they are. Office, not in office. Now, they're not going to get any work done no matter what, like no matter if you have like 10 cameras on them. Right?

[00:03:27] Jason Gauci: Yep. And they might make the busy people not do work too. If they're in the same office. 

[00:03:32] Kevin Urrutia: Exactly. And people don't realize that because it's like one of those things where like, you see someone not doing anything and that like really permeates to the company saying, Oh, they don't care. Then why should I care? Right. So it's like pretty dangerous sometimes, too. So...

[00:03:45] Jason Gauci: Yeah. Patrick and I worked at the same company a really long time ago. And, and at a company where, they asked everyone to be in at 7:30 AM for no reason. I mean, we're just dropping code. I mean, it was... and I couldn't, I honestly, I couldn't do it, I mean now because I have kids, and Patrick has kids, we are probably up at 6:00 AM, just because of that.

[00:04:05] But, but as someone who is in college, I just could not do it. And I remember getting in trouble and I just didn't have the willpower to really do that. And finally, I think they just kind of swept it under the rug. It's like, okay, this person's going to come in at like 8:30, nine o'clock and we'll just deal with it.

[00:04:21] But yeah, a lot of these rules, you know, When you really step back, and this has kind of forced us to step back, you realize that the rules ultimately were made by regular people and often, you know, 50 years ago, and so we really need to revisit them. 

[00:04:35] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. And that's the thing, like all these rules of like, Hey, you gotta be working nine to five. It's just like crazy because I mean, some of you guys programmers, like sometimes like, you work better at night when it's just like, better time for you to think, better time for you to do whatever's in the day in. 

[00:04:48] And, and it's kind of crazy because, you always hear about people with like productivity. It's like, Hey, you gotta be like productive in the morning and you know, work out. I'm like, when, if you're working nine to five, like you can't do that. You need like a good three hours. Like, why doesn't it work? Like maybe you start work at 12, you know? And then eight, because that way in the morning, you can get all this stuff that you need to get done. Like, you know, working out, eating well, cooking for your family, all the stuff that you need in order to like, have an actual productive day because, you work nine to five, you wake up at six, commute for an hour. And then you're back home at 7:00 PM. And you're like, okay, what am I supposed to do? Cook, work out, talk to my family, watch TV, like, and then be bed by 10:00 PM. Like, how is that possible in like three hours, right? 

[00:05:27] Jason Gauci: Yeah. And everyone else is trying to do it at the same time too, which makes everything harder. It's like you go to the grocery store, it's packed, you know, everything's busy. 

[00:05:35] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. 

[00:05:35] Jason Gauci: The other thing too is, and you know, I'm sure it's the same with marketing, is it ebbs and flows, like there's maybe a month where you just got the API from the customer and now you have to implement it and you know, they're waiting on you. And then there's a whole month where you're just waiting on them. And so, and so, you know, being able to be flexible over the span of months where some weeks you work 30 hours, a week to work a hundred hours. Now that, that I think is much healthier than, yeah, you come in nine to five and you still are under the gun when things are really busy, but when they're not busy, you just have to come anyways. Right? 

[00:06:09] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah, exactly. And it's funny because I think we, even for my company, we, I see that some people are like some months they're just like crazy productive and some months they're just kind of like, just working, like what they need to work. And then I'm just like, yeah, people have their moods. I mean, you guys probably know, like, when you're working on a new programming project or new idea, you're just so excited that like, you just want to keep working on it all the time.

[00:06:30] And then you go into that hump of like, ah, should I, should I do that project anymore? And then you just like, lose motivation for a little bit, and then you get excited and then yeah. Then you buy another domain name. You're like, okay, this is, this is the project. This is the project I want to do. And then it's like that whole cycle.

[00:06:45] Jason Gauci: Yeah. I mean, Oh my gosh, you hit the nail on the head. I have so many, I bought juggler.ai the other day. And I have so many, every domain name, every idea costs me, you know, I don't know what is it? $10 or something, because I'll come up with a domain name and then. Yeah, 90% of those ideas, nothing happens, but you end up with all these domain names.

[00:07:04] Kevin Urrutia: The best is like, at least for me, like I see a domain name, like Namecheap, like your domain name expired. I'm like, Oh yeah, that was a good idea a year ago. I was like, yeah, I'd still still do that. Yeah. 

[00:07:16] Jason Gauci: Yeah. So tell us a bit about your story. So you used to be a programmer and you're, you're running a, you know, Voy Media and, and I think you said a laundromat or is that right? Or a cleaning business. So yeah. Tell us that whole story. I mean, that's a, that sounds like a really, really interesting story. 

[00:07:31] Kevin Urrutia: So basically, it's similar to, I guess you guys do programming. My background is actually in computer science. So I went to school in upstate New York and I did CS. Basically, the reason why I did CS was because growing up, I was really big into video games. I love playing video games. Like I guess most people.

[00:07:46] Jason Gauci: Yeah. So wait, what games did you play? I'm curious. 

[00:07:49] Kevin Urrutia: I used to play this game called Secrets of War. I'm not sure if you guys heard of it. 

[00:07:52] Jason Gauci: Oh, I've never heard of that one. Sounds awesome. 

[00:07:54] Kevin Urrutia: This game was awesome. Like, it was literally the game that got me into like, thinking about what programming or computer stuff was, because at this time, it was like 15, 16 years ago. Like I just got my first computer. It was like a old Compaq, like, you know, those massive screens, right. And I got that because my neighbor purchased it for us, this is like, long time ago, we were pretty poor. And then I was like, Oh, this is so cool. Like internet just came up. We learned AOL, you got those disks. Right. 

[00:08:22] It's just like, it's like, I love this game because, it really showed me like what was possible online. I never, I never knew about that until like, I was playing this game and I emailed the developer. And I guess this shows you, at least for me kind of how the developer community was. I emailed him and he was this guy in, I think Netherlands or, and I was like, Hey, how do you make this thing? This game? And he's like, Oh, I program it in like, C# that was like, I think back then, right. C#. 

[00:08:49] Jason Gauci: Oh yeah, that's right. 

[00:08:50] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. So I was like, Oh my God, it's this crazy. I was like, and then I was like, he's like, but you should probably learn like HTML first. So then I started learning HTML for Dummies and that's really kind of how I got started in.

[00:09:01] And then I got really big into like, just learning Photoshop, right. Because I was on the forums and like, I'm not, I'm not sure if you guys remember forums used to have like signatures where you can add like custom stuff. 

[00:09:11] Jason Gauci: Oh yeah. I remember that. And then there would be the, the automated signature. We would take like your level from WoW and it would make a image out of it. 

[00:09:19] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah, exactly. So that stuff was so fun for me. So I started doing those for people and that's when I learned about Photoshop. And I was like, okay, well, like I got to learn how to crack Photoshop. And I would like that. I learned to torrentz and you go into this world, like stuff that like, wares that you've like, Oh my God, this is so crazy. Like, this is so fun and exciting. 

[00:09:36] So that's kind of how I did it. And I remember going to this website called Komodo Media. I'm not sure if you guys know, but this guy named Rogie King or...

[00:09:44] Jason Gauci: No, I've never heard of it. 

[00:09:45] Kevin Urrutia: It's got, his name is like Rogie on Twitter. And he made this really cool website. That was, it was like jungle theme. And on the sidebar, it had like a little toggle that if you toggle it back and forth, the leaves on his website would grow. And it was like very, like, animated. I was like, Whoa, this is so cool. 

[00:10:02] Jason Gauci: Yeah. That sounds similar to another website I saw, which like right when Flash was becoming like pretty popular, like you'd go to the website and it was just a blank screen.

[00:10:12] And all of a sudden a logo would just appear out of the screen and start spinning. And when you're used to like, you know, PHP, like Zero JavaScript websites, or like you'd, you'd click a check box and the whole website would refresh. When you're used to that and you see this, it's like, Holy cow. Like I couldn't believe it is possible.

[00:10:30] Kevin Urrutia: Exactly. And that's, it's so funny because Flash, I remember learning action script and that's how you made like, Flash stuff. And yeah, it's like so crazy. Like all basically like, as people see, like this stuff really excited me and then that led me into... anyways, back to Rogie. This is like crazy because I emailed him when I was like maybe 17 years old.

[00:10:51] And he actually responded to me. And I was like, Whoa, this is crazy. He like, literally taught me like, Hey yeah, this is a great career field for you. And you should learn HTML CSS. And I actually like maybe a few months ago actually messaged him on Twitter and said, Hey, by the way, like, You kind of helped me start my career and like programming, like, and it's crazy because like, he probably didn't think about it.

[00:11:09] Like a random email could really shape someone's future. And I think that's kind of like what you guys are doing too. It's like someone you can just, sometimes you just need to hear somebody to tell you, like, yeah, go do that. Right. And it's crazy because he literally just like told me, yeah, go learn HTML CSS. And that's kind of how it got started even more into doing it because I saw his website. 

[00:11:25] Jason Gauci: Yeah. That's, that's a really, really touching story. Yeah. It shows how important, like every single interaction is. 

[00:11:31] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. And it's like, you don't even know it because he probably didn't even know it. And then it was like, Oh yeah, like, this is... the reason why I found out was because I was like, Oh yeah, I like emailed them.

[00:11:39] And I looked through my old Gmail account and I was like, Oh my God, like this grammar in English in this email is so crazy. I don't even know why he responded. 

[00:11:47] So, but anyways, that's kind of how I got started to programming. And, but this sort of programming led me into learning more about startups in general, because at this time, like Silicon Valley was a thing, right.

[00:11:58] Facebook was just coming out. Google was this massive company. MySpace, right, it was really big at the time. And that's kind of how I started learning more programming. 'Cause I was like, Oh, these tech companies are making all these money. Remember? I remember, I'm not sure if you guys remember like Digg, Digg just came out at the time. Right. Kevin Rose. 

[00:12:13] Jason Gauci: Oh yeah. I remember Digg. Are they still around? 

[00:12:16] Kevin Urrutia: So I think they got acquired by another company, but they're not like the same Digg as before. Right. So like, yeah. But this is like that time, that era of like, I guess, I guess you probably remember. I think it was called like web 2.0, right.

[00:12:27] Like web 2.0, Oh yeah. Yeah. It's like that shiny... 

[00:12:31] Jason Gauci: Yeah, it says like, like 1.0 was the, you know, yeah, click a checkbox, whole thing refreshes, 2.0 is where you really had this kind of like Flash, Javascript kind of revolution. And then yeah. Now we're in 3.0, where it's like, you're just sending data over the wire.

[00:12:44] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah, yeah. Remember how 2.0 was like, what's it called? Ajax just came out. Remember, like, we were like, Oh my God. Ajax is so cool. It was like a thing that jquery made it so easy to do. And like you're writing jquery code and it was like spaghetti code, like just cos everywhere, just like crazy stuff.

[00:13:01] Jason Gauci: Yeah. We had Guillermo Rauch on this show to talk about Next.js and we were kind of reminiscing of, of web 2.0 and, and, and what a total disaster it was. In a way it's like, it actually made you more valuable as a web programmer because it was so hard. 

[00:13:16] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. Oh yeah. It was so true. I look at programming now. I'm like, people don't realize like back then we were like coding for like corks in the browser. Like that was a crazy time. 

[00:13:27] Jason Gauci: Yeah. You know, someone mentioned this the other day, they were talking about how they felt like, Oh, I wish, you know, I was born earlier, so I could work on the Atari games by myself and like released a game, which is me and artists.

[00:13:39] But, but the thing is, is yeah, you would spend, you know, you know, maybe a 1500 hours trying to get the game to fit on the cartridge. Whereas now it's like you just open up Unity. 

[00:13:48] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah, exactly. But anyways, so that's kind of, so basically with all this stuff, like, as you've been saying, I was like, so I was interested in so much stuff back then.

[00:13:56] I think as when you're young, you, you should be interested in kind of things because you don't know what you really like until later on. And even then, like, it's always good to just know more than people tell you, you should know. Right. I was like, I was just curious. 

[00:14:07] So I was really starting to do startups and that's when I was like, kind of just building things at this time, I was like making my own Twitter clone my own MySpace clone.

[00:14:16] And I was like, Oh, if I build this stuff, maybe I'll get people to use my products. Right. And that's kind of where I started just building software. And really what I've learned around here was that I was really big into this mantra of if you build it, they will come. And that's kind of like tech people were saying, Hey, you have a great product. Customers will find you. 

[00:14:34] Never into really marketing. I was like, I always thought marketing was bad as in, Hey, if you do marketing, that means your product sucks, because that's what I read online and that's sort of like, just like the theory. 

[00:14:43] Jason Gauci: Yeah. That is a very, like, that's a very natural impulse. It's like marketing feels like, and I, I felt the same way, you know, until I really learned more about it. It is marketing feels like, you know, convincing someone to do something. And it's like, well, people should do what's natural to them. And so that's kind of your first instinct and then you, then you kind of think about it and you're like, well, think about all the things you do and where you found out about those things, right. And it probably wasn't, you just looked it up. It was probably a lot of things that presented themselves to you. 

[00:15:12] Kevin Urrutia: Exactly. And I think that's like a key thing that people realize it's like, if it looks natural, that's probably marketing and they're just doing it in a really good way. And it's like, so like all this stuff they're doing. And, and honestly, if you think about it too, like, like Slack, for example, everybody use, this is like a common Slack. Almost a lot of people use Slack. And everybody's like all Slack's so dominant because it's like natural effects and it's like network effects.., And Oh yes. All that's true. But if you think about Slack too, they have like maybe 50 marketers in their team.

[00:15:41] They're not doing nothing. They're like doing the branding. They're doing the outreach. They're doing calling big companies. They're calling small companies. So even big companies that somehow seem natural. They know that in order to truly grow and get their business out there, you need marketing people.

[00:15:56] And Slack does a good job of like conveying that it's just like a natural growth, but any public company or, Slack's a public company, I think they got acquired by Salesforce, they know that they need marketing. And of course... so, I don't know. That's what I, that's what I think about. It's like, if you truly want to grow your company, you sort of need some sort of marketing.

[00:16:12] At least it doesn't need to be scammy or anything like that. It just needs to be predictable for you as a business owner, because you want to be able to know, how can I bring in new customers in order to maintain my business and my employees. 

[00:16:22] So that's sort of like, but anyways, going back to like the story of me doing marketing, I moved out to Silicon Valley. And then I started working for Mint.com. So I was at Mint doing front end development, not marketing at all. I was there for about less than a year. 

[00:16:36] And the reason why I was there for less than a year is because I didn't like what I was doing at Mint. I thought it was going to be like a tech startup. It was very corporate for me at that time, mint got acquired by Intuit, and I just felt like, this isn't what I came out here for. So then I left after a few months, and I went back to work to Zaarly. And Zaarly was like a tech startup that raised a bunch of money. 

[00:16:56] And this is where I kind of got more into marketing because I was put into the marketing department in Zaarly. So I was working with this lady called Lou Chen. And she was like, Hey, like we need help installing all these tags, right, for like tracking, for marketing emails, for like personalized stuff. And this is when for me at the time was like, Oh, wow. That's crazy. This is marketing. I was like, this is kind of just like programming, right?

[00:17:22] It's like personalization is kind of like you're programming some of the stuff, the database, you're pulling out the usernames, you're seeing what they're interested in. And then you're pulling into like an email, which is just like HTML, like a webpage. Right. 

[00:17:33] And then that's what I found interesting was that like, Oh, all these marketers, like, they're really limited by their ability because they don't want a program. Right. So that was like my thought. Right. And that's how I got into...

[00:17:43] Jason Gauci: How is that different than, like digital versus regular. So, I mean, I imagine even with regular marketing that you have a database and you have some kind of personalization, it's just that you have maybe this extra step where you have to like, print a letter and send it to somebody. 

[00:18:00] What would you feel like is the real big difference there between, you know, the kind of marketing that we get, you know, on our doorstep and digital marketing? 

[00:18:07] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah, I think the biggest, yeah, that's a good question with digital marketing and sort of like, I guess, mail or direct mail marketing for like your mailman.

[00:18:15] I think what's the difference is that there's not that much personalization and that's something that's a big thing coming up right now. You guys have heard of it, the new iOS update, Google and Facebook killing all personalization ads. But the biggest difference is, in a good or bad way, it just depends on how people think about it.

[00:18:32] Ads that you see online right now are more personalized to you. So it's stuff that people will think. It's stuff that we think, Hey, you might like this, or we think you might be interested in this, versus like, mail in the door. It's kind of like, it's a, it's a free for all where it's like, Hey, maybe you will need this thing. And so that's why people associate marketing with spam because they're used to like the mail coming in with like all sorts of offers that you might not know about. 

[00:18:56] Jason Gauci: Yeah, that makes sense. I guess you, you need like a certain economy of scale, right? Like you have to, if you're going to print out, like literally print out the marketing and mail it to somebody, you can't have the printer, do something different for each person it's just not cost effective. And so you end up just like everybody gets a diaper. Like, doesn't matter who they are, they get it. They get a coupon for diapers. 

[00:19:18] Kevin Urrutia: Well, yeah, exactly. And that's the biggest difference between digital and physical mail. And that's why like, Facebook was so revolutionary when it first came out because it's, they were just tracking everything from a long time.

[00:19:30] You guys remember when, remember when Facebook first came out with like likes, remember that like button, whatever. 

[00:19:35] Jason Gauci: Oh, like on different websites you could like something? 

[00:19:38] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. Yeah. That was like their first sort of like insight into personalization. And they, that was a great Trojan horse. If you think about it, because they're just like, Hey, let's get this butt in every page. And people will tell us what they like. And then we'll use that to build a database. The data set, right?

[00:19:52] Jason Gauci: Yeah. That makes sense. And so, and so, yeah, I mean, since it's just like crackles of energy and not ink on paper, you, you could just, yeah. As you said, you could send a different ad to each person. 

[00:20:02] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah, exactly. And that's why digital marketing is, that's the biggest difference between digital marketing and like the other marketing, but going back with like, kind of like, just thinking about marketing in general, like the marketing that you will get in the mail, those guys doing those have a marketing's we're great marketers.

[00:20:17] If you're, if people are thinking about studying marketing, those are the people you want to study, because that copy and that sort of artwork that they send you needs to convert because kind of what you just said before, it's a spray and pray. So you're writing some of the best copy because you're trying to convince somebody, they need this, even though they think they might not need it.

[00:20:36] Jason Gauci: Yeah. That makes sense. So, so you're at Mint.com, for people who don't know, Mint was, well, I think correct me if I'm wrong, but it's some way to like, track your finances, right? 

[00:20:45] Kevin Urrutia: Yep. 

[00:20:45] Jason Gauci: And so they got acquired by Intuit. And now actually I recently completed my, my Turbo, actually I was helping out my parents complete their TurboTax. And at the end there was sort of like a plug for Mint. It's like, continue on Mint. And so yeah, that, that acquisition actually makes a ton of sense now. 

[00:21:00] But, then you, you went to, can you remind me the name of the startup after that? 

[00:21:05] Kevin Urrutia: It was called Zaarly.  Z A A R L Y. 

[00:21:09] Jason Gauci: So what does Zaarly do? 

[00:21:10] Kevin Urrutia: So Zaarly was kind of like, if you, basically, in the beginning there were this platform for, if you could, you could request anything on them. Think about it as kind of like Uber Eats for anything back in the day. 

[00:21:20] Jason Gauci: Oh, interesting. So if you needed, like, is it, is it like carpenter painter type stuff or is it, is it food? 

[00:21:26] Kevin Urrutia: It was like everything, literally. It was everything. So, yeah. So that's where the business model didn't make sense because it was like everything, where I think looking back, we should have niched down right into like certain segments of the market and then perfected those and then gone onto more... kind of like Uber's trying to do Postmates. They're all trying to, like, they're all trying to build this network. And then it's like, Hey, by the way, look, we can do everything. Kind of like the Amazon model where they start off with books and then it's like, now it's everything right. 

[00:21:54] Jason Gauci: Makes sense. Yeah. I think in Zero to One Peter Thiel talks about this, like a, how you want to have like a... it's better to have a small monopoly than to be, I think in his example, he says it's better to have a small monopoly than an airline. Even an airline is a giant, it is not a monopoly, there's so much competition. They actually don't make that much profit. Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah, I think that, that totally makes sense.

[00:22:15] And so you were, you're in the marketing department, but you're an engineer and, that's really where you got your first kind of deep dive into marketing. 

[00:22:24] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah, exactly. And that's kind of where... and that, and that thing for me too, it made sense because... there's a few things that I think connect, I made connections in this because Zaarly was a well-funded company. And we got tons of money, I think over $10 million. And I was just like, wow, this product's pretty good. Right. I was like, what we have is good. Cause we were making it and obviously, maybe I was biased, but I thought what we had was really good. Good website, good designers. We had a good checkout. But we couldn't get customers.

[00:22:51] So then. That kind of like dispel the myth of, Hey, if you have a great product, people will come. And I was like, Oh, maybe it's not true. Right. And then that's kind of when I started learning more about like, what is this marketing thing? Maybe we do need it because I started looking into competitors. Like for example, a competitor of us was like Thumbtack. And I was like, wow, these guys are really growing really fast with like, SEO. Let me go read about it.

[00:23:10] Because, people, if I tell brands all the time, if, if you want to see how companies are growing, just try to Google the CEO's name. Sometimes they do like talks about how they're growing are. So that's a great way to get insights into how the business is doing.

[00:23:23] So the CEO of Thumbtack, I think, was like talking about SEO and I was like, Oh, maybe we should look into SEO. And then that's kind of, that's like, that was like my first like deep dive into like, what is a marketing tactic or marketing thing to do. Right. 

[00:23:35] Jason Gauci: Yeah. That makes sense. So just some background for the folks, SEO is search engine optimization and, that's about where my knowledge ends.

[00:23:44] So maybe actually, Kevin, you know, we have you on the show. Can you dive into like, yeah, how does SEO actually, I mean, I understand the point, the point is to kind of, when someone searches for maybe, food delivery, that they would get Zaarly first, right? And not Uber Eats. I mean, that's, that's the premise, like how does that actually work? Like what, mechanically, what is done to make that happen? 

[00:24:08] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. So, yeah, SEO is basically, for people who are listening, it's kind of a top 10 links that you see on Google. So Google essentially tries to rank the top 10 websites. And it's crazy because there's like tons of websites for a certain keyword in Google and it shows 10. But basically how it works is Google will rank you depending on how many other places linked to you or other places are talking about you.

[00:24:30] And that's sort of like the basics, but then obviously the algorithm is so complex because it uses like, links is the big one where let's say you have a website, that's about a food blog and you say, Hey, go check out Kevin's delivery service. If you want my food delivered to you. And then we would rank up for that delivery keyword.

[00:24:46] But in theory, how it works now is that like Google is taking into account, like all the social shares too, right. Your Twitter mentions because, people aren't linking that much anymore because no one's really has blogs, right. You probably seen, like, it's kind of like personal blogs have gone away and it's more about Twitter accounts, Medium accounts.

[00:25:04] Google is developing like, what people call like go signals where it's like branded names. So like, let's say your website's called like, whatever, Kevin's Store. If someone says, Hey, Kevin Store's really great. Google will now sort of extract that sort of brand term and say, Hey, someone's talking about this. Let's give it more weight into their algorithm about where to rank up.

[00:25:21] But that's sort of like how the algorithm works. And of course, one big part about this is making sure you have content on your website that talks about that service or product that you're selling. So if you're talking about food, your website should have content about food, food, recipes, anything related to the space. That way Google can really index your website in the index, just means like having Google sort of like having your site into their database and then maybe adding some categorizations of it, like, Hey, this website's about delivery and food and food recipes. So whenever we're thinking about search terms, right. To this sort of category, maybe let's try to rank this website and see if it should be a top 10 spot. 

[00:25:56] Jason Gauci: That makes sense. Yeah. You really hit the nail on the head. I think having really good content and having the right sort of meta-tags and getting the right social signals out there is super important.

[00:26:06] Yeah. So, so you saw that Thumbtack was doing this really well. And, and even though, you know, Zaarly might have a super slick product. They might be, let's say the 11th entry and Thumbtack is just killing it and they're getting all the top 10 entries. And so that made you realize just really how important marketing is.

[00:26:23] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. That's exactly what it was. And I was just like, wow, this is crazy. How, at least for me at the time was like, Oh, it's crazy how like the marketing team is... We have people like, how can we, it's not like half the company, right? That's for me because I'm like, we're not getting any customers like, heck we're just like, no one cares about this, right.

[00:26:40] Jason Gauci: Yeah. I said, there's an interesting story about, actually the story, the founder of Zappos, the shoe company, he actually died tragically from a suicide this year, which is, but, but, but actually the story about how he started Zappos is really inspiring. He literally just started it with sales. 

[00:26:59] So you'd go on zappos.com. He had a website that he built himself in just pure HTML. And when you bought a shoe, he would actually literally walk over to Payless, buy the shoe and then mail it to you. Like that was his entire business. And so people look at that and they say, well, he did nothing, but no, he did all the sales and the marketing.

[00:27:20] So that when you went to look for shoes online, you found Zappos first and it turned out that was actually more important than warehousing or handling drop shipping or anything. Like once he had the right market and he could just go to the store, buy the shoe and then mail to you. 

[00:27:34] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah, exactly. And that's why I think marketing is so important now for people too. And really what marketing is kind of like a researcher saying, Hey, can you market this product? And with marketing, at least with SEO, this is the great thing about SEO. And I think people should always be thinking about SEO when starting any brand is because Google will literally tell you the search volume of a product or keyword that people could be searching for.

[00:27:56] So if someone's searching for a product, you know, that there's demand and that you know that you can sell them something, and now you just need to show up first or, but at least, you know, that there's some desire to buy the product where I think, at least for me, one of the mistakes I made when I was first programming was like, I would just come up with ideas myself and be like, Oh, this is a great idea, but nobody wanted it. So that made the marketing even harder, right? 

[00:28:18] Jason Gauci: Yeah. It's a really, really good call. I did the same thing. I made a hockey game, when I was in college. And, you know, growing up in Canada, I loved hockey and, but I wanted a sort of, really kind of like extreme hockey game. There was like skeletons in it and landmines and it was crazy.

[00:28:35] And, and, I thought it was actually pretty fun. And actually, I think it, I think it did have actually a good premise, but, but where it failed is, was in all the details, you know, it's like, I didn't really know just, you know, broadly what people wanted to get out of a video game. And so yeah, knowing your audiences is super, super important.

[00:28:55] And even if you, you might have the right sort of overall vision, you still need to know your audience to get all those details. Right? 

[00:29:02] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. It's so important because once you sort of get that. Right. It's, you know, kind of how to market your product, you know, what they want to buy. And, and I think too, I want to tell people is just like making something unique and custom you're always make a ton more money, for example, like Airbnb, right?

[00:29:18] Who thought, like, that's an idea that people were like, who would, why would I ever let a stranger into my home? Right. It's like, but if you look, if you really look at the story of Airbnb and I think people should study those, is the founder struggled for years because you're basically making a market. You're, you're sort of trying to generate demand.

[00:29:34] And for those types of companies, it depends on where you are in your stage of life or what you want to do, you need you to raise funding because you need to educate the market. And when you educate the market, that's always more expensive. So now when you think about Airbnb competitors, They're like, Oh, Hey look,  they can piggyback on Airbnb's market demand and desire that they've already created.

[00:29:54] So it's easier for them to go start a company versus before it was like a crazy idea to start something like Airbnb. And like, they got very lucky that they, that they made it kind of like Peter Thiel says, that's where you can kind of essentially make your own monopoly because they just created the market. They created the demand. And they, Airbnb is now like a verb, right? 

[00:30:11] Jason Gauci: Yeah, that's right. I mean also, I mean, the iPad comes to mind. I remember when the iPad came out, there were all these memes. Like someone took a nine iPhones in a grid and they duct tape them together. And they're like, I have my own iPad, you know?

[00:30:23] And now it's kind of obvious. It's like, especially for kids and for people who don't have laptops, you know, who don't want that kind of, who needs something sort of ultra portable. It's a no brainer now to get an iPad, but, but yeah, Apple really made that market. 

[00:30:37] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. And I think what you said so important to like, when it's obvious, that's when like, you know, you've made it. Like, Oh, Airbnb's so obvious, iPads are so obvious and that's like, as a marketer, that's like the dream, right? Oh, when it's so obvious because it wasn't obvious three years ago, right? 

[00:30:51] Jason Gauci: Yeah. Yeah. Totally. So, yeah. So, at what point did you say. Like, did you become a marketer at Zaarly or at some point you just said, no, I want to go into marketing, and did you leave Zaarly at that point? Like how did that story unfold? 

[00:31:06] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah, so I, at this time, I didn't want to, I didn't think I was going to be a marketer, but what I, what I wanted to do was I still wanted to do my own company.

[00:31:14] So I was still like competing and stuff while at Zaarly, like hackathons. I was competing in Startup Weekend, San Francisco. I was at the team there and we won first place. And then we went to Qualcomm Ventures to pitch them our product. It was great trip, like we went to San Diego for free, pretty much. We didn't win, like the whatever, half a million. But yeah, that was a great experience though. 

[00:31:33] Jason Gauci: So this is awesome. 

[00:31:34] Kevin Urrutia: It was so fun. I was like, Oh, first time in San Diego, I was like, Oh, like, this is an awesome place. I want to live here. It's like, I want to live here.

[00:31:39] Jason Gauci: San Diego's beautiful. They have, Legoland is there. So we go there for Legoland. It's great. 

[00:31:47] Kevin Urrutia: This is awesome. I'm a little scared. And we didn't win, but by this time I was like, I was like trying to still try to do my own startups and stuff. And then I was like, Oh, at this time it was in Zaarly for about three years now. And then I was like, Oh, I want to come back to New York.

[00:32:00] And basically I left Zaarly. I came back to New York. I was living at home with my mom because I was like, I didn't know what I went on to live yet. And this is when the idea to start Maid Sailors came, which is the cleaning company. And the reason why I started the cleaning company was because similar to when I was at Zaarly, the businesses that I was doing really well on the Zaarly platform at the time were the home cleaning companies. But the issue that we're running when we're running the company, when I was working at Zaarly, was that the maids can only take so many jobs at a time before they were booked up. And usually the best maids were booked up and say, Hey guys, like the platform's great. I just can't take any more cleanings because essentially it's recurring now. Right. People just want the cleanings, the same person all the time. 

[00:32:40] Oh yeah. You kind of work yourself out of business, you know, in terms of Zaarly, they do such a good job that people don't need them anymore. Exactly. So then for me, my idea was this, what if I make an Uber for cleaners where like, they, they hire me the company, then I'll finding these sort of like cleaners to come in and I'll rotate people back and forth that way.

[00:32:59] I basically, it literally was called an Uber for cleaning. That's literally what my name tagline was. So yeah. 

[00:33:05] Jason Gauci: That makes sense. Yeah. I think, I think, yeah, cause the people too, that's good for them because they. Don't have to deal with, Oh, you know, my cleaner moved and now I have to find another cleaner. So, so you kind of take care of all of that. Let's say risk for lack of a better word. And, and, and in exchange, you're able to provide kind of more value.

[00:33:24] Kevin Urrutia: It's exactly like what you said. It's like basically we as a company and I'll take the risk of, Hey, did they, did they show up on time? Do they clean properly, the refunds, right.

[00:33:32] All this stuff that could potentially go wrong with a cleaning. We as a company, I'll say, Hey, look, we'll guarantee this for you. And a big thing that I wanted to do at that time, which is kind of like obvious now was that. We put our pricing online. So basically we have like what we call flat rate pricing, where say you have a studio, it's going to be like, $110.  You have a one bedroom. It's three, $130. 

[00:33:52] Where previously before, how cleaning companies work, like let's say Molly Maids or Maids.com, was that you would call them and then they would send some sort of rep to your home and say, Hey, based on your size, this is how much it's going to be. And in theory, it's great because a, you charge, the true price that it might cost, but B it's also, if it's too expensive, you just wasted someone's time. And you wasted the company's time about getting this as you're getting a lead that they didn't close. So for us, it's like, we didn't want to do this sort of like back and forth. The clients that you're there, it's like this awkward conversation. It's like, Hey, I want to price it. Like SAS companies at a time where SAS companies now hide pricing, right. Because it's like, Hey, people can demo with us. Right. Well back then everybody had their pricing online. 

[00:34:32] Jason Gauci: Yup. Yup. SAS is interesting. If you look at like the actual cloud stuff, there's like a race to the bottom. But then when you look at the people who are in the middle yeah. They're there, they're charging like unbelievable amounts and sometimes it ramps up exponentially. So it's fine in the beginning. And then you get hit with a huge bill. 

[00:34:50] Kevin Urrutia: Yep. And Asana's like, that too, we use Asana here and it's like, okay, it's great. We, just a little upgrade it. And they're like, you need to buy 10 seats at once. And I'm like, I just need one more seat. They're like, no, you're, you're above that plan. I'm like, this makes no sense. Right. 

[00:35:04] So anyways, that's like how I started the cleaning company. And that's when I, that was like my unique way of cleaning. Hey, let's just put our pricing online and then you can book online. And this is for Maid Sailors. This is where I truly learn how to do more marketing because at this time, I quit my job. And I was like, I want to make this company successful. I want to go all in on marketing. And that's when I started reading books, SEO, I started learning how to rank stuff. I started to Google my businesses and really for me, when I started SEO and sort of marketing, I want to see how are people making money online through some sort of like cutthroat industry.

[00:35:38] So I was looking into like how affiliate marketers were ranking their stuff, because these guys are taking like a small cut of a cut. So then I was like looking at what these guys are doing and sort of, kind of reverse engineering their tactics. 

[00:35:49] Jason Gauci: Yeah. That makes sense. And also, as you said, you, by starting that, yeah, there are Maids.com, there's a lot of companies out there. And so the way you differentiated yourself with your pricing model, that needed to get out there, like people, you know, people need to see that, Oh, I don't have to call this company and let them do an inspection and take a day off work. And then the price is too expensive. Like they needed to know that your alternative existed.

[00:36:16] And so. You needed to get that word out there. I know, especially in the beginning, get that word out there in like a cost effective way or at least measure the ROI and everything. So I think that's a really good way to really dive into the deep end on marketing.

[00:36:28] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. And that, that was a big thing for us. It's like, Hey, come to us. Because remember, like, we didn't want to waste time. We want it to, and the reason too with marketing is, we want to be able to track the conversion directly and then say, Hey, was this effective? So if someone could book directly online, then you know, it works. It's kind of like, you know, now if someone says call to book, it's like, okay, what's a sales cycle.

[00:36:49] You have to hold, you have to a CRM, you have to track them. Okay. What's the sort of process it's like. So complicated. Like digital marketing has made it so easy where you can make it so someone can literally give you a credit card right now you can say, yep. This thing was profitable or not profitable.

[00:37:02] Jason Gauci: Yeah. Did you use any software to help you with all of that? Like, like Salesforce comes to mind or SugarCRM or these things? A lot of them now have, you know, some forecasting built in where they'll kind of replay what happened and they'll give you advice. Like maybe you should have emailed this person more or, or things like that.

[00:37:20] Did you, have you looked into any of this, you know, even through to today, have you looked into a lot of the sort of automated marketing or ML marketing was kind of your take on that? 

[00:37:30] Kevin Urrutia: So, so basically in the beginning for Maid Sailors, I wanted to do like my own custom website identity developer. Right. We're just like, Hey, I can make my own custom CRM. I can make my own custom checkout as like, I know Stripe, I know APIs. I know, I know how to track all this stuff. Right. So I was like, I don't, I'm not going to use WordPress. WordPress sucks. Right. So that's literally like, what? So basically in the beginning I built it all.

[00:37:52] And then when I was like, basically doing marketing, I was like, okay, I need to create landing pages. And I was just like, Oh, okay. Now I've got to go into my code editor. I've got to go deploy back to GitHub. I got to push it to Heroku. I was like, I just want to make a simple text change. And then that's, that's where I was like, okay, I can see why marketers now get pissed off at developers because they don't want to do the simple stuff because it's like tedious, but it's so necessary for marketing to maybe change the headline, change the image because you want to see if this is going to give you a different result.

[00:38:21] And pretty much after a few months, I was like, okay, I don't want to be doing the coding. I really want to be doing the marketing. And I want to be doing all the tests. And then that's when I'd reconverted the website into WordPress with like a custom theme. And then that's when I started using this software platform called Launch27 that allowed us to take bookings online.

[00:38:39] But at the same time, manage all the cleaners, manage the customers and emails and really. That at that point, I was just completely focused on bringing in new customers, changing the marketing and messaging in the language of the website and Launch27. It's sort of like that CRM that you're saying that gives us all these analytics of like how much revenue you're bringing, how much customers you're bringing. Who's who's booking, maybe what's what are some of the best upsells, et cetera. 

[00:39:02] Jason Gauci: So, yeah, I haven't heard of that. One is Launch27. So, so just a bit of background for people. So CMS is customer management system, and the difference between a CMS and like a database is that you have some business logic, you know, at the simplest you have more advanced fields like zip code, which, you know, if you, if you put in someone's zip code and you want to get back their city, you know, if you just use a regular database, you have to do that by hand, a CRM could have some logic.

[00:39:34] It could know about the relationship between zip codes and cities. Right. And so you can imagine like, A whole bunch of other business logic. Yeah. Especially around pricing, maybe in taxes. And so it really helps you a lot more than just using MongoDB or something. 

[00:39:50] But traditionally CMS is where these monolithic things, where the CMS would have its own website. And so you would go into the CMS website and put in all this information. And then if you wanted to show that information on your own website, you know, they would provide some kind of API. Usually wasn't very good because that wasn't the real business. 

[00:40:12] So, so then what, what, what ended up happening was people started coming out with these things called headless CMS, and a headless CMS is one where they say, we're not going to, you know, do a, a front end at all. And we're just going to focus a hundred percent on writing the cleanest, nicest API. And so we're going to let you take this customer data and render it, or put it on a phone or do whatever you want. And so that's, that's become like a big thing nowadays. And so is this Launch27, like a headless CMS, or what category does it fall into?

[00:40:46] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah, it's essentially like a headless CMS thing where basically. Yeah. It's exactly what you said. It's kind of like a database with just like more advanced logic. They'll tell you, like, you know, your customers, how many times they're booking, who's your best customer, you know, where they live. Are they in your service area?

[00:41:04] We use it all for almost everything. It allows us to charge people, to refund people. And yeah. Launch is really developed for like services businesses, and it's, the founders started their own cleaning company. So he, he basically built it out of like a need. Right. Which is great because he knew like all the pain points and CMS, or some sort of CRM or CRM system I think is so key to a lot of businesses, just so you can have all this data and then you could use it later on to see like how to upsell, how to downsell, how to market better. So yeah, I think that's exactly what Launch27 is. 

[00:41:34] Jason Gauci: Cool. It makes sense. And so, yeah, I mean, I'm sure every developer has the same story where, you know, you come out saying, Oh, this has 99% of what I need. I'm going to write it from scratch. and that is super, super fulfilling. And I, I don't discourage people from doing that at all, but as soon as you go into maintenance mode, that's when you realize like, Oh, you know, as cool as it was to build that, you know, it's not really cool anymore. And now I'm still spending a bunch of time on it. 

[00:42:03] Kevin Urrutia: I was actually thinking the other day about what to do with our blog. We're on, we're on Blogger and yeah, and it's, it's, it's tough because building it yourself really opens up a lot of doors, but the maintenance is, is a big issue. 

[00:42:14] Jason Gauci: So the, you have the, the site up and running, you have, you know, really solid marketing. You have WordPress, you have this Launch27. And so my guess is on the marketing side, on the, on the outbound side, let's say you're doing, you know, Facebook ads, Google ads, you know, SEO, you know, emails, probably like, like you have email lists, like, can you kind of walk us through what your marketing. Kind of looks like nowadays. 

[00:42:40] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. So marketing for like local businesses is I think so great because at least something like Google has made it really easy for our local businesses to get in front of people. So when I was first starting Google Maps, you guys know, obviously everyone knows Google Maps, but you got you now, you know how now there's like those like six listings of businesses.

[00:42:58] Yeah. When I was doing the maid company, those just came out. So that was like a crazy boost for us and traffic and sort of calls that we were getting. So we were optimizing to be basically number one, there.

[00:43:10] Jason Gauci: That's something where you, is that sponsored? I don't actually know where that data comes from.

[00:43:14]Kevin Urrutia:  So Google just added the sponsored stuff maybe a year ago, but for almost a few, two, three years, it was great for people like us, where it was free or quote unquote free.

[00:43:24] Right. Where basic Google will just give you the one or two spots for free. And, but now it's sponsored, but now you'll, instead of seeing three or you see five, I think two are sponsored. 

[00:43:35] Jason Gauci: Oh, I see. And the other three come from, you ask Google to put you on the list or are they just scanning businesses? How does that work?

[00:43:42] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. So you basically just confirm with Google that you're a real business. So they have this thing called Google My Business, where you apply, and then they make you upload like your business license, your phone number, they'll call you. The program is really designed to get local businesses, traffic. Right. So they want to make sure that you're legit. 

[00:43:58] And the reason why is because there's a lot of companies, obviously, you know, with any sort of business out there, there's people that basically made fake listings in order to just like control the market. 

[00:44:07] Jason Gauci: Yeah. Yeah, totally makes sense. Cool. So My Business was, I think, a big part of it.

[00:44:12]Kevin Urrutia:  A big part of it. And then also another big one for us. It was Yelp. People use Yelp here in New York City a lot. And so basically for any business, the way we thought about it was trying to think about where your customers potentially going to find you. Right? So for right now, if you're like a local food company, you probably need to be on Seamless. You probably need to be on Uber Eats. You probably need to be on Door Dash. 

[00:44:33] Cause now these are just sources of traffic for your business and you need to be on there because they just have so much users that probably want food and you need to at least show up somehow. Right? I think sometimes businesses make mistake where it's like kinda wasted before a Hey people will just find me.

[00:44:48] I'm like, that's not how things work. Right? That's not how things work. 

[00:44:51] Jason Gauci: Yeah, totally. So you mentioned a lot of different things is Yelp. There's Google there's, there's my business. There's different parts of Google. Like how do you, as this is getting a bit more in the technical side, how do you as a developer or a marketer, maybe if it's a smaller company and you're, the marketer is also doing some development. Like, how do you talk to all of these different systems? Is there, is there a middle layer that, that, that you use or, or is it really just like going through, looking at the, My Business API, looking at the Yelp API, just doing it one at a time. 

[00:45:22] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. That's essentially what it is. Like there's some services out there that are trying to make it all click into one, especially because there's Yelp reviews, there's Google reviews and you have to like, basically manage all these platforms.

[00:45:34] So now there's API is getting built around a central like database or some sort of central platform where you can like talk to people on here. But yeah, for right now, how we do it is we just have people just log into these accounts one by one and responsible one by one. It's just like manual work. And that's what we've seen the best.

[00:45:52] But even with Yelp, for example, the Yelp doesn't like, Yelp will notify you of a, let's say a new request. So we have a Zapier that will ping our Slack. This is, Hey, look, someone on Yelp has sent you a message log in now to check in and respond. 

[00:46:05] Jason Gauci: Oh, that's a really good idea. So yeah, let me, let me cover that real quick.

[00:46:09] So, so Zapier is this awesome product, actually, we should definitely do a show on Zapier in the future, but there's other, there's other ones that are starting to come up, but, but Zapier has really taken, taken the market, at least for now. And, and the idea is some of what we were saying, like, you know, you might want to do marketing, multi-channel marketing, but you don't want to be an expert on the Yelp API, the Google API, right.

[00:46:34] Where you could be a developer and have many different platforms you run on, like you could have Android, iOS, et cetera. And so Zapier does, is it basically allows you to pass messages and notifications between all of these different systems, in a, in a Wiziwig kind of way. So you could just say, and actually we have a Zapier for the show where, when someone asks us on Twitter, Zapier goes and writes the tweet onto a channel in our, in our Discord.

[00:47:03] Of course, now that I said that we'll probably get, and you know, who knows what will happen, but, but, but it's, it's a really cool feature where people can just go to this channel on discord and just see what folks are saying about the show. And it allows them to kind of like start threads and conversations.

[00:47:19] So, yeah, Zapier is amazing. And so I think what you were saying, Kevin is Zapier is connected, has connected your Yelp and your Slack, so that, so that, you know, you can get notified right away and you don't have to be monitoring, you know? 

[00:47:32] Kevin Urrutia: Exactly. And like, yeah, Zapier is like, awesome. Like, we use it for like almost everything here for like the cleaning company or for like, let's say Voy Media, when we're onboarding new clients, there's some sort of zap there.

[00:47:42] It's one of those companies that like, at least for me, I'm like, why didn't I build this? Right. Yeah. 

[00:47:48] Jason Gauci: Probably, you know that the challenge, like you said, not only building it, but you have to market it. It's like, how do you market? Like, I don't even know what the market is. I mean, I obviously it's software developers, but like.

[00:47:59] Within software developers. I don't really know like how I would market Zapier. I mean, you would probably be a good person to, to, to, to answer that one.

[00:48:07] Kevin Urrutia: Zapier probably... I've studied Zapier's marketing. They have the best SEO strategy that I've ever seen. They have millions of organic visitors a month and their marketing strategy is this.

[00:48:18] So let's obviously we're using Zencastr right. So let's say you also have like Anchor to like, you know, whatever host your podcast. They have a page called Zapier Zencastr to Anchor. And like basically they just generate all these like variations of marketing tools, tools, software tools, and they have like tons and tons of like these SEO pages that people will search for. People, probably search for like how to integrate Zen, Zencastr with Anchor, and Zapier probably ranks number one.

[00:48:44] Jason Gauci: Oh my gosh. I mean, you, you really just opened it up completely because that's exactly what happened. I looked up, how do I send messages from Twitter to Discord? And it just happened. Yeah, you're right. So, so they've gone through and. Done the N-squared thing. Right? All the different things you can connect to them, and they've built landing pages for all of them.

[00:49:04] Kevin Urrutia: Yep. And their landing pages are like, and the thing too, for people listening, like their landing pages are really well thought out. They have like reviews, they have like the connections, they have like, sometimes they have like editorial comments of like why the software is good or bad. Right. So they've done a really good job of like educating the user. And this shows Google like, Hey, we should be number one. 

[00:49:21] Jason Gauci: Yeah. I mean, this is a real, I'm so glad we brought this up. I mean, this is such a good call-out because Zapier from a tech standpoint, I mean, it's laborious to integrate all these things, but it's, as you said, it's not hard. And so, and so people might look at that and say, yeah, I could have built this when I was in high school and I'll have a multi-million dollar company, but no, it's like, it's, it's the SEO, and it's getting to the top of the list and everything. 

[00:49:47] That is, that is what separates Zapier from all the other people who have the same idea at the same time. 

[00:49:52] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. Zapier is awesome. And yeah, there's a ton of competitors now, but it's going to be a while to take them down just because this organic flywheel that they built is just crazy.

[00:50:02] Jason Gauci: Yeah. So, so let's jump into that. So what is a flywheel and why, why do marketers keep talking about that?

[00:50:09] Kevin Urrutia: So basically a flywheel is just a way to just generate traffic or generate customers in a repeatable fashion. Right. So for example, if we're talking about Zapier,  Zapier probably found out that Hey, if we're building these sort of like comparison pages essentially, or integration pages, I think that's what they call them. Integration pages. They basically said like, Hey, and basically how it starts off with any businesses, you kind of have a hypothesis or a test say, Hey, let's make 10 of these. Right. And that way, kind of what you said before too, it's like, this is a lot of work, right? It's developing all these pages, tons and tons of work.

[00:50:40] So you'd want to go in and just like have a whole strategy of building this and you don't know if it works. So basically Zapier probably did. I think, I think they did this because I was like listening to one of their top marketers and he was kind of talking about this. They had this strategy or this like theory of hey, if we make these integration pages and we can rank organically. Will that increase the user sign-ups or will that increase like, you know, trials essentially, right?

[00:51:04] And pretty much what they said after a few months of testing this, they saw that organic traffic was bringing them tons of qualified leads. And now they, they pretty much said, Hey, this, this sort of integration pages is working well. So then they you're basically... now can, we said, what's the database? And basically looked at all the top integrations and started making integration pages, and then just basically generate this huge flywheel of organic traffic for people looking for these sort of integrations for their system. And then that's sort of now where they're getting, they said that they're getting most of their leads and free trials from organic now, because this system has just worked so well for them.

[00:51:41] Yeah. So if you, another company has done this really well too, is we're mentioning them before Airbnb. So Airbnb also has like these like travel pages that they are using now to rank above like Expedia or all these like Travelocity right. Companies. 

[00:51:55] Jason Gauci: Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah. I think I'd imagine just all the different things that CPO tried that didn't work. Right. I mean, that's another thing that we don't really think about, but not only do you have to do good marketing, but you have to have the velocity to try a lot of things to pivot a lot. 

[00:52:10] You have to have that synergy between, you know, your marketers and your engineers, or if you're doing it all, like you have to be able to build systems that, that, that could be flexible and that, and not have that velocity, because I'm sure they'd probably try Facebook ads. They probably tried Google ads. Maybe they set up on My Business for SF. Right. If they're on SF and a, and then they settled on that, that one thing that works.

[00:52:34]Kevin Urrutia:  Yeah, exactly. And that's why I like... going back to marketing. It's, sometimes what you read online or what you see from these companies. They're only talking about the things that worked, and a lot of times stuff doesn't work, but they don't post that.

[00:52:47] Like people aren't posting like all the failures. So this is why sometimes for marketing or people thinking about marketing is think about this as a successful experiment that they did, but this might not work for you. It might don't get demoralized by this because like, Hey, it doesn't mean that you suck or your company sucks. It just, maybe this isn't the way that is going to work for your brand or your service. 

[00:53:06] Jason Gauci: Yeah. That totally makes sense. And I believe, you correct me if I'm wrong here, but I believe the flywheel comes from like actual, like, like motor engines where. Well, you have this wheel and when the wheel is spinning... so just like a bit of physics stuff to, to geek out on, you know, yet, if you have an engine with a piston, the way the engine works is when the piston is like in the right spot, it's kind of like pushing a swing, right? Like you want to push a swing at the right time. If you push the swing, when it's coming back to you, it's just going to slow it down. Right? 

[00:53:37] And same kind of thing with the piston. You want to make a little gas explosion at the right time to kind of push the piston the way you'd push a swing on a swing set. And you can't do that if the piston isn't moving. Right. And so a flywheel is kind of similar where, you know, you have to end this, you know, for old motorboats you'd have to actually pull a cord or, you know, if you have one of those like gas powered lawn lawnmower, or something, you would pull a cord to start the wheel.

[00:54:02] And then once it's going and the small burst of energy, you can kind of keep it going, but it needs you to kind of kick it off. And in the same way, you know, we've talked a lot about this. Yeah, you might have really great ideas or great companies, but you need marketing to get that wheel going. And then if it's, if it's a really solid plan, then, then through word of mouth and through things like that, the wheel can even just go on its own, but you need that initial push.

[00:54:27] Kevin Urrutia: Exactly. And yeah, I think marketing just helps you get that initial push. And then once you have marketing, like kind of like we're talking about Zapier right now, right? Think about it. Like they're just getting free press, because we love the product. You have a great product plus great marketing, people will talk about it and you're going to get tons of more customers. 

[00:54:42] Jason Gauci: Yeah, that makes sense. So, so actually I want to talk about ROI before we go into that. Like what happens with Zapier now? You you're like once they, so it was looking at like Facebook, for example, or Google, like what did their marketing departments do? 'Cause I mean, clearly the brand is ubiquitous, right? So are they done? Like, what did they do at this point? 

[00:55:01] Kevin Urrutia: What's happens with every company is like, at least for something like Zapier. It's initially kind of what it was before, Zapier was pretty much like the only one out there. There are only one that's doing this sort of integration. 

[00:55:12] But now, you're probably seeing it too. There's so many Zapier clones coming out now. That's pretty much saying like, Hey look, we're Zapier but cheaper. Right? It's like the typical SAS thing. Where's Zapier, but cheaper. Right? So. If I think right now what's happening with Zapier, is that probably, at least from what I've seen is like, they're just doing like deeper integrations with certain businesses, like enterprise companies.

[00:55:33] What I've seen companies do now is like companies like GoDaddy, for example, massive like domain name provider. So basically what they do is they basically try to get into the, these back ends of these systems to sort of have like these third party relationships, like deep integrations into like, Hey, when you have a new website, by the way, also install Zapier for your company.

[00:55:53] That way you can do all this crazy stuff, kind of like themes do that in like WordPress where like there are prebuilt, right? So like now it's like more of like these like customer, like more like business to business marketing relationship. 

[00:56:05] Jason Gauci: Yeah. That totally makes sense. I mean, I think a good parallel to that is the iPhone where, and, and this is a bit of speculation, so take this with a grain of salt. But when iPhone came out like it was. It was the smartphone. I mean, it just totally dominated, like no one was ever going to use a stylus again for their phone. Oh, I guess unless you have the Galaxy Note, but, but yeah, so they came on and they were just ubiquitous.

[00:56:26] And now I think you're starting to see, and this loops back to what you said earlier with the iOS. I think it's 14, you know, to add, the tracking disabling and all of that is, is Apple is going to start positioning themselves as like the Ferrari of smartphones, because there's so much upward pressure from, you know, cheaper phones like Android and, and, the Xiaomi, and all of that.

[00:56:51] And all of the hardware that, that supports these OSs. And so, yeah, Apple is becoming more of like a luxury brand, which is kind of how they started. And so, and so, yeah, I think Zapier might do something similar where they'll get more into enterprise and they'll be kind of like the IBM, because you know, it's very, very hard to, even if you can compete, it's always a race to the bottom. And so, and so you have to change your business model once you're no longer kind of novel. 

[00:57:16] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. And that, that sucks too, because like, Zapier is great for like regular consumers. Like us. It's pretty cheap. It's pretty affordable. But come, we were talking about earlier this podcast, it's like, eventually you move up market and then it becomes way too expensive to sort of even use this platform. It sucks because they kind of leave like users like us behind. 

[00:57:34] Jason Gauci: Yep. Yeah, totally makes sense. So before we get into our, why maybe it's good to just kind of give a background on, you know, if someone's out there, maybe I'll say there's two kinds of people out there in the audience with respect to marketing.

[00:57:47] There's people who, let's say they're in high school, they're in college and they might have a cool idea, but zero capital. And so they want to, you know, get their idea out there, start that flywheel. And kind of really kick start something from the ground up. And then there's also people who, who, you know, might work at a small business or even a large business.

[00:58:07] And they feel like they've listened to you and they want to do marketing better. What sort of advice would you give to those, to those people? It could be the same, or it could be two different sets of advice. 

[00:58:17] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. I think like, let's say someone wants to do marketing or wants to test, test something out. And basically, I have a friend right now that wants to sell product and she's like, Oh, I want to sell this product. It's going to cost me like $150K to, to basically get it produced, manufacture it, and then also get the labeling. And really what I told her was this. I was like, Hey, think about, what would you do if you had that product or service, and pretend that you have it, get your website up, get your Twitter account up, or your Instagram account up, get the videos up, creatives up, and then actually try to market it as if you had that product or service.

[00:58:52] Because, really what you want to do now is learn. Do people actually want to buy this thing or not? And that's really where I tell business owners or founders right now is, try to see if there's actually demand for this. And you can run ads, right? Facebook ads, or Google ads to see, can you do this and think about this too, is if this sort of frustrates you and you can't do it, then maybe you can't sell the product.

[00:59:14] Because I, even though we're an ad agency and we do print ads for founders, the best founders that we work with are actually doing the marketing themselves with us, and we're there to help them, because we always tell people, you know, your business better than we will ever do. You care about it more than we'll ever do. Like yes. We're working with you, but I mean, you guys probably know it's like you as your company, it's like your baby. You think about it more than we'll ever think about it. For us. Okay. Let's think about it for two, three hours a day, for you. You're thinking about 24 hours a day. So there's something to be said about you also helping the agency or anybody you're working with with the marketing, and also learning about marketing. That way you truly understand AB testing, creative testing, angle testing, landing pages, right?

[00:59:56] And really for you, someone starting out do all this stuff first, and see if you can try to get some sort of demand for your product or service, and this way you don't have to spend all this money on something that potentially you know that you can't sell or that you essentially just maybe figure out that like you there's no angle or market for.

[01:00:13] Jason Gauci: Yeah, totally makes sense. So, I mean, I think you, I don't think you need a lot of, a lot of money to get this started. So let's say you're in high school, you have some idea you set aside, you know, maybe $50 in seminar run Facebook ads, or maybe you even just look at, for free, you can look at Google Trends or trying, and look, do run Google analytics on your landing page, and you can try to climb your way up to finding that niche that people really want. And it doesn't take a lot, a lot to do that. 

[01:00:44] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah, exactly. And I think like that is the best way to start, too. It's like use that money to test your product or service, because the best thing that could happen is, and I've seen this before too, it's someone invest 10 to 20 K on a product, like an e-commerce product, and then they can't find people to buy it. And then they're stuck with this in their garage for like a year. Right? 

[01:01:04] Jason Gauci: Yup. Yup. Yeah, exactly. I mean, we've seen, and we've seen like, even, even more stories than that, I mean, look at like Juicero.

[01:01:11] Kevin Urrutia: That was crazy, yeah.

[01:01:12] Jason Gauci: Oh my God. So just a background Juicero it was a. Like, like, a juicer where you would have to buy these various specifically... so you'd pay a ton for the juicer and then it would arrive at your house.

[01:01:26] You'd buy these like weird looking packets and the juicer would basically squeeze out these packets. Ad there was also like DRM. So, so they had protection. Like if you bought someone else's packet, you know, the juicer will like, will wag its finger at you and it, like, it provided like zero value over just like taking an orange and squeezing it.

[01:01:46] Right. You know, and actually what, you know, I don't even know how, how to relate that to marketing because in one sense, it was a huge marketing victory that they are even able to get to where they were. But on the other hand, it's like, Yeah. I mean, I think starting small and realizing that yeah, that, that market just really isn't there organically.

[01:02:06] I mean, you could get people excited about, just about anything, but, but the, you know, the product market is just not there and just figuring, you can figure that out for 50 bucks and I've saved you several millions. 

[01:02:16] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. Yeah. That Juicero story was so funny because like, I guess people listening right now, that literally shows you that marketing works for product, that's like a dud it's like, literally, like someone made a YouTube video, right.

[01:02:29] That was just like, Hey, like, why do I need Juicero? Why can't I just squeeze the bag? And we're like, Oh yeah, you can just squeeze the bag. That was so funny. But yeah, that kind of shows you like marketing yet could be used for good or evil, right? And they used it to rais,e what? Hundreds of millions of dollars, right? From like one of the top VC firms? 

[01:02:47] Jason Gauci: Yeah, that's right. I have a story. I mean, this is a, this person won't get offended. I don't think it's a friend of mine and I won't say who it is, but they were working for Pebble and Pebble, you know, went out of business. I think they were acquired, but it was kind of a fire sale.

[01:03:01] You know, they kind of lamenting that they joined Pebble. It's like, Oh, I kind of made a bad decision. And I was telling them, well, you know, it's nothing you really... it's totally out of your domain. I mean, he's a hardware engineer, so he's not too plugged into the product. And then he told me, yeah, this was years ago and he told me, Oh, but, but I got those good gigs, so I don't feel too bad. I'm like, Oh, where are you going? He said, Juicero.

[01:03:24] Kevin Urrutia: Jesus. That was so crazy. Yeah. So that shows you, the marketing works and they did it. I don't know what the team was. Like. I would go find those marketers on the Juicera team. Be like, Hey, can you market my product? Because you did something right.

[01:03:36] Jason Gauci: Yeah. Yeah. It's so true. So how do people, you know, let's say that we, this, this, let's say we do that. And, and so whether we're spending $50 or we're spending a hundred thousand dollars, you know, how do we measure if we're getting kind of a return on that? I feel like that question is actually difficult to answer, right? Because it's totally counter factual. 

[01:03:57] Like you would have to say, you know, if I didn't run this ad where these people have come to my website anyways, And, and, and because I ran the ad, how many people came to my website, not using the ad because they talk to somebody like it's, it's just like partially observable, counterfactual, evaluation. It just seems like almost impossible to answer that, right. 

[01:04:18] Kevin Urrutia: It, that question is, yeah. And the question is so hard to answer because for every business, it depends on kind of like what they're trying to do. Right? So for example, we work with some VC funded companies and like, you already know, like all they care about is growth. And ROI is not really a number they care about.

[01:04:35] They just want to say, Hey, we just want to acquire more customers than our competitors, but later on, we'll sort of figure that out. Right. So depending on your business, depending on basically marketing is like, how much money do you want to spend to acquire a customer, and how much can you stomach before you become broke?

[01:04:48] Jason Gauci: Yeah, that makes sense. 

[01:04:51] Kevin Urrutia: So basically, but the way we should be thinking about ROI, because we do work with our founders and it's their own money, when it's your own money, you want to make sure that you're profitable. So the way we think about it is calculate all your operation operating costs. Okay. How much, how much are you paying yourself?

[01:05:06] How much you're paying your staff? How much are you sort of, maybe for your warehouse, for your shipping, right. If you're doing e-commerce, what are the raw cost of goods? And then figuring out what those raw costs of goods are, and then figure out how much you want to sell it for, and then find your profit margin.

[01:05:19] And then that's sort of like the number that you can say, like, Hey, let's have a hundred dollar widget. It costs me $50 all in to, you know, manufacture and ship it. So that means for marketing spend, you can only spend $50 to acquire a customer. And if you spend 50, that means you broke even. And that means you sort of got one customer, but you didn't make any money.

[01:05:38] Now he spent 30 bucks to acquire a customer. That means now you made $20 in profit. So now you can say, Hey, this is great. This marketing channel is working for me because I'm acquiring customers profitably. But other times you might want to spend $50 to acquire the customer, not break, even because you know that down the line, you have another product that you can sell to them.

[01:05:56] So then this is really what more SAS companies do is they will sort of try to car customers that break, even because they know that later down the line, they can upgrade them to more plans or add some sort of upsells, but really becoming ROI profitable with depends on your business model and sort of, how much money you have in the bank to sort of afford marketing or, what stage of growth you are.

[01:06:16] Because even if you're a bootstrap startup, sometimes you want to grow faster because you can be selling your company. So you want to show growth numbers, right? And say and get a higher evaluation stuff like that. 

[01:06:27] Jason Gauci: Yeah, totally makes sense. I think another thing too is, another thing is probably really difficult to measure, but really important is the marginalization factor, right?

[01:06:35] Like it's, you probably get more value out of spending $10 and out of spending, you don't get 22 times the value for spending $20 all the time. Right. So like, as you start spending more and more of my guesses, each dollar will get you for like less than less. Like, that's just true when you buy almost anything.

[01:06:52] Kevin Urrutia: That's very true. Yeah. As you spend more money, like in the beginning, it's like you get lots of great wins, very high ROI. And then as you spend more money, it becomes like less and less, right. 

[01:07:02] Jason Gauci: Yeah. Are there any tools to measure that or is it on a case by case basis, like global? Have you developed any like global insights or is it just something you have to measure each time and see what, what happens?

[01:07:12] Kevin Urrutia: For us, like we, we've been working with some companies, at least for here that like spend over a million dollars a month on Facebook ads and it's still pretty good. Whereas for some companies it's not good, it's just really depends. And this is why, like, I think for people listening, it's very important to just be thinking about different channels.

[01:07:28] Like SEO, for example, we talked about SEO, but that, I mean, you probably know that's a channel that maybe works year two or three. So the first two years, you're not don't expect any ROI on that because you're not going to get any. Yeah. So this is why like developing this muscle for like channels make sense.

[01:07:44] Like as you make more businesses, you say, okay, let me start SEO now because for my previous business, I know it took me a year and a half. So let's start Facebook ads for the next year to sort of bring in customers while that sort of SEO, flywheel sort of kicks in.

[01:07:56] Jason Gauci: Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah. I mean, this is super, super fascinating.

[01:07:59] So, so, you know, for people who are just starting out and want to try some of this on their own, I mean, we mentioned Zapier and we mentioned, what was the headless CMS that you mentioned?

[01:08:09] Kevin Urrutia: So we use, Launch27. 

[01:08:11] Jason Gauci: Launch27, you know, what are some good marketing tools for folks who are, you know, maybe they have built their first app. And, and it's an app that creates a value that is, is missing and really can add value to people. And the people just have to kind of know about it, you know, and, and, they might have zero background in marketing. 

[01:08:30] So, you know, some of this, like running a Facebook ad, you don't really need a tool for that. I think, as you mentioned, Photoshop is probably really important to make sure you have a good, a nice thumbnail on everything. but beyond just like the, a text editor and the photo editor, like, are there tools that you recommend for people to, you know, market their app or their site and especially do the tracking and all that?

[01:08:53] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. I would say one of the best tools that I love using it's called Ahrefs. Have you guys heard of it? AHREFS.com. It's like, kind of like the anchor thing. 

[01:09:03] Jason Gauci: H R E S S. I think I've never heard of that?

[01:09:06]Kevin Urrutia:  It's called Ahrefs, AHREFS. Yeah. Dot com. Ahrefs. Yep. It's my favorite marketing tool. And it's pretty pricey just for people to understand. It's about 180 a month. But really with this tool, it basically gives you like, it's like business intelligence tool.

[01:09:21] If you have a competitor out there, if they have a website, you can plug it into their service and it'll tell you how much traffic they're getting, what keywords they're ranking for what Google ads are running with a text of the Google ads. So you can see like how they're marketing the product, what landing pages that are running. And it gives you insights into how they're growing. So you can see like their growth trajectory as well up to like a year or so. So this is probably one of my favorite tools out there that anybody could use. And literally like you can spy anybody, right? So you can look at like, apple.com and see like, Oh wow, they're growing so fast.

[01:09:53] Jason Gauci: Oh, very cool. I've seen one that's very specific to software. It's called BuiltWith. And you can go to, you can go to BuiltWith and see the trends and everything. 

[01:10:03] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah, BuiltWith is awesome. But think about it like, yeah, this is kind of like a BuiltWith, I think Ahrefs has, it's more user-friendly I think BuiltWith is like super developer, so yeah, 

[01:10:12] I use that. And then the next best tool I think is just Google Keyword Planner. It's a free tool by Google and it basically allows you to plug in whatever keyword and it shows you the volume. I think the biggest thing that I want people to understand is like understanding search volume of a business of a product of a service will really allow you to know, should I build this or should I not build this?

[01:10:32] If search volumes like 10, maybe there's not much demand, but it could be going up. Right. Which is great. So track that over time. And then again, you could use this to sort of see, like for example, maid service, NYC. I think we get about 500 searches a month and then we're like, Oh, this is pretty good.

[01:10:47] Like, people are searching for this service. I can make a product in this space because there's demand for this service that I want to sell. 

[01:10:53] Jason Gauci: Yeah. That's a really good point. So how has Keyword Planner different than Google Trends? 

[01:10:58] Kevin Urrutia: I think Google Trends is more about, I think they're pretty similar actually, but I think Google Keyword Planner has more data because it's like based out of like Google AdWords data.

[01:11:06] Jason Gauci: Ah, got it. Now the other thing too is, is you might have an idea and you often don't know the right. Let's say language for that to express that data. Like for example, Zapier, you know, you might say something pretty technical, like API joining platform and it turns out like, even though you have the right idea, no, one's actually, the customers aren't actually using that language, right.? 

[01:11:31] And so you could play around with like adjacent terms and kind of climb your way up to finding out like, what, when my customer is searching, like, what are they searching when they actually want my product? 

[01:11:43] Kevin Urrutia: Exactly. And I think what you said, Jason is so important because us as like developers or creators, we want to name things our way, but no one calls it that, and it's like, sometimes you just got to go back to the basics of like, what are normal humans calling things, right?

[01:11:58] Jason Gauci: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And I think, you know, sometimes the value, especially in software, sometimes the value of something is that you're kind of like making something complicated, really simple. It's like, imagine if you're using like some really complicated, like long-term, short-term memory neural network, but you're really trying to do anomaly detection.

[01:12:19] Also, if you start plugging in like ltsm neural network, like you're, it's like you're, you're missing the audience. Like the whole point is the audience doesn't want to think about that. They want anomaly detection. Yeah, it's amazing. Sometimes you put things into Keyword Planner and you realize like, Oh, this is the most popular way to call something.

[01:12:36] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah, exactly. It's so it's so good. It's so awesome. I love using Keyword Planner. 

[01:12:40] Jason Gauci: Cool. Yeah, I've never heard of that. I'm definitely going to check it out. And I think, I think you're, you're, you're spot on that, that, you know, the Google Trends is probably more something they did from scanning like news pages and stuff, which is going to be pretty biased to news and things that make the news versus Keyword Planner is really going to be more connected, like correlated to what people are searching for, which is, which is really what matters when you're doing SEO. 

[01:13:06] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. It matters so much. And I tell people all the time, like you search for things all the time, like, think about it. Like how do you find things? And that's how you want to be. That's how you went. That's where you want your brand to be or service because people search every single day.

[01:13:19] Jason Gauci: Yeah. That makes sense. And so your, you have, besides the maid business, you have Voy Media. And so is that like a solo operation or do you have a team of folks? How does that work?

[01:13:30] Kevin Urrutia: So for Voy Media, we can help other businesses with ads. So, yeah, Voy Media right now, my company, we have about 40 employees that worked for me there.

[01:13:37] Jason Gauci: So. Cool. And so what's that like? Well, I mean, no, now, now it's with COVID. So, so let's, let's rewind the clock and go pre COVID. And so what is a day like if it's in New York City, it's probably like, maybe in a high rise or something, you know, but what's it like to work at Voy Media? 

[01:13:54] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah. For working at Voy, really, we help clients with a bunch of their Facebook ads.

[01:13:58] That's like the number one thing that we do for them. It's when we say Facebook ads, too, really what we're doing now is really managing them, all the creatives for them. How are we going to sell their product creatively with videos and images. And then we upload that to Facebook, to market to them. 

[01:14:12] But usually what we're coming up with for clients is different hooks, different angles. And we're also thinking about different ways for them to sell a product with funnels. Like maybe they need a sales page. Maybe they need like an advertorial. Maybe they need a quiz funnel. So that's where that's kind of what we do here at Voy is really thinking about them. And, but really for us, the brands that we work with are more like, Hey, we have a proven product that we've sold before.

[01:14:36] How can you guys make it better? We don't really work with too many brands. They're just going to brand new because we just know this, that we can't help those companies at the moment with like our, with the way we do things.

[01:14:46] Jason Gauci: That makes it, that really resonates with me. Yeah. My day job I do, I do machine learning and decision-making AI. And so occasionally we'll get people like, you know, other people in the company, other teams coming to us asking for our help. And the first thing we tell them is do something simple by yourself. Like before you bring in the AI department, do something really simple and let's, let's see what happens. And I think, you know, that, that sounds like that kind of translates here as well.

[01:15:16] Like there's a lot that people can do, businesses can do, or even people can do on their own and, and a lot they can learn. And that might not take a lot of money, but it definitely takes a lot of time. And so I, I know, I mean, From the podcast. 

[01:15:30] I mean, we went something like two years where it was just our moms listening and, actually I'm sure there were other people too. So I don't want to, if you're a longtime listener, it's not like, like a shove or anything, but it was, you know, definitely a chunk of time where the podcast is just getting bootstrapped. And, you know, I don't think that a huge marketing push on episode number three would have really made a difference.

[01:15:52] So, so definitely there's so much that you have to do on your own, but that also means that, you know, the, the flip side of that is there so much you can do as an individual. And then once you have that flywheel going, once you kind of understand. Your market and your audience and what they're looking for, then, you know, if you're making, as Kevin said, if you're, if you're making money on each acquisition, then you can give Voy Media a call and they can take it to the next level.

[01:16:20] Kevin Urrutia: And it goes, yeah, I think I tell people all the time, like, it's really helpful when you, when people do it themselves and they kind of learn a little bit about it because it makes just working with that marketing or freelancers so much easier. And yeah, there's so much more that you could do. And I tell people all the time, if you're going to make some sort of channel, like the main way to acquire customers, I think that you should probably want to know how it works that way. You're like, you truly understand how your business is growing. So I think it's important. 

[01:16:43] Jason Gauci: Yeah. Yeah. That also resonates. I think a lot of people want really complicated AI. Like Salesforce has Einstein, they have the Einstein platform and everything, but the thing is, is, is at the end of the day, like you need to be able to, to know what is going on.

[01:16:57] Like, you need to have something that's interpretable and you can't just throw everything into a machine because, as soon as that machine stops working, which, you know, it doesn't mean there's a bug per se. It could be maybe people lost interest, but, but for whatever reason, as soon as that machine stops working, you're going to be stuck and you're not going to have gain those insights you really needed to make that pivot earlier that would have prevented that. 

[01:17:21] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah, exactly. And the thing too, that we'll learn is that like, look anything, you guys probably know some of this stuff sounds scary. Like, Oh my God, we're saying Zapier, we're saying this, once you dig into it, you're like, Oh, like this is really easy.

[01:17:34] Jason Gauci: Yeah. And the other thing too is don't get really like agoraphobic. You know, I, you know, I see so many threads on, you know, either Stack overflow or, or Reddit on, you know, I can't decide what game engine to use for this game, or I can't decide whether to use Ruby. Or flask and it's like, I've spent like 200 hours and here's my blog post on it.

[01:17:55] And it's like, I mean, that's, that's cool. It's, it's, it's a value that you're providing, but, but you can also just pick anything and just run with it. And, you will learn so much no matter what. I mean, even, you know, Kevin and I both built things from scratch and went through all that pain and, and, you know sure, in hindsight it would have been much easier to use WordPress, but we learned so much from, from that experience. And so you can always just pick up anything and run with it. 

[01:18:19] And, and, and one thing that, that Kevin has provided as, as, as a really good product, is this Digital Marketing Made Easy. Which is a book that's, is it on Amazon?

[01:18:30] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah, it's on Amazon. Yep. 

[01:18:31] Jason Gauci: Cool. Yeah, it's on Amazon. And like, how does a book kind of, where does it start off? Does it kind of explain like Marketing 101 and then kind of dive in from there?

[01:18:41]Kevin Urrutia:  Yep. Basically the book explains marketing one-on-one it talks about kind of why you need marketing. Like what's, what's the growth strategy. What are different channels you could use, right? And the basic kind of talk to you about like SEO, Facebook ads, Google ads, content marketing, it kind of just tells people like, Hey, here are things that you should be thinking about when starting a business. 

[01:19:00] And then we kind of like dive into like each of these tactics that you could do. And then overall it says like, these are all things that you could do. Figure one out that you want to try. And then if it doesn't work, we want to the next one. Or if it does work, keep the other one running and then move on to the next channel. It's sort of like the book is about.

[01:19:17] Jason Gauci: Cool. And so is it actually, I don't know, you definitely know this, but does Amazon automatically take your book. And I guess they can't make an audio book out of it automatically, but is it on Kindle and paperback and hardback like hardcover is, is all those formats?

[01:19:32]Kevin Urrutia:  I wish it was audio because I want the audio, but they're like, Kevin, you need to record it. I'm like okay, is like four, 500 pages. I was like...

[01:19:40] Jason Gauci: Yeah, well there's this Amazon Polly, which is amazingly nice to listen to. But I think the challenge would be, there's gotta be a few words that it would get wrong and it would kind of throw you off if you were to just Amazon Polly, the whole book. Yeah.

[01:19:54]Kevin Urrutia:  So basically the Amazon, we have it in Kindle version, which is like whatever Kindle readers or any sort of e-reader, but then we also have like a book version.

[01:20:01] So it's like a soft cover book. We don't have an hardcover yet, but those basically how it works with Amazon. It's pretty nice. If people want to do their own book, Amazon is pretty much print on demand. So we, Amazon just has our PDF and whenever someone orders, they have a warehouse that prints it for us. And it's all Amazon based. 

[01:20:17] Jason Gauci: Oh, very cool. Very cool. Yeah. So check that out. I think, what is a way for people to reach you? Like, what is a good way to be able to do that? 

[01:20:27] Kevin Urrutia: Yeah, so you can always email me, kevin@voymedia.com and for anybody listening, if someone wants a copy of the book and you can't afford it, I can send you a free copy. So just shoot me an email and I can do that.

[01:20:37] Jason Gauci: Cool. Great. So kevin@voymedia, we'll put that in the, in the show notes and yeah, I think that's, that's, that's amazing. Yeah. There's, it's, it's another great benefit for students out there and for, for people out there who are just getting started. So, so take advantage of that.

[01:20:52] I think I've told this story on the, on the podcast before, but, but one of the most powerful things that I did, you know, in my life was it was kind of serendipitous. I, I went on, I went on BitTorrent talking about, you know, we were younger and going on torrents. And I just said, what are the most popular book torrents.

[01:21:10] And, you know, some of them were kind of obvious. So there was the Bible, there was a Koran, I mean, they're very popular, but the after, like on the entry, like three or four, it was something like 150 dummies books, torrent. And, you know, I started reading through, you know, things that were outside of my wheelhouse.

[01:21:27] So I started reading up on negotiation. I read up on economics. And it really shaped a lot of my interests for my whole life actually. And so, so if this sounds either remotely, like something that you'd be interested in, or even if you need this to, you know, finish your app, or you're wondering how you can get more folks, your app, you know, take Kevin up on this offer or go on Amazon and grab a copy of it. And, you know, it could be a really great opportunity for folks out there. 

[01:21:54] Cool. Well, I think this is a good time to sort of put a bookmark in it. I really thank you, Kevin, for coming on the show. Absolutely fascinating. I think, you know, you really kind of opened up a new dimension for a lot of the listeners out there and, I'm really, I'm sure they're going to love it.

[01:22:09] I really love talking to you. And so, you know, thanks for coming on the show. It's been awesome.

[01:22:13] Kevin Urrutia: Thanks so much for having me.  I appreciate it. I love the conversation too. It was really good.

[01:22:16] Jason Gauci: Cool. All right.

[01:22:17] Kevin Urrutia: Thanks everybody out there. 

[01:22:19] Patrick Wheeler: Music by Eric Barndollar. 

[01:22:29] Jason Gauci: Programming Throwdown is distributed under Creative Commons, Attribution Share Like 2.0 license. You're free to share, copy, distribute, transmit the work to remix, and adapt the work, but you must provide attribution to Patrick and I, and sharealike in kind.



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