182 podcast episodes 🎙️

In today’s episode, Joe talks to Copyflight’s Todd Jones, a digital storyteller helping purpose-driven B2B entrepreneurs leverage storytelling to captivate their target market. His team helps businesses identify and develop their story, so that they can communicate more efficiently to their ideal client.  

Todd talks about how his college football Top 10 blog evolved into learning WordPress, building sites using themes and widgets, the different web developing sites he came to know, learn, and practice, and what setting end goals mean for conversion copywriting.  

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 03:56 Welcome to the pod, Todd!
  • 06:38 The story of the Redneck Coffee Snob
  • 09:43 It all started with a college football Top 10 blog
  • 13:35 Selling ad spots from doing exclusive content writing
  • 17:35 Moving to WordPress from Blogspot
  • 22:17 Learning different web developer sites while working in an agency
  • 26:45 Venturing into conversion copywriting
  • 29:11 How to start learning conversion copywriting?
  • 32:36 Voice of customer research
  • 39:37 Find someone smarter than you and learn from them
  • 43:11 Have you heard of Barcamp?
  • 44:40 A good About page equals credibility
  • 48:45 Everybody does like storytelling, even tech people
  • 50:16 Find Todd online

Episode Resources:

Podcast Transcript:

Joe Howard: [00:00:00] 30 folks, Joe Howard here. All right. Before we get into today’s episode, a few updates for you, uh, first, just around DWP MRR community, and just a community that WP mrr.com. You’ll notice if you go there. A few new spaces there, we’ve shifted some things around to help, uh, really focus on our mission there really, to help as many people as possible, uh, responsibly hit their monthly recurring revenue goals.

So, uh, check it out and you’ll see a prelaunch area. You’ll see a tenant K MRR goal area, folks who are really trying to go full time on their, uh, service product, whatever they wanna hit, that 10 K MRR goal. That’s a space for you. We’ve got an 83 K plus MRR goal. The folks who were really pushing to, to grow a million dollar business and do it responsibly.

That’s the space that you want to check out. We’ve got one all about responsible growth. So doing it in a way that really focuses on still being able to spend a lot of time with friends and family, not burnout, all that stuff. Oh, we’ve got a little accountability buddies area, which I’m experimented with.

So if you want to do a little bit of your work in public, you can check out that space as well. So that’s all again, over at community dot WP. Dot com if you are into the virtual summit, which hopefully you are, the summit is happening September 21st through 23rd, this year all again, a community that WP mrr.com everything’s live streaming right in there.

Quick shout out to this year’s sponsors. Legacy sponsors go daddy pro blog, vault green geeks, WP engine, weak, lot cloud ways and wordpress.com. We also have a few growth sponsors again, as of right now, that list is. Molly, Ella mentor paid memberships, pro SiteGround and Jetpack. So if you’re interested in sponsoring we’re out of legacy spots, but we do still have some growth sponsor opportunities.

So feel free to hit me up or hit the sponsor page on WP. Mrr.com um, speakers. We do have some speaker announcements coming up soon. If you want a sneak peek and actually getting before the announcement, I’ve already actually assigned some 2021 virtual summit speaker badges to folks as profile profiles in the WP MRR community.

So you can actually see some of those are live right now. So, but those, some formal announcements will be coming in. Few weeks, uh, Brian Richards, uh, who runs woo sash and word session, all that jazz, all those great virtual conferences. He’s helping to run a WP MRR virtual summit for the second year or getting everybody prepped and ready.

All those speakers are lined up and we’re ready to rock and roll. Okay, cool. Uh, announcements over this week’s episode of the podcast, I was lucky enough to have the one and only Todd Jones on the podcast. Todd is a. Copywriter or a conversion specialist storyteller. He probably described himself as kind of a mix of all of those things.

Um, but, uh, episode was called today was the first, I don’t know, 20 or 25 minutes. We really kind of talked a little bit more about his history in the WordPress space and how he kind of made it to where he is today, which is doing more conversion, copywriting stuff. But about 25, 30 minutes in the episode really got kind of deep into some specific copywriting for conversion content, storytelling, really specific content.

So if you want a little bit more of that actual content, feel free to fast forward a little bit to that 25 minute mark or so something like that. So put the whole episode is great. I really enjoyed talking with Todd super nice guy, really friendly guy, super easy to talk to has a lot of stories to tell as you will soon here.

So please welcome Todd Jones to the pod. Enjoy today’s episode. All right. We are live this week on the pod Todd Jones. I get to have on the podcast this week. Todd Toughbooks a little bit about, well, two things first, your nickname that you’ve self dubbed yourself. And two, a little bit about what you do with WordPress.

Todd Jones: [00:04:12] Yeah. So the red dead coffee snob, um, I actually, in the last podcast I was on, I talked a little bit about the origins of that, and I went blank about what that really was, but it’s just one of these things. I’m from the south. If you can’t tell by my accent. Um, I live in Conway, Arkansas, uh, Arkansas and Texas, all my life, those two states.

And, um, and I have this love for coffee that I have grown over a period of time. And it, it represents a lot of things to me, including community and fellowship, uh, those kinds of things. And, and so. Roles played in my life. And I just, I think somewhere along the way, I just spitted that out somewhere and somebody said, Hey, that’s pretty cool.

And everybody, I say something about it too, likes it. And they liked the, the polar opposite posse, you know, Renda and coffee. Right. You know, coffee snob. Yeah. It just seems so, um, oxymoronic, I guess is the right word. Hmm. So it makes it more interesting and I’ve had some people who I consider pretty sharp way above me, people to say they really liked it.

So, uh, including a fairly famous copywriter. So I was like, well, I guess I’ll go with it. And so the place that I. Decided to kind of test it was on Twitter. And, um, so I’ll put it in my, uh, my usernames T Jones and it will all be always B T Jones. That’s what I got in 2010 or nine or whatever, whenever I started Twitter.

But, uh, you know how you can put your name in there, you can change that part of it. So I added it and you know, most people just kinda know. In fact, I was on one was published the other day, a video. Uh, interview I had with the guy named Bobby from Ohio. Um, he’s a WordPress. Uh, he does a lot of things and he actually alluded to the redneck coffee snob in that.

So it’s, it’s beginning to gain traction. People kind of know it. I don’t, I don’t push it a whole lot, but.

Joe Howard: [00:06:08] Yeah, if nothing is not my memorable, I, when I saw you for the first time coming to the WPM or community, you came in retina copy’s coffee snob. And I was like, whoa, like I, to me, I was like, immediately.

It just immediately was like, I got to like talk to this guy. I got to like comment on his post. I got to like, ask him a little bit about coffee. Like if it would have seemed crazy to not ask you a little bit about like that nickname and that background. So I dig it. Yeah.

Todd Jones: [00:06:33] Yeah. I don’t really consider myself a true redneck per se, but you know, obviously I always say if you grew up in the south, there’s a little bit of redneck in you somewhere, you know?

Joe Howard: [00:06:44] And I, my wife is from Texas.

Todd Jones: [00:06:46] Okay. Yeah. So I know some people from Texas, Oklahoma, that on the surface, like on Facebook, you go, well, they look like different New York, and then you find out they’re from Texas or Oklahoma or whatever. Um, but anyways, it’s kinda cool. Um, so one of the things that, um, I went to as a kid and my dad was a public address announcer for the local dirt track. And that is definitely.

Joe Howard: [00:07:09] Forgive me, dirt track. Is that like a, like a Moto Moto. Okay, cool. Dakar.

Todd Jones: [00:07:15] Yeah. Um, dirt stock car. You, you have bikes too, that run on, um, uh, on the ground as well. And, but this is stock cars. And so now it’s not a, it’s not a redneck only, this is not a south only thing. There’s a lot of, uh, across the Midwest.

There’s a lot of dirt checker, actually, Australia too. Believe it or not. So the Midwest in general, uh, the, probably the most famous track is in Ohio. Um, it’s kind of my bucket list to go to El Dora Speedway. So, um, um, but, um, so you know, this, this area is just a. That that’s a, that’s a part of redneck in me, if you will.

When I was a kid, I went to my grandfather’s for a week and he had ponds and we’d fish let you know. So I, you know, if you grew up in the south, you’ve likely have at least a little bit of a redneck in you, if you will. And then I, the coffee snob is an evolution. I didn’t grow up loving coffee. Um, Probably didn’t drink it too much in college either.

But in graduate school, I was living in Fort worth, Texas and, uh, started drinking coffee a little bit. And then I had a buddy. He was, um, also in graduate school and he was from, we went to college together too. And he’s from west Sinegal our west Africa, Senegal, west Africa. And, um, so we met in college and just really good friends and he would invite me over and we would share coffee and sometimes he’d make friendships.

And, um, it was a fellowship deals. Like I told, uh, Laura on her podcast is we just sit around and solve the world’s problems, you know? And, uh, but then I had a friend that I worked with, a coworker who her and her husband started a coffee shop in Fort worth. The first time I ever had fresh roasted coffee blew me away.

It’s like, nothing like that. And I’m just. W we have four independent coffee shops in Conway, which is really amazing for a city, the size of 60,000. And in fact, I’m drinking coffee from round mountain coffee, which is a coffee shop, my favorite one in town. And, um, so, you know, I get plenty of options to, uh, drink.

Good, you know, for, I mean, in my old age, my stomach can’t do the bitter stuff anymore. So I’m all about light coffee now.

Joe Howard: [00:09:25] Uh, yeah. Yeah. I, I, I like a little bit of, I think it depends on my mood, but sometimes I like something little dark, a little stronger. I’m a little tired or sometimes a little something, a little more caffeine, but I’ve gotten like a light roast before somewhere.

And it’s like, well, you know, that light rose, like, so like, do I really want that? But then I’ve had a lot of that. Good ones there. So, um, I like, I wanted to rewind a little bit to what you said about like, kind of your origins around coffee. When you first started drinking coffee with, you know, your friend doing the bread and solving the world’s problems, because it is so funny how this kind of almost like.

Redneck coffee snob. Part of you actually kind of melts into what you do in the WordPress space too, which is a little more content copywriting storytelling. I mean, it’s, it’s just funny how that really actually does melt in a little bit to what you do. So maybe that’s a good like transition point to talk about a little bit of that piece of what you do in WordPress.

Todd Jones: [00:10:17] Well, it, it takes, um, it took years to get to the point where I was like, this is me. This is what I do. Um, so probably 12 years ago, 13 years ago, I had a college football blog and, um, another football blog and was when I was living in Texas. So your fall.

Joe Howard: [00:10:33] It was a conference in college football in general. Was it specific to teams in Oklahoma and Texas?

Todd Jones: [00:10:38] First one was called college football, top ten.com. Somebody got the domain. So if you go there, it’s not mine. Yeah, but, um, but it started as I, I wouldn’t do my own top 10. I’ve always had a history of doing top tens in my life. When I was a kid, I did music top tens.

Uh, don’t ask me where that come from and just kind of made up stuff. Um, I made up a lot of things as a kid, but I did my own music top Tinder for a while. I’m going to do a top 10. I mean, um, this whole internet thing allows people to do things that they, you know, they never do before. So I started college about top ten.com and it was originally only on Blogspot, which is the Google, uh, blog platform.

I’d never heard of WordPress at that time. Um, and I started doing these and, you know, just writing what I thought about stuff. Right. And I was like, Shadows of TCU football too, at the same time. And then not too far away from my home, which is Arkansas Razorbacks is always number one for me. And, um, so I was, you know, as I did that as like, how can I get more traffic, you know, start learning about what it is to have a blog.

And one of the blogs I’ve found that I read regularly was. In in the Northwest Arkansas area about the Razorbacks and they did really good content and they use a platform called WordPress. Like that’s kind of cool. Um, And then basically over a period of time, I decided, you know, I’m gonna put mine on WordPress.

Um, first year ration was blogger only second iteration. I used a, um, for Constable top 10, I use a, uh, web to build or called name a web editors as Japan, kind of the poor man’s Dreamweaver. Uh, I use that and then I use Blogspot for the blog and then I was like, we’ve got to get it all in one thing. And that’s when I decided to do WordPress.

And then I launched DFW football, which was supposed to be football about the Dallas Fort worth area, which it was. And, um, but anyway, there was a, a, uh, online, only publication in Dallas called Pegasus news. And, um, they, uh, I w applied, I applied to be a content partner that meant. Posted something that they thought was good for their audience, they would repost it, which was really cool.

And, um, they got contacted by somebody. I don’t remember if it was the sports editor or somebody else. And they said, Hey, would you be interested in doing some exclusive content for us? But what does that mean? Well, you know, write about TCU SMU, north, Texas. Oh, well.

Joe Howard: [00:13:06] I went to SMU.

Todd Jones: [00:13:09] Yeah, uh, ponies and I told me up or whatever they call it. Yeah. And, um, so that was during the June Jones era. So it was, it was pretty exciting. They were winning, they were scoring and they were winning games. Um, so, um, all three were pretty decent, not, not great, but pretty decent at the time. TCU. Yeah.

Joe Howard: [00:13:26] Were you able to think a little bit about, were you able to like grow a little bit of traffic on them? I don’t know if any of them got to the point where they were able to be like monetized through any different ways.

Todd Jones: [00:13:35] DFW football. I was able to sell some ad spots here and there. And I had some, uh, uh, Google and Amazon ads, I believe. And I like somebody bought $175 helmet. One time it netted me like 40, 50 bucks. I’m like, okay. Um, yeah, you want me to a little bit of money? Nothing I make a living off of, but, and as to say that I actually monetize it, I guess.

Joe Howard: [00:13:58] So this is a really common story. I think for people who are. Doing their first real jump into content and copywriting and creating a blog that they’re trying to grow their traffic on or to monetize.

So many stories I hear is similar to this. It’s like it was the time of learning and it was a time of experimenting and the time of like enjoying what I was writing and it didn’t make me a ton of money, but I like look where you are now. And how would you have ever gotten there without all that experience?

Todd Jones: [00:14:24] Anyway, uh, Pegasus, uh, allowed me to do exclusive content and they got me into a couple of TCU football games as impressed in the press and the press box. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, it was, uh, it was the time of wild wild west for internet sports writers. Um, you had scout and, uh, Uh, rivals both of them were really growing and they, you know, they, the, I guess I would say the Sid for TCU, his name is Mark Cohen.

You still there? Um, let me review on LinkedIn too. It’s pretty cool. Um, mark was maybe a little ahead of his time in that regard. And he had, he, uh, he questioned me about, and I told him, and a few weeks later, uh, He gave me press credentials for a game. It’s like, whoa. Okay, cool. And, um, so yeah, it was pretty cool.

Um, and I went up there and what I learned is they had kind of. All the us internet guys to the side, which is okay. We were actually in the press box and a lot of the traditional guys really didn’t mingle. It was too much. Um, there was a girl lady at the star telegram who was really sweet and she would talk to us.

She treated us like people, but, uh, the rest of them are kinda like, eh, anyway. Um, but it was, it was a really good experience and I ended up doing two games for them. Um, in the press box, I got all the. Fresh release stuff before and after for all three of the schools, they were all really, really nice to me.

I did a all DFW college football team or whatever. They cooperated with that and gave me pictures and whatnot, and we had a really good time. Um, and then I got. Credentials to the armed forces bowl, which is held at TCU and also Texas motor Speedway media day, which is a huge deal. Um, who’s who in the metroplex shows up and they do on location stuff.

And so it was a really cool experience to get to do that. Unfortunately, when I moved back to my home state, I wasn’t able to, to power lay that into some kind of work. Um, just, just didn’t work. I tried a little bit, but just. You know, I’ve been away from the state for so long. It’s kind of hard to break in.

Joe Howard: [00:16:34] Yeah, it’s a, it’s a cool segue getting into WordPress though. I have to say I had a similar experience jumping into WordPress. I’ve done some freelancing and some website builds, but I had a soccer specific site called dream start soccer.com. It was a blog to get us focused on the soccer, got a bunch of freelance people to do some.

And it was like free writing for the blog, just because I got some of my friends who like soccer was like, Hey, you want to write on this blog? And they were like, sure, got some content together. Yeah. I got some press pad badges and to get, go see some DC United games. I have a cool photo on one of my old cameras.

Henri. Who’s like a big, big arsenal historic player. He came over to New York, red bulls have a picture right in the corner of like me right next to him taking a, taking a swinging in a corner when he was playing for red bull. So it’s cool to hear someone else who’s actually had like a similar sports blog background.

Cause like having your own, um, like content content specific website to get into WordPress is a really, you know, it’s, it’s not everybody got into WordPress that way. So tell me a little bit about the work. Piece of things when you were kind of moving from WordPress to blogger, was it like, well, was it, did you feel like this was a, uh, like a, did you like WordPress when you switched to it? Was it still a little bit?

Todd Jones: [00:17:46] Yeah. Well, I was a little bit of both. I liked it better than Blogspot. I think there’s some things I couldn’t do. With Blogspot and I’m went at the time I worked at a bookstore and, you know, we used to have those back in the day. And, uh, this one was called borders and I worked there about nine years and I could get a 33% discount.

So I went and bought Lisa Sabin. Wilson’s gigantic. Dummies WordPress for dummies, like the all-in-one Aiden one, whatever 33% off. And it was like a resource book. Hey, I want to do this. I’d go look it up. Oh, okay. And then you’ve got to follow the instructions. Um, I remember I had a free theme out there pository I was before I even knew, I guess you could.

By themes until they’ve been before themes are sold. I don’t know. It was a magazine theme. And I remember the power I felt when I was like, okay, I don’t want. Like four posts on the home page. I want three. So I dug in to figure out what number to change and the PHP to get it to, you know, I was like, wow, this is like magic, you know?

And, um, I, you know, but, uh, yeah, I, uh, I put those on a WordPress. Um, you know, I think, um, I’m trying to remember. I think I didn’t well cost you about top tier and I did eventually put completely on word. Um, I kind of laid off that a little bit and I’ll put more into DFW football and that was from WordPress in the beginning.

And, um, so I learned how to put, um, the widgets on the side to put the, the, the ads in there and, and also how to do like Google ad and Amazon. At an Amazon account ad count or wherever you call it back then. And, um, I, and I sold a block to a, uh, local insurance agent. It was just kind of interesting, but because of that, I learned how to build a website.

Now I didn’t learn the proper way to install WordPress because I had a, um, a hosting account that had a push button install that was during the time that they were, they were wrapping up. So I didn’t know how to do that until I worked for an agency for a while. And I learned how to do. A manual install.

I still don’t do manual installs, but yeah, that’s another anyway. Um, I, I learned how to do that and I answered an ad from Craigslist, uh, to help a news organization do a WordPress website. And it was my first big job, if you will. Uh, wasn’t really that big and by today’s standards, that is quite tiny. But to me it was like, wow.

And then, and then they kept using me too. Do ongoing work. And, um, and that it was in the middle of that. I moved to Arkansas. So I moved to Arkansas back. Could still do this work in Arkansas, even though they were in Dallas organization. Very remote. Yeah. I mean, you know, and I, and when I, it was kind of a lifesaver a little bit.

Cause when I moved here, uh, didn’t have a whole lot, even though I’d moved with family, I didn’t have a lot of money. I w I didn’t have a job for a while and I made a little bit of money that I could, you know, get checks for, uh, that way. And, uh, so it kind of saved me a little bit in that regard and just kind of learn.

There was two things I learned now that one, I’m a halfway decent one. Um, maybe better than most people. Uh, and number two, I could build a WordPress website and customize the theme started getting better at that. I think the first theme that I used for that website was it. Brian Gardner theme, pre Genesis.

Joe Howard: [00:21:16] A studio studio press for eugenicists school.

Todd Jones: [00:21:21] Yeah, I remember whenever they came out with Genesis and all this, I was like, okay. That’s when they started doing parent themes and blah, blah, blah. I think I eventually got them to a Genesis thing, but, and it was a pain to try to like customize that for how they wanted it. And then Brian came up, I don’t know who came up with the idea.

Through his themes, you had the whole widget front page thing and I’m like, oh yeah, this is nice. And, uh, yeah. So while how things have changed was I was talking to some friends today. Uh, you don’t even need widgets on homepages. You’ve already just use blocks. You know, things have changed so much and.

Joe Howard: [00:21:57] Uh, just a widget experience. Like I’ve been, it’s been a while since I’ve built my own sites from scratch, but I still don’t know that widget area pretty well on a lot of sites. Right. I know now it’s like, you can literally edit the front page as a page or you can edit the blocks directly on that page. Right. That’s how it is. It’s full screen, full splits.

Todd Jones: [00:22:17] In between that I was doing the whole BeaverBuilder thing, so, and I still love BeaverBuilder and I’ll probably will never stop using beaver builder, but, um, you know, there, I mean, I could whip up a home page. Like I wanted it in a matter of minutes with beaver builder, and I’m just kinda stuck with that and then becoming good friends with defender.

You know, he does everything he’s kind of known early on for being the beaver builder guy. But, you know, he’s kind of figured it all out. And so he’s always helped me when, if I had got stuck with something like I need help with,

Joe Howard: [00:22:49] I’ve had beaver other guys on this podcast. A couple of times I have episode 18. I had Robbie on the podcast right before he went. Doing a year of digital nomadism. He came on the podcast and talking about how he’s preparing for that. And I also had Justin Brent on, uh, episode 54, um, just talking about beaver builder, their company, uh, title is like maintaining the normal really missionary, you know.

Todd Jones: [00:23:11] Beaver builder and the reason I went to beaver builder to begin with, um, at that time was I wanted to do these landing pages, you know, got into content marketing. And, um, oh, you got to have a landing page because you can do a lead magnet or whatever, or whatever you’re selling. And so I had Genesis at the time and in order to do full.

Break that with you had to get Dambuster and I’m like, I don’t think having to have a plugin to do this is really a good thing. I’m not, I’m not afraid to use plugins, like most people, but I thought that was just not really something that seemed very sensible. So, um, I switched to Azure. Because they had that built into their editor and I could do landing pages.

I originally got the studio press landing page thing, which I don’t think I ever used. Um, because by the time I got it, it was pretty much outdated and people were using, uh, beaver builder and landing page builders, that kind of stuff by then anyway. But, um, the concept was there and this whole evolution, because, you know, I started out of building websites.

I hate. CSS could drive me nuts and also could make me happy. Um, and so I’m not really a front end designer, but I nor am I really a developer. I always considered myself a WordPress builder. Um, not so much. So I worked with a guy in an agency who was pretty good front end CSS guy. Um, and he taught me a lot and also learned it.

This is really not my calling card, but I laugh and say, cause we, I said I have a plugin. Uh, he basically made the plugin and put my name on it. And it was a, it was an internal thing. Only it wasn’t putting the repository. Um, but he put my name on it and uh, Matt’s are very talented, uh, front end designer.

Last I heard he worked for, uh, agency out of Atlanta. Mm. And, um, he, um, he, we had Drupal sites as well, and that seemed to be what he liked better. And, um, we had a lot of stuff at that agency, not just, we had a Mondex, we had a Drupal, we had WordPress and. I might’ve had a Joomla one or two or here or there.

And, and I worked in all of them at some point, including one that one of our founders made, which was really no one else could figure out how to do it or wanted to figure out how to do it. So I always got the ticket. And after a while, I was like our started writing instructions of like, I’m not going to be here forever.

Here’s the instructions. And, uh, it was a good experience to learn some stuff that way. But over time, you know, people are like, Well, I mean, there was working, writing articles about entrepreneur stories for local publication. I’m pretty good at that. Um, and, uh, I, I learned I’m learning all the time. I was listening to a Mattie Osman.

Is that her name? She was on your podcast as well. Um, at a work fish. Yeah, Maddie’s awesome. And I was just blown away with her presentation and I’m like, because I’ve never worked in a setting like that. I don’t know. This side of content marketing. And, um, so it was very eyeopening. And, uh, and then of course, Jennifer Bourn is incredible and everything, it has the content side.

Yeah. So, um, there, there, oh yeah, yeah. You have some, uh, heroes. You’ve had some of my heroes on your podcast, so, um, but, but, uh, and I, and I’ll dip down self into the copywriting world and going down that right. It started with Ben settle emails. If you’ve ever gotten Ben’s emails, they’re very, he calls it infotainment.

Um, so I started then that went into the copy hackers side with Joanna Wiebe. And she’s the queen of conversion copywriting. I mean, I don’t know if anybody else does that, but I do. Um, I would sit there for two or three years and go to her Tuesday tutorial and I mean, it was like looking over her. And I got in on their story early on and still have an account.

Um, and she blew me away again with what she knew and you know, that Sada copywriting is like a hundred. I met email copywriters through her, uh, Nikki Elbaz. I consider a friend she got on, she would call me a friend or not. And, but she’s incredible email copywriter. She’s been featured as well. Talia Wolf.

Who’s a conversion rate optimized. I call her the CRO queen because she’s really good at that kind of stuff. Um, Of course Joanna and, uh, all the SAS stuff, funnel riders, that’s a new, that was new to me. It’s like somebody who writes the entire funnel, um, all the copy for all the tire funnel and those are not cheap.

So, um, I learned a lot about that and conversion copywriting is a different level and takes a different level of dedication and money, uh, to do. Yeah. I learned a lot.

Joe Howard: [00:28:20] Let’s talk about a little bit about conversion copywriting, cause that sounds like. Well, a ton of people who are listening to this podcast, they probably heard that word and they were like, I hope they talk more about that.

That sounds great. I totally need that. Um, so you’ve had this journey where you started these sports blogs. You actually became a good writer just by doing all this writing. You learn to put a WordPress site together. So you learned about WordPress, right? DAP that knowledge throughout the years. And now you’ve kind of shifted a little bit more into content copywriting storytelling.

You have this website called copy flight, copy flight.com. Um, and I’m just on your homepage right now. She says, fill the story sized hole in your business. You know, we help online businesses become more trustworthy by showcasing their story and expertise. Um, and I think probably a lot of that is going to be.

People see pictures, people see designs, but most people are going to be converted by what they are reading on the website. So talk a little bit about that conversion copywriting and what w where should folks start if they, you know, let’s say folks have a website, maybe they’re an agency owner. Maybe they’re.

No running a plugin company, or maybe they’re, you know, doing website builds, but they’re at that point where they have a website together, but they’re not exactly, um, generating the leads that they, that they want to from their website, from their website. Copy. Where should they start?

Todd Jones: [00:29:40] Well messaging. Um, I like to do talk about getting, learning your value proposition, or I have called it a, uh, a messaging compass.

You know, what is your messaging comp is what is it that you set that sets your direction going north? Um, but it really comes down to, you know, conversion copywriters. One of the things that we’ll do, and this is something that I don’t see in the agency world very much at all, unless they’ve worked with somebody, um, Area they do.

What’s called voice of customer research and you get that from a lot of places, including surveys and interviews. Uh, those are probably the two best places to get them from. And so copywriters conversion copywriters will get that information. They’ll do the surveys or they’ll have somebody to do them, whatever.

And they’ll go through all that content that the customer gave them. And they’ll use that to, uh, this, I call it they’re swiping customer’s words. That’s similar to, what’s essentially what they’re doing. So like taking that example. That headline, you just read from copy flight, fill this story size hole in your business.

I swipe that, uh, she doesn’t know I swiped it from her yet, but I swiped it for man Bolton. And, um, cause we were working on a project. She asked me to help her with the project for a gentleman in Canada who has a very cool story. Uh, and he does a lot of philanthropy work and she said, yeah, he just needs, uh, we just need to, there’s a story size hole that needs to be filled or something like that.

That’s good, but that’s like, so you’re listening to your customers and they go, well, I really like using the P bus. Um, they just make life so much easier for us. We don’t even have to think about our website. Well, you take that those words and you’re like, okay. Swipe it, if they think that someone else does too, swipe it and it may be, make your life easier.

And don’t even worry about your website. Boom. I mean, that’s a crude example, but that’s what I.

Joe Howard: [00:31:34] That’s a great example. I actually, I recently did that. I don’t think I knew that terminology, but with the WP MRR virtual summit, I’m actually gonna open up our homepage right now because I did this exact thing.

I was looking at our survey. We did last year for people who, um, It was our pre event survey of people who were, who were, what do you want to learn from this? And one of the things, one of the big takeaways was people who wanted to, I’m going to, I’m just going to read the check box here on the homepage.

It says you should most definitely attend the WP MRR virtual summit, if and there are five checkbox items. And the last one is you want to drive more passive income, make your business less stressful to run, achieve financial security and spend more time with friends and family. And that yeah. Swiped, totally swiped, almost word for word in a few different answers.

We got like a hundred plus answers. So I was just looking for patterns and those are the biggest patterns, so swiped through them on the website. And so I, I totally agree with you. And now I, I know that because I can now put what you’ve just told me into. Oh yeah. Did do a form of that. So I’m totally with you.

Todd Jones: [00:32:36] Yeah. If you, if you want to go down that hole a little bit more, that rabbit hole, uh, voice of customer research is what they call it. I picked this up first from Joanna. Um, she kept talking about voice of customer research. I’m like, what in the world is she talking about? You have to realize that Joanna and her disciples and there’s several of them.

Um, a couple of. That well, Anna would be one of them. And then Joe cluck, a and, and Josh Garafalo and I’ve had Josh on my, uh, copycat show, uh, uh, Joe, uh, I’m sorry. Joel runs a case study, buddy, if you haven’t. Um, our, uh, um, Jennifer say she wanted. Agencies do more case studies, which is imperative. That’s what Joe, he does a, I mean, Joel does that for SAS companies.

So B2B SAS companies. Uh, but anyway, um, I learned that Joanna for the first time about voice of customer research, that there’s a lady named Hannah, Hannah, sham G. And I did actually, I have a video on my YouTube channel. Like I’ll be flat YouTube channel with her. Um, I got her. I, I talked to her in the comment on for alive, uh, when I was trying to push the website copy framework, uh, at the time.

And, um, she, she is kind of like your customer research specialist. Um, she does projects for people, uh, larger clients, that kind of thing, but she has a little bit of content out there and yeah. Perfect person to follow for learning more about the sea. I know who to tell you to go to, but, um, conversion copywriting is all about writing copy that will convert.

I mean, that’s just very simply, and you know that by, uh, you have to track it, right? You have to track clicks and then do AB tests. Right.

Joe Howard: [00:34:14] I was just thinking a little bit about AB testing because I’ve done a ton of AB testing. But think if I would like go back in time two or three years to the, you know, more of the beginning of WP bus, I probably put a lot more time and energy into what you’re talking about here in terms of conversion, copywriting, as opposed to AB testing.

I think there’s AB testing has its importance, but I think a lot of probably 80% of the stuff I was AB testing was like, what was it going to get me. 2% better conversion, maybe like the luckiest at the place possible. But if I was doing copywriting conversion, like if I was really learning that and I put 20 hours and really learning that myself, or maybe even hiring like a really good copywriter, like you could maybe double or triple or quadruple your conversion just based on having.

Copy. That is well-researched. That is swiped from the people you’re talking to. I think that multiple, I could probably get a better return. Although copywriting is obviously expensive and AB testing, you can go in AB test, whatever you want to with a free plugin, but.

Todd Jones: [00:35:13] Don’t, don’t AB test until you’ve had a copywriter to do. And, and, and by the way, most converted operators can know how to do. Yeah, right. They’re very familiar with hot jar and that kind of stuff that blew me away to see, I thought only web people knew this stuff right. While getting into the conversion God, out in community. And they’re talking about Hotjar and other stuff they’re very well versed in that they’re marketers, but it’s basically, yeah.

You know, you, you do the research, you come up with the copy, you probably come up variations like copy. Right. But it is really big on a landing page and, and, um, this was, you know, another reason. Yeah. Listen to Italia Wolf, cause she’s a conversion rate optimization expert and um, she’s, you know, and she, so the word that she taught me that I like to use, I have changed how I talk about value props on landing pages and home pages.

Now I say desired outcome. That is what you need to push your desired outcome. What is the desired outcome? Now it’s the same thing as a value proposition, but he helps me wrap my brain around and a little better to call it desire.com. So it’s a, that’s kind of the emphasis I’ve started putting on headlines on their homepage and about page and landing pages is what is that desired outcome?

When you think in terms. Uh, what is it, uh, begin with in mind? Uh, that Steve Coby that said that right. Begin with the ending in mind, that’s essentially what you’re doing. What is the desired outcome? And, uh, what is it like what you did with the WP MRR summit? That, that fifth thing where you’re swiping copy from what people were saying in the surveys. That’s the design.

Joe Howard: [00:36:46] Yeah. I L I really liked that idea. And I liked that you made it explicit and you really put like a label on it. Cause I think a lot of people have this kind of like they have that idea rattling around in their brain, but until it’s like really explicitly laid out and said, it’s hard to make it really concrete and create a real like action plan about how to do that.

I did something that actually very similar with the WP MRR community recently, you’ve probably been in there and seen some different stuff on the left side. Now we’ve got different spaces. I saw a post by Rosie Sherry who was like big and like the community building world. I’ve been trying to get into more into that, following more people on Twitter and learn more about how to build communities since I’m doing it at WP MRR.

And she wrote this post that was like, totally shifted my thinking. And I’m paraphrasing a little bit here, but it was really about like, people have these vanity metrics of like how many people are in my community or how big is my community or how many people, how is it, what pace is it growing at? But the biggest.

Indicator of a successful community is like, does it help people get from a to B or a to Z? Like, does it help them get their desired outcomes? Because if not, then like what’s the point of a community. I’m sure. You know, some communities may have the point of just hanging out and like being there. And that’s cool too, nothing wrong with that. But I wanted to build a community that was like, I want to help. That’s what I liked.

Todd Jones: [00:38:01] That’s what I liked about your community. When I got there. It was, it was obvious in the beginning that you were, you know, even though. Quote unquote, an agency. Um, it was obvious that your, you had a desire to help people go from here to here, uh, where they have some, you know, recurring income.

I have a tribe. Okay. I can go hang out with my tribe. I don’t have to go to your community to hang out. Although I do, I like to go in there and hanging out. I like to use Jeff’s. Um, but, um, you know, Yeah. Yeah. And, uh, there, somebody told me a long time, well, not earlier this year, Hey man, you need to do, uh, a Jif workshops.

Like I’m sitting here pondering it and then Jen Robinson actually did it. And I’m like, this is awesome. So if you’re looking for gift workshop, uh, Jen Robbins, uh, she’s a copywriter from Oklahoma. Uh, she did do, she did do. And, uh, did a very good job with it. So, uh, I just point people there going to do the Jif workshop and, um, but, um, and she’s, she’s lovely.

She’s really a sharp lady and, um, but yeah, I think. That’s what I liked about your community when I got there. So you’re obviously trying to help people do you’re. Yeah. We’re having fun, but I won’t take from here to here and then you have the podcast and you have the summit, which is coming up, all this stuff I didn’t know about for a guy in the community.

Uh Devinder. I was like, I mean, I knew who you were and I knew w uh, WP bus, but I didn’t know that you had all this stuff.

Joe Howard: [00:39:23] And it’s like pretty big space. And there are a lot of people doing good stuff out there, so, yeah. Yeah. Cool. Okay. I, I was totally digging that stuff we were talking about, about conversion copywriting.

I want to talk about a little bit more about storytelling and you’ve mentioned like how to build a bow pages. It’s almost kinda interesting, but anything else around like conversion copywriting that you have on your mind right now? That’s like, I can’t talk about version.

Todd Jones: [00:39:49] We follow the masters to follow the masters. I mean, you know, I’ve I’m of the person. I don’t consider myself an expert at any one thing. Mm. I find somebody smarter than me and I’m just trying to learn from them. And as I really, I just kind of buckled into the, uh, the joint, a weak copy hacker space for about three years. And I’m not sure I wouldn’t, I didn’t really have a purpose other than just to learn more.

I mean, I thought I might become one of those and, and now I just like use it. Do what I do better.

Joe Howard: [00:40:19] Um, do those really? Or are they like, um, yeah, like a slack group or like a sort of a community? Or is it more like an email list or.

Todd Jones: [00:40:27] I should say, um, she has courses, which I did take one of them, or I shouldn’t say I bought one of them, I should say.

Um, They don’t really have a community per se, but I felt like the Tuesday tutorial Tuesday was a community cause like totally it’s the same people came every, every Tuesday. And, uh, but then the copywriter club, which is a Facebook group run by a couple of her disciples, I call them disciples, uh, Rob marsh and Kira hug.

They’re they’re lovely. Hmm, uh, Kira, uh, her last name is hug, but from everything I’ve been told, if you meet her, she will actually hug you. So, uh, she’s a hugger, but, um, and she may be taller than Rob. Um, she’s pretty tall, but they’re, they’re wonderful people and, and, uh, they have a podcast as well. And, um, so, um, A lot of the people who would hang out with copy hackers would, were in there.

That was kind of like unofficial group. Really? If you will. I met other people, had a Mon Zabi on my copy chat show last year. And she’s a copy of, she was really kind of out launch funnel. Um, and she has done, she’s an amazing young woman and she’s like 26 years old or something. And once she’s done and her, I mean, it makes me feel pretty small.

What she’s done in such a short time. She was just smart, really, really smart. And she launched a, a course platform, um, called terrain. So, um, she’s a, she’s a sharp lady. Uh, but that, I, I just kind of called that the community. I mean, uh, Joel, Josh, all those guys, I mean, in Amman and Italia and you know, they, and they all have their own little offshoot too.

Right. Cause they all have their own community and um, but I just. Make a habit of learning from people who are smarter than me. Um, hopefully it makes me smarter and better at what I do. Uh, I don’t have some kind of illusion about being the smartest person in the room. I don’t really want to be the smartest person in the room.

And, uh, so hanging out with, uh, people like that, um, I don’t know that it’s my lot in lot to be a tier one conversion copywriter, but there’s no doubt. I learn a ton from, from hanging out with them. And I do. I learned along the way that I’m probably better at telling the story. Uh, and, and so, no, I’m not great at that either.

I just learned to get better and. So, you know, when I was writing for talk business politics, one of the things I realized along the way was that I actually am writing the story of some startups and tech people in the state. And in some, it was different forms, right? So I’m at Barcamp. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a Barcamp, but we had a.

Three of them back in the early part of the decade. And the last one was at the university of Arkansas, little rock, little rock is about 30 miles from here. It’s a, the closest big city. And so I was down there for that and kind of had my talk business and Baltics hat on and a guy that was there who had been in the startup community in little rock and had successfully launched a startup and grown it.

Um, and a guy I know from when, before he started the start up was there. He came up to me. He goes, Todd, I think I’m ready to tell him a story. Okay. So I had the honor, I guess, writing the first feature on that, uh, app. And, um, they just keep killing it as far as, as far as I can tell. And, um, so, you know, I’ve done that.

I’ve written stories and, you know, I, I just really find stories, stories, interesting. The stories of people. I know some people have. Dramatic stories and others. Right. But there’s always something there. And, um, yeah, so, and probably the best representation of that is the about page. Right. And Bob Dunn and I have this conversation a lot, a lot product offers, especially he says, no WooCommerce space do not have that pages.

And he’s like trying to convince them to have an about page. And, um, so yeah. Yeah. Um, and so having a good about page, I mean, it’s credibility, man. It’s just, you got to buy, I mean, you know, you got to buy something from somebody that you just met off Craigslist and the dark alley on the other side of town.

No, you’re going to buy a product from somebody. You don’t have a clue. They’re going to be around it five years. It’s the difference between some, some new product owner who doesn’t it. You have an about page. You don’t know anything about them and buying from Sandy. Right Pippin there’s name. Uh, you had him on your podcast too.

I noticed, um, I have products from. Group, everybody knows them. They’ve been around. Um, you know, you, you, you got to give some credibility, uh, lend some credibility who you are. And I think you can do that with a better about page. I was looking at yours and you have what I call the about page suite. Um, cause you have multiple pages, it’s kind of a hub deal.

And uh, you know, I was looking at Jennifer’s and of course I had no shock, one shocked at all that hers was really well done. I think most of the WordPress people I know who have had a copywriter to do it. Consult have done better about pages. Uh, people tend to leave it short and, um, there’s so much you can do.

Uh, I’ve kind of built a formula over the last few years of how I do it. And, um, so I have a productized service called, uh, custom crafted about pages and, um, which, you know, And then there’s, there’s some interview process. You have to interview you to get your story. Um, and, um, I, and as part of I, I’m wanting to re read that I do some stuff, but my website copy framework has the about page framework in it as well.

But again, like I said, I need to update some stuff, including that. And I’m thinking about doing a offshoot for the about page only to push that out. But, um, and you know, It’s amazing. I guess, you know, we’re the group that we’re a part of you and I work press agencies, SAS companies. We’re very technical for the most part.

And I get it. We, we thrive off of feature, uh, features. Right? So, uh, just tell me the specs. Just tell me that. Cause we’re more logical people and I get that. Um, there’s still a room for knowing the story behind it, knowing what the benefits it. Which is basically storytelling. When you think about it, um, benefits of the features and, um, most people don’t make those decisions like we do.

There’s still an element of, uh, emotion connected to it. And, um, it’s just tapping into that. It’s persuasion. Um, I learned about the persuasion principles, principles of persuasion. Robert Cialdini has named me. I learned about that from the conversion copywriting. So, um, I think likability is a big one and you can solve that a lot with a good story about, yeah.

Joe Howard: [00:47:33] Yeah. I like, I like to think of an about page as, cause I think for most companies and definitely a lot of companies in the WordPress space, like not everybody is going to be your. Not only that not everybody is going to be in your target market. Like your target market is not the world, like all 18 through 65 roles.

Like that’s just, it’s not, it doesn’t really make sense. You probably want to target a specific, smaller niche or audience and really attract those kinds of people. And in the process you may not attract, um, other people, I think that’s okay. In fact, I think it’s more than, okay. I think that’s actually probably more beneficial to really know who your target audience is and right.

Double down on that, right. You always have to figure out who those people are, but once you do, you’ve doubled down on that. And then with your about page, you can really like super target those people. Because if those kinds of people that read about pages, like, man, you can really like if those are tech people, like you can really like, you know, every bio of everybody on your teammate can have their like favorite piece, like their favorite video game or their favorite piece of tech.

And although that may not be the difference. The sale. It will definitely like, keep them going down the funnel. Hey, these guys are kind of like me, like, are these people? That is.

Todd Jones: [00:48:45] What I like to tell people is that everybody really does like storytelling. And if you don’t believe that, let me ask you a question, which is better star wars or star Trek, and why star wars better?

That always gets passion. Does it not? I mean, everybody’s got a theory about which one’s better. I mean, I like star wars better. Every tech person has either watched star wars or star Trek and obsessed over. I mean, I’ve watched big bang theory. I mean, they’re talking about it too. Uh he’s the, every tech Spotify show ever made was, is mentioned in the big thing theory.

Um, and then I tell people it’s like, look disease. Does does pretty well with money. What’s that MRR thing. You’re talking about a monthly recurring revenue. They do pretty well. And all they do is tell stories. So, uh, you can’t negate the power of storyteller. Uh, we use it every day and, um, in different ways, I mean, if you like music, you like storytelling, you know?

Um, and I gravitate to the songs with the story. For the most part. Um, one of the most famous Arkansan musician is a guy named Johnny Cash ever again. Johnny Cash. That’s pretty much what he did and his songs. He told stories. So Johnny Cash of WordPress space. So cool, man. Yeah. Oh, I can, I can, I can pull it all up and work, trust Johnny Cash, but Hey, I like it.

Joe Howard: [00:50:10] Thanks for jumping on Todd. As we’ve been here for 45 minutes, this has been an awesome episode. I appreciate you coming on. I want to start wrapping up, but I first want to make sure people and folks know where to find you online. Where are they? Where can they go to check out the website, social media and all that.

Todd Jones: [00:50:24] Uh, T Jones on Twitter, which I’ve been on 11, 12 years, something like that. I did that before Facebook Tati jones.net on Facebook and a copy flat.com is the website. And I’m on LinkedIn as well. I’m not on Tik TOK, so don’t try to find me on Tik TOK. I don’t make funny videos of myself, but, uh, I do actually have an Instagram too, but I don’t get on too much.

Joe Howard: [00:50:49] Cool. Thanks, man. And last but not least, I always like to ask our guests to ask our podcast listeners for a little apple podcast review. So if you wouldn’t mind asking folks who are listening for little review for us, I’d appreciate it.

Todd Jones: [00:51:00] Oh, I was supposed to ask to guess, yeah. Hey guys, uh, you need to give Joe A. Good review on apple podcasts.

I know it helps his, uh, his rating and it probably pushes him up the algorithm a little bit. So, uh, it’s a great podcast. You should go back and listen to all the others too.

Joe Howard: [00:51:01] Hey, there you go. Thanks man. Appreciate it. Uh, if folks want to leave a review, just WP mrr.com/review.

Redirect you right there. If you were on a apple or a Mac device. A new listener to the show. We’ve got 150 ish older episodes. Just go to WP, mrr.com forward slash podcast. Got a search bar right there where you can search for any keyword you’re having a challenge with right now. Go and listen to an older episode and help yourself grow your business.

Make your business more comfortable, et cetera. Community DWP, mrr.com. If you want to join Todd and I both hanging out in the WP MRR community, we’re all about just growing our monthly recurring revenue together, giving folks a good space to do that. And if you join, you will also automatically be registered for the upcoming WP MRR virtual summit.

Coming up September 21st through 23rd, just sign up again, automatically registered. That is it for this week on the show, we will be in your earbuds again next Tuesday, Todd Thanksgiving renowned, man.

Todd Jones: [00:52:10] Appreciate it, man. Thanks for having me on.

Joe Howard: [00:52:12] You had a problem lady, everybody.

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