#155 Mail-Right Show With Special Guest Rick Cesari
How To Build A Great Local Brand!
We have a great guest here Rick Cesari to say that Rick has a lot of experience connected to building online brands would be a slight understatement. Rick is direct marketing expert who has worked with brands like OxiClean and GoPro. During the Show we discuss why its so important for real estate agent to build their own local brand and how video can be a great tool to achieve this at little initial financial cost!
Rick has been a pioneer in the Direct Response advertising industry since the early 90Тs, and has used Brand Response strategies to help build many iconic brands from scratch such as Juiceman, Sonicare, The George Foreman Grill, OxiClean, Clarisonic, Rug Doctor, Momentus Golf and many others. Rick has helped take companies like GoPro from a start-up to over a billion dollars in sales in just a few short years.
The author of “Buy Now, Creative Marketing that gets Customers to Respond to You and Your Marketing“, my newest book, Building Billion Dollar Brands, is due out in Summer of 2018.”
Rick continues to be on the cutting edge of new Brand Response advertising campaigns, creating and implementing innovative cross-platform strategies with digital and mobile ventures for his clients and is currently focusing on video marketing as a leading media direct response platform for increasing product sales.
Here’s A Full Transcription Of Our Interview With Rick Cesari
Jonathan: Welcome back folks to the Mail-Right Show. It’s episode 155. I’ve got a great guest and I’ve got my co-host who is a bit hot and bothered because it’s getting rather hot in California. Our guest looks a little cooler though and that’s Rick Cesari of Direct Branding. Rick is a bit of a legend in direct branding and we’ve got some great topics in this episode. Rick, would you like to quickly introduce yourself to the listeners and viewers?
Rick: Yeah. Well, first, I wanted to thank both you and Robert for having me on your show. I’m really excited about it and hope we can share some great information that your listeners or viewers can put into use in their own businesses.
Jonathan: That’s great. And Robert, would you like to quickly introduce yourself?
Robert: Sure. I am the founder of InboundREM.com which is a Real Estate Marketing company that focuses on SEO and lead generation for Real Estate.
Jonathan: Sorry about that. I interrupted Robert, didn’t I? I am the CEO of Mail-Right. And what is Mail-Right? We’re a SaaS platform that helps you get more leads for your Real Estate business and we do that by extensive platform with an emphasis on Facebook. So Rick, looked at your CV and what can you say. First of all, you’ve got a new book coming out. Would you quickly like to tell us a bit about the new book?
Rick: Sure. That’s great. Usually, we end with that but I’d love to mention it. First of all, my first book I wrote is called Buy Now. It’s available on Amazon. That came out in 2011 and talked about some of the earlier brands we built like Juiceman and Breadman and Sonicare and OxiClean. This new book comes out in the next couple weeks. It’s called Building Billion Dollar Brands and I don’t want to scare your listeners away because almost every case study in the book started as a very small company.
We go into quite a bit of depth on how we helped GoPro grow from a startup to a billion dollars and a lot of lessons in there and a lot of stories that could help your listeners or viewers in their own business. And that will be out in the next couple weeks. You can pre-register for it at my website, RickCesari.com and as we talk a little bit more today, I have a few things that your listeners can download, the 5 Keys to Building a Great Brand and something on creating videos called Video Persuasion that helps them create better videos if they’re using that Marketing format. You mentioned Facebook so we can talk a little bit about video on Facebook at some point too.
Jonathan: That sounds fantastic. Obviously, I feel this could be a very valuable conversation to our listeners and viewers because I think what a lot of Real Estate Agents don’t realize is that if they’re going to be successful in this industry, what they’ve got to really do is build a local brand, a local brand about them or the small team that works for them and that’s what their really engaged in. Would you agree with that Rick?
Rick: Yeah. Absolutely. That’s probably the single most important thing but let me get something really clear to your listeners, viewers is that I don’t believe in spending a lot of money on “building your brand”. I believe in spending money using a lot of direct response advertising that’s going to generate leads or revenue, whatever channel used. Whether that’s Facebook, online, whatever and doing it or putting the information out there in a way where you’re generating a response and then building your brand by providing lots of great content and hopefully, at the end of the day, the goal of that is to create leads which generate sales, which generate revenue that you can plug back into what you’re doing and broaden your personal brand. But I absolutely 100 percent agree with you that people should be focused on building their own personal brand. There’s so many benefits to it. It would be silly not to do that.
Jonathan: Got a question, Robert?
Robert: Actually, I don’t know that I had a question as much as I, so I’ve been in sales, marketing my entire life and I know some of the other products that you’ve represented and I was just kind of hoping that you might give us a very brief rundown of some of the products that you have repped in the past Rick because I think a lot of our audience will know many of them and get as excited as I am to hear what you have to say.
Rick: Yeah. That’s a great question. It’s really interesting because you mentioned a lot of your listeners are in the Real Estate field. I actually graduated with a degree in Biology and kind of didn’t know what I was going to do once I graduated. I started reading a lot of books on the best way to make money or how other people made a lot of money and I’ll date myself right now. This goes back to the late 80s. And it turned out the books I was reading, it said a lot of millionaires were made in Real Estate so I was very interested. I started reading every kind of book on how to buy and sell Real Estate, invest in it. I actually started going to a lot of seminars at the time. I’m a big believer in educating yourself as a means or investing yourself as a means of getting successful. But I went to this one seminar, I was living in Florida at the time, they taught how to buy a distressed property.
And I went out and did what the person said and in a week, bought a house, turned around and sold it, made $12,000 and I was kind of hooked and I wanted to keep doing this investing in Real Estate but I called up a local business magazine and told them about my story. They actually did a story in the magazine and that really helped boost the attendance at these local Real Estate seminars. And the owner of the business asked me to work with them and I just had a knack for Marketing and we were able to build that up to one of the largest Real Estate businesses. This was the same time, I don’t know if you guys have ever gone back this far. But there was a guy named Robert Allen who wrote a book called Nothing Down and. These are kind of like the original pioneers in doing Real Estate seminars.
And so, that’s how I got started in Marketing and quickly moved on. I was passionate about health so I used the concepts I learned in promoting Real Estate seminars to promote Juicing or Health and Nutrition seminars and really use the same exact Marketing model but what we were marketing was just a different and we built up the Juiceman and Breadman brands and we grow that business from 0 to 75 million in a little under 4 years and then sold it to a company in Chicago called Salton Housewares.
Salton came out with a product called the George Foreman Grill and we did all the Marketing for the George Foreman Grill. I’m living in Seattle at the time. I still am here now and there was a local company called that had a sonic toothbrush and helped them market and create the Sonicare brand. Later on, the same management team did the Clarisonic which was a skin brush, again, very successful. People started coming to us. And one of the people that came to us was Joel and Max Appel, the founders of OxiClean and we did all the early Marketing for OxiClean. When I say early, literally, they were only selling on the Home Shopping Network and we did a lot of infomercials and television marketing with Billy Mays. I don’t know if you guys have ever seen him or heard of him.
All this was fun because it was fun products. It really worked and we were able to build up the businesses very quickly with the Marketing we were doing. And probably the last more recent or more relevant one that I worked on was the GoPro camera and I have a great story. I met the founder down at the Outdoor Retailing show in Salt Lake City. He was a surfer and he was currently just selling those to surfers out of the back of a Volkswagen bus. And I told him, I said, “Hey. We can build this into a big business.” And he had a lot of passion and vision and at the time, even though it was early, he thought he could build it into a billion dollar company. And we started working with him using a lot of 30 second TV spots and YouTube Marketing and they did get to a billion dollars in sales in a little less than 8 years. So a lot of great stories but also a lot of great information I can share on the Marketing techniques we used that are applicable to your listeners as well.
Robert: Sure. I would be fascinated to know what your take on, so these are all amazing stories but many, if not most of the services that you mentioned are product driven. Real Estate is in a way product driven but as a Residential Sales Agent, which is 80 to 95 percent of our audience, they’re going to be thinking about their neighborhood in Wichita, Kansas and they’re selling single family residences. So I’m interested to know, you run into that person in the grocery store and they’re talking about marketing their business. What do you tell them? “I’m Rick Cesari. I’m a legend. What do I tell you on how to market your business?”
Rick: Yeah. We have to kind of just take things down to a smaller level but the basic principles are the same. I’m a big believer. Every success I’ve had I’ve done by putting information out. You hear a lot about Content Marketing. Content Marketing is educating the consumer. You guys do podcasts which is really great content. I would tell that person to start doing, first of all, they have to start with a website, basic common sense.
As much good information that they could put on there that’s going to help their end user, once someone comes to their website is going to be the most beneficial to them and you know because you both are in lead gen and you’re driving people either to the top of a funnel or to a website but you have to have a great user experience when they get to the website and one of the best ways to do it is have really good applicable content and that works on a big national level but also works on a small Wichita area level as well. The other thing, as much as education, good content out there but I think also probably one of the single most effective tools and this will probably come across like common sense that I use in all my Marketing is really good authentic testimonials. Now they have this website.
They might be just starting in Real Estate or they’re already down the road a little bit. Anybody that they’ve had a chance to help and have had some success, they should automatically ask that person if they’d be willing to give them a written testimonial, an audio testimonial and the best yet is a video testimonial. And I don’t know about you but if I go to a website and I see 10 different people saying, “Hey. This guy really helped me.” or, “This woman really helped me.”, I’m going to be more inclined to use that person’s service than not. Kind of just the same things I use in the bigger Marketing are very applicable for a smaller local level Marketing as well.
Robert: Okay. Many of these things are things that Jon and I have talked about in the past but it’s interesting to hear how we can talk to a lot of different Marketing experts located all over the country who’ve written books on various parts of that topic and yet, they all kind of say the same thing. You know, become an expert. I’ve said the same thing. I love the fact that you just said the same thing. And also, part of the services that we both provide are websites but we didn’t cue that up for you. You said that yourself. I don’t provide that service because I am a service provider. I provide that service because I believe that is what is needed to achieve the end result.
Robert: If you can get away with just having a YouTube video up and a link that pointed somebody someplace, that would be the service I provided. But having a place where you house all that information, testimonials and information about the person that provides the testimonials and then Real Estate listings, all that information combined is the way to get good conversion in Real Estate, Residential Real Estate or at least that’s the opinion we have.
Rick: Yeah. Absolutely. One of the things we mentioned very early in the interview, I give away something on my website RickCesari.com called the 5 Keys to Building a Great Brand. Now, it doesn’t matter if that brand’s a product or a personal brand. Again, if I met that person in a grocery store and they’re a Real Estate Agent, there’s thousands of Real Estate Agents across the country. One of the very first things I do when I’m building a brand is find out what the unique selling proposition is.
Why is this product unique compared to every other product out there? And a lot of times, it might just have to do with how you position yourself in the marketplace. You know, the unique selling. Let me just give you an example. How many different coffee brands are out there? There’s literally thousands and thousands of coffee brands. And how would you stand out? I’ll just use one quick example.
It’s an extreme example but there was a little coffee shop in Saratoga, New York that basically served coffee to a lot of blue collar workers and one of the things they noticed is that they all would order their strongest type of coffee. So, basically, his coffee was failing but he basically took one of this coffee blends and renamed it Death Wish Coffee – The World’s Strongest Coffee and basically created an online brand and Amazon product which really differentiated his coffee from every other coffee in the marketplace and that differentiation is the reason that people will gravitate a brand or a personal brand. So when your listeners are out there and they’re going through and doing a lot of similar type Marketing, it really all starts with, what do you do that’s different or better than anybody else in the marketplace and then how do you communicate that to people so that they follow you? That’s one of the key things we do at any level of Marketing.
Jonathan: That’s just fantastic. I’m sorry Robert.
Robert: No. I know it’s break time.
Jonathan: Yeah. We’re going to go for our break folks and we’ll be back and we’ll continue this fascinating discussion with Rick. It’s just been amazing. We’ll be back in a few moments folks.
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Jonathan: We’re coming back. We’ve had an amazing conversation. Off you go, Robert. I interrupted you.
Robert: So, two things. Number one. For those of our listeners that are really just podcast listeners and there are quite a few of those, guys, for you, I’m going to spell Rick’s name. His name is Rick. His last name is C – E – S – A – R – I. So that would be RickCesari.com if you want to go check out his website and look for this downloadable content that he’s mentioning. That’s number one. Number two. I like to try to take broad concepts Rick and add a little bit more specificity to them so that our newer Realtor users can have something actionable. So my suggestion would be if you’re local Realtor and you’re trying to create your brand, look at an angle on the service side that you can provide that nobody else can provide and that might be, for instance, you might do video walkthroughs. I’m a big believer in YouTube Rick. I love the fact that a Realtor can market off their own mobile phone camera. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Just need to have something interesting to say to the camera. And so, I would pick something that you might be passionate about that has to do with Real Estate, whether that’s the yard, the landscaping, the way the house is built, what it is built with, anything, history of the builders. Pick a topic and become an expert in it and if you talk about that topic, you’ll probably be surprised how many people that that will appeal to.
Rick: I agree with everything you’re saying. Even if your expertise is delivering better service, you’d be surprised how many people out there aren’t good at that. And again, if I just talk about the 5 keys, every one of them basically are things we’ve touched on a little bit but the first is the unique selling proposition, the second is positioning. How are you positioning yourself in the marketplace? What’s a category in your marketplace that you can focus on and do a little bit different that gives you an opportunity to grow? The third one is delivering value and that value can be better service, better content, better education, all that information that can be on your website.
The next two we talked a little bit about and that is listen to your customers. Your customers will tell you exactly what you’re doing right. They’ll also tell you exactly what you’re doing wrong and you can make those changes as you’re moving forward. And the last is authentic testimonials. I want to touch on something that you said because we’re talking about my book Billion Dollar Brands but I’ve already started my next book which is called Video Persuasion and it’s about using video, you’re a big believer in YouTube, and getting people to take a specific action. What is really important for building a personal brand is basically being your own spokesperson and a lot of people are afraid that, “Oh, I’m not an actor. I can’t do that.” The authenticity that comes from being your own spokesperson is more important than proper pronunciation of anything. People love that and people respond to your personality and that’s going to be the best way to start a following. You’re making YouTube videos where you’re your own spokesperson and people get a chance to see you on a regular basis.
Robert: Again, we’re saying
Rick: Nothing new but that’s what’s important.
Jonathan: It’s just fantastic because we’ve been hammering away. Rick came on board as my co-host about 3 or 4 months ago.
Robert: Robert. I’m Robert. He’s Rick.
Jonathan: Sorry. I got confused, Robert. We’ve been hammering away Rick about all this. But it’s great to get such strong confirmation of what we’ve been saying from a true expert like yourself.
Rick: We want people to know it works on a small level. It works on a big level. One thing they have to understand. There’s basic foundational Marketing principles. Human nature doesn’t change. What works in a small level, really what magnifies up to a big level is how well you’re able to choose the right Marketing vehicle and getting it out there.
Rick: The principles work basically.
Jonathan: Let’s say we go back in, you get suddenly younger a little bit and you decide a new career and it’s Real Estate. If you were starting off again as a Real Estate Agent, how would you use YouTube and video to kind of promote yourself? Can you put some kind of structure upon the broad statements that we’ve made so far?
Rick: Yeah. No, absolutely. I want your listeners to know that I’m not a technical person. I’m not going to say, “Oh, here’s the kind of camera you need to use.” That type of thing. I’m more focused on strategy and content. Let me just give you, because we want to talk about video and I just want to give you just a real quick, a few video statistics that I’ve researched for my book coming up. Video is powerful because viewers retain 95 percent of a message when they watch it in a video compared to only 10 percent when reading it in a text. Social video generates 1,200 percent more shares than just text or images. Using video in an email leads to 200 to 300 percent increase in click through and including video on landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80 percent. Now, again, this isn’t anything new to you guys.
You do a lot of Facebook Marketing. But I just really want to get across to your listeners how powerful video is and that they need to incorporate it in their Marketing. So, to answer your question, if I was just getting started now, it would go back to building my own website that’s personally branded. Obviously, it’s very easy to do with the different resources that are out there so you don’t have to hire a company to do that. There’s so many different companies now that you can kind of plug in and do that. And then, I would be focusing on a couple areas, creating good content for in there. I would definitely do video. One of the things with whatever you do, whether it’s video, audio, blogging, there has to be a consistency to it.
I wrote down a little note. I think you guys are on episode 155. You can’t just put out one video and expect that to be the answer to what you’re doing. If you’re going to start doing something, whether it’s a blog, YouTube videos, make a goal to do one every 30 days. Then, as you get the knack of it, one every 2 weeks and then maybe one every week. I had people come up to me and say, “Oh, you should never send more than one email a week.” And some of the most successful companies email sometimes several times a day. Because the thing is if somebody’s interested in your message and your information, they usually want more of it and they get frustrated if they don’t. Again, going back, creating my own website.
Basically, I would just start populating it initially if you can’t do video in the beginning, like I said, just with written content but at some point, you’ve got to get to doing the video and basically taking that and then I think this is where, not to complicate things, but you have to be able to share it through several different, we repurpose video all the time to, not only use on YouTube but Instagram, Facebook. So when we’re shooting one piece of video, it might seem like it might be a little expensive but we’re going to repurpose that and use it through almost every social platform there is. Because here’s the thing, I’m a big believer in not forcing people to go through one particular channel or your best customers don’t come from one particular channel and the more you can get your information out in front of people in different ways the way they like to consume it, the more effect or benefit that you’re going to have.
Jonathan: Yeah. It’s amazing. I think that’s the beauty of video is that it is so you can repurpose it in so many ways, can’t you Rick?
Rick: Yeah. Absolutely. Just use the testimonial, for example. When I sit down with somebody to do a testimonial, I basically interview them like you guys are interviewing me today and I’ll talk to that person 20 minutes of the short end but sometimes if there’s a lot to say, as long as 40 minutes. So now, all of a sudden, I have 40 minutes of content and I don’t use that all at once but that is the kind of the start of a video library. And usually, I’ll a 1 or 2 minute sound bite or edit together a couple different parts of the testimonial and really you’re just starting to get a little content. And the more video you have access to, the more you can repurpose it and use it through these different channels. So don’t go out and look for a testimonial from someone you just sold a house to and say, “Tell me what you like.” Ask them if you can sit down and interview them, just like we’re doing here today, for 15 or 20 minutes and get a whole bunch of content as opposed to one little sound bite.
Jonathan: Yeah. It’s much more natural, isn’t it?
Robert: I think I may have learned something. I’ve gone against that. I’ve told a lot of my clients just to do one minute quick snippets, making the assumption that the client is going to be short on time. But you know, the funny thing is now that I’m really deeply thinking about that, I think that that’s me casting my own relationship with Real Estate Agents who are always too busy and never have enough time. I bet you anything that if they’ve spent many hours or days in cars riding around with somebody, probably asking for 10 or 15 minutes is not the same thing as me asking my marketing client for 10 or 15 minutes.
Rick: Oh, absolutely. And if they’re a happy client, hopefully, you know you can’t grow a business unless you’re providing a good service. So you’ve provided a good service. Most people are afraid to ask people to give them a testimonial. In my career, I’ve literally done thousands and thousands and thousands of testimonials. People want to be interviewed. They want to say nice things. And if they don’t, they’ll tell you up front. Don’t take it as a rejection. That’s just somebody’s personal opinion. But I’ve found that probably over 90 percent of the people I ask to give a testimonial agree to do it and then you just tell them, “We’re going to talk for 15 or 20 mintues.” And once they get into the conversation, if it’s a good conversation, it will just keep going.” And that again gives you more content. But I go back to the 1-minute snippet. You are basically then going be pulling out the best 1 or 2 minute little snippets out of that conversation to use in your Marketing. You’re not going to put up the whole 40-minute interview. You’re going to have to edit it down some.
Jonathan: That’s great. We’re going to close up the podcast part of the show. Hopefully, Rick will agree and we continue the discussion for another 10 minutes which you’ll be able to see on the Mail-Right website, the whole interview and also on our YouTube channel. We’re using the video in multiple ways. We listen to Rick. And Rick, how can people find out more about you and your great insights Rick?
Rick: Yeah. Great. There’s a lot of information my personal website which is RickCesari.com. It’s my first name Rick, R – I – C – K and my last name is C – E – S – A – R – I, RickCesari.com. And they can go there, find out more information, how to contact me and then also download, not only the 5 Keys to Building a Great Brand but I have also another little one about video persuasion and the content. If you’re going to be producing a video, kind of some of the things you need to do to make it interesting.
Jonathan: That sounds great. Thanks so much. And Robert, how can people find out more about you and what you’re up to?
Robert: They can always just go to InboundREM.com. That’s the word Inbound and Robert Edward Michael .com.
Jonathan: That’s great. And if you want to find out more about me and what Mail-Right is about, just go to the Mail-Right website. We’ve been busy helping clients. We’ve got a load of interviews. It’s literally a University course on the Mail-Right website from some of the most leading and insightful experts on Online Marketing and Real Estate that you will find at the present moment, I feel and you should go and look at some of those previous interviews. We’ll be back next week folks where we’ll be talking to an expert or having a discussion about a particular subject that will help you get more success for your Real Estate business and for your family. We’ll see you next week folks. Bye.