Focus on Simplicity – Ep 008

What would you do with your extra time if you didn’t need to sleep? Many busy people wonder about this question, but the fact remains, we all need to sleep, and we all have only 24 hours in a day.

So, in Episode 8 of Marketing Podcast Weekly, your hosts Rob Booker and Jason Pyles discuss the power of narrowing your focus to solely what’s already working most effectively, rather than thinning out your efforts to accommodate additional projects.

Rob explains that there’s more power and benefit to eliminating superfluous strategies and getting down to brass tacks than there is to adding new ones. There is a clarity of focus and more depth that comes with simplifying your marketing.

Marketing Podcast Weekly is a show where we discuss strategies for marketing, especially for those marketing in the retail trading industry. Join us!

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Jason’s Movie Podcast Weekly: – a comedy show where we review new movies in theaters

Full Episode Transcript:
Rob Booker: Mr. Pyles.

Jason Pyles: Good Morning, Rob. How are you?

Rob Booker: I am fantastic. How the heck are you?

Jason Pyles: Good, never better as you always say.

Rob Booker: Another early morning.

Jason Pyles: Yeah. Well, we’re hardcore here on Marketing Podcast Weekly.

Rob Booker: Yeah. We never debated on Rise and Shine podcast if the early bird really does get the worm.

Jason Pyles: Yeah. I’m not so certain. I’m just saying.

Rob Booker: I’m just saying that the jury’s out.

Jason Pyles: It’s debatable.

Rob Booker: And they’ve been out for a while. It’s like they went to lunch and they’re not coming back.

Jason Pyles: Or they’re still sleeping, to be honest.

Rob Booker: Yeah. So, okay. Let’s say you didn’t need any sleep. We’re gonna play the hypothetical game.

Jason Pyles: Okay.

Rob Booker: Let’s say it’s 100 Years of Solitude. I read this book in college and I was like what the crap is this?

Jason Pyles: That’s one of my wife’s all time favorite books right there.

Rob Booker: Yeah, right, okay. In that book there’s a group of people that don’t need to sleep anymore and I can’t remember why. Let’s say you didn’t need to sleep, or let’s say that now you only need to sleep for like two hours. What do you do with that time?

Jason Pyles: Oh my goodness. I would still fill it up, you know what I mean? I would still not think I had enough time in a day, but I would watch movies probably, I would sleep a little more. I would do podcasting. Because presumably that would be in the middle of the night when everyone else is sleeping.

Rob Booker: But what if you were unable to sleep. That’s not even an option ’cause I know a lot of listeners are like, Oh, I would just go to sleep ’cause I have like 400 children and they’re driving me crazy and I want to go to sleep.

Jason Pyles: Right. So if I were unable to sleep, yeah, just podcasting and movies and maybe play with my kids more. Keep them up late or something.

Rob Booker: That’s really awesome. That’s really great.

Jason Pyles: Yeah.

Rob Booker: I was thinking about this today ’cause I got up really early. I woke up and then I just didn’t want to go back to sleep, I just wanted to get up and get going on everything. I realized that there have been times in my life whereas in particular someone who runs an online marketing website, like I sell stuff online, where it’s not that I’m lacking the time, it’s that I’m lacking knowing what I should do or I lack the motivation to do what I know I should do. It’s not often. This is not true of everyone. I know that there are many people that listen to this show that just simply lack time, they don’t lack the motivation and they don’t lack the knowledge. I’m gonna speak to everybody, including myself in that group of people.

When it comes to marketing your online business, say you’re selling dog training or you run a mommy blog or whatever it is that you do. There are a number of things that work and there are a number of things that are just merely experimental and exciting, but they are not based in reality and they don’t actually work. They don’t actually produce revenue. This show is about producing revenue, although you and I both do things, Jason, that produce zero revenue and we do it for the love of that thing. If you’re running a business and it’s online and it’s with the intent of supporting your family, there are a certain number of things and work. In 21 years of selling stuff online, I have repeatedly gone off course or wasted time or just gone down a road where I’m literally just chasing after something that is purely experimental.

For example, for a long time I tried to run advertisements on Google AdWords and it was a total failure and I didn’t know what I was doing and I had no idea what was going on, but I loved the idea of doing it. I just got caught up in running these silly ads and they weren’t producing a return, but I wasted enormous amounts of time. I switched to a completely different email platform 735 times. I’ve switched out video cameras and microphones a bunch of times. When in reality, my iPhone is perfect, I don’t have to use anything else. There are a certain number of things that just work. That’s the stuff to focus on and if it works that way, there can be refinements, but it’s really easy to think, If I had more time, here’s what I would do. Well, okay, you don’t have more time or you can’t make more time, so why are you experimenting with stupid things, Rob Booker? Why am I? Why not just focus on what has been proven to work?

Jason Pyles: That reminds me of that whole adage, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Right?

Rob Booker: Yeah, right.

Jason Pyles: I like that.

Rob Booker: Yeah, and when you’re starting out as a marketer and some people here are, you might think, Oh, well I don’t know what really works. Well then you got to do a lot of experimentation in the first year of anything that you do, you have to do a lot of playing around and a lot of experimentation and you gotta settle into something that works. For every industry that you can talk about as a podcaster, you’re gonna know if something works if it’s getting you listeners or if it’s keeping them listening of if you’re hearing from your listeners. In the world of, let’s say, me selling classes online about how to automate all of your tradings, that you’re not sitting in front of the screen, you can go do other things while your robot is taking your trades.

In the world of selling that, I know that it works if my sales are going up and if my average profit or average price per sale is going up, and if my customers are happy. I know it’s working if it’s selling. Then I have to work back from there and I have to ask questions like, What is working? What channel from what direction are people coming to me? Then ending up with a purchase in their greedy little hands. How do I know what … I have to figure out what’s working and then I have to spend more time doing that. But it’s so easy to get caught up in all kinds of crazy stuff.

Jason Pyles: Yeah, ’cause sometimes I wonder if we get bored with success. I wonder if we get bored with the little gains and we just want big gains. That reminds me of our other podcast about trading.

Rob Booker: Yeah, right.

Jason Pyles: Yeah.

Rob Booker: Yeah we only get interested in the big stuff. I was watching some videos of an online marketer the other day, and they were saying that they were down in the dumps, and they weren’t feeling it and they were kind of unhappy about the way life was going, so they went and signed up for a bunch of classes and mentorships. Then they traveled to go have these meetings and then they said, here are all the takeaways I got from being in those meetings. Then they listed a bunch of stuff that they’re gonna start doing in their online marketing. Now, this is a person that I buy stuff from, and I respect.

They listed out a bunch of stuff that they’re gonna do, and I was like, This changes who you are and I don’t really want to do that. It was almost like … just like you said Jason. I’m like, Why are you changing? Why are you doing this differently? Why are you suddenly going off? I don’t understand what you’re doing. Suddenly, this individual seemed to be less true to their brand than they were before. It’s like they knew who they were and what they were about, but they got bored with it. They got bored selling the same stuff in the same way, but I’m new to them. I’m not bored with it yet.

Jason Pyles: Right, yeah.

Rob Booker: Then as another example, let me just make another example. For every single website that sells stuff, or every podcast that talks about stuff, there’s more power and benefit in eliminating stuff that you’re doing than there is in adding stuff to what you’re doing. By that I mean stripping away items from the homepage so that whatever it is that’s working best is most prominently featured or stripping away things out of your emails so that whatever is working best is featured most prominently. Or sending fewer emails so that when you send one, it’s more prominently featuring a really great message. Or whatever.

Or from the perspective of a podcast. Instead of being widely focused, being very specifically focused. Instead of having a longer podcast, have a shorter one, or instead of having lots of podcasts, have a longer one that goes deeper into a topic. I don’t know if you’ve found this to be true, but your movie podcasts, Jason, but from time to time you will do one giant podcast that dives all the way deep into one set of movies in a genre or by a director or whatever else.

Jason Pyles: Right. Yeah, that’s true. It’s fascinating, too, how in depth you can go and the quality of that kind of content that you’re producing since you’re narrowing your focus.

Rob Booker: Yeah. Do you find that listeners respond to that?

Jason Pyles: Oh yeah. Yeah, I think they really appreciate that. It reminds me, I’m always pronouncing this philosopher’s name incorrectly. Is it Nietzsche? I don’t remember how to pronounce that philosopher-

Rob Booker: I call him just Fred.

Jason Pyles: Okay, Fred. Yeah, Friedrich. That’s right. I can never find where the origin of this quote, but I heard it one time from a trusted source. He said something to the effect, It’s easy to make something big, loud and complicated, but it’s hard to make something small, quiet, and simple. To me, that’s where the power comes is when you’re able to give laser focus to something. It really enriches what you’re producing.

Rob Booker: I would love to … so let’s say that I were shopping for a class on Facebook ads. I would love for the website to be small and simple, not loud, and a button that just says, Take the class and not learn this skill, but get this benefit. This is it. Learn. And I’ve bought a class like that before. The class was called … I don’t know, Pixel Hero or whatever. It was simple. It was, Do you want to learn how to use the Facebook Pixel? This is your class.

Jason Pyles: Yeah, nice.

Rob Booker: Done. It was simple, it was inexpensive, and it was completely … inside of the class, it was really disappointed because the class got off track.

Jason Pyles: Oh, really?

Rob Booker: So I got in there and it could have been three videos, but it was seven videos because people are too worried about they don’t want anybody to be upset with them or whatever. So, there was too much in there. There’s so many ways that this applies. It applies to me selling trading strategies online, just be simpler about it, be more focused about it, be what I’m gonna tackle a specific topic. Do it with a laser focus, and it doesn’t have to be like you said, loud and boisterous and overwhelming. It’s easy to do that, it’s easy to yell and scream about something. That’s the easy thing to do. The hard thing to do these days is get focused and specific about a topic and not have to yell so much about it. I’m still thinking that a text based website or a simple website with very little on it in this day and age of just trying to overwhelm people with content or whatever, something like that is a really good idea.

Jason Pyles: Yeah, I love that, ’cause you’re getting down to the brass tax, to the heart of what the people are looking for, your audience is looking for. They don’t have sift through things and you don’t waste time with bells and whistles, just content.

Rob Booker: Yeah. How much reading do you do these days? You don’t have a lot of time, but do you do much reading?

Jason Pyles: A little, but mostly they’re like film books or film theory books.

Rob Booker: Yeah.

Jason Pyles: Yeah, that’s kind of what I’ve been-

Rob Booker: Yeah, well that counts. So when you’re turning to learn something about what you love most, you turn to film books?

Jason Pyles: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah, sure.

Rob Booker: Where would someone start?

Jason Pyles: Oh my, well there’s a tremendous book called Understanding Movies. It’s one of the best out there. If you want to just get a general knowledge about movies and how they work, that’s a wonderful book.

Rob Booker: All right. Well there, you just did it. It was a simple, quiet recommendation. You can say that’s it, that’s exactly what I’m talking about.

Jason Pyles: Nice.

Rob Booker: Starting somewhere, and starting simple. It doesn’t have to be everything. It can be overwhelming for someone like me from the outside, but let’s say you’ve read that book 10 times. You might say, Well, I already read that book. That’s not my most interesting book. Here’s a new book. That’s what happens in the world of online education or marketing or whatever it is. The teacher gets bored with the basic content and there’s thousands, tens of thousands of people who have never heard of that basic content yet, and who need to be introduced to it.

Jason Pyles: Yeah, I know.

Rob Booker: I might want to read Understanding Movies.

Jason Pyles: It’s incredible. Really good.

Rob Booker: Yeah?

Jason Pyles: Giannetti is like the author. I think you’d enjoy it, Rob, for sure.

Rob Booker: I wonder if they have a Kindle edition. I’m gonna … oh wow, it’s in its 14th edition?

Jason Pyles: Yeah. Yeah, it’s legit. It’s been around.

Rob Booker: That is awesome.

Jason Pyles: It’s fantastic.

Rob Booker: There’s no Kindle edition, it’s either you buy it as a paper book or that’s it.

Jason Pyles: Okay.

Rob Booker: Oh wait, they have an e-textbook. Yeah, that’s pretty great. Wow, it’s not cheap either.

Jason Pyles: Yeah, I think a lot of film classes use it as a textbook. I just use it for fun, I just love it, it’s amazing.

Rob Booker: Wow, this is really awesome. I kind of what to … I make YouTube videos for traders and stuff. That’s all interconnected.

Jason Pyles: Yeah, for sure.

Rob Booker: Yeah, that sounds really good. That sounds amazing. So the challenge to our listeners in today’s episode is to make a list of things that work for someone who’s just starting out in your industry. Make a list of things that that person should do and think about making a class out of that. My friend Boris the other … I don’t know, earlier this year. I was going to say the other day, but it was like the other month. It was a few months ago. He made a class about using the basic charting platform that traders use, and it was called like Introduction to Meta Trader. It was brilliant. That’s a brilliant idea. Brilliant. We’re all bored of that by now and he picked up on, and he just ran with it. It was a huge success for him.

It introduced him to a lot of brand new potential customers because he was explaining something that most of us have moved on from and we’re bored about. Because it’s so widely used, it’s hard to find good basic advice. You can find it on YouTube, but it’s all over the place. It’s all over the place. You can’t even find a set of lessons in a particular order. He put it all together in a simple format in one place, that’s brilliant.

Jason Pyles: That is brilliant. Yeah, because-

Rob Booker: Yeah, I mean, anyway.

Jason Pyles: ‘Cause imagine how those people who were looking for something like that and they found exactly the right thing. He provided that need. Bam.

Rob Booker: Yeah. I think there’s a lot of power in success in having one kind of flagship introductory product that is quiet, but boldly announced a benefit or premise or a promise, that introduces you to a large group of people and then underneath that is a large back catalog of additional things that someone can do. So, for example, Ben Settle, who is an email copywriting mad villain genius, he writes a daily email and sometimes he send an email twice a day, and he’s just sending you his thoughts and ideas and observations about copywriting an email. Then the goal is that he’s gonna teach you through those simple emails something really simply, just a daily email once or twice a day, and that you’re gonna take the next step and you’re gonna buy his email players newsletter, which is a monthly physical newsletter that gets delivered to your house and you open it up and read it. Then inside of that, is the back catalog of the previous 60 issues, each of which is $97.

Jason Pyles: Wow. Wow, really? Okay.

Rob Booker: Yeah, so he’s got a $50,000 a month business. Is it really the complicated? No. He makes a simple promise about what’s important, and then he not just willingly ignores, but purposefully ignores everything else that he could do. No fancy YouTube channel stuff or no crazy Facebook page marketing or Facebook advertising spends or anything like that. Everything that he does is stripped down to the rawest, simplest, and I would say most powerful element. You may love him or hate him, but he wants it that way. He wants that. He wants you either to love the simplicity and love the message or hate it.

Sometimes if you go to a website and there’s 900,000,000 things going on, you can’t love or hate it, you’re ambivalent about it because it doesn’t represent anything, it doesn’t stand for something, it doesn’t make a bold promise, it doesn’t communicate anything to the end user. It’s just shouting to them that there’s everything here and I’m everything to everyone, and I don’t represent anything or stand for anything at the end of the day. That’s not really a recipe for success.

Jason Pyles: Yeah. I’m with you, and he probably enjoys all the rest of his time just doing what he wants with his life. You know what I mean?

Rob Booker: I bet he has an enormous amount of free time if he wants it, which is what he started this entire episode with. That if you want more free time, and you’re running an online business, strip your business down to the essentials. It’s a frightening thing to do for many people that have already been doing it for a while. Strip it does to the basic element, a flagship product, and then get yourself a back catalog of whatever. If I were to turnaround and start this all over tomorrow, I would be a much more polarizing figure in my industry. I would offer a monthly reasonably inexpensive monthly subscription product that was delivered physically to the door of the people, then I would just have a back catalog full of stuff. I would just hammer on that. I would just go to town on that. I would simplify my entire life and it’d make things a lot easier. Anyway … I wonder if anybody, if this resonates with any of our listeners. We should probably make it possible for them to contact the show.

Jason Pyles: Yeah.

Rob Booker: They can write to … do we know how they can write to us?

Jason Pyles: Yeah, they can email us at

Rob Booker: Oh yeah, right.

Jason Pyles: Yeah, love to hear from them.

Rob Booker: We certainly would. Let’s plug some simple powerful stuff that you’re up to.

Jason Pyles: Okay. Yeah. Here’s how simple it gets Rob. New movies in theaters, review them each week. Boom. Right? No, I’m just kidding.

Rob Booker: I love it.

Jason Pyles: Then horror movies, we review those at Period, the end. That’s it. Pretty simple.

Rob Booker: That’s the best, man. We’ll see you next time everybody.

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