Today I’ve got Deepak Shukla back on the podcast for Part 2.
Deepak runs an SEO agency called Pearl Lemon, and he is an expert in SEO.
Today we are talking about online reputation management — one new strategy that will grow your traffic. It’s all about managing your online reviews and testimonials because this can have a major impact on how your blog or business show up in search.
You will be blown away by the tactics we discuss, so check it out now.
Transcript: One New Strategy that Will Grow My Traffic with Deepak Shukla
Jillian Leslie 0:03
Welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast. Brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Deepak, welcome back to the show.
Deepak Shukla 2:26
Hey, Jillian, how are you?
Jillian Leslie 2:28
It is so great having you back on the podcast. And as I’ve shared with you, I got such great response from your first episode. If anybody hasn’t listened to it…
Deepak Shukla 2:39
Oh, thank God.
Jillian Leslie 2:40
…I’ll link it in the show notes so you can hear part one.
Deepak Shukla 2:45
Yeah, I had a lot of fun. And thank you. I’m really glad and happy to hear that. Thank you. To the listeners.
Jillian Leslie 2:52
Yeah, you were so generous with what you shared. And since then, just to get everybody up to speed, we have decided that we’re going to start working together for MiloTree.
Yes. Amazing. Exactly.
And the cool part about it is because there’s one thing to sharing tips and strategies like on a podcast, just to be talking about it. And it’s another thing to actually do it and see what happens.
Blogger lessions in SEO
Deepak Shukla 3:23
Yeah, completely agree. Completely agree. Completely agree.
Jillian Leslie 3:27
So we had our kickoff call with David, my partner, my husband, and afterwards, we’re like, “Oh, I wish we had recorded this.” So next time, we do that, we’ll record it and we’ll release it so that people can hear us strategizing and talking about ways we can dig in with SEO, with marketing to grow MiloTree.
Deepak Shukla 3:50
Jillian Leslie 3:52
I know. So it’s really fun. And I don’t know if anybody has ever listened to the podcast Startup. But the first season was exactly that. It was them trying to raise money and kind of what the journey was, and all the mistakes in the work. So hopefully, you’ll get to see our mistakes in the works too, and be kind.
Deepak Shukla 4:15
Exactly. Be kind.
Jillian Leslie 4:17
Deepak Shukla 4:18
I know. I’m happy to be a part of the journey and yeah, I’m excited.
SEO Strategy: Online Reputation Management
Jillian Leslie 4:24
Awesome. Okay. So today, what we’re going to do was we were going to go deep in another SEO strategy. So offline, you and I talked about the topic of online reputation management.
Deepak Shukla 4:40
It’s how we do everything offline anyway, isn’t it? I mean, online reputation management really simply is a fancy way of saying, “Well, what do you think about that, Jillian? What did you think of that movie, Jillian?
Or have you shopped at H&M or Prime Mark or Walmart? What was it like?” It’s literally that, but just online, the management of a reputation that a business has. So it’s, yeah, let’s get into it. There’s a lot there.
Jillian Leslie 5:11
Because when you said it, I was like, I don’t even know what that means, or how it would relate to an online entrepreneur or a blogger or somebody like that. So would you kind of start there? Like, what is the benefit?
What is online reputation management?
Deepak Shukla 5:24
Yeah, absolutely. So really, simply, let’s start from a couple of ways. So from the kind of common sense perspective, right?
When you’re about to make a purchasing decision, it’s very typical to be part of your kind of initial filter: “Does this business or does this individual or does this product or does this service or does this restaurant, whatever it may be, have good reviews?”
What do people think about it? It’s something that’s a big pot certainly of our landscape is consumers. Before you go to the cinema, you’re looking at IMDb, or Rotten Tomatoes, or Metacritic or something.
Before you buy something from Amazon, your look to see if they’re a trusted seller, same thing on eBay. And the dividing line between that being different from B2B and B2C is ever blurring.
And that’s why there’s probably been this huge rise, many listeners probably, or some businesses have noticed that you just start as I call it, seeing stars and stripes in search a lot more with featured snippets, and just basically seeing stars when you Google a company name, and that’s, everybody, what I want you to have.
So when people are deciding or people are thinking about, “Can I trust working with you guys?” they’ll quickly look and see that, “Well, everybody’s saying good things about them; therefore, this is important.”
And for anyone who’s kind of a technician, if you look up, for example, like Moz, their survey basically indicates that online reviews count up to as much as up to 10% towards kind of local SEO in general.
It’s got a huge kind of constituent ranking factor as to what will help you rank if you do any level of local service.
And that’s, again, corresponding the beginning to leak into nationwide search and that’s why the sites like, I don’t know, Capterra or the WordPress repository for plugin reviews or the Shopify repository for in a plugin review. So it’s really looking at that person, right?
Because this is about conversions. It’s really looking at the person who’s about to make a decision whether to install or to add to cart or to download and they’re deciding whether your business is one that’s trustworthy.
“How well are they going to to rank you?” “Well, let’s see what my friend, Jillian, is telling me about this app before I download it. Ah, she’s given it five stars. Jillian’s have given this product five stars.
Why online reviews are important for online reputation management
Therefore, of course, it’s going to be the case that that’s going to help you basically get highest up on the shelf at eye level, where everybody’s looking, which is where you want to be.
Jillian Leslie 8:31
It’s a funny saying this because in my head, I haven’t really thought about it this way, but everything I do is all about reading reviews. My husband refuses to go to a restaurant that isn’t highly reviewed on Yelp. Like we could be walking by a restaurant, we’re someplace that we’ve never been before.
And I’ll go “How about we go here?” And he’ll be like, he’ll be like, “No” because he has to get on his phone and see what the Yelp review is. And we just moved and so we’re buying stuff for our house and like a lot of stuff on Amazon. And it could be like a trash can.
And I am always reading the reviews of the the trash can, like it’s something stupid. I am trained now to read reviews. Or my Uber driver, I want that five star Uber driver.
Deepak Shukla 9:25
Yes, exactly. Exactly.
Jillian Leslie 9:27
But I hadn’t even thought about. I mean, it’s just part of, it’s like just part of my nature now that all I think about is how highly reviewed is something.
Deepak Shukla 9:38
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. I completely agree. And when you kind of inverse that and think,”How highly reviewed am I?”
Jillian Leslie 9:46
Deepak Shukla 9:50
Absolutely. And I mean, at its simplest level, Jillian, the big takeaway for everybody, of course, and people are kind of fearful of the idea of asking somebody or how does it work in practice, but reviews are huge.
And your wonderful partner, David, has just demonstrated that by making you literally move away from restaurants that you’re outside the front door of…
Jillian Leslie 10:17
Deepak Shukla 10:17
…because it doesn’t have… How powerful is that?
Jillian Leslie 10:21
I know, I know. But it’s funny because remember, you’d be on vacation, you see a restaurant, you just go in, and it’s like, “Oh, no, we don’t do that anymore.”
Deepak Shukla 10:29
Yes, yes. Exactly. Exactly. And here’s a statistic, I think, that is mind blowing to me that local search as in the Google three pack, the stuff that appears in when people run searches, and they are running a local search, apparently, up to more than 60% of the time, depending upon what comes up within the top five, it results in an offline purchase.
It’s incredibly… It’s incredible. And Google My Business, the place on the right hand side, they encourage you to go out and get reviews. It’s part of their listed ranking algorithm. And, but Google is saying “Hey, help us help you. Ethically go and ask customers for reviews.”
Advice: You don’t just need to get reviews from customers or clients
And to make this really practical. And this is the part that I think sometimes people get worried about, you don’t just need to get reviews from customers or clients. You have partners, you have people that you pay for services, people that you buy services from, people that you’ve worked with in business, people that you’ve done lots of weird and wonderful things with as long as there’s something commercially that’s happened, and they feel that they’ve benefited or vice versa, there’s no reason why it isn’t ethical to ask them for review.
And that is something that is probably the lowest hanging fruit in terms of going out and generating reviews out of the gate, because you’ll have friends that you built in business. And LinkedIn recommendations.
Jillian Leslie 12:11
Right, I like what you’re saying, which is being strategic about how you curate. It is about curating your reputation. It’s not just saying “Hey, anybody, write a review for me” but it’s saying “I know this person. I’ve done business with them.” That person is going to say something that will shine a light on how good my product or service is.
Absolutely, absolutely, I think that you’ve, you’ve hit the nail on the head, Jillian, that’s within your network through and when I say you, I’m talking to you, the audience, right, you’re in business, or you’re going into business, but you at some level, have done something that constitutes advice.
One of the things that I’ve began doing when I was starting my agency in the early days, the first two months, when I was scrambling, I would have 20 minute calls where I give some great advice. People would say “Amazing, thank you.” It wasn’t commercial. That was just a conversation.
And at that moment, though, they would say, “Wow, thank you so much for this advice. Can I help you any way?” I would, at that moment, have a link ready and they “Actually, David, you can.”
Is it okay if you just leave a review for me just reflecting what you just said, that you had a consulting call with Deepak, it went really well, or whatever you want to say that you think is relevant? Could you do that for me? And who’s going to say no, after that, and that was probably where I got my first 30 reviews from across the board online.
Well, okay, today, just before I got on this call, I got an email from someone who I don’t know, and who just said, “I want you to know, I’m really enjoying the podcast.” And I wrote back “Thank you so, so much for reaching out. I’m so glad. We’ve got some great episodes coming up. So stay tuned.” And now, I’m kicking myself that I didn’t say “Hey, by the way, could you write a review on iTunes? Here’s a link.”
How to ask people for online reviews
Deepak Shukla 14:14
Jillian, the goodwill is not lost. I would recommend and advocate that you go back through your inbox, search keywords that relate to anyone who’s left an enthusiastic response and spend two hours crafting a shit load of follow ups to say, “You know what, I’m kicking myself. Is it okay that what you wrote here, insert quote, you could reflect that, you putting a review online? I really appreciate it, like smiley emoji, prayer hands and see what it throws back.”
Because I’ve also done that exact same thing. And that’s always how I followed up and 20% of the time, people say, “You know what? Yeah, I can definitely write that for you. Because there’s still goodwill between us.”
Jillian Leslie 14:57
Oh, okay, because I have to say, I don’t know, putting maybe some emojis in there, like it’s hard. We talked about this the last time. It makes me cringe. It’s hard to ask.
Deepak Shukla 15:09
I understand. You have to, when we go in, I always go into conversations like that within mind that everybody favors the underdog. So position yourself as the underdog. And when people feel like they’re doing something to help you succeed.
And that you’re being really kind of nice with it, I found that I get way better responses. And the best way in absence of my body language and tone of voice and my loveliness on call is emojis.
Jillian Leslie 15:42
I just have to tell you, there’s a reflection on my screen right now. So I can see myself and as I’m talking to you, I am like holding my mouth because I can tell that, like not consciously, but I can tell how uncomfortable this is for me.
I have my hand like over my mouth going “Oh, this seems so.” So I have to work. I feel like this is like our therapy session that I have to get better at being okay asking for that.
Deepak Shukla 16:15
And if it helps to the technically minded people out there, Google is beginning to index emojis as part of search.
So you can search with a burger icon plus near me and Google will bring up burger joints near you. It’s something that has begun to start featuring recently. Therefore, this is a thing the young kids are doing it.
So let it be known that there’s data to support the rise of the emoji even from a Google ranking perspective.
Jillian Leslie 16:48
That’s so interesting.
Please leave a review for me and The Blogger Genius Podcast on iTunes
Hey, it’s Jillian and I am doing the uncomfortable. I’m doing what Deepak suggests. I am asking you to rate me and to rate The Blogger Genius. So if you head over to iTunes, please leave a review or rate us. I am so curious to hear what you have to say. And remember, if I can do this, so can you. So now back to my interview with Deepak.
How a food blogger can ask for reviews
Okay, is there a use case for a blogger? Let’s say, I’m a food blogger. We have a lot of food bloggers. Is there a use case for reputation management for a food blogger? Let’s say I don’t even sell any or let’s say maybe I do affiliate marketing. Maybe I sell a cookbook, and I make a lot of money via traffic and working with brands.
Deepak Shukla 17:43
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I think that it’s a really amazing place to get reviews because the biggest number one thing when it comes to converting traffic, you’re a food blogger, you talk about food that you love, what we want is some kind of audit-able trail of people saying how fabulous your recommendations have been.
And that was a couple of things. So number one, in terms of, let’s answer the practical question, where would those reviews live?
Jillian Leslie 18:18
Deepak Shukla 18:19
Well, number one, as places like Trust Pilot. Number two, I would look at also where you can get reviews that relate to your industry. My initial place for everything is Trust Pilot.
Jillian Leslie 18:32
I don’t even know. What is Trust Pilot?
Deepak Shukla 18:34
Trust Pilot is literally as it says on the tin. It’s all about kind of trust. And I have a Trust Pilot that relates to both my business and both me personally so when you search Deepak Shukla, for example. So, so, okay, brilliant. I’m thinking out loud now. Yes, to extend it.
So to be practical, number one, Trust Pilot is a great platform to ask people for reviews upon. Index is very well and good going. It does give you the stars and stripes effect which is pretty nice. If you search even Deepak Shukla, it’s about paid position number nine.
So people can actually rank for their own keyword or their own name. So if you’re a food blogger and your blog is, I don’t know, Frank. Frank Loves Food, or Frank, Frank Reynolds, because you’re Frank Reynolds, then you can get some stars and stripes next to your name if you are a food blogger.
So it really helps with branded search number one, and then people see that you’re someone who’s got a lot of reviews online; therefore, they’ll trust the advice that you give. So you can really just treat yourself like a business to that extent.
Leaving reviews on Facebook for repetitional management
Deepak Shukla 19:44
So really simply, food bloggers. So number one, TrustPilot. Number two, Facebook reviews because Google indexes Facebook reviews big time, so one of the things that I quickly did was I have my own personal Facebook like page.
It stands to reason a blogger will have a page either related to their blog or related to them personally.
Jillian Leslie 20:05
Well, like if you have a business page on Facebook, people can leave reviews?
Deepak Shukla 20:11
You can leave reviews. You can leave a review for somebody so you could go over right now to me on Facebook, and you’ll see that I’ve got about 30 plus reviews. Document everything.
When someone leaves a comment on your blog, also ought them to, could you write that on Facebook as a like and then you can begin to get the stars and stripes effect of course because Google has Facebook like reviews then you’ve got from Trust Pilot.
If you want to set your business up locally, then you can also get into the Google business reviews and other ranking factor and then of course, you can use that as part of either your copy or your content, and put it around any of those key areas that you wish to of course have people convert from.
So on the same page, for example, that you have a particularly well-performing, or maybe even an under-performing affiliate link that has a high rate of traffic, you could experiment with inserting Deepak Shukla as seen on Trust Pilot, take 109 reviews online and you can put the direct links to it and again engender trust that while Deepak must know about food, if he’s got all of these reviews.
Jillian Leslie 21:19
I was just thinking. Let’s say I’m a food blogger. And one of the ways I monetize is working with brands. If I could send them a link like let’s say, there’s a brand I really love and I want to work with them like Ben and Jerry’s…
Deepak Shukla 21:34
Jillian Leslie 21:35
…and I find out who their person, their social media person is, and I send an email saying, “I’d love Ben and Jerry’s. Here’s why,” but if I also were to put, again, that a link to something that gives reviews about my recipes, or even working with me, that I am trustworthy and that I produce good content, that could be a great way to give myself that edge.
Deepak Shukla 22:06
Absolutely. 100%. I mean, if that leads to Ben and Jerry’s getting reviews and referring back to you, if that leads to you writing an open letter as a blogger saying, “Ben and Jerry’s, I’d love to work with you,” and then referencing some way to lead that into a review that, then absolutely, and I think that at a food blogger level. I think that this is where there’s space for the individual and building trust and thinking about the ways that you can do that.
Document all your reviews and testimonials
Because the irony is that when we talk reviews, blog comments, YouTube video comments, that all forms and reviews. A review is simply an online testimonial that verifies what you’re saying, or what you’ve said or who you are, or what you’ve delivered is of know, and is now worthy. And the really important biggest takeaway is that document everything. If it’s in your inbox and nowhere else, it’s useless.
Jillian Leslie 23:10
I love that. Okay, so for me, the way that I document stuff is I have a folder in my email, and I call it “love letters.” And if somebody, if you write me a love letter, I will save it in love letters, but then I don’t go back to them. They make me happy, I appreciate them. I always write back to them, that kind of thing.
And then I also have a Trello board where I have asked people for reviews of MiloTree, and I will keep those and then I will recycle those. Like we have testimonials on our homepage.
Deepak Shukla 23:45
Jillian Leslie 23:46
But I do feel like I’m not doing enough with these comments and reviews and things like that.
Deepak Shukla 23:54
And absolutely, and it’s great that you’ve documented it in Trello as well as the other places you have been because you have them there. And this can be even something as simple as creating a dedicated page for your reviews and enabling the Discuss plugin on WordPress or whatever you want to use to capture comments and then that could be used and re-purposed in so many ways in terms of how you reuse that across your site.
A lot like these info product marketers that will screenshot so many reviews, and the simplest way to do this is as soon as someone leaves a comment that’s really positive in your inbox or something. An Instagram direct message or a Facebook message, then send them a link to a dedicated… milotree.com page. We’d love to hear what you think about us page where people can just literally write up a comment and publish it on your site.
Jillian Leslie 24:46
Wow. Wow. Okay, this is kind of blowing my mind because it is about making it easy to do, right?
Deepak Shukla 24:56
Make it easy for people to leave reviews
Jillian Leslie 24:57
Because I guess the thing that I would say is all of my stuff, they’re all over the place in different buckets, kind of like I’ll get to them at some point.
Deepak Shukla 25:06
Yep. Yep. Build one bucket. Make sure that it’s so easy for people to just make it as easy as writing a Facebook instant message if you find that the review platforms aren’t of use because you’re a blogger and open that page up to the world and let people see.
And how powerful would it be of what people are saying about us page where there’s just literally tons of comments that fills up with an endless scroll and the use or the flow for that is “Oh my god, that podcast with x person was so great, Jillian. Amazing! Could you say exactly what you just said on this page?”
You can just type it in and you send them a link to milotree.com/wonderful-words or whatever it may be.
Jillian Leslie 25:52
Deepak Shukla 25:52
And again, they type it in, published, done, off and away, and you’ve got it documented in a way that Google will index that reflects upon you really well, that engender trust because if it’s a social login, then leave their Facebook page or leave their link to their Facebook and then the app, the devil’s advocate, is thinking, “Can I trust Jillian and MiloTree?”
She’ll see 57 reviews with people that have left their direct Facebook link which means they can link back to their actual page, and it creates also a very transparent level of trust. So there’s all of these benefits are begin to come from building buckets that make it easier than ever for people to be able to leave reviews.
Jillian Leslie 26:39
Google is rewarding this. Google wants to know that Deepak does good work.
Deepak Shukla 26:48
Absolutely, as I said, it’s up to 10% now as a ranking factor in terms of percentages what Google favors like reviews I’m seeing. And I would, again, just point to the common sense experience that people have the reviews are too big to be ignored. There are, I don’t know if they’re billion dollar but TripAdvisor…
Jillian Leslie 27:10
Deepak Shukla 27:14
…is built literally around reviews.
Jillian Leslie 27:16
Deepak Shukla 27:17
Jillian Leslie 27:18
And it’s so funny you saying this because again, I live my life based on reviews. And I haven’t really thought about it. I hadn’t thought intentionally about managing my own reviews. Now, let’s talk about this.
Which is, I think what is cool about it is it does make you up your own game. It does make you believe in karma.
Deepak Shukla 27:44
Jillian Leslie 27:45
Which is I’m gonna put my best work out there because somebody could write something about me.
Deepak Shukla 27:53
Absolutely. Absolutely. Then it just becomes a win-win always because it brings more value to the exchange because you know that you can not only deliver value but the other person can give value back via the review because a review, Gary Vaynerchuk talks about this: document, don’t create.
It’s his phrase and just building opportunities that make it easier than ever for any positive comment to be documented is so important. AppSumo ended up taking advice for me because they couldn’t understand how I was able to… I’ve done a course launch basically.
And what’s interesting about my course launch was that I was able to generate about 23 video reviews, literally people on YouTube saying great stuff about the course before anyone had actually even finished the course.
Jillian Leslie 28:47
How to get testimonials before people have completed your course
Deepak Shukla 28:48
Yes, you could go on to YouTube right now and type Deepak Shukla. Deepak Shukla testimonials, I think. I’m just searching now. Here’s 23 videos up that are all in relation to a course. And what’s really interesting about it, of course, is that none of them had yet finished the course.
This is literally after two weeks of the course going live. And it’s like a three month program. And they were like “How are you able to do that?” And I said that “Yes, if you search Deepak Shukla testimonials on YouTube, you’ll find a bunch of the reviews as to that ranked top at the moment.
And they’re two of many. And again, the way that you do this is in effect is simple. It’s what you see in the retail world all of the time, when did they upsell you the popcorn at the cinema, which they make far more money on this in the cinema ticket, when you just purchase a ticket, and you’re really excited to go and watch the Avengers or Avatar or Bohemian Rhapsody or whatever it may be.
So you need to hit your customers with the asked at the point at which they’re the happiest. And everybody’s the happiest when either one, they’re gushing; two, actually gushing because they bought something and it’s really excited. They’re really excited.
And then or after, when they come and reach out to you, as soon as people were like, “Hey, I’ve just bought the course, Deepak. I’m so pumped.” I’d say immediately “That is amazing. Could you just record a video if it’s okay? Please say why you bought the course in the first place, what was different about my marketing and what you felt made me trustworthy, given there’s lots of so called gurus, out there, and people are really happy.
But yeah, I’ll absolutely do that. Because it’s at the point of purchase that you go and tell everybody, “Hey, I’ve invested in the MiloTree pop up,” or “Hey, I’ve just bought something from here.” And that’s when you want to move forward with the documentation process.
Jillian Leslie 30:55
Okay, first of all, what is the course?
Deepak Shukla 30:58
It’s called Secrets of a Six Figure Lead Gen Consultant. It talks about how I built my agency using cold email and how you can. It really focuses around how to build an agency based around cold email, because that was how I built my SEO agency in the beginning.
Day one, the problem that I had was that I couldn’t rely initially on SEO for my initial means of revenue, to attract customers to my site to then sell them SEO. So I had to find different means. And it goes through ultimately, it’s really about how to build a pipeline, how to build a continual flow of sales calls that you can get on where people are interested in working with you.
Because in the service industry, the biggest problem that people have is that you have a great product of course, as we know, but how do we get people that are interested in potentially buying from you to talk to you.
Example of how to get testimonials
And Secrets of a Six-Figure Lead Gen Consultant really deals with that. The space of lead generation based upon someone who has no network, never wants to meet anybody, wants to work from home, you know, how was it he go about build a business.
So that’s what the course is about which is of course, a side note.
Jillian Leslie 32:13
I know. But I’m curious only because, again, this comes so naturally to you. Okay, how about the idea? So let’s go through a couple usecases. So we talked about a food blogger, let’s say somebody who sells a product.
Deepak Shukla 32:31
Okay. Yeah, absolutely. So I think that in the space of e-commerce, let’s say that you sell a teapot or let’s say, you’ve got a teapot because you’re British like me. So you drink tea. So therefore, you sell it, and you’re British Indian like me.
So that means that you’re the big exporter of tea so you send it from India to the UK and now, you sell teapots. What a lovely business. It’s great. So you’re selling teapots online, of course, and you may be making let’s just say 10 sales a day to people they haven’t met.
The question always is, as you know, how do you get reviews. So there’s two ways to do this, I think. There’s the first way which everybody kind of knows and works to a limited degree, which is some form of automation, which is okay, someone’s just purchased, boom, hit them with an email saying, “Hey, what do you think about a product? Could you leave a review saying what you thought about” which can work.
Certainly, if you’re doing things at scale, then I think that there’s a benefit to that. There’s a second way that I think can turn customers into raving fans that will write gushing reviews that can even write blog posts about your product.
And that’s the way that I prefer, so the way that you do that, and again, remember we discussed about everybody favors the underdog. Why the people love Rocky, why?
Absolutely, so in that instance, if you’re a e-commerce business owner, deepaksteapots.com then deepaksteapots.com would have an intern because you probably do have an intern anyway because you’re growing e-commerce business.
If you’ve got an intern and I do have, for example, I have a virtual assistant called Lincoln. Lincoln works with me. You can look him up on PearlLemon.com. I think he’s there, and Lincoln…
Jillian Leslie 34:29
Where is he located?
Deepak Shukla 34:30
Lincoln located in Kingston, Jamaica. I’m slowly employing his entire classroom which is quite interesting and brilliant. And Lincoln really just would see a transaction that goes through from jeremywillis.com, would look up jeremywillis.com online, find him probably on Facebook and reach out as you know an intern at PearlLemon or deepaksteapots.com and say, “Hey, Jeff, I hope you don’t mind me reaching out. I noticed that you bought a teapot.”
And he’s like, “Yeah, dude. Yeah.” And basically creating this level of personal reach out and catching people when they’re excited, and they won’t work for everybody because you need to be able to find them on Facebook, need to find them. You can just email them also.
But really, if you can send personalized messages, get a really crazy, enthusiastic response from somebody saying, “Dude, I’m so excited. I’ve just got my teapot. I’m about to get my teapot.” You can then asked him the same thing saying, “Hey, that’s brilliant. I would totally love, if it’s okay, could you just record a video saying why you bought the teapot, what you thought about deepaksteapots.com, what was it that made you buy our teapot instead of other teapots.”
And they’re yet to receive the teapot and just ordered it. They’re super excited so a proportion of people but, “You know what, screw it. I will record a video about teapots,” or, “I will leave a review online about teapots.” Or and again, I’m reusing the same process, Jillian to support the SEO growth of my course.
Because I’m beginning to get people to write case studies now, and to write reviews of the course, and then to link back to the course at the moment when they’re happiest and then asking them if they do that favor for me. And by and large, people say yes.
And when you position it as someone who’s inside the business if you’re an e-commerce store, just reaching out to Jeff saying, “Hey, what did you think? Sorry to reach out on Facebook. I apologize.” But you’ve just bought a teapot from the company.
So of course, you’re going to accept it. “Oh, no. Hey, man, it’s cool. It’s really cool. This is released. This is really novel. I like it.” “How can I help?” Or “I love your teapots.”
Jillian Leslie 36:44
Interesting. Is there a way to do a quid pro quo in terms of, like, does that seem smarmy and not as cool like, let’s say, somebody buys your teapot. And guess what? He said he sells tea or he sells a different product or whatever, to say, “Hey, would you review this? And I’d love to take a look at your stuff.” Or…
Deepak Shukla 37:11
Absolutely. You know what? It really, so in my experience, I always go for building that further down the line of the value ladder. So that it depends upon the nature of the ask. So in my experience, if someone’s like, bought your teapot, and they sell tea, first of all, you can say, “Hey, how’s the teapot? Or is everything okay? Why did you buy the teapot?”
They say, “It looks really good.” I would, at that stage, maybe awesome to leave a review. And then later down the line asked about doing some level of higher exchange. Because you know what, a lot of this depends upon who you’re asking.
If you’re asking me, Jillian, I could leave a review and five seconds, right? So we don’t know how big the ask is. I would say, in my experience, that experimentation, once you’ve got direct dialogue with a customer, it’s really easy. It’s when you send emails off into the business, it’s a problem that you don’t know how it’s received.
So what this does, when you communicate with someone on a direct messaging platform where it feels more personal, you then immediately reframe the conversation.
So what connecting with somebody on Facebook does, if it’s someone internal and you’re selling tea pots, and the other person sells tea, is it makes the conversation much more mano a mano instead of one business to another.
Jillian Leslie 38:35
Deepak Shukla 38:36
And that is way more productive in terms of eeking out something productive.
Jillian Leslie 38:40
Yes. I mean, I keep hearing this, which is anybody who leaves a comment on an Instagram post, you kind of have the right to strike up a conversation with them.
Deepak Shukla 38:52
Absolutely. I mean, they’re your fan, they’ve said it publicly in some way, or they’re expressing their enthusiasm that they like you.
Jillian Leslie 39:01
Right. Exactly, like those are, that’s kind of like, that’s your low hanging fruit. Are even people who are just commenting on your post, like, that’s a way to build that relationship.
Deepak Shukla 39:14
Absolutely. And then once you begin to build a process for that, what becomes really powerful is that then you can begin to audit, which are these people have a social media presence in their own right. If you have a SAS product, for example, like MiloTree, what we’ll do.
Jillian Leslie 39:29
Wait a minute. I just want to stop you. It sounds great in your accent. So you’re saying, I have a SAS product. And in my accent, which means software as a service?
Deepak Shukla 39:39
Jillian Leslie 39:40
Like a subscription? Okay, that sounds better the way you say it.
Deepak Shukla 39:45
Oh, I don’t know about that. But absolutely, if you have a SAS product like MiloTree, I would say that you’re going to have some raving fans who just installed it or said “Just bought your product. I’m pumped.” And all you need to do is number one, obviously build a process in place to say “Hey, that’s awesome.
Could you be so happy to leave a review, just explaining why you decided to buy the product?” And then that does not hold on anything unethical because you’ve been very clear about what you’re asking for. You’re not asking them to review the product, you’re asking them to write a review for why they bought the product. That’s number one.
Number two, is that once they begin using the product, you check in and say “How’s it going?” They’re like, “Hey, yeah, loving it.” And you’re like, “Amazing. Could you now leave a second review on a different platform?” The first platform could be the WordPress plugin repository site.
The second platform could be Capterra where you can look at a review so that would be the second thing. And then the third thing down the line is that, “Hey, you know what? This is out there. But we’d love to maybe give you three months of free.” And if they have a blog, basically, you want them to write a case study.
Jillian Leslie 41:00
How to ask someone to write a blog post review of your product
Deepak Shukla 41:01
Or if they’ve recorded a video testimonial, you can probably put those. You can turn that into a transcript. And you could write the elements of a blog post in their behalf. To be honest with you, I’ve just asked people to say “Hey, how would you feel about writing a blog post?”
And some people have said to me “Deepak, I don’t even have a blog.” And I’d say “How about you create a blog on wordpress.org and just write one up?” They’re like, “You know what? I love your product for you, man. I’ll do it. And they do.
Jillian Leslie 41:27
Deepak Shukla 41:28
And I say look, just do it on wordpress.org. Just link back to the site. It’s all good. I just care about you or even say, “Write the blog post and I will sort out the technical and just whip up a wordpress.org site very quickly just so they can post it for secretsofasixfigureleadgenconsultant.wordpress.org.
And I don’t see really many people doing this like really TEDx-ing how much goodwill that you get from people and how much people want to see you succeed if they think what you’re doing is really valuable.
Jillian Leslie 42:01
I love that. I love that. Weirdly, I feel like I am looking right now in the world for moments of kindness. I feel myself trying to be even more kind and giving because I feel like the world is in a tricky place.
Deepak Shukla 42:20
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it is. That it is.
Jillian Leslie 42:22
I noticed myself. I mean, this is like, but just even at the grocery store saying a little bit of a stronger “thank you”, just validate for people that this world is a really lovely place. So you saying this somehow is triggering that kindness place like hoping that we all have the capacity for goodness.
Deepak Shukla 42:46
Absolutely, absolutely. And everybody is listening that this all come from a place of me assuming and knowing that you’re already delivering the value. So the value that you deliver is worthy of asking for review. And I’d say to anybody that believe in what you offer.
If you don’t believe in what you offer, then maybe you’re offering the right thing because if once you know that what you’re giving is value, then asking somebody that they can help you on your journey by writing a review by putting a blog post together by writing by recording a quick two minute video, which is easy as these days is absolutely okay, and also the ethical thing to do because it helps them as well.
Have a link on your site to testimonials
Jillian Leslie 43:31
Yeah, absolutely. Yes, in fact, absolutely, I love this. So do you recommend then on a blog like even on our MiloTree site to have like a link to testimonials?
Deepak Shukla 43:47
Oh, 100%. You want to overwhelm people with social proof, you want to leave no kind of stone on uncovered. The number one, the company. So the company in this case would be MiloTree, for example.
Jillian Leslie 44:14
Deepak Shukla 44:14
The number two, they need to be convinced on the service or product. So the product in this case would be the pop ups that you guys offer. They need to be convinced “Oh, MiloTree is a company.” They need to be convinced on the pop ups.
They need to be convinced on the individual who’s going to be delivering the product or the service, which in this case, might be whoever it is on customer support, or whoever is the account manager, or broadly speaking, the founders of the company. And those three spaces need to be in alignment.
So those three spaces need to in order to get as many conversions as possible, because you can have two out of three, and you can still make a sale. People can be convinced on a product, people can be convinced on the company, and people don’t really know who the founders are and they can still buy the product, but then you don’t build what I call brand loyalty really.
Jillian Leslie 45:04
Deepak Shukla 45:06
Because you connect it more and more so, especially today to a person. So I would absolutely say that testimonials reviews give people kind of no room to question the excellency of what you deliver.
And certainly I think that in terms of the conversions that we’ve made as a business, our social proof Pearl Lemon, that we built has been such an outlier that it’s been incredibly helpful in… There’s never ever been any issues with quality or trust or service or delivery.
And this is me selling high ticket items where it’s going from three to $5,000 a month and people that I’ve not met on the basis of one or two phone calls, and they’re happy to just wire me money across and…
Jillian Leslie 45:57
Deepak Shukla 45:57
…what we need to think about in those instances is what can we do to leave no stone unturned? And this is where, as I said, Jillian, that a lot of people have typically one of those things out of alignment.
The importance of building brand loyalty
And if you’re a brand that’s faceless, then you have the issue of they’re not really sold on the people behind the brand because it doesn’t exist, and therefore, it becomes a little bit of comparing apples to apples meaning that MiloTree is no different from other pop ups.
Jillian Leslie 46:28
Deepak Shukla 46:29
But if I get Jillian with MiloTree…
Jillian Leslie 46:32
Deepak Shukla 46:33
…no one else is Jillian.
Jillian Leslie 46:34
Right. Well, two things that I, well, it’s funny, I didn’t do this from a strategic point of view. But I started the podcast because I’m super curious. And I thought, wow, if I have a podcast and I can interview people, I can help people by sharing like Deepak, your knowledge. And I can learn, and everybody can learn.
And hopefully, people get to know me behind MiloTree, especially because again, like we built this for ourselves, it worked, and we’re in the trenches also. That was really what I was trying to communicate. And then I also have my newsletter, where if you join MiloTree, I send you weekly nuggets.
And again, it’s so that you see that I’m in here struggling along with you. And that there’s no, like, we’re not some big company, we’re just David and Jill trying to build something and help inspire others on their journey.
Deepak Shukla 47:35
Absolutely. And your biggest unique assets are completely absent from your website, which is the crazy thing, right? Because there’s not any pictures of you or David, which would be really endearing because “I want to support you, the little guys.” And you said you have a cross fertilize.
I can go from your podcast or to your blog to MiloTree, but I can’t go from MiloTree to anywhere else. And it becomes, it looks and smells and feels a lot more like a big company.
Jillian Leslie 48:08
I think that’s what we were trying to do was for us to look bigger than we are.
Deepak Shukla 48:20
Absolutely. Well, you’re selling a product that’s for $9 a month. Small businesses are going to be buying it and it’s going to be composed of individuals.
Jillian Leslie 48:32
Deepak Shukla 48:32
Or what I do because I’m trying to sell, of course, a high ticket service that doesn’t scale with any way that MiloTree does. It’s important that for me to make sure I position myself and my agency as a company, of course, that we are, but with your audience, it’s different from the audience that I sell to.
And it could be that there’s a little bit of a misalignment with what you offer versus who’s buying it.
Building a cohesive whole with your business
Jillian Leslie 48:59
Yep. I see that. I see that. Yeah, I think that we’re not putting that, again, that things are in buckets. I’ve talked about this previously on the podcast, and we need to kind of build more of a cohesive whole.
Deepak Shukla 49:15
Well, the brilliant thing is that it’s already, with all of that being said, the design and how it is presented is already excellent. And it’s just little tweaks that we can apply to the company and we all do this right.
We fall into what I call a little bit of a corporate mode, and we forget kind of where our roots are, and why people followed us in the first place.
And I think that certainly the more that we see that and it’s going to be relatively simple, I think the greater returns that you’ll get because that’s, of course, as everybody talks about, certainly in the blogging space, this is how you build your tribe. So let’s give them the opportunity to become loyal to MiloTree.
Jillian Leslie 49:58
Yes, yes. Yes. Oh, Deepak, honestly, I feel like this has been so valuable. And I hope as bloggers, entrepreneurs, creative entrepreneurs, you recognize, I am recognizing the value of people getting to know you and writing authentically about you. And I see so many ways that this is valuable. One being Google.
Deepak Shukla 50:28
Jillian Leslie 50:31
Thinking your own life where like you won’t go to a restaurant unless it has good reviews, or you won’t buy on Amazon just thinking or go on that trip without looking at TripAdvisor. So you’ve got Google, but also, you’ve got that personal touch.
Deepak Shukla 50:48
Jillian Leslie 50:49
And I feel that people can go, Oh like, we’ve gotten some reviews, for example, where people have said, “Wow, Jillian and David were so helpful, because one thing that we try so hard is to provide really good customer service. And I’ve always discredited those testimonials.”
Deepak Shukla 51:08
Jillian Leslie 51:08
Because I’ve weirdly thought it doesn’t make us look corporate if they’re talking about Jill and David being like, right there solving their problem, solving people’s problems.
Deepak Shukla 51:19
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Jillian Leslie 51:20
And now I’m thinking “No, we want people to see that.”
Deepak Shukla 51:24
Absolutely. I think that you just look to the voyeuristic nature of what people love right now. Snapchat is probably the best example of it as a billion dollar company that’s focused around, give us the snap literally…
Show your personality in your blog or company
Jillian Leslie 51:40
Deepak Shukla 51:41
…of what you’re up to at the moment or live streams, etc. So, I think that it’s definitely a great opportunity, and it’s going to be with people to offer so much value. And the beautiful thing here is your neurons are probably firing, and you’re thinking of about 110 different things you got to activate.
And I always wanted to be, I always want, I wanted to be stuff that you can just go out and do and that you get, and then it does carry a return and stuff. And I think that this is certainly where everything is going or if not, it’s already gone.
And the more that you can kind of personalize and show your quirks, the more that I think you’ll get people that will just love you guys and stay with you.
Jillian Leslie 52:26
Thank you. And again, though, for our audience, if you reach out to brands, and you want to sell yourself, get some testimonials that you can then send over so that you can increase your trust if you sell a product, get people talking about using your product. Or if people are loving your recipes, put those up.
If you’re a food blogger, and you’re like, “Yeah, but I just monetize via ads.”
Deepak Shukla 52:56
Absolutely. Imagine being able to show Ben and Jerry’s Jane’s blog about food is the reason why I’m an addicted Ben and Jerry’s customer, then you can get a review like that and sending that over to their marketing manager.
How powerful is that and how different is that from anything else that verifies that you’re smart with SEO? It demonstrates that you’ve got a real audience and it’s just so different from anything else that it’s much more likely to get responses.
So if you can generate reviews at scale, and you can get your customers to insert the keywords of the products they bought, especially if you’re an affiliate, that just creates endless leverage for the things that you can do with that.
Jillian Leslie 53:37
And the one last piece, as women, my audience is predominantly women, get used to being uncomfortable in asking because I’m right there with you. And I am now going to after we get off this call, email that person back and ask if they would write just a two or three sentence something that I can then use.
Deepak Shukla 53:58
Brilliant. I think that you absolutely should, and I hope that everyone listening does the same thing.
Jillian Leslie 54:03
Yes, we’ll do it together. So Deepak, thank you so much for for this. I feel like I have learned so much. I hope, as audience members, that you guys have a bunch of takeaways. And this makes me think to put a more personal touch on stuff.
Deepak Shukla 54:22
Absolutely. I think that let’s all remember that you can position yourself as professionally as you want to. But no one’s fooling anybody. People will Google you before they’re going to buy anything from you, or if they do buy and they haven’t googled you, they’re probably gonna have a bad retention rate because they don’t care enough, and it was more of an impulse purchase. So give your audience reasons to love you.
Jillian Leslie 54:46
I love that. Okay, so we’re going to be back at some point where we talk about us like down in the in the nitty gritty, rolling up our sleeves and seeing what’s working and what’s not. So please come back and listen to our journey.
Deepak Shukla 55:03
Absolutely. I’m excited.
Jillian Leslie 55:06
Deepak, how can people find you?
Deepak Shukla 55:09
Absolutely, guys. And why I’d say guys? Sorry, ladies, I apologize. Yeah, no my mistake. I am sorry. Ladies, if you listen, just check deepakshukla.com, head to deepakshukla.com. If you’re interested in the course I spoke about earlier, there’s a pop up that will appear at the top. If it doesn’t, then find a way to message me online, on the site. There’s a bunch of different ways, and I always do my best to respond to everything. So you can catch me there.
Jillian Leslie 55:39
Alright. Wonderful. And spell your last name?
Deepak Shukla 55:41
Yes, absolutely. So D E E P A K, first name. Last Name, Shukla, S H U K L A. If all of that fails, and you could just look up Deepak Shukla and spell it still incorrectly and write TEDx. I’ve got a TEDx talk that you could find that ranks. Okay, so you could go ahead and just wander over to that.
Jillian Leslie 56:04
Oh, wonderful. Well, I look forward to going on this journey with you.
Deepak Shukla 56:08
Jillian Leslie 56:09
I hope you liked this episode. And as Deepak said, our reputations really matter and that includes our social media reputations. If you want to grow engaged, active followers and subscribers. I invite you to go to milotree.com to sign up for our pop ups.
You get your first 30 days free and see what we can do for you, and how you can really put your social media accounts on steroids.
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