Andrew and Pete are Content Marketing extraordinaires. Straight out of university they took on the challenge of not having experience and set to applying their knowledge and creativity to themselves. They are a wonderful example of what can happen when you apply your knowledge to yourself and age is no barrier.
Their consistent creative and out of the box thinking has made this dynamic duo in demand for their expertise. I look forward to sharing their insights and learnings of how they have used digital to create the life they want.
In this interview, they share their own experience when they were just beginning their business. Listen on how focusing on one thing and how taking a full week off for business holiday to focus on development helped them become successful when they were just starting out.
On Digital Marketing and Content Creation
Andrew and Pete shared their secret on how to avoid creating just another social media content marketing noise. Being true to yourself, having some kind of personality, and applying what you are offline to your online content can help you stand out.
What is the worst that can happen when doing digital marketing?
“What if something goes wrong? What are you scared of? If it goes horribly wrong and nobody watches it, nobody watches it. Nobody knows that you’re a failure because it doesn’t get seen by anyone.”
Hello. I’m Serena Dot Ryan and welcome to the See Digital Clearly show. This show is dedicated to inspiring action. Each episode there is an interview with the forth-later doing great things for digital. they will share their insights and experience to get you inspired and focused to create the life you want thanks to digital.
In this episode, Andrew Pickering and Peter Gartland of the famous Andrew and Pete join me.
P: We are excited you’re ready to go.
S: Brilliant, brilliant. I love that you joined, the first cab off the rank today with you guys. It’s nice and early for you in the morning there?
A: Yes, super early super early I am halfway through my coffee so we are good to go
S: Oh, brilliant!
A: I was still in zombie mode but now i’m fresh, now I’m fresh.
S: I love it . That moments when the caffeine kicks in. So, I’m looking forward to that make the most of that energy here.
S: So, as you know, this blog, well, this podcast for me is, I really want to help people see the reality of digital. And that it’s actually here to help us not overwhelm us in being able to achieve our goals in life. And I found that quite fascinating how you’ve been able to build yourselves up with an amazing, I guess, profession in using digital. I have a question for you. Is this something that you always dreamed that you would be doing? Like what did you actually want to be, you know, when you’re a kid, what did you want to be when you grow up? Was this even on your radar?
A: Well we are 90’s kids. So I feel like, we just, we were growing up when like digital wasn’t huge but it was growing. Definitely kind of like came in our time. But definitely wasn’t something that, like a 10 year old Andrew or Pete thinking “we want to be digital marketers” I don’t think.
A: I, I actually wanted to, as random as it sounds, I wanted to own like a chain of really fancy hotels. And I don’t’ know why, and I’m still to this day, I love staying in hotels
P: He does.
A: It’s just a weird, obsession. And I don’t think I’ve never ever said that in a podcast before
S: Oh, wow.
A: So that is an exclusive for you right there.
S: So, you guys find this really, Uh, I was just going to say I’m blown away. Were you a fan of Michael J. Fox?
A: Michael? I don’t know if, Michael J. Fox?
A: Which one is Michael J. Fox? (laughter)
S: There was this classic 90’s movie called The Concierge.
A: No, I got to check this one out (laughter)
S: The reason I brought this up ’cause I just can’t believe you just revealed that you wanted to own these hotels. For me, I had this dream to be a concierge in a five star hotel. And it started when I watched this movie called the Concierge I was fascinated by it.
P: You definitely have to watch it now then.
A: Yeah, well now when I get the hotels, you’ve got a job.
S: Haha, you’re wrong! (laughter)
A: If this is all goes, to Digital Marketing, that’s how fun…
P: For me I always wanted to be a rich businessman. And now, I always wanted to be an explorer. I was fascinated by like exotic animals.
A: It was like a kid show a rich businessman that’s actually an explorer.
P: I had lots of exotic animals when I was growing up. Like I had snakes and spiders and geckos and all sorts. And then I always told my parents, I was really young at a time, I was like: “Well, when you die, I thought it would be like to, we’re going to turn the house into like, an exotic pet center. And then we would like just charge people to come in and we’ll make lots of money but I actually live there.” So I thought that would be really cool.
A: Both of it sounds much far exciting than we actually do now, so it has gone wrong somewhere down to the road.
S: I have to ask thought, do you have any exotic animals now?
P: I don’t anymore, unfortunately, no.
A: One day.
P: Andrew is more than enough.
A: We should store an organic animal to the office.
P: We should
S: Oh absolutely I want to hear when you do, that’s a great idea!
A: Yeah, an easier one than a turtle
P: A goldfish
S: So you obviously weren’t thinking too much about digital marketing at that point. When did you decide, or when did you first notice the value of digital marketing?
P: So, we started out just like, free theaters. So to start with, we always wanted to run like a scalable business model. So, for years we can like develop an app. And then like, a social network. And we would try them out, all these ideas. But we knew at heart that of it we always just wanted that scalable business model. So, to do that we knew we had to be digital. We knew we have to use power online, and we knew there was potential. So we saw the value in it. But we couldn’t quite, get any value from it yet. Does that make sense?
And for years we were using social media, we were in the marketing and stuff like this. But we didn’t’ really see that much value in it in the sense of ROI. Like we spent more time doing digital things than getting our return back from digital things. And I occasionally we get like the odd person that said “Oh I love your newsletter and keeping in touch for years and now I’m finally ready to buy” So there are things like that, you know, paid off. But most of our business was from referrals and networking and things like that.
And it’s only ’til we started to do content marketing properly, like increase more unique content, that was, it was more on brand, more us. And a bit different from everyone else. And it was only really then when we saw the real value in it. In digital marketing, in online, and content marketing. And because that’s when people started to fall in love with our brand, they became fans of us they started following us more intently sharing stuff and obviously more applause that means buying stuff. And that’s when our subscribers went up and things like this.
So and we really started to see the value, when we started to pop like a unique spin on our content. And, and that’s when it really hit home for us because now we get to the point where, people come into the process, they’re hearing about us, they’re finding us in search, they’re binge watching our content, they’re downloading some of our freeby guides, they’re getting involved, they’re getting our newsletters, and before they knew it they bought something and they’re sharing lots of our stuff and we don’t even know this person, and that’s like it hits me a bit, that’s what we all want. And that’s when it started to go, yes! This is it, we’ve made it! Like, now we just need to like, build on this replicating it.
A: It’s just a completely different ballgame. It’s like you could go to a networking event and you can talk to such people for an hour and that’s it. Or you can create a video that can get watched a thousand times and it doesn’t die. It’s got the potential to get watched another thousand times, another thousand times, another thousand times. I think that’s the real value that we see in digital.
P: Yeah. If you go in networking as well to meet real people you’re only going to talk to like, five of them. And that’s it in for that long. Or you might get like a 30 second pitch to the room. What if you could have, you know, a five minute video pitch to a room of a thousand people. And that’s the difference between, you know, networking and a finer online based.
S: So you made a really great point there, it’s like, to scale that up you’ve got always people to see you and that’s great you are creating your own video and you hoped that lot of people will see it. We know there are so much content being created these days you’ve got to have capture. And I love that point you make about being different. How did you from not being seen to suddenly you standing out in the market? Like, what was it you decided to do like to share with those who are listening that made you stand out?
A: Okay. So, I’m just going to take you back to networking for a second because when we went networking, that was super well for us, right? Because we didn’t’ just stand up to do the same boring 30 second pitch we would stand up and we would throw chocolate across the room or we would take little fireworks or we would dress as zombies. And this was like, who are fresh from Uni right?
We were 21 we were like young crazy guys that would go networking, and we built like a huge reputation for us and being these really fun guys we were like loving it, we were having like a ball. And all we really did was apply that same principle to the online world, right? So we’re not saying go crazy, dress like zombies in videos. We are saying, like, be true to you. So have some kind of personality. I think that lot of people will look at their industry and they’ll just copy what’s being done and will think “that’s person’s successful, they do it like that should do it like that too.”
All you’re really doing then ism just add to this social media content marketing kind of noise. Well for us, we kind of stood back, and thought why do people like us when they meet us in person? What kind of qualities would they say we have and how do we apply that to our online content? So for us it is very much kind of about being fun. It’s about breaking some rules sometimes. Well it’s also about inspiring some action as well. So we don’t just want to inspire people and kind of leave them.
We want to actually tell people how to go about and kind of do this stuff. And that’s what I think we’ve done in the offline world and it was just applying that to our content. So we were doing that ton of blogging, before that. But the blogs, to be honest like we’re really boring. And we look at some of them now, and we think “Ugh”, we just cringe when we read them.
S: Well I love that you started, from what you’re saying, instead of talking you’ve actually been doing. So you’ve been able to learn to share it.
A: Yeah exactly, I think that’s important for anyone. Like it’s not going to, be obvious what to do til you do it and I think that’s what we have learned. So, and it was actually we were at this Ted Godin event, and he really inspired us when he said, what’s it actually, how do you phrase it beautifully,and I’m gonna completely fail at phrasing it beautifully. But it basically said, “What if something goes wrong? Like the cost of that failure of that video not going down well is tiny. So what are you scared of?”
P: Yeah. If it goes horribly wrong and nobody watches it, nobody watches it. Nobody knows that you’re a failure because it doesn’t get seen by anyone.
S: It’s like if a tree falls in a forest, it didn’t really fall.
A&P: Yeah, exactly!
P: Like remember that video we made, on YouTube where we went absolutely mental. It’s like, we would be sorry.
S: That’s a great tip.
P: Looking or a very random video. It’s just a question right, what’s the worst that could happen?
S: It’s so interesting you said that. So, I on my way to Social Media Marketing World, where I met you guys. I need to do a few more videos. So I set up, in a cafe, at the Sydney International Airport with my tripod, and my phone and my little lab mic. And I was sitting in this cafe with people walking past, I did a Facebook Live. And I had people walking past, and getting all these looks. And I was like, well, I’ll do it anyway. And the comments that came underneath it, was that’s my worst nightmare and I can’t believe you’re doing that and I could never do that – with these comments from people who are watching. And I thought, it’s not like I’m skydiving ’cause that’s not something that I would do, probably going to scare me a bit more than sitting here doing this video. But it’s amazing how people can scare themselves so much into not doing anything.
P: That’s very true. Very very true.
S: I love how you, you just put it out there. You’re right you’re inspiring me to do more videos I love it.
A: I’m liking that, I’m liking that. Maybe that’s how are personalities, don’t know, we love horror movies. We like being scared maybe.
S: I think I love the idea of doing the zombies. Some networking events can be quite stayed with people in it.
P: To be fair it was Halloween.
A: Yeah it was halloween. It wasn’t like the middle of some. (laughter)
P: Well, we actually got business from that event from a guy who just thought it was hilarious and he was like, I need some help, so we, like, signed the contract, emailing back and forth. And then the next week we saw him at a networking event, like a mini conference. And we walked and talked to him and we were like “Hey” and he was like, “Uhhh, Do I know you?” He didn’t recognized us.
S: You said that “We’re the two zombies?”
A: Yeah. And we just said “Errrr(zombie sound)” and he liked it..
S: I love it.
P: And that was Andrew pulling the zombie face as well.
A: Is my audio zombie, not good enough?
S: Thanks for the visual (laughter).
S: I have to ask. Setting up your own business. But, I think it’s known to be pretty challenging. What would you say you found most challenging with you doing your business?
P: The hardest thing for us was focus. So we spent a good few years, like basically wasting our time. Doing a bit of everything trying to make some money here, something there. And with all these different projects going on. Nothing really was making lot of money. Until we put 100 percent of our asset into one thing and one thing only. That’s the real key. Every year we get more and more focused on what were actually doing. And every year it helps us to make more money and get further. And have more success. Because we can put a 110 percent effort into one thing and that has really helped us. But you’re right it is, it is really really hard. And I know that because of issues with people is just patience. Like you can’t expect to go from zero to influencer overnight. “It takes ten years to become an overnight success.” That’s, one of the quote, I don’t know who said that. But it’s quite an interesting point.
A: We said it (laughter)
S: Very good point. Yeah. That’s a good reminder.
S: So, for you to gain your focus what actually helped?
A: So we actually took a full week off. And this is what we recommend a lot of people do. We recommend for our clients, and podcasts in the past. Where we actually like to see what we were doing, and we thought. Can’t remember what that moment was but we knew something had to change. And what we basically did was we looked at our diary and we set a week off. But it was like six weeks time right, because if somebody take a week off, you already got meetings and it’s like, “Ah I have to take a week off.”
But we set it in six week time and the whole six weeks we didn’t book in any client, we didn’t book in any meeting. In six weeks time, we didn’t book any clients, or meetings or anything. So when we came to that week we knew it was completely empty. And then we spent a full week on just pure business development. We spoke to a few coaches. We looked at what we really wanted to do. And we just kind of re-focused our brain. We looked at our finances, on what or where is money coming in from. And if we want to reach our financial goals, could we actually do it the way we were going? And we couldn’t basically. So that’s why we kind of marked up our scalable products, our atomic membership. And we took a full week just to kind of plan that. Because I don’t think we can do it in like an hour or a day or a couple of days. You need to sleep on it a lot the time.
P: That is why you just kind of get carried away. And you just like, plug along until one day you realize 10 years down the line, like “What the hell am I doing”? And, what we recommend to a lot of business, you don’t need have, you don’t need many time to work on themselves, they’re just doing this kind of work all the time. Where we have at least 1 our 2 days, and sometimes like 3 or 4 days in a week where we just work on our own business. We’re just producing contents for ourselves we’re not just doing it for ourselves, we’re improving our final that day. That day we got a whole day spent on Facebook ads. This day we got a whole day improving our atomic membership site sales page etc. Etc.
A: You can just like at times be creative and a not like a lot kind of time.
P: ‘Cause If you don’t take time to improve your business and not work on it, then you’re just going to be doing the same thing forevermore.
S: That’s a good point.
A: If ever we needed boost, then we do those business holidays and we’ll book them all. And we’ll take that time.
S: I love it, a business holiday.
A&P: Yeah, business holidays.
A: Like you mentioned Social Media Marketing World before as well. That’s another example like, go to event and get inspired. So we love, we actually really love Social Media Marketing World because we always come back refreshed. And we always have some kind of cool awesome thing we want to work at while we’re at Social Media Marketing World.
P: We took the week off after Social Media Marketing World to go LA and just like chill out and brainstorm and just get clear on what we wanted to do after it. You get all inspired and then you go back home and you just kinda do the same thing you’ve been doing.
S: I love that.
P: Just try, you need to take time to refresh.
S: That’s a good lesson. I underestimated the impact that would actually have on my world, literally. And I could say, yes I’m definitely going next year, and yes I make sure I have that week afterwards to process. Cause you got so much action happened.
A: It’s crazy
S: But a good crazy. But wow, amazing.
S: So, I really, really appreciate how much you’ve been sharing. Really interesting to get your take on how you’ve been able to use the digital tools available to you to create a life that you have. What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business? Ready but haven’t quite taken the plunge yet?
A: Okay this intuitive advice when I think about the most useful piece of advice we can give. I think it’s going to be going back to what I said earlier about how – I think for anyone set up something new, their kind of, gut instinct is to see what everyone else is doing in the market and duplicate that. Now, yes, there’s probably some things that you are going to have to do the same, but always put your own spin on it so you’re not just adding to the noise. So digital marketing for example, what is something that I want to do, email marketing maybe, for example, building your email list. Yes, that’s something you should be doing.
But then don’t just do it exactly the same as everybody else. Don’t make like your emails look like a carbon copy of someone else in your industry. Don’t have the same message as somebody else in your industry. Try to carve your own kind of path. So you do stand out above everyone else.
P: I think that’s great. Just be unique, be more of yourself. Put yourself into your brand more. I think when people try to start up their own business they try and hide behind their logo and they try and beat themselves up and make them look as corporate and professional as possible as kind of an overcompensation. Because they’re maybe nervous, like, about them setting up. I know we were, we were like 12 when we start our business. When we first started, started out, we be like wearing suits and our website was the most corporate boring thing you’ve ever seen and now it’s like the complete opposite. So, and then people resonate with it a lot more. And that was just who we are. So don’t try and pretend to be someone you’re not.
S: Fantastic. I love that. Thank you so much for your time. I really enjoyed our conversation. And I look forward to catching up again sometime soon.
P: I really enjoyed that. Thank you for having us.
A:Thank you so much.
S: Thank you.
A: Bye guys!
Thanks for listening. The best time for you to take action is now. Get out there and use digital for what’s it intended for. To make your life a better one.