In this episode, Andy interviews Craig Valine, Marketing Performance Strategist and Founder of EMP Alliance.
Listen as Craig Valine shares how improving a company's clarity can lead to greater success. In addition, find out exactly how to define your clarity in order to grow your business.
Going beyond the subject of clarity, Craig discusses the 5 sources of power and how these sources can be used to substantially grow your business.
About Craig Valine:
Over the past 25+ years, Craig has helped hundreds of businesses reach their goals in the fastest time possible by revealing to them, what he calls, "hidden" marketing assets and overlooked opportunities for profit that lie dormant within their business. His passion is in helping you reach your business goals without you having to spend a lot more on marketing & advertising.
Episode Action Items:
You can reach Craig Valine connect with Craig and his EMP Alliance Membership at http://empalliance.com/ or contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE HOST:
Andy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.
New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and www.makeeachclickcount.com.
Andy Splichal 0:53
Welcome to the Make Each Click Count Podcast. This is your host, Andy Splichal. And today I'm excited. Because today it's a first first show today I'm being joined by our first repeat guest. This guest is a marketing performance strategist, founder of EMP Alliance and a good friend of mine, Craig Valine. Welcome, Craig.
Craig Valine 1:17
Hi, thanks for having me today.
Andy Splichal 1:19
Sure. Now, before we dive into today's topic, which is success loves clarity. Let's first hear your backstory and what ultimately led you to do what you're doing right now.
Craig Valine 1:31
Yeah, I grew up in New England in a small little beach town, south of Boston. And I became entrepreneurial at a very young age, my sister was receiving a $5 allowance, and I was receiving a 50 cent allowance. And my dad, I finally figured that out one day and said to my dad, what the heck, he said, teach me a valuable lesson go out and earn it. And so I did. And I started with a paper route. And that led to another paper and another paper route. And then I started mowing lawns, and I mowed every lawn on the hill that I grew up in. In the winter, I used to rake leaves, I would shovel snow out of driveways, I would hang Christmas lights. Pretty soon that 50 cents or that $5 that my sister was making. I was making hundreds more per week than she was I almost you know, I was making more than my family was at one point. And so as a joke, my dad got me a book called How I raised myself from failure to success in selling by Frank Bettger. And I read it as an 11 year old and I took it to heart. And you know later in life, people saw how entrepreneurial I was and friends business was going under. And he said, would you come in and talk to my dad and see if you can help him? I did and I just noticed that people would walk into the store and then walk out and there was no interaction there was no is there something that I can find for you? Can I you know, what are you looking for specifically, that sort of thing. And I said, just talk to people and capture their information and see if you can, you know, stay in touch with them. And it was very simple, but it made a huge difference. And as a joke, someone said, you should really do this for a living. And so I A few years later, I started doing it. And I struggled for a while because I didn't know how to be a consultant, I knew how to dispense advice and common sense things to fix a business. But I didn't know how to run my own consulting agency. And so I failed for a long time, until I paid a lot of money to try to figure it out. So now I'm happy to succeed, I'm happy to say that I'm I'm successful, and I'm doing well and I am able to help a lot more people be successful in the process.
Andy Splichal 3:39
Now one question, was that a older sister or a younger sister?
Craig Valine 3:43
That was an older sister three years older?
Andy Splichal 3:45
Craig Valine 3:47
Andy Splichal 3:48
So hey, I had the pleasure of hearing your presentation on clarity a few weeks back, and I thought that that would be especially helpful to my listeners. So. So first, I hope you don't mind rehashing the subject. And second, if you don't, how do you define clarity? And why is it essential for business to focus on clarity if they want to be successful?
Craig Valine 4:08
Yeah, you know, clarity is really just another word for being clear, coherent, understood, you know, related to business, I think it's about being decisive. And that is being very clear about who you're who you are, as a business. Who do you serve? Who do you most want to serve? And why? What is your real product? And what is the product? Do? You know? Who, what, where, why, when and how of the business and a lot of people operate on randomness. They're not, you know, it's like goal setting. People don't write down their goals, and therefore they never reach their goals because they don't know what the heck they are. And clarity is being decisive about. This is who we are, this is what we stand for. This is what we sell. This is who we sell to. And this is why we do it. And this is how we do it. And so that's really when it comes down to it's really about decisiveness versus randomness.
Andy Splichal 5:05
So somebody wants to make sure they have clarity or develop clarity. Well, what would be the steps?
Craig Valine 5:15
You know, it comes down to sitting down with a pen and a pad or a journal, and writing down a few things. There's a few different areas of personal, excuse me of clarity that I target. Most with my group members and things like that. Number one is personal, clarity, personal clarity who you are, and what you're about. You want to sit down and write who who am I? What do I stand for? What are my beliefs? Why am I doing this thing? What what what am I all about? Second thing is Ford orientation, clarity. Where do I want to go? Where do I want to go with this business? What is the end result that I'm really working for? Is this something I just want to do every day for the rest of my life? Or is there a goal in mind? Why am I doing this thing? Do I have a defined purpose? Audience and market clarity. Who is your perfect customer? And where can you find them? You know, sometimes we do business with people just because we need to make a buck. And there's people that are more inclined to do business with us than others. There are people that we prefer to do business with more than others. One of those qualities, what are the products that they bought that we can find more of like them? Message clarity, the ultimate transformation you offer. And this isn't really about your products and services. But what happens as a result, when someone takes advantage of your product service, what happens to themselves, what happens to their business? And lastly, is your method clarity? And that is what are your rules of engagement? What are your business and sales processes? These things have to be mapped out. And I find after doing this for 25 years now, most and I would say really most and this is not an exaggeration. Most people are winging it. The most successful people that I know, are clear on at least some of it.
Andy Splichal 7:16
And yeah, I mean that that brings up a great point I was going to ask you so most people are winging it. Once a once you can put your clarity in place, have you seen businesses, what's been the result?
Craig Valine 7:33
You know, it is rare that you see any business being clear on every aspect of their business. I have a client now who is a periodontist. And he is hyper clear on everything to the extent that it almost hinders him. And he has to be involved in everything which prevents if the practice from growing. But in most cases, when I see someone improve one or two aspects of their business by being clear, this is the goal that we've set. This is our purpose, this is why we do what we're doing. And therefore we know not to take businesses outside of that purpose outside of our values outside of our mission. You know, you can see an incredible growth, it doesn't take, you know, it kind of is a slightly incongruent with diversity creates stability, which is my primary methodology is that is the more things you have working at the same time, the better, you do not have to have everything in your business to be absolutely positively clear. In order to improve, it helps. But if you just improve 1234, you know, out of 10 or 20, or 30, you're going to see massive improvements in your life set up by just saying Why am I in this business? What am I what is the purpose, and then you might see that your actions every day is going to be different, because you won't be taking on things that don't attribute to that primary purpose. You know, it's all it's like goal setting. It's like we set goals for ourselves, it's like, well, is this thing that I'm doing today, taking me closer or farther away from my goal is just being absolutely clear. And then what can't be helped by being just clear on one aspect of your life that you weren't clear on the day before.
Andy Splichal 9:25
Now, a lot of your examples were for like professional services. Most of the listeners are ecommerce businesses where of course I mean, their customers typically are whoever wants to buy the product that they're selling. Where would you see an Ecommerce company using clarity to improve their business?
Craig Valine 9:49
But it's, you know, the problem, in my opinion that an Ecommerce business might have over a professional services business over a products business is thinking that their business is different. And a business as a business as a business, the mechanics may be different, the tactics may change, but the strategies remain the same. And this is clearly no pun intended strategy. You know, clarity about why we're in business? What is our primary purpose? Who is our ideal target customer? What is our ideal sales process, the way we do business, it's going to be the same strategy as professional services business would be our products business. Again, being clear about the processes are going to be important, being clear about what media works, and what doesn't work, what how someone comes into their funnel or their sales process is going to be you know, it's exactly the same. Now, again, the tactics may change, and the mechanics may change, but clarity about the who, what, why, when, and how I may miss that Mr. Who relativistically did. You know, it has to be answered in that business, just as it would be answered in a professional services business.
Andy Splichal 11:11
Now, during the clarity presentation, I remember that you had mentioned also the forest sources of power, which by the way, has a really cool name. But can you define these five sources of powers for for listeners?
Craig Valine 11:25
Yeah, I've, you know, I've been doing this for 25 years, and I've just noticed that there are these things that pop out that if they're probably used and exploited can really boost a business, or continue to boost the business continue to fuel a business. And the first one is your list. And the relationship you have your list. A list means all the people, your prospects, your current customers, your past customers, people who have either raised their hand and said I'm interested. So if if a business has a lead magnet, or a free sample or something like that, or coupon, people have raised their hand by entering their email address or their personal information, and they have done that in exchange for something that you offer, the customer, obviously someone who's bought from you in the past customers, or people that bought from you that just haven't bought in a while. So the relationship with that list is, you know, how often you communicate with them? How often or how often are you making offers to them. So there is power in that. In power, it could mean money, obviously, money, an asset, it's an asset to the business. The second one is reputation, and what you are known for. So your reputation for being great at what you do your reputation for doing something that nobody else can does, it will offer your reputation for delivering a solid product. You know, what are you known for? Are you known, like in my case, I'm known as No BS Craig, I tell it like it is diplomatic, when I tell like it is like so. And I tell it very simply, like a six year old can understand it. So, again, number two is your reputation. And what are you known for? Number three is your marketing. If you have marketing that's working, that is a source of power. If it generates new business, or generate sales, new customers, then there's power in that, because that's something you can use over and over and over again. Number four is specific marketing advantage. What can you do that no one else can does? Uh, well, do you offer a better than risk free guarantee that no one else offers? Do you offer a product that no one else offers in the marketplace? Do you have certain hours that you operate that no one else does can will, you know, operate under you know, so it's something specific that what we would call a unique selling proposition or unique selling advantage? But in this case, it's what are you known for that you're the only one that offers it? And number five, would be clarity, as we mentioned earlier in this podcast.
Andy Splichal 14:17
Okay, great. Let's go back to number one for just a minute the list because that that's a question I get very often from from private clients, and especially one of the questions is they don't want to over communicate, they don't they don't want to send emails. You know, what is your thought? How often is should someone communicate with their list?
Craig Valine 14:45
Well, let me start with the reason a list is so important to communicate with. Well, first, it costs five to 10 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to do business with an existing customer. So initial sale is just the beginning of a long term relationship, which means it comes, it becomes an asset that will pay off over the life of that relationship. If you work it right. So why is it important to build a relationship with a list? Well, people buy initially to solve a want need or problem. And they stay with you because of the relationship they have with you. So if you treat them like their Android friends, like family, you'll be hard pressed to see them leave. So I communicate on a regular basis, on average, at least once a day, during the busy during the week. I know people who communicate three or four times a day, if you have a solid relationship with someone, it doesn't matter, people will not unsubscribe, I've been communicating for at least the last six months, on average every day, once or twice, and I communicate once. And then for the people who don't open my email, I send a second email with a different subject line and the different opening paragraph. I send that six hours later. And I get that so I increased my open rates because of that my click through rates. So you know, I sent one, maybe at 10, or 11 o'clock in the morning, the next one goes out and five or six o'clock in the afternoon. And I will get about a 20 to 30% response on the first one. And then I'll get another 15 to 20% on the second one. So it definitely helps people just get busy sometimes. And if they have that relationship, they look forward to it. Especially if it's well written. And if you you know my emails, I write stories to tie into what I'm trying to mention or offer.
Andy Splichal 16:31
So you don't take into that you can over communicate with your list?
Craig Valine 16:36
I think you'd be delivering crap. Sure. If you're trying to, you know, if you have nothing to say, and you're just selling, selling, selling, yeah, you could. But you know what, the reason I get a good open rate on my emails is because I try and make them interesting. I tie a story into what I'm trying to make a point about. And at the end it says, hey, you know, if, by the way, you know, I'm going to be talking more about this in my monthly masterclass. So, if you want to become a member and you're not already one, click here. So, but if I were just selling, selling, selling, selling, and I didn't have I didn't care about the relationship, I didn't care about their interest. Of course, they're gonna go this is crap. I'm gonna delete it.
Andy Splichal 17:16
Okay, well, that's great. Well, you know, I've been working on a new game to have on the podcast. Do you mind if I invite you to be the first one to play?
Craig Valine 17:26
Sure. I'm curious.
Andy Splichal 17:29
All right, well, this game goes like this. I say a word and you respond right away with the first word that pops in your head. So a little word association game. So let me Okay, cue the music.
Okay, so are you ready to start?
Craig Valine 17:52
Andy Splichal 17:53
Okay, so we're gonna do a baseline simple, easy ones first. Here we go. Run.
Craig Valine 18:00
Andy Splichal 18:01
Craig Valine 18:03
Andy Splichal 18:04
Craig Valine 18:06
Andy Splichal 18:07
All right. Next, we're gonna shift into a little bit more business terms for 10. All right. Business.
Craig Valine 18:17
Andy Splichal 18:18
Craig Valine 18:20
Andy Splichal 18:21
Craig Valine 18:24
Andy Splichal 18:25
Craig Valine 18:27
Andy Splichal 18:29
Craig Valine 18:32
Andy Splichal 18:34
Craig Valine 18:37
Andy Splichal 18:38
Craig Valine 18:40
Andy Splichal 18:41
Craig Valine 18:43
Andy Splichal 18:45
Craig Valine 18:47
Andy Splichal 18:48
Craig Valine 18:51
Andy Splichal 18:52
Supercharged. All right like that. All right. Now, what I wanted to ask you about was your EMP Alliance group. Can you tell us a little bit more about that? Yeah.
Craig Valine 19:04
So for about 13 years now, I've been running a group that used to meet in person in the Los Angeles area in Pasadena specifically, which is about eight miles northeast of Downtown LA. And we met in person in a group of diverse entrepreneurs, a lot of service professionals. We have a few people who are in the products, business. Ecommerce, got every type of business just about every type of business. And at one point, we had 142 paying members. But we used to meet in person in in a group format and just share strategies and things that worked. We'd have the metaphor presentation, sometimes members would present what's working for them. We would share our successes and challenges or I call the braggadocious time it was an opportunity for the entrepreneur to brag because my mentor Bill Glazer used to say the successful entrepreneur Are is one of the loneliest people on Earth, because no one just gets us unless you're talking to another entrepreneur. But anyway, it was a great group and we met on a monthly basis. And then we couldn't meet in person anymore. So now we created EMP Alliance, which is an online version of that group, which is really a support system for entrepreneurs. So every month, we do a monthly training called a masterclass. And it is on a tactic or strategy that is meant to increase profit in growth in some way, shape, or form, to enhance marketing performance. So we do that once a month. And then we have a live event called The Power Event, which is later in the month. And we do that live via zoom. And that's an opportunity to bond with other entrepreneurs and share your successes and get help if you need it in a in a public forum with other entrepreneurs. I also get to brag if you if you'd like to, and it's recorded. So if you're not able to make it, it's put on to the member site. We also have it open what I call power office hours. And that is an opportunity for if you need personal coaching, my doors are open via zoom. And you can come on and ask any questions you need and get 15 total minutes for yourself, one on one with me. And it's it's pretty powerful. And then I do a mind, body, and soul , which was a session which was meant to be monthly. But it has been random unfortunately. And Mike, I haven't found any good speakers. Dr. K, who you recommend to me is coming up soon. But, you know, we talked about the mindset, taking care of your body taking care of your mental health, as it relates to being an entrepreneur and running your own business. And so that is what it is now, and we're you know, not at 142 paying members. But we certainly got some dedicated members who have been with me for all 13 years. And you know what I told you before about treating, you know, members, like dear valued friends or family, that is what we've got, we've got a great family of members who stick around, and they are successful as a result of that.
Andy Splichal 22:06
That's great. I mean, especially since you're online, people outside of, of your area can join all over the country and even all over the world that they would want to.
Craig Valine 22:17
That's right, you know, and I had been hesitant for a long time to do that. But it's working. I have you know, since we've been doing this for a year now. I've been unable to meet in person, I have gotten accustomed to it. I've made it work. And it's you know, I belong to another group, which is personal development oriented. And I've meeting people in Ireland and England and Seattle and Florida and I love it.
Andy Splichal 22:45
Now, if someone wanted to connect with you and learn more about your EMP Alliance group, how would they do so?
Craig Valine 22:52
They can go right to that website, which is EMP Alliance. EMP stands for Enhanced marketing performance, by the way. So they can go to empalliance.com. And there's a letter there that explains a little bit more about what it's about. But if you have questions, just email me directly at Craig at empresults.com.
Andy Splichal 23:14
Okay, great. And all that thing that you all those the office hours, the meetings, is it all just one membership? Are there different levels out as I work?
Craig Valine 23:25
Yeah, it's ridiculously low for that basic membership. That's called the VIP, you become an EMP Alliance VIP. That is just $97 a month, I put a lot of attention to my members. So there's tremendous value there and support for those people who need it. We do have an EMP Alliance, advanced marketing mastermind, which you're a member of. And, you know, we have seven incredible people in that that's for people who get want to get more done in a month and most people get done in a year. In many a few of my private clients are in that group as well. And then beyond that, it is private client arrangements which I handpick based on what I know and love about the person that I'm going to be doing business with, but they tend to come right from the mastermind.
Andy Splichal 24:11
Okay, well, that's great. Did you have anything else to add? That's, that's all the questions I had for you today.
Craig Valine 24:18
No, I you know, I just compliment to you, you know, anybody listening to this podcast will keep on listening to the others. And watch what Andy does in the is I've seen Andy from when he started his business to where he is today. And he's an incredible human being good at what he does.
Andy Splichal 24:35
So great. Well, thank you very much Craig. Well, that's it for today. Remember, if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcast and leave an honest review. And if you were looking for more information regarding clarity, or Craig's EMP Alliance community, you can reach out to him through how he just meant mentioned. I'm also going to put the information in the show notes and addition for those of you out there using Google Shopping I'm excited to announce that I will be launching a new Google Shopping ads challenge beginning on February 16. So if you're looking to improve your Google Shopping in the quickest time possible here in 2021, visit www.makeeachclickcount.com/challenge to sign up. In the meantime, remember to stay safe, keep healthy and happy marketing and I will talk to you in the next episode.