Episode 240 | Posted on

Clever Marketing for Difficult Times with Scott Oldford

It’s such an interesting time in marketing. The plates are shifting right beneath our feet. As a way to get our bearings, we look to marketing leaders who have the guidance to help us through the uncertainty. 

My guest today, Scott Oldford is the mentor and investor behind entrepreneurs and influencers who are positively impacting the world. Scott has helped hundreds of businesses scale past 7-figures. What I love about Scott is he is completely self-taught, starting at age seven when he raised chickens and sold eggs out of his parents’ backyard. He is so relatable, admitting to the misses as well as the hits–all of it allowing him to have the learning experiences he needed to get to the impressive place he is now at the young age of 28. 

In this episode we talk about having a flexible, open mindset and belief system with no ego attached in order to achieve success. We discuss not getting too attached to any one particular idea, business model, product, or service. We get into how important it is for you to get your own attention, your own awareness, and your own presence before you can then step inside anybody else’s. It’s pretty great stuff, so without any further ado, let’s get on with the show!

In this Episode

  • [00:29] – Stephan introduces Scott Oldford, a successful entrepreneur and a mentor to other entrepreneurs and influencers who are positively impacting the world.
  • [03:00] – Which area of your business should you focus on during an economic transition?
  • [09:47] – Scott shares why people in business shouldn’t be too attached to their business model, product, or service.
  • [15:37] – Scott’s views on attending masterminds and what he sees as benefits and opportunities for his business.
  • [19:09] – Scott explains why he would spend more money on mentorship rather than attending to masterminds.
  • [23:05]- Scott shares timeless advice from his upcoming book, The Nuclear Effect, about the “sidewalk slow lane fast lane” methodology of messaging. 
  • [28:52] – Is it a good time to promote and get your customers engaged with the current economic crisis?
  • [35:56] – Scott explains why it is essential to know your target prospects before starting a business pitch.
  • [39:31] – Scott shares his story of how he started making money at the age of seven by raising chickens and selling eggs.
  • [43:30] – Visit Scott Oldford’s website at www.scottoldford.com to evolve your business, mindset, and lifestyle.

Jump to Links and Resources


Today with us, super excited to have Scott Oldford. Been working on getting him on the show for, I don’t know, maybe two years?

I might be more difficult than Obama, you know? I might be more difficult than him.

Maybe, but I’m very excited to have you on the show. Scott partners with seven-figure entrepreneurs and influencers to make their business sustainable and scalable. He’s well-known in a Facebook advertising community as an expert in that space. I’ve worked with folks who’ve been trained by Scott and built funnels and Facebook ad campaigns based on some of what he’s taught. I’ve got my five-day SEO challenge built based on Scott’s methodology, so thank you for that, Scott. I bet you didn’t even know that you were responsible for that.

No, didn’t even know. It’s a wonderful thing when you don’t know about all the wonderful good things that happened.

Sienna is somebody that was trained by you. I don’t know if you know Sienna, but she was one of your students.

Don’t know her either, that’s even better, I love when that happens.

You are making a difference, impacting the world without even knowing that you’re doing it, that’s awesome. Thank you for joining us today, Scott.

Absolutely. Great to be here.

This is a really interesting time. The ancient Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.” What are you suggesting folks do differently? What are you doing differently in these times in terms of marketing?

First off, I think the first thing you have to do, which I also practice- I created a really good 40-page guide on how to deal with what’s going on right now, called the recessionPROOF guide. I highly recommend checking that out or if you want to put it on the show notes or whatever it may be.

For sure, I’d do that.

I’ll practice by saying anything I say will add on top of what’s inside of there. I wrote that for my private clients, and then I decided, “You know what, let me put it out.” It’s been downloaded 25,000 or so times now. I’ll say this. First off, I think a lot of people think that what’s going on with the economy is solely responsible because of the COVID-19. If you’re listening to this, let’s say you’re listening to this in August and COVID-19 has gone away, you’re like, “Wait a minute, the economy didn’t bounce back.” I think a lot of people think that the economy is going to bounce back. Because of that, I think a lot of people are creating very short-term marketing strategies to just try to get through the next 30, 60, or 90 days.

What you haven’t realized, I truly believe, and this is where people know of my marketing, I spend far more of my time studying the economy and studying what is going to happen, studying what happened in the past, and so forth. I’d been getting ready for an economic transition or correction, whatever you want to call it, for about two years. My belief is that your business right now has to fundamentally merge into what is going to be the next number of years.

The US economy has recently gone through significant growth and is now heading towards a massive drop. You can view that in a doomsday way, but some of the greatest companies happen when there's a big downturn. Click To Tweet

We’ve gone from the largest amount of growth that we’ve ever seen in the US economy to what I believe is going to be a massive drop. You can look at that in a doomsday way, or you look at the fact that most great companies happen when there’s a big downturn. GM became GM during World War II. So did Ford. Monopoly got created in 1935, Uber and Airbnb got created in 2008. Whenever there is a time of mass momentum, think about it. How long would it take if something like this happens for people to get used to working from home using Zoom? All these different types of things. I want to preface what I say by saying this is not a 90-day event. This does not happen because of COVID-19—my opinion.

Now, in terms of your marketing, your products, your offers, your messaging, your positioning, and all of those different types of things, more of what I’ve always said, work is going to work now—making sure that you’re selling painkillers and life boats, not vitamins. Being able to ensure that you understand that lifetime value is so important. Being able to create products and offers that really go to how your customers’ thinking, not just something that’s convenient for you to be able to provide.

I think another big element is marketing, with not a return on investment in 14 days but 90 days. Expanding the amount of time that you’re looking out for your ROS is more important right now. Right now, I’m spending more money on advertising that I’ve spent per day than I’ve spent at any other time in my dire history of marketing online. It’s because of the fact that attention is cheap. 

I want to get people following me. I want people on my email list. I want them pixeled. I want them in my group. I’m launching a new app, and I want them to buy my books. It doesn’t matter what they’re doing. I got to a point where I want to buy as much audience as possible. I want to buy half a million entrepreneurs and I want to buy the attention of half a million entrepreneurs. As long as I breakeven, that’s fine. As long as I breakeven in the next three months, I’m fine.

Then, I’m looking at the next three years, and that’s where I’m going to make my profit- the events that I might do, my next books that come out, my programs that come out. I think you got to shift your thinking now from the short-term. Marketers are terrible at this as a whole, which has been this way. I don’t really feel like ever a marketer. I never got trained by anyone. I didn’t do direct response. I was just always fascinated by psychology and how humans work. 

You got to look at, if people were going to spend less money, then you’ve got to give more time to be able to allow for that money to be given to you. Secondarily, there’s always going to be a lot of money in times like this. There’s going to be a lot of money on the bottom. People are looking for their 7/14-day fixes, and there’s going to be a lot of money in the 101 high-impact, high-intimacy. There are 12 million millionaires in America, and those people have problems, and they’re willing to pay for getting those problems fixed.

That’s what I’d say to all of that, long answer. This is not a V-shaped economy return, this is going to take years and years, and something like this is going to happen in 2021, in my opinion, not probably as severe. I think that your marketing got to get a lot smarter. Also, you just got to really be careful about trying to get those crazy three, four, or five extra turns on the front end that I know a lot of people base their entire business off of.

We need to go in this with a longer-term time horizon in mind. We need to at least break even but maybe not make a killing on the initial sale because we’re in it for the customer lifetime value, and now is an incredibly great time to advertise because the clicks are cheaper.

Yeah. Everything’s cheaper. Not just the clicks but the attention afterward, too. I’ve never seen as many email responses, everything, I’ve never seen it. I’ve been in this for a while, and we’re getting downloads of the guide that we have going, and brand new cold leads super qualified $0.60 to a dollar, six weeks ago is $14, never seen that.

My thing is, I’m spending my money right now, I don’t even care about the return. Because I know if I spend $5000 a day and get 5000 new people on the door, and I can’t convert at least three or four of them into something over the next six months, I should fire myself as a marketer and as a business owner. I think a lot of people are always like, “Well, I’ll spend a dollar if I know…” You don’t know anything in life, but I know if I create 5000 new connections with somebody, some of them are going to see value in what I have.

You’ve created a lot of online courses, and you got your book out. You are prolific with creating content.

People like to say that. I just kind of show up and create. I create when I’m inspired. If I’m not inspired, I don’t create. I get inspired often and because of that, the recessionPROOF guide took me four hours on a Saturday because I just need to get this out. I just created a new guide actually at how to pivot because I’ve pivoted so many times in my life. A lot of people want to pivot right now. That’s about 14,000 words, and I created that just one night here in my office where I need to teach people how to do this.

If you’re in the online space, if you’re an online personality, that’s the best thing to do. I think a lot of people, a lot of business owners, a lot of marketers, you just have to find something you enjoy talking about and just talk about it, and whenever you’re either inspired or triggered. Whenever you’re pissed off about something, or you’re inspired about it, talk, then create content, then find the ways to continually get inspired and triggered. Do more one-on-one calls if that’s what does it for you. More group calls, more podcasts, more whatever it is. I think a lot of people in business get attached to their program, or they get attached to their business.

Marketing before COVID-19 was already challenging enough. Now we have to be more creative, resilient, and innovative.

Back when I was 19-21, I lost a lot of money, and I won a million dollars in debt because I got attached to these business models that I had, this business that I had, and I thought it was the best thing ever. I thought it was my billion-dollar thing, and it might have been, and it cost me everything. The best way to create is to create, then let it go. Let it be its thing and not try to be like, “I have this intellectual property, I have this thing. Here it is, it might have made a million dollars, might have made $5 million. Okay, sweet, let’s keep going.” 

I think that’s my best advice for anybody at any stage is just keep on creating, keep on innovating, over and over again. I’m not some genius creator, in my opinion, I just kind of keep on processing what I see happens. I see myself, and I see a lot of us, we’re not experts, we’re mavens. We see things, we make observations, and then we spread the word about it.

I guess the bottom line for this part of the conversation is don’t get too attached to any particular idea, business model, products, service.

Never. Anytime you get attached to anything, it’s always bad. Especially if you’re going to share your genius with the world, you have to be okay with the fact that at some point, it’s not going to work. You got to be okay with the fact that just because you have a methodology, it might only work 80% of the time, or the economy might change, and what you were talking about for ten years is no longer relevant anymore.

Relevancy is something I talk about a lot with my methodology, the ROI method, which is my relevancy to the presence of intimacy methodology. So many people, especially if you’ve been with the market for a while, people hold on to something. I already made a new methodology that I haven’t released yet, that blows the ROI method out of the water, and it makes it look like child’s play. It’s not that I’m withholding that. It’s just that I was going to do an event because I wanted to get feedback, and I want to understand people’s mindset around it, and obviously, COVID happened, and that didn’t happen.

What I’d say is, as a creator, you almost kind of look at it this way: yes, the idea came through you, but is it actually your idea? I have this sort of concept in my life, and it’s more of a spiritual thing than it is an intellectual thing, which is the ideas I have, the concepts I have, and the information I have is not really mine. It comes through me, but it isn’t of me. 

When you adapt to that belief system, you don’t get attached to your ideas or concepts, which is really effective because entrepreneurs that have defined belief systems are shitty entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs that have really opened belief systems where it’s like, “You know what? That happened in the past, but I don’t know if it’s going to happen in the future.” Those are the best entrepreneurs because you’ve got to be able to allow your mindset and your belief system to adapt. A great entrepreneur is somebody that can just be like, “Oh, you know what? That doesn’t work anymore. Let’s find a new thing,” and have no ego attached.

Survival of the most adaptable, that’s actually a misquote to call it survival of the fittest from Charles Darwin. Survival of the most adaptable, so we need to be adaptable and we need to not be too attached to whatever our products are. I love what you said about you essentially channeling ideas, product ideas, information, products and services, new businesses, and so forth. Therefore, you don’t have this ego-type ownership attached to that idea.

You can’t steal something that isn’t yours. All the pirating people, people steal my sh*t so much.

My books are all over the internet.

Yeah, you get it.

The Art of SEO by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, & Jessie Stricchiola

Yeah. You can only contact the infringement team at O’Reilly so many times, and they’re like, “Oh, okay. Another email from Stephan.” You’re just playing whack-a-mole, or they’re playing whack-a-mole every time they have to chase down another copy of The Art of SEO getting pirated and available on Google. At the end of the day, information wants to be free.

Then that is the truth, and that’s the truth about this industry. If you look at Peter Diamandis’ 6 Ds of Exponentials, one of the big ones is the decentralization of information. That’s why you can’t really keep on the information because it will eventually get decentralized, and somebody’s had the idea a thousand times over. Somebody else had the idea. They just didn’t do the execution of it. If your entire business is just selling a course or just selling a book, you got a broken business. Because if you’re just selling information, someone’s going to steal it at some point, and it’s going to be a lot less valuable over time. Once everybody knows how to do something, it’s not valuable anymore.

You brought up Peter Diamandis. I’m a fan of his, I’ve been part of Abundant 360 for several years now, I know you’re also at the last A360. I’m curious you’re also on JVMM which is another group that I’m in, Joint Venture Masterminds, are you bullish on these different masterminds and events, even though it looks like we’re going to be doing virtual events for the time being? Or are you thinking that maybe reallocating your marketing budget less to these big masterminds that are very expensive? Well, JVMM is not but A360 is $15,000 a year. I’m curious, where do you stand with investing in these sorts of high-level masterminds?

It depends on where you are in your life cycle of a business owner. One of the best things I did in 2014 was, I can’t remember what the name of this joint mastermind it’s like $20,000. $20,000 now is like whatever, but back then, 2014, $20,000 is a lot of money. I was like a million dollars in debt, still. Spending $20,000 was like, will the taxman get his money, too? Or is that something I’m going to spend on a mastermind? That actually started my online business, going to that specific thing. Not directly but by meeting the people there. I think that this would go back to it. I’ve run very high-caliber masterminds that cost $120,000 a year to be part of, and I’ve been part of plenty of masterminds, most of them are not that great.

When it comes to survival, every business right now has to fundamentally merge into everything that is going to happen in the next several years. Click To Tweet

Here’s what it comes back to. If you want to have more momentum, it comes down to knowing the right people. A mastermind, a lot of the time, allows you to fast forward the momentum or events, or whatever it might be, faster because being in person allows for that kind of more quick kind of connection. Especially in a mastermind, if you’re vetted, they get their guard down a little bit. I don’t spend that much money any more on masterminds because I guess my positioning in the market and just what I’ve been doing, I end up in a lot of them for free these days.

I think for me, going to Abundance 360 in 2021, it’s more about me just being part of the community. Me being part of that community and having access to the community and having access in the vicinity of Peter gives me the opportunities that I want from a place of investing and a place of starting my own podcast that’s about the future, for example. That’s why I did it.

I think you have to be very intentional about what it is that you’re looking to get from that. I’m not a huge event person anyway, though. I hate traveling, and I’m protective of my energy and my time, I’m not the one that goes and speaks on stage. It doesn’t matter how much money you toss me. You’re going to toss me a lot of money for me to go and speak on stage. I can run a webinar and make the same exact amount of money, and I can do it in my pajamas like I am right now.

That’s a piece of advice that changes based on where you are because being part of a mastermind and spending $15,000 could be far more effective than spending $15,000 on Facebook ads if you’re in the room with the right people and you go to it with a place of intention, presence, and value to the people that are there.

I agree with that. I’ve gotten a lot of value out of the masterminds I’ve been in. For example, the most expensive mastermind I’ve been in is Platinum Partnership, which is a Tony Robbins thing, and I did that for three years in a row.

And I’m sure it’s super valuable.

Incredible. I met my wife through it. I had a spiritual transformation because of her. I was on a trip to India when one of the Platinum Partner trips and I reconnected with the creator, it was incredible. I had a physical transformation, that was even before I became a Plat, but I looked completely different from what I used to look like prior to the Tony Robbins events. If you look at my about page, you’ll see the before and after pretty striking. I credit a lot to Tony, to the community, to the quality of the content, how it was so well-curated, and everything. Definitely, life-changing.

Then, there are other masterminds that haven’t been that valuable, but you don’t know until you really play full out and see what happens.

You’re always going to look back too, though. You’re always going to look back and be like, “I got value from here.” It’s really what you make of anything. It’s what it becomes. Then, there are those exceptional ones that are just out of this world, which I’ve heard the same thing from Tony’s, which I wouldn’t expect any less.

What’s the most expensive mastermind that you’ve been a part of?

Probably one that I’m in that’s like $50,000 a year. I won’t mention it because it’s kind of private, it’s like very invite-only. Anybody that’s in it, $50,000 is not a lot of money. I’d say that I’ve spent more money on one-on-one mentorship than I’ve spent on masterminds. When I find something that I need to “fix” in my life, I go find the person, and then I figure out a way to be able to get them to help me. That always involves me typically they’re helping them nowadays or me spending six figures with them.

Can you give us an example of a mentor that you’ve worked with?

In 2018, I worked with somebody that cost $12,000 a month. Any type of investment has always been not a big deal, but it hurts. Financially, it’s got to hurt, or you won’t do anything about it.

When you pay, you pay attention, right?

Exactly. When you pay, you pay attention. Money’s energy, so if you’re transferring your energy, you’re going to notice that energy transfer. He really helped me to be on a mindset. Actually, that’s 2017. He really helped me to be on a mindset, from a mindset perspective for a while, and we’ve become really great friends since then.

Another person was more on a spiritual path, probably more of like a spiritual/life coach that’s been in this world helping entrepreneurs for 30 plus years. That worked really well. Still actually, probably going to end up working with him again but more as business partners. My problem is I get mentors and they end up becoming business partners. That’s the issue I always have. They always go from being a mentor to a business partner real quick. I had a mentor for seven years now, and I paid him $4000 a month for seven years.

When creating a marketing plan, aim for long-term and timeless strategies.

He should have raised his rates.

He should’ve, but it’s kind of like a friend deal now. He’s probably been the most impactful in terms of the way that I see the world. I see my finances, and I see building business. He doesn’t need the money at all. He’s not one of these marketing guys, and he’s not like me. He’s worth maybe half a billion dollars, and he’s always been kind of like using $4000 to go out to dinner, and it probably would cost him $4000 to go out to dinner, who knows?

I think that’s been very helpful in my life. I mentor a lot of entrepreneurs, they pay me also a lot of money, comparatively, again. I always see it as the same thing. It’s the entrepreneur that sees me, sees where I am, wants to be in a similar place, and they want to circumvent the whole thing. There are different personalities for that type of thing—some people like the group programs, some people like the mastermind program. I’ve always been a, “Let’s go what I want. I don’t want anybody else around, let’s go.” That’s just my personality.

Some people just want to read a book.

Absolutely, some people do just want to read a book. I’m definitely not that person. As soon as I’m 40 pages in, I’m on the person’s email being like, “Can I hire you?” and then I will finish the book. I’ll just talk to them.

I’ll tell you as a consultant, I get this question all the time, “Can I just hire you?” when I give them a copy of my book, which is a little intimidating because it’s a thousand pages. Can I just hire you? I don’t want to take that from you.

That book must have taken you years to create.

Yeah, each edition took several years. I’m not the only author on it, too, so I had some help, but it’s a colossal amount of work and we all do what to do, it’s past due to do another edition, we’ve been delaying it. Things keep moving so fast in the SEO space. You just have to seem like you write a book, and then something happens, and you have to make a whole bunch of changes.

That’s why I like doing guides, not books, because everything changes so damn quickly.

So why do you write a book then? You got a book coming out.

Well, the book I have coming out, which is The Nuclear Effect, timeless. You pick this up five years from now—as long as artificial intelligence doesn’t completely replace us all—it’s still applicable. I went into the six pillars of building a seven-plus figure business. I’m on my 12th right now, my own seven-plus figure business that I’ve created helped create over a hundred. I mentored and advised over a hundred. I basically just took what I saw at every single one, and I was like, “All right, what’s the 80% of the 20%?” 

That’s why I created, and so I saw the six pillars. I saw marketing, I saw sales, I saw finance, mindset, delivery operations/team, and I’m like, “All right, let’s just talk about this.” Seventy thousand words later, not a thousand pages later, I’m like, “You know what? This is something that’s applicable. Somebody adds 5000 a month, 2000 a month, 50,000 a month, a quarter of a million a month. Anybody and everybody in between.”

Pretty happy with the way it came out. It took three rewrites every single time. I’m sure as an author, you get this. You do it, and you’re like, “Oh, that was crap.” This has been 2½ years in the making. It’s finally out, and I’m ready for it to be out. There’s just so much good stuff in it and every single person I’ve given the audiobook to, the pre-copy, they’re like, “Wow, this is really good.” A lot of people would tell me if it was crap, too.

I’m really excited on the premise of, here’s everything I’ve learned from mentoring a hundred plus people process. It’s very timeless. It’s not like here’s how to run a Facebook ad, here’s how to do a marketing funnel. It’s like here’s how to understand messaging, here’s how to understand your positioning, here’s how the proper way to hire a team, and more of those elements. I’m really excited for people to be able to get this, access this because it’s downloading ten plus years of experience in a moment.

That’s awesome. Let’s talk about some of these timeless concepts. You’ve mentioned messaging, what would be some advice that’s in the book about messaging that’s really valuable and timeless?

I think the easiest thing to talk about, which came from my very first methodology, the SSF method, which was not good at naming methodologies back then. This is about five years ago now, and it was the sidewalk slow lane/fast lane idea of messaging. Essentially, from a messaging perspective, it’s nine layers of things that you need to bring someone through in order to be able to bring them from the first conception into a sale. 

The first part is the sidewalk. The people need to understand the pain, the problem, and the consequences. That makes up 60%-odd of every person that’s ever going to come in contact with you.

There’s the slow lane, and in the slow lane, they need to understand that you’re an authority. They need to see proof, they need to see that there’s a methodology, that there’s a process. They have to have buy-in to a process, method, and to you. So, that’s the slow lane. That’s about 30%-ish plus of the market.

Then the last part, the fast lane, is let’s show people the vision of what it looks like. Let’s show them the solution of what this is going to look like, and then let’s take care of their objections, and that obviously, is the top 3-4% of the people that purchase.

The idea is in messaging. If you know where someone is, you have the messaging that’s actually effective for them because if somebody is coming in the door and they don’t know what the problem is, and you’re over to the solution, try and sell the solution, there’s a disconnect.

My entire methodologies that we’ve shared before, and even the challenge, for example, is to bring somebody through the mindset change, so that you can bring them through a solution, and it’s like, “Oh, my God. Of course, I’m going to do this. Of course, I’m going to work with this person.” Really going into that messaging framework is just one of the many frameworks that ended up coming into this methodology. In that case, all about messaging. It doesn’t matter if that’s a Facebook ad, a landing page, a sales page, an email, or a social media post. That’s always going to be the same unless we fundamentally change human beings.

Marketers, entrepreneurs, influencers- we're not experts, we're mavens. We see things, we make observations, and then we spread the word about it. Click To Tweet

I love Peter. He’s like, “In the future, you’re going to be marketing to your AI. Not to you because your AI is going to be purchasing everything for you.” Until we get to that point, until we get to the algorithm, buy everything that you want. I think that framework is going to stay pretty timeless.

Even when we get to that point, which is less than a decade away from having our digital assistant or our digital twin or wherever you want to call it, understand us deeply and make not just purchase decisions, but curating content. We’re not going to be surfing the internet anymore. We’re not going to be Google searching anymore. The AI is going to do it for us, our own personal AI, and that’s less in a decade away.

I’m excited to see what happens then. That’s exciting. We’re all not going to have anything to do with that, and we’re just going to be hanging back.

Oh, no, we’ll have plenty to do, but it’ll be about doing things that the AI’s aren’t good at, like taking very disparate concepts, basket weaving, a rocket science, trying to figure out ways to work them together and come up with something very innovative, because that’s what AIs are not good at.

It’s going to be a fun world. I’m super optimistic about it. I think it’s like waking up into a world and doing what you really want to do. I think most people are scared of doing what they really want to do.

Most people are scared of change, just in general.

They could change so quickly.

Life gives you lots of opportunities to change all the time. Let’s talk a bit about some more tactical examples of things, one of them being that the seven-day or five-day challenge. I have my five-day SEO challenge, which was built based on your methodology by one of your students, Shana, as I’ve said. I’m curious, where are you at thinking these days about 5-day, 7-day, 30-day, or whatever it is challenges. Is that a good strategy? In this world right now, people seem to have a lot more time at home, so they could spend more time on challenges, but on the other hand, there’s a lot of noise. The new cycle is full of everything related to COVID-19, to the presidential election, and everything. It may not be a great time. I’m curious where you’re at with these challenges right now.

I think it comes more of who your customer is versus what’s going on in the world. If you’re relevant enough, people will always pay attention to you. I don’t care what election, what’s going on from an election perspective, or COVID-19, or like any of that type of stuff. If you’re selling to consumers, maybe a little bit different, but I’m seeing challenges work incredibly well for consumers as well, because people intuitively want to not watch the news.

I get the news, gives you dopamine and cortisol. People come back for that fix, but they intuitively don’t want to be doing that. It’s not fun for them. They don’t like that. What I say is, I love three-day challenges and five-day challenges. You just sparked an idea. You got me inspired. I’m going to do a little training on how to do challenges. I’m going to do that and sell it for a few $100.

I didn’t know I was inspiring people to do challenges, but maybe I can help you do challenges better, but what I’d say is I’ve helped a lot of people do a lot of challenges. First off, you have to make sure that the consumer is the right consumer. Are you going to go do a challenge? Probably not. Am I going to go do a challenge? Probably not.

You have to make sure that if you’re going to get consultants to do challenges, that probably not going to happen. We got to look at who your demographic is, and what you need that person to believe in between the time of the challenge, and why that’s going to be important for them to come back. Trying to get something to come back to something five times in a row is really hard.

That means that day number one and day number two of the challenge, you got to have a challenge that’s (1) relevant, (2) is going to continue to be relevant, and (3) has enough stuff inside of it.

Maybe some breakthrough just on day one for them like, “Oh, my God. I can’t believe that I was able to figure this out with Scott’s help or with his stuff.”

You got to get a light bulb moment because if you don’t get a light bulb moment on that first or second day, they’re not coming back. It’s not going to be relevant to them anymore. It’s really different if you’re going to a much more intellectual group of people. Challenges are much more difficult to do.

Thankfully, the majority of markets aren’t on the highly intellectual side. It makes us a little bit easier on marketing. If you’re doing a health challenge, how am I going to progress? If you’re doing a money challenge, how am I getting progress on that? If you’re doing a business focus challenge, you have to make sure that the audience is not too sophisticated. These sophisticated audiences might just want to guide, or they might actually buy because of the guide for more.

Create products and offers that meet your customers’ mindset, not just something convenient for you to provide.

I sell to multiple audiences. I sell to some people, and they’re paying me a quarter of a million dollars to work with me, and I’m working with other people, and they’re paying me $97. Two totally different audiences, a person buying $97, rarely is ever going to pay me a quarter of a million. I can do a guide, and I can do a challenge, and it’s going to adhere to two totally different groups of people. The guides are going to bring in people that are more intellectual and more wanting to actually read. Intellectual is probably the wrong word. What I would say is the learning format for certain people is different.

If you’re doing a consultant program, let’s call it SEO. If you’re going to sell a group program at the end of the funnel, I will do a challenge because that’s going to attract people that are a little bit more do-it-yourselfers. I’m never going to go to an SEO challenge. I’m going to be saying, “Hey, listen. What is SEO like in 2020? Give me the guide. Give me 15 pages. Oh, that’s interesting. That’s interesting. Oh, I didn’t know that. I need to fix this problem. Let me watch the 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, so I can understand.”

This is why I think a lot of people fail at marketing so badly. They do not think about their customers. They don’t care about them. They’re like, “Well, I’m going to do a challenge because Scott said I needed to do a challenge,” which is the dumbest thing to do. Just because I say something or some other guru, or you say something means that under a circumstance, that might make sense, but you’ve got to really go back to what would be the most helpful thing for my customer, and then build that funnel.

That might be a quiz, that might be a guide, that might be a checklist, that might be some weird thing that you’ve never seen in an online marketing funnel for. It might literally be just bringing people to a Facebook group, and doing a Facebook live every day. I think that the one-size-fits-all approach to anything is bad. I think that’s why I’m always careful giving advice to people unless I understand their situation and understand where they are, too.

I also think that people have to be careful taking advice for people like me, people like you, because if we say, challenge funnels are the best thing that you’ve ever done, and you’re selling to Corporate America, your challenge is going to suck. No one’s going to buy it. No one’s going to do that challenge.

Once you get somebody into the challenge, it’s about getting to the comeback. It’s about getting them to have some breakthroughs, and a challenge is more about audience building, authority, and sharing your process than anything else. The best way I say is that a challenge will build authority, at least a couple of degrees faster- two, three, four acts faster than anything else is going to be able to build authority because people are feeling your intimacy.

Through my methodology, the ROI method—you go to www.theroimethod.com to learn more about that, just some great training there—intimacy is the missing ingredient in online marketing, and challenges allow you to bridge that gap really easily by seeing you, hearing you, and then having a moment of ‘Aha, oh, wow, this guy’s really brilliant. I want to pay more attention to. I want to have more awareness.’

When we really get back to it, marketing is always about these three things, and anybody that’s listening to that’s either bit spiritual will also get this really well. It’s always about having a presence, having awareness, and having attention. If you have those three things, if you understand how to get someone’s presence, attention, and awareness, those three things, you could sell anyone anything.

The problem is most people don’t understand how to get their own attention, their own awareness, and their own presence, so they can’t step inside of anybody else’s. That’s the key ingredient of being a good marketer.

That’s great. That is kind of spiritual. I like that.

It’s got a little meditation orient to it. It’s like you can’t be a good marketer unless you meditate.

I believe that. The message here besides be present, attentive, and aware for yourself and for others is that you need to understand where your prospect is at, meet them there, and not try to get them to go down a funnel that doesn’t make any sense for them. So Corporate America is not going to take your five-day challenge. I totally get that.

One thing I was realizing, this was a while ago, but if I was going to speak at a conference and I pitched a session about technical SEO, I would get a lot of do-it-yourselfers in the audience which I would not want to sell my consulting offerings because I’m looking for clients that just want to hand it over and say, “Help me take this to the next level.”

Then, I started pitching sessions like how to scale your SEO across a really big website. The presupposition is you’re already at scale.

You don’t have a big website unless you have these finances.

Exactly. So, I got the room full of exactly my target audience, and that’s what you’re talking about, too, like doing a five-day challenge won’t necessarily fill the virtual room with people who are your target audience if you’re trying to reach Corporate America. It’s very powerful.

Challenges are great for courses, group programs but kind of. You got to have something else to bridge the gap there. One of the businesses that I’m involved with right now, we haven’t launched yet. We’re selling a $500 program. That’s our thing, and if you don’t have an online business. The whole challenge is, how do you get online? In five days, I’m going to teach you how to get online in five days.

In 30 days, here’s the program $497, I’m going to teach you how to get online in 30 days, how to do everything. The first five days are about getting the strategy, understanding how you do it. Here are the 30 days. That now transitions perfectly into that next product. But if I was there, and I was like, spend $100,000 to get online and invest your life savings into getting online. Not that I suggest anybody do that, by the way. That lead magnet is not going to work. Completely disconnect. 

If people are going to spend lesser money, then as marketers, you've got to give more time to allow that money to be given to you. Click To Tweet

I have no lead magnet for working with me one-on-one. It’s one page. Do you have a problem? Do you have a business at that size? Here’s how I’ve helped others. Here’s how I can help you, fill in the information. I’ll see you on a phone call. There’s no lead magnet for that, but again, that’s for me.

You might be a one-on-one coach and charging $200 an hour, and what works for me doesn’t work for you, and that’s why I’m a huge believer in mentorship—not coaching necessarily. You do need coaching, but coaching is different. Mentorship and coaching are two totally different things. Mentorship, that person’s done it multiple times and is mentoring you up the mountain. A coach is more of accountability, moral support, helping you mentally break through those things, more mindset stuff.

That’s why I’m a huge advocate of mentors. That’s why I’m one myself because I know that I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was seven selling eggs. I had a $1 million business by the time I was 16. I guarantee you. I have a conversation, one phone call for 30 minutes with somebody. I will absolutely tell them exactly what they need to do, because I’ve done all that already, and that’s not just me. That’s any person that mentors.

You have an open-loop here that we got to close. I’ve got to hear about this seven-year-old, selling eggs. How did you do that?

You know how it is when you talk about a story you think everybody knows the story because you talk about it.

None of my audience has heard that story before.

I mean, I was a typical entrepreneur. I’m 28 now, so I’m fairly young for what I’ve done up to this point, but I’ve been doing this for 21 years. I made my first $20,000 when I was seven selling eggs and my parents’ acreage in Newfoundland, Canada, basically the Arctic. You’d only have hens for half the year because they’d freeze the other half. You had to time it right, or bad things happen.

I was just a programmer. I ended up becoming a programmer. I actually used to do SEO myself back in the day. Back when it was way easier than it is these days, and I remember I ranked golfing number one on Google back in 2005 or 2006. I was pretty good at it. Now, I don’t even know where to start anymore. I wouldn’t want to buy this SEO Bible.

You don’t want to read a thousand pages book?

I don’t even know how to know that book is available. It’s how much I don’t want to know the book, but basically, I just had all these different businesses, and by the time I was 18–19 years old, I did really well. Everything that goes up comes down, and everything goes down goes up. My favorite quote, this too, shall pass.

I had a lot of successes, a lot of failures, a lot of investments that didn’t go well, a lot of things that went well, a lot of things that didn’t go well, but through all of it, it allowed me to have the experiences. I always joke. I’ve monetized all my failures these days, and it gives me a lot of experience by the time I’m 28.

Marketing is these three things: adding presence, having awareness, and having attention. Click To Tweet

How did you start selling eggs as a seven-year-old? Was it an idea that you came up with?

Not originally. We lived in acreage, and my dad brought home some dozen chickens. These are Rhode Island Red chickens that lay brown eggs. I was like, let’s go get some more chickens, and let’s just sell to our neighbors. That turned into me having like hundreds of chickens, and me having a whole facility that I built in our backyard.

I started selling not to just neighbors, but I’ll do senior homes, which is a pretty good idea because they just always need eggs. I have a great sales pitch. It’s like an eight-year-old coming to you trying to sell you eggs, and they’re organic. It was an organic free run. You can sell those eggs for $10 a dozen these days. I sold for $250 which is a steal back then, Canadian. What’s that, 90 cents US, right?

That was that, and then I did that for a few years. Obviously, I did well for an eight-, nine-year-old, but I was the geeky, fat kid. I was like 360 pounds by the time I was 15. I was a big boy. I just stayed to myself. I was in the middle of nowhere. I would tinker around with computers, learn how to program HTML and CSS, MySQL, and all those wonderful things, when I was 9–10 years old, and then I started selling that. Then I realized I was a sh*tty programmer, so I’d go to my friends that I met online, and be like, “Hey, I got a job for you. Do you want to make $300?” and I’d be charging $3000.

That was the start of my first agency when I was 10–11 years old programming online applications, and all this stuff way before freelancer.com and all the websites that are on, Upwork, and all of those. The reason I became a programmer, actually, is because I used to love PalmPilots. I created a community for people that love PalmPilots, which has 20,000 active users a day.

This back of 2002, 2003 maybe, somewhere around there, and then, of course, I had to learn how to program in order to modify the software. I ended up modifying the software for all these other people that would pay me to modify it for them. I got into SEO, and I got into paid advertising, I got into all these other types of things back in the day. It was fun.

Awesome. Very cool. Again, remind our listeners the title of your book, and where to find it, and also where to find The ROI Method, and you in general.

If you just go to scottoldford.com, everything that you need, you can find there, and it’s all categorized nicely depending on where you want to go to. Marketing, mindset, scaling, whatever it might be. It’s all over on scottoldford.com and definitely pick up the book. Pre-order the book if it’s out on pre-order or get it, it’s definitely the best few dollars you’ll spend for being able to scale your online business.

Awesome. Thank you, Scott, and thank you, listeners. Now take some action, apply what you’ve learned, and make a dent in the universe. Does something to reveal some light and we’ll catch you on the next episode of Marketing Speak. I’m your host, Stephan Spencer, signing off.

Important Links

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

☑ When creating a marketing plan, aim for long-term and timeless strategies. Businesses may not last forever, but the best tactics remain no matter how much an entrepreneur decides to pivot. 
☑ Create products and offers that can meet my customers’ mindset, not just something convenient for me to provide.
☑ Create updated PDF guides that will serve as a reliable source of information for my audience. What’s great about these is that, unlike books, it’s easier to update information.
☑ Develop a profound understanding of how people’s minds work. When I know what others’ culture, aspirations, and pain points are, I can think of ways to be of better service to them.
☑ Don’t be afraid to pivot and reinvent. Running a business is a tough job. If something doesn’t feel right or is driving me to burnout, it’s never too late to update my ways or change my path. 
☑ Keep on creating content that my audience will love. When I’m consistent with producing share-worthy materials, I can establish myself as an excellent resource for a niche I love.  
☑ Learn to adapt. The saying “survival of the fittest” doesn’t apply to business and marketing. It should be “survival of those who are most adaptable to change.”
☑ Keep updating my skills and improving my mental health. Being a busy entrepreneur may produce difficult challenges. I must remain equipped with my knowledge and maintain a grounded mindset.
☑ Meditate and find time for myself. More often, the answers to my most essential questions lie within me when I’m sitting alone in silence.
☑ Check out Scott Oldford’s website to learn more about his work and grab a copy of his recessionPROOF guide.

About Scott Oldford

Scott Oldford is the creator of The R.O.I. Method and the 6 Pillar Framework. These systems help entrepreneurs scale their businesses and create sustainable business models, allowing them to be successful in all areas of their lives, not just business.

Hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs regularly take his advice on marketing, sales, and mindset. Scott is a sought-after investor and partners with business when they are ready to really grow.



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