Today’s guest is Dr. Sandi Eveleth from Kiss Your Web.  Our conversation will cover both how she moved from being an Optometrist which she still is into the world of online advertising and social media for professional service businesses.

Like many private business owners, she had a need to build her business. She thought an avenue for getting more patients would be through the online world.  As often happens, she was correct and not only did she become very good at this for her own practice she started working with other professionals in helping them create an online presence that would bring new customers to the table.

Some of the things you’ll learn in today’s podcast are:

  • Why when you say your customer base is everyone, you’re really saying no one.
  • What a marketing plan is why you need one for any business you run.
  • How to figure out who your ideal customer is.
  • Why using a negative ad often outperforms a positive one.  (unfortunately, this is true.)
  • Remember the customer always wants to know wiifm (what’s in it for me)


Narrator:         Welcome to The Sustainable Business Radio Show podcast where you’ll learn not only how to create a sustainable business but you’ll also learn the secrets of creating extraordinary value within your business and your life. In The Sustainable Business, we focus on what it’s going to take for you to take your successful business and make it economically and personally successful.

Your host, Josh Patrick, is going to help us through finding great thought leaders as well as providing insights he’s learned through his 40 years of owning, running, planning and thinking about what it takes to make a successful business sustainable.

Josh:                Hey, how are you today? This is Josh Patrick. You’re at The Sustainable Business.

Today, we have Dr. Sandi Eveleth with us. Dr. Eveleth or Sandi, as I’ll call her because I don’t call anybody doctor anything anymore. I’m too old for that. We’re going to talk about the wonderful world of online marketing.

We’ve talked about that more than I would ever thought I was going to talk about it with The Sustainable Business podcast. The truth is one of the five pillars of a sustainable businesses us having recurring revenue. If you don’t get found, you’re not going to have recurring revenue no matter what happens.

Sandy has a bunch of expertise on that. She used to own a web design company. She’s an optometrist. She still practices optometry.

What she told me was that she got into social media marketing just to promote her business, her optometry business, and that led into another business. Boy, that happens a lot.

I seem to be yammering on. That’s enough. We’ll bring Sandy in and we’ll start the conversation.

Hey, Sandy, how are you today?

Sandi:              Hey, Josh. I’m doing great. Thank you so much for having me on your podcast. I appreciate it.

Josh:                Oh, it’s my pleasure. I’m really glad that you were able to join us today.

Let’s get started a little bit. Tell us a story about how you went from optometry to online marketing because that’s probably a good story.

Sandi:              Sure, absolutely.

I’ve been an optometrist for 27 years. About five years into it, decided to open up my own practice and realized very quickly that it’s not a matter of you just open it up and people will come running into the door to get their eyes examined. Right about that time, the Internet started taking off and I realized that I had to have an online presence.

I created my own website, realized that I absolutely enjoy doing design. And also, realized that you don’t just build that and the people will come. You actually have to market your website.

In line with that, I enjoyed it so much that I learned how to market the website, how to market the business and then thought, “Well, this is pretty fun. Why don’t I go ahead and open up a company?” And so, I started a WordPress web design company.

People always laugh. They look at me and say, “What in the world? How can an eye doctor get into WordPress web design?” I say, “Hey, it’s all visual so it makes sense.” But mainly, it was that I enjoyed it so much, marketing my own practice that I thought, “Hey, this is fun.” I love working with local businesses and that’s what my web design was all about – helping the local businesses.

Josh:                Cool.

So you told me that part of what your service was, because you had to do this, you would develop a marketing plan with these blue collar local businesses that you served because, before you got into web design, they had to know what they were going to market. And if you asked them, they basically say, “Who’s your customer?” And they would say, “everybody.”

Sandi:              Everybody.

And we know, when you market to everybody, you market to no one.

Josh:                That’s one of my mantras.

Sandi:              There you go.

They would come in. They would come into my office and they’d sit down and we’d start talking. I’d say, “Okay. Tell me about your business.” And even in that first question, they just kind of looked at me, “Well, I’m a plumbing business, of course, and that’s what we do.” I said, “Well, okay, let me see your marketing plan.” “Well, we don’t have one. Can you just build us a website?” I’d ask, “Well, tell me about the content and tell me who it is that you’re actually marketing to.” Again, they would say, “Everyone.”

We had to back up and really dig deep, roll up our sleeves and think, “No. Who is your ideal customer? If you could pick, out of all of your customers, and pick your favorite one, the one that pays on time, the one that doesn’t give you any grief, that’s thrilled, that will write you a wonderful testimonial. If you can have all customers like that, what would that look like?” I would actually have them write it down. I had a form and I said, “Get to writing it.”

Once we decided who their ideal customer was, it made it a lot easier to start adjusting the content that was on their website, either creating it or re-creating it because often times they had just what we call a business website. They would just throw something up. Here’s where I’m located. Here’s my contact information. Call us, please.

Josh:                If I’m going to create the ideal customer, what would you recommend? If I was going to figure out who the ideal customer is, what are the steps I should be taking?

Sandi:              Well, part of it is, again, like I said, if you know one real ideal customer, write down their name, get a picture of them. You want it in front of you. You want to create pretty much this profile of who they are. You want to find out where they’re located, what their age is. I actually have them tell me who their spouse is, how many children they have, what their income is.

And then, besides the demographics, go into what we call the psychographics. Start listing what their hobbies are, what kind of things they do. The reason that we do all this, to paint a full picture of who they are, is to really figure out what kind of problems you can solve for them. The big thing is, what is the pain that they’re coming to you for? What kind of pains does this particular demographic or psychographic have? Once you can really define that pain, it becomes very easy to start creating content for the website.

Josh:                My favorite question these days is from Clayton Christensen who’s a disruptive guy professor at Harvard. His question is, “What is the job to be done?” I love that question.

Sandi:              Absolutely.

Josh:                I ask that about everything now. If I’m helping somebody discover who the perfect customer is, I’m going to ask them, “What is the job to be done?” If you could be specific about what it is we’re trying to accomplish with our online marketing, what does that actually mean?

Sandi:              It means, as far as getting the job done, defining who that avatar is, is defining–

Josh:                Yeah. I mean, we’re going to be specific. We don’t know or haven’t taken the time to get their ideal customer. You know, one of the things I like to do is, I ask people and say, “Find your most profitable customer– or actually your five most profitable customers and then start looking for traits they all have in common.”

Sandi:              Sure. Absolutely. Absolutely.

And again, that’s part of that form that I have them fill out. And then, again, specifically, what is the pain that you’re solving for them? Sometimes you have to describe the pain. You know, a lot of times the ideal customer doesn’t know yet that they even have that pain. When you’re marketing to cold traffic, you want to make sure that you don’t even talk about the solution yet. You need to talk about the pain first.

Josh:                When you’re marketing to cold traffic, do you do that from a positive point of view or a negative point of view?

Sandi:              That’s a good question. I try to paint it like a pain. I dot try to make it in a negative point of view so that, all of a sudden, I have a positive solution for them.

Josh:                If you’re familiar with behavioral economics, the behavioral economist will say that people are motivated much more to avoid pain than they are to get pleasure.

Sandi:              To go towards pleasure, exactly, exactly.

Josh:                When you’re designing a marketing plan, I think it’s pretty important to say, “What is the pain you’re helping people avoid?”

Sandi:              The example I use for that is imagine that you’re walking into a CVS. You’re going in there because you want to pick up some vitamins. You walk in and you go in to get vitamins to take care of your health. Then, imagine now, you’re driving and, all of a sudden, you’re hit with a tremendous migraine and you’re dying to get to a CVS. You park that car and you run in there to pick up some headache pain medicine. It’s definitely a negative thing. You’re trying to solve that pain.

Josh:                So it becomes a much higher sort of thing?

Sandi:              Mm-hmm, absolutely.

Josh:                So let’s move on to getting in action. Okay. Now, we’re specific. We know who we’re talking to. Hopefully, we’re writing in our website to that person. By the way, writing to that person, this is something that drives me crazy. I am so tired of looking at websites that talk about who we are. Your potential customers don’t care.

Sandi:              Right, exactly. And that’s a big point I was going to talk about on the about page. Absolutely. All they want to know is “what’s in it for me?” They want to know how you’re going to take them from 0 to win or from pain to no pain and that’s all they want to know. In today’s time, you absolutely have to get to that point immediately. The

To kind of the segue to the getting action, what I find with a lot of clients is not only do they not define that because they haven’t defined their ideal customer yet but they haven’t identified what their call to action is. They’re not saying, “This is how we can solve that pain.” And not only are they not doing that on the homepage, they’re not doing it on the rest of their pages. Most people don’t even think beyond the homepage.

Josh:                What should be in a call to action? What should you have a call to action to do? I mean, sometimes I see these call to actions where people want to get too much information from me and I’m not willing to give it to them yet.

Sandi:              Sure.

Josh:                What is the path or the road that you want people to walk down when they’re–

Sandi:              Oh sure, you definitely want to take them one step at a time. Take them slowly by the hand and get them, for instance, in whether mine’s a good example or not, but I have a free e-book that I have people download so they can start to learn about this. I just gently say, “Here’s a free e-book. This will teach you step by step how to improve your website.” I gently have on my website, on every page, at the very top, with a red bar across it “Download here.”

Josh:                Your flashing arrows–

Sandi:              You’re right. It’s not too intrusive but it gets the point across.

And then I do– in the internal pages, besides that, I have them gently. On the sidebar, I have, “Hey, if you’d like to learn more about this, download my free XYZ.”

In our industry, often for cold traffic, you want to get their attention by offering something that’s absolutely going to solve a compelling pain. Hopefully, it’s free. The whole idea is you’re getting them to either signup for your e-mail. So, of course, that’s a whole e-mail campaign. That’s how you build your relationship from cold traffic to warm traffic.

And then, if you’re a bricks and mortar business that you want them to call. It’s amazing but by all means please put your telephone number on the homepage and every other page. And oftentimes it can be a button. Just say, “Here, if you have a burst pipe, call now for 24-hour service.”

You’ll be amazed at how many websites don’t have that. People are looking on their phones. We’re not looking at the yellow pages anymore. If you don’t have your telephone number front and center, they’re going to move on to the next one.

Josh:                I was whining about that yesterday because my dear friends at United cancelled a flight on me and to find their phone number is a challenge.

Sandi:              Unbelievable.

Josh:                No. You would s think they’d have their phone number on the homepage saying, “Call us to make a reservation.”

Sandi:              In a big button so your thumb can hit it easily.

Josh:                Right, right.

Sandi:              Yeah, absolutely. It amazes me. It really amazes me.

Josh:                It’s not small companies, it’s also the big companies as well–

Sandi:              Sure, you’re right.

Josh:                –that just haven’t seem to figure out. You’ve got to make it easy for your customers to do business with you.

Sandi:              Absolutely. Why do we complicate it so much? I don’t know.

Josh:                I have a theory about that but we won’t get into that today.

Sandi:              Oh. That sounds interesting.

Josh:                It’s very simple that smart people tend to make things more complicated than they need to be.

Sandi:              More complicated than they need to be, yup, absolutely.

Josh:                I expanded on that but that’s it in a thing.

Getting found today seems to have gotten a lot more complicated than it was three or four years ago.

Sandi:              Sure, sure.

Josh:                Google seems to want to get you to pay for ads. They don’t really want to give your free stuff very easily.

Sandi:              They don’t. I have to go back to the basics. The first thing is just to make sure that a client’s website is even in Google’s index. You’ll be amazed at how many people don’t know that. They just assume their web designer automatically put it in the index or, you know, that Google’s going to find it. Well, Google doesn’t always find it.

The first thing I do is, if I’m making a website– in the past, I was making websites, I would automatically put that immediately once the site was done in Google’s index. The way that you can tell, there’s actually a way to tell if your site is there, is you type in the search field, in Google, site: and then your domain And then, immediately, you’ll find out whether or not it’s been indexed. You should have, hopefully, at least, the whole first page should have all of your information.

Josh:                Yes.

Sandi:              If it doesn’t, then you’re not indexed. So that’s the first thing to do. I have information in my e-book that teaches you how to do that.

The next thing you want to do is you do want to make sure your website is search engine-optimized. And if most of us hopefully have Word Press websites, there are a couple of plug-ins that make it really easy to optimize your site. I tell clients that 20% of the optimization occurs on the site, 80% of the optimization occurs off the site. So there are different tactics that [inaudible 00:14:00]

Josh:                Can you expand a little bit on that? I’m not quite sure what you mean by that.

Sandi:              Sure. Absolutely, absolutely.

For on-site search engine optimization, there’s a couple of plug-ins that you can use that anytime that you’re creating a new page or for your homepage, you want to make sure that for your ideal customer– again, going back to the foundation, the ideal customer, is that you want to make sure you know what types of key word phrases they’re typing into Google to find businesses just like yours.

Of course, you want to make sure your website climbs to the top of Google with that particular phrase. Throughout your website, you want to be writing articles that talk about things that relate to that keyword phrase or phrases. You want to make sure that the plug-in that you have on the website has those keyword phrases. And there’s sort of a four-point way of making sure that each page is optimized for a keyword phrase.

I don’t know if you want me to go into detail. It’s almost– you almost have to draw it out or have a website in front of us to be able to show you how it’s done. I can create a video for your listeners and then send you a link to that to show them exactly what to do.

Josh:                Well, that might be fun to do. That would be a fun thing to do.

Sandi:              Yeah.

Josh:                We can put that in the show notes.

Sandi:              Because I’ll be honest with you, even though there’s so much noise on the internet, that’s why it is so difficult to get found with just organic traffic. There are some ways that you can, by doing some blog posts. I think you had an earlier podcast guest that talked about that. But there are ways that if you write the blogpost a certain way and if you put certain headers and titles to your blogpost, there are ways to get a post up really high.

In fact, I did one, just for an experiment not too long ago, where within six hours it was number one on Google, just for a particular keyword phrase. I was promoting a product that I use and within six hours, that beat the competition. You still can make it happen.

Josh:                Wow, that’s impressive.

Sandi:              Yeah.

Josh:                That’s very impressive.

Sandi:              20%, basically, is just writing content. Everyone will tell you “content, content.” Be consistent with your content. Make sure it’s relevant for your ideal customer that jewelry store isn’t talking about plumbing and vice-versa. You want to make sure that you stick to the topic and to, again, solving the pain that that particular–

Josh:                I should take that advice.

Sandi:              Yeah. I do have some advice for your website, we’ll talk about it later.

Josh:                Okay, cool.

Sandi:              I will create a marketing plan for you as well because I did– of course, I went on ahead of time and did a little looking around. I have some tips for you.

Getting back to it, 80% of getting your site found is different strategies like back link strategies. Find influencers in your industry. Get to know them. Try to build a relationship with them. And then see if they’d be willing to have a link on their site that links back to you. That’s a very long process that could take six months to a year to get that done.

There are so many ways to do it. I want to get through some of those quickly. A very quick way to get seen is to pay for ads, is either Google Adwords or Facebook Ads. It’s just like putting a billboard up on the road. If you’re a brand new business and you’re sending out direct mail pieces and you’re not getting any traction on that, maybe putting a billboard up will get some attention. Of course, that costs a bit more money but sometimes it’s a lot faster to get traffic.

Josh:                Yeah, if you’re trying to build traffic quickly. It seems like Google and Facebook are really trying to get you to buy ads these days.

Sandi:              Absolutely.

With Facebook’s algorithm now, I think, you only see about 7% of posts whether it’s a page or your personal account. The big advice is, what you’re doing right now is to do Facebook live events. Facebook absolutely loves it when people do live broadcast. They’re going to push your live out to all of your viewers. They’re going to push your followers on your Facebook page. They’re going to ask your viewers to share it with other people. They’re really pushing it. Even organically, without even paying for it, doing a Facebook live broadcast is probably the best thing you can do without having to pay.

There’s a really neat tactic that you can use that, once the Facebook live goes up and is recorded, it goes up on Facebook and it’s not live anymore, you can immediately go in and look at the statistics. Facebook creates a bucket of viewers that stayed on 3 seconds, 10 seconds, 30 seconds – I forgot the exact increments but it will tell you not only the statistics, but it saves this bucket of people that actually stayed on and watched throughout the entire broadcast.

Josh:                Wow, pretty cool.

Sandi:              I can’t take credit for learning this. This came from the Social Media Examiner podcast. He had an expert on and I thought, “Oh, I have to tell everybody about this because it’s an amazing way to market to, not only those that watched the episode, you can now go back and market directly to those people.

Like for you, “Hey, I have this free CD. Why don’t you check it out? I see that you watched my live broadcast.” Well I go into more detail with my CD. Or, not only to your own market, you can actually do a look alike. Facebook will go out and try to find people that looked just like the audience that watched you in the first place. You can actually market to the look alike audience which is pretty neat. It’s pretty powerful.

Josh:                One of the things I want to plug, by the way, you just mentioned them, which is Social Media Examiner. Just Google Social Media Examiner. They have tons and tons of really good content for every type of industry, every type of business, every type of thing that you could possibly want to imagine having. It’s a highly, relatively inexpensive to sign up for all their educational stuff.

Sandi:              Oh it is. Well, they do a big– and I have the fortune to go out in one of the years in San Diego and I met Mike Stelzner. I met Mari Smith. I met Kim Garst. I met several of the, in our social media world, the gurus. And [inaudible 00:20:02] have developed relationships behind the scenes so that it’s a neat connection.

I highly recommend, your listeners, don’t listen to any other podcast besides yours. If they want to learn about social media, definitely, Social Media Examiner, don’t listen to any other. And then if you want to learn about search engine optimization for your website, listen to Neil Patel. He’s probably the number one expert when it comes to search engine optimization.

Josh:                Unfortunately, we are out of time, Sandi.

Sandi:              Look at how that flew by.

Josh:                Yeah, it happens all the time to me.

Sandi:              Wow.

Josh:                I’m going to bet that– you’ve proven to me that you know your stuff.

Sandi:              Awesome.

Josh:                Why don’t you tell people how to find you?

Sandi:              Sure.

Josh:                I know that you have a download you’d like to get them to get and tell them how to get that.

Sandi:              Absolutely, you can all find me at The free e-book is I also have a link that’s right on the side. It’s one of the navigation links. If you’d like to work with me, I do one-hour strategy sessions. And then I’m going to give you another link that actually I’m offering 15-minute free consultations. I don’t have that up yet but I’ll go ahead and give that to you in the show notes.

Josh:                Sandi mentioned I also have a one-hour free audio CD. It’s free. It’s a course called Success to Sustainability: The Five Things You Need to do to become Personally and Economically Sustainable in Your Business. To get it, it’s really easy. Take out your smartphone. I hope you’re not driving. Or if you’re driving right now, please don’t do this when you drive. Well, when you stop driving, take out your smartphone and text the word SUSTAINABLE to 44222. That’s the word SUSTAINABLE to 44222.

This is Josh Patrick. You’re at The Sustainable Business. Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope to see you back here really soon.

Narrator:         You’ve been listening to The Sustainable Business podcast where we ask the question, “What would it take for your business to still be around 100 years from now?” If you like what you’ve heard and want more information, please contact Josh Patrick at 802‑846‑1264 ext 2, or visit us on our website at, or you can send Josh an e-mail at

Thanks for listening. We hope to see you at The Sustainable Business in the near future.

Topics: professional service marketing, sustainable business podcast, Marketing, expert learning, Uncategorized

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