Jay Baer on the best way to build a successful business, how to do email newsletters effectively, and tequila!

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Jay Baer is a customer service & digital marketing pioneer, advisor, researcher, & analyst. He’s also a 7th-generation entrepreneur with 6 books behind his name, multiple award-winning podcasts, an inductee into the Halls of Fame for Professional Speaking & Word of Mouth Marketing, & he’s founded 5 multi-million dollar companies. 

Jay has spent the past 3 decades helping some of the world’s most iconic brands to gain & keep more customers. He’s also one of only 2 people in the world who’s listed in the top 30 global gurus in two different knowledge categories: customer service & internet marketing

His current company, Convince & Convert, provides social media and content marketing advice to leading businesses. Off the business topic, Jay is a licensed tequila sommelier & a certified barbecue judge! 

What You’ll Hear

  • [2:34] Jay Baer’s work background 
  • [3:57] How Convince & Convert started 
  • [4:52] How Covid-19 changed Jay’s mindset 
  • [5:53] How Convince & Convert became successful 
  • [8:34] Jay’s thoughts on replicating the process 
  • [9:43] Promoting yourself online 
  • [14:14] Jay on doing email newsletters right 
  • [19:01] On niching down 
  • [22:15] What Jay’s working on right now 
  • [24:56] Jay’s thoughts on business communication 
  • [30:49] Final comments

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Jay Baer’s Work Background

Jay started in politics, managing political campaigns. He got involved in digital marketing almost accidentally, in 1993. He joined a few friends who’d started an internet marketing company, and has been doing it ever since.  

How Convince & Convert Started

Jay & his friends sold their internet marketing company in the late 1990s. He then started & sold a number of other companies, before starting Convince & Convert in 2008. He ran it for 13 years before selling it to LaneTerralever. 

Jay remains the founder of the company, but spends most of his time writing, podcasting, & public speaking. 

How COVID-19 Changed Jay’s Mindset

When Covid happened, Jay realised he’d been working at a high intensity level for 20 years & it wasn’t worth sustaining that anymore. That’s what made him decide to sell the business, so he went from having 2 full-time jobs to just one, which is much more manageable. 

How Convince & Convert Became Successful

Jay says there was no secret formula for Convince & Convert. They started out with Jay writing a blog post a day to bring in traffic. He also spent a lot of time commenting on other blogs to promote their work & provide valuable content for other marketers. 

The combination of hard work, perseverance, & amplification took about 4 years to build a solid base. At that point, they decided to get others to contribute the content, which unlocked a bigger audience & more interest. 

Jay’s Thoughts on Replicating the Process 

Jay believes that anyone can achieve similar success by following the same process. Convince & Convert started as a blog, but there are multiple ways to follow the same process today—YouTube, Instagram, podcasts, TikTik & so on. 

Despite building huge success with writing, Jay believes that other forms of content may get more success today as competition is huge in the blogging world. 

Promoting Yourself Online

It can be difficult promoting yourself on social media as the algorithm suppresses personal links to keep viewers on the site. Jay suggests worrying less about a direct link to your website but creating a body of work that people appreciate & are interested in. People will find you if your content is great & helpful. 

His formula is content first, audience aggregation second, transactions third. Jay’s advice is that if you can build an audience, you can find a way to sell to them. 

Doing Email Newsletters Right 

Jay sends a twice-a-month newsletter, the Baer Facts, which he calls an outlet for himself to share thoughts & hopefully teach others through stories. 

His key to growing email newsletters is a) not to position it as a “newsletter”, because they have a connotation of being boring, & b) figuring out other places where you’re in front of a possible audience & sharing this content opportunity with them. 

Most of his new subscribers come from his speeches, where he shares a QR code where they can sign up. 

Jay also shares an observation that his tequila email list surpassed his digital marketing email list very quickly, which he believes is because his marketing business serves business while his tequila website serves individuals. There are more people than there are businesses, making the audience that much bigger. 

On Niching Down 

Jay mentions that if you want to create something successful from scratch today, you’d need to be more narrowly niched & more topic-specific. Relevance is everything & most people go too broad when trying to build an audience. 

Rather be the ultimate definitive source of content about one narrowly-niched thing, as opposed to being one of many sources of content for a broader topic. What topic can you truly be the best in the world at? Until you know that, you’re going to struggle. 

What Jay’s Working On Right Now

Tequila is one of Jay’s other passions & he has a few hundred at home, where he creates 4 videos a week on making & drinking tequila. 

Aside from hobbies, he’s got a brand new research study out, called The Time to Win: the 2022 Consumer Patience Study. It’s all about speed & responsiveness in customer service, especially since the pandemic changed the way we perceive time and speed. 

As well as plenty of information, it contains advice for businesses to meet customers’ demands with regards to responsiveness and speed. 

The study is likely to lead to a book next year, & Jay is going to be speaking about it at various speaking engagements in the coming months. 

Jay’s Thoughts on Business Communication  

In Jay’s business experience, the majority of customers would prefer to contact businesses by phone than by digital means. He suggests focusing on getting those basics right before worrying about email, social media, etc. 

You can’t be slow on the phone but make up for it on social or live chat. You should be fast everywhere for the best customer experience. 

He also recommends looking at your own patterns as a business. For example, how long does it take you (as a company) to respond to an email, or respond on social media, etc. Many small & medium companies have no idea. Tracking this can help you to be faster than customers expect. 

Lastly, he says in any situation where you’re competing—quotes, etc—do your absolute best to be the first responder. At least half of the time, customers hire whoever responds first, without looking further.  

Final Comments

You can find Jay’s new research at thetimetowin.com. If you’re a tequila fan, check out his Instagram page


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